Sewing & Fashion - Section I
Table of Contents
Sewing & Fashion
Princess Seams .......................................................I-3
Tailored Shirt Placket ................................................I-4
Finding Inspiration in Italian Marble Floors ................I-5
Recipes for Success When Using Stabilizers ...........I-6
Tips & Techniques for Hemstitching with the Wing
A Year’s Worth of Jackets From One Great Pattern .I-9
Creating Perfect Squares Made Simple ....................II-10
From Inspiration to Reality ........................................II-10
How to Sew a Custom Fit Half Slip ............................II-11
Delectably Simple Mountains ....................................II-12
Outdoor Quilts ..........................................................II-13
Guests .....................................................................II-14
Due to the size of this section, it has been separated
into two sections in order for it to be downloaded
more quickly. For instance, “Princess Seams” is in
Section I on page 3, whereas “Creating Perfect
Squares Made Simple” is in Section II on page 10.
Princess Seams
Excerp from The Art of Fashion Draping by Connie Amaden-Crawford
Fit Princess Seams, Bust Cup and Hip Area
Contour and shape the front and back waistline and
princess seam areas of the model. The front and back
princess seams (usually shoulder or armhole seams) are
areas that can be used to fit and contour to the body’s
Refit the bust cup area
Open the princess seam over the bust cup at least 2
inches above and below the cupped area. Reshape the
princess seam area to match the bust cup amount of the
model. Add fullness to make a larger cup size, decrease
fullness to make a smaller cup size.
If needed, clip from the bust area to the side seam and
add fabric. Then repin the princess seams.
Refit the waistline area and/or the hip area
Contour and shape the front and back waistline areas of
the model. Add or decrease the princess seam amount
over the waist area. Mark a new stitchline.
Princess Seams Pattern Reference
Listed are several princess seamed patterns that have been especially draped for mature figures. The
patterns are available in size XS to 6X at www.fashionpatterns.com.
Tailored Shirt Placket
Reference Patternmaking Made Easy and A Guide to Fashion
Sewing for the pattern and sewing details of the Tailored Shirt Placket, the
Hidden Placket, Shirt Neckline Placket and the Budget Shirt Placket
The tailored shirt placket method is the method most
commonly used in the garment industry. It saves time
and produces a clean, professional look.
woman’s shirt—left side for a man’s shirt).
A. Fold and press the front shirt placket on the first
foldline to the inside of the shirt (the width of the
finished placket).
The right and left front shirt placket pattern pieces are
figured in the same manner as for the shirt neckline
placket, however, the notches for the plackets are
placed differently. The illustration shows the placket
amounts and the notches transferred from the pattern.
B. Fold and press again on the second fold line to
the inside of the shirt.
C. Stitch the placket 1/4-inch away from the last
foldline on the correct side of the garment.
LEFT SHIRT: Place the interfacing on the left
front shirt placket, 1/2-inch from the outer edge of the
garment piece, as illustrated.
Press the placket out and away from the shirt.
RIGHT SHIRT: Place the interfacing on the right
front shirt placket, along the outer edge of the garment
piece, as illustrated.
NOTE: Women’s button opening is shown and
described here. Reverse the interfacing for the
men’s button opening.
NOTE: This gives the right placket a clean-finished
area on the inside of this placket.
Finding Inspiration in
Italian Marble Floors
(Illustrated for a woman’s shirt - left side for a man’s
A. Press the first edge of the left side of the shirt
under 1/2-inch (along the first edge of the interfacing).
“Wow! That’s beautiful! I could never make it.”
That remark from another quilter encouraged me
to write my book, “Bella Bella Quilts.” The
“Wow” factor of these quilts comes from the
number of pieces and their interplay, not from
the difficulty of the piecing. Most quilters have
made the blocks in these quilts before. Anybody
with basic patchwork skills can make the project
quilts because the real work is repetitive, not
difficult. Though I like quilt projects as much as
the next quilter, these designs are so thrilling that
I’m willing to take some extra time to make them.
I enjoy the “thrown together” aspect of rainbows
of color and texture. I like the variety of
patterns. I like the curves that set these quilts
apart. And I love the “wow! factor.”
B. Fold and press the foldine on the left side of the
shirt (along the opposite edge of the interfac-ing).
COURTESY: Norah McMeeking
Quilter & Author
C. Stitch the facing in place at the first foldline
pressed edge. Top stitch the opposite edge for a
placket finishing effect.
COURTESY: Connie Crawford
Fashion Patterns by Coni
Recipes for
Success When
Using Stabilizers
Make Patterns
Stitch onto the wrong side of the fabric.
• You will be able to topstitch and/or decorative
stitch easily because Fuse ’n Stitch stabilizes the
fabric, and remains on the fabric to keep it stiff.
• When you make Tote Bags and Purses and you
want the sides and handles to be sturdy, simply fuse
Sulky Fuse ’n Stitch to the wrong side of your fabric.
• Fuse ’n Stitch is perfect for Costumes when you
need “stiffness” as in special hats, cuffs, wings, tails,
etc., and for Belts where you want to retain shape.
• Sulky Soft ‘n Sheer™ - permanent
• Sulky KK 2000™ Temporary Spray Adhesive
Use Sulky Soft ‘n Sheer to create very lightweight,
sturdy, permanent, reuseable patterns and save the
flimsy tissue patterns as masters.
• Use yardage from a bolt of Sulky Soft ‘n Sheer.
• Cut pieces of Soft ‘n Sheer a little larger than the
pattern pieces you wish to trace.
• Lightly spray the Soft ‘n Sheer with KK 2000 and
smooth the pattern piece over it. The KK 2000 keeps
the pattern in place while you trace it.
• Write all notations on the Soft ‘n Sheer pattern
• Store in zip-lock baggies along with the original
pattern package.
• Sulky Tender Touch™ - iron-on, permanent
I keep a bolt of Tender Touch on hand so I have the
wider widths available for underlining some fabrics.
Since underlining will change the “hand” of the fabric,
when a fabric tends to be too lightweight for the type
of garment I am making, I fuse Tender Touch to the
wrong side of the entire piece of fabric before cutting
out the garment pieces. (I have a lightweight tweed
wool and silk jacket that would have “sagged and
bagged” as I wore it if I had not added the Tender
Touch underlining.)
Make Alterations
• Sulky Totally Stable™ - iron-on, temporary
Use Sulky Totally Stable to make alterations to
• Cut the pattern as needed, then insert a piece of
Totally Stable and fuse it in place to add length or to
make a designer detail adjustment.
• Because you can iron Totally Stable and then pull
it off, reposition it, and press it again many times, you
can experiment with the pattern details before cutting
into the fabric.
• Sulky Tender Touch™ - iron-on, permanent
I have used Tender Touch as my “facing fabric” to
eliminate bulk and still have the ability to fuse the
facing to the wrong side of the garment so it stays in
• This is great for “fast facing” on costumes and
other quick garments and when a garment fabric is too
heavy to use as a facing.
• Cut the facing pieces from Sulky Tender Touch.
• Sew them to the garment piece in the same way
you would stitch a facing, with the fusible side out.
• Trim your seam allowances with pinking shears
to eliminate bulk. Turn the facing to the wrong side
and fuse in place.
• One of the first places I used this technique was
on a metal sequin evening fabric that had “points” in
Heavy Interfacing
• Sulky Fuse ’n Stitch™ - iron-on, permanent
• Sulky Tender Touch™ - iron-on, permanent
Tote, “Sunday Dinner Apron”, a Vanilla House Design.
“Frenchy Bags” designed by Amy Butler featuring
Moda fabrics.
• Fuse ’n Stitch was used to stiffen the Apron’s
waistband, and Tender Touch was used to add body
to the neck strap and apron ties.
• To add the stiffness you need, iron Sulky Fuse ’n-
the pattern of the sequins. I made the hem edge of the
top beautiful by placing a strip of Sulky Tender Touch,
right sides together with the sequin fabric along the
bottom edge of the sequin top; then I stitched along
the shape of the “points”, trimmed the excess seam
allowance along the points, turned the Tender Touch
to the wrong side and fused it in place. Tender Touch
“facings” finish the neck edge and sleeve hems.
fabric, right sides together, as you sew.
• Then, tear away the stabilizer when the stitching
is complete.
Interface Knits
• Sulky Tender Touch™ - iron-on, permanent
For years, I’ve been a real fan of fusible tricot interfacing and I was “sew” happy when Sulky introduced
Tender Touch since the packages and rolls are very
easy to work with and to store. Tender Touch fusible
tricot is the interfacing in most of the garments I sew
• Sulky Tender Touch has more stretch in one direction than in the other, so keep the stretchier direction
on the crosswise of your pattern pieces.
• When pinning the facing pattern piece to cut the
interfacing, pin inside the seamlines, then slip your
pinking shear under the pattern piece and cut along
the seamline to eliminate the bulk in the seams.
• Using the pinking shears means the edge of the
interfacing won’t “press through” as a ridge on your
• To fuse your Tender Touch interface piece to the
garment piece, place the garment piece, wrong side
up, on your ironing surface, and place the Tender
Touch interfacing piece, fusible side down, with the
pinked edges at the seamlines.
• Before fusing together, give the pieces a “blast of
steam” to remove any wrinkles or shrinkage. Place a
Sulky Tear-Easy “press cloth” on top and press the
Tender Touch onto the fabric with lots of steam. Do
not move the iron back and forth! Hold the iron in one
place for 10 seconds and then move to the next place.
• Turn the fabric over and use another “press cloth”
to press from the right side. Mark one of your Sulky
Tear-Easy “press cloths” to be used for fusible only.
• Replace “press cloths” often.
Make a Hem Gauge
• Sulky Cut-Away Plus™ - permanent
Use Sulky Cut-Away Plus to create a Hem Gauge.
• Cut a rectangle 4” wide by 12” long for skirts and
4” x 6” for pants; use a permanent marking pen to
draw lines across the 12” and 6” length at 1/2”, 1”,
1 1/2”, 1 3/4”, 2”, 2 1/2” and 3” from the edge.
• By inserting my “Hem Gauge” into the hem I can
fold the hem allowance up over the Cut-Away Plus to
the correct line and press it there.
• You can make a Sulky Cut-Away Plus “Hem Gauge”
for any size hem you need. This can be really helpful
for home dec sewing when you need a double 4” hem
in your drapes. For a curved hem on skirts, etc., use
the original curve of the skirt as your pattern to cut the
Sulky Cut-Away Plus piece, then measure from the
curve for your hem allowance and mark.
• Sulky Tender Touch™ - iron-on, permanent
I love to cut strips of Tender Touch with the length of
the strip on the least stretchy direction to “interface”
the seam allowances where stretch can occur while
• This is especially important when putting a zipper
into the seam of a bias cut skirt. Simply “interface”
the seam allowances in the zipper area with strips
of Sulky Tender Touch.
Tip: I usually interface the garment not the facing
because I want the structure on the garment side.
There are exceptions such as sheers, lightweight
silks, very light t-shirt knits, etc., because the “fusible
dots” can show through on the right side on very light,
sheer fabrics. In this case, press the Tender Touch
onto the facing piece or use Sulky Cut-Away Soft ’n
Sheer as a “sew-in” interfacing.
Tame Seams & Edges
• Sulky Tear-Easy™ - temporary tear-away
I tame construction seams on the most challenging
fabrics with Sulky Tear-Easy.
• Some lightweight, or sheer, or slippery fabrics can
be difficult to stitch (even the seams) without puckering or slipping.
• Simply place strips of Sulky Tear-Easy under the
COURTESY: Sue Hausmann
Sulky of America
Tips and Techniques for
Hemstitching with
the Wing Needle and Sulky®
Sticky Fabri- Solvy™ and Sulky
PolyLite™ Thread
Originally a hand-sewn technique, then stitched
on hemstitcher machines manufactured around
1900, today hemstitching creates fabulous
designer details quickly and easily on home
sewing machines. The key is stitching with very
fine thread so the thread does not fill the “holes”
and stabilizing to prevent puckering as the stitch
goes back and forth and side to side. The new
Sulky PolyLite Thread is a fine weight, 60/2 and
comes in a myriad of colors perfect for
hemstitching colored linens, silks and cottons for
a tailored lace look.
There are several important elements to creating
machine hemstitching in your fabric. Insert a wing
needle. This needle is very thick and wide and
actu-ally looks as though it has “wings” on each
side, hence the name. The needle is meant to
make holes in your fabric as you stitch. Wing
needles come in size 100 and size 120.
Sometimes the wing needle pokes a larger hole
than you desire or “catches” on the fabric as you
stitch. If so, experiment with a large universal
needle size 100 or 120 to see if you like the
effect. Always experiment on scraps before
hemstitching on your project.
Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy is the perfect stabilizer
be-cause you “stick” your fabric to the Sticky
Fabri-Solvy so it cannot pucker or move as the
intricate stitches move back and forth and sideto- side stitching the hole made by the wing
needle in an open position. After stitching, rinse
your fabric in water to completely remove the
water soluble stabilizer, Sulky Sticky FabriSolvy! Hang to dry and press.
Hemstitching is one of my favorite creative
techniques. Originally thought to be only used in
Heirloom Sewing, today we see hemstitching on
home dec, placemats, curtains, tailored blouses
and “sew” much more. It is magic
to watch the wing needle create a
lace effect in the fabric by punching holes and sewing them open.
Most sewing machines have some
stitches for hemstitching and many
have complete menus of hemstitches. Select a stitch that sews
back into the same hole several
times. Even the most basic
machines have a stretch stitch
Hemstitching will be most effective on natural
fiber fabrics such as linen and cotton, and the
fabric cannot be too tightly woven or too high a
thread count. The needle must be able to “spread”
the fibers as it enters the fabric, and the stitch
will sew it in the open posi-tion. One of the reasons the synthetic fibers and per-manent press
fabrics do not hemstitch well is that they have
been “trained” to return to their original state and
do not want to let the hole stay open! Practice on
scraps. Some synthetics hemstitch beautifully.
called a ric-rac stitch.
You want to see the “holes” more than the stitch,
so thread with a fine (2 ply) thread on top and in
the bobbin because a heavier thread will fill the
holes. Sulky PolyLite 60/2 thread is perfect and
comes in a myriad of colors for a rich tone-ontone embellishment. You can stitch beautiful hemstitches with Sulky 40 weight Rayon machine embroidery threads when you want to see the actual
stitch as well as the holes. Be sure to use the
same thread in the top and bobbin. Usually hemstitching is sewn with the thread matching the
fabric. Use a standard presser foot or a transparent foot with flat underside for better visibility.
Place fabric on Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy water
soluble stabilizer.
• Rain coat
with added
hood or hat
• Sheers
with rolled
serged edges;
use the selvages for trim
• Light weight cottons, linens or blends, eyelets and
• Shorten and widen the sleeves
• Use old cotton linens with lovely embroidery or
table cloths
• Single layer cotton home decorator prints; choose
a few that coordinate
• Put the seams on the outside and cover with a
ribbon or trim
Remember to use the Start/Stop to sew without
the foot control for long rows of hemstitching.
This makes it even easier as you have two hands
free. Do not “help” the fabric feed through the
machine!! This will distort the beautiful hemstitches! Your job is to simply guide the fabric.
• Necklines that lend themselves to scarves
• Vests in heavier fabrics like boiled wool, denim or
• Try some collage or appliqué on a vest; work modularly
• Light weight outerwear fabric in dark colors or
• Strip piecing along the seam line; perfect for very
small but precious scraps
• Sparkly fabrics and cut velvets for little party tops
• Narrow the sleeves and cuffs to accommodate a
Many computer
embroidery machines
and em-broidery
software are designed
for you to bring in the
hem-stitches from your
machine and create beautiful hem-stitch designs,
yokes, and “sew” much more so you simply hoop
your fabric, touch a button and hemstitch!
COURTESY: Sue Hausmann
Sulky of America
• Quilt light weight wools or vintage fabrics to Thinsulate™ or wool batting
• Line with flannel backed “Zeus”
• Wash wools and old sweaters for piecing
• Overlap the seams and stitch together with a
decorative stitch
• Use felted wools or old blankets for jacket bodies
• Knit the sleeves for a cozy look
• Pair large challis prints with solids in the sides and
• Add flower pins or attached corsages for a hint of
spring to come
A Year’s Worth of Jackets From
One Great Pattern
Choose a basic Square Armhole Jacket pattern, like
the Tabula Rasa Jacket from Fit for Art Patterns
• Light weight outerwear fabrics with a partial or full
• Choose lighter and brighter colors
• Make it reversible - perfect for travel
• Large silk prints used in the body and sleeves,
solids for the sides and trim
• Mixed prints and polka dots
COURTESY: Rae Cumbie
Assn. of Sewing & Design Professionals