Things I’ve learnt in June

Things I've learned _Jun.png

Hello, darlings, how is summer treating you? As I hope you might have noticed, I’ve taken a bit of break from blogging, partially because I was on holidays for a few weeks, and partially because I came back so relaxed that I just could not gather the willpower to get back into my regular posting. But this one is long overdue, so I thought I’d better sort it out before it’s time for the July one.

Although you wouldn’t think it from my silence, June has been quite busy on the sewing front. I didn’t have much success of actually completing stuff, other than the jersey & lace top I posted about here, but I have learned some of the best tricks & techniques I ever came across. It is all thanks to the fabulous Sara Alm and her Craftsy classes, one of which I have reviewed here and the other one soon to come.

So, without further ado, here is what I’ve learned in June.

  1. Best technique ever for fully lined bodice 

I must admit, I was never too clear on how to do it without fuss or more importantly, hand sewing!! I had to redo the bodice of this dress, Butterick 5456. The trouble with two-coloured pieces, especially in cotton, is that sometime they tend to bleed into each other. And this is what happened, so I had to unpick the top, order some new white jersey and do it all over again, as quick repair project.

Now, this is a super simple dress, with the only complication of the fully lined bodice with a keyhole slit. And true to form, the instructions tell you to hand-stitch the shoulder seams on the inside, which I’ve never got truly invisible (and I had made it 3 times before).

This was happening as I was watching Sara’s Linings and Facing course on Craftsy for something else and came across this alternative way of finishing the all in one facings, which totally applies to this case as well, and in fact any sort of lining for bodices.

I will try to explain this in words, but I absolutely recommend taking Sara’s class to see it done on video. I also found this blog post that explains it (and from where this illustration is taken).

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The advantage of this method is that you don’t need to have any sides open, unlike the ‘pull through’ method, and it can be done no matter how thin or thick the shoulder seams are. You just need to make sure you don’t twist the shoulder seams.

Step 1: Right side to right side, sew neckline of facing or lining to fashion fabric. Sew armhole seams, leaving 1” open at shoulder seam

Step 2: pull the lining strap through the fashion fabric strap, right sides together and sew across, matching the neckline seam and sew across.

Step 3: Pull the strap a bit off kilter, so you can sew the remaining opening closed by machine. Then turn them all to the right side.

And voila, genius! And no hand-sewing!

2. The burrito technique for waistbands with perfect corners

Another one I’ve learned from Sara, in the waistband and zippers course. It’s a great tidy way to finish off the waistband so that it ends up nice and straight.  It is a matter of rolling the body of the pants out of the way, so that you can sew around the corner of the waistband from the wrong side, then trim, turn, stitch closed, topstitch etc. This is a technique also found in Janet Prey’s course on Craftsy, if you have that one by any chance. I couldn’t find any blogs or videos that explain it similarly to Sara, but you can get an idea of what I mean from this post.

 3. Provence is magnifique!

To tidy it all off, I hope you don’t mind me sharing a few pictures from one of the most wonderful holidays ever! We got invited to see one of the Euro football games in Marseille with friends, so we decided to make a holiday of it and fulfil a longtime dream to see Provence. There wasn’t a lot of lavender in bloom, as we were in a different part which is more about wine and olives, but all else was wonderful, especially the blue, cloudless sky and the 28 degree days! We stayed in a lovely Provence house in a tiny village in Les Alpilles and drove around to our heart’s content. We saw Marseille, Cassis, Avignon, Chateauneuf du Pape, St. Remy de Provence, Pont du Gard near Nimes and Arles. So much more to see, but that’s the problem with holidays, they are never long enough. Here’s a few highlights.

We did a little dance of Pont d’Avignon:

South of France (2016) #07.jpg

We walked some narrow streets in pretty villages:

South of France (2016) #09

We even walked the vineyards in Chateauneuf du Pape:

South of France (2016) #10.jpg

We walked in the footsteps of Van Gogh in St. Remy de Provence

South of France (2016) #11

We learned all about olives and olive oil:

South of France (2016) #12.jpg

We saw a gladiator fight in the Roman arena in Arles

South of France (2016) #13.jpg

Have a great week everyone!

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