Sewing A Balanced Dart
Balanced darts are used in garments to reduce a 'stepped' look when sewing darts in bulky fabrics. The additional fabric that is added actually creates a smoother silhouette and provides a good fit.
1. Mark the dart on your garment.
2. Pin the dart then cut an extra rectangle of fabric that is bigger that the dart (longer and wider).
3. Re-pin the dart with the rectangle of fabric underneath.
4. Stitch the dart beginning and ending in the excess fabric.
5. Pull the excess fabric away from the stitching line. Cut the excess fabric to match the shape of the dart on the main garment.
6. Press the dart apart from the excess fabric so that the dart is 'balanced' and there is the same amount of fabric on both sides of the stitching line.
A thread chain is a great option for belt or button loops. It's also a great way to create bra strap holders inside garments. One of my favourite things about thread chains is that they easily be easily added to the garment right at the end of sewing (so you don't have to worry about loops and things when you're in the middle of construction).
Here's how to create a thread loop.
1. Cut two long pieces (approx. 70cm) of all purpose thread.
2. Pull both pieces of thread through a needle so it becomes 4 threads.
TIP: It's a good idea (although not essential) to run thread wax along the thread. This will help to stop the threads from knotting.
3. Tie a knot in the end of your threads.
4. Insert the needle where you require the thread chain to begin. You can sew another knot here for security if you would like (before you start sewing your thread chain).
5. Reinsert the needle in the same spot and pull through, but do not pull all the way. Keep that loop!
6. Hold the loop open with two fingers. Hold the thread with the needle in the other hand.
7. Pull the threads with the needle attached through the loop and pull to create a knot and another loop. (This is much more intuitive than it sounds, I promise! ). Effectively you are folding the threads with the needle attached in half to create the loop, which you then pull on.
8. Repeat this step over and over until the thread chain is long enough.
9. Finish by knotting at the end of the thread chain. Usually this means finishing the thread chain in the garment.
This week I'm covering Flat felled seams. These are great for garments that need reinforcing. I'm talking jeans, men's shirts, any seams that come under a lot of stress.
Much like French seam they do take longer to sew, but totally worth it for the right garment:)
1. Fold a 1 cm seam allowance to the wrong side on one piece of fabric and press.
2. Position the raw edge of the other piece of fabric on the pressed fold line. Fabric should be wrong sides together.
3. Stitch the garment together 7.5mm from the fold, encasing the fabric.
4. Lay the garment completely flat and press the 'seam allowance' to the side so that you can't see the raw edge.
5. Stitch through all layers 7.5mm from previous stitching line. I've used contrasting thread here, but only so it can be seen clearly in the images.
And there you have an easy flat felled seam.