Mpressive Threadz Studio Blog

Sharing my love of sewing

Creative Sewing – Chapter 4

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Happy New Year!  Wishing everyone a great year of sewing!

I’ve spent the holidays enjoying family and friends and doing very little sewing.  One weekend I intended to sew the entire weekend. HA! That’s a joke.  Saturday afternoon a girlfriend called to say she was leaving work soon and invited a few other female friends over to just hangout.  Forget about sewing; I’m in my car, driving for an hour to spend a relaxing Saturday evening with friends, old and new, eating pizza and wings, drinking PD eggnog, dancing various slides and listening to some serious singing from gospel to rap, and sharing life stories.  Sunday a niece called to say she was at my sister-in-law’s house and they were about to go out to eat.  Did I want to join them?  Forget about sewing; I’m in my car, driving for 30 minutes to spend a relaxing Sunday afternoon with them, eating out, sharing life stories, and doing a little shopping.  The following weekend was devoted to our annual dinner before Christmas.  Forget sewing; this meant baking and cooking on Saturday, and a Sunday of dining, drinking, talking and laughing until midnight.  I did not try to sew the reminder of the year and I did not care.  My holidays were relaxing!

Today, I fired up the sewing machine.  I added another shaped godet to the center of the skirt back.  I did not like the look of the one godet, so I added another.  I smile at the results, which means I like the look.  I also experimented with creating a trim for the dress.  After avoiding a disaster with my Brother machine, which is why I am not 100% enamored of electronic machines with drop-in bobbins, I stitched a sample of the trim.  I smile at the results; again I’m liking the look.

I didn’t feel like getting out the better camera, so I took quick pictures using my cell phone.  I will take better shots later, but I think for now you’ll have a general idea of the trim and the godets.

Here are directions for creating the trim:

  • Cut bias strip the length needed (width = twice your seam allowance plus 1”).  Cut another strip same length and width.
  • Fold one bias strip in half.
  • Set machine to shell tuck stitch (or blindstitch or zigzag stitch).  Set tension of machine so that the bobbin  thread is pulling more than the upper thread. 
  • Stitch along folded edge so that needle hits outside the fold when it zigzags.
  • Place right side of stitched trim to right side of other bias strip, lining up cut edges.  Stitch just inside of straight stitch of shell tuck stitch or blindstitch.  When using a zigzag stitch, you’ll stitch where the needle enters the fabric away from the fold.
  • Fold down bias strip for piping, wrong sides together.
  • Trim two inner layers close to stitching.
  • Stitch close to bulge of trimmed layers, encasing the trim edges, forming piping. 

Click on the diagram to see a full-size version of the trim construction.

I really like the look of the trim, which combined ideas from my sewing machine manual and some of my sewing books.  It’s meant to be inserted in a seam just as you would a piping.  I can envision it with contrasting piping.  I definitely want to use this technique again on another garment.  I hope it inspires you.


Author: Mpressive Threadz

I started sewing when I was 11 years old, and had my own clients when I was 12. I graduated from the H.S. of Fashion Industries, majoring in fashion design. I expanded my technical background by attending evening classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology and working many years at a major pattern company. I have been creating custom wedding gowns and evening dresses for more years than I care to count. I LOVE WORKING WITH FABRICS. I love fine sewing techniques. I love creating beautiful dresses.

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