Seams, seams and more seams

“Seam finishes without an overlocker – my favorites – tried and tested”

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Many suggest using a zigzag stitch as an alternative to overlocking edges. I have never successfully executed this method and as I don’t own an overlocker (yet) I have as a result developed alternatives that work well for me. Below you will find my favorite alternatives to date.
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Biased edges

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biased-edged-seams

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This technique works well for seams that can afford to be sturdier and also ones that are most likely to be seen, e.g. inside bags, pillow cases etc. I have also used this technique on a skirt design to great effect. Works well even with minimal seam allowance such as in standard commercial patterns and therefore useful. You don’t need to allow extra seam allowance for this option.
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Fold under and zigzag

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fold-under-and-zigzag

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A light weight option that is easily executed and useful for curves. Works well even with minimal seam allowance such as in standard commercial patterns and therefore useful. You don’t need to allow extra seam allowance for this option.
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Folder inwards and zigzag

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fold-inward-and-zigzag

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A super neat option well suited to straight seams. Slightly less ideal for curved joins. Works well even with minimal seam allowance such as in standard commercial patterns and therefore useful. You don’t need to allow extra seam allowance for this option.
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Triple stitched

triple-seam.
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Love this option however does mean that extra stitching is visible and forms part of the garment design. Seams are folded under and then sewn with straight stitch. Ideally requires more seam allowance that usual in pattern design to execute this method. This is the method I used in my  “Easy Pattern Making – from t-shirt to light weight summer top” post.
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Duck feet booties

“Do they come in adult sizes?”

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Whilst looking for pictures on Flickr for my ‘babysteps‘ post I came across these. They instantly resonated with my inner child and my mind has been working over time mulling over the design possibilities ever since.
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A little googling later and I found the full instruction on how to make them on this woman’s blog.
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If only I could actually follow a pattern. I’ve tried so many times I’ve virtually given up now. Every time I try to I start experimenting or coming up with twist to the design. I just can’t help it.
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So will see where the mulling on these fabulous duck feet booties gets me…perhaps I’ll redesign the concept for the next baby shower gift I make. Here’s hoping the parents to be have an equally quirky inner child.
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DIY stuffed robot toy

“My take on the cute robot toy”

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diy-stuffed-robot-toy
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We have so many friends having babies I’m always on the look out for ideas for baby shower gifts. I came across this cute little stuffed robot toy with the bow and heart pictured below and instantly loved it.
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It’s such a great design I just had to have a go. I produced a pattern/plan and started hand sewing.
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Hand sewing although slower is such a lovely way to work on a project. It allows time to think through what you are working on as you go.
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As I was deciding on eyes my boyfriend chimed in and said he didn’t think it needed any and so for now at least I’ve left it as shown.
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I spent hours lovingly making my version of this toy (pictured at the start of the post) that when I finished the baby shower had passed and I’d well and truly fallen in love with the little guy (my boyfriend did too). He now sits on our couch with a selection of other stuffed toys.

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Easy Pattern Making

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“from t-shirt to light weight summer top”

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Do you find your t-shirts all end up looking a little too casual and worn in no time. Maybe it is just me. The side seams all end up twisted and however comfy the t-shirt is it just doesn’t cut it in even the most casual of work places. So here is a simple design I came up with. The whole process took me about 3hours and the fabric set me back about AUD$35 and I didn’t even use it all.
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The fantastic fabric was designed by Kaffe Fassett. The fabric design was beautiful on it’s own so I aimed to make a really simple top to showcase it. (Note – Remember to pre-wash your fabric. It’s the worst thing ever to go to the trouble of making something and the first time you wash it – it shrinks!).
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I love wearing my old well worn t-shirt (featured below). The simplicity of the style just works for me so it was a great style to use for this project. I skipped making a block or paper pattern and worked straight from the t-shirt.
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tshirt to top pattern_step 1
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Aside from my trusty sewing machine here are the tools I used:
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tshirt to top pattern_tools
I love the Sew Easy quilt-n-sew ruler (in photo above) for marking seam allowance. It’s super fast. Also great for marking strips for bias tape.
tshirt to top pattern_step 2
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The most time consuming bit of the whole process was cutting out and sewing together strips of fabric for the bias tape. If you’ve never made bais tape from fabric before check out this tutorial for a step-by-step.
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I allowed larger than normal seams as I don’t have an overlocker (yet). My technique is pictured below. It’s neat and tidy. The extra time it takes is worth it for the clean result.
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tshirt to top pattern_inside seam
(photo of seam from inside)
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tshirt to top pattern_outside seam detail
(photo of seam from outside)
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I’ll run through a step-by-step on how I handle seams in another post. Ultimately if you want to use this idea as a DIY project use whatever seam suits you. Just remember to think about it before hand so you leave enough seam allowance when you mark out your design.
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So here is the finished top >
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tshirt to top pattern_finished1tshirt to top pattern_finished2
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I love wearing it. My friends all love it. Would love to hear your feedback.
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