Tuesday, May 21, 2013


This light-weight satin jacket’s sleeve is being trimmed with a metallic braid.
Woven fusible interfacing gives the cuff stability.  The fusing has been sewn to the edge of the cuff, raised-stitched, turned over and fused to the sleeve’s hem, as shown above.

The sleeve’s hem is turned up and pinned. The trim is then pinned one-half inch from the finished edge of the cuff so that the trim’s placement is consistent with the trim on the ensemble.
The trim is sewn to the sleeve with metallic thread. Because sewing the ends of the rather thick braid into the seam would bulk up the seam the ends of the braid are tucked under the braid. This worked really well as the braid’s metallic yarns wrapped around each other, concealing the join.
Finally the sleeve’s hem is sewn under the braid rather than at the top of the hem to prevent the hand hemming from showing.
The sleeves are now ready to be sewn into the armholes.
More later,

Friday, May 10, 2013


I'm making a silk chiffon blouse. Testing proved that neither a bound buttonhole nor a machine buttonhole would work with the silk chiffon blouse fabric. (Note: the above picture shows the true color of the fabric. )

The only solution was covered snaps, often used by haute couture designers. But first the button problem had to be solved.

 My button box yielded up only one set of buttons that matched the fabric, but they were too small. Sewing them over mother-of-pearl buttons cut from a trimmed place setting solved the problem.
When using covered snaps first sew all the buttons on the garment before covering the snaps. As each snap is covered sew it in place on the garment immediately before covering the next snap.
Now cover the snaps. Cut a circle of the fabric, twice the diameter of the snap.  The circle does not have to be perfectly shaped. For the stud side fold the fabric in half and half again. Snip a tiny hole across the center that is slightly smaller than the diameter of the snap’s stud. Do NOT cut a hole for the receiver side of the snap. An indent will form with the finished snaps are closed, solving the problem.
 Hand baste around the edge of the fabric. Be careful as the fabric frays easily.
Gather the fabric.
Sew across the back.

The covered snap
Sew the snap on the garment.  This side receives the stud. When the snap is closed the fabric will indent.
Bye for now,

Friday, May 3, 2013


Last month I attended the opening of Drexel University’s $80 million industrial warehouse-style URBN Center. Talk about fabulous!
While there I made sure to visit its costume collection’s new location. Philadelphia fashion columnist Elizabeth Wellington wrote about this high-tech storage space in her column Mirror, Mirror, published in the Inquirer’s Style-Soul section this past Wednesday, May 1.  According to Ms. Wellington’s article, What's in Drexel's closets? Timeless textile treasures, Allen Sabinson, dean of Media Arts and Design said the idea [for the Historic Costume Collection]  is to pull from the grouping for fashion exhibitions and to be a go-to research facility for couture, ready-to-wear, and costume designers.
Below are some of the pictures I took of the fashion design department, one of many Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design majors now housed in the building.
The space now available for this major is unbelievable. Huge cutting tables, beautiful Juki industrial sewing machines, new dress forms, plenty of locker storage.