Thursday, January 31, 2013

Fabric Feature of the Week - Gabby's Choice

This vibrant, asymmetrical patterned double silk georgette - Gabby's Choice - was actually my daughter's pick for McCalls 6102 (with longer sleeves).

This flared dress is unlined and worn with a simple black jersey slip underneath. Hardly necessary in a top or blouse as this double georgette is more opaque and heavier than your regular sheer georgette. And (bonus) much easier to sew too!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Australia Day trading hours

All Tessuti stores will be closed on Monday 28th January. Regular trading hours will apply on Saturday 26th January. And don't forget, the online shop is ALWAYS open for business.

Happy 'stray-lia Day folks!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Valerie Top Pattern is here!

Here's our latest Valerie Top Pattern. This sleeveless top pattern is loose and comfortable, ideal for a cool summer top. The side gathered darts, featured on both the front and back, provide the perfect detail to set this top apart from your average tank. The pattern is suited to soft fabrics with weight and drape e.g. silk crepe de chine, rayon, double georgette and silk/cotton voiles.

This pattern really does work best made up in a silk crepe de chine, silk/cotton or cotton voiles and soft, drape-y rayons. The fabric used in the image at top is an Italian silk crepe de chine from last summer and here you can see Valerie made up in another printed silk crepe de chine. 

I hope you like the pattern!

Our Valerie Top Pattern (sizes XS,S, M and L all included) is available in hardcopy OR Print At Home A4/Copy Shop versions.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Tutorial: Attaching and Joining Double Fold Bias Binding


In preparation for the release of our latest Tessuti Pattern - Valerie Top.  I thought I'd post  a step-by-step tutorial on how to sew and join together bias binding.

This tutorial is included in the sewing instructions, but here I've added extra images and  you can see them in colour. Click on any of these photos for more detail.

In our latest patterns we've recommended using a double fold bias binding (cut in self fabric). This is similar to double-fold french binding that is used to bind quilts, but for garments the binding is much narrower. Obviously this sort of bias binding sewn on the double, only works in finer fabrics like lightweight cottons, linens, silks etc. I love this method of binding, it's easier and gives a nicer finish. It can be used for narrower inside edge binding (as shown here) or for wider bindings to edge both the inner and outer garment. 

Note: The binding strip used for this top is 1 and one quarter inch wide to finish 3/8" wide.

Here is our tutorial on sewing and joining double fold binding:

Secure neckline and armholes with either vilene shields or stay stitching.

Press armhole and neck bindings in half lengthways (wrong sides together), taking care not to stretch when pressing.

Armhole Binding: Pin raw edges of binding to armhole edges, making sure to leave a generous tail of binding evenly at both ends, at either side of side seam.

After pinning binding around armhole edges, place a chalk mark onto the binding approx 2-3” away from the side seam. 

This is where you will start to sew the binding on and finish at chalk mark at other end. Make sure to sew ¼” seam allowance.   

Next, take one tail of bias binding and align with side seam, pin in place. Mark seam point with a chalk mark on binding. Repeat with other tail.

Make a straight and small scissor nick at the chalk mark

Making sure to also catch the other side of folded binding at the exact same point. 

Open up your folded binding tape and run a chalk mark down from nick to nick on the wrong side of the binding. Repeat on other tail.

With right sides together, overlap the opened bindings over each other at these nick/chalk markings. Make sure that the chalk marks ( see yellow chalk mark) align with the centre fold crease on the binding. Check that the other side looks the same. Pin together as shown in photo above. 

Diagonally across  the bindings is where you will stitch and join together the binding ( see white chalk mark on photo above).

Stitch in the direction of pin, as shown in photo above.

HANDY TIP: Before joining the bindings together, you can place a small square of tear-away Vilene behind this area. This is particularly useful in keeping bindings secure and stable, especially when sewing soft voiles, georgettes or silks. 

Simply cut out a Vilene square (big enough to cover your area) pin together behind bindings and sew.

 Tear away Vilene when finished. 

Trim back the excess tails,

 leaving a ¼” seam allowance near your stitches and press seam open. 

Now that the binding is joined correctly, you should have a continuous binding tape with a diagonal seam.

Repress the binding in half.

Pin this to the rest of armhole edge near side seam. 

For Neckline Binding - Repeat the step above (armhole binding) but for the neckline binding, leave the binding tails near one shoulder seam.

Tear away Vilene shields around armholes and neckline. 

Turn binding out and pin stitch edge of binding, catching neck seam at back.

Lastly, pin binding evenly around neckline and armholes on wrong side of garment and edge stitch bottom edge of binding. 

This will create your topstitch detail around neckline and armholes on the right side of garment. Done!

Hope you find this tutorial useful.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Pastel Art Jersey Dress

Here's a simple summer dress made up by Bernadette in our Italian viscose/elastane jersey Pastel Art. The pattern is her own, simply traced off a store bought jersey dress. The neckline, armholes and hemline were finished off with the overlock stitch on her Bernina 530, a perfect finish on fine jerseys. So easy!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Pattern Review - Girl's Style Book (X)

Happy New Year folks! We hope you and yours enjoyed good times over the Christmas break. You'll have noticed, not unusually for this time of the year, that our blog has copped a bit of neglect over the last couple of weeks but I can assure you we've been beavering away on a couple of new and exciting patterns, plans and announcements so stay tuned. In the meantime, normal programming is resuming here with this pattern review. Stepgirl R chose the pattern and fabric back in September and what was very much intended as a birthday dress has (fancy that) ended up as a Christmas frock. I know better than to put timeframes on anything I make for the kidlets these days, so she was none the wiser and just as pleased. The pattern is X, from the Girl's Style Book (currently sold out but more are on order)...


... and the fabric is White Line Fever. It's quite light and drapey so to give the skirt some extra body, I lined it with a lovely soft and gauze-y cheesecloth that is available in all stores. Best new thing I learnt while making this dress? That a walking foot is THE foot to use for perfect stripe matching! Subsequent thanks must go to Santa for bringing me one for Christmas. He clearly knows my joy too well.

The pattern features a two piece sleeve that's all pretty and petal-like. The only change I'd make if I had a do-over would be to raise the neckline as it sits lower than I would've liked. I also used an invisible zip instead of the recommended dress zip, and shortened it quite a bit. Could've gone shorter but this kid is TALL so give her six months and that skirt will be sitting above the knee. For sure.

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