Category Archives: Tutorials

Tutorial: How to EASILY make a kick-ass sleeve placket

If you know anything at all about me, you should know I love cardboard. Or more accurately, tagboard.This little miracle makes my sewing life so much easier, more professional,and very importantly, REPEATABLE. Get in the habit of making cardboard/tagboard templates in dimensions you use frequently, and then use them to accurately turn hems, shirt placket fronts, and more. Easy-peasy.

Today we are going to use a tagboard “jig” to help make stinkin’ simple shirt plackets.

Sleeve Placket templates

Sleeve placket jigs

  1. Cut 1 piece of tagboard 2.5 inches wide x at least 6 or 7 inches long.
  2. Along both long edges score a line 1/4 inch from the edge and fold toward the center.
  3. Cut 1 piece of tagboard 2 inches wide X at least 6 or 7 inches long. This piece should fit exactly inside the scored/folded piece. This is for the wide sleeve placket.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3, but making the larger piece 1.5″ x 6 or 7 inches and the smaller insert 1 inch x at least 6 or 7 inches. This is for the skinny sleeve placket.

That’s it! Now you have the tool that will make perfect sleeve plackets EVERY TIME. And all you had to do was draw a few lines on some old manila file folders, and cut ’em out. Now let’s get to work on the actual sleeve plackets.

Sleeve plackets

Note: skinny placket goes on the underside of the sleeve placket, and the wide placket goes on the top of the sleeve

1. Mark line 6.5 inches long for the cutting line of the shirt placket. I hope you can see the yellow chalk line I drew on this fabric. The tiny snip at the bottom of the sleeve is where the center cutting line is drawn.

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2. Draw a line ¼ inch on either side of this “cutting” line, and a horizontal line at the top. Squint. The yellow lines are on either side of the center cutting line – which you can identify by the tiny snip.

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3. Cut on center cutting line, forming small triangle at top.

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4. Cut a strip of fabric 2.5 x 8-9 inches for the wider placket. Put the fabric inside the “wide sleeve placket” jig, place the insert on top of the fabric,  and press to create the “turn under” along both long edge. Then press in half to create a 1” wide large placket. Be sure to “favor” one side slightly when you press in half. This will ensure your topstitching catches both the top and bottom of the placket.

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5. Cut a strip of fabric 1.5 x 6-7 inches for the “skinny” placket. Using the small sleeve placket jig, repeat the step above and press to create a  ½ inch wide skinny placket.

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6. Slip cut edge into skinny placket, with the slightly shorter edge on top and the slightly wider edge underneath. Align the fold with the chalk line and pin in place.

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7. Stitch up to the horizontal cross mark on sleeve, leaving triangle free.
8. Stitch triangle to underside of placket at cross mark and trim to ¼”

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9. Slip wide placket onto other side of cut edge and edgestitch just up to the horizontal cross mark.

10. Lay the wide placket over the skinny placket, and fold it straight down on top of itself. Next, fold the wide placket at a 45 degree (right) angle,  and press well.

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11. Now fold the wide placket back over itself at a 45 degree (right) angle and again press thoroughly. You should have a perfect triangle at this point!

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12. Trim the excess bulk away from the triangle.

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13. Pin the triangle in place, and mark 2 horizontal cross lines across the wide placket. Note: At this point you will be stitching on the wide placket, securing the small placket underneath with the final topstitching.

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14. Stitch around the triangle through all layer: wide placket, skinny placket, sleeve. Be sure to backstitch, overstitch, or take a few stitches at 0 stitch length to secure this stitching.

15. If you did everything perfectly, on the underside of your sleeve one row of the horizontal topstitching will be on the small placket only and one will be on the larger placket.

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Doh! Oh well, next time it will be PERFECT, inside and out!

Repeat these steps for the other sleeve. You will get faster with practice. Also, you can decide for yourself how long you want your plackets to be – you don’t need to use my measurements (6-7 inches) or what is called for on the pattern. Your preference! The only thing you should do is measure your second placket to make sure it is the exact same finished length as your first. Now go give this a try and tell me what you think!

Happy sewing!

 

Maris

Tutorial: Attaching binding to a knit cami

Binding pattern instructions

Pattern instructions from McCalls 6225 childrens sleepwear pattern

I hope you can read these %$*#) worthless pattern instructions. Worse than worthless. And that kind of nonsense from the McCalls pattern company makes me hopping mad. Pure, unadulterated laziness.

“Turn right side out.” Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? I am hardly new to working with knits, and thirty minutes later all I had was a hole in the middle of the binding strap that was stuck part way thru the “turn right side out” step. Lots of bad words spewed cuz I was in a hurry, as usual, trying to get samples made up for a camp fair I am exhibiting in on Saturday. OK, throw these %$*#) worthless pattern instructions away and see what I did instead.

Cut binding strips

1. Cut out your binding strips using the pattern piece. That much is OK.

2. Stitch short ends together using seam allowance on your pattern (mine was 3/8″).

Binding pinned to cami armhole

3. Pin the binding to the armhole of your cami, matching the binding seam to the armhole seam and the binding notches to the armhole notches. I notched the binding where it was supposed to meet the hem edge of the cami front and back. Instead of drawing a stupid little dot on the fabric I snipped. Faster and easier!

Binding stitched to cami

4. Stitch the binding to the armhole only, backstitching at both ends. Use the seam allowance indicated (again, 3/8″ on my pattern). Good Lord, I could use a manicure!

Pressed binding

5. Press the seam allowance around the armhole toward the binding and press both edges of the shoulder strap area toward the center.

Pinned binding

6.Fold and pin the unstitched edge of the binding to meet the stitching line on the underarm area, and on the shoulder strap make the 2 pressed folds meet.

Binding stitched around armhole

7. Starting at the underarm area, using a zig-zag stitch, stitch around the entire binding.

Stretched binding compared to unsewn binding

Holy crap. Look how much the stitched binding stretched out compared to the original binding. On the second strap I tried technique # 2. Follow steps 1-3 as above, but then:

Clear elastic application to a cami binding

4 revised. Starting at the underarm, apply 1/4″ clear elastic with a zig-zag stitch around the ENTIRE binding. Yes, even around the shoulder strap section that you did NOT stitch on above.

Then follow steps 5-7 as before, pressing and stitching down.

Comparing elastic binding to non-elastic binding

Elastic in the binding version #2 is on the left, and the no-elastic first attempt is on the right. Big difference, huh?

Measuring completed binding with elastic

The elastic version measures almost 8 1/2 inches folded.

easuring a completed cami strap

The no-elastic version measures pretty close to 10 inches – if you add a little for the wavy wonky way it is on laid the mat.

Before you all start adding a bunch of comments about why didn’t I use the coverstitch on my serger, I was trying this for a Kids Sew Camp project. None of the kids I sew with own sergers, so I need techniques that work on regular sewing machines, and in some cases, pretty crappy machines. I might need to start/help them with the elastic step, but I think the outcome will be decent if we use these steps instead.

How about you? Do you have any other tips that might help in applying binding to a knit cami on a sewing machine? Shout ’em out!

Happy sewing!

Maris

 

 

 

 

Tutorial: 3 Ways to Gather Fabric

Gathering is an insanely common sewing task, especially if you are sewing with or for girls, right? Recently I hosted a sewing camp featuring “twirly skirts”, and I was stunned by how hard it was for kids to gather fabric. Clearly some things I have just forgotten after sewing for almost 50 years!

I decided to figure out a way that kids could successfully gather fabric regardless of the kind of sewing machine or accessory feet they owned. And by George, I think I’ve got it!

This is the first gathering method  I learned as a kid:

  1. Lengthen stitch length as far as possible.
  2. Stitch (at least) 2 parallel rows of stitching
  3. Pull up both bobbin threads equally to gather. If necessary, do the same from the opposite end of the stitching.

2 Rows of gathering stitches

Two rows of long, straight stitching

2 Rows of gathering stitches closeup

Close-up of the two rows of long, straight stitching

2 Rows of gathering stitches pulled up

Bobbin threads pulled to start gathering the fabric.

I think the pros of this first method are that it is quick to stitch, and no special equipment or stitch is required. The cons are that it is really only effective on lighter weight fabric and it is fairly easy for the threads to break when pulling on them. That breakage issue is really annoying, too, because you have to run a new row of long stitches. Not fun.

Somewhere along the line the next gathering technique I learned was this one:

  1. Set your stitch on a wide (4) and medium-long (3) zig-zag stitch.
  2. Place pearl cotton, sturdy yarn, or some other strong thread or cord under your presser foot.
  3. Zig-zag over the cord, taking care to not catch the cord in the stitches.
  4. Pull the pearl cotton thread to gather the fabric.

ZigZag over pearl cotton closeup

The red thread is normal poly, and the black is pearl cotton.

ZigZag over pearl cotton gathered

The pearl cotton is pulled to gather the fabric.

The pros of this method are that it is fairly easy to do, and virtually guarantees no thread breakage. The cons are you either must use a foot with a hole to thread the cording thru (not everyone has such a foot!), and it is pretty easy to catch the cording in the zig-zag stitch. I definitely cannot guarantee that all of my students will have a cording foot, and no way can an 8 year-old zig-zag over cording without catching the pearl cotton in the stitching!!

So, here is my brilliant solution.

  1. Hand-wind pearl cotton onto a bobbin
  2. Set stitch length as long as possible (max 5 or 6).
  3. Stitch 1 row of long straight stitching.
  4. Pull bobbin thread (aka pearl cotton) to gather fabric.

Pearl cottonbobbinflat

Black above is pearl cotton, and white is normal poly thread.

Pearl cotton bobbin gathered

Pull on the pearl cotton thread, and voila!

I tested this technique on an 8-year-old, and I sure wish I had thought it up before the Twirly Skirt Sew Camp. Ah well, next time!!

Happy sewing!

Maris Olsen

 

 

Tutorial: Adding Leather Toggles to a Coat

Duffle Coat with toggles - front

Sometimes an entire garment can be a challenging project, and sometimes just a single element on the garment can make your palms sweaty and cause a severe case of sewing-room-avoidance-syndrome.

It’s happened to you, too. You know WHAT the next step is, but the HOW looks like a toddler’s art project in your head. So you sit and look at the garment instead of sewing. For days. Maybe weeks!

I was totally flummoxed by how to add leather toggles to my DD’s duffle coat. Because I am a completely rational and experienced sewist, I did no research about my questions. Nada. Zip. Viewed zero You Tube videos. Opened not a single one of  my 2,487 sewing reference books. Sent exactly zero questions to my ASG sisters. Checked not a single forum on patternreview.com or burdastyle.com. What I did was stew. (Not “sew”, mind you, but STEW.) How was I going to hold the toggles in place on the coating? What foot should I use when stitching? What if my stitching was crooked and created an unwanted hole in the leather? Should I use heavy thread? How could I align the center fronts and keep the the correct alignment with a floppy toggle instead of a button and buttonhole?

Enough already! I just plunged into the deep end without knowing a single stroke, and discovered I actually DID know how to swim in the deep end. So here is what I did to avoid drowning in my coat project:

1.  Drew the center front line on both coat fronts using a Frixion marking pen.
2.  Drew the 3 horizontal placement lines for the toggles on both fronts.
3.  Pinned the right front over the left, aligning the center fronts AND the horizontal toggle placement lines.
4.  Connected each toggle pair, and centered the “horn” on the (right) center front, and the loops on the horizontal placement lines.
5.  FLASH OF BRILLIANCE! I drew around each of the leather tabs using the Frixion pen, marking the exact placement for each tab. Aha! Now I knew exactly where to hold the leather tab while stitching it down! (Very important, since leather cannot be pinned.)

Leather toggle placement

Leather toggle placement - close-up

6.  Took the coat and the toggles over to my sewing machine, placed a leather tab inside the “tab shape” drawn on the coat, and stitched that sucker down. Repeat x5. DONE!

Stitching leather toggle

I have to relearn this lesson every once in a while. When you aren’t sure exactly how to do something, one approach that may work is to just START. Do what you know, and the rest of the process may be given to you as you need it. Or of course, you could do some research. 😉

For supplies, I used some kind of heavier black thread I had in my stash (the label was gone so not sure what it was), a leather needle that may have come with my machine, and my universal foot. It didn’t take more than 10 minutes to get all 6 toggles stitched on, and would have been faster if I had stitched them on before assembling most of the coat.

Next up– sleeve heads and shoulder pads, and the lining. Maybe my DD will actually get to wear this coat before it gets too warm.

Happy sewing!

Maris Olsen

 

 

 

 

 

Tutorial: How to Create Perfect Edgestitching

Some things are just slower than molasses in February to accomplish.

Like learning to edit videos, for example. You would think that someone who is very technically astute would be able to pick up learning a new software program rather quickly, but it sure did not happen that way around here.

But enough griping, and on to the video! I hope you learn a thing or two about how to create beautiful edgestitching on your garments, and I would LOVE to hear from you soon. About anything at all.



Happy sewing!

Maris Olsen

Tutorial: How to center a zipper like Rosie the Riveter

It is time to conquer your fear.

Fear of sewing zippers, that is. What is it about a few inches of nylon coil and firm fabric that sends you, a grown woman,  into a dither? Pffft. Nonsense. All you need to do is gather the right tools, spend a few extra minutes prepping, and a perfect zipper is within your grasp. Really.

Today’s tutorial covers centered zippers. Let’s get started so I can prove to you how easy it is. 😉

1.  Sew the seam below the zipper area, being sure to backstitch to secure the threads.
2.  Magic trick #1: Fuse a strip of interfacing 3/4″ inch wide x the length of your zipper on either side of both seam allowances where the zipper will be inserted. Why? Because the zipper tape fabric is ALWAYS firmer than the garment fabric, and fusing the garment fabric will help prevent that rippling you hate so much. Do this BEFORE basting the zipper area closed or you will not be able to remove your basting threads. (Ask me how I know. 🙂 )

First step

3.  Finish both seam allowances from top to bottom in any way you like (serge, pink, zig-zag, etc). My example shows zig-zagging.
4.  Using a basting stitch length, seam the zipper area.

Basted seam and seam allowance zig-zagged

5.  Press the seam allowance open.

6.  Magic trick #2. Find your package of Wonder Tape or Steam-a-seam 1/4″ fusible tape. No, you are not cheating.

Zipper, Wonder tape and prepped seam

7.  Apply a strip of Wonder Tape on both sides of the top side of the zipper tape, removing the backing (duh).

Wonder tape applied

8.   Press the zipper face down onto the fabric, centering the coils on the seamline.

Wonder taped zipper placed in seam

This is how it should look when you are done. No pins, no hand basting, just a little “glue” to hold your zipper in place. Now you are almost ready to sew.

Zipper in place

9. Magic trick #3. Turn your fabric right side up and chalk a line 1/4″ on either side of the seamline and below the zipper stop. Yes, you can do this step before “gluing” your zipper in place, but I usually forget to. I like to use my awesome Japanese Chakoner because the line is super fine and it dispenses pure chalk (no residue left on my fabric), but you can use any marking tool you like.

Chalked stitching line

10.  Put your zipper foot on your sewing machine, and starting at the top of the zipper, stitch along one side of the zipper and across the bottom along the chalkline. DO NOT STITCH UP THE OTHER SIDE!

 First side of zipper done

11.  Cut your thread, and starting from the top of the zipper, stitch down the other side AND across the bottom a second time along the chalk line.

Second side stitching

This is what your zipper looks like before pressing and removing the basting stitches. Yeah, that’s right. Practically perfect in every way. No rippling of fabric on top of the zipper tape. Stitching all straight and purty. Zipper centered accurately. What’s not to love?

Zipper stitched

12. Last step. Remove basting thread and press. Voila! You did it!

Finished Zipper

I told  you you could do it.

Happy sewing!

Maris Olsen

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tutorial: Seam finishing (part 1)

Don’t you just love the clarity in today’s pattern instructions? One of my favorite instructional sentences found in many patterns today is “Finish seam.” Wow. How do you begin to follow THAT? What does “finish”mean? Are there different kinds of seam finishes? When do you choose one over another? What is the purpose of a seam finish? Do you ALWAYS finish seams? This kind of useless information makes my blood boil. A beginning sewist reads this sentence and just wants to cry.

So let’s break this down. For starters, the purpose of “finishing” a seam is to prevent raveling and (possibly) to provide additional stability. The type of seam finish you want depends on (minimally) these factors:

  1. fabric fiber content
  2. fabric raveling characteristics
  3. planned method of laundering the finished garment
  4. planned pressing direction of the seam (for example, open, or to one side)

In addition, some seam finishes require special tools, such as pinking shears. You might WANT to pink your seams, but if you don’t own pinking shears or a rotary cutter with a wavy blade there is no point in choosing this finish method. And despite the pattern instructions, yes, there are times when no seam finish is necessary. An example is a lined coat. Since the lining completely covers and protects the jacket seams from wear or laundering abrasion, there is no requirement to finish those seams. You may choose to, but chances are pretty good it is not necessary.

Now that we know why we should even bother to finish our seams, let’s examine three seam finish options in more detail. This is not the comprehensive list of all seam finishes, but includes a few basic ones. More to come in future tutorials! Also, please note the instructions below all assume that you have already stitched the seam. Duh. 😉

1. Pinking

  1. Suitable fabrics: firmly woven cottons, linens, polyesters, blends
  2. Unsuitable fabrics: extremely ravelly fabrics of any fiber composition
  3. Suitable seams: any seam that is designed to be pressed OPEN
  4. Special tools: Pinking shears or fluted blade for a rotary cutter
  5. Preferred seam allowance: 5/8″ or greater
  6. Advantages: does not add any bulk to the SA, fast, easy
  7. Disadvantages: requires a special tool

Pinking procedure

Using pinking shears or rotary cutter, trim a minimal amount of fabric from the raw edge. Press the seam open. Easy peasy!!

Pinking tools:

Pinking tools

Pinked seam allowance:

Pinked edge seam finish

 

2. Narrow “hemming” seam allowances

  1. Suitable fabrics: firmly woven cottons, linens, polyesters, blends
  2. Unsuitable fabrics: extremely ravelly fabrics of any fiber composition
  3. Suitable seams: any seam that is designed to be pressed OPEN, and is straight (or mostly straight)
  4. Special tools: None
  5. Preferred seam allowance: 5/8″ or greater
  6. Advantages: no special tools, only requires a straight stitch
  7. Disadvantages: a little time-consuming (three stitchings per seam)

Narrow “hemming” seam allowances procedure

Using a normal length straight stitch (usually 2.5 or 10-12 stitches per inch), turn the right side edge of one side of the seam allowance to the wrong side 1/8 inch or so, and stitch. Repeat for the other side of the seam allowance. Press the seam allowance open. Easy peasy!!

Narrow hemmed seam allowance – front side of seam allowance view

Turned-under-edge seam finish (back)

Narrow hemmed seam allowance – underside of seam allowance view:

Turned-under-edge seam finish (back)

 

3. Overcasting/Zig-zagging (is that a word? lol) seam allowances

  1. Suitable fabrics: firmly woven or semi-firmly cottons, linens, polyesters, wools, blends
  2. Unsuitable fabrics: sheer or extremely lightweight fabrics
  3. Suitable seams: any seam that is designed to be pressed open or to one side
  4. Special tools: Overcast foot (if overcasting)
  5. Preferred seam allowance: 5/8″ or greater
  6. Advantages: works well for ravelly fabrics, does not require special tools (possibly exception an overcast foot)
  7. Disadvantages: can create a little “ridge” of fabric under the zig-zag stitch that adds bulk and can show thru to the right side after pressing; overcasting requires a special foot for your sewing machine

Overcast/Zig-zag seam allowances procedure

If zig-zagging, set your machine for a fairly wide stitch (at least 3.5), and a medium length (something between 2-3).  You can zig-zag each seam allowance separately, or if you want to press the SA to one side you can zig-zag the SA together. If you are overcasting, change to the overcast foot, and check your machine manual to set up the overcast stitch. Just like the zig-zag finish, you can apply this to either each SA or both of them together. Press the seam allowance open or to one side.

Overcast (left edge) and zig-zag (right edge) “open” seam allowance finish:

Overcast and zig-zag seam finish

 

Hope this helps de-mystify the term “finish” a little – more to come!

Happy sewing

Maris Olsen

 

 

How to shorten a sleeve pattern

I bet you thought you could just whack the excess length off the bottom edge of your sleeve pattern, am I right? Bad idea, unless of course you like a really loose fit on your wrist. 🙂 Instead, I’ll show you how easy peasy it is to shorten a sleeve pattern.

Here is what you need to get started:

  1. a “too long” sleeve pattern
  2. an 18 inch ruler
  3. a pencil
  4. some kind of tape – either blue painters tape (easily removable) or transparent tape (permanent)
  5. extra tissue paper
  6. paper scissors

 Everything needed

One thing you really need to keep in mind is when doing any pattern adjusting is the grainline. You either need to maintain the existing grainline, or redraw it so it is accurate. For this adjustment it is easy to maintain the existing grainline.

Step #1. Fold the pattern piece perpendicular to the grainline mark on the pattern piece. There may or may not be a “lengthen/shorten” line drawn on the pattern, but you can always draw your own. There is already a lengthen/shorten line on my sleeve pattern, so all I did was fold “horizontally”  on one of the 2 lines across the entire pattern piece. Notice that the vertical grainline marks are directly on top of each other. This means grainline goodness, peeps.

First Fold

Step #2. Fold the pattern piece again half of the total amount you want to shorten the sleeve. I am shortening the sleeve 2 inches total, so my second fold is 1 inch from the first fold.

Second Fold Measure 1

To make sure the grainline is maintained, this second fold must measure exactly one inch across the entire pattern piece, and the vertical grainline must stay parallel. I like lining my pattern pieces up on a grided mat so it is easy to see/correct the grainline.

Second Fold Measure 2 

Step #3. Draw the hemline (shown in blue on the left side) across the pattern piece. My pattern piece specified a 1 1/4 inch hem, so I drew a blue line 1 1/4 inches from the bottom edge of the pattern. This is all in preparation for blending the little “jog” on the sleeve seam that was created by folding the pattern. You can see the little jog about in the middle of the picture below.

Side Seam Before Blending

Now why, you ask, do I need to draw the hemline? Because you are blending the line between the hem edge and the top of the sleeve seam – not between the bottom of the pattern piece and the top of the sleeve seam. If you blended all the way to the bottom of the pattern piece you would remove the shaping needed for turning up the hem allowance inside the finished sleeve. Just trust me on this one. 😉

Step #4. Place the ruler between the “blue hem edge” and the top of the sleeve seam, as shown below, and draw a new line.

 Blending Ruler Position

Your new sleeve seam line should look like this:

Blended Side Seam

Easy peasy, right? Tape down the new tissue underneath the original pattern, cut the new sleeve seam on the blended line, repeat drawing, cutting and taping the other side of the sleeve pattern, and then party with your “just right” sleeve.

Happy sewing!!

Maris Olsen

Lapped zipper tutorial, part 1

Thank you, Louise Cutting. She wrote a great article for Threads on inserting a lapped zipper into a garment with a facing for Threads magazine (issue 145). If you have the Threads Archive DVD you can easily find it…but if not….here is my slightly altered version of her process. For this process I am using my faced skirt as an example, but you could apply the same technique to a garment with a neckline facing.

Best practices:

  1. Cut the seam allowances where the zipper will be inserted at least 3/4 of an inch –  and 1 inch is better.
  2. Interface the underlap seam allowance with a strip of interfacing 1/4 inch wider than the seam allowance you have allowed (for a 3/4 inch seam allowance cut a 1 inch strip of interfacing).
  3. If you are going to handpick the overlap side of the zipper, interface the overlap seam allowance with a strip of interfacing equal to the seam allowance cut. (So a 3/4 inch seam allowance would have a 3/4 inch strip of interfacing applied.)
  4. If you are going to machine stitch the overlap side of the zipper, interface the overlap seam allowance with a strip of interfacing equal to the seam allowance cut plus 1/2 inch. (So a 3/4 inch seam allowance would have a 1 1/4 inch strip of interfacing applied.)
  5. Use 1/4 inch Steam-a-seam (or similar product) to “glue” the zipper into place prior to stitching.

OK, let’s do it. Start by sewing the seam allowance up to the point where the bottom of the zipper will be placed. Press open. Apply your interfacing strips following “best practices” above. So far so good! Now press the underlap side of the zipper so seam allowance is 1/8 of an inch smaller than the seam allowance you cut, and press the overlap seam allowance equal to the cut seam allowance. For example, if you allowed a 3/4 inch seam allowances, press back the underlap seam allowance 5/8 of an inch and the overlap seam allowance 3/4 of an inch.  The white pin head in the photo below shows where the bottom of the zipper will be placed on my skirt, and how the underlap will be 1/8 of an inch under the overlap. The whole point is to make the zipper teeth fit completely under the overlap , and by pressing the underlap seam allowance a bit narrower than the overlap side, it guarantees complete zipper coverage. Sweet!

Pressed_underlap

Now stitch your facing pieces together. Turn the underlap side of the facing to the inside 5/8 of an inch and press. Turn the overlap side of the facing to the inside 1 inch and press. (This 1 inch turnback is brilliant, as you will see later!!) 

Facing_prep

Pin or baste your facing to your garment, turning the garment seam allowances over the turned back facing allowances (1 inch for overlap side and 5/8 for your underlap side) and stitch. It is a little hard to see in the photo below because my black skirt is underlined with black silk organza, but the little green strip of paper shows you the “gap” where the overlap facing that was turned back 1 inch does not butt up against the turned back skirt seam allowance – there is a gap that is about 3/8 of an inch or a bit less. 

Facing_stitched

Stitch the facing to the garment. Trim the seam allowances, press them open, and then press the facing to the inside of the garment. Understitching is always good. 🙂  In my next post I will cover the actual zipper insertion, now that all the prep work has been done.

Happy sewing!

Maris Olsen