THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

March 29, 2007

Bound Buttonhole Triangular Shape

Filed under: Closures,Els,sewing,Tutorials — Els @ 2:45 pm


I learned about this triangular shaped bound buttonhole in 1993 when I bought the book

  Couture the art of fine sewing  by Roberta Carr. I have made these kind of triangular buttonholes several times , the one above was done in a raincoat .

 I made an example to show you the steps  how to make such a triangular buttonhole and kept my text to a minimum because of copyright issue. 

   Step 1, measure the button length and space between the edge and the buttonhole.

 Step 2, mark and transfer the lines ( horizontal and wide) on the interfaced fabric .

Step 3, thread trace the buttonhole length and wide on the patch.


Step 4, draw the triangular button lines.

Step 5, stitch using a tiny stitch length start anywhere on one of the long lines  and stitch 2 diagonal stitches at the corners and at the point, overlap the beginning of the stitches with a few more stitches. I used a red thread for easy viewing.


 Step 6, draw lines so you can slash the patch in 3 sections . The lines of the patch marked in red, cutting lines inside the buttonhole in black. 


  Step 7, turn patch section 1 to the inside and press .

Step 8, press patch section 2  along the stitching line.

   Step 9, do the same with patch section 3 as above.

Step 10, wrap patch section 2 and 3 around the horizontal slit edges on the inside and press from the inside .

 Step 11, stitch the triangular tab to the patch through all the layers so it will be permanently attached.

Step 12, cut away excess fabric of the patch.





March 24, 2007

Godet skirt in semi sheer fabric

Filed under: Els,sewing,sewing notions,Tutorials — Els @ 10:02 pm

I sewed the previous post godet 6 panel skirt pattern for my mother. The fabric she bought is a semi sheer stretch seersucker. I used some silk organza pieces to reinforce the fabric on some stress points and thought it would be helpful if I share this fabric sewing process.

The lining skirt prevents see-thru.


A three thread serged seam finish on all the seams of the panels and godets except the godet hems and waist seam allowance was done prior the actualy sewing . I used Serafil thread 120/2 which is a German brand thread to use on the serger or blind hemming machine , it is very expensive about US $ 16.00 per cone of 5000 meter but well known in Europe for its outstanding quality. 

I used a size 60 sewing machine needle and  alterfil thread which prevents puckering seams because this thread is covered with a special coating.

The next step in sewing was hemming the godets; I pressed the 2 cm (⅜ inch) hem allowance and stitched with a long stitch and a loose tension close to the edge about 3 mm ( ⅛ inch) a helping stitch guideline only..

Cutting off the excess hem allowance with an appliqué scissor. And fold the hem 3 mm (  ⅛ inch) in once more and used a silk thread to stitch the final stitch line.


I removed the first stitching line because it was a only a help line. to sew the tiny baby hem.



Prior of sewing  the panel seams till the beginning of the godet inset mark, I pinned a small piece of silk organza at the end of the stitching line overlapping the beginning of the godet inset line. This to prevent a stress point. I marked this piece on the picture with a yellow line. Because I wanted the sheer stripes to match on the panels I pinned the seams using the sheer stripes as a guideline .



The small organza piece is hardly visable on the skirt fabric (so I put pins to show you the location).

Another piece of silk organza also cut on the grain, but with finished serged edges is used to reinforce the zipper opening for the invisible zipper. This invisible zipper has a lightweight tape ( beulon) 


Matching seams on the panels parts.

Panel hem 4 cm ( 1 ⅝ inch) and godet hem 5 mm ( ¼  inch).

Godet inset in skirt, to keep the top of the godet seam allowances attached to the panel seams I fused a tiny piece of fusible sheer hem tape on the horizontal seam allowance.








The panel hem is 4 cm wide and stitched by hand using a size 12 needle, the tiny size needle helps to do an invisible hem stitch, just passing one or two threads from the  right side fabric.I sewed the hem by folding the allowance for 5 mm (¼1inch) backwards so the stitches are covered by the hem allowance.




Detail view of the skirt.



March 21, 2007

Draft a Skirt with Godets

Filed under: Els,Fit/Pattern Alterations,Pattern Drafting,Tutorials — Els @ 11:25 pm

 If you want to make a 6 panel skirt with godets but do not have a pattern, you can use your straight skirt pattern to make a new pattern.

For example I drafted a straight skirt with a side zipper. This skirt pattern example is 70 cm ( 27,5 inches) long and I want to add godets with a length of 35 cm ( about 14 inches) and a hem wide of 20 cm ( 8 inches).

You should trace your straight skirt pattern and divide the skirt front and back pattern by 3, marking a line 1/3 the width away from the center front and center back panels on your pattern (see the drawing below).

Mark the desired godet length on the panels and side seams.

Move the waist darts towards the panel seams.

Mark on the pattern: center front on fold, center back on fold, side front part and back side part . This will help you to see which is which if you cut the pattern pieces. You can use scotch tape and label each cut piece.

The new panel skirt pattern looks like this example,

The new panel skirt pattern parts,

Drafting a godet is easy.

Start with a vertical line which indicates the length of the godet. The length I used here is 35 cm ( about 14 inches) Mark the beginning and end of the length.

I used a width of 20 cm( ( 8 inches) so I marked 10 cm ( 4 inches) to the left and 10 cm ( 4 inches) to the right from the base line length.

From the start of the baseline which is on top, measure the length you want I used 35 cm ( nearly 14 inches) and draw a new diagonal line towards the marking 1/2 width point  at 10 cm (4 inches). Do the same for the other side. Now you need to mark the hemline which is not a straight one. You can use your measuring tape and hold it steady at the top and move the tape between the lines marking dots every 2,5 cm.( 1 inch) which you then connect .

If you want to sew the godets as insets then you can use the finished draft godet and cut this 6 times because it should be sewn at the panel seams.( front side , side and back side)

If you want to line your skirt you can use the same pattern but with some minor changes ( it is not necessary to use all the godets, a few will do to give your lining skirt enough walking ease)  Since I am making this skirt from a semi sheer fabric I used the same traced pattern but I do not want to sew the panels to avoid see-through from the panel seams. I connected the traced skirt patterns next to each other and added only a half godet ( folded on the grain line) at the side seam at front and back pattern.I redrew a bit of the side seam just above the half godet for a more fluid line. 


The only thing that needs to be done now is adding seam allowances to the pattern parts and you can make your 6 panel godet skirt. Another option is to make the skirt with cut-on godets instead of the separate godets.

Add seam allowances and you are done.

Enjoy your new pattern.

March 17, 2007

Valentino RTW Knock-Off: McCall’s 4922

Filed under: Designer Inspirations,Embellishment,Fabric,Pattern Reviews — phyllisc @ 8:51 am

RTW Valentino, Spet '06 Vogue

I have to give Diva Els a giant hug because I misplaced my photo of the original RTW Valentino shirt.  She located it on her hard drive and emailed it back to me.  Els has an astounding ability to locate things on the internet and in her PC files, and I think this research skill must serve her well in her professional couture career.

The photo above is from September ’06 Vogue, and I fell in love with this shirt right away.  The combination of the sporty style and sweet heirloom embellishment is sexy yet demure, and it just screamed “knock me off” when I first saw it.  If you can believe it, this shirt was about $400 when it was in the on-line Neiman Marcus catalog.

The pattern is McCall’s 4922, a good basic princess seamed women’s shirt with a few sleeve variations.  I made the French cuff version.

The drafting on this pattern is excellent – every piece fit together beautifully.  If you’re looking for a basic women’s shirt that will be current for several years this is a good choice.  I also recommend it if you’re ready to tackle your first stand collar because the directions are clear and accurate.  I actually had to use them for once because it has been a while since I made collar stand, and I needed to refresh my memory.Valentino RTW Knock-off

If you’d like this to really resemble the original, the separate placket would need to be incorporated into the center front as a facing, and you’d need to get a fell  seam foot.  These are fake fell seams, I sewed them on a regular machine, finished them on the serger, and then topstitched them from the front with white machine embroidery thread.  The buttons holes were also stitched with white machine embroidery thread.  The center front panels were cut out single layer so they could be mirror imaged across the front.  More pattern details are on Pattern Review.

The two fabrics are a wavy cotton eyelet and a soft cotton twill.  The twill was a gift from Diva Mary Beth and I *think* the eyelet might still be available, so if you like it just leave a comment.  I’ll find out and edit this post.

The front placket was cut back ¼ inch so that the outside edge of the entredeux would align with the  edge of the placket underneath.  I made the high-dome pearl cufflinks from the same buttons as the shirt.  The bottom two placket buttons are regular shirt buttons to keep a smooth line under pants and skirts.

Right now there’s about 8 inches of snow on the ground, but it’s melting fast and Spring is on the way so hopefully I’ll be able to wear this very soon!Close up

March 14, 2007

Pattern draft rulers

Filed under: Els,Pattern Drafting,Tools — Els @ 12:45 pm

Like any patternmaker I use different rulers for drafting a pattern,  most rulers have a different shape which I can use for a specific task.

The plastic curved and straight ones,

plastic ones

The straight metal rulers,

metal rulers

The dark brown wooden ruler at the top is a ruler used for  pattern drafting men’s wear which belonged to my grandfather who was a tailor.

wooden rulers

My most used and favourite is  a set of wooden rulers made in Turkey I am hooked on these.I bought this set from a Turkish tailor who lives in  The Netherlands.

wooden rulers

The brand name of the wooden rulers is

brand name

 Together with the above wooden ruler set I use the other 3 from beneath very regular.

If anyone is  interested in a set of the wooden rulers, just sent me a mail at  

diva els at hot mail dot com

these 3

I do not own  Fairgate rulers but they seemed the best and are commonly used in the U.S.

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