THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

May 28, 2009

Visitors from all over the world (155 Countries)

Filed under: Els,Sewing Friends — Els @ 3:51 pm

Hi visitors from all over the world, thanks for reading our blog.

I counted the countries yesterday to see where you all are coming from and the total for just this past Wednesday May 27-09 was 62 countries .It is amazing that our blog is viewed by so many of you from all over the world.

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia,  Australia, Austria, Azerbijan,

Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Belgium, Benin, Bermuda, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria,

Cameroon, Cambodia, Canada, Cayman Islands, China, Chile, Colombia, Cote D’Ivoire, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cypres, Czech Republic,

Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, French Guiana,

Faeroe Islands

Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guyana, Guatemala,

Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary,

Iceland, Indonesia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy,

Jamaica, Japan, Jordan,

Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea, Kribati, Kuwait,

Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Lithuania, Luxembourg,

Macedonia, Malta, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Martinique, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar,

Nepal, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway,


Palestinian Territory, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico,


Romania, Russia, Russian Federation, Rwanda

Saint Lucia, Saint Kits and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia Montenegro, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic

Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey,

Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, 

Venezuela, Vietnam, Virgin Islands (British)

Zambia, Zimbabwe

 It would be nice to get some feedback from you.

We would love to hear about where you live, why you visit The Sewing Divas. Just leave us a comment. Email one of us your story about what you are making, and where you are making it, and we will publish it.

Els : diva-els at hot mail dot com

Georgene : georgeheen at yahoo dot com 

Mary Beth : mainlandlady at hot mail dot com

You can become Diva for a Day!

P.S. I added 93 more countries from viewers who read our blog.

( total now is 155 countries)


May 20, 2009

Silk jacket

Last year I ordered some fabrics included a few yards of a beautiful silk tussah fabric from Melody at, which I used to make a long jacket.

I already posted some pictures of my sleeve in the blogpost  sleeve heads.

The jacket design and pattern are drafted by me.

The collar is 2 3/8 inch wide (6 cm) and needed some more structure besides the sturdy woven fusible interfacing to keep its shape, so I used some rigilene boning threads.

wide collar


May 15, 2009

Sheer Genius: Tricot Tricks

Filed under: Fabric,Inspirations,Lingerie,sewing — georgene @ 8:46 pm

tricot blouseThis wonderful nylon tricot blouse is probably from the 1940’s or early 50’s. Just the thing to wear over that great camisole or vintage lacy slip, tucked in at the waist of your pencil skirt. (Maybe you pinched one from your mom’s lingerie drawer when you were about 17 years old.)

The blouse must have been washed hundreds of times, yet it still looks great and the tiny overlocked seams are holding up just fine. I have been staring at this top for weeks and I am fascinated by all the details. Not only is it a great lesson in how to work with tricot, I can see using some of these techniques with other sheer knitted fabrics, particularly lace.

front detailThe frills at the front are raw edge lengthwise grain strips. Tricot will curl along this grain, so the natural curl of the fabric is used as if it were a roll hem.

front neck detailThe placket is just folded back, raw at the inside edge. A bias binding finishes the collar to the neck, with the turnback used to clean the front neck as if it were a little facing. The buttons and button holes keep the facing from going anywhere, and it is sewn in at the waist seam.

underarm seamThe ½” hem at the armhole is folded with a tiny 1/8” turnback and topstitched – a very dainty finish that looks great from the outside.

outer side seam At the bottom, a double fold baby hem.

inner side seam I love the really narrow overlock serging through out the garment- looks like a French seam from the outside.

inside back neckNotice that the collar is on the fold, so that there is no seam at the edge to distract. It crosses over at the back neck, to make a lovely shape when folded.

Tricot is more often reserved only for lingerie and nightwear now. A good online resource is Sew Sassy, a website that carries all things related to making lingerie. I see they have a note about this fabric – how to sew and care for tricot:

“Do not prewash. The sides will roll and you will have a terrible time keeping the seams flat. Use a ball point needle and extra fine thread in a conventional machine. Woolly nylon thread is suggested for the lower loopers of your serger, but regular serger thread will work. Never use a hot iron on tricot. It will melt. With lingerie, you can always sew a bow, applique, or ribbon over a mistake and no one will be the wiser. Machine wash warm, dry low. Remove immediately.”

Personally I would use wooly nylon only for lingerie applications. It will not give you the fine seam appearance that is so great in this piece.

Tricot can be used in crossgrain strips as a seam binding. Pull it gently as you set it on and it will curl around the edge of the seam.

Natural Fibers

Filed under: Els,Fabric,Industry,Natural Fibers — Els @ 7:39 pm

2009  is the year of the Natural Fibers.

Visiting this website will inform you with text , videos and a catwalk show about all kinds of natural fibers like AbacaAlpacaAngoraCamel , Cashmere, Coir, Cotton, Flax, Hemp, Jute, Mohair, Ramie, Silk, Sisal and Wool.

I found it very interested to learn about these fibers, although not all are suitable for garment fabrics. 

May 9, 2009

Flared hem skirt

I made a new skirt for my mother ( 88 years ) from a wool polyester fabric to match a rtw jacket, and used a design sample draft I found years ago on ebay, I downloaded the picture probably from a pattern-drafting book but I forgot  the book title. If anyone knows from which book this picture is please tell.

 The design is made by changing a straight skirt into a flared one.

skirt design a

I already made this skirt last year  but that one had a center front seam because I had not enough fabric to cut it on fold.

Slash and spread is all what is needed to make this skirt design. I added  6,5  cm between the slashes.

I started with a straight skirt pattern drafted on her measurements and draw lines on the front .

The skirt back pattern is just a straight skirt , only the front has flares towards the side seams.

 Skirt I made last year had a center front seam because I had not enough fabric to cut the center front on the fold.

Front                                                                                                                                    Back

front  back









This time I had enough fabric so no center seam.

slashed pattern

I made the pattern with added seam allowances , 1 cm for the inner corner and separate inset piece and 1.5 cm for the side seams; hem depth is 4 cm. Serging the seam allowances for the fabric, and for the lining I choose to finish the inner corner with a pinking shear with a less wide SA about ½ -3/4 cm.

 The inner corner of the front piece of the skirt fabric and lining are stabilized with a piece of fusible interfacing.

inset wrong side a









Sewing the insert piece, pressed the seams open first and together again so they will lay towards the CF and towards the hem.

side view

The skirt has an invisible zipperat the CB and a contoured front waistband and a straight waistband at the back side due to her posture.CF length 67 cm, Left side seam 71 cm, right side seam 69 cm, CB lenght 74 cm. The waistband is closed using a button and buttonhole.

I sewed the waistband first at the edge and graded the seams , sewed the skirt with a 1 cm seam allowance at the front side waistband and the back side waistband towards the lining with 1 cm sa.

The sa from the skirt and front waistband are pressed towards the waistband, while the sa from the lining and backside waistband are pressed towards the lining skirt.

This will result in a more smooth waistband seam and not a bulky one which has 4 layers of seam allowances inside the waistband.

The waistband was top stitched a hairline away from the skirt seam

contoured waistband a

It is a bit of flurry picture but you get an idea how this skirt falls.

front side a

I inserted a piece of elastic inside the waistband, because my mother likes that.

I used  a 4 cm deep hem and hand stitched the hem about 1 cm from the edge so no imprints,


hem stitch 

 This skirt design is a nice one if you want to add some flare at the front hem but do not want to add more wide at the hip line. The back side is just a straight skirt.


You can add some flare to the side seam starting at a point somewhere below the hip line but the original side seam length should match the new flared side seam.

flared skirt
You can see on the example design sketch that the cut out triangle inset side seam is longer than the space between point 7 and 4 from the skirt  because of the added flares. Sewing the triangle inset makes this skirt design to flare out towards the front.

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