hong kong finish - tutorial 

Are you following along with We All Sew's Indie Pattern Tour? They are on Week 2!

I am currently working on a Colette Pattern called 'Hawthorn'. It's a very easy to fit and put together. I've decided to make the peplum, and to make it sleeveless. For my wardrobe in this weather, I'm either inside (too cold), or outside (comfortable). Therefore, the sleeveless option makes the most sense for me. Having no cardigan outside, I am comfortable, but when I do enter the AC, I don't have sleeves to fight with under my cardigan. I'm not quite done with my blouse yet. I went wedding dress shopping with my mother this weekend, so I didn't get any sewing done. So, let me tell you about one of the techniques I'm using on my Hawthorn top!

I did Hong Kong finishes on all of my inside seams. They look fabulous and neat and expensive!

Hong Kong Finish ~ Tutorial

First, cut yourself 1 1/4" strips from whatever fabric you're going to use as binding. These Hong Kong finishes are designed for straight seams, so no need to cut bias strips.

Press your seam open.

...Then stitch the right side of your binding to each side of the seam.

Remember, we're only working with the seam, not the garment itself. Do not stitch anything to the garment, only the seam allowances.

Hello again, #37D!

Press away from the seam from the wrong side.

Press the binding down to the top of the rough edge, and then over your seam.

Once you've pressed the binding, throw a few pins in just to hold it all in place.

Now, from the top of the seam, topstitch a 1/4" from the clean edge of the binding. It should be perfectly stitched on top, and very neatly stitched on the back.

What's great about the Hong Kong finish is that it dresses up unlined items. As you can see this looks amazing with a contrasting fabric.

For my Hawthorne, I used beautiful black voile by Free Spirit, and then I used a black and white pindot for the finishes. It's just a little bit of something for the inside. I've finished my buttonholes, so now I need a hem on the bottom, I need to finish the binding around one of the armholes, and I need to sew on buttons. Almost there!

What are you working on? Share in the comments, or post on our Facebook!

Posted by DaleyByTheYard Admin Tuesday, June 24, 2014 12:21:00 PM Categories: Challenges Ideas Tutorial

finishing summer sparkle 

Hello again!

I'm all done with summer sparkle. Week 3 was all about finishing; quilting and binding. Faith has a fabulous tutorial on quilting with the running stitch. Alidiza recently finished a quilt this way, and I love how it came out.

However, I took a different route with my summer sparkle. I reduced the size to 9 blocks for a wall-hanging. I like experimenting, and I thought that this piece was small enough to try some new things. I have a habit of over-thinking things, and then doing too much. When I completed this, I started contemplating my quilting. I was thinking about just outlining the stars, and then I thought about outlining them several times, alternating pink and blue. I started thinking about putting embroidery into the large stars, and then putting free motion in the other large spaces. Before I knew it, I was thinking too much.

I worked really hard on my "ombre" effect for the stars, and I'm thrilled with how it came out. I didn't want to take away from that. So, I decided to just outline the stars, but I wanted to be able to see the outline, not just stitch in the ditch. I had put pink blocks in the centers of my small star blocks, and according to the pattern, I was supposed to mix up blue and pink blocks for those. I decided the whole piece needed more blue, so I threaded up with some navy blue thread, and I quilted 1/8" from the seam on the inside of my sawtooth stars. I used the inside guide of the #37D foot to tell me exactly where 1/8" was.

I used my #37D foot for all of my piecing, all of my quilting, and to apply my binding. The dual feed moved my fabric evenly on the top and bottom, so I had no issues with shifting.

Usually, once I sew my binding onto the right side of the quilt with my machine, I'll hand-sew the back of the binding to the back of the quilt. However, I wasn't feeling in the mood to do that yesterday. I decided to try out sewing it by machine. So, I pressed the binding to the back, and threw in a few pins, and then took it back to the machine. I used my #10 edgestitch foot, and that did all the work for me! My stitches were right in the seam between the binding and the quilt, so you can't even see them (unless you look really, really close!).

It looks the same on the front than as if I had hand-stitched it, however, the back looks different. When I hand stitch my bindings, I use a slip stitch, which is invisible. The machine doesn't leave an invisible stitch.

Not as perfect as hand-sewing, but considering the fact that this took me about 3 minutes, and handsewing would have taken me an evening; I'd say it's fabulous. This allowed me an evening to get caught up with full attention to game of thrones.

Alrighty. Here's the fabrics I used, and they are all available here at the shop:

faded blue timeless treasures ~ rain c1480
light blue windham fabrics ~ glimma 35383-6
medium blue windham fabrics ~ bella 35212-4
dark blue timeless treasures ~ soho solids sapphire
faded pink vita-broadcloth ~ nude 26
light pink dear stella ~ sunburst stripe blush
medium pink windham fabrics ~ mormor 37116-2
dark pink newcastle fabrics ~ wishes 855
white p&b textiles ~ white 00795
binding timeless treasures ~ soho solids royal
backing riley blake ~ lula magnolia c3777

What do you think? Did you quilt-along? How did your summer sparkle come out? Would you have done more quilting than I did? Do you normally hand-sew your bindings, or machine sew them?

Leave me a comment here, or post to our facebook!

PS: We All Sew is doing an indie garment pattern tour (pretty neat!) for the next few weeks. Check it out and get acquainted with some of the fabulous independent pattern designers out there. Some of my favorites are colette (which I carry here at the shop!), deer and doe, and sewaholic. Which brings me to my blog post for next week! I am FINALLY working on colette's new pattern "hawthorn". It's a dress/peplum blouse. I'm doing the blouse with black voile by free spirit. I'm concentrating really hard on beautiful, professional finishes. Photos, comments, and experiences to come!

Posted by DaleyByTheYard Admin Tuesday, June 17, 2014 3:56:00 PM Categories: Completed Projects Ideas Tutorial

summer sparkle - quilt along 

Do you participate in We All Sew's quilt alongs?

Summer Sparkle started 2 weeks ago. Last week, I worked on color choices and cutting out the pieces. The colors were supposed to give an ombre effect. Actually, the quilt made by Faith Jones (Fresh Lemons Quilts) for We All Sew was made with ombre fabric. However, I decided to challenge myself. I've never been very good at tones, and light to dark. I usually get caught up with just loving the fabric and thinking "well, this will work". Want proof? Look at any of my log cabin quilts.

I was chomping at the bit waiting for this week's instructions, which was piecing.

Sometimes I astound myself with how long it takes me to learn things. Many of my customers know about the sawtooth star quilt i started ::cough:: 3 years ::cough:: ago. It's sitting in a bin, in my unfinished projects area, because I HATE FLYING GEESE. Ok, now that that is out of my system. Why did I start a project with flying geese? I knew there were flying geese involved when I started cutting last week. I guess I'm a glutton for punishment.

That is all going to sound very negative, but I actually am having a good time so far.

The best advice I've ever been giving about sewing, is that if you make the same mistake twice, stop. I didn't take that advice yesterday. Now, I'm not sure if I was just having a bad day, woke up on the wrong side of the bed, or if my Bernina was temporarily possessed; but I did not have much success with piecing yesterday. I also was feeling like rules don't apply to me, I'm dangerous when I get into that mood.

I sat down at the Bernina 880, which was threaded with embroidery thread in the top, and bobbin thread in the bottom. I bet you're all thinking "oh, well that's not a good set-up for quilting", well, I was too lazy to change it. I started working, and lo and behold, the tension was weird. I ignored it (I told you I was dangerous). I also had my 9mm plate on, so my fabric wasn't feeding well. Finally, I was using my 37D foot, without the dual feed plugged in. As you can see, I just wasn't in a good head space to start this project. This is my #sewtastrophe for the week.

I started fresh today, and I am making progress! I've got my straight stitch plate, my #37D foot (WITH the dual feed plugged in). I'm using normal mettler thread, and a schmetz sharp 8 needle.

Isn't it funny how much better your results are when you actually set everything up right?

I am supposed to be making the "big" stars in both the blue and pink ombre. The "small" stars become part of a bigger block, as you can see. I am rewarding myself with a "big" block after I finish a "small" block. I am finding the small flying geese very challenging. The "big" blocks are wonderful (easy). I'm on my way!

Are you quilting along! I'd love to see how you're doing. Post a photo of your progress here in the comments, or on my facebook!

Posted by DaleyByTheYard Admin Wednesday, June 11, 2014 2:07:00 PM Categories: Ideas Tutorial Works in Progress