gadget gal 

I have completed my blouse, and I am so thrilled with how it's come out! I've already told you about the Hong Kong finishes, so let's talk about the other gadgets i used.

Meet the "sew ez finger thing"! $9.95/each

This is a multi-purpose tool that you can use for whatever you find use for. When I was working with my Hong Kong finishes, I found this guy very handy when it came to pressing down the binding. It saved my fingers from multiple burns because it kept my finger at a safe enough distance from the hot, hot, hot steam coming from the iron!

Never misplace another buttonhole again, with the simflex expanding guage! $19.00/each

(also pictured, pattern weights $15.29/set of 4, clover tailor's chalk $2.50)

Simply pull the gauge to the distances you want your buttonholes to be apart, and then mark them!

Some of the Bernina machines have an on-screen button measuring device. all you do, is hold up your button, and tell the machine how big it is. Then, it automatically adjusts the size of the buttonhole, so you end up with a perfectly perfect result!

See that yellow circle on the right, on the bottom? You just put your button on screen, and adjust the yellow circle around it!

I love Bernina buttonholes, because unlike most things in my life, I only have to tell it what I want once, HA! Once you tell the machine what size you're looking for, it just keeps making them that exact same size until you tell it to stop.

The next tool that I adore is the buttonhole cutter ($29.99). How many times have you sliced through your buttonhole with a seam ripper or scissors? They just aren't the right tool for the job!

This sharp, chisel edge cuts clean and easy through the center of your buttonhole, and nowhere else. The wooden block is included with the cutter, and protects your work area from scratches and slices.

I was very disappointed that I had chosen buttons that I had to hand-sew on, considering how much I love the #18 foot!

And here is my #bathroomselfie of the finished top! Cindylee taught us how to bead in the last wearables club, so I added some pearl beads to the collar. I am planning to wear this to the upcoming Wearables Club, on July 19th, so stop by and check it out in person!

My next project will be the Albion Jacket, made with some laminated Riley Blake fabric that just arrived.

Posted by DaleyByTheYard Admin Tuesday, July 01, 2014 12:27:00 PM Categories: Challenges Completed Projects Gadgets Pattern Review

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
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