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11  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / McCall's 7162 in Crepe de Chine on: November 19, 2015 10:57:37 AM
I made this blouse using McCalls 7162 and a beautiful 100% silk in taupe. It had several fit issues, so I added extra bust darts to fix gapping, shortened the hem by several inches and added a bow in the back to cover an uncooperative zipper top. Now I wish I had shortened the bodice at the waist by about an inch, but at least I know for next time. More on my blog here: www.palindromedrygoods.com//2015/11/mccalls-7162-in-taupe-crepe-de-chine.html#.Vk4Z14S3jH0

Thanks for reading!

12  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Vintage Butterick 3042 in Wool on: November 02, 2015 01:15:09 PM
I found this adorable vintage pattern on Etsy and I had to have it. Four main skirt pieces feature a pleat in back and pleats in front to create a really cute silhouette. Six functional buttons in front. Unlined. More on my blog: http://www.palindromedrygoods.com/2015/11/vintage-butterick-3042-in-wool-plaid.html#.VjfRToS3jH0

Thanks for reading!
13  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Corduroy Dress with Vintage Abalone Buttons in back on: October 22, 2015 06:09:20 PM
I made this dress several years ago for my parent's vow renewal ceremony. I used a vintage dress pattern that buttoned up the front. The dress is made from baby wale corduroy and the belt is linen. It's too big in the bust, as you can tell by the bunching that's goin' on there, and I would've fixed it if I'd had more experience at the time. More on my blog here: http://palindromedrygoods.blogspot.com/2015/10/corduroy-dress-with-abalone-back-buttons.html#.VimHBxNViko

14  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Amy Butler Tunic in Wool Plaid on: October 13, 2015 08:37:56 AM
I made this tunic using Amy Butler's Mini Dress, Tunic and Tops pattern and a great wool/poly blend plaid. More on my blog: http://palindromedrygoods.blogspot.com/2015/10/amy-butler-tunic-in-wool-plaid.html#.Vh0eMhNViko

Read more: https://www.craftster.org/pictures/showphoto.php?photo=681835&ppuser=139232#ixzz3oSkq6yyx

Thanks for reading!
15  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Altered Simplicity 1607 in Linen on: October 07, 2015 09:29:12 AM
I made this yoked skirt using the bottom half of Simplicity 1607. I was inspired by a skirt I saw on Pinterest and Im pretty happy with how it turned out. The waist is just a hair too big (Id say 1/2" inch), but after altering, and re altering Ive decided just to live with it. The inside is finished with a floral cotton (for the yoke), and french seams. Side zipper. Thanks for reading!

More on my blog here: http://palindromedrygoods.blogspot.com/2015/10/handmade-high-waisted-yoked-skirt-in.html#.VhVHULy3jH0

16  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / How to Sew 5 Different Finishing Seams: A Tutorial on: October 03, 2015 09:28:53 AM
Hello There! Today I'll show you step-by-step how to sew five different types of finishing seams. These are suitable for everything from curtains to garments.

This tutorial is originally from my blog. The specific post can be found here: http://palindromedrygoods.blogspot.com/2015/10/sewcabulary-part-3-five-ways-to-finish.html#.Vg_ywbRc3Vk

The original post is slightly more thorough.

Why finish your seams?

Well, firstly, they make the inside of your garment look professional and neat and if you're like me, you always want the inside to be as pretty as the outside.
Secondly, they prevent your fabric from raveling when laundered.
Thirdly, they can actually provide some structural importance, in the case of jeans, for example.

As my sewing knowledge has advanced, I find myself using finishing seams for nearly every project. If you're a beginning seamstress, don't be afraid! Now is a great time to learn these techniques and start incorporating them into those simple projects like pillowcases and curtains. If you're an intermediate or an advanced seamstress, these seams may be an overview for you, or perhaps one of them will be new to you! Comment at the end of the post and let me know if there is another one you'd like demonstrated, or if you sew one of the following seams differently than how I show you!

*We'll be using 5/8" seam allowances through this tutorial.*

1. The French Seam

This seam is great for sheer, lightweight fabrics such as voile, lawn, silks and lace. This is, hands down, the finishing seam I use the most. I use it to finish the majority of the dresses and blouses I make. I also finish all the pillowcases I sell on my Etsy store will french seams so that they don't unravel after being washed.

We're going to start with wrong sides together. If that seems weird to you, you're right, it is weird, but I promise I'm not leading you astray. Trust me!


Sew a 3/8" seam.

We're then going to trim both of the seam allowance to just under 1/4".

Then, fold the fabric right sides together and press.

Pin and sew again, this time with a 1/4" seam allowance.

Ta da! Now you have encased the original seam allowance inside the second seam.

The french seam is incredibly neat on the inside and doesn't change the external appearance of your project at all.

2. The Clean Finished Seam

This seam is excellent for light to medium weight fabrics. Because this seam results in visible seams on the outside of your garment, it is good to use for garments such as unlined jackets and skirts where top-stitching can add be a cute detail. It can, of course, be used for plenty of other projects as well.

We'll start with right sides together. Pin.

Sew with 5/8" seam allowance.

Press seam allowance open and down each edge of the seam allowance, turn under 1/4".


Stitch down each side of the seam allowance, just a hair from the edge.

Your resulting finished seam will look like this on the outside!

3. The Flat Felled Seam

This great finishing seam is often used in denim jeans (take a look at the seam on the inside of your leg if you have jeans on. That's a commercial version of what I'm about to show you!). It is also good for sports clothing and kids clothes because it's tough and adds strength to the seams of your garments.

We'll start with right sides together. Pin.

Sew with 5/8" seam allowance

Press open seam allowance.

Trim one side of the seam allowance to just under 1/4".

On the other side of the seam allowance, fold over 1/4" and press.

Then, fold the folded edge over the trimmed 1/4" seam allowance.

Pin and stitch close to the folded edge.

Your resulting finished Flat Felled seam will look like this on the inside.

And will look like this on the outside.

4. The Bias Bound Seam

This finishing seam looks so darn cute when done in contrasting bias tape. It's perfect for unlined coats, skirts and jackets. It is best for medium and medium/heavy weight fabrics.

Start with right sides together. Pin.

Sew with 5/8" seam allowance.

Iron out seam allowance.

Cut a piece of bias tape 1/2 longer than your seam. Fold out right edge of bias tape and press.

Place your fabric right sides together, leaving one seam allowance out.

Place your bias tape over the seam allowance, long edges even. Pin.

Stitch in the "ditch" left by the fold of the bias tape (that's what my scissor tips are pointing to). You'll be stitching through two layers: one layer of bias tape, and one layer of seam allowance.

Fold bias tape over the seam you just made.

Flip the whole thing over. Now you'll be looking at the opened seam allowance. Your main fabric pieces are still right sides together.

Fold half of the bias tape over the raw edge of your seam allowance.

Iron and pin.

Stitch along the edge of the bias tape (the edge towards the original seam).

When it's all finished, one of your finished seam allowances will look like this!

Repeat all steps on the other seam allowance and then both finished seams will look like this on the inside!

This finished seam doesn't make any changes to the external appearance of the project. Keep in mind that this creates a bit of bulk, and is not suitable for very lightweight or sheer fabrics because the seam finished would create 'lines' that you could see from the outside.

5. The Self Bound Seam

I'll be honest. This is not my favorite finishing seam. It's a bit tedious, but it does make an excellent finish on lightweight fabrics that don't ravel easily.

Start with right sides together.

Stitch a 5/8" seam.

Press open seam allowance.

Trim one side of the seam allowance to 1/8".

Fold over the edge of the other side of the seam allowance 1/4" and press.

Tuck the 1/8" seam allowance into the folded over seam allowance.

Fold the folded edge over the 1/8" piece again and press. (Lots of folding goin' on, eh?)

Push the main fabric pieces to one side and stitch along the edge of the folded seam allowance that is closer to the original seam.

When you're done, it should look like this! You'll have two rows of stitching very close to one another.

And this is what it looks like on the outside. This seam doesn't change the outside appearance.

So there you have it, five different finishing seams that should be in every sewists bag of tricks. What are your favorite finishing seams? Is there another one you'd like to see completed? Thanks for reading!

17  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / McCall's 7247 in Double Layered Knit on: September 30, 2015 07:10:38 AM
I made this McCall's 7247 tulip style top in two layers of jersey knit. The outside is a heather gray and the inside is a pretty violet color. It is so soft and cozy, and the pattern was really simple, I highly recommend it.

More pictures and info on my blog: http://palindromedrygoods.blogspot.com/2015/09/handmade-mccalls-7247-in-double-layered.html#.VgvtS7Rc3Vl

Thank you for reading! Have a good week!
18  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / McCall's 3341 in Vintage Wool Plaid on: September 21, 2015 10:54:29 AM
I made this McCall's 3341 skirt pattern in a vintage wool plaid fabric. It's an awesome pattern with only 6 pieces, and requires only a couple hours to assemble. More on my blog here:


Thanks for reading, happy creating!
19  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Vintage Simplicity 7480 in Vintage Plaid on: September 16, 2015 03:20:53 PM
I made this a while back for Tin Thimbles second annual Handmade Summer Wardrobe Fashion Show. I used vintage 1970s Simplicity #7480 and vintage 1940s plaid fabric. I love the way this top fits, and look forward to making it again in the future.

More on my blog if you're interested!


I made the blouse version, and finished the entire top with french seams so that the inside is lovely too.

Thanks for reading!
20  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Basic Pattern Reading: A Beginner's Guide to Understanding Sewing Patterns on: September 15, 2015 09:21:23 PM
Hello Everyone!

Here is the next installment on my blog, Palindrome Dry Goods. I'm calling it "Sewcabulary" and week-by-week I'll illustrate and explain (mostly) basic sewing terminology relating to topics such as pattern reading, sewing machine parts, finishing seams, general sewing terms, etc. etc. As always, I'm happy to share the wealth here too! Slightly more in-depth version in the actual blog post here: http://palindromedrygoods.blogspot.com/2015/09/sewcabulary-how-to-read-a-pattern.html

Before we jump into pattern symbols, let's first cover two basic terms you'll read in your pattern directions.

1. Selvedge: In woven fabrics, the selvedge is formed where the weft threads loop around the warp threads at the end of the loom to create a finished edge that won't fray. Selvedges run along each lengthwise edge.

2. Raw Edge: Raw edges are formed perpendicular to the selvedge. This edge, unlike the selvedge, will fray.

3. Straight Grain: Read number 1. The straight grain runs parallel to the selvedge. Straight grain is crucial in making sure pattern pieces are cut out...well, straight. In the pictures below, notice how I measure from the very edge of the selvedge to the straight grain line on both ends of the line. The measurement must be the same on both ends of the line for your pattern piece to be placed correctly.

4. Seam Allowance: Seam allowance is the amount of fabric between the seam and the raw, or finished, edge of the fabric. In the picture below, the seam allowance is to the right of the seam. Seam allowance will be listed on the instructions for all sewing patterns. For clothing patterns from the 1960's to now, seam allowance is typically 5/8 of an inch. For clothing patterns from the 1950's and older, seam allowance can differ in size. Quilting patterns are almost always 1/4 inch, and craft patterns will vary in size.

5. Cutting Line: This is the line that you will follow to cut your fabric. For brand new patterns, you will cut through the pattern paper and the fabric. For used patterns, you will cut along the edge of the paper and through the fabric.

6. Seam Line (Stitching Line): This is the line you will follow when you sew your pieces together. This line will not be transferred onto your fabric, which means that once you remove your pattern pieces, this pattern marking is not helpful. This line is typically the seam allowance's distance from the cutting line. For example, if your seam allowance is 5/8", your seam line will be 5/8" from the edge of the piece you cut from the fabric. Beginning sewists, you will use your needle plate (AKA the throat plate) to measure stay 5/8" from the edge of your fabric piece.

7. Notches: These little diamond shapes are the keys to helping you piece together your fabric pieces. Each notch is numbered and has a coordinating notch with the same number. For example, the pictures below are a notch on a 'skirt back' pattern piece and there is another notch numbered 16, on the 'skirt front' pattern piece where I will sew them together. Notches may be singular, or can come in groups of two or three. Two notches will always match to two notches, and three notches will always match to three, etc.

I recommend marking notches with a marking pen (see photo directly below).

Some sewists prefer to cut the notches outward, to create triangular shapes off the edge of the fabric.

I don't recommend cutting notches inward. This creates the possibility of cutting too far into the fabric, which could result in a hole in your seam.

8. Lengthen or Shorten Here: Listen up sewists with long or short torsos! This line is your friend. These are typically on bodice (could be a blouse, jacket, top half of a dress), pant (could be shorts, capris, etc.) and sleeve pattern pieces.

To add length: Cut along the line, and insert whatever amount of extra length you need. Don't forget to add the same amount to both the front and the back pattern pieces.

To shorten: Fold along this line and take up the desired amount. Don't forget to subtract the same amount to both the front and the back pattern pieces.

9. Small, Medium or Large Dots: Much like notches, these dots help you to piece your pattern together properly, and sew seams in the correct places. These dots are common for sleeve placement, collar placement, and to match the bottom of zipper placement, to name a few. You will mark these on your fabric using chalk or a marking pen.

10. Darts: Darts are structural elements that allow the fabric to conform to body contours and curves. Darts are most common at the bust, but may also be found at the waist, hips, and elbows.

Firstly (below) mark the dots along the dart lines, being sure that your marking pen bleeds through to the backside of the fabric, or if you're using chalk, mark on both sides of the fabric.

Then, fold the fabric right sides together, pin through the dots. Lastly, 'connect the dots', forming a sharp point at the end of the dart. Mark and sew along the line you draw.

Below: a finished dart from the inside, with dart pressed, and not pressed.

11. Ease: Ease is the difference between the actual finished garment measurements, and the standard body measurements on the back of a pattern envelope. This 'extra room' allows you to move around in your finished garment. For example, a blouse pattern envelope may say that the bust measurement for a size 6 is 32", but when you make the pattern, the blouse bust will measure 34". I could write a two-page post on ease, how it has become out-of-control on new patterns, and how to correct it (and maybe I will...) but for now, I'm going to recommend you look at Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing's post on ease.

12. Place on Fold: Typically denoted by a curved line with arrows at the end, the "place on fold". The "fold" being the edge of the fabric, opposite from the selvedges, where you have folded it in half. When a pattern piece is cut out on the fold of the fabric, it creates a mirrored fabric piece (see third photo down for an example). Be sure not to cut the fold line!  

Below: a piece cut on the fold, unfolded to show the result. Note that the fabric is not cut at the fold line, and should not be cut there.

13. Straight Stitch: This is the simplest stitch of all. The best stitch for most apparel sewing (unless you have a serger...but that's an entirely different post for an entirely different day), quilting and general sewing. It can differ in size, with the smaller lengths being good for high-tension seams like those in armholes and crotches, and the largest length (known as a basting stitch) being good for gathering, and 'practice seams' (one's you may need to take out depending on fit, for example).

14. Zig Zag Stitch: This handy stitch is good for a variety of purposes. It can be used to help prevent seam allowances from fraying, to sew on rick-rack, or purely for decorative purposes.

So there you have it. Keep in mind that this is not a comprehensive list, as there are many, many more symbols and markings to be found on patterns. I'm hoping to follow up with another post with another 15 or so. If you have any questions about these markings, please ask away! Is there a particular marking you'd like a little clarity on? Go ahead and send me a picture (email address is on my blog) and I'll include it in the next post!

Thanks for reading! Happy sewing!

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