Tuesday 16 February 2016

Sewing Tip - Hat Elastic Can Cure Gaposis

Hi everyone,

I want to share one of my favourite fixes with you.

Ever made a top or dress thinking all was good with the fit, only to find the neckline or armholes gape? There is plenty of advice out there on ways to avoid the problem before you cut the pattern, but none tells you how to fix it after you've made the garment! You don't want to waste all your good work but how can you fix the problem?

Hat elastic is the answer!  Hat elastic is a single core elastic - only one strand of rubber (or whatever they use these days).  You thread a piece of hat elastic though the channel of the neckline or armhole seam and gently ease it in until the gaposis is gone.  Tie off the elastic with a reef knot when you have the easing just right.  A reef knot should not come undone - a granny knot would not stay tight.  If you don't know what a reef knot is, have a look here:


You want it to pull in the excess fabric, but not so much that you cause the neckline to gather up. it is quite surprising how much you can reduce the size without seeing any gathers.

This technique works really well with ready-to-wear too.  Often RTW garments don't have darts where they should and that can make the armhole gape.  It's also great for jumpers,  if you feel the neckline is unflatteringly low or wide.

Tuesday 2 February 2016

I'm back!

Hi everyone,

I wish you all a happy new year and hope 2016 has started well for you.

You may have noticed that I haven't posted in quite a while.  The reason is that for the last 8 months I have been acting as project manager for our home renovations, and that has been a very big job!

I have been able to maintain my teaching programme, but everything else (including a social life and any personal sewing!) has been on hold.  The reno's are nearly finished and I seem to be getting my life back.  Any of you who have undertaken major renovations will understand how all-consuming they can be.

I actually had a great time being project manager and assisting on the site as a trades assistant to the main builders.  Have learnt so much and had great fun too!

Here's a couple of photos of me "on the tools", as we say in the building game ;-)


We are very happy with the results which include a revamped studio and a private sewing room, just for me.  I know I am spoilt to have a second space but it was a bit tedious having to unpack and repack my own projects all the time in between classes.  Now I can just walk in, do a bit or a lot and leave it all there til the next opportunity arises.

I am really keen now to get into some sewing and the first thing will be adding a couple of items to my winter wardrobe.  I know it's still summer but next month I will be visiting Connie Crawford in Seattle USA for more training, so my winter travel wardrobe must take precedence.

The plan is a to add a couple of items to the wardrobe I took last year - a long line vest and a new winter tee and new trousers.  This is the pattern I will use - Connie's Metro vest and pants - B5473

Here are the existing items I made last year.  They all mix and match so it's a very useful wardrobe.

B5538 blouse
CS1207 T shirt, B5261 Jacket and MX 8002 pants

CS1207 t shirt and B5301 pants
B5999 top
my overcoat B5689
coat showing dragonfly lining and button

So as life returns to normal again, I am looking forward to getting a lot more sewing done - for all seasons!