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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Sunday, November 9, 2008

The best sewing book I have

Great day yesterday and in between many errands serge finished, partially seamed, and installed invisible zippers in four pairs of P&S pants. Should have no problem finishing them today and posting pictures.
One of the things I will be 
doing is adding the waistbands and closures. This has never been a detail I have been happy with. Hooks and eyes, either conventional or the traditional skirt hooks and eyes, are too bulky, and personally I find doing a nice buttonhole through all those layers (if you own a sewing machine that does great, consistent buttonholes please let me know) and in that small space very challenging.

So I was thrilled to discover a new method in my favourite sewing reference book Professional Sewing Made Easy by Helen Metrakos 

I love this book. I have never learned so much from any sewing book, most of the techniques are new to me. This is really interesting because I find that most sewing books I look a
t these days have information in them that I already know. Not, I should emphasize, because I am so skilled (this blog should make it clear that this is not the case) but because I have read so many books and articles over the years.

I met Helen a few years ago at the Creative Needlework show in Toronto. Helen is from Montreal and has that great polished chic that the rest of us can only aspire to. S
he was also very modest and down-to-earth and has a really great couture-industrial method approach to sewing that I find really fresh. 

That is all expressed in her book which describes fine-sewing methods that are also smart, sort of the way the best clothes are made by high end manufacturers rather than the hand sewing intensive methods that other writers like Claire Shaeffer espouse, and that I don't have the time to pursue.

Her method for closing a skirt, the one I now exclusively use for my waistbands, is one example. Here are pictures of how it is done, but please look at her book for more complete instructions:

1. Attach a waistband (I like mine narrow) to the top of the garment. I stayed the waist because there was some stretch in my fabric.

2. Press the seam allowance up into the waistband and both end seam allowances right into the waistband so the finished ends are flush with the zipper.

3. Make a loop of covered round elastic and machine stitch this to the inside of the waistband, so the loop is facing out.

4. Fold down and ditch stitch the waistband in place. Note that the ends of the waistband are not stitched closed.

5. From the right side top stitch the ends of the waistband, and attach the button.

I love this treatment. It is easy, flat and  with the little bit of stretch comfortable and durable. Thank you Helen.


Towanda said...

Thanks for post this method. I going to use it on the pants that I am making next. The book has made it to my purchase list.

Barbara said...

And thank you Towanda for the comment, this method is so fast, easy and comfortable.

Anonymous said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.