Saturday, 4 October 2014

On my sewing table - Printed shorts

As soon as I saw these print fabrics I thought of shorts. This is how I will be spending my weekend. (Yes I'm in denial about the summer being over!!)




Fabrics from Mondepot

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Pics from the studio

It's been a busy few months here at Salme! We've been making new samples, improving our instructions, shopping ridiculous amounts of beautiful fabrics and lots more. 3 new patterns will be released tomorrow, and we're working on many more.


Thursday, 24 July 2014

Sewing a simple roll-up cuff

I love finishing t-shirt sleeves with cuffs that have no function other than decorative. The cuff can be cut as part of the sleeve and folded up, or it can be cut as a separate piece of fabric as below.



This tutorial is taken from my Kimono top pattern but it works for adding cuffs to any garment with t-shirt length sleeves. Measure the sleeve opening, add seam allowance and cut a strip of fabric accordingly. For width I recommend about 8 cm (3") plus seam allowance, which will result in 4 cm (1,5") wide cuffs (depending on method, see instructions below).

1. Stitch the ends of the cuffs together.


2. Press seams open.


3. Fold along the middle with wrong sides facing. Press.


4. With raw edges matching, pin cuff to the right side of the sleeve. Match the seam of the cuff with sleeve seam.


5. Stitch in place and finish the raw edge. Here, I've used a regular stitch to attach the cuff and an overlock stitch of my regular sewing machine to finish the edge.
6. Turn cuff outwards with seam allowance pointing inwards. Press.

7. Topstitch along the edge. This attaches the seam allowance to the sleeve and keeps it in the inside of the garment.


8. Option I: Now you have two options: You can simply turn half of the cuff upwards and attach in place following the instructions at the end of the post. For a wider, less bulky cuff skip this step and jump to the next image to follow the rest of the instructions.


8. Option II: Shift the folded edge of the cuff about 8 mm so that you get some extra fabric to cover the topstitch with.
Do this along the entire cuff and pin in place.

At the cuff seam do a few stitches in the crease of the previous seam to attach. ("Stitching in the ditch")

At the shoulder seam do some hidden stitches by hand. Depending on the material you might want to do stitches at four points, or even stitch along the entire cuff to keep it in place.


This tutorial was requested by a customer. What tutorials would you like to see? Are you struggling with any of our patterns? Post a comment and I'll do my best to add tutorials relevant to you! 

Sunday, 30 March 2014

How to print and put together a pdf sewing pattern

Every now and then I get a question from a customer asking how on earth does a digital pdf pattern on a computer turn into a full size printed pattern. It does require a few minutes to assemble the pages, but the upside is that you can go from purchasing a pattern to sewing in a matter of minutes!

1. Open the file in a pdf reader such as Adobe reader. Choose paper size A4 or US letter. Before clicking print, open the print settings to make sure you have un-ticked "scale to fit" or "fit to page". It's very important to print the pattern without scaling i.e. 100% scale. Often your computer will have "fit to page" set by default, so make sure to change these settings. To check that the scale is correct, you can print out the page with the test square only (second page on our patterns), and check that it measures whatever is indicated in the pattern.

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2. Cut the pages along the blue borders (they will appear grey if you've printed in black and white which is fine). If you want, you can leave the borders on every other page and overlap the pages when taping. I prefer to cut off all borders as I find the patterns fold away easier without any extra layers of paper, but it's a matter of taste really!

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Scissors work just fine, but if you already have a cutting mat and ruler for fabric cutting (I hope you do as it makes the cutting process so much more enjoyable), I recommend investing in a good utility knife as this is a much quicker way to cut paper. You can also use a rotary cutter but don't use the one you have for fabrics on paper as it dulls them out. Use an old one and save the sharp ones for fabric.

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3. Tape the pages together, matching up the letters and numbers.

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4. Cut out the pattern in your size.  Again, you can use scissors but a knife and a ruler save you some time.

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With the knife you can go freestyle on the curves...

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...and use the help of a ruler when you get to the straight bits.

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Now you're ready to cut your fabric! Since the paper is heavier you will notice that it stays in place a lot better than regular sewing patterns which use tracing paper. You might not need any pins when cutting.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Book Tip - Colette Wolff: The Art of Manipulating Fabric

No matter how much I learn about making clothes I will never stop looking for books that teach me more.

One of my favourite books is this brilliant guide on manipulating fabric. It gives you a whole range of techniques, from basic pleats and ruffles to elaborate fabric art. Any decorative detail you can think of will be described here.

The instructions come with drawings and diagrams, describing not only drafting and cutting but also sewing techniques. For example the chapter on flounces gives you several methods on how to finish the edge neatly. I find this refreshing as a lot of my pattern making books give instructions for drafting the pattern but nothing on what sewing techniques to use.

It comes in black and white paperback and doesn't cost much. It always gives me inspiration and makes me want to add more ambitious detailing in my sewing projects. An absolute gem in my sewing library.

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