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Those who sew know – Haby!


haby – slang for – haberdashery ˈhabədaʃəri/
noun – small items used in sewing, such as buttons, zips, and thread.

A few weeks ago in the One Thimble Sewing Enthusiasts Group we had a chat about what haby items people couldn’t live without.  I loved this thread because I LOVE haby even more than stationery – which given the numbers of notebooks, pens, clips and pencil sharpeners I own is saying something!!!

Are you a haby lover? How many of these do you recognise?  How many of these do you own?
Picture A couple of these were new to some of our members, but this is what those who nominated them had to say about them . . .

Tailor’s Awl
: Sas said “My favourite haby item is the TAILORS AWL. I can not live without it. I use it each and every time I sew. I use it to hold small or sharp points in the fabric still so that the fabric doesn’t bunch or get stuck when sewing. Once you get to the corner you pivot your fabric for your next run and inset the tip of the Awl under the foot and into the fabric, start sewing slowly while gently easing the fabric through with the Awl. you will get a nice neat turn 99% of the time… I also use it to make holes for eyes in my animals, holes to apply snaps, to gently dig out a point on a collar once it is turned…and I am always finding new uses, it is the first haby object I grab for most applications… oh yes, I love my Tailors Awl……/2402-tailors-awl.html

Finger Swivel Knife: Melisa said “great for buttonholes/magnet prongs/welt pockets +more. Love it for cutting my buttonholes. Gives great control never have slipped past the ends with it. I use it to insert all my magnets for bags. it has a tiny scalpel blade so can be very precise which also is perfcet for welts when you have to cut really close to the corners This is mine

Thread Clippers: Debra said “They’re in every room in my house too So handy and fit neatly into the palm of your hand. The point is perfect for unpicking and sharp enough to cut buttonholes. You can drop even them and they don’t get wrecked!”

The One Thimble Sewing Enthusiasts Group on Facebook is a great place to ask questions, share your creations & your love of sewing.
With over 1000 members there’s a wealth of sewing experience to tap into, which is where the “Those who sew know” topics came from.
This series of articles will round up what people have had to say about these topics.
To have your say be sure to join the group!

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How to Line A Sleeveless Dress

I’ve had some queries about the way I show to join the lining to the main fabric on the Twist Shift.  It’s a little tricky to explain in photos so here’s a little video showing the technique.

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Using a Rolled Hem Foot

Rolled Hem Foot featured in One Thimble Sewing E-zine

The Rolled Hem Foot was the foot featured in the Footloose article in the first Issue of One Thimble Sewing e-zine.

I’m revisiting this foot as I’ve finally gotten around to doing a video tute of using this foot.  Apologies for my croaky flu voice.

I’ve included the written tute excerpt from the e-zine below the video for those who find written tutes easier than video tutes to follow.

The rolled hem foot is definitely one of my favourite feet for my sewing machine.  Rolled hems are a really nice way to finish the edges of frills.  Alternatives to using a rolled hem foot on your sewing machine are doing a rolled hem by hand or using the rolled hem settings on your overlocker.
The main difficulties people have with using a rolled hem foot is getting the fabric onto the foot.  Sometimes the thickness of the fabric can be an issue to.  I have two different widths of rolled hem foot one for fine fabrics and one for thicker fabrics.  I have used a rolled hem foot to do rolled hems on corduroy and denim but I find thicker fabrics have a tendency to come undone.

Tutorial excerpt from Issue 1 – One Thimble Sewing E-zine


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sizing for success

Picture Consistency with sizing is really important for your handmade brand.  You want customers to be confident when they buy from you, that the size they’re purchasing will fit.  Including finished garment measurements in your listings is one way to help customers out, but trying to ensure consistency across your range is also important.  This can be difficult to do when the patterns you’re using are made by different brands working off different measurement charts, BUT just because you make a size 2 from a particular pattern doesn’t mean you have to sell it as a size 2.

I still remember how sick I felt the first time I received an email from a customer telling me a dress I had sold her was way too big.  It hadn’t occurred to me before then, that re-interpreting the fabric and styling of a pattern would change the fit people would be expecting.  I had been making a dress, that was intended by the pattern designer to be layered and made from winterish fabrics, from light cottons and styling it as a summer dress instead.  After that I realized I couldn’t always label items with the size the pattern had on it and I started comparing finished garment measurements to “my standard” and labeling accordingly.  The trick can come about if a popular pattern you’re selling items made from, has different sizing to your standard.  In this situation I’d consider putting both sizings in your listings, if you have customers who might be more familiar with the pattern sizing, than your sizing.

Unfortunately, there is no one standard measurement table that all designers follow, however within a particular brand the sizing should be consistent.  You might be a size 8 in one shop and a size 12 in another shop, but you would hope you’d be the same size within the one shop.  This is not always the case however, as another important factor that can effect sizing is fit and ease.  I have some tops that are labelled as size small from a shop where I’m generally a size large and at first I was mystified as to how they could ever be considered small and assumed it was a labeling error until I realised that the designer and brand and current fashion trends intended them to be loose fit, whereas I prefer to wear them as tighter fitting tops.

In simple terms ease is how much roomier the outfit is than the body that goes into it – it is influenced by comfort and style.  So you would expect a caftan would have more “ease” than a cocktail gown.  If you tried on a caftan which was as tight as a cocktail gown you’d probably go up a size or three!  Certain outfits require more ease so that you’re able to comfortably wear them.  Outfits with sleeves, certain openings, for wear by people of different ages or gender or made from different fabrics or many other circumstances will require different amounts of ease or fullness.  Sometimes ease can also be influenced by personal preference and fashion trends.  You might like to wear your dresses looser and more flowy than someone else (or the current fashion) and so you might choose a different size to wear than another person with the same body measurements as you.  A good way to gauge the ease a pattern designer has included in a pattern is to compare finished outfit measurements to the body measurements of a size or to look at a PR picture for that item.  If you look at pictures I use for PR for the Bow Peep dress you will see that it’s a fitted dress on slim/average sized girls, if you’re wanting it to be a looser fitting dress you would be advised to make a bigger size for models of the same size.
Picture One Thimble does not have staff designers, so one of the early decisions I made was to encourage contributing designers to stick to the same layout and sizing that they usually use, when submitting patterns to One Thimble.  The only thing I ask them to change is to condense their tutorials to fit the e-zine layout.  The reasoning behind this decision was I want readers to be able to “try out” designers when they buy One Thimble.  If you discover a new favourite designer through One Thimble you can then “follow” them back to their store to find more of their work without worrying that their other work might be very different to what they’ve contributed to One Thimble.  I see this as one of the strengths of One Thimble, that in each issue you’ll discover the work of different designers and get to experience what their brands are about.

Here are a few examples from issue 3 where you might choose to adjust sizing for brand consistency.  With the Stardust pattern, Laura from Ellie Inspired, provides two versions of the pattern.  The slim fit version is closer to the sizing I generally use for my party dresses and the regular fit version is her standard sizing.  If you generally use similar sizing to my Ainslee Fox patterns you’d probably follow the slim fit sizing, if you find there’s not enough ease for your brand and styling in my usual party dresses, you’d probably choose to follow Laura’s regular fit sizing.  For the BT Tunic I designed it to be a looser fitting style tunic and added more ease to it than I have in my party dresses, but if you’re looking for a slimmer fit tunic or choosing to style it without a skivvy underneath, you might decide to mix a smaller bodice with the usual body panels or change the sizing completely so my size 3 will become your size 4 etc.

The key is to make the patterns work for your brand even if that means changing the sizing to be consistent across your brand.  One Thimble aims to give you a “library”of patterns to use and adapt for your handmade business.  Don’t feel constrained by our styling, sizing or fit – One Thimble is here to help your sewing soar no matter what stage you’re at!

You might also be interested in this earlier blog on blending sizes

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Blending Sizes To Customise Bodice Fit

Just like when we sew for ourselves, often our children will have measurements that put them into several size categories.  It can be tricky to know what size to make to still get a good fit.

The method I often use is to blend sizes.  This blog will give you a brief rundown on this technique, which can be used to customise bodice fit of the Bow Peep (issue 1) and Posey Dress (issue 2).

Of course please remember to make a muslin (practice go) with your blended pattern before cutting into your good stuff, as further pattern adjustments than that covered in this article may be required for your child.

The easiest way to show you how this works is with an example:

4 year old girl, 105cm tall, chest 55cm, waist 58cm.
I look on the measurement chart for my pattern and see that this child’s height is similar to the size 4, however she has a size 3 chest and a size 6 waist.  If I make her the size 6 bodice and simply cut the size 4 skirt the bodice will swim on her – the neckline will be too broad and too low and it will fit poorly everywhere else.  If I make her the size 4 bodice it will be too tight and uncomfortable at the waist.

Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture STEPS:
1. Print out & assemble the pattern.

The line for the size that corresponds to this childs height has been coloured pink in our example.

2. Mark the chest and waist points on the pattern, for the sizes your childs waist and chest measurements correspond to.

In this example our childs chest is equal to the size 3 for this pattern and her waist is equal to the size 6 for this pattern.

So we mark the size 3 at the chest (green x) and we mark the size 6 line at the waist (yellow x).

3.  We now want to move the waist point vertically so that it corresponds horizontally with the waist point that matches our childs height.  If we don’t do this the bodice may be too long or too short for our child.  If that sentence didn’t make sense don’t stress – continue reading through the example and it should come clear!

3a. Draw a vertical line on your pattern through the waist point you marked in step 2.

In this example it is the yellow line.

3b.  Draw a horizontal line across your pattern starting at the waistpoint that corresponds to their height.

In this example it is the pink line.

4.  Move the waist point you drew in step 2 along the vertical line you drew in step 3a until it intersects with the horizontal line you drew in step 3b and mark the new waist point.

In this example it is the pink x.

5. Join the new waist point you drew in step 4 to the chest point you drew in step 2 .  If the side seam is curved you will need to draw a curved line.  If the waist line is curved you will need to adjust it as well.

In this example it is the pink line.

6.  Cut out the rest of the bodice according to your child’s height.

Children grow and their shape changes so quickly that it is important to always recheck your child’s measurements and compare them to the sizing chart for the pattern you are making before blending.

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