Textures of Lydia: Sample Sewing


Most of the people in my life sew.  I mean, they seriously sew.  And quilt.  And embroider.  They taught me to sew “samples” of stitches and thread weights as well as any specialized techniques in a project before I start sewing a new garment.  The habit sticks.

I tested a few stitches for the triple top-stitching details on Moderne.  I happened to have a 50-wt top-stitching thread which matched the silk I’m using for the buttons and front pleat.  The thicker stitches, closely spaced look bold while I’m looking for subtle. I’m already using a “contrast” thread, so the single stitches look softer.

I don’t know if I have enough of the first color, so I picked up another spool of the same weight mercerized cotton, the closest shade I could find (it’s another brand, but I think it will be ok).  I plan to use those enormous buttons for the front, and regular sized ones for the cufflink type buttons.

I think the top looks pinker, but doubt it would keep me up at night.  This may be the first bound buttonhole I’ve made in a year.

The back.  I often have trouble with those, this is the best I’ve ever accomplished.  I use the Kenneth King method from Cool Couture.  The lips are interfaced with a ribbon, I find welt pockets made this way stand up well to continual use.

All this prep work and practice will help but I keep fighting the urge to dive right into the sewing.  It doesn’t help that my other major project moves along in a similar prep-stage, the WW2 Advance Jacket for the RTW Tailoring Sew-Along.


  1. Basically, I cut the fabric 3 times the width of the ribbon, stitch the ribbon through the middle of the fabric, fold the fabric over the ribbon and stitch again. Repeat. It's in K.King's book Cool Couture, I think it would be naughty of me to show the process or I would. I like this method for stability and versatility (it includes in structions on how to do this for welt pockets and zippered welts) and because while stitching the ribbon and the fabric together, I make sewing guidelines for myself. It's a little bit of an involved process, but foolproof.

  2. Don't you just love this stage of sewing? The planning, making decisions, practicing different techniques? Some people just dive right in, but I, like you, take my time and do a lot of pre-sewing.

  3. It's co cool that you know so many people that seriously sew! I am lucky to have an aunt who sews and embroiders, as I know many people know no one that sews. I don't know a single person who seriously quilts. I love the color of that dress, can't wait to see the finished garment. :]

  4. The bound buttonholes look beautiful, but very difficult to do! Also, you're not obliged to participate, but I've passed along A Stylish Blogger Award to you. :)

  5. Hello, I just found your blog (via Mushywear). Your projects look amazing! I'm planning to visit Brisbane soon, I was wondering if you could suggest a couple of good fabric stores? I already know of Gardams, Sckaffs and Funky Fabrix. I'm mainly after some good quality knits – especially for active wear / gym wear. I'm from Newcastle and there is nothing particularly worthy here. Hope you can make a few recommendations. Thanks!

  6. Heh. Uhmm… Good fabrics in Brisbane… I'll tell you now that Gardams is insanely over-priced. Occasionally, they'll have something truly special that is worth the cost, but usually not. I know the other two are well-loved by many sewists in the area.Try Sewco Sewing Centre, it's at 1290 Logan Rd. It's mostly a quilting shop but I get the vast majority of my fabrics there. We have some great bamboo/lycras at the moment. I work there. Cool shop.

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