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The blog for our Menswear Sewing Pattern company.


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Comox Trunks Sew-Along: Attaching the elastic waistband

By the end of today’s post you will have finished Comox Trunks that are ready for you to photograph for your chance to win our awesome prize package (that includes everything you need to sew a whole underwear drawer of trunks).

Today we’ll be attaching the elastic waistband.

First, I will show you the method included in the instruction booklet to create an exposed elastic waistband as you would find on most store-bought trunk style underwear.

After that, I’ll show you my attempt at a fabric covered elastic waistband.  ***Full disclosure – I’ve somehow managed to avoid sewing fabric covered elastic waistbands my entire sewing-life and so am not sure if my technique is the best one available.  You might have some tips for me about how to make this process smoother :) ***

Okay, lets get started on our exposed elastic waistband.  First, we need to form a loop by sewing the two narrow edges together.  I used a reinforced stitch for this but you could also use a narrow zig zag (and sew over the seam at least twice) or even a straight stitch if you sew over it several times to ensure that your threads won’t snap when the elastic stretches.

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And here is our loop after I’ve pressed open the seam allowance:

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I like to force the seam allowances to lay flat by zig zagging them to the main elastic.  This will help prevent them from being too scratchy.

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This is how the trapped seam allowances appear from the inside of the waistband:

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In the instruction booklet I give two options for attaching your garment tag (which comes with the paper sewing pattern).  I’ve gone with my favourite option.  While I am all for proudly displaying our brand on the exterior of our garments (lol I hate clothing with visible brand names usually but it’s a different story with my own brand :P) I prefer to place the tag over the elastic seam allowance.  Our tags are nice and soft so they’ll provide one extra layer between the wearer and the scratchy seam allowances.  If you don’t have a garment tag you could use a fabric scrap or ribbon instead.

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And now it’s time for us to add the waistband to the shorts.  This step is very straight forward (indeed, it can sometimes be a little confusing to people because they are expecting it to be more difficult!).  All you need to do is line up the trunks and elastic exactly how they will look when they are finished and then sew them in place!  Here is how to line them up:

 

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You will need to line up the right side of the shorts with the wrong side of the elastic so that the elastic overlaps the fabric 3/8″.  The elastic is the outermost layer.  Position the elastic seam at centre back and pin in place.  Also pin centre front.
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At this point, I like to divide the elastic in quarters and place pins where side seams normally would be.

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I then place pins between each of my four pins to result in eight pins that evenly distribute the trunk fabric around the elastic.9798

Here, you can see how this will look from the inside once you have placed your pins:

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And now it is just a matter of stitching the two layers together!  I used a zig zag stitch but you can also use a twin needle for a lovely professional finish.  You will need to stretch the elastic slightly as you sew to ease in the excess fabric.  Depending on whether you created a custom fit waistband or not (by wrapping it around the wearer to determine the length needed) will depend on how much easing you need to do.100

Don’t worry if the fabric looks a little gathered in areas by the time you are done (see mine below – especially in the front area) because this will stretch out when the wearer puts the trunks on and sit perfectly smoothly.

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I went over my zig zag stitch a second time for added strength.  You could even do this a third time if you wanted because of all the seams in these trunks, this is the one that is under the most pressure and is the most likely to snap.

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Once I finished stitching I cleaned up my seam allowance by trimming the fabric closer to the zig zag stitches.

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Wahoo! Our trunks are done! (Unless you are holding out for the fabric covered waistband of course).

Here is what I did to create a fabric covered waistband:

I sewed the elastic into a loop as I explained above (including stitching the seam allowances flat).

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Next I needed to create a fabric loop that could sandwich the elastic and still have enough seam allowance to attach to the trunks.  To create this, I cut two rectangles of fabric (you could cut one long rectangle if you only want one seam, I just didn’t have enough scrap fabric to do this).  The rectangles each measured as follows: The length of your elastic loop (i.e. roughly the width of your trunks)  plus two seam allowances + double the width of your elastic plus two seam allowances.

Sew the narrow edges together to form a tube and you will end up with this:
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And here is a better view so you can see how the fabric tube relates in size to the trunks:IMGP7176
Now sandwich the elastic in your fabric by folding the loop in half over the elastic (with wrong sides together).

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To keep everything lined up, you can baste the fabric loop closed along the bottom.  I used a zipper foot so that I could get close enough to the elastic to prevent the elastic from sliding around.

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Here is the elastic-stuffed and basted loop:

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Now I pinned the elastic/fabric loop to the trunks with right sides together and the seams lined up at either side.

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And I serged the entire loop.  This is more or less effective – the only problem is that you can’t get very close to the elastic edge with the serger so the fabric waistband looks a little floppy and loose.  The only way to create a narrower fabric tube would be to leave a hole in the tube and thread the elastic into it AFTER the tube is attached to the main trunks.

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I just used the reinforced straight stitch and a zipper foot to stitch closer to the elastic:

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And there we go, finished trunks with a super soft and comfy fabric covered waistband!

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I’m really looking forward to seeing your trunks!  Check back in two days to see my final post for this sew-along which will detail how to do a photo shoot of your trunks if you don’t have attractive and confident underwear model at your beck and call ;).


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Comox Trunks Sew-Along: Hemming the trunks

After all of the progress during the last sew-along session, today we’ll just be sewing the hem.  Easy peasy!  I’ve sewn the charcoal pair using Option 2 from the instruction booklet (a double fold hem finished with a zig zag stitch) and the maple leaf version is hemmed using Option 1 (a serged edge and a twin needle) so you can examine my process and choose which method you prefer.

For the zig-zagged option, start by folding up the hem about 1/4″ and pressing:

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Fold the hem again, this time about 3/8″ and press.  Pin as you press and don’t slide your iron along the fabric, instead, lift it up and press down – this way you won’t ‘drag’ the fabric with you and twist the hem (a common issue when hemming thin and stretchy knits).

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I changed the settings for my zig zag stitch slightly for the hem to make a larger, stretchier stitch.  I increased the length ever so slightly and increased the width to match the length.  This zig zag stitch will be very visible so it is nice to have a very even looking stitch.

I like to start sewing on a seam, especially one that isn’t very visible from the front, so that the back stitching doesn’t look obvious or messy.  In this case, I started on the back gusset seam.  As you can see, I chose to sew from the inside of the trunks so I could make sure that I was perfectly catching the folded hem.  This isn’t necessary if you are a perfectionist and have a perfectly even hem – you could sew from the outside and keep an even distance from the bottom fold and know that you are catching the top fold the entire time.  As you might guess from my approach, I don’t trust myself to have a perfectly even hem (especially with knits that like to shift around a lot!) and so find it saves me a lot of headaches and stitch picking to just sew it from the inside.

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And here is the finished zig zagged hem!  Super easy!

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If you choose to try out the twin needle hem, the key is to make sure your twin needle is functioning smoothly before starting to sew – test on scraps until it is jam-free and even.  My machine doesn’t really like working with a twin needle since my tension disks are quite faulty – it will be chugging along beautifully for a couple centimetres and then all of a sudden jam into the biggest snarl you could imagine…ug…regardless, I managed to sew the darned hem after starting and stopping a million times (don’t be scared away by my experience, I have had many snarl-free twin needle sewing experiences…just never on this silly machine!).

Many people like finishing their hem with only a twin needle since the stitch made by it forms a zig zag on the underside of the fabric that nicely encloses the raw edge.  Of course, this requires you to have a lovely even hem and precise stitching.  To save myself the worry that my raw edge wouldn’t be totally enclosed, I simply serge first and use the twin needle to stitch below the serging.

Here is my serged edge folded up once:

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And here is my funny little double thread set up!  I have two thread holders on the top of the machine but when I use both of those, the first tension disk doesn’t engage properly and I can’t get a single nice stitch.  Placing a serger cone of thread behind the machine seemed to work well enough though:

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The twin needle gives a lovely finish that is strong and very professional looking.  Voila:

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Well, that’s it for today and our next post will be the last one for the sewing segment of this sew-along!  Are you looking forward to finally finishing your trunks?  We’ll be adding the elastic waistband and I will also be discussing some ideas for adding a fabric covered waistband if that is more your style.  See you in two days!


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Comox Trunks: Sewing the trunks back

Today we are going to make big progress with our trunks – I have this post labelled ‘Sewing the Trunks Back’, but really, before we can really call the backs of these undies done, we need to have pretty much the whole trunks assembled.  That may sound like a large task, but really it is just four curved seams and a quick rectangle!  Here comes the first two curved seams:

It’s time to attach the trunk Front to the Main Shorts – the biggest two fabric pieces in your pile.  You’ll notice that the smallest curved section on this piece has one notch.  This will line up with the bottom of the bound fly as I point out below:
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Pin the Front and Main Shorts with right sides together along this notched curve.  Here you can see the notch near the centre of the curve:

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And in this photo you can get more of a sense of how you will have to ‘reshape’ the Main Trunks curve when pinning it to the opposite curve of the Front:40

I sewed this seam using a zig zag stitch and then, for good measure and extra strength, sewed over my seam again. This is how the seam looks from the Main Shorts side:
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And from the trunks Front side:

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And this is what my multiple layers of zig zag stitch looks like!

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I like to trim the seams even though the seam allowance isn’t very big (only 3/8″) because it allows me to make everything tidy looking and even and reduces a little bit of the bulk.
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Now we need to attach the second Main Shorts piece the same way that we did our first piece:

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I pressed the seam allowances away from the front and didn’t finish them (aside from the trimming).  This light jersey doesn’t fray and the seam allowances tend to roll up tidily and softly so I thought that the less stiff thread that could potentially cause rubbing, the better!  If you are using a material that tends to fray you could finish these seams with a second wider row of zig zag stitching.
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To serge these seams, it is the same process as we just covered (minus the trimming).  Here is what it will look like if you choose to use the serger:

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When serging, it is perfectly okay to leave your seams looking like they do in the photo above, but I thought you might be interested to see the topstitching that I decided to do along these seams to ensure that the serged seam allowance remains pointing away from centre front and lies flat against the body (see photo below).  I ended up using a simple straight stitch because my reinforced straight stitch was causing the fabric to slide around and I couldn’t keep the top-stitching from wobbling all over the place.  On other fabrics the reinforced straight stitch worked really well for me and I find it is a great way to do top-stitching on many knits. I didn’t mind using a straight stitch on these trunks though because the fabric doesn’t have much stretch anyway so I don’t think Matt will end up with broken stitches when he wears these.

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And now we move on to attaching the Back piece!  This will attach to the other long curved edge of the Main Shorts:

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As you can see, below, the Main Trunks curve and the Back curve are opposite just like the front and will take a bit of pinning before they line up.52

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I sewed this seam twice again using the zig zag stitch.  Might as well make it extra strong!

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And then I trimmed the seam just like we did for the front.  I pressed the seam towards centre back.

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And now we have to repeat this process with the other back seam to create a closed loop!

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Would you look at that?  The trunks are starting to resemble trunks :).

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If you’re using a serger, the back process is again very similar to using a domestic machine:
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Now, the last step for today is to create and attach the gusset.  While the word ‘gusset’ might intimidate you a little but really, a gusset is just a piece of material that is sewn into a garment to make it wider or stronger (in the case of the trunks, our gusset performs both jobs!).

Our gusset is formed from two rectangle pieces that are double layered for extra strength:

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Pin the two pieces with wrong sides together and notches matching.

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Baste around the outside.  I used a zig zag stitch within the seam allowance but you could also use a long, straight basting stitch and just remove it after the seams are sewn.

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Now our gusset is ready to attach to the trunks to create wider legs!  Line up your main trunks so that the centre front seam lines up with the notch on the long edge of the gusset:
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I used two layers of zig zag stitching once again and then pressed the seam open.

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Now we can move on to the back seam!  This time the notch lines up with Centre Back.697071

And, once the seam is sewn, it again gets pressed open.  You can trim both of these seams if you like or you could finish them with a wide zig zag stitch.73

And here is how my trunks look at the end of today’s sewing session…now that’s progress!

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If you’re using a serger, you will still need to baste the two gusset pieces together with a domestic machine.  I used a straight stitch to baste because I knew it would be trimmed off by the serger in the next step so wouldn’t interfere with the ability of the seam to stretch.IMGP7165

And now we serge the two seams:

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I pressed the serging in towards the gusset on both sides:
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And then, because this is an area that is quite likely to be sensitive to rubbing, I topstitched the seam allowances in place to keep them flat (again, it is advisable to use a stitch that can stretch such as the reinforced stretch stitch or even a small zig zag stitch but I didn’t do this because my fabric really doesn’t stretch too much):

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Are your shorts coming along nicely?  In two days we will be hemming them!  And then it’s on to adding the elastic waistband and…the hardest part of the whole sew-along…finding a model on which to photograph your shorts for the contest ;P.  Happy sewing!


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DIY Travel Wardrobe

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As you will see by the end of this post, I have recently developed a bit of a back-log of finished projects that I haven’t posted about.  For the last couple months I’ve been madly sewing away whenever I have a spare 10 minutes (yes, it is possible to sew garments in 10 minute chunks!) in hopes of having some fresh handmade clothes to wear during out trip to the US.  I’ll be meeting lots of sewers and fabric store staff who I know will ask the big question, “So, did you make what you’re wearing?”  Since I’ve spent the last year mainly sewing menswear, my handmade wardrobe has become a little tired and frayed around the edges.  But I’ve taken a small step to fix this and, since this is the last Friday before we leave to the states (we leave next Wednesday!)  there is no better time than now to show you what I’ve finished!

First up is one of two modified Grainline Studio Hemlock Tees – which is an awesome (and free!) pattern, as I am sure you have heard by now!  I left off the sleeves, created a HUGE and slouchy neckline and lengthened the body to create a high-low hem.  I added a cute little pocket too.  Its a bit of a different look for me.  Usually I like things that are nipped in at the waist and fairly fitted but I bet it’s going to be super comfy and breezy to wear when it gets hot this summer!

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I really admire the aesthetic of Jen’s pattern company and love her writing style and tutorials on her blog.  I’ve been on quite the Grainline Studio kick and started with her patterns that are the quickest to sew due to my time constraints. I have not yet got around to sewing two of my favorite patterns of hers: the Archer Button-up Shirt and her Portside Travel Set (which would have been fitting for this trip…darn, if only I had the time!).

Here is my second Hemlock Tee:

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I lengthened the sleeves on this one and lowered the neckline so it has more of a scooped shape.  You can’t see from the photos but I also lengthened the hem on this one though wish I hadn’t in the end because the fabric is a medium-weight t-shirt knit that is very comfy but not especially drapey so the longer and wider hem doesn’t hang overly well.  I’ll probably chop it off to Jen’s original intended length before we leave so that it will look good with skinny jeans too.

I’m not sure if this outfit is a bit out there…it’s my first attempt at print-mixing.  I love the look but tend to find it much easier to dress matchy-matchy.

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This skirt is my favorite thrifted piece of clothing – it’s silk and has the most dramatic pleating.

IMGP7293I never know what to wear on the top (hence the print-mixing!) but I think it would look pretty nice with a chambray Archer button-up like this one if I ever get around to sewing one (I swear, my entire wardrobe would be perfect if only I had that one shirt haha)

And, since I’ve been into quick projects, I decided to whip up a dress from my go to dress pattern, the Sewaholic Cambie dress.  This is my third Cambie (the first two are here and here) so I thought I would be practised enough to sew it REALLY fast.  I would have been able to do so but I got carried away with all sorts of little details…I think due to the months and months of dress-free sewing, when I started getting into the girly details, I couldn’t stop!

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I added a contrast waistband using thick upholstery fabric (probably not the smartest idea as it split open my perfectly installed invisible zip and I had to use a regular zip instead).  I accented with all sorts of other red details to match the waistband – including the aforementioned exposed red zipper…

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…subtle red embroidery along the neckline…

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…and red lace along the blind-stitched hem.

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Now back to quick makes – the last one I’ve managed to fit in – I sewed up a Scout Tee dress!  Another of the much loved Grainline patterns, this was made using some leftover fabric from a sample for one of our future patterns.  Its a really cozy and soft flannel and is one of only two plaid garments I own (I love plaid, I don’t know why I wear it so little!).  Here it is photographed without a belt but I almost always wear it either with a belt or with a cardigan done up over top of it to cinch in the waist.

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Also, I might as well mention the accessories I made to go with my new outfits a couple months ago – some long necklaces!

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I have all sorts of random jewellery that I keep stuffed in my jewellery box but don’t often wear because I don’t especially like it for one reason or another.  I was on the verge of giving it to the second hand store (it’s mostly just costume jewellery) but lots of it has sentimental value so I decided to re-purpose it to make it wearable!  It worked really well – these three necklaces that I have layered in the above photo were originally seven different pieces of unworn jewellery! And isn’t the little sewing machine cute?  My local machine repair shop gives out sewing related charms each time you make a purchase :).

Later on this weekend I’ll post some photos of the clothes I made for Matt’s travel wardrobe – his are the most important because, of course, they are Thread Theory garments and will likely be examined closely at stockists and on the TV show set!

***By the way: Sorry for the slightly blurry photos.  I was a one-woman photography crew today because Matt has been so busy lately and can now understand the frustration of bloggers who aren’t married to photographer husbands!***


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Comox Trunks Sew-Along: Sewing the trunks front

It’s time to get sewing!  It’s nice to have our machines already set up after the last post so that we can get right into the fun part today!

Firstly, we have to prepare our two strips of binding.  For my charcoal pair I went with self binding but for my Maple Leaf pair I used a contrast dark red – feel free to experiment with different combinations!

Start by folding each long edge into the middle and press:

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Fold this segment almost in half.  I like to make one “half” just a touch wider than the other so there is less chance of me missing the bottom layer of the binding sandwich in the next step (because that is SO frustrating…especially since knits are a bit tricky to un-pick).

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Once your binding is pressed, pin it to both Front 1 sections along the sharp curve.  Keep the narrower side of the binding facing you so that when you sew along the edge of it, the wider binding will be underneath the fabric and will be caught easily.  In the printed instruction booklet I state: “DO NOT treat the two Front pieces as mirrored pieces.”  Since we revised the cutting layout, as mentioned in this post and in the errata section of our website, you will now be treating these as mirrored pieces.  Sorry for the confusion!  The PDF pattern has been revised so if you are using the PDF instruction booklet, align your Front Pieces as illustrated (mirrored).23

Now it’s time to sew the binding to Front 1.  Before I show how to do that, I have a handy little tip that has saved me much sewing strife.  It is a good habit when sewing both knits or wovens to start a seam with your needle down in the fabric.  I must have lost this good habit somewhere along the way (I remember being taught to do it!) and so was continuously frustrated when I began to sew knits because my machine seemed to “eat” the knit at the beginning of seams about 50% of the time!  It would suck the thin knit down into the bobbin chamber and create a huge mess.  This problem was eliminated when I put my needle in the full “down” position before I even get my foot near the peddle to start the seam.  If this tip helps save at least one person the frustration I felt when beginning to sew knits I will be thrilled to hear it!

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And here is our attached binding.  I used a zig-zag stitch for this version but you could also use a straight stitch or reinforced straight stitch as the binding itself doesn’t need to stretch:

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Here you can see a close up of the stitching:

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The binding is a little longer than the curve (especially if it has stretched while you sewed it.  Just trim off the little bits of excess:

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Now it is time to attach Front 1 to Front 2.  Align with right sides together and pin along the long curve.  From this point onwards I will include photos of both the charcoal pair that I’ve sewn with a regular machine and the Maple Leaf pair that I sewed with a serger:

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Note that I sewed the binding to the front of the serged pieces after I sewed Front 1 and Front 2 together – you can sew the binding on either before or after, whatever you prefer!

By the way, look at my Maple Leaf placement!  I was chatting with Sophie from TwoRandomWords about how I had forgotten to worry about pattern placement when I cut this pair out and was sad that I wouldn’t end up with the Canadian version of the classic fig leaf across the trunk fronts…to my surprise, luck would have it that the leaf lined up almost perfectly!

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Now that the two layers of the front are assembled, we can sew them together to create the right exit fly.  In the first version of the printed instructions the cutting layout would lead to front sections that are sewn with WRONG sides together (a nice way to eliminate a raw seam from the inside centre front of the trunks but this will lead to the wrong side of your fabric peeping out of the fly).  Our revision instead instructs you to sew the two fronts with RIGHT side facing WRONG side.  Here is how it will look:

 

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When you go to baste these pieces together, remember to ensure that the bound edge is curved out of the way as much as possible – the hole needs to be open wide enough to allow for use ;).

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I zig zagged within the seam allowance around the edges.  You could also use a long straight basting stitch but then you’ll probably have to remove this stitching later on so that the seams can stretch without snapping threads:

 

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I used a straight stitch for my serged version since it would be trimmed off by the serger later anyways:

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And just like that, our fronts are done!  We’re moving on to sewing the backs in a couple days and before you know it they will actually look like underwear (not much to try on for fit now!!!).  Please feel free to ask any questions, especially if you are confused about the changes we made to our cutting layouts after our first print of the instructions.


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The Peacoat Mafia

Today I interrupt our Comox Trunks Sew-Along to bring you a rare insider’s photoshoot of the elusive and very dangerous PEACOAT MAFIA…
IMGP6746 Meet Will “The Grandfather” Whitehouse, Farrell “The Rosso” VanderRee, Clayton “The Boss” Whitehouse, and Matthew “Hitman” Meredith.  All are dangerously armed with Goldstream Peacoats…

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…And are not afraid to use them!

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The Peacoat Mafia couldn’t spare much time for a photo shoot – they interrupted things to make a deal:
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And things just about went down right in front of the camera!  Weapons were reached for from their concealed positions in the peacoat interior patch pockets…

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But I made them “an offer they couldn’t refuse” and things cooled down…
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I asked them to move closer together and crack a smile but Matthew “Hitman” lowered his shades and coldly whispered, “You talking to me?”

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With that, the mob turned their backs to scope out their next piece of work…
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And I escaped with my life only to become a “rat” by showing these photos to you!


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Comox Trunks Sew-Along: Cutting out your fabric and preparing your machine

It is officially Day 3 of the Comox Trunks sew-along and today we are finally going to start working with our fabric!  Today we will be cutting out our fabric and preparing our sewing machines to work smoothly with thin knits.  By now you should have gathered together your pre-washed knit fabric, corresponding thread, a length of medium weight pre-shrunk knitted elastic (elastics will normally specify on the roll/packaging whether they have been pre-shrunk or not…if they aren’t it is advisable to wash them with your fabric as that’s what you’ll be doing when the trunks are finished, after all!).  You should also have picked your size.

If you have not yet chosen your materials, have a look at the fabrics and elastics I suggest throughout this post.

Okay, let’s begin!  Lay out your pre-washed fabric by folding it in half and matching up the selvages.  I like to pin the selvages together, especially with knits that are prone to curling, so as to ensure that all the pattern pieces will be properly lined up with the grain of the fabric.  See how the knit likes to curl?

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In the first edition of our printed instruction booklets, I have made fabric layouts that specify you should cut pattern piece 2 and 3 on a single layer of fabric.  We’ve since revised these layouts so that this is no longer necessary – simply cut them on the folded fabric along with all the other pieces so as to create two ‘mirrored’ versions of each piece.

The only pattern piece that needs to be cut ‘on the fold’ is piece 4 which is the back of the trunks.  Cutting this on the fold will result in a single fabric piece that is double the width of the paper pattern piece.

Also, if you are using a fabric with 4 way stretch which is a recommended fabric choice for these trunks (this means that the fabric stretches length-wise and width-wise), you don’t necessarily need to cut piece 6 (the binding) on the bias.  We placed the grainline in this manner so that you have the option to use contrast colours or prints for your binding regardless of if they are 4-way or-2 way stretch (or even a woven fabric if you are feeling adventurous!).

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When cutting out your fabric, mark notches by clipping triangles outwards our using chalk or a pin.  Avoid clipping into the seam allowance partly because it is quite small (only 3/8″) but mostly because some knits have a tendency to run when nicked (even after you’ve sewn the seam).

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Here’s a close up of the little notch I made:

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Now that all of our pieces are cut out, its time to set up the machine!

For this sew-along I am sewing one pair of trunks with my regular domestic machine:15

…And a second pair of trunks using my serger:

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This way, you will be able to see how to construct your trunks with any available machine.  It is well worth your while to play around with the settings on your machine with a scrap of your fabric until the machine works smoothly and your stitches are even.  My little domestic doesn’t have a huge amount of stitch options but I find the zig-zag stitch works well for the main seams with a narrow width.  Also, it really helps to adjust the presser foot pressure so it is lighter than normal.

Also, I like to use a ball point or stretch needle when using knits.  After all of our careful cutting of outward notches it would be a shame to cause a run in the fabric because the sharp needle has snapped some of the fibres!

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This next picture is not very clear but hopefully you can see how I played around with adjusting the width of the zig-zag stitch.  After creating a seam of varied zig-zag widths using two layers or knit I pulled open the layers to examine which width of zig-zag was the most invisible from the right side.  If your stitch is too wide you will see threads and ripples on the right side of the garment – not good!

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Here are the settings that I found worked best on the charcoal jersey for my machine (remember that the number scale and settings are different on every machine so don’t be tempted to blindly use my numbers….test test test on your scraps!):

When I use the reinforced straight stitch for seams that need lots of strength (this works well on some knits but it is too rough on delicate knits and can cause holes because the needle punches the same area three times):
85 8681

When I use the zig-zag stitch for major seams:

1580

81I didn’t take photos of my serger’s settings because it turned out that the stitches looked best on the Maple Leaf fabric that I used for my serged sample when I set the Differential Feed to “0″.  You might notice in the instruction booklet that I mention you should adjust the Differential Feed when sewing knits.  I think this wasn’t necessary for the Maple Leaf knit because it has very little stretch and acted more like a woven.

If you are confused about what I mean by Differential Feed, you need look no farther than this excellent blog explanation to have this dial de-mystified!

Are you raring to get sewing yet? We’ll get started on Thursday by sewing the trunk front which is the most fiddly bit of this really fast project.  Looking forward to it!

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