Thread Theory

Welcome to the new era of menswear sewing. Go ahead and create something exceptional!


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Natural Fabric and Leather Care

Uses for Otterwax (1 of 27)

We have some new supplies in the shop today!  Let me introduce to you three new Otter Wax items (and then I’ll share the details on this waxed bag).

Otter Wax is a line of natural, environmentally low-impact fabric and leather treatments.  They are created in Portland, Oregon. We’ve carried their Fabric Wax in our shop for quite some time now (it was the very first item that we added to our supply shop aside from our own patterns!) and I felt it was time to expand our selection…especially since I was eager to get my hands on a few of these items for my own projects!

New Otterwax Items (4 of 4)

To accompany the fabric wax, our shop now includes Castile Soap Canvas Cleaner.  This is a very gentle cleaner that can be used to wash waxed items (such as jeans or Matt’s waxed Jutland Pants) by hand in cold water without stripping off the wax.  So far, I’ve washed Matt’s waxed Jutlands by hand a few times with just a touch of laundry detergent.  The wax layer has become considerably thinner than when I first applied but it still manages to repel water.   I think I will touch up his pants with a bit more wax for the first time and wash them occasionally with this Castile Soap from now on!

New Otterwax Items (3 of 4)

The next Otter Wax item we now carry is their Heat-Activated Fabric Dressing.  This is a pot of wax that can be melted in a pan of water on the stove.  It performs the same waterproofing task as the rub on bar of wax that we have always carried but with a couple distinct differences.  The extra step of melting the wax before applying it creates a smooth finish that is more “Factory Finish” and less “aged” in appearance than the rub on bar creates.  Also, melting the wax allows you to saturate the fabric more fully.  You might prefer to use this wax over the rub on bar if you want both sides of your fabric waterproofed.

I haven’t tried out this version of Otter Wax yet but I will be sure to report on how the application process differs from the rub on bars when I have!

The next item I want to show you is something a bit different for the Thread Theory shop – leather care!

New Otterwax Items (2 of 4)

This Leather Care Kit includes everything you need to care for, polish and waterproof leather – naturally!  These soaps and salves are void of petroleum byproducts.  They all smell heavenly…

New Otterwax Items (1 of 4)

… and work wonderfully!  I tested them out on Matt’s loafers yesterday afternoon.  He got these leather shoes at Winner’s (the discount brand name store) about 6 years ago and I’ve been hinting they should head to the trash for about 2 years now.  They haven’t been cared for and they are absolutely tatty.

Uses for Otterwax (13 of 27)

I rubbed on the saddle soap with a damp rag first and used a horse hair brush to whisk off the dirt.  It darkens the leather considerably but this is temporary.  Now that the shoes are drying they are becoming lighter again (lighter than you see in these photos which were taken 10 minutes after polishing).

Uses for Otterwax (19 of 27)

I then rubbed the loafer over with Leather Salve and was absolutely shocked at the transformation.  The salve sunk right into the leather and within moments most of the major cracks were completely gone!  You can especially see this along the toes in the photo above.  It also felt really nice on my hands that were dry from gardening yesterday morning 😛

Uses for Otterwax (22 of 27)

To finish off the shoe I added boot wax (this waterproofs the leather using lanolin and beeswax) and then I gave the shoe a quick buff of boot oil to create a gleam.  I didn’t buff for too long because the shoes were a matte finish originally and I wanted to keep them this way.

Anyways, as you can probably tell from these photos and my glowing review – I really love this leather kit (far more than I expected to!).  Here’s to shoes and leather bags that look as fresh and cared for as the home-sewn outfits they accompany!


 

That’s it for the new products in our shop but now I have a new project to show you that suits the Otter Wax theme of the day:

NewDoppKit-2

You’ve likely seen our Bag Making Supplies Kits in our shop before – they have been one of our best sellers ever since we launched them in honor of Father’s Day in 2014.  I’m showing it you again because this winter I made a new project using this kit and I’m so thrilled with how it turned out!

Uses for Otterwax (3 of 27)

This is my Mom’s daily tote.  She’s a principal at an elementary school so she uses this bag to carry huge loads of textbooks, laptops, other electronic apparatuses (she has MANY), and lunch to and from school each day.

Uses for Otterwax (5 of 27)

I made the bag using the Burnt Orange colored canvas and all the notions included in the bag making kit.  I added lining fabric to the inside and the pretty antique brass rectangles (not included in the kit) to the handles to match the kit’s antique brass metal zipper.

Uses for Otterwax (4 of 27)

I sewed the kit’s garment tag to the handle since I know my Mom likes to proudly display the Thread Theory brand on items that I make her. 😛

Uses for Otterwax (7 of 27)

I used the Chicago Screws on the bottom of the bag to hold a cardboard insert to the base and to act as little ‘feet’.  I forgot to take a photo of these and I’ve already returned the bag to my mom for use at school today…sorry!

I waxed the bag with the regular size bar of Otter Wax (also in the kit).  It is a huge bag and used all but a tiny nubbin of wax.  I gave it a VERY thorough waxing.

Uses for Otterwax (11 of 27)

My Mom has been using the bag daily since I gave it to her for her birthday in November and reports that it sits in the (sometimes) dirty trunk of her car, is always on the floor of her office, and is often thrown atop her muddy winter boots beside her desk.  She is impressed by how clean the Otter Wax has kept it!  The dirt brushes off easily and the bag still looks brand new.

Uses for Otterwax (12 of 27)

You can see the original color of the canvas (pre-wax) inside the pocket that I added to the exterior of the bag.  I love the burnished effect that the wax gives!

You might be interested to know that my thick coating of wax and the damp, west coast winter air led to a VERY long cure time for the Otter Wax.  It usually cures in 24-48 hours but this was not the case for this bag – I waited two weeks and it was still tacky!  Also, big chunks of wax were stuck in the zipper teeth and the hair dryer that I normally use to work the wax into the fabric was not enough to melt these chunks.  I ended up putting the bag in the dryer with an old towel so that it would be ready in time for my Mom’s birthday.  It worked wonders!  The wax sunk into the fabric with no effort on my part.  I think I’ll use this method from now on!

I haven’t read any other tutorials where people suggest using the dryer.  The latest tutorial that I’ve come across uses a heat gun to the same effect. I like that there are so many ways to work with this fabric wax – you can combine all sorts of tricks to come up with the system that best suits they way you like to operate (I like to avoid heat guns near fabric since I’ve accidentally browned cotton in the past, for instance).


 

 

All the new items in our shop are perfectly suited for the Spring rains that are in our near future here on Vancouver Island.  I hope that they will fit into your climate and project plans as well as they fit into mine!

 


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New Sewing Studio

Open Studio (1 of 8)

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was moving Thread Theory into a new studio space.  Now that I’m all settled in it’s time to tell you all about it!

Sewing Studio Before (1 of 3)

Back track to early January when I had no immediate plans to move Thread Theory out of our home office.  After all, we only just moved in to our home last July!  I had only just finished working out an office set up in our new house!

Sewing Studio Before (3 of 3)

One day I was checking Facebook and happened to see that my sewing friend and fellow entrepreneur, Nicole, (who owns and operates the Spool Sewing Studio) had found a very affordable second floor studio space right downtown.  She was looking for someone to share the space with her.  I spent about a week daydreaming but not actually intending to act on the idea.  One evening, during our weekly squash game, I asked her if she had found a studio buddy and was, within minutes, swept up by her enthusiasm for the space and agreed to share the rent with her!

Open Studio (3 of 8)

We spent a few weeks scrubbing, painting, building furniture, and moving everything in to the space.  I occupy one room (it’s filled with Thread Theory inventory and my sewing machines) and The Spool Sewing Studio occupies the other.  I have plans to move my computer and other office supplies into the studio this summer but have decided to take the move in phases so that Thread Theory can continue to operate smoothly.

We held an open house last weekend and were thrilled to meet a steady stream of sewing enthusiasts throughout the day!  It was so much fun to be in a public atmosphere after three years of operating Thread Theory from the quiet (and sometimes lonely) office in my home.

Open Studio (4 of 8)

In the photo above you can see Nicole’s room compete with a long sewing table, lots of festive banners, a big bright window, a tea centre, and a super helpful 5 year old (Nicole’s daughter who is already becoming a talented sewist!).

Open Studio (6 of 8)

Tea is a real staple at the studio.  While our two businesses operate entirely seperately, the one thing we have agreed to do together is share the cost of a well stocked tea station.  We take turns buying tea from the local tea shop one street over.  Priorities, right?  We also have a big closet space that we’ve set up with a bar fridge and snack baskets so, aside from tea, we always have a steady supply of chocolate and other snacks.

The Spool Sewing Studio classes usually take place in the evenings and on weekends so I am generally alone while working in the studio on weekdays.  Even though no one is working alongside me, it is still much more interactive than working from home – the large window in my space gives me a great view of the town library and all the people coming and going.  Every once in a while someone pops in to say hi or to ask a sewing related question.  Sometimes I see someone that I know walking down the street and can wave to them from our second floor window.  It’s so nice to be connected to the community!  I am a complete introvert so I feel comfortable and cozy working from home.  I never feel cabin fever too drastically and sometimes dread leaving my nice quiet space to head out into society :P.  Even though I enjoy working from home, it can sometimes feel too comfortable.  It is much healthier for me to be out in the public engaging with other human beings!  I’m glad the new studio gives me the opportunity to do this.


 

I’ll show you more photos of my actual space (since most of the ones in this post feature Nicole’s side of the studio) in the future…I couldn’t share them right now because our inventory shelves are currently laden with secret new items that have yet to be released in our shop!  I don’t want to spill the beans!  Until I am able to take photos of my space, I’ll leave you with this super cute family photo which Matt snapped while Nicole’s husband, Scott, was using the sewing machine for the first time.  He’s a talented wood worker and remarked that the process was very much like operating his power tools.  He very quickly got the hang of it and now, one of the batik pendants that adorn the studio space was made by him!

Open Studio (8 of 8)

If anybody reading this post happens to visit Courtenay, B.C. please feel free to drop by the studio to say hi and have a cup of tea!  We are at #1-345 6th St. Courtenay.  I am at the studio most weekday afternoons but you can always email me at info@threadtheory.ca to make sure I will be there.


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The Parade: Your Camas Blouses

I’ve collected a selection of Camas Blouses to share with you today.  Thank you to everyone who has emailed me, blogged or shared their Camas on Instagram!  Viewing your creations is the most rewarding and thrilling part of running a pattern company.  If ever you have a project that you would like to show off, there is no need to hesitate and to feel shy.  I am just an email away and am eagerly awaiting your photos and comments!  Reach me (Morgan) at info@threadtheory.ca

 

Now let me present to you: The Camas Parade!

On your blogs:

Camas black and white

A lovely black and white Camas (it goes great with that red lipstick) blogged at Sur les montagnes russes…

Camas and leather outfit 2

A grey Camas paired with awesome leather pants – this blog post is from last May but I somehow missed it! Read the post over at blue hedgehog.Mustard Camas

I love this mustard colored Camas with a very elegant drape.  There are actually two Camas Blouses featured on this blog post at remembering gravity.
Liberty Camas

A stunningly bright Camas in Liberty Dufour Jersey blogged at Miss Maude.

Lace Camas

A special Camas Blouse featuring lace scraps from Anne’s wedding dress!  Blogged at Topstitched by Anne Lythe.

 

On Instagram

(If you can’t see the five images below, click the title of this blog post to get to the full post – sometimes Instagram images don’t show up if you are reading this via email or on a blog feed.)

 


Thanks for joining me on the sew-along and for sharing your beautiful blouses with me!  Happy Valentines weekend!


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Camas Sew-Along: Closures and Styling

Camas Blouse Sew-along Announcement

We’re on the home stretch!  Today we are sewing on our closures and I will show you my new Camas Dress and Cardigan in action!  On Friday I will show you a parade of Camas Blouses that have been popping up all over the internet.  I hope yours will be included in the parade – to be sure that it will, email me photos at info@threadtheory.ca.

Adding Closures

Camas Blouse Sew-Along Closures-9

There are many ways to finish off the Camas Placket – some of which are detailed in the instruction book and some of which I will mention today.  Here are the ways I’ve come up with.  Maybe you have thought of others?

  1. Add buttonholes to the right placket (if you were wearing the blouse) and sew corresponding buttons to the left placket.
  2. Add snaps – I especially like pearl snaps!
  3. Sew the buttons through both plackets to create false buttons.  You could optionally topstitch the placket closed before doing this to avoid any chance of gaping or peek-a-boos.
  4. Topstitch the placket closed and avoid any closures.  This would be a very clean, minimalist look.
  5. Leave the placket open to create a cardigan.
  6. Add a tie belt made from self or contrast fabric to accompany buttons as a blouse or dress or use only the belt (no other closures) to create a robe style cardigan.

For the two garments that I sewed throughout the sew-along, I chose to leave one without closures and added false buttons and a tie belt to the other.  Here is how I added false buttons without stitching the placket closed:

Camas Blouse Sew-Along Closures-1

I topstitched the inner placket in place before addressing the issue of closures (as you can see in the last sew-along post).  This differs slightly from the instruction booklet where I instruct you to stitch the two plackets together while topstitching.

Camas Blouse Sew-Along Closures-2

Place the right placket (if you were wearing the blouse) over the left placket and pin together.  Make sure the hem is even.

Camas Blouse Sew-Along Closures-4

Mark your button placement on the right placket.  If you are sewing the pattern without lengthening it you can use the button placement markings from the pattern piece.  If you have lengthened the blouse as I have here, you will need to determine the button placement yourself.  You can follow the spacing provided on the pattern (6.35 cm/ 2.5″) or choose your own.  It might be a good idea to try on the blouse so you can see where the top button should be placed.

Camas Blouse Sew-Along Closures-10

Pierce your needle through both plackets when stitching each button in place.  Follow my tutorial on sewing on a button if you are often frustrated by hand sewn buttons popping off!

And you’re done! WOOT!!! Wear that gorgeous Camas for your Valentine’s festivities…or…you might find yourself grabbing it from your closet just about every day because it is so comfortable :).

Here are my finished Camas garments:

Camas Blouse Sew-Along Closures-17

Meet the Camas shirt dress!  I sewed this using a lovely dotted cotton chambray from Stylemaker Fabrics.

Camas Blouse Sew-Along Closures-1

I lengthened the Camas as I instructed in our post on Camas mods.  I kept the side seam very straight to get the slim silhouette I was imagining.

Camas Blouse Sew-Along Closures-19

I also lengthened the sleeves slightly so I could roll them up to create cuffs:

Camas Blouse Sew-Along Closures-32

The buttons I used are tiny little 3/8″ shirt buttons made from Tagua Nut.  You will be finding those in our shop when we launch an upcoming menswear pattern – the button up shirt!  I really like the creamy color for casual shirts like this one.  I find that these thin buttons with their subtle engraving look more subtle and professional than the thick shirt buttons that I often find in my local fabric shop.

Camas Blouse Sew-Along Closures-42

When I lengthened the blouse pattern I kept the original hem curve.  I really like how this shaping looks on a shirt dress!

Camas Blouse Sew-Along Closures-26

I created a belt out of two strips of self fabric.  I didn’t bother with belt loops – I had originally intended to add thread chain belt loops but when I tied the belt around my waist I felt those were really unnecessary.  The fabric does not shift or slip so there was no reason to require thread loops to keep the belt in place.

Camas Blouse Sew-Along Closures-31

Since this shirt dress is sewn using a woven fabric with pretty much no drape (I know, this is NOT what I recommended in the fabric selection post!) I find the neckline rides up and gapes a little.  I tried moving around by calling our pup, Luki, to test how the dress provided coverage despite the fact that it doesn’t want to sit flat against my neckline.  I think it provides tolerable coverage:

Camas Blouse Sew-Along Closures-37

It’s a bit annoying that I have to pull the dress back down over my chest after I move my arms up though.  I think this problem would not occur if the fabric had more drape and wanted to match the contours of my body.

Camas Blouse Sew-Along Closures-36

When planning to sew this version of the Camas in a woven, I raised the underarm seam and used a smaller seam allowance at the elbow to accomodate for the fabric having no stretch.  I detailed how to do this in our post on sewing with woven fabrics.  I didn’t make any other fit adjustments despite the fact that I have a very broad back and straight shoulders.  Looking at the photo below I can see I probably needed to add 1/2″ of width across the back.  This is a pretty standard adjustment for me.  I haven’t done this for past Camas Blouses that I have sewn using knits because I did not notice a problem with the fit across the back.  Even with this woven version, the problem is exceptionally minimal – I have full arm movement and only notice a small amount of tightness when I put my arms directly in front of me.  I don’t think it’s something I’m very worried about!

Camas Blouse Sew-Along Closures-24

Now I’ll show you the second blouse I made during the sew along!  This one was sewn as an open front cardigan.

Camas Blouse Sew-Along Closures-53

I used the super soft Canadian-made black interlock fabric that we carry in our shop for the front of the cardigan and the sleeves.  It makes a nice spring cardigan because it is quite light weight.

Camas Blouse Sew-Along Closures-55

For the yokes I used a sweater knit featuring a black and brown herringbone design that I had left over in my scrap bin from another project.

Camas Blouse Sew-Along Closures-2

For the back of the blouse I used a polyester chiffon with a romantic floral print.  I had made it into a simple kimono in the past but didn’t do a very nice job of sewing it so I recut it to use in this project instead.  I’m glad I can finally wear this fabric because I think the print is so pretty!
Camas Blouse Sew-Along Closures-5

As you can see, I changed the back hemline shape so that it makes a very dramatic swoop.  I showed you how to do this in the Camas modification post.  I also lengthened the sleeves as we discussed in that post.

Camas Blouse Sew-Along Closures-49

I think this cardigan will be very versatile in the spring and summer.  It can be worn over dresses or over jeans and a t-shirt.  The interlock makes it feel comfy and casual while the chiffon dresses it up without making the cardigan too delicate (since it is a tightly woven poly chiffon that doesn’t seem prone to snags and can be put through the wash and dryer).  Plus I can wear it with outfits that suit black OR brown – this makes any garment a win in my opinon!

Camas Blouse Sew-Along Closures-3


 

I look forward to seeing and hearing about your Camas successes and modifications!  I hope you enjoyed the sew-along.  Thanks for joining me :).

The Camas Blouse pattern  will remain on sale (25% off!) until the end of the day Friday when I parade all of your Camas Blouses on the blog.  There are only two more days to snag the tissue or PDF pattern while on sale!


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Camas Sew-Along: Sew the Blouse Placket

Camas Blouse Sew-along Announcement

Thanks for waiting an extra day for this post!  I really had a great time skiing in the sunshine.

Today we’re sewing the Camas placket.  This is unquestionably the trickiest part of the Camas Blouse sewing process, but don’t worry, it isn’t that hard!  It is just a little bit finicky and it is a slow process in comparison to the very fast sewing steps that preceded it.

Preparing your Placket

The instruction booklet tells you to interface all placket pieces with interfacing suitable for knits (it usually stretches in one direction slightly and is quite light weight).  I have suggested you interface all pieces because this will make these narrow, fiddly pieces less likely to curl up or stretch out of shape.  Interfacing them will cause the knit fabric to behave more like woven fabric.

Depending on your fabric choice, you can listen to my instructions or you are welcome to disregard them!  Here are a few scenarios for you so that you can see what I mean:

  1. You are sewing with a thin jersey fabric whose raw edges roll up considerably.  You hope to sew functioning buttonholes on your placket.  In this case it would be best to interface all placket pieces if you are a tad uncomfortable working with knit fabrics.  If you are an old hand at working with knits you could interface one set of placket pieces and leave the other set free of interfacing.  This will reduce bulk and rigidity slightly so that your placket flows with the rest of the garment more readily.
  2. You are sewing with a thick interlock fabric whose edges stay nice and flat.  You would like to close your blouse front permanently by sewing decorative buttons on through all layers.  In this case you could easily sew the placket with only one set of interfaced pieces or you could even sew it with no interfacing.  At least one layer of interfacing will help to prevent the narrow placket pieces from stretching and rippling as you sew them to the blouse front.
  3. You are sewing a with a very stable woven fabric such as cotton (as I am for this sew along).  Go ahead and skip the interfacing if you don’t have any on hand!  Keep in mind though that your buttonholes might be a little bit misshapen or your machine might have troubles creating them – you know the button hole capabilities of your machine so use your judgement here.  If you machine often gives you troubles when sewing buttonholes, at least one layer of light interfacing will likely help you out!

I chose to skip interfacing altogether for this Camas Blouse just to test it out.  The Camas I am sewing has been lengthened to become a dress so I wanted to ensure my placket is not very rigid and bulky since it is so long and prominent at the front of the dress.

Assembling your Placket

I am going to show you two ways to assemble to placket – the first is how I illustrated in the instruction booklet.  The second approach requires fewer steps but results in a slightly less tidy garment (on the inside).  You can choose which method you prefer or even try out both!

 

Method 1:

Camas Sew Along Sleeves and Hem-6

Place the neckline placket on your work surface with right side facing you.  Lay out your placket pieces on top of it with wrong sides facing you.  Line up the shoulder seams and pin.

Camas Sew Along Sleeves and Hem-7

Stitch the shoulder seams using a 5/8″ seam allowance and a straight stitch.  Press these seams open.  Once you have stitched both sets of plackets you can trim one of the seam allowances to 3/8″ if you like to reduce bulk (so that both seam allowance raw edges don’t end at the same point and create a ridge).

Camas Sew Along Sleeves and Hem-8

Now it is time to sew the placket to your blouse.  This can be a little counter intuitive due to the curved shaping of the neckline – pin carefully and even baste the entire seam if you are unsure you have the placket positioned correctly!  I’ve attempted to explain the process in a very different way than I did in the instruction booklet so that those who are confused by the instruction booklet can clarify things by reading this post and vice versa.

Place the placket on your work surface with right sides up so that the neckline placket looks like a frown (see the photo above).  You will be sewing the blouse neckline to the longest side of this curve (the top of the frown).

Camas Sew Along Sleeves and Hem-9

Drape the placket over the blouse and match the shoulder seams.  You can see in the bottom right of the photo above that the placket curves away from centre front (this is the part that some people find counter intuitive).  The blouse curves in a convex fashion and the placket curves in a concave fashion.

Camas Sew Along Sleeves and Hem-12

Pin the placket to the blouse with right sides together.  Make sure to match the shoulder seams and center back.  The placket will extend 5/8″ beyond the blouse hem.

Camas Sew Along Sleeves and Hem-13

Sew the placket to the blouse with a 5/8″ seam allowance.  It is a great idea to break the seam into two sections by starting at the centre back and sewing in either direction.  This way you are less likely to stretch the placket out of shape.

Camas Sew Along Sleeves and Hem-14

Now that your placket is attached, here comes the most important step to create a smooth, professional looking placket without too much bulk!  Trim, trim, trim!

Camas Sew Along Sleeves and Hem-15

Grade the seam allowances by trimming one to 1/4″ and the other to 3/8″.  Along the curved sections (the back of the neckline and the curve at center front), clip the seam allowances by making small triangles.  This will help the seam to curve smoothly.  If you are using a very delicate knit fabric or a loosely knit fabric, you might not want to trim or clip so thoroughly since this could cause runs in the fabric.  If you are using a dense knit or a woven fabric, trim and clip to your hearts content!

Camas Sew Along Sleeves and Hem-18

Press the seam allowances towards the placket.

Now you can assemble the second set of placket pieces in the same manner as the first.  Finish the long outer edge (the same edge that you sewed to the blouse when you assembled the first placket) by using a serger, rayon seam tape or a zig zag stitch.  I’ve used a serger in the photo below and I’ve marvelled at a Camas Blouse the my mother in law created using rayon seam tape for this step.  She matched the seam tape with the floral print – it looked so pretty!

Camas Sew Along Sleeves and Hem-19

Pin the inner placket to the outer placket.  Match shoulder seams and the center back.  This placket will also extend 5/8″ below the blouse hem.

Camas Sew Along Sleeves and Hem-20

Starting at center back, stitch in either direction using a straight stitch and a 5/8″ seam allowance.  When you get to the hem, make a right angle turn and stitch across the entire width of the placket.

Camas Sew Along Sleeves and Hem-21

For best results, trim and clip this set of seam allowances in the same way that you trimmed the first.  If you like, this is a great seam to understitch to ensure that the inner placket presses towards the inside of the blouse easily.

Camas Sew Along Sleeves and Hem-22

Your placket is beginning to look very finished!  We just need to stitch it in place now.

Camas Sew Along Sleeves and Hem-24

Pin the under placket in place to prevent any shifting before you sew your topstitching.

Camas Sew Along Sleeves and Hem-25

From the right side of the blouse, topstitch along the placket edge 1/8″ from the seam.

Camas Sew Along Sleeves and Hem-26

I like to topstitch with a slightly longer stitch than usual – I find it looks a bit more polished.  Doesn’t that look nice?

Camas Sew Along Sleeves and Hem-28

 

Now, if you prefer, you are welcome to use Method 2 to sew your placket:

Sew the shoulder seams of the neckline placket and placket pieces as instructed in Method 1.

Camas Sew Along Placket-1

Press the seam allowances open and trim one set of seam allowances to 3/8″ if desired to reduce bulk.

Camas Sew Along Placket-2

Rather than sewing one placket to the blouse as we did in Method 1, we will assemble the two placket sets before attaching them to the blouse.

Camas Sew Along Placket-6

Place one placket on top of the other with right sides together.  Pin the plackets together along the inner curve.  Make sure the shoulder seams are aligned.

Camas Sew Along Placket-10

Start at center back and stitch along the inner curve using a 5/8″ seam allowance.  Stitch from centre back towards the hem in both directions.  Breaking the seam into two sections like this will help to prevent things from becoming misshapen.  5/8″ from the raw edge of the hem, turn a right angle and stitch across the width of the placket.

Camas Sew Along Placket-15

Here is how your placket will appear once you have stitched this seam:

Camas Sew Along Placket-11

At this point, you can understitch if you like to ensure that the placket will fold and press crisply.

Camas Sew Along Placket-14

To understitch, press the seam allowances towards the inner placket (this could be either of the plackets, you choose!) with your hands.  Stitch through the inner placket and both seam allowances 1/8″ from the seam.  You can see the understitching in the photo above.

Camas Sew Along Placket-20

Press the placket so wrong sides are together and raw edges are aligned.  Turn out the placket corner at the hem.

Camas Sew Along Placket-22

Now it is time to attach the placket to the blouse.  Baste together the two raw placket edges if you like so they don’t shift around while you sew.  Pin the placket to the blouse carefully so that right sides are facing (the placket with visible understitching is the wrong side).

The rest of the process process will differ slightly depending on the machines you are using.

If you have a serger:

Camas Sew Along Placket-24

Beginning at one hem, carefully start serging so that the placket and blouse hem are even.  serge all the way around to the other hem.  Make sure that the shoulder seams are aligned.

If you are using a straight and zig zag stitch:

Using a straight stitch, start at center back and stitch towards either hem.  Finish the seam allowance using rayon seam tape or a zig zag stitch.

Finishing the placket

Camas Sew Along Placket-25

Press the finished seam allowance towards the blouse.  Topstitch the seam allowance in place 1/8″ from the placket seam.

Camas Sew Along Placket-29


 

I hope your plackets turn out well!  Take it slow and enjoy the process calmly :D.

Tomorrow we will sew our closures and I will show you my finished blouses!  On Friday I would love to showcase some of the blouses you have sewn – please email photos to me at info@threadtheory.ca if you would like to be featured.  Otherwise, blog and Instagram away and I will find your Camas projects on the web.  Exciting!


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Camas Sew-Along: Delay

 

This is just a quick note to let you know that I will be posting the next sew-along update tomorrow rather than today!  When I created the sew-along schedule I forgot that today (Monday, Feb. 8th) is Family Day in British Columbia, Canada!  It is a relatively new holiday so it catches me off guard every time.  My family invited me to go skiing for the day – an offer I could not refuse!  I decided to put work aside since family always comes first :).  Thanks for your patience!  The next sew along post will be launched on the blog by the end of the day tomorrow.


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Camas Sew-Along: Sew the sleeves, side seams and hem

Camas Blouse Sew-along AnnouncementBy the end of today’s sewing session your Camas will really look like a blouse – you will even be able to try it on!  Here is where we left off on Wednesday:  We had sewn the gathers, yokes and shoulder seams.  I forgot to mention that it is a good idea to stay stitch along the neckline and armholes to keep the two yoke layers in place.  Do this by stitching within the 5/8″ seam allowance using a normal stitch length.  Staystitching is a great way to keep fabric from stretching out when you are working on the rest of the garment.  Necklines and armholes are prone to stretching out because their curved edges include some fabric that is cut on the bias.  You can see the staystitching that I did here:Camas Blouse Sew Along (18 of 29)

Inserting Sleeves

Now it’s time to insert our sleeves!  Pin the a sleeve to each armhole with right sides together.  The double notch on the sleeve means that this should be aligned with the back of the garment.  Match the notch at the top of the sleeve with the shoulder seam.  Match the double notch on the sleeve with the double notch on the back of the blouse (right at the yoke seamline).  Match the single notch on the sleeve with the single notch on the front of the blouse – note that this notch is not the same as the yoke seamline, it is placed closer to the side seam.Camas Blouse Sew Along (19 of 29)

Sew the sleeve using a 5/8″ seam allowance.   Be careful to keep the raw edges of your fabric aligned.  Pivot the garment with your needle down and your presser foot up whenever you need to adjust to match the curve of this seam.  Sewing a steeply curved sleeve like this can sometimes feel like magic – while you are sewing it feels like there is no way that the two curves are going to fit together but, if you pin at the notches and take the sewing process slowly, they will fit absolutely perfectly. 🙂

Camas Blouse Sew Along (21 of 29)

Finish the seam allowance using a serger or a zig zag stitch.  Pardon my mis-matched forest green serger thread!  I have been sewing several Camas Blouses at once (including a forest green one) and was too lazy to change the serger thread…oh dear!Camas Blouse Sew Along (20 of 29)

Press the seam allowance towards the sleeve.  In the photo above, I am using a pressing ham.  You can press an armscye without one but a ham really makes it easier!

Side Seams

Now it is time to sew the side seams.  In the instruction booklet I mention two possibilities for sewing these – I have photographed the main option (simply sew and finish the seam allowance wtih a serger or zig zag stitch) but keep in mind that you can try out a french seam if you like!  A french seam would be particularly nice if you are creating an open front Camas cardigan.  That way the raw edges are nicely contained.  Another option that I don’t mention in the instruction booklet is to sew this seam using a flat fell finish.  I mention this option due to an error I just made on the Camas Blouse yesterday!  I had intended to sew a french seam on the Camas Cardigan I am making but accidentally sewed the sleeve and side seam with right sides together out of habit.  Rather than unpicking the stitches from the very delicate poly chiffon I am using I decided to create a flat fell seam instead.  It worked well!  This is what it looks like:

Camas Sew Along Sleeves and Hem-29

Anyways, if you would just like to sew a regular side seam as I am sure most of you would, let’s continue!  Pin the sleeve and sides seams with right sides together.  Make sure that the intersecting seams meet up nicely at the armhole by pinning carefully.Camas Blouse Sew Along (22 of 29)

Sew this seam using a 5/8″ seam allowance.  If you are sewing a woven Camas, now is a great time to play around with a smaller seam allowance to give you a looser fitting sleeve.  In the photo below you can see that I used a much smaller seam allowance on the sleeve than I did on the blouse side seam:Camas Blouse Sew Along (23 of 29)

Now finish the seam allowance using a serger or a zig zag stitch.  Press the seam allowance towards the back of the garment.

Camas Blouse Sew Along (29 of 29)

Sew the Hems

The blouse hems are sewn before adding the placket, so, although it might feel funny to sew a hem when you are only half way through the construction of the blouse, now is the time!  Let’s start with the sleeve hems.  You might like to try the garment on at this point to confirm that the sleeves are a flattering length for you.
Camas Sew Along Sleeves and Hem-4

Press up the 5/8″ hem allowance.Camas Sew Along Sleeves and Hem-5

Press 1/4″ under to hide the raw edge and stitch.  Repeat for the second sleeve.

Begin the blouse hem in the same manner.  Within the instruction booklet I include some tips to help you to create a nice curved hem.  I’ll show you the basic way to create this hem first and then, afterwards, I have photographed another hemming idea to help you out if you’ve exaggerated the curve of the hem as a pattern hack.  Here is the basic hem:Camas Sew Along Sleeves and Hem-1

Press the 5/8″ hem allowance up.  Try to ensure that the hem allowance remains even at the side seams where it curves upwards.
Camas Sew Along Sleeves and Hem-2

Press under 1/4″ to hide the raw edge.  Stitch the hem and press thoroughly to make it as smooth and flat as possible:Camas Sew Along Sleeves and Hem-3

Alternative Hem for Exaggerated Curves

If you have changed the shape of the hem to make a more exaggerated curve (as we discussed in the sew-along post about pattern hacks) you will probably need to create a narrow rolled hem.  This is a nice finish if you are sewing the Camas in tissue weight knits or other floaty sorts of fabric (such as the poly chiffon that I am using below).  The rolled hem will not weigh down the fabric in the same way as a wider hem would.

Megan Nielsen has an excellent tutorial on her blog that contains three ways to sew a rolled hem.  My favorite option is #2 but I sometimes skip a step or two depending on how delicate or fiddly my fabric is.  I recommend following all of her steps though (despite my bad example) because your hem will be much more precise than the one that I have sewn!

For this rolled hem I sewed a scant 1/4″ away from the raw edge.  The stitching helps to keep the fabric a bit taught as you press under the raw edge to create a small roll.
Camas Sew Along Sleeves and Hem-29

Here is the result!  What looks like a tuck in the center of the photo is actually just a trick of the camera and shadows.  I noticed it on the camera screen when I took the photo but examined the blouse and repressed to make sure there was no tuck…there isn’t, but it keeps showing up in the photos!  Just so you know. 😛Camas Sew Along Sleeves and Hem-30

Have a wonderful weekend!  On Monday we will continue full steam ahead – we will be sewing the blouse placket.  Many of you have found this to be the trickiest part of the blouse – I have all sorts of tricks and suggestions to give you so stay tuned!