Blazer traded to Raptors takes PFI grad’s designs with him

 

Gary Trent Jr may be traded by Portland’s Blazers to Toronto’s Raptors, but that doesn’t stop Lake Oswego-based designer Charlie Ryan from designing for him. “I’m still going to be doing the same thing for him,” Ryan says, “but now a different audience will see the clothes so I’ll get to reach a new market outside of Portland.”
Ryan attended Portland Fashion Institute while in his senior year at Lake Oswego High School. His clothing concepts won him a scholarship at PFI and a fashion show at Fade to Light. This experience won him a full fashion design scholarship at Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia.
To see his latest designs, visit @chuckslab or @portlandfashioninsitute on Instagram.

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Why you shouldn’t buy cheap clothes made in China

Think that $19.95 jacket is a treasure? It’s not. Here’s why.  We found the Factories inside China’s mass internment camps. 

China built its vast network of detention camps to do more than simply keep people behind bars.  Investigations identified factories right inside many of Xinjiang’s internment compounds.  These long, rectangular buildings with blue roofs are capable of putting thousands of Muslim detainees to work against their will.  China has built scores of them — encompassing millions of square feet — in the last three years. Observers have long warned of rising forced labor in Xinjiang. Satellite images show factories built just steps away from cell blocks.
Two former detainees said they had worked in factories while they were detained. One of them, Gulzira Auelhan, said she and other women traveled by bus to a factory where they would sew gloves. Asked if she was paid, she simply laughed.
From BuzzFeed News.  For the rest of the story, click here

Free pattern! Make a seam roll

Here you are pressing a sleeve flat — only to press in wrinkles on the other side. Ever wish you had something you could stick down that sleeve or pants leg to isolate your pressing? Here it is. It’s called a seam roll and now you have a pattern — for free from PFI!

You can also:
— Prevent making impression marks from the edges of a seam allowance on right side of fabric.
— Press sleeve seams without creating a center crease.
— Pant legs and other hard to reach areas
Press as you sew for a professional finish
Use cotton side for cotton and linen. Use the wool side for wool so it doesn’t flatten and get shiny.

Enjoy and remember #sewingismysuperpower

Seam Roll pattern

Make a Seam Roll Sewing Instructions

Perfect tailored sleeves

Create a smooth cap on your jacket sleeves for a figure-flattering, professional finish.
Nothing is more aggravating than an unplanned pucker on the top of your sleeve.  Yet apparel makers can create jacket after jacket with smooth sleeve caps.  How are they able to do this without hours of handwork?
The best way to find out is to go inside top-of-the-line jackets and see how the professionals do it.  The secrets are so simple and straightforward, you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of it first!
Let’s think about why shaping the shoulder is important.  A well-made sleeve cap is a thing of beauty in itself.  And it boosts the appearance of the wearer.  You are making the jacket, not buying it off the shelf.  That means you can control how flattering the jacket is to you – or your client.
A jacket sleeve should extend ½” from the shoulder tip, then fall straight down.  This puts your shoulders in proper proportion to your neck, head and the rest of your body.
Plus, it’s good camouflage!  If you’re like me, your shoulders are sloped from spending hours at the sewing machine, then hours at the computer swapping e-mails about sewing.  The right size and thickness in the shape squares up the shoulders and hides the roundness at the top of the arm.
It also helps to hide if one shoulder is higher than the other.  I call this the “books, bags and babies” syndrome.  A shape can balance the height.
If you practice yoga or lift weights, you still need a shape to support the sleeve cap and seam.  You just need less.
Some words about sleeves
A sleeve cap is the curve at the top of the sleeve.  It can have as little as ¾” ease for a blouse in smaller sizes or 1½” ease for a coat in larger sizes.
Ease is the difference between the measurement for the sleeve cap and that for the armhole.  It pushes the sleeve away from the shoulder tip for a proper fit.  But it’s the source of puckers.
Your sleeve pattern could be symmetrical, asymmetrical.  Symmetrical are easiest to sew.  Most two-piece sleeves are asymmetrical.
Prepare the sleeve
1.  Sew sleeve pieces together.  If your sleeve is symmetrical, don’t sew the side seams.  Sew the following steps “in the flat.”  If not, sew together all seams and do the following “in the round.”
2. Gather the sleeve cap between the front and back notches.  That makes the sleeve cap and armhole the same length.  Use one of the following favorite factory methods.
– “Crimp” on light to medium-weight fabrics. Keep the stitching within the seam allowance.  Use a regular stitch length.
Place your finger in back of the presser foot as you sew and push.  The fabric “piles up” against your finger.
Try the sleeve in the armhole.  If you need less ease, snap a thread.  If you need more ease, pull the bobbin thread or stitch another row of crimping.
Light fabrics take a regular-length stitch and light pressure.  Heavier fabrics take a longer stitch with more pressure.  If the fabric is very heavy, you may have to do two rows, or —
– Use bias strips. Measure the sleeve from notch to notch over the sleeve cap.  Cut a 1”-wide strip of bias to this length.  Place the strip against the wrong side of the sleeve cap.  Line up raw edges.
Sew from the shoulder tip down to one notch, stretching the bias strip as you sew.
Then sew from the shoulder dot down to the other notch.
Leave the strip in as you attach the sleeve to the garment.  It gives your sleeve cap extra support.
3. Place the gathered sleeve cap on a ham or rolled up hand towel.  Pin in place with glass head pins.  Steam and shape the cap with your hands.  Don’t remove it until it is cool and dry.
4. Sew the sleeve to the body of the garment with the sleeve toward the feed dogs on the machine.  The feed dogs help ease in the sleeve even more.  I call this putting the sleeve “to the dogs.”
Sew symmetrical sleeves from at one side of the sleeve cap to the other.  Then sew the side seams from the bottom of the garment to the bottom of the sleeve.
Asymmetrical sleeves start at one notch and sew around the sleeve cap.  Overlap the first stitches with the last stitches.
Reinforce the base of the armhole between the notches:  Stitch on the sewing line a second time.  Trim the base to ¼”.  Steam the sleeve allowance toward the sleeve.
Support your sleeve cap.
Buy a shoulder pad.  It will fill out and flatter the shoulder line from your neck to your sleeve.  About ½” or thinner works best with today’s fashion tastes.  Better yet, make one.  It fits your shoulder better and gives you exactly the shape you want.
Cut a sleeve head from polyester fleece or cotton felt. The sleeve head fills out the sleeve cap seam, hides any ripples in the seam allowances and lets the sleeve hang smoothly.  Make it the length of the shoulder pad’s armhole edge and 1-3/4” wide.
How to make a shoulder pad
1. Pin the jacket’s front and back pattern pieces together at the shoulder.
2. Copy the armhole along the cutting line from front notch to back notch.
3. Draw another curve.  Start one inch from the neck stitching line at the shoulder seam.  Blend the line to front and back notches.
4. From this pattern, cut graduated layers of polyester fleece or cotton felt.  Make as many layers as needed to give the desired firmness, height and shape.  Use three layers for most jackets.  More if you have sloped shoulders or need to balance your shoulders’ height.  Maintain the same curve at the armhole edge for all layers.
5. Cut a layer of hair canvas or other firm interfacing the full size of the pattern to give firm support across the top.
6. Stack all layers with armhole edges even, largest layer uppermost.
7. Curve the layers.  Put the hair canvas to the dogs.  Beginning at the top center, sew a few stitches 1” apart in a zigzag shape.  Stitch the entire pad to hold a curved shape.
Sew the shoulder pad and sleevehead to the sleeve cap seam
1. Sandwich the sleeve cap seam between the shoulder pad and the sleeve head.  Center the shoulder pad on the body side.  Match the armhole edges.
2. Fold up by ½” one long side of the sleeve head.  Center it on the sleeve side.  Place the fold next to the stitch line, fold side up.  Pin in place.
3. Check the position on you, your dress form or your client.
4. Place the garment in the sewing machine with the sleeve head up.  Lengthen the stitch length to 3.5 (8 spi).  Sew from notch to notch through all layers, 1/8” away from the fold.
5. Turn the shoulder right side out and smooth the garment over the shoulder pad.  Pin.
6. Repeat on the other side.  Make sure your shoulders match.
7. Attach the peaks of the shoulder pads to each shoulder seam allowance with a short zigzag stitch.  Loosen the tension to allow the stitch to move as the wearer moves.
8. Stitch a 2”-long piece of ½”-wide rayon seam binding or selvage to the seam allowances to join the jacket to the lining. This keeps the two together but allows movement.
Voilà!  Time to celebrate the beauty you have created!  Then sign up for Britta’s tailoring class.

Five Must-Have Notions (in our humble opinion)

We all have a basic sewing kit: Tape measure, seam gauge, chalk pencil and marking pen, glass head pins with pin cushion and, yes, a seam ripper.

But there are some tools I have in my top drawer next to my sewing machine because I use them all the time. The first four give that special finishing touch that take my garments a step up to a professional look. My number one is like my right hand. I can’t live without it.

I joke about these five favorite notions so much that one of my students said, “You should write an article.” So here goes:

#5 – Fray Check. Also known as seam sealant. Put a line of it on the back of your buttonholes before cutting them and you will indeed keep the cut from fraying. Also use it to secure serged ends, such as the corners of napkins. Sergers can’t backstitch. So think of Fray Check as a substitute. I’ve washed my napkins dozens of times and the corners still hold.

 

 

#4 – Buttonhole punch. Don’t use a seam ripper. Spend the $10 and get one of these instead. Even better when it comes with a small hunk of oak or self-healing pad. My industrial buttonholers have what I call a “guillotine” on them to cut open the buttonhole. This punch does the same: A nice, clean cut with smooth edges.

 

#3 – Steam-a-Seam. It’s a fusible web. You may have seen these as Stitch Witchery, Heat N Bond. Steam-a-Seam also comes in sheets and rolls. But you should choose the two-pack of 1/4″ wide “Steam-a-Seam Lite.” Fuse your knit hems before stitching them. It stops them from rippling. Or be like many of today’s apparel manufacturers and just fuse. It’s strong. It doesn’t leave a mark or edge. And like I say, we’ll have another Ice Age before your hem comes out.

 

#2 – 1/4″ Wash-Away Wonder Tape. Sometimes I slip and call this basting tape because that’s what it does. It bastes your seam before you sew it. But basting tape is skinny, stays in unless you pull it out and turns hard and yellow over time. Wonder Tape goes away in the first washing as in “I wonder where it went.” It holds such things as pockets and bias curves on necklines and waistlines in place before you stitch them. And it doesn’t gum up your needles.

 

#1 – Gingher blunts. Officially, they are 4″ safety point scissors. But I like the name “blunts” better. I keep them on a retractable leash clipped to my collar. This way, whenever I need to clip a thread, I know where they are. I used to use pointed nippers but they kept poking holes in my clothes. Now I wear the blunts nearly all the time: During class or at the grocery store after class when I’ve forgotten to take them off. But what the heck. You never know when you’ll have a sewing opportunity. And it’s a wonderful conversation starter.

These are my top five. By the way, these aren’t ads, just my personal experience.

Number 1 isn’t likely to change. But I could be persuaded on the other four. So let me know: What are your five favorite notions?

PS — Want to make the cute rollup jewelry and notions roll in the top picture?  Visit PFI Supply’s free patterns page here.

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7 easy steps to a Mme Grès drape

Turn off FB news feed & Twitter. Shun FB hate groups & cults. Believe only in trusted, verified sources — such as Mme. Bridget. As one of the last members of the Mme. Grès atelier, she taught me how to create Grès pleats. Here are 7 easy steps to make them.

  1. Cover the right side of the mannequin’s bodice with paper.
  • Line up two layers of silk organza over the pattern for one bust. Pin to hold.
  • Thread trace the pattern to the silk. Choose an embroidery needle.  Use one strand of contrasting thread.
  • Line up the lines of the dart. Join with ¼” running stitches. Choose an embroidery needle.  Use one strand of matching thread.  Start at the dart point.
  • Trim the dart down to ¾”. Press down.
  • Place the organza on the form. Match the CF and breast point.  Pin in several places to hold in place.

  1. Fold a 24” piece of ½”-wide rayon or silk fabric in half lengthwise.Press.
  • Start 2” beyond the CF point. Place the fold of the ribbon along the upper thread traced line.  Pin every 2”.  Continue until 2” beyond the SS.
  • Repeat for the bottom thread traced line. Make sure the binding pieces cross exactly at the CF point.
  • Join the binding to the organza with ¼” running stitches at the top and bottom of the long edge of each binding. Use one strand of matching thread.

  1. Press a 24”x24” square of silk jersey.
  • Mark the center of the crossgrain with pins.
  • Start 1 cm from one side at the center. Place a pin exactly at every 3 cm.
  • Start with the 2nd Bring each pin up to make a pleat.  Expose 2 mm of the previous pleat.  Remove previous pins as you fold.  Place a pin on the edge of each pleat.
  • Pick stitch the pleats in place along the centerline. Catch just a thread of the pleat fold as you stitch.  Make the underside as clean as the outside.

The first three steps should take you about 2 hours.

  1. Place the centerline on a straight line from the CF to the breast point.
  • Pin each pleat onto this line.
  • Start with the top half beyond the centerline. Fold under 3/8” of the top edge.  Gently stretch as you place it to hide the top edge of the binding fold.  Pin every 2”.
  • Place each pleat for the top. Make sure to stay on grain and leave only 2 mm of the previous pleat showing.  Keep the pleats smooth.  Stretch as you place.  Crowd the pleat as they approach the SS.
  • You should have only 3/8” fabric overlapping the centerline from bust point to SS.

 

This step should take you about 4 hours.

 

  1. Repeat for the bottom half of the fabric.
  • Fold under the remaining 3/8” of the bottom edge of the fabric to cover the bottom edge of the binding fold.

 

This step should take you about 4 hours.

  1. Chose a 1” fine curved needle.Use one strand of matching thread.  Start with the top half.  Backstitch two layers of pleats at a time.  Work from SS to CF. Be sure not to stitch through the paper.

 

This step should take you about 4 hours.

  1. Repeat for the bottom half of the fabric.

 

This step should take you about 4 hours.

 

Congratulations!  After 18 hours, you have completely one breast section of a Mme. Gres dress.  Now proceed to the other breast.  Then drape the rest of the garment.

Sewing Tip: MAKE EVEN RUNNING STITCHES

Use a wooden coffee stir stick as a guide to make even stitches and even spaces between stitches.

If needed, chalk the sew line & on either side of the stir stick.

Pull the thread taut to show the beauty of your straight line of even stitches.

Want more sewing tips? Sign up for Beginning Sewing with Anne, Britta or Suzi.  Or Apparel Construction with Lisa.  Choose the class that’s right for you.  Next classes start in September.  See you there!

Sewing Tip: MAKING EVEN BLANKET STITCHES

 1.  With a marker, turn your thumb into a ruler.

2.  Make marks ¼” or ⅜” apart.

3.  Hold your thumb at the same level to get even stitches every time.

4.  Stitch up through the top loop front to back to get a straight line across the top.

I had a friend who tattooed a ruler on her finger. The marker is cheaper and less painful.

Want more sewing tips? Sign up for Beginning Sewing with Anne, Britta or Suzi.  Or Apparel Construction with Lisa.  Choose the class that’s right for you.  Next classes start in September.  See you there!