Connecting Seams with Beads

Exposed Shoulders

Exposed Shoulders

Front of Shirt

This top begged to be Restyled. I picked this top up at a second hand store knowing that I wouldn't wear it with exposed shoulders. 

The top shows a lot of shoulder, a little more than I felt comfortable exposing.
Side View of Shirt

Shirt Back
It was the colors of the top that caught my eye and I thought it would be better restyled with beading. And I would be more comfortable wearing it.

Pulling out my stash of beads I opted to use a very small iridescent seed bead along with a slightly larger bead. 

Assortment of beads.
Velvet lined bead board designed by the author.

From past experience, I knew that a waxed or strong beading thread was a must. After all, this top would be hand washed a few times.
Small seed bead and larger bead, beading needle.

Starting out, I anchored the seams together with safety pins to keep the adjoining seams balanced. 

Shoulder Seams pinned to hold seams together during the beading process.

The small and larger beads were mixed using four small and then one larger bead. Any pattern could have been used. 

Beading seam anchored between shoulder seams.

From past experience, I knew that I had to anchor the beads and the seams together. SEW I chose to anchor the large bead on both sides of the shoulder seams. 

The beads were threaded onto the needle and then anchored on first one side of the shoulder seam, and then needle was passed through the large bead again and then passed through the opposite shoulder seam. 

As you can see, the beads started to close the seam nicely. This process of anchoring the bead seam to the shoulder seams kept the beaded seam straight and nested in between the two shoulder seams.

Finally finished, the beads closed the open shoulder seam looking like it was part of the original top.

The beaded seam actually dresses up the top and makes it more comfortable to wear.

And yes, this shirt is backwards – I often wear shirts and some pull over dresses backwards. I find I am much more comfortable and gives the back a whole new look.

After all, you want to leave a lasting impression …

How to Sew a Baby Hem On Delicate Fabrics

Baby Hem On Delicate Fabrics

Baby Hem

A baby hem is a very small rolled hem done on the machine without using a rolled hem foot. It is perfect for any lightweight, soft silky, sheer fabrics. The hem is double turned with narrow 1/8” – ¼” turns.

The following was on a purchased short dress that was 5” too long. The front had such a bias that I did not trust myself pre-cutting before hemming. The steps here differ slightly from the norm.

Mark new hemline. Press hem in place along marked hemline.
Press along marked hemline

Stitch 1/4” away from the pressed edge.
Stitch 1/4" away from pressed edge

Trim fabric very close to the stitched edge taking care not to cut the dress fabric.
Trim excess fabric using serrated scissors

Using scissors with a serrated edge eliminates the fabric from slipping. KAI Scissors has a selection of serrated scissors such as KAI 10 inch Serrated Edge Shears N7240-AS or KAI 8 inch Serrated Edge Shears N3210.
Trimmed edge

Fold under along the pressed hem edge; this will create a double turned hem. 
Topstitch hem in place stitching a scant 1/4" from edge

Stitching from the right side, stitch a scant 1/4" from the pressed edge.
Stitching 1/4" away from edge on right side of fabric

Topstitching hem in place

Finished Hem

Baby Hem

Burda 6910 Knit Dress with Ruching

Burda 6910 
Feminine, gathered and figure-hugging silhouettes. The flat neck and raglan sleeves emphasize the young style both of the shirt and the dress. Shirt and dress sized for two-way stretch jersey. Sizes 4-16.

I made this for a friend recently who is about four months pregnant and wants to wear her dress this fall. I did not modify for a ‘baby bun,’ as the fabric was very stretchy. Kim is quite tall (everybody is much taller than me!) so I did make adjustments for her height and long arms.

Pattern Error
Proofing the pattern before cutting showed there was a difference in the front and back side seam lengths of 1.25”. At first I thought the extra 1.25” was ease allowance for the bust, but there were no instructions that indicated this. This was not the first pattern that I discovered with this issue. So I did a simple adjustment to fix the problem by adding 1.25” to the back, the shorter piece.

Cutting Knit Fabrics Accurately
To cut knit fabric or any napped fabric, you may find it very helpful to pin the fabric to paper along the fabrics’ selvedge* edge and the fabrics folded edge. This will prevent the fabric from distorting and creeping as you cut out the pattern. Start by drawing a crossgrain line perpendicular to the papers’ selvedge* edge. Lay the fabric selvedges* along the paper edge and the fold of the fabric along the crossgrain. 

Lay out your pattern pieces pinning through all layers: paper, fabric and pattern. Use sharp scissors and cut through all layers including the paper layer. The paper prevents the fabric from moving and you can easily slide/move the paper to made cutting easier. 

I use my Kai serrated scissors, 7240AS & 7280SE, to cut knits, slippery/silky/difficult fabrics; the serrated edge ‘grips’ the fabric rather than ‘push’ the fabric as you are cutting.  

And yes, I cut through paper with my good scissors! Using paper will give you control with accurately cut edges rather than choppy edges.

Kai Scissors 7280SE with serrated edge.

A few helpful steps when making knits are how I measure for the neckband and turn the sleeve hems.
Neck Edge
The circumference of the neck band needs to be smaller than the garment’s neck edge. For the neckband, measure the garment neck opening along the cut edge, then cut the band 1.5” – 2” shorter, sometimes more depending on the stretch of the fabric. This will draw the neckline in to fit your neck closer and the neck band will lie flat against the body.  

The neckline can be measured on the dress form with a string or measure the garment neckline flat on your cutting table with the garment folded in half matching shoulder seams.

Dress on dress form, measure neck edge with string.

Garment neck edge flat with neck band ends marked in RED

A trick I learned many years ago in the industry that allows the binding to hug the neck closely was to stretch the binding along key areas of the garment’s neck edge. Fortunately, Threads magazine has a video with Sarah Veblen covering this trick that you may find helpful. 
Quarter mark the neck and band.
Neckband stitched to neck edge lies flat against the body.
Key is to stretch the band along the curves of the body.

Be sure to try Sarah Veblen's technique on different types of knits to get a feel for how each type of knit fabric will behave. And SAVE those samples along with any notes that you may find helpful for future reference.

Sleeve Hems
For the sleeve hems, copy a quick trick from ready to wear: When stitching the underarm sleeve seam, turn the sleeve hem on the hemline to the wrong side of the fabric and continue stitching through all thicknesses. The garments lower hem can be finished the same way. 

Turn sleeve lower edge up and stitch through all thicknesses.

Turning the hem on the hemline and stitching through all layers makes hemming easier.

The side seams are ruched with narrow elastic cut shorter and stitched between notches that will gather or ruche the side seams along the midsection. Another trick I do is to anchor the ends of the elastic on the garment seam and zigzag or ‘couch’ over the elastic instead of zigzagging through the elastic. Using clear elastic reduces bulk and retains its memory. 

Zigzag or couch over the elastic.
Anchor the ends of elastic with straight stitching along the seam.

This dress was finished in no time, very fast and easy. When Kim tried on her dress the first thing she commented on was the length of the sleeves. They actually fit the length of her arms! 

As soon as I get a picture of Kim in her dress, I will post it here. With five little girls and expecting a sixth child, it is a wonder she has time to even get dressed in the mornings let alone home school her children! 
The 'baby bun' fits pretty good with no alterations!


Ruching - a French term which means to gather/ruffle/pleat into tight folds.

Slevedge/selvage - A selvage (US English) or selvedge (British English) is a self-finished edge of fabric. 

How to Shorten Trousers with Cuff

How to Shorten Trousers with Cuffs 

Cuffed Trouser

    Trousers come in all lengths, with cuffs or not. If you ever need to shorten pants/trousers and the customer asks for a cuff, it is very easy provided there is plenty of hem extension.

    Follow along and you will have those pants/trousers shortened in no time.

    Mark the new hem to the desired length.

 New hem marked with chalk.
    Release the existing hem, and press the legs flat, use steam if necessary.

New hem marked and original cuff/hem removed.

    Cuffs can be either 1.25” or 1.5” in height, your choice. Normally I try to make cuff height 1.5”. In this example the cuffs will be 1.5” in height.

    Add cuff and hem extensions: 3 X 1.5” to the hem mark, marking with chalk. In this case add 4.5” to the hem mark.

Mark the outside of legs with chalk.

    Mark the outside of the legs measuring up from the lower edge at 1.5” and 3” with chalk. The hem mark should still be at 4.5” from the lower edge.

    Cut off excess and serge lower edge.
Cut and remove excess from lower edge. Clean finish/serge the cut edge.

    Turn lower edge to the inside of leg (wrong sides together) along the second mark from bottom; press flat.
Lower edge turned to inside along second chalk mark from bottom.
    Topstitch the hem in place along the serged edge.

Lower edge turned to inside; hem extension is top stitched in place.
     Turn the pressed lower edge up to the outside of the pant/trousers (right sides together) along the lower chalk mark forming the cuff, and press flat.

Completed hem with cuff!
    Remember add three times the cuff with hem extension: 
    The cuff measures 1.5" on the inside of cuff fold and 1.5" on the outside of cuff fold, and the hem allowance is 1.5" that will be 4.5" added to the length of the desired pant/trouser.

     Thank you for visiting my Seam2Seam blog! If there is something you need help with, please don't hesitate to ask! I will do my best to post it here.
     What I am working on: inserting zippers with linings - watch for this post later this fall.