In Progress – Seam Binding Issues

HELP!!  I need the advice and tips of you beautiful bloggers.

I am still getting the hang of seam finishes, and I often struggle with deciding which finishing technique to use on which fabric.  I noticed that Kristin from skirt as top serged the edges of her fabric…but alas, I do not own a serger.  I tried my overedge foot on a scrap, but that did not work at all on this chiffon-like silk.  It made the edges bunch up and get bulky…take a look

Bunchy and bulky...ewww
Bunchy and bulky…ewww

So I decided to try seam binding.  I’ve never used it before and have been wanting to give it a try.  When I tested it on a scrap, it turned out beautifully and went on pretty quickly.  But as soon as I started applying it to my actual garment, everything went South.

Bunching and wrinkling
I swear I'm not drunk...
I swear I’m not drunk…

See how uneven that seam is?!  When you use seam binding do you pin it in place first?  I tend to lose patience quickly when it comes to finishing, so I was hoping this would be a quick seam finishing.  Now I’m just not sure…

Please share your seam binding tips and tricks, or let me know if you think a different finishing technique would be better with this thin fabric.

In the meantime, I think it’s time for me to take a break and finish watching one of my favorite movies, Serenity.  Hopefully the title will rub off on me and my current frustrations…

Serenity (film)
Serenity (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Progress Report

I’m currently working on UFO #2: the black faux-leather pleated mini-skirt.

I purchased the leather-look fabric for this project in the clearance aisle.  I believe it’s actually vinyl and is intended for use in home decorating rather than self-decorating, but I’m taking a page from Tim Gunn’s handbook and I’m going to “make it work.”  If it turns out to be a success, I’ll find a better quality fabric and make a few more.  We’ll consider this my trial run.

I’m trying a new pleating method with this skirt.  Typically, I like to “wing it” with my pleats.  I’ll mark center front and sometimes quarter-marks on the fabric and fold the excess material in-between.  While this actually works very well, I wanted to have perfectly uniform pleats this time. 
Following the instruction of The Sewing Bible: A Modern Manual of Practical and Decorative Sewing Techniques, I took the time to mark 1.25″ guid lines on the back of the fabric.

The pleats are turning out beautifully, although this method uses much more fabric than I had anticipated.  I am going to have to cut the bottom half of the fabric off to use for more width…which means that I will certainly have a very mini skirt when I’m done. 

Time to locate my self confidence…I think I tucked it away when I started eating Holiday-worthy portions of carbs! 

Infinity Scarf Tutorial

Infinity scarves are my newest fashion fixation.  They are so versatile and effortless – no knot-tying skills required, thank goodness.

For Christmas this year, I made scarves for several of my girlfriends.  They were so easy to make that I thought they would be perfect for my first tutorial.

There are countless tutorials for infinity scarves available on the web, but I’m going to go ahead and post one of my own.  I found that when I was searching for instructions, not many of them had exact measurements, which made it difficult for me to know how much fabric I needed to buy. 

Keep in mind that you can make an infinity scarf out of practically any length or width of material that you have, but for the sake of clarity, I’m giving the exact measurements that I used.

Materials Needed:

Fabric (63” x 19”)
Matching Thread
Hand-sewing Needle
Sewing Machine

Cut a rectangle that is 63 inches long and 19 inches wide.  Since my fabric was 36 inches wide, I simply cut it in half length-wise.

Match up the raw edges on the long side of your fabric and pin in place, right sides together. 

Make one long seam here.  I used a zig-zag stitch because my fabric had some stretch to it.  If your fabric is not stretchy, just use a straight stitch. 

You’ll end up with one long tube of fabric.

Turn the tube right-side-out and match up the two ends of your scarf – line up the seams and pin right sides together.

Arrows indicate seams being matched

Keep pinning the two ends of your scarf together, going in a circle until you can’t pin anymore.  You won’t be able to go all the way around, so don’t worry when you come to a stopping point.

Sew this pinned seam.  I just used a straight stitch here. 

After you’ve sewn as far as you can, you’re left with a small opening of a few inches. 

Fold under the raw ends of your fabric and pin in place.

Slip-stitch the opening closed.

 Voila!  Your stylish infinity scarf is complete!

Over the Holiday break I also started working on my second UFO, so be on the lookout for that post in the next couple of days!