Alder Sew Along

Alder Sew Along Day 09: Side Seams and Skirts

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 09 | Side Seams and Skirts

Today we’re going to be sewing together the side seams & skirts of both View A & View B. We’ll start with view A because that’s the easier one. Begin by placing the front and back with right sides together matching up the edges and notch of the side seam. Stitch along this seam.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 09 | Side Seams and Skirts

From there finish your seam as desired and press towards the back of the garment. I serged mine here because it’s denim but if you’re using a lightweight fabric such as silk you could alternately French seam.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 09 | Side Seams and Skirts

Something I like to do on my denim garments is stitch along the edge of the seam at 1/4″ catching the seam allowance underneath. This is a ready to wear faux flat felled seam technique which gives a similar look (and keeps the seam allowance in place) without all the work of a regular flat felled seam. This dress isn’t really going to get heavy duty wear so a faux flat felled seam is just fine here.

This post is super photo heavy due to the steps of attaching the View B skirt so I’m clipping the post. Click the link below to continue reading the View B instructions.

Continue reading

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Alder Sew Along

Alder Sew Along Day 8: Yoke Method 2

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 8 | Yoke Method 2

This second method of attaching a yoke is also known as the burrito method because everything gets rolled up inside the yokes like a burrito. To start, sew the outer yoke to the dress back at a 1/4″ seam allowance with right sides facing.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 8 | Yoke Method 2

Flip the dress over and attach the inside yoke with the right side of the yoke facing the wrong side of the dress. Stitch at the normal 1/2″ seam allowance.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 8 | Yoke Method 2

You’re then left with this. Don’t grade your seams yet if you haven’t done this before, we’re going to want to wait to do that till the end so you can make sure everything went together properly first.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 8 | Yoke Method 2

Next, with the wrong side of the dress back facing up, flip up the inside yoke. Don’t press it up yet, we’re going to do that later, and make sure that you’re only working with the inside yoke at this point. Pin the front dress pieces together with the inside yoke. You’ll want the right side of the inside yoke facing the wrong side of the dress front, as shown in the photo above.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 8 | Yoke Method 2

Stitch across both seams at 1/4″ and lay the dress out flat with the outer yoke still flipped down towards the hem of the dress.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 8 | Yoke Method 2

Roll the dress front and back up into the yokes as pictured above. This is the burrito filling!

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 8 | Yoke Method 2

Fold up the outer yoke and pin the two shoulder seams together.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 8 | Yoke Method 2

Stitch across both seams at the regular 1/2″ seam allowance. Don’t grade anything yet.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 8 | Yoke Method 2

Unfurl the dress to make sure that you sewed everything facing the right direction and everything went together smoothly. If you’re having trouble turning the dress right side round, just pull it out of the neckline of the burrito.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 8 | Yoke Method 2

Once you’ve made sure everything was sewn correctly, flip your seams and grade them.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 8 | Yoke Method 2

Lay the dress out flat and give the seam lines a good press.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 8 | Yoke Method 2

Topstitch along the seam lines, I again did 1/16″ at the front of the yoke and 1/4″ at the back because that’s what I like on my denim dresses but you can stitch this part at any width you’d like. Also stitch around the neckline and armholes within the seam allowances so that they act as one layer when attaching the collar and binding the armholes.

That’s the burrito yoke, not too bad really! See you back here next time for the skirt and side seams.

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Alder Sew Along

Alder Sew Along Day 7: Yoke Method 1

Alder Sew Along Day 7: Yoke Method 1

This is the first method you can use to attach your yoke, and the method described in your pattern instructions. To start, select one yoke piece to be the outer yoke, and another to be the inner. It doesn’t matter which you choose for which so if you’re using a print, I’d suggest picking the one you like best for the outside. Pin this outer yoke to the dress back with right sides facing.

Alder Sew Along Day 7: Yoke Method 1

Stitch the two together at a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Alder Sew Along Day 7: Yoke Method 1

Flip the dress over and with the inside yoke right side facing down stitch through all three layers along the 1/2″ seam allowance.

Alder Sew Along Day 7: Yoke Method 1

Grade your seam so that the yoke lays flatter. I like to grade all three layers to different lengths as you see above.

Alder Sew Along Day 7: Yoke Method 1

Press both yokes up and topstitch along the seam line. I stitched at 1/4″ for the back of the yokes because I like how it looks on denim but if you’re doing a silk Alder you may want to consider stitching more closely to the seam line. It all depends on the look you’re going for and what you like.

Alder Sew Along Day 7: Yoke Method 1

From there, flip the inside yoke down so that you’re just working with the outer yoke for this next step.

Alder Sew Along Day 7: Yoke Method 1

Lay the front pieces of the dress with right sides facing the right side of the back/yoke and pin the shoulder seams.

Alder Sew Along Day 7: Yoke Method 1

Stitch across at the 1/2″ seam allowance.

Alder Sew Along Day 7: Yoke Method 1

Grade your seam allowances. For this step I like to grade the seam allowance of the front pieces to 1/4″ and the yoke to 1/8″. You want to make sure you don’t grade the front as the shortest seam allowance because you run the risk of having the seam allowance not want to stay tucked under in the next step.

Alder Sew Along Day 7: Yoke Method 1

Lay the dress out flat with the inside yoke facing up. Align the shoulders and press the 1/2″ seam allowance under. As for the right front button band you’ll want to make sure that the folded edge touches or just overlaps the seam line.

Alder Sew Along Day 7: Yoke Method 1

Stitch through the yokes joining them at the shoulder seam. Again I like to stitch with the right side facing up at the machine, this way you get a nice straight line on the front of the dress and since you pressed the seam allowance to the stitching line in the above step, you catch that on the back.

Alder Sew Along Day 7: Yoke Method 1

Stitch the two yokes together within the seam allowance at the neck edge and shoulder edge so that they act as one piece during further steps.

That’s it. Tomorrow I’ll show you the second method for attaching a yoke…burrito style. Yum!

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Alder Sew Along

Alder Sew Along Part 06: Darts and Pockets

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Part 06 | Darts and Pockets

The darts and the pockets on the Alder go hand in hand, since the pocket is placed directly on top of the dart, so today we’ll be covering both. Starting with the dart, fold the fabric over with right sides facing so that both dart leg notches match and the apex of the dart is on the fold of the fabric.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Part 06 | Darts and Pockets

Pin the dart in place. You can draw a line with a marking tool from the apex to the legs so that you have a line to stitch on if you like.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Part 06 | Darts and Pockets

One trick to sew darts without marking a line to follow is to make sure the dart legs and the apex are in a straight line with your needle, then stitch from one point to the other which essentially what I do only without the ruler.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Part 06 | Darts and Pockets

I like to backtack at both ends of my dart, I know a lot of people tie a knot at the apex, it’s mostly what you prefer. I don’t like fiddling around with a knot so I like to do it this way, less hand work for achey hands. No matter which way you like to treat the ends of your darts you’re going to want to make sure that your dart stitching goes off the end of the fabric. If you stop before you’re likely to get that dart dimple and while it’s not such a big deal because we’ll be placing a pocket on top of the apex, it’s still good practice to avoid this.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Part 06 | Darts and Pockets

It was pretty hard to show because of extreme thread matching so I traced over the stitching with this dotted line, but I like to sew a small curve into my dart to echo the curve of the bust. This just shapes the dart around the bust ever so slightly better than a straight line.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Part 06 | Darts and Pockets

Once you’ve sewn the dart you’re going to want to place it on a tailor’s ham and press the dart excess towards the bottom of the garment. Make sure to handle the apex gently, pressing flat and just going at it willy nilly are two additional ways to get that dimple in your fabric. You know what I’m talking about.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Part 06 | Darts and Pockets

This is what your pressed dart should look like from the right side of the garment. No dimple!

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Part 06 | Darts and Pockets

Now we’ll assemble the pockets. Start by pressing down the 1/4″ seam allowances at the top of the pocket. This is the end that is notched.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Part 06 | Darts and Pockets

Then fold the top of the pocket to the underside along the notches. If you happen to be working with a fabric that doesn’t want to press, you can use a weight (or clapper if you have one) to give the fabric a nice quick press while it’s still hot.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Part 06 | Darts and Pockets

Stitch the flap down as close to the edge of the fold as you can. this is the back side of the pocket.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Part 06 | Darts and Pockets

Fold the remaining seam allowances to the underside of the pocket.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Part 06 | Darts and Pockets

First lay the front so that the button band is straight. Measure over from the seam line to the pocket marking and pin the pocket in place making sure that the top of the pocket and the bottom are both the same distance away from the front.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Part 06 | Darts and Pockets

Now because we’re attaching the pocket over a dart it isn’t going to want to lay properly if you just plop it down and pin the rest. You can see the dart situation going on in the photo above. You can maneuver the pocket down properly but there’s an easier way to make sure the pocket goes on smoothly.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Part 06 | Darts and Pockets

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Part 06 | Darts and Pockets

Place your tailors ham under the dart and pocket, you’ll find that the dart and pocket lay smoothly and pinning it is very easy.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Part 06 | Darts and Pockets

This is how it looks all pinned and ready to sew. So smooth!

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Part 06 | Darts and Pockets

Sew along the outer edge of the pocket as close to the edge of the pocket as you feel comfortable. I did my standard 1/16″ but this part is totally up to you as far as how comfortable you feel and what style you’re going for.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Part 06 | Darts and Pockets

Here she is all stitched on! One last step…

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Part 06 | Darts and Pockets Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Part 06 | Darts and Pockets

On the inside of the pocket there’s a bit of overhang depending on how close you stitched to the edge of the pocket. I like to snip this off to reduce bulk as well as eliminate any stray threads that want to poke above the pocket line.

That’s that! Next up is the yoke, I’ve got two methods for you up next so stay tuned…

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Alder Sew Along

Alder Sew Along Part 5: Assembling Your Button Bands

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Part 5 | Assembling Your Button Bands

We’ll start with the left front button band. Begin by placing your fusible 1″ from the edge (between the two fold notches) on the wrong side of the fabric. Fuse the interfacing to the fabric using the instructions included with your interfacing. Don’t forget to use a press cloth to avoid getting glue on your soleplate.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Part 5 | Assembling Your Button Bands

Fold the center front along the first set of notches and press.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Part 5 | Assembling Your Button Bands

Fold the band over again along the second set of notches to conceal all of the raw edges inside of the button band and stitch as closely to the edge of the inside fold as possible. I stitched at about 1/16″ or the center mark of my machine’s 1/4″ foot.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Part 5 | Assembling Your Button Bands

Your left front will now look like this. Give the button band a final press and set aside.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Part 5 | Assembling Your Button Bands

For the right front begin by applying your interfacing to one side of the right front button band. Since the band is symmetrical it technically doesn’t matter which side you’re fusing it to, though if you’ve marked your buttonholes on the top of the fabric already you’ll want to fuse to that side.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Part 5 | Assembling Your Button Bands

At this point I like to press a crease into the center of the fabric so that I have the line for reference when I’m folding the button band over. Just fold the two raw edges together and give the fold a light press. The steam from my iron made this photo a bit blurry but I think you can still tell what’s going on here.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Part 5 | Assembling Your Button Bands

Pin the interfaced side of the button band to the right side of the right front piece and stitch in place along the 1/2″ seam allowance.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Part 5 | Assembling Your Button Bands

Grade the seam allowance. This reduces bulk and allows the piece to sit more smoothly.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Part 5 | Assembling Your Button Bands

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Part 5 | Assembling Your Button Bands

Press the button band towards the center front, the seam allowance should also be towards the center front so that it becomes enclosed in the button band. Fold the button band over along the edge we lightly pressed earlier and give it a good press.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Part 5 | Assembling Your Button Bands

 

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Part 5 | Assembling Your Button Bands

Fold the seam allowance of the button band under making sure that the fold of the fabric either meets or just covers the stitching line from attaching the button band. This will ensure that your topstitching catches the underside of the button band. Pin in place.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Part 5 | Assembling Your Button Bands

You’re now going to stitch the seam in place while simultaneously topstitching along the front edge of the button band. Stitching from the right side of the fabric ensures you’re getting a super straight line along the front of your garment, and since when you pressed the seam allowance under you made sure it was touching or just overlapping the stitching line, you’ll catch it on the backside of the button band without trouble. Again I like to stitch 1/16″ from the edge.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Part 5 | Assembling Your Button Bands

Stitch another line down the center front edge of the button band to match. This part isn’t mandatory but I think it adds a nice touch to the front of the garment.

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Alder Sew Along

Alder Sew Along Part 4: Cutting Your Alder

Today we’re going to be cutting our fabric. I know this post is a little late in the day but there was a bit of a laptop charger malfunction that needed to be remedied. Anyway we’re back and it’s time to cut!

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 4 | Cutting Your Alder

First off you’re going to want to press your fabric so that it’s nice and smooth. You can more accurately lay out, trace, and cut your fabric when it’s freshly pressed with no wrinkles.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 4 | Cutting Your Alder

From there locate the cutting layout chart for your size and fabric width. I highlighted mine as well as the interfacing layout so I didn’t start looking at other layouts. You can follow this layout or not, but if you bought the recommended length of fabric you’re best following as to avoid any yardage shortages.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 4 | Cutting Your Alder

Next I gather everything I need to cut my fabric. Cutting layout, pattern, weights, fabric, scissors, pencil (or your preferred tracing tool) and scissors. It’s good to have all this out and in once place to make the everything run smoothly.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 4 | Cutting Your Alder

With your fabric folded selvage to selvage, lay out your pieces according to the cutting layout. You can pin the pattern to the fabric if that’s what you are used to but personally I like to trace the pattern piece off onto the fabric, then remove the piece.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 4 | Cutting Your Alder

When placing pieces on the fabric that don’t fall on the fold make sure that you are aligning the grain line of the pattern piece with the selvage. Get out your ruler and double check, any off grain pieces will result in the drape of the garment being affected.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 4 | Cutting Your Alder

If you’e tracing, trace around the outside of each piece. I use a number 2 pencil about 90% of the time, but you should use whatever type of tool you’re used to.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 4 | Cutting Your Alder

Mark any placement points such as the dart apex, pocket placement, and pivot point on View B. You can mark the button and buttonhole placements* now if you like but I prefer to leave that to the end. Since you will need to go through every step of the pattern before you get to that part the likelihood of the markings coming out before then is high.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 4 | Cutting Your Alder

Cut your pieces. When cutting you’re going to want to either pin or weight your fabric to keep the two layers from sliding. Also cut just to the inside of the line you drew so that you’re cutting that part off. When you cut a pattern or fabric you always want to cut off the outside line to avoid pattern growth, no matter how little growth it is, it’s just a good practice.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 4 | Cutting Your Alder

Don’t forget to snip your notches! I just clip into the seam allowance about 1/4″ to mark mine.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 4 | Cutting Your Alder

The last thing you’ll need to do to cut your fabric is trim the CF edge of the right front piece. Right front is the piece that is on the right side of your body while you are wearing it. Women’s shirts / blazers / coats / cardigans always close right over left. Anyway, cut or fold along the dotted line on the pattern.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 4 | Cutting Your Alder

Align this pattern piece with the right front piece you cut and mark the new CF edge.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 4 | Cutting Your Alder

Cut the edge off and discard the extra piece you removed. You don’t want to get that piece confused with the actual right front button band since the piece you cut off is 1/2″ smaller in width than the actual button band.

If you’re making your Alder out of silk or another type of slippery fabric I have a tutorial on cutting silk fabric between paper here that you may want to reference, it’s how I cut all my silk. By using this method you eliminate the tendency of the silk to slip this way and that and can cut on grain much easier. This will also make it easier to sew later on because a lot of the difficulty people have with sewing silk can be attributed to the fabric not being cut on the proper grain, or the two pieces you are sewing together being cut off grain in relation to each other.

To cut your interfacing follow the same steps as above and lay out your pieces according to the cutting layout in the instructions.

See you back here Monday where we’ll start sewing! Sewing the button bands, darts, and attaching the pockets are up first. Have a great weekend!

*It was just brought to my attention that if you have the paper pattern the button markings are 1/2″ to the left of their proper placement. They should fall on top of the dotted line. The PDF is not affected.

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Alder Sew Along

Alder Sew Along Part 03: Specific Fit Adjustments

Today I have a few specific fit adjustments for you, lengthening and shortening the pattern, moving darts, and a full bust adjustment. For all of these images you can click for the full sized view.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 03 | Specific Fit Adjustments

First up is lengthening and shortening the dress. I’l be showing the skirt here.

1. Start by locating the pattern piece you need to adjust. Depending on what piece you’re altering there may or may not be lines to denote where you should lengthen & shorten between. If there are no lines, you can draw in your own.

2. Cut between the lines. With a piece of paper underneath the pattern, spread the two sections the amount you need to lengthen your piece making sure to keep the grain line of the two pieces aligned.

3. Trace your piece off onto the paper and re-blend any jagged edges along the side seam and repeat the adjustment to any affected pieces.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 03 | Specific Fit Adjustments

You can also follow the above steps with any part of the pattern. Here’s an example of how you could raise and lower the armhole while moving the dart lower at the same time. If you need to lengthen or shorten just the bottom of the torso, perform the same steps with a line perpendicular to the center back running out through the center of the side seam.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 03 | Specific Fit Adjustments

If you find that the torso is the correct length but you need to move the dart here are some easy steps to do so. We’re going to be moving the dart down in this tutorial but if you need to raise it you can do the opposite.

1. Draw a line through the bust point parallel to the CF/grain line. Place a mark along that line at the point where you need to lower the dart. If you need to lower the dart 1″ you would place the mark 1″ below the existing bust point.

2. Move the legs down the same amount down from where they connect at the side seams. Reconnect the dart legs to the dart point.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 03 | Specific Fit Adjustments

3. You’re going to now need to fold the dart, since you’ve moved it the dart take-up is now in the wrong place at the side seam. Fold the dart so that the dart excess points down towards the waist and re-blend the side seam. Trim off the extra.

4. This is your new pattern.

Now lets talk Full Bust Adjustments. This is something that I don’t have a ton of experience with being that typically when I’m making a pattern, either for myself or a client, I know what bust size I’m starting with and the pattern is drafted for that. As I said in the previous post the Alder pattern is drafted for a B cup so if you’re a C you may be able to get away without a FBA. The illustrations are cropped for better detail but any vertical lines should extend to the bottom of the pattern piece.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 03 | Specific Fit Adjustments

1. Select your size based on your upper bust & waist measurements. Cut size.

2. Draw a line from the apex of the dart out through the center of the dart legs splitting the dart in half. Next you’re going to draw a vertical line from the apex down to the hemline of the pattern piece making sure to keep the line parallel to the CF / grain line. From there draw a line connecting the apex to the approximate center of the armscye. These are the lines that will form the full bust adjustment. Additionally you’re going to need a line across the torso, perpendicular to the CF / grain line in order to line the hem up in a future step. I made this one dotted so that it doesn’t get confused with the adjustment lines.

3. Slash through the waistline to the bust and up to the armscye taking care to cut to, but not through, the pattern at that point. You want to make sure that the two pieces are hinged together. Then slice through the dart line you drew to, but not through, the bust point. You’ll then open the vertical slit the amount of your full bust adjustment making sure that the two edges of the opening are parallel.

Day03_09

PLEASE NOTE: The illustrations here are drawn without seam allowances for ease of explanation. When clipping to the armscye clip just to the seam line (1/2″ on the pattern) and then clip to, but not through the seam allowance to the seam line keeping the piece hinged.

To find the amount of your full bust adjustment subtract your upper bust measurement from your full bust measurement. Take this number (the total adjustment) and divide it by 2 to get the amount you need to increase on one side. So say your full bust was 38 and your upper bust was 36 you’d subtract 38-36=2/2=1 so your adjustment would be 1″.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 03 | Specific Fit Adjustments

4. You’ll notice that when you move the side out for the adjustment the center front panel became shorter than the piece you moved. Cut along the line you drew in step 2 and align the newly freed piece so that it’s even with both the center front and the dotted line on the side piece.

5. Find the center of the dart legs and mark a line through the center of the dart (dotted line above). This will help you when folding the dart in the next step. Then draw your lines from the dart legs to the apex.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 03 | Specific Fit Adjustments

6. Fold the dart legs together with the takeup pointing to the bottom of the garment and re-blend the side seam. I like to score the top dart leg and center line lightly with an awl to help the pattern fold right where you want it to on the first try. You can either cut across the side seam / dart or mark it with a pattern tracing wheel and cut when the dart is open.

7. Unfold the dart and cut out your new piece.

That’s all, tomorrow we start cutting!

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Alder Sew Along

Alder Sew Along Part 2: Selecting Your Size

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 2 | Selecting Your Size

Today we’re going to talk about selecting your size. The first thing you’re going to want to do is get some measurements. The three measurements needed to select your size are bust, waist, and hip, and with the Alder, the most important measurement is going to be your bust due to the fact that it’s the most fitted section of the garment.

For the bust measurement (1) you’re going to measure around the fullest point of your bust, wearing whatever type of bra or undergarment you plan on wearing under your garment. It’s a good idea to have someone help you take your measurements, especially the bust, if you can as having your arms up and holding the tape can affect the measurement a bit.

The waist measurement (2) will be at your natural waist. On many people this is the smallest point of your torso, though on me, it’s pretty much a straight shot from one measurement to another. If you fall into my category a good rule of thumb is your waist is generally where you hands want to end up when you put them on your waist if that makes any sense. It’s also where you bend from.

The hip measurement (3) will be the fullest part of your hips and butt. Typically this is approximately 7″ below your natural waist, though on others it can be lower. You want to make sure you get around the full circumference so you don’t end up with tight hips!

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 2 | Selecting Your Size

Once you get your measurements you can select your size on the size chart. You can see that these measurements don’t fit into one size which happens all the time and isn’t a big deal at all. Here’s what I recommend in situations like this.

Say your bust measures 34.5″ around, you’ll want to move up to the 35″ bust size. The bust on the Alder is fitted, unlike the Archer. If you’ve made the Archer but downsized for a closer fit be warned, this pattern is not the same as the Archer and if you pick the same downsized size you’re definitely running the risk of having the bust be much too tight. I’ve heard of this happening a few times already. Trust the measurements on the chart and believe me when I tell you they are not based off of each other and all will be good in the world of the Alder bust measurement! Also note that the Alder, like all Grainline Studio patterns, is drafted for a B cup.

If you fall into different sizes for each measurement as in the illustration above, you can either go with a straight size of the largest measurement (a straight 6 in the photo above) blend between sizes to get a better fit.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 2 | Selecting Your Size

To blend between sizes you’re going to need a pen/pencil and a ruler. Locate the two sizes you need to blend between and the location you need to blend and draw as natural of a line as you can. I show a curved ruler here but often I find it easier to manipulate a straight ruler or just freehand. You can see how I started blending about an inch below the bust dart and about an inch up from the waist, that maintains those measurements and ensures you’re only blending between them.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Day 2 | Selecting Your Size

From there cut or trace your pattern pieces making sure to transfer any blending between sizes to all affected pattern pieces. From here I’d recommend making a muslin to see if you need to make additional fit changes. I’m going to give you guys Wednesday off to sew up your muslin and then I’ll be back with potential fitting fixes on Thursday. See you then!

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Alder Sew Along

Alder Sew Along Part 1: Fabric & Supplies

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along | Day 1 Fabric & Supplies

I want to talk a little bit about the tools and supplies you’ll need to complete your Alder. I get a lot of questions about what kind of _fill in the blank_ I’m using a lot so I thought I’d share exactly what tools & supplies I’ll be using for the Alder Sew Along.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along | Day 1 Fabric & Supplies

I like to keep a set of super sharp embroidery scissors handy no matter what I’m making. I use them specifically for grading seams –  I find their tiny blades get in where I need them easier than with a dressmakers shears.

You’ll need dressmakers shears, or an equivalent sharp scissors, to do the bulk of your cutting. I use the Gingher 6″ shears. Sidenote: I used to use an 8″ as we were required to buy in school, but due to the fact I have the hands and wrists of a small child a physical therapist suggested I buy a smaller blade and I’ve never looked back. Apparently the motion of opening a larger scissor blade was too much for the size of my hand, haha! Wrist problems not solved but much improved after the switch.

I use the super basic Dritz tailors ham for pressing darts as well as positioning the pockets over the darts as you’ll see later this week. You’ll get much nicer dart points and better pocket placement over the rounded bust point this way.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along | Day 1 Fabric & Supplies

You’ll need pins, the type will for the most part depend on your fabric. I actually love to use silk pins for most things, they glide in and out of the fabric so nicely and rarely leave behind a hole. I’ll be using them on 6.5oz denim, rayon, and silk in the sew along.

I love myself a buttonhole chisel which I’m sure you guys know by now. I’ve never insert a buttonhole that was too small to be opened by this guy and it saves you the stress of seam ripping through the end of the button hole. Just a quick press on the chisel into the fabric and you’re good to go.

A seam gauge will come in handy while we place construct the front button bands and pockets. Any ruler will do really but I like that I can place the marker at the measurement point and then not worry about reading things incorrectly. A must have if you’re listening to podcasts or singing along to music while sewing.

The bone folder might be a little weird, but it’s what I use to turn points. It’s nice because you never run the risk of poking through the corner of your fabric and since it’s bone, you’re going to have it for life.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along | Day 1 Fabric & Supplies

Onto my feet. Basically these are the only three feet I ever use, except in the case that I’m zigzag stitching, which I rarely ever am.

The quarter inch foot is on my machine at least 95% of the time. I use it for straight stitching, roll hemming, regular hemming, topstitching, etc. I actually don’t have any fancy specialty feet besides what you see here so if it’s a straight stitch, I used my BFF quarter inch foot for it.

 

I use the button foot to sew on buttons by machine. My Bernina has a setting for this foot that automatically sets the stitch width to attach the button. I hate hand sewing because it’s so painful for my hands and wrists so this foot is pure love.

You’ll need a buttonhole foot if you plan on putting in the buttonholes by machine. If you’re doing it by hand let me know cause you deserve a special shoutout for commitment to the art of buttonholes! This is a 1 step buttonhole foot and I love it!

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along | Day 1 Fabric & Supplies

Oh yeah, and you’ll need a tape measure. This will help you when you determine what size to make. Did the tape measure need it’s own photo? Probably not, but I liked the photo!

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along | Day 1 Fabric & Supplies

Now a bit about the supplies you’ll need to complete your Alder dress. It doesn’t require too many things, which is nice!

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along | Day 1 Fabric & Supplies

First off you’ll need fabric, between 2 and 3 1/4 yards of it depending on the width of the fabric and the size you’re making. Make sure you pre-wash your yardage using the same method you intend to care for your garment so that you don’t finish up and get a sad surprise post-first wash! For the first two Alders of the sew along I’ll be using 6.5 oz denim, the same denim I used for my original samples. The subsequent versions will be made in an assortment of rayon, silk and cotton. For more information on appropriate fabrics check the back of your pattern booklet.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along | Day 1 Fabric & Supplies

You’re also going to need 1 1/4 yards of 22-24″ wide fusible interfacing. I’ll be using this medium weight tricot fusible. You do not need to pre-treat most modern fusible interfacings as they’ve been pre-treated already. Make sure your fusible is relatively new because the glue does dry out with time making it hard to attach and stay attached to the fabric. If you’re worried about yours you can always do a test before placing it in your garment.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along | Day 1 Fabric & Supplies

Finally you’ll need coordinating thread and buttons! I like 1/2″ buttons with the Alder but you can go a bit smaller or larger based on what you like and what you can find.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along | Day 1 Fabric & Supplies

Other than that the only thing you’ll need is the pattern which you can find here.

That’s all for today! Gather up your supplies & tools and get ready for choosing your size tomorrow. See you then!

6 Comments Posted in Alder Sew Along
Journal Entry

Selecting Interfacing

Grainline Studio | Selecting Interfacing

I’ve gotten a few questions about how to select interfacing for the upcoming Alder Sew-Along so I wanted to take a minute and direct you to two older posts I’ve made on interfacing. This first post, Selecting and Applying Interfacing, talks heavily about using silk as the self fabric but the same premise applies for any garment. You want to select an interfacing that generally has the same drape as your garment. If you’re doing a collar you can go a bit stiffer, but what you really want to avoid at all cost is having your fabric look like you stitched it to a bit of plywood. I always recommend going with either a woven or tricot (knit) interfacing and stay away from the bonded stuff. It’s made in a way similar to the aforementioned plywood with fibers running every which way, and as such, has little to no drape no matter how thin of stuff you get. I think that bonded interfacing is best left out of your fine garments and reserved for craft type projects.

Grainline Studio | Selecting Interfacing

The second post I’d like to refer you to is My Favorite Fusibles. This post is just that, the fusible interfacings I use in pretty much 100% of my projects. I’ve tried a lot of interfacing over the years, through this site, hound, and my pattern work and these are the ones I like the most and continue to reorder bolt after bolt. No hard glue, sticks through as many washes as I’ve thrown at my garments, never shrinks, beautiful hand/drape, and not plasticky like some of them can occasionally feel at large box stores. Just really great stuff in my opinion.

So that’s my fusible advice, hope you found it helpful!

8 Comments Posted in Journal Entry