A few years ago we talked about our love of thread chains in the studio and how useful they are when you want to keep two layers of fabric together loosely. Today we’ll show you how we use thread chains to keep bra straps in place under sleeveless garments like our Alder Shirtdress, Hadley Top, Farrow Dress, or Willow Tank Dress.
To get started grab a sleeveless top, a spool of thread, a snap, a pair of scissors, and a sewing needle. In this example we’re using a Willow Tank.
Cut a piece of thread about arms length, thread your needle, tie a knot, and trim your ends.
We like to start our thread chains about 1/4 inch in from the armhole edge using the seam finish to hide our anchoring knot. Insert your threaded needle under your seam finish and pull your thread through.
Create a second stitch by inserting your needle through the underside of the fold of your seam finish being careful not to stitch through the front of the fabric. Pull your thread part of the way through leaving a medium sized loop which you’ll use to construct your thread chain.
Grab your thread tail and begin to gently start to pull it through your loop. Keep pressure on the bottom piece of thread as you pull. Your original loop will begin to tighten and form a knot, and you’ll be left with a new loop.
This new loop is what you’ll work with to repeat the previous steps. As the knots form your thread chain will begin to lengthen.
Continue repeating the looping process until your chain is long enough to reach to the other side of the strap, or about a 1/4″ from the edge.
Grab one piece of your snap and pull your needle and thread through a hole on the side. Pass through the hole a few times to securely attach the thread chain to the snap. Once the thread chain is attached tie a knot and trim your thread ends.
Sew the other side of your snap in place around a 1/4 inch from the opposite armhole edge. Make sure to sew the snap onto your garment with the correct side facing up so that your thread chain snap is able to fasten.
Repeat this process on your other sleeve and you’re all set.When you’re ready to wear your garment unsnap your thread chain, slide it underneath your bra strap, and snap it back in place. These take us less than 15 minutes from start to finish which makes for a quick and satisfying project.
If you subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on Facebook, you know that we announced in our January 8th update that we have begun work on expanding our size range with a second block!
We started laying the groundwork for this new range back in September of last year with a complete redesign of our working processes and structure, which prepared us to successfully make this dream a reality. We also spent the fall researching and analyzing tons of sizing data from ASTM, Alvanon, and other sources, which has allowed us to zero in on the most important part: what questions we’d like to ask you!
At the moment we believe our new block will cover approximately US 12/14 – 28/30, but we need your help to pinpoint exactly where our sizing will land. If you’re a size US 12/14 or above, we’d love if you took a minute to fill out our survey below. We’re asking questions about basic body measurements, pattern habits and preferences, sizing language and imagery, and a few questions about our existing patterns since we are planning on re-drafting our existing patterns with this new block.
Due to the fact that we are using two separate blocks, the patterns from each block will likely not be able to be nested with each other. Our plan to accommodate people who fall between sizes is to offer two ranges with an overlap of 3-4 sizes (approximately 12-18). I personally am 3 sizes in our patterns so I’m very sensitive to the fact that the vast majority of us don’t cut one size in a pattern.
As far as how these patterns are delivered to you, our goal is to offer paper patterns in both size ranges. We’ve included a few questions on the survey about this and we’d love to get your opinion on that topic. At the moment, most pattern companies who offer patterns based on two blocks are not offering both ranges in print, so we have a lot to research. We may be sending out a second survey about that as we get further along in the process, since it’s something that will likely need to be decided once we have a pattern fully graded in both ranges.
We’ve received a lot of questions about our timeline so I want to be as clear as possible about this. Our pattern development typically takes approximately a year from idea to delivering you a quality finished product. Because of this we expect the new size range to debut before the end of the year, though I don’t have an exact date yet. This launch will contain brand new designs, and after that we’ll begin work on updating our existing patterns. As we get further along in the process and cross off a few more milestones on the development timeline I’ll be able to update you with more release date information.
Between now and then we will have a few new patterns in our existing size range for release this spring due to the fact that they were started prior to September of last year. We will be updating these with our new block as soon as possible though.
If you have a moment, we’d love it if you’d take our survey below, and feel free to share it with anyone you think might be interested by using this link: https://grainlinestudio.typeform.com/to/xMp5pw
Edited to add the following:
If you’re outside the US and are looking for a conversion from US sizing to see if you’re a US 12/14 and above, you can find more info on that here.
Also as most indie patterns are very close to RTW sizing feel free to fill out the survey if you fit this description in either RTW or sewing sizes. The more info the better!
A new year is upon us and to celebrate I’ve gathered up 5 posts aimed at having a great 2019 sewing year. Whether you’re just picking up the sewing habit (yay!) or you’re a long time sewer, there’s bound to be a new tidbit of info you can use in these posts!
Selecting Your Pattern Size
One of the most important things you’ll need to learn when starting out sewing is how to correctly choose your pattern size. Rather than starting with your ready-to-wear size, you’ll need to take a few body measurements and then compare those to the pattern’s size chart. This post teaches you how to properly measure your body, select your size, and blend between sizes if your measurements don’t all fall into one size. This post is written as part of our Alder sew-along but the information applies to all sewing patterns.
Read the post here:
All of our patterns contain yardage information but occasionally you might like to use a contrast fabric for one or more pattern pieces or alter the pattern in one way or another. This tutorial shows you how to quickly and accurately estimate how much yardage you’ll need if you want to mix things up!
Read the post here:
All About Interfacing
Interfacing is a mystery to a lot of people but it needn’t be. In these posts we talk about the different types of interfacing so that you can better select the proper interfacing for the job with confidence and ease.
Read the posts here:
Essential Serger Tips
If you’re one of the lucky people who got a new serger this holiday season our post on essential serger tips is a must read. We practice these tips in the studio and they keep our sergers running smoothly day in and day out.
Read the post here:
Organizing your PDF Patterns
A lot of people struggle with storing PDF patterns so I wrote this post to share what works for me in my personal sewing as well as at work. There are so many methods and this is just one of them, but I love reading about how people organize their things. If you’ve struggled with where to put your patterns you’ll want to check out this post.
Read the post here:
We have a ton more tutorials, tips & tricks which you can find by clicking the Learn tab in our site’s menu. I hope this helps if you’re just starting out, and if you aren’t hopefully you learned something new! If you have any tutorial requests for the upcoming year, let us know and we’ll see what we can do!
If you’re looking for a last minute for the sewist in your life, look no further than our Grainline Studio gift card! Available in any amount, these digital gift cards can be emailed directly to you or the recipient of your choosing. We’ve cooked up a really exciting release schedule for next year so it can be saved for the future (our gift cards never expire) or use it to access our current library of patterns. You can’t go wrong giving the gift of handmade!
Also a quick reminder about our holiday hours – we’ll be out of the office from Saturday, December 22nd, 2018 until Monday, January 7th, 2019. Our shipping will not completely stop, but we’ll be decreasing the frequency from shipping every business day to 2x a week so if you order, you won’t have to wait till the 7th for shipping.
I want to thank every one of you who makes our patterns, reads our blog, subscribes to our newsletter or follows us on social media — thank you for being amazing! This was a bit of a re-organizational year behind the scenes in preparation for a TON of fun and exciting stuff we’ll be launching next year and we couldn’t do any of this without you.
I’ll be using this break to fine tune our release schedules, brainstorm a few blog series, and more. If there’s anything you’d love to see from Grainline in 2019 let us know below! We can’t wait to see you in the new year.
Lots of love, from Jen, Jon & Lexi
The Holidays are upon us and we’ll be closing up shop here at Grainline so Lexi, Jon and I can have a bit of a break and spend time with friends and family. Our last day of work will be this Friday, December 20th and we’ll return back to the office on Monday, January 7th, 2019! We’ll be shipping periodically during this time so if you place an order your patterns will go out, but we won’t have our usual Monday – Friday shipping schedule. I think that’ll be pretty hard for Jon because if there’s one thing he loves it’s getting your patterns out ASAP but I’m going to try to get him to take a break.
If you’re looking for a last minute holiday project, don’t forget we’ve got these two cutie free ornament patterns up on our site! They’re a great quick gift for friends and family, or a fun project to do with friends and family! We made ours out of wool felt, but any fabric scraps you have on hand will work just fine. If you don’t have sequins on hand, try French knots and embroidery floss! The options are endless and I’ve been seeing some super cute ones pop up on Instagram this past week.
Grab the Free Patterns Here
In this Stowe Sew-Along post we’ll be walking you through steps 13, 14 & 15. We’ve learned that these are the most confusing steps of the entire project so I’ve included two videos to help illustrate the steps. If they aren’t playing for you for any reason, you can find them on our newly created YouTube Channel. I’ve tested them on my phone, tablet, and desktop computer and they work for me, but everyone’s devices are different. With that, lets dive in!
To begin step 13, measure in from the seam line at the side of the bag and mark 3″ on the small bag and 4″ on the large bag. Fold the sides of the bag over towards the center along the marked point.
I’ve made a video to show exactly what we mean by fold the edge over onto the bag since this stumps people quite a bit. You’re just going to take the edge and bring it towards the center by folding it in over the bag.
Pin the bottom of the bag and head over to your sewing machine so we can stitch the folded edges in place.
You’re going to sew within the seam allowance from the folded edge in towards the center edge as shown in pink thread above. You can see that I do backtack at both sides of this line. This anchored fold creates the side gusset of the bag and completes step 13.
Turn your bag right side out and push the lower corners out into place. Give the sides and handles of your bag a light press to shape the bag.
This next step is completely option and honestly, something that Karen and I both omit from our bags. It gives the bag a permanent bottom gusset allowing the bag to stand up on its own empty. The bag will already stand up when there’s a project inside of it without this step, and permanently anchoring the bottom gusset will make it so the bag doesn’t fold completely flat when not in use. It’s really up to you whether or not you do step 15. Rather than try to explain this step in words and pictures, we’ve made the video below for instruction. It really is easiest to explain this step this way.
That wraps up the Stowe Sew-Along, thanks so much for following along with us! I’m sure there’ll be a question or two on this post so let us know below if you need clarification on anything.
Patterns Used in this Tutorial
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