Archive for Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Aunt Norie’s Sewing Room

July 18, 2007

My favorite blouse is so nearly worn out I'd like to, as you've said, rip it up to make a pattern out of it, but I'm almost afraid to start because I could so easily ruin it. Could you help me, but please don't use my name.

Of course that takes me back -- way back. One of the first things that I learned, it seems, was ripping, saving the buttons and such.

Since the blouse is old, I'd treat it like a sheer fabric and handle it gently. You may have to pick the seams out stitch by stitch on curves, sleeves, etc., to avoid stretching those bias areas, using the long, flattened point of your seam ripper and actually pick loose enough stitches to expose an inch or two of the bobbin thread. It's usually not locked in as tightly by the tension as the top thread is.

Grasp that bobbin thread firmly and slide, in a gathering motion, the two layers of fabric in the seam you are taking out. Those threads will not stretch the fabric and it really is the best way. Just continue until the whole seam is removed, I always feel relieved when this method works. You can always go stitch by stitch.

Once you have the threads all removed, press each garment piece, carefully laying them on the ironing board. Even if you may have stretched an armhole edge, hold the steam iron directly above, coming up and down, lifting the iron, not sliding it along in the usual ironing motion. Those slightly stretched edges will usually steam right back in place. This is especially important when you have ripped up a favorite, worn-out garment to make a new pattern of it, which is what we are doing today.

Our fabric shops have thin pattern-making paper. Be sure to purchase a roll of it before you start.

Laying each garment piece carefully on the paper, pin in place and cut your new pattern.

Though we call this an oldie, it really happens quite often today.

Keep your pins and needles in a pincushion, never in your mouth.

Until next week God Bless!

-- Aunt Norie can be reached at P.O. Box 265, Tonganoxie 66086 or at

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