HOW TO make a Hippie Headband

What happened to my Liberty print challenge, hmm... way too cold for sewing and way too much going on!
 I did however make this cute little headband using some Liberty print leftovers.  The headband took me less than half an hour, here's how I did it...

You will need:
Fabric - 48.5cm long by 21cm wide
Elastic - 13mm wide x 13cm

1. Fold your rectangle of fabric in half right sides together.  Stitch together along the long edge (1cm seam allowance) leaving an 8cm opening.

2. Press the seam open. 
(I patched 2 pieces of fabric together so ignore my extra seam)

3. Sew around the end using a gathering stitch, 1.5cm from the edge, stopping and starting at the seam.

4. Pin one end of the elastic at the seam and then pull the gathering thread to form the smallest bundle you can.  Stitch across the end 1.5cm from the fabric edge.  My elastic is sticking out an extra 1cm from the edge just because it's easier to handle.

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the other end and you end up with a strange looking sausage that looks like this. 

6. Turn the headband right side out using the opening, slip stitch the opening closed and Voilà!


HOW TO finish raw edges - option 2.

Option 2.

1. For this example I started with a 50mm wide strip of bias binding which I then cut in half.

2. With the right side of your fabric facing up and the wrong side of the binding facing the wrong side of the fabric stitch together just a few mm's to the the left of the center fold in the binding.  This is really tricky so take your time...it took several goes for me to get it in the right position.  Samplers are always a great idea!

3. Press following the sequence below.

4. On the right side, stitch together just a few mm's to the right of the center fold line in your bias binding.

5. Press the garment on the right and wrong side.

6. As you can see the edge of your garment is now enclosed in the seam so you will never have to worry about threads coming off.  To encourage the bias binding to fray I run my finger nail along both edges and then throw the garment in the wash a couple of times; the more you wash it the better it looks.


HOW TO finish raw edges - option 1.

Raw edged perfection!

A couple of years ago I bought the cutest little cotton shirt; it's in a sort of washed out denim colour printed with tiny white dots.  The neckline, placket and hem are all finished with bias binding but with the edges left raw.  Casual and very cool, here's how they did it...

Option 1. 

1. For this example I used a 50mm wide strip of bias binding which I ironed flat and then in half.  Don't iron out the folds completely as these are a great guide.

2. Working with the right side of your fabric facing up and with the right side of the binding facing the wrong side of the fabric stitch together 1cm from the edge.  For this example I followed the left fold line in the bias binding which was about 1cm from the edge of my fabric.  If you're stitching along a straight edge take care not to stretch your binding however if you use this method around a neckline you should stretch the binding just a little around the curves.  

3.  Trim away half the seam allowance, in this case 5mm.

4. Press your fabric and binding following the sequence below

Finally press your binding in half (wrong sides together) with the raw edges of the binding coming together evenly.

 5. With the right side facing up stitch close to the folded edge of your binding; for my sampler I used heavy top-stitching thread and if you've never tried it a HOW TO can be found right here.

6. Press on the right and wrong side.  As you can see the edge of your garment is now enclosed in the seam so you will never have to worry about threads coming off.

 7. To encourage the bias binding to fray I run my finger nail along the edge and then throw the garment in the wash a couple of times; the more you wash it the better it looks.



HOW TO finish a neckline with bias binding

I'm working on the pattern for the PRETTY BLOUSE which has a scooped neckline bound with a 12mm wide bias binding.  I use this finish a lot when working with lightweight fabrics because it's clean and simple; here's how you do it.... 

1. First stitch the front and back together at the shoulder seams as directed on the pattern.  Then with right sides together stitch the bias binding around the neckline.  Don't stretch the binding especially around the curves and make your stitching line just to the right of the fold line.  

2. When you've almost stitched the binding the entire way around stop leaving a gap of about 5cm.  With right sides together join the ends of the binding by stitching diagonally across.  Check it's correct by pinning first.

3. Trim away the excess binding, press the seam open and then stitch this section to the neckline as before.

4. Clip the seam at 1cm intervals, this is especially important around the curves.

5. Once you've clipped all the way around flip the bias binding to the wrong side and press with your iron.

6. Working from the wrong side stitch around the neckline as close to the edge of the bias binding as you can.  It's really important to ensure your stitching is even as any errors will be very obvious when you wear it.  It's also a good idea to start and finish your stitching at the center back.

7. Press on the wrong and right sides using lots of steam and you're all done.

The pattern for the PRETTY BLOUSE will be available very soon from my Etsy shop.


Movie Music

This is my friend Hugh.

Hugh's a musician, photographer, illustrator, artist and I might add, quite the dapper dresser.  On the occasion of his birthday he would disappear on the hour only to return moments later in an even cooler outfit.

Hugh composed the music for a short film I've been working on and just for fun I thought I'd ask him a few probing questions.

Do you really buy all of your clothes second hand?
I'd say a good 95% at least, my tastes just happen to be far far more expensive than my budget, and besides who has time to wade through racks and racks of the same shirt anyway.

 Best op shop buy ever?
Oh the very best buy is a hard one, I've bought electric guitars, microphones and keyboards, Italian shoes, silver rings, leather jackets and more button down shirts than I could ever hope to remember.  I do have a pair of vintage tortoiseshell Bolle Sunglasses that were handmade in France and I would not have parted with them for anything.

Can you sew?  What did you make?
Growing up punk I did do the odd bit of sewing.  A patch here, a zipper there, not to mention that all my clothes some how or other would fall apart.  I think my favourite piece was a pair of black jeans that I made skin tight, added buckles to the cuffs, ran industrial zippers all the way up the back of the legs, Misfits patches on the pockets.  Hah, I loved those things, had to patch the crotch more than once and the fly tore out so I sewed it shut and had to pull them on like leggings.  Embarrassing but true.
Did you really tell Bob Geldof and Malcolm Mclaren to go #@!* themselves?  How, why, where were you?
Hah, yeah that really happened in what seems to be a past life now.  I was touring in New Zealand in a band that has long since ceased to exist.  It was seven years ago in a pub and I was on stage, someone kept yelling 'Play some Sex Pistols,' so I told them I don't play covers for anyone in the politest way my younger self could manage at the time.  I think they were impressed because they bought all my merch.

You told me a while back that you wanted to form a band, how's that going?  What style of music do you want to play?
Terribly, hah.  I've been trying to start a Darkwave band, like early Alternative Newwave/Postpunk mixed with some Electro (early and current) and a touch of Goth but more of an emphasis on the Newwave than most people are trying at the moment.  Confusing and pretentious, yes, but think Depeche Mode, New Order, Cure, Duran Duran mixed with Knife and Hot Chip and we're talking about the same thing. Swampy reverb guitars and bass with harder electronic drums and 70's synth to make a live band you might dance in a club to. I've written an album and have a set all prepared... just need to stop losing members.  It certainly keeps me on my toes though.  

Follicles of Fancy...Is that your leg? How long did it take?
Yes, that's me in the flesh, photographer and model in a single frame.  The time it takes to make art is rather relative; the camera took in exactly one eighth of a seconds worth of light to capture the image.  The idea would have sparked in about the same, but if you add it up the photo took an hour to set up, developing another two, printing took two days, framing another two, plus the short life time of experience it took to lead up to this point in my existence. All in all, about two eighths of a second.  

When was your last hair cut?
Oh, that'd be the last time it fell out, about four or so years ago.  A dear friend and a pair of freshly oiled clippers on the autumn drenched wooden porch of my mothers house.  I dare say it was a harder time for those around me than it was for me. For me it was a time where life made sense in a way, being right about there being something wrong with you, still has some sweetness intertwined in its tragedy.

Thanks Hugh, you're the best!
If you'd like to join Hugh's band or purchase some follicles you can contact him right here.