Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tips for Ordering Fabric Labels

I first heard of custom fabric labels via Make It and Love It.  I loved the look of Ashley's custom woven labels.  It wasn't long before I decided to get some of my own.  Ashley ordered her labels from World Wide Label by the hundreds. 

Photo From Make It and Love It

Photo From Make It and Love It

I don't have an Etsy shop, so I was looking for smaller quantities.  Typically, the less volume you buy, the more you pay per label.  The cheapest I could find for woven labels was $75.  I wanted to pay much less than that so I explored other options.

Certain printed labels can hold up to washings quite well.  Lorraine, from Patchwork Pottery explains how to make our own fabric labels from twill tape.  She used Photoshop to format her images and printed them with an inkjet printer on iron-on transfer paper.

Photo from Patchwork Pottery

Photo from Patchwork Pottery

I think this is great for those who don't mind experimenting a bit.  I think they would look nice on a corner of a quilt or bag.

For those of us who want ready made labels, there are some fantastic options on Etsy.  Sara with Ananemone sells custom printed labels on cotton sheeting.

Photo from Ananenome via Etsy.com
Sara was so sweet.  When I emailed her about using her image, she offered to send me some samples of her labels for me to try out.  They are fairly inexpensive and I think would work well for baby clothing, especially if the label touches baby's skin.

I ended up choosing GutenTAGs (Seriously, isn't that the most awesome name for a labels shop??!) for my labels.  These labels are printed on satin ribbon.  I chose center fold labels printed on one side.

Photo from GutenTAGs via Etsy.com

Cassie made me custom labels with the fonts of my choosing and showed me a couple proofs until we got it right.  She was great to work with.  The labels were a great price and I only had to order fifty of them. 

Aren't they adorable?!

I just love them!  They are exactly what I wanted.

All I had to do was fold them in half and press them with an iron.  I added a label to some froggy pajama pants I made a few years ago.  My tagless pants always end up getting put on backwards! Now I can tell frontwards from backwards.  The satin is soft, but seems stiff enough to hold up to washings and doesn't fray on the sides.

I folded the raw edges of the label to make a simple rectangular label (that is not sewn into the seam) and added it to the Easter dress I made last year:

I added it to an inside pocket of a shoulder bag I made last summer:  

(I can't wait to get my sewing machine back from the hospital so I can add these babies to more fun projects!  I'm going on 15 days without a sewing machine.)

If you are having labels designed for you, I would recommend putting your text in a word processor first so you can get an idea of what your label would really look like.  Change the paper size to the size of your finished label, and then you will know how small the font needs to be.  Some fonts look great when scaled down and others are unreadable or look sloppy.

I decided I liked 'made by meilie' for labels better than 'The Petite Sewist'.  Meilie, most often spelled 'Mei Li' in English, is the Chinese name for beautiful.  My dad speaks Chinese and gave me this name when I was a little girl.  I had this name embroidered on a long wool coat I made years ago.  I love the way 'meilie' looks in the font, Channel.  I actually wish I'd thought of this for the title of my blog.  It's a little more true to who I am, however, what I am is 'petite'...so I'll stick to my blog name for now.  (Changing names would be such a pain!)

I hope you've enjoyed this review of fabric labels.  If you've had experience with ordering your own labels, please share in the comments below.  There are so many options for labels.  Don't be afraid to try something new!  If you want a sample before you order, ask if the company or shop would send you one. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Flat Seat Adjustment a.k.a. Baggy Butt Syndrome

For those of you who have a flat derriere, I bring you the Flat Seat Adjustment.  I cannot personally attest to having this fitting problem, but you can find an example of a baggy butt here.  You will need this adjustment if there is excessive bagginess at the seat of your pants.

To fix this fitting issue, you will reduce the amount of fabric at the crotch curve, the opposite of a Full Seat Adjustment.  Draw a line from the sharpest part of the curve (at center back) to the side seam.  Cut TO the side seam, not THROUGH it.  That way, you have created a hinge so you can bring the top of the pattern down to reduce the length of the curve at the curviest spot.

There are other techniques on the web to fix a flat seat.  Ann Rowley shares a technique that involves taking fullness out vertically, as well as diagonally here.  I can't really say from experience (since I don't have this fitting woe) what would work best for you.  If you have tried different methods for this adjustment, I'd love to hear what your thoughts are in the comments below.

Monday, March 11, 2013

How to Remove Extra Fabric at the Crotch

I remember sitting in American History in 11th grade, wearing a pair of jeans that looked awful unless I was standing.  There was a horrible pouch of fabric right above the crotch when I sat and it made me feel like the pants were made roomy in that area for the opposite gender.  This is not what an already self-conscious teen needed.  Wouldn't it have been nice if I'd known why they fit incorrectly? ...And had known how to make pants that didn't do that?

A baggy crotch from Kelly at Alterations Needed:

Photo from Alterations Needed
My first pants muslin had a baggy crotch:

 The waist and hips were too big for me, so I took them in on the side seams, and this made the crotch baggier.  You can see horizontal folds above the crotch but also folds at the hips.  This is because I did my alterations in the WRONG direction.   The correct way to alter pants is to fix the centers first, then move outward.  I revisited my pattern.  I knew that even before I took the sides in, I had a baggy crotch and needed a flat front adjustment.  

There are a couple of ways to fix this problem.  First, try scooping some fabric out of the crotch curve:

If this does not get rid of the horizontal folds, you can try the Flat Front Adjustment:

Draw a line from the sharpest part of the curve to the side seam.  Cut to but not through the hip edge.  Use the top piece as a hinge, and move it towards the crotch.  Essentially, what you are doing is taking out a triangle (or a dart) of fabric, starting at the sharpest part of the curve.  This shortens the crotch at the sharpest part of the curve, thus removing the extra fabric at the crotch.

If you are confused, try this video.  If you are just starting to get it, DON'T keep reading, because it gets more complicated below.


Going back to my pattern....

The second go-around I omitted the pockets and the fly front (just for muslining purposes):

I then discovered that I did not have enough length in the front to accommodate for my belly, so I did a Full Front Adjustment:

The second muslin is much better.  The pants fit in the waist and the tummy area.  However, there are still horizontal folds at the crotch. *%@!!!  *Sigh.*  Did I scoop too much out at the crotch?  Is the inside of my leg too baggy?  Please share you comments below if you have any advice for me.  I'm totally willing to do a couple more muslins until I get it right.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Full Seat Adjustment

I had to drop my sewing machine off at the hospital. Hopefully she'll feel better in a few weeks and can come home with me to have more fun. First, she needs to stop turning off when I'm stitching and I need to contemplate all the needles that I break.  Especially the ones that force pins down into the machine because I know that I know better.  Those ones make me cringe.

Since I'm not working on any projects right now, I wanted to impart some knowledge that I obtained at the Rocky Mountain Sew Expo last month.  If you remember this...

The back of my first shorts muslin didn't turn out so well.  As you can see, there are diagonal wrinkles below my derriere, which means I needed a Full Seat Adjustment a.k.a. I Have Junk in My Trunk Adjustment.

I simply drew a line from the sharpest part of the curve (at center back) to the side seam.  I cut TO the side seam, not THROUGH it.  That way, I created a hinge so I could pull the top of the pattern out to create more space.  I've created a big gap for this example (in light blue), but you may want to try this 1/4" at a time and muslin it for fit.