Sewing scallops

I need to reveal the finished red trousers, but have yet to take photos.  Thank you to everyone for your input into how to improve the fit & how to live with the current fit!  It really was so kind of you to leave your thoughts – always valued.

Anyway, I thought I’d share some scallop sewing that I’ve been doing lately, just to show I have not been an idle badger.  However, please note these are my bunglings & there are probably even better ways for drafting and sewing scallops.  If you have ways to improve, please share in the comments!!

Inspired/ spurred on by the delicious Meringue skirt & other sources of inspiration already discussed here I launched into new scallop territory for me.   No F.O.s to show I am afraid, just some of the process.  I tried to design my own scallop edges & facings you see,  that’s new for me (which is why it’s not perfect, ahem…)

I’ve been “nearly there” for ages on these, but the fit needed jiggling & I got distracted by other things.  I’d been hankering after a wearable pair of shorts, but not too short & brainwaved culottes again, Butterick 5681 – I mean when are culottes not shorts?

OK, culottes are not shorts when they are below the knee perhaps?  For this particular escapade I used the plain culottes with the yoke & side zip (view C).  None of the fancy inner leg pleating this time.  Now who can forget Kristen’s brunch shorts?  Thank you Kristen for the inspiration, I haven’t downright copied…..but channeled some of the scallop loving into a longer pair, to ultimately bare less thigh….

Apols about the grainy phone pic, it must have been poor light when I took this. But you can get the drift of my attempt to draw scallops using my French Curve on the shorts’ hem & then create a template for the facing.  I tried to get the scallop “lumps” with a 5/8″ seam allowance to integrate flawlessly at each side & inner leg seam, but sadly it did not happen on all seams.  A badger bodge has been executed, so it is “OK” & learnings for next time about curves/ alignment / seam allowances etc….

Making them up was very much like the Meringue once the shorts had been constructed at side & inner leg seams.  I joined the front & back facings & then attached the facing at the scalloped edge with small stitch length.  After trimming, clipping, notching & pressing, the facing is then hemmed into place.

They will eventually look like this, but a bit smaller.  Yes, sadly the fit on these culottes, unlike the other pair I made, involved countless (yes crotch & inner leg you name it) alterations, with a final revelation that it was the waist that was the problem.  I hope to finish them (a second time) soon.  The fabric & the rick rack are the same as used on my Cambie dress.  This is what the yoke will look like (once I have completely taken it apart, re sewn the side seams, tacked the rick rack back on as piping, & attached yoke to the culottes, reinstalling zip, attaching & securing facing).   Gosh it’s a long mistake to correct!

And whilst I am on the subject of scallops, I’ve also recently (last weekend in fact) applied a little curvaceous magic to a much used pattern….

You got it!  Another Violet blouse!  And yes that is some dreamy dobby swiss dot fine fabric.  I’ve actually finished it & worn it now, but it is in the laundry.

Design thoughts for this – fine & floaty with no underlining as I would wear it with a cotton camisole.  I wanted a scalloped right front with a curve around each button.  I took the tissue pattern & traced a facing, capturing all of the markings from the original pattern.  I then constructed scallops using my French curve around the buttonhole placement.  To draw the scallops I compromised on the original garment’s seam allowances, with the curviest part of the scallop 1/8″ from the cut edge, but the most inner point between the scallops coming in to meet the centre front.  The Violet doesn’t have a massive overlap, so I needed to make sure it still would overlap properly.  I traced my drawn curves (which became my stitching line) with dressmaker’s carbon & a tracing wheel & I have to say it was genius to have a line to follow stitching.


What was less than genius is that the yellow still shows through the uber fine swiss dot, even though it is marked on the wrong side.  Aaargh!!  Any ideas of how to remove it?  It must be wax paper I think.   Another thing  I’d not figured on was that the seam allowances & facings would also “show”.  Whilst it isn’t really a problem, another thing that I had to be careful with was the trimming of the seam allowances inside the scallops as they too show through the very fine fabric.  I know I have not shown you yet, but take it from me, only parts of this blouse have turned out to be as sheer & floaty as I had envisaged.  But it’s OK.  Just want to get the yellow gone….any suggestions truly welcomed!!

I promise to show it in its finished state once it is through the wash & hopefully without yellow edging!!

23 thoughts on “Sewing scallops

  1. LinB

    Oh, such lovely, even scallops! Sadly, I have no handy hints for removing the yellow markings. Soak in a bleach solution, perhaps? When I used to have a machine that made decorative stitches, I used the scallop cam to satin-stitch hems on delicate fabrics, then carefully cut just beside the stitches to leave a dainty shaped edge for a hem. Worked on heavier fabrics, too — especially on tight, smooth weaves. Not so great on knits without a stabilizer. That machine is gone to a metal graveyard now. The scallop cam is the only thing about it that I miss.

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Thanks Lin for this idea – I had wondered about the scallop embroidery stitch on my machine – but I just know that it would take a lot of trial & error to get it callibrated to the right size, if indeed it’s possible for this size of scallop. It does remind me to experiment with that edging again though ….thanks for the thoughts :-)

  2. To Boldly Sew

    Lovely scallops! I’m looking forward to seeing the sheer violet – I was thinking about doing something similar in a chiffony type fabric but haven’t quite plucked up the courage…

  3. Sigrid

    Polka dots, scallops and rick-rack all in one garment? Delightful! And the dotted swiss Violet sounds sweet too, but too bad about the markings. I suppose you could look around for something that would remove wax, do you’ll have Citra-Solv ? I wonder if you could turn the facing back out, dissolve the marks with that and then wash it really well with soap?

  4. Roobeedoo

    There must be a collective word for scallops… umm….. a scaramoosh of scallops? Anyway, whatever you call them they are very cute! have you seen Boden have a scallop-fronted blouse made out of dobby dot? But their’s looks a bit too chunky and lumpy IMHO. I look forward to seeing the whole scalloptastic reveal soon!

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Ah ha! Yes, actually it is an inspiration, but I haven’t looked at the Boden top for recent reference, just the memory it created. Good retail knowledge, as ever Roo!

  5. silvia

    Scallop-licious! Those shorts are darling cute and if my ass was smaller I snatch ‘em from you. You seem to have the scallop engineering down pat but you reminded me of a wonderful post from Pattern Scissors Cloth when she made her darling skirt:

    Can’t wait to see what you do with the blouse, it looks lovely.

    P.s. I wear a uniform at work and one of the previous uniforms we had offered a skort option. Looks like a skirt from the front and shorts at the back and is worn skimming the top the knee according to our dumb-o regulations. Skorts, culottes, gauchos – all versions of a theme?

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Thanks Silvia for your cheery comment! Made me smile & I am keen to check on the link you sent. I like the idea of skorts at work!! Comfy yet more stylish than shorts :-)

  6. Kerry

    Your Violet sounds so pretty! And I love that you are making changes to existing patterns too, I’m trying not to buy any patterns but be creative with the ones I have, so it’s good to get some inspiration.
    As for your yellow mark problem, I’d suggest soaking in some Vanish or rubbing and soaking with an old fashioned soap/stain remover bar, though that’s only a guess as I have never used dressmakers carbon paper, though I really should try it!

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Thank you Kerry – yes, being a bit off road with patterns is kind of fun, but I feel a quick make coming on! Thank you for Vanish thoughts, I think that is the popular option…

  7. debbie

    Love the look of the scalloped shorts. You have reminded me that back in the early 90s I had a blue polka dot pair of short culotttes with matching braces! They were quite skirt-like in the way they hung – I loved them! I probably wouldn’t fit them over my knees now. Scalloped shorts have been on my mind since seeing Roobeedoo’s and even more now I have seen yours. The violet looks lovely – I had similar issue with a dotty cotton like that from the Rag Market in that all the seams were so visible through the fabric. have you tried vanish soap on the yellow? And if theres a sunny day hang it out to dry in the sun for a little natural bleaching? x

  8. Joanne

    I love the idea of your scalloped violet! Can I ask where you picked up the swiss dot? I’ve been looking for something similar in ivory but am having issues finding it online. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Thanks Joanne :-)
      Whilst I bought my swiss dot at Mandors in Edinburgh, I am informed (previous comment by Roobeedoo on an earlier post) that Eternal Maker & Abakhan both stock it….oooh, lovely!

  9. MrsC

    Hiya, what fun! Those culottes are going to be so adorable when you get them done it will all have been worth it :)
    Re the facing showing through you swiss voile – when working on a sheerish fabric like that, I make my facings by sewing the right sides together of the facing and interfacing along the outside edge, clip turn and press. That sorts that side out , nice and neat. The sewn in side is trickier – suggestions include covering the seam allowance with a lace, which is not much use with scallops, too fiddly, or applying a very lightweight fusible to the dress not just the facing, so it is more opaque at the sewing point. Also not much use at this stage, sorry!
    I got so caught out over the carbon paper thing once on a wedding dress with bright orange. I couldn’t wash it so I used drycleaning fluid which diluted it and left nice cloud lines of faint orange everywhere. Mortifying! Amazingly the bride didn’t care!!! How lucky was I! Anyway, NEVER again, I always used the bone coloured paper on white after that. Harder to follow but safer hehehe.

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Oh my gosh – orange! wedding dress? I can only imagine the trauma it must have caused you, so glad you had an understanding bride-to-be :-)
      I am hoping washing with vanish will sort mine out …
      Thank you for the tips on sewing sheers – I do seem to have amassed a few chiffons to make up & your tips will get me thinking aong the right track (I hope!!)

      1. MrsC

        I know! No wonder making wedding dresses these days makes me feel sick. Brideszilla induced PTSD. :) I should add with chiffon, that if you cut two facings for each side, mirror images, fuse a very lightweight fusible to one and use IT as the interfacing, then the bit facing (ahem) the see through outer will be the same colour as the garment. Nicer than just black or white :)

  10. kristin

    oh holy cow, i can’t believe i got mentioned!! i ADORE the blue polka dot scalloped shorts, so FUN!!! the best tip i can give you is that i lined my shorts instead of using a scalloped facing and the best tool for smoothing scallops was a flat wooden spoon (i could iron over it!!). gosh, you’re so sweet to use one of my garments as inspiration!!

  11. Christine

    I can’t wait to see what this is all going to add up to! I’m very impressed by your imagination, style and considerable technical virtuosity.

  12. Pingback: Scalloped blouse Colette VioletScruffy Badger Time

  13. Pingback: Pig in a tutu costumeScruffy Badger Time

  14. Pingback: Scalloped shorts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>