Tag Archives: Sewing scallops

At last, scalloped culottes UFO to FO

Howdy peeples,  I am delighted to exit a UFO & finally finish it.  Yep, these scalloped shorts noted aeons ago have sat unloved & ripped up waiting for some alterations.


Whereas previously I’d made a different view (A) with back zip & neat little waistband, this version called for a yoke and side zip (view C) , which I have concluded is a right pain to get the fitting right, particularly if you adorn said yoke with rick rack like piping.

It had been lingering for ages after inordinate amounts of crotch alterations, only to realise that it was the waistband that really needed to be taken in.  Like this much:

Gah!  I just couldn’t face it.  For ages.  It sat in my basket eyeballing me everytime I went looking for self cover buttons or the spare tape measure.  I had to unpick the yoke, the rick rack & the invisible zip.  I had to then do it all over again including lining up the invisible zipper with each side of the yoke- got there in the end though.  You can take my word for getting the zip right as I’m going to show bits that weren’t perfect.  First a successful scalloped edge (inside leg seams, typical)

And the pathetic scallop join on the visible outside edge (looks like a curly bracket)

So, not perfect self drafted scallops, somewhere along the way I got the drawing & probably sewing wrong!  Oh well.

Thankfully I grabbed a few hours on Sunday morning to get this to a stage to make it my Andy Murray sewing – I’d managed to leave myself the last step, attaching the facing by hand whilst watching the first exciting set.

Just being coaxed to show you that they do fit -although culottes are funny – according to Pants for Real People (p12 – I have not progressed very far) crotch ease for culottes is bigger- 1 1/2″- I am not sure I fitted mine out (when you look behind you can see it might be less than that!)

(Like the spotty suit?!?! ;-) only for you!)

This is what you can do when you wear shorts/ culottes/ whatever.  They reminded me that I’d made a wonderful pair in the late 80s, a vogue pattern (a Very Easy Very Vogue one) it came with a skirt, culottes & a top with stand collar & central box pleat & back buttons.  I’d made all of it in different guises & the culottes were THE perfect girly shorts pattern that very much looked like a skirt – with pockets.  I looked on Etsy & Ebay but haven’t tracked it down – anyone know which one I am referring to?  Here’s my sketch

WHY did I get rid of it?  I would love to have it still ….it was also the pattern I used to make my “ball gown” only it was separates made out of dark green shot taffeta (not culottes, silly, that would be too 70s for a teenager in the 80s!).  I still have this green outfit.  I made the skirt a longer length with a split up the back that was reinforced numerous times after many a drunken student fling around various dance floors.  If anyone knows of this pattern please could you leave me some information – even a pattern no. would be good then I could try to track it down …

 These shorts need pockets, side seam pockets, but I don’t think there’s enough room in them.  In my dreams my next pair will try to recreate that Vogue pattern I once had….a moderately (but not too balloon-like) swishy “divided skirt”, small front pleats (I think) back darts, side seam pockets, back zip & fabric with drape….

In the meantime they could well be great lounge wear (worn with the appropriate footwear) …


A deadline looms….

I’m feeling the pressure peeps, I have a list of gifts to make & I should be sewing like now.

But you know the expression “More haste, less speed”.  Well, I need to breathe deeply & thought a quick blog post the best way to do this.  So not much talking here, a few pics, & I will explain the barrage of unuttered  curses that went through my mind just now….& reveal this week’s most pressing sewing deadline.

Can I show you my scalloped blouseColette Violet?

Here is the Boden blouse that triggered the thought of a scalloped centre front (Oh Roo, you have such fantastic knowledge of what’s out there!)


So last time there was the potential disaster of da da da (cue dramatic music) yellow wax edges to the scallops.  the The good news?  I used tons of Vanish to work at the aforementioned yellow traces of dressmaker’s tracing paper before slamming it in the washing machine & it worked!  Yip yip ay yay!

Revealing the back first – I do so love the gathered yoke.  I wear it with a cotton camisole underneath but dear Barbarella is rather an exhibitionist it has to be said.  See that black top hanging on the radiator?   That’s another gift that I shall write about some time (as there were more discoveries with making this!) It’s another Vogue 1247  made with Rag Market viscose.

But onto the front view & the scallops…

See what I mean about the facings showing?  I really hadn’t thought that through.  Mrs C gives some advice on sheer fabrics, facings & seam allowances in the comments to this post here.  I shall revisit them when venturing into using some of the chiffon I have in my stash.

….So why does the idiom, “More haste, less speed” become relevant?  Well after thinking that I had ruined this blouse with yellow waxed tracing paper markings & managing to save it, I rushed to give this lil’ blouse an iron for the photo shoot & gah ….I hate even writing it so annoying is this….the iron was too hot & melted (yes melted) the left front collar.  It has a crispy holeyness about it.  I have never done that before.  It doesn’t show in the above picture, but believe me it is there ….& why?

Well., as I said at the start I am feeling the pressure.  I have only a couple of sewing hours this week to make up a gift for a special little girl & have made a good start …

However will I really manage to find the time?  Recently there has been a squeeze on sewing time due to lovely visitors (in the guise of my grown up boys).  Funnily enough whenever they stay not only do I feel the urge to cook more & clearly need to spend time with them, but their laptops completely screw up my internet access – hence less blogging & blog commenting becomes problematic.   And it also puts the dampeners a little on outfit pics, well those in which I make more of an effort, & believe me I have some planned….but as you know I prefer to have my privacy when letting loose the inner Badger ….

So writing this in some way has not helped my sewing stress.  Although I am now poised to sew, I have burnt my new blouse so badly that I will at some time have to replace the collar, & my much needed beauty sleep draws closer.  Just how much might I have sewn had I not written this?   Oh well,

“After all tomorrow is another day” to quote my heroine.

I think I just might call it a day & go to bed & read!

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!!

Don’t like seafood but I love scallops

Hello all!!! Sorry I have been less frequent than usual, but this has got to be the busiest 6 week period at work – ever.  But I think it’s come to an end.  And what do I do at the end of a work period of intense trauma?  I go crazy mad sewing of course!  At one point I had three things on the go at once (I told you I was crazy & wild didn’t I?!)

And just in case you were wondering, all else has gone to pot.  Unfortunately my half marathon training has suffered.  There is no way that I will run faster than last year.  I am destined to forever joke about my slowness (to hide the true pathos) & avert my eyes at the official photos that record the weary shuffling gait as opposed to the springy gazelle that I dream of being.

Here is a picture of us all stretching after Sundays 10.75 miler though …. ha haha!

Half Marathon Training MSN 120212_11

Photo courtesy of Bo, thank you for sharing.

Oh well.  Anyway,  onto business.

This is a taster to warm you up with some inspiration while I gather my photos.  And remember my birthday giveaway is open until the weekend – not too late to enter :-)

Yes, here is a collection of sewing wonders with a common theme.  Scallops seem to be clip clopping rampant through the sewing community.  I have vivid memories of  Kirsten’s scalloped “brunch” shorts last summer.  They are even lined…..

Roobeedoo’s taunting these shorts with  promises to follow with  some purple velvet ones.  (Purple velvet- you heard right.  From the same stable as the pink corduroy flares.  What credentials!  Can hardly wait)

Do you remember Tilly’s scalloped edge jacket a la Betty Draper?  I think the sewing world united in outpourings of love & admiration for its beautiful details & swooned over the scallops.

And adding scallops to the hem of the much loved Colette Patterns Sorbetto is genius methinks.  Here is Judith’s adorable polka dotted version (& check out the Clovers too)

 And then up popped Marie from a Sewing Odyssey last week with her skirt with scalloped waistband.  SO pretty!  Follow the link for more close ups as it is truly cute.

And Casey has the made the most amazing scalloped edge collar, as well as providing us with a tutorial to make it ourselves …. delicious.  Will I ever get the time to try all this for myself?  I know I want to ….

Where can’t you add scallops I ask myself?  The Coletterie has a tutorial for adding a scalloped hem here…. I think I seriously need to try this out for myself.  I could also see scalloped edge short sleeves on a Violet blouse perhaps (short sleeved variety).  Scalloped trouser hems?  Gotta get practising !  

Now you know where this is leading ….all of this is occuring in parallel with the very pleasant contagion that is spreading via the Colette Sewing Book & its first pattern in the book – the scalloped hemmed skirt, Meringue.   Now there are some amazing versions out there since it formed the first element of the Sew Colette Sewalong, co hosted by Sarah at Rhinestones and Telephones and Erin at Miss Crayola Creepy, which *just for a change*, I signed up for, but missed all deadlines (only just though!).  Catch the wealth of styles on in the Flickr group.

So yes, in case you are asking, mine is a Meringue.  It is a raspberry filled meringue.  Not without its challenges, but I am very pleased with how it has turned out.  Here is the first picture to whet your appetite ….


I shall be reporting back this week with more photos & a separate post about my trials & tribulations trying to line the thing.  Tricksty tricksty!