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How to Make and Use Tailor’s Tacks

Allow me to wax poetic about tailor’s tacks for a moment? When I first started sewing, I figured tailor’s tacks were archaic and complicated and I never bothered to use them because they were hard and I could always use pins or chalk. Well, it turns out that pins fall out and chalk rubs off and tailor’s tack are actually really, really easy to use. I wish I could jump back in time and tell myself this so that I could have fallen in love with tailor’s tacks sooner. Instead, I’ll wax poetic here on my blog and hope that I can jump-start someone else’s love for tailor’s tacks before they might have otherwise fallen in love on their own. So how do you make tailor’s tacks? Easy! Use a contrasting thread doubled through your needle. Bring your needle through both layers of fabric, coming back up as close as possible. You can …

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The Wedding Jacket Chronicle Part 5: Jacket Fronts

Soooo much hand sewing. That’s the short and sweet about this installment of the Wedding Jacket Chronicle. Of course I have plenty more to say about the process, but I will admit that I watched a LOT of Murder, She Wrote while working on the jacket fronts, more than I expected, since essentially every single stitch of a whole lot of tailoring work is done by hand (and there are both left and right fronts, so just when you think you’re finishing a task, there’s another side to repeat it on! Kind of like a sock knitter’s dilemma). This picture condenses several steps since much of my sewing in this phase was done at night (ignore the tape on the edge of the lapel at this point!). The dart is cut out of the front hair canvas interfacing and then the interfacing is laid onto the fabric. The dart is catch-stitched …

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The Wedding Jacket Chronicle Part 4: Prepping, Cutting! and Marking

This phase of my Wedding Jacket Chronicle may not be that technically challenging, but it sure was emotionally challenging. I’ve clearly been dragging my feet on actually getting started on the jacket and I think a big part of it had to do with fear of failure. I’m scared of ruining my precious (expensive) fabric. I’m scared my tailoring attempts will fall short. Once I figured out that I was being stopped by fear, I gave myself a talking-to and (finally) dove in. The first step was to pre-shrink the hair canvas and the fabric. I used a spray bottle to mist the hair canvas and held the iron in place until it dried. Like a total doofus, I managed to burn a small bit of it as I got distracted by my cat trying to jump onto my precious wool brocade and left the iron down while I shooed …