Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Treadlette Tuesday: Marina's new skirt!

 It's Treadlette Tuesday, when we share projects, inspiration, and ideas for you from our lovely Treadle Yard Goods employees, The Treadlettes!

Check out Marina's new skirt!

She made this in a cute cotton broadcloth from her custom Elizabeth's Favorite Skirt pattern. With an invisible zipper and simple, streamlined finishing, this skirt is a new go-to!

And she's already chosen fabric for her next one!

Friday, June 24, 2022

Friday Fun Fact: Grading Seams

Are you grading your seam allowances?

Often patterns will tell you to "trim seam," but what does that mean?

If your seam will be enclosed, like a facing edge, collar, or cuff, you should grade - simply put, trim in stair-steps, so that each layer is a little shorter than the next.

It might feel a little tedious, but it's SO important. Grading reduces bulk and makes the seam allowance ridge less abrupt. It's sometimes called layering seams.

Generally, your longest layer should be the fashion fabric or outer fabric, and the shortest should be the facing or lining. Grade to as many levels as needed!

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Treadlette Tuesday: Melissa's linen dress

It's Treadlette Tuesday, when we share projects, inspiration, and ideas for you from our lovely Treadle Yard Goods employees, The Treadlettes!

Have you seen this sweet linen dress made by Melissa? 

The pattern is Vogue 1102, and the cover illustration shows it made up in a very dressy fabric, but this linen works just as well! She made this a few years ago (so we no longer have this exact fabric) but it's back in the store for display!

We really love the big bow, such a fun element!

This is a great reminder not to feel limited by the fashion photo!

Friday, June 17, 2022

Friday Fun Fact: Flat-felled seams

Let's talk about one of my favorite seam finishes, the flat-felled seam!

Flat-felled seams were the typical choice throughout history for underwear and shirts, for good reasons:

Flat-felled seams are smooth - there's no raw edges or bumpy seams to chafe against the skin.

They're durable - with no raw fabric to fray, they help a garment withstand constant laundering and wear.

These days, well-made shirts still use flat-felled seams, but mostly you'll see them on jeans.

To sew a flat-felled seam:

- Sew the seam as usual.
- Trim away half of one seam allowance.
- Wrap the untrimmed seam around the trimmed one.
- Press flat to the side.
- Stitch through all the layers, close to the fold.

You can learn more about how to make flat-felled seams and more in our Beautiful Seams and Hems class! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Treadlette Tuesday: Laura's Pietra Pants

It's Treadlette Tuesday, when we share projects, inspiration, and ideas for you from our lovely Treadle Yard Goods employees, The Treadlettes!

Check out Laura's trio of Pietra pants! She has all three on display in the store right now, so stop by and check out the details!

We are working on getting this pattern back in stock! Soon, we hope! 

Friday, June 10, 2022

Friday Fun Fact - 1930s Shorts

Summer is here, so let's talk about shorts!

Ladies, it hasn't been very long since shorts came into fashion for us. The 1930s saw women's shorts fashionable in public for the first time, generally with a full, pleated silhouette and a high waist.

Coming from centuries of long dresses, some people were shocked by the sight of human women's legs - several municipalities tried to ban shorts for women. (Read more about that at NPR)

This wasn't the first time legs were on display - short swimsuits had been around since at least 1910 - but the setting made a difference.

You might have seen the above photo online - it's often captioned as "Women cause car wreck by wearing shorts," but let's get real, it's pretty obviously staged*. Newspapers loved shock then as much as they do now! 

1930s shorts panic is a great reminder that in summer or any time, everybody should wear whatever the heck they want. Let's celebrate feeling comfortable with our bodies and dressing as we please!**

Do you think this cute 1930s shorts style should make a comeback?

* Not to mention, if that really was a car wreck, it would be better captioned "Careless driver crashes car ogling some women who were minding their own business."
** And looking the other way instead of judging others!

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

New Sewing Classes!

We've just released new dates for July-August sewing classes at Treadle!

Friday, June 3, 2022

Friday Fun Fact: Tension

This is a topic we get asked about all the time: Sewing Machine Tension Troubleshooting!

Do your stitches look uneven? Do you notice lumps of thread poking through between stitches?

First off, bad stitch tension is NOT usually the fault of the setting on the tension dial.

Follow these steps in order to perfect your machine's stitch tension.

1.) Re-thread the top thread. Many machines have a delicate tension assembly. If the thread isn't just right, it won't stitch well.

2.) Re-thread the bobbin. Make sure the bobbin is turning the correct way. For horizontal drop-in bobbins, make sure you can see the thread across the top left side of the bobbin.

3.) Change your needle. It may be old, bent, dull, or simply the wrong size.

4.) Try a new thread. Avoid thread that's cheap, old, or low-quality. Use cotton thread for silk and poly for knits.

5.) Clean your machine.
 Lint build-up, especially around the feed dogs, can affect stitch tension.

6.) Adjust the tension dial. After you've tried everything else, it's time to adjust the tension dial! Go gently; the springs can wear out with overuse. Adjust a half-number at a time.  

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Treadlette Tuesday: Save the date for our handmade sale!

Shop one of a kind handmade goods! June 10 - 12 at Treadle Yard Goods!

Friday, May 27, 2022

Friday Fun Fact: Knit sewing tips!

Are you anxious about sewing knit fabrics?

Spring is a perfect time to sew with knits! If you're busy (and really, aren't we all at this time of year) nothing can beat the speed-sewing of knit garments!

Sure, knits do require some special handling; cut carefully, use a stretch stitch, and watch out for narrower seam allowances - often just 1/4".

Not sure which stretch stitch to use? A serger works great, but a basic zigzag is really all you need!

Use your scraps to make stitch samples to test the stretch of your stitches before you begin. Pull the seam and see if it stretches, feels tight, or breaks.

Need more stretch? Make your stitch width wider and your length shorter. For example, if you started at a width of 2.0 and a length of 2.5, try turning your width UP to 2.5 and your length DOWN to 1.5.

And knit-garment construction couldn't be simpler! Basic pattern pieces, no zippers, and simple finishing mean you can crank out knit garments fast!

Want more support? Check out a class! Collage Dress, Easy Tee, Continuing On, Sewing Salon, or Basic Sergery are all great places to start sewing with knits!

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Treadlette Tuesday: Rebecca's Funky Friends

Here's a herd of Funky Friends from Treadlette Rebecca! She loves these patterns for their unique design and great drafting that helps them sew together easily.

You can make your own herd in our Funky Friends class - see more and register here!

Friday, May 20, 2022

Friday Fun Fact: Choosing your pattern size

Today we're talking about choosing your pattern size!

The first rule here:

Your pattern size is NOT the same as your store size.

Really. It's not.

Pattern sizes are based on your body measurements, while store sizes are based on nothing and change with the whims of manufacturers. 

Making a dress or top? Choose your size based on your full bust measurement.

Making pants or a skirt? Choose your size based on your full hip measurement.  

Did you notice we're ignoring the waist? That's because the waist is the easiest point to alter.

What if you're a different size in different areas of your body? Well, most of us are! It's okay to choose different sizes for the bust, waist, and hip, and blend between the lines to create your custom pattern. Modern multi-size patterns are designed to do this!


Still not sure? We are always happy to help you measure and choose at Treadle!

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Treadlette Tuesday: Laura's Remy Raglan

It's Treadlette Tuesday, when we share projects, inspiration, and ideas for you from our lovely Treadle Yard Goods employees, The Treadlettes!

Here's Laura's first Remy Raglan, made in a vintage fabric from a friend's stash. 

Friday, May 13, 2022

Friday Fun Fact: Matching your thread

Have you ever been at Treadle and had our help matching threads? Here's our trick!

Pull a strand of thread out of the spool and lay it across the fabric. You are looking for it to disappear.

The color in the spool is not always a perfect indicator! Pulling the strand gives a much better idea of the thread's actual color.

With a printed or multi-color fabric, generally you'll want to match the background or the most dominant color.

When in doubt, go a shade darker. A darker thread will sink into the shadows and disappear, while a light one will pop and stand out.

Can't find your color? Often a grey, beige, or olive will blend in perfectly well.

In each of these examples, we would recommend the center thread. See how it disappears? That's the goal! 

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Treadlette Tuesday: Elizabeth's Collage Dress (and class!)

Elizabeth made this summery dress from a combination of knit and woven scraps. She calls it her collage dress!

The pieces of these fabrics were too big and just too pretty to throw away, but there wasn't enough of any single one to make a whole dress, so she improvised!

You can make this improvised dress, too! It starts with a basic t-shirt pattern that you cut up and modify in our Collage Dress class!

Click here to learn more about the class and register!

Friday, May 6, 2022

Friday Fun Fact: Care for your linen

It's Linen season!

Okay, truly linen is an all-season fabric, but it really shines in the warm weather. Linen is cool and crisp to wear in the heat and feels great even when you're sweaty.

But how to wash it? Like most things, there's more than one approach. 

Linen is famous for wrinkling, but we always encourage you to embrace the wrinkles. That soft, slightly rumpled look lends delightful texture, dimension, and personality!

Wash your linen in cool or warm water (not hot) and either air-dry or tumble dry on medium to low.

If you want to keep it really crisp, iron while damp for the smoothest finish. Linen can take a lot of heat at the iron, but you may want to use a press cloth to avoid shiny spots on finished projects.

Of course, if you prefer to dry clean, that's always an option, and might be best for tailored jackets that have layers of lining and interfacing.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Friday Fun Fact: Clean your sewing machine!

Do you clean your machine regularly?

I know, it seems like a chore, when we all really want to get to the fun part - the sewing! But a clean machine sews better. 

Do a quick clean of the bobbin area frequently - at least every project. When you change your bobbin, simply brush out the lint. It's a few seconds that can really make a difference!

Clean more deeply every few projects. Remove the throat plate if possible (you'll probably need a small screwdriver!) and clean the feed dogs with a brush.

If you have a drop-in bobbin (below) you may not be able to take everything apart. Check your manual.

If you have a vertical bobbin (below) simply push the black plastic arms to the sides to easily remove the bobbin assembly. You'll be amazed at how much lint you can remove from behind there!

For any machine, use soft brushes and lint-free fabric scraps to clean. Avoid blowing into the machine; your breath has too much moisture and canned air can push lint deeper in.  

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Treadlette Tuesday: Our Treadlette Sewing Retrospective is ending!

It's the final week! Stop in to see more of the greatest hits of our closets!

This retrospective was Roberta's idea to celebrate her retirement. Remember to stop by Saturday, May 7 for her all-day soiree!

Friday, April 22, 2022

Friday Fun Fact: Earth Day

 It's Earth Day!

There are so many ways to discuss the impact of textiles on the environment.

Fast fashion is a huge problem globally, and microplastics from synthetics are contaminating our water supplies.

What can we do?

Sewing your own clothing is one way to opt out of the fast fashion cycle. Did you know many garments are only worn seven times before being discarded? By putting time and care into a well-made garment, then using it for years, we can maximize the lifespan of our textile resources.

Choosing natural fibers also helps! But if you opt for a synthetic, choose wisely. The majority of synthetic fabrics Treadle carries are designer deadstock - remnants that would otherwise have ended up in landfills. Giving them a new life is a great form of re-use!

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Treadlette Tuesday: More from our Retrospective!

We're hosting the Treadlette Garment Retrospective!

Stop in during the entire month of April to see our greatest hits of sewing! See part one here! 

Here are a few more of our favorite garments on display! Stop by the store to learn all the history and details of each of these beloved garments.