Darlene Cahill's How To Sew French Seams & Buttonholes

by Partner DarleneCahill on ‎07-31-2013 07:00 PM (397 Views)

Hi Sewing Friend,
August is that warm and wonderful month when we look ahead and start planning our Fall Fashion dreams!  Designers take center stage in the annual New York Fall Fashion week, Sept. 5-12.  We'll be seeing  texture blocking with  furs, leathers, sequins and lace along with  high end details such as French Seams and Bound Buttonholes.
You can easily accomplish both of these luxury details and have the designer look for less using  your sewing machine! Here's how:
FRENCH SEAMS: This  seam finish is used mostly on lightweight fabrics. The seam allowance is buried inside the seam so it's a clean finish that will not fray.
Darlene Cahill Sewing Darlene Cahill Sewing Darlene Cahill Sewing

  • Shorten the stitch length and sew a 1/4" seam with wrong sides together.
  • Carefully trim the seam to 1/8".
  • Press the seam allowance to the inside by rolling the seam between your fingers.
  • Now stitch a new 1/4" seam encasing the 1/8" seam allowance. Perfection!

Darlene Cahill SewingYou'll notice Bound buttonholes standing out on a garment because the inside edges are finished with tiny strips of material rather than thread. This clean look doesn't fray and can either blend in with the garment as a subtle detail or contrast as you see in the photo.  If you have a computerized machine that has the rectangle option listed with the buttonholes then you're half way there! All you need to mark is the starting point since the foot and the built-in stitch does the rest of the work for you! Different models move their buttonhole stitches in different directions so always practice first on a scrap of the same materials!

Darlene Cahill SewingPrepare the base fabric with interfacing (front facing) . Place an interfaced piece (matching or contrasting fabric approx 2" x 3" ) directly over where you want the buttonhole with right sides together.
Thread the machine, Place the button in the foot's sliding carrier. Attach the buttonhole foot, pull down the sidebar lever and position it toward the back of the space on the left side of the foot, lower the foot, select the rectangle bound buttonhole option and stitch. Machines with this feature usually lock the stitches at the end. Make sure to back tack or lockstitch if you're doing the small rectangle manually.  Remove from machine.

Darlene Cahill SewingMake a tiny Y incision at both corners and down the center of the rectangle's space being careful not to cut through any stitching. Pull the small piece through the hole to the backside and fold each long side to make a visible fabric line halfway through the opening. PRESS in place.

Topstitch in the ditch to hold the pressed and folded pieces in place.
Darlene Cahill Sewing Darlene Cahill Sewing Darlene Cahill Sewing

Mark  the facing directly over the buttonhole and slash the opening. Roll the edges under and press. Pin in place over the backside of the buttonhole and slip stitch to secure the facing directly over the backside of the bound buttonhole.
Congratulations, You Did it...Designer elegance!
See you next month for National Month of Sewing!
Sept 4th.......... 9am & 4pm
Sept 5th.......... 6am & 2pm
Sept 11th ........7am & 1pm
Sept 12th ....... 5am
Sept 21st ........4am, 11am, & 3pm
Sept 26th ........5am, 10am, &4pm
Sept 27th.........4am

by CupaTea on ‎08-02-2013 03:16 PM

Hi D.C,
Love your tutorials for your French seams and button holes and the drink covers. I just wanted to stop by and say Hello, and oh my oh my the Singer 9970. I could not resist it. It is an upgrade for me from my beloved Signature machine. I have seen the 9960 on another site, The older model. Oh my Oh my. Again HSN has out done them selves with the purchase price for this New Machine.
I have priced out some of the presser feet that come with this machine like the stitch in the ditch, the Chenille Foot, The Parallel sewing foot, Seam guide foot. just to name a few. I was going to buy them all Ala-cart. Woo-Whoo it all comes with this machine. I cannot wait to get it. Love flex pay too.
Darlene you are great have been watching all day, will continue on into the last show. I am a Dar's star and cannot wait to get my new dvd from you. You are just wonderful and thank you so much. I cannot wait to learn more from you as you are the Sewing Goddess.
If you are on the fence of 9970, This is the best buy so far for this machine and you cannot get this new anywhere but on HSN.
Happy sewing every one,
Cupa Tea

by liloleladi on ‎08-02-2013 06:25 PM

Will todays special sew fake fur and canvas?

by justme334 on ‎08-02-2013 09:44 PM

Hello Darlkene!
I try to never miss presentations on HSN. I am a collector of sewing machines and have loved them ever since i took home ec during junior high almost 50 yrs ago now.
i decided to get the singer futura XL500 this week.
You then came along with the today'[s special of a great sewing machine with 600 hundred stitches and more functions and all those feet!
I tried the best i could to talk myself out of the today's special. I told myself i didn't need 600 hundred stitches etc etc.... i haven't even received the XL-550 yet!
what did i do.....i just ordered the today's special machine. how could i not. why does singer make irresistible deals on their machines?
thank you for your work. i get so inspired to sew after i watch your presentations.
this looks like such a wonder machine...and also the embroidery machine. i will have to dedicate a room in my house to just sewing.
thank you!

by Arturistar on ‎08-03-2013 01:13 AM

Where is the Singer 1000+ Stitch Chart you mentioned on the show today? I just purchased the sewing machine and would love to have that chart. Thanks!

by CindywithAnI on ‎08-03-2013 01:22 AM

Darlene - on today's shows you indicated that you would post the stitch guide so we could print it out. When will this be posted or is it somewhere else? Can't wait to get my TSV and start using my machine - it's the first one I've bought in 30 years! Thanks!

by tower4me on ‎08-03-2013 01:15 PM

Darlene – on the (Singer 9970) show you indicated that you would post the stitch guide so we could print it out. When will this be posted or is it somewhere else? Waiting and looking for ithe cheat sheet. Please follow up on your words.
Can't wait L:smileyhappy: :smileyhappy:king...
Thanks I'm excited

by CindywithAnI on ‎08-08-2013 08:43 PM

Just got my machine and can't wait to get started, would really love it if you would post the stitch guide you promised as my eyes are older and a larger sheet would be nice to use rather than looking at the small guide on the machine.

by Lillybelle699 on ‎08-08-2013 10:17 PM

Hi Darlene,
My Singer 9970..help..when trying stitch #5-basting stitch, darning embroidery foot display. The machine wouldn't sew with that foot(also drop the feed dogs) or foot A(feed dogs up). Message on LCD was 11, I removed the foot control then used the start/stop button to sew, LCD message was 9. What am I doing wrong?
Thanks a bunch Lillybelle699

by JavaBlue on ‎08-09-2013 02:41 AM

I bought the 1000 stitch and also need the " cheat sheet ".
Thank you,

by trytobefair on ‎08-11-2013 10:18 PM

I made my first bound buttonhole 50 years ago. Sister Lillian Marie was a good teacher. My new machine has a thread cutter, what a neat do-dad. Sister used to take one point off our grade for every thread she found on our garment. I would have had better grade if I had the thread cutter then. My new Singer 1000 stitches is fun but when I turn it on it groans, is that normal? Also please post the stitch chart you spoke about. Another suggestion that would assist us with the 1000 stitches would be a thread guide listing the different decorator threads we can use with the machine. Thank you in advance for your help.
Love to sew

by MrsWindy on ‎08-13-2013 12:27 AM

The cheat sheet can be found on Darlene's website.

by truthful1 on ‎08-13-2013 12:02 PM

Darlene's "cheat sheet" can be found on her website at: www.darlenecahill.com

by CupaTea on ‎08-14-2013 12:48 PM

Hi Lillybelle699,
I read your post and proceeded to use Stitch #5. It is set up to use the embroidery/darning foot. My machine 9970 did sew the stitch. it is one stitch not a series of stitch. I did not receive any error messages. I also tried it with my satin foot as that was what I was using for my project. It also worked with that. No error message to change the foot back to the embroidery/darning foot.
I made a series of stitches, by lifting the presser foot and advancing my fabric a head each time. The stitches did look like a running basting stitch that is made by hand. I was able to pull them out with no problem as they are loose enough to remove.
With the embroidery/darning foot, I think this would be use for a bulky fabric project and use to just tack it down temporarily, and then proceed to sew it as planned. With the satin foot or all purpose foot, your fabric can be light weight as you get the foot all the way down to touch the fabric and hold it in place as you baste/sew.
I was hoping to use this stitch on projects that the directions call for basting in place before you sew The actual stitch such as in the tops of sleeves etc. If not I will just use the straight stitch set to the longest setting to do the same process with more stitches.
Your sewing friend,

by CupaTea on ‎08-14-2013 01:17 PM

Hi trytobefair ,
Yes the machine does make a noise when it first goes on. That is because it is a computerized machine. It is saying hello to you. Ha Ha,
The thread that you want is embroidery thread for decorative stitches. I have been using it on all my computerized machines. I have the Futura quartet embroidery machine and the Signature machine.
I believe the embroidery thread is 40wt. I have also used outdoor thread used for making cushions for out door furniture etc. It comes in limited colors, but works very well too. Heavy thread works better then all purpose or light weight thread. Quilting thread is to light as well.
When I use my signature or now 9970 I use stabilizer and an embroidery sewing machine needle. Works out very nicely and the lettering or decorative stitch comes out awesome.
Darlene Cahill dot com is a free site and is chock full of information. You will get the stitch chart there. I am a Dar's Stars member and go there lots for projects and lots of information.
Sulky embroidery thread can be found on HSN and around the net. Sulky also makes stabilizers and is also sold here on HSN. Embroidery needles can be found at the Singer web site.
Your sewing friend,

by doodle52 on ‎08-21-2013 10:07 PM

Darlene, you said it is best to use embroidery thread for the decorative stitches and lettering. Should I also use the embroidery bobbin thread? I have the 9960 and love it....Also really like you posting the new schedules. I can write them on my calendar so I don't miss any. Can't believe National Sewing Month is almost here. Happy Sewing!

by doodle52 on ‎08-21-2013 10:11 PM

Darlene, I bought your DVD and it is great. I will be getting the others when they come out. Also hope when you're all done with those you can make some sewing projects using these feet on dvds so we can learn from those.

by nkr1 on ‎08-31-2013 12:04 PM

Hi, Darlene!! I would like to know if I can serge fleece, velour, or terry cloth for robes on the Singer Professional 5 thread serger? I am really wanting to try it out, but really need a serger to do this job. I already bought the Brother 1034 serger, but don't think it can handle it-didn't receive it yet! Also, is there a way to replace the knives on the Singer 5 thread? Thanks and love you and hugs as always!

by CupaTea on ‎09-04-2013 02:26 PM

Hi nkr1,
I have the Singer pro 5 thread and wish I had it when I made my 4 robes. The stitch that is recommended from my book printed out from the book cd that came with my machine is the Five-thread Safety stitch Wide. This a combination of a two- thread chain stitch and a three-thread over lock stitch. It is suitable for woven fabrics and creates a durable seam for heavy weight fabrics terry cloth etc. Chapter 9 in my book. The other stitch is the five-thread safety stitch Narrow. Chapter 10. this stitch is also durable for terry cloth and denim.
This machine like yours is 1300 SPM. The pro 5 serger will do a chain stitch and The cover stitch. Chapters 11,12,13. You can go on the singer site and look up the Pro 5 overlock Machine. 14T968DC then look to the right once the page is up for the machine and look for Instruction manual Part 1 and Part 2 free to download and give it a read before you decide.
I love this serger and I am not a seamstress but have used this to finish seams on items I have sewed with my conventional machines all 4 + this one. Yours is a 3-4 serger and the difference is that yours does not do 2 or 5 stitch. set up. Yours is the same speed per stitch 1300.
Yes you can change the knife and you get one plus the one on it so you have two knifes, plus six additional feet. plus built in hemming. Plus a box full of accessories. No free arm with this one. You get a cd to copy the Instruction book as you go. I have see it demonstrated since I bought it and have heard about an addition dvd with starter projects on it.
Great Machine I love it and never sergered in my life till now.
Your friend,

by Inspirer 2 SLMangle Inspirer 2 on ‎09-19-2013 08:06 PM

I bought the TS Heavy Duty serger awhile back. I haven't been able to figure it out so I ordered a serger book and I was wanting to know if this machine has the Cover stitch/cover hem stitch ability?

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