Tuesday, 5 August 2014

McCalls 3830 Part 1 and a Binding Foot Review

Right so the last post was all about last weekend, this is what I have been doing on this. 

I had a couple of hours spare Saturday and Sunday so I decided that I should go sew something as I was in town anyway with time to kill. I went to the studio and traced out McCalls 3830 in a size 22. I could do with some new pencil skirts and this pattern seemed ideal with lots of good reviews.
I had traced out this pattern before but had made some modifications so I thought that I would start afresh.

McCalls 3830. A great basic pencil skirt pattern in 5 lengths.

I  traced it in length C and drew a line from the lengthen shorten line to a point 1.5cm in from each side seam to help peg the bottom of the skirt a bit. This would reduce the overall circumference of the bottom by 6cm for a bit more of a wiggle skirted vibe. 

Not the best quality corduroy but a nice colour.

I have had this fabric in my stash for years. I think that I bought it in Remnant King's in Glasgow, but it might have been Mandors. It is 150cm width and I think I had about 1.5m but I didn't measure it as I had originally bought it as a skirt length and knew I had enough. The fabric has a slight cross-wise stretch and is not very thick so will need to be lined. It had been pre-washed, etc.

Last year I bought a binding foot from eBay. It was less than £5 so was not too much to lose if I couldn't get it to work. I tried it for the first time yesterday and was truly impressed. 

You adjust the foot to the with of your binding with the little screw on the right.

This skirt pattern is vented so I my first though about finishing the seams was binding. I bought some double-fold tape in a black and white gingham, mainly because it was either that or baby pink, and thought I would have a go with my new(ish) foot.

Underneath showing how it threads through.

It is so easy to use. You just feed the binding through and the action of the feed dogs and foot does the rest, although if you haven't got your fabric lined up closely things can go a bit wrong. Hey, it was in my first 5 inches!

Easily rectified but still quite annoying.

I got the hang of it after about 10 minutes and although it is quite slow going it is fun.

Look at the pretty.

I have done all the inside seams (except for the centre back as I was not sure if it would add to much bulk round the zip area) and will do the hem but I ran out of tape. I had bought 4m thinking it would be enough but I will get another couple just to be on the safe side. It was 50p a metre so what the hell, I am going to live dangerously.

Another great use for this foot would be to turn bias strips into spaghetti straps. It makes such a clean looking strip and no need for those fiddly rouleaux turning hooks. Yay!

Great clean strips. Knackered old hands. It's all the chemicals at work you know.

Anyway to sum up. I think that this treatment looks great. I love a Hong Kong-style finish and this is just such a cute way to finish seams or hems. I know that I am going to use this foot to death.Would be a very useful gadget for making straps for tops or children's wear too. Five quid well spent in my books.

Coming soon "Part two, the big skirt reveal", if you pardon the pun............

Happy everything!
K xx


  1. Ooh, now you've gone all technical and lost me... which isn't at all difficult! The binding looks very cool though, and very neat! xxx

    1. Hong Kong finish is just using binding to cover the edges of your fabric so that they're neat and durable. It looks great on things like unlined jackets or in places that your seams will show. I always wanted to be able to do this as I like to use colourful or surprising linings in things. It is a neat fnish except for the bit I buggered up. Oh well, it was my first attempt with this foot. Thank God for seam rippers!
      How is your sewing coming along? I was in a shop yesterday with lots of craft things from the 70's. You would have loved it. I bought some Crimplene just in case I wasn't hot and sweaty enough. ;) xxxx

  2. I hope some of that great binding will make its way to the outside of the garment. I just love the 2 prints together!

    1. Thanks Rhonda. I have quite a bit of fabric left and every skirt needs pockets so maybe that would be a good idea. I like them together too. Xx

  3. I love your choice of fabric. I also enjoyed a peek at the binding foot, I must sew hundreds of metres of binding a year so perhaps it's something I need to consider.

    1. Thanks Josie. I love this foot, it really will be a time saver for me as I sew loads of bias binding too. I can't recommend using one enough if you sew a lot as well. This one is adjustable and will take a lot of widths. I bought it from the "SewingSupplies" shop on eBay for less than a fiver. I have bought a lot of feet from them as they sell loads of generics at pretty low prices. I am looking forward to using it with home-made binding from my Clover binding makers. Xx