Hollywood Old Timey Jazz Glam!

Given the chance to design a Chorus Line for a show I of course went Old Timey and pulled influences from old school Hollywood!

11-342784_0x440 624ebee3dd49e4d932371bf6c681d048 1002a9b6a88472a51de0c9a965081967 tumblr_mmz6fnxdBK1qf1hu0o1_500

Who wouldn’t, right?

Working with a very limited budget, I decided to create some stand out Tail Coats, then add different Costume elements to them to create different looks. Most of the budget for this show went into these Tail Coats, and I think they really sell the piece… not so much on this mannequin though! Why are store mannequins so weirdly shaped?!

13288826_10153581409531272_1990597414_n 13292857_10153581409601272_191919733_n 13293254_10153581409811272_1892463809_n

I thought that Black Sequin fabric was a super swell find, and would really pop on stage, but I didn’t want to over use it. The Black fabric was also sequined, but a little more gently, and simply shimmered but provided real movement.

We also made silver waistcoats, hot pants (girls) and trousers (boys) with silver sequin tuxedo stripes. For the more modern dance numbers which were a little more energetic we created t-shirts with stars and others with music notes on them, also from the silver sequin fabric (actually, the silver sequin fabric scraps! We were really using every last piece!!)

13289063_10153581409971272_1484358053_n   13236139_10153581409411272_1351522536_n   13282153_10153581409016272_1412618336_n

Finally, and I was super duper over the moon with these bad boys I can tell you!, I made some silver mini top hats with shooting stars… ta da!!

hat1 hat2 hat4

And put it all together and… … …


That’s some pretty hot jazz!

Happy stitching!

Notions: Making Bias Binding

Bias Binding is a wonderful technique to master, and can really add a great detail to finishing your garment. There are two ways to put Bias Binding on to your Garment. The first is ready made Bias Binding, which can come in any number of colours, Satin or Cotton and with fun lacy edgings however; the other is Self Binding- when you hand make Bias Binding from the same fabric as your Garment- and is well worth a go. I really like to make up contrast Bias Binding, to add a little piece of detailing often only seen by me!


The above is an excerpt from Weldons Encyclopaedia of Needlework, and clearly shows the process of making up Bias Binding, and joining the strips to make continuous Bias Binding.

Firstly, ascertain the width of Bias Binding you would like to make- I normally make 5cm wide Binding which allows for a 1cm Seam Allowance on each end and 3cm to ‘wrap round’. Place a measuring tape on the seam edge you would like to bind and take a look at what you think would look best. Times this measurement by two and add Seam Allowance for both sides. For example, if I wanted 1.5cm of Binding to show, the strip I would cut would measure 5cm-6cm.

First, using a Set Square or Pattern Master cut strips at a 45o Angle and as wide as is required. Cut along the lines, making sure the ends of each is at a 45o angle to the strip.

Bias 1Bias 2

From McCalls Sewing in Colour

Pin, Right Sides Together, as shown in fig. 766. Mis-match as illustrated by 1cm to allow for the 1cm Seam Allowance. Sew, remembering to reverse stitch at the beginning and end of the seam, and iron with the Seams facing out.

Bias 4

From McCalls Sewing in Colour

Once you have made up, and sewn together, enough strips for the length of Bias Binding that is required place the flat Bias Binding Right Sides Together on the Seam you are Binding. Sew, remembering to keep to your Seam Allowance very closely.

Iron, with the Raw Edges of the Seam facing ‘up’ in to the Bias Binding. Fold the Top of the Strip of Bias Binding down to match the Raw Edges. Iron nice and flat. Try not to stretch the Bias Binding. Fold over so that the Fold you have just created in the Bias Binding now lines up with the stitched Seam. Hand Sew or Machine Sew to finish.

Ready made Bias Binding is a little easier to handle and, when ironed in half, can simply be ‘popped on’ to the top of the Seam to be bound and sewn down as illustrated below.

Bias 5

From McCalls Sewing in Colour 

The above describes how I make and handle Bias Binding. You can buy Bias Binding makers  however; I have never found them very useful as I often want to make custom Bias Binding, to fit the Garment I am making beautifully. Which is why I have  chosen not to buy ready made Bias Tape.

Like Covered Buttons, I find that hand made Bias Binding creates a beautiful and unique finish to a garment.

Happy stitching!