August 2, 2012

Easy French Tacks

A few of you asked about the serged french tacks I did on my Simplicity 1880 wrap and shirt dresses. Well they are the best things since sliced bread and so easy to make. Now, if you don't have a serger, don't worry you can do these by machine too. You gals and guys know what a french tack is? It's those threaded chains that usually hold your lining to your shell, like in a skirt. They can also be found on dresses or blouses in place of actual belt loops. I used them on my wrap dress in this manner and they work pretty great.

For those of you die hards, you can do these by hand and while I would appreciate your handy work and admire your enthusiasm and dedication to the pure art of sewing, these are one of those things that I like to do by machine. I've done them by hand and they get all knotted and mine look really crummy in the end too. So here's a quick play by play of how to do these by machine:

For you with sergers, all you have to do is serge off a threaded chain. It needs to be rather longish. I like to pull the threads tightish after I've serged off and then from there you just thread that through a needle, knot off one end and add them to your garment where you need them. For skirts, dresses and pants, you would add them to the side seams, front and back seam if you like. You'll put one end in the seam allowance of the lining, back stitch a few times and then thread it through the seam allowance of the shell, leaving a 1.5" - 2 " chain and back stitch a couple times there too. Easy right? I don't think it could be easier.

To do this by machine, take 2 - 3 strands of thread and twist them together a bit. Put the strands of thread into the machine, as if they were fabric, and with a zig zag stitch, zig zag over the top of the threads. I know what you're thinking. This isn't going to work. But it does and its really cool. I know, I'm totally amazed by the simplest things. Ha. For even more info, I like to set my zig zag stitch at about 2.5 width and a 1.5 length (btw, does anyone know what type of measurement these numbers on your sewing machine stand for? Millimeters? Centimeters?) Pretty cool huh? I know, I think they are too. You would apply these in the same manner as the serged threads above. Easy. Peasy.

You guys french tack much? I'll admit, I usually forget this step, but it can really make a difference with a lined garment. Any of you ever tried either of these types before?

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