Monday, June 7, 2010

The cool Kids Hit the Town

Meet Vanilla Pop.
“Hello Vanilla Pop!” Says Cordelia.
“Hello Cordelia!” Says Vanilla Pop.

So Vanilla Pop is Albuquerque/ Santa Fe’s greatest, hottest, most talented and fun local band.


And even if they aren’t, Cordela and I kind of love them.
Because they wear fantastic outfits.

Like this:

And they sing our favorite songs.
And every first Friday of the month they play at a local bar.
So we go.
And we love it.

Now meet Rosie

“Hello Rosie!” Says Cordelia.
“Hello Cordelia” says Rosie.

Rosie is one of my best buddies and she is the one who introduced me to Vanilla Pop. Thanks Rosie. You rock my world.


Now meet my collection of pencil skirts.

Some may say it’s too big.

But I say it’s not big enough.

Seriously, Cordelia and I love these puppies because, well, they are flattering to our bodies and I can whip one up in about 3 hours.


Well, because we are Vanilla Pop regulars, and because we enjoy sewing, Rosie, Cordelia and I decided to make some fantastic outfits to wear this month.

And because I’m a fan of the pencil skirt, and because Vanilla Pop is a fan of loud nauseating prints I decided to take this fabric:

And turned it into this skirt.

Which looks like this inside:

Bonita! I used the European Turned Underling technique to get that clean finish.

And then I helped Rosie take this bird fabric

And turn it into this skirt.

Which is also equally fantastic on the inside thanks to the European Turned Underlining Technique.


And now I will take a breather to demonstrate, to those of you who care to know, how to do the European Turned Underlining Technique!!!! And, this is a somewhat unknown technique so you should pay attention. Plus their will be a quiz afterwards.


In order to keep a clear sewing teacher conscience,
I must enter sewing geek land and let you know what this underlining thingy is and why you might want to use one anyways.

Underlinings: They’re kind of like a lining but different.

Oh I’m so informative it hurts.
Just Kidding!


OK, ok, for reals this time.

An underlining is a separate piece of fabric that is layered under the fashion fabric. These two layers are then treated as one piece as you construct your project.

Now why in the world would I want to waist all this time and fabric on an underlining?

Because underlinings give support and body to the fashion fabric, so you’ll want to use one in a structured or tailored garment.

They also give opaqueness to garment fabric to hide inner construction. Have you ever found yourself walking down the street and the person in front of you was wearing a pair of white pants where you can see the pockets and seam allowances grinning through? And you couldn’t take your eyes off the stupid pockets because they looked terrible in an otherwise perfectly good pair of pants? I bet you have, and I bet you thought it was tacky (I know that is one of my pet peeves). An underlining would take care of that little problem.

They also prevent stretching in areas of stress, and can act as a nice layer to catch hems or interfacings.



Underlinings = a good thing.

I bet Martha Stewart would approve.
Learn to love ‘em.
I know I do.

So now that you’ve got all that, here’s how you make my famous European Turned Underlining.

First, cut your fashion fabric according to the pattern.


Then take the underlining fabric and add 5/8” additional seam allowance to all VERTICAL seams. (The white fabris is the underlining).

Take a fashion fabric piece and a corresponding underlining piece and lay right sides together.

Sew ¼” from the edge on all VERTICAL seams. Because the underlining layer is bigger it will pooch, but this is OK, you want it to do that.

Press the seam allowances towards the underlining fabric.

Turn the piece right sides out wrapping the underlining fabric around the fashion fabric seam allowances.

Stitch in the ditch. (AKA stich right in the seam. Sew through all the layers)

And VOLA! European Turned Underlining. Do this to all the pattern pieces.


From here on out you will treat both layers as one and construct the garment according to the pattern directions.

So you would sew the darts into both layers.

Easy Peasy.

You can do it!!!

Um, where was I?

Oh right, back to Vanilla Pop.

So we made our fabulous skirts.

And I made my buddy Miko a skirt too. Cause it’s her birthday soon.

Then we got dressed up.

But I decided not to wear my skirt cause that would be too much pencil in one crowd. Instead I wore my knit dress borrowed from the wedding gown.

Oh we look Good! Like a million dollars baby.

Pop Quiz!

Can you place the shoe with the owner?
Which one belongs to:

And we hit the town.
And Vanilla Pop was fantastic.

And they Serenaded Rosie

And they walked around the bar.

But we didn't stalk them.  Promis!

 And a good time was had by all! Except for Cordellia because I wouldn’t let her go. She has no ID and the bouncer wouldn’t let her in last time. And I didn’t want to have to waist time taking her home.

Happy Vanilla Poping!
~Melisa and Cordelia


  1. Great technique! I'll have to try that. Thanks. :)

  2. I used this method with very good results. Thank you so much for sharing. However I do have one question. What method did you use to get such a clean finish on your hemline?

    1. I finish the raw edge with a Hon-Kong binding (similar to a bias binding) fold the hem up and stitch in place with a blind hem stitch. I finish the corners at the slit with a mitered corner.

      A link for a mitered corner tutorial.