Category Archives: Techniques

Sewing the underpants model KALSON

During the sewing of pair no. 2 of underpants model KALSON I experienced the following:

  • I forgot to check the stretch of the fabric (almost no stretch) before cutting and ended up with parts being too small to fit around my hips. I found a solution: adding a new part in the length of the underpants with a width of 8 cm.
  • I used temporary stitching in all the seams and glued parts (using non-toxic cellulosa and water based paperglue for children) were needed. This was easy to remove afterwards after soaking in hot water for an hour.

Preparing wool

How to prepare wool to be used as stopping:


Get wool from a local farmer nearby you. Clean the wool from scrapping and part chunks. Rinse the wool from the sweat of the animal by soaking and very gently tugging it in water not warmer than 40 ‘C. This treatment leaves a great amount of wool grease in the wool. Dry. Finish by fluffing it up by parting all chunks of wool with your hands.


Wash wool if too smelly or dirty by gently soaking and very gently tugging it in soap water not warmer than 40 ‘C. Make sure the wool is only soaked for a short while.


I have established a workflow to make it easier to create and publish the patterns.

  1. First I get inspiration
  2. Then I create or copy a pattern into LibreCAD (using my template with layers and a cc-by-sa block)
  3. Then I sometimes go through the hastle of manually exporting a svg-file and (then with inkscape) convert it to png.
  4. Use the following commands from ImageMagick to scale the photos from my camera:

Photos going to the blog:

mogrify -scale 30% *JPG

Photos going to the repository only:

mogrify -scale 50% photo-source/*JPG

  1. Then I add and commit into my local git repository by launching my helper script that helps me update the compressed files.
  2. Push (upload) my local repository to gitorious.

Levels of complexity and difficulty

(this is a highly subjective list)

The greater the number the more difficult and or complex the task:

  1. buying prêt-á-porter clothes
  2. straight sewing with a machine, needle threading, cutting, marking on fabric
  3. zigzag an edge, maneuvering a machine, pin
  4. applying a button by hand, 1 fold hem
  5. following an easy pattern, buttonholes with a machine
  6. making your own simple pattern
  7. change foots on a machine, sewing stretch knitted fabrics
  8. tracing and making a pattern from existing clothes
  9. making stuff straight/coherent
  10. roughly fit a human body
  11. applying zippers
  12. multiple layers (eg. quilt) on machine
  13. passpoal stuff
  14. tight-fit to a specific body (weaved fabric)

Preparing fabric (or not)

I have now sewn a few things including a few pillows and a bedcover case and did not (yet) follow this advice:

Always wash and press all fabric before sewing with it. New fabric will usually shrink a certain amount. Marking of patterns must be done on quite flat (well-pressed) fabric, as creases will distort the shape of the chalked pattern. source Wikibooks

What I simply did was marking with an ordinary pencil[^2] on unwashed cotton fabric. Then I began to sew and did not bother much about creases of if I made it straight. I imagine that these advices apply to precision work as is the making of clothes.

^[2]: This might be hard to remove I was told at the fabric store.