Monday, March 9, 2009

Using the Grainboard 4 Pintucks

Thank you to LoriSigridAnn, and Dana for nominating me for the Sisterhood Award, I will do a separate post on that. It's been really busy in my life lately...

Still very excited about my grainboard :)) I've been putting it to use the last couple of days. First to trace and cut patterns, then to cut a muslin, and finally for pintucks.

Here are a few more followups to questions about the grainboard:
Joanne asks : But where to store it? On top of the cutting table? On top of the cutting mat that sits on the cutting table? No accidental cuts on the grain muslin?
And Sew A Beginner asks: Can you use rotary cutters on the grainboard?

I've been storing the grainboard on the cutting table, but when I need to move it, it will easily lean up against the wall. I have a cutting mat to use with the rotary cutter- which I only use to cut quilt blocks and bias. I never use a rotary cutter for anything else. With scissors you have complete control, which is a must in couture. The scissors will not cut into the grainboard because the surface is pulled very tight, but you can not use a rotary cutter on the grainboard. I don't quilt much, and now I will use the grainboard for bias strips as well, so the rotary cutter and mat won't be of much use.
And thank you Katy for alerting me to the faulty Baby It's You link. The website is under construction and will hopefully be up and running soon.

Ann said: I have a spaceboard (51"x33")which I bought years ago. I love mine too and always use it. 
I also use mine to draft patterns on, and to trace patterns. If you use a tracing wheel to trace, it perforates the paper underneath nicely and you just follow this to cut out your pattern pieces.
Found a picture here:

Thank you Ann for the info on your spaceboard. I have a question for you: Is it a hard surface or can you pin into it? I usually trace patterns with a marker- I buy large rolls of the cheap tracing paper from the art supply store and just place it over the pattern.

Edit to update:
Ann answered; yes, you can pin into the spaceboard, and she included  a link to photos of how she uses it. I thought this to be so helpful, I asked if I could post the link here. She kindly agreed. Thanks Ann!

So in conclusion; if you don't have the time/space/interest- fill in the rest:)- for a grainboard, a spaceboard is a great alternative.

Okay time for the pintucks part :))

Here's my inspiration coat. This is a bad picture, go to yoox where you can zoom in : Christian Dior Coat.

And this is the pattern I'm using, BWOF 1-2009-115

As it turns out I like the pattern so much I think I'm keeping most of the details and then add the pintuck section, pockets, belt/cuff straps and the button spacing. I might add pintucks on the yoke as well as inside on the upper facing and the under collar. The double collar is really cool- you can flip one up. I also like that it's very relaxed, not so fitted. I mostly wear my jackets and coats open. Here's the muslin.

Okay the pintucks. I need them to be really even and straight and the grainboard is FABULOUS for this. My new gravity feed iron doesn't hurt either :)) I'm using the walking foot and 3mm stitch length. The fabric is a silk shantung (at least that was what the label said), but it's really soft and drapey. I fuse-interfaced for the pintucks but think I'll use silk organza underlining for the coat.
What are you all sewing/dreaming about? It's time for another giveaway, I need some ideas :))


  1. Looks like another fabulous project. The pintucks are a really nice feature. I'm not up to much. I am feeling the sewing bug but haven't been able to get to the machine yet.

  2. Thanks for the response Birgitte. That grain board is a work of art.

  3. You are all set! What a great set up. I can't wait to see the finished coat--I love pintucks.

  4. Looks like a wonderful project and you found a perfect pattern for it. Good luck with the pintucks

  5. That coat is GORGEOUS! However did you find it? It's a classic with such a wonderful and unique twist with the pleats. I can't wait to see your progress!

  6. Wonderful series on making your blocking board. I have used a similar solution for years to do precise commercial sewing. HusPartner cut over sized MDF boards that sit on top of my permanently set up ironing boards. They are padded and have the Golden Hands grid fabric over them. One is even 58" long and 36" wide making steaming of wool yardage easier and faster. Invaluable tools, I agree!

  7. Where did you buy your gravity feed iron? It's really awesome.

  8. That looks like a great pick! Can't wait to see it.

  9. Thank you for posting the steps on the pintucks. It's difficult to get a series of pintucks without distortion.

    I have a spaceboard in a closet. It's going to my sewing room tomorrow. Grainboard coming in the spring.

  10. Great coat! Are they double needle pintucks or the tiny pleat kind? They look like the double needle to me as there is not too much fullness released at their top and bottom. This detail is just fabulous in its placement and I can't wait to see your execution. As far as my own efforts, I have been duely inspired by my grandchildren and feel some heirloom sewing coming on. I bought quite a bit of linen this week and think that is the direction I am headed.

  11. Your jacket choice is gorgeous. I love all the details.
    I can pin into my spaceboard. I bought a roll of craft paper and this is what I use to trace my patterns on. It works really well,
    here are some pictures :)