Sew Easy Fabrics for Beginners

Congratulations! You have already sewn some small projects and are set to move on to sewing your own garment.  Perhaps you are now getting ready to sew your first dress and looking forward to wear your first creative sewing expression. And if you are a bit nervous that it will not turn out perfect, don’t fret. We all make mistakes, but working with certain fabrics for beginners could make your first sewing project a sure success! Fabrics for beginners As you start to go beyond the invisible border of buying clothes and getting ready enter the wonderful world of sewing, it is important to know that there are fabrics that are more adaptable than others. Generally one of the most manageable fabrics to work on is cotton. This versatile fabric can be as light as a handkerchief or heavy like … Continue reading

Amazing Eco-Friendly Fabric Innovations

Eco Friendly Fabric

As humans become more aware of the harmful impact our daily living activities sometimes have on our environment, we are frequently encouraged to use non-polluting materials.  Different kinds of eco-friendly fabric and textiles are now being developed and those who are ecologically aware are keeping watch of these innovative and sustainable fabrics. Indeed, those who adhere to “green living” tend to stay away from traditional cotton or polyester, the production of which can be deemed environmentally harmful.  Cotton uses a huge amount of water and chemicals to grow and polyester comes from non-renewable petrochemicals.  And as scientists try to find more ways to minimize our carbon footprint, amazing discoveries and innovations in cloth production have also emerged.  These new “green” super textiles may be the fabrics of the future. First, however, let’s have a quick look at what might be considered more … Continue reading

Tips For Sewing Denim

sewing denim

Denim is a very popular fabric these days and is synonymous with jeans. Today term “jeans” usually refers to a specific style of pants, called Blue Jeans.  These“rivet-reinforced” denim pants were invented by Jacob W. Davis, along with Levi Strauss & Co., in 1871.  We did a post a few months about highlighting this story of Levi Strauss, who perhaps more than any other individual or institution has done more to expand the role of denim in our society. Origins of Denim However, given this important American contribution to the success of denim, what most people don’t know today is that denim was actually invented in France.  In fact, the word “denim” comes from the French “de” which means from and “Nîmes” which is a wonderful town in the south of France where denim was invented during the Middle Ages.  So denim literally … Continue reading

Tips for Testing Fabric Content

testing fabric content

Here’s a quick video on testing fabric content.  Before we get started, please be careful if trying this at home.  In the video, I’ve used relatively large samples so you can easily see what’s happening.  I’m also in a controlled environment and using fabrics I’m confident have not been soaked in anything or that may be overly flammable.  If you’re doing this yourself, use small samples and be very careful.  Adult supervision is essential. Many people are unable to easily detect the presence of synthetic materials like polyester in fabrics.  Milling and weaving processes have been so refined and material properties so improved that it is often next to impossible to tell the difference between all-natural fabrics and synthetics –until it’s too late sometimes and you either already bought the fabric or have made something you really wanted to be natural … Continue reading

Sewing with Stretchy Knits

stretchy knits

For many sewists, working with the stretchy knit fabric for the first time can be daunting, but moving forward, many soon learn to love knits because of the elasticity and texture. Knits are also wrinkle resistant and comfortable to wear. The word knit is derived from “knot” and it originates from the Dutch word “knutten”. While knitting is the method that uses two or more needles to loop wool or yarn into a series of interconnected loops to produce knit fabrics or garments. It became popular in 1916 when Coco Chanel used knit fabric in her famous suits. Soon thereafter, knits became the fabric of choice for sportswear. Today, knit fabric is popularly used for sweaters, clingy dresses, cashmere turtlenecks, coats and various other knit wear. So what should we keep in mind when we sew using knit fabric? It is … Continue reading

Printing and coloring on Kraft Tex

printing on kraft tex

It’s been a while since I had the chance to get out my Kraft Tex again and try something new. If you’ve never heard of Kraft Tex before then check out these previous articles and you can see how versatile it can be.  It’s often described as paper-fabric or just recently I’ve seen people calling it vegan leather too (which might be a bit of a stretch!), but pre-treat it and it can have a leather-like texture. How to prepare Kraft Tex to look like leather Kraft Tex key fob Kraft Tex wallet video tutorial   I’ve heard that you can print on Kraft Tex and that it’s also really good for arty projects such as painting, coloring, inks, and more. Well we don’t have an art shop here in Cayman so I was rather limited to what supplies I … Continue reading

Pinterest feature – Working with knits

Collection of pins all on the subject of Working with Knits - follow this Pinterest board for all the best tips on working with stretch fabrics

It’s been a while since I did a feature about sewing pins on Pinterest. Check out this earlier article about binding and bias tape pins and one of my favorite boards that I refer to often for tips and reminders: Pinterest – bias and binding pins If you aren’t yet a follower on the So Sew Easy Pinterest boards do come and join us. It’s not just me, I have a whole team of the best sewing bloggers helping to find great content and keep those boards up to date with all the latest free sewing patterns and best sewing tutorials. Today I’m focusing on Working with Knits. My board has 44 pins at the time of writing this, although I’m finding new resources and adding them all the time.  I find Pinterest really useful because: its a visual way to … Continue reading

Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Cutting Fabric

cutting fabric

I must admit, I am new to blogging, but I wanted to start with a topic that is near and dear to my heart. So many people spend hundreds of dollars on a good sewing machine, use it for a few months and then they give up, and put it back in the box in the basement where it remains for years –untouched.  Somewhere in their sewing journey, many aspiring sewers become afraid or demotivated because the project did not turn out the way they wanted.  A big pile of unfinished garments is a dead give away!  Our brain is trained to look for inconsistencies and it is how we judge beauty.  Unconsciously, we know something is off and we give up before we finish.The reason for this doomed journey starts at the fabric store but is often made worse by how … Continue reading

Learn all about Kraft Tex ‘leather’ fabric

Kraft Tex washing comparison. Different methods and results on test. How to make Kraft Tex look like leather.

Have you ever heard of Kraft Tex.  It’s been in my wishlist for ages, but I can’t get it here and had to wait for the lovely Lucy to bring me some over on her bi-annual visit.  It’s a strange sort of material.  Described as a paper fabric, it is designed to be used in all sorts of mixed media, paper crafting and sewing projects – it’s very versatile. Straight out of the packaging, it’s just like a roll of thin cardboard, and you can use it like that with stamping, embossing, painting, punching etc in all sorts of projects.  You can even print on it! But when I think it really comes alive for me, is when crumpled and washed or soaked, then it takes on a leather-like appearance and is ideal for creating bags, wallets, tags, embellishments and … Continue reading

Tips for Sewing with Vinyl

Easy tips for sewing with vinyl and how to get great results with this tricky material for excellent bag-making

  It’s been on my mind for a while now because my local fabric store has a selection of vinyl, ideally for the local boating industry, but there’s no reason I couldn’t use it to make some awesome bags.  I’d heard that vinyl was difficult to sew with so I’ve been putting it off until I could assemble the right supplies. Now there is a project on the work-table that I think you’ll love and the pattern for the bag you see above is coming soon.  Before you jump right in, here are a few tips and tricks to make sewing with vinyl and faux leathers nice and simple. Recommended supplies for working with vinyl Non-stick Teflon foot or roller foot Leather Needle Wonder Clips Tips for sewing with vinyl Needles – Firstly, vinyl is thicker than cotton so we need to be mindful … Continue reading

Printing on fabric – washing and fading

Printing on fabric at home. How washable is it? How to make the ink stick so you can wash your print at home fabric.

We looked before about how to print on fabric and I carried out a review of 4 different methods. Freezer paper sheets Freezer paper on a roll Ready-made printable fabric sheets Fusible web such as Heat N Bond Check out the earlier article for the review and information on all of the different ways I tried to stiffen the fabric for printing. What settings to use on your printer I tried various different settings on my printer to see if photo or standard printing gave best results.  You may see some tutorials that suggest you use photo print settings, but actually I found that this added too much ink to the fabric, made it too wet and the colors ran and bled into each other a little, making the end result less sharp. The recommendation on the ready-made print sheets … Continue reading