So Sew Easy http://so-sew-easy.com Free sewing patterns, sewing clothes and accessories. Dress patterns, skirt patterns, sewing tutorials and a great sewing blog. Sun, 21 Dec 2014 12:23:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 What class should I review next? http://so-sew-easy.com/class-review-next/ http://so-sew-easy.com/class-review-next/#comments Sun, 21 Dec 2014 11:00:20 +0000 http://so-sew-easy.com/?p=12329 In the last big sale on Craftsy I really stocked up on classes and have a LOT now – over 50 in total across all sorts of subjects.  The prices were just too good to miss.  I’ve already started on the Bra Making, Construction and Fit class, but wondered about the others. Sometimes I like to do a review of a class when I watch it and share what I learn. So I wondered which classes I should do next, let you know what I think of them and write more in detail about what they cover. Here are the reviews I’ve done so far: Sewing with knits (25% off) – Complete review Sew the Perfect Fit (20% off) – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 Design your Own Handbag (just $19.99)- Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 … Continue reading

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Written by Deby Coles

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Which class next

In the last big sale on Craftsy I really stocked up on classes and have a LOT now – over 50 in total across all sorts of subjects.  The prices were just too good to miss.  I’ve already started on the Bra Making, Construction and Fit class, but wondered about the others.

Sometimes I like to do a review of a class when I watch it and share what I learn. So I wondered which classes I should do next, let you know what I think of them and write more in detail about what they cover.

Here are the reviews I’ve done so far:

These are the classes I was thinking of doing soon.  Let me know in the poll below which ones you would like to see a review for.  You can even let me know if you aren’t interested in reviews at all.  I’ll take note of what’s the most popular.

You can click each one to see the class description.

Beginner sergingpayment (18)payment (24)Travel organisers Pattern drafting from ready to wear30 professional techniquesfresh applique techniques

 

What are you interested in?  Let me know here…

You can pick more than one –>

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.

Write your own class reviews!

Would you like to write your own class review and give other readers your honest opinion about some of the online sewing and quilting classes you have taken?  We would all LOVE to hear what you have to say.  There is a section in the new FORUM exactly for this, so if you haven’t already done so, do sign up and you can submit your review, notes and even photos of your completed class projects in the Class Reviews and Discussions section.

Need to learn more about how to use the forum?  Take a look here for the how-to instructions.  I’m so looking forward to reading your reviews.

 

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Christmas Baby Bib http://so-sew-easy.com/christmas-baby-bib/ http://so-sew-easy.com/christmas-baby-bib/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 11:00:00 +0000 http://so-sew-easy.com/?p=13830 I had a lot of fun with this project! I prepared a pattern to make your own bib complete with two different appliques. If you don’t have a baby to sew for, you can use the silhouettes for a multitude of other projects! I think I might make a shirt for my little one with the reindeer. I just love how cute it turned out! To make your own Christmas baby bib, you will need: The Pattern – DOWNLOAD FROM HERE a large scrap of Christmas fabric a large scrap of soft fabric (I used flannel for the back of the snowman and a minky fabric for the back of the reindeer) a small scrap of black fabric a small scrap of red fabric (if sewing the reindeer) matching thread freezer paper (optional) scissors sewing machine How to sew a Christmas … Continue reading

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Written by Alicia at Felt with Love Designs

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I had a lot of fun with this project! I prepared a pattern to make your own bib complete with two different appliques.

Christmas Baby Bibs to sew includes bib pattern and 2 appliques.

If you don’t have a baby to sew for, you can use the silhouettes for a multitude of other projects! I think I might make a shirt for my little one with the reindeer. I just love how cute it turned out!

Christmas Baby Bib - Reindeer front

Christmas Baby Bib - snowman front

To make your own Christmas baby bib, you will need:

  • The Pattern – DOWNLOAD FROM HERE
  • a large scrap of Christmas fabric
  • a large scrap of soft fabric (I used flannel for the back of the snowman and a minky fabric for the back of the reindeer)
  • a small scrap of black fabric
  • a small scrap of red fabric (if sewing the reindeer)
  • matching thread
  • freezer paper (optional)
  • scissors
  • sewing machine

How to sew a Christmas baby bib

  1. Cut two of the baby bib (mirrored). Note: seam allowance is not included in the pattern. Cut around the pattern, including your desired seam allowance. I used 1/4 inch. Christmas Baby Bib - seam allowance
  2. Choose your applique and cut it from the black fabric (You will choose either the reindeer or the snowman. Cut directly on the line. Do not include a seam allowance, as it will be appliqued on. I copied my pattern onto freezer paper and ironed that on the fabric to cut my shapes more accurately.) Christmas Baby Bib - cutting
  3. Apply Heat N Bond to the back of the silhouette and iron to the front of the bib, using the included instructions. Christmas Baby Bib - snowman appliqué
  4. Applique the silhouette (To sew the snowman, I used the applique stitch on my sewing machine. For the reindeer, I hand-stitched around the edges, using white thread to make it pop out from the base fabric more.) Christmas Baby Bib - snowman close up Christmas Baby Bib - reindeer stitch Christmas Baby Bib - reindeer
  5. With right sides together, sew around the edges of the bib, leaving a small gap on one side to turn. Christmas Baby Bib - inside out Christmas Baby Bib - gap
  6. Clip the fabric along the curve (Be careful not to clip through the seam.) Christmas Baby Bib - clip
  7. Turn rightside and press. Christmas Baby Bib - right side
  8. Topstitch all the way around the bib, making sure to complete the seam where you turned the bib. Christmas Baby Bib - top stitch
  9. Install the snap (I used snaps for my bibs because I had them on hand but you could also sew velcro onto the bib to use as a closure instead.) Christmas Baby Bib - snapsChristmas Baby Bib - finished open Christmas Baby Bib - finished closed

Like I mentioned above, the reindeer and snowman silhouettes can be used for a variety of projects. I would love to see what you make from them. Come by and share your projects on the Felt With Love Designs Facebook page!

Christmas Baby Bibs to sew includes bib pattern and 2 appliques. Christmas Baby Bib - backs

For more Christmas projects, head over to Felt With Love Designs! We just finished a fun and unique 12 days of Christmas finger puppet series (with tutorial and free pattern!) You might also like our toddler-friendly advent ornaments!

Christmas Baby Bibs to sew includes bib pattern and 2 appliques.

I hope you enjoy making your own baby bibs as much as I enjoyed designing them!

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Written by Alicia at Felt with Love Designs

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Twist Front Dress Pattern – POTM http://so-sew-easy.com/twist-front-dress-pattern/ http://so-sew-easy.com/twist-front-dress-pattern/#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 11:00:34 +0000 http://so-sew-easy.com/?p=12557 Classy, classic, elegant, refined.  Not words you could use to describe every dress, but this twist front dress pattern really does suit those words.  You’ll look a knockout in this dress, whether you choose a solid or a small print.  Introducing the ‘In a Twist’ Dress pattern, Pattern of the Month for December. With a higher neckline in the front and a more dramatic lowered neckline at the back, this dress is a good-looker from every direction.  Worried that it looks complicated to sew?  The pattern testing team thought so too until they tried it!  It’s deceptively easy and there is a video to take you through the sewing on this dress every step of the way. Features: Interesting twist detail at the waist Creates interest and diagonal lines across the center of the body to shape and create a waist … Continue reading

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Written by Deby Coles

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Love this twist on the front of this dress.  Flattering and yet its easy to sew.  (Video)

Classy, classic, elegant, refined.  Not words you could use to describe every dress, but this twist front dress pattern really does suit those words.  You’ll look a knockout in this dress, whether you choose a solid or a small print.  Introducing the ‘In a Twist’ Dress pattern, Pattern of the Month for December.

With a higher neckline in the front and a more dramatic lowered neckline at the back, this dress is a good-looker from every direction.  Worried that it looks complicated to sew?  The pattern testing team thought so too until they tried it!  It’s deceptively easy and there is a video to take you through the sewing on this dress every step of the way.

Collage 1

Features:

  • Interesting twist detail at the waist
  • Creates interest and diagonal lines across the center of the body to shape and create a waist line
  • Straight skirt fitted at the hips
  • Narrow shoulders
  • Classic higher neckline at the front
  • Dramatic lowered neckline at the back
  • The gathers at the front can help to hide a tummy
  • Center back seam to help you get a good fit
  • Full facing front and back for a smooth look
  • Video tutorial
  • Easier to sew than it looks!
  • Sizes 30-42 inch bust, 33-45 inch hip

Love this twist on the front of this dress.  Flattering and yet its easy to sew.  (Video)

A dress that looks complicated but is actually easy to sew. Designed for knit fabrics, this dress just slips over your head but the finished look is anything but simple. The twist adds a certain sophistication and can help to hide a wide waistline or a prominent tummy.

Check out the version from Diane below and make it in two different fabrics for a really dramatic look!

It’s not hard to sew – watch me make one

 

 

The pattern testers rated this one as Intermediate.

Love this twist on the front of this dress.  Flattering and yet its easy to sew.  (Video)

Check out the pattern testing versions and comments

Diane collage

Diane at Two Chicklets Sew Shopi love this dress!  How do you like it with two fabrics? I couldn’t resist!  It was fast to sew and so comfortable.  It looks complicated, yet is so easy to sew and looks unique. 

Linda

Linda I love love this dress. I really liked the dress the first time I saw it. I found it original and love the twist. It is something you don’t see often but it’s seem flattering for the figure. I love the round neckline, I find it more flattering than a V-Neck and the low back. I was not disappointed once the dress was made. I was under the impression that it would be hard to sew with the twist but was very surprised how fast this dress can be put together. Can be easily sewn in a day.

Jane

JaneThis is a very pretty dress. The pattern pieces were a bit intimidating because of the different shaped pieces. I hadn’t seen anything like it before. It is really different. Challenging, but fun.   It’s very feminine and flattering. It’s deceiving. It looks like a tough pattern, yet it’s sweet and simple to sew. Once you get the hang of the twist and the funny-looking pieces, this dress stitches up quickly. You get big rewards for you efforts with this pattern.

Theresa

Theresa at the DIY PageI made it as a gift for my best friend. She loved it and thinks that it would make a wonderful full length dress too. Watching the video really demystified the knot, but the directions and photos by themselves were very clear.
It really helped that the seams were labeled, taking the guess work out of which seams joined.
The knot went together section fit together easily. It’s such a cool fashion detail. I am considering making a looser tunic variation for myself.

Robinb

Robin at the Pattern TesterI absolutely love this dress! It’s perfect for many occasions. It’s sexy, but classy, and I like the length. It’s just my style. It’s a fairly quick sew, and perfect if you need something on a moments notice for a night out.   I would have had trouble with the twist part, and facing, but the video always makes it easy to understand. Please keep doing the videos. 

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Buy the In A Twist Dress pattern

You can download the pattern and instructions for the In A Twist Dress from my design account at Craftsy.  It's a PDF file containing both the instructions and the pattern pieces all in the same file.

Enjoy!

A note to the Pattern Testing Team

So that concludes the patterns for 2014.  It’s been an epic year and I had no idea what direction it would take when I started out.  I want to give a very special and public thank you to the Pattern Testing Team who have all worked tirelessly to help me improve my skills and my sewing patterns over this year.  I really could not have done it without you all.  Thank you so much for your support, advice, suggestions and even for your criticisms.

It’s been exhausting but fun!

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Written by Deby Coles

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Made in a Snap – easy bag pattern http://so-sew-easy.com/made-snap-easy-bag-pattern/ http://so-sew-easy.com/made-snap-easy-bag-pattern/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 11:00:00 +0000 http://so-sew-easy.com/?p=13829 This is the Made in a Snap Bag – and its a quick and easy bag pattern and the latest in the ‘My First Bag’ series.  It’s a good bag for beginners to bag-making, although it can be just a little bit tricky in one place, but if you are careful, you can do a good job on this one. What’s special about this bag – well I’ll tell you.  See that metal frame – it’s removable.  Which means that you make up several different bags and you can swap them in and out to match your outfit but they all use the same frame.  Of course you can buy several frames and not bother to switch up the cover too.  It’s good either way. To sew the Made in a Snap easy bag pattern Materials: 6 inch half-round purse frame – … Continue reading

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Written by Deby Coles

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I've never seen this type of easy bag pattern before. Love those handles!

This is the Made in a Snap Bag – and its a quick and easy bag pattern and the latest in the ‘My First Bag’ series.  It’s a good bag for beginners to bag-making, although it can be just a little bit tricky in one place, but if you are careful, you can do a good job on this one.

What’s special about this bag – well I’ll tell you.  See that metal frame – it’s removable.  Which means that you make up several different bags and you can swap them in and out to match your outfit but they all use the same frame.  Of course you can buy several frames and not bother to switch up the cover too.  It’s good either way.

I've never seen this type of easy bag pattern before. Love those handles!

To sew the Made in a Snap easy bag pattern

Materials:

  • 6 inch half-round purse frame – from Etsy, this seller sends them worldwide and rates are reasonable  [Buy the frame here – silver or antique gold]
  • Lining fabric -less than a FQ
  • Outer fabric – less than a FQ
  • Interfacing  and fusible fleece of your choice
  • The pattern pieces – download below

Finished size is 11 inches tall (incl handles) by 10.5 inches wide approx.

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Download the Made in a Snap Bag Pattern

You can download the pattern pieces for the Made in A Snap Bag from my design account with Craftsy.  Save to your computer or pattern library and sew when you have a few minutes - it won't take long.

For help downloading and printing PDF patterns, please CLICK HERE.

Sewing directions

(All seam allowances are 1/2 inch)

Print your pattern and use it to cut your fabric.  You’ll need:

  • 2 lining pieces
  • 2 outer pieces
  • 2 channel pieces

Fuse interfacing to the two channel pieces. Fuse interfacing and/or fusible fleece of your choice to the outer fabric.  I used a firm interfacing and then doubled up with the fusible fleece in my example.  It actually made it a little thick at the top, so if you add a fleece too, I suggest leaving it just short of the top seam allowance to reduce bulk where the pleats are.

I've never seen this type of easy bag pattern before.  Love those handles!Fold in 1 inch on the short ends of the channel pieces and press.  Stitch to hold the fold in place.

Press the channel pieces in half length-ways and set them aside.

I've never seen this type of easy bag pattern before. Love those handles!

Transfer the pattern markings to your outer fabric to help with the placement of the pleats.

I've never seen this type of easy bag pattern before. Love those handles!

Take the point of your pleat across to the marking towards the center, and then fold back again keeping all 3 layers even across the top of the bag.  Pin and repeat for the other pleat.

Baste the pleats in place within the seam allowance and then repeat the pleats on the other outer panel.

I've never seen this type of easy bag pattern before. Love those handles!

Take the channel pieces and baste them in place at the top of the purse over the pleats, stitching within the seam allowance.  The channel piece is a little shorter than the top of the purse, so center it with the same gap at each end.

I've never seen this type of easy bag pattern before. Love those handles!

Pin both outer panels together.  Transfer over the circle from the pattern piece to the fabric.  This is the extent of your stitching line.  Sew from one circle around the curved seam until you reach the other circle.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Snip into the curved seam allowances, close but not through your stitching line to help things lie smoothly when you turn the bag.  Turn the bag and give it a good press to remove any creases.

I've never seen this type of easy bag pattern before. Love those handles!

Repeat the same process to add the pleats to the lining and then stitch the two lining pieces together, sewing just between the two circles.  Important – Leave a gap in the bottom of the lining so you can turn the bag later.  See the pins here for where to sew.

Snip into the seam allowance of the lining too.  If you want to add a pocket to your lining, do this before sewing the two pieces together.  [See here for how to add a simple slip pocket or here for how to add a zipper pocket.]

I've never seen this type of easy bag pattern before. Love those handles!

With the outer of the bag right sides out and the lining of the bag right sides in, put in the outer inside the lining, so that right sides are facing each other.  Match up raw edges, seams and circle marks, and pin.

Stitch across the top of the bag on each side in a straight line.

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Now comes the tricky part.  You now need to stitch from the top of the bag down to that circle mark on your side seams to join the lining to the outer.  It can be tricky to get your presser foot down in there, but take your time, switch to a zipper foot if that is narrower and easier and stitch slowly to be as accurate as you can.  Do this for all 4 corners.

Now turn the bag the right side out through the gap in the bottom of the lining.  Push the lining down inside the bag neatly and give it a good press around the top edge.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATop stitch across the top of the bag on each side, just at the bottom of the channel piece to hold the layers neatly in place.

Unscrew the little nuts from the crossways bars on the purse frame and slide the bar on each side into the channel.  The joint in the frame should sit on the inside of the bag.  Do up the nuts and your bag is completed.

I've never seen this type of easy bag pattern before. Love those handles!

Now you can make up some other bags to keep in your drawer or with your favorite outfit and then simply switch out the handles when ever you need to.  Or buy several handles and just keep them ready to grab.

I've never seen this type of easy bag pattern before. Love those handles!

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Download the Made in a Snap Bag Pattern

You can download the pattern pieces for the Made in A Snap Bag from my design account with Craftsy.  Save to your computer or pattern library and sew when you have a few minutes - it won't take long.

For help downloading and printing PDF patterns, please CLICK HERE.

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Written by Deby Coles

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Introducing the new sewing forum http://so-sew-easy.com/new-sewing-forum/ http://so-sew-easy.com/new-sewing-forum/#comments Mon, 15 Dec 2014 11:00:00 +0000 http://so-sew-easy.com/?p=13828 Do you remember in the last Readers Questions that I said it would be the last one for a while because I was working on something new?  Well that something new has been a lot of work and took me longer to get off the ground than I was thinking, but it’s here now and I think it’s going to be awesome!   Introducing a sewing room of our very own.  The new forum and chat room – tah dah!     Features of the new sewing forum It’s private – only for members, so you can feel free to chat and share without it showing up all over your Facebook wall etc. It’s going to be full of people who love sewing, quilting and fabric arts so you’ll always find someone with the same interests as you You can … Continue reading

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Written by Deby Coles

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Come and chat about sewing and get your questions answered in this new sewing forum.

Do you remember in the last Readers Questions that I said it would be the last one for a while because I was working on something new?  Well that something new has been a lot of work and took me longer to get off the ground than I was thinking, but it’s here now and I think it’s going to be awesome!

 

Introducing a sewing room of our very own.  The new forum and chat room – tah dah!

 

Come and chat about sewing and get your questions answered in this new sewing forum.

 

Features of the new sewing forum

  • It’s private – only for members, so you can feel free to chat and share without it showing up all over your Facebook wall etc.
  • It’s going to be full of people who love sewing, quilting and fabric arts so you’ll always find someone with the same interests as you
  • You can set up your own personal profile and share as much or as little about you as you feel comfortable with, such as your location, any website or shop you have, your sewing experience etc
  • Chat in the forum – share your work in progress, your completed projects, class reviews and feedback and more.  You can upload photos!
  • Get answers to your sewing questions – ask in the forum.  There are separate topic sections to make posting easy.  Of course, if you post a question, please pay it forward and look for other questions you can answer at the same time.
  • You can ‘friend’ other members and send them private messages or comment on their wall and reply to their comments
  • Forum boards for:
      1. Advanced sewing & couture
      2. General sewing Q&A
      3. Introducing yourself to other members
      4. Show and tell – what are you working on or have completed
      5. Where can I find a pattern for …?
      6. Sewing newbies
      7. Questions about So Sew Easy patterns
      8. Pattern design, fitting and alteration
      9. Class reviews and discussions
      10. Off topic – everything else

Come and chat about sewing and get your questions answered in this new sewing forum.

Why have I introduced this sewing forum page for us?

origin_344569624Since starting the site a little over 2 years ago now, its grown enormously and just recently I’ve been struggling to keep up a little.  People from all over the world write to me with their sewing questions and I try to do my best answer for every single one of them. Where I couldn’t answer, or didn’t have the experience, I passed this on to the Readers Questions for you to help out.

But the number of emails I’ve been getting has been overwhelming and its been taking me longer to answer these questions, or people are having to wait for up to 4 weeks to see their question featured on the site. If you have a sewing question, you want to know today or tomorrow – not in a couple of weeks!

So I’m hoping that you are all going to help me out in sharing our group sewing knowledge and experience.

Come and chat about sewing and get your questions answered in this new sewing forum.

Pay it forward – ask one and answer one

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photo credit: WingedWolf via photopin cc
 

The forum will only be as successful as WE make it.  So if you have a question, don’t be shy – ask away.  You don’t have to upload a photo or any details if you want to remain anonymous, although you will have to register with your email to post and reply to questions.  If you do ask a question, please pay it forward and answer one or two while you are there as well.

So you can drop on over to the Forum now using the ASK A QUESTION in the top menu.  That takes you now to a help page for the forum so if you need any technical help about how to login, and how to add your first message, how to ask and answer questions etc, you’ll find all that there.

And of course the link through to our new sewing room.

So pour yourself a cuppa and settle in for some sewing chat.  It might take us all a while to get going so do check back after a few days and join in again.

Start at the ASK A QUESTION in the menu above.

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Written by Deby Coles

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How to shop for knit fabrics online http://so-sew-easy.com/how-to-shop-for-knit-fabrics-online/ http://so-sew-easy.com/how-to-shop-for-knit-fabrics-online/#comments Sun, 14 Dec 2014 11:00:00 +0000 http://so-sew-easy.com/?p=13827 Do you ever shop for fabrics online?  What about shopping for knit and stretch fabrics?  Are you confident in where and how to shop for knit fabrics online, and how to make sure you are using the right kind of fabric for your project? I came to sewing only recently so naturally when I wanted to sew clothes,  I wanted to emulate the types of clothes already in my wardrobe, and these days most of them are stretch in some way or another.  I think some of that has to do with the expanding nature of my body in the last couple of years – I’ve found a stretch garment will fit me over more size changes than a regular woven garment. Many of the sewing patterns I’ve developed have been for stretch fabrics, but I still sometimes struggle to … Continue reading

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Written by Deby Coles

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Stretch fabric swatch kit - at last I can see and feel what all these knit fabrics are like so I know which one to choose for my project.  Great idea.Do you ever shop for fabrics online?  What about shopping for knit and stretch fabrics?  Are you confident in where and how to shop for knit fabrics online, and how to make sure you are using the right kind of fabric for your project?

I came to sewing only recently so naturally when I wanted to sew clothes,  I wanted to emulate the types of clothes already in my wardrobe, and these days most of them are stretch in some way or another.  I think some of that has to do with the expanding nature of my body in the last couple of years – I’ve found a stretch garment will fit me over more size changes than a regular woven garment.

Many of the sewing patterns I’ve developed have been for stretch fabrics, but I still sometimes struggle to get the right fabric, because I have to order them online and get them shipped in, so I tend to stick with the couple that I know.  Cotton jersey and ITY knit.  Great.  But there are so many other kinds of stretch fabrics and I wanted to expand my knowledge.

Stretch fabric swatch kit - at last I can see and feel what all these knit fabrics are like so I know which one to choose for my project. Great idea.

I’ve also had quite a few questions recently from people wanting to know if (for example) a ponte knit would be suitable for this dress, or these pants etc.  Er, I really don’t know – I’ve never seen or held a ponte knit in real life so I couldn’t say. Makes me feel like a sewing dunce that I can’t help and am afraid of fabrics I don’t know!

I know your frustration with buying fabrics online and wanted to come up with a solution for me – and all of you too.

Introducing the Knit Swatch Solution!

I get a lot of my knits from Fabric Mart – they have a great range and even greater prices.  So when I had a question about the different types of stretch fabrics and what was best for what project, they had the answer for me.

Stretch fabric swatch kit - at last I can see and feel what all these knit fabrics are like so I know which one to choose for my project.  Great idea.

Here it is – a sample pack of 12 different types of the mostly commonly used stretch fabrics, so now you and I will all know what a fabric looks like, feels like, drapes like, what its made from and what project its suitable for.

The swatch kit includes the 12 pieces of stretch fabric and a really good explanation of each one.

Stretch fabric swatch kit - at last I can see and feel what all these knit fabrics are like so I know which one to choose for my project.  Great idea.

 

Take a look at the Swatch kit in more detail

 

Why you should get this swatch kit

If like me, you have ever not known what fabric to order, or have (even worse), ordered something and then it just wasn’t right and your money was wasted – then you should get this kit.

I bargained hard with Fabric Mart on our behalf and this is a great price.  You can buy the swatches and the explanatory list for just $4.95 including postage.  Think of the money you’ll actually save by not buying the wrong fabrics in future.

BUY THE SWATCH KIT HERE

Or even better – if you place an order for $50 of fabric from Fabric Mart, then they will send you the Swatch Kit for free – just add the Swatch Kit to your order then apply discount code SWATCH at check out to see the cost of the kit disappear, and they will include it for free with your order.

I’m so glad I got mine.  It’s opened up a whole new world of fabrics I would never have ordered before and I’ll be keeping this on hand with my patterns ready for the next time I have to place an order.

So what about you?  Are there any other fabrics out there that you simply don’t order because you don’t know what they are?  What about the knit fabrics and this swatch kit – what do you think?  Would you like to see more like this sort of thing in future?

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Written by Deby Coles

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Must have features for your first serger http://so-sew-easy.com/must-features-first-serger/ http://so-sew-easy.com/must-features-first-serger/#comments Fri, 12 Dec 2014 11:00:00 +0000 http://so-sew-easy.com/?p=12519 Hi there! I’m Irene and I usually blog at Serger Pepper; today I’m here sharing with you all I know about one of my favorite topics: sergers! Yes, I’ll do my best helping you choosing your first serger (or overlocker, depending on where you come from)… aren’t you excited? I am! Let me start saying that the perfect model does not exist! It’s all relative! Read what you should consider before you start evaluating the models/features: What is a serger sewing machine? Maybe you already know what a serger is/does, maybe not: let’s define it! A serger is a fast sewing machine that produces professionally finished seams because it trims away seam allowances and encases raw edges with an overcast stitch…. wow! Can you guess how much it reduces the boring time spent trimming and zig-zagging seam allowances? One step does everything! Do I really … Continue reading

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Written by Irene at Serger Pepper

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Must have features for your first serger - and those you can do without.  Great tips if you are thinking of getting one.Hi there! I’m Irene and I usually blog at Serger Pepper; today I’m here sharing with you all I know about one of my favorite topics: sergers!

Yes, I’ll do my best helping you choosing your first serger (or overlocker, depending on where you come from)… aren’t you excited? I am!

Let me start saying that the perfect model does not exist! It’s all relative!

Read what you should consider before you start evaluating the models/features:

What is a serger sewing machine?

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Maybe you already know what a serger is/does, maybe not: let’s define it!

A serger is a fast sewing machine that produces professionally finished seams because it trims away seam allowances and encases raw edges with an overcast stitch…. wow!

Can you guess how much it reduces the boring time spent trimming and zig-zagging seam allowances? One step does everything!

Do I really need a serger?

Well, technically you don’t, but you should consider

  • why you are sewing,
  • what kind of fabric
  • how much do you usually sew.

A serger isn’t going to replace your sewing machine: some tasks are unachievable with the serger alone (topstitching, for example).

One of the advantages of using a serger, is that it’s fast!

Not only it do multiple actions in one only time, it also sews so many stitches per minute (they’re around 1300 for a domestic serger… more than 20 each second, while a sewing machine usually stitches 600/minute).

If you have decided it’s time to take your sewing up a notch… it’s time to buy a serger!

If you’re not a professional sewer (and probably you aren’t, if you’re just considering to buy a serger), you will hardly need so many fancy options: do not spend those extra money for features you are not going to use!

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What will you use it for?

To help you decide which features are really important for you, one of the most important things to consider is what do you think you’re going to use your serger for: no need to have a coverstitch feature if you don’t hem knits!

  • A serger can help you a lot in sewing knits (also without a coverstitch feature); let’s think about it: our wardrobe nowadays is filled with knit garments so, why do we have to sew woven and wear knits?
  • Also if you can perfectly sew knits with a regular sewing machine, a serger will make things easier, way faster and tons neater!
  • Even sewing wovens can be faster and neater with a serger: no more seam allowances fraying!
  • A serger can be the right choice also if you don’t sew garments, but do lots of bed skirts, pillows, curtains and things like this: again, more work done in less time!

That said, you should take in account that your plans may change, while the time passes by: once you climb the first steep part of the learning curve (problems threading anyone?) you will almost certainly fall in love with the endless possibilities your serger gives you.

When you start playing with your serger, you’ll see that it’s perfect for adding decorative details (like edgings and pintucks), for adding strength while keeping flexibility to your seams: just start playing with the various stitches (I even have created a useful Cheat Sheet for all the settings!).

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How much are you going to use it

Another perspective to consider, to define must-have features for your first serger, is how many hours a week (or a day…) you’re going to use it: if you sew for yourself and your family, probably you’re not going to overuse it and wear it down as much as if you have a sewing business.

Not all of the domestic sergers can withstand extensive use and saving some bucks now could probably lend you to spending more in manteinance later.

Maybe you’re planning to jump into the growing wagon of crafty women who sells handmade garments on Etsy or local fairs: seams finished with an overlocker will look much more professional to the buyers, helping you in increasing your sales.

Let’s talk about money!

Everything is relative, in this field! Just honestly consider your budget: everyone has one, high or low, and price range for an overlocker is between $ 200 to several thousand dollars.

Often, you’re going to get what you pay for but:

1) For the average home sewers, a good entry-level machine will cost you around $200; there’s no need to spend too much, if you’re not going to use it intensively! [Deb – this is the one I’m getting for Christmas – the Brother 1034D]

2) It’s not always true that more expensive equals better. Sometimes you only pay for extravagant features you’ll never use (and sometimes you pay for the brand too!)

Choosing a serger is a very intimidating choice because there are so many brand and models in the market and nobody really want to make a mistake and end up paying for it twice!

Where should I buy it?

When you will have tried a lot of sergers at local dealers and narrowed to a selection of your favorite models (within your budget and basing on must-have features listed below), try to wait and search for sale prices on Amazon/eBay/Google… you could save a lot from your local retailer’s price!

TIP: Check how maintenance will work: some won’t service your serger if you’ve bought it elsewhere…

Buying new/used

In my humble opinion, it’s ok buying used sergers but only from trusted sources: you should ideally be able to check an used machine before you buy it (even better: let someone experienced test it for you, someone who can spot problems just hearing the sound of the engine, or note some warning signals you could even miss!).

If I was in the market for a new serger, and I was thinking to buy a used machine, I would try asking local dealers first: usually, when someone decide to change her machine, sells her old basic model to the dealer, who often re-sells spare parts and can recondition the serger for a fraction of cost, then he will re-sell it to you.

Be sure it comes with a sort of warranty, better if it’s written (you never know…).

It’s all fun but… which features do I *really* need?

I have to admit that, also if I’m really amazed by all those fancy features I see on high-end expensive machines, I’m not easily suggestible.

I’m a frugal mom, the kind of woman who plans any expense, since I’m not swimming in moneys… so I must carefully evaluate the cost-effect ratio of a purchase.

Also if this seems to be a huge list, most of the features I’m mentioning here are included in most (if not all) the modern home sergers; you can even carry this list with you when you’re visiting your local dealers: you’ll look less like a newbie, if you already know what to ask for!

  • Adjustable differential feed (this is a must-have for sewing different types of fabric and to create gathers). Most modern sergers have this feature, better check with the seller that it’s included, when the price is in the low-end!
  • adjustable stitch length and width

Serger Pepper - Contributor - Must have features - differential feed and stitch length

  • adjustable sewing speed by foot control on the pedal: exactly like with your sewing machine (and your car), the more you push the foot on the pedal, the faster you sew (or drive);
  • easily removable presser foot: it helps when it’s time to thread (or even change) the needles! A snap-on foot is the best choice.

Serger Pepper - Contributor - Must have features - release presser foot

  • sewing light (I’ve never seen a serger without, but I haven’t seen all the sergers for sale in the world and a bright light is a must-have)
  • colour coded threading paths and/or threading chart, better if it’s pasted on your serger

Serger Pepper - Contributor - Must have features - color coded threading and threading chart

  • thread tension released when you raise the presser foot
  • adjustable presser foot pressure, for sewing different fabric thicknesses
  • easy seam width adjustment: turning the dial you can cut more or less fabric on seam allowances, sewing closer or farther from the edge

Serger Pepper - Contributor - Must have features - cuttig width

  • removable stitch finger (and even better if it comes with 2 different width stitch fingers)

Serger Pepper - Contributor - Must have features - two fingers

  • high quality blade you can disengage, sharpen or even easily replace

Serger Pepper - Contributor - Must have features - blades

  • each needle secured by its own screw (or Allen wrench): if they’re both attached with one only screw, they will likely fall inside your serger when you decide to change them

Serger Pepper - Contributor - Must have features - two screws needles

  • dials with numbers stamped on, to help you adjusting settings
  • tweezers, manual, dust cover, spool nets (to keep consistent feeding of bulky nylon, wear those nets on the spool), spool caps (to be able to use domestic spools and reels of thread), screwdriver(s)
  • seam gauge (either built-in or removable): this will ensure the fabric is cut and sewn consistently

Serger Pepper - Contributor - Must have features - sewing gauge

  • check if the serger is easy to open for threading it or cleaning it
  • it can sew with regular home sewing machine needles
  • built-in thread cutter

Serger Pepper - Contributor - Must have features - thread cutter

Other features that can be really useful, but not mandatory, are:

  • bag to carry it around if you don’t have a sewing room
  • free arm/flat-bed convertible sewing surface: useful feature for when you need to sew on small cylindrical portions of garments (read: collars, cuffs, armholes, especially when sewing for small kids)
  • serger classes either in person or DVD/video (also if you can find plenty of them on YouTube)
  • built-in storage. This will help you get organized and keep all your sewing tools.
  • coverstitch convertible (better two separate machines, usually the conversion isn’t that easy to do and you’ll end with paying a potential feature you won’t use that much)
  • different feet (maybe on the low-end models you won’t have them all in your box, you should check if they are available to be added later and how much they cost if bought separately) – blind hem foot, elastic foot, piping/cording foot, chainstitch foot are the most common.

A couple of words about number of threads/serger stitches:

Home sergers comes with 3, 4 or even 5 threads: if you’re an average sewer/crafter, better choose a 4 (3 is for finishing seams only, 5 is for added coverstitch and chainstitch).

If I was in the market for my first serger, these are the stitches I’d like to be able to work with it:

  • 2 threads overlock (for finishing seam allowances on light weight and sheers)
  • 3 threads overlock (for finishing seam allowances on medium weight fabrics)
  • 4 threads overlock  (for finishing seam allowances on heavy weight fabrics and for seaming)
  • flatlock
  • rolled hem (with 2 threads, for light weight fabrics)
  • rolled hem (with 3 threads, for medium weight fabrics)
  • narrow hem
  • super stretch stitch (perfect for dancewear, swimwear, leotards…)

Another important thing to check with your dealer (better ask him/her for a demostration) is how easy is to convert your serger between stitches. Some sergers have a quick way to covert (like a leverage you turn to switch between rolled hem and overlock, or a two-thread convertor), while others may require you to unscrew the throat plate… and you know that you’re not going to convert between stitches if you need to pull apart your serger, isn’t it?

Fancy features you CAN do without

(but you should look for if your budget is a little bit wider)

My conclusions

When I’ve bought my serger, my needs were to stay within a really small budget without buying a “cheap” machine: I’m highly satisfied with it (it’s a Necchi Lock 181, which I don’t think you’ll be able to spot anywhere in the US) and I don’t plan to change it with another (unless I find one that makes me the manicure while I sew): it’s such a sturdy and durable machine, all built with metal mechanisms inside (just try to lift it and you’ll notice it by its weight!).

I hope you’ll make good use of my suggestions about must-have features for your first serger, maybe you’ve been a good girl and you’ll find a new one under the tree…

If not, here are my little pearls of wisdom for helping you choosing one, at the local dealer’s:

  • try one of the cheaper and one of the more expensive… and see if you can spot a difference
  • try threading it trying before you choose - maybe twice!
  • choose the brand/model trying it live, then buy online and spend less
  • if you are unsure between two brands/model, compare ease of use and maintenance/cleaning
  • be sure to get any sort of training and access to support after purchase

Wanna know more about your serger? Follow my “Serger Obsession” board on Pinterest!

More serger resources

Books about serging and serger projects to work on


 

Craftsy classes to get your started or to help your improve your serging skills

Beginner serging

Creative serging

Sew with your serger

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Written by Irene at Serger Pepper

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Teeny Tiny Zipper Pouches for Christmas http://so-sew-easy.com/teeny-tiny-zipper-pouches-christmas/ http://so-sew-easy.com/teeny-tiny-zipper-pouches-christmas/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 11:00:00 +0000 http://so-sew-easy.com/?p=12407 If you are fairly new to following along at So Sew Easy, then you might have missed this project from some time back so I thought you’d like to see what I’ve been sewing. I’ve been busily sewing away these teeny tiny zipper pouches for stocking stuffers and for handy gifts for hubby to give to some of his colleagues.  They work in the sun all day, in and out of the water working as diving instructors and these little pouches are ideal.  They can hang them off their bag and have easy access to their lip balm, sun block and lunch money while keeping the rest of the stuff in their bag dry. I use mine on my key ring and its ideal to keep my lip balm and a few bank notes for when I pop out to … Continue reading

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Written by Deby Coles

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Teeny Tiny Zipper Pouches - pretty much everyone I know will be getting one of these as a gift this year. Addictive free pattern!If you are fairly new to following along at So Sew Easy, then you might have missed this project from some time back so I thought you’d like to see what I’ve been sewing.

I’ve been busily sewing away these teeny tiny zipper pouches for stocking stuffers and for handy gifts for hubby to give to some of his colleagues.  They work in the sun all day, in and out of the water working as diving instructors and these little pouches are ideal.  They can hang them off their bag and have easy access to their lip balm, sun block and lunch money while keeping the rest of the stuff in their bag dry.

Teeny tiny zipper pouch, coin purse or add to your key ring.

I use mine on my key ring and its ideal to keep my lip balm and a few bank notes for when I pop out to the shop to buy bread and milk (and chocolate.) There’s also room to screw up a plastic carrier bag and pop inside to bring my groceries/chocolate home.

So I’ve started a small production line to make sure I have enough for everyone, and these are surprisingly quick to sew up if you are making a whole bunch.  Plus they are perfect for using small pieces of fabric which are too small for any other project.  You can actually make 4 from a fat quarter and still have a little fabric left over.
Teeny Tiny Zipper Pouches - pretty much everyone I know will be getting one of these as a gift this year.  Addictive free pattern!

If you have a bunch of mis-matched zippers, too big or too small for other projects or just in the wrong colors, then you can use them up for this and clear out your stash.

I get my zippers from Zipper Island on Etsy because I love the huge choice and the great prices.  The wholesale bundles of assorted colors are so cheap and ideal for keeping in your stash or using on this sort of project.  The cute little swivel lobster clasps came from there too – these are the perfect size for this.  Buy a big bag – you’ll want to make lots of these little pouches.

Teeny Tiny Zipper Pouches - pretty much everyone I know will be getting one of these as a gift this year. Addictive free pattern!

Here are the details from the original project and the video on how to make them.

Features:

  • Finished size – about 3.5 long, 1.25 inches tall and 2.25 inches wide
  • Easy to scale pattern if you want a larger size
  • Super cute!
  • Great scrap buster – uses small pieces
  • Attach it to your keys, or use it for your kids lunch money and attach to their school bag
  • Use it to hold a few essential inside your main purse, hygiene supplies, lip stick, tissues/wipes.
  • Makes great gifts and stocking stuffers

 

I think everyone can find a use for a little zipper pouch like this one, and at this time of year they are great gift ideas – something for teacher with a few nice chocolate truffles inside?

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Download the pattern and tutorial

You can download the pattern and instructions for this project from my design account at Craftsy.  Keep on your computer or in your pattern library and sew at your leisure.  Enjoy!

Pin MeTeeny Tiny Zipper Pouches - pretty much everyone I know will be getting one of these as a gift this year. Addictive free pattern!

**WARNING** But be careful!  This pattern can be addictive!  You might start with one, then you’ll make a second and before you know it, you’ll be knee deep in the cute little things – like the tribble (remember those?)  How many takes did it need to get this scene without laughing!

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Who me? I have no idea where all these teeny tiny zipper pouches came from !

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Written by Deby Coles

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Wonky Stars Christmas Mug Rug http://so-sew-easy.com/wonky-stars-christmas-mug-rug/ http://so-sew-easy.com/wonky-stars-christmas-mug-rug/#comments Tue, 09 Dec 2014 11:00:29 +0000 http://so-sew-easy.com/?p=13574 It’s me, Laura from CraftyHour again! I’m here today with a tutorial one of my favourite small projects, a mug rug. This one is a Christmas-themed one, but you could use another colour palette and make it for any occasion. The Wonky Star block was the first quilt block I was really interested in two years ago – I made a quilt with 6″ and 12″ wonky stars as one of my first quilted projects. Materials: Scraps of coordinating fabrics – I used a few prints from the Holiday Cheer line by Jan Shade Beach Coordinating fabric strip for binding White or other solid background Small scrap of batting Backing fabric Embroidery floss in coordinating colours How to sew your Wonky Stars Christmas Mug Rug The finished dimensions of this little mug rug are 4.5″ x 6.5″. It’s based on a 1″x1″ grid (finished squares), so … Continue reading

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Written by Laura at Crafty Hour

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It’s me, Laura from CraftyHour again! I’m here today with a tutorial one of my favourite small projects, a mug rug. This one is a Christmas-themed one, but you could use another colour palette and make it for any occasion. The Wonky Star block was the first quilt block I was really interested in two years ago – I made a quilt with 6″ and 12″ wonky stars as one of my first quilted projects.

Wow, love this Wonky Stars Christmas Mug Rug. Pretty idea.

Materials:

  • Scraps of coordinating fabrics – I used a few prints from the Holiday Cheer line by Jan Shade Beach
  • Coordinating fabric strip for binding
  • White or other solid background
  • Small scrap of batting
  • Backing fabric
  • Embroidery floss in coordinating colours

How to sew your Wonky Stars Christmas Mug Rug

The finished dimensions of this little mug rug are 4.5″ x 6.5″. It’s based on a 1″x1″ grid (finished squares), so if you want to scale up you can figure out the math. For instance, you could add 1/4″ to each piece and end up with a mug rug that was 5.5″ x 8″. So first, we’re going to cut out 16 white squares at 1.5″ x 1.5″. Then cut 5 squares, one for the centre and four for the star points, at 1.5″ x 1.5″ of both feature fabrics (the red and gray). (If you want a little more room to play with the wonkiness of each star, cut 4 of the squares at 2″ x 2″)

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Now cut all but one of each set of coloured squares in half, from corner to corner, to make triangles. The remaining two full squares will be the centre of each star.

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Lay out 8 of the white or background squares, and lay 4 triangles of each colour over them, right sides together. You will be sewing the long edge of the triangle to the white square to make one point of the star. Be sure before you sew that the triangle will cover the square below once you flip it open. To get the wonky effect, try to make sure the angles are different for each.

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Now trim the white square below and press the triangle open.

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Now for the second star points. Place the remaining triangles on each unit in the same way, stitch, trim, and press open.

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Use your quilting ruler to square up each set of star points. They should measure 1.5″ x 1.5″ inches. Ideally, there should be 1/4″ seam allowance at the base of each unit where the star points join, so when you stitch them to the centre square you don’t have a gap between the points. So you can actually trim a little more off the white edge than the star edge to help achieve this.

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Arrange the star point blocks around the centre square likes this:

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Then sew each row of squares together. Press the two outside rows with the seams toward the outer edge, and the centre row with the seams toward the middle block. This way the seams will nest when you sew the rows together.

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Now sew the three rows together, and press the seams. Your wonky star block is complete! Repeat steps for the second block. Each block should measure 3.5″ x 3.5″.

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Now to complete your mug rug top, cut two 1.5″ x 3.5″ strips of white and lay the blocks out like this:

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Sew one star block to one strip and press the seam toward the strip. Repeat for the second block and strip.

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Sew the two halves of the mug rug together and press the seam. Your mug rug top is complete. It should measure 4.5″ x 6.5″.

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Layer the mug rug top with the batting and backing and pin or baste the three layers together. Now you’re ready to quilt!

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I chose to do a simple running stitch around my stars with embroidery floss. You could also machine quilt this. Once you’re finished, remove any basting stitches and trim the batting and backing.

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To bind the mug rug, cut a strip 2″ wide by about 24″. Fold the strip in half, wrong sides together and press. Fold one end of the binding strip 1/4″ under and press. Begin stitching the binding strip, raw edges matching the mug rug, leaving the folded end free, with 1/4″ seam allowance.

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When you get to the first corner, stop stitching at the 1/4″ mark, pivot, and sew down to the corner.

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Cut your thread and flip the binding up at right angles away from the mug rug, like this:

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Then fold it back down with the raw edges matching again. You’ll have a nice square corner.

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Start stitching 1/4″ in from the end, so you don’t catch the fold in your stitching. Repeat for all the corners.

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When you get the end, trim the binding strip and slip it inside the beginning of the binding. Finish sewing the binding down.

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Now fold the binding to the back and slipstitch it down. Fold the corners to mitre at the back the same way as they are on front.

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And you’re done!

Wow, love this Wonky Stars Christmas Mug Rug. Pretty idea.

Brew yourself a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy your pretty Christmas mug rug – or send it to a friend in the mail instead of a Christmas card!

Pin Me

Wow, love this Wonky Stars Christmas Mug Rug. Pretty idea.

 

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Written by Laura at Crafty Hour

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How to Line a Skirt in 8 Easy Steps http://so-sew-easy.com/how-to-line-a-skirt/ http://so-sew-easy.com/how-to-line-a-skirt/#comments Mon, 08 Dec 2014 11:00:00 +0000 http://so-sew-easy.com/?p=12541   How to add a lining to your Show Some Flare Skirt in 8 easy steps! Hi this is Judy from StoneyLonesomeSewWorks. I am a self taught sewer who has been sewing on and off for about 20 years but only became serious about 3 years ago when both of my children were in High School and there was more time! I started out sewing basic totes and easy gifts for family and friends gradually moving up to more complicated patterns. In the past year I have been most interested in garment sewing with a few quilts and bags on the side. It is very exciting to be sharing this tutorial on adding a lining to your So Sew Easy Show Some Flare Skirt. The Show Some Flare has quickly become one of my favorite SSE patterns due to its ease of … Continue reading

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Written by Judy at Stoney Lonesome Sew Works

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liningpromo

How to add a lining to your Show Some Flare Skirt in 8 easy steps! Hi this is Judy from StoneyLonesomeSewWorks. I am a self taught sewer who has been sewing on and off for about 20 years but only became serious about 3 years ago when both of my children were in High School and there was more time! I started out sewing basic totes and easy gifts for family and friends gradually moving up to more complicated patterns. In the past year I have been most interested in garment sewing with a few quilts and bags on the side.

It is very exciting to be sharing this tutorial on adding a lining to your So Sew Easy Show Some Flare Skirt. The Show Some Flare has quickly become one of my favorite SSE patterns due to its ease of construction and classic design. It is such a versatile pattern that can be sewn up in cotton, wool, corduroy, linen as well as rayons and polyesters. Basically any type of woven fabric will do. I have already made 2 with more in the works! In keeping with Deby’s tradition of easy to follow construction, this lining tutorial is super easy. You will be able to  add a beautiful lining to your skirt without much fuss or added time. There are several different ways to line a skirt but for this style skirt, I found this way to be the easiest.

What sort of lining fabric should I use?

Before we get started sewing here is a bit of information about different options for your lining material.

Potential linings

Potential linings

A couple considerations when choosing your lining fabric are the weight of your skirt fabric and the type of lining. You probably don’t want to line a lightweight skirt with a heavy lining. For example, one of my skirts is a mid weight wool blend lined with a fun floral quilting cotton.  Another skirt is rayon lined with cotton sateen. In retrospect, I wished I had lined the rayon with a “shiny” type lining because it would be a better lining for the rayon fabric matching the rayon’s drape better. Cotton linings can cling to your legs or undergarments causing the skirt and lining to bunch up. Also, the skirt would have finished with more of business causal feel with a shiny lining. But, I really liked the light blue against the dark navy so it was a trade off and I went with the cotton.

blueskirtliningcloseup2

Another consideration for your perfect lining is lining color choice; If you have a light colored main fabric make sure your lining is the same color or lighter. With darker and or heavier type fabrics there are more choices for your lining color from dark to light. Above, is paired a nice vintage paisley fine wale corduroy with a polyester shantung.  Although, the corduroy is mostly lighter in color than the lining, it works okay because of the weight of the corduroy and some darker tones in the skirt fabric.  Contrast linings can be a quick way to add drama and fun to your skirt! For a skirt intended for business casual or more formal I would recommend a shiny lining such as, rayon, acetate, poly, or for a real indulgence, silk. A beautiful and well sewn lining can turn a hohum skirt in to a more refined looking garment.

Lining quick reference guide

Here is a quick chart outlining some of the different types of lining fabric commonly used with some considerations such as comfort. It is suggested you pre-wash your lining fabric as some types will shrink.

This is not intended to be a complete list and really a lot of different  types of fabric could be used as lining; as long as you like it, it is functional and looks good!

Fabric Breathability Comfort $$$$ Luster/Sheen Wash and Wear
cotton High Med due to “stickiness” $-$$ Low Good
rayon High High $-$$$ Low – High Poor unless pretreated
polyester No-Low Low-Med $ High Good
silk High High $$$-$$$$ Med Poor
Acetate No-Low Low-Med $ High Poor unless pretreated

How to line a skirt in 8 easy steps

Now let’s get sewing!

1. Cut out your altered and fitted main skirt pieces and construct as per Deby’s instructions up to adding the final waistband pieces. Because you will be adding a lining you will only need 1 front waistband and 2 back waistband pieces of your main fabric and the same for your lining. You may finish your seams if you like but they will not show once you have completed your skirt with a lining. Do press them open though. If you decide to finish your seams use a method that does not create extra seam bulk.

skirtinsidelining

Above, the completed skirt with top waistband raw edges. One note; it is not necessary to interface your waistband pieces due to the addition of a lining, however, depending on the purpose of your skirt adding the interfacing can help to create a more tailored look to the waistband. I actually did a little test and only interfaced my back wasitband pieces. They actually look and wear better than the front piece which I did not interface. In the future, I will interface all the waistband pieces. 

2. Using the exact same fitted and altered pattern pieces as you used for main fabric cut out your lining pieces.  Cut 1 front panel piece on the fold, 2 back panel pieces, 1 front waistband piece, 2 back waistband pieces.

Use the exact same pattern pieces as you used for your skirt.

I cut all my pieces as I go along to speed things up a bit.

3. Stitch your back center seam. Place 2 back panels together right sides together. At the back center seam and from the top of the lining raw edge measure down 7” (or the length of your zipper) and mark or pin.

centerbackseam

With the back panel pieces right sides together sew the center seam from the bottom up to your mark or pin.

 

sewingsideseamsBack stitch several times.

Press your seams open making sure to press all the way to the top of the waistband and include the open part of the back center seam.

centerpanelpressed4. Just as you constructed the main skirt panels, attach your waistband pieces to the front lining panel and to the two back panels.

 

Sew waistband pieces to lining pieces.  Press seam allowances on front and back waistband up.

5. Sew side seams. Place front and back lining panels right sides together matching top raw waistband edges and the side waistband seams perfectly. Pin.

Stitch both side seams. Press seams open.

6. Finish lining hem. Shorten your lining by 1 to 2 inches based on your preference and so lining does not peep out or show below the skirt hem. Measure up your desired amount from raw hem edge and mark.  I trimmed off 1”.  Cut off excess lining hemline fabric.

hemlinesNext, fold up hem raw edges to inside 1” and press. Unfold.

Refold lining hem raw edge up to 1” crease mark. Fold again, to enclose the raw edge. My finished hem measures ½”.

 

halfinchhempinned Press, pin and stitch close to top of the folded lining hem. Now, stitch your hem.

sewinghem7. You now have a completed lining and a completed skirt both with raw top edges. Time to stitch them together.

Unzip the zipper. Place your main skirt piece inside the lining, right sides together.

Align waistband seams.

matchwaistbandseamsAlign side seams and pin.

lineupsideseamsPull out zipper tape edges to the right side exposing raw edges of zipper tape.

Zipper tape should be laying flat with raw edges showing.Pin the raw edges of the back center panel zipper opening to the raw edges of the zipper tape, right sides together.

Pin the raw edges of the back center panel zipper  area to the raw edges of the zipper tape, right sides together. Pinned zipper view from wrong side of the skirt back panel.

Pinned zipper.Attach a zipper foot and beginning on one side of the zipper approximately ½” down from the top of the waistband sew down one side of zipper as far down as zipper pull will allow, back stitch. Do not stitch across the zipper tape at the bottom of the zipper. Lift presser foot, and move to other bottom side of zipper adjusting zipper foot as necessary. Begin sewing, back stitch a few stitches and continue to sew up to within 1/2″ of the top raw edge of waistband.  Stop.

sewingliningtozipperAttach your regular foot, pivot and continue to sew lining to skirt all along waistband top raw edge being careful to keep side seams matched up.

sewingthewaistbandDo not trim seams but do trim off zipper tape end on both sides of zipper. See Deby’s Show Some Flare Skirt video for the recommended method in handling waistband corners.

snipoffzipperend

Turn skirt to right side. Press waistband seams flat, press lining near zipper flat.

presssewnwaistband8. Stitch in the ditch along waistband seam.

stitchintheditchAnd, you are done! Pat yourself on the back, you just lined a skirt!

completedskirt

The post How to Line a Skirt in 8 Easy Steps appeared first on So Sew Easy.
Written by Judy at Stoney Lonesome Sew Works

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