Sewing Fashion Knits - $39.99

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Creative Juices!

My Craftsy Wishlist:

  1. Sewing Fashion Knits
  2. Sewing Texture Class
  3. Quilting Big Projects on a Small Machine
My love of sewing on knits is because of the built in ease so fitting can be fudged just a little, unlike with wovens which really need accurate cutting and stitching.  there are also so many choices with knit fabrics.  When I took Sewing With Knits class, it was like an appetizer leaving me wanting to sew more with this yummy fabric.  The 1st class on my wish list will be so fun!  Join me!

I am always intrigued by the many different fabric manipulations available and when I take the 2nd class on my wish list, I will undoubtedly build my design repertoire.

Third but definitely on the top of my list is going to help me finish a quilt that I started over a year ago!  I took an "in-person" beginning quilting class a one of my local shops and had a ball.  I decided to make a quilt with a chicken theme...since I am the proud owner of a flock of 8 girls.  I really don't want to pay someone if I don't have to and think that the sense of accomplishment will be so worth it to quilt on my own.  And by the way...I am not a hand-quilter.  The quicker the better :)

Join the craftsy community with me and the many won't regret it, I promise!

~Happy creating!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Fabric: So many choices!

Short post today, to share a really cool way to look at fabric choices...graph like.

While browsing Pinterest, I found this helpful chart for all of you science minded sewists.  I love that both science and creativity can combine.  It used to be thought that both were opposing functions in the brain and couldn't be used together. But alas, we are finally thinking outside our old boxes.  Hope you can use this, it is from the Coletterie, she is an amazing designer and teacher through her blog.
~Take care and Happy Sunday!
Geni M

Friday, March 15, 2013

Pretty Panties

Buying panties can be why not make your own. It takes about 5 minutes from cutting your fabric to clipping your threads.  Actually 5 additional minutes to print, put together and cut you pattern too.

Using stretch lace, a jersey cotton scrap and regular thread...they are rather inexpensive.  I found a really easy free pattern from Deby at So Sew Easy.

Finding stretch lace trim in my local fabric store is next to impossible, so I found a supplier online (isn't the Internet awesome?!).  Deb's Lace & Trims has a HUGE selection of the lace you need (make sure it is the stretch kind). Her prices are very reasonable and she is FAST on getting it to you so you don't have to bite your fingernails waiting to start your panties.  She sells in 5 or 15 yard mini-bolts; this may sound like a lot, but you will definitely want to make as many panties as you can because they are so easy and quick AND comfy.  I received my 5-yard bolt and it resulted in 4 panties (2-small and 2-medium).

Here are the instructions, although you can find pictures and how to at So Sew Easy as well.

  1. Print your free pantie pattern and put together your pattern. Then cut out the size you are using. Note: I found that even though my hip measurements resulted in the medium sized pantie, the small fit much better.
  2. Cut out your 2 pieces of lace.
  3. Cut out your 1 piece of cotton jersey for the liner.  Note:  I used a double layer of jersey for extra breath ability and comfort. I serged the side edges with woolly nylon for softness.
  4. Sew the front and back center seams (the curved edges) using an overcast stitch or a serger.  If you have an overcasting foot, it is superb for getting a nice narrow finished seam for the lace. This is not necessary though, you can use a stretch stitch or zigzag as well.
  5. Line up the center front and back seams at the crotch and sew.
  6. Pin the liner centered over the crotch seam and stitch using the triple stretch or zigzag stitch along each side.  You can also stitch all edges, but I found that it looks better just stitching down each side.  RTW panties often leave the front and back edge open.
  7. Clip all of your threads and you are done.  

Wear in comfort and good health!


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Online Sourcing for Handbag Hardware!

I have spent countless hours trying to find good online sources for quality handbag hardware.  It is not easy, let me tell you! The junk in the local fabric stores is just that...JUNK.

Here is a working list of sites.  I have not ordered from all of them, but think I will at some point.

Hardware Elf -

Emmaline Bags - Canadian Company

Pacific Trimmings -  Excellent variety!  I have ordered from here and the shipping is very reasonable. UPDATE: I received my order within 3 days of ordering and everything was of excellent quality...I highly recommend this supplier!

Purse Supply Depot - Purse Supply Depot I have also ordered from here..still waiting for my order.  UPDATE:  I received my order also within 3 days of ordering...quick!

I will update this list as I find more.  Happy hardware ordering! 


Friday, March 1, 2013

Sewing and Stitchery Expo 2013!

I spent the ENTIRE day at the expo today...and I am pooped.  I was able to acquire some luscious fabric for my jacket.  It is a reversible woven that is a light coat weight. The colors are mainly black and white...sounds boring but it is gorgeous!  Since it is unlined, I am going to finish the seams with bias binding made from a luxurious 100% silk print that I also picked up at the vogue fabrics booth.  The prices were absolutely amazing for both; $10 for 2 1/2 yds of the main fabric and $9.99 for the silk...WOW!!

I had to stop by the Clover USA booth because a friend of mine told me to find his Mom... the amazing Fran Ortmeyer and introduce myself.  It is such a small world.  She was delightful, just as her son described...jolly with a huge heart.  She showed me some of their really cool thingies.  I also got some wonder have to get some...they are "wonder"-full.  They work like pins without adding the poke-factor and holes to boot if you are using something like leather or vinyl.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

My fall back... another beautiful knit top!

I have been trying to figure out what to sew next.  First I thought I wanted to make a jacket, and I still do!  In fact my pattern just arrived today.  Isn't it pretty?  I am actually taking a class with Angela Wolf on; Sew an Unlined Designer Jacket.  So far it is pretty good. Angela has a great way of teaching a technique in a very simplified way. 
Aren't they cute? From via Craftsy

Thursday, February 21, 2013

It's a Pinning Party!

I just was invited to join a pinterest power party...what fun!  Its where you link up and find things that our wonderful community of fellow bloggers have shared and pin-it!  I went and found a couple of really cool things, some cookie recipes of course, how to wear colored skinny jeans and organization ideas.

The blog that I linked up with is Sew Much Crafting since she was the gracious person who invited me :).  Thanks Danielle, I am honored.  I followed her simple instruction and joined by pinning and linking up my Inspired T-Shirt!

If you want to join in and hopefully find some new readers copy the image URL by right-clicking the image above and post it to your blog (Danielle, a co-host, gives permission on her blog).  Go to Danielle's blog to see what to do to join the party...its easy!  I look forward to reading the multitude of creatives' blogs that I find in the pinning party!

I will see you all every Thursday!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Easy Green

With my blog reading today I came across this easy way to earn a couple bucks. Click here if you want to start getting money back for you usual online purchases! works.  Before signing up, I looked at the online stores listed and noticed that was one of them, so how could I go wrong!  Right!  So I signed up for Ebates.  It literally took 10 seconds to sign up using my email address.  They were offering a $10 gift card to a few different popular stores for making a purchase of ..get this.. $25 by the end of May.  Once signed up, I realized that I had a $50 gift card to REI from my brother at Christmas and found they were on the list for ebates as well.  I needed (yes really) some more fabric and thus made a purchase at as well.  Now I have approximately $13 coming to me...this is tax AND shipping, how cool is that!

So click the link right here Ebates  to sign up and hurry.

Jacket Challenge!

I found this excellent technique while reading the wonderful world of sewing blogs.  It is about making bound button holes.  Here is a link to this couture technique The Bound Buttonhole.  While it looks involved, just remember it really is small potatoes here with only a few stitches and tiny clips, etc.  I love how she adds chocolate to her list of supplies.  When the going gets tough...relax with chocolate.

So here are the jackets I am considering although a few don't have buttons so I may have to make two jackets for my challenge. What fun!

I like View B best here.

Very cute and RETRO!

I have a fave jacket with a peplum and LOVE it.

Thinking of this one for the City vibe, but may shorten it a bit.

Nice lines! Love the fitting.

Cool and Simple Detailing.

What do you think?  Which one is your favorite?  If anyone has worked any of these patterns, let me know what you did, what you used and any changes you made.

Update:  I have chosen the Kwik Sew 3738, I don't think the pattern pics do the jacket justice, so I am going to mak one with a slight design trick. More to come on this once I get it in the mail and see if the fabric that has been begging me to put it into a spring garment.  My cogs are turning and clicking in my head and can't wait to begin.  Stay with me crew, we will have a really cute casual jacket that will flatter those of us without many curves.  And I hope you will join me and let me know what you think...good or bad, its all constructive in garment creation.  I love it all :)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Inspired T-Shirt

I have been sewing a new project each week...I just can't stop!  Do I have problem?  Nah. Luckily my fabric stash has lasted me for quite some time thanks to great deals at
Last weekend, my mom stopped by to say hi and I couldnt wait to show her my latest accomplishment, a long sleeved tshirt with a beautiful ruffled neck edge.  
I was inspired to create this when one of my co-workers was wearing a short sleeved fitted tshirt with a similar application. I had to check it out, she was probably wondering why I was staring at her chest..yikes!  Super easy, it is simply strips of fabric stitched down the center from one shoulder seam to the next. For this one, I attached 4 strips that were about 1 1/2" wide.

I will take you through the process here and then follow with the shirt I am making.

What you will need:
  1. Your favorite t-shirt or pattern...and make it finishing the neck band as usual.
  2. Strips of the same or even different fabric. I used the same rayon jersey used for my t-shirt.  I am even thinking about using a contrasting color, but I like the jersey since it doesn't ravel and actually looks even better after it is washed and dried.
  3. Thread; matching or contrast -- your choice!
  4. Stretch needles.

Making your shirt:
  1. Make your t-shirt  (skip this step if you are using your favorite shirt)
  2. Cut your strips; you choose the width. 1 1/2" seems to work well, but wider will create a more flowing effect. I have cut both on the crosswise and lengthwise grain which will depend on how your chosen fabric behaves.  There really is no wrong way to do this.
  3. Begin pinning your first strip starting at the right shoulder seam about 3/8" from the neckband seam. I have attached this strip with the right side facing so when the edge rolls it does so to the front.  Either way you decide will be perfect.
  4. Sew right down the center of the strip using a stretch stitch (the lightening bolt on my machine) or a narrow  long zig-zag and back tack at the beginning and end.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each strip that you want to add.  My co-worker's shirt had 9 strips, but I think they were much narrower.  That is the beauty of this project....CREATIVE WONDER resulting in your own expression of beauty!

More to come in a bit... I have to go cut out my t-shirt! I chose this really pretty delicate cotton/spandex jersey that I purchased (end of bolt) for my stash. 

Gingher scissors are so fast!  already done cutting.

My basic long sleeve t-shirt is finished. The neck band is in. I chose to leave the sleeve and hemline raw to compliment the inspirational ruffles.
I had already cut my strips when I cut the pattern.  You can see one of them above.  Since I cut them on the cross grain (remember, you can cut them on either grainline), the edges roll toward the backside of the fabric.  This is where you begin pinning your fabric strip at the right shoulder seam with the center of the strip about 3/8" from the neckband seam.  

A secondary benefit of this application is that the seam allowance remains flat with wear. Always a good thing!

I need to point out that I always place a large head pin perpendicular to the strip I am attaching directly on the shoulder seam line to make sure my stitching begins and ends right at that point for a more finished look.  
The yellow pin head is at the left shoulder seam

All pinned and ready to sew

See the yellow pin head to mark the shoulder seam at the right side.

This is at the left shoulder seam 

The first strip is on

Left shoulder pinning the second strip...almost there

A finished Inspired T-Shirt
After all your strips are attached, VOILA!  You have a beautiful fresh inspired t-shirt. I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and that you will post comments and photos of your "inspired t-shirt". 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Different route...onto Custom Jeans!

My trip to the fabric store was so disappointing!  The selection of lingerie lace, specifically stretch lace, was more or less (truly LESS) non-existant.  So I ended up purchasing some lace trim that was about 1inch too narrow, a fat quarter of silk, fold over elastic and some invisible thread for my panties.  When I got home and layed everything out I just wasn't feeling it.  So onto which is where I seem to get insipiration.
About 1 month ago I purchased the Jean-ius course taught by Kenneth D. King (, and extraordiary designer and instructor.  I decided to take the plunge into creating my own custom pair of jeans using his reverse engineering technique.  I went slowly, but couldn't stop once I had begun.
I have a pair of Mavi jeans that I purchased, gosh I think 6 years ago, that fit like a glove.  So....I began hand basting the stitch lines, then the grain lines as Kenneth instructed.  Here is a picture of what they looked like when I was done.

Next, using silk organza...yes silk because it does not have a glare and does not slide easily, I traced my stitching lines, the lengthwise and crosswise grainlines.  This gave me the the basis to begin drafting my custom jeans pattern!  Sounds like a lot of work, and yest it is but well worth the effort.
Next, as you guessed...drafting the paper pattern.  I bought a roll of pattern tracing paper a year ago.  It is probably not the best and definately not what the professionals use, but I like it.  It is semiglossy on one side and paperlike on the other. Most importantly it is see throuth...oh and really inexpensive.  It took me about an hour or so to transfer the stitch and grainlines onto the paper using the worst non-wax tracing paper and cheapo tracing wheel.  Since I have never used these implements before, I didn't know that there is a true difference.  My impatience wouldn't allow me to wait for the waxed tracing paper as it is not something that is stocked at local fabric stores is an "old-school" type.  Apparently the newer "non-waxed" paper is supposed to be better.  Not so!  It transfers blurry and wipes away before you get a chance to really work with the traced lines.  Anyway, I digress.
First of all, I completely forgot to pin my grainlines from the organza to the paper.  It turned out okay...just alot of frustration in the process.  I then needed to true up my lines and I got to use my new designer's curved ruler.  My paper pattern was halfway done.  The little pattern pieces (fly facing, zipper shield, pocket applique and pocket bag) come in later when the test fit is complete. The waistband doesn't need to be drafted because Kenneth has a great technique that I will share later.
**Sidenote:  check out that beautiful table Dad made this for me about 10 years ago!
I added a seam allowance of the standard 5/8" by measuring out from the traced stitch line using my graded ruler and connected the dots.  The pattern really looked great!  I was feeling very proud and couldnt wait to get to the construction.   Not just yet though, I needed to test it out so made my "test-garment", yes a muslin.  I wondered, though, what I was going to use...I really didn't want to go back to the store and buy more fabric!   Oh yeah, I remembered that I had some extra denim from my last pair of jeans and it was exactly just enough to assemble a muslin without the waistband.  
I need to figure out how to photograph myself...but until then this is what I can do :).  They fit nearly perfectly but needed to have the front crotch curve flattened out about 1/4" because of some horizontal ripples along each side of the front crotch.  
Now I am onto the finalization...the creation of the rest of the pattern pieces.  Kenneth used a technique that creates a pocketbag that is similar to all RTW jeans out there, but I had already mastered the pocketbag from Angela Wolf (AW4200-The AW Bootcut Jean).  I really like the construction of this type of pocketbag so I drafted my pattern based on this using my front pattern piece and the dimensions of the existing pocket on my original Mavi jeans.  Here are all the little pattern pieces.
So now is the really fun part...starting the construction of my new custom jeans.  But first, I needed to decide on the stitching detail.  I used a scrap of my denim and tested the C & C Jeans Gold thread at differnt stitch lengths as well as the triple stretch stitch.  I liked the standard straight stitch at 4.5mm lenth for the topstitch detail.  I cut out all my pieces and decided to use a remnant of a woven cotton red print fabric for my front pocket bag.  Here is the pocket lining in my finished jeans as I forgot to take the picture before I cut and sewed....I jsut get so excited to finish. 
First, I decided to design my back pockets and chose to use a similar pattern as that on my original Mavi jeans.  I used the silk organza to copy, then used the crummy transfer paper and tracing wheel to get the pattern on my practice pocket. I also decided to use the gold thread to stitch super close to the edge and add a second row of stitching using a blue thread inside of the gold stitching to add a dressy feel.
I like how my stitching turned out even with the uneven makes if more custom...don't you think?
Finished pocket attached to back.
Once the back was complet with the yokes and pockets, I was onto the front where mucy more attention to detail is needed.  The first step is to install the zipper and I have to say I am getting much better at this and don't get a huge knot in my gut just thinking about it anymore.  There are so many great tutorials (Easy, Flat Fly-Front Zipper) on the web and with the instruction of Kenneth King ( class "Jean-ius") and Angela Wolf (Make Your Own Jeans), I am sure to succeed...and have!  Second, I attached my coin pocket to the right pocket applique.  Third, the pocket bags went in.  All of those details put together to create the front of my new custom jeans! The front and back were joined at the center crotch first and topstitched with a double row.  
Since the outseam only needs topstitching from the waist to the end of the front pocket, these are stitched next.  The next step was to create the waistband, without a pattern.  Kenneth King uses a formula to calculate how wide of a strip to cut on the crossgrain.  It is double the depth (of the original waistband), double the seam allowance and add 1/4".  So for a 1 1/2" finish, you would cut a strip 4" wide.  Then you press it in half lengthwise and press one side in 1/2".  Then you press in a cool!  It really works so you don't have to cut a curved piece and stitch it together creating bulk where you don't really want it. 
Once pinned to the jeans in the same way as a traditional pattern, I cut it to fit MY pattern...Custom!  Actually I left about 2 inches hanging out from the overlap and underlap in order to make it easier to finish the ends, then trimmed before turning.  One detail that I added which is a tip I learned from Angela Wolf, is to add stay tape to the inside top of the waistband.  This keeps it from stretching out over time creating a gap where you dont really want it.  Turned, pressed, topstitched, and pressed! This was the easiest waistband I have ever put on a garment.  
Almost done...on a roll... the beltloops are made custom.  I decided to topstitch them down the center which I really like compared to the usual which is a double row of stitching that I always end up with a wonky stitch line.  The beltloops were attached; I chose to add 6 loops and angled the two at the hipline. This keeps the belt in place better and creates a slimming look.  
Final step was to hem them which is probably the best hem I have ever done!  Thanks for reading...let me know what you are working on.

Saturday, February 9, 2013


So, here I am ready to start my next project.  I can choose from:
1) Jamie Christina "The Mission Maxi" purchased at
2) Fehr Trade "Lacey Thong"
3) Kwik Sew "Basket K3938"
4) Drafting a custom pair of jeans with Kenneth King's "Jean-ius" class.
So many choices!  I think the "Lacey Thong" is my starting place.  I have read the construction tips and printed my FREE pattern from  Now off to the fabric store to get my supplies.  Last week when I was at Pacific Fabrics, I noticed they are now selling 100% silk fat quarters for around $5 which will be absolutely luxurious for these panties.  I will also un doubtedly look at all of the fabric because as a can never have too much in your stash.  Afterall, you never know when you will need something fabulous for a project you might happen to come accross when catching up with all of the terrific sewing blogs. :)

My first post here is short...let me get into the swing and I will be adding photos of my creations and sharing my successes and flubs along the way. Thanks for reading!