It’s my birthday month!

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The 28th of February (only 10 days away) is my birthday. I will be fully 71 years old. And I always indulge myself for my birthday ๐Ÿ™‚

I just ordered the Olya Shirt from Paper Theory, the most expensive pattern I’ve ever purchased. But I love the vibe and the back story. It will be wonderful over jeans.

Today, I also went for 5 fabrics from Cali Fabrics. And I’m on the hunt for more before the end of the month, lurking those Presidents Day sales. I was down to only one fabric in my stash! I really really need to remedy that… So 4 French terry knits and one rayon challis (for that beautiful shirt pattern).

To say I am grateful, blessed, happy – an understatement. Ciao – Coco

2018 Favorites!

charlie brown closet

I hadn’t planned to do this, but in the end, I found it very interesting.

The following is a pictorial of my favorite and most repeated patterns. Each has a link to my original post.

Dresses

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Allie Olson Highlands Wrap Dress
s1
Simplicity 8640 Dress
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Grainline Studio Felix Dress

Tops

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Named Clothing Saraste Shirt

Pants

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McCalls 7726 High-Waisted Pants
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True Bias Yari Jumpsuit
3
Sew House Seven Burnside Bibs

Skirts

f2
Named Clothing Utu Skirt

Jackets

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Butterick 6251 Fleece Jacket
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Lekala 5712 Faux Fur Jacket
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Itch to Stitch Paro Cardigan

There are no misses, dislikes, or disappointmentss in the loft. I learn from everything I sew, and I always feel each project is a winner ๐Ÿ™‚

Model in gold

Ciao! Coco

Misc tips on sewing with knits

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Like this structure? Preserve it. Here’s my approach to sewing knit fabrics.

  • First, I don’t just serge my knits together. Most serger threads have a lower tensile strength than all-purpose sewing thread, so they pull and break easily. And a serged seam is always sketchy, no one can combat the wave all the time. I sew all my seams on my machine, and then I serge the seams to finish. The result is a garment with structure and strength, nothing wavy going on (OK, I had to hang that preposition).
  • I don’t use a walking foot or an elastic (lightening) stitch on my sewing machine. I use a straight stitch with the upper thread adjusted to give me an even result. Also, I use a fairly long stitch. On my Singer Stylist, 3.0. BECAUSE a smaller stitch really tries to put more stitches in an inch…the result, it stretches the fabric to accommodate the stitches.
  • I don’t stretch my fabric as I sew. I let the machine’s feed feet take it forward, ensuring that the unstitched fabric layers are going evenly to the needle. hmmm. Yes, use those pins and light finger tips to guide the fabric. A little practice, and you can do this.

Here are some illustrations of the direction of my sewing on knits. Believe me, direction makes a huge difference with knits, particularly if they have any bias edge (most do). They all want to droop at the cut edges. If you sew down those edges, it will droop even more. And, have you noticed, one just doesn’t sew at the same tension going up and down a front edge. Beat that droop…

Examples…

  • Side seams and neckline edges, a simple cardigan (this is the Tessuti Megan):

 

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  • More complicated, attaching a band to a neckline edge (this is the Itch to Stitch Paro Cardigan):

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  • And that critical element, attaching a collar (this is McCalls 7476 drop shoulder cardigan):

line art 2

By now you’ll see the similarity – stitch UP against the flow and use a lot of pins. Be gentle with the fabric, taking care not to pull it as it goes under the presser foot. Are you topstitching? take the direction into account.

BTW – I serge/finish seams the same way. Sergers tend to have a downward pull on the fabric. If I’m serging with abandon, I just make sure it’s in the ‘right’ direction so I don’t end up with something that’s 1″ longer on one side!! Yes, it means I have threads to tuck/tie/finish but that doesn’t bother me. It’s all sewing, ย and I love sewing knits!!

Ciao – Coco

The stash – where did it go?

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This is one of those horrifying moments! I just haven’t been paying attention…and I’ve sewn myself down to NO fabric other than remnants. Aack!

I’ve been watching the season’s sales, but, now, having just ordered a new book, I want to wait and purchase for the patterns inside.

What a (nice) conundrum ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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Also, I know I will get Christmas $, and January will see a huge addition to the stash. Meanwhile, I don’t like this feeling!

Has this ever happened to you? sigh. ย Coco

 

Wow – a tale of detergents!

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Not my usual post. But I bought Arm and Hammer Sensitive Scent pods on a buy one/get one a few months ago. And I started to notice that my clothing smelled like I had just run a marathon!! It was driving me crazy and into the shower more than once a day. I finally figured out it might be my new detergent.

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I’m back to All Free & Clear liquid, not pods, no smell, and I’ll never ever use anything else.

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Of course, all my garments went back through the laundry, so compulsive, yes ๐Ÿ™‚ Has this ever happened to you?

Ciao! Coco