Sunday, June 30, 2013

Simplicity 2588 - Fitting Woes


I'm in the process of muslining Simplicity 2588.  I'm making the dress option with the flat sleeves and the fuller skirt for my brother's wedding.  The muslin doesn't look half bad, except this annoying problem right under the arms.  You can see the pulling above, from the front underarm to the shoulder.  I've never had this problem, so I'm not sure what to do.  It's not pulling in the back, just the front.  The armscye (can I even still call it an armscye because it's a raglan sleeve??) is a size 8 at the top and tapers out to a size 10 right at the point where the folds start near the front of the armpit.  I pinned the bodice on and wore it for a while to check the comfort.  The armscye is annoyingly high in my armpit, so when I put this on I want to escape and run away!  Maybe I should alter the armscye using this tip.

I took out 1/2" at center front to make the fabric fall over the bust better.  I'm wondering if this stole ease from the arm area.  I really have no idea how to fix this so any advice would be very appreciated.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Craftsy Sewing With Knits: Scoop Neck T-Shirt

I've been taking a class on called Sewing with Knits: Five Wardrobe Essentials, with Meg McElwee.

Meg is a great teacher and her tips for sewing with knits have given me new confidence to try knit projects that are a little less 'safe.'  The first of her projects I tried is the scoop neck t-shirt.

This pattern is only available by downloading the PDF pattern that comes with the class.  Totally worth it!

Fabric used:
70/30 Bamboo Cotton (from my local independent fabric shop via
This fabric has a wonderful soft hand and has about 50% stretch.

I cut out a large.  Previously, I cut out a small for my muslin and it was WAY too small!  Although, the first time I used fabric with only 35% stretch.  So with the proper 50% stretch fabric recommended, I still had to use one size bigger than my measurements called for.

Changes made:
I wanted a neckline in between a jewel neckline and a scoop neck, so I brought the neckline up until it was about two fingers below my collar bone.  I had to re-figure the length of the neckline band.

I added sleeve gathers to the edge of the sleeves by adding fullness at the bottom.  I finished them with a sleeve band around the bottom.  It is the same width as the neckline band.

I used a serger for the seams and the sewing machine for the neckline and sleeve bands.  I used Design Plus to finish the shirt hem.  Works like a charm!  I was surprised how forgiving this bamboo knit was.  I didn't use a walking foot this time around, and the neckline looks nearly perfect.  I'll have to learn how to use it next time.


I will definitely be making this pattern again, and changing things up with added details.  I think this will become a staple for my wardrobe.  I just love how soft this t-shirt is and how well it fits!

Monday, June 24, 2013

SB 302 Maxi Skirt

Betsy, of Skinny Bitch Curvy Chick Patterns, contacted me last month and asked me to try out her Maxi Skirt Pattern.  I hadn't heard of Betsy's pattern line and I was so excited to find that she caters to the petite sewers out there.  Each petite pattern fits a wide range of sizes, from XXS to 3X. This maxi skirt pattern is great because taller gals can wear it by folding over the waistband less.
To give you a better idea of what SBCC offers, I chose two other patterns to showcase.  I love the look of this easy knit dress.  It also has a t-shirt option:

The Moto Chic Jacket is for more experienced sewers out there.  This collarless jacket features a peplum, a side front zipper, and a lining.  So adorable!  I can't wait to whip this up.

My pattern arrived in the mail in a large zipbloc bag.  I wish all my patterns came this way! There was a wonderful sturdy pattern inside, on regular paper (not that cheap tissue paper that gets too easily damaged).  The instructions were simple and easy to understand.

I used 'The Perfect Brown Solid Cotton Lycra Knit Fabric' from Girl Charlee. It is a 9 oz. fabric, perfect for a breezy summer skirt. I constructed the skirt using my serger, for the seams, and topstitched with a double needle on my sewing machine. 


I love the way the hem looks. I used Design Plus fusible web to fuse the hem. This way, the hem was stuck in place after I topstitched it, the hem looks really smooth and professional. Pay attention to how much stretch the pattern recommends. If your pattern has less stretch, you'll have to go up a size before cutting out. Knits are not hard to sew, just different than wovens. Don't be afraid! They are fun!

I whipped this skirt up in just a few hours. This skirt is super comfortable and has a fun flirty flair.  If you're looking for a first knit project, this is a great pattern to use.


For a limited time, SBCC Patterns is offering their new Tonic T-Shirt (knit PDF pattern) absolutely free! You won't want to miss this one!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

How to Wash Your Quilt

It's been almost two years since Scott and I got hitched, and it got me thinking.....I haven't ever washed our wedding quilt.  (Don't judge - I use a sheet and we don't put things on top of the quilt.)  It being allergy season and all, I thought it was about time.  I've seen a lot of advice floating around the internet.  Some people say to ONLY wash your quilts and others say to ONLY dry clean them.  The quilters I talked to recommended this method:

Materials Needed:

1. Obtain quilt washing soap from your local quilting store.  
I used Orvus Quilt Soap.   It has no phosphorus that could harm delicate fabrics. 

2. Shout Color Catcher
This stuff keeps your colors bright, even if different colors are thrown into the same load.  I did this just to make sure that the browns in my quilt didn't muddy out the bright whites.

Note: You should ALWAYS pre-wash your fabric prior to constructing a quilt.  Because I did this, I didn't need to worry that my fabrics weren't colorfast.  The chances that the colors would run were extremely slim.

3. A Big Washer
Our apartment boasts a tiny stacked top loader.  There's no way we could stuff my quilt in that thing.  Top loaders (the old ones with agitators) can be hard on quilts, so I borrowed a family member's front loader.


From here, I followed the directions on the quilt soap bottle and added 1 Tablespoon of soap.  I threw my quilt in, added a color catcher sheet, and set the load to wash on COLD.  I would always wash quilts on cold, unless they are really filthy.

After the wash cycle, you can throw the quilt in the dryer.  I dried mine on medium heat.  It came out of the dryer looking a little more puffy than it was before.  Love it!

So, don't be afraid to wash your own quilts.  It's super easy!  They will probably fade over time, just like our clothes do, but I think a well-loved quilt is a well-used quilt.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Sewing Machine Hospital

It's been a long time since my last post.  Dear Suzie has been to the hospital again:

I took her in because she kept turning off while I was stitching.  I then had to unplug her and turn off the power switch, and on again to get her going again.  It was really annoying, especially when I was using a zig-zag stitch.  Suzie goes back to a default straight stitch every time she gets rebooted.  I took her in to get fixed in March and they couldn't find a problem.  When I took her home, she displayed the exact same symptoms.  I was on vacation the last couple of weeks and so I dropped her off again.

This time they did find the problem.  It was a bad power supply.  Bad power supplies can be caused by a surge in electricity.  This can be prevented by ALWAYS plugging your machine into a surge protector.  I live at almost 6,000 ft. above sea level and up here, the altitude can be very hard on electronics.  I don't know what caused my little Suzie to blitz out, but from now on I will always use a surge protector when I sew.

$180 later, Suzie has a new power supply and a new lease on life!  Yay!  Electronics are expensive.  Booooooooooo!!!

My husband and I have been very busy house hunting these last couple of months.  We are moving cross country in August, to Charleston, South Carolina.  We took a lovely house hunting trip recently and saw every house in our price range within our criteria in two days.  Last weekend, we put an offer in on a lovely home close to base with this kitchen:

The kitchen is enormous for us!  You should see our current set up.  It doesn't even have 1/3 of the counter space you see here.  I am so excited to get to cook alongside my hubbie - a.k.a. I clean while he cooks.  In case you were wondering...I did negotiate for the butcher block in the center of the kitchen.  It's cute, functional, and I really didn't want to shop for another one.  

My in-laws came down for the weekend and after we found our house we took some time to see the sites, including Sullivan's Island...

...and Magnolia Plantation.  Here is my mother-in-law and my husband looking at some beautiful trees, covered in moss.  Apparently, the moss is invasive because it crowds out the leaves, but I love how romantic it looks hanging in the breeze.

I promise, I have some great projects started for the summer and I can't wait to share them with you!  I've learned some more tricks on sewing with knits and also have a linen dress and a bridesmaid's dress that need whipping up.  Also, I bought a walking foot recently, and once I find out how to use it I will tell you all about it.