5/25/17

DIY Patches with Cotton + Steel Thread by SULKY





I was excited to see the new thread collaboration: Cotton+Steel Thread by Sulky.  The new line of 50 wt. thread is Egyptian Grown, Extra-Long Staple Cotton is twisted, dyed, and, finished in Italy, with the final winding done in Germany. All 100 colors of this fine all-purpose thread were carefully chosen to include essential sewing colors plus a mix of fun, vibrant colors. 

The story is in the details. Follow along the manufacturing path of Cotton+Steel Thread by Sulky in this short video as the Sulky team traveled through Europe and learned the steps involved in making this thread.

I went with the Cotton + Steel Thread OESD Embroidery CollectionIn this new Cotton+Steel Thread by Sulky Slimline contains all the colors needed to stitch every design in Scout by Cotton+Steel. Consisting of 25 mix-and-match patch designs, Scout is the first ever embroidery collection by Cotton+Steel. 

The cute patches and little details were the perfect addition to my denim jacket made from my kids’ upcycled jeans in my last post, here. The OESD Embroidery collection, "Scout" features darling little animals, geometric patch outlines, fruit, and other fun designs. They remind me of the old school Girl Scout patches I use to get as a child.  I made a patch representing each of my boys.  The Mustang horse was coincidentally perfect as this is my sons’ school mascot: The Monarch Mustangs.  I went with the “Louie” the lamb, “Vinny” the fox, and J the sheers as he’s my little artist… I couldn’t resist the strawberry and happy daisy for momma!


 I used 2 layers of Sulky's Soft 'n Sheer stabilizer.  It's perfect for patches as you can embroider directly onto it.  I also suggest their Fabri-Solvy stabilizer, it's a temporary fabric-like water soluble stabilizer that easily washes away so you won't have a hint of stabilizer left over along the edges of the patch.
 For the patch outline I followed the steps on the directions. Begin by creating the first outline of the patch. 
Then you will cover the existing outline with fabric. I chose denim because I'm using it on my jean jacket, but you can have fun with different printed fabrics. 
 Once the second set of stitches is done, you will remove the excess fabric as close to the stitch outline as you can. 
Then proceed to finish the patch border.  I positioned the embroidery designs to go directly in the middle of the patch which my BERNINA 560E makes this simple to do. 
Remove the excess stabilizer or rinse it away and you can sew these directly onto your project or use an adhesive to iron them on.  Cute little gift ideas as well...

 Check out the thread collection here!
The embroidery collection here!
Cotton+Steel Thread by Sulky is available only through independent sewing and quilting stores. If you don’t find it at your local store, ask them about carrying this great product!

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5/16/17

Named Clothing Maisa Denim Jacket from Upcycled Jeans


One of my very first sewing projects with a pattern was a denim jacket… I know very ambitious of my 13 year old self.  I remember having to ask the teacher to help me with just about every step. After it was done I was unimpressed by the end result. To me it looked handmade (in a bad way), bulky, and wasn’t what I was going for with all that work.  From that point on I decided I didn’t want to try another denim project (jeans, jacket, etc). And I pretty much stayed true to that until now…

I saw Named Clothing’s Maisa Denim jacket from their SS17 Playground collection and I couldn’t resist giving it a go again. I was drawn to the combination of contrasting colors and their sample was even made of recycled denim remnants. Perfect! My boys have a box of torn down denim that was just too trashed to giveaway but not nearly trashed enough to throw out.  I also can show my boys (as they laugh) this was the pocket of your jeans here, and here was yours right here…I know I’ll get good use out of this and it will also remind me of the many adventures I have with my boys. For the parts I didn't have enough denim to cover I used T√ČLIO's bleached wash denim that went perfect with the mix of colors I had. 

Named Clothing is a Finnish clothing pattern label founded by sisters Saara and Laura. They offer patterns of all skill level from beginner to more experienced.  This one is a bit advanced but if you’re new to sewing patterns they have plenty of options to pick from. I love the style of their patterns…classic silhouettes with a twist, interesting little details that bring out the designer in you. 


What I loved the most about this specific sewing pattern is the easy to follow instructions, even for an advanced project like a denim jacket. I never once questioned what was to be done. This alone deserves an applause as we all know most sewing patterns can be difficult to follow.  


  See the steps of the process below including video...

 Tiling the pattern. 
 Piles of torn denim my sons' and husband have destroyed. They play rough like they should. 
 The hardest part was making all the scraps of denim work for the project and picking out the color theme. 
Cutting the pattern.
I love seeing the jacket come together little by little. 
Had to add embroidery of my boys names on the cuff...
Finishing the button holes...
The pattern turned out better than I expected with a perfect fit.  The construction process took awhile but take your time and enjoy it.  Not every project needs to be under 1/2 an hour.  The finished results are worth it! 

Check out more of Named Clothing patterns here

5/8/17

Sewing Pattern Series: Sew House Seven






 The #modernseamstress is a term I use to describe today's sewist.  She most likely can re-create patterns from existing garments on last year's wrapping paper, and loves redesigning clothing into fashion-forward looks.  The cut and sew type of person knows the project will somehow work out…usually,  although he or she may have a hard time with sewing patterns. I’m pretty much describing today’s seamstress.  We’ve shunned traditional sewing patterns because of the unnecessarily difficult instructions and outdated looks, using sewing terms you’ve never heard of and you cringe at the thought of nylon paper exploding from the envelope.  Now don’t be turned off just yet.  There are many modern sewing patterns that are created for today’s seamstresses in mind.  They offer fashion-forward looks with simplified instructions.  They also come in digital or PDF files you can simply print at home!  All you have to do is download, print, and tile the patterns.  Learning to create garments from sewing patterns is actually a breeze.  It’s also a necessary skill that as a seamstress you should know.  The finished results will be better fitting garments and professional finishes that will enhance your sewing and design skills.  If you plan to work in the garment industry, pattern making and construction is a necessary skill you’ll want to master.  This new series, that I’ll be introducing you to, will use a few of my go-to sewing patterns. 

The first sewing pattern I’m starting off with is Sew House Seven’s Bridgetown Backless Dress & Tunic.  The pattern is easy to follow with clear instructions.  The design is a simple silhouette with modern features like the open draped back and kimono style sleeves. It’s a versatile look for all occasions.  Go with a semi-sheer cotton gauze for a swim cover up, a cotton knit tunic for casual, or/and a silk sateen for special occasions.  Once you master this pattern you will zip through them and want one in every color and fabric.

I chose Navy Bohemian Print in Wool Dobby from Stylish Fabric and couldn't resist a ultra soft and drapey knit jersey in teal here.


Steps of the process and tips on using PDF patterns below:

Begin by downloading the pattern.  When printing make sure to print “Actual Size,” full scale, 100%.”  Print the first page that contains a square prior to printing the whole pattern.  Measure to make sure it’s correct.  If so then proceed to print the remaining pages.  If not, check your printer settings, make any changes, and print another test page…

Cut the left and top lines of each inner tile piece. 
Like a puzzle, match the marks and pattern lines up with tape. Make sure to tape through any cutting lines that go through the page edges and where the four corners meet. 
Once everything is taped, cut the pattern pieces out.  You can then trace the pattern onto pattern paper. This is a good option if you want to make the pattern in different sizes as well.  I prefer to use the printed pattern for time efficiency. 
Pick the fabric that is suggested in the pattern instructions. 
To store your patterns use hangers with clips used for pants/shorts.  When I'm done using them for awhile I like to fold them up along the cut lines and place them in plastic storage bags. 

Get the Bridgetown Backless Dress & Tunic Pattern here and check out the other lovely patterns by Sew House Seven

5/7/17

DIY: Off-the-Shoulder Ruffle Top





Create this off-the-shoulder ruffle top I designed for summer! You can make the hem longer for a dress or add trim for extra details. Once you get the hang of this pattern you’ll want one in every color and print.

Full tutorial and pattern at the We All Sew BERNINA blog here.