Member Since: 08/03/2011
The only way to get swimsuits the way I like them, is to sew them myself! I have been making my own swimsuits for 15 years. I actually think using just the sewing machine is better. The serger builds up extra bulk on the seams because of the extra thread. Swimsuits are quite forgiving. Many mistakes will disappear when the fabric stretches.
When sewing the elastic around the legs, I use half the elastic in the front and the other half in the back. This makes the elastic more snug on the back. I like full coverage on my backside. I also make rash guards for my boys. My favorite knit patterns are Kwik Sew. I use a mock turtleneck for the rash guards or a swim dress for my very white daughter. Less need for sunscreen...
As I get older, I'm happy to have a swim dress and glad to see them becoming more popular. My swimsuit is like a cap sleeve tennis dress with bike shorts. It works and is flattering.
I use chopsticks and crochet hooks for turning! I use shelf liner that is like a rug liner to keep my sewing machine from scooting around on the table when I'm doing straight seams. I'm not opposed to using whatever is around me to help me with my sewing!
I think first of all the maternity clothes and nursing clothes I made for myself, but it was the wedding dress for my daughter-in-law I think is my favorite. It was more engineering, than sewing. As we worked on the dress, we were getting to know each other better and bonding. We designed the dress together. I think we were both satisfied with the finished product.
If I win the blouse DVD, I can turn the blouse pattern I to a dress. Thank you for opportunity to win!
I use a twin needle to hem my knits. I loosen the tension on the needle thread to keep the stitch from making a channel. It lays flat and stretches without popping.
My seams are a zig zag set at 2-3 wide and 1-1 1/2 long. This has a nice stretch and it looks the same on the outside of the seam as a straight stitch.
Kwik sew has lots of good patterns for knits.
Yes. I used the padded shelf liner too! It's been too long to remember... I really needed my serger and my sewing machine to stay on the table! That does the trick! Now I need to keep my pins and tools on the table too!
Options! I love options! I love playing around with ideas! This looks like a great book for me and for those I sew for, my family.
Thank you for the opportunity to win!
Thank you for the downloads!
For bringing a snag to the back, I use a cheap needle threader poked through from the wrong side. If I'm wearing the article, I can poke through the right side far away from the snag , then up through the snag as before, so it ends up in the back anyway. I have used the needle and thread method too.
Thank you for your myth busters! These are great!
Some people think you don't have to preshrink all fabrics, just cotton and other natural fibers.
There are many ways to shrink fabric. I thought all I needed to do was to preshrink the fabric with the same temperature I planned to use once it was a dress or skirt, but...
Someone helped me with the wash and used a higher temperature AND put it in the dryer, when I was using cold and air dry. Well? It shrunk more. Being a knit, it shrank up and out. The sleeves still come to my wrist, but the shoulders are dropped now and the top doesn't tuck in and the skirt lost about eight inches...
I still recommend a finish that rolls the edges of brocade. It shreds. Although that hand sewn edge looks good for other things!
Thank you for your collection! I will find a way to save it.
I use 1 inch non-roll ribbed elastic for a stiff waistband that won't fold or roll. It's much better than make-a-waist! The trick is to not stretch it while sewing the casing over it. My skirt has that on the front flat part of the waist. After over four years of wearing this skirt to work, the elastic is still holding up!
Measure yourself and compare your measurements directly to the pattern. Remember how much ease you need for that pattern and make the adjustments. Don't trust the pattern to fit just because your measurement match the back of the envelope. Some run small and some run large.
Learn from your mistakes!
My favorite is Stitchology. It's a small yellow book about different problems and challenges people have with their sewing machines. I picked it up about 20 years ago for $4. Now, out of print, it's up to $13 on the Internet sites! It's a great little book that shows how stitches are formed by the sewing machine and what to do to get your stitches right. Sometimes, it's as simple as replacing the needle.
The biggest thing I learned from that book is, that rat's nest of thread under the feed dogs is usually the top thread! The thread doesn't have enough tension on it for the needle to bring it back up. I work in a fabric store and I often refer to the knowledge I gained from that small book to help my customers.
Thank you for sharing! I can see how it works. As someone with broad shoulders already, I'm not likely to use this for myself. It's good though to have a few tricks up my sleeve...
I was taught to curve the dart so it's not so pointy. It ends up being more round. I do run off the edge, then back stitch on the dart where it won't show.
I have been looking at the tops and dresses made from oversized scarves. Cool!
For those who sew already, these sewing rooms can be a great refuge. For those who do not know yet how to sew, it can become a tool towards more independence. Learning how to mend and create is so empowering and can produce an income!
Studies have been done to see what hobbies did the most to reduce stress. Sewing won! It's hard to be thinking of other things while running a sewing machine! Cross stitch, crochet, knitting etc. didn't require as much concentration. The mind could still dwell on the problems. Sewing makes the best escape!
The sense of accomplishment helps to rebuild someone who is down. If I knew we had something like that around where we live, not only would I have sewing machines, but also teaching time to offer. What a great ministry!
Thank you for sharing!
I was offered a subscription to Threads, but I got so much information from your email newsletter and your online articles, I figured I had enough but... You have so many insider articles and perks that are only a available to subscribers, I'm ready now for a subscription. Threads covers so much of what I do and what I want to learn!
What I learn, I share with others; at the cut table where I work and with my friends and family.
Thank you for the opportunity! I would be grateful to win!
I made my own croquis when I was in patternmaking classes. Unfortunately, my body has taken a different shape I should do it again. I don't draw up all those proportions, just the silhouettes from the front, back and side. It's a great way to try different fashion ideas on without sewing up samples!
I highly recommend it!
I learned to sew 45 years ago. (Ouch! That's hard to admit! I'm not THAT old!) I have taken pattern making classes. I love to make clothes for me and my family (especially the grandchildren). I also work part time in a fabric store. Many look to me for help in sewing. This book and DVD would increase my knowledge so I can share with others, both in my sewing and at work.
Thank you for the opportunity to win this set for free!
I can see at least one other benefit of doing the collar this way. The center seam on the under collar helps support the back of the collar to help it stand up better!
But I also have a question: How does this change of grain work on the under collar? Does it stitch up the same? No problems with the bias?
Thank you for sharing!
When ironing these garments that may show seam impressions, usually iron the seams wrong side out, then turn right side out for the creases. I have heard, perhaps I have done it too, place paper or non fusible Pelion. between the seam allowance and the garment when pressing, but your method looks like it makes things easier in the long run.
Thank you for your tip! I'm sure it works with other fabrics too!
The one that caught my eye was on Zoe Saldana. That dress is so smooth and the wonderful ripples of white, grey and black at the bottom so classy! I'm not sure what it looks like from other angles, but the photo shows a very classy line. The top of the dress doesn't look like it's barely holding on either. I prefer more clothes on the models too.
I just can't get over that hemline! It is so cool!
Years ago, a friend chose a sari fabric to use in her bride's maid's dress. The fabric was off the bolt, purple and gold. I would call it a border print, but the design is woven. The dress has a peasant dress bodice and an aline skirt.
My friend was trying to get me to make it in a six 6, since she "fit" that size. But just because you can squeeze your body into that size, doesn't mean it fits! I made it in a size 14. Then it skimmed over her body, instead of sausage style. It's not the number that matters, it's how it looks on you! That dress would have shredded if I made it the size she wanted.
I used French seams to make the dress and she looked great in it!
My daughter wanted me to make a dress for her out of sari fabric too. It went from royal blue to jade with a border design. We didn't want to cut up the fabric, so we made a wrap dress with a gold belt and straps. That dress did not turn out so well, but we still have the fabric whole and ready to use for something else!
The only influence I can see in my life is, I don't feel so bad handing down jeans to my grandsons with the knees ripped out. They may think it's a fashion statement!
Oh, there is another... One of my sons gives me his pants to fix. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to darn all the holes, or just certain ones? I wouldn't want to "fix" one of the design features of his pants!
My style is more tailored, modest and feminine.
That's my kind of sewing!
My daughter always laughs when someone asks if I used a pattern. Yes, except I wanted it longer, closer, less detail here and more detail here. It's the same way that I cook. Oops, we don't have that, so we will put this in.
Thank you for the opportunity to see new ideas and ways of sewing!
After sewing a reversabile apron or a fully lined vest and turning it right-side-out, I enjoy using hidden stitches to close up the seam. I like it when no one can find my hand-stitching.
Thank you for this opportunity to win a copy of the current magazine.
I would say that I am more classic. I like tailored jackets when I have the right shape for them. I like full skirts and shirt dresses. Sometimes I think my style belongs in the 40's. Comfort before style, but style if I can get it in a comfortable form.
I am creative. I don't know what my daughter would do if I actually followed the pattern as written! I like things to be simple. I use a simple pattern with wonderful print fabric. I like to say, "I let the fabric do the work." I like my clothes to be flattering and practical. That's why I like prints! They hide a lot of fingerprints and loving from my children and grandchildren.
Thank you for the pattern!
The first time I saw this treatment for a sleeve was on a pattern I sewed up about 18 years ago! It was part of the design! I thought it was a nice way to close up a sleeve.
Another idea that may look more like design might be to put a band at the bottom of the sleeve that has the button and then the sleeve would pleat under the the band/cuff. What I am picturing is a short cap sleeve style.
I keep trying to make shirts look more like blouses... I don't need a puff sleeve, because I have broad shoulders. White short-sleeved blouses are not be found in the stores. So I modify the shirts. I really don't want to be sewing up blouses if I can help it. I don't have as much time to sew as I would like.
Thank you for sharing your ideas! It keeps me thinking of how I can use them.
I have been adjusting store bought shirts that are big enough around, but with shoulders way down by the elbow. I made that first correction, but now I am seeing that a dart would make it all look better.
Very good tutorial! I want to copy it for my patternmaking book!
My question: what would you do for a knit shirt? Or a shirt with a yoke? These are uniforms for work or ministry.
For my son's wedding, all the groomsmen wore peacock feathers as their boutineers.
My grandma taught my aunt and Mommy to sew. They in turn taught their daughters. Mommy taught me how to sew for my Girl Scout sewing badge. When I got to Home Ec in school. I finished the projects quickly and went on to extra credit projects. I still remember being marked down for not trimming off all those stray threads...
My love of sewing really took root when I was pregnant the first time and saw how expensive maternity clothes were! Then we I wanted breastfeeding clothes, they were even more expensive! Then I started designing my own clothes too!
I enjoy reverse engineering different sewn objects. Partly it's a fun exercise, but it comes in handy when I want to make something without a pattern, including recovering couches and chairs.
My love of sewing got me a job at a fabric store. I also get small jobs from friends who need mending or unique projects. I like fixing things and making things! Sewing last longer than a well-made cake!
Once I discovered how well a twin needle works with hemming knits, my hems looks so much better! I wish I had known that earlier!
Yes, twin-needle hems can look very nice!
I made a linen underdress for a beautiful shear overdress for my son's wedding a few years back. It was tissue linen. I used French seams. I work in a fabric store and love to feel the linens there. I especially enjoy the feel of hopsack in our suiting section.
A few years back, we grew some flax for a homeschool science project. I was surprised at how tall and skinny it is. Where did those flax seeds come from? They had a detour from my cereal bowl! I enjoy flax inside and out!
I think the size of the stripes makes a difference on the illusion. Very small stripes, just look like a pastel from a little bit back. Very wide stripes, as in color blocking, can make a big difference! If you make a princess line dress with a light color in the middle section and carve out curves with a dark color on the sides, this can have an amazing slimming effect!
As for the color boxes? Black looking heavier, does not equal black looking larger. Different concepts.
I have been using illusion for years with my clothing! People constantly underestimate my size by 2 sizes and weight by 20 pounds.
I'm sorry you have trouble at your JoAnn store! As an employee, I know that we are dependent on the pattern companies to keep us stocked. We don't choose what patterns we receive, how many or when. It's all up the pattern companies to make those decisions and send us what they see fit. It's frustrating for us too! We want to please the customer! I can't always find what I want either!
Please vent your frustration towards the pattern company. When they see the demand for certain patterns at your store, they may send them your way. They may not fully understand the demographics of your area.
As for summer sewing? Pajama shorts for my boys, swim shirts for my boys and husband and summer dresses for me and my daughter. And lots of repairs....
I still have a body suit with a tie cut out and in a bag. Maybe someday I will sew it up! Mommy gave it to me a few years ago.
I just looked at the patterns. This 1784 is the one I like the best. I probably have one in my boxes somewhere, but not the right size... It's too bad the pattern shrunk! It's too small for me...
I agree with SandySewin! Too early to be thinking of heavier fabrics. Summer just started and it gets really warm here! Our normal summers are 90's and 100's. I'm sewing up swim shirts and sleep shorts around here.
Happy Summer Sewing!
Isn't reverse engineering so much fun! That looks like fun! Much simpler than the effect.
Thank you for sharing!
My boys bought me a spool of the that thick gold Jeans thread to hem up Jeans. I think I have Coats and Clarks, but I know that Gutterman has it too. It works! Your trick only works if the pants don't have much change in width going down the pant legs. Nifty trick though!
I would be interested in seeing what other tricks you have!
Thank you for sharing!
Looks like fun! I get to collect all sorts of ideas from my customers at the cut table! Some very creative people come to our store! I think I have seen a purse like that!
Thank you for sharing!
I have done mending on garment leather. It is so important to match exactly the stitch size to get the needle to land in the original holes!
Thank you for sharing this article! I am not one to throw things away if it can still be used. Someday, I will work my way through my mending pile... It's a dream...
I think the princess lines are flattering to any woman with a bust. I took a pattern making class that we were required to make our croquis (outlines of my silhouette in three views) to draw our designs on. It really helps to see how the lines of the garment draw the eye to see what you want it to see! Color blocking can have the same effect as stripes.
I believe it will make a difference in what sizes the stripes are to influence the eye. The right size stripes can act in a slimming fashion. I don't need to make my shoulders broader. I just would like to put the curve back into my waist. That's why I like dresses better. Dresses skim over my flaws.
I was just thinking that you have to be tall enough for stripes to make a positive difference.
The fringed edge is also a simple no-sew technique for making napkins and place mats. I think they look really cool using Homespun. Way to easy!
I like the challenge of No Waste Designs! That one sounds like fun to me!
I was surprised to see my friend sewing with the pins pointing to the right! That is the backwards way to get the pins out, unless you are left-handed and your pin cushion is hiding under your sewing.
I use the long pins like bkryatty said and have them hold my sewing together until the last second.
I like the idea of using red pins for trouble spots.
Thank you for sharing the simple things that help make sewing faster and more enjoyable!
Michael's looks like Diane's style.
I like Kara's concept. It looks like a layered mouse. I do like longer dresses and more coverage though... I'm a bit old fashioned.
For one High School reunion with a beach theme, I wanted to wear matching outfits with my husband. I bought three Hawaiian shirts. One, my husband wore "as is" and the other two became my shirt dress. I used one for my top, one for the skirt of my dress. The sleeves became flounces around the hem and I was even able to use the yoke for inseam pockets! It was fun to wear and to match! I took some pictures of my construction. My favorite part of the dress is the flounce around the knees! The hardest part was getting the darts in and finishing the armholes. The dress is sleeveless.
I have three more shirts that I can repeat with. I learned a few things and would make some changes. I added nothing but thread to the shirts to make the dress.
I have used a similar mini-facing for the V's in a knit shirt. I really don't like clipping anything that close.
Thank you for sharing!
What I would like is time to sew up all my projects!
Just imagine what it would be like to have enough time to make up all the projects we have on paper and in our heads?
I think I spend too much time collecting ideas and spending time on the computer, instead of sewing. As someone who collect ideas, I am inspired by so many fabrics, but I'm not a bad stasher, especially considering that I work at a fabric store! I sew vicariously through my customers and helping them with their projects. What is nice about working at the fabric store is I can see the fabrics and watch the sales to get the best price once I know what I want to do with it.
I do procrastinate in sewing, spending too much time figuring out how I want to do make something. We have a family tradition of sewing up something new for Easter. Our Easter pictures have a very tired looking Mommy in them... I stay up too late getting these things done.
Thank you for the article to bring these bad habits to our attention!
I remember my Grandma wearing her girdle and longline bra. I wore my first pair of panty hose for sixth grade graduation. They were scratchy. I used the sanitary belts for my feminine napkins. I actually miss those! They seemed to keep the pads in the right place better. I remember bikini underwear. In fact, when I got married, that's all I had and my panty line showed through to my wedding dress. I ended up borrowing a pair of briefs from Mommy.
I made a corset from my daughter-in-law when she married my son. That was fun! Now I have friends that would love for me to make them custom bras for their heavily endowed busts. One is for a tiny thing. She can't find her size and afford to buy it, a 28D.
I remember when we were not allowed to wear pants to school. I wear dresses and skirts. I make my own slips. The slip I wear the most is a culotte. In the summer, it keeps my thighs from slipping and sticking. I use batiste or muslin usually.
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