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sewing with slinky

JudyCE | Posted in General Discussion on

Can anyone suggest any top/skirt patterns for sewing with slinky knits?


  1. meg | | #1

    Check out these patterns; someone posted this site a week or so ago,



    1. JudyCE | | #2

      Thanks, I'm new to this.

  2. MarshaK | | #3

    Linda MacPhee from MacPhee's Workshop in Edmonton has several patterns that are designed for slinky. The web-site is http://www.macpheeworkshop.com and most of the patterns are simple to sew. I've been to several of her fashion shows during the Creative Stitches and Crafts Alive Show, Linda says she doesn't even bother with hemming the skirts as the slinky doesn't ravel. I'm not sure I could leave a garment unhemmed, it wouldn't feel quite "finished". Guess it's a matter of personal choice, (and the home ec teacher one has had). MarshaK.

    Edited 8/14/2006 10:28 am ET by MarshaK

    1. From my Stash.... | | #4

      I currently use some of Linda's patterns for fast tops and pants (they're great - straight simple lines). 

      I always have the same thoughts about not hemming the top, so I do anyway. However, Linda's patterns are easy and quick to make up so that they are a great change for me from all the time spent making jackets.


      1. MarshaK | | #5

        Have you been to any of Linda's fashion shows? I've managed to go to the sewing show in Edmonton every year in the spring and several times to the one in Calgary at the end of September. Are you in Canada or the US? Linda does all the major sewing shows in the States as well as here. MarshaK.

        1. From my Stash.... | | #6

          Yes, I have been to a couple of hers since I'm located in Toronto and can get to the Creative Sewing and Needlework Festival easily.  The models are usually different body shapes and sizes and you can get up close and touch and feel the garments after the show.

          The show also gives you good examples of the different ways the patterns can look with different embellishments. If I remember the last one, she was using gold and silver foil in the designs. 

          I know that the jacket made from the plastic bags of the various distributors is always fun to watch the reaction from people who haven't seen it before. 

          It was at one of these shows that I got one of Linda's patterns and started working with slinky. What got you started?



          1. MarshaK | | #7

            Lucky you being able to go to the Creative Stitches show in Toronto. That is on my wish list, along with the Sewing Expo in Puyallup,WA, the International Quilt show in Houston, TX. (and all the other sewing shows that are in existance). The first patterns I used from Linda were the bomber jacket and then the parka, hey you need at least one parka if you live in Canada, right? I watched Linda doing demos on one of the TV channels from Edmonton years ago, now she has her own show, maybe you can get it on one of your channels out in Toronto. Check out her website, the channels that carry her show are listed. I think you can also buy the series on DVD. Being able to get up close and personal with the garments after the fashion show is a big plus, we have to look and touch, don't we. It's nice to see the way the garments are sewn together and to see and feel the fabrics. That plastic bag jacket is really something else isn't it? Would you make one for yourself? Not me, I would make a totebag, or an umbrella if I was inclined to use one. I love the rain, so don't hide from it. MarshaK.

          2. From my Stash.... | | #10

            You were so brave to just go with the jacket first off - I wanted to see how the sizing went, instructions were written, etc. - so I started with the simple stuff. I'm actually contemplating the parka this year - how did the parka fit versus the stated sizes and was it easy to make? Any info I need to know in advance?  I already know that you had to have tested it well in Edmonton weather.

            I wouldn't do the plastic bag idea either - but what a great marketing idea.

            It was nice to see someone else check out Linda's web-site, now Judy just needs to know Linda's philosophy about being able to make something and wear it quickly (another great feature of her patterns for those of us who have these great ideas and are impatient to wear the results).



          3. MarshaK | | #11

            The bomber jacket turned out so well, that I still wear it in winter 13 years later! It's black and a color shifting gold/green nylon, insulated with needlepunch holofil batting, and lined with, what else but Kasha Satin lining. I added a hood, used the pattern from the parka and put snaps on it so if I don't want to have the hood on, it comes off easily. A strip of wolf fur around it keeps my face protected from the cold wind when I walk uptown or to the post office.

            The parka was a breeze to sew, Linda's patterns are ultra simple, no facings or things like that. I used wool duffle, one thing I found is that you shouldn't lay the front edge of the parka pattern almost on the selvedge, unless you steam press it first. When I inserted the zipper, I have a ripple in it now. I did try steaming and pressing it after, but it's still there. I used soutache braid and a white leather cut-out of a polar bear on one sleeve and around the bottom of the parka. White Arctic Fox around the hood, the parka is teal green. 

            Some day soon when I can find a small bottle of Cascade dishwashing gel I'm going to try her bleaching designs on denim, I don't have a dishwasher so don't want to buy a large bottle. Linda's ideas may be outrageous, but you have to admit, very clever. MarshaK.

          4. JudyCE | | #12

            What is her philosophy?  I sew for a living and don't have much time to sew for myself.  Sometimes I get in a rut and am timid about trying something new.  And yet I'll do alterations on things for other people no problem.  Weird, huh?  What kind of machine do you use?  I have a Viking SE and like it very much.  I have yet to get my own computer and install the hardware for doing all the customizing and digitizing.  That's next years purchase and project.

          5. MarshaK | | #14

            I don't quite know how to explain Linda's sewing philosophy, she has what she likes to call her Liberation License in which she says to just go for it. You mentioned you are timid at times to try something, that is the time to dive in and give it a try, I think. Otherwise the more you think and worry about how it will turn out, the bigger the fear will become. Of course having the right tools, fabrics and patterns for the job are a great help!

            A good place to see what styles of garments are suitable for slinky is http://www.chicos.com the pieces in the Travelers wardrobe are made from Slinky although they don't call it that. The Kwik-Sew website which you've already mentioned having looked at is good in that they let you know which pattern is good for knit, lycra or woven fabric.

            One of my sewing machines is the Husqvarna Rose. I do have the Customizing and Digitizing software for it, but still haven't gotten around to learning all the ins and outs of it. MarshaK.

            Edited 8/20/2006 2:43 pm ET by MarshaK

          6. From my Stash.... | | #15

            Hi JudyCE.  you were asking about Linda's philosophy - basically less time making them and more time wearing them with a lot of freedom to customize your own garments with special effects or not if you are more conservative.

            Linda's patterns are set up so that they are easy and quick to make and that you can adapt them as you like. In addition, there are various options in the patterns, for example, her Classic Top comes with four different necklines and the suggestion on how to make a reversible top - with all the sizes in the one pattern.

            Also, the instructions are straightforward and give you options in how to finish the garment.

            The items don't take a lot of time to make. For example, both her Classic Pants pattern and the World's Easiest Vest are both one piece patterns - so literally once you have prepped your fabric, the cutting and sewing take very little time. Using slinky and a serger really makes these fast work.

            Hope this helps,

          7. JudyCE | | #16

            Thanks for the input.  I'll have to order one of her patterns and give it a whirl.  -J

          8. User avater
            Thimblefingers | | #17

            A couple things to be aware of with MacPhee patterns:

            1.  The fit - they tend to fit better on heavier women who are on the shorter side (like Linda).  I'm short but very slim and can't wear her patterns at all.  I've found her grading is very poor, but if you're in her in-between sizes, you'll probably do fine.

            2.  Her styles are loose and not fitted.  If you like a more fitted look, buy something else.

          9. JudyCE | | #18

            Thanks, I'm slim and tend to like things a bit more fitted myself.  I did find some patterns, one from Stretch and Sew and the other from Kwik-Sew/serge and one from McCalls. Now I just need to book myself some time to make them up.

          10. User avater
            Becky-book | | #13

            Dishwasher gel bleaching..... I don't know the details but my Mom made a very nice snowflake design on a dark sweatshirt using dishwasher gel.....go for it! (maybe you could give the left over gel to a friend or neighbor; or use it to soak off burnt on junk!)


    2. JudyCE | | #8

      Thanks.  I bought some when I went to the Sewing Expo in Clearwater FL.  Am now getting ready to go on a trip and want to make a top/sweater/skirt combo.  I'll look at her site.  I did go online to Kwik-Sew and found a couple designed for Lycra.

    3. JudyCE | | #9

      Thanks again!  I checked out her site and what a great place.  Material and recommended patterns.    Now when I have more time...

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