Sewing Indie Month Starts Now!

button 300 sewingindie Sewing Indie Month Starts Now!The blogosphere will be hopping in May and June with Sewing Indie Month. If you love indie sewing patterns this is the month for you! Join the sew along and enter to win fabulous prizes, including a year’s subscription to Sew News magazine. There will be over a thousand dollars worth of prizes! Click HERE for a list of prizes and donors.

banner sewingindie1 Sewing Indie Month Starts Now!

The rules are pretty simple. Sew a garment from any free or purchased pattern from the participating companies and submit based on these categories: Pattern Hacking, Everday Casual, Dressed to the Nines or An Indie Love Affair.

You can enter multiple times and voting for contestants ends June 13th 2014. See below for all the juicy details.

sewalongrule02 Sewing Indie Month Starts Now!Here is the list of participating independent sewing pattern companies. Click on the links to view their selections.

Mari Miller, of the Disparate Disciplines and Seamster Sewing Patterns is the brains behind this wonderful event. Read more about the Sewing Indie Month HERE!

Want to participate on your blog? Grab the code below and show your love of Sewing Indie!

button 150 sewingindie Sewing Indie Month Starts Now!
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Tips for Serger Troubleshooting & a Quick Knit Headband Tutorial! Plus Enter to Win a Babylock Ovation Serger!

2014NationalSergerMoLogo e1392145032475 300x262 Tips for Serger Troubleshooting & a Quick Knit Headband Tutorial! Plus Enter to Win a Babylock Ovation Serger!Happy National Serger Month! It may be the last day of April, but it’s still a sergerific day! Sergers solve so many sewing problems; they finish seams nicely, can make a rolled hem in a flash and add a professional look to any project. Love your serger all the more by using these five serger troubleshooting tips. Then learn to make a super quick and fun knit headband!

1. The Dreaded Thread: When your overlock stitch isn’t forming properly, be sure to rethread the machine. This tends to solve 90% of all serging and sewing problems, a quick rethread can make all the difference. If you rely on tying knots in your thread and pulling them through the serger, take the time to learn how to properly thread the machine. Use the tweezers provided with the machine (or purchase a pair online/from your local dealer) to get into the nooks and crannies and pull the thread through.

2. Dusty Dilemmas: Sometimes your serger just needs a good cleaning. Refer to your machine manual to determine the best way to clean your machine. Often a quick dusting using canned air and a nylon brush are all you need to get your serger back to serging happily.

3. In a Jam: To safely remove a jam, turn off the machine and unplug it. Remove the serger presser foot. Clip the needle threads close to the stitches. Clip the upper looper thread as close to the fabric as possible.  Pull slack in the lower looper thread below the tension dial. Gently remove the fabric from the stitch finger by pulling to the back of the machine until it is released. Remove the stitches from the fabric. Rethread the needles and upper looper. Remember, when the knives are disengaged, the fabric should not extend beyond the right side of the needle plate.

4. Seam Woes: If your seams pull open after serging, loose needle tension is the culprit. Always test the stitch length and tension on scraps before seaming the garment. If your seams will be put under additional stress (such as crotch seams) be sure to add an extra stitching line for reinforcement. With a conventional straight stitch, sew on or just inside the serger needle line.

Quick Knit Headband Tutorial!

tada 189x300 Tips for Serger Troubleshooting & a Quick Knit Headband Tutorial! Plus Enter to Win a Babylock Ovation Serger!In need of a headband in a pinch? Make this easy headband in under 10 minutes using scraps from your stash!

Supplies:

Two 5″ by 21″ rectangles of two way stretch fabric

Serger thread

Removable fabric marker

Serger

 

Instructions

laid out e1398872987438 150x150 Tips for Serger Troubleshooting & a Quick Knit Headband Tutorial! Plus Enter to Win a Babylock Ovation Serger!Lay one rectangle on a work surface, place the second rectangle perpendicular to the first as pictured above. If working with a print knit, place the print knit right side down on the work surface.

pulling apart e1398873189651 300x192 Tips for Serger Troubleshooting & a Quick Knit Headband Tutorial! Plus Enter to Win a Babylock Ovation Serger!Pick up the lower fabric, capturing the second fabric in the fold. Hold the lower fabric in your left hand and the upper fabric in your right. Allow the two fabrics to scrunch together in the center.

Center the knot on your forehead and pull the ends to the back of your head. Pull the fabric slightly to give the headband a bit of a stretch when worn. Mark the seamline where the fabrics meet at the back of your head.

lined up e1398873742945 150x150 Tips for Serger Troubleshooting & a Quick Knit Headband Tutorial! Plus Enter to Win a Babylock Ovation Serger!Align the four short ends carefully. Noting the marked seamline (on mine, I didn’t need to trim off any fabric to fit my head so a seamline isn’t marked).

serged e1398874576604 150x150 Tips for Serger Troubleshooting & a Quick Knit Headband Tutorial! Plus Enter to Win a Babylock Ovation Serger!Serge the four ends together. Add a drop of seam sealant to each end, once dry clip off excess threads. Don’t worry about the raw edges, the knit will roll over creating a hem and it won’t fray.

I love this headband as it’s so quick to make and versatile. You can pull it wide and hide your messy hair as a mock turban or you can scrunch it up and wear it like a headband.

I hope you enjoyed this project and the quick troubleshooting tips! The content here was originally published in Serger Update from April ’87.

2014NationalSergerMoLogo e1392145032475 150x150 Tips for Serger Troubleshooting & a Quick Knit Headband Tutorial! Plus Enter to Win a Babylock Ovation Serger!For more fun serger projects and inspiration, visit the National Serger Month website. Be sure to enter the National Serger Month Sweepstakes for a chance to win a Baby Lock Ovation serger.

Happy Serging!

 

Posted in National Serger Month | 2 Comments

Clara Dress Sew-Along Week 2

 

500 dress image squrare Clara Dress Sew Along Week 2Welcome back to Week 2 of the Sew Liberated Clara Dress Sew Along! Hopefully you have had a chance to purchase your fabric. Or, if you’re like me, you’ve made a choice from your own personal store!! Hey, there’s nothing like a great fabric stash! If by chance you have not chosen a fabric, just be sure that it is a lighter weight fabric. Cotton voile, a cotton gingham, cotton lawn, or even a summer weight wool would work beautifully with this pattern. Just remember that the dress is meant to have some movement to it, so you don’t want to use a fabric that has too much body or is too stiff in nature.

Last week I talked about some of the fit issues that you should think about. In this week’s video, I talk a little more in depth about measuring for waist length. This is very important with this dress as there is nothing worse than having a waistline on a garment that doesn’t sit at your waistline.

I also talked about the length of the skirt. As I said, I am 5’6”. When I measured the length of the skirt, I realized that the skirt would be above my knee, so I added 3” to the length of the skirt. This did not include a hem. I chose to bind the hem of my skirt as I thought it would make a very nice finish. photo 21 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 2

We will talk more about binding when we reach the final week of the sew along. If you think that you would rather hem the skirt than bind the edge, please keep this in mind when adding length to the skirt. Just remember, you can always cut off the added length. Adding it back may end up being a very creative task!

The Clara Dress is designed with a type of keyhole opening in the sleeve and it is closed with a tie.

photo 31 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 2Since ties are adjustable, this will allow for extra room around the arm if you need it, so fit is much less of a problem.

Next week we will begin sewing the dress together. Remember, I am going to add a few design details to my dress that I did not add in the videos, so please check out the blog post. I will also line the skirt of my dress and I will talk about lining the bodice for those of you who would like to add a lining.

Please be sure to watch this week’s video segment. And, if you have any questions please leave them here on the blog or on the Sew News Flickr Group Clara Dress Sew Along.

In the meantime, please be sure to join the sew along on Flickr. We would love to see your fabric choices and we would also like to see your progress, so post lots of pictures! You can find the Clara Dress Flickr page here, https://www.flickr.com/groups/sn_sewalong2/.

Until next week, Happy Cutting!

Rhonda

www.rhondabuss.blogspot.com

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Free Stuff Friday with Christine Haynes & The Emery Dress Pattern!

Emery Cover grande Free Stuff Friday with Christine Haynes & The Emery Dress Pattern!Christine Haynes was in the studio today filming for Season 8 of Sew it All TV. Fans of Sew it All TV may remember Christine from way back to Season 2 episode 210 where she whipped up an adorable raincoat using a shower curtain. Christine Free Stuff Friday with Christine Haynes & The Emery Dress Pattern!We love Christine’s take on lovely patterns like the Emery Dress. And, we in general love what Christine is doing for sewists all over. In addition to being an instructor and designer she is the author of Chic and Simple Sewing and her newest The Complete Photo Guide to  Clothing Construction.

For today’s Free Stuff Friday one lucky reader will win Christine’s fabulously popular Emery Dress Pattern No. 1004.

Emery Cover grande Free Stuff Friday with Christine Haynes & The Emery Dress Pattern!Emery Back grande Free Stuff Friday with Christine Haynes & The Emery Dress Pattern!

This pattern is sized from 0 to 18 has a fitted bodice and a full skirt. The bodice is lined, with darts and closes with an invisible zipper. For additional views of this dress check out Christine’s website.

And, be sure to check out Christine from season 2 of Sew it All TV, episode 210 where she shows how to make that super cute rain coat, just in time of May showers!

One winner will be announced on the next Free Stuff Friday!

And for last Free Stuff Friday winner it’s Lynn B. I will be in touch with you shortly to tell you how to claim your prize.

Happy Friday!

 

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Learn How to Use a Serger to Insert a Zipper! Plus, enter to win a Baby Lock Ovation Serger!

2014NationalSergerMoLogo e1392145032475 Learn How to Use a Serger to Insert a Zipper!  Plus, enter to win a Baby Lock Ovation Serger!Have you ever thought about using a serger to apply a zipper? If not, you should! The traditional sewing machine and zipper foot method is always a good way to go, but using a serger can simplify the task and add a decorative touch to zipper applications.

In honor of National Serger Month, here are two different ways you can use a serger to apply a zipper to your next project.  Once you see the results, you’ll be amazed at how quick and easy it can be! Be sure to check out the Baby Lock Ovation ExtraordinAIR serger. They have a great sweepstakes happening right now, enter to win the Baby Lock Ovation ExtrordinAIR Serger today!

Lapped and Topstitched Zipper

This is the easiest method to serge a zipper, especially when the zipper ends will be crossed by intersecting seams. Use heavyweight decorative thread to serge the exposed fabric edges next to the zipper.

  • Serge-finish both fabric edges next to the zipper with a balanced roll edge or your choice of decorative stitch.
  • Use a heavyweight decorative thread in the upper looper with all-purpose or serger thread in the needle and lower looper. Buttonhole twist or lightweight yarn works well as tightly twisted threads are easier to surge and more durable.  Be sure the stitch doesn’t stretch the fabric by adjusting for a short, medium- to wide balanced stitch.

Zip Tip:  Prevent jamming by testing first with a 2mm stitch length, then shorten while serging.  If the fabric stretches, adjust for a slightly longer stitch and a plus differential feed setting.  This will tighten the looper tensions for a smoother stitch. You might also need to loosen the upper looper tension to allow the threads to overlock exactly on the fabric edge.

  • Serge finish the fabric edges from the right side so the decorative upper looper thread shows. Position the finished serged edge on the zipper right side, next to the teeth.

Serger 1 216x300 Learn How to Use a Serger to Insert a Zipper!  Plus, enter to win a Baby Lock Ovation Serger!

  • Open the zipper (to avoid sewing next to the zipper stop). For wide-stitch serged edges, topstitch the fabric to the zipper along the fabric edge. For narrower stitches and rolled edges, topstitch next to the needleline.

Serger 2 235x300 Learn How to Use a Serger to Insert a Zipper!  Plus, enter to win a Baby Lock Ovation Serger!

Exposed Zipper

Adding an exposed zipper is a great way to dress up a garment with a cool detail. Seam allowance edges are serge-finished in one step when serging a zipper to the fabric. The zipper is exposed, but the serging is on the wrong side of the fabric.

Before serging ahead, here are a few tips:

1. Use all-purpose or serger thread

2. Lightweight coil zippers feed the easiest under the pressure foot

3. Choose a zipper 4” longer than the opening (2” longer on each end) to avoid                            catching the zipper pull or stops under the presser foot

  • To begin, adjust for a wide, medium-length, balanced 3- or 4-thread stitch.
  • Open the zipper all the way and with right sides together, put the zipper on the fabric right side with the teeth over the seamline.
  • Serge with the zipper on top and wrong side up to avoid hitting the teeth. Serge the tape to the fabric, close to the zipper teeth, being careful not to hit them with the needle.

 Serger 32 243x300 Learn How to Use a Serger to Insert a Zipper!  Plus, enter to win a Baby Lock Ovation Serger!

  • Press the fabric away from the coils. Machine topstitch next to the fold, if desired.
  • Close the zipper. With fabric right sides together, align the unstitched side with the unfinished zipper edge.

Serger 4 228x300 Learn How to Use a Serger to Insert a Zipper!  Plus, enter to win a Baby Lock Ovation Serger!

  • Open the zipper. Serge the tape to the fabric, trimming both the fabric and zipper tape.
  • Press all layers away from the coil and topstitch. Close the zipper.
  • To prevent the zipper pull from slipping off the end, bartack across the zipper lower edge with wide zigzag stitch and a 0 stitch length.
  • Open the zipper several inches below the upper edge. Bartack at the upper edge for a closed zipper or on both tapes for a separating zipper.
    • serger how to 9 Learn How to Use a Serger to Insert a Zipper!  Plus, enter to win a Baby Lock Ovation Serger!Bartack both zipper upper edges for separating zipper.
    • serger how to 9b Learn How to Use a Serger to Insert a Zipper!  Plus, enter to win a Baby Lock Ovation Serger!Finish by applying facings and straight stitching or serging seams, stitching carefully over the zipper area. If straight stitching, trim the zipper tape after sewing.

Using a serger to add a zipper is that easy! And if you don’t own a serger or are in the market for a new one, browse Baby Lock’s website for some great options.  And remember to enter the National Serger Month Sweepstakes to win a Baby Lock Ovation Serger and a one-year subscription to Sew News!

babylock sweepstakes  Learn How to Use a Serger to Insert a Zipper!  Plus, enter to win a Baby Lock Ovation Serger!Have you ever serged a zipper before? Are you ready to give this technique try? Tell us in the comments section below!

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Clara Dress Sew-Along Week 1

Welcome to the Sew Liberated Clara Dress sew along! The dress is a lovely shirtwaist style dress with a keyhole sleeve detail. The skirt is comfortable and easy to wear, as it has an elastic waist and side seam pockets.

The dress can be made in a mid to lightweight fabric. The first dress I made, and the one pictured here, and in the Sew News April/May 2014 issue, is cotton with a small amount of stretch.

photo 1 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 1

I have chosen a vintage piece of cotton voile for the sew-along. It’s very lightweight and perfect for summer wear!photo 2 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 1

If you would like to join the sew-along and you have not purchased your pattern, you can easily order it here, at shopsewitall.com. Or can be purchased at sewliberated.com.

When you open the pattern, you will find that the lines for each size are all solid lines and that the sizes have only been marked in one corner.

photo 3 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 1I suggest taking the time to place a pencil mark on the line of your chosen size.

photo 4 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 1I did this by placing a small dot along the line that I wanted to cut. Initially I had thought that I wouldn’t  have a problem cutting the correct line, but it didn’t take long before I was cutting on the wrong line! So, please take the time to mark the line that you will be cutting.

Before cutting your pattern, be sure to check the length of the bodice. I am a little long waisted and I saw that adding ½” to the length of my bodice would give me a comfortable fit. I also added 3” to the length of my skirt. I am 5’6” tall, and you can see in the picture below that with the added length, the skirt comes to mid knee on me.

photo 5 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 1Pay close attention to the center front skirt panel pattern piece. This panel is also used as the center back skirt panel, so you will need to cut 2 on the fold. photo 6 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 1

The grainline on this pattern piece looks as though the pattern piece would be cut so that it has a seam, photo 7 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 1

but it’s important to note that the instructions state to cut the pattern piece on the fold. photo 8 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 1

The rest of the pattern is quite easy to follow.

For the sew-along, I will be adding a lining to my skirt and a few design details that I did not add in the videos. I will not be changing the pattern, just adding some details that you might enjoy. So be sure to check the blog posts as well as the videos throughout the sew-along.

Be sure to check out my video portion for each week of the Clara Dress Sew-Along for added tips and touches.

Don’t forget there is a Flickr group for the sew along too and I would love to see your fabric choices as well as your progress, so please post pictures!! You can find the Flickr group here, at the Clara Dress Sew-Along.  If you have any questions,  be sure to post those and we’ll  do our best to help.

Thanks so much for joining along! I think that like me, the Clara Dress will become one of your favorites!

Rhonda Buss

Rhonda’s Creative Life

 

Posted in Sew-Along - Clara Dress | 7 Comments

Free Stuff Friday – Enter to win a prize!

nickel quilts Free Stuff Friday    Enter to win  a prize!Today’s Free Stuff Friday is a wonderful book on Nickel Quilts by Pat Speth and Charlene Thode.

Leave a comment in the box below on what is your biggest sewing pet peeve and why.

Winners will be announced next week!

And, the winners for the Clara Dress fabric are:

  • Jenny L. B.
  • Geo P.
  • Lauren

The winner from Free Stuff Friday for April 11, is: Julie Fleming!

I will be in touch with you shortly to tell you how to get your fabric!

 

 

 

Posted in Free Stuff Friday | 20 Comments

Enter to Win Fabric from Westminster Fabrics for the Clara Dress Sew-Along!

500 dress image squrare Enter to Win Fabric from Westminster Fabrics for the Clara Dress Sew Along!

Get ready for spring with the Clara Dress Sew-Along! This dress is so sweet and lovely for spring and summer. The Clara dress is from Sew Liberated, indie pattern maker of all sorts of wonderful garment patterns. Head to Sew Liberated to find other wonderful designs. You can purchase the dress here at shopsewitall.com or from Sew Liberated too.

If you are having a hard time picking out fabric, let me make it harder for you! Sign up for the Clara Dress Sew-Along on Flickr (or you can enter on the blog too) and you will be entered to win four yards of fabric from Westminster Fibers, all would be a lovely choice to use for the Clara Dress Sew-Along. Three winners will be chosen.

Fabric Blog1 Enter to Win Fabric from Westminster Fabrics for the Clara Dress Sew Along!

All you need to do is answer the following question here on the blog or sign up for the Sew News Clara Dress Sew-Along on Flickr .

What are your favorite garments to wear or sew during spring and summer?

All entries will be calculated and three winners will be chosen by Random.org. If you enter a comment and sign up for the sew-along on Flickr you’ll have twice the chances!

Winners will be announced on Friday!

The fabric is 100% cotton and you can click on the links below for more information on the individual designers and fabric.

 

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Tips on using the right serger thread – Plus enter to win a Baby Lock Serger!

2014NationalSergerMoLogo e1392145032475 Tips on using the right serger thread   Plus enter to win a Baby Lock Serger!Sergers today are not at all as complicated as you might think they are. Older, home sergers were often noted for the complexity in threading and operating. When using my serger in its early days I spent far too much time wrestling with the threading paths, only to want to hurl it out the window. Now, all is good with my serger, it taught me very well and were best buddies. Try out a new serger today and you will be amazed at the ease of use that is built it to many of its amazing features. Once you try out a serger you’ll wonder why you didn’t get one sooner.

One issue that might be confusing is what thread to use for a home serger. Below are 5 thread types and how they are used in home serging.

thread spools oranges Tips on using the right serger thread   Plus enter to win a Baby Lock Serger!

  1. Basic: Use when constructing a garment or other project that requires strong seams. Basic serger thread is commonly found on the cone shaped spools and comes in a wide variety of colors. Polyester serger thread is very strong and suitable for most projects.
  2. Metallic: Use for decorative edges when you want eye-catching details. Metallic thread would look beautiful with a rolled hem on skirts and table wear.
  3. Rayon: Use rayon thread for decorative edges for a subtle sheen.
  4. Variegated: Use to create a multicolored decorative seam finish.
  5. Textured Nylon: Use nylon for stretchy knits, such as nylon/spandex blends. Textured (sometimes known as Wooly) is great for serging silks with a rolled hem.
  • Serger thread can be made with nylon, polyester and cotton.
  • Don’t be tempted to switch serger thread for sewing machine thread or vice versa. Serger thread is finer than regular sewing machine thread due to the multiple channels and guides it needs to go through before meeting the fabric.
  • When working with a fabric with multiple colors pick three or four colors from the fabric and match thread accordingly for a multicolored edge.
  • Keep thread covered and out of direct sunlight to limit lint and dust.
  •  If you don’t have an exact color match for a project, neutrals work great too.

Do you have any favorite tips for serger thread or serging in general? Are you serging away during the month of April? What types of serger projects do you like to do?

Be sure to check out the sweepstakes going on during National Serger Month. You could win a Baby Lock Ovation ExtraordinAir! Click HERE for details on how to enter! Plus stay tuned to the blog for projects, tips and how to get the most out of your serger throughout the month of April!

babylock sweepstakes  Tips on using the right serger thread   Plus enter to win a Baby Lock Serger!

Posted in National Serger Month | 7 Comments

Free Stuff Friday – Vintage Quilt Revival! Enter to win a prize

fwvqr w315 Free Stuff Friday   Vintage Quilt Revival! Enter to win a prizeAs far as my quilting experience goes I have cut out a stack of  4″x4″ squares in the hope of making a quilt but they’re still sitting on a shelf after 7 years. So, my quilting expertise and knowledge is practically at a zero. However, I do love looking at beautiful quilts and after helping some neighbor ladies make a quilt ( I requested the simple part) I realized how it’s not exactly as easy as I imagined. My urge to make a quilt is increasing partially because at work I’m surrounded by lovely and amazing quilts and, I also get to peruse gems like Vintage Quilt Revival: 22 Modern Designs from Classic Blocks by Blakesley, Heinrich & Jones.

I love the blending of new, modern looks with vintage, time tested traditional blocks. Plus, as a history buff on just about everything I appreciated the historical look back at traditional quilting, blocks and piecing techniques.

Plus, this book comes with a CD of 12 printable template patterns.

So, if you are new to quilting or a veteran at it let me know in the comments section below on what is your favorite block, technique or if you are a fan of blending the modern colors with vintage style.

One winner will be picked next Friday!

And, the winner from last week is Vivienne C.! Vivienne I will be in touch with you shortly on how to claim your prize!

Have a fantastic weekend!

 

 

 

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