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As a Martha Pullen licensed sewing teacher I love to learn new sewing techniques and I equally enjoy teaching sewing techniques to others.  I am a servant of the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, wife of one, mom of two, and grandma of five.  Welcome to my sewing studio!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Best Interfacing for Home Sewers (IMHO)

Current garment project:  wool skirt
Once in a while a product or tool comes along that adds a professional look to our sewing items.
Interfacing is one of those products.
It is necessary for preventing fabric from waving and folding and scrunching.
All of which make our hand-made items look homemade.

A selection of some of the interfacing offered at Fashion Sewing Supply

Today, I want to share with you all, my trusted source for professional-grade interfacing.
It is Fashion Sewing Supply located in New York.
Not only are their products top notch,
their customer service also exceeds expectations.
Ordinarily, I receive my order in under a week.
And on one of my past orders, unbeknownst to me,
one of the interfacings I ordered was going on sale the following week.
They discounted my interfacing to reflect the upcoming sale price
and they refunded the difference to my account.
What company does that?
Oh, and did I mention their interfacing is a whopping 60" (152 cm) wide?
Well, it is.  Unlike that skinny little stuff sold at the big box stores.
This one supports the waistband and pocket flaps on my wool skirt
The interfacing I'm using on my current garment is Pro-Sheer Elegance Medium.
It gives cuffs, collars, pocket flaps, and waistbands
shape and stability without stiffness.
It is different from the big name interfacing found in the big box stores. 
Can you see the fabric weave in that interfacing?
It is like adding a piece of supporting fabric,
rather than a stiff, paper-like substance, to your garment.
Fashion Sewing Supply interfacing is like the supporting actor to the lead character.
The primary is made a star by the support it receives from the secondary.

Silk organza press cloth
 Another Fashion Sewing Supply product that I'm sold on is their silk organza.
I've always read that the best press cloths are made from silk organza.
So, I decided to give it a shot.
The. Best. Press. Cloth.
So easy to use these beauties when pressing

I cut my press cloths to measure 18" x 22" (46 cm x 56 cm).
That's not press cloth law or anything, it's just the size that works best for me.
Cut your press cloth any size you wish.
That size just gives you a starting point.
Serge the edges or hem them with a double fold and you're good to go.
Your new press cloth should last you for years and years.

If you have an interfacing source you would like to share,
please leave a comment below.
Sewing choices are so individual, just like all of us.

Happy sewing, my friends.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fall Sewing

I can't wait to wear those beautiful, new, green suede shoes.
The green plaid Pendleton wool (gifted from my friend, Linda)
sewn up in Simplicity 2475 will perfectly pair with those new shoes.

I adore suede shoes.
I coat them with a water repellent spray and they serve me well all fall and winter.

Am I the only one who buys shoes first, then sews the outfit to match?
Some may consider that a bit backwards.
It works for me.

There will be a capelet to match the skirt.
More on that later.

Have a terrific rest of the week, my friends.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Navy Wool Jacket

Yes, this is yet another version of Simplicity 2728!
The fabric is a fabulous Pendleton wool that was
gifted to me by my good friend, Linda.
As a matter of fact, Linda was kind enough to give
me a whole stack of Pendleton wools that she purchased
a number of years ago, but just doesn't have the time to sew.
Thank you so much Linda!!!
That wool was a dream to sew.
The white looking lines are not flaws in the material - it was raining!
I did add a few changes to this version.
One of those changes was the addition of sleeve heads.

Another change was to alter the pattern slightly to make the back hem
straight across rather than an inverted 'v' as the pattern is drafted.

The jacket is fully lined with navy bemberg rayon.

 As you can see by all the wrinkles,
I've worn this one a lot in the past couple weeks
and I've not yet had it dry cleaned.
So, wrinkled it is!
 The final change I made was to add the v-shaped pocket flaps.
Since I'm not a pocket fanatic, I didn't add pockets,
but the jacket was too plain without some kind of added dimension.
The pattern is drafted for a patch pocket,
which I thought was a bit too casual for this wool beauty.
So I dug into my pattern stash and came up with Butterick 5616.
I used the pocket flap pattern piece and
it's the perfect size for this jacket.
After sewing the top of the flap to the jacket,
I could tell it was going to flap around too much
and not stay flat against the jacket.
So I hand stitched the sides of the flap for about 1" on each side.
It worked like a charm.  :)
This jacket will serve me well throughout the winter.
It's a nice wardrobe basic that looks just as great
with jeans as it does with a skirt.
Until next time, my friends . . .

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Tailoring Basics: Sleeve Heads

Sleeve with shoulder pad and sleeve head
Hello, hello, sewing friends.  Today's post addresses a tailoring basic - sleeve heads.
I must confess, I have never added sleeve heads to any of my lined jackets.
For a number of years, shoulder pads went the way of the buffalo,
but just like the buffalo, they are making a resurgence.
I like shoulder pads.
And yes, I understand that sleeve heads are different from shoulder pads.
But IMHO, a shoulder pad could be the catalyst that requires the addition of a sleeve head.
*Disclaimer* that is not sewing law, just one blogging sewist's opinion 
When used in conjunction with one another, the sleeve pair complete the shoulder look.
Sleeve with shoulder pad, but no sleeve head
In some garments, the sleeve 'droops' or falls down at the seam line where it meets the bodice.
In the above photo, you can see a definite drop from the shoulder pad to the seam line.
The sleeve head serves to lift up and give stability to the sleeve cap.

Inside view of sleeve head
 To make my sleeve head I used cotton/poly batting because that's what I had on hand.
I traced the shoulder portion of the sleeve pattern between the two dots,
and the method I used to determine the sleeve head depth was
"meh, that looks good!"    :)
The sleeve head is sewn into the sleeve cap following along the seam line
that attached the sleeve to the body.

If you want to give your fall jacket a polished finish, consider adding sleeve heads.
Emma One Sock has a nice tutorial with photos included.  

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Let's Celebrate!

President Ronald Reagan recognized the "importance of home sewing to our Nation" in 1982.
Click here to access free projects and information about this month-long celebration.

If you are in the local Utah area, send me an email
and we can design a sewing class tailored to your specific goals.

Sew on, friends!