Aug
1

Sew Much Cosplay’s Hero Foam

Posted by Stephanie Stachow on August 1st, 2018

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Hello friends! We just started carrying a variety of amazing products from Sew Much Cosplay! The first one that I wanted to get my hands on and play with was their Hero Foam. It is a high density shape-able, paintable EVA foam that comes in three colors (white, gray, and black) and two thicknesses (2mm and 6mm)! You can cut it with your Scan N Cut or regular scissors. You can glue it or sew it. You can mold it with heat or shape it with a Dremmel. And you can paint it without the need of a primer. So clearly it is a very versatile medium. It is most commonly used for cosplay armor because of all the qualities I mentioned and because it’s so lightweight. That being said, I immediately wanted to make something different with it.

I started to think about what would be helpful if you were at a Comic Con-like event or a costume party or anywhere that would be difficult to carry around your phone or wallet or personal items without messing up the aesthetic of your ensemble. Pockets are hard to come by in most cosplays and costumes. I immediately remembered the first time I went to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, I dressed as Alice in Wonderland and trying to manage my camera, my park ticket, my phone, and my wallet was pretty challenging. I was too stubborn to carry a backpack or any other bag that wasn’t on theme with my look so I wound up using my friends pockets for storage and it was pretty annoying for both of us.

So I knew I wanted to make a bag. A bag that would look like a prop so that it would blend in with my outfit. A bag shaped like a book could work! That concept could work for a bunch of characters who love books like Belle, Hermione, Elizabeth Bennet, etc. And it could also work for any character who came from a book, like they popped out of their own story.

Since this was going to be a completely unique project, I knew that I would have to make my own pattern.

Here are the supplies that I gathered for this project:

1 package of Sew Much Cosplay’s 2mm Hero Foam

1 bottle of Contact Cement

2 Fat Quarters of “text” fabric

1 magnetic snap

So Soft fabric paint (Royal Blue – 2 bottles, Cream – 1 bottle, and Brown – 1 bottle)

1 package of Sew Much Cosplay’s Power Shine Foil (gold)

I started by roughing out the dimensions of my bag and writing a list of pieces that I would need to cut out.

Here is the cut list that I came up with…

Foam:

Back/Front Flap – 16″ x 10″ – 1 piece

Bottom – 2″ x 10″ – 2 pieces

Sides – 2″ x 7″ – 2 pieces

Inside Front – 7″ x 10″ – 1 piece

Fabric: 1/2″ Seam Allowance

Inside Front – 7″ x 10″ – 1 piece

Sides – 3″ x 8″ – 2 pieces

Front & Back – 8″ x 11″ – 2 pieces

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I used my quilting ruler and my Frixxon pen to draw my lines on the Hero Foam. I found that cutting it with a rotary cutter left a cleaner line than using scissors but both work just fine.

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The first thing that I did after cutting was to glue my fabric to the Inside Front piece. I did this first because I knew I wanted to use a magnetic snap to close my bag and it would be much easier to install it at the beginning of the process than at the end.

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I also glued the sides of the bag to the same piece. I inset the sides 1/2″ from the edge to help it look like the spine of a book.

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The downside to working with contact cement is that it does need a bit of time to dry (I tried to let mine dry overnight whenever possible). You also need to make sure you’re working in a well ventilated area! I found that when I used it on fabric it tried to pucker a little. I weighed it down when I left it to dry and this seemed to help.

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While that piece was drying, I glued the 2 layers of the bottom of the bag together and the fabric to the top of it. I also put weight on top of this piece while it was drying.

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After the fabric was dry, I was ready to insert the female side of my snap. I used the back piece as a template to mark where I was going to cut my slashes.

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I used my snips to poke holes where my marks were and inserted the legs of the snap.

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Then I placed the back piece that I used as a template before over the legs and bent them back to secure it in place.

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Now that my snap was inserted, I could start assembling the rest of the bag. I sewed the four sides of my lining together and glued it to the piece that I had just put my snap into and let it dry.

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Once it was dry, I glued the foam and the lining to the back piece/flap all at once.

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I paid extra attention to the edges when it came time to glue the foam and made sure these sides were also 1/2″ from the edge.

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Then I glued the bottom on. Full disclosure, if I was going to make another one I would make the bottom small enough to inset it like I did the sides so the silhouette looks more like a book. At the time, I was a little worried about just the contact cement holding the bottom on so I made it bigger to give it more of a chance. Now that I know how rock solid that stuff is I would definitely feel comfortable insetting the bottom.

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Once the back and the bottom were dry, I could attach the male side of the snap.

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I folded the flap down so I could mark the placement. I had to make sure the bottom of the flap would be flush with the bottom of the bag.

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Then I inserted the snap the same way I did before. Don’t worry about it showing on the outside. We’ll disguise that shortly.

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I wanted to shape the “spine” of the bag a little to look more like a book. I sandwiched it upside down between two of the biggest books that I own and hit it with my husbands heat gun. I put it upside down to let gravity help flatten it.

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I let it cool in place for a couple minutes and when I took the actual books away it looked great! Next I painted any part of the bag that wasn’t the side pieces and didn’t have fabric glued to it. I chose a pretty royal blue that would coordinate with Alice’s dress. I gave it two coats to get the color really vibrant and opaque.

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While it was drying, I went on Pinterest and found an image that I could use for the cover of my book. I scanned it into my Scan N Cut and then brought it to Scan N Cut Canvas to edit it (this could be a whole separate blog post if anyone is interested). Once the design was ready, I made sure my mat had the extra High Tack layer on it because the Power Shine Foil is pretty thick before you peel off the protective plastic layer and I didn’t want it to move around. I also taped the edges to help it stay put since I knew it had the extra plastic layer on it and wouldn’t mark the foil.

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I tested a corner to make sure I had the right settings to cut through the foil and hit start! For me, this was not something that I felt comfortable hitting start and walking away from. I watched it the whole time that it cut to make sure nothing was going cattywampus.

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When it was finished cutting, I positioned the vinyl on front cover of the book where I wanted it to go. I opened the front flap so that when I hit it with the iron I wasn’t squishing my whole book. I was very careful when I used the iron because the foam is heat mold-able. I had it on the lowest setting and went very slow. Once it was fused, I very carefully and slowly removed the plastic top layer.

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I painted the sides of the book cream. I cut chunks out of the sponge brush that I was using and mixed a little brown into the cream color and painted lines on the sides to give the effect of pages.

 

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With all the ironing, I just wanted to make sure it was still the shape I wanted so I put it back between the books and hit it with the heat gun one more time.

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And then she was done! Ta Da! The next time you’re wearing a costume where pockets or a purse isn’t an option, make a purse disguised as an accessory or prop!

Jun
5

Diving In To Scuba By Kerrie Barber

Posted by Kelsey Sauer on June 5th, 2018

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Forgive my pun but the most beautiful Scuba knits came in recently, a large scale floral print in vibrant pinks and blues – very striking!   And having never sewn Scuba before, I really was diving in!

After taking Basics in Lycra Class with Loralee, I learned some very practical ways to approach knit fabrics and it was time to give sewing Scuba knits a try. ( I recommend signing up for this class next time we offer it)

The first stop is always the pattern catalog for ideas, and the new eveningwear separates from Simplicity seemed a perfect choice.  From Simplicity patterns 8597 and 8598 I chose top A, a basic top with bust darts and raised waistline, and skirt C, a trumpet style skirt which would suit the scuba knit’s firm texture.

I chose the blue floral scuba knit and four yards of fabric, the extra yardage allows for pattern matching. For the pattern layout, I decided to run the pattern through the largest blue flower, using the printed pattern grainlines to align the fabric pattern horizontally and vertically.

This method also allows each pattern piece to end up at the same place along the hem, but you must know your hem length beforehand and leave room for your hem allowance as well. Since I was attaching horsehair braid I had a very small hem allowance and ended each pattern piece about an inch below the large blue flower.

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Pattern matching is entirely up to the sewer, it is not necessary but is a fun custom touch that adds something special to the garment.

I saved all the fabric leftovers to test seams, iron settings, etc. Testing on scraps is a good way to find out what works when constructing with a fabric for the first time.  As it turns out, Scuba sews very nicely with a regular 90 needle and poly thread, and it takes heat and steam very nicely.

Once the skirt was completed, it seemed a little horsehair might be necessary to define the hem, and an interlock knit lining was added as the Scuba is somewhat see through. Although it was not necessary since the skirt had a lining, I did serge the seams to reduce bulk of the seam allowances.

Below you can see the hem hangs a little limp.

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A three inch white horsehair braid makes the hem flare out nicely.

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To begin constructing the bodice, I underlined each pattern piece with stretch mesh from the Lycra room.  Later, this will allow the top of the bodice to be cut away along the floral lines and leave the top of the bodice with only a layer of sheer mesh to show the skin of the wearer.  No lining was added to the bodice but the mesh does add a layer of opacity. Use a very sharp pair of scissors when cutting the floral outline to avoid jagged edges. Practice on a few scrap pieces if necessary. To keep the cut floral edge from falling away from the mesh, a combination of machine and hand stitching was applied after glue basting the cut edge to the mesh on a flat surface.  It is better to complete this step before darts and seams are put in as the pattern pieces lie perfectly flat and allow the two layers to be joined smoothly.

Once this was done, the front and back of the bodice will have an uninterrupted line of flowers that will have crystals applied.  From a construction point of view this presents a few problems as l did not want a zipper running through the center back. To avoid this, a side seam separating zipper was used but another closure must be added to the shoulder seam to allow the wearer to pass the garment over their head.  Traditionally this is done through buttons or hook and eye, but with zippers being very popular as embellishments, I decided to add a zipper to the shoulder seam, keeping all the closures of the same type.  The neckline was finished with a binding made from the mesh and a small hook and thread chain were also added above the zipper in the shoulder seam.  Once installed the zipper is barely noticeable. To shorten the separating zipper simply cut it the length needed at the side seam and add zipper stops at the top. The armhole facing hides the top of the zipper tape nicely. To hem the bodice, I used double sided fusible tape followed by a flat catchstitch, this leaves no visible stitching on the hem which makes the spot where the floral pattern meets at the waist more attractive.

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Once all garment construction is completed, it is time for the Swarovski rhinestones!

Color choice and pattern are entirely up to the sewer!  It is best to take a swatch of your fabric up to the front counter of The Sewing Studio and decide what colors to choose from the chart.  After the rhinestones are purchased, take them home and try out different patterns on a piece of scrap fabric, -don’t use glue! Just lay them out on the fabric and rearrange until a pleasing pattern is achieved.

This is sometimes called “auditioning” and there is no right or wrong way, but using different sizes does tend to give the best effect.

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Take your time when stoning, I like to use toothpicks to grab a bit of glue and then pick up the stone by the back with the glue, then place it on the fabric glue side down, lay your other finger over the stone and pull the toothpick away.  If you don’t care for that method, the Sewing Studio also carries some very handy tools for stoning in the notions section. Allow plenty of time for drying, overnight at least.

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I hope this inspires you to give Scuba a try, it is delightful to sew and can shine in garments from a simple sheath dress  with cold shoulders to a more formal gown like the one I made.

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Please post your finished garments on our Facebook site so everyone at the Sewing Studio can enjoy them.

Regards,

Kerrie Barber

To purchase Scuba Fabric, Click Here

May
22

Alice’s Adventures in Aprons

Posted by Stephanie Stachow on May 22nd, 2018

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Hello again friends! We got the CUTEST Alice in Wonderland fabric in a little while ago and as soon as I saw it I knew that I had to make something with it.

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These fabrics are a cotton-linen blend, so they’re thicker then regular cottons. I thought this texture would lend itself well to an apron. So I went to our pattern books and found a super cute apron pattern that mimicked Alice’s full skirt. I really loved the all-over print and I wanted that to be the main fabric and just use the border print for accents.

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The pattern that I chose does have an option for border print fabrics so if you wanted to make your life easier, you could just use the border print fabric and option C from this pattern. I never do anything the easy way (as you will see). I chose to follow option D (without the eyelet lace), but added the pocket from option B since it would fit the border print perfectly.

For this project I got:

Simplicity pattern 1221

2 1/2 yards of 206515 (this is the fabric with the all-over design)

1 1/8 yards of 206514 (this is the fabric with the border print)

Matching thread

General sewing supplies like pins and scissors.

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Looking at the cutting layout for my pattern, I noticed that the waistband pieces were laid out in the wrong direction. The fabric has the characters upside down and right side up so it’s not directional in that sense, but if I cut the waistband the way it has in the layout then the characters would be on their side. The waistband is thick enough at the center front that I thought it would be noticeable so I wanted to cut it in the proper direction and I cut the straps and the pocket out of the border print fabric so I had a little room to fussy cut.

apron-bib-layout In case you’re not familiar with that term; fussy-cutting is when you cut a specific area of the fabric usually to showcase or highlight part of the print. For example, when I cut the bib of my apron out, I centered a part of the design that I particularly enjoyed.

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When I’m not following the given layout, I start with my biggest pieces first. I paid special attention when I was cutting out the skirt front and skirt back (the two biggest pieces) because the fabric kind of goes in rows and I wanted to make sure my rows lined up as best they could. These rows have different size motifs within each row so I knew they weren’t going to be perfect, but I at least wanted to have them in the ball park.

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I also obviously fussy-cut the pocket out of the border print. And I was actually able to fussy cut the straps out of the remaining print at the bottom of the border with the bows and lace.

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Back to the waistband. I knew cutting out the waistband was going to be tricky so I saved it for last. If I wanted to have my characters going in the same direction on the waistband as they were on the rest of the apron I was going to have to piece it because the fabric was not wide enough otherwise.

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I started by cutting off the selvage on the scrap I was working with and marking 5/8″ in from the edge for my seam allowance.

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Then I traced my new seam line onto my pattern.

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I marked 5/8″ on my next scrap for seam allowance.

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And I lined up my seam line that I drew on my pattern piece. Once my seam was lined up, I cut the second half of the pattern piece out from there.

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I then lined up my seam lines and sewed the pieces together.

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I started sewing it together following the pattern’s instructions. When I got to where you sew the waistband to the bib of the apron I cheated a little. The pattern wants you to sew this seam right sides together, but I can never get these kinds of seams to lay correctly when I sew them like that. So instead, I pressed 5/8″ under on the top edge of the waistband and lined up the piece where it was supposed to go and pinned it in place.

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Then I lined up the edge of the waistband with the inside edge of my presser foot and I topstitched the seam and it looked beautiful!

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As I said, I wanted to use the pocket from another apron in the pattern so I sewed the pocket according the their instructions and clipped my curves.

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I then centered the pocket from side to side on the front skirt piece. To find the placement top to bottom, I held up the skirt to my waist and reached my hand down as if I were reaching for something in said pocket. Between that and lining it up with one of the “rows”, I got a placement for the pocket. I tucked the sides under, pinned it, and sewed around every edge except the top.

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I then measured in 8″ from each side and pin marked a straight line. I topstitched following the pins to divide the pocket into sections.

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I continued to follow instructions and when it came time to finish my waistband with the lining I had to adjust it slightly because of how I topstitched my waistband earlier. I pressed the top edge of the section that would lay behind the bib of the apron under 1/2″. When I came to that step, I pinned from the front side next to the seam so that I caught the lining on the back.

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Here is another picture from the back side of the waistband to help illustrate this step. Once it was pinned, I stitched in the ditch next to the waistband seam.

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I finished the steps in the pattern and VOILA! An adorable apron fit for Wonderland! It would be perfect for your kitchen or for keeping threads off you and holding your notions while you sew! Happy sewing!

Apr
30

Easy Running Skirt

Posted by Stephanie Stachow on April 30th, 2018

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Hello fellow sewists! It’s been too long! Long story short, I’m back for the summer and I wanted to share what I’ve been working on! My husband and I signed up for the RunDisney Star Wars Dark Side 5K at Walt Disney World and OF COURSE I had to make a little something for the occasion. My husband is 6’4″ so I decided he HAD to be Chewbacca and the logical choice was for me to be Han Solo. I didn’t have a ton of time leading up to the race since I was training, but I still wanted to make a little something. I got my hubby a Chewie t-shirt to wear instead of a full fur suit. I was able to find a white shirt and black vest fairly easily so naturally I decided to make a skirt that looked like Han Solo’s pants. Disclaimer: This is a fairly simple skirt that is mainly meant for decorative/costume purposes. I absolutely had to wear bike shorts with it for my run. If you are looking for actual active-wear, I highly recommend Loralee’s Serged Running Skort class. However, I still wanted it to be lightweight and comfortable to move in, so I went straight to our lycra department and found the perfect options.

I got 2 yards of navy Milliskin lycra for the main skirt

1/3 yard of red Mystique lycra for the stripe on the side of the skirt

1/3 yard of brown Milliskin lycra for the waistband

1/8 yard silver Mystique lycra for the belt buckle

I also picked up some navy and brown serger thread

I used my Babylock Diana serger to assemble the projectimg_8381

I actually started by making a basic circle skirt pattern which I can talk about in more detail in another post, if that is something that would interest you. But you can use any circle pattern that you’re comfortable with. We’re going to be adding about 4″ total to our waistline when we add the red stripe down the side so take that into account when you’re choosing your size. I like to cut out knit fabrics with fabric weights, a cutting mat, and a rotary blade. Knit fabrics tend to wiggle so using this method will help with your accuracy.

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I also cut two strips out of the red Mystique fabric at 2 1/2″ by the width of the fabric. You can then measure the side seam of your pattern and cut them down accordingly.

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I decided to use a 5 thread – Chain Stitch w/3 thread Overlock for my seams because it is the most secure and it sews and finishes my garment all at once!

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I started sewing it together by sandwiching my red strips into my side seams. The main thing to focus on here is to not stretch either the skirt or the strip as your sewing them.

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Since it was made from 4-way stretch fabric. I knew I wasn’t going to need to fuss with a zipper so I did this for all 4 seams. The main part of my skirt was complete!

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The next step for me was to cut out my waistband. If you’re using a pre-existing pattern, follow the instructions. I cut 2 pieces that were 3″ wide and about 4″ smaller than my waist.

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I sewed the long edges of the waistband together with the same 5 thread stitch. I then switched to a normal 2 thread chain stitch and understitched the top edge of the waistband because I’m a nerd and love understitching. This step is probably optional if it isn’t your thing.

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Depending on your pattern, you may have to ease the skirt onto the waistband. Luckily, that is relatively easy when working with knits as long as you space it out evenly. I then flipped the piece of the waistband with understitching on it inside and stitched in the ditch with the chainstitch to finish it.

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Han Solo has a whole multi-belt holster contraption that he wears and I felt that would add too much bulk and weight to my skirt but I did want to try to emulate part of it. He has a fairly distinctive belt buckle which I thought would be a nice touch. Looking at a picture that I found online, I used the different angles on my Omnigrid quilting ruler to rough out a pattern that looked similar enough to Han’s belt. I cut it out, sewed around the edges, turned it right side out, and topstitched it closed. I tried my skirt on for placement and pinned the buckle where I thought it looked best. I then hand stitched the edges of the buckle to the waistband.

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If you take one thing away from this post let it be this: when sewing with knits, put stay tape in your hem! It makes a world of difference! I ironed stay tape to the edge of my hem (watch the heat settings on your iron when working with lycra) and then folded it up the width of the stay tape and ironed it again. Then I used my serger to cover stitch the hem and it looked perfect and super professional.

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Ta da!!! I still had time to train for the race AND the real Chewbacca loved us! Again, if you’d like some hands on help with anything knit/serger related I highly recommend Loralee’s classes.

Mar
19

Hop Into Spring Shop Hop

Posted by Kelsey Sauer on March 19th, 2018

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Every couple of months you may see an advertisement for a shop hop but you say to yourself, “What does that even mean?”

I am here to explain that to you today 🙂

A Shop Hop is exactly what it sounds like. A group of sewing stores in a general area get together and create a passport and choose dates that the hop will start and finish . You the customer purchase a ‘shop hop passport’ at the register of any of the participating stores prior to the start of the hop. (The passport is $5 before the hop and $6 during the hop.)  You have X amount of days to visit each of the shops and get your passport stamped at each stop. You are usually given a free fat quarter at each shop that you visit and there is usually a “mystery item” that is marked at a special price for your purchase at each shop. This time around, each store is giving away a Moda Grunge Fat Quarter in a spring color (the last color not pictured is white). If you visit 2 stores, you have paid for your $5 investment.

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Stores usually have a beautiful sample made using the fat quarters being given away at each location, so be sure to look for them at each of your stops. If you like the way a particular store finished there project, you can purchase a “finishing kit.”

Here is our sample made with the shop hop fabrics:

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Here is the best moment you have been waiting for. IF you visit all of the participating shops in the hop DURING the time frame given, you are entered into the GRAND PRIZE drawing! If you are the lucky winner, you get a $125 Shopping Spree at EACH STORE!!!!!! Do you know what that equates to? $1,000 of free fabric!!

The Second Grand Prize winner gets a $65 Shopping Spree at EACH STORE! That equates to $520 of free fabric!!

I have seen past winners come in to choose there fabric and it is like Christmas morning! Or winning the lottery! It’s wonderful!

So, what are you waiting for? Come and get your shop hop passport from us today!

 

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Dec
21

Holiday Party Dress Time By Kerrie Barber

Posted by Kelsey Sauer on December 21st, 2017

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With the Holiday season fast approaching, it was time for a sample party dress featuring the lovely brocades in the Bridal Department!  New Look pattern 6431, a fit and flare dress with beautiful pleating in the neckline was the perfect choice.

For the main fabric, Stretch Brocade Chic was a perfect choice. It has a lovely pattern and slight sheen, and the color was a perfect party red.  The fabric has a slight stretch on the crossgrain, which makes it more comfortable for the wearer. This made interlock the perfect choice to line the dress.  Interlock is a very flexible lining; it pairs easily with fabrics that have a slight stretch like Miyuki satins and Ponte knits, but also works well with woven fabrics.

The Sewing Studio now carries interlock lining in a variety of colors in the Bridal Department, which is very good news!

Layout and construction of the dress was very straightforward, but I did vary from the pattern instructions by stitching the pleats from the underside and using horsehair braid in the hem.  Stitching the pleats just makes them lie a little more closely to the body, and the horsehair braid defines the lovely cones of fabric that form in the skirt. I also overlapped the skirt pattern pieces to eliminate all the seams except the side and center back seams.  It is not necessary to do this but it does reduce the number of seams interrupting the pattern flow of the fabric. After I completed the dress, it looked lovely but I felt that it needed something more to make it ready for the holiday season.

I looked around the store and found a beautiful rhinestone applique #36 in the Bridal case and since the borderpattern includes a belt, I had a great accessory for the dress in no time at all.  The belt was cut on the bias, but the fabric is so stretchy that it could also be cut on the crossgrain to use up leftover fabric. Now the dress is more adaptable for a really formal occasion or a more casual office party by simply removing the belt.

Many people shy away from sewing, thinking it is too difficult, but that is not true! Sewing is one of the most rewarding artistic hobbies you can enjoy, with the practical advantage of having something to wear when you are finished with each project. When you learn to sew, you can create wonderful luxuries for your wardrobe.  A basic sewing class will start you on your journey, so check out the Sewing Studio website today and sign up!

There are many more beautiful fabrics in the Bridal Department to make the perfect party dress. If you decide to use one, please share your pictures, we would love to see them!

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Dec
6

Holiday Homies Quilt

Posted by Kelsey Sauer on December 6th, 2017

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The Story of The Holiday Homies Goes As Follows:

“Once upon a cold December eve a dog named Buck, a buck named Gus and a young goose named Ryan threw themselves a Christmas Party. They invited absolutely everyone. The three best friends, dressed in their finest Christmas Sweaters welcomed the entire forest into their fashionably appointed yet ruggedly masculine winter cabin. Animals from regions far and wide made the long trek through the tall pines to enjoy a bit of eggnog and a casual peppermint over a crackling fire and some deeply academic conversation. Needless to say, the party got a little wild and Gus ended up with half of the Christmas tree decorations hanging from his antlers. Ryan gallantly volunteered to play Santa and Buck sat, elegantly reserved, in his wingback chair telling stories from their college days. A jolly time was had by all as the festivities stretched well into the misty morning light. ”

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My inspiration to create with this #awesome collection came from Wendy in New Zealand who created this beautiful quilt: http://wendysquiltsandmore.blogspot.com/2017/09/holiday-homies-by-tula-pink.html

Wendy did a great job writing precise instructions. If you would like to make this quilt too, please click the link above for direction. Following her short but simple blog, I made a quilt very similar to hers: img_6261

Below is the process in pictures of my quilt coming together:

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For fussy cutting the blocks, I would recommend purchasing some template plastic. (We have it for sale in the quilting room.) It makes it so much easier. Just cut the template plastic to the size you need and use it as a ruler. Remember, the main blocks need to be cut on point.

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At this stage above, my blocks have been cut on point and I have added the half square triangles. ^ Before cutting, please be aware of your directional prints. You may spot two blocks above that I have made a boo boo in. Luckily, the quilt is so busy that the eye would never really notice.

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At this stage, I have added the borders to the main block. This was the most fun part for me. I love to mix and match the fabrics to create these blocks. See the picture below for how all nine turned out .
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At this stage, the strips are sewn together to create the pieced sashing. My wise friend and coworker Janeann gave me this advice: Put the strips in a bucket and whatever you pull is what you sew together. The only rule is that no two alike can be together. This way you do not spend time fussing over what strips should be next to each other. Her advice worked perfectly and I love how my strip sashing turned out!

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Wendy hand stitched her quilt . I chose to use the Babylock Sashiko:

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Click here For More Information on the Babylock Sashiko: Click Here

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I did do a little “Stitch in the ditch” quilting around the center blocks (The holiday homies 🙂

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The Holiday Homies Collection is Available For Purchase Here .. If you come into the store, they are 20% off right now!!

 

Here are some other quilts made with this collection:

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Nov
10

Are You Up For Hoffman Challenge In 2018?

Posted by Kelsey Sauer on November 10th, 2017

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Shine On! is a Hoffman Spectrum Digital Print collection of fabrics designed for the 2018 Hoffman Challenge contest for quilters and sewists. The Hoffman Challenge is the longest-running annual quilting contest offered by a textile manufacturer. We’re celebrating its 30th anniversary with diamonds and pearls. Let your talents Shine On!

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The challenge fabrics are in stock now . Click Here To Purchase and Get Started On Your Project!

THE LOWDOWN:  The one fabric REQUIRED for your entry is Q4429. You can use either the 633-Prism or the 657-Spectrum color way – or both!

This is the Prism (Sku:202863): q4429-633-prism This is the Spectrum (Sku:202868): q4429-657-spectrum

The Challenge (above) fabric must be used in the body of the quilt top in a clearly recognizable amount. For appliqué quilts, the Challenge fabric must be used in more than one spot. At least 75% of the entry (quilt top or main body) needs to be made up of Hoffman fabrics, and they can be your choise – whether from the Shine On! collection or from your personal stash. We need you to complete your online registration and submit photos of your artwork (one overall and one close-up) by June 22, 2018. You can submit up to three different pieces of artwork with the $30 entry fee (paid online). If submitting more than one piece of artwork for consideration, you will need to complete the entry form for each.

Click Here For More Information on the challenge.

We hope to see you in store shopping for your Shine On Challenge Fabrics!

 

To give you an idea, here are last year’s focal fabrics and winning projects:

p4299-55-charcoal p4299-562-blooms

Winners: Microsoft Word - Accessories Awards.docx Microsoft Word - Aurifil AWARDS.docx Microsoft Word - Mixed Technique winners.docx Microsoft Word - Home Dec AWARDS.docx lloyd_american-royalty Microsoft Word - Pieced Quilts RECAP.docx

Oct
20

What Is A Shop Hop?

Posted by Kelsey Sauer on October 20th, 2017

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Every couple of months you may see an advertisement for a shop hop but you say to yourself, “What does that even mean?”

I am here to explain that to you today 🙂

A Shop Hop is exactly what it sounds like. A group of sewing stores in a general area get together and create a passport and choose dates that the hop will start and finish . You the customer purchase a ‘shop hop passport’ at the register of any of the participating stores prior to the start of the hop. (The passport is $5 before the hop and $6 during the hop.)  You have X amount of days to visit each of the shops and get your passport stamped at each stop. You are usually given a free fat quarter at each shop that you visit and there is usually a “mystery item” that is marked at a special price for your purchaseat each shop. This time around, each store is giving away a Quilting Treasure Colorblend Fat Quarter. (If you visit 2 stores, you have paid for your $5 investment).

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Stores usually have a beautiful sample made using the fat quarters being given away at each location, so be sure to look for them at each of your stops. If you like the way a particular store finished there project, you can purchase a “finishing kit.”

Here is the best moment you have been waiting for. IF you visit all of the participating shops in the hop DURING the time frame given, you are entered into the GRAND PRIZE drawing! If you are the lucky winner, you get a $125 Shopping Spree at EACH STORE!!!!!! Do you know what that equates to? $1,000 of free fabric!!

The Second Grand Prize winner gets a $65 Shopping Spree at EACH STORE! That equates to $520 of free fabric!!

I have seen past winners come in to choose there fabric and it is like Christmas morning! Or winning the lottery! It’s wonderful!

So, what are you waiting for? Come and get your shop hop passport from us today!

Here are the specifications on the Fall Fat Quarter Hop Happening November 3-11:

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Our sample : shop-hop

We used the Accuquilt spool die to assemble this mini quilt. Spool Die Sku: 55180

Watch the video for assembly ideas: https://www.accuquilt.com/shop/go-spool-6-finished.html

Oct
16

How to Make A Garden Flag By Kelsey Sauer

Posted by Kelsey Sauer on October 16th, 2017

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After presenting this project in Embroidery and Sewing Club on Saturday, October 14th , I promised I would create a blog post for your reference as you create your own garden flags. This is an easy, inexpensive and FUN project to create!

You will need:

2 – Burlap Fat Quarters or 1/2 yard

1 1/2 yards of ribbon or trim of your choice

a machine embroidery design. I used a 5″x7″ cross-stitch design from Sudberry House.

1 hooping of tearaway stabilizer

1 piece of no show mesh fusible for the back of your burlap

1 piece of water soluble topping for the top of your burlap

1 lawn flag (I purchased mine at Orchard)

 

After a quick internet search, I determined the standard size of a garden flag is 12″x18″ .  (reference: https://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Garden-Flag)

Step 1 – I embroidered my design centered on one piece of 18″ x 25″ burlap and then trimmed down the burlap to 12″ wide by 22″ long. The additional 4″ on the length gets turned to the back side and sewn down to create a pocket for your lawn flag holder to go through in Step 4

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Step 2: Once your embroidery is complete, tear your design out of the hoop and cut away the excess cutaway stabilizer. Tear away the water soluble topper and dab the rest away with a wet towel .

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Step 3: Trim down the second piece of burlap to the same size as the first that you just embroidered. Sew the second piece to the first piece so that the wrong side of the embroidery is now covered. Sew up and down each side of the length once with all purpose sewing thread in a neutral color. Sew the bottom shut. Do not worry about fraying because that rustic look is in right now. (Thanks Chip and Joanna!)

Step 4: Turn the top 4″ to the wrong side to create a pocket for the flag holder. Sew the pocket.

Step 5: Place Your house number. I glued house numbers on with E-6000. I purchased these numbers from Orchard. An attendee of the club suggested leaving the design in the hoop and stitching out your numbers or using your Scan N Cut to cut numbers out of HTV, how you choose to apply your numbers is totally up to you.

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I got the lawn flag holder and house numbers from Orchard. This is Desi, she is friendly and helpful! Also, you get a free apple when you make a purchase at Orchard.

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Step 6: Play around with where you would like to place your ribbon/trim and other adornments. Once it is in the desired spot, topstitch down.

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Tips to embroider on Burlap successfully were found here: http://www.emblibrary.com/EL/ELProjects/Projects.aspx?productid=pr1544