Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Day 12--Gathering with Elastic Thread - Mamma Can Do It.

Today's the last day!!!! I hope you had a great time.  I know I really enjoyed all the videos and saw several new tricks and tips I can't wait to try out. 

My second video is up today, Gathering with Elastic Thread.  This is a technique I discovered a few years ago while making a bubble skirt.  It has saved me so much time, and headaches over the years.  I'm happy to share this with you. 

Anytime you need to make gathers, especially when they have to fit in a loop, give this method a try.  For this I just use cheap elastic thread from the dollar store.   If you have any questions just comment here on Youtube an I'd be happy to help. 

Did you keep track??? Miss  any??? Head on over to their Youtube Channel and catch up. Here's a link to my Gathering with Elastic Thread-Youtube

I big thanks and Shout out to Mamma Can Do It Promotion Team.  A lot of time, effort and nerves went into bringing these videos to you.  Please check them out and give the videos a thumbs up and subsribe.  Come back here and let me know what your FAVORITE tip was, It's ok if it's not mine ;) ahahha.

Make sure to go to their FB group to check out the rest of the prizes.

They have a ton of other tips on their blog, as well some some amazing patterns on their website, go check them out Mamma Can Do It.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

"Sewing Curves" My Video is up on the -- 12 days of Christmas-Mamma Can Do It

 So how have you been enjoying the videos so far????  Make sure you go check them all out, and make sure you don't miss any.  There are some really good tips posted.

My video is up today, and as you know I'm not a big fan of having to pin, so this is my easy-peasy way to sew curves.   That's Sew Venice--Sewing Curves it might look scary, but practice on some   scrape pieces.  It is very liberating to be able to go 'pinless' ahahhaha so to speak.  And it really speeds things up.  You can use this on pretty much any seam.  I do use a Pin/clip when I have two seams meeting, because while I do like 'smart and lazy', I also am pretty precise when it comes to those details.  So don't worry about sacrificing quality. 

Just because you were taught to put in a million pins, and 'that's the way it's always been done' doesn't mean we can't try and learn new techniques, to speed up our sewing and increase enjoyment. 

I big thanks and Shout out to Mamma Can Do It Promotion Team.  A lot of time, effort and nerves went into bringing these videos to you.  Please check them out and give the videos a thumbs up and subsribe.  Come back here and let me know what your FAVORITE tip was, It's ok if it's not mine ;) ahahha.

Make sure to go to their FB group to check out the rest of the prizes.

They have a ton of other tips on their blog, as well some some amazing patterns on their website, go check them out Mamma Can Do It.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Round Fabric Basket--AppleGreen Cottage-- Pattern review.

Well, AppleGreen Cottage is at it again.  

You might remember her from these handy little KAIA MINI Fabric Bins.   These were another fun, quick project.  I love quick sew's that look unique, and help me use up my stash.  The scalloped edge is a nice touch and looks great up, or folded down.  These can be used for lots of quick gifts. 

This year she has released this adorable Round Fabric Basket.  
 I was given the pattern and asked to give an honest review, so here goes. 

EEEK how cute are these, my daughter is going to flip.  First off this pattern comes in 3 different sizes, all of the dimension are on the pattern.  I went with the medium.  I know I will be making more.  These are perfect for gifts.  Stuff with all kinds of fun things.  You could fill with stationary kits, mini diaper bags for emergencies, put in a diaper onsie, wipes.  Or sleepover bags, lotion, lip balm, sleep mask . . . The options are endless.  Ok now that you know you want to make a few lets see how it went for me. 

When you first look at the pattern it might seem a bit overwhelming.  There are a ton of charts and numbers, but that is because she is very thorough.  She has provided pattern pieces for everything to print out, but has also given a cutting chart in case you don't want to print it and tape it together, so everyone is happy.   So if you're going to print the pattern out, just skip past the cutting charts, and get started.  That is a great feature for someone that doesn't have access to a printer, or is out of ink or paper . .  . not that I would no anything about that 😉. 

 Now as you'll see I did make a few minor changes to my version.  And this is not because I thought it was better, by any means, I've just been trying to make things out of my stash.

The 3 changes I made are as follows:

1 & 2: Ribbon:  I used a piece of ribbon instead of making my own casing, which she has you do in the instructions.  I also used the same ribbon folded in half for the tab.

3. Grommet: I didn't have the size recommended in the pattern on hand, so I used ones I'd bought.  Which turned out to be a bit too big....sigh.  oh well they still look cute, and I'll keep my eye on the smaller ones going on sale.  

Now the set I had was an eyelet set, and didn't cut through the grosgrain ribbon, so I just folded it and snipped a wee bit off the edge.  Which gave me these diamond shapes. 

I rounded them out with the tool a bit and they slipped on no problem.  GREAT!!! Ok now we need to wack them in place.  And wow they're not kidding about how hard you really have to hammer them.  I tried upstairs in the sewing room, but it was a no go.  

Thankfully the garage floor worked perfectly.  A few firm taps with the hammer and Viola!!! we're done.  (I was really nervous about this aspect of the project to tell you the truth, but once you do it once, you'll realize how simple it is.  You can always look on YouTube as well)

Yay, they're in!!!  I liked her tip about sewing the casing down with the cord already inside, BUT since my ribbon was a bit narrower I was worried it would be harder to lay flat.  But no worries I used my trusty threading tool and just slipped it right through, worked like a charm. 

It worked.  Now if the thought of grommets has you scared, or you really want to be able to make this like RIGHT NOW.  There are a few other options, like a button hole, or even just cut your casing in half and hem the ends, and then leave a 1-2 gap in the middle.  I think that would work just fine.  But I do encourage you to give these a try, they look really nice. 

Now I don't want to give too much away, but the pattern has great pictures, and step by step instructions.  Just follow along and you'll do fine.

Another quick tip is to stack your bottom main fabric and batting together and just cut once, I don't know how many times I think to do this AFTER I'm done cutting everything. 

 I tacked my tab in before sewing just to keep in place. 

PINS!!! yes I used a lot of pins at this point, we're sewing the sides down, and you really want to make sure your casing, trim and top edge are perfectly lined up, and aren't going to move on you.  I know I don't usually use very many pins, but sometimes you really need to. 

The rest of the pattern goes together great, she really has done her math the bottoms lined up perfectly on both inside and out.  Just follow her simple steps and you'll be done in no time.  I like to use my applique, or duck-billed scissors for trimming, and trim right into my scrap bin, beats getting little bits all over my pants. 

Now it's time to turn your bag out, and and after a quick top stitch, and stitching your lining shut you're done.  It's really a quick project, and once you've made one, you'll want to make several more. 

Click here for the Pattern: Round Fabric Basket.  

Pattern 5 out of  5.   Highlights: 3 sizes, easily customized, easy to follow instructions, and the step my step photos are very clear.  She also caters to everyone, be it those that like a cut chart, or prefer to have the actual pattern pieces, there's something for everyone. 

Check out her website AppleGreen Cottage, for more adorable patterns, tutorials and some fun freebies.  She's also on Facebook AppleGreen Cottage--Facebook, like her page and never miss an update.

Please comment below with more ideas of items you could put inside!!!  This is really a great pattern for a quick, but beautiful gift.  It's also a wonderful stash buster!!!!!!  Check out my FB page for more gift ideas as well.  That's Sew Venice

Saturday, December 1, 2018

12 Days of Giveaways -- Mamma Can Do It

New to sewing???? Looking for some new tips???  Sewing has slowly changed over the years with new tools, tips and techniques, so check out these amazing videos, and comment down below with something you found "new" to you.

Each day from Dec 1st-12th there will be a few video tutorials available on the Mamma Can Do it Youtube page. Mamma Can Do It -- Youtube Channel   Make sure to click subscribe, and click the bell for notifications.

Day one--  We have 2 videos. Types of Needles to use with Knits.  & Applique for beginners.
Here is a direct link to the playlist so you don't miss any of the videos Mamma Can Do It--12 Days playlist

I will be doing a video about my favorite way to add a ruffle to the bottom of a skirt.    There are a ton of different ways, and I've tried most them of them, but I think mine has a unique take on it, so be sure to check out the video on Dec 12th, wrapping it up with  "Gathering Made Easy"--That's Sew Venice. 

Dont' forget to join  Mamma Can Do It-Facebook Group to get in on all the Give aways.

Day 1:  GIVEAWAY: Elephant House Fabrics is sponsoring today's giveaway! They are giving away one free yard of their gorgeous custom fabric with shipping in the U.S. included, international pays difference. Shop EHF's website here: The winner will also receive a $15 gift certificate to Mamma Can Do It's website.  You need to go Comment on the post in the group page to enter.   

Hope you have a wonderful Holiday Season!!! Merry Sewing 🎄 

Friday, November 16, 2018

Sofiona Designs: Fresh new Canadian design team

It is my privilege and honour to introduce to you a brand new design team.  They're two friends that live in Canada and are about to see all of their hard work pay off.  As you know I love testing patterns for different people, but this was my first time testing for a brand new company.   And because they're brand new this weekend is their company launch.  Very exciting things are happening including some great discounts and giveaways.  So head over to their FB Group page Sofiona Designs Fan Group, to check out the action.  First 50 customers get an extra 5% off!!!!

Check out these Fabulous Giveaways.

So now that you've joined the group and ready to look at their patterns, I'll show my mine.
  I tested the Railway Joggers.

I have to admit I didn't know what to expect.  Some of the other companies have been around for a while now, and have the whole testing thing down pat, and size blocks that work for them.  I was expecting to see a few hiccups or something, but nope!!!  The testing went beautifully.  They definitely knew what they were doing.  Super helpful and attentive, and the patterns, well they were so well written.  I tested the Railway Joggers, and they have some very unique features and pattern pieces.  The pockets especially are really nice, and the the instructions and construction was brilliant.  I was so pleased with how it all turned out.

The pdf file goes together easily, the pieces all line up perfectly.  And the sizing was spot on for us.  The first pair I just used this black cable knit fabric.  I wasn't sure how they'd fit so wanted to do a test pair first.  I did all the same fabric, so you can't really see some of the design features, but my model requested this fabric, and didn't want the color blocking on it.  I was impressed with how well they fit and how comfy they are.  She's not usually one for jogging style pants, prefers a tighter fit, but she wears these all the time. 

The second time I used this distressed stretch fabric, and I was dying to try out the moto feature on the legs.  We color blocked this time, and I did it on the pockets too, to make them pop a bit.  They're my favorites so far.  The sizing is just perfect on her!!!

I look forward to making many more of these, in all different sizes.  Actually I want some for me!!!!

Be sure to head on over to their FB Page, and check out the other 3 patterns They're all amazing too!!!!

Pattern Testers:

Here is blog post from another tester. 
She was asked to test the adorable and cozy  Arctic Fox Housecoat.


Monday, August 20, 2018

Mamma Can Do It -- Peplum Top -- Pattern Review

This months pattern test, was really fun, I got to make one for me, and the kid.  This is the Relaxed Fit Peplum Top & Tunic by  Mamma Can Do It. 


Unfortunately I didn't have enough fabric to make truly matching ones, YET!

Stay tuned for my next blog post about FBA's, on knit tops.  A must for anyone larger then a D cup.  Full Bust Adjustment-What every woman should know

I love how comfortable these are, and the stripes ended up looking kind of cool on the peplum.  I wasn't really sure how it would turn out. 

The kid loves it, and wears the 2 I made for her all the time, she thinks they're super comfy.


It's a super quick sew, 1 hour start to finish on my second one for her.  These are really easy to whip up, and comfortable.  They have a lot of options as well.

You can choose between short sleeve and long sleeve, and the 'skit' portion of the top comes in peplum or gathered, you can also choose to do a hi-low on either option.

The top/dress comes in three lengths top, tunic, and dress.  So many options to take you from spring to fall, and back again.

The women's comes in 3 skirt choices.  Gathered, circle or half circle.  I chose circle for my first fit test and felt it was a bit bulky, I did use a heavy jersey.  I added a larger FBA for my second one and a lighter fabric and used the half circle and LOVE how it fits.

Get your copy now while it's on sale Relaxed Peplum Top and Dress for girls

The women's pattern is here Relaxed Peplum Top Womens

And the Bundle, which is your best value is here. Relaxed Peplum top bundle

 Also check out my guest blog post on Mamma Can Do It's blog. 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Full Bust Adjustment--What every sewist should know.

Nothing is more frustrating then working hard to make a lovely top for yourself and having it NOT FIT!!!  One of the hardest areas to get a proper fit is in the bust area.  When I first started sewing and buying patterns I assumed that if I used my full bust measurement then the pattern would automatically fit.  The problem I ran into was if it fit across my bust-line, it was WAY too big through the shoulders, neckline, and sleeve areas. If it fit through the shoulders, I'd get horrible pulling on the sides, the seam would go on an angle forward, and the front of the shirt would be much higher, because it has greater topography to go over.  It was really depressing. I'd double check my measurements, where did I go wrong????

What I didn't realize is that most patterns are drafted for a B or C cup.  There are a few indie pattern companies that design for a D cup, and a few others that have cup size options built into the pattern.  For the most part though this is not the case, and you really don't want to have to miss out on some amazing patterns just because you don't know how to make that adjustment on your pattern.

So what measurements do you use???  Well the best way to get a proper fit all over is to use a 'high-bust' measurement.  You put the tape above the breasts, under the armpits, and this is going to give you a great idea of your 'frame size'.  If you're larger then a D cup then this is going to make a huge difference in fit for you.

There are a ton of different Youtube and blog posts on how to do FBA's.  Most of them include some sort of dart.  If you're making a fitted woven pattern, then for sure you should do a proper FBA with darts, BUT knit fabrics give you a bit of leeway.  I don't really want a dart on my knit, and it's not as fussy.  There are a few ways you can go about adding more room, just where you need it.  Depending on your cup size, you might only need to do one, or you can split the difference and do both if you're larger.  Here are 3 methods you can use, just see which one you like better.   I apologize for my horrible paint skills, but hope the graphics help. 

"Grading FBA"  The easiest one is grading.  You simply mark the pattern that fits for your shoulders and arm, waist, and then the bust-line, and you merge the lines on the side.  This works fine if you're only going up 1 size or so.  Anything more then that and you might have a problem getting the line on the side smooth, and now you're starting to affect your sleeve size.  If you decide to use the 'grading' method you HAVE to remember to add the same amount you graded out, to the front part of your sleeve pattern.  Otherwise you're sleeve will be too small and you'll end up with those dreaded gathers and be all upset.

"Pivot FBA" : I think this one is probably a better choice, because it preserves the neckline and arm scythe.  What you do is lay your pattern on a large piece of paper.  You want to trace the front fold, and then up through the neck and shoulder area.  Then you need to decide how much you want to add to the side.  A general rule is 1cm per cup size over B cup.  So if you're a D then 2cm's out.  My problem is that I wear an H cup.  so this can really throw off the shape of a top.  (That is why I like to combine the pivot method with the slash method I'll describe below.)

Once you've marked how far over you need to move your side seam you hold on to the top corner of the sleeve and slide the bottom part over to meet that mark, and draw in your arm scythe, now it's the same size for the neckline and arm.  Then you hold the underarm corner and straighten the pattern out till it's parallel to the front fold line, or if you don't want a little added room at the waist you pivot it so that the bottom of the waste lines up with the original front.  Now when you look at the pattern you can see there is more room, but it's mainly in the bust area, not all over.  You'll also see that from the angle you've added a bit more length to the front as well. 

"Slash FBA":  This method is pretty fast and easy as well, and can be combined with the other methods or used on it's own.  Basically all you do is cut your pattern horizontally right through the bust-line.  (usually about an inch below the armpit). And then you just slide it down how ever much you need.  Remember knit is forgiving, you might have to try a few different times to get your right fit.  One way is to try on one that is too small, and see how much shorter in the front it is then what you would like, and you can add that length right at the bustline, instead of at the hem which will give a better shape, and more room for your breasts.   If you only spread it about 1/2" or so you can probably get away with just stretching the side of the back to line it up, any more then that you really should either gather just the top 3" to fit the back side length, or you can cut a gentle swoop up the side to keep it the original length.

  I wear an H cup and added 1.5" to the front of my pattern with the slash method, and I also pivoted out to the side about 1/2".   Do the pivot or grading part first, then do the slash if combining.  This fit great!!!
There is a bit of trial and error, sometimes the methods change depending on the pattern and size of FBA you need to do.   Play around with it, and I hope you have luck.  It's nice to be able to have tops and dresses that fit!!! 
This is the  Relaxed Peplum Top Womens with half circle skirt from Mamma Can Do It. 

Check out my review on the pattern here Momma Can Do It -- Peplum Top -- Pattern Test

Check out this same post over on Mamma Can Do It's Blog