Sunday, January 6, 2019


I came across this information this morning and thought it worthy of sharing.  On Rule #4 - 7, I did not know this, but I will be sure using this tip.  I remember I bought all of this fabric to make a sweatshirt and sweatpants.  The material looked nice, it felt nice, thick and heavy, but after I washed it and made it, my fabric hung like a rag.  This is a lot of work, time and MONEY to purchase fabric that has been sprayed with sizing to make it feel like quality.  Here are some great tips!

Rules of Thumb When Shopping for Fabric

Rule #1

A successfully chosen garment fabric will compliment the pattern design
  • To determine a fabric’s suitability for a pattern, check the pattern envelope. Illustrations on the front show fabrics appropriate for the design; the envelope back lists suggested fabrics chosen by the designer.

Rule #2

A successfully chosen garment fabric will flatter the wearer
  • To find out whether a fabric is becoming to you, drape at least 2 yards of the material over yourself in front of a full-length mirror. In this way you can see the precise effect of color and texture on your skin tone and figure.

Rule #3

A successfully chosen garment fabric will perform according to expectations
  • To predict a fabrics probable behavior, you must know its content and finishes, also how much it will shrink and exactly how it should be cared for. The most reliable source of such information is the end-of-bolt label or store tag.

Rule #4

A successfully chosen garment fabric will be of good quality for your money
  • To recognize quality or its opposite, you must become aware of the characteristics that signify excellence and those that disguise inferiority. The distinguishing features are often small and subtle, and detectable only to an experienced eye. There are some more obvious criteria, however, that can be used to the advantage by novice and experienced shoppers alike…
  1. Weave shouldn’t be firm: You can test this by scratching the surface; if the threads shift easily, the garment seams may be inclined to slip or develop holes around the stitching.
  2. Weave should be uniform: Hold it up to the light and check for any unusually thick or thin areas. A fabric that has them would not wear evenly. The light test will also show up any weak spots or imperfections.
  3. Filler yarns should meet selvages at right angels. Yarns at an oblique angle mean fabric is off-grain
  4. Dye color should be even and look fresh. If there is a crease-line, check whether color has rubbed off on it. This could indicate poor dye quality and also pose a problem in cutting.
  5. Print colors should be even with no white spots showing through them, except in areas that are clearly meant to be white (Note: exception would be tie dye’s and batiks that often reflect natural irregularities due to nature of the hand technique)
  6. A print that is geometric or otherwise symmetrical should meet the selvages at a right angle. An irregular print can’t be corrected.
  7. No powdery dust should appear when the fabric is rubbed between the fingers. Visible powder is an indication of too much sizing, a frequent device for concealing poor quality
  8. Fabric should shed wrinkles after crushing. If it does not, the garment will always look rumpled (Note: An exception to this rule of thumb is linen whose natural tendency is to do otherwise and is not an indicator of a poor quality fabric)
  9. Notice after ascertaining the fabric’s stretch, whether it returns to its original dimensions. A knit that does not recover completely may sag or stretch our of shape in wearing.
  10. Lightly but firmly tug fabric in opposite directions. Weak fibers that tear at the tension indicate a fabric with compromised integrity.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Invisible Zipper Application

I saw this technique this morning on how to insert an invisible zipper by Kenneth King. This was given to Kenneth by Linda Maynard. Kenneth is my favorite designer and if he uses this technique, then it's good enough for me.  This technique will not have the little bump at the bottom of the invisible zipper that you have with the usual installation process.  It has a few more steps but it comes out impeccable!!  Add this to your collection.

Monday, November 12, 2018


Has anyone one besides me noticed how cheap zippers are in jackets and sweatshirts anymore?  I just replaced the zippers in three hoodie sweatshirts for my husband and this school jacket for my granddaughter.  I am a pro at it now.  This is not my first time at this task.  This job happens every fall.  I really think this is the easiest technique to use.  First, do not remove the old zipper.  When you do this, the sweatshirt and jacket material just stretches out of shape terribly and, your new zipper will never fit.  What I want you to do is just very carefully remove the teeth from the zipper already in the jacket with your scissors.  You might have to remove a few threads to get your small scissors in to start cutting as shown in the first picture.  Go very slow so you do not cut into the material.

 After just removing the zipper teeth, then run your hands up and down the zipper tape that is still in the jacket or sweatshirt and remove all of the frays or strings that are sticking out.  Some will pull out and others will  need cut off.

 Now I laid my new zipper on top of the old zipper tape still in the jacket and made sure the zipper was exactly at the bottom of the jacket, I pinned it to hold it in place until I could get it under my presser foot.  Make sure you have your zipper right side up.

Now sew in the new zipper just holding it in place as you sew.  I did change and put on my zipper foot.  As you can see in the picture, I sewed by just following down the exact sewing line that was already holding in the old zipper tape.  

I folded the zipper tape in half diagonally and tucked it under the top of the zipper when I reached the top of my jacket.  I also cut and removed some of the hard ends off of the actual zipper tape so it would not be uncomfortable on her neck.

Sew on the other side zipper exactly the same and you are finished.  I did add another row of stitching on the very edge of the jacket right by the zipper teeth.  I did that because this was the way it was previously sewn on the jacket.  You will now never know it was replaced and it looks very professional.
Please jot me a note if you like this post!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

All In One Facings!!

This is one of my very favorite videos, but every time I want to use it, I need a refresher course.
It just amazes me how this works.  I will put it on my blog in case you ever need to refer to it.

The last time I used this technique was for a wedding dress.  It was a mother's dress from the 60's and it had long sleeves.  The daughter wanted it altered  to be sleeveless.  I was a nervous wreck, but it turned out beautiful.  I had to take the whole bodice apart and take out the zipper on the dress.  What a difference that a little change can make for a dress.  She looked beautiful in it and it really gave it an updated look.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Hemming Your Garment!

One of the most tell tale signs of a home made garment is the hem.  I struggled with this for years, but now I pretty much have it down pat.  As the video tells you, I also have had people pick up my garment and look at the hem.  I sometimes think they don't believe I made it and I guess a poor hem proves that I did!  That is why I concentrate on making my hems as perfect as I can.  Here are some tips!!  Just click on the link, this is a very good video to keep in your sewing files.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Cobb Shoes - So Amazing!!

I don't know if you are like me, but when I see some fantastic way of sewing, I just have to share it.  This cobbler, Dr. Marten, shows how Cobb shoes are made.  Only 50 people in the factory.  I think I have a pair of Cobb shoes.  I am going to have to check that out.

Watch this video, it is truly amazing!!!  I watched with my granddaughter and we were both mesmerized.  I  told her I would love to go there and play with the machines and make her a pair of shoes!!!  She said I will take them!  They are just so fast!!

Click on the link below:

Image may contain: 1 person, shoes

Saturday, June 23, 2018


I saw this on Facebook a couple of months ago and bought the pattern.  This little wristlet turned out really cute!  You can, of course, choose your own colors and I decided to make a pink color.

It sews out all in one hooping, but it did take pretty much part of a good day.  Once you do it, I am sure the second and third would be much faster.  LOL  I went slowly so I didn't make any mistakes!!  

If anyone is interested in the pattern, you can get it off of Etsy.

The cost is $8.00 but I didn't pay that much.  I think it was on sale when I purchased it.

It is shown in an aqua blue color.

It brought a big smile to my granddaughter!