Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Better Sewing in 2016 Part 2

Sew clothing for yourself. Not only is this a great way to improve your sewing, it will hone other valuable skills.

Sewing has given me a deeper appreciation for what works for me. If I am spending the time to make something it better look great. There is a gal I found on Facebook who does workshops that really help to find your own personal style. I just did the free version of dressing your truth and discovered a lot about myself and why I feel better in certain fabrics, colors and patterns. I recommend you get very clear about your own style before spending money on fabric and patterns.
Once you know what to make, there is lots of help to be had at my favorite educational website, Craftsy, where I am an affiliate.  For the moto jacket I am wearing above, you need this class. It comes with the pattern. Janet Pray walks you though making a gorgeous lined jacket. I felt like I was in an in person class one-on-one with her. I am going to do her jeans jacket class too. She makes the cutest jackets! There are classes for just about everything you can think to sew. The dress I am wearing above is a hacked version of a Vogue vintage pattern 8728. I did a very short blog post about it with a couple more photos. If you want to know the details of the pattern hack, I can share that on my pattern hackers facebook page
If you have been out of the loop for a while and you want to start sewing again with something quick and easy, check this out. Craftsy has kits. You get the fabric and the pattern. Right now the prices are amazing. You won't believe it. I love the fabric quality, and there are lots of styles to choose from. Check it out.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Better Sewing in 2016 Part 1

To get better at anything, you have to do it more, you have to practice. If one of your resolutions is to learn to sew or to improve your sewing skills this year, there are a couple of things I would recommend. First, quilting.  I am talking about cutting fabric apart and putting it back together: measuring, cutting, and sewing - you need to get good at these things if you want to make great things of any kind with your sewing machine. The skills you will improve by piecing quilts are accurate measuring, accurate cutting, sewing with accurate seam allowances, pressing, and overall attention to detail.  After the quilt top is pieced, you get to quilt it. The skills you will gain by quilting the quilt yourself are the ability to handle layers of fabrics and batting, planning, and patience. Please feel free to chime in if you feel I have left out one of the skills you have gained through quilting. I cannot recommend quilting highly enough as a way to get back into sewing if you have been out of it. I even asked the affiliate folks at Craftsy to create a link for me to promote their quilting kits. There are some amazing deals to get you back in the swing of things without having to go to the fabric store. I am talking under $30 to make a quilt! Check them out. http://www.craftsy.com/ext/CherieKillilea_quiltkits And if you have fabrics already but need a class to help you improve those skills, here is a great one to get you going:
Easy Piecing - Amazing Design. I have a pieced quilt top that I haven't quilted yet, so I will be pouring over the many machine quilting classes to inspire me for that project. Here is one I am excited about, featuring 5 of the top quilting instructors in the country: Top Techniques for Big Quilts.
Keep in touch. I would love to see a picture of you, happily lounging on a quilt you made.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Fabric tassels

A couple of people have asked me about fraying on the fabric tassels, so I thought it would be good to show you here.  I have used my tassel daily, attached to my car key - shoving it in my pocket and hiking probably about 100 miles over the Summer and Fall with it. It gets fuzzy and curly but does not fray. I need to wash it now and see what happens, or I might need to move on the a new one. This is what it looks like now. They are fun to make. Maybe some last minute gifts to whip up with scraps? Here is the pattern: http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/sewing/other/fabric-tassels-how-to/147594

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Sewing Bee round 4

This is my rough draft made from polo shirts left behind by my ex. A lot of the sewing gals got a kick out of my "revenge shirt."
This is the one I entered in the contest. Made from thrift store polos because I could not find cool knitted fabrics by the yard.
I just realized I never wrapped up the Sewing Bee here on the blog. I didn't win, but I am happy with what I made. The final challenge was to make something for the Olympics. I made a golf uniform, since golf will be a new sport this year and yoga is not an Olympic sport. Yoga clothes are what I would have most used. It was super fun to sew challenges along with so many talented women from all over the world. I want to do more with Pattern Review this coming year. See the winner, who made a spectacular ensemble, here. The shirt is on my list of patterns I want to write up and release for you. It is a monumental task to grade that many pattern pieces and get it all into PDF format though...

How to make 5 yards of bias binding from 18" of fabric

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

And the winner is

Rozy Rosly from my email newsletter list is the winner of the free Craftsy Upholstery class! Thank you to all of you who emailed me and messaged me to put your name in the hat. I think you will all love Cynthia's class. Here is my affiliate link again to the upholstery class.