Monthly Archives: February 2014

My stretch knit gaucho pants are finished. Come and have a look.

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This is a photo of one of the side seams.  This is a straight stitch for stretch knits on my machine.  It looks like I have finally got the tension just right.  I must say that I am very impressed with how easily my machine sews this fabric.  It is very smooth and I did not encounter any problems.

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These are the different stitches that I have to choose from on my Singer sewing machine.  The stitches in red are the stretch stitches.  I also used a size 12 ballpoint needle that is specifically for stretch knits.

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When it came to the casing for the elastic I stitched the seam allowances down that would be in the casing to allow a bit more ease when running the elastic through.

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Another one of the many things that I have learned on this project is that it is easier to pin the fabric going with the grain/knit rather than trying to pin across it.

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I hope that it is not too difficult to see this stitching.  I did not want to do a boring straight stitch so I used a more decorative stitch for the hem and the casing.  It won’t stand out because the thread is matching but it was another opportunity for me to use another stitch on this project.

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This is my finished project and I am so very pleased with it.  I do plan on making many more garments out of stretch knit fabric.  I just don’t have anymore.  Voguefashionfabric.com here I come!

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Stretch knit pants, ………. I really don’t know what I am doing.

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Here is my new project.  I am making the gaucho pants that I am pointing at.  The top, dress and gaucho pants are to be made out of stretch fabric.  I am  making these pants for two reasons.  First,  in a previous post, I told you that I was ‘in love’ with sewing stretch knits.  I want to give it another try.  Second, I need some stretch knit pants to go to stretch/yoga sessions.  Being as vertically challenged as I am, I have to make my own.  I am making these pants out of the red stretch knit fabric in the background.  I hope that it is medium weight stretch knit.  I have no idea.  It seems that way.

This is such a different experience for me.  Handling the fabric, laying the fabric straight to pin the pattern down and cutting it out, which needle to use, how much tension to set the machine for, etc.  I have started sewing the gaucho pants and I encountered some challenges immediately and I will share that with you now.

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This is not the best picture but I think that you can see that the thread is much to large.  No problem, I have smaller thread.  Wind a new bobbin.  Here is the next challenge that came along.

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This is not a great picture either.  I will have much better pictures in the next blog post where I show you how I finish this project.  There seems to be loose stitches along the seam.  I know that with woven fabric this usually means that the tension is too loose.  Is it that way with knit fabric?  I guess I am going to find out.  I tightened the tension a bit and the seam improved so much.  If you come back tomorrow I will provide good pictures and you can see how well (I hope) things are going.

Steps to tea dyeing/staining.

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Steps to tea dyeing/staining.

This is a post that I made a year ago about tea dyeing a garment. I am so fond of tea dyeing that I thought that I would reblog this post.

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The last time that I washed this shirt I did not use bleach but something obviously happened.  Well, I really like this shirt but I don’t really want to wear it like this.  I have decided to tea dye/stain this shirt to hopefully even the color out a bit.  While I am at it I have decide to throw in some small white crocheted doilies that I have.  A natural fiber fabric or garment must be used.  Some examples of this include cotton and linen.  Since silk is a natural fiber I am assuming that it will accept the coloring from the tea.  I do not know this for sure since I have never tried it.  If anyone knows for sure I would appreciate a comment on it.

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I do not recommend using expensive tea bags.  As seen here I am using tea bags for iced tea because they are…

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Stamping, stamping, stamping ………

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I had a tunic that I made, a great wooden stamp that I purchased from a shop on Etsy and some fabric ink.  What am I going to do with this?   Hmmmmmm.   What pattern on the tunic?  I would like to show you what I came up with.

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This is the front view.  The tunic was white but it is so difficult to keep a white garment white that I tea dyed it.  Then I mixed two colors of fabric ink together, green and metallic bronze.  I used the brayer to apply the ink to the stamp and I got busy.

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This is the left side.

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This is the back view.  I don’t think that I did too much.  This definitely adds interest to the tunic.  At least I think so.

I have never sewn with stretch knit before …….. until now. WOW!

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I have never sewn much with stretch knits.  I have mostly applied and applique or mended a hole.  This is a first for me.  What a great experience that it turned out to be.  My project is to make a “therapeutic pillow”.  This pillow is to be for the purpose of resting my neck.  I am not going into details but I do have numerous issues with my neck due to injuries.  Therefore, I need a pillow to help with providing support to my neck.  I am using this pattern but again I am making changes to suit what I need.  This first picture shows the pattern that I am using and the fabric.  This fabric is a stretch French terry.  I have avoided stretch knits because I have always heard that sewing knits is difficult while I was growing up.  I have been so wrong.

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This is a picture of the pillow according to directions.  There is nothing wrong with this pillow but it did not work for what I need.  Therefore, I am changing it.  I do hope that it works.

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I have always been told that one of the biggest challenges with sewing knit fabrics is the stitch and the needle.  For this fabric I chose a size 14 ballpoint needle.  For the stitch I chose a stretch stitch on my wonderful Singer sewing machine.  This is what my sample stitch looks like.  I would say that it is a winner and this was my first attempt.

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All pieces sewn together and the pillow has been turned right-side out.  Now I must stuff it.  Ideally I would use micro-pellets or buckwheat.  I am using the common fiberfill on these first attempts just to try out the pillow to see if it is going to work.

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Here it is.  I does look a bit lumpy I am sorry to say.  However, this is a VERY comfortable pillow.  I am pleased with the outcome of it.

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This is a closer shot of the pillow.  I will be making more of these and I will definitely be sewing with knit fabrics much more often.  Eventually I would like to have some of these pillows in our shop.

Addendum:

When my husband got home I gave him the first one that I had made.  I was already in the process of making another one for myself.  He said, “Thanks.” and put it behind his neck.  Then he said that it was perfect and proceeded to commence to snoring.  He has worked 14 days straight and the last 5 days have been 12 hour days.  He is 50 years old.

This pillow is perfect for him because it does not curve around like a horseshoe and make him sweat.  If his head rolls to the side, it has support from the ‘dog-bone’ shape.  The second one that I made today was for me and it too is perfect.