Category Archives: Sewing

angela wolf exposed zipper

How to Sew Exposed Zippers in Jeans and Jeggings!

With October’s Wardrobe Challenge including zippers, I thought now would be a good time to share a few easy ways to embellish with exposed zippers.

exposed zipe

A fun way to change the look of a pair of jeans is to embellish the leg with an exposed zipper.  Follow along:

angelawolfexposedzip1Supplies Needed:

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Step 1: On the wrong side of the fabric, mark the center of the pant leg (could be front or back, wherever you want the zipper).

If marking an existing pair of jeans, rip out the hem at least 5″ from each side of new mark. Press the fusible interfacing along the newly marked center line.

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Step 2: Mark the hem, hem allowance, and the length of the zipper opening down center of the pant leg.

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Step 3: Determine the width of the zipper opening (depends on the width of the zipper teeth).  Draw in opening, top edge, and then add a triangle from the center cut line to each corner (as shown above).

angelawolfexposedzip5Step 4: Cut along center marking.  Cut each triangle point (if you are worried about the fabric fraying, add Fray Check to the top corners)

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Step 5: Press the seam allowances back and press triangle tip up.

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Step 6: Line up the zipper with the metal teeth in the center of the opening.  Check the placement of the zipper stop and zipper tab.

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Step 7: Fold back the zipper tape and press in place at the hemline.

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Step 8:  Pin zipper in place.

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Step 9:  In this example, I am using standard polyester thread, cotton or silk thread would work too.  Set the sewing machine to a triple stitch and lengthen the stitch length to 4.0.  (Note:  if you don’t have this feature, use denim thread, straight stitch, stitch length 4.0)

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Step 10: Stitch along the edge of the zipper.  Open and close the zipper as needed in order to get the foot by the zipper tab.  angelawolfexposedzip17Step 11:  Notice how I have lined up the edge of the zipper foot with the metal teeth, a very easy to get a straight stitch  … or this would be a great time to utilize the laser vision guide feature on your machine! :)

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Step 12: Press up the hem with the tailor’s clapper for a crisp crease.  By the way, did I mention WAWAK Sewing is now carrying my tailor’s clapper!  Yeah!

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Step 13: Hem the jeans and move onto the other leg.

That’s it! Now this is just one quick, easy way to install a hidden zipper.  I will give you some more ideas next time.

Cheers,

Angela Wolf

 

WAWAK_SEWING  Angela_Wolf_DVD_Cover__70546_1405390138_1280_1280

fishing

Designer Wardrobe Challenge – Fabricate with Applique!

win-n-angel fishingMany of you have asked about the design on the cover of June’s wardrobe challenge and I can’t think of any better way to get back on the blogging roll. Where have I been hiding? Actually, I have been traveling quite a bit: some for work, visiting family, and of course getting a little fishing in.

I keep my blog notebook with me and write ideas and topics when the inspiration comes. The book is getting pretty full, so the good news is I am back from my trips and have caught up on all my crazy tight deadlines (what a breath of fresh air :) ) and now I have the time to blog, yeah!

I have spent the last two weeks sewing and embroidering up a storm. I am excited to share what I have been working on and ready to get going on the wardrobe challenge … I need some summer clothes!

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June’s Challenge – Fabricate!

First, I have some great fabricating techniques to share with you; therefore, I am extending the deadline for June’s Challenge until July 31st. There will still be a separate July challenge, but with summer in most of our backyards, this will give you more time.

Fab-ri-cate (from dictionary.com unabridged – based on the Random House Dictionary)

  1. To make by art or skill and labor; construct
  2. To make by assembling parts or sections
  3. To devise or invent
  4. To fake; forge

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That definition pretty much leaves the door open for ultimate creativity, wouldn’t you say? One idea includes designing your own fabric or altering a fabric into something totally different, which is what I did with the above jacket.

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The fabric used for the applique trimming is a polyester / satin. A lightweight fabric with fabulous drape, perfect for a blouse or lining (both of which I plan to add to jacket).  That fabric, if left alone, would be a nightmare to create appliques or cut-outs, so I fabricated – sounds like a bad word :) !

heat and bondThe trick – Heat N Bond, now available from my favorite place WAWAK Sewing and comes in 5 yard and 35 yard pieces. At first I wasn’t too sure about this stuff, but basically you iron it to the back of the fabric and it makes it easier for you to cut out an applique – especially if you are using the Brother Scan-n-Cut

 

 

 

This is how easy an applique can be:

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  • Choose a design – for the sleeve I enlarged a design already in the scan-n-cut memory.
  • Place the bonded fabric onto the cutting mat (the paper backing on the heat –n-bond makes it easy to stick)
  • Press the start button (told you it was easy!)

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Peel off the backing and place the appliques on the garment.

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Once you have the perfect placement, use a press cloth and press the applique in place.  Notice I attach the appliques before sewing the sleeve together.

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Even though the cut of the scan-n-cut prevents the fabric edges from fraying, I still stitch the applique in place. I choose the blanket stitch and stitched around each applique. That took some time, but it looks great.  Almost looks like leather!

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I followed all those steps for the jacket front and again used a blanket stitch.

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Of course I could cut these appliques by hand, but I really like the fact that all the front pieces are exactly the same! By the way, don’t look too closely at my studio – can you tell I have been working :)angela wolf #wardrobechallenge

 

Well, that’s one fun way to fabricate, much more to come.  Have you ever tried appliqueing apparel?

 

Cheers,

Angela Wolf

How to sew a double fold narrow hem DIY11

Compare: Rolled Hem Foot, Ball Hemmer Foot, and Spring Hemmer Foot on an Industrial Sewing Machine

How to sew a double fold narrow hem DIY26There are so many sewing machine feet to choose from, it can get overwhelming deciding which foot is best for the job.  Why bother, right?  If using a specific foot for a specific job could drastically cut the sewing time down and offer professional looking results, wouldn’t you want to try?  I sure would.

Home sewing machines usually come with a fabulous manual explaining what each foot is for and a tutorial explaining how to use it.  Industrial machines don’t always offer such advice, at least mine didn’t.  With a 5 page manual, written in a language I don’t speak, I am surprised I got the thing put together in the first place!  I don’t use this machine as frequently as all the others, mainly because it’s loud, doesn’t have a thread cutting feature and I don’t have any accessories for it.  I bought it for speed and that it has.

Scanning the list of additional feet for industrial machines, I found the feet to be are very inexpensive, but again I ran into the issue of which foot is the right foot for the job.  I thought I would start testing some of these feet and share with you my findings.

A Narrow Rolled Hem

I sew a lot of garments with sheer fabrics (especially this months wardrobe challenge;  Dress the Part) and my go-to stitch is usually a narrow rolled hem on the serger – its super fast and looks professional.  But sometimes a rolled hem on the sewing machine would be more appropriate. I found 3 different feet for the industrial machine:

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From left to right: Rolled Hem Foot, Ball Hemmer Foot, Double Fold Spring Hemmer Foot

Rolled Hem Foot

You have probably seen the Rolled Hem Foot, as it comes with most home sewing machines.  This is the only foot I had ever seen used for the job.  It does make a rolled hem easy, but has its challenges as well.  Getting over thick seams can be interesting and sometimes the fabric doesn’t feed evenly.  Of course there are tricks:How to sew a double fold narrow hem DIY35

  • Hold the fabric to the left side of the foot as it feeds into the machine and trimming seam allowances for less bulk.

 

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Results:  A nice rolled hem, I had to use the tweezers to get the fabric started and the rolled hem is a little uneven.  With practice this foot will work.

If you have an industrial machine, you have more options and each offers different results:

Ball Hemmer Foot

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This foot has a plate that covers the front feed dogs allowing the fabric to feed perfectly.  You can see the ball at the tip of the foot, the fabric will roll over that ball as it double folds into a narrow hem.  I must say, I love this foot!  This is how it works:

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  • Feed the fabric into the foot, above the plate.  Notice how the place covers the front feed dogs. Insert the fabric the same way you would for the rolled hem foot.

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  • The fabric folds over the ball.

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  • Hold the fabric a little to the left side of the foot as the fabric feeds into the foot (as shown above).  Stitch.

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  •  Results:  A perfect narrow hem!  This foot offers the easiest rolled hem I have ever tried!  I hardly had to do anything with the fabric except guide it into the foot.  I even sewed at a high-speed and the rolled hem is perfectly even.  A definite A+++++

Double Fold Spring Hemmer Foot

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The “spring” part is what intrigued me about this foot.  You can see the foot looks very similar to the Ball Hemmer Foot, yet there is not a ball.  Instead, there is a movable area that the fabric will go through. Look closely, this is the back of the foot:

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Looking at the left photo first: see the corner touching my finger tip.  When I do nothing with that corner, the opening on the foot remains unchanged (see opening at yellow arrow).

Take a look at the right photo:  Here I have pushed that corner in and the opening gets larger (see yellow arrow).

Now we know what the “spring” means.  This opening adjusts for the thickness of fabric as the fabric flows through.

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  • There is a plate protecting the fabric from the front feed dogs, just like the ball hemmer.  Slide the fabric on the top of the plate.

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  • Again, feed the fabric into the foot and stitch.

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Results:  Another perfect rolled hem!  Just as easy as the ball hemmer foot.

My favorite foot for the rolled hem on silk charmeuse is the Ball Hemmer Foot. The rolled hem was a little thicker than the other two and perfect!

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What about crossing seams and thicker fabrics?  I will test these and more, and let you know the results.  So far both feet are winners!

I also have to check to see if these feet will work on my Brother PQ1500.  The PQ1500 straight stitch machine is just like an industrial machine with speed and ease of use, plus it’s not attached to a large table and easy to move around.  Fingers crosses on that one!  Otherwise, I have my eye on the Brother Industrial Machine used on Project Runway.  Do you have an industrial machine? Have you tried these rolled hem feet?

Cheers!

Angela Wolf

 

 

 

www.fashionsewingwithangelawolf.com

Creative Serging with Crochet Thread – Flatlock Stitching!

A little creative serging! I mentioned I am finishing up a serging book. The book has challenged me to play with new threads, new stitches, new serging feet, and more. I wanted to share a quick serging stitch that you might find useful for restyling or adding embellishment to one of your outfits.

How to sew with creative serging -  Angela Wolf

This is a 3-thread flatlock stitch with a decorative crochet thread in the upper looper.   The left needle and lower looper have a similar color polyester thread.  The photo above shows the front of the flatlock stitch and the backside.  The backside looks like a ladder stitch.  (the peach thread is just the serged edge of the seam).

How to sew with creative serging - Angela Wolf

I started with a basic gored skirt.  The front has 2 seams and after I finished flatlocking those two seams I decided to add embellishment to the center front.  So the center front really does not have a seam.  This would be a great way to create unique fabric!

How to sew a creative serged seam with Angela Wolf

Here is the back view.  Again there are 2 seams on each side back and this time there is a real seam down the center back with a hidden zip. In order for this stitching to look even, because of the zipper, I stitched the flat-felled embellishment down the edge of each center back seam, then added the zipper and closed the seam.  That part got a little tricky and you can see the stitches are not perfectly even.  I haven’t decided if I am going to rip it out and start again or hope nobody is looking at my tush that closely to notice :)

Stitch Tutorial:

  • Set your serger up for a 3-thread overlock – I will be using the Brother Project Runway 5434PRW and the standard setting for the needle and looper tensions are 4.  When I give you new tension numbers you can compare this with your machine.  If you are serging on the Babylock air-threading serger set up your serger for the 2-thread flatlock – wide.
  • Thread the upper looper (or the only looper for the 2-thread flatlock) with a decorative thread.  Use standard poly serging thread in the needle and lower looper.

 

crochet thread wawalDecorative Thread Ideas:

 

Get the idea –  be creative!


 

Next, there are a few changes to the serger settings:

Stitch Width: 5mm

Stitch Length: 2-4mm

Needle Tension:  Decrease to 0 -3 (remember my standard setting is 4 so adjust for your serger)

Upper Looper Tension:  Decrease  to 2 – 3

Lower Looper Tension: Increase to 6 – 9

Disengage the knife

These setting serve as a guide.  It will depend on the fabric and thread you end up serging with.

Blind Hem Stitch Foot

See if you have a Blind Hem Foot, if not you can use a standard foot.

There is a setting on the foot that moves to the right and left, allowing the needle to pierce more or less of the fabric.  Test the stitch on your fabric to determine the setting.

Fold the fabric in half or if you are embellishing a seam,  fold along the seam line.   Align the fabric along the shield on the blind hem foot (if using a standard foot, mark a spot to align with).

Flat lock stitching with Angela Wolf

The idea is for the needle to pierce the fabric –  half the stitch is on the fabric and half is off the fabric.  In fact the stitches look really messy coming out of the serger!

flat lock stitching with angela wolf

Stretch out the folded fabric to lie flat and press.

flat lock stitching with Angela Wolf

Pretty simple, but so fun!  Have you ever tried this before?  I would love some more ideas for decorative threads or yarns to use with this stitch.

wawak brother serger 1034D
Sale on Brother Serger at http://www.wawak.com

Today is officially the end of National Serging month, did any of you pick up a good deal on a serger?

If you are thinking of adding a basic serger to the sewing room, really inexpensively, take a look at this Brother 1034D – on sale for $217 and free shipping!  I had to double-check that, kind of thought it was a misprint  :)  I have no idea how long the sale is on for or how many are in stock, but that is a great deal.

I will post March’s winners tomorrow evening.  Don’t forget to get April’s photos posted on Flickr and share your pinterest board before Thursday!  Good luck everyone :)

Looking for more creative serging ideas?  Join my on Craftsy with 50% OFF today!
Looking for more creative serging ideas? Join my online class Creative Serging – Beyond the Basics. Click here to get 50% OFF today!

xoxo

Angela Wolf

 

 

 

www.fashionsewingwithangelawolf.com

Simply Serged! April’s Wardrobe Challenge How to Sew Simple Apparel

April wardrobe challenge short

As we plug along with the wardrobe challenge, last month offered a chance for sewing designer jeans.  Jeans have become a staple in many of our wardrobes and after you get the hang of the fitting (I still have a few blog posts coming to help) and sewing techniques, jeans can really be fun to sew!  Taking in consideration that jeans can take a while to finish, I am adding an ongoing monthly prize for the best jeans on the Wardrobe Challenge flickr group!  I know many of you mentioned you were not finished and others might join the wardrobe challenge throughout the year – jeans are my favorite and now you can win each month by adding a new pair of jeans :)

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Onto April’s Challenge – Simply Serged!

This challenge is to come up with fashionable apparel that is quick and easy to finish, yet doesn’t look it.  I am a little selfish on this challenge as I am trying to finish my new serging book (available next spring) and if you all are working on serged outfits, I thought that would inspire me to finish faster :)  Also, this month is National Serging Month – not sure what that really means, except you will probably get a good deal on buying a serger if you are in the market for one. :)   The serger offers so much more than finishing seams and after sewing jeans or a couture jacket, it is so nice to jump on the serger and finish a silk top in less than an hour!  Take a look at this top:

The Angel Skinny Jean  #AW4212    Angela Wolf

Fabric:  Silk Charmeuse    Time: cut to finish 1 hour 30 minutes

Stitches: 3-thread overlock, coversitch, narrow rolled hem

This is just one example, but I will try to include some of my favorite creative stitches throughout the month.  I just received my new order from WAWAK Sewing  with a batch of thread.  I am trying out new ideas for the serger … I can hardly wait to test them and let you know the results!

Don’t have a serger?  Well, now is the time to buy one, but if you are not quite ready for one you can still participate in the wardrobe challenge on Pinterest.  I am still offering a prize for jeans on the Flickr group and you can still sew simple garments adding to your overall wardrobe.

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Make sure to say Thanks and Like the sponsors pages on Facebook:  Brother,  Threads Magazine, Sew Stylish Magazine, WAWAK Sewing, Coats & Clark, It’s Sew Easy TV, and me :)

That’s all for now, onto laying out my fabrics.   Are you enjoying the challenge so far?

Cheers & Happy Serging,

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Angela Wolf Hug-Snug WAWAK11

Product Review – Hug Snug Seam Binding for Hemming

Angela Wolf Hug-Snug WAWAK5

There are so many sewing products on the market, it can get overwhelming trying to decide which ones to try.  Here is one for you … Hug-Snug Seam Binding.  Take a look inside some of your nicer pants and skirts, you will often see a rich looking ribbon covering the hem allowance edge.  Hug-Snug is probably the ribbon you see.  This ribbon is 100% Rayon, has a satin finish and it comes in a TON of colors.

Angela Wolf Hug-Snug WAWAK8 Regardless if you are sewing a garment from scratch or doing alterations, this is a fast, professional looking hem and it’s really easy:

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Press up the hem.  Working on the right side of the fabric, align the ribbon over the raw edge of the hem allowance.

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The edge of the fabric should land in the middle of the ribbon.  Stitch along the edge of the ribbon.  (I am using contrasting color ribbon and thread so it’s easier to see :))

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The above photo shows the single stitch line and how the ribbon covers the fabric raw edge.

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Attach the ribbon all the way around the hem.  When you get to the end, trim the ribbon leaving 2″ – 3″ extra.

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Stitch  just past the starting point …

… fold under the end of the ribbon, enclosing the raw edge of the ribbon.

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Turn the fabric and stitch the folded edge of the ribbon in place.

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The ribbon is attached, covering all raw edges.  Hem the garment as usual, using the edge of the ribbon as the hem allowance edge.  The ribbon is so much thinner than fabric and really makes a perfect blind hem!    Below I am using a blind hem machine:

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Notice how the ribbon edge is connected to the garment, finishing the hem.  If using the blind hem stitch on a sewing machine or hand-stitching the hem in place, do the same thing; connect the edge of the ribbon to the fabric.

I told you it’s easy!  Again, Hug-Snug Seam Binding comes in a ton of colors:

Hug Snug colors WAWAK

I borrowed this color chart from WAWAK SEWING SUPPLIES.  In fact, if you want to give this product a try, WAWAK is offering 10% off until March 31st.

How are the jeans coming along for the wardrobe challenge?  Don’t forget to upload your photos to the Flickr group, there are some really cute outfits showing up :)

Cheers,

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ANGELAWOLFJEANS101

Sewing Pattern Alterations – Fitting a Jean Pattern for a Round Stomach

Sewing jeans are really easy once you get the hang of the process, but fitting the pattern can be challenging. The next few posts are going to deal with exactly that, fitting various body shapes. This pattern alteration is needed if you have a fuller stomach, in the old days referred to as an apple shape.  Although, I am not sure where the fruit terms originated from, I really don’t like them.  I would rather be a glass!  Wine glass, red wine glass, martini glass, goblet, water-glass,  I think you get the idea.  It just sounds a little more glamorous than an apple or pear :)    Anyway, if you made up a jean muslin and the pattern fit great in the legs, hips, and tush, but you just can’t get that center front closed … here you go:

Fitting a Jean Pattern for a Round Stomach

1.  Tape the front pocket in place.  Start by drawing lines on your pattern (don’t cut yet):

  • Draw a line (green) across the hip and up to the tip of the side seam.
  • Draw 2 lines (purple) perpendicular to the green line,

Angela Wolf Pattern Alteration 12.   Cut along the green line, cutting up to the side seam put NOT through the edge.

Angela Wolf Pattern Alteration 2

3.  Slide the pattern open.  Look what happens, you just gave a little more room in the front tummy area in the width and height of the pattern.

Angela Wolf Pattern Alteration 3

4.  The upper waist curve is too extreme if left like this.  Cut each purple line, down to the green line, but NOT through it.  Slide each line open until the waist curve angles down more like the original pattern.

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5.  Redraw a new waistline and center front crotch curve (red line).

Angela Wolf Pattern Alteration 5

If you are having difficulty redrawing the front crotch curve, slide the pattern back together.  Mark the bottom edge of the facing area and trim off the front fly facing.  Follow all the steps and then tape the front facing back in place once the new center front is drawn in, lining up the facing with the marking on the pattern.  Draw a line extending the facing up to the waistline  ( I used this pattern piece, because I knew someone would ask about that).

Here is your new front pattern piece, use this for the front and left, of course one will have a front facing section and the other will not.  This is the same alteration for any pant style when you need a little more room in the tummy area.

How are your jeans coming along for March’s wardrobe challenge?  The judges are almost finished with February’s winners, hope to announce them this weekend.

SPECIAL OFFER FROM WAWAK SEWING!

Looking to stock up on jean sewing supplies – zippers, jean thread, jean buttons … WAWAK Sewing is offering $10 off the next order of $80 or more!  This offer is good until March 31st, use PROMO CODE:  WAGW314 when checking out.  What a great treat for the jean challenge!  Thanks WAWAK! :)

That’s all for today :)  Sun is shining and snow is melting, thank goodness!!!!

 

 

March’s Wardrobe Challenge … Sewing Designer Jeans!

wardrobe challenge marchWhat an impressive finish to February’s challenge, Ruching & Shirring. The photos posted on flickr are fabulous!  Take a second and click on over and see what these talented sewer’s came up with, such creativity!  And don’t be surprised if you see one of your photo’s on my blog, I have added  pictures from the wardrobe challenge flickr group to the right side of the page.  The photos randomly change, so enjoy previewing the outfits as they arrive  :)

And the pinterest side of the challenge …  I periodically scan each of your “wardrobe challenge boards” and I must say, my mind is filled with new ideas to add to my apparel, what inspiration!  Don’t forget you can follow each others wardrobe challenge boards, inspire each other to sew :)  February’s winners will be announced soon, the judges are busy at work.  In the meantime, let’s talk jeans …

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March’s Challenge is to design, sew, and restyle jeans.  Many of you have mentioned a fear of sewing jeans.  The fit and the fly are the main concern, guess what – there are great patterns and so many resources to help you along, now it’s time to jump in!

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My online class Sewing Designer Jeans on Craftsy launched last October and we are just shy of 5,000 students.  Now that’s a lot of jean sewer’s  :).  This class walks you through the entire process of sewing jeans from cutting to the final hem.  And just to promote my Wardrobe Challenge, here is a 50% off for the entire month of March.  Worried about fit,  join my Altering Pants class on Patternreview (which is also on sale)  where you can post photo’s of your muslin for personal fitting advice.  Looking for a few free tips, refer to the jean category on my blog.  There are even video tutorials for sewing pockets.  Now you have not excuse not to give it a try.

Patterns

ThereAngela Wolf patterns 2013 -209 are so many jean patterns available now.  My Angel Bootcut Jean Pattern is my go-to pattern, I taper the legs for skinny jeans, raise and lower the rise, offers a contour waistband for fit and it’s easy to adapt denim with stretch or without.  The sizing currently goes up to size 16 (but I promise I am working on the sizing 16W – 24W sometime in 2014).  Use coupon code MARCHMADNESS for 20% off all jean supplies in my store (yes, that includes rivets, jean buttons, and the It’s Sew Easy jean dvd :)).  My two other favorite jean patterns … Jalie and Jennifer Stern’s ( I adore Jennifer, she is my jean buddy).  You can find reviews for both on PatternReview.com.

Well, that’s enough to get started!  This month I will share major fitting solutions for jeans and much, much more.  Check out March’s Wardrobe Challenge page (now located at the top right) for all the details on the pinterest challenge and flickr info.  Are you new to the challenge and need an invite to pinterest, email me info@angelawolf.com.  I would love you to join us!

Did I mention we have a new sponsor, Coats & Clark.  Yeah, just in time for denim thread!   Join me on Twitter to give a shout out of thanks to our sponsors:

angela_wolf_patterns001004  WAWAK sewing, Threads Magazine, Brother Sews, It’s Sew Easy TV, Coats & Clark

Well are you ready to give it a go?   Good luck!!!!!!

xoxo

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February’s Wardrobe Challenge Ruching and Shirring! January’s Winners Announced …

February Challenge logoJanuary’s challenge was just to get you in the mood to sew and it looks like it worked!  So many of you are posting fabrics and patterns you plan on tackling this year.  February’s challenge includes ruching and shirring.  If you can’t tell I am a little addicted to ruching, well that and dyeing fabrics.  I can hardly stand to wear a top without ruching somewhere and the best part is that it can be done so quickly!  I have used this technique on so many garments, which of course I will share all month.  The look is flattering and adds a custom look.

Here is an old post or below is a quick video showing my simple technique (by the way, this is an old video and there was obviously an issue with sound and it’s not in stereo.  Ignore that and enjoy the technique :))

For February, add anything and everything ruched and shirred.  This can be a casual garment or go all out with an evening dress, whatever will inspire you to sew  :)  In case you missed this, the challenges will be listed above under the link “Angela Wolf’s Wardrobe Challenge”.  At first I didn’t realize I had hidden the pages, so thanks to those that let me know. February’s challenge still takes place on Pinterest and adds another social venue for sharing photo’s, a flickr group.  This will be the location to enter your sewn or restyled garments.  For details on adding photo’s to this group click here.

February’s Pinterest: 

  • Follow me on Pinterest
  • Follow my Wardrobe Challenge 2014 board
  • Create your own board Wardrobe Challenge 2014 (you might have already finished the first 3 steps in January, you will be using the same wardrobe challenge board all year J)
  • Pin
    • adding hashtag #wardrobechallenge to the comments section pin inspiration for ruching and shirring.  Add at least one pin from each sponsor.
    • If you are entering February’s contest post a comment and link to your board right here.  It’s important to add a link to your pinterest board each month, then we know if you participated or not.

January 2014 Winners:

First of all, everyone’s boards are so inspiring!  Not that any of us need to spend any more time on Pinterest LOL, but this is really fun.  I have been scanning each of your wardrobe boards at night, it makes for really creative dreams :)  The judging was difficult, so the panel picked 3 top winners and randomly picked 2 more.  Congratulations Everyone!  If you are a winner contact me at info@angelawolf.com
Overall Best Wardrobe Ideas and over 100 pins!
1 year Threads Insider Membership winner Susie Dodd

Excellent pins and really went overboard supporting all the sponsors, not to mention she has well over 100 pins on her Wardrobe Challenge Board! 
$50 WAWAK sewing gift card winner Karla Hollett

This board is filled with fitting advice and tutorials, which is one of the most important parts of sewing success!
One Pattern, Many Ways Vol. 1 DVD winner Sandy Heller

The judges scanned all the Pinterest boards that were submitted in the January challenge and the ones that followed all the instructions, including pins from each sponsor were thrown into a hat … and the winners are:

It’s Sew Easy season 5 DVD winner Lori

Angela Wolf’s Create a Jacket Muslin on PatternReview.com Shawn Heiestand

Time-saving Sewing Tip! Pre-cut interfacing with Olfa in minutes!

I am thrilled to see all of the excitement for my 2014 Wardrobe Challenge! The month of January is so full of new years resolutions, crazy weather and catching up from the holidays, I wanted to make this month’s challenge simple and fun.  All you have to do is create a Pinterest board “wardrobe challenge 2014″ and pin photos that inspire you. This is not a trick, just post anything that inspires you to design and sew, this can be absolutely anything.  Ideas: colors, animals, architecture, food (that is the downfall of pinterest, everyone posts such fabulous looking food, I swear I can smell it through the computer screen!)  Pin something from each sponsor – that can be a repin from their pinterest board or pin something from their website and leave a comment here or on my pinterest board with a link to your new board.  In case you need the links to the sponsors here they are again:  Brother, Threads and Sew Stylish Magazines, WAWAK sewing, It’s Sew Easy, Angela Wolf Patterns, and some of you couldn’t find my pinterest page.  Again, if you need an invitation to pinterest email me info@angelawolf.com.  For more details on January’s Challenge, there is still a week to enter, then we move on to February’s challenge!  Good Luck :)

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Olfa 60mm Rotary Jumbo Cutter, Replacement Blade, and Cutting Mat from WAWAKsewing.com

Now, onto a quick time-saving tip.  When I sit down to sew, there are a few items that I quite often need and I find it faster to prepare these in advance.  One example is fusible interfacing: hemming jacket sleeves, plackets, zipper placement, bound button holes, these are just the first few areas I need the interfacing and to get up, unfold the interfacing and cut 1 strip is a total “time sucker”, my new word for the year!  For jacket hem’s I typically use 3″ to 4″ wide strips of interfacing and for the zipper placement 1″ to 1-1/2″ strips.

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This is light-weight fusible interfacing (HTC fusi-knit) and with two layers you can still see through the interfacing to line up the 1″ grid on the Olfa cutting mat.

Keeping the grainlines and stretch of the interfacing in mind:

  • cut strips parallel to the selvage 28″ long by 1 1/2″ wide.  The most common use for these strips is to support the center back seams on a dress when inserting a hidden zipper (I am hooked on sewing dresses lately!) and it is rare that I would need longer than 28″ for a zipper.

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  • cut strips perpendicular to the selvage 4″ long by the width of the interfacing (in this case 22″ wide).  These strips are perfect for re-hemming jackets and sleeve hems.  If you do alterations, this is really a bonus to have these cut strips on hand.

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Store these strips in a photo box next to your sewing station and you are all set!

A few tips on the rotary blade:

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Always clear your cutting area from pins!  It always amazes me how one little dent in the blade can ruin the cutting, but it is true.  Maybe it’s not quite as noticeable when cutting thick fabric, but try cutting bias strips of silk chiffon.  If the blade is damaged, even in the slightest bit, the cutting is fragmented and you end up cutting the strips over with scissors.  Pain in the tush :)   I used to try to sharpen the blades, but seriously I am trying to save time not cause more work.  The blades are not that expensive, especially this month they are 25% off at WAWAK sewing, time to stock up for a few months!  The replacement blades come in a nice plastic container.  As I am always fearful of throwing a blade in the trash, I use one of the containers to store bad blades.   See the blue dot in the photo above, that dot tells me this package is bad blades.  When its full, snap the container closed, add a piece of tape for extra security,  and toss with no worries.

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Lastly, take extra precaution and close the blade cover when not in use.  It makes me crazy when anyone in my studio leaves the blade exposed when they are not using it!  I have a pretty long cutting table and I am often grabbing bolts of fabric and sliding patterns around, one slip could end up being a bloody mess.  Thankfully that hasn’t happened, but I have heard a few horror stories :(

My question to you – Have you ever tried sharpening your old blades and did you have any luck or do you prefer stocking up on replacement blades when a great sale hits?

Have fun filling your pinterest board, remember to add #wardrobechallenge when sharing your experience!

cheers :)

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