Tag Archives: Angela Wolf

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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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Winner’s of the February Ruching & Shirring Wardrobe Challenge!

Angela Wolf Promo 36I am so excited to announce February’s wardrobe challenge winners!  In case you didn’t notice, the competition is getting fierce – check out the Wardrobe Challenge flickr page and you will see some talented designers!

Thanks again to all the sponsors in this year’s challenge!

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It took a little longer than expected to get February’s results, simply because a few of the judges were on spring break, thankfully that only happens once a year :) Now we are back on schedule!

Angela Wolf patterns 2013 -222February’s challenge had to do with ruching and shirring.  I am absolutely amazed at the creativity showing up on the pinterest boards.  Looking for inspiration?  Each month we are all focused on the same design element and it is really fun to scan the #wardrobechallenge boards.

The new flickr page is showing off all your sewn garments and is absolutely fabulous!  This is where the wardrobe challenge is coming to life.   To show off your work, notice the photos showing up here on the blog.   Maybe you will give us tips on achieving the same look.

Before we get to the winners, quite a few of you asked:

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Do I need to have a pinterest board and flickr page?  No.  The prizes will be divided up amongst both places each month.  That being said, this is a wardrobe challenge and the grand prize winner of the Brother PQ1500 sewing machine will need both.

Congratulation to Eve Kovacs the winner of February’s challenge and winner of Threads Insider Membership for one year!

Angela wolf wardrobe challenge February winner

This jacket was the kicker – fabulous design and gorgeous detailing.  Eve, everyone is going to want to know what pattern and any tips for sewing with this challenging fabric.  Can you share some tips for us in the comments :)  I personally want to buy this fabric, where did you get it?

Winner of WAWAK Sewing $50 gift card

Jana_Duplantis  Great shirring on the front and back of the dress!  Along with a few cute ruched tops – she is adding to wardrobe!

Winner of 1 Pattern, Many Ways DVD from Thread Magazine

Most unique pattern alteration goes to Shawn Hiestand – nice shirring!

Winner of It’s Sew Easy Season 5 DVD

 lkje9999  had quite a few ruched tops and jackets, nice job :)

The next two prizes were randomly drawn from February’s pinterest board.  Make sure to include pins from each sponsor every month to qualify for the random drawing :)

NEW SPONSOR:  Winner of Coats & Clark zipper collection

Sara Scott  - did you get your coverstitch machine?

Winner of my Craftsy Class Creative Serging!

Diya – by the way, I love that dress!

If you are a winner contact me at info@angelawolf.com

Congrats!!!  I will announce April’s challenge tomorrow … but I will give you a hint – it’s international serging month and keep up on the jeans, there will be another prize for the jeans in April!

cheers,

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Product Review – Hug Snug Seam Binding for Hemming

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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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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.

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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).

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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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Which Iron for Perfect Pressing and Professional Sewing Results …

angela wolf pressing 1 I recall a class I taught years ago, one of the students gave me a review “great class, she is a pressing fanatic!”  Well, that is true.  In reality, pressing is what makes your sewing look professional.  I thought I would share how I have my studio set up:

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My all time favorite iron is the Hot Steam SGB-600 and I can’t believe how long I went without splurging on such a reasonably priced powerhouse steam iron.  This iron plugs into a standard outlet (make sure to check that when researching commercial steam irons) and has a water container that holds almost an entire gallon of distilled water.  The water container is attached to a wall and then the hose needs to hang from the ceiling or a high point.  I have ceiling tiles in my studio and I am using clips that would typically hold a plant, I think I found them at Ace Hardware.

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The iron came with the rubber mat, which is nice!  I added the Iron Shoe which allows you press ANYTHING and it won’t leave shiny marks – even on cheap satin and poly!  I will share more about that later.

One more thing, this iron has a powerful burst of steam and it DOES NOT leak, yeah!  Have you ever ruined fabric  from a leaky iron?  Um, this brings back a memory … years ago, I was making a custom suit for a client.  Just visualize a rich colored brown fabric – silk, wool blend.  My iron was having a bad day and a few drips (or I should say a burst of drips) later the suit ended up in the trash.  Very expensive fabric, but I couldn’t get the spots out!  I have had this iron for quite a while and have never had as much as a drop.  

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Did I mention, I can’t stand irons that automatically turn off!  What a waste of time, it’s never hot when you need it.  That being said I do keep around a couple inexpensive Rowenta’s
for applying interfacing.  They are easy to clean, very hot, and don’t usually leak (I say that with a squint in my eye as every iron seems to have its own personality, although out of about 30 Rowenta’s I only had 2 that dripped and 1 that caught on fire – another eventful day in the studio!).

Tip: keep a tube of Ez-Off Iron cleaner around – perfect for removing interfacing gook!

Do you have a favorite iron or a dripping horror story to share?

Introduction to WAWAK SEWING!

WAW_114_15_BANNER_JPGSome of you have asked about one of the generous sponsors of the Wardrobe Challenge and seeing my smiling face in the emails has peaked curiosity. I am thrilled to introduce you to WAWAK SEWING and yes, I am working closely with them on many new projects. WAWAK SEWING is an online resource for everything you need in your sewing and design room! Believe it or not, I have been buying from them since 1994, when I started my custom apparel business. I eventually expanded my business to include alterations and my two main sources for supplies became WAWAK SEWING and Atlanta Thread & Supply. I know a few of you were heart-broken when Atlanta Thread and Supply closed it’s doors. What you might not have realized is WAWAK acquired Atlanta Thread & Supply, now you only have to go one place for all the same supplies and WAWAK_SEWINGthe prices are still the best.
One of my missions with teaching sewing, alterations, and fashion design is to inspire people to sew. I will be working with WAWAK to supply you with sewing tips and even bring to attention some tools of the trade you might not be familiar with; yet will make your sewing life sew so much easier! You might have seen this on Pinterest, but I am giving you a glimpse of what’s coming … Sewing with Angela Wolf.  Make sure you sign up for WAWAK’s emails and monthly catalog, the sales are incredible and they offer free shipping on orders over $100. Actually, I have been scanning a few chat rooms and there was talk about a free cookie with their order. I had to check the facts on that, as I have not received mine yet :) . In fact, they DO send a cookie with the first order over $75 (since my first order was 20 years ago I will give them a pass LOL). It’s like staying at the Hilton, order from the comfort of your home and the package arrives in a few days with a hot cookie!  Ok, probably not a hot cookie, but you get the idea.
For those of you enjoying the wardrobe challenge and you HAPPEN to be on facebook and twitter, if you have a second why not send WAWAK SEWING a quick comment thanking them for sponsoring my contest.  Although, I do think we should have another contest to see who can pronounce the name correctly LOL!
Do you have any sewing questions or tutorials you want me to consider for the new tutorials?

Cheers!

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BTW how’s the ruching and shirring coming along?

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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