There is only one reason I have not moved South in order to enjoy beautiful sunny weather all year round … jackets and boots! This is the time of year I rearrange my wardrobe, bringing out all the cute jackets I finished last March and never had a chance to wear (remember in the fashion industry we are always designing a season ahead). Of course while I am pulling out the fall wardrobe, out come the fabulous boots. I LOVE shoes! I sew all my own clothes, I have to find something to shop for besides fabric 🙂
Speaking of sewing all my own clothes, about 15 years ago I set a goal of only wearing clothes I had sewn myself. It was a great idea, but hardly possible. I spent all my time sewing custom garments for clients and I could never find time to sew for myself. You know, like the shoemaker that wears worn-out shoes. Those of you that are in the sewing business know exactly what I am talking about.
Once I started designing a ready-to-wear line and a pattern collection for the home sewer, I found a perfect reason to sew for myself. Someone has to test the fit, right 🙂 Over the last few years I have been adding my label to the closet with jeans, tops, jackets, dresses, skirts, slacks, … In fact last night after admiring my organized closet (now is the time to admire, it never seems to stay that way very long), I realized I finally accomplished my goal! Every garment carried the Angela Wolf label. I could hardly believe it! In fact, once you get going on sewing for yourself, the outfits flow in much faster than you think. Have you ever had the desire to sew all your own clothes? I challenge you to try. I am going to celebrate this accomplishment and try to focus on doing the same for the spring wardrobe swap. I feel a 2014 wardrobe sew along coming on … what do you think?
In the last post, I mentioned how thankful I am to all of you readers and a special thanks to those that voted my blog into the finals for the category sewing – best instructor blog for the 2013 Craftsy Blogging Awards. Voting in the final round is still going on, so make sure to vote for your favorites again (hint, hint). I couldn’t think of a better way to thank you than give away a few online classes, which I will do over the next few weeks.
Not everyone can win, so I asked my friend Deepika – founder of PatternReview.com – to place all my online classes on sale for the rest of the month. In case you haven’t visited the site, PatternReview.com is a great website for learning and connecting with other garment sewer’s. I offer quite a few classes there, including sewing jackets. No, my jacket patterns are not ready to launch yet, so this is the next best thing. The next few giveaways will be for my online classes. The first one is Create a Jacket Muslin on PatternReview. Creating a perfect fitting muslin is the most important part of sewing a jacket. If you would like a chance to join my class on sewing a muslin where I offer fitting tips, solutions, and you can even upload photos of your muslin for personal fitting advice, simply share a comment about your experience in fitting jackets. Never sewn a jacket, even better reason to start with the muslin class (a random winner will be chosen and announced next Friday). Speaking of jackets, have you been watching season 5 on It’s Sew Easy and following along as I sew a jacket? If your PBS doesn’t carry It’s Sew Easy, you can catch a new episode every week on their website.
I woke up this morning to an email that made me very happy and I have YOU to thank 🙂 Just so you know, you made my day!!!!! In case you missed it, Craftsy is holding their 2013 blogging awards. Round one of voting is finished and your votes placed my blog into the finals in the category of Sewing – Best Craftsy Instructor Blog. There are only 4 of us and now another round of voting continues until October 29th – Of course I am hoping you will vote again 🙂
First, let me tell you how encouraging this was to hear. Writing a blog and posting video tutorials does take up quite a bit of time, but I personally do so in order to encourage you to sew. Not only sew, but to sew clothes and sew clothes that look like they walked out of a boutique with a high price tag. I have been sewing my own clothes for over 20 years (that just gives me a reason to buy more shoes and handbags LOL) and I love sharing what I have learned with you.
So what happens now? There is a final round of voting that will end on October 29th and Craftsy is offering a free class to one of the lucky voters. For me, I already feel like a winner. As a special thank you for the support you have already shown and encouragement for you to vote again during these final weeks (bribery never hurts right :)) I am going to offer a few giveaways.
Recently I offered a free Crafty class to my new Sewing Designer Jeans class that will launch later this month and a huge CONGRATULATIONS to the winner Marie C.. Well, the class doesn’t include a pattern. Why? Because maybe you copied your favorite pair in Kenneth D. Kings class or you already have a favorite jean pattern from my friend Jennifer Stern or you like the range of sizes in Jalie … just to name a few of my favorite reasons. During the class, I will be using my Angel Bootcut Jean pattern (my current pattern includes misses sizes 0 – 16 and I am diligently working on the women’s sizes 16W – 24W) and I even show you how to alter the pattern for a higher or lower waist (amongst other fitting issues). So, it only seems appropriate to giveaway one of my jean patterns. How can you win? Pretty simple – let me know why you want to sew my jean pattern and please vote in the final round on Craftsy (remember you can win a free class on Craftsy just for voting). Afraid of sewing jeans – no worries, it’s really easy. Remember back when I showed you videos on how to sew pockets. There are lots more, just scroll through my posts about sewing jeans. I will announce the winner of jeans pattern on Monday and I will announce another “thank you” giveaway tomorrow.
Again, THANK YOU so much for making my day today 🙂 xoxo Angela
Dark jeans are really in trend this fall so that means distressing with a hammer might not be an option. I have tested the MuVit Digital Dual Feed Foot on the Brother Dreamweaver XE and believe it or not, after sewing over many thick seams there was not one skipped stitch! The only thing I added was a #14 denim jean needle and various thicknesses of denim. This foot is different from a walking foot, not only because it has a rolling belt, but the foot plugs into the sewing machine giving the foot it’s own brain … or something like that. You can then adjust the foot by pressing a few buttons on the sewing machine. I have to say technology is really making sewing fun and easy!
The video below shows you just how smooth this digital dual feed foot works and I even tested it on one of my new jean patterns. Which by the way, I am happy to announce my first two jean patterns are up and available! Both patterns come with detailed sewing instructions in a book format, very easy to follow. The other bonus that comes with both of these jean patterns is a downloadable PDF file, download to your tablet and you can enlarge the photos for detailed viewing. The PDF file offers color photos and details on where to distress the jeans as you sew. My goal is to help you sew jeans that fit perfect and look expensive 🙂 Enjoy and don’t forget about the previous videos on sewing jean pockets if you need a little extra help. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving weekend, lot’s of family, food and shopping on my end. Wait until you see my new shoes (and yes that’s plural!) xoxo Angela
I hope you are all safe from hurricane Sandy and my heart goes out to all those affected. We even experienced severe weather here in Michigan! I made it to the beach yesterday and after getting stuck in the sand with our SUV, I was able to snap a few shots. Unbelievable waves on Lake Michigan, over 20 footers. I think I’ll pass on fishing for a few days 🙂
Lake Michigan during hurricane Sandy …over 20 foot seas!
Now onto sewing …. more specifically topstitching. Topstitching jackets and jeans are not only a designer touch; this has become a main focus in today’s fashion. The more creative the topstitching the more expensive your garment looks. On that note, have you ever finished a great looking jacket only to discover you can’t find a matching color in the thick topstitching thread? Would you like to hem your favorite jeans – again not being able to match the original jean thread color. This video shows you an easy way to solve that problem, using two spools of Coats & Clark polyester thread and a #14 denim jean needle. You will even get a peek at the automatic needle threader on the Brother Dreamweaver XE, yes it even works with 2 threads! Enjoy 🙂
Here is part 2 for finishing off the front of your designer jean pockets. This video will show you how to add a coin pocket, which is totally optional. Sometimes I add a logo instead, just depends what kind of mood I am in 🙂 Of course I have to show off a few other features on the Brother Dreamweaver XE VM6200D, like using the V-Sonic PenPal to determine how wide my zigzag stitch will be – you really have to see it to believe it. Now, I just have to finalize the last of the Angela Wolf Jean Patternsso we can ship them out soon, wish me luck! xoxo Angela
Brother™ has provided me with the DreamWeaver XE, but all opinions expressed are entirely my own
Another quick lesson on sewing designer jeans, sewing the front pockets. I have broken this into two parts as this lesson will cover attaching the silk charmeuse lining and topstitching the pocket edge. The next lesson shows how to add a coin pocket and closing up the lining. To get started you will need your front jean pieces and the pocket lining. You will usually find cotton as the fabric for the pocket lining, but I prefer to use something a little more luxurious, like silk charmeuse. Because the silk is so thin you can’t see the pockets through the outside of the jean, not to mention the fabric feels awesome against the skin.
Again, experimenting with some of the new features on my Brother Dreamweaver XE VM6200Dstitching this pocket is painless. First off, look at the size of the new “J” foot. (The picture has the original foot alongside the new foot). The longer length really makes a difference when sewing across layers of fabric. The foot glides across humps, thicker seams, even uneven edges as the pocket we will topstitch. I call this a BIG plus!
Onto sewing the pockets … pin your silk charmeuse lining to the denim fabric along the curve of your pocket. You can stitch from either side, I chose to stitch with the denim on the top so you can see the sew straight laser vision guide a little better. I have aligned the laser with the raw edge of the fabric, allowing me to sew the entire pocket curve with a precise seam allowance.
Press the Pocket Lining … Turn the lining to the inside of the pocket and steam press, using the tailor’s clapper to permanently hold that crease (shown on video below).
Topstitch the Pocket Edge … Again, utilizing the laser light to make sure my first topstitch line is perfectly placed 1/8″ from the edge of the pocket curve. Then I move the laser light to align with the previous topstitch line, but here is a new one for you. I am able to use the v-sonic pen pal to touch where I want the laser light to move to. You have to check out the video below to get the full visual of this unique feature, but simply put … engage the pen pal, touch the bed of the sewing machine where you want the laser light to shine, and hit OK. That’s it! Just imagine how easy sewing straight rows of topstitching will be 🙂