Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Review: All New Fabric Savvy by Sandra Bertzina

I first encountered Sandra Betzina in her wonderful Craftsy classes. So, I was super happy when I saw that she had a new version of a wonderful book: All New Fabric Savvy.

If, like me, you hoard magazine articles about different types of fabric and pore over fabric choices in blogs, this book is for you. If, also like me, you can never remember where you saw those great tips on sewing scuba fabric, this book is DEFINITELY for you!

Each entry gives you the background on the given fabric and also has tips on pretreating, pressing, hemming and (most importantly, for me) matching the fabric to the project so that you can get the most out of your sewing time.

My favorite resources are in the back of the book: a visual glossary of techniques, details on interfacing, presser feet, tools, choosing knit fabrics, determining fabric content, linings and stain removal.

The knit fabric section, in particular, is invaluable. I love that Sandra includes tips on choosing the best fabrics and also knowing when to stay away from certain fabrics that look great on the bolt but are either hard to sew, tend to pucker or just aren't worth it.

She even covers Cotton for Quilters and, instead of saying, "Just don't do it!" suggests the types of garments that work the best for those super-popular, cute and relatively inexpensive fabrics.

Overall, I recommend this book heartily for sewists of all experience levels.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Gray Shirt

This is Stretch & Sew 760, and I made it as sort of a test.

Would a Stretch & Sew pattern really work with woven fabric? The answer: yup, this one does. 

A lot of side-seam shaping and no darts might make this a good candidate for a plaid shirt. I would reshape the collar, though. 1975, I think? That collar could achieve liftoff!

The shirt-tail hem is fantastic. I'm planning on basically grafting it onto a lot of my other shirt/top patterns in the future.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Basement Sewing Space

What have I got to show you?

Last year, our water softener went haywire and flooded part of our basement because our floor drain backed up.

Fortunately, we have insurance for sewer backup, so after a little angst, we got it all cleaned up and had new carpet installed.

That room is what I would call semi-finished. It has carpeting and some drywall, but also some areas that are straight-up 1950s basement, complete with concrete walls that probably shouldn't ever have been painted, since now the paint is flaking off.

We had to move all of the stuff we were storing in there so that they could put in the carpet. Dee and I talked about it. She said, why not just make that your sewing cutting area and storage space? It already has closets.

I said, "I love you."

So, we did.

Weird closets that I will now stuff with my sewing stuff.

Cutting area. Storage under table for trash, scraps and patterns.


Boomer, plus some storage. (BEFORE)

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

New Knitting Bag!

Way back this spring, I stopped by Yarnover, met June Hemmons Hiatt and purchased a knitting belt from her. I wasn't looking to learn a new way to knit, but these things happen, apparently. :)

I really like the belt, but there was just one problem. The 30 cm needles I bought with the belt were too long for my favorite sock-knitting bag.

Obviously, I had to sew a new knitting bag, right? 

Enter Kwik Sew 3728, view B. I've written about using this pattern before, but it was a different view.

Oh, and I used this awesome Wonder Woman-themed fabric from Joann's.

I LOVE it! I made a few changes. 

- No piping. 
- Fusible fleece (Pellon 971f) to give it some body. 
- I used nylon webbing for the straps and buried them in the seam instead of attaching them to the sides.