Perfect Fitting Patterns

I’ve been surfing the net lately looking at perfect fitting patterns. Muslin is always the answer.  Don’t you just hate that?  In order to attain the perfect fit, one must sew twice.  UGH!  Well, I at least try, sometimes, to use a fabric I may want to wear?  Usually not though.  I’ve wasted so much fabric not making muslins that now I am not about to sew new patterns without making a muslin first.

Okay, so, in my wonderful internet adventures I have discovered some really good sewing sites.  One in particular, from the UK has a great solution to fit. This site uses a pretty no nonsense approach, basically, if it doesn’t fit, fix it!  I love it!!  It’s such common sense, if you are short, make it shorter.  If you are tall, make it longer.  If you are big, make it bigger and if the fit is too big, make it smaller.

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Those are the easy adjustments.  For those of us that have bodies not conforming to the ideals of pattern companies, Craftsy has an entire section on fit. The tutorials they have are easy enough for a beginner to follow.  Crafty has a wonderful perfect fit tutorial about fitting the pattern before the first cut. That is something I can use for sure!  I cannot imagine the time I would save! Right now, their tutorials are half off as well.  I hope no matter what you do while sewing, you ENJOY!


Sewing Hacks #2

I know, I said I would finish this the next day.  I am sorry I didn’t make it back to do that.  I was working on some sewing of my own.  Yes, I used my sewing hacks.  I always hem everything before assembling! Honestly, the method I mentioned of putting sleeves into shirts….why would I use any other method?  When it works, why fix it?  So, we have knits and fitting left to discuss don’t we?

Well, I thought I was much more experienced in these two topics prior to a few searches on the internet.  As I’ve mentioned before, I cut my sewing needles on knits in the 80’s.  I grew up in the country and didn’t want to waste my precious money on the 30 minute drive to the store to buy cool clothes for a Saturday night, Wednesday, Monday, any night!  At that time the cut up tee-shirt look was in full force. Sewing a knit dress with the back cut down to there was not really a big deal. Plus, it didn’t use much fabric either. LOL [envira-gallery id="792"]
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The first hack I learned was knit does not ravel!  Yay! Wooo hoooo……it’s like Christmas everyday!  You do not have to hem it unless it’s the look you want.  Casual dresses and tops can stand on their own, without hemming. The leopard print top above isn’t hemmed anywhere, neckline, sleeves, or bottom.  It is a rayon blend, so that helps. Knits with more spandex tend to curl.  If that works with your look, more power to you!  Save time!

Fitting hacks are a whole new ballgame.  I worked super hard on making a full bootie (butt) adjustment.  Beginners luck, it worked perfectly!  Then, I could not make it work again for anything!  I found a great tutorial on the internet. The seam alteration method, basically the extra fabric is added on the top seam.  It really does work, I am sure I was just concentrating too hard the second time I did it.  Because, the first time worked like a charm.

The most useful hack I’ve found for pants fitting is to use a different pattern.  Not all patterns fit each individual body type.  Well, whether, you are making dresses, t shirts, or pants please make sure you ENJOY!

Sewing Hacks (learned from trial and error)

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What are some special sewing hacks you’ve learned?  My most important ones are the ones I taught myself. Seriously, every time I sew I learn something new. That’s how much I mess up. lol We can never learn so much about sewing that there is nothing more to learn.  That’s why the pattern companies keep making patterns.  The amount of knowledge is endless and more is being discovered daily.

My first week returning to sewing, I wanted to make a GAP like tee shirt.  I found the perfect pattern, except for the sleeves.  I did not know how to do an inset sleeve.  I have no idea how I escaped learning this.  I really wanted that shirt though.  So, I followed the pattern. I actually did it, on the first try!  Then, I searched for other methods.  The best sewing hack I learned is how to sew the sleeve into the garment flat.  No inset required.  Just match all the dots, notches, and whatever else, then sew it to the shirt.  Next sew the sleeve together and the side seam.  You cannot tell the difference and it takes less than 1/2 the time.  There’s a really good tutorial here.

Scissors are quite possibly one of the more expensive mainstays required for sewing.  I bought my first pair in a sewing kit.  I honestly thought they would be awesome because they were new.  Yeah, they were great, until I could buy some better ones about a week later.  Never use your fabric scissors on paper or anything else other than fabric.  It really dulls them.  Once they are dull, you don’t have to buy a brand new pair.  You don’t even have to buy a sharpener.  Nope!  Use this sewing hack,cut through several layers of foil. Works like a charm!

You will appreciate this thread sewing hack. Thread really annoys me.  Probably one of my biggest pet peeves.  That stuff is required for sewing.  Buying off brand thread really does not pay off in the long run.  I promise Coats and Clark is the only one I use.  I have purchased other threads and nothing is more frustrating than having it break every few seconds.  UGGGHHHHHH!  Although, not having a color to match your project is pretty bad.  And it never happens to me anymore.  Why? I use 50 shades of grey! Really only about three or four shades, but unless you are topstitching, grey is the perfect color. 🙂

I have severe ADD and by the time I finish making something, I am done.  I hate doing hems.  So, I found a way around that. Sew the hems in all sleeves and bottoms before sewing anything else.  Then when you finish construction, your garment is also finished.

I know, the chalkboard says knits and fitting but I am sure you are tired of reading, so that will have to wait till tomorrow.  Until then, ENJOY!


Sewing Freebies and Sales

I realize this is a holiday weekend and it’s not celebrating sewing.  But I know everyone loves sewing freebies and sales! I friend I have was kind enough to post the sewing sales for us.  Yay! Less time searching and more time spending!

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The best round up of sales I have seen this far is found here thank you so much, Frougiefashionista!

If you don’t want to leave your house or spend money the nice people at McCalls Blog have gifted us with some great coloring books.  I don’t know about you, but I color on my patterns before I sew anyway, but these are reusable and can be printed as many times as you have ink! The Butterick one is awesome, and at the end of the post there are also links for the McCalls and Vogue coloring books. [envira-gallery id="775"]
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Also, Workroom Social has partnered with McCalls for “Fashion Sewing + You: Becoming the Designer” and produced tons of free video tutorials. I don’t know about you, but this is enough to keep me happily, inexpensively busy over the weekend.



Capsule Wardrobe Planning

Capsule planning is a huge ordeal.  I’ve been working on mine.  I know now that in order to do capsule wardrobe planning you need to determine your body shape. I found Joy of Clothes has a great blog on finding your personal body shape.  Most of this we may already know. I’ve been dressing for my shape for years and just not realizing why some things worked and others didn’t.  Those things that didn’t work, required extra accessories to make them “work”.  At least they looked good in my mind. 🙂  If you really want to get technical, you can also figure out your colors.  I remember as a child doing this with the grown ups.  Color me Beautiful was a huge book that changed a lot of peoples opinion of colors for themselves.  With the wonderment of the internet, we no longer have to have a consultant visit our home.  The link directs you to the quiz to determine your colors.

So, once your colors and body shape are figured out, you can get down to business.  My capsule is more of the stay at home mom capsule.  Even though I don’t have kids here with me 🙂  I still like to look good.  My body shape is a rectangle and I’m a winter.  Using these three things I was able to find patterns and colors for my wardrobe.  I wasn’t sure how many pieces I needed to have, so I used a formula that will require one laundry day a week, at most!  Here’s the colors I chose [envira-gallery id="738"]
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I have most of these colors in my stash of fabric, that made my choices easier.  Then I decided on


three of which are denim.

two shorts

one pants

black skirt

patterned pants (cream, brown, pink)

black and cream check pants

leopard print (I haven’t decided yet, probably cigarette pants)


I won’t bore you with all the different tops.

They all match with at least three of the bottoms

This was easier since three of my bottoms are denim 😉


skater dress

maxi dress


shift dress    ***the beauty of these is they do not have to match anything else in your wardrobe!

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I mix and match patterns that I own and garments I have already made and arrived at around 33 different outfits.  I’ve been buying the same colors for my wardrobe for quite awhile though. Also keep in mind, only one of my bottoms is a print that cannot readily mix with all the solids in my wardrobe.  The pink, brown, cream pants are a little limiting, but not bad.  The hardest part probably is going to be throwing things away in my closet.