In part two Angela Wolf shows the next step in the A line sew-along, sewing a skirt with a center seam and lined pockets.
In the first part of this show I'll guide you through cutting and sewing your own version of a luxurious super hero style cape. This cape features textured fabric with a luxurious high pile for warmth and softness.
In part two Angela Wolf shows the next step in the A line sew-along, sewing a skirt with a center seam and lined pockets.
Just take a look at this gorgeous cape! It's made from a special fabric called Luxe Cuddle® Rose, provided by Shannon Fabrics. If you can't find it locally I suggest you visit fabric.com to see what colors they currently have available.
At first glance this fabric may look a little tricky to handle. Trust me, cutting and sewing is a breeze when you follow the tips I've outlined in the instructions that coordinate with the show. You'll find a list of recommended supplies and a whole bunch of tips with all my instructions HERE.
One of my top tips is to seek help from a special attachment known as the MuVit™ Digital Dual Feed System, included with the Brother Dream machine shown on the set. There are in fact several other machine models that use this attachment so check with your local dealer for details and availability. A walking foot is another option for sewing the seams in this project. Both of these special accessories will help keep the fabric layers from shifting while you sew the fluffy seams, and the seams on the suede cloth.
You'll see how to sew suede tabs for the closure, maneuvering around the points so the ends come out nice and neat.
Working with textured Luxe Cuddle® Rose is similar to working with polar fleece. Like fleece, this fabric should never come in direct contact with an iron. That makes iron-on interfacing a no go so I opted to stabilize the neckline with Dritz stay tape. As for pressing the seams, I found that hovering over the seam with a little steam and then patting the fabric with my fingers did a good job of tamping the seams down and keeping them flat.
One thing I neglected to demonstrate was fluffing the seams as a final step on the finished garment. I simply took a long pin and lightly pulled it across the finished seam to release long fibers. Be careful not to snag the lining fabric when you perform this step.
This entire cape segment is archived on YouTube so you can re-watch it any time you like by clicking HERE.
You'll see another A-line skirt style in the second half of the show as Angela hacks the pattern, adding center seams and scoop pockets on the front. This familiar pocket style is popular on ready-made jeans. It really dresses down the skirt and makes it into something suitable for casual wear, especially when made from denim like you see on the show. Angela uses bartacks to re-enforce the ends but double cap rivets from Dritz would serve as decorative re-enforcement where the pocket joins the waist and side seam.
The projects from this show will cover you from top to bottom and you're sure to learn some techniques you can apply to many other items. You'll find show 1504 airing online from 10-12 to 10-19, 2018 when you visit www.itsseweasytv.com. Enjoy!
We all know that one of the greatest joys of sewing is being able to make interesting items that are hard to find in stores. Whether you're looking to create something fun for a costume, craft custom items for your favorite pooch, or put together a baby set to please new parents, show 1503 is full of clever little projects you can finish in a short period of time.
Each one of the pieces you see in this show will help you exercise your sewing super powers.
First you'll see Cheryl Sleboda make a pair of fully little ears. She calls them wolf ears and provides a free pattern for you to download from the TV website. Her furry ears are made from Shannon Fabrics Faux Fur. It's amazing how many different furs you'll find when you explore the options. Cutting and sewing this synthetic material requires some special knowledge and handling for fool proof results.
Cheryl uses faux suede to add to the realistic look and has some great tips for fluffing the fur after sewing the seams. Visit the Shannon Fabrics site for a Free tip sheet and you'll learn even more.
Next up, Caroline Critchfield stitches something for our furry friends, with a scrappy dog leash and a comfy pet pad. Watch as she provides top-stitching tips and shows you the kind of hardware you need for a quality leash.
In the last, short segment I'm happy to bring you something to celebrate Baby Days, with a pretty little bottle cover featuring machine embroidery and a few cute sayings.
I've made quite a few of these bottle covers! It's easy to embroider on pre-quilted fabric or you can choose to just embellish yours with colorful trim. Either way, this is one item that is really unique and turns a baby gift into a real conversation piece.
Check out another version of this bottle cover from a post I wrote for the Brother blog HERE. This one features a design from an adorable collection called Button Babies available from the Brother design download center at www.ibroidery.com.
In an effort to help you get started on a bottle cover and burp cloth set, you'll find an offer for a burp cloth pattern I've made available for you to download for free HERE. I hope you have fun with this! I'd love to know if you decide to make your own special baby set. Let us know in the comments if you have plans for making a baby gift in the near future or let us all know about something special you've made for baby in the past.
This show is full of inventive and attractive ways to rescue cherished old linens and sweaters that have seen better days. It ends with part two of the sew along where you'll see how to convert a skirt pattern from standard to a bias cut.
Michell Paganini, otherwise known as the up-cycle guru, walks you through the decision-making process when selecting parts of vintage linens to use for projects. In this show she presents many ideas for transforming linens into practical projects you can make use of every day. Watch her make one of my all-time favorite projects, a simple yet sweet hanger cover.
It's possible that you may want to add some additional embroidery to the hand-stitched pieces you already have. One of my favorite ways to imitate hand embroidery is to add bobbin work stitching. CLICK HERE for a tip sheet showing more about this technique.
Michelle's downloadable instructions for this show include not just the hanger cover but also a shoe bag, pashmina wrap sack, and fabric bags with potential for anything from storage to gift giving. I suggest you start hunting and rescue those heirloom pieces that would otherwise waste away in a cedar chest, drawer, or closet!
The show continues with Londa Rohlfing. She has tips for cutting sewing, and styling sweaters to fashion them into new and interesting garments. Next, she demonstrates setting a sleeve using just six pins. Essentially, it's a matter of feeding the sleeve fabric with your left finger and a tool such as a stiletto in your right hand. I can see this working well for sleeves that have very little extra fabric that needs to go into the sleeve cap.
Angela Wolf closes out the show with her bias cut skirt. You'll see her cut the skirt by flipping the pattern for a full front and back.
Another way to do this is to trace off the pattern to get a full front and a full back. This makes it easy to cut the skirt out on a single layer of fabric. I recommend creating a new pattern piece with tracing cloth. I love, love, love pattern tracing cloth, buying it by the bolt when it goes on sale, so it's there when I need it. Simply fold the tracing cloth so you can place the fold line of the pattern on it as if you were going to cut out an actual garment. Cut, and then open up the piece, transfer all the markings, notches and important information, and then use this to cut your single layer piece. If you ever find yourself running short on the size of the tracing cloth, simply layer one piece on top of another and use a straight stitch or a zigzag to extend the size of the piece.
Before we wrap up, I have just a few more thoughts about working with vintage linens. I'm curious, have you ever found spots on old linens and struggled to get them removed? I've had some success cleaning and brightening old linens by soaking them in color safe non-chlorine bleach and treating stains with a dose of good old fashioned Fels Naptha soap. I've also used a rust remover product such as Iron Out on all white fabric that can tolerate hot water. When all else has failed I've resorted to antiquing the antiques by dying them in a coffee or tea solution. Here is my recipe for that:
Make two cups of strong tea or black coffee. Allow to cool. Add 1/4 cup white vinegar. Mix ingredients and place in a stain proof container. Wet fabric in clear water and then transfer to container. Gently stir fabric in the coffee or tea solution for three to five minutes. Rinse thoroughly in cool water. Dry flat. Press only after fabric is thoroughly dried. Note that this amount is for best for dying lace or small fabric items. You'll need a larger, stain proof container to increase the amount of fabric or solution. It's very important to let fabric or lace dry before ironing. If you iron while wet you'll get uneven streaks of color.
I've read about some other cleaning recipes that promise to refresh linens without damaging them. Of course a lot depends on the strength of the fabric and the fiber content. Be cautious. It's important to note that just getting fabric wet can be harmful if it's weak. Here are a few other cleaning options that sound promising although I have not tried them myself:
This is the beginning of a whole new series of posts as It's Sew Easy TV uploads Series 1500 to their online site. This means the series has finished airing on PBS stations across the USA. Have you had the chance to catch any or all of these episodes? If you saw them already you may enjoy watching them all over again. Perhaps this is your first chance to catch them week by week. Each Friday at noon EST a new show is uploaded, and it stays online for a full week. With the online version you can relax and watch during a half hour that fits your personal schedule.
This season is designed to "super charge" your sewing with each lesson geared to make your sewing time more fun filled and fulfilling! See a detailed list of each show in the series when you CLICK HERE. In this new series of posts I'll preview each show and provide additional tidbits of sewing information to coordinate with the show. Let's get started with the first in the series. This one is titled Be Your Own Designer.
In show 1501 Angela Wolf starts off her A-Line skirt Sew-Along. This is her own original pattern. What a flattering skirt style! In this show you'll learn how to read important pattern sizing info, insert a concealed zipper, add a narrow binding for a waistband, and sew a machine stitched blind hem.
Adding the waistband and stitching the hem is pretty straightforward so I thought we'd talk a little more about the zipper insertion. Angela uses a concealed, (also known as invisible) zipper and inserts it will a regular zipper foot by sewing very close to the coils. Personally, I like using a foot that is specially designed for the task. More about that in a minute.
You'll find presser feet designed and sold by companies that manufacture this zipper style. Two common ones are made by Coats and by YKK (Unique® brand). Take a look at the packages above - did I mention this is an old zipper style? The package I have on the right is tagged with the price of $1.00 LOL!
This type of hidden zipper has been around a long time. The coils are rolled to the back of the zipper tape and are sewn to the fabric right along the seam line. During insertion the coils lay flat but after stitching they roll back and disappear into the seam, giving them their concealed, or hidden characteristic.
The tan zipper you see here is Coats, the white one is Unique®, both of these coordinate with the specialty feet which include various shank adapters to fit most modern machines. The third, salmon colored zipper is somewhat of an "antique." It was given to me by a friend who sewed skating costumes decades ago. It has YKK on the tab and it's made up of metal teeth. I haven't tried inserting this type but it does evoke a bit of nostalgia for the days when all zips were made of metal.
As I said, I'm a fan of using a specialized foot, designed to match your machine brand. Here you see the Brother style. Recently they released a "new and improved" version. Look closely at the one on the left in the above photo. This new style has a guide in the center to help hold the zipper firmly in place while stitching. In addition, the grooves on the underside are deeper than the original foot. This helps keep the rolled coils of the teeth from moving out of position as the foot passes over them.
Here you see a close-up of the grooves on the underside. This foot works with all Brother machines that have the horizontal bobbin case, including machines with a 5mm throat plate. Overall, it is an improved foot designed for modern concealed zippers. Visit your local Brother dealer to see this new foot.
I'm a huge fan of this type of zipper! It's my "go to" type for most of my garments and I like it for home decor and accessory projects too. Click on the image below to check out this Clutch Purse from a previous Brother Blog post.
You'll see step-by-step instructions for inserting a concealed zipper and learn how to make a pretty purse in the process.
Here are a just a few more zip tips to help you prepare to sew and invisible zipper.
CLICK HERE to see a short YouTube video of the new Brother style foot in action.
If you are ready to go and watch the show visit www.itsseweasytv.com. Show 1501 is online until 9-28-2018.
Questions or comments about the concealed zipper and zipper foot? I'd love to hear your thoughts!
This week you’ll see Laura Pifer construct a cocoon jacket with the serger, Angela Wolf finishes the shirt dress sew-along, and Felice Regina designs dresses with border prints.
You've probably seen similar styles like this cocoon cover-up in ready-to-wear. When Laura finishes her demonstration you'll see just how easy it is to make your own!
Knowing that you can pick your own fabrics and fabric colors makes this an especially attractive project!
Next Angela returns with the final piece of the puzzle for making your own classic shirt dress.
This is such a classic garment! Comfortable to wear and easy to accessorize, this dress can take you many places and serve as a valuable wardrobe staple!
Felice finishes up the show with lots of tips for planning garments made from border prints. Her samples are simply adorable!
CLICK HERE to watch this show until Friday at noon EST, June 22.
Home dec is the focus this week with posh pillows and simple table toppers, all designed to make quick and easy updates to your living space.
Changing up table toppers and pillows can make all the difference in a room. And the best part is the fact that you can make these changes in little more than a day or two and still make a big difference in a room.
Rebecca starts the show with interchangeable pillow bands made from luxurious fabrics. Take a look at the show notes found on www.itsseweasytv.com and you'll find COMPLETE instructions plus a resource for the sari silks she references in her project.
In the next segment you'll find me whipping up a quick project for a table decoration. I used an adjustable bias binder foot to easily apply narrow binding as trim and made finishing the ends easy by simply tying them in a knot.
You can learn more about this foot and see the original detailed instructions when you CLICK HERE.
There's a second project shown as a sample and yes of course . . . I have instructions for you to make that too! CLICK HERE to visit the Brothersews site and you'll find a free design that goes with the project shown above. Note that you will need to sign up on the site to access this section of the website.
In the last segment of the show you'll learn how to make Mexican tucks with Cheryl Sleboda. This is a great texturizing technique you can use for home decor and garments too!
CLICK HERE to watch this show until noon EST on June 15th. Enjoy!
Okay, we have all heard it more times than we can count . . . If you haven't worn it in a year - get rid of it! That statement simply WAS NOT written for savvy do-it-yourself sewing enthusiasts!!! It was written for those who have no ability to jazz up existing garments and accessories so they are forced to simply give up on the things they "think" can no longer wear.
Show 1411 is a perfect example of the power we have when we can sew, re-make, re-vamp, and re-cycle things that are a little dull or may have seen better days.
First, you'll see fashion "re-designer" Laura Pifer take two t-shirts and transform them into a t-shirt into a halter style tunic. If your t-shirts are long enough and you like a mini look, you may even be able to make this into a dress. Watch as she chops here and there, and then stitches the pieces into a trendy top.
In the second part of the show I had the chance to demonstrate embellishment with a felting attachment. I started with a bit of felt and ended with a colorful accent for a dull grey hat that needed some pizazz. You can start with ordinary craft felt or use wool felt. If you want something really unique you can consider felting wool fabric or old wool sweaters. Here is my recipe for home grown wool felt from sweaters or yardage:
I used a special Brother felting attachment for fast felting by machine. You'll find more tips when you check out the complete instruction file for this felted hat segment.
Last but not least, Jane Monzures gives jeans and pants a makeover by subtracting part of the leg and adding fabric and trim to replace what she took away. I bet you have at least one pair of pants in your closet that you could experiment with and see if this look is for you. It would be a fun way to refresh a pair of tired jeans and you could consider doing so with more subtle fabric additions too. All in all, this show is sure to get your creative juices flowing.
Are you ready to watch the show? CLICK HERE, This show airs through Friday June 8th a noon EST.
Details make the difference in everything you make! It could be simple rows of topstitching added to a cuff or collar, or more elaborate details like fancy trims and embellishment with machine embroidery. Yes! You are in the driver's seat behind your personal sewing machine and you can make any project stand out with simple or elaborate details.
In the first segment Cosplay designer Cheryl Sleboda uses metal grommets to create a changeable costume skirt. Grommets come in all sorts of sizes these days and are used on everything from garments and accessories to home decor and more! If you're looking for grommets of all kinds, including decorative grommets, see what my friends at dritz.com have to offer. Check out their tutorial for decorative grommet styles HERE.
Angela is nearing the end of the shirtdress sew along with just a few more details to go. this time she tackles button holes and buttons. If you're anything like me you hold your breath when it comes time to make buttonholes. It's usually next to last on the checklist for completing a project. with all the care you put into making something you sure don't want to see a bad buttonhole mess up the beauty of your efforts.
Careful measuring is key. The tool you see here is called a Simflex Expanding Gauge. I got mine at my local sewing shop and it has come in handy for more than just buttonholes. Use it to mark fabric for trims, pin tucks, and even placement for embroidery designs.
Truly buttonholes are better than ever with the one-step sliding buttonhole accessories we have today. I've been sewing long enough to remember the crazy contraptions we had to install to make a buttonhole in the good old days. Now it's just a matter of dropping the button in the back, pulling a lever, lining it up, and pressing go! CLICK HERE to read my previous post with more about building better buttonholes.
Button sewing is another task quickly completed by machine. Many machines have a special "button fitting" foot for this. combined with a special stitch built-in to the machine it makes quick work of sewing on one or more buttons. To make the button extra secure be sure to use polyester sewing thread, pull the top threads to the bottom side, knot by hand, and then dab a bit of seam sealant one the threads on the back of the button when you're finished. I like to use this foot for tacking ribbons in place too. If you'd like to see some cute children's clothes with button and ribbon accents you can watch this short video HERE.
In the last segment of this show children’s designer Jessica Stewart uses her artful eye to mix fabrics and add trims for endless design opportunities on a little girlie girl dress.
Her fabric combinations are delightful! You'll learn a lot from Jessica when you watch this part of the show.
Ready to go watch show 1410? Visit www.itsseweasytv.com. This show airs until noon EST June 1st.
The whole season of It's Sew Easy TV series 1400 has been focused on creative changes you can make when you mix a little ingenuity with the use of your sewing machine.
Show 1409 is full of accessories to dress up or dress down any day of the week.
When it comes to accessories, belts can be one of the best ways to easily add some spice to your wardrobe. Do you already have a few favorite belts in your closet? If you do, I suggest you take a good look at them and see what puts them at the top of your want to wear list. In other words, what makes your reach for them over and over again? My guess is that comfort is a big factor. Perhaps you find that certain belts just seem to really pull your look together, whether it's an eye catching buckle that serves almost as added jewelry, the belting itself complimenting the color in your garment, or the fact that a particular belt is a perfect match for a pair of shoes. Belts are a great way to top off an outfit and the focus in this show is on soft belts that are super easy to make.
Take a look at the denim dress with a red turtleneck underneath. Adding a belt that picks up the dominant red color creates a look that is put together with very little effort.
To snug up the waistline of this wrap garment I made a softly styled matching belt, complete with machine stitched eyelets. An eyelet stitch is nothing more than a round buttonhole and it's found on many different machine models.
Would you believe . . . the wrap on the show is actually the Chic Suede Wrap from Wrapped in Embroidery? This time it's shown worn inside out with the front facing peeking out almost as piping would. Since this wrap is fully lined it's just as attractive on the wrong side as it is on the right side. There are lots more belts, buckle options, and sewing tips presented in this segment with detailed instructions found on the It's Sew Easy TV website. CLICK HERE to download a copy for yourself.
In the next part of the show Felice Regina stitches up a purse with a clever appliqué accent. Her circular "moon bunny bag" bag is super cute with the moon bunny appliqué as the focal point on the front. Felice shows you the steps to make this bag, including the zippered gusset which gives it a neat finish and a nice sized opening.
She has included the complete pattern with instructions on the It's Sew Easy TV website, all for free.
You'll want to watch this show right up till the very end to see Rebecca Kemp Brendt make her own fabric yardage with the Brother Dream Fabric Frame and Dream Quilter 15™ DQLT15 quilting machine. Although the word quilt is in that previous sentence, the project Rebecca chose to make is the furthest thing from a quilt!
Indeed, Rebecca's project is a beautiful parasol fit for the stage, or a very special costume occasion. This project was formerly featured in detail at blog.brothersews.com. Watch the show and then be sure to visit the blog to learn more about making the parasol.
Are you ready to go and watch the show? Show 1409 airs until May 25th at noon EST. CLICK HERE to go and watch.
This week you'll see two ways to sew something suited for style, and for chasing chills in the air. Designer Laura Pifer rescues a men's shirt and turns it into a jacket. Fashion expert Angela Wolf continues with her tutorial for the shirtdress by adding the cuffs. Then, she creates a drapey jacket from a giant square of fabric.
Would you ever think of turning a men's shirt into a ladies bomber jacket? In this show Laura does just that! She is wearing one of her own shirt turned bomber jacket creations on the show. It looks like something that came right off the rack in ready-to-wear.
Ribbing can be a bit tricky to find. I found some recently at Rockywoods.com. I even found a nice bomber jacket pattern on the same site.
For a slightly different and dressier bomber style jacket style you may want to try the Wong Sing Jones pattern form HotPatterns.com. I have it in my stash, along with the ribbing but can't seem to desire on fabric for the jacket - stay tuned - I'm sure I'll get inspired before fall comes around again.
In the last full segment of the show Angela drapes a jacket on a dress form and gives you a few other ideas for making this style without a pattern.
If you'd like something more fitted with a similar style you may want to check out Angela's Rachel Twin Set pattern. It has a similar drapey collar and includes a tank top.
Are you ready to watch the show? CLICK HERE and watch until noon EST on May18th. Enjoy!
In this show you'll learn to get more mileage out of garments with interchangeable looks and ready-to-wear jazzed up with machine embroidery.
In part one Jane Monzures of DIY by Jane fame takes t-shirts and turns them into a cool apron. Such a great idea for all of those t-shirts too nice to discard but not really on your current "want to wear" list.
I think this is a great idea for souvenir shirts as well as others you may have packed away along with sentimental attachments you still have for them. It's also just a neat idea for a way to honor someone else's love for sports teams and so forth. Make something creative with their favorite t-shirt graphics and you're sure to bring a smile to their face. Great gift idea for Dads and grads too! Consider including the apron along with a set of barbecue tools for Dad, or perhaps a survival cooking kit for the graduate bound for new life in a dorm.
In part two Laura Pifer re-styles a t-shirt by adding bell sleeves. Laura is a frequent contributor to the official Brother blog and she's known for quick and easy projects that often feature up-cycled ready-mades. Her simple t-shirt re-do is nice for big or little girls alike and a super project for summer.
I can hardly contain my excitement for the online debut of this segment of It's Sew Easy TV. In show 1407 I had the opportunity to focus on one of my all time favorite embellishment techniques, machine embroidery on ready-to-wear! Jazzing up wardrobe basics with splashes of embroidery in interesting places is possible with any machine that has a hoop for embroidery. As with everything else, it's all about knowing some nifty tips and tricks that pave the way for embroidery success stories.
In this show you'll learn about the three P's for producing good quality embroidery: Planning, Preparation, and Placement.
A good understanding of all three of these guides you into the world of gorgeous garments embroidered by you and your trusty embroidery machine. Don't forget to CLICK HERE for the tip sheet that coordinates with this segment titled Machine Embroidery for Ready-Made Garments.
I'd love to hear your comments and entertain your questions after you've had the chance to watch the show! Enjoy! show airs until May 11, 2018 at noon EST. CLICK HERE to go and watch the show.
Continuing with the theme of changing up your wardrobe, this online It's Sew Easy TV show is all about transformations!
In part one Angela Wolf up-cycles ordinary sweaters to make new, fun fashions. Next, she sews the sleeves and the sides of the shirtdress that's shown throughout the whole series.
In part two you'll see me re-style a scarf into a trendy kimono top and use soft double gauze to stitch another one that is literally dripping with beautiful Venice lace.
In the first segment of the show Angela has no fear of quickly snipping the sleeves of sweaters!
You'll love the way she "bravely" takes the sleeve and adds it to another armhole. Working with thrift store garments makes this a no fuss project. By working with something that is low cost you'll lose the fear of failure and find yourself ready to jump in and try something new and different.
In the shirtdress segment you'll see how to topstitch the sleeve and sew the sides with a fast flat method of construction.
And now it's time for you to see the kimono creations I cooked up for show 1406. I had so much fun designing and creating these over blouses and I think you'll really enjoy stitching them too!
Two finished tops are shown on the set. You'll see how I cut one from a scarf and then you'll see me finish off another one at the machine. The second blouse on the mannequin and the one at the machine are both made from soft, light, and lovely Shannon Fabrics "Embrace" double gauze. This is simply the perfect fabric choice for this garment! In the show I included several tips for sewing this slightly crinkly, comfortable cotton.
Patterns for tops like this are plentiful. I've selected several options for you to try. Cut-on sleeves are super easy to sew and there's no need to be concerned with skill level. Anyone can easily make one or more of the styles presented here.
Warm weather is coming and I'm so excited to wear these beautiful blouses!
I wrote detailed instructions to go along with this segment but they seem to be temporarily misplaced on the TV website so I've added them to letsgosew.com. You can CLICK HERE to download the PDF. From this link you can also watch the video again if you would like. Enjoy!
CLICK HERE to watch all of show 1406 until May 4, 2018 at noon EST.
In this show you'll see some fresh, new ideas for adding accents to garments. First, Jenny Rushmore shares pattern hacks to give new looks to a basic tank top. Next, Angela Wolf continues with the shirtdress and adds a placket to the shirtdress sleeve. Then, you'll see me demonstrate one of my all time favorite techniques, adding surface embellishment with couching!
Jenny is a Plus size expert and pattern designer. In this show buttons take center stage on a tank top drafted from a very basic pattern.
You'll find her instructions clear and easy to follow. Jenny's garments are as beautiful as her lovely accent :-) Find out more about Jenny at cashmerette.com.
Next, watch Angela show how to sew a sleeve placket like those found on ready-to-wear tailored shirts. This type of placket really makes a custom sewn shirt sleeve look neat. There are many different ways to do this. I suggest using this type of placket on shirt weight fabrics and making a sample or two before trying it out "for real."
You'll see my faux suede coat in the last segment. This beautiful fabric is from Shannon Fabrics, makers of many soft and wonderful fabrics.
Below you'll see a close-up of the couched collar I stitched in show 1404. I readily admit that this was one of the most fun episodes I've taped thus far!
For this project I used a special Brother attachment called the MuVit™ Digital Dual Feed foot along with an addtional option in the form of a snap-on couching foot. Feeding yarn and stitching over it is really easy with this foot. This attachment is included with the Dream Machine and available for some other models as well. In fact, couching can be done with other feet as well. Check out my previous short Couching Video for ideas and then talk to your local sewing machine dealer to see what's available for your machine model.
I could go on for hours taking about this jacket but I think you'll have more fun by hopping over to the video to watch. When you are done you can CLICK HERE for complete instructions published on the It's Sew Easy TV website. Note that this particular video is also available here on my You Tube channel so you can watch it over if you like. Watch for more videos to be added to my letsgosew channel soon :-)
Ready to watch the show? Show 1404 is available online until April 27th at noon EST. CLICK HERE and enjoy!
Change is in the air! In this show you'll see how to sew something fresh and new inspired by current trends.
In the first part of the show you'll learn some costume making tips created with items from both the craft store and the hardware store. You'll also learn how to create straps using fabric that closely imitates real suede, and add rivets to the straps with special tools. Cheryl gives you tips, tricks, and cautions for using these all of these tools effectively.
In the second part Angela Wolf continues her shirtdress sew along. Watch as she shows how to stitch a crisp collar. For pressing she uses a tool known as a Tailor's Point Press. My own tool looks almost identical and I've been using it for decades. In fact right now it sits within inches of my ironing board, ready when I need it for all manner of pressing operations. CLICK HERE to read a PDF tutorial on this item. Stitching is of course important but proper pressing techniques can take a project from so-so to a standout item you'll be proud to say you made with your own two hands!
In the third segment designer Linda Lee shares techniques for sewing today's trendiest open-weave fabrics. Finding fabric is usually the fun part of designing something new but then there's always the challenge of figuring out how to make it work. In this part of the show Linda shows both sewing machine and serger techniques for fabrics that may include more open space than actual fiber in the weave of the fabric.
This show airs online until Friday April 19th at noon EST. Visit www.itsseweasytv.com to watch.
Color your world with creativity! There are three parts to this show - DIY fashion expert Jane Monzures demonstrates fun and fashionable ways to use zippers. I'll show you how to keep clothes looking great with padded hangers, and then designer Jessica Stewart mixes up fabric combinations for beautiful children's fashions.
In this segment Jane begins with a bit of zipper history, shares lots of tips for stitching zippers on Trendy shirts, and then includes instructions for creating fashion accessories with various zipper pieces and parts. Prepare to be mesmerized by Jane's fast paced and inspiring instructions!
In the second, quick tip segment I had the opportunity to show some of my favorite custom covers for ordinary household hangers. Call me crazy but hanger covers are one of my all time favorite projects to make! Here are a whole host of reasons to consider creating some yourself:
In the last segment Jessica shares simple tips for choosing a colorful mix of fabrics and creating "boutique look" dresses for little girls. Her tiered dresses are adorable! You'll enjoy her tips for mixing, matching, and making a patchwork effect to turn tiered dresses into wearable art for little ones.
This show is currently airing on line until April 13 at noon EST. CLICK HERE to watch the show.
This show features three guests. Rebecca Kemp Brendt shows you how to sew gussets to solve fitting issues, Angela Wolf adds a placket to her chambray shirtdress, and Jenny Rushmore converts darts into princess seams.
Rebecca is masterful at all types of sewing. In this segment she shows how many different garments benefit from a little extra ease and comfort via a gusset. This technique is a very practical one to learn should the need arise to make a garment more roomy right where you need it most.
As promised in the first show, Angela takes you through an important step for sewing the shirtdress. It's going to be fun to see this dress take shape!
Jenny Rushmore finishes up the show with a segment on dart design. Jenny is an expert at fitting curvy girls. Indeed princess seams are a fashion bonus for curvy girls. Perhaps you're like me and find yourself to be different sizes in different places. If that's the case then you too will appreciate the value of princess seams.
If you'd like to see one of my favorite princess seam dress patterns you can CLICK HERE. You'll find a blog I wrote as one of the designated Brother blog experts on the official Stitching Sewcial Brother blog.
Visit www.itsseweasytv.com for more information about show #1402.
Angela Wolf and Michelle Paganini share tips for making something old look new again in this first show of the 1400 series.
In this segment Angela takes two tired garments and turns them into one cute dress. Throughout the series you'll see Angela construct a classic shirtdress from chambray fabric. This style is really big now in ready to wear but really, I can't remember a time when this style was out of style!
During the series he gives a variety of options for pattern choices. I really like the look of New Look 6470. It has darts, along with an option for color blocking that would really set it apart as a one of a kind, sewn from scratch garment. You may already know that I'm a big fan of New Look patterns. For more info I invite you to read my blog about the topic of patterns HERE.
Continue watching this online series and by the end you'll be able to make a dress with details that shout hand-crafted instead of home-made!!!
Michelle Paganini is up next with a ton of interesting ideas for transforming masculine shirts into feminine blouses. Her designs are inspiring and her tips and tricks are applicable to many other sewing projects. Michelle is known for her commitment to up-cycling garments, along with other found fabrics. "Good for the planet and good for your budget" is her motto and I couldn't agree more.
You'll find her instruction easy to follow, with great graphics for foolproof stitching and designing. Michelle is one sharp stitcher! Stay tuned, you'll see her return in future episodes.
CLICK HERE for more information on this episode.
This week you'll see Linda Lee from the Sewing Workshop stitch something to make winter more fun. In the second half Rebecca Kemp Brent turns her travel memories in a charming tuffet, embellished with top-stitching.
Imagine making garments and accessories from “house wrap” and packaging envelopes! That's exactly what Linda Lee uses in this episode. Her projects are made from DuPont™ Tyvek®. This material has been around for 50 years. It is commonly known as the specialty fabric used for envelopes and home insulation.
To me this synthetic material appears to be a cross between paper and plastic. Leave it to crafters and sewing enthusiasts to take it out of the realm of industrial uses and get creative with it. After seeing some of Linda's crazy samples with paint and printing I'm definitely going to give this a try! I especially like the fact that it's non-woven and doesn't ravel. Stay tuned! I see myself re-cycling postal envelopes and firing up my Brother ScanNCut to slice up pretty shapes with this unusual fabric.
In part two of this week's show Rebecca Kemp Brent shows how to make a spectacular footstool with photo printed fabric. I saw this while at the studio and it was rich and beautiful in every way! The photos and view on TV simply do not do this piece justice.
Perhaps you've seen these kits or maybe even made one or more yourself. If so I'd love to know! I remember these being all the rage about 3 years ago. If you CLICK HERE you'll see Rebecca's customary detailed instructions with a link to purchasing information. Even if a tuffet isn't in your future I would watch this segment with a notepad as Rebecca provides one great tip after another, many of which you can apply to a whole lot of other projects.
Ready to go and watch the show? CLICK HERE. This show currently airs until noon EST, December 22. Enjoy!
Unleash your inner artist this week! You're sure to be inspired and motivated to make something free-form and fun-loving after watching this show!
In the first segment, up-cycling designer Michelle Paganini adds a touch of modern art to a refashioned shirt using three-ply reverse appliqué.
I had the opportunity to meet Michelle at the studio and spend a great day with her while we each taped our shows. During lunch she kindly offered me a choice of one of her patterns as a gift.
I instantly chose the Cindy blouse, which happens to be the one Michelle is wearing in the show. I liked the asymmetrical panel and immediately envisioned embroidery designs sprinkled down the front with coordinating designs on the sleeve cuffs.
You'll get to see a variety of her patterns on her show and tell part of the show. These are not really patterns in the traditional sense of the word. They are actually detailed instructions for creating new garments by creatively re-designing men's shirts. Quite a novel idea and a great way to turning nice shirts and good fabric into a one-of-a-kind fashion statement for women.
The featured blouse is the Sandy style. Each one of her patterns features interesting details with plenty of blank canvas for added embellishments. Be sure to visit Michelle at her website, paganoonoo.com to learn more!
In the second half of the show Angela Wolf creates her own embellished denim fabric with free-motion embroidery using the Brother Dream Fabric Frame.
Take a look at the jackets above and you'll see that Angela has developed many creative ways of taking a simply styled jacket and turning it into a work of art. The free motion techniques she demonstrates on this show are yet another way to put your own creativity into garments sewn from scratch. See her add simple squiggles for an easy yet interesting accent on plain fabric.
Ready to go and watch the show? Go ahead and CLICK HERE. This show is available online until December 16th at noon EST. Enjoy!
This show has you covered if the wind blows, there's a chill in the air, or raindrops are falling on your head! It begins with a simple wrap you can make from fleece and ends with a raincoat sewn from laminated waterproof fabric.
Here are two of the fleece garments you'll see.
In this show I had the opportunity to feature a new fleece wrap similar to a couple garments from my book titled Wrapped in Embroidery. If you'd like to make your own version of the ruana wraps so popular in ready-to wear you'll find a free pattern offered on the show, plus tips for finishing a plain one or one with added embroidery. If anything here looks familiar to you then it's likely you have at least paged through or perhaps even made one or two wraps from the book. If you happen have the book in your possession I sincerely hope you have stitched some of the designs.
In the early stages of writing the book I hand picked the designs for this collection, with the idea that they would be classic and versatile so they could find their way on most any embellished item you choose to create!
The two mirror imaged motifs you see being embroidered on the show are a favorite pair I've used time and time again.
By the way, although the back was never shown, there is a coordinating yoke design on the back. It's always fun to add embroidery to the back of a garment so it gets noticed both coming and going!
In this episode you'll see how easy it is to link designs with a paper template and a feature called the trial key.This technique is useful for matching the top center of the second design with the bottom center of the first. Many machines have this capability or similar ways to pinpoint the positioning for your embroidery designs, allowing for linking designs for as long as you like. I'd love to hear back from you if you found some of the tips helpful, or if any questions pop up after watching this segment. Remember that further instructions are uploaded to the TV website. You can CLICK HERE to find those.
The free pattern instructions are just a click away too! You'll find this when you click the image on the left.
The second half of the show will help solve your rainy day woes as Alex Woodbury returns to show you some tricks for stitching laminated fabrics. Her featured garment is the Soho Jacket from the Sewing Workshop pattern line.
You'll see the value of the non-stick foot for sewing rainwear fabric such as vinyl coated cotton.
This unusual fabric can be found currently in some pretty prints on Fabric.com. I've had a lot of fun sewing with this fabric in the past. A few years ago Brother came out with a great hybrid foot that is not only non-stick but has roller wheels to really keep it gliding freely along the surface. Click on the image below to learn more.
If you're ready to go watch the show CLICK HERE. This show is currently showing online until March 9th at noon EST.
Enjoy and feel free to leave your comments!
Be ready to go anywhere, anytime! This entire show is full of perfect projects for an on-the-go lifestyle! I think you'll get some great ideas for gift making too!
The show begins with prolific blogger and busy Mom, Caroline Critchfield. Leave it to a busy, and I might add clever Mom to come up with something practical, pretty, and super fast to make! Watch as she shows each step to complete this piece and gives out some great tips and tricks along the way.
You'll hear Caroline recommend this little vinyl-lined pouch for cosmetics or a travel sized sewing kit. Both of these are great ideas. However, I can also see these made with fancy fabric along with embroidery or a monogram, and used to hold a gift of jewelry for an elegant presentation. Wrapped candies and a special note inside would be great for a hostess gift. Put a little thought into this and I bet you come up with some of your own great gift ideas. I'm planning to make one for a sewing friend with sewing themed fabric. Instead of candy, I'll add a sweet surprise in the form of a gift card for a local sewing shop.
You'll find all the instructions and a full size pattern for this project when you CLICK HERE.
Award-winning quilter Carolina Moore shows how to hand sew hexagons along with her own tips for English paper piecing in the next segment.
This type of quilt project is utterly portable and I can readily see how it could quickly become habit forming. I was surprised to see that these ready-to-use paper pieces were available in such large quantities and also in different shapes. CLICK HERE to see the full line of paper shapes from the Dritz Company.
Take a close look at the nifty wash away glue pen featured and you'll see that it is a cut above the ordinary. It's a Fons and Porter brand pen with refills available for future use. After a little research I found that it was on the high end price wise but being able to re-fill is a big plus in my book.
Alex Woodbury of AlexandIkat shows off her beautiful bags at the tail end of the show. Listen as she explains where each bag gets its name and then tells how these bags carry special meaning with help for others at the root of their design.
Are you ready to go watch the show? CLICK HERE. This show is currently showing online until March 2nd at noon EST. Enjoy!
This week you'll see western wear with classic flair, a tote with a mix of memories, and a quick tip for pattern layout on a very fashionable fabric.
My contribution to the show reveals my penchant for all things western. If you were to ask me why I love the western style so much I'm afraid I wouldn't have a good answer for you. All I know is that undoubtedly I DO love all things western!
When it comes to western garb I revel in the chance to wear it! For this piece I used Folkwear pattern #212 - Five Frontier Shirts. I think you would agree that this embellished shirt carries the spirit of the style without the standard cowboy/girl look. I did make a few minor modifications, skipping the pockets, eliminating a couple snaps, and adding embroidery to the smooth chambray fabric. Other than that, it's the exact same shirt you see the lady wearing in the center of the pattern photo. It's amazing what a few minor changes can make.
You'll find complete instructions for embroidery and all the trimmings posted on the It's Sew Easy TV website. For a quick shortcut to the instructions simply click on the image below.
If you are also a western wear aficionado you may want to take a look at a past project featuring yet another one of my favorite Folkwear patterns. CLICK HERE to watch the segment from series 1000 and you'll see the embroidered denim jacket I made for this show.
Rebecca Kemp Brendt is up next with her clever map meets tote project.
With free motion quilt capabilities you can imitate this style using a map that reminds you of your own hometown or a visit to a distant destination. Even without added stitching this tote is sure to be a great conversation starter, wouldn't you agree?
At the very end of the show Angela Wolf presents a quick tip for a pattern layout with houndstooth fabric.
Houndstooth is a checked fabric with a funny name and distinctive weave. This fabric has an ancient history, possibly dating back all the way to the first century! Also called tweed, it has a classic, timeless look with a tessellating pattern that's especially interesting up close. Watch this tip segment and learn to pattern match houndstooth for your next garment masterpiece.
If you're ready to go and watch the entire show you can CLICK HERE. Currently airing online until February 23rd at noon EST. Enjoy!
The subject matter for this show is simple and straightforward. Knit leggings take center stage and then you'll learn tips and tricks for scuba knit and neoprene fashion fabric.
In the first segment watch Angela stitch a comfortable elastic waistband for slim fitting leggings. Yes, these are close fitting body hugging pants. I think I may be hearing a few groans as some of you currently think this style won't work for you. I hear you!!! Allow me to hop on my fashion advice soapbox for a minute. You might just change your mind if you try a pair of leggings with great boots and a thigh skimming tunic top. But if not, you could also consider getting a similar look with slim leg pants made from a stretch woven fabric. Just throwing a few thoughts your way! I encourage you to explore current pattern books and I think you'll not only find some suitable options, you'll see that they are finally waking up and using some models that look like "real" people. Okay . . . I'm off the box and ready to tell you about the rest of the show :-)
Alex Woodbury, blogger, designer, and daughter of Linda Lee, well known owner of The Sewing Workshop has many samples to show with techniques for sewing seams, seam finishes, and hems for these unusual but attractive fabrics.
I found learning about these "new" fabrics really interesting. I have seen them in the fabric store but never had the push to try making something with them. I think I'm ready now and I'll be sure to let you know what I decide on for a future project.
At the end Angela returns with a quick tip for changing a basic knit pant pattern into a pull on pair like the ones you see her sew in the beginning of the show.
Want a sneak peek at next week? I've got an embroidered western style shirt to show you and I can't wait for you to see it!!!
This show is currently showing online until February 16th at noon EST.
CLICK HERE to go watch and Enjoy!
As always, I'd love to hear your comments and find out how you liked the show. Feel free to return here after you watch and write a line or two with your thoughts about the show.
Show 1307 is full of solid sewing advice. Just two teachers are featured this week so each segment shows project steps in great detail.
Children's fashion designer Carla Macklin shows you how to cut and sew custom bias trim in the first segment.
You'll see this bias trim as an accent on her darling dresses for little girls. Learn how to add this binding and you'll want to apply it to many clothing and craft items. Carla starts with a square of fabric, cuts bias strips, and then sews them together at a 90-degree angle to make longer lengths. To form the folded strips she uses a tool that came from the toolbox of her very own Grandmother.
I suggest you visit Dritz Notions for a modern day bias tape maker along with some great Dritz tutorials for cutting, pressing, and even determining the amount of yardage you'll need for bias strips in many different lengths.
CLICK HERE to see yet another tutorial showing a quick way to make long lengths of bias. This one shows bias for making custom piping but the same principle can be applied to bias strips for other projects.
Making a beautiful fabric box is the topic of the next segment with Rebecca Kemp Brendt. This custom crafted box is good for memories and treasures brought home from vacation or to hold a special gift.
Rebecca has designed more classy craft projects than anyone else I know! Not only is she a fantastic designer, she is known for clear, concise instructions that allow you to re-create without frustration as she explains steps in a manner that is always easy to understand.
I encourage you to listen and watch carefully. Rebecca dishes out some important fusing facts while using an interesting product for the stiff base, and then offers tips for shaping the corners and finishing with tacking and button sewing tips.
By the way, you'll find even more tutorials and projects produced by Rebecca on the official Brother blog at blog.brothersews.com.
Without further delay, CLICK HERE to go and watch the show. This currently airs until February 9th, 2018 - noon EST.
The series continues with tips for short trips, long trips, or trips close to home. Traveling any distance often means temperature changes both indoors and out. Having stylish garments you can easily slip on and off make travel more comfortable and more pleasant. In the first segment you'll see a fashion-forward sweater designed by Angela Wolf so you can be comfortable at home or away.
Next, learn how to embellish all of your gear with colorful embroidered patches. Embroidery expert Eileen Roche shows you how.
Now that you have your casual wear covered it's time to add something fancy for a special night out. In this episode I'll show you how to stitch a concealed zipper so you can create an elegant evening bag. It packs flat and coordinates with a special embroidered dress made from matching silk dupioni fabric. Read more about all these projects below.
First, Angela designs a coverup with a partial circle collar, peep sleeves, and lettuce edging on the hem, all from a basic T-shirt pattern.
To finish the edges she takes advantage of the super stretch of the fabric and stitches a ruffled, lettuce edge hem. This is a unique and decorative way to make narrow hems on stretchy knits.
I have a slightly different recipe for accomplishing this popular edge finish. Here's what you'll need:
Here are the steps:
Begin by selecting a zig zag stitch set for 2.0 width and 2.0 length. Line up the raw edge of the fabric with the center making on the foot. Zigzag over the raw edge, having the right hand swing of the zig zag catch the raw edge and stretching as you go. Next, set zig zag stitch for width 2.5 and length 1.0. Stitch over previous zig zag stitching.
This results in a more satin style stitch. Make sure to test first for suitability on your particular knit.
In the next segment, Eileen Roche makes a batch of "Sew Happy" patches.
You'll love all the special items Eileen decorated with patches! These snappy little patches work as an accent for everything from bags to hats to boat shoes! Watch as Eileen presents great tips for fusing these appliqués onto awkward surfaces. These are easy to attach to so many different things. They're sure to put a smile on someone's face if you make them for gifts too!
If you're looking for more fun patches you may want to explore the Blue Hair Girl collection. CLICK HERE to read my past post about the designer, Denise Holguin. You'll learn more about her creative style and see examples of the patches she invented.
In last short segment of the show you'll see me insert a concealed zipper with a special foot designed for the task.
The featured sample is a clutch purse previously published as a Brother blog post. CLICK HERE to view and download the original instructions. You'll find specific steps outlined and illustrated with photos so you can effortlessly stitch this style of zipper again and again.
This silk dupioni clutch purse is an elegant accessory for a special occasion or anytime you want something a bit fancier than your everyday handbag.
The inside zippered pocket is sleek and secure. Imagine making this purse in many different fabrics for dressy or casual days!
Need a gorgeous dress to pair with your purse? There are instructions for that too! They're also available on the official Brother Stitching Sewcial blog. You'll only catch a glimpse of this dress on the show but if you CLICK HERE you can see how I made this dress, from designing the layout to embroidering the front panel of this figure flattering dress.
Ready to go and watch the show? Show 1306 will air until noon EST on February 2nd. CLICK HERE to go watch the show. Enjoy!
I'd love to know if you would like to make your own version of any of the items you saw this week. Please let me know in the comments below.
Each week at noon a new show airs online at itsseweasytv.com. This blog features a preview of each weekly show.
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