Strike sewing!

You might ask…”what is strike sewing?” The short answer is that it’s for promotion! In the custom fabric and hardware world, shop owners get samples (or strikes) in to make sure they like them before selling. After they approve them, they will send them to the strike team to sew up…the reason for this is people want to see what it will look like as an actual finished item. After we sew them up, it is our job to promote everywhere and to drum up as many orders as possible!

Now that we have that info out of the way…do you want to see my most recent strikes?

This is the Pixie crossbody from Spencer Ogg patterns! It is the cutest little bag with tons of storage.https://www.spencerogg.com/product-category/patterns/ The fabric I chose is hexi rainbow from Tula Pink and black chambray from So Sew English Fabrics…but the fabrics are not the strikes. This fabric was chosen so that I could feature this little lovely:

I mean, seriously, how gorgeous is that pull?!?! This one is in the current preorder at Zip-a-DeeDooDah Hardware https://zip-a-deedoodah-hardware.myshopify.com/collections/hardware. I wanted to make sure this pull was the focus on the bag but I also didn’t want it to be a boring solid bag. I feel like this fabric was the perfect choice! Part of being a strike seamstress is getting lots of pictures so you aren’t posting the exact same thing in every spot. Here are some of my other photos of this bag:

Zip-a-DeeDooDah Hardware has several pulls up for preorder, but they are also offering amazing zipper tapes! I was sent this beautiful floral to sew up and here is what I made with it…

Pattern is Zippy Clutch from Amy Lynne Designs https://amylynnedesigns.com/shop/25394535/pdf-sewing-pattern

It was so beautiful that I didn’t want to take away from it with a busy print, so I chose a herringbone chambray from Surge Fabric Shop https://surgefabricshop.com/ and paired it with cork from Hobby Lobby! I used a gold teardrop pull from Wizardry Stitchery and Crafts https://geekyhardware.com/. This zipper tape is very high quality and so easy to work with…there are several others available too! https://zip-a-deedoodah-hardware.myshopify.com/collections/hardware

This is the third round I have had the pleasure of sewing strikes for, plus I purchased some before that…they really are awesome products! Here are my previous round makes and in case you are wondering…retail has not happened for them yet, so you may want to join the Facebook group to keep in the loop!

I hope this has been entertaining and maybe even helps you to find hardware that you love or gives you the courage to apply to be a strike sewist! Happy Sewing! ~Christy~

*links may include affiliate links, which don’t cost you anything but give me a little incentive.

Basic zipper pouch tutorial!

Today I will teach you how I make a basic zipper pouch. The great thing about this pattern is that you can easily adjust it to be any size you need. Here are the materials you need:

  • 2 pieces main fabric 5″ h x 7″ w
  • 2 pieces lining fabric 5″h x 7″ w
  • 2 pieces fusible interfacing 5″ h x 7″ w
  • 9″ or longer zipper

Start by fusing the interfacing to the outside fabric pieces only…you can interface the lining if you want to but for a simple pouch it really isn’t necessary. However, when you branch out to wristlets you will want interfacing to help hold pockets up.

Take one lining piece and lay it right side up on your table. Now lay the zipper on top of the lining with the teeth facing up. *I like to use a longer zipper so the pull hangs out the end because it makes sewing so much easier* Next place the main fabric right side down on top of the zipper. Using your zipper foot, sew through all 3 layers.

Flip both pieces so that they are wrong sides together and topstitch very close to your zipper.

Repeat with the remaining 2 pieces of fabric!

Push your zipper pull in, so that you don’t cut it off! Stitch over the open zipper end~ this isn’t a required step but it will make your life easier! Switch back to your regular sewing foot, you are finished with the zipper foot now.

Open your zipper most of the way, just keep it in farther than your seam allowance.

Match up your outside pieces so they are right sides together, then repeat with the lining pieces. It should look like this:

Fold your zipper tape in half towards the outside fabric and clip in place. Then clip all the way around the outside.

Start on the lining side at one corner and sew all the way around, only leaving a small hole in the lining to turn.

Trim off both zipper ends and clip all four corners.

Turn the pouch through the hole you left. Use a blunt object to poke all 4 corners out, making sure you don’t poke all the way through the fabric. Then carefully push the zipper corners out.

Fold the opening in and topstitch. Push the lining into the main and your zipper pouch is finished!!!

I hope this tutorial was helpful! After you get comfortable with the basic pouch it is so easy to adjust it for wristlets, cosmetic bags and so much more!

Happy Sewing!

~Christy~

Neckband tutorial

Do you struggle to get your neckbands to come out perfectly? I am going to show you how I do mine and share some tips along the way. Some fabrics are definitely more difficult to work with, a tip for those is to serge or zig zag the edges before you start…this will help with the rolling! Neckbands can be done with a stretch stitch on a regular sewing machine too, but since I have a serger I will be using it!

TIP: not all fabric has the same amount of stretch, so I always calculate my neckband instead of relying completely on the pattern piece. I measure the neck opening and multiply by 80%-90%, depending on the stretch percentage of the fabric. Typically higher stretch fabrics are fine with the neckband piece included with the pattern and I usually only calculate when I am using a lower stretch fabric. Does this make sense?

Let’s get started!!! Take your neckband piece and match up the ends right sides together, stitch. You will then have a circle.

Next, start at your seam and fold the neckband in half (closing your seam inside), place a clip or pin there. Then you will find the front center and mark there. Match up those 2 marks so that you can find the 2 center points between the front and back. You have now quartered your neckband!

Tip: I find it easier if you leave your top inside out to attach the neckband.

Now you will quarter your bodice. Fold the top in half to find the back and front center points, mark those spots. Open the bodice back up, pull the front clip up to meet the back clip to find the other 2 quarter marks. Notice that the shoulder seams are not the quarter points.

Match the neckband seam up with your back center clip, then match up the other 3 spots.

You want to stretch the band evenly between the quarter marks and clip in between. You should NEVER have to stretch the bodice at all, only the band should be stretched a little.

Tip: When sewing, I like to start at the back seam because the start/stop is almost always where my mistakes happen, and they will be hidden in the back! I also like to sew with the bodice up and the neckband closest to the sewing machine/serger plate. I feel like I have the best control that way…but you have to do whatever makes your life easiest!

Starting at the back, sew all the way around your neckband making sure to go slowly and stretch evenly. Only remove your clips when you get to them. The small sections make it easier to stretch evenly!

You can topstitch if you feel the need to…I’m a pretty lazy sewist, so I usually do not!!! Turn your shirt right sides out and admire your perfect neckband!

Stay tuned for more info on this beautiful Hannah from Sonia Estep Designs! Affiliate link: http://sonia-estep-designs.myshopify.com?aff=8

I hope this tutorial was helpful! Please ask questions if not. Happy Sewing!

~Christy~

Rio Raglan

I love a raglan top because you can use up those odd cuts you have hanging around for a fun and colorful shirt or you can make it solid for a cute basic tee! The problem I have with them is that I have tried out so many and none were perfect. They were always too relaxed, not relaxed enough, the neckline was too wide, too high, too low, the hem wasn’t to my liking, the length wasn’t right, the sleeves were too tight…and the list goes on and on! So when I tested the Rio raglan from So Sew English, I was fully prepared to make adjustments after my first tester version. But to my surprise, the only adjustment I had to do was grading out one size for my hips (which I always have to do anyway, no matter the pattern)!!! This pattern has all the options you would need~ crop, tee and tunic length~ v neck or crewneck~ short, 3/4 and long sleeves

For the pattern test I was assigned tunic length, short sleeve, crew neck version. I made a size xl graded to 1x hips but no other adjustments whatsoever, not even for height. I used a gray and white striped french terry for the bodice and raided my scrap bin for the sleeves!!! I didn’t think I would like the tunic length and planned to cut it down to tee length after testing…but I kind of love it and am going to keep it long!

My second one was tee length, crew neck with 3/4 sleeves made in the buffalo plaid dbp for the bodice and black/white stripe dbp sleeves…I am in love with this one and have had several people try to steal it already!!!!

And my newest one was supposed to have different options BUT I loved the plaid one so much that I wanted more with those same options! So I pulled out the coral striped dbp for the bodice and sewing machine dbp for the sleeves…I am in love with this one too!

Raglans truly are about the easiest thing you can make, so they are perfect for beginners…and those of us that just don’t have much time but we want to make something! LOL You can grab your copy of Rio here : https://sosewenglishfabrics.com/products/rio-raglan?_pos=1&_sid=732747f7f&_ss=r

Thank you for being here and if you have anything you would like me to talk about in a future post, send me an email or leave a comment!

Callie~ the cutest cardigan around!

Sonia Estep Designs Callie cardigan has been around for a while, but she just got an update! A longer length and bishop sleeves were added plus it’s also now available in projector format! I have also made the vest version of this adorable waterfall cardigan but today I am just going to talk about this one.

I used red/blue Aspen stripe double brushed poly from So Sew English https://sosewenglishfabrics.com/products/red-blue-aspen-stripe-floral-double-brushed-poly-spandex-by-the-yard?_pos=3&_sid=5167c4590&_ss=r. I tried the long length and because I love bishop sleeves, I had to have those!!! Can we please just take a moment to appreciate the sleeves!

I wasn’t sure if I would like the longer length…but I do and will be making so many more in that length!!! It always amazes me that something this beautiful can also be a really quick sew! I made this in just a little over an hour…it could be even quicker if you don’t hem it, but I love the clean look of a hem! And because you can’t just have a new cardigan, I also made a new Maggie tank in this beautiful royal blue poly cotton jersey! Dreamy, right?!!! Maggie is also from Sonia Estep Designs and is free with a code in the facebook group!!! In less than 2 hours I was able to make both of these…and wore them the same night! I highly recommend all patterns from Sonia Estep Designs because the tutorials are so well written and easy to follow, but also because the fit is always spot on…as long as you take your measurements properly!

Thank you for being here! And if you would like to purchase any patterns from Sonia Estep Designs using my affiliate link I would appreciate the support so very much! http://sonia-estep-designs.myshopify.com?aff=8 My link doesn’t cost you anything extra, but it does give me a small bonus.

How to make a key fob!

This tutorial is the way I like to make key fobs! It is most definitely not the only way, but people seem to like them so I just keep making them! Please feel free to share this tutorial with your friends…I really appreciate the visitors here!

These are such a quick sew and make the cutest gift…especially when you give it with a car trash bag! If you haven’t made a trash bag yet, check out that blog post! Here are the items you need:

  • 5″ x 10″-12″ fabric (length is personal preference)
  • interfacing the same size as your fabric
  • 1.25″ key fob hardware

Start by ironing your interfacing onto your fabric.

Fold the fabric in half and press to make a crease down the center. Open it back up and fold each side into the center.

Fold the entire thing in half, making sure to line up the edges. Topstitch down the open side first then the closed side.

Now it’s time to attach the hardware! Start by trimming each end, remove any interfacing peeking out and straighten it up.

Fold it in half~I like to use a clip to hold it while I work!

I have these pliers that work perfectly for key fob hardwarehttps://ilikebigbuttons.com/collections/key-fob-hardware-tool/products/key-fob-hardware-pliers. However, you can use regular pliers too…just use a thin cloth so you don’t leave any grooves in the metal when you clamp! Give it a gentle clamp first, that way you can make sure it’s straight, then clamp it all the way down. Your key fob is done!!! Wasn’t that an easy project?!?!

Now let’s talk about the adorable fabric I used! This was a preorder fabric that I was asked to sew up for promotion and it is from LMB Fabric and Notions https://lmblilymboutique.bigcartel.com/products. The good news about this is that the preorder has started rolling in…which means that retail will be available soon!!! You can join the Facebook group to find out when products will be available! https://www.facebook.com/groups/158658384765426/

~Happy Sewing~

Carissa Clutch

I love Christmas…no seriously, I keep one tree up year round! I was so excited when I was asked to sew up a bag featuring an adorable Grinch zipper pull but I did not know what I wanted to make. I asked in a fb group and someone asked me to try out the Carissa Clutch from Huff n Cuffs patterns…it’s a free pattern so I thought why not!!! https://www.huffncuffs.com/products/carissa-clutch

Let me tell you, this pattern is awesome! The tutorial is very easy to follow and it went together exactly like it was supposed to! It has 6 card slots and a zipper pocket inside, plus the fun vinyl accent outside gives it a very unique look. I highly recommend this pattern…even if you are new to bag making!

Now onto the zipper pull I am supposed to feature! This (and lots of others) are in a current preorder from Zip A DeeDooDah Hardware https://zip-a-deedoodah-hardware.myshopify.com/

Super cute, right?!!! But it is also very nice quality. I knew that I had to pair it with the perfect fabric to make the most Christmas-y wristlet I possibly could…so I pulled out my Who’s Jelly from Backstitch Fabrics! A perfect match!!! And since I love Christmas, the ornaments had to come out for a photoshoot! I mean, if we are doing this we have to do it right!!!

This was such a fun wristlet to make! Go grab the pattern and order some zippers…have fun sewing!

Fabric Basket Tutorial

Today I am going to show you how I make these adorable fabric baskets! They can easily be made in different sizes, but for the sake of simplicity I am just going to give you the measurements for my most used size and style…medium size with vinyl bottom! A huge bonus to these (besides being cute) is that they have a stiff base but they are also completely washable!

***This is my own pattern. It took a lot of hours and many failures to get to this point. I am happy to share this tutorial for free but I do ask that you send people to my blog to get this pattern themselves. Feel free to sell and share your baskets, but credit me or my blog whenever it is possible. Thank you so much for your support!

Now that we are through the boring stuff, let’s have fun!!!

  • Gather your supplies:
    • 2 pieces main fabric and 2 pieces interfacing 5.5″ x 12″
    • 2 pieces vinyl 4″ x 12″
    • 2 pieces lining fabric and 2 pieces interfacing 9″ x 12″
    • 1 piece of Peltex 4.75″ x 5.75″ plus interfacing that is cut a little wider (this will make more sense in the picture below)

Cut all of your fabric, vinyl, interfacing and Peltex. Iron your interfacing onto the fabric pieces and set aside. You do not need interfacing on the vinyl. For the Peltex interfacing, I cut a strip that is a little wider than the piece of Peltex, wrap it around and then iron. Cutting it wider allows you to sew it into the seams so it cannot shift.

Take your lining pieces and place them right sides together. You will sew around both sides and the bottom, but make sure to leave a hole at the bottom that’s 4ish inches for turning. I like to draw a line so I don’t accidentally forget.

Next we will make the 5″ box corners. Reach inside and press the corners out to make a triangle. I use a quilting ruler to mark a 5″ line across the triangle. Stitch right over that line. Cut the triangles off, leaving about 1/4″ to the side of your seam. Set the lining aside.

Line your vinyl up with the bottom of your main fabric, right sides together and stitch.

This is the part where I change to a teflon foot. If you don’t have one, tissue paper on top of your vinyl helps with the topstitching too! If you lengthen your stitches when topstitiching on vinyl things will go a lot smoother!

Flip your vinyl down and topstitch. When you are done, remember to change your stitch length back!

Place the outside pieces right sides together and stitch around the 3 sides. When I use vinyl, I like to start by matching up the vinyl on both sides then clip the rest of the way around. Sometimes seams don’t end up perfect and you can trim from the top or bottom if you need to and you will never notice…but you will notice if the vinyl isn’t lined up!

After you have sewn those pieces together we will make the 5″ box corners the same way we did for the lining.

Take your Peltex wrapped in interfacing and clip it onto the bottom of the outside piece you just made. You are going to stitch just to the outside of your seam…don’t go inside your seam or you will notice it once the basket is completed. Trim the ends off.

Flip your main piece right side out but leave your lining inside out. Place the outside piece inside of the lining, so that they are right sides together. Stitch all the way around the top.

Pull the entire basket through the hole you left in the bottom. After you have all of the corners pushed out, close up the hole.

Now you want to push the lining down into the main piece and topstitch around the entire top edge.

And your beautiful yet practical fabric basket is done!

Seam Reaper fabric from Backstitch Fabrics and rose gold glitter vinyl from Glitterbug Fairy

Once you get comfortable with the steps, this pattern is easy to adjust so that it suits your needs…just don’t forget to remeasure for the Peltex!!! I have made larger baskets, smaller baskets, teeny tiny baskets (I don’t recommend that!), added handles, made them with all fabric and even made them taller so you can flip the top down. Here are some of my favorites!

I hope you loved this tutorial! Thank you so much for joining me!

Mandy!

We have all seen the super cute side tie tops and dresses on Pinterest. Well, Sonia Estep Designs has given us her take on the look…but better! The newest SED pattern is Mandy and I am thrilled that I got to test it. This pattern has tie or no tie options, dress or shirt length and short or long sleeves! The options are endless with this one.

My first version was a no tie, short sleeve, shirt length in a black/white polka dot single brushed poly from So Sew English Fabrics https://sosewenglishfabrics.com/ . I love the fit of this top, however I may go back and add a waistband to it. I have an average 8″ sidewaist that patterns are drafted for but I am 5’7″ so sometimes I have to add a little length to the bottom…usually I don’t know if I need to until I make the first one! This is one that I think I would be more comfortable with an extra inch at the hip, but it is super cute so I’m definitely not going to let it sit in my closet unworn!

Now, I don’t know if you can see it or not but this pattern has a seam down the back. What is the benefit of this? #1 is you don’t have to cut the back on the fold which makes it easier to save fabric! I was able to get this one from less than a yard! #2 and the most important is that it gives you a beautiful fit and a little extra shape at the waist!

For my second one I made long sleeve, dress length with the tie in a brushed hacci sweater knit from Surge Fabric Shop https://surgefabricshop.com/. I cannot even begin to tell you how soft and cozy this sweater knit is…you are going to just have to trust me!!! I will say that a sweater dress with leggings and boots in August will make you sweaty while you are trying to get somewhat decent photos! And can we just talk about that adorable knot!

Now to tell you the best part about this pattern…it is such a quick sew! I made the basic polka dot one in under an hour, cut to finish, and the dress only took me just a hair over an hour!!! I love patterns that look so fancy and complicated but really are just as simple as a basic tee! This is a pattern that I highly recommend…actually I love all SED patterns! The tutorials are so easy to follow and the fit is always spot on!

*If you would like to purchase this pattern or any others (they are all fabulous), I would greatly appreciate your support! My affiliate link doesn’t cost you anything extra but it does give me a little incentive to keep sewing! #affiliate https://soniaestepdesigns.com/?aff=109

Thank you for being here and be sure to sign up for emails!

Let’s talk Zippers!

Do you ever get overwhelmed by zippers and what type goes with which project? I know when I first started sewing I didn’t realize that there are different zippers that should be used for different projects. There are way more types than I have time to talk about, so I will just stick to what I know…bags!!!

Metal teeth, nylon, separating, #3, #5, pulls, tape…what does it all mean? It all gets really confusing but I am here to share the info that I have gathered over the years!!!

Metal zippers are my least favorite to use because you can’t just sew over the teeth and you can’t just cut it to length. Way too much work in my opinion! LOL If you do use one, go slowly right up to the zipper teeth then hand crank a couple stitches over, being very careful to not hit the teeth. You can also pull a couple teeth off to get it to the length you need.

Before I found Facebook sewing groups, I thought the only zippers were the premade ones that you buy at your local craft store. These are fine in a pinch but they are a little pricey. There are several reputable online stores that you can purchase in bulk for a way more reasonable price. This is the way to go if you need inexpensive. You can buy these in different size teeth but standard is #3 and they come in several length options. They come with the top and bottom stops but since they are nylon, you can cut to length and sew over them!

I started seeing all of the beautiful zippers with fancy pulls but I was terrified to try zipper tape. I didn’t know which zipper to use where and it was all just really overwhelming. I decided to dive in and now I will not ever go back to the premade zippers! They come in two different sizes, #3 and #5 (this refers to the teeth size). Size #3 is perfect for small bags like zipper pouches, wristlets, cosmetic bags, etc and also for pockets on the inside of bigger bags. Size #5 are the more substantial zippers that you see as the main zippers on bags and purses. The tape is amazing because you can buy it in yardage and cut it to the length you need. Both sizes have pulls that fit only that size.

But how do you get the pull onto the tape? It looks scary and difficult, but trust me when I tell you that it is so easy to do!!!

Cut your zipper to just a little longer than the length you need. Open one end a little bit and trim one side of the tape down. Place one side of your pull onto the taller side of your tape. Tip: You can quickly run a lighter over the edge of the tape to keep it from fraying while you are putting the pull on. Slide your pull down to meet the shorter side and insert that side of the tape into the pull. Slide it down and your zipper is assembled!!! See…easy, peasy!

Here are some more beautiful zippers I have installed!

Thank you for being here and I hope this has been helpful information! If you ever have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask here or email me! Happy sewing!