This marked my third year teaching at Road to California and it was the best by far. I had four classes, Thursday through Sunday, focusing on fabrics that many are intimidated by: minky, double gauze and knits. I’d spent hours and hours over the last few weeks prepping kits and samples for the classes and it was all worth it.
On Thursday, we made Ellie Elephants using the pattern from Funky Friends Factory and Luxe Cuddle Heather Fog from Shannon Fabrics, along with a couple of solid Cuddle minky fabrics. They turned out so well and everyone was so happy with their elephants! I saw a couple of students walking the show floor with them later and it was adorable. Look how pleased they were!
I first saw this pattern at work; one of our sample sewists had made it up in a cute print and it sat out on the floor taunting me for weeks. Then I saw it on Instagram. Then I ran into Michelle at Quilt! Knit! Stitch! and she was wearing it. I asked a few questions about her experience with the pattern–any problems? Instructions good? How’s the fit? Her biggest feedback: Get a fabric with some stretch. The slim fit led to more than one popped seam for her.
I’ve been working on mastering the Negroni shirt pattern and the flat fell seams were one aspect that I just wasn’t happy with on the first version I made. I also put the cuff buttonholes in the wrong place, so overall it wasn’t exactly my best work.
So of course for the next version I chose the softest, floppiest linen possible: Antwerp Linen in Chambray. It’s gorgeous, but made of 100% linen so there’s not much body to it and an incredibly soft hand. These are great qualities in clothing, but not so much for the construction part. If you choose to go this route, I suggest you invest in some good starch, Best Press, Flatter or something similar.
Because of my choice in fabric, I had to do a little extra with my seams, but first let me show you how to do a basic flat fell seam. These are perfect for the side seams of dress shirts and jeans, but are a good alternative with fabrics that like to fray.
First you will stitch a regular 5/8″ seam. I use my walking foot throughout because it works great and I don’t want to change feet unless I have to. If you prefer, you can use a regular foot for this part. Stitch, then press to set your seam.
I’m excited to be teaching the Bridgetown Backless Tunic/Dress pattern at Fabric Depot on May 3rd and if you’re local, it would be a great opportunity to learn a little garment sewing. I’ve met lots of people who are interested in learning how to sew apparel, but don’t know where to start. This one, I swear, is a good jumping off point. We’ll talk about fabrics, seam finishes, elastic, hems and facings.
The dress is a forgiving, but still flattering style. And If you’re stressing about that backless part, that’s what tank tops were made for. It’s super cute and so comfy. I’m finishing up my own version and will show it off soon!
Can you believe it’s September already?! This summer has just flown by but I’m super happy to report that the sun is still shining here in Portland. We had one cloudy day last week, but it’s back to blue skies, sunshine and supposedly into the 90s again this weekend!
I may be one of the few Portlanders who actually love the forecast of continued heat. Blame a year in California with sunshine every.single.day.
September means things start changing and the daughter goes back to school. We’ll get back to a routine of work/school days with homework and weekends for fun. I’ll be teaching again and I’m thrilled. Plus I have a few consulting gigs starting this month and the pincushions and pillows are coming right along.
Then there are all these projects on this month’s to-do list:
I’ve got Kell’s quilt started and Luke’s is cut out. So are both the garments for class. At least there is a bit of a jumpstart, but this could very well take all of September if I’m not careful with my time. So I’m up early again today, did some yoga and now it’s down to the studio to get cracking on that list. Welcome to September.