Friday, October 26, 2007


"A Clean Sole"

Just recently I got an inspiration to sew at 5:00 in the morning when my house is quiet and there is no one to bother me. I had slept with several patterns and a couple of Vogue and Threads magazines the night before (my husband is out of town and these are the next best things). I got my fabric out to press before cutting and thank goodness I looked at the bottom of the iron before it touched my fabric. It was then that I realized that my son had once again victimized my Rowenta Iron! The sole plate of my iron looked like a melted rainbow.For some reason he thinks that every piece of clothing that he owns can be ironed on the hottest setting! As I calmed down, I knew that I had to clean my iron before starting my project. These are the steps that I take to clean the sole plate of my iron.

1. Pour all of the water out of the iron. The cleaning is done with a dry iron, no steam.
2. Turn the iron to the hottest setting which is for linen and cotton.
3. Cut a strip of muslin about 24 inches long and about 10 inches wide. Fold fabric until it is about 3/8 to 1/2 inch thick.
4. Apply Dritz Iron Off Hot Cleaner (about the size of a quarter) to the muslin pad. Rub in a circular motion until the residue starts to disappear from the sole plate. You may have to refold the muslin and apply of the iron cleaner depending on how much of a "melted rainbow" you have.

To clean the steam vents, use the tip of the muslin or a Q-tip. Once the sole plate is cleaned you can add water to the iron and give it a few burst of steam to remove any iron cleaner that may be left in the steam vents. Once the cleaning process is completed, use a clean cloth to wipe the sole plate and its edges clean making sure all of the iron cleaner is removed.

I really like the Dritz Iron Off Hot Cleaner because it is easy to use and the best of all, it really works! You can tell this in the before and after photo's of my iron.However, the iron cleaner will not remove any discoloration in the metal finish.

  • Be sure to pour all water out of your iron, no steam--OUCH!!
  • You may want to cover your ironing board cover to prevent any of the iron cleaner from getting on it.
  • Be careful because your iron will be VERY HOT!
  • Buy your kids their own iron!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pattern Reviews with Laura

Cynthia and I had a wonderful time Monday with sewing fashionista, Laura. Laura is a fab-u-lous seamstress and she shared her sewing experiences on the following three knit tops.

Vogue 8151 View A

Fabric: Nicole Miller Knit (see 9/11/07 entry)
96% Rayon 4% Spandex

Prewash: Laura machine washed her fabric on warm, permanent press cycle and dried on a flat surface.

Notions: Thread, Knit Elastic

: Laura does her alterations on the original pattern and then traces the pattern with the new adjustments.

She altered for a round back using Sandra Betzina's Fast Fit
and lowered the bust point.

Sewing Tip: Laura picked up this tip from Mary Tilton for a no gap neckline. Starting at the center front and tapering down 5 inches, trim off 1/4 ". This will make the neckline hug closer to your body.

Construction: The side seams are shirred by sewing in elastic. Laura used a knit elastic but it scratches. She will replace it with clear elastic.

Finished product: Back view
Close up of back neck view

The beautiful necklace is a gift from her brother. It's a perfect match.

Laura had fabric left over and made a tie for the front to give it a different look.

Butterick 4347 View A

Fabric: Nicole Miller knit (see 9/11/07 entry)
96% Rayon 4% Spandex

Prewash: Same as above

Notions: Thread, Fusi knit cut on the bias

Alterations: Same as above

Sewing Tip: Laura stabilized the shoulder area with a strip of Fusi Knit cut on the bias.

Finished Product: Cowl Neckline
Full view

Butterick 4347 view C (see photo above)

Fabric: Renfrew knit
90% Cotton 10% Spandex (see 9/28/07 entry)

Prewash: Same as above

Notions: Thread, Fusi Knit cut on the bias for shoulders

Alterations: Same as above

Sewing Tip: The front of this top is a full crossover (a right and left front). This makes the hem consist of 4 layers. Use Steam a Seam II to hold the layers together so there will be so shifting while hemming.

Finished Product: Neckline front and back

Full view front & back

Laura loves all of her knit tops and strongly recommends each pattern.
After the photo shoot, Laura fed us gourmet pizza and homemade chocolate chip cookies! Thanks Laura, for the photo shoot, great company and good food!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Fall Fabrics 2007

96% Cotton 4% Elastine
Designer--Vera Wang
Knits are hot this season. This fun leaf print is perfect for the office or the weekend. Lightweight and slightly sheer with crosswise stretch only, this knit just begs for fashions with lots of draping or ruching. Machine wash cold delicate cycle, lay flat to dry.

98% Cotton 2% Spandex
Designer--Jones New York
What's always in fashion and can be dressed up or down? Denim, of course! The blue in this denim has a slight grey cast-gives it a dressier feel. The denim is medium weight with just enough spandex for comfort. Machine wash cold, dry on perma press cycle.

Sewl Mates60"
60% Wool 40% Silk
on sale was 17.00 now 12.00

See denim above

100% Tropical Weight Wool
on sale was 17.00 now 12.00

60% Rayon 40% Polyester
Velvet Flocked Organza
on sale was 12.00 now 9.00

Construction in ProgressThread (Gutermann 775 & 595), Needle (Schmetz Stretch size 11),
Invisible Zipper (YKK 566)

Buttons (LM148292 3/4" & LM148291 7/8"), Needle (Schmetz Jean size 14), Invisible Zipper (YKK S922), Thread (Gutermann 117)

Sweet Inspiration

Pattern Suggestions: Knit-Vogue 8420, 8411, Butterick 4920,
Simplicity 4076, New Look 6648
Denim-Vogue 8330, 8203, McCalls 5336, 5244, Simplicity 3686

Sewing Tips: Use clear elastic on knits to stabilize the shoulder and neck areas.
Prewash denim at least twice to take care of any progressive shrinking.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Just My Imagination!!

Cynthia has written a great reminder of what a covered button could be!!

I witnessed my Mother use covered buttons frequently. I would often think, "Why would she do that when we could buy buttons from the store?" Well, I have had to eat those words plenty of times because as we all know, a great button can make a garment. And when I can't find "the button", I cover my buttons. I encourage you to use your imagination and cover your own buttons, too. To create the covered buttons to coordinate with our beautiful Anne Klein wool suiting, I used the following items.

  • Button to cover kit-Dritz or Prim
  • Glass beads and/or shells
  • Clear transparent monofilament thread
  • Glue stick
  • Hand needle
I still prefer the "old fashion" buttons to cover kit with the teeth that destroy my fingernails. In my opinion, these still make the best covered buttons because when the fabric is stretched and smoothed over the button the teeth firmly hold the fabric in place. To save your fingernails you can use a small flathead screw driver to help hook fabric onto the teeth of the button.

1. Thread your needle using the monofilament thread. Make several knots in the monofilament thread to prevent the thread from pulling through the fabric.
2. Follow the directions on the back of the package of covered buttons to cut the fabric for the size of the button.
3. Place beads or whatever you are using in a design on your cut fabric. You can use the glue stick to temporarily hold beads in place.
4. Begin to sew beads in place. I did this one at a time because the monofilament thread is slippery.
5. Be sure to check the size of your design before you covering your button. You may have to adjust your design.
6. Cover your button according to instructions on the back of package.
7. If you are making machine buttonholes, carefully cut your buttonholes open and apply a small amount of Fray Check to the edges and allow to completely dry. This will help keep the buttonhole from snagging.

With a little imagination you can create beautiful buttons to enhance your garment.