Month: January 2019

Make Nine, Top Makes of the Year

Make Nine, Top Makes of the Year

It’s time to look back at the first year here on the blog. It’s been a great journey! Here are my top Nine projects of the year according to Google Analytics!

Anyone Can make a cut and sew sweater|Chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com
Me in my new fuzzy sweater, I can’t wait to make more of them!

Make Nine, Top Makes of the Year

Last year I had a dream, a dream to start a sewing blog. I had a vision for this business ten years ago when I started my home decor blog but at the time sewing just didn’t seem like the right fit. I was busy home schooling Mom of 4 boys and just didn’t have time to sew much of anything, I had little space or equipment for a sewing studio. Home decor and lifestyle topics were easier for me to write about because it was all things I was doing anyway in my day to day life. Since then our sons have grown up and left home. Now I can focus on sewing, not just for me but for the home too. Thanks for all your support this last year on the blog! It’s been amazing, the sewing community is very supportive and a joy to be a part of. The sewing niche is a much small group than the home decor niche, and I have already made a number of friends and contacts that are very special. Sewing is a world wide top, much more than the home decor niche which seems to revolve mainly around American style homes and interiors. My home decor blog is still active, and I have recently rebranded. You can check it out at Cozy Traditional Home.com.

I have lots of new things planned for the new year ahead here on Chambray Blues which I am not quite ready to announce, but here are my top projects to date. I am always amazed at which projects rise to the top, I can never accurately predict what will be the most successful.

Make Nine List

Restyled Mens shirt back|Chambraybluesblog|www.chambrayblues.com
This shirt is made from 3 different menswear shirts.

Men’s Thrifted Upcycle Hack in 7 Steps 

Upcycled Sewing Hacks

Upcycling is a big topic in sewing. There are several upcycyling projects that have made the list, I am so glad you all enjoy them! Being a good steward of what we have is very important to me, and I will continue to come up with new ways to use old clothes and fabrics!

Make Nine, Top Makes of the Year|ChambrayBluesBlog|chambrayblues.com
Design your necklace on a form or on yourself while looking in the mirror.

Scrappy Denim Boho Necklace

Upcycled Denim Hat|Chambray Blues Blog|chambrayblues.com
Love this adorable denim hat made from old jeans!

How to make an upcycled hat from old jeans

Make Nine, Top Makes of the Year|Chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com

Add style to your t-shirt with this easy pattern hack!3 Step Easy T-shirt Pattern Hack

Pattern Hacking Tips

Pattern Hacking is one of my specialties. When I worked as a designer in the apparel industry making the first pattern was my job. I love showing you my pattern hacking tips! I am making new videos for my You Tube Channel regularly with pattern making techniques. Be sure to subscribe for updates!

How to Sew a Sunny Raincoat|Chambraybluesblog|www.chambrayblue.com
Yellow Raincoats never go out of style!

Sewing Pattern Reviews

Sewing patterns have changed a lot since I learned to sew 40 years ago. Not all have changed for the better! I am reviewing patterns from some of the Indie designers as well as the Big 4 Pattern companies here on the blog, much more to come!

Sew a Sunny Raincoat

Ruffled denim purse with Cricut|Chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com
This tiny purse is perfect for kids or a casual night out.

Cricut Maker Projects

My relationship with Cricut sponsor has been a huge part of blog. They are a great company to work with and I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with them. Sewing with my Cricut Maker is so much fun! I will continue to have more great projects here on the blog using my Cricut!

Sew a Recycled Denim Ruffled Purse with Cricut and Simplicity

Riley Blake Quilt Kit for the Cricut Maker|chambray blues blog|chambrayblues.com
The Finished Spinning Wheels Quilt

Riley Blake Throw Quilt Made with the Cricut maker

Undies to Tees Boxer Briefs|Chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com
Look how colorful these boxers are!

Tees Refashioned to Undies, Refashion Your Shirts to Underware

Sew a Clutch with Strap|Chambray Blues Blog|chambrayblues.com
You can make this cute bag with your Cricut Maker.

Sew a Clutch Bag with Zipper

 

That’s the Make Nine list! You can see more sewists top Make Nine on Instagram using the hashtag #Makenine. Thank you for your support, looking forward to even better things! If there is a particular project or technique you would like to see me sew here on the blog, please send an email with your suggestion to Jessica@chambrayblues.com. I would love to hear your suggestions, they are very important to me!

 

In case you haven’t been around, here are some of the other posts that are not to be missed:

Sew Along Dinner Date Dress Reveal

Meet Mimi Goodwin, Successful Sewing Entrepreneur

Anyone Can Make a Cut and Sew Sweater

Sew a 3 Step Buffalo Check Cardigan

Sew Your Own DIY Christmas Decor with Cricut

Make a Chill’n Cricut T-Shirt Collection with #YogaLife

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7 Reasons Why the Big 4 Sewing Pattern Companies Don’t Want You to Stop Pattern Hoarding

7 Reasons Why the Big 4 Sewing Pattern Companies Don’t Want You to Stop Pattern Hoarding

In this Episode of the Style Blues Podcast, we are talking about Sewing Pattern Hoarding. Here’s why the Big 4 don’t want you to stop your hoarding habit!

Why they want you to keep hoarding patterns|Chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com
How big is your sewing pattern stash?

Why the Big 4 Sewing Pattern Companies Don’t Want You to Stop Hoarding

We all love a good sewing pattern sale, I love them as much as anyone else. Here’s why pattern companies don’t want you to stop hoarding their sewing patterns.

 

Welcome back to the podcast! I have been sick for over a week, and I apologize in advance for my gravelly voice. But I am really passionate about today’s topic and I can’t wait to share my observations with you.

The question I want you to answer is “How many of the big 4 pattern company sewing patterns do you own?” Do you have a binder full? A Box full? A Room full? Maybe you don’t even know how many you have. Perhaps you have taken place in the pattern destashing I have been organizing my sewing room this month, and I recently went through all of my patterns. I have about 50 of them, almost all of them were purchased in the last year. I have used many of them, but there are just as many that are unused and I will probably never use.

 

Lately, I have noticed a trend in the sewing groups on Facebook, for pattern sale announcements. One person posts that the fabric store is having a .99 cent sale, and everyone else runs out and purchases a cart load of patterns. The next week it’s the craft store that’s having the sale so everyone does the same thing again. Then we all post pictures of our “pattern haul” online.

 

I came across a posting in Facebook marketplace recently from a lady who was selling a collection of 425 patterns spanning decades of about 30 years. It was a good deal for $75.00 and for a brief moment I actually considered purchasing it. Who in the world has room to store 425 patterns? How could you possibly keep them organized? Wouldn’t they get full of bugs and mildew??

 

Personally, I have purchased too many sewing patterns already and I don’t have that many. The madness has to stop.

 

But I will not do that anymore. This is real life. I have been thinking through why in the world the pattern companies would mark down their product so drastically that we all run out and buy boat loads of patterns we may never use. In this day and age when fewer women sew than ever before, why would they do such a thing? It seems as if we are slaves to the pattern companies in a massive unhealthy manner. Why?

 

Pattern companies don’t want you to stop your hoarding habit

1. They are creating a buying FRENZY by the excitement of the seasonal pattern launch: New patterns are released several times each year. By creating these super sales, manufacturers have us running into the store to buy their new designs. It is a buying FRENZY and they love it!

 

2. They are still making money, even if the patterns only cost $.99. Patterns are after all, just paper. By mass printing more and more the cost of each becomes less and less. By selling them as cheap as possible, they are selling more than ever. Obviously, the pattern company is still making a small profit with this technique or they wouldn’t be doing it.

3. McCalls, Butterick, Simplicity and Vogue Need the Business: The Big 4 pattern companies as they are called, are actually two companies now. They have consolidated because the apparel sewing business isn’t a good as it used to be. I think mainly this is due to the entire sewing industry is shifting as we begin to purchase more and more pdf patterns from independent designers. For the first time they are up  against real competition that they haven’t ever had before. Bloggers with YouTube channels, Indie pattern designers have left the pattern companies scrambling to change with the times.

 

What They Don’t Want You to Know

4.They don’t want you to know that you are buying the same patterns over and over. Having worked in the apparel industry, I can tell you this secret. The patterns that you keep buying are actually the SAME PATTERN. How does this work? When I worked as an assistant designer for a lingerie company in Chicago, it was my job to make the first patterns. The designer would make a sketch of a garment, and it was my job to make the pattern for it so it could be cut out of fabric and sewn into the first sample garment for fitting. In design school they teach you to begin with a pattern sloper, that is a basic style which you then alter and create any additional styles. This is rather time consuming. But large companies don’t have to do that. They already have many years worth of patterns sitting in the back stockroom. So, all I had to do was find the style that was the closest to the one that the designer wanted and change it. I would go find pattern XYZ and copy it. Then I would change the neck or sleeve and we would have our new style, ABC. That’s how it works, you are essentially buying the same pattern with a different sleeve, neck or hem over and over again. The pattern companies don’t want you to know that it would be bad for business.

5. Pattern companies want you to rely on them. They want you to think that you need more patterns. This is not true. If you have a small amount of basic styles to work with, you can sew just about anything. Look for a basic pattern sloper that you can make to your size. Then, you can change it into whatever style you are looking for. Way back when, women knew how to do this. Women were not pattern hoarders, even though the made all of their own clothes. They learned dress making techniques from their mothers and grandmothers. They didn’t need a lot of sewing patterns because they knew how to make their own.

I am not saying that if you have never sewn before in your life you won’t need a sewing pattern. This is not true. I am saying that if you already own 425 patterns in your stash you should take the time to learn how to alter the pattern to your needs and free yourself from the Pattern Hoarding mentality.

Some great fitting patterns to use are:

M7279 a basic dress pattern with darts

M7352 a basic princess seam dress

M6361 a basic pant and skirt

M2718 a basic dress to be used with gingham or plaids

M5894 Jeans

These are McCalls patterns that I own, each pattern company should have a similar basic fitting pattern. Choose the company that is closest to your body measurements and stick with it. I have some upcoming workshops to help you in this process, if you are interested just send me an email at Jessica@chambrayblues.com with the words “Fitting workshop” in the subject line and I will keep you posted on the upcoming event.

6. Runway looks yield big business with designer patterns. I love watching Vogue patterns on Instagram, they take runway looks created by professional designers and make similar knock off pattern styles that we run out and buy. Last year it was Meegan Markle and the Royal Wedding, we were all chasing after styles worn by the royals to the epic events. The thing is, you can make your own patterns, using what you already own without buying all the new patterns all the time. Depending on where you are with your sewing skill level, you can create these looks easier than you think.  Take the time to learn some basic fitting and pattern making techniques. Read some books, watch some YouTube videos, experiment and practice. I will help you with this journey. It’s not to say that you can’t go out and buy your favorite design inspired pattern once in a while because I do this too. I am just saying that you don’t need to buy every single new pattern that comes out each season. I happen to be partial to the Vogue patterns designed by Badgley Mischka. I have a number of these patterns, there is something different about the way they look and the way they are constructed. He designs things in a way I never would have thought to things. Every time there is a new pattern release of his, I am very tempted to run out and buy it. But, I know that since I don’t hoard patterns at any other time, a little indulgence now and then is okay.

7. Pattern companies want you to think that you need to buy more patterns to become a better sewer. This is a huge misconception. They start you out with easy and basic patterns, they the add the average construction and finally the advance or expert category. The expectation is that you will buy from each category as you become a more experienced sewist.

The Hoarding Solution

Not many of us follow all the rules all of the time. Once we have a taste for basic sewing and what we can accomplish, there should be no stopping us. Expertise comes from practice and patience, not from having dozens of patterns in your stash. You can do more than you think with less mental clutter. You can accomplish more sewing than you imagine but if you never try you will never really know. How many of us have bought a pattern we just love, only to open it up and read the complicated construction directions and then become completely deflated in defeat before we even begin sewing? I have done this myself. I can’t tell you how many times I have noticed mistakes and unnecessary steps in commercial sewing patterns.

When I was a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, on my first day of sewing class we were going to make a basic blouse. The pattern was button front with long sleeves, with a two piece collar and button cuffs. I had considerable sewing experience before I was a student, I had never sewn a complex tailored shirt before and I was a bit intimidated by the class on my first day. The first thing our professor asked us to do was to take out the pattern directions, write our name on them and hand them in.

After he collected the papers he announced:

“Now we can finally learn to sew.”

I was devastated. It felt like my security blanket was just ripped away from me. How was I supposed to learn to sew without the directions???? You know what? He was absolutely right. I learned to sew and have never forgotten. I am not confused or swayed by any pattern directions or techniques because I know how to put things together without them. It is LIBERATING. In apparel manufacturing, they don’t have sewing directions in the sweatshops. They pump out hundreds or thousands of garments a day. You can make professional looking garments without any help from the commercial pattern companies.

We would love to know your feedback on this episode! It may ruffle some feathers in the sewing community. Let me know how you are doing with your pattern hoarding or If you are interested in joining my fitting workshop, send me an email to Jessica@chambrayblues.com with FITTING WORKSHOP in the subject line and I will make you get notifications for future events.

As always please leave me a review on Itunes, it helps me get more guest to interview as well as sponsors so I can continue to help you fix your Style Blues!

Until next time!

 

 

 

 

If you like this post try some of these other posts:

Style Blues Podcast

Style Blues: Sewing a Clutch with Your Cricut Maker

Basic Sewing Terminology, What You Need to Know to Start

The History of Sewing, How We Got Where We are Today

The Tale of the Seamstress

How to Have a Sewing Portfolio: Interview with Candice Ayala

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Sew Along Dinner Date Dress Reveal

Sew Along Dinner Date Dress Reveal

The sew along is over, and I have so much to share on this project! This pattern is just stunning and you need to make one for your wardrobe ASAP!

Red Dinner Date Dress Sew Along|chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com
The neckline of this dress is stunning!

 

Red Dinner Date Dress

The red dinner date dress is finally done! I have a bit of a love hate relationship with it. This is princess seam dress is Vogue #V1542. If you follow my Facebook page, you will know that we had a sew along during the month of December for this dress. The designer Vogue pattern has good sewing directions and is overall easy to sew. Don’t let the fancy neckline intimidate you, it’s actually quite simple. I think it’s the neckline that draws everyone to this particular style! It is so delicate and feminine looking, with the handmade details it almost looks like a couture dress. This style would be great for date night, Valentine’s Day, weddings, evening dinner parties or other evening events. Add a shawl and a pretty clutch bag to make a complete look!

Red Dinner Date Dress|Chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com
The floral motif and draped cording is easy to make.

 

Red Dinner Dress Supplies Needed

• 4 yards 45″ wide red sueded polyester fabric (affiliate link)

• 3 static free polyester lining fabric, 45″ wide (affiliate link)

• 20″ invisible zipper

•Matching thread

•Sewing machine, pins, scissors

 

My choice for fabric for this project was a sueded polyester. If I made this dress again I think I would choose a crepe or a velvet instead. The polyester unraveled a lot and showed water spots from pressing. Polyester is not very forgiving, and was hard to shape and mold into the close fit that I wanted for this dress. The dress on the pattern envelope was made from Linen which would also be a good choice for this pattern.

 

Red dinner date dress reveal|chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com
My sloping shoulders make me feel like the straps won’t stay up on this dress.

Other than the fabric issue, I should have made a few more alterations before I started. I added 5″ to the body length of the dress as it was rather short for my tall 5’8″ frame. I prefer a longer, knee length dress.

Red Dinner dress|chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com

 

Getting the Dress to Fit Proper

This photo is so embarrassing! I spent a lot of time fitting the front of my dress, however I neglected to fit the back. How could I not even think of that?? See all those wrinkles at the waist? Those shouldn’t be there! I need to make a sway back adjustment next time with this dress. Also, the armholes are a bit snug for me and I would make it about 1/2″ lower next time around. I have since purchased a full length mirror for my sewing room so I will not make the same mistake again!

The skirt is a bias ruffle, which has a lovely drape and adds to the flattery of the dress. However, it’s not an easy pattern piece to alter. For this reason, be sure to make any needed alterations to the body of the dress and not the ruffle part. I have decided that I will wear a shall with this dress to cover my mistakes in the back of it, if I decide to wear it at all. It’s not my best work and I just don’t feel that comfortable in it. Did I mention I also cut a small hole in the fabric when doing my zipper installation???? Yikes!

Vogue Fit Options

Vogue patterns have a fitting guide on them to help you decide which styles will look the best on your body type. According to the Vogue website, this dress is suitable for the following body types:

Inverted TriangeTHE INVERTED TRIANGLE: Large bust and/or broad shoulders with narrow hips.

TriangleTHE TRIANGLE: Small bust and/or narrow shoulders with full hips and/or thighs.

RectangleTHE RECTANGLE: Balanced on top and bottom, but boxy, with little or no waist definition.

HourglassTHE HOURGLASS: Equally balanced on top and bottom, with a trim waist.

Part of the reason I chose to make this dress was because I was confident that it would look on my apple or rectangular shaped figure. I am not so sure I agree with Vogue that this is a flattering cut for me. It may have been more flattering if I didn’t have large sloping shoulders. I feel like the dress is snug under the arms, and sliding down at the shoulders. I may need to add some elastic underneath the shoulders pieces to make it more secure. This suggestion came from someone on our Chambray Blues Facebook page. It’s a very good idea and I must say I would have never thought of it myself. I love the power of community, we are stronger together than we are on our own! Be sure to stop by and like our page, share a project or ask for advice!

Red Dinner Date Dress Reveal|chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com
Don’t forget to Pin this post!

The next dress we are sewing is a cut and sew sweater dress. Read this post to learn about cut and sew sweater knits, then find a pretty knit dress pattern and fabric to join along! I will post more updates on Facebook, you won’t want to miss it!

Don’t forget to pin this post!

Try some of these other posts for more inspiration!

Gertie Inspired Vintage Party Dress

Renaissance Costume Pattern Review and Construction Tips

Vintage Blouse Tutorial with Tulip Sleeves

Scrappy Denim Boho Necklace Tutorial

Sewing for the Renassiance Faire

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Style Blues: Sewing a Clutch with Your Cricut Maker

Style Blues: Sewing a Clutch with Your Cricut Maker

Sew a Clutch with strap with the help of your Cricut Maker! The Maker uses a Simplicity Pattern for this adorable project!

Sewing a Clutch with Strap|Chambray Blues Blog|chambrayblues.com
You can make this cute bag with your Cricut Maker.

 

Sewing a Clutch with Strap

Welcome to Season 2 of the Podcast! I am excited to be back! I have a ton of great things planned for this podcast. I had to take a break from podcasting last fall. We were traveling so much, doing construction on our house, and it just wasn’t conducive to podcasting. It has now been about a year since I started my Chambray Blues blog, and it’s been a great journey. One of the things that I never expected to happen was to have a corporate sponsor to work with on the blog. Cricut has been such a great partner in my blog this last year and I am excited to announce that they are the sponsor of today’s podcast!

 

The Cricut Maker has become an integral part of my sewing room. A year ago, I had never use a Cricut, and I had no idea what I was missing. Now, I cannot imagine how I got along without it! There are so many things it can do that make sewing so much easier and less stressful! Don’t even get me started on the crafting projects, because we could talk about that all day. I love that they have hundreds of projects to choose from already on their website, and I don’t have to design things from scratch all the time.

 

My partnership with Cricut has very rewarding, they have been a great sponsor of my blog, and I just love the versatility of the Cricut Maker. Cricut has a partnership with Simplicity Sewing Patterns and there are a number of patterns in Cricut Design Space that can be downloaded directly to the Cricut Maker. This fabric Clutch with a shoulder strap is one of the Simplicity patterns.

Sewing a Clutch with Strap|Chambray Blues Blog|chambrayblues.com
This clutch makes a great gift, or a fabulous accessory to your handmade outfit!

Walking Through the Clutch Project

I thought I would walk you step by step through cutting and sewing a complete project with the Cricut, so you can understand how it all works. You can create a free account at Cricut.com. “Design Space” as it is called has many free projects, some are subscription with a monthly fee, and you can also pay for a specific project if you choose. This particular Clutch Sewing Pattern is $4.99. I think that’s a bargain considering how much time it saves. Think about it, there are no tissue pages to cut out by hand (does anyone else hate cutting these out?), iron and layout on your fabric, etc. Especially if you are a beginner sewer, using the Cricut can make things much less confusing!

The Simplicity patterns are individually priced, but you have lifetime access to them afterwards.

 

Here’s the link to the Clutch with Strap project on the Cricut website.

 

Once your in Design Space you can start a new project by clicking the plus sign in the left corner. Then search for Clutch with Strap or Simplicity patterns, and you will find the project.

•The first thing I like to do is read through all the cutting directions, so I know exactly what the project involves. Then scroll down to the bottom of the screen and there will be a link in green to the specific sewing directions pdf document, which I print out to have ready for construction.

•Cricut has laid out the project for you step by step, it will tell you how much fabric you will need, and any additional supplies. Recommend fabrics for this project are heavier in nature, including cotton denim, pinwale corduroy, and cotton Duck.

Sewing a Clutch with Strap|Chambray Blues Blog|chambrayblues.com
Pocket detail, I love contrasting pink pockets with the hot pink zipper!

Supplies Needed (affiliate links included for your convenience I will receive a small commission from your purchase at no additional charge to you, thank you for your support!):

Cricut Maker with Rotary cutting blade

Cricut Washable Fabric Pen

12′ x 24″ Fabric Grip Mat

½ yard of 3 different fabrics, 45” wide (my fabrics are Waverly from Walmart)

¼ yard of contrasting fabric, 45” wide (Waverly from Walmart)

½ yard of lightweight fusible interfacing (Pellon Craft Fuse)

Additional Supplies:

Thread

12” Zipper (I used a Jelly Zipper cut to length)

Magnetic snap

⅝” D-Rings (2 of them)

⅜” Rivets (2)

Swivel Hooks (2 for ½” strap)

35” x 1” length of leather like material for strap

Heavy duty sewing machine and needle

Heavy duty sewing thread

 

Envelope Clutch with Zipper

 

The first step is to cut the fabrics to size, according to the directions and put them on the 12 x 24” fabric grip mat. It is important that the grain of the fabric go longways on the cutting mat. Press your fabric first if needed, and place it face down on the mat, adhere to the mat with a bayer to be sure there are no wrinkles.

Select the “Make it” button in Design Space. You will have to select your machine, the Maker from the top menu on the screen. Then follow the prompts to start the Cricut Maker, insert the mat and cut each piece of fabric as directed. When the pieces are cut, remove them from the cutting mat and scrap it clean away any threads with the plastic scraper tool.

Next cut the interfacing, lining and any additional pieces of fabric as per Cricut directions.This project has an Interlining and an Interfacing. What’s the difference between the two? The purpose of interfacing is to stabilize and strengthen the fashion fabric. The Interlining basically covers the back of the fabric/interfacing and is essentially lining the inside of the bag.

Time to sew!

Sewing Directions:

1. Fuse interlining to bag front and back sections. Fold 1/4″ seam under top edge of contrasting band. Stitch lower contrasting band in place, stitch again 1/4″ away from first line of stitching.

2. Insert the small tab piece into the D-ring, baste ends together. I forgot to do this, don’t loose these pieces they are small!

3. Apply the magnetic snap to the bag as directed, stitch tabs in place at sides of bag.

4.Fuse interfacing to the pockets (there are two). Fold over, stitch with right sides together with 1/4″ seam allowance. Leave an opening to turn right side out along the bottom edge. Trim corners, turn right side out. Hand sew bottom opening closed.Press.

5. Apply pockets to bag lining, matching marks made on back of fabric with the Cricut fabric pen.Stitch along edges.

6. Install zipper along top edge of right side of printed fabric, with zipper face down. Stitch close to edge of zipper teeth. You may need to trim the zipper length, it should be 1/4″ longer than the length of the bag between the two marked dots. Whip stitch across zipper teeth before cutting off the ends of the zipper.

7. Sew the lining (right side) of the bag to the wrong side of the zipper, through all thicknesses, enclosing the zipper tape between the outside of the bag and the lining using a zipper foot. Apply bag back and lining to the other half of the zipper stitching 1/4″ from upper edge in the same manner.

8. Press zipper teeth toward the bag front and back lining sections, opening out fabric lining. Press. Line up raw edges with right sides together and stitch around the perimeter of the bag, leaving an opening to turn bag to right side at bottom of lining.

9. Turn bag right side out, press. Slip stitch opening in the lining closed. Attach zipper pull if using a separating zipper. Push lining down into bag, close zipper and press.

10. Fold the strap in half lengthwise, stitch along both edges with 1/4″ seam allowance.

11. Wrap ends around swivel hooks, mark placement and pound rivet in place (I sewed mine in place). Attach strap to D-rings on bag when finished.

sew a clutch with zipper|chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com
Pin this Post!

That’s it! By marking and cutting the project with the Cricut Maker, it moves along so much faster. This project would make a nice gift for a friend, or to match a handmade dress for a special occasion. Thank you to Cricut for Sponsoring this post!

Before you go, I saved the best for last! Cricut has given a special discount for my readers! This discount is not available anywhere else, be sure to take advantage of it!

 

Use the code STYLEBLUES to get 10% off your purchase at Cricut.com. (The discount excludes machines, Cricut Access subscriptions and Digital Images. The cart sub total needs to be greater then $50 for the discount to be activated.)

 

I appreciate your listening to this podcast! Leave me a review on Itunes to help me get more sponsors, and don’t forget to share this podcast with a friend!

Be sure to check out these other posts:

Cricut Easy Press Gadgets Explained for the Non-Crafter

Make a Chill’n Cricut T-Shirt Collection with #YogaLife

15 FAQ You Always Wanted to Know About the Cricut Maker

How to Make a Recycled Denim Ruffled Purse with Cricut and Simplicity

Super Simplicity Bow Tie with Cricut Maker

 

 

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Anyone Can Make a Cut and Sew Sweater

Anyone Can Make a Cut and Sew Sweater

Anyone can make a cut and sew sweater, you will be amazed at how easy it is! Look for sweater fabric and make one today!

 

Anyone Can make a cut and sew sweater|Chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com
Me in my new fuzzy sweater, I can’t wait to make more of them!

Make a Cut and Sew Sweater

The holidays are over and I am back at work in my sewing studio. I am excited to share this project with you, it is super easy and one of my favorite makes! This Cut and Sew Sweater is made from sweater fabric that you can purchase at the fabric store. It’s heavier than regular knit fabric and there are many styles and colors to choose from. Sweaters that are made in garment production can be made in one of two ways. With a cut and sew yardage fabric or knitted into sweater shape by machines. We all know how much work knitting by hand is, and very few people own knitting machines. By purchasing sweater fabric by the yard you can make a sweater in a very short period of time.

Cut and Sew sweaters were first introduced to me when I was a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC many years ago. At that time, it was nearly impossible to find sweater fabric in the fabric stores and I recall roaming the garment district of NYC looking for the perfect knit to make a sweater. I don’t think I ever found what I was looking for! So much has changed since then! I purchased my cut and sew sweater fabric at Joann Fabrics and Crafts, but you can find it on Amazon (affiliate link) and other places.

The Sweater Fabric

Sweater fabric is usually 60″ wide, and comes in different fiber contents such as acrylic, rayon, cotton and wool. Much of it is only dry cleanable, so be sure to read the care label before you purchase. My navy blue “eyelash” fabric has bits of yellow, blue, red and white and is hand washable. I plan to wash it on the gentle cycle and dry it flat. Sweater knits stretch out easily when hung and don’t recover their stretch well, treat it a bit carefully when washing and drying. I was so excited to make this sweater I forgot to pre-wash my fabric (that never happens!), hopefully it will not shrink much in the wash!

The great thing about these sweater knits is that there are so many unique designs available. Cable knits, ribbed knits, argyle, boucle, and chenille all will give you lots of different design options. I recommend using a simple pattern like this Simplicity Pattern #S8738 for your first attempt. It has an oversized vintage look that I completely adore, and it’s easy to follow the directions.

The Sweater Details

There are only 3 seams in this sweater: the shoulders, the side seams, and neck. I serged the seams and added a piece of 1″ wide fusible interfacing in the shoulder seam as a stay to keep the shoulder from stretching. Threads magazine recently had an article about this technique and it worked perfectly! The only pattern fit adjustments needed was in the turtle neck length. I have a short neck, so I reduced the turtle by half to make a mock neck style. It fits my short neck perfectly and I couldn’t be more pleased.

Sorry for the blurry photos, my camera is on the fritz lately!

I added a little bit of length to the sleeves as well, but I shouldn’t have. The sleeves are plenty long and I end up rolling them up most of the time. It is so refreshing to have sleeves that fit my long arms, almost everything I own is short in this area! I can’t wait to make some more sweaters, this one went together in less than an hour from start to finish!

The sleeve and bottom hem are finished with a simple zig zag stitch. You could use this stitch to sew the entire sweater if you don’t have a serger. The sweater fabric really hides a lot of things and makes this a great beginner project. I use an old Elna serger that I have had for more than 25 years. It works great with just about any fabric and I love how easily it sewed this heavy knit.

Anyone Can Make a Cut and Sew Sweater|chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com
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For more inspiration try these posts!

Sew a 3 Step Buffalo Check Cardigan

3 Step Easy T-Shirt Pattern Hack

How to Read a Sewing Pattern Envelope

How to Shorten Pattern Sleeves

How to Measure for Pattern Alterations

 

 

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