Category: Podcast

Sewing Rainwear, What You Need to Know for Success

Sewing Rainwear, What You Need to Know for Success

In this week’s podcast, we talk about sewing rainwear and what you need to know to get the job done.

Sewing Rainwear, What You Need to Know for Success|Chambray Blues blog|www.chambrayblues.com

The Ins and Outs of Sewing Rainwear

I decided it would be fun to try something completely different from my usual sewing projects. With the rainy season here, I decided on sewing a raincoat.

There are several different types of fabric you can use for rain wear, either waterproof or water resistant. They are not the same thing. Waterproof fabrics do not allow any water penetration, verses water resistant fabrics that just repel some of the water.

To achieve truly waterproof fabric requires two or three layers within the fabric. The material, and an inner layer or layers are bonded together, usually by a high tech process called Ultrasonic welding.

Ultrasonic welding is achieved by multiple panel edges are carefully aligned together, pressed, then fused together with high levels of ultrasonic sound waves.  The energy from these sound waves is transformed into heat, which permanently bonds the two panels together (usually containing a thermoplastic material), making the two or more panels into one solid panel, with no holes whatsoever.  This type of machine is expensive, the technicians that run them are also more expensive than an average garment worker, and the material cost is reflected in this technology. This is where science and technology have changed so much in the sewing world. The result is a completely waterproof fabric that is also breathable due to the inner layers.

I couldn’t wait to try this out! Who ever thought that sewing was boring??? Fabrics that use this type of technology are 2 or 3 ply Ultra-Tex, SWB-Tex, Hyro-Shield Ripstop, and Storm Fit.

For water resistant fabrics, fabrics are woven together very tightly, water molecules are small and can filter through the fibers because it doesn’t have a backing. Light rainfall cannot pass through these tiny pores since rain drops aren’t always that big, but high water pressure from a constant downpour or submersion will cause water to find its way through the fibers.

Fabrics that are water resistant are coated Taslan, Microsuede Polyester, coated Taffeta, ripstop, Silkara, Weather Max-65 and Ten Mile Cloth.

For my project I purchased two different fabrics, the water resistant 2 ply Ultra-Tex and a soft silky water resistant Silkara for a second project.

Supplies and Resources:

Fabric sources for rainwear fabric and supplies such as grippers, waterproofing tape and buttons can be purchased at: Seattle Fabrics, Fabrics.com, LA Finchfabrics.com, Moodfabrics.com.

    1. a gabardine or twill fabric and add waterproofing after the garment is sewn instead. Can’t use fusible interfacing, it doesn’t stick to Gorex or fabrics that have a rubberized backing.
    2. Alterations to fit, lengthen the pattern. Easy to fit a dolman sleeve.
    3. Simple is easier, don’t add the fine details if you are not comfortable with them.
    4. Cutting and sewing a lining. Slippery stuff! So hard to cut! Use pattern weights and very sharp pins and scissors.
    5. Buttons vs. Grippers: Gripper snaps are easier to install but can cause tears in the fabric unless it’s interfaced. Use a good quality denim gripper for best results.Rainwear sewing techniques, waterproof fabrics are a little different animal. Can’t rip out stitches because the needle leaves holes. Can’t pin either for the same reason. Can use

    Waterproof Fabric Tips

    1. Waterproof fabrics require special care when cutting. You can’t use pins because they put holes in the fabric. Also, fabrics such as Gortex has the heavy backing which is very thick and pins won’t poke through it. You will need to use pattern weights, and lots of them when laying out the pattern to cut.
    2. Fusible interfacing doesn’t work with this type of fabric. I tried ironing some on at low heat (so the fabric doesn’t melt), and though it seemed like it was working the glue did not hold in the long run. Use a sew in interfacing instead for this project.
    3. A walking foot is essential for sewing this “sticky” fabric. One side of the fabric is slick, the other sticks like glue to everything. It gets stuck under the presser foot and doesn’t move as you are sewing. If you don’t have a walking foot, you could try using a piece of freezer paper under the presser foot to help it slide under the presser foot.
    4. A sharp needle is a must. I used a size 14 all purpose needle for this project.
    5. Good quality thread makes a huge difference, Gutterman thread was recommended by the fabric supplier and that’s what I used. Fabric was purchased from Seattle Fabrics.com.
    6. Making buttonholes was challenging. The pattern had buttons and snaps as options, I decided on buttons because they were easy to find. I think snaps would have worked better because the button holer kept sticking to the fabric as I mentioned above and was very cumbersome to use. I made several mistakes with my buttonholes, and I just have to live with how they turned out.
    7. You can’t rip out stitches with this type of fabric because it leaves holes. You only get one chance to do it right, and for the same reasons Gortex is just difficult to work with.

    Waver Jacket Pattern Review

    I have not sewn with many pdf patterns, as I usually just stick with one of the name brands. This pdf was overall well designed, but I spotted a couple of things that could have made this project turn out so much better.

    1. The Center front wasn’t cut on the straight grain: This may seem like a small detail, but this one change could have made this coat so much better. Grain line placement makes a huge difference in how the finished coat hangs. As you can see from my photos, the coat appears to have too much fullness at center front, and hides the buttons when hanging. This is because the marked grain line was at an angle to the center front, generally a no-no in the design world. Particularly with center front button plackets, the front grain must be cut on the straight grain for the best result. I knew I should have changed it when I cut it, but for some reason I didn’t. Live and learn from my mistake!
    2. Pocket placement could be better: The pockets are way to close to the center front. I did alter the pattern and added extra fullness at the side seam. The pockets should have been moved at least 2″ closer to the side seam.
    3. Lining hem could be longer: Most quality coats have what is called a jump hem. That is, a hem that has 1/2″ or more extra length in the lining so that when you move your arms and shoulders the extra length keeps the hem hanging straight and doesn’t pull up as you move. This coat was not designed this way and I discovered too late that the hem pulls up in an unattractive manor when moving about. If I make it again, I will add extra 1″ of length to the lining. For now, I stitched the hem of the lining independently from the jacket, allowing the extra movement that is needed.

    Overall this was a challenging project. The fabric I chose was not easy to work with, but I am still pleased with it. My purpose in making this jacket was to have something to wear for walking outside and working in the yard on wet days. The jacket serves it’s purpose even though it isn’t as perfect as I would like. The color alone makes me happy every time I put it on.

    See the full sewing tutorial here.

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How to Triumph Over Your Unfinished Sewing Projects

How to Triumph Over Your Unfinished Sewing Projects

We all have sewing projects we haven’t finished lurking in our closet. This week on the podcast we talk about how to work through the tough projects and finish them!

Finish Your Sewing Projects|Chambray Blues|chambrayblues.com
We all have unfinished projects, here’s how to finish them!

 

Sewing Unfinished Projects

There are three projects sitting on my sewing table that I have been avoiding. One is frustrating because I don’t have the right equipment to sew it quickly. The second is not fitting properly, the third one I hate the pattern that I am using. What to do? Here are ways you can get through the project when the going gets tough!

  1. Go through your stack and reevaluate why the project is unfinished. Sometimes things sit for so long we forget what the problem was in the first place. Make a note of what needs to be done on a sticky note and store the project in a large size plastic baggie with all of the pattern pieces, notions and supplies. Attach the note to the bag and set it aside. Do this for all your unfinished projects.
  2. Line up your unfinished projects with the easiest one first. Make a commitment to finishing one project per week or month as you can. Try to finish all those projects first before starting new ones.
  3. Evaluate your frustration with the project. Did it not fit well? Perhaps you can read some books on fit, take a class or consult with someone else to figure out how to fix it. Don’t be afraid to post a photo in the Chambray Blues group, we can help evaluate the problem.
  4. If your project stalled because of a sewing machine issue, take your machine in for repairs. A good cleaning can solve a host of problems. Bring a sample of the fabric and stitch you were using to show the repair technician. Often they can help you decide how to correct a wonky seam.
  5. Was the fabric not ideally suited to the project? Sometimes we don’t always get it right on the first try. If it was a large dollar investment, you have to evaluate whether or not it’s worth continuing. Perhaps it would be easier to repurpose the fabric into something else instead of trying to continue with a frustrating project. Repurchase a different fabric and try again.
  6. Was your garment cut off grain? This is a popular problem that even experienced sewers can make. Off grain pattern pieces will never hang straight. Buy more fabric and recut if necessary.
  7. Was the pattern construction hard to follow? Many times I have been stuck on a pattern with poorly written instructions or unclear drawings. You can purchase another pattern with similar design and look at how they wrote the instructions. Sometimes I read directions for patterns in the fabric store that I don’t even buy. A different point of view can make the light bulb go on in evaluating how to fix it. Going to the shopping mall and looking for construction ideas also can be helpful. Find a similar garment in the store and turn it inside out to see how it’s constructed. Most commercially produced garments are far simpler than the ones designed by pattern companies. Take pictures with your cell phone of seams and finishes so you can refer to them later. You can even try the garment on to Compare fit. I keep a tape measure in my purse to measure garments in the store that fit me well. You can change your pattern and sewing directions to work through your frustration.
  8. Do you have too many sewing commitments? Are there a dozen people bugging you to sew for them? Learn to say no to people that want to take advantage of your skills for free. Suggest they learn to sew themselves. Give back the unfinished projects you have already collected, tell the owner you simply don’t have time to finish them.
  9. Make note of how much time you have already invested in your project. Is it worth it to invest more time to finish it? Sometimes it’s freeing to add the whole works to the scrap pile and count it as a learning experience. Feel free to move on to a new project with a clear state of mind if it seems like it’s already been a waste of effort. We all have been there at one point or another, don’t let this keep you from starting something new.

How to Triumph Over Your Unfinished Sewing Projects|Chambray Blues|Chambrayblues.com

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Meet Mimi Goodwin, Successful Sewing Entrepreneur

001: Interview with Melissa Viscount of Silhouette School Blog

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

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Meet Mimi Goodwin, Successful Sewing Entrepreneur

Meet Mimi Goodwin, Successful Sewing Entrepreneur


Download this episode here!

Recently I had an opportunity to chat with Mimi Goodwin of Mimi G Style. She is an inspiration to so many women, listen to her amazing success story!

Intro: I met Mimi at a business Conference a few years ago. Love her unique sense of style! I’ve been following her ever since. Mimi is a huge influencer in the sewing, fashion and lifestyle niche. She is very accomplished with her tutorials, online courses, and her partnership with Simplicity patterns. I had asked her a bit about how she works with Simplicity and we will learn more about that in today’s episode among other topics. Mimi has been through a lot in her life, she’s been on her own since she was 15 years old. She’s got an amazing story to share, from being a victim of abuse, becoming homeless, and struggling as a single mom. Her great sense of style and business savvy has made her the successful entrepreneur she is today.

I am incredibly excited to have her with me on the podcast!

Mimi’s bio: Award winning trending Expert Mimi G. is Editor-in-chief of the outrageously popular Fashion, Lifestyle, and DIY blog, MimiGStyle.com, as well as the Mimi G Style YouTube Channel, which houses tutorials, fashion and beauty tips, health and fitness videos, product reviews and more.

Her axiom, “Buy It, Make It, Mix It, Rock It!”, is the mantra for her fully engaged daily followers, as well as industry professionals. Garnering thousands of “new followers” by the day, Mimi G has quickly become an International fashion icon, influencer, role model, and an “in demand” speaker and panel member at blogging conferences across the country. Mimi G has also developed her own line of products ranging from ready to wear collections to commercial sewing patterns. She was recently featured on Project Runway Junior alongside Tim Gunn on Lifetime TV, has won numerous awards including Best Shopping Inspiration by InStyle Magazine and Best Latina Blogger.

Mimi G is a contributing designer to Simplicity Patterns and has a number of online sewing courses. Her YouTube Channel,  blog, Instagram and FB are followed by thousands of people. Mimi also has her own style conference. Mimi is a wife and mom who loves to sew and create for real life curvy women.

  1. How did you first learn to sew?
  2. What motivated you to start your blog?
  3. What do you think was the most instrumental thing that you did to grow your blog/sewing business?
  4. How did you become a Simplicity Pattern designer?
  5. Tell me about your new adventure with Sew It Academy and the Kids Sewing Classes that you offer.
  6. I noticed that you have also started a ready to wear division. Tell us about how that began and what your future plans are.
  7. What is your favorite sewing pattern(s) you have designed?
  8. What do you do when you are not sewing?

 

Where is the best place for people to connect with you online?

Find Mimi on Twitter

Find Mimi on FB

Find Mimi on Pinterest

Find Mimi on Instagram

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Basic Sewing Terminology, What You Need to Know to Start

Basic Sewing Terminology, What You Need to Know to Start


Download this episode here!

In today’s episode we will talk about some basic sewing terms that you need to know to embark on your first sewing project.

Basic Sewing Terminology

  1. Straight stitch, single needle 2.5 or 3.0

  2. Zig zag stitch: Side to side stitch, different widths small for buttonholes, wide for overcast and uses (elastic, decorative, finishing edges)

  3. Interfacing, what is it for? Cuffs, collars, waistbands, pockets, button placket. Fusible or non fusible. There are uses and different weights, bumpy side is glue. Use warm dry iron to a shear to wrong side of fabric.

  4. Rotary cutters and plastic matt used in quilting for cutting narrow fabric strips and squaring quilt blocks.

  5. Back tacking, reverse stitching. 1-2 stitches at the beginning and end of seams will secure the seam.

  6. Basting, long straight stitch length 4.5-5.0. Used for securing zippers, gathering fabric, easing sleeve caps into place.

  7. Bobbin, winding on each machine should be marked. Be sure it’s smoothly filled to avoid problems.

  8. Tension on machine, how to adjust look at top stitches, compare to bottom stitches. Some machines adjust automatically.

  9. Needle threader on some machines. Best to trim thread, insert front to back on most machines.

  10. Flywheel, move by turning toward you to insert needle into fabric at a specific place.

  11. Always begin sewing with the needle in the fabric. Check the stitches, make adjustments. If it’s loose on the back, tighten the tension. If it’s loose on the top and tight on the back, loosen the tension.

  12. Tailor’s Chalk, marking pens

  13. Types of pins and needles

  14. Bias cut, used for close fitting garments, usually woven fabrics

  15. Selvedges are across from the fold of the fabric, must be removed before sewing.

  16. Grain is the direction of the fabric, noted on the pattern pieces. Pattern pieces must line up with fold of fabric, measure for consistent distance.

  17. One way print, pattern is printed one direction. More yardage is needed to cut one way prints.

  18. Two way prints, print runs either direction.

  19. Nap cut edges of velvet or corduroy. Nap is directional and patterns must be cut one way only.

Sewing Terminology|Style Blues Podcast|chambrayblues.com

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

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


Download this episode here!

In this episode of the Style Blues Podcast, I talk a bit about the history of sewing, the beginning of the big pattern companies and how we got to where we are today. It wasn’t that long ago that everyone sewed. Over the last 30 years things have changed, here’s what happened.

Show Notes:

The History of Sewing

Let’s learn a bit about the history of sewing, how did we get where we are today?

Abbreviated History of Sewing as per Wikipedia:

 

  • The Industrial Revolution shifted the production of textiles from the household to the mills. In the early decades of the Industrial Revolution, the machinery produced whole cloth. The world’s first sewing machine was patented in 1790 by Thomas Saint. By the early 1840s, other early sewing machines began to appear.
  • By the 1850s, Isaac Singer developed the first sewing machines that could operate quickly and accurately and surpass the productivity of a seamstress or tailor sewing by hand.While much clothing was still produced at home by female members of the family, more and more ready-made clothes for the middle classes were being produced with sewing machines. Textile sweatshops full of poorly paid sewing machine operators grew into entire business districts in large cities like London and New York City. To further support the industry, piece work was done for little money by women living in slums. Needlework was one of the few occupations considered acceptable for women, but it did not pay a living wage. Women doing piece work from home often worked 14-hour days to earn enough to support themselves, sometimes by renting sewing machines that they could not afford to buy.
  • Fine quality Tailors became associated with higher-end clothing during this period. In London, this status grew out of the dandy trend of the early 19th century, when new tailor shops were established around Savile Row. These shops acquired a reputation for sewing high-quality handmade clothing tailored to one’s particular fit needs.
  • Sewing underwent further developments during the 20th century. As sewing machines became more affordable to the working class, demand for sewing patterns grew. Women had become accustomed to seeing the latest fashions in periodicals during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, increasing demand for sewing patterns even more. American tailor and manufacturer Ebenezer Butterick met the demand with paper patterns that could be traced and used by home sewers. The patterns, sold in small packets, became wildly popular. Several pattern companies soon established themselves. Women’s magazines also carried sewing patterns, and continued to do so for much of the 20th century. This practice declined during the later decades of the 20th century, when ready-made clothing became a necessity as women joined the paid workforce in larger numbers, leaving them with less time to sew, if indeed they had an interest.

One of my friends who is a bit older than I am was telling me that when she was in high school everyone made their own clothes. This was probably in the 1960’s. When I was in middle school in the 1970’s, I was the only kid who made her own clothes. Many of us learned to sew from our mothers but many of us have not had the opportunity to learn from anyone. You can learn to sew and I can help you succeed!

Growing up, I️ always wondered how home sewing was so different from commercial sewing. You would think they are the same but they aren’t. Mass produced garments are sewn by the thousand and use piece work technology to put them together. Garments are completely sewn in minutes, not hours. Commercial sewing patterns have been the same since the 1950s when clothing was produced on a much smaller scale, but the home sewing industry largely hasn’t changed since then. Today we have downloadable pdf patterns and many independent designers that are changing the home sewing industry.

Sew Along with Me!

Sew Along Masterclass 2018, going on now on the Chambray Blues Facebook page.

12 projects using easy commercial patterns, one each month

Video Tutorials, FB live sessions, plus question and answer

Closed group, only open for a limited time

Access to professional designer

Help choosing fabrics, notions, cutting, altering and sewing

Join the fun!

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The Tale of the Seamstress

The Tale of the Seamstress

The latest episode of my podcast is now available! We will talk a bit about my childhood seamstress, blogging, sewing and how it all got started.

The Tale of the Seamstress|Chambray blues blog|www.chambrayblues.com

I am not very good about sharing personal stories. I love to read other people’s stories, but for some reason it always seems less important that I share my own story. In this episode of the Style Blues podcast, I talk a bit about how I learned to sew and what inspired me to go to design school. Perhaps listening my blog story will inspire someone else!

Show Notes:

Intro

Blogging history and story behind my lifestyle blog Designers Sweet Spot.

Your 10 Biggest Sewing Mistakes

  1. Not pre-washing your fabric first
  2. Not believing in yourself, it’s not rocket science
  3. Buying the wrong size pattern
  4. Not measuring correctly
  5. Not making pattern adjustments
  6. Not placing the grainline correctly
  7. Using the wrong type of fabric for the pattern.
  8. Using a machine that hasn’t been serviced
  9. Using the wrong needle
  10. Using the wrong thread

Don’t forget to Pin this for later!

 

 

 

 

 

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001: Interview with Melissa Viscount of Silhouette School Blog

001: Interview with Melissa Viscount of Silhouette School Blog


Download this episode here!

The Style Blues Podcast is finally here! The first episode is now live!

Chambrayblues.com/stylebluespodcast/episode001
Episode 001

Show Notes:

Interviews are Inspiring:

One of the things I wanted to accomplish with this podcast is to inspire you with interviews of people who have been successful in their sewing related businesses. As creative people, sometimes we think too narrow when it comes to business and making money from what we love.

Using a computer aided design tool is one great way to make your sewing business into something that will make you money. These computerized tools, such as the Silhouette machine are changing the industry in that you can now make quality custom appliques or other items from home with relatively little investment. When I first heard about the Silhouette a few years ago I had no idea what I could use something like that for. I had a blogger friend who told me about “Silhouette School” and I thought she was talking about an actual school in Chicago. Haha! Now, I see Silhouette projects all over the internet!

Just to be clear, “Silhouette School” is not an actual school or place, it’s the name of Melissa Viscount’s blog. Melissa has been very successful in teaching others how to use their Silhouette machines. When I was making a list of potential people with successful businesses to interview for this podcast, Melissa was at the very top of my list. She has really inspired me and I hope you will enjoy listening to how she built her online business around what she loves to do.

So without further ado, here’s the interview:

Talking with Melissa Viscount:

Thank you for joining me today Melissa!

Questions:

Did you ever imagine that your Silhouette machine would change your life?

  1. For those who are not familiar with the Silhouette machine, can you tell us a bit about How the Silhouette machine works? Can you design your own cuts/stencils?
  2. Are available designs copyrighted for home or commercial use?
  3. What are the file types for? Example SVG, DXF, PNG, and EPS
  4. Can designs be scaled for childrens, adult clothing?
  5. Quilting patterns?
  6. Cutting other materials besides vinyl or fabric, wood or metal?
  7. What other things do people use the machine for?

 

What are some of your favorite projects that people have created with Silhouette School?

I understand that your husband works with you full time, how does that work? Boss lady and Bob? Love your #bosslady hashtag!

Tell me about your Silhouette conference? Is it just in Atlanta or other areas?

Where can people find you online, social media?

www.silhouetteschoolblog.com (blog)

www.silhouetteu.com (membership site)

www.ultimatesilhouetteguide.com (books)

www.sofontsy.com (design and font market)

Inspiration for Your Business:

Wow, was she inspiring or what? I just loved hearing her story and I am so thrilled she shared it with us. The potential for having the ability to create your own customized designs is huge. There are unlimited ways to use computerized tools like this in a home based business. Not sure if you caught her mention the gal that paid off her house by designing custom wooden hanger labels for brides? Wow! That is so amazing!

It’s interesting to me that Melissa’s niche is really in education. She mentioned that she doesn’t really do project tutorials but rather focuses on teaching others how to use their Silhouette machines. I think education is so important, sharing your knowledge can make a world of difference to someone else that may be struggling. Melissa does such a great job of that. I also find it fascinating that she is successful on a global scale. People around the world have read her Ebooks and applied her knowledge their businesses wherever they may live.

That’s all for today, thank you so much for listening! I will have more interviews coming up in the next few weeks. I hope you are inspired by today’s episode, I know I certainly was.

Learn More About Melissa:

Melissa Viscount is a Full time blogger at Silhouette School Blog.com and her new site, So Fontsy. Melissa is a wife, mom and author of 10 books on using the Silhouette Machine.

Melissa Viscount launched Silhouette School exactly 4 years ago on a whim after receiving a Silhouette Portrait from her husband for Christmas 2013. Since then more than 35 Million readers have enjoyed her more than 1000 free tutorials on how to use the Silhouette cutting machines, Silhouette Studio software, and accessories, techniques, and tools.  Due to demand from her very loyal readers, Melissa released her first ebook, The Ultimate Silhouette Guide, three years – and now 11 books ago. More than 80,000 copies of her guides – covering topics from Silhouette for business owners to designing in and mastering Silhouette Studio – have been sold since. Many are now sold with the Silhouette machine bundles. In June 2016 – Melissa’s husband, Bob, left his full time job in pharmaceuticals to join her full-time and take over the business side of their quickly growing Silhouette School brand. Shortly after, they launched their premium membership website Silhouette U – which – as of today – has nearly 5,000 active members. Just last week, they expanded their business again with the launch of So Fontsy – a commercial use design and font marketplace geared toward die cut crafters.

It’s amazing that Melissa has not only enjoyed blogging about Silhouette, but her expertise in the crafting industry has made her a sought after Silhouette (and blogging) instructor – having taught hundreds of crafters and fellow bloggers nationwide. She’s also served as a consultant to well established brands and well known brands in this craft industry – or those trying to tap into it.

She has been honored to be the keynote speaker at multiple craft and Silhouette conferences across the country including being invited back multiple times to the All Things Silhouette Conferences.

You can find out even more about Melissa by clicking on the links below:

www.silhouetteschoolblog.com (blog)

www.silhouetteu.com (membership site)

www.ultimatesilhouetteguide.com (books)

www.sofontsy.com (design and font market)

Style Blues Podcast Ep.001|ChambrayBluesBlog|Chambrayblues.com

Want to be a part of the Chambray Blues Sewing Community? Join the Facebook Group Here.

If you have questions about this episode contact us at info@chambrayblues.com.

 

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