welcome To The One Thimble Blog
Today we have a guest blogger – Nikki from Bubby and Me Creations. Nikki has contributed the Willow Dress to Issue 10. Nikki also contributed the Penny dress to Issue 6 and guest blogged about sewing a facing to a sleeveless bodice back in 2015. Today Nikki is going to share her troubleshooting tips for sewing with knit fabric.
I am definitely no expert when it comes to sewing with knit fabric. I feel I learn something new with every garment I make and it’s usually through trial and error! But it’s not just using knit fabric it’s also learning how my sewing machine handles knit fabric.
I have a sewing/embroidery machine and up to this point, it’s been amazing. Can’t complain. But once I started to make items using knit fabric I started to experience some issues that have made me realize that I can’t just turn my machine on and expect it to sew perfectly.
So here a few tips that I have learned that work for me and hopefully, will work for you too!
I have found that it’s really important to use good quality thread especially when using a stretch stitch. In my experience, my machine shreds the cheapy thread causing it to break constantly. I use Gutermann but I also know many people recommend Rasant as well.
Another issue that has driven me bananas is skipped stitching particularly when twin needle stitching. To date, I have not been able to get this right on my whiz bang sewing machine, but it’s no issue on my good ol’ trusty back up machine which is as basic as basic comes. But I’ve also experienced skipped stitches when sewing with the stretch stitch and when using a gathering stitch (which you need in STEP 1 of the Willow Dress pattern).
To fix the skipped stitches on the stretch stitch setting, I make sure I am using good quality thread including in my bobbin. Make sure you are using the correct size sewing needle (obviously a stretch needle) and then I slow my stitching right down. It might take a little longer, but I find this works best for me.
And for the issue of skipped gathering stitches, I found this worked a treat. In STEP 1 of making the Willow Dress, you need to stitch a gathering stitch along the edge of the ruffles. But my gathering stitch kept skipping. So after a quick Google search, I found the issue I was having was referred to as “fabric flagging” which is the fabric bouncing up and down as you sew. There are a couple of ways to fix this and this one worked for me.
My machine needle is automatically set to the centre of the sewing foot. When the needle goes through the fabric, it’s causing the fabric to “bounce” and the stitching is skipping.
By moving the needle position to the far left, which gave it a bit more stability, my stitching worked and there was no skipping.
So that’s what worked for me. If you’ve experienced these issues, hopefully these suggestions might work for you too.
Today we’re starting a new blog feature – Business Spotlight! I want to introduce you to some of the wonderful businesses who I shop with and who support One Thimble. The first business up is Fabric Fox.
I brought the fabrics for my Mum and my neighbours Christmas gifts from Jacqui and used the Fold Over Clutch pattern by Little Moo Designs to make these.
I’m so pleased with how they turned out and it was such a pleasure to shop with Fabric Fox. So without further ado – let’s have a chat with the lady behind Fabric Fox – Jacqui.
Tell me a little about your business – when did you start? What prompted you to go into business?
Fabric Fox is an online Designer Fabric Store, we stock gorgeous quality designer fabrics from around the world, including wovens, knits and spandex. The Fabric Fox website was launched in August 2014 after my husband put the idea in my head. I’d always wanted to have my own little business for years but wasn’t sure what to do, I loved sewing and had a ‘little bit’ of a fabric addiction and my husbands said ‘why don’t you just give it a go’ so…l did. We haven’t looked back, its great being able to work from home and still have time to do all the Mummy things with the kids.
What can people expect from Fabric Fox?
Excellent customer service and quality designer fabric at an affordable price.
I also aim to process & dispatched all orders promptly, most orders are posted the same day, if received before 12pm (that day), if not they are sent the following day. Getting your fabric in your hot little hands as soon as possible 🙂
Tell me what you look for in the fabrics you stock?
So far l have been ordering fabrics that l would like to sew with and current trending fabrics. I also love getting request for particular fabrics and trying to get them in, so if you are after something in particular contact me and l’ll see what l can do.
What coming ranges are you excited to stock?
Dream Catcher by Studio E
I have some exciting new fabrics coming soon… first is the Dream Catchers by Lucie Crovatto for
Studio E. This collection is designed for the little girl in your life and features teepees, feathers, indians
& dream catchers, all in gorgeous pink and pale blue undertones. Dream Catchers is due for release in
March/April 2016 and is available to pre-order now via the Fabric Fox website.
Cotton Candy by Dashwood Studio
Cotton Candy by Susan Driscol for Dashwood Studio is estimated to arrive March 2016! Cotton
Candy is a bright collection of fun geometric and floral prints. Cotton Candy is available to preorder.
Knits by Bloome Copenhagen & Andrea Lauren
Also coming soon all the way from Denmark’s Bloome Copenhagen & Andrea Lauren is some
gorgeous Jersey & Sweatshirt knits. These knits are made from 100% organic cotton and are
GOTS certified. Also available to pre-order via the Fabric Fox website.
Hello Bear Buck Forest by Art Gallery Fabrics
The ever popular Buck Forest Mist from the Hello Bear collection by Art Gallery Fabrics have released some new and exciting colours for this
design. These new colours are coming soon.
I have also re-ordered a lot of the popular designs from over the past couple of months, so keep an eye out for their return!!
Do you craft/sew?
Yes l love to sew and would love to have more time for it. I am self taught and brought my first sewing machine after my son (now 5) was born to make him some cot sheets. It wasn’t until l has Miss 3 that l fell in love with sewing children’s clothes and my other little hobby business was created, Fox n Fillies. I used to sell the children’s clothes at local markets, its something l’d love to get back into some day soon!!
What’s something people might not know about you?
Oh l have a few things the first most exciting thing…we have baby no. 3 on the way, due in July!! I can’t wait to start sewing some baby clothes & blankets soon. Secondly before starting a family l was a Exercise Physiologist/Personal Trainer, so l guess you could say l have had a career change! I still love keeping fit & eating healthy but l’m really enjoying my new adventure, having my own little business, Fabric Fox.
SPECIAL OFFER: Check out page 60 or page 108 of One Thimble Issue 10 for your free shipping code. The Free Shipping offer has been extended through till Friday 4th March!
You’re looking forward to sewing a new bag pattern. You can even imagine how wonderful the finished project is going to look, but then you see the hardware requirements.
Push Locks and you get scared …
But there’s no need to pack up your interfacing and fabric scissors Kylie from Handbag Hardware Australia is guest blogging for us today and sharing a brilliant “How to for installing Push Locks”.
Push Locks are also known as Thumb Locks or Tongue Locks.
How to Install Push Locks
Push Lock kit
Sharp ended scissors
Hammer & 2mm hole punch
Phillips Head Screw Driver – small
Step 1: Using the pattern as your placement guide mark the four prongs of the backing plate onto the fabric. Then using your sharp ended scissors or quick unpick cut along these lines to create prong slits.
Step 2: Insert the backing plate prongs through the slits created.
Step 3: Fold the backing plate prongs over the mesh/washer to secure.
Step 4: Place your push lock into position and mark where the screw holes are. Using your 2mm hole punch or sharp point scissors create the holes ready to attach your push lock into place.
Step 5: Using your Phillips Head screwdriver secure the push lock onto the fabric.
Congratulations – you’ve installed your Push Lock!
Keen to try out your new Push Lock skills?
Kylie from Handbag Hardware Australia offers a hardware kit for this pattern that you can find HERE.
And for all your Handbag Hardware needs be sure to visit Kylie at Handbag Hardware Australia.
Emma started out in 2012 as For My Little Monster designing and creating adorable toys for her customers. Over the last year, Emma has moved into designing sewing patterns, and
using her knowledge of teaching, strives to help you create the bag of your dreams! Because of this change in direction Emma has recently re-branded as Emkie Designs.
How did you get into making bag patterns?
I have always had a love of handbags, I used to buy new bags all the time when I had a disposable income – ie. before owning a house and having kids 😉 The last time we moved homes I had to sell or donate of most of my handbag collection, as there just wasn’t the space to keep them all…
Before reading about how I got into making bag patterns, you probably should know that before 2010 I didn’t sew. I had done a few textile classes at high school, but I didn’t really remember how to use a sewing machine. I don’t come from a family of sewists. My mum did own a sewing machine that she got when she was married around 38 years ago, but it has always lived in its case in the cupboard – I never have seen her use it and I didn’t grow up wearing “mummy made” outfits.
In 2011 when I was pregnant with T, Hubby and I were away for his birthday (one of the last trips we took where it was just the 2 of us), and we walked into this fabric store because I had seen a beautiful toy in the window. I walked past all the fabric grabbed the toy and asked how much it was – I was promptly told it wasn’t for sale, but I could purchase the pattern and make my own. I looked at all the patterns they had in store and ended up choosing a different one to the toy that had originally grabbed my attention, I paid for it and walked out of the shop – no supplies or fabric were purchased that day. Back at our hotel, I read the pattern and thought “I can do this” and when we had traveled back home again I borrowed my mothers unused sewing machine and had fun going to the fabric store and choosing fabrics. After a short time “Dilbert” was born and he waited patiently for the little baby in my tummy to arrive and love him. I made a few other things prior to T being born, and had discovered a new passion and hobby in sewing.
After T was born I found myself at the shops a lot. It was something to do while T slept in the pusher, except it was terrible for our household finances. So I stopped in at the fabric shop on one of these trips and purchased some felt and began hand sewing (I had returned the borrowed sewing machine)…this is when I designed my first 3 softies.
Then I decided to try my hand at sewing to sell. My monsters were a hit and spurred me on to create a few other original designs too. In between my custom orders I made sure to sew items for family and friends as well as make quite a few bags for me – to fill the void not buying them 😉
When I was pregnant with M, I needed to take a step back, it was a hard pregnancy and I was no longer enjoying making toys as much as I once had. I decided to focus on sewing for family, friends and myself. I also began designing what would be my 1st bag pattern. It was a long process as I had no idea what I was doing 😉 but with some help from Samantha (Mrs H) I found my confidence and released my Everyday Tote Bag Pattern on February 2nd 2015.
Who/what/where inspires you?
My main inspiration for my patterns comes from walking down the street, I eye off every one’s bags – they probably think I’m crazy or wondering how I’m going to go about robbing them or something – lol – but I just like looking at people’s bags and looking at the different features I like and thinking about how I would make them my own 🙂
Where do you design and sew your patterns?
Until last year I had a corner of our family room as my sewing space. But once I had purchased my JUKI TL-98P, I needed more space away from little fingers, so I took over half of our “+” room – you know the room I’m talking about…when real estate agents say “3+ bedrooms”? So, I have half of our “+” room which is where I sew and it is really small, 2 steps and I’m on the other side of the room to where I started 😉 But I love it because its mine! As for designing my patterns, that I usually do sitting on the couch in the family room. I sketch there, I write the pattern there, I draw the pattern pieces, edit the pattern photos, etc. Basically I do all the computer work involved in producing a pattern on my couch.
Do you have a favourite pattern – if so which and why?
This one is hard…I have so many favourites I don’t think I can choose!
Do you have a favourite sewing notion or gadget that you couldn’t live without?
For bag making I love my walking foot! Also for anything that involves bias binding (my archenemy), I LOVE my bias binding attachment that I got with my JUKI TL-98P – I no longer hate binding, unless I have to do it by hand, then we are still enemies 😉
Whats something that people might not know about you?
I am a self taught sewist, and have been sewing for around 5 1/2 years. I am also a qualified teacher, I am trained in Contemporary Arts and Psychology, and I taught in schools for 9 yrs (teaching teenagers) prior to starting our family in 2011.
Do you have any news that you would like to share with our readers?
Of course! As you are probably aware…I currently have a pattern that has been published in Issue 10 of One Thimble e-zine – The Adventure Case, it is a vintage style insulated lunch tote.
Also I will be teaching at a bag making sewing retreat (the Bag Fanatics Retreat) in September and I’m super excited about that! I hope to do some other teaching this year too – I’m a teacher by trade and have really missed it, so opportunities like the sewing retreat, or any others that come my way are too hard to pass up!
If you want to follow Emma or find out about her new patterns or where she might be teaching you can join her newsletter (http://eepurl.com/bs2zMr) or follow her blog www.emkiedesigns.com, Facebook Page www.facebook.com/emkiedesigns or Instagram https://www.instagram.com/emkiedesigns/ 🙂
I am totally utterly in love with Irene from Serger Pepper’s Playproof Dungaree pattern. Overalls are one of those things that go in and out of fashion and each time they come back there’s fit changes that can make the difference between hitting the trend and missing it completely.
I think it’s safe to say she totally nailed the 2016 Dungaree look!
… and then she made things even better with a skirted version of the pattern.
If you’ve got a copy of One Thimble Issue 10 remember to get your discount code from page 66 or page 108 and download the skirted version of the Playproof Dungaree for FREE before 20th April 2016.
If you don’t have a copy of Issue 10 but you’re still keen to get your hands on the skirted version of the Playproof Dungaree you can purchase it direct from Irene’s website -> HERE
Here’s some more of Irene’s wonderful tester photos of the Playproof Dungaree – regular and skirted version!