{Friday Favorites} Interfacing and Stabilizers

***This post contains affiliate links***

It’s time for another fun round of Friday Favorites! Today I’ll be sharing with you my favorite interfacing and stabilizers and where/when/how to use them!

First things first…I bet you are wondering what’s the difference between interfacing and stabilizers??? Super simple: interfacing is meant to be sewn into the project, stabilizers are meant to be removed after stitching. Interfacing gets sewn “in,” stabilizers just stabilize the fabrics for the moment. Makes sense right??? So let’s look at some of my favorites and talk about which projects match.


Interfacing

The two most common interfacings used when sewing clothing (which is where the majority of my creativity lies) are woven interfacing and knit interfacing.

Woven Interfacing: Used for woven fabrics. This interfacing will not stretch. It comes in various weights and can be used for a variety of helpful reasons. Some woven interfacing can be adhered to the fabric before stitching, called “Fusible Interfacing.” Woven interfacing does have a grain line, just like woven fabrics, so be sure to cut the interfacing just as you cut the pattern pieces!

For collars: I use lightweight fusible interfacing to help give a little body to collars. I adhere the fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the main collar piece before sewing to the collar lining. This will help keep the shape of the collar, but is lightweight so it won’t make the collar stick up.

For button plackets: I also use lightweight fusible interfacing to help my machine sew neat and easy buttonholes. I usually adhere the interfacing the wrong side of the main back bodice, about a 1″ strip the length of the button placket. The interfacing helps to stabilize the fabric while you sew the buttonholes, and also keeps the buttonhole from stretching out over wash/wear.

To hold fabric together: I use a thin strip of fusible web to set the main bodice and back bodice together when sewing an enclosed waist seam. The fusible web will adhere the two fabrics together and keep anything from shifting while enclosing the waist seam. No pins needed!

To keep zippers in place: My most favorite invention ever! After sewing a million Elodie dresses last spring, I would have been lost without my trusty Peel n Stick! You just peel off the amount you need (the length of the zipper), stick the adhesive to the inside of the garment, and then place the zipper on the tape (it’s double sided sticky!). Again- no pins needed!!! This keeps the zipper firmly in place while you flip the garment over and topstitch the zipper!

For free motion appliqué:  I use a lightweight Ultra Hold fusible webbing to keep fussy cut fabric appliqués in place. This will keep the fabric from shifting while sewing with your free motion foot.

Knit Interfacing: Knit interfacing will have stretch and provide some structure while sewing with knit fabrics.

For hemming: Using a thin strip of knit tape on the hem of a knit garment will give enough stability to keep the hem from twisting or bunching, but will not affect the overall drape of the garment.

For sturdy seams: To keep waist seams from going wonky, to keep shoulder seams from stretching or slumping over wash/wear, I use knit stay tape. This provides stability over time but doesn’t add any bulk to the seam.


Stabilizers:

Stabilizers provide body and structure just while sewing, but then are removed (torn away or washed away) after stitching.

Tear Away Stabilizer: This type of stabilizer is stiff but is only a temporary stabilizer. I often use tear away stabilizer when sewing buttonholes on knit fabrics. I don’t want the stiffness in the knit after I sew the buttonhole so I don’t use an interfacing. Instead, a tear away stabilizer will provide that sturdiness needed for a buttonhole and then is torn away.

Wash Away Stabilizer: This type of stabilizer is thinner, gives some structure while sewing and then will dissolve when wet. I use wash away stabilizer when sewing with delicate fabrics like hemming chiffons, binding with chiffon or sheer fabrics when I don’t want interfacing to show, etc. You can also use wash away stabilizer to embroider really pretty lace appliqués!


Color Coding for Interfacing and Stabilizers:

I thought I would also share some helpful tips when shopping for interfacing and stabilizers at your local fabric store or online. You can buy interfacing and stabilizer by the roll, in the notions section. It will come prepackaged, usually about 10-20 yds rolled or in sheets. However, you buy interfacing and stabilizers by the yard as well.

Some products are color coded to help you select the correct type of interfacing and stabilizer you need.

Pellon: Pellon is a popular brand, carried at Joann Fabrics and other fabric stores.

Pink: Apparel fabrics

Yellow: Craft and Home decor fabrics

Green: Quilting fabrics

Orange: Fusible webs and adhesives

Blue: Embroidery projects

Heat n Bond (Thermoweb): Another popular brand of packaged fusible webbing.

Purple: lite adhesive strength

Red: ultra adhesive strength

Blue: iron on vinyl

Yellow: Soft Stretch (for knit fabrics)

Light Blue: Featherlight (super thin and lightweight)

Pink: Hemming (no-sew)


I hope that helps to kind of debunk any misunderstandings or questions about interfacing and stabilizers! Both can be super helpful in sewing apparel or other sewing projects. I’d love to hear which interfacing and stabilizers you use the most, and if you’d like any specific tutorials showing how to use any mentioned above!

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{One Thimble Issue 16} Hally Dress

Another smashing success for One Thimble Sewing E-Zine – Issue 16 is now available and it’s jam packed with incredible patterns, sewing articles, tips for small businesses and fun tutorials. I’ve had the pleasure of sewing and reviewing many patterns of the years for OT and I’m super excited to share with you my sew from this latest release.

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There were so many fabulous patterns to choose from but since we get a nice, long summer here in sunny SoCal I decided to go for the Hally Casual Dress pattern by Ainslee Fox. A little peek at the details in the Hally dress:

– Sizes 1 through 12

– Intermediate sewing level

– Written for woven fabrics

– Bodice facing and elastic back

– Bias trim finishing

– Two construction methods

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I sewed this Hally dress using two prints from Art Gallery Fabrics Garden Dreamer fabric collection. I wanted something summery but that could transition to fall with a layering tee.

The Hally dress is great for showcasing a few different prints in the color-blocking pieces that make up the dress. I love the side panels- really cute for contrasting fabrics.

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The Hally dress has an easy, pullover style to the fit and will last her through next Summer. There is a small cased strip of elastic in the back to keep the shoulder straps in place. The front and back skirts are slimmer than our usual twirly dresses but they really compliment the silhouette.

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The Hally dress has bias binding to finish the bodice and create the straps. Jen includes two construction methods for the binding to give you two subtly different looks. I chose the second method.

Nothing will stop this girl from dancing! She loves her Hally dress and has plans for many more! I sewed this dress up in about 2 hours and about a yard and a quarter of fabric. Such a cute and simple style that will quickly fill your closets.


Want to win a FREE copy of OT? Enter to win by clicking this link:a Rafflecopter giveaway


Check out the entire lineup and click around to see the other incredible OT Tour bloggers!

Tips & Tricks on Tuesday: Sewing Button Closures

*** This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links***

What is your sewing nemisis? You know…the one part in a pattern or tutorial that makes you cringe, want to throw in the towel or go rouge and alter the construction? I see time and time again that sewists are scared of sewing garments made with buttons because they hate sewing buttonholes. Can you relate??? I hope to help you conquer that fear with a few handy tools and some tips to guide you to sewing perfect, easy buttonholes.

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First let’s talk about my favorite tools for sewing button closures (affiliate links):

This expanding sewing gauge will help you evenly space the buttons/holes without headache!

Fray check will keep your buttonholes looking neat and tidy!

Frixion erasable pens are perfect for marking on fabric. A little heat (such an a warm iron) will erase the pen marks from fabric with no trouble!


Now let’s look at how these tools will help you sew buttonholes without having to hold your breath!

Prep your bodice, skirt placket, etc. with lightweight fusible interfacing. I’ve applied the interfacing to the wrong side of the main bodice. This will help stabilize the buttonholes and buttons and make it much easier for your sewing machine to manage.

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First thing’s first- you need to decide how many buttonholes are needed. In my example, I’ll be sewing 4 buttonholes. I’ll start by sliding open the expanding sewing gauge to have 4 points on my garment.

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If you are attaching a skirt (like in this example) or have any restrictions on where the button/buttonholes can be placed, be sure to keep that in mind. In my example, I want to be sure the button is at least 1/2″ away from the top and 1 1/2″ away from the bottom of my bodice. I slide the sewing gauge until I had 4 points along my bodice with 1/2″ from the top and 1 1/2″ from the bottom.

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I like to lay out the buttons I’ve chosen to be sure the spacing looks good. I also mark where the buttons will be sewn so that can cross check with the buttonhole spacing.

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I love using my sewing machine buttonhole foot to sew the buttonholes. I especially love this one since it has a metal bottom and really grips nicely to my fabric. I find the size of the buttonhole will be by placing the button in the spot in the back (button guide). Then I double check that the buttonhole (shown by the pressure foot scale or the space between the two points that the automatic buttonhole arm travels) will fit.

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I use that space to mark where the buttonholes will begin and end on the left side of my bodice. Using a frixion erasable pen, I mark on the left bodice where the buttonholes should begin and end.

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After a quick run through the machine, I am ready to open up the seams. I place a pin at the end of the buttonhole so that the seam ripper doesn’t take off and rip through more.

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Lastly, you’ll want to apply a thin line of fray check along the buttonholes once seam ripped to keep them looking neat after wash and wear.

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Once your buttonholes are sewn and finished, overlap the bodices/plackets and double check that the buttons should be sewn in the same markings previously made. If all is good to go, use your sewing machine and sew the buttons to the other side of the bodice/placket. If you aren’t familiar with using your sewing machine to sew buttons, hop over to this great tutorial.

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Well there you have it! Button closures made easy!!! I hope that gives you a little more confidence to tackle those cute patterns with button closures. Happy sewing!

Want to win my favorite button closure tools??? Hop over to my Instagram and enter to win!

Tips & Tricks on Tuesday: Using a size chart {Free Printable}

Hi friends!!! It’s that time of the month when we all need to bust out our trusty measuring tapes and take updated measurements on our kiddos! It’s a hassle, yes, but using accurate measurements will definitely make for well-fitting garment. If your kids are anything like mine, they probably shot up a size or two this summer. Must be all that good Vitamin Sea 🙂

I want to share with you a super easy and helpful printable and some tips and tricks for using a size chart to make a custom fitted garment. Let’s get started!


Violette Field Threads Size Chart and Measurement Guide


I adapted this printable from this great blog post. If you need guidance on how to take accurate measurements of your child, hop over and start the adventure there!

I would recommend you print out 12 of these for each of your children and put them in a binder close to your sewing space. Having extra copies on hand will serve as a great reminder to update your measurement chart each month.

I used my youngest as the example today, although I need to take updated measurements for my oldest before I start back to school sewing!!

Measurement Guide and Size Chart ExampleI circled her measurements on the Violette Field Threads standard measurement chart, showing where a mash up will be needed (stay tuned for next week’s post on how to mash sizes!). You’ll notice I kept her waist at 22″ instead of circling between 22″ and 23″ because I knew she just ate lunch and probably had a full tummy versus her everyday measurement.

Once you have updated measurements, you’ll want to open up your sewing pattern and take a look for two things.

  1. Amount of Ease/ Intended Fit of the Garment

  2. Finished Measurement Chart

I’m going to use the Elodie dress pattern as my example today but the process can be applied to any pdf sewing pattern.

Let’s first look at the amount of ease or the Fit Guide.

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The Elodie dress is an empire waist dress, so the waist measurement isn’t a critical piece of the overall fit and therefor is not mentioned in the Fit Guide. The two critical measurements to look at are the bust (chest measurement) and the dress length (height measurement).

BUST: Looking at Honor’s measurement chart, you’ll see she has a 21.75″ bust measurement, which puts her just under a size 5. Since the Elodie dress has 2″ of ease intended, if I only sewed a size 4, she would have 1.75″ of ease and that means she may outgrow the garment sooner than I hope. I could mash between a size 4 and 5 but since I’m sewing for fall garments now, I’m going to sew a size 5 bodice and let her have some more room to grow.

LENGTH: Again looking at her measurement chart, her height is 43.5″ which is much closer to the size 5 height than the size 4. The intended dress length is 2″ above the knee which is great for school dress codes. If I sewed a size 4, I am guessing she won’t be able to wear it to school so I’ll be sewing her a size 5 length for her fall wardrobe.

Now let’s jump to the Finished Measurement Chart to see how this garment is going to measure up once it’s sewn.

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The Finished Measurement Chart is mostly used as a way to double check the garment after it’s sewn to be sure it was completed accurately. There is nothing worse than finishing a garment and having it fit too small, only to realize the printer settings were off or the wrong seam allowance was used!!!

I also use the Finished Measurement Chart to be sure the final garment is going to give me the exact fit I want. Sometimes a pattern may have ease built in that either is too little for what I’m aiming for or too large and I want a more tailored look.

Knowing the ease of the Elodie dress (2″) and my child’s measurements, I can see the finished dress is going to give her 2.25″ of ease and that will be great for the upcoming season. I anticipate her growing more as the summer rounds out and she turns 5 years old. I am also able to measure her from the shoulder to knee (24 1/2″) and I see that the size 5 finished dress length will hit about 1″ above her knee. Perfect for school wear!

If I wanted to keep with the intended fit of the garment, I can cut a dress length between the size 4 and 5 measurements and that will give her closer to 2″ above the knee. But, since I am anticipating more growth and want to be sure she can wear to school, I’ll stick with the size 5.

I am ready to sew the dress pattern now that I’ve taken updated measurements of my child and have surveyed the Fit Guide and cross checked with the Finished Measurement Chart to help me choose what size will give me the best fit and most wear.

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One of the greatest benefits of sewing for your own children is that you can customize the fit of each garment so that it will give you lasting wear and look really polished. I love using the Fit Guide and Finished Measurement Chart along with the Standard Size Chart to help me choose the best size(es) to sew for my kids!

 

{Cricut Blog Tour] Sewing for Vacay Tutorial & Giveaway!

This post is sponsored by Cricut. The opinions expressed in this post are my own. Affiliate links are included.

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Hey all!!! I hope you are enjoying your summer- soaking up the sun and warm air, getting to explore the great outdoors and spending lots of quality time with loved ones. If you’re anything like me, you’re planning out a great summer vacation and may be in need of some festive and fun new gear! Today I’ll be sharing a quick and easy tutorial using the new Cricut Explore Air 2 machine, some exciting new iron-on vinyl sheets and the Cricut Design Space. Be sure to read all the way to the bottom to see the entire Sewing with Cricut Blog Tour lineup and enter to win a Cricut Explore Air 2 for you!

My family and I were heading out for a road trip around Southern California so in my clever and creative mind, I planned out this super fun new vacation tote to showcase my Cricut vinyl design.

Before I could start my Cricut project, I quickly sewed up this awesome new tote bag from Art Gallery Fabrics Yuma Lemons Mist in Canvas using this tutorial.

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If you’re new to using a Cricut machine or just want to see what it’s all about, read on to see how quick and easy it is to create a super fun, personalized iron-on decal. If you plan on shopping for some new Cricut gear, use coupon code “ChristmasInJuly” Free shipping for US orders!!!


Creating an Iron-On Decal with Cricut

Supplies (affiliate links):

Before you start designing your decal, first measure the space available for your intended layout. I like to do this first so that I can plan my design from the start using the final dimensions. Sometimes projects look great on screen but when transferred to the size and layout of the space you actually have available, it just doesn’t jive. Once you have your measurements for your decal canvas, it’s time to get the party started!

If you want to customize your decal read on or you can just download my design and get to cutting!

Let’s start by opening up the Cricut Design Space and creating the decal design. The Design Space is super user friendly, really intuitive and basically will walk you through step by step how to go from design to finished cut.

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After I designed the decal, I color coded each vinyl layer in the design so that it would populate all the same layer letters onto one cutting mat. Click “Make It” and the Design Space quickly and easily formats your cutting mat template for you. 

Be sure to click to mirror the design so when it is transferred onto the tote it will read left to right.

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I don’t like to waste any vinyl so I look at the cutting mat layout in Design Space and cut the vinyl to the same dimensions, with just a tiny bit of wiggle room on each side. Transfer the vinyl onto the cutting mat, with the colored side down. Do not peel off the liner at this time.

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You’re ready to load into the Cricut machine! Follow the prompts in Design Space to cut your first vinyl layer. Again, be sure you’ve toggled the “mirror design” switch!!!! Side note- how gorgeous is that mint colored machine?!?!! LOVE!

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Unload the mat and get ready to weed the cut design. I start by peeling off the negative space from the liner (the clear plastic), leaving the design on the cutting mat. I use the handy Cricut Weeding Tool to carefully weed out the rest of the unwanted vinyl. Repeat until you have all the layers of your design cut and weeded.

Next, you’ll lay out the bottom-most layer of your design onto your project. I used these great little Cricut Scissors to cut my design into sections to transfer onto the tote.

Transferring the vinyl from the liner to the tote bag takes care and control to ensure your finished product is straight, well pressed but not melted, and looks incredible. Place the decal on the tote with the vinyl facing up and reading from left to right. I layer my vinyl layers before I start ironing to ensure everything will look the way I want it to once I put all the layers together. If everything is good to go, grab your iron and let’s finish this project up!

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Using an iron on the cotton/linen setting with the steam setting OFF and a pressing cloth, apply heat to the design for about 15-30 seconds. You’ll want to add a light pressure and be sure to pick up your iron and move to the next section rather than swiping across the pressing cloth (NOTE: Use a pressing cloth that is either white or from the same fabric as your project. I used a dark strip of fabric just so it would show up more in the tutorial photos.) After your bottom layer of vinyl is adhered to your tote, you’ll turn the tote inside out and press again from the inside for 15-20 seconds.

Let the area cool and then peel off the liner and admire that gorgeous decal!!! You’ll repeat the transferring steps until all the layers of your design have been adhered. Don’t rush things- not waiting for the layer to cool before applying another layer may result in melted vinyl or bubbling.

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Pack your new tote with a towel, your sunnies and a good book and head to the pool! Before you head out, be sure to hop down this post and enter to win a Cricut Explore Air 2 of your own!


Enter to Win a Cricut Explore Air 2 HERE

Week One: July 19th

Week Two: July 26th

I was invited to participate in the Cricut Party Blogger Program Kickoff.  

This experience is based strictly on my opinion.  Others may have a different opinion or experience with the product listed above.  I was provided the sample free of charge by the company or PR agency and I have given my honest opinion.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

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