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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

What Is The Difference Between Organic And Inorganic Fabrics?

How Is Organic Fabric And Inorganic Fabric Treated?

There are new kids on the block for fabric besides cotton. There is now hemp fabric and bamboo fabric! Hemp and and bamboo fabric are natural fibers that are treated without chemicals. They are grown without fertilizers and pesticides. Bamboo fabric and batting is an extremely quality fabric and batting. Bamboo batting is much more warmer on quilts than cotton by comparison.

Bamboo grows without chemicals or pesticides because it does not need them to grow with. Bamboo plants are the fastest growing plants in the world. Some cultures call bamboo, trees, if the plants are being used for wood.  Some bamboo species can grow 35 inches in 24 hours. Since bamboo grows so fast it is a more economical source for fabric, food, and wood. Bamboo is a strong fiber, so anything sewn or made from bamboo will have a longer life than most other fabrics of it's type. Bamboo is naturally anti-microbial, hypoallergenic, and mold resistant. The finished product of bamboo fabric does not need to be coated with formaldehyde like conventional fabrics do to preserve it for shipping, storage, and retailing on the shelf. You can find organic bamboo fabric here.

Hemp does not exhaust the soil and leaves it in excellent condition for succeeding crops. Hemp, because of its height, dense foliage and its high planting density as a crop, is a very effective and long used method of killing tough weeds in farming by minimizing the pool of weed seeds of the soil. So with hemp being an effective weed killer for other crops, hemp does not need pesticides or herbicides to grow it's own crop since it drowns out other weeds and vegetation around it. Hemp is an extremely durable, UV resistant, absorbent, fast-drying, and hypoallergenic fabric. Hemp is made into knits, silk, linen, and muslin fabrics. It is made into twine, rope, and yarn as well. You can find organic Hemp fabrics here.

Organic cotton is grown organically without fertilizers and pesticides. However, since inorganic cotton is not a food, inorganic cotton crops are saturated with insecticides and pesticides more so than what a field of wheat would be. Be sure to wash your cotton fabrics before you handle and sew them. 

Most conventional fabrics are treated with formaldehyde after they have been dyed and are ready to be retailed. This is so that the fabric does not mold or discolor while it is being shipped and stored. If you have ever walked into a fabric store and smelled something you could not identify, it could be the formaldehyde the fabrics are treated with. Most assume it is a new smell associated with new fabrics, however, it is a new smell of formaldehyde on the fabrics. As soon as you receive your fabrics on bolts or in cuts, store them in an area where you will not be exposed to the fumes of formaldehyde until you are ready to use the fabric/s. Formaldehyde is drying to your skin so either use gloves, or wash your hands after handling the fabric/s, then apply moisturizer to your hands.

If you have not tried, or considered organic fabrics, along with hemp and bamboo fabrics, you may want to try them. There is a difference in the way they feel and appear as you are shopping for your fabrics. Organic fabrics are healthier for you and for our environment. Please comment on your experiences with organic fabrics in the comment box of this blog. If you like this blog article, and would like to read more articles from this blog, please sign up for future articles pertaining to fabrics, sewing, and sewing techniques to keep yourself sharp in your sewing skills.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

How To Properly Store Your Vintage And Current Sewing Patterns

How To Ensure The Life Of Your Vintage And Modern Sewing Patterns

Vintage is back in sewing patterns! That includes sewing pattern companies reproducing some of their sewing patterns of the past now. The beauty about sewing pattern companies reproducing some of their vintage sewing patterns of the past is that the sewing patterns are multi sized for many sizes in one pattern. The original vintage sewing patterns have one size in each sewing pattern envelope. 

Although it is fascinating to buy the true vintage sewing patterns for their authenticity. The modern vintage sewing patterns with multi sizes in them, enables you to use them for the rest of your life. This is  provided you take care of your patterns, in properly storing them and protecting them in the right pattern sleeves designed for sewing patterns.

It is important to properly store your vintage and modern sewing patterns because you will want to keep each pattern together with it's pieces. It does no good to have a partial sewing pattern that is missing pieces in it. You will want to keep the cover envelope and the instructions for the sewing pattern together as well.

You will want to store all of your sewing patterns in a moisture free environment to avoid mold on your sewing patterns, especially for your vintage sewing patterns. A sewing pattern protector will be able to keep dirt and grime away from your sewing patterns as well. The best protector for your sewing patterns is a 6 X 9 zip lock bag to place your sewing pattern into. The zip lock bags are acid free and you want an acid free protector for your sewing patterns, especially your vintage sewing patterns. You can find yourself a fair supply of 6 X 9 zip lock bags here.

The best way to file you covered sewing pattern is upright into a metal or plastic file cabinet by filing them loosely in the order of your choosing. Sewing patterns are stored loosely to be able to breathe. Your sewing pattern file cabinet should be in a low light, cool, well ventilated area or room of your choosing. Avoid heated areas to store your patterns as heat will lighten the print on your pattern pieces and it's cover.

You can find vintage sewing patterns online in their original and authentic envelopes for very reasonable prices here.  Vintage sewing patterns are very popular for nostalgia and uniqueness in design. Some vintage sewing patterns are considered an antique, which rightly they are, for some are over 100 years old and still intact!  You can find vintage sewing patterns at estate sales, garage sales, and some online stores selling vintage sewing patterns. There is an income possibility for someone who has vintage sewing patterns or has access to them by retailing them online to those who are looking for them. Your gold may be in vintage sewing patterns!

You can use vintage sewing patterns with modern sewing patterns by combining them to create a unique design of your own.  You can change the collar of a modern sewing pattern for a collar of a vintage sewing pattern and have created a one of  kind garment all of your own. Styles come and go all the time.Trends change every year, however, I think we are entering an era where style means anything goes irregardless what the trend may be set at. Clothing may well be what someone decides is their own style and makes their statement about themselves without following trends. This is part of the beauty of vintage sewing patterns and retro clothing. You can create and express yourself with DIY clothing. There are many classy retro styles that can be combined into today's styles and trends.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

How To Make Your Own BiasTape

 Do It Yourself Bias Tape For Uniqueness And Originality

Bias tape is one of my favorite items in sewing. I use it for so many projects. Although I or you can buy it at the store or online, it is so easy to make yourself! Bias tape is a trim and a binding. Bias tape can be made in different widths with the 1/2" being the most popular.  Bias tape can be 1/4' wide, 1/2" wide, 3/4" wide,  or 1" wide. There is a single fold and a double fold bias tape. Double fold bias tape can folded in half to apply around edges. Single fold bias tape is used as a stay on a seam so that the seam does not give or stretch on knits after sewing. Double fold bias tape is used more than single fold most of the time.

Bias tape is predominantly made from cotton fabrics used for quilting, however, you can use your choice of fabric type for your bias tape as long as it is cut on the bias to give your fabric some stretch. Bias tape can made from silk or polyester as well. What I like about Do It Yourself Bias Tape is that is can e made from any print of fabric you like such as small florals, plaids, solids, geometric prints, and stripes for example. Whatever project you are sewing can be beautifully coordinated with the bias tape print or solid you have created yourself.

Bias tape is used on quilt bindings, bib edges, children's clothing to finish neck edges and sleeve edges,  adult clothing for sleeve and neck edges, tote edges, pot holders, straps on a garment, blanket edges, tablecloth edges and any else you can think of to use for finishing edges in style.  Bias tape is made from fabric cut on the bias grain of the fabric, or at a 45 degree angle, so that the bias tape has some give or a small amount of stretch to it so that is can be applied around a rounded neck edge or sleeve edges with ease. If bias tape is cut from the selvage or straight of grain side of the fabric there will not be any give or stretch to your bias tape for a neck edge, but can be used as a stay on stretch seam. The straight of grain bias tape is perfect for a stay on a seam.

You will need two things to make your bias tape, your fabric or a fat quarter used in quilting and a bias tape maker such as shown in the image at the beginning of this article. You will want to cut 2" strips from the bias of the fabric you have chosen for your bias tape. You can use scissors or a rotary cutter and ruler to cut your strips of fabric.  The 2" strips may be cut in portions that can be sewn together with a 1/4" seam allowance. This 2" strip of fabric will make a 1/2" double fold bias tape using a 1" tape maker.

You will want your bias tape portions sewn together to make a complete straight piece of tape, not a tape with an angle to it like an elbow seam or to look like a V shape, but a straight tape. If you see that your strip of fabric looks like a V, apply both sides of the strip of fabric together going opposite directions so that you end up with a straight piece of fabric strip. After you have completed the construction of your tape of fabric, you will want to insert it through the tape maker that folds both edges of the tape. As the folded edges of the fabric come through the tape make you will want to press the folded edges in place with your iron. You will continue in this way until the complete length of the fabric strip has folded edges all the way down.

Now that you have both edges of the strip of fabric folded you will want to fold the fabric strip in half  to make a double fold for your bias tape. You will want to fold the strip so that front side is slightly shorter than the back side of the fabric strip and then press in place with your iron. This is so that when you sew your bias tape on to your garment neck edge there are no gaps or holes from missed stitching on the other side. After you have completed making your bias tape you will want to wrap it around a piece of cardboard, or plastic strip to organize your bias tape and to keep it neatly in place until you use it for your sewing needs.

There is an income opportunity with making bias tape. Making bias tape from many fabrics and prints is very profitable by selling it online to those who need bias tape who are otherwise too busy to make their own bias tape. Many seamstresses would love to be able to purchase one of a kind original bias tape to save them time and effort in their own sewing, especially if they are professional seamstresses who sew for the public. The working woman who sews on weekends would love to be able purchase a one of a kind bias tape, as well as the weekend quilter. It saves these ladies time so that they can finish their projects on the weekends. Not only can you make your own bias tape to suit your needs, you can make it as a part time income to sell online. It is actually very relaxing and simple to make bias tape.

If you are a seamstress who would prefer to purchase your bias tape there are many choices you can choose from online or at a fabric store for bias tape. Bias tape can be purchased in bulk or in small cards. You can find ready to purchase bias tape here. There is also a bias binder presser foot you can purchase to snap onto you sewing machine, designed to sew bias tape easily to insure a perfect stitch line on your bias tape. You can purchase the bias binder foot here. You can find a complete kit with all sizes of the bias tape makers along with a bias foot binder here. Your bias making tools can be in one place with this bias tape kit. You can also give bias tape as gifts to your sewing friends.

Below is a video demonstrating how to DO It Yourself bias tape.

Bias Tape Maker Kit -
Purchased Bias Tape -

Monday, March 23, 2015

Sewing Seamstress: Maxi Dresses - Easy Sew And Easy Wear For All Body Types

Maxi Dresses - Easy Sew And Easy Wear For All Body TypesSewing Seamstress: Maxi Dresses - Easy Sew And Easy Wear For All Body Types

Maxi Dresses - Easy Sew And Easy Wear For All Body Types

The Trendy Maxi Dresses Are Back!

The beautiful Maxi dresses are trending for this year in many wonderful styles that compliment any body type. The Maxi Dress can be dressed up or dressed down depending on the occasion the Maxi Dress is being worn for. Maxi Dresses are full length dresses, while some are tee length or mid-calf length. Maxi Dresses are made from knits, jersey, cotton, polyester, silk, or challis. Maxi Dresses are for day or evening and some of them can be worn from day into evening to be stylish all day long. Maxi Dresses are worn at many summer time parties and some are worn to walk along the beach. I have worn a maxi dress for shopping and errands, and a meet up with friends for lunch. A Maxi Dress can be enjoyed around the home as a relaxing lounge wear.

A Maxi Dress can be worn with heels and accessories to dress up the Maxi Dress. With the legs not showing,  the cleavage can be played up in a Maxi Dress with a layered necklace, matching earrings, and a coordinating purse with heels in good taste. The Maxi Dress comes in countless designs, or you can sew your own Maxi Dress in your own unique one of kind design to make a statement that is unique to you. That is the beauty of sewing. A Sewing Seamstress does not have huge labels on our clothing and we do not sew anything that looks like what someone else is wearing. A Sewing Seamstress can be totally herself and express herself in her one unique way with her Maxi Dress. If you aren't a Sewing Seamstress you can find ready to wear Maxi Dresses here in an assortment of styles.

A Maxi dress, worn for day wear, can be worn with low heeled shoes or flats with coordinating jewelry, a hat, and a tote. I like to sew a matching tote with my Maxi Dresses. While I am produce shopping,  I have something to carry my produce in at the Farmer's Market that coordinates with my Maxi Dress. I  wear my hat for sun protection with my Maxi Dress. A Sewing Seamstress can sew her hat to coordinate with her Maxi Dresses just like her tote.  I have some matching light short sleeved jackets I can wear over my Maxi Dress as well for sun protection on my shoulders. There are so many things that can be sewn to wear and use with your Maxi Dress. I like the Bo-Ho type of Maxi Dress for my day wear, while I like an elegant Maxi Dress for a more formal appearance.  Below is an image of a Maxi Dress with accessories to give you idea for your own Maxi Dress of the way you will want your own Maxi Dress to be. There are no limits to your own design of a Maxi Dress! Be creative and imaginative in expressing your style!

The type of fabric you choose for your Maxi Dress depends on how you want your maxi Dress to fall on your curves. A Maxi Dress can leave alot to the imagination depending on the type of fabric you choose to sew your Maxi Dress in. Challis and silk drape easily over body curves as well as lightweight knits and cool summer time jerseys. You can find some beautiful jersey fabrics here. Silk and challis may cost a little more, but are well worth it for the difference it makes for your Maxi Dress. Anyone looks good in a Maxi Dress, don't let anyone tell you otherwise!  

Some Maxi Dresses are made with zippers or buttons, and some are made to simply pull over your head for easy wear. It is up to you for what you will want for your Maxi Dress. There many sewing patterns to choose from for Maxi Dresses. You can choose one or as many as you would like, or make your own maxi dress sewing pattern. You can find Maxi Dress sewing patterns here. What will you be sewing for your Maxi Dress?

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Is Used Clothing A Trend, Fad, Or Going Green?

Why Are Used Clothes So Popular?

As a Sewing Seamstress I am always keeping up with fads, trends, and styles to see what is kicking with the public eye and what appeals to the public. As I was Cyber Traveling I was seeing quite a bit about used clothing, or as some term it, "recycled clothing." I tend to question everything that goes on around me, so I began to look at used clothing wondering why used clothing was so popular.  I was thinking that some may like Vintage clothing for costumes, or some used clothing could be used for heavy duty chores without ruining otherwise good clothing. I was close, but I found that there are many good reasons for the popularity of used clothing.

Used clothing is not something that was recently started. eBay has been a very popular site for selling Vintage and quality used clothing past and present. There are many thrift stores who sell used clothing and they are always busy I saw this past holiday season. In my Cyber travels I see that some websites are specifically selling used or Vintage clothing and have a thriving business with used clothing.

As I was have been viewing everything in regards to used clothing, I had to share my discoveries about it with everyone. I could see opportunity for anyone who would be interested in the used clothing business as a full time or part time income online. It has a low start up expense by going through someone's own closet and starting there. Someone can let friends and family know they would like to have their clothing they no longer use to add to their inventory, or visit garage sales for pennies to add to their inventory. Other places to check for used clothing would be estate sales, storage companies renting storage units who would love to find new homes for abandoned clothing, divorce sales, or community thrift shops themselves.

Once you have your starting inventory of used clothing you will want to go through the clothing checking for imperfections, stains, or any need or repairs. Next you will want to wash your used clothing. No one can catch a disease from used clothing, but it is a good idea to make sure your used clothing inventory is clean and pressed and perfectly presentable and appealing to the public for whatever reason someone has for purchasing used clothing. It only makes sense to do this. After washing your used clothing you may need to do some repairs to the clothing such as replace buttons, replace zippers, sew up an open seam, or stitch a hem back in place. This is a plus in the success of selling your used clothing. Retailing used clothing is just like retailing new clothing as a business and should be viewed as such. You will want your inventory very appealing to the crowd you intend to attract. Here is a very good link to read for cleaning and disinfecting used clothing for your inventory.

Used clothing is also viewed as Re-Commerce. Second hand clothing gets a new life and a second chance! Some websites are curated to carefully select and show clothing that are of a certain aesthetic and quality of clothing to make it convenient for the shopper. eBay helped reduce the stigma of buying used clothing, but many online websites have humanized the buying and selling process of used clothing. I'm certain there will be many more online websites specializing in certain styles and designs of used clothing.  

Here are the reasons I found for the popularity of used clothing below:

-Used clothing is cheaper.

-Purchasing used clothing saves the environment by going green with recycling used clothing.

-Younger generations like Vintage clothing to wear that is different than everyone else.

-Using Vintage clothing for costumes to parties.

-For the person who is not a Trend Follower and wants to make their own statement in style.

-Make cut clothes from old clothes to have a one of a kind design of clothing.

-Being a kid at heart buying used clothing.

-Buying Vintage without a company name or logo plastered on the garment.

-Buying used clothing to sew craft projects with or to make quilts.

-Buying used clothing to Go Green to save the environment from clothing deteriorating in a dump yard.

There are many possibilities with used or Vintage clothing. Used or Vintage clothing may be the way for you if you are looking for a way to make money or add income to yourself if you love clothes! eBay has paved the way for used clothing for many years and could possibly help you to start  on to your way for online sales of used clothing by opening an eBay store for used clothing. Vintage clothing would be most appealing to me since I am a child at heart and would love to play dress up in Vintage clothing such as a Flapper Dress.  

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sewing Seamstress: How Do I make My Own Piping For My Sewing Projects And Garments? Seamstress: How Do I make My Own Piping For My Sewing Projects And Garments?

How Do I make My Own Piping For My Sewing Projects And Garments?

Making Your Own Piping From Your Choice Of Fabrics

Piping can be store bought in small packages or by the yard in the trim or notions department at fabric stores. Although purchasing piping can be more convenient, it can also cost as much as your fabric per yard to buy. It depends on which is more important to you at the time. When I sew my projects I like my own originality and one of kind designs so I like to make my own piping cord.

Cording is used on garments, pillows, upholstery, yokes on western shirts, sleeve cuffs, and many other projects that someone can imagine for embellishment on a project or garment. Piping can be a contrast color, a light color, a contrast print, or the same color and print of a project or garment. Piping can be made from a different type of fabric other than the fabric of the project or garment being used.

Piping is made by cutting a strip of fabric from the bias of the fabric in a 1 1/2" width. The cording is placed in between the wrong sides of the bias strip of fabric, the fabric is folded over, and then the fabric is sewn next to the cording with a special foot called a piping foot. The finished piping will look like what the image is above in this article. The self made piping is then placed inbetween  the  right sides of the project or garment and sewn into the seam of the project or garment. Here is a video to illustrate how piping is made and how it is sewn into a project or garment.

Piping is very simple to create and make for your own garments and projects. It takes a little extra time and effort, but it is worth it for your finished project for your originality and unique touch to your projects and garments. Below is an image of piping used around a pocket that is a contrast to the fabric used for the garment.

Piping is very cute in doll clothes and in the hems of pants too. Piping can be added to anything where you would like an accent or to add more flair to your project or garment. You can find cording to make your self made piping here along with a piping foot for your sewing machine if you will need one. What will you be making your piping for?

Monday, March 16, 2015

How Do You Make Perfect Pleats And Ruffles?

                                        Using A Ruffler Foot For Perfect Pleats And Gathers

There are many sewing projects that require pleats and gathers in them. Some of these projects include dresses, curtains, aprons, skirts, doll clothes, costumes, smocking, and baby clothes just to name a few. The old fashioned way was to sew a long stitch into the garment piece and then pull the back string of the stitch by hand until the desired length of the gathers were achieved to complete the assembly of the garment. It is nice to know how do it by hand in the event someone does not have a ruffler foot, however, with the ruffler foot it not only saves time and effort, it makes the most perfect and beautiful pleats and gathers for a more tailored garment. The pleats and gathers are evenly spaced without any guess work or measuring as you go along. Every Sewing Seamstress will want a ruffler foot in her sewing room as a tool of her trade!

Learning how to use a ruffler foot is easy and finding a ruffler foot for your sewing machine is easy. There are some ruffer foots made specifically for the make and model of your sewing machine, and then there are ruffler foots that can be universally used on any make and model of a sewing machine. A ruffler foot may look complicated but it is easy to learn to use. Once you have mastered the ruffler foot you will not trade it for any other way to make pleats and gathers in your sewing projects. Here is a video that shows you how to install and use a ruffler foot.

Once you have the hang of using a ruffler foot, you can fly through your sewing projects that require pleats and gathers! One of the projects I like to use a ruffler foot for is "smocking." Smocking can be done by hand or it can be done by machine by using the ruffler foot first to make your pleats, then top stitch with decorative stitches on top of the pressed pleats. Here is video that demonstrates how to "smock" using the sewing machine.

"Smocking" is used for baby dresses, children's heirloom clothing, and doll clothes. Some doll clothes using "smocking" are used for 'Vintage" doll clothes that will become heirloom doll clothes. So as you are "smocking" by machine you can consider that your finish project may become an heirloom to the purchaser or recipient of your project. "Smocking" can used on adult clothing for sleeves and peasant tops that is most beautiful when it is completed. Smocking is a type of embroidery that is used to gather fabric so that it can stretch. Smocking was used before there was elastic. You can find out more about smocking and it's history in this link

I've used the ruffler foot for pleats for curtains that turned out perfect and I got many compliments on my curtains. Anyone can pleat with confidence when they use the ruffler foot when ruffles and gathers are required. I use the ruffler foot for doll clothes, skirts, formals, dresses, aprons, or anything else that requires ruffles or pleats. It saves me alot of time and my pleats and gathers turn out exacting as I need them to be. You can find a ruffler foot for your sewing machine here. What will you be sewing with your ruffler foot?

Link for a Ruffler Foot:

Thursday, March 5, 2015

A Cutting Table For Your Sewing Room

How A Cutting Table Helps A Seamstress

The way a seamstress cuts her patterns for her garments is very important. One half of the job of completing a garment is in the cutting out of the garment from the chosen fabric the garment is be made from. The sizing and measurements of the pattern should be exact before the garment is sewn. A sewing seamstress is careful to measure the bust, waist, hips, waist length, and sleeve length of the person wearing the garment before she begins to cut out the pattern from the fabric. It takes some extra time to make sure the measurements are exact but it is well worth it for the finished garment after it has been sewn, and it reduces time in alterations after the garment is sewn as well.

A sewing seamstress may not always be cutting out garments, she may be cutting out pieces for quilting or cutting fabrics for crafts. There will need to be a level surface for her to lay her fabrics, trims, pins, scissors, measuring tapes and gauges out in front of her so she coordinate her fabric prints and colors. A seamstress will spend a lengthy time in cutting and coordinating her fabrics for whatever task she has at hand. If a seamstress is spending this lengthy period of time in undue bending at the waist while she is working she will feel some discomfort in her back. This is where a sewing room cutting table is very helpful for a sewing seamstress. It is a flat level table of which she can lay out her fabrics and sewing tools all in front of herself. The sewing room cutting table will save strain on her back since she will not have to maintain a constant bend at her waist while she is cutting her fabrics.

A comfortable height of a sewing room cutting table is 36 inches. The surface of a sewing room cutting table should be laminated and smooth so that fabric lays flat and even and will not get caught any where on the cutting table to cause a snag in the fabric. A sewing room cutting table is very important in cutting out fabric for garments in order to keep the grain of the fabric even. When the fabric is laid out correctly and evenly, then cutting out the pattern for the garment will turn out as it should.

A sewing room cutting table is not just for sewing it can used for hobbies, art, or crafts. It makes many projects more enjoyable! If you have visited your fabric store, you have seen how comfortable and convenient a cutting table is for the clerks who measure and cut the fabric for you at the fabric store. It is the same convenience and ease for a seamstress at home. A sewing room cutting table is a tool of the sewing room for a sewing seamstress. There are different kinds of sewing room cutting tables. There is a fold up cutting table to help save space for easy storage in the sewing room, and there is a sewing room cutting table with drawers and cabinets underneath the table to help store more of a sewing seamstress tools and notions for her sewing projects. They are very handy to a sewing seamstress. You can find a sewing room cutting table here.

A sewing room cutting table is more efficient when there is  a table cutting mat on the surface of the cutting table. The cutting mat helps protect the surface of the cutting table and has a grid on the mat to help a seamstress measure her fabrics and cut her fabrics evenly. A grid on a cutting mat  is very handy for quilters! It helps keep cutting lines clean and evenly measured for accuracy of the finished project at hand.  A seamstress has everything she needs just a like a fabric store when she has a sewing room cutting table and a cutting mat! You can find a cutting mat here.

Source for sewing room cutting table:

Source for cutting table mat: