Monday, September 15, 2014

Katy Panda (and Mac's Monster T) Sew-a-long Day 1!

It's our fist sew-a-long! YAY!
Here is the schedule we've decided on.  We don't want you to be rushed, but we want to keep the excitement going, so I hope this schedule works well for all of you. I'm super excited to see what you guys come up with. Our tester groups of these two patterns were so much fun!
Day 1: Monday the 15: Print your pattern, choose an applique and shop for fabrics!
Day 2: Tuesday the 16: One more day for shopping or catching up
Day 3: Wednesday the 17: Show us your fabrics and cut them out
Day 4: Thursday the 18: Appliqué day! 
Day 5: Friday the 19: Sewing the upper portion & bottom portion
Day 6: Saturday the 20: Add sleeves and hem
Day 7: Sunday the 21: Finish neckline and finishing up
Day 8 Monday the 22: Post your finished modeled photos and voting starts
Wednesday the 24: Announce the winners!!!

We will have 3 prize packages!
The Grand Prize Winner (chosen by an esteemed panel of judges~ my Mom, my little and baby sister and myself) will be gifted:
  • a pattern pack from us (Cole's Corner and Creations) of 5 patterns! If you already have all of our patterns, you can save them as IOU's 
  • An automatic tester spot for the next test you'd like to do AND
  • 3 yards of fabric from The Fabric Fairy! (with FREE shipping!)
A second winner (chosen by peers) will receive a 3 pattern pack and a third winner (chosen by will receive 1 pattern of choice! (you must post photos to the group photo albums to be eligible for this prize.)

Since this is the very first sew-a-long for us. I've enlisted the help of one of our sewing friends, Nicole.  Nicole has been a tester for Megan, Judy, and us. She is super nice, super helpful, and super excited about sewing. I knew she would have great ideas and great energy for the sew-a-long. She always has a kind word and I just love her. I'm so grateful to have her help! She has been invaluable to me. 

So, without further ado..... here is Nicole with our day 1 blog post to help with all the supplies. 

Hello Ladies.... & Gents,
My name is Nicole and I have been asked to help with this fun sew along! Yay, I hope you will have oodles of fun creating these fun shirts and dresses. I know I have had a joyful time creating all of mine :)
Lets get to know me a bit more so you don't think I'm a complete stranger. I'm a single stay at home mom to two wee little princesses. I have been sewing for basically half my life. I love creating clothing for my daughters and I'm getting ready to launch a princess inspired dress line yay! Well see how well.... that works.

{This is me with my 2 girls Bella and Clara Mae}
For this first post, I am going to go over supplies and helpful bits of knowledge you will find helpful.
These projects are made with knit!! I love knit once you have the proper supplies anything you might struggle with you, you will find a lot easier once we get done with this week long event.
I've spent time compiling a list of amazing places to buy your knit from! I love getting fun fancy knits you can get in some of these groups. I've had amazing luck at Walmart and Joann with knit. Please do yourself a huge favor and stretch out the knit and hold it to the light to see the integrity, strength, and stretch of the knit. Nicole always includes a knit stretch guide in her patterns print that out and take it with you when you don't order online.

Other Nicole here. AKA Cole. Here is our ALL NEW stretch gauge chart that Mom made this week! wooo hooo! Go Mom! The one I was using was so grainy. 

{If you have any other places please let me know!!}
You will see that with the Mac & Katy you are doing some applique I have done a lot of research on the best interfacing and stabilizers.
I've done all the hard work for you and I have actually done trial and error and trust me when I say these interfacing and stabilizers are very important and will make all the difference in your finished projects!! As always to each their own but, you will be cursing like a sailor who has figured out all the rum is gone! For the sweet mother of pearl you will wish you would have purchased some of these if you didn't. I tried a applique with and without a stabilizer and I will tell you the shirt I did without the stabilizer looks like.... a hot mess from the back and I know that after a few washes it will be falling apart. I noticed a huge difference with the thread integrity when I failed to put a stabilizer on the back the thread made tiny holes in my knit comprising the strength vs when  I did a stabilizer. I found a bunch of new stabilizers that are awesome. I love the wash away over the tear away but, they both are great for appliques and embroidery this was all new to be as I had never given it much thought when I did do appliques but, it made the world of difference. I'm sure for all those who are lucky and have a embroidery machine all know this information so for the many of you that do skip along ;)
When embroidering on knits, use a permanent cut-away stabilizer (at left) to keep the fabric smooth during stitching and prevent stretching during wear. Tear-away stabilizers (at right) may not offer as much support.

Cut away stabilizers— Cut-away are permanent stabilizers that remain on the fabric and keep it stable during and after embroidery. They're a good choice for knit fabrics, because they prevent the designs from stretching out with frequent wearing and washing. I also recommend using a cut-away stabilizer on loosely woven fabrics and on projects to be framed, where visibility of the stabilizer is not an issue. To remove a cut-away stabilizer, first rough-cut the excess stabilizer from the fabric. Then, using sharp embroidery scissors, trim close to the stitching.
Tear-away stabilizers— Tear-aways are temporary stabilizers that are generally easy to remove, but be careful to do so without pulling or stretching the fabric. Some of these products tear more easily than others, so check this when testing a stabilizer. Also keep in mind that some may tear more readily in one direction than another, so check "tearability" in all directions, as well. A product like Pellon's Stitch 'N Tear, a medium-weight tear-away that I especially like for linear wing-needle embroidery, pulls cleanly away from the stitching in all directions. When a fabric or project requires strong support and you want to use a tear-away, use several layers of a light- to mid-weight stabilizer, rather than one heavy product, then gently remove the layers individually. And when using a non-fusible stabilizer, I suggest spraying one side with a temporary fabric adhesive, then positioning it and basting, if needed, to hold the fabric securely in place.
Wash-away stabilizers— Wash-away stabilizers are designed to dissolve when wet and come in several forms: plastic-like film and soluble paper, both of which can be hooped with the fabric, and liquids that stiffen when brushed or sprayed on the fabric and allowed to dry.
Stabilizers at a glance

Used for: Permanent support
Best used on: Knits, loosely wovens
Comes in: light to heavy weights
Removal: Not removed except for cutting away excess
Used for: Temporary support
Best used on: firmly woven, natural fibers, knits
Comes in: light to heave weights {fusible and non fusible}
Removal: Torn away but, not always completely removable depending on the brand
Used for: Temporary support
Best used on: delicate, mesh like, and more difficult to work with fabrics. Also for cutwork and embroidered appliques
Comes in: plastic film, paper sheets, brush-on or sprayable liquid.
Removal: Completely removable with water.
These stablizers go and the back side of you knit fabrics. You can find them at joann, Walmart, or amazon is usually the cheapest. I love the sulky {}
If you child has sensitivity issues they have a special knit interfacing that has a smooth backing you can iron on to make the any roughness go away. I purchased this one from Joann.
They also have this pellon for knit as well.
Moving on!! You will need to get heat n bond for your applique part. Heat n bond comes in a variety of different kinds! I love the heat n bond light it also come in a sew and no sew option. I usually get the sew because I love stitching but, for someone who wants to cheat a little {sshh.... we won't judge or tell and lets be honest we've all cheated before ;) you can get the thicker no sew option }
You will also see that heat and bond comes in hem tape! Please sweet Mother of Pearl and all that is holy is the land of sew please spend the little extra and get these. You can thank me later.
This tape is seriously life changing when it comes to knits and working with hem. It comes in a variety of different widths Nicole has mentioned the widths she likes to use for the sleeve and hem part they are two different widths. While your buying just buy one in every width like I did :)
I purchased mine at the good ol Walmart here are some visual aids for you ladies and any gentleman who are sewing along!
They come in sewable and no sew options. I have both and loved them with my no sew I still sew it. It really makes hemming the sleeve and bottom of your garment so much easier and gives you a more professional finish.
Another tool I will tell you all you NEED!! is wash away tape. This is amazing. If you didn't want to purchase the heat and bond for the appliques and just wanted to cut your design out you can use this double sided tape that washes away to move your pieces were you want on your garment. This is the one thing I use on every single project I sew you will be glad you added this to your tool box!
{When Joann has 60% off coupons I find all the coupons I can and stalk up on this}

Let's talk needles now! It is important that you get the right needle for your project. I stock up at joann when I get half off coupons or when they do the 60 % off all notions {best time to replenish everything I don't know about you but, lord have mercy sometimes the sewing gods aren't on my side and I can break oh let's say an entire pack by the time I come to the end!!}

I also have twin stretch needles if you want a more professional finish if you don't have the option on your serger for cover stitching. I found mine at joann locally if you can't amazon is always a good way to order or ebay

When I do any embroidery I do change my needles from my knit to these. I believe if you use more of the proper needles for your project your doing it will always turn out better if you use the proper needles for the job. This is totally optional I tested all ball point vs embroidery there wasn't that much of a difference besides 

Shoulder seams on knit garments require not always a stablizer to help take some of the stress from wearing of the garment. I found this get product it's wider than most seams so you'll have to trim it to the proper width—-15in-x-10-yards/12142402.html#q=Easy+knit+tape&start=1 another great option if you can't find this is twill tape or clear elastic. Tip on clear elastic you really need to condition it before using it. To do this you'll stretch it out a few times. If you don't do this please note it could break during sewing or if you serger. I really love the knit tape and use it on all my shoulder seams. 

Now, that I've spent a vast majority of this post talking about knits, stabilizers, interfacing, and tapes let us now talk about..... {Embroidery Thread} is this really needed and the answer is yes! If you are doing any applique work you will find the silky smooth thread to be a great thing to use. They sell small threads of embroidery thread at Walmart for under $2 it really adds a nice touch to your finished project. Another fun thread to use is glow in the dark {this I had no luck finding at Walmart} I went to Joann and yes, it is rather pricey but, I've used it twice now and it makes the shirt that much funnier for my girls.
{I'll get you an actual photo of this product glowing in the dark}
They are both on sale for $4.50 in honor of the sew along!!
Please be sure to join the group so you can post all your photos along the way {}
I can't wait to see everyone's fabric choices, what applique you decide to use provided or if you choose to create your own!!
Be sure to check back in tomorrow for more ideas for upcycling!!
YAY! Thank you so much Nicole. I know it took so much time to do all of that research for us.  You are awesome!
Don't forget to come back to the Pattern Group and post a picture in the Day 1 Album! Just post a picture of the applique you decided to do. You'll want to do this because it might be connected to winning a prize! :)

I can't wait to see what appliques you guys are going to choose. Mom made SO many cute ones. You may think Day 1 is easy, but deciding on just ONE is going to be difficult. Trust me. 
All appliques can be found in the pattern group. :)