Monday, March 23, 2009

Questions, answers & thanks

Okay, I've been putting this off long enough. Time for another Q&A installment:

Of floral wrap top Ruth asked:
Your clothes are so beautifully sewn Amanda.
I have a question/s?
Do you do the french seams and binding because you don't have a serger?
Also, your invisible zippers are so perfect. I've tried invisible zippers but I can't match them up? I've given up on them, but I'd like to try again because of your work! Any tips?

Thanks! I do french seams and binding because I like neat insides and don't have a serger. However, you don't need to finish knits because they don't ravel. Invisible zippers can be tricky. I've been planning to do a tutorial on making them match up for awhile. Hopefully I get around to it soon.

Of brown fad-classic knitted vest Renata asked:
I can't knit anything, but after reading and seeing your work, I want to learn. Can you give me some advice on a good Learn to Knit book? Also your sewing skills are wonderful.

Thank you. In order to learn how to knit, I took a class at my local yarn shop. I looked at some how-to's on the internet, but couldn't wrap my mind around what they were showing. I'm a hands-on learner I guess. I do like the Knitting Answer Book by Margaret Radcliffe for various questions after you learn the basics. I hope that helps.

Of Simplicity 2665 My Fabrication asked:
Love the vest! Do you have any tips about how to stop thick top stitching threading jamming in the machine. Do I need a special needle? I use a lighter thread in the bobbin.

I use a regular needle for top-stitching with thicker threads without any problems. I'm not sure why yours is jamming. Have you tried adjusting the tension? I believe I had to put my tension wheel on the 2 to use the thicker thread. (It's normally set on 4.)

Of BWOF 3-2009-106A Cindy asked:
I just cut my Joann's yellow/grey fabric for a spring coat. Did you track some down?

Hi Cindy! Yes, I asked my sister in Houston to see if she could track any down and she found some. You know you have a fabric addiction when you're calling relatives in other cities for fabric that already sold out in yours!!! (Thanks again, Elisa.)

Of BWOF 1-2009-106B Shorty asked:
I love your top! I have been wanting to make a top with that kind of fabric but every time I try something it just doesn't look GREAT, just ok. I would love to see a tutorial on how to sew seams without a serger, I assume you do not use one. I do not have one and I just can't seem to get it just right on my regular machine. I know I am asking a lot but it never hurts to ask!hehe Thanks for your lovely blog, it always inspires me!

You are so sweet! Have you tried using a special knit needle? (I can't remember the proper name for it - possibly a jersey needle?) I use to use one on my old machine that skipped stitches like crazy on knits. This new machine doesn't do that. I really don't do anything special when sewing on a knit other then to stretch it a bit so the stitches don't pop when you're putting it on. Sorry, that's not too helpful.

Of BWOF 1-2009-106B Geek sewing asked:
What is "ITY" jersey knit?

It's a thin polyester knit that has great drape and doesn't wrinkle. I don't know why it's called ITY - maybe that stands for something but I don't know what.

I think that's it for the questions. I hope I answered every body's. Feel free to ask me anything (within reason) and I'll try to get it answered in a timely manner. I don't get any one's email address with the comments and I'm not very computer savvy. Is there some trick to that?

Here's a great big THANK YOU to Mimi, Rachel, and Kristine for nominating this blog for the Sisterhood Award. I'm very honored, ladies. And sorry it's taken me three weeks to thank you for it. Sometimes I'm a flake, I admit it.

So, what am I currently working on? Vogue 1021 - the dress and jacket will be my Easter outfit for church. I'm using the lovely pink brocade from this post, but I had to make the sleeves 3/4 because I ran short on fabric. The dress is 80% complete and I'll probably post pictures of it tomorrow, hopefully.


  1. Thanks, Amanda! Wow, very kind of you to answer all your questions.

  2. Thanks for taking the time to answer all these questions. You do beautiful work.

  3. Amanda, I love your blog. Thanks to you I have realized that it's possible to sew knits (and have them look great) without a serger. I'm curious, though, how you handle hems of knit items? Do you just do a normal hem and stretch it a bit as you stitch or do you have another method? Thank you again for taking the time to answer so many questions.

  4. Hi Denise, I'll just answer this here. With my new machine came the ability to use a twin needle. This is usually what I use for hems now and you don't have to stretch it. I have done blind hems in the past and you do have to stretch those. I've also done the 5/8" double fold hem which you have to stretch as well. I guess it just depends on what I think will look the best on each specific piece.

  5. Look forward to seeing your invisible zipper tutorial. :) Love your pink sheath dress!!!!
    I just got my first BWOF magazine and realized how the patterns need to be traced!
    Do you have a method that works well for you in tracing the BWOF? I need some advice. THanks so much for your help and inspiring clothing!!!!

  6. Hi Ruth,
    I bought some white drafting paper in a big roll from the art section at Hobby Lobby. I used this paper a lot in my architecture drafting classes in college so knew it would work well for this purpose. I simply lay the Burda pattern page out on the dining room table, place the tracing paper over it, and trace away. I then cut the pieces out and pin it to my fabric, adding seam allowances as I cut it out.