Let's talk about knits 

Have you seen the new Colette Guide to Sewing Knits?

(Available @ Daley's | $32.00)

It's a great resource for anyone who is interested in working with garments! It gives you tips on how to seam and finish knits, whether you have a serger or not. If you don't have a serger, it gives some suggestions on what features to invest in. You'll learn professional techniques, how to shop, and tips on how to fit!

It is true that you don't NEED a serger to work with knits, but boy, do they make life a lot easier! Here's a project I've done several times on my sewing machine, t-shirt applique. This is a technique that I've had trials and errors with over the years, so I've got some simple tips on how to make it great! The idea is, we all have t-shirts that we love, but unfortunately, we don't fit into them anymore. You hate to give it up, you may not be interested in whipping up an entire t-shirt quilt, so why not upcycle it into something you can wear again. I started playing with this when my fiance's favorite t-shirts were skin tight on him. I figured, how hard could it be to buy a plain black tee in his size, and then cut out the graphic on the old tee and sew them together? Easier said than done, but with a few great products, and a few manipulations of my sewing machine, I made it work.

*The featured tee is for a family reunion I'm attending next weekend, so head's up! I won't be in on Saturday, August 9th. The shop will be open from 10:00-5:00pm, as usual. Tom the tech, Sabina, and Jo Connolly will be here to help you!

First things first, cut out your graphic. I cut it out rough, so that I don't waste more interfacing than I need to. I also don't like cutting knits to their final size before interfacing them, because they warp and then are tough to work with. Next, interface your graphic.

I used Pellon "Easy Knit", we have it here for $3.95 per yard.

Once you've got your t-shirt interfaced, you can cut it to size. I find that straight lines are the easiest to deal with in this case, so I'm going with a rectangle.

I prepared the t-shirt I'd be working with by spritzing it with a little best press ($7.95). I love, love, love, to the 10th power: best press. It's a starch alternative. It comes in yummy scents. It's a miracle in a bottle. It gives you firmness without giving you stiffness, the way regular starch does. I didn't want to interface the entire t-shirt, it'll end up being heavy and uncomfortable. Therefore, a little firmness helps me reduce stretching the shirt.

Now, I could just pin the graphic onto the t-shirt and have at it, but as you can imagine; the knit will shift and make you sad. I used heat'n'bond ($2.28/yard), which is an iron-on adhesive, to 'stick' my graphic to the t-shirt. This ensures minimal shifting.

I ironed the heat'n'bond onto the back of my graphic rough, and then cut around it and got all the extra off. Once the product is ironed onto the back of the graphic, you peel the paper off the other side. Once this is pressed, it creates a permanent bond. I placed my graphic on the t-shirt where I wanted it, and then measured to make sure everything was centered.

Once you've bonded these two items together, you're ready to stitch!! I flip the tee inside out to work on it.

Here are the machine settings I used. My presser foot pressure is turned quite low, I want to avoid as much stretching of this fabric as possible. The stretching shows up as ripples, and ripples make your upcycling too obvious. This machine had a built in applique stitch that I used as a baseline. You can also just use a zigzag stitch and play with the length and width. My built in applique stitch was very close together, so I lengthened it. Again, you want to avoid stretching this fabric by all means. A dense applique stitch will lead to slower fabric feeding, which will lead to stretching.

I used a 1D foot to work with this applique. The extra boost of feed-power helps reduce any pulling. I also moved my needle position a bit, which you may notice on my screen. I generally like to use whatever presser foot I'm using as a guide. There is a center marking on the foot, which is very easy to see and very easy to line up in the center between my graphic and my shirt. Therefore, I moved the needle position over, so that the right side of my zigzag stitch would land on the very edge of my graphic, and I could use that marking as a guide. It's easier to move the needle position over than try to get that stitch to land perfectly by eye.

Do you work with a lot of knits? Or are you intimidated by them? Have you ever done t-shirt applique, or would you try it out? Share your story here in the comments, or on our facebook page!



Posted by DaleyByTheYard Admin Thursday, July 31, 2014 11:52:00 AM Categories: Challenges Completed Projects Gadgets Ideas Tutorial

Guest Book Quilt 

The older I get, the faster time seems to fly by. It seems like 2 weeks ago that my best friend got married! However, it's been almost a year now. She's joined the Air Force, finished basic training, and job training, and I still haven't started her wedding gift; a guest book quilt! This is now my top priority, because according to the Internet, wedding gifts are supposed to be received by the first wedding anniversary. My deadline is coming up very quickly!

We cut out many rectangular pieces of muslin, and then set up an area at the reception for guests to sign the fabric, or share some advice. I will definitely be doing something similar at my own wedding next Fall. This is definitely a more useful way to display and enjoy your guest book. The only thing I would change, is to make it more clear that guests should not write within a 1/4" of the edge of the fabric. I'll be cutting off some writing when I sew these blocks together!

Have you seen these wedding quilts on Pinterest? Have you made one, or are you planning to make one?

Add a comment here, or share your story on our Facebook!

Posted by DaleyByTheYard Admin Thursday, July 17, 2014 11:03:00 AM Categories: Ideas Works in Progress

gadget gal 

I have completed my blouse, and I am so thrilled with how it's come out! I've already told you about the Hong Kong finishes, so let's talk about the other gadgets i used.

Meet the "sew ez finger thing"! $9.95/each

This is a multi-purpose tool that you can use for whatever you find use for. When I was working with my Hong Kong finishes, I found this guy very handy when it came to pressing down the binding. It saved my fingers from multiple burns because it kept my finger at a safe enough distance from the hot, hot, hot steam coming from the iron!

Never misplace another buttonhole again, with the simflex expanding guage! $19.00/each

(also pictured, pattern weights $15.29/set of 4, clover tailor's chalk $2.50)

Simply pull the gauge to the distances you want your buttonholes to be apart, and then mark them!

Some of the Bernina machines have an on-screen button measuring device. all you do, is hold up your button, and tell the machine how big it is. Then, it automatically adjusts the size of the buttonhole, so you end up with a perfectly perfect result!

See that yellow circle on the right, on the bottom? You just put your button on screen, and adjust the yellow circle around it!

I love Bernina buttonholes, because unlike most things in my life, I only have to tell it what I want once, HA! Once you tell the machine what size you're looking for, it just keeps making them that exact same size until you tell it to stop.

The next tool that I adore is the buttonhole cutter ($29.99). How many times have you sliced through your buttonhole with a seam ripper or scissors? They just aren't the right tool for the job!

This sharp, chisel edge cuts clean and easy through the center of your buttonhole, and nowhere else. The wooden block is included with the cutter, and protects your work area from scratches and slices.

I was very disappointed that I had chosen buttons that I had to hand-sew on, considering how much I love the #18 foot!

And here is my #bathroomselfie of the finished top! Cindylee taught us how to bead in the last wearables club, so I added some pearl beads to the collar. I am planning to wear this to the upcoming Wearables Club, on July 19th, so stop by and check it out in person!

My next project will be the Albion Jacket, made with some laminated Riley Blake fabric that just arrived.

Posted by DaleyByTheYard Admin Tuesday, July 01, 2014 12:27:00 PM Categories: Challenges Completed Projects Gadgets Pattern Review