Wednesday, March 22, 2017

How to get a professional finished look when sewing garments!

Ever wonder what a CoverPro (or a cover stitch) machine does?  This little beauty makes amazing professional looking hems!   When you look at the bottom of most knit shirts (you may be wearing one now) you will see 2 or three lines of straight stitching on the top and some crazy loops on the other side.

This allows your hem to stretch with the fabric without breaking.  It gives a really nice clean look to the hem and stops the other side from fraying.
The Janome CoverPro CPX1000 can be used for 2 or 3 thread stitching.  I love to use a contrasting thread like the awesome NEON yellow serger threads we have in stock from Maxi Lock.

You can use Nylon Stretch thread (also called Wooly Nylon) in your loopers (both in the CoverPro and/or your serger) for a SOFT wooly feel next to your skin.  This is particularly nice when making clothing for a baby or small child!  

You can achieve a similar look on your garments without a CoverPro using a twin needle!  Most machines have an extra attachment on the top to use two spools of thread and you wind the Nylon Stretch thread onto your bobbin if you want it to be extra soft next to your skin.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Chocolatier BOM - March

Hi everyone!


Each month we will be sharing the current Chocolatier Block with you - we're grateful you've chosen to sew with us!

For all of the blocks in the Chocolatier quilt, we recommend pressing all seams open. Some of the pieces in these blocks can get small and pressing open can help reduce bulk when multiple seams collide.

March's blocks are some of my favorite! They're super simple with a big impact. We have one Flying Geese unit and one plus block. 


First, we'll be making 4 Flying Geese (2 of each color way)




Next, layout the blocks in the right order and sew them into sets of squares. 





 
Finally, sew those squares together. 
One down, one to go! 

Make sure to cut this block precisely!
Layout the pieces, then follow the order in the instructions.


And there we have it - our third month of blocks are complete! 


When you've finished this month's blocks, hop on over to Instagram and show them off using the hashtags #chocolatiersampler and #PCFchocolatier - we love seeing what you make!

If you would like to sign up for the Chocolatier Block of the Month you still can!  Email admin@pinkcastlefabrics.com with questions.


See you next month! - Kara 




Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Sewing with Knits - Millie Kids Dress Tutorial

Hi everyone!

This past year we brought in a great selection of jersey knits to Pink Castle Fabrics, and we've been having fun learning to make garments.

When I (Kara) came across this super cute cute (and FREE) pattern from Mix it Make it, I knew I had to try it out. You can find all the pattern pieces and steps on her website, but I thought it would be fun to show you how I made mine.

I would say this pattern is great for a beginner. It's simple, but that ruffle adds some fun!




First things first: this pattern is listed in metric measurements, so you're going to want to use a conversion calculator (like this one) if you're used to imperial measurements.

I choose to use Wire Flowers Foil in knit from Art Gallery Fabrics. I love that the neutral color palette makes it wearable in any season. This pattern only required 1 yard, too.


First, print out your three pattern pieces and lay them on the fabric to cut out. I like using pattern weights so that I don't have to pin into the fabric.

You'll also be cutting out a skirt piece and the 2 ruffles. Here are my pieces all cut out.


Next, you'll take the dress top pattern and fold it along the vertical line. Place the pattern piece on the fabric and draw a line to mark the ruffle placement.
You'll want to do this on both the front and back piece. I marked the lines in pink, below, so that you could see where they line up. 

Now you're going to sew the shoulder seams right sides together. I used a serger, but you can also use the overlock stitch on a regular sewing machine.


This part is scary! cut along the lines you drew to divide the top into 3 separate pieces. 

Take your two ruffle pieces (the long rectangles) and gather them using a long stitch on your sewing machine. 

Line up the ruffle right sides together along the cut sides of the middle top piece. Mark the middle of the ruffle with a pin, this will make placing the ruffle much easier. 

Make a sandwich with the far side, ruffle, and middle top piece as shown. Sew through the three layers making sure the ruffles are evenly distributed.
Here are the ruffles sewn in place.  

Next, you'll attach both sleeves at the shoulder seams
Turn the shirt inside out and sew along the side seam and sleeve seam.
We're getting close! Now onto the skirt. Sew the rectangle together to create on continuous loop. Then hem the skirt and sleeves. I did this by using a coverstitch machine. It made is SO easy to get a great looking hem. 

Quick tip: use duck bill scissors to trip your hem. The bill keeps the tips from accidentally cutting the fabrics and makes it so easy to get a close trim. I used these and love them! 

You're also going to want to turn under the neckband of your dress. I used a stretch stitch on the Janome Skyline S7 machine and it worked beautifully. 

There we go! A super easy, and extremely cute dress all ready to wear. 

Let us know if you try it out! Tag your projects with #PinkCastleFabrics on Instagram or share them to our Facebook page.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Chocolatier Block of the Month - February

Hi everyone!


Each month we will be sharing the current Chocolatier Block with you - we're grateful you've chosen to sew with us!

For all of the blocks in the Chocolatier quilt, we recommend pressing all seams open. Some of the pieces in these blocks can get small and pressing open can help reduce bulk when multiple seams collide.

First, we'll be making 8 HST. Make sure to square them up to 2 1/2 x 2 1/2! 














I find it easier to make all the HST face the same direction (in this case the dark brown on the bottom right), then I go through and flip them to make them fit the block pattern. 
The final step is sewing the blocks together. Start by sewing the HST into 3 rows and then sew those rows together. 
 On to the next block! 


Make sure to be precise with these Stitch-n-Flips! They should measure 2 X 2 1/2.

Then we will add the Caramel rectangles to the Stitch-n-Flips which makes them into 2 1/2" squares. 


And there we have it - our second month of blocks are complete! 
When you've finished this month's blocks, hop on over to Instagram and show them off using the hashtags #chocolatiersampler and #PCFchocolatier - we love seeing what you make!

See you next month! - Kara