Sewing tip: When your machine just wants to eat up your knits

I love knits! I honestly prefer sewing with knits over any other fabric. People look at me crazy when I say that. Yes, knits can take some time getting use to, but in my experience, they are also the most forgiving when it comes to fit!

When I first started sewing, I’d grab something from my closet and cut it up to refashion. Knits were my go-to since I didn’t use patterns and I could just guess my way through sizing. Now I have a better understanding of fabric and sizing and I still LOVE knits!

With that being said, I have found some knits to be finicky and at times my machine has tried to eat them! Okay, maybe she’s not trying to eat them, but she sure acts like it :)

I have my stretch needles in, my tension set, everything in order but some times it just won’t happen. But I discovered this magical little thing…

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Well, I tried this little trick, placing tissue paper under the fabric as I sewed…even used a stretch double needle to hem a tunic and not once did my Bernina try to eat the fabric!

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So, I thought why not share this little trick with all of you. I know you can buy stabilizer at the sewing store but why spend money on that when you can buy a packet of tissue paper anywhere for 99 cents?!?

Give it a try! Seriously, just lay the tissue paper under your fabric and sew through just like it’s another layer of fabric! Pull the tissue off after your finished and you have a beautiful stitch!

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Patterns smatterns

I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t found the time to write…busy sewing, with nothing to blog about? Since this is a sewing blog, that makes little to no sense at all.

I truly need to take the time to just write! I have started taking some new sewing classes which is so much fun! My husband bought me a Baby Lock Imagine serger in December as a birthday gift and I absolutely love it! The shop we purchased it from offers free classes with purchase. I attended my first class a couple weeks ago and am happy to report that I’m very confident in my ability to change my thread, adjust settings for each fabric weight and I can serge a pretty corner, inside and out! I’m very excited to attend my next Baby Lock class this upcoming weekend.

I also went to my first Bernina class since I got a new Bernina sewing machine. What a beauty it is…so different from my Brothers, Singer and New Home. With the new machine purchase, I’ll have 3 free classes, then pay for the more advanced classes :)

I’ve also been attending another class specifically learning how to take patterns and adjust them to customize your fitting. For those of you that have been following me awhile, you know I don’t use patterns. Patterns have always seemed like a foreign language to me, mostly because no one has taught me how to use them. So, I enrolled in this class because it seemed to fit me well, learning how to create custom clothing. I make everything in my boutique custom, using each of my clients body measurements to ensure a great fit!

This class has forced me out of my comfort zone and into the world of patterns. How fun it is to truly understand how to read, cut, adjust and customize a pattern to your own liking! I’ve learned how to measure flat patterns and to measure myself and others correctly. I’ve learned how to choose which pattern size to use even if it means adjusting just one part of it to fit a fuller bust or narrow hips! I’ve learned how to add a dart, remove another or create gathering in an area the pattern doesn’t call for. I now know how to go up or down 1/2 a size instead of dealing with something being slightly too snug or just a bit too loose. I’m amazed at how many little cuts, turns and adjustments can really be made to printed patterns.

Well, I’m off to finish this counting game with our 2-year-old night owl who never gets sleepy like the rest of us! She’s definitely my shadow and I love how much she loves playing, counting and reciting her ABCs, even if its nearing midnight ;)

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Fabric, fabric & more fabric!

Who wants to play a game while I fabric shop? I’ll be posting here on my fb blog page, fb boutique page, twitter and Instagram. I’ll post a photo on ONE of the above with a specialty fabric custom-item, crazy discounted deal or giveaway – first to comment with Paypal/email address will win!

Will be starting within the next couple of hours so keep your eyes peeled!

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For the love of scarves

Before I starting making scarves, I never really wore them. I had one small fleece scarf from Old Navy and another heavier one with a matching beanie from Coach. I wore them every once in a while to soccer games or on a cold evening out.

Then, someone requested an infinity scarf on RefashionMama Boutique and I started selling infinity scarves. And thus I began wearing scarves too! Here’s a few of my favorites I’ve made.

Black & White damask
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Kelly green stretch lace
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Peacock print
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Newsprint
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Blue ombré zebra print
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Since scarves have snuck their way into my everyday wardrobe, I now notice them everywhere and especially how they’re tied! I saw this cute way of braiding your scarf & had to pin it!

I also saw this scarf around a bun on Pinterest which would work well with all of my smaller silk scarves that just lay around collecting dust in my closet.

My favorite video tutorial on tying scarves is currently 25 ways to wear a scarf in 4.5 mins. I love being able to see someone else tie it so I can understand better than just reading a description of how to.

Now, I think it’s time to start making some new scarves so I can wear them all of these different ways ;). Feel free to link other how to’s here to share your scarf tying knowledge!

Name that dress to WIN!

NEW dress design:

Name it to WIN a $10 gift certificate to my boutique. This is a new design and can be made using any 2 fabrics of your choice but I’m having trouble naming it so comment on the highlighted post on my page and I’ll pick a winner :)

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Visit my page here

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Who doesn’t want a clothing piece that can be worn 10+ ways

I’ve been experimenting with making some versatile clothing pieces. I love wrap around shirts and dresses and what’s better than a shirt that can be worn in several different ways?

My first attempt, I decided to use a very drapey rayon blend knit. It’s fairly light-weight, drapes nicely, has a 4 way stretch and is a pretty chocolate brown.

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It’s 60″ wide and I measured about 35″ in length (I’m short).

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I didn’t use exact measurements here but I held the fabric against my body measuring in from each side. I cut arm holes measuring approximately hip width in from each side. The middle section of the fabric measures approximately 3 hip width wide.

I tried several different ways to wrap it and decided this would be the PERECT travel piece to throw in my suitcase :)

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Follow me on Pinterest or Twitter @RefashionMama or on facebook or shop my RefashionMama Boutique

Vintage-Patch review & giveaway

If you follow me, you know I live in jeans! I wear them (almost) every day and easily own 20 pairs, with 5 or 6 being my regulars! And just like most girls, I have 1 pair that is my ABSOLUTE favorite and I’ve worn them out over the last few of years. In fact, what started as a thinned out area over my left knee, soon became a small tear that ripped more and more and ended up stretching across my entire knee. I posted on my facebook blog page asking for suggestions on how to fix/cover the hole. I received several great suggestions from buying denim to patch it or adding lace underneath to dress it up. I would love to try the lace option but I honestly haven’t had the time to figure it out.

Then, I was contacted by Vintage-Patch offering to send me a pair of their beautiful vintage patches to try & review. I jumped at the offer as it was the best option for me…pre made, pre-cut, sticky on the back, option to sew (or not). Also, after looking at her fabric options, i was even more excited! How could I say no?!?

So, I received the patches in the mail and she even sent extras so I could try a couple and do a giveaway.

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I took my most beloved jeans with the big hole in the knee…

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Picked out my fav patch.

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See this pretty vintage patch?

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Following the directions it came with, I removed the backing and pressed it on, ironing it in place.

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My fav jeans + vintage-patch <;;;;;;;;;3

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I hand-stitched around the patch.

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I’ve worn my favorite jeans several times now to see how the patch held up. It’s awesome! It’s definitely doing its job and looking quite lovely at the same time!

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They just launched their new Vintage-Patch website where you can view/order knee and elbow patches with your choice of fabric. Check it out and view all of the options :)

So…who wants to WIN A FREE SET OF VINTAGE PATCHES to try on their own?!? Enter the giveaway at Vintage-Patch Giveaway

Refashion: Old to new lace tee

Just wanted to share a refashion from an old lace coat into a cute modern toddler tee. I love how it turned out and can’t wait to pair it with a basic tee and skinny jeans on my daughter :)

I took this lace coat a friend of mine sent.

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Cut out a basic tee shape from the bottom of the coat so I could incorporate the pretty scalloped bottom.

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I kept one button to use on the backside of the shirt, turned the new tee inside out and sewed the seams. Here’s the back of the lace tee.

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Here’s the front of the toddler lace tee.

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My daughter decided to model it for me :)

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Beautiful peacock fabric & my creations

I discovered this gorgeous fabric and knew it’d make something beautiful to wear!

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I made this beautiful infinity scarf…which sold within minutes of posting on my RefashionMama Boutique

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The vision in my head proved to be very accurate once I created this custom-made circle shirt. It’s absolutely stunning, isn’t it?

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I was lucky enough to get a few more yards of it today and can’t wait to create a few more items for my wonderful clients. If you’re interested in an item made with this fabric, please contact me right away as it will not last and this is the last of it :)

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How to make a v-neckline

I love raw unhemmed edges, but some fabric calls for a finished hemline. I realized this shirt needed a finished neckline to complete the look!

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I won’t pretend that this is the proper way to finish a v-neckline, but this is the way I do one. It is fairly simple too!

As you can see, I cut a moderate v-neckline on the shirt. I took the excess fabric and measured around the neckline for length. I cut a 2″ strip of the extra fabric.

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I folded it in half lengthwise.

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Next, I folded it in half again, this time against the width instead of length.

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I took the folded end and sewed a diagonal stitch to create the v at the middle of the neckline. Make sure that the fabric fold is opposite to the point in the v.

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Cut off the excess fabric.

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Now, open it to see the v shape! Make sure that the open end of the fabric is at the bottom.

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Next, pin the strip to the shirt making sure that the right sides of the fabric are facing. Start pinning at the v and go all the way around.

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Now, sew or surge these pieces together, going all the way around the neckline.

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Lastly, top stitch around the entire neckline to help it lay flat and look more professional.

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Now, admire your work!

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Follow me on Twitter or Pinterest @RefashionMama of like and please check out my new RefashionMama Boutique