Sep 21, 2015

Perfect 10 Sew-a-long, Day 1

Happy Monday Everyone!! Natalie here, from The Sassy Pumpkin. I am so excited to be participating in yet another fantastic LLK Sew Along!! This week we will be playing with knit and sewing up some cute Perfect 10 Tops. We are also going to look at some creative ways to make this top different every time we sew it. On the very last day I will be showing you my creative modification to the Perfect 10
So be sure to go over to the LLK Website and get your copy of The Perfect 10 today!!  Use this code “perfect10“ to get a discount.

Below is the schedule for the Sew Along:
Day 1: Get your pattern!!! Pick out fabric, go over a few knit sewing tips
Day 2: Options and Cutting 
Day 3: Start Sewing and Bindings
Day 4: Adding Sleeves and Hemming
Day 5: Modifications

Day 1: **WARNING** I tend to be VERY long winded, today’s post is very long, but I will try my best to shorten it up for the following days. 

Alright, enough business talk, let’s get started. Go ahead and read through the pattern. I know it is a million pages, but all of those pages give you soooo many cool options to make your Perfect 10 completely original and different each time you make it. Get a picture in your head of which option you would like to use for your shirt, we will go over the different options tomorrow. 

I hear all the time, “sewing with knits is scary, it’s hard”. Well that is just foolishness, lol. I actually prefer knits to wovens. I am going to give you a few tips on picking out knit fabric and sewing with knits to ease your mind. I hope you will become an addict like me!!! Now only if we could find a knit fabric fairy to just deliver all that deliciousness **free** right to our doorsteps!
Through this SAL I used my serger for 90% of the shirt construction. That is my preferred method. BUT you do not have to have a serger or coverstitch machine to sew with knit and get fantastic results. 

First let’s talk fabric. Before just picking out something that looks pretty, you need to take into consideration the amount of stretch and weight of your knit. For this pattern in particular, the fit, I would say, is slim. Not stick to your babies belly and show belly button outline (unless your little one has a cute little Buda belly like mine does, hehe). But slim enough to layer under a dress and not get all bunchy.  So we will need to make sure that the fabric has plenty of stretch to get it over their heads and be able to move with your child.

I prefer a knit with Lycra or Spandex in it. But you could also use interlock or jersey as well. Now, I am not being paid or bribed in any way to say this, but I have found that the higher quality (a.k.a. ridiculously expensive) knit, yields the best results. If you go to one of your regular chain fabric stores, run over to their jersey knit section.  Pull out a bit of the fabric from the bolt and unfold it so you are looking at just one layer. And then just lay it over your hand. If you can see any color of your hand through it, you do not want to use it. When you sew that up you can guarantee that you will be able to see little lady bits through the fabric and when stretched it will be worse. It generally doesn’t have a very good stretch % either. It is also more difficult to sew up because it will roll like crazy and make you crazy!!!  So stay away. You can use interlock, that is a great fabric, it doesn’t have quite as much stretch as a fabric with Lycra in it and it doesn‘t have great recovery, but it has a good weight and it is a great beginner knit fabric.

Again, not being paid to say this, but the only chain fabric store that I have found to carry a nice, casual knit fabric is JoAnn’s Doodles line.  Unfortunately the closest one to me is 45 mins away, so I generally buy all of my knit online. If you know of a great source of knits please share it in the LLK CafĂ©!!!  I would love to have new sources for great knit!
Here are 2 of the knit combos I picked out!

Now some sewing tips. It is very important to use the correct needle. You will need to use a stretch or ball point needle. I prefer to use stretch needles. You will find what works best for you. 
If you are using a conventional machine for construction you will need to use a stretch stitch. Depending on your model of machine, there are several options. On my machine I have a few. The ones circled in the picture are the ones I use most often. 

1-06 Stretch Stitch
1-05 Triple Stitch
1-13 Double Zig Zag - attaching elastic
1-14 Triple Zig Sag - attaching elastic

Mine all default to a length of 2.5, I always bump that up to 3.5. Here is what I use them for:  Stretch Stitch for construction, triple stitch for hemming or top stitching, Double and Triple Zig Zag for inserting elastic or hemming. The double and triple stitches (straight and zig zag) use more stitches in one area to create a stretchy seam. If you use just a plain straight stitch for topstitching you will get popped stitches when your little one decides to ball up their knees in their shirt and sway side to side while watching TV. Yep, been there, done that, cringed when it popped! 

A few other tips - keep your iron set to steam and use it frequently!!!!  Sew slowly - no need to zip through it. Construction of this top will go quickly either way and you are less likely to make mistakes when you take your time. PSA - seam ripping on knit sucks wayyyyyy worse than seam ripping on woven. In my personal, very experienced opinion!!!! Last little tid bit, when starting to sew any seam, be sure that when you place your fabric under the presser foot, that you have approx 1/8-1/4 inch hanging out behind your presser foot. If you start it right at the edge your machine is going to eat up your fabric and make a nice little lump or hole. Just ask me how I know, and you have been warned! Lol. 

Alright, whew, I am tired, lol. So much information! Be sure to bookmark this page so you can come back and refresh your memory as needed!!  
I will see you tomorrow where we discuss options and get to cutting!!!


P.S. If you still want to purchase this pattern, go straight to the LLK website and use the coupon code perfect10 for a discount! Find the Pefect Ten sewing pattern here!

Don't forget to post pictures of your progress and final project. Mabel Madison is donating a $35 gift card, and LLK is donating gift cards to their pattern shop!! Post pictures on Facebook in the LLK Cafe!

1 comment:

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