Monday, September 16, 2013

Sew-Along #7 - Penny Dress - Preparations

The Penny Dress by Modkid

Before we begin the sew-along on September 23rd, you will want to gather some items and do a few things to prepare.

Items to Collect
  1. If you have not purchased the pattern yet, please do so ASAP.  You may purchase it from our shoppe by clicking here.
  2. If you do not have fabric for the project you will want to purchase that ASAP also.  At the time of this writing we do have a few fabric kits for this project left.  Click here to see the project kits.  We also have lots of fun fabric selections on our website.  On the pattern link listed above you are able to click on the picture of the back of the pattern to enlarge it so you can view how much fabric you need for the project. We are making both view A with the empire waist adaption and view B with the ruffled hem adaption during the sew-along.  You can chose to do either, or both.  For view A with the empire waist adaption 1 yard of two different fabrics will be enough for any size you make.  For view B with the ruffled hem adaption 1 yard of the main dress fabric and 1/2 yard for the neckband and ruffle will be plenty for all sizes.
  3. You will also need coordinating thread to complete this project.  The project kits did not come with thread, so please make sure you have some.  There is quite a bit of top/edge stitching in this project so you will need to consider if you want your stitching to disappear (pick a thread that matches your fabric) or if you want to make it POP (chose a contrasting thread).
  4. Since we are working with knits you will want to sew with ball point needles.  Make sure you have a supply of those for this project.  Regular "sharp" needles will cut the threads in the knit fabric whereas ball point needles will push the threads aside and cause no harm to your fabric.  If you use regular needles with knits you run the risk of causing small holes around where you stitch that can become larger holes once you wash your project.  You wouldn't want to spend the money and time making your project only to have it fall apart on you.  If you don't have any ball point needles, make sure to pick up some and always use them when working with knits.
  5. You will want some sort of fabric marking instrument.  You can use chalk, a marking pencil, washable fabric pen; even a bar of soap will work. *I'm a fan of the disappearing ink pen.
  6. And finally, you will need pins, a sewing machine, a good iron (a steam iron is preferable for sewing), and a rotary cutter/mat or a pair of fabric shears. 

Optional Items to Collect - The following items are totally optional.  These are items I use because I feel they make sewing easier for me.  You will see me using them in the sew-along, but by no means do you need these items to complete the project.

  1. Freezer paper to trace the pattern and cut out your fabric pieces.  You can find this at most grocery stores with the wax paper and aluminum foil.
  2. A ruler or other straight edge.
  3. Pattern weights. You can use just about anything for this.  You need something help keep your pattern paper flat and from moving while you trace.  I've seen people use soup cans.  Kara uses nuts (the bolts and nuts kind, not the tree variety).  Almost anything with some weight will work.
  4. A sharpie or other permanent marker for tracing your pattern pieces.
  5. A ball point twin needle for top stitching as you sew.
  6. A serger and/or coverstitch machine are also wonderful to own, especially if you like working with knits and find yourself sewing with them a lot.  If you don't own either you will do just fine without them, but they do make sewing easier.  I look at it like owning a Keurig.  Can you make a great cup of coffee without a Keurig?  Yup, you sure can.  I used my very affordable French press for most of my adult life and made amazing coffee with it.  I finally caved about a year ago and purchased a Keurig.  It makes great coffee too and simplifies the process.  I'm not sure I would want to go back to my French press.  A serger and coverstitch machine are the same.  I absolutely love mine!  But never fear, you don't need either to sew successfully and beautifully with knits.

Things to Do
  1. Make sure to prewash and preshrink all of your fabrics.  I wash my fabrics on warm/hot and then I dry my fabrics in the dryer with no softeners.  I always preshrink this way when I am using fabric for clothing construction.  I would hate to work hard on something only to have it shrink and not fit when I was done.
  2. Good quality knit fabric won't normally need to be pressed if it is removed from the dryer right away.  If your knit is wrinkled make sure to give it a press with your iron.  Then, fold it up and set it aside for Monday's lesson.
  3. If you haven't already, join our Facebook Sew-Along Group so you can post your progress pictures and be entered for a chance to win one of the fabulous gift certficates listed below!

Prizes - $200 worth of prizes! 
We will be giving away four $50 gift certificates at the end of Sew-Along #7.  Four winners will be randomly drawn from all of the entries.  Please see below to learn how you can gain entries into the drawing.
1 entry if you purchase or have purchased the Penny pattern using the SewAlongSavings code.
• 1
entry if you purchase or have purchased a Penny fabric kit using the SewAlongSavings code. (If you purchased the kit with the pattern included then that's 2 points.)
• 2
entries for completing lesson 1 and entering a picture in the proper album by the deadline showing you completed.
• 2 entries for completing lesson 2 and entering a picture in the proper album by the deadline showing you completed.
• 2 entries for completing lesson 3 and entering a picture in the proper album by the deadline showing you completed.
• 2 entries for purchasing the Sweet Polly Playclothes pattern with the SewAlongSavings code, completing a pair of pants/leggings to go with your Penny from this pattern, and entering a picture in the proper album by the deadline. *Please note that we will not be teaching the Sweet Polly but I would love to see what you make with it.
Happy Sewing,
Danielle Storm

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