Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sew-Along #18 - Penelope Dress / Top Pattern for Women - Preparations

The Penelope by Modkid

Before we begin the sew-along on Tuesday, October 28th, you'll want to gather a few items and do a few things to prepare.

Items to Collect
  1. You must have the Penelope or Penelope Plus pattern to complete this project.  If you have not yet purchased this, please do so here
  2. If you do not have fabric for the project you will want to purchase that also.  At the time of this writing we do have a some fabric kits available.  We also have lots of fun fabric selections on our website.  A little note on fabric.  We will be making a bonus infinity scarf.  This scarf will require an extra ½ yard of knit fabric beyond what is listed on the pattern.  And don't forget to add a bit extra to accommodate for preshrinkage.  Knits tend to shrink a lot.
  3. You might also want some clear elastic, called Lastin, seam binding, or narrow ribbon.  I will be showing you how you can insert this into the shoulder and underarm seams to help keep your garment from stretching out of shape.  All kits come with Lastin.  If you are not purchasing a kit, you might want to make sure you have one of these on hand.
  4. Since we are sewing with knits you will want to make sure you have ballpoint needles on hand.  Ballpoint needles allow the thread to move between the knit fibers and prevents the knit from being cut as you sew.  If you don't use ballpoint needles you run the chance of little holes showing up where you stitch once your garment is washed.
  5. You will need coordinating thread to complete this project.  The project kits did not come with thread, so please make sure you have some. 
  6. And finally, you will need pins, a sewing machine, a good iron (a steam iron is preferable for sewing), a pair of fabric shears or a rotary cutter and mat, a ruler, and a fabric pen or chalk. 

Optional Items to Collect - The following items are totally optional.

  1. I will be tracing the pattern pieces onto freezer paper.  I highly recommend this method.  In addition to keeping your original pattern pieces intact, it also makes cutting out your knit fabric super simple. You can find freezer paper at most grocery stores where the wax paper and aluminum foil. 
  2. A sharpie or other permanent marker for tracing your pattern pieces onto the freezer paper is helpful.  I recommend a black sharpie as the colored ones, though more fun, can tend to transfer onto your fabrics when you iron over them.  Ack!  Had that happen recently and I was so sad.
  3. Some people really like to use a walking foot when sewing knits.  If you have one you could try it.  If you don't have one, you do not need to go out and buy one for this project.  Your regular foot should work fine.
    Most Walking Foots look similar to this.
  4. A double, or twin needle might come in handy for finishing the hems, but again, it's not necessary. 
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.  This is especially true of knits.  They tend to shrink a lot!
  2. Press all of your fabrics well.  I try to do this straight out of the dryer so that the wrinkles come out easier.  
  3. Don't forget to join our Facebook Sew-Along Group so you can post your progress pictures. Everyone who posts completed lesson pictures, on time, to the Facebook Group, will be entered into drawings to win some awesome prizes!
Happy Sewing,
Danielle Storm

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