Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Sew-Along #21 - Dress No.17 & Leggings No.8 - Preparations

The Dress No.17 and Leggings No.8 by E+M Patterns

Before we begin the sew-along on Monday, January 26th, you'll want to gather a few items and do a few things to prepare.

Items to Collect
  1. You must have the the patterns to complete the dress and leggings.  If you have not yet purchased these, please do so here. The leggings No.8 are a free pattern and are packaged with the Dress No.17.

  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 fabric kits available.  We also have lots of fun fabric selections on our website.

  3. The pattern is a PDF pattern.  You will need a printer, paper, and tape to print and put together your pattern pieces.  We will go over how to piece your pattern together in the first sew-along lesson.
  4. The leggings require ¾" wide elastic for the waistband.  If you purchased a kit, you will have received the elastic you need.  If not, please make sure to have some on hand.
  5. The dress comes with the option of shirring the waist, using ¼" elastic to gather the waist, adding a belt, or leaving the waist free.  If you plan on shirring the waist you will need elastic thread.
    If you desire to add ¼" elastic to the waist and ordered a kit, you will have received enough elastic to accomplish this.  If you didn't purchase a kit from us we do stock the elastic on our site here
  6.  It is best to sew knit fabric with a ballpoint needle.  This keeps the fibers in the knit from being cut and unraveling as the needle is pushed through the fabric.  You can purchase ballpoint needles at almost any store that carries sewing supplies.
  7. You will need coordinating thread to complete this project.  The project kits did not come with thread, so please make sure you have some. 
  8. 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 rotary cutter and mat is a lifesaver!), a ruler, and a fabric pen or chalk. 

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

  1. During the sew-along we will be showing how to trace the pattern pieces onto freezer paper.  Freezer paper make cutting out knit fabric super simple and I highly recommend it.  If you desire to make freezer paper pattern pieces make sure to have some freezer paper on hand.  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 if you choose to do this step.  I recommend a black sharpie as the colored ones, though more fun, can tend to transfer onto your fabrics when you iron over them.
  3. It is helpful to stabilize knits in some areas during garment construction, such as shoulder seams, pockets, etc. to keep the knit from stretching out of shape over time. My preferred product for stabilizing knit seams is Mobilon, which is premium clear elastic.  All project kits for this sew-along came with Mobilon.  So, if you purchased a kit from us you received some.  If you did not purchase a kit you can still order Mobilon from our site here.
  4. A lot of people like to sew knit with a double or twin needle.  A double needle will allow for your threads to have some stretch and give you a very professional looking finish.  A double needle can be purchased at most places that sell sewing needles.
  5. I highly recommend ½" hem tape.  This product will give you a nice, smooth, super easy to sew hem with your knit fabric.  You can purchase hem tape at most sewing supply stores.
  6. Lastly, if you have a walking foot for your sewing machine you might want to pull it out.  A walking foot helps to feed the knit fabric through your machine without stretching it, which is important.  If you don't have a walking foot, don't worry, I've sewn knits many times without the aid of a walking foot.

Things to Do
  1. Make sure to prewash and preshrink all of your fabrics.  I wash my fabrics on warm or hot and then I dry my fabrics in the dryer with no softeners.  I always preshrink in this way when I am using fabric for clothing construction. Knit tends to shrink a lot, so it's very important to prewash it. I would hate to work hard on something only to have it shrink and not fit when I was done.
  2. Make sure to download the pattern and tutorial onto your computer, tablet, or smart phone. Your pattern will be located in your order history on our site.  Log into your account, then click on the My Account at the very top right hand side of our site.  You will then see a list of your orders.  Click on the correct order and a download link will be available. 
  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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