I’m sharing some of the tricks and techniques I use when sewing with stretch fabrics including some of my time and money saving tips that I use when sewing projects to sell.
I love this sewing pattern from Kwik Sew, it really lives up to it’s name.
Kwik Sew 3510 makes it really quick and easy to sew comfortable children’s pyjamas. I’ve made so many that my sewing pattern is starting to disintegrate.
I’m gutted that my Little Dude is now in the largest size and so I won’t be making any more for my own small people.
Click the image to head over to Minerva Crafts and get your own copy.
The fabric is lovely and soft with fabulous stretch and recovery. It’s 95% cotton so it’s ideal for pyjamas. I find synthetic fibres to be very uncomfortable for sleepwear so I always sew with cotton fabric for mine and the children’s pyjamas.
I’m using some ribbing for the cuffs. Unfortunately this is polyester. I made the mistake of buying it because it was ridiculously cheap. It does have nice recovery to be fair and it’s lovely and soft and warm.
Because I’m sewing up a batch of projects each in different fabrics, I’ve loaded my sewing machine with grey Moon Thread from Coats. It’s the most versatile colour to use as it blends beautifully with the vast majority of patterned fabrics. This saves so much time when sewing as you don’t have to change your thread and re-thread your needle between sewing projects.
Using just one thread colour also saves you money because you can buy your thread in bulk and get it at a huge discount.
Another time and money saving tip I use is to load your overlocker with four different thread colours. If I’m sewing pastels I use Cream, Light Pink, Light Blue and Light Sage. For dark and bright fabrics I use Brown, Wine, Navy and Bottle Green.
The colours merge together into a muddy mess that blends in with most fabrics so you don’t need to change your overlocker threads between projects.
I honestly hardly ever have to change my overlocker threads and as that’s my least favourite sewing task that makes me soooo happy!!
Not having to change the threads in your sewing machine makes it possible to batch sew. Think about it, you probably spend half your sewing time reading the pattern, gathering your supplies and moving between one “station” and another.
This time spent is just the same weather you’re making one project or 10. So batch sewing can easily save you 45% of your sewing time. This is essential if you’re sewing projects to sell.
I’ve cut out four sets of lounge wear in four different fabrics all ready to sew up.
It’s easy to get the back and front of pants mixed up. A little trick I use is to pin my garment label to the centre back before I start sewing.
I double stitch all my seams, first with a conventional sewing machine, then with an overlocker.
Most of sewing projects are for children so I think it’s really important that they stand up to rough and tumble play.
Finishing the seams with an overlocker also means that they’re all nicely enclosed which gives a really professional finish.
In order to maximise the comfort of the clothing I sew I generally try to position the garment label half way down the back seam instead of at the centre back. This means that the label sits on the wearer’s underwear instead of irritating the delicate skin at the base of their spine.
Sewing Side Seams
I love the way the sleeve and side seam are sewn in one continuous seam. It makes it really easy to set the sleeves in perfectly, and it leaves a really neat finish on the underarm.
I use a straight stitch on my cuffs and bands. I really helps them to lie much flatter thereby reducing the bulk in the cuff.
I also press them open before folding the band in half, this reduces the bulk even further.
The cuffs can still be bulky. Instead of distorting and compressing the fabric with pins I use sewing clips.
Not such an issue with adult’s clothing but children’s tiny cuffs are really difficult to sew as they don’t fit over the arm of the sewing machine. Sew them from the inside instead and the seam is much easier to access.
This is my favourite technique for sewing elasticated waistbands. I join the two ends of the elastic with a zig zag stitch, reversing and re-stitching several times to make sure it’s good and secure.
I used to eyeball my elastic casing but an uneven edge can make it very difficult to sew catch it consistently when sewing in place from the front. Now I ALWAYS take the time to measure it accurately.
I like to use a twin needle for hems and waistbands as it gives a really professional looking finish.
I insert the elastic and then sew the elastic casing. It is more fiddly to stitch than using a bodkin but it results in a much neater finish and no sewing up the hole – yay!
I do hope you have enjoyed having a peak at my latest sewing project.
Please feel free to use my handmade crafts to inspire your own creations, pin it to your Pinterest for later.
Linking Up To: Share Your Style #320 – Thinking Out Loud Thursday – Celebrate Your Story! #297 – Creative Crafts Linky Party Edition 61 – The Wednesday Link Party 418 – Party in Your PJs #378 – Tuesday Turn About #119 – Karins Kottage Centerpiece Wednesday linky party – All About Home Link Party #111 – Show me what you love #38
A Little Bit About Me . . .
Thank you so much for stopping by my corner little of the interweb. I’m Bridie, mum to two small humans, full time homemaker and full time craftaholic – which totally explains why I’m always short on time!
I’ve included links to my favourite retailers for the products I’ve used to make my crafts. Click on any of the product images and links for full details. If you decide to buy any of these products I may get a small percentage of what you spend. There’s no cost to you at all.