Category Archives: fabric

Working With Spandex

So, you know I have an obsession with spandex and little girl leotards. They are by far my favorite thing to make – quick and easy. You also know that I’ve had my fair share of struggles when making them; tension being my biggest enemy.

I hung in there though and finally mastered it. Or it gave into me, I guess I should say. I used my stretch stitches, but I didn’t change any tension settings on my machine.. just left them on the default settings. The only thing I changed was to clean my machine, and now the tension looks great. (There must have been globs of tiny bits of tread hung in the bobbin case – I’m not the greatest at remembering to clean out that junk). Easy enough.

My next obstacle was the tightness of the elastic around the neck.

First let me explain how I sew the leg elastic. It’s easy to measure the proper length of your elastic there.. just wrap it around the leg, pull it to the proper tightness, mark it, cut it, sew the ends together and pin it evenly around the leg opening. (Remember, you work on the right side of your fabric and then flip it under and sew again.. this makes it easy to work with the spandex and still hides the elastic). As you’re sewing, work from pin to pin..pulling the elastic to equal the length of the material in each area. When you’re finished the elastic will pull snug and the spandex will be evenly distributed around the leg.

But the neck area isn’t so easy (at least for me). I’d measure, sew, and the neckline just kinda hung there a little too loose – not so much that it caused a problem.. it just didn’t look exactly right. See?

It bothered me – big time, so I worked on it. The solution was easy enough. With this last leo I chose not to pre-measure. I left the elastic un-cut, I didn’t even pin it to the fabric. I simply guided it along the edge and pulled it a bit while sewing it to the spandex. Don’t pull too much though or you’ll get bunching.. just a little more than taut and that will do nicely. Fabric tight..

Neckline solved.

My next adventure with spandex will be to make and use spandex binding around the neck and sleeves. Should be fun. I’ll let ya know. 😉



Filed under fabric, Sewing

New Look 6871

A common known fact by most of my close friends, I hate to shop for clothes. Hate it. It started when 70s retro wear came back around. I’m sorry, but flare jeans don’t look good on anyone! There was nothing in the stores that I liked. So, I stopped shopping and I’ve never started back. Sure, I pick up a piece here and there, but it’s few and far between. The upside to this, I’ve saved a ton on money.. the downside, my wardrobe looks terrible.

So, I’m thinking I’m going to spend some of my crafty time making myself some clothes.

Here’s my first top:

To my surprise, it turned out pretty good. I used this pattern and paired it with this fabric..

Pattern: New Look 6871 – option E
Fabric: Nochella – Top Drawer – Leaves from Hancock Fabrics

I rarely ever sew clothes, but this pattern was super easy to follow. I cut the pattern and fabric about a week ago, the actual sewing took me only a few hours to finish. Pretty quick by my standards.

I already have two more patterns planned. Now, just gotta pick up some fabric… something I actually like shopping for. 🙂


Filed under fabric, Sewing

Simple Top

It’s been really hot here lately.. almost 100 degrees for at least 3 days in a row… So naturally I was rummaging through my closet looking for anything that was sleeveless… I have almost nothing to wear in the summer months. Shopping for clothes is one of my least favorite things to do.

But then I remember I had this really sweet fabric in my stash.. Amy Butler – Love, Bali Gate Periwinkle.. and I decided to drafted myself a very simple top pattern..

and now I have a new tank to add to my pathetic Summer wardrobe.


Filed under fabric, Sewing, Uncategorized


Outside my office window there is a wall mural that has been there for 23 years. I vaguely remember when it was originally painted.. before the office window was MY office window. This afternoon I took a picture of a section of it..

The artist is repainting it for obvious reasons. I’m seriously amazed by her dedication. This will be her third time painting this mural.. she is currently on re-do number 2. The mural measures 11X60.. but, she works alone, up and down on that scaffolding all day. Today she began working at 7:30am and finished at 5pm. The temperature peaked at 93 degrees. Not just any artist would tackle such a job…3 times. Time and effort… and attention to detail. With both re-dos she has added more…changing it ever so slightly…increasing interest. She’s currently on week 3 and I cringe, as she is not even half finished.

Her dedication makes me think about the way I work on my little projects…the way others work on theirs. I wonder what could be if I, if everyone, “invested” in their work…giving it what it deserves.. You know, less quantity..more quality. Can you imagine?


Filed under Crafts, crochet, fabric, knitting, quilting, Ramblings, Reading, Uncategorized

Red Is My Lucky Color!

Remember way back when, when you first discovered blogland and were so overwhelmed with eye-candy that it was hard to pull yourself away from all the yummyness? I remember it like it was yesterday! Back then, there were a few blogs I stumbled upon that really blew my mind.. One example: Megan’s blog, Will work for Fabric.. This girl has an eye for color! She blends fabrics like nobody’s business and comes up with some pretty amazing quilts. I love her work and still follow her today. What can I say, I’m a fan! So, can you imagine my excitement when I won her fabric giveaway a couple weeks ago!! Yippee! It arrived yesterday and look what she picked out for me!


Now, I must begin thinking about what this lovely fabric will become.

Thank you Megan for your terrific giveaway. You’ve made my day!


Filed under fabric, Sewing

With A Day To Spare

Teacher’s gifts are now complete! I finished them last night… Now, I just have to run out and buy some gift bags to put my bags in.. something seems a little weird about that..buying gift bags to put my bags that are gifts in.. Whatever.

Here is bag number one.. The “Because no one should carry a bag with an apple on it” bag..


Hot stuff, don’t you think? Too much for a teacher’s tote? Maybe, but I love it so much! When I bought the two Amy Butler fabrics way-back-when I knew something great would come from them.. I just didn’t know what at the time. Once I got the first bag done I couldn’t help but make another.


This one doesn’t exactly match the crochet clutch that I made but Goose’s teacher really needs a bag for her yarn. Right? I mean, Zebra print screams “yarn bag” in my mind!

So there you have it: Two bags, one crochet clutch, and 3rd grade is a wrap. Summer Break can’t get here fast enough!! Tomorrow is it for Goose! And then it’s fun in the sun!


Filed under crochet, fabric, Family, Sewing, Uncategorized

Why Is This Happening?

Let me start by telling you what I’m working with.. two layers of 90% nylon, 10% spandex fabric blend (one layer is the lining).. I’m using a stretch needle with a Singer 7442.. All purpose thread.. and I’m actually following the instructions on the pattern which says:
“sewing technique for stretchable fabrics (if you do not have a serger)
1. First seam: a large zigzag stitch directly on raw edge of fabric, without stretching the fabric.
2. Second seam: a straight stitch 6 mm (1/4″) from edge of the fabric, stretching the fabric lightly.”

With this said, why is this happening?

messed up bobbin

My machine does fine with other fabrics but for some unknown reason to me seems to skip stitches with this stretchy material. I’ve tried the auto settings, adjusting the tension various amounts, even tried laying tissue paper under the fabric to help it move better. I’ve tried and tried.. and just can’t get it.
And, while I’m at it, what’s up with this?

stretching too much?

Am I stretching the fabric to much? I’ve tried less stretch but the thread breaks when my little gymnast pulls it over her shoulders?

Can anyone help me?

Signed – Desperate Gym Mama 🙂


Filed under fabric, Sewing