Quick Tip Tuesday l Peek at my Inspiration Binder from 2005…


Plus,  I’ve decided to change the format of my Quick Tip Videos :)      Hope everyone is getting ready for a wonderful Thanksgiving.  My sister is hosting her first Thanksgiving ever (as well as making her first turkey).  She was so excited when I called her at the beginning of the month to tell her that the Butterball Hotline was up and ready for her calls :)  I have to admit it’s kinda nice not to have to entertain this year.  I have all of my “office” stuff neatly organized in the living room…waiting for my husband to move into my downstairs studio so I can move in to his space. I’m sitting at my desk that’s now in the middle of my spotlessly clean studio typing away… it’s weird to think that I won’t be in here anymore.  I have so many memories of things I created in this room.  Of course, I have my studio upstairs… I’ll get busy in there as soon as I get everything back into place :)  IMG_4624

While I was cleaning out, I found a lot of cool stuff.  Among them, there were copies of newspapers that covered the fashion show I did in 2007, Ribbons from past award winning garments from  Bernina Fashion Show, a huge pile of paper pattern pieces… some that I’ve published, others that are still on the list… and my Inspiration Binder from 2005.   As I flipped through the pages,  I though of the piles and piles of Vogue Magazine that I have all over the house.   I think I’m going to start flipping through an issue everyday to find more inspiration.  I’m definitely going to need a bigger binder :)

Another thing I did last week was spend time watching my Quick Tips… I can view them on the TV via the YouTube App.  I made a bunch of notes for things that I want to change or add or do differently… One of the major things I want to change is my “Quick Tip” format.  Let’s be honest, most of my video tutorials are not very quick… and most are also more than just one tip.  So… Changes are on the way :)


Ponte Knit Jeans l One Piece Front Pocket or Two?


Hey Everyone,

Super exciting.  I finally finished my first complete test pair of Ponte Knit Jeans.  I used this sample as a test to see which pocket lays flatter… A one piece pocket bag/facing or a traditional pocket bag and facing.   H I’m doing a happy dance over one of them.  In addition to comparing the pocket styles, you can see how this pattern fits me.    There are a few adjustments I’m going to need to do to the pattern to get my perfect pair, but they fit pretty well “right out of the envelop”.   I tried to make a pattern that would be easy to fit and sew.  Unlike my existing jean patterns, these jeans will sit at your natural waist.  I know from experience teaching jean fitting that this will be popular with some of you!  …and if you would like a lower rise, I’ll show you how to do that too.  I think I can bend over and touch my toes in these jeans and they stay put!  Plus, the Ponte Knit is stable, but very comfortable.

Check them out and let me know what you think.  I’m going to start working on finishing the misses and women’s sized pattern sheets and instructions!

Random Act of Kindness Thursday…

IMG_0729 Hey Everyone,  Thursday’s originally scheduled Quick Tip has been postponed until next week.  My husband had a two day shoot and he took MY lights.  So, I didn’t get as much done on the Ponte pockets experiment as I had hoped… Plus my husband borrowed his friend Mike’s Steady Cam.  The strap on the carry case was in bad shape.  So, I decided to fix it for him :)   Here’s how I did it.

The first step was to treat the frayed edges of the strap with Fray Check.  I liberally applied it along the edge, letting it soak in and dry.

IMG_0732Here’s a close-up of the edge after I treated it with Fray Check.

IMG_0734After the Fray Check dried, I trimmed off the frayed threads along the edge of the strap


Next I used my seam ripper to take off the binding.  I started about 2″ in front of the frayed edge and took it off all the way to the end that was sewn into the top of the carry case.   I inserted the blade that has the little red ball on it between the strap and the binding and slid the seam ripper along to cut the stitches.  If I had tried to pick the stitches out from the right side, I probably would have caught the webbed surface of the binding (making more of a mess).


After I got the binding off, I pinned the edges together and stitched them using a triple zig-zag.  This is the zig-zag that actually takes three short straight stitches in each direction as it zigs and zags.  It’s an excellent “darning” stitch… Perfect to reinforce the edge of the strap before putting the binding back on.

IMG_0738Then I pinned the binding back into place.

IMG_0739Initially, I used a straight stitch to sew the binding back on.  I had to catch all the layers (both sides of the binding and the edges of the strap).  I did a pretty good job.

IMG_0741But, just to be safe, I used the triple zig-zag for added security.  I stitched half on and half off the binding.  Up at the top of the strap, near where it was sewn into the carrying case, I needed to use a hand needle because I couldn’t go all the way with the sewing machine.    First I stitched through using a running stitch.  Then I went down the edge of the binding using a whip stitch (stitching into the strap and binding).

IMG_0742Here are the final results… I think Mike will be happy (My husband was :)

IMG_0743Anyway, if you have any questions about this repair, please let me know.  I’m off to Titusville FL tomorrow for a two day workshop…. I love these ladies, super excited to get down there.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  I’m flying back late on Monday, so I’ll see you for Quick Tip Thursday next week!

Quick Tip Tuesday l How to Adjust your Pattern Pieces to Create a Pocket with Less Bulk


Hey Everyone… I’m back on the Ponte Knit Jeans this week. Today I worked on different front pocket designs that would be less bulky.  I have two to share with you, plus I also want to show you how to raise the rise of the pocket pieces…so they agree with the front leg if you adjusted it.

The first way I’m going to try to reduce the bulk at the base of the front pocket bag is to off set the bottom edges of the facing and bag.  The second way is to create a one piece design that folds at the base of the pocket so there’s no need to finish edges.  If these designs do not give me the smooth front leg I’m looking for I think I’ll eliminate the front pocket bag all together.

Check out these designs and let me know if you have questions.  I’ll be working on them so I can show you the results on Thursday.     Friday I’m flying off to Titusville Florida to teach a two day Jean and Tee Fit Workshop… Super excited to get down there and spend time with these ladies… I’ve had the opportunity to meet some of them at last year’s ASG Conference, and they are all wonderful :)

Quick Tip Tuesday l How to make a Cuffed Hem to Fix a Pant Let that was cut Too Short

Tuesday Cover

Hey everyone, sorry I didn’t get this up yesterday… this week is my super bowl of sewing for the volleyball team.  I promised one of my Craftsy students that I would show how to fix a pant leg that was cut too short.  This tutorial will show you how to create a cuffed hem to hide the fact that you mistakenly cut your pants too short to hem.   This is a topic that is included in my Craftsy Class –  Sewing Mistakes:  What can go Wrong and How to Make it Right.  (A great class for beginner sewers… It’s very basic :)If you click on this link, you can purchase the class for 50% off!


Depending on how short your cut the pant leg, there are also other options.  If you cut it long enough to wear, but you don’t have enough to turn the hem up, an other option would be to create a facing.  Start by trimming the pant leg to the length you need, plus a seam allowance.  Then  you would cut out a strip of fabric (or use the very bottom of the pant pattern to make a facing pattern piece) and sew that to the raw edge of the pant leg.   Turn the facing to the inside to create the hem allowance.

facingIf you making jeans you can sew the extra back on and then re-cut the leg at the desired length.  The seam will mostly disappear into the weave of the denim. This is the method used to shorten ready to wear jeans when you want to keep the original topstitching.  Here’s a link to a great tutorial from Man Sewing that shows you how to do that… Plus he’s very entertaining :)

If anybody has another solution to fixing a pant leg that’s been cut too short, please share it with us :)   And, if you have questions, please let me know!

Quick Tip Thursday l Test Fit: Ponte Knit Jeans with Lined Front Leg


Hey Everyone.  Sooooo the lined front leg is not a great idea for a contoured fitting stretch jean.  I used a really lightweight silk to create a long front pocket bag.  Sometimes I look at what I have in my stash and I say to myself “why did I buy that ugly fabric?”   But, I thought it would be a good fabric to try out lining the leg with because it was so light.  In the end, I was not happy with the way it felt through the crotch.  The overall fit was still ok, lining the front leg didn’t cause the jeans to become too tight, but it did pulled across the front crotch curve in a weird way, making them less comfortable.    And, I’ll just say it now…I’m glad I work my good undies today… I pinned the front of the jeans closed, but there was a little peak a boo when I was showing you guys how they fit… That’s the trouble with being in front of the camera and shooting myself too, it’s hard to see stuff like that! (sorry).

I think if I were making a trouser style pant, this would work great.  I don’t think the pocket piece would need to be cut out on the bias because of the looser fit.  I’ll file this design idea for later :)   …Maybe the batik fabric that I used for the first sample was just too heavy. I’m going to experiment with something lighter… and it occurred to me that I can off-set the bottom edges of the pocket facing and bag so they are not aligned on top of each other… That may make the base of the pocket bag less noticeable too!

I really like the gray ponte knit, so I’m going to take them apart and make new pocket pieces so I can finish them for next week.  :)

Anyway, if you have questions or suggestions, please share!  I’m off to help my Mom sew holiday projects for her church fair.  That’s like a double bonus day, I get to spend it with my Mom… and we’re going to work on all sorts of little fun projects.

Quick Tip Tuesday l Cuddle Fleece Wrap Up


Hey Everyone,  I’m almost finished with the cuddle fleece quilt I’m working on, and I want to share a few more tips!  This has been such a fun project…  Embroidering on furry fleece was a snap because I used a piece of Super Solvy on the top of the fabric.  It keeps the stitches from sinking into the nap of the fabric.    Then when I started to put the quilt together, it got a little less fun…  I was struggling with keeping the pieces from sliding when I was sewing the borders on.  I used the Quilt-as-you-go method where sew through the batting and backing as you sew the borders on.  I knew the adhesive spray I was not working when I finished sewing the first seam and the center square was all bunched up…and there were little pleats in the border fabric.  I tried to use what I had left over from a previous project (when I couldn’t find my favorite adhesive spray).  Very frustrating!!  So I went back to Joann Fabrics and checked the quilting department…I was so happy to find that they carried 505 Temporary Adhesive Spray!!   Once I had that, I was all set.  It did a really good job of holding the fleece to the batting.

I also noticed that it was easy to sew seams along the lengthwise grainline, but it got tricky when I tried to sew across the grainline (going with the stretch).     Check out todays QT video for a few tips.  If you have any questions… or if you have a fun cuddle fleece project you want to share, please let me know!!

Tomorrow is Gray Ponte Knit Jeans day.   I’m going to work on a second sample made from the adjusted pattern pieces.   I can’t wait to see how the lined from leg works out!!

QT Weekend Edition l How to Work with Cuddle Fleece



Hey Everyone,  Happy Weekend.  Sometimes I spend time on the weekends doing other stuff I love.  While pattern drafting, fitting and construction are my favorite things, I also like to quilt, embroider and lots of other fun stuff too. This weekend I’m working on my baby projects… I did a flannel pillowcase and a coordinating tooth fairy pillow and I started a cuddle fleece quilt.  …Here’s a pic of the tooth fairy pillow before it’s stuffed.


I decided to see how fast I could shoot, edit and upload a QT using one camera (and spending zero minutes on beauty time).  I only have one camera today because my husband is shooting a wedding on the Cape and he took the lens off my other camera :(.   So, I thought it would be fun to try to just use my little Canon (I love this camera).   I mounted it on a light stand with my gorilla pod.  That made it easy to raise and lower the camera to crop my shot!


Yesterday started working on a cuddle fleece baby quilt.  Because I haven’t worked with this kind of fabric for a while, I decided to read the instructions.  SO glad I did.   Check out today’s QT for most of the juicy details. After editing the video, I realized that there was one thing that I forgot to tell you.  When you’re working with fleece that looks like fake fur… it’s best to trace the shape on the back and use scissors to cut it out. If you use a rotary cutter, you’ll cut into more of the nap, making a bigger mess and possible creating some bald spots along the edges.  Anyway… I’m off to start putting the quilt together.  If I have any Ah-Ha moments, I’ll share those with you next week!  Happy Weekend :)


Quick Tip Thursday l Ponte Jeans Front Fly Zip and Test Fit


Hey Everyone,

Happy Thursday :)  Today I want to show you the front fly zipper on my Ponte Jeans… and I want to show you how they fit… (Please pardon the pantie lines that show in the back view, I was so excited to show you, I think they got bunched up.)   Anyway, the front fly worked out really well because the cotton fabric that I used for the fly pieces stabilized the knit fabric.  Instead of using one of my heavy metal jean zipper, I used a nylon pant zipper.  Other than that the construction is the same as a fly I would put into denim jeans.

The one thing that I did not like was how the pocket bags showed through the fabric.  It could be because the jeans fit like a glove… or that the batik fabric that I used was too heavy.  Maybe some lightweight batiste or lining fabric would be less noticeable.  For this pair, I’m going to cut the pocket bags off just below the front pocket opening and sew them shut so I can wear them.  For my next sample, I’m going to redraft my front pocket bag so that it extends down to just past the knee.  …Maybe lining fabric cut on the bias????  Going to play with it.  I think the benefits of extending the pocket bag will be many.  First, I can include it on the front crotch seam to add stability there and it should prevent the knees from getting baggy.  Plus, the front leg will lay very smoothly under the pocket opening.

The thing I’m most excited about it that they don’t look like knit pants… they have a nice tailored look… Notice on the video thumbnail I called them “Ponte Jeans”.  I can’t wait to get the back pockets on.  Anyway… Let me know if you have any questions.  (I’m off to Abby’s Volleyball game to play professional photographer and get snaps of all the players…freshman, jv and varsity :)

Quick Tip Tuesday l Ponte Knit Jeans – Front Pocket Constructions


Hey Everyone.  I LOVE Ponte Knit… It’s super easy to sew, and it has just the right mix of stretch and stability to make it perfect for jeans.  My design idea with this new stretch pattern I’m working on is to create a “fully fashioned” pair of jeans, NOT jeggings or pull-on stretch pants.   I’m super happy with the look and fit of my first test pair :)  It was interesting to combine stretch and non-stretch fabrics when I was working on the front pockets.  The knit facing that is sewn onto the woven cotton pocket bag started to bunch up and stretch out of shape when I started sewing across the top edge.  By the time I stitched 3/4 of the way across, I realized that I had to stop and stitch from the opposite direction to prevent a big mess.    That did work reasonably well… You can see how it looks in the video.    I wanted to keep the construction quick and easy… so instead of stitching right across the top, I started in the middle of the top edge… Doing it this way allowed me to stitch all the way around without getting any stretching.  …Here’s a little illustration to show you what I was stitching :)


FrontpocketconstructionAnyway, I also lined the knit coin pocket with woven cotton to stabilize it…   Check it out and let me know if you have any questions.   Thursday we’ll get to the fun part… I’ll show you the front fly zipper construction…Plus, I’ll model the jeans so you can see how they fit :)