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Understanding Fabric Weight

Weight is an important component when it comes to choosing the right fabric for your project. While most patterns have suggestions that specify type of fabric; e.g. broadcloth, jersey, denim; they don’t always mention the fabric weight. Intuition often plays a big role in fabric choice. If you are sewing a blouse you instinctively look for [...]

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What is ITY?

Recently I was watching Brian Bailey on the Shopping Channel selling a lovely line of knit fashions.Brian Bailey is a Toronto-based Canadian designer of some renown and the host of the discontinued show Project Runway Canada. Like most designers he has had his ups and downs, but seems to have found a home for his [...]

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Shooting from the Hip

Shooting from the Hip by Dana Marie Design Co. fits my definition of awesome because it:has only four pattern piecesis easy to sew*well draftedprofessionally gradedlooks stunning on.I like simple when simple does the job. There are plenty of very simple patterns. The problem is that many of them are just boxy, baggy and look terrible [...]

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Favourite Notion #2 - Schmetz Universal 80/12 Bulk

The Schmetz Universal 80/12 is my go-to sewing machine needle for over 90% of my sewing projects. This is because this size is compatible with the majority of fabrics I sew and the all-purpose polyester thread that I use. There are times when I need a specialty needle for embroidery, topstitching, denim or chiffon, but [...]

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Favourite Notion #3 - Dritz Flat Button Head Pins with "No Melt" Technology

These are by far my favourite pins. The flat button heads are easy to grasp and make levering the pin much easier. They are "no melt" so I don't have to worry about accidentally getting one too near to the iron. And best of all, they are flat, so I can use them with my [...]

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Proper Bobbin Placement - Front Load

Proper bobbin placement is critical for good stitch formation. Improper bobbin placement is one of the most common mistakes made by novice sewers. It is a somewhat sneaky thing because the machine usually sews fine for a little bit and then the problems begin.When I am teaching beginners, once we are into the second lesson, [...]

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Favourite Notion #1 - Needle Inserter

A notion is defined as a useful tool for sewing. And when you have been sewing for some time, you tend to accumulate a lot of them. Some will be soon forgotten, sitting in a drawer and gathering dust. Others that have special purposes that are important but not used regularly will be organized and placed [...]

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Cross-border Shopping

While most of the world has adopted metric as the official unit of measurement, our closest neighbour, the U.S. has, for the most part, not. And the sewing industry is a mixed bag. Many of the fabric merchants in the garment districts in Canada still sell by the yard. Some merchants like Len's Mills provide [...]

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Why I Like Sewing Workshop Patterns

I can remember clearly when I was first introduced to sewing patterns from The Sewing Workshop Collection. It was over a decade ago at the Creativ Festival in Toronto. I happened upon the Canadian supplier's booth and had a lovely long chat with the owner, Lynn Dooley-Marek. The patterns were unusual, unlike anything I had [...]

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Colour Blocking How To

This follows up on the previous blog, Colour Blocking 101 and is a re-post from my older blog. It should help you plan out your colour blocked garment before you commit to buying or cutting your fabric. The Wear With All Jacket from Saf-T-Pockets Patterns is a lovely, classic, flattering style that anyone can wear with a [...]

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