After using it wrong, laundering it wrong, and choosing the wrong patterns, I figured out something that gave me a major Aha! moment! Rayon spandex fabric. It comes in some of the most beautiful prints, but I wasn’t sure how to use it properly. I’ve sewed several things using rayon spandex, and after some mistakes and successes plus lots of wear and tear, I thought I’d share my pattern suggestions for rayon spandex. (I’ve included several FREE ones!) And some laundry notes too.
Rayon Spandex Fabric Details
First of all, what is rayon spandex? It’s a blend of rayon and spandex! Usually 95% rayon and 5% spandex. It is very lightweight, and usually wrinkle resisted and crease resistant. It has beautiful drape. Rayon spandex usually is 59”-60” wide like most jersey fabrics. It’s very stretchy, usually has 4 way stretch (which means it stretches both vertically and horizontally) and the recovery is great (which means it doesn’t stay stretched out.) It’s soft and supple and forms to your curves. Rayon spandex is quite breathable and feels cool to the touch. It doesn’t pill over time, but does get a little hairy fuzz if you don’t launder it properly. It also can be difficult to hem due to it’s lightweight structure. This is easily remedied with Heat n Bond Soft Stretch.
Rayon Spandex Laundry Instructions
So how do you care for rayon spandex fabric? I would recommend pre-washing it like you plan to launder your finished garment. For me this means washing on cold. I do NOT recommend putting your rayon jersey in the dryer ever. This will immediately cause that little hairy fuzz I mentioned earlier. It doesn’t ruin the fabric, but there’s that fuzz.
Rayon Spandex Fabric Samples
Since rayon spandex comes in such a wide variety of prints (and solids too!) I thought I’d share some of the ones I’ve been loving recently.
Adult Pattern Suggestions for Rayon Spandex
Because of the unique properties of rayon spandex, I would not recommend using it for every pattern. Here are some pattern that I’ve either made using rayon spandex fabric, or know it would work with rayon spandex.
As you can see, a Lane Raglan by Hey June Patterns works and is quite drape-y. If I use rayon spandex for this pattern again, I’ll leave off the bottom band and let the fabric drape.
Children’s Pattern Suggestions for Rayon Spandex
The 2 on the left are Eeny Meeny Miny Moe Dress by Peekaboo Pattern Shop and suitable for rayon spandex fabric.
Whew! That’s quite a lot of information about rayon spandex! Leave us a comment now. Have you ever sewn with rayon spandex? Did we forget any information?
Affiliate links are used in this post to fabric and patterns that we really love and think are great quality. If you click on one of our links, we may make a small amount of money at no extra cost to you. So thanks in advance for helping support a small business!
Ah the maxi dress! Annie loves them, and I love sewing them for her. A maxi dress on a young girl is such a statement piece. And with fabric as bold as we used for this one, it’s no wonder she’s been wearing it every chance she gets.
For this maxi dress we used the Uptown Downtown Dress pattern by Sew Straight & Gather. We are making the size 10 for Annie this spring. There are so many different options on this pattern that it’s easy to use it over and over again to create a whole flock of dresses! On this one we used the cowl neckline, maxi length, elbow length sleeves, and pockets.
The fabric is one Annie and I both fell in love with in the fall. It’s from Raspberry Creek Fabrics CLUB line, and we love the stripes and flowers together. Even though it’s from their fall line, I think the dress works as a spring and summer dress too.
Annie is growing so fast, I’m not sure it will still fit her in the fall! Or it will probably still fit her around, but might not be maxi length anymore. That won’t stop her from wearing it…she wore this one well after it wasn’t maxi length anymore!
This fabric is no longer available, but here is a fun Art Gallery Fabrics knit with stripes and flowers in similar colors:
Art Gallery Skopelos Jersey Knit Paparounes Crimson Fabric
Or this one in fun, bold colors is also an Art Gallery Fabrics knit with stripes and florals.
Art Gallery Spices Fusion Jersey Knit Paparounes Spices Fabric
I convinced Annie to have a cowl neckline because I wanted to put a more saturated color by her face. She’s so fair, that I knew she could use the pop of color at her face to bring out the pink tones in her cheek. We used some double brushed poly fabric in wine color, and it drapes perfectly for the cowl.
But Annie really is in love with this whole dress, even though she wasn’t convinced about the cowl at first. She thought it might be too hot in summer. I reminded her of this one I’d sewn her with a cowl, and how she’d worn it in hot weather sometimes too.
Of course Annie had to test out the twirl factor as soon as she put it on! It passed with flying colors! The width of the hem at the bottom of the skirt is so generous, that it really makes this maxi dress fun to wear. And twirl!
Leave us a comment, what do you think of stripes and florals together?
Affiliate links are used in this post. This means if you click on one of our links, we might make a few extra pennies at no extra cost to you. Thanks in advance!
Before we go on to the 2nd lesson in our Serger School series, we need an interlude about threading…cheater threading! Everyone’s greatest fear with a new serger is threading it. So before learning anything about how to sew with the serger, I’m going to teach you how to thread it…in under 3 minutes…the easy way.
Now of course this only works if your serger already has thread in it! If not, don’t worry, we’re working on a video all about threading the Brother 1034D serger the “real” way. So stay tuned.
Without further ado, try this for no-frustration cheater threading for your serger:
In the video, and in our studio, we use the Brother 1034d serger.
We recommend these threads:
If your serger is still in the box, go here for Lesson 1.
Need thread storage solutions? Try this post.
Subscribe to our channel on YouTube! We post videos about sewing and serging.
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Today I’ve got a fun easy to make (with even a NO SEW option!) DIY pendant banner. Pendant banners are great for adding spice to any space. For this DIY pendant banner made from fabric, I used all Indigo & Aster fabric by Bari J. for Art Gallery Fabrics.
First of all you need to choose your fabrics. Using coordinating prints from a line of fabric is always a great idea because you are assured of keeping a cohesive look across the pendant banner.
Have fun picking out trims and embellishments to add flair to your pendant banner. Using a variety of trims, but on the same fabrics helps tie the banner all together. Or you could mix it up and use different trims on different pendants across the banner.
Next you need to cut out your pendants. To use our exact same size pendant, you can use this FREE cut file which works for fabric, cardstock, vinyl, leather, and more. If you have a cutting machine like the Cricut Maker, you can use our cut file and have the pendants cut out by machine!
We chose to fray stop the edges of each pendant with Dritz Fray Check. In time, the edges of the fabric pendants could fray if they move around a lot. Since we wanted to keep a clean edge look, we chose to fray stop the edges.
Now it’s time for the fun part! Grab the trims and embellishments you chose, and start playing! We used beads, rick rack trim, lace, pom poms, feather trim, and seam tape. Have fun and embellish away! Cut each trim to fit the width of the pendant, and use original tacky glue to adhere the trims to each pendant.
The final step is to attach all your embellished pendants together. We chose to use crocheted trim for one pendant banner, and lace for the other. Sew or glue (for the NO SEW option) each pendant evenly spaced across the length of lace, ribbon or trim you’re using. We found 1 inch to be the perfect spacing for our pendant banner. If you sew the pendants to the banner, use a zig zag stitch across both the top and bottom of the lace/ribbon, or trim to keep it from rolling up when the pendant banner is hung.
That’s it! Hang up your pendant banner and enjoy! Now we’ll show you some detail shots with examples of embellishments and trims we used with links to where you can get them for your pendant banner.
Left to right:
Left to right:
Indigo & Aster panel, beaded trim, Indigo & Aster panel, Treasure Splendor Tang with Riley Blake 3/4” Regular Ric Rac Hot Pink trim, Indigo & Aster panel, strung together with 3 1/2” Janice Cotton Lace Trim Natural
Left to right:
Gran Opulence Citrus with 1 1/2” Crochet Trim Pink, Indigo & Aster panel
Left to right:
Left to right:
Left to right:
Indigo & Aster panel, Gran Opulence Citrus with 1 1/2” Crochet Trim Pink, beaded trim, Indigo & Aster panel, Foliage Escape Vert with 3/4” Pom Fringe Trim Fuchsia, Indigo & Aster panel embellished with vintage floral lace ribbon, strung together with 1 1/2” Crochet Ribbon Red
Or how about this fun rosebud trim?
Or this fun burlap/lace trim to string the pendant banner together:
2” Becky Jute Lace Trim Natural
Have fun, and let us know if you use our tutorial to make a DIY pendant banner!
Affiliate links are used in this post to really great products we use and love. If you click on one of our links, we might make a few pennies at no additional cost to you! So thanks for helping support our sewing habit, er make that fabric business!
This week the sewing theme over at Project Run & Play is Crafting A Story where everyone sews based on their favorite children’s storybook. This is my Velveteen Rabbit inspired baby outfit.
Recently I had the privilege of sewing up some fabric designed by the artist, Bari J. She is one of my favorite designers for Art Gallery Fabrics, and she asked me to sew some items with her newest collection of fabric for the Lookbook. This collection is called Indigo & Aster, and the Lookbook is an inspirational magazine showing ideas of what to do with the fabric. Today I’m sharing one outfit I made. There are several more things to share, and I’ll also be sure to link the Lookbook when it’s published.
The first item I sewed is the Rosemary pattern by Violette Field Threads. It’s a vintage inspired pin tucked pinafore, and simply perfect for this fabric. It ties on the sides and has sweet little shoulder panels. Because I only had 1/2 yard to work with, I made the skirt in the vintage (short) length. I sewed the size 12-24 months for Baby, and it’s just the sweetest thing ever.
The main green fabric I used is called Lush Bouquet, and the side ties and bodice lining are Bonheur Fresh. Both are quilting cotton, perfectly suited for this pattern, and super soft as are all Art Gallery Fabrics. See the whole soon to be released collection here.
The dress underneath started as the Eeny Meeny Miny Moe Dress pattern by Peekaboo Pattern Shop. I used my own tutorial here to create a gathered dress. Then I added lace over the waist gathers, and at the end of the sleeves.
The fabric used for this is a double knit similar to this one. Ponte Double Knit Ivory Fabric And above is a shot of the dress without the pinafore.
It works very well for this purpose. It’s stable and holds up to baby wear and tear pretty well. Besides the fact that it’s white! But the Rosemary Pinafore over the top helps protect it.
And you probably knew I was going to add a bonnet to the outfit right? What else would someone with a bonnet shop do? So I used what just might be my favorite fabric from the Indigo & Aster collection, Foliage Escape Lapis for one side, and some blue velvet for the other side. And the bonnet ribbons are blue velvet ribbon too. It’s reversible, of course, and both sides look similarly cute.
The bonnet pattern we use is the Evergreen Bonnet by Twig + Tale. This time we used the bunny ears for dramatic effect. I mean, come on, just look at her in the bonnet and try not to smile! Use this link to get $3 off any Twig + Tale purchase of $10 or more.
Of course, the bonnet is the main part of the Velveteen Rabbit inspired look. The pinafore is so old fashioned, and reflects the time the book was written (1922) when all little girls wore pinafores. When I was a child I discovered The Velveteen Rabbit book by Margery Williams, and it has always been one of my favorite books. The story of becoming “REAL” has so much imagery and so many applications in today’s world. I think it’s a classic that should be read to all children! Even as an adult, I feel like time is making me more REAL, and quite a bit of it is because I’ve been loved. My hope is to help others become REAL too.
The beautiful photography in this post is the work of Delaney Aby.
Affiliate links are used in this post to really amazing patterns and fabric. Because we love and use them, we use affiliate links to try to make a little money. If you click on one of our affiliate links, we might earn a few extra pennies at no additional cost to you, so THANKS!
Even though I’m not eligible to win a prize, I’m sewing along with Project Run & Play for the week 1 “7 Wonders of the World” theme! (If you missed the news, I’m now leading Project Run & Play!) It’s too inspiring not to! Here’s a look at our Great Wall of China Inspired children’s clothing.
Around our house, we have studied the Great Wall of China in our history studies many times. Since it’s one of the ancient Wonders of the World, we chose to be inspired by both the architecture, and the surrounding landscape. And we decided to have a little fun too!
For Annie’s dress, we chose to be inspired by the length of the Great Wall of China and sew her another maxi dress. We started with the Camden Raglan, and got busy designing it into a dress with special little touches.
The first little touch we added was to insert lace on the lines of the raglan sleeves. It’s a sweet little touch, and represents how the Great Wall of China criss crosses the entire country.
The second little touch we added was to design a bell sleeve for the sleeve hem with more lace inserted at the top of the bell. Annie chose the length she wanted the sleeves to be, and absolutely adores how they bell out and flow with the dress.
The final touch we added was to leave the sleeve and bottom dress hems raw. With time and wear and washing, they will curl up slightly. The intention was for this design feature to mimic and accent the white of the lace and cherry blossoms.
We used this Art Gallery Pandalicious Jersey Knit Yinghua Cherrylight Fabric. “Yinghua” means cherry blossom. It’s perfectly soft, drapes beautifully on the sleeves and skirt, and is stable enough to make the neckband turn out perfectly. Annie styled it with her Panda Vest we sewed for her earlier. This is to represent the pandas in the wilds of China around the Great Wall. You can read all about it in that post, but it uses panda fabric from the same line of fabric as the cherry blossom fabric. And she also borrowed a fan from Allegra for a photo prop.
Next came some raglan t-shirts for the boys. Yes, more raglan t-shirts for these boys! What can I say? We used the Oliver+S Field Trip Raglan t-shirt pattern. For David we are sewing a size 7 and for Lowell a size 5.
For the fabric, we used some Riley Blake Knit Stripe Aqua/Navy Fabric for the sleeves, neckband, and the back of Lowell’s t-shirt. We chose stripes to mimic the lines of the Great Wall of China. For the fronts, we used Riley Blake Designs navy blue jersey knit fabric.
Then came the fun part! We decided to use our new Cricut Maker machine to make fortune cookie gold foil iron on graphics with two fun sayings. And the little strip of twill tape represents for the paper fortunes inside!
David’s shirt says “Tough Cookie” with a fortune cookie. David is quite a sweetie, and like many boys his age, loves to see how tough he can be! Click here for the free cut file if you want to make a shirt like this too.
Lowell’s shirts says “Fortun*Ate” as a fun play on words about eating fortune cookies and how fortunate we feel to have him as our son! If you want to make a shirt like this go here for the free cut file.
For the photoshoot, we tried to find a location the was faintly related to the landscape of China. We found a river, a gazebo, some cement pillars, a lamppost, and a timber frame shelter.
What do you think of our Great Wall of China inspired children’s clothing? Be sure to go over to Project Run & Play and check out what all the designers created for the 7 Wonders of the World prompt, you’ll be inspired and amazed! And you can see what everyone else is sewing along here.
This isn’t the greatest picture to showcase the clothing, the lighting is too bright, the kids are wiggling, and so on. But after I got home and was editing the photos, I noticed how the boys are holding hands with their fingers interlaced, and it was a done deal!
Oh, and if you guessed that I rewarded them with fortune cookies for a modeling jog well done you guessed right!
Affiliate links are used in this post, because if we ever hope to go to see the Great Wall of China someday, we’ll need some money! Just kidding, but we do appreciate those of you who click on our affiliate links the help us earn a few pennies at no extra expense to their total.
Today we’re happy to share with you about the Coffee + Thread Nina Blouse.
If you’ve been here for longer than a day or two, you’ve probably seen us sew a Coffee+Thread pattern before! We love these pattern, and Olga (the owner/designer) is absolutely brilliant when it comes to making a professional pattern.
The Nina Blouse is completely finished inside, and looks so professional. My favorite detail is the shoulder pleats. And the Peter Pan collar is right up there too!
There is a scalloped version of a collar that you can use, and it’s quite cute too. There are 3 different sleeve options, scalloped, cap, and 3/4. As you can see, we went with a sort of elbow length. I love how they are elastic at the end, and Annie things it great that they stay where she puts them!
One element of the pattern we didn’t include is the removable bow or ties. Since they’re removable, we could go back and add them in later. They’re both vintage and in style right now, so we might! Those large black buttons are harvested off a jacket we bought at the thrift store just for the gorgeous buttons. We also used some of them on this jacket for Annie.
The Nina Blouse can be made in 13 sizes from 12 months to 12 years. I made Annie a straight size 8 with a tiny bit of added length in the bodice. That and shortening the sleeves were the only changes I made. The pattern illustrations are drawn and no step was confusing. There is a complete index at the beginning of sewing terms to help out the sewer.
This pattern is consistent with the other Coffee + Thread patterns as far as sizing goes, so we felt confident sewing it up without making a muslin first. Plus there is plenty of ease in the pattern due to the loose fitting design, so we felt safe!
That lovely (and also hard to photograph) black fabric is double gauze we got at Imagine Gnats. It’s dreamy like all double gauze, and Annie mentioned how nice it’s going to be to wear this double gauze Nina blouse in the hot summer months! I have a blouse in double gauze, and love it in summer.
Just a note about the skirt, I don’t remember where I got the fabric, but I do remember that I washed it with some cheap brown fabric and it bled onto the horses! So it’s just sat in the stash until last week when Annie mentioned she would like some play skirts for summer. Stained fabric=perfect for getting stains on! Done deal! Since the horse fabric is so lightweight, I added a lining and also shorts because, play skirt! I sort of drafted the pattern myself, and used the shorts from the Skip Along Skort for underneath.
Head over to the Coffee+Thread blog to follow along on the Nina Blouse tour and see all the beautiful garments that are sewn.
And do yourself a favor and grab the Nina Blouse pattern by Coffee+Thread today! For 20% off use the NINAPATTERNTOUR code, good through 03/19, 11:59 pm Central (Chicago) time zone.
Today we have another Buy or DIY skirt for you! This time we’re showing you how you can make a perfect skirt for spring and look like you paid big bucks. Except you didn’t! Our skirt pick of the day is a springy Ashtag multicolor pleated skirt we found on Amazon.
Ashtag Pleated Skirt Details:
Fabric Recommendation: Art Gallery Wild Bloom Summer Bouquet Grey Fabric
Pattern Recommendation: Violette Field Threads Whitney Skirt & Trousers Pattern (Read our full review of this pattern here.)
Ashtag Pleated Skirt Math:
Ashtag Pleated Skirt: $2049 retail price.
Floral Fabric needed: 1.5 yards at $12.73 per yard
Notions: zipper $1.47
Ashtag Pleated Skirt Summary:
Total Cost: $20.57 for DIY
Total Savings: $2028.43
Now we’re not sure who ever would pay over $2000 for a skirt they could make for around $20? Maybe they have money to burn? Maybe it’s a status symbol? Maybe they’re crazy? Maybe they don’t know how to sew? We don’t know, but while we’re thinking about it, we’re going to go sew up a $20 skirt and save over $2000.
Wow, the DIY wins again!! Are you seeing a pattern here? (See how amazing we are at puns?!?) On trend, warm, and totally worth the time and price you paid if you DIY! We’re going to keep showing you these great Buy or DIY Skirt deals because skirts are a great way to get into sewing, and what more to inspire you than to see how you can sew it for waaaaaaaay less? Click here to see all our Buy or DIY skirt posts.
Affiliate links are used in this post. That means if you click through and buy something we might make a few pennies at no extra cost to you. So thank you!
If you guessed that I’m on a stash-busting, raglan t-shirt making, boy sewing streak, you’d be correct! So once again, I pulled out the Oliver+S Field Trip Raglan T-shirt pattern and got to work. Enter two polar bear raglan t-shirts.
This time, there was just enough of the Birch Organics, super soft cotton knit fabric left to use for sleeves and pockets on two shirts for my 2 youngest boys. They would also enjoy these fishing lures:
And these pencils:
Or these dogs:
But I digress! I love using a statement fabric to dress up a plain t-shirt. However because these shirts are cream, and my boys are boys, I’ve asked them to save these for nicer occasions like going to town rather than everyday occasions like wrestling in the grass. We’ll see…
I don’t remember where my cream fabric came from, but this would be a similar good quality cream knit fabric. Art Gallery Solid Jersey Knit White Linen Fabric
Since the boys are fairly close to the same size and it’s difficult to tell one shirt from the other at a glance, I made the pockets different. On David’s shirt, there are 2 bears and the pocket is square.
On Lowell’s shirt, the pocket is rounded on the bottom, and there is a bear with two birds on his back. Just enough of a difference to make it easier on laundry days and when they are getting dressed.
Last time I made these boys raglan t-shirts, I was unhappy with the way the neckbands turned out. At the suggestion of one of our sweet followers, I shortened the neckband slightly and am much happier with the way these lay. Always in search of the perfect neckband around here!
I sewed up one size for each of these boys so they will hopefully still fit once summer and hot weather arrives. It also looks like I did the same thing when buying their pants!
But boys grow so fast, that it’s a stab at having to do less sewing. Which doesn’t really matter if I’m trying to sew through my stash! However I do have more boy than girl fabrics.
I’ve probably mentioned it before, but these two boys are so fun! They are the only two of our 8 kids that have a sibling next to them of the same sex. So that makes it extra fun is so many ways.
That’s all I have for you today except for about 50 more cute photos of these boys in their new polar bear raglan t-shirts! Just kidding, leave me a comment about boys. Or boys in white clothes!
Affiliate links are used in this post to great quality fabric. If you click through one of our links, we might make a few pennies at no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting our sewing business!