Monday, August 30, 2010

The Magical World of Sewing Knits

Disclaimer: I am by no means an expert at this as I just started sewing knits. Just want to save you some heartache, time, and trouble!

I've been inspired by the amazing custom T-shirts and other jersey clothing I have been seeing on Etsy and in stores in general. But since I'm trying to save money (and most shops do not make clothing in my size), I decided to give customizing a T-shirt a try. How hard can it be, right? What a wake up call! The first stripe I sewed was just fine, nice and smooth. (Probably because it was on heavier jersey and ribbing.) Then, I tried to sew that stripe onto a tissue weight T-shirt I spent a day ripping apart. It was so frustrating! The seam was rippled, puckered, and just looked terrible. So I got to rip it out again and again while I was trying things that I thought would fix it.

I did my due diligence and tried to find some tips on sewing knits online. It seemed like sewing knits must be some magical talent you're born with because I couldn't find hardly any tips or directions on how to sew a smooth seam on knit fabric. I did find a couple good tips, but mostly, it's all been trial and error (and help from Mom). So to save you from having to rip out seam after seam, here are some tips I learned the hard way.

* Buy ball point needles for your machine. The ball point will push through the knit instead of punching a hole in it.

* Use a stretch stitch on your machine. I've been using what my machine calls a stretch straight stitch. It's pretty much a version of the zig-zag stitch.

* Don't stretch the fabric by pulling it through your machine. Instead, let your feed dogs do their job to guide the fabric through. I usually just guide it to keep it straight (or straight-ish in my case).

* My #1 tip is to use tear away stabilizer! It does wonders for sewing a smooth, non-rippled, non-puckering seam. I haven't even had to adjust my stitch length or width when using it. But I would stay away from the sticky backed tear away stabilizer. It's a huge pain to pull off and tear away after you're done sewing. You're going to pin the seam together anyway.

* Finally, sew test swatches first. If you're anything like me, they seem like a waste of time. But wouldn't you rather just throw the swatch away instead of spending hours ripping out seams?

I hope these tips help! I'll be sure to let you know if I find out any others as I sew!

Sunday, August 29, 2010


I couldn't really think of a super amazing topic to write about today (tomorrow's will be better), so I thought I'd share some of my goals with you. Plus, I hear it's better to write down your goals anyway.

* Blog more often and on a regular basis
* Include more of my own pictures in the blog posts (this one will be hard since I tend not to think too highly of my pictures. This will give me a chance to work on them!)
* Non-blog related: Increase the inventory in my Etsy shop to 40 or so by Christmas shopping season.

Those are mostly the goals I can think of blog and shop related. Of course, I have a few other personal goals. But the world doesn't need to know what they are. Watch for a post tomorrow where you can learn from my trials & errors/mistakes.

Now to crochet some before I read and go to bed. Back to work tomorrow after having last week off.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Shop Update!

While on their photoshoot, the camo monkey, rainbow bunny, and purple bear decided to take some time for a tea party.

The amigurumi above are just a sampling of new items in the shop update for today. In total, there are four new bears, three new bunnies, and three new monkeys, plus the penguin listed earlier in the week. My shop finally looks a little more respectable!

In other news, I got my new car yesterday! I love it. Though the trunk is smaller than I thought it was going to be. And now I feel broke. Due to that reason, I've had to resort to inexpensive ways of entertaining myself, like sewing seams, and then ripping them out! The sewing knits isn't going quite as planned. Oh well, live and learn and then try, try again!

Monday, August 23, 2010


I started working on a new project for myself. If you follow me on Twitter, you probably know what that it is. I've been seeing all these awesome custom T-shirts on Etsy. However, most are too small for me (I'm not a big girl, but I'm not super skinny either). So, I'm going to sharpen my sewing skills and make some for myself. First, I found a T-shirt that fits well. Next, I ripped it apart so I can make a pattern. (Which is quite theraputic.) Here's what I have so far!

Tomorrow, I'll make my pattern, then start cutting and sewing! I will post an "after" picture after it's done. After that, watch for a step-by-step blog post, if you want to do it yourself. Unless I fail miserably, then it may be awhile. :D

Shop update: I already listed a new penguin in my shop tonight. The rest of the bunnies, bears, and monkeys will be posted this week.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Blog Love

As you've no doubt noticed, I've fallen off the proverbial blogging horse. But I've gotten back on and will try to stay on longer than last time. Anyway, moving on.

If you're in the Sioux Falls, South Dakota area, you should come and see me at Cute as a Button Children's Expo (and mommy's too) at the Washington Pavilion on Saturday, August 21. I have lots of new items that aren't in my Etsy shop. Such as.....

I will also have a couple other new items available as well as old favorites (such as a variety of duckies). I'm pretty excited. This is the first big craft show/expo that I've taken part in. I'll see how it turns out. Whatever doesn't sell at the expo will be part of a shop update the week after. I'll let you know when that's coming. Stay tuned! (Or if I sell out, I'll let you know when I restock the shop.)

Things I'm loving right now:

Sherlock Holmes - The books and the movie. I love it when the movie quotes directly from the books. "Data, data, data. I cannot make bricks without clay." Fun fact: Spock quotes Sherlock Holmes in the new Star Trek movie.

Florence + The Machine - I'm a little slow to this one. My favorite songs are Hurricane Drunk and Blinding. For some reason, some of the songs seem like they should be in a movie set in New York. No idea why.

Willy Wonka Dark Chocolate Domes - They are so addictive! You can't eat just one. Trust me, I've tried. It's impossible.