Friday, May 31, 2013

Sew and Tell with the Heirloom Ruffled Overalls

We're back with another review!!  We took a little break to focus on the sale (we didn't think you would mind!)  Did you score some patterns you've had on your wish list for awhile??  Hopefully so!!  Now to find time to sew everything up...

Luckily it's summer, and if you're like me, your schedule magically opens up once school lets out.  That means more time for playing outside with the kids, keeping up with housework, and sewing!  Yay!! 

If you have a little bitty princess to sew for, this one is a must!  This is the Heirloom Ruffled Overalls from Monkeysbug PDF Patterns.  There's so much you can do to embellish it and make it appropriate for all types of weather!  The cutest (optional) ruffled pockets are included with the pattern, and you can make the overalls in either a shorts length or full length!  Gotta love options!  And since this is our latest and greatest featured pattern, we are offering it for 25% off!! 

Let's take a look at the review sent in to us by Lisa!

Pattern Review of: Monkeysbug Heirloom Ruffled Overalls
Size Range: NB-24m
Size I made: 3-6 months
Fabric I used: 100% cotton Cherry Print & Gingham

Hi Everyone, I am Lisa and I share my sewing adventures at:  I have been sewing since I was a child, and I enjoy all types of sewing, including heirloom sewing and smocking.  Even though I would consider myself an advanced seamstress, sometimes I just want to have fun and make something that's quick and cute.  That is why I chose the Monkeysbug Heirloom Ruffled Overalls for my review.

 I have 3 boys and 2 girls, from 2-17, but I made this sunsuit for my little God-daughter, Ella.  She is 4 1/2 months old and weighs 14 lbs.  I made a 3-6 month size, and while it had room to fit this summer, it also looked good right now.  
From cutting to finishing, this little cutie only took about 2 hours (and that's with interruptions from my kids!).  This could easily be made during naptime.  I like this pattern for several reasons: it is quick and easy, the results are adorable, it comes in long or short versions, and it would be cute with or without a shirt underneath.  It could work for any season.  My favorite thing are the leg ruffles- just adorable on chubby baby legs! 
This pattern had good directions, and the pattern pieces fit together properly.  It had a little hint to add a fold of ribbon in the back casing so you can identify front from back.  It's these little tricks that really add to a pattern so even experienced seamstresses can learn something new! 
This is a pattern with a lot of scope for variations.  I used 2 separate shoulder ties, to have a bow on each shoulder. There are directions to add pockets.  You could definitely embellish with machine embroidery.  You could use ribbon ties to make this an even quicker project.  I whipped up a quick headband to coordinate and found little red shoes.  Even though Ella wasn't thrilled to have her picture taken, she looks great in this romper!

I could not agree more!  Little Miss Ella does look pretty darn great in this romper!  That cherry fabric is just too sweet! 

This style of romper/overalls is easy and comfy to wear.  It's light and doesn't cling to baby's body like something more fitted would, which makes it a great option for especially warm days.  Oh my stars, I can't quit looking at those baby cheeks!  Whew... is anyone else getting baby fever?!?!  Back to what I was saying, sometimes those big, ruffly dresses aren't the best option to beat the heat in, KWIM?  These overalls are just as stylish and don't swallow the baby whole ;)

I think for today's Pair It Up portion, we'll do some cute shoes and an option for the boys ;)

 I am obsessed with the idea of making coordinating shoes to go with all the cute clothes I sew up.  Alas, my sweet Lu has been walking running since she was 9 months old, so I've not really been able to make her shoes.  She's the kinda gal who needs a nice sturdy shoe.  But those of you with sweet little babes who can rock a pair of crib shoes need to take a look at the collection we have on the website.  Sooo many cute options out there!  These are some of my favs! The Ruffle Strap Sandals from Peek-A-Boo Pattern Shop go up to a size 12-18m.  They would be a fabulous addition to any outfit!

If you've got a little guy you don't want to leave out (why should sissy get all the mommy-mades?) sew up a pair of overalls for him, too!  We love The Buttons & Buckles Overall & Shortall from Fishsticks Designs!  These can fit the little buddies sizes NB- 4T.  Several options are given for the strap and crotch closures that make getting dressed a breeze!  The shortall length is great for summer, and you can easily pair the overall (pants) length with a long-sleeved undershirt for cold weather.  Just adorable!
Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!  Don't forget you can get the Heirloom Ruffled Overalls for 25% off for the next few days!  Be sure to check out our other reviews, too, while you're here!  You can find the link at the top of the page :)
Go sew something magical!!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Why PDF Patterns are Pretty Dang Fantastic

I have a confession to make.  I have no idea what PDF stands for.  Don't tell my husband.  He's a nerdy (yet hunky) computer geek, and would hang his head in shame if he knew.  I realize I could do a quick Google search and easily find out, but I think it would be more fun to make up my own take on the acronym.  So, from here on out, I will refer to PDF patterns as Pretty Dang Fantastic Patterns! 

If you're wondering why, then you've obviously never tried a PDF pattern (or sometimes called E-Pattern).  The benefits of PDF patterns over traditional paper patterns are numerous!!  I'm not knocking all of them- one of my favorite dresses I've ever sewn for my daughter was a Children's Corner pattern- but the major companies you find in all the big-time craft stores (i.e. Simplicity, McCalls) can leave a lot to be desired.  I had sewn up a criss-cross pinafore in a size 6m when my daughter was little, and she's now 2 and can still wear it.  It turned out really cute...but the sizing was atrocious!

So here are my Top Ten Reasons why PDF patterns are Pretty Dang Fantastic!

10.  PDF patterns get a bad rap for consuming too much paper and running down ink supplies.  To combat this, simply read your pattern from your computer and only print the pages that contain the pattern pieces in the size you need.  When printing out the pattern pieces, keep in mind that most computers/printers have a draft mode that uses less ink.  All this to say that you can save time by printing out only the pattern pieces you need for the size you need instead of searching that huge sheet of tissue paper to find the pattern piece you need for the size you need and then tracing those patterns pieces.

9.  PDF patterns are easy to store!  Don't fight with the tissue paper trying to wrangle it back into the pattern envelope.  If you don't want to keep up with any clutter, simply throw your pattern away after you sew it up.  You'll always be able to reprint it from your computer when you need it again.  If you do want to keep them, there are numerous ways to store them.  Some people (myself included) buy large 3-ring binders with clear page protectors, and store each pattern print-out in a separate page protector.  Some people have filing cabinets with a file folder for each pattern.  Get creative and do what works for you.  Bonus:  When you store them on your computer, your husband won't know how many you really own... wink, wink.

8.  There are pictures to guide you every step of the way!  A few line drawings that don't make sense are hardly helpful.  (Thanks a lot, paper patterns!)  I would much rather have a full-color photograph for each step so I can see exactly what it is I'm supposed to be doing!

7.  Most PDF patterns go through a rigorous testing process to ensure a good fit.  I seriously wonder if the big pattern companies even test their patterns before selling them sometimes.  I've had a few turn out well, but the majority made me want to cry. 

6.  It's easy to find what you are looking for.  Since E-patterns are a virtual product you purchase online, it's very easy to do an online search that will pull up countless results.  You have access to international designers/patterns that you would not even know about if all they offered were paper patterns.  Literally thousands of patterns are only a click away.  Easy-peasy! 

5.  Designers are accessible for help.  Most freely give out their email address for customers just like you to contact them if you ever run into any problems, have any questions, or want to give your feedback.  They also love to know how much you've enjoyed sewing up their patterns! 

4.  If you lose or rip a pattern piece, you can reprint it.  You don't have to worry about cutting the pattern out for one size and not being able to use if for the larger sizes.  To avoid this problem with paper patterns, you have to get out the freezer paper and trace.  With PDF patterns, you can either print each size out separately or simply reprint the pattern and cut it out in the size you need. 

3.  Designers will hold your hand throughout the whole process.  There are pages and pages of instructions helping you to achieve the same results the designer achieved.  They explain each step in great detail and provide photos to help clarify.  If you get stuck, you can always send an email to get some help!  I think a lot of beginning sewists get turned off from sewing because they start off with paper patterns they can't make heads or tells of. 

2.  You can go shopping at 2 AM in your jammies.  No driving to the store, no waiting on shipping... PDF patterns (almost all of them) are instant download so you can start sewing when the mood strikes!  Instant gratification! 

1.  You're supporting work at home mommas and not big companies!  Many of you are work at home mommas yourselves, so I know this is important to you!  These ladies work long hours every day to juggle designing, responding to emails, handling business-y issues, and taking care of their families.  Let them know how much you appreciate all their hard work and love they put into their craft!

Go sew something magical!!
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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sneak a Peek at our New Look!

Hi everyone!!  If you've been following us on Facebook, then you know by now we are about to release a new look for our website, Facebook, and blog!!  I've seen the (almost) finished product, and it looks FABULOUS!!  We are so stinkin' excited to show you all what we've been up to!  Think modern and classy!  The big reveal for is tentatively scheduled to happen (if all goes according to plan!) over the next few days, so check back with us!  Here's a sneak peek at our new logo!!
To celebrate, we are having a 20% off sale for the whole website!!  Sales this good don't come around often, so get those patterns you've been eyeing while you can!! 

and you can still receive a 15% PERSONAL SALE CODE
towards your NEXT order within 90 days! 
 Here are a few patterns you don't want to miss out on!!

Go sew something magical!!

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Sew and Tell with the Car Seat Organizer

Yesterday morning was my son's Kindergarten Graduation.  How in the world is it time for the school year to be over already?!?  I can honestly say that even though he's had a great first year of school, we are both ready for it to be summer break!  Bring on the trips to the playground, vacations, road trips, weekends at grandma's house, and plenty of backyard play dates! 
 When I know I'm going to be spending a lot of time in my car, I always try to make sure it's clean and stocked with the necessities... Kleenex, hand sanitizer, books and movies for the kids, and countless other things I may or may not need ;)  Anyone that knows me can attest that I'm very tidy and organized and NEED for everything to have a place.  I can't even work if there's anything in the house that needs to be cleaned or put away.  Good grief, it's exhausting being me! 
If you like to stay organized in the car, too, our featured pattern might be right up your alley!  This is the Car Seat Organizer from Blissful Patterns.  It's a great solution for storing all of your kids' books, crayons, movies, wet wipes, and whatever else you can fit in there.  It's conveniently within arms reach for them, so you don't have to swerve into oncoming traffic while you try to find the missing toy they are screaming for.  I also really like that it keeps the books and movies off the floorboard of the car so they don't get stepped on and, ultimately, ruined. 

We've got a review from our friend Christine H. of Covered by Design.

Hi, I am Christine, Montana ranch girl, mama to three terrific kiddos and wife to a very supportive husband.  I started to really love sewing in about 2004 when my husband bought me a new Elna sewing machine for Mothers Day.  The Sewing Mamas forum was a great source of information and support for me.  I was self taught until 2010 when I took the Dress Making and Design course from Penn Foster.  At that time I also started a graphic design class which inspired me to do some fabric designing.  I would consider myself an intermediate seamstress. 
The Blissful Patterns Car Seat Organizer pattern took me under 2 hours start to finish.  It would have taken less time but my wrinkly fabric had to be ironed before I could move onto cutting out the pieces.  When I hoard fabric for that long the creases can be slightly difficult to remove.  I also press all my seams as I go, so if you are the type who likes to skip pressing, it will decrease your total sewing time.

This pattern is easy, and a beginner could use the pattern without any trouble.  There wasn’t anything tricky about the pattern, just make sure you read the directions.  I had one moment when I skimmed over the directions and didn’t pay attention to where the Velcro was to be placed.  I read “middle” and skipped the “at the edge” part.  My seam ripper got to have some fun with that.  The Velcro at the neck strap goes in the middle at the finished end of the neck strap not the raw edge of the neck strap. 

I used the suggested size for the pocket divider; although the instructions give you detailed info if you want to change this up.  I used scalloped elastic for the elastic to go around the seat front to change things up a bit.  Fusible fleece also works great instead of batting.  I chose to leave an opening at the top center of the organizer for turning it the right way rather than at the bottom because there are less layers to press and keep together when topstitching it shut.

The organizer fit well on the back of my seat.  I drive a Pontiac Montana minivan.  I was worried the elastic would be too tight to get around the seat, but it went on easily.  I could make it a little shorter, and it would still fit.

Next time I make this I might add decorative stitching instead of the topstitching for fun.  Snaps instead of Velcro could also be a fun change although they might be a trickier change for a beginner. You could also do some embroidery if you are feeling creative!  This pattern really lets you get creative.
The fabrics I used in this project are heavy upholstery type fabrics.  The Waverly “Ribbit” fabric I have hoarded for quite some time.  I love frogs and didn’t have the perfect use for it until now.  I think the circle fabric is also a Waverly fabric but I am not certain on that.  I am maybe a little wilder with my fabric choices than some (as my grandmother is an abstract artist) so bolder choices appeal to me.  I plan on making several more matching ones to go on my other seats, as any mama knows it would be impossible to pick which kid got to use it.
This pattern is fantastic because you can have a lot of fun with color and fabric coordinating.  You could easily make the pockets using different coordinating fabric.  No pattern printing, tracing or cutting out necessary, just easy dimensions to cut out with scissors or a rotary cutter.  It comes together quickly and after making one I am certain I could make the next in closer to an hour, start to finish.
Organization is a must for anyone with kids, big and small.  This is a fantastic way to help keep your kids items organized and handy for them to find.  You can personalize them to fit the needs of each child with colors, patterns and pockets. 

The front side.

The back side. 

The full view.

I'm convinced every mom needs one (or two!) of these in her car!  My backseat is always a mess because my kids think they need to bring everything they own for a trip to the grocery store.  I'd love for everything to have its own compartment to fit neatly back into.  And just brainstorming here, but my kids have a problem keeping their headphones for the DVD player off of the floor, and how cool would it be to attach a short Velcro strap to the bottom that they could use to hang their earphones off of?!?  Moms, use a few gorgeous fabric prints, and you can totally "dress up" your car!  Head over to the website to purchase this pattern for 25% off!!  Woohoo!!
Now we are going to pair up the Car Seat Organizer with a few other road trip friendly patterns :)

Forget Pillow Pets, make way for Pillow PalsNanoo Designs has created these adorable Pillow Pals that will quickly become your child's new favorite bed-time buddy!  There are several variations for both boys and girls so you can create a Pillow Pal that looks like your child!  Let them help out by choosing the fabric for the body portion.  Perhaps create a face that resembles a mom or dad that is deployed and maybe use one of mom or dad's shirts for the body.  They can snuggle with the mom or dad pillow (bonus if the shirt still has their scent) and maybe find a little comfort during those hard times.  These are great for car rides, vacations, or slumber parties!

A great way to those art projects organized both at home and on the go is with the Art Caddy Tote from Gingercake Patterns & Design.  Keep your coloring books, notepads, crayons, markers, scissors, glue sticks, stickers, and whatever else your little one needs to create their masterpiece all in one convenient place that can go wherever they go!  A great way to keep the kids entertained (and organized) on those long road trips!    
I hope your summer is off to a great start, and you get to enjoy the warm weather with the ones you love!  Don't forget you can purchase the Car Seat Organizer for 25% off for the next few days!  You'll be glad you did the next time you load the kids up for a long drive :)

Go sew something magical!! 
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A Peek Into My ParadiseSumo's Sweet Stuff

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Giveaway Winner!

Wow! Thank you all so much for your sweet words and support during our participation in Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day!  I love giveaways!! 

I also want to send out a special "Happy Mother's Day!!" to all you mommas out there!!  Someone's Mother's Day is about to get a little sweeter because we have a winner! 
 And lucky number 75 is...

Congrats Tammy!!  You are the lucky winner of a $25 gift certificate to Fairytale Frocks & Lollipops!  I'll be emailing you shortly!! 
Thanks to all who participated!  We love all of our new friends, and I look forward to browsing through all of the blogs that were linked up :) 
Happy Mother's Day!!
Fairytale Frocks & Lollipops

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Sew and Tell with the Rilla Top!

Who's ready for a new Sew & Tell Review??  I know it's been a little longer than normal since we've posted a new review, but have you seen all the other fun posts we've been making recently? We've got a giveaway currently running to win a $25 gift certificate to the Fairytale Frocks & Lollipops website and we had our Knit-acular, Spectacular post to help you choose the right knit fabric for all those adorable and super-comfy knit patterns that are popping up everywhere! 
But back to the review... this week we are featuring the Rilla Top from SweetKid3!  How adorable is that?!?  It's the perfect top to pair with those ruffle pants we all love to make :)  Every little girl needs at least one shirt like this hanging in her closet!  It's roomy, airy, comfy... perfect for those hot summer play dates, but definitely stylish enough to be part of your little girl's nicer "boutique" wardrobe.  The size range is great, too- it comes in sizes 12m- 12 years.  You'll be able to make this one year after year!
The top comes together quickly, and as long as you know how to shirr, there shouldn't be anything difficult in store.  Take a look at this tutorial if your Brother doesn't want to play nice while shirring.  Mine never did until I tried what the tutorial said to do.  Now it's a piece of cake!  There are no pattern pieces to cut out and piece together, just measurements used to cut your fabric.  A great beginner pattern that is still interesting enough that even more advanced sewists will want to give it a try!   
Our friend, Jamie A,. sent in the following review.
Growing up, there was a family friend that was very crafty and taught me some very basics in sewing.  Sixteen years later I got back into sewing.  It was like riding a bike.  It just came back to me.  Besides what Barb taught me 16 years ago, I am very self-taught.  My first sewing project I attempted to make myself was a scrub top for work.  I literally took and old top, cut it up, and made a new pattern.  It didn’t turn out so bad.  I was then introduced (somehow) to PDF patterns.   I have found some amazing designers that have helped me.  I would say I am an advanced beginner.
I made the Rilla Top by SweetKid3 out of a woven cotton fabric.  This pattern is very easy.  From beginning to end, it took about 45 minutes.  There was quite a bit of shirring with the size 12 I made.  But if you know how to shirr, this pattern is a breeze.  What’s nice about the shirring is that it stretches so the top will last a few years.
I did try to stick to the pattern, but I found that attaching the straps first was a bit of a pain while trying to shirr.  So I took the straps off and added them after I was done.  I also didn’t do as many rows of shirring on the top.  Since my daughter is only 7, the shirring was a bit far down for my liking. 
I thought this pattern was very well written.  It is simple, but turns out really cute.  I feel like this pattern runs true to size.  There are several options for this top included in the pattern.  You could not shirr the bottom, add a ruffle, make the straps halter style, shirr a few rows on top and the middle, add a flower etc. 

Very versatile.  The Rilla Top looks great paired with jeans and wedges, and she looks so happy to be modeling it for us!  I'm also picturing it with a pair of skinny jeans tucked into some cowgirl boots, or maybe even with some length added to make it a "bubble" dress.  I wonder how that would look?!?  Someone sew it up as a dress and send us a picture!  Pretty please??  For our Australian friends, you can easily layer this top over a long-sleeved tee or turtle neck for added warmth.  Plus, Jamie gave us some great ideas of different ways to "spice up" the Rilla Top that will help you get more bang for your buck with this one! 
The best part?  It's 25% off right now!!  Yay!! 

Pair it up!

Because we know you all are always looking for the latest and greatest ruffle pants, take a look at the Carnival Pants from Foofoo Threads.  The tuxedo ruffle going down the side is a unique take on the classic ruffle pants style.  Make the ruching in a fun, contrasting print or keep it the same fabric as the rest of the pants to simply add some visual interest.  The pants can be made in either the floor length, cropped, or capri versions.  Be one of the first people to put your daughter in a pair of those pants or to offer it in your shop!  They'd look great with the Rilla Top:)  Available in sizes 6m- Girls 6.   
We don't want to forget about you, ladies, so here's a great top for you!!  Make a Rilla Top for your daughter and a matching Sunny Halter Top from Seamingly Smitten for yourself.  It's got a flattering fit and can be made in sizes XS-XL.  Sew it up in about an hour!  You and your daughter can have new shirts in about 2 hours... what a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon!  You can dress this top up or down depending on your fabric choices and how you "accessorize."  Don't forget that you deserve the fruits of your sewing-labor every now and then! 
Head over to the website to get your Rilla Top for 25% off for the next few days!!  If you need a last minute Mother's Day gift, we offer gift certificates!  Maybe you should mention to your children you'd like to receive one so you won't have to fake delight over their subpar gift this year (or does that only happen to me?!?)  I should show you a picture of the cow PJ's I got for Christmas this year ;) 
Go sew something magical!!
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Monday, May 6, 2013

It's Giveaway Day!!

Woo-hoo!!  It's the Sew, Mama, Sew Giveaway Day!!  Twice a year, Sew, Mama, Sew hosts one of the biggest sewing events in blogland where all types of sewing/craft/fabric/quilting blogs can come together and find one another and enter for the chance to win some VERY cool stuff!!  There are pages and pages of giveaways to enter, and we know you are dying to check the rest out, so we'll make this short and sweet!
Fairytale Frocks & Lollipops is an online E-Pattern Boutique that features over 50 independent pattern designers and 1,000's of E-patterns for women, children, crafts, bags, etc. all in one place!!!  The next time you start your search for something new to stitch-up, start with us!  Chances are, you'll find exactly what you are looking for (and then plenty you didn't even know you had to have!!) 

Here are a few of our favorite new arrivals!!

To celebrate Giveaway Day, we are offering up a $25 Gift Certificate to our shop!! 
Yay!!!  Who couldn't use some new patterns?  They are more addicting than M&Ms!! 

As I'm sure you've heard by now, Google Reader and Google Friends Connect are going away soon, so we've moved to Bloglovin and are definitely lovin' it!  Once you sign up for an account, you can transfer all of your blog subscriptions, which is super convenient.  To enter our giveaway, all you need to do is follow our blog via Bloglovin on the top right corner of the page and leave a comment telling me you are a follower!!  Make sure you leave your email address so we can contact you if you are the winner!!! 
We'll leave the giveaway open until May 10 at 5 p.m. PST.  If you are the winner, expect an email from us by May 12. 
In the mean time, if you'd like to do some pattern shopping, you can "like" us on Facebook and use the code FRIENDLY10 to take 10% off of your purchase on our website.  Plus, if you buy 5 or more patterns in one transaction, we'll send you a unique discount code that can be used to take 15% off of your next purchase!!  Check back every week, because we feature Sew and Tell Pattern Reviews-  the pattern being reviewed is always on sale for 25% off!!  Plenty of ways to save, and plenty to choose from!!
Thanks so much for stopping by, and we are so excited to "meet" all of our new sewing friends!! 
Good luck winning some awesome prizes this week!! 

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Knit-acular, Spectacular!

Knit-acular, Spectacular!  Not only is it an homage to one of my favorite movies (Moulin Rouge for those of you who didn't catch that!), but it's also what we are calling our first guest post with Mel from Purpleseamstress Fabric!  Have you been sewing with knits for years?  Or maybe you're like me, and you've heard other people say means things about knits, and are now scared?  Be scared no more!  Mel is going to hold our hand through the process of deciding which knit is right for your specific project and how to sew it successfully!  (Pretty nice of her, huh?)  Knowledge is power, and we are confident that YOU will be confident sewing with knits after reading what Mel has to share with us today  :)  (I've already started my first knit project!  More on that later!)  Keep reading because we *may* have some discounts for you to take advantage of (hurray!!)  Rev up your sewing machines, ladies, we are about to tackle knits!
Here is a little introduction by Mel...
"Hi, my name is Melinda Dozal, owner of Purpleseamstress Fabric on Facebook.   Many years ago I started out selling fabric on eBaby, just as a hobby.  My full-time, very stressful job was as a court reporter.  Well, eventually I found my way onto Facebook, and my business had just taken off. So I was able to retire from court reporting and do what I love to do, play with fabric!!!   I have to pinch myself everyday to see if this is real."
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Purpleseamstress Fabric, Mel posts photos of knits she has for sale almost daily on her Facebook page.  She sells out almost as soon as she lists her fabrics- yep, that's how great they are!  If you see something you like, you better let her know before someone else snatches it up!  You can find a few albums on her page that list fabrics she currently has available. 

There are albums for:
ruffle fabrics
solid rib knits
solid, medium-weight, 4-way stretch cotton/lycra blends
striped, medium-weight, 4-way stretch cotton/lycra blends
and an album of various knits that are still available for purchase

The color selection is amazing, the price is fantastic, and the quality is excellent!  Over and over again, I hear people sing her praises.  Out of the many times I've heard people discuss fabric stores and the quality of knit fabrics, I've never heard a single negative or even luke-warm comment made about Purpleseamstress Fabric.  When I ordered from Mel on a Friday, she sent me a message the same day telling me my fabric was shipping that day, and I got it on Monday.  How is that for great customer service?!? 

I would like to point out that some of the listings mention whether the fabric is yarn-dyed or printed.  Yarn-dyed fabrics are exactly what they sound like- the actual fibers are dyed, and you can see the same coloring on both sides of the fabric.  A printed knit will only have the design on the front with the back being white.  Most yarn-dyed fabrics are going to either be solids or stripes.  These would be the best choice for snug fitting garments where the fabric will be stretched, such as pants, so that the white doesn't show through.  There are, however, some nicer printed knits where the white won't show through as bad when stretched. 
There are many types of knits available out there in fabric land.  There are light- to medium-weight cotton knits with a 1- or 2-way stretch, medium-weight cotton/lycra knits with a 4-way stretch, rib knits, French terry knits... just to name a few.  So how do you know which type to choose for your sewing project?  Well, let's find out!!


For leggings, shorts and ruffle pants:

Choose a cotton/lycra 4-way stretch knit.   Pants and leggings must have lycra in them and be a heavier (medium) weight fabric, too, so they don't lose their shape and result in a saggy bottom or baggy knees.  Most cotton/lycras are medium weight. 

For a dress with a fitted bodice:

Choose a cotton knit or a cotton/lycra knit or a french terry knit.  A medium weight knit is probably best for the bodice.  For the sleeves, you can use a medium or a light-weight knit.  For flutter sleeves, a light-weight knit would be best.  Of course, you can use the same knit for all the bodice if you want the fabric to be uniform, but some people like to mix and match! 


For a flowy dress: 

Choose a light- to medium-weight cotton knit so it hangs/bounces/wears well.


For upcycles:

Choose a cotton knit for sleeves, bodice and ruffles and rib or cotton/lycra for the neckline.  Most people who do upcycles prefer med weight knits for the bodice, skirt, and back.  You would probably want to use a light weight fabric for ruffles, though, so they aren't heavy and weighted down.  All weights have their perfect use for knit dresses!


For shirts and tops:

Choose a medium-weight cotton knit or a 4-way stretch cotton/lycra knit, and a rib knit or cotton/lycra knit for the neckline.


For skirts:

Choose a cotton or cotton/lycra for the skirt part and cotton/lycra or rib on the waist.  You'll want that extra stretch with good recovery so your skirt will stay up if elastic is not used.   


For Undies:

Choose any knit for the main fabric.  The leg trim, crotch (if you make them that way), and waist need to be a 4-way cotton/lycra knit. 

Whew!  Did we give you enough information?  I hope that clarifies any questions you may have been having about which kind of knit you would need to sew a certain type of clothing.  Now that we know which knits we need, what do we do with them??  Most of your patterns made for use with knit fabrics will give you a lot of great advice and will, of course, walk you step-by-step through the whole process of making the garment.  But Mel is here to hold our hand today, so we are going to soak in all the knowledge she has to offer on sewing with knits!
To start off, what do you do with knit to prep it for sewing?  That varies from person to person.  Some people don't wash before they sew; some wash with color catchers on a cold, gentle cycle and tumble dry or lay flat; some wash on hot and dry on it's totally up to the individual.  If you intend to wash your project after you make it, be sure to wash your fabric beforehand to avoid any bleeding of the dyes and to pre-shrink the fabric instead of the fabric shrinking after you've put all your time and energy into creating your perfect outfit!  It's always best to try and avoid those "surprises" later on. 
One of the biggest complaints I hear from people are that the ends of the knit fabric curl when the are trying to sew.  It seems like it's the lighter weight fabrics and some of the cotton/lycras that curl.   You can iron on low heat & use starch or use use a tear-away stabilizer to keep this from happening. When you know you have a curling fabric it seems like it's best to cut and sew right away because it seems that the longer it sits, the more it rolls. So cut, then go right to the machine before it even has a chance to roll.   It's best not to use pins so you don't take a chance of putting holes in it.  You should also only use a ball point needle for this same reason.  A lot of people will sew their fabrics together first with a regular sewing machine, then use a serger.  Some people don't even finish the edges, like for ruffles or for the ruffle pants because the edges won't fray or unravel like with a woven cotton. 
To avoid your fabric stretching while you sew, make sure you don't put any pressure or pull the fabric through the serger.   Just guide the fabric and let the feed dogs pull it through.  It also helps to run the  the differential feed at 1 on your serger.   When you change knit thickness, you have to adjust the tensions just a bit.  Check your machine's User Manual for exact settings when sewing with knits.  Also, some people use different color threads, too, in case you need help determining which thread is causing an issue.  As far as gaining a few scraps or a cheaper yard & just play with the serger to get the feel for it.  Just like learning to sew with wovens, practice makes perfect! 
And I know you are all ready to start practicing, aren't you?!?!  I thought so  :)  And to help you start your love affair with knits off right, Fairytale Frocks & Lollipops and Purpleseamstress Fabric want to offer you a discount!! Yay!!  From now until the end of the day on Tuesday, May 7th, you can take 15% off your purchase of any patterns designed for knit fabrics at Fairytale Frocks & Lollipops!!  We've added a new page to our website called Designed for Knits that will show you ALL the knit patterns we have available.  The price is already marked down, no coupon code needed!  We also have a Pinterest board devoted to knit patterns for your shopping convenience :)  And since you can't sew up a knit pattern without knit fabric, Mel has graciously offered to give all of our blog readers a 15% discount for the next 48 hours (ends May 3rd at 10 AM CST)!  Didn't I tell ya she was a peach? 
To take advantage of the discount on her Facebook page, simply add one of the following three phrases to your comment/message when ordering:
Mel, you're the best!
This fabric is fabulous!
I can't wait to stitch this up! 

The three phrases above are your discount code :) 

We all know that Facebook can be a little wonky sometimes, so to make the ordering process go as smoothly as possible, please follow these steps :)
1.  Comment on the photo of the listing you would like to purchase with the amount of yards you would like to order, your email address that you would like for the invoice to be sent to, and one of the three discount phrases above.
2.  Since Mel doesn't always get notified whenever someone leaves a comment (silly Facebook), please also send her a message through Facebook with a short description of the fabric you would like to purchase and all the info you have previously left on the post.  I realize this sounds redundant, but it is to ensure that if you are the first person to "claim" a fabric in which there are limited quantities, there is documentation of who got first dibs on it. 
3.  From time to time people are unable to send messages through Facebook.  If you are unable to send Mel a message, you should email her at
4.  If you are placing multiple orders, please let Mel know so she can combine them all to one invoice and ship them together to save on shipping costs :) 
5.  If for any reason you do not receive an invoice by 11 AM CST on Friday, May 3rd, you should send her an email with your order info in case it has somehow been overlooked.  We don't want anyone to get passed over by accident! 

Like I've said about 500 times already, Mel is a really great woman to do business with and often let's her customers start "piles."  This allows her customers to continue to shop over a period of time until they fill an envelope or box to save on shipping charges.  Once your envelope or box is full, you get invoiced.  For all of you who may already have a "pile" on hold with Mel, please note that the discount only applies to orders that are paid for during the specified time frame (May 1st at 10 AM CST- May 3rd 10 AM CST).  You may go ahead and ask to be invoiced and have your fabric shipped and, therefore, receive the discount.  If you ask Mel to set aside fabric during the sale, and yet don't pay/have it shipped until a later date, the discount will no longer be valid.  This is to prevent confusion over the next few weeks.  Thank you so much for understanding! 
You are welcome to spread the word about the discounts with your friends, but please don't just share the discount phrases, instead direct them to the blog so they can read about it themselves ;) 
I can't wait to see pictures of what everyone decides to sew up with the newfound patterns, fabric, and knowledge!!  Be sure to share photos on both the FF&L and Purpleseamstress Fabric Facebook pages!  If you have any advice you would like to share from your own experience sewing with knits, leave us a comment so everyone else can benefit from it, too! 
Hope you've enjoyed this post as much as I've enjoyed writing it!  Make sure you go like Purpleseamstress Fabric on Facebook and have fun shopping! 

Now go sew something magical!!
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