Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Meet Me in the Study Hall!

You may have have heard that May is Skirt Month here at Sewtropolis, and our first intermediate class in May, is Anna Maria Horner’s adorable Study Hall skirt.

It’s a classic a-line silhouette with box pleats in front and back and a banded hem. The techniques you’ll learn in this intermediate class include inverted box pleats, installing a zipper, and working with two fabrics in one garment. 

featuring Central Park by Kate Spain
As you can see, this skirt is preppy and sassy, ready for knee socks or sandals. I was thrilled at the fit, and the pattern is very straightforward to cut out and construct. You’ll look as smart and accomplished as you’ll feel once it’s completed as well!

One of the things that makes this project intermediate beginner is that it has more seams and pattern pieces to work with than classic beginner projects such as the adorable wrap skirt class that kicks off our month. But the cutting layout on this pattern is easy and sensible, and it’s still beginner sewing, just with a few more construction steps.
Class details
Dates: Thursday, May 5, 6-8p and Thursday, May 12, 6-8p
Cost: $65 plus materials
Materials: Study Hall Skirt pattern, thread, 1.5 yards main fabric, 1 yard contrast fabric, 9” zipper & hook & eye.
Skill level:3/Advanced beginner
Building on the basics, level 3 classes focus on techniques. The level 3 student is comfortable working with minimal instruction and can complete beginner projects independently. Sample level 3 project: A-line skirt.

Instructor: Laura

Call the shop today to register! (612-827-9550)


Friday, April 22, 2011

How to use that Rolled Hemmed Foot

A couple of days ago I was using the Rolled Hemmed foot on my machine to hem my circle skirt and thought that it would be a great tutorial for everyone.  

This is what a rolled hemmed foot looks like. Not every machine comes with one, but they are pretty common and finding one to fit your machine should not be a problem. 
Notice the little 'tunnel' in the middle, that's the work-horse of this little gadget.  

 The fabric actually gets fed around and into the tunnel which then creates a nice tight rolled hem.

Getting started is the hardest part, I start with the foot up, I loop my fabric around the 'tunnel' and manually feed the fabric through a little bit till it starts to create a rolled hem.

 I then lower the presser foot and if the fabric managed to stay inside the tunnel I lower the needle into the fabric.  

 Once you have that mastered the rest it easy, just go slow, let the machine do the work and concentrate on keeping your fabric lined up where it's suppose to be.
   Notice in this picture how I have the edge of the fabric even with the left side of the inside of the presser foot. 

 Any more than this and you're going to get too much fabric to 'tuck' into the fold.  Any less and it won't roll.
 Done right the hem will have a nice neat rolled hem.


Practice using the rolled hemmed foot on a scrap piece of fabric a few times before tackling a garment.  Once you are comfortable roll the hem of a some cloth napkins and before you know it you'll be hemming your own circle skirt.   

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

May is the Month of Skirts… why not try a wrap skirt?

We are devoting May’s class schedule to skirts! Circle skirts, pencil skirts, study hall skirts, bias cut skirts, a-line skirts… we’ll have something for each and everyone one of you and we’re kicking off the Month of Skirts on May 4th with the wrap skirt!

Here I am modeling the sample skirt!

[wrap skirt in Tina Given’s Birdcage Quiet in Celery]

This class is a level 2 class – if you’ve mastered winding your bobbin and sewing a straight stitch, this class is for you! Not there yet? No worries, there’s still time to sign up for our intro class Sewing Essentials and learn the basics (here’s our class schedule!)

During the wrap skirt class we’ll be covering a few new concepts such as sewing darts, understitching and sewing a button hole. Come to the class with your fabric pretreated and your pattern pieces cut out and you’ll head home a few hours later with a great new skirt!

This wrap skirt is easy to make and easy to wear – the ties wrap underneath the skirt and tie securely at the side – no uncomfortable sliding down! Also, the overlap is nice and wide, making the skirt easy to wear and not prone to unintentional overlap flapping in the wind! With a simple slight a-line shape, the skirt works well paired with flats for a simple casual look, or add a cardigan and boots and wear it to work!


Class details

Date: Wednesday, May 4th, 6 to 9 p.m.

Cost: $50 plus materials

Materials: Kwik Sew 2954, 2 – 3.5 yards of material depending on size, thread

Skill level: 2/Beginner - Once you’ve gotten the hang of using the machine, these classes are the next step. You’ll learn about selecting and using commercial patterns and basic construction techniques. Sample Level 2 project: pajama pants

Instructor: Patty


Call the shop today to register! (612-827-9550)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Finished: My Flower Box Quilt

If you've been in the store and asked for fabric suggestions from me chances are I've pointed out my favorite fabric from Art Gallery Fabrics.  I just can't get over how pretty it is and how NICE it feels!  Think of your favorite button down shirt and you'll get an idea of what this fabric feels like. Crisp, soft, nice hand...  
Pat Bravo is the designer for Art Gallery quilts and I particularly love her style which is bright and very feminine. 

A couple of weeks ago I decided I needed to make a quilt using some of these fabrics.  I chose 8 fat quarters from the Dreaming in French and Modern Affair line and cut them up to create this lap sized quilt. 

 The quilt block is called Flower Box and is a quick and easy pattern for a beginner to intermediate quilter. 
  There are a total of 10 blocks, 5-light and 5-dark.  Each block starts off as a 9-patch and then I cut the edges off each light and added them to the dark blocks and vice versa.
I chose a flannel fabric by Valori Wells for the back because I love a warm fuzzy back on my quilt.  I also love the big bold graphic flowers on this print.  I decided to free motion quilt around the bold flowers, which means I pinned it with the quilt top face-down and quilted on the back side. 

 You'll have to come in and see the quilt, because among all my other technological issues I've had this past month, my camera was one of them.  It decided it didn't like the sand at the bottom of my purse and now won't open and close without much grinding and sticking.  
(I think a new camera is in my future)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Handmade Minnesota Giveaway!

I have been so caught up in the Quilts for Japan that I completely forgot to announce the Handmade Minnesota Giveaway!!  Crazy but true!

I joined the Handmade Minnesota Etsy Street Team right after I opened the store and have been truly amazed at all the creative artist we have in the great State of Minnesota!  I'm excited to be a part of the team and even more excited to be giving something away in order to promote the team!

So what am I giving away?  Well, how about a $25 gift card towards any purchase on-line or in the store!  That's right!  $25 clams, bucks, Washington's or two Jackson's and a Lincoln!    

Want to enter?  Visit the Handmade Minnesota Blog to find out how! 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Tutorial: iTouch Pouch

As promised here is the tutorial on how to make a iTouch pouch. 
First, measure your iTouch.  Mine is 4 1/2" x 2 1/2".  If you were doing a iPhone or other type of phone you'd want to take the depth measurement also.  But since the iTouch is pretty flat I didn't bother with that measurement.

For this project you will need:
  • 2 pieces of fabric that measure 7 1/2" x 5 1/2" (one of the inside the other for the outside of the pouch).  
  • 2 pieces of fabric that measure 6 1/2" x 5 1/2" these will be for the pockets.
  • 1 piece of thick interfacing (I used Pellon 70) that measures 7 1/2" x 5 1/2",
  • 1 small hair band or 3" of small piece of elastic; and
  • 1 button.

 Take your two pocket pieces (6 1/2" x 5 1/2") and fold in half so you have two 3 1/4" x 3 1/4".  Press

Top stitch 1/8" from the fold. 

 Lay your interfacing down on the table. 

Now lay your inside fabric right side up ontop of the interfacing. 

Lay the two pocket pieces on top of the inside fabric so that the folds are facing one another.  
Line up the raw edges.  
Next take the rubber band or elastic piece and lay it in the middle of one of the shorter ends so that the loop lays to the inside.  (I taped mine down instead of pinning to avoid a big 'pin bump'')

Next lay the outside piece face down on-top of your pile. 

Pin everything to hold in place.

Stitch starting on one long end 2 inches away from the edge.  
Now sew all the way around the pouch stopping 3" away from where you started.  (You will be turning your project inside out through this opening so you'll want to leave plenty of space to do that.)

Clip your corners so that everything will lay nice and flat once you get it turned right-side out.  Once it's turned right-side out press it flat with your iron.  

Top stitch 1/8" away from the edge, going all the way around.  This will not only give your pouch a nice finished look, but it closes up that opening so you won't have to do it by hand. 

Sew your button on by hand to the side of the pouch opposite from where the elastic is.
Voila!  A pretty pouch to hold your iTouch, phone or if you make it a little smaller it will hold business cards, gift cards etc. 
Have fun and post what you make on our flicker page.