Tag Archive | Joann’s Fabric

I’ll Never Fall In Love Again!

Screen-Shot-2013-11-05-at-9.01.40-AMYou can see it from across the fabric store and there is a whole wall displaying it…

You’re drawn to it and it is so soft, fuzzy and warm, and some of the cutest designs ever are printed on it…

You MUST buy some and, as a general rule, its on sale…

Of course, I am talking about polar fleece and everybody just loves this fabric! Everyone it seems except me. Dare I say it out loud, I may not be in love with fleece or enjoy working with it as much as everyone else on the planet seems to be.

And here is why.

I, like everyone else, love the idea or the concept of fleece fabric. And who wouldn’t? It’s soft, warm, fuzzy fabric with no fraying, no shrinking, it looks good on both sides, it has some stretch but not too much stretch, and all the other fun features that fleece offers a sewer. What isn’t there to love? But, after sewing the last girl’s fleece jacket and starting my next sewing project with fleece, I’m not convinced that it really is all that easy and wonderful of a fabric to work with.

When I first started purchasing fleece fabrics, I planned to only make blankets with it, and who cared if the blankets were a little off grain and the print wasn’t perpendicular, or that it can’t be easily ironed or caused several headaches when sewn with the serger due to the amount of bulk.

DSCN2567For the blankets I was making, I did not give these concepts a second thought, so I was in love with fleece just like everyone else, and I bought any and all I could get to hide in the stash for future projects I had dreamt up. When I decided that I wanted to expand my skill set a little bit and make more than blankets from the fleece, I was at a point in my sewing skills where I did not worry about grain line, or matching designs, or ironing seams. So for the first couple of fleece projects that I made, I just cut it out and sewed it up, and I was still in love with fleece.

DSCN2575 (1)As my sewing skills have advanced over time, I am now far more concerned with thing like grain lines, matching the designs, and ironing the seams. So, when it was time to make the latest girl’s fleece jacket, these things were foremost on my mind. As I cut out the pattern and the froggy’s and rainbows weren’t straight, making it difficult to cut on the grain line and match the designs up, working with fleece became more than just cut and sew.

DSCN2572Looking at the piece of fleece, there were spots where I had to move over 21 inches from the edge of the fabric before I could find a good spot to cut. This was crazy! I decided that the froggy piece of fleece was just flawed until I started my next fleece project. Although not as much, I had to move 9 inches from the edge to get the footballs and helmets to line up.

Does all fleece suffer from this problem?

DSCN2563If it does, I’m going to have to watch WAY more closely when I buy fleece for pieces that I only have to move over 9 inches rather than 21 inches, or hopefully I can find some fleece that I will only lose a couple of inches on the edge. Plus, I’m going to have to buy extra fleece to accommodate for the lost fabric. I wanted to make my latest project a size large but had to switch to a size medium when I lost the 9 inches along the edge.

DSCN2566I turned to the Internet to see if I was alone in my wavering love of fleece, and from what I was reading, I was alone, everyone else seems to love fleece, but I did find several article titled, “How to sew fleece.” So, maybe you just have to learn the skill of sewing with fleece, just like learning to sew knits, furs, silks, actually any and all other types of fabrics. Maybe after learning some lessons about sewing with fleece, I will then be completely in love with fleece like so many others are.

Well I ldid learn a lot from the articles that I read on how to sew fleece, and I am excited to try out some of the things that I learned.

Luckily, I have my next sewing project involving fleece all cut out and ready to sew, so stay tuned to see how it turned out!

Until next time, sew forth and hopefully fall in love again.

But It’s Too Hot

Because we had such a cold winter this past year, the husband has wore his heavy fleece robot bathrobe all winter long, and has been nice and toasty in it. As the seasons are starting to change and the weather is starting to warm back up, I am starting to hear murmuring about how hot and heavy the robot bathrobe is. When I found the husband looking for his old worn out bathrobe for the coming summer months, I knew it was time to make him another lighter and cooler bathrobe for the summer months.

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IMGI got out the pattern that I had used when I constructed the robot bathrobe, but with our recent change in body size, I decided to try a newly purchased pattern, Simplicity 5314 instead. I purchased this pattern awhile back on one of Jo-Ann’s 5 for $5 pattern sales. I started by taking some quick measurements of the husband, but decided that since he would want a roomy big bathrobe, I would just make the XXXL size. Next came what fabric to use? I showed the husband the terry cloth I had picked up at Walmart for $1 per yard, but he cringed at the sight of the baby blue color of it. So, the next time we were at Joann’s, he spotted some nice flannel with monsters on it and I picked that for his next bathrobe. At the cutting table, I told the lady helping us that I needed 5 yards. There was 8 yards left on the bolt. Since I refuse to pay Jo-Ann’s regular prices for fabric and I would be use my coupon, I told the lady to give me the whole bolt, and I am glad I did. After putting the fabric through the washer and dryer, it shrank several inches. It was now only 40 inches wide, not 45. and at least 1/2 yard shorter. Wow. I was sure glad I had gotten the extra fabric.

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P1020777 - Version 2Too scared to cut into the expensive monster flannel, I decided I could use a new bathrobe too. This would give me the chance to muslin the pattern before cutting into the husband’s fabric. So, I dug out the baby blue terry cloth from the stash. I decided since I would be making the XXXL size for the husband, I would make the XXL size for me. I traced both sizes of the pattern and cut my size out of the terry cloth and proceeded to start sewing. Sewing with the stretch of terry cloth is alway interesting but things were going along just fine until it was time to try the bathrobe on. When I pulled the bathrobe on, it was HUGE. The shoulder seams went to my elbows, and the bottom of the armscye was at my waist, and it was longer than I am tall. It was way, way too big! And I decided that it was going to take major reconstruction to fit me. I asked the husband to try it on and, of course, it fit him much better. Begrudgingly, he agreed that with a little bit of altering, this blue terry cloth bathrobe could be his summer robe. That was very sweet of him, but I had not yet given up hope of this thing being my bathrobe.

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IMG_0022Because this bathrobe was just big all the way around, I started my alterations by tracing the size XL pattern and placing its pieces on the bathrobe. With my sliver of soap, I traced the XL size on to the fabric. I then stitched on my soap lines. It was not an exact match. I had to fudge where some seams were already sewn together (I was not in the mood to unpick terry cloth), but it worked out fine in the end. After sewing it, I cut off the extra and tried the bathrobe on again. Wow, it so much better fitting already! The armscye was still very low, so I stitched the side seams up higher into the sleeve to solve that issue. I now had a bathrobe that fit quite well. It was still big and oversized, but it was the right amount of oversized this time around. Even more importantly, I knew what size and alterations like raising the armscye to make on the husband’s bathrobe, so I was now ready to cut into the monster flannel without fear of flubbing it up.

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P1020779The flannel was a dream to work with after working with the stretch of the terry cloth. It cut and sewed up great. It was not long before I had something for the husband to try on. Because of all I had learned while fitting my bathrobe, there were only a few tweaks needed to his before the fit was just what he wanted. I am anxious for the husband to wear his new flannel bathrobe and give it a proper tryout. He has always previously had knit bathrobes and I wonder if he will miss the stretch of the knit that the flannel does not have. If he does not mind the loss of the stretch, I think I will make me a flannel bathrobe next time too.

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As I looked at the fun monster design on the husband’s bathrobe, I became jealous that mine was just a boring old baby blue one, so I decided to add some embroidery to my bathrobe to spice it up a little. It was not hard for me to pick a design. I chose a Peanuts design that I had always wanted to try out, but I had just never found the right item to put it on. My bathrobe was the perfect choice to try it out on. One problem that arose was that I did not place the design very well. I placed it where I would have placed it on a shirt. I did not take into account IMG_0018that the robe is so oversized, or the cross over of the fabric when the robe is closed, or the fact that I will wear the bathrobe without a bra on. Anyway, the design is stitched where it is and I can’t change that now, but I did learn another valuable lesson regarding embroidery design placement on bathrobes. Besides that, no one but the husband is ever going to see me in my bathrobe. And he is happy that he does not have to wear the baby blue terry cloth, and I love having a Snoopy and Charlie Brown on my bathrobe.

The Husband Must Really Love Me

You will never believe what the husband did. It just proves that he really loves me. The husband bought me fabric! Yes, you heard correctly and I will repeat it. The husband BOUGHT me FABRIC!

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Remember my blog post about the online fabric sale that Joann’s was having? Remember the piece of Mickey Mouse fabric that sparked me to actually make a purchase? Remember that the next day, I received an email telling me that that fabric was out of stock and would not ship? Well, the husband received an email later stating that that particular piece of Mickey Mouse fabric was back in stock and could be purchased at the sale price. The husband knew that I wanted that piece of fabric very badly and that I was disappointed when it had not shipped with the original order, so he decided to buy me a couple of yards. Isn’t he so sweet?

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It arrived the other day and I am excited to get creative with this piece of fabric and see what I can design and make from the husband’s fabulous purchase for me.

Oops, I Did It Again

Bought fabric. Yes, I bought more fabric. I admit it. I said it out loud. Even though the stash has worked its way out of the closet it’s stored in and is headed out the door of the room it lives in, I still felt the need to add more to it. I received an email from Joann’s Fabric stating that all fabric was on sale. Usually I can resist temptation and not even look, but not the other day. All fabric on sale. SALE?!? FABRIC?!? FABRIC SALE?!? Hmm… Let’s just see what I might think I need!

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Because I am not the biggest fan of buying fabric online, when I look on line at fabric, I limit it to licensed cottons, flannel and fleeces. That way I know what I will have when it arrives. So, I start by checking out the Mickey Mouse prints and I found one that I fell in love with. I quickly added it to my cart. I then went looking for a free shipping coupon.

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Yay!

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I found a free shipping coupon but with a minimum purchase.

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Darn!

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So, I returned to shopping to try and meet the minimum purchase. Of course it was no problem to meet and exceed the minimum purchase after checking out the rest of the Disney prints, the Snoopy prints, and the other licensed prints. Another Mickey Mouse print, a Snoopy print and a Marvel Comic print were added to the cart with hardly a second look. When I finally looked in my cart, I decided to click on check out before I found more. Pleased with my selection, I now had to forget about it and wait for it to be shipped.

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All was good until the next day when I received an email informing me that the first piece of Mickey Mouse fabric, the one I fell in love with, the one that prompted the purchase of the other pieces in the first place, was out of stock and would not be shipped with the other pieces. Argh!

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Oh well, the other pieces have arrived and they are awesome. I decided not to just pack them into the stash but to let them set in my line of site and see if they can become something more than just stash. Hopefully you will see some great new posts soon of what I decided to create with these new pieces.

Just Sewing It In

It sounds pretty simple of course, but it is not really. Let me explain. I spend a lot of my sewing time having epic battles with interfacing. A commenter to one of my posts of interfacing frustration said to stop using cheap interfacing or to use sew in interfacing rather than the iron on interfacing that I have been such a fan of for years now. Since the only stores I have to buy interfacing from are Joann’s or Walmart, I can only buy what they carry, and they seem to only have the cheap interfacing. I could order more expensive interfacing on line but I don’t know what I will get without seeing and feeling it first. With that, I decided to try some sew in interfacing on the next shirt that I made the husband.

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When it came time to cut out a new shirt for the husband, I grew leery of trying the sew in interfacing on his shirt so I decided to make a child’s shirt first and try it on that instead. I figured it was less fabric and interfacing wasted if it didn’t work out. I did not think that you needed to preshrink interfacing so I cut out the shirt and the interfacing and started to sew. I did preshrink the fabric before I cut as I always do. Later, I read online many horror stories of people not preshrinking their interfacing first and I panicked. I then proceeded to wash all of my sew in interfacing, cut, sewn or not. It did shrink a little in the washing and drying process, but probably not enough to make a difference on this small shirt. I do feel better now though about using the interfacing and not having to worry about it shrinking after the garment is finished.

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As I basted the sew in interfacing to the fabric, I quickly learned that it was not as easy as I thought it would be. First, I tried using long stitches to baste the interfacing to the fabric but quickly learned that I liked smaller stitches better. When I remembered that pins are my friends, I found that rather than basting, I could just pin the sew in interfacing and the fabric together and I got a good result as I sewed, especially if the pieces were small. Next, I learned that you really have to watch the stretch of the fabric. You don’t want to let the fabric stretch as you sew it to the interfacing. They need to match and match flat. Keeping it flat was not as easy as it sounds either. For me, the fabric sewn to the interfacing wanted to bubble in the middle as I sewed the shirt together, which is what the basting or the pinning was not suppose to let happen. Argh!

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So, in conclusion, what I learned is that using sew in interfacing is a skill like any other with sewing. There is more to it than just sewing it in. Also, I learned that I need lots more practice with the sewing in of sew in interfacing before I can say I have mastered the skill.  So, I will keep sewing with it and learn this new skill of using sew in interfacing.

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P.S. The construction of the child’s shirt has been complicated, not so much because of the sew in interfacing but because of my inexperience and lack of skill in constructing a slit placket. I’ll talk more about that problem in a later blog post though.

I put a Curse on You, You evil Fabric Sale you!

Joann’s last sale featured some basic sewing supplies I was running low on, so I decided to take a journey to the sale. Before we left, the husband handed me an emailed coupon for 20% off my purchase including all regular and sales prices. Excited at the thought of saving even more on the supplies I needed, we headed for the store.

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When we got to the store, my list of needed supplies was quickly put in my pocket as the first rack of fabric was all leftover holiday prints 60% off. 60% off was a great price but then add my 20% off on top of that and I was in sale heaven! I quickly filled the cart with bolts and bolts of wonderful fabric which included holiday Snoopy and Mickey Mouse in both cottons and fleeces. After the cart was too heavy to push, I made my way to the cutting tables to have it cut.

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On the way to the cutting tables, I passed the licensed prints, at 40% off for the sale. You can do the math, 40% sale plus 20% coupon. How much more can I fit in the cart? How much more can I fit in the trunk of the car? How much more can I fit in the stash? Without answering these important questions, several more bolts of precious fabric made its way to the cutting table with me.

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After spending a fair amount of time at the cutting table, the husband, who is a real trooper, reminded me of the list of supplies that we really came for. It did not take long to pick those up and then we were off to the registers.

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After ringing up my piles of fabric and needed supplies, the young man behind the register handed me a coupon for 30% my total purchases for next week. The husband about burst into tears and I started to plan my trip to Joann’s next week to shop the sales again.

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And yes I do have to keep reminding the husband that if the apocalypse happens in the near future that I will always be able to trade fabric for food. If it wasn’t for that, I’m unsure he would let me continue to purchase more and more fabric for the stash.

How Much Fun Can One Yard of Fleece Be?

After enjoying the memories of the jacket I made for my nephew so many years ago, I decided it was time to make another one. As I dug through my patterns looking for the pattern I used make the nephew’s jacket, I ran across McCall’s 3387. I bought this pattern ages ago and made two sweatshirt fleece jackets from it for my nieces also many years ago. The sight of this pattern brought back many even more great sewing memories, furthering my excitement to make another jacket.

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I started in the stash and quickly found this piece of polar fleece I had purchased on sale at Joann’s. I bought this piece to make baby blankets with, but because the design was not very babyish, I only bought one yard. So, that quickly determined that I would be making a size 3 jacket. I traced the pattern and cut it out quickly, excited to get the sewing underway. I did take the time to wash and dry the fabric before I started cutting like I always do. I’ve read that polar fleece does not shrink but I just was not willing to take the chance. I decided not use use interfacing on it either because I felt that the polar fleece could stand on its own.


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The sewing process got off to a rough start when I made the pockets backwards and I had to recut out new pockets. Luckily, I did not mess up the fronts of the jacket or I would not have had enough fabric. Because of this little bump, I decided to read the pattern guide fully and follow it a little closer.  With that, the sewing from then on went like a dream. Polar fleece is so fun to sew with! It behaves so well while being sewn together, holds a fold and does not stretch or stray like so many other fabrics. My serger did not even complain about sewing on it. I totally enjoyed sewing this jacket together. I thought that the zipper was going to be a challenge, but it went in easily with no hassles. The only change I would make to the construction of this pattern is at the hem. I would have finished the hem at the zipper differently than how the pattern guide directed.

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The finished jacket turned out great. I had a wonderful sewing experience from start to finish and as always, I learned one or two things during the construction, especially when it came to the pockets. I am excited now to make more jackets and I now see my polar fleece stash in a whole new light. Instead of just blankets, I see a whole new world of possibilities in my current stash. I want to make the other two styles of jackets in this pattern next. I am also flooded with ideas of variations of this pattern. Plus, over the years, I have purchased many jacket patterns in various styles and sizes that I have not tried yet. I can’t wait to get started.