All posts in the Technique category

Circle Skirt Pattern Making – Cheat Sheet!

Published July 11, 2012 by MisMandie

This site makes creating a circle skirt in ANY size a snap!

  •  Just start out by selecting the “given c” option and put in your waist measurement (+2-4 inches depending on how fitted you want it and how stretchy your elastic will be) and it will give you the Waist Opening Radius
  • Next select the “given r” option and input the radius of your finished skirt.  See my photo above for how to measure this.   Skirt Length + Waist Opening Radius = Radius of finished skirt.
See the original Circle Skirt post for the tutorial on what to do now that you have your pattern! 🙂

SEWING TECHNIQUES PART 3 – Cutting Fabric with your Cricut

Published April 4, 2012 by MisMandie

I admit it, I have seen several sites that claim it can be done, but was still scared to try it…I worried I’d ruin my beautiful fabric, worried I would mess up my machine…Worry Worry Worry….. but I finally got the courage to try it out tonight and —- IT WORKS!!!!

What you will need:

What to do:

  • Apply the heat and bond to your fabric as per instructions on the package (mine was just iron on with med heat- Very simple)
  • Cut the fabric down to the size you need making sure it will fit on your Cricut cutting mat and place on the mat and load your machine and cut as you would with paper.
  • Now just attach to your project by ironing on.  If you used the light version then you can machine sew the applique for a decorative effect if you used the heavy then DO NOT use your sewing machine as I am told it will gum up the needle and bobbin housing!

Settings I used:

  • Speed:Min
  • Pressure: Med
  • Blade Dept: 6
  • Multi Cut: 3


Published April 3, 2012 by MisMandie

I know it is scary and tedious, but prewashing your fabrics before you cut and piece them together will help you to avoid wasting time and money making an adorable new outfit and having it ruined or shrunk the first time you wash it!  It is not complicated, but here are a few tips to help make it a little less scary!

  • Shout Color Catcher Sheets are your friend!  New fabric is very likely to bleed at least a little, so I always throw 1 in with my prewash loads (See photos 7&8 it is a little hard to tell, but in person you can see that one turned out blue and the other was coated in glitter)
  • ZigZag Stitch all around the borders of your fabric as close to the edge as you can to avoid/limit fraying and unraveling of the fabric.  (You will see in the photo 6 what it looks like when you skip this step – my mother in law gave me some of her stash when I took up sewing and she never did this so I was able to get a photo of hers to show you!)
  • Measure each piece before and after washing.  If you get more than 2 inches of shrinkage wash again until the shrinkage is less thank 2 inches.
  • Since you have the measurements anyway, this is a good time to start a Stash Inventory.  I use Excel spread sheet (see photo 2).  It is nice to have a list like this so that you know at a glance if you have enough of a certain material to complete a project, and I try to include a link to the fabric info so that I can get more if needed.
  • There are many complicated guides and charts that will show you how to wash each type of material (hand wash, machine cold, machine hot, with or without soap……the lists go on and on and frankly, make my head hurt!  So here is the way I do it…however you will be washing the final product is how you was the fabric!  For me this means machine wash warm and machine dry med heat. (my settings for pretty much EVERYTHING)

Sewing Techniques Part 1 – Feeding the Fabric

Published April 3, 2012 by MisMandie


Believe it or not the two stitches above were both sewn whit the exact same stitch, tension settings and speed.  So why do they look so different?  Propper Feed technique.  It is more important than it sounds..

The top is how the stitch is supposed to look (a tripple ZigZag) the fabric was fed through the machine gently from the front.  The bottom seam was fed by pulling the fabric from behind the needle.  By pulling, even slightly you are not allowing the feed dogs to advance the fabric at the proper speed and therefore the needle’s timing will be off from the fabric feed and causing missed stitches leaving an erratic pattern as shown above.  In addition to a sloppy look and less strength in the stitch, you also run the risk of breaking your thread and or needle when you pull the fabric.

Trust me, it is hard to resist the urge to pull the fabric through faster especially at 3 am when you are tired and just want to be done already, but slow down and save your self time in the long run.  No one likes to spend anymore quality time with their seam ripper than absolutely necessary! 😉

%d bloggers like this: