I had a wonderful time at the Mimi G Style Sewing Fashion and Style Conference this weekend. I met some amazing women who all share my passion for sewing and they were all extremely talented. One of the things I like best about conferences like this is I always come home feeling more confident in my ability to create. This particular conference was slightly outside my comfort zone because I don’t sew clothes on a regular basis! I have just recently starting sewing more clothing because of my two girls who both like the idea of designing their own clothing. My youngest daughter, Krissy, is already a fantastic designer with great vision, so what kind of mom would I be if I didn’t encourage that vision!
As I have mentioned in Facebook Posts and on the blog before, Mimi G is an amazing woman. She has a wonderful sense of style, she has a great deal of sewing knowledge but more importantly, it is impossible to be around her and not be inspired to explore your own creativity. This conference gave great tips on everything from the basics of sewing to how to take your own designs from a paper drawing to a true-to-life piece of clothing.
As promised to the ladies at the conference, here are the tips that I shared about using Sulky products at the conference:
Sulky Threads – Sulky threads are decorative threads, not construction threads and it’s important to know the difference. Sulky threads, although very strong, are not going to give you the strength that you need to really hold a garment together, but what Sulky threads can do, is give your garments those beautiful finishing touches. These touches like topstitching, embellishing or adding metallic threads and embroideries are often what give your garment the professional “not homemade” look. I want people to know that I made my outfit because it is one of a kind, it fits perfectly and it’s fabulous, not because it looks homemade.
As Mimi said at the conference, using a top quality thread like Sulky for all your topstitching on a garment is often what will set your pieces apart from others.
Using Sulky Metallic Threads – Several ladies asked about using Sulky Metallic Threads. I have been using Sulky Metallic Thread without any issues for years because of 3 simple tips: I use a Schmetz Topstitch 90/14 needle, I lower the tension on my sewing machine to about 2, and I use Sewer’s Aid on my needle. I also put my Sulky Metallic Thread on the vertical spool pin instead of the horizontal one (this is particularly important with the flat threads like Sliver™ and Holoshimmer™), and I sew a little slower (I guess that is really 5 simple tips). It really is that easy. Take out a practice piece of fabric and try it on your own machine to see what the right tension and speed is for your machine. Once you get everything set, you will be adding Sulky Metallic Thread to everything from pencil skirts to pillow cases! (NOTE: I will do a whole post about embellishing with Sulky Metallic Threads soon.)
Using Sulky Tear-Easy™ and Cut-Away Plus™ Stabilizers for patterns – If I have a sewing pattern that I know I will use more than once, or I am going to make that particular item in more than one size, instead of cutting into the original pattern, I will trace the pattern in the size I plan to use onto Sulky Tear-Easy Stabilizer. I like Tear-Easy for this because I can put it on top of the pattern, see right through it and trace with a fine-point, permanent-ink pen. Be sure to transfer all the markings as well. The best part is that Sulky Tear-Easy Stabilizer will fold up and fit in the pattern envelope with the original pattern! How easy is that?
If I have a pattern for something that I think I will make a whole lot of, like the Mimi G Obi Belt, I will make the pattern out of Sulky Cut-Away Plus Stabilizer. It is much thicker and will hold up to an endless number of cuttings. I simply trace the pattern with all the markings onto the Sulky Cut-Away Plus Stabilizer and cut it out. When I am ready to use it, I will place it on top of the fabric and trace around the Sulky Cut-Away Plus with a chalk marker. The thickness of the stabilizer gives you an edge to keep your marking line accurate.
Sulky Tender Touch™ Stabilizer – This stabilizer is one of my favorites! It is a fusible stabilizer that will add body and stability to your fabric without changing the hand of the fabric. That means if you are making a maxi-dress and you want that knit to be a little easier to handle, have some added stability but don’t want to lose the softness or stretch of the fabric, Sulky Tender Touch Stabilizer is perfect. This is also a good alternative to lining.
You have my permission to practice! As Mimi G said many times at the conference, practice is what really counts. Stop being afraid to mess up your fabric. Stop letting the fear of doing it wrong keep you from getting started. I will tell you a secret. You will do it wrong at least once, we all do! Give yourself the grace to make mistakes and learn from them. How else will you learn?
Now get out some fabric, some Sulky Threads and Sulky Stabilizers and start playing. You don’t even have to make anything. Just start learning how well your sewing notions play together. This is truly how you will begin to Create With Confidence.