Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric... Welcome to the Patriotic Quilter where I like to share all things quilty as well as red, white, and blue! Please feel free to look around and enjoy yourself! I would love to hear from you.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

What Am I Sewing Now?

Hi Everyone,

As much as I'm dying to dive headfirst into Talkin' Turkey (from my Bonnie Hunter class--did I mention that I had a class with her last week?) I've been busy with garment sewing--in particular the ice skating costume for my niece.  I mentioned it before and asked if any of you had any advice on sewing a zipper into 4-way stretch Lycra.  The only response I got was not what I was looking for, but still great:  Kathy from Kindred Quilts said that "asking a quilter to sew clothing is like asking Picasso to paint your living room in one color!"  She is, of course, dead on, but nonetheless, I agreed to take on the project.

Today as I was running over 2 hours worth of errands, one of the stops included the fabric store for MORE SEQUINS.  The clerk cutting them for me asked about how I sewed them so I told her I've been zig-zagging over the top of them with monofilament thread onto Lycra.  She said she has sewn with lots of Lycra, but never with sequins.  I took a stab and asked if she put a zipper into a Lycra garment and she said "yes!"  I asked her if she had any tips.  She didn't, other than saying she would zig zag it on.   Then she told me that she sews lots of costumes made of Lycra for...   ...hold on to your hats for this one...     ...male exotic dancer costumes!  Huh!  I bet she does sew in zippers and goodness knows what else!  It was on the tip of my tongue to ask her about "studs" but I decided to stay on my best behavior!

Anyway, here is some of my process:

I am sewing on yards of sequins to this dress.  Here's a mix for you:  sequins, Lycra, and monofilament thread.  Are any of those favorites for you to work with?  I found that if I take my time and go slow, I still screw it up!  No, it just seems that way.  I have broken an entire package of size 90 stretch needles, though.  Two were right in a row.  It's probably a good thing that no one was home but me.

I needed several rows and was considering my choices in marking the spacing when I had a great idea:  I would use the width of my pressure foot to space them.  It worked like a charm, mostly because the pressure foot won't go over the top of the sequins, so I can't get the rows closer together.  The only huge hint here is to make sure the "nap" of the sequins is going the correct way, otherwise, your pressure foot will catch every single sequin.

I worked quite a bit on it today and the end is getting in sight!   I even got the zipper sewn in.  I wasn't able to use the clerk's tip of zig zagging it, though, as my zipper foot only allows for a straight stitch. I am longing for cotton and quilt making!

Speaking of cotton, have you seen all the cute fabric that has come out lately?  In particular, Pam Buda's newest line?  She was kind enough to design it in red, cream, and blue!  The Fat Quarter shop actually sent me a 20% off code in appreciation for my business!  If that isn't enough, I'm off with my friends all day on tomorrow (Thursday) for an area shop hop.  Just the driving will take us over 6 hours to get to the 4 shops we plan to visit.  It's called the Scenic Route Shop Hop and it is.  Last year when we went the dogwood and wisteria were blooming.

One of my friends is considering moving with her husband to a more remote location.  They found a lovey place in the Tellico Plains, Tennessee area.  They were so busy looking at property that she wasn't able to check into the local quilting opportunities.  She asked me if I would check with all of you.  Do any of you know the area--it is southish of Maryville and Knoxville?  She is wondering if there are any shops, guilds, or bees in the area.  Any tips you have would be great!

I better run.  I need to go upstairs and look at my fabric stash to remind myself that I need absolutely NOTHING from the 4 quilt shops we will be visiting.  We'll see how much I come home with.  If you are following me on Instagram, I will keep you posted all day long.

Have a great day!


  1. I hate sewing this kind of stuff! I got my sewing start with garments in junior high home ec, which I enjoyed...until I found quilting. I make the occasional Halloween costume (my daughter gave up figure skating before she got to the costume stage), take up hems for the shorties in the family, and mend. Then I get back to my quilt project as quickly as possible.

  2. Tellico Plains is a nice area--my family lives there--nice access to the Smokey Mountains. There are several good quilt shops in Knoxville area and at one time Knoxville had an active EGA. Sad to say the only needlework shop closed last year. Lots of great quilts and quilters in the Smokey Mts and teachers love to come to Gatlinburg to teach

  3. I used to sew garments a LONG LONG time ago and I'm not sure I would even know where to start now. I can't wait to see the finished costume, I'm sure it will be great.

    Enjoy your shop hop...I'll be watching for you on IG!

  4. I did some sewing of skating costumes when my daughter was skating. I don't remember treating the zippers on lycra any differently, but time may have faded my memory. ;-)
    What you have shown so far looks great!

  5. Loved seeing your sequins, and am waiting for a photo of the finished costume! By any chance are you coming to Quilter's Corner in Midlothian on your shop hop? We have a great selection of CW, and a great sale room ($5.99 yd.) I work there in the afternoon and would love to meet you!

  6. I used to sew all my own clothes before quilting took over. I never stitched Lycra. Was there any you tube help for that? Enjoy today! Wish you were coming farther in to NC!

  7. Southis of Knoxville? How about Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg? They have a festival there in March I believe every year. There has to be shops in the area. If she wants to travel eastish, there are the tri cities of Johnson City, Kingsport and Bristol. There are several shops in Johnson City including Nimble Thimble which was my fave. Also Jonesborough has Quiltfest yearly which has moved to Eastern TN State Univ. in Aug. I think or maybe July. Loved the area for quilting when I lived there in Piney Flats.

  8. There are 2 guilds in the Sevierville/Pigeon Forge area that put on the Mountain Quiltfest every March and it is a good show quilt wise but there class selections and teachers are top notch. This year is was in a new location that was fabulous and allowed a much expanded vendor selection. - It is highly attended and the classes sell -out every year. More information can be found by googling Mountain Quiltfest. The area also has 4 quilt shops now and there is one in Maryville. You can also google quilt guilds in TN and get lots of information. Hope this helps - your friend is moving to a beautiful area!

  9. Have you checked the Quilter's Traveler book? I never leave home without it. Also, you can do a search for Tennessee quilt guilds. Their newsletters would be a big help.

  10. I would do a narrow zigzag for any zippers in lycra.

    Does your zipper foot slide left and right or do you adjust the needle position? My last machine did that as did my mother's Singer.

    I wonder if an invisible zipper would work with lycra?

  11. Hoipe you had a great day checking out the area! Good on you with the lycra sewing - it looks like you have it mastered :-)

  12. Sevierville has the Cherry Pit Quilt Shop once featured in AP&Q Top Ten. I know there are others, but my mind won't recall.

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