SeamstressTag – Getting to know me

A few weeks ago, Stefanie of Sea of Teal tagged me to participate in #SeamstressTag – a way for other sewists to get to know one another. I’ve been following Stef on Instagram (@seaofteal) for a while now. I enjoy seeing what she makes as well as the beautiful photos of nature and sunsets. And I discovered from her SteamstressTag post, that her photos are taken by her talented husband. He takes great photos of her and she always looks great!

She has a lovely photo of herself in her blog post that I decided to see if I could find a blog photo that didn’t have a lighting issue. I’ve made a lot of garments using black fabric (so hard to get the exposure right!) and I’m slowly getting better with using the timer on my camera. I went all the way back to 2015 to find this photo I took of my Deer & Doe Chardon skirt (blogged here) and wearing a velvet vintage hat.

Deer and Doe - Chardon Skirt - sewing pattern - SeamstressTag

Stef has given me a set of questions to answer as part of #SeamstressTag. Here are the questions and my answers:

1) Who are you?
This is an interesting question. My first response is a list of nouns (woman, wife, sister, daughter and so on) but that doesn’t really say much, does it? So here are a few random facts. I grew up in upstate New York with three sisters – one older and two younger, no brothers. My parents liked musical theater. When we traveled to New York City (a 4.5 hour road trip), we’d sometimes sees a Broadway musical. The ones that stand out the most are Annie and The King and I, starring Yul Brynner, during his final Broadway run in 1985 before he died of cancer later that year.

I live in Berkeley, California, which is in the northern part of the state. It gets cold in the winter in Berkeley – but not usually cooler than 40-something degrees Fahrenheit (about 4 degrees Celsius). Los Angeles is roughly 376 miles (604 km) south of Berkeley. It’s L.A. that has the warm weather, palm trees and beaches usually associated with California.

When I’m not sewing, I’m writing, editing or managing copy for a variety of clients.

2) When & why did you start sewing?
My mother taught me and my sisters to how to use her sewing machine. I can’t remember how old we were when she gave us the basics on threading the machine and using the straight stitch. She made all of our clothes, such as the ensembles we’re wearing below, when we were growing up. I’m wearing the white top with red shorts, petting the goat.

Sisters wearing clothes made by mom

English wasn’t my mother’s first language so she just looked at the step-by-step illustrations to figure out how to construct the garments. I remember many trips to Jo-Ann Fabric over the years to buy fabric – that was back when Jo-Ann’s was primarily a fabric store.

In junior high school, I took a mandatory home economics class and we all sewed stuffed animals from kits. I made a whale. I really enjoyed that class and learned how to sew fake fur. I sewed off and on throughout college – making some of my first hats on my mom’s Singer Golden Touch when I was home on break. I didn’t use a pattern. I just experimented, trying to copy hats I saw that I liked. After college I didn’t sew for years and years.

In 2009 I got a machine as a Christmas gift and began sewing again, making dresses from vintage patterns and sewing other garments. I forgot how much I enjoyed sewing and began sewing knit fabrics, which was new for me back then. Two years later, I started this blog.

I continue to sew because I get so much pleasure from it. I love having a finished garment to wear. I also enjoy seeing what other sewists make on Instagram.

3) What is your favorite or proudest make?

I don’t think I really have a favorite make. But one of the dresses I wear most often is my first Anna dress, a By Hand London pattern, which I made with a border print in 2014 for Sewing Indie Month. It was a finalist for the Dressed to the Nines sewing contest. I wore it to a wedding last summer. The fabric is from Britex Fabrics. I’ve also worn the dress to a Bay Area Sewists meetup at Britex. (Thanks to writing this post, I found the better photos from the original photo shoot and just updated some of the photos in the blog post.)

By Hand London Anna Dress - border print fabric - SeamstressTag

4) What is your most disastrous make?

I don’t know think I’d call it disastrous but probably the most challenging make was when I had to figure out a lot of pattern adjustments to make the Thread Theory Newcastle Cardigan for my husband. The pattern is drafted for slim figures and I had to make many adjustments that I had never done before to get it to fit right. I made the largest size and it was too tight everywhere. i nearly gave up. It took me three tries to get it right. You can see some of my adjustments in this post.

5) Where is your favorite place to go fabric shopping?

I’m really lucky to live in the Bay Area where we still have family-owned and -operated fabric stores. I live within walking distance of Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics in Berkeley, which carries a wide array of fabrics and indie sewing patterns. San Francisco’s Britex Fabrics has four floors of fabric and is easily accessible via public transportation – just a 23-minute train ride from where I live. And just a few stops from Britex is Fabric Outlet in the Mission District in San Francisco.

Britex Fabrics in San Francisco and Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics in Berkeley

6) What is your most used pattern?

I have made four different Deer & Doe Chardon skirts so it’s definitely one of my favorite patterns. (Here are some links if you’d like to read about the other three, besides the floral one pictured above: my black-and-white Chardon, my maxi Chardon in an African wax print, and my linen Chardon (pictured below). I’m planning on making one or two more this year. I just love the inverted pleats which are great for wide hips.

Deer and Doe - Chardon skirt - linen fabric - csews.com

7) Your most dreaded sewing task is…

Making pattern adjustments for my husband. He’s a big guy and all the adjustments are different from anything I do for myself. So I really dread making them pattern adjustments but I’m getting better and I get help from other sewists via Instagram (@sewbrooke is particularly helpful because she works as a costumer). Now I tissue-fit first and make as many flat pattern adjustments as I can so I can reduce the number of muslins. I’m hoping I only have to make one muslin of the Kwik Sew cardigan I’m making for him now (fingers crossed!).

8) And your favorite sewing task?

Choosing fabric and hemming – because it means I’m nearly done!

9) What is your favorite ‘sewing entertainment’?

Lately, I haven’t really been listening to anything when I’m sewing on my machine unless my husband is around, then I’ll listen to whatever he’s playing, usually jazz or R&B. If I’m doing hand sewing, I’ll do that in front of the TV.

10) Printed or PDF?

I prefer printed but I also sew PDF patterns.

11) What sewing machine do you use?

I use a Kenmore sewing machine from Sears, which I got in 2009. It’s a good basic machine. Unfortunately, Sears no longer carries sewing machines, which you can read about on here on the Sewing Machine Lady’s website. The Kenmore machines were made by Janome. In 2014, I got a used Bernina 1008, which is a mechanical machine, no fancy electronics. It stitches very nicely but you can’t adjust the pressure of the presser foot which is a problem when sewing knit fabrics. So then I switch to the Kenmore or use my serger (a Janome 204D), which was gifted to me by a generous Bay Area Sewists member at then end of 2015.

12) Do you have any other hobbies?

I’m a hat collector. I haven’t done a recent count but I likely have more than 60 hats now. I’ve been buying and making hats for more than 20 years. I’ve taken a few millinery classes, learning about embellishing hats, covering buckram frames with fabric and even making a sculptural lace hat. In all of my blog photos, you’ll see me wearing one of my hats.

Hat collection

Before a photo shoot, I’ll usually stare at the hats on the bedroom wall or on the small hat rack on the dresser – and then pick one or two to wear with my ensemble. I have many vintage hats and some new hats, too. I made the red hat in the top row using upholstery fabric. You can sort of see the lace hat I made – it’s just below the grey wool beret with the tan button in the middle. The lace hat is sitting on top of a linen and velvet vintage hat.

I don’t have enough room for all of my hats so some are stacked on top of each other. And yes, they do collect some dust. I have a special brush that’s just for my hats. So I’ll just give them a once-over with the brush before I wear them. I have hats in a few hat boxes, too. They are the hats with sequins and feathers. I have a lot of “flat” hats, such as berets that are in the closet.

This is one of my favorite wool berets, which my sister got for me in London more than 20 years ago. This photo was taken by professional photographer Sarah Deragon of Portraits to the People. It was one of the rejects for the editor’s page of a publication I used to edit.

Beret - Chuleenan of C Sews -csews.com

If you want to see a few more of my hats, check out my January newsletter, which has a column showing five of my hats, also taken during this photo shoot. I brought a hat box full of hats that day.

Thanks so much for tagging me, Stef! Now it’s my turn to pick a few sewists I’d like to know better. I’m tagging:

I really enjoy seeing what they make on Instagram and need to visit their blogs more often. They are all very talented and creative sewists whose work I admire. I look forward to their answers!

The questions:
1) Who are you?
2) When & why did you start sewing?
3) What is your favorite or proudest make?
4) What is your most disastrous make?
5) Where is your favorite place to go fabric shopping?
6) What is your most used pattern?
7) Your most dreaded sewing task is…
8) And your favorite sewing task?
9) What is your favorite ‘sewing entertainment’?
10) Printed or PDF?
11) What sewing machine do you use?
12) Do you have any other hobbies?

#SeamstressTag - Getting to know me, Chardon skirt and Anna Dress by Chuleenan of CSews.com

Fashion in Flight at SFO – a history of airline uniforms

Braniff International Airways hostesses in uniforms by Emilio Pucci 1965 Photo credit: Braniff International Public Relations Archives, History of Aviation Collection, UT-Dallas [Fashion in Flight exhibit at SFO]
Braniff International Airways hostesses in uniforms by Emilio Pucci 1965 (Photo credit: Braniff International Public Relations Archives, History of Aviation Collection, UT-Dallas)

The exhibit “Fashion in Flight: A History of Airline Uniform Design,” is  currently on display at the SFO Museum in the international terminal of San Francisco International Airport until Sunday, January 8 (go to Departures, Level 3, pre-security). If you live in the Bay Area, it’s worth a trip to the airport to see this free show, which showcases uniforms from the 1930s to the present, including many created by fashion designers. My favorite uniforms were from the 1940s to the ’60s.

If you can’t get there, you can see some of the uniforms on the SFO Museum’s website here and in this post. I saw this exhibit last month with a Bay Area Sewists member and took a ton of photos. But it was tough to photograph most of the uniforms because they were in display cases behind glass and there was a lot of glare to contend with, as you can see in the photo below.

Fashion in Flight - outerwear

I was able to avoid some of the glare by putting my phone directly on the glass but that limited what got in the shot because I was so close to the mannequins. The ensembles are: TWA Poppy Orange duster raincoat and head covering; Braniff International Airways Gemini IV uniform, overcoat and bubble space helmet by Emilio Pucci; and Hughes Airwest hooded cloak in Sundance Yellow and Universe Blue.

Here’s my photo of the green coat and space bubble hat, taken with my phone on the glass. According to the info in the case, Emilio Pucci designed this outfit for Braniff International Airways. The coat is in “reversible absinthe and apricot” and has a “welted ring collar to meet the bubble space helmet,” which was made from Perspex thermoplastic acrylic. Apparently it was called a “rain dome” and its purpose was “to protect the wearer’s hairdo.”

Braniff International Airways Gemini IV uniform, overcoat and bubble space helmet,
Braniff International Airways overcoat and bubble space helmet designed by Emilio Pucci (1965)

However, the helmet was fragile and not exactly easy to store so it was only worn to greet passengers before they entered the plane and for publicity purposes, such as the first photo of this post. Look closely, the woman on the far right is wearing this coat and helmet.

I’m just going to include a few of my photos and the rest will be courtesy of the SFO Museum. You’ll know which ones they are because they will include photo credit information in the caption from the museum, plus they will be so much better than my photos!

This is one of the uniforms from the 1930s, which also had a hat to go with it. Sorry you can’t see all of the hat. It’s similar to the Transcontinental & Western Air uniform of 1939 worn by the ladies in the photo just below this one. I didn’t note the info on this uniform but it’s likely another version of the 1939 uniform but with welt pockets.

1930s airline uniform
Transcontinental & Western Air uniform

 

Transcontinental & Western Air hostesses 1939 Photo credit: SFO Museum/ TWA Clipped Wings International, Inc.
Transcontinental & Western Air hostesses 1939
(Photo credit: SFO Museum/ TWA Clipped Wings International, Inc.)

Here’s a lovely “air hostess” uniform from the 1940s and comes with a matching hat. Transcontinental & Western Air was the precursor to Trans World Airlines, better known as TWA. (As you can tell, this photo is from the SFO Museum.)

Transcontinental & Western Air hostess uniform by Howard Greer 1944 Collection of SFO Museum Gift of TWA Clipped Wings International, Inc. Photo credit: SFO Museum - Fashion in Flight exhibit at SFO
Transcontinental & Western Air hostess uniform by Howard Greer 1944
Collection of SFO Museum, gift of TWA Clipped Wings International, Inc.
(Photo credit: SFO Museum)

Here’s a closer look at that jacket! Check out the princess seams, buttonholes and fish-eye waist darts.

Transcontinental & Western Air hostess uniform by Howard Greer 1944 Collection of SFO Museum Gift of TWA Clipped Wings International, Inc. Photo credit: SFO Museum
Transcontinental & Western Air hostess uniform by Howard Greer (1944)
Collection of SFO Museum
Gift of TWA Clipped Wings International, Inc.
Photo credit: SFO Museum

The 1950s also had some very nice tailoring. Here’s a 1955 TWA uniform designed by Oleg Cassini.

Trans World Airlines hostess uniform by Oleg Cassini 1955 Collection of SFO Museum Gift of TWA Clipped Wings International, Inc. Photo credit: SFO Museum
Trans World Airlines hostess uniform by Oleg Cassini 1955
Collection of SFO Museum, gift of TWA Clipped Wings International, Inc.
(Photo credit: SFO Museum)

And no exhibit on flight attendant uniforms would be complete without one from Pam Am. There are lovely details on this uniform in “Fashion in Flight.”

Pan American World Airways stewardess uniform by Don Loper 1959 Collection of SFO Museum Gift of Jane Luna Euler/Beatrice H. Springer/John J. Dunne Photo credit: SFO Museum
Pan American World Airways stewardess uniform by Don Loper 1959
Collection of SFO Museum, gift of Jane Luna Euler/Beatrice H. Springer/John J. Dunne
(Photo credit: SFO Museum)

The ’60s had some wildly varying looks. The early ’60s still had some of the elegance of the 1950s. I like this Air France uniform by Christian Dior. I love cropped jackets and A-line skirts.

Air France uniform by Christian Dior (courtesy of Air France)
Air France uniform by Christian Dior (1963)

And then uniforms got a bit more colorful. Check out those boots!

Braniff International Airways hostess uniform by Emilio Pucci 1966 Collection of SFO Museum Gift of Sandra C. A. Thomas in memory of Anne Karin Walker Photo credit: SFO Museum [Fashion in Flight exhibit at SFO]
Braniff International Airways hostess uniform by Emilio Pucci 1966
Collection of SFO Museum, gift of Sandra C. A. Thomas in memory of Anne Karin Walker
(Photo credit: SFO Museum)
Northwest Orient Airlines 1967)
Northwest Orient Airlines 1967

 

United Air Lines stewardess uniform by Jean Louis (1968)
United Air Lines stewardess uniform by Jean Louis (1968)

As you may know, Jean Louis was a Hollywood costume designer. You’ll see his name in many film credits, oftentimes the credit will be “Gowns by Jean Louis.” He’s famous for designing Rita Hayworth’s black strapless gown in the 1946 film Gilda. And he was the costume designer for classic films such as From Here to Eternity (1953) and Bell, Book and Candle (1958).

United Air Lines stewardess uniform by Jean Louis 1968 Fashionaire, a Division of Hart, Schaffner & Marx Hat by Mae Hanauer Collection of SFO Museum Gift of United Airlines Historical Foundation Hat insignia: Gift of Georgia Panter Nielsen Photo credit: SFO Museum
United Air Lines stewardess uniform by Jean Louis 1968
Fashionaire, a Division of Hart, Schaffner & Marx
Hat by Mae Hanauer, Collection of SFO Museum, gift of United Airlines Historical Foundation, hat insignia: Gift of Georgia Panter Nielsen
(Photo credit: SFO Museum)

I love this uniform. Doesn’t she look happy to wear it?

United Air Lines stewardess in uniform by Jean Louis 1968 Photo credit: United Airlines Archive
United Air Lines stewardess in uniform by Jean Louis 1968
(Photo credit: United Airlines Archive)

This Air France uniform was designed by Balenciaga.

Air France stewardess uniform by Cristóbal Balenciaga 1969 Courtesy of Air France Photo credit: SFO Museum
Air France stewardess uniform by Cristóbal Balenciaga 1969
Courtesy of Air France
(Photo credit: SFO Museum)

Uniforms seemed to get more casual in the ’70s. This is a photo I took of the photo on display and of the uniform. The jackets are made from synthetic leather and came in pale pink, red and powder blue. I was surprised to see such casual jackets in “Fashion in Flight.”

Union de Transport Aeeriens uniform designed by André Courréges 1973)
Union de Transport Aeeriens uniform designed by André Courréges (1973)

This is a fun micro mini-dress that was worn with red shorts.

Pacific Southwest Airlines 1973 - micro mini dress worn with red shorts
Pacific Southwest Airlines 1973 – micro mini dress

The 1980s were not so interesting. Check out this uniform designed by Yves St. Laurent for Quantas, which seems rather dowdy and dated now.

Qantas Airways female flight attendant uniform by Yves Saint Laurent 1986 Collection of SFO Museum Gift of Suzanne de Monchaux Photo credit: SFO Museum
Qantas Airways female flight attendant uniform by Yves Saint Laurent 1986
Collection of SFO Museum, gift of Suzanne de Monchaux
(Photo credit: SFO Museum)

I’ll end with a look at some of the shoes on display. These were the official shoes worn with various uniforms.

Shoes worn by flight attendants - Fashion in Flight exhibit - SFO Museum

The black shoe is an oxford from the 1030s. The spectator pumps are from the 1950s. No. 2 is a TWA shoe from 1955 and No. 3 was worn by United Air Lines stewardesses in 1957. The kitten heel shoe is from the 1980s and was worn with the Eastern Air Lines uniform.

What’s your favorite fashion decade?

If you do make it out to SFO to see “Fashion in Flight,” I recommend looking at the work chronologically. The older uniforms are in several display cases in the international terminal. Then there’s a museum room with more recent uniforms on display.

Pan American World Airways stewardess uniform by Don Loper 1959 Collection of SFO Museum, gift of Jane Luna Euler/Beatrice H. Springer/John J. Dunne (Photo credit: SFO Museum)

Q&A with Olgalyn of O! Jolly! + sweater knit kit winner!

Olgalyn Jolly of O! Jolly! Crafting Fashion wearing her color-grown cotton stripe jerseyYou may know Olgalyn Jolly as the textile designer behind O! Jolly!. But long before she got into designing machine-knitted fabrics, she had a career in show business. “I used to be in the performing arts,” says Olgalyn who lives in New York City. “I sang. I danced but I knew it was something that I didn’t want to do forever.”

I chatted with Olgalyn last week via Google Hangouts about how she launched her line of machine-knitted fabrics. During our hour-long conversation, I discovered that Olgalyn had always loved fashion and when she was still performing, she began exploring fashion as her next career. 

I’ve also purchased O! Jolly! cotton and wool sweater-knit fabric from Olgalyn’s shop. They are oh-so-soft and pretty. And you, dear reader, will have a chance to win this lovely sweater knit kit! Olgalyn’s special giveaway for my blog readers includes knitted fabric, ribbing, fusible tape, and thread. Instructions on how to enter the giveaway are towards the end of the interview. (It’s open to all – but if you live outside the U.S., you will get a gift certificate valued at $90.)

Win this O! Jolly! sweater knit kit! To enter go to CSews.com by 4 November 2016.

When Olgalyn was still performing, she bought a knitting machine, which she took with her on the road. After she retired from show business, she produced a fashion line for two seasons but she soon realized that “it wasn’t fashion so much, but how garments were constructed, and the textures that interested me.”

Then she focused on creating one-of-a-kind art coats, such as the ones pictured below, and projects to hang on the wall. Along the way, she married Ken Schafer, a physiological psychologist, designer and maker of music synthesizers, gave birth to their son, and took many years off to home school him.

One-of-a-kind art coat - machine knitted fabric - designed by Olgalyn Jolly of O! Jolly!

Art coat - machine knitted fabric designed by Olgalyn Jolly of O! Jolly!

When Olgalyn got back into textiles, she wanted to focus on creating fabrics. “Someone I worked with years ago contacted me because she wanted some wool jersey fabric she couldn’t find,” says Olgalyn. She knitted it, her client really liked it and she told a friend. Word spread and she began doing custom yardage.

Then she decided to go beyond custom orders and produce machine-knitted textiles to sell to home sewists. Here’s how she expanded O! Jolly! and opened an online shop in April 2015. (For links to her shop, blog, and gallery images, visit her website here.)

After you made the decision to produce and sell knitted textiles to the general public, what were your next steps?

I contacted mills and either they wouldn’t return my phone calls or the amount I wanted was too small. I investigated mills outside the U.S. but their minimum was 250 pounds [113 kilograms] of yarns. Also, the turnaround time was long for everything. [Note: A sweater/jumper is about 1 pound (about .5 kg).]

Then I saw a YouTube video of a new sweater line in Ohio and the designer said he worked with a mill in New Jersey, Fleck Knitwear Company. Peter Fleck, [the president of the company], was willing to work with me. Later through an associate I found another knitting mill even closer to me – American Sweater in the Bronx, which is owned by Adam Endres. Now I’m just a train ride away. I can see it on a machine very easily. And the people are a delight to work with.

Color-Grown Cotton Mesa Plaid
O! Jolly! Color-Grown Cotton Mesa Plaid

Your first knitted fabrics in your shop were sustainable cotton. Tell me more about sustainable cotton.

Sustainable cotton mainly has to do with the growing process. The sustainable cotton I use is grown on farms in California that use a biological pest control method, which means they don’t treat it with pesticides. They use other insects like ladybugs to deal with pests.

The farms are part of the Sustainable Cotton Project, which doesn’t use the toxic chemicals that conventional farms use. They also use less water to irrigate the crops. They use even less water than is used with organic methods. Farmers are more willing to grow sustainable cotton rather than organic because it’s not as much of an initial investment.

Can you describe your design process?

I sometimes try to see a design in nonfabric items. The example I always give is wood grain. I love wood grain. There are ways I can imitate wood grains. Window gratings are an inspiration for design. I like to find designs in things outside of nature as well as motifs in nature. I most likely won’t do a flower. I have done them in the past but I usually like something a little more abstract or geometric.

I like to find designs in things outside of nature as well as motifs in nature.

How long does it take for you to design a knit fabric?

It depends, but from start to finish, from inspiration to when I have the specs it probably between 8 and 80 hours of work, depending on how complex it is and how smoothly the design and development processes move forward.

O! Jolly! Wool Textured Washington Square Knit
O! Jolly! Wool Textured Washington Square Knit

Does your past career as a performing artist influence your textile designs?

Yes, I would say that it does. Fabric doesn’t stay still. You move, the fabric moves. So I’ll take yardage and put it over my arm and move it around. I see how much drape there is. When I’m working with more than one color I look at how the folds go around the body. The fabric changes when it’s folded or draped. If I can’t do this – [Olgalyn holds her arm in front of her bent at the elbow and sweeps it back and forth] – it’s back to the drawing board.

What advice do you have for people who haven’t sewn any sweater knit fabric?

Relax and have fun. The first step is zigzag or serge the raw edges before you wash it. You can even use a straight stitch. The next step is to wash the fabric. Then it will have less of a tendency to run. Washing it and drying it will make the fabric a little more stable.

My next bit of advice is to always practice your stitches on a piece of scrap fabric. It’s especially true with sweater knits. One sweater knit is not like the other. Each has to be treated differently. [Check out her blog Crafting Fashion for more tips on sewing sweater knits.]

One sweater knit is not like the other. Each has to be treated differently.

How do you finish your edges?

Binding your edges is a wonderful way to finish the edges. The edges of a sleeve don’t have to be finished with a rib, it could be a hem. [Read Olgalyn’s blog posts for more info on adding rib bands, part 1 and attaching rib bands, part 2.]

You can hem it, put a band on it or bind it with self-fabric or maybe another knit fabric or add a facing. My recent post is about stabilizing cardigans – using bias fusible tape on the neckline and shoulders to prevent stretching.

O! Jolly!'s example of binding raw edges of sweater knit fabric
Olgalyn’s example of binding edges

How should you wash these fabrics?

You can put the cottons in the washer (cold or warm water) and dryer. For the wool, I use regular detergent and lukewarm water, never warm or hot. I do not recommend drying wool in the dryer. If you washed it in a tub or something you can put it in the washing machine in the spin cycle to get excess water out of it. But I don’t recommend doing the agitation part of the wash cycle unless you’re trying to felt it.

What’s ahead for you in the coming year?

I have been slowly working on some winter fabrics. I still haven’t decided on the yarn. I’m hoping in the next few weeks I can start talking to a mill about producing it. I decided I’m not giving myself a firm deadline for it. When the wool comes, it comes. Believe it or not, I’ve sold wool to New Zealand. Sewing goes on year-round and I have a lot of international customers, too.

I recently started teaching at FIT. I really enjoy my students. I’m also teaching a Sweater Knits Weekend Intensive at Workroom Social from November 12 to 13, sewing cardigan sweaters.

Tell me about the great kit you’re offering for the giveaway, which is open to everyone.

The kit has one of my favorite knits – a textured sustainable cotton along with it a plain rib, which can be used as a band, binding, or maybe an insert. It comes with bias tape and thread so you can get a nice big cardigan out of it or a pullover. It’s all nice and soft.

Here’s what’s in the O! Jolly! kit:

Win this O! Jolly! sweater knit kit! To enter go to CSews.com by 4 November 2016.

The total retail value is $90. Olgalyn will pay shipping to U.S. addresses. Winners outside of the U.S. will receive a gift certificate with a value of $90 USD. Thank you, Olgalyn!

To enter the giveaway, please answer the following question in the comments section of this post by Friday, November 4, 11:59 pm, Pacific/California time:

“What do you imagine is the most challenging about working with sweater knits?”

The giveaway is over so any additional comments are not eligible for entering the giveaway.


I put all the names/comments in a hat and picked a winner. Here’s the video on my Instagram feed (@csews).

The winner of the sweater knit kit giveaway is Josie! She said, “I am worried about maintaining the shape of the desired garment. I have read about zig zag stitching over the unfinished edges to prevent unraveling and it works. But maintaining the shape is intimidating.” Josie – please send me your contact info. Go to my contact page to send me an email.

Thanks to everyone who shared their comments! Olgalyn will read all your comments and attempt to answer your concerns about working with sweater knit fabric or direct you to helpful links on her blog Crafting Fashion.

Read the interview with Olgalyn Jolly + enter to win a great sweater knit kit giveaway (2 yds sweater knit fabric, .75 yd matching rib, 1 large spool of matching thread & 1 yd fusible bias tape): Go to CSews.com by 4 November 2016.

Sewing with lace – a resource list

Beautiful lace at Britex Fabrics - csews.com

Last year Natalie Wiener, the notions manager at Britex Fabrics, gave the Bay Area Sewists a great overview of lace for our Learn about Lace meetup. (I’m the organizer for the group.) She also gave us a really helpful handout with links to lace tutorials and more on lace. I put a version of this list as a page under the Bay Area Sewists section of my blog but it was pretty bare bones – no photos and just URLs.

I think it deserves its own post. So I went through all the links to make sure they still worked, added the article titles, more info on sources and photos from the meetup. All the comments after the article titles are from Natalie, unless otherwise indicated in [brackets].

I took the photos at the Bay Area Sewists meetup at Britex Fabrics. Here are links to some of Britex’s lace fabrics and lace trims. (I wrote a recap of this fun meetup here.)

Recommended Tutorials for Working with Lace

General Lace Info

Eyelash fringe on lace - Britex Fabrics - csews.com

Seams and Finishes

Chantilly lace with roses and sequins - Britex Fabrics - csews.com

Embellishment with Lace (Applique, Insertion, etc.)

Heirloom Sewing

Lace at Britex Fabrics - csews.com

Patterns and Projects

Thank you for this great list, Natalie!

Lace tutorials - a resource list compiled by Natalie of Britex Fabrics - lace seams and finishes, lace embellishments, heirloom sewing, lingerie lace