Scrap Bustin’ or Bust!

As we come to the close of the year, the time for reflection seems to inevitably set in – Did I accomplish all of last years goals? Was there something I am really proud of? Something that didn’t go as planned? And the list goes on and on…. But I can honestly say that 2018 was one heck of a year and this blog was one of the many goals I had and I am so proud of the progress!

You may have noticed that my posts to date have all featured incredible fabrics from Phee Fabrics, and there is a reason – the obvious is that the quality is unparalleled! Did you know that all fabrics are from the USA?!? Check it out in the pinned post in the Facebook group . The other major reason for my devotion to Phee is the support, knowledge and overall love I feel from the group, both in my sewing endeavors and life in general.

This group has challenged me and lifted me up countless times in the last 12 months, in a way I could have never imagined. I found myself trying all new fabrics and patterns, from leggings with fancy cuts to open back tops and dresses….even a full blown coat! Most of these projects were completed with the help of the knowledgeable team and the Sew Along Group. Alas, some projects still sit half complete….

I spy a half finished Polartec Claire Coat on the mannequin

But I was given another gift from all of this sewing, SCRAPS!! I am guilty of letting scraps pile up for months until I get overtaken and try to pass them on to anyone or place, but not my Phee scraps! I covet those babies and my most prized are any and all of my Polartec scraps. When Phee first added these to the shop, I wasn’t sure what to make or if I would really love them. But the fabric is beyond gorgeous in color and quality is unmatched! It’s warm and cozy but still perfect for my active lifestyle.

Remember that coat I mentioned? There were a few scraps of Polartec Stretch Twill left and I wasn’t sure what to make with them, but my sewing space inspired me. I know lots of us sew in a basement or out of the way part of the house, and I am no different. My urban living has afforded me a space in our first floor entryway. Don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful, but this space in COLD in the Northeast winter’s! And my feet turn into popsicles. A light bulb luckily went off one day and I decided that I needed to wrap my feet in the Polartec scraps but I didn’t just want a sock or ankle slipper. I wanted “house boots”.

Twig and Tale Tie Back Boots answered my call. This is the shorter boot option but still gives me plenty of warmth and I was able to get them cut from scraps. The pattern calls for more stable fabrics so I added fusible interfacing to the back of the Polartec (note – I would not trying this on the Polartec power wool due to the unique raised backing)


The enclosed elastic was a better option for me since I get tangled up in ties when I am sewing and these warm booties will always be on in my sewing room ♥️

So as we start to look forward to the upcoming year and setting goals, I am going to try and create less waste with my craft and continue to push myself to learn all I can from this invaluable group! What will inspire you in the new?

Cheers to 2019!

No scrap left behind

With the holidays just around the corner, I’m hustling trying to get gifts made.  Hand made gifts are something I truly enjoy to not only make, but to give. But I tend to get carried away and end up having to figure something else out at the last minute….after already spending the money on the first idea. At this point I frantically search for scrap buster patterns that seem meaningful. Something that I can give someone that they will appreciate and use.  This year I’m skipping straight to the scrap buster.

The ‘90’s socks by Made for Mermaids are the perfect scrap buster! It has options for ankle, crew, and knee length….FOR ALL SIZES!!  That’s right! You can make socks for the whole family and all your friends with this pattern! Who doesn’t love homemade socks?! 

The Polartec fabric from Phee Fabrics is perfect for these socks!  It’s a breatheable lightweight fabric that will keep your feet warm and wick moisture away.  I used the scarlet Polartec powerdry for the sock and circular knit for the bands. I hate when my socks slide down but the  circular knit works well to prevent that. If you had some supplex scraps lying around, that would work great too.  You could even put some puffy paint on the bottom to make them not slippery.

Let me tell you, these socks are perfect!! They are warm but still breatheable and I can wear them with my sneakers! I will definitely be making more.  For all those reading this that get gifts from me….act surprised!

Phone Sized Pockets

GreenStyle Creations Brassie Joggers are a quick sew with a comfortable fit.  But they have a small problem- modern technology!  Most women will comment about clothing that “Pockets are life!”  Ready to wear women’s clothing rarely has pockets.  Or if they do, they are tiny little decorative pockets.  About the only RTW clothing item that consistently has pockets are denim jeans.  Real women need pockets!

Menswear has pockets, and I get it that men have to carry wallets, and most women carry purses.  But you can’t carry your purse around all day.  When I go for a walk, I take a house key and my phone (and my water bottle, I get thirsty!)  So I need pockets for my stuff.  And if you have little ones, pockets are a necessity.  “Mama, look at this pretty rock.  Hold it for me.”  Toy cars, snacks, rocks and sticks, you name it, Mama is expected to carry it in her pocket.

The real necessity of course, is your cell phone.  Modern technology has conditioned us to feel lost without our mini-computer.  And if you prefer a larger screen so you can see all those cute photos on your Facebook feed, forget it!  That phone isn’t going to fit in most pockets.  And adding a phone case makes it even more of a challenge to fit.

The Brassie Jogger pocket is a decent size, it just doesn’t feel deep enough to hold my phone securely.  Altering the pocket may sound challenging, but really, it’s an easy modification.  The opening at the top of pocket pieces is around six inches, to give you room to take your hand (and stuff) in and out of the pocket.  So however you alter the shape of the opening, you need to maintain that six inch opening.

I wanted the pocket opening to start about two inches higher than it does.  The purple pocket edge line shows the original shape.  I lined the pocket pattern piece up under the pants front to maintain the proper hip curve.  Then I took my measuring tape, held one end two inches up from the original spot and curved it up toward the waist.  I maintained the six inch opening for my hand, and traced my new pocket opening.  The new opening is shown in turquoise.

Since I also wanted a higher rise (I am tall, and low or mid-rise pants don’t fit well) I added an inch at the top of my pattern pieces.  The pattern currently has layers for low and mid-rise.  I think I’ve read that GreenStyle plans to update the pattern to add a higher rise, but I want to make this pattern now.  I could have used the slash and spread method to add an inch to the rise, but adding it at the top worked.  Bonus- it also made the pocket an inch deeper!

I also traced my new pocket curve onto my fabric and made a one inch wide pocket facing.  I prefer a facing to just turning the top edge under and stitching.  I think it adds crispness and stability to your pockets.  I lengthened the inseam of my shorts to six inches, as it’s a good length for me.  Other than these simple modifications, I simply followed the pattern directions.

Brassie pocket

When Phee Fabrics started carrying Polartec, I wanted to try some.  It is an interesting fabric, NOT the bulky polar fleece stuff you might be visualizing.  It’s a technical anti-microbial fabric with a moisture wicking “power grid”.


The power grid design also makes it super easy to see your grainline and ensure that you are laying out your pattern pieces properly!
power grain

The Polartec Powerdry fabric is lightweight and breathable, so I knew that I would be able to make cute and comfortable shorts out of it.  I hope I have enough of this fabric left to make some joggers or lounge pants, because it is comfortable!

If you’re interested, the top I am wearing is made of Phee Fabrics rayon/spandex using the P4P Essential Tank pattern with the curved hemline.

Brassie tank

So go ahead and add some pockets to your life! 🙂

Adding Zippers to Polartec (or any knit fabric)

Zippers!! A lot of people are afraid to tackle a zipper, but don’t be! They definitely take some practice, but they really aren’t that hard to do. This tutorial will help walk you through the process with some tips and tricks for getting the perfect zipper. Some of the instructions and photos may vary based on your type of sewing machine, so definitely consult your manual as needed, but the basic steps still apply for sewing zippers onto Polartec or any kind of knit fabric.

My son lives in t-shirts and hoodies year round, so I wanted to make him a new hoodie from the gorgeous new Heathered Gray Polartec PowerStretch from Phee Fabrics. I chose the Ziggi Zipper Hoodie from Wardrobe By Me, and went with one size bigger than his measurements so that he had some room to grow.

Let’s get started!

When adding a zipper to knit fabrics, I always use stabilizer to keep the fabric from stretching out of shape while sewing the zipper in place. You are working with a non-stretch material (the zipper tape) and trying to make it fit a stretch material…trust me, stabilizer is your best friend here!

You will need something that is suitable for knit fabrics. My go-to stabilizer is Shape-Flex, a.k.a. SF101, from Pellon.


After you have cut out your garment pieces, you will apply the stabilizer to the edges of the fabric that will be attached to the zipper. For my hoodie, that means I attached a small strip of interfacing to the wrong side of the front center pieces and also to the front center edge of the facing pieces (also on the wrong side). You don’t need a lot of stabilizer here…just a strip about .5″ – .75″ wide and as long as the fabric (minus the SA if desired).

Be careful when fusing the stabilizer! Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s directions and that you are not going to “melt” your fabric. I like to take a scrap of the fabric and a scrap of stabilizer and test it first before trying with my “real” fabric. For the Polartec PowerStretch, I definitely needed to use a pressing cloth so that the high heat and steam needed to adhere the stabilizer wouldn’t damage my fabric.


Once you have your stabilizer attached to the necessary pieces, follow the instructions to assemble your garment up until adding the zipper.

I HIGHLY recommend basting your zipper before stitching – especially if you are working with a facing as well. My hoodie also has kangaroo pockets that I wanted to make sure were lined up correctly.

Take your zipper and place it face down on the right side of your fabric. Here I’ve used clips to hold it in place.


I’ve also marked the top of my zipper outside of the SA. Since I’m using a longer zipper, I will have to shorten it, but I always wait until after I have added the zipper to do so. Also, since I’m using a metal zipper, I need to be extra careful that I’m keeping the zipper teeth out of the SA. Stitching or serging over a metal zipper could damage your machine! I’ve marked my zipper about .5″ down from the top of the front piece, as this pattern has a .25″ SA.


When sewing your zipper, you are going to use a straight stitch. For basting, you don’t even need to switch to your zipper foot yet. I have a narrow teflon foot that I use 90% of the time, and it’s small enough that I usually don’t bother with my zipper foot unless I’m using a zipper with 1″ zipper tape. Then the zipper foot is handy. I also use Microtex needles, which are super sharp and help get through the zipper tape.

For basting, just choose a long straight stitch. I set mine to about 5.


Now, baste the zipper to the first side of your hoodie. Make sure you stay within the SA. In other words, the SA for my zipper is .25″, so I basted at about 1/8″.



Once you have that side basted, unzip the zipper and place it face down on the right side of the other front edge.


Again, you want to mark the top edge the same amount as the other side. Now, while it’s still clipped, you can zip the zipper up and check the alignment. As you can see in the following pic, my bottom hem and the pockets were not aligned.


To fix that, I take my ruler and line it up with the seams on each side and then make a mark on the zipper tape where the seams need to be on the un-basted side.

Now unzip the zipper again, and line those marks up with the corresponding seams and reclip the zipper to the fabric.


Baste the zipper to the second side in the same way as you did the first. Once it’s basted, zip it up and check that everything is still lining up. Perfect!


If things are still not aligned, you can easily take out the basting stitches and shift things around. Once you have everything where you want it, it’s time to sew it in place.

Now is the time to change over to your zipper foot and also set your stitch length shorter – about 2.5-3. My pattern calls for facings, so here I have lined up my facing on top of the zipper before sewing.


Stitch through all the layers to sew the zipper to the garment.

When sewing the side with the zipper pull attached, you may need to move the zipper pull out of the way in order to manoeuver around it. To move the zipper pull, make sure the needle is DOWN and in the fabric, then raise the presser foot, shift the garment, and slide the zipper pull out of the way of your stitching.


Once you have moved the zipper pull, shift the fabric back into place, lower the presser foot, and finish sewing.

And there you have it – your zipper is installed! Easy peasy! 🙂


I hope you have found this helpful, and I look forward to seeing what you make with all of the awesome Polartec fabric from Phee Fabrics!

Polarwool = Poncho Perfection

Everyone loves to maximize the impact of a single yard of fabric… amiright??!!!

Fall sewing is in full swing and I started dreaming about ponchos at the first sign of falling leaves. I pinned this beauty for inspiration and started planning my next make.

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on some of the new Polartec Wool from Phee Fabrics. I’ve never sewn with any Polartec fabric so I was excited to try something different.

The design that I worked up for this poncho is something that anyone can make. It could not be simpler!

The first step is to square up the yard of fabric. The polarwool is ribbed on the wrong side so it was very easy to square up the edges.

Next, I created a 1″ decorative top edge and added hem tape to better reinforce the edge and prepare it for snap closures.


I knew that I wanted my poncho to hit just below my hips so I measured from shoulder to hip and decided on a length of 26″. I created a lower cuff detail by turning up the difference in length to achieve the desired length.

After securing with a twin needle finish, I hemmed the short ends of my yardage.

I then added snaps, starting 15″ from the edge of the poncho.

Here’s a video tutorial for how I added the snaps:

And here’s the finished result!







The Phee polarwool is so soft and warm… absolutely perfect for a poncho. What makes this garment even more fun was taking a performance fabric and turning it into something so chic! And it came together so quickly.
This would be a perfect make for Christmas gifts. One yard of fabric… one size fits most… classy and functional… perfection!!


Polartec Palooza

Starting today, October 8th,2018 Phee Fabrics is introducing Polartec Palooza!! What does that mean? It means over the next month you will see:

  • a huge variety of patterns worked up using polartec
  • have #justthetip Thursday’s where you will get useful tips for using your polartec

The Phee Fabrics Sal Group will host 4 sew along’s starting with the Twig & Tale Trailblazer Vest .  This pattern is drafted for woven but you will learn how to adapt it for polartec and is hosted by Joelle Nicole and starts 10/23/18. Fabric promo code is available now til 10/13/2018.

Starting 11/6/2018 Whitney will be hosting the Clare Coat By Closet Case

Beginning 11/13 Melissa is hosting the Jalie 2795 Zip up SAL. It comes in men, women and child sizes

Beginning 11/27 Whitney is hosting the Thread Theory Henley SAL

Can’t wait for everyone to participate and share your makes!!!