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No Fear: Cotton Lycra and Cotton Jersey

Did you think I forgot No Fear Friday? Nope, not one bit. But I am trying to figure out whether my readers would prefer that I blog Wednesda...

Did you think I forgot No Fear Friday? Nope, not one bit. But I am trying to figure out whether my readers would prefer that I blog Wednesday through Sunday, or Monday through Friday. Either works for me. So if you have a chance, can you hop over to this poll and let me know when you are more likely to see my posts?

Today's post is going to be SO much shorter. Whew. I was getting tired of typing up these lengthy not so fun posts. Of course our sponsors are 5 out of 4 and Nature's Fabrics. And this is the last week to enter the linky party before I use a random number generator to pick 3 winners! The drawing will be Friday, March 12 at 11:59pm EST. Next Saturday, March 13, I will post a mini tutorial on how to sew up the tank from the Versatility and then I set you free on the world to sew all the knits! Don't forget to read back through the entire series so you can place all your entries.
Week 1
Week 2
Messed Up Monday With No Fear

So far we already know how to sew our test swatch so we don't run into problems, assemble the shorts, and sew our hems.

So what's different today? Today we're going to use a cotton/lycra waistband INSTEAD of elastic. That's our big change. But let me tell you, once you do this, you can sew anything!

So what is the 1 thing you need to know? Never, NEVER pull or stretch your knit fabric until you absolutely have to. NEVER. Did I say never already? Well NEVER, one more time.

Pictured here is my cotton jersey. I smoothed it out all nice and pretty and then cut with my rotary cutter. See how it stays nice and smooth and has smooth edges. This is what we want. \

If you stretch that fabric for any reason, it will curl. See how my fabric is now curling. NOT FUN! And when it curls, it will distort the seam allowance. And then your garment will look like you can't sew in a straight line. So don't pull on your fabric.

Now this is true of cotton/lycra too. And you're probably thinking, if I can't stretch the fabric, how am I going to sew the yoga waist band? Magic I tell you. Ok, not really magic. Follow me.

The instructions in the Versatility pattern tell you to mark your yoga waist band in quarters and then mark your pants in quarters match these up. If you're working on a smaller size, that's all you need before we head to the machine. But, if you're working on a larger size, you may want to mark the half way points between all those quarters and pin one more time for good measure. Don't stretch it though. Just be gentle. You can see how it is already trying to curl just from handling it? The pins will hold us well enough in place for now,

Now we're at the machine. Ready for the magic? Now we have to stretch the band to fit. First, sew up a few stitches just to tack it in place. Now with needle DOWN, gently stretch the band into place. Do NOT over stretch and stretch your pants waist. ONLY the yoga band. While holding gentle pressure on that band sew until just before your first pin.  You see how it smooths itself out with that first stretch? Can you also see behind the presser foot where the fabric has started to curl? Stop with your needle down. Let go of your fabric. Remove the pin. Go to the next pin. Stretch gently until the band is the same length as the waist portion. Sew to the next pin, etc. Whatever you do, do NOT release the stretch of your band until you get to the next pin. Why? the second you release, that edge is going to curl. And when that edge curls, you can no longer accurately locate the seam allowance. But that first stretch won't curl, until you let it go. So do not let go. :)

Now, you're probably thinking, but what if my kid interrupts me while I'm working, or what if the kids come and pull on all my fabrics and stretch them out, what if, what if, what if?! All is not lost. You just need another step.

Option #1- very gently press the curls out of the fabric. Cotton/lycra is pretty forgiving and will press back to its original size and shape. Remember we are not Iron Man. We are pressing our fabric. See Messed Up Monday with No Fear for more about Iron Man. ;)

Option #2. Guess where the seam allowance is and pretend you don't care. As you practice, you'll learn that you can sort of guess where the seam allowance is even when the fabric curls. I do this ALL THE TIME. But guess what? It is way easier to not have to guess. So if you have a choice, don't get to this part.

In case you didn't believe me, this is the cotton lycra, after I've stretched it to fit into the waistband. See how that curls? Can you imagine having to sew that curved edge into the waistband? UGH. So don't stretch those bands until it is time. :)

That's it. You've done it. You've sewing with interlock. You've sewn with jersey and you've used cotton/lycra too. All you need now is to see how to sew neck and arm bands and you'll know everything you need to know to tackle your fear of knits! Check back next Saturday to see who wins the 3 prizes and to see how to sew the arm and neck bands.

I want to see your work. So today's Linky Party choices include showing me your shorts with a cotton/lycra yoga band. Either photographed flat OR on your model. Share share share. :)

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  1. Hi - great BLOG post. Sadly, I can't link a picture with LINKZ as all I have are pictures on my computer. They are not hosted anywhere, so no URL. I made some B & T Harem shorts.

    1. If you feel comfortable putting them on facebook, you would then have a link. :)

  2. I don't know how to link something. Do I just put the web address here? I would love this fabric!!

    1. Jan, you click the "add link" button at the bottom of the post and you can add in your link. Good luck!

  3. I would love to give it a shot but I'm in the midst of what has been dubbed "The Furball Occupation of 2016" and my sewing room isn't available. :(

  4. It's my birthday today! I would love to win!

  5. Don't know how to link. I'm on an iPad.


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