Tag Archives: ITY

“Hacking” for the Fall CreativFestival

Do you recall this from my last post?

One of the classes I’m teaching on behalf of Distinctive Sewing Supplies;  at the Fall CreativFestival, at the International Center in Toronto October 26-28 (more details are coming soon)

One Pattern = 3 Different Tees
Working from a commercial sewing pattern with a round (not “V”) neckline, Yvette (that’s me)  will teach some basic pattern personalization, creating 3 adaptations, an inverted front pleat, adding an extended sleeve cap, and adding side drapes.  Suggested patterns include: Jalie 2805, Burda 6749 or 6611

So now not only am I a “Pattern Hacker” but I’ll be teaching others how to “Pattern Hack”.   Go figure.

Today I’m featuring my hack to Jalie 2805 Women’s Tee Shirts.  note:  apparently I sometimes forget to smile while concentrating on using the remote for my camera. 

I used an ITY from Distinctive Sewing Supplies in a dark navy colour, it’s so comfortable and cool to wear, that I’ll enjoy wearing it well into the cooler weather of fall.

The pattern; Jalie 2805 Women’s T-Shirts was provided to me at no charge by Distinctive Sewing Supplies, so I could make it, review it, hack it, teach the hack, and then wear it with pleasure.  It’s one of those patterns that will never go out of style, a real staple in my sewing pantry.

right front
right front
side drape
left side
side drape
side right

After tracing off a front and back pattern piece, I deepened the front neck, extended the shoulders to just past the shoulders, and added side drapes.

I completed my T by using a rolled edge finish for the sleeves and draped hem, and a turned to the inside band. 

In this hands-on class, you’ll arrive with the front and back of your pattern traced off, and a ruler, pencils and a roll of pattern paper, and I’ll teach you how to hack your own pattern.

I don’t have the info on the time of my class yet, but if you attend, please let me know if you follow Distinctive Sewing Supplies or my blog.

Sewing Projects after Quilt Canada

I helped my friend Catherine Goetz, owner of Distinctive Sewing Supplies, at Quilt Canada 2017.  In case you don’t know, Distinctive Sewing Supplies is not a quilt shop.  Catherine focuses on quality garment fabrics and great sewing patterns. 

We had a great time, the booth was a popular place, especially after Catherine’s Trunk Shows.  It was a 4-day show, and I think we spent the entire time thinking and talking about sewing. 

Customers’ sewing, and our next sewing projects.  I wore my Folkwear “Turkish Dancer” dress a couple of times and received many compliments on it.  Everyone who asked about the pattern was amazed at the transformation.   I wrote about how I did it here.

another front
Turkish Dancer 108 Cover

But I was cold and would have loved a little jacket.    There’s a jacket pattern included in the same envelope, and Distinctive Sewing Supplies has the perfect piece of fabric, a linen/cotton blend in the perfect colour to go with me dress.  It came home with me.

These stretch poplin prints are new, at 58 inches wide and at 97% cotton and  3% spandex, they co-ordinate well and there’s a great pattern. 

I have a few classes for Distinctive Sewing Supplies in the works for the Fall Creativfesival, and am busy planning my samples and notes.

We have 3 lecture style classes proposed, one on neckline finishes, one on pockets, and one on Fashion Fabric Know-how.  A hands-on class;  “One Tee Pattern = 3 New Styles” will have my students learn some basic pattern morphing, creating 3 adaptations, an inverted front pleat, adding an extended sleeve cap, and adding side drapes.  More details will follow.

Sew, that’s what’s on the worktable at the moment, along with Rock.

 What’s on your worktable?



Jalie Pleated Cardigan #2919

I LOVE this Cardigan!

It fits perfectly, it’s really comfortable, I love the colours, and I feel all dressed up!  The fabric is really soft but retains it shape very well.  It’s 95% Poly 5% Elasthanne and 150cm /60″ wide.  The fabric weight is 200 gsm / 6 osy and it’s easy care:  Gentle machine wash in cool water separately using gentle cleaner (Eucalan recommended) or hand wash. Dry flat. Press lightly on wrong side with synthetic setting if necessary.  See it by clicking here.

Order the pattern from Distinctive Sewing Supplies by clicking here.

Parts of the construction were a challenge though. 

The first challenge I ran into was keeping the cats from trying to pull the fabric off the cutting table.  They love the way ITY springs back when they let go of it.   

Then, after cutting all the pieces out,  I discovered that one of the fronts was 2 inches shorter than the other.  It was the bottom layer, and I guess the cat pulled more than I thought.  Fortunately I had enough fabric to cut another. 

Marking the pleat lines on the right (good) side of the fabric was a challenge.  The ITY is very stretchy, so marking the lines required a marker that didn’t drag on the fabric, and that would disappear easily. 


The Chaco Liner made by Clover! (And a bit of supervision.)

The liner is a chalk filled “pen” with a wheel that releases just enough chalk as you “drive” it along your line.  It brushed out easily, but lasted out the job.  By aligning the edge of a ruler along the fold line and then pressing it onto the fabric, I could draw a nice line without the fabric moving.  Then I pinned the pleats before sewing them.


Sew the pleats on the Right Front from the bottom and the pleats of the Left Front from the top.

Once the pleats were sewn, the cardigan went together very quickly.

It was time to stitch up the hems.  Now that I have a Cover-Stitch machine, that part was a no-brainer. 


Quite often, when hemming this weight of knit by top-stitching, the top layer tends to ripple, and it’s not a pretty look.  This book, “Knits for Real People” a Palmer/Pletsch publication, has an entire section devoted to hemming knits, and one of the suggestions was “paper-backed fusible web”

I had a scrap of Heat & Bond Feather Lite, so cut some one inch wide strips.  I fused them to the bottoms of the sleeves and the body, pulled off the paper, then fused up the hem.

The hem sewed perfectly, no ripples or puckers, and the Heat & Bond was light enough that you can’t even feel or see it.

Jalie 2919 Front
Jalie 2919 Back

 My disclaimer; I received the piece of beautiful ITY Jersey Knit in these incredible colours from Distinctive Sewing Supplies in exchange for blogging about my experience.  Please know that the opinions expressed are my own and let me repeat that I really like this cardigan.


Racerback Cami Jalie 3245 Take 2

My “Take 2”

I love the way this version fits me, close through the shoulders and upper bust, then gently flowing over my fluffy bits.

My disclaimer; I received this piece of beautiful ITY Knit Jersey in my favourite shade of teal from Distinctive Sewing Supplies in exchange for blogging about my experience.  Please know that the opinions expressed will be my own.

I didn’t have quite enough fabric so I creatively pieced the back.  (This isn’t the first time that I felt I had to make a second version of a top because it felt too tight for my liking)

Using my serger, I joined the horizontal seams first, then the vertical seam after using a bit of basting tape to keep the cross seam in place.  I’m pleased with the results.

I changed the front neckline by raising it by 1 and 1/2inches and re-drawing the curve.  The binding band for the new neckline was 95% of the neckline measurement.  (It worked out beautifully)

Then I proceeded as directed in the instructions, by joining the shoulders and the side seams.

I didn’t add the fusible knit interfacing to the binding strips this time, and sewed them on with the right sides facing, then folded in the excess to the back, around the seam allowance, and then top-stitched 1/8″ from the seam. 

I chose to use a rolled edge finish on this version, and did a test run first.  It’s a good thing I did, because I have “pokies”. Can you see how the stitching isn’t smooth?

I solved that by cutting a couple of strips of lightweight water soluble “topper” and serging with the topper on top.

It was worth it.

A bit more…….

I recently purchased a remote “clicker” for my camera, and took a photo of the back of this top.  Notice the “fluff” across the upper back?  And how the fabric is pulled?  I don’t like the way it looks.   If I make this style again, I’m going to widen the back by one inch in that area.

Racerback Cami Jalie 3245

My latest creation, take two.

This top is quick and easy to put together.  But, I have a confession to make, I’ve been overthinking every step of this cami.  I wanted it to be perfect. 

Sew,  it took forever. 

Sew,  I made two.

My disclaimer; I received this piece of beautiful ITY Knit Jersey in my favourite shade of teal from Distinctive Sewing Supplies in exchange for blogging about my experience.  Please know that the opinions expressed will be my own.

This chapter is Take One.

Lets discuss size and ease.  According to the chart on the back of the pattern, my measurements correspond to size “X”.  I went up one size and traced off size “Y”.  (wiggle room)

Then I compared the pattern pieces to my finished scarf collar top in size “BB”, and they were almost the same around the midsection.

It was quick to cut out, and to mark the notches.  I used my serger to sew the shoulders and the side seams.  I like the way the bust is given extra fabric by stretching the back to ease extra into the front. 

I use my rotary cutter to cut the strips for the neck and arm binding, much easier than using scissors on this slippery ITY.  Joining the ends was made easy by sewing over tissue paper. Easy to tear away.

Then quarter pinned, and followed the “Jalie Binding Method” by sewing the right side of the binding to the inside, then folding and rolling it around to the front to be top-stitched.  I’ve used this method successfully many times, so I attached all 3 strips.  

When it was time to top-stitch the folded edge to the front, the fabric fought me all the way.  The cut edge rolled to the right side and created a ripple underneath the top layer that I couldn’t steam out.    Maybe a light weight fusible knit interfacing would help.  I picked out all 3 binding strips WITHOUT MAKING ANY HOLES!!!!

Then I fused the interfacing strips to the wrong sides of all three strips.  And quarter-pinned before attaching just one armhole strip this time.

stabilized binding
quarter pinned binding

The interfacing made it too thick.  I picked it out.  And decided to sew it to the front first with right sides together, then fold it to the inside and top-stitch.  That worked, and I just trimmed off the extra seam allowance on the inside.  Whew!


The hem was finished by fusing the same lightweight knit interfacing, cut into one inch wide strips to the hem, then top-stitching with a twin needle.

stabilized curved hem
pinned hem
twin needle hem

Finally, it’s finished!

I pulled it on over my head, smoothed it out and took a peek in the mirror.  If this was a fairy tail the mirror would have cracked. 

It fit tighter than I like, and, being a racer-back style, my bra straps were showing and it was binding under the arms.  No, you may not see a photo.  I didn’t want the camera to break in horror.

The next version will be my next post.

Chapter Three in the Jalie #2921 Scarf Collar Top



The two links above take you to the first and second post

Chapter Three in the Jalie #2921 Scarf Collar Top

Looks great doesn’t it?  And as long as I hold in my tummy and stand up straight it looks fantastic!  But OMG when I forget!

Just for the record, that beautiful piece of fabric, Jalie pattern #2921, and a bottle of Eucalan were provided to me at no charge by Distinctive Sewing Supplies in Oakville Ontario in exchange for my sewing this great top and blogging about it.  Click on the link to visit Catherine’s website and see the other patterns and great fabrics she carries.  The quality and prices are excellent. And now you can earn points and reap rewards for shopping there!  And you don’t even have to leave the house!

So, lets get back to my dilemma, it’s a beautiful blouse, but it’s tighter than I like.  I read some reviews on PatternReview.com and there were quite a few comments on the “close to the body” fit. After measuring the finished circumference of a few tops I like, I decided to go up by 2 sizes.   I had enough fabric to cut a new front, back and scarf, but was short by 54 centimeters for the sleeves.  Catherine was quick to oblige and a piece of fabric was here in a matter of days.

I lengthened all the pieces like in part one of this post, and raised the front neckline by 2 inches, then re-drew the new neckline with the aid of my Design Curve.

Then I followed all of the same steps outlines in chapter one, and sewed the top together.  The sewing took less than two hours!

scarf collar top

And I’m delighted with the outcome.  I’ll wear this one! 

Doesn’t this make you want to make one for yourself?


Jalie # 2921 Scarf Collar Top, Sewing it up

It’s time to sew!

This is part two of a three part post about my experience sewing and fitting the Jalie #2921 Scarf collar top. 

Part One is HERE.

ITY can be a bit of a slippery beast to tame, (thanks for that line  Lorna), so I elected to use my sewing machine for construction instead of the serger.  I used a “lightening stitch” (lengthened), 1/4 inch seam allowance and a Stretch 75/11 needle for all the seams.

 I started sewing using my dual feed foot, but soon changed it for my flat bottomed “A” foot.  The constant pressure of the flat foot held the fabric more securely than the dual feed foot.

 The included instructions were very clear and easy to follow.  The diagrams were also very helpful.  The instructions are also available as a stand-alone PDF on the Jalie website, so you can print them and keep them handy.

I followed the instructions provided for the most part, but did make a couple of very minor changes. 

  • Attaching the collar using the burrito method is brilliant!  It’s attached in two stages, first the right side of the scarf is sewn to the wrong side of the garment neckline.  Second, the entire body is rolled up and the other side of the scarf is wrapped around it then sewn from one point, up the length, then along the original seam line and back down the other side.  I found that if I sewed the second step with the first line of stitching up and visible, that I was able to sew directly on top of the original sewing line, so I didn’t have to worry about it showing through to the right side. 

  • I also elected to leave the space for turning along one side instead of the bottom.  For me it made the hand-sewing the opening closed easier.

I did experience some issues with my sewing machine trying to eat my fabric at the beginning and ending of the scarf, but quickly solved it by slipping a scrap of pattern paper underneath the fabric and sewing through it all.  The paper tore away easily afterward.

The rest of the construction went smoothly. 

There is a small opening left unsewn just below the neckline in the center front seam, and that’s where the scarf comes through to the front.  I fused short strips of 1/4 inch wide Steam a Seam to the wrong side of the seam allowances after sewing, peeled off the paper, then fused the seam allowance open to stabilize it.

The hole is hard to see, but it’s between the arrows.

I used this twin needle for all the hems, the fusible knit interfacing made it smooth and easy.

Photo time!  I love this top!  The fabric is sew comfortable to wear, the colour is perfect for me, and the style is a bit dressy, but not too much.  Thank you sew much Catherine and Distinctive Sewing Supplies!


It fits tighter that I’m used to, and with my already long neck, and no cleavage to show off, I feel a bit exposed. 

front left
front right 3


I’m going to sew it again, larger, and I’m going to raise the neckline by two inches.

That will be the next post.  Stay tuned…….for Chapter Three








My Top 5 Sewing Hits of 2016


Top 5 Hits of 2016

2016 was an emotionally tumultuous sewing year for me.  Total discord between me and the buyer of the business that I started in 1986 almost brought me to my knees.  I had even made the decision to give up sewing, and this blog, but my dear friends helped my get my “sewjo” back. 


Thank you my dear friends!

#1 is Jalie #3461, Eleonore Pull on Jeans.  This was the 6th pair I made, and now I’ve lost track of how many more I’ve sewn.  These are so comfy and I wear them so often that I’ve started to see signs of these wearing out at the knees.


#2 is Jalie # 2921 Scarf Collar Top.  My posts on it aren’t even complete yet, but I already know there will be more of these in my wardrobe in 2017.  The pattern and the fabric came from Distinctive Sewing Supplies in Oakville in exchange for writing a review, blog post and the loan of the garment for fashion shows, and I’m convinced I got the best part of that deal!


#3 is this tee top, modified from a simple, but well fitting “Model Tee” by Linda MacPhee.  The fabric is an ITY similar to prints available from Distinctive Sewing Supplies, Oakville, Ontario.    The pattern is a basic Tee shirt and I added a cut on sleeve, lengthened it and shaped the hem to be high/low.     It flows, doesn’t cling, and it makes me feel thinner than I really am. 

#4 is a sleeveless top I wore many times this past summer.   I’d been spending a lot of time in my garden, enjoying my vegies, planting the last of the seeds, watching the critters at the feeders, and taking lots of pictures.

As a result, I was getting a golden glow on my arms.  But my shoulders and upper arms were white, so, it was time to sew a tank-top or two.  For a mature person.  No gaping, no bra straps showing.   I remembered a dress I had made at least 10 years ago.  It had princess seams that started mid-shoulder AND bust darts.  I LOVE that dress and still wear it.  

I found the pattern, and traced off enough of the top parts to make a hip length tank-top.  I had a striped fabric and played around with it a bit.  And I love it!  There’s enough coverage, no straps show!

#5 is a tee with an inverted pleat.

I used a MacPhee Workshop pattern that I’d made many times before, but added an inverted front pleat.  The fabric is a poly ITY knit in a discontinued print similar to those available at Distinctive Sewing Supplies in Oakville.  The colour goes well with the jeans that have become my uniform of my retirement.


Jalie #2921 Scarf Collar Top, my First Steps

How can a pattern that’s this easy to make, look sew good?

I made view C.

If you are an average build and height, once you have the pieces cut out (and there are only four pattern pieces!) and prepped, the sewing is sew easy that you could be wearing it in a couple of hours.

Why did I sew this particular pattern in this particular fabric?

Because I love to sew and write about the experience , and Catherine Goetz,  owner of Distinctive Sewing Supplies in Oakville,  Ontario sent me the pattern, the fabric, and a bottle of Eucalan in exchange for me writing a blog post about my experience, and reviewing the pattern.  (I think I got the better deal) 

I was delighted to see that each piece of fabric came in a clear plastic bag with an incredibly informative label.  Here’s the ITY label;

(It was smooth when it arrived, but then it became a cat play-thing)

The first step was pre-washing the ITY in the Eucalan. I  soaked it in lukewarm water and Eucalan.  No rinsing, just spin dry and a short bounce in a low heat drier.   The ITY didn’t shrink at all, didn’t need pressing and retained it’s soft drape and sheen.

What is ITY?  Catherine wrote a blog post, you can read it by clicking here.     ITY

My next step was to trace off a copy of the pattern in my size.  According to my measurements I wear a “Z” in the Jalie pattern line.  At 5 ft 10 inches, I always add one inch to the body length and one inch to the sleeve length.  I keep a roll of Exam Table Paper in my sewing room for pattern tracing, pattern alterations, and pattern drafting.  It’s something I can’t sew without.

There is a “Lengthen/Shorten” line printed on the front, back and sleeve pieces.  Actually there are two parallel lines very close together.   The idea of it is that you cut between them and spread or overlap, depending if you want to lengthen or shorten the piece. 

Because I trace my pattern pieces, I added the one inch as part of my tracing. 

Here’s how I did the sleeve.  (btw, the original sleeve pattern piece is a half sleeve, designed to be cut on the fold.  I used a piece of pattern paper large enough for the entire sleeve and folded it in half.  It’s thin enough to see through so I can lengthen it, and when I cut it out and unfold it, I’ll have a complete sleeve pattern.)

I made a short video of this process


Trace the top and upper part of the sleeve to the lengthen/shorten line.  Trace it, then, because I need to add one inch, I draw a parallel line 1 inch away from the first line.  Then, keeping the fold of the paper even with the fold line of the original, slide the paper up until the second line is on top of the lengthen/shorten line on the pattern.  Continue to trace the rest of the sleeve.  There will be a bit of a “hic-up” along the seam-line where you added the inch, to smooth it use a dressmakers curved ruler.  This is like the one I use. (I have the one my Mom used, and it’s not quite the same)

Then I cut out my pattern piece and unfolded it to get a full sleeve pattern.

My extra fine glass headed pins went through the the stretchy ITY easily.  My regular pins didn’t do as well.  Flat button-head or flower head pins would also work very well, especially if you use a rotary blade for cutting out.  My mat is too small so I use scissors.

I made a (very)small clip into the ITY at all the notches instead of cutting out around the triangles.

My next step was to fuse one-inch wide strips of fusible tricot interfacing to the front shoulders and to all the hems.  I save my scraps (it’s the Dutch in me) and cut them into one inch wide strips with my rotary cutter.  The straight of grain strips went on the shoulders (to prevent stretching) and the cross-grain strips got fused to the hems (to retain the stretch).  I overlapped the shorter pieces as I applied them. 

fused to shoulders bmp
fused to hem bmp

I was ready to sew! 

Follow along with me to my next post 🙂

And chapter three, where I make a few alterations

ITY or “interlock twist yarn” Polyknits

Are there e-mail newsletters that you look forward to receiving so much that you read it in it’s entirety?
One of my favourite sewing newsletters comes to my inbox on Fridays from Distinctive Sewing Supplies.  Catherine usually has some useful information to share with her readers.  Catherine  also has a blog where she shares some fun stuff about sewing.
Last week my newsletter from Distinctive  Sewing Supplies described ITY, and for me it was an OMG!  moment.  Now I know why I like those cool feeling colourful polyknits.
fabric choices
The mere mention of the word polyester can make people cringe. Even though the synthetic fiber has come a long way since its Brady Bunch days, people associate it with cheap and gaudy clothing.
Polyester was hailed as a magic fiber, a miracle fiber.  It needs no ironing, never wrinkles and washes well. Polyester marketers claimed it could be worn for 68 days in a row and still look good. Never mind how it might smell.  Another key selling point was the price. Polyester was cheap. It was none too difficult to make, either, and a number of companies started churning out inexpensive polyester clothes.
Introducing ITY (from Distinctive Sewing Supplies Blog)

ITY? What is that? It stands for “interlock twist yarn” which is confusing because interlock knit is a double-sided knit and that is not the same thing.

ITY knit has been around for several years. In fact, unbeknownst to me, I had been selling it for some time in a store I used to own and sold. I knew there was something special about the knit but I didn’t know it had an acronym. Now it’s being treated like some new wonder fabric. And often sold at a premium because of it.

ITY knit can be machine washed on gentle or hand washed in temperate water. The dryer is not recommended nor is dry cleaning. Drying  flat (which is not easy) is suggested. I would try putting it in the dryer on low or no heat for a few minutes. A touch up with an iron on synthetic setting is OK.

Don’t like polyester? It is claimed that ITY knits resist pilling better than any other knits and that the twisted yarn makes it more breathable. The drape is flattering, it is wrinkle resistant, and it comes in many beautiful colours and prints.  Some ITY polyknits have 5% to 8% lycra or spandex.

Suggested needleschmetz stretch 75 11s and thread:
Jersey needles, size 11/75, are the best choice. Choose a polyester thread for construction.
A small zigzag stitch (2.0 width, 2.0 length) will give you the best results for seams. Some machines have a “lightning stitch” built in (looks like a tiny lightning bolt which I recommend)  If you have a serger, (I prefer)) use a 4 thread balanced stitch for seamlightnings. Hems can be created by top-stitching with a twin needle, or by top-stitching with the same zigzag or lightning stitch used for construction. A 3-thread rolled edge by serger is my preferred finish, or, for the simplest hems, leave them raw. The seams do not require finishes, but the serger does finish them off beautifully.
Very lightweight tricot fusible interfacing can be used successfully for this fabric, and I use it exclusively.  Test the heat of your iron on a scrap, and use a press cloth to protect your fabric.
Tops, tanks, tees, skirts, dresses, cardigans, wraps, shawls, full pants.
K4101 B
Additional Tips:Reinforce shoulder seams with a strip of the lightweight tricot fusible interfacing, cut on the grain. This will keep the shoulder seams from stretching during wear. ITY jersey can sometimes be slippery to sew. A strip of tissue placed between the fabric and the needle when stitching will provide some stability. The tissue can be gently torn away after stitching. I also use small scraps of a wash away stabilizer that looks and feels like fabric.  Store your ITY jersey garments folded and laying flat or rolling.