Monday, February 1, 2010

"Ask Tea Rose Home" Answers

Hi everyone, I am back! I kind of forced myself today to stay up more so I wouldn't feel so weak. Hopefully I can start doing more. Although I never get use to going under, it was nice to take a real break and be taken care of for a few days. I mentioned my sweet husband in the last post about how he is helping me. Also, while I was in the hospital and the day after, my sister-in-law and Mother-in-law took care of my children too. I received very yummy treats from my friend, and another friend offered to bring dinner tomorrow (I am super excited, because she is a great cook!). I know I am such a lucky girl to be surrounded by such special people!!

I also want to thank you all for your kind commments for the last post, I really appreciate them. I'm starting to get more comments and emails lately, it is hard for me to respond to every single one of them. I want you to know this though, everytime I receive them, I get very excited and read them with gratitude. They give me a boost of will power to keep creating and writing new posts!

Since I posted the "Ruffle Shirt Tutorial" and "Make Believe Tweed Jacket" I got quite bit of questions in comments and emails. I thought I should take the time to answer them today.

Q: Do you use regular sewing machine or serger?

A: I use a regular sewing machine. To tell you the truth, I have a serger, it was a surprize gift from my husband a few years ago. Right now it is sitting in the sewing room, collecting dust. I feel so bad! Like I mentioned before, it takes time for me to warm up to new "tech" stuff. I am afraid that I am giong to break it. I know if I master the serger, the range of things I can create will widen. One of my new year's resolutions is to start using the serger...I think I can, I have 11 more months right?

Q: Does it fray?

A: I know, I was thinking the same thing! I started seeing more and more knit items at Jcrew, Old Navy, and Down East a few years ago, and I looked at them whenever I had the chance. I just wanted to know how they were done, some of the edges were finished by a serger, but lots of them were raw edges. I thought "Huh! That's OK?" I bought a shirt, went home, and washed it, and it didn't fray. So, I started experimenting with knit fabric more and more.

Q: When I sew with knit fabrics, they end up looking wavey and stretched out. Do you have any suggestion?

A: One of the readers, fibercontent, left advice for this type of question:

Make sure you have a sewing needle with a ball point tip. This could mostly be done by hand, too, and that would help anyone who has trouble with stretchy fabric.

Thank you for the great advice! I guess the best way to work with knit fabric is using a serger, but like I confessed I haven't learn that yet, so I won't dare to make a knit dress from start to finish. Altough I have some tricks I learned for small projects like my tutorials from trial and error.

trick 1 : Combine with non stretchy fabric. If one side is knit, use non stretchy fabric for the other. Pin it like crazy, before you sew. The knit fabric won't stretch as much.

Trick 2 : To do Applique on a T-shirt, put thin fuseble interfacing on the back of the shirt. Pin it and sew. Just like I said in trick 1, the shirt will stay flat, and won't get wavy.

Trick 3: There are directions on knit fabric, when you sew horizontally, it will stretch more and get wavy and crazy, when you sew vertically, it doesn't stretch as much. So, plan which way you want to cut the fabrics and which way you sew. That will make some difference too.

I have many great ideas, but I am a self taught sewer, and tend to be "creative" to do my own thing. Sometimes my skills and knowlage falls short. I am very humbled to know that many of you still come to my blog and enjoy what I do... Thank you so much! I want to learn more and get better at this. I just purchased a book titled "Vogue Sewing". I thought, I could learn some correct terms and techniques.

There is an old saying, "Grow old with me; the best is yet to come." I like to say, "Keep coming to Tea Rose Home, the best is yet to come."


  1. Hi,

    Nice to see you're getting better!
    No doubt the best is yet to come :)

    You're stuff is really inspirational!

  2. my tip for knits is get a walking foot. I got one for Christmas and it's awesome. Before I had my walking foot, my cheap trick was this: I used tissue paper under whatever I was sewing. That way the feed dogs couldn't stretch out at easily the fabric. And then just rip it off when you're done. :)

  3. So glad to see you are feeling better! I love your fun, beautiful, feminine blog. You have wonderful talents, and you are so generous to share them. Blessings on your recovery!

  4. You’re so good! I came across your blog a few weeks ago and just love being a follower. I get so excited every time I see a new post from you in my box. I’m taking a basic sewing class 2/12 so wish me luck! It’s time that I stop wishing I can sew and do something about it!


  5. Thanks for the tip Amanda, I'll give it a try.

    Good Luck Kendra! Sewing is a lot of fun and a great way to relieve stress.

    Thank you all for the well wishes!

  6. I spray my knits with spray starch, iron, flip and repeat. Then I do it again.

    Seems to help.

    Glad you're feeling better! Found your blog about a month ago and thoroughly enjoy it!

  7. I have a question about sewing knit fabric. I once bought a ball point needle, but it did not look as a ball or rounded shape to me :S
    does the point reeeeeeally look like a ball?
    and, what if you sew knit fabric with an ordinary needle?

    I'm sorry to ask, but I'm an ashamed beginner!

    I hope you are feeling better, Sachiko :)

  8. Sure love ya! I'm so glad you're feeling a little really don't stop do you? You're amazing! Hope to see you on Wednesday!

  9. I'm so glad you are feeling better. Take it easy! :)

    Thanks for the great information on sewing in the right direction. I'll remember that for a skirt on planning on making.


  10. you have such a sweet blog. i will admit I just spent the last hour or so looking through the archives. I love sewing but am a benginner... (don't know all the proper names/techniques) so I am very happy to see things explained more plainly! thanks for the post.

  11. I think you are brilliant. And so inspiring. Thanks for sharing all your wonderful projects!


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