Sew grow clothes designed to grow with your children and last more than one season. Vêtements pour se transformer en. Ropa para crecer en. Oдежда для выращивания в. Kleidung hineinwachsen.

How to stencil on Fabric

This works using a laser printer as distinct from an inkjet printer. And the "ink" is toner. Most office copiers use toner.

Just a note, toner is made up of plastic, which is melted into the paper to print in a laser machine.  This method uses some of the toner particles that have not bonded to the paper to bond to the fabric. As usual whites and cottons bond best (ie show up the best), but irrespective I use my trusty black sharpie to ink in the outline more clearly.

What you need for this is a stencil or picture that is primarily black and white.Print it out using a photo  editing app, where you can make the dots per inch high say 1200dpi, so you get plenty of colour/toner where you want it. Below are examples of stencils that work. I have gathered these stencils up over the years, mostly from public domain sites, but do not use them to for anything commercial, unless you can find the original and its owner and assure yourself of it's bona fides. If you google public domain stencils, you will find oodles of potential or you can draw and print your own.

Okay the how to. I started with a calico blank from a pattern I have been working on. But you can use any cotton or cotton/poly blend fabric. Tee shirting is good generally and light colours are best. I have not used grey and I would suggest it will not work with grey.

You need your printed picture. Stencils are best.

Pin your stencil, printed side down against the fabric, in the position you want the stencil.
Iron over the back of the paper with a very hot iron. Keep the iron moving, to avoid burning and setting fire to things. Takes about 2-3 minutes of hot heat.
and this is what you will get. An outline of an image on your fabric. Now with your trusty sharpie, colour in.

A quick colour in cross hatching all the way.

Ironed, with a piece of paper over it to set the sharpie ink and smooth out. I will probably ink some more to solidify the colour and iron again. Generally its a good practice to let the picture dry for a couple of days, before washing it.
Point to note, I use a Black Sharpie (specific brand name), usually available from your local stationary shop, because I know it is colour fast and will not bleed. (Use it instead of the laundry pen, that is  are a total rip off at double the price). Other standard colour Sharpies bleed. I know there are a lot of lovely colours, but believe me they are permanent, but bleed when washed. Sharpie have a newish product out, called stained??? I think that's the name! I haven't used them so I can't comment on how they work, but I understand they are permanent and bleed free.

A black Sharpie is about $2.90 NZ, less if you get a double packet. One sharpie will do about three stencils with a lot of colour blocking.

You can use fabric paint, to colour as well, little messier.

Hope you try this

Regards Liz

Double stitched hem by Fátima Carvalho Lopes translated from portgugese to english

From Fatimas blog

This lady is a legend to me at least, she posts two patterns a day and shares tips like this. For all those people who struggle with rolled hems on lightweight fabrics, she has this tip, which is a gem, in its simplicity.

I would not normally copy a whole post, but I know links to a post that are not in English put some English speakers off and this was such a little gem, I thought it was worth it.

Translation from google


Fold the hem and sew into the edge with the point size 2.5 or 3.

With scissors trim the excess fabric tissue than doubled, with the point that sewed.

Fold back inside and sew on top of the previous point. sewing line

Final appearance. The interior is two points and the outside to only one. From the inside you see 2 sewing lines, but from the outside you will see only one. This shot is excellent for many jobs because the finish is always with a beautiful touch. It is widely used in haute couture, for those who have to do the sewing hems, or who uses the old machines.

Thank you Fatima for this tip
Check out her blogs, you will not regret it, and just use google translate, if you need to know what she is saying. I just look at the pictures sometimes. If google needs to be told what language, Fatima writes in Portuguese.

Regards Liz

Invisible button holes- a tutorial

Back story, when I set out to design Grow clothes, I set out some rules for myself;
the materials used must be reclaimable, that is reusable in another garment like buttons

and the garments could be sewn on a straight sewer, this means no buttonholer (see my philosophy for grow clothes)

(You can use a buttonholer or snaps on the patterns, but they are designed so that you don't have anything other than a straight sewer).

I decided that to much emphasis was being placed on tools/machines, and product which some people don't have, can't afford and don't actually need.

Anyways, having decided that a zigzag stitch was not required to sew these patterns, meant I would need to either make button holes by hand, or loops, or find some other way of making a button hole.

After fiddling around for some while, I came up with these invisible button holes and I truly thought I had invented something unique. Well after eons of people making clothing its highly unlikely that something has not been thought of before.

The other day, I am looking at some vintage stuff on patternpatter and I see my button hole method. Well, they say there is nothing new under the sun and that is so true in the world of sewing and making. I just want to know why I didn't find this article months ago!!!.

You may have looked at the article yourself and just passed it by. I recognised it instantly!


Here is the method / tutorial  from 

Here is the link to the google document if you are having trouble reading the above.

Here is my Tutorial on what I call invisible button holes.

You will need a piece of  double bias tape, which you can make yourself (see this tutorial at Dana made it). It only needs to be the length of your button placard or facing.
Completed invisible button hole

 This is what you will end up with.

Step one:
 Above I have the bias tape and the edge that will have the buttonholes

Step Two:
 Here is the backside showing the bias tape and the button placard, folded so that when the bias is attached to the placard the button holes will fall in the right place (mostly on shirts and blouses) centre front.

Step 3
 I am using the ironed edge on the button placard to determine where to place the bias tape. I  pin one edge of my bias tape down along the edge. You will need to fiddle around to determine the direction of you fold (see below), depending on whether you are folding left or right and you want to end up with a top stitching row on the garment.

Step four

With a measuring tape, measure the distance apart you want your buttons and the size of your button holes, I used 2" apart and 1 inch for button hole. Draw the sewing line, which for my example was the 2" between buttonholes.

Step five:
Sew along your stitch lines, back tacking at the beginning and end to secure your stitching.

Step six:
Fold the bias tape edge over your stitching.

Step eight
Fold the bias in half over.

Step nine
Fold the button placard/facing back, the button hole is where I have slipped a button in.

Step 10
Top stitch the bias edge down and you are done!

These button holes have some advantages over other buttonholing methods. I hope you give it a go.

Kind Regards Liz

Linking to the HOST

Planning my wardrobe around as it turns out a just a couple of patterns!!!!

I was wondering what to post, as I have nothing on topic to discuss at  the moment. On a personal level I have neglected my own personal wardrobe, and have been pinning and thinking about the things I want to run up for myself.

One pattern that is gratis (free) is over on (its on my side bar). I made it last year, it's an easy make and the ladies at schnittquelle (schnitt is a pattern) have pictures if you need guidance on how to put the dress together. Okay the pattern pieces are in german but it does just consist of back, and front bodice, skirt front and back and sleeves. Easy peasy.

Here is the link to the pattern  and the tutorial

I made this version last year. I found the neck line quite wide so, I recut it with the neck line narrower more coverage over the shoulder.
I notice that the schnittquelle ladies have modified the pattern since, and I will probably modify the pattern to get the same affect this time around.They have rounded the bodice pieces and the top of the skirt which is pretty simple to do.

Then I was considering the LBD on  Vera Venus. 

It does not come in my size, but its an easy garment to grade up. its cut on the bias which is a good shape for me. I am to short for gathered bodices. They make me look even shorter and squarer. Not a good look. I probably will not download the pattern; I will just use the schnittquelle, cutting the skirt on the bias and modifying the skirt top and bodice top.

Onion patterns, now this pattern is not free, but last year when the German bloggers were all making and totally in love with this pattern, and I became a bit obsessed myself. Because I couldn't buy it, ( I think its available now on Banberry place), I figured out how to do the twist myself, as you do! And last year I made it using a pattern similar to the schnittquelle pattern, and cutting out the neckline a bit and reversing the bodice pieces.

Reversing the bodice pieces?
Here is my explanation

My last make will be the good old apron top this one is from Fatimas other blog you can literally knock out these in an hour. They go well on there own or over a tee/ tank to dress them up a bit. I always think they look better in vibrant colours and the fabrics need to be on the thin side rather than thick. Fatima has not given a measurement for the armhole, I'd just measure myself from the middle of the back of my neck around and under the arm pit to the middle of my back plus say 2" for ease.

if I get all that done I will be doing very well.

I hope I might have given you some ideas for your own wardrobe.

Kind regards Liz