Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Printable for Serger Settings

Have you been enjoying our Serging 101 series?  If you're like me when I first started out, you might have a bunch of numbers and settings floating around in your head now!  I ended up with a bunch of sticky notes by my machine with setting reminders.  I admit that I still use those sticky notes as a quick reference! (Very helpful in the middle of the night when I'm sleep-deprived and in a hurry.)  But I must say that the sticky notes aren't very attractive and I occasionally lose them. There's probably a whole pile behind my sewing desk.  Anyway... today we have a fun printable for you that is super cute and it will free us all from the craziness of memory games and sticky notes!  

Here is an all-in-one chart of serger settings, and it can be used for most (if not all) brands and models of sergers!  All you need to do is print it out, fill in your settings, and then keep it near your machine. Of course these are only starting points for the settings. You may need to adjust based on the fabric type and thickness, etc.  As you can see, the chart has blanks for the four needle tensions, as well as the differential feed, stitch length, and stitch width when applicable.  I included some of the most commonly used functions and then also left room for you to add more if you'd like. Pretty handy!

Do you have it printed out now?  Great! You're ready to write. Here is a closeup example of the settings I use for my Brother 1034D Serger. Again, yours may be different, even if you have the same model.  

After you have your chart filled out, feel free to tape it to your desk, the wall, a pet, or you can even put it in a frame! This is what Morgan did with hers: 

Isn't it perfect? There's no rule saying that functional can't be super cute too, right? And while you're making your sewing area nice, you might also be interested in our picture frame pincushion project!  I can see these two frames becoming best buddies on my sewing shelf. 

That's all for today! I hope you enjoy the new printable! I know I'm going to. 

Let's Create! ~ Kristen 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Weekly Wound Up

We've had another great week at CKC! A new activewear pattern, new doll releases, more boy patterns, and even a couple videos; if you haven't had a chance to see all these quite yet, be sure to read through their highlights so you don't miss anything! 

New Releases

Raquel's Racerback Leotard pattern released on Monday in girl sizes, 6/12m to 8. Perfect for gymnastics, dance, or even the beach, Raquel's offers full coverage while still being cute and sporty! Just look at all the cute photos of girls having fun in their Raquel's!

On Wednesday, we released four new doll patterns! Riley's Knot Dress has a two-layered skirt and multiple ways to tie the bodice. It is easy to put on and good practice for a child who is learning to tie bows! Next, is Tabitha's T-Shirt dress or top. This outfit has so many options, from sleeve lengths, to bodice ruffles and trim bands! Next, let's check out Blanche's Frilly Top/Dress with all the ruffles and the adorable collar! There is just so much to love about this outfit! It Velcros in the back which makes it easy to put on. And finally - it's time to get fancy with Elora's Enchanted Princess Dress! Design your dress to resemble your daughter's favorite princess! She will have hours of fun playing dress up along with her dolly.

Just yesterday we released Eric's Dress Shirt in three versions: Baby, Boy, and Tween! Eric's has fun and trendy features he will love, and you can check them out in this cute music video/slideshow linked below! We also upsized Patrick's Dress Pants to Tween. All four patterns are on sale for 30% off! Let's show our boys some love!

On the Blog

Whether you are new to sewing or just want to speed up your sewing skills, we have a helpful blog post that will show you a quick way to turn those sashes and straps. We even have a video to show how it's done!


May's Monthly Mixup is now available! This Monthly Mixup is all about building your spring wardrobe with some CKC classics! We have included some favorite patterns in our collection that you may have overlooked or been meaning to buy, including Penny's, Layne's, Grace's, Harper's, Helen's, and Olivia's. These six awesome boutique patterns will be a great addition to your collection for just $18! That's $3 per pattern! 

Weekend Sale

Hope's High-Low Dress is on sale for 50% off this weekend, in girl, tween, and doll sizes! Hope's features a reverse knot bodice with a v-neck, a shirred back, and a gorgeous ruffled high-low skirt. Your girl will love twirling around like a princess in this dress! Get them while they're half off!

Pearl's One-Piece Swimsuit is also on sale for 50% off this weekend! Pearl's has great coverage for your little cutie, from the cross-back straps down to the fully covered bottom. Pearl's has three gorgeous bodice ruffles and a removable ruffled skirt. Or, if you want a simple suit with no ruffles or skirt, you can do that too! Pearl's is fully lined and we recommend using lycra/spandex swimwear fabric and swimwear elastic. They are easy supplies to find and your girl will love her mommy made suit, so don't miss your chance to get Pearl's for half off! 

With all these great sales going on this weekend, don't forget about our tiered pricing!

This wraps up our Weekly Wound Up. Thanks for another great week at CKC! 

Let's Create! ~ Kristen

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Sewing 101: Turning a Sash

A pretty sash adds both function and style to many of our patterns. And while we do include the sash instructions right in the patterns, we thought it would be helpful to have a tutorial and video here on the blog for our Sewing 101 friends! First, we will use photos to show two ways to turn a sash, and then if you stick around there's a video to show just how quick and easy it can be to turn a sash using a dowel! There is a slow way to do it and a fast way to do it -- we much prefer the fast way so we can get on with our creativity!

A Sash that is Open on Both Ends

If you need to turn a sash or strap that is open on both ends, you will use the safety pin method.  This means that you would have already sewn one long edge and left the two ends un-sewn. 

There are fancy sash-turners that you can buy, but I prefer using two safety pins and a string.  As shown above, you can tie a long string the the back ends of two safety pins.  I like to use one small safety pin and one large one. 

Attach the small safety pin to the seam allowance of one end of the strap. Attach it far enough from the edge that it won't tear through the fabric when you pull on it. Then slide the large safety pin into the hole of the sash and feed it through the sash.  When it comes out the other end, you simply pull on it, and the string will pull the small safety pin through.  Just remove the safety pins and you're done! 

A Sash that is Closed on One End

To turn a sash that is closed on one end, you will first clip the corners so they will have a nice point after turning.  Then take a large dowel or other long stick to use for turning. Mine is about 12" long. 

On the closed end of the sash, make a somewhat flat edge at the seam and press the dowel into it, as shown above. It is very important to do this on the closed end of the sash if you want to get done quickly! 

Push the dowel into the sash and continue pushing as you bunch the fabric up around the dowel. It should not be hard to push through, but it does go faster if you push on the dowel using a hard surface, or even your leg or belly. (That will make more sense when you watch the video below.) 

Continue pushing the dowel through, until the end of the sash/dowel comes through the other end. See photo above. 

Slide the bunched up inside-out fabric down the sash, away from the dowel, until the sash is completely right side out.  Then just slide the dowel out through the opening. Your sash is now turned!

I then use a creaser or other pointed tip to make the corners of the sash nice and crisp. 

We recommend topstitching all sides of your sash so it will stay nice and flat after washing. It also gives it a professional finish. 

Now you're ready to add a cute sash to all your outfits!  That might have seemed like a process, but  you can actually turn a sash in 30 seconds or less!  Here's the video I promised you.  I think it always helps to see these steps in action:

And that's how it's done!  Thanks for joining us in this Sewing 101 tutorial. If you want to see more, be sure to search the blog for our other Sewing 101 tips!  The search box is right up in the top corner and we have hundreds of helpful blog posts for you to search by topic! 

Let's Create! ~ Kristen

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Weekly Wound Up

Happy Mother's Day Weekend!  Whether you are a mother, grandmother, aunt, sister, daughter, or even friend to a mother, I hope you have a happy and peace-filled weekend. (Or excitement-filled, if that's your thing.) Moms are the best! We have a special coupon code for Mother's Day so be sure to stick around for all of our Weekly Wound Up so you don't miss it!  First, let's take a look at all that went down at CKC this week: 

New Releases

On Monday, we released Hadley's Halter Dress for Dogs! Hadley's is one of our most popular patterns for girls, so we're excited to have a matching pattern for her furry friend! Hadley's features a rounded neck with halter, a faux sash, and an adorable skirt perfect for summer.

Ainsley's Tiered Knit Dress and Tunic pattern released on Wednesday, and features a knit bodice and woven straps/skirt. This is seriously the easiest pattern involving knit you will ever find! Ainsley features three skirt options- gathered tiered, tiered, or simple. It also features two lengths- tunic or dress!! With so many options - and being rated a beginner pattern- this is a MUST have for summer! Your daughter will want to wear a version of this anywhere and everywhere! 

Yesterday, we released Nadia's Square Neck Dress! It is a beginner pattern that you will fly through, making it great for busy moms. Nadia's is fitted, with flutter button straps that cross in back, so there's no need for shirring or elastic for your picky girl!  It is fun for color blocking and also so pretty in prints. Nadia's is on sale for 30% off so grab it while you can!

On the Blog

Have you had a chance to read some of the helpful posts in our Sewing 101 series? This week we demonstrated how to clip corners and curves. It is a basic skill you will definitely want to know! Come join us and learn, so you'll be ready for all kinds of creative projects! 


May's Monthly Mixup is now available! This Monthly Mixup is all about building your Spring wardrobe with some CKC classics! It's a great deal for people who are wanting to expand their CKC pattern collection; you simply can't go wrong with these designs! We have included some favorite patterns in our collection that you may have overlooked or been meaning to buy, including Penny's, Layne's, Grace's, Harper's, Helen's, and Olivia's. These 6 awesome boutique patterns will be a great addition to your collection for just $18! That's $3 per pattern!

Weekend Sale

Are you ready for another cute romper on sale this weekend? Farrah's Peplum Romper is 50% off all weekend long, in both girl and doll sizes!  Farrah's features a fitted bodice, shirred straps, attached shorts, and a super cute peplum skirt with three length options. This romper can be made entirely of wovens, and is sure to be a favorite for your girl! And don't forget the matching doll pattern -- they are super cute together! 

Also on sale for 50% off this weekend is Luna's Circle Skirt Dress! Luna's has a square neckline, adorable flutters, straps that tie in back, and a full circle skirt. This dress is perfect for special occasions or simply twirling in the sun.   Be sure to get Luna's while it is half price! 

And now... In honor of mothers everywhere, we are celebrating by offering all of our tween, women, and women's plus patterns for 30% off!  Simply use coupon code MOTHERSDAY2015 at checkout before Sunday night at 11:59 est.  Here's your chance to stock up on something nice for yourself! If you haven't browsed our women's patterns lately, you're in for a treat! 

That's all for this edition of the Weekly Wound Up. We hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day weekend! 

Let's Create! ~ Kristen 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Sewing 101: Clipping Corners and Curves

When we do something with repetitive skills such as sewing, I think we all tend to have our favorite parts and least favorite parts of a project. You might love picking out fabric but despise having to cut out the pieces. Another person might like sewing on buttons but grumbles when it's time to gather ruffles. Well, one of *my* favorite parts of sewing is clipping the curves!  I know that may sound funny, but when I make those tiny cuts I feel like I'm doing a little magic trick that will make everything lay perfectly. And that's what we're going to talk about today: clipping corners and curves! Whether you're new to sewing or just want to learn a little more about the proper way to clip curves, this post is for you! (And for me too, just because it's so much fun.)  Here we go!

First we will start with clipping corners. Any time we sew a corner on the outside of our pieces (such as a sash or strap), we will be left with a corner of seam allowances. It looks good on the wrong side of the fabric -- but after we turn the sash/strap right side out, those seams will all be squished into a lump in the corner. Not pretty. Instead, we want our corners to be neat and crisp and flat. So before turning the sash/strap, simply cut off that little corner, close to the stitching, to reduce bulk. 

See? After turning and top stitching, even this fluffy fleece robe belt can have neat corners that aren't bulky or lumpy. 

The corner clipping technique is handy for other shapes and angles too - not just square corners. Here we clipped the triangular tips of our Charles' coat tails. 

It gives a really neat finish to the points, don't you think? We recommend ironing and top stitching as well, for a professional look. 

Now moving on to curves!  When a pattern tells you to clip the curves, it simply means that you do as shown in the photo above. This is the curved neckline of a bodice. If we were to try and turn the bodice right side out without clipping the curves first, the fabric would not allow the seam to spread out to the proper shape. Instead it would look all bunched up and not neat at all; and it wouldn't feel very good to wear either! So every time we sew a curved bodice, we will want to use sharp scissors to make small clips (cuts) that go close to the stitching. Be careful not to cut the stitches though! How far apart you make the clips will depend on how sharp the curve is. In my photo, I clipped approximately 1/4" apart. If the curve had been more gradual, however, I might have clipped every 1/2".  If we can pull the curve into a straight line, the clips should be sufficient. 

That is how we handle a curve, such as a neckline, that curves inward.  But what about one that curves outward, such as these scallops below?

For this type of curved seam, we don't need to give it more stretch by clipping. Instead, we need to reduce bulk by clipping, just as we did with the corners earlier.  So we need to go along the curves and clip out little triangles:

The photo above is what you want a clipped scallop edge to look like before turning. Then as you turn it out, those little triangles will close up and there won't be any bulky fabric to bunch up in the seam. Your curve will lay nice and flat! 

That's how to handle both types of curves.  Now we are on to the second type of corner!  How do you think we might handle this type of corner? Does it need to stretch or to reduce bulk? 

If you said that it needs to stretch, you are right! A nice, precise cut to the corner is all it needs. It's important to get it right into the very corner without clipping the thread. If you turn the bodice to the right side and you didn't clip well enough, you will know! It will be bunchy and awkward at the corners. But if we clip carefully, it will turn out really clean: 

Isn't that a neat finish? I often see store-bought clothes that could have been clipped a little more carefully. 

 I just love a precise neckline! I used several clipping techniques on my daughter's Tween Melody's dress, and I'm so happy with how it turned out.  Now that you have seen the basic technique of clipping corners and curves, you're all set to create some amazing new outfits. 

Let's Create! ~ Kristen