Zenith & Quasar Designs - Pi Fabric Strike Off

I was chosen to sew a strike off for Zenith & Quasar Designs. I received the pi fabric. This fabric is available for preorder from June 1 to June 15 for $18 per yard at zenithandquasar.com This fabric is part of the "Back to School" round and also includes other math and science themed fabrics.

What is a strike off? A strike off is essentially a sample the fabric designer gets from the manufacturer to check the design's print quality, color, etc. The strike offs are typically not very big, typically under a yard. Also, the designer's use these "real-life" samples to show customers before they purchase. This works in 2 ways. Sometimes it is hard to visualize how a digital image or photograph will look once it's printed on fabric.  Colors do change some and some fine details in the original design can be lost when printed on fabric. The second is that many people can not visualize how the fabric will translate into an article of clothing or other sewn item. So the designer sends the strike offs to some of their customers to sew them into something of their choosing, and in return the sewer posts photos of the completed items on the fabric designer's Facebook page. These photos are then used to promote the sale of the fabric in other Facebook groups related to custom fabrics and sewing.

In this case, the fabric I received was 24" by 24". I love sewing strike offs because I love the challenge of coming up with something to make that will fit the amount of fabric that I have.

In this case, I decided to make a shirt for a little boy. Since I also do embroidery, I thought I would also make my own embroidery design to go with this. I should have made screenshots of that process, but I wasn't thinking.

First thing I did was prepare my fabric to be embroidered. I love Floriani stabilizers. For knits, I always use their fusible no show mesh. It is fantastic.

I cut a piece and ironed it onto the wrong side of my fabric. Originally I was going to use this green jersey - but it ended up being too thin.

Then I hooped my fabric and started embroidering.

Here is the pi sign.

Here is the completed design.

Next I cut my pattern pieces. I used Simplicity 1285A for the pattern. If you notice - the top left piece is white. That is because since I only had so much pi fabric, and I didn't have enough to cut the band going the correct way with stretch, since there was some extra white around the sides of the fabric, I cut a neckband piece (the wrong way) a few inches longer to see if it would work before I cut a piece from my fabric.

The first step sewing is to sew the arms to the back piece.

Next I worked on the neckline of the front piece.  First I drew the lines for stay stitching and placement of the bands.

I then stitched over my marks.

Now I sewed the front to the sleeves.

Next I played with the neck band. I first sewed the white one on, then removed it and cut one from my pi fabric. I sewed it on, and then placed the pieces for the v-neck. This is the hardest part.

Here it is sewn on. It's not perfect - so don't look too close.

Now to sew the sides.


This pattern is for a long sleeve, but I cut the sleeves shorter - but I think they may need to be shorter.

Hopefully next week I can add some photos of my friends little boy in this shirt. And I'll find out from her if they need to be shorter.


I was chosen to test a pattern for Spot on You Patterns. It was for the size 5 adult Sock-Umms.

The pattern can be purchased at etsy.com
The pattern is for sizes : Women's 5 - 11, and Men's 8 - 13

They are surrently 15% off through Sunday May 31 with coupon code 15% off with coupon code SOCKUMMUP2015

This pattern was very easy and I was able to make myself a pair of socks that fit perfectly.This is a pdf pattern, but does not require many pages to print. For my size it was only 4 pages.

First I checked the test square.

I taped it together and cut out my size, then cut my fabric pieces. I uses a two way stretch knit I got in a scrap bag.

The first step was to sew the heel area.

Then to sew the top and bottom pieces together. First I lined them up and pinned in a few spots.

All sewn together.

Now to add the band to the top.

And here I am wearing them.

These were a fun quick sew - took about 15 minutes. And a great way to use odd scraps.


Today I made a Spoxxy. It's like a sporty tank top with a racer back. The pattern is made by Stitch Upon a Time and is available on Etsy at Etsy Spoxxy Listing 

It's a pretty simple pattern and goes together fairly quick.

First off - with pdf patterns you must check that the 1" test box is indeed 1". If it is, you take the pieces together and get started.

Here are all my pieces laid out. The blue and white Hawaiian print is a french terry that I got from Golden D'or in one of their body bag sized scrap bags. These scrap bags are $8 and filled with about 50 pounds (or more) of fabric. Most of it is test pieces that have test holes in them, some are flawed pieces, and some look perfectly fine. The red (it's actually a heathered red) for the back is an old t-shirt bed sheet. And the red strips I use for the binding is just some red rib knit. I think it also came from a Golden D'or grab bag.

The first step is to sew 2 lines across the back piece to gather it.

You gather until the piece is the same width of the yoke.

Then, with right sides together, you serge them together.

The pattern stated you could fold the seam up to the yoke and topstitch it down. So I used this opportunity to use my new coverstitch machine. I set it to a double needle narrow coverstitch.

The next step was to serge the sides and the shoulders of the front and back together.

The next step is to put the binding on the neck and armholes. First the ends of the bands are sewn together.

Next you place pins marking the halfway points front to back, and side to side.on the shirt and on the bands.

Then you attach the bands matching the pins and repining them. Then you serge the band on. Here is the neck band attached.

Then I attached the bands to the armholes. Then I used my coverstitch machine to topstitch the bands down. Then I used the coverstitch to hem the bottom of the top. There is an option to add a band, but I didn't want one. Here it is finished.

Back view.

Here I am wearing it.

I also tested a pattern this weekend for ladies shorts. I can't show them to you until the pattern is released. But they do match my top.


I have a coworker who's daughter is into all things geeky/nerdy - just like my son. I had some scraps left over from a Dr. Who pajama top, and I had a scrap of some Minecraft fabric I got in a mystery pack - so I made her some headbands.

First I gathered my supplies. Fabric, cutting mat, rotary cutter, scissors, and elastic.

The Dr. Who fabric came from Bebe Flow Fabric. http://bebeflowscustoms.bigcartel.com/
I don't recall where the Minecraft piece came from.

The first step was to cut a pieces that was approximately 15" by 7".

Then I needed to taper the ends. So I folded the piece in half and half again.

In this photo I drew a line to show how I cut the ends so they taper down to 4 inches wide from 7.

This is what it looks like.

I made the Dr. Who one first and I did a rolled hem on the edges.

But it curled really bad. I tried this on the Minecraft one and it did the same.  I tried different settings, but it still did it. So I decided to serge the edges together on the Minecraft headband.

On the Doctor Who headband, I left the edges wavy and attached them to a piece of elastic covered in fabric. Here is the elastic and fabric before I sewed it.

This photo shows it sewn together with the wavy edges exposed. The idea is to have the edges underneath and it allows the wearer to make the headband as wide or narrow as they want.

Here are a few photos of it being worn. These were taken by her mom.

The next step on the Minecraft head band was to make the elastic covered piece.

I then attached one end to the main part folding the excess headband ontop of the elastic and serging it together. I used almost the same method for the Doctor Who head band.

What it looked like on the outside.

Since the headband was closed, I could not enclose the other end if it was serged, so I had to sew the other end together using the regular sewing machine. I gathered in the same manner, but folded the end inside to hid the raw edges.

Finished outside.

And here is the final headband.

The Minecraft head band was made using the same measurements as the Doctor Who head band, but due to the slightly different construction, it came out smaller. I'll have to see if it fits. If not, it will be easy to replace the elastic with a longer piece.

Featured Post

Fabric Choice When Sewing a Loose Tank

I see posts all the time in the Facebook sewing world about using different types of knits for a pattern. Patterns usually include informati...