• No Products in the Cart



was about recalling and remembering. The summer of my freshman year of high school, my homeroom teacher was Ms. Schack. Boy, was she the devil. Devil! She was as wrinkly as a prune and she could detect an untucked shirt from a mile away. Girls with skirts shorter than three inches above the knee didn’t dare to pass room 301 – there would be a detention waiting for them. As mean as she was, she was a smart woman. A Biology teacher, she told her students over and over that repetition was the key to remembering. Why waste time reading if it’s will go in one ear and out the other is what she preached to her choir. It’s such a simple concept but one I haven’t put into practice. During my lunch break, I scroll though my Bloglovin feed and check out the latest posts. But ask me later than day what I read and I probably forgot. But isn’t the reason why I am a sewing blogger and follow other blogs, especially ones related to sewing – so that I share and learn from other’s project, mistakes, and obstacles? This is exactly the reason I created the ‘sewing news’ section in my sidebar – it forces me to remember what I’ve read in the previous days/weeks. If you haven’t noticed, I don’t update it daily and that’s because I want to refer back to those posts more than once. Each time I click back to one of the articles, I read and learn something I didn’t see or know before. I know this might sound geeky, but before I got to bed each night, I’ve been jotting down what I have come across or what I learned that day. And it’s amazing how much I’ve retained! Just look at what I learned this week:

One: Fusing fabric to a second layer of the same fabric is an alternative to fusible interfacing. It reduces the amount of stretch (but doesn’t eliminate it) and it looks a lot prettier on the interior of the garment. The key to this is fusing similar fabrics to similar fabrics (i.e. tricot to tricot). Source: Beverly Johnson Bra Makers Manual.

Two: Contrary to popular belief, cutting paper with fabric scissors does not dull the blades. Source: Beverly Johnson Bra Makers Manual.

Three: Hole reinforcers can be used as an alternative to using tailor tacks. Source: Portia.

Four: Determine which way the nap will run before cutting velvet. Nap that runs up will be rough to the touch and darker in color while nap that runs down with be lighter and shinier. Also, nap that runs down will last longer because there is less abrasion. Source: More Fabric Savvy.

Five: Stretch velvet has great recovery and doesn’t shine at seat. It is also easy to care for because it can be machine washed and dried without affecting the nap. Source: More Fabric Savvy.


  1. Reply

    Helen McFadyen

    Good point. I now follow so many blogs that if I half-remember reading something, you can bet I won’t be able to remember who wrote it! I haven’t yet found a foolproof system to get around this. I read most blogs either in my lunchbreak (on my work laptop – where clearly it’s pointless bookmarking stuff) or on the bloglovin app on my phone. Even if I do read them on our home laptop, bookmarks very quickly get out of control. I have tried Evernote, but that doesn’t always work for me. It would be great if Bloglovin itself had a bookmarking tool, or something similar.

    I might try your method and see if that works for me! Thanks for the tip. Now, where will I bookmark this, so I remember what you’ve just said? 🙂

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Too funny. Well I hope that when you go to bed tonight, you jot down this post. Don’t bookmark it!

  2. Reply


    How do you fuse two fabrics together? What do you use for that?

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Interesting, isn’t it? Beverly suggested a product called “Wonder Under” and she suggests to use it when underlining lace with chiffon, organza, etc (it’s easier than basting).I haven’t found it yet (maybe it’s only available in Canada?) but I just ordered the below fabric adhesive.


      • Reply

        Natasha Estrada

        The stock it at Joanns with the interfacing it’s made by Pellon. When I was a customer service manager at Evil J’s over a decade ago it was our go to product recommendation for people who couldn’t sew but needed to make something asap. I had forgotten about it. It’s all kinds of awesome. There are some other kinds of fusible webbing though.


        I’m a big fan of repetition when it comes to doing something. Not so much with rote repetition like reading flash cards because that doesn’t encourage comprehension and getting the hook that will make it stick in your brain for life.

        My favorite method though is “See one, do one, teach one”

        Read a blog post or see someone demonstrate it. Then actually do it. Once you’ve done it explain it to someone else. Reorganizing the information in your brain so you can explain it will cement it in there. If it works for med students…..

        • Reply

          Maddie Flanigan

          Natasha, you always have some hidden information that no one knows about or a word of insight that may be simple, but so true. I love it! I wished you lived closer because I would take you out for coffee every Saturday or Sunday and pick your brain.

          Rote repetition is necessary, at least I think so, but it is only the first step. In order for me to learn something, I first have to go over it many times, even if it’s flipping through a notebook or flashcards. I have to get it to stick in my brain. The next step is being able to recall it and explain it to someone. It’s funny that you mention this because I used to have a study buddy in college and that’s how we studied for a test – by having a conversation about the concepts/chapters that the exam covered. If you can do that, then you know and understand the concept.

          I like your motto too “see one, do one, teach one” – it’s like Beverly’s motto when attaching elastic – “shiny side up, fuzzy side up and picots facing in.”

          • Natasha Estrada

            Knowing your personal learning style is key. I have to admit I often skip over the memorization part because I have a pretty decent visual memory to start with so its a tad uppity of me to say oh you don’t need to memorize.

            For stuff that your hand needs to remember you gotta keep repeating and trying new concepts. Strategy and the right references will cut down the learning/relearning but ultimately you need to encode the information into your hands/eyes/brain. If you’ve ever played an instrument then you understand this. Play a piece as slow as it takes for it to be perfect. Go to sleep wake up and it should be there in your fingers like magic.

            I spend a lot of time thinking about how things are learnt its my geeky hangup. I’m relearning how to do a lot of my fashiony like sketch and use illustrator and find I’m not as intimidated as I was the first time

          • Maddie Flanigan

            Good for your for going back and relearning sketching and illustrator. I applaud that. I’ve been getting back into sketch booking because when I was cleaning out my apartment recently, I came across some old notebooks and remembered how much I enjoyed it.

          • Natasha Estrada

            You totally should. Sketching always seems to remind me of sunshine but I just remembered the technical reason why jotting something down works for memorization. It’s because the act of writing it in your own hand encodes it into your brain. You might not even need to look at your notes again but if you did seeing it in your own hand helps your brain access the file. Thats why taking notes on the computer is not always that helpful. I’m a big fan of using cornell notes

          • Maddie Flanigan

            We think alike, Natasha. Well, sort of. Lol. Another reason I like writing things down is because it forces my mind to slow down, digest, and comprehend the subject. It takes a second or two to repeat a sentence (or think it), but it takes about twenty or so seconds to write one. That extra eighteen seconds (approximately) makes the information stick.

  3. Reply


    Great idea about the repetition! I couldn’t agree more, it really is key. I’m shocked you can machine was stretch velvet- I just bought some and I thought it would have to be dry cleaned. I’m a bit scared to machine wash it though to be honest!

  4. Reply


    I really love your side bar idea Maddie, I use the like function on bloglovin to go back to posts that I’ve found useful, inspiring or just want to read again! I’ve already clicked on a few of your links and I’m about to order More Fabric Savvy! 🙂

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Great tip about Bloglovin. I’ve been looking for a way to save posts that I like or want to go back to.

  5. Reply

    Mary Carroll

    As a retired teacher (with a rep like your Ms.Schack), I applaud this post. I too read so much and where the h*ll does it go? Thanks for all the tips.

  6. Reply


    hmm, thanks for all these neat tips, especially the velvet ones. and i like your memory note taking idea, i probably forget so much everyday.

  7. Reply


    I wandered over to Portia’s to learn how to use hole reinforcers as tailors tack, but was unable to find it.

    Also, I thought it was the other way around about the scissors -cutting fabric with the paper scissors makes them dull. What is your opinion on cutting thread with your fabric scissors? For me it’s a total no-no, but none of my classmates (I study garment technology) have ever heard of it and think I’m ridiculous. I find that the thread nicks my scissors an makes a ragged cutting.

    • Reply

      Natasha Estrada

      Honestly if the thread nicks your scissor blade then the blades themselves may not be hard enough to hold an edge. This is what I’ve personally used for the last 10 years and only had to sharpen once when I literally cut through a pin. Light as a feather but ars stands for always really sharp lol. The blades are the same as what they put on industrial cutting machines. They are not as pricey as they used to be I think I paid $100 for mine now they are like $35.


      They are/were the official FIDM scissor and that was the only place you could get them for years.


      • Reply


        Interesting, it never ocurred to me! I do use a pair of cheaper fabric scissors, but on the other hand I have only needed to sharpen them once during the last 7 or so years. But being in this line of work now maybe I should get a pair of proffessional scissors!

        • Reply

          Natasha Estrada

          I really am a fan of the ARS’s (which apparently stands for always really sharp) I use them for cutting leather soles (about 3mm thick) and they just take it. IDK that you need to use the same scissors for everything but you also don’t need to worry about cutting through paper while your cutting out or nipping threads etc. I’m all for easy breezy not worrying too much

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      I never cut paper with fabric scissors because I thought I wasn’t supposed to. But after reading Beverly’s tip and Natasha’s comment (she pretty much knows everything!), I’m a convert.

      • Reply


        So I should just take the plunge and cut everything with the same scissors?! Yikes!

  8. Reply


    These are some great tips! I have always kept my fabric scissors away from paper. You are reminding me that I should be trying to retain more myself!

Leave a Reply