Life of Johanna / Sewing activewear / Sewing cardigans / work in progress

Sewing plans for fall

me in my sewing corner

After a busy August and September things are beginning to settle down and I have the time and peace of mind to start planning for fall. This is a good time for a fresh start and new ideas, so thought I should share some of my sewing plans for this fall. As with everything, life might get in the way and not all of the things listed will happen. But just doing the simple act of jotting down what you want can get the ball rolling somewhat, so here is my sewing plans for autumn:


✂️ Purging my fabric scraps

I got one big box of fabric scraps that are not enough on its own to be used for a garment. I need to take a good honest look into that box and see what pieces of fabric I actually will use someday. Not a lot I suspect, and I want to free up that space for fabrics that are actually useful and could be turned into garments!



✂️ Master the coverstitch tape binder

Sometimes learning new machines and tools can be intimidating. That’s why I’m always tempted to stick with what I know rather than making the initial time investment learning something new, even though it could be both quicker and better in the long run. But I’ve decided to master the binder attachment of, because I’ve seen what it can do and how fast and accurate it can do it, and I think it will take my neckline and sleeve finishing to a whole new level.


✂️ Sewing a new workout wardrobe

My fitness wardrobe needs a few updates, since a couple years back I did a big batch of workout wear in a fabric that didn’t transport moisture very well, even though it was labeled as a functional fabric. So I’ve decided to retire those garments and replace them with some updated styles. This collection will be all my own design, so I got some design work and pattern drafting to do too, which means that this project will take up all of October and go well into November I suspect.



✂️ Sewing a fall wardrobe

In November I will tackle the fabrics that I bought at a large sewing fair in August. I got my hands at some pretty amazing Italian designer knits from Iceberg and Roberto Cavalli, plus a gorgeous sweater knit from a Danish fashion company and a locally made merino knit jersey that I will turn into a cardigan. I’ve had some me-made cardigans for over 8 years now, and they are starting to wear down so it’s time for an update.


✂️ Sewing a camera strap

Blogger The Black Chic has an excellent tutorial on how to make your own camera strap using fabric. I’ve only ever used the boring branded camera straps that comes with the camera, so I’m really looking forward to add some personality to my camera!


✂️ Finding a better way to organize my fusible interfacings

Right now, they are just crammed into a tote that hangs in my sewing corner. I would love to have some kind of system that divides them into different types so I don’t have to rummage through the entire collection each time I need a specific fusible. Getting a system in place will also help me gauging which interfacings needs to restocked. So I would love to know if you have any tips to share on how you keep your interfacings in order!


sewing active wear book

✂️ Making an e-book with sewing techniques for activewear

This is a passion project where I hope to merge my day job skills and my passion for sewing and sharing knowledge.  I want to make a book about nifty techniques that can be used when making activewear – and for other sewing projects too of course! Primarily stuff that I’ve haven’t shared on the blog, mixed with a few older tutorials but formatted into a book. This might be a crazy idea, not sure how big this market is, but I’m really into this idea and want to design a book that it’s both visually appealing and instructive. I would love to get your feedback on this! And are there any particular techniques you would like to have featured?



  • Mary
    September 22, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    I use a plastic accordion style file for my fusible interfacing. You can buy them at an office supply place. I label each tab and place the interfacing in the expandable file. It doesn’t take much room and has a latch on the front so you can store it horizontally, vertically, under a bed, on a shelf, or wherever.

    • Johanna
      September 22, 2016 at 6:19 pm

      That is a fantastic idea! I don’t have one of those file folders, but they are easy enough find! Thank you for the suggestion

  • Angela
    September 22, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    I also need to master the binding attachment for my coverstitch. In fact, I need to master it in general. I know how to operate it, but my skills need a LOT of fine-tuning and learning how to use attachments is a biggie.

    LOVE the active-wear book idea, but I haven’t sewn enough to have anything intelligent to add. LOL!!

    • Johanna
      September 22, 2016 at 6:43 pm

      Oh yes those darn attachments! I got my share too of those that remains underutilized, but yes practise and patience is key. Fingers crossed that we will master them one day 🙂 And thank you for encouraging my active wear book idea!

  • PsychicSewerKathleen
    September 22, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    Johanna I for one would definitely purchase your ebook on sewing activewear – I’m always amazed at how in sync you and I are so many many km away from each other (I’m in Victoria BC Canada). I have that very same seam binder to go with my coverstitch and even took a private one-on-one lesson recently at the shop where I purchased it. I came home thinking I had it down, all figured and ready to go and now I look at it in my drawer promising myself I WILL PRACTICE! But always find more fun things to do like cutting out another pattern…I have the hemming foot too and I’ve tried working with that without luck I’m afraid. I too need to look at my activewear and get busy. I have enough leggings but I need more properly fitting T-shirts out of fabrics I actually like 🙂

    • Johanna
      September 22, 2016 at 7:45 pm

      LOL, we truly must be spiritual sewing twins! I too took a class a while back and even filmed it with my cellphone, but alas my binder attachment is yet to be unpacked! Fingers crossed that this fall will be when we finally makes this binder thingie happen – I know it’s good, but I dread the learning curve. And thank you for your feedback on my active wear book idea, that makes me feel encouraged 🙂

  • Ann
    September 22, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    I would buy your e-book too, I promise, please make it for me!

    A particular technique I would be very interested in would be adding a zippered pocket to some sweatpants. Not a pocket that is in the back for a cellphone — hand pockets, I mean, but ones that have zippers. Since it has become almost impossible to go shopping and find good pants for working out, not leggings, I guess I must tackle this on my own and try to make some! My store bought ones are wearing out.

    The zippered pockets are crucial because I also wear these sweatpants for walking my dog and I don’t always want to carry a bag. I need to be able to zip up my keys, some dog bags, a little cash, etc., and not worry about losing anything as my dog pulls me along.

    Sorry to be so long-winded! Of course I will buy your book whatever techniques you decide to put in it!

    • Johanna
      September 23, 2016 at 7:15 am

      Thank you so much for the input! And it makes me happy to hear because zippered pockets is on my list of possible content 🙂 I got a great method that works even in really stretchy lycra knits, and I agree zippered pockets are the best, but sadly I’ve seen less and less of them in RTW activewear lately, not sure why, maybe it’s due to production costs? I personally add pockets to everything!

  • Ann
    September 23, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    I’m so glad you like them too! Production costs sounds like a possible reason they’re not included much anymore. I also think that looser workout pants are not in style right now and if they’re not a little loose, that kind of pocket doesn’t work that well, at least not for a front pants pociket. Personally, I like workout pants that are not skin tight, not for prudish reasons, but because I run outside in New York City and it is just so crowded, it is so public, all the time. I like to feel a little hidden and anonymous when I run, even if it means I’m not so chic. I don’t know if I’ve explained it well!

  • Ann
    September 23, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    Sorry about my typo — obviously I meant pocket not pociket!

  • Kelsey
    September 24, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    I also need to purge my scraps! They’re taking up a lot of space, so I’ve got to find ways to use them and get them out of my way.

    I think your ebook would be a hit! It sounds very useful, so go for it 🙂

    • Johanna
      September 25, 2016 at 2:38 pm

      Thank you for giving the thumbs up about my book idea! And word about the scraps, they can quickly amount to a lot, and often doesn’t feel as inspiring as the full length fabrics in our collection. So getting creative with the scraps sounds like a great idea!

  • Anemone
    September 25, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    An activewear e-book would be fabulous! I too am interested in adding pockets, zippered as well as other types. Also, gussets and wether/when I should use special thread. I’m an activewear newbie so I look forward to all the hints you can give me🙂

    • Johanna
      September 26, 2016 at 7:46 am

      Thank you so much for your suggestions, those are great topics! I got four different pockets styles on my possible list of content. Pockets are so important, and I add them to all my workout bottoms and some tops too, yet they are a scarcity in so many RTW workout garments, I suspect it’s because they would add to the cost.

  • helen mclean
    October 3, 2016 at 3:13 am

    Hi Johanna,

    I store my fusible interfacing in freezer bags with the name and instructions in felt marker on the front. I then store these in a drawer that I can rummage through when I need to find what I want.

    • Johanna
      October 3, 2016 at 10:59 am

      That is an excellent idea! I really like how simple it is and good point about writing instructions too, that is so is easy to forget. Thank you!

  • Gwen
    October 20, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    Johanna – I would LOVE an eBook from you. I’ve looked for your pattern every time you post your leggings. Tips, tricks, all that goodness would be super welcome. I love to learn from someone elses trial and errors as well as my own. Things like, pockets, zippers, fitting ankles for a variety of situations from running to covering dance shoes or even just rubber/silicon elastic in the hem, why poly vs. nylon is a preference, elastics that are most comfortable and long lasting, drawstrings, where you choose to grade seams, avoiding rippled seams even with a walking foot, gusset styles that you think work best (comparisons), and on and on. I love your blog and all your creations. So fun!

    • Johanna
      October 22, 2016 at 8:43 am

      Those are all excellent ideas! I’m taking mental notes as I write this 🙂 My plan is to include some expert comments too, such as thoughts on the various gussets, because I will be the first to admit that I don’t know everything! And I have been doing some garments with silicon edges at the hem, and they can be fiddly to apply for sure! And thank you for the kind comments about my blog and my makes!


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