I’ve had folks reach out to me for intel on supplies and although I do not have an amazing state secret to share about how I procure all my sweaters, I do have some worthy business suppliers and recommendations for other things that go into my art, such as machines, thread, needles, etc… None of these are affiliate links, so I receive nothing if you purchase anything from any of these links. I don't mind - just trying to be helpful. If you do find info here at all useful, show me some social media love and follow my Facebook page. If you don't have Facebook, you can follow me on Instagram, or be part of my Pinterest community (lots of sewing tips on my sewing board!). I rely on word-of-mouth, so your social media support costs you nothing to provide and means SO much to me. 💓
There's no "pattern" - it's a general tutorial by Katwise which covers just the basics. My patchwork sweatercoats are my own interpretation of her tutorial, which you can get her tutorial HERE. If you want to try to make a coat that looks like mine do, know that there is a LOT more that goes into my coats which is way above and beyond what she covers in her tutorial. I cover some of that information here in my blog posts, but not all. You'll also need specialty machines like mine as well. 😇
(I'm half joking, half serious 👇😂)
Patchwork spiral skirt pattern:
Nope, I adore you, but I do not have a tutorial at this point in time. Most of what goes into my skirts are adjustments made on-the-fly as I'm making them, depending on what size denim jeans I can get. After I've made a few more of these I may have a tutorial in the future, but there isn't one right now. I want to have at least a little bit of a head start on the copycats out there.🥺🙏
This is THE machine I use more than any other - my needle-felting machine. You can't make coats that look like mine without it, because the needle-felting changes the structure of the material and makes it behave differently - and needle-felted wool/cashmere provide enough structure to support the embroidery and sequin work. I like the Babylock Embellisher EMB-12 which VERY sadly has been discontinued. Here’s the original product page:
If you get lucky, you might be able to find one of these hiding somewhere at your local Babylock dealer (use the Babylock website link to look up your local store). I found my backup machines on eBay. You can also search on Craigslist and see if someone local has one they're willing to part with. These machines were a pricey ~$600 brand new and came in both 7-needle models and later 12-needle models. Go for the 12-needle if you can. I've also had a Simplicity 12-needle model (also discontinued) and the Babylock machine works way better. The bummer about buying used is it's not under warranty, but this machine is fairly simple so if something's wrong, it's not a complicated repair. Janome made a needle-felting machine as well, the FM-725 model, but I'm not sure if they ever made a model with more than 5 needles.
If you want this machine but can't find a used one anywhere, please join me in asking Babylock to bring these back into existence. You can contact them on this page HERE. I am actually very hopeful that if enough folks ask, they'll make these again, perhaps even with some improvements (it really needs a longer power cord/foot pedal). I also replaced the light bulb on mine with a brighter, LED light bulb that doesn't heat up.
If you're thinking "haha 🤣.... what 🤔...?" and wondering what the heck I'm talking about, don't miss my post about felting. That's right HERE.
I have both this industrial model as well as several home sergers, so I can write lovely prose about the differences between the two, and that should be a whole separate blog post (note to self: write future blog post extolling the differences between home/industrial overlock machines.. UPDATE - blog post written! It's right HERE). Love the Juki the best!
Regular sewing machine:
I have a Babylock Destiny, which I use for on-the-fly non-hooped embroidery stitches that a regular sewing machine won't do. Warning, this thing will destroy your wallet. ☠ I was only able to afford mine when my late grandmother left me a bit of money, so it's named Emily, after her, in gratitude. She loved to sew, and I felt it was a good way to honor our mutual love of sewing and to feel connected to her. They've upgraded and changed the models (Babylock is famous for doing that) 🙄, so you can probably get a used Destiny for a lot less than I paid for mine.
Thread and Notions:
My Katwise-inspired coats use a LOT of thread, so I prefer to buy in 6,000 yard Tex-40 spools (Tex-40 is a stronger and thicker thread than Tex-27, which is what you'll find in big-box stores like Joann's). My favorite sources for thread:
Venus thread: https://vti.saha.com/
Venus thread has the best range of colors. If you want to get from them, be sure and get a color card. I think it's around $15.00 and well worth it. The staff at Saha (the manufacturer) are SO wonderful and friendly to talk to! I'm not sure but I *think* you have to be registered in your state as business to buy from them, but you can just call and ask. I'm an introvert and if I can reach out, you can do it too, pinky swear!
California Thread Supply: https://www.ctsusa.com/
CTS has a far smaller range of colors than Venus, but is generally a bit cheaper if you buy in a big enough quantity. They also have embroidery thread as well. Invest in a color card, it's just worth it. I have both the embroidery AND the overlock thread color cards. Their website is always a bit glitchy, but they are generally good when you can get an order through. Ooooo UPDATE - their new website is https://www.calthread.com/. (I think the old one still works too - it's the same company.)
Wawak's thread color range is a bit meh, but they are very quick to ship. They also have a good zipper collection. When I don't have a reclaimed zipper, I just get them from Wawak. The #5 jacket zippers are all good quality YKK-brand.
The Thread Exchange: https://www.thethreadexchange.com/
Don't bother buying invisible thread in tiny store-bought spools. It tangles up and is SUCH a pain. I buy mine from The Thread Exchange on large industrial size cones. They'll last you forever, and are a lot less prone to twisting/tangling. They also have grab bags of rayon and polyester embroidery thread so if you're into embroidery, it's a great way to build up your stash of less-expensive thread to play around with. They've got needles too.
I cannot say enough wonderful things about Kai scissors. I have them in 11-inch and 12-inch and I will NEVER go back to regular store-bought scissors. I also don't trust rotary cutters as I nearly sliced my fingertip off with one. I'll spare you the gruesome photo. Bleh. Instead, look at these beautiful things. Are these not the most amazing scissors you've ever seen?? (Wawak sells these too.)
C Cartwright's Sequins are simply unmatched in colors, shapes, sizes. I have 230+ different colors, shapes and sizes of sequins and just when I think I have every color, they come up with something new. They ship from Arkansas and send things pretty quickly too.... like usually the next day! Are you into beading?? They just started carrying seed-beads as well.
Pro-tip: If you know you are going to use a lot of one color, just get the 50-gram or 100-gram bags, but be aware that they are not always labeled... I re-bag mine and label them so I know which color is which when it's time to re-order. 😎
Most of my fleece I have gotten from Joann's. I'm not proud. They are a big-box store, and I wish they'd pay their staff more. Plus they have a habit of introducing a really pretty pattern and then quickly discontinuing it. So they don't get a link. Booooo! 😒
OMG but did you see that awesome pink Leopard print fleece on Proper Patola??? 😍 👇
My animal print fleece, my favorite place to get that is Fabric Empire.
I forgot to mention my iron! What a sacrilege!! 😱 A good iron is one of THE most important tools. I like the Rowenta Steam Station (model DG8624) - it is a monster of an iron because it has a detachable tank. This means that:
- You have to refill the water WAY less often
- The iron itself is lighter, because the water tank is in the base
I got it on Amazon (ugh, not so proud of buying from the Bloated Bezos Empire😐) so I'm not going to post a direct link, but if you search under "Rowenta Steam Station", it should come right up. Yes, it was ~$200-300 but if you sew and iron as much as I do, it is like all good tools, worth the money. My iron derives joy from burning me, so of course her name is.... Burnadette.🤣 (Her predecessor was the earlier model and his name was "Burnie Sanders".) She is so important to me, she sits on her own circuit, because she pulls a whopping 1500 watts of electricity when on. Yes. I literally had a special dedicated electrical circuit installed just to support this iron. No regrets. It's still cheaper than accidentally blowing up the electricity and burning the house down. 😉 Safety first, always.😎
I find traditional ironing boards way too narrow and hard to work with, so I have a whole ironing table and I LOVE it!😎 The table itself sits on top of a door with adjustable-height legs bought from IKEA, and my ironing table rests on top. The table itself is a home-made piece of plywood with cotton battling stapled to it with heavy-duty staple-gun staples, and I covered the whole thing with this cover bought from Joann's...
The link to this at Joann's is right HERE. Here's the packaging, the brand name is Sullivan's:
Shout out to Denver Design Incubator for their efforts to provide shared maker-space as well as instruction on the ins and outs of industrial machines and apparel construction. Even if you don't work in a "cut sew" operation, I think it's great to have an appreciation of how everyday clothes are made. If we didn't have apparel manufacturing and you didn't have sewing skills, you'd be walking around in your birthday suit! 😮 Here's their Facebook page and please show them some social media love too. They are a very worthy organization.
Well, did I miss anything? If so send me a nag: email@example.com or reach out on social media.
Again - I don't do "affiliate links", so there's no financial incentive for me to ever steer you one way or another. I prefer it that way. The suppliers and businesses above earned their shout-out just by having great service and great products. If you found valuable info here that was super helpful, you can always buy me a little one dollar bag 'o sparkles and it is greatly appreciated. 🥰 My virtual "tip jar" is here, although truth be told, if I've been helpful to you in any way, a shout-out or a follow on social media costs you nothing, and is even more valuable to me. You are free and welcome to tag/follow me! Here I am on social media:
Looking for more sewing tidbits?
- Read more about SERGERS..
- How to conquer the ZIPPER in a supercool way..
- What the heck is NEEDLE-FELTING?
- Read more about COAT MASTERY...