Emma’s Stitching News


I hope that all my sewing friends had a wonderful Holiday Season and are ready to get back to real life and sewing. My Holiday was spent with my family in Jacksonville and we were all there, even our Naval Mid Shipman.

I will start out with Knit Tips. I have a handout that I give out at shows and places where I teach. I have also sent it to several ASGs for their newsletters. If your group would like to reproduce this in your newsletter please feel free to do so. The 12 Helpful Hints will be available on the web site (click here) and you may copy from there, or if you need in a special format for your newsletter please contact me.


I have a FIT TIP for you (click here), and since this is the beginning of the year and all garments with shoulders should be fitted starting at the shoulders (as per Coco Channel ). Most Patterns and Ready to Wear have shoulders that are too far to the back. Most females have a forward shoulder unless they have been a swimmer or a weight lifter in their youth. We need to start at the shoulders to create the perfect line for your body and the drape of the garment. Stand with your face forward and looking straight ahead. With one hand feel the muscle that runs down behind your ear to your neckline. Continue a line to the shoulder where it attaches to the arm. Just before the arm there is knob, that is the beginning of where your arm is. If you have some scrap fabric that you could use to create a front and back that only comes to the bust line (no sleeves and a lowish neckline) this would help you to correctly fit the shoulder line. A lot of times when fitting a student I remove the front shoulder from the pattern and attach it to the back shoulder. There is sometimes a slant and this can only be seen by a sewing friend as you have to stand facing to the front and not turning to look into a mirror. See  Example #1. Once you find the knob, place one finger beyond the knob and that would be the stitching line for a sleveless top. See Example #2.  Place two fingers beyond the knob and that would be the stitching line for a tee with sleeves. See Example #3. Place three fingers beyond the knob for a cardigan stitching line. See Example #4. DO NOT forget to add a seam allowance. These very simple measurements are pretty accurate and simple, they are also basically for the use with light weight fabrics and knits. The measurements do not always work for heavy fabrics, suits, wovens, shoulder pads, and heavy over jackets.

Look for Neckline Fit next month.


Serger Tip — I am always amazed when I teach serger classes that some of you own them and they are still in the box. Please get them out and learn to love them. Next to my own marriage, I think owning a sewing machine and a serger is a great marriage. They work with each other and always compliment each other. This first serger tip is a simple one but many of my sewing ladies have never made use of this info. There are notches on the foot and those notches are in line with each needle. If you want to stitch in a certain location on the fabric use those notches to align your stitching. This is a simple tip that can make a world of difference in your finished project. Look for more tips and ideas on Sergers as time goes on. 


My winner of the special Holiday Season Offer is Barb Harshey. She used the Woven Stay Tape to interface where she was installing a zipper.

Her words were “I have always had difficulty putting zippers in properly on a slippery fabrics. I used the tape to stabilize the zipper along the slippery fabric. The zipper was in before I knew it and was extremely straight looking like it had been done professionally.”

Barb also addressed something that I try to teach in all my classes and that is how you sit at your machines. I believe very strongly that if you sit at your machines so that the center of your body is lined up with the foot and the needle you will sit up straighter and sew comfortably longer. I also sew with my left foot (it is a kinder and gentler foot unless you have a stick shift car). Barb’s thought was that she is a musician and as such she sit on the edge of her chair to play which makes her sit straighter and finds that if she sews this way her back lasts longer.

Thank you for sharing Barb!!!


Ladies I have been very fortunate to get to know a very fine southern gentleman by the name of James (Jim) Miller who is the owner of YLI Threads. I carry his threads and find them to be very beautiful and the threads make my embellishments—trims  look so striking and professional. I love his color combinations and the weight gives good coverage. Jim has written a very knowledgeable report on threads that you can find on my web site (click here). Read it a couple times, as you'll understand more each time you read. Thank You Jim!!

I will be giving some smaller tips on threads in my next newsletter.


I am now selling YLI Quilt Highlights Metallic BraidYLI Quilt Highlights Rayon BraidYLI Quilt Highlights Rayon/Metallic BraidYLI Ribbon Floss Original Soft Braided RayonYLI Ribbon Floss Shimmer Blend w/Metallic, and YLI RibbonFloss - Metallic.


I expect to be at the Space Coast ASG on April 1, 2017. I would love to see all you sewing April Fools there. Contact Titusville Space Coast, FL Chapter of the ASG for info.

I will also be at Sarasota/Gulf Coast, FL Chapter of the ASG on April 22, 2017. Contact Sarasota for their info. If you live in either area or may be traveling to a location near by please come and join the fun.

This Spring I will be at the American Embroidery Conference  in Palm Beach Gardens, FL on May 3-7, 2017.

I will be teaching at the American Sewing Guild National Conference in Orlando, FL in July 28-31, 2017.

I was asked to apply to teach at Association of Sewing and Design Professionals in October 18-24, 2017 in Orlando.


My Special on the web site this month is three Invisafil threads for the price of two (click for more information). I love this thread as it comes in colors, is 100 weight, and it is truly invisible if you color match. Invisafil hides much better than clear thread as there is no shine like from the clear thread and the color match really fades into the fabric. I use it in the top of my sewing machine and I use a regular sewing thread in the bobbin that is the color of the garment. I also reduce the needle tension. When I turn on my sewing machine my needle tension defaults at 4.5 to 5.0 depending on stitch choice, I usually drop to 4.0 or so to lighten the pressure on the Invisafil. I don’t recommend that you use Invisafil on the Serger.

Thank you for joining me for my second Emma’s Stitches Newsletter and I look forward to hearing from you about things that help you or things you want to know.

Emma Seabrooke

When sewing with knits, use these 12 helpful hints to make a HUGE difference

1.   Walking foot

2.   Lighten machine foot pressure.

3.   75/11 STRETCH needles

4.   100% poly thread.

5.   Bobbin containing the same 100% poly threads.

6.   Stitch at a slow speed. Knits like slow.

7.   Use flat hands to GUIDE fabric. Do not GRIP, TUG or PULL fabric. This is not stretch and sew any more.

8.   Knits should be kept on a flat surface and not draping off the table.

9.  Pin together on the table not the lap. Also put a pin at each end and the middle and then start working to close the gaps.

10. Start sewing on the fabric and stitch to the end off the fabric. Turn the fabric and sew off the other end. Never sew onto a fabric, especially light weight fabric as it usually goes down into the bobbin area.

11. Always best to sew to the waist. Sew up the leg and down the tee side seam.

12. Last but definitely not the least, USE SEWKEYSE STAY TAPES. They help control the knits so they don’t have ski moguls throughout your seams and hems.
Copyright © 2017 Emma Seabrooke, All rights reserved.

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