Tag Archive | cloth

Yay Sports! Go Team!

DSCN3421 (1)IMG (1)I am certainly not a big sports fan, and I am especially not a big football fan, but I am a BIG fan of fabric. So, you know, when I saw this football fleece on clearance at Joann’s and I also had a coupon for even more off the already low reduced price, you just knew I was going to buy some of it. And even though I may not be a big football fan, I am sure there is some one out there that is, and would want me to make something for them from this fleece.

In trying to fall in love with fleece again, I did some reading on the internet and I found some suggestions for sewing with fleece. I wanted to try out a couple of the suggestions, so I pulled out this football fleece and a simple pattern, Kwik Sew 3235, for a pullover fleece jacket. In making a pullover jacket, I won’t have to worry about buttons or a zipper, and I could focus on the seams and the suggestions I had read about.

DSCN2561DSCN2797I could not decide which size between a medium or large that I wanted to make, but as I mentioned in a previous post, the fabric decided for me. I would be making a medium pullover jacket. Also as previously mentioned, this pattern was not very easy to cut out due to the fabric. I had to really work to keep the footballs and helmets straight. When I cut out the pocket, I purposely did not match the design because I wanted the pocket to stand out from the rest of the jacket’s design.

With my pattern pieces cut out, I started the sewing process. The first suggestion I followed was to put a new needle in the machine. The suggestion said to make sure it was a ballpoint needle. I only use Schmetz universal needles so that is what I sewed it with and it did great. The next suggestion was to lengthen my stitch length because of the bulk, which I did. When it can time to iron it, I followed another suggestion of using a press cloth so I could iron the fleece a little more aggressively without hurting the fleece.

DSCN3426 (1)DSCN3429 (1)One article I read suggested three different types of seams that worked well for sewing fleece, a fake flat fell seam (sometimes called a faux flat felled seam), a lapped seam or a double topstitched seam. I was not impressed with the lapped seams but wanted to try the other two seams. As I started to sew, I found that I wanted to just sew double top stitch seams so that the seams matched. The double top stitch seam is sewn by first sewing your seam as you normally would, then sewing the seam allowances down close to the edge of the seam allowance, then trimming close to the seam allowance stitching. Since fleece does not fray, cutting close to the stitches finishes off the seam. On the top side, there is a cool double row of stitching encasing the seam. This is a fun look that looks like it took a lot of effort to sew but was really easy and it looks great! Especially if you sew straight, which I seem to have a hard time doing most of the time. 🙂

DSCN3424 (1)DSCN3423 (1)I was able to do the double top stitch seams on the shoulder seams, the sleeve seams and even the hood’s seams, but when it came time to double topstitch the underarm/side seams, I realized that would be impossible. Because the arm is a tube, there was no way I was going to fit the fabric under the presser foot and sew it. I tried to figure out a way to do the topstitching but could not. I turned to the internet for help, but pretty much everyone said the same thing that it could not be done with a normal home sewing machine.

There were a few suggestions on the internet for how to finish the seam but I was not thrilled with the answers. Pondering the possible ways to finish this seam, I stared at my serger and I shook my head. I have the tools, i.e. a serger, why not use it. So I serged the underarm/side seams to finish them. Because this is not a super heavy fleece, no issues occurred while serging it. I also used the serger to finish the edges on the facing. I could have just left the edge unfinished on the facings but that would have really bugged me.

DSCN3422 (1)For the hems, I folded and sewed the hems as usual but with out finishing the edge with the serger or folding the edges over. After completing the hems, I trimmed the edges close to the stitches as I did for the seam allowances so that all the inside seams matched. I did the same with the pockets opening edge.

Looking at the completed jacket, I liked what I saw from the outside. The top stitching looked great! From the inside though, the serged seams looked so much cleaner and finished than just the trimmed seams. But, I was not disappointed that I had done the double topstitched seams for the others. It was fun to try something different, plus I will have a new technique for sewing a heavier fleece that would not serge well in a later project.

This jacket was fun to make and turned out great!

So, am I in love with fleece again? The answer is maybe.

The cutting out of this pullover jacket was a real task, but the sewing was fun especially with applying the suggestions I had read about. I do see more fleece projects in my future so stay tuned.

Until then, fleece forth, and sports on!

I Just Want To Sew

P1040122Make sleepers, I said to myself!

So I did! And it was fun!

Of course because I have some new patterns that I want to try out, and I have some very complex and involved projects that I want to make, and I have some new techniques that I still need to learn, I felt guilty for not doing them instead of just sewing for the fun of it. But for now, I just wanted to sew something easy and fun that would not require a lot of thought on my part, but that would still end with wonderful results.

P1040125 I was not ready to get into a large, thought provoking, time consuming project just yet, so I opted to make a sleeper or two instead. I like to always keep a couple of baby sleepers cut out so that when I am in one of these moods, I can just pull one out my sleeper box and sew away.

When I opened my sleeper box, the sleeper on top was one that I had already started. It needed to have something embroidered on it before it could be completed. Luckily, I had not put away my embroidery tools from my last project of embroidering on the husband’s shirts, and soon enough a teddy bear with a big purple bow was embroidered on this sleeper. The sleeper was then easy to finish and a lot of fun to make.

P1040121The next sleeper in the box was cut out from a scrap that I had picked up at a thrift store. The fabric is thin and has a patterned design cut in it so there would be no embroidering needed on this sleeper. Even without a design embroidered on it, it is an adorable sleeper and was a very straight forward, fun sew to complete.

P1040117The last of the sleepers in the box was two terry fabric sleepers. I had pulled out these two pieces of terry from the stash when I cleaned out my stash last year to get rid of them. They were barely 1/2 of a yard pieces and in odd colors, left over scraps from some projects of long ago, but as I looked at them again in the departing pile, I decided it would be more fun to donate these pieces of fabric as sleepers rather than just pieces of terry cloth.

Until I started sewing these sleepers, I had forgotten just how much “fun” terry cloth is to work with. I forgot about the fuzzy mess that terry makes when working with it, and how wonderfully terry cloth stretches in every direction all at once. My fun and easy P1040120project just got a little more complicated all of a sudden. Over the years I have accepted this as a sewing reality. No project is as simple as it at first seems to be, and there is always a lesson to be learned and patience to be tried no matter the project you are working on.

So I got the vacuum out and parked it right next to the sewing machine to help control the fuzz problem as I stitched, and I got out lots of extra pins to help with the stretch problem. I had the walking foot at the ready, but I did not have to use it. Actually, about half way through these two sleepers, I was ready to move on to my next project. But I did not want to just give up, and stop working on these and put them back in the box for another day. And since the fuzzy mess was already started, I soldiered on!

P1040114As these two sleepers came together, I could see many possible designs in my head to be stitched on them. I finally picked a Tiger and Pooh design for the purple sleeper. Although I love the Tiger and Pooh on the purple terry, this was not the design for this stretchy fabric. This was a large design and with all the jumping around to stitch, it caused this already stretchy fabric to stretch even more. I held my breath until the design was done stitching and it came out ok, a bit off, but ok. While looking closely at the design while I was trimming jump stitches, I realized that the Tiger had no eyes. ARGH! I wasn’t willing to hoop it back up to fix it, so I just used a black sharpie marker to give him some! P1040116With all the problems with this design, I will not be using it again, not even on a non stretchy fabric with the eyes added in to the Tiger design.

The Snow White design that I used on the second sleeper, was much easier to stitch on the stretchy terry. It turn out great and I think it is very cute on the yellow fabric, it will be just right for some little princess.

Wow, four sleepers made! And I had a great time making them, despite the stretchy mess. They were just what I needed, fun and easy, and ending with great results. I am now ready to dive into my next project. Stay tuned!

Not Just Another Sewing Reference

I have several books in my sewing library. Most of them are sewing references that I turn to when I have a question on a technique or how to handle a particular type of fabric. Some of the books are there to inspire me when I can’t seem to decide what to sew next. But, the one thing that I have never done is read any of my sewing books cover to cover.

On a recommendation of a friend, I purchased The Colette Sewing Handbook by Sarai Mitnick. I planned to just file it on the shelf with my other sewing references waiting for the day that I needed it, but as I flipped through the book, I quickly realized that it was not really a reference book but more of a story about the process of sewing.

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After realizing this, I turned back to page one and started to read. The book took me step by step through the sewing process, starting with the tools needed to sew, how to handle different fabrics, fitting, altering and ending with designing your own clothes. It was a great read. Since I already knew how to sew, some of the information was a review, but some was new information to me and I learned a lot, especially in the chapters on fitting and altering clothes and patterns. The book also included basic patterns for a skirt, a blouse and a dress. They were not my style or size but they offered a good learning experience, and a chance to practice what the book was talking about. The book inspired me to get creative and start sewing outside of my comfort range. And, even though I have now read the book, it still has a home on my shelf along with my other sewing references. I will now use it as a reference book for when I need fitting and altering advice.

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So, if there are any seamstress’s out there looking for a good book to read to increase their sewing knowledge, I would heartily recommend this book to you.  Just be prepared that when you’re finished reading it, you will be ready to start creating. I am off now to check out some of my other sewing books, and see if there is some more good reading to be done.