Tag Archive | lapped

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!

All Done

I have completed the little dress and it is on its way to the niece. I hope it fits. After seeing some recent pictures, I am now wishing I had made the size 4 instead of the size 3, but being as it is a summer dress and I want it to fit now, the size 3 will probably be just right. The niece’s mom has agreed to let me know about the fit as soon as she gets the dress and tries it on. I am very anxious to find out.

I finished the edges of the arm’s eye with some bias tape. The pattern guide instructed to stitch the bias tape on so that it showed as an edge, but I did not have any matching bias tape so I just used white and stitched it on so it would not show. I think it turned out ok. I just did a simple straight 1″ hem around the bottom to complete the dress.

I have already picked out some more fabric to make another dress so I can try the zipper again. I also want to try lining the bodice on this next dress and adding some embroidery as well as some other changes. I can’t wait to get started.

The Facings

What?!? I sewed the facing on just as the pattern guide directed, but something is not right. When I fold the facing to the inside it covers the top of the zipper and if I stitch it down like it says in the guide, you will not be able to zip the zipper to the top. This is only a problem  on the lap side. The non-lap side is just fine with the fold over. After much study, I concluded that my problem is that the zipper is too high on the dress. The pattern calls for a hook and eye at the top of the zipper to close the neck. I have no room for a hook and eye, so my zipper must be too high. Not wanting to unpick the whole zipper, I opted just to slant the facing, and fold it away from the zipper.

Discouraged by this, I decided to get a zipper inserting expert involved, and so I gave my Mom a call. I showed her the problems I had with the zipper and she agreed with my conclusions to improving the zipper insertion. When I explained my facing dilemma, she told me that the slant fold away from the zipper was exactly the correct thing to do and to not necessarily lower the zipper the next time. Mom said she was not a big fan of sewing on hook and eyes, so she liked to put the zipper to the top and slant the facings. Cool. (I had another thought about  the facings and the zipper, but don’t really want to say anything until I try it. Let’s just say that the bigger seam allowance is a must.)

With Mom’s encouragement, I will now move on to the bias tape on the armholes. I am very thankful for my mom and her expertise in these situations as over the years there have been many of them. If I did not have the the knowledge she has already shared with me and the ability to learn more from her, I would have wadded up this pattern guide and thrown it and the pattern in the garbage and went back to making sleepers, which by the way, I would not know how to make either if she had not taught me how.

I can tell it must be getting close to Mother’s Day. So here is an early reminder just so you don’t forget: Sunday May 9, 2010 is Mother’s Day.  So don’t forget to show your Mom some love ok?

Stay tuned for more…

The Zipper

Although this is not the first zipper I have ever put in a garment, it is my first lapped zipper. Unlike in the sleepers where I want the zipper to show and be part of the sleeper design or in the fly of a man’s pants where you can hide a lot of sin under the flap, this zipper is meant to be hidden and is only used to get into the dress but still needs to look good from the outside.

Following the pattern guide, I constructed the dress as it directed. First I sewed the front and back together of both the bodice and the skirt, then I gathered the skirt and attached it to the bodice. And then it was zipper time. I inserted the zipper as directed by the pattern guide and I learned a multitude of things about inserting a zipper in a dress.

First, when I gathered the skirt, I zigzagged floss to the skirt and used that to draw the gathers. It worked beautifully, in fact, too well. I worked really hard to gather evenly to the edges which in the long run worked to my disadvantage. While making the lap for the zipper, I had to fight the gathers. Next time I will not gather so close to the edge and leave 1/2 to 3/4 inch for inserting the zipper.

The next time I will be more generous with my seam allowances on the zipper so I have more fabric to lap over. When I sew I usually do not allow for a large seam allowance, but in the case of inserting a zipper I see where a larger seam allowance would be helpful. On this zipper, I don’t have quite enough lap to cover the zipper.

The third thing I learned is to not sew so close to the zipper. On this zipper, I tried very hard to stitch right next to the teeth. When I completed the stitching, I was quite proud about how close to the teeth I had stitched until I tried to open and close the zipper. It was too close and the zipper teeth kept getting caught in the fabric of the lap. I had to unpick half the zipper and try again. Also on the next zipper I do, I will sew closer on the side without the lap as I did on this zipper and not as close on the lap side. With the larger lap from the bigger seam allowance, this should work out well.

Even though I am not totally pleased with my zipper insertion on this dress. It is pretty good for the first try and I am encouraged to try it again.

Coming up next: the rest of the story…