18 Jun 2018

Clear Elastic

Here´s an addition to my gadget list. I started to use it not long ago and it´s a great little invention for ruffling and such. I also have a ruffler foot but that requires a lot of calculations which I´m not very good at.
Clear elastic is also known to keep shoulder seams stable.
It´s available in many places  - I got it from Aliexpress but it takes a while - so take that into consideration.

So to use it I just prestretch some. It does stretch when sewn so if you miss this step you´re probably end up with something too loose.
Then cut to the size I want my final length to be+5cm for the ends, hold it against the fabric (which needs to be ruffled) and sew (you´ll need to stretch the elastic while sewing).

I usually set my stitch length to the longest possible - 6mm. Then just sew along. The good thing is it stretches and even if you were not 100% precise you still have room to fix. 

Since you´re basting with it when using for ruffling you can just rip it off and remove the basting stitches or if it´s on the wrong side you can also leave it in. I prefer to rip it out no matter what.

So here´s my final piece  for Young Lady - 
Pattern Ottobre 1/2013 Circus Horse

13 Jun 2018


I realized my Young Lady likes leggings. They also cost a lot if I´d buy them and the fabric is most of the time totally boring. Cool thing is you can make one in 15-20 minutes. It takes 3 seams+inserting the elastic and hemming. It takes minimal fabric too so perfect for using up leftovers.

A while ago I made a jersey tunic for her too and had some leftover of the fabric. Now that the tunic is too short and is given away I used the leftover for another pair of leggings - this time full length with a little extra. Pattern from Ottobre 1/2014.

The label at the back is a very important addition. That´s how she knows which side is the front. I ordered once 100 pieces of if. Never thought I´ll actually use most of them.

23 May 2018

Sweater for Non-Knitters (Free Pattern)

I like So-Sew-Easy´s patterns generally. They´re easy to make, easy to hack and easy to adjust. I also needed a sweater of some kind. My fabric had a bit less drape (being a cotton jersey boucle) and was a bit heavier than the original intent but I find this worked also perfect.
Cool thing was that it take about 1 hour to sew the sweater + some prep to cut the pattern.

The cats are sequins are sewn onto a stiff tulle which I applied with a narrow zigzag stitch.

Sequins flipped

21 May 2018

Rain Pants with Sealed Seams Part II.

The fabric is a coated nylon - you need some kind of a coated material otherwise the tape wouldn´t stick. I used a serger for some the seams. Reason being is the width of the tape wouldn´t cover a normal seam.
Problem was to iron the tape on the seam itself - it got remarkable harder with the thread in the seam. Also the iron is not producing heat very evenly - when it started to heat up to the level I set it was always easier.

The freezer paper helps a lot but after a while I found the tape was melting on the paper on the same heat level as before. I found out that it´s a sign that the paper needs to be replaced. Pretty often, actually.

When I got to the seams between the legs (i.e. the curved ones) it even got trickier. I realized that when ironing flat the other side of the seam will melt away - so I needed to get my armboard out to make sure there´s no contact between the front and back side of the legs. Ironing in the crotch takes time as you can only do a few cm-s in one go without ruining the rest of what´s already done. I also ended up using more layers for more protection.

I taped everywhere except the waist seam - I think it´s pretty useless there - that part is always covered by a jacket. Using a regular sewing machine with straight stitch is a much better choice than a serger - it´s much easier to apply the tape on a flat seam. Be careful with huw much your seam allowance is - make sure you choose the right width for the tape. You won´t need a serger anyway as the seam will be closed by the tape - means no fraying.


Straight stitch

Here´s how the final piece looks. Pretty simple - no pockets, no extra seams just the bare minimum.

19 May 2018

Rain Pants with Sealed Seams Part I.

In Germany kids need 2 sets of rain clothes -jacket+pants - for kindergarten and for home. We live in a wet area - rain is a usual accessory in spring, autumn and winter so you  can´t really make it with 1 set for a season.
It´s relatively easy and cheap to get these but I figured I have the fabric and managed to get the seam sealer tape I might just give it a try.
So here´s the full documentation on how it worked.

The seam sealer tape came from Aliexpress and since I was sewing for kids and light fabric I chose the 20mm version. 50m-s came in a plastic ziplock bag. Finding the end was impossible so I just cut at some point.

Next up to see how it sticks. As per instructions it melts at about 150 Celsius so you have to be careful with the iron. I tried first with a piece of fabric over but it didn´t work.
As it didn´t work with the fabric I thought I might give it a try with a hair dryer. Don´t ask how it turned out. My hairdryer overheated, blew the whole place all away and the darn thing would not stick either. Now it´s a question of time if my hairdryer is really dead or just pretends to be.

Sure none of these worked. I didn´t read the instructions completely. For some reason I keep thinking I am smart and don´t need to read. It keeps turning out I´m not as smart as I think.
Anyhow, the correct addition is freezer paper on top. So, start again, shiny side of tape on the wrong side of by fabric, paper on top, iron. Note the temperature should be a little under ´wool´ setting. And what a miracle, all works fine.

Freezer paper


Now off to work on the pants.