23 May 2018

Sweater for Non-Knitters

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.

17 May 2018

Fold Over Elastic

Fold over elastic is easier than I thought. I already failed once - many years ago - but also failed to make a search on how to do it.
Finally I figured out how to do it - here are some useful tips on how to sew.
The pattern I used for my project was So Sew Easy´s Empire of the Sun Dress which is a free pattern. The pattern comes in a layered format. It´s worth to go through the instructions on how to print it as it´s becoming common with download-patterns and saves time when assembling and cutting the pattern.

I used a medium weight viscose jersey and needed about 2m-s. I think it would even work nicer with something which has a busy pattern - that covers up the elastic casing which is very visible on mine. A lighter fabric would make it more drapey.

It´s a great dress - front and back are identical.

I also gave away a big bag of scraps and fabrics I´ll never use for charity. Now I can fill up the space again with great new stuff :)

4 May 2018

My Favorite Sewing Gadgets

I´ve come across a few things I found very useful during my sewing career. Here´s a few of them - and the reasons why. What are yours?

1. Bodkin for threading elastic
There are 2 versions - I use the wider one more.

Wide version

Narrow version

2. Wonder Clips
Some fabrics don´t like pins as either they´re too delicate or every pin would leave a mark. I used clips a lot - they can be bought in bulk for little money. I have both Clover and no-name versions but I could not tell any difference in quality.

3. Bias Tape Makers
I have a set of 4 - they´re available from China as well as branded ones. These are of great help when you need to do a lot of binding.

4. Air erasable marker
I didn´t like using chalk - the lines tended to be too thick. These markers are great for any time - they disappear with time (darker colors take longer) or with a few sprinkles of water.

5. Silicone finger protection for ironing
I was burning my fingers so many times with the steam iron while making tapes or ironing smaller pieces. Those times were over with these.

6. Chalk roller
My latest discovery. These are great for fine lines and work well on most fabrics. Wouldn´t use them on very fine fabrics though as it has a little wheel with teeth which distributes the chalk.