Thursday, February 24, 2011

I Have Left My State

I won't have a tutorial up for a few days. I am actually in New York touring the city, and pretending to look at upcoming trends, although I might be shopping instead.

Upcoming things:

Monday we will get into modifying the fit of a dress shirt and making it more of a slim, fitted shirt.

Then at the end of this week we can dive into a Murse (man purse) of sorts, maybe call it a camera/adventure bag to pass it off.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bleaching My Pants. Is It Still The 90's!?

Ok, today is not going to be a sewing tutorial.

I was cleaning the apartment (cleaning...sewing...ya, I know)  a few weeks ago and got bleach on my new Banana Republic jeans. Instead of getting really disgruntled I went with it.

Hang the pants:
and get a large amount of water, i.e. the bathtub to dilute the bleach, not enough water and it won't dilute the bleach enough.

Mix the bleach:
I went with a 1 part bleach to 2 parts water. 

Protect your hand:
Since I didn't have a latex glove, I put my hand in a plastic garbage bag. Worked really well actually.

Start flicking:
With my protected hand I just flicked the diluted bleach on the pants, in very strategic ways I might add.

Dunk in water:
Wait until it has bleached to your liking (no more than 15 minutes) then dunk the pants in water and swirl it around. This will neutralize the bleach and stop it from eating all the way through your clothes.

All done, now remind people these aren't your fathers' pants.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Finished Wallet

Just some glamor shots for ya'll.

See how nice it folds, thanks to the pleat!

Borrowed dolla bills.
Hit me up if you had questions, trouble, or alteration ideas for future versions.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Wallet Construction Part - 3

Let's finish this stuff off. After picking up from last time, you had sewn one side and noticed that the lengths were different. Well I sewed the bottom edges - starting from the sides and sewing towards the middle. You end up with this parabola shaped segment.

Now stitch over it so it pleats in the center. This ensures that the wallet lays flat and doesn't crumple when its full of mad dolla-dolla-bills...yo.

Next up is the bias tape trim. i went with the extra wide variety, it makes it easier when going over the thicker parts. I started at the pleat and started going around. sew it straight all the way to the edge and backtack when you get there.

Trim the thread and fold it so it makes a nice 45˚ angle corner. Now start the stich over until the next corner.

Finish off the bias tape by folding it underneath itself and stitching over so there are no loose ends.

That's It!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Wallet Construction Part - 2

Now picking up from last time, you should have most of the pieces cut out.

The first step today is crafting the pocket assemblies. IRON them, it will help immensely, and just copy the paper pattern you fashioned from yesterday. Note how I made the fabric longer than necessary, that way I can accomodate shrinking in the fabric, or shifts while ironing; it basically veils the needs for perfection, which is a plus.

After ironing the folds, stitch the long edges, then stitch the bias tape over the inside edges only. I combined a few steps in the picture.

Next up, sew the pocket assemblies to the backing by stitching along the outside 3 edges only, that way you will have a pocket underneath still. 

Then sew the back lining to the completed section by going around the outside edges.

Lastly for today, a bias strip along the top of the pocket assembled piece and then, sewing three layers at the same time (front, lining, and pocket assembly); sew ONLY one side together. you will notice the assembly is shorter than the front, this is on purpose and I will address the issue tomorrow. 

My apologies for getting this post up late, I got caught up in some V-day festivities, and maybe finishing up some undergarments for my date, underwear I will show you how to make soon!


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Wallet Construction Part - 1

Let get this rollin:

The plaid, a wool cotton blend, very rigid with a tight weave. Gray lining material, and a thick purple (looks blue) nylon for the partition. Two lining pieces, one for the plaid, and one for the nylon.

The plaid is the outside piece, cut it at 9.5 x 4 in. (24 x 10 cm.) with a matching liner and interfacing for both pieces. The nylon sectional piece cut at 9 x 3 3/8 in. (22.5 x 8.5 cm.), with a matching liner and interfacing for only one of the pieces.

I have illustrated the accordion piece which will become the 'pockets'. Pocket depth is 2 inches and fold accordingly,  cut the fabric long and trim it after you sew (at least 15 inches long).

And finally the bias tape, I got the thin, packaged kind, of the single fold variety. It is to edge the wallet out of, and give it a nice finished edge without adding too much awkward bulk.

I'll get to the construction tomorrow, this is going to come out fantastic.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Let's Make A Wallet, YO!

So I was going to clamor on for a few more posts, rambling about the details of presser feet, or decorative stitches; but I think we should just get into it.

Let's get hans on and right to it. A fun project that is slightly selfish in nature (unless you give it as a gift!), and a quick way to spice up your accessories.

Sacrificed my old wallet to get exact dimensions
DO NOT go with a lightweight cotton, it will fade or wear and disintegrate rather quickly. Go with a sturdy thick fiber. An outdoor nylon would be a good example (not the thin ripstop stuff), or a bright upholstery type fabric. You won't need too much of it either.

Some stiff interfacing.
A prepackaged roll of bias tape. Either single fold or double, and thickness is up to you, but I wouldn't go too thick.

I'll get the tutorial tomorrow and show you the progress, expect this to be a 2 or 3 step project but hopefully over by the weekend.



Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Your First Stitch and notes on Stitch Length

Got your machine set up yet? Let me know if that's where you are stuck because I know some great resources you can check out if need be.

So, threaded machine:

If you have questions up to this point look on youtube or your useres manual for the sewing machine, there are soooo many models and ways to thread them it is almost impossible to do here.

Now start practicing. Do some straight stitches and adjust the stitch lengths, Mine go from shortest to longest (left to right in the pic). The shortes being about 1 and the largest being a 5, as explained later. Focus on going in a straight line. Use a patterned fabric and follow the fabric. get used to how the machine pulls the fabric, and the way it feels.

There is absolutely nothing to replace some time it takes to get the feel for sewing, how to manipulate fabric and get the results you want. So get some practicing done on fabric you don't care about.

Some points on stitch length:
It is measured in millimeters so a 1 = 1 millimeter long stitch etc. all the way to 5 usually.
Shorter stich length is for more permanent threads and lightweight material.
Typical sewing is around 2.5 to a 3 millimeter stitch.
Heavier fabrics use about 3.5 to 4
When basting (a temporary stitch) use the largest (5)
Leather is closer to 5, to small and it will perforate and tear.
Topstitching usually looks better as a longer stitch, but this is obviously your preference.

Any Questions?


Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Superbowl Blanket... You Crazy!

I hope you didn't come here today expecting a tutorial on how to make your favorite team a blanket that keeps you warm while watching the game today. Nope not here, and why is that? Because I don't make blankets.

Nothing against all those blanket makers out there today, I'm just not one of them.

So cozy up with a store bought, or a friend made blanket today, especially my friends in the snowmageddon-pocalypso-crazy-talk that's happening in every other state but mine.

Oh and another reason why there is not going to be a blanket blog from me today... The beer in my hand makes it tough to thread a needle.


Friday, February 4, 2011

Get This Book

If you are serious about learning all the intricacies of sewing, pattern making, and custom tailoring. The best book, by far, with step by step and intricate details is:
Readers Digest Complete Guide to Sewing

not sure what version I have, copyright date of 1995.

This book is amazing for technical data. It is definitely a hard read for a beginner, and with short attention spans, but it is the encyclopedia of sewing. The best part is that as you go through sections and find what you need, say Pleating, it  has relevant page numbers of sections that are useful, for example it will reference pressing and irons. pretty genius.

One of its shortcomings though, if you are not already inundated with the hobby, is its lack of creativity, which is great to be honest, because it doesn't muddle the contents, but if you want ideas of projects or how to manipulate something, this is not it. But, it will tell you, very specifically, how to accomplish an idea you might already have.