Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Pattern Review 105 Linda Top Done

First I want to say that I'm really disappointed to find out that I've been spelling ruching wrong all these years.  I really think ruching should have an "o" in it ("rouching") but the dictionary says it's "ruching".   WHAT?

Honestly, I am not a huge fan of PDF patterns in general.  Their main selling point is that you can print them out right away and not pay for shipping, but I don't own a printer so there's nothing immediate about them for me.  I'm also not excited by taping together a bunch of paper but this one was so so so cute, it's free for Friends of PR members and it wasn't too many pieces so I decided to give it a whirl.  Thanks Deepika for the free pattern!

Pattern Review 105 Linda Top
I think I was also intrigued by making a shirt that is supposed to have lots of  intentional lines and wrinkles in it.  That's all rouching!  Sorry, ruching.

Pattern Review 105 Linda Top
Ruching ruching ruching.  The ruching does move around a lot.  This may be because after I made my size M muslin, it felt a bit too tight overall so I went with the L sewing with 3/8 seam allowance grading to 5/8 seam allowance.  Maybe I need to make the seam allowance wider in the stomach area to make the ruching more taut.
Pattern Review 105 Linda Top
It was a nice chance for my perfectionist side to ease up a bit and not get obsessed about wrinkles.  They're all intentional!!!  Even my sway back....design feature!

The easy way to make the ruching
After watching the free Jalie 3131 bra making video, I learned an amazing tip I have never seen anywhere else about how to stitch the two rows of gathering stitches....(specifically from 1:01 to 1:28 in the video, though I recommend watching the whole thing--you get to see the full construction of a wireless bra without padding in under 13 minutes.):
Pattern Review 105 Linda Top
The way I had learned was make two separate rows...this leads to many annoying problems (for me at least).

But the Jalie way is to make two rows with one continuous stitch!!!  Then you pull both threads, but only on one side.  I know, it is mindblowing and makes it so easy to make nice gathers.

I have also gathered before on my serger but I might prefer this way for short stretches...

The Shoulder Seam
The directions call for optional elastic for the shoulder seam; I like to use Stay Tape instead, serge and press to the back so it's hidden underneath the seam.
Pattern Review 105 Linda Top
Doesn't that look profesh?
Pattern Review 105 Linda Top
The Armhole Binding
For the binding, I serged the raw edge first even though it wouldn't fray because I like how it looks (see above).

Deepika likes to sew her bindings in the ditch; I prefer the stitching line to be seen.  For this step I used my edgestitching foot.  I bought it for my BabyLock but it fits on my Brother too.
Just keep the flange along the seamline and stitch.
It produces a beautiful, even stitch
Pattern Review 105 Linda Top

My Twin Needle Workout
I used my twin needle to keep the seam allowances toward the shirt as pressing was not enough...
Pattern Review 105 Linda Top
Both around the collar and....
Pattern Review 105 Linda Top
At the gap that is left so the bow can be tied.
For the hem I serged the raw edge, pressed and stitched the hem down.
The hem is actually nice and stretchy!  Someday I will get a coverstitch.

The ties
Pattern Review 105 Linda Top
I wish the markings for the different sizes had  the sizing marked instead of using the dashes.  The only way I really knew was because size S was gray and the other sizes were black.

Incredibly funny story about this fabric
I have been labeling my fabric as I buy it with where I bought it and if I have wash/dried it.  Usually I wash/dry all my fabric right after I buy it so it is ready to go.
For this fabric, I labeled it "PR weekend Austin 2014.  Wash and Dry?"
Hmmmm...question mark?
Well, I had cut out my 4" square to test for shrinkage, but that wasn't attached.
I forged on ahead anyway.

I think I must not have pretreated it because this happened:
By the end of my sewing session on Sunday, my fingernails were stained from the fabric dye, especially underneath my fingernails.
I did not consider this fact when I wore the shirt to work on Monday.
I go to work, I go to the gym, I take a shower at the gym.
I come home and as I take off my shirt and bra to change into my pajamas, I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror.
OMG I can see the outline of my bra.....the dye rubbed off onto my skin....it is especially noticeable on my side and back.
Sorry, no photo available of that, but I *howled*.  And am glad I wore the shirt with a black bra and black pants.

Be well!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wrapping up the Butterick 6072 Backpack Experience: Fabric and Structure

Quite possibly, my favorite bag photo ever.
Although I like this one too.
Backpack in action on Tuesday--it is the right size to use as a purse.

Previous posts about this bag:
Wonder Tape and Interior Zipper Pocket
Riri Zipper and Zipper Sandwich
Wonder Clips, Piping, and Zipper Feet
Straps, hardware, magnetic closures

Thank you for cheerleading me along!!!

I never wrote about the fabric and the stabilizing structure for Butterick 6072.

The exterior fabric is from Kashi (Metro Textiles) from PR Day 2014 and was just $2 a yard. I love love love the scale of the pattern.
The interior graffiti fabric is from Gwen Couture in San Diego from May 2013. There's a pocket for a phone and another for a point and shoot camera.
I embroidered a name label of course!  Above was in progress....I wound up stitching over it again before cutting it and sewing it into place.
The NYC subway map fabric is from The City Quilter in Chelsea...it's kind of my signature now to always use it for interior zipper pockets.

I used Fashion Sewing Supply's medium fusible interfacing on both the exterior and interior fabric.

But how does it keep its shape?  There is nothing in the bag above!

I discussed in an earlier post how I went rogue, ignored the pattern directions (which had you hand stitch the lining to the zipper tape at the very end) and used the zipper sandwich method of making the bag.

That means that eventually you get to a point where there is an opening in the lining that is unsewn and you pull the bag through that opening....
to "birth the bag"
so once it is turned right side out, you have the opening in the lining to stitch up --but before I closed it up, I inserted some peltex inside to give it some structure. The Peltex is just resting inside--it is not sewn in because it is a bit of a bear to sew a bag with peltex and piping and a lining and turn it right side out--I have done that before but this was an experiment.

For the zipper I did sew Fashion Sewing Supply heavyweight interfacing into the zipper sandwich to help it keep its shape.  LOVE IT.

Overall it fits in well with the other "city bags" I have made.

Definitely a nice theme going on.
Three of four bags uses the same lining--I only have scraps left, maybe enough for a zipper pouch?
Izzy is overloaded.
Be well!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Straps, hardware, magnetic closures and Butterick 6072

I love the enthusiasm you are showing for my new backpack--I am enthusiastic about it too!!!

The Butterick 6072 has you make your own straps, and use no hardware.  That means the straps are not adjustable.  Instead, I raided my stash and found this 1.5" wide super sturdy and official feeling strapping from Pacific Trimming, and then bought the rectangle rings and sliders in nickel finish from this shop on etsy.

The Butterick directions have you sew the strap to the bottom of the bag, but I consulted 3 RTW backpacks and they all had the straps sewn on an angle to the side of the bag, so that is what I did (as show in the pic above).
If you've ever made a bra or camisole with adjustable straps, the process of "threading" the straps through the hardware is exactly the same--it's just the length and width of the straps and hardware are much larger!  Threading the strapping through the hardware feels very satisfying to me somehow, and I love the end result.
You can't tell what's really going on in the above pic because the strap is folding over but I am sewing the end of the strap to itself after threading it through the slider.

The directions also have you make a loop for the top of the bag, so you can hang it in a locker, and then sew it to the space between the straps.  My 3 RTW backpacks all had handles, so I made one out of 1.5" strapping, also in stash, also from Pacific Trimming.

I folded the lengthwise edges together and used Wonder Tape to secure, then sewed it down.

I sewed the handle over the straps for balance and to make the handle functional.  That way I could carry the backpack by the handle if I wanted to instead of using the straps.

Originally I made the handle too long and it was flopping over on top of the zipper, so I took that section apart and made the handle shorter to it would not cover the zipper when it flops forward.


If you are curious, I sewed the straps on top  first, then the piping, then the handle.

But on the side I sewed the piping first and then the strapping.

The Butterick directions call for velcro on the zipper flap but I don't like the attention-grabbing sound velcro makes when I'm in a quiet room, so I went for magnetic closure.

I bought the magnets (above)  on Pacific Trimming.com, but by the time I realized that hey, these are probably supposed to be invisible magnets that should have been sewn between the layers, that ship had already sailed, and even I, perfectionist that I am, wasn't going to undo what I had already sewn to insert them.

I also don't know what that extra ring is for?
I sewed the magnets on the inside of the corner of each flap, but did not sew through the front of the flap.  I then sewed the other half of the closure to the inside of the pocket, which was a total pain.   If I had x-ray vision, it would have made that task easier.  Ooph.

But it totally works!

This week I will post the final wrap-up post for the bag.  It is done and I am going to use it tmw!!
possibly my favorite snow picture ever
This may possibly be my most favorite snow picture I have ever taken. That was the scene from my sewing room yesterday morning. Can you believe, the snow is all gone (except for snow pile remnants).

Be well!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Wonder Clips, Piping, Zipper Feet, and Butterick 6072

Ok, maybe I went a little overboard with the Wonder Clips...

Above, from left to right, is a wonder clip right side up (red is up), a wonder clip upside down (clear is up) and a regular binder clip

I've become a huge fan of Wonder Clips for holding together multiple layers of fabric for bag making.

There isn't too much difference between a wonder clip that is right side up vs upside down, but if you use it right (red) side up, the clear side is completely flat against your machine and won't get caught on anything.  Regular binder clips definitely work too, but the silver part of the clip tends to get snagged on the edge of the machine.

Wonder Clips come in packs of 10 (I think Jacqui bought me my first 10 pack--thank you!) and then I bought the 50 pack.

Here I'm sewing the other side of the zipper sandwich to the front of the backpack.  Red side is up.

I'm using my old machine in the above pic because I prefer the old-style zipper foot (there is piping between the layers--otherwise I'd use a regular presser foot).

However I went over to my newer machine (above) to use the newer style zipper foot because the old style foot was having trouble on the corners, the side pockets and with the strapping and kept sliding off. The new zipper foot seemed to handle corners/side pockets/strapping better.

Anyway, I always sew around piping multiple times to get an even, consistent appearance, first one one side and then flipped over to the other side, and then repeat if needed.  I had to repeat a lot because of the corners/side pockets/strapping.

About the piping:  I used store bought piping this time instead of making my own.  On the left is store bought piping that has not been ironed; the piping on the right has been ironed.  As you can see, ironing makes a big difference and will prevent lumpiness in the finished product.

Current status:  Coming along....

It needs the lining piece with the pockets to be sewn inside.
Finish line is definitely this weekend.

Final strap length and closure for the exterior flap are TBD.
Izzy looks out at today's snowfall mid-afternoon
I was wrong; March 5 was not the final snow of the season.

Be well!