Tuesday, February 21, 2017

More Me Made Printed Fabric using Simplicity 8295


A couple weeks ago, I stumbled upon a $.99 sale. I wasn't looking or planning to buy patterns until I saw Simplicity 8295. I like tunics, mini dresses and that combined with the placket options drew me to this one. 


I am still having fun making my fabric (see previous post) and wanted one for this dress. For the base, I used  a white on white dot cotton from Joann Fabrics. I airbrush painted over it with a paint color that I blended myself. I accented the "Afro Stripe" design with woodblock stamps in double yellow and single black stars. I chose black linen fabric for the contrasts.

I like view A and B and couldn't decide which to make. A poll on Instagram had the results split, so I went with B with modifications.The pattern called for a contrast placket only, but I chose a contrast cuff too. The pattern also has exterior patch pockets, but I switched them out in favor of side seam pockets. 


The instructions for this are straight forward for an experienced sewist. A beginner would need to take it slow on the placket and sleeve details. The sleeve has a continuous lap on the pleated cuff, and a button tab. These elements on their own are not too much, but if you are a newbie, I suggest you take breaks to sew these elements with fresh eyes.


Once it was all said and done, I don't like the fit of the sleeve when pulled up by the tab. I have thin arms and it is tight to wear it pulled up. I am not sure if the linen and my interfacing made it inflexible or if the sizing there is off. It is not a deal breaker for me, but you should know. I think I will lower the button and get some more room.


I like that the back has a yoke pleat detail. It gives a bit of interest to balance the front.


This is a mini-dress. The length I am wearing is as is from the pattern. I thought it would be too short if I hemmed it at this length. I instead added black ribbon to the bottom and folded it back to hem it. When I make another, I will add an inch or two before cutting.


This one is a keeper. I will be making more for the warm Texas weather. I will be making more of this fabric as well.  I have added the other prints I have made to my Etsy store.  I will make this one only by special request in custom orders.

Whichever fabric you choose to make yours, I hope you like yours as I like mine.

Happy Sewing,

Saturday, February 18, 2017

"Peace, Puff, Afro, Love" Fabric and the Urbanista Bag with Vegan Pleather

After making fabric to celebrate the beautiful hair embraced by my daughter, I decided to make some more. In fact, because of her excitement and the enthusiasm shared by my reader friends, I have been bubbling with inspiration. I want to design all the fabric and make all the things!

My most recent print is this "Peace, Puff, Afro, Love" design on 60-inch grey duck canvas. The base is airbrush painted and the accents are hand-stamped for added texture.

The canvas is a prefect weight for bag-making, I searched my stash for a candidate to showcase the print. The Urbanista Hobo by Cheryl Kuczek fit the bill because of its size and no distracting exterior pockets.

This choice also gave me an chance to use the Paradsio pleather kits that I got the same time I got the pattern. Aren't they yummy!

I met Cheryl at Quilt Market a few years ago. I was drawn to her fun patterns and she and I have developed a friendship since. Her patterns are written with a lot of explanation and detail for the novice. I prefer short bullet directions followed by an illustration to show me what to do. These text heavy steps are not a deterrent to making this great bag, but are different from commercial patterns. I find it best to read through them first and highlight the relevant sewing steps. Cheryl is a very approachable designer happy to answer email questions. She also provides online guidance on her blog  and includes tutorials on the following topics:
Many independent bag patterns give dimensions from which you make the pattern. I am so happy to not have to spend time on this step because the main pattern piece is included. I have made MANY bags by Noodlehead, Sew Demented and Amy Butler. They all have their high points and low points. I love the construction details unique to this bag. The body is stabilized with fleece and muslin instead of fusible fleece, or Shape flex and interfacing. I really like this time and cost-saving feature. With the other methods, no matter how I well fused, I have had these layers separate over time and use of the bags and it is very frustrating. With this method, the bag has structure, flexibility and weight that is not floppy or heavy.

Exterior fabric, lining, muslin and fleece 
There are six roomy contrast pockets inside the bag. I made mine without the contrast. The construction of the pockets gives added stability and support because they are secured in the side seams.

The bag is accented with pleather on the base, straps, binding and strap slots.  I sewed this bag completely on my home sewing machine with a regular needle and regular foot. There are suggestions for sewing pleather, but I didn't find I needed them. They are easy to work with.

Pleather base before attaching
Strap in process. Use clips and not pins which leave permanent marks.
The installation of the top binding is brilliant! I won't give it away here, but it is wonderful. I wish I had made this bag when I got the pattern in November. The binding would have saved me so much headache. I made three Noodlehead Maker totes last Fall. The hand-sewing of the binding was a beast! I wish I knew this method before starting. 

I applied three double cap rivets to each strap rather than add buttons and buttonholes. I would also suggest heavy-duty snaps or button studs to allow the strap to be swapped out with others.

When the bag was all made, I was worried that the pleather was too stiff and that the binding wouldn't droop like a hobo should. After wearing it for a day, it softened wonderfully and feels great. 

 I love the strap slot and riveted handle.


Considering the capacity of the bag, I am really pleased with how comfortable it is to wear. The pattern does not include a magnetic snap closure so I added one to the lining before attaching the exterior.

It is the perfect size for a busy mom as demonstrated here by my friend Lisa 

This pattern is available for purchase  in Cheryl's store.

My "Peace, Puff, Afro, Love" fabric is available in my Etsy Store in limited quantities and less than Spoonflower rates. I have also listed the "Puff Diva" fabric. All the fabric is hand painted by me and each is unique. Grab them while you can and make someone's day!

Happy Sewing,

Friday, February 17, 2017

Machine Sewn Reverse Applique Wrap using Terial Magic

I have discovered magic, Terial Magic that is.

At Quilt Market last Fall I was introduced to Terial Magic a liquid fabric stabilizer that makes knits behave like a woven. I was so excited to hear what this product could do that I participated in a live product demo. Seeing the potential for speedy reverse applique I shared my plan with Laurie, the demonstrator and brand manger. She asked if I would be interested in a collaboration to show how I would use the product.

Today, I am the guest blogger on the Terial Arts blog. Pop over there to see the steps I took to make this fast and easy reverse applique project.

What I love is, the treated fabric becomes stiff after the application of the Terial Magic allowing the wrap to be sewn on a home sewing machine. This drastically reduces the time and effort involved in completing a project like this without hand-sewing. 

To further test the possibilities of this stabilizer, I sewed the motifs using silver metallic thread. I loaded it as normal and took no precautions against twisting, breaking or bobbin tangles I have heard occurs with metallic thread. There were no issues at all with the treated fabric! 

I am so thrilled with the end result. This wrap stitched up quickly and could be done in a week of evenings with no stress.

 Be sure to visit the Terial Magic page to find out how you can make your own.

Happy Sewing,