Basketball and hockey are finishing up in the next weeks, and I have been looking at the calendar trying to see when to schedule some contests and swaps here at Sewing Mamas. I thought I might trace out some patterns, but my table currently looks like this:
So, I suppose tackling that mess will have to be first on my list. How’s your sewing space look? Hopefully it was not taken over by library books and sports cones!
I do have the latest Women’s Ottobre pattern magazine here, but I just haven’t been feeling very Spring-like. My husband is hoping I will get to the Jalie men’s t-shirt pattern I picked up a month (or two? or three?) ago.
The weather is supposed to shift next week, I am hoping that will also bring a shift in my sewing!
Talk to you soon,
After making this fantastic test version of hoodie pattern #9, I made a couple adjustments to the sleeves. Then I made it with a Polartec® Wind Pro® fleece. The fleece is a high loft/low velour face. I used the loft side as the inside, which is really soft. It makes up for the fact that this fabric fluffs all over the place when you cut it. The vacuum cleaner and some mailing tape were definitely good helpers for this one.
This is a size 38, with length and a little width added to the sleeves. The pattern is intended to be used with wool jersey, which I suspect might be thinner than the fleece I used. I wanted something warm for the ice rink. I tested it out at hockey practice last weekend and it was sooooo cozy with just a tank top layered underneath.
The embroidery is by Windbell Embroidery and is part of the gradient butterflies series. I didn’t do any thread color changes and used a variegated thread instead. This particular design is almost 5″x5″ and I probably should have used a smaller one. I used a tearaway stabilizer on the bottom and a water soluble on the top. This design stitched out really nicely.
The pattern calls for binding around the hood, which I ignored and instead folded under and coverstitched. I also evened out the front and back pieces so I didn’t put the vent flaps in the sides. I might leave it longer in the back next time. Not sure…
I ordered this dress from Athleta on super sale.
It was only $20 (down from $69!), and it was a size Medium Tall, which I do not usually find in the sale sections. So, I bought it hoping to dye it.
All the dyeing I have done in the past has been with Dharma’s Procion dyes. Procion dyes are really easy to use. Unfortunately, this dress is a nylon/spandex blend, 75/25. This sent me into the scary world of Jacquard Acid Dyes.
This is a scary thing, right? ACID dyes.
As it turns out, it really is not scary. First, I had to find a stainless steel pan that I was willing to never use for food, and it had to be big enough to hold the dress with room to move around. I picked up one secondhand for $10. That seemed like kind of a lot, but I have been scouting the second hand shops for a while, and apparently big stainless steel pans either go fast or don’t get donated very often.
The thing that makes it an acid dye is that you use vinegar. Vinegar is not scary.
First step is to put hot water in a pan (stainless steel or ceramic) and turn on the stove. Then you add the dye to the pot. I used half an ounce of dye, because that was how much I had. Dharma recommends 1/3-2/3 oz per pound of fabric. After mixing the dye in the water so it seemed well dissolved, I put the wet dress in.
After it had been in there for a while and the whole mess was almost boiling (but not, because it is not supposed to actually boil), I poured in 1/4 cup of vinegar. I just used regular white vinegar from my kitchen cabinet. It was only smelly for a minute or so. The directions say not to pour the vinegar on the fabric, so I just kind of mushed the dress over while I poured in the vinegar.
After all that, I just stirred it for half an hour. Pretty easy. And not scary.
Now, the directions are pretty clear in saying that you should keep the temperature between 185-200, and not boiling. I did not have a thermometer that I wanted to put in the dye bath, so I just tried to keep it from boiling. It is possible that once it did get hotter than it was supposed to and I had to turn it down a whole bunch. However, it seems to have turned out okay, so try not to panic if you do this and that happens.
After the half hour, I dumped the whole thing in my laundry sink. There was momentary panic when I saw some of the color completely running off. Then I remembered that the lining of the dress is polyester, so that part was not expected to hold the dye. Whew!
The wooly nylon used in the stitching dyed, but the thread in the needles was likely polyester, that did not hold the dye at all. I think the contrast with the navy blue is okay, though.
I tossed it in the washer with some Synthrapol and hoped for the best.
No blue bubbles, thank goodness.
Here it is all done. It really is a nice navy blue.
Have you used acid dyes? It was much easier than I expected. I am thinking about picking up a purple acid dye and giving tie-dye a try on the second dress I bought.
This issue looked good when the previews went up some weeks ago, but I am even more excited about it now that I have it in hand.
First, the wool coat. I think this could easily work with a good quality heavyweight fleece as well. Perhaps Polartec® WindPro or 300 weight fleece?
I am not sure if I am brave enough to tackle the button down shirt, but I do love the idea of it.
And this hoodie, I am thinking about skipping the pockets and making it waist length rather than tunic length. It looks like it would be super comfortable with jeans. But tunic length is really cute with the skirt it is pictured with, which I had not even noticed when I looked at the previews.
Then there is the diagonal zip front hoodie – LOVE THIS!!
The tee with scrunched up sides is a nice update to the basic t-shirt, and there is a tunic top with leggings that looks really comfortable for weekend wear.
There’s an a-line dress and also a more boxy dress made from either jersey or linen, as well as two more jackets, workout pants, a knife pleated skirt and peasant style top, a pair of jeggings and a pair of jeans in this issue. OH! And there is a body shaping full slip and a spaghetti strap tank top, too.
There are twenty patterns in this issue. TWENTY patterns. With the exception of the jeans, which come in sizes 34-46, all the patterns include sizes 34-52. If you aren’t a subscriber, you can buy single issues directly from Ottobre Design by visiting them here.
And no, this is not a paid post in any way, shape or form. I am just REALLY excited about this issue!! Hope you love it, too!
Happy Sewing! Can’t wait to see your creations on the Sewing Mamas Runway!
This tutorial was created by Barb, who is fw221 in the Sewing Mamas forums. Thanks Barb!
- 2/3 yard of 60″ wide fabric for exterior
2/3 yard of 60″ wide fabric for interior
1 yard of 44″ wide fabric for exterior
1 yard of 44″ wide fabric for interior
- Thread to match
If you want to use a lighter weight fabric, be sure to match it with a heavier weight. Two light weights won’t be substantial enough without interfacing. Two heavyweight fabrics will be tough on your machine (but not impossible).
Part One: Cut Your Fabric!
We’ll need from each fabric:
two cuts of 15″ (tall) x 18″ (wide)
one cut of 13″ (tall) x 15″ (wide)
one 3″ wide strip across the entire length of the fabric (we’ll cut this down later)
Part Two: Boxing
With the exterior fabric, take the two cuts of 15″x18″ and sew around three sides (15 – 18 – 15). Seam allowance should be 1/4″ to 3/8″, just be consistent. Be sure to secure the beginning and end by sewing back & forth a few times.
With the interior fabric, take the two cuts of 15″x18″ and sew around three sides (15 – 18 – 15) BUT leave a hole around 3″ wide in the middle of the 18″ length to turn the bag.
Press both pieces FLAT.
Pinch the corner and put seams together. Flatten out the corner on a grid and draw a diagonal line (My grid is 0.5″, so measure your diagonal at 2″ on each side).
Pin to keep in place, then take to sewing machine and sew along the line.
Cut excess off.
Do this for both corners on interior and exterior fabrics.
Press what seams you can.
This is what the corners will look like now:
Part 3: The Flap
Put interior & exterior fabrics right side together. Round off the bottom corners (flap will be 15″ wide by 13″ tall). I used a CD to round the corners, but a plate or glass will work too.
Sew around 3 sides and clip the corner.
Turn right side out and press!
Topstitch and then press again.
Part Four: The Strap
Place right sides together and sew up the long sides. Turn in your favorite fashion (I have a Turn-It-All set).
Press and topstitch.
Cut to desired length. I used 42″.
Part Five: Putting it all together
This will come as a great surprise… Press everything again!
Center the flap onto bag interior, like fabrics together and pin.
Center the strap ends to the seams, like fabrics together and pin.
Stick the exterior of the bag inside the interior, right sides together and pin.
Sew the whole thing shut.
Check the seam to make sure you sewed through all the layers. Then turn right side out through the hole you left in the bottom of the interior fabric.
Sew the bottom shut. I used my machine to sew right next to the seam, but hand stitching looks better.
Put the interior inside the exterior and press again
A HUGE THANK YOU to Barb for taking the time to put together this fabulous tutorial. Hope you have fun creating your own messenger bag!