Sunday, July 29, 2012

Give-away number 15

Do you like vintage fabric? Would you like to win some? Janelle has assembled a packet of 4 vintage fat quarters for you to love! Pop over here to enter!


give-aways! so many give-aways!

janelle over at The janelle wind collection is turning 40, and to celebrate, she is offering up 40 GIVE-AWAYS! 40! the goodies range from cute clothing and accessories for Blythe dolls, to gorgeous trinkets from all over the etsy world! Go check it out! really! she is currently up to 33 prizes, and you can enter as many as you like. Not only do you have the opportunity to win some goodies, but you get to go on a kindof tour of some really great people's blogs and etsy stores! Have fun! I know I am.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Home Stretch

Good news, bad news.

Good news is, I am on my way home from an amazing holiday, in which I was able to spend some much wanted time with my cousins! (including the soon colledge bound one. That I will miss dearly.)

Bad news is that I am coming home to an extreme frenzy of work to be done for my 4H projects. To do: finish the jeans and blouse, complete all workbook pages and records, get my photos printed, bet some blueberries- lots of 'em, figure out how to finish the rug, go searching for the already gifted quilt, t up the loose ends on an embroidery project, figure out what needs to be framed and frame it, oh and not explode.

Needless to say, I will not be leaving the sanctity of my work whirlwind until it is finished. After that, however, I have a hopefully helpful tutorial for sewing the fly on jeans!

But... until then...


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Denim Preparation

before note: if you used an old pair of jeans as a pattern- when purchasing the denim, shoot for fabric that's close to the same thickness and stretch as the origional jeans.

The basis for any and every piece of clothing lies in the fabric- the maker or breaker and ultimately the identity of the article. And, therefore, is important! Before this project, I was a very unruly and defiant seamstress. I never ever prewashed fabric. Turns out, it's actually important!

For those like me, who don't really know what to do to prepare the denim, I am happy to report a great finding! Back in the back of my mind, I just knew I'd seen an article about this very thing, and so I searched through all of my magazines 'till I finally found it!
The following information was learned from an article in the Q&A section of the March 2011 issue of Threads magazine, contributed by Jennifer Hasemann):

Denim is a very important fabric to prewash, as many changes occur in the fabric that need to be handled before construction begins. Dyes and chemicals are added to the fabric during manufacturing that become affected by the initial washings, which can result in a lighter and softer denim. (The extent of these changes depend on the individual denim. Mine didn't lighten very much after washing. Jennifer noted that some detergents can be harsher to the color that other detergents.) The denim will also shrink after washing. (Knowing this, I got a little bit more yardage than I thought I'd need, hoping to counteract the shrinkage).

The way to wash the denim depends on the composition of the fabric. 100% cotton denim (what I used) can be washed and then dried in the dryer. If the denim contains over 8% Lycra/Spandex, DO NOT use the dryer. The heat will kill the elasticity of the denim. (If the percentage is only 1-3 percent, a cool dryer setting is still recommended). To achieve the goal of prewashing denim, it should be washed about 3 times.
Something weird that can happen when washing denim for the first times are random markings caused by the dye fading abnormally in the creases of denim that wrinkled in the wash. This occurrence is random and uncontrollable when it happens, but using fabric softener is a possible preventative measure. (I used fabric softener, and I saw none of these markings. However, my fabric didn't fade very much in the first place).

Last note: Before prewashing, zig-zag stitch the raw edge of the denim to prevent unraveling in the wash. After prewashing, iron.

Happy Washing!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Pattern Making and Cutting

Welcome to session 2 of the Jeans Anatomy course! If you're done dismantling an old pair of still-fitting jeans, it's time to make new patterns from the pieces!

              note: if you decided to use a commercial pattern, then you are just going to skip this step!

Confession: I am a cheap person. That being said, I make my pattern paper by taping sheets of printer paper together until it is the size I need to trace on. If you have your own ways of patternmaking, use them!
Something that I noticed in my jeans, which may or may not be true for all, was that the seams were a bit wonky. Often, the seam width would waver, and would prove to be difficult to replicate in my own sewing. So, what I decided to to to remedy the problem was to trace the pieces with the seams folded in, and then add more precise seam allowances on top of that.
Again, taking notes is important! Write down on the pattern your seam allowances, special instructions for different types of seams, locations of added items, etc. The more help you give yourself, the easier it'll be!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Jeans: an Anatomy- Getting Started

All right, to begin sewing virtually any garment, what do you need? A pattern. Seeing as how I'd never made pants before, and I have a big-ish and hard-to-fit behind, I felt that tackling the alteration process on a standard pattern from scratch would be a little out of my range. I didn't really know quite how to start, until I remembered what was in the back of my closet! Do you have an old pair of jeans that, for whatever reason, you don't wear anymore, and yet they still fit fairly well? Great! That's what I used. (If not, the local thrift store is a fantastic place to find such a thing). I figured that this would be a great thing to use, because it'd be a pattern that should already fit fine!

There is, however, a down side. In order to get these old jeans to turn into a new pattern, alot of tedious work is required... tedious work in which a seam ripper is your new best friend. Yes, the dissasembly process. Do this in the car, while waiting at the BMV, and virtually anywhere that you can. Do this, and it will go faster than you think! (It also helps that it's a pretty interesting process for those who like to see how things work!).

Dissasembly is not only a means to acquire your pattern, but it is also a very importang learning process. Take notes! Taking these jeans apart seam by seam will help you envision how to put them back together again, so write these things down! The more you learn about how pants work, the easier it will be to make a new pair! (Understand: nothing is unimportant. Learn even how the seams work!)

See you at the next step!

NOTE: I wouldn't suggest using tight fitting or 'stretchy' jeans-- the jeans have probably molded to your body shape, and will produce patterns that will not provide the same result. If you really insist, I would increase the size slightly during patternmaking.

An Introduction

School is out, my friends, and that means crafting! All day long. It's wonderful. Currently, the projects in the works are the ones that I am doing for 4H this year, and one of the projects I am enrolled in happens to be wearable sewing. (yay!) For those unaware of this 4H project, it means that I need to make an outfit(s) to fit into one (or more) of several catagories (casual, dress up, etc.), and I chose casual. And, in the spirit of trying new things, I realized that I have never never ever made a pair of pants before. And so, with that knowledge in mind, I am embarking on an adventure. Would you like to come with me? I am making a pair of jeans, and here I will share all that I learn, as well as the process! I am calling it 'Jeans: an Anatomy.' We will see what happens! (I am excited) :)