Monday, January 26, 2015

A little rick rack in the seam is a nice touch

Working on something. 
Somethings, Buncha somethings. 

Yes, sis, I'm making you that shirt. No, yours will not have rick rack.

 And yes, I've got the last part of the Emerald City Comic Con cosplay suit in the works. I need two blue LEDs and a couple of dead K cups. Picking up the derby tomorrow morning. 

And I've got rick rack on bees.
the colors are creamier than this

Yes, this is the Tula Pink bee fabric. This is the most ridiculously soft cotton; it's made for clothing not for quilting. Yum yum yum.

ohmygerd apencilline!

The fastest way not to mess this up is to pretest to determine where in the seam the rack should ripple. I've got some tested, and I'm going for a half circle exposure. Although there's plenty of options.
for example: do I want to just have half circles, lock ness Nessie 'bumps' or the full serpent? Or do I want to entwine two different ones?
First of all, it should be even. "rip out the parts where it's an 1/8th off and redo them" even. And that's boring work, so preparation is a must.

 I figure out where the seam line should be,  where that puts the rick rack in distance from the edge, mark the fabric with pencil for the line the indent will follow (easier way to line up a steady curve the eye will enjoy than by the outside bump) and baste stitch it there. 

I make sure I am not sewing on the seam line, as I don't want any stitching showing at all. And it's easier to go back and pick out the bits that wobble and wander if they are two distinct seams.


I hope all you folks in the eastern US are all ready to stay home and read for a couple of days, hopefully in heated snowcaves with plenty of warm food.  Out here in Seattle we are experiencing the upside of global weirding: it's sunny and 60F today.  In January.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Buttonhole Theory

Recently in Colette Pattern's Snippets Department, there was a whole lotta nonlove for the stuff that trips you up in sewing. From the things that are just hard to remember (which was to turn for french seams) to the the hard to avoid (staring at the moving needle when topstitching), there's always something that messes a body up.

I have several (shirt/pants open wrong way, kaff kaff) but one I have learned to work around is

The Failed Buttonhole.

The Bernina, the Damned One, can make an automatic buttonhole. It's never the same size from hole to hole in the same piece, so I just don't use it anymore.

I draw a box on the fabric, or sewing lines, and I do four turns with the zig zag set reasonably dense. Not super dense, but something that gived adequate coverage. And I do four turns, and sink the needle at the corners.

This is not to scale. I would never make a button hole with a hole that big, unless I was using the Bernina, the Damned One. Your Bernina may vary.  Do not say "Bernina" three times on a moonless night. Okay, maybe it just needs more tuning up than I have money for. Do not say I need a new machine three times on a moonless night.

The zig zag will not entirely match up. Perfect is the enemy of good. I should point out that this will look better than if I use the automatic button hole feature. 

I poke a hole in the opening with my seam ripper, and use cuticle scissors to trim to the ends. Then I grab the thing, pull the sides to open it up, and clean up the whiskers that linger.

If I can't draw on the fabric because there is too much texture, I will make a bound buttonhole, using iron on woven facing pulled through to the back. But that's another day.

Pen Holder Hack(s)

Okay, I am working on a few other things that are shiny and distracting and have piping and waterproof zippers. SewExpo in Puyallup is coming up; so is Emerald City Comic Con. What to wear to either? Both? Making a Surf to Summit Fehr Trade rashie for the Pattern Review workout wear contest.

That and I had a birthday. And the teen had a 18 year old birthday. And the Seahawks won. 
Okay, it's busy town like always.

I am always pondering tool storage and bag hacks. And I loooove Jet Pens; I go to their emails almost faster than to Idle Hands (and I love Idle Hands). 

But this seems a bit overpriced for something you can make with duct tape.

Take a piece of heavy tape (gaffers tape if you want to upscale) that's three times as long as the 'wrap' distance around your fave pen/pencil. Goo side up, place another piece of tape a little longer than that 'wrap' in the middle. Apply to back cover of chosen notebook so that none of the goo is going to touch your pen/pencil. 

This works better with a pen with a clip, but you can put a piece of thin fleece or scuba fabric or something squishy in the place of the 'wrap' tape, and that cushion will help hold a pencil.

This will last as long as the notebook will.
Seahawks make front page of NYT. Left coast WIN.
This is the quick and dirty version with wide elastic, glue and duct tape (I was running out the door to a conference).

Your results will be prettier.

And speaking of pretties:

There are a lot of patterns out there for this pen case. The trick is the zipper; either get a long one and do the endless zipper installation, or use a regular zipper and tack the tail into the center fold at the top.

Of course I am making a pattern for something far tricksier. When I'm not doing that other stuff. 

Yes, boss! Back to work!