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1  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Discussion and Questions / sewn storage bags/tubs/boxes? on: September 21, 2008 02:33:50 AM
Anyone got any ideas/links to tuts/whatever on this topic? 

I've got a big run of bookshelves round 2 walls of a room.  I want to store other stuff in there than books - DH's random tat so it needs to be fairly robust and easy to sling it in, lifting a lid is just far too much like hard work!  I want something very very simple I can sew and knock up dozens of the things in a hurry.  It needs to be stiff enough to stand up but I don't want to use card or whatever as the sorts of things DH will put in it I'll probably have to chuck them in the wash from time to time.   Roll Eyes

My current idea is to put some heavyweight iron-on-interfacing onto fabric, make up into a very shallow tote/box bag (without handles) and then bind the top edge.  Probably I'd have to topstitch the 4 verticals at the corners to keep it squarish at the top and sitting on the shelf properly.  The main box would just be very cheap plain fabric and I'd glue/rough applique fabric shapes to the front.

Any advances on that plan?  I'm sure it's been done before and better!
2  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Does sweatshirt fabric fray? on: September 01, 2008 05:06:08 AM
I'm trying to recon an old sweatshirt.  For reasons to do with the construction, I don't want to serge it, just clip the seams and leave it.  It will be horribly bulky otherwise.  My gut feel is that - like t-shirt material - it will roll rather than fray and that will be OK.

Er... or will it?  I've never sewed with sweatshirt material before because it's quite hard to get hold of in the UK. 
3  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Discussion and Questions / Re: Does anybody speak Ottobre? on: August 26, 2008 08:00:43 AM
Aaaaaah.  Dimly, the light dawns.  Thankyou soooo much.

So there is no separate waistband.  I was conflating two patterns, due to them both being printed in orange on the page.  Now it's a lot simpler and the instructions make sort-of-sense though it's insane - there are box pleats in this so you will actually be sewing through --- frantic calculation ---fabric fabric fabric elastic fabric fabric fabric.  The suggested fabric is corduroy, btw.   Shocked  The machine is man enough, but I suspect it will gather up wonky once it's done. 

Ah well, do it once their way and then fiddle with it!
4  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Discussion and Questions / Does anybody speak Ottobre? on: August 26, 2008 04:05:02 AM
I am trying to make my first Ottobre garment.  It's dead simple, with an elasticated waist.  But Ottobre seems to like to put their elasticated waists on separately and I don't at all understand the instructions.   Embarrassed

So it's for some pants - at this point in the instructions we have put the pants together and are trying to attach the waistband...

Finish raw edge of waist casing allowance. Measure and adjust elastic to fit child's waist. Stitch ends of elastic together to form circle and mark circle into halves

so far so good.  I think they are referring to the strip of cloth that is the waistband when they say "waist casing allowance". 

Pin elastic to wrong side of waist casing allowance, along its outer edge. Align mid -point marks on elastic with center-front and center-back seams, and machine-baste elastic to waist casing allowance by sitching-in-the-ditch along pants seamlines from right side. Fold waist casing allowance and elastic to wrong side of garment and stitch casing in place through all layers along bottom edge of elastic, stretching elastic as you sew.

Eh?  Any ideas?
5  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Discussion and Questions / Continental sizing? wtf? on: May 18, 2007 12:56:35 AM
I just wrote a long post about this, but lost it!

Anyone know where there is a standard conversion from continental sizes (height in m) to English/US ones (age)?  It's with reference to Ottobre patterns.  I've found a couple on French mail-order clothes sites, but I know French sizes come up a bit small so I don't entirely trust them.  eg http://www.vertbaudet.co.uk/Static/Static.aspx?page=SizeGuide1
6  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Discussion and Questions / Re: Shirring - how does that work? on: May 16, 2007 10:46:02 AM
Should have said - very helpful advice on here, I've just made a couple of shirred tops.  Should have posted them in "completed projects" but tbh there are so many pics on there of lovely shirred tops and dresses and I don't think I've done anything particularly new and exciting!  But very successful so thanks to all!
7  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Re: button shirt to toddler dress recon (lots of pics) on: May 15, 2007 05:45:40 AM
That is a work of genius!

You have to do a tutorial.   I'm off to the thrift shop....
8  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Discussion and Questions / Re: I want to make clothes for my baby on: May 07, 2007 01:01:55 PM
I have an old book which I got 2nd-hand off ebay which I think is just the thing.  Hang on.... http://cgi.ebay.com/Little-Clothes-for-Little-People-Home-Made-Clothes-f_W0QQitemZ200087299358QQihZ010QQcategoryZ378QQrdZ1QQssPageNameZWD1VQQcmdZViewItem

You may be able to get it cheaper elsewhere, though it's a UK book so easier to get over here than in the US.  It works on the principle that you reproduce the pattern from the book onto squared tracing paper, though the really simple ones you can more or less do freehand by measuring various bits.

The nice thing about it - no zips, no buttonholes, no tricky bits at all.  It doesn't have much about basic techniques (eg seam finishing) but if you can do very basic sewing, all the patterns in there are very quick and easy with no fiddly bits.  There are slightly different designs for different age groups, but it goes from tiny babies to about 7 years old I think. 

9  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Discussion and Questions / Sewing jersey/t-shirt material on: May 06, 2007 08:36:25 AM

To start with, better say that I have a basic sewing machine which will do zig-zag, but no overlocker (or serger as I think it is known in the US?)  And I have worked out that if you want to stitch a seam in a jersey garment, the thing to do is stitch it in a narrow zig-zag, and then even if it comes out a bit stretched when you sew it, once it has been in the wash it sorts itself out.  So I've done a couple little pairs of trousers on that basis, and they came out fine.

But now I want to copy a little girls' dress which has edging on it, like bias binding or the neck on a t-shirt.

So, what I could do is cut out strips of material, press them up like bias binding, pin to the edging and zig-zag over the top.  Will that work out the same?  Is that the best way to do it, given the limited kit I have?

And, I'm sure that those of you who make a lot of garments in jersey use overlockers.... sorry, sergers!  Is that much faster?  Neater?  Easier?  if so, how and why - and should I buy one?  I've never used one but am happy to be converted though I'd probably have to put it on my Christmas list!
10  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Re: I'm emotionally drained... on: May 04, 2007 12:20:37 AM
I put it together the hard way, of course! lol. 

You can't cut the centre back on the fold because the crossover strap is part of the same piece and goes past the fold (if that makes sense) so it has to be 3 pieces per side.  I worked out what they had done and just did the same, so sewed the shoulder seams first, giving me one sort of complicated U-shape of material per side.  I sewed the sides together down the neck/armpit seams only and turned right sides out through the shoulder seams.  I only attempted this because I'd used very thin material for both sides!  Pressed this and then switched the two back sides over so the crossover was in place, turned the back seam inside out again (iyswim) and formed that seam.  Then did the same with the side seams.  Then topstitched the entire neck/armhole seam, which after the crossover is all one seam now, in an almost moebus strip thingie.  (Is that how you spell it?)

I did the pits how they did the pits, ie with elastic, forming the casing and stitching the elastic down in one process with the topstitching.  It would have been easier if I hadn't been half way through the topstitching when I remembered I needed to do it....

The frilly bit was, as you predicted, a bit of a pain.  (I was going to say a rude word there).  I pressed under the hem of the main top on both sides and then put the frill on with one lot of topstitching.  The issue was that gingham which wasn't the robust polycotton sort, it's a very fine cotton that is fine and floppy and bias-ey.  I got 1 1/2 yards for $2 (or rather 1.5m for 1!) as a remnant the other day, and was using it because I thought I was bound to make a complete hash of it so best use something cheap.  I wasn't thinking at all, actually - now I know that if you make something reversible, it's much easier if you use 2 fabrics that behave the same!  So I never managed to get the two hems exactly the same length because the gingham side kept shrinking and growing mysteriously, so there are a couple of places where the stitching on the gingham hem is a bit wobbly!  Anyway, I'm not going to redo it.  I shall just look the other way!

Scots - Re: alcohol stunting my growth; worth a try.....
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