Thursday, December 27, 2012

Sew Along: Winter Coat Update: Sewing the Good Fabric

Last weekend I made a big dent in the progress of my Burberry-inspired winter coat. There is not a lot to report back on, but I will highlight a few little things that I did to enhance the coat.

- Did you ever use tailor's tacks? I'm sure many of you know this little trick, but I felt the need to share it in case some of you don't know about it! My mother taught me how to use these and they are one of the best ways to mark your fabric. I don't care for using chalk marks because it always seems like they disappear by the time I get to that section of a garment.

Thread a needle with a contrasting thread. Make sure to meet the ends of the thread. This is a good time to use threads that you hardly use, or old threads that may be too brittle to use in your sewing machine. (I have some of these inherited from my grandmother.) Then poke the needle through the pattern paper and all layers (good fabric, lining, etc.) leaving about 6-7 inches on the top of your stack. Then poke the needle up through stack and pull the needle through. Make sure you have two tails of 6-7 inches. Pull off the pattern paper. Starting at the bottom of your stack, pull apart each section leaving an even amount of thread between the sections. Cut the threads so that you have a tack attached to each piece. (If you leave your threads a little longer, you could even tie the threads in a loose knot to prevent them from falling out.) Now all your pieces are marked! It takes a little longer, but I feel is worth it.

You can see my tailor tacks on this sleeve section.
 
- While fusing interfacing on all the necessary pieces, I fused a 3" piece of lightweight fusible interfacing and placed it along the bottom edge of the hem and hem on your sleeves. This creates a crisp hem when you press the hem up rather than a "baloon-like" hem. I will take a picture of the finished hems when the coat is finished. Here is a picture of the interfacing along the hem of the sleeve. 

 

- I decided to add flannel to the inside of my coat to make it even warmer. Rather than basting it all in place, I used 505 Spray and Fix by Odif USA. I use it all the time for holding pieces together. It is temporary, but fairly strong and does not ruin your fabric. It also does not gum up your needle which is a HUGE plus for me. After it was attached I cut approximately 1/2 inch from all edges of the flannel to reduce the bulkiness in the seams.

 
 
Here is a picture of a section I was VERY happy when all the plaids matched. At this point I was matching the side seams and creating the pockets.


Next post I'm hoping to share with you more interesting things! I should have the entire coat constructed at that point. Happy Holidays!
~ Julie
 
 
 


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

At Fabric Mart: Wrap Up 2012!



 Hello friends! 
We're wrapping up 2012 with the highlights from the blog the year! 

Can you believe we've only been blogging for a few months? 
We have enjoyed finding inspiration, writing posts, and most of all sharing with you. 
And we love receiving comments and encouragement from our loving fabric friends!

Let's take a look back at all our memories together:

 
( And the offer is still open! Email fabricmartblog@gmail.com)


We held a Halloween Costume Contest!






And still tempting! Check out our lace on our website: 













We had a lot of fun blogging for you in 2012! 
We have a few more great posts to end the year on, so be sure to check the blog later this week for a tutorial you'll love and to catch up with Julie! 


See you next year, Fabricistas!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

DIY Tutorial: Wine Gift Bag

Hi all, Lisa D. here!
You may not know me because I am typically behind the scenes shipping, billing, and doing Fabric Mart's accounting.

That being said, I am also not one of our best sewers here. However, this wine bag is easy enough even I can make it! These wine bags are a great way to personalize my favorite "last minute gift "to give, wine!
They only take about 15 minutes to make and you can use almost any scrap of fabric.

I used a cow print woven raw silk here because this particular wine bag was for our CBE (Chief Blogging Executive) Katie who happens to be marrying a dairy farmer this Summer.

But like I said you can use almost anything, I personally love metallics and silks to make them fancy or cotton prints to make them fun. The recipient will also love that they can re-use it next time they would like to gift a bottle of wine. 



Materials:

  • Fabric, you will need at least a 5" by 30" piece, so 1/8 of a yard would work 
  • At least 20" Ribbon or Trim
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Machine or even just a Needle and Thread
1. Lay your fabric face down on your table

2. Fold over about 2" on the short side of each end to make a cuff/hem

3. Straight stitch a seam on each side to secure the hem

4. Fold fabric in half so that two hemmed ends meet and the face of the fabric is on the inside

5. Pin together wine bag sides placing the middle of the ribbon in the seam. Ribbon should be right below the hem on one side of the bag folded in half with the ribbon ends facing in. Remember the bag will be turned inside right at the end and the ribbon needs to be on the outside of the bag.

6. Stitch together the sides of the bags together including the middle of the ribbon.

7. Turn bag inside right
8. Insert wine, tie a bow with the ribbon, and relax!



Cheers! 

-Lisa

Friday, December 21, 2012

DIY Tutorial: Crochet Hook Case

For those last minute Christmas shoppers or gift makers, here is a clever idea for the crochet lovers in your life. You can make this Crochet Hook Case in less than an hour with scraps of cotton fabric!

You will need:
- 4 - 9x12" scraps of cotton fabric (coordinating)
- Thread to match
- 9x12" piece of batting 
- Sewing machine
- 2 - 24" piece of ribbon
- Point turner
- Crochet hook(s)

1) Cut out three 9x12 rectangles.This will create a front, inside and a large pocket. Cut out a 6x12" rectangle. This will be the small pocket.



2) Fold the two pocket pieces in half the 12" way. One will be 3" tall, the other 4.5" tall. These will create the pockets of your case. Now you will be making the case "sandwich." Right sides up, lay the "inside" 9x12 piece first, then place the larger pocket down on the bottom half, then the smaller pocket. It should look like this when you are finished:



3) Fold the two ribbons in half and place them at 2" and 5" from the bottom. Pin in place. (Tip: I tie the ribbons together in a loose knot so that I do not sew over them later.) You can cut the ribbons shorter once the case is full of hooks. I always make them extra long in case of bulky hooks.


4) Next lay the front 9x12 section right side down, then place the piece of batting on top. You have now created a fabric sandwich. Pin all sides. 
Please note that ribbons are not shown in this picture. 

5) Using a 3/8" seam allowance, sew around all edges, leaving a 3" opening on the bottom edge. Trim seams/serge. Cut the excess seam at the corners to reduce the bulkiness. 


6) Turn the case right sides out. Use a point turner to push out all corners. Be careful not to push too hard! Press. 


7) Topstitch around all four sides. To make pockets for the crochet hooks, Stitch lines 1-1 1/2 inches apart. If you have extra thick (or thin) hooks, make the opening the size you need. 


8) Now you need to create a "cap" to the case. This will keep the hooks in place when traveling. (Then they won't slide out the top of the case.)  Normally it is a 1-1 1/2" stitch line. 



9) Press down the "cap" you just created and sew it in place on both sides. 


 10) Clip all the loose threads and Voila! You are finished! 



But wait! You can use this for more than crochet hooks! Why not roll up artist pencils, markers, makeup brushes and more! This is a pattern I created myself. It can also be adapted to knitting needles and long paintbrushes. 

Happy Holidays! ~ Julie

Saturday, December 15, 2012

DIY Tutorial: Wool Felted Garland

Hello! Katie here with a fun Christmas craft! 
Have you seen those cute garlands made out of wool?
Well I'm going to show you how to make them! 


I found a sweet and easy tutorial from the Purl Bee.
I'm going to use her guidelines to show you how to make your own with our personal tips and tricks I discover along the way on our first wool felting project.
I have wanted to try felting for a while but was always terrified I would spend hours on a project and it turn into more of a cat ball than a cuddly stuffed animal.
But a felted garland seemed like a task I could handle and not screw up!


 First cut a piece of wool about 8 inches long.
Then pull the wool apart width-wise slightly as shown.
Do this with two pieces of wool and then cross.


 Start by folding the edges in and then make a loose ball out of the wool.
(These were dyed by Julie!)


 One at a time, place the wool into the stockings and tie a knot at the end of each section.
Choose a pair of stockings you will not miss!
Then throw your stockings into the washer and wash on a hot cycle with mild detergent, then into the dryer for 10 minutes.
Once they have been washed and dried (which felts them) cut each one out of the stocking.


 I was slightly embarrassed by the appearance of them when I first cut them out of the stockings.
They do not come out as a smooth ball. Instead they have an open crack down the back of them.
I decided to use my yarn darner to felt them even more (use a felting tool if you have one) and by picking at the wool ball, the crack became less noticeable. (I noticed that the wool that was tied looser in the stocking turn out to be the better looking ones and hid the crack easier)
I then threaded the yarn darner and strung the felted wool on.


This is how they turned out; Quirky and misshaped in a variety of sizes.
But I am happy with their crafty appearance! (And I'm fairly certain they are not meant to look perfect anyway! But I'm a perfectionist!)
All in all they were fun to make!
A great idea for a holiday project that is kid friendly!

You could even dye natural color wool into the color of your child's choice.
Get them involved by dying the wool with Kool-aid rather than a harsh, unforgiving store bought dye.
Check out this color formula chart to help you mix your dye: http://www.dyeyouryarn.com/kool-aid.html





When you are feeling like you have successfully accomplished the garland, try making critters!

You'll need a few supplies! 
 Wool Buddy on Etsy sells cute little animal kits. How cute is that giraffe?!
They also have a starter kit we recommend!
Needle and Felt Wool on Etsy has just that, needles and felt wool.
They offer wool in fabulous colors they dye themselves.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Sew Along: Winter Coat Update - Muslin and Matching Plaids

Since the last time I wrote about the Burberry-inspired winter coat I am making, I've made a small amount of progress, but it was well worth it. I was able to put together the muslin, which surprisingly only took me an hour or so to get fit. For those of you that do not like doing a muslin, I would say to try and overcome the dislike. (I don't "like" it either! But it will save me time and money in the long run.) It will really help you see what needs to be altered and adjusted. I had to bring the shoulders in a little bit. (This is something I notice in a lot of Simplicity patterns, so I was expecting it.) I also wanted to make my coat shorter, so it allowed me to see how long the coat should be.


Overall I would say that making the muslin was fast for a few reasons: 
1) I used a basting stitch on all seams so I could take them out if I needed to.
2) I did not make the coat in its entirety. There is no reason to construct the entire garment (facings and details) since you are only trying to get the fitting right.

I will keep the muslin handy in case I need to try out a tricky section instead of messing up the good fabric.

After having the muslin tweaked, I moved on to cutting out the good fabric! I was nervous to cut it out because I do not have a lot of experience with matching plaids. It was easier than I thought, just time-consuming! It literally took me 2 hours to cut everything out. I cut out each piece, one at a time, rather than folding fabric in half like patterns usually call for. I started with the "back" piece and used that as a basis for all the matching that needed to be done. Once I cut out one piece, I would remove the paper pattern piece and turn the fabric over (right sides together) to cut out the second piece. (You want to make sure that you get a mirror image of the pattern piece.)  I matched up the plaids by pinning every larger section of the plaid to the corresponding pattern on the uncut fabric. See the picture below for reference. 

Do you see the pattern piece on the fabric??
I used the triangle tabs to match up separate pattern pieces so that when the coat is sewn together the plaids should match up pretty well. (Hopefully!)

Next I will be cutting out the interfacing, flannel interlining and the silk lining. More updates to follow!

Do you have a tip or story about a time you were trying to match plaids? 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Inspiration: Winter Fashion Trends 2012

Tis' the season to look dashing, fa la la la la, la la la la !
Don we now our highest fashion, fa la la la la, la la la la. 

I scoured the pages of Vogue to find the winter fashion trends and selected my 10 favorites for seasonal gatherings. These trends are easy to look great in and if you are like me, you would rather make these statement pieces rather than just buy them online!
(So I listed some fabric suggestions from our site, check them out!)

Oversized Handbag
(But I also love the velvet leggings with the men's jacket!
Make them with the velour on our website)
Winter Florals and Power Purple
(Check out this Purple Satin on our website: CWG4541)
Oversized Coats and Cinched Waists
Cobalt Blue
(We have a great rayon knit in this color, perfect for a comfortable and casual cocktail dress! 
Check out BBC5670
Black Leather
Pants in Colors and Patterns
(We have a perfect color match to the burgundy pants! Take a look at MKE5747 or try CVE4791) 
Fur Collar


Sources: Vogue UK ; Etsy ; ASOS