Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Bobbin Storage

I was tired of looking for the right color bobbin for sewing.  I have lots so I organized them by sticking a small dowel (from Daiso) through them and holding them in place with binder clips on both ends. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Felted Bag from Tapestry Scraps

I've been working for a designer who is making jackets from handwoven tapestries.  Each tapestry is enough for only one jacket and depending on size, there is quite a lot of leftover fabric.  I hate waste so I took some scraps felted them, sew them together, and felt again in the washer and dryer.  I like the way it turned out, there is a diagonal seam in the bag on each side but not obvious because of the felting.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Adding Buckle to Longchamp Backpack

I needed a bag for my European trip but the last time I used a backpack purse, I was pursued by many pickpockets.  One pair even had my bag unzipped and started opening my wallet, luckily a local lady alerted me.  But I still want a backpack, my shoulders hurt form a regular shoulder travel bag.

I chose this bag because it's impossible to unzip with the snap down without me noticing.  But I also wanted to be able to carry it around in museums so I decided to sew a clip to the back pack straps.  The backpack can be worn as a purse albeit upside down using the new buckle, the extra strap can be buckled around my waist and take the weight off my shoulders and lastly, I can buckle the bag to my seat back or armrest when I am in a restaurant.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Converting Travel Vest to Travel Skirt

My husband had this travel vest for 10+ years and it still has its store tags.

I was going to donate it, but I have been trying to be more ecological about clothing and have been altering clothes rather than buying new so here is a new challenge, what to make.  I can't alter it to fit me as a vest without cutting off most of the pockets but it's wide enough for my hips, so a skirt.

I cut off the shoulders along the ruler.

And added some fabric from the shoulders to patch the V-neck and make the waist straight and used grossgrain ribbon as waistband facing.  Also sewed along the sides removing the armhole fabric and shaping the skirt. Note that there is a waist drawstring in the back of the vest/skirt.  I took the string out and left the casing as a design detail.  Which just means, I was too lazy to rip it out.

And finally, the skirt.  I wore it around travling, great pockets for passports, cell phone, money, kleenex.  There is a large inside pocket, pick pocket proof and big enough for maps.  I didn't even need a purse.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Adding Real Pocket to Faux Zipper Pocket

I love pockets, for kleenex, keys whatever but most pants now don't have them.  So I bought a pair of pants with faux pockets that have working zippers and plan to transform them.

First thing to do is to zigzag stitch the fabric under the zipper to make sure they don't run when you slit the fabric.  I did one pocket before slitting the fabric and the other pocket after.  Before works better because the fabric is stretched out, afterwards, it rolls and hard to sew.  I used Fray Check
Prym Dritz Fray Check Sealant

at the ends because a sewing machine can't reach the corners.  Here is it after slitting and stabilizing the edges.

I cut 2 pieces of fabric the width of the pocket welt 4.75" in my case and about 10" long.  First stitch the pocket fabric to the lower welt, see below.

The picture to the right is what the underside of the stitching looks like.  Now sew the other end of the pocket to the upper welt and around the edges to form the pocket.  I used a very stretchy knit and it's hard to adjust the pressure foot pressure on my sewing machine (new to me Bernina 820) which everyone says is great but I prefer my late Kenmore 70s machine. So the fabric is wavy, but no one sees it so I won't change it.

So now from the right side you can see the pocket pulled out.

 You can make one or two pockets, since they don't change the looks on the outside it's your choice.
And this is a foolproof method, no matter what happens you can always keep the pocket zipped close and no one is the wiser.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Making a portable foot rest/sling for the Plane

Update, it works! Actually it is better than a foot rest (I used my backpack for a footrest on the plane) because it supports the knee as well.  My right knee gets sore if I don't move it, old skiing injury.  I can still ski but riding a chair lift is painful because my knee has to hold the ski weight.  

I am short and sometimes my feet don't reach the floor on airplanes especially when I am reclining.  Most planes don't have footrests on economy so I decide to make my own.  I used belting material, a belt buckle that adjusts and the bottom of a shopping bag.  Tried it in the car and works great, can't wait to get on a plane and give it a go.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Bound Buttonholer

I haven't made a bound buttonhole in 20 years but I heard about the bound buttonholer and bought one on ebay a couple of yeras back.  With shipping it was over $10, but I was shopping at Britex in SF and they have them for $4.95 and available on Amazon too.  Glad they are available again.