Saturday, April 30, 2011

Featured in Artfire Collection

One of my oven mitts and potholder sets was included in an Artfire collection for Mom for Mother's day.  Help her keep from burning her hands while cooking all your great meals.

Friday, April 29, 2011

My story made Friday Finish!

I'm very excited!  The story I wrote about Jake's Thomas the Train shirt made The Unfinished Sewing Project Party (blog) Friday Finish. Here's the link:

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Making a shirt with fabric on cross grain

It's often hard to find fabric to make things for little boys. There's tons of pretty fabric and patterns for their sisters.  So when I saw a piece of fabric with Thomas the Train on it, I thought this is perfect!  Grandson, Jake, is 2 and absolutely LOVES Thomas the Train. 

But the problem, as you might be able to see, is that the selvage is at the top of the photo, which means cutting the fabric on the straight of grain would have up-and-down stripes but all the images would be sideways.  This would never do.  So I bought extra fabric and set out to cut make a shirt on the cross grain, where the images would be going around the shirt body.

The safest way to make sure that everything matches as I wanted it to was to cut each piece separately.  For a little boy's shirt there's only the back on a fold, 2 front pieces, the sleeves and collar.  All I really need to  match was the front to back going around at the side seams, and because of the print I wanted to match the center front as well. 

When using baby or toddler patterns I copy the size that I want onto pattern paper (or you can get butcher paper really inexpensively at places with Gordon Food Service.  Butcher paper is a bit thicker, but oh so much less expensive!)  I use a Sharpie pen to copy the size from the pattern piece onto my butcher paper.

I folded the fabric and pinned the shirt back to it.  Then took the shirt front and marked where the stripes were on the fabric onto the pattern piece.  After cutting out the back, I unfolded the fabric and laid one of the shirt fronts out with the marks on the pattern lined up with the stripes on the fabric. 

This photo shows the marks I'd made on the front at the side seams so that they would line up correctly with the back at the side seams.  I marked where the stripes were and labeled the colors of them.  You can also see my pattern that I cut out of Butcher paper and get an idea of the thickness of it.

Then since I wanted the center fronts to match when the shirt was buttoned, I folded the front piece at the center front line and marked on the pattern what I needed on the fabric to make it match.  I unfolded the front piece and pinned the facing part of it, and cut that front out.  Then reversed it and using my marks lined it up with the fabric such that the center front would match.

Fortunately for Jake his grandmother is a perfectionist!  Here's the finished shirt with everything matching as I'd hoped.  I have to say that I did NOT try to match the sleeves.  I tried to center them on the fabric so that the had the same print on both, but I did NOT try to match them to the shirt.  That just happened!  And I couldn't have done it that well if I'd tried!!!

Here's the top of the shirt open so you can more easily see the buttons and the match of the fabric.

I just have to ship it off to Jake or wait till I see him the end of May and give it to him.  I'll probably wait.  I made a slightly larger size then he currently needs, and I have to make something for his twin sister, Emily, next.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Putting a new zipper into a leather jacket

Recently I had to replace a 32" zipper in a leather jacket.  This was a new experiecnce for me, so I thought I'd share what I learned.  First of all ripping out the old zipper has to be done carefully so as not to rip the leather.  And when you go to put the new zipper in you can't use pins to hold it.  Pins would punch holes in the leather, which is something you don't want.  I went searching online and found several helpful items.  Use rubber cement to hold the pieces together.  And then clamp it with office clips. Off to nearby Staples for supplies.  First time I ever got sewing supplies at Staples!

Here's a shot with the rubber cement on the zipper before I put the pieces together

I'd paste a little and clamp it down.


When one side as all done, it was time to move to the sewing machine. 

You want to set your needle tension lighter than you normally use, and your stitch length longer.  I used 3 mm when my normal length setting is 2.2 mm.  Check your sewing machine manual for the setting for your machine. Use one of the needles designed for sewing leather, and you want to go very slowly with your sewing


I used my machine's zipper foot and worked up to the clamp and removed it just prior to sewing that section. Here's a photo with the jacket all done.

Hope this has been useful information for you!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Getting started

Welcome to Clearwater Creations blog!  I'm Patsy, also known as ClearwaterPatsy on Twitter, and I'll be posting comments about sewing, mainly, and other items that interest me.  I hope you'll find them interesting too.
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