Post Tag: applique

12.15.2007

Laptop Case

Whew! I may be the laziest blogger ever, but I have been sewing. I only have one completed project to share, but it’s one that I’ve used a lot. When I went to Photoshop World at the beginning of September, I needed a laptop sleeve. I decided that instead of spending $35+ on one at the Mac store, I’d look for a pattern and make my own. So I did! I had enough JoAnn’s gift cards that I didn’t even have to pay for the fabric!

I used Simplicity 3889, view B. The outside is burgundy corduroy with a lop-shaped corduroy applique. The inside is olive green polar fleece. There is also polyester batting, craft foam, and muslin on the inside.

Here is a collage of different views:

I hand sewed the inside binding, which took a long time but looks a lot better than if I tried to sew it on the machine (because of the thickness of the edge).

For the record, the lop applique fabric already had the embroidery on it. That’s the first question most people have — did I do the embroidery myself? Obviously, no.

The laptop sleeve has been through a lot of abuse, spending many hours inside my backpack, and it has held up amazingly well. Plus, it fits my Macbook perfectly!

Now I just need to keep working on my sloper patterns…

9.15.2005

Here’s my obligatory “I’m not dead!” post for the month.

I took about a month long break from sewing stuff in preparation for my Arizona trip — I spent pretty much all my time studying. Now that I’m back and have gone to an anime convention, which always inspires me, I’m back in business.

Before I started my sewing break, I started working on the main parts of my Rikku costume. For those of you unfamiliar with the costume, here’s a picture. Yeah. Stop laughing.

So I started work on the top. Here are some of the challenges for a novice such as myself:

1) Making it the right shape to match the costume. (Bonus difficulty: it looks different in every drawing/rendering.)
2) Making a bikini top in the first place — I’ve never made one before!
3) Getting the right amount of support.
4) Making it look good on a small-chested person such as myself.
5) Getting that edge binding to look right.

I bought some awesome material for both the top/bottom and their binding at SR Harris. Of course I didn’t bother to check what kind of lycra it is, so when I opened up my Fabric Savvy book, I found out that the sewing/prewashing is slightly different for cotton lycra versus nylon lycra. Great. And of course, the difference is that nylon is shiny while cotton is matte. Except that I can’t tell which one the base yellow fabric is — I’m pretty sure the binding is nylon. So yay for me. I found a very similar fabric on one of the shirts in my closet that says it’s nylon, so I’m going with that.

For the top, I started with a base pattern and modified the hell out of it. In fact, I did a lot more modifying than I thought I knew how to do — John was impressed. Now that I have the fabric and it’s stretchier than the knits I was using to test, I took some material off the edges of the pattern. We’ll see if that works.

And of course I’m hoping to finish the pumpkin placemats soon — I spent this evening tracing and cutting out the applique. Tomorrow I sew!

7.11.2005

I’m reading up on some pattern alteration stuff before diving into my next garment project. In the meantime, I’m working on a simple pumpkin applique, once again from Clotilde’s Sewing Savvy. What can I say, I’m into making cute stuff lately.

Of course, I’ve already learned something important. Something that is probably quite obvious to everyone else in the world: check the washing instructions before chucking the fabric into the washing machine. See, I got these placemats and napkins for the project, and washed them according to what kind of fabric they were (cotton) without noticing that the little tag said “hand wash only.” Derp. So there are some…problems on the back of the placemats. Namely, some of the weave threads broke and unraveled. It hasn’t made its way to the front of the mats, so I may be okay.

I’m still learning to applique corners, but by the time I finish the six placemats and six napkins, I’ll probably be a pro.

7.07.2005

Hi there! I’m still alive and still sewing. I’ve been so busy with my regular website and school in the last year, but now that I’m unemployed, I have time to sew. It’s actually a blessing.

Right now, I’m working on finishing up the projects I either started or for which I bought supplies. First on the list was the bunny bib mentioned in the last entry. I finished it up today. Here are some pictures:

Bunny bib front
Bunny bib back
Bunny bib front bias tape detail
Bunny bib back bias tape detail

I could only get so close with the dinky camera. :) Here are some notes from the project:

The Good
*This time around I had no trouble with the applique feed. I used 0.3 for the stitch width and didn’t experience any of the issues I discussed before.

*Thanks to a little bit of coaching in a presser foot class (that I took sometime within the last year or so), I was able to go around curves more successfully with the applique. Also, my start and end points matched up better than before.

*The bias tape was a LOT, LOT better this time around. While I haven’t been sewing, I’ve been doing more reading, and I decided to try some of what I read for the bias tape application. I took a lot more time with shaping the curves with the iron, and I hand-stitched the back after machine sewing the front. It’s not perfect, but it’s such an improvement over the last attempt. And the hand-stitching may be more time consuming but a) I don’t have a bias tape application foot, and b) it gave me a lot more control than trying to catch both sides with the machine at once.

The Bad
*I appliqued the center piece first, and quickly learned that it’s best to do the outside pieces first. No biggie, but just a thought for next time.

*I haven’t yet mastered appliqueing corners — I have some excess stitching in the yellow. I’ll have to figure that one out.

*One of the alignment marks is slightly visible through the bunny. Note to self: material isn’t 100% opaque.

*I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but the instructions call for sewing the rick-rack on with invisible nylon thread. For the life of me, I could not get this to work last time — I tried different types of thread in the bobbin, even. So like last time, I just used a regular kind-of-matching thread to sew it on. Plus, even if I wanted to try the nylon again, the top broke off the thread spool. Odd, that.

In all, I would consider this one a success!

I’ve been working on my scarf as well, and I’m just over six inches to completion. I’ll post pictures when it’s finished.

3.26.2004

Why do I always wait so long between posts? I guess because I hadn’t been doing too much sewing stuff, instead focusing on VGR and some video games.

On Saturday, I went to “Sewing Adventures 2004″ put on by Husqvarna-Viking. I ended up learning a lot and spending an assload of money on new sewing machine feet and other accessories. I bought the heirloom kit despite not having a sewing machine that can do heirloom type stitches. I will someday, though.

Last night, I went to a sewing machine foot class and ended up buying an open toe foot for my machine. I went home and practiced satin stitch applique. For some reason the fabric doesn’t like to feed through my machine when I do 0.2 length stitches, and is a little iffy in certain spots on the 0.3 length stitches. I don’t know if the presser foot is slipping on the stabilizer or what.

I’ve also been working a lot on my scarf:

The thing is, the actual scarf I’m basing it on has a color change gradient rather than bands. But I didn’t want to knit a 9 foot single-colored scarf (my first scarf, by the way) and then potentially screw it up in the dye process. So yeah, it won’t look exactly like Rikku’s scarf, so hopefully other cosplayers won’t scoff at it. :P

The other night, when I tried satin stitch applique for the first time, I was a total klutz. I managed to try satin stitching with the wrong stitch (the buttonhole stitch), I ironed the wrong side of the fusible stabilizer, and when I examined the resulting cruddiness on the iron, I managed to spill water everywhere. I don’t think I’m cut out for this!