Monday, February 27, 2012

Hot off the needles...

New cabled shorties hot off the needles. I really love how this colorway knit up, absolutely no pooling at all! Now available in the etsy shop.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sewing Tutorial: Adding a Hidden Zipper Pocket

Want to add a hidden zipper pocket to the lining of a bag? Here's how!

1. Cut two rectangles of fabric to just larger than the size of your finished zipper pocket.

2. Draw a 1/2 inch thick rectangle on wrong side of one of your rectangles, at least 3/4 inches from the top and sides. (this rectangle will be the opening for your zipper)

3. Place the marked rectangle on your bag lining where desired, with right sides facing, and pin in place all around the drawn rectangle.

4. Stitch around the drawn rectangle with a short stitch length.

5. Carefully cut a slit in the rectangle, ending with a "Y" shape cut on either side. The ends of the "Y" should be cut as close as possible to the corners of the stitching, without cutting through tha actual stitches themselves.

6. Pull the pocket lining through the slit, and press.

7. Pin the zipper in place behind the lining, making sure that the zipper pull is showing through the slit, Do not worry if the zipper is longer than the opening, you can cut the excess off later. Stitch carefully around the zipper. When you get to the zipper pull, stop stitching with the needle in the down position into the fabric, and lift the zipper foot. Pull the zipper to the back side of the sewing machine foot (this is a bit tricky, but it is easier to stitch the rest of the zipper on evenly if you move the zipper pull first), put the sewing foot back down, and finish stitching on the zipper.

8. Put the second pocket lining piece on the first, with right sides facing, and pin ONLY the two pocket lining pieces together.

9. Carefully stitch around the pocket lining pieces, moving the bag lining layer out of the way as you go. Cut off any excess zipper length at this time.

10. Finish sewing your bag as desired.


Woven Tote Bag Tutorial: Part 3 (Finish sewing)

11. Cut a square out of the bottom two corners (the corner with the fold and one stitched seam) on both your lining and woven piece. The square should be half the length of the depth of the finished bag (If you want a bag that is 6" deep, cut the square to be 3" by 3")

12. On the woven piece, open the cut corner, and fold it so that the stitched seam is in the center (see photo) and pin the two layers together.

13. Stitch down the cut edge.

14. Go back and zigzag along the cut edge to secure the weaving, then stitch a second line of straight stitches just on the other side of the first line. (the second line of stitches helps reinforce the bag as this is a high stress point)

15. Repeat steps 12-14 for the other 3 corners.

16. Turn the lining so that the right side is out, then stuff the lining into the woven outer, matching up the side seams.

For Fabric Handles
17. Place the handles on the bag as pictured, between the outer and lining layers and pin in place. (Make sure the handles are centered on the bag, and the same distance apart on both sides) Pin around the rest of the top of the bag. Stitch around the top of the bag, leaving about 4" open between one set of handles to turn.

For Wooden Handles
17. Cut the fabric strip into 4 equal pieces, then put 3 of them through the slits on the handles with the seam hidden towards the inside, and pin in place.

Pin the 3 fabric strips in place as shown (but with the handles between the outer and inner layers). Pin around the rest of the top of the bag. On the side of the bag where only 1 side of the handle is attached, place one pin just outside where you want to put the second fabric loop, and one pin about 1" inside the handle from the other fabric loop. Do not pin or stitch between these two pins. Stitch around the top of the bag, leaving a large hole for turning between the two marked pins. Go slowly, as stitching with the heavy wooden handles in place is a bit clumsy. Carefully turn the bag right side out. (Hint: You will have to turn the handle on it's side to get it through the turning hole)

After turning insert the last fabric strip into the wooden handle, and pin in place on the bag.

18. Topstitch around the top of the bag, and enjoy you newly finished tote bag!

Also see Little Monkey's Stitch & Spin: Woven Tote Bag Tutorial: Part 2

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Woven Tote Bag Tutorial: Part 2

Woven Tote Bag Tutorial: Part 2 (Washing and Starting Sewing)

TIP: Make sure you run a zig-zag stitch down any cut edges of your weaving before sewing them onto another piece on the bag

1. After you have finished weaving the outer fabric for you bag and removed it from the loom, run a zig-zag stitch down either raw edge with your sewing machine to secure the last few pics of warp int he fabric. Then wash and dry your woven piece. (Note: For mixed-fiber or non-superwash wools it is best to hand-wash and dry flat, superwash wools or cotton should be safe to be washed/dried in the machine)

2. Iron a piece of fusable interfacing to the "wrong" side of your weaving. The interfacing should be cut to be just barely narrower than the woven piece before ironing (note: if your interfacing is too wide you will end up sticking it to your ironing board as well as your fabric, don't ask how I know!)

3. Cut a piece of your lining fabric to the same size as your woven piece.

4. Cut a strip of fabric to use attach the handles.
The strip should be 1/2 in wider than twice the width of the wooden handle, and about 10" long (the slot in my handles is 3/4 inch wide, so .75*2 +.5 = 2", so I cut my strip 2" wide)

Fold the strip in half with right sides facing, pin, and stitch down the raw edge, creating a long narrow tube.

Turn the tube right side out (hint: pin a safety pin to the end and use that to help you turn the strip right side out)

Iron the strip flat with the just-stitched seam in the middle. (Don't worry the seam will be hidden later)

4. Cut a strip of fabric to use for your handles (the size is up to your preference, but I used a strip 44" long and 4" wide to get two straps that are 1.75" wide and 21" long). Fold in half with right sides facing, pin and sew into a long narrow tube.

Turn the tube right side out (using the pin tip from above), iron flat (with the seam along one side of the fold) and topstitch both sides of the strap.

5. Cut two rectangles that are 1/2 in larger than desired pocket size. Pin together with right sides facing, and stitch around, leaving about 3" open on the middle of one side for turning. Turn right side out and press. Topstitch along the top side only.

Pin pocket in place on the lining (I put my pocket 3" down from the top edge of the bag, make sure it is at least 2" from the top of the bag or it will get in the way when you add your snap closure later) and topstitch twice around the left, bottom, and right sides. (the double topsititching helps hold the pocket in as these can be higher stress seams)

6. Fold weaving in half along the warp with right sides facing, pin togather and stitch down the left and right selvedges. Repeat for the lining.

7. Place a pin at the top edge of the lining marking the top-center of the lining. Use a fabric marker (or piece of chalk for dark fabrics) to mark the slits fot the magnetic snap placement, and carefully snip the slits.

8. Insert one half of the snap (with the right side on the right side of the lining, and put a little fray check around the cut slits.

9. Put the metal piece on the other side and flatten the prongs.

10. Repeat #7-9 on the other side for the second half of the magnetic snap set.


Stay tuned for the rest of the tutorial, coming soon! :)

Also see:
Little Monkey's Stitch & Spin: Woven Tote Bag Tutorial: Part 1 (Calculations)