Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Teaching "Sweatshirt Jacket Pizzazz" and "Purse Accessory Set" Classes at Austin's Sewing Center in September

I'm scheduled to teach "Sweatshirt Jacket Pizzazz" on the 6th, and "Purse Accessory Set" on the 8th.


 This is a project where I took a pullover sweatshirt and turned it into a jacket, with lots of embellishments, such as yo-yo flowers and rick-rack stem on the bouquet, a wide band at the bottom for added length, pockets from two different fabrics and rick-rack trim along with yo-yos and buttons, and lots of bias binding and trim along the front and sleeve edges and around the neck.  The yo-yos were more fun to make than I expected them to be.  I made some of them the "old-fashioned" way, and some with the new yo-yo makers from three different sizes.  The corsage group was made with the large oval yo-yo maker.

 This close-up shows the bias trim along the neck edge, with yo-yo embellishment and decorative stitching using rayon thread.  The large yo-yo is stitched on in an off-set direction so it looks off-center.  The button sewn onto the top of it makes it rather cute, I think.


 This three-piece set consists of a tissue holder, a quilted cosmetic/catch-all bag and a purse organizer.  The organizer contains numerous pockets that are stitched in sizes that can accommodate necessary items that we carry in our purses.  When it's desirable to change purses, one can just lift the organizer out of one purse as a unit and place it in the next purse - all without having to place each item individually from one purse to the other.  How easy is that! 

(See my post, titled "Purse Accessories and Organizer" for more photos of this project.)

Blue Jeans and Denim Repair

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of making some repairs on my brother's blue jeans.  He had worn holes in the same area on four pairs of jeans from the work that he did on his job.  I was able to purchase some thread that matched the denim exactly so the repair didn't show very much.

Following is a step-by-step tutorial showing how I made the repairs to the denim.

On this pair, the hole was not very large, but the surrounding area was also weak, so I made a patch large enough to give the whole area some stability.  The patch was cut from an old denim shirt that had been used for some other repair jobs.

I cut the patch edges with pinking shears to lessen ravelling and placed it on the underneath side of the jeans leg.  The leg was turned inside out and pins placed in the direction that I would sew.  I do the pinning step this way so I can pull out the pins easier as I come to them.


The patch was stitched into place, from the wrong side - the inside of the leg.  I used a zig-zag stitch to do this step.

This is how it looked from the right side, after the patch was stitched into place.

I then set the stitch pattern #163 on my Pfaff 1475.  It is a stippling/mending stitch, which is what I used for stitching over the patch on the right side of the jeans leg and over the hole.

I started beyond one side of the hole, but not all the way over to the edge of the patch.  If I had started stitching close to the edge of the patch, I would have used way too much thread, which would have made the patched area too stiff.  As it was, I used a whole spool of thread on two pair of jeans!

I stitched one row after another all the way across the area, over the hole and beyond.  I paid attention to slightly overlap the edge of each row over the previous row.   Again, I didn't go all the way over to the other side of the patch; but just into the stable part of the area.

                                                             Since the first row of stitching didn't completely cover the hole, as you can see here, I had to go back and stitch over that area several more times. 

This shows the area where the hole was after being completely stitched and reinforced.  The thread really blended nicely with the color of the denim.

Here is another view of how the finished stitching looks.  It has a subtle look, but is a very sturdy patch job.  My brother was very happy with the results!

The thread I used is Gutermann brand, named "Denim."  It has almost a variegated coloring that blends really well with the denim.

Next, I went after the frayed pocket edges with the same thread, using a wide zig-zag stitch.  I stitched over the edge about three times to get it covered well.

It was a little tricky keeping the presser foot right on the edge of the pocket so that the worn edge was enclosed in the zig-zag stitching and so that the stitching stayed on the main part of the pocket edge.

The mended pocket edge looked really good.  The stitching for the repair work was hardly noticeable when I finished it.

Two more holes were patched close to the side seam, just below the front pocket.  You can barely see where the holes were patched with the stitching!  I didn't need to use patches for these holes since they were smaller and the surrounding areas weren't compromised.  My brother said his jeans now have a second life.  Maybe they'll last for many more years, now!