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Tips for Cutting Slippery Fabric

November 29, 2011 1 comment

I recently read two tips for cutting slippery fabrics. The first one is from a fun blog called A Fashionable Stitch (click the link to see the original post or view the copy-&-paste job below):


Way back when, when I did this post on working with silks, there was a very clever reader that gave me a great technique that I’ve used ever since. Slippery fabrics can be a b*%&^! to cut. Ugh! I’ve used my self healing mat and rotary cutter with them, but honestly, I’m a shears girl. I’ve always worked with shears and for me, they’re just easier to handle. So if you’ve got a thing for your shears too, here’s a very handy tip.

Keep a length of muslin handy at all times. I have a yard that I have hanging up in my “sewing closet” (and yes, I actually now have a full closet dedicated to sewing + an entire room! Yay!).  Lay the muslin down first and then lay the slippery fabric over the top of it and begin pinning your pattern pieces in place through all layers. Now, with your shears perpendicular to the table, cut only your slippery fabric out. And Voila! The pattern doesn’t shift around, the slippery fabric doesn’t shift around and the shears will make nice even cuts instead of jagged edges (which is what usually happens for me when I don’t use this technique).

It’s OK, if you think this is like magic, because really it is. It’s also OK if you have some doubts that this just won’t work for you. It may not, but hey, you’ve at least got to try it once. Next to sliced bread, this is a pretty neat trick. Show your friends! They’ll be terribly impressed! Enjoy!


and the second tip is from Seam Allowance Guide (the link goes to the website, but you won’t find the tip there—I got it via email):


I am passing on a little trick I’ve thought up to all my past Seam Allowance Guide customers.

If you’re like me you have a massive stash of gorgeous Chiffon fabrics but no confidence cutting them out. They wiggle and shift and the result is nothing like the pattern piece. I have wasted way too much money on chiffon projects that never turn out.

I’m a rock climber and when we climb we have little chalk balls to stop our hands from getting sweaty. You can grab these quite cheaply from any outdoor adventure store or a good gym.

This trick will work for any fabric really as long as it isn’t white.

Step 1.
Layout your slippery fabric on a large table as straight as you possibly can.

Step2.
Place your pattern piece on top and then just use a couple of weights to hold it in place. Tuna cans, cups, anything will do. You will only need a couple for each piece.

Step3.
Dab your chalk ball all the way around the pattern piece while holding the edges down. This is so fast compared to pinning your pattern down. It will take just seconds.

Step 4.
Remove the patterns and you can see a perfect outline of your pattern. Even if you shift or wiggle the fabric while you are cutting the exact imprint will stay the same. Cut and you will have a perfect replica of your pattern.

Any chalk remnants will have brushed off by the time you’ve finished your sewing. (For the pictures I used a silk fabric to make it more visible.)

Shibori

September 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Isn’t this fabric lovely? I don’t know anything about shibori except that it’s a type of tie dye from Japan. Given what tie dye usually looks like in the U.S., it doesn’t seem appropriate to call these intricate and elegant designs by the same name! In any case, I thought the following two posts would be fun to share. They come from an American blogger who went to a shibori festival in Nagoya, Japan. Check out her photos of the gorgeous garments as well as the shibori masters at work. Amazing!

Arimatsu Shibori Matsuri, Part 1

Arimatsu Shibori Matsuri, Part 2

Shibori Museum website (recommended by the blogger)

Shibori

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Spoonflower Fabric Giveaway

September 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Pattern Review’s giveaway for September is two yards of quilting weight cotton from Spoonflower. The pattern can be your own design or one selected from the Spoonflower marketplace. All you have to do is sign up for Pattern Review’s Tracing newsletter (and probably create a free account in the process, too).

Laminated Cotton Sewing Tips

August 19, 2011 1 comment

I stumbled on this post while looking up what oilcloth is, and I thought it was interesting. The article compares to laminated cotton to oilcloth, describes some of the characteristics of laminated cotton, and gives some sewing tips. I wonder if I can find this stuff locally? If laminated cotton is sturdy and doesn’t ravel, I think it might make a good substitute for ultra suede (which is ultra $$$) in the Martha Stewart shopping bag (remember that from the July meeting?).*

Laminated Cotton Sewing Tips

*Thanks to Ruth and Valerie for leading me to this by suggesting oilcloth!

Design Your Own Fabric with Spoonflower

April 28, 2011 Leave a comment

In case some of you have not heard of Spoonflower, I thought I’d give them a mention. I’m going to be lazy and cut & paste info from their site:

Spoonflower makes it possible for individuals to design, print and sell their own fabric designs. It was founded in May 2008 by two Internet geeks who had crafty wives but who knew nothing about textiles. The company came about because Stephen’s wife, Kim, persuaded him that being able to print her own fabric for curtains was a really cool idea. She wasn’t alone. The Spoonflower community now numbers around 150,000 individuals who use their own fabric to make curtains, quilts, clothes, bags, furniture, dolls, pillows, framed artwork, costumes, banners and much, much more. The Spoonflower marketplace offers the largest collection of independent fabric designers in the world. The site has appeared in the New York Times, Associated Press, Vogue, Martha Stewart Weddings, Make, CRAFT, ApartmentTherapy, Photojojo, and many other terrific publications and blogs.

Custom printed fabric

  • No minimum order
  • $18-$32 per yard and $5 swatches
  • Premium natural fabrics
  • Eco-friendly textile printing
  • International shipping
  • Weekly fabric design contest

So if any of you have secretly wished to design some fabulous fabric to make your fabulous clothes, you can! I don’t have any experience with them, but True Up (a fabric blog) gave Spoonflower and three other on-demand printers a try. Check out her results: My Big Digital Fabric Printing Experiment.

Categories: Fabric, Online stores Tags: