Sewing Zippers in Stretch Vinyl

08-bodysuitI’m just going to jump right into this post and say that I have a confession to make. I have committed a number of sewing “no-no’s” while inserting the zipper in my bodysuit:

  1. I tried. I really tried. I tried not to baste my seam together but keeping a neat and even seam on vinyl is tough. So, I used the thinnest needle (that would hold a stitch on the material) possible and basted the seam anyway. There were tiny puncture marks after I removed the stitches, but they are pretty minute and not visible unless you look for them.
  2. I pinned the zipper. I discovered that tape is extremely difficult to remove from the vinyl so I opted not to use this method and used thin, silk pins along what would be the topstitched area instead. As far as I can tell, you can’t see any permanent holes so I think I kept them fairly lined up along the sewing line.
  3. I didn’t baste the zipper. I tried to avoid making any extra holes in the material than what was necessary (and I feared sewing over the material too many times would tear\rip the vinyl) so I risked it and sewed the zipper directly from the front… very carefully.
  4. I used cooking spray. Yes, you read that right. I used Pam in my sewing room. I used a light coat as a lubricant to keep the presser foot from sticking when stitching on top of the vinyl (because I still haven’t purchased a teflon foot). It worked very well – too bad I didn’t know that before I stitched in the collar and left all that tissue paper behind.

What does that mean? It means the zipper on this body suit probably isn’t the best one that I’ve ever put in, but overall it looks pretty darn good, the seams are perfectly aligned, and it was a lot easier than what I had prepared myself for. If your decide to make this bodysuit with vinyl, I highly recommend using some (if not all) of the “no-no’s” listed above and definitely keep that Pam handy in your sewing room!

Solutions for Sewing Stretch Vinyl

08-needlesI love the challenge of sewing difficult fabrics, but I have to admit, this stretch vinyl almost stumped me. Before I started working on my bodysuit, I decided to test out stitches, needles, finishes, etc. on the fabric. It’s a good thing I did because every needle I tried caused skipped stitches – some were so bad (small size needles and Microtex were the worst) that they produced what looked like a straight stitch on the zigzag setting. To make a long story short, I got the best results with leather needles and increasing the pressure foot (from 47 to 60 on my Bernina). I still experienced a few skipped stitches occasionally, but it was far less than anything prior to my changes and generally only happened when going from sewing a length of straight stitching and transitioning into a curve.

The next issue I came across was sewing directly on the vinyl. My remedy? Tissue paper. I am here to tell you, this is a bad idea. While this worked great in keeping the pressure foot from sticking, I had a booger of a time removing it from the zigzag stitches. Unfortunately, I didn’t know this was going to be so problematic, so now the entire collar seam has bright blue paper still attached. No one will ever see it, but I know it’s there! This also means that I need to come with an alternate method of stitching in the zipper… which is where I have left off. It’s time to brainstorm this one!

Wonder Woman Cargo Tablet Sleeve

08-cargoIf you haven’t already visited Betz White’s blog this morning, I highly encourage to do so now and check out my latest project…. The Wonder Woman Cargo Tablet Sleeve!

Not only is this the perfect way to protect your device, but it fits all size tablets (even our ancient and clunky Xoom) and sews up quickly! Plus in today’s post I share how I replaced the recommended canvas fabric with quilting weight cotton (so I can make each family member’s sleeve more personalized).

And just in case you’re wondering what’s on my tablet this week (also in the photo), it’s Blake Crouch’s Pines (The Wayward Pines Series) (the tv show hooked us).

Linky Thursday

In need of a pretty skirt that can be dressed up or down? How about this pleated wrap skirt? I just love that big bow!

Football season is almost upon us which means one thing, Tailgating! Whip up your sports fan the ultimate team apron.

I have been seeing lots of purses with tassles… and now I think I ‘need’ one. This free pattern teaches you how to whip up a bucket bag with lots of fringe.

If you have tons of remotes for your electronics, chances are you’re looking for a unique way to store them. This owl pillow is the cutest solution I’ve seen so far.

These sport\yoga shorts are perfect to exercise in, comfortable to wear, and easy to sew! (Site may need to be translated).

Learn how to make cute dolphin plush – perfect for tiny toys, pincushions, or (with the right notions) attaching to backpacks.

Easton has a very late lunch this year, which means he gets to take a mid-day snack with him. This cute little snack tote is a fun way to bring your treats to school (and keeps them from getting lost in backpacks).

This dress isn’t just easy to sew, it’s easy to wear too.

Messengers are one of my favorite styles of bags to make and this one is not just adorable, but designed for little boys (or girls). Looking for something just a bit smaller? Try this version (with a removable strap, too) instead.

I keep telling myself that one day, I’ll just sit down and make some of these microwave bowl potholders – they’re such a clever idea and look so easy to sew.

In need of a quick baby shower gift? Try your hand at this 30 minute rag quilt.

Catwoman: The Muslin

08-muslinI spent some time in the sewing room working on a muslin for the McCall bodysuit (7217). Typically, McCall patterns run at least 1 size too big on me so I spent some time debating which one I should cut. I went ahead and used the one that correlated with my measurements (14 with the A\B cup) because I figured that this one probably has negative ease (I never could find finished measurement anywhere on the envelope or pattern) and going too small would make me look like a sausage. As for material to muslin, I went with…. swimsuit fabric! Why in the world I never thought of using this type of material before is beyond me (although I am keeping this in mind for future costume designs) – it has 4 way-stretch and is at least 70% both ways.

What totally surprised me is how well this fits out of the package. Normally I have ‘long waist’ issues, but this fits perfectly (I am sure that the 4 way stretch helps in that area) without riding and is form fitting, but not too tight. I did notice some over stretching in the bust area – so I think I will play with somewhere between the A\B and C cup sizing to see if that fixes it. I debated on making the stirrup portion of is this pattern because I am concerned that my thighs might be larger than the pattern sizing – something to work on today.

Overall, this bodysuit is perfect beginning (and darn cute in a polka dot muslin, if I do say so myself) to a costume! Now, I’m anxious to see how it performs with a vinyl…. I’m thinking that if I don’t like it, I can always head to the performance\dance\swim knits and find something I like better.

Catwoman Cosplay

08-catwomanOne of my favorite things to make are costumes – it gives me the perfect excuse to play with (crazy) fabrics, notions, and trims that I might not otherwise have a chance to work with. For years I’ve been saying that I’m going to make a few cosplay garments and I have finally decided to get off my rear and do it (largely because ComicCon is on my bucket list and Bret said that if we’re going I might as well have something to wear, etc.). While I have 10 different ideas rolling around in my head I have finally decided Catwoman (Arkam City version) will be my first (mainly because I have been itching to use McCall’s bodysuit pattern).

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve decided to muslin this one first…. “Big 4” patterns have a tendency to run large on me and I want to catch any fit issues before I cut into my vinyl (as a side note, I am wishing that I would have gotten the matte vinyl instead, there is a lot of high shine going on there).

I’ve included all the details for this costume below. However, I fully expect that I will need to adjust this when it comes to the cowl (notions and I know for sure that I’ll have to purchase the goggles). With that said, considering the expense of some cosplay costumes, not too bad on price, eh?

Pattern: McCall’s Pattern’s 7217 (Yaya Han Zippered Bodysuits)
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Fabric: Black stretch vinyl from Spandex House
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Total Cost:

Pattern….. $1.99
Fabric……. $26.00
Notions…. $2.69

Total $30.68

Help! Fabric Wanted!

08-eleonoreWhere in the world is everyone getting their pretty stretch denim\twill for their Eleonore Pull on Jeans? I have been searching locally (and online) and haven’t found anything (other than stretch sateen) that has enough for this particular pattern. I really wished that this Stretch Prada Slither Twill had enough stretch – wouldn’t they make a fabulous pair of skinny jeans?

Since the Eleonore pattern is still on hold, I’m moving onto the next project, McCall 7217, the Yaya Han Bodysuit. I’ve been putting off starting this one because I know that I have to muslin this one…. and that’s not nearly as fun as sewing. At least I already have fabric in hand to start this when I’m ready – mad props to Spandex House on their super speedy delivery (I only wish their ordering process was easier).

Floral and Lace

I have decided that no scrap is too small when it comes to my floral print fabric…. So this time I morphed Kwik Sew 3881 and Ohhh Lulu’s Gia to make this pretty pair of panties:08-panties2Instead of a solid front, I added stretch lace contrast panels (using the Gia as a template for placement). After attaching the panels, I sewed this according to the Kwik Sew directions and elastic guides…. and voila! A new pretty pair!

 

Linky Thursday

Reading in bed just got a whole lot more comfortable. Learn how to make this comfy chair pillow. Looking for something the kids might enjoy instead? Try this giant floor pillow instead.

Using this tutorial really will save you money! Organize and store all your money saving coupons in this easy to sew wallet. Then make yourself a loyalty card wallet to match!

In need of a quick dress that stands out of the crowd? Check out this fun, tulip dress that can be made in about 2 hours!

Learn how to use elastic thread then make yourself this easy shirred waist skirt.

Recyclable grocery bags don’t have to be boring. Make your own and shop in style!

There’s plenty of pockets in this Make-up Valet to stash your cosmetics when you’re on the go.

There’s no need for dangling (purchased) crib skirts any longer! This tutorial teaches you how to make your own adjustable version.

Learn how to make a figure flattering midi skirt, with pockets!

Send your little girl back to school in an assortment of simple to sew skirts. Plus it’s easy to change up the style by adding a double layered look.

Getting the kids to help you in the kitchen might be easier if they had their own chef hat.

Take the chill off of cool mornings by wearing this easy to sew kimono.

Thinking about making a pretty quilt? Here’s a new tutorial for a quilt titled “Orchard Park“.

Learn how to create pretty fabric butterflies – perfect for a brooch or hair accessory.

Have a silhouette cutter? Learn how to use heat transfer sheets & your cutter to create iron on tags for your handmade clothing!

Back-to-school

08-schoolAnd just like that, summer vacation is over. Today marks the first day back to school for Easton. While I love having everyone home and the casualness of break, I have to admit, I’m ready to get back into a routine and to have a few more productive days out of the week.

Unlike previous years, this time around Easton did not wear something handmade on the first day (although he did wear his Minecraft Perfect Polo to the “meet your teacher night” and had lots of kids commenting on his shirt…. I think I should have bought more of that print). However, I think I may wash up the Adventure Time print I recently purchased and decide what I can make with it – with the weather we’re having today, I’m definitely thinking a jacket might be in order!