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Relativistic
Mar 26, 2003

by Y Kant Ozma Post


So I'm about to pick up sewing again after a long hiatus. I've got a sewing machine on the way, and some basic fabrics I've bought for my first practice. But I also scored a huge garbage bag of fabrics off a freecycle. I think a lot of them might be wool, or some blend.

To test that, would it be reasonable to cut swatches of each in a certain size, wash on cold, air dry and then re-measure? Or is there a simpler way to test? If I wash them to look for shrinkage, how big should I make the swatches? If I make them to small, I'm afraid I won't see it if they only shrink a small amount. On the other hand, I don't want to cut huge swatches and waste fabric. Any input from experienced sewers would be great.

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squirrellypoo
Feb 8, 2003


Doing a shrink test is a good idea anyway, but to determine the fiber content of an unknown fabric, you'll want to do a burn test! You only need to burn a tiny bit, just enough to examine the remains and smell the fumes, bwahahah

For shrinking, I usually do something like 3 or 4 inches square. Make sure you treat the swatch however you're going to treat the finished garment, and then pretreat the whole length of fabric in the same way before cutting (so you don't end up having a garment that shrinks on the first, second, or even third wash!).

stars
Jun 11, 2008


Relativistic posted:

So I'm about to pick up sewing again after a long hiatus. I've got a sewing machine on the way, and some basic fabrics I've bought for my first practice. But I also scored a huge garbage bag of fabrics off a freecycle. I think a lot of them might be wool, or some blend.

To test that, would it be reasonable to cut swatches of each in a certain size, wash on cold, air dry and then re-measure? Or is there a simpler way to test? If I wash them to look for shrinkage, how big should I make the swatches? If I make them to small, I'm afraid I won't see it if they only shrink a small amount. On the other hand, I don't want to cut huge swatches and waste fabric. Any input from experienced sewers would be great.

You really don't need to prewash wool, if that's what you think it is. (Another test besides the burn test- wet it with cold water and sniff, wet wool is a pretty distinct smell) You can pre-dryclean, but I never do, and my stuff is always fine- just make sure to always dryclean it.

Relativistic
Mar 26, 2003

by Y Kant Ozma Post


Thanks for the quick feedback. It seems like they were all blends of some sort, or not even remotely wool. There wasn't any shrinkage after two washings. I decided to skip the burn test for now. I don't want to be breathing in the fumes since I'm pregnant, and they might be treated with some sort of chemical.

I hope one of the experienced sewers posts some new work soon. I love seeing all your stuff. I hope one day I'll be that good.

fap
Jul 1, 2003

roll you up into my life.

I figure this is the best place to ask so here goes - I have never sewn anything that was wearable. I'm a knitter mostly, and I made a needle case, and I've got a pattern for PJ pants that I need to do. But yeah, I'm looking to make my Halloween costume, I'm going as a cyberpunk. I'm planning on doing a tulle tutu, which I think will be pretty simple. However, I also want to do a corset. Is that too much to jump into? I'm not afraid of screwing up the first time, as long as my final is wearable.

vaginadeathgrip
Jun 18, 2003

all them bitches can't handle my sassy ass mouth

Relativistic posted:

I decided to skip the burn test for now.

That's probably good, especially considering that burn tests only work on 100%'s, not blends.

unprofessional
Apr 26, 2007
All business.

Anybody have any thoughts worth sharing on quilt batting? Is goose down at all feasible on a DIY level?

My quilt is falling apart, and I've gotten sick of looking for a similar one, so I'm just make one. Fabric really shouldn't be much of an issue, but I'm not really sure what to do when it comes to the batting. I found some on amazon, but it doesn't list thickness, and wintertime in Michigan is cold.

handbags at dawn
Mar 8, 2007

by T. Finninho


I may be wrong, but I would think goose down would be a no-go on a home sewing machine - I would think it would clog it up, maybe even break needles if you hit a feather shaft.

What you might think of doing is buying a synthetic (like PrimaLoft) comforter and using that as the batting of your quilt. I mean the kind of comforter that is made to put inside a duvet cover, those are pretty warm.

Vivisector
Aug 24, 2002

Squirreling?

I'm kind of a novice on the sewing machine still, but I put together a few clothing projects. I have pictures here on my blog (http://qbtk.com) of what I made, including a korean style sleeveless hoodie and some manpris. Any feedback or thoughts?

baptism of fiber
Oct 17, 2004
compound

Does anyone know if enzyme washing can be done at home? A while back I visited a clothing store that bought up tacky t-shirts from thrift stores and washed them in some enzyme that made them super soft and thin. I'd like to try this process on some surplus clothing with the goal of 1) fading the camoflage pattern somewhat, 2) making the material feel softer. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Goldaline
Dec 20, 2006

my dear

baptism of fiber posted:

Does anyone know if enzyme washing can be done at home? A while back I visited a clothing store that bought up tacky t-shirts from thrift stores and washed them in some enzyme that made them super soft and thin. I'd like to try this process on some surplus clothing with the goal of 1) fading the camoflage pattern somewhat, 2) making the material feel softer. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

I hate dumbass stores like that. If you don't particularly want to gently caress up your washing machine, I wouldn't do it in there, but salt can beat up fabric pretty well, as will dilute bleach.

baptism of fiber
Oct 17, 2004
compound

Goldaline posted:

I hate dumbass stores like that. If you don't particularly want to gently caress up your washing machine, I wouldn't do it in there, but salt can beat up fabric pretty well, as will dilute bleach.
I'd probably use an old bucket or something. Bleach wouldn't really have the effect I'm looking for.

stars
Jun 11, 2008


unprofessional posted:

Anybody have any thoughts worth sharing on quilt batting? Is goose down at all feasible on a DIY level?

My quilt is falling apart, and I've gotten sick of looking for a similar one, so I'm just make one. Fabric really shouldn't be much of an issue, but I'm not really sure what to do when it comes to the batting. I found some on amazon, but it doesn't list thickness, and wintertime in Michigan is cold.

I don't know if you could even find goose down in a craft store. Try polyester or cotton, or even wool if you want to special order. I think a wool/poly blend would be easy to work with, care for and warm, too.

heatherbomb
Dec 24, 2004

aw fuck

I'm glad to see this thread!
I've been wanting to get into sewing since I have a ton of clothes that are ignored in the back of my closet because of little things that would probably be easy to fix. I hope to get good enough at it that I can just straight up make my own clothes like a lot of you do.

I have a bit of a question that's been stumping me for a couple of months now though:
I bought this awesome bathing suit, complete with built-in underwire bra, but for whatever reason the straps are tiny and cut into my shoulders really bad. The tiny straps kind of make the underwire bra part worthless since it can't at all support boobs if the straps themselves aren't even adjustable.
Anyone got any advice on how to fix it? I was thinking of just going and getting a cheap mom tankini or something with thick straps and replacing them, sewing them to my preferred shortness, but I'm curious if there's a better way.

Philo
Jul 17, 2007
This is no game. This is no fun. Your life is flame. Your time is come.

I recently started making blankets for the local chapter of Project Linus in my area. The basic design I use is very simple, solid color and print right sides together, pin to batting, flip, and double edge. As far as technical skills, making these blankets is about as easy as it gets. And really cute to boot. The biggest problem I am having is cutting the batting. The rolls I get are usually 10 ft by 10 ft, while the blankets are usually around 4 ft by 5 ft, and I am finding it really difficult to cut the batting simply because I do not have enough room to roll it out and pin down the fabric. Does anybody have any suggestions?

Also, one of the little old ladies from Project Linus taught me to crochet a couple of days ago, and I am loving it! So far I haven't done anything more complicated than a single crochet, although I have taught myself to switch yarn colors and to do a front stitch. I had one disastrous attempt before I got the hang of things and am about 1/3 of the way through my first scarf. This is a really huge achievement for me because I usually have the hand co-ordination of a drunk toddler. So far I have been doing really good.

Since I live in Florida and have no need for winter clothes, does anybody know of any resources or patterns for cute crochet things that you don't wear?

handbags at dawn
Mar 8, 2007

by T. Finninho


Philo posted:

I recently started making blankets for the local chapter of Project Linus in my area. The basic design I use is very simple, solid color and print right sides together, pin to batting, flip, and double edge. As far as technical skills, making these blankets is about as easy as it gets. And really cute to boot. The biggest problem I am having is cutting the batting. The rolls I get are usually 10 ft by 10 ft, while the blankets are usually around 4 ft by 5 ft, and I am finding it really difficult to cut the batting simply because I do not have enough room to roll it out and pin down the fabric. Does anybody have any suggestions?
Am I reading this wrong, or are you rolling out the huge roll, pinning the top/bottom to the batting and then cutting it out? If that's the case, why not cut the batting into 4x5 pieces ahead of time (then you only have to wrestle with the 10ft roll once in a while) and then you have a smaller piece to work with when you're pinning? If that's not what you meant, ignore me. Either way, Project Linus is an awesome cause.

Pile of Kittens
Apr 23, 2005

Why does everything STILL smell like pussy?



Hey, I'm about to make a ginormous wired ribbon (probably three or four yards long and at least a foot and a half wide) to tie around me as part of a costume at a party tonight. I plan on buying white sheets from the thrift store and softish wire from the hardware store, and then essentially sewing the wire into the hem of the long strip I'll make from the sheet. Will this work? Should I double up the fabric for more stiffness? Will starch be enough to stiffen the fabric between the wires?

seriouslywtf
Jul 10, 2003

Seriously. WTF?

I was waiting at a bus stop to go home from Chicago Pride 2008 today (woo!) and a girl stopped me to say how much she loved my dress and wanted to know where I got it. I took great pleasure in telling her that I made it, and she almost flipped. It was great.

lanochediablo
Jul 5, 2007


baptism of fiber posted:

Does anyone know if enzyme washing can be done at home? A while back I visited a clothing store that bought up tacky t-shirts from thrift stores and washed them in some enzyme that made them super soft and thin. I'd like to try this process on some surplus clothing with the goal of 1) fading the camoflage pattern somewhat, 2) making the material feel softer. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

This. I've wanted to do this forever to some shirts and jeans. I remember seeing a DIY denim fishing kit by Denim Design Lab (http://www.denimdesignlab.com/product/finishing-kits/mechanic/) which has a bottle of enzyme solution in it for :monocle: $300. There's got to be a cheaper way.

Goldaline
Dec 20, 2006

my dear

I just got done with the Punk Rock Flea Market in Philadelphia. It was crowded and hot, but totally worth it.


(my table and my two partners in crime)

I sold a fair amount of stuff (mostly the really kitschy crap, hipsters seem to eat that stuff up) and even got a little mention on the Philebrity blog: http://www.philebrity.com/2008/06/27/phashionista-punk-rock-flea-market-edition/ Woo, I'm ambitious and 'almost couturish' whatever the hell that means.

Now I'm scrambling to make more stuff for craft fair on the 12th!

Metricula
Jul 3, 2007



I'm still learning as I go and starting with some t-shirt reconstructions I've been working on:

Batman skirt made from a men's XL with a hideously busy design on the back. I made it into the two black side panels (the opposite black panel is blank) and added the red front/back panels and waistband. I can't wait to wear it to Dark Knight!



Similar skirt made from a men's XXL Charlie and the Chocolate Factory shirt and a dark blue shirt:




I've also been trying my hand at making some tanks.
Here's a before and after of a Flogging Molly shirt I had from years ago. I tightened it up and added the black bands, paneling, and collar/sleeve lining.



This was a men's XL Speed Racer shirt. I took in the sides, cut off the top, and added the red banding and straps. It's much cuter now and I wish I had the before pictures.


This one didn't turn out quite as well, but it's still comfy and fun to wear (it was fine until I let the embroidery buckle on the bottom triangles).

_______________________________
"Absence makes the heart grow fonder."
"Out of sight, out of mind."

Metricula fucked around with this message at 05:08 on Jul 13, 2008

seriouslywtf
Jul 10, 2003

Seriously. WTF?

Oh, I love the Charilie & the Chocolate Factory skirt. That one is fab.

squirrellypoo
Feb 8, 2003


I think the Speed Racer one is my fave. :)

handbags at dawn
Mar 8, 2007

by T. Finninho


squirrellypoo posted:

I think the Speed Racer one is my fave. :)
You know, I usually don't like t-shirt reconstruction things, but yeah, that Speed Racer shirt is pretty cool. :cool:

Metricula
Jul 3, 2007



Thanks for the compliments! I really want to start moving up dress patterns, but I just have so many old t-shirts on hand...

Does anyone have any practical tips on making darts? I'm getting a lot of puckering and having trouble resolving the issue.

vstheworld
Jan 8, 2007
i want to ride my bicycle. :(

I'm getting ready to start on Vogue #2556 and it calls for 2-way stretch knit only. Nylon lycra, cotton lycra, or wool lycra. Now, I'm browsing around online and every bloody thing I find is 4-way stretch. Does anyone know where I could find this stuff?

squirrellypoo
Feb 8, 2003


2-way stretch and 4-way stretch are often used interchangeably, though technically 2-way stretch is a fabric that stretches along the grain and the crossgrain, while 4-way is one that stretches those directions AND also along the bias in both directions. So 4-way stretch fabrics will work absolutely fine in a pattern that calls for 2-way stretch. You may want to check out patternreview before you start, though, as that pattern has had some mixed reviews. I'm so gay for Issy Miyake, though, that I've been so tempted to buy that one. Please post when you've finished!

I'm currently on a big knit kick, putting my new serger through its paces. I still wouldn't call it essential by any stretch (ha!) of the imagination, but it does speed things up mightily! I ended up sewing five garments this weekend, and after tackling some hi-performance running gear, I'm going to finally move on to my first swimsuit!

And I just got photos back of my granny's 1949 wedding gown which is now mine for my wedding next fall. She's pushing and threatening me and insisting I cut and change and alter it, which I'm a bit nervous about. But if my mom's measurements of a 30 inch bust(!!) are anywhere near accurate, I'm going to have to alter it anyway, hahah

vaginadeathgrip
Jun 18, 2003

all them bitches can't handle my sassy ass mouth

vstheworld posted:

I'm getting ready to start on Vogue #2556 and it calls for 2-way stretch knit only. Nylon lycra, cotton lycra, or wool lycra. Now, I'm browsing around online and every bloody thing I find is 4-way stretch. Does anyone know where I could find this stuff?

4-way stretch has added lycra/spandex, and is mostly used in stuff like swimwear or maybe if you want to make a sweet catsuit. If it doesn't contain lycra/spandex (same thing), it is a 2-way stretch.

http://www.sewzannesfabrics.com/ has a bunch of knits. Maybe you want to try interlock if you want a solid color, which is a type of knit that is a bit stronger than just regular ol' knit.

RedFish
Aug 6, 2006
..blue fish, one fish, two fish: blue fish need not apply.

I've got some ignorant questions to ask that the fabric glossary in the OP didn't cover: Can someone explain to me what 'stretch twill' is?

Also, I take it that quilting cotton is much thinner than apparel cotton, but sometimes I find quilting cotton lumped under apparel even though there is a separate quilting section. Can it be used for apparel as well? I'm dying for a skirt in some of the quilting prints out there.

Thanks.

Goldaline
Dec 20, 2006

my dear

RedFish posted:

I've got some ignorant questions to ask that the fabric glossary in the OP didn't cover: Can someone explain to me what 'stretch twill' is?

Also, I take it that quilting cotton is much thinner than apparel cotton, but sometimes I find quilting cotton lumped under apparel even though there is a separate quilting section. Can it be used for apparel as well? I'm dying for a skirt in some of the quilting prints out there.

Thanks.

A twill is any woven fabric where the weft travel over 2 or more warp threads. The most common twill you probably see everyday is denim--the tiny diagonal lines in denim are indicative of a simple 2/2 even twill. So probably that, with some spandex or lycra thrown in.

Eh...I mean, you probably could, but it's thin, and flimsy, and doesn't drape well at all.

handbags at dawn
Mar 8, 2007

by T. Finninho


RedFish posted:

Also, I take it that quilting cotton is much thinner than apparel cotton, but sometimes I find quilting cotton lumped under apparel even though there is a separate quilting section. Can it be used for apparel as well? I'm dying for a skirt in some of the quilting prints out there.

Thanks.
For what it's worth, lately some of my quilting magazines have been printing patterns for some pretty cute skirts and little girl dresses. So I'm sure there are some people out there that are already doing it.

RedFish
Aug 6, 2006
..blue fish, one fish, two fish: blue fish need not apply.

Thanks for the replies, good to know. I've since gone quilt fabric groping, and I see what you mean.

New question: has anyone every worked with bamboo fabric? I'm tempted, but have no idea how it handles, even if it's safe to press, although I'm assuming since it is a natural fiber it would be.

Pile of Kittens
Apr 23, 2005

Why does everything STILL smell like pussy?



RedFish posted:

Thanks for the replies, good to know. I've since gone quilt fabric groping, and I see what you mean.

New question: has anyone every worked with bamboo fabric? I'm tempted, but have no idea how it handles, even if it's safe to press, although I'm assuming since it is a natural fiber it would be.

Bamboo fabric is like if you spun marshmallows and wove fabric with it. It's amazing.

squirrellypoo
Feb 8, 2003


RedFish posted:

New question: has anyone every worked with bamboo fabric? I'm tempted, but have no idea how it handles, even if it's safe to press, although I'm assuming since it is a natural fiber it would be.
Bamboo is loving amazing, I'm completely addicted to the stuff from Wazoodle (though I've heard awful reports of the crap Joanns and Hancock sell from Pattern Review people). I've made three garments with it here and I cannot wait to get more (especially since they stock more colours now!).

The latest Threads has a whole feature on eco fabrics and now I really want to trty soy and tencel, too...

Milk-Eyed Mender
Mar 22, 2008

by Fragmaster


Hallloween is a longgg way away. But of course, i've already started picking out my costume. I love the character from Pan's Labyrinth who has his eyes on his hands. I attached a picture of him below. Anyways, I'd love to be him for Halloween. I figured I would wear a tan bodysuit, but i really want all the sags and wrinkles he has. Any ideas for what I should do?



Hope this isn't off the threads topic, I'm just curious for some tips.

Goldaline
Dec 20, 2006

my dear

Milk-Eyed Mender posted:

Hallloween is a longgg way away. But of course, i've already started picking out my costume. I love the character from Pan's Labyrinth who has his eyes on his hands. I attached a picture of him below. Anyways, I'd love to be him for Halloween. I figured I would wear a tan bodysuit, but i really want all the sags and wrinkles he has. Any ideas for what I should do?



Hope this isn't off the threads topic, I'm just curious for some tips.

OOh,what a great idea for a costume. Hmm, it might be worth investing in two body suits, one that is actually your size, and one that's too big. You could tack or quilt the too-big on to the tight one, and use a little bit of batting to flesh out the wrinkles?

justasmile
Aug 22, 2006

Everybody's free to feel good...

I recently purchased a 1930's Singer (lovely table, and the machine is in immaculate condition). I've only worked with a machine this old once before, which means I've been having a bit of a hard time figuring everything out. Once I finally figured out how to wind the bobbin and thread the machine properly, I was super excited to get started...only my machine won't sew properly. When I try to stitch, the threads don't form stitches; when I pull the fabric out from the machine after sewing, I am left with fabric and the top thread on top, bobbin thread on bottom. I am completely lost as to what is keeping my machine from stitching properly. I tried adjusting the tension, I rechecked how to thread the machine, and the bobbin seems to be threading through just fine. I also replaced the needle in case that was the issue. Any ideas on how to make my machine sew properly?

lanochediablo
Jul 5, 2007


RedFish posted:

Thanks for the replies, good to know. I've since gone quilt fabric groping, and I see what you mean.

New question: has anyone every worked with bamboo fabric? I'm tempted, but have no idea how it handles, even if it's safe to press, although I'm assuming since it is a natural fiber it would be.

I haven't actually worked with bamboo fabric yet but from what I've heard, it has a tendency to lose its shape. I have a set of bed sheets that haven't had that problem, but maybe its because they aren't exposed to excessive wear like a shirt or bag would be.

handbags at dawn
Mar 8, 2007

by T. Finninho


justasmile posted:

I recently purchased a 1930's Singer (lovely table, and the machine is in immaculate condition). I've only worked with a machine this old once before, which means I've been having a bit of a hard time figuring everything out. Once I finally figured out how to wind the bobbin and thread the machine properly, I was super excited to get started...only my machine won't sew properly. When I try to stitch, the threads don't form stitches; when I pull the fabric out from the machine after sewing, I am left with fabric and the top thread on top, bobbin thread on bottom. I am completely lost as to what is keeping my machine from stitching properly. I tried adjusting the tension, I rechecked how to thread the machine, and the bobbin seems to be threading through just fine. I also replaced the needle in case that was the issue. Any ideas on how to make my machine sew properly?
It sounds like the bobbin isn't completely in the right place, and it's not catching the top thread and pulling it down. Do you have a manual for it? I know that on the Singer website, if you have the model number (which is probably printed or engraved on the side), you can order a manual for $10-15 dollars. It might be something to consider.

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moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


Milk-Eyed Mender posted:

Hallloween is a longgg way away. But of course, i've already started picking out my costume. I love the character from Pan's Labyrinth who has his eyes on his hands. I attached a picture of him below. Anyways, I'd love to be him for Halloween. I figured I would wear a tan bodysuit, but i really want all the sags and wrinkles he has. Any ideas for what I should do?



Hope this isn't off the threads topic, I'm just curious for some tips.
I would use really thin fabric, and make sure you tape in some cardboard or something for the visible ribs. You could use rubber cement to make some of the wrinkles permanent if they aren't staying put. Get some red dye and thin it out to make all the reddish parts red.

Jesus, that movie was terrifying. Good choice for a costume :)

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