Archive for December, 2008

I’m working on some tablecloths, so I’m doing a lot of hemming. I have a 5mm narrow hem foot I use for this sort of thing, although I’m actually not very good at it. I can do an ok hem as long as the edge is perfectly straight and on-grain and I fold the edge ahead of the stitching and keep it under tension the whole time. Which you aren’t supposed to have to do.

Once in a while I try to practice the right way, but then I have something I need to get done. I found this tutorial from Threads I’m hoping will help.

Mastering the Narrow Hemmer Part One, Part Two, Part Three

I drafted another bag, an envelope close backpack, for the coated nylon:

yellow backpack

I thought I would give it a go without sealing the seams, of which there are only two. Bad idea. Everything inside got damp. So now next time I am able to have the windows open (which would not be tonight) I’ll pull out the toxic seam sealant gunk and see what that does. I will likely have to seal both inside and outside because I stitched it together as one layer and it may not penetrate sufficiently just sealing the inside of the seam.

The bag is more-or-less an envelope close pillow cover with shoulder straps, there is a wide overlap you flip back over the top to open. This works well with soft squishy things. My pattern isn’t rectangular (it looks rather like some kind of award statuette because of the curved edge of the flap) but aside from that it’s constructed just the same.

I have to think about how I would make the lining separately. With the edges of the overlap stitched into the side seam I wouldn’t be able to get nicely finished elastic casings. I cut the two layers of fabric, stitched and turned the two short ends (edge of inside opening and edge of outside overlap) and inserted the elastics. That way I could catch both ends of the casings in the side seams and not have to hand-finish anything. Maybe if I sealed the seams from the inside before overcasting the seam allowances together.

To add lining inside the bag I’d have to put another stitching line across the top at the fold, that would be another place water could get in. The whole idea here was to have as few seams as possible. There must be some sort of second layer to protect the coating on the back of the nylon, it isn’t durable enough by itself and any damage means the rain protection is ruined.

I need a new raincoat. Like in a big way. The one I have was purchased about ten years and 35kg ago. The pockets are ripped, the buttonholes are pulled out of shape so they don’t like to stay closed and it’s just generally not so hot anymore. So off I went, credit card in hand, to The Rain Shed website. Oooo sale fabric.

Anyway, I got a pile of waterproof and water-repellant fabrics like coated nylon and Wind Pro. Today I’ve been washing the fabric, which is kinda interesting with something that actively sheds water. When I pulled the nylon taffeta out of the washing machine a bunch of water came out with it and left puddles in my laundry basket. Which makes it difficult to haul some now-dry stuff out and back into the other room.

My first project is a waterproof bag, basically a cover for my purse-backpack so I can carry it in the rain. My old raincoat was big enough to put over my purse, but my new jacket isn’t. I have a dry bag I can put it into, but then I have to carry it in my hand rather than on my back. That isn’t so great for the distances I walk around town. I’ve got plans for a rain poncho too, but a little later.

I’ll be at Super Happy Dev House next month like usual, Saturday 31 January. This time it’s back at Sun in Menlo Park so there is tons of space. I’m working on putting together some craft space and I’ll be bringing a bunch of my own stuff. There will be hanging out and doing of stuff, and food, and looking at the nifty computer things Sun has in their conference center. The space is huge, there is plenty of room for both computers and textiles. You should come. I promise the robots won’t try to help with your project. Well, only if you ask nicely.

Things I could bring:

Spinning wheels
Sewing machine
Drum carder
Hand carders
Knitting/crochet stuff
Swift, skein winder, ball winder

Just Because You Can

Bacon and Cheese Basketry

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© 2004-2007 Andrea Longo
spinnyspinny at feorlen dot org