Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Fringed Polartec Vest Tutorial

 When I was cutting out this fun fringed vest, I had unfolded the fabric to cut out the vest on a single layer of fabric. Suddenly, I realized that I didn't know which side was the right side of the fabric.
  Here is a quick test to help yourself decide
 which side is the right side:

Fleece fabrics curl to the right side when pulled along the selvage edges and curl to the wrong side when stretched on the crossgrain.

Some fleece fabrics also repel water because they are made from 100% polyester fibers and fleece pile fabrics are made from a blend of polyester and acrylic fibers. Since these fibers are hydrophobic , meaning that they retain very little water, they are great for outerwear.
To test for water repellency, just pour water on both sides of the fleece. If it beads up better on one side than the other, I would use that side as my right side when cutting out a water resistant jacket, for example. 

The fleece used in this vest was a medium weight and double sided, which means it was fuzzy on both sides. 

When I cut this vest out I lengthened it so the fringe would extend past her hips. Notice on the picture that I used the curve from the original vest pattern, and designed the back of the vest to be longer at the center back.
   On the side and shoulder seams, I gently finger pressed the seam open and then top-stitched on both sides of the seam. NEVER place an iron directly on the fabric. Since the fibers in the fleece are polyester and acrylic, the loft of the fabric will flatten by the heat and you can't change that.... it won't puff back up when the fabric cools.
   When cutting my fringe, I measured the desired fringe length and placed a row of pins in the fabric to indicate where to stop cutting the fringe.

 Then I used a see-through ruler and rotary cutter to cut my fringe to the desired width.
 It was so easy using the rotary cutter. 


Monday, November 14, 2016

Emoji Polartec Vest

Emoji Power!

Kids love emoji. I bought this emoji graphic t-shirt and a pair of emoji jeans from Justice for my granddaughter.
Then I added my own creation... this double layer emoji vest.
I used reverse applique to make a large emoji on the back of the vest.

Here are some "how-to's" about reverse applique on Polartec fleece.
 1. Because Polartec fleece does not ravel, it is perfect for this technique. Choose a medium weight fleece so you will have clean, sharp edges.
2.   There is no need to put stabilizer behind the shape because you will be straight stitching and not zigzagging the outline so the fabric won't stretch out of shape.
3.  Place the two edges together and baste the outer edges of the layers together.  Trace your shape on the top fabric using a Chacopel Pencil from Clover. They mark easily on fleece and stay marked until you rub out the marks. Be careful and don't over-sharpen- just to a medium point. (A fine point will break too easily.) I ordered my pencil kit from Walmart and picked it up at my local store, though I'm sure they are available at other stores you might have in your area.

4.  I used 2 different colors of thread in the needle and bobbin to match each fleece color.
5. Straight stitch around the shape. (This would be a great place to use an outline stitch in some machine embroidery pre-made patterns too.) 
6.  Using sharp scissors, carefully trim away the inside of the motif, TRIMMING JUST THE TOP LAYER! This will reveal the contrast fleece underneath.  


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Enhance Ready-Made Clothing with Your Sewing Skills

I love to use my sewing skills to enhance clothing
 that I purchase at a retail outlet.

For example, I bought this scarf at Justice, 
but it didn't have the fushia pink color 
in the thread pompoms that hung from the edge of the scarf.
So I made a few thread pompoms with embroidery thread and replaced a few colors that were all ready on the scarf.

It made all the difference in the finished outfit.

Look at how the Polartec fleece skirt topper, that I made to go over a pair of Justice leggings, now pulls the whole outfit together.


P.S.  Here is an internet source for the Polartec skirt topper fabric:

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Sewing with Polartec Fleece: Jacket, Hat and Skirt




Fabric Obtained 
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