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Archive for the ‘tips’ Category

I went to another fabric sale today, and have come away with a bolt of BLINDING CORAL RED softshell fabric. They also had a bunch of sample sizes of bonded waterproof fabric that I managed to snag. These, plus the (ugh, beige) quickdry nylon-lycra stretch I got over the summer, mean I need to start considering sewing my own outdoor gear. And by considering, I mean actually doing it. I’ve been thinking about it for years at this point!

Red Softshell

Red Softshell

First of all, I live on the Wet err, West Coast of Canada. It rains a lot here, and I like to be outside. Not only do I take the bus everywhere, but I also try to hike as much as possible. So I’ve been looking at sewing patterns and doing some research. There’s, well, not a lot of info out there!

Caroline of Little Package wrote a guest blog on Sewaholic.net about sewing waterproof jackets. She also has a blog I’m looking through for more tips and info.

Bicitoro has some great tutorials about sewing for cycling. Unfortunately some of the older ones no longer have pictures, but the site is still a great resource. I’m going to look for some neoprene to make some spats! Such a great idea.

I love the shaping in this softshell jacket. It looks like the seams are pressed open and topstitched, and the hems are bound. I have plenty of fold over elastic for that option!

This Bushwalking site has a discussion on seam sealing. I’m not sure I’ll do that on a softshell jacket, but it could be useful knowledge if I do end up making a waterproof Minoru.

Bonded Waterproof Fabrics

Bonded Waterproof Fabrics

And after spending most of the evening looking for information about sewing softshell, I don’t have much! That’s pretty disappointing, Internet. So I suppose I’ll just treat it like it’s fleece, and not worry about the seams leaking or anything like that.

After looking through my stuff I’ve decided to go with McCall’s 4664, which has a jacket, top, bra, trouser and cap. It’s out of print, but Pattern Review has some old reviews of the pattern. I’ll be making pattern adjustments tomorrow, and maybe also a test jacket out of some old sweatshirt fleece. I’m pretty sure this pattern is missing some outdoorsy components I’ll be wanting to add! First up I was thinking of drafting a collar instead of the hood, and I’ll need some sort of a zipper cover for the top, so it doesn’t jab me in the chin. I’m also thinking about installing zippers for the pockets. I really do prefer that for security. I often have my phone and keys in my pockets, and I so don’t want to lose them!

The other pattern I was looking at is Jalie 2679, but I think I’ll test the McCall’s pattern first. The advantage of the Jalie pattern is that it has raglan sleeves, so there are fewer seams over the shoulder.

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Pin-Easing Sleeves

I don’t know where I first saw this. Such an AMAZING tip, since sometimes gathering sleeves to ease them in can transform a make from 1 hour to 2.

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See that, see ALL those pins? Ok. So line up your front and back marks, they’re usually about 1/4 in from the side seam. Pin to the side seam. Line up the seam mark with the seam. Then start dividing and pinning. My seam allowance was 5/8″, so I pinned right through the seam allowance.

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Yeah, it’s kind of ridiculous. And it is best to sew through the pins, so wear safety goggles if it makes you nervous (Or clear glasses of some sort. Anything to protect those eyes!).

I have to give a huge thanks to whichever blog it was I read however long ago that detailed this method. It’s been a while, since I don’t tend to make things with set in sleeves, but wow. It’s made such a difference to my attitude towards woven blouses!

Hope this helps, and happy sewing!

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