Saturday, November 19, 2016

Finishing Up the Craftsy T-Shirt Challenge

The next step in the process was to decide how I wanted to use this new fabric.  I searched my Pinterest page for some inspiration.  I also reviewed some of the classes that I have taught, since it would be easy to recreate something that you have all ready had success with.  I decided that I would use the t-shirt to create a jacket similar to one that I had previously taught using a sweat shirt as a base.

This is the sample from my sweatshirt/jacket class.
Instead of using a sweat shirt, I decided to create a quilted piece of fabric using the front and the back of the T-shirt.  Having worked with T-shirts and quilts, I knew that I needed to back the T-shirt pieces with a stabilizer before cutting them up.  So I fused No Show Mesh stabilizer by Floriani, to the back or wrong side of each of the T-shirt pieces.  I like to use No Show Mesh because it prevents the fabric from stretching out of shape, but allows the T-shirt to follow the shape of the quilting and not be ridged.

Next I straightened the edges of the pieces and decided what I wanted to do to increase the size of the T-shirt fabrics.  I would need  to increase the size of the piece to allow enough ease since the quilted fabric would respond like a woven instead of a knit fabric. I decided to use the peacock fabric in a color block manner that would appear on the sides of the jacket.  I also used the same fabric as a yoke on the top of each piece.  In addition, I pieced some 4-patch blocks to increase the width of the back piece.

Squaring up the T-Shirt Fabric

Inserting the 4-Patch blocks on the back
Adding side and yoke fabrics
Working on the front pieces
Then I created a quilt sandwich and free-motion quilted the front piece.  I used many of my Exploring Natural Machine-Quilting Motifs from the Craftsy class that I teach.  Can you identify any?
Using my Nature Inspired Quilting Motifs to create new fabric!
 Keeping an eye on the clock I knew that I was also challenged by the deadline.  So I examined what remained to be done and the remaining amount of time.

At this point, I decided that I needed to change to a project that could be completed in a shorter amount of time using what I had all ready completed.  So I scoped out my studio, and found a great peacock zipper.  This inspired me to decided to create a zippered pouch!  Something that I could complete in the remaining time.  So I squared up my quilted piece, and got my serger ready to go!

The Quilted Piece with the Peacock Zipper
 I loaded the upper loopers of my serger with a black wooly nylon thread and the lower looper with a black serger thread.  I used black serger thread in both needles and set the machine up for a 4 thread overlock stitch. I plan on folding the quilted piece in half to create the bag.  Since the zipper
is decorative, I am planning to showcase it by sewing an exposed zipper in the bag.  Thus I serged both top edges of the bag to finish off the raw edges.
The serged top edge of the bag.
Next I went to my sewing machine to attach the zipper.  I created end pieces for the zipper by taking a piece of fabric 2" x the width of the zipper.  I pressed the fabric in half so it measured 1" x width of zipper.

Then I pressed the raw edges to meet at the center fold.

I then put the stop end of the zipper in to the end piece and stitch the open end closed.

Inserting the Zipper into the End Piece
Sewing the End Piece Closed

Measure the edge of the bag that the zipper will go on, and trim the zipper 1" less than that measurement.  Then sew the other end piece on the other end of the zipper.

Next place the outside edge of the zipper on the edge of the serger stitches.  Sew the zipper on one side of the bag.  To make this easier unzip the zipper and sew down a portion of the zipper.  Then insert the needle into the zipper and lift the presser foot.  Zip up the zipper, pulling the zipper pull behind the presser foot.  Lower the presser foot and continue stitching the zipper to the top of the bag.

Stitching the zipper on the right side of the bag's edge.

Pull the zipper pull behind the presser foot and continue sewing.

To sew the other side of the zipper you will need to bring the unsewn, right side edge under the unsewn zipper edge.  This will create a tube in which the wrong side of the bag will be on the outside of the tube.  Sew down the unsewn edge of the zipper to the right side of bag in the same manner as the first side.

Sewing in the tube to attach the other side of the zipper.
Next unzip the zipper so when we create the bag we can turn it inside out.  Now with the wrong side of the bag still on the outside of the tube,  place the zipper at the top and flatten the bag to find the center opposite of the zipper. Take the center and push it into the bag about 1" on each side of the center.  This will create a "W" on the bottom of the bag to create depth for the bag.

Looking at the edge of the bag to see the "W" to create depth.
Place a pin parallel and 1" away from the raw edge to hold the "W" in place.  You place the pin there so it never comes in contact with the blade of the serger.

Where to place your pins when serging.
Create a "W" on the other side of the center of the bag. 

Then turn off your serger blade.  It is best not to use a blade when serging around zippers.  Using the same threads and settings, serge down each side. Use a small amount of Fray Block to seal the beginning and ending stitches.  Let the Fray Block dry then trim away the excess tails.

Serged inside seam of the bag.
Turn your bag right side out and enjoy!  I plan on using mine when I travel and do presentations to carry my necessary techie supplies like tablets, hard drives, pointers and adapters. 

Finished bag!
Back side of the bag.
Zipper on the bag
Just to let you know, I sent my photos of the completed bag in before the deadline.  However, I was too tired to share the process with you here till now.  Have you ever created under pressure?  Or changed sewing projects to meet a deadline?  I would love to hear about your sewing adventures.
Sew Long!  -Linda

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Adding a Bit of Color to My Craftsy T-Shirt Challenge

As I continue on with this Craftsy T-Shirt Challenge, I decided that maybe I was suffering from a creativity block due to the size of the project.  So I started to cut one of the shirts apart.  I am a quilter, it is normal for me to take perfectly beautiful pieces of fabric and cut them up.  However, this did nothing to generate the creative spark I was needing. 

So I decided that perhaps a change of color was in order.  I washed both t-shirts to remove any sizing or finishes that my interfere with the paints I was planning to use.  I also avoided using any kind of fabric softening agents for the same reason.

After preparing my table with a sheet of plastic, I gathered the necessary items:
  • Setacolor Transparent Fabric Paints
  • Small containers to mix paint and water
  • A paint brush
  • a spray bottle with water
  • Salt
  • T-Shirts
Because of the limited number of t-shirts, I decided to test my painting skills on a sleeve. I started by using the spray bottle of water to saturate the sleeve. Next I diluted some of the paints with water and touched the fabric allowing them to disperse.  I started with the lightest color, yellow, and finished with the darkest color, the purple.  Then I sprinkled salt on the still damp piece and let it dry.

After a while, I came back and found this! Not the effect I was hoping for.  All the colors blended into mush!  I wanted to have some of the colors to blend together, but didn't expect all the colors to blend together. 

Oh well, I still had another sleeve, so I decided not to saturate the sleeve with water in the beginning.  I only used a slight mist to encourage the paint to stay moist.  That was the key to creating the look I desired!

I also decided to add some larger salt granules to create a larger star burst effect. Since the second test turned out as desired, I proceeded to the front of the t-shirt.

I repeated the same process used on the second sleeve, only I also included some fine salt along with the larger granules.  I was concerned how the Craftsy logo would react with the paints.  I thought perhaps, the paint would remain on top hiding the logo, or that the complementary color choice might make it appear neon.  But I proceeded on motivated by a looming deadline, and I reasoned there is still one more shirt!
Close up of the logo area.
Once the front was done, I proceeded to paint the back of the t-shirt in the same manner.

After both sides were dry, I brushed off the salt(throw it away, do not use again).

Next I took all pieces to the ironing board to heat set the paints.

After they were set, I rinsed them in my sink to remove all the salt. Then I dried them in the dryer.  While I was waiting for them to dry I went to my fabric stash to pull possible additional fabrics to use.  This is what I came up with.

 What do you think?  Will the fabric work?  What is she creating?  Will she get it done by the deadline???? Stay tuned for more!

Next I have to prepare for tomorrow's Paper Snowflakes BOM.  See you later-Linda

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Craftsy T-Shirt Challenge

Help!!! I am looking for some inspiration, Craftsy has challenged the instructors to create something with these T-shirts. I have two XXLs to use. I am not excited about the colors(I am more of a blue/green gal), but I am open to thoughts and suggestions. The deadline is approaching fast!-Linda