Saturday, July 31, 2010

Ball Bag Part 3

Well, I've obviously not updated on the ball bag for the last couple of days, perhaps it would be best to start at the beginning.

Day 3.
After everything was going so well, I was ready to finish the bag on Thursday. Unfortunately, when I went to pin the side pieces to the middle section I discovered that things were not lining up right.

Somehow or another the side peices ended up being almost 2 inches higher then the rest of the bag.

I still can't figure out how it happened since I added the same amount to every piece. I even remeasured the end pieces and found that I had added 5 3/4in, to the original end pieces, and only 5 1/2 to the side pieces. Strange, isn't it? Well, the whole thing upset me so much that I couldn't work on it at all on Thursday and ended pulling weeds in my flower garden to let off steam. ;-)

Day 4.
Returning to work, resigned to the only thing I could think of to fix the problem, and began be cutting off the excess from the top of the sides then ripping out the binding and resewing it on the shortened pieces.

Next I sewed the sides to the middle section. And thankfully the newly shortened pieces fit almost perfectly!

Day 5.
Today I started by pinning the binding all the way around the bottom, then up the diagonal sides and across the top of the bag. I used all but 3 of my pins to do this!

And with hardly any extra ribbon to spare!

Then all I had to do was stitch all the way around, fill in the gaps, and it's done!!! Here's my husband holding it up for me.

I sure hope the school is satisfied with my work.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ball Bag Part 2

Things are looking good today! I was able to get enough done that I have a really good chance of finishing the ball bag tomorrow!!! I never even considered that it would go this fast. I'm beginning to wonder why in the world I stressed over this project so much.

To start things off, I had to finish the second side I didn't have a chance to do yesterday, then sew both sides to the bottom. Wrong sides together with 2 rows of stitching under the grosgrain ribbon. I hope this way it will end up being much stronger then the original bag, which only had one row of stitching and had been ripped and resown numerous times.

As a side note, I sure am glad school gym's are rather dirty places as maybe they won't notice something that as much as I try I cannot get off the denim. ;-)

The last thing I did was too sew the binding to the top sections of side pieces. And just as I wrote that I realized that what I've been calling the side pieces are actually the end pieces! Oops! I hope this doesn't cause too much confusion.

While I was pinning the binding to the second side I discovered something that made me exceedingly grateful that I decided to go ahead and get a second roll on grosgrain ribbon! Thank you Lord!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New Swimsuit/ Part 1 of the Ball Bag

About 2 and a half weeks ago I finally finished my new swimsuit!! I've had the pattern and fabric for about 3 years, but had just never gotten to it. But with an acting job my husband got in Texas I figured there be a pretty good chance of getting to do some swimming, so I'd better get it made! I bought my pattern from Simply Modest Swimwear. As you can see, I made a couple changes to it.

The first thing I did was to give it the slightest V-neck, and add a V-shaped band around the neckline. I also virtually eliminated the sleeves leaving only 1 1/2 inch band around the arm holes.

Both my husband and I are very pleased with how it came out. ^_^

Naturally Guinivere couldn't resist the temptation of the spandex when I was trying to spread it out on the floor. ;-)

A couple month ago I was hired by our local school district to copy a "ball bag" that the middle-schoolers use for basket ball practice to store their ball in. It's not really a bag, but no other description seems to work.

The bag fits over a metal stand to give it form with these slits.

The pre-planning part of this just about drove me up the wall. For a fabric choice I selected a heavy weight denim; it wasn't until the school had already delivered it to me that I realized duck cloth would have been a better option. All well, live and learn.

As for the binding... originally I had it in mind to make my own biased tape out of the denim. However two things prevented me from doing this. First off, I was really worried that my machine wouldn't be able to handle that many layers of denim. It would at least be 4 layers, at most 6. When I took my machine in for it's yearly maintenance I asked the guy there and he told me that household sewing machines are only built to sew through 3 layers of denim. The second reason was that I didn't have enough fabric left to make biased tape after cutting out the pieces.

I asked the ladies over at the S&S forum for help and one option that kept coming up was grosgrain ribbon. At first I didn't think that it would be strong enough, but was afraid my machine wouldn't like anything thinker, so finally went wth that. We went to Wal-Mart yesterday and naturally they didn't have any in navy, so I had to buy black ribbon. I hope the school doesn't mind.

Anyway, to finally get to what I actually DID today. :-P

First thing was to enclose the bottom edge of top pieces of the side sections.

Next I sewed one on top of the under piece and made the slits. But alas, a summer thunderstorm overhead prevented me from doing anymore. :(

I hope to update my blog everyday until I get it finished!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Cargo Skirt

Yesterday I finally finished my new cargo skirt! My orginal plan was to take this pattern, angel it out a little to make it more A-line, then add cargo pockets.

Well, when I got the pattern out I discovered that there was a little problem, inside the envelope there was the directions and the pocket pattern... and that's it. No drawstring or skirt pattern pieces! We're leaving on vacation next week so I didn't really have time to ask my mom to go through her sewing room to look for them and send me, so I thought maybe it was about time I drafted my own pattern! Well, sort of. I measured the largest section of my hips then added 2 inches for the top of the skirt then used a yard stick and pencil to draw all my straight lines.

I still used the pattern instructions for putting it together although not having the pattern pieces I decided to just stick with the cargo pockets and not even attempt the inside pockets. I also wanted to keep the little slits on the bottom of the skirt, though they do begin lower then the original indicated. When planning out how I wanted it to look, I knew I wanted to use heavy duty thread for top-stitching, and that I wanted there to be a row of top-stitching on either side of the side seams. But it wasn't until I started working on it that I realized that if I turned under the entire length of the side seams from the slit on up, I could completely enclose my selvages!!

I forgot to take another close up of the outside after it was sown. But it can be seen in the finished pictures of the skirt.

The draw-sting ended up not working out quite as I had planned. In trying to guesstimate how wide to make it, I guessed too wide. Plus I didn't have enough fabric left over after the second try. Thankfully it's still usable, but inside the casing it's all folded up. :(

Now on to something more fun. The pockets! I wanted to make them look like the majority of cargo pockets seen on store bought clothes. And I wanted them to be big enough to place my hands in. So the first thing I did was measure the length of one of my hands and the width with fingers out stretched. The I added an inch to the width of the pockets plus the selvage extra. When it came to actually putting them together, I still wasn't exactly sure what I wanted. So the first thing I tried was sewing straight down the middle at a half inch.

That didn't work very well. In fact, it looked rather stupid pressed out! So I took it out. But, having two stitching lines 1 inch apart exactly in the middle of the pocket turned out to be just what I needed for my next try! Using that line as a guide I folded under a crease at a quarter of an inch and sewed right down that line!

For the pocket flaps I had another problem. My machine won't stitch heavy duty thread in the bobbin, so I'm limited to only using it for my top thread. But that's not going to work when sewing Velcro. The only way I could figure out to make it work, was to stitch the edges of the Velcro on the inside then, flip it over and use that line for a guide and do the top stitching on the top.

I really like how the finished pocket came out.

For finishing touches I double stitched the hem and bar tacked just above each slit. I'm really pleased with the finished product! I hope this has given you some inspiration to draft your own pattern too! It's really not as hard as you would think. :-)