Sunday, May 12, 2019

Discovery Trekking Fabrics - Review of Four Fabrics

Okay, okay, are you as excited as I am about the Discovery Trekking Fabric?? I have four different types and it's SO HARD to buy activewear fabric online, I figured this might be helpful for you!
Here's their main fabric website. I reviewing four of the fabrics from the Activewear category.

Light Scuba - Print Midweight Scuba Stretch Yoga Stretch Solar
and Weight
78% Poly 22% Elastane, 62" wide,
6.14 oz/sq yd
80% Nylon 20% Elastane 53" wide
9.49 oz/sq yd
SOLIDS - 88% Nylon, 12% spandex, 64" wide
HEATHER - 48% Nylon, 45% Poly, 7% Spandex
9.92 oz/sq yard.
85% Poly,15% Spandex, 60" wide,
8.61 oz/sq yard.
Stretch 80% selvage to selvage
50% along selvage
50% selvage to selvage
80% along selvage (most stretch goes ALONG selvage)
60% selvage to selvage
70% along selvage
70% selvage to selvage
70% along selvage
Possible Uses Lightweight bottoms, thin top. Leggings, running skirts, thin jacket, thicker running top. This almost as thick as a ponte. Leggings, running skirts, thin jacket, thicker running top, athleisure wear like a sporty dress, this sweatshirt.  Leggings, running skirts, thin jacket, running top, athleisure wear like a sporty dress, thin sweatshirt.
Tips for Sewing Works well with 70 stretch needle. Cool iron (I used Poly - Level 3) Edges tend to curl.
Misc. Cold to the touch, thin but not at all see through, a bit of a sheen to it but not shiny, starts to lose print and turn white when stretched along the selvage. Does not curl along the edges. A bit of a shine to the fabric. Seems stiff before you wash it.
Very slippery. Edges do not curl. Imagine a thick Nylon swimsuit fabric. Because of the direction of most stretch, you may want to put pattern pieces perpendicular to pattern lay-out.
Warm to the touch. Squishy, matte fabric. More of a cotton-y feel to the fabric. Edges will curl  badly if you stretch fabric aggressively. Cool to the touch, totally matte finish, cottony feel. No show-through even when stretched. 

I also made a little video review on YouTube about the four different types of fabric.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Things I've Been Sewing!

I'm still here!! Really!! I'm just posting to Instagram because it is so much easier. Although I AM working on a big ol' blog post for a review of the Discovery Trekking material. I have a bunch of it and a bunch of different kinds to review. I'm in love with it for sure!!!

Here are some of my recent posts from Instagram (there are TONS more!!). If you are an IGer, you can follow me @two_on_two_off

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Remember, I'm still around!

Hi guys! I guess I'm mostly posting on Instagram now. I AM STILL SEWING though!!! I have posted quite a bit on IG over the past few months. Come and follow me on IG @two_on_two_off is my username. Here are some of the goodies I've been working on:

Saturday, November 24, 2018

DIY Fat Tire Bike Pogies (Hand Warmer Mitts)

Edited to add: I put pattern pieces down below. :) 

Get cold hands when you are biking? I certainly do when I'm biking in the winter. I decided to try my hand (see what I did there??!) at making my own bike mittens, aka pogies or poagies.

Well, I don't post on my blog very often anymore since I made the leap to Instagram. But, since this was more of a tutorial, I decided to put it on my blog with more complete directions. Do you know that these bike hand warmers cost around a hundred dollars and you can make them yourself easily?

These Fairbanks-made ones are $135.00! With fabric, I have about $20 into my version and only a few hours. I also cut up a floor mat which I already owned but you could easily find that at Goodwill or Value Village.

These pictures are from Instsgram so they come with all the writing and all the labels that came from Instagram. I had a sample pair from a friend and I had looked at a bunch of samples online. I traced these pogies onto paper and started making some prototypes.

This is the first prototype. I ended up making it a big more narrow and making the "arm" shorter. 

Then I thought the mitt needed to be more angled so I sliced and overlapped. 

After this, I created prototype #2. The second version was almost perfect except I needed to make the opening just a little bit bigger so it would slide over the brake bar, the shifters, and the handle bar. 

That was an easy adjustment so then I cut it out of my Cordura fabric. This is a thick, stiff fabric that will hold its shape. I used a blue cordura for the side piece. I ended up with three pattern pieces. The first is the oven mitt piece, the second is the long rectangle for the side piece that wraps around, and the third piece is the cuff that is made from a stretchy knit. I didn't take a picture of the next step, but basically I cut out the same pieces in a Malden Mills Polar Fleece and put it inside the shell wrong sides together. Then I attached the cuff to both of these layers. 

Here is the inside of the pogie. I cut the lining 1.5" shorter than the shell and then just finished the edge of the lining, folded it down, and topstitched from the outside. 

This last part is optional but makes for extra cozy mitts. I used a foam mat and cut into the shape taken up by the bar and brake lines. You don't have to do this, but then cold air comes in from the bottom and goes right into your warm hands. I just cut ovals and then held them up and cut until I got the right shape. 

 You shove those "plugs" into the cuffs and it blocks the air. The knit cuffs keep them in place.

Done, done, and done. I added some reflective tape to the front of mine because it's always dark and I bike a lot early in the morning. 

Let me know if there is any interest and I can add pictures of my actual pattern pieces. It's pretty darn easy and CHEAP! My son wants a pair now too. I couldn't find anything like my Cordura at JoAnn's so I bought some leather-ish vinyl in the Home Dec department and I'm thinking it will work well for this pattern. I think I'll start on those tomorrow. Happy trails. Literally! 

Here are the plans and the pieces that I used to make my pogies. You are basically just making a curved tube, adding a cuff to one end, and hemming the other end. Let me know if it's not clear what I did. 

Note: All green boxes below are in 1" intervals so that gives you the scale. This is the main piece. I cut this in two layers. The first is a thick Cordura and the second time in a fleece for the lining. On the lining piece, I cut off the 1.5" hem at the top. There is also a rectangle piece for each of those fabrics too (look on the directions above).

This is the stretchy cuff. I had made it too narrow the first time so I added a bit of width to it. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

It's Been a While!

So, I have been sewing like a crazy person but I've stopped putting regular ol' posts on my blog. I've been using Instagram like crazy though. Don't worry, I'm still around! Come and check out my makes on Instagram! @two_on_two_off

Also, I wanted to let people know that I just posted some wool knit fabric on Etsy. It's yummy!

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Ottobre 05-2018 - It's Heeeerrrrrrreeeeee!

Well, it's not actually here, here, but the previews have been posted online. I love a ton of the things in this magazine. I've been mostly making Ottobre and Jalie patterns in the last year because the fit is so spot on and the patterns are so consistent. Anyway, this magazine does not disappoint. Here are the line drawings from the magazine.

I think the ones circled in blue are great basics. I love the chinos and the basic t-shirt. Although I already have a fabulous Jalie t-shirt TNT. I love the slightly different sleeves on the sweatshirt. 

I absolutely LOVE all these dresses. In the winter, I mostly live in knit dresses, tights, and boots. I'm not sure if the #9 is a knit dress or not, but you could easily make it out of knit or just leave it as is. The one with the arrows is my favorite. Who doesn't love a basic, long-sleeved knit dress with some detail?

I really love those two coats and I'm very interested in these skinny-legged ponte pants. The cocoon coat is made of boiled wool with no lining. It would be easy to line too. 

And how gorgeous is this model??

 Here's the dress that I love. And that coat! (And here is that gorgeous model again too.)

I'm excited for my newest Ottobre to come in the mail. Can you tell??!?

Friday, August 3, 2018

Book Review: SEW . . . The Garment-Making Book of Knowledge

I was given a copy of this e-book in exchange for a review. I really enjoyed reading through it. While I didn't read it cover to cover, I did read enough to give an honest review.

Overall, I think it's great book for a beginner or experienced sewist. My favorite part of the book is the introduction when Barbara says,
I decided to write this book the day I realized how lucky I was. I was reading the sewing blogs of some fabulous young sewists when it hit me—my people are back. 

I love this statement! This is exactly how I feel about sewing. I feel like it fits, if that makes sense.  I love every aspect of sewing including the tracing, planning, cutting, and sewing. You can tell by reading this book that Barbara loves sewing too. It makes me excited to sew all over again. This book would make a great gift for someone just getting into sewing or someone who used to sew and who needs a little bump in the rear to remember why they loved it so much.

The book includes many "mini-lessons" that will help many sewists with common issues like matching and sewing with striped fabrics, eliminating bulky front seam bands, invisible zippers, etc. Barbara also starts out by talking about measurements, sizing, and how to make some common fitting alterations. I especially love Chapter 3 where it tells you to use your common sense instead of following the pattern directions. YASSS! Thank you!!

I really enjoyed reading through this book! If you want to check it out, you can go here.