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.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Papercut Patterns - Otsu Jeans

I decided the other day that I was up for a challenge and needed more jeans. I was torn between the Papercut Patterns, Otsu jeans and the Named Patterns, Jamie Jeans. In the end, after looking at reviews and other people's jeans, I went with the Jamie Jeans. I love the style lines and thought the seam in the back was going to be flattering.

I made a knee-length muslin just because I'm wary of all crotch curves that aren't Jalie or Burda. The front rise was a little long, so I pinched out about 1/2" across the front and then took about 1/2" from the same area on the back going to nothing at center back. Other than that small adjustment, they actually fit pretty well which shocked me. Overall, I think the front looks pretty good and I'm happy with them. 

The back needs work. I've always had an issue with pants bunching up under my butt between my butt and knees. I think it has to do with my thighs that are pretty muscular in the front and it pulls the fabric forward. I think these pants, in particular, have two issues for me. First, they are tight in the calves (and I have tiny calves so that's a first for me) and that's keeping them from sliding down my leg like they should. Second, there is too much fabric under the butt. Since these pants are split down the back, that problem should be easy to adjust. I plan to cut from the center to the side seam and overlap by about an inch. I think I'll make two different slashes and overlap them each 1/2". I think putting more width in the calves and removing that inch in the glutes should fix most of this. I lightened a few of the pictures so you can see the wrinkles better. 

Here you can see that the calves are tight and the wrinkles under the butt. I think (I'm hoping!!!) that my adjustments will work out. 

Overall, though, I think they are really not bad. I really like the design lines and the fit isn't half bad. I plan to make another pair with these changes. What do you guys think??  

And remember, there is a lot more content on IG. I've started using that for little things and only posting here for long explanations (like these jeans!). Here's an example. :) 

Friday, June 29, 2018

Ottobre 05-2014 #3 Asymmetric Knit Jacket - This is why you should read directions . . .

I've been wanting to make this jacket for a long time. Four years, in fact. I don't know why it took me so long to finally do it. I think it was all the inside bias tape that slowed me down. I was scared of so much of it. In the end, it turned out that all the bias tape was not all that horrible. Here's the line drawing from Ottobre. What almost killed me was the knit welt pockets. I am used to the Jalie Charlie bomber jacket welt pockets and those are SO EASY compared to these Ottobre ones.

I like that you can unzip it for several different looks. I managed to find a zipper that was the same yellow-orange as the double-fold bias tape at JoAnn's. 

I love the pops of yellow on this jacket. I made it out of a medium-weight orange, wicking knit. It has some stretch across the width, but almost none in the length. 

And, directions, let's talk about that for a minute. Usually, on a knit, I take the cuff and fold it wrong sides together and then serge it to the sleeve. This time, people, this time, I read the directions and they blew my freaking mind. I never could make a good looking topstitch stitch when there was a lumpy, uneven seam on the back. There would be three layers on the backside of one side and only one layer on the other side.  You understand what I'm saying, right? You can't topstitch that shit. When you read the directions, they tell you to do this instead. 

Sew the cuff to the sleeve with a straight stitch and press open. 

Fold the cuff over the open seam.

Flip to the right side and do your fancy stitches (on EVEN seams!!!!).

It ends up looking like this. You end up with a nice topstitched seam and something that looks nice underneath.

See??? A whole new way to add decorative stitching to seams with thick and uneven seam allowances! I'm going to start doing this for cuffs and sleeves. I'm going to use this for the rest of my sewing days.

Also, there has been less on the blog these days because quick things, like t-shirts, I've just been posting on Instagram. Come and find me @two_on_two_off!!!!! I have a private account so you just have to ask to follow me. I have it set that way because, well, I'm a teacher, and I don't always want my students to see my sewing things. But if you sew, come and look me up over there!