Saturday, December 01, 2007

born to ride

we had a fun visit with uncle tim and aunt trish today. they were up here previewing wedding singers and stayed over at our place last night. we had a breakfast out with eliot and he debuted his 'too cool for school' jacket.

i took this picture of the owl progress last night. it is all stitched together now, except for the bottom, and it is stuffed. i need to add some wight to it so that it stands on its own and then he will be finished! the dog will be next but im having more trouble working out the ideas on that one.

i received some nice comments yesterday about my bag and one person had a question i thought i would answer here in case it helps anyone else out when sewing with old sweaters:

I was wondering though how you prevent the yarn from unraveling when you cut it and losing too much of the knit to make the bag. Did you use a straight or zigzag stitch to prevent it from fraying? Just curious how you did it.

The first thing i did when i found the sweater at the thrift store was to wash it on the hottest temperature and dry it. it didnt totally felt it but it made the knit a little easier to work with. i think it half felted and therefore didnt unravel as much as it might have otherwise. surprisingly, most of the knits i have cut into dont tend to unravel. it is a little scary to cut into it at first but i figured all i had to loose was a 5$ sweater so, i took a deep breath and did it.

i sewed this bag with a strait stitch, fairly wide on the stitch length. i have been doing that with the hats i have been making too. i think it gives it a little more give so that the knit doesnt pucker. an over lock stitch would probably have worked as far as keeping the fraying under control but i didnt think of that at the time! i used a very generous seam allowance, about an inch i think, because i was fearful of fraying. lastly, i lined it with a medium-heavy weight upholstery fabric that i made slightly smaller than the shell of the bag so that there wouldnt be a lot of tension on the lower seams, or stretch it out. my machine had a hard time going through the handles of the bag when i attached them so next time i would come up with another solution.

i hope i answered your question! if you have any others please let me know and thank you for the kind words.


Heather L. said...

The owl is looking so cute!!! Maybe I'll get one of my projects started this week!

Wendy Almeida said...

You answered all my questions and more -- thanks so much for the details on how you made the sweater bag! I think my daughters and I are going to give it a try ;-)

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