Archive for February, 2010

Fun with Japanese Sewing Patterns
February 7th, 2010 | Link

If I can just have a goshdarnit-that-was-smart moment here:

Through Yoshimi the Flying Squirrel, I found the Japanese pattern company anneedeux, which has some nice top patterns and sells them (and other patterns) as downloadable PDF files. With a little help from a Japanese-speaking coworker, I was able to download two of them last week (payment is through PayPal, and everything went quite smoothly once I got through the cart checkout). I was super-excited until I went to print off the PDF files, and realized that (1) Mac Preview software doesn’t read the PDFs properly, they require Adobe Acrobat (it took me two days to figure that out); (2) the pages scaled down slightly, so I had to change the printer settings to not do that; (3) the reason why the pages had scaled down slightly was because–of course–the PDF was A4 size, not US letter size.

So I shrugged and figured I could take the files to a print shop and print them on legal size or something. Slight delay, no big deal. But today E. and I were taking advantage of Superbowl Sunday to go shopping downtown and as we made the rounds of our usual haunts, we stopped at Maido, a Japanese stationery store in the Westfield shopping center, to stock up on Pilot HI-TEC-C 0.4mm blue-black rollerball pens. And it was there that I found the answer to my problem: A4 Kraft paper!

(I had already reached a similar solution this morning in the ‘tub: I could cut some large sheets of card stock down to A4-size sheets on the Kutrimmer and manually feed them through the printer. Except my Kutrimmer is buried under a pile o’ stuff right now, so I left the idea percolating.)

On the way home, I reasoned it was unlikely that electronics companies would make different printers for the US and Canada than they would for the rest of the world, and I was right: the paper tray adjusts to take A4 paper. And the lightweight Kraft paper went through the printer without difficulty. So I was able to print off the pattern sheets and now I’m going to tape them together so I an cut out my patterns. w00t!

How ADD am I Right Now?
February 6th, 2010 | Link

The skirt I mentioned in my last post that I thought my attention span was too short to work on? Done. It’s the Tulip Skirt by Jenny Gordy of Wiksten-Made, which appeared in the Fall 2008 issue of Stitch Magazine. I made it in (surprise) black linen and used the Japanese vintage buttons I bought from Kirsten some time back.

Considering it’s the first time I’ve done anything with buttonholes, and a waistband, and more than four pieces, and–well, not the first time I’ve done a pleat, but more pleats than I’ve ever done–I’m shocked at how well it turned out. It was considerably easier than I expected. Maybe I’m getting better at this sewing thing after all. (Picture coming soon. Or soonish.)

I am emboldened. What else can I sew this weekend?

Zipper Pouches
February 5th, 2010 | Link

Small zippered pouch in denim with a patch of linen robot print fabric, lined with lime-green and white polkadot fabric

Geek Brain and Creative Brain have been fighting each other pretty hard lately for control of my free time. Sometimes when this happens I find it difficult to start a large project. Although I have plans to start a new skirt (with a lot more pieces than my usual basic A-line patterns), I don’t have the attention span for it right now. So small, immediate-gratification projects are my current thing. The one above is for my knitting necessities, and it’s a big improvement over the rainbow-and-unicorn embellished card tin I’d been storing them in for the last 20 years!

Denim pencil case with a patch of black and charcoal bonsai screen-printed fabric

Fortunately small projects are a good way to use up small bits of the expensive Japanese or hand-screen-printed fabric I’ve used on other projects. This case is for pencils, pens, glue sticks and other journalling supplies.

Red linen pencil case with strips of red and white floral quilting fabric

This was an experiment. The red linen is lighter weight than the denim, so I lined it. It turned out just fine, but I like denim better.

Lining detail of red zipper pouch

There are a number of tutorials available around the web for making zippered pouches, but I’ve found this one to be the clearest, and it’s the one I used for all the above. In most cases I cut the fabric for the front and back and lining pieces to 8-1/4″ wide by 5″ high (the robot one was only about 6″ wide).

Denim pencil case with a stripe of red and white alphabet screen-printed fabric

I didn’t have a tutorial for the last one, I was just going with a picture I saw somewhere, but this tutorial is very similar. I didn’t line mine, just used a serger for all the seams. (In the interests of full disclosure, I made this one months ago, but it fit in with the theme and was a result of the same ADD behaviors. I use it to take my bookbinding tools to classes, as the denim is sturdy enough to take an awl point occasionally poking through.)



My name is Shannon Hale. This blog is on indefinite hiatus, but it contains archives of the last 10 years of posts about bookbinding, knitting, sewing. and other random things in my life.


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