Wednesday, March 21, 2012

interfacing laminated cotton

 Since sewing with laminated cotton is all new to me,
I thought I'd post my discoveries here as I go along.
Feel free to comment from your own experience with
this unusual fabric -- I'd love to hear your ideas!
Okay... so, laminated cotton cannot be ironed directly,
as the plastic would melt to the iron or board. That said,
it CAN be ironed indirectly. The pattern I'm currently
using calls for fabric to be interfaced with fusible fleece.
The important thing here is to place the laminated cotton
WRONG SIDE UP, with the fusible fleece ON TOP.
Cover with a pressing cloth (either damp or spritzed with
water) and press. Hold the iron firmly, pressing down on
the fabric, for the shorter length of time given on the 
interfacing instructions. For my sample, this was ten seconds.
 Above is the result when the fabric was placed directly
(face down) on my ironing board. As you can see, the
metal grid of the board is embossed slightly on the
laminate. It doesn't change the finish at all, just the shape.
This is the result of ironing with a pressing cloth under
the laminate as well as on top of the fleece. The extra layer 
protects the fabric from the underlying shapes coming through. 
However, some lumps and even a bit of a crease line still show here. 
My recommendation is to go with one flat piece of fabric under 
the stack of layers if your ironing board is not well padded.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

how to remove grease pencil from laminated cotton

 One method of cutting out pattern pieces involves marking
around the pattern (preferably cut from oak tag or thick
manila paper) in chalk or grease pencil (a.k.a. china marker)
and then cutting just inside these lines.
However, if the pattern piece turns out to be misplaced,
how does one remove these marks from laminated cotton?
 Fingernail polish works, but the scrubbing 
it requires can stretch the laminate out, leaving 
permanent puckers in the cotton fabric.
A quick once-over with Goo Gone does the job, though,
and has no effect on the laminate's shiny finish. Follow
this application by wiping down the fabric with a water-dampened
cloth to remove the scent of the Goo Gone as well as any greasy residue.

Monday, March 12, 2012

weighted blanket

 I had opportunity last week to construct a weighted blanket
for a friend whose daughter has some sensory issues.
This article explains the benefit of weighted blankets.
To make a weighted blanket as described here, plastic 
beads are encased in squares so that the appropriate 
amount of weight is distributed throughout. It's kind of like
a bunch of little bean bags all connected to each other.
This particular blanket had six pounds of weight 
sewn into it, so I used a food scale and put 0.8 oz.
in each square. The funny part is that the beads are
added gradually throughout the sewing process,
so the blanket becomes heavier with each pass through
the sewing machine. By the last row of stitching, I
could hardly manage the blanket and all the beads!