Monday, January 19, 2015

Fur, Hems, and Bags!

Today I am begging off my Next Level Sewing. It's been a rough week around here. My hubby spent the week in the hospital with a serious infection and will need surgery soon. I no sooner got him home than I woke up Saturday morning with a dreadful cold. Right now I am just looking forward to a hot steamy shower to loosen some of this yuk out of my head and chest. I figured yesterday would  be a great time to face some little mending and some other projects that needed small spans of attention. No real mojo happening this weekend! But I do think there is a little to be learned in what I managed to do so I am passing it along.

First project was the bag. I purchased this bag before Thanksgiving, of course threw away the receipt, and not it is coming apart at the junction of the gusset, zipper and side. I LOVE THIS BAG. You will see it has a bit of bling  and is really pretty. Could I fix it? Upon inspection I think the junction was not sewn properly to begin with, Fast Fashion and all. But some how I was blinded by the bling when I bought the bag.

I
I used a combination of glue and stitching with white bead "wire" to give a secure fix.  I stitched one side of the zipper leather first. I used a heavy tapestry needle and went through the existing holes with a backstitch. Once that was done I put a big blop of glue where the zipper, the leather part , crossed over the side of the bag and clamped it. Then I stitched the other side of the zipper leather to the side of the bag.  Then I clamped the whole thing to dry. 


After a few hours I removed the clamps and used a brown fabric marker to color the white thread. I then rubbed the too dark thread with alcohol and that weakend the color and all is fine. It looks really good now and we will see how it holds up. 

Next chore, two pair of pants that needed hems lowered. This has become standard procedure lately around here. I am five feet tall and every pair of pants I buy needs shortening. I take up the hem. I double fold and try to make it look like the original hemline. Then a couple of months later the pants invevitably shrink despite all efforts at washing care and the hems need to be let down. To get max length back I need to lower them and what can happen is this is what you get:

A fringey, stringy mess that looks crappy. Here's how I handled it. 

I cut a strip of  fusible tricot that is wider than the edge of the hem to past the original stitching of the previous hemline. I place it right on the edge of the pant leg and fuse.
Now it is off to the machine with my edge stitching foot and I edge stitch to secure further the tricot to the pant leg. 

Sometimes I will stitch again further up to imitate the original as I did on these knit pants. 

The knit is  not too bad but you can see a nasty white line on the corduroy pants from the previous hem. Here's how I've dealt with that.  BTW, all these pics have been major lightened so you can see the detail. They look better IRL. 


On these cords I took a black sharpie and LIGHTLY rubbed it on the old hemline. Then I dipped a Qtip into good old rubbing alcohol and lightly rubbed the sharpie line to  blend it into the pants. I think you can see the difference between left and right here. I really like  both these pants and can now wear them beyond the two months it took to shrink them into near oblivion. Hope this hint helps some of you. Two pair of pants back in the rotation!

And now for the piece de resistance! My DD's mother in law had a fur coat made about ten years ago. She became tired of it, full length, and took it to be restyled. Evidently it is proper to return the not needed fur to the client. She had a muff made for my grandaughter and sent me the remaining leftovers. I thought it was very generous of her and I now have this windfall to play with. 



You can see the two sleeves they cut off. What  I really found interesting was the inside of the fur.  Here's a few pics:

Pretty fascinating, isn't it? This could maybe be a fur collar for my cashmere coat, a great hat, or just a cowl to be thrown over whatever. Any ideas? 

That's this week's output from the cave. My felt jacket is now totally done with it's covered shoulder pads but today is not a good one for modeling pics. They will come with a review of the pattern soon. Next Level Sewing will return as life settles down as well. Hope this nasty bug misses you all out there. I can't wait to get back in the cave! ....Bunny

32 comments:

  1. Ahhh, Bunny, I loved seeing your delicious fur scraps. My Mawmaw was a furrier who remodeled, cleaned and restored furs in her home shop. As a young girl I loved petting and trying on these beauties! She also taught and nourished my love of sewing now totalling 55 years. Thanks for the tip on minimizing lines left by adjusting hemlines. Karen

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    1. On some fabrics, where the color hasn't worn away too much, you can press the area with a vinegar and water soaked cloth till dry. It takes out stubborn creases that want to hang on.

      I sure would have a lot of questions for your mom about what I see on the inside of the fur.pieces. The way they are stitched together with the leather strips is fascinating as well as all the numbered pieces. I can't figure out how they did that.

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    2. Karen, or anyone else, would you know what type of fur this is? Thanks.

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  2. Bunny, I am sorry to hear that your husband has been so ill and now you have a cold, too. I hope you feel better soon.
    I did a very similar repair to my aging handbag recently. The fur is amazing! I love the idea of a cowl or a hat.

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    1. Thanks, Robin. We caught a very serious infection masquerading as the flu , just in the nick of time. He's on the mend.

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  3. lovely fur, thanks for the tip on the pants hemming and fixing that line (I have the exact same situation re: hemming) and hope you and your husband are both well very soon.

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    1. Thanks, Beth. It is really a pain to take up the hems and then have to let them down again. The pants still fit the same so they are only shrinking on the length. This is something I have found in jeans for years but not usually in knits and cords.

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  4. Such pretty fur, I know you will make something fabulous from it. Your plate is full right now, so take care of your self. Prayers are with you.

    Nonie

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  5. So sorry that your sweetie was so ill and now faces surgery. I hope that the crud leaves you soon. Take good care.

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  6. So sorry to hear about your husband being ill and needing surgery. I hope you get past your cold soon. Good luck with everything. All the best to you and your husband.

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  7. I hope your husband's surgery goes well, and speedy recovery to him from the UK. As for yucky colds......I think I have had one, in one form or other since December, only just starting to feel better (I blame the grandchildren) so speedy recovery to you too.

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  8. I hope both of you have a quick recovery. Love the fur and can't wait to see what you do with it. Very interesting markings on the inside. I've used the vinegar tip on stubborn creases as well - works great. Never thought about the sharpie and alcohol - hope I can remember that one!

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  9. The fur looks a lot like fox, but it's hard to determine that from photos. It's beautiful. Somewhere I saw a neat cowl: a circlet of fur, twisted 180 degrees and sewn. The twist fans out the fur beautifully, but then again, there is nothing more lovely than a fur collar. There is so much fur, you have plenty for the execution of more than one concept. A real bounty.

    Love the repair tips. And happy your husband is mending too!

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    1. That sounds like a lovely idea. Thanks, Stitchmaker.

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  10. Wishing your husband a speedy recovery! Thanks for the hemming tips, which I will use in future as this always happens to me (pants shortening over time, in spite of best efforts). For fur, I always like a fur collar or hood lining, but then I live in a very cold place.

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    1. It's very cold here too. I'm up on the Canadian border.

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  11. Best of luck with your husband.

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  12. I hope you are both well soon. The fur is lovely, lovely. I think it is lynx or possibly the best-looking coyote ever! This site (http://www.glacierwear.com) has photos of many different kinds of fur. I have a unsheared beaver jacket that I'm seriously thinking about disassembling. I don't want to pay for remodel, but doing something myself (including shearing it!) might be fun. I'll watch to see what you do.

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    1. I love beaver and have always coveted a beaver coat. My daughter is going to find the official word on what fur but I am guessing a fox as well. The fur is very long, not like any coyote I've ever seen!

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    2. Whatever it is, it is beautiful!

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  13. So you set me off on a quest....look at this site: http://www.fureverfurs.com/v2/additional-projects There are actually patterns for redoing your furs. Also tool kits and instructional videos.

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    1. Thanks so much. That is great and so helpful! Greatly appreciated.

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  14. Eek. Get well soon and hope your husband quickly recovers from surgery!

    What an abundant gift in that fur! It's gorgeous!! Great recovery on the pants.

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  15. I'm so very sorry to hear your Ern is having issues! Sending ~~healing prayers~~ for the both of you!

    Pretty interesting fur. I have a beautiful black mink headband that I wear with my mink coat when it is uber cold out. It just has a simple velcro closure at both ends & it wraps around my ears & I fasten it below my hair in a bun, which helps to keep it in place. very fluffy & I get compliments anytime I wear it. I just measured it & it is 23-24 in. long & 4 to 4.5 in wide, with a one piece of velcro attached to the underside of the headband & the other piece is just stitched onto the END of it. That piece is about 5" long. Very adjustable for your head size & comfort level. Just a thought for using up a sm. amt. of the fur.

    hugs,
    Rett

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    1. That's a great idea and thanks, Rett. It would not use up much fur either. I would still have plenty left. Hmmmm,,,,,,,

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  16. I hope you're both feeling better soon. As for the fur, perhaps you could create a scarf out of the sleeves [open a long seam on each sleeve, attach the two short ends together, trim to a rectangle then line, with or without a long vertical buttonhole toward the center near one end for the other end to slide through.] The larger fur piece could make a great hat; Vogue has some faux fur patterns that would work perfectly.

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  17. The back side of furs is positively enchanting. Each little strip has been sewn on a special fur binding machine that essentially makes a narrow rolled hem to the raw edges. So many of the furs I have had to work on have had dried out skins and very fragile almost like old tissue paper. I have used a furrier product called "cold cloth" that is like contact paper and adheres and stabilizes the back skin side without stitching anything. So many possibilities for those sleeves! Wishing a whole heap of wellness for you and your hubby. Sorry to hear of the upcoming surgery.

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    1. Thanks for that bit of first hand knowledge. I found the back sides fascinating and wondered how on earth those stitches got there. Now I have a better idea. Thanks.

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  18. I am at 2.5 weeks with the cold so I hope your mileage is shorter. I have made a faux fur jacket and with the leftovers have made a headband/hat as suggested above which is warm, stylish, and different and also a neck scarf that I wear fastened with a very large glittery broach, this is for indoor wear and I lined the back with silk. I've been meaning to see if I can get a vest out of the rest of the meager leftovers. Your fur bits look yummy.
    Sorry about DH, hope his trip to wellness is smooth and swift.

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    1. Your accessories sound lovely. It sounds like your fur went quite far!

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  19. Even with all you have going on you still manage to give us such good information. The fur is gorgeous and I can't wait to see what you do with it.
    I also have a large bottle of alcohol in my sewing room that I use for so many things. It takes out so many stains. I am also a huge fan of sharpies and have every color I can find.
    I have resewn many a bag and I use buttonhole twist. I do use the same holes and find it holds very well.
    Hope your DH is feeling better.

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