Monthly Archives: February 2015

The Very Best Way to Remove Blood Stains from your Sewing Project

I had hoped this article would be “project complete” for the Yellow Weekender duffel bag. I almost got there on my birthday.

That was before The Accident.

I’m getting ahead of myself here.  Let’s review the progress so far.

Finishing the Sides

The bag side panels have rounded decorative corners. The class instructor has you sew a basting stitch around the curve, 1/4 inch in from the edge, then fold/press around that.

That seemed a little loosey-goosey for me. Instead, I made a cardboard template from the pattern, with the 1/4 inch allowance removed, and pressed the corner pieces around that. I was amazed how remarkably well this worked; the canvas molded and shaped itself around the corners with the steam from the iron.

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A Birthday Grab Bag

Today being my birthday, I decided to take the day off from work to spend time on my sewing and blogging.

I had to share the unexpected gift I received from my partner’s mom, Judy.  She did quite a lot of sewing back in the ’70s, on her mechanical Bernina (which is still in fine working condition today and is in use by her grandchildren). She had some vintage menswear patterns she’s no longer likely to use, so she passed them down to me as a very kind birthday gift.


Check out these lovely Simplicity patterns (click/tap for supersize versions):

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The Weekend Duffel Part 3: The Yellow Duffel Moves Forward

I thought it might be good to give a progress update on the Weekend Duffel project.

I went to Fabric Outlet to find new lining fabric for both bags. For the yellow duffel, I found a gray quilting cotton that was a shade lighter than the gray cotton-poly which shrank to the point of being unusable.  For the rocket blue duffel, In place of the navy blue lining I opted for a royal blue cotton-poly quiliting fabric which is a little bit lightweight, but was okay once interfaced.


I ran both cuts of fabric through the washer/dryer twice, and ironed them with steam. I also pre-shrank the fusible interfacing, following the instructions given in the book Tailoring: The Classic Guide to Sewing the Perfect Jacket. Basically, you soak it in warm water, press between towels to get out the excess moisture, then lay aside to dry.

With everything preshrunk, I went through the tedious task of re-cutting the lining pieces and interfacing, and fusing them together.  This time, there were no incidents and everything turned out satisfactory. Continue reading