Friday, December 25, 2015

DIY Upcycled Bikini Underwear

DIY, outdoor, clothing, gear, Upcycled, Bikini, Underwear, sewing, high huts, amc

DIY Upcycled Bikini Underwear - back view

Upcycle – also known as Creative Reuse, is the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless and/or unwanted products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value.



Your favorite shirt has a stain, hole or some other flaw and you just can’t bring yourself to throw it out? Then upcycle it! Here's one of my favorite AMC (Appalachian Mountain Club) High Huts shirt which had several runs in both sleeves. So I upcycled it into bikini underwear. The fabric content is 100% Polyester with 75% stretch - perfect! It’s simple and fast!













Supplies used:
A t-shirt or shirt of knit fabric that stretches 75% (meaning 4” of fabric should stretch easily to 7”)
3/8 inch Knit Elastic
Kwik Sew #3608 Pattern
½ yard  Tracing Material -I use Sew-In Interfacing (Optional)
Ball point pen or marker
Scissors or rotary cutter
Cutting mat (for rotary cutter)
Ruler or Tape measure
Suggested Needle: Schmetz Stretch Needle 90/14
Suggested Thread: Maxi-Lock Stretch Serger Thread
Household Sewing Machine
Zig Zag Foot attachment


**This DIY project assumes you already know how to use your sewing machine and have basic sewing skills. If you don't, contact a sewing store for basic sewing lessons.


My Sewing Notes:


For this project, I used the Kwik Sew #3608 pattern since I had it on hand. I don’t remember how much I paid for it because I can’t even remember when I purchased it. JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores carries a limited supply of Kwik Sew patterns so you may have to order online (see References below).  Pattern lists yardage amounts for 60” wide fabric. Use Fabric Width Conversion Chart to find yardage amount for 54” width Merino Wool fabric. On this pattern, I found that the crotch was too wide so I trimmed off a half inch of the crotch area from both the front and back pattern. Also, it has instructions for lining the entire front piece. But I didn't want the front entirely lined, so I made my own crotch lining for it. I've included instructions and photos below.







Kwik Sew does make a pattern for underwear. It's available online in paper as well as printable download. You might also be able to find this pattern on eBay.com or SewingPattern.com. Includes 4 different styles; Brief, Bikini, Hipster & Thong. And sizes XS thru XL.












Tracing Pattern pieces is optional. I trace pattern pieces because the patterns include different sizes. If I cut out just one pattern size, then I won’t be able to use the pattern pieces in the other sizes. If you don’t plan to use the other pattern sizes, just omit tracing and cut out the pattern piece. This will save you the time from tracing as well as the cost of tracing material. I used a ball-point pen and a marker to trace my pattern onto Sew-In Interfacing. While some seamsters prefer to trace their pattern pieces directly onto the fabric using a tracing wheel and tracing transfer paper, I personally prefer to trace the pattern pieces onto Sew-In Interfacing. I use Sew-In Interfacing for tracing because it’s inexpensive and very easy to see through.  Also, when using a tracing wheel to trace patterns, over time the pattern will tear along the traced lines.

 Here’s how I installed the crotch lining.



Pattern
I traced a pattern of lining from the Front pattern piece making sure to mark the notch at the crotch center. Make certain that you place the pattern on the fabric with the greatest stretch across.









Cutting Front
I placed the front pattern onto the front of the shirt. 










Cutting Back
I placed the back pattern onto the back of the shirt and made certain to get all the names of the High Huts within the pattern edge.













Assembly
Lay the Front pattern with right side facing up. With the wrong side facing up, lay the Back pattern on top of the Front pattern. With the wrong side facing up, lay the crotch lining on top of the Back pattern. Pin and stitch matching notches using a straight stitch.  










Turn right side out and pin and baste crotch lining to front. If you want the crotch lining to be enclosed, then finish with a narrow zig zag stitch instead of a baste stitch.










The pattern instructions call for sewing the front to back at the side seams, and then applying the knit elastic. Instead, I attached the elastic to the wrong side of the leg openings before sewing the front to back at the sides (sewing it this way made it easier for me to ease the elastic onto the curved edge of the leg openings).  Use the 3 step zigzag stitch or a wide zigzag stitch. After installing the knit elastic in both leg openings, remove baste stitch. 










Stitch front to back at sides. Turn right side out and apply elastic to waist. 













Turn elastic edge over to wrong side of both leg openings and waist to form hem. Use zig zag stitch per pattern instructions. 










Ta-da!  High Huts Undies completely!!








Maxi-Lock Stretch Serger Thread
Works perfectly with Merino Wool and merino wool blends. It’s stretchy and will have more “give” in stretchy and knit fabric than polyester threads. If you don’t have a serger/overlock machine, you can still use this thread. Just buy one cone and wind some thread on a bobbin to use in your regular sewing machine. If you’re finishing off the hem edge with double stitch, then wind thread onto two bobbins.








Suppliers/Resources & Notes:
Kwik Sew #3608 Pattern: Kwik Sew (Kansas)

Knit Elastic:  Joann’s Fabric & Craft

Apparel Sew-In Interfacing:  Joann’s Fabric & Craft

My Sewing History
I spent many years sewing my own clothes….that’s what you did after your mom sent you to sewing lessons for the summer when you’re 14 years old. Over the years I handmade Halloween costumes for my daughters as well as prom dresses and figure skating costumes complete with beadwork all done by hand. Living just 12 miles from Malden Mills, I outfitted my family with handmade polar fleece jackets, pullovers, hats, mittens and pants. We still use polar fleece blankets that I had made years ago! And I even had a small biz selling Polar Fleece Skatewear to figure skating teams – I contracted a small manufacturing company in New Hampshire do to all the sewing in order for me to focus on the sales end of the business. I stopped sewing for several years but now am back at it again. This time for making my own outdoor gear to be used while out climbing and hiking!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

DIY Merino Wool Upcycled Slouchy Beanie Cap

DIY, outdoor, clothing, gear, sewing, 100% italian merino wool, slouchy beanie, upcycle, recycle, creative reuse
DIY Merino Wool Upcycled Slouchy Beanie Cap

Upcycle – also known as Creative Reuse, is the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless and/or unwanted products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value.

My grandson and I visited a Salvation Army Thrift Store and he picked out a 100% Italian Merino Wool sweater on sale for $2.99. Using the free pattern and instructions from the Imagine Gnats website, I put together this merino wool slouchy beanie cap just in time for the cold season! The free pattern comes in sizes for both adults and children. And the instructions are uber easy to follow. For free pattern and instructions download, and supplies links, see my Supplies/Resources Notes below.

Supplies used:
100% Merino Wool Sweater in the largest size you can find
Pen or marker
Scissors or rotary cutter
Cutting mat (for rotary cutter)
Ruler or Tape measure
Suggested Needle: Schmetz Stretch Needle 90/14
Suggested Top Stitch Needle: Schmetz Stretch-Twin Needle 4.0/75
Suggested Thread: Maxi-Lock Stretch Serger Thread
Household Sewing Machine
Walking Foot attachment (Here’s a video on what a Walking Foot is/operates)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NP_i3K1iyA

**This DIY project assumes you already know how to use your sewing machine and have basic sewing skills. If you don't, contact a sewing store for basic sewing lessons.


My grandson picked out this 100% Italian Merino Wool Sweater


Following the instructions for this project is so easy!
I used the front and back of the sweater, placing the bottom
of the pattern piece along the bottom edge of the sweater.

Just a few more steps....

And completed!
I added the extra finishing step of folding under the edge and double stitching.









Maxi-Lock Stretch Serger Thread
Works perfectly with Fleece and knits. It’s stretchy and will have more “give” in stretchy and knit fabric than polyester threads. If you don’t have a serger/overlock machine, you can still use this thread. Just buy one cone and wind some thread on a bobbin to use in your regular sewing machine. If you’re finishing off the hem edge with double stitch, then wind the thread onto two bobbins.










Walking Foot
The Walking Foot (aka Even Feed Foot) 
is an amazing sewing machine attachment! It equalizes the feeding of upper and lower layers of fabric so that the layers of fabric are evenly stitched with no uneven stretching or puckering. Not only is this attachment great on stretchy knits, but on slippery as well as heavy fabrics.





Suppliers/Resources & Notes:
Imagine Gnats Website:

Free downloadable pattern with instructions:

Apparel Sew-In Interfacing:  Joann’s Fabric & Craft

Maxi-Lock Stretch Serger Thread: Wawak Sewing (Washington)
Orders shipped from either their east or west Coast warehouses.

Schmetz Sewing Machine Needles
Any sewing store will have sewing machine needles.

My Sewing History
I spent many years sewing my own clothes….that’s what you did after your mom sent you to sewing lessons for the summer when you’re 14 years old. Over the years I handmade Halloween costumes for my daughters as well as prom dresses and figure skating costumes complete with beadwork all done by hand. Living just 12 miles from Malden Mills, I outfitted my family with handmade Polarfleece jackets, pullovers, hats, gloves and pants. We still use Polarfleece blankets that I had made years ago! And I even had a small biz selling Polar Fleece Skatewear to figure skating teams – I contracted a small manufacturing company in New Hampshire do to all the sewing in order for me to focus on the sales end of the business. I stopped sewing for several years but now am back at it again. This time for making my own outdoor gear to be used while out climbing and hiking!

DIY Fleece Stocking Cap

DIY, outdoor, clothing, gear, fleece, sewing, stocking cap, mill yardage, kwik sew patterns
DIY Fleece Stocking Cap

This is an easy project and took me just under an hour to complete from start to finish. The original design doesn’t include tassels, but since I made this for my youngest granddaughter, I added tassels to the top and she loves it! For this project I used Rocket Red Polartec Classic 100, but Polartec Classic 200 will work fine just as well. 


Supplies used:
½ yard Polartec Classic 100 Fabric
Kwik Sew #2527 Pattern
½ yard Tracing Material -I use Sew-In Interfacing (Optional)
Ball point pen or marker
Scissors or rotary cutter
Cutting mat (for rotary cutter)
Ruler or Tape measure
Suggested Needle: Schmetz Stretch Needle 90/14
Suggested Thread: Maxi-Lock Stretch Serger Thread
Household Sewing Machine
Walking Foot attachment (Here’s a video on what a Walking Foot is/operates)

**This DIY project assumes you already know how to use your sewing machine and have basic sewing skills. If you don't, contact a sewing store for basic sewing lessons.


My Sewing Notes:




This project is of View C from the Kwik Sew #2527 pattern. Like most of my Kwik Sew patterns, I’ve had this pattern for years. It’s really easy to follow the instructions for this pattern. The pattern also includes different styles of hats as well as socks, headband and Balaclava. It's comes in Adults and Children sizes. JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores carries a limited supply of Kwik Sew patterns. Follow pattern instructions carefully.










Tracing Pattern pieces is optional. I trace pattern pieces because the patterns include different sizes. If I cut out just one pattern size, then I won’t be able to use the pattern pieces in the other sizes. If you don’t plan to use the other pattern sizes, just omit tracing and cut out the pattern piece. This will save you the time from tracing as well as the cost of tracing material. I used a ball-point pen and a marker to trace my pattern onto Sew-In Interfacing. While some seamsters prefer to trace their pattern pieces directly onto the fabric using a tracing wheel and tracing transfer paper, I personally prefer to trace the pattern pieces onto Sew-In Interfacing. I use Sew-In Interfacing for tracing because it’s inexpensive and very easy to see through.  Also, when using a tracing wheel to trace patterns, over time the pattern will tear along the traced lines.



Adding tassels to the top of the cap:
#1 Cut out 2 or 3 strips of fleece
#2 Before Step 2 of pattern instructions, pin tassels.
#3 Stitch and trim excess.


#4 Turn right side out
#5 Cut strips into narrower strips, then knot the ends.


**I know, in some of these photos the cap looks pink. But bright orange is its true color.






Maxi-Lock Stretch Serger Thread
Works perfectly with Fleece and knits. It’s stretchy and will have more “give” in stretchy and knit fabric than polyester threads. If you don’t have a serger/overlock machine, you can still use this thread. Just buy one cone and wind some thread on a bobbin to use in your regular sewing machine. If you’re finishing off the hem edge with double stitch, then wind the thread onto two bobbins.










Walking Foot
The Walking Foot  (aka Even Feed Foot) is an amazing sewing machine attachment! It equalizes the feeding of upper and lower layers of fabric so that the layers of fabric are evenly stitched with no uneven stretching or puckering. Not only is this attachment great on stretchy knits, but on slippery as well as heavy fabrics.





Suppliers/Resources & Notes:
Polartec Classic 100: The Mill Yardage LLC (New Hampshire)
For those of you who used to purchase cut pieces from the Malden Mills retail store in Lawrence, MA, this store provides cuts of Polartec Fabrics without the big minimums on runs. Only online sales are available, but you may pick up your order in person if you are local. And the owner, KK Gregory, is a former rock climbing competitor!

Kwik Sew #2527 Pattern: Kwik Sew (Kansas)

Apparel Sew-In Interfacing:  Joann’s Fabric & Craft

Maxi-Lock Stretch Serger Thread: Wawak Sewing (Washington)
Orders shipped from either their east or west Coast warehouses.

Schmetz Sewing Machine Needles
Any sewing store will have sewing machine needles.


My Sewing History
I spent many years sewing my own clothes….that’s what you did after your mom sent you to sewing lessons for the summer when you’re 14 years old. Over the years I handmade Halloween costumes for my daughters as well as prom dresses and figure skating costumes complete with beadwork all done by hand. Living just 12 miles from Malden Mills, I outfitted my family with handmade polar fleece jackets, pullovers, hats, gloves and pants. We still use polar fleece blankets that I had made years ago! And I even had a small biz selling Polar Fleece Skatewear to figure skating teams – I contracted a small manufacturing company in New Hampshire do to all the sewing in order for me to focus on the sales end of the business. I stopped sewing for several years but now am back at it again. This time for making my own outdoor gear to be used while out climbing and hiking!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Mt. Willard - Solo HIke

Mt. Willard summit
Willey's Slide (ice climbing) on the right

Mt. Willard (2,865ft)
Elevation Gain: 900ft
Trails: Mt. Willard
Difficulty: Very Easy

Did a short hike today and the cool temps were invigorating and just wonderful! 4 years ago I hiked Mt. Willard and it was a different scene. Check out my blogpost here from that hike. 

Although there was much less snow today, I still needed my microspikes! Some parts of the Mt. Willard trail were very slushy, muddy and icy! There were a lot of hikers who weren't prepared with some form of traction, and I saw many slipping and falling. 


Centennial Pool

This section of the trail was especially icy!

Summit view of Crawford Notch



On my way back down to the trailhead I 
took a detour and hiked down the climber's
path to the top of "The Cleft" ice climb. 





















Not much ice for climbing!
This is a pretty cool ice climb once all 
the ice is in. See my blogpost here for 
my January and March climbs on The Cleft.

I was tempted to descend through the Cleft
but there were too many leaves and loose
rocks for my liking and comfort. I tried another
path off to the side to descend but it led 
to nowhere. Probably a "pee-pee path". 
So I backtracked and finished my hike. 










Near the trailhead and just off the trail at the first water crossing, someone
realized it wasn't a good idea to continue the hike with a baby stroller!