Spandex Applique Process

This is my personal technique for appliqueing on stretch fabrics. It’s a little different than what I might recommend for everyone–I have to work ‘upside down’ or from the back of my pattern because my machine just loves to drag the spandex around if I stitch on the right side of the work. But, I find this way does give nice clean results, so try it out, maybe! The biggest con would be that it does waste a little fabric when your cutting things away, but spandex patterns generally use pretty small yardages anyway.

So first thing is to transfer your design to the interfacing. I’m using Pellon Stick-and-Washaway 542 interfacing and it’s pretty much the best thing I’ve discovered recently. It’s water soluble, so you’re not tearing away interfacing and causing ripples in your spandex. Don’t forget to mirror your design!

Roughly cut out the interfacing, then peel of the backing and attach to your base fabric. Now that it’s nice and firm with the interfacing, you can cut out the pattern piece more precisely, with none of the shifting that often happens with spandex. I’ve then gone ahead and used temporary spray adhesive to attach a layer of red to the right side of my work (you can see it sticking out in the armhole of the bottom piece. Because there is a lot of red, I just covered the whole piece. The excess will be cut away later.

This is on a different piece, but here me zig-zagging on the wrong side of the work, following the lines drawn on the interfacing. I got pretty good at circles and curves on this one, and the biggest advice I can give is ‘Pivot. A Lot.’ You’re going to have to put the needle down and pivot every couple of stitches on a circle or other tight curve. Don’t try and just swing the stiching around as you go, it doesn’t work well. 

Okay, so I forgot to take a picture of me cutting away the extra fabric on the red layer, but as you can see here, I’ve added and stitched a green layer and am starting to cut it away. Just use sharp little embroidery scissors and gently tug the fabric, getting as close to the zig-zagged edge as you can. It takes a little practice, but I’ve gotten pretty good at getting nice clean edges this way. As you can see with the green fabric, if that color’s design is not all over the piece, you can attach smaller pieces of fabric, just making sure it covers  the whole area where it is needed. 

Here’s the back after all the green and red stitching is done. Now time for pink! As you can see, I attached the red centers to the pink flowers already. It’s easier to put them on first with the rest of the red, then cut out the pink center of the flower (like reverse applique) then to go back and do another layer of red. Changing the bobbin and thread between each layer is a pain.

Here you can see the pink attached, it’s used in small areas so I can get away with using small pieces to reduce waste.

No pictures of this step, but once you’re all trimmed up, go ahead and rinse the work in cold water, and the interfacing will magically dissolve, leaving you with nice smooth applique.

This is all the pieces laid out after being washed out. Before I sewed them all together though, there was one more step.

To reduce bulk (especially where it will be serged together) I cut away the cream base fabric where there was large open areas of the red. In smaller areas I would say it’s not worth it. I did cut the center of the flower away too, just because I ended up with three layers of fabric there. 

Ta-Da! All sewn up (and lined and what not) More pictures HERE!

A rant about Multiple Systems

Here’s the deal. If you are one of the people who claims to be a multiple system, you are scum. You are pretending to have multiple personalities in order to gain attention by blogging about it on Tumblr. For people with conditions that could be described as such, it is just plain insulting for someone to take a life crippling disease and turn it into your latest fun fact about yourself.

If you had even met someone that had one of those conditions, you would realize that it’s not an ‘alternative life choice’, or anything but something that is a curse on it’s sufferers and who’s victims would like nothing better than to rid themselves of it.

But ofcourse, as it is with all things, I can’t make you stop attention seeking. I just hope people realize what they are doing is incredibly dickish.


Work: Baltimore Album Singlet

Continuing with a theme of traditional textile patterns and technique brought to very athletic clothing! I was inspired by the beautiful Baltimore Album Applique Quilts of the mid-to-late 1800′s. The garment itself is based on more of a powerlifting singlet than the lower-cut amateur wrestling singlet, but similar idea. A lot of Chikara guys wear this sort of higher cut bodysuit/singlet. It was my first time really dramatically altering the pattern of a stretch garment (wow is it different than a woven pattern) and my first time using Stick and Wash-away interfacing on a large project (wow this stuff rules) I’m super pleased with the results! The only thing I would change for next time would be how I did the lining and piping. I had to resort of a bit of a messy solution there. But after a few more practice pieces, I’d really love to see if I could get a portfolio out and see if any indie wrestlers would be interested in me making some gear.

For detailed, step-by-step pictures and instructions on the spandex applique techniques I used, check out THIS POST.

Don’t singlets realise how circular their argument is when they go: “Every person with DID always suffers sooo much from their evil evil personalities and the voices they hear tell them to do bad things to themselves :C so clearly they have to go away!!1″ and then several people who actually have DID tell them that that’s a grossly simplified, one-sided and stereotypical view of DID and not at all accurate and then the singlet goes: “Everyone who doesn’t suffer 24/7 and is functional enough to use a computer can’t actually have DID, they must be faking!1!“

It’s like “This is what I think DID looks like and if you disagree you clearly don’t really have it.” Even though neither diagnostic criteria nor medical texts nor a lot of what systems themselves say is even similar to the stereotypes, but whatever. I mean of course there are people who do experience DID that way and I don’t want to throw them under the bus. I only want to point out that it’s not like this for every system, because every system is different. And since DID is a mechanism to survive extreme trauma, the system members are actually there to work towards that. Their coping mechanisms and worldviews may sometimes be twisted or simply out of date, but still.