Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Twill Tape alternative: Rolled Hem serger stitch

I had been using twill tape on my wallets as you can see by my previous posts. I decided to experiment with the rolled hem setting on my serger to see if I could get a similar, finished-looking, effect. I can get it up to 1/4" wide. My sewing machine repair man advises against using the serger cutting blade on the vinyl, so I disconnected it.

I think it looks neater than twill tape and it would be robust if sewn in upholstery thread. I am looking forward to using this technique on my latest billboard vinyl handbag project.

Handbag Pattern Design

Just for fun I am copying my own handbag, drawing the pieces in Illustrator, and coming up with an Order of Operations, i.e. instructions. My goal is twofold: one is to have a pattern for making a purse design that will work in billboard vinyl, the other is to make a pattern that I can sell on Etsy. I see that some Etsy sellers make PDF patterns to sell. So far, so good. The pattern here isn't finished; I have to create pattern outlines for the end pieces and the inner bag lining. I'll post an update on this project after I make the handbag from my pattern.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Twill Tape Seam Binding Tools

I have been working with twill tape as my seam binding on my billboard vinyl wallets. I have used several different methods with varying degrees of success.

This is my best method so far: (1) Fold the twill tape down the centre and steam iron. (2) Figure out how much tape you will need for the seam, plus a length for folding the ends over. (3) Use low-tack painter's tape to hold the seam binding in place. This is especially useful for turning a corner, because you can shape and tape at the same time. (4) Sew in place using a home-made seam guide comprised of a picture-hanger hook, hot-glued to a fridge magnet. It stays in place nicely on the metal base of my Singer Sewing machine. Painter's tape can be used to hold the guide in place. (5) remove the painter's tape.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Dingbat font fun

In the past few days I've been exploring the design possibilities of dingbat or wingding fonts. A lot of the card makers are using them. I realized that using them can save a lot of time in drawing, but I sure have burned up a lot of time looking at fonts! Here I've imported some dingbats into Adobe Illustrator to illustrate a point made by John MacArthur in his lecture The Challenge of Science. The fonts I used are: Animals for the dog; JL Naturebats for the trees; Silhouettes03 for the people; and 60s Chic for the specialty stars. The background stars are from standard Illustrator 9.0 brush. Bible verse is from the NIV version. For more information on the different types of stars, Wikipedia has a good article. John MacArthur's lecture is available on Youtube.

I'm also thinking of cutting shapes out of billboard vinyl to increase the design possibilities of the material. (See my previous post). I want to get a cutter such as a cricut so I can try these things out. But of course I'd have to get Sure Cuts a Lot software to facillitate this.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Custom wallets on Etsy

I was thinking of offering custom wallets for sale on Etsy. Here's one of the popular names on Etsy according to the demographics, with a Mid Century Modern font and a nice graphic that celebrates the name. I could do this either by printing the design on fabric then waterproofing the fabric, or by using billboard vinyl and a stencil cutting technique.
Accordian player from Entertainment 1 font by Helen Duggan. Text font is Fontdinerdotcom Sparkly.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I got a new Fiskars cutter

This is a hail Mary play to find something that will capture the buyers on Etsy. I have been wanting a Cricut Expressions, but I found a Fiskars hand tool for much less that does a great job on cutting vinyl. I am blatantly going after an octopus trend that I see on Etsy, and the current trend in feature placement for the happy face. (The mouth line is nearly at the eye line). As you can see in the photograph I'm currently deciding what colour upholstery thread to use. I only have black twill tape for the binding though. Stay tuned for a new wallet on Etsy. This is sure good therapy for the holiday busyness!