2012 November

Archive for November, 2012

15 Nov 2012

Expand Your Button Options for the Peridot Pants

1 Comment Peridot Blouse and Ankle Pants, Tutorials

In last week’s post, we showcased some fun button options for the ankle plackets of our new Peridot Pants.  We noted that standard button loop tape makes adding all those 1/2″ buttons easy to do.  But what if you are fresh out of tape? Or what if you want to use bigger buttons, or more of them?  Make your own button tape, of course!

I first devised this method when we were test sewing the pants.  We were playing around with the size and number of the buttons and the button spacing, all with an end-goal of making it as simple as possible.

Besides being simple, making your own button loop tape opens up custom options for changing the size, number and spacing of the buttons.  Here’s one of the prototypes–see there are 7 – 1/2″ buttons, rather than 5.

Here’s a shot of just the DIY loops:

Pretty nifty, eh? I thought I’d share this technique with you since it isn’t too difficult and probably uses items already in your sewing stash–a real time saver if you are anxious to get going on your project.  Below are the basic steps that can easily be adapted to suit your needs.

Materials Needed

The materials you’ll need:

- piece of paper, pen/marker and a ruler

- elastic cording 1/16″ in diameter (I use this frequently for collar button closures, too)

- clear packing tape (like 3M or Scotch)

- tape or ribbon (Ideally, in a color to match your pants in case a bit peaks out. For this tutorial, I used a scrap of commercial bias tape, but you could use any type of flat tape that is between 3/8″- 7/8″ wide, such as twill tape or even grosgrain ribbon)

Make Your Template

Using your ruler, draw a 5″ line on  your paper. 

Now draw two parallel lines, one 1/8″ (or even a 1/4″) below the first and the other 3/8″ above.

Now tick off small markers 1″ apart on the top and bottom lines.  Note that the marks on the top line should start 1/2″ in from the side edge.  You should have 5 marks on the top line (numbered 1-5 below). 

The 1″ marks on the bottom measure from the side edges (labeled A-F below).

Note that the 1″ spacing mimics the spacing of the commercial button loop tape, and the 3/8″ height of that top line creates a finished loop that is 3/8″ high, also as in the commercial tape. Here’s what the commercial tape looks like up close.

If you would like to add more buttons, you could tighten up the spacing of the marks (but be careful to allow enough room for the buttons to fit next to each other–if you find it is too tight, you could widen your base line to 5.5″ without altering the pattern).  You can also accommodate wider buttons by moving the top line up. For a 5/8″ button, for example, I would make the top line 1/2″ above the starting line.

Cover the Template with Packing Tape

Once you are satisfied with your template, cut a piece of packing tape about 8″ long.  Fold under the short edges 1/2″ or more so that the sticky sides of the edges are facing outward and the tape covers the length of the template.  Use these sticky ends to adhere the tape to either end of the template.  Note that the tape should only be secured at the very ends and the sticky side of the main part of the tape should face up.

Adhere the Elastic Cording

You’ll need about 10-12″ of cording for each loop tape, but I typically leave my cording whole and trim it flush when I am happy with the loop placement.

Form a skinny loop with your cording about 2″ in from the end.

Place the top of that loop on the sticky tape at the first tick mark on the top line (mark 1). Guide the long end down to second point (mark B) on the lower line, pressing it to the tape.  Form a second loop and place the top of it to the second tick mark on the top line.

At this point, you are probably recalling some ancient school lecture from trigonometry or physics class about sine waves, amplitude, frequency or such similar other nonsense.  Dismiss those thoughts with gusto and continue winding the cording between the top and bottom tick marks to the end.

As you go, keep the top of the loops fairly skinny, such as you see in the commercial tape, so that the loop will secure around the button better. This means that the curve along the bottom line will be pretty flat.  (A wider opening at the top would better accommodate a wider button.)

When you have reached the end, go back and adjust the loops so they appear more uniform in shape and size.  The packing tape is very forgiving for moving the cording and resticking it.

Apply the Twill Tape

Place your tape, ribbon etc. on top of the cording so that one long edge is flush with your original line on the template.  Press it down in between the cording to ensure it is secure to the tape.  Once you have the cording loops and twill tape in place, trim off any excess cording/twill tape at either end.

Sew the Loops and Tape in Place

Carefully peel up the packing tape at both ends from the paper template so that the cording remains sandwiched between the two tapes.

At your sewing machine, sew back and forth across the long edge of the twill tape 3 times to secure the cording in place.  You will want to use a small stitch length (2.0 is fine) and have the non-sticky side of your packing tape on the bottom, nearest the feed dogs.

Here’s a shot of the tape after sewing. As my dad would say: “Ugly, but effective”.

Now all that remains to be done is to peel away the packing tape. It usually comes off fairly easily in 2 or 3 large pieces. Use your nails or tweezers to get at any small pieces that are left in between the stitch lines. Et voila!

Happy Sewing!
~Erin

07 Nov 2012

Button Up Your Peridot Pants

Comments Off Inspiration, Peridot Blouse and Ankle Pants

I think my favorite piece in our latest collection are the skinny, fitted Peridot Pants. There, I said it. Yes, I know I am not supposed to have favorites, but it’s just that I am totally smitten with the ankle button placket.  It affords limitless possibilities for personalization.

The pattern calls for 5 buttons at each ankle. To simplify sewing the pants, we call for button loop tape commonly used in bridal and evening wear (& conveniently sold in our shop here).  The tape works best with buttons no more than 1/2″ wide.

 You can make coordinating buttons using covered buttons, as we did for the cover look of our Peridot Pants, above. Alternatively, do as Carla did here and dig through your personal stash to find buttons leftover from past projects, or perhaps mix and match a variety of vintage buttons.

For another unique twist,  it is so easy to find coordinating sets of covered buttons on Etsy.  Here are  a few of my (current) favorites–

This Little Red Riding Hood series is from the HeyDayHandmade:

Wouldn’t these black and white buttons pair nicely with any color pant?

Why not try a simple pattern repeated in multiple colors?

These lovely mod floral buttons are from the Etsy shop The Swedish Ivy:

Below are some rather cute fox buttons from the same seller.  

[These are thumbtacks, but I bet a polite request to the seller could magically turn them into buttons, no?]

Finally, Pink Owl Fabrics in Oregon has Kawaiian kitsch covered:

Wouldn’t your little girl just love to show off these cute pieces of flair to all her classmates?  

But wait, there’s more–next week I’ll show you how you can making your own button loop tape to expand your button options.

Until then, happy sewing!

~ Erin

01 Nov 2012

Rain Out

Comments Off In the Craft Room

I’ve been on a roll this week and last completing projects started in days gone by. On Tuesday, both kids and husband were home due to flooding, power outages and the like courtesy of (Hurricane/Cyclone/Superstorm?) Sandy, so the kids and I had some time to spend finishing this Pinterest project we started last week.

I followed the technique described here.  We were able to wax about 75 leaves with only a 1/2 block of Gulf Wax (purchased in the canning section of the local grocery store).  The waxing process was super simple and the kids found it to be quite enjoyable.  [You just have to be prepared for flying wax when the children are involved.]  I used button thread and a large needle to string them together.

We collected many leaves from surrounding yards, taking great care to select specimens of different colors, shapes and sizes.  

Unfortunately, after a day or two hanging over the hot water radiator in the dining room, most of the leaves changed to a uniform shade of mud, save for a few maples that have retained a pinkish hue.  The heat has also caused them to crinkle up a bit.  (The leaves hanging on the fireplace mantle have fared a bit better, but have still lost much of their vibrancy.)

I have kept a few additional leaves to spread on the Thanksgiving table. I just hope that what little color that remains in those will hang on for a few more weeks.

I’d rate this project a B+ overall — it was fun fall craft and certainly easy, but for preserving fall’s glorious colors, it fell short of my expectations.

Happy crafting everyone!

~ Erin