Posts Tagged ‘outdoor fabrics’

Crochet Collar Top and Outdoor Fabrics

June 5, 2009

I had one of those moments of inspiration yesterday followed by the sewing addiction and sleepless hours in front of the machine. You know those moments? I’m sure all of us sewing addicts have them often.

My sister in law visited us this weekend and she is always very stylish. She wore a breezy light cotton, had a band a woven band around the neckline, the fabric was gathered on this band.

if A -> B -> C then A -> C

woven band -> crochet collar

light breezy cotton -> embroidered cotton gauze

There I was putting the pieces of the puzzle together, pinning the fabric on the dress form, marking, cutting and sewing till after midnight. The collar was already crochet just looking for a match.

The whole top is underlined using the same fabric, the fabric is cut in a double layer so it eliminates the sheerness. The helped a lot with the finishing of the seams, the right side was first sewn to the underlining at the neckline and armholes, for front then the same for the back. A topstitch seam creates a nice finish and keeps the underlining from rolling up to the right side. The back has a cut in the center, the lining and underlining were sewn together, just like when you are working with a facing, but this time the facing is as long as the top.The side seams are sewn like a tube, the underlining side seams and then the top’s side seams all in one long seam. Turn everything to the right side, sew the crochet part onto the top. Sew a little further away from the crochet’s edge, I like to leave the edge of the crochet hang freely over the fabric, so the seam doesn’t even show. Or it can be attached by hand…but I’m too lazy.

I didn’t know what to do with the hem, since I had two layers of fabric now. I had the chose of cutting the top layer shorter and let the bottom layer visible, but I sewed them together over a folded band.

The next morning I woke up to wear my breand new top ­čÖé Thanks Ioana for the inspiration.

Oh, and I did it all by draping on the dress form, no pattern for the crochet part either. It has matching pineapple earings to go with it! Photos pending of course.


My fabrics are nicely packed inside a box that arrived the same morning from the Rocky Woods online store.

Just waiting to be cut.

Polartec Windbloc Laminate – Graphite/Brick
Woven poly face (brick)
High pile grid velour back (graphite)
2-way stretch
Polartec Windbloc Laminate - Graphite/Brick

Gore┬« Soft Shell with microfleece liner – Grey
Water repellent, smooth woven face
Waterproof Gore-Tex membrane
Microfleece back
No stretch
Gore® Soft Shell with microfleece liner - Grey

Reflective zippers:
Zippers with Silver Reflective Stripes

The others are the UV protection fabrics for the shirts. The red and green are a little fuller but will be great for the long sleeved versions, the plaid ones are very soft to the touch and thinner, looking forward to sewing those. The colors for me are not really muted, red and pink, but oh well…why not be a little girlie…even if it is sports wear.
Sun Protective Fabrics

I wish that Rocky Woods would have better pictures of the actual fabric, like the fashion fabrics club has. That would make the whole buying stuff online an easier choice. They do offer samples, I just didn’t want to wait that long.

Now I have to carefully choose a pattern for the softshells and already have some patterns in mind for the shirts.

I do need more advice on the seam sealing process. Will the seam tape that is ironed on hold over the fleece backing? Will the SeamGrip work? hmm….

after some more reading…I found this link that explains a lot about sealing and seaming

Updated: After all the research, I decided to call Rocky Woods, actually spoke to a nice person, no robots, and she told me that the iron on tape will probably peel off from the fleece backside, as I suspected. I will try the shoe goo on a scrap piece, since I already have that at home and they say it is similar to SeamGrip. If that doesn’t work either, I will simply sew a double seam, maybe a french like seam…that will also look good on the inside if it is not too bulky, or use some bias tape, maybe reflective…or who knows, I’ll play a little with the scraps…

P.S. After everything is sewn, here is how to take care of it:

How to sew outdoor fabrics:

Lots More Sewing

May 29, 2009

to come…

I just realized I can sew a lot more if you cut the same colored fabric out at a time, thread your machine, pin all the darts and seams that will be sewn first and just start sewing.
Following this theory of mine there was a lot of green on my desk these past two weeks.

  • a tunic with a decorative trip, Indian style with instructions on how to apply the embellishing band
  • 3 jersey T-Shirts or tops


  • a green dress with some crochet detail that I haven’t decided upon yet
  • a pair of thin stretch green pants

In the meantime we are planning a crazy backpacking camping trip to Europe. Me and my husband will start in Amsterdam, visiting the city and the surroundings, maybe even catch a train to Brussels for a gofre if we get the munchies one day. We plan on spending a few days hiking in the Alps, in Grindelwald a small tourist village close to Interlaken. Then we will be off to Salzburg, again in the mountains somewhere, to see the glacier, lakes and villages. We will be traveling by train, we have the opportunity of buying Interrail passes, since we are Romanian citizens and I know we will be missing out on so many things throught Europe and these 2 weeks will simply scratch the surface….but there will be 3 different countries, some city strolling and mountain hiking, a lot of photographs.
From Salzburg we will catch the train to Budapest, meet with my parents in law, drive to Valea Draganului, Romania, spend 3 days at the cabin.
5 days will be left for our home town of Cluj Napoca, Romania.

Why am I writing all this on a sewing blog? Just wondering what clothes to wear in fashionable Europe, while keeping my pack really light and having clothes for the mountain side and anythiung the weather will throw at me.

We will be doing a lot of walking through the cities, camping at high altitudes in the mountains so we need to be ready for anything.

Long sleeve tops in lightweight cotton would offer some protection from the sun. Like the tunic or the raglan tops with gathering around the neckline. These can be layered over a camisole, and taken off it is really too hot.

Shorts are cool for summer, but I think knee length pants are more stylish and are more practical for bike riding, etc. Lightweight jeans that convert into cropped version are also versatile. I wonder how these will look like with those hiking sandals… Linen feels great but it will be very wrinkly so I don’t think I’m going to pack that…I’m also thinking of packing some silk tops because they are so lightweight and dry easily, but those would be for wearing through Cluj where there won’t be a backpack on me…

Cotton is great and I love it, but for dry weather. It has no moisture wicking properties, on the contrary, it is very absorbent, so all the sweat from a day of walking/hiking will be stuck in the fabric, transforming it into wet sandpaper that irritates the skin.

So then I was looking online at those lightweight synthetic button down shirts, with UV protection that are perfect for hot wet weather. They wick moisture away and dry quickly. Essential if I’m going to pack light and wash my clothes often. A shirt I think will be always classic no matter what, so it will do for a walk throught any city and it will protect me from the sun and heat so I won’t have to wear that sticky sun screen lotion. Shirts like that from Columbia run around 30-50$ each and I think they look great for men, but they don’t really have a more feminine cut for us girls.

Another essential item I think would be a softshell breathable, waterproof or at least water repellent, moisture wicking jacket. This is great to have with you on the trail, at high altitudes where weather can play tricks with you and seasons can change by the hour. It will keep you insulated and dry. These can run up to over 200$ depending on what the label sais.

The downside with the synthetics is that they can become smelly after wearing for long hours.

You hear all these buzz words that add a lot of $$$ to prices, like SPF, water repellent, moisture wicking, breathable fabric, etc… I googled them and ended up finind this little online store called rocky woods:

They stock up all the fabrics I mentioned and are specialized in outdoor fabric. I’m not crazy about the pictures, because they do not portrait the fabrics, it is just boxes of color, so I’m not sure what to expect.

I just ordered today, all these for about 100$:

  • Burlington Moisture Control Sun Blocker Fabric for two long sleeved shirts (eucalyptus and brick red)
  • Burlington MCS Blocker Sun Protective Fabric Prints for two long sleeved shirts (Blue Plaid and Pink plaid)
  • Polartec Windbloc Laminate – Graphite/Brick
  • Gore┬« Soft Shell with microfleece liner – Grey- the last two are for a soft shell, that will have reflective zippers ans pockets

I’m sure this makes no sense and I can’t seem to see all these in a collection, but I do need to think about pieces that go together, can be layerd, are practical and easy to care for,┬á lightweight, do not wrinkle….

In the end, I’m pretty sure I’ll end up wearing the hiking clothes through the cities as well and look like the American tourist…

Locations to visit around Salzburg, not sure how we could get to all these places, we will probably need to choose:

View Salzburg, Grossglockner in a larger map