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Sewing With Power Mesh

How to add power mesh to swimwear - a tutorial from Skirt Fixation

In preparation for the release of the Grace Tankini, we’ve been preparing a few tutorials for you.  Swimwear sewing is doable for the home sewist, and every tip and tutorial helps you achieve a more professional look.  Today we’re talking about power mesh.

How to add power mesh to swimwear - a tutorial from Skirt Fixation

Power mesh is a lightweight, sheer fabric used to add extra compression or support to swimwear.  The best power mesh fabric to use for swimwear is made from a nylon spandex blend, and has a 4 way stretch.  The amount of stretch varies, so you should look for power mesh with similar stretch properties to your main swim fabric and lining.

Speaking of lining, the most common application of power mesh is to add it to the wrong side of your lining.  Stay tuned for the tutorial below on just how to do that.  But power mesh can also be used in place of the lining altogether.

Why to Use Power Mesh:

Reasons you might want to add power mesh to your swimwear are: extra compression power, extend the life of your suit, and modesty if your main fabric is thin.  Keep in mind that the extra compression power may require you to go up a size when making your swimwear.  This is both because power mesh often has less stretch than regular swim fabric, and also because every layer of fabric you add to your suit can mean less stretch overall.

Power mesh is also often used as the briefs in men/boys swim trunks.   It comes in many different colors and even a few prints.  You should wash and dry your power mesh in the same way you plan to launder your finished suit.  For us that means a cold water wash and a line dry.

Power mesh usually costs between $3 and $15 per yard.  We’ve linked to some sources we recommend for power mesh below:
Power Mesh White Fabric  
from Fabric.com
Performance Fabric Power Mesh Tango Red   
from JoAnn Fabrics

Power Mesh from Amazon

Power Mesh from Peekaboo Pattern Shop

The Fabric Fairy 

Cali Fabrics

Mood Fabrics

Online Fabric Store has 16 different colors of power mesh

Stylish Fabrics

How to Use Power Mesh:

Now here’s a tutorial on how to add power mesh to your swimwear.  In this tutorial, the power mesh is nude colored, the lining is white, and the main swim fabric is red and white striped.

How to add power mesh to swimwear - a tutorial from Skirt Fixation

Step 1:
Just like all swim wear fabric and lining, power mesh is easer to cut flat instead of on the fold. Also, we find it easier to get a more accurate cut when using a rotary cutter rather than a scissors. When you have your power mesh cut out, pin it to the wrong side of your lining fabric. (If your lining doesn’t have a right or wrong side, just choose one!)

How to add power mesh to swimwear - a tutorial from Skirt Fixation

Step 2:
Baste the power mesh to the lining fabric inside the seam allowance (closer to the raw edges) around all sides of the pattern piece.

How to add power mesh to swimwear - a tutorial from Skirt Fixation

Here you can see the power mesh is now basted to the lining fabric.  Sometimes the basting causes the lining to curl up a little around the edges.  This is no biggie, and it will stop once you remove your basting stitches.

How to add power mesh to swimwear - a tutorial from Skirt Fixation

Above you can see the right side of the fabric now has a line of basting stitches close to the edge.

How to add power mesh to swimwear - a tutorial from Skirt Fixation

Step 3:
Pin your lining pattern pieces together as according to the pattern instructions, keeping in mind the power mesh is on the wrong side of the lining fabric.  Remember to use ballpoint pins so you don’t snag your fabric when sewing swimwear.

Step 4:
Sew your lining pieces together with a stretch stitch. You can see how this line of sewing is outside the 1st basted line of thread. After this step, remove your basting stitches if desired.

How to add power mesh to swimwear - a tutorial from Skirt Fixation

Step 5:
Finally, sew the lining to the main fabric as instructed. You can see the power mesh is sandwiched between the main fabric and the lining.

There you have it: how and why to use power mesh in your swimwear sewing.  Leave us your thoughts about power mesh below!

Affiliate links are used in this post.  If you click one of our affiliate links, we may make a few pennies at no extra cost to you.  We only like to really great produce we love and recommend!

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Forest Friends Pouch Tutorial

Free tutorial to make Forest Animal Pouches from Skirt Fixation

Free tutorial to make Forest Animal Pouches from Skirt Fixation

Did you fall in love with those sweet little forest friends pouches like we did yesterday?  With the leftover scraps from the Forest Floor Fabrics blog tour, we created these cute animal pouches, and today we’re going to teach you how!

Forest Friends Pouch Tutorial

Supplies:

Forest Friends Pocket pattern from Violette Field Threads.

Fabric Scraps (our specific fabric information at end of post)

Interfacing  (I used Pellon SF-101)

4 inch zippers – I used these:  

Buttons, ribbon, fake flowers, embellishments

Instructions:

Before you begin sewing, cut out interfacing for the head pieces and iron them onto the wrong side of the fabric.  This will enable your pouches to be structured rather than floppy.

Make the pockets as instructed, not including sewing on the buttons and embellishments.

Free tutorial to make Forest Animal Pouches from Skirt Fixation

Then, sew a 3 inch zipper to one side of the face. Gently curve the zipper to match the curve of the face.

Free tutorial to make Forest Animal Pouches from Skirt Fixation

Sew the other side of the zipper to the other side of the face, carefully lining up the ends and curving the zipper along the face as before.

Now, sew on the button eyes and any other embellishments you desire.

Cut a short length of ribbon and pin it in a loop just behind the animal’s ears.  This will be the handle.

Free tutorial to make Forest Animal Pouches from Skirt Fixation

Next, fold the two halves wrong sides together, sandwiching the zipper in between, and topstitch around the whole pouch, beginning at one end of the zipper and ending at the other end.

Finally, sew on the nose buttons.

One additional note: we embedded pipe cleaners in the rabbit’s ears because they are long and could be floppy without the pipe cleaners.  Unless you want floppy ears, of course!

Here is a list of fabrics we used to make these Forest Friends pouches:

Art Gallery Forest Floor Wild Posy Flora: Deer Head, Raccoon Ear

Art Gallery Forest Floor Luna Rising Shadow: Fox Head, Bunny Ears

Art Gallery Forest Floor Timber Nightfall: Raccoon Head, Fox Face

Art Gallery Forest Floor Capped Dim: Raccoon Eye, Deer Ears

Art Gallery Forest Floor Maple Mill Fog: Fox Ears

Art Gallery Forest Floor Jersey Knit Laced Moss: Deer Face

Art Gallery Forest Floor Jersey Knit Flourish: Rabbit Head

Free tutorial to make Forest Animal Pouches from Skirt Fixation

Let us know if you use this tutorial, we’d love to see your Forest Friends pouch creations!

Affiliate links have been used in this post because after all our hard work of sewing, we like to relax with a little fabric shopping…and every penny helps!

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Fast DIY Kimono Tutorial In 4 Easy Steps

Fast DIY Kimono Tutorial in 4 Easy Steps

Fast DIY Kimono Tutorial in 4 Easy Steps

DIY Kimono Tutorial in 4 easy steps.

During Kids Clothes Week, I made a kimono for my tween and promised a tutorial.  That’s what I have for you today, a quick and easy DIY Kimono Tutorial in 4 easy steps.  Why another DIY Kimono Tutorial, when the internet is full of them?  Mine’s easier, I promise!  How do I know this?  Well, a few weeks ago, my printer was out of ink (trust me, I’m getting there!) so I couldn’t print and make the skirt for All The Skirts that I wanted to, so I decided to try a kimono and started looking over all the tutorials out there.  Many were too complicated or confusing to even follow, but I muddled through enough of them to know there was an easier way to do it.  You see, kimonos are usually made out of some slightly sheer material like chiffon or something that frays and is hard to work with.  So the best way to do it is to make the least amount of exposed edges.  Less exposed edges means less fraying and fewer edges to have to keep from fraying.  So here’s the easy 4-step DIY Kimono Tutorial:

DIY Kimono Tutorial in 4 quick steps.

Pretty easy, huh?  But in case that leaves you with a few questions, here is a picture tutorial.

DIY Kimono Tutorial in 4 quick steps.

Begin with a rectangle of fabric double your desired finished length X width of fabric.  Fold this rectangle in half, right sides together.

DIY Kimono Tutorial in 4 quick steps.Cut an “A” shape through ONE layer only, with the top of the “A” hitting in the center of the fabric.  (Eyeball it!)

DIY Kimono Tutorial in 4 quick steps.

On one edge, measure down 12-18 inches from the fold, and start pinning there.  Pin across 12-18 inches, then down to the bottom edge of the fabric.   Repeat on other side.

DIY Kimono Tutorial in 4 quick steps.

Sew the two layers together following the pins.  Repeat on other side.

Step5

Cut away the excess close to your seam.

DIY Kimono Tutorial in 4 quick steps.

If you don’t have a serger, zigzag the edge.

DIY Kimono Tutorial in 4 quick steps.

Fold over two times to make a tiny hem around the sleeves.  Fold and hem around the bottom and up and down the front opening all in one continuous seam.

DIY Kimono Tutorial in 4 quick steps.

Strut it in your new kimono baby!  I realize my kimono fabric is a lot like Annie from The Enantiomer Project,  but I do think her kimono is the prettiest I’ve ever seen and wanted to duplicate it as close as possible.  I found my fabric at JoAnns.

DIY Kimono Tutorial in 4 quick steps.

I didn’t know I needed a kimono until I made this one!  Now I wear it a lot.

Easy DIY Kimono Tutorial

It’s a great way to be able to nurse discreetly in public…all that flow-yness is so awesome!

DIY Kimono Tutorial in 4 quick steps.

This DIY Kimono Tutorial is so fast you’ll have time to make it and a decent supper tonight…what are you waiting for?

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How to Make a Pattern From a Skirt

Today I’m going to show you how to make a pattern from a skirt and then tomorrow I will show you how to modify that pattern into a skirt for every season!  Do you remember this skirt?

thrift store skirtI used it to make the lining for Annie’s raincoat.  But if you remember, I loved it and wore it and wore it and finally wore it out!  So before I cut it up to make the lining of Annie’s raincoat, I took a pattern off of it.

lining cut from a skirtGood thing I did, because when I was done it looked like this!  Making a pattern from a skirt is very easy to do.  You will only need a piece of lightweight, non-glued interfacing.  Fold your skirt in 1/2 and trace over the top of the skirt onto the interfacing.  Then add any extra needed allowance at the top for the darts.  There was one dart on the top of my skirt 1/2, so I tapered the top out an extra inch away from the skirt and added a dart marking where the dart was on the skirt.

dart and zipperYou can see where I have marked the dart and the bottom of the zipper here.  Now cut out around your markings on the interfacing.  For a waistband, you need to cut out a rectangle 2.5 inches wide and 4 times as long as the top of your interfacing pattern.  For example, the top of my pattern was 9 inches across, so I cut out a 2.5” x 36” rectangle.   Because of the 4 pleats around the skirt, and the seam allowances, this will allow you plenty of  length to make the overlapping ends of the waistband.

interfacing patternThere you have it!  A pattern from a skirt!  you didn’t think it was going to be that easy did you?  With this very basic skirt pattern you can make so many variations, and tomorrow I’m going to show you 4 different skirts I made, one for every season, from taking this pattern from a skirt.  How about you, have you ever made a pattern from a skirt or any piece of existing clothing?

Make it beautiful,

Audrey