Tag Archives: complex cloth

An unlined, un-quilted Wild Onion Jacket

I was recently contacted by Judy Carpenter, a fellow member on the Complex Cloth yahoo group. Judy had purchased my Wild Onion Jacket Master Pattern, and was planning on making an unlined, reversible jacket.

After a few emails back and forth, Judy decided to go for it– with incredible results. With her permission, I am posting photos of both the “right” side of her jacket, and the reversible lining– both are incredible fabrics, and the jacket is equally wearable on each side!

Judy lives in the South, and wanted an unlined, unquilted jacket. To accomplish this, she first sewed the arm/side seams of each jacket part (“right” side and lining). She then placed the two parts right sides together (the sleeves will be hanging loose– don’t try to stuff them inside of each other), and sewed along the front edges, the neck edge, and the bottom back edge, leaving an opening to turn the jacket right side out. Once Judy turned the jacket right sides out, pulling it through the opening in the bottom back edge, she pressed and top-stitched along the outer edges, in lieu of binding.

Judy noted that although she hemmed the sleeve edges first on this jacket, in the future, she plans on turning the sleeve hems and topstitching them after the jacket body has been completed.

To see more photos of this jacket and Judy’s other, creative fiber adventures, please visit her blog or website by clicking on these links.

What a successful Wild Onion Jacket! I love the idea of a light weight jacket– kind of like a cardigan, but more polished. Plus, that fabric, Judy! YUMMY!!

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Tutorial: how to make a shower curtain

Making a shower curtain from your own fabric is a really simple project.  This tutorial is in two parts.  Part one will deal with creating the fabric curtain.

First, measure your space. You need to know how wide the tub is (usually 72-74″) and how long you want your curtain.

To get your width, measure your tub space. You have several design choices to make at this point. You can simply measure your shower curtain liner and make your curtain the same width. This will result in a more tailored looking curtain.  You can use your curtain liner as a template to mark off the holes for the curtain rings onto your fabric curtain.

If you want more fullness in your fabric shower curtain, you have several options. You can multiply the tub width by 1 1/2 or even 2x the width to get a more gathered looking curtain.

Generally speaking, your shower curtain liner will have holes for 12 curtain rings.  To create the hole spaces for your fuller fabric shower curtain, you can take your full curtain width and divide that measurement evenly to accommodate the 12 holes. This plan keeps the full width of the curtain protected by the liner, but you might find some of the fabric curtain drooping in between the rings when the curtain is closed.

Another option for the fuller fabric shower curtain is to space 12 holes to line up with the shower curtain liner, then add extra holes for additional curtain rings to account for the extra width of the fabric curtain. The curtain will then extend beyond the curtain liner at either or both ends.

To get the length, I hung one of my shower curtain rings, then measured from the bottom of that down to the floor. Take that number (X”) and add 1/2″ to that measurement to account for the part of the curtain that extends beyond the top of the grommet and into the curtain ring itself (X” plus 1/2″). Now, subtract 1″ from the bottom edge of the curtain hem, to keep the curtain up off of the potentially wet floor (X” plus 1/2″ minus 1″). Finally, add 3″ for the top edge (2 x 1 1/2″– you will end up with 3 thicknesses of fabric at the top edge of your curtain), and 3″ for the bottom hem.

To recap the length: measure from curtain ring to floor, add 5 1/2″ to get your total length, including the top and bottom hems.

Once you have the proper width (sewing lengths together as needed) and length, you will sew the outer edge hems (or leave them as selvedges, if that aesthetic is okay).  I press about 1/2″, then fold that over and press again, then top-stitch.  Repeat for the other edge.

For the top edge, press 1 1/2″ all along the width of the curtain.  Fold over, and press again, then top- stitch.  You should now have 3 thicknesses of fabric, with a 1 1/2″ hem at the top edge.

For the bottom edge, press 1/2″ all along the width of the curtain.  Fold over 2 1/2″, press, then top stitch.   Note:  I usually wait to hem the bottom after the curtain has been hanging in place for a week, to let the fabric relax and stretch if it’s going to.

Up next:  grommets!  With photos!!


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shower curtain

It seems like the cousin of Murphy’s Law goes into effect when you remodel a home: no matter where you start the remodel, you end up remodeling every corner of the house. My house has proved no exception to the rule; we now find ourselves working our way through the house from one end to the other.

One desperately needed upgrade has been the bathrooms. The cabinets and fixtures are the originals from 1976… old, dated, falling apart. The boy’s bathroom got the first re-do:

The cabinet was a dining room buffet piece that Mr. Wild Onion re-finished. The granite is a beautiful rusty gold, with slate tiles as the surrounding backspash. The mirror was a Costco find.

The shower curtain is the point of this post, however.  I couldn’t find a store-bought curtain that looked nice in this elegant bathroom.  One day, I noticed that Mr. Wild Onion had pulled out a piece of my rusted, overdyed fabrics and draped it over the shower curtain rod.  What’s this??  Mr. W.O. is playing in my stash??  Get out!!

Turns out he hasn’t decided to learn how to quilt (phew– my stash is safely MINE!!) He just thought that the fabric looked good in the bathroom.  OH!!  Cool!! He has a very good eye for color and texture, and I agreed that the fabric really added some great texture in the room.

A shower curtain has a lot of fabric, so I had to create some rusty art cloth specifically for the project.  I got out some white cotton, dampened it in a water/vinegar mixture, and tossed it (artfully, of course) into my trusty rusty wheelbarrow.

A week later, after turning and misting the fabric daily, I had enough lovely rusty fabric for the curtain.  I added some whimsically cut chocolate brown squares to mimic the slate tile squares in the backsplash/bathtub area.  I love how it turned out, and thought you might like to see an example of how to use your own art cloth:

Here’s another fairly gratuitous photo, just because I do so love the rusty texture!

Next up:  a tutorial on adding grommets


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Thermofax screened fabric and discharge paste

I promised you photos of the beautiful fabric Judy gave me as a thank you for hosting Dye Day 2008:

Judy took a photo of some drain pipes featuring her favorite totem, the circle. Andi made the thermofax screen, then Judy went to town, creating this special fabric. I haven’t put it away yet– I like to walk by and admire it. I also received the discharge paste as a little sump’in sump’in!

Ahhhh. I love prezzies from my artsy friends!

Thanks again, Judy!


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