Friday, July 13, 2012

"True Tracy Design"

First off, is anyone having trouble coming to my blog?  I added a thingy for the MKing web ring, and sometimes when I click on my blog, it's coming up with the webring page instead.  Let me know.

I decided I wanted a water bottle holder.  I'm tired of carrying my big purse just so I can jam my bottle in.  I'm tired of carrying the other kids' bottles.  I'm tired of not having my water because I had no way to carry it easily.  I saw on that she had made a water bottle cozy from a sweater sleeve.  I had somewhat forgotten this when I embarked on my design, but I did use a sleeve.  The sweater had a weird folded back cuff that I had to deal with.  I just used my limited design skills to design a cylinder with a folded down, to the outside, casing for a strap.  I cut a strip off the bottom of the sweater because it had a nice design, folded it over, and also added two additional plain sections that I thought I needed for length, and I thought they'd be hidden in the casing.  Then I made a second one, using the other sleeve.

Well.  Issues galore.  I worried about the strap stretching, and it did.  Big time.  It also pulled up over the bottle, and just looked bad.  You can see that I had just knotted the straps because I wasn't sure about length, stretching, and if maybe sometimes we'd want to tie them to something, or if someone of a different size was using it.
I went back to the Resweater blog and looked at her's.  Well, she didn't have a strap.  Meg then asked for her own, but didn't like any of the sweaters available.  I knew I had to do some googling.  I found a tutorial for a reversible holder.  That would work with sweaters, although I started with sweatshirt material and hot pink fleece for Meg's.
Things started out great.  Then I went to sew the circle on the bottom.  On mine, I had kept the sleeve seam, so I just had to sew the circle on.  I just traced around the bottom of the bottle to figure out the size.  This tutorial has you do (easy) math to make the circle, which worked well.  But then you sew the circle to the flat rectangle before the side seam.  It doesn't really explain how to do this well.  You have to leave 1/4" flap at each end, of the rectangle.  Yeah, not the easiest thing to line up.  As I was almost done sewing on the circle, I had a thought...did I sew it to the right edge of the rectangle--one side was 9", one was 9 3/4", and which was which?  Luckily I had sewn it to the right end!  I made a mental note to always check that.  Then it came time for the straps.  I was skipping the steps with the batting, so I got a little confused...I really don't think the tutorial is written well.  I had this white webbing from a "SSC" (soft structured baby carrier) I was going to sew.  Perfect for this project.  But the tutorial doesn't say how long to make the strap!

 I wasn't sure how it would be reversible, but it worked!  So, I set about trying to re-work the sweater ones  I made.  This was a bit more challenging, since I didn't want to/couldn't undo the sleeve seam.  I also snipped a small hole in the sleeve on the left, so I did a little applique from a piece of the sleevehead--I wouldn't be able to use that part of the sleeve for other projects since it's a set in sleeve.  And, when I was trying to figure out the size of the inner piece, I snipped it, instead of getting a marker, and it turned out to be in the wrong spot.  Just a little snip, once I had it all together, I put some Fray Check on it.
For the bottle on the left, I used a polyester top that I had sewn and never liked so I hadn't really finished it.  For the strap, I cut the neck ties off the shirt, and top stitched them on the original wool strap (shortened).  For the middle bottle, I used some blue/beige seersucker from the stash.  For the strap, I made a tube and thread the original wool strap into it (thereby obscuring the details that were on the original).  These two are not reversible...well they are, but they won't fit onto my water bottle if I reverse them.  It was hard to get the sizing right.  If I were doing this again, I'd slice open the sweater sleeve to ensure the two body pieces are the same size.  These carriers are much better than my original carriers, and I envision more to come.

The reason for the title....often when I make things, plan things, do things, I don't start with the easiest way.  I dive in.  Rob (my husband) often says " true Tracy design....." (or "fashion" or "style") when I'm doing something like this, in a way different than how he'd do it with his engineer brain.  Yet, even he acknowledges that it turns out in the end.  I'm thinking of this as my new "business" name  :)

1 comment:

Cindy/KS said...

I think the web-ring thing got me last night. I know I thought I had tried to read you post last night but didn't see it in the ones I opened up, but I did have a mk web-ring page that was open.

right along the lines of something I have been thinking about, but more to keep my drinks cold than for carrying with me. I don't use ise because of temperature sensitivites.