Topic: Sewing Tips
Hi Chumby Crafsters!
Been doing a lot of sewing for Chumbelina (an early alpha chumby)...time to share my discoveries. I have been a little quiet about this because I really don't know how things will change with the production chumbys and I don't want to misguide people. For example, I am hearing whispers about plastic parts being glued together and changing bezel shapes and tweaks to the flat pattern...Chumbians can you confirm or deny and update the craft developers section of the site, if necessary??? THX.
Now for some hints...I have been sewing cases and attaching them to the soft rubber surround of the chumby...among other interesting things...
What have I learned?
* Glue only works on the harder rubber surround.
* Sewing on to the soft rubber surround using a home sewing machine is really difficult (for me, anyway). If you have an industrial machine with a free arm, which is basically what is being used for the production chumbys, you will be OK. Still the stitching ability of the amazing Chinese people kindly sewing these together for us far outstrips my meagre abilities. I am using a sewing machine for internal seams and hand stitching the surround. Would love to hear from anyone who is achieving success on a home machine...
* Hand sewing around the soft surround is easy!!! Will put up some tutorials on my blog in the near future! I pin bit by bit gradually leap frogging the pins over each other as I stitch each curve. I have about 8 pins holding the work in place at any one time.
* The easiest type of fabric to sew is the non-woven variety. Stitching through leather or vinyl is quite hard on the hands. The fabrics I have used with greatest success have been acrylic and wool felt.
* Any fabric that doesn't fray is good...leaving a raw edge is the easiest...turned under edges are a wee bit fiddly! YMMV (I like simple...it makes the crafting much more fun...which is what it is supposed to be, after all!)
* The fabric that works best has a little stiffness to it. It seems to give the chumby a bit of structure and is easier to sew. Start thick and then move to thin is my advice.
But what about all those pretty cotton fabrics from Amy Butler, Heather Bailey and Reprodepot, I hear you ask???
Well...my best tip yet...get some light bonding spray glue from your local craft or quilting store. The products I mention may not be available in the U.S. but I am sure you will find similar. I am using Odif's 606 Fusible Web Spray and Fix. Cut out the pattern shapes in acrylic felt, spray them and then lay the gorgeous bit of cotton fabric on top. Trim flush to the edge for internal seams. Leave a 3/8 inch/ 1 cm allowance around the edges to be sewn onto the rubber surround. Clip the allowance on the curves and turn under neatly. Press into place. Then apply a bit of glue...spray glue can be a bit unwieldy for this bit. As it is out of sight, I use a liquid glue - Helmar's Wash 'n' Wear Fabric Glue. Put a heavy weight on your pieces and wait about four hours, until they are really dry. Then it is time to sew! You could also use an iron on interfacing, but I like the thickness of the acrylic felt.
Non-sewers...people handier with hot glue guns...may like to refer to Craft: Magazine's Issue 3 (p. 124). It contains a tutorial on how to hack chumby into your favourite furry friend. Kind of mutilates your original chumby casing though...but very easy for all to do!
Piccies coming to my blog soon...will post address asap...
Please let's hear it here, if you are keen for more of this type of info... I'd love to know if this info is useful to anyone...