Friday, January 20, 2012

Ripstop: Here's Hoping I Don't Burn Down the House

Spoiler Alert: Dr Kiang, if you happen to be reading this - which I highly doubt, as you are a new mom -  you should stop before you ruin the surprise of the diaper bag I'm making you. Or you could always read on if you've had too many surprises recently.  ;-)

First off, thanks everyone who commented on my 4 pattern dress battle. I'm waiting for double knit to arrive and, in the interim, will be tracing the Burda sheath dress using my new double tracing wheel. The Vogue sheath is officially dead at the muslin stage. More on all this next week.

Butterick 4560

What I've got on the sewing table right now is a diaper bag pattern that I've sewn twice before (here and here), which sounds like it could be a boring project, right? No fitting, no new techniques to learn, no mysterious instructions to sort out... But I'm really excited about it thanks to a new wild card I've added: ripstop.

See, I think that the diaper bag ought to suit the mom, not the baby. So, for my excellent friend Dr Kiang, I wanted to pick a fabric that exuded a sense of urban hipness, since her style is much more Brooklyn Industries than Vera Bradley. So, I bought some supremely cool quilted camo ripstop.

If Vera Bradley was a hipster... LOL

And the lining will be a non-quilted magenta ripstop that I found at Chic Fabrics. More than once when I've been looking for something specific that was harder to find - like magenta ripstop - Chic Fabrics has come through. 

Anyway, I consulted with Sandra Betzina about ripstop, since it is a new-to-me fabric. And she said, "Ripstop is a lightweight, wind resistant nylon... Some ripstops have a durable finish that makes them water repellant as well." And she also said, "Edges must be sealed during cutting or immediately after with a candle flame." Yikes! Apparently, the stuff ravels, which seems incredibly odd in a fabric called ripstop, don't you think?!?!

I'm not so worried about the quilted ripstop, but the non-quilted definitely seems ravel-prone. Anyway, most of the parts are cut and I asked Phineas to help me apply fire to the edges this weekend. That way, if I end up burning down the house, at least I'll have an accomplice.

The only other things really to note about sewing ripstop is that you should use a small stitch, microtex needle and hold the fabric taut in front and back as you sew.  French seams or a 4-thread overlock were also recommended for seams.

Happy weekend sewing, everyone!


annie said...

You brought back memories of many FrostLine kits I made. I didn't burn down the house but I did burn my fingers, singed the inside of my nose, and worst of all, created some interesting scallops in the edges of the ripstop. And yes, I've always wondered why they called it that. Great project.

Marie-Christine said...

Frostline kits seem to have imprinted many of us :-).. Do practice a bit on scraps before you attack the main fabric. And most of all, do take this outside, as ripstop vapors are most definitely carcinogenic, if not also short-term toxic. That said, the stuff does ravel horribly, and does need to be sealed. You could use massive amounts of fray-check, but it wouldn't be any less toxic.

Clio said...

Wow, I've never heard of a Frostline Kit before. Thanks for the tips and warnings!