Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Nana nana nana nana BATGIRL!

Am I comic book nerd? Not so much these days. I still love comics, don't get me wrong, but my money tends to go on household shit and fabric and novels these days, so when I do buy comics, it's because I really love them.
I haven't actually bought anything by DC in several years, since they launched their New 52 and mutilated a bunch of my favourite characters (John Constantine, the Midnighter, Apollo, the list goes on).
I'm not even that much of a Batman fan; too much ego and wangsting, and one of my exes was VERY into Batman, which was always a bit creepy. That said, I do love the hangers on of the Bat-family; Tim Drake was my Robin, I guess, but I love Stephanie Brown, Dick Grayson should always lead with the crotch, and his love for Barbara Gordon is the best thing ever. Actually, Barbara Gordon is the best thing ever. I love her as Batgirl, but really she's at her best when she's Oracle, snarking and controlling all the chess pieces. It's a shame they'll never release Oracle fabric (that would be awesome).

Anyway, WAY back at the beginning of the year, I bought some Batgirl fabric from Plush Addict, with the intention of making a Swoon Eloise (I think that was the pattern), but it was discontinued before I had a chance to buy it, and the fabric languished while I hunted for a suitable wallet pattern.
Then, sneakily, Swoon released their Pearl pattern, and lo and behold, there was a wallet!

If you've had the misfortune of following me on Instagram, you'll know I've been off work sick the last couple of days (I'm back in today because I was getting bored) and after scrubbing my kitchen (the concept of "rest" is something I have problems with) on Monday, I figured I needed a project for Tuesday.
I'd bought and printed the Pearl pattern last week, and also ordered some Wonder Woman fabric (see a theme) but that hasn't arrived, so I went back to the Batgirl, and in the space of about 5 hours, had made myself a brand new wallet :D

This is described as having a difficulty of 2/4, and that you need some familiarity with sewing terms and have a rough idea of how to sew. I'll agree with that. There's nothing earth shattering in here; lots of interfacing and stabilisers (also ordered last week) and magnetic snaps (the ones I ordered were wrong; they only sent me two male fittings, thankfully I had one lying around from ages ago, and the knitting shop up the road came through with a second one; they don't match, but I'm not fussy) and a zipper (bright red, to match Bab's hair).
You need to be able to do some careful measuring for the card slots, and a decent iron as there is quite a lot of ironing interfacing, and the card slots need ironing, and a zipper foot is needed for the insertion of the zip (my machine and zipper feet just don't get on). Your machine also needs to be able to handle a LOT of layers; I don't have a walking foot or anything like that, but slow and steady and some hand cranking got me through.

This was my pile of organised chaos as I cut and ironed everything. I did screw up ironing the bi-fold stabiliser down; I did it so that each piece was on either side of the fold line when they should have been crossing the fold line. I'm not sure if this was badly worded instructions or me being too full of cold to understand...

1 shows what I did originally, while 2 is what I should have done. Please excuse the shoddy illustration, I'm using the work software which isn't brilliant.

These are the instructions; I thing the diagram could be a bit clearer, but that's just me. It was the only issue I had with the instructions (other cock ups were down to me not reading things).
This was rectified fairly easily; the interfacing and stabiliser came away from the fabric easily enough, and while they weren't salvageable, the fabric thankfully was (as there wouldn't have been enough to cut a second piece from)

I decided to do all my top stitching in red (actually, the bobbin was red as well, as it was what I had to hand) because I didn't have a suitable blue or yellow, and didn't really want to use black.

Barring the fact that my machine is useless at sewing zips in, the zipper foot isn't actually a lot of help, the zip went on easily enough (once I'd got my head round how the fabric all went together, but that was me being thick, not the instructions) and then the turning. This always terrifies me, especially when there's that many layers of thick stabiliser. It was clunky, but it actually turned fairly easily. The lining is slightly too big for the inside, but nothing too horrific, and I swapped out the pull on the zip for the Bat Symbol one I bought at the start of the year.

As wallets go, it's a bit bigger than I usually prefer, but it's Batgirl, so I'm really not complaining. I'm tempted to use it as a gift pattern; but I'm fussy about wallets and I suspect plenty of other people are as well, so I'm not sure.

All in all, a good make. It took about 5 hours (there were tea breaks and lunch breaks and staring at the internet forlornly while my sewing machine cooled down breaks and staring at the internet while my nose decongested for a while breaks) to make, and barring the interfacing and stabiliser, which are not things I usually have to hand, was pretty simple to pull everything together for.

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