Thursday, August 2, 2012

Doodlebug Design for Riley Blake- Fabric Projects! Amy Butler Rainy Days Raincoat and Field Bag

 Did you know that Doodlebug designs the cutest fabrics for Riley Blake Fabrics?
You can see all the current Doodlebug fabrics HERE.

The design team got the opportunity to work with one of the newest Doodlebug fabric lines-

These beautiful fabrics are black, white, and grey, and you'll recognize the patterns from Doodlebug's fabulous paper!  How fun to have the same patterns on fabric!

I made two sewing projects:

The fabrics are available in cotton and a few patterns are also available in cotton laminate.
See the cottons HERE

I've always wanted to try making something with laminated cotton, so I took on the challenge!

This darling raincoat pattern is by Amy Butler.  It's the "Rainy Days Hooded Raincoat and Runabout Jacket."
You can find the pattern HERE. 

It was about 103 degrees outside when I took these pictures :)
I made the outer coat with the White Tuxedo Main Laminate
and lined the coat, hood, and pockets with White Tuxedo Stripe Cotton

If you're wanting to make this pattern you may be worried about the sizing like I was.
I'm 5'5 and a size 4/6 and I made the Medium Knee Length option.
The sleeves were really loose, though, so I altered them to a size small, and there's still plenty of room for a sweater underneath.
The coat goes exactly to the middle of my knee. 

Here's the darling lining fabric. 

A few tips on sewing with laminated cotton- then more photos:

1) Use a walking foot.  If you don't have a walking foot use a Teflon foot.
If you don't have either then put paper tape or masking tape on your presser foot.
Laminated cotton likes the metal on the machine and foot a little too much and they'll stick like you can't believe.  (You'll see a photo below of some stitching without the walking foot- not so straight)
Switch to the walking foot and all of a sudden it's the easiest thing you've ever sewn.

2)  Use binder clips instead of pins.  Pins will leave permanent holes.  I used my two year old's hair clips.  You can get binder clips at the fabric store.

3)  Use a pressing cloth to iron the fabric.  Iron on the wrong side, too.  Laminated cotton will melt if it gets too hot.

4)  Use all-purpose thread.  You don't want seams that are too strong.  If you're going to rip a seam you'd rather the thread break than the laminate tear.  You can't fix a tear.

5)  Check your bobbin thread often.  If your bobbin runs out when you're in the middle of a stitch, you'll kick yourself if you have to un-pick and start over because the old holes won't go away.

I sewed the entire coat except the button holes with black thread for some contrast.
You can see here that the walking foot was not used- not as easy to get your stitching straight.
The pockets are the first thing you sew.
I used the walking foot after that.

Here's a close-up of the pocket lining.
The buttons were made with the Imaginisce I-Top tool and I-Top Large Button Daddies.

The sleeves:

The belt:

The button holes:

The belt:

And project #2:
The Field Bag!
This is the Amy Butler "Field Bag and Tote." You can find the pattern HERE.

I am so in love with this HUGE bag!  It's the biggest bag I own! 
I used the Tuxedo Main Gray Cotton and the Tuxedo Daisy Gray Cotton for the main parts of the bag. 

Believe it or not this bag took three times as long to sew as the raincoat did.
It's got 8 yards of interfacing in it (double thick) as well as fusible fleece.
It stands up on it's own- no problem.

The cording took a bit of time to make.  I used a plain black fabric for it.  You'll need a zipper foot to make this bag.  I don't think it's possible without it.
I changed the top of the bag a little to make it more stiff.  I wanted the zipper to hold it's shape even when the bag's full of heavy stuff, so I stitched a horizontal line across the top and the fleece now holds it's shape.

The flower was made using the Tuxedo Basic Shades Slate cotton.
It's not part of the pattern, I just made it up.  I used a ruffler foot and then just rolled the ruffled piece into a flower and attached it to a badge pin so it's removable.

I also changed the inside of the bag a bit and divided the inner pockets, so instead of two large inner pockets, there are four.  They are still all large enough to hold a standard size notebook inside.

I hope you enjoyed my projects.
I had a ton of fun making them!

Thanks for visiting!


  1. Wow that's awesome and some nice rain boots and I'd be ready to splash!!!!!!

  2. okay. i know i've already made several comments tonight, but this is just ridiculous! no wonder you got this new job working with fabric--you are amazing!! i am so impressed. that's beautiful!


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