Thursday, December 1, 2011

On the Lam{inate}!

Several months ago while on a little fabric browsing/post office/Trader Joe's run across the border, I picked up a few chunks of laminated cotton fabric. I haven't used it very much, but thought I'd try making a couple of pouches with laminate on the outside and cotton on the inside.

Trying out some different settings on my new camera, I took this picture in diffused daylight (overcast, but bright light, no direct sun) in aperture priority setting.

Laminated cotton pouches by Poppyprint

Hmm. The depth of field was so narrow, only the pens are in focus. I'm pretty sure you're not here to see pictures of office, I returned to full AUTO mode for this next one, and stood back a little as well.

Laminated cotton pouches by Poppyprint

There, now you can see the pouch in focus as well as the pens. That's better. I can see it's going to take me a while to get the hang of close up photography with the DSLR. It was a no-brainer with my little point and shoot on the cute little tulip (macro) setting.

Laminated cotton pouches by Poppyprint

The cupcake ribbon is so cute and looks perfect with all that pink! I recently purchased a teflon foot for my Pfaff and it was a dream to topstitch the laminate with it. I had tried topstitching with a piece of tissue paper between the laminate and a regular metal foot, but the tension went all wacky so the stitches looked terrible. If you're planning to do a lot of laminate sewing, I would highly recommend the teflon!

Laminated cotton pouches by Poppyprint

Now, I need advice on how to get rid of the wrinkles that result when turning the pouch right side out. I pressed the finished pouch through two layers of cotton pressing cloth (no steam), but the wrinkles didn't iron out. Any tips?

These pouches, the fleece sweater, some gloves and a notebook are heading to a young girl we sponsor in Ecuador. I made two pouches and decided to send both in case she has a friend without a sponsor that she'd like to share with. I really should have had them in the mail a few weeks ago!


Amy Friend said...

This just reminded me to add a teflon foot to my Christmas wishlist. I sent Mark a few links at work ;) I didn't have the strange tension issue with tissue paper though. That's odd. I have no suggestions on the wrinkles....

Heather D. said...

The pouches are so cute! And I have to say, I like the photo where just the pens are in focus! All in the eye of the beholder, right?

Mrs Flying Blind... said...

Oh your recipient is going to be a chuffed little girl.
I know nothing about wrinkles (I wish!!) x

Needled Mom said...

Those are darling!!! I just read the other day about those wrinkles and bookmarked the site. Here it is:

Good luck!

Jennie {Clover and Violet} said...

A quick note about aperture priority, the bigger the number, the broader the focus. I saw your camera and you're using the 50mm f/1.8, right? Set the aperture to 2.2 and try should see more. Also, try moving your angle to adjust where the lens is focusing.

And your pouches are super cute! I've not worked with laminated cotton before, but am curious to try!

Live a Colorful Life said...

Cute pouches. And I'm going to try Jennie's suggestions on camera settings too!

Kristie said...

These are cute! I am sure they will be appreciated. Love the ribbon detail!

Marie said...

I've used laminate without the Teflon foot with no problem. I procrastinated because I wasn't sure how I was going to sew without pinning pieces together. The link to Pink Chalk Studio is one place I went to for reference. You can use the clips that look like barrettes for your hair to hold the pieces together. I made the Jane Market bag from I love it! Its a great size and fun to make.
Have fun your new camera!

amy dame said...

they're so cute! i have a few pieces of laminated cotton that i've been saving (hoarding) for the right project, so i haven't sewn much with it, but i've sewn tons and tons with vinyl, which is pretty similar.

i'd try pressing it with steam, that usually helps. you can also stuff the pouches with plastic bags and hang them in the bathroom during showers. i have a few tote bags made out of laminate and oilcloth, and i've found that the wrinkles usually work their way out with time too.

i love my teflon foot, it was the best $10 i've ever spent, sewing-wise (the best non-sewing was this amazing pair of boots...). i actually worn mine out and had to replace it last year! also super handy for vinyl/laminate work? a box of mini-bulldog clips! they work great for "pinning".

**nicke... said...

i see you are having fun with your new camera. i love the picture when the pens are only in focus. i love those types of pics. i have no tips on laminate fabrics... i would probably have pressed right on the fabric and melted it before i realized what i was doing. ;)

Katy Cameron said...

Okay, no tips on the wrinkles as I've never had laminate wrinkle, but I can help you with the photos.

Firstly there are 3 things that feed into the amount of light that shines onto your camera sensor, aka the exposure:

1. Aperture

2. Shutter speed

3. ISO

When you're in full auto mode, the camera chooses the best combination of these 3 things to give you the best lit photo.

In Aperture Priority mode (A), you choose your own aperture and you usually get to set the ISO manually or set it to auto, then the camera chooses the best shutter speed to give you the best lit photo. This mode is usually used for static shots, such as landscapes, buildings, macro etc

In Shutter Priority mode (S), you choose the shutter speed you want, set the ISO as above and the camera chooses the best aperture to give you the best lit photo. This mode is usually used for moving shots, such as sports, portraits of kids etc.

In full manual you can do whatever your little heart desires ;o)

Usually, people tend to stick with an ISO of about 100 or 200, since the higher that number goes, the grainier the picture tends to be (though not nearly as badly as the first DSLRs) So if you leave that as fixed for now, the only 2 things you need to worry about are your aperture and shutter speed.

If you imagine that the working end of the lens has a hole (the aperture) that opens up to take the photo (imagine the beginning of the James Bond films) then the wider the hole, the more light gets in. Just to confuse you though, the lower the number eg 1.8, then the bigger the hole. What happens though, is that the bigger the hole, the more the amount of the photo around your focal point drops out of focus.

The best way to discover how aperture works, is to go into your nicely lit area with a cereal box (or something similar) which has text on it. Set your camera up on a tripod, or something stable, and put the box about 1m away (it's important that the camera and box don't move once you've started). Choose a focal length on your lens that gets the whole cereal box in (if it's too small in the photo at the lens' longest focal length, move the box a bit closer) Choose single point focus, and select a focus point on the text on your box. Put your camera in Aperture priority mode, and starting at the lowest number you can go, take a photo. Repeat this going up through the numbers (I'd suggest every other aperture value, or every 3rd one if you don't want to be there all day!)

Have a look on your computer screen at the difference in the photos and you should be able to see the effect of changing aperture on how much of the box is in sharp focus. You should also be able to see how the shutter speed changes, if you haven't been able to hear it as you took the photos.

In a stably lit area, the lower your aperture number, the higher your shutter speed number will be and vice versa. The reason for this is that as you decrease the size of the hole (increase the aperture number), you need to leave the shutter open for longer for the same amount of light to hit the sensor, and light the photo in the same way.

Sorry if that was a bit too much of a lecture (especially for a first comment!)

Oh, and don't be afraid to a) jack up your ISO for better indoor shots, and b) actually use your flash. Mostly the people that dismiss using flash don't know how to use it properly, but alas, for those of us ridiculously high up in the northern hemisphere, we don't get the luxury of lovely outdoor shots for everything (not least because here in Scotland it rains half the time ;o) )

Kirsty @ Bonjour Quilts said...

Those cupcakes are super cute - match the bags to a tee. Haven't tried laminate yet, but very keen to. It's just that they can't fit that much of it in a flat rate envelope so it's rather pricey to send. Will wait til I get back to Australia and hunt some up there. Thanks for the tip on the teflon foot - I'd heard the tissue tip, but not about the foot.

Kate said...

I have no advice to give about taking pictures. Yours look lovely - I really need to do a course.

And what wrinkles - looks great to me!

Dianne said...

Cute pouches K, and I love th elittle cupcake tabs. I also saw no wrinkles but am happy others had some suggestions for them and for your camera questions. Alas photography is an area in which I have zero expertise.

Unknown said...

Cute pouches! You're such a sweetie to send gifts to your sponsored child. She'll love this stuff!

Looks like you're having fun experimenting with the new camera. Still, these short days are killer, aren't they?