Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A Shirt for Me

View D (sleeve from view A)

Other than sleeve length change, no modifications were made.

Next time:
--Finish seam allowances, especially along the sleeves
--Shorten skirt by about 4-inches
--Use double-fold bias tape for the drawstring

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Toddler Undershirts

I did not like the choices the stores offer in undershirts for little girls.  I can find spaghetti strap camisoles very easily but I do not like them because a.) I am not a big fan of spaghetti straps in general and b.) when my step-daughter had those the straps were constantly falling off her shoulder.  I tried to find tank tops with wider straps but I couldn't find them small enough for my two-year old and what I did find were not just plain white; they were pink and purple or had pictures on them.  One day I was over at made-by-rae and I saw a pattern for tank tops for boys from Fishsticks and Fries (this post).  After much study in the use of knits I decided to give it a shot.  I altered the pattern slightly to be a little shorter, have a slight scoop neck, and have cap sleeves.  I also used 100% cotton interlock knit, which was nice because the edges don't curl and it is a little thicker so therefore much easier to work with.  I used a walking foot with my longest stitch length (my walking foot does not work with a zig-zag stitch).  It worked really well.

Here are the steps I took:
1. Right sides together, stitch the shoulders together.
2. Hem the sleeve ends by rolling the fabric under 1/4" and stitching down.  Since knits don't fray I did not roll over to cover the raw edges.  That helps keep down the bulk.
3. Attach elastic to the neck: sew upside-down on the right side, flip inside, topstitch to hold it down.  I used decorative elastic trip so it would be prettier.  The elastic was slightly shorter than the neck opening so I stretched it a little as I was sewing.  The Tank pattern has a great description of how to fit the neck edge on without having some areas too tight and others too loose.
4. Right sides together sew side seams together.  I started at the bottom and went upward toward the sleeve because it seemed easier.
5. Hem the bottom.  I turned the bottom inside approximately 1/2" and then did that again so the raw edges were hidden there.

It was really quick to put them together.  I bought 1 1/2 yards of 60" white interlock fabric (40% off coupon) and 3 yards of decorative elastic trim (20% off) from Fabric Depot here in Portland.  When all was said and done I got 7 undershirts, each costing approximately $1.50.

Quilt for a Girl

My oldest daughter recently moved up to a big girl bed and therefore needed a new quilt.  The backing is made from cotton flannel.  The front is made up of colorful squares and strips of white.  It is not noticeable on the picture but the white is white flowers on a white background.  The binding is just the white folded over to the back.  I accidentally cut too much off he corners when binding so I added triangles of white; it looks like I meant to do it.  The filling is two layers of cotton batting.  When sewing it together I made strips out of the blocks and sewed the strips together then sewed white strips down the long sides.  Once the top was assembled I quilted all of the layers together then bound the edges.  It was surprisingly quick.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Butterick B4054

Another Butterick 4054:

Size 2; Quilting Cotton.  I used homemade brown bias tape for the collar.  I like the quilting cotton because it is a little heavier; good for a winter dress and holds up nicely to an active two-year-old.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Explorer Bags

Our family likes to go on hikes and the boys have a tendency to pick up random findings along the way. I have been thinking about making these bags for quite some time so I have had a lot of time to work out the details in my head. I was able to make them using remnants that I just had laying around. Each bag is lined with a lighter material on the inside to hide the seams and brighten up the insides so things can be spotted easily.

The bags are made up of rectangles of 3 different sizes. For the body of the bag cut 10"x7": 2 for the lining and 2 of the outer fabric. For the flap and the front pocket cut 10"x9": 2 of the outer fabric for the flap and 1 of another fabric for the pocket. For the sides and bottom cut a strip 2"x21": 1 for the lining and 1 of outer fabric. I used iron-on interfacing on all of the pieces to give the bag some stability. To attach the straps to the bag I used small pieces of the outer fabric (but I don't know the exact measurements).

Make the pocket first. Fold the piece in half longways so you have a piece that now measures 5"x9". Top stitch along the folded edge with about 1/4" seam allowance. Place on the front piece of outer body fabric. Position, stitch to form desired pockets. Trim the pocket fabric to be even with the outer body fabric. Raw edges will be eliminated in the bag assembly.

To assemble the bags start with sewing the front and back sections of the outer fabric to the side/bottom strip. Be sure to line up the top along the strip so the bag isn't offset. Do the same for the lining but leave a hole in the bottom of part of the lining to flip the bag and conceal the seams when the lining and bag are attached later.

Sew the flap pieces right side together on 3 of the sides (2 long edges and 1 short edge). I opted for curving the flap but it can be left square too. Flip the flap so the right sides are out. Press. Top stitch around the 3 sewn edges.

Sandwich all of the pieces together, right sides together, flap tucked in between the lining and the bag body. Line up the seams. Sew around the opening. Flip through the hole in the lining. Press the mouth of the bag and top stitch. Sew up the hole in the lining.

To attach the straps (I used 1" wide cotton belting, just shy of 2 yards long). The strap hardware I found, after much searching, at Mill End Fabrics in Portland for $0.29 a piece. Use a small piece of coordinating fabric to attach to the bag (I made a tube and folded in raw edges to I don't have stray strings). Thread the strap. I just looked at the strap on my diaper bag to figure it all out. I used a strap adjuster so the kids could use the bags for years to come. The same size strap fits all of my children (19 months to 8 years old).

Monday, June 13, 2011

Baby Pants and Shoes

My friend just had a baby so I made her some newborn pants and shoes. The brown pants are made of a soft, very pliable corduroy that someone gave me a while back. The others are flannel. For both pants I used Made by Rae's Newborn Baby Pants Pattern. The pattern is made for cloth diapered babies so there is extra room in the booty but I know my friend only uses disposable diapers so for the flannel pair I flipped the pattern upside down and made the legs the booty. It ended up being a little lower in the waist than I would have liked but they fit him well.

For the shoes, I used a modified version of the Stardust baby shoes pattern (I feel like the toes of that pattern were a bit too club-footed for my taste). I used the same fabrics as on the pants - corduroy for the outside (even the bottom) and flannel on the lining. These shoes are size 0-6 months. On the bigger shoes I like to use JiffyGrip to provide traction for beginning walkers.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cutest Dress Ever

Dress and Pinafore made from Butterick B4054. Dress is view A; Pinafore is view H but without the ruffles (I didn't have enough matching fabric for the ruffles). Both are size 1 (12 months) and loosely fit my 13-month old daughter.

The dress was made with a Kona cotton solid (100% cotton) from JoAnn. The pattern was easy to follow and went pretty quickly (I was able to sew it about 2-3 hours a day over 5 days). There were two difficult parts: getting the bias tape onto the collar because there was a lot of bulk from the collar pieces and the bias tape was pretty small AND sewing the sleeves onto the dress because the armholes were so small they wouldn't fit around the arm of my machine so I had to be very careful not to sew them closed. The dress fits loosely and the skirt is fairly long, which I like but could be difficult if she was crawling.

The pinafore was made from a white remnant, most likely 100% cotton. Easy to make and follow the pattern (it was the first time I had ever done gathers and it explained it well). It sat for a little while because there was hand sewing involved on the inside but once I sat down to do it, the hand sewing went quickly.