Saturday, March 1, 2014

Sewing for the Grands

I've been sewing, sewing, sewing! 
In January, Meg and I chose fabric and pattern for Everly's birthday dress (shown also in my previous post). Fabric was from Hobby Lobby--Meg's choice. I used the XL baby size and this little dress barely fit once a t-shirt was added underneath. Gosh, our little girl is growing!

I studied the body measurements for both babies large and extra large vs. toddler size 1. Although the stated measurements were similar, the actual pattern pieces for the 1T were appreciably larger. Time to hit the pattern sales!

Here is McCall's 5416 View B (size 1T) also in fabric from Hobby Lobby, this time my choice.
I haven't seen it on our girl yet, so I'm still unsure about sizing. 

My (step) grandson Isaiah adores Transformers, so I put together a quick shirt for him.
The fabric was a peculiar blend purchased from eBay. I'm hoping it's comfortable to wear. Isaiah is four-years-old.

Trinity, my step granddaughter (age 8) loves anything I make her. She tells everyone how much she likes "homemade" clothes. Trin is Everly's big sis, so I used some of the birthday dress fabric in this denim jumper.

Finished the hem today, so she'll get it tomorrow to wear to school next week, weather permitting. Our high of 81 today is being replaced by a high of 18 tomorrow! Yowzy!

Friday, January 31, 2014

I'm baaaackkkk!

Anyone who attempts blogging knows that posting regularly can be a huge challenge! I SO admire folks who manage to do so on a daily or even weekly basis. With my sewing energy recently renewed, I'm going to try being a bit more consistent in posting.

Projects completed and in progress include a dress for my sweet grandbaby's first birthday, major tweaking of a leggings pattern for me, pj pants for my 32-year-old sons, and athletic pants for them as well. Today is a busy day, but this weekend I'll be adding photos and some lessons learned about the leggings pattern and fitting someone from halfway across the country!

Oh, and one more thing. The ETA SewExpo is coming in March. You won't believe it, but my sewing buddy and I are taking the bra-making class AGAIN. We decided we needed the skills refresher and a mojo boost! To add to the fun of the girls' weekend, I've challenged her to bring/wear only handmade panties and sleepwear stitched up since January 1st, 2014. Wait til you see the beautiful fabric I bought for a gown!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Just for fun: Woody!

Here is a quick video of Woody, our 9-month-old chihuahua, desperately trying to get the "toys" on the bottom of his water dish.
Silly Woody

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Bras and Step-Ins

Last month a friend and I took a bra making class that reset my sewing agenda! I was absolutely amazed that I could produce such a great fitting bra. Filled with courage, I decided to attempt a pair of panties. Kwik Sew's Beautiful Lingerie (the book) includes a pattern for a high-cut panty. My (former) favorite underwear was Jockey's cotton hi-cuts. 

According to Kwik Sew's sizing chart, I wear an XL. This is how my Jockey's compared with that first cut out.

Jockey sz 8 / Kwik Sew sz XL
So...the sizing chart got tossed! I folded the Jockey's in half and laid it along side the multi-sized pattern. Despite my skepticism, I cut out the medium based on that comparison. But, I used an old t-shirt this time instead of fashion knit!

Kwik Sew's sewing instructions are very clear, although I flipped between the elastic description and the sewing steps. 
At this point, you tuck crotch piece #2 under panty back while crunching panty pieces together until the crotch piece comes up over the top of panty front. Then add the edge of crotch piece #2 to the pinned area.

I placed a blue dot on crotch piece #2 at this point because I wanted to figure out whether it became the outer crotch or the crotch liner. 

completed crotch 
The blue dot shows that crotch piece #2 is the crotch liner.
This is important to know when sewing panties with a fashion knit but cotton crotch.

The finished muslin ended up being too big in front.
panty front
I wasn't very surprised because I have to adjust the front waist of pants patterns. Using my fashion curve ruler, I easily decreased the center front by about 1 inch, tapering to nothing on the side. 

The nice thing about this first pair is that I can wear them! And what a pleasant surprise it was to learn a new use for old t-shirts. Very comfy!

As soon as I adjusted the panty front pattern piece, I gambled and cut out a second pair from a fashion knit (90% poly 10% spandex). These went together quickly and were finished in about 90 minutes. The fit is right on, so I now have a TNT (tried and true) hi-cut panty pattern. Yay for me!

Seriously, if you've ever flirted with the idea of making your own panties, give it a try. The comfort of having just the right amount of elasticity in the waist is reason enough to swear off RTW panties forever!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Cutest Diaper Bag...EVER!

Lola Bea Diaper Bag from Sew Much Ado

The instructions for this bag are excellent with one exception. In the step-by-step photos/instructions, the designer refers to the pieces by name (for example, side gusset) instead of piece number. My solution (for future reference) was to write the piece numbers on each of the instruction photos. If you make this gorgeous bag, do yourself a favor and write those numbers in BEFORE you begin sewing. I didn't photograph every phase of construction, but do want to share a few pics so you can see how cute the fabric choices turned out. My daughter Meg gets all the credit for this!
Isn't this the cutest fabric combo?
Cotton duck (chevron) and cotton print, both from Hobby Lobby

strap is long enough for cross-body
(check the length before cutting if you are taller than 5'3")

Tons of room inside with 5 elastic pockets and 1 zippered pocket

I guess you can tell that I am a VERY proud grandma!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Happy Pants Parade?

I just read a post on PR by a fellow sewist who finally mastered a pants fitting. Another member noted that she too was on her way to join the happy pants parade. 

Well! I hope there's room for me because, come hell or high water, I'm going to end up with a pants pattern that fits. More on this later...

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Old Crotch-depth Blues

I consider it progress that I no longer wince when saying/writing "crotch depth." Taking a break from the quest for a perfectly fitted shirt, I decided to whip up a 1-hour pattern for drawstring capri pants. Found a nice chocolate brown stretch poplin on sale for this project. 

This is a Simplicity pattern, one I've never used before. I chose this style because I have several pair of RTW like it and they are comfortable. Little about my shape has changed since I last made pants about a year ago. So, imagine my surprise when I slipped into the tissue-fit right leg and found the center back waist a good 4 inches from my own waist!

I was perplexed, to say the least. After researching pants modifications online and in my different books, I decided to blaze a new trail. The biggest gap I could find in the research was about 1 inch, so the suggested pattern tweaks didn't seem like they would get the job done.

Here is what the back pattern piece looked like when I finished:
I know it's crazy, but if you look closely, you can see the grainline goes off to the right just above the massive tuck/wedge thingy. Believe it or not, the stitched up pants actually fit! I posted this picture along with requests for comments on the Pattern Review board. Several kind folks referred me to an adjustment that does a slash/spread about where I added the 3". May have to try that one since it would keep the side seam straight. 
So in the next few days, I'll be putting together a muslin of this Silhouettes pattern. With any luck, I'll perfect the remedy for the old crotch-depth blues!