Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Handmade Holidays - sewing for kids

I fell in love with this fabric from Girl Charlee the first time I saw it. I can't remember exactly when I decided to go ahead and order three yards of it, plus a yard of matching green. They have a very similar pattern available right now, but I think this version is cuter.

My first vision for this fabric was the raglan t-shirts. I used the Field Trip Raglan T-Shirt from Oliver + S.  I made three for three of my nephews. Since they weren't close for fittings I just made their sizes according to their ages and what they wear in ready-to-wear. It turns out that this pattern seems to run a little small and a little short in the arms and body. I ended up making another shirt in 4T for my 3 year old nephew and passing down the sizes to the younger ones. Luckily these three little guys are all a year apart. Hopefully the 12-18 month will fit our little guy next year because it certainly wouldn't go over my 12 month old nephew's huge noggin.

My sis in law has been eyeing these cute bow headbands since she found out she was having a girl way back in March. Luckily Megan Nielsen released this awesome free pattern. I'm sure I could have drafted something up or used something else on the world wide web, but Megan has done such a fabulous job with hers. Bella looks adorable in this headband and I also made her some cute leggings to match using Burda 9423 (not pictured).

And of course my little guy needed some cute jammies too. I used a pattern from Burda. The silliest part of this pattern is that the pants don't call for elastic. Instead they have a fabric band at the top like you'd see on a pair of yoga pants. Since this fabric doesn't have a lot of stretch or great stretch recovery I omitted the top band and made the pants themselves an inch taller at the top. Then I sewed 1" elastic in a self casing at the top. The part I do like about this pattern is the pants with feet on them. Although sewing the booties on was a little tricky I appreciate them because then I don't have to worry about losing socks on my guy's tiny little feet.

Handmade Holidays - Christmas Stockings

Little D needed a stocking to match the ones I made a couple years back for the Hot Italian and I. I wanted to use a different piecing pattern than what I used for the first two. Equilateral triangles seemed like a fun idea. I found this tutorial for the triangles. I made my strips 3" wide and used cream, red, and green scraps from my stash. I decided to make two stockings because two seemed just as easy as one and now I have one in the collection for the next time a little one joins our family. This year Uncle Steven will use it because he's spending the night Christmas Eve. The stocking template is from Amy Butlers free Christmas Stocking Pattern.

I used fusible fleece for the batting. I pieced a big rectangle of triangles, attached the fleece, and did the quilting with my walking foot on my machine before cutting out the stocking shapes. The backs of all my stockings are not pieced.

The top is finished with a 1/4" binding.

I'm pretty happy with all the stockings. Can you tell which one belongs to the pooch? Our dog sure is spoiled.

"Little D" is here

My sweet boy arrived November 6 at 6:59 pm. The delivery went smoothly and mom and baby came home without any issue.

I am loving motherhood and am still sewing quite a bit. I'm lucky that this little guy still takes at least one long nap during the day (for the most part).

The Hot Italian is such a cute daddy.

Milo is adjusting well. The first few nights were rough for him, probably because he got a little tummy bug at the boarders. He's getting spoiled having me home and misses us more than ever when we leave him home.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Finally getting around to reviewing my maternity wardrobe

I am very excited that we will be soon welcoming the little guy into our family. I have been spending a lot of time at the sewing machine making maternity clothes and a few things for the baby.

Making maternity clothes has been pretty frustrating, but no more frustrating than shopping for nice maternity clothes that don't cost a fortune.

These pants (Burda 7165) were one of the first things that I made. I'm only now starting to wear them because they were too big for so long. But now, at almost 32 weeks, I've got the belly to fill out the maternity band.

One thing that is better about ready made maternity pants is the belly bands. They are so stretchy and have great stretch recovery. They fit over the belly and hold everything up without being too constraining.  I have yet to find a good knit to duplicate them, but these pants are the closest thing to a good pant with a maternity band. Before I started wearing these I was wearing a pair of black pants that I made maternity friendly simply by substituting the waistband with a 3" elastic cased in black knit ribbing. They worked great until about 30 weeks when I started feeling like they were falling down all the time and just getting overall uncomfortable. I will probably be able to wear them again after the baby when I'm still trying to fit into my pre-baby clothes.

The fabric for the pants is a black denim with a little bit of stretch from Mood. I really like the fabric a lot. It's much better than any stretch pant weight fabric that I've tried from Joann's.

The top pattern I used is Burda 6956. This is a great pattern for a knit maternity top. I've also made a dress with this pattern that I really like. The fabric is a rayon knit from Joann's. I raised the v-neckline by about 1" for a little extra modesty and it is just high enough. I also didn't really like the way they finished the front neckline and ended up creating a full front facing rather than turning the edge under and just facing the point of the v.

I am hoping that I can get motivated to post some more photos of my maternity wardrobe, but just looking at the photo here is making me a little self-conscious. I am not one of the lucky women who feels beautiful pregnant.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Please excuse the absense

I haven't sewn a stitch since I got back from the Sewing and Stitchery Expo at the beginning of March.

I've been feeling a little under the weather.

I've got a maternity wardrobe in my near future.
Just not quite yet. My little belly has made wearing my normal work pants a little too tight, but the maternity pants don't seem quite right yet either. I guess I'll be wearing skirts and dresses to work 'til its time to rock the maternity pants.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

More Pants Problems

I made a few tweaks to Burda 7447 and decided to try again. I was feeling pretty good about everything. I even lined these suckers. Now I've got the waistband all but finished and I've made a very sad realization...I cannot sit comfortably in these pants. So I haven't quite learned all my fitting lessons yet.

I pulled out the tripod and the remote again to do my "fit-by-photo" and I've realized that the 1/4" I shaved off the back inseam was not really necessary. Can you see it pulling?

I'm going to have to see if I can rescue the pants, but everything is pretty finished at this point. In any case, this wool blend that I purchased at A Fashionable Stitch is lovely and a much better weight and drape for the pattern than the cotton twill I used on my previous pair.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Printed Patterns, my new trick

Have you started using downloaded sewing patterns that you print at home? Many new indie pattern designers are using this platform for distributing their patterns. When I have a choice I generally go the old-fashioned way and get the pattern already printed in a pretty little envelope. But there are times when I want the pattern now and there are times when a really great pattern only comes as a download.

I am working on the Grainline Archer. For $10.50 it's a steal. And I'm sure I'll love it once I tape together the pages and get a usable pattern together.

I came up with this little trick while I was cutting the pages.
Before I figured out this trick I decided the best way to put it together is to cut the edges off one long and one short edge of each page then overlap the pages. I tried using my paper cutter, but that wasn't working because the edges weren't always quite straight. I was getting tired of using the scissors on each edge, so I came up with this compromise.
In step 2 you can see that I've cut off three corners which surround the 2 edges I need to trim.
In step 3 you see that I've lined up the line on the edge of the pattern with the line on the paper cutter.
Step 4 shows what the edge looks like after it's trimmed.
Step 5 shows the trimmed page ready to be taped into the giant conglomerate of pattern pages.

Just repeat these steps about 64 times and you've got a pattern ready to be traced.

I'm not sure this is genius, but it's the best I've got.