Tuesday, June 23, 2009

In Conclusion...

I think that this green top is the last of the warm weather clothing I'll be making for my kids for now. I'll probably make some more things as the summer goes on, but I think I'm calling it "good" as far as them having enough clothes to make it from one laundry day to the next.


This top is (of course) Kwik Sew 2918. I left off the sleeves on this one, too and added ties to the shoulder seams.

To make the casings for the ties, I increased the seam allowance to 3/4", pressed it open and stitched down each side. I threaded the ties through the casing and then caught them in the neckband.

So, this meant that I had to put the top together in reverse order from usual. First I sewed the side seams, then finished the armhole, then sewed the shoulder seams and put the neckband on.

The shorts were a hand-me-down pair of pants that I cut off because they were too short. Pretty wild, but my daughter seems to like them.

As if the first picture isn't silly enough, this one is the "official" silly shot:

Saturday, June 20, 2009

For a couple-a-bucks...

I bought this piece of lavender cotton/lycra jersey last month off the remnant table at Fabricland. It was priced at $2.00/meter and the cut was just less than one meter. It looked good to me because my daughter had a purple skirt that we found at a second-hand store (for $1.00!) that needed a matching top.

The top is Kwik Sew 2918 minus the sleeves. I finished the edges with "Pebble Piping" from this Kwik Sew newsletter. I came across this via Dawn's blog. It is a pretty easy technique and I think it looks great finished. The picture was taken after washing and drying the top. The piping isn't quite as smooth as it was right after finishing, but it still looks pretty good.


I also made shorts to be worn under the skirt from Burda 9615. The elastic is narrower than I usually use for a waistband, but it should still do the trick.
I asked my daughter to pick out a ribbon for the "tag" identifying the back of the shorts and after considerable deliberation, she brought me two colors and very thorough instructions to make it look like this:


While I was cutting out the top and shorts, I cut out two pair of underwear for myself (from Jalie 2568). Rather than putting away the scraps and coming back to them later, I thought I would just get them used up right away. So, the underwear jumped in line (there are other sewing projects more urgent than underwear), but while the purple thread was on the machine, yada yada, you know how that goes...

There is something really satisfying about using up an entire piece of fabric. I only have tiny scraps left.


There is also something really satisfying about creating four items for less than $2.00. Sure, they are small and not very elaborate, but here in Canada I'd pay more than $2.00 just in sales tax if I bought any one of these in the store. Alright, to be fair I have to include the cost of the patterns, elastic, thread, etc. Rounding WAY up, maybe $5.00 for the four items.

I love this hobby.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Bags and Baskets

Last night I finished the small projects I was working on to sell in a local shop. It felt like it took me a long time to get done with these. It was a busier than usual week and I'm finding that keeping up with the lawn, garden and flower beds is eating up my sewing time.
Anyway, I'm happy with how the things turned out. Hopefully they sell...

Some baskets, made with Ayumi's permission:


Small patchwork bag:


Pink striped bag, made from the leftovers of this dress:

I found the directions for the fabric flower here.

Ladybug bag:

I used a triple straight stitch for the leaf veins and did the "ladybug trail" with black embroidery thread by hand.

The best part of this week's work: I didn't buy anything to make these. Everything came from my stash. But, wow, did it turn my sewing room into a mess. Searching for fabric, trim, buttons, etc. Yikes.

My older daughter really wanted to keep each of the little bags. After she saw the ladybug one she told me I was "the best sewer in the whole world!" Maybe that was the best part of this week's work...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

I Need a Pat on the Back...

because yesterday I plowed through this pile of mending/altering rather than sewing something new and fun. All of it was kids' clothing. I wasn't exactly looking forward to this, but it didn't turn out to be so bad. The most time-consuming part was changing the thread on the machines. I'm so often tempted to toss something that rips or gets a hole, but I'm usually thankful that I don't.

A woman at church asked if I would make some things for her to sell in her downtown framing shop. She likes to have some locally handmade things for sale, especially during the summer when tourist traffic is high. So, I'm going to be working on some bags and small things for her this week.

Kwik Sew 2315 - Butterfly Pajamas


Here's another Kwik Sew pattern that I use over and over again, but it is out of print now. These are very basic pajamas, for knit fabrics. My daughter found this fabric in my stash and said she wanted me to make something for her from it. That's pretty hard to resist, so I made these for her birthday.
The pants don't have an outer leg seam, so they are really fast to put together. The pattern for the short sleeve doesn't have a hem allowance as it suggests finishing it with lace. I didn't want to include the lace, so I added the hem allowance.



I wish I could say that the neckband and pants cuffs match better in real life, but they don't. Actually, they probably look worse than in the picture. But, I was working with what I had on hand. It's not like running to Fabricland would have helped anyway. I'm sure they wouldn't have had a better match. The fabric is a poly knit that I picked up at a Field's tent sale a couple of years ago. I'm sure it wasn't more than $1/yd. It isn't exactly high quality stuff, but my daughter really likes the pink and the butterflies, so I guess we can consider this a success.

Whenever I take a picture of my kids in their new clothes they ask if I can take a "silly picture" at the end. I thought this one was particularly cute...


Simplicity 3512 - Pink Dress


I finished this dress early last week, but didn't get a picture of it on my daughter until today. I'm really happy with how it turned out. My daughter is too. Even though this wasn't one of her gifts, we're calling this her "birthday dress." Her 5th birthday was on Friday.

This pattern, Simplicity 3512, could possibly restore some of my faith in the big 4 patterns for toddlers and children. There is not an excessive amount of ease in this one. I matched my daughter's measurements to the ones on the envelope and started with that size. It worked! I did do a lot of measuring the pattern pieces too as I was still doubtful.

I made a size 3, adding a total of more than 3.5" in length - 1" to the bodice and 2.5" to the skirt above the godets. After she tried on the bodice and I pinned part of the skirt on, I thought it was still shorter than I wanted, so the waist has a 3/8" seam and I took up the hem 1/4" rather than the 5/8" allowed.


The neckline is great - it has details and it isn't too low. The ruffles are just the right size and it crosses her breastbone nice and high. She loves the big ribbon bow, too.


The pattern instructions suggest sewing the skirt panels together from the top down to the dot where the godet starts. Then you insert the godet by sewing along one side, breaking the stitching at the dot and then sewing along the other side. I've never made anything with godets before, but this method didn't sound so good to me. I attached one side of the godet to the skirt panel, then attached the other side to the next panel and then stiched the seam from the godet up to the top of the skirt. It isn't hard, just requires some precision. I was careful to make sure that the stripes on all the godets were going the same direction.

I found this fabric at a thrift store for a couple dollars. I think there was 1.5 yards. I'm not sure exactly what it is. It looks a little like seersucker, but isn't cotton. It doesn't press all that well, but it doesn't wrinkle either. The fabric didn't have a right or wrong side (that I could tell). Sometimes this was helpful (when getting the godets in the right direction) and sometimes it was a nuisance (like when I made two right bodice sections for the lining).