Saturday, October 19, 2013

Knit Pajamas

Here are a pair of knit pajamas I made for one of my girls yesterday.  It is getting cooler now with winter approaching, so it was a good time to make something new.


I looked through my fabric stash and found two coordinating fabrics that she liked.  The color blocking of the top was not intentional, but merely a way of trying to get all the pieces cut out of what I had!  Even with all the sewing I do, it amazes me at how much fabric some things really require to make.

The top is made from Ottobre's "Becky" camisole (6/2009).  I love this pattern.  I made the nightgown version before.  I HIGHLY recommend this pattern, especially if you are new to making Ottobre patterns.  It is pretty easy to trace and sews up quickly without any difficulty.  

I added short sleeves, and instead of hemming them, I added a strip of green knit.  I cut these at 2 inches, the same as the neckband, folding wrong sides together and sewing to the garment.  For the short sleeves, I snagged one from another pattern and with a little tweaking, made a minor adjustment in the pattern to fit.  Why draw one from scratch when you can borrow from another?

I topstitched the neck band using a longer stitch around 4.  I was always so reluctant to do this in the past, but it works just fine and the fabric is still stretchy.


I hemmed the top with my sewing machine's double needle.  I do have a coverstitch machine, however, when there are multiple seams to sew over, this often results in skipped stitches.  If anyone knows how to avoid this, please tell me how!!  I have tried going slowly, going faster, etc.  Sometimes it doesn't skip and sometimes it does and I just don't know why.
I also added a green knit band to the bottom of the pants, cut at 3 inches.

I first thought about making elastic-waist pajamas but quickly dismissed that idea.  The funky pant, yoga waistband style works well for her, so I stayed with that.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley


Sunday, October 13, 2013

My First Pattern-Free Dress

I'm so excited to share with you a dress that I made for myself WITHOUT a pattern...sort of.  I traced a store-bought dress that I had which fit me really well.  I have a picture of that dress at the bottom of my post.


I laid my store-bought dress on the floor and traced the outline of it in pencil.  I discovered that it helps to "pin" the paper to the outfit you are tracing.  I traced the front side, the back side, and also the sleeves.  


I used a really nice drapey knit I purchased from Girl Charlee and made my arm bands and lower dress band out of gray ribknit binding.  Oh my gosh...doing that alone makes this dress incredibly easy to stitch together because there is no hemming involved.  On the arm bands, I turned them up so they are a cuff.  I really thought matching all these stripes up would be difficult to do, but it wasn't.  I used my walking foot on my sewing machine to sew all seams and then finished them with my serger.  I find this is better to prevent shifting of the fabric.


I made my hat too!  It is called the Tulip Stitch Slouchy Crochet Hat pattern.  I purchased it from an Etsy store called Lifeinsmallspaces.  I'm a beginner crocheter but this pattern was relatively easy for me to do.  I want to make them in several colors for this winter. 


 and here is the dress that I traced.  You can see that it has a really large cowl neck.  It takes a lot of fabric!  I had only 2 yards of fabric to work with and I was elated that I could get all pieces cut from it.  I didn't have an 1/8 of an inch to spare!  I got lucky.  

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Pants recycle to leggings


It is really exciting when you discover a new way to refashion something you already have in your closet.  These are my daughter's new leggings.  If you follow my blog, you already know that she LOVES her Crafty Mamas Funky Pants.  In fact, they are the only pants she will wear other than leggings.  My daughter had a growth spurt, and now I have to make her more pants.  It's too cold to turn them into shorts.  I decided to try to trim them down to make leggings!  No matter how many pairs of leggings you have, it never seems to be enough (especially when they end up being misplaced and you are frantically looking for them the night before school).  

How I did it ~ I took a pair of store bought leggings and layed tracing paper on one of the legs, tracing the shape from the waist down both sides of the leg.  I lined up the inner seam of the pant with the pattern paper and pinned it on her funky pants and cut the outer leg edge to size.  I cut the yoga waistband off the pant legs and then cut it at 2" from the top, keeping the fold.  I took a piece of elastic and sewed the ends together and placed it inside the folded band.  I sewed the outside seams of the leggings.  I still had the inside seams sewn from when they were pants.  Next, I sewed the new band to the top.  I kept the original hem.  The pants had fit everywhere but in length, and it really doesn't matter if leggings are long or cropped.  She did ask for some elastic to be sewn on the bottom.


It's a perfect fit!  These will be great during the winter months because they are a thicker fabric.


This is a different color pant, but this is what the other pair looked like before I cut into them.  

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley


Monday, October 7, 2013

Girl's skirt Ottobre 4/2013 #34

This is a great skirt pattern--Tangent velveteen miniskirt!  You'll find this in the April issue of 2013.  My daughter's is made of a light weight denim fabric.  There are only 3 pattern pieces; one front, one back, and the waistband.  There is an invisible zipper on the backside.  It also calls for a snap, but I just used a white button instead.  I don't worry too much about whether to use snaps, buttons, etc.  I try to use what I have on hand to keep the cost down.  As you can see, I did not make this a "mini."   I made this in a 128 with the length of a 140.


The pattern shows using buttons on the front where the pleats are, but I found these cute little flowers in my stash--bonus!  I didn't have to go spend money on buttons.


I also added some black lace to the bottom.  I thought it would be cute since my daughter will be wearing it with her black boots.


The skirt is a little wrinkled after wearing it all day at school.  It passed the comfort test!

The wonderful thing about this skirt is that it takes very little fabric!  I used what was left after making my Vogue skirt.  I finished all seams with my serger, and I finished the bottom edge with my serger as well.  I did not hem it since I sewed the lace on top.

thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Ottobre Timeless & Cozy 5-2012

I had 2 yards of this soft jersey knit that I bought a while ago.  I'm not sure what I had in mind when I bought it, but whatever it was, I forgot.  So, I opted for something fast and simple--Timeless & Cozy Ottobre pattern.  I made this once before, which you can see here.  


I decided to put a cowl neck on it.  I wasn't thinking how wide the neck opening was, so my cowl fell somewhere between a cowl and a turtle neck.  Oh well.  


Instead of using clear elastic at the bottom, I sewed 1/4 inch braided elastic to the bottom, which stretches so much easier.  I then just flipped it to the inside once more and zigzagged it down again.



My first attempt at this dress, I found the sleeves to be rather snug.  This time I referred to my book "Fit for Real People" and followed their instructions for widening a sleeve.  It was pretty quick and easy...just a horizontal and vertical slash and spread.  I spread my sleeve 1/2 inch.


Also I want to mention that I have read where people use cardboard on a table when altering patterns so they can stick pins in the pattern while adjusting.  Since I am up in the attic where our dartboard is, we have a mat to protect our floor from darts that may not make their mark.  I have found that this mat is wonderful for laying out slippery fabrics and also for pinning patterns to.  It was an inexpensive addition to our attic which has become quite useful to me with my sewing ventures.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley