My cousin is having a little boy and I used her shower as an excuse to dust off the old sewing machine. I love the idea of giving thoughtful, useful, handmade items whenever possible. So, when it looked like the other guests pretty much had her registry dialed, I made a happy trip to the fabric store.
I made fancy pants leggings in size 3-6 months and a little matching hat using this fabulous free pattern. The striped fabric is really soft and has a great weight and stretch, I snagged a 1/2 yard at Joann's and I still have enough for more tiny clothing. I love sewing for infants! I'm hoping the light grey will match the bitty baby booties I made for her a while back.
Jude wanted in on the action so he decorated a onesie using the same method as the toddler art t-shirt we made for his dad.
Lastly, Jude still loves his super simple baby blanket so I wanted this new baby to have his very own. I used Hot Wheels fabric because my cousin and her husband are way into muscle cars, in fact they met in a car club, so the little one needed a hot rod blankie.
So there you have it, a few simple items that add up to one very nice shower gift.
Here's to wrapping new babies in handmade love!
I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. Mine was chalk full of sewing (and seam ripping) and sewing some more. But more on that later in the post.
First, I like to introduce my dear friend and shorts on the line co-host Rachael of imagine gnats. Rachael is fun and funny and wildly talented. She creates amazing garments, tutorials, and patterns at break neck speed. I can't wait to try my hand at her latest embroidery pattern. And if sewing isn't your thing, head over to her shop for a great selection of handmade goodies. Today she is sharing a tutorial for knit knot shorts that are positively adorable. Head on over to imagine gnats for all the details and then head back here to see what I whipped up.
For my shorts on the line post I sewed up a pair of Sweet Scalloped Shorts by Pattern Runway. If imitation is the sincerest form for flattery than these shorts are a love letter to two of my favorite sewists: Sophie and Carolyn.
I really love how they turned out. They are super comfy yet I feel very ohh-lala in them, as you may have noticed by my very best pin-up impression in these photos. (Thank God I don't have to model for a living, I'd be in big trouble!) Another bonus: these shorts gave me an excuse to go to Forever 21 and buy a half top, not something I ever expected to do at Almost 31.
As for the pattern and construction, here are my notes:
Size: I measured very close to size large so I cut out that size with one adjustment. I am very short waisted and wanted them to be very high waisted so I ended up lengthening the rise per the instructions. Once they were put together I ended up taking in about 2" from the back center seam and they fit just like I wanted. I also noticed that if I had wanted them to sit lower the large with on adjustments would have been just right.
Instructions: This pattern has really clear instructions and the end result is very professional. Get ready for a lot of facings! I learned a lot of nice tricks and I will definitely be making more sweet scallops soon.
Fabric: I used navy lace I got at Beverly's for next to nothing and navy bottom weight cotton from Jo-Ann for the lining and all facings. Before sewing, I used spray basting to hold the lace to the lining and it made my life so much easier.
Bloopers: I had one hell of a time with the invisible zip. I thought I would be fancy and actually use an invisible zipper foot. It did not go well. I ended up ripping it out and stealing the zip from this skirt to complete my shorts, with my good old standard zipper foot (this tutorial is great). Also, the inside of these babies are a hot mess. With no serger and a strong desire to be finished, I just trimmed all the seams with pinking shears and called it good enough.
Now, Jude keeps asking where his shorts are so I guess I'd better get off the computer and back to the sewing machine. Hey, you probably should too! There is still plenty of time to enter for your chance to win some awesome prizes. More on those tomorrow!
Happy Shorts Sewing!
I am more than a little excited about Jude's newest pajama pants. First, I am thrilled because I have found my new favorite pj pattern, the Fancy Pants Legging by Titchy Threads. And second, I am over the moon (pardon the pun) for this diy galaxy print.
Okay, a little more about the pattern. Laura of Craftstorming has really outdone herself. If you want to get better at sewing knits, this is a wonderful place to start. The instructions are fabulously clear and thorough. My favorite feature is all of the options you get: you can have an elastic free waist, cuff or not, shorts, and the bum panel means lots of cute ways to play with fabric. And of course, for me a pattern for knits means an excuse to upcycle old t-shirts. As always in my sewing room, this was sewn on the most basic of machines, so don't let not having a serger stop you from trying these fab fancy pants.
I made the size 4T for Jude, and because my fabric had very little stretch, I went with 1/4" seam allowances. They are a bit snug in the calves, but again, that's just because I used a t-shirt that didn't have much stretch. Otherwise, the fit is spot on. Plus, the pattern comes with a great variety of sizes, from 0-3 months to 4T, if you've got a baby to sew for, you'll be set for years!
Now, let me tell you how easy it was to make this galaxy print: too easy. As in, "you will likely see much more of it around here soon" easy. First, I cut my pattern pieces from two (prewashed) navy t-shirts that I had in my stash (don't throw out those business promo tees). Then I laid them out on a garbage bag outside and sprayed them with undiluted bleach. My spray technique was simply to test on a piece of dark paper and then go to town: here and there, a few close, a few sprayed from further away. Once that dried, I dipped an old tooth brush in watered down metallic (acrylic) paint and gave it a little sparkle by running my finger over the bristles, which sprayed the paint in a starry fashion.
Want proof Jude and I love this pattern? How about a few too many pictures?
Alright ladies and gents, how about a free copy of this pattern? You'll have all weekend to enter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I'm the last stop on this fun blog tour. Be sure to check out what these fabulous bloggers have made:
20th - Abby from Things for Boys
21st - Rachael from Imagine Gnats
22nd - Celina from Petit à Petit and Family
23rd - Jane from Buzzmills
24th - Heather from Feather's Flight
27th - Stacey from Boy, oh Boy, oh Boy
28th - Gail from Probably Actually
29th - Jenny from The Southern Institute
30th - Ros from Sew Delicious
31st - Carla from Small + Friendly
Full disclosure: I was given a copy of this pattern for review. As always, all opinions are my own.
I skipped the zipper fly, bias tape inseam, and belt loops, and yet I still felt as though I'd never finish. Until I did. And now I am so glad I pushed through. I love them + Jude loves them = victory; sweet, sweet victory.
They are made of a cotton bottom weight from Joann, plus I eeked out enough left over houndstooth from these shorts for the details. As always, I have been so very inspired by all the amazing garments filling up the flickr pool. If I didn't know there was a wonderful group of gals sewing their hearts out, I probably would have thrown in the towel. All right, my brain is officially fried, so I will leave you with a few more pictures.
Hooray for another successful Kids Clothes Week!
Sure, you can get t-shirts for preschoolers fairly cheap, but free is still a whole lot cheaper. Plus, these are WAY cooler than what's on offer at Target (I know, I checked today). And they are made in the good old U. S. of A. Both of these shirts once belonged to my dad (he's a pretty cool dude), and they are thin and super-soft, perfect for spring.
I only changed two things:
1. I sewed one shoulder and then applied the ribbing (sans pins, just pull the ribbing slightly as you sew) and then closed the neck hole by sewing up the other shoulder. This means your ribbing seam ends up at the shoulder which is not as nice as a seam in the back, but much, much easier.
2. The pattern calls for adding 1" in length if you need to make a hem, but I added 2 inches.
I'm not getting quite as much done as I'd like for Kids Clothes Week (Jason, AKA Dad, has been sick), but I do plan to at least start a pair of Coastal Cargos. These tees were a quick sew, and would have been even quicker if I had applied all the sleeves the right way the first time.
Anyone want to ooh and ahh at my twin needle skills? I am living proof that you need nothing more than a very basic machine to sew knits (although, I wouldn't say no to a serger).
Are you participating in KCW? I'd love to know how it's going. Oh, and I'm desperate for some new sewing tunes, have any favorites?
I finally did some sewing! And for myself no less! After seeing many a fab tiny pocket tank on Fake It While You Make It, I decided that it was time to make my own. And just in time for the Spring Top Sewalong! I really like this pattern and especially appreciated the grainline tutorial.
I did have a little trouble with the sizing however. I feel like every time I measure myself for a pattern (and cut accordingly), it comes out too big. I know there are worse problems to have, but I'm beginning to think I have a touch of body dismorphia; or else I just suck at measuring myself. Either way, I cut a 14, started french seaming, brought the sides into a 12, and still find the fit a little wonky. Next time, I will go in between 10 and 12 and attempt an FBA.
And there will be a next time! In fact, I really want to try the dress version next! The fabric I used is a quilting cotton from a local shop. I do love the crispness (and loose fit) of this top for the upcoming hot weather. I feel it will get a lot of wear, even if (or perhaps because) it's a hair tent-ish.
Now if only I could get this gal to teach me how to model.
Happy Spring Sewing!