Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Back-to-School Sewing

I have been turning out projects at a pretty good speed this summer.  I use the time after the kids go to sleep to sew.  I usually opt to neglect things like finishing the dishes. . .

I have made Maya some cute stuff for this fall and winter.  These two dresses are from Un Petit Design

The pattern is a free download and they were quite easy to make.  One of my pleats is ever so slightly crooked on the pink dress but you can't tell when she has it on.

The flannel I used for these pajama pants was from the remnant bin at Joann's.  I think it cost about $3?  I found a pink shirt in Maya's drawer that had a little stain on the front so I added a ruffle over it and now she has new jammies.

These are Christmas pajamas.  Yes, it is a little early but I didn't get around to it last year so I figured getting them done early might be a good thing.  Also, the Riley Blake flannel I had my eye on last year went on sale for about 4.50/yd earlier this summer and I couldn't pass that up.  I made two pairs (the girls).  I made Sam pajamas last year (Oliver and S Bedtime Story pajamas no less but he won't wear them so I am not sure if I am going to try again this year).  I kept it simple and made a basic elastic waist pant and a peasant style top.
These are hard to see but they are jeans with heart shaped cargo pockets.  I made a pair for each girl. 

I decided to get a jump on another holiday project and whipped up these Halloween skirts for the girls this past weekend.  You can't tell from the picture but there are little silver sparkles on the fabric.  It is a little sheer so I made 2 layers thick.

These two I wrote about in my last post but they are part of my fall sewing projects so I figured they are worth mentioning again. 

I have two dresses I will probably finish tonight and then I might take a little break from sewing for the girls.  It is time to figure out something Sam might wear and to make something for myself. 

Monday, 27 August 2012

Hanna Andersson Inspired/Love the Peasant Style

I have been a bit obsessed with the peasant style top/dress this summer. For one thing, the construction is soooo easy.  Another real advantage is that it is pretty much guaranteed to fit.  And since there are no buttons, zippers, or snaps, my four year old can get them on by herself.  I made the girls a dress, a shirt and a pajama top in this style for the summer.

I love to look at the Hanna Andersson catalog as soon as it arrives.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that one of their dresses this year, the Retro Dress, is a peasant dress.  I decided to pick up a couple of prints I have had my eye on for a while and make an HA inspired dress.

Here is Hannah's 2T dress. I opted for one pocket instead of 2 because when I pinned 2 on it seems to mess up the look of the print.  The pocket is ribbon bound (the ribbon encases the raw edge of the pocket).  I haven't added the bows on the pocket and at the neck like the HA dress has because I need some green thread.  I am not 100% sure if I want them though.  Hannah is still putting a lot in her mouth and I could see her chewing the bows.
Yes, that is a picture of the inside of the dress.  Why?  Because I got a serger!!!!  I got the basic Brother model.  Amazon.com had a price drop for about a day (from about 200 down to 178).  It has been a dream.  I have only used this stitch so far but I haven't had any problems.  I am in love with the amazing finish and the speed at which I can work. 
When Maya saw me buy this fabric she said she didn't like it (no pink).  When she saw Hannah try it on she got a little jealous and said actually she DOES like the fabric.  Too bad.  She is going to have to wait until the school year starts and I start getting paid again.  Don't feel too bad for Maya.  I have a different fabric all ready to go for her.  And I just made her this (peasant style) flannel top. I love the kangaroo pocket.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Fall Neck Wrap - Pattern and Tutorial

Here is a free pattern for a Fall Neck Wrap (good for spring too but since fall is approaching that seems more appropriate as a name).  It is a great way to show off a fun print and/or a pretty button.  You can also make the inside and outside different colors for a nice contrast (directions for making it reversible are below).

 To get started you will need:

Pattern piece 1 and pattern piece 2

1/2 yard of fabric (I made mine with quilting cotton but I am planning to make a few in flannel as well.  I am pretty sure you could make this with fleece too but you might want to add a 1/2 inch or so to allow for the thickness of that kind of fabric.) PRE-WASH any fabric you use.  You don't want it to shrink after you make it.

Thread, sewing machine, scissors, pins, etc

Small piece of fusible interfacing

Button (Any size will work but, on most of the wraps I made, I went for the biggest button for which my machine could make a button hole.  I am NOT interested in hand sewing buttonholes and I am still working on making a good machine buttonhole without the automatic setting)

1. Print and cut out the pattern pieces.  Be sure to use 8 1/2x11 paper and make sure the there is no scaling.  Match the dots and tape the 2 pieces together.

2. Cut your fabric. 

3.  Iron a small piece of fusible interfacing on the wrong side of the fabric where you plan to sew the button.

4.  Place the two piece of fabric with right sides together and sew around using a 1/2 inch seam allowance.  Leave a 2-3 inch opening along the bottom.

5.  Trim your seam allowances (if you want - it doesn't make a whole lot of difference on this project) Notch the round corners.  Note- you might want to notch/trim a little better than I did in this picture - I ended up going back and making this one a little neater.

6.  Turn the the project through the opening you left so the right sides are out. You might want to use the back end of a knitting needle or something similar to help you get all the corners fully pushed out.

7.  Finger press or iron the edges flat.

8. Topstitch around the entire neck wrap (about 1/8 inch from the edge).
Looks like this one needs to be ironed again. . .
9.  Wrap the fabric around your neck to check the button/buttonhole placement (you want them to be in the same spot on opposite sides.  Mark your buttonhole with chalk.  I tried vertical and horizontal placements and I found horizontal (like on most coats) worked better.

10.  Sew the buttonhole and attach the button*.  DONE!!

*If you use 2 different fabrics and you want to make this scarf reversible just sew two buttons, one on each side in the same spot.  On this one I used two small buttons on each side (4 total). 


I bought the Oliver and S Firefly Jacket pattern as soon as it came out.  I love the shape and the fact that it is reversible.  I have gotten away from using patterns, I have been making my own for the most part or following tutorials but this one was worth buying. 

Here are the results:

The jackets are the same; they can be worn with either fabric showing.  My only complaint is that the jacket is a tad short.  I used the size chart and my seam allowances were accurate.  If I make it again, and I probably will, I will add a little length.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

One More Skirt

I made one more skirt for the Skirting the Issue campaign.  It is a gingham circle skirt with an exposed elastic waistband.  I mailed them off to Utah on Monday.
I am happy that I met my goal of 5 skirts for donation!

Fleece Jacket

Maya has been asking for a Hanna Andersson fleece jacket.  Why?  Because I handed her the catalog a couple of weeks ago when I was trying to cook dinner.  Maya LOVES clothes so I thought it would keep her busy for a few minutes.  It did but then she decided she wanted a $52 Marshmallow hoodie.  Don't get me wrong - I love Hanna Andersson- but the prices make their stuff  "sometimes" purchases.  Or I get my Hanna Andersson fix at Costco.  I do splurge on the PJs for Sam though.  His sensory issues make night clothing options a bit limited and he likes the jammies so he gets them. 

Anyway, back to Maya.  I haven't worked much with fleece but I figured I could probably make jacket myself.  I used a couple of old jackets as models and drew a pattern.  It took about a yard of fleece.  With sale prices/teacher discount the fleece, zipper, and thread probably cost around $12. 

It came together really well and I am very pleased.  The one think that irks me is that one pocket is about 1/8-1/4 of an inch higher than the other.  It happened when I attached the zipper.  EVen though everything was lined up before sewing, the fleece is thick and cushy and it shifts every so slightly under the presser foot.  I re-did it but the result was the same.  For now I am leaving it.  When she has the jacket on, you can't tell. 

I am going to make one more and then I will try to upload my pattern as a PDF if anyone wants to use it.