Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Rollercoaster Pattern Using a Cotton/Spandex Knit

I love sewing with cotton and spandex knit fabric. 
My granddaughter loves the feel of the fabric. 
It's so nice to find a fabric she enjoys with her skin sensitivity.


Sunday, April 15, 2018

Animals, Applique, and the German pattern "Tilt"

 I just made this cute shirt last night with a German pattern called "Tilt."  I stayed up until 3:00 am sewing since I was having so much fun!
I like how the pattern lets you combine fabric patterns so easily.
Grommets are getting easier and easier to apply. Thank Goodness!
And now for the applique that took way to long to do.
 At about 2:00 am, I began to wish that animals only had
 ONE leg each, instead of four. 
This water buffalo has no legs...hee hee.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Using the Fancy Stitches on Your Machine

You know how much I love to recycle!
Well, I had this flowered fabric and I wanted to make some shorts to go with the top that I was planning.

This is also a perfect time to use some of those fancy stitches on my sewing machine that I never use.

First, I used fabric tailor chalk and created a grid on one side of the shorts. 
Next, I selected an embroidery pattern that a pre-teen would like....XXXXX.
This particular pattern sews over the X's twice so it is nice and bold. I could have used 2 red threads at a time too. 

Yeap, I sewed through the pocket too.
Now, I matched up the grid on the other side of the shorts. 
Add more XXXXX.
Keep going.... it's really fun.
By the way, I only put the XXXX on the front of the shorts.
I don't have a fancy sewing machine that makes embroidery patches, so I used part of my sewing stash... these cute flowers to match the flowers in the fabric I found for my top. All I did was carefully iron them on.
If you do have an embroidery machine, this would be a great time to use your machine again and embroider some flowers directly onto the jeans. 
So I hope you have enjoyed my little tutorial, and plan to have some fun yourself creating with those machine stitches that you never use!


Monday, April 2, 2018

A 'Happily Ever After' Recycled Outfit

I really enjoying harvesting the fabric out of used clothing and creating something entirely new.  First, it engages my brain. You need to mentally deconstruct the garment and devise a plan to reuse the parts.  So let's have some fun!

Once upon a time this dress belonged to a 29 year old woman.  She loved it, but alas her body changed and she passed it on to me. "Create something new for your 10 year old granddaughter," she said.
As I looked closer, I saw possibilities!

First, I began to deconstruct the dress.
What if I added a bit of new cotton and lycra knit fabric for the lower front and back of the top? I could use the recycled ruffled black and white print for the upper front and back...then all I would need to do is fill  in that scoop with the new fabric.

 After checking, I realized that there would be enough of this black and white ruffled fabric length to keep the curved seam on the front.

Adding this fabric at the top of the back will fill in that scoop. Now, I have a new back that will eventually support the neck edge of my hoodie that I will be adding.  

 When I cut out the pocket, there was not enough fabric to place it on the fold, so I'll just add a seam down the center.  I wish I had a coverstitch machine to do some decorative stitching. But I have a plan to use one of the decorative stitches on my machine to simulate a coverstitch. 
I will use some vibrant red thread to highlight the seams and no one will ever suspect that it should have been one large pocket instead of two. Stitching in the ditch down the middle of the seam will instantly make 2 pockets.

 Now on to the hood. I'll use more of my black dress fabric for the hood and the hood lining. The bright print will draw the eye to her face, and the red topstitiching will repeat the decorative element on the hood and the pocket together.

Use a bit of turquoise fabric, from the dress band, for the grommet area, and I'll even make the ties from more of the black skirt fabric.

Reuse the knit bias tape by basting it in place first. Then topstitch it on with the machine.
Lastly, add the bottom band on the shirt and 
we    are   done! 

My granddaughter loves it and this story ends with ... her wearing the top "happily ever after."  Oh gosh, I forgot to mention the matching knit pants that I made out of a recycled pair of stretch knit pants of mine. It was pure magic!!!!
Old lady pants to hip-hop-hot body hugging pants
 perfect for a 5th grader.



Friday, March 30, 2018

Project Run and Play Challenge: Inspired by Outer Space

I've always loved gazing at the moon.  The way it changed fascinated me as a child.  I can remember my parents reading me book after book about the moon.   Fiction or non-fiction it didn't matter!
So the moon and it's phases 
are the inspiration for my design this week.
When I designed the pockets for this romper, they mimic the shape of the first quarter and last quarter moons. 
I also chose a deep grayed purple french terry knit fabric contrasted by the bright yellow striped knit.  I wanted to show the contrast of the dark and light side of the moon. 

Next, I wanted to highlight the fact 
that the moon is always changing.  
I used Burda pattern     which features 
8 segmented pieces for the shirt front. 

Now I know this is a bit abstract in thinking, but I wanted the segmented pieces to show how the moon phases are always changing and repeating. I cut-out the stripes going in different directions and even used different ways to top stitch the segments. 
(If you like this pattern and want to use it yourself, I want you to know that I made some changes to the construction of the pattern and didn't follow the Burda instructions exactly.) 

I repeated the pattern of purple and stripe to show that each month the moon phases repeat themselves.
  For the top fabric, I used both a matching color single knit, that is deep grayed purple in color too and has a smooth finish, 
and the original stripe fabric from the romper.  

  Miss C is on her spring break and I couldn't get a picture of her in her new romper and t-shirt. The romper has straps that cross in the back and have elastic in the back waistband only.
That romper turned out a bit wild with it's harem legs,
 but she loves it as it is so comfy! 
The legs of the romper come just to the knees. 
I even made her an Easter Bunny wired headband 
to go with her outfit!


Thursday, March 22, 2018

Project Run and Play Challenge: Creating Children's Clothing Inspired by a Book

This week, the Project Run and Play Challenge is to be inspired by a children's book and weave elements of that book into your clothing design. 

When my children were small, we read many
 different alphabet books.  
One of our favorites was  Eating the Alphabet. 

Our children loved the bright colorful pictures and calling out the names of each
 fruit or vegetable.
 I loved the fact that it was helping me to teach my children their alphabet letters in a fun way.

This Second Graders learned her alphabet long ago, but still loves bright and colorful pictures on fabrics.  

So for this challenge, I wanted my creation to be

1.The bottom edge of the shirt was finished with a ribbed knit band.
On top of the band, I appliqued these 2 lemons. 
 Aren't they a riot!!!!
I swear I was smiling the whole time I was stitching them onto the band with a stretch stitch.

2. On the back of the shirt I used a colorful fruit with sunglasses fabric and a pre-printed panel on the front. I chose this fabric because this panel, "The Future is So Bright" just made me smile.
Isn't that was the love of reading does...
 makes your future so bright!

3. On her matching bomber jacket, I added another "Perfect Pair" panel to the jacket back.

4. Of course, I had to do something special for the pants too. I decided to add a lower panel of a fruit print to ONLY one leg of the matching black pants.  Then applique some more  fruit....banana, grapes, and an apple, just above the colored print panel.  Yeah, I was smiling again as I stitched around those whimsical fruits.  I repeated the fruit fabric on one of the bomber jacket sleeves too.

5. Continuing the "fruit theme," I added one more detail.... shoestring toppers for her shoes.   Now Miss C is smiling.

6. This headband was made out of the same ribbing fabric on the shirt and jacket.  I hand-sewed some soft velcro circles onto the knit, then I glued the sticky velcro to the back of the gems. Press on the jewels and away you go!

  7. While sewing the turn back cuffs on the shirt, I used the sewing technique Stitch In the Ditch .
On the sleeve cuff,  I sewed a virtually invisible seam through multiple layers of fabric because the new straight stitch seam becomes hidden in the existing stitch seam. 
This keeps the sleeve cuff in place even through
 active children's play or when laundered. 
With my fingers, I gently pull the fabric near the seam apart in opposite directions while sewing the straight stitch seam in the existing stitch seam. When you release the tension on the fabric,
 the seam disappears.

I know this blog post is long, but as a retired teacher, mother and grandmother, I thought that perhaps you might like to read this book to your children too.  Here are some question to have fun with, as you read it to your child:

• What kinds of food start with the letter A?
• Blueberry, bean beet and banana start with which letter?
• What colors were the fruits and vegetables on the C page?
• D, E and F are on the same page. What are some of the names of the fruits and vegetables?
• Which of the G foods is your favorite? Why?
• Where do you see Indian Corn?
• Have you ever eaten jalapenos or kiwifruit?
• What two colors are all the fruits and vegetables on the L page?
• Melon and mango start with which letter? Nectarine? Onion?
• How many different kinds of fruits and vegetables started with the letter P?
• Have you ever eaten any of the vegetables that start with the letters Q or R?
• How do you think the Star Fruit got its name?
• What letter does Ugli Fruit start with? Vegetable Marrow? Watermelon?
• Which letters are on the last page? What fruits and vegetables start with the letters X, Y and Z?

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