Monday, April 22, 2013

Kimono for Baby Boy

Still no baby, but my time is now being spent packing up for our big move. My sewing corner was one of the first spots to pack away so I wouldn't be tempted to keep sewing (especially with Kids Clothing Week going on!) I do have some photos of some projects I made in the last month that I will post this week and next.
Today I am sharing this little kimono top made from Habitual's free pattern. I have wanted to make one since I saw Homemade by Jill's.

The fabric is Urban Zoology Owls in blue. I love this print. I think it's really fun, and will look great on my little guy. I sewed a size 0-6 months, but I don't think it will fit until he's at least 6 months old.
The tutorial was a little sketchy on how the ties went on, so I wanted to show how it comes together. There is a tie on the inside that ties to the neckline strap.
Then you fold over the other side and tie the other neckline strap to the strap that is sewn to the outside.
Then you tie it in a nice little bow!

I accidentally sewed both straps so they were on the outside (instead of one on the inside and one on the outside) and had to stare at it for a couple of minutes to figure out what I did wrong. Luckily unpicking the seam and fixing the strap didn't take very long.

This is a great pattern that comes together soooo fast! I plan to make a few more this summer.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Pleats and Lace Floral Tunic: It's all in the details

Last week I mentioned I was only going to sew along with project run and play that week since there are so many things going on in our lives right now. But my husband encouraged me to keep sewing. He knows that sewing makes me happy. With the anxiety of daily contractions, wondering when this baby is going to come it was nice to have something to occupy my mind.
This week's challenge at Project Run and Play is "It's all in the details." The hard part of this challenge was balancing the details. When I was brainstorming ideas at the begining of the week, I kept adding more and more details "and I can add a peter pan collar, and some piping, and then add some ruffles..." I had to stop myself a lot from over-doing it. But at the same time, I kept looking over my sketches wondering if it was too plain. My style is very simple, so this challenge was really good for me, it pushed me beyond what I normally do.  I am really happy with how it turned out.
Now let's talk about this outfit. I found this vintage-y style floral fabric at Joann's, I love when I can find cute prints at Joann's! For the outfit, I knew I wanted to make a tunic. My daughter has plenty of t-shirts and dresses in her wardrobe, and I love the look of tunics with legginings. I began the tunic with two-inch pleats on the front and added two little vintage buttons. (The pleats and bias bound neckline were inspired by Craftiness is not Optional's Pleated Top)
Look at them, aren't they beautiful? I picked them up at an antique mall two years ago. I was excited to have a project worthy of using my precious vintage buttons on.
The sleeves have some cute white crochet lace trim poking out (the lace trim is from hobby lobby)

 Then I added a gathered pocket on the side, with the same lace trim poking out. My daughter is really excited for the pocket because it's large enough for her toy cell phone. She gets so frustrated that the pockets in her store bought clothes aren't big enough to hold anything! I am definitely going to start adding pockets to more of my sewing.  (the design of these pockets was heavily inspired by these shorts from Rowan & Oak from Shorts on the Line last year- and Dana's gathered pocket tutorial was useful for their construction)
On the back, I did a button placket (with more vintage buttons!) I am soooo proud of my placket. I have never done one before, and have really wanted to learn how. I used this tutorial from The Crafty Cupboard (its a fantastic tutorial, and much better than my sewing textbook, the book had me stumped, but Melanie's step by step photos are fantastic) The hardest part is right before you sew everything down and you tuck all the fabric under, it felt like an origami puzzle!
While I was sketching out this outfit, I went back and forth between different closures, I was tempted to do a zipper or just a button loop, but because it was the details challenge, I knew I needed a detail like a button placket. Thank you project run and play for encouraging me to learn new sewing skills!!
 Next up are the leggings. I bought some knit fabric from Joann's, I didn't know which color I liked best so I made up a pair in pink and another pair in the blue/green. The fabric was a cheap 100% polyester knit. I usually regret buying polyester but the price tag is always so persuasive, and Joann's (at least my local store) doesn't have much in selection. This knit was a thin slippery fabric that was difficult to sew, but my daughter looooves how comfy they are, so it's all good. Leggings sew up sooooo quickly, I am definitly going to be making several more pairs for my daughter's summer wardrobe.
All the patterns were self drafted :) Maybe a few months after the baby is born and I am back to being a human being I will put up a tutorial with the patterns for anyone interested.
  Overall, I think it's a great spring/early summer outfit. My daughter LOVES it and is so excited to finally be allowed to wear it. (she's wanted to wear the leggings since I finished them on Monday, but I wouldn't let her because I just knew she would stain them with something before I could snap some photos for this post!)

Friday, April 5, 2013

Completely Covered: knit nursing cover tutorial

I have seen several knit nursing tops pop up on pinterest, and when I saw them I immediately knew I needed one! I already have one of those cotton fabric ones like this one that is great. But there were a few times with my last baby that I wished I had a little bit more coverage (on an airplane) plus the knit fabric looked so comfy and stylish! (don't burst my bubble if you don't think it's stylish, let me stay in ignorant bliss)

The cover online cost $80, I made this for less than $5! I found this fabric that was on clearance for $2 a yard. sweet! (Since it was on clearance, it's now sold out. sorry) 

want to make your own?

You will need:
  • 1 and 1/2 yards of jersey knit fabric (the fabric I used was 68" wide- as long as your fabric is at least 55 inches wide you will be good) Determine your measurements before buying your fabric, you may need to buy more fabric if you are taller or wider than I am
  • 1/8 yard of knit ribbing (optional, but highly recommended)

1. First you will want to make your measurements to determine your dimensions. With your arms stretched out measure the length from one wrist to the other. This will be the width of your cover. Next measure from your shoulder down to your thigh, multiple this number by 2. This will be your length of your cover. Then measure the distance between your collar bones, this will be the width of your neck hole.

Do I need to buy more fabric? If your shoulder to thigh length doubled is larger than 54 inches, yes. you will need 2 yards of fabric.

2. Cut your fabric. It will be a large rectangle.
3. Next fold your rectangle in half lengthwise, then in half again widthwise. You are ready to cut out the neck hole! (you want to be cutting right in the middle of the rectangle, so be sure you are cutting on the corner with all folded edges, no raw edges!!!) on the right side measure down 1 1/2" cut a little slit. Now, remember your collar bone to collar bone measurement? (mine was 10") divide it by 2 (10/2=5"). Measure from your corner out that distance (5") and cut down at a slight curve to the slit you cut (1 1/2" down)
Unfold the fabric, and you will have a nice opening for you neck! (this photo was taken after I added the ribbing, but you get the idea) This is knit fabric so it doesn't fray. If you want this to be a no-sew project, then leave it as is, you are done!!!  If you want your cover to be a little more professionally finished, then continue on.
4. Remember your collar bone to collar bone measurement? (mine was 10")  multiply that by 80% (10 x .8 = 8") now add 1" for seam allowances (8+1=9"). This will be the length of your ribbing. Cut your ribbing 2" wide by the length you just calculated (9").
5. Sew the ends of ribbing together (with 1/2 inch seam allowance). You will have a little circle.
Now give it a tug to stretch it out a little bit and then set it down to let it "relax" for at least one minute. This pre-stretching will help your ribbing to not stretch out after you sew it in and be all wavy/ugly.
(now at this point the photos are not going to be to scale. I made the nursing cover and then decided to go back and write a tutorial for how to make it. So I used my scraps to show the steps. Hopefully it's not too confusing. some pictures are better than none right?)
6. Fold the ribbing in half lengthwise so the raw edges are together (seam on the inside). Next fold it into quarters and mark with pins so that your ribbing is marked into four equal sections. Do the same thing to the opening of your cover.
7. Match up your pins. You will have to stretch the ribbing just a little bit to get it to fit (the pins will ensure that you have an even stretch). Pin raw edges to raw edges.
8. Sew (with a 1/2" seam allowance) the ribbing to the cover using a zig zag stitch (a zig zag stitch allows the fabric to stretch)

9. Turn it over. Top stitch the ribbing (again with a zig zag stitch) aaaand you are done!

If you really wanted to, you could finish the edges of the nursing cover, but I chose to leave all those edges un-hemmed. If it really bothers me I may go back and turn all the edges under.

 Enjoy your lovely new nursing cover!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Shirt Dress

Remember these baby shorts?
Remember how I said I made the shorts from the leftover sleeve fabric after I made a shirt dress from my hubby's old shirt? Well here is the shirt dress!
 I used Dana's shirt dress tutorial and followed it to the T (sooo rare for me!)
I wasn't crazy about it when I finished (the slightly faded fabric was just so "eh!") so I switched out the small, boring off-white buttons for some bright yellow ones. Much better.
One of my favorite parts of sewing is buying lovely fabric that makes me swoon (I looooooove buying fabric). So making something out of my hubby's old shirt was different for me. I made it for the cost of the elastic (about 60 cents worth), four cheap buttons (15 cents each), and some white muslin (scraps leftover from my car seat blanket). $1.20 for a dress is pretty awesome! I may have to jump on the refashion train more often.
I love this dress! I can't wait for little brother to get here so he can wear the matching shorts and we can get some matchy-matchy photos!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Chevron Tunic for Project Run and Play

This week is the Riley Blake Chevron Challenge at Project Run and Play.
I made a tunic based off the Maggie Mae Dress from Shwin and Shwin (the Maggie Mae dress is a tutorial on how to modify the Maggie Mae tunic pattern)

The top fabric is Riley Blake Floral in Aqua from the Doohikey Designs dress up days collection. The bottom fabric is Riley Blake Chevron in Aqua also from the dress up days collection
About a year ago I cut up this fabric to make the Maggie Mae Dress in a 6 month size for a friend's baby girl. Except the bottom was huge! I don't know where I went wrong. I don't know if the pattern is a poor fit or if  just I missed something (going between the tutorial and the pattern is a little confusing). I was frustrated and decided to just make my standard go-to baby gift instead (baby shoes) and ripped apart the top yoke/sleeve portion from the gathered bottom and threw away the top and tossed the bottom chevron fabric into my sewing stash to reuse somehow (it was a good sized piece of fabric!)

When Project Run and Play announced the Riley Blake challenge, I thought "Hey I have some Riley Blake chevrons waiting to be used!" So I pulled out the discarded bottom and decided to refit it to a tunic for my two year old. I re-cut the top piece in a size 2, and used the set-aside bottom that was cut to a 6 month size (I told you it was huge!)
Even unbuttoned it wasn't large enough to fit over little Christine's head so I did a little modification to the tunic (the tutorial says to just make the neck even wider, but it was already pretty wide). If the bottom had been cut to a size 2T I would have had plenty of fabric to make a button packet so everything could be consistent. It was a "make it work" moment, so I cut and lined a slit in the bottom. I don't mind the asymmetry at all. I love the top, and I am so happy that I was able to resurrect this great chevron fabric from the fabric graveyard.
I paired the chevron tunic with these box pleat shorts that you may recognize from the Bias Remix. They were the perfect match, you would have thought I made them to go with the top! (Check out my tutorial how to make the box pleat shorts here) I know, I know, Project Run and Play is all about sewing over the top  outfits and I only made a top, but cut me some slack, I am 36 weeks pregnant!!  
The adorable bows are crocheted using Craftiness is Not Optional's Easy Crochet Bows

I really wish I could play along for all the Project Run and Play challenges this round (there are some great challenges!) but I really need to get packing so we can move before this baby comes!

Check out the other sew-along entries over at the Project Run and Play Blog

P.S. I just realized that both bloggers I referenced tutorials from (Shwin and Shwin and Jess from Craftiness is Not Optional) are both All Star Contestants Ha! Thanks All Stars!