Category Archives: sewing

Batman shorts

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The final project from KCW is some shorts for lil’ E, they are basically the same pattern I drafted for the racer shorts except they are sewn up as a regular pair of shorts. Admittingly they turned out a wee bit long, but E has been hungry every 12 minutes for about a week now so I’m sure there is a growth spurt on the way.
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The fabric was gifted to me years ago, I totally forgot about it. The print is just perfect for E as he love love loves Batman!! (he still wears the Batman shirt we freezer stenciled 2 yrs ago on a weekly basis.) Its a interlock knit so fantastic to work with and extra comfortable for the active boy.

lemons are for licking

 

I did my favorite waistband on them, using a ribbed knit and draw string. If you look in my sewing frenzy the holes for the drawstring were put in the back of the waist lol. I’ll be replacing the string with elastic to correct that, it will make it easier for dressing with elastic anyway. The bottom hem has a bias taped finish. For the pocket I used the same purple ribbing, trimmed in bias tape to stabilize the stretchiness.

 

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This is the last post of what was sewn up for KCW, both boys got a new shirt and new shorts, pretty good for just 1 hour a day at the machine. I do want to try to continue the dedication to sewing. I want to hit the machine for an hour a week over the summer. Not sure if it will happen but I’m going to try ūüôā

 

 

Racer Shorts

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Racer Shorts

Yes this is another KCW post ūüôā

One of the projects was racer shorts for Mr. K. the inspiration comes from Made, and Dana’s tutorial on new school takes¬†on¬†racer shorts form the 70’s. I had planned to whip up more than 1 pair of these….however one pair¬†with this material was quite enough!

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The material was a nightmare ! I picked it up in a discount bin, its a athlenctic type knit. Its such a shame really that it is a grumpy material to work with, because its a bright happy blue, really light weight and so it will be comfortable to wear  Its the kind of knit that just skips stitches like crazy,

I stated with a zig-zag…no luck…and then went to my stretch stitches, well my thread kept breaking ! So I switched over to the¬†¬†serger. It was still a pain ūüė¶ ¬† the overlock part was fine, but the main seam needle thread kept breaking. Ugg !

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¬†The saving grace on them was the bias tape that makes them a racer short. It totally stabilized the fabric so its the one part of the project that wasn’t at all frustrating. The detail it adds is nice, Mr. K got to choose the colour. And bonus not hemming ūüėÄ ¬†I’m already looking at the fabric stash and trying to decide what to make into more bias tape so that I can make more racer shorts.

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I will mention and let you all see the horror of the waistband, and what I tried there. E has a pair of swim trunks that have a boxer like waist with 3 seams all gathered. I attempted it even though I knew the fabric was horrid to sew (stubborn when I get a design idea i guess.) It looks pretty ruff !

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Good news is they stay up on his trim waistline and he has been wearing them all week.

PS: just realized I forgot to say the pattern is self drafted from a pair of his shorts

Mis-Matched Reglans

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Mis-Matched Reglans

I didn’t make time to blog about the projects I managed to finish during KCW, so I’ll try my best to roll them out quickly now that we have reached day 7. Starting with…….

Mis-Matched Reglan T’s

lemons are for licking

Some of you might be saying “what is mis-matching?” Its what I call it when you make outfits that go together but don’t totally match, by changing up the trim like here or having a theme fabric like these ones here and here. I absolutely love doing it and think it looks so cute ! (I will even admit it makes me smile when folding their laundry – weird I know.)

lemons are for licking

Following the KCW theme of travel, I pulled some jersey knit from the stash that has little cars on it. The accent fabric is up-cycled T’s, so I was able to utilize a few existing hems.

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The pattern is Field Trip Cargo Pants¬†and Reglan Shirt from Oliver and S. It was in size 18m-4T, so I did have to adjust it to fit my now larger boys (and realized how long I’ve been doing this sewing thing). The adjustments where easy ones just a 1\4 inch on the fold of the shirt pieces, and adding length to the bottom.

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I had some major frustration with the neckline on the red shirt. The cute car fabric has minimal stretch for a knit, so even though¬†the pattern piece had been adjusted for the added width, I didn’t compensate for the difference in¬†stretch that ribbing would have had. I ripped the neckline out twice trying to get it to strech around evenly, then tried re-cutting a new piece. When that didn’t work I gave up on perfect. I ripped out a few inches the third time and cut the neckband to¬†add what was needed. So there are 2 seams in the neckband and one of them is on the side not the back. Oh well embrace imperfection and move on because the boy wearing clearly loves it !

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The sleeve length turned out good, I was going for a 3\4 but am happy with how they look on the boys sitting just at elbow length.lemons are for licking

The best feature according to E is the pockets and what he can hold in them.

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They had so much fun taking these photos. I usually have to bribe them and struggle. I guess it helps that they were aloud to climb all over their sisters truck ūüėõ

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Mr.K was full of ideas and came up with the Run DMC style pose ūüôā and lil’ E was all about what he could put in his pocket. There are so many cute photos from my usually camera shy boys I might just do a photo- shoot post.

PS: yes those are also new shorts from KCW more posts coming on those soon, and you can check out all the fun of KCW by clicking the button below
kid's clothes week

A Golden Pick-Axe

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A Golden Pick-Axe

lemons are for licking

My little E is possibly more obsessed than his brother with mine craft. He plays “pretend MineCraft” on a daily basis assigning diamond armor and golden pick-axes to me as we walk threw our day. While I was sewing up K’s Creeper Shorts, E started telling me what he wanted on his. A golden pick-ax

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The pattern again is clean slate pants by blank slate patterns. For E’s shorts I used a straight up size 5 in width and length, sewn up with the front pocket option.¬†The size¬†fits him well. The material is from the stash again, its actually the accent material from K’s MindCraft shorts. The little square pattern works so well in this¬†theme. ¬†The applique material is jersey knit from the stash, its actually queen size jersey knit sheets I grabbed from Jysk on clearance.

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Jersey knit posses some¬†challenges when using it as an applique, its too bad I didn’t have any suitable fabric in anything other than this oober stretchy knit. ¬†(You can read my applique tips in the previous post here,) the biggest issue is usually warping of fabric, and jersey makes that trickier because it is so stretchy. To help with this I used fusible interfacing on the main brown fabric to make it ¬†hold its shape better. I added it before cutting out the ax, and in hind sight I should have for the light brown too, with all those tight snips. But at the time I was worried it would make the entire thing too bulky and thick.

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The whole thing ended up being bigger than first imagined, because the pick-ax is designed on an angle, in order to cut it all out and make it sew-able I had to increase the size. It was a tricky one too, and I’m a bit unsatisfied with it.

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golden pick ax

I mean its totally recognizable and cute, but its a bit warped and sloppy looking. Part of he problem was that it is designed on the angle and I didn’t think about that until cutting out the light brown. I ¬†had to add a bit of¬†overlap¬† or end up with 9 light brown squares. The on the fly cutting did not turn out well ūüė¶ and the sewing together compounded it … so the middle is pretty warped.

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see it the flap is not over the zipper

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so i sort of fixed it

 

 

 

There is one other error on this project and its the zipper fly. This is only my second fly so I’m not too sure what happened. There is no real flap over the zipper. I must have mis-aligned something, even though I was following the tutorial I managed to goof. But hey its all apart of learning new stuff right !? ¬†I fixed it by messing with the waist a bit manipulating the fabric so that it had a bit of a pleat thing, that could sort of pass as a regular fly (couldn’t explain it if I tried)

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No one will notice that zipper anyway, everyone will be checking out the fabulous top stitching in golden thread 

And you all know what matters most ! That the boy will not take them off ! He is so excited and loves them so much.

lemons are for licking

Minecrafting

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Minecrafting

Are your kids obsessed with Minecraft?

lemons are for lickingMine are !

So naturally when thinking of summer projects for them I wanted to theme everything around those blocky characters. I had a total blast doing it too. I used appliques and some painting on this project. I love the look of appliques so will give you a lot of tips in this post.

lemons are for licking

I used the Clean Slate Pants pattern from Blank Slate, size 6 in width and 8 in length, as K is tall and slim.¬† I’ve used this pattern before and it has become a go-to for me with kid pants. It you haven’t ever used one of Melly’s patterns and are on the fence, jump off and grab one. Her instructions are great! I have reached new skills as a sewer by using them. And this is my first time doing a FLY !!! Her step by step instructions and photos made it easy !

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my first working zip fly yay!

The fabrics are all from the stash, and so old I can’t remember where from (yay me getting through the stash.) The blue cord has been used before on¬†capries for E, and the accent material was originally bought to make scrubs (never happened) but doesn’t it have the best little block pattern for minecraft themed projects ūüôā

The inspiration¬†for the pants came from a google search of minecraft¬†images, I knew I wanted¬†to applique¬†but wasn’t sure what¬†might work for¬†my oldest K. He is getting a bit more particular¬†in his tastes.¬†Then I ¬†found this little gem and it all took off . I loved the idea of him peeking through.

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The creation of the applique took a few steps. First was creating¬†the Creeper, I¬†masked off a checker type grid with some tape and randomly painted the squares. Once the first pass was dry, I did a second sloppy grid so the that it wasn’t a checkerboard pattern but really random looking like in the game. I used the 2 shades of green and the white mixing them together for more randomness. Yes I did get totally OCD on the Creeper lol.

lemons are for licking

¬†Making the cut out was easier than you would think. Everything is so square it was just a matter of measuring out a grid pattern and cutting strait. I mapped it out on paper then simply used¬†the template as a guide to cut the pants. If you do something like this¬†I highly¬†recommend¬†double checking your design as you go.¬†Make sure¬†that its looking the way you want, because we all know you can’t uncut something.lemons are for lickingmccreep3

Now lets take a minute to talk about applique, it’s a¬†great quick way to make a garment totally custom.¬†The key to it looking awesome is¬†nice neat straight¬†lines and no warping or shifting of the cloth as you sew¬†it on. ¬†The tricky part is that if you have a major error your mucked up a mostly finished piece. So here are my tips…

  • try to match fabric as best you can in weight and type¬†–¬†this is not always possible but if you can it makes thing easier
  • woven non stretch¬†fabric is way easier than knits, you can still use knits and I do lots, just go slow and easy
  • speedy sewing will warp a knit applique
  • base/sew your applique¬†in place in stead of pinning, you can either rip out the stitches after or zig-zag right over them
  • OR use an iron on adhesive to hold your applique¬†in place –¬†great choice for thin rolly¬†knits
  • on your corners don’t do a traditional needle in fabric turn, take your needle right up and manually line up your fabric to get a crisp corner
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ssssssssssssssssss

 

So for my creeper I based him in place, the green knit was quite heavy so slow and steady = no major warping. I also sewed all the way around my brick cut out. The two woven probably could have been done without any shifting or weirdness but why take the chance. I also have to show you all how close I came to running out of thread while working around the cut out.

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eeeks look at that thread !

At the request of K a¬†Enderman¬†was added as a back pocket.¬†I happen to also have purple cord scraps around to use for the eyes. You can see here the quick zig-zag used to hold the eyes in place. The pocket is actually attached like the appliques, because the black material is a really heavy knit sweatshirt material so ironing and folding the corners in would’ve created way too much bulk.

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When you put it all together it looks like this.

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With a Creeper creeping around in front¬†… and an Enderman on the back

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Some functional side pockets and a happy small man who will pause his video game for a quick a photo shoot !

lemons are for licking

Bunnies Made by Boys

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I was cleaning out some photo files on my PC and came across this project that never got blogged. One bored day last summer the boys and I made some stuffed bunnies out of old socks. They were feeling bored I was feeling crafty …. drum roll please….

Bunnies !!

We took old socks, drew out some ears (I do believe I used a you tube tutorial to show the kids the idea of it but 6 mths later have no idea who to credit) I did the ear part for them on the machine.

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It was really cute watching them choose what sock would make the best bunnie for them. E chose a really fuzzy sock, it ended up being really stretchy too. K liked the maple leaf sock, he had learned all about our flag in kindergarten.

stuff stuffing

stuff stuffing

They had a good time and stuffed more stuffing then I ever thought possible into the socks.

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Such busy little hands ūüôā

The boys enjoyed making the choices of what buttons for eyes, and how big to make the arms and where to place them.

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They liked watching the bunnies come to life with they work of their  own hands. They did most of the sewing up at the bottom, I hardly had to help.

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looking like a bunnie now

After we were done the boys made homes for them out of shoe boxes. The bunnies still live in them, and E puts treasures that he finds in with his bunnie.

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Little Black Shirt

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I seem to have this on again off again flow to my sewing in the last while, and right now its on again. I have been puttering away at a few new shirts for myself. This one is another self drafted T-shirt, its a copy of a favorite of my wardrobe that is really looking worse for the wear.

the original

the original

new lil' black shirt

new lil’ black shirt

 

The material is made from a yummy knit I found in a remnant bin., It feels like a bamboo or cotton with spandex blend, or something oober soft and has a tun of stretch. I tell ya the Sundrop Studio in my town had got the best stuff in the discount bin, a lot of the fabrics are from really wide bolts too so there is a lot to work with.

The design is really basic a T-shirt with a cap sleeve and a bit of flair in the neckline. What¬†I loved¬†about the mother shirt is the neckline and colours. I tried to copy the cute neckline but it didn’t turn out ūüė¶ so instead I tacked it up and made a keyhole neck line. The result is cute but not planned. I guess we call those things ‘happy acidents.’ And its part of my sewing adventure these things that go a bit wonky.

There is nothing to do about coping the colours though, black material was calling from the fabric stash, so its a black shirt lol. It needed a little something to add a bit of interest, enter contrasting thread.  I sort of have this thing with contrasting threads and the funny stitches all our machines have that no one uses. Using green thread I over stitched the shoulder seams. And then another stitch for the sleeve and hem.

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oooo contrast thread

 

As always since I’m long I added length so that the shirt hits where¬†I like it, however I had a not so happy accident along the hemline. Serging the hem was a mess, the stretch of the fabric (i think?) made the stitching go all wonky, the tension was all wrong so the over-loops were all loose, I realigned the fabric and tried again…the result was no better. I mussed with it got frustrated, well when I looked at it it was all crooked and worse I had eaten up the nice long waistline. See I wanted this a little touch of contrasting thread in the hemline with the serger, and instead I ended up with a shirt that is few inches shorter than I like. In the attempt to salvage the shirt, I did a basic fold over hem, it is not strait at all, and really quite sad. Instead of a contrasting serged edge it is over stitched like the sleeve hem, and it looks fine done like that. Wished I had stopped my war with the serger sooner…sigh…then the hem would at least be strait.

the wiggly hem..at leadt it has cute green over-stitching

the wiggly hem..at leadt it has cute green over-stitching

So here is to honest sewing and learning as we go. I’ll still wear my imperfect creation, the hem can be camouflaged, the neckline is cute.

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New Shirts

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As Rainy January slipped in to rainy February I found¬†a few¬†days to sit and sew. I was able to finish 2 projects for myself, both of them are great every day shirts. It seems like a small feat but its has been tricky lately to carve out the time to sew. When¬†I make the time for my crafty side it pays off on many levels, I’m more relaxed and can take things in stride a bit better and¬†I have new stuff !

This was a new attempt for me, a reglan T that is my size. I have done the reglan thing with a super style hoodie for my boy, (check it out here) but never for me.¬†I don’t even have one to copy ūüėõ what is a girl to do ? Well search blogs of course. I found a free one size reglan style T-shirt over at Dixie DIY (check it out here.)¬†I have sewn one of her patterns before (click again … lots of clicking today) the perfect concert T and liked her easy to follow straight forward design.

sooper silly selfie, with an effect on the phone

sooper silly selfie, with an effect on the phone

The free pattern was not going to fit me, and was not really the fit¬†I had in mind, so¬†I frankenstiened up a pattern mix of Dixie DIY’s free pattern and a self drafted pattern I made up last year and loved (once more… you can see it here.) Starting with her original¬†free reglan¬†shirt, I placed my self draft pattern over top matching the armpits, I adjusted the length and shape of the pattern. Then¬†I made adjustments for my smaller bust line and narrow build. I cut the pattern in half down the middle of the shoulder seam and overlapped it to take out about¬†an¬†inch. This step translates into about 2 inches since it comes off each side. Now that I’m trying to post and explain this¬†I wish I had thought to take some quick snapshots. I was really worried that this step would muck up the way that the sleeves fit, but in the end it was ok.

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You can see here that there is a bit of an odd thing going on at this in between stage with out the neckline.The sleeves are higher and odd, I just trimmed it off rounding it all out. In hindsight I should’ve taken a wee bit out of the middle on the ‘fold’ say about a half-inch to help the neckline, it’s a bit too wide n’ scoopy. The oversight was easily camouflaged with a wide neckband.

bunchy armpit fit

bunchy armpit fit

And there is a weird fit thing going on in the armpits…its like the arm hole is a bit too long? So most of the photos the shirt wrinkles up in the chest all weird (the best shot was the bad effect selfie, my photgrapher today is only 3’8″) Again I put it up to the adjusting, next time I will possibly make the armpit shorter. With a few more tweaks I’ll have a good reglan pattern ūüôā it is a great style to quickly whip up.

The other mistake is that I underestimated the length of my arms, the arms were too short. There was¬†a moment of panic when I thought it would have to be a 3/4 length sleeve, not my favorite, instead¬†I added longer cuffs. Looks alright almost like it was planned that way.¬† In the name of quick sewing I didn’t finish the bottom hem, here is a good shot of the long cuffs and raw serged hem.

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I think it is important to include all these imperfections, we put way to much pressure on ourselves. This shirt is not perfect, I already love how comfy it is. It has animal print and it fits long enough on my lanky frame, I know i will wear it imperfections and all. Its mostly why I don’t often finish the hem on jersey knit shirts…I can’t wait 10 more minutes to have them done!

see no one can tell its not perfect :)

see no one can tell its not perfect ūüôā

 

FirePower Mario

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Our boys want to be game characters this Halloween. K chose his favorite Mario. (E’s costume post can be found here) I was excited Mario wouldn’t be too hard to pull together, some overalls and a red shirt. I figured a trip to the thrift store, a box store for the hat and Ta-Da Mario. I was wrong. I combed the whole thrift store not 1 pair of overalls.

When I told K that I would be sewing his costume he was so excited because that meant he could be FirePower Mario.

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The pants pattern is blank slate pants, it really is my go to pattern. I adapted it to make it fit big in the tummy, because our plumber friend is a bit tubby, and drafted the bib and pockets.¬†¬†Some sneaky snaps were added at the sides to keep Mario’s tummy stuffing in. The fit turned out ok, it is a bit odd fitting on the sides and even with the snaps there is on odd Gap. But all in all I’m pleased with the way they turned out.

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It was really fun it whip it all up, there was lots of short cut taking so it was fast and fun. The fabric is an old curtain so I could use existing hems for the top of the pockets. Pocket ironing and adjusting can be so tedious. The backs pockets are short cut city,¬† a close zig-zag stitch was all that was used, no ironing nothing.¬† lol it only has to last a day. The other great short cut was the straps, no ironing or folding there either. Its the top hem of the curtain where you would put a rod threw them. I trimmed it off zig-zagged the raw edge and voila straps. If you look close enough you can even see that the buttons don’t match lol.

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The hat on the other hand … not so¬†quick and fun.¬†I found the idea intimidating. See¬†I was concerned about the¬†how¬†Mario’s hat sort of stands up a bit, and its sort of ¬†puffy.¬†Having never made any hats¬†really and thinking that interfacing or something would be needed to poof it up, I started racking my brain for a solution.¬†¬†The idea was to cardboard and the glue gun and it would be easy.¬†Like a construction paper crown but Mario-ized …WRONG ūüôā¬†…more like a demented chef had. So thanks¬†to this nice YouTuber and her tutorial I sewed¬†up a great little mario cap.

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At the suggestion of a friend “Fire Power Mario ! cool ! what is he going to throw?” and since I am on a craft rampage at the moment, I decided why not make him a Fireball to toss. This time my glue gun was my friend. The fireball is simply felt and fluff and fun!

Also because kids in mustaches are fun, I want to share this crazed blurry photo. Little E is almost like a Wario in the back ground ūüėÄ He randomly ran threw a few shots sporting his own mustache.

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