Archive for the 'clothing' Category

More Sewing: Pants for my Boy

I’ll admit, I finished sewing these pants weeks ago.  I took pictures of them meaning to make a blog post about them, but didn’t get around to it right away.  So, even though these are old news, they’re too cute not to share.

These are the “pluto pants” from the winter 2008 issue of Ottobre magazine.  I used olive ripstop fabric from Jo-Ann’s and did contrasting topstitching in light blue thread. 

This pattern went together so well, I’ll definitely make it again.  All the little details – knee pleats, panel seams, cargo pockets – make these pants special.  E-boy much prefers pull-on pants, and I love the sporty look these have.  They are plenty baggy to wear over long johns if the weather is chilly, too.


Here’s the trio of pajamas that I just finished sewing up for E-boy.  When asked which was his favorite pair, he chose the doggies.  Hopefully, when I put these into his closet, I can also remove the much-loved and now-too-small Christmas Tree pajamas from last year without any complaints.

I also made some nightgowns for my girlies.  This is the pattern from the latest Ottobre.   The girls have decided that they like long nightgowns, they’d never had any before these ones.  I still need to put some labels in to tell whose is whose, but all in good time…

Long Sleeves.

Here are some of the shirts I’ve been sewing for the girls this Fall.  I’ve been hoarding this purple campan stripe since I bought it this spring, just waiting for long sleeve weather.  The pattern is from the latest issue of Ottobre.  I used knits for the butterfly applique, leaving the edges raw to roll a bit when they’re washed.  The rhinestone antennae add a bit of bling, and I used a reverse coverstitch with woooly nylon for the hems (you can just see  it on the sleeve in this picture).  The two shirts are identical (no wonder people think my girls are twins) except for the tags; one has pink striped ribbon for a tag, the other has pink polka dot ribbon.  Wouldn’t you know, the girls both wanted the one with the polka dot ribbon tag.

I love the stripe/dot combination on these tunics.  I used another Ottobre pattern for these, the “strawberry tunic” from Otto 3/08.  I lengthened the sleeves since I’m sewing for Fall.  I also had to alter the back to have a yoke, since I was working with half-yard lengths of fabric.  The girls had to flip a coin over these shirts, since they both wanted the pink/blue one.  Me, I prefer the red/pink version as I had both coordinating solids for the yoke/binding.

SWAP Sewing: Olive Capri Pants

Okay, these weren’t on my original drawing.  You caught me!  But I think I’m going to sneak them into my SWAP because I like them so much.  Maybe they’ll replace the black french terry gauchos with the ruched waist (that I haven’t made yet).  This was my first try at “real pants” for me.  And I’d call it a success.  I learned a lot in the process, and know what changes to make with the next pair.

I used an olive cotton ripstop fabric with a touch of lycra for stretch.  I got it at JoAnn’s and it was crazy cheap, regular price was $4.99/yard, and it was on sale for half off.  So, the fabric for these cost me a whopping five bucks.  The weight is okay, nice for summer, but a bit lighter than I’d like for winter bottom  weight fabric.  I really like the ripstop texture, as it gives these a sportier look.  I’ll admit, I went back to JoAnn’s and picked up more of this fabric in khaki and dark olive.

The pattern I used is #13 in Ottobre 2/2008, which is shown as wide leg linen pants.  I shortened them to a capri length that falls just below my knee.  The biggest issue I had with the pattern was the fit.  I chose a size based on my measurements, then traced and cut.  As I was sewing, I tried on and realized that they were too big, so I took in the seams to make them smaller.  I really feel I could have gone down two sizes on the pattern and been just fine.  I’m not sure how much of that has to do with the fact that the fabric has a little stretch, though.  The fit is comfortable, but I prefer a lower waist than is show in this style, so if I were to make this pattern again, I’d lower the waist by at least an inch.  Of course, this is a personal preference rather than an issue with the pattern itself.

I have to say I’m insanely proud of how well the zipper fly came out on these pants.  It is practically perfect and lies nicely flat.  I guess I have an aversion to sewing using the “right” color of thread, because I stitched these up with contrasting baby blue thread.  I went a little crazy with the bar-tacks on these as well, but I feel like the added details make them look less “homemade”.  Once again, I used a pretty piece of gingham ribbon as a tag, sewn into the back waistband.

The details continue on the back with patch pockets.  I added belt loops on these after they were done out of necesity, since they are a tad too big.  But, I’ve worn them many times since I made them, so the size issue hasn’t kept me from enjoying them.  This has been a huge step for me, getting past the fear of sewing pants for myself.

SWAP Sewing: Floral Peasant Top

I promise, this is one of those tops that looks so much cuter on a person than it does on a hanger.  Really.  Maybe some day I’ll get Hubby to snap a modeled picture so I can prove it to you.

I used this tutorialto make the pattern for this top.  I did change the back neckline to sit a bit higher than the front neckline, though, which necesitated changing the sleeve piece as well.  After I made a tester top, I felt like that was an important change, and I’m happy that I did it.  I used elastic shirring at the neck, arms and waist.  I really love the fabric I used for this top, it’s by Robert Kaufman, part of his “London Calling” collection.  It’s a lawn, lightweight without being sheer, with a lovely soft drape.

SWAP Sewing: Green Gingham Blouse

Here is one of the first items I made for my Sewing With A Plan, the green gingham blouse.  I actually finished this one a few weeks ago, and wore it right away when it was finished, which is a sure sign that it’s a winner.

The fabric is a nice 95/5 cotton/lycra shirting.  It has a nice heavy drape, and plenty of stretch for comfort.  I didn’t really use a pattern, just a front/back/sleeve from a vintage shirt pattern I had handy.  I cheated and sewed the tucks and placket before I cut the shirt front because I didn’t want to think about how much to add to the width of the pattern piece for the tucks. 

I really love the details on this shirt.  I cut the placket, cuffs and collar on the bias.  I used turquoise buttons, and sewed them on with orange thread.  Hubby really thought I’d lost my mind when I told him that was my plan, but I love the way it looks.  I’m super proud of the collar and collar stand, too.  I used a piece of blue gingham ribbon as a tag at the center back of the neck.

I went back and forth about the sleeves on this shirt, but ended up deciding on a traditional cuff, accented with two buttons.

A Preview of Coming Attractions

Here’s a Week’s Worth of Sewing

I’ve been busy this week sewing up some new summer clothes for the kids.  I think I’ve made good progress:

These two tops I made today, loving the round neck style.  I was glad to find perfect buttons for each one in the button box, so I didn’t have to stop and go out to the fabric store before having the satisfaction of seeing the finished project.  And about the buttons, I’m loving the buttonholer that came with my Rocketeer, now that I’ve figured out how to use it, perfect puttonholes are a snap!

And, I tried out shirring with elastic on the bobbin…once I got started it was tough to stop!  This is one of those techniques that I had put off trying for a long while, who knows why.  I am so glad I got around to it, because I just love these, and they were so easy to make!

And a modelled shot of the other shirred garments, excuse my silly kids.

Here are the t-shirts I made for summer.  Love the mock wrap style, not so sure about the other:

This dress and shorts caused me no end of frustration, the ribbing just would not cooperate for me.  But it turned out cute in the end, and it’s sure to be a favorite cute and comfy outfit this summer.

And for the boy, I made a couple of short and tees.  This shark fabric just begged to be made into a pair of surfer style shorts.

These brown shorts were made out of the leftover bit of fabric from making the brown pants I showed earlier.

And this outfit has to be my favorite one of the week!  The basic black twill shorts have triple topstitching in light blue – red – blue to match the robot print knit curved raglan top.  We had to wear it right away, and it gave me an excuse to get out the red shoes that used to belong to big sister.

And here’s a close-up of the topstitching, which totally makes the shorts:

This week’s sewing by the numbers:

  • garments sewn: 18
  • garments already appropriated and worn by the chilrden: 9
  • bobbins wound: 9  (4 with shirring elastic, wound by hand)
  • broken needles: 2
  • 1″ elastic left in my stash: about 12 inches (not enough for another waist)
  • trips to the fabric store: 0
  • curse words: only at the striped dress

Hot Off The Sewing Machine

I call it “JoAnn’s Euro Mermaid meets Disney’s Ariel.”  It is a custom order that I’m crossing my fingers fits the little girl it’s intended for.  The applique is hand drawn, and wasn’t much fun stitching on the swiss dot, but I love the look of the semi-sheer overlay.  Here are some not-so-great pictures of it hanging from the doorknob.

Smiling Pumpkins

This project was inspired by the Jack-o-lantern fabric that I had laying around at the house.  Sometime in April, I put it in a stack of fabrics to be given away, and since I hadn’t done that yet, and October is now approacking, I decided to make something of it.  So, it became smiling pumpkin overalls.  The fabric at the cuffs only used a little of the fabric, so I added a peasant top to complete the outfit.  Sometimes I’m motivated only by the desire to sew “something” and not by any practical purpose.  So it was with this, as it won’t fit any child at my house.  It will be for sale, and hopefully some little cutie will enjoy wearing it this October.


Flickr Photos