Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween 2012: The Scientist and Raggedy Ann

I was hoping to come up with another family theme for Halloween this year, but we couldn't agree on anything. It's probably for the best, since I just finished E's wig yesterday!  I don't know how I would have managed another two costumes also.

O prefers non-costumey costumes these days, so he decided a few weeks ago that he would like to be a "genius inventor" or a scientist with a lab coat and tie.  I used the pajama top from Butterick 5586 and extended the length by about 9", added two more patch pockets, lowered the top button and spread out the other two a bit more.  There was an insane amount of sleeve cap ease -- so much that I initially wondered if I'd accidentally cut the puffed sleeve from the nightgown -- which I took out by eyeballing.  There was a lot of reminding myself that it was just a costume! Other than that, it went together easily and fits well.

He also asked for another faux tie, which he chose to be from a skeleton print.

He's wearing my shoes, which are about three sizes too big.  Sometimes it's better not to ask.

We decided on Raggedy Ann for E, and just realized tonight that this is the first Halloween she hasn't been an animal!  She was a ladybug, a monkey, a bee, and then an owl.  There were a several pieces to Raggedy Ann, but most of them were quick to sew up.

I started with the Miss Madeline peasant dress with long sleeves with shirring at the wrists, no elastic at the waist, and an added neck ruffle like in this tutorial.

Her apron is a larger version of the one in this tutorial.  I used the same dimensions for the arm straps and waist ties, but made the waist band 3x21" and the body of the apron 17" x 43" (the width of the fabric).  The only other modification I made was to attach the straps behind the apron, rather than sandwiching them between the waist band and the main fabric. I also added some jumbo rickrack when I realized that my original overly ambitious plan to embroider "Raggedy Ann" onto it was soooo not going to happen.

For our first Halloween event last week, she wore the pantalets from this summer, but they didn't really show below the dress, so I made another full-length pair.  (I'm planning on having her wear them  for Christmas also, or I wouldn't have bothered -- I don't think... I do get kind of obsessive about costumes.  Ha.)  I was out of elastic thread, so made a casing on the inside with single-fold bias tape and ran elastic through it.  Finished with a rolled hem for the sake of speed, but then the thread kept breaking, making me wish I'd just done a quick regular hem!

The last piece, the yarn wig, took by far the longest, but was so worth the extra time.  It cracks me up every time I look at it.  She seemed to enjoy wearing it too.  I'm quite sure she knows when she's being funny.

I used the Scarecrow Wig pattern, but my first attempt at the hat turned out too big.  Casting on 78 stitches for the second try worked out much better. 

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Ladybug Baby Carrier Slipcover Tutorial

Do you still need a costume for your baby?  Here's a quick babywearing costume that I originally shared on The Train to Crazy as part of the Handmade Costume Series

Look at how little -- and chubby -- E was!  This was her first Halloween costume.

Baby carrier, such as a mei tai or soft-structured carrier
Ladybug wings
Red fleece
Black fleece scraps
Heavyweight sew-in interfacing
Hook & loop
Matching thread
Tracing paper

Cut the elastic shoulder straps off of the wings. Cut a piece of hook the size of the area connecting the wings. If your hook is too narrow, you may want to use two rows so your wings don't sag. Sew the hook to the wrong side of the wings.

Wrong side

Use bobbin thread that matches your wings, since it will show.

Right side

Trace your carrier, marking openings for the straps.

I don't  have the original Honeybunch mei tai anymore, so I'm using a Kanga XT as an example.

Add a seam allowance (I prefer 1/4") to all of the non-strap areas and cut out your pattern.

Cut the front and back (inside) pieces from red fleece with the greater stretch going side to side. Cut one piece from the interfacing.

Decide how many spots you would like on your ladybug -- mine has three 3" spots -- and cut them from black fleece. Applique them to the front piece. I prefer a straight stitch when using fleece. If your carrier isn't perfectly symmetrical, make sure you're applying them to the correct piece!

Take the piece of interfacing and cut away a bit from the strap areas, so that it doesn't show if it gaps when it's being worn. It will look something like this:

Use a glue stick or pin the interfacing to the back of the front piece. The interfacing reinforces the fleece so that the weight of the wings doesn't cause them to sag.

Cut loop the same size as the hook on the wings. Decide where you'd like your wings to attach; the bottom of my hook is just above the center point of the body. Sew the loop onto the front piece and interfacing.

Place the front and back pieces right sides together and sew seams, leaving openings for straps. Make sure you catch the interfacing in the seam allowances, as shown two photos above.

Turn the slipcover right side out. It's done!

Slip it over your carrier, stick on the wings, and enjoy!

If you'd like to make your little one a simple costume to wear when out of the carrier, start with a basic a-line jumper pattern. I used the Ottobre 4/08 Nasta Pinafore, sewing shoulder seams instead of using buttons and finishing the neckline and armholes by turning them under 1/4" and using a zig-zag stitch. This was also the base of E's bee costume and her owl costume. Sew some dots to the front and back. If your little ladybug is walking, you could also sew some loop to the back of the dress and stick the wings on when she's out of the carrier.

Round out the look with a black onesie and tights. I also made some ladybug slippers from the free Darling Diaper Minimoc pattern (bottom left of the page).

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

KCWC Day 1: Rockin' Baby Gown + Cupcake Hat

My Day 1 project has made it safely to its recipient, so now I can blog about it.  The lactation cookies that I also sent were eaten by some local wildlife before my friend got the package!!  (I assume it was on her porch or something when the incident took place.)  Fortunately the critters were less attracted to my handiwork than my baking -- even though there was a cupcake involved:

This is the Cupcake Baby Hat from Itty-Bitty Nursery. I made E the 1-2 year size when she was about 18 months old, and she still wears it three years later! Since this is newborn sized, and my friend says it fits perfectly now, I imagine this one will not have such longevity.

It was accompanied by a Rockin' Baby Gown.  Such a great pattern!  I've made it before and loved it just as much this time around.

I used yardage again instead of upcycling, but the next one I have tentatively planned will be from a tee.

Mitt folded over on the left, folded back on the right.

Monday, October 15, 2012

KCWC Day 7: Camo Skulls Cargo Pants

It rained all weekend, and yesterday I really just wanted to sit around and read or something equally lazy.  I might have if I'd been planning on making something for E.  Since all my sewing had been for her so far, it was time to make something for the boy.

We decided on some cargo pants from a print that's been in my stash for 5+ years.  I used the Hot Scott pattern again, even though I'm not that crazy about it.   I am, however, crazy about not having to trace another pattern when I have one that fits fairly well.  Lazy.   Now that I have the sizing figured out, my biggest complaint is the directions, but since this was my third time, that didn't matter so much.

I do like the details: topstitching, eyelets on the cargo pockets, etc. This was my first time setting eyelets in fabric.  I loved to use eyelets when I was in my card-making phase.  It was just as easy on fabric.

It is probably silly to put so much time into pants made from quilting cotton for a seven-year-old,  though. I imagine he'll rip through a knee in short order.  I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that it'll be below the cargo pockets, so I can cut them off into shorts.

This was the first time I did the faux fly correctly!  After the last pair, I realized I had done it completely wrong on both pairs of shorts.

Patch pockets on the back this time, instead of pockets with flaps.  I made them longer to compensate, but I think they may be up a little too high.  It doesn't look too bad when they're on, though.  Plus his shirts are always untucked.

I was going to say that's it for KCWC sewing, but I still have my Day 1 gift item to show you!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Guest Posting at The Train to Crazy

I'm still plugging away at my last KCWC project, but in the meantime, I'm guest posting at The Train to Crazy tonight for the Handmade Costume Series.  Stop over and check out how to make this carrier slipcover costume.

I can't get over how little she was -- and chubby!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

KCWC Day 6: Jalie 2805

As I was sewing up today's shirt, view D of Jalie 2805, I was pretty convinced that it was going to be the loudest, ugliest shirt ever.  It is bright and busy, and I certainly couldn't pull it off myself, but on a four-year-old, I think it's pretty cute.

The orange knit isn't very stretchy, so I cut a H width/I length, which is one size up from what I'd been making for E.  It fits nicely.  I also made cuffs for the sleeves instead of hemming them.

I've had some problems with this type of placket before, but it went fairly well.  Only had to break out the seam ripper once!

Just including this one because it cracked me up.
I also made a Facebook page for SJS today.  You can find it here or by clicking the Facebook icon in the upper right.

This has already been my most productive KCWC ever, with one day left to go.  E had the most wardrobe gaps to fill, but I'll be sewing for O tomorrow.

Friday, October 12, 2012

KCWC Day 5: Corduroy Modkid Sydney

Today's project was a fine-wale corduroy Modkid Sydney for E.  I wanted a trimmer fit than the example, so made it in a 3T width/5T length combo, which fits her perfectly.  Like the last time I made a Sydney, I used the width of the fabric for the skirt, rather than piecing it.

One thing I wish I'd remembered is that I don't like the neckline finish, which shows when worn.  Next time I'll try a lined bodice rather than just a facing, so the seam connecting the hood won't be exposed.

This was fun stash-buster.  All three prints were purchased at separate times, some years apart.  The polka dot was left over from her first birthday outfit.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

KCWC Day 3: Jalie 2806 (again)

E's tulip-sleeved Jalie 2806 from the spring KCWC was probably her most worn shirt all summer, so yesterday I made her a long-sleeved version using the sleeve pattern from 2805. I also used the hem band to add a bit of length and avoid hemming rib knit!

With the hem band, it is very, very long. Tunic length, but kind of narrow, even on my skinny girly. I think it's meant to kind of bunch up a bit, and it is nice that it doesn't ride up when she puts her arms over her head.

I think with this particular knit, though, I could have cut a straight H, rather than a G width/H length that I used for her other one. It bunches some around her chest. Or maybe that's because of the band.  Hmm... I might try removing it and just hemming it to see what happens.

Have you looked at all the great things in the KCWC Flickr Group?  So inspiring!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

KCWC Day 2: Owl Shoes (with a tutorial for altering a soft shoes pattern for use with braces)

I did sew on Day 1 (Monday), but it's a gift and the mama of the recipient is a reader, so I'm waiting to blog until she gets it.

Yesterday E got her new braces, so she also needed new shoes to fit them.  I was going to just make a quick plain pair, but then I got sidetracked by the idea of an owl applique.  You know how these things go.  The applique took longer than the shoe construction.  Ha.

I took a few pictures along the way, thinking there may be someone else out there who might need to make something similar. E doesn't wear them outside, so she really just needs a lightweight non-skid covering for her braces. A soft-soled shoe is perfect, but the braces add considerable bulk, necessitating some pattern alterations.

You will need a basic soft-soled shoe pattern.  I use the Darling Diapers Minimoc pattern (scroll to the bottom left of this page). You will also need some sort of non-slip sole material.  I like Toughtek, which is a rubberized material that is durable but easy to sew. I found some on Etsy when E got her first pair of braces.

Trace one of the braces and add a 1/4" seam allowance or whatever your pattern requires. If the braces are different lengths, you will need to trace each one; otherwise just remember to flip the pattern piece over when you are cutting the soles so you'll have a left and a right piece. Soft shoe patterns are often the same for both feet, but I like the snugger fit that you get from making a left and a right shoe.

Compare your new sole piece to the sole pieces provided.  E's was close to the size 2 (she has tiny feet!). Trace the comparable toe piece pattern onto Easy Pattern or some other material that is easy to manipulate. You will need to adjust the toe piece for the added bulk of the braces, creating additional volume in the toe box.  Cut directly down the center of the piece to the tip of the toe.  Now drape this over one of the braces.  One  of E's has a 1 cm lift, so that was the brace that I used. Making sure to take the seam allowance into consideration, measure how far apart the middle cut edges are. I needed 2.5" of additional room.

My measurement was across the strap with the bees.

Retrace a new pattern piece with your old piece spread as much as your measurement.  You may also need to smooth out the curve on toe edge a bit (not pictured). Transfer any markings.

You can see how much wider my new pattern piece is compared to the original.

If one has a lift, you may want to add some additional height to the heel piece also.  I just sized up one size.

Now that you have your pieces, you can add any embellishments and follow the sewing instructions as normal.

The brace on the right is the one with the lift.

There is hidden elastic on this pair, but on her old ones, I used elastic cord and a toggle.  This was handy both for getting them on easily and for tightening up the one that was less bulky, since I made the both to fit the larger brace. If these don't say on as well, I will switch out the elastic for some cord and a toggle also.

The originals

Trying them out in her walker this morning.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Another Apron

It's the year of the apron! I'd only made two ever prior to 2012 and now this is my fifth -- or sixth if you count the RTW one I appliqued -- of the year.

This one as a request from my sister-in-law for her husband. She said he was looking for something with  more coverage and pockets. We picked dark gray twill for durability and stain-hiding.

I used the J. Caroline Creative tutorial, which I'd made before and still had the pattern piece.  To make it larger, I lined it up 1.5" from the fold.

I think the "wrinkle-ease" fabric means it wrinkles easily!  It was a pain.
Then I extended the side by 4", following the curve already established.

The pockets were made from an 8x21" piece, hemmed along the top, sides and bottom turned under and then sewn on, with two additional lines of stitching to divide it into thirds.

I made self-fabric ties from 2" strips of fabric folded to the middle and then folded in half (there's probably a term for this, but you know what I mean, right?), sewn on and then bar-tacked to reinforce them.

O agreed to model as long as I didn't include his head in the shot. The cat volunteered herself.

She can't resist long strings of any kind.


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