Monthly Archives: May 2013

Floral Scoop Tee Pattern

My very first pattern is available today. I’m pretty excited to have it done! I bet my husband is too, because he does all the hard stuff for me. I draft my patterns on paper and he digitizes them for me.

The pattern is available in my etsy shop, and will soon be available right here on the blog too.

Thanks for looking!

Super Simple

My baby has been a horrible sleeper since he was born. But just this week, at nearly 11 months old, he has slept through the entire night twice. With my newfound energy, I whipped up two simple projects.

First off, I made some yoga pants a few months ago that are super comfortable and I’ve worn them every chance I get. I used a Burda pattern that is very good and I didn’t have to change anything about the pattern, except for the length (I’m a shortie). Oh, and I serged some 1/4″ clear elastic into the waistband. I love clear elastic because it gives such great recovery to seams. In these pants, it helps the waistband keep its shape so it doesn’t stretch out and sag by the end of a day of wearing.

I ordered some more fabric to make another pair, but I always found something more pressing to sew first so I never got them finished.

Now it’s too hot for pants. So I used the same pattern to make some shorts. I cut the pants off just below the knee and added some bands.

They’re super simple and sooo comfortable. I will be making more and I will probably live in them this summer.




Second, I made a t-shirt for my baby using this pattern. It was super quick and easy.

He loves to ride his rocking horse.

And now I’m having a restful Mother’s Day, free of sewing. Although, I am thinking about my Mother’s Day present that is on the way, which is (of course!) more fabric. I got some of this and I am way excited to make a maxi dress out of it.

Happy Mother’s Day to all!

Twill Pants For An 8 Year Old

I bought a class from called Jean-uis! Even though I bought it on sale, I would have paid the full price for this class because it has been awesome for me.

It’s taught by Kenneth D. King and in it he teaches you how to draft a pattern from an existing pair of jeans (without cutting them up or anything) so that you can make your favorite pair of store bought jeans. Then he walks you through every step of the construction of a test pair, and then the actual pair.

I have used the principles I learned in this class for all of my pattern drafting.

I drafted a pattern for a pair of pants for my 8 year old from a pair he has from The Children’s Place. He loves them because they have an elasticated waist (he hates zipper pants), but they’re falling apart. They cost a lot and so now I can make him some very similar for half the price.

My plea for him to put on a freshly finished pair and let me take his picture was met with about this much enthusiasm:

I finally gave up and just took pictures of him playing around.

This is the first pair of pants I have made with a pocket bag. I’m pretty pumped about that.

I am excited to have this pattern done because it’s pretty versatile. I made a pair of church pants using this pattern a couple of weeks ago. I just changed the topstitching to be very low key and I made them with a flat front.

I used this tutorial to figure out how to adjust my pattern for a flat front.

You won’t be seeing him in the flat front pants. It was hard enough getting him into one pair for a picture!

Now, I’m going to make him some shorts out of the pattern because we are so ready for Summer to come!

Yellow, I Love You

I finished another cardigan, and I finally got the sleeves how I want them. This one is made out of some more fabric my friend Michelle got for me. It’s a jersey knit and is really too lightweight to be cardigan fabric, so I was worried about how it would turn out. But I actually like it and think it will be good for spring.

It’s going to Riley Blake so I don’t get to keep it, but I want to. I made sure I wore it around on Saturday before I have to give it away ha ha.

Anyway, here it is.

I didn’t have enough fabric to make ruffles on this one, so I did a flower instead. I am in love with flowers right now.

They’re so easy to make, too. I used this tutorial to learn how to make them. After you know the idea, you can do all kinds of things by lengthening or widening the strip of fabric you use and adjusting how much tension you put on the top thread of your sewing machine as you sew.

Oh yeah, and I sew my flowers onto my clothes with my sewing machine. It’s faster than hand sewing them and I think it’s sturdier too.

You can easily add flowers to store bought clothes too. So yes, they definitely rock.

After making this, I think I’m in love with yellow now. I can’t wait until I burn through my current stock of  fabric and can buy more because there will definitely be some yellow in there!

Cuff That Cardigan

I have been working on making a cardigan similar to this one that I love:

My first attempt came out ok.

But there were a few things I wanted to change about it. One of them was the sleeves because they were a little too baggy. I also needed to ease the neck area more.

I fixed the pattern up and made it again. This time the sleeves were too small. Rrrr!

I chopped the sleeves down because they were tightest at the bottom so at least I can still wear it, and I think I finally have the sleeves right. I guess I’ll find out for sure when I cut out another one!

Here’s the second one:

I love the bands (cuffs) on the cardigan. Bands are my favorite way to hem sleeves and bottoms of shirts because they’re so cute. If you don’t have a coverstitch machine, bands are the easiest way to hem because you don’t have to worry about your sewing machine stretching out the seam. The stretching happened to me a lot before I had a coverstitch machine, even if I used a walking foot and a twin stretch needle.

We’ll talk more about those awesome bands in a minute but first, if I’m going to keep going on about my coverstitch machine then maybe I should tell you a bit more about what it is exactly.

My coverstitch machine.

A coverstitch machine is a kind of overlock machine. A serger is also an overlock machine, but a coverstitch machine doesn’t cut anything away as it sews and the loopers don’t pass the thread above the fabric.

Coverstitch looper.

You can buy a serger and a coverstitch as one machine. I have separate machines though, and I like that because you have to disengage the cutter to coverstitch if you have the two functions together.

The best way to see what a coverstitch does is to go find one of your store bought t-shirts and check out the hem. That double row of stitching at the bottom is from a coverstitch machine.

Top and underside of a coverstitch hemmed t-shirt.

It comes in handy for much more than just hemming, though. But we can talk about that another day.

Now, back to those cuffs. To add a cuff to a sleeve, the first thing you need to do is figure out how wide you’d like your finished cuff to be. We’ll say we want to have a two inch finished cuff.

To figure out the width of the strip we need to cut, we need to double the finished width. That will give us four inches. Then we need to add a seam allowance to both sides of the strip. We’ll use a half inch seam allowance. That means we need to add one inch for the seam allowance (one half on each side of the strip). So we need to cut a strip that is 5 inches wide.

Width of cuff = Finished width x 2 + seam allowance x 2.

Now we need to figure out the length of the cuff. I think the easiest way to do this is to measure around your arm where the cuff will go with a tape measure. Cut your strip the correct width, and as long around as your arm is. You will probably end up cutting some off since the cuff will stretch, but this will give you a good length to start with.

If you like your cuffs really loose, then you could add a couple inches to your arm measurement.

Wrap the strip around your arm and decide how tight you would like it to be. Pin it to mark the desired tightness.

Then, add a seam allowance to both ends of the strip and cut the rest off. Now you have your strip. Cut another one for the other arm.

Fold the cuff so that the short ends are together and right sides are together.

Serge or sew down the short end of the strip, using our half inch seam allowance. Press the seam.

Now we have a circle. Fold the circle in half the long way, right sides out. Press.

Now, pin your cuff to your sleeve with the shirt seam and cuff seam aligned, right sides together and raw edges aligned. Gently stretch the cuff to fit the sleeve and pin again on the other side.

Serge or sew the cuff to the sleeve, gently pulling the cuff to match the sleeve length if needed.

All serged.

Press seam allowance toward the top of the shirt. Coverstitch or topstitch the seam allowance down and you are finished!