Saturday, March 5, 2011

30-minute blankie

Instant gratification :)

1 yd of soft fleece

  1. Straighten edges, cut off selvage.
  2. Right sides together, sew around 3 sides using a narrow zigzag stitch, leave a bit of an opening on one side. (Not at a corner.)
  3. Turn right side out through opening.
  4. Slipstitch the opening closed by hand.
  5. Topstitch all around 1 in from the edge with narrow zigzag (start on a side and not at a corner).

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I copied this apron from a RTW one a friend of mine had. It has adjustable ties. The height is adjustable, because the ties are not attached to the apron, but go through a tunnel.

Things I learned:
  • I used bias tape for the facing, which turned out to be a mistake, because it was very hard to mold it into shape and especially turn it under at the ends.
  • I also used bias tape for the ties, which was OK, but not very easy to sew, as the bias stretched.

Alterations, refashions

The main sewing that I did in the past few weeks was alterations-related.

1. I shortened a green summer dress that I had bought in the summer.

2. Did the same with a pair of dark gray dress pants.

3. I took in at the side seams from a salmon colored T-shirt. I love the color, but the width of the T-shirt was very much out of proportion. I simply serged it to be narrower. In the process, I figured out that because the shoulder seam was also a little bit hanging onto my arm, I should have just taken a nice T-shirt I like and used that to re-draft this one, but I didn't have the energy to do that. Still, it's better now.

4. The most interesting project has been a long-sleeve RTW T-shirt. The T-shirt had a boatneck, which I normally love, but this one was gaping especially in the front. Not a great look...

I am not sure whether the gaping was caused by a poor pattern or the stretchy fabric with little recovery. Apart from the gaping, there was also the problem of the neck edge turning outwards, exposing the inside of the seam.

In addition, the top's boatneck was opening too wide at the shoulders.

I tried zig-zag stitching see-through elastic to the neckline. It helped the outward turning neckline, but not the gaping. So I ripped out the elastic.

I decided to add some interest to the neckline using a hand-stitched scallop hem. This gave it a nice look and stopped the neckline from rolling out. But it didn't stop the gaping.

I added buttons (no buttonhole, just buttons) at the shoulders to hold the front and back more together. This helped the shoulders, but the gaping was still there in the front...

Then I decided to use the excess fabric from the gaping neckline as a design element, and I added a few more buttons.

In the pictures, you can see the final outcome. Much better!

Today, I changed the direction of the pleat, and it makes the fabric lie smoother on the body. Took another picture.

(I am not sure why the image insists on showing sideways...)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Kwik Sew's Sewing for Baby by Kerstin Martensson - overalls with feet

This is the second garment I sewed from the book Sewing for Baby by Kerstin Martensson. I chose this pattern, because DS always pulls off his socks. This overall has feet, as well as snaps for easy diaper changing.

In this one, instead of hammering the snaps, I decided to go with what Kristy suggested: snap tape. Thanks for the comment, Kristy! :)

I also applied Tulip Slick Paint to the feet. Thanks for the tutorial, Cheri! I used dots, as Cheri mentioned that the continuous lines crack in the wash. We haven't tried on the pants yet, so don't know how it works for us, but it seems like a very cool idea, and inexpensive to make. This was my first time using Tulip Paint, so my dots are not perfect. Plus I may need to put more dots on the soles for better grip.

Pattern: Kwik Sew's Sewing for Baby by Kerstin Martensson
L 6-12 m (comes in XS, S, M, L, XL sizes)
stretch knit
Things I learned:

  • I used a soft knit fabric for these pants, but it was very difficult to work with. it was very stretchy, and I couldn't use my walking foot, as I had to sew so close to the snap tape. The fabric of the snap tape, and the fabric of the pants really didn't like each other (even though I put fusible interfacing on the fabric). The result therefore is a little sloppier than what I normally like. :( But have taken this apart so many times, that I just have to call it done.
  • I had the hardest time figuring out how to add the snap tape so that the edges turn properly. I thought I had it figured out, but it still looks a bit weird. The instructions talk about applied snaps, but not snap tape.
  • If I sew with this fabric again (I still have quite a bit left over), I'll chose a pattern that can be put together entirely with a serger. :)


There is a story (actualyl several stories by the same author, Veronika Marék) about a chestnut boy called Kippkopp. I grew up reading Kippkopp stories, and now I read them to my DS, who I am happy to see, loves them as much as I did. Because he likes this character so much I decided to make one out of fabric for him.

I drafted the pattern myself, and made two, I guess you'd call them "muslins," refining the proportions.

If I were to make this now, I think I'd shorten the legs and arms a little bit more.

Also, because I wanted to make this figurine as close to what he looks like in the books as possible, I added a fabric piece as neck, which, even though I sewed a straw inside for reinforcement, still makes the head and body a bit wobbly. If I were to make this now (or again), I'd maybe use the shell of an old pen and try to sew that inside to give the neck some rigidity.

Otherwise, I really like the result, and so does DS, which is what's most important!