Friday, December 7, 2012

Crazy pants!

I have a feeling that these pants are even love or hate. Well, I LOVE them....even though this pair has some mistakes. One I was able to correct (there is a tutorial later in this post) and one I semi fixed and have corrected on the pattern for the next pair.

I mentioned in a Facebook status for Sewing Like Mad (you do 'like' this blog on Facebook, right!?) that I am totally unplanned making my own mini series called knocking of all J.Crew's pants. Yes yes it is just a joke BUT my two latest posts has been J.Crew pant knock offs and I thought this was going to be one too.
However while making this blog post I decided to follow the 'trail' on Pinterest where I found this photo of Jenna Lyons (J.Crew's Executive Creative Director) wearing these absolutely stunning pants and it turns out that they are from Celine. Oh well, my mistake for being a bit quick with the conclusion that Jenna only wears J.Crew. But the style totally looks like their Cafe Capri. Anyway knocking off a pair of Celine pants is fine with me. 
My version obviously has quite a different look since they are converted into kids pants in more practical materials like denim and corduroy. and with both wider and longer roll up legs. 
Another difference is the colors. I totally love love love the original colors and mine are made with what I had in my fabric stash (in other words maybe not my very first choices). I did have black fabric but decided that blue denim was more suited for children. What do you think?

So what it is with the mistakes and that tutorial? Let's get into it:
First mistake I could not correct because I did not have enough fabric to cut new front pieces. But when I drafted the front pockets I did not think about that the side of the front piece was not actually the side seam (the side seam is obviously the middle of the orange side panel) so the front pocket is way too far towards the middle and both looks silly and make the whole top front piece bend out as soon as Wilma bends over just a little bit - or sticks her hands in the pocket as you can see on one the photos above. I guess these pants would really works for boys too, ahem!
My semi fix was to close the top of the pocket opening with a stitch. That worked kind of okay(-ish) and she can still get her hand in the pockets.

Second problem did I unfortunately not notices when we took the first set of photos (the ones above). That required more action and movement. So it was only at the playground I noticed that the back waist was not high other words Wilma was climbing around on the jungle gym with a lovely a$$ crack showing. Argh!
Okay and now to the solution - remember I was out of big pieces of denim AND there was no way I was replacing that back piece with those piped pockets I spend what felt like hours on any way. Soooo I added a back yoke so I could rise the back waist. (Kind of lucky they were made of denim since all jeans have back yokes*. 
In this case I am not using the yoke's normal purpose (see note) but solely to have an excuse to add a (higher) piece of fabric without it looking like I added a piece of fabric.

So I took my original back pattern, traced the top part, added 2 cm (almost 1 inch) to the center back top, faded the new waist line down to the 'side seam' (the seam that meets the orange side panel) as smooth as I could and finally decided where I wanted my yoke seam on the pants (obviously somewhere over the already sewed piped pockets). They also usually go in some sort of v-shape so that is what I did. You can see it all in the photo above......I hope!

You can also see I traced the original too low waist line on the pattern (the dotted line). The reason for that is that I needed that line when I was going to cut off the top of the original back piece to make room for the new yoke.
On this photo above I have attached the yoke pattern to the original back piece BUT first I have folded the lowest part of the yoke pattern up 2 cm (I am sewing with 1 cm seam allowance and to make sure there is also seam allowance on the original back piece to sew on the yoke I have to cut off the back piece 2 cm higher than where the seam between yoke and pants is going to be). Sorry I am not sure how good I am explaining this - please ask me if you have any questions!

Here we are at the same operation but I have just turned the pants around so you can see how the pants are placed on the other side of the paper.

And here we are with the final result. I realize the center back looks very steep but it will work in the end (haha). This photo is taken before the elastic has been put in. 

And when a round behind comes in it will align even more and look totally fine.
By the way if you are wondering what in the world is up with those pockets? Well, that is why there is normally some kind of buttons in pockets like this because when the round behind come in the pockets become 'smiling'. Oh well I think I was just done with these pants at this point....maybe next pair.

Here we are with an action shot and no visible body part that no type of action should show, phew!

And I swear I did not ask her to pose like that....that is the position she put herself in in the middle of the soccer game to take a sip of water. Oh dear! I was surprised she even wanted to play. Normally she chooses to be the cheerleader - yes, I do try to explain to her that the game is more fun when there is more than one player on the field.....

*) A yoke is an alternative way to add shape to the pants - like darts. They both eliminate the difference between waist and hip and help the pants to follow the round behind.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Another knock off....

As soon as I saw these pants from J.Crew I 1) pinned them. 2) I thought why have I never thought of this. It is such a simple way to twist the classic tuxedo pant and make it new yet recognizable - I love clothes like that. 3) I got to make some like asap.
And here we are.....Wilma needed pants anyway so she got a pair first.
The flower fabric (they are both corduroy) was Wilma's choice. I do love that fabric but I would probably have made them less romantic. But it is Wilma who is going to wear them so I guess it make sense I put my designer dreams in the background and let her take that long as I can live with it, ahem!

I added some nice details like sewed on front pockets with a contrast color bias band in the opening.

Back pockets also with a contrast color bias band in the top opening. 

I made them a size 6 yrs even though she is only turning 5 in January - in other words I want her to wear them for a loooong time - so I decided to make the waistband adjustable with buttonhole elastic the classic way like you see above.

I knew they were going to be too long for her here in the beginning. So since I knew they were going to be rolled up I decided to make the roll up look nice by covering the seams with bias band. 

Here you can see a photo of the lowest part of the pants inside out. I did not put the bias band all the way up because I was afraid it was going to make the seams too stiff. And I want to come with an advice that I learned the hard way (as in redo-it-all-way). Don't use a bias band that is made of too thick fabric because that makes the roll up too bulky. Argh!

And they are playground approved too!

And if anyone wondered about the title ('Another knock off') it must be because you missed this guest post on Elegance & Elephants where I am part of the series Knock it Off and is knocking of another pair of J.Crew pants - YES I LOVE J.Crew....a lot!  
Hmmm and actually when we are at it I am already working on a third pair of J.Crew knock offs that will come on the blog soon. If you are curious you can see if you can find them on my Pinterest 'Favourite' board.

And remember if you like what you see and read on this blog you have several ways not to miss another post. See the right side column for Facebook, Bloglovin' and Google Friend Connect options. I would love to have you onboard! 

And to the best part (who does not like a feature):

Threading My Way_Featured

Knock it off.

Today I am not here, I am HERE participating in Elegance & Elephant's great series Knock it Off. In all simplicity I (and a whole bunch of other talented ladies) have been so lucky to be asked to find an outfit, garment, or accessory that we love - and copy it be inspired by it and make it in kid size.
Below you see the pants I made but if you want to see more photos, the pants I am inspired by, a tutorial to draft the type of pocket these pants have and some sewing tips to take it from good to great you have to click HERE.
(And yes that is grosgrain ribbons along the leg - I am kind of obsessed at the moment.)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sewing with grosgrain ribbons.

I don't like if clothes is tooooo cute and I think a perfect way to add a little coolness is grosgrain ribbons. I am also not at all done with the add-a-little-neon-to-everything trend (even though being a child in the 80's you should think I was cured for life?!) Well, guess not! And since you can buy grosgrain ribbons in neon colors (and lots of other beautiful colors) we have a popular product in my book. I bought mine at The Ribbon Retreat.
Wilma asked if I could make her a skirt in this star cotton fabric and I suggested we added some grosgrain ribbons - I guess it was my lucky day because she agreed.
Below I will show you how I ended making quite a fancy hem despite the lack of planning before I cut the fabric.

I got a problem with the hemming of this skirt when I cut the skirt before deciding where exactly to put the grosgrain ribbons. So when I decided on the placement I realized that the big hem that I prefer on skirts (and is so easy to make when the skirt consist of a rectangle piece of fabric) would require a stitch in the middle of the ribbons...what to do! Obviously I tried to convince myself to move the ribbons higher or lower but noooo my inner designer said this is where I want them. Argh, so stubborn!
Then I considered hemming the skirt first and then sew the ribbons on afterwards but then my inner seamstress was like noooo that would not make a very nice finish sewing those ends of ribbons together. The ribbon's ends have to be hidden in the side seam - where they by the way have to meet precisely. Argh, so anal! 

Soooo the only solution left was to hem the skirt and sew one of the ribbon stitches on in one stitch. Again if this was planned I could have made the seam allowance for the hem go all the way up to the top of the top ribbon. Then there would have been no visible stitches on the inside but the hem stitch but I think we are clear here that was not the case. So I went with the second best and stitched all the ribbons on the skirt and left out the bottom stitch on the top ribbon as you can see on the photo above if you look closely.

After sewing the side seam together and overlocking it, it was time to sew the two-in-one stitch. I helped myself by putting needles from the front side through the line in the ribbon where I was going to stitch and then making sure I hit the hem 1 mm from the edge on the inside.

.....and to my surprise it actually worked without giving me any problems or do-overs. I just sewed slow and made sure to stretch the fabric while I was sewing. 
Yay victory and both inner designer and seamstress was happy.
Now I am just hoping my photography skills improve so my inner photographer would be happy - ha, like I even have a inner photographer...I am hopeless! But I hope they at least helped a little bit illustrating what I have been trying to show you above.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Long sleeve version of jersey dress with vintage feel.

Nope, I should not be sewing at all and I should definitely not be sewing for the youngest of my daughters who has clothes raining down on her from her big sister. IF I should be sewing it should be for my oldest who has a closet full of too short pants and long sleeved t-shirts. 
Oh and I should definitely not be 'wasting time' blogging about it. And yet here I am with a new post of a new jersey dress for my youngest daughter - hmmmm. Some things are just more fun than others....sewing and blogging versus painting and organizing is a (selfish) no brainer for me. I keep telling myself that the reason I am not doing what I was suppose to do is that the builders are still working in our new house but the truth is that there are projects in the house that could be started now without interfering with the builders. I knew I would be bad at this house-owner-thing....useless really.

So here we are with a model I first blogged about in THIS post. The fabric is a lovely interlock knit from The Fabric Fairy that was part of my prize when I won the blog Crafterhours' Skirt Week 2012 (the judge's choice) for THIS a-line skirt. Yippie!
And why do I think you could be interested in seeing another version of this dress? Weeeell, massive changes has happened - it has gotten long sleeves. 
I did not even think about changing the sleeves until the fabric was already cut but since the short sleeve has a bit of gathering by the ribbon I originally finished it off with I thought I could just add a tight long sleeve to the short sleeve and make it into a......ehhhh okay I have no idea what that type of sleeve is called but look at the photos and hopefully you will know what I mean.
At first I cut the long narrow sleeve in the same flower fabric as the rest of the dress but that made it look like a night gown. I did not have enough of the secondary green fabric to make long sleeves but luckily my fabric stash contained this purple knit ribbon which was perfect for the job. 
At some point I was considering simply making her a long sleeved t-shirt in the purple fabric that she could wear under the dress because that would give the same 'look' and more mix and match options but I guess my laziness won.
I could have chosen to sew the purple rib directly to the short flower sleeve but decided to add a panel of green to emphasize the illusion of a short sleeved dress with a long sleeved t-shirt under.

Otherwise there are not changes from the first version beside making it a bit wider and longer....the girl is growing as you can see. 
My husband accidentally called her a baby (in the meaning that she is our youngest) yesterday and was told in a very indignant tone that she is NOT a baby she is a girl! 
Yes ma'am!

And remember if you like what you see and read on this blog you have several ways not to miss another post. See the right side column for Facebook, Bloglovin' and Google Friend Connect options. I would love to have you onboard! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Happy Halloween 2012.

So Wilma decided to be a rainbow this year. Luckily we began months ago being bombarded in the mail with catalogues full of halloween costumes. I guess technically these catalogues are meant for people to buy from them but they are certainly also useful as inspiration. I am actually very bad at costumes for several reasons. I am generally thinking more fashion and wearable clothes than I am thinking show, impact and exaggeration. And my imagination is not very good in this field either. When Wilma said rainbow.....well, I thought rainbow (-dress or -top) but the catalogue showed a version with a cloud skirt and a sun hair band and 'ding' that made sense but I would never had thought about it myself. 

The top is made with stretch satin, the sun hut and rain leggings from stretch lame knit fabric and the cloud skirt is organza.
All patterns are self drafted. The top is made with raglan sleeves to make me able to make a continued half circle from shoulder to wrist with the red and orange. My starting point my actually THIS dress. 
The skirt is made from one big rectangle (okay two if you count the piece of cotton I used to make the waistband with.) I sewed the long sides together and then folded the long tube so that the skirt would have a bubbly round hem (like a balloon/bubble skirt). Six sewed tubes (in each side seam plus two front and two back) with a string fastened in the bottom made the gatherings and gave the skirt a cloud shape. The waist is gathered a bit to fit the smaller rectangular waistband  and then further gathered with three rows of narrow elastics.
The leggings is my usual legging pattern. You can see a tutorial HERE.

She seems happy with the result.

Happy Halloween to you all!

And remember if you like what you see and read on this blog you have several ways not to miss another post. See the right side column for Facebook, Bloglovin' and Google Friend Connect options. I would love to have you onboard! 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

We have bought a house....

.....which means packing, cleaning, more cleaning, fixing, painting, arranging and unpacking....oh yeah and looking after the two little ladies not to forget....comes before sewing and blogging..... I even made sure by packing my sewing room down as the first thing a couple of weeks ago. Ouch that was a though one but it had to be done. I can't wait to unpack it all in the new house but to make sure the other rooms actually gets ready I better wait for these boxes to be some of the last ones to unpack, right!
Here you see my sewing room patiently waiting to be moved to the new house.
I hope to be back in a month or two....please don't forget me in the mean time.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Jersey dress with a vintage feel.

Have I ever mentioned that I also have a love for dresses with a vintage look? I actually think I have mentioned my occasional grandmother style in an earlier post but in case you missed that, I think we have a good example in this dress. 
Oh boy I love it...ehh, are you even supposed to say that when you made it yourself? Oh well, what I meant to say is that sometimes a project comes out exactly - or even more rare better - than you expected. And this dress is one of them. 

I apologize but I could just not control myself when I saw this 1960s filter in my photo editing program. I mean c'mon!

Normally I would stay far away from more complicated projects that also require sewing/stitching (not just overlocking) in knit/jersey fabric since I only have a domestic sewing machine and they are not that good friends with knits. And you know how annoying perfectionistic I can be. But I can slack on the perfectionism as long as it is for internal use only (me or my kids) and the outside of the garment is up to my standards. People with my type of education are taught to make the insides almost as nice as the outside but we are also mostly trained on industrial sewing machines and it can be frustrating to try to get the same results with a domestic sewing machine. I sold my industrial sewing machine when I closed my company and I have missed it every day since and a new one is VERY high on my wish list (Hubby are you taking notes!!)

Okay, so what made me decide to make this dress with the smoking inspired front knit? Well, for several reasons. First I have decided to challenge myself more when it comes to sewing as in put some more details on the clothes that I am making. The kids are not exactly missing clothes so no reason to rush.  I am the type who gets frustrated if a project takes too long and when I start on something I want to finish it within reasonable time. We have done some changes to the kids' preschool schedule and I now have 3 mornings for sewing so that will help. Oooh, I was suppose to go grocery shopping, get some exercise or tidy up when the kids are in school? Whatever, I will never win the prize for best housewife anyway, haha. 
And I mean there is no doubt that the more work you put into a garment the more happy you will be with the finished result, right. 
The last reason is the fabrics I ended up choosing. Since I bought the yellow fabric with the flowers I knew it had to become a dress. And you know how I love to mix fabrics and that dark coral/dusty pink fabric was just a perfect match. But is is also the type of knit that is quite firm and not that stretchy or soft and that is actually an advantage when you what to sew/stitch in it. Not like the yellow one that is super soft, has a beautiful drape and is perfect for the semi full skirt this dress has. 

I want to share this little trick for hemming knit fabric with a domestic sewing machine that I have googled myself to. And I have been using it ever since (and probably will continue to do until I get my industrial sewing machine). I did not like the result before when I was trying to hem a knit garment sewing from the inside of the skirt (or t-shirt, sleeve etc).
So via google did I end up on this website Genie Centre that many of you probably already knows. Judith the Genie said to sew your hem from the right side of the fabric - like you see on the photo above - and yippie that worked (but don't think you can skip the ironing afterwards). Since you have the visible overlock seam on the inside the result is not completely beautiful. But the outside is smooth and the seam is even so for homemade use it is, at least for me, good enough. By the way don't forget to change to ball point needles before you start sewing - they are made for knits.

So here we are with another jersey dress made from the same (self drafted) base that the dress my last post showed but still so very different. 

And remember if you like what you see and read on this blog you have several ways not to miss another post. See the right side column for Facebook, Bloglovin' and Google Friend Connect options. I would love to have you onboard! 

And now to the best part. My blog has been featured in the following blog:
Blissful & Domestic
Look HERE to see what link parties this post is participating in.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Jersey faux wrap dress.

FINALLY some news here on the blog. Like I wrote on Facebook I finally sat down in front of my sewing machine for the first time in three weeks yesterday after two weeks of vacation and a week of getting over jet lag, unpacking and just general relaxing. Trying to see as many friends and family as many times as possible in two weeks is, no matter how absolutely wonderful that is, not relaxing. Phew.
So what did I make yesterday? Well, I finished this jersey faux wrap dress that I have had half finished for months. It's actually rare that I have half finished projects lying around like that. I normally change it right away if my initial idea does not work but this time I could simply not get it right. My problem was what fabric/color to use for the ribbons. I tried with black but I did not like the result and other solid colors I had in my stash did not work for me either and then I put it aside. Not long ago did I order this soft burgundy jersey with black dots and yesterday they both caught my eye and bingo there was my solution. I love the grey and burgundy together. To me it gets a bit of a sports wear in the 70s feeling and that they both have black dots in the same size is just even more perfect. 
I am sure you recognize what base I used to make this dress. If not check out THIS or THIS post. I made the skirt a little bit less full just for variation and made two overlapping front pieces that are sewn into the side seams.....and voila faux wrap dress.

I might make the neck line a tad higher next time.

Ha, the pairing with her new yellow sneakers really emphasize the 70s sports wear look....I did not even think about that when I took the photos.

That is all for this time. I have another jersey dress for Evelyn in the making - she is kind of obsessed with them at the moment - so stay tuned.

And remember if you like what you see and read on this blog you have several ways not to miss another post. See the right side column for Facebook, Bloglovin' and Google Friend Connect options. I would love to have you onboard! 
Look HERE to see what link parties this post is (going to) participate in.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Knit version of skirt like shorts.

In the beginning of this week Justine from Sew Country Chick and I shared this monster post about making reversible skirt like shorts. She posted PART ONE and I posted PART TWO
I did also make them in a non-reversible knit version and those are the ones Evelyn are showing below. By the way I found the key to take photos of her....a handful of small vanilla cookies (kids are so much like dogs!).

Unless anything else is stated I sewed these the same way as the woven ones except I used my serger/overlocker of course.
  The original GAP shorts are made in a woven material but when I looked in my fabric closet and saw this thin and very soft knitted jersey that I just love I knew they would be cool in that print. I used a very very thin jersey as lining and used the same pattern to cut inner and outer fabric. BUT after cutting I did shorten the length of the lining's legs with 1 cm / 0.4 in to avoid it hanging out in the finished result.  

In the woven ones I made three casings for three rows of fairly narrow elastics. Because I want to avoid stitching in knit as much as possible (since I don't have a cover lock machine) I made only one wider casing for a 2 cm / 0.8 in wide elastic by using the 3-stitch zig zag. The 3-stitch zig zag gives an elastic seam.

Wait, what is that.....a bird? a plane?

And remember if you like what you see and read on this blog you have several ways not to miss another post. See the right side column for Facebook, Bloglovin' and Google Friend Connect options. I would love to have you onboard! 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Tutorial to reversible skirt like shorts, Part two.

Soooo if you read the headline and noticed 'part two' you might wonder what happened to part one....because of course do you not miss any posts on this blog, right!
 Well today we are doing things a little bit different. The cool Justine from Sew Country Chick has lend me her blog for a post's time and she is posting part one. So you have to head over to her lovely blog (click HERE) to get the pattern drafting part and more photos.
And if you are coming from Sew Country Chick and is now ready for part two....welcome!

I have had my eyes on those two fabrics since I a while ago noticed (in my fabric stash) that they are matching perfectly in the colors but the prints are obviously completely different. To me that requires the perfect idea so that it is not going to end up looking like something a first year design student has know like an idea that seemed good....when it was an idea......but ends up looking totally crazy and not really working in real life. (I am sorry if I am offending someone but I think everyone with designer aspiration has been through the process of making ridiculous clothes and over time learned to contain ourselves).
Okay back to the to me using these two color matching fabric in these reversible skirt like shorts were perfect. Especially because the inner fabric would be visible with movement....and if there is something we can be sure of it is that kids move! 

Even though she did stand pretty still for these shots, thanks my love.

A super simple tutorial to the sewing of these shorts:
Sew side seams and inner leg seams together. Iron. (both fabrics)
Sew crotch seams. Iron. (both fabrics)
Sew the two shorts together in the waist. Iron.
Stitch the waist to make three casings for elastics. (See photo above) 

Measure and cut three pieces of elastic that fits your child and start by pulling elastic through the top casing, sew together the elastic (see photo below) and close the first casing with a stitch (see photo above). Continue with middle casing and finish with the lowest casing.

It is a little bit hard to see in this photo but I use 1 cm in each end of the elastic for seam allowance. Instead of sewing them together like I would with fabric I overlap the ends with 2 cm and use a zig zag to sew those 2 cm together.

Now you have to open a seam somewhere in the shorts so you can sew the two fabrics together in the bottom of the shorts legs. The reason why I did not just leave a hole open when I sewed the seams in the first place is that it is easier to hand sew together afterwards when it has already been sewn and ironed.
Because these shorts are reversible it is a bit tricky to open a seam because you need all seams to be perfect looking...and I don't know about your hand sewing but I know mine is usually not as pretty as the one my sewing machine does.
I decided that low on the back crotch seam would be the least visible place and now you can easily sew the two different fabrics together in the legs, iron and hand sew with your nicest and most invisible stitches the hole in the back crotch seam together again and after you have given the shorts a nice over all ironing you are done. Yay!

Last a little tip for sewing seams together where e.g. stripes has to match. I use 1 cm as sewing allowance and I therefore bend the top layer of fabric in the sewing line (1 cm in) and slide it up or down to match the stripe on the lower piece of fabric again in the sewing line 1 cm in on the fabric. As you can see on this photo above I had not been completely precise in my cutting and I had to slide the top layer like 2 mm down to make it match.

And remember if you like what you see and read on this blog you have several ways not to miss another post. See the right side column for Facebook, Bloglovin' and Google Friend Connect options. I would love to have you onboard!