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1  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Bandana 'Spring Ruffle Tops' on: May 29, 2009 10:25:36 AM
So these came off of the Sew Mama Sew blog (http://sewmamasew.com/blog2/?p=791).  Its another 'Made by Rae' pattern (by the way Rae, if you ever read this, thank you for sharing your skills with the rest of us).  Its for an adult so I had to scale it down for kiddos.

action shot


So I made the strap and chest pieces only 4 inches wide, the ruffles 2 inches wide, the trapezoids only 10 or 12 inches high (instead of 20), and I only added 3 instead of 6 inches to the X & Y measurements (you will have to adjust your pleats, and if you check out the tutorial you will know what I am referring to).  I found that to make the straps comfortable enough to get on over the child's head, they needed to be a little bit longer than I liked (making it less than modest I thought). I added the white strip between the straps on the front and that solved the problem without making it too tight (a bit of eyelet lace would be cute, but I didn't have any).  Oh and I did the 'arm divot' but no 'shaping.' Thanks!
2  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy Easter Dresses on: May 29, 2009 10:14:34 AM
  The kids have been into 'Charlie and Lola' lately (hence the title).  I know we are a few months out now, but I decided to do my own Easter dresses this year.  Technically this could be in recons, too, but there are two dresses and I didn't want to do two posts. I went for inexpensive and easy.  

So, dress #1
Back Detail

Front Detail

Sorry its rather dark, I didn't know the flash was off (that's the problem in most of them)

This one is a recon.  I used an old white shirt that was mine in Jr High (don't ask why I still have it).  I made the front of the shirt the back of the dress and vice versa.  I used the pattern I made in this project https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=268219.0 , made it thinner, brought the neckline up (since it has buttons the neck doesn't need to be as large), and changed the sleeve to a straight one.  The great part of reusing the old shirt is that it created the look of a bodice and decorative pleat without me needing to sew those in.  I did line it since it was white, which was a pain, but if you skipped it, it would be a way easy dress.  The ribbon was from Joann's, and while I love it (and now they have it in all sorts of colors) I wouldn't recommend it again, as the white design is sort of painted on, and it flakes off when it gets tied into a bow.

Dress #2

Sorry for the two similar pictures.  The first gives you a better idea of the finished look, and the second gives you a shot of length.  For this one I took a peasant top pattern (Butterick B4118, but Vegbee has a great tutorial  http://indietutes.blogspot.com/2007/07/peasant-blouse.html ) and attached a tiered skirt (the first layer is 1.5 times the length of the bottom of the top, for tiered skirts see Vegbee as well http://indietutes.blogspot.com/2008/11/tiered-skirt-aka-twirl-skirt.html).  I lined the bodice (the fabric seemed a bit thin) and added the waist ribbon to give it some detail.  Next time I think I'd make the bodice shorter before I added the skirt.

Since I went 'patternless' for the most part, reused a shirt, and had the pink fabric in my stash, all I had to buy was less than a yard of lining and some ribbon, so that was cool.  And they really are easy to customize to your own child's size and specs.
Thanks for looking, questions and comments very welcome!

3  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / double needle issues on: April 29, 2009 09:44:09 PM
Anyone out there and expert with double needles?  I just got one and I am trying to use it on my singer 3820. Its not catching the bobbin thread very well.  Is there something I am missing? Is it the tension?  Any help would be appreciated.  Thanks!
4  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Toddler Bathrobes on: January 03, 2009 04:52:28 PM
I suppose this could be recon, but I thought I'd post here instead.  I wanted to make bathrobes for the kiddies for Christmas.  We had these towels that were given to us, that just weren't our style, but they worked for this. Towels are great, because they already have bound edges, so if you cut carefully it makes your life easier.  I used the kimono pattern from this blog http://habitual.wordpress.com/ and modified it slightly.  Out of two slightly smaller bath towels (as they were decorative), two hand towels, less than two packages of bias tape (one will probably work if you pay attention to your cutting so you don't have to bind as many edges) and some slightly creative cutting, I got two bathrobes, sizes 2T and 5T.

The larger of the two.  You can see the handtowel used as the sleeves. I also used the extra from cutting out the pieces from the smaller one to make this one longer (so its running against grain, its robe, not an heirloom dress Smiley.

In action, sorry about the blurry face, I have a no kids policy  Smiley.

Thanks for looking.  If you have any questions, feel free to ask!
5  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Scarf-O-Rama - including Monster Eyes and Blue's clues on: December 08, 2008 02:08:30 PM
Scarves are way easy to make and don't take a lot of fabric.  I went a little crazy this year for the extended family Christmas gifts.

So this one shows the 'Blue's Clues' and monster eyes fleece.  The Blue's Clues was a pattern on Nickelodeon's website a few years back (this year its like Wonder Pets and some other show I've never heard of).  The monster eyes was just an idea I had for an older boy.  You can't see it very well but there are black monster eyebrows as well.  Plus a hat for a 12-24 month old and an knitted toddler scarf (nice soft chenille)

These are more adult ones, but I wasn't splitting up my post.  Fringed licensed fleece scarf plus hat, a weave pattern knit scarf for the grown ups, and another toddler knit scarf (this time out of the 'homespun' style yarn, kind of a pain to work with).  Both hats came off of Martha Stewart, very easy too.  Thanks for looking!

6  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / The love child of Mr. Peabody and Hello Kitty on: October 08, 2008 09:47:49 PM
  So you know the diaper bag dilemma.. Do you make one, do you buy one, do you use the freebie from the formula company?  I had been given one, but it was massive and uncomfortable.  I did go through the process of trying to make a messenger style bag with 'Hello Kitty' fabric, but it wasn't very useful (this was before I knew about craftster).  In the end the giveaway I got in the hospital was the perfect size and not all 'babyish.'  But it was too boring, so I had to add a Mr. Peabody patch.  Mr. Peabody served me well for almost three years, but then he started to show his age, cracking vinyl etc. etc.  I thought I would just get another freebie, but they changed the bags on me! So what do you do?  You make a new one!

This is what you start with...

I love that Hello Kitty has a tan.

Then you completely rip apart both bags (except for the pockets on the hello kitty one).  Use the pieces from Mr Peabody to cut out new pieces from HK.  You totally reuse the straps, zippers, batting, pockets (but mostly because I had already used my leftover HK for other projects and couldn't cut out new pockets  Wink), and even the plastic 'piping' to give it shape. And you end up with this.

Which of course took way longer than expected.  While most of the construction was straightforward, the pockets, not so easy.  I actually ended up basically hand-sewing in the final pocket (the last part of the whole thing), which as you can imagine completely ate my fingers.  And thank goodness you can not see my topstitching. But its now done, YAY!  Alas, Mr. Peabody was left behind, but not to worry, I'm sure he will adorn something else one day.  Comments?  Tips on sewing in tight spaces with a normal machine?
7  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Child's 'peasant-style' tops - TUTE Added on: September 10, 2008 03:11:48 PM

  So this is my first posting on craftster.  I hope all goes well, I think I've finally done enough posting to post myself.  I've been hanging out here for awhile, looking at all your cute things, I've tried a few.  Thank you so much for sharing with the rest of us.  So here goes.  Once a upon a time, we bought shirt for our child.  It was 'peasant-style', lightweight cotton, three-quarter length sleeves, a bit of embroidery, split-neck, placket closure.  I looked at it and said, its simple enough, I should be able to make something like that myself.  However, I doubted my own pattern making skills and never wanted to 'waste' fabric on something that would end up not what I imagined.  Then I met 'Vegbee' (if you haven't seen her kids stuff, you should).  She taught me how to make a child's t-shirt pattern.  I did it, it worked pretty well.  I saw it and said, hmmm, with a bit of tweaking maybe I could make that peasant top.  So I tried, my first attempt was this...

It has all the features of the original.  I had a hard time with the neck, I have a tendency to make them too small, but I finally used the one-step button holer on my machine.  I also used a 'painless placket' for the closure (from Debbie Glenn and 'Sew Beautiful' (http://www.sewbeautifulmag.com/article/pdf-files/110-article.pdf).  It wasn't quite what I wanted though, too boxy and too short amongst other things. But I was brave, and tweaked again and came up with...

This! White, square-neck, peasant top.  Kiddo loves it, I love it.  I ditched the placket of course.  Its muslin because that is what I had on hand, so its kind of thin, but its September here and its still 95, so it works.  I also used waste-away canvas to add the seahorse (kiddo's choice of course), and put in the three pintucks at the bottom, elastic casing on the sleeves. Well, that's it, just wanted to share.  Thanks for looking!

Okay everyone here is the tute.  I chose to forgo pictures of the pintuck sewing for written directions to get this done sooner. If it is unclear or you have questions, just respond or send me a personal message...

1. Create pattern see Vegbee for how to make childs t-shirt pattern, or use existing dress bodice pattern (this has the benefits of being able to create puffy sleeves as opposed to just a drop sleeve, which might be a nice addition). If you are using a fitted t-shirt for your pattern making, you will want to add a small amount of ease (dont add a lot, kids are small, if you add too much, it ends up much like the boxy one at the top).  I made mine slightly A-line, but straight would probably work as well.  You will also want to lengthen the pattern to take into account the pin tucks

To calculate how much to add: Multiply the width of your tucks by 2.  Then multiply that number by the number of tucks you want.[/size]
           -example - my tucks were about inch in width, so I added inch/tuck (1/4 inch x 2) , and added 1 inches to the total length (1/2 inch/tuck x 3 tucks = 1 inches).

Dont forget to add enough at the bottom for your chosen finishing method.  The front and back pieces are identical so you only have to make 1 body pattern piece.  This only works if you are making clothes for a child, as we get older the backs of our bodies are not the same as our fronts  Wink.
2.  How to create the square neckline Measure your child or some existing garment to determine where your neckline should hit.  Take a ruler (big quilting ones work well here), align it with the edge of your shoulder seam, and draw straight down from the shoulder your measurement minus the seam allowance.  If you constructed your pattern so that it is on a fold, if you align your ruler on the fold with the straight edge against the shoulder seam it should be perpendicular (this is important if you want your neckline to be square). Then draw the seam out to the fold, perpendicular to your fold or shoulder line.  You could just as easily do a scoop, round or split neck.  Whatever you choose, make sure it is big enough to go over their head as there is no stretch and no placket in this particular design (unless you choose to add those).

3. Create a facing for your neckline.  Trace your neckline carefully (I use wax paper), then draw around 1 to 2 inches or so away from it all the way around.  Finish the outside edges of the facing.

4. Assemble garment. Do shoulder seams first on the facing and the neck, then sew the neckline so you dont pull it out of shape while you are sewing the rest.  Sew facing to neckline, CAREFULLY pivoting at the corners. Clip the corners.  I both understitched (where you sew the seam allowance to the facing very close to your original seam) and topstitched it in place about inch away from the edge.  Then I topstitched again about an inch or so away (this is decorative, but it also helps to secure the facing. Finish your assembly, except for the hem.  Since I don't have a serger and I made it for a child, I did use french seams (where you enclose the seam so no raw edges are exposed).  I'm sure there is a tute somewhere on craftster for french seams so I wont go into detail here.

5.  Pintucks - You can do the pintucks (I put this in quotes because I am not sure they are official pintucks or not) before or after you assemble your garment.  I think it is easier to do them after. 
First determine where you want your tucks to start.  At that point, fold your fabric wrong sides together; sew along the chosen width of your tucks  (in my case it was ~ inch).  Press your tuck down towards the bottom of the garment. Topstitch very close to the free edge of the tuck (the bottom).  Measure down to your next tuck the distance you want them apart PLUS the width of your tuck.  Fold your fabric wrong sides together with the fold at your measure point.  Repeat the tuck sewing process until all your tucks are completed.  I saw something in a book once about taking colored yarn and running it through your tuck so that it is encased in the tuck, creating a colored tuck, Ive never tried it, but its an idea.

6.  Hem your garment - I hand hemmed mine so that it met the last tuck, that way I could hide the blind stitches behind the tuck.

7.  Embellish as desired - This one has sleeves with a casing and elastic, side vents on the bottom, and a cross-stitched sea horse. Go NUTS!

Now if you make one and you post it somewhere, let me know.  I'd love to see what people come up with.  Thanks!
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