Wednesday, February 27, 2013

You Win Some, You Lose Some, and Sometimes You Do Both!

Celebrate the Boy!

I made Mr. T another shirt today.  I was dying to use the fast food knit fabric I received last week.  This fabric is super soft; I love it!  The fabric is 60" wide and the pattern pieces fit just great.  I would not have been able to make it long sleeve but T didn't want long sleeve anyway.

I used my Ottobre 06/2011 #38 Zen T-Shirt pattern in a size 152.  I didn't use any instructions I just sewed it together as I did for the Dino PJ shirt.  I used an old Menards shirt for the neck ribbing.

During my project today I managed to break/bend my beloved Twin Stretch Needle after I finished the ribbing and shoulders (as in picture above).  I was so mad/sad.  I tried to use my regular Universal Twin Needle on the shirt hem but it ended up ripping through the knit and actually made a hole.  Thus I had to cut off two full inches off the bottom of this shirt to get rid of the hole.  I also had to hem it with my Jersey needle on a zigzag stitch.  I wasn't pleased that I couldn't finish the arm hem and waist hem with the double needle.  It was my own fault though.  I didn't check my needle position before sewing the double stitch and bam, my left needle hit the presser foot.

(Bottom Hem with Zigzag)

I'm still happy with the outcome, even if it is a little short.

I have a very special project I'm starting tomorrow for T.  It is a surprise for him!
Here's a peek at the fabrics I'm using for the project.

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Monday, February 25, 2013

Ottobre 03/2012 #38 Harrison or #20 Papa Joe Bermuda shorts

Another post for Celebrate the boy!

Yet again I had great visions for these cute shorts for Mr. T.  I wanted them all gray with orange on the slit pocket and side pockets.  My idea was not well met with a shortage of fabric (yet again).  The pattern called for 80 cm for the shorts (or less than a yard).  I had a yard of the gray and a yard of the orange figuring I'd be ok.  What I failed to remember is that my fabric is 44 inches wide, not the 60 the pattern calls for.  Time to improvise!

I whipped up these wild and crazy shorts for Mr. T.

I used almost all of each yard for the orange and the gray.  I traced and cut a 152 for Mr. T, who wears a size 10 RTW.  I omitted the belt loops because these fit Mr. T with no need for a belt.  I honestly hope they still fit him when summer comes.

I forgot to add interfacing around the slit pocket (oops!) ~ Yes, it needs it.  The length on these are great and the fit is ok.  I'm not too sold on the pleats yet.  I really wanted to make the shorts from the newest edition 01/2013 #19 but they only went up to a 146 and I didn't feel like grading the pattern up to a 152.

The instructions for this pattern are great and the waistband is awesome.  I like how it all came together.  This is probably the best zipper fly I've sewn to date!  I used a super old vintage zipper and Mr. T rummaged through my vintage buttons to find the gem below. The only issue I had was the slit pocket instructions that were so confusing.  I wrote a pictorial step-by-step in this post for the slit pocket. 
It was also a little challenging to cut the fabric so that the gray pocket would be with the orange side and etc.

These shorts are a bit wacky and fun.  I enjoy how they turned out.  This fabric is from one of my favorite lines, designed by David Walker for Free Spirit of Westminster; it is super cute and affordable   You can tell I love it because I made shorts with it for T last year in the blue!

I ordered this fabric on 8/22/12 for $3.95/yard not knowing what I'd use it for. Technically I should have ordered more as it was so cheap, but oh well. "Harrison" Bermuda Shorts $7.90.

Boys Will Be Boys Boys Big Little Grey   Boys will be Boys Big Little Gray

Boys Will Be Boys Boys Toss Yellow  Boys will be Boys Toss Yellow

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Sunday, February 24, 2013

How to sew a Slit Pocket (onto the back of pants/shorts)

Part of me is writing this post for future reference for myself, and part of me is writing it in case someone else needs the visual help.

Yesterday I was sewing Ottobre Pattern #38 Harrison (bermuda shorts or pants) from the 03/2012 issue.  Everything was going smoothly until I came to the back slit pocket.  I read the directions and acted out the parts three times going "What the heck?"  I finally did figure it out, however visual reference would have made the process much easier.

How to sew a Slit Pocket
Back Pants panel with slit pocket completed

1. Draw rectangles from pattern onto right side of pants panel and wrong side of pocket fabric. Be sure to interface around the pants panel rectangle having 1/2 inch of interface extending over the sides of the drawn rectangle (I forgot this, crap). Place Right sides together with wrong side of pocket fabric facing you.  Sew around rectangle with machine.  Cut slit down the middle of rectangle and side triangles.  Stuff pocket fabric through the opening to the other side of the pants panel.  You will have a hole like below.
2. Iron and top-stitch around the entire rectangle from right side of pants panel.  Flip over to the wrong side of pants panel so you are looking at right side of pocket fabric.  Pleat over the top of the rectangle hole you just sewed with the pocket fabric as shown in above and below pics. Iron this pleat up so that it covers hole.

3. Carefully fold the bottom of pocket up and on top of this part of the pocket shown above.  (or place other pocket fabric on top with right sides together if they were separate pieces). Topstitch from front side of pants panel on bottom edge where you see my blue line in pic above.

 4. Pin together catching only pocket pieces in and carefully keeping pleated part the way it is.

5. Sew all around pocket fabrics (do not sew pants panel).  Serge or edge finish pocket sides when done.

6. Flip pants over and topstitch the top part of the panel catching in all layers (on the pic below this is the bottom part as my pants panel is flipped upside down). Now admire the cute Slit pocket!

I hope my steps help someone out!

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Ottobre 6/2011 #38 Zen T-Shirt/Pajama Top with Upcycle

Celebrate the Boy continues at my house.  I wanted to try the Ottobre 6/2011 Zen T-shirt/Pajama Top.  Mr. T wears a size 10 in RTW so I traced and cut a size 146.  I initially didn't intend for this to be an upcycle but I did not have enough fabric in the dinosaur to properly make the sleeves.  The pattern called for 80cm of fabric or just shy of a yard.  I blindly ordered a yard not paying attention to the width.  Sadly I realized this after I had gotten into gear to make the shirt (my fabric was only 48 in wide, not 60).  I set off to dig in my stash of fabrics and the only thing that sort of matched was an old Hollister shirt of my husbands.  I figured what the heck, I'm just testing this pattern anyway.

The results are awesome.  I have to be honest, I didn't look at the pattern directions at all on this one.  I sewed the shoulders together first, then added the neck ribbing (cut up from my old WalMart tank top). I then proceeded to add the sleeves in while the fabric was flat and then sew from bottom hem of shirt up through the armpit and down to the sleeve ends.  I much prefer this way than easing in the sleeves in a round fashion.  I serged all but the hems of my fabric and I used my double needle on the shoulders as well as the hems.  I decided not to add ribbing to the sleeve cuffs.  My husband even complimented me on how well I did!  Wow!

I must say, I LOVE this pattern!!!  The fit was excellent. The shirt is a tad big but I'm happy for that because T has time to grow into it.  Lovely as he always is, he snatched the shirt, put it on, and proclaimed his love for it.

 Those shorts look familiar?  They are an upcycle from April 2012 and T still loves them. 

Now that I know the yardage to use and that it fits great I can make some actual T shirts and not Pj tops out of this pattern.  It is definitely going in my *favorite* pile!

The fabric?  It was part of a bunch I ordered from The Fabric Fairy.  $6.39/yard double knit cotton.  I have mixed reviews on the fabric.  when it came it was horribly stiff and not soft at all.  I wasn't sure if I even wanted to use it.  I washed and dried the fabric and it did come out softer so it is just ok in my book on softness.  The fabric was also horribly off grain.  Would I use it again? No. But it was ok for this one project.
I just want to add, I am by no means bashing The Fabric Fairy, the rest of the knits I received from there (5 more) are all wonderful.  It is just this particular knit I didn't care for. :-)

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Ottobre 1/2013 #15 Victor and 6/2011 #37 Green Check

This week has been crazy!  Friday the kids had no school. Miss K's temp was 102.5 Friday and Saturday before I took her in to the clinic and found she had strep.... AGAIN! She had it just a month ago.  So she was also home on Monday.  Mr. T had to have a tooth pulled so he was home Tuesday.  I tell you, it is hard to sew with so many people home!

However, it is time to "celebrate the boy!"  I'm so excited about this because I rarely sew anything for Mr. T. He loves everything I make for him too.  I do make him lots of pajamas but only because he is a 10 year old boy that doesn't wear homemade clothes to school.  Miss K loves wearing her stuff to school but she is only 7.

Yet again, I made Mr. T some pajamas.  He is starting to outgrow the ones I made last year so I've been trying to replace them.

Mr. T rarely wears a shirt at night.  He is one of those kids who sweats even in -20 degree weather.  I decided this cute Ottobre tank #15 Victor would be perfect for him (size 146), plus I already knew he liked the longer shorts from the 6/2011 Ottobre #37 Green Check (size 140).

I made the shorts first because they are super easy.  This time around I omitted the fly and added ribbing to the bottoms.  I used terry cloth for the fabric.  The shorts were quick and easy; I had no problems.  For the ribbing I took the length around the bottom hem, lets say it was 18, added seam allowance of 1/2 inch and multiplied it by 0.70. So, 18.5 x 0.70= about 13 inches.  This is how long I cut my ribbing.  It worked out great.

(apology up front for the terrible night time photos.  Wisconsin in winter makes it hard to get outside photos!)

The tank was also easy to make.  Looking at the pattern I knew it would be fast and simple (or my kind of pattern!).  I followed the directions and had no issues with them.  I used my old Air Force shirt for the fabric (Upcycle! YES!).  The ribbing is from an old Wal-Mart tank top of mine too.  The terry cloth was used for the yoke to tie it into the shorts.  (Honestly, I didn't have enough terry to do the tank with so this is how I improvised!).  I used the same formula as the shorts for the ribbing on the neck and sleeves.  I opted to not do ribbing on the bottom hem of the tank though.

What did I love about this pattern?  All the double needle sewing!  I haven't been using my double needle for awhile now (no idea why not) and I used it quite a bit on these.  It reminded me how much I love to use it and how great the finish looks!  I would say these two patterns are a match made in heaven!

Mr. T ran joyously around the house once he put these on.  He also exclaimed "These are awesome Mom!"  when I first showed them too him.  He loves that it is my old shirt.  The kids know I lived in that shirt for awhile when I was really sick.  I'm happy it found a new home!  Miss K has already laid claim to the pajamas once T grows out of them. LOL.

The "cotton blend micro stretch terry cloth dark turquoise" fabric I used was from  It was easy to sew and is soft to wear but it left me and the sewing room covered in tiny fuzzballs!  I ordered it way back on 3/20/2012, $6.98 for the yard.  I was glad to use most of it up. no longer has this fabric.

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Friday, February 15, 2013

Ottobre 6/2011 ~ #24 Wide Wale ~ Flabbergasted!

So I've been working on these cute little shorts for Miss K for 3 days or so now.  (My back/neck has been acting up so I took it slowly).  I LOVED the way these shorts were coming together; I was very happy with how amazing they look.  Last night we got to the part where she tries them on and....... wayyyy to tight :(
BUMMER!  What the heck??

Miss K wears a size 8 in RTW (She is 7 yrs old).  In Ottobre that is about a 134.  She measured a 140 in the waist/hip area so that is what I traced and cut, a 140 which is roughly a size 10.  Mr. T is 10 yrs old and wears a size 10 RTW and fits in the 140 Ottobre.

(Marking pen marks still in fabric, haven't washed yet)

I'm so disappointed because I LOVE these shorts.  They turned out so stinking cute.  I did a fantastic job on the zipper and was so proud.  I didn't finish the hem or belt loops yet because that is where we stopped to try them on.  I suppose now I must trace a 146 (or size 12) in these shorts and see if that fits her.  Sigh.  CRAZY!  I do have leftover fabric in both prints though; also, the corduroy was on sale at Hancock for only $2 a yard.  This pattern took 1 yard so I only fudged up $2 in fabric and some scraps of the owls.

(Marking pen marks still in fabric, haven't washed yet)

Has this ever happened to you?  When you were so excited for a garment and then it didn't fit?  I feel so disappointed. I thought I would share my "wadder" with you today.  I hope your sewing adventures are going better than mine today!

 ~ Kristin ~

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What I'm Up To Wednesday ~ 2/13/13

What am I up to this Wednesday?  I'm working on some adorable shorts for Miss K. "Shorts?" you say?  Yes, shorts.  I have spring/summer on the mind and I know Miss K will need shorts for the warmer months because she grows like a darn WEED!  Plus we are taking a trip to Disney in the next few months so I'm preparing for that nice warm weather.  It's nice to think warm when snow is all around!

I also ordered a ton of cute new knits from The Fabric Fairy.  I'm anxiously awaiting those. Wow do I love their selection of boy's knits!


As soon as I ordered those knits I got an email that is having a Riley Blake sale!! Sigh. My favorite cotton prints are from Riley Blake, but alas I have too many sitting in my stash right now.

I also received an email that McCalls, Vogue, Butterick, Kwik Sew is having a huge pattern sale ($0.99-$2.99) so I'm eyeing those up over my hot cocoa.  Oh how I want this dress.  I have nowhere to where it but I don't care!! It is simply amazing!

And my babies are out enjoying our sloppy Wisconsin weather.  Here is their snowman from Monday.

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~