Saturday, April 10, 2010

Pattern Review: Wallet-Sized Reusable Shopping Bag Tutorial

What a fabulous idea to have a shopping bag that folds into itself and then becomes a wallet-sized object to fit into another bag (like a purse).  I was seduced by this tutorial, which I found on this list of shopping bag tutorials
Then I went to make it, and found it easy to make, although mine isn't quite as nice as the one in the tutorial.  I skipped the bias tape in favor of hemming, and think the bias tape is probaby the way to go to keep the curve looking sharp and to give it more of a "wallet" look when it is folded up.  My pocket is also not right in the middle, so either I wasn't careful to follow the directions or the spacing was off slightly.  The tutorial gives really detailed placement instructions, so maybe it was me.

This was a good project to use some of my leftover fusible interfacing with, and to use my iron again with (I fell in love with both while recently making a toddler blazer- see earler post).  The strap length is okay-- but I think I could make them slightly longer next time. 

All in all, the bag is a good size and the instructions were easy to follow and informative.  I liked how she added curves to the bottom of the bag, and how she dealt with the inner seams was a new way for me (she folded them up and sewed them together).  I did skip this, though, in favor of overcasting the inside edges; but, it is always good to learn new methods.
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That's a good idea-- to just make a pouch... Pin It

Two more Swim Diapers - training pants pattern

It was high time for my little guy and his buddy to get new swim diapers. This time, I decided to use a training pants pattern, knowing that all you need to do to make a cloth swim diaper is to use PUL (or another waterproof fabric) on the inside and a cute and quick-drying fabric on the outside. I wanted to use a training pants pattern instead of a diaper pattern because I wanted it to fit more tightly.

I opted to use this training pants pattern, which is for waterproof training pants. I cut the outer and PUL out of the basic pattern.

On the top swim diaper, I left all four sides open when I turned it. Then I added FOE and snaps to one side and sewed the other side shut.

On the bottom swim diaper, I left two open and closed two of the tab ends. On the snap side, I just turned and topstitched and attached the snaps. On the other side, I sewed it shut like I had done with the other side. I did this because my FOE never looks entirely tidy on the snap side, and I end up with a lot of zig-zag stitching to cover the ends and make sure they don't fray.

That being said, the top one is the one my little guy has been using, and I like it a lot. It has held up really nicely and he even gets compliments. I think the bottom one hasn't been used yet, but I do like the pin stripes.

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Dish Towels

I was at the fabric store and there was a really long line. Bad news for me which meant I made an impulse purchase of some dish towel fabric. It was narrow, and two sides were already finished. All I did for these was cut four of each at about 17" wide and hem the other two sides, and add my label to each.

I think they are a little too small to make a good dish towel - SADLY! But they make good cloth napkins, so I think that is what I will re-purpose them into.

And I will try to stay a little more focused at the fabric store...
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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Starburst Applique T-Shirt

I had always wanted a pair of pinking shears and finally went whole hog and spent the $12 the other day. I have been pinking away at my seams and this T-Shirt is the result of some scraps and my new shears.

The edges of the cotton fabric are pinked and then sewn on close to the edges. I quite like the design. Too bad it is still TOO COLD to try it out.
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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Toddler Blazer and Tie: Kwik Sew 3697 and Little Londyn Little Guy Ties

We have a special wedding coming up in May, and I wanted to make the little guy a special outfit.

I started this project thinking I'd make he and daddy matching ties, and found the Little Londyn's Little Guy Ties pattern for sale on Etsy. It has a "big daddy" extension piece so I would only need to buy and figure out one pattern. Well, I found the directions a bit confusing and ended up with a tie that was twice as thick as necessary. Daddy saw it and swore he hated the fabric. Now the tie is narrower, but way too thick. It is also sized 1 to 3T and is a bit long for my guy. Stay tuned for if I decide to have him use it, or make another, shorter one by modifying the pattern, or if I just make a bow tie (also available in this pattern). I got some cool silk to use for the matching ties, but I have grown quite fond of this cotton print.

If I would make this pattern again, I wouldn't use any interfacing (it calls for it on just the front piece). I also would just use a really plain fabric (like an old sheet or some cheap flannel) for the interior lining, since only a tiny tiny bit peeks through at both ends.

I bought two patterns and looked at a third when trying to find a blazer or suit pattern. I bought Simplicity 8442 then realized the jacket has no collar. So then I looked at a Burda pattern which was for a blazer and suit pants and didn't end up buying it because I haven't used Burda before and thought the project would be hard enough without trying to figure out a new brand of pattern (I can't seem to find the pattern number). It did go down to 2T, and include pants, which were selling points for me.

I ended up using Kwik Sew 3697, which is sized for ages 4 to 14. I copied it down to 80%, hoping to make it 2T and ended up getting the sizing just right.

I made it out of denim, thinking the first pass at something isn't ever that great, and I wanted him to wear the third version of it to the wedding.
Well, I have now used tracing paper, my iron (ahem), fusible interfacing, my blind hem foot, made a dart, know what a welt is and how to install one, and how to make a machine-sewn buttonhole and sew buttons using my machine.

All in all, it was an educational project, although it took a really long time, and I think I like it in demin and am not sure I need to make two more versions before the wedding!

Oh, and my little guy likes the buttons on the sleeves.

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