Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My very first self-made pattern!

So my little girl got this whole huge bag of hand-me-downs from some friends when we were in Mexico last spring. And there was this one razorback tunic in there that I just loved to bits and it was the cutest thing ever. But the thing is, toddlers grow. And they tend to grow out of stuff, no matter how cute it is. So!I thought, I really need to make a copy of this in a bigger size. But how does one do that? Well... I did not want to rip the whole thing apart. She can still wear it a few more months. So I laid it down on my table and started folding and tracing to the best of my abilities... and pretty soon I had a pattern! I added a centimeter here and there to make it a little bigger, and then I added the seam allowance before I traced it again on pattern paper and started cutting.

I will not go into the details of all the errors I made in the actual construction of this little tunic. When I think about it now, they are such obvious no-nos that they make me blush just thinking about it... But after some pretty hefty seam ripping and redoing, the result was pretty sweet. The yoke is fully lined, and the lining is slip stitched to the seam in the back, so it looks totally perfect on the inside too. The side seams are French. Oh, yeah, I went all out here.

But I'm far from completely happy. 

My first mistake was the fabric I chose for the yoke. It'ss way too sturdy and has no ... NO... stretch. So even though the tunic is sleeveless and has a 12 centimeter button opening in the front, its hard to get it on and off. Next time, I'll try something more stretchy, like maybe a stretch denim?

Mistake 2: The button holes. Oh. Dear.  I will not show an up close picture of them. I SHOULD have done them in yellow thread, but in my still-newbie innocence thought they would look nice in white, since all the other contrasting was done in white. The yellow would have covered my poor work more... I don't know why they turned out so badly. I've never had that happen before. Maybe it's the toughness (and many layers right here) of the yellow yoke fabric. In the yellow fabric's defense, it was born as a sheet (thrifted), so who can blame it for not being apt for garmenthood...?

The shorts are made from MADE's Kid pant pattern. They are the flat front variety, which I have come to really like. And they sew up in like 20 minutes flat, even with French seams. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The World's Softest Undies.

Love! At first sight! Or touch!  I came across this panty pattern in Crafterhours' blog called "Rainbow Undies" and thought... hm! Those look OH-SO-COMFY for my littlies, but really, who has the time to sew underwear?

I, apparently. Because yesterday, after the printer seemed to be working again after some trouble with the USB cable, I went trigger happy with my paypal account and purchased not only this pattern, but also the Juniper pants pattern by Colette Patterns. I turns out that after the picture of these undies had been marinating in my mind for a few days, the will to sit down and sew a tiny little garment like underpants was strong enough that I went for it. And I have no regrets. None.

First, I just cut up a tank top of mine that had fallen out of favor and made a pair from that. Call it a muslin. Call it whatever. When I pulled those babies up my son's legs and felt the softness of that yoga waist band and the cute way the fabric hugged his little boy butt, I was sold. There is no scratchiness in this underwear. It is just pure. awesome. softness.

So as soon as my  hubby got in and started playing with the kids, I went running back to the sewing machine and made a pair for my little Princess K. Just as awesome.

This morning, I cut into some "real" fabric (read: not upcycled, but purchased from the fabric store) and made this cute pair of helicopter undies for Chiquitin, and a purple and pink little number for Princess K. They are wearing them right now. While watching "In the Night Garden" on the iPad and rolling around on the floor, being toddlers.

And they are comfy in their underwear. Yay!!!

So if you have the time (it only takes about 30 minutes, cutting included, and using a conventional machine) to sew some super soft undies for your kid... make a run for it over to Kitchy Coo and get your pattern! The body of the pants have only one piece, so there is no crotch seam, just the two side seams. Soft goodness. (No, I didn't get anything in return for shamelessly promoting somebody's pattern. I just thought it was worth saying something good about it, so I did.)

**Disclaimer 1: I do not have power to use a steam (or dry) iron when our generator is not on, so if you think the undies look wrinkled, it's because they are. They have never been pressed. It is what it is. Sewing in West Africa is not like sewing other places.

**Disclaimer 2: If you thought the helicopter on the front of the undies is upside down, you were right. This is what happens with directional prints when there's only one pattern piece. The print is going to be upside down either in the front of back. I chose front. It seems my kid is running away from me more than towards me, so I prioritized making the butt side look right. As an added bonus, he will see the helicopter the right way when looking down on his underwear. See? It's all thought through!

Linking up with Tatertots and Jello Weekend Wrap Up Party.