Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Hedgehog Watercolor T-shirt

Watercolors seem to softly flow onto the artist's paper. So when challenged to create a garment influenced by art, I knew I would be influenced by my love for watercolors.















In addition, I wanted to be an artist too, and try to create with my sewing machine instead of a brush.

Tiny little strips of knit fabric and thread became my artist medium.
My little hedgehog rests quietly on the 2-color lower band. Tiny strips of the print knit fabric make up the hedgehogs fur with thread top stitching to add even more texture.

My shirt featured 3 components: a watercolor print panel, watercolor geometric print, and a solid mustard 
gold cotton Lyra fabric.




 Of course, I like to color block the sleeves for added interest.
 Sewing each individual pin tuck. Photo of the finished tucked panel.
 Trimming off the excess fabric to fit the sleeve.





 Cutting the fabric needed for the remanding lower sleeve.
 Sewing on the lower sleeve to the tucked panel.

 Those tucks really add interest and are so worth the effort.
Smiles,
Deborah

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Sewing Technology That Lets You Be an Artist


Today's technology has found it's way into the sewing room and given home sewers the opportunity to become an artist as they create garments for the people that they love. 

That's exactly how I felt as I created this one of a kind t-shirt for my pre-teen granddaughter. 






 Little details, like these grommet background Mickey silhouettes, were my brushstrokes on the canvas of my creation.

 Color blocking a plain hoodie pattern added dimension and interest.






 Of course, we had to include Minnie on the garment too.  

There are many ways to be an artist, and technology has made a huge difference in the way today's home sewers can express their own unique sense of color, design, and texture.  


Smiles,
Deborah

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Living In Your Imagination: School Spirit Wear for Kids

I've always imagined that School Spirit Wear clothing
 should be more FUN and COLORFUL just like the fantastic clothing in Willy Wonka !

Every year at school it's the same navy, black, or grey t-shirt or sweatshirt with a vinyl cut-out of your school mascot.
So using the inspirational challenge of Project Run and Play, Season 17, I tried to re-imagine the 
Bears 
School Spirit Wear Outfit.  
 
Bears have claws like this 

So, I did a little research and found this fabric on Spoonflower.
Since the school colors are orange and medium blue.... this was perfect and so colorful!
So I had the fabric printing on a cotton knit.


I paired it with a medium blue 
scuba fabric to create this 
leggings topper.



My finished lined wrap-around legging topper.



It fastens with snap tape. The pockets and the finishing band at the top of the skirt are made from scuba cloth.   Scuba fabric is the fashion version of neoprene, the skin-tight fabric used by scuba divers. Scuba is a double-knit fabric, usually made of Polyester mixed with either Lycra or Spandex. It doesn't ravel so the edges of the pocket are a raw edge. 
This skirt rides below the waistline at the top of the hips and is meant to be worn with leggings.  It can be worn with either white or medium blue leggings.   

Where is the pullover mesh top from?  Well, it was purchased at a recent sale at Gymboree, for a price lower than I could buy the fabric.  So, I removed the original white pocket and cut out a kangaroo pocket with the paws fabric.  I finished the edges and 
top-stitched it onto the purchased pullover. 
 Since it is a mesh fabric, 
a medium blue t-shirt is worn under the top.
Lastly, we added some 
silver Converse shoes and white or blue leggings
and they are ready to go.

Colorful
Fun
School Spirit Wear
Living in Your Imagination! 

W A I T !!!!
Not 1, but 3 outfits were made.

There is nothing like you and your two best friends showing your school spirit 
walking down those middle school halls
t o g e t h e r !! 




 

Friday, August 17, 2018

Ruffles in the Back Only, T-shirt Edging

When sewing a t-shirt, it is very common to finish the lower edge with a rib knit band.
 In this hoodie, the shirt hem edge is finished with a black and white striped ribbed knit band.
I like ribbed knit bands, but I wanted to try something new.






















If you look at this diagram, you will see how I used the rib knit bands at
 different levels to create interest and a fun surprise in the back of the shirt.

There are two basic ways this can be sewn.

First, use a backer base and sew the individual ruffle layers to the base.


 Or
   Vary the length of the ruffles and stack them on top of each other from the thinnest to the widest.
In this example, you can see that I layered them from thinnest to widest. Next, I placed the rib band on top, then sewed the bands together. Lastly, sew the band to the back of the t-shirt.
Topstitching the hem seam now that the 3 layers are sewn on.
In this picture, you can see the widest ruffle.The width of this ruffle is determined by how much space you need to fill, so that the front and back of the t-shirt, end up being equal in lengths.  

 What about the front hem of the t-shirt?  It's just finished the usual way, with the rib band on the edge of the hem.  I cut the band slightly less in width than the bottom edge so it hugged the front bottom a bit.

 

Friday, June 29, 2018

One-piece Knit Romper with Shorts



Miss Comfy loves her new knit one-piece romper. 

It has a built-in panel that allows the bodice front to gracefully lay in pleats with complete coverage. 
It's easy to get on...just slip it over your neck.
Here's a look at the back.







Front view.
 It's a  German pattern that I bought online from Makerist.
Here is the name of the pattern:

  Jumpsuit SummerBreeze Junior Gr. 122-164

Von Mamili 1910  

Note: One thing that I changed in this pattern is the size of the band that goes around the waist. I shorten the width in the front slightly, and sewed a piece of elastic into the top seam on the back band.  When I sew this pattern again, I plan to make this band in the same fabric as the shorts.

Smiles,

Deborah

 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Scuba Fabric: Hip Wrap-Around Skirt, Top, Leggings



Scuba Fabric is so fun to work with as it gives you the freedom to create garments with raw cut edges.
So when I created my entry for the Project Run and Play 
I felt that this outfit best represented my own unique style, taste, and showcases my skill set when sewing.

Creating an outfit than also satisfies the wants of a pre-teen girl... can be risky too.  So I always try to discuss the project with her as I sew, so she will be happy with the finished project too. I wanted long sleeves for the fall...she wanted short sleeves. I wanted an all raspberry top... she wanted all black.                        So I compromise and she compromises too. 

The pattern for this skirt is a German pattern.

BeeRocky Kids Gr. 110 - 152 in zwei Längen

No, I don't speak or read German!  I use Google Translate   my own sewing knowledge, and the pictures for directions.
First, let's talk about the "fanny pack purse" on the front of the skirt. The original pattern had a snapped-on detachable purse which I made into a purse pocket sewn directly onto the skirt.
Using my own sewing knowledge about working with scuba knits (doesn't ravel), I knew that I could use a cutting blade to cut out an even edge on the pocket, and an opening for the zipper. The pocket would not be faced.

Then I used Dritz WashAway Wonder Tape around the pocket edge. You can stitch through this double-sided transparent tape without gumming your needle. So I used it to hold my zipper in place, while I sewed around it. In the photo, I have removed the protective paper. When I sewed around the zipper, I did 2 rows of stitching. One to hold the zipper in place, and one for FUN!
 

Then I laid the pocket onto the skirt front and top-stitched it into place. Lastly, I topped the edges with the circular patch for extra strength.  So when you look at this pocket edge you are viewing a raw edge.
This skirt sits below the waistline and hugs the hips.
I sewed the darts in this way because of the scuba fabric :
Mark your dart and iron a circle of fabric at the end of the dart.







 Cut the dart side open nearest the center back.









Overlap the dart edges and use stitch witchery under the dart and iron.

On the outside of the skirt sew one or two lines of stitching to hold it in place. I decoratively sewed two rows: down, turn,  over one stitch, turn, sew up. Now it's flat and still hugs the body with no bulk.
I also overlapped my side seams and sewed them flat.


The skirt is secured with a snap tape.


 Lastly, the original skirt was meant to be lined, but I cut a separate facing that was sewn onto the skirt wrong side to wrong side. Then I added a edging to finish the edge. No need to hem the skirt, just use the raw edge.
 
The facing and edging were added to strengthen the waistline seam and add a pop of color at the top of the skirt.   

A simple black knit tee, with added skuba knit cold shoulder sleeves was sewn to compliment the skirt.  
The same black knit fabric was used to make the relaxed fit elastic waist leggings/pants.
The legging were tucked inside her black boots.
We love it and hope you like it too. Any questions? Just comment below, 
as we read every comment and respond.

Smiles,
Deborah
 
  
 
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