Thursday, January 24, 2013

Unisex Overalls

One promise to my granddaughter
  +                                boys week
 equals...             unisex overalls

That's how this math teacher solved the problem of what to make during the "boys week" challenge for Project Run and Play.

"I love dogs!"
In my last post, I mentioned that I promised my granddaughter that I would make something for her for the next challenge since the stripes and dots skirt turned out for her sister instead of her.  So after thinking about it for 2 days... I came up with the idea of overalls using Kwik Sew patterb 3948.  I found this cute dog material that could actually work for boys or girls

"You just had to add that rick rack stuff... didn't you!"
I did "girlie" it up with rick rack on the pockets. I embroidered a dog on the front pocket to personalize it for C. She wanted the dog to be "fluffy."

I use this trick to make my rounded edge pockets:

1. Cut out the desired pocket and a lightweight facing for the pocket.

2. Sew around the pocket using your desired seam allowance.

3. Cut a slit in the center of the pocket facing, and turn the pocket right side out. Trim, clip the seam allowance, and press with an iron.

4. Now the trick... use stitch witchery to seal the hole closed by applying heat.  Now the pocket is ready to be sewn on your garment.
"That's a great trick Deborah!"

Comfy, able to be worn by a girl or a boy, and cozy was the big idea behind the whole outfit.
"They are comfy!"

"I wish I had some red overalls like these! Do you think she will earn a blue ribbon?!"



Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Stripes and Dots Twirly Skirt

1. I totally made the skirt ... but I just adapted the knit shirt that I bought at Gymboree.
 I designed the skirt for my 3 year old granddaughter, but when I sewed it all together, it fit my 6 year old granddaughter.
I did learn how to blind stitch on my sewing machine as I was making the skirt.

2.  I made boot leggings out of the cut off sleeves from the knit shirt to wear with her red cowgirl boots.. (Which was kind of crazy.)

3.  My house is a disaster since we bought a new house this week, and I've got boxes, and ten million mortgage details that I had to deal with for the closing also. And my husband was understanding enough to let me sew in the middle of the mess.
4.  I like dots and stripes, but I had a watch out that I didn't go crazy and turn out little "Clown Outfits." I made the matching headband.
5. I bought the sweater at Gymboree too and fancied it up for the skirt... as it was marked down to  $2.99 and I couldn't resist.

6. So I then had to promise my 3 year old granddaughter that I will make the next challenge project for her. That will be interesting since it's the "boys" challenge.

This skirt isn't really my best 100% effort, but you are going to LOVE my Valentine creation, and what I am doing with 2 of my husband's dress shirts for that challenge.


P.S. I've been promised a craft/sewing room/area in the new house. (My husband hopes it will contain my pins and thread bits to one room of the house.)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Woven-Ribbon Bodice Party Dress

Here's my first "sew along" entry to  Project Run and Play Season 6, the remix of the "The Party Dress."

The first week's challenge was a pattern remix of The Cottage Home Mama's Party Dress. Though we live in the cold Chicago area, I decided to think Spring and created an Easter Dress for C.

The first change that I made to the pattern was to shorten the front bodice yoke a bit and create a woven ribbon pattern at a 45 degree angle. (Can you tell that I teach teachers how to teach Math to their students?)

First, I drew 45 degree lines across the bodice using a purple marking pen that disappears after a certain amount of time. I used the grid on my cutting board to easily make those angled lines. These lines will help me line up the ribbons.    
I placed the longest ribbon across the full bodice from shoulder to bottom seam. Then, I continued until I filled the entire shoulder area, all in the same direction. Then I sewed across the shoulder seam to hold all the ribbons in place.
See how I began to weave the next set of ribbons across the first set. 
Do you remember doing this in school near Thanksgiving time to make placemats....I do.
Now we do it in Math to work on repeating patterns  :)
I did use a repeating pattern as I wove the ribbons.
 I thought it would be distracting to have a random pattern.

The pattern continued across the bodice.  I started to sew along both edges of one particular ribbon, the purple ribbon with the large white daisies.  I did that to prevent problems when this dress is cleaned at a later date and to stabilize the ribbon pattern.

It is getting easier to weave the ribbons and the process will begin to make you smile... 
I continued to sew down the edges of the purple flowered ribbon ONLY.

Look how easy it is to add ribbons at this point. The really hard part was at the beginning while establishing the angle and pattern.  Over..under...over..under..over...under..

This is how it looks from the back at this point.

Isn't it gorgeous!!!!
Don't you agree with me that a repeating pattern was a better choice than a random pattern?

When I began creating gathers, I learned to sew 2 rows of basting stitches. One row at 4/8 inch and the second row is at 6/8.  This creates small,l smooth, vertical gathers when you finally sew your seam at 5/8 inch.  I know there are easier ways, but I like the finished look.

On the back of the bodice, I shortened the button loops and added buttons without shanks.
Since there was no space for the button loops, I created my own shank with thread.
See how I placed a toothpick over the top of the button while sewing my stitches under and over.
When you remove the toothpick this will create an extra length of thread.

I came up from the underside of the bodice, but exited under the button. Then use your thread to circle around and around the extra thread "shank."
Lastly, knot the thread in the normal way, but under the button top.
This shows you how nicely the button loops lay down next to the fabric.
  I also did not add the sash.
No sash... but I added three fabric daisies, with handstitched bias tape stems and leaves.

Yep, that's it... almost.. as I made a matching headband.

C loves it.  She told me that she feels like a magical princess.

And what more joy can sewing bring to you than to create that special feeling for someone you love.

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