Some days ago I got the urge to sew. Not trace, not cut, not do prep-work, not learn my new overlocker, but SEW. Since I didn’t want to do any of those things I decided a project for the kiddo was in order. It would need to be cut, but that’s easily done and then it’s off to an instant gratification project.
The fabric was a bribe purchase. I took the kids to the fabric store to browse the scrap bin. I found that they had moved the scrap bin away from the toy area, too far to leave the kiddo on his own. So while I bought lucious things for me (a teal satin, purple interlock and black denim) I found a piece of green sweatshirt fabric and asked the kiddo if he wanted something in that fabric. He said yes.
I browsed all my magazines and settled on BurdaStyle 10-2011-41, marked as a “girls sweater”. It featured raglan sleeves and a bit of flare. I reduced the flare, it didn’t seem good for a boy sweater (plus the kiddo is ridicolously slim and I wanted to add a cuff) and made it longer. Other than that I stuck to the pattern.
The neckline is a bit wonky, I probably should have stabilised it and the zipper insertion is a bit off, but other than I’m pretty pleased with it. I wanted an instant graftification project and, to be honest, I don’t put my most ambitious work into clothes for the kids.
Pattern: Burdastyle 10-2011-141
Alterations: Reduced flare, made it longer, added cuffs at waist, neck and sleeve ends.
Fabric: Sweatshirt fabric and”cuff fabric” (recycled from failed project)
Notions: Zipper (recycled from an old pair of pants),
Estimated price: ?
I’m pretty pleased. The zipper and necklines could have been better, but now I know that for next time. The kiddo says he likes it, but so far I haven’t been able to photograph him wearing the sweater (either he wasn’t in a sweater mood or he’d put it on but objected to being photographed. I respect that).
For the first month of her life baby E had terrible nights. She was awake for up to two hours and would only go to sleep on either of her parents. We were getting desparate and I turned to the web for ideas, any ideas on how to get her to sleep by herself, even if it still was in our bed. One of the ideas I came across was a babynest.
So, what is a babynest you might ask. In short it’s a padded matress for small babies, made to be snug since that’s how babies like it (it’s not that they have a lot of room in the womb). Another thing one can know about the babynest is that the “official brand” retails them at an incredibly high price, 849 SEK (€100). However, if one can sew…
A babynest seems to be a Swedish thing since I could find many tutorials here, but not many in English. Perhaps my googling skills are dwindling. Anyway, it’s a padded matress with extra padding around, which is drawn in using a drawstring. It creates the baby’s one space, snuggly but the baby still has room to move.
This was quite a quick make, to be fair I didn’t worry too much about seam finishes and polishing. I don’t remember how much the fabric cost (which I needed one metre of), but the stuff I bought was about 100 SEK (€11.71) and I think the fabric could have around80-100 SEK (€9.37 – 11.71). Either way, my babynest is less than 1/4 of the retail price.
The real verdict, however, lies not in price or quailty but if baby E likes it. The first night I was able to put her down in her new nest after nursing and she fell asleep herself. The second night was not as good, but after a few nights she’s getting used to it and does fall asleep on her own, in her nest, for most part. Success! Although I don’t know if she would have done that either way, but from what I’ve gathered about her, she probably wouldn’t. We’re all getting better sleep now and soon perhaps we can move her, and the babynest, out of our bed and into her bassinette. I can slowly feel my energy returning…
(Yes, I am aware of the fact that sleepless night will be part of our lives for some time to come. But those nights when you can sleep, that’s what you want).
For the kiddo’s second birthday I made him a cassette t-shirt. I never got around to posting about the finished t-shirt, so here it is.
The kiddo at his birthday party opening one of his gifts. I still haven’t mastered jersey, which can be seen in this t-shirt. I’m not very good at finishing, both necklines and hems. For this t-shirt I used a bias cut strip to finish the neckline, which turned out a bit big. For the hems (sleeves and bottom) I haven’t mastered the twin needle, I probably need to practice to find the proper settings on my machine, I usually end up with a “buldge” between the seams. I need practice!
I really like the t-shirt and I have enough of it to make myself a top too. We’ll be matching in cassette t-shirts! (If I get mine done before he outgrows his).
At the moment I don’t get much sewing down, the husbie and I spend our evenings watching Le Tour de France. It is pure torture as it feeds on my France-withdrawl. I love France, it’s such a beautiful country and I want to go there at every given chance (but still wanting to go other places, too). Ah, France…
My husband usually cheer for the one he thinks is the best, I usually cheer for the cutest one. They coincide, but unfortunately Andy Schleck is not competing this year due to being injured. So the tour is just longing for France.
Before Christmas I finished my last homemade gifts. Then I was struck down by the flu and derailed in blogging. I was lucky that I was able to finish my last gifts.
The “big” gift for the kiddo from us was a kitchen. So, it only made sense that he would get an apron too, he loves helping us out when we cook or do the dishes. I used the same fabric as I did for his cousins last year, but only the animal print, there was not enough giraffe print fabric left. I used this tutorial, with the suggested changes.
In stead of tying the bands around the neck, I added a snap for closure. I topstiched all around the edge to get some more stability. Before Christmas the kiddo liked it, now he has otitis, so he hasn’t really payed much attention to his Christmas gift. But they can wait while he heals.
My final gift was yet another grocery bag. Charlie, again. This one is in a cotton jacquard, courtesy of the scrap bin. It was for my aunt and uncle, who really liked it, especially the pouch feature.
The Christmas sewing continues! Since I ran out of sweatshirt fabric after making three jackets the youngest cousin to the kiddo will get another garment.
She’s getting a tunic in this adorable mushroom fabric (the next time I’m in the fabric I must see if they still have the blue/turquoise/green jersey mushroom fabric, I hope so!). This is a woven. The pattern is from Allt om Handarbete (Ingeliese) 05-2008-7.
The neckline is a keyhole neckline finished with a drawstring. I imagine that it can be used even in the wintertime with a long sleeved shirt underneath and then later with a t-shirt. Bright and happy colours are needed in the darkness of winter!
There are pleats along the front, held in place by a panel. I really like pleating on children’s clothes.
g cousin who didn’t get a jacket.
Pattern: Allt om handarbete/Ingeliese 05-2008-7
Difficulty:2/5, AoHS’ rating – I agree. It was very simple sewing with no hard techniques.
Fabric: Printed cotton.
Price: Fabric 40 SEK (€4.42), thread 1 SEK (€0.11).
Total: 41SEK (€4.53).
Project Summary: The fabric is really cute, and I like the style. I can see why people like sewing children’s clothes since it’s so fast. What I don’t like about it is sewing the small bits. Plus I don’t get anything from it. Anyway, I like the fabric and the style and I hope that the kiddo’s cousin (‘s parents) will like it too.
The Christmas sewing goes on and on and I’ve been having a little mini sweatshop here, fixing up three jackets.
The kiddo and his two older cousins will get matching jackets. Almost, the kiddo’s has a blue zipper. Plus he has matching pants. The pattern is from Allt om handarbete (aka Ingeliese) 08-2008-106. It only goes to a size 90 cm (the kiddo’s size) so I scaled it up to 100 cm for his cousins who are nine and ten months older than he is. This is why they have different zippers, so that I easily can separate them from each other.
It’s a raglan style jacket, the sleeves is in two parts and go all the way up in the neckline. It closes with a zip and and edges have wristlet fabrics (ah, the pulling!). I love how they turned out and I hope the kids like them too. yesterday I put them on the floor to measure sizes, the kiddo took them and ran away with them. I think he likes them, but he has to wait for Christmas.
It was a fairly easy pattern, the only difficult thing was all the pulling. But I like the result!
Up next on my Christmas sewing list is another Charlie and a tunic for the remaining cousin who didn’t get a jacket.
Pattern: Allt om handarbete/Ingeliese 08-2008-106
Difficulty:3/5, AoHS’ rating (the pattern also included pants with pocket) – I agree somewhat. The sewing was very easy, as I mentioned above the hardest part for me was the wristlets, especially the wrists. To think I sewed 6 of them!
Alterations: None (if you don’t count that I didn’ sew the pants).
Fabric: Sweatshirt fabric (so soft!), wristlet fabric
Notions: Thread, zipper, interfacing
Price: Fabric 29 SEK (€3.19), thread 1 SEK (€0.11), zipper 22 SEK (€2.42) Wristlet fabric comes from an old project which I don’t know the price of.
Total: 52 SEK (€5.71) + whatever the wristlet fabric cost.
Project Summary: I just love the purple colour. I had planned to make myself something of the fabric, but this idea was so much better. I know the kiddo likes his, let’s just hope that the two cousins do too.
I’ve sewn for someone besides myself! The kiddo got some sweatshirt-fabric pants (no I could not find a proper word in English).
As you can see, the purple theme continues. The fabric was a find at the scrap bin, now that I’ve made pants for him I’m going to make myself a lounge sweater to just have at home.
I traced one of his pants for the pattern, finished the waist with a 25 mm elastic and the legs with a blue wristlet. I like the wristlets as they keep the pants in place so that he doesn’t stumble. That way I can make the leg longer and let the pants have a longer life.
And the proud wearer himself. He was either going for the camera or the bib, so I couldn’t have him face the camera. The pants seem comfortable (they’re sweatshirt-fabric) and I really like the colour, it’s so bright.
Pattern: Self-drafted, by tracing existing pair of pants.
Notions: Wristlets, elastic (25 mm), thread
Price: Fabric 15 SEK (€1.64), wristlets 5 SEK (€0.55), elastic + thread 5 SEK (€0.55).
Total: 25 SEK (€2.75)
Project Summary: A very simple pair of children’s pants. The kiddo has been interested in my sewing for a while, particularly when I had him try on the toddler skirts I made for his cousins. So, I figured it was his turn to get something. I love the colour and the pants seem comfortable for him to wear. I don’t ask of anything else for his clothes.
I’ve kept myself busy, so here’s a quick review of what I’ve been up to.
Today I whipped up two simple toddler skirts. My two nieces’ 2nd birthdays are coming up (one is my niece, one is husbie’s), so I made them each a skirt. The fabric is a cotton stretch jersey, pistachio with small hearts. The skirt is the simplest kind of skirt; a rectangle with an elastic waist. Let’s hope they like them. I had my son model one of them (the first), mostly to check the size, but he wasn’t very keen on posing in front of the camera. He did run out to the mirror to check himself out, though.
Save for two buttons my pants, now dubbed the Chocolate Pants are finished. They will be featured in an upcoming post. Here’s just a little sneak peak. It looks like twill will be my fall staple, these pants, an almost finished skirt dubbed The Librarian skirt and the skirt I cut today are all in twill.
This little fellow has finally moved in! I won the pincushion back in April at the Sew Weekly, but it was never sent to me (despite my e-mailing the Sew Weekly three times). A few weeks ago the creator, Kalen of Minibytes, contacted me for the address. She had also contacted the Sew Weekly for my address, but without luck. Bad handling of The Sew Weekly (but I still like the blog) and very sweet of Kalen to contact me. The squirrell is already doing his job!
So, a little update of what’s going on. I started my vacation this week and will have three weeks off. My goal is to make two garments for myself. One down, at least one to go. It shouldn’t be too hard, considering the weather we’re having.
Inspired by a Facebook status by my sister I decided to make aprons for my two nieces. They are 1.5 months apart in age so until they come with their own wishes they will get the same things. I had planned to individually pick fabrics, but I didn’t care for the pink ones.
Giraffe stripes for one side
I chose a giraffe stripe for one side. Both fabrics are pretty heavy so I’m sure the aprons can be used for cooking, painting and other crafts.
…and cute animals for the other
The other fabric is more cute; I chose to have one cute and one cooler side to the aprons so the girls can choose which mood they’re in for the day.
Let’s just hope they like them!
I used this tutorial and also made the changes suggested so the neck tie is in two to adjust the length and the apron is wider.
I bought this fabric back in May, when my baby hadn’t made his appearance into this world. But even then, without knowing what to make, I had my niece in mind for the owl fabric, not my unborn child.
For her first birthday I used the fabric and made her a dress. I used the TAMI Tee dress pattern.
Two back pieces…
The pattern calls for one front and one back piece. But since I’m not that good with thinking I cut the back piece upside down, I’m not just to working with fabrics with one direction prints. Hopefully I’ll remember this until next time.
Interfacing tape was used for the edges
The fabric was quite light so I put interfacing tape at the edges to get some more stability. I also put two snaps in the neckline since niece’s shoulders were too narrow for the neck opening.
The finished dress
Her mom (my sister) liked it and I think that niece did too, as much as a one-year old can express it.
Pattern: TAMI tee dress from Burdastyle, creator Arsonista
Difficulty: Novice (creator’s rating – I totally agree)
Alterations: Added snaps
Fabric: Cotton jersey
Notions: Interfacing tape, snaps
Total price: Fabric 27 SEK (€2.88), Thread + interfacing 1 SEK (€0.11), snaps 2 SEK (€0.22).
Total 30 SEK (€3.22)
Project summary: Snaps were added as the neckline was too wide. A wide neckline is needed on toddler, but this one wouldn’t stay on her shoulders. But with snaps it worked. A very, very simple project!
To get some sewing related activity in this blog I decided to dig up some old photos of creations I made back in the day. We’re talking middle and junior high school.
Crushed velvet dress
The first piece I made in the seventh or eigth grade, I believe. It’s a simple red t-shirt dress in crushed velvet. Really simple to sew as no overlocking was necessary and it just had a few pieces. It started out as a dress, but as I got bigger on top I started wearing it as a tunic over pants in stead, which also worked. Now I haven’t used it for a while, I doubt it’ll look good on me, but it’s still somewhere in my closet (I can’t throw out the things I’ve made).
Jacket – sans pants
I made this pyjama jacket in the sixth grade. I wanted a silk pyjama, they were in fashion back then, but I didn’t dare ask my parents for one, I thought they’d think it was too expensive for a pyjama. So when we got the opportunity to sew them in school I took it. Unfortunately we could only have enough fabric to make the jacket, not the pants. You can think that they at least could let us enlongate them a bit. It’s one of the few (if not only) collars I’ve ever sewn and I wish to learn that again. One day perhaps I should take a sewing course.
Perfect for summer
This is from the eigth grade. A simple summer dress, which I remember took a really long time to sew, especially for being so simple. Must have been the zipper that did it in for me, it’s not a very pretty sewn zipper so I can imagine I had troubles with it.
Black and white plaid
I love this skirt. I think I was 12 when I sewed it at home, with the help of my mum. A short, A-line skirt with a narrow waistband.
To be used this fall…
This garment has never been worn by anyone, that will change this fall, I hope. A baby pyjama, it has light green dogs on it (I tried to take a closeup picture, but it didn’t come out very well). This is also sewn in the eigth grade (I had sewing as an elective then). It’s so easy and quick to sew baby clothes as the pieces are so small that even overlocking doesn’t take too much time.
There you have it, some of my creations from my past. I wrote before that I didn’t throw out stuff I’ve made, which isn’t entirely true. I know there are some pieces I have thrown out, mainly becuase they fell into pieces, lost their shape or had other things wrong with them. They weren’t for keeps even if it had been just to show them off – they were not much to show.
With a little work today I finished the dress for niece A. I hope she (and her mum) likes it and that it doesn’t wash her out, it’s a risk with a fabric like this. If it does perhaps she can pair it with a bright tee underneath.
White/sand seersucker with some green details
The bodice is sewn double, two pieces for both the front and back of the bodice. It made for a more “stable” bocide. The bodice also has a topstich in light green (to match the buttons) around the edges. The skirt pieces are single and I did a gather at the waist.
I decided not to do an appliqué, but to settle for the buttons as embellishments. The three front buttons serve no purpose, other than being cute.
Buttons and snaps
Since the dress this pattern is based off is in a stretch I put snaps on the shoulder straps to make it easier to put the dress on and take it off. So, now I just have to wait until I meet niece A to give it to her, and hopefully she’ll like it!
Pattern: Self-drafted, modelled from another dress
Alterations: Well, it’s a self-drafted pattern, so none
Fabric: Cotton seersucker
Notions: 3 buttons
Total price: Fabric 8 SEK (€0.83), snaps 2 SEK (€0.21), buttons 3 SEK (€0.31) thread 0.5 SEK (€0.05)
Total: 13,50 SEK = €1.40
Project rating: A pattern based on another dress. I think it’s incredibly cute and I’m pleased with my work.