Personal Pillow

The kiddo no longer takes naps at pre-school, he now participates in the “story rest” where they lie down and listen to stories. Therefore he needed a pillow. At first we were looking for one off the rack, but I wasn’t pleased with the selection and since sewing one was always in the back of my head, I figured I’d do just that. So, we bought a plain pillow for me to use.
image

Darn, can’t rotate on the app.

I went to my stash and settled on velour, it cosy and comfortable for the rest. The colours I had was orange and purple, two of the kiddo’s favourite colours (although, he does like almost all colours). The orange, which I had more off became the shell and the purple became the letter G. He is obsessed with letter and particularly G, his letter. I decided to make is as a removable pillowcase so it will be easy to wash.

The kiddo is pleased and carries the pillow around the house. Tomorrow it will move to the pre-school. I am pleased for feeding my sewing addiction, even if it only was a small project.

Wonky Droid Covers

 

I wanted an instant gratification project today and while the outcome is not perfect it’s good enough – for now anyway. I wanted covers for my phone and tablet so I found some fake leather in my stash and got to sewing. Wonky Droid CoversI started with a phone case which are just two rectangles sewn together and hemmed at the top. Since I have never sewn in leather (real or faux) I didn’t know how it behaved and the case is not completely perfect. Like I said, for now, I don’t mind.

Wonky Droid Covers (1)Moving on to the tablet cover, I folded it over so the bottom is not sewn, just the sides. Also for this I wanted a closure so I made a triangle piece to fold over.

Wonky Droid Covers (2)I added a button, I thought the red went well with the leather, but I, for some reason, only put a button hole in the bottom closure, so it’s hard to close and the button is not seen when the case is closed. Yeah, I’m not very smart sometimes.

Wonky Droid Covers (3)The back of the leather is fleece so my phone and tablet are nice and comfortable while in the cases. (The seam allowances of the clousre were trimmed after this photo was taken).

So, my cases may be a bit wonky, but they do the job. And they are Droid covers, in this household we are Droiders (my phone is Samung, the tablet is ASUS).

Project summary:

Pattern: Self-drafted (traced the gadget and added a bit for seam allowance)
Difficulty: Easy when choosing an easy fabric.

Fabric: Faux leather
Notions: Button,  thread
Estimated price: Fabric 15 SEK (€1.75), button and thread 5 SEK (€0.58). Total: 20 SEK (€2.34)

Project rating:
I really like

Getting some sleep…

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…

Babynest

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.

Babynest (2) 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).

The Megan Skirt

My first sewing project for the fall was a simple and quick project, in fact it took me about an hour to whip up.

The skirt is a gathered skirt in a navy twill, found in the scrap bin, and with a wide elastic in the waist. So, after attaching the waistband there’s just one seam to sew and then the hem. That’s it.

By stretching the elastic as I sewed, the skirt got perfect gathers. I’m willing to bet that this skirt will get a lot of wear in the upcoming fall and winter season.

Project Summary:
Pattern:
Tutorial from here (if the name of the skirt hasn’t led you on, that link will be a hint as to what I will be working on this fall)
Difficulty: Simple. One seam, one hem and attaching an elastic. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.
Alterations: Mine is longer.

Fabric: Navy twill from Stoff och Stil
Notions: Wide elastic, thread
Price: Fabric 42 SEK (€4.86). Elastic 25 SEK (€2.90),  Thread 1 SEK (€0.12). Total 68 SEK (€7.88).

Project Rating: Last time I was pregnant I lived in two pairs of maternity jeans. This time I want to change things up a bit and this skirt is my first step, and I think some more skirts are in store for me. I can’t wait to try this out when I’m a bit bigger.

(It’s a bit scary since I won’t do my ultrasound scan until late October, until then I can just believe that everything is OK)

Cassette T-shirt in Action

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.

The last gifts

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.

Purple Wristlet Pants

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.

Project summary:
Pattern
: Self-drafted, by tracing existing pair of pants.
Difficulty: Simple!

Fabric: Sweatshirt-fabric
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.

The Librarian Skirt

The first time I saw this fabric in the catalogue I fell in love, I knew I had to have it. I wanted a simple skirt to show off the fabric and for some reason the finished skirt makes me feel like a librarian – hence the name of the skirt.

The pattern is self-drafted with the help of my trustworthy pattern-drafting book. It’s a simple A-line skirt with a waistband and a side zipper.

It looks pretty much the same from the back and the front. Perhaps I need to be aware that I should pull it down in the back.

I’m not 100% happy with the waistband, but it’s OK. I took the time to find a fun button in stead of going for a generic one. The button is nothing special, but I thought it was very pretty and completed the circular theme of the skirt.

Project summary:
Pattern:
Self-drafted from pattern book
Difficulty: Easy. The hardest bit was the zipper.

Fabric: Brushed cotton twill.
Notions: Invisible zipper, button, thread

Project rating: It’s not often I fall in love with a fabric, but with this I did. If my mum was here she’d totally call it a “Helena fabric”. I envisioned the fabric as an A-line skirt and I fulfilled that vision. Another successful project!

Price:
Fabric 125 SEK (€14.15), zipper 23 SEK (€2.60), button +  thread 30 SEK (3.40).
Total 178 SEK (€20.15)

A Little of This, a Little of That

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.

The (31st) Birthday Skirt – Draft

It’s not that hard to give away a skirt for a birthday present. The hard part comes after you’ve given it away.

I pre-washed and drafted the pattern on Wednesday, yesterday I cut it and did all the assembly I needed. The zipper is inserted, that side seam is sewn and the opposite side seam is basted. That’s it.

Rough Draft

The skirt is cut on the bias creating a diagonal effect of the the stripes. The skirt is cut in two gores, one front and one back.

As a birthday gift, the entire gift consists of the skirt, a waistband after measuring, shortening to desired length and hemming. It might also include a replaced zipper since this one puckers at an unflattering length (the right side of the picture).

I hope she likes it since I don’t know what to do with the skirt otherwise. It’s not my style. I might not have fully grasped my own personal style, but I know as much as this skirt isn’t my personal style. Let’s see Sunday.

Midnight Sun Outfit

I had some leftovers from the Long Wrap dress, so they were to be used. A cotton poplin, while I had quite a large amount of fabric, I could not cut big pieces. I decided on a top.

So, I chose a top from Ingelise, a tank top with paneled front and back. Both the front and back are made up byt three panels in total, giving the top a very sculptured look.

Closeup of top

The top has gathered shoulder straps as well. It closes with an invisible zip in the back. At 40 cm it sounded like a long zip, almost as long as the back piece, but it is needed as the top is very fitted.

After the top was done I still had some fabric left and I used that to make a matching skirt. I did a six-panelled A-line skirt, same as my Red Skirt, but without the pleats. It’s a quick skirt to sew, it only took me one evening from idea to finished skirt.

Full outfit

This outfit is so completely different from anything I’ve done before. I really like the sleek look of the outfit, but I can’t help but wonder if it’s too much. Or too dowdy? Is it something a 28 year-old can wear?

Sleek side view

I vow to wear this whole outfit at least once (and in public). I must do that in order to know how I really feel about it, the same goes for all of my creations. I must dare to wear my creations with pride!

Project Summary
Pattern (Top):
Ingelise 2008-05-1
Difficulty:2/5 – magazine’s rating. I agree, it was quite simple. I made a few stupid mistakes, but I could have avoided them, had I read the instructions properly.
Alterations:
None

Fabric: Printed cotton poplin
Notions: Interfacing, invisible zipper, thread

Pattern (Skirt): Self-drafted from pattern book
Difficulty: Simple

Fabric: Printed cotton poplin
Notions: Invisible zipper, button, thread

Project rating: Something totally unlike me! Both parts were easy to sew (despite many stupid mistakes on the top). An outfit with a sleek silhouette. I’m not sure how I feel about the combination, but I can always wear them as separates if I feel it’s too much to combine them.

The Plaid’n’Wrap Skirt

My second creation of the year is a plaid wrap skirt. The idea to make a plaid skirt has existed in my mind for quite a while (and the idea has taken at least one unsuccessful turn before).

Fall Fashion

I’ve given up the idea to make my own patterns and will use what someone else has done. I did, however, draft this pattern myself with the help of a sloper skirt and instructions on how to turn this sloper pattern into a wrap skirt. It’s three pieces to this skirt, one back and two fronts. I used interfacing along the waist line and the skirt closes with two buttons. There’s also one snap holding up the inner piece.

In my garden…

The fabric is a polyester blend, beige and black with small silver threads in it. Quite easy to work with and the polyester is OK since this skirt will never be worn close to my skin, there will always be stockings in between.

Closeup of fabric and buttons

Project Summary:

Pattern: Self-drafted from pattern book
Difficulty: Easy

Fabric: Plaid polyester with silver Lurex
Notions: Two buttons, interfacing

Total cost: Fabric 42 SEK (€4.58), buttons, thread, interfacing 10 SEK (€1.09)
Total: 52 SEK (€5.67)

Project rating: A great plaid skirt! Perhaps it needs to be shortened a bit, but that’s easily taken care of.

An “I don’t know”-top

Seeing Self-stichted September in various blogs raised my inspiration. I want to participate in the next round and furthermore, I want to get sewing again.

I wanted to start out with something simple and easy, I chose a shrug.I drafted the pattern, following the instructions from Weekend Designer.

One pattern piece is enough

Since I don’t read before embarking on the adventures, I figured it would look like the picture, it didn’t. After reading I learnt that this is just the base, you can add length to it if you please. It turned out quite alright anyway.

Posing on my morning walk

The fabric is a sand knit, very light and very soft, so the shrug is really comfortable. It was perfect on my walk today as it wasn’t too warm, but still something to cover my arms. And I looked OK I hope as I met some new people (other new mothers from the village).

Looking back, over my shoulder…

Being your own photographer poses a number of challenges. 1. Finding a good location with somewhere to put the camera. 2. Not worrying about on-lookers. I think I did OK, at least I like these photos better than those I previously have, which are taken inside our house.

Oh, I do you get my lame pun for the headline? If you don’t know, you shrug…

Project Summary

Pattern: Self-drafted, with instructions from Weekend Designer
Difficulty: Novice (my rating)
Alterations: None

Fabric: Sand knit
Notions: None

Total price: Fabric 42 SEK (€4.55), thread 1 SEK (€0.11)
Total: 43 SEK (€4.66)

Project rating: A simple project, just what I needed to get back into sewing!

Backpack Mockup

Last week I finished my drawstring backpack mockup. It’s OK, but I definitely see improving potential, which was the point all along. I’ve never done a mockup before and I have never drafted something myself either. Yes, I am aware that this is one of the most simple things to do, but I’m still proud. One day I want to learn clothing pattern drafting, and while the techniques differ construction is still in the same mindset.

First version of drawstring backpack

The fabric is really a curtain fabric that I bought way back when I’d just gotten back into sewing. In my sewing innocence I thought it could work for clothes, but as it turned out it was just a big mistake in purchasing this fabric; luckily it was on sale so it wasn’t a big monetary error. And it worked perfectly for this mockup, that backpack was not expensive at all.

The size of the bag is good, so I’m very happy with the dimensions. The drawstring was easy to make and I really like this style of bags, as I said, I based it off a bag I had before, but which has since gotten ripped.

The changes I wish to make for the real version (besides a fabric I like more) are:

  • More narrow shoulder straps
  • Top-stitching on shoulder straps
  • Drawstring canal more adjusted to shoulder strap width (they are too narrow now)
  • Lid on outer pocket (with welcro for closing)
  • Adding inner pocket (possibly with zipper)
  • Closing with French seams (I had meant to do French seams for this version as well, but all of a sudden I had closed the bag in the regular way without realising it)

Those are the changes I’ve been thinking of so far. Really, there are no major design changes, just details and finishing. So I’m thinking the real version won’t be too hard for me. Now I just need to find a fabric and get started on the detailing. I don’t know when I’ll go to the fabric store, I want to have a bigger plan than “just a backpack” when I go there and so far there are no plans in my head. Maybe I should research baby things before I go.

Even though the design is easy I’m still proud that I, without the help of others, could turn the fabric into something usable.

My “Dress”

This is from a year ago, I made it for one of my close friend’s doctoral defense party. I like making things in fancy fabrics for occassions like these, but they’re not very wearable in less formal places.

So I decided to make a corset-style top and half-cricle skirt. By doing this I could use it as a dress but also I can use either piece with something else, dress them down for those occassions.

I used a baby blue silk, and tons of white ribbon, it was hell putting it on every piece. But it turned out alright, even though there are some minor mistakes. But, as my motto, if I don’t mention them, maybe you won’t either.

Project Summary

Pattern: Corset top and half circle skirt, both self-drafted from pattern book.

Fabric: Baby blue silk, lining (for top)

Notions: Invisible zipper (both in top and skirt), ribbon.

Project summary: I love how this turned out! It’s a fancy outfit on its own, but each piece can be worn seperately and be dressed down.

A Skirt – Made by Me!

OK, so I said that I would present my fashion here, so here is my very first post about fashion (in which I just don’t bitch about the sheeps of fashion)

I bought this fabric back in November, thinking it would be a winter wrap skirt. But then other things came up and I never made my skirt. So now, with some nights with nothing to do I picked up my fabric, thinking that since it is a winter fabric I would love to wear it sometimes before spring comes (and I get to break out my fun spring clothes (or at least the fun spring clothes I will make)).

The wrap skirt idea was no more; in stead it became a skirt in six pieces with pleats at the bottom and a zipper in the side. I stick by my assumption that it is easier to make an invisible zipper, up until now when I got too close and put some stiches in the zipper so it wouldn’t close. So I brought out the scissors and bought a new zipper. This incident turned out to be a good thing since once i cut about an inch off, the waistline became perfect.

The fabric is strechy in the horisontal but not in the vertical way, which makes the skirt super comfortable. Plus the fabric really gave a finished look once sewed together. So now that the story has been presented here it is

Project Summary

Pattern: Self-drafted from pattern book.

Fabric: Cotton stretch.

Notions: Invisible zipper. Button

Project grading: A simple skirt. My second attempt at drafting, a more simple project to draft. An everyday skirt – nothing more, nothing less.

My Christmas Dress

I was downtown a couple of weeks ago, wanting to find something new to wear for Christmas. After plowing through several clothing stores it dawned on me; why don’t I make my own dress? The fabric was an impulse buy pretty much, and then it was home to construct the pattern. I made a one-piece dress (with one piece I mean one peice lengthwise) with lace trim. The neckline was a bit difficult to form and it didn’t turn out very well. The dress is nice, that’s it. I’m not overly proud, but I sure know that for next Christmas I will prepare better!

Project Summary:

Pattern: Self-drafted with the help of pattern book.

Fabric: Probably a polyester blend. Lining fabric.

Notions: Two types of lace. Invisible zipper.

Project grading: A rushed project and my first attempt at drafting my own pattern. I did wear the dress for Christmas but haven’t since. A project to learn from, the dress isn’t well made, but it is my first self-drafted pattern.