How are you doing with these monthly challenges?
The Monthly Challenge for June 2013:
June – Make it Sew Organized!
Use your sewing skills to organize your space or yourself! There’s plenty of room for creativity in the interpretation of this one. Perhaps you could use a fabric bowl (check the tute!) to hold the keys in your kitchen? Or the assortment of hair ties in your bathroom? Maybe a place to toss the collection of remotes in the family room?
Or maybe you need a bag to collect all your library books?
Perhaps you need a travel bag (check the tute!) to collect all your cosmetics and toiletries before your next trip or just to contain them in your cupboard?
Maybe you need a needle roll to organize your knitting needles? Or a crayon roll to contain the crayons so you don’t find them melting under (or on!) the car seats this summer?
Maybe your sewing space would be a bit more organized with a new pin cushion made to match your room, or made in a favorite color or print that you’ve been hoarding the last scraps of? Whatever your organizational need is, use your sewing skills to get it done!
And, the June Christmas Challenge!
June’s Christmas Challenge:
Seasonal placemats or napkins ~ Make these as simple or complex as you like. Remember those huge holiday prints you thought were so fun at the fabric store and then realized they didn’t really go with anything? They are great for the kids’ placemats or napkins! Perhaps you want the simple elegance of a solid with a tidy rolled hem? If it works for you, it works! Just have fun creating something you will use next winter!
This tutorial was created for Sewing Mamas by sewingmel, who can be found blogging here.
-your favorite girl’s t-shirt pattern
-knit fabric for bodice
-woven or knit fabric for skirt
-foe or binding for neckline
Adjust your favorite t-shirt pattern. Mine is Ottobre 4/04 #36. If you don’t have this issue, please buy it today! It is so worth it!
A: Draw a line from the underarm seam to the center of your shirt. I drew it slightly sloping down, but you can go straight across if you like. This is the dotted line in the picture below step B.
B: Draw a solid cutting/folding line as far away from the dotted line as you like. I just did a 1" line this time, but I do 2-3" for bigger sizes.
Cut out front, back, and sleeves. This can be done with long sleeves, short sleeves, or no sleeves (you would need foe for the armholes).
Sew up shoulders, and attach sleeves. Pretend that you are sewing up a regular t-shirt for now.
Finish sleeve hems any way you like. I just folded under and used a zig-zag stitch. You could also coverstitch, use a rolled hem, use trim, or use foe. The choice is yours! Be creative!
Pin each arm and underarm together. Sew last seam in shirt.
Decide how long you want to make your skirt. I made mine 16 inches for a 2T/86.
Cut a long rectangle the width of your fabric (if woven) or about double the width of your waist by your desired length.
If you are making a much larger dress, you may need 2 lengths of fabric for the skirt.
Finish your hem any way you like. See step 4. I turned mine under 1/4" and again at 1".
Step 8: Please remember this step! I always forget it!
Mark your four equal parts (front, sides, and back). Your back seam is not finished at this point. I kept in mind that I would use 1/2" seam to take care of the selvage I did not cut off.
Sew 2 gathering lines about 1/4" apart along top edge of fabric. (Pay no attention to the presser foot. The stitches are on the far right.) Gather up skirt.
Match up midpoints of skirt and shirt and pin fabric right sides together. Sew back seam shut.
Sew bodice to skirt.
Finish neckline with foe, binding, or ribbing. I chose foe.
You are finished!
Looks great, thanks Mel!
Today we are digging wayyyyy back into the Sewing Mamas forums for this fantastic tutorial to make patchy side panel pants. This tutorial was created by Tara for Sewing Mamas back in 2005.
- lots of scraps
- a two-piece basic pants pattern
- fabric for the pants pattern and elastic for the waist
- coordinating fabric to line the insides of the side panels
Start with your scrap basket and find scraps that are at least 5″ wide and 3″ tall. All of them should be cut to 5″ wide, but the height can vary if you want the side panels to have different sized patchwork. I cut mine 3″-5″ tall. Then, line them up in the order you’d like them to be, from top to bottom, and serge them together. I do pin mine before serging–I’m a pin freak. You need to make two strips of patchwork; one for each side of the pants.
Here is a photo of some of the scraps before serging:
After serging, from the backside:
Once you have serged all of the scraps together for the side panels, measure them and make sure each side panel is at least as long as the outseam measurement of your pants pattern.
Here is one entire patchy strip, after serging, from the backside:
Take the coordinating fabric and cut two long rectangular pieces to fit each strip of patchwork. Pin and serge around all 4 edges for each side panel.
Here are the strips pinned to the coordinating fabric before serging:
And after serging:
Set aside the patchwork panels, and cut out the pants. I used medium-wale hemp/cotton cord which I coffee-dyed last night. It’s a little darker than the original natural color. Some people take in the width of each of the pieces when they are cutting them, but I like the pants nice and full, so I cut out the pattern without any changes.
Here are my pants pieces, right sides of fabric together:
Take one patchy side panel, one front pants piece, and one back pants piece. Pin one side of the side panel to the outseam of the front pants piece. Pin the other side of the side panel to the outseam of the back pants piece.
Serge along where you have pinned, attaching the side panel to the outseams of the front and back pants pieces.
Repeat with the other side panel piece and the two remaining front and back pants pieces. You will end up with two mirror image pieces of the above photo, and here is what they will look like on the right side:
Right sides together, pin the front and back rises of the pants.
Serge the rise from back to front.
Open up the pants so that you can pin the inseam from ankle to ankle, making sure you match the crotch points exactly.
Serge the inseam from ankle to ankle. Turn right side out, and your pants will look like this:
At this point, I have also serged around the waist and around each ankle hem to finish the fabric and keep it from fraying.
Turn inside out. Turn waist over about 1″ (or enough to accommodate the width of your elastic), pin, and stitch, leaving enough of an opening to feed the elastic (which is shown here with a big safety pin). I’ve also added a size tag and a decorative sun tag.
After you feed the elastic all the way through, overlap the edges of the elastic slightly and stitch to attach them. Then, stitch closed the opening in the waist.
It will look like this:
I’ve also added a decorative leaf tag on the outside of the back of the waist–the colors really matched the side panels:
Now you’re ready to hem the ankles.
When you’re all done, come share them in our Runway!
The New Conceptions Baby Essentials pattern pack is one of my go-to staples for baby things. This sew-along will walk you through construction of the cross-front top.
First, cut out all your pieces. If you are using a directional print, make sure you pay attention to which way the design is running. Try not to notice that one of our front pieces should have been cut the other way. This piece is now designated as the back front piece – which means we’re going to hide most if it behind the crossover in the front!
Shoulder stabilizer – those little dots on the fusible interfacing are what attaches it to the fabric – think of them as a sticky mess waiting to happen on your iron if you don’t put them face down on the fabric.
Place the stabilizer on the wrong side of the back shoulder piece. Cover with a damp press cloth and press with iron as instructed by the interfacing directions. (If you don’t have yours, mine says: “With iron at wool/steam setting, press FIRMLY for full 15 seconds. ALWAYS USE A DAMP PRESS CLOTH AND PRESS DOWN FIRMLY FOR 15 SECONDS. Repeat, lifting and slightly overlapping iron until all interfacing is fused. Steam press on right side. Let fabric cool, then check bond.”) I’m not sure about that whole 15 seconds thing, but the people at Pellon seem pretty convinced of its importance. I usually hold the iron there until the press cloth is dry. I’m kind of impatient, though, so I don’t know that it’s really 15 seconds. Here’s a link to the Pellon instructions so you can do yours properly.
After you have the fronts and back together, I like to press the seam allowance to the back. If you sewed your seam on the sewing machine, you can press it open, which will make it a little more flat than if you did it on the serger.
Pin the binding to the neckline of your shirt, right sides together. I like to find the center of the back of the shirt and pin the center of the binding to it, then pin each of the ends. Then I pin between these three points so any stretching of the binding piece is relatively evenly distributed.
Match sides of front body of shirt and pin, well away from where you will be stitching the side seams. See that I pinned on the underside for the crossover that is lower underneath? That’s because it’s easier to line up that side when you have it flipped to the back. Since you are pinning far from where you’ll be sewing the seam, it doesn’t matter that it’s on the back.
Now pin the front and back side seams as well as the sleeve edges right sides together. Make sure to match up your sleeve seam. I pinned that one first and then pinned the sides.
Sew this side seam and repeat on the other side.
Now stitch those hems. This was done using a coverstitcher, but with some practice you should be able to get good results from a twin needle using a stretch stitch.
Thanks to my sister for sharing her daughter for this project.