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!
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!
A quick pattern review for you today. :)
When I went to cut this pattern out, I realized it needs 2 cuts of the front piece for the crossover. However, there wasn’t enough of the fabric I wanted to use to cut two. Instead of making a mock crossover and attaching the binding of the top layer to the mock bottom layer, I opted to eliminate the neck binding and just use the extended front shoulder on both the left and right.
The fabric is a Fresh Produce french terry knit that I dyed bubblegum pink last summer. It came as a white-on-white print and dyed wonderfully.
I normally make a size 146 for my daughter and did that in this top. It seems this pattern runs a little small. The sleeves are just barely long enough. I omitted the elastic gathering at the sides because I didn’t want it to be any shorter in the body. With the current sizing, this top will only get a handful of wearings before it is retired. Good thing Spring is supposed to come in a couple months!
All the pieces lined up easily, and making the change to use one piece in the front was simple enough. It’s a pattern worth making again, just in a bigger size. I’m leaning towards making the front so it only looks like two layers. My daughter’s school is pretty warm and she really doesn’t need the extra layer.
Size – It seems to run a little small.
Design – Good, everything matched up where it was supposed to.
Make it again? – Yes, but size up.
I’ve been working on the forums lately, and making bad faces at my embroidery machine as I tried to get this applique to stitch out nicely.
This one’s still not perfect, but after multiple stitch-outs, I’m calling it good. I’d also like to get it in the mail to my niece while it might still fit her. :)
So, today’s question – turn under and hem the sleeves and bottom or lettuce edge them?