Saturday, May 21, 2011

Fun Saturday :)

I realize it's been slow around here. Next week that will change! School will be out! Thanks for sticking with me and for everyone that's featured my Peek-a-Bow Shorts!!

I thought on my long drive back home today I'd share with you a little fun from today...Imagination Movers Live! Haha. Let's just say EG was star struck and we had a blast! And the outfit? Yep, I made it. The top is made from a sweet new pattern to be released from Jocole. Will post more about that soon. Have a great weekend!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Kids Clothing Week Challenge Products didn't know I was participating in Elsie Marley's Kids Clothing Week Challenge?  Ha!  I've had that little button over there, but I hadn't a second extra this week to post anything.  Though I haven't posted, I have made a few things for this challenge that I'll share with you {technically not too late since today is really the last day of the challenge}.  I didn't have time to come up with my own creations, but it sure is nice to just sit down with a good tutorial or pattern once in a while.  I'd highly recommend the ones I mention below!  Hoping to have more time to sew/post soon.  The end of the school year is super crazy, but it'll be over in two weeks!  Wow!  On with the clothes...

The first thing I made this week was a couple pairs of Old School Shorts from an awesome tutorial!  I made one pair to match that tank top I showed you a few weeks ago.  They look super cute together so I'll show you a pic of that outfit on EG when I get one :)

The other day I saw this cute tutorial for a quick and easy visor and knew I had to make one for tee ball practice.  Next time I'll make the brim a little bigger and the strap a little longer, but I think it's too cute!

Next, I tried out Lil Blue Boo's new pattern...the Maliboo Romper.  LOVE it!  I had tons of this knit fabric (you've probably seen some other projects with it around here...) and it turned out perfect for a fun, bright romper.  EG loved this too...did not want to take it off!  She said, "can't this just be pjs?"  I think it's a winner!  I followed the pattern, and then added the ruffles to give it a little something extra.

Finally, I made a quick little tutu/skirt for EG from a formal skirt that I purchased at a local thrift store.  Score!

All in all, I don't think that's too bad of a showing for a super busy week!  LOL.  Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, May 13, 2011

100 Followers...Thanks!

I logged on to add my Project 52 post a little bit ago, and as I was shutting down my computer I noticed I have 100 followers.  How awesome!  Thanks to everyone who has supported me with kind comments, e-mails, etc. these past few months.  I appreciate every one of them :)  I don't think 100 followers in just a few months is too shabby!  Just wanted to say thank you!

Project 52: A New Sport

Sorry for the tardiness of my Project 52 post...and the absence of last week's!  We are in the SUPER busy time of the school year, and we missed a week due to the tornado, things are crazy!  Anyhow, I have a restful {sewing filled} weekend planned, so I hope to have some fun stuff for you next week!

For this week's Glimpse Into Motherhood, I decided to share some pics of our new sport...Tee Ball!  Hubby was so excited that EG was finally old enough to start Tee Ball...the beginning stage of his favorite sport.  He grew up playing baseball and is thrilled to now be sharing his love for the game with EG.  She seems to be having fun, but it's not quite as action-packed as soccer.  She can get a little bored at times, but she's right there with it if the ball comes to her.  And, her!  I was so surprised!  She did great at her first game and I know hubby is looking forward to many, many more years to come of tee ball/softball!  That is, if she continues to enjoy it...

Want to share your own Glimpse Into Motherhood?  Join me here...
Project 52: Glimpse Into Motherhood

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Peek-a-Bow Shorts {Tutorial}

I am in love with these sweet little shorts :)  With the weather turning warmer still, I knew some shorts were definitely in order.  A few weeks ago I saw a cute little top with drawstring sides, and I immediately thought how sweet that would look on the legs of a pair of shorts.  And, when I decided to sew only with recently acquired fabrics from Annay, I knew exactly what fabric I would use to make them :)  Thus, the Peek-a-Bow Shorts were born.  And, as if the two bows on the outside aren't enough cuteness, I added a knit waistband with ribbon drawstring at the waist too.  What do you think?  Ready to make some yourself?  Well, you're in luck!  Gather your supplies and let's get started...

- 1/4 to 1/2 yard fabric
- about 1.5 yards of 3/8" ribbon for drawstrings (or coordinating bias tape, knit fabric strips, etc.)
- about 3/4 yard of 1-2" ribbon for drawstring waist (optional)
- large scrap of knit fabric/old t-shirt for waistband
- typical sewing stuff :)
- pair of shorts to model pattern after (or existing shorts pattern you can alter a bit)

Step 1:  Creating and Cutting Out Your Pattern
I created my pattern based on a pair of shorts that fit my daughter already.  I made a different pattern for the front and the back of the shorts to accommodate my little one's bum :)  If your child is a toddler or very thin you could probably get away with one pattern piece.  However, I find that the fit is better no matter what age to create a separate front and back piece.  You'll be able to see the subtle differences as we go along.  **Also, please note that I realized after photographing that my top waist line was off on my pattern.  Everything else is correct, but for the waist please do as I say, not as I do in the pic...sorry for the confusion!**

Turn the shorts inside out, hold them with the front facing you, and fold them in half.  Smooth them out so everything lays nice and flat, as shown.  Trace around your shorts with a 1/2" seam allowance on the right side (make sure yours are laying like min in the pic), 1" allowance on the bottom for the hem, and add an extra 1" on the left side (outside edge) as well for the drawstring casings (all shown correct below).  **For the top line of your pattern, you need to figure out the width of your existing shorts' waistband (in my case the waistband on the existing shorts was 1.5" wide and I liked that) and subtract that amount less 1/2" for the seam allowance.  We need to take off some of that length because we will be adding the knit waistband.  If you'd rather just do an elastic casing, then you could simply extend your pattern piece 1 1/4" at the top so that you can fold over 1/4" then 1" for the casing.  So, since my desired waistband height was 1.5" I drew the top line of my pattern 1" down from the top of my existing shorts...instead of 1/2" above as shown in the picture (for reference, the correct placement is almost exactly where the top of that little piece of elastic from the adjustable waist is sticking out in the pic below).**

If you are making a front pattern, then simply fold your shorts the opposite direction, tucking in any areas that stick out that aren't part of that front (on mine the back waistband is higher and and I had to tuck that in so I could just trace the front piece).  Make sure to leave the same allowance as above - 1" on the left, 1" on the bottom, 1/2" on the right edge, and subtract 1" from the top.  For some reason I must have felt inclined to take a pic before I was done tracing, but, like I said you will leave the same allowances as above :)

Here are what your two finished pattern pieces should look like (or similar depending on the shape of the shorts you are tracing):

To cut, you will need two of each pattern piece - mirror images of each other.  To do this I fold my fabric in half, lay my pattern on top, and cut both pieces out at one time.  You aren't cutting on the fold, but having the fabric stacked like that ensures you are cutting out mirror images and not the same exact piece.

Your shorts pieces should now look like this:

Now we need to also create a pattern for the waistband (if you could do a simple rectangular waistband, but I have found this shape looks nicer...I have also seen it done this way in a few patterns I've purchased too).  You will start out by drawing a rectangle as follows (and also illustrated on picture below):

Your width will be your child's waist measurement minus 1-1 1/2" and divided 2.  Your length will be 4" for a 1 1/2" finished waistband.  Shown below are the calculations for my daughter's shorts (size 4/5).  Once you have your rectangle (in my case a 9"x4" rectangle), draw a 1" line from each corner and from the center of each side, as shown.

Using your 1" lines off the edges as a guide, draw a diagonal line from each corner to the center of the sides as shown below.  The picture does a much better job of explaining than I do!  This will be the shape for your waistband pieces and you will need to cut 2.  Make sure you are using a really stretch knit with good recovery (ability to shrink back into it's shape).

Cut two pieces that should now look like this (I promise they are the same size, thought they don't look it in the pic!):

Set your waistband pieces aside for now :)

Step 2: Ironing and Creating Casings 

On each leg piece, iron the bottom up 1/2" and another 1/2"to create your hem.

Then, on the outside edge of each piece, fold in 1/4" and press.  Make sure to keep your hem folds in tact when pressing, as shown.

Step 3:  Sewing Up Shorts and Casings

Unfold your 1/4" press line and hem up the bottoms of each piece:

 Once hemmed, lay a front piece on top of a back piece right sides together and match up your outside edges.  Pin, and then sew together using a 1" seam allowance.  That sounds really strange, but you won't have any casings if you sew a smaller allowance!  You can also really see the differences in the shapes of the front and back pieces here.  I think it gives a more tailored fit :)

From the wrong side it will look like this, and you should still have those 1/4" fold marks you pressed earlier:

On each flap (errr...lack of appropriate terminology there...), fold down the 1/4" and sew all the way down to create casing using a 1/8" seam allowance.  Make sure to keep everything straight underneath and make sure that the seam lays flat.  It would probably help A LOT to go ahead and press it down, but I was lazy:

Repeat with the other "flap":

When opened up you should have a piece that looks like this (you can kind of see in the pic where your casing lines were made):

And, on the wrong side it will look like this, where you can clearly see the casings:

To finish this piece, fold right sides together, match up the inseams, and sew using a 1/2" seam allowance:
Yay!  You now have one finished leg of your shorts!!

**Repeat the above steps with the other front/back pieces so that you now have two completed legs of your shorts.**

To attach your finished leg pieces together, you will leave one wrong side out and flip the other right side out.  Slip one leg inside the other leg so that right sides are together:

Match up inseams and crotch, then pin along the crotch area well.  Sew along the crotch line using a 1/2" seam allowance:

Once sewn and turned right side out, you will have what is starting to look like a pair of shorts!  Like so...

Step 4:  Adding Drawstrings

**For the drawstrings I used 3/8" ribbon because I already had it on hand.  I think it would also be super cute to use coordinating bias tape, braided knit, etc.  But, if you choose to use something different, you may need to add a little extra to the sides of your patterns to be able to create  wider casings to accommodate a wider drawstring.**

To figure out the length for  the drawstrings, I simply laid a piece of ribbon next to the outer edge of my shorts and added about 4.5" past the hem:

To insert your drawstrings, attach a safety pin to one end of your ribbon and slide through casing from bottom to top (I like to go from bottom to top so that my safety pin attaches to the part that isn't going to show - at the top - because they leave nasty marks in ribbon and I want the bottom to look nice)

Pull only so far that it leaves a little bit sticking out the top.  Repeat with the other 3 casings:

Once all of the ribbons are in, adjust them so that only about 1/4" is sticking out at the top and sew straight across the ribbons with a 1/4" seam allowance, backstitching a few times, to secure.  Repeat for the other side seam of your shorts:

Step 5:  Sewing and Adding Waistband

NOTE:  The drawstring waist that creates the back bow is completely optional.  If you want to skip it, skip creating the slits.  I would then recommend sewing your knit waistband on as shown below, but leaving a 2" space unsewn and inserting elastic for a snug fitting waist.  After inserting the elastic into your waistband, you would then simply sew shut your 2" space you left to insert it.

**Also note that I placed my ribbon openings in the back for a little something different.  When I make them again, I will probably put them in the front :)  Just FYI**

For the ribbon waist, we need a place for our ribbon to enter and exit.  On one of your waistband pieces, fold it in half lengthwise, mark the middle, and make a 3/4" vertical mark about one inch from either side of the middle:
Then, not shown, open your waistband piece back up (you don't want to cut through both sides), and cut a slit down each of those marks (or create buttonholes...wasn't really working for me that day, but I should have used interfacing and it would have worked fine).  I just sewed a zig zag back and forth at the top and bottom of the slits to keep them from opening more.  Do what you like!

Once you have your slits cut (you can see one of mine in the pic below), place your waistband pieces right sides together and sew the v-shaped edges together using a 1/2" seam allowance:

Once sewn together, you can flip it right side out and it should look something like this:

After flipping right side out, take your top left and right corners and fold them inside to meet the bottom left and right corners (you are basically folding your piece in half again, with the wrong sides meeting on the inside).  You can see here how that v-shape on the outside gives the waistband a nice shape that will fit better to the body:

To prepare for attaching to your shorts, mark your waistband into fourths with pins (you really only need to pin the middles as your side seams will serve as fourth marks):

Flip your waistband so that the raw edges are pointing up and your drawstring slits are on the underside (next to the shorts), then slide over the top of your shorts right sides together (the side with the slits in it is the right side in this case).  Make sure your drawstring opening is where you want it (front or back):

Here you can see that the slits are on the underside when pinned (so when you flip the waistband up after sewing they will be on the outside):
Match your waistband side seams with your shorts side seams and pin.  Then match your waistband middle marks with your front and back shorts seams and pin.  Once you have those four marks pinned, evenly pin around the rest of your waistband.  I ended up pinning mine into eighths, as shown:

Sew around the entire top edge using a 1/2" seam allowance.  Make sure to stretch your knit taut as you go.  This will allow your waistband to stretch later on!

Once sewn, flip your waistband up, and tada, your almost finished!

I failed to take pictures of inserting the drawstring (sorry!), but it's quite simple.  Cut a length of wide ribbon to your child's waist measurement plus enough length for tying into a bow - cut longer than you think as you can always shorten it later.  Using a safety pin, insert one end into one of your slits on the waistband.  Pull that through all the way around your waist and out the other slit.  Tie in a sweet little bow, and trim excess length off of the ribbon if needed.

Pull the bottom ties to scrunch up your sides how you want them, tie them in a bow, and you're all finished!

Put them on your little cutie, and watch the smiles begin :)  A cute, tailored pair of shorts that are still nice and comfy!  Who could ask for more?

Even the butterflies at the butterfly breakfast loved them!  {EG is on a serious butterfly kick right more here if you wish} 

P.S. These tutorials seem to get reeeeaaaalllly long sometimes and I feel like it might be overwhelming (though I'm trying to describe each step in detail).  Is there any interest in sew-alongs instead of just the tutorials?  I know when I was starting out I LOVED sew-alongs because everything was broken up into manageable sections.  I realize the tutorials are broken up too, but I think some may look at such a long post and think, yikes!!  Let me know what you think, and as always, please share if you make them! 

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