Friday, April 27, 2012

Wow, finally back!

Things have been so busy around here-I can't believe I haven't posted since November. I'm hoping to get a bit more sewing time, so I can post more regularly. My last post-the pants with piping, were a flop, fit wise. They got thrown into the closet with the pile of other ill fitting garments. Perhaps someday they will see the light again!
Right now, I'm still plugging away at the kids' clothing week challenge run by Elsie Marley. I have been so exceedingly tired this week that I've only finished one thing and am just now cutting fabric for another. I made the treasure pocket pants from the book Sewing for boys (which is amazing and has wonderful patterns for anyone-not necessarily just boys!). Zboy is really into cowboys right now, so they got a cowboy print, sheriff star button and red contrast stitching-his favorite color. Sadly, the 4/5 ended up being too large. I got cocky and didn't bother checking, because the 2/3 was too small. Poor chunky boy-wonder how long his clothes will have to be custom fit? So I'm putting them away until the fall, when they should fit. I'll be redoing the waistband as well. It came out much skinnier than it was meant to and I don't really like the look of it. Now, off to cut fabric for another Oliver + S seashore dress (sans pockets this time)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pants with piping-in progress

A kids' boutique is opening in my area, and they were advertising for crafters to consign their wares. I started working on a few ideas, and am currently trying a pair of boy's pants with piping. I've never worked extensively with piping before, and while it is a bit of a pain to make sure the original stitches are hidden, it's a lot easier than I expected.

The problem I'm having is that since I'm not working from a pattern, I'm unsure what measurements to use! I usually make everything customized for my children (my son has a big belly and butt, and is short; my daughter is very tall, with a ridiculously skinny waist) I hope it ends up being ok. I am only making things for this boutique that my children can wear if it doesn't sell, so I don't waste materials or time.

My waistband ended up being very uneven, and so to keep the integrity of the pockets, I'm going to have to make an attached waistband (PITA! especially on kid clothes)

Here's a sneak peek of the pants. So far, they're not really worth making to sell-it's taking me way too much time to figure out! But my hope is that it becomes easier and quicker with practice, because these are looking really cute so far.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Making hot process soap in the crock pot

getting to trace

Thanks to a friend, I was able to make soap this weekend. Two things you'll really want to buy or borrow to make soap-an immersion blender and a kitchen scale. The scale is a necessity-recipes are listed by weight, not volume. The blender isn't a necessity, but unless you want to stir by hand until soap reaches trace (which could take an hour!), you'll want this. It takes less than 10 minutes to reach trace.

There are a ton of recipes online, and if you want to make your own, you HAVE to run it through a lye calculator. This makes sure there won't be any active lye in your soap to burn your skin.

I didn't bother taking steps of the whole process, because there are a ton of sites with tutorials on them.

My recipe was a mix of mostly olive oil, coconut oil, and vegetable shortening (because I ended up not having as much coconut oil as I thought). I added some cocoa butter, honey, and fragrance after cooking it. It was originally going to be frankincense and myrrh, but I forgot I needed to melt the cocoa butter and that cooked off the fragrance, so instead these are plum spice.

Hot process is so easy. The soap will be ready to use as soon as it is cooled, although the longer you let it sit (with air flow around the bars), the harder and more cured it will be. It's not as fine or pretty as cold process, but not having to let it sit for six weeks or longer before use is better for me.

These will be nice to have on hand for holiday gifts. Who doesn't like a nice scented bar of homemade soap?

Cooked soap

In the mold cooling off
Saturday, October 15, 2011

KCWC Days 4, 5 and 6-mistakes and adding long sleeves

Days 4 and 5 were spent making pj pants for the Zboy. I had lost my pattern that I used to make his rocket pants, so I retraced...and made an error somewhere. Of course, I had thought I would get fancy and make 2 pairs at once. So they are both too small. I'm in the middle of remeasuring and cutting them down for Zgirl.
Day 6, I cheated a little and made a shirt for Zboy's Halloween costume. He's going as Harry (from the book Harry and Horsie-Zgirl is going as an adaptation of Horsie) I took a plain white T, added black long sleeves underneath, and an H applique. I love upcycling-the black knit is from an old tanktop of mine that no longer fits. Even better, I used the existing hem so I didn't have to hem the sleeves. This is a fantastic way to lengthen the use of kid clothes! Take a short sleeve shirt you love, add some long sleeves, and new shirt! I even saw a tutorial online where they added the same fabric used for the sleeves as a band at the bottom of the shirt.

Just trace a sleeve shape, sew it along the seam, and pin inside the existing sleeve. Pin it wrong side to wrong side. Here I didn't, and didn't realize until I sewed it. Ripping out seams from knits sucks.

Here is the right way.

I used the stretch elastic seam (looks like a lightning bolt) to sew it in place. It's not very obvious. I could have made it less obvious by using a double needle and sewing over the existing hem, but I was feeling lazy.
Thursday, October 13, 2011

KCWC Day 2 and 3 results-men's dress shirt to girl's dress

The before shot (well, after removing collar before shot)

I have as yet to get Zgirl in this, so forgive the not great pics. I used the tutorial at Girl. Inspired.
I lost the pocket that was on the shirt, which I was planning to put back on in a different spot, so now I'm not sure what to do. The dress needs something more, so I'm trying to think of a fun applique or ribbon or something I can add to it. Ideas welcome!
Tuesday, October 11, 2011

KCWC Day 1 results-adult T to baby dress

I procrastinated a lot, played on Pinterest way too much, but finally was inspired to make this quickie adult T to baby dress.

I traced a shirt of Zgirl's to get the basic shape, and then cut apart my adult T. I decided to save the sleeves and just cut them a bit smaller. I cut my pieces out, and left them the length of the shirt (because I really liked the original hem) Somehow, things got wonky and the front was way shorter than the back, so I just trimmed off the back. This was a short sleeve shirt-I just cut out pieces of a knit (don't you love that print?) and attached them under the hem of the short sleeve to make it long sleeve.

It's not perfect by any means, but I was pretty impressed that I went from idea to finished product in about an hour. Having a serger helps.

Monday, October 10, 2011

KCWC 2011

Today is the first day of the KCWC! Unfortunately, I didn't prepare ahead of time like I had planned, so I'm just going to wing it.
Which doesn't work when your fabric hides from you! Where are you, ribbing? All the projects I want to do need you!
I have a tshirt cut out for Zgirl, and some flannel to maybe make some pjs for Zboy, and perhaps a dress for Zgirl. If I can find my ribbing, I wanted to make each of them a sweatshirt/matching pants combo.
Are you sewing for KCWC? What do you have planned?

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