David told me that Ila's sunday dress was getting too tight, so I decided in my last week of having a sewing machine (before being packed) that instead of making a dress for myself I would make one for Ila. I used some of the pattern pieces from the junebug dress pattern (size 2T)--specifically the sleeves and the back pieces. I used the back pieces for both the front and back of the bodice, but I added an extra 1.5 inches and cut through the fold for the back part so I could add buttons. It was my first time trying to do buttonholes, and let me tell you it was horrifying. The fabric was too thick to work with regular settings. It looks totally awful up close..but nobody is looking except me hopefully:)
I used some knit fabric I already had. You may recognize the skirt fabric from here. The buttons I found in my grandmothers button collection. They are bright orange with little mushrooms, and so cute! I used my new shirring knowledge to do the puffed sleeve. I zigzagged the edge of the sleeve and then did one line of shirring near the edge. Then I sewed the sleeve ends together, added a gather on the top, and attached it to the bodice. I also had some lace lying around from an etsy purchase awhile back I wanted to add, so sewed that on last using a straight machine stitch (and going very slow, using the hand wheel for a lot of it).
Anyway. The sewing machine is now packed so no more projects for a while. I'm not sure if the sewing fever will last, but it has been fun while I had it.
This picture of Ila in it is before I added the lace.
Trying to show the cute buttons, but the lighting is terrible. Alas.
This was the first top I made from the pattern pack I ordered. I used medium weight jersey and it turned out very well, if a bit long. I hated it the first day, until I decided that adding a belt would make it look much nicer and I wouldn't feel like I was wearing a shapeless pillowcase. I made the belt by buying some red knit elastic and a buckle from Joann fabrics. I just custom fit it to my rib cage and sewed the elastic over onto itself after looping through the buckle. I do find it too hot to wear in warm weather because of the long sleeves and thick fabric. I would make this again using something more lightweight (but opaque) or shorten the sleeves. I think it will always need a belt of some kind though to add shape.
Another project I did in June is this play mat. I got the front fabric on etsy. The back fabric is from fabric.com, and the middle layer is some Quilters Dream batting (here). I discovered that my grandmothers sewing machine closet (which I inherited and adore) not only has a collection of tons of random buttons, thread, zippers, bias tape, etc, but it also has every presser foot accessory I know of (which isn't really saying a lot..but it also had a lot I don't know of too!). One of which is an even feed / walking foot which is super helpful for machine quilting.
I used safety pins to baste the layers together (after prewashing the the outer layers. The batting layer instructions said not to prewash. I forget why). Then I used the walking foot to sew along the edges of the roads and the airport landing strip. It didn't do a perfect job, (there is a bit of pucker in some spots) but we'll just blame that on my minimal basting and not my grandmothers awesome machine! I used biased tape to finish the edges. I realized that I should have purchased regular width double biased tape instead of quilting biased tape because the tape was wider than I needed. I think the quilting tape is for super fat quilts. Mine was not fat. But other than that, this was great!
Now Ila can play on it with her cars. Or she will someday anyway.
A few months ago, I was putting a Disana wool cover over Ila at night since she was peeing through her diapers every night. (this is left from my cloth diapering days, before Ila began peeing more than I could handle and resulted in me putting her in disposables). I decided I needed another cover while the other one gets washed, and thought I could try my hand at making one.
I learned to crochet only last April. I have made half of an afghan, but then switched to making this cover. Then I never went back to the afghan because I started the sewing madness. I had a tragic moment while making this cover when I realized I'd done it all in the wrong stitch (one which turned out not even to have a name!) and was not loose enough. So I unraveled it all. Sadness was had that day. But I got over it and finished the soaker. I used this tutorial. And I put it on ravelry! I never knew about that website until I learned to crochet. I called my mom and asked her to decode some instructions on the phone and she was so helpful! Even just sort of describing my problem and she knew how to fix it. Way to go mom!
The silly thing is that by the time I finished this, (end of June), it was SO unbearably hot that we stopped using the wool soaker. THis also coincided with the realization that the soaker wasn't quite as needed anymore. Ever since my friend Libby suggested I use size 5 diapers at night, most of the leaks stopped. Ila wears size 3 during the day. I'd tried size 4 at night and it hadn't stopped leaks, but for some reason trying size 5 never occurred to me. So thanks Libby! You saved our sheets:)
At least I have an extra soaker now. Unfortunately I never really got to test it and see if it stops leaks as well as the Disana one. The weave is much looser, but I lanolized them the same way and they are both 100% wool, so theoretically it should work:) I guess I'll find out on fire hydrant (baby #2!)
This is the second shirred top I made from a men's shirt (the first is here). I followed this tutorial.
This was pretty time consuming. I love the final result though, and I learned a lot. I started with a short sleeved men's shirt with an 18 inch neck. It was very billowy. I chose it pretending I was huge and I'm glad I got it so big. (Because lets face it, I get big!) The color was totally coincidental--I didn't choose orange to match the tutorial. I chose it because I like orange!
The tutorial is missing steps on how to do the collar so I had to make up a lot for this shirt. For example, this shirt did have a yoke at the top back with the little pleat at the center which many men's shirts have. The top of the back of my remade shirt begins just below the yoke, which I unpicked and removed partially. So the shirring goes across the extra fabric from the unpicked pleats. Also, I didn't even try and replicate what she did with the collar on the tutorial. I don't know where she got the fabric, and I don't know how to make collars so didn't know how to start. I ended up just making a simple bias tape kind of collar over the raw edge of the cut neckline. It is a little wonky in the back from the shirring, but looks well enough.
I did the shirred back first, then the pintucks in the front. I don't know how the girl in the tutorial did pintucks first and magically guessed the right number to do so it matched the shirred shoulders in the back. I tried this shirt on a lot while making it. I had to lengthen the pintucks and add a couple inches more of shirring in the back as the last step of the shirt because it was all too short looking Also, I did not change the men's shirt sleeve except to taper the underarm seam. I added a hook and eye in between a couple of the buttons too since it pulled across the chest.
I did not follow a tutorial on this one, but I used some of the ideas I garnered from my first project for it. I made this last April (but the picture of me is from July). This fabric is ITY jersey knit, which turned out to be very lightweight but also very cool (and not see-through! woo!) so it has been great for summer. It was tricky to sew with. I had to use a straight stitch presser foot so the fabric would stay put for stitching (less room to flap around with that foot), and also had to adjust thread tension which I can usually ignore. Also definitely used a stretch needle for light fabric.