Sunday, 11 December 2011

Xmas Gifts....

I have just completed an order for a cushion for a 14 year old girl who attends the Nelson Mandela School here in Berlin. The order was placed by one of my subscribers for her god-daughter for Christmas (she had seen the fabric in an earlier post). It is the kind of order I really love doing as the only specifications given were that it was to include the Mandela fabric & her name. Oh joy... free reign!!

As the fabric is red & white, I knew my colour palette. I found a red & white bandana in a store & knew what I wanted to do...

I added wadding behind the bandana & quilted around some of the paisley designs making them puff up.
Mandela can be seen in two of the corners, and the logo from Da Gama Textiles (SA's main producer of ShweShwe fabrics) in the other two.

I am very happy with how it worked out, hope the customer is too!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

FREE pattern & tutorial: Men's Sleep Shorts/ Boxers

A nice, practical, personal present for a man this Christmas. Take the time to make it yourself & the good ones will always be grateful for it.

Here are the pattern pieces you will need. I have made this one to measurements I took, but it is about a medium. You can adapt the pattern for the size you need.

After review, I think adding or taking away 4cm may take you to xsmall and xLarge 2cm may just do it!

You need 2 of the top piece, and one of the bottom piece (cut on the fold)
Cut the top piece from folded fabric as well, just to make sure you don't accidentally cut two lefts or 2 rights!
The last piece you need is a waist band for the elastic to run through. I cut a strip on the fold, 5cm longer than the shorts once they are sewn up. Make it about 4cm wider than the thick waistband elastic, or if you prefer to run 2 strips of narrower elastic, make it 6cm wider than the width of two strips of elastic.

I will now add photos of the steps you need to follow....

These are the pieces you will have (excluding the waist band)

Men's boxers fold right over left, so you need to iron a double fold (4mm or so) in the fly of the right hand side piece & stitch this in place.
Then iron a 4mm fold on the left hand side piece, and then iron the whole fly piece to the wrong side at the curve line...

Now place the two sides right sides together matching the crotch curve & unfold the folds on the left piece. Pin in place:
Stitch with a foot wide seam & then use your pinking shears to trim the edge to prevent fraying without having a thick seam - more comfortable!

Now stitch together the crotch seams back to front, matching them in the centre.

Pinking shear this seam as well - be careful not to cut through stitching!!

Now side seams:

& pinking shear these seams as well.
Turn right side out

Now you have:

Add buttons & button holes to the front - one or two buttons, up to you!
Make sure you use flat buttons for comfort. Do not add them too close to the top seam as this is where you will join the waist band on.
Match up the open seam on top & stitch down across the opening with a single row of straight stitches to keep the two parts lined up when you add the waist band next.

Now iron a seam in at the bottom of each leg (where the hem of the shorts will be). Double fold & stitch down.

Cut a waist band. Length to match the top of the shorts. Cut it on a fold so there is only one seam to it.

Join the waist band to the shorts, right sides together, with the waist band flat. Use a foot width for the seam. You needn't pinking shear this seam as it will be covered.

Iron this seam just made to top

Iron in a 1cm fold on the top of the waist band towards the wrong side of the shorts.
Fold the waist band in 1/2 and stitch on the inside of the shorts, leaving a gap for the elastic.

Convince your cat to get off your shorts so you can finish sewing them ;)

Now use a safety pin to thread through thick waist elastic. Sew up the ring of elastic with a straight stitch (go over this seam a couple of times).
Sew up gap where elastic was threaded through.

Shorts are done!!