Tuesday, 26 June 2012

And a spare!

Baby Book Cover to match Quilt

Remember the Baby Quilt for Leni?  Refresher here.
I was asked to make a baby book cover to match, and here it is...

This background fabric is the inside lining of the cover.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Baby shower / New baby gifts

I love these bibs!  They have armholes to slip little wrigglers' arms through, thereby avoiding the usual problems faced with bibs with only a neck clasp, keeping shirts cleaner.   I have used water resistant fabric on this bib, with a toweling backing - useful for wiping little faces with after a meal!

Then I have made a dummy chain to match the bib, and one with an under the sea theme.

All items have been personalized with new baby's name.  A personalized burp towel will complete the gift.
Off to get a plain white burp towel to convert.

Making Tilda Bunnies

My older niece is only 5, and has been waiting (not so patiently) for her promised bunny ever since our return from S.A., where all the other kids got their bunnies, and she was told she would get hers back in the UK.  I have had so many sewing projects to complete, and have been slow to make the promised bunny!  Very mean as the poor kid is excitedly checking every delivery from the mailman just in case it contains her bunny!

So I thought I had better remedy this!

I tried a new filling, and thought I had to tell you about it, and the trick I learned to deal with it...
This is the stuffing:

It is 10€ a bag from Karstadt & should fill about 5 'normal' sized bunnies.
It is tiny little balls of very soft, very hard to control & rather static filling, but it fills beautifully, without any lumps, once you can convince it into the body parts!
I found that dampening my hands and then rolling a handful of the stuffing into a loose ball would make it more compliant, and repeating the dampening with each handful made it easier to work with, and less static.  

Here is Hannah's bunny:

I may remove the felt slippers and just leave the ribbons to look like a ballet bunny - the slippers don't look like ballet slippers at all!  Whereas the ribbons alone looked rather pretty.
Oh yes, and I forgot to rouge the cheeks!!

I have made new shoes for her...

Much prettier!!

Like a real ballerina 

Sunday, 17 June 2012

The Dress/ Doll Combo


Bought this gorgeous online pattern from Monkeysbug:
(use the link & have a look at all the great patterns!!!!)

It is a PDF Pattern & instructions are really easy to follow (with pictures).
The pattern included sizes: age 2 to age 9-10

You could easily add the ruffle down the front like Angel (from TaDa Creations) added to these dresses:

Photo from http://tadacreations.blogspot.de

Click here
She even added a step by step tutorial to show you how to do it!!

I also LOVE the way she used a different fabric front & back of some of her dresses.

Here is the 1st Monkeysbug dress I have made:

I am a bit of a NANA!  I had Eda (our god-daughter) here 10 minutes ago... I should have got the little q-t-pie to model it!!

I am just adding the finishing touches to my second dress with this pattern & I would make the following recommendation:

 Once you have completed the 2 sleeves - ruffles, elastic & all & ironed them - cover the two rough edges with bias tape, folding in the ends for a neat finish.  Then when you add the sleeves to the dress, simply lay the dress sleeves (which have been double folded & hemmed) over the bias, completely covering it.  Then simply stitch flat.  
This gives a very neat finish to the sleeves.

From behind:  here you see the bias covered seam

And here you can see what I mean about top stitching it on:

Friday, 15 June 2012

Grace's Dolly

Now we need to name her, or should we leave that to Grace?

Changing the PJ pants pattern for Men

Yesterday I gave another BIWC Sewing class where we made really pretty PJ Pants!

Here is the BIWC announcement from the newsletter & website:

Di Venter 
Drawstring Cotton  Pajama Pants 

Thursday, 14 June at 10.00 

These cool cotton pants are great for lazy summer days at home or on holiday.  Crisp and cool with clean
lines to the design.  These are the ultimate in comfort!
This design is easy to adjust for men as well.
►Venue:  Di’s home
PLEASE NOTE: You need a sewing machine for this class
Click here to find out about becoming a member!

We used a lovely pattern from McCall - you can read all about it here as well as how to use a pattern if you are new to it.
The part we did not get to in Thursday's class was where I would show you how to convert the pattern for Men!
It is actually quite easy... you will see!

LEAVE lots of space around the traced piece as we will be adding to it, AND DO NOT CUT IT OUT YET!!!!

Measure your man & trace the correct pattern size for him (only pieces 14 & 15) 
Make the following adaptations:
1.  drop the crotch seam by about 4cm back & front.  
2.  extend the crotch out 3cm
3.  IF the bottom of the leg is now too wide (a clown pants look is not what we are going for here) then take in the pattern as shown in diag. (red line 3).  Do not take in any above the hip line though.
4.  Then remove the strip at the top of each piece where you are supposed to fold over to add the elastic... on the men's pants we will add a separate waist band.
ALWAYS do exactly the same to the front piece(14) & the back piece(15)!!
5.  Now, add to the length so that piece 16 is not needed... I don't think men will like a colorful band at the bottom with ribbon trim some how.  Measure your man from his waistline to the hem of his pants & extend back & front (pieces 14 & 15) by the difference, adding 4cm for a hem.

Now we need to make the standard 'button fly' for the pants.
For this we only adapt FRONT pieces.
Look at the sleep shorts here

Make the fly piece as per instructions for sleep shorts:

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!

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.

Then join the back panels RST together at the crotch seam.
Now you join the inner leg seams, but you will go all the way from one leg to the other in one seam, joining back to front panels the whole length.  Then do side seams.
The only change after this will be that you will need to cut a waist band, double the width of your elastic + seam allowance + top stitching allowance, and the same length as the waist of your stitched up pants, measuring from the back seam around, adding a seam allowance.  You will join it on much the same way the pattern tells you to add the bottom seam onto the lady's pants (piece 16), but leave a gap in the first joining seam to thread the elastic through, then join waist band to pants all the way around, and zig zag this seam.  I like to add a top stitching seam to the top of the waist band about 3mm from the top.  It makes a nice finish once the elastic is inserted, and prevents the elastic 'rolling' in it's channel.
Once you have added your elastic, you will close the gap you left for it by hand.
Hem your pants (after ensuring they are the correct length).
All done!  

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Making a piped, zipped BOLSTER cushion (neck roll)

** Please see list of abbreviations at end of post

First you need to cut the following pieces:
Main piece: (length of bolster +2cm s.a.) x (diameter x 3.14 + s.a. of **4cm** + zip allowance of 7cm)
2 end pieces: (diameter x 3.14 + 6cm) x (diameter/ 2 + hem allowance of 3cm + s.a.)
2 x little tabs for zip ends: about 4cm x 15cm

I make my piping cord's bias strips 5cm wide - just a nice easy width to cut on my cutting board with my rotary cutter, so when it is complete it has a seam allowance of 2cm.  This will be on each end, so I need this ** seam allowance to be 4cm (2 x 2)

Piping cord covering fabric:  strips cut on bias.  See here and here how to make it.

Use an endless zip cut 10cm longer than one side of your bolster cushion.
Leave the 'head' of the zip on the extra 10cm so that it is not in the way of your needle as you sew.
Watch this silly little video I made to show you how to use endless zips.

Here is a great 3mm (teeth width) endless zip supplier online.

On the end of your zip opposite this extra tail of zip:
With your zipper foot on your machine, sew one little tab (folded under red arrow below) to one end of zip, like the black arrows show here:

Then zig zag one edge of your main piece (one of the ones that is the length of your bolster)
Place this zigzagged edge RST on the piece in the above photo with the selvage of main piece matching the zip selvage, like:

Stitch until about 10cm away from opposite end of main fabric.  Then measure how long (after fold) your 1st tab was and add your second at the same measurement from opposite end.  Use a pin to mark where you need to place folded edge of 2nd tab.

Then fold over the main piece of fabric to form a flap over your zip (to hide it)
Press in place & then stitch down:

Press in flap:

Stitch down flap with zipper foot: 

At end, make a square ( as shown) to keep the flap secured: 

Press again: 

Pin back this flap as far as possible:
So that when you add the other side of the main piece to your zip, you do not accidentally catch the flap in the stitches.

Make sure your main piece is cut exactly the right size now.  Measure from stitch line on one side, to where stitch line will be on the other side.  It should be EXACTLY the circumference of your bolster as you need a snug fit.

Circumference = Diameter x Pi
π = 3.14 (rounded off)

Image found on this site

My bolster is 14cm x 40cm
So my circumference = 43cm

This should be exactly right then:

If that is the case with yours, go ahead & join on the other side of the main piece (after zig zagging the edges) to the other side of the zip.  Press.

If it is too big:  cut off the extra 
If it is too small:  you measured incorrectly!  Fancy a band of contrast?  No, then you will need to make your seam on your zip really tiny if this will give you enough space.  Or your inner will just be a little extra snug in your cover.

Pull your zip head through & snip off extra zip  
Sew the flap at the one end down so that you have a smooth edge to add your piping & bolster end to.
Do my arrows make it clear?  ;)

Add your piping cord to each end of your tube matching the selvage edge of your piping cord with the selvage of your bolster tube.

There is an alternative method to add in the zip, and that is using the method we used for the non piped scatter cushion.
If you use this method, I would recommend using double sided tape to hold the zip perfectly in place.
You can watch this video I made to remind you of this method.
Sorry the pictures are so tiny!  Make it full screen & you will see okay.  I did something wrong with the settings on Camtasia for this!

Use the method of finishing the piping cord used for piped, zipped scatter cushions.
Picture reminder:

Leave a tail BEFORE you start sewing on your piping

Open up the stitching of piping cord on tail you left
 Snip off extra cord

Fold piping without cord in it under to form a neat edge

Match up end you are busy sewing down to cut off cord end & cut off cord you are busy sewing to match the cut end exactly

Stitch right through all layers to give a very neatly finished seam

Now, take each end piece & zig zag one long end of each piece
Then fold under a 3cm hem on other long end, press in place, stitch down close to selvedge edge folded under
Do this to both pieces
Fold in one short end & stitch down.  Then start adding it to the piped edge, RST

When you get to other end, just keep on stitching so the ends overlap - not too much (3cm will do) - keeping very close to piping.  Do not make the fold under as you see in the picture above, I went back & fixed that as it prevented the end pulling in nicely in the next step!

You now have this:

Take your strong thread & begin stitching in long stitches through the edge of your end piece which is free, right along the fold line, leaving a tail to your thread.

Pull thread in until the edges are gathered to the middle
Tie ends off well.

You will now make a covered button to cover the gap remaining.
Watch this for covered button & how simple it is!

Do the same on the other end.

Now add your button on one side with a very long upholstery needle.
Pull the needle through to the other end & add the 2nd button.
Pull as tight as you like it so that the buttons are recessed. 

The down side to this... when you want to wash the cover you will need to remove the buttons & then replace them when you put the cover back on.  There is no way I know around this!

Grab a cuppa and a good book, lay back & test out your new bolster  

RST = Right Sides Together
s.a. = seam allowance