Friday, January 1, 2016

Vogue 8964

I haven't posted in awhile, but I actually did a lot of sewing lately. I just couldn't post any of it, since it was all Christmas gifts for family members.

I used one pattern in particular for making several gifts. Vogue 8964 is a pattern set of boxers, pjs, and bathrobes.

Bathrobe - View B

The bathrobe was probably the most challenging part of the pattern because of the large pattern pieces you have to wrestle without shredding.

The fabric I chose was a polyester looper fleece in olive. It looks a bit like terry on the right side. It is light weight but warm.

I used navy bias tape as piping, since I forgot to pick up actual piping while at the store. I'm glad I added it though, as the robe might have looked a little dull without it.

I made a few alterations to the pattern. I added a hook loop at the neck for easy hanging. I sewed the belt tie into place with a rectangle of stitching at the center back. This means the tie won't fall out and get lost in the future. I also omitted the lining. Instead, I serged the inside edge of the collar and topstitched it into place (see below).

Overall, the robe looks and works great. My hubby loves it.

Boxer Shorts - View E

I made a pair of boxer shorts for my Dad. He had a pair he really loved, so my Mom measured them all over (including front and back crotch depth). Using the measurments, I was able to pick a size that was super close.

So, without having to do any fitting alterations, I was able to make a great pair of boxer shorts that my dad loves. They are a very lightweight cotton denim.

Boxer shorts are a fun project to practice sewing skills, like matching plaids. The pieces are small and easy to work with. And, if you mess up, they are just boxer shorts - not something as noticeable as a jacket or dress.

Pajamas - View F

I made three pairs of the pajamas in flannelette - for my hubby, my brother, and my sister's hubby.

I did my best to guess the right sizes. I measured my hubby's other pjs in secret and my sister did the same for her hubby. For my brother, I just guessed that he was very close to my hubby. The great thing about pjs is that they don't have to be perfect to still work. It looks like I guessed right for my brother, as he approves:

One alteration I did for the pjs was leg length. For my hubby, I was able to make them the right length right away. For my brother and brother-in-law, I wasn't sure. So, I made the length I thought they needed plus less an inch and added 1.25" cuffs on the bottom. That way they could adjust the length by rolling the cuff.

I tacked the waistband elastic in place on the sides, so that they don't roll. And for the drawstrings, I used bias tape that I sewed shut.

The dinosaur pjs are for my hubby and I made sure to buy some extra of that fabric so I could make matching pjs for our baby when it arrives. :)

Vogue 8964 is a great pattern for making a lot of handmade gifts.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Mystery Knit-A-Long Afghan Progress

For months, I have been knitting the Kaffe Fasset Mystery Knit-A-Long Afghan and I'm getting closer to the end!

I only have 2 and a half square left to knit and then I can start piecing it all together. Just in time for colder weather.

I must say that this project has been great for keeping up my knitting with a puppy in the house. It is an easy project to put down mid-row and pick up again days later. The little squares are easier to hold out of reach when the puppy decides to jump on me. I did have a few incidents of balls of yarn being stolen and tossed about the room, but at least it wasn't part of a sweater.

I just hope piecing it all together won't be a horrible experience. I've never knit such a large project before. Wish me luck!

Friday, October 2, 2015

New Sweater for my New Dog

I haven't had time for much sewing lately, but I've been knitting away. With the colder weather approaching, I decided it was time to make a sweater for my 1 year old puppy.

The pattern is the Perfect Fit Dog and Cat Pattern by Jessika Lane. I used this pattern for my older dog when I was first getting back into knitting a few years ago. It is a great pattern for beginners and makes a very practical sweater for your pets.

The yarn I used for the project is fancy Rowan Pure Wool Worsted that I had in my stash. It's remarkably sturdy and yet soft. I find it very easy to knit with. I also like the idea that it is superwash.

I ran out of the blue before I could make the back bottom as long as I wanted. So, I extended the green ribbing on the back by knitting back and forth and using wrap-and-turns. My alteration actually worked out very well.

Now, both my doggies are ready for the impending colder weather.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

More Maternity Pants

Earlier, I posted about turning old pants into maternity pants. I've found another pair of secondhand pants to convert. This time, I'm going to use a completely different method. I'll call this Method 3: Converting Large Pants. For methods 1 and 2, see the older post.

Method 3: Converting Large Pants

To make maternity pants this way, I found a pair of pants that fit over my belly. Basically, the pants were a couple of sizes bigger than my regular size.

Before my alterations, the pants were super baggy in the legs. All I had to do to make them look right, was to alter the legs. To do this, I laid out my pair of well fitting Ginger Jeans on top, lined up the crotches, and traced the new leg shape (I made sure that both pants had the same amount of stretch, too). I graded the existing burgundy pants seam from about the bottoms of side pockets to the near the crotch level of the pants and then followed my Ginger jeans' shape. I also added about 1/2" width compared to my jeans because I wanted them a little looser.

To be even lazier with my changes, I matched up the in-seams of the pants. That way I only took in the extra fabric from the outside seams. The outside seams were easier to alter, since they were not top-stitched into place like the in-seams were. Doing this could cause off-grain fabric issues. But, I decided to take a gamble, since the fabric is so dark and the pants only cost me $4. In the end, I don't think I can tell.

The result is a pair of maternity pants that feel and look like regular pants. The fabric is also better quality than most off-the-rack maternity pants are made with. I find them super comfortable and I think the colour is great for fall.

I'm about 21 weeks along. There is still room in the belly area for my tummy to grow. Once I get too big, I can go back and use one of the other methods of making maternity pants to make them fit again.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Outfit Alterations

I've finished altering some of the clothing I found at the secondhand shop and now have a new maternity outfit. First up for alterations were a too large maternity blouse and a pair of messed up maternity pants.

The top was simply way too big - it was more like a dress. 

From reading pattern top back lengths and from adding some pins where I thought the top was about 4" too short. I cut off the bottom 3", leaving a hemming allowance.

The top was also missing its waistband tie. I used the now scrap bottom back piece of fabric and cut it into 1" strips. I sewed the pieces together similar to making bias tape. I tried to use a bias tape folder to iron the strip, but the polyester would not hold its shape. I ended up just serging along one edge and then folding the strip in three sections as I sewed, with the serged edge covering the non-serged edge.

It worked and my shirt now has a tie!

The maternity jeans were a different story. They are cheap Walmart George jeans that were not cut very well. As a result, the legs twist terribly. The right leg in-seam is particularly horrible. It actually twists almost around the front of the leg to the other side when wearing. Below, you can see how the seams like to lie in a very crooked manner. This is a good example of fabric not being cut on the grain properly (see this Closet Case Files post for more about this).

I decided correct the problem as much as I could by turning the jeans from flared legs to skinny legs. While I did this, I took more off one side of a seam than the other to 'pull' it back into a proper place. For example, I took a lot out of the right leg back in-seam side and nothing out of the corresponding front side (which meant I had to rip open the seams instead of just sewing a new spot).

The seams are still a bit twisted, but now it's not as noticeable. There are some back leg wrinkles because I took a lot of fabric out around my calves. But, I wanted to take as much fabric out as I could to fix the twisting problem.

Tada! A whole new outfit. And I think I paid only $3 for the shirt and $4 for the pants.

I finished this outfit and took these pictures almost two weeks ago when I was about 19 weeks.