Monday, October 29, 2007

Fall, Y'All!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

This giveaway is over now, thanks everyone for participating!
Just for fun, I decided to participate in the Fall, Y'All giveaway carnival hosted over at Bloggy Giveaways. I finished up my redwork Christmas ornaments (I'm going to make more, though), and I'm giving away one of them. The lucky winner can choose between the Joy, Tree, or Gift ornaments. (The snowman was embroidered by my son and isn't part of the giveaway. But isn't it cute?)

If you want to make your own, these ornaments are made from patterns in the Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Crafts magazine that is currently on newsstands.

All you have to do is leave a comment here before 9 a.m. on Saturday, November 3, and we'll randomly pick one lucky winner later that day. If your post doesn't link back to your blog, please include your email address in your comment.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

#1 on Google

Saw this on Jody's and Dawn's blogs--

search terms where my blog is #1.

So far, I've found one:
t-shirt neckband

Oh! and there's also:
t-shirt neckband tutorial

Not very impressive. But better than none.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Pirate Costume

I finished this up for D with just a couple hours to spare before the church Halloween party on Saturday. The shirt and vest were made using Kwik Sew for Children. I altered the sleeve--adding gathers at the shoulder seam and cuff. I also attached a collar and made a slit down the front with a facing. I might post a more detailed pic of the shirt because I'm kind of proud of it. The vest was done with no hems--just a 3-step zigzag around the edges. Pants were made from the most recent jeans pattern for him, morphed on the cutting table into simple elastic waist pants. (That's how I'm going to make his pj pants too--flannel is $2/yd at JoAnn's this week.)

The hair... is a bunch of yarn braids with beads attached. I sewed them to the bandanna with the sewing machine.

I'm happy with how it turned out, and so is he!

Monday, October 15, 2007

What I made on vacation. And other stuff.

I thought I was going to do a bunch of knitting on our trip, but my wrists got sore and tingly on the first day out so I had to stop. I worked on these redwork designs instead. The patterns are from the Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Crafts magazine and I think they're super cute. I need to track down some red wool felt to finish them up. I really liked that they were to be made up using a backstitch for the outlines; other redwork I've done has been with the stem stitch and backstitching is faster. See, I like handwork but then I get tired of it quickly.

Here's the other shirt I made the other day. I forgot to mention--use ballpoint needles when sewing knit fabrics!! My 3-year-old really likes both his new shirts. The older one told me he wasn't interested when I was cutting but then he decided he wanted shirts after his brother's were finished. So. Right after I finish his Halloween costume (we have trunk-or-treat at church this Saturday) I'll get on that.

And this is the flower the older one made for me when I wasn't feeling well tonight. Sweet, huh?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Halloween Costume decision is made

Well, one is for sure. The older one is going to be a pirate and we got all the fabric from the remnant bin at JA. The cutting line was pure insanity, this is why I don't go there on Saturdays. I got some nice black crushed velvet texture velour for the pants, a matte gray fabric with a nap for a vest, and generic sort of offwhite cotton for a pirate blouse. I'm going to have to look through all my Ottobres for a vest and shirt pattern. I may end up modifying the shirt pattern from another pattern, we'll see.

The younger one has said he would be a firefighter again, and that would mean he'll just use last year's costume. He's talking like he's changing his mind though.

This morning it was raining buckets and I was so bummed that I couldn't go running. But it's cleared up and I'm going to go out in a little while.

Friday, October 12, 2007

How To Make A T-Shirt

I am getting a lot of visits from people googling "how to make a t-shirt" so I thought I'd oblige you.

First off, you need a pattern. You can trace one from an existing shirt, but I'm not covering that step in this tutorial. I'm using the size 4 t-shirt pattern from my beloved vintage Sew for Toddler. All the patterns for this book are on a large pattern sheet and you have to trace off the size you want. I usually trace my patterns onto freezer paper. If you look closely you can see I traced the wrong size first; I don't remember what happened there but it was one of two tracings I have of this pattern. My pattern has 4 pieces: front, back, sleeve, and neckband.

I have a pretty big piece of this fabric, so to waste the least amount of fabric and also be able to manage the whole thing, I cut out one pattern piece at a time. I'm starting with the front--the center front edge needs to be on placed on the fold of the fabric. I look closely at the fabric and make sure the tiny knit stitches are running straight (not at an angle) with my foldline. Also, the stretch of this fabric is going up and down in the photo, or across the body of the t-shirt front and back pattern pieces. You want to cut your knits out with the stretch going the right way.

This picture shows the front already cut out.

Then I do the same with the back. First I cut off the small amount of scrap from cutting the front and then I refold the fabric wide enough to do the back. Here you can see my cute pattern weights. I don't pin my patterns--I use pattern weights and rotary cut around the edges of my patterns. You can use scissors if you don't have a rotary cutter. I need to sharpen my scissors and get a new rotary blade--cutting this out wasn't as easy and fun as it should have been.

The sleeve. Again I refold so I have enough width to lay out the sleeve pattern. See that long straight line? It's the pattern grainline and should line up with the grain of the fabric. In other words, line up with straight up and down lines of knitted stitches in the fabric. If you've ever had a t-shirt that twisted around your body when you were wearing it, it was cut off grain. It's not hard to make sure your fabric and patterns are on grain when you're cutting.

Neckline ribbing. This fabric is laid out with the stretch going left to right. The pattern piece is laid on the fold. I used a cotton/lycra ribknit for this piece. If your main shirt fabric is ribbed or fairly stretchy, you can use the same fabric for the neckline. This shirt fabric is a jersey that's not really stretchy enough to go over my boy's head and not have stitches pop right away.

Here are all the pattern pieces cut out.

Sewing step 1: Place front and back pieces together with right sides facing. Match the pieces up at the shoulder and pin them if you want.

Here they are serged together. Before I had a serger I would sew the seam, then zigzag the edges together because I don't like unfinished edges.

Sewing step 2: Pin the top center of the sleeve to the shoulder seam.

Pin the front and back edges of the sleeve seam. This is kind of difficult to show in a photo.

Here's the shirt with both sleeves sewn on.

Sewing step 3: Fold the shirt so the front and back line up and the sleeve edges line up. Starting at the sleeve hem edge, and all at once, sew the sleeve edges together, then the front and back together at the sides. Do both sides.

Here's the shirt with sleeve/side seams sewn.

Sewing step 4: Sewing the neckband on is explained here in my T-shirt neckband tutorial.

Sewing step 5: Fold the sleeve edges and bottom edge up once and stitch in place. I have a "why you don't need a free arm to sew hems of small sleeves" tutorial that I'll share soon.

There you go!

What my 3-year-old ate today.

This kid must be growing. He's sleeping easily and well, and eating.

Today, he ate:
1/2 peanut butter sandwich
1 pancake (5" diameter)
1 bowl oatmeal
macaroni and cheese (the whole wheat was not a hit, at all)
another 1/2 peanut butter sandwich
and pizza for dinner.

He'll probably have a bedtime snack too.

Monday, October 08, 2007

back from vacation

Ok, I'm back from our annual trip to Utah to visit lots and lots of family, and I'm planning on updating here more frequently. I'm going to start with my do's and don't's for staying awake on long drives.

We'll start with the don'ts:
Don't go to bed too late the night before a long drive.
Don't drink caffeine (I cannot handle what it does to my system, and it's about time I figured that out and stopped trying it.)
Don't go too far.

Get enough sleep the night before.
Snack on lots of different things.
Get a big cold drink that isn't caffeinated.
Chew icy minty gum.
Have conversation with driving partner (my husband in my case.)
Figure out a reasonable distance to drive so everyone can stay safe and sane.

Our second day driving from Mesa, AZ to Kansas City was much better than the first. I stayed far away from caffeine and had that gum. I shared the driving yesterday about half and half with my sweetie and it went pretty well. I drive pretty slowly in the dark and felt good about that each time I saw evidence of a deer being hit by a car on the highway.