Monthly Archives: March 2009

Controlling The Mess

As much as I would love to start on my Jalie Stretch Jeans pattern, I really need to set to work on Melly & Me‘s Black Sheep, White Sheep – Easter is just a few weeks away and I had planned on putting them into the kid’s baskets!
I decided to start with what I think will be the hardest part (and definitely the messiest) – the ‘woolen’ jackets. For this part of the sheep, I purchased a Super Plush Minky which is extremely soft, but sheds like mad. To control some of the mess, I had a procedure in place: cut the fabric, shake off any fluff immediately into trash, and serge (zigzaging would work too) all the raw edges. I think this will help control the sheding while sewing plus will finish off the edges on the inside since the jackets are removable.

One more thing about these jackets – I cut the fur with the nap going up. Yup, I went against the grain! I think this helps give them a more of a ‘woolen’ look

Kai’s Easton’s Shirt

After putting aside the Kai’s shirt project for several days, I came back to it, ready to shave off several inches on each side of the collar for the perfect fit. Thankfully, the rest of the shirt went together without a hitch (although I had a terrible time easing in the sleeves)! The real test, of course, is wrangling it onto Easton and seeing how it wears. My opinion? It’s a bit big. After looking back at the photograph included in the book, I noticed that it’s a bit loose on the model as well, so I’m guessing there’s a lot of ease with this pattern (Taylor thinks it looks like a doctor’s coat). Oh well, he’ll grow into it, eventually. Since the finished shirt is difficult to see on (it’s difficult to get an 11 month old to pose!), here it is laid out.

Kai’s Easton’s Shirt

The Arrival

They’re here! My Jalie patterns arrived mid week and I’ve been ‘planning’ ever since! In this round, I ordered 3 – the stretch jeans, faux wrap tops, and their hoodie pattern. I’m gearing up to start the jeans (I’m washing my denim as we speak) and think I have all my supplies ready to go.
For those that are interested, there is a Jeans Sew Along going on at Pattern Review. You don’t have to have the Jalie pattern to join, but there are a large number of us that are planning on testing this one out…. come join us!

Fashion Geek

Sometimes, there’s so much hype about a book, I’m willing to buy it – sight unseen. Most of the time, I haven’t been disappointed. However, every once in awhile, I wonder what all the fuss is about. Such is the case of Fashion Geek – a book that promised to give me light up shoes and more failed to deliver projects that made me go ‘wow’. Seriously, who is going to dress up like a lightening bug except for a 4 year old little girl? Come on, Diana, you were a contestant on Project Runway for goodness sake! I will give Diana credit – all the projects are very ‘do-able’, especially since I have no electronics experience, but I was disappointed there was very little (if any) sewing involved.
The bottom line: While there are cleaver ideas included in the book, there are some already out there that do it better. If you looking for some geeky electronic sewing, be sure to check out Switch Craft: Battery-Powered Crafts to Make and Sew instead. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

(Almost) Birthday Boy Shirt

I was very torn with what my next project should be – I have a long list of things I would like to sew up, but with Easton’s birthday coming up soon (April 23), I thought that I should make something for my future 1 year old. I decided on Kai’s shirt from Heather Ross’ Weekend Sewing and a Baby Nay Nay sailboat print from “>The Fabric Fairy.
I traced off the 12 month size from the pattern in the book, cut the material, and set to work. This is about as far as I got:

I hit a snag when I started attaching the collar to the shirt…. it’s too big (by almost 4 inches). I checked the Weekender website to see if there was an update to this pattern, etc., but I never saw anything. I sent in an email with my problem, but have decided to set it aside for the day before I resize the collar.

Linky Thursday

Win a copy of Summer Rayne’s book, Style Naturally.
Refashion a clock to coordinate with your room.
As much as I dislike spring cleaning, making a few of these dust mitts may make it better. [link via Craft]
thelongthread is giving away a fat quarter bundle
Hand out your business cards in style when you flash your own business card holder. Here’s how.
Pattern Review is having an expert chat with Amy Butler this weekend…. I’m giddy! I’m hoping she discusses her new digital collection of home dec. projects.
I managed to hurt my shoulder playing with Easton, I think I may make one of these today and rest it up.
How to make a Flirty Flapper T-Shirt.
I’m adding another bag to my must sew list this week – The Angel Bag. [link via Craft Gossip]
Thinking about sewing up a swimsuit? Here’s some great tips to read over before you start.
Some spring cleaning may land you some crafty goodies on Sevi Designs’ giveaway. [link via Mary is Sewfast]

Tattoo Tee v2

Since my gray version of the tattoo tee was a bust and Taylor’s is still hasn’t faded (much), I decided to pick up my own white shirt and start again. This time I had FANTASTIC results:
I made it a point to press the iron into the design and I think it helped transfer the soft designs in the image background. I was so pleased with the way it looked, I embellished it with hotfix rhinestones!

Guess What I Made?

Yes, I’ve been at it again – I’ve made a new crop of box bags. I think I may have ‘perfected’ sewing these now and even finished off the inside raw edges which I couldn’t stand in my previous versions):

Two are gifts and the rest I’ve put into my Etsy shop (shameless plug). I honestly have no idea how they will sell – with the given economy I’m not sure if anyone is scooping up as many handmade items and if you do a search, there are quite a few box bags already for sale (my personal favorite are these Little Boxy Mini Pouches). Oh well, all I know is that I couldn’t own any more of these myself!

My Wild Woman Top

It’s been awhile since I made something that’s really fun to wear. But when I slipped on my finished ‘Wild Woman’ shirt, I felt like I need to put on my best socialite pose and find someplace to wear it to!
I sewed the rest of this top up according to the directions in Burda. However, when it came to putting in the hem, I made a slight change. To reduce some of the bulk, I shortened the jersey by 5/8″ of an inch. This allowed me to fold up the mesh over the jersey raw edge and stitch it in place.
Thanks to Ann for giving me the inspiration to make this top – I love the way it turned out!

Tattoo Tees

Spring break is almost over and Taylor and I never accomplished The Great Purge (i.e. cleaning out of the closets). We did, however, add to our clothing collections by purchasing some inexpensive shirts and using the image transfers from Tattoo Tees. My thoughts? Read on….
I took advantage of the fact everyone was sleeping and started my own shirt. I had already washed and dried the tees (no fabric softners) so the only thing I had left to do was select my image. I chose a gray shirt (I thought it had a vintage feel) and the tribal design. I thought I would place the image on the side of the shirt for a more ready to wear feel and use a coordinating print on the cap sleeve. The results? Somewhat disappointing – most of which I now realize are my own fault. First off, gray is a poor color choice for this project. I had assumed that since the image on the paper was a dark black that it would transfer similarly – it doesn’t, at least not on gray. Instead the design kind of got washed out. To top it off, I didn’t pin it enough and it moved ever so slightly so the entire design is smudged. To make matters worse, I wore the shirt the entire day and it started to fade – it faded even more after washing…. see for yourself:

I went ahead and worked on a shirt for Taylor. Instead of a gray tee, I used white (and pinned the heck out of the transfer)! Wow, what a difference it made! The image was noticeably darker and the more subtle colors showed up well. Her shirt faded somewhat, but it still looks good. In fact, I’m having a hard time getting her out of it. Here’s Taylor’s before and afters:

So, here’s what I learned from using the Tattoo Tees transfers:
Start with a light colored (not gray) shirt. The designs are made to give your tee a vintage feel and will start off with a soft look and fade slightly as you wear it so color choice is important.
Pin, pin, pin. The transfers in Tattoo Tees reminds me of the kind of “tattoos” you used to get on gum wrappers as a kid (where you wet your hand and stick the paper to your skin to get the image to come off) – if you barely move it, the image slides. The more you pin, the less likely you will have shifting and the crisper the lines on your finished design.
Protect your work surface (and the other side of your shirt!). There is some ink ‘leakage’ when you apply heat to your design.
The hotter the iron, the darker the transfer – so press, press, press!
If you’re going to put the image on the side of the shirt, offset it slightly to the front. Centering the design makes it so you can’t see the image on the front or the back very well!