Thursday, 2 October 2014

Under the Sea;) with Simplicity 1767

    Wow, October is here yet again! And you know what *that* means??? Ohhh yeah!! It's costume time!!:) Yay!! This year, not only do I get to make *myself* a costume;), I also got to make one for my little Isaac! Dan and I were out shopping at Costco last week and there were a few inexpensive costumes out for baby, but what fun would that be?;) Besides, I'm going as Ariel, so I thought it would be fun to do a theme! I considered making a crab costume, but Flounder won out:)

 I think Isaac makes a cute little Flounder:)

"My" Flounder:)
The "real" Flounder:)

    Soooo, I scoured the internet for ideas for Isaac's costume. Although mermaid costume tutorials  abound on the world-wide-web, there's next to nothing for Flounder! I did find a couple of costume images that I used as a guide:

....and this one which is actually my favourite one that I've seen. I couldn't find anything but the photo (no accompanying blog post:(. It was helpful as a reference though. If Isaac was younger, I probably would've made him a bunting costume like this.

So cute!

 The resulting costume, doesn't he look thrilled??:) Oh well, at least Sabastian does;). I actually purchased this Sabastian online, to go with our costumes:)

My review on PR here.

    I used a basic one-piece baby costume pattern, Simplicity 1767, and added fins on the arms, tail & head to resemble Flounder. This is a pretty easy pattern, especially if you follow it for one of the views listed. Even with my modifications, I was surprised that I finished it over the course of a few days (which is fast for me!:). I started it on Monday and posted photos on Facebook last night (Wednesday) !:)

    I'm going to make something of a disclaimer here: I probably made this process a whole lot more difficult than it needed to be. I've never sewn any type of clothing for a baby, certainly not a costume, so it was a lot of trial and error since I think I botched the sizing (yes, on such a simple pattern, I admit it!). This isn't a tutorial per say, but I'd like to share my process. There's not a whole lot out there online for a Flounder costume, so this might prove helpful to someone!:)


     I printed a picture of Flounder to use to help me get an idea of how to arrange the back markings. I simply cut strips of blue fleece on the fold. I was going to make a template, but I found it easier just to cut freehand. I trimmed the pieces as I felt necessary.

Isaac sleeping why mommy sews, what a good boy!:)

 I used steam a seam & a press cloth (using a low temperature, fleece and irons are not friends!) so the markings wouldn't shift while I sewed them (maybe I would have been fine with just pins but I just love my steam a seam!!;)

Used steam a seam to secure stripes on tail fin before stitching..

   So, I *should have left a section of the centre back seam open so I could have sewn the tail into the seam, but I forgot! I used an overcast stitch too, so rather than unpick all those stitches, I did this instead...

Here the tail fin is sewn to the back, right in the centre back seam. I used a piece of seam binding on the inside.

I pinned the tail "pieces" together and sewed around.

     Sorry, this isn't the best photo. I'm sewing Flounder's "mohawk" fin into the hood seam. I just winged it, making a bigger fin than necessary, planning to trim it down to size later. More on that a bit later...

    Here I used the middle section of Flounder's fin (drew & cut freehand) and put them together and traced to make the bigger light blue part. I thought it would help make it more symmetrical. The light blue fleece is cut on the fold. I extended the middle piece, intending to trim off the excess later.

Note: I should have used a fabric marker, as Crayola washable markers bled onto my hands & sewing machine. Washes off easily, just annoying!

 Arranging the fleece sections...

   Sewing around the middle section (starting and finishing on the "fold line" to secure:) There will be a little section of the dark blue piece that is free, will be trimmed later.

    I basted the front & back of the costume together
so I could both check the fit and "fin" placement:)
Isn't he sweet!!?:)

Checking fin placement;)

 I marked the inside of the fin, where I wanted the
line of stitching to be, with chalk.

   I didn't take a photo, but I pinned the two flaps together and sewed around the fin to make it on piece.

  Dark blue middle part on the underside is trimmed away since I only wanted it to show on the upside:)

    Here I drew freehand, on Flounder's mohawk fin, and sewed along the marks, a couple of times, and trimmed the excess carefully...

 Ta da!!:)

  I used a smaller seam allowance to join the front and back pieces, as I was concerned it might be too small. I'll probably sew around it again closer to Halloween.

The back, with Sabastian:)

The front, also with Sabastian;)

Add caption

A couple more photos...

      So there you have it! In hindsight, it would have been simpler to construct all the fins and then sew them into the seams, but oh well, I was making this up as I went & it turned out ok I think. :)

Next up: Ariel! ;)

Monday, 28 July 2014

NewLook 6936

 "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."  Ephesians 4:30-32

       Hello sewing (and non-sewing;) friends!:) I finally have another project to share, New Look 6936 in view A. Although this pattern is rated "Easy, 2 hour", it took me a lot longer than 2 hours (oh, I wish I could crank out projects that quickly!) Maybe if I didn't have a now 2 month-old to take care of I may have sewn it faster. My hat (if I had one) goes off to any and every mom out there who is juggling parenthood with hobbies (and all the other stuff we do on a daily basis:)

        Isaac is sleeping peacefully at the moment, so yay, I can do some blogging along with coffee-sipping (household stuff can wait!:)

Mommy & me:)

       The fabric I used is a beautiful rayon jersey from, where else, Fabricville!:) I love their end-of-season sales where you buy 1 meter and get 2 free! I almost always get 1 & 1/2 of two different fabrics and therefore have material for two different projects! Yay:)

Pattern photo.

       Here to the right is New Look 6936. I've sewn it once before in view D, pictured below and reviewed here. My current dress reviewed here.

New Look 6936, summer of 2012:)

      I didn't take photos of the construction part because, well, this is such a simple pattern that it isn't really necessary. I suppose the only thing that may have been helpful was the sewing of the neck binding (I *loathe* narrow hems at the neckline, especially when the fabric is lightweight, as is this rayon). I just winged it, and cut a strip of fabric for the neck (like a t-shirt binding), and ended up with less than a 1/2" widthwise neck binding. I found that any wider looked a bit too sporty (IMO) for the this print of fabric. I also used Steam A Seam lite 2 to the sleeve and skirt hem to help avoid unsightly puckers.

More photos...:)

        So there you have it! If you're looking for an easy-to-sew summer dress, this is one pattern that is worth trying. Bye for now & happy sewing!:)

Monday, 7 July 2014

When life gives you lemons...

... or in my case, when you mess up what was supposed to be a simple sewing project, and in the end, it turns out better than you thought, that's what I call "lemonade";)

       Let me elaborate:) So I had this great rayon/polyester/spandex tropical print fabric from, where else, Fabricville. It was a great deal @ $5/metre. I've had somewhat of an obsession with Hawaiian/Tropical prints lately and was *dying* to make some kind of summery item with it. I was torn between making a skirt or a dress. In the end I decided to make a mermaid style skirt from a tutorial on youtube. I was in somewhat of a rush to make something quick (my last project, a Minoru jacket took a few weeks to do). I was in too much of a panic, and botched it up. Also, I don't think my fabric was stable enough for the intended project. Very sad face:(

     I vented to Dan and he, being the encouraging husband he is, suggested that maybe it would turn out better than I thought. I was tempted to trash my skirt, but decided to sleep on it. Next morning, I googled "easy summer dress to sew", for some ideas for another project and stumbled across this, the "Two Become One Dress"!.
My inspiration!:)
This lovely lady provides a free pattern, and though I hadn't used her free pattern (yet!) it was the perfect fix to my botched-up skirt! I had a black maternity shirt that was damaged, so I cut it across the midriff and sewed it to the skirt at the waistband seam and voila, I then had my new favourite summer dress!! I can't tell you how much I adore this dress! I want more!:) I wore it to church yesterday and received many wonderful compliments:)

      This is not so much a tutorial, but this is what I did to make this cute summer dress: :)
First of all, I laid my fabric out (folded), and cut around a pair of jeans with the knees folded up to make a pencil skirt of sorts. For the waistband, I winged it, and made a waistband that's the casual fold-over style you find on some workout pants.


My soon-to-be-hacked maternity top!

    I had to cut and re-sew the side seams to fit my non-pregnant midsection:) and then try on the top with the skirt to figure out where to cut my top before sewing it to the waist seam. Again, just winging it!:)

    Here, hopefully you can see that the waistband remains free. Not perfect, I have to adjust the waistband "gathers" whenever I put it on, but hey it works! The top is now sewn to the waistband/skirt seam and is ready to wear!:)

I didn't even hem the skirt! I just cut it across with my beloved rotary cutter and I was good to go!:) I like the longer length, I think it's rather sophisticated;)

      Here are some more photos....

And for your viewing pleasure!:)


Thanks for reading and happy sewing!:D

Friday, 27 June 2014

My Minoru:)

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion, and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ."

2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Hello all! It's nice to be back to sewing and blogging! If you recall, my last project was a maternity dress back in April!:) Since then, my husband and I have welcomed our first baby, Isaac, into the world:) Here he is:

    Isn't he cute?:) I took this photo in the midst of my latest sewing project, the very popular Minoru jacket of Sewaholic Patterns! Just Google "Minoru jacket" and tons of versions come up. There are 50 plus versions reviewed on PR alone (including mine;).

     I purchased this pattern on my birthday, back in March. I was 7 months pregnant at the time, so I knew I would be holding off til at least June before I tackled it. My mom was up for the first little while after Isaac was born, and on the day she was ready to leave I noticed that was having an "Outerwear" contest. It was just the motivation I needed to start on my jacket! It was challenging, to say the least, taking on my first jacket pattern while caring for a newborn, but I'm glad I did. It's very rewarding to have sewn a project like this, and it's definitely been a boost to my confidence:) My review on P.R.

     I followed the Sew-Along on the Sewaholic website, found here. Tasia, creator of Sewaholic Patterns, does an amazing job walking through each step of construction. Without the Sew-Along, I probably wouldn't have purchased the pattern (at least not at my current skill level). She makes the process very do-able:)

     I'm not including many photos of the process, since I think the Sew-Along is pretty thorough, but I wanted to add a few things that may be of help to anyone making their own jacket.
 I think I read every single blog post regarding the Minoru jacket (some numerous times!).

      The fabric is a Berry-coloured water-resistant cotton/polyester blend from Fabricville. I needed a rain jacket in the worst way! I had my heart set on yellow, but couldn't find any fabric suitable, so berry it was!

      It was helpful to read about other's experiences and get valuable tips. One thing I did, was line the hood, and make it 3 piece, by adding a panel  down the centre for more shaping. Here is a great post to show you how it's done:). I also cut the hood in a size 0, since the hood is pretty large. Also, I reduced the collar by 1" and graded to a size 0 in the hips (8 on top), according to the measurement chart (I'm not pear-shaped and Sewaholic is geared toward pear-shapes). I also reduced the placket accordingly. I also raised the waist elastic 1" and extended the elastic 1 & 1/2" on both sides for more shaping.

      I used Wash-A-Way Wonder tape when installing the zipper into the collar and marked the zipper to help line up the window (and on the plackets). I ended up not using any pins, far easier with the Wonder tape!:) I used it on the placket as well.

     The completed lining before sewing it to the main jacket. I used a cotton/polyester blend in a floral print to line the body of the jacket, and bemberg for sleeves.

So, my jacket almost got ruined near the end. My iron did this:

*Sigh* My iron got all nasty on me (I had it on the same temperature the whole time but it scorched  the inside hem!), that iron is now in the dumpster! I guess it was near its death. I had to go out and buy a new iron last night, but was careful to use a press-cloth. Thankfully the scorch mark is on the inside hem, but it did damage the fabric, and it shows a bit on the other side (though not very noticeable unless you look close:( I shed a few tears last night! At least its still wearable, but it was rather heartbreaking, spending so much time on something, almost finishing, then it gets damaged:(

         My hem is a little wonky, but well, it'll have to do! Hopefully most people don't look too close! Here are some more photos. Til next time!:)

The hood:)