Tuesday, June 25, 2013

It's such a nice pink knit fabric......for an "Old Sheet"... hmmm...

Yep....you guessed it.  I couldn't pass the opportunity up.  It was just right after I finished sewing Stephanie's black pant's out of the Connie Crawford Pattern, B5473.  We had a older set of pink knit sheets and she asked if I could make a pair of pajama bottoms out of them for her.  I hadn't even put the pattern away yet, so it was like, perfect timing.

These are Stephanie's, Strawberry and Pink Knit Pajama bottoms. The fabric was perfect to make them with and I just had to alter the pattern a smidge.  I went with the 1/2" elastic in the waist.

To start with, I took out all of the elastic around the edge of the sheet.  It was in perfect condition and there was lot's of it.  On the flip side, it took about, 45 minutes to take out.  It gave me more than enough for her pajama bottoms, plus a good bit extra.  You never know on that rainy day when you may need it for a specific pattern and you just don't want to go out in the weather.

I ended up cutting the sheet in individual sections for each pattern piece since I knew they were going to fit fine.  It made it easier to handle the fabric.

It seems, it's becoming my signature trade mark to have everything labeled once I cut it out.

Used my Pinking Shears on all my seams, I think it really makes the edges turn out nice on knits.  I used a normal zigzag stitch on all the leg seams, but I set the stitch length to 1.  To me, it just seems to be a better stich for knits and I don't run into any extra wrinkling of the fabric.

The very last touch I added was a little strawberry applique.  I figured hey, she can be just like that cartoon, long ago, that used to be on Saturday mornings.  I think it was "Strawberry Shortcake".  She had strawberries on all her clothes.

So that is how I turned a old set of pink sheets into one of Stephanie's favorite pajama bottoms.  I guess you could say, she loves them so much she's, tickled pink.  Ouch...did I really just say that.

That is it, the end of my post for today.  We just have one thing left.....that is the big "Shout Out".

Today that is going to....Taylor of Taylor Tailor I just cannot say enough about this young man.  He truly is a inspiration.  His mission is to sew all of his own clothing, and his specialty is in denim.  He also has his own store attached to his blog for everything you may need for making your own jeans.  Pretty cool.  So you just have to check it out.

Oops....One more thing.  At the end of each post I'm also going to give a "Two Thumbs Up" for sewing related links that I have used to order product from that I think are "Outstanding" and which I will be adding to my link list.  Last week that was Fashion Patterns by Coni.

Today the "Two Thumbs Up" goes to Dana Marie of Dana Marie Design Co. Her patterns are very innovative and most range from small all the way up to 5X.  Thank you Dana!

Until next time....Happy Sewing!    Seam Ripper Joe

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

and the "Golden Thimble Award" goes to....Connie Crawford for trailblazing in "Plus Size Patterns"

Part of the reason I started sewing, was to help my wife supplement her wardrobe.  It just seemed like every time she went shopping for clothes, the stores never had a very large selection of plus size clothes for women.  Which I personally find very odd, since a large percent of women, are plus size.

So it shouldn't have surprised me much when I found, allot of the sewing pattern companies seemed to follow suit.  They had some plus size patterns, but not a whole lot.  That is, until I ran into a site called, Fashion Patterns by Coni at www.fashionpatterns.com (some of her patterns are also on the Butterick site as well) let me just tell you, she's awesome.  Most all of her patterns range from small all the way up to 6X.  Thank You Connie!  Your site was like finding a golden ticket.

This is the first pattern I started on from Connie - B5473, a vest and pant set for Stephanie.  The instruction are laid out very well and are easy to follow.

The instructions called for Linen or Cotton Blends, so we had to break the rules a little bit, oops.  Stephanie asked if the set could be made out of a knit, so I picked out a very nice Black Point Roma knit from Joann Fabrics.

Once again, you have to love that Swedish Tracing Paper, it makes life so much easier.

I'm not sure if anyone else does this, and it isn't visible in this photo, but if you separated those two pant sections, you would see a little tag on each piece saying "Front Side Left" and "Front Side Right".  This material was sooooo close in color on either side, I had to label them.  You could only tell the difference in the Sun Light.  Also just a reminder....those Clover Wonder Clips are awesome.....they make life so much easier, specially with knit fabric, so if you have a chance to get em...grab em....

I can't help it, I have to put a pink bow in the back of all of Stephanie's pants I make her, it's just my little way of telling her "Love You".......and also, Honey this is the backside of your pants.

The pants turned out really nice, and the fit was perfect.  So far the knit fabric wasn't a problem at all and Stephanie loved them.

This is it.  The end of my post for today.  We just have one thing left....and that's the big "Shout Out".

Today that goes to Parnuuna Kristiane Thornwood of Be My Goth.  Her main theme is Gothic, but she loves all types of fashion from Punk, Rockabily, Lolita, Indie, Victorian and even Hipster.  She's an expert sewist and has some awesome sewing tutorials along with patterns she draft's herself.  So if your looking for a interesting new site, you just have to give her a visit, she never disappoints.

Until next time....Happy Sewing!  Seam Ripper Joe

Monday, June 10, 2013

My "Found Em's", "Wanted Em's" & "Bought Em's" or just plain "These are great extras to have"

I was going to go into the Connie Crawford - B5473, vest and pants set I made for Stephanie (my bride) this post, but instead I think I want to talk about some of the extra sewing helpers and tidbits I picked up along my sewing journey that has enhanced my experience and that has brought me thus far.

I have several other sewing books and they are very good, but you just have to love the "Reader's Digest - Complete Guide to Sewing", this copy is the sixth printing, 1979 edition and it's just packed full of good solid information.  What made it even better was that I found it at a thrift store and picked it up for only $2.00.

Clover Wonder Clips - I found these on amazon.com and I just had to have them.  I still pin my pattern down before I cut it out, but for piecing your garment together these are awesome. 

When I first started out my Janome came with this "itsy bitsy" seam ripper, and I use my seam ripper allot....so I bought a large one, the extra size makes taking seams apart so much easier.

These are definitely a must have, at least to me.  My Taylor's Ham and two Seam Rolls.  I've used them on every garment I've put together so far.  The funny thing is that I found them at goodwill and the ladies there had no idea what they were.

My Reynolds Freezer Wrap.  I know I have mentioned using this before and if you haven't tried it, you really just have to, especially for smaller pieces like pockets.  Just draw your pattern right onto the freezer paper and cut it out.  It's pretty transparent so you can line it up on your fabric really well.  Then just gently (with no steam) press it onto the fabric.  The wax makes it stick to the fabric without harming it in any way.  Cut your fabric around the pattern and then just peal it off.  You can use the same piece several times.

Everyone has to love Swedish Tracing Paper and if you don't, you've just never used it before.  This makes cutting into any pattern you've purchased absolutely obsolete.  Just lay this over your original pattern and trace it right onto the Swedish Tracing Paper and cut it out like its your original pattern.  Once you've cut it out, you can also sew it together (it is very durable) and try it on.  This paper is just to cool.  After that, just seam rip your stiches out and pin it to your fabric and your good to go.  It's worth every penny you spend on it.

My Cutting Mat, Rotary Cutter & Ruler make cutting smaller pieces of fabric so much easier.  I have though in the past cut much larger pieces out with it.  Like whole pants legs.  It's called, cut and slide.  Oops, I probably shouldn't have mentioned that.  I cant be the only one who does it though.

Finally, last but not least, are my Pinking Shears which every pair of Stephanie's pajama bottoms are glad I own.  I use them all the time and they come in very handy on knit fabric.

That is it for today.  The end of my post.....we just have one thing left....that's the big "Shout Out"

Today that goes to......OONABALLOONA from KALKATROONA she's at http://www.oonaballoona.com/ - Her blog will take you on a wild and crazy ride in her sewing adventures.  Each post takes you to a bright and vivid, color and fabric variation rollercoaster, that are visual delights.  She is a very talented sewist and a must have on any blog list.

Until next time....Happy Sewing!    Seam Ripper Joe

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

What can you get from "Old Jeans" try a "New Hat"

From time to time, when you are just, casually surfing the internet.  Do you ever run into that, little sewing project, you just have to try.  You know the type I'm talking about.  It should only take you a couple of hours, and you have everything you need for it anyway.  That's what happened to me.

I was on You Tube, watching some sewing tutorials, on the Whitney Sews Channel and she had one on a "Newsboy Hat".  After watching the tutorial on how it was made, she had a link to be able to download the pattern.  It was Pretty Cool, I just have to say.

So my "Bride" gave up a pair of her old jeans in exchange for a "New Hat" and the quest began.

I wish I would have taken a couple of extra pictures.  This jumped a couple of steps, but I'll try to explain.  I downloaded the pattern and transferred it onto "Reynolds Freezer Wrap".  On smaller sewing projects, copy your pattern with "Reynolds Freezer Wrap" and cut it out and just place it on your fabric and iron it with a warm iron with steam off.  Can I just tell you, it is so cool, no need for pinning or anything.  You just cut the fabric along your pattern and once you are done, you peel the paper rite off.  Awesome!  In this photo I am cutting pattern pieces of the inside of the hat.

I cut 6 blue jean pieces for the outside of the hat and 6 pieces of a tan cotton print for the inside, along with my brim pieces and the interfacing for the brim.

It sews up really nice, and Whitney's Sewing Tutorial really explains it so it is very easy to understand and make.  Thank You Whitney!

Sometimes you never know what new sewing project your going to embark on.  On that spring night, it was a new hat for my bride.

This is it.  The end of my post today.  We just have one thing left....the big "Shout Out".

Today that is going to Whitney at Whitney Sews.  She is always getting into some kind of "Creative Mischief" and you never know what she is going to come out with next.  She's a bunch of fun.  So you have to check her out.

That's it for today.  Leave a comment and tell me what you think.

Until next time..... Happy Sewing!  Seam Ripper Joe

Saturday, June 1, 2013

My very first pattern....Kwik Sew 1672 - Mens Boxer Shorts

So....with much deliberation between my sewing machine and I, we came up with the perfect first pattern to start on. 

One of the first things I was surprised about, was how very thin the pattern paper was.  I've read lots of articles, about people talking about, how thin the different pattern companies, pattern papers are, but until you experience it first hand, you can't really grasp the full meaning of what they meant.  (try to say that 10 times fast)

Next I made a posterboard copy in my size (since then I have found an awesome product called Swedish Tracing Paper, but we'll save that for another post).  Also by doing this I didn't have to cut the original pattern paper.  Which is good, incase I have to make the pattern larger next time.  "Win, Win, situation".

So here we go, I had the perfect white piece of fabric to make these Mr. Boxer's. The pattern was easy to lay out, just two pieces on a double fold.  I used pattern weights (at this time - coffee cups)  with my cutting matt and rotary cutter.  Great first pattern for anyone.  It sewed together very easily and the instructions are very clear. 

The only things I added are two buttons on the fly.  I always liked buttons, I think it gives them that certain touch of yesteryear.  Now with all this said, I was really shocked how very well they turned out, in fact so much so....I had to make another pair just to make sure it wasn't a fluke.

This time I dyed the same fabric brown (also a first, used Rit Dye) very easy. 

The final product was just as good as the first pair.  Hmmm.... I might actually be able to do this.  They were a bunch of fun to sew, and came together very easily.  Thank You Kwik Sew.

This is it.  The end of my post today.  We just have one thing left, the big "Shout Out"!

Today that goes to Colleen G. Lea at Fashion Sewing Blog.  She has absolutely excellent sewing tutorials and always makes it very easy for you to understand.  She is truly a professional and a great asset to the sewing world.  Thank you Colleen.

That's it for today.  Leave a comment and tell me what you think.

    Until next time....Happy Sewing!  Seam Ripper Joe