Posts Tagged ‘kids’

Bowling shirt and Skinny jeans tutorial two-fer!

I promised and here it is.  Seriously you will laugh at the ease of these two projects.

First things first, the bowling shirt. This could work for any size, kids or adult, boys or girls.  My example is a shirt I made for my son.  It’s the same skull fabric I used for his first shirt but it’s white skulls on a black background instead! hehe! Fabric choices are totally up to you but crisp cottons work great for this project.
One thing I want to say on the subject of boys clothing is think outside the box.  We get so caught up with images that we can’t see past them.  One thing I hear complaints about the most when it comes to sewing for boys, and I’ve made this complaint myself, is the lack of boys patterns both in fabrics and in sewing patterns.  I’ve found that a lot of the girls patterns I have for pants, shirts and shorts can easily be transferred to boys with little to no alterations.  The pattern I used for the bowling shirt here is a ‘girls’ pattern but honestly, it’s such a basic pattern they could have easily made this unisex if they had just used a photograph of a little boy AND a little girl, instead of two little girls.  Anyhow, next time you are out shopping for patterns and fabrics for your little man, try to remember that just because it’s a little girl pictured or the sewing sample in the store is ‘girly’ it doesn’t mean that it is just for the girls.

On to the tutorial.

Things you will need:

shirt pattern – you don’t want anything too fitted and it doesn’t have to have short sleeves, fancy yokes, pockets etc.  The more basic the better.  I used Simplicity 4978.
Main fabric – in the amounts indicated for the size you are making
Contrast fabric – this will depend also on the size you are making so read the tutorial completely and you should have a better understanding of the amount you will need.
interfacing – again, consult your pattern
buttons (4 to 6, I used 5 for this shirt)
scissors
imagination 😀

Start by choosing the size pattern you will make.  Last time I did a size 3 for my son.  It fit but just barely so I made a size 5 this time to give him some growing room.  I then decided to use red as the main fabric for his shirt and the black and white skull fabric as the contrast.
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I traced out the pattern pieces I needed onto waxed paper since I plan to use the pattern a few more times.  I cut the front, back and sleeves out of the main red fabric.  I cut the collar and pocket out of the contrast.  The thing that makes this a bowling shirt, for me anyhow, is adding a stripe of contrasting fabric down one side of the front.  In order to figure out how much fabric I need for this I measure from the highest point at the shoulder/neck point and down to the hem.  I cut a strip of contrast fabric that length (you can add an inch or two just to make sure) and I cut the width of it about 5cm (2.5 inches) plus 1cm (.25 inches) on either side to turn under.  Depending on the size of your shirt you can make this wider or narrower, it’s really one of those things that is up to you to decided what you think looks best.

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When cutting out your pieces, take note of the direction of the pattern in the fabric, if there is a pattern.  The skulls on my contrast fabric all go the same direction so when I cut the collar, I made sure that the skulls would be facing up when it’s attached to the shirt, same for the pocket.  Since this was a remnant piece I didn’t have control over the amount I got, so the skulls on my stripe actually go sideways.  Ideally, I would have bought enough fabric to cut the stripe so that the skulls were all going up.

Once the pieces are cut out, apply interfacing to your front facings and under-collar.  If you are doing long sleeves with a cuff, you will probably interface the cuff.  Follow the instructions on your pattern for this.  Next step is to add your pocket and stripe to the front pieces.  If you are doing a pocket and it’s not included in your pattern just cut a piece of paper into a square shape or whatever shape you want.  When you have something you like, add seam allowance and cut it out.  You can put your pocket on whatever side of the shirt you like, the stripe will go on the opposite side.

Next turn under 1cm (1/4 inch) of the long sides of the stripe piece to finish the edges.  Position it on the front of the shirt without the pocket and make sure that it is far enough away from the center front that it will not be covered by the buttons.  I could have put my just a little more to the side but it still looks ok.

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Pin everything in place and topstitch.  I used a contrasting red thread but you can use a matching thread if you like.

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And there you go!  Finish the shirt like the pattern instructs or however you might normally finish it if you are like me and don’t read the instructions.  🙂

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Now for the skinny jeans!  Again, this could apply to kids or adult, boys or girls and you can adapt the info to re-construct a pair of jeans/pants you already own.

Things I used for this:
Pant pattern (I used Burda 9626 but any basic pant pattern can work)
Tracing paper
Old pair of jeans (you can use fabric yardage too, just consult the pattern for the amounts you will need)
knee, calf and ankle measurements
scissors
calculator (or lots of paper to write out your math equations. 😀 )

I chose the pattern size that closest fit my daughters hip measurement.  I then measured her knee, calf and ankle and wrote those down so I wouldn’t forget.  I traced out the pattern pieces I needed using waxed paper.  Wax paper is cheap and perfect size for most patterns I need to trace but you can use any transparent paper you have around, I’ve used old patterns that I know I will never use again.

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Next I prepped my jeans.  I cut up the leg seams and crotch seam.  I was careful to cut out the zipper so that I could re-use it.  I also took off the back pockets to reuse.  I planned to reuse the waistband as well but the button wasn’t in good condition so i used the waistband off of another old pair of jeans I had.  I pressed each piece flat and then I prepped my pattern.

Here’s my math.  To determine the width I wanted around the knee I added 2.5cm (1 inch) to the measurement I took.  I then divided that number in half.  I measured across the knee of the pant pattern front and subtracted the knee measurement I had just determined.  I can’t remember my exact measurements but for example, if the knee measurement was 20 cm (8 inches) then I added 2.5cm (1 inch) to total 22.5cm (9inches) for the knee.  Half of that would be 11.25cm (4.5 inches).  If the front pant pattern knee measurement was 20cm (8 inches) then you would subtract 11.25cm (4.5inches) from 20cm (8 inches) to get the difference of the two knee measurements.  Therefore I would need to remove 8.75cm ( 3.5 inches) from the knee.  Divide that number in half to get the amount to take off equally on each side (4.5cm (1 3/4inches).  Do the same for the calf and ankle measurement.  Mark on the traced pattern the amounts you need to remove from the sides to get a close fit and redraw your side seams.  Do this for the pant back as well.Make sure to re-add seam allowance.  If the fit isn’t close enough when you are finished you can always take it in some more.

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I forgot to take pictures of the rest but basically what I did was laid out my front pattern on my jeans front matching the finished hem with the actual hem on the jeans.  I then did the same for the back.  I re-cut the pockets to fit the new smaller jeans and re-used the original jeans zipper.  I cut new belt loops and re-used the waistband from another pair of jeans.  I cut it to the length of the waist of the jeans, keeping the original button and making a new button hole.

Here’s the finished pair (these are a size 5 for my daughter).

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Some thoughts on the skinny jeans:

-you may want to measure around the ball of the foot to make sure that the foot will fit through the ankle opening.

-I decided to distress the jeans a bit so I made use of a cheese grater, sandpaper and my scissors to create holes and worn spots.

– if you are wanting to make regular jeans into skinny jeans you can use the same math as above but subtract the difference in measurement directly from the jeans.  You can also put the jeans on inside out and pinch and pin out the excess.

-I had to add elastic to the back waist.  You can do this by cutting  slits in the inside waistband at the side-seams, making sure not to cut right through both layers of fabric.  Insert a piece of elastic and secure with stitching at one side.  Draw up the elastic to the whatever you need and secure the other side. tuck in the elastic ends and whipstitch the openings closed.  See my post about cut offs for the little lady to see pictures of this.

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Rockabilly baby- Boy stuff!! Tute to follow shortly

You will have to forgive me for my absence.  In addition to being on vacation I’ve been working on helping organize a fundraiser for a project I’ve been part of for the past 2+ years.

Our fundraiser is a burlesque show so as well as recruiting performers and getting ready for the big day, we’ve had some wonderful press and it’s been a whirlwind of interviews and photos etc.  I’ll be glad when it’s over and I’m sure that all our hard work will pay off.  You can see more about this project and the fundraiser on our myspace page.  www.myspace.com/londonpinups (please leave any comments on the myspace page. thanks! )

I really wanted to do a tutorial related to the burlesque theme since it’s what has been on my mind but as time is slipping away, that will have to wait for another day (valentines day perhaps?)  And now that I only have a couple of days left before the big day on Saturday, a tutorial is just out of the question.  So I’m giving you a bit of  a teaser with the promise of a tutorial very soon.

We have been lucky enough to secure a very talented rockabilly band for the fundraiser.  Burnin’ Ethyl out of Burlington ON will be joining us Saturday night.  I  personally love the rockabilly look, and especially on guys.  And one thing I always fall short on is making cool clothes for my boy.  So in the spirit of rockabilly and cool clothes for boys, I created a bowling shirt just for the little man.

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If you look really closely at the stripe, collar and pocket, those are teeny tiny skulls.  😀 I love it and so does he which makes me even happier.

Remember Grade 9 Math? (a quick refresher and tute)

Me neither.  So when I decided to make hats for the kids I found myself pondering the mystery of pi.

Tools for this project:

a calculator or you can be brave and do this on paper
marking pencil
ruler
paper
old pair of jeans and/or some fabric scraps (you need about .5 meter of two different fabrics, one for the outside of the hat and one for the lining)
scissors (both paper and fabric)

First things first, measure the head of the person you are making the hat for.  I was making one for my son and one for my daughter.  Their heads both measured 20″ (50cm).

Write that number down for reference.  Next, using your calculator (or your significantly superior brain if you are doing this on paper) and divide that number by 3.14 (pi).  This will give you the diameter of the circle for the top of the crown of your hat.  I remeasured my circle circumference just to check and it was pretty close, but I suggest remeasuring before you continue to make your patter pieces just to make sure.

To make the circle for the crown top, I took my piece of paper and marked a dot in the middle, this is the middle of my circle.  If you happen to still have your old geometry set from high school (or may be you kids have one) you can use the compass to draw your circle.  If you don’t, just use your ruler, place ‘0’ on the dot and keep moving it around to create your circle.  Don’t forget to divide your diameter in half so you get the radius, otherwise you will make the circle too big.

Here’s my math:  20″ divided by 3.14 equals 6 3/8″ diameter (radius = 3 1/8), or 50cm divided by 3.14 equals 16cm diameter (radius = 8cm).

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I added about 1/2″(1 cm) seam allowance.

Next I made the pattern for the crown.  The length is going to equal the circumferance of your circle and the width can be whatever you want it to be.  My measurements worked out to this: length equals 20″ plus 1″ seam allowance (50cm plus 2cm seam allowance).  For the width I measured 3″ (7.5cm).

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For the brim I cheated a little to figure out the measurment.  I have a chart in my college drafting book to help figure out meausrments for circles.  Here’s a little exerpt that should help you with figureing your own measurements. This is in inches.  I’ll explain converting inches to centimeters at the end of the post.

distance covered          1/4 circle          1/2 circle          3/4 circle          full circle
18                                         11 1/2                 5 3/4                  3 3/4                   2 7/8

19                                         12 1/8                6 1/8                    4 1/8                   3

20                                        12 3/4                6 3/8                   4 1/4                    3 1/8

21                                        13 3/8                 6 5/8                   4 1/2                    3 3/8

22                                        14                         7                            4 5/8                   3 1/2

23                                        14 5/8                 7 1/4                    4 7/8                  3 5/8

24                                        15 1/4                 7 5/8                   5 1/8                    3 3/4

25                                       15 7/8                 7 7/8                    5 1/4                   3 7/8

So I’m sure you are now wondering how the heck to use this chart.  Get a large piece of paper and mark the center of one edge.  I used the 1/2 circle since I was aiming for a not too floppy brim.  In the first column for distance covered I looked for the measurment that matched the circumference of the hat crown (20″) and then looked at the 1/2 circle measurement since I didn’t want a brim that was too floppy but not too straight.  The radius for the inside of my brim would then be 6 3/8 inches.  On the paper, using the mark you made as the center point, use your compass or ruler to measure the radius.  You should have drawn a half circle.  This is the inside of your brim and should match the circumference of the crown.  Don’t forget to draw in 1/2 inch (1cm) seam allowances.

Next I decided how wide I wanted my brim and marked down another 3 inches from the inside of the brim.  Again, dont forget to add seam allowance.

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So you should have the three pattern pieces needed to make the hat.  I cut out two sets of each pattern piece, for each hat.  The first set I cut from an old pair of jeans for the outside of the hat.  The second set I cut from a scrap of cotton fabric for the lining of the hat.

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Next I put the brim pieces together.  Fold your brim in half, right sides together and stitch across the end.  Do this to the brim lining piece as well.  Press the seam allowance open or to one side.

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Place your brim and brim lining together, right sides, and stitch around the outer edge.  Clip the seam allowance, turn right sides out and press.

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I topstitched around the edge after pressing.

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Next I took the crown piece and folded it in half, right sides together and stitched the ends.  I pressed the seam allowance to one side. Do this with the crown lining as well.

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I marked the crown in quarters using pins and marked the crown top in quarters as well.  I then pinned the crown to the crown top, matching the markings.  I stitched the two pieces together and then did the same with the lining pieces.

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You can clip if you want, I didn’t find it necessary though and I just pressed the seam allowance down.

Mark the crown in quarters again and mark the inside brim edge in quarters.  Put the two pieces together and stitch around.  I trimmed the seam allowance to even it up but you don’t have to do this.

Next I wanted to put the lining on in a way that reduced the amount of hand stitching I might have to do.  So I marked the crown lining in quarters and marked the inside of the hat in quarters again.  I put the right sides together and pinned it at the markings.  The hat should be completely inside the crown lining.  I stitched around the edge and left an opening so I could turn it out.  After pressing I was going to hand stitch but then I got an idea that would eliminate all hand sewing. 🙂

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I turned in the seam allowance on the opening and pinned it closed.  I then edge stitched around this seam line from the outside.  This closed the hole in the lining, keeps the lining from flipping out and looks nice.  yay!

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Finished hat!

Some thoughts on this project:

I might consider making the crown a little wider, maybe 4 inches.

You can do decorative stitching on the brim, add eyelets for vent holes, put pockets etc.  This is such a basic hat.

If you want a floppier brim, use the measurment for the 3/4 or full circle and you can make the brim wider too.

If you are using a lighter weight fabric for your hat, you may want to consider using a stiff interfacing to give it some body.

How to convert inches to centimeters.

Basically 1 inch equal 2.5 centimeters.  So to convert from inches to centimeters, simply multiply by 2.5.  To convert from centimeters to inches, divide by 2.5.  simple.  When dealing with fractions for inches  you simply divide the top number by the bottom one but here are the decimals to make things easier.

1/8″ = .125,   1/4 = .25,   3/8 = .375,   1/2 = .5,   5/8 = .625,   3/4 = .75,   7/8 = .875

T-shirt sleeves into shorts and a t-shirt scarf, mini tute

A few weeks ago I agreed to do a pay-it-forward gift exchange.   A friend had posted a note on their facebook profile that the first five people to leave a comment would receive something handmade by her.  The deal was there was no set deadline, but it would be within the year, no set value and no notification of when or what was being sent.  It could be something crafted, it could be a box of cookies or a full on meal.  The only stipulation was if you left a comment that you had to re-post the note on your profile and agree to do the same for the first 5 people who commented and so on.

I really didn’t know what to make and then I came across a tutorial on This Old Dress.  I didn’t want to buy anything new to make my PIF’s so I dug in my sewing closet (yes I actually have to dig in there) and pulled out two t-shirts to use.  The original tute shows how to decorate the fabric with fabric paints to create more interest but I didn’t have the time or motivation (or paint for that matter) to do that so I chose a navy blue and light blue tshirt and figured the two together would make it interesting enough.

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For this project you need one or two tshirts, the bigger the better, depending on how full you want your neck lush to be.  You can use tshirt fabric for this too, just sew up two rectangles with a zigzag stitch to create a tube.

Lay out your tshirts flat.  cut off the hem and cut off the body portion just at the underarm point.

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Set aside the top portions of the shirts for the next tutorial and hang on to the bottom hem pieces.  Cut the two body portions of your t-shirt into horizontal strips so that you have loops.  I cut mine about 1″ (2.5cm) wide.  Next come the easy part, take each loop and give it a good stretch.  The fabric should curl up and almost double in length.  Once you have stretched all your loops you will want to tie them together.  Hold all the loops in one hand and wrap one of your hem pieces around the bunch and tie a knot.  And that’s it!   fun, super soft, versatile scarf.

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Some thoughts on this project:

The bigger your t-shirt, the longer your loops will be, the more you can do with your scarf.

This will work best with cotton t-shirts (or cotton knit fabric from the fabric store) as it will stretch out and stay stretched out.  Any amount of spandex/lycra in the fabric will simply cause it to shrink back up to its original size.

Experiment with painting and dying your t-shirts to create a little interest in the finished product but do this before cutting your t-shirt in to strips.

If you sewed a piece of fabric into a loop for this project, be sure to wrap your hem piece (or extra strip of fabric) around the seamed area to cover it as it doesn’t look the nicest.

Now that you have finished your fun scarf and are looking pretty trendy right now, what do you do with the leftovers?

You can cut the sleeves and upper body portion of your shirt into strips and make some bracelets or whatever but if you have a toddler hanging around your house (or maybe one or two hanging out at your friends or family’s houses) make a pair of one of a kind shorts!

For this project I used the sleeves from the two t-shirts I make my tshirt scarf out of.  I also used a pair of my son’s shorts as a guide.

I used two sets of sleeves for this as I felt that one set would be a bit too short.  it really depends on the length of the sleeves of your tshirt so use your own judgement.

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I laid a light blue sleeve on top of the dark blue sleeve and used the ready-made shorts as a guide for length.  I then trimmed off the excess fabric from the dark blue sleeve making sure to leave it long enough to attach to the hem of the light blue sleeve.

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I then tucked the dark blue sleeve into the light blue one, lining up the cut edge with the edge of the hem inside the light blue sleeve.  Then I stitched over the hem stitch line of the light blue sleeve, catching the dark blue one on the inside, stretching lightly as I went.

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Next I used the ready-made shorts as a guide for cutting the crotch of the new shorts.  Lay the sleeve flat with the underarm seam as the new inseam of the shorts.  Cut the crotch shape.  It doesn’t have to be exact and the front doesn’t have to be different from the back since these are knit shorts.

Sew the crotch seam.

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To finish the waist I cut a strip of fabric from the leftover upper portion of the light blue tshirt.  I made it two times the width of my elastic plus seam allowance (approx. 2.5″ since I was using a 1″ elastic.) and the same length as the waist of the shorts.  I cut a piece of elastic to fit my son’s waist and stitched the ends together to form a loop.  I stitched the strip of fabric together to form a loop and folded it over the elastic.  I then stitched the encased elastic to the shorts making sure to stitch only through the fabric and not the elastic.

And then just trim the threads and put on your favourite toddler!

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Some thoughts on this project:

if the sleeves are long enough you don’t need to double them up.

I realized as I was adding the photo’s that I cut the crotch before I added the other sleeve to add length.  There really is no right or wrong way to do this, it’s all about getting the finished product. lol!

You may want to wash the face of the toddler you give your shorts to before taking their picture.

Epic Shoe Fail! Update.

So you may have seen my post previously where I attempted to fix my daughters shoes.  If you didn’t, here’s the original post.

Long story short, my solution for the original problem turned into it’s own problem.  The first three or four rows of sequins had torn off within the week and the shoes were looking mighty disheveled.  I’m not sure if there was anything I could have done to prevent this.  I’m thinking more glue would probably have done it but it’s hard to say.

At this point, I’m willing to say this may not be the best idea for fixing the shoes of this rough and tumble girly girl.

So I attempted to fix the shoes yet again.  I peeled off the remaining sequins, which came off very easily off one shoe but gave me some trouble on the other.

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I decided to try putting fabric on the shoe this time so I used some scraps of plaid taffetta I had leftover from my wedding dress project.

I used modge podge in the hopes that it would both adhere the fabric to the shoe and provide a protective coating.  I first made a template of the shape I needed to cut from the fabric using a sheet of paper towel.  It was all I had but figured it was flexible enough and I didn’t really need to keep the pattern.  I then cut out the fabric to put on the toe.

Next I put a thick layer of modge podge on the shoe and placed the fabric over top.  I made sure to smooth the fabric as much as possible and then put on two or three coats of modge podge, allowing it to dry between layers.

In order to make the edges look more finished I added a strip of ribbon on the sides and around the sole of the shoe.  I’m still debating about putting a bow on them.

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She insisted on wearing them to school this morning and I can tell already that I need to add more glue to the fabric. I wouldn’t be surprised if she has some of it peeled off by the time I pick her up from school today.

Then again, perhaps I should just fork out another 15 bucks and buy her a new pair.  😀

**Some thoughts now that the shoes have been worn for a day.

A stronger glue is needed to bond the fabric to the shoe and a flexible, yet durable finish is needed.  I think a few more coats of modge podge might have worked but I think it’s still too stiff when dry.  The coating that I put on the shoes cracked where the shoe bends and by the scuff marks on the toes I would say within a week or so of wearing every day they would be torn through.

Final thought, and I think I have mentioned this previously, that the two idea’s I’ve presented for fixing these shoes would probably be just fine for occasional, short term wearing (kinda like how dress shoes are supposed to be worn).  Unfortunately for me, once my lovely daughter has decided on a favourite pair of shoes, regardless of whether they are dress or play shoes, she wears them until their is no shoe left to wear.  That said, these lovely little shoes didn’t have a chance, and are now resting in the garbage. I tried.  😦

Pirate Pants! (aka quick tute for kids ‘wrap’ pants with super easy applique)

I totally forgot to take pictures of the fabric layout when I first started.  Sometimes I just get ahead of myself.  🙂

My daughter has been invited to her first birthday party and its a pirate theme.  All the kids are supposed to dress up in pirate garb so I decided to make a pair of pants for her to wear.  I had made these before based on a tutorial I found on Blueprints blog, by VegBee.  I loved the look of wrap pants and they seemed like they would be uber cool for warm weather but the only downside was the idea of tying and untying the waist for potty breaks, not to mention this was not something she would be able to do on her own.  So when I read VegBee’s idea to make them elastic waisted (and to stitch the sides down to prevent bum peekaboo) I knew I had to make a pair.

She has long grown out of those first pair and I thought a new pair for this pirate birthday party would be perfect.  So here’s what I did to make her pirate pants:

Materials:
black broadcloth
elastic for waist
thread
scrap of iron on interfacing (white)

First step was to cut out the pant shape.  To determine how big I needed to cut each piece I borrowed a pair of her pants and measured the waist all the way around.  This was how wide I needed to cut each leg.  I then measured the leg, added about 1/2″ for hemming and 1 1/2″ for turning down a casing for the elastic.  This was how long I needed to cut each leg.

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I cut two rectangles this size and laid them on top of each other.  I then folded in half width wise.  I wanted a curved hem so I trimmed off the bottom corner into a slight curve (a sharp curve is harder to hem).    Next was to cut out the crotch shape.  To do this I used her pants again as a template.  I folded the pants in half and laid them on the fabric.  It’s best to use a pencil to mark the curve at this point.  The front and back can be the same shape, these are pretty easy fitting pants.

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Open out the rectangles and hem the sides and bottom.  There will be a ‘U’ shape cut out in the middle which is your crotch seam.  Lay the rectangles on top of each other and sew the crotch seam.  I did a french seam but serging or zigzagging the seam would work just fine too.

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This next step is kinda hard to explain so forgive me if it’s a bit unclear.  Once the crotch seam is sewn you need to stitch the sides together.  To do this match your center front and center back.  Overlap the sides by 2 to 4 inches (it’s really up to you) and baste them together at the waist.  Next stitch down the side along stitch line of the hem of the overlapping side.  You only need to stitch down a few inches, I think I did about 5 or 6 inches.

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Next I turned down the casing for the elastic.  You can either stitch a button hole at the center back or leave an opening to insert the elastic through.

After stitching the casing I applied my applique.  This was quick and super easy.  Take your scrap of white iron on interfacing.  Cut out a skull and bones.  Iron them on. Done!  I have my doubts this is a very durable applique but I figure it will probably last long enough for the party.

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Insert your elastic and the pants are done!  Cute, simple and fun to wear.

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Some thoughts on this project:

This is most suitable for light to medium weight fabrics.  If the fabric is too heavy, like a stiff denim, it will not gather at the waist properly and may cause the legs to be stiff and odd looking.

You can leave the corners of the sides of the legs as is instead of rounding them off.  Or you could scallop them or add trim, or use bias binding to finish them.

This looks cute in a print as well.

Recycle fabrics from old pants or skirts to make these, saves on buying fabric, but if you are making this for a little one anyhow, you probably only need slightly less than meter or yard.