Archive for January, 2015

Kids Clothes Week 2015, AKA trying to sew with others

One of my favorite things about a hobby like sewing is that I can do it anytime for five minutes here, for an entire afternoon, late at night, whenever. And I don’t need anyone to help.

So the success of online social sewing threw me for a loop. I don’t participate in tons of community sewing projects because they turn something I quietly enjoy at my own pace into another something I have to get done.

That rant aside, I’m going to try this Kids Clothes Week 2015 challenge or sew-a-long or whatever it is. Chock full of good ideas. Some giant sweatshirts and t-shirts and sweaters that’ll chop up well for Mr. Baby are taking up space in the sewing room. And maybe I’ll find some good ideas for little boys.

kid's clothes week

I guess I’m signed up here.


Feels so good to finish!

pants O pile finished!

That is a pile of real baby clothes on the left. Completed and ready to go. By the time you read this, Mr. Baby will already have worn the airplane pants and flannel-lined khakis.

The right side is another story, but one step at a time.

Wrangling pins and such

Right before this baby was born, a lady friend sent me a present. For me. Which was rare at that time. So very appreciated.


It’s a happy bunch of Peruvian ladies. For pins and such.

I just keep them by my machine. They’re good for morale.

For pins and such, I like a knife bar. It’s magnetic, so everything sticks. I almost mounted it on the wall, but realized while it’s free, I can use it like a wand to pick up spilled pins and needles and all.


Seam guide. Scissors sharpener. Machine foot. Washers for weighing.




Eking tiny khakis out of scraps — and rejiggering a pattern to make them fit

pants O khaki s2907 size 1/2 18 mos

This pattern is a hit. And I’ve been pulling all kinds of fabric from the stash for Mr. Baby.

This khaki twill came from a thrift store and made me a skirt muslin years ago.

It’s such nice stuff I had no business making a muslin from it. But I don’t wear khaki so I chopped it up. At any rate, there was not enough left to cut pants straight from the envelope.

With some finagling, though, I turned the scraps into baby pants. Simplicity 2907.

The backs from went from four pieces to two. I lengthened the bottoms of the upper back pieces by about six inches, essentially making shorts into long pants.

pants O khaki s2907 size 1/2 18 mos

The front uppers got cut out according to the directions. I eked out a two-inch piece on the bias for the knees, and then four-inch bottom fronts on grain. The bias cut wasn’t so much for design as just how the pieces fit.

pants O khaki s2907 size 1/2 18 mos

Stitched the legs together and carefully topstitched them as directed.

Zigzagged the seams inside. And added a red tag in the back of the waistband.

pants O khaki s2907 size 1/2 18 mos

No pockets this time. I just couldn’t make the pockets work, and didn’t want to mess around with any contrasting fabrics this time. Too classic.

pants O khaki s2907 size 1/2 18 mos

(The orange markings came right out in the wash.)

Baby pants with pockets: A Christmas rehearsal

Mr. Baby was going to wear shorts for Christmas. This was certain. Ideally, they’d have flat fronts.

Flat-front baby pants, though, are hard to come by. So by December, I turned to eBay for this out of print number, Simplicity 2907, thinking these might actually be flat front. Or maybe it’d be easy enough to make the fronts flat using the technique from the above freebie since these pants are made from four pieces instead of two.


I had to try them out. I pulled some red corduroy from the stash that came years ago from the Ravenswood Manor yard sale.

I love them.

pants O red cords w pockets s2907 size 1/2 18 mos

pants O red cords w pockets s2907 size 1/2 18 mos

I cut the pattern as directed. When the instructions wanted the tiny pocket edges hemmed, I decided to line them with some cotton scraps so they’d have smoother, cleaner lines.

pants O red cords w pockets s2907 size 1/2 18 mos

Lining in general was a smart move. But choosing black and white polka dots for the red pants was perhaps a misstep. Really cute print but shows more than I like.

pants O red cords w pockets s2907 size 1/2 18 mos

Carefully topstitched the pockets, the leg seams, the hems.

pants O red cords w pockets s2907 size 1/2 18 mos

pants O red cords w pockets s2907 size 1/2 18 mos

pants O red cords w pockets s2907 size 1/2 18 mos

My mister wonders if they’re too much for Mr. Baby to pull off? From what I know about this small person, there’s no way. Thinking to put them on him with a white printed shirt and some sweet black hightop Chuck Taylors.

How to… line baby pants with flannel

I bought a bunch of flannel that day on sale at the Jojo, thinking to make mostly bibs. But then the airplane pants got me thinking about more flannel pants and then about lining pants with one of these cutie flannel prints.

I wondered if I cut the same pattern pieces from fabric and flannel, could I sew each pair, and then put them together? Then if we folded the cuffs up, the flannel DJ print would show

But of course, Jojo didn’t cut the fabric straight so I ended up with less than the exact half yard I needed. And I already had cut the khaki fabric the right size from Simplicity 1564.


So I cut the flannel pieces lining the pattern pieces up at the bottom and leaving some length off the waistband. Turned the print upside down so the folded up cuffs would show the print right-side up.

Sewed the khaki pieces together entirely. Sewed the flannel pieces together, leaving a good 3″ opening in the inner leg seams. Sewing the cuffs together made a mess, so I had to pick them out. Sewed the two at the waist instead and pressed open, then lined up the crotches. Pressed the top, folded over the waist to form a casing for the elastic.

See? Here’s what it looks like:


A khaki waistband.

Normal khakis outside. Secret flannel lining inside. Carefully used the inner leg openings to stitch the cuffs together at the bottom, right sides together, then slip stitch the leg openings shut.

pants O khakis DJ flannel lining s5164 size L 18 mos


I didn’t topstitch the cuffs. Figured he’ll wear them first then we’ll see if that’s needed.

Airplane pants!

One of Mr. Baby’s first words was “airplane”. Followed quickly by “up.”

Anytime he heard one, he craned his neck upward: “Up.” And since we live vaguely under the O’Hare flight path, that happened a lot.

So when I saw airplane flannel on sale at the JoJo, I grabbed up a piece for him.


Pretty much fought with the cutting counter lady, who cut just under one yard when you accounted for crooked edges, hence the reason I won’t buy fabric there anymore.

Cut out the pants pattern for wovens, good old Simplicity 1564, in size L / 18 mos. Sewed totally according to the directions.

pants O flannel airplanes simplicity 1564 size L 18mos

Just a single adaptation at the end.

Stuck a snippet of white grosgrain ribbon in the back of the pants in the spot where you sew up the elastic opening.

pants O flannel airplanes simplicity 1564 size L 18mos

Such a nice tip I wish I could remember who to credit. But the point is it makes telling the front of baby pants from the back a snap.

I tried writing the size on the ribbon with a Sharpie but it ran right away.

Maybe I need a fabric marker, or some quilting ink for stamping?