Posts Tagged ‘ simplicity ’

Making lots of baby pants

I can’t say enough nice things about this Simplicity 2907 pants pattern. It’s unisex, it’s simple to make, pops onto the baby easily with an elastic waist, and its four-part design allows for cutting a variety of styles. And using the same pattern over and over means working faster without cutting corners.

First, though, I used photocopies of the pieces to make the pants a little bit skinnier.

pattern adjustments via photocopier

Took 1/2″ off each side; Mr. Baby is long and lean.

pattern adjustments via photocopier
Then I lined up the fabrics on the dining room table Sunday and traced and traced and traced. Each pair needed about 1/2 yard.

Untitled

Some of the pants will be four pieces, as written. Some have solid backs but two-piece topstitched fronts. Some I converted into two-piece by lengthening the fronts by about 5 1/2 inches on each side. The wovens will get pockets, the knits and fleeces will not.

Mass cutting followed. Then lots of pinning together. Then stacked according to thread color, which is how I’ll sew them, a color at a time.

These four-piece pants got cut from a UFO denim skirt from a time when I had zero understanding of grain.

pants from UFO denim skirt

Otherwise, why would I have used straight ribbon to finish the waistband? Hence the resulting mess.

pants from UFO denim skirt

Just enough left to get pockets.

pants from UFO denim skirt

We’ll see if these pockets actually work. It was a tight fit in the end.

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Take ratty silver sweater set; make silver shrug

christmas dress finished!

The little shrug used to be a Tommy Hilfiger sweater set in white and silver.

sweater silver

sweater silver tag

Who knows what I spilled on it?

sweater silver gross

Or how the undershirt turned pink?

sweater silver inside

I turned it into a shrug for the Christmas dress, using the little included pattern.

shrug pattern

The long sleeves, once cut off and opened up, provided the last of the fabric for the four piece little jacket.

shrug from sleeves

Little girl Christmas dress: the purple version

I give my niece a handmade Christmas dress every year.

christmas tulle pins

She was about to turn 6. She might be done, next year, with giant spinning dresses. Her mother and I seized the moment, picked a giant spinning pattern.

This year, after Christmas when I landed, the sweetness went to her room to put the thing on so I could see it. Added the little embroidered gloves I sent and a silver shrug too.

It was a long time coming together. My mother helped me pick the fabric during a fall visit here.

Underlined the taffeta from the stash.

christmas dress pieces

Added the back zipper I swear matched up originally.

christmas bodice back

Handstitched the lining into the bodice so the stitches wouldn’t show.

christmas bodice lining

Added little tulle flowers made from the silver underskirt on pins so she could move them around.

christmas dress finished

Packed the whole thing with a little sweater and gloves, each marked 1-2-3.

gloves embroidered

christmas dress finished!

Ack!

Melted my dress front, bodice.

s 2360 bodice melted

Iron too hot.

Maybe can be saved.

With lots of topstitching

s 2360 bodice melted topstitched

Can you tell?!?!?!

Just a muslin…

Time for a brooch.

Wearable muslin in progress

This dress falls under the manifesto. Simple, V-necked, cap sleeves, waist to it.

And it looks adorable. Also, its small pieces should let me cut it out from old giant silk dresses I find everywhere at the thrifts — the front and back alone would fit on old full sleeves.

So I started a version from some old red synthetic stuff I bought at Gaffney’s years and years ago. Discovered that I used said chunk for binding or something, so it’s missing a triangle.

dress s 2360 tight fit

Let me tell you that took some careful cutting including much repositioning and some profanity. I ended up folding the selvedges into the center fold to have enough fold to cut on.

dress s 2360 close fit

I’m making the short sleeved version, V-neck of course, without any fuss on it.

If the dress works on me, I have some ideas…

Voila: New dress from old dress

I love it.

dress front

And it jives with the manifesto. It’s something I will wear. Longs for tights.

Had I to do this refashion over again, I’d have taken more time to figure out the front closure to maintain it.

dress V-neck

But there was so little fabric left for facings, I ended up sewing it shut and doing a one-piece facing. My head will still jam through without much trouble because the V-neck is roomy enough.

I would not bother with a zipper. I’d also try a keyhole sort of closure on the back, too.

Zipped knits? Sounds like disaster.

I had to put the darts back. Tried some elastic shaping across the back but it was not to be.

How to add easy elastic ruching

I often lean on elastic ruching to get things to fit better, because my sewing sometimes takes shortcuts.

Like adding dimension to long t-shirts and tops. And taking up mermaid skirts without hemming. And sucking in the backs of dresses that don’t have much shaping.

It’s really easy to do. You need thin elastic or elastic cord, pins and a zigzag stitch on your sewing machine.

First, figure out where you want the ruching to go and how long you want it to be. You can do this by stretching the elastic out, or by measuring with a tape. Measure out elastic in that length, plus one inch so you’ll have half an inch on each end.

ruching measure

Pin the elastic at the top point, sticking pins in perpendicular to the elastic you’ll sew. Pin the elastic at the bottom end. Now match the middle of the elastic to the midpoint of the fabric and pin.

ruching pin middle

Keep stretching, matching the middles…

ruching stretch then pin more

…and pinning a few times until you’ve secured the elastic in place.

ruching keep pinning middles

ruching all pinned

Set your machine to a middle-wide zig zag. My machine uses a 1-5 scale; I use the #3 setting.

Drop in a few stitches, stretch the fabric and elastic and sew slowly until you’ve secured the whole piece.

ruching drop needle

ruching pull taut while stitching

Voila!

ruching stitched

ruching finished right side

(I tell you this, though, knowing I ended up putting darts in the back of my dress remake. Didn’t want to lose my waist.)