Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sewing for Boys

My 8 year old son always asks why I sew for Emily and not for him----well, the truth is, Jacob wears mainly jeans and t-shirts and there just isn't much need to sew for him. Jeans and t-shirts can be bought on sale quite inexpensively in Jacob's size, and (shh...this is the real truth) I just don't enjoy sewing for boys as much as I enjoy sewing for girls.

But what's a mom to do when her son asks with pleading brown eyes, "please, Mom, will you make me some clothes?" So I did. : )

I first made the denim shorts, and Jacob wore them for 2 days. By the end of the 2 days the shorts were filthy from playing in the rain and mud puddles. I finished the shirt yesterday---but---I am not going to let Jacob wear it until the shorts are clean and I can get a picture of him wearing the compete outfit, both shirt and shorts at the same time. It may not happen. Boys are different than girls. I'm not sure when I figured that one out.

The patterns are Ottobre (big surprise, right?), and both are from the newest 03/2009 issue. I'll add a link to the full reviews at Pattern Review when I get them written.

Oh, I have to tell you about the denim I used for the shorts. I found the denim at Wal-Mart for $2.00 per yard. On the bolt it was stiff, stiff, stiff, and I only bought 2 yards. After washing it 3 times (yes, 3 times on hot) the denim was soft, thick and oh-so-beautiful! This denim is the good stuff. The expensive stuff if bought elsewhere. You already know what I did--- I went back to Wal-Mart and bought the rest of the bolt. Sadly, only 3 yards remained. But 3 yards is 3 yards, and I'm happy.

Onward to the pictures:

"Jungle" T-Shirt, Design #24
Made from interlock knit with ribbing for the red contrast

Size 122 "Bert" Shorts, Design #23
Size 11 6
In real life, the shorts are dark blue, not black.

The waisband treatment is different than I've done before. I like the clean finish it gives on the inside.

Back Pockets: Lots of topstitching

When it's all said and done, sewing for boys really isn't too awful. I may do more for Jacob. He's so appreciative.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Making your Own Piping

One of our readers, Cheryl, asked about the piping on the Wonderland pillows I made:

"Jessica, Nice job on the piping! That is something I want to try this summer. Was it hard? What did you use to learn how to put the piping on? Did you have a pattern, or tutorial? I am sure it's probably harder than I am making it out to be.
I used to have a fear of sewing zippers, but not anymore. Maybe once I do piping, I won't fear that anymore."

Cheryl, below is the tutorial I used...I was surprised that it was actually easier than I thought it would be. I didn't practice on anything. I just jumped in! I think though, that a pillow would be an excellent thing to practice on. The only tricky part was the corners, but I love how this tutorial shows how to clip them to lay flat and then has you baste the piping on before sewing all three layers together. I also thought this tutorial did a good job of showing two methods to join the two ends of piping around a pillow.

How to Cover Cording to Create Your Own Piping from

Let me know when you try this technique! I'm sure you'll love it once you try it!


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Toffee Tunic and Hennina Pants

Yes, it's another summer outfit for Emily. Sorry, I don't want this blog to be all about "show and tell," but do realize that this is my way of record keeping by documenting my sewing projects. And lately I've been sewing for Emily who just does not stop growing. So...onward to the latest outfit for Em....

Once again, I used Ottobre patterns; both the top and shorts are from the 03/2009 issue. In brief:

Design #3, "Toffee" Tunic
Size 92, graded up to a size 98

Fabric: dotted Swiss from Hancocks, bought on the clearance shelf

Changes made: Ric-rac was added to the neckline and pocket bindings. Both the sleeves and pockets are fully lined which created an easy hem of the sleeves and nicely curved pocket edges.

Next time: Add more length to the neckline binding to make it a bit looser.

Design #6, "Hennina" Pants

Size 92
Fabric: red twill, left over from the shorts pictured in my previous post

Changes made: The pattern called for a tab and ruffle embellishment above the leg vent. I did not like the ruffle frill. Instead I sewed a skinny tube cut on the bias, tied it in a knot, and sewed it above the leg vent. I'm happy with the results.

On another note, Trudy, from Sewing with Trudy, recently gave us a "Blogger Buddy Award." Trudy and her young daughter both sew, and I've enjoyed reading their blogs. Thank you, Trudy, for this award and your sweet comments.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Ottobre "Cecile Blouse"

Ottobre 03/2009 Design #1 "Cecile Blouse"

When I first saw this pattern in the newest issue of Ottobre, I liked it for the shirring on the front. I've only shirred with elastic thread two times previously, with good results, and so I was excited to make this top.


if you make this pattern, know that there is a discrepancy between the written instructions and the pattern drawing lines for the shirring, and thus avoid the confusion I had.

The instructions say to "stitch the rows of shirring as marked on the pattern" and then, "stitch topmost row of shirring close to the neck edge." The pattern marking show the first row of shirring an inch or so below the neck edge, and that's where I started my shirring. However, the first row of shirring really does need to be close to the neck edge, which I found out when I went to attach the neck binding. To fix the problem, I ran a gathering row of stitches close to the neckline before attaching the neck binding. This helped, but there is an area right under the neckband that is gathered puffy instead of tightly like the shirring below.

I added a ribbon bow to the center front, partly to cover up the lack of shirring at that spot, but also because I felt the top needed a bit of pizazz. I really wanted to put a big red flower button there, but after searching for one in 3 stores, I gave up and added the ribbon. The fabric for the top is a jersey knit from Hobby Lobby.

The red shorts are design #7 from the 03/2008 Ottobre issue, and I have made them one other time in pink camo fabric. These red shorts are made from red twill and topstitched with white upholstery thread.

I have another play outfit and one more church dress planned for Emily, and then I want to do some sewing for my older girls and for me. We'll see how it goes. Now that school is about finished for the summer I hope to have more time to sew.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

New PJ's for Elliot

Just in time for summer, I got Elliot some pj's made!

He LOVES the trucks on this pair...

I used Kwik Sew's Sewing for Toddlers book for the pattern for these. I made the 4T size, and it was big, but that's ok because he'll be able to wear them longer. The shorts seem really wide legged, but I'm not sure if it's because of the cut or because I made them too big. They are great for pjs, but I might find a different pattern if I was going to make him play shorts.

This tool fabric I found on the remnet table at Hancocks. There was just enough to make this set. I think I might like sewing with knits...they went together so fast and easy with my serger.

Speaking of knits, I thought I'd pass along a link to The Fabric Hound. They have some fun knits prints, and they are on sale too! US knits HERE, and European knits HERE.

Mom, here's a picture of Marie in the sleeper you made her. She is cutting her first tooth today! I am excited, and she is cranky. =)


Wonderland Pillows

The first bit of my birthday fabric has been cut into! Fabric is from the Wonderland line by MoMo. I LOVE it!

Piping was a new technique for me. I don't know if I did the the "right" way or not, but I got it on! I actually made my own piping by taking one of those packs of bias binding sitting around that I never use and sewing cord (well actually I cheated and just used jute because I didn't have any cord) into the fold of it to create my own piping. It worked pretty good.

I would not recommend jute if you can find something better because it isn't all the exact same the piping feels thicker and thinner in spots. Also, it was rather stiff and wiry, so it made the corners slightly difficult. But, in a pinch, it works!

These look so good in my living room, but they were actually a gift for my wonderful sis, Katie. She's been revamping my old room into a really cool, modern, college girl room. The walls are light blue from when I lived at home, and she is working with that and doing everything in pale blue, red, charcoal, and chocolate brown. It looks really good...much better then when I lived there and tried to make it all shabby chic.


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to Sue Cahill, comment # 27, for winning the spring coasters. I will ship these off as soon as I hear back from you!

Thanks everyone for participating. Happy Spring!


Friday, May 01, 2009

Happy May Day Giveaway

It's the first of May and I am SO happy Spring is finally here. In lieu of making cookies and delivering them to each of you, I'm having a giveaway. Leave a comment on this post through the 5th for a chance to receive this spring quilted coaster set.

This is actually the first giveaway I've done, and I am really quite excited. I am thankful for all of our readers here at SewChic. This blog has been a lot of fun, and it is encouraging to hear from you in your comments and e-mails.

Be sure your e-mail is available on your profile or blog, so I can contact you if you win! I will draw a winner and announce it on Tuesday, May 5th.

Of, and if you really love this set, and can't live without it, I have another almost identical set here in my etsy shop.


EDIT: giveaway is now closed. Thanks!