Friday, May 30, 2008

First pants attempts....

As previously mentioned, I had to find a new pants pattern for Thing 1. This was very traumatic for me, and so I decided to test the new pattern with a fun fabric, mainly because I thought this fabric would do better without pockets. (And pockets take a little more time, so...) I would say that the verdict is mostly positive. DH thinks that these look fine - I'll try to get a picture tomorrow of them in use. But I'm not sure whether I need to take out a smidge of leg width. So I guess my next attempt will be to adapt them for pockets and make the next trial. And Thing 2 is ready for some bigger pants. I haven't made him any side-seam pants yet because the KS SFB book only contains a knit (no side-seam) pants pattern. But I remembered that when I made a size T1 pair of pants for a friend's child at Christmas, it seemed to fit Thing 1 fairly well. So I decided to try it, too. (And I was annoyed because I couldn't find my T1 tracing and had to redo it.) These fit pretty well - and Thing 2 is nearly 2 - except for Thing 2's enormous potbelly. It would probably be perfect if I took out some of the front rise so that these fit a little better under his belly. But I'm not going to just yet.
Next up: another pair for each, using a mostly shark print in the same type of fabric. Then I also have plans to compare knit pants from KS SFB and KS SFT for Thing 2. After that, probably more new pants for Thing 1 and DH's Hawaiian shirt....

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Some shopping and some annoyances....

So I've really used the Kwik Sew Sewing for Toddlers book for Thing 1. And I would definitely argue that I've gotten my money's worth out of it, with all the pants, shorts, shirts, and PJs I've sewn. Unfortunately, he's getting big enough that it is time to start exploring other patterns to make said items. The current shorts pattern (size T4) still works, but the pants are looking as though the next growth spurt will do them in. (And I think we're about to hit a growth spurt, judging from his food intake these days.) Yes, I could just lengthen the pattern, but I've already done that. And I don't know if he'll outgrow the width, too.

Hancocks carries KS patterns, and there was a 10% off the entire purchase coupon for Monday. Guess where I went? :) Big surprise, I'm sure. Actually, the surprise was on me - apparently KS does not have any pants patterns for boys until they hit about size 8. Seriously not cool! So I bought KS 3042, a PJ pattern, in hopes of being able to modify the pattern to use as regular pull-on, elastic waist, side-seam pants. I have the first pair cut and partly sewn, so we'll see how that goes. I also bought 3043, a T-shirt pattern, and 2894, a raglan sleeve shirt pattern - both are Kwik Serge patterns. I don't know how quickly I'll try those out.

So on my sewing table right now is the trial pair of 3042 plus a size T1 pair from KS SFT, for Thing 2. Both are cut from a pirate-themed pucker print from JAF. If they turn out well and fit reasonably, I'll cut a second pair for each from a second print. And I may have enough fabric left from both prints to cut shorts for a friend's little boy for his birthday, we'll see...

Then I really need to cut out the shirt I've been promising my husband for months....

Sunday, May 25, 2008

More weekend bedding....

So last year on Black Friday, I bought a lot of flannel at JAF. And most of it was in smaller quantities - just right for blankets like the one I posted yesterday. But I did get four prints in 3.5 yard lengths - intended for toddler bedding. I made two of them up last winter, but I just got around to the last two.

This is a cute tool print, and I used the "tie-dyed" red for a contrast band.

This is an adorable robot print - I would wear PJs out of this! I used a solid orange for the contrast band. My boys will love these!

These bedding sets definitely helped my yardage stats this weekend.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A new blanket

This looks like a very simple blanket (and it is!), but it does have a slightly amusing story behind it. So I realize that Thing 2 needs a school blanket, because he moved up to the next room, and they've apparently been using a pink blanket for him this week. Eeeww! And I had already cut this blanket out for a baby shower, but I didn't have time to sew it. Hey! I'll just use that! It's cute and not pink. And I already had plenty of black binding cut and sewn together. But then, as I'm about to pin the binding on, I think - "Hey! Should I use black or white for the binding?"

My sense of the aesthetic is not all that great, but DH is pretty good. He was putting Thing 1 to bed then, so I figured I'd just wait. But he never comes back. So I finally go looking for him, and then I find him sound asleep. Grrrr! Okay, next plan. Then I take pictures of the fabric with both binding options and call various people as I email them. No I decide to stall while watching recorded episodes of NCIS. (I haven't been watching TV since the strike ended - I just record my shows and randomly do marathons to catch up.) Finally one friend emails back and says white. Grrrr! The black binding was ready to pin, but I need to cut out the white and sew it. Oh, well....I agree that it probably does look better. As I'm chatting with her online, I go ahead and cut and sew the binding. Then DB emails back as I'm sewing the first row of stitching to bind the blanket. He agrees with white! So it's unanimous.

I don't normally stay up so late, but I have a three-day weekend, so I thought I could handle it. (And I felt energetic.) At nearly 1 am, the blanket was done! I'll just wash it this weekend to get rid of the spray basting, and then Thing 2 will have a school blanket. I like this print, so I may buy a little more at WM to make a matching travel-sized pillowcase. Thing 2 doesn't use a pillow now, but then I'll have a set ready when he starts using a pillow. We'll see....

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Finished stuff at last!

No, I didn't start from scratch on all of this. All five pairs of shorts (plus one more not in the picture) were already done except for the elastic. I just finally had motivation to insert the elastic and make them wearable! (As in, shorts-wearing weather should be here any time!) As an aside, however, the lower row of shorts are from KS Sewing for Baby, and they're size 3-6 months. They now finally fit Thing 2, who is almost two years old!)

The "shoes" in the picture are the new slippers for Thing 1! Not pictured are the matching shoes for Thing 2, which are in the dryer. He has been wearing them all week, and they needed a trip though the laundry. :) And Thing 1 has been asking every day, "Mama, are my new slippers done yet?" Tomorrow morning I can say, "Yes, goofball, they are! And, no, you can't wear them to school." Hooray!

This weekend maybe I'll finally cut out the muslin of the Hawaiian shirt for DH! And maybe the Bears scrub shirts that I need to make for others....

Friday, May 16, 2008

Not much happening here...

I traced the new size for Thing 2's new shoes, and I also traced the size for Thing 1 - both sizes are now also on template plastic.

*Off on a tangent here: I love quilter's template plastic! I get the sheets of heavy duty template plastic from JAF when the quilting notions are 50% off, and they are great! It is so much easier to cut out a template and then be able to use the rotary cutter to cut out the pieces. I've also used the templates to trace the pattern directly onto the wrong side of leather, and then used scissors to cut the pieces - that was before I got a smaller rotary cutter, and it was much harder to go around curves with the 60 mm size.*

So I have cut out most of the pieces for Thing 2's new shoes and none of the pieces for Thing 1's slippers. They will be matching, and I think that they'll love them. I have high hopes of getting them done this weekend, but we shall see. I'm on call, so all plans are subject to change. After all, I didn't manage to get the pieces cut yet, did I?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Need more new shoes!

So Thing 2 loves his new shoes, but unfortunately, they're just a hair small. And so apparently he's been walking on the edge of the heels. I just discovered today that the denim is wearing through. Guess that puts new shoes at the top of my list! I will try the toddler size 7 regular next time. Even though I thought that I'd make the next pair in leather, I'm starting to think that I'll do another pair in denim first. That can test out my new size and make sure that I have it right. I'd rather do that than risk wearing through another heel so quickly.

Thing 1 is also getting a pair, though his will be for slippers. He was so fascinated with Thing 2's new shoes that I thought he'd like a pair, too. I'll probably use denim and flannel again for his, as well. I haven't decided what flannel to use, but it'll probably be another leftover from bedding.

And while I'm at it, I want to make two new sets of bedding. These will be from flannel that I bought back at Thanksgiving for bedding. The Things can use them, and I could use some more fabric in my "yards sewn" column. :)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

At last, the new shoes....

I finally quit procrastinating and just sewed! And as usual, when finished, I thought, well why in the world didn't I do this much earlier in the week? Very silly! Thing 2 is very excited about his new shoes. He's still got them on, and I took this picture probably almost two hours ago. (That's mainly exciting because I know that he can take them off by himself.) I finally used the Make Them Yourself shoe pattern, in a toddler size 6 regular. The size was chosen by measuring the length and width of the foot, then flat measuring the pattern sole and trying to remember to allow for seam allowances. I think that next time I'll choose the toddler size 7 regular, because this pair won't allow for more than a hint of growth. But that's okay - they were quick and easy to make.

I used Toughtek for the soles - bought my Toughtek from - no affiliation. I was just pleased with their fast shipping and thought that their price on Toughtek was at least comparable to any others I'd seen. Others have said to watch eBay for the best prices on Toughtek, but I didn't want to wait. :) Because the Toughtek is so thin, I used a layer of Warm & Natural cotton batting between the Toughtek sole and the flannel lining. I think that should be enough - we'll see. I also changed the pattern to have a heel lining - you can see alteration details in my PR review. My only quibble at the moment is that I think the elastic is too long, and maybe that's why Thing 2 can easily take them off. But that can be easily remedied by simply shortening it. Overall, I'm pleased with this pattern and think that it may fit Thing 2's feet better than the Chloe Toes pattern. I will have to make it again in leather for a true comparison.

The outer fabric is thrifted denim from old jeans, and the lining fabric is flannel leftover from one of the toddler bedding sets I sewed before Christmas.