Saturday, October 31, 2015

You're never too old for footie pajamas

This is my daughter, Ariana.  How old would you guess her to be?  I know she looks young, but she is actually 27.   And she still loves pajamas with feet. She's been asking me to make her a new pair for a while.  I've been putting the project on the back burner, and was in no hurry to do it.  So she made me an offer that I couldn't refuse.  "Mom- if I made a flourless chocolate cake, would you make me the pajamas now?"

Who could pass up that offer? She wanted them to be made of natural fibers, not polyester.  So, we found some french terry in the SewBaby fabrics that was perfect- thick enough to be warm, but breathable so she won't get too hot.

Finding a current pattern with feet that was designed for knits proved to be impossible.  There are several jumpsuit type pajama patterns, but none of them have feet.  And there is a Kwik Sew women's pattern with feet, but it was designed for woven fabrics.  She is petite, so I went back to my Kwik Sew children's footed pajama pattern and compared measurements.  She is 3 inches taller than the XL child's size, so I graded the pattern to be one size larger.  Voila, a perfect fit!  See- it pays to hold on to those patterns- you never know when they will come in handy!!!

 I used an orange zipper and turquoise ribbing to accent the colors in the print.

You wouldn't think that this was a stripe, but all of the circles are in a row, so you really do need to treat it as a stripe.   I tried to align the circles when cutting out the pattern, and it turned out pretty well!

For non-slip feet, I used this slipper gripper in red, also available at SewBaby.

The feet are cut out of both the fabric and the slipper gripper, so there is an extra layer of cushioning in them.  A package has enough for two projects, so now I've got to figure out who else might want either slippers, or another pair of these?

As you can see, she is in love with her new pajamas.  Isn't it nice to know that there are still things that Mom can do that a store can't quite duplicate.  Oh, and the cake was delicious too.  A fair trade.

Do you have grown-up children who still want you to sew for them?

Happy Sewing!


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Faux Wrap Dress with Drape- Butterick 6166

It's been glorious weather here in Illinois.   We're in harvest season, and the field behind our house, (which I posted photos back in June when the corn was growing here), has now been combined and all that is left is little stalks. 

It's a whole different kind of beauty, and I love watching the field in all of the seasons.   I also love making clothes that reflect the time of year, and this dress is meant to do just that.  The burgundy, the muted green, the burnt orange- all remind me of the changing foliage.   The pattern is Butterick 6166.  It's a knit dress with a faux wrap overlay and a drape across the waist.

I like that you feel like it is a wrap, but you don't need to worry about the wind.  The fabric that I used is 100% cotton jersey from Hancock fabrics.  It has a horizontal stripe which you can see from the back.  I wasn't sure I wanted the horizontal stripe going all the way around, so I turned the overlay to go up and down.  It is a single layer, and the vertical edge is narrow hemmed. 

It doesn't have much stretch going that way, and I wasn't sure that it was going to work, but luckily, it didn't hurt the fit at all.  In fact, I think it may have helped to stabilize the neckline.  I lowered the neckline by quite a bit, probably 3" or so.   With a larger bust, I feel like a lower neckline is more flattering.  And it's easier to find a necklace that works with it also.  The neckline is narrow hemmed, and I stabilized the back portion with a strip of fusible interfacing before I did the narrow hem.  Since you narrow hem the under-dress and the overlay together on the front, I didn't add any interfacing here.

Here you can see the back with the horizontal stripes more clearly.  There are also some darts at the back for fitting.  And you can see that I left out the zipper, as I most usually do with knit dresses.

 Overall, it was very quick to sew, and I think I'm going to love wearing it! I can pop a cardigan over it when it gets a little colder. If you make this, the only recommendation that I would make is that you choose a fabric that handles narrow hemming well- as there is quite a bit of it in this pattern.  

I'd like to try this pattern again with some colorblocking.  You can also skip the overlay layer, as Sheila did on a gorgeous dress on her blog at SheilazCTK .  I can see a lot of possibilities with this one! 

On a completely different topic, my assistant at SewBaby, Shirley, is retiring at the end of this month, and since she was primarily responsible for filling fabric orders, I've decided to significantly reduce the fabrics that we offer.  We've got all of our cottons, corduroys and flannels marked 60% off!  So, head on over to SewBaby and take a look.  You might just find the perfect project for that next baby shower!

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Pillow Talk

Fabric Mart is having an incredible Home Dec sale right now, and I ordered two yards of fabric for recovering some throw pillows- 1 solid and 1 print.   The one thing that I have learned over the years in making pillow covers, is that the home dec fabric really is superior to using regular cotton fabric.  Pillows actually take quite a bit of stress, and regular cotton fabric will tear and wrinkle,  but home dec fabric doesn't.

I use down pillow forms that I got from IKEA in various shapes and sizes.  I like down-filled pillows because they seem to last longer than regular polyester filled pillows, and I can just change the covers on them. And you cannot beat IKEA's price on them!  They are the same price that you would pay for polyester filled pillows at a regular fabric store. Again, you really need home dec fabric to use down pillows, as it is dense and won't let the pointy feathers through.   Those feathers will manage to get through once in a while, but not often.

For the covers, I don't do anything fancy.  I just cut a square or rectangle the size of the form plus 1"  for seam allowances.   I serge the raw edges, and use the selvages for edges if I can because that will be the best edge finish.  I insert a zipper on one side- whatever zippers I have on hand.
Here I used some brass zippers that I got in an assortment from Sew True Sewing Supply.
I don't see the assortment there anymore, but they are still a pretty great price for a very heavy duty zipper. 

I was able to get 3 covers from each yard.  The geometric print was $5, and the solid was $3.50, so with the zippers included, I was able to get 6 covers for less than $15 total and less than 2 hours of work!  Not bad for a fresh look to the living room. Isn't that right, Fred (our cat)? 

Have you bought any home dec fabrics lately?  What do you like to make with them?

Happy Sewing!



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