7.03.2015

First Birthday Shirt // FREE Silhouette Cut File

 In the past year or so, I've developed a reputation in my local community as the go-to seamstress for kid projects.  I've made a few bow ties and neck ties for weddings, a few tooth fairy pillows, and a few birthday shirts and dresses.  I've been able to use my Silhouette Portrait to cut some cute applique and I thought I would attempt to share my files.  I've uploaded the Silhouette Studio file to google drive.  You should be able to download the file
 For this applique I used Pellon Wonder-Under instead of the Silhouette fusible interfacing and I found it worked the same if not better.  With both interfacings, I've had trouble with the thread breaking while I'm sewing.  I did a search and came across a neat little trick.  I rubbed the tiniest amount of sewing machine oil on my needle.  Sure enough, no more broken thread!  I also sewed the smile and the nostrils by hand.  Too delicate for my machine skills.
Oh and remember my City Gym Shorts from way back in June?  Well, I guess I made the finals in Imagine Gnats, Shorts on the Line Contest.  Go check out the top 21 shorts here and vote for your favorite.

6.06.2015

Shorts, Shorts, Shorts...My Version of the City Gym Shorts

I didn't have any plans to make shorts.  But, I've been seeing some Shorts on The Line posts over at Imagine Gnats and discovered the free City Gym Shorts pattern.  I love me some free patterns, so why not make some shorts!  I ended up modifying the pattern a little bit more for each of the 3 versions I made.  Here's what I did.
The pictures of these shorts are really wonderful and there are so many great versions out there, but the style just isn't me.  So, I decided to modify the pattern so that I could sew them like regular shorts without the bias tape.  I just added a bit of a seam allowance to the side and straightened the curve on the bottom. 
I also decided to add pockets.  I actually followed my own tutorial and pattern for dress pockets which you can find HERE.
 This first version came out pretty well.  In fact, I'm wearing them as I type this.  The fit is more of a pajama short for me.  I ended up just serging the bottom since I didn't think they'd be wearable if they got any shorter.  The pockets turned out a little small, but truth be told, when I look at the picture, I think they look great.  But on my body, they feel a little bit small for my taste.
I also was a little hasty and used my good fabric for my first pair.  So, I mustered all the patience I could and made a second pair with fabric that I had sitting around and not my favorite.
 For this pair, I added a little bit of length and width to the pattern and made the pockets a little bigger.  They are good and I will definitely wear them, but still aren't exactly what I'm after.  I decided to print the pattern out one more time and cut in between sizes.  Here's a comparison of the pattern I used for my first pair and my final and favorite pair.  The piece on the left is what I did for my last pair and the piece on the right is for my first pair.
These shorts are exactly what I had in mind.  The fit is amazing.  Not to loose, but not too short and tight either.  I love that these shorts have an elastic waist, but don't look frumpy.
 For this pair, I used the full size pocket from my tutorial and it's perfect. 
 I love the way the side looks and I love this fabric.  I was hoping the color and print would work with tops other than white, and I think it does.

So I guess being a little bit obsessive does pay off.  And, before I forget, I have to mention that the instructions for this pattern are really great.  I didn't get a picture of the inside of the shorts, but I think part of what makes them look so great is the way the waistband is sewn.  It ends up being 4 layers of fabric plus elastic, so it's really stable and there are no unfinished seams on the waist on the inside.
There are also kid sizes, so I might try modifying the pattern for a kid version as well.  Did I mention how much I love free patterns?

5.28.2015

Noodlehead's Cargo Duffle // Free Pattern Sewn by Me

I'm not sure how I stumbled across this free pattern from Noodlehead, but I'm glad I did.  My version is much much simpler than her version, but I'm really happy with how it came out.  I read a lot of various blogs and reviews before I started sewing mine.  
 I was totally inspired by Coconut Robot's Cargo Duffle.  Her version is beautiful.  And though I used a lot of her modifications and I love the look of the quilting, I just couldn't bring myself to spend that much time on it. 
I expanded the width of my bag using the measurements Kacia provides.  In the original pattern the finished bag is about 5 inches wide whereas this version ends up being closer to 9 inches wide.  I would definitely recommend adding the width as I can't imagine it being narrower.  This size is perfect.  
 I also chose to leave off the front snap pockets and opted for a zip pocket instead.  Adding the zip pocket was a lot easier and I like the look better as well.

Another change I made was making the handles out of upholstery vinyl.  I just cut a 4 inch wide strip, folded it in half and sewed down both sides.
To finish off the bag, I added a lining and used a heavy weight sew-in interfacing on the side and bottom panels.  The bag ends up having great structure, but is still lightweight.  I took this bag on an overnight trip recently and it was the perfect size for all of my husband and my stuff. 
I'm so happy with how this bag came out and happy with all the changes I made.  If you give it a try, I'd love to hear what you think.