Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A cut! Bummer :-(

Guess what? I got a cut. Pretty good cut on my wrist. From a cup! Yes, a cup. I walked back to my kitchen with a ceramic cup, slipped & fell, the cup broke into pieces, pierced into my wrist. 

Next steps? Freaked out, called 911, called the baby sitter, EMT came over, off to the hospital, 10 stitches, back home, tired myself to sleep, woke up, called in sick at work, Now updating blog with left arm fingers.

Ha.See that? Most precisive blog post ever! Lesson learned? Don't run with a ceramic cup on a tiled (and possibly wet) kitchen floor. 

No sewing for at least a week, Bummer, since I had lot of projects partially done :-(

May be I can get my ideas together meanwhile. Will figure out something.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Weekend Adventures and Karate Uniform

The weekend turned out to be hectic, busy and fun!  AN started his Karate Semester with mommy-made uniform. I used a pattern, because I don't do good when it comes to drafting sleeves and tops of boys clothes. AN was so happy, and started pulling Karate moves right away…

 And after Karate, off we went to community day and Farm festival, SN and I were so happy to see AN & BN enjoying it all. For the past few days BN is singing a lot, having a lot of fun. She just turned 2 last Wednesday, she must be liking the toddler-hood!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tutorial - 20 Minute Knit Leggings for little girls (with regular sewing machine)

Remember here, I explained my trouble with sewing knits? Right – It just wasn't coming out OK with my Brother CS6000i. I tried all the different methods and tips and tricks out there in the blog land. Then one day, I decided to get another kind of knit and try the whole thing all over again. It worked! Not just worked, worked. Worked like a charm! I made a few pairs of Cotton Lycra® knit leggings for BN. 

I am loving the whole sewing with knits thing! I thought I could never do it, and I needed the right gear, and by right gear I mean a Serger. So when I could do it successfully not just one time, multiple times, I thought I owe it to the world to share my experience with this, so here it is. Here is the best part. Its super easy, won't take you more than 20 minutes and you will never buy leggings again, why would you, while you can make them yourself with fun prints and colors! 

How to make Cotton Lycra ® leggings in 20 minutes or less with/without a Serger
All fabric measurements here are what I used for BN, my 2 year old little girl. Please adjust measurements as per your sweetie's body type. FYI, BN is too tall and too thin for her age. 

There really isn't a need for a prerequisites section, everybody knows the tell tale stories of buying/getting appropriate fabric prior to sewing etc. But I figured, maybe there are some starters out there looking to conquer the fear of sewing with knits, and so here it is.

  1. Cotton Lycra® fabric, ¼ yard or less– (I got mine at Spandex World in NYC, $3 per yard, they sell in 1 yard increments only)
  2. 1/4 inch elastic (you will need approximately ¾ of your little girl's waist size)
  3. 75/11 Stretch Needle (or the stretch needle that your machine requires)
  4. Leggings pattern or (a pair of well fitting pants/leggings/tights and Paper to draft your own pattern)
  5. Polyester coated on Polyester Thread (Polyester has more stretch than cotton thread, very important, when sewing with knits)
  6. Sewing machine, pins, scissors, and any other fancy tools you can't sew without
The pattern
I used my daughter's Capri leggings she used this summer and drafted my own pattern. I know it fits well so I traced around it and added some length to it. As soon as I finish writing this, I am going to go and see if I can scan my traced pattern and upload for you. Can't guarantee, but will try my best. Here is a quick overview of what you need to do.

  1. Lay out your choice of drafting paper. I used the back of last year's picture calendar from work
  2. Flip the legs of a well fitting pair of tights/pants/leggings to the right and trace around it
  3. Now keeping the mid line as a guide, flip the legs to the left and trace around the left legs
  4. Adjust length based on your sweetie's body measurements and your preferences for this Fall/Winter

The Cutting
Now you need to lay out your home made or commercial pattern on the fabric folded to get two pieces and cut. Allow for seam allowances of ¼ inch if it's not already in the pattern piece. Cut with confidence, knits seem to have trouble cutting well in the bottom layer, especially if you show any hesitation to cut!

See that? I got 2 symmetric pieces

To the machine – Trip 1 

Now is the fun part! Flip your fabric right sides together. Now, you have to sew around the upper section of the leg, see picture below and you'll know what I am taking about. Please use the triple stretch stitch on a regular sewing machine (if you have a Serger, you know what to do). 

See that? Both sides are finished now. 

To the machine – Trip 2
OK, now we have to take the fabric and spread the legs apart (remember, it's still right sides together) so it looks more like leggings. See below. Now you have to sew around the legs, remember to use triple stretch stitch if you have a regular sewing machine. After that, I finished the edges with a stretch zig-zag stitch. You really don't have to finish the raw edges, but I liked the look. I am sure you'll too. 

See that? The edges look really nice! I didn't know I could do that with a combination of stretch zip zag and triple stretch stitch! A row of triple stretch stitch and finished the raw edges with stretch zip-zag (not the regular zig zag)

To the machine – Trip 3
Turn the leggings right side out. Slip ¼ of the leg openings inside and sew around it. I did not do this step as I know the fabric wasn't going to ravel, but if you like perfectly finished wearable's go ahead and finish the leg openings. 

To the machine – Trip 4
You are almost done. Now is the time to make elastic casing. Fold the waist raw end and sew a 5/8 narrow hem. Then fold it once again with a ¼ inch or more seam allowance and sew around the waist edge using the triple stretch, *do not* sew it closed, leave a little opening for us to insert the elastic. You really don't have to use the elastic, if: a) your fabric is a good 4-way stretch fabric b) you cut the waist a little narrower than it should be. If you pass the conditions a and b above, just sew it closed now, otherwise, we need to pass the elastic from one end using a safety pin and pull it out from the other end. Then you can sew the elastic together. Now you need to sew the opening closed. 

See how I measured ¾ of the waist? 

Final: Mark the back of the leggings
With the clothing items I make, I like to mark the behind with a tag. Now I really don't have a brand name for the things I make. So what I do here is, use a nice thin ribbon, strip a piece of it using the pinking shears and attach it to the back of the waist band or neck band, so it's easy for everybody to know which is back and which is front. We adults can probably figure that out, but kids need little pointers that help them along the way. I don't have a picture of it, but I am sure you can do it.

All done! Yay! It took me less than 20 minutes, with the second one it took around 15 minutes. 


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Back in business!

My "Brother" started behaving good now. We had all the plans to take him apart and fix him, but may be the threatening worked. There is this one little thing I did, which, I think may have fixed the issue. I changed from the 75/11 Universal needle that Singer makes to the 75/11 Universal needle that Schmetz makes. It started working like a charm. Lesson learned? Will never buy Singer universal needles.

OK, I will very complete all the tutorials and projects I am working on and post here. But I have to finish the Karate costume for Saturday's Karate class. I have completed the pants, and part of the top. Need to finish the sleeves, the belt and neckline. Will be done with everything soon, and I will get some time to do things useful for eveybody, like tutorials!.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Man Proposes God Disposes

That's my situation in a nutshell now. I have projects after projects lined up, I got all the fabric I need, and I am in the middle of a tutorial, and guess what? My sewing machine is acting up. Stitches are not coming out right. There is something wrong with the tension. I tried all the settings I possibly can. Tonight I am taking the machine apart. By "I" I mean SN. He is going to help me remove the link if any in the bobbin case. I've read that lint could cause the stitches to go all wacky. 

I hope it is fixed soon. I have a karate uniform to finish by Friday... AN starting a Karate Semester on Saturday. He is looking forward to it!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

FREE Superman Appliqué PDF

I have something exciting to share with everybody. Like I said here, I have a handful of projects now, 2 Costumes (Superman & Super-girl), 1 Karate Uniform, another 1 traditional wear for my son. I have been trying to get a Superman Logo Appliqué. I looked at a few pictures of Superman (from the movie). and thought it would be pretty easy to draw on Paint.NET and create my own appliqué PDF and I did. Here it is. I used a picture of superman from the movie as a reference.

Superman Appliqué 

Click here to download the PDF version (Do not use scaling when you print if you want the full size version for the cape. For the logo on the body of the costume, please scale it down to 75% or adjust as per your little guy's chest measurements)
I share it hoping to help moms/grand mas/anybody out there looking for appliqué so they can make costumes for their little love ones. Please do not sell the PDF. I like to keep these thing accessible to everybody.

Thanks for stopping by. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Gymboree style for way less

Did anybody see this morning's Gymboree e-mailer? They have a lovely pin tucks jumper for $20 on sale.

Click here to go to the product page.

But here is a way to get the same prettiness for way less.

Lavender corduroy fabric + Pin tucks Jumper tutorial  [Link Updated...sorry]

Minimum requirement is that you already have a jumper to trace pattern or you have a basic jumper pattern available and of course you have a machine, thread, all that jazz.

A peek into a new tutorial

I've been busy trying something. SN sees me hiding in the bedroom (where my BROTHER is). He asks what am I doing all the time. Well, I've been working on a tutorial. Here is a peek. 

Now, here is a little funny story. When I started getting obsessed with sewing, and spending time at the machine more, my husband SN told me "Ever since you got your "Brother", you don't want to do anything with me" ha ha! I do have a good control over my time at the machine now. 

I should be able to complete the tute pretty soon. In the midst of the super man /super girl costumes I got another one in my hands. Karate Uniform for AN. I will post all the details of all projects as my 2 cents!

Thank you for stopping by. Have a wonderful day, everyone. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A brave step

Has everybody started thinking about costumes for Halloween yet? My son has. He has started thinking what he wants to be for 2010 Halloween since 2009 Halloween evening. Thats how much he loves Halloween. This year AN wants to be Superman. And guess what, he wants mommy to make the costume! I confidently told him, of course I will, although the thoughts of making a wearable for him was giving me butterflies in my stomach. I didnt show a thing. I said, Superman it IS. And even worse, I said, BN is going to be Super-girl.

What have I gotten myself into! It's going to be a brave new step. I decided I am going to do it. I quickly started looking for spandex/Dancewear fabric for the unitard. They run in the $9-$11 range and you need at least 4 yards of red and blue for AN&BN. Thats at least $75 GONE. At one point, I thought of just buying it for $19.99 instead of going through the pain of making it PLUS through the pain of having ruined $75 worth of fabric. Ha ha ha..what a confidence!

Keeping my fears aside, I went to Joann to see if I can get something for the costumes. To my delight, I found polyester knits for $2.29 a yard. I quickly got 8 yards of it and ran home. Now that I have found the fabric way cheaper than what I thought it would cost, I think I am going to do it. If it doesn't work out, all I have to loose is not-so-expensive fabric. I am sure I can handle that. Yes, I am going to do it.

OK, here is the plan. If anyone else wants to join me in making costumes, come on board.

Cut pieces using existing Pajama set by:   18-Sep

Appliqué and Sew tops by:                        24-Sep

Make bottoms by :                                    25-Sep

Assemble Unitards by:                              30-Sep

Make Capes by:                                       5-Oct

Appliqué Capes by:                                  5-Oct

Make Underwear for AN/Skirt for BN by:  10-Oct

Make Boots cutout (I am just going to sew it to the unitard) by: 19-Oct

That schedule looks good. I must try to stick to this schedule. I am going to cut up the pieces in 6 days!!! I will definitely post all the steps that I do, here.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Actions shots! Finally!

OK, I finally got to try the new Jasmine dress on BN. I've never been this confident when creating a piece of wearable. Usually I have to measure every time I finish a seam :-) This time around, I finished the whole dress, placed buttons and all that final touch ups and waited 6 days (SIX DAYS!) to try it on BN. Want to know how did it go? Well...hmmm....It was peeeeeerfect! I couldn't find any thing wrong with it at all (And, I do look for faults I am telling ya, did I mention I have OCD - not medically confirmed, but I am sure I do have it!) I was just so happy! Here are some action shots. 

AN & BN 

I swear, I didn't ask her to hold that book and pose for a picture. 

Sigh...Now on to the next project.... Still have some very cute fabric left. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A fresh start to 18 years of education

Today my son AN started the school, 1st grade at the local public school. He started going to day care centers when he was 1.5 years old, he has switched 6 schools since then, so this is going to be his very first real school experience. My husband and I are both very happy for him, at the same time, wondering what he will turn out to be 16-18 years from now? It is indeed very hard to absorb that he is out there and a lot of people are involved in shaping him to be the person he will be in 18 years. 

I remember when I was his age and until I went off to college, every single year day before the first day of school I would wait for my father to come home with handful of new stuff for school. My son? He doesn't care what new things he gets! He is interested in seeing if I buy a new toy for him. He is into toys too much. But he doesn't have nor does he want any thing fancy. All he needs is a bunch of little lego blocks and he can play all day long and he will go to bed with that, wake up in the morning, again play with those blocks. 

I've never considered buying him anything "cool" like Wii or Nintendo or PS. I have a feeling, he will become overly obsessed with it, and disciplining him will be hard. But at the same time, I think we should probably get him one of those anyway. We will see...

Anywhooooooooo....Today is THE DAY to the rest of his school life. I hope and pray he does real good in school. Can't wait to hear from him this afternoon!

Thank you for stoppping by. Have a wonderful day today. 

Friday, September 3, 2010

FINISHED: Jasmine Gathered Jumper dress with Pin tucks

Yes! After 5 nights of 5-10 minute work each, I've completed the Pin tuck Jumper dress with Fandingo flowers fabric from Paintbrush studios for BN. I dearly call it Jasmine Gathered Jumper dress with Pin tucks. Do I sound like Gymboree :-) I can't help it! I have yet to try it on BN. For those who are curious to know which pattern I used- I didnt use any patterns,traced my daughter's existing jumper and *designed* those pin tucks myself!  

Here are a few more views. Look at those buttons! My son AN chose those colors :-) He was thrilled when I approved his choices!

I loved the way it turned out. I still have a few more important projects to complete. Oh, and I made a drawstring backpack for AN. He was very happy to see me make something for him. At this moment, it's in my Sienna, otherwise I could have taken a picture to post it here. Will do that some other time!

Thanks for stopping by.