Saturday, January 9, 2010

A New Year, New Projects: Things 1&2

I have a sort of goal this year to document my projects...everything that comes off the sewing machine or craft table.
Thing #1
Unfortunately, the first thing to come off (a hemming job for a friend) came before this resolution, so THIS will have to suffice: a new pair of comfy fleece pants for the toddler.

Thing #2
I used a tutorial from Kojo Designs. This is my second time using their tute (originally for fabulous lounge pants from an old t-shirt) and while I made some improvements over the first go, I also found a few things I would do differently.

First off, I think I've mastered the Seaming of Pants. The tutorial has you cut out four pattern pieces, two sets of two identical pieces, and then sew those pieces up to make your pants. My first attempt, I sewed up the outside seams first, and then attempted to sew the crotch and inseam. Umm...FAIL. At least, it's not the easiest (or neatest) way to construct pants! Looking at a pair of my daughter's pants as a guide, I think I've figured out what the tutorial was trying to tell me: First you sew up the seam that will follow the bum crack, then you sew up the seam that will be opposite that one (below the belly button). THEN you lay those pieces right sides together and sew the inseam: from one ankle, across the arch, down to the other ankle. Finally, sew up your long outside seams. *Whew* So much easier. And neater!

Also, I played with my machine's "overlock stitch" (#15, on the Brother EX-660) and it made a much more professional looking seam...even if it did take three times as long. (Turns out, sewing back and forth and sideways and crossways takes a lot longer than simply sewing in a straight line. Who knew?!)

My last step was to put the pants on my daughter, inside out, and fold and mark the cuffs and casing for the drawstring. The tutorial has one of my favorite tips of all time - make your own drawstring. It's easy! Just cut three skinny, long pieces of material, braid them together tightly, and knot both ends. Voila! (I adore tips that allow me to skip a trip to the craft store!)

However, when making up my drawstring and casing, I forgot to take into account the fact that my fabric is considerably thicker than the original jersey used in the tutorial. Oy. I sewed the casing, braided the drawstring, snipped two holes in the front of the casing and s.l.o.w.l.y. threaded my drawstring around the waist of the pants. My fabric was so thick, I had to cut off the cute tassels I had made - I couldn't fit them through! *sniff* Next time, I will do it this way: Braid the drawstring, snip two holes in the front of the pants, thread the two ends around the waist and through the two holes, then fold the casing down and sew. Voila! No more threading, and I can keep my cute tassels. (Of course, my drawstring is so THICK, it makes the pants a little awkward...so I might just break down and find some elastic next time.)

And there you go: fleece-y, comfy lounge/PJ pants for the toddler!

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3 comments:

LeeAnn said...

Hi! I am a long time lurker who has decided to come out and comment more often. My goal this year is to not only document what I make, but complete at least one project each month. Big or small - just one project. We'll see how it goes.

Andrea said...

Cute! If I could sew, I'd definitely make a set of those for Little Boy. LOL

My Ice Cream Diary said...

Ooo, thanks for the tips.