Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Butterick 5612 - A Review

I've sewn up a Tunic for myself using Butterick 5612. I  bought the downloaded version from Print2Sew. It is not completed yet since I've not yet sewn on the buttons.

I chose View B but did a few modification.

The fabric is some light weight blue cotton that I bought sometime ago from  I've chose size 10 for the top and size 12 for waist and hip.  But it was still gaping at the neckline for me so I cut off some length from the neck band before attaching to the neckline.  The instruction for the placket was a bit confusing and the small picture doesn't help too. In the end, I just use my common sense and attach it. Not sure if it's the right method but it works.

In my opinion, the sleeve was also too big and it could use some slimming down. I didn't adjust the sleeve though since I can wear them rolled up.

The casing for the drawstring was quite a hassle so I did away with it and just sew 2 belt loops at the waist area and insert the drawstring through.

Here's the back view of the tunic. The raglan sleeve style tunic is quite nice on me since it is not so form fitting and the drawstring at the waist gives it some shape. I also love the 2 big pockets that is just the right size for me!

In my next post, I'll be sharing a tutorial on sewing on buttons and button holes using the sewing machine.  Stay posted!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

My Sewing Tools

Pattern Storage Book

In the recent years of my sewing endeavors, I've accumulated a lot of pattern pieces. Some for my kids, some for me. I didn't want to throw them away as I thought I could use them again since I liked the outcome.

So, I bought one of these large portfolio files with plastic slot-ins for keeping all my paper pattern pieces.

As this is quite big, I can put in most of my pattern pieces for one project in one slot! It close flat and quite nicely put away when not in use.

Thread holder

Do you use twin needle for your sewing? I did for some of my knit sewing projects here and here. As my Singer sewing machine is a basic one with the thread holder that is horizontally positioned, it is hard to insert another thread for my twin needle.

What I did was to use a bobbin thread and put it together with my normal thread in the same thread holder but sometimes the thread jammed up and entangled up. Messy messy.  So when I saw Spotlight had the portable thread holder, I quickly grabbed it. This is how it looks like.  

Just put in the thread and thread it through the metal holder and then through the normal threading in your machine. I've place the thread holder in foreground for illustration purpose only.  In actual usage, I'll place it to the right of my machine.


I saw this at one of the shop at Textile centre and bought it to try. I'm tried of trying to turn narrow tube inside out using chopsticks or safety pins that sometimes don't really work and I'll have sore and twisted fingers after trying for the longest time. 

What's a hemostats? It is a locking clamp that is shaped like a long pair of scissors but had grip lines on the scissors end to help grip the fabric.

see grip lines?
The hemostats is able to grip the fabric tightly and pull it inside out. The locking mechanism at the handle helps to hold it together.

So, there. I've shared 3 of my favorite sewing tools. What about you?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Big Pockets Dress

This is what I call my new dress. Not exactly very creative but I don't have any fancy name to call since the  Japanese sewing book that I've used to make this dress didn't give it a name.  

Remember this book that I've used to sew up the Bow Tie Dress?

It's still one of my favorite and I sew up yet another one from this book.  The original design has 2 large grosgrain ribbon bows on the shoulders but I thought it will be too sweet for me so I did away with it last minute.

The book version
My version
What I love about this dress? The ruched shoulder, big pockets and slits at the hem. 

On the shoulders, 2 narrow elastic bands sewn on the shoulder seams allowance gave the ruched look. 

The dress is loose fitting as most Japanese dress patterns are. So usually, I'll go one size smaller. Then try the cut out template and place on yourself to get the sensing of the fit before you cut the fabric. I also shorten the length by 4".  Even when I downsize them, there is still alot of ease for my liking so I trim down 1" on both sides after I cut the fabric.

If you happen to have this book and will like to try making this one, do note that the dress has no zip and you are supposed to put them on through your head so don't make it too fitting or else you can't even put them on! If you like, you can insert zipper but make sure you put in the extra seam allowance in the back.  I love this dress and will maybe try this with zipper the next time I make it.

Let's look at the dress in details shall we?

Ruched shoulders

Big pockets with lace details

In the original pattern, the pocket is left simple but I added some white lace that I got from Daiso for $2. So pretty but not overly sweet.

The slits are the 2 sides of the hem so that you can walk in them.

Another view of the dress

The dress - with ME in it.  
Sorry, didn't know where to put my hands...I know, so stiff right?

What! I looked pregnant!!? Shocked...dismayed....okay..I"m middle aged women with 2 kids so what's wrong with a little tummy :P  Maybe a side view look helped to demystify the 'preggy' look? Oh arm is so fat...

Anyway, I still love this dress. Probably a belt will help : )

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Outfits

She's all dressed up like a cow girl, except the hat! Her grandfather bought her those red boots that she loves. I also love the sparkle jeans and her cute chubby cheeks!

Next up is my elder girl in her Musketeer costume. I'm happy that she loves her dress so much and kept wanting to wear it to church or any other occasions! I feels good to see that she still wants to wear the clothes that I made.

And finally, it's me in my brown dress.  I made this yesterday! Love love love this dress. So comfy and those big pockets! More on this dress in my next post.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Raglan Tee

Yes, I finally got into the bandwagon of sewing Raglan Tee.    

Now that I've sewn it, I wonder why I didn't do so earlier. It was so amazing and the possibilities you can have with the colors and prints! 

Jessica from Craftiness Is Not Optional had a wonderful tutorial on Raglan Tee.  It was really smooth and easy.  I didn't have the ribbed knit in the colors that I want so I use the regular jersey knit for the neckline and it worked fine.  

For the neckline, just cut the knit in long strip of 1.75" width. Then, fold into half lengthwise and press with iron.  Zig zag or serge the long raw edges together.  I think this help to prevent the knit strip from shifting when you sew them to the neckline.  

I just use one of their existing T-shirt to trace the template but somehow it was a little big on my little girl...

I love this animal print knit that I got from Spotlight. So sunny and bright!

Since it was quite easy to sew one up, I did another 2 more using another knit with Pear print in Red and White.  I make the sleeve a little longer to be 3/4 for this one.

Not forgetting one for the big sister too!

Friday, February 10, 2012

3/4 pants - A knit version

Here's the knit version.  

This one looks more like a bermuda. The knit is jersey knit with small pink star print that I got also from Spotlight. Like I've shared in my last post, I use ballpoint needle to sew the knit.  At the side seams and hem, I use twin needles so that i have 2 rows of stitches without the need to sew twice! Real neat.

For this pants, I increase the seam allowance at waistband to 4" so that I can fold over 2" to make the waistband.  Just sew normally and fold over 2", press with iron and then insert the elastic band loop under the fold. Adjust and pin in place so that the loop are evenly distributed in the fold.  Pull the elastic and sew close to the waistband all around.  [Sorry, don't have any photo on this as I was in hurry to finish]

For the other one for my second girl, I've slimmed down the template so that it will become more of a tights than a loose fitting pants.  Same as the sister's, I've increase the seam allowance above the waistband for the elastic band. 

She loves her pants and I'm so so happy! Nothing beats having your kids wearing the clothes that you sew, a testimony that it's wearable and the fit is right : P

Next up in my post will be some Tops..

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Knit Waistband Pants

Okay, once I got into the mood, it's hard for me to stop since I already got the paper template cut out for my girls, I could use them to make some more right?

So, I cut out some cute mushroom print cotton fabric that I got from Chinatown.  That's when I decided to do something different for the waistband.  Usually I did the normal ones with the inserted elastic band after I've sewn up the waistband but then I wanted a smooth waistband that will not bunch up when worn. Something that I seen on store bought running pants.  

This is the first time I mix knit with cotton. So, it was a bit scary at first.  When you are using knit, be sure to use Ballpoint or Jersey needle suitable for sewing knits.  Sometimes I use twin needles like the last time I sew up the top for the KCWC.  

I used Lier's tutorial on how to sew the smooth knit waistband to guide me.  Her instruction is really clear and informative. I use ribbed knit for the waistband as I've got some on hand from Spotlight.  Only got this muted blue so don't mind if the color don't match with the brown mushroom print pants! Just follow Lier's tutorial and cut out the length required and sew on the waistband.

From this...
... to This!

A closer look at the knit smooth....

It was really easy and I went ahead to make one more for my older girl. So addictive you know.  This one is floral print corduroy that I got from spotlight. So pretty!

To help the girls or the father, I sew the label at the front bottom of the pants leg so that they know which is the front and back! I mean the back has more room/ease around the bump but my girl couldn't seem to see the difference until she got the pants on!

I actually also sewn up 2 more knit pants using the same template but I'll share more in my next post!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

3/4 Pants - A tutorial

My elder girl had recently learnt to ride her new 2 wheels bike and I realized that she didn't had a lot of loose pants that will not restrict her movement on the bike. So I thought I'll just sew her some to supplement her wardrobe.  

This 3/4 pants is really easy to make and all in all, it took me just 2 hours and I didn't use much fabric. Just some left over fabric that I had at home.  

To make this, find a pants that fits your child and trace the front and back.  You need 2 pieces of the front and 2 pieces of the back. Note that the front waist length will be slightly shorter than the back piece. The length of the pants will fall just at the knee length so just take the measurement from your kids and you are good to go.  Remember to add seam allowance of 3.8" all around except the hem, I use 2".

2 pieces of front (left) and 2 pieces of back (right)
1. Place one piece of front and one piece of the back piece, right side facing, and sew the side seams.  Serge or zig zag the side seams. Do the same for the other pieces of front and back.

2. Press seams towards the back of the pants and top stitch along the side seams using the sewing foot as a guide. Do the same for the other piece.

3. Align and pin the inseams of one pants leg right side together and sew. Serge or zig zag the inseams. Do the same for the other leg piece.

4. Turn one of the leg piece right side out and keep the other piece wrong side out.  

wrong side out (left) and right side out (right)

5. Insert the 'right side out' leg into the other pant leg so that the right sides of the pants face each other inside.  Pin the crotch area.  See photo for illustration.

Sew and serge or zig zag the seams.

6. Turn the pants right side out. Sew 2 rows of stitch along the crotch area using the sewing foot as a guide. Go slow so that you don't accidentally sew the other side of the pants. This is for decorative purpose so you can skip this if you want.

7. To prepare for the waistband and hem, I serge the waist area and hem first.

8. Fold in 0.5" of the hem and press. Then fold in another 1.5" and press. Sew 2 rows of stitch around the hem. Make sure that both pants leg are of the same length else it will look very obvious.

9. For the waistband, I've this beautiful elastic band that I bought from the Textile Centre but have not found the use for it. The color simply match the pants and added the nice color to it. The method is the same as how I sew the circle skirt

10. Sew the short ends of the elastic band right side together so that it become a loop.  Then attach the band to the waist area of the pants. Pin the front centre, back centre, 2 sides of the pants to the elastic band. Then, pull as you sew so that it will gather nicely around the waist.

Enjoy the pants!