Sunday, 29 June 2008

Lots of top-stitching!

These pants are from Ottobre magazine, issue 4/2007, design #29, size 8 (European size 128). In tracing this pattern, I added a 5/8" seam allowance. I used a larger seam allowance because of the double top-stitching. This is my first time sewing an Ottobre pattern. It went reasonably well but the zipper placket gave me quite a bit of trouble.

Even though the pattern called for a 4" zipper, I tried using a 6" one, as that was my smallest zipper. In fiddling around, trying to get the zipper to fit, I must have screwed up somewhere. Also, I wasn't familiar in using a placket to attach a zipper. I wasn't pleased with the result. It ended up looking like I had sewn darts at the end of the zipper.

I ended up taking out that zipper. I also had a pair of Joshua's pants that were ripped and beyond repair. I took the zipper from that pair. As a bonus, that pair had a zipper placket, so I was able to examine the installation in detail. Once I put in the new zipper placket, with my new-found zipper placket knowledge, it looked like it should.

I also adjusted this pattern to have an adjustable waist using buttonhole elastic. Joshua has a skinny waist and without the adjustable waist, he would have to wear a belt. The boy barely remembers to zip up his pants (occasionally) and a belt would be a disaster.

Overall, I am pleased with this pattern. It was a lot of work, but next time it should go a little easier. I will be taking a break from making pants for a bit, though.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Burda 9641

These are for school in the fall for Joshua. The pattern used is Burda 9641, size 8. I left off the flap pockets on the sides of the legs, and the belt loops as the waist is elastic. I used 1.25" elastic and 22" in length. I attached the elastic with the serger, then turned and used the sewing machine to finish.

I tried using the coverstitch but the fabric plus elastic was a bit too thick for it and the stitching was messy. The elastic could easily go up to 1.5", and I could definitely shorten to 20"-21".

On the back, I left off the no-pocket flap and instead put a back pocket on. I might lower the back pockets next time. I like the pattern and I will definitely be making a few more for him.

Monday, 23 June 2008


They are the bane of my existence. There are always missing socks. I have a pile of singles. Every time I do laundry, some get matched up, but others join that pile. It changes yet it stays the same.

Then there are the girls' socks. It's so hard to tell them apart. I tried marking Isabella's with a Sharpie but that eventually washed out. Now, I'm trying sewing a zigzag of black thread on them.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

First of the Back-to-school clothes

This is a pair of cords for Joshua. The pattern is Burda 9860, size 7. The following picture is the detail top-stitching on the back.

This pattern took a little while to sew. There is quite a bit of detail and I added even more. I also made the waist an adjustable waist so that required adding buttonholes and buttons to accommodate the buttonhole elastic.

The pants have a little growing room but not too much, so I need to start making size 8 for Joshua. This pattern is definitely true-to-size. I'm going to try a different pattern for the next pair.

UPDATE: Here he is wearing them.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Another summer nightie for Katerina

I was about to start working on some back-to-school clothes but Katerina pleaded for another nightie. This is the same pattern, Kwik Sew 3105, that I used for the previous two nighties.

Monday, 16 June 2008

My littlest ballerina

Here is Isabella in her ballet recital on Sunday.

Some rugby action

Here are the twins playing rugby on Sunday. (Yes, I know "rugby" is missing the "b" in the title.)

Thin jersey PJ for Joshua

I wasn't sure this PJ would even turn out. Joshua was with me once when I was in the fabric store and he saw this motorcycle fabric. He was feeling left out as I was buying girlie knits, and he wanted this. The fabric, unfortunately, is really thin jersey.

It turned out well, though, and he loves it. The pattern is Kwik Sew 3234, size M.

Some past sewing

These are a few PJs for Joshua and a nightie for Katerina that I had sewn in late April/early May. I was having some computer issues so I hadn't had a chance to upload the pictures earlier.

I just love this picture of Joshua. He is such a clown. This PJ and the next one are from the New Look 6131 pattern, size 7.

The following pattern is Kwik Sew 3042, size M.

This nightie is from the Kwik Sew 3105 pattern, size M. I used this pattern to also make the nightie shown in a previous post.

Friday, 13 June 2008

Swimsuit #2 for Katerina

This is the same pattern combination as Isabella's tankini, except I reversed the top colours.

I think I like both ways equally.

UPDATE: Here she is in her "model" pose.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Swimsuit #2 for Isabella

This swimsuit is a combination of two patterns. The blue part of the top is Kwik Sew 2422. The pink part of the top and the bottoms are Kwik Sew 3605.

I had a remnant left of the blue fabric from a gymnastics leotard I had made for Katerina a couple of years ago. There wasn't enough left for the whole swimsuit so I added the matching pink.

I'm not too keen on bikinis on children so I wanted to make her a tankini. Unfortunately, the Kwik Sew tankini pattern had a bra-style top, which, again, I'm not too fond of on children. Hence, the different combination of patterns.

Although I like the tankini, I think it would have looked better if I had reversed the pink and blue in the top.

A swimsuit for Katerina

This is the same pattern that I used for Isabella's swimsuit except size 7. Katerina is at school right now so she isn't available to model it.

I still used the swimsuit elastic but I changed the serger and coverstitcher settings. For the serger, I used a long stitch length, 4, and I kept the cutting width at 2.5. I also dropped the left needle so I only used the right needle plus the two loopers.

For the coverstitch, I used the middle and right needles, with the presser foot down half a turn. My tension settings were 4, 4, and 3. I also stitched with the right needle on the elastic and the middle needle on the fabric.

When doing the neckline for both the serger and coverstitch, I divided it into eighths. It was much easier to work with than with quarters. The fabric coverage over the elastic was much more consistent and there was less fabric slippage.

It worked out really well and I am pleased with the result.

UPDATE: Here is Katerina wearing her new swimsuit.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Under the Sea

Here she is at the dress rehearsal yesterday. I cropped her out of a group shot (I didn't want to post pictures of other children without permission), so the picture is a bit fuzzy.

The Novice show is next Sunday and I'm going to try to get some better pictures.

A swimsuit for Isabella

This swimsuit is made from the Jalie 2317 pattern, size 4. This is the first time I have made a swimsuit, so the learning curve is high. I used swimsuit elastic in the neckline and the armholes but I think it is too thick.

After sewing the elastic the first time, it rolled outwards. I ran it through the coverstitcher once more to tack it down a bit. It seemed to work, for now.

I think I will use regular elastic for the next one and lengthen the serger stitch so it won't be so thick.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Isabella's tie-back shirt

This is the same shirt, except size 4, as Katerina's shirt.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Tie-back top for Katerina

I wasn't sure about this shirt right up to the very end. But, I like it.

This is Jalie 2793, size 7. I used cotton lycra and that is what made me unsure about it. I had finished it up until the hemming and I was just about to do a load of warm wash, so I tossed it in. It really softened up after the wash. I put it on Katerina, unhemmed, with a pair of lime green capris and it really popped. This is the top with the hems finished.

I have another one cut out for Isabella, size 4, but the fabrics are opposite.

My sewing to-do list

So, I just scooped up a bunch of long-sleeved t-shirts that were on sale for Katerina and Isabella at H&M yesterday, and Joshua still has lots from last year that still fit, so no more shirt sewing. As much as I would like to, I really should concentrate on other things.

I went through the kids' clothes today to see what they are lacking. Pants for the twins. Joshua will need size 7 pants as he is longer in the torso so he stays in pants for a long time. Katerina will need size 8 mid-way through the fall/winter season. She is always like that.

Katerina will also need some fall/winter skirts and winter jumper dresses. Plus leggings. The twins will need winter PJs, too.

But, first on my list to sew are some swimsuits for the girls for this summer. And, Joshua and Katerina need a few more summer PJs.

Sunday, 1 June 2008


Isabella LOVES yellow. It's her favourite colour. I've been wanting to make something for her in yellow for quite a while and now that spring is here, with summer just around the corner, it was time.

I used Kwik Sew 3169, size 4, for the top; New Look 6582, size 4, for the skirt, and; Jalie 2444, size 4, for the leggings. For Katerina, I used the same patterns except size 7.

I also tried something different for the elastic in the top. I attached the elastic with the serger, folded and cover-stitched down. The pattern called for a casing. I hate doing casings. I can see that the neckline is a bit wobbly in spots, but I'm hoping it smooths out with a wash.

The top is made from Michael Miller Fun Mellon and the skirt is just a thin gingham.

At the same time, I made an outfit for Katerina. The two outfits are reverse of each other. Katerina couldn't model because she was at her rugby game. It was also a bit of a rush to finish because Katerina wanted to wear her outfit to a birthday party this afternoon, and it still needed to be washed.