How Much Fun Can One Yard of Fleece Be?

After enjoying the memories of the jacket I made for my nephew so many years ago, I decided it was time to make another one. As I dug through my patterns looking for the pattern I used make the nephew’s jacket, I ran across McCall’s 3387. I bought this pattern ages ago and made two sweatshirt fleece jackets from it for my nieces also many years ago. The sight of this pattern brought back many even more great sewing memories, furthering my excitement to make another jacket.


I started in the stash and quickly found this piece of polar fleece I had purchased on sale at Joann’s. I bought this piece to make baby blankets with, but because the design was not very babyish, I only bought one yard. So, that quickly determined that I would be making a size 3 jacket. I traced the pattern and cut it out quickly, excited to get the sewing underway. I did take the time to wash and dry the fabric before I started cutting like I always do. I’ve read that polar fleece does not shrink but I just was not willing to take the chance. I decided not use use interfacing on it either because I felt that the polar fleece could stand on its own.




The sewing process got off to a rough start when I made the pockets backwards and I had to recut out new pockets. Luckily, I did not mess up the fronts of the jacket or I would not have had enough fabric. Because of this little bump, I decided to read the pattern guide fully and follow it a little closer.  With that, the sewing from then on went like a dream. Polar fleece is so fun to sew with! It behaves so well while being sewn together, holds a fold and does not stretch or stray like so many other fabrics. My serger did not even complain about sewing on it. I totally enjoyed sewing this jacket together. I thought that the zipper was going to be a challenge, but it went in easily with no hassles. The only change I would make to the construction of this pattern is at the hem. I would have finished the hem at the zipper differently than how the pattern guide directed.




The finished jacket turned out great. I had a wonderful sewing experience from start to finish and as always, I learned one or two things during the construction, especially when it came to the pockets. I am excited now to make more jackets and I now see my polar fleece stash in a whole new light. Instead of just blankets, I see a whole new world of possibilities in my current stash. I want to make the other two styles of jackets in this pattern next. I am also flooded with ideas of variations of this pattern. Plus, over the years, I have purchased many jacket patterns in various styles and sizes that I have not tried yet. I can’t wait to get started.

Almost Again

After completing the last sleeper from the larger pattern I had, I have been anxious to try the pattern again, but this time sew the sleeper together and  insert the zipper the way I do on the smaller size sleeper I make.  I reached into the stash and pulled out this striped fabric and called it a great piece of fabric to try making another sleeper with.

Sewing the sleeper together by using the steps from the smaller size sleeper pattern worked out fine. I did not do the zipper exactly as I do on the smaller size sleepers. Instead I did a mixture of the two patterns. The zipper went in a lot easier than when I followed the instructions from the larger size pattern but it was not as smooth as in the smaller size pattern, so the next time I am going to follow the smaller size pattern exactly. I am just worried about added bulk in the foot, but I am going to give it a try.

After completing the zipper, I got so excited about finishing the sleepers that I forgot to sew the elastic around the ankles before I sewed and serged on the bottom of the feet. Thank heavens for a free arm. I inserted the sleeper leg on to the free arm and stitched some elastic around the ankle. It was not easy to keep the elastic straight but I think it turned out fine.

This striped fabric just screamed for baseball Snoopy, so of course, that is what I embroidered on the sleeper. I was pleased with the end results.

Over the 4th of July, I was able to visit the niece and nephews. I took the sleepers with me, but it will be years before the nephew will be the right size for this sleeper. The larger size pattern is so long. I am afraid that he will actually outgrow the waist before he grows into the length and will never get to wear this sleeper. So, while we were visiting, we played a little game called “How big are you?” and I got some measurements to help me make better fitting sleepers. The niece, who is older, tried on her sleeper but she and I were not happy with the length either. She will not have to wait too long before she can wear hers though.

Now, having seen the sleepers on the kids and having some measurements, I am excited to try the pattern yet again with the proper measurements. It’s nice to have a size x pattern but as everyone knows kids come in all shapes and sizes and will seldom fit a pre-sized piece of clothing correctly. Most often you know that even though your child is 3 years old he or she often wears a 2 or 4-year-old sized shirt/pants/dress.

Bibs and Blanks

First lets start with the bibs.

On May 17, a new nephew was born just in time for his older brother to turn 2.

I had already sent a couple of sleepers for the new baby but decided that some new bibs might be needed too. And I figured that the 2 year old could use them first.

The bibs are so quick to make but are also so much fun to decided what to stitch on them. I knew that the 2 year old would be going to see Toy Story 3 with his older brothers, so I decided to put Buzz and Woody on his bibs.

I really liked the Woody design but I was not as happy with the Buzz design. There is nothing wrong with the design. I just have others I like better. The third bib has a Donald Duck stitched on it because their mom is a big Donald Duck fan. So, naturally they all know who Donald Duck is.

Now on to the blanks. We stopped by the Disney outlet store the last time we were in Las Vegas.

They had these Disney sweater shirts for $3. They had the Disney tag in the the back but nothing else on them that indicated that they were from Disney. So for just $3, I could add my own Disney design to these shirts so I bought 3 of them.

They only had size 3, so I only purchased enough for the nephews that are or will be a size 3 really soon. Upon getting them home, I realized why Disney did not put anything these shirts and they went to the outlet store.

The shirts were made with the fabric inside out. But, I still like the looks of the shirts and I already owned them so I figured I would go ahead with the embroidery and the kids could just use them to play outside this fall. I debated between Mickey Mouse or Pooh and Tigger on the shirts, but Mickey Mouse won out.

I think that they turned out really cute. 

Another nephew of mine has taken a liking to outer space, planets and the space shuttle.

So, while the hoop was still sticky from the sticky paper and the thread was all out, I decided to embroider him a space shuttle.

I picked up this shirt awhile back at Wal-mart on clearance for $1.

It was the perfect shirt with great colors for the the space shuttle to be stitched on! . . . . . . . . . .

The last blank is the finished sleeper in the larger size. I debated quite a while about what design to put on the sleeper, puppies or pandas, but since it was going to the niece, it had to be a princess.

The embroidery process was not as easy on the completed sleepers as it is when I embroider during the construction of the sleeper but it wasn’t much more difficult due to the size.

I embroidered one last design, but you won’t get to see it until I finish the sewing for that one.

Stay tuned!

If you want to see my original baby bib post you can find it HERE.

Flannel Backed Satin

Since we are about half way through the year, I thought back to my new years goals that I had made, and pulled this piece of flannel backed satin out of the stash. It has not lived there very long, only a couple of years. I have always been shy of satins because everyone always comments about how difficult they are to sew, but it was time to try. I knew that the flannel would make it easier, meaning I would more likely finish the project and also be willing to sew with satins again. Besides that, it would be another piece of fabric out of the stash.

This piece of fabric was just begging to be made into girl’s pajamas. I did not have a pattern for girls pajamas so I decided just to use the basic patterns that I had. With that, the shirt is made from McCall’s 4849 size 3-4 and the pant’s pattern is from my Kwik Sew toddlers’ book size 3. Size wise they don’t quite match. To me, the shirt looks big and the pants look small for a 3 year old. This is becoming a real problem for me. I am having a difficult time judging sizes as the niece and nephews grow. When they were infants, I was able to just guess the appropriate size for their age and it pretty much matched, but now that they are older and their proportions have changed, taller, shorter, skinner, and so on, I feel less confident about just pulling out a pattern sized for their age, sewing it up and having it fit well. Luckily, I purchased enough fabric to make another pair of pants in size 4 if the size 3 is too small.

The sewing of the satin went very well, thanks to the flannel. I cut the pattern out very carefully, taking precautions to keep the fabric from slipping. I did learn that the a good sharp needle is needed to sew this fabric. A sharp needle will help keep the fabric from looking like it has been punctured at the seam line. I did not interface the collar or facings of the shirt. I figured that the flannel would take care of that so I will be interested to see how it wears and if I am correct in that assumption. I also had to spend some time getting the tensions on my serger correct. The serger kept gathering the fabric as it sewed. It was making some beautiful gathers, but I just wanted a nice flat sergered edge. Knowing that satin is a slippery problem, I did take extra time and extra pins to help make this sewing projects a success. So, I say to all other seamstresses out there that have shared their frustrations and success with satin, “Thanks for the info”.

Even with the sizing issue, I am pleased with my end results. I believe that the niece will like them as well. I am anxious for her to try them on and see how they fit. I have another piece of flannel backed satin hiding in the stash that I would just love to turn into pajamas but I will wait and see how she likes this set first.

I’ve Started…

I’ve started several projects, but I have yet to complete any of them. I dislike it when I do this. I am very much a start one project, finish it, then move on to the next project person. Of course, I have many UFO’s (unfinished objects) hiding in my closet, but that is because I have lost interest in completing them for one reason or another. The projects I am working on now are all ones I plan to complete, but I have gotten ahead of myself in getting them started.

I started some new sleepers for the new nephew that is on the way, but while embroidering the designs on the sleepers, I embroidered a couple of towels for bibs rather than finishing the sewing on the sleepers. So, the unfinished sleepers and bibs sat on my cutting table. Before finishing them, I decided I wanted to get another flannel blanket ready to crochet around, so that lead to a trip to the stash. While digging through the stash for flannel, I ran across some lighter color knits and decided to pull them out to make the husband some new summer shirts. So, now added to the unfinished sleepers and bibs are flannel pieces ready to stitched and skip-bladed and fabric, pattern and supplies for the husbands shirts.

I’ve also started another amigurumi creature after finishing the teddy bear I crocheted. I have most of its parts crocheted and I’m now working on the head for that. We went on vacation last week and I like to crochet while traveling. Since I’m down to the stitching of the face, stuffing and the sewing of the pieces together of this amigurumi, I started another amigurumi for the trip. I now have the second amigurumi’s parts crochet waiting to be stuffed and put together.  So, to add to my already full cutting table, I have two partly constructed amigurumi’s on top of everything else.

I have decided though not to continue to work on all these projects all at once. I am going back to the complete one thing, move to the next one process. So, stay tuned to see the completed items.

P.S. I did not purchase a single inch of fabric on this vacation. Amazing! It’s a first for me!

No, I didn’t forget about you…

IMG_1828This sleeper was supposed to be finished and sent to the little brother of the two nephews receiving the Pokemon shirts. But because I wanted to get the shirts to the older boys for school, the sleeper did not make it into the package since it wasn’t done at the time, but it is done now and on its way.

IMG_1830I made the sleeper from the larger size pattern I have and left the elastic off the back, thereby not defining a waist line. I also ran the stretch up and down instead of around. Hopefully, these two modifications will give the sleeper more grow room. (Special note for the nephew’s parents: Please let me know if leaving out the
elastic gives more grow room or if you would rather have the elastic in the back next time.) I am fairly sure that the vertical stretch will increase the grow room. I used some fabric scraps from the stash to make this sleeper and I used every inch of the scraps. Hurray! another piece of fabric out of the stash and in use. The sleeper sewed up great.

I was suppose to put a Pokemon design on this sleeper to match the nephews shirts, but I just couldn’t do it with all the cute designs I have. The wearer of this sleeper is young enough that I don’t think he really cares what is on his clothes and I don’t think his brothers really do either. While sewing the sleeper, the stripes kept saying baseball to me and of course, my favorite baseball player is…Snoopy, so Snoopy playing baseball was the correct design for this fabric and this sleeper. I think it is the perfect match.

Tab Front Shirts

IMG_1691IMG_1694As you might remember from a post I made several months ago, I made a baby romper with a collar and a tab front. The pattern used a slit cut and a facing to make the tab. At the time, I was not that pleased with my end results. I decided that it was not a problem resulting from not following the pattern correctly, but instead it was something I was going to have to practice with because it was just a technique to be mastered. So, with that in mind, I pulled out some knit scraps from the stash and cut out some more tab front shirts to practice on.

I decided that rather than working with tiny infant sizes, I would make larger shirts, and that these would possibly be easier to do. My first try was the blue and white striped shirt see here. In the cutting process, I did not worry about matching the stripes on the facing. I actually thought to myself, “You won’t see the facing so it won’t matter if the stripes match.” Well, you do see the facing and it does matter. I learned that later in the project. I tried to sew very carefully to the point of the slit, tapering in at the end, then turning at the point and tapering back out, but even doing that the end result still puckered. I tried to snip on the tapers to see if I could get less puckering. Then I tried smacking it with a hot iron to see it that would help, but there is still a pucker. So, did I not sew carefully enough or do I just need more practice with this style?

IMG_1693IMG_1697On the second shirt, I cut the facing so the stripes match the shirt and I am much happier with the results on that one. I also tried to sew very carefully, tapering as the pattern described, but there is still a pucker. I wonder if I had not picked a stripe fabric to try this if the pucker would be less noticeable and more acceptable.  I am happier with the end results on the second shirt, but I still am not totally happy with the end results. I don’t know if I should continue to try and master this technique or try a different pattern. Most of the patterns for tab front shirts that I have made use this method. Many years ago, when I drafted a pattern for my husband’s shirt, I started with a dated pattern close to his size. It did not use the slit tab but had you cut a square out of the front of the shirt and replace it with the facing. His pattern has worked well for me in making the tabs, so I could alter the current patterns I have  to use this method, but I don’t know it that would be time well spent. Any suggestions from anyone reading this on how to perfect the tab front with the slit method would be appreciated!




IMG_1692IMG_1698Wondering what to do with these shirts, my thoughts turned to the nephews. I asked them what they may want embroidered on the shirts and they picked Pokemon. Now, I know very little about Pokemon, so I had their mom list their favorite Pokemon characters. This did not work so well. I could not match any of the designs I had with the names they sent me, so I finally sent them the designs I had and told them to pick some. So, with that, each shirt got a Pokemon character embroidered on it.  These certainly are not the cutest designs I have ever done, but I hope the boys like them.

I followed the pattern for these shirts pretty closely wanting the tabs to come out correctly. When it was time to apply the buttons, I placed them where the pattern said to. On the second, smaller shirt, this placement was ok, but on the first larger shirt, I do not like the buttons. (Too late now!) If and when there is a next time for this pattern, I will use three buttons on the larger size and place them as I do my husband’s buttons instead of as the pattern said to.