Tag Archive | cap

Catting Around With More Pleats – Part 2

DSCN0853DSCN0854With the bodice now completed, the skirt was next. Unlike the box pleated skirt that I made previously, I did not want a pleat at the center front and back and side seams of this skirt. I wanted the knife pleats to fold away from the center front and back. So, I started by pining these points, center front and back and side seams.

With the skirt divided into fourths, calculating the pleat became much easier. I started folding and found that two pleats per quarter would gather the skirt to the circumference of the bodice. I folded the pleats towards their respective side seams.

Once folded and pinned in place, I sewed around the top of the skirt to hold the pleats in place. With that, the knife pleats were done. I believe this skirt was easier to make than the box pleated skirt was because of the time that I spent and knowledge that I gained in making it. I had already experienced a lot of trial and error on the box pleated skirt, making this knife pleat skirt much easier to calculate.

DSCN0329This time I decided to not hem the lining and top fabric together. This also gave me an idea on how to make the stitch in the ditch seam easier. Instead of sewing the top fabric of the bodice to the skirt, folding the lining up and stitching in the ditch, I would sew the lining to the bodice, fold the top fabric up and sew around the folded fabric.

You would see the seam and there would be a fold, but I felt that would be fine. If it wasn’t fine, oh well, this was a trial dress to learn from and I wouldn’t do it that way again.

DSCN0330It felt odd sewing the lining to the bodice first. It felt like I was sewing it backwards. After completing the sewing, I ironed the seam up and ironed the fold in the top fabric of the bodice. I then positioned the folded top fabric over the lining/bodice seam and started sewing. There was a lot of play in the fabric, so I had to sew carefully to get a nice seam, with no folds or tucks.

With the stitch in the ditch seam, you can ignore a small tuck or fold or a crocked seam here and there because it is all done inside the dress. With the seam on the outside, there could be no tucks or folds or crocked seams since it would all be visible from the outside. Once this seam was sewn, I thought the look was good. The exposed seam and the fold looked fine. But, I don’t know that it was really any easier to sew than the stitch in the ditch seam due to the care that had to be taken sewing to this exposed seam.

DSCN0858DSCN0857I hemmed the lining 2 inches shorter than the top fabric so it would not be seen.

And with that done this dress was completed!

It turned out very cute. Cuter than I expected with the cats and the stars. The knife pleats came out great and the reversed stitch in the ditch seam looked fine. I hope some little girl will be happy wearing this dress.

Until next time, sew forth and cat on.

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Catting Around With More Pleats -Part 1

DSCN0321Since I was feeling confident about box pleats, I decided that my next project would be another little girl’s dress but this time with knife pleats. I also picked shoulder cap sleeves instead of full sleeves for this dress.

DSCN0324Selecting the fabric was both easy and difficult. The easy part was that I had just purchased a lining fabric with cats on it for $1 per yard at Walmart. The difficult part was picking the dress fabric. After looking in the stash I found this beige and blue star piece which seemed like it might work. The colors matched ok, but did stars and cats go together? It looked ok to me. Once again, the idea for this dress was to try out some knife pleats.

DSCN0291After selecting the fabric, I cut out the pattern. Because of the pleats, I cut the back of the skirt on the fold with no back slit. This time though I remembered the troubles that I had previously when attaching the bodice when the skirt had no back slit. To get around this problem, instead of a row of buttons down the back, I would make a keyhole button loop and button at the top of the back of the bodice. The back of the bodice would be one piece at the bottom making it easier to attach to the skirt.

DSCN0287Wishing I had embroidered something on the plain green cotton bodice of the last dress, I picked an embroidery design for this bodice. Of course, it had to be a cat to match the lining. Embroidering the design was the first step in sewing this dress.

DSCN0294The next step was to sew the bodice together. Normally, to do a keyhole button loop, the front and back of the bodice are cut on the fold, then you would add a v-shape in the neck line, sew around the neck line, and finally cut the “v” open and turn. There would be no seam in the bodice back, but then the armscye would have to be sewn differently so the neck could be turned. With a back seam, the armscye could be sewn as usual. I did not want to rethink sewing the armscye, so I did not cut the back of the bodice on the fold. Instead I added a back seam, but I did not add the extra inch for the buttons. I would change the sewing of the keyhole button loop and button so that a back seam was involved.

DSCN0297How did I do this you might ask? I will tell you. Step one, I serged the edges of the back seams. Next, I sewed around the neck line, then sewed the back seam of the bodice and lining separately, stopping 3 inches from the top on each seam. I pressed the seams open, then placing wrong sides together and adding the keyhole loop, I top stitched a box to complete the back seams and attach the loop, then I sewed on the button. This is basically the way the pattern said to finish the back seam of the skirt when you have one. It worked out great. The bottom of the back bodice was one piece, but it still had an opening to get the dress on and off.

Because I did not change how the armscye’s were sewn, attaching the cap sleeves went smoothly, especially since they did not extend to the bottom of the armscye. I then sewed the side seams together and with that the bodice was complete.

Up next, the knife pleated skirt.

Until next time, sew forth and cat on.

Several Snoopy’s But Just One Woodstock – Part 3, Pattern #3

DSCN0215DSCN0153Because I had made this Snoopy pattern before, I decided to try and change it up a little this time and use a heavier yarn, and my 4.5 mm hook. I would get a little larger Snoopy than the first one I made using this method. Snoopy’s pieces crocheted up great and he was easy to stitch together. Since his legs are not stuffed, I stitched his legs to the front of his body so he would have no problem sitting. This pattern did not call for a spot on Snoopy’s back either. I don’t remember if I added a spot to the first Snoopy that I made from this pattern or not. I would have to ask my sister who has him. I doubt that I did though, because at that point in time I would not have dreamed of deviating from the pattern’s original design. This time though I thought that Snoopy needed a back spot. I used the spot pattern that I had used on Paulie the penguin for guidance to make it.

DSCN0272DSCN0269The next thing I changed from the pattern was Snoopy’s eyes. The pattern called for felt eyes and this is what I used for the first Snoopy. But, after just using some yarn for the eyes on the previous standing Snoopy pattern that I had just completed, I decided to use yarn for this Snoopy’s eyes as well. The last change was a smile. Neither the first Snoopy from this pattern or the standing Snoopy have a mouth. This Snoopy does and I like it so much, I may go back and give the standing Snoopy a smile too.

The next step to complete this Snoopy was to make his helmet, googles and scarf. I started with the helmet. Because I am a little more experienced at reading crocheting patterns now than I was the first time I made a Snoopy, I had no problem following the pattern and crocheting the helmet. When I first tried it on this Snoopy, I did not like it at all. Snoopy looked DSCN0213terrible in his helmet! I tried to think of different ways to crochet the helmet to get better results, but with no luck. I just did not like the helmet on Snoopy. I thought maybe if I made the googles that would help by covering up some of the helmet, so I started to crochet the googles, but stopped. I did not like the helmet and I would never put it on my Snoopy, so why waste more yarn and time. I thought about making his scarf still but then I decided on making a collar instead. Just like the spot on his back, Snoopy needs a collar. My standing Snoopy has a collar. So, I quickly crocheted this Snoopy a double crocheted collar with red yarn. And with that my Snoopy was complete! And he is as cute as can be!

My two Snoopy’s and the one Woodstock that I made are great! I would love to make any of these three patterns again and again.

Until next time, crochet forth and Snoopy on!

Take Off That Hat And Scarf! It’s Still Summertime out there!

DSCN0243I must have been trying to think of cool thoughts while enduring the heat of the summer when I decided that my next amigurumi project would be a penguin.

Actually, a more accurate reason for choosing it was the purchase of a particular color of variegated yarn. I love the extremes of it. First a bright neon color then the complete opposite, black, then the bright neon color again. What would show off the burst of colors in this P1040325yarn? Of course, an animal with the same contrast, a black and white penguin.

I found the cutest penguin pattern and it included instructions to make a hat and scarf too. The crocheting of the pieces went smoothly, and the pattern was very well written with lots of detailed pictures. The only change that I made to the pattern was the penguin’s white belly spot. The pattern called for just a round white circle for the belly spot, but that looked odd to me. So, I undid the last round and added some double crochets to what would be the top of the spot, making it an oval at the top and round at the bottom. This looked better to me than just the round circle did. The oval top seemed to fill the belly area of the body better.

P1040335Stuffing and stitching the pieces together went smoothly as well. Soon enough, I had an adorable penguin all crocheted up! I actually thought about stopping there, but the whole reason for making this amigurumi was to use the new variegated yarn, so I started crocheting again to make the scarf and hat.

The scarf was no problem to crochet and it was a good length after being tied around the penguin’s neck. The hat was also a simple crochet to make. There is one thing I thought about changing on the hat and that was the color of the last round of the cap. The last round is crocheted in double crochet versus the single crochets of the rest of the cap, to give the cap a finished edge. This edge is lost when made in the variegated yarn. I thought about undoing the double crochet round and chaining the color to black. But I figured that would that just make the double crochets blend with the penguin’s black head and I would lose the edge anyway. In the end, I decided to leave the double crochet round in the variegated yarn, mostly because I love this variegated yarn on the black and white penguin.

DSCN0241The challenge for this amigurumi came with the pompom on the hat. I know how to make a pompom, but I have never had any luck making a successful one. They always fall apart on me. I thought about leaving the pompom off the hat but I really wanted one so I got started on it. After trying a couple of times to make the pompom and having it fall apart on me, I was ready to quit. So after filling the bottom of the garbage can with failed pompoms, I decided that the hat did not need a pompom after all. I showed the husband the completed penguin with the pompomless hat and scarf and his first comment was “Where’s the pompom?” Flustered I showed him the garbage can and explained to him how I had been trying to make the pompoms with no success. He said to let him try. I watched closely as he did the exact same thing that I had done to make a pompom, DSCN0247but when he pulled the yarn to tie the knot, he pulled it so much tighter than I could have had pulled it, I found my problem. The husband’s pompom was a success and I promptly stitched it to the top of the hat for the penguin. It looks great and best of all it did not fall apart. Unfortunately for the husband, he is now the official pompom maker.

This penguin was quickly named Paulie, not a very original name, but a good name. I think Paulie is very cute and was fun to make and I love his hat and scarf from the variegated yarn the most.

Until next time, crochet forth and crochet on.

Denver Broncos Number One Fan

Well not me personally, but most of my family seem to be big fans of the Denver Broncos. I don’t really have any particular sports teams that I root for and I’ve never been a big professional sports fan.broncos2

P1030923My dad though is a huge Denver Broncos fan, and he fights a constant battle during the summer trying to keep the squirrels from eating everything in his garden. And  because I just love to tease him about them doing it, I decided to make him this one of a kind, custom made in team colors of orange and blue, Number One Denver Broncos Fan Squirrel with a matching foam finger.

The squirrel pattern that I used for it is a free one that I got from the Red Heart yarn website. I used a 4mm G hook with Red Heart mocha, aran, orange and blue colors.P1030929

It crocheted up very nicely even though I was concerned that the arms and legs were going to be too small. But once I started to assemble the pieces it all looked the way the pattern showed it should. Also when I crocheted his tail according to the pattern it seemed to be too small to me, so I made it about 10 rows taller than the pattern showed and about 6 sc wider. I also used one of my large round sewing weights to go in the very bottom part of the squirrel to weight him down somewhat. I figured with his very large tail he would fall over or be wobbly without some extra weight to keep him upright. And I was correct. Once I attached the tail he would have fallen over very quickly without the extra weight. And I changed the design of the hat shown in the pattern from a santa or elf shaped pointy hat to a more rounded stocking cap design.

IMG_0027I used the felting fuzzy brush technique that I recently learned to do on a previous blog post on his tail and it turned out great too! It looks very puffy and fuzzy just like a real squirrels does.

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In the end I think he turned out great and I hope my dad likes him!

Go Broncos!

And good luck in winning this year at Super Bowl XLVIII!

The Top Half

P1030359After declaring the bottom half of my second try of the Simplicity 2771 pattern, the shorts, done, it was time to dive into the top half, the shirt. I had a lot of ideas on how I wanted to construct this shirt differently from the first shirt I made from this pattern and I was excited to get started on it.

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The first change, of course, was to cut the sleeves down and make it a short sleeve shirt. I thought about turning to my Kwik-Sew patterns again to use as a guide but I did not want to work with differing sleeve caps, so I just picked a length and cut the sleeves off at that length. I don’t know if they should be longer or shorter for the final fit but they looked like a good length to me. I did go ahead and fold the sleeve back up against itself to cut the little edge for the hem. This little extra edge at the hem line makes it so I can make a larger hem so that the sleeve can be shorter or longer if needed. It also makes the sewing of the hem so much easier.

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P1030310I purchased some smaller cording to make the piping for this shirt, even though I had liked the piping of the last pajamas made with the larger cording. It just seemed larger than I had pictured before I started sewing, so I wanted to try some thinner piping on this shirt. The smaller cording was of course easier to sew in both the making of the piping and the sewing it on to the shirt but not so much easier that I would choose it over the larger pipping for that reason. I like the look of the smaller pipping but not anymore than the look of the larger piping. I believe the size of the piping will just have to be decided on a project by project basis. Looking back at it, I probably should have picked the larger piping for this project just because the print on the fabric is so busy.

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As I mentioned before in my previous post on piping, I rolled the dice again this time and pushed my luck with not making the piping on the bias yet again. And once again, I got away with it ok because of the stretch in the brushed tricot I was sewing this with and I was still learning where to clip it as I sewed just like I did with the first shirt. I know one of these times I will regret not cutting the piping on the bias as the reference I have says I should but for now it works ok my way.

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P1030342The next change I made in the construction of this shirt was the lengthening of the facings to match the front of the shirt. By lengthening the facings, I can make the hem of on the shirt any length I want, and not have the length of the hem determined by the facings. I almost forgot that I had wanted to do this when I was cutting out the facings so I made them extra long. I knew I could cut off the extra when I did the hem. It is easier to cut off extra than to add more on later. The extra length on the facings made the sewing of the facings or the hemming of the shirt no more difficult and I liked stitching the hem my way instead of the pattern guide’s way.

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P1030349Next came the biggest change to the original pattern, stitching in the ditch to hold the back facing down. According to the pattern guide, you fold the edge of the back facing under, fold the back facing back and then stitch in the ditch of the piping to stitch the back facing down catching the folded edge as you go. As you may remember, I ended up with a mess on my last go around trying this. At some points the stitching missed the back facing all together and at some points the stitching was so far from the edge of the facing that the folded over edge was not caught in the stitching leaving it to unfold. So this time, I serged the edge of the back facing to finish it and did not fold the edge of the back facing over before stitching. Yes, once again the stitching varied in how close it was to the edge of the facing but this time it did not matter. There was no folded edge to catch in the stitching. And this was so much easier to sew and looks so much better than the wavy mess I ended with last time as I hit and missed the folded edge. And I don’t believe that the spots where there is a little extra fabric beyond the stitching will make any difference in the wearing of the pajamas.

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P1030348I am pleased with the end results of this pajama shirt now that it is completed. It was fun to make and I like my construction changes. What did not turn out well was the matching of sizes of the shirt and the shorts. This has happened to me before. The shorts look so small compared to the shirt. I believe this problem occurred because I used two different patterns. I should have paid more attention to the size of the shorts from the Kwik-Sew pattern compared to the pants pattern and cut them wider and longer. It also did not help that by doing the hems and the facings on the shirt my way that the hem is smaller so the shirt is longer. This just adds to the size difference problem. With all this in mind, I sewed the buttons on the left side to make the pajamas for a girl. I figured a girl would look better in smaller short pajama bottoms with a long full pajama top than a boy would.

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P1030358And with that, my second set of pajamas from the Simplicity 2771 pattern, pajamas with piping, is done. I have enjoyed the pajama/bathrobe journey but it is time to fold up the pajama patterns for now and move on to something else. As of this moment, I don’t know what the something else is yet but I bet it will be a fun and new learning experience as I continue my sewing journey. I have many patterns hiding in the closet that are just waiting for their turn to be made up.

PJ’s, jamas, jammies, jams, puh-jah-muhz

IMG_0001I wanted to make my Simplicity 2771 pattern, the pajamas with piping, one more time so that I didn’t forget all I had learned about sewing piping, but I wanted to change it up a little this time around. I wanted the second version to be made with short sleeves and shorts for the summer. I had just thought about cutting the sleeves and legs of the pants off on the pattern 2771 to accomplish this, that is until I saw my Simplicity 3987 pattern hiding in the closet. I decided I could just add piping to the edges of the shirt from the 3987 pattern thus practicing adding piping and I would be trying out a new pattern as well. I purchased Simplicity 3987 on the same sale as Simplicity 2771 but I had not made something from it yet. So, this was a good plan.

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This project started with laundering the flannel, because I know how flannel LOVES to shrink, then I traced and cut out view B in a size 3 from the flannel. The flannel I used was just small scrap pieces so it was nice to use them up. It was at this point that I realized that piping was not going to work on this particular shirt top. Half of the piping would be hid under the buttons. Crap, why didn’t I think of that in the first place? Oh well. I was already too far in the process to abandon this project so I just continued on with it. At least I would still be trying out a new pattern that I hand’t made before and wanted to try out.

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P1030274I started sewing by following the pattern guide and sewed the pocket on the front of the shirt, but that is as far as I followed the guide. The pattern guide called for the side seams and the sleeve seams to be sewn next and then the sleeve inserted into the shirt. I decided to sew the sleeve to the shirt and then sew the side seam and the sleeve seam as one seam instead. I don’t know which way is the proper way to sew the sleeve to the shirt, but I don’t see that it really made a difference in the wearing of the shirt once it was done. The pattern guide also called for easing stitches in the sleeve cap. I decided to use my 10 fingers and about 50 pins (well, maybe a few less) to ease the sleeve onto the shirt. Although I was able to get the sleeve eased on to the shirt without any puckers or tucks, it might have been easier to use the easing stitches instead. Most shirts I have sewn have a dropped sleeve, so the sleeve cap is not as tall, but not with this shirt. The sleeve looks to sit right at the end of the shoulder. This was actual good practice for me to insert a sleeve fitted at the shoulder and may be why the guide wanted you to sew the side and sleeve seams first and use the easing stitches to set the sleeve in. I will give it a try the way it recommends the next time I make this pattern.

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P1030283The next learning experience with these pajamas came with the button holes. The pattern guide called for the button holes to be horizontal. I usually sew buttonholes vertically. On a shirt for me, vertical button holes keep me from having that gaping hole at the bust line that happens with horizontal button holes when you stretch in the shirt. I figured for a 3 year old’s pajamas it really would not make a difference and went ahead and followed the pattern guide. I shouldn’t have. I started at the bottom of the shirt and I didn’t think that where I started would make a difference, but it did. The bottom two buttonholes came out great. Then the trouble started. Because of the P1030286pocket, my automatic buttonholer had all kinds of issues. Because the surface was not even, it would not work over the thickness of the top of the pocket, so I turned the shirt around and did a lot of measuring but even with that the buttonholer hit the pocket at the top of the buttonhole and left me with misplaced half sewn buttonholes. If I had been making a girl’s shirt or made the buttonholes vertical or sewed the pocket on after making the buttonholes, none of this would have been an issue, instead I got uneven and poorly stitched buttonholes. I am not happy with the buttonholes on this project, but they are good enough and I doubt that the buttonholes with keep a little boy from wearing these pajama.

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P1030287The shorts bottoms were super simple. They don’t even have a side seam. One thing I did not like on this pattern was the fact that neither the shorts hem or the sleeve hem had the small extended edge to help with the turning of the hem. Both of them are just cut straight. Due to this, a small hem was all I was willing to do on both the shorts and sleeves. Now, for me that’s not a bad thing. I like smaller hems on the items I sew. The problem that arises is that because I am sewing empirically, I may need to shorten or lengthen the shorts and the sleeves and not having a healthy hem width decreases how much I can alter them. I added a small piece of flannel to the back seam to indicate the back from the front of the shorts since they are so basic in design.

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So, my final say on this pattern, Simplicity 3987, view B, is that although the final pajamas turned out fine and are very cute, this will not be my go to pajamas pattern for kids. My reason for this is the difficulty in putting the sleeves in and the missing hem edges. Because of these problems, I will go back to my Kwik-Sew book if I need to make more pajamas for kids. I will not part with the pattern just yet because of the night gown pattern in it and if I decided  I do want to try the set in sleeves again, I can. I may someday want to make this pattern again. We will see.

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