Tag Archive | stretch

Don’t Panic – Part 2 of Sew it Begins.

Although I worked on both the husband’s new shirt and my new shirt at the same time, the husband’s shirt was the first one completed.

The husband picked a purple single knit with quite a bit of stretch from the stash for his shirt. I was not excited about getting back into the sewing grove with a stretchy knit that could possible give me grief, but what sewing project doesn’t present itself without certain challenges. This stretchy knit would certainly sharpen my dull sewing skills quickly. I had plenty of this fabric to work with so the shirt would be entirely made from this fabric, instead of piecing it together as my last few had been.

After laundering the fabric and cutting out the pattern pieces, it was time to interface the collar and the yoke. I picked a nice piece of interfacing and ironed a small sample piece onto a scrap of the purple knit. It ironed on great, but when I stretched the knit, the interfacing disintegrated and shredded to pieces. After that disappointment I started cutting samples from other pieces of interfacing and ironing them to the knit. Some were better than others but none were what I wanted. I wanted an interfacing that would stop the knit from stretching and make the collar stay formed but not too stiff.

Was I expecting too much from the interfacing?

I tried all different kinds of interfacing, woven, non woven, knit, and so on and I finally found one that I thought would work and hold up well with the stretch. I cut out the interfacing for the collar only to find that I did not have enough of this interfacing for the yokes. So, off to the store I went. I picked out what I thought was the same interfacing, but it was not. I studied the interfacing from the stash again and settled on one that was acceptable. You know, I just don’t understand interfacing. I have done research and read up on interfacing several times and purchased a wide variety of interfacings and tried them all, but I still have trouble when it comes to choosing and using the right interfacing for a project. Trial and error is the only answer I have come up with for my interfacing dilemma.

With the pieces of the shirt cut and interfaced, I started to sew. I was very careful and cautious with the knit, watching the stretch with each seam. The hems, of course, were the most tricky part with the stretch but with care, it all came out good. And yes, this knit shirt did a great job of sharpening my sewing skills.

When it came time for an embroidery design, the husband picked the “Don’t Panic!” design from the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy. I knew this design would look good on the purple shirt but when I was done stitching the design, it looked great. After sewing the buttonholes and the buttons on, the shirt was done.

The husband likes his new shirt and I love being back in the sewing studio, sewing away.

Stay tuned for details about my new shirt in my next post.

Until then, sew forth and Don’t Panic on!

I’ll Never Fall In Love Again!

Screen-Shot-2013-11-05-at-9.01.40-AMYou can see it from across the fabric store and there is a whole wall displaying it…

You’re drawn to it and it is so soft, fuzzy and warm, and some of the cutest designs ever are printed on it…

You MUST buy some and, as a general rule, its on sale…

Of course, I am talking about polar fleece and everybody just loves this fabric! Everyone it seems except me. Dare I say it out loud, I may not be in love with fleece or enjoy working with it as much as everyone else on the planet seems to be.

And here is why.

I, like everyone else, love the idea or the concept of fleece fabric. And who wouldn’t? It’s soft, warm, fuzzy fabric with no fraying, no shrinking, it looks good on both sides, it has some stretch but not too much stretch, and all the other fun features that fleece offers a sewer. What isn’t there to love? But, after sewing the last girl’s fleece jacket and starting my next sewing project with fleece, I’m not convinced that it really is all that easy and wonderful of a fabric to work with.

When I first started purchasing fleece fabrics, I planned to only make blankets with it, and who cared if the blankets were a little off grain and the print wasn’t perpendicular, or that it can’t be easily ironed or caused several headaches when sewn with the serger due to the amount of bulk.

DSCN2567For the blankets I was making, I did not give these concepts a second thought, so I was in love with fleece just like everyone else, and I bought any and all I could get to hide in the stash for future projects I had dreamt up. When I decided that I wanted to expand my skill set a little bit and make more than blankets from the fleece, I was at a point in my sewing skills where I did not worry about grain line, or matching designs, or ironing seams. So for the first couple of fleece projects that I made, I just cut it out and sewed it up, and I was still in love with fleece.

DSCN2575 (1)As my sewing skills have advanced over time, I am now far more concerned with thing like grain lines, matching the designs, and ironing the seams. So, when it was time to make the latest girl’s fleece jacket, these things were foremost on my mind. As I cut out the pattern and the froggy’s and rainbows weren’t straight, making it difficult to cut on the grain line and match the designs up, working with fleece became more than just cut and sew.

DSCN2572Looking at the piece of fleece, there were spots where I had to move over 21 inches from the edge of the fabric before I could find a good spot to cut. This was crazy! I decided that the froggy piece of fleece was just flawed until I started my next fleece project. Although not as much, I had to move 9 inches from the edge to get the footballs and helmets to line up.

Does all fleece suffer from this problem?

DSCN2563If it does, I’m going to have to watch WAY more closely when I buy fleece for pieces that I only have to move over 9 inches rather than 21 inches, or hopefully I can find some fleece that I will only lose a couple of inches on the edge. Plus, I’m going to have to buy extra fleece to accommodate for the lost fabric. I wanted to make my latest project a size large but had to switch to a size medium when I lost the 9 inches along the edge.

DSCN2566I turned to the Internet to see if I was alone in my wavering love of fleece, and from what I was reading, I was alone, everyone else seems to love fleece, but I did find several article titled, “How to sew fleece.” So, maybe you just have to learn the skill of sewing with fleece, just like learning to sew knits, furs, silks, actually any and all other types of fabrics. Maybe after learning some lessons about sewing with fleece, I will then be completely in love with fleece like so many others are.

Well I ldid learn a lot from the articles that I read on how to sew fleece, and I am excited to try out some of the things that I learned.

Luckily, I have my next sewing project involving fleece all cut out and ready to sew, so stay tuned to see how it turned out!

Until next time, sew forth and hopefully fall in love again.

We Interrupt This Sewing Plan….

DSCN1278I needed to do some basic sewing. With summertime on the way, I needed some new work shirts to wear. So, I set my next project aside to make me some simple basic t-shirt style shirts to wear to work. But as with all sewing, there are always lessons and patience to be learned. Let me tell you the story.

I started by picking out some knit fabric from the stash. The first piece I picked out was a purple single knit with white sea shell designs that I had picked up from a thrift store many years ago. The piece was not quite big enough for the shirt I was making but I figured I could make it work. I tend to make my shirts long, so if I made this shirt just an inch shorter than I normally did, I would have just enough fabric. So I cut out the shirt and started to sew it up. The sewing went fine until it was time to hem it.

DSCN1280Some how I had cut the front of the shirt very crookedly. I laid the shirt on the cutting table and evened out the front but in doing so I cut off even more of the front length of the shirt.

This minus the inch to fit the fabric now left me with a very short front.

I went to cut off the back of the shirt to match the front, but hated to lose the length so I decided to leave the back longer than the front. Because of the slit in the side of my shirts, there would be no problem to hem the back of the shirt slightly longer than the front. After hemming the shirt, I liked the uneven hem. After wearing the shirt, I REALLY like the uneven hem. When wearing the shirt, I can really tell that the front is shorter than I like but since the back is longer, I am willing to wear the shirt.

DSCN1284The next fabric was white interlock knit with a black and red scattered design that I had also purchased at a thrift store many years ago. This time though there was plenty of fabric so I cut out generous hems for this shirt. The shirt sewed up fine and I liked the fit. The double needling of the hem gave me some hassle though. The fabric wanted to bunch under the needles, so I had to sew it VERY slowly, but it all worked out in the end. After wearing the shirt, I could have made the shirt a little shorter and the hems a little smaller. But the shirt is still comfortable to me, so I’m not going to mess with a good thing and modify the shirt.

DSCN1288The third shirt was made from a very stretchy knit I purchased on the internet. I love the fabric. It is soft and has a nice feel, but it was a challenge to sew. I carefully cut out the shirt, trying to not stretch the fabric as I cut it. I even put the walking foot on my machine to help keep the fabric from stretching as I sewed it up.

I sewed this shirt very slowly, trying not to pull the fabric but the fabric was so stretchy that it did not matter how careful I was. The first seams, the shoulder seams, finished long and distorted. Previously in my sewing career, I would have continued to sew as carefully as possible and hoped for the best in fit when the shirt was completed. Now that I have been sewing for awhile and am more experienced, I knew that if I wanted a wearable shirt, I had to solve the stretchy seam problem so I turned to ribbon.

DSCN0384I pulled a roll of 1/4 inch white ribbon from the closet, and cut pieces to fit my shoulder seams. After unpicking the previously sewn shoulder seams, I placed the ribbon on the shoulder seams and sewed down the center of the ribbon. With the ribbon, using the walking foot and sewing very slowly and carefully, I was able to sew nice, non-stretched shoulder seams. I then used the ribbon in the sleeve seams and it worked great as well. I did not use the ribbon on the side seams because the stretch of the fabric was not as much DSCN0421on those seams.

For the hem, I sewed the ribbon to the bottom of the fabric first then turned up the hem and completed it with the double needle. It would have been easier to have sewn on the ribbon as I double needled the hem but sewing it first meant I did not have to worry about catching the ribbon with the double needle and I could control the stretch better.

DSCN1289I tried to us the ribbon on the facings at the neck, but it did not work out. I could not keep the neckline from stretching and distorting as I sewed the facings on. It finally dawned on me to cut the facings from a woven non-stretch fabric instead of from the stretchy fabric of the shirt to solve the problem. This worked great and I was able to sew a nice looking neckline. I have worn the stretchy shirt and it is vey comfortable although it is odd sometimes when I expect it to stretch at a seam and it does not because of the ribbon in the seam.

With three new shirts added to my working wardrobe, I am ready to get back to my previous sewing plans and start my next project.

Until then, sew forth and summer on!

Under and Over, Roger Dodger!

P1030970A while back, I made a tiered skirted dress for my niece. When I asked her mom how she liked the dress, the response was that she had not wore it yet because they needed to buy a slip for it. This was very disappointing to me. I had made the dress from yellow knit fabric and it was suppose to be a play dress, something she could run in or jump in or maybe even ride her bike in. Now, it needed a slip to be worn. Now, it was going to be a burden to have her wear it. I then remembered the last little girl’s dress that I had made from the thin yellow fabric/kitty print that the little neighbor girl’s mom has had to worry about finding a way to keep her panties from showing through at the top of the skirt through the thin yellow fabric. And this was disappointing to me as well.

IMG_2851So in remembering all this, I decided that I wanted to make another little girl’s play dress but this time I would add a lining so there would not be any worries when it came to someone wearing the dress. I wanted to make a dress that would be nice enough to wear to school but still fun to wear on the play ground too. This made picking my pattern to use for it easy. I picked a sleeveless short waisted bodice dress with a gathered skirt and buttons down the back. The pattern already called for the bodice to be lined, so I just had to line the skirt too.

I picked a fun yellow fabric with animals on it that has been living in the stash for many years for the dress fabric and the yellow lining fabric was a Walmart impulsive purchase because it was just $1/yard. At the time of purchase, I did not know what would become of it but I knew I needed it so I had picked it up. You see sometimes those fabric purchases do pay off! So luckily I had all the fabric I needed for this project on hand. Because the lining fabric was a Walmart special, I had no idea how it would launder. But I wanted this play dress to be machine washable, so I threw both the dress fabric and the lining fabric in the regular cycle of the washer and dryer. The dress fabric laundered just fine, and luckily the lining fabric washed and dried great too. It was now time to start cutting.

P1030908I followed the pattern to cut the bodice from the dress fabric and the lining fabric. I then cut out the skirt from the dress fabric as the pattern called for and then I cut a duplicate from the lining fabric. It was now time to start sewing.

Following the pattern guide, I sewed the bodice together first and then the skirt. I sewed the lining for the skirt the same as I had the dress fabric. I then placed the dress fabric and the lining of the skirt together with wrong sides facing and continued to sew as it as if it were just one single piece of fabric.

When that was done, I used the floss method to make the gathers for the skirt. I stitched zig-zag across the floss, being careful not to catch the floss in the stitches, and then pulled the floss to make the gathers. This is a great method for making gathers and It is so much easier than pulling stitches.

P1030909The most difficult part of making this pattern was the step after attaching the skirt to the bodice. Only the dress fabric of the bodice is sewn to the gathered skirt. The next step is to fold the lining of the bodice up, press then pin it in place over the seam that attached the bodice and the skirt. The next step is stitching on the top side of the dress fabric and catching the lining underneath. It sounds simple but it was not. After completing this step, I had a mess. Because I was using a slippery and stretchy soft lining, and despite the pins, the lining did not stay in place when I was sewing. In some places the seam missed the lining altogether. In other places, the lining slipped and the seam missed the fold so I had a raw edge exposed. So I started to unpick, trying to save any part that stitched ok. I restitched the bad parts and some came out ok and other parts still had the same problem. It was hit and miss all over the place again. So I unpicked and sewed some more and I finally got an acceptable seam. It does not look great to me, but it will have to do. And after this experience I decided that this is definitely a technique I need to work on to increase my skill set.

P1030976About half through the unpicking and restitching process I started to think about how this could be done simpler the next time I do this type of sewing. And my first thought was to sew both the dress fabric and the lining of the bodice to the skirt first and then serge them to finish off the edge. Why not? Except for the exposed serged seam, it would be the same as what I had just sewn. Exposed serged seams are not a problem for me on my personal clothing, even though I have read that it is not a very professional finished look. And by exposed seam I mean that it can be seen from the inside of the garment not the outside of it. I then decided that this technique was a sewing skill that I needed to acquire, and that although the serged method would be simpler and faster, I would continue to work on this sewing skill to see which way would work out the best for me.

It was at this point that I realized that I had not used my serger a single time when making this dress. This was very odd for me. I always serge my seams as I sew clothing for myself. But since all of the seams had been concealed so far in the making of this dress, I had not needed to serge the seams a single time.

P1030977The last step was the hem of the skirt. I had not yet finished the seams of the skirt because I planned to hem the dress fabric and lining together in one single hem. I had thought about serging the dress fabric and lining together before hemming but instead I decided to follow the pattern guide. So I folded up 1/4 inch at the hem, pressed it, folded up the hem, and then stitched with the dress fabric and lining held together as one piece of fabric. But once again because of the slippery, stretchy, soft lining this was a challenge when it should have been really simple and quick. After some very slow sewing and the use of a lot of pins, I finally completed the hem. Serging the two pieces of fabric together first would probably had made this much easier and quicker to do. Unlike the bodice/lining seam, this was not “a need to acquire” sewing skill. I should have just used my existing knowledge and sewing tools, the serger, to make this process easier.

P1030974While making this dress, I did some reading on linings and by definition, I had not technically “lined” the skirt. Instead I had “underlined” it. A lining by definition is only attached at a couple of points, generally at the shoulders, and/or at the waist. An underlining is done by using two pieces of fabric as one to make an a single item. So, technically, I guess had done both. I had lined the bodice as the pattern had called for and I had underlined the skirt when I hemmed the dress fabric and lining together. Regardless of what you call what I had done, I had completed this pattern and made a really cute dress for a size 6 little girl that hopefully is a fun play dress with no yucky fussy issues while she is wearing it.

Until next time, Sew forth and sew on!

Fur Real! I am not making any of this stuff up! Part 2 of 2

IMG_0075Sewing the lining and fur together was the next step that I needed to complete my fur vest project. I had planned to follow the pattern guide and sew from the side seam, across the bottom front hem and then up one side of the vest, around the neck, down the other side of the vest and back across the bottom of the other front and back to the side seam.

It all sounded simple enough of course, but alas it was not. I quickly learned that I did not want to do this as one big continuous seam. So I broke in up into several seams instead. I first started by sewing around the neck, then I sewed down each side of the front of the vest, and then across the bottoms. Breaking up this big seam seemed to give me more control over attaching the fur and lining together and I think it worked out better in the end.

P1040036Across the bottom of the fronts and back where the hem lines were, was the most difficult part of stitching the lining especially across the back. I finally broke the back seam up into two seams, sewing from one side to the middle and then from the other side to the middle. I doubt this was the proper way to do it, but it was the only way that I could get it to work right. I tried to keep the fur out of my way as I was stitching and keep the lining even with the fur, but it all seemed to slip one way or the other on these P1040091seams. And I would end up sewing on the fur instead of on the backing, or the lining would fold over itself, or I would have no lining to sew at the end of the seam.

It was a real fight and I don’t know if I was not learning an important sewing skill that I needed to learn, or if it was just a matter of patience and practice to get it right. In the end did a lot of unpicking to get all the seams sewn to my liking. Around the neck and the arms were the easiest seams to sew which seemed odd to me. Usually a curve is more difficult to sew than a straight seam. I guess that the opposite is true for fur. I did learn that I liked to have the fur on top of the lining, instead of the lining on top of the fur when sewing. It just seemed to work better that way.

P1040073The next step was to turn the vests right side out and to sew the side seams. According to the pattern this is supposed to be done using a circular seam. So I started by sewing the lining together at the top, and then sewing the armscye together. Next was down the outside or the fur side seam, then to sew the hems together, and then back to sewing the lining together at the bottom, leaving a hole to push all of this seam back into place when done.

The final step is to stitch the hole closed. It sounded simple, but once again it was not. It was very difficult to keep the seams aligned properly while stitching two thin pieces of lining to two thick pieces of fur and it was especially difficult while stitching two big pieces of fur to two thin pieces of lining. By remembering what I had learned on the other seams, I decided to sew these seams in parts. I sewed from the top to the middle of the side seam, stopped, turned the vest around and sewed from the bottom to the middle of the side seam once again giving me more control over the seam with the shorter seams.

P1040088The final step was to hand stitch the lining side seams together. And since I very much dislike to hand stitch anything, I tried to figure out a way to machine stitch these seams but I could not, so I decided to bite the bullet and do the hand-stitching. I played around with a few different stitches and I decided on a ladder stitch to finish the seams. The hand-stitching went smoothly when I started but as I came to the bottom of the seam, I had extra fabric on one side of the seam. The seam had laid evenly when I first started to stitch but by the end I had a bubble that I had to try and ease in.

P1040063How and why was this happening I wondered? Had one side come unfolded as I stitched. Had I stretched one side? Had I pulled the stitches too much on one side and not the other? I did not know and I could not figure it out. I unpicked my hand-stitching and tried it again and I had the same problem. I then turned to my iron to try and solve the problem. I ironed the seam allowance for the hand stitching so that the lining would stay in place while I stitched, but I still had the same bubble when I was at the end of the seam. I next tried to serge the edges of the lining to try and help keep the fold in place and to give me something to feel as I hand-stitched, but I still ended up with the same problem. I tried to take smaller stitches, then I tried bigger stitches but I still had the same problem.

P1040072Flustered, I finally just did the best job that I could, by pulling and easing and folding to get the seam stitched closed. The end results are not as good as I would have liked. I was not pleased at all with the final seams and they look horrible to me, but I do think the seams are secure, so I let them be. So I guess that I will need to revisit this problem at another time. I don’t know what the answer is but with some more research and practice, I think that maybe I can finally master the art of hand-stitching and do a good job of it.

P1040067Two final things I did learn about stitching fur is that number one the fur that I am working with stretches. It never even crossed my mind that because this fur has a knit backing and that makes it really stretchy. I think some stay stitching would have helped with the stitching of these vests, especially across the hems. And second, I need to shave the seam allowances more than I did. I needed to learn just how much fur I could trim out of the seam so that it is easier to sew the seam together, but still not have it ruin the look of the fur. I trimmed some of the fur, but I think more trimming would have been helpful, especially at the point where the armscye and hem attach to the lining.

After all this trial and error, I don’t want to wait another year to sew fur again like I did the last time. I have learned so much on this project and I don’t want to forget any of it so I am going to make a few more projects from fur in the near future to reinforce what I have learned here.

Until next time…

Fur Real! I am not making any of this stuff up! Part 1 of 2

M6430-2Maybe it is because it has been colder outside recently. Or maybe it is because the ground hog has already seen his shadow and predicted that we have lot’s more winter on the way. Or, maybe it is just the amount of fur that I still have hiding in the stash. Regardless of the reasons though, my thoughts lately have been about sewing fur. So, I decided that my next project would be fur vests.

Its been just over a year since I completed the fur coat for the little neighbor girl. I hope she has not outgrown it and that she has enjoyed wearing it. I learned so much about sewing fur when I made that first coat and I did not mean to wait so long to sew fur again and forget all the things that I had learned. One thing I did remember from making that coat was that I had wished it had a nicer looking lining, and that I had done a better job in lining it. So, I decided to make that my starting point for these new vests. I was going to learn to do a better job of lining fur.

P1030986With the linings in mind, I first picked a McCalls M6430 vest pattern to make them from. Since the little neighbor girl already has a fur item from me, I decided to make the vest pattern for a coworker’s tween daughters, aged 9 and 10, but both wearing a size 12. Of course, this meant I would be making two vests instead of just one, but that’s was a good thing I thought since it was a chance to get twice the amount of practice with the fur and linings.

Cutting out the fur was the same as before, and was very time consuming. I traced the pattern onto the fur and then snipped carefully with the scissors to only cut the backing of the fur and not the fur itself. Thankfully, there are only three pieces to these vests, so I only had six pieces to cut out in total. I then cut out the linings which went much faster but still took more time than I expected. The lining fabric just wanted to slide all over the cutting table, so I was careful while cutting to keep it in place and not let it slip around too much.

P1040047I wanted to vary the vests designs slightly from the original pattern, since I figured that I might as well learn as much as I can from a project while doing it. And so instead of using hook and eye closures, I decided to give one vest a zipper as I did in the coat and then use buttons for the second vest. Sewing the zipper in went as smoothly as it had on the coat. I placed the sides of the zipper facing inward on the fur fronts of the vest and stitched them on with the zipper foot. I made sure to stitch down the fur, with the way the fur layed, and making sure to keep the fur smooth. This gave me a nice line on the back of the fur to follow when I stitched the lining to the fur.

The buttons were not quite as easy to do as zipper was. I had to do a lot of precise measuring to get them where they needed to be so everything looked even. And since a P1040043regular button hole stitched by my machine was not going to work with the fur, I figured that a bound buttonhole was the answer. But I was not yet ready for to tackle that with the fur, so I picked a loop closure for the buttons instead. I picked a nice brown woven trim to make the closures that has no stretch, so the fit had to be just right for the loops to go around the buttons properly. The loops could not be too small and not fit around the buttons and could not be too large so that they fell off the buttons. The loops could not be too short or too long so that the edges of the vest laid against each other, and not over each other or apart from each other. It would have been much easier to pick a stretchy trim to make the loops but I did not find a stretchy trim that I liked as much as the trim that I picked out. And I decided that since this was a learning experience, I needed to learn what to do to make the loops properly when my trim was not stretchy.

P1040020So after a lot of thought and measuring, I sewed the loops on top of the fur on the one side of the vest, facing the loops inward, and then I sewed the buttons on to the other side of the vest. I used the extension on my button foot to lift the buttons up from the fur so that the buttons did not sink down into the fur, and so there was room for the loops to fit under the buttons. When trying the loops out on the buttons, I quickly learned that they were too big and that they readily fell off the buttons. I did not want to make the loops any smaller though since it would pull the edges of the vest across each other. I could have moved the buttons closer to the edge of the vest so the loops could be smaller, but I was trying to keep the buttons away from the edge as much as possible so they did not interfere with the sewing of the lining. I also could have sewn the buttons on by hand after the lining was done, but that sounded like way too much work to me.

The final solution that I chose was to P1040039stitch the loops together so that the part that went around the button was smaller but the loop still kept its length. I used 6 strands of embroidery floss to stitch the loops together. And I chose a color that matched the trim so that hopefully the stitches would not be noticed. I used the floss so that the stitches would be strong enough to withstand being pulled around the button time and time again. I stitched through the trim twice with the floss then knotted the floss at the back of the loop. I used a dab of fray check on the knots to seal the ends of the floss so they would not come undone.

Please join me next time as I tell you about sewing the lining and the fur together and finishing up the vests in my next post.

I Just Want To Sew

P1040122Make sleepers, I said to myself!

So I did! And it was fun!

Of course because I have some new patterns that I want to try out, and I have some very complex and involved projects that I want to make, and I have some new techniques that I still need to learn, I felt guilty for not doing them instead of just sewing for the fun of it. But for now, I just wanted to sew something easy and fun that would not require a lot of thought on my part, but that would still end with wonderful results.

P1040125 I was not ready to get into a large, thought provoking, time consuming project just yet, so I opted to make a sleeper or two instead. I like to always keep a couple of baby sleepers cut out so that when I am in one of these moods, I can just pull one out my sleeper box and sew away.

When I opened my sleeper box, the sleeper on top was one that I had already started. It needed to have something embroidered on it before it could be completed. Luckily, I had not put away my embroidery tools from my last project of embroidering on the husband’s shirts, and soon enough a teddy bear with a big purple bow was embroidered on this sleeper. The sleeper was then easy to finish and a lot of fun to make.

P1040121The next sleeper in the box was cut out from a scrap that I had picked up at a thrift store. The fabric is thin and has a patterned design cut in it so there would be no embroidering needed on this sleeper. Even without a design embroidered on it, it is an adorable sleeper and was a very straight forward, fun sew to complete.

P1040117The last of the sleepers in the box was two terry fabric sleepers. I had pulled out these two pieces of terry from the stash when I cleaned out my stash last year to get rid of them. They were barely 1/2 of a yard pieces and in odd colors, left over scraps from some projects of long ago, but as I looked at them again in the departing pile, I decided it would be more fun to donate these pieces of fabric as sleepers rather than just pieces of terry cloth.

Until I started sewing these sleepers, I had forgotten just how much “fun” terry cloth is to work with. I forgot about the fuzzy mess that terry makes when working with it, and how wonderfully terry cloth stretches in every direction all at once. My fun and easy P1040120project just got a little more complicated all of a sudden. Over the years I have accepted this as a sewing reality. No project is as simple as it at first seems to be, and there is always a lesson to be learned and patience to be tried no matter the project you are working on.

So I got the vacuum out and parked it right next to the sewing machine to help control the fuzz problem as I stitched, and I got out lots of extra pins to help with the stretch problem. I had the walking foot at the ready, but I did not have to use it. Actually, about half way through these two sleepers, I was ready to move on to my next project. But I did not want to just give up, and stop working on these and put them back in the box for another day. And since the fuzzy mess was already started, I soldiered on!

P1040114As these two sleepers came together, I could see many possible designs in my head to be stitched on them. I finally picked a Tiger and Pooh design for the purple sleeper. Although I love the Tiger and Pooh on the purple terry, this was not the design for this stretchy fabric. This was a large design and with all the jumping around to stitch, it caused this already stretchy fabric to stretch even more. I held my breath until the design was done stitching and it came out ok, a bit off, but ok. While looking closely at the design while I was trimming jump stitches, I realized that the Tiger had no eyes. ARGH! I wasn’t willing to hoop it back up to fix it, so I just used a black sharpie marker to give him some! P1040116With all the problems with this design, I will not be using it again, not even on a non stretchy fabric with the eyes added in to the Tiger design.

The Snow White design that I used on the second sleeper, was much easier to stitch on the stretchy terry. It turn out great and I think it is very cute on the yellow fabric, it will be just right for some little princess.

Wow, four sleepers made! And I had a great time making them, despite the stretchy mess. They were just what I needed, fun and easy, and ending with great results. I am now ready to dive into my next project. Stay tuned!