Friday, August 1, 2014

Making our own leggings!

Yesterday I discovered how easy it was to make our own leggings!  I have tried a couple patterns, but my girls weren't sold on the fit and neither was I.  I try to buy leggings when they go on sale and have stuck to solid colors so they could be worn with multiple outfits.  Another thing that we prefer with RTW leggings is that they only have an inner leg seam.  I finally decided to try tracing a pair of leggings to see if I could get a pattern out of it and I did!  It was very easy and I will show you how I did it.  First, here are a couple of pictures showing how they turned out.

I love the busy print.  I also made her camisole top she is wearing with them.

We always wear our leggings with dresses, skirts or shorts over them.  For the pictures, a couple are without so you can see the fit better.

Vertical stripes--FUN!  A perfect match with the t-shirt we bought this week.

To start, I placed pins in the cruved seam of the legging so I could see the seam better through my tracing paper as well as feel them.  I placed a dot at pin head to help me more accurately trace the curve.  Lay one leg out, flattening the fabric away from the sewn seam, dividing the front side from the back side with the fold.  I traced the front side of the legging, then being careful not to disturb the fold of the fabric, I flipped it and traced the other side, again placing pins in the curved seam.  Once I had TWO tracings, front and back, I taped them together at the straight edge, giving me one pattern piece.  Use a ruler to make sure that the sides where the straight leg seams begin match up perfectly.  If they don't, pattern designs in your fabric won't match up either.  After tracing, add 1/2" seam allowance to the waist (I used 1/2" elastic) and 3/8" (or more) for leg and crotch seam allowance, as well as 1/2" seam allowance for hem.

Next, cut out your fabric.  This legging is traced from a girls medium size, using only 1 yard of fabric.  If the fabric is wide enough, I am able to get 2 sets of leggings out of it.  

Sew each leg piece together at the inner seam.

Put one leg into the other leg piece, right sides together and sew the crotch seam.  

I measured around the waist of the RTW legging and cut my elastic the same size.  I cut 21 inches (an inch beyond what I needed), overlapping each end by 1/2 inch to sew into a circle.  I zig zag stitched the elastic together the direction of the circle.  The elastic seems to stay in place better because you aren't running off of an edge.  Mark your 4 points on your elastic.  I use a sharpie for this.  I use to use pins to do this and one would fall out before I got everything together.  You won't see the marks once it is all sewn.  Mark corresponding points on your legging waist.  Use the front and back seam as 2 points and then just stick a pin on each side edge.

Using my sewing machine (with ball point needle), sew elastic to inside top edge of legging with a zig zag stitch.  I set mine at 4.0 length and width and sewed straight down the middle.  Fold your elastic over and then stitch once again, enclosing the elastic.  I used my coverstitch machine but you can use your sewing machine on a zig zag stitch for that as well.  If you use a zig zag stitch, just make sure you are catching the bottom edge of the elastic in your stitch.  You should not be "stretching" your fabric or elastic at all, as both waist edge and elastic circle should be the same size around.

To finish, I turned up a hem of 1/2 inch (I just eyeballed it) and sewed with a zig zag stitch.  You can change the lengths for shorts, capri, or pant length.  The leggings I traced from were actually shorter than my girls wanted, so I added about 5 inches in length.

All fabrics are cotton spandex.  I think I purchased all yardage from Girl Charlee.  Some are lighter weight than others and they fit just the same.  I made sure all fabrics had a 4-way stretch.

I am so thrilled to be able to make leggings for my girls (and myself soon).  It is great to be able to choose our own fabrics.   I made all of these in just a couple of hours.  I would have spent at least twice as much buying these as it cost to make them.  That's why I sew!

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Ottobre Shirt w/ Yoga Pant

Ottobre 3/2013 #16
Cotton Dress--left off bottom band to make it shirt length
Size 134

Crafty Mamas Funky Pants
Size 8

I started making school clothes now!  After making the yoga pants, which is now the go-to-pant for one of my girls, I decided to make a shirt to go with them.  I recently bought several yards of cotton lawn from Denver Fabrics, all which are very reasonably priced.  I believe I paid $3.95 a yard for this fabric.

After looking through my Ottobre magazines, my daughter settled on the Flower Hexagon cotton dress, which is easily adapted to a top by leaving off the rectangular pattern piece.  She also chose to leave off the pockets.  That was fine for me too since it makes for a quicker sew.  This top/dress has a back slit at the neckline, which you tie closed with ribbon.  To keep it soft, I made tie straps with the same fabric.  I used a narrow hem at the sleeves and bottom of the blouse.

Now I have 6 more pairs of yoga pants to make!  I really love this pattern.  You can make these pants so quickly and I use my serger for all seams and then my coverstitch machine for the leg hems.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Burda Blouse & Skirt

Burda Style 04/2014 # 122
Size 38
Blue Swiss Dot Fabric

Burda Style Summer 2014
#121 Size 36
Blue Patchwork Lawn Fabric

I made this shirt once before in a blue check chambray reviewed here.  I wanted to see how it would look in a solid fabric.  The skirt is very quick and easy to make up.  I did not use the front and back facings.  Instead, I lined the skirt with a light weight, white cotton fabric.  I also added a couple inches to the length.

I colored my hair!  I got tired of that chemo gray I had.  Well, that is how it grew in.  It was a combo of gray and blonde, but it started looking more gray than blonde.  It is just a temporary color.  Funny thing is I would always have a little gray in my hair and the temporary color wouldn't cover it all and now it does.

I really like this skirt.  It sits low on the waist and has an invisible zipper in the left side seam.  This is actually my second time using this pattern.  I made another skirt last week out of a pretty pink and brown cotton lawn fabric, but I don't have a top made to match it yet.  I started one, but it was a total flop and went in the trash!  Ugh.  That still happens to me occasionally, but not as often thankfully.

There are 2 darts in the back of the skirt, but you can't see them because of the fabric design!

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Girl's High/Low skirt

Simplicity Suede Says #1675
Size 10
View C

What a great little pattern!  This is exactly what my girls and I are seeing in the stores, and of course, why buy when you can make it!

I did not make the waistband casing according to the pattern instructions.  Instead, I sewed my elastic directly to the top of the skirt edge with my serger, then flipped down, and zig zagged with my sewing machine.  There is plenty of length to the skirt to do this.  It is so much quicker that way and provides a nicer RTW look.  I also lined this skirt with single knit black jersey and sewed the skirt fabric with French seams.

It is too far away to see that there are little moons and stars on this fabric.  I have a new sewing machine, a Pfaff Performance 5.0, but I don't have a narrow edge hem foot yet, so I had to do this manually--argh.  Not fun!  I have a hem foot on order, so I will wait to get it before making any more skirts like this.  My daughter has already put in a request for more.

Worn with black jersey knit camisole that I drafted for her and a purchased denim jacket from H&M.
Skirt Fabric purchased from Denver Fabrics--Golden Beige Crepe de Chine $4.95 yard

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Meghan Peasant Dress

Here is the Meghan Peasant Dress by Sis Boom

This is a PDF pattern consisting of front and back bodice and multiple-sized sleeve options.  I made  cap sleeves.  There are also directions for cutting the skirt portion of the dress, which is made up of 2 rectangles.  I made my dress in a size small (4-6).

This dress is very quick and easy to sew up!  1/4" elastic is used in the neck, arms, and waist.  The pattern instructions are very easy to follow and well illustrated.

I will definitely be making several of these over the summer.  It is just such a nice, lightweight outfit for summer.

Fabric used:  Rayon Knit

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Summer Love

Pink Fig 
Summer Love
Swimsuit Cover-up

Here is a really cute outfit by Pink Fig.  I bought this PDF pattern which comes in sizes 2T - 10Y.  The printable pattern pieces are for the shorts only and the other instructions will have you cut measurements for the bodice front/back, waistband, and straps.  The pattern includes a beach bag as well (also cute!).  I haven't made the bag yet, but I think I have enough fabric left over to make it match if I do.

The only sewing notion you need in addition to your fabric is 1/2" elastic.  The bodice requires 2 rows of elastic and the waistband requires 3 rows.  Since I was running low on elastic (I didn't check the instructions prior to sewing), I used one row of l" wide elastic for the waist instead.  If I had had enough elastic, I would have made 3 rows as per the pattern instructions.  It really gives it a nice look and effect, but I still achieved great results.  I had to use a really soft elastic since my daughter is sensitive to how fabrics feel and fit against the skin.  I bought some elastic from Sew Sassy, which I will purchase from again.  I have to look back and see what I bought, but it was so nice, great stretch and recovery, and very soft!  I tried some other elastic I had first, and it was so bulky and just felt rough.  I have never really given much thought to elastic, but if it is thick or rough feeling, you can feel that through the fabric.

The instructions for this are really easy!  Even if you are new to sewing, you could make this I believe.  However, it does say "intermediate" when you look on the website for the pattern.  My daughter loves it and my other daughter wants one as well.  The instructions are well written and well illustrated.  I think this is a great summer outfit whether you use it for a swimsuit cover up or on its own.  

If you look closely, you might be able to see that the bodice fabric is a bunch of little snails!

For my fabric, I used Riley Blake's Snug as a Bug by Melly & Me purchased here, which is an Etsy store; I highly recommend buying from her!  Great prices and customer service--I am so glad I found her store.


Monday, I threw together an outfit for myself!  

I purchased this plaid chiffon from Denver Fabrics and copied a RTW skirt that I bought last summer.  The tank top is from Old Navy and I added a gray jersey knit band to the bottom of it to tie in the colors of the skirt.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Red, White & Blue

Who doesn't love red, white & blue?  These colors look amazing together, always.  

If you are looking for some awesome nautical or RWB knits, Girl Charlee has a great selection.

This outfit was a multiple pattern hack for me.  My daughter has been asking for a high/low tank top for several weeks.  For this outfit, I was able to use patterns from Ottobre Summer 3/2013.

#34 Movimiento tank top--altered hem for a high/low look.

I love the dots with the stripes!

#31 Ola de Calor sundress--traced from the waist down only for the skirt.  I also made a yoga-style waistband.

#33 Chica Ciclista leggings--added a hem band at the bottom to match the shirt fabric.  

For the first time, I sewed my elastic directly to the top of the leggings.  I cannot believe I waited so long to try this.  I made a loop of my elastic, divided it into 4 equal parts, matching these points to the waist of the leggings.  Wow, that was simple!  Then I turned the elastic down and used a zigzag on my sewing machine to secure it all the way around.

I used my coverstitch machine for all top stitching.

My daughter loves her Miche bag!  She likes me to cover it in a coordinating fabric to match her outfit.

I also want to mention that for the pocket on the tank top, I used a strip of woven interfacing on the seam allowances.  This made sewing the pocket to the knit so much easier.  I didn't have to worry about my seam stretching at all and was able to accomplish my top stitching very close to the edge.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley