Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Batch of Colorful Sewing Work

 Halloween is just around the corner, so I decided to have some fun "decorating."  With all the sewing orders I've had lately, though, all I had time to do was watch a scary movie with my younger son, who is a bit under the weather, and to change the ringer on my cell phone to that classic maniacal laugh that Vincent Price was so well known for.  Right after we finished the movie, though, I just about jumped out of my skin when my front pocket suddenly emitted peals of Grade B Horror Movie cackles - my other son was calling and I'd totally forgotten I'd changed the ringer.  Serves me right for watching Paranormal Activity 2 (and let's hear it for premature senility....).

Meanwhile, back at the Sewing Ranch...I did around a dozen kitty pads for a girl scout who is trying to earn her Gold Award collecting supplies and materials for a cat shelter.  One of the projects she was doing was making these kitty pads for them to put on shelving in the shelter in the play room.  Simple project - flannel outside in a long rectangle, batting on the inside for cushy comfort for nap attacks.  What wasn't so simple was the little bit of quilting they asked for so that the batting didn't shift while the pads were being washed.  I never expected that to be so difficult to get through the sewing machine - so yay again for having gotten the Janome with the walking foot. It was fun to look at the wild colors & whimsical prints she picked out:

After that was done, it was on to the onesies for Sweet Tart Lab, which I completely forgot to photograph.  Which is a shame, since one of the shirt styles isn't offered in their Etsy store but was really fun to sew as it involved a colorful mix of fabric patterns.  Maybe if I get to do that same style again, I can post a photo of one.  If you go to this link, though, you can see other shirts I've sewn there - aren't their designs cute?

Then back to the maternity clothes (which aren't in bright colors....yet - but stay tuned) until suddenly I got a call from my nephew's wife, desperate for help with her sons' Halloween costumes for a playdate.  She told me what she wanted to do, and why she couldn't get it done there, and we arranged for her to drive down the next day with the boys and the outfits.  Simple enough idea (and perfect for her boys), but difficult when you factor in how busy the boys are - one is in almost constant motion - and her lack of crafting supplies.  It's great to be the Auntie who is the resident Crafting Queen!  So not only did I get a wonderful visit by some people I really care about, I also got to "play":

These came out too cool!  Printed these out onto t-shirt
transfer paper, ironed them onto white cotton fabric,
ironed some fusible interfacing onto the back, and then
satin-stitched them to the turtlenecks she brought.

Our lovely victim model, Alex - wish you could
see the blue hair better, LOL!

Got an email from the Refashion Co-op - it's been so darned busy here that I haven't gotten around to any of my refashions and haven't posted there in a long while!  Thankfully, they're not going to turn me out on my ear!  So I managed to sneak in a couple of refashions yesterday and today, ones that I'd been meaning to get finished for quite some time.  I'll post the second one in awhile, but here is the first one:

Some 99 Cent Store t-shirts, along with
one wild print clearance t-shirt from Kohls and some
brown jersey fabric from the dollar bin at my local fabric store.
The Anthropologie inspiration.

A little bit of chopping, a lot of playing, and
I found a scheme I liked.  

Yes, things really do get this cockeyed in my workroom.
Serging the cut up swatches back together.

Match the seams from the cut up t-shirts when-
ever possible when sewing them back together.

Um, yeah.  Some of the panels I cut were
bigger than the other panels I cut.  But
not to worry.  As long as I don't forget, I
can serge down that side and cut off
the excess.

Serging that excess chunk off while running the
seam down that sleeve.

And onwards, down the sides.

Semi-finished.  Now for the hems and the
neckline trim - you don't have to settle for
whatever neckline the original t-shirt had.  Here I chose
to make it into a v-neck.  

Pinning a fabric band I cut from a t-shirt to the cut v-neck.
Here you can see the v-neck of the shirt spread apart until
it's almost a horizontal line.  It's a good idea to run some
stay-stitching around the neckline first.  I placed this seam right
into the v of the shirt.  In retrospect, I shouldn't have - it
made it a bit bulky for the next step.

When putting a fabric band onto a t-shirt, it's a good idea to
stretch the band, especially in the front.  That will help it
lay flat properly.

A little bit of stretch in the back neckline area.  Not quite
as much as in the front.

Matching the ends at the center back of the neckline.  Mark
with pins or chalk.  

Sew a standard seam with a regular sewing machine.

Open it and press it flat - helps to keep this area from
becoming too bulky.

Sew about a 3/8 inch seam while stretching the band (don't
pull too hard and stretch the t-shirt, too).

Stitching that v-neck which is stretched out horizontally -
now it's more obvious why the stay-stitching is so important.

Trim the seam down to about 1/4 inch all the way around.

Urgh.  That original seam is going to be too bulky - so I trimmed
that down before the next step:
Flip the neckband up.....

...and then over the seam allowance.  Pin it so that it sits just
beyond the seam stitching.

Notice my pins are on the inside.  That way I can make sure
I will catch the extra fabric in the next stitching.

From the outside, "stitch in the ditch" - as close to the
neckband as possible.  As long as you have left the heads of
the pins beyond the edge, you should be able to see them
and remove them before you break your needle attempting to
sew OVER them.  

And....even us more experienced seamstresses miss the
overlap sometimes.  No worries.  Pin again, and stitch again
over the last stitch line.  Check to see if you caught all the overlapped
neckband in your stitching.  

All the overlap is now caught in that stitched line - but you'll
notice that the v-neck is looking decidedly....round.  Here's
an easy fix:

Fold the shirt in half at the point of the v-neck, and take
special note of where your stitching is for the neckband.
That's where you want your next stitch line to end.  

Start from an angle - maybe not quite so acute as mine -
that could draw the front neckline in a bit too far.  Don't stitch
beyond the neckband stitch line - if you do, you'll get a strange looking
pucker at the point of the v when you're done.
Here is the finished t-shirt.  

A close-up on that cheater's miter.  Needs a good
pressing - I recommend pressing every seam,
every time - your work will look so much better.
This does look like the angle pulled the neckband
in too far - I might change that if it doesn't press out well.

That's it for this time!

1 comment:

  1. That is a pretty good idea for a Tshirt!
    (and thanks so much for your lovely comment on my skirt)