Thursday, September 17, 2015

Upcycled T-Shirt

I got a new serger this weekend, which is so exciting!  It has gotten me in the mood to sew knits, so I went digging through my "to upcycle" box and found a mens t-shirt with a fun red stripe woven into it.

The Boy's turn for something new for school!

I found the original shirt in a free box in my neighborhood ages ago, and I didn't get around to making it into anything before we moved to Tokyo.  Now that we are back, I was ready to cut it up!

The Boy just learned to whistle.  Can't stop won't stop.

I wish I had taken a picture of the shirt before I sewed it into it's new form.  The side seams were SO crooked!  If I had owned that shirt it would have driven me crazy. I had planned on just folding the shirt front and back in half, lining up the side seams, and cutting out my new pieces, but lining up the side seams proved impossible so I cut the original shirt into pieces along all of the seams.

Turned out, because of the steep angle of the side seams, I wasn't able to fit my pattern pieces onto the fabric.  But I didn't give up!  I pulled another old t-shirt out of my upcycle bin and cut some black pieces to fill in the gaps.  I was using the existing hem on the red shirt, but since I had to hem the black patch at the bottom, I decided to use contrasting red thread in my double needle just for fun.

The patches could still use a pressing though!

I also used the ribbed neckband from the black t-shirt to create a new neckband for this shirt, bringing  more of the black into the look.

I think the angled blocks add a fun element to the shirt!  My son said the triangles are cool, so that's all the endorsement I need.

He's so sweet--he wore the shirt to school the next day since I made it for him.  I used one of his existing t-shirts to make the pattern--he's so long and lean in the torso, so I love being able to make shirts that fit right!  Seems like a lot of RTW shirts are too wide and short.

He's wishing he never taught Little Sister about the art of the photobomb.
I'm really looking forward to my shipment of fabric arriving from Japan--there are so many awesome knits in there along with everything else, and now that I've got an awesome serger I am so excited to start turning them into things!  

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Strawberry Newborn Set

You guys, it is so fun to be an auntie!  And it is so great to sew newborn things without having a newborn of my own!

We were so lucky to have my husband's sister and her husband and new baby in town when we returned to Portland from Tokyo--they live in San Francisco, so we weren't sure when we would get to meet the baby.  But they were here!  And we even got to take a trip to the beach with them!

This outfit starts with a sad story though--I actually sewed the outfit pictured above in June, and mailed it to Baby Cousin from Tokyo.  I also searched high and low for an infant sized jinbei, which I finally found and mailed along with the strawberry outfit.  But boo hoo hooo--the package never arrived!

Luckily I had enough fabric to start over again, so I dusted off my Portland machine when we arrived and gave it a try.  The old girl could use a tune-up probably, but she performed admirably!

Here's how the set turned out on the second go-round:

I was just going through the pictures of the original outfit, and I had almost forgotten that I made a second hat that was also lost--unfortunately I'll have to wait for our shipment to arrive from Tokyo to remake that one, since I didn't bring any of that fabric with me.

The main difference between the original set and the new one is that the first time around I made the hat reversible.

I didn't have enough fabric to do that this time, but it's still cute even with only one option!

The hats are the free baby hat from Zaaberry's pattern and tutorial.  To make mine reversible, I used the pattern for the knot-top hat, but instead of cutting a separate band for the bottom, I added 1/2 the length of the band to the main part of the hat pattern and cut out two from each fabric (so four pieces total).  I then sewed the two striped pieces together and the two strawberry pieces together, like I was making two separate hats.  BUT, I left an opening towards the top of the striped pieces, where the knot would be tied eventually, so I would be able to turn the whole thing right side out.

Once I had the two hats sewn, I turned one inside out, and slid the right-side out hat inside the wrong-side out one, lined up the raw edges at the bottom of the hat, and used a zig-zag (or serger) to sew around the opening.

Then I could pull the whole thing right-side out through the hole in the top of the striped hat.  I hand-sewed the opening closed, tucked one side inside the other and tied the knot, and flipped the brim up! Tada!  You do have to untie the knot to reverse the hat.

The shirt is the Tiny Tunic free pattern from iCandy Handmade.  She also has another version with a contrast peplum.  So cute and easy!

And last but not least, the pants are the Just Hatched leggings from Made by Rae, another free pattern!

I love how these patterns all go together, and how easy it is to combine different prints.  I fell in love with this strawberry print knit in Tokyo, and I'm wishing I bought more than 3 meters--it was only 200 yen (about $1.70) per meter!

Also, check it out--all three items fit Baby Cousin at the same time!

I'm pretty much dying from cuteness.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

A new dress for my kindergartener!

I planned ahead this year, and made a dress just for Little Sister's first day of kindergarten.  And lucky me, September's Project Run and Play theme turned out to be Back to School clothes, so I can link this up!

I may have overplayed that point (wanted to make sure she actually agreed to wear it on the first day!), because now she thinks she will ONLY wear that dress on the first day of kindergarten--I really hope that doesn't turn out to be the case!

The fabric is a fun take on traditional Japanese prints--she loves the bunnies!

This is the second time I've sewn a Desert Rose dress from the pattern by Caila Made.  I just love the proportions of this dress!  The first one that I made (from naniIRO double gauze) fit Little Sister perfectly, but this time I sized up anyway so that it would last longer--it's really a summer dress, but I thought that with the extra room she could wear a shirt under it, and it will definitely still fit next summer.

And pockets, of course!

Also, this time I made the straight skirt instead of the angled one.  It is a bit less twirly but still plenty full!  She loves the big skirt on this dress.  Which reminds me--I did add extra length to the skirt.  It's a size 5 width but the size 8 length.  I feel like I could go even longer and Little Sister would be happy.

Taking it for a twirl
One issue that I had this time around is that I used a pretty heavy fabric for the skirt, and since the bodice fabric was lighter, the seam where the skirt is gathered looks kind of bulky.  I would advise sticking to the same weight of fabric for the bodice and skirt (or a lighter one for the skirt) to avoid this.

We found a new fun mural for taking pics by our house--but I had to be careful about which parts of the mural I used!

Don't look now...but there might be a big wolf right behind you!

We couldn't get a babysitter for the photoshoot so Little Sister had to bring her little ones with her...

They didn't get too fussy.
 And here's the actual first day of school look!  The weather cooled down enough to require a little sweater, her choice instead of layering a shirt underneath.