Trista’s Sew-Along

Wooooo Hoooooo!

Its time for another sew-along!!!  Lets dance!

dancing

It has been a few months since I had the opportunity to participate in a sew-along. It seemed every time one came up I was out of town, so I was excited when the chance to participate in one using one of Create Kids Couture’ new fall releases, Trista’s Knit pixie T-shirt.

I fell in love with the pattern the moment I saw it. The hood is so quirky and fun, I knew I had to have the pattern for my girls. I love how it twists down into a point!

hood from behind

Plus it is pretty cute from the front too.

N with hood

m in hood

There are several options with the pattern. You can make it without the hood or add short sleeves or go sleeveless. They also suggest a few different ways to finish the seams and edges. I tried my first lettuce edge! In fact, I can only think of a couple of other times I have ever attempted to sew with knits, so the whole outfit was a bit outside of my normal comfort zone. Luckily, CKC’s patterns are always easy to follow and I had nothing to fear. In fact, I never used my sewing machine at all! I made both tops using only my serger (but you can do it with a sewing machine too if you don’t have one)!

n sniffing flower

Although these shirts would be adorable just paired with jeans, I had some leftover fabric that was just begging to be made into matching skirts. I had recently discovered the Cascading Ruffle Skirt tutorial by Lil Blue Boo and I had to try it. It was very simple to construct. The hardest part was cutting out all those kidney bean shaped pieces of fabric! I think they turned out pretty sweet in the end!

skirt closeup

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Swimsuit Sew-along

sew-alongI did it! I made a swimsuit. Well actually, I made two. I am not sure I would have even attempted to sew up a swimsuit if it wasn’t for the CKC Sew-along Facebook group. I was hesitant at first when June’s pattern was announced but the fact that it had the same name as my daughter felt like a sign. So I took a chance and bought Create Kids Couture’s Naomi pattern. Luckily, finding cute swimsuit fabric wasn’t difficult since Chez Ami was kind enough to give a discount to the sew-along group. There were lots of great fabrics to choose from, so the girls and I sat down at the computer and we picked two favorites. As usual, Naomi chose pink and Maya, blue.

swim fabrics

I really enjoy the sew-alongs. Not only do I get several chances to win prizes but I learn a lot in the process. If you have a question, there are dozens of people making the same pattern at the same time there to help you. The perfect situation to try something new! Honestly, the hardest part about the whole process was cutting the fabric. It was really slippery and because it stretched four directions, it was hard to cut a straight line. I was glad to have chosen linear patterns to use as my guides. I took it slow and it worked out in the end. There were a lot of rectangles involved so I had to label all the pieces to keep from getting confused.

cut

Then, we did a few steps each day.

bodice and strapsbodice and rufflebottoms to step 17leg bands

And finally, the finale…

girls 4

girls 3 girls 2

girls 5

girls

I cant wait to see what they choose for July’s pattern!

Knit Nitwit

finished knit shirtsWell it was bound to happen. Things were going too smoothly in my sewing adventures. I guess I needed a reality check. I kept reading blog entries about sewing with knits being difficult but they always ended with something along the lines of “don’t be scared… go for it!” So I decided to give it a try.

I wanted to make some little boy clothes since I had only focused on clothes for the girls so far. The weather was cold and my little man needed more long-sleeve shirts. I decided to use the shirt tutorial from MADE since the pant one I did recently was successful. I went out and bought three different colors of solid knits from Joann’s and set to work.
knits

First, I needed to create my own pattern from a existing piece of clothing. I decided to sacrifice a 24-month onesie. I cut it apart and traced the pieces on some large art paper already scribbled on by my kids.

onsie cut up

I then added a ½ inch seam allowance to the traced images. Labeled them and cut them out.

pattern

Then I cut my pieces of fabric out.

cut fabric

Sewed the ribbing on.

neck ribbing sewn on

Looks good so far, right?…Ugh.

First, after beginning to assemble my sleeves, I realized they were too narrow at the wrist. I did have to fudge the long sleeve pattern because my onesie was short sleeved so I redrew a new pattern that I hoped would result in a better fitting sleeve.

new and old sleeve

I then re-sewed the newly-cut long sleeves and assembled the rest of the shirt. It was difficult to sew the sleeve to the shirt because it was too narrow to fit even the free arm but I got through it by placing the entire shirt on top of the machine’s bed and sewing slowly so I wouldn’t catch extra shirt material in the stitches.

sewing sleeves on

I then hemmed the bottom, turned it right side out, and tried it out on my son. Pretty cute huh?

calder with shirt on

That doesn’t seem too bad? Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the part where AFTER I made a second shirt for him, I had to stretch it to fit over him (I had tried to make it slimmer in places) and I heard the stitches snap. That is the moment I realized you can’t just use any ol’ straight stitch to sew up a knit garment. So, I disassembled TWO shirts, researched what stitches to use and sewed them back together again!

I tried two different stitches on the sleeves to determine which stitch to use on my fabric. For the top sleeve, I used a stretch stitch and the bottom is a zig zag stitch.  Since the stretch stitch caused more puckering, I went with the zig zag.

sleeve stitches

Before I finished sewing the shirts together, I had adjusted my zig zag a bit more and ended up with a pretty clean stitch that still gave enough so as not to break when stretched.

As for the bottom hem, I found a straight stitch with a long stitch length worked just fine.

I thought I was in the clear until I did this…

sleeve sewn on inside out

Yep, I sewed that sleeve on inside out! Oh well. I ripped that sucker off and sewed it on correctly.

So now I have two long sleeve shirts finally finished and it is 70 degrees outside. Hopefully, he will get to wear them at least once before he outgrows them!