Remnants and Tween Skirts

Tweens, some may already know, are those girls who fall into the size range (as interpreted by the sewing pattern industry) of eight to sixteen. I discovered this when I looked at this cute pattern:

pattern

New Look pattern, sized for tweens

I thought the tee-shirt top, with its contrasting colors made up of small pieces of jersey knits, would adapt very well to remnant sewing, and I began foraging around the stash to find some suitable fabric options. But I actually had the skirts all thought out before I got to the remnant-project tops.

box-pleat skirt

gator colors

This skirt, not made from a remnant, but trimmed with orange satin ribbon leftover from another project, is the box-pleated view D in the pattern. A few weeks ago Joann’s had a sale of 4 t-shirts for $10, and I snagged a bright orange day-glow t-shirt (matchy-matchy with the ribbon trim) that can be worn with the skirt.

View C, a little flarey but without pleats (and thus ten times easier to assemble and sew) was also not made from a remnant, but the fabric was also a downgrade because of this glaring gouge it had in it:

hole in fabric

Yikes! a major flaw

Cute fabric + unsightly hole = discount for mama (heh, heh, heh…)

I had this great idea to put a fox’s head on the shirt instead of the Swarovski crystal star on the front of the pattern. But I also developed a reluctance to apply the crystals to this shirt. I decided to go to Plan B and put an appliqué on it. This one is called “peeking fox” and I found it at Embroidery Library, on sale, of course.

appliqué machine embroidery

applique

I foraged in the box of potential quilt scraps, and of course, I found any number of little fabric treasures that would do nicely. The granddaughter had been consulted prior about the color of t-shirt fabric she would prefer to go with the skirt, and out of pink and black, she chose the black (yes!)
Vilene bias tape

Sleeve seams sewn over Vilene bias tape

The remnant for the black t-shirt is rather slinky and I could imagine all kinds of stretching going on, hems not acting right, puckering behind my back, and to counteract that I stabilized the sleeve seams with Vilene bias tape, and all the hems with Emma Seabrooke’s Sew KeysE knit stay tape.
knit stay tape

knit stay tape

Hopefully that sew-and-sew will do right.

t-shirt and skirt set

t-shirt and skirt set

top and skirt

version 2

Pimp My Wardrobe

I’m always interested–sometimes amazed–at the clothing preferences of my offspring and their significant others, and how it plays out in the grandkids.

My daughter has always liked Goth. A son-in-law pleaded, when I asked about doll clothes his daughter might like, anything BUT Goth, please!

Some of the grandkids have to wear uniforms to school. Luckily, their uniform standards are pretty relaxed: collared polo shirt and plain jeans, pants, or skirt, any solid color, with no logos–rather than a specific brand, style and color. Some do not have to wear uniforms to school but they do have a dress code. The grandkids seem to favor modest styles without exposed shoulders or midriffs.

Here’s a pic of a shirt designed and built by a son-in-law. He asked me to applique the trim with hot-pink thread.

Tony’s designer shirt

When I was in junior high school, I got sent home for wearing a “maxi-skirt” I had made. I remember it well. It was tan and brown variegated corduroy, and I wore it with a white long-sleeved blouse that had a ruffle down the front and a bow that tied at the neck. I felt like a movie star. Please remember that this was in the late 1960’s and back then, avant-garde clothing choices were El Diablo. Why, they just could not have girls wearing skirts that went down to their ankles at school. They might trip and fall, especially if they were also wearing coordinating platform high-heeled shoes, which were also popular at that time. And the staff apparently felt they must give maxi-skirt and mini-skirt wearers equal disdain. My mom had to take off work and come pick me up; I elected to stay home the rest of the day rather than change and go back to school.

My son who is an Army sergeant has two sons who dress conservatively. One son’s idea to wear a shirt with a skull on it was vehemently vetoed. What would the teacher think about him, shudder! Their mama wanted to take some pictures of them in their Easter suits, in a field of wild flowers. I happened to be riding around with them and was privy to this conversation.

Dad: Come on, we’re going to go get your suits on and take some Easter pictures for mom.
Boys: No! It’s hot outside! We don’t want to! [both resumed playing on their Nintendo DS’s].
Dad, looking around to the back seat of the car with eyes protruding, in a voice barely above a whisper: Whaa-aat?
Boys, looking up from their DS’s, waiting.
Dad: You don’t WANT to?
Boys, not saying anything but on high alert.
Dad: Who makes all the money in the house?
Boys: Mom.
Dad: And who takes all that money and makes sure you get all the fun things you want to play with, like great video games?
Boys: Mom.
Dad: And who gives you great snacks and meals and makes sure you never go hungry like some kids have to do?
Boys: Mom.
Dad: And who dresses you up like PIMPS instead of bums?
Boys: Mom.
Dad: And who is spending lots of time making sure you have a really happy Easter?
Boys: Mom.
Dad: And did you ask Mommy what SHE wants for an Easter present?
Boys: Ummm, no.
Dad, voice in full-tilt crescendo: Well, she doesn’t want anything for herself, ALL SHE WANTS is some nice pictures of YOU GUYS in your suits in a field of wild flowers, right?
Boys, about ready to cry: Yeah.
Dad: OK, so we’re going to do it, right?
Boys: Yeah.

Remnants for Appliques

It sounds so obvious, but one sure way to use up remnants is to make them into appliques.
You know it’s true. But it’s so easy.

Here we have the remains of a white cotton remnant that I used to make a collar for a summer dress in a previous post.
This design is from Planet Applique –it’s reminiscent of a tuxedo. I put it on a black toddler t-shirt and personalized it with the toddler’s name. Why the name? A new year of day care is about to start and the teachers do appreciate that the toddlers’ clothes identify a boy who looks, to them, exactly like his brother.
This design, of course, was done in the hoop of an embroidery sewing machine. You could do it on a regular sewing machine by cutting the remnant the size and shape you want, then attaching it to the t-shirt using a column-stitch or an applique stitch. If you have one of the older machines, it can be a zigzag stitch that is very close together. When I had an old Kenmore back in the 80’s, I did lots of appliques with the close-together zigzag stitch.
You can use the smallest of pieces of leftover fabric for appliques. Here’s another example:

You can buy toddler t-shirts at some JoAnn stores and most of the time they’re $3 or less. I found some on a clearance rack for $0.97. Target has toddler t-shirts in packages, and so does K-mart, although I’m not sure if K-mart will be around.
The tuxedo t-shirts did not fit well in the hoop so I had to cut the side seams and then re-sew them after the embroidery step, better than dealing with the craziness of overlapping and accidental stitching where you didn’t want the stitching to be! Also, if you do lots of applique-ing, you may want to invest in a pair of applique scissors, or at the very least, a pair of those very tiny embroidery scissors. If you applique in the hoop, as I did here, you cut the appliqued fabric off at the edge of the embroidery stitching and without a good set of scissors, you can really wreak havoc! Postaweek 2011!

Remnants for Appliques

It sounds so obvious, but one sure way to use up remnants is to make them into appliques.
You know it’s true. But it’s so easy.

Here we have the remains of a white cotton remnant that I used to make a collar for a summer dress in a previous post.

stitching the remnant applique


This design is from Planet Applique –it’s reminiscent of a tuxedo. I put it on a black toddler t-shirt and personalized it with the toddler’s name. Why the name? A new year of day care is about to start and the teachers do appreciate that the toddlers’ clothes identify a boy who looks, to them, exactly like his brother.

finished applique

This design, of course, was done in the hoop of an embroidery sewing machine. You could do it on a regular sewing machine by cutting the remnant the size and shape you want, then attaching it to the t-shirt using a column-stitch or an applique stitch. If you have one of the older machines, it can be a zigzag stitch that is very close together. When I had an old Kenmore back in the 80’s, I did lots of appliques with the close-together zigzag stitch.
You can use the smallest of pieces of leftover fabric for appliques. Here’s another example:

appliqued t-shirts


You can buy toddler t-shirts at some JoAnn stores and most of the time they’re $3 or less. I found some on a clearance rack for $0.97. Target has toddler t-shirts in packages, and so does K-mart, although I’m not sure if K-mart will be around.
The tuxedo t-shirts did not fit well in the hoop so I had to cut the side seams and then re-sew them after the embroidery step, better than dealing with the craziness of overlapping and accidental stitching where you didn’t want the stitching to be! Also, if you do lots of applique-ing, you may want to invest in a pair of applique scissors, or at the very least, a pair of those very tiny embroidery scissors. If you applique in the hoop, as I did here, you cut the appliqued fabric off at the edge of the embroidery stitching and without a good set of scissors, you can really wreak havoc! Postaweek 2011!

More Baby Remnant Redo’s

It looks like a crazy week is on its way here!

I have a couple of baby remnant redo’s to show you. They don’t feature the greatest sewing anyone’s ever seen, but I had a little bit of fun and I learned some new things.

Simple Serger Sewing Project

This was entitled “Summer Breeze” as the 2nd project in the book that I blogged about last week, Simple Serger Sewing, edited by Julie Johnson. What an excellent project book; I’ve been learning how to use my serger by going over it chapter by chapter.  Laura Dollar came up with the pattern and instructions, and it’s pretty easy to follow. Except for serging around a curved surface; that was a bit hard to do. I appliqued a bow motif on the back, as you can see in the picture, and embroidered the new baby’s name on the front, which I do not show. It’s supposed to be a cover-up or a bib-like garment. I think that’s a cute idea to be able to throw this on over a plain onesie, for a little girl of course. Maybe a fishing vest in camo flannel for a boy baby?

The cats weren’t so enthusiastic. I tried it on Bob, and after he made a few attempts to jerk it off and couldn’t, boxed Pauly’s ears for no apparent reason and then hid out in the kitchen where no one could see his shame. Then I tried it on Grayzie, and he was all ok with it. He didn’t even try to get it off.

Serging ties is definitely the way to go. Zip, and you’re done, rather than taking hours to sew right-sides together and then try to turn the doggone things inside out. Just make sure to use fray-check on the ends. This remnant was in the stash from years back, a Patty Reed fabric.

[Warning, this aside has nothing to do with the project but I have to get it off my chest: I found Patty Reed’s web site on the Internet, mainly because I was interested in a couple of old Simplicity patterns I want to sew, patterns that feature her design and fabric. The featured fabric is a slinky knit with a double border print on it. I cannot find slinky knit with a border print on it anywhere on the internet now, not even on ebay. So if anyone finds it, I’m interested!]

The second project was a onesie with a machine-embroidered applique on the front that is supposed to approximate a tie and vest; this one, of course, in gator colors.  Every time I embellish a onesie, I say I am never going to do it again, because it is a king-size lot of trouble for a pint-size finished article.

The smaller the onesie, the more my teeth end up being gnashed.

It is nearly impossible to fit a tiny shirt into a 5″ x 7″ (or another size) embroidery hoop, with the part you don’t want sewn bunched up, and have it finish successfully.

Finally, I saw some packing tape on the desk and cut off about a 6″ strip, using it to truss up that back part of the outfit that I didn’t want getting

Tie and vest appliqued onesie

stuck under the hoop and sewed accidentally, which helped some. The little clips you get with the hoop don’t help

a whole lot, because they pop off under the bulk of the garment.

But this is postaweek2011 project #2; looks like kids’ clothes are the trend so far.

 

 

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