Finishing up the Last Remnants of Summer

What has happened?

I was thinking of summer outfits that might be fun to sew out of remnants, and all of a sudden things changed.

Not the temperature; it’s still hot. Not the weather; we’ve still got rain every afternoon and tropical storms are waxing and waning. But it’s something…

August sky

August sky

The sky is a brilliant blue (when it’s not raining, that is). It has a different feeling, more purposeful somehow. As if to say, “live it up, because soon it will be school time again, back to the grind, your Saturdays will be taken up with football, summer is going away…”

A couple of remnant projects went by fast. This set was made with 2-way stretch remnants. The top is a small piece of Frozen fabric. The leggings are solid-color fabric that complements the top. For a three-year old, you just need a fraction of a yard to make a cute little play outfit. This is a worthwhile pattern, as it includes several variations.

Kik Sew leotard pattern

Kwik Sew K4011 pattern

Simplicity 1435

Simplicity 1435: child’s tunic and leggings

The leotard is from a pattern I’ve used before. Thought it might go with a pair of red shorts from a while back…

Jalie yoga shorts

Jalie yoga shorts

We’ve got several pattern makers represented here, so why not look at this Moneta I just finished, by Collette. Although not a remnant, and I didn’t even get a cheap deal on the pattern, it was an easy and worthwhile project.

Moneta

Collette Moneta

I’ve had the fabric stashed for a few years, from fabric.com — a soft, velvety t-shirt knit. The pattern was easy to follow and has a large size range, so you can make an XS version as well as a 3X size, and all sizes in-between. I wanted to get the paper copy in the mail, but they didn’t have any paper ones around, so I had to download it and print it and tape all the pages together, but it worked out. Having read several blog posts from others who sewed the Moneta (it’s very popular!) I followed their leads and lengthened the bodice a couple of inches. If you buy the Moneta pattern from the web site, you can get an additional pattern with collar variations free.

And so the remnants of summer are getting finished up, out of the way, to make room for the new, the busy, the purposeful

What’s in your agenda for the end of August 2015?

Same-Old vs Something Different for National Sewing Month

I’m interested in knowing if any readers are beefing up their sewing agendas in honor of National Sewing Month. I know my friend Ethel has been busy making curtain tie backs. Check out this cute pair of scissors she brought with her to Knitting group last week:

scissors

Ethel’s scissors

So far, I’ve done several “same-old” projects for the sake of doing something, anything, for Sewing Month.

Besides the things I’ve already posted, I’ve also done a few others:

Jalie leotard

leotard Jalie 3354

baby blankets

flannel reversible receiving blankets

McCall's 4185 pattern

fleece quilt McCall’s 4185

I’ve made the fleece quilt so many times before I can’t even count them all. McCall’s pattern 4185 is now considered a “vintage pattern” and can be found on ebay and Etsy and such places. For me, a remnant hoarder enthusiast, it’s the ideal thing for using up smaller pieces of fleece that one has bought 50% off regular price, in the remnant rack at the local fabric shop. This time, I used 3 different Curious George fleece remnants, plus a couple of non-printed remnants in contrasting colors red and blue.

fabric

remnant repository

I hesitate to show the part of my sewing room that houses some of my remnants, as viewers might be offended by such excess, but there it is. I also had plenty of fleece binding in either red or yellow, purchased on clearance.

fleece binding

fleece binding

Good thing I had those extra remnants of binding, because I needed just a few more inches and a little extra length saved me from opening a brand new package.

fleece binding

yikes! need just a few more inches of binding

fleece quilt

finished Curious George fleece quilt

Here’s an excerpt of the conversation I had with my DH this morning in honor of National Sewing Month:

Me: I’m so excited about the project I made with those Curious George Remnants!
DH: Oh, you finally opened up the barrel and found them in there?
Me: Yeah, I think I hurt my elbow trying to reach them!
DH: You might be able to sell that as a Vintage Quilt. That fabric must be as old as that monkey.
Me (cracking up laughing)
DH: So what are you going to make this afternoon?
Me: During The Bloodlettin’?
DH: Yes. During the Gator game when we play Alabama…it’s probably going to be a slaughter…
Me: I thought I would try to do something new…

Short and Sweet, with Remnants (& Twisted Straps)

Where have the past few days gone? I’ve been languishing in a Mucinex and/or Nyquil-induced stupor. Worst cough; broken ribs? Ugh.
I haven’t even left the house since Sunday and it’s already Thursday night.

Since I was fairly incapacitated I tried to do some remnant projects. And I didn’t totally screw them up. I got in some good practice projects, using up lycra spandex remnants.

Jalie leotards

Jalie leotard pattern 3354

The orange and blue leotard with the twisted 😈 asymmetrical shoulder straps is going to be used as a swim suit. This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge theme is Twist. For more Weekly Photo Challenge: Twisted, look here.
As they say, “filthy with meaning!”

I discovered a very compelling detail about my remnant stretch-knit-fabric stash. Of all the different lycra-spandex remnant rolls I’ve got racked up, each one has a different percentage of lycra or spandex, meaning that some fabrics are much more stretchy than others. When you look at a pattern envelope under the fabric suggestions, it will tell you that you need fabric for this project that has, say, 50% stretch in both length and width. Or, 70% stretch. But when you look at the label on the fabric bolt, it won’t say “this fabric has 50% stretch.” You have to measure a length of the fabric between your fingers and thumbs, line it up to the graph on the pattern envelope where it says “this much fabric must stretch to………..here.” I thought my DH could come up with formula for that. Some fabrics have 13% lycra, some 7% lycra, some 18% lycra. How stretchy does that make them? I still don’t know. But it would be helpful to know if you need to use a larger size pattern for less-stretchy fabric, and how much larger?

I love the Jalie patterns. I had a question about one of the patterns, and emailed the company to ask it. I got a friendly, personal, valuable response about my prospective sewing project the next morning!

I bought a pattern from Jalie that was a downloadable pdf. I found that it was very easy to use that way, although I prefer buying the paper pattern and having it posted to me. For the same price, I got a download and had to use my own paper and printer ink, but it came to me immediately, whereas I had to wait a few days for the paper one to be shipped from Canada.

Jalie patterns

Jalie 3022

Jalie pattern 3022 is for yoga pants or shorts. We went to watch a granddaughter at gymnastics practice, and there were leotards and matching shorts sets for sale on the premises: $45 for a leotard and $25 for shorts, or $65 if you bought a matching set. Wow! That is the retail cost of a gymnastics outfit. If you could learn to make them yourself, using a cute little Jalie pattern that costs about $15, some knitted elastic, and a yard or less of lycra-spandex remnants that are 50% off the regular price, you could have a cute outfit to exercise in. I wanted to see how long it took me to make a pair of yoga shorts from start to finish.

First I had to trace the pattern on to Pattern-Ease (Jalie patterns come in 20 or more sizes). Tracing the pattern, cutting out the material, sewing it up–this pair of shorts took me just under 2 hours to make.

tracing pattern

tracing the pattern

I did hurry and as a result it looks rather unprofessional: seams a little uneven, and I didn’t use a serger to coverstitch the hems as the instructions said. Next pair will be better. I like the contrasting colored waistband and the seam down the back of the pants legs. I should mention that I use designated “Stretch” needles for working with these knits. I used Jeanne Binet’s technique for sewing stretchy knits without a serger. You can find some You-tube videos that show you exactly how to do it, and what great results!

leotard and shorts

Jalie leotard and matching shorts

Weekly Photo Challenge: Spring, as in Handspring!

Gymnastics, the collegiate sport version, ended in late April, with three Gator girls in the NCAA finals. We’ve been able to go see some Gator Gymnastics in the past few years, having a couple of granddaughters who love everything about tumbling, balance beam, uneven bars, the works! But we’ve been crazy busy this year, and the season just sort of passed us by…

I did get a remnant project going: girls’ tumbling leotards from remnants!

Jalie leotards

Jalie Choix de Léotards

I love this Jalie 2792 pattern, because … it’s cute, versatile (22 sizes in one pattern, 3 necklines and 3 sleeve options), the directions are very clear and understandable, and it gives a method for sewing stretchy knits without a serger (which I tried and I think I like it even better than if I used the serger). The sizing is a little different than what I normally expect. But if you use the subject’s measurements, you are all set up to make an item that will fit. I hope anyway. The seam allowances are supposed to be 1/4″; if I sewed them larger than that, I might have a problem…Anyway, I will let my little models try on a prototype before I make them a second leotard. Another plus is that super-stretchy remnants always seem to be found in the remnant bin at JoAnn’s. You can make a girl’s leotard from a rather small length of spandex-infused fabric. And with these great patterns that have contrasting color yokes, you can use up lots of smallish pieces of remnants with very cool results! I bought some glitter elastic to sew on as an embellishment, on top of where the white yoke connects with the gold body of the suit. I could have bought some stretchy sequin trim as is shown in the pattern view B sleeveless, but it is recommended to be removed before laundering, and I didn’t want the girls or their moms to have to fuss with that.

I copied the pattern view I wanted in the size I wanted to make, onto Pellon Easy Pattern. I had some 3/8″ elastic, which is called for on the arm and leg openings. I had clear elastic and white braided elastic. I decided to use the clear elastic, until it snapped in two without much pull, then I realized why I had a lot of that around: because it’s not worth using. The package says “good for infant wear”–ah yes, because the infant will outgrow the item before it’s even worn two times. I would not advise using the clear elastic for anything that gets stretched, and why would you put elastic in something unless it was to be stretched? 💡 Regular elastic, good stuff!

is this the costume of a future Gator Gymnast?

is this the costume of a future Gator Gymnast?

gator gymnastics

Go Gators!

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