Thursday, October 20, 2016

Tutorial ~ DIY Cell Phone Pocket: Part 1

Today I want to share a tutorial with you! I think it's been years since I've done so. I loved the athletic capris that I made last month and decided I wanted another pair, but with a cell phone pocket.  My husband always says that ladies' pants pockets are useless so he has no problem carrying my phone when we're out and about.  Well, this pocket is big enough to carry your big honkin' phone and probably your lip gloss, too!  For reference, I have a Samsung Galaxy s5.  

For this tutorial, you will need your pattern.  I have used Peg Legs by Patterns for Pirates.  You can use another pattern if you wish as long as it has one whole piece for the left leg and one for the right.  The waistband is separate.

When I am pattern drafting, I don't draw directly on my nice pretty pattern.  I trace my pattern first and then I can mark it up as much as I want.

Start with your pattern and find the grainline.  We will start by drawing lines PARALLEL to the grainline.  I like to use a quilting ruler to draw parallel lines.  Find the center point in between center front and center back at the bottom edge of pants.  Find the point in between center front and center back at the top of the pattern piece.  Before you draw the line just check with your quilting ruler that the new line is parallel to your grainline.  Draw a TEMPORARY line between these two points from the top of the pattern piece to the bottom like so:

 Now, draw a line 2" to the left and 2" to the right, parallel to the grey line.

These red lines represent the sides of your pockets.  (The grey line can now be removed.)  My pocket is 4" wide.  (I thought it was a tad too wide so you may want to make yours slightly smaller, especially if you have an IPhone.)  Now, we will draw a line bisecting the red lines to define the bottom of the pocket.

Erase the red lines below the bisected line and label these areas:

These are 4 of the new pattern pieces for the right leg.  Lay tracing paper over the top of this pattern and trace each piece, leaving space in between because YOU WILL NEED TO ADD YOUR SEAM ALLOWANCES.  The black lines represent the old pattern, so obviously don't add seam allowances to those sides.  Any sides that are red or purple will need seam allowances added.  

Not sure how much to add? Check your pattern for the seam allowance used and add the same seam allowance for your new pattern pieces.  I like 3/8" seam allowances.

Now, draw a line to define the top edge of your pocket.

This is represented in green.  Now you can trace the 5th and last pattern piece, the Over Pocket Piece.  This is the only piece that requires ALL seam allowances added to it.  (This might seem confusing, just trace the green curved line for the top of the pocket, the two parallel red lines below that, and the purple line at the bottom.)

Where you choose to draw your green and purple lines is up to you.  The purple line I drew was about 11" from the top of the leg pattern piece.  The top of the pocket piece on the right side (the point where the green line touches the right red line) was 2 1/2" from the top of the leg pattern piece.

You will also need to cut out the pocket band (goes over the top edge of the pocket).  This is a rectangle 1.25" x 7".

Pat yourself on the back, you are now a pattern drafter!  In the next part of the tutorial, I will share how to assemble your pattern pieces.  

Supplex Peg Legs with Smartphone Pocket

This is my second pair of Peg Legs, this time made from Supplex from Zenith & Quasar.  (My first pair is here.) Supplex is a wicking nylon/spandex that is great for activewear applications.  It is easy to spend $20 on one yard of supplex.  I can squeeze one pair of capris and one bra on a yard, so it doesn't end up being more expensive than ready to wear clothing.

When I'm out and about I need a place to put my phone, so I drafted my own smartphone pocket.  For the contrasting blue pocket, I used budget supplex.  It doesn't have quite the stretch that regular supplex has.  So for the left leg, I used my regular pattern piece and for the right, I assembled my smartphone pocket and then sewed leg pieces together.  I coverstitched the cellphone pocket with the loopy side up.  It was a bit tricky going over seams and the thread got messed up.  I took a needle and thread and fixed it in parts and I think it looks great!

I preordered the supplex, but the wait was worth it!  These capris are super comfortable! I'm happy to know that next summer when the heat is unbearable these capris will wick and help me stay during a workout.  And since summer weather doesn't end until November, I'll be comfortable now, too!

Stay tuned for a tutorial on this cell phone pocket, I can't wait to share it with you!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Arenal Top ~ Itch to Stitch

Over the last couple weeks, I had the opportunity to test the new Arenal Top Pattern by Itch to Stitch.  I have fallen in love with this pattern and I'm sure you will, too!  Click the link above to purchase your PDF pattern, on sale for $8 until October 19th.

This knit v-neck pattern has a fitted bodice version and a handkerchief hem option, along with sleeve options.  I opted to do a 3/4 sleeve with the fitted bodice.  

This pattern calls for 100% stretch fabric.  It's perfectly fine to use fabric with 50% or 75% stretch, just know you may need to size up 1-2 sizes. I used the fabrics below as follows:

Sleeves: Poly/lycra stripes with about 50% stretch.  I sized up 2 sizes to make up for the lack of stretch

Bodice and neckband: Bambo/lycra with about 75-80% stretch.  I sized up 1 size to make up for the lack of stretch.

I wish I'd only sized up 1x for the sleeves and did no sizing up for the bodice...maybe my bamboo fabric had more stretch than I thought! That's ok - the issue was easily fixed by taking in the side seams at the bodice and sleeves. I shortened the sleeves and the bodice a bit to fit my petite frame. Next time I will do a narrow shoulder adjustment but I think it looks just fine without.

Today marks the first day I have ever posted about a v-neck shirt I've made...because this is my first attempt, EVER! I have three years' worth of built-up anxiety over v-necks and as it turns out, it was quite easy! The instructions are very easy to follow, but I needed a bit of hand holding, so I found this helpful video:

If you find yourself a little hesitant to sew a v-neck, give it a try! I followed the instructions and my first attempt had only a few puckers (that no one will ever notice...let's be honest, only people like me would ever look closely).

I really loved sewing this easy knit top and I think the depth and shape of the 'V' is just perfect! Thanks for the opportunity to test, Kennis!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Sweet Tee ~ Patterns for Pirates

I made the Sweet Tee by Patterns for Pirates out of this sweet Art Gallery Knit.  This may look like a summery top but it's perfect for a Carolina fall! I brought up the sleeve edge and the neckline a 1/4".  I really like that the armband can be flipped up.

This top was a super easy sew, especially with the help of my coverstitch for finishing the bodice edge.  You'll definitely see a few more from me this fall.

Feel free to order yours here!

The Sunshine Dress ~ Patterns for Pirates

I made another Patterns for Pirates pattern up a few weeks ago, it's the Sunshine Dress.  (Feel free to order yours with my affiliate link, no pressure.)  I love the crossover bodice so I decided to do a bunch of alterations to make it work for me.  It did not come with sleeves so I had to add those.  I bought the Boundless Knit Dress, too, just so I could use the sleeves from it.  That was dumb because the armscye was different and the sleeve still required some drafting that I could have done all on my own without the pattern if I hadn't been afraid to cut into my pretty pattern without a TNT sized sleeve pattern.  So I really wish they had produced the pattern with a sleeve option - but I had looked around and couldn't find what I wanted elsewhere so I decided to perform a 'mash up' as they say it, to the Sunshine Dress.

I did a 1/2" small bust adjustment and cut out a small up top and graded out to a large in the waist.  I also added a modesty panel behind the bodice.

I used a lightweight poly/lycra knit that I bought off a destash FB page a couple months ago.  The pattern was not completely on-grain.  This drove me a bit crazy as I couldn't decide how to cut the pattern out.  The lovely FB ladies in the P4P group said to cut the pattern on-print (and subsequently a little off-grain) so my print would line up pretty (for the most part).

I thought my fabric had 50% stretch, but I might have been stretching it a little bit... ha ha - get it?  I'm thinking it probably has 40-45% stretch.  I adjusted the seam allowances to about 3/8" so I'd have a little more room to play with and it worked beautifully.  I was too lazy to unpick the neckband and attach a longer one because I think it looks fine and only I can tell it's too short.  I'm still debating on if I should cut out a larger size for my next dress (Art Gallery Knit) or leave it the same.  There is some pulling at the side seams where the gathers attach and it ends up looking a bit stretched there.  I may try putting elastic there next time to help with that.

I used the strapless bodice from the Boundless to fashion my own modesty panel.  It was way to low for my liking, so I added like 1 1/2" inches to the height.  The black jersey I used was an ever-so-stretchy bamboo/rayon/lycra.  I took out a bunch of width in the center but it still gapes if I move. :(

I'm satisfied with this dress.  The fabric was inexpensive and it was a good experiment.  I'm not loving the polyester content yet - today's high was 92 degrees - but I'm sure once fall rolls around I will be wearing it more.  One nice plus, is it is super comfy and I've even worn it to bed!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Peg Legs ~ Patterns for Pirates

Let me start off by saying I was extremely skeptical of this pattern.  I thought maybe all the hype was just a fluke or a trend of sorts.  But the evidence is clear: this the best looking pair of handmade leggings ever to to be had on my legs!  The pattern is Peg Legs by Patterns for Pirates.  I decided it was high time I had some more workout clothing and this is, hopefully, my first pair of many.

Sorry - no hubs available for pics today.

I participate in a 'mom group' of sorts, called Hike it Baby.  The purpose of Hike it Baby is to get families outside, enjoying nature in hikes and urban strolls.  (P.S. - this group is nationwide.  You should totally check it out!)  It saved my sanity this summer!  I require more adult interact than a lot of moms and am happiest when I get out of the house daily.  I love getting out in nature but I detest the summer heat in Charleston, so HiB was my motivator to get out and brave the heat.

Wearing a workout outfit more than once before laundry day is a total no-go, so I'm grateful for these new capris in Brushed Poly from Zenith and Quasar (which I purchased on the swap page).  I normally hate poly/spandex, but this has wicking properties and is soft and comfortable.

I lengthened the top of the front rise by 3/4" and shortened the capris by about 1 1/2".  I pulled my shirt up so you can see just where it falls on me.  I sewed everything at a 1/4" seam allowance.  I'm super pleased with where the waistband falls and it's the perfect size and I AM IN LOVE, guys!!  Join their Facebook page and you will find the amazing promotion going on with these Peg Legs that I can't talk about here.  

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Playgroup Romper ~ by Fresh Stitch Patterns

I recently pattern tested the Playgroup Romper by Fresh Stitch Patterns, which was released today, yay!  It is also on sale, this week only, for $5.50 USD.  Big thanks to Kylie, for letting me test your pattern!  I really enjoyed being a part of the process and having the motivation to finish my project on time.

The pattern is sized very well.  I love how quick and easy it came together.  If you're looking for an easy baby to toddler pattern that is cute and polished and is such an easy sew you will *actually finish it*....look no further! 

This was my second version:

I used a Joel Dewberry print leftover from Serenity's baby quilt.  The aqua print is from Joann's.  I used a little aqua pom-pom trim.  I added some pintucks because the bodice was rather plain and it needed something to balance out the loud floral print.  This second romper is made in the 9-12 month size and I think it will be perfect for growing into.

Now that she's walking, it's getting increasingly difficult to photograph Serenity.  This little lady has her own agenda.  You've got to be really quick with that button!

I don't think my husband will ever stop complaining about taking pictures for my blog.  Oh, the sighing.  He silently concedes to one more picture but his eyes say, "Why does this woman need so many pictures of the SAME thing?" But then, look! The little lady flashes us a smile with her eyes and a sweet grin and he is in love!  Maybe he won't give me such a hard time next time, lol.