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 1/4" 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 but for this project, I highly recommend using 1/2" seam allowances.  It makes coverstitching/topstitching the seams much easier.

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!

The tutorial for on this cell phone pocket is now available! Click the links for Part 1 and Part 2.

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!