Monday, December 12, 2016

Holiday Night Pajamas ~ Sew a Little Seam

I recently tested for Sew a Little Seam's new pattern, Holiday Night Pajamas.

Holiday Night PJs

This pattern comes in sizes 12 months to kids' size 12.  It has short or long sleeves, with or without cuffs.  I love the piping detail on the collar, the pocket and the bodice!

This is my daughter's first pair of big girl PJs.  I used a quilting cotton from Hobby Lobby.  I was really pleased with the weight of the fabric. It's thicker than some other cottons I've purchased from Joann's and should keep Serenity warm on winter nights.

I sewed the 12 month size with the 18 month length, because my girl is long and lean.  I liked that the pattern has a higher rise in the back, which allows room for my daughter's cloth diaper.

The size I chose was perfect for her measurements, but roomy enough that this should fit through her next growth spurt.

The pattern is on sale for $4.90 through New Years' Eve. (The sale code is available by joining Kelly's FB group: Sew a Little Seam)  I can't wait to put these under the tree for my little Sugar Plum Fairy!

Kwik Sew 4181 ~ Supplex Workout Top

Today I want to share with you my second Kwik Sew 4181 workout top.  I'm much happier with this make in an XS.  The fabric I used is a space dye supplex and a blue cobalt budget supplex from Zenith & Quasar.  You'll see me mention Lilly's stuff a lot because she has the best supplex selection anywhere! (Although it kind of sucks at the moment because her awesome Black Friday sale cleared out her inventory.)  I enjoyed sewing with this supplex so much more than the Joann's poly/spandex from my last garment.

As I said before, I sewed an XS (this pattern runs large) and I did view B without the front triangle detail.  I added a bit of colorblocking at the front shoulder that continues to the back colorblocking.  I love the contrast!  This matches perfectly with my supplex Peg Legs!

Even though I sewed an XS, the pattern gaped at the armband area, so I took the side seams in 3/8" at front and back side seams (1.5" total each side).  The gaping may have been due to my itty-bitty small bust.  If you know of a better way to fix it, let me know. 

As I mentioned last time, the armbands and the neckbands are too long.  My advice to you is to calculate your own band length. 

Armhole (measure it at the seamline w/o seam allowances) x 0.85 
= Armband Length (add your seam allowances to this)

Would I sew this pattern again? Yes, but I don't think I will be needing any more workout tanks in my wardrobe for a long time.

I did have a little problem while coverstitching the neckband.  The band slipped and got a bit wider at center front, but I was too tired to care.  It seems that my fatigue has been chipping away at my perfectionism.  That's good, or else I would have a ridiculous amount of UFOs!  (unfinished objects)

It's December, and I finally have the workout wardrobe I've been dreaming of since early fall!  
P.S. The shoes are my new Altras and they are zero drop and I love love love them!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Sewing Washable Cloth Pads

Using washable feminine products was never on my bucket list.  However, after the birth of my daughter I developed an allergy to the adhesives in disposables.  I tried different brands until I gave up and decided to give cloth a try.  I ordered some liners from Caroline's Creations on Etsy and I liked them so much, I decided to make my own pads.

If this idea seems weird or different to you, you might be interested to know that many women who use cloth say it is much more comfortable than disposables.  Since cloth pads can be washed and worn many times, they are more cost effective than disposables and easier on the landfill.  It can even be free if you make your own using fabric scraps and old linens.  And yes, they come out of the wash perfectly clean!

Making pads is really easy; they don't have to look perfect or pretty.  I've been cloth diapering my daughter since birth so the lingo is similar, words like: PUL, AIO, shells and pockets.  I made my first set of pads with materials I already had on hand: flannel, PUL, Zorb 2 (optional), and snaps.  I think it's a good idea to make a few and see what you like before filling out your entire stash.

My favorite pattern so far is the Luna Wolf Pad Pattern, which FREE and includes a variety of pad sizes.  

I really like the 10.25" size for a heavy flow pad.  I experimented with this and used an exposed/removable core that stays in place with some red ric-rack at the top and bottom.  I can use the liner multiple times and just switch out the inserts, as needed.  (The snap on top is from a failed attempt to make snappable inserts.)

I recommend a high quality flannel or quilting cotton for the top because a cheap flannel will pill quickly and won't be as soft.  The gray topper is a jersey ribbed knit from an old t-shirt.  Behind that is a layer of zorb and 2 layers of flannel.  I'm still working on finishing the edges of my inserts.  Sometimes my serging is pretty ugly, but it's functional!  I put my knife in the DOWN position when I serge around inserts and I use wooly nylon thread in my loopers.

These two inserts have quilting cotton on top, then a layer of zorb and a layer of hemp.

The 8.5" pads above were modified to try a different wing style. 

The first set of Luna Wolfs I made had a PUL backing and they slipped around.  The ones I make now have a layer of flannel behind the PUL.  The flannel comes in contact with your panties and stays put!  

I bought fabric just to make these pads.  It's such a happy floral, I just love it!  I even did some decorative topstitching.  This 8.5 inch pad has a hidden insert with 1 layer of Zorb sandwiched in between 2 layers of flannel.  I use KAM snaps.  I know everyone rrrraves about how easy they are to install.  It was never that way for me.  My husband has given me dozens of tutorials but I still ask for his help about half the time.  I have TERRIBLE grip strength!

So far I really like using these.  They are very comfortable and it's nice to be able to make them just the way I want to.  I'm really glad I don't make pads for a living.  Miss Caroline would make me slow down!  

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Kwik Sew 4181 & Peg Legs by Patterns for Pirates

Today I want to share with you two workout garments I made recently.  But first, can we's really hard to take good photos when:

1. your backyard is full of splotchy shade
2. your toddler won't let you
3. it's winter, so golden hour lasts like 6 seconds

For several days *in a row*, my toddler woke up just as I got ready to shoot.  So, please forgive me for not caring how ridiculously long the grass is by the fence.

I've been needing some basic workout tanks to go with my leggings so I decided to try this pattern, Kwik Sew 4181.  It has a shelf bra and a weird little triangle applique, which I omitted.  The back bodice is supposed to be color-blocked, but I didn't have contrasting fabric.  I merged the top and bottom pieces, so the back is just one solid piece.  I cut out a small in the shoulders/bust and a large at the waist and a small at the hips.  I used this space-dye lightweight wicking nylon/spandex from Joann that has about 50-65% stretch.  I was a fan of Joann's athletic line until I started sewing with this fabric.  It has a weird sheen to it and does not stretch the way my supplex does.  It's not love, but it served as a good muslin for this pattern.

{This post contains affiliate links, indicated by an asterisk*. Please refer to ‘About’ in the top menu for more info.}

The top, in my opinion, runs 1 full size too big.  I'll spare you the details, let's just say I had to take this top in A LOT at the shoulders and the side seams and's still too big.  And let's talk about power mesh from Joann's.  Is power mesh always super thin and unsupportive?  You can see my bra straps, so clearly the the baggy shelf bra is useless.  If I ever make a shelf bra tank top again I'll use self fabric, not paper-thin power mesh.

Next time I will cut out a XS-M-XS.  

Also *watch out* the neck and armbands are too long...plan on removing at least an inch from each loop before attaching to the tank top.  (That's before I adjusted the band lengths due to me taking in the shoulder seams and side seams.)

Fit:  Like I said, this pattern runs a full size too big. The fit is better because I took in the shoulder and side seams and adjusted the bands accordingly.  It's still a little gapey at the neckline so I'll have to take in 1/4" at center front/center back next time.  My next tank top will be in a stiffer supplex so I'm excited to see how much support it provides.  


The leggings are my third pair of Peg Legs by Patterns for Pirates*.  I used the pattern I drafted for my cell phone pocket (tutorial is here).  Instead of making a curved top pocket edge, I made a straight edge and finished the edge with a coverstitch.  This was SOOO much easier than the curved pocket.  The fabric is heavy supplex in a heathered grey from Zenith & Quasar.  I. LOVE. THIS. FABRIC.  I decided to size up for this pair because my last 2 pairs have been on the small side.  These leggings are a bit baggy and are a tad bit long. Too bad they are SO DARN COMFORTABLE, I don't want to take them off long enough to fix them!!

When it gets below 50 degrees here, I'm going to wish I had lined leggings. But then, I will still be wishing I was wearing these supplex pegs!