Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Jalie 2796 Skort

I finished my skort.  It was pretty easy to put together.  Since I already posted about how I make the change to eliminate the fold around the crotch, I'm not reposting it now, but if anyone is interested in see the pattern change let me know.  I didn't change the skirt part at all.  The whole thing is slightly shorter than the pattern because I sewed the waistband on to the skirt inside out and instead of unpicking the whole thing, I just cut it off.

It's kind of amazing to me what a difference fabric choice and a second layer of fabric can make.  It's not just the color (though the black helps), it really doesn't make me look as lumpy and gross, even without the skirt part.  This is so comfortable and I'll definitely be making some more.  I used nylon/spandex and the shirt is the same (though I didn't make the shirt).

My mom called me and wanted me to get my pictures up so I had her on the phone while I took the pictures.

When I make these again, I think I'll draft a back skirt piece that is assymetrical and comes down about an inch more on my back right side.  My higher hip is pulling the skirt up so much that the shorts show underneath on that side.

I did do one thing that I wonder if it will come back to haunt me.  I used my coverstitch machine to make the bottom pocket seam.  I've never used the coverstitch for any sort of weight bearing before so I don't know if it's a sturdy enough stitch for that.  I'll let you know if it is a fail.

On another note, the nerdlet saw the stripe shorts from my last post and immediately demanded to wear them, so that was kind of nice.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Remakes into Jalie 2796

I went to put away laundry and found a couple of dresses that were damaged and since I had the pattern for the Jalie shorts on my kitchen counter I took some time to turn them into shorts for the girls.

The dresses.  You can see the damage letting your daughters play with permanent markers does.

And the final shorts. I just cut the neckline from the dress front and back and just used that for the shorts band.  I wanted to use the flower, but it was too big to fit anywhere.  For the striped dress, I placed the bottom of the shorts just above the ruffle.  I know the nerdlet will like the purple version.  I'm not sure about the bottom version, but I figure no one will see them under dresses and they are sort of cute in a bizarre kind of way so one of the girls might take to them.

And just because I think it's interesting, the size 2 pattern piece on top of the size 14 (before alteration).

Jalie 2796 - Adult Version

I finished the first pair last night and it isn't pretty.  Okay, there isn't anything wrong with the pattern, but really no one needs to see these shorts with me in them.  It seems I carry all my gross fat between my belly button and my upper thighs.  And for some reason, while these shorts are probably a size too big, somehow they still manage to cling enough to show what being serially pregnant and having three babies in three years does to your abdomen.  I think they will be fine for working out, but I'll also be wearing one of my t-shirts over them and since all my t-shirts are x-large or bigger to get over my chest, this means that they are all long enough to come down to my thighs.

I'm posting the pattern again so that no one has my image appear on their screen.  This is your opportunity to stop reading and close this post.

There is no resistance/support in the fabric that I used (the same cotton Jersey that I used for the nerdlet) and they are pretty comfortable.  You can see the fold right above my crotch.  It's actually two inches of folded fabric  I already have a fix for this as I did this with my favorite shorts here, and I'm going to adjust the shorts and make it into the skort before I traumatize any readers with another version.  I didn't bother to hem the bottom edge as I won't be wearing these.

Now that I'm looking at this picture, I think I should have left my legs in the picture and maybe that would have taken away from the horror a bit.  I could play with the filter and make it sort of artistic.
Then I could pretend people are just looking at my pretty legs.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Jalie 2796

I bought my first Jalie pattern.  I actually ended up buying 4.  I ended up buying 2796, 3135, 2805, and 2920.  I decided that I wanted the first two and they were having a buy three get one free so I found two more to add to my order.

Katie of Kadiddlehopper  and another blogger are hosting a swim suit sew-a-long.  I'm not really participating, but I am reading the posts.  She recently posted about SCUBA chic and posted a picture of Jalie 3135, which upon seeing it, I knew that I had to have it for my bear cub.  Children with Down syndrome often have a hard time regulating their body temperature, and my bear cub is very thin. Because of these two things working against her, she turns purple very fast.  I've bought neoprene tops for her and the nerdlet but the smallest size (size 2) is pretty loose and doesn't seem to help much.  I'm hoping that a suit that covers more might help more.  I haven't bought any fabric to make this yet, so it is currently just sitting by my machine.

Jalie 3135

I did, however, trace 2796 for myself (in size AA - American 14) and size F in width and H in length for the nerdet (size 2 length and 4 width).  The fabric I had for making this with only stretch 70% in one direction so I decided to make the nerdlet's version first, since the size 2 is actually 2 inches wider than her waist and if it didn't have enough stretch, she could likely still wear it.

Jalie 2796

I just made the shorts for the nerdlet (though I did trace off all the pieces in her size since they are really a good size for all three of my girls.  Though for me, after making sure the shorts work, I'll likely make myself a few of the skorts.  I'm a huge skort fan, even though I only have one in a size 12 that I used to wear before I ever had any babies and still squeeze myself into occasionally. These will be great because I can slip my phone and gym locker keys in the pocket.  Currently I have one pair of real workout shorts and more often than not I end up going in my regular shorts (Burda 06-11-111) and while they work, they aren't exactly ideal.

The nerdlet wasn't exactly cooperative and Darth Baby was more than willing to help make sure I couldn't get good pictures.  They started playing some version of swing tug-of-war with that blanket and I did the best I could with the pictures.

The nerdlet really likes them and she decided to go to sleep with them.  There is enough room in them that I think I'm going to try my size as is even though there is no vertical stretch.  I'm short waisted so I'm hoping that the lack of vertical stretch works out okay.  I can sometimes buy the low waisted jeans and get them all the way over my hips so I think it should.

I actually think the draft fits the nerdlet so well, that I may replace the pattern I'm currently using (a cross between two Ottobre patterns) for leggings and replace it with this one.  The nerdlet prefers to wear dresses most of the time and as she starts Kinder this fall, I think it's a good idea for me to make her some knee length leggings in a bunch of colors to wear under the dresses.

Since I have the pattern traced and the fabric washed, ironed, and ready, I should have my version sewn fairly quickly.

Tiramisu - Version 8

I've had this version cut out for as long as the last 3 versions, but I just finished it last night.  I've also been wearing all day so unlike the others that I've posted, this one has been through a bunch (including feeding and bathing three little girls).

I couldn't take these inside because the girls (and Q) have their stuff all over the living room so I dragged the camera outside.  For my other pictures, I focus on the vacuum cleaner and then stand where the vacuum cleaner was.  For these I sort of had to guess where the focus was.  I'm sure the neighbors thought that I was weird for taking pictures and running back and forth to my camera for the different angles.
This fabric is another from Austin TexStyles.  The next time I go to Austin, I'm going to be looking for fabrics just to make more versions of the Tira.  I've been wearing them almost non-stop since I started pumping them out.

Here in San Antonio, we are having a lot of rain.  Yesterday, we got over 10 inches of rain and there are flash flooding warnings until at least 6 pm today, including some evacuations of homes along the various rivers.  Because of this I haven't left the house other than to get milk and bananas.  It has resulted in my being inspired to start a quilt and trace some work out clothes patterns (Jalie) so I might have something other than Tiras to post soon.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Strawberry Bleu Cheese Salad

I'm having one of my 3 favorite salads for lunch.  This is the one I have least often and I'm not really sure why.  It's probably because I don't eat bleu cheese in anything else so I rarely have it on hand.  

Here is the recipe that I usually use, but today I only used spinach for the greens and I used toasted walnuts instead of pecans:

2 cups of Baby spring mix (I use anything without arugula)
1/4 cup sliced strawberries
10 toasted pecan halves or smaller
3 ounces of chicken (I just buy a deli rotisserie chicken)
4 cherry tomatoes (the ones in the picture are from our garden)
sprinkle of crumbled bleu cheese

Adjust amounts to taste. Throw them all together. Serve with raspberry vinagrette or a balsamic dressing. I've been using Newman's Own Light Raspberry Walnut. I had a version at a restaurant with the chicken being a chicken breast marinated in a sweet balsamic dressing and it also had french fried onions and grated carrot.  To toast the nuts, I just throw a cup or so of the nuts into a frying pan that was preheated for a couple of minutes, stir and leave for a couple of more, then remove from heat.  

Friday, May 24, 2013

Making Training Panties

So I tried to use the panty pattern to make training panties.  It worked...sort of.  It made functional training pants, but there were a few things that I learned.  The first thing I learned is that using newborn diapers is not your best option.  The second thing I learned is that you need a different band for the waist and especially the leg openings.

I'm going to show you what I did and tell you what I will do differently in the future.

First, I made the pattern into one piece.  You can still sew the panties with the different pieces, but you need a single piece to make the pattern for the inside.

Next I traced the inside and across for a lining piece.

I made a shorter version for the absorbent insert.

I cut the insert out of an old newborn diaper.  You could also use a towel.  The first thing I learned was that using a non stretchy insert is greatly going to reduce the flexibility and overall size of your finished panties.  This is going to turn your panties into a size or two smaller than the initial size you cut.  I would suggest using two t-shirt layers with the stretch across so that it doesn't do this.  A diaper or towel might be your best choice for a baby or toddler that you are just starting to train, but if you are making training pants for a child that gets it but just isn't perfect, I would definitely go with the layers of t-shirt.

I cut the other two pieces out of the knit.  This is an incredibly cheap knit that I suspect is a poly/cotton mix that I inherited from my MIL.  I suspect that the panties I make out of this are not going to last through many washes.

I serged the insert to the lining across the back.

 Next, I serged the lining to the panties at the leg openings.

Then, I serged the back to the front as normal.  I topstitched the panties with a zigzag on the front and the back where the lining is.

 After this, I attached the leg and waist bands.  This is another thing that I will do differently, you definitely need a different method to encase the openings because of the thickness of the edges were the panties fabric, the lining, and the insert all line up because the leg band of the pattern really isn't enough.  I made a second pair with FOE and that worked, but I think ideally, I would make the bands 2 inches and use it as binding to encase the seam.  I'm not sure how a coverstitch machine will handle the thickness, but at the very least, I would zigzag on the inside, turn the binding around to the outside and zigzag again.

If you have a thin child or potty train your child very young, making your own is definitely the way to go.  The smallest training pants that I have found for purchase is 18 months (we have the Gerber and the TRU brands) and even after sewing them down the sides so they are 2 inches smaller, the bear cub often has to pull them up when they fall to her knees.  These are definitely going to stay put better.  The bear cub loves the polka dots and kept pointing to them.  I think she'll rather enjoy picking out her own fabric, too.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Panties by Thatdarnkat

I bought the pattern for girls panties by Thatdarnkat.  My thought was that it was a cute pattern and like swimsuits, panties are really big on my nerdlet and bear cub.  I'm not sure how I feel about this pattern.  It's adequate for what it is, but considering how easy it is to make something like this and how forgiving knit is, I'm wondering if I shouldn't have just adapted my panty/diaper cover pattern for a pari that fit my girls.  As it is I plan to adapt this pattern still to be training pants for Darth Baby, who I still haven't potty trained (for multiple reasons).

Anyway, I made the straight size 2 for my 5-year-old.  It is a really cute pattern.

The multicolor fabric is the fabric I used on my first attempt at the Tiramisu dress pattern and has very little stretch.  Even with the lack of stretch, this size two fits her well.  I imagine that a knit with a lot of stretch would result in panties that are too big.

The nerdlet really likes these so I guess it's a win, but I think if you have even the slightest inclination to try and make your own pattern for panties, go for it.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tiramisu - Version 7

I always knew it was just a matter of time until my girls attempted to influence my clothing choices, but I didn't realize that the age where they would start commenting on my choices was five.  The nerdlet decided that the black trim would be too boring. She wanted me to use pink, but when she couldn't find a pink she liked in my FOE stash, she decided that I should use white.  

I'm standing funny because I have Q and four girls (my three and my niece) in my shooting area and I apparently felt the need to twist around some for the picture.  I have actually been wearing this dress for hours and have just finished a meal, so it is nice to know that it holds it's shape and is still fairly attractive on me with a full stomach (though I am sucking in a bit).

I'm not sure that the white is better than the black, but I like it enough that I'll still wear it often.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Tiramisu - Version 6

This version gave me some trouble and may end up being my pajama version.

 I used the wrong side of this purple rayon knit because the right side seemed slightly shiny to me.  The whole bodice  and waist part seemed really loose.  So I took some fold over elastic and stretched it tight across the under bust seam.  It was still gaping over so I just tacked that shut.

 That fixed those two problems, but then I noticed the rippling in the shoulders and the pocket areas where the interfacing was.  I say was because I decided to serge it right off since there was still room in the bodice.

While those problems were fixed, what you can't see is that my shoulder and armhole seams no longer align perfectly and the FOE is no longer one continuous piece. It might not be a big deal, but it bothers me enough that I might not wear it out of the house.

Notice that my bear cub is feeling much better and is now playing with the remote controls again.  It takes a lot to bring her down and after her first dose of antibiotics she started eating and drinking again and is ready to play.  She is a super trooper.  She has surgery scheduled to remove her tonsils and adenoids on the 29th and I'm hoping that she recovers fast from that, too.

Tiramisu - Version 5 - The Rorschach Version

Every once in a while, someone blogs about 'slow sewing' and a lot of times the implication is that those that sew quickly are careless and inaccurate.  I may be slightly defensive since I've always worked a little faster, learned faster, and tested faster and had this accusation thrown at me my whole life.  I'm actually very careful with my work, though I do look for ways to speed up efficiency whenever I can.  I'm hoping this dress will show the precision of my work.

I don't do stripes and I'm not that into chevrons either, but I do like deliberately chosen patterns, and being a quilter, I'm no stranger to fussy cutting.  When going through my fabric stash/collection to choose for more Tiramisu dresses, I decided that I wanted to use something with more color and also a pattern that might be good for this.  I picked up one at a recent Jo-Anne's sale of their red tag clearance items that I loved.
It's a cotton poly blend knit with much less stretch than the ITYs.  I was a little concerned about that, so I tried it on for size after each seam sewn.

 Here you can see my higher hip throwing off the center a smidge.

This is how the conversation with Q went.
Q:  That is really cool.  Definitely my favorite.
Me:  I think it's like a Rorschach test.  What do you see?
Q:  Hamburgers and french fries.
For some reason, he thinks it's funny whenever any makes reference to the Rorschach test to make it about food.

This is the first card in the Rorschach test.
 I see two baby piglets sucking on the bars of a motorcycle.  Anyone have an interpretation?

Tiramisu - Version 4

I decided to try this as a maxi dress.  The fabric that I choose wasn't long enough to put all of the 15 inches extra of the length into the skirt so I put some of it into the waist.  This didn't work perfectly because a) the ITY fabric I used was heavier than the other one and pulled all the parts of the dress down, b) the pockets are really far down on my hips (I'll likely go back and serge them off because they hang slightly funny from there position and they are too low to use anyway), and c) I'm so short waisted that the extra length draws some attention to some of the weirdness of my shape.  I still like it and have little doubt that I will wear it, but I'm not overwhelmed with happiness over it, like I was with version 2.

Now that I'm taking better pictures I'm noticing that the fact that I have one hip bone higher than the other and turned out is way more noticeable to other people than I ever knew.  I've always walked a little funny and when I was little, they discovered that my whole right leg is situated oddly - higher and turned out - but it never occurred to me that you could actually see this difference from the back.  I'm surprised I was never teased about it.

My bear cub is sick and my mom took the other two girls, so I've had some time to sew.  I actually have four other Tiramisu dresses already cut out.  Have I mentioned yet that I love this pattern?