Hat Pattern

The hat pattern I promised! For free! You can download a copy for yourself here (for personal use only please).

bear hat pattern

I don’t really know what I’m doing disclaimers: the ear pattern piece hasn’t been tested. I didn’t actually make a pattern for that part the first time around so this is just an approximation of what I did. Also, the 12-18 month size is probably pretty generous and I would imagine it will still fit at 2 years old. I was hoping to make another hat and take pictures along the way to show you the construction but our weekend was a lot busier than expected. I’m still planning to do it I just don’t know when…

The rectangle inside the hat pattern is obviously not to scale, you’ll have to measure it out on your fabric but those are the dimensions you’ll need. With your pieces cut out you’ll have one hat side on the left, the rectangular piece, and another hat side on the right. Kind of like this:

construction

You’ll make that with both the main and lining fabrics then sew them together, inside out, leaving a hole to turn it through at the end. The ears are inserted in those side seams of the main hat pieces although you could also leave them out entirely.

I would love to hear from you if you end up making this and would be happy to answer any questions that might come up from my less than stellar instructions!

Boatneck Shirt by Melly Sews

This is a free pattern! It only comes in one size but it’s roomy and easy to grade up a little (I added roughly an inch and a half total to the sides). Melly Sews runs Blank Slate Patterns so even though this is a free pattern it’s not a thrown together, rough draft, maybe those lines go together?? type pattern. Not that I mind those either. Free is free! But this really is a nice pattern.

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Ignore my goofy face and the blurriness at the bottom. My tripod is in the closet that shares a wall with my daughters room and she was napping so I improvised with a book.

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The pattern comes with a facing piece for the neckline, I just turned mine under and top-stitched it with a double needle. This was mainly because I wanted to save as much of this fabric as possible. It is so soft and the perfect thickness. I’ve been hoarding it since I bought it on a trip to San Francisco. Yes, I shop for fabric even on vacation. It’s an addiction.

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Very simple construction!

Bollero Tutorial

This might be less of a tutorial on how I made the actual jacket and more a tutorial on how to adapt a basic bodice pattern.

Since this is a jacket I used a pattern one size up from the dress I had already made. I already had the same pattern out for the dress but this adaptation could be made to any plain bodice pattern.

modified bodices

I eyeballed the curve for the front opening (you can see my first attempts lol) and changed the back pattern to be cut on the fold. Since the jacket is lined you’ll need to cut these out twice, once from the main fabric and then the lining.

sleeve pattern

This is basically how I made my sleeve pattern. Except I made mine on left over birthday wrapping paper so I didn’t take a picture.

lining pieces

sew shoulders

After all your pieces are cut out sew the shoulders right sides together on both the main set of fabrics and the lining fabrics.

pin sleeve

Pin the sleeves in and sew the curve but not down the arm.

sew sides

When both sleeves are in you can fold it down and sew along the sides.

pin bodice and lining

With the right sides touching you’re going to put the main fabric into the lining fabric and sew along the inside openings. Everywhere except the arms since that is where you’ll be turning it right side out. If you want to be able to tie the jacket shut this is when you’ll insert the ribbon between the main and lining fabrics.

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With the jacket right side out we have to finish the arm sleeves. You’re going to pull the lining fabric past the main fabric and fold it down. Then do the same with the main fabric but fold it towards the lining.

finished sleeve

Top stitch the opening to hold the folds in place. You’ll probably want to use the smallest seam allowance you can manage, just to make things difficult on yourself. Sewing little tiny baby sleeves isn’t really hard enough on its own.

finished

I also top stitched along the rest of the jacket to help hold the lining down and keep it from bunching up but this is optional.

Christmas Dress

Finally! It seems like I’ve been working on some part of this forever. Again, I used the geranium dress pattern. I might still go back and hem it up an inch but if I’m being honest that probably won’t happen.

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It’s hard to tell from the pictures but the polka dots are velvet as well as the ribbon and the jacket. I bought the red fabric for stupid cheap. Like less than $3 a yard cheap. I don’t have access to all the amazing west coast stores that sell stuff by the pound *swoon* so I kind of felt like I was robbing the place.

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It’s really hard to see the jacket details but I have a post planned for Monday to show how I modified my existing bodice pattern to get the jacket pattern. I tried to mess around with it to show the details better but I’m pretty sure I only made it more obvious that I need to hit this thing with a lint roller again.

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Precarious walking!

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I love these buttons! They are a serious pain to get through the buttonholes though. I should have made the hole just a little bigger but I’m always paranoid that I’ll make buttonholes too big and they won’t work.

Halloween Costume

Only two months late. I figure since this is really just a blog to document the things I’ve sewn it’s ok to post this even though I’m working on a Christmas dress.

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For most of this I didn’t have a pattern. I did use the top half of a free 6 month size onesie pattern to make the red part you see. I had to size it up and rip out more seams than I would have liked for a costume, but she actually got a lot of use out of this between a birthday party, Halloween, and Comic-con.

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This is actually how I plan out most things I make when I don’t have a pattern. I like to get an idea of how the finished product will look before I commit to cutting the fabric.

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I didn’t have fabric paint on hand so I just used plain acrylic paint. It is a little stiff but since this is just a costume I didn’t really care. Contact paper worked really well for a stencil but I did have to make three or four of them since they lost their stickiness after being moved around a few times.

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I had the most trouble trying to figure out how to attach the emblem. I tried machine sewing, fabric gluing, hem taping… finally I settled on just hand sewing the darn thing.

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There would have been arm bands if I didn’t think she would just rip them off and eat them.

Tania Culottes by Megan Nielsen

I think the closest I’ve ever worn to culottes were ‘skorts’ as a child and I don’t think I’ve ever looked at a pair and thought they were fashionable. Until now! This pattern is adorable. These got in my head and I just couldn’t get them out until I found myself buying the pattern around 10pm and having to force myself to wait until the morning to start sewing it.

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I wish I could tell you what type of fabric this is but I have no idea since I bought it at a thrift store. It almost felt like silk to cut through but is thicker like cotton. I had just enough to eek out a medium/large-ish size and to add an extra two inches to the hem. If this were a real skirt that still wouldn’t be enough length to chase a baby around all day but since these are really shorts it’s perfect!

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The only picture I took while making these is a grainy cell phone shot.

The construction was much easier than I was expecting and the instructions were very clear. Before buying the pattern I couldn’t think how the crotch seams were hidden so well but had an *Ah Ha* moment going through the pattern. It’s really effective.

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Don’t mind me, I’m obviously still excited by a twirly skirt!

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Welt Pocket Tutorial

This is the same vest pattern that I made before but I wanted to do a tutorial on how I added the pockets. This will be a single welt made out of a single piece of fabric. Unfortunately, I did this at night and so the pictures aren’t the best but hopefully they will make sense. These pockets were very intimidating to me but after the first few times they’re really pretty easy.

Starting on the right side of the fabric trace out the shape of the pocket you want. I made my pockets three inches long and half an inch tall.

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You can barely see my blue outline but it’s there!

Red thread

View from the right and wrong side of the fabric.

With a piece of thread you’re going to sew from corner to corner, along the short side of your rectangle, without tying the thread off. This is just to transfer the markings you made to the back of the fabric where we will be sewing next.

Math time. The actual pocket bag and welt flap are all one piece of fabric for this tutorial. It is essentially a four by nine rectangle. If you’re making pockets the same size as mine feel free to stop here and just cut that out, we’ll get to what to do with it in a minute. But to get that number I added half an inch on either side of the pocket lengthwise (so 3″+.5″+.5″ =4″), then one inch to the top, one inch for the welt, and the remaining seven inches are arbitrary. To me anyways, I’m sure there is a more professional way to do this but that’s not my style! Basically, the rectangle is eventually folded in half to create the pocket, those top two inches are necessary to form the welt but the bottom inches of the rectangle are just how long you want the pocket to be.

pocket placement

Now that you have the rectangle, you’re going to position it on the right side of the fabric. I line up the top edge 1 inch from the top of the pocket outline and then center it so that the extra on the sides are evenly dispersed. Pin this on whichever side of the fabric makes sense to you, I did the right side but we’ll be sewing on the wrong side.

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I’m using fleece so It’s hard to tell but you want the right sides of both the pocket and bodice to be touching. So if you were making the welt out of a patterned fabric the pattern would be facing down in this step.

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Finally time to sew something! On the wrong side of the fabric you are going to sew two straight and parallel lines connecting the thread that you put in earlier. I went ahead and drew a line to follow but its not necessary if you’re a pretty straight sewer. Those extra threads you put in earlier are no longer necessary so go ahead and pull them out.

Crappy picture of what the front will look like.

Crappy picture of what the front will look like.

Ok, now we have to cut the fabric. I put this off for a while and puttered around the kitchen, made a cup of coffee and generally procrastinated. But I promise its not that scary. It’s going to look kind of like this: >—< (fancy graphics!)

cut fabric

Cut one slit in the middle of the fabric, stopping about 1/4 of an inch from the ends. Angling towards your sewn lines cut two small slits coming off the main cut you just made as close as you can get to the seam without cutting through it. Now push your rectangle of fabric through the hole you just made to the wrong side of the fabric and if you’re feeling particularly efficient go ahead and press it flat. I didn’t.

turn through

I think these next steps are a little hard to explain with text so I tried to take a lot of pictures to show what I mean but I’d be happy to explain further if necessary. On the back side of the fabric you’re going to take the rectangle and fold it up then down to form the welt.

welt shape

This is the final shape of the welt from the wrong side. You’re going for a sort of ‘S’ shaped fold.

Pin it from the front and then sew a line all along the perimeter of the opening from the right side of the fabric. What you just sewed should now be keeping the shape of the welt when you remove the pins so you’re almost done!

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outline sewn

I’ve sewn an extra line of zigzags here on either side of the pocket edges just to reinforce the seam since that is where the most stress will be on the fabric.

Now all thats left is to fold the bottom half of your rectangle up to meet the top edge and sew it shut!

Sew along where the white lines are to connect the pocket. I forgot to take a picture of it.

Sew along where the white lines are to connect the pocket. I forgot to take a picture of it.

finished pockets

VoilĂ , welt pockets!

Happy Birthday!

There won’t be many sappy posts on this blog. But there will be this one lol.

My baby turned one today! This is so bittersweet and something I’m sure every parent goes through. But one year ago I was in a hospital bed holding this tiny bundle of baby and was just overwhelmed with her newness. Having her in my arms was surreal and I had no concept of what our lives would be like with each other.

And now a year later, I’m holding that same sweet baby who I love more than I thought I could. And I still have no concept of what our lives will turn into because all of my expectations have been surpassed.

She’s made my world so much smaller and bigger all at once. Smaller because of all the little things that I never thought I would be so excited to see. Like walking and learning simple signs. But it’s so much bigger in that there’s an entire life full of possibilities crawling around my living room. I’m constantly amazed.

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So, Happy First Birthday!

Geranium Dress by Rae

I’ve been wanting this pattern ever since I first saw it. I really don’t know why I put off buying it for so long and in fact this tunic is made from fabric I bought specifically for this pattern back in the beginning of Summer. DSC_0002b I finally bit the bullet since this is also the pattern I want to use for a Christmas dress and wanted to test the size before I cut into the fancy fabric I bought for Christmas. I love it! This is a really nice pattern and even with the buttonholes was very easy to put together. I won’t use the cap sleeves in the next version but really wanted to try them out. And if I have time I’m hoping to use the bodice to make a little bolero jacket.

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The bodice is lined with a light pink cotton to match the embroidered flowers on the main fabric. Side note: I ironed this right before taking the pictures but it’s linen which wrinkles really easily. Maybe not the best for baby clothes but I loved the little flowers. DSC_0044b This might be the only time I show the inside of something I make. They don’t always turn out this nicely, although you can see on the right where it’s a little uneven. I lined the whole thing just to make it a little warmer. DSC_0031b The lining is just a little longer so it peaks out the bottom.