December 31, 2013
Leggings seem to be coming back around again. Maybe they have been around and I am just slow to noticing. I decided that I would make my own leggings because they seemed pretty simple to make – and they really are. The way I made mine there are only 3 seams then a waistband casing for your elastic and then the hem.
I chose to make mine with a little more ease in them than those you buy. I really don’t like super tight things on my legs. I like the way these fit me and they are comfortable to wear. That is one of the things I love about sewing my own clothes – I can make things the way I want.
I did not really use a pattern to make these. I consulted pinterest first on how to sew leggings and found a couple of good blogs with this info. You can look at my Sewing board on pinterest to see these pins-blogs. This helped me figure out how to use an existing pattern for just some basic pants and turn it into a leggings pattern. What I did was take my measurements and then using the My Label pattern I have for pants, I butted the front and back pieces together on the outer sides and then adjusted the size per my measurements, making sure I added in approx. 1/2 inch for a seam allowance. I then took some pattern drafting interfacing, I by this at Joann, and laid it over the two pieces and traced around to make a pattern for the leggings. This way there is no outer seam only an inner seam and the front and back crotch seam.
Sewing these is so fast and easy! You just sew with right sides together your inner leg seams and then sew the crotch seam. Then, turn over your casing for your elastic waistband – I use 1 1/4 or 1 1/2 inch elastic so the casing is fairly wide. You also turn up 1 inch for your hem on the legs. You are done! So simple. I have serger so sewing these is super fast but you could also use a regular sewing machine and a zigzag stitch. I sometimes use a twin needle for the hems but this time I chose to use a narrow zigzag to sew the hem and the casing. I think this gives it a little better stretch.
To make leggings you will need some fabric that is stretchy with a little bit of spandex or lycra in it. I think mine was from Joann and called Ponte Roma Sew Classic knits. The gray ones I made below that I use to workouts in are the Sweatshirt Performance fabric from Joann. Both fabrics have a little lycra or spandex and retain their stretch after hours of wear.
I have made four pair of leggings now and have some camel color fabric to make one more pair. Two of the pair I use as my workout pants in the morning.
I have lots of other sewing projects and ideas for 2014. Please follow my blog via bloglovin or RSS to receive future updates. I hope everyone has a Happy New Year!
Burlap Gift Bags
December 24, 2013
Recently I saw a cute idea on pinterest for wrapping gifts with burlap. The idea came from the craftsalamode blog. I remembered I had some leftover burlap from a project I made several years ago. I pulled the burlap out of my fabric closet but decided I didn’t really have enough to actually wrap many gifts. So, I put my scissors and sewing machines to work and came up with these simple and very easy to make gift bags.
If you have a serger or sewing machine and know how to make a simple crochet chain you can make these bags in less than an hour – both of them.
- 1/2 yd burlap
- fabric scissors
- yarn – just a bit of scrap yarn or ribbon
- serger set up for 3 thread overlock
- sewing machine set up for straight stitch
- Cut your burlap desired size of bag you want to make. I cut mine 12 in. by 12 in. or 12 in. by 10 in.
- Use your serger to serge up sides and bottom of bag OR you can use your regular sewing machine if you don’t have a serger but you will want to go back and zigzag the edges
- Sew the lower bottom corners to “box” the bag, if desired – approx. 1 in. on each corner
- chain 65 to 75 chains with a size K, L or N crochet hook – or whatever size fits the yarn you are using – with your scrap yarn
- Fold crochet chain length in half and sew at that halfway point to one side of bag, approx. 1 1/2 to 2 in. from the top edge Note: you could also use ribbon in place of the yarn if you wanted to
I took a white elephant gift to a party recently in one of these little bags and was surprised when it was the first gift picked. Everyone thought the bag was a cute idea and were amazed I had just made it that afternoon. They are really simple to make.
I also thought they looked cute with the other bags I made in the past couple of years out of Christmas fabric. These bags were created totally on the serger. The pattern came from a great book I have called Ready Set Serge by Georgie Melot. This book has lots of fun serger projects in it.
I like the idea of the burlap gift bags since they are rather simple but can be used for any type of holiday or gift. You can always put a different color of yarn or ribbon to coordinate with the occasion. I know they also have colored burlap and I think I will get some of that in the future to make some in various colors.
Well, all of my gifts are wrapped now and ready for Christmas day. I hope you have a wonderful holiday – Merry Christmas!
Fun with Fleece and Yarn
December 18, 2013
Recently I made these fleece hats for us to take a family photo in this year. The hat idea came from one of my twin sons when I made his Halloween costume. He was Toonlink – a video game character -and needed this long pointy hat. His twin brother liked it so well he wanted one in his favorite color yellow. I decided it would be fun to make all 5 of us one each in a different color for a photo. Well, the idea was all good but getting 3 teenage boys to wear them and have their photo taken was another issue. So, we just took a family photo without the hats. Below is me wearing my hat.
When I went to Joann Fabrics to buy the fleece I got carried away – as I usually do when buying fabric – and bought extra with some other ideas in mind. So I got busy with my one idea and here is the result – a fleece scarf with yarn ruffle trim.
I cut the fleece approximately 11 in. wide by the width of the fabric. I then serged the edges using a variegated blue thread in the upper looper. I crocheted this big loopy ruffle and then sewed it onto the fleece scarf after serging the edges. This yarn was just some I had leftover from another project I made in the past. It only took about 75 yards of yarn for both ruffles.
After making my above “sample” version and seeing that it turned out I decided to use this dark green fleece and make a couple of gift items. I have a lot of family up in Michigan, where I am from, and they are all MSU fans. I decided since MSU is going to the Rose Bowl this year this would make a fun gift.
This scarf I decided to add a pocket on each side so you can have a place to keep your hands warm or hold your cellphone, ipod, etc. The ruffle was then attached to the lower part of the scarf. This particular ruffle was crocheted using 2 colors of yarn held together. I really like how it turned out.
I also made another version of a hat for a gift. It was super fast and easy. I used my pointy hat basic pattern and shortened it and made a curved top then just serged the curved edges and turned up the lower edge and used a zigzag stitch for a small hem with white thread so it would be in MSU colors. My son is modeling it in the below photos.
I still have extra fleece to use up and have another idea for a scarf. I am hoping when the Christmas rush calms down I can get it done and post it on my blog before the New Year gets here.
I hope everyone is having a nice holiday season. I have been a bit overwhelmed with completing my shopping and getting all my packages mailed out. I feel a little better now that I got the last of the gifts mailed yesterday. I am hoping they get there by Christmas.
Sewing Navy Knit Top
November 19, 2013
This navy knit top is made from a Butterick pattern that I bought at least a year or two ago. I am sure I got the pattern when they were on sale and had great intentions to sew it up asap but life got in the way – or other sewing projects!
I got really motivated to make this when I saw Deby from So Sew Easy post her finished versions of this top on her blog a couple of months ago. I made a comment to her on how I also had the same pattern and she responded that it was really easy to sew. I decided I needed to get it done!
One of the reasons I had put off making this top was while it said it was easy on the pattern it looked somewhat complicated after I had cut out the pieces. There really are not many pieces to it – like maybe 4 or 5 – but it still looked like a challenge. I have a lot of sewing experience and make a lot of my own clothes but I remember making this other twist front top a couple of years ago and it did not fit me correctly. It was too low in the front and I didn’t like wearing it.
This sewing project was much more successful than my previous one. I made the size 10 – the smallest size is an 8 and based on the measurements I went with the 10. I did decide to adjust the lower V point up a little and I am glad I did or I think it would have been too low cut for my taste. I think I brought that point up about an inch. The gathered front area is very attractive and the top is comfortable to wear, too.
I also made some pants from the same fabric using the Bernina My Label pattern that I have for just the basic pull on pant. They are really comfortable and the fabric has a poly blend with the cotton so they don’t get too baggy when you wear them. I am not sure where I bought the fabric – maybe Joann’s. I have had it in my stash for several months now. I tend to buy fabric when it is on sale and stick with colors I like.
The above is the back view of the top. Sorry it is a little wrinkled – I took the photos later in the day after I had been to church and sitting for a while.
I will definitely make this top again. There are two other versions in the pattern. They have the same front but one is sleeveless and the other is longer, more like a tunic, with long sleeves. I think I will make the long sleeve tunic version next so I can wear it with some new leggings that I recently made.
Have a great day!
September 26, 2013
I recently did a makeover to this basic T-shirt. I tried to wear it the original way but the neck felt too constricting and I wanted this purple T-shirt (for my sons high school marching band) to have a more feminine touch. So, out come the scissors and sewing machine and some creativity!
This project is very easy and requires basic sewing skills, a sewing machine, 1/8 or 1/4 inch wide elastic and a T-shirt.
Here are the steps to makeover your basic T-shirt:
- Cut off neckband (ribbing), sleeve hems, and lower hem
- Use a chalk pencil and mark each center sleeve, lower side seams and front center down 4 1/2 inches on wrong side of shirt – draw a straight line with chalk from edge of shirt to this mark – this will be your sewing line for the elastic
- Cut 1/8 in. (or 1/4 in.) wide elastic into 3 in. long pieces – you will need to cut 5 of them
- Use a sewing machine set on straight stitch – start at the marked point and stretch elastic and sew to the end
- Repeat step 4 for all marked areas: sleeves, lower hem and neckline
- Your T-shirt is Done! Put it on and take a photo!
I also did this to another shirt a while back that is navy. It is harder to see the work in this photo but I love the look of the finished shirt and how it adds something to a plain T-shirt. This navy shirt is actually a mens shirt from Target.
Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your finished shirt – I would love to see them and feature them on my facebook page.
I hope everyone is having a great day!
Twisted Tank Top
September 11, 2013
This tank top design is made from a T-shirt. It has quickly become one of my favorite tank tops to wear and to sew.
I designed this tank top after seeing a photo of a tank top pattern that had the twisted shoulder area. I decided I could use a basic T-shirt and make my own version. Therefore it is a quick and easy sewing project.
The one in the above photo I wear to workout in. I added the embroidery to the front – Keep Calm and Exercise. I got the embroidery design from Embroidery Library. I serged the armhole edges and the lower hem edges on the ones in the photos but you can also make it without the serged edges.
If you are interested in learning how to make one of these tank tops I have a tutorial available in my etsy shop. You can click on the link to take you there.
I hope everyone is having a nice week!
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Sewing Lightweight Tops
September 3, 2013
I made these two tops recently from the same pattern. The pattern I used was Simplicity 2594. There are 6 different views in this pattern.
The tops were pretty easy to sew. They have a lined yoke area that I thought would be difficult to sew but it turned out to be pretty simple. There is a little topstitching involved so it is helpful to have an edge stitch foot for that.
I made the mint green one above first and really like how it turned out. I used a basic broadcloth fabric and it was easy to sew on. I have already worn this top many times. This top has a v neck front and a gathered back. There are also a few pleats on the front on each shoulder area. This was view E in the pattern.
The second one I made was this purple one in the above photos. I used the same pattern but made a different view – view B – with the draped cowl neckline. This top is okay. I don’t like how it tuned out as well as the mint green one. I used broadcloth fabric again because it was something I had in my stash and I think a rayon or silky poly fabric would have been a better fabric choice. Even after sewing over 20 years I still make things that don’t always turn out as planned. I have wore this top a couple of times. I am also thinking that I do not care for how the drape of the cowl neck looks on me. I will be sticking with the v neck option or the scoop neckline in the future.
What sewing projects have you been working on lately? Leave me a Reply and let me know.
Have a great day!
Recycled Denim Book Cover
August 27, 2013
Now that I have finally pulled out some of the old jeans that I have been saving I am really getting into making things from them. This book cover is my fourth completed project using old jeans.
To make this project I used what was leftover from the same two pairs of jeans that I used to make my Cork Tile and Denim Project. This time I did not use the pockets but used the leftover leg pieces.
Here is how I make a book cover:
- Measure your book while it is opened – side to side for width, then measure from top to bottom for height or length
- To these 2 measurements add 1 inch to each for seam allowances (which are 1/2 inch) So, if your measurements were 13 w by 8 h you would now have 14 w x 9 l
Note: Since this project used leftover denim from another project I had to cut 3 pieces for the outer cover – those pieces vary according to what size your book is but if you figure on adding 1/2 inch to each of the 3 pieces for seam allowance it will be approx. the right size for your book.
For my book – which measured 13″ w (opened) by 9″ l here are the pieces I cut:
outer pieces – 2 pcs – 4 1/2″ w by 10″ l
1 pc – 7″ w by 10″ l
flaps – 2 pcs – 4 1/2″ w by 10″ l
back lining – 1 pc – 11″ w by 10″ l
bookmark strip – 3/4″ w by 12″ l
Note: after I finished it was a little wide – next time I would reduce the width a little probably by 1/2 inch.
First I sewed the 3 outer pieces together with the wider piece being in the middle using a 1/2″ seam. I then pressed them to one side and topstitched those 2 seams using an edgestitch foot.
Next you sew any decorative stitch to the front however you choose – to add some color I used variegated thread. This is a fun way to use some of your decorative stitches if your machine has any or you can just use a zigzag stitch.
Then you attach the book flaps to each side right sides together sewing just the ends. I first serged the one side that will be exposed to prevent fraying or you can zigzag it or even turn it under.
Serge edges of long skinny bookmark piece or zigzag. Place the strip at top of one side in middle.
For the back lining/facing piece serge each of the sides or zigzag. Place this lining piece right sides together with outer book cover – the book flaps will be in the middle. Sew across each top and bottom piece catching the long bookmark strip in the top but not the bottom.
The above photo shows the back lining piece sewn over the flaps and front cover. I had to piece my back lining piece together to make it wide enough.
Clip the corners and turn right side out and press. Congratulations! – your book cover is done. How easy was that? I would love to see what yours looks like if you decide to make one. You can email me a photo or post it on my facebook page.
What sewing projects have you been working on lately? Let me know by clicking on Leave A Reply. Have a great week!
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Sewing – Bathing Suit Top Redo
August 20, 2013
I made this bathing suit top a year ago using McCalls 3566 pattern. I have had the pattern several years so I am not sure if it is still current. It was simple to make but I never wore it due to the fact it needed more support. I had tried various bra inserts you buy at JoAnns or Hancock Fabrics but none of them seemed to work out well. So, the top got set aside in a sewing to-do pile meaning I intended to figure out a way to fix it one day.
Then, about a month or two ago I was on pinterest – doing some daily pinning – and found this pin on making a bathing suit top from a bra. It was intriguing to me and also something I had considered doing before and even had set aside a couple of older bras with the bathing suit top I had made. I had just not had the proper motivation to fix my top until I saw this on pinterest. Of course I pinned it to my sewing board and also immediately went to the site to see how to make this work.
So finally, a few weeks ago, I got my project out and went to work with my sewing machine. This is what it looks like finished:
Since I was working with an already made bathing suit top I had to rip out some of the top stitching. I hate having to do that because it is a pain but it had to be done. I had an old strapless bra that I had kind of wore out in the back but it worked great for this project. I cut it off at the side seams – figured out where the center of the bathing suit top was and centered the bra in there. I had to do lots of pinning and stretch the top elastic area over when I sewed it in. I used a narrow zigzag stitch to sew the top elastic casing area to the top of the bra. The bottom area I stitched mainly by hand to the underwire area – wrapping the elastic area that I ripped out over the under wire bra.
I had a little of this fabric left so I made a 3 to 4 inch long tube about 2 inches wide and sewed it right sides together then turned it right side out. I wrapped this piece over the center of the bra-top to create the cute gathered front area. I stitched this down and tacked it to the bra by hand.
I am so pleased with how this turned out and glad I finally have a top to wear with the bottoms that fits well and has support. The first time I wore it my husband asked “Where did you get that bathing suit?” I told him I made it and he seemed impressed. The photo below is of me wearing it – this is after I have been swimming in it and done my water workout. It held up just fine in the water.
So, what sewing projects have you done lately? Let me know by leaving a reply.
Also, if you would like to receive future posts and updates please subscribe via bloglovin, email or RSS by clicking on one of the icons in the side bar. You can also find me on facebook – Kimberlees Korner Have a great day!
Summer Sewing – Shorts
July 30, 2013
Recently I decided I needed to get rid of a few old pairs of shorts so that gave me a reason to sew up some new ones. I made these shorts using the Bernina My Label program. It is a pattern drafting program based on your measurements. The patterns fit pretty well for the most part but I have had to tweak some things on them. For example, on these shorts I had to add some to the crotch area – a crotch extension – on the back side or they tended to pull in the back and I hated that.
The printed shorts above were the first ones I made to test out the pattern since I had only used it once before. At the time I didn’t have enough solid color fabric to make any shorts and decided this cotton print would be okay to just wear around the house or on the weekend. I also added one pocket on the side of these using a pocket pattern from another book I have on skirts called Sew Serendipity by Kay Whitt. I have not made anything from the book yet, just used this pocket pattern on my shorts since I liked the style. I only put one because I wanted to see how it looked and if I liked the style.
The tan pair I made using a lightweight cotton fabric. I decided to sew the pockets on both sides of this pair. I have already gotten a lot of wear out of these in just the last couple of weeks since finishing them.
The red pair of shorts I made with stretch twill fabric I bought at Hobby Lobby. The fabric has a nice drape and is easy to wear. It is a bit stretchy and requires a little patience when working with it as it will stretch as you sew if you pull it – kind of like working with knits. I decided to not do any pockets on these as I figured with the stretch factor they might not look too good. I also just finished another pair in this same fabric yesterday in the sky blue color.
Overall these shorts turned out well and I like how they fit me. They sew up very quickly with an elastic waist band so they are a pull on type of short. For the types of fabrics I used I thought this style was the best choice and often an elastic waistband is much more comfortable than a traditional waistband with a zipper, in my opinion. Also, depending on the type of shirt or top you wear I think this style of short can be more slimming if you have a good fit.
I think I am all set with shorts now and ready to move on to some other projects. Thanks for visiting my blog. To receive regular updates please subscribe via bloglovin, email, or RSS feed in the sidebar. Have a great day!