Friday, December 12, 2008

Two Weekends Before Xmas

these are my nephews. well this was them about ten years ago. this was taken for one of those xmas postcards. except here i just layed the original pic on top of that fabric. because i still have that fabric. i don't know why i thought they were wearing the flannel pajama set i made. but i did "make" their sweatshirts. o.k. i just zig-zagged a rectangle of winter fabric to the front of a purchased sweatshirt. a few times i sewed two different fabrics on the same shirt. let me explain. first sew on a xmas print. then a little bigger sew on a halloween print. after halloween is over. take out the stitches and you have your xmas shirt.

but here's that pajama set i remembered. i made two or three sets that year. and one is still being worn by the littlest in the family. i love this Alexander Henry that i have been introduced to fusible applique and blanket stitching. i probably would go crazy with all the wild patterns they have in the universe. but i think the boys are too old for that now. after these i changed to the pattern i used for ten years+ and can offer some suggestions for first timers.

(-1-) patterns come in all sizes. but once you cut into them you really can't use the other sizes. starting with the largest size. cut it out onto some cotton that has a sturdy quality to it. you just don't want it to fray over time. mark the size on it. then move to another piece of fabric and cut the next size down. then again until you have all sizes.these really are the patterns i have been using all these years. well some are missing in action. my intention was to sew on the numbers. but it just proved unimportant so the pins have been there all this time. the added benefit to these cotton patterns is that it actually sticks to flannel and you don't need to use pins.

(-2-) i only used these specially-hand-made-by-karen labels the first year. next time i skipped it. did i hear it from the Mommies. "you have to put a label so the kids can tell the front from the back". huh. mine are so big i can tell by opening them up and looking at the seams. and "you have to tuck those raw edges under because it's too much trouble to cut them every time they get washed". oh my goodness. do you know how long that's going to take. that's me talking to myself. of course i complied. i knew i was going to be doing this for awhile. and the Mommies had to be happy too.(-3-) if you have a serger and love it. i guess you're going to use it. but flannel is a soft thick fabric. after stitching the seam. i just zig-zag next to that seam. then pink the edges. that's all it really needs.

(-4-) kids grow. but who wants to make pants all the time. i always made them a few sizes bigger so they could wear them for a few years. unlike the rest of us kids look pretty cute with baggy bottoms. but not that cute if the legs are too long. so just hem according to the pattern. then fold the hem under again at least 2-1/2" and stitch the hem again using big zig-zag stitches. as soon as they have a growth spurt the big zig-zag stitches are easy to take out.

(-5-) i never used the insert elastic into casing method for the waistband. the elastic always twists and the gathers always move around. the best method is to sew the elastic directly onto the fabric.

if you have any questions just let me know.


Shari said...

Thanks Karen. I'm not sewing for any little people at the moment but I've taken on board your advice, especially about the pattern. Love the flannel print!

Anonymous said...

Hia Karen, I had to laugh at the Mummy's words. :-)

I think they look lovely. There are going to be lots of snuggly children come Christmas. Well done.

Anonymous said...

Me again- i clean forgot to say that there is a little something for you on my blog- and no I haven't given you this one before....I think. Naar sure I haven't... Possibly.... Aww go and see!

Eileen said...

Some really good sewing tips and ideas. I like using cloth patterns too.