Friday, January 23, 2015

Oven Mitt Tutorial

My old oven mitts were a disaster, and I kept them for years, because I could never find any that I like as well.  They were nice and long - like 3" from my elbow, and very thick.

Because I couldn't find any I liked, I decided to make my own using my old one as a reference point.

I turned my old oven mitt inside out and used tracing paper to make my own pattern.  Just use your pen and trace around a favorite mitt.  I turned it inside out so I didn't have to adjust for seam allowance.  I had a picture of this step but cannot find it for the life of me.

I found this tutorial with the great idea of making one large rectangle to cut all your pieces together.  I kind of used that idea but went a step further.  (side note: she has a pattern pdf too)  I chose to quilt my pieces before cutting anything out.

So here's what you'll need for one mitt:
focus fabric
lining fabric
Insulbrite x 2
binding for the top edges
(fabric, insulbrite, and batting will all be approx 18"x20")
wonder clips (optional)
Walking foot advisable but not necessary
and all the normal accessories; thread, scissors, etc.

The measurements above are enough to cut my oven mitts.  You may want larger/smaller depending on the size.  I simply laid out my pattern to determine how large to cut my rectangles.

Here are my rectangles already cut.  I have one focus fabric, one lining fabric, 2 insulbrite, and one batting all cut basically the same size.  This doesn't have to be exact.

Because my machine would not handle all of these layers, I chose to quilt them in two pieces.  I layered my first piece: fabric right side down, insulbrite and batting.  The second layer was my lining fabric right side down then insulbrite.

Then quilt them both.  I used diagonal lines, but quilt with your favorite pattern.  If you feel brave, you can just make one big quilt sandwich with focus fabric, insulbrite, batting, insulbrite, lining.

I traced my lines, because my guide on my walking foot is broken. :(

 And here are the two pieces quilted.

Next, I laid my pattern on top and cut out my pieces.  I actually laid one quilted piece on top of the other, to be sure they were all cut evenly.  Sorry no picture of that step. :(  I made sure to flip the pattern over. So I have two pieces cut from the focus fabric and two from the lining.

Next, I stitched two pieces together, one lining to one focus and repeat for the other.  I used my wonder clips to hold them together.

Stitch  1/4" in from the edge around the entire perimeter of each piece.

I chose to bind my mitt with ribbon and added a little ric rac for a little vintage feel.  I laid out my mitt to determine the length of each piece.  I did this before stitching the two pieces together.  I just think it's easier to handle them separately than trying to get that binding attached around a circle.

I ironed my ribbon in half being very careful to line up the edges.  I didn't measure this ribbon, but I believe it's 5/8" wide.  I wouldn't go much smaller than that.  Ironing the ribbon will help with the next step.

I glue basted my ric rac right at the edge of the mitt and pressed it in place.

I also pressed the entire mitt while I was at it just to make it a little flatter which makes stitching the whole thing together much easier.

I next applied my ribbon binding with wonder clips lining up the fold with the edge of the mitt.  This makes it so much easier to stitch it in place.

Here it is stitched in place.  I did the same for the other piece.

While I had my ribbon and ric rac out, I cut a 6" piece of each to use for my tab.  I glue basted the ric rac to the center of the ribbon then stitched it in place. Set that aside for now.

Once the ribbon binding and ric rac were applied to both pieces, it was time to stitch them together.  If you chose to quilt the whole piece, be sure to stitch around the perimeter of the mitt to seal the edges before stitching the two sections together.  That way you are sure to catch all the layers and not have to restitch anything.

I put my mitt pieces right sides together on my work table.  I folded my tab in half and placed it roughly 1" down on the outside edge (opposite thumb).  The edge of the tab should line up with the outside edge of the mitt.  That wonder clip in the picture is the top corner of the mitt, and the tab is just below that.

I put wonder clips all around the mitt to hold it in place.  You can't see the tab, but in the top of the picture, you can see two wonder clips really close together.  That second clip is where my tab is.

Then I simply stitched around the raw edges 3/8".  I trimmed the seam allowance back to 1/4" and snipped the little corner between the thumb and fingers.

The hardest part was turning this puppy right side out.  I found it easiest to push the fatter piece through first.

Then I flipped it around and opened up the other side (it'll be all wonky from pushing) and made sure the opening was nice and wide.

I kept pushing and pulling until that part of the mitt was completely turned.  Then I started on the thumb.  I had to fight with it, and then I found some help.  My Gingher scissors have a safety sleeve.  It was perfect to push that thumb right out without damaging the fabric or seams.  Just use something blunt and sturdy.  It was also terrific for going around the seams on the inside to make sure all the seams were laying nicely.

And my new mitt was finished.

Close up of the binding.

I made two of these and tossed my old ones.  My old ones were actually lined with terry cloth.  I may try that on the next go around.

I hope this helps.

Thanks for stopping by.  Happy rainy Friday!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

McCalls 4676 Review

Robbie wanted a fleece pull over half zip jacket to match his dad's.  I found this pattern and thought I would try it.  The review is below.

This is the back.

And the color in this picture is actually truer since it was taken during daylight hours.

He will definitely be seen!!

Pattern Review:

Pattern Description:   McCalls 4676 - I made view B

Pattern Sizing: Kids 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 10-12, 14-16 and Adults S-XL - I made size 10-12

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes - although mine is monochrome

Were the instructions easy to follow? yeah, not totally.  I had some difficulty with the collar construction.  That part was not clear.  I wound up doing my own thing.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It was fairly easy once I knew what I was doing.  I made some alterations and liked it much better.  I do not like the way they install the zipper.  It also calls for a 14" zipper, but it only goes the length of the yoke.  Measure your collar and yokes pieces and get the zipper size based on that measurement.  I used a 7".

Fabric Used: Non-pil Fleece from Joann's

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: The collar comes in two pieces to allow for a fold over.  I did not use the under collar piece since I didn't need that fold over.  I cut 2 upper collar pieces instead.  I stitched the collar like every other pattern.  The pattern has you stitch the collar on all 3 sides before attaching, but that makes for a very bulky seam when installing the zipper.  I ripped out the side stitches in the collar and cut off the seam allowance so it would line up evenly with the yoke.  The zipper hides that part anyway, so that seam is unnecessary.  I did not install the zipper according to the instructions.  I basted that seam closed, pressed the seams open, then attached my zipper right down the middle of that seam on the wrong side.  Once stitched, I simply removed the basting stitches.  It worked beautifully.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, I absolutely would sew it again with the same changes unless I decide I like the contrast colors. And I definitely recommend it to others. 

Conclusion: My total time was longer than I expected - roughly 3 hours, but I suspect next time that will be shorter - 90 minutes tops.  Fooling with the collar and zipper took more time than it should have.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Pillow Case Dresses

Pillow case dresses aren't new to me.  They are super quick and easy to make.  In fact, they are perfect for a beginner sewer.  I made these two for my great-nieces in Illinois.  I had originally planned for a worm on the apple dress, but I could never get it to look the way I wanted.

The flower dress was really quite easy.  And it's 3D. LOL.  I thought leaving the ric rac raw on the ends would give the stems a little more life.

I had this cute little lady bug button and thought it was the perfect touch.

The matching boys outfits were shown here.

And my sister sent me modeled pictures.  It's hard to see the appliques, but they are all cute nonetheless.

The fabric from the dress was incorporated into the sailboat applique.  Although, I should have thought that through a little more considering the boxers are sleepwear.  Oh well, next year......

Thanks for stopping by.

Happy Tuesday!