Sunday, December 2, 2012

Smocked Slippers

Finally finished both yesterday.  The colors of the fabric really look better in person.  The camera is doing something funky with the colors.  These weren't hard to make, but I have learned some things while making this pair that will make the next pair turn out much better.  I'll also be looking for one of the hooked needles, so I won't have to use the jab method to attach these.

I would love a pair of these for myself, but I usually buy closed toed slippers because my feet are always cold - especially my tootsies!

These are for my dmil.  I made her a smocked nightgown last year, and these should match.  If I can find the same fabric, I may make her a matching robe for next Christmas.

With the completion of these, I believe I only have 2 gifts left to make for Christmas, and one of those is well under way.

Happy sewing!!


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Sneak Peak

This is one of the smocked slippers I'm working on.  I will do these again, but I'll do them a little differently to tweak some things I don't like about them.  I found the pattern in a very old issue of SB.  The instructions for the whole idea really frustrated me.  I finally just did it my way, then found another smocking plate in an old issue of Creative Needle.

I should have the other slipper finished this weekend and will post final pics.  I may even do a tute on these after Christmas.  I still have a lot to do before Christmas.  If you want to know how to do these though, send me an email.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

First Choice Boxers for Kids

I bought this pattern here last year.  I took the class at Colonial Quilts too.  It was worth it.  I have made at least 2 dozen of these since then, so I thought I'd make a tutorial to show you what I learned both in the class and by trial and error.

First, you have all your pattern pieces cut.  I'm assuming you know how to cut them on the grain, so I won't go into that.

We'll be marking the two pieces shown below.

You want to mark these pieces like so:

On your front piece, mark right at the dot.  I put a hole in the paper with my pin.  I just pulled it right through.  Make a hole however you wish.

Then slide the paper down just slightly to mark the center front line like this:

Now take a ruler and mark your line from the dot all the way to the center line you just made like this.

Now mark the dot on your placket piece.

Now we are ready to stitch the pieces together.

Take this piece (back) and lay it wrong side up on your work surface.

You want to pin your side panels to this back piece.

First pin the left and right edges.  Be sure to match your notches.

Then put a pin right in the middle.  You do NOT want a lot of pins in this area.  You'll need to ease this side panel into the back.

 Next, pin the front pieces to the side panels. Open the section you just pinned.

Lay your front panels on top and pin.  Match your notches.

Open that side, then pin the other.

Take it to your machine and stitch all pieces together.  This is also the time you'll want to stay  stitch the crotch.  Start at the dot and stitch a 1/2" seam allowance to the edge like so.  Do both sides.

 This is what it will look like now.

Now make your fell seams by clipping away one side of the seam allowance and folding the other side over it.  I like for my fell seams to go toward the back, but you can do it however you like. 

Open the seam allowance and cut one side.
 And it looks like this.
Now press that seam allowance over the cut one.  You may need slight tugging to keep excess fabric out of the way.

 Fold under the edge.
 And press it flat.
Then stitch all four seams down right on the edge.

Now it's time for the placket.  Don't be afraid!  It's super easy!

Fold up the left edge of the placket 1/2" and press.

Now place the placket on the front panel right sides together.  You also want to turn up the bottom of the placket by 1/2" just to expose the blue mark you made earlier (at the stay stitch line).

Stitch across the top, down the side and just to the blue dot.

On the other side, fold in the placket on the blue line you drew before and press.  Also fold in the other edge 1/2" and press.

Then run a 1/2" seam allowance across the top.

Clip the corners.  And trim the edge of the right placket here.

And on the angled part, only trim the top seam allowance.  Sorry for the blurred pictures. 

Now clip right at that point to the blue dot like this.  Do NOT clip through your stay stitch.
 It will look like this.  I used my scissors to pull it to the side.
Repeat on the other side.
Now turn the plackets on both sides right side out and press.  And it should look like this.
Right side

Left side

Now turn the boxers so the wrong side faces up and fold down the upper part 1/2" to start the elastic application.

Take your elastic (sized according to pattern instructions) and mark the 1/4 points.  Fold it like in the photo below and mark at the folds.

 Start on the left and slide the elastic inside your placket about 1/4" past the center line. Pin using a large quilting pin.

Line up your marks on the elastic with the front side seams and the center back and pin there too.

The other end of the elastic should go all the way into the other placket so it butts the edge.

Now run a stitch line right at the edge of the placket all the way down on both sides.

When you get to the bottom, turn under that left edge about 1/2" and turn and stitch to the end.

It will look like this.

Repeat on the other placket.  I forgot to go all the way down on this one and went back after I had stitched the elastic.  But at least you get the idea.

You also want to flip it to the right side and run a stitch right down the center line but only to where the bottom stitch line will be for the elastic.  I did this after I stitched the elastic.  But it doesn't matter.  I usually do it before.

Now flip it back, and let's attach the elastic.  Start on the top of the elastic, and set your needle right at the previous stitch line.

Now put your fingers on the first pin and with your other hand on the end of the boxers, stretch out the elastic and stitch to the first pin.  VERY slowly stitch over the pin.  Then stretch to the next pin and so on until you get to the end.  You are not pulling the fabric through the machine.  Let the machine to the work.  All you want to do is keep the fabric taught to attach the elastic.

Now repeat with the bottom edge then the middle.  You can remove the pins once you've stitched the bottom edge.

Now stitch from that one small line you made earlier at center front to each of the lines you just made attaching the elastic.

And it should now look like this.

Right below the right front placket at the stay stitch line, clip the edges like so.

Once you make 3 or 4 clips, fold at the stay stitch line and press.

Now take the top left placket and fold it over the top right (as you are looking at it) and pin.

Put another pin at the bottom of the placket.

Now for the tricky part.  Take the stay stitch line that is pressed and place it over the left side and line up the stay stitch lines.  Starting at the bottom, pin it in place.  Note: your top piece fold to one side while the bottom folds to the other.

Continue pinning along the stay stitch line until you get to the placket.
Starting at the bottom, stitch right on the edge and up into the placket.

Continue into the placket right on the center line like so.  But stop right at the corner point shown by my scissors. 

Turn and stitch to the edge.
Turn again and stitch to the edge and backstitch here.
And it will look like this.  I tugged a little too much here and pulled my stay stitch line on the bottom too far out.  But who cares??  Who's going to see this anyway??

Turn the boxers inside out and make a fell seam like before. Only cut the clipped seam and fold the other side over.  Be sure you tuck in that top edge really well.  Use a tooth pick or something else pointy to help get it in there.

Now stitch right on the edge.

Turn the boxers right side out and stitch the top section closed.  If you have a triple stitch on your machine, you'll need this.  This is what mine looks like.

If you don't I would stitch this section a second time.

Follow the instructions to stitch, and it should look like this.

Now turn them inside out again and finish the crotch seam in a fell seam just like before.  NOTE, I always use the back seam to fold over, because those fell seams are hard to fold so you only deal with one if you use the back seam.  You can see I trimmed the front seam allowance here.

And it will look like this.

Hem your boxers and you are finished!!!  Now wasn't that easy.

Happy sewing.

And if you have questions or if I didn't explain something correctly, feel free to email me.