Category Archives: Gifts

Pattern Review: Kwik Sew 3089

Kwik Sew 3089

Pattern Description: Baby Sleep Sack. I made View A, the sleeveless version.

Pattern Sizing: XS, S, M, L, XL.  I made the size M.  I made it for my three month old niece Chloe.  The medium size is for 3-6 month olds.  My parents are bringing Chloe’s and Haley’s pj’s to Madison tomorrow.  I hope they fit!

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes!  Well, except for the embroidery I added.

Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions were great. I didn’t have any problems with them.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? LikesVery simple pattern with only a few pattern pieces.  It was relatively quick to sew because of it.  From start to finish it was about a 3 hour project. 

Dislikes were:

  1. I did not like the finishing for the armholes.  They instruct you to overcast the edges and then just turn it over and stitch it down.  I think a binding would look a lot nicer, but due to holiday time constraints, I just did as instructed.  It’s fine and most likely a non-sewist would not notice the finish. 
  2. The neck band is a little fiddly to attach.  Make sure you read all the way through to the end of the instructions for that section or you’ll make the same mistake I did of sewing the zipper SA’s prematurely.  It wasn’t a fatal flaw, but it would have looked nicer had I followed the letter of the law.  Live and learn I guess.

Armhole

neckband and snap tab

  

Any difficulties encountered? Aside from the neckline issue mentioned above, the only other thing I had a hard time with was the top stitching around the zipper.  The instructions tell you to stitch 1/4 in away from the zipper, I, of course, stitched too close, so it was hard to get around the pull and the end of the zipper.   My stitching is a little wonky in that area, but I don’t think anyone but a perfectionist would notice. 

Fabric Used: I used a polyester fleece from my local sewing store P&S Fabrics in Downtown NYC.  It was soft and fluffy and perfect for this sleep sack.  It will be soft against a baby’s skin and will keep Chloe really warm on those cold Madison nights.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I added some hand embroidery to relieve the simplicity of the project, a little snowflake in ivory embroidery floss.  Normally I would only use 2 or 3 threads of the floss, but I really wanted it to stand out, so I used all 6 threads.

 Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I will definitely sew it again. I think it makes a great baby gift and you can personalize it rather easily.   I do recommend it for any sewist. Beginner’s might find the neckband a bit of a challenge, but not out of reach skill-wise if done carefully and slowly. It’s a pretty quick project compared to flannel pj’s. 

Conclusion: I love the sleep sack and am pleased to give it to my new little niece Chloe.  Hopefully I will have a picture of her in it soon.

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Not a Pattern Review: Kwik Sew 3510

After making two flannel jammies for my niece and nephew, Thor and Katie, I took the easy route with my son Jack’s and my niece Haley’s pjs.  I made them another set of Kwik Sew 3510 knit jammies, like I did for all the kids last year.  Here’s my pattern review from back then.  Again, I did not have any issues with sizing.  And again, I constructed this almost entirely on the serger. 

I did have two things different this time around though.  I have a new tool that I wanted to use in this iteration, a stretch twin needle for the hem.  The knits I used, a plane camo from the FabricFairy.com and a red and white stripe knit that I can’t remember where I bought it, were pretty stable so I didn’t have to stabilize the hems at all.  I fiddled around with stitch length and thread tension and found that a length of 3.0 and tension of 2 was perfect for the twin needle stitch.  It made a beautiful hem.

 

When I made the sleep sack (review forthcoming) for my niece Chloe, the instructions said to top stitch the neck band SA to the body of the sack.  I loved how finished the inside looked without that SA flopping around so I used that trick for Jack’s and Haley’s knit jammies too.  It looks great!

That’s about it.  These are pretty quick and easy jammies to make.  Not a lot to say.  So let’s just look at Jack shall we (sorry no picture of Haley yet as she hasn’t received the pj’s yet)?   😉  

Pattern Review: New Look 6638

Pattern Description:  Toddler Nightgown and PajamasI made View B, the nightgown.

Pattern Sizing:  1/2, 1, 2, 3, 4.I made the size 4.  It’s a little on the big side in regards to width and little short in length for both the skirt and sleeves.   Again, therein lies the perils of making a gift and not having the luxury to fit as you go. 

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  Yes!

Were the instructions easy to follow?  The instructions were great.  I didn’t have any problems with them. Yeah me!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  I loved the design of the nightgown.  The skirt is really full with the gathers and ruffles; Katie has a blast twirling in it.  😉   Dislikes were:

1. There was no instruction for finishing the join of the bodice to the skirt nicely; it just said to press the SA up.  It would have looked really messy, not to mention have felt uncomfortable and scratchy.  So I serged the SA and it looks much nicer now. 

2. I’m not fond of how the collar is attached and the use of bias tape to finish the exposed collar SA’s.  Next time I make this I will use self fabric bias tape.  It will be prettier and softer.  It would lie more nicely if there was a stand for the collar, but that would increase the construction time for the pattern. 

Any difficulties encountered?  Full disclosure here: I cut two left sleeves by accident but didn’t notice until I was setting in the second sleeve.  I just went with it as a “design detail”.  Honestly though, you can’t really tell and neither can Katie.   Also, my gathering foot, aka my ex-boyfriend, let me down.  This nightgown is an homage to ruffles and gathers and he really needed to be there for me, but he just up and quit on me instead.  I had to pull out all my tricks to get him to gather.  The experimentation added about an hour and a half to my construction time, no joke!  In all fairness to the ex though, it might have been due to the thick flannel was I sewing, but we still had to break up.  Now I am eyeing a ruffler as my next boyfriend.  😉 

Fabric Used:  Again, another gorgeous flannel which had a great hand, was soft and fluffy, nice and thick, and easy with which to work. I bought it from Fabric.com in November but it has long since sold out.  Sorry!

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  My favorite detail that I added was to use a ruffly lace that I had in my lace stash on the collar.  The lace could not have been any more perfect for this project.  It is so cute and dainty and the ruffles go with all the gathers and ruffles elsewhere on the nightgown.  *pleased as punch* 

I used snaps instead of buttons on the bodice.  I think by this, the second set of flannel jammies I made, I was approaching sewing detail overwhelm, so snaps just seemed faster and easier.  I love how they look.  

And again, I finished the interior construction serging all exposed seams for a nice clean finish.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  I will definitely sew it again. It’s a great nightgown. I do recommend it for any sewist. Beginner’s might find it a long and involved project though, but not out of reach skill-wise. Again, as with the other flannel jammie project,  it took me about 10-12 hours to complete this (thanks to the stupid ex-boyfriend!).  So it’s definitely not a quick project.

Conclusion: Super cute jammies! I am very proud of this project too.  Here is Katie in all her Rapunzel glory.  🙂 

Pattern Review: Simplicity 3584

Here’s my pattern review for Simplicity 3584.

Simplicity 3584

Pattern Description:  Toddler’s Pajamas and RobeI made View C, the flannel pjs.

Pattern Sizing:  1/2, 1, 2, 3, 4 I used the size 3.  The fit was ok.  The pj top could have been longer by an inch or two and the pants were too long.  The hazards of making presents and not being able to fit as you go because they are a surprise. 

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  Yes and no.  I didn’t use the button placement markings that came with the pattern.  Instead I used an existing flannel pj top my son had to mark the button placement and I like it better.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  The instructions were great.  As I have mentioned recently, I am really getting the hang of reading pattern directions now that I am two years into my sewing odyssey.  Again, I warn all sewists no matter how advanced you are, that careful reading always pays off.  They pack a lot of directions into one or two sentences at a time.  So it’s easy to miss something if you’ve never attempted a collar before.  Even with my own careful reading, I made a mistake in how I finished the collar requiring me to make and add bias tape out of self fabric to the interior finish of the collar.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  I like how simple the pattern is essentially for a button down pj with collar.  That being said though, it’s still a bit fussy to make, especially if you’re under the time constraints of making an Xmas gift.  I am not sure that not having a collar stand made this easier or not to sew.  I think the end result is not as nice without the stand, but perfectly fine for pj’s and I doubt a non-sewist would notice the difference at all.  The measurements for the waist elastic are way off.  You will need to use your recipient’s waist measurement to approximate the length.  And even then, my elastic was still a little loose.  Also, the facings were too long at the top.  They overshot the shoulder seam entirely, so I had to catch stitch them to the back of the pj shirt (see picture above and below).  Next time, I will check to make sure they line up to the shoulder seam so that I have something to which to catch stitch them.

Any difficulties encountered?  Any difficulties encountered were completely self-inflicted (see note about collar above).  😉   This is a basic pattern.  The only bell & whistle is the pocket (which I placed by lining up the plaid and not using the pattern markings).

Fabric Used:  A gorgeous flannel which had a great hand, was soft and fluffy, nice and thick, and easy with which to work.  I bought it from Fabric.com in November but it has long since sold out.  Sorry!  If I can, I will buy more of it for next year’s pj’s. 

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  The only design change I made was the button placement which I mentioned earlier on.  Construction changes were how I finished the interior construction.  I made sure to serge all exposed seams for a nice clean finish.  It looks so nice on the inside.  🙂  

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  I will definitely sew it again, making the fit changes mentioned above and being more careful with plaid/stripe matching (my two fronts don’t match up but the side seams do).  It makes such a cute jammie for kids.  I do recommend it for any sewist.  Beginner’s might find it a long and involved project though, but not out of reach skill-wise.  I think, from tracing out the pattern to inserting the elastic on the pants, it took me about 10-12 hours to complete this.  I know I’m slow, but still, that’s a long project for just one Christmas gift.  But don’t say I didn’t warn you when you embark on this pattern. 

Conclusion:  Super cute jammies!  I am very proud of this project.

Handsome Thor

Merry Christmas!

I meant to post this jammie picture yesterday, but, as you can imagine, the day was busy with opening presents, putting said presents together, and cooking. 

Jammipalooza 2010 was a great success.  The kids loved their pj’s and they looked so cute in them.  See for yourselves…

L: Jack in KS3510, M: Katie in NL6638, R: Thor in S3584

I will have reviews up for these pjs later today and tomorrow.  I hope you all had a great holiday.  I’ll be back later with the dets.

Still here, but…

I cannot believe how long it took me to finish those flannel pj’s!  But they are finished and I am quite proud of them.  Reviews and pics after Christmas though.  They’re presents after all.  I can’t wait to show you.  I am so proud of my work.

I loved the flannel quality; it was yardage from Fabric.com (unfortunately all the holiday flannels are all sold out, but there are other flannel prints there still).  It is so thick, warm and fuzzy.  Perfect for keeping cute little kids cozy on a winter’s night.  🙂  

I have two knit jammies to make and a sleep sack.  I have the most adorable airplane camo knit from The Fabric Fairy.com for Jack and for my niece Haley a Christmas-y red and white stripe knit that reminds me of candy canes.  Then I have to make some bibs for a certain new little baby boy in Napa.  Oh and I also want to make my sister a quick scarf to add to her birthday booty.  And then…

Then I can sew for me!  I can’t wait to get back to my grey double-knit dress that has been cut up for two weeks now and staring at me accusingly from my dining room, I mean, sewing table. 

Some thoughts on my sewing: Although I will do a 2010 recap sometime next week and a 2011 goals post in the beginning of January, I was thinking this week about how far I’ve come in my sewing.  I no longer have problems reading pattern directions.  I haven’t called my sewing teacher, Thea, in months.  I don’t pester Karen and Carolyn with questions that much anymore.  I still sew very slowly, but my skill is growing by leaps and bounds.  And my finished products are looking more and more professional with each new project.  Besides singing, sewing, has been my longest obsession ever.  I don’t see it waning any time soon either. 

I’m going to imitate Myrna now as imitation is a form of flattery…

Grateful:  For having such a smart, handsome, playful and affectionate son in my life.  He brings a smile to my face and heart every time I think of him.  And for sewing.  I love having the sewing skills to make clothes for my family.   Everything I make for them is made with love and I think it shows.

On the mend…

Well folks, I’m finally on the mend.  It only took two days off of work and sleeping off some of my sleep deficit for my immune system to kick in finally. 

I kept a steady stream of movies in the dvd player and Nick Jr on the tv for Jack today while I sewed (ah the luxuries of single parenting).  But I am still super behind in my Xmas sewing.  It took me 10 straight hours of  sewing to complete the flannel pj’s for my nephew Thor.  I used Simplicity 3584, the bottom left, View C. 

Simplicity 3584

Overall it’s a decent pattern.  There was only one small drafting error that I encountered.  It was the facing, which extended far too long.  In retrospect, I could have cut it off to match the shoulder seam, but I had tunnel vision at the time and now it’s too late.  Oh well.  I think the pattern is pretty simple; there’s no collar stand after all.  But I think it’s a little too intense or long of a project for Xmas jammies.  The top has so many details that are fussy, like the collar (despite no collar stand) and the pocket.  I’m on the fence as to whether the cut on facing is time saver or not. 

The jammies are definitely cute, but a lot of work.  And with my time constraints now, I am switching gears now and using last year’s knit jammies pattern, Kwik Sew 3510.  The only change I’ll make is to lengthen the torso on the tops. 

Kwik Sew 3510

Apologies, but I can’t show you the flannel pj’s until after Xmas.  My sister might check out my blog and I want it to be a surprise. 

I hope everyone’s Xmas sewing is going well. 

PS: I am so behind on reading blogs right now.  I have over 300 waiting for me on google reader right now, at least 90 of which are saved ones on which I need to comment.  There’s just too little time in the day.