Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ruffle Sunsuit

Who doesn't love free things?

I Googled "Free sunsuit pattern baby" and found this wonderful ruffle sunsuit pattern by little betty.

Everything went swimmingly. I kept getting further and further towards finishing it thinking somethings gotta go wrong now, but it never did. Quite proud of myself actually!

I am learning to sew, so the NEW (never attempted before) techniques I learnt/did while making this sunsuit were:

Buttonholes! I didn't realise there was a buttonhole foot and a button foot. I eyed up the button foot for a long time before I picked up my sewing machine manual... then proceeded to sew eight buttonholes (with the correct foot) before I was satisfied.

Interfacing! Isn't it great. I have the iron-on stuff. I'm not sure if it is as stiff as normal-not-iron-on interfacing so I used another piece of the Babushka dolls fabric as well.

Snaps! I'd tried these before by myself and failed miserably. My dad is staying with us at the moment. He is a tradie and well, what are Dad's and tradies for??? Hammering in the snaps. Yus :) it worked a treat. I warned him after he'd finished that he would have that task at least once a week now.

Ruffles! Well they were a mission. Little Betty's instructions said I could use an overlocker/serger. I attempted it on a scrap and decided that they would be nicer (safer) if I did the gathering by hand. I love them. I think ruffles may show up more often now.

Thank you to my lovely mum-in-law for the beautiful fabric.

Monday, February 20, 2012

My Shirring Experiment

I'm totally shirred out after making this sunsuit.

I was blog hopping like mad a few weeks ago when I discovered and bookmarked Rae's Baby Sunsuit Tutorial. It looked so simple. It uses two rectangles of fabric, has straps and the shirring (the gathering at the top) looked easy enough to do.

Boy was I wrong.

First I will show you the finished product as I surprised myself at my perseverance to complete this project. Then really I have nothing else to say apart from few 'lessons' I learnt along the way.

Alyssa has started to sit up by herself. Very Exciting!

Ok so my lessons...
  • Measure your baby. I used Rae's measurements of 16" x 19" for 6-12 months. Which is fine. Except I rotated my fabric 90 degrees and proceeded to make version one of this sunsuit. Obviously it turned out way too short.
  • If you are using the snaps that you sew on, make sure you use ones that are very strong. Thankfully I learnt my lesson on version one.
  • Practice, practice, practice shirring. But firstly make sure you know how to adjust the tension on your machine. This site helped me (I have a Brother machine) http://gigglesmum-creativeheart.blogspot.com.au/2009/10/shirring-problems-i-cracked-it.html. I didn't bother tightening the screw on the bobbin casing but did follow this piece of advice: "If I threaded the bobbin with the needle plate cover on, the elastic thread was not linking in correctly to the casing and I could not shir."
Changes to the original pattern:
  • It took me a week to work up the courage to sew two button holes onto the straps. I then attached the straps to the sunsuit, crossing them at the back. Upon trying the sunsuit on a baby who was DONE being my model, I decided that I wasn't 'quite done'. The straps didn't sit neatly and the buttons slid to the top of the hole. I chopped off the button holes (girraaaah) and sewed the ends to the inside of the top. I left it a few days before we had our photoshoot.
  • I noticed Rae had about 6-7 rows of shirring. Obviously I still haven't acquired the skill completely as I needed about 15 to get the top to gather up enough. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Love Love Wall Art!

I needed a quick easy project to give me a bit of a boost this week. I have been working on a made by RAE Baby Sunsuit and its been very frustrating to say the least. I know I have to keep persevering with this sewing thing...

Embroidery hoop wall art is so easy to do. I was very pleased with my first attempt.

It also gave me a chance to experiment with appliqué. Firstly I tried appliquéing some of the birds onto the plain fabric using a dark grey cotton. It looked messy. I put it down for a day while I though about what else to try. Eventually I figured out that using shapes to make an object (a bird house) as well as using a lighter cotton produced a much neater and satisfactory result. Sewing finished!

Some lessons:
1. I ironed on some interfacing to the birdhouse before I appliquéd it to the main fabric. I also used a tacking stitch to hold it in place instead of pins. (I feel so stupid that I haven't utilised the tacking stitch more before now!)
2. I used double sided tape to stick the excess fabric to the inside of the hoop. This was super easy and much better than fiddling around with glue.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Pretty in Blue

So happy with how my second attempt at the sunsuit turned out. First attempt here. Not really much to say except this time around I made sure I got the tension right. I read my sewing machine manual and figured out exactly how to fix it. The vintage sunsuit hasn't fallen apart, but the stitching looks pretty shonky. I always sew a few lines on a test patch of material before I start now too.

I made the next size up but forgot to add the extra length for the elasticated waist (from an altered Newlook 6903), so its a bit short. I think I have used that pattern to death now. I'm ready for something a bit different and more challenging.

My lil model stares at the camera as soon as it comes out and is so intrigued that its hard to get a natural shot :) She also loves to check out the photo afterwards too.

Thank you to my wonderful Mother-in-law who kindly sewed on the snaps. I HATE that job.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Vintage Sunsuit

Oh my gosh I want one of these sunsuits: Pippa Little Floral check sunsuit. It's totally gorgeous!  I love the bright colours and the frilly frills. While I wait for it to come on sale (oh I really hope it does) I decided to create something similar. I set out to find two contrasting fabrics to make this sunsuit. Excitement set in :)

I found a beautiful heart fabric and decided that it would be perfect for the top half, and about an hour later, a floral for the bottom half. I decided frill would be too much as I didn't want to distract from the heart detail. Off to a not so 'similar' start.

I was dying to use the Present Playsuit pattern again but wanted to alter it as there was too much room in the waist area. Using Newlook 6903 to get the basic shape, I cut it in half, kept the width and used elastic for the new waist band. Skipping the yolk on the pattern I made a bias strip for the ties instead.

It didn't turn out exactly as the Pippa Little sunsuit but it was still pretty cute!