I think I mentioned that Lillian asked for a sewing machine for her 5th birthday. Well, she asked and she received. We got her the Brother CS6000i from Amazon and so far it’s a fantastic machine for her! I will write up a little machine review like I did for mine, but for now I just want to talk about the basic skirt that she made.
We used the standard method of creating the skirt, but I did serge some of the edges with her on my lap so that it was a little quicker than ironing the hem and elastic waistband. Since she is only 6, I did all of the cutting with my rotary cutter and ironing, because I’m just not comfortable with her doing them yet. Maybe in a few years I’ll feel comfortable having her cut and iron, but just not yet.
I let her pick out the fabric from my stash and she chose this flowery fabric. I think it’s perfect for a skirt and am pretty sure that I planned on making a skirt out of it when I bought it! I guess we think alike. I then took her measurements and cut out the fabric. We then got started.
I showed her how to thread her machine, including how to wind the bobbin. We then used wonder clips (her favorite thing) to keep the fabric from shifting while she was sewing. I usually just line up the edges and try to make sure they stay straight, but thought it would be easier for her using the clips.
I then instructed her on where to line up the edge of the fabric on the machine. Prior to this skirt, she did do some practice sewing on paper and scrap fabric, as well as make a tote bag, which I will probably show you later. I was next to her the whole time watching her sew, but she did all of the work. I was super impressed with how straight she was able to sew. I gave her pointers along the way on how to keep the fabric straight and lined up.
A feature of her machine that I love is the speed control. It was nice to have it set on the lowest speed so that even if she pushed too hard on the foot pedal, I knew that the machine wouldn’t go any faster than that setting. It is a very slow pace, but I think it was a great speed for a child learning to sew.
I think she did a fantastic job making her very first skirt. She did get distracted easily, but that doesn’t surprise me. I hope she learns to love to sew even if it’s years down the road. She always tells others that her mommy made her shirt, skirt, whatever she is wearing that I made, so I hope she can feel even better when she tells someone that she made it!
Since it’s summer here and I have been itching to sew Lillian a shirt, I decided to try the Rio Racer Back Tank by Peek-A-Boo Pattern Shop. I have to say I absolutely love it and so does Lillian!
The fabric is from Euro Girls Boutique and the quality is excellent. Super easy to sew with and I love the colors. I’ve actually had the fabric for a little while and couldn’t decide what to use it for. The Rio Racer Back was the perfect shirt and I still have plenty of fabric left to make something else. I think it would also make an adorable skirt. I have some persuading to do because Lillian insists that she doesn’t like skirts. Sad day for this momma!
I used stripe fabric in the same colors for the binding but probably could have also used the polka dot fabric and it would have looked very similar. This pattern has you sew the binding on in a very similar way as you would for a blanket. I find this way easier, but it does create a thinner binding than the way used for the grand slam tee. It’s a little less sporty this way as well.
The pattern was well written and very easy to understand and it was a super quick sew. The most difficult part of the construction of the shirt was the binding for the arm holes because they aren’t perfect circles since it’s a racer back.
I ended up making a size 4 based on Lillian’s measurements and it fits perfectly. She’s beginning to be in between sizes in ready to wear clothes. 4T still fits but are getting short and 5 is a little big.
Lillian once again didn’t want much to do with the shirt at first. Then she surprised me one day when she was getting dressed and came out with it on. She bragged to a friend that her mom made it for her. A few days later she insisted on wearing it again. So I would say this shirt was a win!
I do have to say the more I sew with knits, the easier it gets. I’m getting more used to my serger and cover stitch machine as well.
I have no idea how to start this post because I made this shirt a LONG time ago….I think before I was pregnant with Owen, so over 2 years ago. Geez! I don’t feel like it’s been that long! What is kind of funny is that it probably still fits Lillian. I doubt it will by the time it’s cool enough again though. It’s a Grand Slam Tee using Peek-A-Boo‘s pattern. It turned out super cute except for the collar.
I used knit interlock fabric from Chez Ami (unfortunately, the shop is now closed) and rib knit (also from Chez Ami) for the collar. It’s great quality compared to the thin stuff I’ve used before. Quality is really important when it comes to knit. It really makes sewing it easier. Plus, interlock doesn’t curl much, if at all, which is yet another reason it’s a great choice of fabric for a beginner.
I haven’t made another grand slam tee since this one, so I looked back through the pattern to jot my memory about how it was sewn together. It’s very easy to make. You basically sew the sleeves on and then sew the side seams. Attach the collar and finish by hemming. The pattern does come with the option to add a pocket or applique. If you don’t know much about knit, hemming is super easy because knit fabric doesn’t fray so you don’t even have to hide the raw edge.
Since I wasn’t 100% happy with the collar, I wanted to talk about it for a little bit. My problem with it is that it sticks out; doesn’t lay flat on Lillian. Hard to explain, but you can tell in the above picture. I’m still new at making clothing and using knit fabric so I’m not sure if it’s just something that I will get used to or what. From the research and many hours on Facebook groups, I think I need to increase my seam allowance so that the collar isn’t so wide. It might also be helpful to make the collar binding shorter. I’m not 100% sure about this though.
I already have at least one other grand slam tee planned out in my head, so I will be sure to let you know what I did differently with the collar if it works out better. I have high hopes that it will!
I wanted to also give you a little update about what has been going on with me. Owen is now over a year old and he is still working on the whole sleeping through the night thing. BUT….he is pretty independent so he doesn’t mind playing by himself, actually he prefers to explore the house, so when he is playing, I have been sneaking in some sewing time. Plus, Lillian is great about helping with him so if we are all downstairs (it’s all open) I can keep my eye on them and listen to them play.
I have a lot of finished projects to show you guys, but not a lot of tutorials. So for a little while I will probably be doing more of pattern review type posts. I have been working on getting more organized and now have a place to keep track of what I’ve made and what I have planned to make. This list includes which projects will be tutorials, so that way I know I won’t forget to take the right pictures!
I am pretty much done with my sewing area, and am excited to show you guys what my area looks like. Just a few more things to finish and then we will get pictures so I can blog about it.
I hope everything is going well with all of you!
Happy holidays everyone! I hope you’ve had a great year. I have except for not being able to sew or blog as much as I would like.
If you follow me on social media then you know that we welcomed Owen to the family earlier this year. He is a pretty amazing little guy; almost always happy and giggles at Lillian all the time. He doesn’t sleep through the night yet so I’m still choosing sleep over sewing… hence the lack of blogging and sewing.
I do still have plans for the blog and sewing projects so I hope you stick around. I have a few tutorials to write up for some cute hooded towel options. I still want to finish my first pattern but keep thinking of new options to add to it and need to decide exactly how I want it, not to mention that it’s hard making a pattern. I want to show you the diaper bag I made using the pattern. I have plans on making some sleep sacks for Owen, clothes for both kids, a bag for my mom and sister, and a wallet for myself. The list goes on, but who knows what I will really decide to make.
Hopefully sometime in 2015 I can get back to a regular posting schedule, but if not, know that I’ll eventually get there. I appreciate all of you reading and sticking around during my silence while I focus on my family.
I hope you have a great holiday season and I’ll “see” you in 2015!
In fall, I made Lillian the Annabelle Jacket by Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop. My plan was to make it large enough that it would also fit her this spring, but that didn’t work out. I think I made it in a 3T, so I’m not really sure what I was thinking!
I absolutely love the way that it turned out. I love the fabric (both corduroy from Hobby Lobby with a quilting cotton lining) and think it’s an adorable pattern. I just wish she would have been able to wear it more. We had a short fall, so I think she only wore this maybe 3 times. Sad! Especially since we are having a boy, so he certainly won’t be wearing it.
Now a little about the actual pattern and process of making the jacket. The pattern was well written, but definitely wasn’t the easiest thing to make. The ruffle around the neck was a little difficult to attach, but only because you have to make sure that the unfinished edge does not show. I had to rip some of it out and reattach it.
I do not like hand sewing, so I actually top stitched all the way around the sleeves and the jacket. For the jacket part it was around the bottom, the opening, and then on the jacket part of the neck not the ruffle. I figured the buttons on the sleeves would never be used, so I just sewed them on instead of doing button holes. The buttons on the opening section needed buttonholes though. I did not do the best job with them. I just really struggle to get my buttonholes lined up! If anyone has any tips, please share.
You can really see in this pic that the sleeves are way too short. Also, the jacket kind of sticks out at her waist because it’s too short, otherwise it would lay better. I wish I had more of this fabric so I could make her another one. Unfortunately, it was a seasonal fabric so I’m out of luck. I guess I have to find even cuter fabric.
I’m not sure if you noticed, but I added a button on the right side of the blog. It’s a link to Christine’s Sewing Machine Reviews blog series. She blogs and makes/sells her own bag patterns over at ChrisW Designs. I haven’t made any of her bags yet, but keep eyeing a few. I think I’m intimidated because they are intermediate bags. I should really just try them out!
Anyway, the series is obviously reviews on sewing machines, but it’s from “normal” people like myself. So no one is paid to review their sewing machine, they actually get nothing to review it, other than the exposure from Christine’s blog. So it’s true reviews…what we love, like, dislike, hate about our machines. My review on my Bernina 330 was posted at the end of May, so be sure to see how my feelings have changed (or haven’t) from when I first got my machine.
Disclaimer: I am an affiliate of Peek-A-Boo Pattern Shop so I get compensated for any orders placed through the links in this post.