Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Sewing Class: Make Your Own Shorts Pattern

Have you ever wanted to sew something but didn't have a pattern? Have you ever wanted to make your own? I bet it's much easier than you think it is. I made a pair of shorts in about an hour, including making the pattern. I will show you how but only if you give it a try. ;)

Here is what you will need:
-a pair of shorts that fit the person you are making the shorts for
-a pencil
-a ruler
-paper (I prefer tissue paper. It comes in big sheets and is easy to pin.)

Turn your shorts inside-out and fold them in half. Line the long side of your shorts up with the edge of your paper. Using your ruler, trace your shorts leaving 1/2" seam allowance. I left 1" at the bottom for the hem and 1 1/2" at the top for the waistband.

And there you go! You have a pattern. It's a good idea to mark the size and top and bottom of your pattern, for future reference.

Now, to use your pattern. Cut two pieces with the long side of your pattern on a fold. Sew the two leg seams. I used a serger because I used knit fabric and wanted to have room to stretch. You can use a regular stitch.

Turn one piece right side out and slip it into the other. Line up the centers and pin. Now sew all the way around.

You should have this.

Now make your waistband. You can serge the edge or fold it over 1/4" for a clean finish. Then fold over 1", pin or press it in place, and then stitch. Don't forget to leave about an inch or so gap so that you can put the elastic in.
For the hem, fold over 1/2", then again, and stitch.

Measure you elastic on your model. Make sure to make it a little tight so that the shorts don't fall down but not too tight. Using a safety pin, pull the elastic through the waistband, being careful not to twist it. Hold on to the opposite end so that you don't loose it. That's never fun. Stitch the two ends of the elastic together and then stitch the gap closed. I like to sew a tag with the size in the gap. If you don't have a tag you can use a ribbon to signify the back of the shorts.

A handy little trick for keeping the elastic from rolling is to stretch the waistband out and sew through all the layers. Make sure you have the gathers evenly distributed before you start or it might not all match up like you want.

If you want to make a pair of pants the idea is the same, just make the legs longer.

And here is my goofy, ratty-haired, Kool-aid smile model. Hey! It's summer. ;)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Organizing and Child Proofing

Right now my craft desk has gates all around it. The twins are 2 but they are still into everything. And I mean EVERYTHING!! They are completely fascinated with my desk and always go straight for my pins. I would really love to take the gate down, especially since they have figured out how to climb over it. I have a closet for all of my craft supplies but I need a way to store things that I use on a regular basis. I found this magnetic dry erase board with metallic finish. I would eventually like to get a nice frame and put sheet metal in it but this works for now. I also found some little metal containers with magnets on the back. I glued magnets to the back of tin cans, paper clips, and my pin cushion. Next time I will get stronger magnets but these work for now. I glued ribbon on the inside of the cans to cover the sharp edges.