Show Your Stoff Zierstoff Blog Tour

Show Your Stoff – Zierstoff Blog Tour + Discount Code!

It’s Zierstoff Blog Tour time! I have joined many other bloggers and signed up for the ‘Show Your Stoff Blog Tour’ using the great patterns from Zierstoff. I live on the underside of the globe in little old New Zealand. Since we are heading into our cooler weather I have chosen to make the Yann Hoodie/Shawl Collar Shirt and the Nico Reversible Pants. I think these two will make excellent staples for the cooler months. Both these patterns are available in two size ranges, 6 Months to 4/5 Years and 5 Years to 12 Years. These are nice broad size ranges which should mean you get a lot of use out of your pattern purchase.

 

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Upcycling Leggings into Children’s Harem Pants Tutorial

Upcycling leggings is an excellent way to get some extra life out those leggings you never did end up wearing.  I was given this pair and Hannah loved the look of them. They were much to big for her and too small for me not that I thought I would wear them anyway.

Upcycled Leggings into Children's Harem Pants Tutorial

After I was given these leggings to upcycle I had a brain wave for a quick and easy upcycle idea. Since these leggings are quite small and a nice floaty knit fabric (viscose elastane) I thought they would make great Harem pants for Hannah.  The only things I need to alter is the waistband and the length. Let the Upcycling Leggings project begin!

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Pattern Review – Luna Pants by Made By Rae

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I actually did it…I made time to sew something for myself!  They are comfortable and casual yet somehow smart, the lovely Luna Pants Pattern from Made By Rae.  I had been admiring Rae’s patterns from afar for quite a while, and then she had a Luna Pants sew-a-long.  I didn’t quite make it in time for the sew-a-long but I got there in the end!

Pattern Review - Luna Pants by Made By Rae FAr

Here is the front view.  The Luna Pant has a nice relaxed fit, I had to make it in size XL.  Even though I am quite tall (176cm or 5’ 9 1/2”) they are plenty long in the leg without any adjustments.  If you are on the shorter side you may want to take them up.  I think I made the ankle cuffs just a little too tight, I didn’t use the provided measurement for the elastic…yep trying to get finished too fast!  That will teach me!  I will let them out a little and remember to follow all the instructions next time.

Pattern Review - Luna Pants by Made By Rae (11)r

That being said I also didn’t use the recommended waist elastic measurement.  But that was a considered decision!  As I am sure a few of you will understand that tummies can get a little squishy after kids (or even without!) and a too tight waistband gives you an excellent roly ‘muffin top’.  So I don’t cut my elastic off the roll, I just feed the end through the casing and safety pin together at what I estimate is the right size.  Then I try them on and adjust the waistband so that it does enough to stay up but doesn’t dig in.  After those steps I cut the elastic to size and sew as normal.

Pattern Review - Luna Pants by Made By Rae FBr

I never thought that woven fabric would be able to make comfortable pants.  I think every single pair of pants (mainly jeans) I own are made out of a stretch fabric.  But with all the lovely prints available in woven fabrics the options are endless.  I just need to remember to make (or buy) more plain tops to wear with them, and not be seduced by the stripes.  I will most definitely be making more of these!

Pattern Review - Luna Pants by Made By Rae (18)r

I overlocked my raw edges for a quick but neat finish.  The Luna Pant is well constructed and I love the pockets!

What is your favorite everyday wear pattern to sew for yourself?

 

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Pattern Review - Made By Rae - Luna Pants By Nina Makes

Upcycled Merino Baby Pants!

I have a little Niece who’s been wearing plenty of pairs of pants I have made her, here are the links if you want to check them out! Upcycled Footed Baby Pants, Contrast Baby Pants & Baby Track Pants.  But I also have another Nephew coming soon ♥ Yay!!!

Merino Baby Pants a

I have made him a newborn pair of merino baby leggings out of one of his Mother’s old merino tops which had gotten holes in the sleeves.  With a second top of hers to upcycle I need to make another pair for him!

I didn’t share the first pair or even take a photo (might be able to get one of him wearing them soon enough!), so I thought I’d better make up for it this time!  I have drafted my own simple pattern in a Size 3 to 6 Months +, with a long leg length.  You can always roll the cuffs for a while, or make them shorter!  With merino being so stretchy I’m sure it will fit until it is too short, and this little one’s parents are rather slim and tall.

What you’ll need

  • Fabric – I’m upcycling a top but you can use bought fabric if you like.  It doesn’t have to be merino but it will need to stretch!
  • Elastic 25mm (1”) – 42cm (16.5”)
  • Sewing machine
  • Overlocker – not essential but does make it easier (don’t worry if you don’t have one I’ll give instructions for both!)
  • Pdf Pattern – Size 3-6 Months + – Here is the link to Download the free pattern!

 

Step 1 – Print and tape your pattern

As always make sure you print the pattern using the ‘no scaling’ or ‘actual size option’.  My patterns are based on A4 size but should work on any size paper if printed in actual size.  Measure the 2.54cm (1”) square to check whether it has printed correctly!

20150905_223021

Cut out all your pieces and tape the bottom of the leg on.  The red lines indicate where they meet up.  The photos say it all really!

Merino Baby Pants b

Step 2 – Cut your fabric

If you are using new fabric skip these first few pointers and cut as normal!

For upcycling a top, first cut up the side seams, and all the way around the sleeves.  Cut as close to the seam as you can.

Merino Baby Pants c

This is what you should end up with.  Keep those sleeves!! I’m brewing up a plan for those, will add a link here when the blog post is up!

Merino Baby Pants (4)

Now you can fold the back of your top in half lengthwise to create the fold to cut the pattern on.  I leave the shoulders attached, but if you find it annoying feel free to cut them.

Merino Baby Pants d 

Notice I have put the pattern as high up as possible, this is so that there is enough room at the bottom to cut the cuff pieces.  You will probably find that the back is big enough but front with a lower neck is not, so be careful and check before you cut!  Repeat this step with the front of the top to cut the other half of the pants.

Merino Baby Pants (8)

I prefer to use weights rather than pins, I find it soooo much easier!  No pins pulling at the fabric and it’s way faster…both big pluses in my book!

Cut your cuff pieces, making sure the grain line is running in the right direction, these need to stretch.

Merino Baby Pants e

I cut mine on the fold and cut them in half afterwards, you can cut them completely separately if that works better for your fabric layout.

Merino Baby Pants (11)

That is the cutting done!!!  You should have a front and back which are exactly the same (how much easier is that!) and two cuff pieces.

Step 3 – Sewing Sides and Inseam

These pants are really simple to sew, first of with right sides facing pin the sides and inseam.  Overlock (or sew with an overlock stitch/or zigzag), I have only allowed for a small seam allowance so no need to adjust it for overlock only.

Merino Baby Pants f

For a bit of a closer look

Merino Baby Pants (15)

Step 4 – Cuffs

Fold the cuff in half with the right sides facing and overlock (or sew a straight stitch is fine as you are sewing with the grain so won’t stretch anyway).

Merino Baby Pants (16)

Fold the sewn cuffs over to make a double layered tube, and with the pants around the right way place over the leg so all the raw edges line up.

Merino Baby Pants (18)

Line up the inseam with the seam in the cuff.  I do like to stagger the seams slightly otherwise it will get too thick in one spot.

Merino Baby Pants g

Spread the gather evenly (there should only be a small amount) and pin in place, then overlock (or zigzag/overlock stitch).

Merino Baby Pants h

That’s the cuffs finished!  Pretty quick!

Step 5 – Waistband

First off I like to overlock the waistband, if you are not using an overlocker you can overlock stitch/zigzag it.

Merino Baby Pants i

Now you need to cut your elastic, if you haven’t already.  You will need 42cm (16.5”), and then zigzag the ends together.

Merino Baby Pants j

Finished it will look like this,

Merino Baby Pants (28)

If you want to add a tag then now is the easiest time!  Just pin in place and stitch on.  Remember that the waistband will be folded down so it will seem upside down.

Merino Baby Pants k

Pin the elastic into the waistband, I like to do this with the right side facing out pinning onto the inside of the band.  You want to pin it just under the edge so that the elastic is covered after sewing.  Here is what it will look like afterward pinning, followed by the steps to get there.  I often find it easier to see what it will look like finished, then the instructions make more sense!

Merino Baby Pants (37)

Pin the seam at the centre of the back of the pants, then fold the elastic in half to locate the centre for the front and mark with a pin.

Merino Baby Pants l

Repeat to find the middles of each side.  You want a little more gather at the back then at the front to allow for nappy room, so in turn you need a little more elastic at the front than at the back.  To do this evenly I move the side pins back a little to allow for this.  Yellow pin is the centre, purple pin is where I will match it with the side seam.

Merino Baby Pants m

Repeat that for the other side too.  Once the sides are pinned hold them together to work out the centre of the front of the pants and pin to the centre of the elastic.

Merino Baby Pants (36)

After that pin halfway between each two pins so that it is pinned in 8 places in total.  Stretch the elastic to match the pants and pin in the centre.  And there we are, hopefully they look like this!

Merino Baby Pants (37)

Sew elastic on close to the edge using zigzag.  I sew overtop of the overlocking.  You will need to stretch the elastic as you sew so that it matches the fabric.  I like to do this with the elastic underneath.

Merino Baby Pants n

That is the elastic secured!  Now it’s time to fold the band over and pin in place for the final round!  To start turn your pants inside out, and fold the elastic over, pin in place stretching as you go to make sure it is even.

Merino Baby Pants o

Again using zigzag and stitching close to the edge (on the overlocking) sew around the band stretching as you did earlier, to flatten any gathers before sewing over the area.

Merino Baby Pants p

And there you are finished!!  It seams like such a long tutorial for something so simple but at least the instructions should be thorough!!

Merino Baby Pants q

Working on some merino all-in-ones too, hopefully not too far away!

Baby Track Pants

This is a bit of a follow on from the Upcycling Footed Pants tutorial.  The now footless pants were such a hit, I made two more pairs from scratch.
Trackpants a
Pink and light grey marle stripes with a matching grey marle cuff.
Trackpants b
Grey marle with a turquoise cuff.
You can check out the basic instructions for these in my Contrast Baby Pants Tutorial.  I have used the previously footed baby track pants as a pattern for these.  They are a wider fit than the contrast baby pants as they are not stretch.  Here are the photos,
Trackpants c
I did change the waistband to a sewn in elastic rather than sew the tube and feed the elastic through.  This has the advantage of not getting twisted in the wash.  You can do the other way if you prefer!  You can always sew the elastic down in a couple of places to prevent it twisting.
Trackpants d
I used the flat method of joining my elastic to prevent the double layer, check out my joining elastic tutorial here.
Trackpants e
Turn you pants the right side facing out and place elastic inside it.  I start with the seam matching it to the back of the track pants.  I want to line the edge of the fabric up with the edge of the elastic so that I catch both when sewing it together.
Trackpants f
Now to make sure you get the elastic evenly spread, I fold it in half and mark it with a pin.  Then line this pin up with the centre seam in the front of the pants, and pin in place just like the back.  Then spread the rest evenly and pin in place.  As you can see below I like to use a few pins (8 this time) to ensure I get an even gather.
Trackpants g
Time to sew it together!
Trackpants h
If you want to add a tag, pop that in place before you sew the waistband.  Take care to keep the elastic edge and the edge of fabric lined up to ensure you catch both when you sew.  I like to use zigzag for this.  For a few reasons, I like how it looks, it retains the stretch really well and it doesn’t stop the elastic relaxing back as much as a straight stitch.
Trackpants i

See!  I love the look of the zigzag, just finishes it nicely!
All that is left to do is sew on the cuffs, you can see how to do that in the Contrast Baby Pants Tutorial.
Trackpants j
Happy Sewing!

Upcycling Footed Baby Pants

Footed Pants a
I don’t know about your kids but mine seemed to grow taller rather than wider and my niece Emily is following suit.  The feet on the footed pants were nearly always too small and if it wasn’t the feet it was the leg length.  So this is a great little trick to get much more wear out of your footed baby pants or onesies for that matter.  You remove the feet so the foot size is no longer an issue and you add a cuff so there goes the length, problems solved!  And to top it off it is really quick and easy!
Footed Pants b
First up you need to cut off the feet, making sure you cut as close to the seams as you can to save the length.  This pair had a piece of elastic sewn in to create a heel, so that needed to be unpicked as well.  Once the elastic is out you can lay the pants flat and trim the leg pieces to straighten them up.
Footed Pants c
Now you need to decide how long you would like the cuff.  You can make it as long as you need and remember the ribbing will be folded in half so you will need to double it.  I used another pair of Emily’s pants to work out how wide to make it.  It worked out about 2/3 of the pants width.  You then  fold the cut piece in half right sides facing and sew/overlock the cuff into a tube.  Then fold in half so that the right side is facing out.  You can see more instructions for this in my post Contrast Baby Pants.
Footed Pants d
Place over the leg (both right side facing out) and pin in place.  You will need to stretch the cuff to reach and make sure it is even.  You can see above in the right hand photo that I have placed the seams together on the inside of the leg to make them less visible.  I have staggered them slightly so they are not all stacked on top of one another, which can be too thick for the machine.
Footed Pants e
I used the overlocker to do the cuffs but you can sew them on your sewing machine.  It doesn’t need to be a stretch stitch as the track pants aren’t stretch anyway.  As you can see in the above photos you need to stretch the ribbing cuff to match the pants as you sew.  Watch out for you pins with the overlocker!
Footed Pants f
And there you have it a very cute pair of baby pants that are now footless and longer!  So much more use out of the one pair, great for the budget and the planet!

Contrast Baby Pants

Contrast Baby Pants
Make your own Contrast Baby Pants, no need for a pattern.  I made these for my gorgeous niece Emily, twenty odd photos later I had to hold her feet up to get her to keep her legs still!
All you need is some stretch fabric and ribbing in a contrasting colour (or matching if you like!).  If you don’t have ribbing you can use another piece of stretch fabric.  I used a pair of Emily’s baby pants as the pattern, but made them about two sizes larger to fit later on.
What you will need
  • Stretch Fabric
  • Ribbing (or more stretch fabric)
  • 1” (25mm) Elastic – I used 19” (48cm)
Baby Pants aBaby pants b
Lay your fabric out folded double, turn the pants you are using as a pattern inside out and lay them on your fabric.  Make sure that the stretch in the fabric goes across the pants in the same direction as the waist (not up and down the leg).  Draw round the outside leaving a little room for seam allowance, as you can see I have quite a bit of room as I wanted them two sizes bigger.  Take note of the waist at the top of the front side in the middle picture.  Cut out both pieces, you should have two mirror image pieces of the front and the back.
Lay the pieces right sides facing each other, and pin the pieces together at the crotch.  As shown in the photos on the right.
 Baby Pants c
Sew the crotch seams together.  I used a ball point needle and a regular straight stitch, not a stretch stitch, as the stretch goes in the other direction.  I then finished of the edges with an overlocker (serger).  If you don’t have an overlocker/serger then you can just leave the edge as it is, stretch shouldn’t fray.  Or you can zigzag to tidy and secure the edge.  You can sew the whole thing with just an overlocker but I prefer to sew first for the added strength in the seams.  It’s also a lot easier to unpick a mistake when sewing the first time round, trying to unpick an overlocked seam is impossible!
Baby Pants d

Lay your pieces flat with the right sides facing, and pin the inseam together.  I like to start at the crotch  in the centre as you can trim the legs if the pieces aren’t quite the same length.  Then sew and finish as you did for the crotch piece, it should look like the middle picture above.  Now you can pin the side seams together, still with the right sides facing.
Baby Pants e

I like to add a small ribbon tab to the outside leg seam.  I don’t have any personalised tags (I will be making some soon!), and I like the option to choose the colour.  I cut a piece about 2” (5cm) long, fold it in half with the right side out.  I tuck it into the seam with the cut sides lining up with the edge of the fabric and pin it in place.  Then sew and finish the side seams as you did for the crotch and inseam.  You just sew right over the ribbon tab.  You can now turn your pants the right way round!
Baby Pants f

It is time to cut out the cuff pieces, you will need to measure the bottom of the leg.  As you can see in the middle picture mine is roughly 3 1/2 inches (9cm), so I doubled this for the length, I didn’t leave any seam allowance as I want the cuff to be slightly smaller than the pants leg.  I needed to cut out two pieces of 4” (10cm) x 7” (18cm).  I liked the 4” (10cm) width but you can easily make the cuff smaller or larger as you like.
Baby Pants g

Fold your cuff pieces in half, right sides facing.  Sew and finish those just like the seams.  Fold over to make the cuff, make sure the right side is facing out.

Baby Pants h

Place the cuff over the pants leg, lining the seam up with the seam on the inside of the leg.  All the cut edges should line up on the outside.  Pin in place and sew, I used just the overlocker/serger for this, but you can sew and zigzag if you don’t have one.

Baby Pants i

Nearly there!!!  Just the waistband left to do, I measured Emily’s waist (19” – 48cm).  Or you can measure the waistband of the pants you are using as a pattern.  You will need to cut another piece of ribbing.  Again I used a 4” (10cm) width, which allowed plenty of room for the 1” (25mm) elastic.  My piece was 19” (48cm) x 4” (10cm).  Sew and fold the piece into a tube just like with the ankle cuffs, and sew the ends of your elastic together.  I sew my elastic by overlapping it by about and inch and zigzagging the overlapping edges.  I will add a photo of this soon (here it is!).  Place the elastic band inside the folded waistband and pin it in place.  Taking care to spread the gather, I like to gather the back slightly more than the front. Sew/overlock in the same way as the ankle cuffs.
Baby Pants 038
And there you have it!  All finished, a gorgeous pair of contrast baby pants.  Very comfortable and cute.