Adding/Replacing Long Sleeves on a T-Shirt

I’m finding as the seasons change (we’re slow about season changing here in Southern CA) that Eli has outgrown most of his existing long sleeved shirts. I’m trying to go the frugal route these days and as he has plenty of short sleeved T-shirts that fit him well I decided to try adding long sleeves to them.

Here’s how I went about doing so:

I started with this shirt. Yea, already has long sleeves, but they were at one time in the distant past white and no amount of laundering or stain treatment is returning them to their former glory, so this shirt had been pulled from rotation some time ago. The shirt itself is fine though and one of Eli’s favorites, so we’ll just switch out the sleeve.

Carefully clip it free… so much faster than seam ripping!

Open it up and trace it onto freezer paper to make a pattern. I did seam rip the side seam to preserve the side seam allowances. Add 1/4″ at the top to account for what was left behind when cutting it from the shirt. (I think you could probably make a pattern easily enough by tracing the sleeve of a long sleeved shirt still attached, doubling it mirror image and adding a seam allowance.) Leaving the bottom without allowance for hemming was on purpose as I plan to use the hemmed bottom of another t-shirt for the sleeve.

Iron the pattern to your donor shirt. I loved this yellow stripy shirt that became hideously stained by Colic Calm long ago. (Wonderful product… deadly to fabric.)

Open the side seam of your sleeve a little ways.

Sew the top part of the long sleeve to the bottom part of the short sleeve. This can be done by machine. I did it by hand as I was out of brown thread that would have blended in with the existing serged line of stitching and I thought a contrasting machine stitch would just look tacky, especially if I wavered at all which often happens with me. I also liked that the front of the shirt has an embellishment of brown embroidery, and a printed-to-look-hand-embroidered line around Elmo. On the sleeves the darker red stripes are machine embroidered, so I thought carrying the motif over to the attachment of the sleeve with a little pop of red might be fun.

Pin and sew up the sides of the sleeve. For this I did use the machine. (Use a zigzag stitch).

Turn right side out and enjoy the “new” shirt!

I also used the same pattern piece to make long sleeves to add to a short sleeved t-shirt. This time I sewed up the side seam of the sleeve ahead of time and then attached it to the short sleeve by hand. I did it this way simply because I didn’t feel like ripping open the side seam of the short sleeve and I knew I was needing a little handwork to bring along with me for a time I knew I’d be sitting around waiting for Jeff and Eli. The dark blue on the bottom is just some left over neck ribbing from another old t-shirt that I added for an extra pop of color.

I hope you find this tutorial helpful in extending your little one’s wardrobe through another season.

Thanks for reading!

Karen

Here’s where I’m linking up:

Sunday:

I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo Toesjembellish clothes upcycling page,

Blissful and Domestic,

Monday:

Get Outta My Head PleaseSkip to My LouThe Gunny SackSew Can Do,

C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet homeCraft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Sarahndipities ,

The Cure for the Common Monday, A Round Tuit,

Tuesday:

Not Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerHome Stories A to Z, Crafty Confessions,

Homemade Tuesday,  Today’s Assignment,

Antiprocrastination TuesdayTake-a-Look Tuesday,  Nifty Thrifty Tuesday,

The Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and SchwinHeart and Soul Blog Hop

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally Sustainable,  Lil’ LunaSomeday CraftsWhimsy

WednesdayWaste Not Want Not Wednesday, The Country Homemaker Hop,

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit BearThriving on Thursdays

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderAnything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour Projects

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Naptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestFrench Country Cottage, The Charm of HomeThe Grant Life,

At the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge, One Artsy Mama

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands, Hello Weekend,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

Easy Linen Shirt

This past week I attacked my second project from the book Sewing for Boys, the Easy Linen Shirt. I would have had to agree with the name of the shirt and the many other bloggers who rave about how simple this shirt really is to construct, until I got to the collar. Maybe it’s my beginner status, or the fact I seem to have trouble following directions (and therefor using other people’s patterns) but it took me a long time, a lot of fiddling, a bit of swallowing back the curse words I was so sorely tempted to emit, and in the end it was a less than perfect execution. Still, I’m happy with the shirt, feel I learned and grew from the experience. And Eli is thrilled with his new threads, so all in all, definitely a worthwhile experience.

Ooops! Forgot to iron it for the picture!

This shirt contains parts of an old linen shirt and skirt of mine, a men’s cotton shirt and the elephants are courtesy of a Banana Republic canvas shopping bag. I made the 4/5 size so the arms are a bit too long for Eli still.

A little touch of embroidery.

Because I did some of the sewing while he played nearby in the living room, I sang to him a little ditty I made up so as to buy myself a little time before he was too impatient to have me playing with him again. It went, “Mama’s making Eli and elephant shirt, elephant shirt, an elephant shirt. Mama’s making Eli an elephant shirt, that he can wear to __(insert a place he likes to go to)__.”  It worked. He’d say “Again, again, again!” after each verse. After we’d run through it a few times, I began to leave the last word out for him to fill in himself. EVERY TIME he’d exclaim “Ikea!” Usually followed by “Eli go to Ikea?! Eli go now! Go in the silver car!!” Yeah, Eli, Mama likes Ikea too. But we can’t go every day.

Large Elephant from a canvas Banana Republic shopping bag someone had passed on to me.

I used french seams on the arms and side seams. It was only my second time doing so… the first time being over two years ago. I’m loving how finished it looks! If the seam looks wide to you it’s because it is. I misread 3/8″ seams throughout as 5/8″ (I kept hearing the refrain printed in the comment section of just about every elementary report card I ever had (“doesn’t listen and follow instructions”) as I dealt with the consequences of this. Luckily the shirt is a size bigger than Eli currently wears for things made from this book so it will still fit for a while. It may be a bit tight by the time his arms grow into the sleeves though.

Here’s my little guy showing off his new shirt.

He’s always done with the photo session before I am!

Thanks for reading!

Karen

Here’s where I’m linking up:

Tea Rose Home

Sunday:

I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo ToesMy 1929 Charmer Blogjembellish clothes

upcycling pageBlissful and Domestic,

Monday:

Get Outta My Head PleaseSkip to My LouThe Gunny SackSew Can Do,

Singing Three Little Birds,  C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Sarahndipities The Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

Not Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerHome Stories A to Z, Tell Me TuesdayCrafty Confessions,

Homemade Tuesday, Tuesday To DoToday’s Assignment,

Antiprocrastination TuesdayTake-a-Look Tuesday,  Nifty Thrifty Tuesday,

The Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and SchwinHeart and Soul Blog Hop

Heart and Soul Blog Hop

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally Sustainable,  Lil’ LunaSomeday CraftsWhimsy

WednesdayWhatcha Work Up WednesdayWaste Not Want Not Wednesday,

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit BearThriving on Thursdays

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderAnything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour Projectskojodesigns,

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Release Me CreationsNaptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestFrench Country Cottage, The Charm of HomeThe Grant Life,

At the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge, One Artsy Mama2805,

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

 

Personalized Knee Patches

Jeans with broken snap replaced with a button.

You may remember these jeans from last January when I posted this tutorial about how to replace a broken snap with a button. (That repair job is still holding quite well, by the way.)

Well these jeans have seen heavy usage over the months. Because they were so long on him initially they fit perfectly now that we no longer cuff them up. Unfortunately the knees were giving out. I could tell at the last washing that with one more wear we’d have some impressive holes unless I acted right away.

I rather like these patches… and more importantly so does Eli. If your kid is going to wear patched clothing, the repair might as well add a fun element, right?

Here are a couple of close up shots of Eli’s new knee-art.

Eli’s not big on greetings. He needs to warm up before talking to people. Perhaps his jeans can go beyond the call of just providing for his warmth, protection and modesty and take on a bit of the pressure of social greeting expectations as well. Most likely though they’ll just give his knees a new degree of cuteness.

I didn’t think to photograph the making of the knee patches because I wasn’t thinking about blogging or tutorials when I made them… I just wanted to save a favorite pair of jeans. But after they were done I thought they’d be fun to share. If you are currently pitching worn jeans or buying those stiff iron on patches you might be interested in this sloppily sketched carefully hand-drawn tutorial.

I like this method because it doesn’t cost anything when I just use left-over scraps of cloth, is a double layer allowing me to use cute cloth that wouldn’t be strong enough to do a patch job on it’s own, and the patches are really soft, unlike the iron on patches used during my childhood (I saw they still sell those things in the fabric store).

Step 1

Cut out two pieces of fabric large enough to cover the hole or weak spot in the knee adding and extra 1/4″ all the way around.

Step 2

Place the fabric right sides together and sew around leaving a gap in the sewing on one side through which you will turn it right side out. When done snip off the corners to reduce bulk.

Step 3

Turn right side out. The strange looking pen marks to the left symbolize the gap where you didn’t sew.

Step 4

Tuck the raw edges of the fabric into the gap, pin and then top stitch all the way around the patch.

Step 5

Hand sew the patch onto the pants using a blind stitch. Be careful not to sew the front of the jeans to the back of the jeans as you do this. This is a good task to do while relaxing in front of the TV at night.

Embellishments

You probably want to do any embellishing at the end of step 4 and before the patch is sewn onto the jeans. I didn’t with these… the idea presented itself after I had completed the repair job. It really wasn’t difficult to do even though I had already sewn on the patches. You can embroider, add an applique or a store-bought embroidered patch (you know, the decorative kind), or you could stencil on a design with fabric paint and freezer paper. Or, if you chose to use some really cute cloth you could just leave well enough alone.

So, go forth and save some holey jeans! (You know there are at least a couple of pair in the bottom of your kid’s drawer.)

Here’s where I’m linking up:

Sunday:

I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo ToesMy 1929 Charmer Blog,

jembellish clothes upcycling pageBlissful and Domestic,

Monday:

Get Outta My Head PleaseSkip to My LouThe Gunny SackSew Can Do,

Singing Three Little Birds,  C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Sarahndipities The Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

Not Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerHome Stories A to Z, Tell Me TuesdayCrafty Confessions,

Homemade Tuesday, Tuesday To DoToday’s Assignment,

Antiprocrastination TuesdayTake-a-Look Tuesday,  Nifty Thrifty Tuesday,

The Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and SchwinHeart and Soul Blog Hop

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally Sustainable,  Lil’ LunaSomeday CraftsWhimsy

WednesdayWhatcha Work Up Wednesday

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit BearThriving on Thursdays

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderAnything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour Projects

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Naptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestFrench Country Cottage, The Charm of HomeThe Grant Life,

At the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge, One Artsy Mama,

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

Reversible Bubble Pants

I’ve been doing so much sewing lately to get ready for the little girl we expect next March.   Since a second, very in depth ultrasound (thanks to my “advanced maternal age”, such a lovely phrase, don’t yo think? no? me neither) confirmed that indeed she is a she, I’ve begun sewing girly stuff! (Thankfully all of the important stuff they were looking at in the ultrasound seem just fine!) She does seem to be a modest one though and really made the doctor work to determine her gender, first crossing her legs and later by covering her privates with her hand. But back to the sewing…

I posted that I’d be focusing on cloth diaper accommodating pants, and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. These first couple I’m going to show you I just love. They are Reversible Bubble Pants from the book Growing Up Sew Liberated. (This is the same book that gave me the pattern for the baby nightgowns.)If these won’t cover a fluffy bottom and still leave room for mobility I don’t know what would!

On the left are the 6 – 12 month side, 0 – 6 months on the right. Right now they seem huge, but babies grow so quickly. I plan to make at least one more pair in the 12 – 18 month size, and then may make second pairs in each size as well after that.

Both pairs of pants  were made from cast-off knit clothing. This pair is in especially pre-loved fabric. I had a wonderful art teacher in high school who made a big difference in my life. My senior year she had a shirt that was made from fabric almost identical to the outer fabric on this pair of pants. A couple of years after graduation I found a dress in a thrift store that reminded me of her and I couldn’t help buying it. I’ve never been one to wear dresses often, but on the fairly rare occasions that I did this was my go to dress for about 6 years after that. When I pulled it out of my closet a week ago I could see it was really hopelessly out of date in style (I’ve worn it perhaps twice in the past 10 years) and had picked up a stain or two along the way. I just had never gotten rid of it due to the sentimental nature of the dress. Cutting it up to make pants for my baby though was easy! I can’t wait to see my daughter in this fabric, and have some more left over that will doubtless become other things for her to wear. (The lining fabric was from a t-shirt. I couldn’t avoid a bit of the printing on the front of the shirt which you may notice at the top of the waist band in the photo. It won’t be visible when worn though, and although these are reversible pants with all seams hidden between the two layers, I’d always want the special fabric on the outside anyway!)

And here is the rear view… Yep, plenty of room for a well padded little tookis!

Thanks for reading!

Here’s where I’m linking up:

Sunday:

I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo ToesMy 1929 Charmer Blog,

jembellish clothes upcycling page

Monday:

Get Outta My Head PleaseSkip to My LouThe Gunny SackSew Can Do,

Singing Three Little BirdsC.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Sarahndipities The Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

Tasteful TuesdayNot Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerThe Kurtz CornerI’m Topsy TurvyTip Junkie,

Raising 4 PrincessesThe Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and Schwin,

Jembellish Clothes Upcycling Project, Tuesday Baby Link Up

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally SustainableSomeday CraftsLil’ Luna,

Whimsy Wednesday, Whatcha Work Up Wednesday

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit BearThriving on Thursdays

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderAnything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour ProjectsThreading My Way,

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Release Me CreationsNaptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestFrench Country Cottage, The Charm of HomeThe Grant Life,

At the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge, One Artsy Mama2805,

Just Winging It

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

E is for Eli!

Due to Eli’s recent growth spurt most of his Mama-mades have been packed away or soon will be. Of course this would be when Eli decides that Mama-made clothing is the BEST.THING.EVER. As in “Don’t even think I will get dressed for pre-school without having a meltdown if there isn’t a handmade shirt to wear today!” Luckily on that morning I was able to dig out one last candidate from the shirt drawer that still fit… but barely.

So between the many pairs of baby pants, nightgowns, fitted cloth diapers and diaper covers on my baby-prep sewing list it has been imperative that I sew a few new items for Eli as well.

Here is his latest shirt.

E is for Eli Shirt

I got the idea a long time ago from Dana’s Sprinkle Shirt, which she published way back in 2008. I’ve loved this idea for a long time and it was one of the first kids’ clothing tutorials I ever pinned. Now that Eli is getting really enthused about letter learning it was the perfect time to give it a go!

The shirt itself is part of my ongoing process of learning to sew from patterns. This pattern is a simple t-shirt pattern from Kwik Sew’s Sewing for Toddlers by Kerstin Martensson that Kelly at ReStitch Me recommended to me a while back. The photos are very dated (1980’s) but the clothing is so basic it still works with more modern fabric and embellishment choices. Eli is already using the largest size in the book though so I will soon be looking for a new t-shirt pattern. If anyone can recommend a particular Ottobre edition for a very basic gender neutral t-shirt pattern I’d be most interested.

I don’t know why I find it so challenging to use patterns, but I do. It seems that I had to rip out and redo almost every part of this shirt at least once. So many stupid mistakes were made, and perhaps part of that can be blamed on pregnancy brain. (Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.) I couldn’t very well just give up and trash the project though because Eli had watched me embroider the E with much delight and was following the construction of the shirt with focused attention. I actually cut the tan pieces so short as a mistake and then didn’t have enough fabric left in that repurposed t-shirt to fix my mistake. Color blocking seems to be in these days though, so we’ll just pretend I did it on purpose!

I also used the making of this shirt as the occasion to finally try out the twin needle I bought, oh, probably about a year ago. I found it such an intimidating idea, but everyone else that has used one and blogged about it always seems to say that is is actually rather simple to use and quite satisfying as well. Now that I’ve finally taken the plunge I’d have to say that I agree.

Wearing his E shirt and playing with his train. Please excuse the bed head. 🙂

Since I’ve made this shirt Eli wears it almost constantly. The first time I put it on him he immediately wrapped his arms around my neck in a big hug and then spent the rest of the evening periodically giving my arm little love pats. It requires prolonged negotiations to get it off of him to be able to wash it. He also tells anyone who comments on his big E shirt “Mama made it!” Nope, it just doesn’t get much better than that! I need to make a few more shirts and pronto though so that he isn’t always wearing the same soon-to-be grungy shirt!

Here’s where I’m linking up:

Sunday:

Homemaker on a Dime,  I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo ToesMy 1929 Charmer Blog,

What I Wore Sundayjembellish clothes upcycling page, A Round Tuit

Monday:

Get Outta My Head PleaseSkip to My LouThe Gunny SackSew Can Do,

Singing Three Little BirdsC.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Sarahndipities The Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

At Home With KNot Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerThe Kurtz CornerI’m Topsy TurvyTip Junkie,

Raising 4 PrincessesThe Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and Schwin

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally SustainableThe Shady PorchLil’ Luna,

Someday CraftsPassionately ArtisticWhatever WednesdayTrendy Tots,

Whimsy Wednesday

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit BearThriving on Thursdays

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderAnything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour ProjectsThreading My Way,

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Release Me CreationsNaptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestFrench Country Cottage, The Charm of HomeThe Grant Life,

At the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge, One Art Mama2805,

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

Easy Fix for Toddler Pants That Won’t Stay Up

I’ve been doing a lot of mending lately, most of it makes for pretty dull blog fodder, but it has to be done. I’ll share this particular fix though, because for how very simple and seemingly uninspired it is I actually spent a couple of days trying to figure out how to attack the problem of toddler pants that constantly migrate south.Eli received this pair of pants as a gift over a year ago and I have been awaiting the day when he would finally grow into them. Lengthwise they are now perfect, but they are just a smidge too wide to actually stay up. Even the best looking pair of pants fail to look their best when slipping below the derriere in public.

I had found this excellent and easy tutorial for fixing this problem, but since these pants unbutton I couldn’t run a complete circle of elastic all the way around the inside of the  waist.

Instead I just attached a small length of elastic to each side. It is whipstitched on each end by hand and will be super easy to remove when Eli grows a bit wider.

Simple, huh? So why did it take me a few days to figure it out?? Sigh… But now he’s wearing the pants, and actually objects to removing them, so it’s all good.

Easiest No-Sew Bibs

If you want to make adorable bibs for your little nosher here is a great tutorial I found at Sewingdork.blogspot.com. I mean look at ’em, what’s not to love?!

Unfortunately, I’m a slacker when it comes to sewing what is destined to be blackberry, sunflower seed butter and tomato sauce besmirched.  While I might let Eli eat in store- bought clothing when we are out of clean bibs, if he is wearing a mama-made item that day, at meal time he will suddenly find himself playing for the skins team.

This has been happening fairly frequently as with only 3 people in our household, he runs out of bibs between loads of laundry being washed.

Enter the t-shirt bonanza of 2010.

A  local t-shirt printing company advertised on Freecycle that they had a misprint order of 3 boxes of t-shirts to give away. I was just beginning to sew with knit material so I claimed one of the boxes. Oh my goodness, but I found myself awash in black t-shirts as the box contains I-don’t-know-how-many shirts… 50? 70? I don’t want to take them out of their tightly packed state just to count them and then not be able to store them again as neatly afterwards. All I know is that the box was quite heavy! Seriously, if you live locally (Orange County, CA)  and would like to share in the bonanza please contact me. If I were to endeavor to use all this fabric Eli would be quickly labeled “Goth” even at the tender age of 2.

Since I don’t use the front decal part of the shirt when harvesting fabric, using it for a bib makes perfect sense.

So here’s my tutorial for other people with an abundance of old t-shirts itching for a new purpose. As an added benefit you’ll find your dresser drawers easier to close! (Tell me I’m not the only lazy bum unmotivated person when it comes to articles of clothing destined for destruction.)

1. Cut a rectangle out of an existing unloved t-shirt long enough to cover the belly and a bit of the lap of your future fastidious diner. Include the neck band. Make as many as necessary to cover all meals between loads of laundry. (Save the rest of the fabric from the shirts for other projects. (Time investment: approximately 45 seconds. Use the rest of naptime to sew that pair of Treasure Pocket Pants or the Charlie Tunic you’ve been itching to make.)

2. Soil.

3. Wash.

4. Repeat.

Now if you want both sewing time dedicated to clothing you’ll be proud to see your little one wearing in public, and cute bibs as well (I admit, my bibs are way down there down there at the ugly end of the attractiveness spectrum), here are some wonderful bibs I found on Etsy:

Baby Bibs, Set of 2, Organic, Circa 52 Woodland Friends and Cotton Fleece

from Sir Bubbadoo. Really hard to beat a woodland theme if your shooting for cuteness.

Gender Neutral Baby Bib - Lime Green Giraffes and Chenille

from The Posh Pea Boutique. We like just about anything giraffe around here!

organic baby bib (white elephant)

From Down Home Amy. Love the quilting and the whimsical elephant!

So if you also find yourself short on bibs, go forth and cut, sew or buy!

Thanks for the visit!

Karen

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Related articles

Here’s where I’m linking up:

Sunday:

Homemaker on a Dime,  I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo ToesMy 1929 Charmer Blog,

What I Wore Sunday

Monday:

Get Outta My Head PleaseSkip to My LouThe Gunny SackSew Can Do,

Singing Three Little BirdsEtcetorizeC.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Artful RisingSarahndipities ,

Everything Under the MoonThe Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

At Home With KNot Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerThe Kurtz CornerI’m Topsy TurvyTip Junkiethe space between,

Raising 4 PrincessesThe Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and Schwin

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally SustainableThe Shady PorchLil’ Luna,

Someday CraftsPassionately ArtisticWhatever WednesdayTrendy TotsWhimsy Wednesday

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit Bear, Thriving on Thursdays

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderSaved by Love CreationsAnything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour Projectskojodesigns,

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Release Me CreationsNaptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestFrench Country Cottage, The Charm of HomeThe Grant Life,

At the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge, One Art Mama2805Jembellish

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

Shamelessly Lazy Toddler Jeans

I came into possession of this pair of adult jeans with a busted out seat. Not a whole lot could be done to restore them, but I liked the pocket design and the wear pattern of the denim. I decided to see if I could make a pair of pants for Eli with them without first creating a freezer paper pattern. I figured if I truly botched the experiment I was only out a pair of pants destined for disposal anyway.

First I took a pair of Eli’s current pants and folded them in half showing the back pocket. I laid this on the sacrificial donor jeans and traced around them with my trusty soap sliver.

I then added a seam allowance… here I would remind you to refer to the title of this post… no measuring, I just moved over a bit and marked a new line. I also extended the length quite a bit for good measure.

After cutting this piece out I flipped it over upside down onto the other leg, traced around it and cut it out.

I repeated the process with the front side of the pants. Refold current well-fitting pants to front side, place, trace, added seam allowance, cut, flip to other side, repeat tracing and cutting.

Now I sewed the front and back pieces of the pant legs together. They didn’t match up too well at the bottom, but I had included enough fabric down there that in the end it just wouldn’t matter.

I chose brown thread to match the brown trim on the pockets but found after I top stitched the side seams the I didn’t have enough thread for the rest of the project. Why didn’t I run out for more thread, or redo the top stitching with other thread? How soon you for get the title of this post!

The pockets from the original jeans were then pinned in place on the side of the pant legs. These were then sewn on following the wear lines left by the original thread. I realized here I was glad to have run out of the brown thread; the natural color is much nicer!

Sew up the inside seam of the pant leg. In your rush don’t forget to sew on the second pocket first. Being lazy (or at least distracted and forgetful, a.k.a. sleep deprived) can result in double the work. Hello seam ripper!

Turn one leg inside out and insert one leg into the other so that the right sides are touching each other.

Trim the legs so they are even. I lined up one of the guide lines of the ruler with the side seam to get a straight across cut.

I grabbed another pair of Eli’s pants to find the length. I matched up the four corners point of the crotch seam and then marked where the leg ended on the new pair of pants. See, no tiresome measuring!

This is the point where I appear to have forgotten to take pictures. (See what happens when you choose to learn from a lazy person? You have no one to blame but yourself!)

Ahem… Anyway, I turned the pant legs inside out and then turned up the leg until the soap mark appeared at the very bottom edge. Then I tucked the raw edge in so that it appeared that it had been turned up and then turned up again. This way there is enough material that as Eli grows I can take these out and lower the hem a bit. That and I wasn’t made to measure. Then I sewed around making sure I caught the raw edge on the inside. The second leg was then sewn to match the first.

Now onto the waistband. I use 1″ elastic. In this case it was elastic I salvaged from an old pair of shorts some time ago which meant I spent nothing on these jeans! I cut the waistband strip out of fabric from an old dress… 3″ wide and I got the length from the width of the top of the pants doubled and with 1/2″ added for seam allowance.

This is the one time that being exact with the seam allowance mattered as these fabrics don’t have much stretch and need to match up to be sewn together. I’m loving this handy-dandy tool I bought during my quilting days and recently rediscovered.

Once joined fold the loop in half by bringing the top edge down to meet the bottom edge leaving the seam allowances on the inside.

Since I did no math or measurements in the beginning I now had to adjust the height of the pants with the added waistband. The original height of the fabric went up to the top of the waistband of the pair of pants I traced onto the blue jeans, but I had added no extra fabric for folding over and inserting elastic into as I knew I’d be adding this type of a waistband. I decided to trim off the inch that would be the new added waistband, but leave 1/2″ for seam allowance where they would be sewn together. (In the end, the pants don’t quite rise as much as I think they should. In an effort to avoid old man pants I ended up with something closer to Joey Fusco, Jr.pants… well, not quite THAT bad, but next time I think I will not trim and just add the waistband to the existing height of fabric.)

Thankfully, the diaper underneath rises higher than the back of the pants. Don’t want my boy learning that it’s normal to feel a breeze that low when you bend over!

Once again I forgot to get pictures for a brief interval of time in which a fair amount ws accomplished. In my post on Knee-Pleat Pants I have this part well described and photographed if the following steps leave you feeling befuddled.

Pin the folded ring of fabric around the top of the pants with the folded edge down. Sew all the way around. Zigzag or serge the raw edges. Top stitch just below the waistband.

Open up the inside seam of the waistband to pass through the elastic.

Attach something to the elastic to allow you to easily pass it through the waistband. My usual trusty diaper pin was no where to be found so I used this key chain thingy instead.

Overlap the ends of the elastic by about 1″ and sew together. Check first to make sure the elastic isn’t twisted  inside the waistband. Sew up the back seam of the waistband and the Shamelessly Lazy Toddler Jeans are finished!

He finally wore himself out chasing his wagon down the hill and then pushing it back up. I didn’t ask him to lie down on the sidewalk, but when he did I was able to get some not-so-blurry photos.

It lasted for a moment.

And then the moment was over.

The final analysis? I’m pretty happy with the way these turned out. I’m very happy with how easy and quickly they came together. Oh, and you can’t forget that delightful quality of being free! Next time I will make the pants have a higher rise at the waist and be a bit less full in the front. Neither of these are super big problems with this pair of pants though, especially as his shirts generally cover both imperfections. He’s getting plenty of wear out of them already!

Thanks for reading!

Karen

I’ve been featured!

Etcetorize

Here’s where I’m linking up.

Sunday:

Homemaker on a Dime,  I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo ToesMy 1929 Charmer Blog,

What I Wore Sunday

Monday:

Get Outta My Head PleaseSkip to My LouThe Gunny SackSew Can Do,

Singing Three Little BirdsEtcetorizeC.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Artful RisingSarahndipities ,

Everything Under the MoonThe Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

At Home With KNot Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerThe Kurtz CornerI’m Topsy TurvyTip Junkiethe space between,

Raising 4 PrincessesThe Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and Schwin

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally SustainableThe Shady PorchLil’ Luna,

Someday CraftsPassionately ArtisticWhatever WednesdayTrendy Tots

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit Bear,

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderSaved by Love CreationsAnything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour Projectskojodesigns,

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Release Me CreationsNaptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestFrench Country Cottage, The Charm of HomeThe Grant Life,

At the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge, One Art Mama2805Jembellish

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

Hello And Goodbye Shirt

This shirt I made for Eli last year. I’m glad it will fit him this summer. It is the first shirt I ever made and I was feeling pretty intimidated by the idea of adding sleeves at the time.

The images are just Clorox bleach gel pen drawn on black knit material. I attached them with Heat & Bond and then stitched around them with thread that matched the fabric of the collar and around the arms.

The picture on the back of the shirt I copied from a drawing a four year old neighbor had made for me.

Once Eli starts making representational drawings I think I will have quite a bit of fun turning his designs into shirts! (I also like this idea of turning children’s drawings into softies.)

Thanks for reading!

Karen

I was featured!

Here’s where I’m linking up.

Sunday:

Homemaker on a Dime,  I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo ToesMy 1929 Charmer Blog,

Threading My Way

Monday:

Get Outta My Head PleaseSkip to My LouThe Gunny SackSew Can Do,

Singing Three Little BirdsEtcetorizeC.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Artful RisingSarahndipities ,

Everything Under the MoonThe Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

At Home With KNot Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerThe Kurtz CornerI’m Topsy TurvyTip Junkiethe space between,

Raising 4 PrincessesThe Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and Schwin

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally SustainableThe Shady PorchLil’ Luna,

Someday CraftsPassionately ArtisticWhatever WednesdayTrendy Tots

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit Bear,

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderSaved by Love CreationsAnything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour Projectskojodesigns,

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Release Me CreationsNaptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestFrench Country Cottage, The Charm of HomeThe Grant Life,

At the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge, One Art Mama2805Pencilled Daydream

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

A Boy and His Giraffe

Meet ‘Raff, Eli’s new best buddy.

Eli has never before gotten attached to any of his stuffed animals.  My husband’s mother passed long before I met him so I never had the pleasure of knowing her, but one of the many things she was known for in the family was her love of giraffes. I think Eli’s Grandma Beverly would have been pleased by his choice. And look at that face. It does exude it’s fair share of personality. Eli likes to have ‘Raff do everything he does these days, including playing the guitar, coloring and reading stories (this involves bobbing his head along to the rhythm of the words). Thankfully we’ve been able to help ‘Raff avoid any forced participation in water play thus far.

After my first success with putting sleeves into a garment with my blanket sweater I decided it was time to try making t-shirts. I traced one of Eli’s current shirts to make a pattern and cut the pieces out of an old pair of yoga pants.

I first learned about making freezer paper stencils and using bleach pens from I Am Momma Hear Me Roar. It was finally (almost a year later) time to give it a whirl myself. I love the orange-brown color you get when bleaching black fabric. Just perfect for Eli’s giraffe! I was horrible about taking photos along the way for this project, but really wouldn’t have improved upon Cherie’s tutorial anyway. Kelley over at Restitch Me has also done some amazing work with freezer paper stencils. Check out the Hunger Games shirts she made for her teenagers here.

After I bleached the giraffe shape I embroidered around the edge and then added the facial features and the spots. A spot of mane at the top of the head and a tassel on the tail finished it off.

This project would never have been possible if Aunt Misa hadn’t completely charmed my son and spent copious amounts of time with him over the past week. Thanks, Misa!

I was told as a child that if you are good at embroidery the backside of your project will look as good as the front. Obviously I’m not very good at embroidery. I was pretty sure Eli would find all of the threads and knots irritating against his skin, and I shuddered to think of what could happen in the wash with things like bra clasps or velcro, so I sewed another piece of knit fabric over the back of the giraffe.

Once the giraffe was completed all that remained was to put the shirt together.

I’m pleased for the most part with how it came out. There are areas on it that look a little wonky to me, but nothing so bad that I feel compelled to rip out and resew. It’s a learning process and I think I will do better on the next shirt. I have quite a few other ideas on the drawing board.

Thanks for reading!

Karen

I’ve been featured!

Here’s where I’m linking up.

Sunday:

Homemaker on a Dime,  I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo ToesMy 1929 Charmer Blog,

Monday:

Get Outta My Head PleaseSkip to My LouThe Gunny SackSew Can Do,

Singing Three Little BirdsEtcetorizeC.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Artful Rising,

Sarahndipities Just Winging ItEverything Under the Moon,

The Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

At Home With KNot Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerThe Kurtz CornerI’m Topsy TurvyTip Junkiethe space between,

Raising 4 PrincessesThe Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and Schwin

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally SustainableThe Shady PorchTea Rose HomeLil’ Luna,

Someday CraftsPassionately ArtisticWhatever WednesdayTrendy Tots

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit Bear,

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderSaved by Love Creations,

Between U & Me,  Anything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour Projectskojodesigns,

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Release Me CreationsNaptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestFrench Country Cottage, The Charm of HomeThe Grant Life,

At the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge, One Art Mama2805, Pencilled Daydream

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

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