The Sly Little Fox and How She Got Pockets

I made the mistake of scrolling through my patterns and letting my 3 1/2-year-old daughter see the Stitch Upon a Time Riding Hood. She typically doesn’t request items for herself but immediately claimed this pattern as her own and decided she neeeeeded one. I’ve always wanted to make a cute animal poncho for her so between the Cozy French Terry from Phee Fabrics and the Riding Hood poncho. I decided it would be the perfect opportunity to ease into the fall with a piece of warm outerwear.

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Here in beautiful Northern California it may be Fall with a slight crispness in the morning air but during the day it’s still over 80°. I really feel that this foxy little hood is going to be perfect to toss on in the mornings while loading in the car seat and quick to toss in the backpack after it starts to warm up.

I already had my heart set on the Riding Hood but also wanted a fox theme. I searched for the perfect pattern for the ears and tail since I lack creativity when it comes to doing things freehand. I ultimately decided on the Twig and Tail Animal Hooded Scarf and modified the Stitch Upon A Time hood to accommodate ears. For the white I used the Phee Fabrics White Rayon Spandex. I made the tail removable for ease of using the potty.

I thought I had hit the jackpot when it all pulled together so I rushed in my excitement to have Z try it on!!!

“Does it have pockets?”

“No.”

“I can take this off now.”

… the sound of dreams deflating …

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This exchange left me debating. Do I add pockets, lose this battle and risk finding rocks, Legos, acorns or who knows what in my dryer? Or do I win this battle by adding pockets and have my girl love it? Yep, there was no way out of adding pockets!!!

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Since this Poveglia COZY French Terry from Phee Fabrics is already so soft and warm I opted for only one layer and hemmed around the bottom making pockets per the pattern instructions, not really an option so I had to improvise! I went ahead with the pocket facing and used my Cricut to cut a stencil for a sweet little heart pocket adding a girlie touch.

Once those magic pockets were added it was LOVE!!! Snaps make this easy on & off for her small hands and the ease of getting in & out of the car seat so much nicer on my back!

I think this is a winner!!!

S.U.A.T. Brazi/Calista Mash-Up

I love the Stitch Upon A Time Brazi pattern.  I was so intimidated to try making my own bra that I eyed it for a month before I finally bought the pattern!  Since then I’ve made several workout bras for myself, a nursing bra for my daughter and a Brazi dress that I wear all the time.  I’ve hacked it for straight straps and removable bra cups and decided, why not mash it with the S.U.A.T. Calista?  Once you feel comfortable with a pattern and know the best fabrics to make it with, it is easy to branch out and try something new with it.

Brazi patternPlease note that out of respect for the designers, and protection of their intellectual property, I will not show full pattern pieces.  I bought the cross-front add-on when I bought the Brazi pattern because I love the look and knew that it would be the most flattering for my body type.  But you can do the straight strap hack on the original pattern.  I simply marked my pattern where it curves from cup to strap, and folded it under 1/2″ above that.  I folded the back straps under and cut out my modified pattern pieces.  I cut four 2″x13″ rectangles out of my fabric as my strap and strap lining pieces.

Choosing the perfect fabric is always the fun part of sewing.  And using high quality fabric is key when making a supportive and functional bra.  I love using Phee Fabrics circular knit, nylon/spandex, and rayon/spandex for my Brazi’s.  But the not-so-secret part to trim powernetbeing successful at supporting “the girls” is powernet.  And I’m not talking the decorative looking mesh stuff I’ve seen at a national fabric and crafts store.  Phee Fabrics powernet is legit!  It holds everything where it belongs.

I cut out my pattern pieces using the same fabric for the main and lining pieces and also cut all my pieces out of powernet. I trim the powernet 1/8″ to 1/4″ smaller on all sides except the side seams.  

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Pin the trimmed powernet pieces to your lining pieces and baste in place.  Do not baste along the side seams!  To make the pocket for your bra cups, lay your cups on top of the bra front and mark the height.  Sewing a horizontal line across the height mark will keep your cups from shifting out of place.powernet basted

cross-frontSew your main and lining front pieces right side together.  The pattern tutorial recommends using elastic along the front edge of the cups.  Using the elastic adds another layer of security if you are concerned about anything showing when you lean forward.

back opening

I marked and pinned my back pieces together and left the center 4″ open when I sewed the top seam so that I would have room to insert the straps later.

sewing sideseamside seam sewn pinnedOpen up your front main and lining piece and match it up with your back main and lining.  Here’s the tricky part: sew the outer main fabric together, sewing down about an inch into the lining and then sew the bottom inch together.  Pull the lining fabric of the bra front out of the seam line and tuck it out of the way as you pin the powernet and back lining pieces together.  You may need to use your finger to hold the fabric out of the way as you sew the other 3 layers together.  This will give you the opening on the inside of the side seam for you to insert and remove a bra cup.

bra cup accessRepeat the process with the other side seam.  At this point you can follow the pattern directions about matching your center front notches, adjusting strap length, sewing on your bra band or skirt and adding the elastic.

hem dipSince I was adding the Calista skirt to the Brazi top, and the bottom of the two bras are different shapes, I knew that I might need to make some adjustments.  You might like the look of the dipped hem my mash produced, but I am kind of old school, and like my hems to be level with the floor.  I had an easy fix for my problem.

alter hemtrimmed hem

I laid the skirt pattern on the skirt, pivoted it up from the center front fold to 2″ above the side seams. I flipped the pattern over and repeated the process on the skirt back.  I hemmed the skirt and my Brazi/Calista mash-up was complete!

Although I can add bra cups if I want, I wore my new dress all day and took these photos without using any cups.  THAT is how well quality powernet works!  So hack and mash and sew away!  And enjoy wearing your comfortable, personalized creation.

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SAXX Hack for the COMOX Trunks

I wanted to do a follow up photo blog describing how to achieve the SAXX ‘sack’ hack in the COMOX Trunks. There is the video on youtube but sometimes with using black fabric and the camera being a little bit too far away it might be hard to see.

Altering the pattern piece

First you’re going to want to download the FREE extra gusset pattern piece in the Stitch Upon a Time facebook group files. These pattern piece is drafted for the BOXERWEAR but also works well with the COMOX. The boxerwear have a higher rise than the comox so first we need to cut the pattern piece down. I aligned the outer curved edge of the SUAT pattern piece with the outside curve of the comox pouch pattern piece and cut down the height of the SUAT piece to match. For Travis’ size it was about 1/4 inch from both the top and the bottom.

Assembling the SAXX ‘sack’

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There are two options for finishing the inside edge of the sack piece. You can either set your machine up to do a rolled hem using woolly nylon or you can us the picot plush elastic. I haaaaate taking needles out of my serger so I naturally went for the picot option.

With the plush side facing up align the straight edge of the elastic (not scalloped) with the straighter edge of your sack pattern piece on the RIGHT side and stitch together. Then you are going to flip the picot under so only the scalloped edge can be see from the right side. Then these sack pattern pieces are complete.

You’ll notice that the more narrow end of the sack piece is the top and the wider end of the sack piece will go on the bottom of the trunks.

Putting the pouch together

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Travis’ prefers to have the pouch without the accessibility option. To achieve this I cut four of the whole pouch piece without the cutout (where you would add the binding). Then with right sides together I stitch them together along the curve and repeated for the other set.

Now the pouch pieces are complete. To enclose the center seam this way I just put them wrong sides together, baste around the outside, and treat as one.

The longer straight edge of the pouch pieces are the top with the more narrow end being the bottom.

Enclosing seams using the accessibility pouch

If you’re using the accessibility option (how the pattern is drafted) and you want to have the center pouch seams enclosed you’re going to need to cut two of the same pattern piece for the cut out piece and the other full pouch piece. As drafted it says to cut two mirrored pieces of each one but this doesn’t allow for the center seam to be enclosed. If you cut two the same way when you face wrong sides together to complete the pouch, enclosing the seams, the access points will be on opposite sides.

Attaching the sack to the pouch

final sack

The curved edge of your sack pieces can now be attached (basted or clipped) to the outside curve of the basted pouch pieces. Remember that the smaller end of the sack piece is the top and the exposed side of the plush elastic should be facing the pouch. The pouch piece is now attached to the sack piece and you’ll assemble the rest of the pattern as the directions say.

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dont let the sack catch

When you’re attaching the gusset to the front of the comox trunks make sure to double check that your sack pieces are laying in the right direction. It’s really easy for them to get folded under and sewn on the wrong way.

Attaching the leg binding

For the legs I did a single fold bias. I cut the piece at 80% of the leg opening by 1.25 inches and it seemed to work perfectly for the rayon spandex. First I quartered each of the legs as well as the bands. Then matching up the quarter points with right sides together I serged around with a 3/8 inch seam allowance. After doing that I took the raw edge of the bias and folded it up and over the serged seam. From there I just topstitched using a zig zag stitch from the right side. You could also use a double needle or a coverstitch machine for this and it’d work even better!

I hope this helps clear up any confusion and if you have any questions please just ask!

-Whitney

Panty Empowered

Potty training – not for the faint of heart! When I finally decided it was time to start teaching this new skill to my 3 year old, I was terrified. I cried more than I care to admit, but in the end it was definitely harder for me than my son (a mothers worry is FIERCE!!)

So what does all this have to do with sewing? So many people told me, and I thought this would be the “Golden Ticket” to success, “Just let him pick out some fun undies and he will be so motivated and never want to mess them up.” Sounds easy, right?

I did what any mama would do and ran right out and bought those undies. But them I put them on him and I could barely get those suckers on him! How in the world was he going to learn to pull up his own pants or pull them down in time to make it to the potty?!?!

My obvious next thought, which would have sounded insane to me a few years ago before I knew how to sew, was to make them myself. BEST DECISION!

Making undies for kids, and adults alike, takes hardly any fabric, sews up super quick and fit and feel better than anything you can buy in the store. I had bought the SUAT Kids Scundies a while back with plans to make training pants a while before starting and of course that never happened in time. I just went right to making big boy undies. I told my son about it and he got to pick out fabric – ok, he got to approve the fabric I had already picked out but he felt in charge, LOL

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I had scraps from a tank and t-shirt I made him and my husband back in June from Phee Fabrics. The oatmeal rayon spandex is so soft, perfect for little tushies (big ones too!) From cut to sew, two pairs were done in under an hour and he loves them! The best part is that he can get them on and off himself. Knit waistbands and soft, stretchy fabric is perfect for little hands trying to learn a new motor skill of maneuvering clothes – super important when you are trying to empowering kids to be independent and avoid accidents from getting “mucked up” with difficult clothes.

And an added bonus – the cutest little undies ever!!!

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