Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sneak Peek of something NEW!

Well, since my youngest is now potty-trained... I will soon stop sewing cloth diapers (at least none for my own family). Soooo, I have taken on a few new projects.

One is a quilt that my son requested I sew for him over a year ago made from many of his old character pajamas. He told me I was NOT allowed to give away several of them. So, I am trying to get that done before Christmas for him.

I also have to make him two pairs of pajamas before his birthday (on Halloween).

AND, I promised a friend that I would help her sew some costumes for a stage show that she'll be doing in November.

BUT, lastly is a little project that I have taken on for some of my online sewing friends.
It is an "SSC" or "Soft Structured Carrier." I will be making two adult-size patterns for baby/toddler-wearing... but, I will also be doing matching doll-carrier patterns for kids!
I will also be selling a few "kits" that include buckles, triglides, and the straps (webbing) needed for each pattern.

Here is a little preview graphic of just the INSIDE of the adult carrier (I don't want to give too much away just yet)!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ruffle-butt diaper, cover, or AI2 shell

After posting the pics of the first one, I was asked to do a photo-tutorial while I made the next one. So, here you go. :)

Basically, it is no different than your typical diaper. Just prep a couple extra pieces before sewing the layers together. The ruffle section (I bought pre-layered and pre-gathered lace ruffles by the yard at my local fabric store), and the top printed fabric section.
Fold under the edge of your print fabric and pin in your layers together, with your ruffle below your printed fabric, so that there is enough space between the ruffle and the edge for your seam allowance plus your top-stitching.
Stitch the three layers together.
The view from the back of the top layer (PUL in this case) showing the first seam.
Now do the same with the printed fabric and the main body panel at the top edge. Also leaving enough space for the seam-allowance and the top-stitching.
The view from the back.
If you'll be adding snaps, this would be the time to apply them at the front (waist and rise in this case). For PUL-outer diapers, I use a second partial layer of PUL to back my snaps.
Now the top layer is all prepared. I am doing a fleece-inner cover (could also be an AI2 shell).
Pin up your ruffle (not through the PUL to avoid more punctures... just through the printed fabric) so that you don't catch any of it when sewing your layers together.
Pin or clip your layers together before sewing or serging around the edges. Lay the fabrics face to face for a turned & top-stitched style diaper.
Sew together, leaving the opening across 3/4 of the back at the middle to invert and then for your back-elastic.
Sew your elastic casing channels.
Thread through with a safety pin and tack your leg elastics.
Sew your back elastic casing channel.
Thread through the back elastic, tack at the first side, and then sew up most of the top back edge while top-stitching around that side... up until the elastic casing opening.
Pull the elastic tight, tack, and cut.
Sew up and top-stitch the other side.
Add your wing snaps.
Largest setting.
Smallest setting.
I also hand-stitch around the cut edges of my lace at the very end to make sure it doesn't run/fray.

Here it is on a very short-waisted doll:

Monday, September 5, 2011

My Current Personal Project

(The print color is actually much browner and darker in person...)

I won't be able to do many tutorials this month because I am working on some diapers to gift a long-time friend couple of mine!

I did this first one as sort of a prototype to see if my ideas would work out.

I will be doing a mix of Newborn-Small size covers and OS covers/AI2 shells and pockets.

My friends are really into a Steampunk and are self-proclaimed "Goths."

Here is an image showing some Steampunk-themed costuming:
These are the fabrics I have to work with right now. I need to buy some bronze metallic snaps, and I need to find some dark color pinstripes or something like that as well.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

One-Size AIO Tutorial - Guest Blogger

Today (my birthday) we have a guest-blogger!! Welcome Elizabeth of "Fluff in the Trunk" on Hyenacart!

"Elemental for Dummies"
This is my first tutorial, so bear with me please! I'm using the Happy Snap pattern, but I'm sure this could be used with any pattern you like. This is just the way that works best and easiest for me. Enjoy!

Cut one outer PUL and one inner PUL, marking the snaps on the outer and the elastic markings on the inner knit side. Go ahead and apply your snaps to the outer PUL, I back mine with seudecloth.
Find the narrowest point on your pattern, mine is here.
At this point, you're going to make 3 measurement marks using a washable fabric marker. The first measurement is your pattern seam allowance (Mine is 3/8"). The vertical mark to the right of the ruler is my elastic placement.
From that measurement, add the width of the elastic you will be using. (Mine is 3/8")
Your last measurement is going to be 3/8". This is going to give you some room between your casing and the absorbant fabric of your inner.
Then measure all these together. Mine comes out to 1 1/8". This is the MINIMUM you will need around the perimeter of your inner cut. (If you are good at math, you could add your seam allowance + elastic + 3/8" and skip the previous steps.)
Fold your inner in half lengthwise, with the shiny sides together. Make a few marks of your minimum around the edges, being sure to make one at the narrowest point and the back edge.
Using the marks as your guide, you are going to design the area for your absorbant fabric. I like to start with a straight line at the narrowest point. I can make the front as close to the edge as I like because this pattern doesn't have tummy elastic. If yours does, you will need a minimum mark there too.
As long as you stay inside your minimum marks, you can freehand any shape you like. It may be easiest for you to do a rectangle, but I like to round my corners a bit. I also like the back to be wider bc my babies sleep on their backs.
Cut out the design. I use bobby pins to keep mine from sliding.
Now you have a hole in the middle of your PUL inner. Don't throw away the piece you cut out yet. Also, if you don't like the way it looks you can trim more off. *Tip- If you are planning on making this again, make a template out of these. Then next time you won't have to do any measuring!
You can use your cut-out piece now and trace around it on your absorbant fabric. I would cut it out a good half inch around the line for seam allowance. Pin it underneath your PUL (onto the shiny side). Or, you could just happen to have a scrap about that size like I did. I'm using regular weight organic bamboo fleece (OBF) here.
I use my walking foot and a straight stitch to baste the two together. Sew all the way around on top of the PUL (knit side up).
Then I go back and use an overcasting stitch for stretch fabrics. If your machine doesn't have this just use a zig-zag stitch.

Finished. Again, the knit side of the PUL and the smooth side of the OBF are up, those will be touching babies butt.

Now you make two inserts. For reference, Bumgenius's inserts are 3 3/4" wide by 11" long. I made mine 3 1/2" by 13", it's all personal preference and whatever fits your pattern. I am going to use Zorb2, BG uses 3 layers of organic cotton in each. Mine are nighttime diapers for heavy wetters, 2 layers of Zorb2 may be a little overkill for a daytime dipe. I just serged around the edges. I didn't think I needed a pic of them.
I layer my insert edges right behind each other. This is so when I sew it down to the diaper I only have to go through one layer. In the picture I am holding the bottom layer down so you can see how far apart the edges are. Sew them together with a wide zig-zag stitch or overcasting stitch.
Now you can pin them to the absorbant inner. I use a scrap of seudecloth behind mine to reinforce the stitches. In the picture you can see how close I placed the insert to the edge of the inner, and I'm holding up the dipe to show the seudecloth underneath. Placement is personal preference.
Another shot with the edge of the inserts and the scrap.
I used my overcasting stitch again to sew these down. Zig zag is fine here too. I actually went over it twice to make it stronger.
Here is the back after sewing. I just trim the seudecloth close to the stitches.
Now your inner layer is complete! You can also see the Coke my husband brought me since it was 1 am. From this point on, it's really just basic construction. You can follow your normal pattern instructions from here. Having the cutout with the measured minimum marks allows you to use whatever elastic casing style you prefer. You can also use the Chelory method for your outer and use a cute woven or knit since you will be sewing PUL to PUL at the legs. I am going to go ahead and finish this out because I remember being a newbie and always needing more details!
Layer your inner and outer right sides together. Use your pattern seam allowance and stitch around the diaper, leaving a hole to turn it through.
Here you can see the minumum marks we started with from the front. I thought this was important to show during construction. You can only see two of the lines now since I stitched my seam allowance.
I tack down my elastic on the inner PUL side. Using a 3 point zig-zag, I use the shortest length setting to tack. Then I use the longest length setting and stitch it down while pulling it tight until the next elastic mark.
Don't forget to clip the seam allowance on any curves before turning the diaper.
This turned out a little hard to see. What I was trying to show is that now the diaper is turned with the elastic stitched in. I held it up to a light so you could see the elastic hits the second minimum mark.
You can pin your turning hole closed now and topstitch all the way around your diaper. Remember to pull the elastic tight and make the casing wide enough so that you don't catch any. *Tip- I tuck the inserts under the sewing machine like this while I topstitch. I caught them while sewing once, holy cow what a freakin' mess.
This picture turned out great (I think). Here are our minimum marks. The first is hidden in the seam allowance, you can see the outline of the elastic at the second mark, my casing fits in between mark 2 and 3, and then the inner begins on the other side of the 3rd! No wicking! After this, I apply my wing snaps and trim any stray threads.
Great success!!