Feather's Flights: A Sewing Blog


Sewing for Kids: Urban Joggers

A couple of weeks ago Made by Oranges reached out to me to see if I'd like to try some of their pattern magazines. I've always been interested in pattern magazines, but I've just never taken the leap. This is a pattern magazine company run by a pattern designer and graphic designer living in the Netherlands, and the magazines come in multiple languages. I received both one of My Image, the women's magazine, and one of B-Trendythe kids' magazine. If you'd like to try out any of their pdf patterns or magazine subscriptions you can get a 25% discount when you use the code FEATHER. It is valid until November 1, 2016. 
I made a pair of knit joggers for each of my kids to try out the magazine and one of the patterns. My kids are in need of simple, warm basics so these fit exactly what they needed.
I first made joggers for my daughter. I traced the smallest size which translates to a size 1-3 year. I made that size with no alterations. They fit my daughter well and are actually a little long, but they should last all winter. I think they fit a little tight because I used a sweatshirt fleece with only a little bit of stretch. I just loved the color so much that I used it anyway. I only had a remnant so I had to make it work. I cut out the legs and pockets and the panel just under the waistband from the sweatshirt fleece. Then I cut the waistband, back, pockets, and cuffs from matching interlock. The interlock doesn't have great recovery, but it worked out. Mostly because there is an elastic in the waistband. Both the sweatshirt fleece and the interlock was purchased as remnants from Joann fabrics. My daughter loves how soft and comfortable they are. I love the color and the urban style.
heart beanie, lion tee shirt, mama made crocheted scarf (unblogged)
Now when I compared my son's measurements to the chart, he fit into the 1-3 year but just needed some length. I used the same pattern as what I had used for my daughter then I added 2.5" to the bottom and I doubled the height of the panel underneath the waistband to give height to the stride area. He didn't need all that length in the stride, but it gives a slight drop crotch look which I think is really cool. Here you can see the pants, the same width, side by side.
I used gray sweatshirt fleece for my son. I had tons so everything is made from sweatshirt fleece except for the waistband and cuffs which is made from heathered rib knit. The sweatshirt fleece was bought discounted from a manufacturer I know and the rib knit is from Joann fabrics. I made the size 1-3 year and lengthened the legs 2.5" and double the height of the panel just under the waistband.
crocheted pompom beanie, mama made felt mask (unblogged), infinity scarf, Batman tee (affiliate link)
  • Lots of patterns for a inexpensive price.
  • Easy to store and they don't take up a lot of space
  • Lots of great fabric and styling ideas
  • The magazines are a great inspiration. I LOVED looking through the magazine at the pictures.
  • The anticipation and surprise of getting something in the mail gets me excited to sew.
  • The magazines come in multiple languages.
  • It's a small company so the customer service is quick, friendly, and helpful.

  • The patterns are printed on top of each other so it can be tricky to trace. (I trace kids pdf patterns though, so for kids I trace either way.)
  • No seam allowance. Some people love choosing their own seam allowance measurement and makes it easier for them to sew, but I don't love the extra step.
  • The instructions are minimal so if you have experience you are fine but if you are a beginner you could get stuck. Good indie pattern designers do a lot of hand holding in pattern instructions.

I would recommend these magazines to anyone who wants to quickly build their pattern library, anyone who enjoys inspiration and a challenge, and anyone who has some sewing experience. Don't forget you can use the discount code FEATHER to get 25% off on all the products in the Made by Oranges shop. It is valid until November 1, 2016.
Does a pattern magazine appeal to you?


Me Made: Two Aurora Tees // A Knock-off and Using Fabric I Designed

These tees have been a loooong time coming. Like all summer. I made one back in May, then a muslin during the summer, and finally the last tee a couple of weeks ago. I have used the Aurora Tee pattern (affiliate link) and altered it to make a tee I saw on pinterest and fell in love with. I loved the gray knit fabric paired with the gingham. It looks comfortable but cute. I decided to copy it with fabric I had in my stash. This is my resulting tee using both knit and woven fabric.
Mine is slightly different from my inspiration, but it turned out pretty similar. I did knit for both the front and the back with the woven on the sides and shorter woven sleeves. The original had a gingham back and slightly different sleeves.
This next picture shows my muslin. I used a french terry tunic I wasn't wearing anymore and cut it to make a muslin. At first I thought I'd wear it like this but there's too many panels so I just don't love it. I did enjoy sewing up this pattern though. It was easy and quick, and I think the shaping for a dolman sleeve tee is really good. I really love the panels because they're so flattering. I want to try it again using only knit fabric. The alterations I made to the Aurora:
I took the sides in 2" on each side.
Instead of using the facing I added a neckband.
I cut the side panels on the fold instead of cutting four and I cut them on the bias from woven fabric.
I cut the sleeves from woven fabric, and then I cut them short and cuffed them.
I used the sleeve tab from the Cheyenne tunic (affiliate link) with a matching snap to connect it.
I used a periwinkle bamboo rayon spandex for the knit part of the tee. The color I got is out of stock, but here's a very similar color. It's leftover fabric from this tee dress. For the cuffs and panels I used some basic cotton woven fabric from Hancock's when they were liquidating everything. It's a subtle crosshatch look because the threads were dyed different colors before being woven together. I chose this fabric instead of gingham because it matched so perfectly with my periwinkle fabric.
Bamboo rayon spandex drapes beautifully which you can see all the movement in this short video.
This next sweatshirt I made back in May. I was trying out the Aurora Tee pattern (affiliate link) for the first time. The alterations I made to this tee were to add a neckband and sleeve cuffs and take in the sides 1".
I was also trying out this ocean party pink fabric I designed. It's printed on polyester french terry. This was the first and only polyester fabric of theirs that I have purchased. It hasn't pilled at all yet, but I haven't worn it that much since I finished it right before summer started. I matched it with some turquoise cotton lyrca jersey remnant I had. The colors are gray, turquoise, pink, and purple on white. You can get the same print in ocean party blue and ocean party black and white.
I don't think the polyester french terry is the best for this treatment. It doesn't drape nearly as well as the bamboo rayon spandex. It is definitely warm though so I will have to see if I wear it when it's cold.


Sewing for the Girl: Little Girl's Autumn Outfit

I decided to sew a last minute outfit for "I'm an Autumn" over at Project Run and Play. My kids need some fall and winter clothing, and this was what I needed to kick me in gear. I did figure out everything they need for cold weather, but I haven't started on purchasing or buying anything yet. I usually need a cold day or a deadline like Project Run and Play to inspire. I made a little autumn inspired outfit for my daughter. The colors are perfectly "fall", and she'll be able to wear it all fall and winter.
I actually made this vest last winter, but it was still a little big for her and she didn't wear it very much. As I was making the pants and shirt, I realized how the vest would finish the outfit perfectly. And it does. Luckily, she's more interested in wearing it this year, so I'm hoping she'll get a lot more use out of it. And the yellow lining matches her pants perfectly.
The long sleeved tee is an upcycle from one of my old tee shirts. I drafted the pattern from one of her jackets. I reused the hem, the cuffs, and the neckband. I love the print and the waffle fabric. I wore it a lot but finally decided to retire it. Claire loves it and loves that it's pink. She's really into pink lately.
For the pants I used a mustard sweatshirt fleece and matching mustard interlock that I got from the bargain bin awhile ago. I made Claire a sweatshirt last year using this fabric. I love this color and can't wear it, but it works better for Claire's coloring. I used a pants pattern from the B-Trendy magazine that I'm going to review next week when I finish something for her brother. It's a great pair of pants, a great pattern, and Claire loves how soft they are inside.
I just love that we found these beautiful sunflowers to take pictures in front of. They look great with her pants. I love that these pieces work well together, but they are basic enough to coordinate with lots of different outfits.
She was reward with a candy for doing the photoshoot and I capture this fantastic facial expression. I love this little girl and her enormous personality.


Teething Necklace Tutorial

I've reached the baby stage where I need a necklace or bracelet that is basically a baby toy. It makes nursing easier because my baby has something to focus on other than her loud siblings in the background, and then I always have a toy no matter where I am to keep her happy. I love Madre Beads because it's a soft necklace and teething friendly, but I just couldn't make the investment at this time in my life. Instead I decided to make my own teething necklace.
I wanted wood beads because I think wood is so pretty, and I'm kind into wood at the moment. I was worried about what kind of wood beads to get because I didn't want any chemicals to get into my baby's mouth. I decided to get a wood bead teething toy because it's made to put in babies mouths. I found this Baby Bead Wood Rattle (affiliate link) and cut it apart to use the beads just like these.
wood baby rattle (affiliate link)colorful baby rattle (affiliate link)wooden baby beehive rattle (affiliate link)

I cut the elastic that connected all the beads. I didn't realize that the holes don't go all the way through. Instead it's two holes connected at a right angle. This made it a little hard to thread anything through, but I made it work. I would use a long needle to push the fabric into one hole and use the same needle to pick at the fabric to pull the fabric out of the hole.
I separated the beads into three different piles by matching up the colors of the beads since each bead was slightly different.

I cut strips of cotton lycra jersey 3/4" wide by the length that I wanted for my necklace. Remember that the fabric stretches! I made a navy and white striped necklace with really light beads, a mint necklace with medium beads, and a gray necklace with medium beads. 

I tied knots in between every bead and at the end. I also closed the necklace with a knot. 
This is the best necklace. It doesn't hurt when little hands pull on it because it's soft and stretchy. When I take it off so my baby can play with it, I can bounce it and it rattles. It's great, and it actually helps me remember to put on jewelry because it doubles as a toy.
I also rounded up 7 DIY mom-friendly necklaces!


Me Made: Fitting Thrifted Jeans

In the survey I posted a couple weeks ago, I found that a lot of you are interested in my process. I'm going to do my best to share my process of altering and sewing. It does add time to my already limited sewing time, so I can't always do it.
Last week Savers had a day where all jeans were 40% off. I went and got two pairs of kids' jeans, a pair of jeans myself, and a baby bee costume for $11. I looked at a lot of name brand jeans and tried on lots of them. This is the only one that was good enough to take home even though it still needed alterations. This is a pair of Gap jeans that I got for $3.60, and it was the only one good enough to take home even though it needed some alterations.
When I'm trying on used clothing, I'm really picky about what I buy. It has to either fit perfectly and be within a certain color scheme, or fit me well enough that it only needs minimal alterations. These pants fit my hips, backside, and thighs well. These are the alterations I wanted to do:

  • Remove tab on the back waistband
  • Remove the red stitching under one of the destroyed spots
  • Remove the patch under the back pocket
  • Taper the legs

After removing the tab, the patch, and the red stitching, I pinned the legs. I pinned as tight as I could while still being able to get my feet through the hem (these jeans don't have a ton of stretch).
Also, once I was this far, I realized that the waistband needed to be just a little bit tighter. Instead of doing a whole back seam alteration, I cheated. I did remove the waistband right above the back seam and took in the waistband. Then instead of redoing the welt seam I added a little dart that I hid underneath the welt seam.
I sewed the legs, cut out the now larger seam allowance, and finished the edges. Then I gave it a good press and this is the result. A great pair of jeans that fit me well.
I took a quick video of me walking and moving in the pants so you can see how they move. I realized I've always wanted to see people move with their clothing so I might be added videos.
Here are some close-ups of some of the details. I need to somehow fade this spot where the patch was so it's not so dark.
There isn't any rough edges on the side seams like ready-to-wear jeans because I took them in, so I'm going to take some sandpaper and rough it up a little.
This is the spot that had the red stitching that I removed. I added some navy blue stitching instead.
Here is wear I removed the bad tab. I didn't want to remove the rivets because they are a lot of work to remove and I didn't want big holes. I think the rivets add a cool look.
You can also see how the back seam leans to one side because I added a dart and hid it under the seam. It's a cheater way, but nobody can see it underneath the belt loop.
And that's how I made $3.60 Gap jeans work for me!
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