Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Baby/Toddler Pinafore

Hiya!  Pockets here.

I just recently bought a new sewing machine.  The hand-me-down one that Buttons gave me finally wasn't worth the frustration anymore.  So I went and purchased a Singer Patchwork.  Since then I've been sewing A LOT.  Much more than I normally do.  I also recently sewed my first dress.  I loved making it so much that I think it prompted my purchase of a better machine.

Anyway, I've been sewing a lot but I don't have the attention span at the moment to work on any large projects like another dress.  My easy solution?  Baby clothes.  They're so tiny that they take hardly any time to put together.  My first attempt was a pinafore that I saw on Pinterest that I just absolutely fell in love with!  The pattern and instructions are found here, on a blog I've been obsessed with since called Smashed Peas and Carrots.

I printed the pattern and traced it onto parchment paper so I didn't have to worry about keeping printer paper taped together.    I laid out the pattern and pinned it to my fabric.

I pinned, cut, and sewed before moving on to fabric number two.  It's just a necessary evil for me to break up a bit of the monotony.  

Once your fabric is cut out you'll end up with three pieces.  The front of the pinafore is cut on the fold and two side arm pieces.

Take one arm piece and, right side to right side, sew the arm to the front of the pinafore.  I used a 3/8 in seam because I hate huge seams.  Also I don't have a serger as of yet and she recommended that you serge the remaining hem.  So the smaller the better in my opinion.

Repeat with other arm.  At this point I went back to fabric number two and pinned and cut the pattern and sewed the arms to the front.  And then you end up with two wonky shaped pieces.

Going right side to right side again, pin and sew the wonky pieces together. This time I used a 1/4 in seam. NOTE!  Make sure you leave a few inches somewhere along the seam unsewn so that you can flip the pinafore right side out.  When in doubt go a bit larger, I've got freak baby hands and have run into issues trying to flip it through a tiny middle hole.  I always do the very bottom middle of the pattern.  I also put more pins in at a different angle just in case I forget.  Can you see my three yellow pins down there??  Should have taken a better close up, sorry.
Once sewn, turn this bad boy right side out.  I've seen a lot of people do this with help from a chopstick, for the front bumps and arm straps.  I didn't have any chopsticks around so I just very carefully used the handle of a spoon.  

Another side note: if possible set your machine to have the needle end in the down position.  I found that this helped tremendously when pivioting around the bumps and curves of the straps, the needle keeps your fabric in the exact right spot when you move it.  Buttons' machine doesn't have this option but I did notice that she would just crank the hand wheel forward so the needle was down before she pivoted.

Almost done!

All that's left is the buttons and button holes. I'm extremely new to this newfangled button business. So I think I'll have to save a more detailed explanation for when I actually know what I'm doing. For this pinafore I just use the button hole stitch on my sewing machine. 

My button was actually too large for my button hole foot so I was forced to do it with the manual stitch. To do this I just marked in chalk where I wanted the hole to be and made it slightly longer than my button.  Like I said, I don't actually know how to use the button foot yet so I actually found this easier because it was way less complicated to me. Unfortunately not every machine has the stitches for doing them manually.

After I had my buttonholes sewn where I wanted them I stitched on the buttons. I was having technical difficulties with my machine at this point and had to sew these on by hand.  I'll have to do a better button/button hole tutorial in the future.

And that's it!  I promptly mailed this to my friend Bird and CAN NOT WAIT to see how her beautiful five month old looks in it.  Hopefully she'll shoot some photos my way that I can post.  

Anyone else tried this pattern??  Isn't it amazing?  


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