Thursday, April 22, 2010

My Creative Space - Why buy what you can make better?

I thought I'd join in on My Creative Space over at Kootoyoo today, because it's so much fun peeking into other creative spaces!

My creative space has been busy for the last few days, working on a few different projects, depending on whether or not the twins are around. Lately I've been trying to get sewing done while they're not napping, so they get used to it going on in the background and don't feel the need to investigate what I'm doing in up-close detail! Um, yeah, this might take a while.

So anyway, project #1 was a singlet (vest, undershirt, onesie) for Isabella, who is about to outgrow the ones she's wearing now. I bought a couple on sale in Farmers and wasn't happy with either of them really. I didn't like one because I don't personally like the envelope neck style - great principle, but they never seem to sit well because the wrap over bit isn't big enough so they take fiddling . I'm NOT a fan of fussing with clothing on wriggly toddlers! The other was annoying because it's a wrap over style (so far so good) but it has too many domes. (See previous comment about fussing and wriggly children). So with two not-very-satisfactory singlets I wondered why I didn't just MAKE her some - I'd adapted an Ottobre pattern for Nicholas some time ago and it works really well, so I just needed to do the same thing for her size and get to it. (For the record it's Ottobre 01/06, #4)

First I needed a complete pattern for the front. Trace one, flip the paper and trace again...
At this point Nicholas got interested. This will become relevant later.

I drew my new style lines on the complete pattern. The outer neckline is there so I can measure it to see how long to cut my neckband. The inner neckline is the new seamline. The two horizontal lines are where to cut the under layer and it's hem fold line.
To make the singlet I cut one complete front and one (mirrored obviously) half front. I find the cross over style is easy to pull on over their heads and then sits nicely. And I only have to do up two domes at the crotch. Easy! Easy is good.

Then Nicholas did this....

Yup - tore it! By very lucky chance he only ripped the bit I was discarding anyway, but still! At this point I gave up till nap time.
With the tiny destructo-bots safely tucked up for a snooze, I went on to the Not-With-Them-Around project - freezer paper stenciling for a bubble dress. I wanted to use a darker, more wintery coloured fabric, but it still needed to have a bit of a pop to stop it looking too drab.
I didn't want to waste effort stenciling on the turned in lower edge of the bubble, so to establish where that lower edge would be I placed the lining pattern on the dress section and chalked on a line half way between the two to use as a rough guide.

Then I cut a bunch of leaves from freezer paper with a craft punch - how quick and easy is that compared to laboriously cutting each stencil with a knife?! Iron them on in what I thought was a pleasing pattern...

Have at it with textile paint, and there you have it. A front and two backs lying on the floor to dry. Slight panic while I figure out where I'm going to put them when the twins wake up...

When the paint was dry and I'd peeled off the freezer paper and heat set the paint, it looked like this.
Much prettier than plain navy I think. I have a couple of plaids destined for the same treatment once I get the right paint colours....
Meanwhile, while the paint was drying, I got to sewing Isabella's singlet. It took next to no time to sew, and cost pretty much nothing. Pattern from a magazine I admittedly bought, but already owned, so that's free right? Fabric courtesy of Keely destashing while I was pregnant - free. Domes - 2 sets of the 2000 sets I bought for $4.00. That's 0.2c each - not 2c each, 0.2c each! Thread - hard to assess how much overlocker thread I used, and the sewing was done with whatever was lying around, so next to nothing. End result is a style I really like, and all it really cost me was a small amount of time. So why did I buy two I didn't even like?

Edited to add - oops, domes are snaps. I forget that not everyone speaks New Zealand!


  1. After all that info, the comment foremost on my mind is: "what the heck is a dome, again?" It always takes me a while to figure that out. This is a great onesie, I can see from here that it's better than store-bought. Man, once again I wish I had started sewing clothes when the kids were babies.

    (Love the navy dress, too)

  2. love your work, the stenciling looks fabulous

  3. I was going to ask the same thing, "What the heck is a dome?" I'm guessing snaps?

    That's a very fashion forward onesie (with wrap fronts being all the rage right now).

    And I love the idea of multiple little stencils.

  4. wow, that is a great idea, the little leaves look fantastic! Great space today, I like your idea of getting your kids used to you sewing/making. Perhaps a toy basket near your sewing table that you change regularly would keep them happy, at least for a little while... xo

  5. I adore the dress. Nice job with the freezer paper!

  6. That's fantastic!! I might have to give freezer paper a whirl! Hope all is well :)

  7. That stencilling is so great. I just got some freezer paper from SL the other day, to try it on my kids' to find a craft punch??? SL again?

    And would you consider a tute on that bodysuit/ onesie? For those of us still new to sewing? My 9 mth old son needs more bodysuits, and this pattern (your version) looks great...Thanks in advance!

  8. The idea of punching out designs is terrific.

  9. Wow! These are great!!! You are so smart and creative!

  10. Textile Paint. I never thought of that. Might have to give it try.