Sunday, May 19, 2013

Old jeans into fabulous new skirt!

Looking for fabric for my daughter's doll project, I discovered this old pair of jeans prepped for making into a skirt.  I had taken out all of the inseam and then for some reason put them aside for another day.    I was wanting a new skirt for Spring, and this was a perfect, quick and easy project.

1.  Cut just beside (under) the seam on the front crotch on the curve so the cut away part will lay flat underneath side with the seam.  The seam can lay flat on top and be topstitched down. 

2.  On the back I pinned to get everything mostly flat and then sewed a straight seam down that line.  The open triangle in the back is lower and a little wider than in the front.  There is quite a bit of extra fabric on the inside of the back that can be cut away and zigzag or serge the edges to prevent fraying.

3.  At this point, I tried it on to check fit. Everything looked great except it dragging the floor.  While I love the floor length look, 4 kids running around makes floor lenght very impractical.  I took off 6 inches to bring my hem up to ankle length.

4. I've had this gorgeous, embroidered fabric sitting for a while, waiting for the right project.  I decided to cut my gores on the bias, so I matched a corner with the point of my triangle on the jeans and matched up the straight edges.   This made the gore fuller than the opening triangle which made a lovely flare.  I curved the gore just a bit to match the curve the legs were making. 

5.  Same for the back gore.  I zigzagged around all the edges of the gore to stop fraying. I also zigzagged the bottom of the jeans where I had cut them off.

6. Next I lined up the edges of the gore under the edges of the jeans and stitched along the previous seam lines.

7. To finish up the bottom seam I used a straight stitch to attach lace all around the bottom edge, then pressed the raw edge under and edge stitched to keep the lace facing down.

8. Sorry for the bad pic, didn't have anyone to be photographer for me.

Here's a little bit better. The skirt is very comfy and I've been wearing it everywhere.  This only took a few hours one evening.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Cloth Diapers -AI2

I finished a couple of All-in-2 diapers for a customer this weekend. Got to try out the new Zorb II.  It's very thin and has a nice soft jersey outer layer so it can be used alone without needing to be encased.

All-in-2 diapers can be used just like an all-in-1, everything gets washed when wet or dirty, but the absorbent pad comes separate from the cover to speed drying time some. You do have to pair them back up after laundering, but no pocket to have to stuff.

First Step: Using diaper pattern of your choice (I made this pattern to match measurements, sort of based on the shape of Fuzzi Bunz). Cut out one each of PUL fabric, soft lining (velour), and cotton cover (optional).
I used a waterproof layer of plain white PUL with a cute cotton print layered outside of it just for looks. The white PUL is fine by itself if you like white diapers.  Inside I used jersey velour.  Very soft stuff that helps to wick moisture away from skin.

I layered them together the way I want them in the finished diaper. So that's cotton on the bottom, right side down, then the PUL shiny side facing up (into the diaper), lastly, the velour, fuzzy side up).

I stitched the three layers together with a straight stitch close to the edge just to keep them from sliding around while attaching FOE.  

Remember: when sewing PUL you want to avoid making unnecessary holes, so no pins, I usually use paper clips to hold layers together.

Next for gussets, sorry I didn't get a picture.  You just need a semi circle piece that matches the curve on the leg.  I just keep the curve that is leftover from cutting out the PUL layer and cut a straight line across to match two points about 1/4 of the way down the curve on each end.  We then sew on fold over elastic while stretching across the straight edge.   This gives you a gathered straight edge with the curve unbound.

Attach the gusset pieces to the inside layer of the diaper, matching the curve they came from. Wrong
side of the gusset should be facing the inside of the diaper. Now we're ready to attach the FOE to the diaper.

I like to start at the back, stretching the FOE across the middle of the back and around the leg curves.  To start the FOE use a zigzag stitch, backstitch a little at the beginning and then you can use the thread tail to pull   Be sure to catch the gusset edge in the elastic also.  Stretch just enough on the rest to conform to curves.

When you get all the way around, just overlap the elastic a bit. No need to fold under the ends or anything, it doesn't fray.

Last is the velcro. I usually attach the loop side on the tabs, since it could come in contact with skin. About 1 1/2" square is usually sufficient and I just zigzag all around to secure it down. Then the hook side is on the front of the diaper. Usually, a long strip across the front about an inch down from the top and an inch or two from each side to give plenty of room for size adjustment.  

To make the cover into an all-in-2, I added a strip of velcro to the back inside of the diaper a couple inches from the edge.  
I made an rectangular insert (1" less than the width of the cover in the middle and 1 or 2" less than the length of the cover) from 3 layers of Zorb-2, zig-zag stitched all around the edge. If using regular Zorb, it needs to covered in another fabric like the velour used for the inner diaper or flannel. The Zorb 2 has jersey on the outside and is pretty soft.    Attach a strip of hook tape to one side of the insert an inch or two from one end to hold it secure in the cover.

Washing Instructions:

To seal up holes from stitching, you can put the cover in a hot dryer before use. Avoid using the dryer for regular laundering as it weakens the PUL.   Wash in hot water, no bleach and definitely no fabric softener and hang to dry. I always use white vinegar in my rinse cycle. It helps remove odors and helps all soap rinse away.

With any absorbent diapers, you need to wash and dry them a few times (preferably in nice hot water) before use to "fluff" them for maximum absorbancy. Expect to get a bit of shrinkage in this process.
Never use fabric softener on cloth diapers, it causes fabric to repel liquids, definitely not something you want diapers to do!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Fabric plans

Just a teaser.

Tea dyed some cotton last night for this project that my daughter picked out. :)