How I put together the shirt from a copy

So in this post I will show you how I put together the shirt from a copy that I made.

I am going to assume that most of you know how to sew. I am also going to assume that you already know how to sew a shirt together. If you don’t let me know and I will put together another tutorial on that. I am planning to make another shirt soon.

I cut everything out.

These are all the pieces of the shirt that will go together.

These are all the pieces of the shirt that will go together.

There were:

  1. Front
  2. Back cut on the fold.
  3. Yoke cut two
  4. collar cut two
  5. Sleeves
  6. Facings cut two

I serged all my side seams and ironed on my interfacing onto my collar, and my facings.

I then put the shirt together starting with the back and the yoke. I have never sewed a shirt together with a yoke so this was a first for me. It seems really difficult but isn’t.

First thing I did was sew one yoke piece onto the back part. And then sewed the second yoke onto the back piece as you can see below.

The back and the yokes attached.

The back and the yokes attached.

The next step is attaching the front pieces so that the seams are all on the inside. For this step you will sew the front of the shirt to the shoulders of one of the yoke pieces. It doesn’t matter which one, whether is be the one showing on the outside or the one that will be on the inside of your shirt.

You can see from the picture below that I have attached my front pieces to the yoke that will be showing toward the  outside of the shirt. The yoke that will be on the inside has been folded down and out of the way.

Adding the front pieces of the shirt.

Adding the front pieces of the shirt.

Once the front has been sewn onto the yoke you will want to roll the back piece up to the seam line on the yoke.

Rolling up the back

Rolling up the back

Then you do the same for the front pieces to the shoulder seam line.

Rolling up the front

Rolling up the front

This is how it looks with the back and the front pieces rolled up. You want the shoulders exposed so that you can fold the yokes with right sides together at the shoulder line to sew.

 

All rolled up

All rolled up

Like this. It looks like a sandwich. but the yokes are exposed with the front and back of the shirt rolled up nice and neat on the inside.

Front and back sandwiched between the yoke.

Front and back sandwiched between the yoke.

Once the shoulder seams have been sewn then you can gently pull everything out and lay flat and iron. Remember to be gentle when pulling everything through especially if you didn’t stay stitch the neck line. You don’t want to stretch anything out that might. Thankfully, I forgot to do that step way back in the beginning but, my fabric was so stable that it didn’t make a difference. But next time I will. Better to be safe than sorry.

Flipping it through

Flipping it through

All flipped out and ironed flat. Look I see stay stitching. I guess I did it after all.

Sewed and ironed outside of shirt.

Sewed and ironed outside of shirt.

Sewed and ironed inside of shirt.

Sewed and ironed inside of shirt.

Once it was all out I then proceeded to put together the shirt with the same kind of detail that the original shirt had. Here is the final product.

Blue and white polka dot shirt

Blue and white polka dot shirt

I love this shirt. It fits like I want it to fit. It gives me the room I need in my arms. I can’t wait to make another one.

Tell me what you think. I would love to hear from you and if you found this helpful or interesting.

 

 

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How I copied a shirt – DIY

This is how I copied a shirt. There is this shirt that I really love. It fits well and it looks good on me. One of those rare few. I wanted more of this kind of shirt but I wasn’t able to locate any more.

So using the skills that I have and what I have learned recently I set about to copy this shirt so that I can have as many as I want in all the different fabrics that I want.

Here is the before.

The Front of the Shirt

The Front of the Shirt

 

Back of The Shirt

Back of The Shirt

This is what I did. I found in Home Depot these clear garbage bags. I use them to copy off the shirt. I just cut it open so that it was a large flat sheet of plastic.  I then laid out my shirt as flat as I could get it. There was some manipulation of the shirt to get it to lay as flat as possible. I found that if I tuck one half into the other half it lays a bit flatter.

Once you have the shirt laying as flat as possible, here for the pictures I am using the facing as a demonstration, you then lay your plastic over the part that you are copying. Smooth out all the wrinkles and pin it down.

Starting out

Starting out

Then trace around the piece marking where the seam lines are. You will go back in later and add seam allowances.

Copied facing

Copied facing

Here is a close up of what it should look like. Also remember to mark anything like button holes so that when the shirt comes together you have that information already and you don’t have to go digging for it.

Close up of facing

Close up of facing

Once you have everything marked you can then cut out the plastic. Don’t cut on the line. Cut around the piece leaving about two inches around.

I found a roll of this paper at Home Depot in the painting section. I was walking by and it caught my eye. It is the kind of paper that painters put down on the floor of a house to walk on so that the floor stays clean. It works wonderfully for pattern paper.

Lay your plastic pattern on the paper and trace around. I used my tracing wheel but I am sure you could use a pen to help you. You just need something that will make marks through the plastic onto the paper.

Tracing the pattern

Tracing the pattern

Like these marks. I know that they are a bit hard to see but if you look real close and near my pencil marks you can see little holes in the paper. That was my tracing wheel poking holes through the plastic and onto the paper. I then went and using a pencil marked the lines.

Once I had everything marked in pencil I went back and cleaned up the marks and straightened out my lines as best as I could.

Marks in the paper

Marks in the paper

Here are the parts of my shirt that I copied.  For the sleeve I had to fold the sleeve in half and copy, marking the middle and which side is what. Then I just flipped the sleeve over, lined up the marks and finished copying the rest of the sleeve.

Copying the sleeve

Copying the sleeve

For the front and the back where you have darts you will have to play with it a bit. I marked the straight lines first. So the top, center front or back to the dart. I also mark the dart itself. I then pinch the plastic on either side of the dart so that it lines up the dart and mark the pinches so I have an accurate measurement on either side of the dart line for the dart. Then I pinch and pin it shut. Matching up my lines and finish marking the seam lines.

Always compare to the shirt that you have. I would hate for you to do all this work and then find that the shirt doesn’t fit because you missed something.

Copying the front

Copying the front

Copying the collar

Copying the collar

Close up of facing

Copying the facing

Back of shirt

Back of shirt

Back Yoke

Back Yoke

Once you have all your pieces copied and transferred you can cut them out. This is where you will see if your marking are accurate. In the pictures below I have my patterns cut out without seam allowances. I will mark those on the fabric and cut them out that way. Keeping the allowances off my patterns allow me to align them to see how well I did and if there are any changes that need to be made before I cut the fabric. I want to make sure that all my seams line up and if there are any differences that I can make the adjustments in paper and not in fabric.

Make sure seams match

Make sure seams match

For these pictures I just used my flexible ruler to take accurate measurements around the shoulder first and then around the sleeve.

Measuring each seam

Measuring each seam

I want to make sure that they match as closely as possible to the shirt. I do this with the collar, side seams, around the shoulder and sleeve, and the facing. If anything is off even by a little bit it will mess up the entire shirt when you try to sew it together.

Making sure they match as close as possible.

Making sure they match as close as possible.

Once my pattern is perfected I then trace my patterns onto the fabric, add seam allowances on the fabric and cut the fabric out. Then you put the fabric together.

And here is the after.

Blue and white polka dot shirt

Blue and white polka dot shirt

It fits perfectly. I have a broad back and it fits across my back and the armholes which I have always had problems with fitting.

And now I have an awesome pattern to make more shirts with. Yay!!

Leave me comments below or ask any questions.

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Blue Lunch Box -DIY

Because I made my son a red lunch bag my daughter wanted a blue lunch box of her own too. Also, she conveniently lost hers at the end of the school year. So I told her I would make one just for her. But I wanted to do something different. I wasn’t completely satisfied on how my sons bag turned out. He loves it and for that I am grateful. but for my daughter…I had other ideas.

I started out with a plastic bento type lunch box. This one was nifty because it came with an ice pack and two little containers that fit inside. This was also perfect for me since it was about the size that I wanted anyways. I figured how wide and how much taller I wanted the bag to cover the box.

Lunch Box Pattern with bento box

Lunch Box Pattern with bento box

Once I had what I wanted I made sure to sketch where I wanted my handles to go and where my hook and loop tape would go.

I let my daughter pick out her own fabric from Fabric.com. This is what she picked out for the inside. It is oilcloth. I love it. This was also the first time that I have sewed oilcloth. I was expecting all sorts of difficulty. It wasn’t hard to sew at all. Just make sure that you put a layer of painters tape on your foot to keep the oilcloth from sticking to your sewing foot.

Oil cloth which is the inside of the lunch box

Oil cloth which is the inside of the lunch box

I neglected to take pictures of the other fabric. I also cut out the outer fabric which is a blue canvas and the insulating thermo layer. I don’t remember the name of the product but I purchased the thermo layer from Joanns fabric store. It has a a thin layer of metal, like aluminum foil but thinner, in between the layers of batting. I had to patch some pieces together since I didn’t quite have enough for the entire layer. I then treated the thermo layer and the canvas as one piece of fabric. To keep it all together I sewed them together within the seam allowance.

Now let me say right now I have a habit of getting ahead of myself when I sew. I had sewn the outer layer together to form the bag before I added the handles and hook and loop tape. Don’t do that. Life is hard enough as it is. Don’t make it harder on yourself like I did.

The picture below shows the outer bag with the hook and loop tape and the handle already attached.

Outside of lunch box

Outside of lunch box

Once I had the oilcloth, also with the hook and loop taped sewn on as well as the side seams sewn up, I matched the seams up right sides together and clipped around the edges. You don’t want to pin because you don’t want too many holes in that oilcloth. Especially on the seam line it makes it weak and can tear like perforated notebook paper.

Right sides together

Right sides together

This is what the bag looked like as I was sewing it. You can see the Frankenstein like stitches on the thermo layer where I needed to patch the pieces together.

Sewing the  bag

Sewing the bag

Once the outer edges were sewn I left a hole to turn everything out through on the edge of the box and not the lid. Before turning make sure you clip the curves and the corners and trim the allowances. I had everything turned before I realized that I should have clipped the corners where the lid and the box meet. I tore some of the oilcloth because of that. Thankfully not a lot but enough that I noticed and had to fix so everything would like flat and look pretty.

Inside with lunch box

Inside with lunch box

Last seam. With everything flipped and straightened out and looking pretty I still had to close the hole that the fabric was flipped through. So I sewed around the edges making sure that I securely closed the hole. I bulldog clipped everything in place so it wouldn’t move.

Flipped inside out

Flipped inside out

And there you are. The completed bag. The handle is webbing that I picked up somewhere. It was in my stash and my daughter loved it. It was much easier doing that than making a handle out of canvas which is what I was going to do until she saw that.

Finished lunch box

Finished lunch box

I think this one turned out pretty well. I am a lot happier with this lunch box than my sons. It took less time and was a lot less painful than the bag I made for my son.

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Swiffer mops are cool too – DIY

I am sorry for the late post, If you missed my swiffer dust mop post click here.

I do have some awesome posts coming up so even though this one might stink a bit, the next ones will be better. Promise!

Along with the dust mops that I made earlier I also made a few actual mops cloths as well.

The pictures are pretty self explanatory. I used a terry cloth bathing towel for my fabric since it is what I have on hand.

Swiffer Mop

Swiffer Mop

I cut the fabric to size with tabs that would fit over the swiffer.

Step two

Step two

Sewed everything together along with the hook and loop tape.

Step three

Step three

Attach it to your swiffer.

Last step

Last step

Mop away!!

Ewwww!!

Ewwww!!

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My first batch of real soap – Follow up

Here is a follow up to my Making Soap post. If you missed it click here.

Here is the picture of the fresh soap that I made all by myself straight out of the mold. I made this way back in March and then was silly enough to put this in my garage to dry out, but didn’t think about the humidity so I moved the soap to my sewing room. It took much more longer to dry out that I had considered until I put it my sewing room.

Here is the before picture. Fresh soap just out of the mold. So nice and pretty. Smells fabulous as well.

Fresh soap

Fresh soap

Here is the cured product. There was, as you can see, discoloration from the colorants I used. I didn’t pay attention to what I used I just used what I had. There were two that came with a kit that I had purchased. In the kit that I had purchased the soap was in different colored layers and not mixed like mine.

Making Soap Follow up

Final Product

I have to say for a first time batch of soap I am impressed with myself. Nothing exploded, I didn’t burn my hands or fingers off, I didn’t poison anyone and the soap stayed in the mold. I can always work on my colors and make more soap experimenting with colors to see what works and what doesn’t. I am leaning toward more natural colors to expand my skills on.

Making Soap Followup

Not bad for my first batch, I must say.

So over all I have learned that making soap isn’t has hard as you think. I learned that even though you need to be careful of the chemicals that you use, if you use them safely, the process is amazing. To think that oils and lye can make a fabulous bar of soap that keeps you clean and smelling good and takes care of your skin. This is the real reason why I wanted to make soap in the first place. The bars of “soap” that you buy in the grocery store just isn’t the same as what I have made and so much better for my skin.

Over all, I will definitely be making more soap. I want to learn more about what oils do what so that I can make soap specifically for my skin and my families skin. My husband and daughter have some skin conditions that I think I can help with by making my own soap.

This first batch is pretty ugly but works and smells wonderful. I have some fragrance oils that I want to use and then possibly get essential oils for a more all natural/ organic/ homeopathic soap. Maybe…one day.

 

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Swiffers are cool – DIY

Have you seen the swiffer? Swiffers are cool. I have seen across the internet these nifty swiffer thingies. Reusable, green and cheap if you already have the fleece. Cheap even if you don’t have the fleece because you just need small pieces.

So I just measured around the swiffer and added four inches to each side. See the picture below.

First step

First step

The second step was making sure that I had enough allowance around the swiffer head.

Second Step

Second Step

The picture below is the new reusable swiffer cloth in action. It sweeps up quite a bit.

Swiffing in action

Swiffing in action

EEEWWWW!!! Look at all the grass and yuckiness that was on the bottom. Gross. I can’t believe that gets all tracked into my house on a regular basis.

Double Ewww!!

Double Ewww!!

I have to say that you do still have to have a broom and dustpan. This really just pushes all the dirt around into little piles around where ever you want them. And then throw the swiffie into the laundry.

That is what I call mine, swiffy.

What about you?

 

 

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Making Soap – Follow along

Making soap again…I have this fascination with making soap so I finally made my own batch, from scratch.

I had posted earlier about rebatch soap here.  I had stated there that I was kinda scared since you had to use lye. But I threw my nerves to the wind, waited until all the kids and dog were in bed for the night and took it upon myself to make my own batch of soap.

As you can see from the photo below that there is a lot of stuff that you need to make soap. I had been gathering supplies and materials for weeks prior to making my first batch.

IMG_7424

All my soapy supplies.

I even bought a little 2 lbs wooden mold so that I wouldn’t have to use a shoe box and learned how to line it with freezer paper.

IMG_7422

It is teeny weeny but just right for my first time.

I didn’t take pictures of the process, it was kinda involved and since it was my first time I wanted to devote my full attention to the making of soap. But here is what it looked like after made and poured.

IMG_7426

Completed soap, just poured.

The next day I unmolded the soap and got ready to cut it into slices.

IMG_7431

Just pulled the soap out of the wooden mold.

It smelled really good, but really strong. I was wondering at this time if I had added too much fragrance oil. I was following a recipe. But I made some changes too.

IMG_7432

Peeled the paper away from the soap.

There was a crack on the top and soda ash as well. I found out that the crack came from over heating and the soda ash is what it is and can be cleaned off.

IMG_7434

Minor crack and soda ash on top of my soap.

I sliced everything about 1 inch thick. It looked like banana’s and chocolate to me, but the fragrance is chocolate and lavender. I know, kinda weird but it smells good.

IMG_7436

Banana and Chocolate soap? Nope, Chocolate and Lavender.

Here are a couple of slices. I like the swirl…I hope it stays and the colors don’t fade or change. I hear that they do that sometimes.

IMG_7438

My first slice of soap.

IMG_7439

Second slice, but I don’t know what the white lines are….?

The soap has to cure 4-6 weeks to be able to lose the water weight. I will post pictures once the soap has cured. Fingers crossed.

 

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Summer Shorts – Part Two – DIY


If you missed part one of the Summer Shorts post click here to check it out. So to pick up where we left off…

Halfway there

Halfway there with our summer shorts

This is where we should have left off. The fabric was cut, edges serged, leg seams sewn and the crotch seam was sewn. Now we just have to hem the legs and sew the casing and add elastic. Now I forgot to take pictures of hemming but what I do for my girls is just take the serged edge and roll it up once and iron it flat so that it all lays nice when I sew it down. Like the picture below.

Hemmed Legs

Hemmed Legs for the shorts

Once the legs are hemmed then you fold down the casing and measure an inch from the serged edge to the fold for the casing. I sew right along the edge of the serging and I also add a tag or a scrap of fabric so that it will mark my back.

Measuring the casing

Measuring the casing

Once everything is ironed flat and pinned down I sew leaving about an inch gap near the back. You want it big enough to thread the elastic through.

Ironing and sewing the casing closed

Ironing and sewing the casing closed

To measure the elastic I take a bit of elastic and just wrap it around the child’s waist and see how comfortable they are with it. You don’t want it to tight but comfortable. You can also take the child’s waist measurement minus an inch and use that to measure out your elastic. Putting a big safety pin on the end will help you thread the elastic through.

Adding elastic

Adding elastic

Once the elastic is through pull both ends out and scrunch the fabric toward the bottom. You want plenty of room to sew the ends of the elastic together.

Pulling the elastic tight

Pulling the elastic tight

Sew the ends by overlapping. You can butt the ends together and zig zag but I have never been very good with that. I always overlap. A zig zag stitch is what I have always used for sewing elastic together. It works for me. It is a bit bulky but for play shorts the kids don’t care.

Sewing the ends of the elastic

Sewing the ends of the elastic

Now work the elastic back into the casing and flatten everything out around the opening. Then sew the opening shut just like you did with the casing matching up the stitch lines.

Sewing the opening shut

Sewing the opening shut

Voila!! Your shorts are now completed and the kids can wear them out.

Completed shorts

Completed Summer Shorts

completed shorts

Wearing our Summer Shorts out for a stroll.

 

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Summer Shorts – Part 1 – DIY

Summer Shorts the most important and most fun item of clothing that can be had for kids. I do my best to make sure that my daughters have fun, modest shorts for summer. They love the fact that I let them pick out their own fabric as well. We usually get quilting fabric because that seems to be the most fun. I have made shorts using this pattern with t-shirts as well. Those turn out pretty well too.

In this post I am going to show you how I make my daughters summer shorts.

pattern for shorts

pattern for shorts

In the above picture, I have copied a pair of shorts that belonged to my son when he was about 24 months. I just kept grading the pattern up for all my kids making adjustments as needed.

final cut of the shorts

final cut of the shorts

This picture is of the fabric cut out and I serged all the edges before sewing the pieces together.

matching inner leg seams

matching inner leg seams

I then matched the inner seam at the legs. If you look at the picture you can see where the front and the back of the seam above the leg seam doesn’t match. That is because the seam on the back side is the front and the seam laying on top is the back seam. That seam is a little deeper because you need room for the derriere.

inner seam

inner seam

Here is a closer picture of the seams and how they all line up.

turning one leg

turning one leg

Once the inner leg seam has been sewn you then flip one leg so that the fabric shows the right side.

slipping one leg into the other

slipping one leg into the other

You need to slip the leg that has the right side out into the leg with the wrong side out. So right sides are facing each other. Matching the seams and edges.

Matching the inside seam

Matching the inside seam

This picture shows one leg tucked inside the other leg with all the seams and edge matched up.

Pinned the inside seams

Pinned the inside seams

Here I pinned the seams so that you can see them better. I then sewed the crotch with an extra line of stitching on the back side for extra security.

Halfway there

Halfway there

At this point you are almost done. Come back in two weeks and we will finish these up and you can see how they look.

If you have any questions let me know in the comments below.

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Soaping – Rebatch Soap – DIY

I have wanted to make soap since I was a teenager. I had a hippie phase that I went through and so made my own perfumes, body products and other things that were all natural. I really wanted to make these items from all natural resources and I wanted to learn how to extract essential oils from plants to make my own perfumes with. Soap was included in that and I wanted to learn the traditional, old fashioned way.

Life then happened, I got married, had kids, had to work a job and I lost touch with those interests. I never did learn to extract the essentials oils from plants, but I do know the theory. I never did make soap the old fashioned way either. I still do some body products just for me.  Soap did scare me because it is made with lye and lye is extremely caustic. That is what put me off of making soap.

Skip forward about 20 years or so and I have come around full circle back to those interests that I had as a teenager. This time with more practical reasons. Me and my daughters have very dry skin. The soap that you would buy in the stores are detergent bars and aren’t as healthy for your skin as you would like to think. For these reasons and because I never really lost the interest in making soap I have found a shortcut of sorts.

There is a website that I love called Brambleberry. You might have heard of it. Here is where you can find all sorts of goodness. But here is what I found. Rebatch Soap. I purchased this kit and it has everything that you need to make this soap. The difference between rebatch and regular (cold-process) soap is that the soap is already made using the lye.  All you have to do is melt it down and add your fragrance and colors and additives. This has been a way for me to try my hand at soaping with out using Lye.

Here is the melting rebatch  in a double boiler

Here is the melting rebatch in a double boiler

This is a large pot of boiling water with metal canning rings on the bottom. There is a glass bowl with the grated soap base on top. I have the water boiling at a med-high heat.

Melting Rebatch

Melting Rebatch

The above picture is of the rebatch melting.

Supplies needed

Supplies needed

While I was waiting on the rebatch to melt I gathered the rest of my supplies. My Fragrance oil, The colorant and the mold. The kit that I purchased had everything that you needed in it. So the fragrance oil that came with my kit is Heather and Hyacinth with a blue colorant. The 15 bar soap mold I purchased at Wholesale Supplies Plus.

Second batch

Second batch

I forgot to take pictures of me adding the fragrance and colors, but once completed and put into the molds here it is.

Heather and Hyacinth soap

Heather and Hyacinth soap

The above soap was made with the Basic Rebatch soap base from Brambleberry with the kits liquid colorant and the fragrance Heather and Hyacinth.

Barbershop Soap

Barbershop Soap

This soap above is made with the Luxuary soap base and colored with the Cappuccino Mica which is from Brambleberry and scented with the fragrance from WSP (Wholesale Supplies Plus) called Barber Shoppe. I like this fragrance because it is a men’s fragrance. I am hoping that my husband will like it.

I wish there was a way to smell these soaps. They smell sooooo goooood. I have been using a small bar of the Heather and Hyacinth soap on my hands since we have a dog and I am cooking all the time it seems like. I like it because it doesn’t dry my hands out as much as other soaps that I have bought from Wal-Mart or Dawn dishwashing liquid.

Do you have any experiences of making your own body products? Tell me in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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