Please don’t think I’m some dorky try-hard sew-along weirdie. I’m not.* It’s just that the next two sew-alongs involve a wee bit of planning – particularly February’s. So I’m offering up two sew-alongs, both with three pieces, in order that you have plenty of time to commit and plan.
January’s focus on a babywear layette, and February’s on an ensemble from Bootstrap! Our size choices for babywear are preemie to 6T; Bootstrap’s size range is from a 17″ to 67″ chest / 18″ to 68″ hip. I like my sew-alongs to have as large a size range as possible!
(I am also looking for ideas for my final sew-along in my year-long series. If you have any, please do comment here, email me, or share on Facebook!)
First – can you believe I’ve done this many sew-alongs without a baby garment? My friend Gwen from Calm Under Tension pointed out the obvious – I hadn’t yet done a baby sew-along! Which is a bit unreal, considering how much I sew for babies, and how much I love to! I asked her if she’d like to join up this January – since we both have friends’ babies to sew for – and she said yes! So she is getting an honorary mention on my badge. She is the bee’s knees!
So with January 10th to 20th as our sew-along dates, we are left with pattern selection. Gwen and I selected three pieces from Brindille and Twig, a babywear PDF-based pattern company serving sizes preemie to 6T. They have a very active Facebook group, if you’d like to peruse their makes. In our case, we are making up the snug ear-flap beanie, the hooded raglan sweatshirt (which is a free pattern), and the big butt pants:
Each of the three patterns has yardage charts, and of course you will also want to determine which prints, stripes, solids you want to put where.
(You can print out this PDF and make sketches for colors and patterns).
A few notes on fabrics. If you are not already tits-deep-addicted to the various custom print co-op groups (not that I am or anything), you can find good knits all over online. You can certainly use 100% cotton or poly, but french terry with lycra (spandex) or cotton lycra (spandex) are very ideal to work with. In search of these I can highly recommend Nature’s Fabrics, Cali Fabrics, and Fabric.com (listed in relative order of great customer service and fabric quality, to “you’re on your own, hope you know what you’re doing, but still a great site I use a lot”). There are so many great sites for lovely knits for babywear I hope my mention of only these three doesn’t imply there aren’t plenty of other fabulous options! Feel free to post any shops you like in the comments.
From January 10th through the 20th, you will receive a handful of emails walking us through construction. We’ll go head-down – starting with a hat, then moving onto the hoodie, and finishing with the pants.
Okay – now let’s talk February!
I am super-excited to announce the first Bootstrap Blind Date, for my penultimate post in my year-long sew-along series. Remember, Bootstrap Fashion is a made-to-measure pattern company that allows you to custom your pattern blocks and purchase the pattern in whatever print or software option you like (I get the copy shop option – no printing and taping for me!). I’ll talk a bit more about our three patterns in a moment.
And here’s the happs on the sew-along. On February 14th, Valentine’s Day, I will post a three-piece Bootstrap ensemble as well as the full sew-along for each garment! For the next month you can post pictures of your outfit on my Facebook page if you like – or email them, or post them in the comments! One of the chief rewards of creating sew-alongs, is watching you all sew. And please remember, I am here to coach you through any tricky bits you encounter!
So now – what all is entailed in the Bootstrap ensemble?
We are working with three fairly simple pieces: a semi-fitted women’s blouse, classic trouser, and jacket with diagonal zipper. These garments were selected as being classic, yet having opportunity for many possible variations.
If you’ve not used Bootstrap’s patterns before, you will need to create an account to get started. You are also going to want your measurements on file (or the measurements of your recipient, if you’re sewing for someone else). If you are planning to sew for yourself, keep you tape measure handy – and a buddy, if you can’t take your own measurements – and make sure you’re wearing the undergarments you’ll be wearing for these garments before measuring.
Here are the three pieces for the sew-along:
The garments vary in complexity, with the pants being simplest, and jacket being most complicated. You can go for one, two – or all three!
My readers know I am available via comment, Skype, Facebook, or email to help. I do not generally cover layout in my sew-alongs – so if you have any questions at all, please ask!
Now let’s briefly talk about supplies for the Bootstrap ensemble. With three garments, our fabrics and notions are going to vary considerably! If you have any questions about suitability of fabrics – please ask! While gathering supplies, make sure you have a suitable interfacing for the shirt collar, cuffs, and stand, the waistband of the trouser, and the jacket. For the jacket, we will also need three zippers. You can measure the zipper lengths from your pattern and purchase the exact length – or get longer zippers and be prepared to shorten them (this works best with metal zippers). Remember, I have a Zipperstop color card which allows me to perfectly color-match. But of course, you can use contrast zippers as well!
So – that’s a lot! Below, I have the sign-up forms for each sew-along – again, now that you’ve read through. I hope to see you for one – or both!
See you in January!
*Just kidding, I totally am