I’ve moved!

October 2, 2014 at 2:30 pm (Uncategorized)

Find me over on http://raciebaby.blogspot.co.nz/ as I prefer the Blogger platform


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Sweatshirt Tutorial

February 24, 2008 at 9:29 pm (Uncategorized)

Today I decided to sew up a sweatshirt for George for school and seeing as I’d promised to do a tutorial on doing the neckline I decided I’d do it on the whole thing; so here goes!

1.  Choose pattern and fabric; luckily I had both in my stash already so I’m using a Burda pattern and 100% cotton sweatshirt fleece.


You then cut out the paper pattern to the correct size, or if using a small size and wanting access to the larger sizes later you copy off the one you want and then cut the copy out.   Using a barely warm iron press the pattern pieces.

Lay out your pattern pieces paying attention to the grainline and direction of stretch.  Pin and cut.   The pattern I am using has a 1.5cm seam allowance built in, Kwik Sew has 6mm and some have none at all and you have to add it on when cutting.  Make sure you know which you have before cutting or sewing anything!

Now, the directions I am giving are for using an overlocker (serger) and coverhem; all can be done on a standard sewing machine.  For vertical seams a straight stitch is fine unless your fabric has lengthwise stretch.  For the shoulders straight is fine as you will be using a woven tape to stabilize.   For any seams with stretch use a narrow zig-zag and for the hem substitute a double needle which will give you a similar effect.

Step 2:  After cutting out your fabric take some 6-10mm woven cotton tape and cut it to the width of the shoulder as in the photo.2.jpg

Now, for the neckline I am doing it in the round, if you prefer to do it in the flat take the instructions I give for the sleeve and apply them to the neck.   I find doing it in the round gives a better finish with less lumps.

Serge both shoulders with the tape attached



Should look like the above when finished.   Now that you have both shoulders sewn mark your centre front and centre back with pins.  Fold with these points together to get 2 more points so you have 4 equal sections like the photo below.


You are now going to get your ribbing ready to apply to your neckline.   Your ribbing will need to folded together lengthwise with right sides facing.   Sew the short ends together


Then finger press the seam open and fold the other way with wrong sides facing to look like this7.jpg


Quarter this as you did the sweatshirt neck using the seam as your centre back, will look like this.


You’re going to pin them together now using the marked points.  It should now look like this, you’re pinning it to the right side of the sweatshirt with raw edges together.


Serge together stretching ribbing to fit the neckline as you go; having the four points pinned makes it much easier to do this evenly.


It will now look like this



Now you’re going to do the ribbing on the sleeves.  I’m using the flat method on this which is easier to execute, but not as tidy.   Fold your ribbing right sides together with the long edges facing eachother like this


Pin to the sleeve right sides together and raw edges together.


Serge together making sure to remove the pins before you hit them (sergers hate pins!); stretch the ribbing to fit the sleeve as you go making sure to keep the raw edges together.



The fact that it’s a bit wavy doesn’t matter, it’ll be fine on the finished article

You’re now going to attach the sleeve; I’m only giving instructions for the flat version of this, most sweatshirts and t-shirts use this method.   Pin the sleeve to the body of the sweatshirt right sides together and raw edges together, make sure to match all notches.  Some patterns it doesn’t matter which sleeve goes on which side, some it does matter.  Mine it matters but it’s easy to tell as there is only one notch on each sleeve and that’s at the front.   Serge keeping raw edges together.



Almost done!   You now need to sew the side seams from the ribbing sleeve (careful, this can slip and leave you with an uneven sleeve).  If you’re new to sewing pin so it doesn’t slip at the hem, mid side, underarm, mid sleeve and wrist taking care not to run over them with the serger.   If you’re an old hand you can do this without any pins which is safer for your serger.


Just the hem to do now!  You can do this one of two ways.  You can add a ribbing hem in the same way as you did the neckline (in the round), or you can just turn it up and hem it normally as I did on this one.   I had to do this as that’s how the school uniform is done.  I used my coverhem, but as I said at the beginning you can use a double needle in a normal machine.


The finished product!   Be proud, it’s all done and can now be worn to keep the chill at bay.  Unfortunately mine has one more step, I have to get the school logo added before George can wear it.


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1st shopping bag

February 12, 2008 at 9:15 pm (Uncategorized)

Finally got to make a shopping bag, did it from start to finish yesterday using 1 yard of dragon print cotton quilting fabric.  I made it to be able to be folded into it’s own pocket.   It’s based on the green bags I got from the grocery store which don’t have a very long lifespan.



The previous day I finished a pair of cargo pants for DH which were supposed to be lightweight for around home.  Unfortunately they fitted perfectly and looked great, so now they’re for good.   They were in a mechanical stretch cotton with a self stripe.   I’ll be making a shirt for him next and possibly a needle case for my knitting needles.


Knitting 2 things atm; a jersey for youngest in Utiku Bazar, doing cables for the first time ever and enjoying them.  I’m also going to be knitting a jersey for me in Inca (variagated light pink one); I’ve done the tension square for it and that’s all so far.   I’m crocheting fingerless gloves for me as well in Jet (green variagated).  This is to go with the felted hat I made a while back, should be yummy for dropping the boys off to school and kindy in the winter.

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Long day!

February 9, 2008 at 4:39 pm (Uncategorized)

Got up at 7am this morning to do our annual wood trip.   DH went down to get a trailer while I got the food, clothes, water, safety gear etc ready to go. DH got back to say he hadn’t been able to get any petrol as the Eft-Pos was down, however because of that they let him have the trailer free!
We had a trip out past Cust to a friends farm to cut up some fallen timber.  My brother and his wife came too and we filled both trailers; we’re now ok for the winter and they’re much better off.  Most of the timber is only rain wet so should be dry for the winter.
The boys had a good day, but I’m absolutely shot!  Still have 4 hours of work to do this evening too.
But, in the end the wood cost us maybe $20 for the petrol and that was it 😀

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First day of school

February 4, 2008 at 5:59 pm (Uncategorized)


George started school today, he’s been wanting to go for the last fortnight and was so pleased to get there today.   Looks like he had a great day and is looking forward to tomorrow too.  His brother went to Grandmas for the day too so I got some sewing done.   Almost finished DH’s trousers now which is good.

The old bed was picked up today too, so now I only have 2 lounge suites in the lounge, rather than 2 lounge suites plus a bed!    Will have to vacuum tomorrow morning.

I’m also taking part in a savings challenge of buying no crap for a month; so far so good.   Only extra thing we’ve bought was for DH for $9.95US.

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January 29, 2008 at 2:29 pm (Uncategorized)

I’ve made a few more changes.  Cut my hair on Sunday morning; I’m growing my fringe out so I thought I’d get the rest a bit shorter to allow the fringe to catch up.  I’m happy with it, DH hates it when I do it as he has to trim it; but I object to the cost and time spent at the hairdresser.   Much quicker doing it myself.

Love the new bed, definitely more comfy than the old and it’s spurring me onto cleaning the house up too.   I’ve almost finished the bathroom and bedroom; hope to finish that today.

Knitting up a storm too, got to the pattern on Ian’s jersey, it’s a combo of knit and purl stitches and cables.   I’ve never done cables before, but I think I may well do them more often in future as they’re easier than I’d anticipated.   I’ve also been sewing too.  Hemmed curtains for my brother and his wife; turned a flat sheet into a fitted sheet and got started on trousers for DH to wear on hotter days.   I was bad today though, bought some more fabric from Spotlights clearance section.  2 t-shirt cuts of vintage style prints and some furry fabric (not fake fur, just like a furry polarfleece).   Credit card is definitely being put away.   I had it out as I needed a vacuum bag which I found, also got some more storage at the same time.    No more CC purchases!    I want to be able to save for my sewing machine and some other things too; if I keep spending I won’t do that, nor will I be able to pay for the bed when that comes up.

Definite pledge of no more credit card purchases until it’s paid off!  I’m also putting stuff on TradeMe to help clear clutter and pay debt.   Wish me willpower!!!!

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New dress

January 24, 2008 at 9:05 pm (Uncategorized)

I made up a Simplicity dress this weekend using some quilting cotton I had.  I’m happy with the style, but it’s a little wide in the back and it brought to my attention just how big my tummy has got.   I made this dress because I had a similar one I bought years back which I love, but it’s past it’s best.   It’s sent me back to the gym, once I’ve got my figure back I’ll do the adjustments I need to do for the back fit and maybe make up another one as the style really suits me.   I had already made one adjustment, I dropped the bust point down 3cm so at least that’s right!dress-finished.jpg

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1 more sleep!

January 23, 2008 at 9:04 pm (Uncategorized)

We get our new bed tomorrow (or at least I haven’t heard anything to the contrary). In preparation today I tidied the lounge so we could shift the bed in there. It looks amazingly tidy, the bedroom is still a little messy aside from the area the bed is going but that’ll get fixed in the morning. I’ll be putting the old bed on TM and hope someone is looking for a bed for the spare room. We now have a duvet and valance for the new bed which is good, I hate having the base showing.

It meant of course that I didn’t have time to bake so I’ll have to do that tomorrow. Probably make chocolate muffins for the boys for next week.

We had a visit from Ian’s new Occupational Therapist today too, she was very impressed with how he’s going. Seems it’s unusual to have a child on the Autistic spectrum as close to toilet trained at his age as he is. He surprised me this evening, DH saw him standing up and peeing into the toilet the same way as his older brother does! Very impressed and I suspect the OT would have been too. Anyway, he’s going to be reassessed in six months before being discharged from their care, but we get to keep the carseat they supplied until it’s no longer required. I’m hoping he’ll start talking soon, he’s showing some signs, but not quite there yet.

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5 sleeps to go

January 19, 2008 at 11:07 pm (Uncategorized)

Until we get a new bed; so looking forward to that.   We found a $2200 bed for $1200; it’s  a King and we currently have a Queen so had to get new sheets as well.   The sheetset we got will mean I have to convert the flat sheet to a fitted, but I’ve done that before.    I think I’ll keep our old sheets and dye them and then make them into shirts; they’re 600 count egyptian cotton so I’m not getting rid of them!

Tonight we’re passing some of the time by playing Talisman with the family; I might try knitting when it’s not my turn but I’m not sure how that’ll go.   I’d like to get a bit further on with Ian’s jersey.

I’ve also been looking into bench mixers; I’m currently leaning towards the Kitchenaid ones, they’re not cheap ($899) and the accessories are also not cheap, but once I’ve paid off the Visa I think it’ll be worth doing.    Talking of paying off the Visa I spent more on it today; got 3 metres of cotton fabric to make DH a pair of trousers for the summer.  Unfortunately I didn’t have anything suitable in my stash.   I prewashed it today so as soon as I’ve finished my dress I’ll cut them out for him.  I’ll be dropping a size in the waist for him as the last pair were a little loose.    At the same time I’ll patch the knee of the moleskins I made him a few years back.  This is the second patch on this knee, he loves those pants.   I don’t know what he’ll do when they are irretrievable.

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Busy today!

January 17, 2008 at 4:44 pm (Uncategorized)

Got all the usual chores done this morning; buying milk, putting washing out etc.   I also stripped the boys beds and did some more pruning.   Next time I see the neighbour I might investigate if they are willing to cut down that tree; it’s interfering with my Pears!

This afternoon was very busy.   Made some GF choc banana muffins.   Added a bit of ground ginger; yummo.    I also cleaned the laundry, this wasn’t the standard lick and a promise; this was floor washed, everything put away, all surfaces vacuumed and wiped down.   As a result I am feeling very proud and the jam has found a home.   Found an old tin of catfood too so Dennis the Menace is happily chowing down.   The boys have been watching TV or on the computer for the afternoon which I’m not so proud of, but it’s too hot to be outside and at the end of the day I prefer children to lobsters.

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