Monday, 25 August 2014

Sew Geeky Episode V: Deadpool vs Aquaman!

So excited to bring you guys this month's offering of Sew Geeky! We now have a blog especially for SG, view as a hub of sorts! You'll be able to go there to see all our past Sew Geeky episodes in one place, as well as linky parties, giveaways and our pinterest boards! If you have ever sewn anything geeky please send us the pin to our Pinterest account, or email us or hashtag us on Instagram (#sewgeeky) or share it with us on our facebook page! The five themes we have done so far all have linky parties on our Sew Geeky hub blog and we would love for you to link up your projects! So far we have done: 8-bit babies (arcade games), Star Wars, Tank Girl, Classic Anime and Marvel Vs DC! You can also check out our next 5 months of themes here.

So if you haven't already, bookmark Sew Geeky to your favourite blogroll (we use Bloglovin'!) so you don't miss a thing!

Okay! Now all that is out of the way I'm stoked to show you what I sewed up for this month's theme! Marvel Vs DC, now it wasn't that difficult really. I mean I don't exactly LOVE Marvel, but I do have an appreciation of the Xmen, and also Deadpool. I know a lot of people think that Marvel is superior, but I don't really care if people tease me for liking DC because (a) I'm used to being teased for being a nerd and (b) I don't ever conform. I like what I like!

For this month's Sew Geeky I gave myself the additional challenge of using only FREE PATTERNS that you can easily download and follow online! How neat is that? (pretty neat!) I'll be detailing which ones I used!

Vincent had the choice, I was going to make Deadpool and Aquaman and he could decide which one he wanted to be. I was mildly surprised that he chose Deady! Real quick, here's my little disclaimer: Deadpool is TOTALLY not a rolemodel for kids. In fact a lot of superheroes and stuff are pretty violent even if they are fighting 'bad guys' and I really don't condone that kind of aggression in my little guy at all; but Vincent is just dressing up as Deady, he's never read a Deadpool comic or seen any footage of the guy (or heard him talk lol), he's just seen a few comic panels online that I was using as reference pics and he has a Deadpool lego minifig.

Vince's outfit is made -almost- entirely of recycled t-shirts! His leggings are from my own pattern, I traced around a pair of leggings that used to fit him and added a few adjustments so that they would fit him. I pieced the legs, so that the outside panels would be black and the inner legs would be red. On the outside of his left leg I added a small band of black stretchknit, it's a holster for him to slip his (NERF) gun into!

His shirt was also pieced, which seemed like a good idea at the time but all that pivoting and right angles man, phew! It took a bit of concentration, a bit of chocolate mud cake, but in the end I managed to get those angles of the front and the sleeves done pretty alright! I did use the Flashback Skinny Tee pattern, since I already had it printed out and it didn't really seem right to be printing out another long-sleeved shirt pattern, but if you don't have it yet (highly do recommend it for a lovely fitting tee!) you can get a free long-sleeved shirt pattern over here at Small Dreamfactory in sizes 18months - 4Y.

The beanie was a happy mistake! I used my Toddler Slouch Beanie pattern and used the hem of a red shirt so that the bottom of the beanie didn't need a hem at all. I reverse appliqued Deady's eyes of the mask onto the front section of the beanie then sewed it up. When I tried it on I realised it was big enough that I could pull it down over my face like a mask. Vincent was SO STOKED that it pulled down over his face too. I love that this is a really versatile little item, it can be his mask for when he plays, or just a cool geeky beanie when we're on missions to the shops.

His outfit was extremely easy, just a little fiddly to make, and all the pieces are super easy to mix and match with items already in his wardrobe: I mean, that's if he ever takes this off!

Eddie's outfit is a lot more subtle, a lot less -obvious superhero- but I really love the understated-ness of it. You know how sometimes you want to make something that isn't obviously a costume? I know some people refer to it as like, being able to wear it out to the shops or to the playground, but I guess those people severely underestimate their kids and their love of dressing up! Vincent would his outfits 24/7 if he could! Anyway I loved making this Aquaman-inspired outfit for Eddie!

For the top I was inspired by the Wellen Tank tutorial written by Shannon of Luv in the Mommyhood. I've always been enamoured by the top, and so when I thought of a DIY scale effect that wasn't going to be too obviously fishy I immediately thought of this tutorial!It gives you a template for the curves, but for the actual top I used the Confetti Dress which is a free pattern in size 2T by Teri of Climbing the Willow.

I altered it just slightly, instead of making it a-line I just folded the pattern down from the armpit straight to the hem then cut out the fabric I had made with the Wellen Cruves from that. This was a simple little tunic top to sew up, just time consuming and all those curves was very repetitive! I started with orange at the topto be like Aquaman's gold scales on the top of his outfit, then sort of ombre-d the colours to some yellows that are symbolic of his golden belt.

 I fully lined it with some scrap material, and I just love how neat it all turned out. it has a slit in the back and closes with a button and a loop of elastic which isjust so easy and simple and I just LOVE this pattern! I'd actually like to sew this up again, but with the additional longer skirt that you're supposed to add to it.

Eddie's little peplum shorts were mad using the Peplum Shorts pattern by Crafting Zuzzy! Also a free pattern in sizes 12-18months which is conveniently Edison's size. They were very easy to sew, although I did make a small alteration when cutting out and just added like an inch at the back of the shorts and sloped it down toward the sideseam. Straight across shorts patterns always make me anxious there won't be room in the finished garment for baby booty!

I also added a lining to the peplum; which basically involved cutting an extra peplum piece, stitching them right-sides together and then flipping it and ironing it all the right way out. I did a decorative topstitch which is a pretty scallop that I thought was a bit scale-looking. I used the same stitch to hem the shorts! And also I epicly did not get a shot of the peplum lining fabric but you might see little peeks of the fabric that I used in this Mermaid Glass Onion Top.

Marvel VS DC?

Can't we all just get along?

Totally wouldn't be a Sew Geeky post without the Derp right?

Less of a derp and more of an aww! She just wanted to hang out with her Dad instead of take photos. And awww matching vans!

Now go back to the main Sew Geeky blog and check out all the guests we have joining in this month! Seriously Geeking out at all the awesome!


Saturday, 23 August 2014

Perfect Pattern Parcel: BOYS!

Hey guys! Guess what! This is your boys' lucky week! Today (and for the next few weeks) I'll be showing you some rad things I have made from the Perfect Pattern Parcel's latest offering: BOYS! Real quick before I show you all the epic that is before you, I just need to let you know that the links directing you to the Pattern Parcel website from my blog are a sort of affiliate link, meaning if you purchase a parcel through my blog then I will be getting an entry into winning some fabric. And since I use mostly second hand fabric some nice new stuff would be AMAZING! It's a really nice little incentive that the Dorseys have given us bloggers, I mean not that sewing up patterns isn't fun enough! Thanks Dorseys!

Pattern Parcel #4

Yeh I can't even with this awesome parcel right now! There's 6 really fantastic patterns, both nice basic patterns you can build a wardrobe from, as well as the bonus pattern which is the Knight Hoodie. I don't know how many times you would make a knight hoodie but I have plans on making them for FOUR amazing little boys in my life. It's one of those patterns that is just totally awesome!

Pattern Parcel #4 includes:
Maxwell Top by Shwin Designs
Zippy Jacket by Blank Slate Patterns
Schoolboy Vest by Sew Much Ado
Small Fry Jeans by Titchy Threads
Jet Pack Bag by Betz White

So want to see what I made? I stitched up two Maxwells and a pair of Small Fries!

The first Maxwell was pretty easy, because I was resizing a denim shirt that used to be my dad's. I just did all the buttons up on the shirt, then placed the front pattern piece over the shirt and cut it out. I did the same with the sleeves and that was basically it! Once I had the pieces cut out I just stitched the sleeves back onto the new armholes, zipped up the sides and hemmed the bottom. The front breast pockets are obviously designed to sit much higher on a man's shirt, but on Vincent they're at a fun level that doesn't actually look too ridiculous!

It was pretty easy! However the second Maxwell I made was a bit more trickier! Now the Maxwell Top pattern is one of those patterns you really need to read the instructions are you're sewing. Since I've sewn quite a few button up shirts in my past (mostly mens bowling shirts!) I am used to doing things a certain way, and I did get a bit frustrated in some parts of this pattern, but really when I look at the finished product I really love it. I'm quite pleased that I took the time to follow each step exactly, instead of my usual "I'm going to change everything about this!" that I seem to be busting out a lot lately! Really, there's nothing wrong with being a guerilla improv seamstress, however sometimes it's just nice to sit down and sew a pattern and have the results be as you saw in the photo!

The Maxwell Top pattern is designed by Shwin Designs, and I've become accustomed to the steps not being in the way that I would do them, but if I just shut up and follow the instructions the results are always pretty good! I used a red and orange plaid that I got from the op shop (seriously if it's a plaid it's MINE), it's almost a flanno although not quite, so the inside is quite warm and soft. The thing with plaids is that I LOVE matching up the patterns on side seams and other seams, so I had a good time matching it all up and using every skerrick of the scraps that I had to make it all work out. I really love the front button tab, and while the front facing was done differently than I am used to I really like the end result. Everything just fit together.

Okay I know I was saying that following the instructions is good, but I couldn't help myself! I did change some bits! This includes the back yoke, which I added a separate 'flap' sort of thing. I told Vincent it was an upside down pocket and he's obsessed with it. It's just a small design feature you can use to make your boyswear just that little bit unique and different without being too dramatic!

Another little change I made was that I added a strip of red inside the sleeves as reverse cuffs, so he could roll them a little and there'd be that little pop of contrast colour. The red comes from a pair of women's pants that I would love to rock out when I am like, 89 or something. However instead i hacked into the hems of them and made them into sleeves for the Vincenz.

I really enjoyed every little detail in making this shirt, although at the time I was like "this is not fun" I'm on another learning curve with my sewing, and I haven't sewn a button-up shirt since Vin was like 9 months old. I know I am trying to finesse my skills, skills I know I have but that I am too impatient to take the time to do things properly.

And the unsung hero of this shoot has got to be those shorts! Yeh, I made them too! They are the second pair of XXL mens Dickies that found their way into my possession so I made them into a pair of Small Fry Skinnie Shorts for the main man. They have a half fly instead of a zippered fly, and they are in the size 4 which fits this slender boy so well! He loves them. It's almost shorts weather!

So with the Perfect Pattern Parcel, it's a little different than other bundles (I love all their unique qualities!), in that you get the entire parcel of patterns, but YOU GET TO CHOOSE HOW MUCH YOU WANT TO PAY FOR IT. Which I think is amazing and just so good. If you decide to pay $26 or over you get to unlock the bonus pattern which is the Knight Hoodie. I think it's well and truly worth it, since all the patterns together are retail of $49!

Buy Pattern Parcel #4

Check out all the other amazing bloggers who will be showcasing their best for this bundle (yeh you'll see me a few times there because I want to sew ALL THE THINGS!)

Friday, August 22
casa crafty || Lulu & Celeste || Keep Calm and Carrion

Saturday, August 23
Max California || Amanda Rose

Sunday, August 24
little betty sews

Monday, August 25
Kadiddlehopper || Radiant Home Studio

Tuesday, August 26
La Pantigana || Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts || Friends Stitched Together

Wednesday, August 27
Make It Perfect || Modern Handmade || GYCT Designs

Thursday, August 28
Needle and Ted || Mae & K || Mimi's Mom

Friday, August 29
Pienkel || Once Upon a Sewing Machine || Friends Stitched Together

Saturday, August 30
FABulous Home Sewn || Gray Skies || The Crazy Tailor

Sunday, August 31
Nine Stitches || Max California || Oliver's Fancy || Friends Stitched Together

Monday, September 1
a happy stitch || lady and the gents || Our Family Four || Swoodson Says
Tuesday, September 2
verypurpleperson || Things for Boys || The Crazy Tailor

Wednesday, September 3
Our Family Four || Rebekah Sews || a happy stitch

Thursday, September 4
Sew a Straight Line || la inglesita || Made by Sara || Knot Sew Normal

Friday, September 5
Knot Sew Normal || Gracious Threads || Sofilantjes || Max California

I want to give a HUGE shoutout to my son Vin, because he is an excellent model for me and understands when I need him to pull it together and not muck about too much while I try and grab a few snaps. His maturity level when I need him to 'step up' is amazing and he's such an incredible little human. I'm just really fortunate he's in my life and I work so hard to be the mother that he deserves. He's epic. I love you Vin 


Thursday, 21 August 2014

Bundle Up: In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night

No evil shall escape my sight.
Let those who worship evil's might,
Beware my power, Green Lantern's Light!

My husband is a MEGA Green Lantern fan, and although originally I didn't intend to do an outfit inspired by good old GL it evolved that way and I couldn't be more stoked! I was contacted a few months ago by the girls over at Pattern Revolution (half of the brains behind the concept is my good friend Suzanne that I met when competing against her in Project Run & Play!) to take part in their latest Bundle Up! tour. It's good news, really good news, because there are actually two very awesome and very different boy pattern bundles going down at the end of this month!

I got to sew up two of the twelve available patterns you can choose to bundle up, and I chose the P51 Flyer Jacket by Terra's Treasures and the Butler Britches by Brownie Goose. When I saw the patterns I felt like I had made a big mistake. I mean seriously that jacket is all sorts of EPIC and although I have sewn four motorcycle-style jackets in my time (two for me, two for Vin) they were ones I designed, so in my head I knew where all the pattern pieces were supposed to go and what it was supposed to look like. I also thought I'd screwed up with the Butler Britches because if you're a long time reader of this blog then you know my son Vincent is obsessed with his style being a certain way. Hair slicked down like 'Blondecai'...

...and pants so skinny tight they could probably cut off the circulation to his legs. As you can see the Butler Britches are wide-legged! I was like, "oh no I've made a terrible mistake" as I stitched them up, but you know what? He's wearing them right now out to a show with his dad (Wombat Stew); the pants have been in existence for a bit over 24 hours and he's worn them twice now. YAY!

So can I show you the details of both of these great patterns? I can? Sweet! Let's start with the pants!

We had to take the photos on two different days because it has been FREEZING this week. Like ice cold baby! The sunshine is so lovely but as usual, very deceptive and the wind is bone-chilling! Of course Vincent wore his pants for the rest of the afternoon of our first shoot and there is a drip of chocolate or something on them just in time for his second shot :,) (I don't actually know what it is because we don't have chocolate in the house?)

The Butler Britches are a wide-legged pant with rad cuffs that button up. I kept mine all black, because the little dude needs more plain-coloured pants in his wardrobe, and instead of the loop that goes from the top of the cuff up to the button I just stitched the button directly onto the cuff (lookout guys, we've got a sewing rebel over here!). I sewed these up in the size 4, although you can see that the legs should be a little shorter. Even though he's not absurdly tall for his age, he does have long legs. In future I would sew up the size 4 with a size 3 length leg. Totally not the pattern's fault though you guys because she DID say to try them on the kid so that they're not too long and make the cuffs look wonky! My bad!

They have a rad little butt pocket, there's two options you can choose from and you can put two on the back or just one like I did. I really, really, love this pocket! It's so unique! Expect to see that on many more future pants of Vincent's (and maybe on t-shirts too!).

The best part about these pants for Vin? Yeh, the cuffs double as the ALL IMPORTANT LEGO POCKET!

Such a model...

Okay okay, the jacket? I know you want me to talk about this too because COME ON! It's Green Lantern, it's a motorcycle vest and I slaved away on that thing for DAYS. DAYS you guys. AND SOME NIGHTS TOO. I'm totally proud of how it all came together and when I showed the little dude his eyes were as big as SAUCERS.

Now as I mentioned before, I'm no stranger to sewing motorcycle inspired jackets. I made myself two way back in my life before kiddos, and I made vin two, one of which he rocked out during Project Run & Play! So theoreticaly I know how they go together, I know what's involved, and I know it's a time consuming, labour intensive but TOTALLY rewarding sew!

 I think I glossed over it before, but I was diagnosed with ADD when I was pregnant with Edison, and just -knowing- that I have something going on with my attention span makes me feel so much less of a weirdo. Still, I like to pretend it's because I'm a creative mad scientist! However, sewing is something I can focus on, if I can see that I'm getting results fairly quickly (this is probably why crocheting and knitting is hard for me!). I spent two days and a late night sewing this baby up, and I can say it is my favourite thing I have sewn to date!!

The original jacket is made of leather and lined with sherpa fleece, but as usual when I see line drawings I see them as colouring in pages and I ALWAYS colour outside of the lines :,) (was that a totally weird analogy? Let's just go back to calling me a sewing rebel!) So I decided I wanted to make a motorcycle jacket instead of the aviator-style jacket pictured on the pattern. I also knew I wouldn't be making it out of leather!

I'm not sure what sparked it, probably because I've been in Sew Geeky mode since this month the theme is Marvel Vs DC and all I can think about is superheros (oh wow really? Like I'm pretending I don't always think about super heroes :,) ) So there's a Green Lantern maybe not all of you are familiar with (in fact there's hundreds), but the one I'm talking about is one of the GL's assigned to Sector 2814: Earth! This is the third Green Lantern, or Fourth depending on what arc you're reading, and his name is Guy Gardner. Now I'm not really the biggest fan of Guy. I think he's a bit of a jerk but he's got to be pretty amazing to get to be a Green Lantern so I am reserving judgement!

As you can see I didn't copy his motorcycle vest exactly, but took elements of it for inspiration! I moved the Green Lantern symbol to the back sort of like a back patch. I freezer paper stencilled the green lantern symbol onto some white fabric then stitched it on. I kept a lot of the white accents off the jacket, but the small facing piece I made it white and I wasn't sure it would look alright but I took that leap of faith I should be familiar with by now and added it in instead of making it plain black. I love it.

It wasn't until I was almost done that i realised I had no idea how to sew the armholes. There's several ways you can sew armholes in lined garments, but I hadn't thought it through and most of them involved leaving the shoulders or the hem opn: both of which were firmly sewn shut with design elements added already to them! So I made some bias binding from the scraps of the green broadcloth I used for his jacket and bound the armholes. They worked out so much better than I hoped!

Modifications to the original pattern
- left the sleeves off
- took 1cm off the armhole both at the shoulder and the armpit (this is standard procedure for turning sleeved things sleeveless!)
- added a backpatch!
- left off the waist tabs
- sewed everything in reverse because my fabric didn't have a wrong side (not recommended. this was not intentional ahah)

Want to see the inside? It's actually my favourite part so hold onto your hats because Vincent is about to show you (very dramatically). Ya ready?


I freezer paper stencilled the start of the Green Lantern oath onto the inside waistband piece, which took a long time but once again: worth it!. Once the jacket was all together I also topstitched the green lantern on the backpatch, knowing that it would be a really cool outline on the inside of the jacket! I was totally right. There's also a small green lantern fabric patch way up there on the shoulder. Yeh that's when I sewed the lining wrong, tried to rip out my stitches and ended up ripping the fabric. Good job Ari, Good job.

Details of the Bundle Up Sale:
The sale runs from August 22-29, and you can buy a minimum of 6 patterns at a really reduced price (I think each pattern is marked downlike 50%), but you can totally buy more patterns in the bundle and the more you buy the cheaper it gets! Woo! Head over here to check out all the patterns. You get to choose which ones you want, there is 12 to choose from!

If you're into boy sewing as much as I am, or maybe you just need some inspiration, check out the following blogs who are also on this tour:

Want to see my other Green Lantern outfits? Check out the Green Lantern tag. For more nerdy creations there is also the Batman, Star Wars and Sew Geeky tags!