Teaching my Husband to Sew

I taught my husband how to sew this past weekend. Yup, I’m serious. He has been casually saying, “You could teach me” or walking into my sewing room and looking at my machines as I rethread them, etc. I finally took him up on it and like most things we do together, we had a good time.

How did we decide on the project?? Well, you know how I’ve been really into pushing myself and trying new things with my sewing? This was no different.

I decided to challenge myself with a fabric I’d normally not use. Then I took it one step further and challenged myself to use it on a pattern, way out of my norm.  When the fabric arrived my husband saw it and asked me what I was going to do with it. I explained my self-challenge and he promptly said, “Why don’t you split the yardage with me, teach me how to sew, and we can see who uses it better?”. So, competitive couple that we are, I accepted his challenge.

The challenge fabric is this cotton spandex (cotton lycra, same thing) Map print from So Sew English Fabrics. I haven’t used cotton spandex since I made my husband his ice cream boxers and it was a nice treat to use something different.

Lets talk about his pattern pick first. He likes all the Hudson pullovers from Greenstyle Creations that I have made him in the past so he decided to make himself another one. He used the map print for the body and found some brown cotton lycra in my stash to use for the sleeves.

He had it pretty easy with not having to print and tape a pattern since I already had his size handy. He did however have to figure out where he wanted his short sleeve line to be and he also wanted the neckline raised a little. I walked him through it and even let him use my serger and sewing machine.

I am seriously so impressed with how he followed my steps, was open to tips and my nagging about retracting the rotary blade before setting it on the counter. He did such an amazing job and I honestly can’t believe this is his first try at sewing. I videoed our “sewing lesson” in the hopes of sharing it on my YouTube as a couple part sewing tutorial, but technical, kid, and audio issues messed up several pieces. So I took a few clips of our fun and made an outtake video of sorts. It is available on my YouTube channel for your viewing entertainment. Yes, we are really like that 😂

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With the remaining map print I made myself a crop top. I used the George and Ginger Picnic Dress bodice and love the litle gather front detail. I made my size per the pattern but I think I’m going to take off the band and bring it in a little. To use just the bodice, you do the pattern as directed and skip attaching the skirt.

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Since I didn’t have anything to wear with a crop top, I made myself a pair of  highwaist elastic shorts. I used the Century from CKC patterns in this solid black crosshatch woven from So Sew English. The woven has some nice stretch/give, which I wasn’t expecting. I wish I had a few more yards of the crosshatch woven, I can totally see it as a summer dress or some flowy pants.

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I’m not sure if I will wear the shorts on a regular basis, but I actually really, really like the top and think I may try making a highwaist maxi skirt to wear with it.

To complete our challenge I took a picture of my outfit and because a picture wasn’t enough for him to showcase his shirt, he made a commercial. 😂 You can see his commercial on my YouTube channel too. He assigned me a roll for it and we had lots of laughs. 

Help us decide! Who used the map print better??

 

 

Faux Moto Patch Hoodie – Sewing for my Husband

I love Moto patches on clothes. Up until now the only one I have actually done though, was on my green pair of DIBY club Augusta Moto pants. These are legit fold and stitch pintucks! While I absolutely love them, I wanted to find something a little quicker when I got the idea to do a moto patch on a hoodie for my husband.

When I first decided to make this hoodie with the moto patch hack, I wondered if I could do a faux pintuck using my coverstitch. Over the past year, my coverstitch and I have had an interesting journey. I struggled to figure out all its little quirks to avoid tunneling and skipped stitches. We seem to be mostly on the same page now, so wanting to intentionally create tunneling made me cringe. Oh husband, how much I love you.

I cut some scrap fabric strips, cranked up my needle and looper tensions, and just gave it a try.

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Well, hello there, you gorgeous faux pintucks!! Maybe I should just use this coverstitch for exclusive faux pintucks and get myself a different one for regular coverstitching. I’m only sort of kidding.

I have a Janome 900 CPX and the settings I used were, both the needles and the looper on 9, the highest tension it goes.  Then I set my stitch length at a 2.5 and my differential feed at 1. You will need to tweak your own settings depending on the fabric you use and your machine, but the basic goal is to have a longer stitch and tighter tension to pull the two rows of stitching together, pinching the fabric and making a tunnel.  Pro tip: before you start messing with your tensions and other settings, jot down a little note saying what they were set at for proper stitching. There is nothing worse than forgetting how to get back to your perfect coverstitch.

Now that you know how I made these faux pintucks, it’s time to talk about what I used them to create. I hacked the sleeves on the Greenstyle Creations Hudson Pullover, and made this awesome hoodie for my husband. I am so proud of this one !!

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After seeing a similar hoodie on Pinterest I showed it to my husband, thinking he would say no. Obviously, I was wrong. I admit, it doesn’t happen often (wink wink), but in this case, I’m glad it did. Since I have made this hoodie once before, I knew exactly how it fit on him and if I needed to make any adjustments for this slightly different look.

Let’s talk about making the moto patch first. If you are like me, when someone says they “eye-balled” something, you just want to smack them. How are you supposed to duplicate eye-balling?? So I’m ducking over here as I say, I eye-balled most of this. To help with my eye-balling, I took pictures and general measurements that you can use to create your own, “eye-balled” moto patch.

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The first thing I did was take the sleeve pattern piece and find the halfway mark. I used the wrist hem to find my center since the sleeve is a raglan and not exactly the same from front to back. I needed that center point though, to ensure the patch was centered on his arm when worn.

Once I had my center line I made another mark, approximately 12.5” down from the neckline, along the center line. This line will serve as the bottom of the moto patch. You can bring it lower if you want it to come closer to the elbow, or make it shorter if you wanted a smaller patch. Eye-ball away.

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Now that I had my lower mark on the center fold, I needed to determine what kind of a shape I wanted for this moto patch. Since I was using the seams for the full top and most of the side lengths for the patch, I just eye-balled a curve. It ended up being about 9.5” down from the top for the back side and 7” down for the front side. Both were more than halfway down the total seam length.  Make your marks and smooth out the curves until you are happy with the size and shape. If you have your recipient handy, you can even hold the sleeve piece up on their arm and make sure you like where it will hit. My husband was gone so I just winged it.

Once you have your moto patch pattern piece made, you will want to measure it. I prefer cutting a square piece of my fabric, mirrored, the size of the patch pattern piece, plus some. Then I take that square piece of fabric and do my pintucks. Once it is done, I cut out the moto patch from it. When you tunnel, it will shrink your fabric piece. My 16”x17” piece ended up being around 14”x 16.5”, when done.

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If I did this again, I’d make my piece 17”x 17”, which is about 3” bigger than my moto patch pattern piece. I ended up really close to the edge on my pieces.

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Don’t forget to add seam allowance to the bottom curve of the patch pattern piece and the top curve of the plain sleeve pattern piece.

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You don’t need to add seam allowance to any other part, as the pattern already includes it.

Making the faux pintucks is seriously my favorite part. Make sure to do a few test rows on your chosen fabric, to get your level of desired tunneling and double checking that there are no skipped stitches. Once you are happy with your pintucks, grab that square piece of fabric. Line up your fabric edge, with the edge of your presser foot, and go. It’s important to take your time and make sure the first row is straight. You will be using the first row to line up each subsequent row, and if it is off, your final stitches will be REALLY off. Make sure you keep your beginning and ending threads at each row too, this prevents your threads from being pulled back in and unraveling all the tunneling you just did. Once you have your first row complete, line up the edge of the presser foot with the edge of the first rows stitching, and make the second row. Continue in that manner until you reach the end and your fabric square is complete. Repeat the same steps for the other patch piece, then sit back and admire all those beautiful pintucks  ❤

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If you want to see my tunneling in action, you can watch my time lapse video here. I have to say, making the faux pintucks and watching the video is really soothing and mesmerizing, even my kids enjoyed watching it.

This is a good point to finish cutting out all your regular pattern pieces and preparing them for assembly. I don’t cut my moto patches from the pintucked fabric, until the very last minute. Once it is cut, you have to be careful not to pull or mess with them too much. As soothing as I find making the pintucks, I think I’d find it less so, if I had to double my work.

In addition to the moto patch sleeve change, I also made a slight change to the hem of the shirt. The inspiration picture had a curved hem and my husband thought it looked cool too. Brace yourself, here comes some more “eye-balling”. I lowered the center of the hem an inch ish, and free handed an upward curve as it reached the side seam. Then I mirrored the back pattern piece so they would line up when done.

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At this point I started assembling. Since I wanted to be able to secure the pintucks in as soon as possible, I skipped ahead to the hood assembly in the pattern instructions. Once the hood was complete and ready to attach to the bodice, I went back and cut my moto patches. Remember, be very careful with those patches once you cut them.

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I placed the moto patch, right sides together, with the lower sleeve piece, and sewed them. Repeat with the other sleeve.

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Now you will have two complete sleeves that can be attached to the front and back bodice.

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Do the front sleeves to the front bodice, right sides together, stitching both. Then take the back sleeves and attach them, right sides together, to the back bodice.

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You will now have a circle with only the neckline of the moto patch, unsecured.

Since we already did the hood portion and it is ready, we can attach it to the bodice, following the pattern instructions.

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Now all the moto patch stitching is secured in another seam and we can go back to finish the sleeves and side seams, then hem the sleeves and bodice. Whew, if you hung with me this whole time, you now have an awesome faux moto hacked hoodie.

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Would you believe it took me longer to write this up than it took to actually sew the hoodie?? It did! Now I’m thinking of other places I can sneak in these faux moto patches. Where would you place a moto patch?

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The fabric I used to make this hoodie was brushed French Terry from So Sew English Fabrics. I used the hooded version of the Greenstyle Creations  Hudson pullover for this hack. If you want to watch my time-lapse video of coverstitching these faux pintucks, you can on my youtube.

 

This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase through that link, I may get a % back, at no additional cost to you. Let’s be honest, we all know it goes right back to adding to my fabric stash. All opinions on this blog are my own.

Wardrobe Staples – Tank tops

Wardrobe staples are just that, staples. They are such great building blocks that can take a simple outfit up a notch or allow you to quickly expand your current wardrobe. Since I live in a pretty warm climate, year round, the wardrobe staple I use the most, are tank tops. When I got the opportunity to test the new Greenstyle Creations Staple Tank, I was excited. I enjoy testing and helping out pattern designers, but it can be a lot of work, fabric, and time. So when the item I’m testing, happens to be something I will get a lot of wear from, it’s a huge plus.

This particular tank is great to wear solo, layering over a sports bra, layering under a jacket or even a loose fit slouchy top.  It fits the bust nicely and allows for a little breathing room throughout the rest of the bodice. The staple tank is available in the size range of XXS – 3XL. It has a pretty scoop back, perfect for showing off those fun bra straps if you wanted to.

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Another thing I love about this tank, is the option to finish your neck and arms with either a band or binding.  I’ve become fond of binding on my clothes. I really like the low profile look it gives and I don’t find it more or less difficult to do than a traditional band.

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I used the binding method in the pattern for both my tanks. Yup, you read that right, I have already made two, and have a few more planned. Did I mention these are fast sews and don’t take up much fabric??  Both of my tanks were made from leftover fabric from my camo leggings and ombre maxi. I did my exact size per the chart and added my usual length for my height. Boom, done.

For the camo tank, I used double brushed poly, from So Sew English. I really love camo and I’m enjoying the addition to my wardrobe. I was so pleased with the versatility of this tank that I couldn’t stop trying different ways of wearing it. I kind of wonder what my neighbors were thinking as I paraded in and out of my house with all these outfit changes, ha ha ha.

For this outfit, I paired the tank with a new pair of Greenstyle Stride tights, in Supplex, and my black tennis shoes. This was super comfortable when I rode on my recumbent bike and for running around with the kiddos. This supplex was my first and I got it from So Sew English (SSE). It has a GSM of 440 and has totally been squat proof, plus it was a dream to sew up.

I changed my shoes into my white tennis shoes and threw on my cuffed sleeve jean jacket. Perfect for those cool mornings and evenings, or whenever I want to pretend that I don’t live in tanks and leggings most days. There is just something about the jean jacket and camo combo I can’t get enough of.

Change the shoes. Switch to some stretchy jeans and add a long necklace. Tucked in or left out. With a cardigan (This one is the Coffee & Tea from Annelaine, in a ribbed sweater knit from SSE) or without. Another three looks! SERIOUSLY!!  5 looks so far and I didn’t even get to take pictures of this tank with my slouchy tops, darn laundry.

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ITY is one of my favorite fabrics to wear for summer here. It has a cool touch to it and it feels so flowy that I wanted to try it as this tank. This particular ITY is the blue ombre Venezia from So Sew English. It’s only been available in bundles recently, but they do have other Venezia ITY options. I hung on to my three yard cut for a while and finally used it for my recent maxi. I was left with around two yards of not quite half the width of fabric. Turns out it was the perfect amount to make this tank. I really like how it looks with the white shorts. I’m thinking I need to add pair of loose leg white pants to my wardrobe soon. Wouldn’t that be cute??

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The Staple Tank is available from Greenstyle Creations and is on release sale right now, ending Wednesday, March 27th.  How would you wear your staple tanks??

 

This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase through that link, I may get a % back, at no additional cost to you. Let’s be honest, we all know it goes right back to adding to my fabric stash. All opinions on this blog are my own.

The great boxer brief debate

One of my sewing goals this year was to sew more for my husband. I have made a few things for him on my sewing journey and some he has loved and others, meh. I really want him to enjoy custom fitting clothes too. Plus all the fabric options out there, maybe he would like something more than just a regular cotton t-shirt.

I decided to start by making him some boxer briefs. I used the Walbrook boxer briefs from Greenstyle Creations (available in boys and mens). The pattern has a few options to choose from like a functioning or non- functioning fly, an encased elastic waistband or an exposed elastic waistband, and two different lengths. The sizing range is S-XXXL (28”- 50” waist). To make these fully his, I had him pick the options he wanted. He chose functioning fly, encased elastic waistband, and the longer length. Whew, progress.

Now for the fabric. I didn’t know what kind of fabric he would prefer and people swear by different ones, so why not make a few. He is working hard on learning fabrics but I figured I’d play it safe and slim down his choices. We ended up with a cotton spandex (ice cream cones, I know right?!? He is such a trooper), double brushed poly (plaid), and MVC (Micro Viscose Cotton, black). When talking breathability and softness I see these three come up quite often so I figured this would be a good comparison for them.

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Let’s talk sewing first. I much preferred sewing the DBP. The MVC was a close second, with the Cotton Spandex bringing up the rear (wink wink). The pattern requires at least 50% stretch, and while they all have that, a few parts were a bit more tricky with the MVC (wanting to roll) and Cotton Spandex (a bit more bulky) vs the DBP. I sewed up the Cotton Spandex pair completely first and then switched my thread, (yes I am one of those that need matching thread) and sewed up the DBP and MVC at the same time. The MVC was harder for me to tell the right from the wrong side so I marked them once cut, to keep things correct. While I used the same options for all pairs, I’m not exactly sure what happened to the fly on the DBP pair. It is still “functioning” but it is more of a functioning air vent, shall we say?, vs a functioning access port. Ha ha ha. Seriously no idea.

When I gave the three pairs to my husband I also gave him a spreadsheet questionnaire to give me feedback.  Ya’ll my husband is so awesome! Not only did he fill out my stupid questions but I told him I was going to write up a blog post about it so I needed honest feedback. The man totally gave each a good solid wear! He went running in them. He went to work in them. He did housework in them. He slept in them. He even washed and dried them and wore them again. I had him rate them on a scale of 1-5 for a few categories and then an overall rating, plus any notes he wanted to share. This is how they ranked, and honestly I was surprised with his choices.

His overall least favorite was the Cotton Spandex (ice cream cone) pair ranking at a 3 out of 5. He gave it a 4 for fit and support. A 3 for breathability and it ranked a full 5 for access. It lost points in the overall comfort and came in at a 2. His reasoning was because the fabric felt too thick and bunched up easily.

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Next up was the MVC (black) pair which ranked at a 3 out of 5 as well. The differences here that pushed it ahead of the cotton spandex pair was in the support (a full 5) and over all comfort (4). The reason this pair didn’t come out on top was because he felt it twisted and turned into a wedgie too easily.

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His favorite pair was the DBP (plaid) with a full 5 for overall preference. He gave it a 5 in breathability, a 5 in overall comfort and a 4 in support. His only complaint was the access, which got a 2. I guess he wasn’t a fan of the “air vent”. He felt that the DBP was the most comfortable fabric as well and score, he even asked for a few more pairs.

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I plan to let him do some fabric shopping and make him a few more pairs. I also put in a request for him to reevaluate the three when summer hits and see if he still ranks them the same. I think it is pretty cool that we ranked them the same. It makes it nice when he prefers wearing the ones I preferred sewing. Now my son is asking for matching pairs, so maybe that will be next.

All fabric was from So Sew English Fabrics. The pattern I used was the Walbrook Boxer Briefs from Greenstyle Creations.

This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase through that link, I may get a % back, at no additional cost to you. Let’s be honest, we all know it goes right back to adding to my fabric stash. All opinions on this blog are my own and I have a lot