Sunday, 22 November 2015

So You Sew...

Being a mum I've realised that my money needs to spread further than ever before. With bills, food, nappies and the like, clothes are not on the top of my agenda. Yes, I op shop shop when I can, but I can't always make it out of the house on time. Which lead me to my newest venture, learning to sew.

There are so many tutorials online for different sewing projects, from basic circle skirts, to more complex options such as jackets and cargo pants. I started with the easiest thing I could think of, leggings. On one of my op shopping adventures, I found some black and white knit material, and thought it would be perfect to practice with.

I set about looking online for a simple tutorial, then just followed the steps. Pretty simple really. I'm not the best at reading patterns, so I tend to make my own. If you already have a pattern for leggings, feel free to follow that instead.

1) Find a pair of leggings in the size you want to make. Mine are a 00, but tight fitting, if you want them to be looser around the leg, just add a bit of extra space in your pattern. Fold them in half. Trace around them on some paper. Add a 1.5cm edge - this will be for hemming and sewing the bits together. 

2) Pin your awesome new pattern to your material, then cut out. When pinning, try not to bunch the fabric, this can cause your pattern to be uneven. Because my material has horizontal stripes, I cut out one piece, matched the stripes, then cut out the other one. I wanted to make sure the stripes were all aligned.

3)Fold up the edges of the legs and press with an iron (heated according to fabric type). Sew up the bottom hems on both separate legs. Doing it now saves us having to do it later when everything is sewn together. When sewing with a machine, make sure you go back and forth a couple of times over the start and the end of the stitching. This means it will be less likely to undo.

4) Lay the pieces out flat, right sides together (patterned side for me). We're going to sew the front and back crotch pieces together. I forgot to take a photo, so here is my super crappy paint version. Sew all the way from the top to the bottom, remembering to sew 1.5cm in from the edge (this was our seam allowance in our pattern).

4) Now open the pieces out so the crotch seam is in the middle, like here <--We're now going to sew up from the bottom of one leg, up, then back down the other leg.

Once you reach the top of the crotch, where the pieces are already sewn together, stop. Make sure your needle is down (in the fabric), then turn the leggings, so you can sew down the other leg.

Try to keep your lines straight, as this will be the shape of the legs.

5) Time to create our waistband! If you have a baby to measure, then go ahead and measure their waist. Keep the elastic long for the moment, but mark on it where you need to sew it together.
6) Fold down the waistband, leaving enough room to thread the elastic through, and press. Now sew along the raw edge (make sure you are still leaving enough room to thread your elastic), but ensure to leave a gap so you can actually fit it through!

7) Grab your elastic and thread it through. It might help to attach a safety pin to the end to make it easier to grab. Just be careful not to stab yourself like I did!

8) Once your elastic is through, trim it to size and sew it together (at the spot you marked).
It's best to sew it like this:

9) Now you just need to sew the gap closed, making sure you don't sew over the elastic. All done!

These are so easy to make. Yes, baby leggings can be cheap to buy, but some times you just want something a little different. So why not have a go! Theo clearly enjoys his... 



Mumma T xx

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