Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Don't Mention It

We had our first snow this season and you would think we would know the routine by now but it seems to have caught us off guard. I could go into work late when the roads were clear but that didn't help much when it started snowing again during the drive home. Imagine my relief when I could arrange to stay home the next day (but only because I was working Saturday) and get back to some long awaited tasks. With a whole day before me I made a mental list of enough jobs to last two months so I prioritized. With Christmas ahead I needed to decorate the house and write the annual Christmas letter so what did I actually do?

I made panties:

There was a great half price sale at Serger Peppers for Black Friday so I bought a pattern for girls panties, ages 3-14. Since I was going to see my granddaughter on Saturday I made up two pairs in dots and flowers but I gave them away before I could take any pictures. Come to find out, they were a big hit, with one pair getting worn two days in a row. Oh oh, Grandma better get sewing!

You do not need to use a serger but should consider using a stretch stitch, which I did on the first pairs, using a Viking #1+, but then I gained in confidence and made the rest on a serger, the Huskylock 1001L. The pattern suggests making them in batches and that did help since I didn't want to keep changing thread colors. I took some photos this time just to show you how easy it was to make a tiny pair of panties:

All lined up and ready for the waist and leg bands
I pulled out all of my knits and looked everything over, deciding on the above color combinations. The only restriction is to have the bands in something with at least 30% stretch. I quickly cut out and sewed the body of each one together as you see above. The directions were fantastic, making it easier, because there are parts that could be confusing for a beginner. She recommends using cotton knit for the crotch piece from an old t-shirt or underwear, something that was made to be worn next to the skin in such a delicate area. An old pair of Grandpa's briefs were volunteered and cut into many little hour glass shapes for the inside of the crotch.  Here's how the bands were applied, using no elastic:

Band and body of panties were marked in quarters
After each band was sewn into a tube shape, it was folded and divided into fourths. So were the panties body so then you simply match up the pins so the fabric of the smaller band is evenly distributed across the larger body.
Pinned and ready to sew on the waistband
Now for the serger:
Note pin placement so it can be easily removed (I'm a lefty)
This is not a free arm serger but it worked quite nicely and looks very professional when finished:
Waistband done and only the leg bands left!
The same is done with each leg, dividing the portions into fourths and pinning:
Be careful not to make this seam any larger than necessary (or a very narrow crotch is the result)
When both legs are done you have a finished pair of panties:
Ta da! Size 3 years finished!
I loved the swimwear type of fabric and the serger made it easier to sew with very good results. Note the blue pair with red trim: they look like acid washed denim and the inside of the fabric is a bit fleecy for warm buns. I think that pair might be her favorite but we shall see.

Did I get any of the Christmas work done? Nope! But I did have a very fun day with various sewing machines and sergers. I also worked on a lovely purple dress that I hope to share photos with you later, but it's not done just yet but it turning our really, really nice. Now I will just need to find some place special to wear this dress but with Christmas parties ahead, I better hurry and get it done. The cards and decorating had to wait one more day (or week?) but I'm returning to work a very happy seamstress. That counts for something, right?

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