February 23, 2015

Autism and Potty Training: When it Doesn't Go as Planned

My son has autism. I don't really mention that here, not because it's hard for me to talk about, but because I don't really think there's ever been a reason to. But now there is.

We've tried potty training, without a lot of success, so we've had to try alternatives. Now that he's getting older, he doesn't really fit well into diapers anymore, so we have leaks at night. A lot. Which means lots and lots of laundry.


Then I saw soaker pants for kids in cloth diapers, and I thought, hey, how about soaker pants for my little guy? I used the Fancy Pants leggings pattern to make him several pairs out of fleece. 


I double layered the fleece in the leg and the bum, and increased the rise. The pattern is really fitted, so I sized up too. After making a test pair, and realizing my mistake. They have been really great. We used to have to wash his sheets all the time-sometimes several times a week. Since starting to use these, we haven't had any leaks onto his sheets. And we used to put him in two diapers, and now only need to use one. So hooray for saving the environment too.


Something like this might also work for kids who have trouble with bed wetting. They look like regular underwear, but are more absorbent. 


The only issue I see with these is that they might get too hot in the winter. We live in a cooler climate, and our son's bedroom is in the basement, so I don't think it will be too much of a problem for us, but it might for someone who lives in, say, Arizona.


I also tried a pair using a briefs pattern. They didn't work as well for us, but they might for someone else.

February 19, 2015

Hi-Low Bow Top + Tutorial


The Project Run and Play sew along this month is the Mademoiselle Muscle Tee from Living With Punks. It's a size 5, so I originally intended it to be for my middle daughter, but when I tried it on her, it was way too big. Good thing I have more than one daughter.



For my adaptation, I made a high-low hem and then added a yoke to the back, so that I could gather the back for added fullness. And just for fun, I added a bow. I whipped up some cuffed shorts from a Simplicity pattern.


This fabric was a giant pain to work with. I got it before I knew to pay attention to the weight when buying fabric online, and it's so lightweight and flimsy that it was really tricky to keep the stripes where I wanted them. So I gave up. She doesn't care yet. Also, the shoulders looked like they were going to be really wide, so rather than add the binding, I just basted, turned them under, and hemmed them. The fabric didn't like that at all. Yes, I'm totally blaming the fabric. Because it couldn't have been my fault, haha.


Here's how I adapted the free pattern to make the shirt. You could use the same techniques to adapt any shirt pattern.

Peplum Top Pattern Hack

Back when I was pregnant, I made a Lady Skater dress into a maternity dress. What I really wanted to do was make a peplum top, but I really don't think if you're pregnant and showing peplums are the way to go. At least not for me. So fast forward to now. 


I used a white knit with some sweater-like texture. I found it at a local fabric shop on clearance for something crazy like a dollar a yard.


I lengthened the top, mostly because I have a long torso, and shortened the skirt into a peplum length. Also, the sleeves are shorter, because that's all I could fit into my yard of fabric.


My preschooler took these pictures for me. And laughed the whole time. Real self-confidence booster.


And we had plenty of outtakes like this one, so I'm hoping that's why she was laughing so much. And yes, those are Christmas lights. Don't judge.

Fabric: Local Clearance

February 11, 2015

Joscelyn Tiered Skirt Free Pattern

As part of the February Free for All at Frances Suzanne, I decided to release a free skirt pattern. I released this as a paid pattern last year, but decided that pattern design wasn't for me and pulled it. Now I've rewritten the instructions and made a few changes, and decided to offer it free. There are a few things that I had in the original pattern that this version doesn't have, like the pockets.


I made the knee length version, but there is also a maxi length version. I paired it here with the ruched legwarmers with some different colored flowers I shared a tutorial for a little while ago.


I made it with a combination of coordinating fabrics but there are so many ways you could spin this. I made a candy corn version for Halloween last year.


Here's the pattern. I would love to see any versions you make of this. You can post them to my facebook page, or share them on instagram using #joscelynskirt or tag @mamasayssewblog.


Materials Needed:
Fabric: Broadcloth, cotton blends, gingham, seersucker, or other similar weight fabric.
Also suitable for knits.
Notions: 1 inch no-roll elastic, thread


Yardage Requirements {for 45" width}. Yardage is given per tier, so that you can mix
and match your fabric choices.  Fabric requirements may be more or less, depending on the size of the bolt. If you use one or two fabrics instead of three, you will probably need less.

For Knee Length Option:

Tier A
Tier B
Tier C
6-9m
¼
¼
¼
12m
¼
¼
¼
18m
¼
¼
¼
2T
¼
¼
¼
3T
¼
1/3
1/3
4T
¼
1/3
1/3
5
¼
½
½
6
¼
½
½
7
¼
½
½
8
¼
½
½
10
1/3
½
½





For Maxi Length Option:

Tier A
Tier B
Tier C
6-9m
¼
¼
¼
12m
¼
¼
¼
18m
¼
1/3
1/3
2T
¼
1/3
1/3
3T
¼
½
½
4T
¼
½
½
5
1/3
½
½
6
1/3
5/8
5/8
7
1/3
5/8
5/8
8
1/3
5/8
5/8
10
½
5/8
5/8





Finished Dimensions: Knee Length Option
Measurements are given in inches.
Size
Waist
Length
6-9m
16 ¾
7
12m
17 ½
7 ½
18m
18 ¼
8 ¼
2T
19 ¼
9 ¾
3T
19 ¾
11 ¼
4T
20 ¼
12
5
21
15
6
21 ¼
16 ½
7
22 ¼
18
8
22 ¾
19 ½
10
23 ¾
20 ¼




Finished Dimensions: Maxi Length Option
Measurements are given in inches.
Note: Skirt is designed to hit mid-calf for sizes 6-9months through 4T. Skirt is designed
to hit at the ankle for sizes 5 though 10.


Size
Waist
Length
6-9m
16 ¾
8 ¼
12m
17 ½
9
18m
18 ¼
10 ½
2T
19 ¼
12 ¾
3T
19 ¾
14 ¼
4T
20 ¼
16 ½
5
21
21 ¾
6
21 ¼
24 ¾
7
22 ¼
26 ¼
8
22 ¾
27 ¾
10
23 ¾
29 ¼




Note: If you want to lengthen the skirt, divide the amount you want to lengthen it by 3,
and then add that number to each tier. For example, if I wanted the skirt 1 inch longer, I
would divide that by 3, so I would add 1/3 of an inch to each tier. Do the same thing if
you want it shorter.

Cutting Chart in Inches
Cut your tier pieces perpendicular to the fabric grain.
Cutting Chart: Knee Length Option
Cut 2 of each tier. You should have a total of six pieces per skirt.
All measurements are given in inches.

Tier A
Tier B
Tier C
6-9m
4 ¾ x 14 ¾
3 ¼ x 22
3 ¼ x 33
12m
4 ¾ x 15 ½
3 ½ x 23 ¼
3 ½ x 34 ¾
18m
5 x 16
3 ¾ x 24
3 ¾ x 36
2T
5 ½ x 16 ¾
4 ¼ x 25
4 ¼ x 37 ½
3T
6 x 17
4 ¾ x 25 ½
4 ¾ x 38 ¼
4T
6 ¼ x 17 ½
5 x 26 ¼
5 x 39 ¼
5
6 ¾ x 18
5 ½ x 27
5 ½ x 40 ½
6
7 ¾ x 18 ½
6 ½ x 27 ¾
6 ½ x 41 ½
7
8 ¼ x 19
7 x 28 ½
7 x 42 ¾
8
8 ¾ x 19 ½
7 ½ x 29 ¼
7 ½ x 43 ¾
10
9 x 20
7 ¾ x 30
7 ¾ x 45





Cutting Chart: Maxi Length Option
Cut 2 of each tier. You should have a total of six pieces per skirt.
All measurements are given in inches.



Tier A (cut 2)
Tier B (cut 2)
Tier C (cut 2)
6-9 months
5  x 14 ¾  
3 ¾  x 22
3 ¾ x 33
12 months
5 ¼  x 15 ½
4  x 23 ¼
4  x 34 ¾
18 months
5 ¾ x 16
4 ½  x 24
4 ½ x 36




2T
6 ½ x 16 ¾
5 ¼  x 25
5 ¼  x 37 ½
3T
7 x 17
5 ¾ x 25 ½
5 ¾  x 38 ¼
4T
7 ¾ x 17 ½
6 ½ x 26 ¼
6 ½ x 39 ¼
5
9 ½ x 18
8 ¼ x 27
8 ¼ x 40 ½
6
10 ½  x 18 ½
9 ¼ x 27 ¾
9 ¼ x 41 ½
7
11  x 19
9 ¾ x 28 ½
9 ¾  x 42 ¾
8
11 ½ x 19 ½
10 ¼ x 29 ¼
10 ¼ x 43 ¾
10
12 x 20
10 ¾  x  30
10 ¾  x 45

















Elastic Guide: Both Options
Note: Use as a guide only. For a more accurate fit, measure child’s waist, then cut a piece
of elastic 1 inch shorter than your measurement.



Size
Elastic inches
6-9 months
17 ¾ 
12 months
18 ½ 
18 months
19 ¼ 

2T
20 ¼ 
3T
20 ¾ 
4T
21 ¼ 
5
22 
6
22 ¼ 
7
23 ¼ 
8
23 ¾ 
10
24 ¾ 

Seam Allowances are ½ inch unless otherwise indicated.

To prevent fraying, finish all seams with a serger or zig zag stitch. It may be helpful to finish the individual tiers before sewing.

Sewing Instructions
Cut out your tiers-two of each tier

With right sides together, sew the side seams of each tier.

 Run two rows of gathering stitches along the top of the bottom tier, and gather to the width of the middle tier.

With right sides together match up the gathered edge of the third tier with the bottom of the middle tier. Stitch.

Run two rows of gathering stitches along the top of the second tier and gather to the width of the first tier. Sew the top tier to the bottom two tiers.

Turn right side out and press seams up toward the top of the skirt.

Topstitch above the seams on tiers one and two.

To form the casing, fold down the top 1/4 inch, then another 1 1/4 inch and stitch close to the first fold line, leaving an opening to insert the elastic.

Insert the elastic, then stitch together the ends of the elastic. Stitch the casing closed.

To hem, fold up 1/4 inch and press, then fold up another 1/4 inch and press. Hem close to the first fold.

Enjoy your new skirt!