Toddler long sleeve t-shirt sewing tutorial

side snap toddler shirt

I love the cute neck detail, and the cute baby of course!

So, our second little miss is growing at a rate of knots. She is just 6 months old and has outgrown her 00 wardrobe entirely and my collection of gorgeous hand-me-downs is all but depleted, so it is time for some sewing.

Coming into winter I wanted to make a few long sleeve shirts that would work for inside during the day and found this fantastic free pattern online at the Small Dream Factory. The pattern is simple and the instructions are great, but when I made the pattern up it seemed to need a bit of a girly detail.

So I played around with the pattern a little bit and came up with this simple side neck snap detail that I really like, and it doesn’t make the pattern any harder to make than the original – fantastic.

As I said, the tutorial that comes with the pattern is great so I am not going to re-invent the wheel by going back through it, I will just give you a quick picture demo of the things I changed.

So, I cut the pattern pieces as per the instructions, but I omitted the extra length for folding at the left shoulder and cut both shoulders with the regular seam allowance:

Cut pattern pieces

Cut pattern pieces

Then I cut the main body pieces out of the fabric adding one additional cut in the right shoulder at the front as shown

Cut fabric pieces

Cut fabric pieces

Next I cut the rest of the fabric pieces as described in the instructions with two deviations;

1.I cut the arms out of 2 different colours, this was because I didn’t have enough of the green fabric, I just added seam allowance to each half so I could sew them together later.

2.I cut 2 additional pattern pieces, rectangles measuring 3cm x the length of the cut in the shoulder of the shirt.

cut fabric

cut fabric

Next, I folded each of the small extra pieces in half lengthwise and sewed them to each side of the extra cut I made at the shoulder. I then sewed both shoulder seams and finished the neck as prescribed in the pattern using the extra opening in place of the open shoulder seam.

Neck and shoulder seams

Neck and shoulder seams

NOTE: You will see in the above pic that my neckline is a bit dodgy, this is because my sewing machine was playing up and i did it with my overlocker/serger. If you follow the directions in the pattern you will not have this problem.

Next I sewed the shoulder seams then one continuous seam from the wrist to the bottom hemline – this is a little different to what the pattern says but I find it easier to do it this way than fitting the shoulder seam after the side seam is sewn.

Side Seams

Side Seams

And as I cut this pattern from existing shirts the hems and cuffs were already done and I just needed to attach the snaps. You could of course use metal snaps, buttons or any decorative closures you can think of.

This is how it turned out:

Finished toddler t-shirt

Finished toddler t-shirt

Finished Toddler t-shirt

Finished Toddler t-shirt

I am happy with it, and it fits bubs pretty well with a bit of growing room (she needs it).

If you have a go at this variation or have a go at a variation yourself please comment and let me know I would love to hear about your exploits!

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Draft and sew your own wool and fleece nappy covers

Wool soaker in action

Wool soaker in action

If you have a little one in cloth nappies/diapers and you were looking for a natural cover solution you may have come across wool covers (which are fantastic but I won’t go into all the benefits here – google it, you will be amazed) but then been bowled over by the price.

Wool covers can go for anything up to $60 each, which is warrented given the manufacturing involved but just plain out of our price range. The good news is, wool is a fantastic fabric for upcycling. You can get a second hand merino wool jumber at the local thrift shop for around $7.50 (I am sure a lot less if you know where to look) and one jumper will make 2 covers making them under $4 each which is a much more attractive proposition.

If you would like to have a go at making the cover above, check out my series on drafting a pattern and sewing a wool or fleece nappy cover on my other blog here

Here is a few more pics of the finished product:

Hatchlings Wool Soaker free pattern

What the soaker looks like all sewn up

Wool Shorties soaker

Action shot

 

Baby or Toddler Shoes – the update I promised (better late than never right?)

Baby shoes Mk 2 - the finished product

Baby shoes Mk 2 - the finished product

A little while ago I posted a pattern and instructions for some cute, but time consuming baby shoes. I mentioned at the time, that I had come up with a less time consuming method, well I have finally got around to writing the post. Better late than never I suppose.

These little shoes have fabric soles and use the same pattern as Baby Shoes Mk 1, you can check out that post here and find the free pattern here.

As before, you will need:

  • Pattern (this pattern is a size 4, but you can use your printer to shrink/enlarge it to suit, make it so that the sole piece is about 2cm longer than your babies foot)
  • Fabric scraps – contrasting colours for the outside and something softer for the lining
  • thread (I just used white for everything)
  • About 10cm of elastic for the straps
  • Scissors, sewing machine, needle (for hand sewing)
OK, Instructions:
1. Cut out all your pieces. You should have something that looks like this:
Baby Shoe cut pattern pieces

Baby Shoe cut pattern pieces

2. Follow steps 2 through 7 of my original baby or toddler shoe post here. You should then have something that looks like this:

Part finished Baby toddler shoes

Part finished Baby toddler shoes

NOTE: I used a zig-zag stitch when sewing the contrast fabric(denim) to the shoe upper to stop the fabric from fraying. if your contrast fabric is a knit or felt fabric you can just use a regular straight stitch here.

3.  Next pin the sole lining in place, and stitch a small section (around 3cm) on one side as shown in the following pics:

Pin the sole lining in place

Pin the sole lining in place

Stitch a small section of the sole lining to the upper

Stitch a small section of the sole lining to the upper

4. Place the sole fabric on top of the upper with the outside(the side of the fabric that you want to be able to see in the end) facing inwards towards the shoe upper. Pin the sole fabric in place.

The sole lining pinned in place

The sole fabric pinned in place

5. Sew around the shoe, leaving open the one small section where you have already sewn the lining to the upper.

Sole sewn to shoe upper

Sole sewn to shoe upper

6. Now turn the shoe right way out through the small opening you have left, and you should have something that looks like this:

Baby shoe turned right way out

Baby shoe turned right way out

7. Finally you just need to slip stitch the small opening closed and your shoes are finished – very minimal hand sewing involved.

Baby shoes Mk 2 - the finished product

Baby shoes Mk 2 - the finished product

Baby or Toddler Shoes – are you a sewing nerd like me?

Baby or toddler shoes - the finished product

Baby or toddler shoes - the finished product

So…

Are you a sewing nerd like me?

I found myself today, standing in front of the baby shoe section at the shops, there was a pair in my daughters size, they were perfectly presentable, and they were on special for $6.75. Instead of buying them however,I decided to spend the only available ‘baby sleeping time’ today making some instead.

What can I say, I am a sewing nerd, I have no logical justification for making these shoes, and I have no excuses that you can use either, but if you would like to have a go, the pattern is here and the instructions are below :)

Bits and pieces I started with

Bits and pieces I started with

You will need:

  • Pattern (this pattern is a size 4, but you can use your printer to shrink/enlarge it to suit, make it so that the sole piece is about 2cm longer than your babies foot)
  • Fabric scraps – contrasting colours for the outside and something softer for the lining
  • thread (I just used white for everything)
  • Fold over elastic, or Bias binding (long enough to go around both shoes)
  • About 10cm of elastic for the straps
  • Scissors, sewing machine, needle (for hand sewing)
OK, Instructions:
1. Cut out all your pieces. You should have something that looks like this:
Baby or toddler shoe cut pattern pieces

Baby or toddler shoe cut pattern pieces

2. Sew the contrast part onto the shoe upper using a straight stitch – use a knit or felt fabric for the contrast piece so that no hemming is required and you just have to sew it on flat.

Attach contrast fabric to shoe upper

Attach contrast fabric to shoe upper

3. Put the upper lining piece and the upper piece right sides together then sew around the inside curve with a 0.5 mm seam allowance.

Attach the lining piece to the shoe upper

Attach the lining piece to the shoe upper

4. Open up the seam you have just sewn and place the heel portion of the upper together, right sides facing, and sew the lining and upper fabrics at the heel seam as shown in the pic:

Sew the lining and upper fabrics at the heel seam

Sew the lining and upper fabrics at the heel seam

5. Turn the shoe out, wrong sides facing and stitch around the shoe opening around 1cm from the seam (stitch along the seam you already made sewing the contrast fabric onto the shoe upper).

Top stitch the shoe opening

Top stitch the shoe opening

6. Pin and sew the darts in the front of the shoe marked on the pattern. (If you haven’t done this before, it’s easy, just fold along the centre line of the dart, wrong side out, and sew down the dart line through all layers of fabric)

Pin the darts in the front of the shoe

Pin the darts in the front of the shoe

Sew the darts in the front of the shoe

Sew the darts in the front of the shoe

7. Pin the elastic pieces to the shoe upper and sew them in place (you can adjust the positioning and length of these to suit your childs foot)

Pin and sew the elastic to the inside of the shoe upper

Pin and sew the elastic to the inside of the shoe upper

8. Pin both layers of the sole to the upper, making sure they line up correctly, and sew through all layers of fabric 0.5 to 1cm from the edge.

Pin the sole to the upper

Pin the sole to the upper

Sew the sole to the shoe upper

Sew the sole to the shoe upper

9. Trim the excess fabric close to the seam, and then cover the seam, by hand stitching the fold over elastic or bias binding to the side and sole of the shoe.

Hand sew the binding around the base of the shoe

Hand sew the binding around the base of the shoe

And there you have it, baby or toddler shoes.

Baby or toddler shoe in action

Baby or toddler shoe in action

AFTERTHOUGHT: Since making these, I have realised a much easier (read: no hand sewing involved) way to finish the soles.

  1. Sandwich the finished shoe upper between the two sole pieces, making sure the lining piece is on the bottom, wrong sides facing out.
  2. Sew most of the way around the sole leaving a small space for turning out.
  3. Turn the shoe out and slip stitch the small hole closed.

If this is a bit hard to follow, as I imagine it is, don’t worry I shall post some pics and more detailed instructions shortly.

5 minute Baby and Toddler Leggings

Modelling baby leggings

Charlie modelling her baby leggings

I was so impressed with results of my Baby Legwarmers in 5 minutes for $3.50 project that I got to thinking about all those lovely stripy and patterned socks and how stretchy and forgiving they were to sew.

I came up with a crazy idea, and what do you know …

…It worked!

So here it is …

5 minute Baby and Toddler Leggings

This project is very easy and takes about 5 minutes to make. You will need one pair of adult knee high socks and some 6mm elastic (I used clear swimwear elastic but I am absolutely sure that standard braided elastic would work just perfectly).

Start with Adult socks

There was a sale on socks so I got a few different sorts to test out - This lot (8 pairs) cost just over $15

Step 1:  Pick a pair of socks and cut the toe section off as shown

Cut the toe section off your chosen socks

Cut the toe section off your chosen socks(both of them)

Step 2: Cut along the centre sole of the sock (where it is folded) from where you have cut the toe off to the centre of the heal section as shown.

Cut straight down the sole of the socks

Cut straight down the sole of the socks (again, both of them)

Step 3: Turn one sock inside out then insert the other sock (the one that is still right side out) inside the first sock and line up the cut edges as shown in the picture

Put one sock inside the other

Put one sock inside the other and line up the cut edges

Step 4: Sew (using a zigzag stitch) or overlock around the seam that will become the crotch seam – leave the top (where you cut the toe off) open. Then you should have something that looks like the pic below.

Sew the crotch seam

Sew the crotch seam

Step 5: Sew (using a zigzag stitch) or overlock your elastic to the inside upper edge of your leggings (the open edge)

Gently stretch the elastic as you sew it on, no a lot, just enough to counteract the sewing machine stretching your fabric out as you sew.

Note: If you are using your overlocker for this part, make sure that the cutting blade is disabled and that you have adjusted the differential feed so that the stitching will still allow the fabric to stretch right out after you have finished. On my overlocker a setting of 1 is considered standard and I used a setting of 0.75. You need to remember to stretch your elastic gently as well, as mentioned above.

Sew your elastic to the upper edge while gently stretching

Sew your elastic to the upper edge while gently stretching

Step 6: Fold the the edge with the elastic sewn to it to the inside and zig zag around the edge. This will create a neat and finished edge as shown.

Fold the elastic in and Zig zag the top edge

Fold the elastic in and zig zag the top edge

The finished top edge

The finished top edge

Now you are finished – One pair of baby leggings in 5 minutes (you will notice in the picture below that the top is a bit wobbly – this is what happens if you don’t stretch your elastic enough. it doesn’t really matter because they are still snug when they are on bubs)

The finished leggings

The finished leggings

One thing I did think is that these would probably not fit that well over a cloth nappy, so I tried some using mens size 11-13 dress and sports socks – these give more room in the top part although the legs are shorter – more like 7/8 leggings. Check out the results below

Mens dress sock leggings

Mens dress sock leggings

Mens sports socks leggings

Mens sports socks leggings

...and that is the end of the story :)

...and that is the end of the story :)

Baby Legwarmers in 5 minutes for $3.50

Baby leg warmers in action

Baby leg warmers in action

I have been wanting to get some leg warmers for our little one. We are doing a little toilet training, and getting all those winter layers on and off every time she needs to use the potty is a little tiresome.

Leg warmers are fab, one less thing to take off, and she doesn’t get so cold sitting on the potty. But at around $15 per pair…

…well like I tell my husband, It’s not that I don’t have it, I would just rather spend it on a Caribbean holiday:)

So…

When I saw the idea for these baby leg warmers on Cut Sew Repeat (which is a really cool sewing blog) I couldn’t help but try them out.

The tutorial is ace, and has lots of pictures. The best thing is, these only took me 5 minutes per pair to make, and the raw materials (some ladies knee high socks) were on special at Target, and cost only $3.50 per pair!

Ladies socks for legwarmer project

BEFORE - A pile of ladies knee high socks purchased on sale

Sock to legwarmer conversion

AFTER (5 mins after) - Baby Leg Warmers

The only thing I did differently to the tutorial, was to use my overlocker to join the cuffs on, that way I could adjust the differential feed to deal with the stretch of the fabric. However, as you can plainly see from the Cut Sew Repeat tutorial, this is not really necessary, I am just a bit of a perfectionist about these things :)

My only other thing to add (as this post is more ‘show and tell’ than it is ‘instructions’) is an idea:

If you are wanting to make some little knee pads for your crawler, I think some regular length ladies socks treated the same way would work a treat, and would be cooler in summer.

If you are after baby leg warmers, even if you are new to sewing, give this project a go. I think you will be pleased with the results.

 

 

 

 

Ninja style up-cycled Size 1 tracksuit pants (and matching top)

Ninja style up-cycled tracksuit in action

Ninja style up-cycled tracksuit in action

So, I mentioned in my post Super quick and easy up-cycled toddler tracksuit that I had salvaged more than one tracksuit top from my husbands charity bag, well this little number is the results of my second toddler tracksuit transformation.

This project is much the same as the other one but with a few alterations worth mentioning as they will mean you will be able to use a larger variety of different tops to start with.

This is the top I started with this time:

What dads jumper used to look like

What dads jumper used to look like

I started out in much the same way as last time with cutting out, but found that using the pattern for Size 1 tracksuit from a man’s tracksuit top the pattern piece for the tracksuit pants was to wide to fit into the sleeve of this slimmer fitting tracksuit top.  So, I have devised a pattern to use with slimmer tops like this.

This is where the Ninja part comes in – the crotch part of the pants is a separate pattern piece, like it is in martial arts uniforms and I thought ‘Ninja style’ rolled off the tongue a little better than ‘Martial Arts style’. If you don’t know what I mean here, don’t worry it will soon become clear.

First things first then – cutting out

Using the Size 1 tracksuit from a man’s tracksuit top pattern, cut out the body of the top from the upper portion of the man’s top. If your top has a zip like this one make sure the zip is done up, as you will be cutting through the zip and sewing it into the bottom seam later – if it is undone this will not work.

Then cut the waistband off the man’s top along the seam and cut it to a length just shorter than the bottom of the childs to you have just cut.

Lastly (for the top) cut 2 strips of fabric 3cm wide and long enough to go around the armholes of the childs top with some to spare  (I just cut them from the width of the back of the mans top at the botttom)

This is what all the pieces for the top will look like:

Cut pieces for toddlers tracksuit top/vest

Cut pieces for toddlers tracksuit top/vest

Next use the Ninja Tracksuit pants pattern to cut the main part for the pants, as shown below. You will notice that they are pretty much straight up and down, so should fit on pretty much any tracksuit top.

Cut the main pants pattern piece from the sleeves

Cut the main pants pattern piece from the sleeves - you will notice that it is pretty much straight up and down

Next cut the crotch portion of the pattern from a spare piece of the man’s top, as you are not cutting sleeves there should be plenty to spare. I cut the crotch piece from an unused part of the waistband (sorry there are no pics)

ok, on to sewing…

For a more detailed description of how to sew the side seams and waistband of the top check out my previous post Super quick and easy up-cycled toddler tracksuit – PART 2 Tracksuit Top.  Other wise…

Overlock the armholes, lower edge and side seams

Use your overlocker to secure the armholes and lower edge and sew the side seams - it should look like this.

Overlock the binding to the armholes

Pin the binding to the armholes as shown and then overlock around ensuring that the seam ends up on the inside. Then topstitch the seam so that the overlocked bit stays neatly tucked away (have a look at the finish in the next pic)

Attach the waistband using your overlocker

Attach the waistband using your overlocker, making sure that you stretch it evenly as you attach it to the body of the top

Ok now on to the pants, for more detailed instructions on inserting the waist elastic check out my previous post Super quick and easy up-cycled toddler tracksuit – PART 1 Tracksuit Pants

Overlock the two pants pieces together down to the crotch mark

Overlock the two pants pieces together down the front and back seams to the crotch mark

Next attach the crotch piece to one side

Next attach the crotch piece to one side lining up the crotch mark with the seam. Then sew from ankle to ankle sewing the inner leg seams and attaching the other half of the crotch piece to the other side as shown in the picture.

Insert elastic at the waistband and your done

Insert elastic at the waistband and your done

So there you have it – Ninja tracksuit.

At this point I am happy to concede that this is a fairly masculine tracksuit and that my daughter would be better served by wearing something a little prettier, but I still think it is super cute and couldn’t resist posting a few more pics.

Ninja Tracksuit

Ninja Tracksuit

Full length view

Full length view

Super quick and easy up-cycled toddler tracksuit – PART 2 Tracksuit Top

Sew 4 Bub size one tracksuit pattern

This is the finished product in action

Here is the second part in  the Super quick and easy up-cycled toddler tracksuit

PART 2 The Tracksuit top. Click here to view PART 1 – The Tracksuit pants

 

 

 

 

 

Ok, so this is what I started with:

Man's Tracksuit top

A much loved tracksuit top once belonging to my husband

And we have printed and cut out the pattern, free to download  here , and used the sleeves to create our size one toddler traksuit pants.

Next thing is to cut out  the pattern pieces for the top – again, this is a lot easier to show than it is to write instructions for so check out the pics below for which parts of the original top you need to cut each of the pattern pieces from.
Cut the body of the pattern from the top as shown

Cut the body of the pattern from the top as shown, keep the neck portion of the original top intact and joined at the shoulder seams)

Cut the sleeve from the main body of the top

Cut the sleeve from the main body of the top(the waistband of the top forms the cuff)

The pattern piece in the free pattern download should be lined up evenly with the cuff (I was using a makeshift pattern here)

Cut the second sleeve as close as possible to the first

Cut the second sleeve as close as possible to the first

Cut the remainder of the waistband off along the seam.

Cut the remainder of the waistband off along the seam.

The cut pieces for the tracksuit top

The cut pieces for the tracksuit top

OK, so on to sewing. These instructions are written as though you have an overlocker, if you don’t you will just need to sew this with your sewing machine as you would any other stretch fabric.

Open out your pattern pieces and overlock the shoulder seams

Open out your pattern pieces and overlock the shoulder seams

Open out the sleeve pieces and the body pieces of the top as shown. Line up the shoulder seam and overlock the sleeve to the main body of the top. Repeat for other shoulder seam.

 

 

 

 

Overlock the underarm and side seam

Overlock the underarm and side seam

Now arrange the top as though it were inside out , as shown in the photo, and overlock the underarm seam from the wrist to the lower hem of the top.

 

 

 

 

Open out the band that you cut from the lower edge of the original top

Open out the band that you cut from the lower edge of the original top

Next, open out the band that you cut from the lower edge of the original top. this should be just shorter than the distance around the bottom of the size one top (if not trim a little bit off)

Overlock the short edges together with the right sides facing one another.

 

 

Fold the band back up with the seam inside

Fold the band back up with the seam inside

Now fold the band back up with the seam that you just created on the inside, hidden from view.

 

 

 

 

Pin and overlock the band to the size one top

Pin and overlock the band to the size one top

The last thing to do is to pin the band that you just created evenly around the lower edge of the size one tracksuit top.

Overlock the band to the top (on the inside) stretching the band as you go.

 

 

Finished top

Finished top

Now your done – One super cute tracksuit top to match the pants,

and…

all for the grand price of about 20cents (for elastic and thread) :)

Super quick and easy up-cycled toddler tracksuit – PART 1 Tracksuit Pants

Sew 4 Bub size one tracksuit pattern

This is the finished product in action

I was on my way to my workroom this afternoon to get started on the tutorial pictures for a lovely little size one hoodie (which I will get around to so stay tuned), when my husbands bag of clothes for charity caught my eye.

I had a bit of a rummage and found a tracksuit top that I just couldn’t resist doing a conversion on. I also found a few other pieces that will probably feature in future posts (so much for making more space in our appartment).

I had a play around and it turned out really well so I thought I would share.  This is a fun and super easy project – the finished product looks much fancier than the sewing involved.

Although this is about a 15 min project if you sew a lot, and around 30 min if you don’t, It turns out that it takes a lot longer than that to explain (or maybe I am just a bit wordy) So I have broken this down into 2 parts. Part one is the tracksuit pants.

Ok, so this is what I started with:

Man's Tracksuit top
A much loved tracksuit top once belonging to my husband

The thing that is make or break on this project is the neckline of the original top. If it is not something similar to this one it will probably work out too big for your little ones head, so choose your top wisely. This was a (generous) medium size.

Other things you will need:

  • The pattern (you can download it in pdf format from here)
  • A piece of elastic the correct length for your little  ones waist
  • Matching sewing machine thread(or something that will be inconspicuous anyway:) and
  • All the other normal stuff – sewing machine, over locker (could do without this but it is much easier with it) scissors pins etc.
So first things first, print out the pattern, piece it together by matching up the indicator marks (circles with circles, triangles with triangles etc) and cut it out.
Next thing is to cut out  the pattern pieces – this is a lot easier to show than it is to write instructions for so check out the pics below for which parts of the original top you need to cut each of the pattern pieces from.
Cut the pants pattern from the sleeves of the top

Cut the pants pattern piece from the sleeves of the top (the wrists of the top form the ankles of the pants)

Repeat for the other leg of the pants

Repeat for the other leg of the pants

Cut pattern pieces for pants

Cut pattern pieces for pants

OK, so on to sewing. These instructions are written as though you have an overlocker, if you don’t you will just need to sew this with your sewing machine as you would any other stretch fabric.

Overlock the inner leg seam

Overlock the inner leg seam crotch to ankle

To make the pants. Turn the pieces inside out and overlock the inner leg seam from the crotch to the ankle as shown in the pic (I left the wristbands of the top intact so I only needed to sew down to where I started cutting). Repeat for both legs.

 

 

 

Slide one leg inside the other

Slide one leg inside the other and then overlock the crotch seam

Then turn one leg in the right way and then slide it into the other leg so that the right sides are together and the crotch seam lines up, as shown in the picture. These pants are the same front to back so you don’t need to worry about which side is the front.

Now overlock the seam all the way around.

 

 

Finish the top raw edge

Finish the top raw edge

Next, turn turn the pants inside out and finish the  top raw edge.

 

 

 

 

Create an elastic casing

Create an elastic casing

Create a casing for the elastic by folding the waist over about 3cm and sewing all the way around, close to the edge. (I do this with a double needle on my sewing machine, it gives a really great finish) Remember to leave a gap to insert your elastic.

 

 

 

Super cute tracksuit pants

Super cute tracksuit pants

Next, thread your elastic through the casing you have created and then sew the ends of the elastic together. Then sew the space in the casing closed.

Now your done – One pair of super cute tracksuit pants that even have room for a cloth nappy if you need it.

 

and…

Stay tuned for PART 2 of this post – Cutting and sewing the top.