DIY Baby Moccasins

If you’re a mom (or even if you aren’t) I know you MUST have seen the adorable baby moccasin shoes that are trending now. Apparently made popular by one of the Kardashians? What? Oh well. They are really cute. AND we have a pair of baby moccasins passed down from L’s grandpa, so obviously moccasins aren’t a new development in baby fashion. I don’t think they are going away anytime soon, either. Which is why I’m providing a tutorial and free pattern for DIY baby moccasins today.

Leather moccasins are great for babies because they are so comfy, leaving lots of room for baby’s feet to grip the ground and grow properly. However, I guess the designer ones cost around sixty bucks! To me, that’s crazy for a baby who’s feet will grow before they wear out. You can get knock off ones too, but I think they still cost around $20. I won’t pay that much if I can DIY it for under $2!!

That’s right, and with this tutorial you too can make these cute little baby shoes on the cheap. These DIY baby moccasins are for size 3-4.

What You’ll Need:

DIY Baby Moccasins: No sewing machine or fancy tools required! Free Pattern and Tutorial | stitchesandsunflowers.com

Leather (I used a garage sale leather jacket I bought for $2)

Scrap of cushy fabric (I used a thick felted wool sweater)

Thick needle

Strong thread

An awl or leather stitch maker (optional, but very helpful)

Free Baby Moccasin Pattern

The Tutorial:

This is a hand sewing tutorial. True leatherworking requires some more complicated techniques and materials than I have or have learned yet, but I hope eventually to get into it! This tutorial is for moms like me who may not have a leather working kit, but want to try their hand at it anyway. You may want to try sewing this pattern using a sewing machine if you’re familiar with sewing with leather. That’s fine, but it can be difficult and you will need a special needle.

Step one: Cut out your pattern pieces.

Cut two pieces of leather for each pattern piece. Cut two more of the cushy fabric to pad the sole.

Step two: Make stitch holes.

Poke holes 1/4 inch apart where marked on the pattern. This is optional if you have thin leather and a very strong and sharp needle, but it makes the hand sewing process MUCH easier. So I recommend it!

DIY Baby Moccasins: No sewing machine or fancy tools required! Free Pattern and Tutorial | stitchesandsunflowers.com DIY Baby Moccasins: No sewing machine or fancy tools required! Free Pattern and Tutorial | stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step three: Sew toe piece.

Hold the cushy sole piece on top of the leather sole piece. It is nice to put the leather sole slick side in, so there is more traction on the bottom. Match the center of the toe piece to the center toe of the sole. Hold it in place using a little clamp, paper clip, or very carefully with a pin. Using the holes you made previously, stitch with a backstitch around the toe.

DIY Baby Moccasins: No sewing machine or fancy tools required! Free Pattern and Tutorial | stitchesandsunflowers.comSewing a backstitch:

1. DIY Baby Moccasins: No sewing machine or fancy tools required! Free Pattern and Tutorial | stitchesandsunflowers.com 2. DIY Baby Moccasins: No sewing machine or fancy tools required! Free Pattern and Tutorial | stitchesandsunflowers.com

3. DIY Baby Moccasins: No sewing machine or fancy tools required! Free Pattern and Tutorial | stitchesandsunflowers.com 4. DIY Baby Moccasins: No sewing machine or fancy tools required! Free Pattern and Tutorial | stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step four: Sew the heel piece.

Do the same thing with the heel piece, overlapping the edges on top of the edges of the toe piece.

DIY Baby Moccasins: No sewing machine or fancy tools required! Free Pattern and Tutorial | stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step five: Sew the casing.

Stitch the line 1/2 inch under the fold at the back of the shoe.

DIY Baby Moccasins: No sewing machine or fancy tools required! Free Pattern and Tutorial | stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step six: Cut the fringe.

Cut 1/4″ strips up to the casing stitching line to make the fringe.

DIY Baby Moccasins: No sewing machine or fancy tools required! Free Pattern and Tutorial | stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step seven: Thread the lace.

I cut about a foot of leather lace, to tie in a knot without a bow. If you want to be able to tie a bow, just make it longer. Use a safety pin or a giant yarn needle to thread the leather lace through the casing.

DIY Baby Moccasins: No sewing machine or fancy tools required! Free Pattern and Tutorial | stitchesandsunflowers.comStep eight: Waterproof (optional)

I used some waterproofing oil my husband had on hand to waterproof and strengthen the leather. You can use whatever waterproofing medium you choose, or skip it. I rub in the oil with a paper towel and rub off the excess, then let them sit for a day to soak in before  using them. It does darken the leather a bit.

DIY Baby Moccasins: No sewing machine or fancy tools required! Free Pattern and Tutorial | stitchesandsunflowers.com DIY Baby Moccasins: No sewing machine or fancy tools required! Free Pattern and Tutorial | stitchesandsunflowers.com

And now, they’re finished! I love how they turned out. These little moccasins are comfortable, durable and versatile; the perfect shoe for little ones!

When your baby wears them, triple knot the lace to make sure they don’t fall off. I’d love to see pictures of your finished product! Post them to the Stitches and Sunflowers facebook page or hashtag #stitchesandsunflowers on instagram. 🙂

See all the other great posts at Made by You Monday here.

Love, Jess

 

 

 

DIY Un-Paper Bag Tutorial (A Project for Beginners)

In a follow up to Tuesday’s post about the paper bag trick, I’m going to teach you how to make a re-useable un-paper bag. This is a great tutorial for beginners! It may look complicated, but the shape of the bag comes from folding the fabric, not from complicated sewing.

The paper bag trick helps to streamline your sewing process. It’s a tip that I’ve struggled to use in the past. The reason? I didn’t buy paper bags. In fact, I don’t like to buy disposable things like zip lock baggies or plastic wrap either. If you DO like your disposable goods, there is no judgement here! I just feel like I’m throwing money away when I use them, so I tend to use their re-useable counterparts, or do without.

 DIY Un-Paper Bag: Make your own alternative to paper bags | stitchesandsunflowers.com

Enter the Un-Paper Bag

Even though you could probably reuse a paper bag indefinitely for the paper bag trick, it’s not really worth it (for me anyway) to buy a whole pack of paper bags.

You could also use this un-paper bag for whatever you would normally use a paper bag for. It would make a great (but small) lunch sack. If you’re making it for a purpose other than the paper bag trick, you should use fusible interfacing and make your bag taller.

DIY Un-Paper Bag: Make your own alternative to paper bags | stitchesandsunflowers.com

Materials:

Quilting cotton or other stiff fabric *Note: If you use very thick fabric here, the difficulty level goes up just a tad. Check out my tips for sewing denim to help with that.

Iron and ironing board (very important)

Fusible interfacing (necessary if you’re using your paper bag for something other than the paper bag trick)

Fabric starch (optional)

 

Make it:

Step one:

Cut out a rectangle of your fabric 11″ by 19″. To do this precisely you can make a pattern and use it to cut out your rectangle, or you can tear your fabric on the grain line. I like to tear it (it’s fast and easy). Cut a slightly smaller rectangle from the interfacing (you won’t be able to tear this one).

  • To tear on the grain line: Cut a small notch in your fabric, and then rip the rest of the way.

DIY Un-Paper Bag: Make your own alternative to paper bags | stitchesandsunflowers.com DIY Un-Paper Bag: Make your own alternative to paper bags | stitchesandsunflowers.com

DIY Un-Paper Bag: Make your own alternative to paper bags | stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step two:

Cut a slightly smaller rectangle from the interfacing (you won’t be able to tear this one).

Step three:

Iron on the fusible interfacing. Make sure that you press the sticky or bumpy side onto the fabric when you iron it. If in doubt, place a thin cotton cloth on top when you are ironing.

Step four:

Sew the short ends together and finish them (you can use a serger, French seam, zig-zag stitch, or pinking shears). Use a stitch length of 2.5.

DIY Un-Paper Bag: Make your own alternative to paper bags | stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step five:

Hem both ends. You could serge them, but I know many beginners don’t own a serger. I hemmed the bottom with a teeny little hem and the top with about a half inch hem.

DIY Un-Paper Bag: Make your own alternative to paper bags | stitchesandsunflowers.com DIY Un-Paper Bag: Make your own alternative to paper bags | stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step six:

Following the picture steps, fold the bottom of the fabric into the bottom of the bag. Press the creases as you sew. If you make a mistake, spray with water and iron out the folds you made.

DIY Un-Paper Bag: Make your own alternative to paper bags | stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step seven:

With the bottom pinned together topstitch along all the edges as shown. Use a stitch length of 4.

DIY Un-Paper Bag: Make your own alternative to paper bags | stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step eight:

Fold the bag like a paper bag as shown. Press well and use fabric starch if desired.

DIY Un-Paper Bag: Make your own alternative to paper bags | stitchesandsunflowers.com DIY Un-Paper Bag: Make your own alternative to paper bags | stitchesandsunflowers.com

You’ve finished your un-paper bag!

Now you have a re-useable bag for all your sewing/carrying/lunch preparing needs. And you made it yourself! Look at you!

Love, Jess

Be sure to check out the rest of the crafty posts on Made by You Monday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Paper Bag Trick (a Beginner’s Sewing Tip)

I realize that lots of the sewing tutorials I post might seem scary or too intense for a lot of beginners out there. I want this blog to make sewing accessible to everyone, so I’m going to start a series of posts specifically for the beginners out there. We’ll start with a trick that streamlines the sewing process, but that I forget to utilize too often! I’ll call it the paper bag trick.

 

Why use the paper bag trick?

The paper bag trick helps keep your workspace clean(er). It also encourages you to cut off strings AS you sew, instead of waiting until the end. This is important, because when you wait until then end you miss more threads, making your finished project less professional. You can use the little “blade” on the back of the presser foot on your machine to trim threads, or keep little scissors close. I sometimes prefer using scissors because I can be more precise, but it’s much more time effective to use the machine, and I know professionals who swear by it.

The Paper Bag Trick: A Beginner's Sewing Tip to Streamline your Sewing Process | stitchesandsunflowers.com

It’s as simple as this:

Take a paper bag and fold down the top a few times to make a cuff. This helps to hold the bag open

Tape one edge of the bag on the edge of the table next to your sewing machine.

Cut off strings as you sew and drop them in the bag. This keeps your sewing area clean. If you leave strings on the table around your machine, they tend to stick all over whatever you are sewing as you work.

When you clean up your workspace, dump the strings out of your bag and save the bag for the next project.

That is really all there is to it!

I was uncertain if I should share such a simple tip, but I was quite impressed when I learned it as a beginner. I also thought writing about it would maybe help me actually put it into practice (finally). 🙂 If you don’t want to buy paper bags to try this, check out my diy un-paper bag tutorial to make your own (hint: it’s beginner friendly!).

As a beginner, what sewing tips would help you improve your sewing? Is there something you’ve been dying to try, but just aren’t sure how? Let me know in the comments.

Love, Jess

 

Tips for sewing with Denim

I recently finished a fun sewing project I made for a friend using recycled jeans. Let me just say, sewing with denim can be super tough! Especially when you are using recycled denim and you may be sewing through lots of layers. During this project I was able to test out denim-sewing tips I learned in my college sewing classes, and they really worked! I was amazed at how using the right techniques can take a lot of the stress out of sewing. 🙂

Here are four tips make sewing with denim a little easier:

Four tips for Sewing with Denim | stitchesandsunflowers.com

One: Use the correct needle and thread.

I’ve known this for a while, but since I don’t like to buy a lot of extra materials and supplies I tend to not follow through. This time, however, I DID and it made ALL the difference. When sewing with denim you should be using the largest needle (the numbers will say 100/16), or use the special jean needle. This made it easier to sew through the thick parts, and they’re less likely to break. I recommend you buy multiple (especially if you’re a beginner), because I still broke quite a few needles. I also used jean thread (found here, but I think it can be found cheaper at local department stores) which made such a difference! The thread didn’t bunch up underneath the fabric at all, and it really solved a lot of the issues I usually have while sewing denim.

Four tips for Sewing with Denim | stitchesandsunflowers.com

Two: Use a hammer.

What?! That’s right, pounding down the layered spots in a denim sewing project is actually a common and accepted technique that makes them easier to sew. You can buy cute, tiny hammers made specifically for sewing. Or, you can use whatever is on hand (just make sure that if you use a big hammer you work on a sturdy surface). For my last project I used a meat tenderizer (because it was really close and handy), but a hammer would probably work better, now that I think about it.

Four tips for Sewing with Denim | stitchesandsunflowers.com

Three: Use a stitch starter.

Sewing machines are made to sew through surprisingly thick layers of fabric. However, they have a really hard time climbing onto a thick part in the fabric. You can even that plain by sticking something underneath the presser foot behind the needle. They sell stitch starters for this purpose. I have used cardboard, foam core, or even a pad of sticky notes. You could also use folded up fabric like in this post.

Four tips for Sewing with Denim | stitchesandsunflowers.com

Four: Sew things the “right way.”

I don’t ALWAYS tell you that you have to sew something using the traditional method. Sometimes recycling fabrics or upcycling old clothes require a little creativity and freedom, which is okay. However, for a more professional look it’s important to follow professional techniques.

For example, if you are taking in jeans, don’t just pinch at the side and sew over both waistbands. This will look bad, but it will also be sooo frustrating to get your machine to sew through all those layers (after all, it’s not designed to sew that way). Instead, unpick the waistband from the top of the pants. Take in the side seam first, then take in the waistband, then sew them together again copying the way it was done before. Cotton and curls has a great tutorial showing how to do this.

If it’s hard to tell what the professional way to sew something is, I like to look at how it was put together in the first place. Then I try to copy that as well as I can.

Sewing with denim will be easier with these tips. It is still a challenge, but the results are worth it.

Love, Jess

 

 

 

Outdated Skirt Refashion: Give New Life to Something Old

Today I’m giving you a tutorial for an outdated skirt refashion. While you may not have or be able to find exactly the same kind of skirt, this tutorial is meant to get your creative juices flowing, and teach you techniques you could apply to multiple types of skirts.

Outdated Skirt Refashion: Give New Life to Something Old |stitchesandsunflowers.

In the 1960s, my great-grandma was the mom to multiple teenage girls. Although they were a relatively humble farm family, she managed to dress her girls in fashionable sixties shift dresses. She did it by finding outdated dresses from the fifties with four yards worth of fabric in the skirt. She would take apart the dress and put it back together as a trendy shift dress.

Listening to my grandma tell this story fascinated and inspired me. What a fabulous use of resources and skill! This outdated skirt refashion embodies the same idea, although it’s a little simpler than altering a whole dress. While it does involve a fair amount of unpicking seams, it is worth it in the end to create a more professional look.

Materials:

Outdated (90s) skirt (mine had super poofy pleats in the front, plus it was too long)

That’s pretty much all the materials you need other than the usual thread, stich ripper, scissors, etc.

Step one:

Remove the front panels of fabric. Do this by unpicking the side seams and the waistband seams. By the time you’re done you should have completely taken the front piece (or in my case, two pieces) off of the skirt.

Outdated Skirt Refashion: Give New Life to Something Old |stitchesandsunflowers.    Outdated Skirt Refashion: Give New Life to Something Old |stitchesandsunflowers.

Step two:

I unpicked the pleats and flattened them out (to eliminate the poofyness). Then I pressed the fabric to really get rid of those pleats.

Step three:

Measure the front half of the waistband.

Outdated Skirt Refashion: Give New Life to Something Old |stitchesandsunflowers. Outdated Skirt Refashion: Give New Life to Something Old |stitchesandsunflowers.

  • Add an inch for seam allowances. Then lay your front piece of skirt down, mark the center, and mark where the width you measured ends.
  • Cut your skirt down to the width you measured. (I took the pockets off my skirt first , which gave me issues later, so make sure that if your pockets add width to the front of your skirt you leave them on while you cut the front piece. )*

Outdated Skirt Refashion: Give New Life to Something Old |stitchesandsunflowers.

Step four: This is how I reattached my pockets.

Outdated Skirt Refashion: Give New Life to Something Old |stitchesandsunflowers.

  • Pin or place the edge of the pocket (the one that used to be sewn to the front edge of the skirt) right sides together on the new edge of the front of the skirt.
  • Sew that seam, press, trim, fold back over and topstitch the same way it was topstitched before. I hadn’t cut the shape of my skirt perfectly, so I trimmed it to be straight here

update skirt 12Outdated Skirt Refashion: Give New Life to Something Old |stitchesandsunflowers.                                        Outdated Skirt Refashion: Give New Life to Something Old |stitchesandsunflowers.  Outdated Skirt Refashion: Give New Life to Something Old |stitchesandsunflowers.Outdated Skirt Refashion: Give New Life to Something Old |stitchesandsunflowers.

Step five:

Flip the pockets behind the front of the skirt. Now sew the side seams right sides together. Since there’s lots of layers I pinned them all together.

Outdated Skirt Refashion: Give New Life to Something Old |stitchesandsunflowers.

Step six:

Sandwich the top of the skirt front between both sides of the waistband and top stitch where the stitching used to be (this is where I had to fudge a little).

Outdated Skirt Refashion: Give New Life to Something Old |stitchesandsunflowers. Outdated Skirt Refashion: Give New Life to Something Old |stitchesandsunflowers.

Step seven: Hem the skirt in the updated length you would like.

Outdated Skirt Refashion: Give New Life to Something Old |stitchesandsunflowers. Outdated Skirt Refashion: Give New Life to Something Old |stitchesandsunflowers.

Outdated Skirt Refashion: Give New Life to Something Old |stitchesandsunflowers.com

And…that’s how I did it! Now, go find an old skirt, take it apart, and put it together. Now you have a new skirt!

*I reveal my mistakes and my process for a couple of reasons. One, because my goal for this blog is to be authentic and real. Second, I want you to realize that even as you make mistakes, you can recover from them, learn from them, and become a better seamstress. Then you’ll be better prepared to avoid mistakes when sewing for others.

I’ve also added this tutorial to Made by You Monday on Skip to My Lou. Go check out the rest of the crafty links here.

Love, Jess

 

Outdated Skirt Refashion

 

 

How to Size Down a Button Up

Sewing can make it much easier to have good quality, classic clothes that are tailored to fit one’s own body. I find that as a young mom, refashioning my clothes lets me have a wardrobe that fits without constantly buying new clothes to match my current size. This tutorial will show you how I tailor an oversized button-up shirt.

How To Size Down a Large Button Up | stitchesandsunflowers.com
Before: It was wearable, but a long way from nicely tailored.

I used this tutorial from JLTFK blog: http://jltfk.blogspot.com/2010/11/how-to-tailor-shirt-refashion-mens.html. It is a great tutorial and I recommend checking it out, however, I ended up doing a lot of the steps differently for my tutorial, so I thought I’d post my version as well.

Here it is! Another way to size down a large button up shirt.

Step one:

Measure your arm length from where the shoulder seam should hit to your wrist. Measure from the base of your neck to the shoulder seam.

Step two:

Cut off the shirt sleeves and shorten the shoulder length of the shirt to match your measurements. The sleeves of my shirt were already the correct length, so I unpicked the  original seam allowance off of them rather than cutting it off.

How To Size Down a Large Button Up | stitchesandsunflowers.com     How To Size Down a Large Button Up | stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step three:

Now put the shirt on inside out and mark how much you want to take in through the trunk. I like to use pins, some people use chalk. Measure the amount you’re taking in right under the armhole and mark that 1/2 inch less* than that amount on the edge of the sleeve, tapering down to meet the cuff.

How To Size Down a Large Button Up | stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step four:

Sew these lines, try the shirt on to make sure it fits well and then cut and finish the raw edges. *

Step five:

Pin the arm into the armhole, right sides together. Sew both sleeves in and finish the edges.

How To Size Down a Large Button Up | stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step six:

Now try the shirt on again, iron all the seams and mark how long you want the shirt to be.

Step seven:

Cut the hem. To make the sides even measure from the armpit to hem marking and make sure they are the same length. Cut one side of the shirt, then fold it in half and cut the other side to ensure an even curve.

How To Size Down a Large Button Up | stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step eight:

Press and sew the hem. Press up 1/4 inch along the bottom edge, then fold over another half inch. Sew the hem.

How To Size Down a Large Button Up | stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step nine:

Try it on and enjoy the thrifted shirt that now fits you!

*Since you cut the arm hole slightly bigger, you need to take in the sleeve slightly less than the trunk for them to match up. I took them in the same amount and I was fine, I just had to do some fussing to get them to match up.

*You might be tempted not to finish your edges, but it makes a HUGE difference in how professional your shirt feels and how long it lasts. I am blessed that my mother-in-law owns a serger, which is the best option. You can also fold over and “hem” the seam allowances or add a bias casing on top of them. These take longer, but look the best. The easier options are using pinking shears or a zig zag stitch. These are better than nothing, but I haven’t found them to last as long, especially with cotton fabric.

Love, Jess

How To Size Down a Large Button Up | stitchesandsunflowers.com   How To Size Down a Large Button Up | stitchesandsunflowers.com

How to Tailor an Oversized Button Up stitchesandsunflowers.com

 

 

 

The Worst Dressmaking Mistake I’ve Ever Made

A tragedy has just occurred. I made a super silly dressmaking mistake. One that I knew I should have avoided. Here’s how it happened.

A few years ago…

I took a pattern-making class and a sewing techniques class from an experienced professor who had working in both construction and pattern drafting for upwards of thirty years. It was so exciting to be growing towards my dreams of designing and making the perfect dresses that I could never find in stores.

I asked the professor to help me fit a pattern sloper (the base used to make all other patterns) to be a perfect fit to my body. Although I’d ordered the correct size for my body, and the measurements of the pattern were listed, she insisted that we measure the pattern itself to compare it to my measurements. “Never take the measurements for granted,” she told me. I kind of listened….but I didn’t really see the point.

Fast forward to this week.

I’ve had some cheap floral fabric (thrifted sheets or curtains, I think) in my stash for almost a year, and I’ve been dreaming up a vintage floral wrap dress for ages.

This week I finally got to work. I printed a free pattern, measured myself, cut out my fabric and took my sweet time sewing the best dress bodice I have yet to create. After I put the sleeves on I whisked that bodice into the bedroom to finally try it on, only to discover…

GASP!! The dress is tiny! It may be too small for even most twelve year olds. I look at the mirror in confusion and then it dawns on me. I didn’t measure the pattern. I assumed the sizing was the same as commercial dress sizes. I relied on a free pattern and a separate standard dress size chart! I took the measurements for granted! I died a little.

BUT, I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and now I am learning from my mistakes. I hope you can too. I will never, ever, ever again cut out the dress pieces without measuring the pattern and comparing it to my measurements first. ESPECIALLY if the pattern itself doesn’t come with a size chart. But, oh the price of that knowledge. *tears*

The worst dressmaking mistake I've ever made, and how you can learn from it. stitchesandsunflowers.com

So, please, take the time to measure the pattern! It could save you a lot of trouble. However, that in itself isn’t the only lesson you should take away from this post.

I am such a perfectionist that when I make a mistake like this it can cripple me and I’ll stop sewing for fear of ruining another project.

Here’s a tip for all of us:

Learn from your mistakes! Embrace sewing errors as a way to evaluate and improve. One failed project doesn’t make you a failure.

So, what sewing mistakes have YOU made we can learn from? Come on, fess up. 😉

Love, Jess

 

Baby Tee from an Adult Tee (Free Pattern and Tutorial)

If you have old tee shirts lying around the house and you’d like to make a free baby tee, this post is for you. All you need is a little over an hour of time, thread, and this free pattern.

As I’ve mentioned, we live on an island in Alaska with not many options for shopping. I suppose I could buy Littles a bunch of clothes at Wal-mart, but there isn’t much selection and I don’t like the idea of spending money on not-that-cute and cheaply made clothes when I have perfectly good fabric (read, “tee shirts”) here at home. It just seems wasteful and this mama doesn’t like to waste. BUT I do like to sew. I ended up sewing most of Little’s twelve month “wardrobe” (haha) from recycled adult clothes we already had.

If you feel the same, here is a pattern and tutorial for a twelve month size tee shirt which you can make from cotton stretch fabric or an old grown-up tee. Of course, if you have access to one of those wonderful large thrift stores where they sell baby t-shirts for 50 cents-1 dollar, go ahead and do that instead as well.

Materials:

One adult sized t-shirt

Free twelve month t-shirt pattern

Thread….And that’s about it!

Step one:

Lay the pattern out on top of the adult tee shirt. You can use the existing hem, or cut the shirt out of the middle.

Baby Tee from Adult Tee (Free Pattern and Tutorial) | stitchesandsunflowers.com  Baby Tee from Adult Tee (Free Pattern and Tutorial) | stitchesandsunflowers.com

Baby Tee from Adult Tee (Free Pattern and Tutorial) | stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step two:

Cut out the pattern. If your tee shirt’s design is too wide for the pattern, you have two options. You can either cut off the design or cut your tee shirt piece a little wider. As you can see, I chose to widen the shirt. In this case it’s important to make sure you cut the sleeve pieces a little bit wider as well.

Baby Tee from Adult Tee (Free Pattern and Tutorial) | stitchesandsunflowers.com      Baby Tee from Adult Tee (Free Pattern and Tutorial) | stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step three:

Cut the existing ribbing/collar off the adult tee shirt. If you’re worried about making the ribbing too thin to be a collar for the baby tee, you can always unpick the stitches and remove it that way.

Baby Tee from Adult Tee (Free Pattern and Tutorial) | stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step four:

Using a stretch stitch or a serger, sew the shoulder seams and side seams.

Baby Tee from Adult Tee (Free Pattern and Tutorial) | stitchesandsunflowers.com

 

+Tip: Instead of using a plain zig-zag stitch as my stretch stitch I like to use the blind hem stitch, which is a stretch stitch with straight stitches and zig-zag stitches. This makes it so that the points of the zig-zag stitch don’t show in your seam from the right side of the shirt. In order to do this, make sure that the points of the stitch are faced toward the seam allowance, or edge of the fabric, and the flat part of the stitch is along the seam.

Baby Tee From Adult Tee (Free Pattern and Tutorial) |stitchesandsunflowers.com
The points face inward the seam, and will show when the fabric stretches.
Baby Tee from Adult Tee (Free Pattern and Tutorial) | stitchesandsunflowers.com
Here, the points face the edge of the fabric, or seam allowance, and the flat stitches line the seam for a neater look

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step five:

Cut the ribbing you separated from the original shirt to a length of 15 inches. You can measure around the neck hole with a measuring tape if you want to double check. Sew the ends right sides together to create a neck band.

Baby Tee from Adult Tee (Free Pattern and Tutorial) | stitchesandsunflowers.com Baby Tee from Adult Tee (Free Pattern and Tutorial) | stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step six:

Attach the ribbing. With the shirt right sides out, pin or simple line up the edges right sides together. Sew or serge around the neck hole.

Baby Tee from Adult Tee (Free Pattern and Tutorial) | stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step seven:

Sew the sleeves. Fold them in half with the right side in and sew the sleeve seams.

+Tip: I like to use the original hem of the tee shirt, but if you just sew your seams on top of the hem it can look sloppy and/or unprofessional. To avoid this I simply unpick 3/4 to 1 inch of hem on each side of the seam before sewing. Then, after sewing I can go in and hem that spot, imitating the stitches that were already there. It’s still not perfect, but I like it better.

Baby Tee from Adult Tee (Free Pattern and Tutorial) | stitchesandsunflowers.com

Baby Tee from Adult Tee (Free Pattern and Tutorial) | stitchesandsunflowers.com                    Baby Tee from Adult Tee (Free Pattern and Tutorial) | stitchesandsunflowers.com      Baby Tee from Adult Tee (Free Pattern and Tutorial) | stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step eight:

Sew the sleeves to the shirt. With the shirt inside out and the sleeves right side out, pin the sleeve into the armhole with right sides together. Sew around the armhole.

Baby Tee from Adult Tee (Free Pattern and Tutorial) | stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step nine:

Hem the tee shirt. You can use a stretch stich like I showed earlier, but I tend to not like the zig-zag stitch showing on my hem. If you’re more adventurous than me you could also use a double needle, I just haven’t tried one yet. My solution is….. a blind hem.

+Tip: How to sew a blind hem:

  1. Fold up your desired hem (for this pattern, 3/4 inches). Press

Baby Tee from Adult Tee (Free Pattern and Tutorial) | stitchesandsunflowers.com    Baby Tee from Adult Tee (Free Pattern and Tutorial) | stitchesandsunflowers.com

2. Fold the other way (like an accordion) and press with 1/8 to 1/4 inch fabric sticking out.

3. Set your sewing machine to the blind hem stitch. Use the stitch that looks the same as where this arrow is pointing. Don’t forget to also set your stitch width if you need to on your machine.

Baby Tee from Adult Tee (Free Pattern and Tutorial) | stitchesandsunflowers.com     Baby Tee from Adult Tee (Free Pattern and Tutorial) | stitchesandsunflowers.com

4. Sew down the hem so that the needle sews straight stitches onto the hanging-off-edge of the fabric and catches the fold of the fabric with the zig-zag stitch. Go slow so you don’t miss spots. The zig-zags are what will hold your hem together.

5. Press the hem back down to it’s regular spot. Here’s what it should look like:

Baby Tee from Adult Tee (Free Pattern and Tutorial) | stitchesandsunflowers.comBaby Tee from Adult Tee (Free Pattern and Tutorial) | stitchesandsunflowers.com

Now, you’re done! Enjoy your new shirt. If you have any questions or favorite baby clothes to make, please let me know!

If you’d like to share your finished baby shirt with me, share on Instagram with #stitchesandsunflowers or post it on our facebook page. I’d love to see them!

Love, Jess

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DIY Baby Booties

When L was a few months old my mother-in-law bought him some magical fleece baby booties that STAYED on his feet! Even when he was three months old those twelve month size shoes would stay on his feet, due to the ankle elastic and handy adjustable snaps.

He recently lost one bootie, so I set out on  a quest to make more. My first attempt at copying the baby shoes left a lot wanting. They were baggy and the fit of the pattern wasn’t as snug, allowing them to fall off.

I played with my pattern a little, and came up with a way for you (and me!) to make your own magic stay-on-those-feet baby booties. These booties were made a bit bigger than the store-bought 12 month size so that they would fit L for longer. I’d say they are between a 3 and a 4 shoe size.

Download the pattern here. Make sure you get all three pages.

Materials:

Thick and warm outer fabric (I have used recycled sweater and felted wool. Fleece would also work)

Thinner inner fabric  (tee shirt scraps, thin flannel)

Elastic (two pieces cut 7 1/2 inches long)

Snaps or Velcro

Step One

Cut out your fabric. You will need two pieces of each piece in outer fabric and two of inner fabric.

DIY Baby Snap Booties-- Sew your own 12 month baby shoes that don't fall off. Free pattern and tutorial.

Step Two

With right sides together, serge the inner fabric to the outer fabric. Do this with all the pieces except the sole piece.

DIY Baby Snap Booties-- Sew your own 12 month baby shoes that don't fall off. Free pattern and tutorial.

Step Three

Sew the elastic onto the heel piece, tacking it down on each end.

DIY Baby Snap Booties-- Sew your own 12 month baby shoes that don't fall off. Free pattern and tutorial.     DIY Baby Snap Booties-- Sew your own 12 month baby shoes that don't fall off. Free pattern and tutorial.

Step Four

Flip the heel pieces right side out and topstitch over the ends to keep the elastic in place. Topstitch two parallel lines on either side of the elastic to form a casing

DIY Baby Snap Booties-- Sew your own 12 month baby shoes that don't fall off. Free pattern and tutorial.    DIY Baby Snap Booties-- Sew your own 12 month baby shoes that don't fall off. Free pattern and tutorial.

Step Five

Flip the rest of the pieces right side out and press. Serge the bottom/raw edge off all the pieces and serge around the edge of the heel lining piece. This will make sure there are no raw edges once you sew everything together. *If you have a really fabulous serger that’s can sew through really thick fabric, or if you’re using thin fabric you should skip this step and serge the pieces together in the next step.

Step Six

Pin the center of the heel piece to the heel of the sole outer and inner, with the outer piece sandwiched in the middle. It’s important that you do the heel first! If you are using leather, hand stitch with embroidery thread and a backstitch. If you aren’t using leather, go ahead and use your machine to sew it.

DIY Baby Snap Booties-- Sew your own 12 month baby shoes that don't fall off. Free pattern and tutorial.   DIY Baby Snap Booties-- Sew your own 12 month baby shoes that don't fall off. Free pattern and tutorial.

Step Seven

Pin the toe piece around the toe and either hand or machine stitch.

DIY Baby Snap Booties-- Sew your own 12 month baby shoes that don't fall off. Free pattern and tutorial.

Step Eight

Flip your baby bootie right side out. Add the snaps or the velcro. If you are making adjustable snaps, put multiple snaps on the bottom strap and one on the top, so only one snap shows when your baby wears the booties.

DIY Baby Snap Booties-- Sew your own 12 month baby shoes that don't fall off. Free pattern and tutorial. | stitchesandsunflowers.comDIY Baby Snap Booties-- Sew your own 12 month baby shoes that don't fall off. Free pattern and tutorial. | stitchesandsunflowers.com

DIY Baby Snap Booties-- Sew your own 12 month baby shoes that don't fall off. Free pattern and tutorial. | stitchesandsunflowers.com

Note: Make sure that you keep tabs of which side is the right side of the heel piece, otherwise you’ll end up with booties that aren’t a mirror image of each other like me… oops!

Enjoy your beautiful baby shoes that don’t fall off little feet! If you don’t want to DIY here is a link to buy them.

Also, stay tuned for patterns of different sizes!

Love, Jess