The Eternal Maker Crafts

Friday, 14 June 2013

Simply Bootiful Booties

So I first made these booties a few years back, and then sort of lost track of it as a project.  You know how you do - you makes loads of one thing, then none for ages until you forgot that it was something you ever did.  And then rediscover it thinking - why did I ever stop?  (I do the exact same with food.)
I guess I thought about it again because this year is turning out to be a baby year.  Do you have baby years?  The years when everyone you know is having a baby.  Some years are wedding years (last year) and some are baby years.  This year, two of my best friends are having babies, and my brother is too.  And there are suspicions of another friend, but she's denying so we won't go there.  And those are just the people in my inner circle, so to speak.
So all my projects at the moment are baby based.  You may have noticed this, to be honest.  I have only just realised it myself, but you guys may be a little quicker than me.
Oh well... here's another!
You will need: 
Template - you can find it here 
20 x 30cm outer fabric - we used this
20 x 30cm inner fabric - we used a lovely hot pink kona cotton
15 x 20cm plain linen
15 x 20cm fusible fleece and cuddle fluffy fabric - fuse together before cutting out
1/2m 1/4" wide elastic
 1.  Cut out your outer template pieces - 2 from your top fabric, 2 from your lining fabric.  Then cut 2 x 3cm strips from your remaining fabric, each approximately 12cm long.  
2.  Fold a 1/4" edge on each long side of your strips, fold in half, and insert your lengths of elastic, pushing right up against the fold.  Pin along the edge, trying not to catch the elastic (diagram 2).  
 3. Sew along the edge of the strip, being careful not to touch the elastic.  Stitch on one end through the elastic and the fabric, about 1cm in, then pull the elastic a bit, so the fabric bunches up nicely.  (diagram 3)
 4. Stitch on the other side, and trim.  Do this for both strips, so you have one for each shoe.
 5.  Right sides together, pin your 'u' shaped outer and your 'u' shaped lining fabrics together.  On one side, about 6cm down, pin in your elasticated strip (see diagram 5)
 6.  Sew down and across the elastic catching it in place.  Stop just past the bottom of the 'u' - so about 2/3 of the way around.  You can just about see this in diagram 6.
 7.  Ignore diagram 7.  Apparently I made 2 diagrams the same. Hmm..
 8.  This is where it gets a little complicated.  Take the loose end of your elastic, and pull it round to the other side, and feed it in so it is level to the already sewn end.  Pin it into place.  All your fabric will bunch up in the middle, and you'll probably get a little frustrated, but hang in there.  See diagrams 8, 9 and 10
 9.  Now sew down from the other side to join where you sewed to before.  (diagram 11)
 10.  This is hard to see because the elastic is pulling it all about - but the next step is to clip your curves.  Trust me, this makes a big difference, reducing bulk in your seams and making them lie flat.  Excess bulk on such a small project can show up a lot.  Trim the bulk on the elastic too.
 11.  Your shoe will now look something like this (diagram 13) - ie, not much like a shoe.  Don't worry.  A shoe will come.
 12.  And like this from the other side.  Still not much like a shoe.
 13.  Turn your shoe the right way out - and finger press the seams.  You may find pinning it into place makes it easier to control.
14.  Pull open the un-sewn straight  edges, and line up against each other right sides facing - outer fabric to outer fabric, lining fabric to lining fabric, making sure to line up the centre seam.  Sew down this line (diagram 15a).  Turn the right way out again, finger pressing the seam.

 15.  Using the template, cut out your sole pieces from the fused fluff and fleece, and the linen.  Cut 2 from each fabric.
 16.  Take one linen piece, and one fluff and fleece piece, and wrong sides facing,  lay them together.  Stitch all around the edge with a very small zigzag stitch.  Diagram 17.
 17.  Pin the right side of the upper shoe to the linen side of the sole.  Pin all around at intervals.  (diagram 18).  If you find that your upper has a little too much excess fabric, go back to the back seam and make a little smaller. 
 18.  Sew around using a scant 1/4" seam, catching all layers.
 19.  Turn the bootie the right way out and then repeat the whole process for the other bootie. 
I have to apologise slightly because I think in my write up of this tutorial I've made it sound super hard.  It's not, it's just a little fiddly and hard to explain.  But ultimately very satisfying, I promise!  Because check it out - look how amazingly and ridiculously super cute they are.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Childrens Wipe Clean Apron using Lamifix

Lamifix is a new iron-on product that make any ironable fabric wipe clean - it means the discerning crafter can now have a limitless choice of laminated fabric! It comes in either a matt or glossy finish.

To make your wipe clean apron you will need:

  • Fabric – we used  just one fat quarter per apron.
  • Lamifix – we used 50cm of the glossy version
  • Iron
  • Bias binding – we used 3 metres but this will vary with the size of your apron ( see below for hints on working out how much you need)
  • Newspaper
  • Pins or “wonderclips”
  • Sewing thread 
  • Sewing machine

The first step to making this simple apron is to measure your child. You will need to know their waist measurement and the length from a little way from under their chin to where you want the apron to lay (for example above or below the knee). 

Cut a rectangle from your piece of newspaper – the length of the rectangle should be the chin to knee measurement and the width of the rectangle should be half the waist measurement.
Fold this in half along the long length and then cut the top outside corner off in an inward sweeping curve to make arm holes. Cut the bottom outside corners in an outwards sweeping curve to round off these bottom corners. Open out your newspaper rectangle and you should have an apron shaped template.
 (Use this template to work out how much bias you will need – you will need enough to go the whole way around the apron plus at least 1.5m extra for ties and neck loop - see below)
Pin this template on your fabric and cut out a rough rectangle that is about 3cm bigger than your template all the way around and big enough to cut the apron from in one piece (make sure if your fabric has a pattern it is up the right way).

 Unpin your template for the moment and then cut a rectangle of lamifix (either the matt or gloss finish type) that is about 5mm smaller than your fabric rectangle.
Iron the lamifix onto your fabric – set your iron to a cotton setting. We have found quick sweeping motions with the iron work better as if you apply to much heat to one area specific of the fabric you may end up with wrinkling. Don't be scared of the lamifix - and have a little practice first on a scrap if you're not confident.

 Once the lamifix is ironed on your fabric repin your template in place. This time try and keep your pins to the edge of the template (about 5mm in) as you want any pin holes you make to be covered by the bias binding you will attach later.
Cut out your apron shape.
Now cut enough bias binding to bind the top neck edge of the apron. Fold this binding in half length ways and insert the apron top edge so the edge of the fabric is placed as far into the fold of the bias binding as possible with all layers still remaining flat. Use pins or wonder clips to hold this in place as you sew it on.

 Just sew through all layers at once and try to keep your stitch line about 3mm from the inner edge of the bias binding. Don’t worry about the raw edges at each end just cut them flush to the edge of the apron.

Repeat this binding process to bind the apron from the bottom of one arm hole around the side and bottom edges of the main part of the apron and back up to the other arm hole. Again leave the raw edges – just trim them to the edge of the apron.

Now you will bind the armholes but at the same time create the ties and the neck loop.
The size of your child will determine how long you want to make the ties, we made a tie length of 50cm but you may need to adjust this.  So measure 50cm (or your tie length)  of bias binding – do not cut it but mark 50cm with a pin and fold the bias along the long length, sew along this 50cm to create a tie with all the raw edges enclosed. When you reach your marking pin start enclosing the apron in the folded bias as before and bind the armhole as you have done previously  – you will now stitch over the raw edges of the other bindings hiding them from view. Sew on the bias binding along the whole length of the armhole.

Now you what some bias binding make the neck loop. Measure how long you want the neck loop to be – make sure the child head will fit through! – and then mark this length with a pin – sew this length of bias binding folded over but not enclosing the apron to make the neck loop (as you did with the first tie) and reattached to the top of apron when you get to the pin marker. Bind in the same way around the second arm hole. When you get to the end of the second armhole make sure you enclose the final raw edges and then measure another 50cm and sew along just the folded bias to make the tie on the other side of the apron.
Neaten up any loose threads and you'll all done!