Staff Tips & Tricks: May 2012 Archives
If you are like the majority of knitters, you cast on tight. Some just cast on a little tight, but most cast on really tight. This can be a real pain when it comes to sweater necks, top-down socks and even starting a nice scarf (you can clearly see where your knitting looses after the cast on edge). You can try teaching yourself to cast on loosely which can be an exercise in patience or you can just try one of my 2 easy, loose cast-on methods. You will love them both.
1) Bigger needle: depending on how tight you cast-on you can use a bigger needle for just the cast-on and then on row 1 switch to your pattern recommended needle size. I suggest going up 2-3 needle sizes (i.e. from an US 8 to a US 10). I prefer 2 sizes because my cast on is only medium tight. If yours is super tight, go up three. Try each with a gauge swatch to see which needle size works best for you. Remember the loose cast on may look pretty loose but this will be less visible after blocking and wearing.
2) Double your needle: If I don't have my needle pouch with me or if I am traveling I will cast on holding both my needles together. This doubles the size of the needle and gives a very nice, loose cast on. It is a little tricky holding and casting on with 2 needles but you will quickly get the hang of it. This one is especially handy because once you have cast on just slide one needle out and you are all set for row one.
A well-done loose cast on is not only better for garments and wearing but also for that trouble-some first row. If you cast on tight you probably dread working that first row because it is so tight and hard to get your needle in there to work each stitch. With your new loose cast on, working the first row will be as easy as working any other other row. On top of that, your knitting will no longer blossom out once you get past the first row. Your project will be the same size from cast on to the last row (unless you change the size). No longer will you need to knit a few rows to get a real feel of the width of your project. You can see evidence of this in the first picture. From the cast on row to about row 2-3 the sample flares out until it reaches its working width (see red marks). This may not seem like a big deal but if you are creating a beautiful color work scarf you will want it to be perfect from start to finish and don't want the color skewed by this flare.
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(Her reply: "Super cute!!!!")
First off, where has this pattern been all my life? No use crying over the absence of a thing. I'll just celebrate it now that I've got it. My advice is download it now! Right now!
Here's the rundown on my test drive:
For the first sample, I used a small cut of dupioni from the stash. For interfacing, I used a plain heavy canvas, also from the stash. I lined it with the same dupioni I used for the outside.
The pattern instructions mention the teeny tiny seam allowance you will need to use to create the zipper opening. It is not fibbing! That said, it's clearly marked and is no problem if you take your time. Here's what mine looks like flipped and ironed after I stitched and slashed it to make way for the zipper:
Now, here's my trick for a little reinforcement at the base of the pyramid, which forms the bottom of the bag. I use craft foam. Yep. Regular old craft foam.
I actually stitch my craft foam into the bag structure. First, I fold my pattern along the lines that mark out the square at the bottom of the bag. Then, I use the folded pattern as a guide, and I mark that line with pieces of masking tape, working my way around all four sides of the square base.
Here's my square, roughly marked out with tape:
After that, the bag finishes according to the pattern directions -- stitching up each of the four sides, and setting in the strap as you stitch across the top of the pyramid. The softness of the craft foam allows for easy turning, and before you know it, a bag is born!
I made a second version out of a damask cotton print, using the exact same technique for the base. Worked like a charm on the second go, too, so it wasn't just a fluke on the first one!
The size of the bag is fab -- the wide base easily accommodates an iPhone or similar-sized mobile device, and there's still plenty of room for a wallet and any must-have cosmetics. In fact, this pattern could easily be used for cosmetic bags instead of purses.
The quick nature of this bag means that you can whip it up in an afternoon for a party that night, and you're practically guaranteed you'll have the best bag in the room!
Hop over here for the download, and have a blast playing! I see a version in a sand colored silk with hieroglyph embellishments in my future ...
For inspiration and a pattern, I turned to my sewing room, which has a Hawaiian theme. My accent wall is painted with large-scale hibiscus (I used an opaque projector to throw the images on the wall and then just painted in the designs), so I figured I'd just trace those to make my appliques.
After I took the Wonder Under down from the wall, I went over my tracing with a sharpie.
After I had my complete flower design transferred to the fusible, I ironed it to a pink duchess satin. For the stamen, I used a yellow duchess satin.
If you're careful when you peel the backing paper off your fabric once you've fused it, you can keep it as a pattern for future projects!
After my pieces were all fused and peeled, I arranged them on a green twill that I've had in the stash for a while.
Once I had the pieces arranged to my satisfaction, I ironed them down to the twill following manufacturer's instructions.
For the smaller of the two designs, I used a fleece backing. I safety pinned the top layer to a layer of fleece before I stitched my pieces down. To start with the tricky stamen, I first straight stitched it into place with a long basting stitch. Then I zig-zagged over it.
Once I had my whole flower stitched along all edges (this was the most time consuming part of the process), I cut the piece down to follow the contours of the flower but still leave a green border.
I used a pale green iridescent satin that I had on hand to create a bias binding, and voila! The smaller one can be used with warm dishes, since it has a fleece backing.
The larger version is more like a table cloth, and covers most of our dining room table. It doesn't have a fleece backing. It also needs more ironing!
I love knowing I can pull these out any time a festive tropical mood hits me -- and that I can machine wash them.
Of course, every time I do a Wonder Under project, I immediately think of 30 other projects I could use it for. But for now, I'm going to enjoy my Hawaiian getaway in my own house. Who's ready for a Mai Tai?
As you go along in your knitting career you may find a desire to branch out and design your own knitting patterns. This is a fun and creative outlet for any knitter how enjoys a good puzzle or a chance to create something only previously visible in their daydreams. One of the great hang-ups in knit design is transitioning from one stitch pattern to the next. Say you are constructing a lace shawl that features one lace pattern in the body and another for the border. If you are designing a triangle shawl, like my Tybee Cover-up, it is easier to plan your transition because the shawl increases every other row to create the triangle shape so if you need a certain number of stitches eventually your shawl will grow big enough and match the stitch count you need. However, it is often not that easy. You will not always want a triangle shawl and sometimes you want to place your transition in an area where the stitch count is not increasing or decreasing (i.e. at the elbow of a sleeve, below the bust of a sweater or the ends of a scarf). Or if you are working with a stitch count that is odd numbered and you want to transition to an even number stitch pattern. This can go on and on depending on your project.
However, transitioning can all be easy with some careful planning and choosing your stitch pattern wisely. Not only do you want to be careful from the start on your stitch pattern choices for the overall look of your design but also for ease of the transition. Try to stick to stitch patterns that are close in the stitch count, this will mean increasing or decreasing only a small amount and that is less stitches you will need to hide. Also plan ahead where you will hide your stitches. If you have a pattern that allows for a garter or stockinette row, this is an ideal place to hide your increase or decrease stitches. For my sample I used a 6 stitch repeat pattern and then transitioned to an 8 st pattern. This may seem easy since it is only an increase of 2 sts, but it is an increase of 2 sts per repeat. I started with 30 sts (5 repeats for the 6 st pattern) and then increased on an all knit row to 32 stitches for the 8 st pattern. This meant I went from 5 repeats to 4 so I kept the size of the sample consistent but if I want to keep the 5 repeats I would have increased up to 40 sts which would have made my sample size increase by ½ in. With this pattern transition the reduction in repeats is not noticeable but if you wanted to transition and add some width this is a great subtle way to go about it.
If you are only increasing by a small amount or increasing by an odd number, space out your increases and decreases so they are less obvious. Also, try out different methods of increases and decrease to see which style works best with your stitch pattern choices!
Team Green: If you are Team Green you are opting not to find out the gender of your wee one until the big debut (the birthday!) so you are probably going for a neutral theme in your nursery. This is a great idea also if you know the gender but you plan on using the room for several babies or for siblings to share, then neutral is the name of the game. This is easier to achieve than the past version of yellow and green. You can go truly neutral by painting the walls a shade of grey or beige and bringing in similar shades in bedding, accessories and textiles. If you stick to a warm shade of either grey of beige your will create a soft, comforting and peaceful nursery that only needs a few gender specific accessories that can be easily changed for each babe. If you need a pop of color try adding it in bright colors like orange, green and turquoise which can swing either way and add it in small dose that any baby will love like an animal silhouette, bold letters in interesting fonts or bold colors in traditional motifs (turquoise paisley, bright green toile or big zig zag). Use these fabrics for your neutral nursery:
(Picture from: Laybabylay)
Team Pink: If you are loath to paint your room like every other feminine nursery- pink with ruffles, lace and a flood of hearts- take a look at some of the new trends for girls. Try a different twist on a pink paint color, maybe a bright hot pink or turquoise with pink accents. If you have your heart set on pink walls seek new accents in orange, turquoise and Kelly green. I am in love with pink/Kelly green combination. Unlike the typical pink/light green you are used to, Kelly green adds some sophistication and elegance that can take your little girl beyond baby hood and into school age. Use these fabrics to bring these trends to your nursery:
Check out this Twill Girly Turquoise coordinate collection
You can't go wrong with Heather Bailey; she offers both the Kelly green and turquoise
Team Blue: Rooms for baby boys are branching out from the standard navy, white and baby blue color schemes with trucks and monkeys dominating the scene. This decorating trend allows for a room that baby can grow with into school age instead of having to redecorate every few years, just change up the accessories. The new trend is bolder, bright colors and silhouettes that mean as much to the parents as they will to the growing child within. I found this great example on Café Mom; it combines bold reddish orange, turquoise alongside subtle grey horizontal stripes and neutral furniture. The accessories really make for a calming yet interesting room perfect for a baby to find stimulation and comfort in one space. Instead of a bombardment of cartoon characters and nursery rhymes, black & white real life animal photos, oversized letters and a few matted story book pages give baby a view without being busy. I especially love the dog silhouette pillow as an accent. Try these fabrics to gain a similar look in your baby boy's room:
Integrate the stripes on your window treatments is you are loath to paint your walls
Try these bold solids to create stunning accessories or as welting accents.
These Waverly Destination Prints are perfect to recover some oversized canvases as wall hangings
I know a lot of people dread zippers, but there's really nothing to fear. Once you figure out a method that works for you, zippers become just another seam, and you'll soon find your wardrobe growing lickety-split.
My method takes some of the usual dress assembly steps out of order. (Note: This approach assumes you're putting the zipper into the back of your dress.)
First, I prepare the two back sections of dress. Often, dress pattern instructions will have you assemble the bodice first, then the skirt, then attach the two, and THEN insert the zipper. By assembling the back sections first, I set myself up to set the zipper into a flat piece, rather than trying to fiddle with a garment that's more fully formed. It just makes it a bit easier. If you use the approach, you'll then need to assemble the front of the dress before you join everything together at the shoulder and sides.
Then, I stitch the back pieces together along the center back. I use the longest stitch possible for the section where the zipper will go, and then I switch to a shorter, normal assembly stitch for the rest of the seam. The photo below shows the change in stitch length at the blue mark I made earlier.
Next, I press the seam open. I like to give it a good hard press to ensure my creases will be sharp once my zipper is set in.
OK, we're getting close to show time! Once my fabric has cooled from the iron's heat, I use my seam ripper to gently open up the top of the seam -- about 1.5" to 2" works just fine. You want to make sure that if the top edge of the zipper is lined up with the top edge of your fabric, you'll have about an inch of tooth area open. I align my slightly-opened zipper with the edge of my opened seam so the teeth match up with the creased edge.
I set the zipper and dress back under the foot just as I was holding it in the photo above. You may have noticed there haven't been any pins in these photos -- I don't use them, even for zippers! I find I can work much more quickly and smoothly without them.
I carefully start stitching the zipper in place, sewing far enough down the zipper that I'll have room to pull the zipper tab up without getting in the way of my stitching.
Once I've cleared enough length, I lift my presser foot and pull the tab up, and continue to sew the zipper into place down along the center back seam.
To keep the zipper centered, I usually keep the dress piece rolled (sometimes wadded) in my left hand, and I periodically lift things up to make sure the teeth are still lines up with the center of the seam. This is one of those things you get better and better at the more you do it.
Once I've cleared the metal zipper stop, I turn the fabric to stitch across the zipper -- I usually backstitch to make sure this cross piece is strong -- and then I turn the corner again to make the return trip up the opposite side of the seam. Because the zipper is already in place and I don't need to check its alignment, the second side is much faster than the first.
Once I near the top of the zipper on this side, I often open the seam up a little more to pull the zipper pull back out of the way.
With the zipper opened so the pull is no longer creating an obstacle, I finish up the second side of the zipper, taking care to keep the fabric aligned with the zipper teeth so the creased edges will abut when the zipper's closed.
After the stitching's done, I quickly open up the rest of the stitching that covers the zipper.
And that's that! Zipper is in and I'm free to finish my dress. Whether your pattern calls for a facing or a bound edge at the neck opening, you'll likely need a hook and eye at the top of the zipper to keep things neat and square.
Is your zipper method similar to mine? Do you have another trick? Let us know!
Terre Downum from Facebook asks: I'm planning to make a tablecloth with oilcloth, what size needle do I need to use
Tara Says: Well, Terra I would recommend your heavy duty needles, a size 16 sharp paired with some poly wrapped cotton thread so it will be durable but won't break when sewing. Be sure to stick a piece of tape to the underside of your sewing foot to help guide the fabric through and prevent hang-ups.
Oilcloth is a great fabric for all kinds of summertime projects like tablecloths. You can also make picnic mats, tote bags, beach bags and aprons.
Hannah Wright Robinson from Facebook asks: how often do I need to oil my machine and do I need any oil in the bobbin area?
Tara says: it really depends on your machine. If you still have your instruction manual, check out the maintenance section for exact instructions on caring and maintaining your sewing machine. If you don't have one, take it to your local sewing machine shop for a tune up and ask them for all the details. However, works on your machine should be able to tell you what at-home car you can give and how often.
My sewing machine is due a yearly check up so I will be taking it in to the shop this week. I have a Brother and my manual state that I do not need to add oil (it comes with enough) and if I think it needs oil to take it in for a tune up. Brother also recommends that I get my machine serviced once a year to get hard to reach lint and debris out as well as check the tension and lube it up. You should never used compressed air to wash out dust from your machine; it can often make a problem worse by sweeping it into hard to clean areas. I use a soft craft paint brush to clean my bobbing case after every project and when my threads get tangled (dust in the bobbin case is the number one cause).
Paula J. Hatmaker from Facebook wants some tips on adding an underwire shelf bra into a swimsuit or where she can find size F foam bra cups?
Tara says: well, after some deep searching I found a link to a link to a link to a store in Germany that sells size F foam cups. There is another in Canada that sells swimwear foam cups in size F as well. You can price shop for the best deal. I also found another link to Dixie DIY's big list of Bra suppliers that you may find very helpful should you need more for your shelf bra. She includes store with supplies as well as patterns. As for instructions on adding a underwire shelf bra to your swimsuit I would advise you to either study a well fitting suit you already have with a bra you like and use it as a pattern or check out the Pattern School for a guide on adding a underwire shelf bra to swimwear. Or you can take the easy way and use a store bought bra and add it in like instructed in this Thread's Magazine forum posting. Both are great options if your pattern instructions are not up to par.
If the thought of knitting in warm weather just doesn't get your excited but like many knitters you can't seem to quit the habit, consider small projects as a way to bridge the gap until the fall. Small projects fit into cute little summer bags, don't cover your lap and offer quicker turn around. A quick turnaround is key because as summer progresses and fills with activities you have less focused time to dedicate to big projects with lots of instructions. Smaller projects can be knit in a few hours and don't involve staying mentally centered on one technique or project for long, making it easier if you get interrupted or need to take frequent breaks (soccer games, doctors' appt, carpooling, etc).
I love knitting hats for all of the reasons above added to the fact that they can be customized with simple details. Allow hats to give you the opportunity to try new stitch patterns with little commitment. Hats also require smaller amount of yarn so you can try to reduce your stash to make room for your winter splurge or to try daring color combinations. I recently knit a small baby hat in just a few hours and loved every minute. I did try a color combo I was unsure of initially. I wanted something gender neutral since I don't yet know the gender of my incoming little one but also colors that I could add blue or pink to later after we find out. My baby hat was a great knit on a warm day because it was so small, I was totally comfy working my cotton/wool blend yarn and it gave me a great excuse to take a break off my feet.
I used the pattern Kim's Hat from Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Jovelle Hoverson, one of my favorite hat patterns. This is the garter brim version; however I flipped mine inside out so the purl bumps are on the outside. Using the garter brim version but flipping it inside out gives me a look similar to the Land of Nod Chickadee Hat I posted a few weeks ago but keeps the brim from rolling as it would if the hat was knit entirely with Stockingette stitch. This hat is worked on the WS then turned inside out to the RS. I knit the brim in Lion Brand Baby's First Honey Bee then changed to Lion Brand Wool Ease Chunky Fisherman (I chose a wool blend for the majority of the hat because my hat will be worn in fall to winter) but you can stick with Baby's First for a cotton based hat. I switch colors on a knit row so you could see the color change on the purl side but if you don't want to see the color change do it on a purl row in the brim. The color change will face you but, remember, the WS is facing you right now. I finished off my hat with a cute little tassel, wound around 3 of my fingers using about 3-4 yds of yarn. Then tie to secure and clip to even up the tassel. Tie onto the top of your hat. The duplicate stitch vertical row and brim whip stitch will be added later once the gender is known.
Pets wearing clothes in one of those polarizing topics. Some people think it's hilarious to put clothes on their pets, while others think it's incredibly cruel. My stance on the topic is in the middle -- if the pet is OK with it, so am I, but it breaks my heart to see an animal struggle or thrash around in fear or discomfort.
However, there are some cat breeds that actually benefit from having a good shirt. These include the hairless Sphynx and the curly-haired Rex breeds. Because the fur on these guys is either missing or less dense than your average house cat, they lose their body heat easily. Their exposed skin also puts them at risk for sunburn when they fall asleep too long in a sunbeam. Seriously, you do NOT want to deal with a cat with a sunburn.
I am lucky enough to have a Devon Rex named Mr. Burns in my brood -- so I'm familiar with the constant heat-seeking of a chilly feline. To help him out, I decided to try my hand at making him a shirt. Luckily, Mr. Burns is one of those rare cats that doesn't mind wearing clothes a bit.
First, I took his measurements and drew up a plan. (I am keenly aware that he's a butterball. We're working on it.) I measured him around the widest part of his belly, across his back from one shoulder to another, and the length from his neck to almost the base of his tail.
Note that my sketch for the top and bottom pieces is woefully off, proportionally speaking.
To start cutting on the fleece I selected, I first cut a piece 11 inches wide and 13 inches long. The grain runs along the 13 inch length so the piece stretches across the 11 inch span. I folded the piece in half so I could cut the fabric according to my measurements and keep it symmetrical.
To start shaping the piece, I first cut a curve along the bottom. The shirt will be longer on the cat's back and a little shorter on the belly, so the cat can groom as normal without getting a mouthful of fleece.
Next, I made a cut from the widest part of the piece at the bottom, angling in to the narrowest measurement at the top. For Burnsy, I wanted an 8 inch width across the back of the neck. Because cats' necks are very delicate -- much more so than a dog's -- it's better to cut the neck wide and then take it in a little after a fitting than to have it too tight.
Then I cut semicircles for the leg holes.
To cut the belly of the shirt, I cut another rectangle, this one 9 inches wide, and folded it in half as I did the first rectangle. Then I aligned the folded back piece with the underpiece and used it as a cutting guide.Not that the folded edge of the back piece sits (folded) and inch back from the folded edge of the underpiece.
After the two pieces were cut, I just joined them at the sides with the serger, then I cut two pieces of soft rayon knit each 6 inches by 2 inches, and used those to make mini sleeves that finished the arm holes. Since I'm working with fleece, I'm not going to add bulk by hemming the top or bottom. Here's the shirt laid out flat:
OK, time to fit it on Mr. Burns! Forgive the fuzziness in these images. Anyone who has tried to take photos of a pet knows that they rarely cooperate. As you can see, this shirt run a little tight across the upper back -- the arm holes need to be cut wider.
Mr. Burns didn't seem to bothered, and trotted all over the house in his new shirt, but the fit did bother me, and it did limit his range of motion slightly -- a big no-no in pet clothes.
This shot of him walking from the side really shows how much it's pulling around his front leg.
So, I decided to try a second shirt, this one out of a lightweight cotton knit. For this version, I also skipped the sleeves and cut the arm holes wider. I am happy to report a much better fit.
As you can see, I need to take in the neck a bit or add a small amount of elastic. But first I'll have to wrestle it off of Mr. Burns, who seems to be enjoying his new finery quite a bit!
Call me crazy but of all the detail work in knitting (most of which I detest) I love picking up stitches. It is a reason that I cannot narrow down but I like it, I enjoy it and I am pretty darn good at it. Picking up stitches is an acquired skill but it is based on the foundation of knitting; it is not like not like learning to knit itself. Learning to pick up stitches is similar to learning to drive in the rain. It is a lot to take in at first but since you already know how to drive you are just pushing your boundaries a little. Learning the nuances of picking up stitches will help you apply this skill to any gauge or any yarn fiber so you can pick up and knit with confidence. Picking up stitches is great for button bands, hem details, or simply adding details you didn't realize you needed originally. I used this instance when I knit my daughter's first hat. It was an undemanding ribbed brim hat that I thought would stay in place well on her (then) 9 mo. old head. And it did until she was 12 mo. old and decided hats weren't for her anymore. With the temperature outside falling, I picked up some stitches on the brim of the hat and added ear flaps with ties to keep the hat on her head. It worked great. You can add length to your socks after binding off, length to sleeves or a scarf or even add a ruffle trim to your favorite cardigan.
First with the WS of your project facing you, begin picking up your stitches by sliding one needle under 2 loops (if you only pick up 1 loop it will pull away from the knitting by accessing the slack from neighboring loops, by picking up 2 loops you anchor your picked up stitches so it won't put too much pressure on one stitch). When picking up stitches from a bound off edge I like to use the 'V' shape the bind off makes and slide my needle under both lines of the 'V'.
Slide your second needle into the same space as your first and make a loop with your yarn and slide it over your right needle and pull it through using your left needle to help the 'V' in place. Slide your left needle under the next 'V' moving to the left. Insert your right needle and wrap your yarn and pull through.
Above is a look from the WS. You can see the white purl bump against the yellow.
Above is a look from the RS. You can see the loops continue from the row above. From the RS, you can't see that the white row was picked up, it looks like a continuation.
Continue until you have enough stitches then turn your work and continue knitting. It is important that your pick up your stitches from the correct direction. Always pick up with the WS facing up (or facing you) because you will be picking up and knitting the first row with means the purl bump will be in the back. If the RS is facing you, then the purl bump with be on the RS and the picked up stitches will be obvious.
**Disclaimer- These are my opinions and are by no means a judgment on Moms who choose disposable or any other diaper method. I have been known to employ disposables from time to time. **
I have LONG wanted in on this gig since I love cloth diapers so much. Not only do I love them for their Green value but also their comfort, style and convenience. The brand I choose for my first born were BumGenius One Size. I choose them because I need only buy one size which would grow with my baby. I could pack them up and go. When they were spoiled, I could fold them up and the mess would be contained inside. I could adjust their size as well as adjust their absorbency. The list goes on...
However, as colorful and super cute as they were, I still longed to make my own with prints that would match my daughter's personality, wardrobe or just something with a little funk. But I was intimidated. It just seemed so tricky. Plus I had no idea what materials were involved and where to purchase them all. Well, none of those reasons is much of an issue now. Fabric.com's Diaper Central is a one stop diaper fabric purchasing center and we offer several patterns to make your own diaper, I chose Favorite Things "The Nappies Pattern" and decided to modify them to be One Size just like my beloved BumGenius.
** Prewash your fabric as you would wash your cloth diapers**
First I choose my fabric: for the print outside, I used quilting cotton but you can also use minky, flannel or any decorative material (Note- It must be washable, these are going in the wash at least 1-2/week). Then I added in some PUL- which is the waterproof but breathable layer that gets sandwiched between the decorative outside and the super soft and comfy lining fabric. I went with plain white because I knew I would be using a decorative print on the outside but if you just want a solid color check out our wide PUL color selection. Then I chose my lining fabric which was a diaper flannel but you could also use cotton flannel, terry, cotton or hemp (Hemp is the most absorbent for heavy wetters). Do not use microfiber for the lining. It will irritate baby's skin. Then following the directions I cut out my pattern pieces.
Since I am making my diaper One Size, I choose a size large because it was the size closest to my BumGenius at its largest size. After finishing step 1 I added my rise adjustment snaps (these make the diaper One Size). I added one row of 3 male snaps 1 in. below where the Velcro would sit and 1 row of 3 female snaps 1.5 in. below the male row, and another row of female snaps 1 in. below the first female row. Each snap was spaced 2.25 in. in each row. With the middle snaps centered on the diaper, I used my Babyville Snap Pliers and Snaps in Playful Green/Orange. Then I continued following the directions to complete my diaper.
One important note is to be sure you use the 3/8'' swimwear elastic as instructed by the pattern. This will make your diaper function better but the size is just right to fit in the seam allowance. Also, when stitching on your elastic, I used some binder clips to keep my elastic in place about 2 in. above the pattern mark. I started sewing on the mark but clipping the elastic above the mark really helped me keep my hands free for guiding the fabric and stretching the elastic. Pull your elastic to about 90-95 of its capacity. This will make sure your get the stretch you need but won't make it super difficult to guide. After your elastic is sewn, clip off the excess elastic. A little waste makes for much ease. I also used these same clips to keep all my pieces together as I sewed them up instead of pin because I didn't want any holes in my waterproof PUL which might cause leaks later.
Finally you can see in my pictures the before elastic comparison to my BumGenius Diapers
And after. Pretty close huh?!
Finally, I would love to show your this cute little diaper on a equally cute little bottom but we will all have to wait for the fall before that happens. Also, I don't know the gender yet but just loved this cowboy print so much that even if I have a girl she will be rocking western style. Have fun with your print choices!
To start with, pull your shirt -- inside out -- over your sewing machine. A unisex size Medium is just about perfect.
To make marking easier, you might want to pin the shoulders of your shirt so the neck opening sits higher than the top of the machine.
Next, mark the curve of your machine where you'll cut and sew the top of the cover. I used a sharpie so it's easy to see in photos.
Pull your shirt off your machine, and clip along your marked line. I usually taper my curve so it ends down at the bottom of the armscye.
Here's the trimmed top of the former shirt/almost cover.
To true up the top and make it symmetrical, fold your fabric in half and clip your curve so both sides are ever.
Next, just stitch that top clipped edge closed.I usually use my serger.
Pull your stitched cover over the machine, and mark the handle width. You'll clip an opening from one marking to the other to let the handle through. I know what you're thinking. "Why don't you just leave an opening in the seam?" You can totally do it that way if you prefer, but I find that in the course of being carried around, the seams tend to start to split open. This way, the seam stays intact.
You also need to mark the point where the cover hits the table or other sewing surface once it's pulled down.
Use that lower edge mark as a guide, and fold up the remaining piece of shirt. The mark will be inside the crease of the fold.
I make a reverse cuff by folding the hem back down. This will reinforce the top edge of what's about to become a series of pockets.
Stitch channels into the folded lower edge to create pockets. You can customize the width of your pocket channels to match the items you most often take with you when you sew on the go. I like to make one wide enough to hold the foot and power cord, and the rest varying sizes to hold spare needles, thread, snips, trims and whatever else I need.
Here we are, loaded up and ready to go! Who wants to host a sewing get together?