Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Dainty Elegance: Making A Faux Fur Capelet

Today's project was one of those things that was a last minute idea & ended up better than I'd hoped: a Faux Fur Capelet.  It worked out so well, I can't believe I didn't do this sooner!

A capelet is the perfect layering item to work with the clothing underneath, not cover it up.  I feel like she looks like a little Old Hollywood movie star with it on.

I made it with some lovely faux fur-style cuddle fabric and anti-pill fleece lining so it's lightweight, but still nice and warm.  Plus the soft cuddle is easier to work with than typical faux fur because 1.) it has a little stretch and 2.) it doesn't have that heavy, carpet-y backing that's a pain to sew through.

I wanted it to have a tailored look, so my design has the lining being smaller and the faux fur folding inward at the hem and front.  

This way the contrasting lining doesn't ever roll out at the edges.

It also has a little collar and fanciful frog closure front for a classic look.

You may be asking why a capelet? Well, it was kinda out of necessity. I ordered a cute, inexpensive dress for my daughter to wear for the holidays.  I thought "Great! Christmas attire sorted!".  Then things hit a snag when it arrived.  Despite it's wintery print, it was totally un-wintery fabric - super thin knit with a thin mesh overlay + short sleeves.  We live in Michigan where 30 degrees is considered balmy this time of year.  Doh!

I didn't want to spend more money on a new outfit or have to totally cover-up the dress to keep her warm, so I sifted through my stash and realized I had some cuddle fur & fleece in the perfect matching colors.  It was just enough to do a little cape or basic coat, so I wouldn't need to get a pattern either. After asking for opinions on coat vs. capelet on the Sew Can Do FB page, everyone said go capelet.  So I did:

Now you can too!  Here's how I made ours....

- Faux Fur Soft Cuddle Fabric (I used Bengal in Pewter by Shannon Fabrics)*
- Anti-pill fleece 
- Frog closure
- Top to trace, paper & pencil
- Shears/rotary cutter, pins, hand sewing needle
- Optional: Design ruler 

First step is to use a shirt or coat in the desired size to trace around for the neckline and shoulder slope for a single back piece and for each of the front sides.  I used my design ruler to get really nice, even curves.  Add a seam allowance of 1/2 inch around all sides.  For length I went to my daughter's natural waist.  For the rectangular collar piece, I measured the total neckline area (back + both front pieces) for the length and made it 4.5 inches high.

Since I wanted my outer fabric to wrap inward at the front and the bottom I cut the cuddle fur one inch longer at the bottom of each piece and added an extra 2 inches more to each of the front sides than each the fleece pieces. 

FYI - Cutting cuddle fabric can be a messy job.  The fluff comes off like crazy when you cut it and can get everywhere! I like to have my vacuum's crevice tool ready to suck the bits up and also run my hands over the raw edges of each piece into a garbage can to keep it to a minimum.

I began the assembly by sewing the front halves to the sides of the back at the shoulders and down the sides for the lining and trimmed down the seam allowance.  Then repeated with the cuddle fur:

With right sides together I stitched the front seams of the lining and cuddle fur together:

For the collar I folded the collar down with right sides together and stitched along the short sides, trimmed the seam allowances, then turned right side out.  I also basted the long open side so the edges would stay in place when attaching it to the capelet.

I inserted the collar in-between the lining and fur, lining up the raw edges so each ends of the collar matched each end of the lining.  This made the cuddle fur overlap on either end so it will wrap inwards.  Then I pinned & stitched the layers together:

Then it was time to do the bottom hem and leave a few inch gap in the middle for turning it right side out.  I pulled it right side out and slip stitched the opening closed.  

For the last step, I laid the frog closure onto the front, making sure each side was evenly spaced and pinned it to the cuddle fur.  

Then I hand stitched it into place around the loops, careful to only stitch through the cuddle fur, so the stitching wouldn't show through on the inside.  I also tacked down the corners of the collar so it would lay nicely.

By adding some cable knit tights for the lower half, I was able to turn a filmy, lightweight dress into a cosy, winter ensemble.  Now we now have the perfect layering alternative to sweaters and it's fun for playing dress-up in too:)  

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Share Your Projects at the Craftastic Monday Link Party!

Happy Monday my crafty friends! Come on & show us what you've been creating and check out some great ideas from other talented crafters too.

In case you missed it, last week I shared a new tutorial for Fixing Worn Out Footie Pajamas.  It makes them even better than new and you can do it in less than 30 minutes:

Get more people seeing your blog/shop & its FB page!

Don't forget - after linking your latest project posts below, head over to the Sew Can Do Facebook page to join in the Craftastic Monday Mixer.  

It's an easy way to have even more people see your site, or its FB page, and find some new sites you might love at the same time.  It takes just seconds, so why not add yours? Who couldn't use a few more likes & views?!? 

How It Works:
Instead of a specific post, share your blog, crafty shop or Facebook page link on the Sew Can Do FB page.  More exposure for your crafty site every week!  Click HERE to go link up now!
Now let's see some Craftastic picks..

Check out this great "I Love You" embossed jar idea from About Family Crafts:

Little Crochet shared this adorable plush bunny she designed herself:

France Nadeau made some handy ear bud pouches:

Try this healthy & tasty recipe for flaxseed cheese cracker recipe from Her Organized Chaos:

And Five Little Chefs shared this clever Valentine's idea & free printable:

If you're one of this week's features, be sure to grab my Featured On button over on my Buttons Page to share the good news.  

I also feature these projects on Sew Can Do's Craftastic Picks Pinterest board 
AND share each of them on Twitter too for even MORE exposure!

Follow me there to see more great projects (and see if yours is one of them)!   
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Ready to link up your crafty creations?

Party rules are simple:
  • As long as it's crafty, and made by you, it's Craftastic (no links to giveaways, shops, link parties or other people's work).  Add the link to your specific post (not the main page of your blog).
  • Grab my party button & put it on your post or blog somewhere.  The code can be found HERE.
  • Check out some of the other fabulous links and share some crafty comment love.  We all love getting comments!!


    An InLinkz Link-up

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Tutorial Time: How To Fix Holes In Footie Pajamas

I know I can't be the only one out there who's had this issue: footed pajamas in great shape...except for the feet part.  It's a shame to toss a perfectly good pair of footie pjs just because the soles are worn out, so today I'm sharing how to do a quick repair job to make them like new, but even BETTER!  

For some odd reason, on this style of pajama the part that will get the most wear just isn't made to be very durable.  Or even comfortable for that matter.  Like this pair of pajamas belonging to my 5 year old.  She's still got plenty of growth room in them and the fleece of the main part is still in great shape, but the soles of the feet wore away in no time:

Hers had just flimsy t-shirt weight knit with some anti-slip spots fused to it for the soles. There's no way that'll last with the foot traffic of the average toddler!  And it's certainly not that comfy or warm for little feet in the winter.  The ones with the plastic-y soles are even worse (I recall hating the feel of the rough vinyl-like bottoms on those I wore as a kid). Such a basic flaw makes me wonder if their designers have even met kids? 

Here's how to repair & improve those
 worn out footie pajamas.

- Footie pajamas with torn-up/holed-up/beat-down soles
- Seam ripper
- Anti-slip fabric (aka Jiffy Grip™)
- Iron, rotary cutter/shears, pins
- Optional: fleece scraps, paper backed fusible

First step is to remove the broken down soles.  Turn the pajamas inside out and grab a seam ripper to carefully remove the stitching.  This step takes a little patience - the sole will be needed as the template for the new ones:

You'll be left with an open bottom:

Iron the sole piece smooth and flat.  

Use the bottom piece as the template for cutting new soles.  Cut the fabric while folded to get both the feet sides if the soles have definite left & right like mine did.  

Fabric Note: This anti-slip fabric is available in most fabric stores (in the utility/home dec section).  A branded name for it is Jiffy Grip™.  It's a heavy weight fabric with raised plastic dots that is perfect for this use. Key tip: You can get a lot more, and for a cheaper price, when buying it cut from the bolt instead of the measly & overpriced package version in the notions section.  

Now this part is optional, but since I wanted mine to be a bit more durable and softer than the originals, I also cut sole pieces from anti-pill fleece to act as a lining.  To keep the layers together (and from separating or wrinkling when washed), iron paper-backed fusible to the wrong side of the fleece.

Then peel off the paper and iron it to the wrong side of the anti-slip sole.  I didn't want to risk melting the anti-slip dots, so I used a press cloth between the fabric & iron:

Now it's time to pin the new soles to the pajamas (that should still be inside out).  The fleece side should be facing out.  Pin around entire foot.  

Serge all the way around.  If you don't have a serger, use an overcast stitch like I did.  Even most basic sewing machines have at least one or two overcast stitches (check your manual).  It'll do the same job as serging and is nice & strong:

Pull the legs right side out and the new and improved footie pajamas are ready to wear!

Now these pajamas have loads of life left in them and are even nicer to walk around in. Adding a fleece unicorn hat is totally optional;)

A huge improvement and easy way to get the most out of those footie pajamas this winter!


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