Tag Archives: Jalie

Pikachu: the Epic.

PIKACHU!

Tyo’s Pikachu onesie is finished.

So, this thing was a lot of work. Probably more than I was expecting. It was the face that put it over the top. And the zip-off feet. I don’t have a lot of spare brain-power these days, figuring those out (or, as the cae may be, not figuring them out) took a lot out of me.

It’s kinda hard to know where to start. Did it begin a week and a half before Christmas, when Tyo hit upon the idea of a Pikachu onesie for herself, and promptly found five eBay sites all ready to sell her one that she wouldn’t shut up about? Did it begin when someone gave her a yellow Pokemon stuffie for her third birthday?* Did it begin when she was a baby and I decided for a year or so that footie pyjamas were my favourite thing? (I had a couple different pairs, storebought, so apparently I wasn’t the only person who thought that in the early aughties. The problem turned out to be that the legs were always too short and so they tended to make my toes go numb. Poo.)

Anyway, let’s just say that it was an idea whose time had come. So I’ve basically heard nothing for the last three weeks but PIKACHUCHUCHU. I had to scrap my previous onesie plans (PANDA FABRIC!) and buy a whack of yellow fleece.

Fortunately (?), I had ordered Jalie 3244 in the nick of time. It arrived literally the day before Christmas Eve. GO JALIE, and hooray for in-Canada shipping! So the kids got boxes of fabric each and a wrapped pattern for the both of them. I know, not the best “Christmas sewing”, but what I could manage this time-starved year.

Excited child.

Now, the Jalie pattern is (I think) a good starting place. It has footed and foot-free options, and, of course, every size in the book. Plus different-coloured lines! Which makes the tracing just a little bit easier. :) Although, there is some piecing to be done during the tracing. The front and back piece are actually the same piece, except for the top neckline portion that you have to trace on to each piece. This mean the front and back crotch-curves are identical, but I’m somehow thinking this is not a huge deal for a glorified sleep-sack.

I was rather bemused to realize that Tyo is officially a size R. That’s the size I use to make my jeans, people. Which makes sense considering she’s been stealing my jeans since last summer, but anyway.  (I should note I’m not really a size R, more S or even T** on the bottom half, but I like my jeans closer-fitting than Jalie 2908) Although, having put the onesie on her, I wish I’d gone a size up, and lengthened a bit. This is not a voluminous onesie. And Jalie patterns do not, as a rule, run large.

In any case, we traced off the pattern and got started. By which I mean, I traced off the pattern and Tyo bounced around excitedly, and then got bored and went off to facetime*** her friends.

And then things slowed right down.

Largely, it’s because it’s a project I needed to think about. While Jalie 3244 may be a great onesie pattern, it doesn’t have a hood, and a Pikachu onesie would hardly be Pikachu without a hood to put the face and ears on. I took some measurements and drafted a rough hood pattern. Jalie 3244 has feet, but not with a zip-off closure. So I had to think about (and procure zippers for) that.

The stripes and tail

The first (easiest?) problem I tackled were the stripes and the tail.

Stripes and tail

I was really at a loss about the tail—looking at a stuffie doesn’t give you much idea of size. How long should it be? How sharp and big should those zig-zags be? How far our should the brown base extend? In the end, I’m pretty happy with my first attempt, which is good, because I didn’t have enough extra fleece to do a bunch of test versions. Once we figured out where the tail should attach on her butt, (and I added some extra stitching and elastic to support the seam in that area) the next problem was the stripes. Tyo wanted the stripes to extend around onto her sides. This caused me to alter the construction order; I sewed the back pieces together and then the front pieces to each side, so I had one big onesie-piece to applique the stripes onto. There was just barely enough space to fit the two stripes between the tail and the bottom of the armscye.

The Hood

First, I drafted a hood. I started by carefully measuring the neckline of all the pattern pieces, and then measuring roughly how humongous Tyo wanted it to be in terms of height and depth. The resulting pattern piece looked pretty ridiculous, and was really long. So I wound up cutting about four inches off the bottom of it. Which totally messed up my careful neckline calculations, by the way. Fortunately, fleece is exceptionally forgiving.

Pikachu Face. And my other helper.

I spent quite some time looking at pictures of Pikachu’s tail and back-stripes, and even more time looking at pictures of the face. I’m not a Pokemon afficionado, so I needed to do some research to get the details right. Tyo assured me that the red cheeks on her stuffed Pikachu are actually far too small, so I should make them bigger; as it turns out, I made them the same size as the eyes. I discovered (very carefully!) that you can use steam-a-seam on fleece. Very carefully! I experimented with applique stitches and scoured my scraps for the right fabrics. I spent a LONG time laying out that face. And I made ears. Deciding how big to do the ears was nerve-wracking (Based on most of the online examples, mine are a bit big. I think they’re cute that way, though.) Laying out the face was worse; Pikachu has a very high bar of cute to attain, and I was terrified of falling short. I would not want to produce some lame, un-cute Pikachu knock-off. We aim for only the best knock-offs here at Tanit-Isis Sews. ;)

Completed hood.

Pikachu’s face, as it turns out, is a bit too big for the hood. Or something. It looks good from the front, but there wasn’t much space across the back to put the ears in. The result, I think, looks a bit microcephalic, but it will have to do.

Zip Feet

Zip-off feet. I went with black grippy-fabric for the bottom.

Tyo’s other request that took some thought was for zip-off feet. I was secretly hoping she would opt for the footless version, but really, is it a real onesie without feet? Or is it just a baggy jumpsuit? But she wanted to wear it to school, and out and about, so zip-off feet were a necessity.****

I looked at a pair of my husband’s pants, which zip off just below the knee, for inspiration, but there was still a bit of learning at the school of hard knocks, which is always my favourite kind:

1) Put the zippers in in the round. It’s tempting to try to do them in the flat, as that’s easier but it works much better for the final flap-over if they’re done in the round.

2) allow more overlap than you think you need. Fleece puffs up and doesn’t cover as much as you wish it would.

3)attach band (I added a band above the ankle-seam as part of the foot unit; in the Jalie pattern the foot unit stitches directly to the bottom of the leg-piece) to foot-piece AFTER sewing the zippers in. This would’ve made the Tragedy of the Backwards Foot much easier to prevent.

The Tragedy of the Backwards Foot

Wait, did I mention the backwards foot? Yes, despite all my attempts at spacial reasoning and careful paying of attention, when I went to zip the feet on, this is what happened. If you look up at the picture above, you’ll note that there is an extra seam between zipper and foot. Slash, reverse, re-stitch. Much better than trying to unpick fleece. We’ll call it a design feature. I really don’t have it in me to do a full tutorial on adding a zipper to pants (or footies, as the case may be), although Google seems to be well-supplied with them. Anyone reading have a tutorial they like

Pikachu

Closing thoughts

Did I mention this was a lot of work? More than I really thought it was going to be. I don’t think I was thinking about the face.

Back view

I’m glad the ears are big and the tail long.

Footies

It is very warm and cozy. Also slightly grubby because it took me a while to pin her down for pictures, and the onesie has been worn to school once and around the house more or less constantly. Tyo’s teacher thought the onesie was pretty cool, but then he has a Tardis onesie.

Pikachu is small, but fierce!

I do kinda wish the whole thing was baggier, but that would’ve taken even more fleece. I used up a whole three metres on this project as it is, just of the yellow fleece.

Sad face.

She does not like taking it off.

There are a lot more things I could say, about binding zippers and seams finishes and changing the pockets, but at this point, I think I just need to hit publish. This is already well into too-long-didn’t-read territory. And, I’m tired. I think I want to go make fleece socks.

*I actually have absolutely no recollection of how the Pikachu stuffy came into our lives. I certainly didn’t buy it, so it must’ve been a gift. Tyo never particularly played the card game, nor am I aware of her watching it on TV. (Is there a Pokemon TV show? I sorta assume there is but I’ve never seen it.) And yet, Pikachu.
**Post-Christmas
***My children don’t phone their friends. Like, ever. But they do facetime, Skype, and text. Constantly.
****to those bemoaning the sad state of the world, that kids are wearing giant baby clothes everywhere, I can only say, at least it’s a warm trend. As a Canadian, I’ll take those whenever I can get them.

24 Comments

Filed under Sewing

Little leggings, legion

20131004-193251.jpg

A small selection

Last weekend, as often happens, we went to my Stylish sister-in-law’s. Certain television premieres may have been airing that, since we gave up cable, wouldn’t be watchable chez Isis. But before the stories were watched, we sewed. I’ve had a leggings itch ever since working on the Espresso leggings for Cake Patterns, especially with the weather turning. And this purple polkadot Michael Miller knit was kinda burning a hole in the stash ever since I caved and bought it last month.

20131004-193311.jpg

Laying out little leggings

The purple was never meant for me; I handily got three little leggings out of it, for Syo, Fyon, and Waif, and there’s enough left for two more leggings or any number of pairs of underwear, depending. Stylish worked on tracing her pattern for Coat Club, but she is easily distracted by frivolities like cleaning her house and making supper, so she didn’t get much done. I, on the other hand, made five pairs of leggings, mainly by dint of ignoring everyone else.

20131004-200059.jpg

Trying on.

I spent, by far, the most time laying out and matching up zig-zags.  The purple knit isn’t as substantial as I’d originally thought and I’m really not sure how well it’ll wear—although it is CUTE. The zig-zags actually ran lengthwise on this fabric, which didn’t seem right, so I cut them on the cross-grain, which means the maximum stretch isn’t quite right. As a result the leggings are a bit snug, even on the Waif, who isn’t at all used to anything being tight.

I think the cuteness has made up for it, though—I made the leggings on Sunday, it’s now the following Sunday, and I’m not actually sure they’ve been taken off.*

20131004-193228.jpg

Tags

My fave bit was using Stylish’s embroidery machine to make little tags with the first letters of their names to help the girls distinguish between their pairs. And tell front from back. The only problem with this scheme is that Syo and Fyon have names that begin with the same letter, but they don’t live in the same house so I’m hoping it won’t be a huge issue.

20131004-193211.jpg

All mine!

And my pair? Plain black, just below knee length. I wanted them mostly for sleeping, and they have been serving that purpose nicely.

*okay, they probably have. Stylish is pretty firm about things like pjs and baths…

20131006-190006.jpg

… and more…

Ok, so in the time it’s taken me to write up this (painfully poorly photographed) post, I made up two more leggings, from this slippery nasty spandexy stuff Syo talked me into buying ages ago. I had a metre, which turned out to be just enough for a pair of leggings for me and another for Syo. It actually wasn’t bad to sew (slippery but not rolly and it doesn’t run), but I did have to sew just about everything twice, because the narrow zig-zag I used the first time around didn’t have enough stretch. So I switched to a bulkier, but stretchier, mock-overlock stitch on the White. Incidentally, Stylish’s Memorycraft has a mock-overlock stitch and an over-edge foot that works REALLY nicely with it. Since my serger a) doesn’t make strong enough seams for stuff like this, and b) has decided not to cut anything, this kind of thing has been kinda important. They’re all really slow compared to a serger, though. *pout*

Hopefully at some point this week I’ll manage to write up the underwear I’ve been making, the Hallowe’en outfit, or even the Darth Vader dress…. but next weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving, so I’m not holding my breath for too much sewing time…

5 Comments

Filed under Sewing

Jeans at last.

Jeans!

Jeans!

I’ve needed new jeans for a while. Like, a really long while. The last pair was these skinnies, a year and a half ago. Which, I’ll add, wound up twisting annoyingly in the one leg, so I don’t wear them much. I think I definitely need to embrace the single-layer cutting for jeans. /sigh.

Jeans

Jeans

There’s not much to say about these. It’s the same pattern as ever, the same techniques, even the same frickin’ pockets. I’ll repeat the detail shots from the last post just for the sake of completeness. I did spend some time tweaking my contour waistband pattern, which began life as the waistband from the Burdastyle Ellen pants (which are no longer free, WTF?) but has since gone through several iterations. This version is wide, curved in the back and straight(er) in the front, and doesn’t gape over my butt even a little bit. More importantly, it didn’t gape over Stylish’s butt, which I am really frickin’ proud of, but I guess that’s another post (assuming I can pin her down for blog photos. These non-bloggers, /sigh.)

 

Front details

Front details

I used this polkadot (?)chambray for the pocket lining and inside waistband. It’s nice, but a bit lighter than I’d like for this purpose, I think, even interfaced. The waistband is fairly wide, and it ended up being a bit floppy, even with my adding a CB seam so the front could be on the grain. Also, I should’ve added two buttons for the width, not just the one. Hopefully we’ll get around to the rivets sooner rather than later.

Back details

Back details

I did not put a whole lot of work or thought into the pocket design. Just something simple I could copy fairly easily. I was busy overseeing Stylish’s pair.

Back view

Back view

Oh, yeah, and I’ve recently discovered the one up-side of having a child large enough to steal your clothes. You can steal hers back.

Side view

Side view

And, while I normally wouldn’t show this much tummy these days (never mind on the internet), Osiris’s reaction to this ensemble was, shall we say, sufficiently positive that I’m gonna put it out there anyway.

Ma butt

Ma butt

 

Hmph. Done.

Hmph. Done.

Of course, just as I finished these, summer’s last gasp really set in and we’ve had nothing but hot, sunny days completely unsuited to jeans. Ah, well. Winter’s just around the corner and I’ll have plenty of chance to wear them soon enough…

19 Comments

Filed under Sewing

Pantsclub

20130825-231453.jpg

Our little sweatshop

I worked it out the other day and realized it’s been like a year and a half since I made myself a pair of jeans. Say what? I know! Crazy! And, the best of the remaining pairs (or at least, the newest) recently developed a run, or whatever you’d like to call it, in the butt just beside the CB seam—you know, when denim wears so the threads one way are gone but the threads the other way are still there. Anyway, I darned it up on my Grandma’s Rocketeer, which is about all I can really do on it since neither cams, accessories, nor bobbins have appeared.* but the fact remains that it’s well past time for a new pair or two.

So I cornered my Stylish sister-in-law and we picked a date for a sewing day—after months of not being able to—and when I asked her if there was anything she wanted to make For Her (as opposed to the kids or husband), her first thought was capri-length jeans. Perfect!

Not really a beginner project, you say? Pah, I say! We shall charge ahead! Especially since I just scored some lovely denim at 70% off… What could go wrong?

20130825-231347.jpg

The topstitcher

Don’t answer that.

Anyway, we set up our little sweatshop in Stylish’s basement. I brought over the elderly serger (which has decided it won’t cut at the moment. Yes, I’m sure the blades are dull as all get up, but the damn thing was slicing everything just fine right up until two weeks ago. WTF?) and my featherweight, for the topstitching. The three-machine, two-sewists setup worked quite well, as I could usually manage to be working on a different machine.

20130825-231300.jpg

Yoke alterations

So, over the weekend we spent all our spare time tracing, cutting, and sewing a couple of pairs of jeans. The pattern, of course, is Jalie 2908. I really need to re-trace and revamp my version of the pattern, and come up with a less stretch-intensive version, but for this one I resorted to just chalking in a bit more ease (and length) where I needed it. Again.

20130825-231313.jpg

Rear rise alteration

For Stylish, I had her trace off her hip size, and then added the usual suite of alterations I do for Tyo in Jalie patterns—adding to the rear rise with a wedge at CB and curving in the rear yoke. I’ve been working on my contour waistband pattern, too, and I think I may have perfected it—or at least, it appears to work for both my butt AND Stylish’s, which is a friggin’ miracle if you ask me.

20130825-231426.jpg

The waistband in question

(Note—all images are of my jeans. Why? Because while I was standing around taking pictures, Stylish was actually working on hers. ;)

20130825-231417.jpg

Front waistband. Looking pretty good when not on me.

Confession—between when I first banged off this post and publishing, we managed to pretty much finish. My pair is OK, although I made the waistband non-stretch which means it’s really tight. I like the non-stretch waistband but I need to make some pattern modifications (i.e., more ease) in the upper hip if I’m going to use one. Stylish’s pair is pretty good IMO, in her opinion not so good—one of the legs twists a bit and the fly does a curious list to one side. I’m not sure what’s up with either, frankly, since we both did the exact same thing. I just wish I could get her to appreciate the miracle that is the fact that it doesn’t gape at the back and is only mildly wrinkly under her butt. Also, I don’t think she is adequately awed by the fact that that fly (which she sewed entirely on her own, albeit with me going “ok, sew this part now. Now sew this.” is her FIRST ZIPPER. FIRST ZIPPER EVER, peeps.

20130825-231409.jpg

The whole shebang (with chihuahua)

Actual photos to follow at some point, but for now, have a floor pic with a chihuahua, MPB style. My Crafty sister-in-law came over one evening, too, and finished a blouse she had started way back in the winter—so I will have to make her dress up and get photos done of that, too. In my copious spare time…

*not strictly true. There is actually a cam in the machine, for making, based on its markings, a diamond pattern zigzag. I have managed to get it to produce great straight stitches, narrow zigzag stitches, and a variety of “decorative” variations that don’t look like much. I will definitely be consulting the manual linked to by my helpful readers! Intuitive, this machine ain’t. I’ve come to the conclusion that I like my sewing machines the way I like my computer programs—while I appreciate a good manual, I’d much rather just sit down and bash at it and see what I can figure out. For that matter, I think that’s my approach to a good chunk of life…

10 Comments

Filed under Sewing

Fleece Pants Season Finale: Fleece Pants For ME!

Unglam MMMAY13 pic

It’s really not that often that I completely fail to blog something I make. I’m pretty compulsive that way. Or at least, until this past winter when it seemed like everything from getting photos to getting computer time (never mind the sewing time to begin with) was like slogging through quicksand. There’s a number of things that have slipped through the cracks, the last few months. So sad.

Despite the lack of blogishness, these pants have already been documented via instagram  and flickr, because they have to be the single most-worn thing I’ve ever made myself. Even if it’s mostly for that hour or two between crawling out of bed and actually getting ready for the day, few days have gone by since their completion (sometime in February?) without me wearing them for at least a little while.

Booyeah

Booyeah

I don’t really have much to say about the construction at this remove. Fleece is easy to work with. I used Jalie 3022, in about a size U (my usual being either R or S), and with a ton of extra leg length, to allow for the limited stretch of polar fleece. If I were to do it again, I’d give myself a wee bit more height in the rear (something I’ll figure out about Jalie patterns someday), and use a heavier elastic in the top—I used a 1cm elastic as per the instructions, and while I love how unobtrusive it is, it’s not quite beefy enough to keep everything quite where it ought to be in fleece. In the normal-fabric pair I made last winter, it was fine.

Back view

Back view

I don’t think I can quite explain to people who come from warmer climes how happy having these pants to reach for in the morning has made me. I’m not quite sure why they aren’t mandatory Canadian attire, right alongside the hockey jerseys and Mountie hats.* It could be argued that they are perhaps a wee bit warm for standard indoor wear, since we have those first-world conveniences like central heating. I will not be making this argument, especially not when I’m trying to convince myself that it’s a good idea to get out of bed in the pitch-dark of an icy winter morning. At those times, cold is a state of mind.

Ooo yeah

Ooo yeah

I also really, really love that they’re red. Especially with my blue tank top. I just need a red sweater.

Also, Red.

Oh, yeah, I have one. I’m starting to realize I have a LOT of red. That’s a good thing of course, it’s my favourite colour, but when did it become so dominant in my wardrobe?

In any case, even though winter has finally broken (daytime highs in the twenties C, can I have a Hallelujah?), I am still reaching for these in the morning, and I probably will continue to as we turn off the heat for the summer (although Saskabush doesn’t get as reliably cold at night as Cowtown did). And I’ll continue singing the praises of my fleece pants, because they make me So. Frickin’. Happy.

*I do not, and never have, worn a Mountie hat. Or a hockey jersey, actually.

26 Comments

Filed under Sewing

Fleece Pants, Episode 2: The Sister-in-Law Edition

20130302-221841.jpg

Sister-in-Law Fleece Pants

Mere moments after I unveiled my first attempt at fleece pants, my Stylish sister-in-law determined that she had to have her own pair. There was just enough of the same purple-grey heavy fleece left, so I set her to tracing out the pattern in her own size. She really is a trooper—she tackled tracing her first Jalie pattern with only a minimum of “OMG WHICH LINE AM I ON?” and had her pair cut out in record time.

Unfortunately, in her efficiency (and my distraction), a couple of problems we should have foreseen came home to roost. The first one being, she traced the pattern in her real size, not upsizing. (This makes sense in that she will probably want to make the pattern out of something not fleece at some point, of course.) And, I had intended to perform a rather larger version of the Gigi alteration* I did on the kids’ shorts made from this pattern last summer.

My changes

What I should’ve done on Stylish’s pants pattern, too.

However, this kind of slipped our minds in the excitement of cutting and pinning.

Stylish tackled the stitching and even topstitching (much facilitated by using the blind hem foot as an adjustable edge-stitching guide on the Memory Craft. Which, I should say, has generally excellent attachments, although I am not fond of its zipper foot.), and got the hang of it quite quickly, with only a little confusion over the construction order. (Did I mention this was her first pair of pants ever?)

Unfortunately, when we got to the try-on point (and I’ll refer you back to my Pink Suite post if you need construction details, or just go to the Jalie website and read the instructions yourself), the same issue that I had was happening: dangerously low rise, especially (actually, only) in the derriere.

Some quick thinking was in order. The pants were stitched up, lacking only the waistband. Unpicking fleece… um, not happening. Obviously we had to alter the waistband.

Jalie 3022 Last-ditch waistband alteration

Jalie 3022 Last-ditch waistband alteration. AKA “What I did instead.”

So we did.

And, while it may not be the most elegant solution (and no, I don’t have a good shot of how it looks… I didn’t really want to pester my SIL to allow me to post photos of her butt on the internet), it works, and she has worn them every bit as much as I have over the winter.

20130302-221927.jpg

So Stylish!

And she has already bought fleece for her next pair…

*Gigi is the pet name of the incredibly sweet lady who is the mother of both Osiris and Stylish. She also has a marked pear-shape, which she passed on to Stylish, and even Osiris in modified form (he has a very curvy butt for a guy). Tyo is well on her way to developing this shape as well, although in Syo’s case it seems to be a bit moderated.

22 Comments

Filed under Sewing

Fleece Pants: A Family Odyssey

Episode 1: Failure
20130301-074826.jpg

Those of you who follow me Twitter or Instagram may have caught the odd hint of one of the winter obsessions Chez Isis this year—fleece pants. The perfect antidote to a Saskabush winter, especially for people who spent the last five years in balmy southern Alberta. And yet, and yet, they have remained curiously absent from the blog. Unforgivable, no? I agree. I kept waiting to get them ALL DONE, and do a great big family fleece pants post.

I have come to the conclusion that if I do that, I may still be waiting come next winter. So, here I go with one installment at a time.

Dredging deep, deep into my memory, may I present my first attempt at making fleece pants? A veritable antique by blog standards, stitched in the fall of 2012.

I used the pattern for the Jalie 3022 yoga pants, of Pink Suit fame (or infamy), with the same alterations to length and rise I had had success with in the pink pants. Fleece is really a nice fabric to work with—bulky, but not slippery, and with enough stretch to make the fit forgiving, right?

Well, I had double-checked the stretch requirement on the pattern envelope, and the fleece matched it, but I neglected to think about one startlingly important aspect, the difference between “two way” stretch and “four way” stretch.* In particular, this pattern needs something that stretches both in width AND length.

The fleece stretches in width, but when it does so it loses length.

As it turns out, a lot of length.

20130301-075020.jpg

Enough length that the vertical seams, which were beautifully smooth when I topstitched them, bubbled out like crazy. The length which had been more than adequate on the pink fabric (I cut off two inches of the four I had added) became inadequate even for hemming. But most disastrously, the rise, which ended up perfect (after tweaking) on the Pink Pants, became somewhere between risque and just plain indecent. And if it’s too low for me, dear readers, well, it’s too low to show you. ;)

20130301-075008.jpg

Which is not to say I didn’t wear them. Oh, no. Many a dark and icy winter morning was softened by reaching for my fleece pants. Long shirts and oversized sweaters compensated for the problematic rise, and they were particularly perfect for walking the kids to their bus stop, which has to be one of the most grueling treks of the Canadian prairie winter.

But finally, I had to admit that they really weren’t adequate. It would make much more sense to make myself another, larger pair. And, well…

They fit Tyo perfectly.

20130301-075041.jpg

All the photos in this post, as you have probably noticed, are of the pants on Tyo.

Coming soon: Episode 2, the Sister-in-Law Edition.

*And I’ve seen this defined differently in different places, so, in the absence of a Central Fabric-Describing Authority, I’m going with what is convenient for this particular post.

17 Comments

Filed under Sewing