Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Play Ball!

You gotta be a man to play baseball for a living,
but you gotta have a lot of little boy in you, too.
~ Roy Campanella

More sewing time this weekend - I'm in heaven!

My friends are moving to Chicago soon, so I re-ordered my queue and got to this fleece jacket for their son right away.

It should have been a very simple pattern - but I had some issues - maybe because it's been so long since I've been sewing regularly.

My first challenge had to do with the print and the fact that I was making a fleece jacket for a toddler (size 1).  The print was large and no matter where I lined up the pattern pieces, some major design elements were always upside down.  :(

Hopefully the parents will be reasonably happy with my final alignment decisions...

I deviated from the directions several times.  Once, by accident - I didn't pay enough attention to the directions for the (separating) zipper ("Eh, I know how to put in zippers," she said to herself as she tossed the instructions aside) and didn't use the twill tape - so the inside isn't as nice looking as it could be...  :(

Next, I assembled the major pieces in a different order.  The directions called for sewing the side seams and closing up the sleeves independently, before inserting the sleeves.  I attached the open sleeves before sewing up the side seams and underarm seams in one long seam (per side).  This modification didn't seem to have any negative repercussions...   (So far!)  

Next, the cuffs.  The pattern has you cutting a rectangle out of the fleece fabric and adding lots of pleats before making the circular cuffs.  I used a double knit for the cuffs AND I used this opportunity to try a technique that some of you told me about - I stitched on the INSIDE of the opening, rather than on the outside:

I had a bit of an issue with the collar - I guess maybe I didn't make my seam allowances large enough and/or the fleece stretched a bit around the neckline (I DID stay stitch) - so when I tried to fit the interfaced collar piece to the neckline, it wasn't long enough and (being interfaced!) wouldn't stretch at all.

Instead, I started by putting the un-interfaced collar piece against the neckline and this stretched enough to fit.  Then I was able to stitch the interfaced piece to the un-interfaced piece and everything worked out reasonably okay...  Although it is not the smoothest, neatest looking collar in the world...

The fleece I used is very soft - but it is also thin.  The jacket doesn't have much of a shape to it...  I also wonder if maybe I should have used the same yellow double knit along the bottom...  

And here he is - the future St. Louis Cardinals fan himself:

He has "heart-breaker" written all over him, doesn't he?  ;)

(Oh - that picture is a couple of months old - he turns one in December, so hopefully the jacket will fit during some period of time in Chicago when it is useful.)

Anyways, it was wonderful to be back in front of the sewing machine!  :)


  1. Since he's moving into rival territory, it's great he'll be able to show those Red Bird colors!


    1. Good point! I had been thinking about the rival territory myself - after living in Chicago for 4 years (26 years ago, yikes!) I can imagine that rooting for a non-Chicago team will pit them against a vocal majority! ;)

  2. That's a cutie-patootie, the jacket and the little boy! You did a nice job on his little jacket. Good work!

    1. Thanks, Gwen - it seems like I'm never really happy with my work - I always see the flaws - and then I see the GORGEOUS work that you and others do and feel very inadequate... But I try to remember that I am having fun and I am trying to improve and, hopefully, my projects make others feel good - and so that's not bad...