for the love of sewing ~

MarveLes Art StudiosBlogs, Sewing Loves 5 Comments

hi there dear readers and friends!!!  

yessss!  september is national sewing month ~ yay! i truly hope that the love of sewing continues to make a comeback as a worthwhile, and beautiful skill to have.

as a young {tomboy} girl, i was, shall we say, rather ‘forced’ to sew by my mother, who was adamant that i learn to sew clothing, and i did so through the local 4-H club of which my mom was involved as a leader. my first outfit at the age of 9 or 10, was a red and white striped double knit tank top, with a matching red skirt.  much to my horror, it won first place for my age group in the fair that year, and winners were required to model it ~ up on a stage.  i was mortified to say the least, as i was quite shy at that time.  {true story!}  however, i forgot about it, and missed that appearance, as i was far more interested in being in the horse barns… and got a ‘talkin’ to’ by my mom and the “4-H Law”  !

soon, i learned as a young collegiate, who had no money, that the only way i was going to have a formal, fancy dress for the college dances, was to make my own. those sewing kills came in handy, and it was truly economical to sew in those days.  i continued to make my own clothing for many years, even to the extent of making jeans that were tall enough to fit me, which was a rarity back in those ‘good ol days!’   

i’m really excited to be sewing on some clothing again, but this project is one of my all-time favorite patterns ~ the “cute as a button” baby jacket, by jackie clark designs, which is now only available only by download; you will find it here.  i happened to purchase mine when i saw the sample jacket displayed in a quilt store a couple years ago. 

oh, gosh, it is so dang cute! and easy to make.  this is the picture of the jacket on the website now:

of course, it’s darling the scrappy way, but i chose to sew it up with solid pieces of fabric.  i have made over 10 of these jackets now.  they are rather addictive, as it’s just so fun to embellish them with all kinds of cuteness… and being a small pattern, they sew up in a jiffy… and being adorable, well, who can make just one?  and what a great baby gift to give!!!

here are some of the up-close details of how i embellished this particular jacket: 

 above,  the pocket, with a scrap piece of minkee fabric in a rich, dark brown as edge trim on the pockets, as well as a sweet little creamy and brown ribbon trim, and then topped with a matching pink button. i sewed it on as i would double-faced bias tape, folding it over the raw edges and stitching it down through all the layers at once.  a fabric glue stick will help with placement if pins get in your way on these tiny sleeves.

below, i used a pink edge-glitzed ribbon, top-stitching it down, folding the raw edges under, to function as closures for the pink buttons at the top of the front of the jacket :

the same minkee and ribbony flower trim on the hood’s edge:

 a batik fabric for the lining that complemented the main fabric perfectly:

a tip i use often, is to line the pockets.  this is done by cutting an extra pocket piece for each pocket, then, putting right sides together, sew a seam, leaving an opening to turn the pocket with right sides out, pushing out the corners.  use a gluestick to place the pocket, and then topstitch on the pocket’s edges as you attach them onto the jacket.  looks more professional and it’s also very sturdy construction.

pocket detail

 and… add a very fun, personal touch!  i free motion stitched a heart in the brown minkee fabric.  i added the words, “love you” showing from the inside view of the lining. i would have preferred to stitch from the outside of the jacket, but they would not have showed up well considering the printed fabric.  and of course, they are backwards from the outside, but that’s okay.  it’s like a little “secret” just for the wearer of the jacket!

 the wonderful properties of using minkee type fabric is that it is a knit, so the edges don’t fray, and it’s super easy to apply.  if needed, give yourself an edge, and use a fabric glue stick to keep the little heart in place before stitching it down.   of course, you don’t have to do it free motion either.  straight stitching would work just fine!

i believe this jacket takes me about 2-3 hours, depending on the embellishments.  but what an adorable gift!  and…. truly an original, one-of-a-kind that you can make special for any baby.  and not just for girls… just think of how cute a denim one would look for a little boy!  i think a recyled denim from dad’s jeans would be a fun beginning, using the pockets, and belt loops for embellishments, perhaps?

happy september, and happy sewing!!!

Comments 5

  1. Leslie, you're amazingly prolific! Well, you've sold me on this project. I'm going to purchase the pattern even though there are no little ones in my life (yet). It's so adorable — I'll think of SOMEONE's grandchild to make one for!

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