moto tee

When I asked my son what kind of shirt he wanted, of course he said motorcycle. He loves motorcycles. Sometimes, his dad lets him ride on the back of his Harley, from the sidewalk to the garage. It’s only about 20 yards, don’t worry. So here we have the motorcycle shirt. Not too fancy, and a repurposed shirt from his grandma as usual. My husband came up with the tag “steel horse.” I didn’t execute it quite as well as I would have liked. I know it’s hard to tell that the second word is horse. I’m thinking my new fabric paints should help that problem in the future.

The other obsession of my son of late is quarters. If he finds or is given one, he holds onto it for days! When I say he holds on to it, I mean it is in his hand 24/7. He goes to sleep with it clasped in his fingers, and wakes up with it still there. That is quite a feat. We’ve convinced him to use his pockets for most of the day, but that means that he will only wear 2 of his shirts… the ones with pockets. His pant pockets are too tight.

Sooooo you guessed it. This one has an added pocket. I used my pocket tutorial and just added one for him into the side seam. He loves it.

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And there he is, posing in front of his “motorcycle.” My husband added the lawnmower wheels for his training wheels.

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Little devil. I love making things for him. He always says, “thank you mommy, for making this for me.”

You are welcome son!

I’ve decided that I’m not very great at detailed tutorials. Thus, I am rededicating my site to be more inspirational rather than tutorial. I’ll still tell you how I did things in general with a few how-to pictures, but I’d rather link to another tutorial that’s already done and done really well, for you benefit.

Now that that momentous piece of news is out of the way, on to what I did last week.

Sometimes living in a small town is hard. Like when you go to your local Walmart and Kmart and boutique clothing shops and still can’t find a baby swimming suit for your outing tomorrow! What!? They carried down to 12 months old, but no 6-9 mos. I was tempted to let sweet Claira just swim in a swim diaper, but then I remembered I had some extra spandex from the suit I made for my sister a few years back. Yay for saving your extra material! I try to keep my stash to a minimum, but somehow I kept the spandex that I didn’t even buy. Lucky me!

DSC_3069aMaking swimwear shouldn’t be daunting for anyone. If you can sew a zig-zag stitch, you can sew a swimming suit. I don’t know why they seem so intimidating. If you happen to have or want to invest in a double needle, they are perfect for swimming suits as well. I used one here. You can kind of see how there is a double row of stitching on the top of the binding and a zig-zag on the bottom. That’s what a double needle will do. They are pretty inexpensive and I recommend them for almost every project.

To start my suit I traced a baby onsie sans sleeves. I dropped the front and back neckline a couple of inches to give it a little more of a suit look. I also cut out a lining for it even though my spandex was quite stout and not very see through. I didn’t want those lovely dark blue swim diapers showing through and making the suit look green. I sewed my lining together and then my suit, placed the lining inside-out into the suit so the seams were all enclosed, sewed elastic into the leg openings and stitched on my binding. FYI I didn’t have any clear elastic so I just used the regular kind. I wouldn’t worry about it if you don’t care if the suit will last for years and years. I don’t think we go to the pool enough for the chlorine to ruin this elastic any time soon.

This is how I did the binding. She also has many many tips on how to sew a swimming suit.

DSC_3083aA tip on color blocking. I find that where possible, it’s easier to sew your colors together and then cut out your pattern as opposed to all that measuring and making sure your pieces fit together jut right without any shifting.

DSC_3084aMy favorite part of this suit is that it’s diaper accessible! Why don’t all baby swimming suits have this option? Who wants to take a wet suit off a baby every time you want to give them a dry diaper? Not me. Also, if you are going to be inserting baby snaps onto any piece of clothing, I recommend buying some sort of snap pliers. I tried to add these with a hammer and a board… it didn’t go so well.

DSC_3080aI love this suit! I’m so glad I had some extra material and a little extra time. Babies in swim diapers are cute, but babies in swimming suits are much cuter. I think I’ll work one up with ruffles next time.