Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Kid's Chair {Pattern Review}

I know my last post was also a pattern review, but I've been sitting on these pictures for a while now {um.... since February!} and figured I better get them posted sooner rather than later.

I've always loved working with a pattern - it probably stems from the fact that most of my sewing growing up was done using patterns. My Mom just seemed to know how to perfectly read and use patterns and, lucky for me, she passed along some of her knowledge. Rarely have I come across a pattern that was difficult for me to read or use. But let's be honest, this one, kicked my butt.

I bought this pattern, McCall's 9665, some time ago, thinking that I would love to make one for our nephew and then eventually for our own kids and even as gifts. {Admittedly, I have fabric sitting in my fabric stash that I had purchased specifically for this pattern... that has been sitting there for close to two years!} And, while I love the way it looks, I have serious doubts that I'll attempt this one again - all because of the pillow forms. The pattern says that you can order pillow forms from Mauldin Shore Kids, but, clearly, the company isn't taking orders any more. Hence the reason I doubt I'll make it again. We'll see... maybe I can find some tips somewhere on how to make the pillow forms with ease.
I didn't change much on the pattern itself:

  • I did use premade piping instead of handmade {which, if I make it again, I'll use handmade, just FYI}.

  • I added an applique with the recipient's initial on the back of the seat portion.

  • Because I'm a teacher by trade {and had originally envisioned eventually making some for my classroom when I go back to teaching} I added a pocket on the back of the chair to hold a few books.

    All in all, it's a pretty decent pattern, but be prepared to take your time making it!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Highchair Cover {A Pattern Review}

I have to admit it, I'm one of "those Moms". You know the type: the one who doesn't like to deal with germs, keeps hand sanitizer in every bag, stroller, and vehicle, and refuses to let her child touch anything that looks like it might have something {albeit microscopic} growing on it. So before my son was born, I had made a shopping cart cover for him and long before he was able to {or needed to} sit in a restaurant highchair, I had also made a highchair cover. I've actually made a total of five of these: two for myself and three as gifts.

Truthfully, I own two different patterns to make a highchair cover: McCall's 5721 and Simplicity 4225. I've never used the McCall's one and have always used the Simplicity one. I like the ease and look of the Simplicity one just a little better and have actually gotten to the point where it takes very little time at all for me to cut it out and put it together. After making so many of them though, I've started adding my own modifications:

  • Instead of making the toy loops with Velcro, I've just started making them into true loops and adding the toy rings to make attaching toys easy.
  • From experience, the "ruffle" that covers the sides of the highchair {not on the shopping cart one - it's long enough} needs a couple of extra inches. On this one, I added about four inches of length to the ruffle to make sure that it covers {and then remains covered} the sides of the highchair properly.

  • Because the raw seams are exposed on the seat portion, on several of the ones I've made {particularly the ones that are gifts}, I've covered and reinforced the seams with grosgrain ribbon. Once I get my serger however, I'll just serge the edges and be done with it.
  • The pattern calls for interfacing on both pieces of the seat. I've NEVER done this - I've always just used one layer of cotton batting and then used a quilt basting spray.

This particular one that I made, however, was the first time that I used cotton fabric and not cotton flannel... I highly recommend using cotton fabric! I was afraid that it wouldn't be nearly as soft, but after it was finished, I realized that it probably was the best choice overall. I need to make a new one for myself {my son's current one is dire need of a replacement} so I'm planning on making his new one with some fun cotton fabric that I found!