Welcome to Day 2 of our Sew in Style Sew Along: Athletic Shorts. We’re using the PJ Shorts pattern from my book, Sew in Style-Make Your Own Doll Clothes, to make the athletic shorts shown on page 110.
If you haven’t started–no worries! You can find Day 1 here and catch up when you can. There’s no rush. Sharing photos when you can will still give you extra entries into the prize drawing for the week you share.
Onto the shorts…. at the end of Day 1 our shorts look like this:
Before we get started with the Day 2 sewing, I wanted mention a couple of helpful tips.
- When sewing, sometimes it’s all about how you hold your fabric. I’ve included some photos of how I hold the fabric when sewing, but since I’m both sewer and photographer, I only show 1 hand. When I sew, I use 2 hands. –so please keep that in mind.
- The other thing I teach in class is that it makes a difference how you put the fabric under the machine. I will show you what works for me and what I think is easier when sewing doll clothes. If another way works for you, great!–don’t change a thing. When I sew doll clothes, I do things a little differently than how I would do it when sewing a real person clothing, because the doll clothes are so tiny.
- Last note: remember to backstitch at the very beginning of your seams and at the very end of your seam– before you take your project out from the machine. See page 25 for what I’m talking about 🙂 If you forget to backstitch, you can just put the project back under the needle and sew over the stitches at the beginning and at the end to keep them from coming out later.
Let’s get sewing! You’ll need to keep your Sew in Style book close and use those instructions, too 🙂
Follow the steps on page 27 and hem the shorts with a double folded hem. Remember 1/4 inch folds are really, really small. Make sure you are only folding and pressing 1/4” by measuring your folds as you press.
Do Step 4 in the book, on page 68, and sew the inseam.
Do Step 5 on page 68 of Sew in Style. Make sure your pieces are right sides together. Here is how I place the fabric under the machine to sew that tricky curve. You’ll need to sew slowly and sew just a little at a time (without taking the fabric out of the machine, of course. Notice how I don’t take the “table” (or tray) off the machine and do free arm sewing? I find this way is easier , since doll clothes don’t usually fit over the free arm of the sewing machine.
As you sew, you will need to use your left hand to keep the other fabric out of the way.
As you sew, straighten the fabric out. Remember to keep the needle down in the fabric if you lift the presser foot. It’s also a good idea to keep the needle down in the fabric when you’re adjusting your fabric.
Stop whenever the fabric is bunching up, adjust the fabric, and smooth out the area right in front of the needle–the part you are about to sew.
Also remember to stop and take pins out before they get too close to the presser foot or needle.
(We’re on Step 6 on page 68.) Follow the extra instructions on page 28-29 of Sew in Style to make a casing along the top edge (the waistband). Once you’ve folded, pressed, and pinned the casing, keep the shorts right side out and put the fabric under the machine like this.
Remember to sew slowly, stop with the needle down in the fabric, and adjust the fabric as you sew. (Don’t forget to leave a small opening for inserting the elastic!)
You’ll need to use your left hand to hold the fabric out of the way while you sew. With your right hand, you’ll be guiding the fabric and keeping the fabric that’s getting sewn smoothed out as you sew.
Follow the instructions on page 28-9 for inserting the elastic (11 inches) and don’t forget the tip on the bottom of page 28!
Last step (step 6 on page 68) Here’s how it looks when I sew the opening closed:
I keep the shorts right side out and place it under the needle like this. With my left hand, I hold the fabric on the other side out of the way, and straighten the part I’m sewing with my right hand.
Trim any long threads and your athletic shorts are all done!
Grace is a soccer enthusiast and can’t wait for Sunday– the Women’s World Cup Final!! Go USA!!!
I can’t wait to see all your shorts! Please let me know if you have any questions or would like extra help. I’d be happy to help you further or answer any questions that you may have.