Tag Archive | velcro

All tied up

It’s easy to find things to sew for the girls. Skirt and dress patterns abound, plus hats, capes, coats, tunics, pants, leggings, blouses… you get the gist. Finding things to make for boys tends to be more challenging and the options not as interesting. Unless the boy is going to a disco or has a predilection for Rococo, ruffles and flounces are out. Embellishments and trims also look out of place on boys’ clothing today. Fabrics tend to be more somber, style lines more plain. I was feeling a little bad for Konik as I was planning to make fancy skirts for the girls to wear at Christmastime. Sew a new button-up shirt? Or pair of slacks? Big whoop. That’s not exciting for the maker or the wearer. But, I found a way to inject a little fun!

Konik enjoys dressing up. He especially loves himself some clip-on ties. He is always the dapperest little dude at church and he chooses his clothes himself. (Did I mention that he’s only 5?) So there was my ticket! A new winter-themed tie.

There are several little boy tie tutorials with slight variations among them. I ended up choosing the one by Vanilla Joy. I chose hers because I preferred the ways she suggested for fastening the tie around the neck. One change I will make if when I make another tie is to make it a tad narrower overall and taper it more severely about halfway up to make tying it easier (and so the knot doesn’t come out so big). It takes a miniscule amount of fabric and it’s a very fast project.

Konik was with me when I went to the fabric store, so I let him choose his own fabric. He found a small snowman print in several different colorways and settled on the blue one. Fine choice, my son. I did have to steer him clear of other, larger prints because the scale never would have translated to something as small and narrow as a necktie, and a little boy’s necktie at that.

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Front

For the lining fabric, I had a scrap of dark blue apparel lining that I had used in a cape for myself (oh man, I still haven’t written about that?!). You can just see a bit of it peeking out at the tips. Using actual slippery lining fabric makes it look pretty legit, I think! I was pleased with that.

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Back

For the tie closure, I decided to go with Velcro, mainly because that’s what I had and I figured it was easy enough for Konik to manage himself, which would not have been the case with button elastic. After measuring around his neck, I made a little strip out of the snowman fabric and put Velcro on the ends. Next time, I need to make the strip just a touch narrower to be fully hidden under his shirt collar. It’s not hugely apparent right now, but it could be better.

IMG_6347Here’s where things got interesting: you have to tie the tie around the little strip of fabric, which is not the same as tying it around one’s neck. I already knew that the latter skill eluded me, but it turns out the former does as well. I called in Mr. Gren for reinforcements. He got the tie tied appropriately and, with a little fiddling, we got the tail piece to mostly stay in the back. What I need to do at this point is just lightly tack it together so that it won’t accidentally come untied.

IMG_6318Konik was happy with his new little snowman tie and wore it proudly to church. He probably needs one for every season now…

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A well-tied tie is the first serious step in life.
— Oscar Wilde

Comfort on the road

A couple of weeks ago we returned from our 3000 mile journey down to Colorado and back to see my family. Growing up, my family often made the reverse trek from Colorado to see my dad’s family in Oregon. Even with generous 80 mph speed limits in Idaho and Wyoming (because really, who wants to linger there?) (don’t get offended Idahoans; I lived in Southern Idaho for four years — you and I both know there’s nothing to see) (I’d soothe the egos of Wyomingites, too, except, well, I’m pretty sure there are more cattle than people) (Utah, you get a pass because, even though your scenery isn’t fantastic in that particular corner, it’s better than hundreds of miles of flat scrubland) — what was I saying? Oh yeah, even at 80 mph, 3000 miles round trip is a lot of ground to cover in a car with a seatbelt digging into your shoulder. We needed seatbealt pads and STAT!

This sounds like a job for…

StashBuster!

Not that a few seatbelt pads were going to eliminate much of my fabric scraps, but I’m all about cheap as free and saw no need to buy new stuff when I could just as easily make it at home with the stuff I already have. Except for the Velcro. I ran out of Velcro.

I wanted a fabric that was soft yet sturdy (it’s going to be sliding up and down on a seatbelt and needs to not wear through), which is how I landed upon the sizable scrap of corduroy which you may recognize from this dress. It’s all well and good until the day when I wear that dress in the car and get stuck to the seatbelt like some kind of Sunday school flannelgraph. We’ll just cross that bridge when we come to it.

Next order of business was to measure the width of our seatbelts. I used my soft measuring tape to measure across the front, around the back, and then allowed one inch overlap onto the front for attaching the pad to itself around the belt and came up with a measurement of 5.5″. I think most seatbelts are pretty standardized nowadays so you could use that, too, if you want to follow along and make your own.

So the finished cover is going to measure 5.5″ wide, but we need to account for seam allowances (of which I used a skimpy 1/4″, but you can add more if you want, just adjust all the measurements all the way around), giving me a width of 6″. Length of the pads is a little bit subjective, but I went with 7.75″ which seemed to cover the area that the seatbelt would come into contact with.  Got all that? I’m gonna apologize up front for the pitiful lack of in-progress photos. I swear I took more, but I don’t know where they are. Apparently figments of my imagination. However, it’s a pretty simple project and I have faith in your ability to follow step-by-step instructions.

Materials: thick fabric; quilt batting; Velcro
Finished cover: 5.5″ x 7.25″
Cut two rectangles of fabric and one of batting: 6″ x 7.75″
Cut two Velcro strips: 2″ (mine were 1.5″ only because I was trying to eke out as much from my Velcro remnant as I could)

1. Sew the batting onto the wrong side of one of the fabric rectangles.

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2. On the right side, sew the two soft Velcro strips 1/2″ away from the top and bottom edges and 3/8″ from the left edge.

seat belt cover diagram

3. On the other fabric rectangle, also on the right side, sew the two scratchy Velcro strips 1/2″ from the top and bottom edges (be sure to line them up with their counterparts on the other piece of fabric) and 1/2″ from the left edge.

4. Place the two fabric rectangles right sides together (the soft and scratchy Velcro will be on opposite sides, NOT hooked together) and sew around three sides. Trim corners. Turn.

5. Press the seat belt pad and fold in the seam allowance on the unfinished edge. Sew closed.

6. Wrap around the seatbelts in your car and travel in style and comfort!

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Yay, Wyoming.

Yay, Wyoming.