City Gym Shorts vs. Prefontaine Shorts

Anyone ready for shorts weather? I got the Prefontaine Shorts pattern from Made with Moxie last summer and didn’t get a chance to make them. Around the same time Purl Soho released a free shorts pattern, the City Gym Shorts, which had a similar shape.

City Gym Shorts vs. Prefontaine Shorts | Radiant Home Studio

First Impressions:

The City Gym Shorts look cute and comfortable. Though they are basic, I like projects that can be made quickly and easily. My impression was that they would make great pajama shorts or loungewear, but probably not something I would wear out of the house.

City Gym Shorts vs. Prefontaine Shorts | Radiant Home Studio

The Prefontaine Shorts have a really attractive and professionally designed instruction booklet. Looking through the directions, I saw lots of extra details and tips that made me excited to learn something new. I love the pocket details and the inseam options. With the right fabric, these shorts could be worn in public. I think the pocket details make the shorts look more finished and ready to wear in public.

City Gym Shorts vs. Prefontaine Shorts | Radiant Home Studio

Printing and Pattern Pieces:

I started with the City Gym Shorts. The pattern pieces are downloadable and the instructions are on the Purl Soho blog. I had no problem printing the pages I needed, but putting it together was a little tricky since it was not organized in a typical grid fashion. You have to cut out the pieces and then tape them together according to the matching symbols. It’s not hard, but I find the grid style pattern pieces to be easier and faster to put together.

The Prefontaine Shorts pattern is easy to print and assemble. I was able to put the grid together without trimming the pages first. There are a few more pages to print than with the City Gym Shorts due to the added details and pocket pieces. As you can see, it also includes details like grainlines, notches, and shoortening lines.

City Gym Shorts vs. Prefontaine Shorts | Radiant Home Studio

When I compared the pieces, the City Gym Shorts were really square compared to the Prefontaine Shorts. My thought was that the Prefontaine Shorts would probably have a better fit for a curvy woman. In the end, it was had to tell the difference on me. It may be something to keep in mind if you have a curvier figure.

Sizing and Fit:

The City Gym Shorts pattern comes in children’s sizes, and then women’s sizes XS-XL. I had a little bit of trouble deciding what size City Gym Shorts to make. My hips measure just under 38″, but I chose to make a size small (35″-37″) and use smaller seam allowances. I all honesty, I have no idea if these are the finished measurements or hip measurements. The finished measurement on my shorts with the smaller seam allowances is 38″. If I had made them as directed, it would have been 37″. It would be helpful if the measurements were more clearly labeled as the finished hip size or body measurements. Some of the finished City Gym Shorts I’ve seen looked loose, and being on the small side of the medium size I thought my plan would work. Unfortunately, they are slightly too small. You can see from my photos that the fabric is pulling across the hips.

City Gym Shorts vs. Prefontaine Shorts | Radiant Home Studio

The Prefontaine Shorts have a very large range of sizes from 0-24. (it comes in children’s sizes too, but that is a separate pattern purchase.)The size 24 is at least 10″ larger than the XL City Gym Shorts. Jill clearly lists the finished hip measurments. I was right on the border again, but after ending up with too tight City Gym Shorts, I decided to round up to a size 4. The hip measurement seems right, but the waist is a little loose and the inseam a little lower than I would like. The waist issue could be the because of the length of my elastic or because I placed the pockets incorrectly. I’m not really sure. You can also choose between 2 lengths. I made the longer ones, since I planned to post photos. I think for pajama shorts, I would make the shorter length next time.

City Gym Shorts vs. Prefontaine Shorts | Radiant Home Studio

I’m not entirely happy with the fit of either of the shorts. Since they are both “wearable muslins,” they’ll be perfect as pajama shorts. I need to work on the fit before I make either of them again though.

Instructions:

The City Gym Shorts instructions are on the blog, which make it slightly difficult if you want to print your directions. All of the directions are clearly illustrated with nice photos. The written directions seemed clear and helpful.

The Prefontaine Shorts pattern has much more detailed instructions. There are tips for choosing fabrics, washing the fabrics, choosing the size. and choosing the type of waistband. Jill also includes directions for making binding out of an old t-shirt (which is what I did). It’s a great way to repurpose old clothes and it’s a skill you can use on another project. You can also learn to make a welt pocket and add binding. Plus, there are pictures of every detail you might need to see. All of these would be helpful for a beginner or for someone looking to expand their sewing skills.

The binding method was different on each of these patterns. I preferred the method on the Prefontaine Shorts pattern. It produced a more even look at the end and took a little bit less concentration to sew. Plus, the knit binding is soft and comfortable.

Fabrics:

I used a lightweight denim and some herringbone chambray on the City Gym Shorts. The weight of the denim is perfect, but the chambray is a bit too light to be worn in public. It would be perfect for a blouse, but it’s not heavy enough for bottoms. And it’s the reason I haven’t included pictures of the front on me. The binding is quilting cotton.

I used the same herringbone chambray on the Prefontaine Shorts. Again, they are fine as pajamas, but I won’t wear them out. I used quilting cotton for the pockets, and used an old t-shirt as binding.

Things I Would Change:

Next time I make the City Gym Shorts, I will go up a size. I may use the binding method from the Prefontaine Shorts to get a nicer finish on the edge. Most likely, I will add pockets as well. Hip pockets are easy to add (see my pocket tutorial). All garments should have pockets, right? I also added a second line of stitching around the waistband to keep it from twisting. I will definitely do that again on future pairs of shorts.

City Gym Shorts vs. Prefontaine Shorts | Radiant Home Studio

On the Prefontaine Shorts, I want to add a pocket lining piece. I don’t really want to see the wrong side of my fabric in the pocket. It’s certainly not necessary, but I think it looks more finished that way. Only the wearer would ever notice though. I mentioned that the waist seemed big, possibly because of the pocket placement. The instructions said to line up the sides, but I think it would have been helpful to have a notch to help align the pocket piece correctly. When I saw that my front waist was larger than the back waist, I trimmed 1/2″ off each side of the pocket. It’s possible that I still didn’t get it quite right. I prefer the encased elastic, but I wanted to try the option that was different than the City Gym Shorts. Next time I’ll make it with the casing.

City Gym Shorts vs. Prefontaine Shorts | Radiant Home Studio

Final thoughts:

The City Gym Shorts pattern is great for a free pattern. It’s a good basic pattern that is good for a beginner to try with no risk, or for an experienced seamstress to use and modify.

The Prefontaine Shorts pattern is definitely worth buying if you want more detailed instructions and professional finishing tips. You get detailed directions for front and back pockets and a better binding technique. If you need plus size shorts, you’ll be thankful for the range of sizes included in the pattern. And if you are looking to sell shorts at craft fairs or in your Etsy shop, Jill has given you permission to do so.

City Gym Shorts vs. Prefontaine Shorts | Radiant Home Studio

I hope this comparison helps you decide which shorts to make this summer!

Email to someoneShare on FacebookGoogle+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on Twitter

Kantha Needle Book

Sometimes I like a quick project that encourages “outside the box” thinking and inspires my creativity. This little kantha inspired needle book did just that. Working without a pattern can be liberating and a project like this is hard to mess up. Straight lines aren’t necessary and the kantha style stitching looks best if it is slightly uneven.

Kantha Needle Book Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

I’m sharing a tutorial, but this still requires some improvisation on your part to make it work! It isn’t quite as detailed as some of my other tutorials, but the details you add to yours are what will make it your own. It’s the perfect way to use up scraps, practice improv quilting, and experiment with hand stitching!

Kantha Needle Book Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

To Make a Kantha Needle Book You’ll Need:

• a few scraps of fabric, felt, and quilt batting
• embroidery needle and floss
• a snap or button

Instructions:

Note: I used 1/4″ seam allowances.

1. Cut fabric into several strips. Mine were about 1 1/2″ x 8″ and a little bit uneven (whichis good for this project!). I also made some of my strips with 2 fabrics as you can see from the following photos.

Kantha Needle Book Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

2. Stitch the strips together until you have a piece of fabric large enough to cut out a 5″ x 7″ rectangle.

Kantha Needle Book Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

3. Cut out 5″ x 7″ rectangles from the patchwork fabric, a piece of quilt batting, and piece of fabric for your lining.

4. Cut out two tab pieces. Mine are 3 1/2″ x 2″ with a rounded end. Cut out one more tab piece from batting.

Kantha Needle Book Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

5. Layer the tab pieces as follows: batting, tab right side up, tab right side down. Stitch around the long curved edge and leave the short end open. Trim around the curve, turn right side out and press.

6. Place the tab piece on the patchwork rectangle and stitch it down as shown. Be sure to leave room for the seam allowance. Keep it folded toward the center and out of the way for the next step.

Kantha Needle Book Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

7. Layer the rectangles as follows: batting, patchwork rectangle right side up, lining rectangle right side down. Stitch around the rectangle leaving a 1-2″ opening on on side. Trim the seam allowances and corners. Turn right side out. Hand stitch the opening closed.

make a sewing needle book

8. Use a running stitch to stitch around the edges, tacking down the snap tab as you go. Fill in the rest of the space with running stitches. I used 2 strands of floss for mine. When you get to the middle, stitch a rectangle (or 2) of felt into the center crease. Add a button or snap.

Kantha Needle Book Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

Kantha Needle Book Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

Kantha Needle Book Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

Just a quick tip for the running stitches…when you switch to a new row, Make the crossover stitch between the layers. That way you won’t have  horizontal stitches on the back and vertical stitches on the front, and your lines will look neat and clean!

Email to someoneShare on FacebookGoogle+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on Twitter

Yet Another Noodlehead Divided Basket

Yup. I made another Noodlehead Divided Basket. I love this pattern for baby gifts! I’ve made at least a dozen…probably more. And I still want to make a couple of linen ones for my sewing room.

Another Noodlehead Divided Basket | Radiant Home Studio

I’ve said a lot about the pattern in these other 2 posts, so I’ll just show you the pictures and hope they inspire you to make some gifts for your friends!

Another Noodlehead Divided Basket | Radiant Home Studio

P.S. Lauren is having a Mother’s Day sale on Pattern Workshop (affiliate link). If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to digitize your sewing patterns and get them ready for sale, you’ll want to check this out! The facebook community alone is worth the cost of the class! (Use code MOMSROCK through May 10th to get $20 off at checkout!)

Don’t miss my sewing pattern giveaway this week!

 

Email to someoneShare on FacebookGoogle+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on Twitter

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day

Thank you! This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Kath, Jennifer, and Emily!

It’s another Sew Mama Sew giveaway day! It’s so much fun to see comments roll in all week. Plus, I love giving away free sewing patterns!

If you are new here, let me tell you a few things about myself and my site! I’m a homeschooling mother of 6. I love to sew, but I’m constantly trying new creative projects….everything from decorating and building furniture, to fabric design.

Since the last giveaway I have released a pattern for the Fairport Purse & Pouch. This pretty purse or pouch can hold anything from cosmetics to your daily shopping essentials. The smaller size is just right for organizing small items and also works well as a clutch. The larger size will hold your wallet and a few basics. It comes with 2 size options, 3 closure options, and 2 carrying options.

Fairport Purse & Pouch Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

My most popular pattern is the Retro Rucksack!

Retro Rucksack | Radiant Home Studio

If you have never visited before, take a look at my tutorials and things I’ve made pages to see what I like to sew. This year, I started a series of posts called “Tote Bag Upgrade” with monthly tutorials for turning a plain canvas bag into a modern accessory. I’ve also joined the Betz White Sewing Collective as a regular contributor!

Spring 2015 Makes| Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day | Radiant Home Studio

I write a monthly newsletter which includes a short personal update and links to my favorite projects and articles. And I include updates on my most popular posts, new patterns, and occasional coupon codes. I’d love it if you would sign up!

So now for the fun!

I’m giving away sewing patterns to 3 winners. Each winner will be allowed to choose one pattern they would like from my shop.

fairport pattern cover 650 Retro Rucksack PDF Sewing Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

Water Bottle Tote PDF Sewing Pattern | Radiant Home Studio Coastal Tote PDF Sewing Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

To Enter the Giveaway:

• leave a comment for 1 free entry (please include your e-mail address so that I can contact you if you win)

• each person may submit two total entries (one comment answering the question, and another comment telling me that you follow on instagramfacebooktwitter, or bloglovin)

Follow on Bloglovin

Also:

• this giveaway is open to international entries (but please keep in mind that you are responsible for following contest laws in your country)

• giveaway starts May 6th at 9am EST and ends May 10th, 8pm EST

• winners will be chosen from comment numbers using a random.org

• PDF pattern will be e-mailed to the winners within 2 days

• chances of winning vary depending on the number of entries, but is estimated at 1/200

• if you buy a pattern this now and win, your payment will be refunded!

Please leave a comment answering the question:

What makes you decide to buy a sewing pattern? Pictures, recommendations, or price? Something else?

Thank you for all of you comments! The winners were chosen using random.org. 

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day Winners | Radiant Home Studio

Email to someoneShare on FacebookGoogle+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on Twitter

Beach Tote Tutorial

Last year, I shared a beach tote tutorial over at the Spoonflower blog. Since the weather is warming up again, I thought I would share it again so you can sew one up for your summer adventures!

Beach Tote Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

I used Spoonflower Eco Canvas fabric, but you can use any type of home decor fabric, canvas, or interfaced cotton.

The bag is a simple tote bag, with one full-width pocket that is divided into 3 sections. If you want more pockets, just repeat the pocket directions for the other side of the bag! The fun rope handles are simply threaded through grommets and knotted. I’ve included detailed directions for attaching the grommets, and a simple alternative (button holes) if you prefer.

Materials:

Exterior – 1 yd. of Eco Canvas (I used Cactus Cacti Garden by LittleSmilemakers)

Lining – 1 yd. of Eco Canvas (I used Cross Line Mudcloth by Holli Zollinger)

Rope  – 2 yds. of 1/4″ rope

Coordinating thread

Grommets – size 7/16″ (optional, use a button hole in place of grommets if you choose)

Hammer – to set the grommets

(You’ll also have some fabric leftover for another project!)

Cutting measurements:

Exterior – cut 2 pieces, 22″ x 18″
Lining – cut 2 pieces, 22″ x 18″
Pocket – cut 2 pieces, 22″ x 8″

Finished Size :

About 18″ square, with 12″ handles.

Notes:

All seam allowances are 1/2″ and included in the given measurements.
Press all seams with your iron temperature set for synthetic fabric (if you use eco canvas…).

Instructions:

Cut out your pattern pieces using the measurements provided above. You may find it helpful to use a rotary cutter and mat to produce straight lines and right angles.

Beach Tote Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

Locate the pocket pieces. Place them right sides together and stitch across the long edges of the fabric, leaving the short ends open.

Beach Tote Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

Turn the pocket right side out and press.

Beach Tote Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

Topstitch along the folded side at 1/8″ and 3/8″ from the edge. This is the top of the pocket.

beach tote tutorial topstitch pocket 4

Place the slip pocket across the right side of one of the lining pieces. The top edge of the pocket should be 6″ below the top edge of the lining piece.

Beach Tote Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

Baste the pocket sides to the lining sides in the seam allowances (about 1/4 ” from the edges).

Beach Tote Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

Topstitch the bottom pocket edge to the right side of the lining.

Beach Tote Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

Mark two vertical lines on the pocket, dividing the pocket into 3 sections.

Beach Tote Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

Stitch along the lines, from the bottom of the pocket to the top of the pocket to avoid puckering, backstitching at the top edges to secure the stitching.

Beach Tote Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

One side of your lining should now look like this…

Beach Tote Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

You can repeat the pocket directions for the other side of the lining if you prefer more pockets.

Place the lining pieces right sides together. Check your pocket orientation to locate the top of the bag. Stitch along the other 3 sides leaving a 3″ gap at the bottom center of the bag.

Beach Tote Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

Flatten the bag so that the side seam and bottom seam are aligned. On the corner, measure in 2″ and draw a line. Repeat on the other corner.

Beach Tote Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

Stitch along the lines in the corner of each bag, backstitching at each end. Trim the excess.

Beach Tote Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

Now you will have a square corner at the bottom of your bag. It should look like this when you open it up.

Beach Tote Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

Place the exterior pieces right sides together and stitch along 3 sides, leaving one of the 22″ edges open.

Beach Tote Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

Square the corners of the exterior as you did for the lining.

[Read more…]

Email to someoneShare on FacebookGoogle+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on Twitter