Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Monster Bum Tights Tutorial

This is like a warning label for a baby bottom.
Recently I doodled a whole lotta monsters, especially for this project in mind.   I don't have an embroidery machine, but my mother in law does, and she has very kindly embroidered the monsters for me from the digital files that I created.  In the absence of the magic trickery of the embroidery wizard contraption, the designs can be screen printed, painted with fabric paints or drawn on with textile markers.  You can also cut up an old t-shirt that has an image that works for this project.

Of course, first you need to draw yourself a monster that's the right shape for the baby's curvatiously protruding posterior.  I.e you want the general outline to resemble a deep bowl or a equilateral triangle with rounded sides and the vertex pointing down.  If the drawn shape doesn't mimic the form that it covers, the 3D effect won't work well.

Aside from the bum design you will need:
  • baby tights pattern for altering or existing pants that fit to make a pattern from as shown in Baby Pants post
  • tracing paper and basic draughting tools
  • 4 way knit fabric, preferably with 4-10% elastane (lycra) content to keep it from stretching out.  Old t-shirt with some elastane in them would be perfect, esp if it already has a bum-friendly graphic. The fabrics I used have no lycra, but they still keep their shape well: cotton/nylon, merino, merino/nylon, bamboo/modal.
  • waistband elastic
  • twin stretch needle
  • wooly nylon thread for the bobbin on the sewing machine and one of the lower loopers on the overlocker

1. I altered my existing footed tights pattern to take into account stretchier fabric.  The original pattern is for a reasonably loose fit.
footed tights pattern
I added the feet, narrowed the legs and added the bum piece.  I removed the equivalent of the bum piece from the tights pattern.  The side seam of the bum piece is the same length as the adjoining tights seam, but the curvatures are different to make more room for a cloth nappy.
monster bum tights pattern over the original
2. Cut out tights x2 and one bum piece.  The bum piece needs to be printed/embroidered before it's attached.

3. With right sides together sew the front crotch seam and the very short back crotch seam
Now they look like chaps.  Mmm pink chaps.
4.  It's a good idea to pin the bum piece to the tights before sewing in place because the curves can be tricky to match.  Start pinning from the mid points of the curves: back crotch seam to middle of the bum piece (fold it in half to locate mid point)
Pin from mid points
Pin all the way around, easing as needed
Sew the seam
5. Sew the inner leg seam all the way from one foot to the other, and the tights are nearly finished!

6.  The last step is the elasticated waistband.  There are loads of way of doing it, but I've gotten into a habit of creating the elastic casing by simply folding over the top edge and stitching it place with a twin needle.  The casing is just wide enough for the elastic to fit through, and I leave a 1cm gap between the start and end of the stitch to insert the elastic
The casing shoudn't be too wide to keep the elastic from twisting
Use a safety pin to pull through elastic
Sew together the ends of the elastic and wiggle the protruding bulk into the casing
7. Inflict the bum monster on an unsuspecting baby 

The pink looking tights are honestly not pink.  They are micro red and white stripes.
Blik the Bat

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