The Playtime pattern has been a popular one and many of you already own it. If you are looking for another example of how to sew it up, Brienne has got a clever idea to get your creative juices flowing. She’s going to show us how to add an iron-on transfer image to the knees of the Playtime Leggings. Thanks Brienne for sharing your amazing project with us!
Hello there! I’m Brienne, a sewer and a knitter of handmade things for my two children. I occasionally blog at Handmade by Brienne and frequently post photos of my making adventures on Instagram. You can find me here.
I’m so very pleased to be included here as a guest poster. If you’re here, I’ll bet that you appreciate the distinct quality of Oliver + S patterns. Maybe you turn to their patterns when you’re trying to understand the best way to approach a sewing technique. Me too! I’ve been especially excited to see the more casual collections emerging from Oliver + S including the Playtime Leggings. The leggings, though quick and easy, still include surprising details and professional finishes. For this tutorial, I’ll be using the Playtime Leggings pattern as written and applying an iron-on transfer image to the knees. Mine took a little less than an hour from start to finish, leaving plenty of time for us to watch ships at the beach.
Ready to make some art?
First, we’ll need to gather a couple of supplies in addition to your pattern pieces. You will need: a ruler, a marking tool, iron-on transfer paper that is compatible with your printer and a suitable image for printing. Look for a photo that has bold colors and that has a symmetrical shape. For this tutorial I’ve chosen an image of a monarch butterfly. I’ve also used a panda bear’s head. Experiment with what interests you! I find that images that feature bold contrast and few details work the best.
Once you’ve chosen an image, scrutinize it a bit. Could it benefit from a color boost? Does it need to be cropped? Make sure that it is centered on the page before you print. That will make it easier to cut into two equal halves later.
Plan to print one test page on plain paper before printing on the image transfer paper. No need for the test print to be in color, we’ll just use it to check the placement on the leggings.
Now we need to prepare the two legs to be printed on. If you haven’t already, cut out the two mirrored leg pieces called for in the pattern. Fold them in half, wrong sides together with the front of the leggings facing up. Draw a line with your disappearing ink marker 1/4” from the cut, interior edge of the leggings. This line indicates the seam allowance. We’ll iron the image on using this mark so that part of the image doesn’t get lost under the seam.
You’ll also need to decide where your child’s knee is if you want the image to be centered over the knees. I find the center point between the leggings front rise and the bottom of the leggings and use that as a guide. You could also use your disappearing ink pen and a pair of your child’s existing leggings. Put the leggings on your child and make a mark where their knee is. Then use the marked leggings as a guide for placement on the ones that you are sewing.
Roughly cut out your test image, fold it in half and place it on one of the folded legging pieces. Check to see if the image fits well or if the size of the image needs to be adjusted. There’s quite a bit of room here for artistic preference. I like the image to be relatively large, but I don’t want it to bleed around to the back of the leggings.
Once you are satisfied with the image size, print the image, in color, onto the transfer paper according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
When the ink on the image is completely dry, cut the image in half. I use my rotary cutter to do so.
Now, carefully cut around the edges of each image half and line it up, colored side down with the line that you drew earlier. Remember that the image that transfers will be a mirror of what printed.
Following the manufacturer’s instructions, iron the image onto your legging piece. Take your time with this step. When you think that you’ve ironed enough, carefully begin to lift the edges, if you find that a portion of the image has not completely transferred, fold it back down and iron it again until the color has transferred properly. Repeat for the other leg, making sure to place the opposite half of the image in the same place on the corresponding legging piece. The bottom of my butterfly wing began about six inches from the bottom of my unhemmed legging piece. When it came time to transfer the second half, I used this measurement as a guide.
Now you should have two legging pieces, each with half of an image transferred, ready to sew. Notice that the two pieces are mirror images of one another.
Time to sew! Complete the instructions for sewing together the leggings according to the pattern’s instructions.
And here’s a pair of leggings in action.
Thank you for having me! I look forward to seeing what you make!