Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Winter Weather Inspiration

Hello Readers!!!
It's Cathy here and I just want to say that it is winter! I am sure for many of you, I don't need to remind you of this. I know many people enjoy the crisp cold air and many outdoor sports and activities that the winter offers. Me not so much anymore but with chattering teeth on a cold afternoon, I did bring my daughters to the movie theater to see Disney's Frozen. We all thoroughly enjoyed the entire movie and I even bought the sound track. I am so looking forward to it coming out in DVD and I even heard a rumor that it is coming to Broadway!!! Yaaaa!

And here we come to the reason for today's blog post. I was speaking with Carla and Jeanine about how much fun it would be to make a "Frozen" inspired dress. We all immediately agreed that the Simply Sweet with its many variations, great fit and style would be the perfect pattern to use.

Carla provided a few modifications to the pattern itself which we are going to make available to you (please see below). Both Jeanine and I used them to make a casual dress and an Elsa-inspired dress. Perfect for layering, playtime and dress-up!!! Would you like to see them? 

I put a blue short sleeve tee underneath but you could really layer it with a peasant top, long sleeve shirt or simply wear a cardigan sweater over top. (In an upcoming blog post, I am going to show you how I did the appliques for the dress.)

Here is the back. I added a removable "cape" too:

and a close-up of both the front and back:

Before I set you free with the modifications below, let me show you how I did the "cape" part. I ordered a yard of sheer fabric (mine had a little sparkle to it). I trimmed the edges ....

and curved the two bottom corners. I was very technical and used an upside down American Girl doll You can use any rounded surface such as a plate. This gives the bottom of the cape a rounded appearance. I simply traced and cut:

Next, I set my machine up to gather along the top edge. I pulled out the bobbin thread, set my machine to the longest stitch (5) and loosened the tension (1). I actually make my top thread a different color than my bobbin thread so I don't accidentally pull on the wrong one. I stitched about 3/8" from the raw edge along the top of the cape and pulled on the bobbin thread to gather the cape.

Next I cut a piece of fabric the length of the top of the back bodice, which was about 5 or 6". I used matching fabric. This will become the binding piece for the cape:

 For the width, I made mine about 4" wide but I would recommend making it about 5" wide so that when you fold it, it comes out to be about 1 1/4" wide. 
First, I folded the short ends in so that the piece is about 1" shorter than the width of the back bodice. Press and keep those ends fold in. Next I folded the piece in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and pressed it. Then I unfolded it. Next, I folded both raw edges in to the center and pressed it again. Then I refolded it in the center. This is also how I make seam binding. Here is a picture of it folded:
I inserted the gathered top of the cape between the folded binding piece and pinned it:

Then I simply stitched from one end to the other which captures the gathered cape and closes the ends.
 Here is the binding attached:
 Next, I used my snap tool to add three snaps to the cape....
 Here they are done. I used them to align the snaps on the back bodice (fashion fabric):
 Make sure you add the matching snaps about 2 to 2.5" below the top raw edge. This will leave you room to assemble the bodice. Here is where I attached mine:
 Final picture! Here is the back bodice before I did the side seams. I wanted to see how long the cape would be. It does touch the floor. You could definitely trim the length once you try it on. 

I am happy to say that the little girl whom I sent this to was thrilled with the dress. Mom told me she had it on and off six times today and insisted on wearing it out shopping! So funny!! Glad she liked it. If you have questions, feel free to ask. :)


There were only a few modifications for this look. Here are the directions done by Carla:

The construction for the dress remains the same despite the changes.

Here is Jeanine's version of the dress!

Hi all! I decided to take the modifications and make everyday style tops for my girlies :) My kids haven't seen Frozen, and are not really all that into dressing up yet. But I LOVE a sweetheart neckline! So here are what the mods look like in an everyday top, and I think you will agree, this tutorial has a LOT of potential!

This first one I made for my oldest and followed the new tutorial directions:

 My very active oldest would not turn to the camera at all or put her book down. 

For the cheeks I rounded the dip a little for a more sweetheart look and I did the Simply Sweets flutter sleeves: 

 We Hope you enjoyed this little tutorial for how to change up the Simply Sweet!!!

Coming up in February we will be having a bit of fun with books and sewing combined! (Two things we love!)

We hope you will join in on the fun!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Banding the Bottom is All the Rage!

I am so excited to share today's tutorial with you! It is very easy and oh so cute!  I used sweatshirt fleece that I found on sale at the local fabric store and the All the Rage Raglan pattern.
For little girls I love the longer length cutting line (I did the 13" cutting line on the size 1) with the banded bottom for a cozy tunic look.  If I was sewing for a boy I would probably choose a more hip length.

To start with you will cut both your front and back pieces and the sleeves. for the banded bottom you will cut 2 band pieces each a couple to several inches shorter than the width of the pattern piece based on the stretch of you fabric. I ended up doing 2-3 inches shorter since when I stretched my band pieces fully they just met the ends of the front and back pattern piece.

For the sleeve bands you will cut 2 on the fold and inch or so shorter than the sleeve piece (folded). I only did an inch shorter - I could have done less and had them come in more, but working with a size 1 the sleeve is already quite narrow.

Sew the hem bands together - right sides together. Now fold the hem band piece in half so you will have the good fabric showing on either side. Attach it to the bottom of the shirt. I started by pinning the side seams of the shirt and the side seams of the hemband.  Now you will have to pull the band but not the shirt and stretch and pin. You will also have to stretch it a bit as you sew it (since that is a 2 hand job I don't have any pics - oops). I find it easiest to sew the hemband on with a basting stitch and then taking it to the serger to finish (or zigzagging the edges if you don't have a seger)

You will follow the same steps for attaching the sleeve bands to the sleeves. 

and all done!

Now for a little bonus:

Getting the artwork onto the shirt! 
I use this wax transfer paper stuff that you can pick up at the fabric store

I pinned my picture at the top and then slid the paper underneath it, dark side down. Now you trace over it with a dull pencil, you may need to push hard if you use a thicker fabric like I did.  

Then get our your fabric markers and draw on top! I will be honest, I love the colour range this marker set has, but I found the tips to wide for getting detailed, which is my preferred art/drawing style. 

As you can see in the below picture - these markers were MUCH to wide for doing a tidy speech heart

I just could not handle the sloppy look of that speech bubble and so I cut a heart out of the sweatshirt fleece and went for the good ol' reliable extra fine point sharpie. Wrote the words on, stitched the heart on and then for a bit of fun I did a simple backstitch with embroidery thread by hand around the heart. 

Much MUCH better!

And here is the full view of the banded all the rage raglan! I am in love with it and my youngest valentine is ready for February! (but not SO holiday themed she can't wear this right though until summer!)

The All the Rage Raglan pattern has many more options to it, hoods, mock sleeves, a section on upcycling, and even 15" and 18" doll pattern versions! 

Will you be making a themed outfit for Valentine's day? 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Tutorial for the Devon & Leighanna ! Also Quilting Isn't Funny Winner!

Today we have a great tutorial (ish) for a few simple changes you can make to your Devon and Leighanna patterns! 

BUT, first some business! Do you remember the giveaway we held for The Bitchy Stitcher's book: Quilting Isn't Funny a while back?  
If you are named Helen and blog at Time for Mimi please PLEASE email us!!!!

 Helen said...
Funny? Really? Quilting isn't funny at all. It's a most-serious thing. There is to be no fun, no joviality, no reason to want to go to your sewing space.

LOL...of course, sewing is many things. It's FUN, it's REWARDING, it's FRUSTRATING, it's PLEASURABLE! And, reading Megan's quips and silliness about quilting makes it SO MUCH more.

I just want one of her ironing board covers...would like to have that hunk looking up at me while I'm pressing my fabrics!!!


(Oh, I can hardly wait for the weather to accommodate outdoor pictures again!)

Now back to business, the tutorials! Let the fun change ups begin!!!

For making a button loop you follow the drawstring tutorial but just do it on a shorter scale. I did 5 inches long and as you can see I had plenty of extra 

  1. Sew the Neckline facing as per the directions but do a basting stitch where the loop will go in.  
  2. Sew all around as per the instructions WITHOUT the loop in place!
  3. Then you unpick your basting stitches and cut the slit.

Now you will be putting the loop in place.
  • To figure out where you will place the loop figure out where the casing will be folded over to and put it in the spot where the drawstring would be as shown in the picture below.
  • To determine loop length I picked out my button and placed the loop in and folded over to the right side and made sure I could loop the button and everything would line up tidy with the slit placement. 

Then I cut off the excess loop fabric, zigzagged the ends and turned the facing out and top stitched around the slit.

Don't sew your button on until after you have made the casing and done the elastic.

For the banded bottom sleeves I measured the bottom length of the sleeves and cut a piece of fabric the length of in a width I thought would look nice for where I wanted my sleeves to fall. 

Stitch and finish or serge the band to the sleeve (right sides together as shown in the picture below) and then finish the sleeves and shirt/dress according to the directions in the pattern

My daughter insisted on wearing her shirt made from the Sisboom Emily pattern since it matches my Sisboom Devon perfectly and joined me for a picture. 

Fabric used is from Sisboom's Lucky Girl fabric line!

Who is loving all the little tutorials for changing up the patterns you already have? Any pattern you would love to see a modification made for?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

How to make the Jamie into a nursing dress. A photo tutorial.

Jodi Took our Jamie pattern and made it into this gorgeous nursing friendly dress!

Jodi reinforced the corneer of the lining with some iron on interfacing and then put a snap through the elastic and out the lining on both sends of the top. Then top stitch the casing where the elastic is. 

Then sew in 2 old bra straps 

and here is the front with the elastic and bra straps in. The snap is on the inside front so you can't see it from the outside 

Here are some close ups of the front so you can get a good look at what Jodi has done. 

A huge THANK-YOU!!!!! To Jodi and her lovely model for these pictures and the how to!

As you can see below the dress looks exactly as the original when all snapped up! 

I hope this tutorial helps and encourages all the breastfeeding moms out there that you can, in fact, sew pretty, fitted dresses for yourself and not have your baby go hungry!

Thanks again Jodi! You are amazing!