Friday, January 28, 2011

Girly Style + Heirloom

I got the Girly Style Japanese pattern book for Christmas. It had been on my extended wish list for a while but the sizes start at a 100 cm so there was not much point until this year. I had been told that the pattern sheets were awful but I'm still not sure I was fully prepared for this. I love all the designs though so I took a deep breath and got started.
I began by lightly highlighting the pieces I needed in washable marker. I do this on fabermax patterns as well. I know some people are concerned with preserving the resale value of their patterns but I am really only concerned with making them easier for me to use. I decided on the little slip that is design S. I guess perhaps it would have made more sense to start at the beginning of the book but this little slip just spoke to me. It said "Wouldn't Emily just love me and you could practice your heirloom sewing on me too."
Just two little reminders here. One, mark the top and sides of your pieces. Otherwise I would have really messed this little project up. Two, Japanese patterns tell you what seam allowance to add and it is not the same all the way around. This one had 2cm on the top and arm wholes to accommodate rolled hems but only 1cm everywhere else.
Here's the finished product. Once I got the front done it went together pretty easily. I use etredeux between the skirt and bodice and french seams everywhere else. Other then that I followed the directions.
Here's a picture of the scalloped edge that I can make using my machine. I grumbled the whole time I cut out the bottom but I love how it looks.
I've been practicing my heirloom sewing lately. I want to make an heirloom Easter dress for Emily and I'm a little nervous about it. Its not really that these techniques are super hard but the devil is decidedly in the details. Anyways, here we have corded pin tucks, lace insersions, puffing, and some fancy machine stitches.
Overall it is a touch big. It looked a bit big in the book too though and since it doesn't have any type of closure I think it probably needs to be. I think we will end up using it as a nightgown this summer. I will also consider making the straps snap or button in the back next time so that it can be a bit more fitted.
Can't wait to try more patterns from this book just the same.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Peacock Shirt

Emily told me she wanted this outfit while I was looking at the Otto 1/11 preview. It was fun to put together especially since it came completely from my stash. I used the 98 width with no add side seam allowances and the 104 length plus an extra 2 inches on the bottom for the top. The skirt started at a 104 so I traced it then removed 2 inches from all the pieces but kept the length. I also took pictures of the process so here is a breakdown of how I put this outfit together. Sometimes I followed directions sometimes not.



I traced the bird onto fusible webbing, cut it out, and ironed it onto the shirt front. Then I put a bird sized rectangle of light weight fusible interfacing on the back. I did a small tight zig-zag around the bird. I did not use fray check because I was using knit fabric but would recommend it if you use a woven. I decided to do the rest of the bird by hand.

From this point I'll just give you a numbered list.
1) Sew rolled hems on pieces 5 and 6. I recommend labeling them as well.
2) Sew piece 6 to piece 3 on the line. Sew right sides together then flip the frill down and topstitch to enclose the seam.

3) Attach piece 7 to the bottom of piece 3 right sides together.
4)Attach piece 5 to the bottom of piece 2 right sided together.
5)Sew piece 2 to piece 3 right sided together. Piece 5 should be sandwiched between pieces 2 and 3.
6)Baste the sides of the ruffles to the sides of the back so that it will be easier to sew the side seams later.


7)Sew the shoulder seams.
8) Bind the neck line. I used a piece of cotton lycra that was 80% of the neck length and 2 inches wide.
9) Gather the sleeve puffs and sew the arms in the flat.
10) Iron the arm whole seams pointing in and topstitch.



11) Sew the side seams and hem the bottom.



This skirt is super easy. I choose to leave off the drawstring. I sewed the side seams on all three pieces, gathered the bottom two pieces together, sewed them to the top piece, and then added elastic to the top. I did rolled hems because I used knit fabric.
Finally we tried for some modeling shots. Can you tell it was cold outside. She did her best but we just couldn't stay out long. I do see more of these in our future. The skirt reminds me of the Hanna knit skirts and I love the top. Probably with a different design on the front in the future. My only complaint is that this looks like more of a big girl outfit to me and as her mama I'm not quite ready for that yet.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Ruffle Scant

Emily really only likes to wear dresses and skirts. Mostly I'm supportive of this but it is winter and while its not super cold here its still pretty cold. There are lots of patterns out there for ruffle pants and for scort type things but this is my take on combining the two.

I started with a simple pants pattern that I knew fit my daughter pretty well. I used design 13 from otto 2010 without the pockets. First I removed the hem allowance from the bottom. Then I decided to make my pants ruffles 3in long so I cut 2.5in from the bottom of the pattern and then cut another 2.5in above that for the upper ruffle. I also removed 1in from the top because I put the elastic casing between the skirt and pants. Measure the width at these points and multiply by 1.5 to get the length of your ruffle strips. Mine were 18in long by 3.5in wide.

For the skirt measure the front times 2 minus you seam allowance for the front upper skirt then do the same for the back. My front was 12in and the back was 12.5. Then multiply those numbers by 1.5 to get the lower tier measurements. Mark the front and back pieces so that you don't get them mixed up.


Sew the front and back skirt pieces together to make two circles.

Run two lines of gather between the side seams on both the front and back. I prefer doing it this way to gathering all the way around.

Pin the tiers together right sides together at the side seams and pull the lower tier in. You will have to evenly distribute your gathers. Then sew the tiers together and set the skirt aside.


Now sew the bottom part of the pants together. Make sure to sew front to back. I label the front and back.

Then gather the bottom ruffle, sew it to the pants bottom, and then sew the side seam. Sew the upper part of the pants the same way, add the ruffle, then sew the side seam.

Sandwich the upper ruffle between the right sides of the pants upper and lower part and sew together as seen above.

Sew the crotch seam and your pants should look like this.
Pin the right side of the skirt to the wrong side of the pants and sew them together.

I wanted a paper bag look so I topstitched the upper seam and then sewed around again about 1in down leaving an opening in the back to insert the elastic.

Now the finished product. They look a touch long barefoot but are just right with her sneakers. All of my ruffles have a rolled hem at the bottom. I made the shirt a while ago. It is from Sewing Clothes Kids Love.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pretty Pink Princess Tester


I was lucky enough to get to test a princess dress pattern for Kathleen of Katydid Creations. This was fun to make and Emily is thrilled with it. I should also point out that any wonkyness is because of the super cheep fabric I used and not the pattern itself. For step by step pictures you will have to buy her pattern. I'll link it when it is ready.



I had to include this picture as proof that my little model is not always feeling like getting her picture taken.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Vintage Check Play Dress

This is the first of the four vintage patterns that I would like to do for spring. Boy am I glad I had promised people I would make it because when I opened the envelope it was missing 3 pieces. I was tempted to just say oh well and throw it away but a promise is a promise plus I really liked the style.

So I did my best to recreate the front bodice piece using the back bodice and front facing as a guide. I also took about an inch out of the overall width because Emily has a 19in chest and a size 2 is for a 21in chest.

I added 5in to the length. While I like vintage styles Emily does not like bloomers and this dress would have been indecent otherwise. So I added 2in to the bodice at the lengthen line and 3in to the skirt. The above picture is of me checking the length before sewing the skirt on.

Here are some shots of the dress and a few modeling pictures. I'm not sure this style is great for the toddler body type but I think she is so cute tummy and all. Sorry that the modeling shots are great but we had ice here this week and while I was willing to risk life and limb or at least ankle and butt to get a well light picture it was too cold to taker her out in the dress. I think it will be great this summer with little white sun and sand sandals though. Maybe I'll post some better modeling shots then




I don't think I will be making this pattern again. So if anyone wants it let me know I'll send it to you ffs. I do plan on doing one of the other three vintage ones soon though if anyone would like to check out the older post and cast their vote. I'm also going to do a sew a long post for the peacock shirt in the latest otto.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Camera Case


Sewingmamas is doing monthly challenges this year for fun and to help keep us all on our toes. I do not actually plan on doing all of them as I have no desire to make a kids art stuffy in October but I am going to do most of them. January's challenge is to sew something for yourself. Truth be told I do a good bit of sewing for myself but I've bought this camera case pdf months ago and it had never made it to the top of my to make list.

The patters is the Keyka Lou Camera Case Wristlet. I'm not much of a bag maker so while it was not super complex it did test my skills a bit. I decided to use super stiff intefacing instead of batting. I also used a KAM snap instead of hook and loop tape. Other then that I followed the pattern directions which were detailed though I had to reread a few times to figure out how/where the bottom loop went. I think that had more to do with me not being used to making bags though. If I make it again I will also probably adjust how the last piece is put on so that the turning whole will not be in the front. We'll see though.

Here's the pattern link hopefully.
http://www.keykaloupatterns.com/product/camera-case-wristlet-pdf-sewing-pattern

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Minky Twirl Mixed Feelings

Let me begin by saying that I will always be honest with you my readers. With that rule set I must say this dress didn't quite turn out as planned. Emily loves it and I mostly do except for the neckline. I lowered it because I was worried that it looked high in the picture and now its pretty low. Oh well. I wanted something that was a combo of the Hanna Anderson twirl dresses and the Kelly's Kids minky play dresses. Also Emily wanted something with a big pink bow. So let me tell you how I did it.

I used design number 19 from Otto 6/08 as a starting point. I traced the top part of this pattern in a 98 with 104 sleeve length. Then It was time for some sewing math. I wanted a 3 tier fluffy skirt so I measured the front and back pieces. They are different length on this patter because of the gathering in the front.
tier1= (pattern width *2)*1.5
tier2=tier 1*1.5
tier3=tier 2*1.5
Back is done the same way. I used 7in wide strips.
Sew the raglan seams (the shorter part of the shoulder is the front). Next sew one of the two side seams. Then sew the tier one pieces together, gather (I use a gathering foot), pin it two the bodice matching the side seams, and sew together. Tiers 2 and 3 are done in the same way. Make sure to finish you seams.
This is what you will end up with. This way if my tiers aren't quite perfect the dress still works out easily. Now sew the other side seam and finish the last little bits. If your little princess also needs a pink bow I just pinned the ribbon across the front and sewed across the top, sides and bottom leaving it free from just past the side seem.

Twirl shot.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Suggestions Please

I'm feeling under the weather today so sitting around is at the top of my activity list. Anyways one of my goals for this year is to sew up a bunch of the patterns I just had to purchase but never used. One of my weaknesses happens to be vintage patterns. What happens is that I make one, love the experience, and then buy several more. So without further ado I hope to make all four of these this year but I'm going to start with which ever one the most people suggest.

So what do you think. Feel free to make styling suggestions as well.

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