Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Patchwork Tiered Dress

I keep seeing these patchwork dresses on the internet and decided that I wanted to try one myself. The shop(Sew Blessed) has a couple of fabric collections that I thought would make up cute in this style. But when it came time to find a pattern  I could not find exactly what I wanted. So, I just decided to come up with my own  and I'm happy to share the formula that I came up with to make it. Enjoy!
I started with the pattern "Mia" by Create Kids Couture. It comes in sizes 6months to 8years. I only used the pattern for the top yoke with back sash. When I came up with the figures for the skirt length  I added 2" for the finished skirt length that CKC used for their underskirt measurement so it would be a little longer than the pattern originally has you make it.

Cut a total of 25 blocks using the chart below for the size dress you are making.
6-12months- 6 1/2" width x 5" length
12-18 months-7 1/2"width x 6"length
24months/2T-7 1/2"width x 6" length
3T-8"width x6 1/2" length
4T-8 1/2"width x 7" length
5T-8 1/2"width x 7" length
6-9" width x7 1/2" length
7- 9 1/2" width x 8" length
8-10"width x 8 1/2" length

-For all sizes, sew 5 blocks for the top tier,8 blocks for the middle tier, and 12 for the bottom tier. Sew the last block to the beginning block so that you create a continuous tube for each tier. 
-Hem the bottom edge of the bottom tier.
-Run a gathering stitch around the top edges of all three tiers.
- Draw up the top edge of your bottom tier with your gathering stitch by pulling on the bobbin thread until it is the same width as your bottom edge of your middle tier. Pin, sew and finish this seam.
-Draw up the top edge of your middle tier to fit the width of your bottom of edge of your top tier in the same manner as the last step. Pin,sew and finish this seam.
- Draw up the top edge of your top tier to fit the width of your yoke. Pin,sew and finish this seam.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Dr.Suess fashion show

Been busy preparing for the celebration of Dr. Suess's birthday. Jewel and Jada had their big D.S. celebration yesterday but for some of my friends, their schools had a week long party.So I got asked to do several D.S. outfits. I had the best time making these. A lot of the dresses were made using up my scraps from previous D.S. outfits. My plan was to decorate the store's front window for Dr.Suess week but I never got to it cause the outfits sold before I could get the window up. Since today is the actual Birthday, I thought I'd share all the D.S. outfits all in one post. Enjoy!
Happy Birthday Dr.Suess

If anyone is interested in the patterns used in the pictures, I post all the pattern info on my flickr page.

My mom is the Elementary school principal and she needed a little help dressing up Dr.Suess-ish so this is what I came up with for her. She said she refused to wear the "tacky socks thing" that they were suggesting her to do. haha! You would have to know my mom. She never has a casual style. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

National Month of Sewing

September is the National Sewing Month. In celebration of all things sewn, Sew Beautiful is having all kinds of giveaways. Every day they are posting free graphic designs that you can use for hand embroidery. Be sure to stop by their blog so that you can enter to win some awesome sewing goodies!
 I'm so happy to be finished with my moving so that I can celebrate the month of sewing with some actual sewing! It feels good to be back in the swing of things. Been working on a bunch of team spirit outfits for the football season. I'm personally not an Auburn or Alabama fan but some of these fabrics make me wish I were. I especially love the Auburn colors and that cute tiger mascot!

Anyways, just wanted to pop in and let everyone know about the party over at the Sew Beautiful Blog. Happy Sewing everyone!!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

My new sewing room

Hello again. It's been a while since I last posted but I do have a really good excuse. Yea, honestly I do! Finally got my house rented out, which was such a blessing but it caused a lot of work to prepare for the move. Took up most of my summer in fact. And it cut into my fun summer sewing.That's why everyone hasn't seen much new outfits from me. Moved in to my parent's house which means most of my things are now in storage and I had to downsize( and I do mean downsize!!!). After a lot of careful thinking and planning, I decided that it was more important for me to have a sewing work room rather than a traditional bedroom. I know it sounds crazy, but my sewing is more important to me than having a bedroom. Besides, I can sleep anywhere. So, I sleep on the couch in the family music room. It works!My sewing room is actually part dressing room but all that stuff is hidden behind the closet. The design style came from the leftovers from one of my guest rooms in the house I just moved from.
 Here it is! This view is from the entrance door. Cutting table is actually my old high top kitchen table painted white and a new top that is the size of a standard self healing rotary cutting mat.

 I'm so in love with how this old chest of drawers turned out! All I did was find the perfect shade of pink paint and spray painted the original drawer pulls silver.
 This has turned out to be a great place for hand sewing when the ironing board is hung back up. I covered the table top that holds my sewing machines with a layer of white fabric and clear vinyl on top of that,stapled to the underside. Then hot glued the ruffled ribbon skirt to the sides of the table top.The skirts are leftovers from the ottomans from my last house's guest room.
 Close-up of the curtains I reused from my last house. I had to re hem them but it was much easier than making new ones.
The painted quilt stand here has been great for hanging my "just pressed" fabric pieces. I highly recommend one of these for a sewing room. I use to hang my pieces over the door but now I have to keep the door closed so that little Jada and Jewel won't come in while I'm sewing.

I have to say, although my new sewing room is much smaller than my last, it has been wonderful! In fact, I like it better. Everything is more compact and easier to get to.

Until my next post......Happy sewing y'all!

Friday, June 8, 2012

How to sew on crinkle ribbon

 A few ladies at the shop have asked me how I sewed this elastic ribbon(or crinkle ribbon) on this dress. It's funny that I knew that I'd be asked about it later so I took pictures of what I did as I was sewing it. The trim is a satin ribbon that has been pre-shirred on elastic thread. We carry it in the shop at in pink and blue and it is $.90 a yard(I think that's a bargain myself). It looks like cake icing, which would be an idea to use it on a cupcake applique...........hmmmmm. Anyways hope the pictures here explain a little better than the way I was describing it to a few of my customers the other day. Sorry ya'll, and yep, I noticed your blank "I don't understand" stares.
 First, make a scallop template to trace on your fabric the design with a water erasable pen.
 Next, pin the ribbon in place along the scallop marking.
Then, using the same colored thread as your ribbon, sew the trim on using a running stitch. Don't have to be perfect with your stitching cause it will blend into the ribbon folds. The process went really fast.Honestly! I've put more time into sewing a machine embroidered applique than this did. So don't be scared to try it.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Panel Front A-line (with ruffles)

This is just another design tutorial on how to make the panel on the Panel Front A-line dress. Like the first one I showed, you can use any A-line dress pattern you may already own. To get started, cut your front pattern piece and a long narrow strip of fabric for your mock panel (about 4 1/2" wide or less x length of dress plus 2" more). For the ruffles, I cut 2 strips 3" wide by width of  the fabric.Cut a strip of medium weight fusible interfacing the same size as your mock panel and go ahead and fuse it to the wrong side.This is optional, but it does help keep your panel from puckering when you sew the ruffles on.

To prepare your ruffles, fold the 3" strips in half(long length) and press.Run a gathering stitch along the raw edge with your machine to draw up the fabric to make your ruffles. I like to use my basting stitch on my sewing machine for this, but if you don't have that option, set your machine to a straight stitch and then set it on the longest stitch length your machine will go to.
Distribute your ruffles evenly and then pin to one of the long edges of your panel. Sew a 3/8" seam. Then flip the ruffle so that the seam is turning into the center of the panel and press.At this point, lay the panel on top of your dress front pattern piece and decide how wide you need to cut it down. There is no right or wrong answer to this. It will depend on what size dress you make, what fabric selections you have chosen, and what size buttons you are using. Once you've decided, cut, and then pin and sew the other ruffle. Press in the same manner as your first ruffle.
Find the centers of your panel and your dress front and line up and pin in place.

Topstitch about 1/16" away from the ruffle seam. Do this for both sides.
Place  right side down on your cutting mat and trim off the excess at your hem and neck edge.

Cut the back fabric out if you can see the print showing through to the front side.If it doesn't show, you don't neccesarily need to do this.
Stay stich your ruffles at the hem and neck edge to keep them in place.

Now your ready to finish sewing your dress following the directions your pattern gives you.

Panel Front A-line Tutorial (with grossgrain ribbon and large rick-rack)

I've been meaning to do a tutorial on this dress for awhile, but finding time to set it up on here........well that can be a problem sometimes. Several customers at the shop have asked me how I do this because I always make them for sample garments. I love making them cause it's so quick and simple to do but it shows off the fabrics so well. At first I thought there was no need to do a tutorial on it cause I thought it was too simple and most sewers could figure it out, but we have alot of beginning sewers that need just a little guidance. So here you go ladies! You asked and I listened!

Use any A-line pattern you may have on hand. My personal favorite is "Charlotte" and I always make it with the one button opening in the back( I have an earlier tutorial on how I do that).
Begin by cutting your front pattern piece from your face fabric and clip your center front at the bottom hem and at the neck by making a small clip with your scissors.

Cut a panel of fabric about 4" wide or less for your mock panel piece.Be generous with the length of this panel. It's best to be at least 1" above the shoulder seams and below the hem( you will cut this off later on).

 Start by top stitching your grossgrain ribbon to your fabric panel matching the edge of your ribbon to the raw edge of the fabric.

 After you have sewn the first side of your ribbon, lay out your panel on your dress front and decide about how wide you would like your panel to be. Don't fret on trying to be perfect with this, because there's no right or wrong.I've made my panels all different sizes and they have all turned out great no matter what size I decided on. For me, it depends on the dress size you are making, the fabric you are working with, and how large the buttons are you have chosen for your project. Above is a picture of how I decided on where I was to cut mine. Once you have made your cut, topstich the other strip of grossgrain trim to the other side of your fabric panel.
 Lift up your sewn ribbon and trim the fabric underneath about 1/2" off.
 Slip your giant rick-rack underneath the outer edge of your grossgrain ribbon and stich it in place by topstiching  through the ribbon.While sewing, try to align the rick-rack so that there is about 1/8" or slightly less in the "valley" of your rick-rack. Sew the other long side of panel in the same manner.
 Press your panel on a fluffy towel so that the rick-rack teeth don't make an impression underneath the ribbon.
 Next, you are ready to center and pin in place your panel to the front of the dress. The way I position my panel is to fold in half lengthwise to find the center( of the panel) at the top and the bottom, mark, and then line these markings up with my center front marks I made on the dress earlier.
Now you're ready to take it to your machine and topstich. This time you are going to topstich on the edge of the rick-rack.

Turn your dress front right side down and trim the panel piece down to match your neck line.
Cut the excess off down at the hem also.
Cut off the extra fabric that is underneath the panel. Now this part is optional. Sometimes I leave the extra fabric underneath if I don't see the print from the top.

Now you are ready to finish the dress using the pattern instructions.