Button Up Instructions

DSC_0028

This might get a little long but it’s mostly because I felt like the collar part needed some extra explaining. And unfortunately most of the pictures were taken at night so they might not be the best. It took me a while to digitize this because I wasn’t 100% happy with the fit of the back and making it this time for the tutorial made me realize it’s still bugging me. So I might go back and make a few tweaks but only to the back bodice piece. I just want to get the collar to lay right so I’m going to try scooping out the neckline about an inch to see if it helps. I’ll update the pattern and post about it too if I end up making the changes.

DSC_0031 2

I added roughly one cm to each side of the back and front bodice pieces to enlarge the fit.

DSC_0044b

To start, the main collar pieces should be sewn together around the curved edges with the right sides facing and then turned right side out. Topstitch the curved side.

DSC_0049b

The collar attachment pieces should sandwich the main collar with the right sides facing and be sewn around the curved edges. Turn it right side out but do not topstitch like on the main collar.

DSC_0062

Press the unfinished sides of the attachment pieces towards the wrong side of the fabric.

DSC_0070

I didn’t take pictures of the bodice construction but it’s basically just sew the shoulders and finish the seams then bind the arm openings with bias tape before sewing the sides together. To attach the collar line up the middle of the collar with the middle of the back bodice piece, sandwiching it in between the attachment pieces.

DSC_0071

Slide the bodice into the collar until you get to the front openings. Fold the edges in to the wrong side twice to fit inside the collar opening.

DSC_0073

Sew all around the attachment piece’s perimeter, I like to topstitch on the outside of the shirt but it doesn’t really matter if one is easier for you.

DSC_0089

One pattern note: The separate piece is listed on the pattern as being 44″ X 11″ but I’m making a dress here so I used a piece that was 16″ tall and just cut it selvedge to selvedge.

Anyways, the skirt piece should be gathered but starting about an inch and a half away from the edges. When you attach the skirt to the bodice you’ll have to unfold the bodice edges from when they were folded to fit inside the collar.

DSC_0091

Finish the skirt/bodice seam and press it to the top then topstitch along the bodice edge. Fold both the left and right opening edges under to match the bodice and sew it down.

DSC_0096

Hem the bottom and add buttons and buttonholes evenly spaced along the opening. I used six buttons but I wish I had had a seventh to put them a little bit closer together. I’ll post the rest of the finished pictures tomorrow since this is already so long and picture heavy! And in case you missed it here is the pattern link again.

 

Advertisements

Fine and Dandelion Dress Pattern

DSC_0149b

Both the pattern and tutorial I mentioned here, are done! Click here to download the pattern. It’s both the original 6-9 month and 12-18 month patterns. My first version fit until about ten months but that was on a pretty big baby ;) so you may get a longer use out of it.

F&DpatternPieces

These are my rough draft pieces before I scanned them in and cleaned them up so just pretend that back piece says cut 4. After you’ve cut your back fabric pieces you can fold the pattern piece along the line to get the front pattern piece. You wont actually use the little armhole cutout yet so just set it aside for now. The pieces already include a 3/8″ seam allowance.

F&Dshoulders

I used the same fabric for my outer and lining fabric so it may be hard to distinguish but pin and sew the shoulders together working on both the main and lining pieces separately.

F&Dneckline

Then with right sides facing sew along the neckline and back opening.

F&DsleevesHem

Working on the frill pieces, hem along the straight edge then sew two rows of gathering stitches along the curved sides.

F&Dgathering

Gather both sleeves to roughly five inches. When I have my fabric at the necessary length I like to tie the threads together to keep the fabric from unraveling, then work on spacing out the gathers evenly.

F&DpinSleeves

Pin the sleeves into the arm holes and sew down both sides. If you are using a different fabric for your lining face the sleeves so that the right sides are facing your main fabric. Clip your corners and curves and turn the bodice right side out.

F&DpinSkirt

The skirt piece that I used is 39.5″ wide by 13″ long. I turned the edges under 1/4″ two times on both sides and hemmed it before attaching it to the bodice. Overlap your ends to match the back opening and the sides are where you will you the armhole template.

F&DarmCutout

Line the template up on both sides and cut it out on the fold.

F&DarmHem

I just rolled the edges down to form a very small hem and sewed it down slowly but you could use bias tape if you have something small enough.

F&DskirtLine

Match up the arm edges on the skirt to the bodice, right sides together, and make four small pleats (two on either side) until the skirt is the same length as the bodice. Do the same thing on the back but also match up the skirt ends with the bodice opening.

F&DfinishEdges

Finish the raw edges.

F&DsewBack

Sew up the bottom nine inches of the skirt and hem the bottom. Add a buttonhole or snap to the top and you’re done!

DSC_0145b2

And once more for the pattern link!

Linked to:


 

Friday Favs Party

Sundress Instructions

One thing of note, the pattern I uploaded yesterday had a small flaw in the collar length. I originally extended it from the first dress but forgot to account for when I shortened the front neck opening a bit. So it ended up too long, but I’ve (hopefully) fixed that and uploaded the corrected pattern. None of the other pieces were changed so if you’ve already printed the other pattern you can just download a new copy and only print off the collar page.

Onto the construction! If you have one, pull out a ball point needle and put it on your machine. If you don’t have one you should really look into buying one. With thicker knits you can sometimes get away with a normal needle but especially with the thinner stuff a regular needle will rip little tiny holes into your fabric when the thread goes through. This essentially makes a perforated line just ripe for the tearing.

Layout

Here are what your pattern pieces should look like when they’ve been cut out with the bottom band pinned to the tops of the dress. Most knit fabrics will stretch in all four direction but will stretch more in one particular direction. You want the stretchiest direction to lay horizontally. Sew where you see the pins.

TooCloseExample

Something that took me a while to figure out with knits is how to keep the machine from “eating” the fabric. If you start very close to the end of the fabric the needle will pull the edge into the machine and keep trying to sew. Making a big tangled mess. But if you move the fabric up a little and start sewing further from the end the presser foot will help to hold the fabric taunt more and the needle will slide through the fabric better. It’s hard to see in the picture but the one on the right is sewing further from the back of the fabric. It’s a small difference but it really helps.

SewnCollar

Another thing that I really have to force myself to do is pressing seams. The collars on the left are right after I sewed them and on the right is after a quick pressing with the iron. It really helps to flatten out your seams but it’s something that I always try to skip since it takes a little longer. After you’ve pressed your collar pieces you’ll need to clip notches around the curves, turn them right side out, and press them again.

Pleat

The markings on the front dress piece are for the little pleat. Fold the fabric in half and sew down the length of the marking.  Then fold the pleat down to flatten it out and sew, on the front, a small rectangle surrounding the seam of the pleat.

I didn’t take a picture of this step but now you’ll sew the shoulder pieces, right sides together.

PinningCollar

I like to pin the collar and facing separately. Since the collar will show from the outside I like to have more control of it’s placement but you can pin the facing and collar all at the same time. I’m working with the old collar pattern piece so just ignore that it doesn’t fit properly.

CollarOverlap

The front collar pieces will need to overlap just a little. since the top 3/8s will fold down you won’t see the overlap in the final product but if it weren’t there your collar pieces would be too far apart. It doesn’t matter which side is on top.

PinningFacing

Pin the facing on top of the collar. I find it easiest to work with if it’s draped over something like a chair or my arm, mimicking how it will be worn on shoulders.

SewingFacing

Sew everything down using a stretch stitch. It should be listed in your manual but it’s also the stitch that looks like a little lightening bolt. I like to increase my stitch height by .5 but since your default settings may be different it would be best to try it out on a scrap piece of fabric first. If you’re using an older machine that doesn’t have this stitch you can also use a wide, close together zig-zag stitch.

TopStitchFacing

Once the facing is sewn you’ll need to clip it, turn it under, and press again. Then come back and top stitch under the collar.

TopStitchStartStop

When you’re top stitching you don’t want to go all the way around since you want the stitching to be hidden by the collar. You’ll have to sew two separate lines starting and stopping before you get to the ends of the collar pieces. I’ve also been known to add a few pieces of hem tape on the inside, underneath the facing just to be extra sure it won’t flip up. When that’s all done, sew up the sides of the dress.

AttachingBinding

If your fabric has a right and wrong side you’re going to sew the binding pieces together, right sides touching. If it doesn’t then it doesn’t matter which sides are touching! With both the dress and the binding inside out you’re going to slip the arm hole into the binding. You’ll have to stretch the binding a little to get it to fit. I like to align the binding seam with the bottom of the opening, where the side seam begins. Once thats sewn you’ll turn the whole dress inside out, fold the top of the binding down to meet the raw edges, and then fold the whole thing in half again; pulling it down to encase the raw edges and far enough down that it hides your first seam.

You should know that I hate arm binding. I find it really difficult to work with since it’s such a small area and the pins get in the way and it’s just a general pain in the butt. So good luck!

All that’s left is to hem the whole thing up, unless you were smart and used an old t shirt for the bottom of the dress just to get out of hemming. There is nothing better than getting to the end of a project and knowing it’s already hemmed!

And one more time for the pattern link!

Here Comes the Sundress

The Kids Clothes Week finale! I spent most of the weekend making little tweaks to this pattern and printing it out a bunch of times and I think I’ve gotten it to where I like it. And you can download a copy here!

ADressFront

Now, I’m not a professional and I’ve never actually made a multi-page pattern before so keep that in mind. If there are any mistakes I would love to here about them and will be glad to answer any questions. I tried to make it so it would use the least amount of paper when you print so some of the pages are landscape and some are portrait.

20140203-093657.jpg

I’ll have better pictures tomorrow but here is a cell shot of what the layout will look like once you’ve cut everything out.

I tried to get pictures of the dress outside but the only day it was warm enough was also ridiculously windy. There was one picture though that I knew I wanted to use.

Beatles Abbey Road

If you click on the picture it will take you to the original image.

I can’t help but love all things cheesy! This was also how the name of the dress came about. When I was photoshopping the picture I kept getting Here Comes the Sun stuck in my head since it’s from the same album as the picture. And the dress feels a little 70s vintage to me so I think it fits.

Like I mentioned before this is made for knits and a 3/8″ seam allowance is included. I’ll have the full tutorial tomorrow to show how to put it together and maybe some tips on working with knits.

CollarOnDress

I brake for peter pan collars. I would buy that bumper sticker.

ADressBack

Updated:Click here for the tutorial!

Hat Tutorial

Here are the instructions/a small tutorial for the hat pattern I posted about here. The link to download it again if you need to is here.

DSC_0379b

Blurry picture, but this is what all the pieces should look like when they’re cut out.

DSC_0245b

We’re going to start with the ears.

ears

Face the main and lining fabrics right sides together and sew with a 3/8″ seam.

ear2

Fold the ear together along the cut out V.

DSC_0301b

Pin them to each side of the hat roughly 2″ from, and facing, the brim.

half pinned

Pin the rectangle to one side of the hat with the right sides together. And then to the other side of the hat.

full pinned

Do the same thing, separately, with your lining pieces.

DSC_0336b

Once everything is sewn up, insert the main hat into the lining with the right sides together. This is also when you’ll insert the ties. I used ric-rac but any ribbon or string will do.

ties

The bulk of the ties will be inside the hat with just an inch or so sticking out to get held in by the seam.

DSC_0346b

Sew around the perimeter leaving a hole to turn it right side out. You can then hand stitch the opening or just top stitch over the whole thing the machine. Top stitching would also help to hold the lining in better but I haven’t done it in these pictures.

DSC_0387b

DSC_0377b

That’s it!

Linked to:

Sew Much Ado

Friday Favs Party

Hat Pattern

The hat pattern I promised! For free! You can download a copy for yourself here (for personal use only please).

bear hat pattern

I don’t really know what I’m doing disclaimers: the ear pattern piece hasn’t been tested. I didn’t actually make a pattern for that part the first time around so this is just an approximation of what I did. Also, the 12-18 month size is probably pretty generous and I would imagine it will still fit at 2 years old. I was hoping to make another hat and take pictures along the way to show you the construction but our weekend was a lot busier than expected. I’m still planning to do it I just don’t know when…

The rectangle inside the hat pattern is obviously not to scale, you’ll have to measure it out on your fabric but those are the dimensions you’ll need. With your pieces cut out you’ll have one hat side on the left, the rectangular piece, and another hat side on the right. Kind of like this:

construction

You’ll make that with both the main and lining fabrics then sew them together, inside out, leaving a hole to turn it through at the end. The ears are inserted in those side seams of the main hat pieces although you could also leave them out entirely.

I would love to hear from you if you end up making this and would be happy to answer any questions that might come up from my less than stellar instructions!