Button Up Instructions


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Simple Sewing


Summer finally seems to be here for good! It’s the perfect time for lemonade but storing it in pitchers means no lids, so I made covers! They look like little shower caps lol.




The shape for both was traced from a salad plate. The edges for the first are just folded down twice to make a casing for the elastic.



And the other is made with some of the bias tape I made here. It was a bit harder to close after threading the elastic (as you can probably see from my mess of thread) but I like the contrasting colors.

Fine and Dandelion Dress Pattern


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


Finish the raw edges.


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!


And once more for the pattern link!

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Playing with Fire

That’s an odd post title. So, I’m still working on the Mathilde Blouse I linked to yesterday. And if you browse around on that website you might come across a warning that beginners should avoid slippery fabrics. I don’t really consider myself a beginner but I also wouldn’t say I’m advanced either. I don’t know, I’m not the best judge of my skill level. But obviously I didn’t head that warning because I had already fallen in love with my ridiculously slippery fabric.

I’ve finished everything but the sleeves and picking out buttons but this post is really about how much this fabric frays.


To start it’s a real pain to cut because it’s so slippery it slides around under the pattern making it difficult to keep everything straight. But then after I got everything cut out I was worried that my seam allowances would get all messed up as the fabric basically fell apart.

Now, I feel like I have to add a disclaimer here because this is when I broke out the fire. This will only work on synthetic fabrics! If you have real silk please DO NOT set it on fire. Because it will just burn. You could mail it to me though…

Because my fabric is synthetic I could seal the edges with a quick touch to a flame. The synthetic fabric melts instead burning. Although if you were to leave the flame touching too long I have no doubt it would also catch fire, I’m talking about just a quick second. And because I like to live dangerously I took pictures (I don’t recommend holding the fabric and lighter and camera) to make a gif to illustrate!

If you’re not sure about your fabric type, test a scrap piece first. Over the sink. Or with a glass of water near by.

French Seam Pillowcase Tutorial-ish

We recently bought this duvet cover on a trip to Ikea. It came with the two pillowcases you see but they slide down the top of the pillow rather than across the side, which makes them hard to sleep on. When we get more pillows for the bed I’ll use them decoratively but in the mean time I’ve been searching for pillowcases we can actually sleep with.


I decided to make my own after not having any luck in retail stores and found this red fabric in Joann’s.


This is two yards, for two pillowcases, folded in half matching up the selvedge edges.


Square up the cut edges and cut the whole thing in half down the middle.



To make a french seam you start with the fabric sides wrong side together.


Sew both sides together and trim the seam allowance. Then turn the whole thing inside out and sew the seam together with the right sides facing. This encases the seam allowance and hides all the raw edges.


French seams are my favorite type of seam. Because it’s normal to have seam preferences.


Then just hem up the openings and you’re done! I only did a small hem but I think pillowcases look better with a wider hem. However, I also like when pillowcases are extra long so thats what I went for.


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.


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


We’re going to start with the ears.


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


Fold the ear together along the cut out V.


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.


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.


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.


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.



That’s it!

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Bollero Tutorial

This might be less of a tutorial on how I made the actual jacket and more a tutorial on how to adapt a basic bodice pattern.

Since this is a jacket I used a pattern one size up from the dress I had already made. I already had the same pattern out for the dress but this adaptation could be made to any plain bodice pattern.

modified bodices

I eyeballed the curve for the front opening (you can see my first attempts lol) and changed the back pattern to be cut on the fold. Since the jacket is lined you’ll need to cut these out twice, once from the main fabric and then the lining.

sleeve pattern

This is basically how I made my sleeve pattern. Except I made mine on left over birthday wrapping paper so I didn’t take a picture.

lining pieces

sew shoulders

After all your pieces are cut out sew the shoulders right sides together on both the main set of fabrics and the lining fabrics.

pin sleeve

Pin the sleeves in and sew the curve but not down the arm.

sew sides

When both sleeves are in you can fold it down and sew along the sides.

pin bodice and lining

With the right sides touching you’re going to put the main fabric into the lining fabric and sew along the inside openings. Everywhere except the arms since that is where you’ll be turning it right side out. If you want to be able to tie the jacket shut this is when you’ll insert the ribbon between the main and lining fabrics.


With the jacket right side out we have to finish the arm sleeves. You’re going to pull the lining fabric past the main fabric and fold it down. Then do the same with the main fabric but fold it towards the lining.

finished sleeve

Top stitch the opening to hold the folds in place. You’ll probably want to use the smallest seam allowance you can manage, just to make things difficult on yourself. Sewing little tiny baby sleeves isn’t really hard enough on its own.


I also top stitched along the rest of the jacket to help hold the lining down and keep it from bunching up but this is optional.

Welt Pocket Tutorial

This is the same vest pattern that I made before but I wanted to do a tutorial on how I added the pockets. This will be a single welt made out of a single piece of fabric. Unfortunately, I did this at night and so the pictures aren’t the best but hopefully they will make sense. These pockets were very intimidating to me but after the first few times they’re really pretty easy.

Starting on the right side of the fabric trace out the shape of the pocket you want. I made my pockets three inches long and half an inch tall.

welt outline

You can barely see my blue outline but it’s there!

Red thread

View from the right and wrong side of the fabric.

With a piece of thread you’re going to sew from corner to corner, along the short side of your rectangle, without tying the thread off. This is just to transfer the markings you made to the back of the fabric where we will be sewing next.

Math time. The actual pocket bag and welt flap are all one piece of fabric for this tutorial. It is essentially a four by nine rectangle. If you’re making pockets the same size as mine feel free to stop here and just cut that out, we’ll get to what to do with it in a minute. But to get that number I added half an inch on either side of the pocket lengthwise (so 3″+.5″+.5″ =4″), then one inch to the top, one inch for the welt, and the remaining seven inches are arbitrary. To me anyways, I’m sure there is a more professional way to do this but that’s not my style! Basically, the rectangle is eventually folded in half to create the pocket, those top two inches are necessary to form the welt but the bottom inches of the rectangle are just how long you want the pocket to be.

pocket placement

Now that you have the rectangle, you’re going to position it on the right side of the fabric. I line up the top edge 1 inch from the top of the pocket outline and then center it so that the extra on the sides are evenly dispersed. Pin this on whichever side of the fabric makes sense to you, I did the right side but we’ll be sewing on the wrong side.


I’m using fleece so It’s hard to tell but you want the right sides of both the pocket and bodice to be touching. So if you were making the welt out of a patterned fabric the pattern would be facing down in this step.


Finally time to sew something! On the wrong side of the fabric you are going to sew two straight and parallel lines connecting the thread that you put in earlier. I went ahead and drew a line to follow but its not necessary if you’re a pretty straight sewer. Those extra threads you put in earlier are no longer necessary so go ahead and pull them out.

Crappy picture of what the front will look like.

Crappy picture of what the front will look like.

Ok, now we have to cut the fabric. I put this off for a while and puttered around the kitchen, made a cup of coffee and generally procrastinated. But I promise its not that scary. It’s going to look kind of like this: >—< (fancy graphics!)

cut fabric

Cut one slit in the middle of the fabric, stopping about 1/4 of an inch from the ends. Angling towards your sewn lines cut two small slits coming off the main cut you just made as close as you can get to the seam without cutting through it. Now push your rectangle of fabric through the hole you just made to the wrong side of the fabric and if you’re feeling particularly efficient go ahead and press it flat. I didn’t.

turn through

I think these next steps are a little hard to explain with text so I tried to take a lot of pictures to show what I mean but I’d be happy to explain further if necessary. On the back side of the fabric you’re going to take the rectangle and fold it up then down to form the welt.

welt shape

This is the final shape of the welt from the wrong side. You’re going for a sort of ‘S’ shaped fold.

Pin it from the front and then sew a line all along the perimeter of the opening from the right side of the fabric. What you just sewed should now be keeping the shape of the welt when you remove the pins so you’re almost done!


outline sewn

I’ve sewn an extra line of zigzags here on either side of the pocket edges just to reinforce the seam since that is where the most stress will be on the fabric.

Now all thats left is to fold the bottom half of your rectangle up to meet the top edge and sew it shut!

Sew along where the white lines are to connect the pocket. I forgot to take a picture of it.

Sew along where the white lines are to connect the pocket. I forgot to take a picture of it.

finished pockets

Voilà, welt pockets!