Thursday, May 18, 2017

Stashbusting for Summer

Lets see if this works. In a rush I uploaded some quick pics to try and come back and edits posts while away from my desktop. 

Not sure if you have heard but I have a TON of fabric in the closet. I fear it is way more than I will ever sew up. I am TRYING to not purchase a lot of fabric and stitch up what is in there. Sadly, shorts don't use up very much per pair, especially 60" wide fabric. Anyhoo, here goes a few projects to come.

Scalloped shorts are all the rage. Plus too cute for words. I bought this fabric a couple of years ago, I don't  remember where. No surprise there. I love the red with aqua combo though.  The bow on the front is simply a tube of fabric tied in a bow and tacked on. I'll be interested to see how it launders. The shorts are 100% cotton and the bow is poly/cotton.

The scallops were pretty easy to achieve. There are lots of tutorials online. I used this one:

I even put a pocket on the back. The pattern for the shorts are Children's Corner Parker's Pants. I may have to replace my pattern I have used it so much. Its looking pretty ragged. For my littles it fits great in the crotch length and they aren't too full in the leg. I am not a fan of the crotch down to their knees look. 

The T Shirt is from ARB Blanks embroidered with a floral design from Applique Corner.

Princess is growing up too fast!! She is almost seven and looking every day of it. She is pretty easy to sew for because she rarely says she doesnt like something. Except oatmeal. 😂 Will not eat it.

I have always been able to sew the size that matches her age. These shorts are a size 7. Since I have that ton of fabric I want to make some more of these for summer. She gets a lot of wear from warm weather clothes. 

I hope you are sewing something fun, faithful reader. I have a lotmore to show you in the days to come. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A Few Quick Projects with Terrible Pictures

I just needed to do something quick and cute. These were the results. Excuse the not so good pictures.

I still have a few Sew Beautiful knit rompers left in the stash. Momma loves rompers/bubbles/knit. Easy care, easy dressing and cute. To that end I dug up two that would fit the two littlest girls right now.

Unfortunately I didn't have two the same color in appropriate sizes. To tie them together in the "dressing sisters alike" my plan was to match the embroidery.

I used a machine embroidery from Mommy's Apron Strings on Etsy. Isn't he cute?  The font used is from Jolson's. I think they turned out cute and are headed to the post office today.

Mimi couldn't forget brother. He is almost four, so my time for him is running out. Like his cousin counterpart, I'm limited to t-shirts and shorts. That is ok. I bought this fabric from Children's Corner a couple of years ago. Aged long enough. The t-shirt is the last one in his size in the closet. Oops, might need to order more. Momma is not usually a fan of white t-shirts but I am hoping he is leaving behind the era of wearing his entire meal on his shirt.

I know there are many who are gasping. The embroidery design is a "faux smocking" machine embroidery from Appliqué Corner.  I have been known to make loud noises of how I would "never" stitch one of those. Desperate times calls for desperate measures. Make your words sweet for when you have to eat them. I tried to flip the design so it matched the shorts. Brain freeze. I know how and did it, then I flipped it again because I thought the headlights were taillights. DUH!

Shorts are Parkers Pants of course. I lined them with broadcloth. It makes them more wrinkle proof plus they have more body.

I hope there is something quick and cute in your day faithful reader. Now off to make something for the other address. :)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Passing It On

Don't those little dimpled hands just make your heart sing? Three of the littles were here at the end of February. One day it was just the older two and Mimi at home. So what to do but sew? In digging through my stash, I only had two novelty fabrics large enough to offer to the project, pillowcases.

Nugget was first. but there was no one here to take his picture while he sewed. He was single minded, only wanted the end result. Had no interest in the process at all. "Are we finished yet" was his constant mantra. LG on the other hand was fascinated by the entire thing. And picked up what I expected of her quickly.

She didn't want to keep her hands where I wanted them though, she wanted to investigate how the machine worked. Hence Mimi has a death grip on her hands.  She was enthralled watching that needle making the stitches. Does this Mimi's heart good. Perhaps this summer, during Camp Mimi 2017 the girls can have squeeze in some more machine time.

Here they are with their finished pillowcases. Too cute! They proudly have them displayed on their beds at home.

Our littlest seamstress can not be deterred. When she wants something, she will have it. She uses these chairs to get into all kinds of predicaments both here and at home. Momma has threatened to make them into firewood. More than once. Here she is doing the dishes even though her Momma said otherwise.

I hope you have a little one in your life with which to share your passion. Don't be afraid to try, they may surprise you.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Bunnies in a Garden of Liberty

Remember when I teased another photo of Liberty© yumminess here? Well I finished that project and can now share it with you.

My local SAGA chapter hosted Gail Doane for a workshop a few weeks ago. As is our custom, our chapter provided table favors and door prizes to the attendees. Three of us worked on the table favors and these were my offering to the effort. They are even cuter in person.

They are a simple pincushion that feature sweet spring bunnies surrounded by a garden of luscious Liberty Tana Lawn© for the tops. I found a redwork bunny machine embroidery design for the centers. I altered the design a bit to make it smaller. No one needs a dinner plate sized pincushion. They are embroidered on a denimy-twill like fabric. (How is that for official sounding? Denimy, a new word.) After all the bunnies were embroidered I cut them apart and then added the strips of Liberty© around them randomly. I had no pattern, just winged it.

No two are alike. I deliberately did not plan which fabrics to add to each bunny. I liked the randomness of it. There are a couple of lawns that snuck in there that may not be a Liberty© prints but are wonderful none the less. How many prints can you name? Why DO we feel the need to know the name of the Liberty© prints? Since the strips were only an inch wide, not a lot of Liberty© was sacrificed for the project. The tops are sewn onto a layer of batting to do the "paper piecing" sewing to create the tops. Plus it gives the top a bit more oomph.

Each pincushion is finished with a homespun type fabric I got from a quilt shop. It actually was in my stash which is why I don't know exactly what it is. I know where and when I bought it, just don't remember its name. I did round the corners for ease of construction. There was a fleeting moment of insanity that I BRIEFLY considered piping these. After a stern talking to myself, I gave up on that idea. What was I thinking anyway?

When they were complete, they were quite the sight to behold. Lurve!

They were fun to work on. I hope you enjoyed our Bunnies in a Garden of Liberty.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Lining a Smocked Apron Dress

I posted Baby's Easter dress a few days ago here. I wanted to make life a tad easier for Momma when it came time to iron and get clothes ready for three little ones, three and under, when getting ready for church or to visit that Big Bunny for pictures. I decided to make the apron dress with a lining that could serve as a slip as well.

As you can see from the pattern front Children's Corner Aprons comes with four views. (One is not included in this pattern front photo.) I chose the center one which has a small square of smocking at the center front neckline.

When I made the sample for the magazine submission that LG wore, I underlined it with silk organza.  I wanted more of a slip this time. I chose Imperial batiste.  There are some alterations that have to happen to the dress back pattern in order to create the "slip" lining. I will try and illustrate, forgive the horrid pics, it was nighttime.

This is the back pattern piece. Ignore the green tape for now. It is for all views.

Notice on the pattern piece the markings:
  • Place on Selvage
  • Foldline
  • Center Back
  • Lap
  • Facing
We are going to ignore the "Place on Selvage". Traditionally many Children's Corner patterns will have you place your pattern piece on the selvage to avoid having to finish that back edge during construction. Cut out your garment back according pattern piece with a 1/4" added seam allowance, NOT on the selvage. Now we are going to cut out an altered back from lining fabric.

This is with the pattern piece folded back on that "Foldline" marking. Can you see how the folded under pattern section is shadowing through? The EDGE of the pattern piece is now at the green tape marking. That is where your facing would normally end and still will be after we add the lining/slip. That is where the green tape is placed. You don't have to use the highlighter tape, you can draw a line with a pencil. 

Fold pattern piece under again where the green tape/line was placed. YOU NEED TO ADD A SEAM ALLOWANCE HERE. I added 1/4" for a seam allowance. The line/tape edge is the seam line edge of your new pattern piece. This is the piece you will use to cut out your back lining/slip pieces. Cut out this pattern piece making sure to add a 1/4" seam allowance from your lining fabric.

You should have two backs that look like this. (Since I did not take photos of these steps during construction of the dress I have used a doll sized bodice back for illustrations purposes only.) Note that the bodice back from the aqua fabric is considerably wider than the lining piece.

Stitch the straight edge of the back to the straight edge of the lining, right sides together. Press seam towards lining. Fold back on the fold line indicated on the pattern. Voila! Your bodice/dress back has a facing of garment fabric with the lining attached. Since this application makes your button band only two layers, make sure to interface your button band for added stability for creating buttonholes.

Continue construction of the dress. For the Carol, I used the dress front pattern piece for the non pleated dress front for my lining. Another reason my lining needs to hang free because the lining is not the same width as the smocked front. Stitch side seams of lining right sides together, and dress right sides to gather. Stitch shoulder seams of dress and lining. Attach collar sandwiching it between the the lining and dress front. Insert sleeves. Time to address the hem.

Due to abject laziness I am going to illustrate how to finish your slip/lining at the hem so that your lining hangs free, using the doll sized bodice pieces I just used. **When constructing your dress, when you are stitching the lining to the facing, end stitching at the point that equals twice the hem depth plus 1/2". I had to reverse stitch a tad to illustrate. Trim your lining to same depth as the FINISHED HEM LENGTH of your dress.** Fold your slip lining under 1/4" twice, machine stitch your lining hem in place.

This shows both hem depths folded up. On a child sized garment, your lining will be 1/2" shorter than your garment hem. This photo is taken before I stitched the lining hem in place.

After your hems are both stitched in place, (no these aren't stitched, it's a tutorial! I'm just showing the steps) clip the seam allowance of the garment fabric at the top edge of your finished hem. It is indicated as a black line on the seam allowance.

Fold under the seam allowance on the hem portion below the clip and slip stitch in place. This will give you a clean finish below the slip/lining. You may also do the same to the seam allowance on the slip lining, I did not do that here.

Since your seams are exposed between the layers of the lining and the outer dress you have to address the side seams. You can finish the seams in the manner you choose. I chose to pink the seams allowance.

This is the inside of the dress after it is complete.

I hope this helps you approach your dress lining with a new eye.

Friday, April 7, 2017

A Bunny for Baby


Coming in under the wire as usual. Our Christmas time baby is having her First Easter.

Big sister, LG, is wearing her Lolli-Hop Lane from the Spring 2017 of Classic Sewing Magazine for Easter. Since this photo was taken last summer when LG was just twenty months old, the hem needed to be let down and baby sister needed a matching dress.

Children's Corner Aprons
Again, I used Children's Corner Carol which is included with their Aprons pattern. Lucky for me it comes in sizes 6mos - 4. Our sweet girl is a peanut, I fear the size 6 mos might still be a tad too roomy. We will see.

Since baby is only four months she can't have a lollipop stick. :) For safety sake, I made the stick into an old fashioned Saf-t-pop handle. Remember those? (Ironically enough, the dentist used to hand them out when I was a kid.) I also pleated/smocked fewer rows to have the smocked area more proportional for the smallest size. The handle is a 70-75 wrap bullion loop that I couched down in about 3 places along the bottom curve and made a straight stitch just under the bow tie over the ends of the loop.

A sweet Easter treat for a sweet baby girl. Again the fabrics as well as a complete kit are available from Farmhouse Fabrics.

I think the aqua/pink color combo will be beautiful on our fair, sweet baby. She is my best chance at a redhead. Praying it sticks.

I did not use the gingham covered buttons on the back. Sweet girl is still a lay-about baby and I didn't think the covered shank buttons would be very comfy. These cute pink and white buttons look great and match the color of the piping.

I hope your Easter sewing is finished and you will be relaxing this week, dreaming of chocolate bunnies.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Its April, Must be Time

Must be time for a little baseball. Instead of Opening "Day" its been Opening Night for primetime tv reasons I am sure. I even bypassed my usual Sunday night viewing of PBS. :)

This guy is the man of the hour today all over the news. They do love their baseball here. Its always a good time to be in the Gateway City when these boys are back to what they do best.

Back to your regularly schedule evening. Be glad, I could have posted about...

this! Let's be honest though, I'll take a giraffe over politics any day.

Back to slogging through this sewing room. You can't even see the floor in here today.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Altering a Sleeveless bodice for a Sleeve

As promised here is the follow on tutorial on changing a sleeveless bodice to receive a set in sleeve.

Children's Corner Louise fits Princess quite well and is open to many adaptations. This one is a fairly easy alteration, even if pattern drafting scares you. I used the bodice of Children's Corner Virginia to alter my sleeveless bodice. I used Children's Corner Ruthie for the sleeve. For my mind, it seems counterintuitive to add to the bodice to add a sleeve but that is what you do. A sleeveless bodice is cut in on the armholes and can sometimes dip down at the neckline.

You can see the extra width of the CC Virginia pattern piece underneath the CC Louise pattern piece. (To answer the obvious question, yes on the Lolli-Hop Lane dress I did use a Children's Corner Ruthie sleeve, the reason I did not use the bodice of Ruthie for the inset sleeve alteration is because the Ruthie has a high yoke and it would have meant an extra step of taping, tracing the skirt to the bodice to get a complete armhole. Remember all Children's Corner patterns are interchangeable in their parts. So a Ruthie sleeve would fit a Virginia armhole.) So onto the instructions of how to do this.

  • Lay your sleeveless bodice pattern piece over your "sleeved" bodice piece. Matching center fronts. 
  • Decide at this point if you want a to leave the neckline dropped, I chose to leave it.
  • Trace a new pattern piece 

It is a tad difficult to see through the three layers, my stack has the Virginia bodice on the bottom, the Louise bodice in the middle of the stack, ending with the tracing paper on top of all. Transfers markings.

Note on your new pattern piece all pertinent information. Virginia armhole, Louise bodice with smocked insert, size and cutting directions.

Repeat the same process for the back bodices. It really is that simple.

Voila! My sleeveless dress has been altered to include a sleeve. Proceed with your normal construction.  I hope this helps those that had questions about how I altered the dress pattern for the article Lolli-Hop Lane in Classic Sewing Spring 2017
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