Apparel: June 2012 Archives
I started by cutting out a size 3 short from the Freshcut which turned out to be a bit big for my 3 yr old but I don't mind because that just means she can rock these shorts next year too. Then I cut two 4 in. wide strips about twice the length of the shorts for my side ruffles. With RS together press the ruffle in half lengthwise and then stitch down the open side using a ¼ in. seam. Turn ruffle RS out and press flat centering the seam. Run the ruffle strip through your ruffler foot stitching down the middle, along the seam. I set my ruffle to pleat at 12 sts, but if you want more ruffles set it at 6. If you don't have a ruffler foot (see my post on the ruffler foot here) then you can run a basting stitch down the center and pull the bobbin thread to gather as much or a little as you like. Fold each short piece in half and press a center seam. Pin ruffle- seam side down- to the short along the center seam you just pressed. Stitch in place along the center, going over your ruffler or basting stitch. Trim ruffle. Follow remaining short instructions to complete your short.
If you opt for shorts in a solid color, you can add some kick with a butterfly or owl appliqué and ruffle in the same material. You can also add the ruffle just to the bottom or right below the elastic casing for some waist drama. It is also fun to play with the length of these shorts. I love having some longer shorts for my daughter; it really fills out her wardrobe. These shorts are quick and fun and a perfect complement to any little boy's or girl's closet.
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1) Shrek Hat: My daughter is IN LOVE with Shrek so much that I knit her a hat for her 3rd birthday and she has rarely taken it off since. She has nicknamed her soon to be sibling, Shrek. So the new baby must have a Shrek hat to come home in at the very least so my oldest will know her at once to be a kindred spirit and welcome her right away (I hope!). This hat is knit with a combination of wool and cotton to make it a 3 season hat but it can easily be knit in just cotton for a spring/summer baby or merino or cashmere for a fall winter baby. Just make sure you get just the right shade of Ogre green!
2) Baby slippers: of the 2 must haves for baby on my list slippers make the cut. Hats and slippers were something I used for my #1 everyday no matter what else she wore. Socks slip off so easily but slippers were worth their weight in gold. I love the styling of Chaussons Mignons slippers and also how simply they slip on. I don't want to have to deal with fangles (buttons, ties, or buckles) on newborn so I am glad to have found a slipper pattern that is both cute for boys and girls and slips right on. I am going to work these up in a merino blend for softness but make sure they are washable because you never know where that spit up will land.
3) Toys: it is never too early to play with your babe even if it is just you acting silly with a knit toy. I love all patterns by Rebecca Danger (see Albert and my Murphy Dog) and Basil the Dino are perfect for boys and girls and will last into the preschool age while snazzing up the nursery. You can easily adjust the size by using a larger or smaller gauge of yarn and needle. Plus should your little lock onto this animal as their favorite, can't go anywhere without it, "oh no we left it at the restaurant which is now closed what are going to do now" you can knit another just like it. No need to scour store shelves to find its twin. Just make sure you choose a washable yarn of this on since it is sure to go places you wish it hadn't.
4) Hats: I love a good hat for babies when they are first born till about 3-4 months (when they can hold up their head and start to lose the monk hair). It not only keeps the babes warm but also adds some style to what can be a boring onesie streak. The Poppy hat could work for boys or girls depending on the yarn color and texture. For boys, I would go for a dark yarn or a denim textured yarn and something chunky. For girls, I would go for a finer gauge and I love the variegated look of the cover picture or a tweedy yarn. If this hat is destined for a newborn or less than 2-3 yr old, omit the button and add some style with a duplicate stitch instead. This hat is so amazing it could work well alone.
5) Pants or diaper covers: whether you are cloth diapering or not, you will want to show off those little legs in something super cute and more than a little fun. Das Monster leggings are both. With fun stripes that can be sized to your liking or omitted for a solid look; these leggings are sure to bring a smile to everyone's face. They fit right over an onesie or under a t-shirt or dress for easy dressing. The fun monster face on the bum will be as much fun to knit as it will to see in action for tummy time, first crawling or walking. Plus you know the old sibling will just giggle uncontrollably when they see their new baby with a smile on its bottom. Be sure to knit these leggings in a washable cotton blend for durability and to prevent pilling.
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I love using a lightweight chiffon or knit chiffon, which work great for the dupioni top in this example, but if I'm working with a more casual top, a drapey knit also works fabulously.
This one involves some math, but don't panic. I'll walk you through it (and it's pretty easy)!
First, measure around the upper part of your arm between the two points you wish you to attach your flutter sleeve. The positioning is entirely up to you. Don't sweat it if it's an estimate -- you can alter your flutter sleeve late in the game if you need to. (I had to on this one!)
My first measurement was 10 inches. I'm cutting the flutter as a half-circle, so I have to figure out how long the radius of my half circle is. If a circle's circumference (C) is calculated as 2 x Pi x radius (r), it stands to reason that half a circumference is Pi x radius. So, since we know that the half circumference measurement is 10 inches, we just need to divide that by Pi (3.14) to solve for the length of the radius.
Short version: Divide your measurement by 3.14 to get the radius. For mine, this result is roughly 3.2 inches. I show my work below (someone call my high school geometry teacher!):
Once you know the length of your radius, you have to mark out your semi-circle on paper to start your pattern. Mark an edge of your paper with a point -- this will be the center of your half circle. Measure from that point, and mark the length of the radius, working around your semi-circle with a series of dots.
Once you've made your series of dots, draw an arc to connect your dots.
To check your work, measure the semi-circle you just drew and see if it matches the first measurement you took.
Next, decide how long you want your sleeve to be. I decided on somewhere around 4.5 inches. Add this number to your radius number to get the length of the second radius you'll be using to draft your pattern. Using the exact same center point you used for your first semi-circle, draw in your second, larger semi-circle.
Use the paper pattern you just created to cut out your two sleeve pieces.
Next, test the dimensions of your sleeve with your garment. I had to cut mine down a little bit -- 10 inches was longer than I really wanted.
Once you have the sizing finalized, it's time to edge finish your sleeves. For the smaller arc which will become the top of the sleeve, I like to stitch a narrow piece of ribbon to the sleeve, and then turn it under and stitch again. This keeps the sleeve from distorting and stretching during wear.
Once my edge is in place, I edge finish the rest of the piece. If you have an overcast or rolled hem foot for your machine, now is the time to use it!
Once the sleeve is finished on all edges, you simply tack it to your garment at the top corners both front and back with a little hand stitching, and you're ready to go!
You can move your placement of your flutter sleeve up or down to suit your taste. You can cut it longer than needed and gather it for a fuller fall. You can also cut it as a full circle instead of a semi circle for even more flutter. This is also a good trick to add a little princess flair to a little girl's wardrobe.
Once you start playing with simple garment altering, you may find yourself inventing all kinds of ways to add new style to existing pieces. Be sure to share those with us on Facebook!
If you have one great t-shirt pattern than what more could you ask for. Well, maybe not a whole closet of the same shirt in different colors. Perhaps you would like the same fit but with a different sleeve, neckline or any other added detail to keep you on trend. So you scour the net or pattern books for just the right look and hope that that pattern fits just the way you like. Umm, nope, let's not do that and make out own instead. If you have a great fitting tee than you have the basics to get started. Making modifications is easy and you only need a few tools to get it done.
Tools you will need:
Big paper- This is to draw your new pattern on and make notes as you go. I use a huge roll of newspaper print that you can ask your local paper for the end rolls. My mom uses rolls of painters' paper or you can use a roll of freezer paper.
French Curve- This is a set of weirdly shaped measuring devices that can help you make graceful and appropriate curves that are great for necklines, hems and hip lines among others. If you don't have a set then you can easily use household finds like plates, knives (the edges often feature soft curves just be careful) oval or round frames or you can print an image from the web and adjust the size.
Clear quilting ruler- this will help you extend sleeve lines, hem line or width of your pattern.
To make a shirt like mine, I choose a well fitting front pattern piece from a crew neck tank (I used our free pattern download HotPatterns Flutterby Tank) that I had previously modified into a deep V-neck with attached capped sleeves. Since I was only modifying the top I decided to only add paper to the top part of the pattern to save paper and hassle. I traced the pattern line I wanted to keep and added my new lines. I made a more modest v-neck and added some slim kimono sleeves (attached, not set in). To make a nice v-neck, always make the v-neck narrower than you think. Remember that you are creating a pattern piece on the fold, so it will be twice as wide as it looks and you will probably be adding some neck trim so that will make it even wider. Too wide V-necks can slide off your shoulders and expose bra straps. A proper v-neck is also slightly curved toward the tip of the 'v' so using the French curve really helps obtain that gentle slope. I added 4 in. to my arm holes to get a nice, slightly fluttery kimono sleeve. Then I cut out my new pattern piece and matched and taped it over my existing pattern piece. Voila a new t-shirt pattern piece. I opted to use the same pattern piece for the front and back of the shirt to give an interesting back. It turned out really great. I also ended up adding 6 in. to the length, adding elastic to the sides to make it into a maternity shirt for now. After the babe is born I will cut off the extra length and remove the elastic.
If you want to try other changes, I recommend folding your paper in half when you are drawing your modifications so you can open it up to see how it will look or drawing on a muslin so you can see it with drape. Try changing the rotation of the v-neck to make a boat neck, just changing the back neckline of a crewneck for a dramatic and sexy scooped back or changing the length and width of your set in sleeves. Raglans can also be easily modified to make sweatshirts, halter and tank tops. All you need is paper and some imagination (or inspiration from the net).
Check out Holly's Flutterby here and special thanks to her because I borrowed her picture
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June's Blog of the Month is a whimsical sewing and crafting blog called Merrick's Art. The blog mistress is herself a commissioned oil painter as well as a fashionista. Merrick's blog is centered on apparel posts in which one article is made by her and paired with other fashionable items from her wardrobe (and she shares where you can find the same or similar items) or she "refashions" a store bought item to meet her wardrobe needs. While she does doff skinny jeans more than I can stomach (I am just not built for skinny jeans) she makes everything look good and I am jealous of her closet and flare for throwing together such put-together looks. If you are looking for a fashion-forward, yet classically chic fashion blog with much sewing to make your own looks than Merrick's Art should be at the top of your blog list.
Merrick shares many great tutorials on her blog that you don't want to miss out. My favorite is the Tank Maxi Dress. This style of dress is tops right now and with this tutorial you can make your own in just a few steps- perfect for the pool, drinks or just looking good as you go about your day. Merrick's also recently featured a great review of a slew of knits she purchased from Fabric.com and included some insight into knit purchasing and what features she looks for in knits and why. I found the curling that she documented and attributed to Lycra very interesting and hadn't really known or taken into account before but you can bet I will now. I will definitely bookmark this blog and refer to it often for fashion tips, outfits ideas and some fun sewing tutorials!
All pictures are copyright Merrick's Art Blog
While I will never stop prowling for gorgeous vintage clothes, I have turned to pattern companies' re-issued versions of vintage styles so I can make pieces to wear every day without a care. I love putting a modern twist on vintage style by using new prints and graphics. I like to aim for a combination of demure and whimsical.
I'll be making numerous dresses from vintage patterns in the coming months and sharing them here on the blog, but to start things off, I'm working with Vintage Vogue 8728.
The bodice on this pattern is what first drew me in. I like that it's simple, but the gathered front bodice makes it seem fancy and detailed. The curved seam under the bust is ultra-feminine, but the overall cut is conservative enough for work.
For my first go, I used a striped cotton in orange and black.
(In my world, every day is Halloween!)
The second version I made is a giraffe print. In my head, something about a vintage dress in a modern animal print makes me think of a campy version of safari wear, and I generally like a campy version of anything.
(Note: I skipped the belt in both of my versions; I like to keep things simple. I would never be able to keep a belt straight.)
Now that I've made this pattern twice, I think I will tweak it on my next one. I would love a fuller skirt, so I am thinking about a circle skirt instead of the pattern skirt. That way, I can wear it with a pettiskirt underneath for some extra flouncy fun.
There are some weird fabrics out in the market and there are some really neat and interesting fabrics as well; Chalk cloth is a delightful blending of the two. Who would have thought that there would be a cloth that would mimic a chalk board? One that would be easy to use, have endless applications and fun to play with. It is amazing and a great idea and I am so glad Fabric.com carries it! My idea was for chair slipcovers; they would be great for dinner parties or assigning kids seating as well as craft centers for rainy days. But then I decided that chalk cloth would be better for tote bags or lunch boxes where you could write the contents contained inside on the outside or a 'To-do' list on the tote bag for errands. Then, I decided on a kid's placemat with pockets for chalk and stencils to take to restaurants. Finally I decided that I would start with something simple and small to determine how best to sew the chalk cloth and how well it works and then decide which projects it would be best for. So I choose to do an appliqué.
Here are the basics I learned working with chalk cloth.
1) Chalk cloth is very similar to oilcloth and laminated cotton in that you do not want to pin it because the holes will be visible and can ruin the fabric. If you are using large pieces and are seaming then try using office clips to secure raw edges together. If you are working with small pieces to be applied like appliqués and handles, use a glue stick for a temporary hold. I DO NOT recommend tape (as seen in picture). It just doesn't hold well.
2) Use a heavier needle but if you are using a secondary fabric, let that determine the exact size. Choose between a size 14 or 16 needle since chalk cloth is a heavy weight fabric but if you are applying it to a light weight fabric like quilting cotton-first interface the cotton with a medium interfacing so it can stand up to the weight of the chalk cloth- and then use the size 14 needle. If you are combining the chalk cloth with a medium weight fabric, like linen, use a lighter weight interfacing to add to its stability and then practice with the 14 and the 16 to determine which needle works better since medium can vary widely. If pairing the chalk cloth with heavy weight fabric, like Home Décor, no interfacing is needed and use the size 16.
3) If you are adding the chalk cloth to a t-shirt or other knit fabric, add a stabilizer to the back of the knit fabric (it can be temporary or not). This will prevent the knit fabric from puckering under the heavier chalk cloth.
4) The chalk cloth does wipe off with a dry cloth but wet is better.
I found a butterfly shape by doing a Google search for butterfly coloring pages and printed it in 2 different sizes (the smaller by 20%). Then I cut both out and traced the shapes on the backside of the chalk cloth (the backside is a loose woven mesh of cotton fibers that are easy to trace on to with pen or markers, neither will show up on the other side). Then I cut out both shapes and decided where on each shirt (one momma shirt and one toddler shirt) I wanted the pattern using a water soluble marker, marked the placement. Then I applied a light coat of glue stick on the backside of each appliqué and placed them within the placement markings. Then using a size 14 or 16 needle I zig-zagged around the perimeter of each appliqué to secure using black thread.
It is best to write on the appliqué first if you will be wearing it (then carefully put it on so as not to smear) or have someone else write on it while you are wearing the applied piece, otherwise you will be writing on yourself upside-down and backwards. If the applied piece is for a kid, I suggest a small pocket to store chalk and a cloth. My little one spent half a day carrying a piece of chalk and wet wash cloth so she could scribble on herself and then wash it off. Her butterfly loves to be covered in flowers, different butterfly decorations or her age. My butterfly will display how many months along I am for maternity belly pictures and family gatherings (one less pregnancy question to answer).
For this project I recovered a Fabric.com box to keep all my snacks and juice boxes in my car. They were floating all over and sliding around; I could never find something when I needed it. My snack box features one side of chalkcloth (to announce the goodies stored inside), laminated cotton on the inside (so spills can be cleaned easily) and canvas on the remaining exterior. The bottom is a piece of Rainbow Felt to keep my box from sliding about in the trunk. To make your own, find a box that is a good size for you and your car, cut off the flaps and measure each side and the bottom. Cut fabric to these measurements and sew together first the exterior and then the interior sides. A great tip is to use a walking foot for your chalk cloth or laminated cotton but if you don't have one then when sewing the chalk cloth to the canvas, place the chalk cloth on top and the canvas on the bottom. This will prevent the creeping of cloth that can happen when one fabric is looser than the other. Once all your exterior and interior pieces are sewn together, place the interior inside the exterior with RS facing and stitch around the top. Turn RS out and finger press seams open and then topstitch around the top. Now sew the bottom onto the lining, RS facing. Turn everything rightside out and place it in your box. With a glue gun, secure the bottom of the exterior to the bottom of the box and then apply your felt overlapping by 1/2 in. to 1 in. of the exterior with the glue gun.
Enjoy your snack box, or use it as a toy box, hair bow box, sewing or knitting box or any other kind of storage where you might need some chalk cloth to help your identify the contents. I am planning more for my nursery and 3 yr old's room as toy boxes as well as bibs, towels, blankets and socks!
Check out more project on Pinterest.
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