Patterns: February 2011 Archives
Today I am reviewing some of my favorite patterns, perfect for the upcoming spring. These patterns are versatile and fun. They work with a multitude of fabrics from Quilting cotton, linen, voile and silk. There is also a bounty of these patterns in different finishes throughout blogland should you need inspiration. I, myself, cannot wait to try modifications to really fill out my spring wardrobe.
The first pattern is Favorite Things Prairie Girl Pattern. I made the top version and it was really easy as far as tops go. The fit is semi fitted with some ease through the bust and the hips. I nixed the modesty panel in favor of mixing my different color tank tops underneath. I also went with the capped sleeves instead of the fluttery sleeves. I love the ties and the v-neck, which really needs something underneath but is complimentary to any bust. One of my favorite things about this great neck line is that it begs for a necklace and I love a good necklace. Next time I am planning to cut the skirt a few sizes bigger and add in gathers. I also want to make the ties twice as long and in a contrasting color so I can wrap them around and add definition to the waist. I am also considered doing the flutter sleeve but layering 2, one in the main print and the second (cut 1 size bigger) in the same contrasting fabric as the ties.
Next is the Apron Overlay by Amy Butler, Barcelona Skirts. It was fun and really easy to make too. I love the weight of the two layers of cotton coupled with the gathers; it really adds structure. Next time, I will not sew up the bottom but sew both sides to the waist band, turn it out and topstitch the bottom. If my stitches are going to not be perfect, I would rather it be on the hem than the waist. When I make this overlay again I will not use so many prints but couple prints and solids together. I think so many prints, or rather the prints that I used, compete with each other. I would pick one solid and a print for each side and perhaps a smaller print with less business. I am also looking forward to trying different fabric with this, maybe a light-weight linen or silk coupled with a shorter length to wear with tunics & leggings. Another idea bouncing around is to leave the contrast stripe down the center but join the 2 panels so there is no split down the center. This will give more of an apron look but more of a skirt feel.
or you can get the inside scoop on my projects, see their progress and get extra tips and tricks by following me@tdangermiller
Designer Dog gear is all the rage now. Everyone wants to look good; the same goes for your dog. Even should your dog care less, you care- a lot. If you are like me, my dogs were my kids before I had a kid and they still hold a special place in the household, often with more benefits than the child. Some dog owners get a thrill from dressing their dogs but my dogs are too rough and tumble to go for that. I get my kicks from chic dog collars. The selection at my local pet store is sorely lacking (we are talking webbing in a wide selection of colors including red, blue and black). So once again, the chore has fallen into my hands to create something more appropriate for my hounds. Making dogs collars is easy, though figuring out how to install the adjuster is no fun. It is a frustrating mess unless you have a good tutorial: Behold!
I started by measuring my dogs necks and adding 6 inches (for adjusting and extra for hems and securing). My Border Collie's (Murphy) neck is 16 in + 6 in. = 22 in. My American Bulldog's (Maggie) neck is 22 in + 6 in. = 28 in. We will work from Murphy's measurements.
¼ yd of designer quilting cotton
1 Center Release Buckle 1 in.
1 Adjuster 1 in.
1 set of D rings 1 in.
Next, cut a 1 in. by 22 in. from heavy interfacing or canvas and a 3 in. by 23 in. from Modern Meadow Picnic Plaid. Maggie's collar is Modern Meadow Dogwood Bloom. To make the straps, cut a 1 in. by 23 in. piece of heavy interfacing or canvas and set aside. Fold and press the 3 in. wide piece of your designer fabric (as instructed above) in thirds (you will have 2 folds but 3 three sections each 1 in. wide). Lay your interfacing piece in the center of your designer fabric and fold one side of the designer fabric over the top of the interfacing. Stitch this in place using a 1/4 in. seam. Fold over the designer fabric on the other side while turning under 1/2 in. to make a finished edge. Stitch again with a 1/4 in. seam.
To assemble the strap into a collar, I took a series of pictures to best describe how to assemble all the collar parts. I used a double turn ½ in. hem to finish and secure each end of the collar.
The bonus of making your own collars out of interfacing and quilting cotton as opposed to webbing is there is no need to melt the end, you can use any fabric you desire and these collars are washable. They are simple to make and fast to assemble that you can make them for any season, holiday or as great gifts.
I designed this belt to combine my favorite prints with the big, chunky leather style belts that are all the rage right now. I have seen these belts used to cinch in a billowy tunic, add definition to an empire waist dress and spice up a bland cardigan. I love them but have often bulked at the boutique price tags these leather belts can carry. I decided to make one for myself and share it with our Fabric.com blog readers who, like me, are budget minded but still looking to stay on top of the styles. This Belt can be made to fit any style. If you are more conservative your can make it out of Faux Leather or Suede to stay on the neutral side but if you prefer a brighter belt, use a bold Home Dec print like Ty Pennington's Impressions to add even more color into your closet. You can even use this belt in this season's IN color, orange, to introduce a contrast to an outfit of neutrals if you are color shy but looking to branch out (New Year's resolution?).
You will need a ½ yd of Ty Penninington's Impressions Home Dec Fabric
½ yd of Fusible Heavy Weight Interfacing
Download the Belt It & Cinch It Pattern Instructions here and have fun!
I have had Weekend Sewing for quite a while but for some reason for another I have yet to make anything from it. That was the chief reason I chose to blog about it today. Having cracked it and made the Kimono Dress (twice) I am in love. I was in love with the pictures long ago but as with many books there is often a gap from loving the pictures and making the projects. Either they are not practical, terribly difficult to make or the directions are horrendous. None of these descriptors describes Weekend Sewing. It is a delightful book filled with projects that I can (NOW) no longer put off. Heather's directions and pictures make her projects easy. The Kimono Dress was 5 pieces plus the Obi Belt and was so easy and quick that once I realized how easy and fast I made a second dress. There are a few suggestions I would make like additional sizing for the wee baby kimono which is only offered in newborn to 3 mo sizing but other than that I really love this book. It is a definitely good way to spend a weekend in your sewing room and the projects are perfect to put you in a spring state of mind.
Now the reason I made 2 dresses is due to another disagreement I have with the book (there are very few but I fear I must air them so you can avoid my mistakes). The Kimono Dress discusses the use of fabric with A LOT of drape. I took this to heart and searched my stash to find the fabric with the most drape, a charmeuse satin that was lovely and silky. However, the problems were evident once I had completed the bodice. I had to rip is back to readjust the angle of the 2 wedge shaped pieces that form the cross-over in the front of the dress. There was a significant gapping. This was done twice. I also had a lot of trouble with the elastic thread (more on that below). When I joined the bodice, which still suffered from slight gapping, to the skirt and tried on my dress I wanted to cry. This dress just looked sloppy. The fabric was too drapey for this pattern. My dress looked nothing like the picture. Aside from the static clingy, the look was all wrong. I felt hideous, the dress just hung from me like a cheap nightgown. I was resigned to rip the bodice from the skirt again and to readjust the waist with gathers instead of the elastic thread. This plus a huge bottle of Static Guard from the drug store and (per mom's advice) a full slip and the dress looked decent. I would actually consider wearing it out- in the summer on a humid night.
All these problems and a close inspection of the Kimono Dress picture lead me to the conclusion that fabric with lots of drape was not the best for this pattern. So I cut another out of some lemon yellow Dupioni Silk and from the beginning it was perfect. No need to reposition the wrap front pieces. The elastic thread worked a little bit better I think that the 3 layers of fabric kept it from doing its job as intended. I also took the opportunity of a second dress to add some helpful additions to the pattern to make it easier. The first was bias tape around the neck line. The instructions call for a double turned 1/8 in. hem around the neck but seriously who wants to do a 1/8 in. double turn around anything let alone a rounded neckline. Second was to just stitch the front to the back at the shoulders and then hem the sleeves when they are flat instead of stitch the entire front to back and then hemming the sleeve when the sleeves are round. I also pinked each seam before pressing them open to add a finished edge which is not given in the instructions.
The Obi sash was seriously easy. My first was made with Michael Miller Sanctuary quilting cotton and heavy weight interfacing in the center. Since I didn't have double fusible interfacing I used a glue stick to adhere the fabric to the interfacing while I sewed it up and it all worked great. I also added some topstitching to help keep the shape. My second I used an Amy Butler Home Dec Fabric for the front center and both sides of the ties since when you tie the sash you can see both sides of the tie. I used the Dupioni Silk for the lining side of the center of the sash. I made the Obi Sash with the pattern pieces provided which does make a shorter sash than depicted as many blogs have noted. The belt really finishes the dress and makes it extra special. The belt is super fast and easy so you can make several to match shoes, bags or mood.
Overall this dress was a learning experience. I will go with my gut in fabric choices from now on and just use instructions as a recommendation. I felt from the beginning that Dupioni was the best choice for this pattern but went with the instructions and could have saved a lot of time and stress. I have learned to love Elastic Thread now that I know how to make it work in my Brother Machine- which according to Blogland needs some magic to work with elastic thread (see this very helpful posting and the blogs it links to if you need more help). I can't wait to get started on the smocked sundress in Weekend sewing for my little girl and a big one (here) for me. I seriously love this book! Thanks to everyone on Facebook for your helpful tips and suggestions that talked me down from the edge and gave me the energy to make a second dress!
or you can get the inside scoop on my projects, see their progress and get extra tips and tricks by following me@tdangermiller
Designed to finish off remnant yardages of sock yarn to make newborn slippers, SockPixie's Magic Slipper Pattern can easily accommodate bigger kid slippers by upgrading your yarn gauge. This is a fast and enjoyable slippers pattern to make for any special kid in your life. My daughter is especially in need of slipper because of her delightful habit of pulling off her socks in the few minutes in the crib before she falls asleep only to be awakened later with cold feet. You would think the only way to tame this habit would be to duct tape her socks on but just putting slippers on over the socks seems to deter her. I have not deeply contemplated the logic behind this, only delight in the ease of the solution. Thus I make sure to have plenty of slippers on hand. I was delighted to find such a good looking and easy slipper pattern. I dismayed slightly when I saw it was for sock yarn, since I have an abundance of worsted weight yarn remnants. I decided to make it work and set to work. I found that since the yarn is bigger and my little one's foot is bigger that if I just knit the pattern as is but with the bigger yarn it would work out perfectly for the most part. One of the few changes I made (besides the worsted weight yarn and size 7 needles) was to knit the middle of the sole longer. My wee one wears a size 6. When the instructions say to keep knitting till you reach 2 ¼ in. I kept knitting to make my sole 5 in. long. You can also achieve this by making sure you have 28 garter ridges which will give you the correct length. You can adjust the size for a size 4-5 by using a size 5 or 6 needle and even smaller by using DK or sport yarn. The same for larger. You don't want to use anything bigger than a US 7 with worsted weight yarn but by using bulky or super bulky or doubling your yarns you can knit a much bigger slipper for even older children.
I used the remainder of my Berroco Vintage and it works very well with the slipper. It is a little slick on the bottom so I will need to add some puff paint or slipper bottoms for traction. My daughter loves them too and even brought her pair to me to put on before nap yesterday. I was delighted and already have another pair cast-on.
Slippers are like magic for me. I hate being barefoot (I know, the cheese stands alone on that one), and I really dislike being cold. And while I have been sewing for longer than most of my friends have been alive, for some reason, it didn't occur to me that I could make my own slippers until recently. Go figure!
I LOVED this pattern the second I saw it. The little pointed toes, the cute two-piece uppers that allow for a multitude of color combinations -- how could I not give it a whirl?
I used a cute Valentine print from Timeless Treasures and a coordinated fuchsia fleece. The soles require a non-slip fabric like Slipper Gripper. Alternately, you could give any fabric you wish a non-slip finish using Latex Milk. The pattern calls for a foam layer inserted in the sole but I opted for an extra layer of fleece and an additional layer of vinyl sandwiched into the sole assembly. I like a water-resistant bottom to my slippers!
The cutting was quick as could be (hooray for the beautiful simplicity of Kwik Sew!). The stitching was nothing crazy. the trickiest part is stitching the assembled uppers to the soles, but even that is no real brain-teaser. It just takes a little patience (I know, I say that a lot).
Here's my one big criticism, which may or may not apply to you:
The pointed toe style is NOT good on my feet. In fact, it is downright hideous. Granted, my feet, through years of abuse, have widened and flattened out to resemble an only slightly more feminine version of Fred Flintstone's paws. I ended up altering mine, which had been cut in pointed style, down to the curved style. Much better!
I adore wearing these around the house, and I actually made several pair for gift-giving at the holidays. They are fantastic for travel! They are so low-profile that they roll up and fit into the tiniest nook in a suitcase or overnight bag. I have already made another pair using Disney flannel to take on an upcoming trip to Orlando, and my husband has hinted that he would like a pair, so I may finally have an excuse to buy some Batman fabric.
This pattern would also be a great alternative for people who love to carry those extra rolled-up ballet flats in their purse or hand bag for those late nights when you want to stay at the party but can't bear to wear your heels anymore. Now you can have a pair that's custom-coordinated to your outfit. Try using a slipper satin or a satin jacquard for a luxe look.
Here's to always having cozy toes!