Saturday, March 30, 2013

All my favorite things in one top!

Like many bloggers I HATE having my own photo taken - and yet we don't hold back complaining about how impossible our own kids can be to photograph - ohhh well, today there was no way around it.....I needed to go in front of that camera. This top is sewed for me AND I already tried to photograph it on a hanger...nope not really working, argh! ....But I did not even hurt (that much).

This top is of course made from the same pattern as my sisters dress but the skirt part has been shortened so it now works as a peplum (not fabric enough for dress), the sleeves are shorter (warm weather is fast approaching here in NC)  and I decided to go for a different and fixated collar. And why did I change the collar? The only reason I can come up with is that I must have some kind of mental block to make the exact same thing right after each other even though the fabric is different. I just can't....I know...I need help.

I forgot to tell you in the post about my sister's dress that I sewed a narrow elastic on the waist seam to...well, to define the waist more than the dress did by itself. I did the same here but since this fabric is much less stretchy than the one in my sister's dress it was only necessary to add it to the back piece. Simply sewed on the overlocked seam inside. No, not particular pretty but effective.

Here is a close up of the collar. The fabric is a lovely soft cotton sweatshirt fleece and I am pretty sure I got the last yard at The Fabric Fairy. Darn it, I would have loved a dress in this!
If you want a tip to make sure the collar does not bend out in the back you should also check the post about my sister's dress out. The photos are even from when I was sewing this one as I am sure you will recognize.

Oh, and the twin needle worked like a charm in this thick fabric. Totally totally perfect actually. YES!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Hopscotch dress - tunic version.

I just wanted to make this ultra short post (for a change) to show you this Hopscotch Dress from Oliver + S Patterns. I made it like 2 years ago for a friend's daughter, but when I tried it on Wilma before sending it, she refused to take it off (and I ended up making a completely different one to my fiend's daughter and this time I learned my lesson and made two!) AND now it is Evelyn's turn to wear it. 

It just hit me when she put it on how this is the ideal tunic length. Perfect to leggings. I wish I could tell you what size this is and if I changed the length when I sewed it but I honestly do not remember, sorry!
I changed the sleeve to a puff sleeve and added the wide yellow knit rib to finish the sleeve and hem. It is funny because I don't even like the purple knit that the body is made of but it totally works in this combination.

And I found a new way to photograph Evelyn....sparklers!

And remember Google Friends Connect closes down in June and I don't want to loose you 85 sweet sweet people that it has taken me a full year to convince to sign up. So please consider switching to Bloglovin (see button in right side column). 
I have used that site myself to follow blogs for quite a while now and I can honestly say it is my favorite way to do so. And you can transfer your blogs from GFC to Bloglovin with a click of a button.....or two.....when you are signed up...which is also very easy.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Free printable separate Peter Pan collar pattern.

Today I am trying something new on this blog. A FREE printable pattern. I have had many things I wanted to share with you since I started this blog almost a year ago but have kept back because I have no idea how to do draw patterns any other way than by hand and since I make no money doing this blog paying someone else for a free pattern also seemed a bit silly. But lately I started thinking that you was probably going to be more happy with a amateur looking (but professionally drafted) sewing pattern than no pattern at all, right!?
Well, at least that was my conclusion so here we go. The pattern is for a really cute (or cool depending on fabric choice) separate Peter Pan collar.
Remember when I made these three dresses for my niece (click HERE for a reminder). Well, my sister wanted one too. And she really wanted one in a classic grey sweatshirt fleece (I found some french terry and that worked too) and no matter how many suggestions I came up with to add more color she just really wanted one color. And the 'customer' is always right, right! Plus I knew she was right, it was going to be great, it is just me and my color obsession that is the problem (can also be read about in the post I previous linked to).
So what does a desperate color freak do? Suggest a separate collar with another brand new obsession neon colored lace. And this time I got a go from my sister. 

The sewing of the collar is so easy it is almost ridiculous so I thought I would show you how you get a straight piece of lace to fit a round collar.

First step is to pin your preferred placement of the outer line of the lace on the collar. Remember to leave room for the sewing allowance!

Then I cut off the extra lace on the inside seam and sewed a gathering thread 0.5 cm from the edge. I only used one because it only requires a bit of gathering to make it fit plus I didn't actually wanted any visible gathering. I just wanted to fit the smaller circumference that the inside of the collar obviously has. 

Oops I must have skipped a step in the photography while sewing. Before I put the inner and outer collar right against right and sew all the way around and leaving a small gap center back in the inner seam - as you can see on the above photo - I simply stitch the outer line of the lace to the collar. Which is by the way quite easier than I expected. You can see it on the close up photo of the finished collar further down in this post.
Oh, and just ignore the snap experiment that did not really work. And this post is long enough already without getting into that little mishap.

AND I also totally forgot another thing....not only photographing it but completely doing it. Making a smaller inner collar to prevent the finished collar to bend/stick out from your body when you are wearing it. (Don't worry Sis yours is for some lucky reason not doing it). But since I am already working on another one (a bit different shape but same technique) we are quickly going to jump to some photos from that project before we go back to my sister's collar and dress. 
I want to show you a trick I learned from my boss when I was a seamstress trainee. Normally you actually draft two collar pattern pieces - an inner and an outer - with the inner being a bit smaller. But with this trick you can just cut your outer collar pattern double/twice. Sew the outer seam first and here comes the trick. Slide out the inner collar like 3-5 mm mostly in the back area as you can see on the photo above. 
Here you can see a close up of the inner collar peaking out. Now cut that off and either close up the collar if you are making a separate one or pin/sew it to the garment you are working on.

 Here you see a photo of the back side of the collar. The back side is now smaller and will prevent to finished collar to bend/stick out when wearing it. (Thanks former boss Joan).

And here we are finally at the end. A separate collar with added neon lace and neon grosgrain ribbons as tie bands.

And a view from the back.

And I don't want to you miss a view of the whole dress. I absolutely love it and it was hard for me to put it in the envelope so I could ship it to my sister. It is SO soft and crazy comfortable. She should receive it any day now. I am definitely going to make one for myself too.

Click on the link below:

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Ruffle tunic from Elegance & Elephants

When Heidi from Elegance & Elephants announced that not only was she releasing this pattern for sale but also that she needed pattern testers I wrote back as fast as my fingers could hit the keyboard. You know that I am not a ruffle person but that does not mean I don't like ruffles. They just need to be used with care in my opinion and for this top they add exactly the thing that takes it from a very basic top to an AMAZING top. To me great basic clothes is actually really hard to make (because you obviously don't want it to be boring just because it is basic) and the regular reader of this blog will know that I personally always manage to screw up on that make-basic-clothes-front. But again that does not mean I don't like basic clothes and that is probably why I love this top so much. 

Even though I did manage to screw this one up by choosing two fabrics that made it look like something a waitress would wear in a 1950ies diner. Maybe not a totally disaster but take a look at one of Heidi's versions below. That is what I really fell in love with. Clean and simply beautiful. 

Oh well the pattern is being released this monday and I will get my own pattern to practice  getting the fabric right. You should jump over to THIS post on Elegance & Elephants and see what the other testers did with the three versions this pattern contains. So many options! Well done Heidi and thanks for choosing me as a pattern tester!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Oliver+S Ice Cream Dress with lace and piping.

I am sorry if I am boring you with all these dresses in the same model but I just have to show you this one I just made for Evelyn. She choose to have it made with this Lisette ice cream printed fabric which is kind of funny since the dress model is also called Ice Cream Dress. But it does not stop there because it is the same person (Liesl Gibson) who has made the pattern AND designed the fabric - yes, told you! Crazy!

I found this quite old piece of neon pink nylon piping that I brought with me from Denmark when I moved here (4.5 years ago) and thought that would look really good with this dress. And then my eyes fell on this piece of pink neon lace I just bought and I started playing with it. 
I really wanted to use it but I did not want to make this dress into a special-occasion-dress so when I got the idea of using it like some kind of collar I was ecstatic (you know in a down to earth kind of way). So ecstatic that I totally forgot to take photos along the way. 
But it is simply made from a long straight piece of lace where I cut around the 'tongues' as you can see on the photo below. To shape the straight piece to the round neck opening I put in a gathering thread but only gathered it ever so little. Then I stitched the wavy edge to the dress and sewed the neck opening as usual. 
I was surprised how well it worked and also surprised you can't see any gathering in the neckline - so so happy and I am wildly inspired to make more things with this lace. I bought it on and have it in neon yellow too, yay! 

Yep, she approves!

And remember if you like what you see and read on this blog you have several ways not to miss another post. See the right side column for Facebook, Bloglovin' and Google Friend Connect options. I would love to have you onboard! I also love comments....and Krispy Kream dougnuts but that is another story.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Step up your sewing game-tutorial on an Oliver+S Ice Cream Dress.

Today I have an Oliver+S Ice Cream Dress for you and more important I have a tutorial for the sewist who wants their clothes to be as pretty inside as on the outside. To me making clothes that looks good inside and out is very important. It is a bit like putting (fairly - let's be realistic here) nice underwear on on a daily basis. Even though I am (usually!) not flashing my underwear it just give me a nice feeling knowing that I am wearing it. You know what I mean?

Check out Evelyn's expression here (we call it grumpy bear). Oh boy there is a lot of that from her at the moment. SO 3 years old!

If you have followed this blog from the beginning you have seen this dress before. In THIS post I am also giving a mini tutorial to shirring which is my addition to this dress and not part of the original pattern.
Wilma's dress has short sleeves too she is just wearing a t-shirt under because well spring might be right around the corner here in North Carolina but we still have cold days.


So what is this tutorial about? Well, this dress has a doubled layered yoke which should give the basis for hiding all the seams inside the double yoke. BUT because the back yoke has an opening it is not possible to sew the back yoke on to the gathered piece below without having a visible seam inside. Yes, you can serge/overlock it - but with a small chance you can totally hide it inside the double yoke instead. And THAT is what anal people like me like, yeah!

First you have to create a opening in the (going to be gathered) piece below the yoke so cut a 2 inch/5 cm slit down in CENTER BACK ONLY! Then you need to cut a piece of bias tape (1 inch/2.5 cm wide + 4 inch/10 cm long).

Place bias tape's right side to wrong side of back piece with slit. 

Fold bias tape over and stitch from right side.

Fold fabric with slit in center back and stitch where you can see the dots above on photo.

Here you see the bias covered slit from the front and now you have the opening you need. 

Now you can go back to the pattern's sewing instructions for a bit and sew the gathering threads but sew on only the outer layer of the yoke on right against right - as you can see above. This photo is taken from the inside of the dress.

And a couple of jumps forward where I sewed the inside yoke to the gathered piece, the neck opening and closed the slit opening in the yoke - all done though the sleeve opening (side of yoke on this photo) that I am going to close in the very end with bias tape, after sewing the side seam.

A close up of the slit opening from the outside.

And a close up from the inside. No visible seams - ahhhhh says the freak(s). Whatever says the other ones.

This is a photo taken after I sewed the side seam and you are looking into the sleeve opening before I closed it up with bias tape. You can see the seam allowances from the front and back yoke with the navy gathered piece in the middle.

And here we are with two happy (for now) girls with happy dresses inside and out.