Sunday, August 25, 2013

Simplicity 2181

This blouse is Simplicity 2181.  A new knit fabric I purchased at Hancock's this year. 

Close-up of blouse front
I love the colorful, bright  print.  The construction of the blouse was fairly simple, however the pattern pieces are quite odd looking in order to obtain all of the gathering in the front. 

This blouse is very comfortable to wear and one of my favorites this year!  I will definitely make it again.
Back view

Happy Sewing!



Sunday, August 18, 2013

Simplicity 1881

Leftovers can make cute things too!

I've nicknamed this dress "The Circus Tent" because I think that's what it ended up resembling.
It's cute, but definitely looks like a circus tent.  This pattern is meant to be made out of a knit fabric, but I had a woven on hand.  I made a muslin and needed to add about 3/8" to a size 12 pattern to accommodate the woven material. 

The main circle material is a rayon fabric left over from a top I had already constructed and I was determined to not buy anything to complete the dress - so I headed to my stash to see what I had.

I had some green linen that just happened to match the green in the circle print so I used that as well. 

The dress has a center zip down the back.  I had a metal white zipper on hand - not my favorite, but it was in the stash so I wanted to use it up.  The lining is some cheap polyester lining I already had on hand as well.

I decided to include piping along the neck band and the midriff band.  The piping material is a multi-stripe quilting cotton, again, left over from a previous project. 

Here's a close up of the piping and the green midriff band.

I also decided to make some earrings to match.  These are made from stacking buttons and adding some posts with beads on the bottom.

All in all, I think it's kind of cute, but it still reminds me of a circus tent.


Happy Sewing!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Little Dresses Skirt

This skirt all started when I took a card making class.  When I saw the new "Dress Up" Framelit from Stampin' Up being demonstrated, this idea immediately popped into my head.  Below are instructions on how I made the skirt.  
The "Dress Up" framelit set has three different shapes.  A dress with sleeves, a sleeveless dress and a dress form.  I haven't used the dress form shape yet, but give me time - I'll think of something! 

Items you will need for the skirt:
- Base fabric (I used a white linen)
- Zipper (if needed)
- Elastic for waist (your choice - I used a 1/4 inch elastic in my waistband)
- Heat 'n Bond Lite
- Lots of fabric scraps - approximately 3" by 4" in size
- Totally Stable stabilizer
- Thread to match skirt
- Different threads to match scraps
- Rick Rack (optional for hem finish)
- Framelits - Dress Up (#130101) by Stampin' Up!
- Big Shot die cutting machine by Sizzix
- Embellishment items - beads, buttons, trim, etc.  It's up to you!

Let's get sewing!
First, I started with a skirt I already had in my closet to use as a pattern.  Lay the skirt folded along the center back seam on the fold of the material.  I chose to use some white linen I already had in my stash.  I probably should have ironed it before I started, but I was just too excited to get going!  Cut around your skirt template being sure to add in a seam allowance on the side, top and hem.

Here is the front piece cut out.

Use the front piece to make your back piece from, just remember to add a seam allowance along the center back seam.  If your fabric has stretch to it, you might not need to include the back seam and can construct with out a zipper.  My fabric, however, did not have any stretch to it, so I needed to add in an invisible zipper in the back. 
Here are the two skirt pieces cut out.  Sorry, white on white is a little hard to see.  Construct your skirt as your normally would and then it's time for the fun stuff!

Front and back pieces on top of each other
Next, gather all of the scraps you plan to use for the little dresses.  My scraps varied in fabric content from cottons to satins, to sheers.  

My heap of potential dresses
Cut the fabric a little larger than the framelit.  Approximately 3" x 4" fit well with the framelit size.  Then, iron on some adhesive to the back of each scrap.  I used double sided Heat 'n Bond lite for mine.

Scraps cut to size and ready for Heat 'n Bond iron on adhesive 
Next, you are ready for the die cutting machine.  Be sure to follow the instructions for the Sizzix machine.  Using the Multipurpose Platform, place a clear cutting mat down first, then lay the fused fabric face up on the cutting mat and place the framelit on top of the fabric.  Then, add another clear cutting mat to the top to complete your "fabric sandwich".  If your scrap has a particular design to it, be sure to center it how you want before putting it thru the machine.  Also, you may need to use a piece or two of cardstock underneath the fabric to get a clean cut - just practice to see what works for you.

Fabric sandwich before running thru machine.

 Next, run it thru the machine.

Ta Dah!  How cute is that! 
My first dress!  How cute!

Continue cutting out the rest of your dresses.  Be sure to use both the sleeveless framelit and the sleeved framelit.  Warning, when you finish you might need to take a break to admire them because it's hard to decide which one your like best!

Next, cut out 5 inch strips of Totally Stable stabilizer and iron to the wrong side of the skirt bottom.  Be sure to completely cover the bottom 5 inches of the skirt.

Totally Stable stabilizer by Sulky

 Here is the stabilizer ironed to the wrong side of the skirt hem.  Sorry, white on white is hard to see.

Next, start on your skirt front.  Lay it completely flat on the ironing board, right sides out. 

Skirt front ready for dresses!

Then, start playing with your dresses!  Determine the spacing you would like between dresses and the distance up from the hem.  Remember, the hem will be turned up about 3/8 inch and Rick Rack sewn to the bottom as well.   Once you have determined your spacing and placement, carefully peel off the backing for each dress and fuse into position.  Repeat the same process for the skirt back.

Skirt front dresses ready to be fused into place.
Next, head to the sewing machine to satin stitch each dress in place.  I would recommend doing a few test runs with scrap dresses first to determine the stitch length/width that looks best to you.

Satin stitching around dresses

To apply Rick Rack to the skirt hem.  First, serge the bottom edge of the skirt.  Next, if your Rick Rack has a right side and a wrong side (mine did), place the Rick Rack right down on the skirt front about 1/8th of inch away from the hem edge.  Sew thru the middle of the Rick Rack all the way around.

Sewing Rick Rack in place.
Next, turn the hem and the Rick Rack to the wrong side and top stich about 1/4 inch away from the edge.  This will catch the top bumps of the Rick Rack and hold them in place on the wrong side of the skirt.  Topstitching will also stop the Rick Rack from flipping to the right side and help the hem to lay flat. 

Turn hem and topstitch

Next, embellish your dresses if you wish.  Try on and enjoy!  You are all finished!

Below are the close ups of the different dresses.
Back view
Skirt front
Left Side front
Right side front

One last close up!
All finished!

Even the back is cute!

Enjoy and Happy Sewing!


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Vogue 1088

This is a 2009 Donna Karan pattern for Vogue.  It's a halter style dress with a collar and collar band, a fly button bodice front closing and unusual draping pockets that creates a "belt" that attaches in the back.

Front view with the draping pockets
The draping pockets are supposed to have a welt pocket inside of them, but I decided not to do this.  Mainly because I didn't think I would actually use the pockets - I feel they are more of a design feature rather than a functional pocket.  Due to the openness of my pocket, if one was to try and pick pocket me, they would be tickling my leg rather than pulling out wads of money!

Back view

The portion of the pattern that creates the drape in the pocket, also has an extension they call a "belt" that attaches in the back.  This creates another interesting design feature in the pattern.

Close up of the back with the pocket "belts" that attach in the back.

This pattern has lots and lots of topstitching.  I went thru two spools of thread for the entire dress.

Lots and lots of topstitching in this pattern

Overall, I love the style and the fit.  I will probably sew this again, maybe in a print next time (and not do so much topstitching!)  Also, I will not do the fly button front.  Instead, I'll change it to a regular front closing and highlight some fancy buttons!

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Simplicity 2927

This blouse is a Project Runway inspired pattern thru Simplicity.  The pattern has different "design elements" you can select to customize your blouse or dress.  I selected the petal style sleeves with pockets on the front. I also added the piping around the neckband to help highlight it a little more. 

Simplicity 2927 front view
The fabric is a floral print pique that I picked up at a sewing garage sale a few years ago.  It has been aging in my stash for quite awhile until the right project came along. 
Simplicity 2927 back view

My first attempt at stacking buttons (a favorite technique of mine) was not successful as you can see from the picture below.  After letting the blouse rest on my dress form overnight, when I came back into my sewing room the next day, it looked like two eyes were starring at me!  I'm sure my co-workers would not appreciate this.  Would I look like I had four eyes instead of two, and if I put my glasses on, would I look like I had six eyes?  I decided I didn't want to find out, so I opted to find something else in my stash that would work.

First attempt at two buttons - not successful
Luckily, I was able to find the perfect white flower button in my stash that worked with my stacking technique.  It's a large black button, with the flower white button on top of that, with a black ball button on top of the flower button.  You just sew all three on at one time!  Instead of a buttonhole, I used a snap directly behind the button stack.  I also used a small snap on the opposite site of the flap to help keep the rest of the collar in place.  With the addition of piping, I think my top turned out quite nice! 

Final button selection - much better!

Happy Sewing!