Nightmare Moon

Nightmare Moon Costume by you & mie

Nightmare Moon Costume by you & mie

Phew!  This Halloween costume has been in the works for, what feels like, fooorever.  It’s ridiculous when I start thinking about just how much time (and money) I’ve spent on this kid’s Halloween costume!  But it was such a fun challenge for me – I really love making Halloween costumes!!  I get a lot of enjoyment out of trying to figure out ways to translate a picture or a character into something tangible, an outfit, or a costume.  So here’s the back story . . .

Yuki started watching the popular series, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, about six months ago.   In the first 2 episodes there is a villain, Nightmare Moon, that Yuki immediately latched onto.  It’s not the first time Yuki has connected with an antagonistic character – I’m not sure if you remember 2 years ago, Yuki was into Swiper the Fox, from Dora the Explorer.  Anyways, this one was a little surprising because Nightmare Moon is SO EVIL and SO SCARY.  She’s got this wicked cackle that both Yuki and Kaya have mastered (a little too well).  But starting a couple of months ago, Yuki decided she wanted to be Nightmare Moon for Halloween.  I waited for awhile to make sure that she wasn’t going to change her mind.  But she was quite set on it, so I started brainstorming.  This wasn’t the easiest to translate into human/kid form.

nightmare_moon_nontrsprnt_hair_by_moongazeponies-d3jwib8

Nightmare Moon Costume by you & mie

Nightmare Moon is the evil alter ego of Princess Luna.  My Little Pony legend tells us that Princess Luna once controlled the moon and ruled over the land with her older sister, Princess Celestia, who raised the sun every day.  Princess Luna became jealous that all the ponies enjoyed and appreciated the day, playing in the sun, but slept through the beauty of the night.  Her bitterness took over and she transformed into Nightmare Moon, who refused to lower the sun and promised eternal night.  She was then banished to the moon by her sister.  You should definitely watch this video to see the transformation from Princess Luna to Nightmare Moon and see a little more into her character and appearance.

Nightmare Moon Costume by you & mie

Spoiler alert: Nightmare Moon is defeated and transformed back into Princess Luna, who once again takes her place next to her sister to rule Equestria, the land of the ponies.

Nightmare Moon Costume by you & mie

ANYWAYS.  Moving on from Pony history . . . The costume had me a bit stumped at first.  Sure a shirt and pants, but how would I made a helmet?  How would I make her shimmery floaty mane and tail?  I mulled over it for a long time.

Nightmare Moon Costume by you & mie

I knew I wanted to make a shirt and pants for Yuki that she could potentially wear again later and separately if she wanted to.  I used the Oliver + S Playtime Tunic/Dress and Leggings pattern for both the top and the bottom.  I made the top with black double gauze from Miss Matatabi and made it so the facing would be on the outside of the shirt.  I changed the shape of the facing in the front to mimic Nightmare Moon’s breastplate (or whatever that is).

Nightmare Moon Costume by you & mie

The fabric that I used for all of the armor details is some sort of suiting from Joann.  It is a woven fabric so I had a hard time figuring out how to sew it on without it fraying.  I tried a zig zag stitch around the edge, but I didn’t like the way it looked.  So I ended up using fusible web on all the pieces and then painting the edges with fray check and just top stitching as close to the edge as possible.  The fray check left the edges slightly darker than the fabric which was perfect since the character’s armor has a darker blue outlining all the edges as well.

Nightmare Moon Costume by you & mie

The pants were made using the leggings pattern, but I flared out the bottoms to look more like yoga pants.  I appliqued the “cutie mark” (cloud/moon symbol on her rear) and the “armor” before assembling the pants.  Both the shirt and pants are size 3T and they fit her pretty perfectly.

Nightmare Moon Costume by you & mie

The helmet had me pretty stumped, but it finally came to me to make a version of Oliver + S’s Cozy Winter Hood from their Little Things to Sew book (affiliate link)!  I made the medium size hood, but altered the shape of the center panel to look more like Nightmare Moon’s helmet.  I actually ended up making TWO helmets because the first one just didn’t work out right.  It took me a while to get the shape and size right of that extended piece.  I also chose the wrong fabric for the lining and messed up the detail on the side of the helmet.  I omitted the ears from the pattern, which is sewn into the seam and I hand stitched self drafted ones and a horn to make sure they stood up and didn’t flop over :)

Nightmare Moon Costume by you & mie

I thought it would be cool to add some sparkle because both Nightmare Moon and Yuki are into sparkle, so I tried this glitter fabric spray.  Like an idiot, I tried it on the finished helmet not realizing that it leaves dark marks on the fabric.  It’s not super noticeable, but you can see it close up and it bugs the crap out of me!  Oh well.  I put the helmet aside because I had no clue how I was going to make or attach a mane.

Nightmare Moon Costume by you & mie

Next up were the wings.  I used this tutorial for basic construction of the wings, altering it for my needs.  I used 4 large sheets of craft foam and each wing is 4 layers.  Looking at the image of Nightmare Moon, I drew two wing shapes that were meant to be overlapped.  I cut them out with an X-acto knife, then used a purple paint pen to draw the outline and details.  After gluing it all together, I used Krylon Glitter Shimmer in Moon Beam Black and IT WORKED PERFECTLY.  Just how I imagined.  Which is more than I can say for the fabric glitter spray.  I kinda think the wings are my favorite part of this outfit.

Nightmare Moon Costume by you & mie

We found the boots that Yuki wore last year for Halloween (they were too big for her then and disappeared afterwards since she never wore them).  And now they fit perfectly!  Hideko had the brilliant idea of spraying the boots too, just for extra sparkle (really anything to get Yuki to be excited about wearing them).

Nightmare Moon Costume by you & mie

This stuff has been great in my experience.  It has a really strong smell at first (so definitely spray it outside), but I haven’t noticed it on the items since and they are both kept inside.  I put some paper inside each boot to prevent the spray from coating the inside (I wasn’t sure if it would make it stiff or scratchy), and I also unzipped the boot right after spraying so that it would seal shut.

Nightmare Moon Costume by you & mie

So finally I had to tackle the mane and tail – it was the only part left.  If you look at the picture of Nightmare Moon, her hair is this magical, floaty, ethereal, glowing mass.  What?  How?  Why?  I had no clue how to try and replicate that.  In most of the Nightmare Moon cosplay I had seen, people wore long curled purple-blue wigs.  I was going to go that route and just attach it to the helmet, but I couldn’t find the right color and I wasn’t sure if it would look right for a kid’s costume.  So I decided to cut up some tulle and while it’s not exactly what I want it to look like, I think it came out ok and definitely looks floaty and sparkly at least.

Nightmare Moon Costume by you & mie

I used two different colors of tulle: blue and glittery purple.  I laid them out and cut them to the general length that I wanted the mane and tail.  Then, with each layer separately, I cut one edge of the tulle into wavy hair-like strips.  Then I layered about 4-5 pieces of cut tulle and folded and rolled and scrunched up the other end to gather it into a pony tail.  I stitched it together to hold it in place and then hot glued felt around it to secure it together, then hand stitched that onto the helmet for the mane and onto elastic for the tail.

Nightmare Moon Costume by you & mie

Unfortunately, it added weight to the back of the helmet so that it keeps sliding back and that nose piece often ends up near her forehead.

And that’s about it!  This costume took me a good 2 weeks to put together I think.  I seriously underestimated how long it would take.  Usually I can put together an outfit in 1-2 nights if I’m putting in the time, but there were just so many pieces and so much trial and error (LOTS OF ERROR).  I think I went back to the fabric store 3 times to get more stuff I needed.  In the end, Yuki likes the costume, but I don’t think she has any clue how much went into it.

People say, “You’re such a good mom, I just bought our costumes at the store!”  But if I’m being honest, I didn’t do this for Yuki – I didn’t stay up countless hours and spend lots of money because I wanted to make her happy.  She would have been just as happy with a store bought costume (if one existed for this character) or a much much simpler version.  But I did it for me.  Because once I had the challenge, it was my personal goal to make a kick ass costume.  I wanted to see how well I could match some of the details while still making it wearable for a 4 year old.  And I struggled and cursed and suffered some extreme exhaustion, but I LOVED it.  I’m really starting to understand why people enjoy cosplay so much!

Anyways, for all of those celebrating Halloween, have a spooky, silly and safe time!  Share your costumes with me – I LOVE seeing all the creative and fun ideas!   And beware the legend of Nightmare Moon.  She will return once again!  MUHAHAHAHAHA!  :P

Nightmare Moon Costume by you & mie

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Totoro Costume Tutorial

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

Hello!!  I’m here with a tutorial today that I’m really excited about!  3 years ago, I made a Totoro costume for Yuki and it was a huge hit with Totoro fans around the world.  Since then I’ve been getting regular emails about custom orders for costumes or selling the pattern for it, but I don’t do either.  I figured the least I can do is a tutorial for the costume so people can try their hand at making one themselves!

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

If you’re not familiar, Totoro is a character from the Studio Ghibli movie, My Neighbor Totoro.  It’s an awesome movie about 2 young girls who move into an old house in the country with their dad to be closer to their mother who is the hospital.  The girls discover magical creatures in the nearby forest and together they embark on an adventure.

There are three Totoros in the movie – the main one is the huge gray Totoro, but there is also a chu-Totoro (medium) that is blue and a chibi-Totoro (small) that is white.  I decided to do the blue Totoro this time around just to do something a little different.  It looks similar to the big gray Totoro, but has less details (no whiskers, less arrows on the chest, etc.)

totoro1[image source]

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

The costume is very similar to the original, but I’ve made some adjustments.  I tried to make this tutorial as simple as I could to make it possible for beginners or even adventurous first timers to give it a go.  I walk you through drafting your own pattern and all the steps to put the costume together.  The tutorial is LONG, but there are a ton of pictures to help.  There is a zipper, but that is the trickiest part of the sewing and I have a suggestion for an alternative if you’re REALLY opposed to installing a zipper.

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

The costume is two pieces, the body suit and a separate hood.  The original costume had snaps along the inside leg for easy diaper changes, but I omitted that this time around because it just didn’t seem necessary for a costume (and I was lazy).

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

Ok, should we get started??

What you’ll need:

  • Knit fabric for the bodysuit and hood (more information below)
  • Scraps of fabric for eyes, nose, etc.
  • Fiberfill or stuffing for the ears and tail (if you don’t want to buy something special for this you can use anything soft to stuff them – scraps of fabric, cotton balls, stuffing from an old pillow, etc)
  • 1/4 inch wide elastic
  • Safety pin
  • Velcro
  • 12″ invisible zipper
  • Thread in the color of the main fabric, white and black
  • Tracing paper (the larger the better!)
  • A one piece pajama and a hooded jacket to use for making the pattern
  • Hand sewing needle

Fabric: I used fleece for both costumes and it is very comfy and very warm.  It’s got a little stretch and I think it’s great for this costume if you live in an area that is chilly around October.  Other options are sweatshirt knit and french terry.

Seam allowance: Since you’re making your own pattern, you can make and use whatever seam allowance you are comfortable with.  I used a 1cm (3/8″) seam allowance throughout, except for the back center seam and anywhere else I specify something different.

And though I will not mention it after each step, press every seam after sewing with a warm iron.

Let’s get started!

BODYSUIT:

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

Find a pair of one piece pajamas and lay it on top of your tracing paper so that the center of the pajamas is lined up with the edge of the paper.  Use pajamas that are well fitting or a little baggy, or you can add extra width to your pattern to make it a little baggier.  If you don’t have pajamas, you can really use any type of clothing, just be sure to add width if you want your bodysuit to be loose as opposed to tight fitting.

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

Adding seam allowance (I used a 1cm seam allowance), trace around the shoulder, side seam and inseam.  You’ll have to move the pajamas and do a little freehand drawing to get the armhole and neckline.  I made my neckline pretty high in the front so that there wouldn’t be gap between the hood and the bodysuit.  It can easily be lowered later if you think it’s too high during a fitting.  No need to add seam allowance to the neckline.

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

I rounded out the shape of my pattern a little around the hips and thighs to try and get a more round shape.  Add 3/4″ to the bottom of the leg for hemming (I didn’t give mine enough length and the legs ended up too short on Kaya)!

This is the front of your body suit and will be cut on the fold along the straight edge.

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

Now we’ll make the pattern for the back piece.  Place another sheet of tracing paper on top of your front piece, but have the edge extend a 1/2 inch past the edge of the front pattern piece.

Trace the front pattern piece, but raise the neckline in the back to match the sample pajamas.  This is the back of the bodysuit and you’ll cut two of these.  The extra 1/2 inch of fabric that you added to the center seam will be used to install the zipper.

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

Use your pajamas to trace the sleeve shape adding seam allowance and an extra 3/4″ for hemming.

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

Lay another piece of tracing paper over your “front” pattern piece and draw a circular shape for the tummy.  This will also be cut on the fold.

Cut out your fabric.  You’ll need one front piece cut on the fold, 2 back pieces, 2 sleeves cut on the fold and 1 tummy circle cut on the fold.  You’ll also need a strip of fabric for finishing the neckline that is 2″ wide and several inches longer than your neckline.  I cut mine over 20″ long and it was pleeeenty long enough.  I’d rather be safe than sorry :)

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

Make sure that your fabric it cut so that it stretches when you pull on the short ends of the fabric.

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

Draw the chest details and cut them out of your main fabric.  The large Totoro has 7 (most of the time) and the medium Totoro has 3.

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

Pin the arrows on the tummy piece and top stitch as close to the edge as possible.  In the original costume I zig zag stitched everything on, but the edges got wavy.  This is easier and looks much better.

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

Pin the tummy onto the front piece and top stitch close to the edge.  Set aside.

Now it’s time to attach the invisible zipper.  I won’t go into great details here on how to do this, but you can check out this great tutorial (with video) on how to install an invisible zipper.  Honestly, I skipped some steps since this is just a costume and it’s fleece and I didn’t think it needed to be perfect.  I didn’t iron the zipper and I don’t have an invisible zipper foot, but it still turned out just fine.

If you are looking for a zipper alternative, I’d suggest a velcro/hook and loop closure.  This won’t be nearly as clean of a finish, but if you’re just looking to put together a costume, it will be totally sufficient.  Line up your back pieces, right sides together, and sew along the straight edge about 1/4 of the way up the back.  Finish the neckline as directed below and then sew a few 2″ long strips of velcro to each side evenly spaced out.  You’ll have raw edges exposed, but knit fabric doesn’t fray, so no worries!

Moving forward with the zipper!

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

Open up your zipper and place it right sides together along the straight edge of one back piece.  Using a zipper foot, sew as close to the teeth as possible.

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

Repeat with the other side.  Flip the zipper so you have right sides facing and attach to the other back piece.  I realize these are some pretty sparse instructions, but just head over to the tutorial for plenty of pics and details.

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

Fold the back along the zipper (I had flipped my back piece around here, so the you’re looking at the leg hole up at the top).  Finish sewing the center seam together with a 1/2″ seam allowance (white line).  Be sure to sew beyond the end of the zipper and on the inside of the zipper.  Reinforce this end by backstitching several times.

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

Your back is constructed and should look like this!

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

Line up the shoulder seams of the front and back pieces with right sides together and pin.  Sew along shoulder seam with a 1cm seam allowance.  At this point, if your model is available, you can throw the bodysuit over their head like a poncho and see if you’re happy with the neckline.  Adjust if necessary.

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

(Ignore the fact that the sleeves are already attached in the picture, I was sewing a little out of order :P)

With the edge of your neck binding strip lined up with the zipper tape, pin the strip on with the raw edges lined up, right sides together.  Sew with a 1cm seam allowance and trim off the extra strip to be lined up with the fabric tape.  See close up below . . .

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

Fold the edge of the strip over so that the zipper teeth are now along the edge.  Then fold the binding over to the wrong side of the bodysuit so that the neckline is enclosed.

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

Pin along the neckline and stitch in the ditch to sew the binding down on the inside.  Fleece is too thick to fold the raw edge in on the inside, but it looks and feels just fine.  Trim down the extra fabric on the inside close to the stitch line.

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

To attach the sleeves, lay your body suit out with the shoulder seam flat, right side up.  Line up the center of the sleeve with the shoulder seam, right side down and pin.  Then carefully continue to pin the sleeve to the arm hole.  Sew together with a 1cm seam allowance.

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

For the tail, cut two pieces in whatever shape you want.  Place them right sides together and sew the curved edges together leaving the flat/top edge open.  Flip it right side out and stuff it.  Close the tail with a zig zag stitch or serger.  Place the tail pointed up on the right side of the back bodysuit piece just below the bottom of the zipper.  Sew along the dotted line to attach the tail and be sure to back stitch a bunch at each end to make sure that sucker doesn’t get pulled off!

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

With the tail flipped up and out of the way, place the front piece on the back piece, right sides together and pin along the bottom of the sleeve, line up the seams at the armpit, along the side seams and the inseam.  Sew together!

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

Flip it right side out and you’ll see that it’s really coming together!

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

To finish the arm and leg holes, fold the fabric in towards the wrong side by 3/4″.  Sew close to the raw edge to create a casing and be sure to leave about 1.5″ open to insert the elastic.  If your model is handy, measure around their wrist and ankle to find a comfortable length for the elastic.  You don’t want it to be too tight or too loose.  I just guessed and made both 5″ in length and overlapped them by about 1/2″.  Using a safety pin, thread your elastic through your casing and sew the ends together.  Sew up the rest of the casing to enclose the elastic.  Repeat with all leg and arm holes.

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

Your bodysuit is done!!

HOOD:

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

To make the hood pattern, grab a hooded sweatshirt or jacket and place it on top of your tracing paper.  Leave a 1/2″ of space between the edge of the paper and the edge of your hood.  Trace along the curved edge with a 1cm seam allowance.  Draw a straight line 1 cm below the bottom edge of the hood at the front of the jacket.

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

Cut two hood pieces.  You’ll also need a strip of fabric that is 4 inches wide.  To determine the length, measure the bottom edge of the hood, multiply that by two and then add about 4 inches.

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

With right sides together, pin the curved edge of the hood and sew with a 1cm seam allowance.  To finish the front of the hood, fold it in a 1/2″ and sew along the raw edge.

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

Take your strip and fold it in half lengthwise, right sides together.  Sew along one of the short edges starting a centimeter away from the edge (in the picture, the raw edges are on the top and the folded edge is along the bottom).  Flip it right side out, use a chopstick or something to poke the corner out.

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

With your hood right side up and raw edge along the top, line the edge of the strip up with the edge of the hood and pin along the raw edge.  When you attach the band to the hood, be sure you only sew through one layer of the band.

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

Sew along the edge.

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

At the other end, fold the band right sides together and sew from the edge of the hood around the corner of the band.  Clip the corner and then turn right side out.

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

Pin the rest of the band up on the inside of the hood and on the outside of the hood, stitch in the seam (make sure you’re catching the inside of the band in your stitching.  Trim any excess fabric.

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

Sew velcro to the hood.

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

Cut out your eyes and nose out of fleece or felt.  Top stitch everything down as close the edge as possible.

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

Draw and cut out 4 ear pieces.  Place two, right sides together, and sew along edges, leaving the bottom open.  Flip right side out.

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

Stuff with stuffing.  A lot of people ask how I get the ears to stand up, so this part is important.  It’s very simple though!  You want to sew the ears on as a circle.  If you try to close the bottom by sewing the two sides together into a straight line, or if you sew the ear on by sandwiching it in a seam, it’ll just flop down.  Figure out your ear placement and pin the ear down in place making sure the bottom of the ear is open and in a circular (or oval) shape.

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

With a hand sewing needle, attach the ear to the hood with a quick whip stitch.  Tie the knots on the inside of the hood.

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

And you’re done!!  Unless you want to add whiskers or a leaf to your hood – then head over HERE for those directions!

Now try the costume on your little one and be prepared to swoon.  Cuz c’mon – there are few things in this world cuter than a kid dressed up as Totoro!!

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

Totoro Costume Tutorial by you & mie

I really hope that people out there are able to use this tutorial!  And seriously, you can use this tutorial to make pretty much any animal costume – just change the shape of the tail and ears and add other details and you’ve got a cat, dog, tiger, cow, monkey, whatever!

I LOOOOVE seeing your creations with my tutorials.  I’ve already gotten to see a lot of Totoro costumes inspired by the original one I made and I shared some of them here.  If you use this tutorial please share your photos with me!  You can email me, upload them to the you & mie flickr group, or post them on the you & mie Facebook page!!

Happy Sewing!

**I am not taking any orders/selling this costume.  This is a free tutorial for your personal use.  I mentioned on Instagram that I was going to be selling this particular costume, but I’ve decided to hang on to it for a little longer – I’m sorry for changing my mind!**

 

Watercolor Dress {and tips for painting fabric}

Watercolor Sundress and Tips for Painting Fabric // you & mie

So I have exactly one project coming out of this Kids Clothes Week, but I’m pretty damn excited about it!  The (optional) theme for this season was Kid Art and while this dress was probably the last thing I needed to make, I got really excited by the idea of getting Yuki involved in creating a one-of-a-kind garment for herself.  I had all sorts of ideas like fabric painting, stenciling, iron on transfers, etc.  But I knew I didn’t have much time so I could only pick one thing.  If you know me, you know that I looooove fabric painting (like this cardigan, this hat and bag, and this dress) and I thought Yuki should have a go at it since she loves painting too!

Watercolor Sundress and Tips for Painting Fabric // you & mie

Continue reading

Strawberries and Edelweiss

So I’ve got a new project for you today.  But when I say new project, I mean it’s never been posted before, but it’s something I actually made a year ago.  And then photographed a couple months ago.  And I’m just finally getting around to blogging it now.  Oops!  Better late than never right?

Strawberry Edelweiss Dress // you & mie

I call it the Strawberry Edelweiss Dress because, well, the strawberry part should be obvious and you may recognize the pattern as the Edelweiss Dress by Hey June.  This dress is actually a knock off of a dress I saw a little girl wearing in a picture.  I’m pretty sure it was a store bought dress and I thought it was adorable and I immediately realized the Edelweiss pattern would be perfect to recreate it.  Later on I saw a little girl wearing the same dress in blue at IKEA, so I’m thinking the original may be from a big company like Carter’s or something, but I don’t have a picture of the original.

Continue reading

Triple Gauze Sleep Sack and Blanket

This month I’m taking a bit of a blogging break and enjoying time away from the computer.  I’ve done a lot of sewing recently though, so I’ll have a lot to catch up on when I’m back!  Reposting this project, originally published here, as part of the Miss Matatabi Makers series.  Mmmm . . . triple gauze . . . 

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Ooooh, do I have some amazing fabric to share with you today!

Triple Gauze Baby Set

TRIPLE GAUZE.  Did you know it existed?  I did not, until very recently, and I am now a huge fan!  If you think single gauze is lovely and double gauze is dreamy, well, triple gauze is downright heavenly.

The triple gauze available in the Miss Matatabi Shop is reversible, which makes it even more awesome!  Before I washed it, it was smooth and soft.  When it came out of the wash, it was like a fluffy cloud!  Double and triple gauzes are multiple layers of gauze fabric that are attached every couple of centimeters, essentially basting or quilting the fabric.  After washing and drying, the fabric was already like a perfectly lightweight quilt. Continue reading

Starry Night Washi Dress

Bringing home this post from March, originally published here, as part of the Miss Matatabi Makers series.  This is the THIRD Washi Dress that I’ve made (see 1 and 2), not to mention, the wedding dress I made from a hacked version of the pattern!  Can you tell I love it?  By the way, this fabric is still available in the Miss Matatabi shop!

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When looking through Frances’ fabulous shop, this gorgeous cotton voile caught my eye. It’s called Starry Night and comes in several beautiful colors. I knew immediately that this lightweight fabric would make something wonderful to wear for the upcoming warm weather months.

Starry Night Washi Dress by you & mie

The pattern is the awesome Washi Dress by Made by Rae, with the large bow from the Expansion Pack. I absolutely love this universally flattering, easy-to-wear dress pattern! Continue reading

Happy Homemade Sew-along // day one

Happy Homemade Sew-along // Day One - Tracing the pattern and adding seam allowance // you & mie

It’s here!  We are FINALLY starting the sew-along!  Are you pumped?  I know I am!

First of all, it was brought to my attention that in my original sew-along announcement, I said that the deadline to enter your pull-over pictures into the Flickr group was June 30, instead of June 23.  Unfortunately, I listed the wrong date and I’m soooo sorry if this caused an inconvenience to anyone!  :(  The correct date is next Monday, June 23.  Of course, you can enter pictures into the Flickr group anytime, even if you can’t finish it by next week!  But if you’d like it included in the drawing for the prize or our round-ups, your pictures will need to be uploaded by next Monday.  Sorry again!

Today we are going to be locating our pattern pieces, tracing and adding seam allowance.  Honestly, these first few steps are often the most confusing and intimidating for me when I use a Japanese sewing book – even more than the actual sewing steps!  Using the English version helps A TON here, but it can still be a little confusing since it’s so different from using a PDF pattern, for example.  So I’m going to walk you through the steps and the great news is, this will help you with not only this book and pattern, but you can apply these tricks and skills to any Japanese sewing book since they basically follow the same format!

Anyways, let’s get started.

Happy Homemade Sew-along // Day One - Tracing the pattern and adding seam allowance // you & mie

On the directions page for the pull-over parka, it’ll list all the pattern pieces you’ll need.  For this pattern there is the back, front, sleeve and hood and the pattern label is “s.”  That letter is going to help us locate everything we need for this pattern.  First I’m going to go through all the steps using the English version of the book since I think that’s what most people are using.  But if you’re using the Japanese version of the book, I’ll help you locate the pattern for that book at the end of this post.

Happy Homemade Sew-along // Day One - Tracing the pattern and adding seam allowance // you & mie

Pull out your pattern sheets.  There will be two double-sided sheets labeled Pattern Sheet 1, 2, 3 and 4.  Each has a table of contents, if you will.  And you’ll see that the pattern pieces for “S” are scattered, one piece per sheet.  The back piece is on sheet 1, the front piece is on sheet 2, the hood is on sheet 3 and the sleeve is on sheet 4.

Happy Homemade Sew-along // Day One - Tracing the pattern and adding seam allowance // you & mie

I’m going to show you the front piece as an example. That is located on Pattern Sheet 2.

Unfold the sheet and you should be able to find the “S FRONT” pattern right next to the table of contents.  The lines are burgundy and all the S pattern pieces will be in that same color, which will make it easier to find and distinguish from the other overlapping patterns.  Congrats!  You’ve completed step one – finding your pattern piece!

Happy Homemade Sew-along // Day One - Tracing the pattern and adding seam allowance // you & mie

Now before you begin tracing, take a look at this diagram that is on the directions page of your book (below).  This little picture has a ton of important information and you’ll find yourself referring to it quite a lot.

Super crucial note – Japanese patterns DO NOT INCLUDE SEAM ALLOWANCE.  You must add it yourself!

Even though I know this and have known this forever, I still forget sometimes.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve traced my pattern pieces super close together or close to the edge of the paper only to realize that I need to add seam allowance and have no room.  LEAVE ROOM FOR SEAM ALLOWANCE!

Happy Homemade Sew-along // Day One - Tracing the pattern and adding seam allowance // you & mie

Take a look at “front” pattern piece on the diagram.  It’s on the bottom right corner and you can see that it is placed on the fold.  The other edges will need seam allowance added.  The standard seam allowance is 3/8 in or 1 cm.  If there is no number specified in the diagram, you can assume that the seam allowance is 3/8 in (1cm).  Looking at the front piece, the only edge that has a different seam allowance is the bottom edge where it says 1 1/4 in (3cm).  Be sure to leave room for seam allowance when you trace your pattern piece.

There are several ways you can add seam allowance to your pattern.  Some people like to do it while tracing.  Meg shared a SUPER awesome and simple tip on one way to do that in her post during the Japanese Sewing Book Series.  There are also some tools that add seam allowance as you’re cutting.  I just do it the old fashioned way of tracing the pattern first, then measuring the seam allowance and drawing those lines separately.

Happy Homemade Sew-along // Day One - Tracing the pattern and adding seam allowance // you & mie

Trace your pattern!  I lined up the edge of my tracing paper with the edge of my front pattern piece that is on the fold, since that side does not need added seam allowance.  Making sure I had room on the other sides for adding SA, I traced the lines for size 2.  Be sure to trace any markings from the pattern as well.

Happy Homemade Sew-along // Day One - Tracing the pattern and adding seam allowance // you & mie

Use a ruler to measure 3/8 in (1cm) from the side seam and draw a line.

Happy Homemade Sew-along // Day One - Tracing the pattern and adding seam allowance // you & mie

For curved edges, I measure and mark the seam allowance every centimeter or so and then connect the dots.

Happy Homemade Sew-along // Day One - Tracing the pattern and adding seam allowance // you & mieBe sure to label your pattern with the name of the pattern, which piece it is, what size and also label any edges on the fold and trace any other markings.

Woohoo!  One pattern piece down, three more to go!  Follow these steps for the rest of your pieces.

Happy Homemade Sew-along // Day One - Tracing the pattern and adding seam allowance // you & mie

The other night, I got an email from Gail asking specifically about the sleeve pattern piece.  At the bottom of the sleeve, it tells you to add 1 1/4 in (3cm), but the seam allowance flares out at an angle.  The pattern doesn’t give you any information about how to determine that angle or why you’re doing it that way.  Since I was pretty stumped, I consulted my Japanese pattern gurus, Sanae and Frances to find out more.  Frances located this helpful link and like a light bulb, it suddenly all made sense.  That site is in Japanese, so I decided to make my own little diagram to help explain . . .

Happy Homemade Sew-along // Day One - Tracing the pattern and adding seam allowance // you & mie

 

If you add seam allowance to your pattern piece and it continues to angle inwards at the bottom, when you fold it up to hem, you won’t have enough width.  Your hem will be narrower than the sleeve and you’ll have trouble sewing that hem down without stretching or some pleating of fabric.  No good!

Instead, you want the excess fabric at the bottom of the sleeve to angle outwards so that when it’s folded up, it is at the same angle as the sleeve.  That way you’ll have enough width to reach the edges of the sleeve and hemming will be a breeze!

Does that make sense?

Happy Homemade Sew-along // Day One - Tracing the pattern and adding seam allowance // you & mie

Still, it doesn’t tell you exactly how to create these lines and honestly, I just eyeballed it.  You could fold the paper at the bottom of the sleeve to trace the sides (the bottom edge is slightly curved, but I think you could ignore that and it’d still be fine.  Either way, I wouldn’t stress about it too much, just do your best :)

Happy Homemade Sew-along // Day One - Tracing the pattern and adding seam allowance // you & mie

If you’re using the Japanese version of the book, all the steps are exactly the same, the only difference is that the pattern sheets are a little crazier and finding the pattern pieces you need is more difficult.

Up at the top of the directions, it tells you where you can find your pattern pieces.  In this case it’s on “side A.”

Happy Homemade Sew-along // Day One - Tracing the pattern and adding seam allowance // you & mie

Side A of the pattern sheet lists the four “S” pieces you’ll need – back, front, sleeve and hood.

Happy Homemade Sew-along // Day One - Tracing the pattern and adding seam allowance // you & mie

This is what that crazy mess of a pattern sheet looks like.  Look for the letter “s” and you’ll notice that all the S pattern pieces are green.  Others are black and some are shaded in green – this will help you tell the patterns apart.  Dig around – you’ll find all your pieces!

Happy Homemade Sew-along // Day One - Tracing the pattern and adding seam allowance // you & mie

Yay, there they are!

Then follow the rest of the steps above.

Once you’ve traced your 4 pattern pieces, added your seam allowance and labeled the pieces, go ahead and cut them out and lay them aside for Day TWO!  Also, if you haven’t yet, be sure to wash, dry and iron your fabric so you’ll be all ready to cut and prep for sewing tomorrow.

Be sure to share any in progress photos on Instagram (#happyhomemadesewalong) or the Flickr group and if you have any questions, leave a comment!  Can’t wait to see yours as it comes together!

Tomorrow’s post will be up on Meg’s blog.  See you there!

Happy Homemade Sew-along // elsie marley and you & mie

 See the rest of the sew-along posts here:

Happy Homemade Sew-Along // where to buy the book

Happy Homemade Sew-along // elsie marley and you & mie

Thanks to everyone for entering the Happy Homemade Sew-Along Giveaway!  The three lucky winners are:

Shanna R.
Annette H.
Stephanie S.

Congrats!

Now if you didn’t win the giveaway, but still want to participate in the sew-along, but don’t yet have the book . . . well, you better get moving!  If you’re ordering online, you’ll need some time for shipping.  So where can you get one?  I’m here to help!

But before we get to that, I just wanted to talk to anyone who might be on the fence about getting this book . . .

GET OFF THE FENCE.

This is definitely one of THE most popular Japanese sewing books and for good reason!  It’s packed cover to cover with really great, classic styles that you can use over and over again.  See more pictures in my book review and Meg’s (she has a ton of photos of all of the amazing things she’s made from the book).  And it’s not even expensive!  The book has 20 patterns.  I’ve seen the book priced between $13-17 and even with shipping costs, we’re talking maybe $1-2 MAX PER PATTERN!  That’s an amazing deal.

Sew Chic Kids Review & Giveaway // you & mie

Now that you’re ready to buy it, where should you start?  Well I find online shopping super convenient, but sometimes I don’t like paying for shipping and handling if I can avoid it.  If you’re interested in the English version, Happy Homemade: Sew Chic Kids, I’d call your local bookstores.  Larger chains might carry it or maybe your local sewing/fabric shop.

If you’re interested in buying online, I’ve found a few places you can try:

Tuttle Publishing
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Rakuten.com
Book Depository
Bookworld (Australia)
Penguin Books (Australia)
Amazon UK  (Oh hey!  The book is in French!)

HappyHomemade Vol2

If you are up for a challenge, and want to buy the Japanese version, Happy Homemade Vol.2, the best bet to buy it locally is at a Japanese bookstore like Kinokuniya.  Some Japanese supermarkets have book sections, so you can always try those as well.

As for online sources, here are some links:

Amazon
Kinokuniya

Etsy
eBay

Ok, it’s time to get shopping!  You gotta make sure you can get the book in your hands by Monday, June 16th when the sew-along begins!

*Edited to add: a couple of people commented that they found the book at their local LIBRARY!  That’s brilliant!  What a great way to check out the book and see if it’s worth buying.  So definitely check there first if you’re still on the fence about buying the book*

Do you know of any stores, local or online that sell either version of the book?  If so, leave me a comment and I’ll add it to the list!

 

Sidekick Mini Mini Suitcase

I’m posting over at Miss Matatabi today with my May Miss Matatabi Makers project.  Errr . . . let’s pretend it’s still May, ok?

Mini Mini Spring Patch Suitcase // you & mie

I made a MINI Sidekick Mini Suitcase with this adorable Nesshome Cheater Patch fabric.  It was no small feat and I thought I might never finish, but a few nights worth of hard work and I’m reeeally quite happy with how it came out.  The inside of the case is lined with some super soft double gauze too.  Go and check out all the details and plenty more pics at Miss Matatabi!

And did you catch my Happy Homemade Sew-Along announcement??  Be sure to get all the details there AND today is the last day to enter the giveaway for a copy of the book!  Go now and enter!

Happy Homemade Sew-along // elsie marley and you & mie