Colour Pop Top Knock-off {tutorial}

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Knock if Off is a series hosted by the fabulous Heidi of Elegance & Elephants and is one of my favorites.  Knock offs are awesome – we all do it – see something at the store and think, “I can make that!”  That’s why so many of us sew in the first place!  The series is already going strong, and you can check out projects from the last 2 weeks here!

For my project, I recreated this Applique Colour Pop Top from Mini Boden.

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It’s a perfect top for summer and really simple to make.  Plus you can customize it with whatever applique you want!  It doesn’t take much fabric and is great for showcasing scraps of cute fabric.  I actually think this is the perfect project to make from an old t-shirt if you have one laying around, and that makes the project even simpler!  Anyways, versatile top, simple to sew, and great for the upcoming summer months – makes a perfect top to knock off!

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Fun right?  I’m going to show you how to make your own!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Fabric (I think anything light to medium weight is fine – linen, cotton, knits, etc. and amount will depend on what size you’re making, but for most kids, 1/2 yard will be plenty).
  • Scraps of fabric for applique
  • Strips of fabric for shoulder ties, or store bought bias tape if you’re looking to skip some steps :)
  • Paper backed (double sided) fusible web (I use Pellon 805 Wonder-Under)

ColourPopTop3I’m still trying to work through my stash and not buy new fabric, so I dug through stash for all the solid cottons I could find.  Ended up using some leftover linen from this coat and a bunch of scraps from various projects.  The yellow fabric is actually polka dotted because I couldn’t find any solid yellow :)

To cut your main fabric, find a top that fits your kid well – a loose fit tunic is probably best.  Measure the width of the bottom.  Add one inch for seam allowance and that will be the width of your fabric.

ColourPopTop4For the length of the fabric, I used the same tunic to measure the general length.  The top of your fabric will be folded over twice to create a casing, so add that to your measurement and know that this will hit at the top of the chest (not shoulders).  Also remember to add about 1.5 inches for hemming the bottom.  You need two of these rectangles – one for the front and one for the back.

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Fold one of the pieces in half lengthwise to cut out the armholes.  I just eyeballed this, but draw and cut a curve in the top corner (not on the fold).  The top inch and a half will become the casing, so this should be a straight line down before it curves.

ColourPopTop6When you open up your piece, it should look like this.

ColourPopTop7For simplicity sake, I decided to make the front and back of the shirt the exact same, so using the cut piece, trace the same curve on the 2nd rectangle.

You will also need to cut two strips of fabric on the bias for finishing your armholes.  I cut my strips at 1 inch by about 12 inches or so (and had a lot extra).  You’ll need your scraps of fabric for the applique.  I had 6 colors and 2 circles of each and my circles were about 2-2.5 inches, so I cut little rectangles that would fit two circles on them.  You’ll also need fabric for straps.  If you’re using pre-made bias tape, you can skip this step, otherwise, cut 2 strips of fabric that are 2 inches wide and 30ish inches long (does not need to be on the bias).  Again, mine ended up being longer than necessary, but you can always trim them later.

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Now let’s get started with the applique!  Be sure to follow the directions for your particular fusible web.  Cut your fusible web into rectangles slightly smaller than your fabric scraps.  With the Pellon Wonder-Under, there is a papery side and a rough/web side.  The rough side will be ironed down to the wrong side of your fabric.  Repeat with all the fabric scraps.

ColourPopTop9You can easily draw on the papery surface of the fusible web, so sketch your shape out (or just start cutting if you’re feeling daring!)

ColourPopTop10Cut out your circles and play around with placement on your fabric.  Be sure to leave 1/2 an inch on either side for seam allowance, plus room to hem the bottom as well.

ColourPopTop11Once you’ve got it just the way you want it, carefully peel off the paper backing and adhere the circles to your main fabric with your iron.  Be sure to read the directions of your fusible web first!  Wonder-Under requires a damp cloth between the applique and the iron.  Once you’ve got all your circles fused on, top stitch around the edge of the circle with coordinating thread.  Take your time, rounded edges are always tricky – but if they aren’t perfect, no worries!  It just adds character! :)

ColourPopTop12Repeat with all the circles.

ColourPopTop13Fun!  Now we need to construct the top.  Lay the front and back pieces with right sides together and pin the side.  Sew up the side seams with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.  Finish the raw edges with a serger, zig zag stitch or pinking shears, if desired.

ColourPopTop14Press the seam open.  To finish the armholes, take your bias strips and press one edge in about 3/8 inch towards the wrong side.  Repeat with the other strip.

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To finish the armholes (click on the picture below for a larger view):
1. Pin the bias tape along the edge of the armhole (right sides together).  Raw edges should be aligned (not the folded edge).
2. Sew along the edge of the armhole with a 1/4 inch seam allowance and then press the bias tape up.
3. Flip to the wrong side and fold the bias tape twice, once along the previously pressed crease and then again to encase the raw edge.  Pin and sew along the edge of the bias tape fold.
4. Trim an excess bias tape, press flat and you should have a beautifully finished armhole! Repeat with the other side.

ColourPopTop16Once you have your armholes finished, we can finish the front and back neckline.  Fold the front edge down about 3/4 inch towards the wrong side and press.  Fold down another 3/4 inch, press and pin.  Sew along the edge to create a casing (leave the two ends open).

ColourPopTop17Repeat with the back.  To create your ties, fold your strips lengthwise, wrong sides together and press.  Fold the two edges in towards the center fold (folding your strip into fourths) and press.  For the ends, unfold the strip and tuck the end in about half an inch.  Fold it back up so you’ve got a nice clean end.  Then top stitch around all open edges.  If you’re using pre-made bias tape, you can just skip right to the top stitching step.

ColourPopTop18I went ahead and eyeballed the tie length, but ended up shortening them after I put them in the top.  So, if you want to top stitch everything but the last few inches, you can finish that part after you’ve measured out the exact length that you want.

Using a safety pin, thread one tie through the casing on the front of the top, and the other tie through the back casing.  Tie them (and trim and finish edges if necessary).

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Then hem the bottom to the desired length by folding and pressing the bottom edge twice towards the wrong side and stitching close to the folded edge.

Done!

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Now you know how to make a simple and fun summer top!  And think of all the endless applique possibilities!

If you make a top using this tutorial, please add it to the you & mie flickr group!  I LOVE seeing your creations!

OR if you’ve made your own knock off project, be sure to add it to the Knock It Off Flickr Group.  And don’t miss out on the rest of the series over on Elegance and Elephants!

So before I go, I couldn’t not share how goofy my kid is, but for some strange reason during this photo shoot, Yuki decided to sing “Doe A Deer” from the Sound of Music at the top of her lungs on repeat.  Oh how I wish these photos captured sound . . .

ColourPopTop23I love her . . .

ColourPopTop 24Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

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Quilted Jacket {Mini Boden Knock Off}

Since I’m on a little vacation, I thought it might be a good time to bring home some guest posts that were originally posted on other blogs.  This is one of my favorites from this past year (did you see my top 12?) that was posted on Elegance and Elephants for her Knock It Off series.  Enjoy!

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I love sewing all sorts of things, but sewing for my daughter is my absolute favorite.  I’m also a huge fan of Heidi’s and I think this series is absolutely brilliant – I mean, who doesn’t love a good knock off?!

But I didn’t realize just how hard it was going to be to pin down just ONE thing to knock off!  There are soooo many awesome store bought outfits out there just waiting to be made at home.  I checked out some of my favorite knock-off inspiration pinboards (here, here, and here) and consulted with my favorite idea girl, Kristin, and with her help FINALLY decided on this Mini Boden Quilted Jacket.

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I love that the jacket is super stylish, warm and comfy and the bias tape finishing actually makes the construction really quite simple.  I also love unisex patterns AND, get this, it can be reversible!!  The most time consuming part is the quilting, but it goes quickly once you get going (or you can buy pre-quilted fabric).  So let’s get started!

You’ll need:
- Main fabric
- Lining fabric
- Batting
- Double fold bias tape
- 4 buttons (or 8 if you’re making a reversible jacket)
- Chalk or fabric marking pen
- Coordinating thread
- Walking foot (optional)

Draft your pattern:
To draft your pattern, start with jacket or top that fits well and draft the back piece on the fold.  The jacket has a slight A-line shape, so draw a slight slant from the bottom of the armhole to the bottom corner of the pattern.

I need to mention that my jacket turned out quite snug on my daughter and I’m wondering if the batting had something to do with that.  I’d suggest giving your pattern some extra wiggle room when you draft it.

To draft the front piece, trace the shoulder, armhole and side and bottom of the back pattern.  The neckline should scoop lower and the center should extend past the back piece (mine extended 1.5 inches) and round your edges.

Using your well-fitting jacket, draft a pattern for the sleeves, a 3 piece hood and a pocket.

Cut your fabric:
Here’s what you’ll need to cut . . .

*If you want to make the jacket reversible, cut 4 pockets of the lining fabric as well.*

When I cut my batting, I pinned the main fabric to it and just roughly cut around it in case the batting shifted.

Quilting:
Now, we quilt!  We’re only going to quilt the main fabric to the batting.  Because I’m sorta anal, I wanted to center my diamonds.  So first mark a line down the center of the pattern piece.  Then make another line at 45 degrees.  I decided to make my lines 1.75 inches apart, so I cut a piece of cardboard of that width to help mark the rest of the lines.  Once you have your lines marked, sew along each line, using a walking foot if you have one.

To center your diamonds, draw a 45 degree angle going the other direction making sure to cross a point where the center line intersects with one of the lines you already quilted (red dot).  Use your cardboard ruler to mark the rest of your lines and quilt.  Trim the excess batting.

Repeat these steps to quilt all of your main/batting pieces.

Construct hood:
With right sides together, pin the curved side of the hood to the center panel and sew.  Repeat with the other side.  Press seams open.

Top stitch along the inside of your hood seams.

Attach pockets:
Position your pockets (right sides together) on the front and back pieces of the jacket, making sure they line up.  Sew along the straight edge.  Press open.

Attach shoulder seams:
Pin the front and back pieces right sides together at the shoulder and sew.  Press seams open.

Attach hood:
Line up the center of the jacket back with the center of the hood and pin, right sides together.  Pin the hood along neckline.  You want at least 2-3 inches of the jacket front to extend past the edge of the hood (I had to trim my hood back a little bit for it to fit).  Sew the hood on and press seam open.

You’ll have the extra seam allowance along the top edge that extends past the hood.  Trim that down and round the edge (I think this will make more sense as you’re sewing).

Attach sleeves:
Pin the center of the sleeve to the shoulder seam and then carefully pin the rest of the sleeve along the armhole, curving the fabric as you go.  When sewing, start from the shoulder seam and work your way down to the bottom of the armhole slowly.  Then start back at the shoulder seam to sew the other side of the sleeve.  Repeat with second sleeve and press.

Top stitch along the inside of the sleeve seam.

Side seams:
Turn your jacket inside out and pin the sleeves, sides and pockets together and sew.  Clip corners.  Flip your jacket right side out (your pocket will automatically be turned in) and press seams well.

Construct lining:
Follow the same steps to construct your lining, omitting the top stitching (if you are making a reversible jacket, add the pockets as you did previously.  If not, skip those steps).  This should come together really quickly and easily this time around!

Attach lining:
Once your lining is complete, slip it into the outer layer of the jacket, wrong sides together.  Make sure to carefully line up the seams and edges.  Pockets should be pointed towards the front of the jacket and be hidden between the lining and jacket.  Baste along the outside of the jacket very close to the edge to attach the layers together.

Binding edges:
We’re almost done!  To finish the edges, unfold your bias tape and starting from the bottom of the jacket, a few inches from a side seam, pin your bias tape along the edge of the jacket.  Make sure to leave several inches of bias tape free before you start pinning.  Continue along the entire edge of the jacket, being careful around curves.  You should have one continuous long edge starting at the side seam, up the front of the jacket, around the hood, back down the other side and along the bottom.  When you get close to where you started, measure where the ends will meet and sew the two ends of the bias tape together.

Sew along the crease of the bias tape closest to the edge.  Flip the bias tape over the edge of the jacket and fold the other edge of the bias tape back under.  Make sure to cover the stitch line with the edge of the bias tape and pin.  From the outside of the jacket, top stitch along the bias tape just next to the seam.

For the sleeve, measure the length around the sleeve and cut two pieces of bias tape one inch longer.  Unfold your bias tape and sew the ends right sides together with a 1/2 inch seam allowance creating a tube.  Press seam open.  Pin the bias tape along the edge of the sleeve and repeat same steps as before to attach binding.

Buttons and buttonholes:
Sew on your buttons and make buttonholes where desired.  If you are making a reversible jacket, sew buttons to both sides of the jacket.

And you’re done!

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I hope you can make your little one something warm and comfy this season.  Please feel free to visit me at you & mie some time and if you make a quilted jacket, please add it to the you & mie flickr group because I love to see your creations!

Knock it off!

Have you been following along the awesome Knock It Off series hosted by Heidi of Elegance & Elephants?  She’s got a whole month’s worth of guests sharing tutorials for great knock off projects inspired by store bought clothes and accessories.  Who doesn’t love a good knock off?  As people who sew clothes, we are constantly looking at items online, in the store and on people on the street thinking, “I bet I could make that” and figuring out exactly how to recreate the look for less money.

Well today I’m over at Elegance & Elephants sharing a tutorial for a quilted jacket inspired by this Mini Boden jacket.  And I’m reeeeally excited about this project!

I love it because it’s practical but super cute and once you learn how to construct the jacket, you can change it up and infuse your own style (something that store bought items often lack).  The pattern itself is unisex and it’s reversible!!  Whaaat!?  I know, it’s crazy.

So pop on over to Elegance & Elephants to see the full tutorial.  While you’re over there check out the rest of the knock off projects – they are fantastic!  And if you use this tutorial (or any you & mie tutorial), remember to add your photos to the flickr group because I really love seeing your creations!

Oh and quick shout out and thank you to Kristin who helped me pick this project out of the millions of knock off ideas I had floating in my mind.  She rocks.