Panda Raglan Tee {tutorial}

Yes!  I did it!  I finally made something for Yuki that she really likes!

Panda Raglan Tee Tutorial by you & mie

Panda Raglan Tee Tutorial by you & mie

I have to admit, I’m pretty psyched about this project.  A couple of months ago I saw a little toddler wearing a tunic that was similar and definitely had an “I can make that!” moment.  Well the idea has been rolling around in my head since then and I just needed the time to do it.  Isn’t that what KCW is all about!?

Panda Raglan Tee Tutorial by you & mie

The theme for this Kid’s Clothes Week is “Mini Me” so I decided to make one for little sister as well.  Yuki loved that she and Kaya had matching shirts!  Unfortunately, Kaya wasn’t really feeling the photo shoot.  But I have a feeling she really loves the shirt too :P

Panda Raglan Tee Tutorial by you & mie

Yuki says, “Can you see my panda ears?”  The 3D ears are definitely the most fun feature of these shirts.  And though these are pandas, you can really make this shirt into almost any animal!  Want to make one for your favorite animal lover?  I made a tutorial!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  •  a raglan t-shirt pattern (I used the Oliver + S Field Trip Raglan T-shirt Pattern, but you can use any, or draft your own)
  • knit fabric (refer to your pattern for amounts) and coordinating thread
  • scraps of fabric for the ears (knit or woven)
  • freezer paper
  • precision knife/scissors
  • iron
  • fabric paint and brush (be sure to read all the directions on your fabric paint before you begin your project)

To get started, cut out all your shirt pieces as your pattern directs (shirt front, back, two sleeves and a neckband).  Lay out the front shirt piece and place your freezer paper on top, shiny side down.  Sketch your animal face.

Panda Raglan Tee Tutorial by you & mie

Make a pattern piece for the ears.  We will add a small pleat to the ear, so add a little width to the base and also 1/4 around for seam allowance.

Panda Raglan Tee Tutorial by you & mie

Carefully cut out your stencil, making sure to keep any small pieces you need to place on the inside of your stencil, like the eyes.

Panda Raglan Tee Tutorial by you & mie

Place your stencil where you want on the shirt (shiny side down) and iron it on using a high heat setting.  Be sure to press well especially around the edges of the design.

Panda Raglan Tee Tutorial by you & mie

Put your fabric on cardboard or paper, in case the paint seeps through.  Apply the fabric paint in a thin and even coat.  Try not to paint towards the edges of the stencil to avoid sweeping paint under the stencil.  Wait till the paint is mostly dry (30 minutes) and apply another thin and even coat.

Panda Raglan Tee Tutorial by you & mie

Allow the paint to dry completely before peeling off the stencil.

Panda Raglan Tee Tutorial by you & mie

What a fun (and slightly nerve wracking) moment :)

Now for the sewing part.  Cut out 4 ear pieces.

Panda Raglan Tee Tutorial by you & mie

Place two ear pieces right sides together and pin.  Repeat for other pair.

Panda Raglan Tee Tutorial by you & mie

Sew along the curved edges with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Leave the bottom open.  Trim the curved edge to 1/8 inch.

Panda Raglan Tee Tutorial by you & mie

Turn right side out and press.  Add a small pleat to the center of the ear (the two ears should have pleats going the opposite direction).  Pin and sew pleat in place.

Panda Raglan Tee Tutorial by you & mie

Trim the bottom edge so it is straight again.

Panda Raglan Tee Tutorial by you & mie

Figure out where you want your ear on the shirt front and align the raw edges, right sides together.  Pin and baste the ear in place 1/8 inch from the edge).

Panda Raglan Tee Tutorial by you & mie

Panda Raglan Tee Tutorial by you & mie

Now we will attach the sleeve to the shirt front.  Align the raw edges of the shirt front and the sleeve front, right sides together.  The ear should be sandwiched in between.  Pin and sew according to the pattern directions.

Panda Raglan Tee Tutorial by you & mie

Finish edge if desired.  Press the seam allowance towards the shirt and the ear pointing “up” towards the sleeve.  On the right side of the shirt, top stitch the ear to the sleeve close to the seam.

Panda Raglan Tee Tutorial by you & mie

Repeat on the other side with the second ear.

Panda Raglan Tee Tutorial by you & mie

Now finish the shirt as directed in your pattern and voila!  An awesome panda shirt for your little one!

Panda Raglan Tee Tutorial by you & mie

Trust me, I reeeeeally think they’ll like it!

Now I’d seriously love to see what other animals you guys can make into shirts!!  If you use this tutorial to make a fun animal shirt, please let me know!  You can add a picture to the you & mie flickr group or just leave me a comment or email me.  I imagine a whole zoo of fun animal shirts :)

It was so great to just make something fun, not for a specific project.  Thanks for the motivation Kid’s Clothes Week!  Hope you’ve been able to make something fun too!

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Adding Ruffle Sleeves {tutorial}

Ruffle Sleeve Tutorial by you & mie

Last week I shared my daughter’s new baby bodysuit from the Oliver + S Lullaby Layette pattern set and one of the biggest modifications I made to the pattern was adding ruffle sleeves.  Ruffle sleeves are a fun and feminine touch for any spring or summer top or dress.  Super sweet especially on little ones.

When I was trying to figure out how to attach the sleeves, I looked for a tutorial online, but couldn’t find what I was looking for.  I’ve attached ruffle sleeves or flutter sleeves when there was a bodice lining (like in the Geranium pattern), but there was no lining for the body suit.  I wanted the ruffle to only cover the top of the arm hole, so I knew I’d need a way to finish the rest of the arm hole with bias tape.  Took me awhile to figure out, but it’s so simple, I wonder why I never knew how to do this in the first place!

Ruffle Sleeve Tutorial by you & mie

So some of you might think, “duh, Cherie!”  But hey, if I wanted a tutorial like this to be out there in blogland, there must be others needing the same thing, right?!  So anyways, here’s the tutorial on how to add ruffle sleeves to any unlined bodice pattern.

If you are starting with a pattern that is meant to have sleeves, the first step is to reduce the width of the shoulder.  You can either do this to the pattern before you cut your fabric, or you can do it after.  I didn’t remember to do it until after I had cut the fabric and sewed the shoulder seams together.  Not a problem.

Ruffle Sleeve Tutorial by you & mie

Trim off from the outer edge of the shoulder seam.  The amount is up to you, I trimmed about 1/2 an inch from the shoulder and then gradually curved my line to meet back with the original arm hole.  Your finished arm hole will be folded under 1cm (3/8 in), so take that into consideration when deciding how much to trim off.

If you haven’t already, go ahead and cut your front and back bodice pieces and assemble them as you wish/as directed by your pattern up to the point when they are sewn together at the shoulder seams.  Side seams should not be sewn yet.

Ruffle Sleeve Tutorial by you & mie

Next, cut your ruffle sleeves.  Size will depend on the size of your garment and your preference.  I cut my sleeve to be about 3 times longer than the desired size of my finished ruffle.  For the height, you can make it however long you want the sleeve to be at the shoulder (longest point) plus about an 3/4 of an inch for seam allowance and hemming.  By the way, none of this is very exact, but ruffle sleeves are pretty forgiving like that. :P

Ruffle Sleeve Tutorial by you & mie

To cut these pieces, cut 2 rectangles in your measurements.  Mine were about 2.25 x 13 inches.  Fold the rectangle in half widthwise and starting from the center fold, draw an arc to the corner.  Cut that out and use it to cut your second ruffle sleeve in the same shape.

You will also need to cut two 1″ strips of fabric on the bias.  Measure your armhole and add a couple of inches to that number to determine the length.  My armholes were about 9 inches, so I cut 12 inch long strips that were 1″ wide.

Ruffle Sleeve Tutorial by you & mie

Mark the center of the sleeve along the curved edge.  This will help later with placement.

Finish the straight edge of the sleeve piece.  You can do this in a number of ways.  You can hem it by folding it towards the wrong side a 1/4 inch and pressing, then another 1/4 inch encasing the raw edge and sewing it down.  You can do a zig zag stitch or serge the edge for a rougher, but cute finish like the Geranium flutter sleeve.  I went with something in between by serging the edge and then pressing it under and stitching it down.  It looks finished from the right side and you can see the serged edge from the wrong side.  This will make it easy to distinguish the right and wrong side in the rest of the pictures.

Ruffle Sleeve Tutorial by you & mie

Now to ruffle that sleeve!  Set your machine to widest stitch possible and sew a basting stitch along the curved edge a 1/4 in from the edge.  Do not backstitch at either end and leave a couple inches of thread when clipping.  Carefully pull on one of the threads (either the top or the bottom) to gather the fabric.  Gather the fabric to the length and ruffleness you desire.  Make sure the gathers are distributed evenly.

Ruffle Sleeve Tutorial by you & mie

Pin your gathered sleeve to your bodice, right sides together and raw edges aligned, lining up the center mark on your sleeve with the shoulder seam.  Baste the sleeve on with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Repeat with the other sleeve.

Ruffle Sleeve Tutorial by you & mie

Take your bias strip and fold it into thirds and press.  If you want to be really exact, you should fold it in 1/4 in. on one side and 3/8 in. on the other side (the center section will be 3/8 in).  Really though, when we start talking an 1/8 of an inch of a difference, I’m not sure if it matters that much.

Ruffle Sleeve Tutorial by you & mie

Pin your bias tape right side down (facing the wrong side of the ruffle sleeve) along the edge of the armhole.  This should sandwich the sleeve between the bias tape and the bodice pieces.  If you are going with the exact measurements, you want the 3/8 inch fold to be along the edge (right side in this picture).  Stitch along the crease closest to the edge.

Ruffle Sleeve Tutorial by you & mie

Fold the bias away from the bias and press.

Ruffle Sleeve Tutorial by you & mie

Flip the garment wrong side up and fold the bias tape in once, then again towards the wrong side.  The ruffle sleeve should flip out and the raw edge should be encased.  Press carefully and pin.

Ruffle Sleeve Tutorial by you & mie

Sew along the folded edge of the bias tape and trim off excess.  Almost done!

Ruffle Sleeve Tutorial by you & mie

Sew side seams of the bodice, right sides together and finish edges as desired.  Press seam towards the back.  Tack the top of the seam down with a few stitches, if desired.  You can see the tacking in the picture below, though it’s hardly noticeable when being worn.

Ruffle Sleeve Tutorial by you & mie

Finish the rest of the garment as directed in your pattern and you’re done!

Oliver + S Lullaby Layette Summer Bodysuit // by you & mie

Enjoy those little arms in those little ruffles!

*As with all my tutorials, this was written extremely late at night when already sleep deprived, so if something doesn’t quite make sense and you need clarification on any part, please don’t hesitate to ask.  It’s probably my fault, not yours.*

Happy Sewing!  :P

Black and White Infant Mobile

As I prepare for my own newborn, I thought I’d bring back this guest post/tutorial that I did a loooooong time ago.  It’s the perfect project for a newborn’s nursery – a stimulating black and white infant mobile.  Just last week I got the sweetest email from a reader living in Dubai who has made a few of these for friends.  She says that both the mamas and the babies love them and she loves making them too!  It was seriously such a heartwarming email to read and it made me feel so happy to share these kinds of tutorials with you.  Thanks Julie!

I made this mobile forever ago and I’m excited that we’ll finally have a little one to enjoy it.  I mention this in the post, but please note that I used a slightly older than newborn model for my pictures.  But this mobile is recommended for newborns, not toddlers.  Enjoy!

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Projects for newborns have a special place in my heart because the arrival of my daughter (Yuki) is what really catapulted me into the world of sewing.  And now I can’t imagine my life without either!  Today I’m going to show you how to make a stimulating Black and White Mobile for your baby’s changing table.

Out of aaaaall of the things that I made for my daughter when she was an infant, the one that was the most loved and the most used was a mobile similar to this.  She. Loved. It.  She was so mesmerized by the high contrast designs – we actually called it “the babysitter” for awhile because she could just lay there and stare at it forever!

 Not a newborn anymore, but the only model I had on hand – and she was still pretty intrigued!

Studies say that newborns can best register black, white and red in high contrasting patterns.  These designs stimulate their eyes and promote brain development.  This is probably most beneficial during the first 3-4 months of life, though my daughter loved hers well past her first birthday (we had to keep adjusting the height so she couldn’t reach it)!  Because these designs stimulate (not soothe), this mobile would be best
placed over a changing table or play area as opposed to a crib.

So let’s get started!  Here’s what you’ll need:
- An embroidery hoop (10 inches)
- Paint and paint brush
- White and black felt (I like wool or wool blend)
- Embroidery floss

I bought this 10 inch hoop at Joann’s and at full price it was $1.50.  You can use polyester felt, but I prefer wool or wool blend felt because it’s thicker and will make the squares stiffer.

I bought 1/8 of a yard in white and black.  Luckily I had the rest of the supplies at home already, so between the felt and the hoop (and a couple of coupons), I only spent about $3.50.  Not bad . . .

So the first step is to separate the two hoops.  One has some hardware on it and you can toss that in your “stuff I swear I’ll find a purpose for someday” pile (please tell me you have one too).  The other hoop should have nothing on it.  Paint your hoop with acrylic paint or spray paint.  A couple of coats will ensure a nice opaque finish.  I went with black because I thought the dark circle against the white ceiling would add another visual element of interest.  But you can paint it whatever you color you want!

Set the hoop aside to dry and cut your felt into 4×4 inch squares.  You’ll need 6 white ones and 4 black ones.

Let’s also cut your embroidery floss.  The lengths I give here are based on what I needed (determined by the height of my ceiling and my changing table), so you may need to make adjustments.  I used one piece that was 90 inches and 4 pieces that were 50 inches.

Sketch out some designs for your mobile pieces.

These were my original sketches, though some of the designs came out different.  I’m going to walk you through the 5 designs I made, but you can be as creative as you want!

1. Cut out strips of white felt  and lay them down diagonally on a black square.

2. Cut a piece of white felt 4 inches long.  Draw 4 wavy lines, cut them out and lay them on a black square.

3. Draw nine circles on some black felt (trace a coin).  Originally I made them all the same size, but before I sewed them on I decided to make 4 of them smaller.  A nickel and a dime might be about right.

4. Draw concentric circles about 1/2 inch apart on black felt and create a target design on a white square.

5. This is probably the most complicated one.  First cut two black 2×2 inch squares.  Keeping in mind that 2 of the sides of the square will be part of the seam allowance (dashed line), draw a small square in the “middle.”  Carefully cut the square out, repeat with the other black square and arrange as shown.  Don’t forget that you’ll lose a 1/4 inch on all four sides!

Now top stitch all the felt designs on and trim anything extra felt hanging off the edge of the square.  Take your time with the circles and curved shapes.

Here’s what they should like at this point:

(Notice the change I made in the 9 circles design)

Put those aside while we prep the other 5 squares, which will be the back pieces.  Felt doesn’t generally have a right and wrong side, but I’ve labeled them just in case you’re using something that does.

Use a ruler to find the center of the square and mark it on the wrong side.  Measure about a 1/2 cm to either side of the center to make a 1 cm line.

You’ll need to decide which of the designs you want in the center of the mobile.  That design will get the longest (90 inch) piece of thread.  For the other 4 designs you’ll use the shorter pieces of embroidery floss.
Thread your needle and enter from the right side on one end of the centimeter long mark and then push the needle back through at the other end of the centimeter long mark (geez, did that make sense?).
Now pull the threads till they are even lengths and the felt square hangs parallel to the ground.  Flip the square over and tie a simple knot close to the square.  You don’t want to tie it so tight that the square puckers.  Make sure that it lays flat and it’s ok if there is a little sliding room.
Wind up the thread and lay it in the center of the square so it’ll be out of the way when you sew the two sides of the square together.  Repeat with the other 4 squares (remember to use the longest piece of thread for your center square).
To sew the square front and back pieces together, lay your patterned squares on top of the back square pieces, right sides together.  Pin and sew them together with a 1/4 inch seam allowance, making sure to leave an opening on one side.
Trim the corners and flip them right side out.  Use a chopstick to poke out the corners and press.  Top stitch all the way around with a 1/4 inch seam allowance making sure to sew the opening shut.  As you top stitch, make sure to move the embroidery floss aside so you don’t sew over it.
Now you should have 5 felt coaster-like squares with thread coming out the back side.
Decide how long you want each square to hang from the hoop and tie a simple knot at that mark.
Separate the two pieces of thread and place the hoop in between them.
With the two pieces of thread back together, tie a knot above the hoop as close to the hoop as possible.
Now repeat this with the other 3 squares that will hang from the hoop.  Place them exactly 90 degrees apart from each other.  Pull all the thread to the center above the hoop in one hand.
For the center square, add the loooong threads to the bunch in your hand and adjust the length of the thread depending on where you want the center square to hang.  Make sure the hoop is parallel to the ground.  If it is tilted, you need to adjust the lengths of the thread.  Tie a knot with all of the strands of thread about 6-7 inches about the hoop (the thread should measure at least 8 inches from the hoop to the knot – this will help for the next step).
Trim the
short threads to a 1/2 inch above the knot.  Be sure not to cut the two
long threads!!!  You’ll need those to hang the mobile.
Cut out 2 circles about 1.75 inches in diameter.
Place them wrong sides together and top stitch around half of the circle.
Slip the circle over the knot and top stitch the rest of the circle making sure to sew over the thread so the circle doesn’t slide up and down.  If you can’t machine sew this because the hoop gets in the way, you can hand stitch it.
And you’re basically done!!  I just tied a loop at the end and used a ceiling hook to hang it.
Done!  Now give it a little spin, sing a song and watch how your baby becomes mesmerized by these handcrafted designs.  Can you see the synapses firing??  Well, maybe not, but I’m pretty sure you’ll see the intrigue in their eyes.
Baby’s eye view
Again, I used my toddler in these pictures because I didn’t have a newborn on hand.  I don’t actually recommend this (or any) mobile over a changing table for toddlers, mostly because it’ll end up looking something like this:
Anyways, thanks for letting me share this tutorial with you.  I hope you give this project a try and that your little one loves this mobile as much as mine did!
Hope you all have a great week!

Pretty Pink Pinafore {tutorial}

You guuuuuuuys!!  Thanks so much for all of the wonderful well wishes after my last post.  It has been truly heartwarming reading each comment, hearing some of your own stories and feeling the love you’ve sent my family’s way.  I really appreciate it!  You guys rock :)

Pinafore21

So last week, I did a guest post for sewpony‘s series “When We Were Young” and I shared an outfit that I made for my daughter that was inspired by an outfit that I wore when I was young!  I also mentioned that I’d post a tutorial for the simple pinafore, so here I am, being true to my word.

Here is the original next to the version I made for Yuki:
PinkPinafore7I did a lot of guessing and “winging it” when making this little pinafore, but it came together pretty simply so I wanted to share how I did it in case you wanted to try it too!  But I have to warn you, this tutorial is not about exact measurements or precise directions.  It’s just a basic how-to.  Since I was just making it up as I went along, you may have to be a bit flexible and daring and wing it too.  Hope that’s ok!

PinkPinafore6

PinkPinafore5

The jumper has a bib bodice in the front and is open in the back with criss cross straps.  The skirt is gathered in the front and has elastic in the band for easy comfort and fit.  Really, it looks a lot like an apron.  There is a cute notched “collar” (clearly, it’s not a real collar, but I wasn’t sure what else to call it), and a crocheted lace detail on the pocket.  It’s perfect for hot summer days, but can easily be layered as we transition into fall.

What you’ll need:

  • Main fabric (1-2 yards depending on what size you’re making)
  • Contrast fabric (1/4 yard)
  • Crocheted doily or lace
  • Lightweight interfacing
  • 1″ wide elastic
  • 2 buttons

To draft your pattern, measure the child’s chest and divide that by 4.  That will be the width of your bodice pattern piece (since it’s drawn on the fold).  You can also measure across the front of a dress or shirt and divide that in two.  When I drafted my piece, I added seam allowance, but my bodice ended up being just a little too wide.  So I’d just stick with the measurement and not add seam allowance and then the bodice will be just smaller than the chest width, which I think will fit better.

Pinafore1

The height of your pattern piece will depend on how long you want the bodice to be.  Measure from the point you want the bodice to start on their chest and down to where you want the skirt to begin.  Add a 1/2 inch seam allowance on both the top and bottom (1 inch total).  I also cut the top corner a bit to allow room for arms.  I eyeballed this, but for my 3T-ish pattern, I made a mark about 1 inch in on the top and 2.5 inches down and drew a diagonal line connecting the two and then cut.  You can place your pattern on your child or on a shirt to see if it’s about the right size/angle (remember to take into account the 1/2 inch seam allowance).  Sorry people, I don’t have an exact formula – like I said, I usually just wing things around here.

To draft the collar, I placed some tracing paper on top of the bodice piece and traced along the top section of the bodice pattern.  Decide how long you want this collar piece to be and cut straight across, remembering to add seam allowance.  I used a 1/2 inch SA to sew along the outside edge of the bodice, but only a 1/4 inch SA along the bottom of the collar piece.  To add the notch, draw a diagonal line along the fold line of your pattern piece the size and angle you want your notch to be.  Then draw a second line a quarter inch over (towards the fold line) and cut.

Pinafore2

You’ll also need a pocket pattern piece, which you can make whatever size/shape you want.

Now you’re ready to cut your fabric.  From your main fabric, you’ll need 2 bodice pieces, 2 pocket pieces and 2 strap pieces.  Your straps should be 2.5 inches wide and whatever length you’ll need to reach from the top of the bodice, over the shoulder and to their waistline on their back.  My 3T straps were 14.5 inches long.

From your contrast fabric, you’ll need 2 collar pieces.  If desired, add lightweight interfacing on the wrong side of one of the collar pieces.

Pinafore3

 You’ll also need to cut 2 rectangles for the skirt front and skirt back from your main fabric.  I used one of Yuki’s dresses to determine how wide to cut the rectangle (by measuring the width of the bottom of the skirt then adding 1 inch for seam allowance) and the length will depend on how long you want the skirt to be, plus added length for seam allowance and hemming.  For the skirt back piece, add one inch to the length to create casing for the elastic.  My skirt pieces were 27×14 inches for the front and 27×15 inches for the back.

First we’re going to add the decorative lace to the pocket piece.  Depending on what shape lace doily you have, you can probably just leave it as is and sew it on to one of your pocket pieces.  A square or strip can be placed across the top edge of the pocket.  Or a circular piece can be cut in half so that a curved edge lays across the top half of the pocket.  Play around with whatever shape or look you want and sew the lace down onto the right side of one of your pocket pieces.

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Because I was trying to replicate the pocket in the original photo, I needed a triangular piece.  I cut my lace into a triangle and then serged the edges to finish them.  I did kind of a crappy job.

Pinafore5

After you top stitch along the outer edge of the lace to attach it to one of your pocket pieces, lay the other pocket piece on top, right sides together and pin around the edges.

Sew all the way around the pocket leaving about a 1.5 inch opening.

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Clip corners, flip the pocket right side out and press.   Sew this pocket onto the front skirt piece.

To prepare your straps, fold them in half lengthwise (right sides together) and press.  Then sew along the long edge and one of the short edges with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Be sure to leave one short edge open.  Trim the corner.

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Repeat with the other strap and then turn the straps right side out and press.

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Place your collar pieces wrong sides together and pin along the bottom (notched) edge.  It may help to mark the line you want to sew along, for the notched portion, to assure you get a nice even and centered notch.  Sew just along the bottom edge of the collar.

Pinafore9

Trim corners and carefully clip your notch as close to the stitching as possible – but don’t snip the stitching!

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Flip your collar right side out, use a chopstick or something to push all the corners out and press.

Lay the collar on top of one of your bodice pieces, right sides facing up and baste the collar to the bodice.

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Place the raw edge of one of your straps along the top edge of your bodice – measure a 1/2 inch down and a 1/2 in and pin.  Do the same with the other strap on the other side of the bodice.

Pinafore12

I didn’t photograph the next step, but place the other bodice piece on top, right sides together (with straps and collar sandwiched in between) and pin.  Sew the bodice pieces together along the sides and top of the bodice (leaving the bottom edge open) using a 1/2 inch seam allowance.  Trim seam allowance down to a 1/4 inch and clip corners.  Flip right side out and press.

Gather the skirt front piece by sewing two basting lines along the top edge of the skirt.  To baste, set your machine on the longest stitch and do not backstitch at the beginning or end.  Leave the threads long and pull carefully to gather the skirt.  You want the width to be 1/2 an inch longer than the bodice on each side.  Leave that 1/2 inch ungathered.

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Pin the bottom edge of the bodice to the top edge of the front skirt piece with right sides together.  There should be 1/2 an inch of ungathered skirt sticking out on either side of the bodice.

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Sew the skirt and bodice together with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.  Finish this raw edge with your serger or a zig zag stitch.  Press the bodice up and the seam allowance down.

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To make the casing for the back skirt piece, fold and press the fabric just less than 1/2 an inch down along one of the long edges.  Fold the fabric down again just over one inch – you’ll want the casing to be slightly wider than the 1″ elastic.  Sew very close to the folded edge.

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Using a safety pin, pull the elastic through the casing.  Sew the elastic in place 1/2 an inch in from one side and then continue pulling elastic through to the other end.  The skirt back piece should match the width of the skirt front piece, or be just a little bit smaller for a snug fit.  Sew the other end of the elastic in place 1/2 an inch in from the end.  Trim excess elastic.

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Place the skirt front and back pieces together (right sides facing in) and pin along the side edges of the skirt.  Sew together using a 1/2 an inch SA, trim and finish edges using a serger or zig zag stitch.

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We’re almost done!  Just a few more finishing touches.  On the inside of your back skirt piece, hand sew two buttons to attach the straps to.

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Then sew buttonholes on the ends of your straps.

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Done!

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PinkPinafore10

Hooray!  A sweet vintage frock for your sweet little one!

Please remember to add any of your you & mie inspired creations to the flickr pool!  Oh and let me know if you have any questions or corrections.  I wrote this when I was really sleepy :P

I hope you’re all doing well.  I seriously can’t believe how quickly this summer is going by!  It’s already AUGUST!  And I went from having no real sewing agenda, to a list of about 15+ projects that I want to get done before the baby comes in a couple of months!  I better get to it!  What have you been working on?

Maternity Geo Dress: 30 Days of Sundresses

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It’s June!  Can you believe it?  Summer is upon us and that means it’s time to bust out the sundresses.  Melissa from Melly Sews is running her series, (30) Days of Sundresses, for the second time.   All month – 30 sundresses!  For girls and women – it’s really quite fun!

Last year I made a beach maxi for my sister (and a matching dress for my daughter), and this time I decided to try make something for me!  I’m not sure why but I’ve been really motivated to make clothes for myself recently.  I’m not sure if it’s the pregnancy and the fact that I don’t fit into my clothes anymore and the selection at stores seems so limited, or maybe because Yuki refuses to wear anything but t-shirts and sweat pants and that seems boring to me, but I have all these ideas and a sudden urge to try sewing for me!  I’ve already made 4 things already and I have plans for a handful more, so this dress is just the start of a lot of maternity wear up in here!

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So I made a knit dress that was inspired by this dress from Old Navy . . .

Dress by Old Navy (no longer available) via ChildMODE

I wanted to try and make a floral neckline like the original version, but I didn’t have any fabric that was suitable, and I didn’t feel like painting any at the time.  So I just picked some fun fabric from my stash, On Point in Golden from the Cloud 9 Simpatico line, to add the accented neckline.

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So the dress is made to fit and flatter a pregnant body, but I’m guessing this could look good on other body types too, especially if you lower the waistline.  I’d love to see some non-maternity versions of this dress too!

Alright, so you ready to start?

What you’ll need:

  • 2 yards of knit fabric
  • a scrap or fat quarter of accent fabric
  • paper backed (double sided) fusible web (I use Pellon 805 Wonder-Under)
  • 1/4 inch elastic (about 14 inches)

First you need to draft your pattern for the bodice.  So find a knit top that fits well, not too tight, but not baggy either.  I used a combination of Kristin’s free Scoop Top pattern and a tank top of my own.  Measure where you want the bodice to hit and add 1/2 an inch to the bottom.

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To draft the accent neckline, place your front bodice on a piece of paper and trace the neckline, shoulder seam and half of the arm hole (see picture on the left).  Remove the bodice pattern piece and decide how wide or what shape you want your accent neckline to be.  I made mine a solid 2.5 inches around.  Then add a 1/4 inch along the bottom of the curve for folding under.

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Cut out your dress pieces – one front bodice piece on the fold, one back bodice piece on the fold and the accent neckline on the fold.

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You’ll also need to cut a piece of fusible web from the neckline pattern piece, but without the added 1/4 inch along the bottom curve.

For your skirt, you’ll want 2 pieces of fabric – the length will be determined by the measurement from the bottom of the bodice to the desired length.  Make sure to add about 2 inches for hemming and seam allowance.  I cut my skirt at a slight A-line, the top of the skirt pieces should be about the same width as the bottom of your bodice.

GeoDress8

You’ll also need long strips of your main fabric to finish the armholes and neckline.  Cut strips that are 2 inches wide and make sure you cut them in the direction in which the fabric stretches.  I like to cut them as long as I can and then trim them down later, but for rough estimates, I ended up needing two strips that were 2″ x 15″ for the armholes and one strip that was 2″ x 28″.  Cut them a few inches longer at least to make sure you have enough.

Fuse the fusible web to the wrong side of the accent neckline lining up the shoulder seams and neckline (the bottom curve will have a 1/4 inch without fusible web).

GeoDress9Remove the paper backing.  And here’s a trick I learned from sewing from Oliver + S patterns . . . Sew a basting stitch along the bottom 1/4 inch seam allowance.

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Press the curve towards the wrong side along the basting stitch.  Remove the basting stitch.  Fuse the neckline to your front bodice piece following the fusible web directions and sew along the bottom curve close to the edge.

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Next we’re going to attach the elastic to the bottom of the bodice pieces.  Cut your elastic into two 7 inch strips (approximately).  Find the center of the front bodice and pin or baste the center of the elastic strip on the wrong side of the fabric along the bottom edge of the bodice.  Because this elastic will be part of the seam allowance, I placed elastic close to the bottom of the bodice.

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Sew the elastic to the bottom of the bodice with a zig zag stitch stretching the elastic as much as you can, but being careful not to stretch the knit fabric.

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It should look like this on the wrong side . . .

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And like this on the right side . . .

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Repeat with the back bodice piece.

To attach the bodice to the skirt, line up the bottom of the bodice and the top of the skirt with right sides together.  I didn’t photograph this part, so I hope this makes sense.  As you sew the pieces together, I like to use the slanted zig zag stitch because it allows for stretch.

GeoDress16

When you sew the bodice and skirt together, pull the elastic section of the bodice tightly without pulling the skirt piece so that it’ll gather.  The elastic should be within the seam allowance so that it won’t be visible on the finished dress.  So right along the inner edge of the elastic.  The sections on either side of the elastic should be sewn without stretching any fabric.  When finished it should look like this . . .

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Repeat with the back side of the dress, sewing the back bodice and skirt pieces together the same way.

Place the front and back right sides together and pin and sew the shoulder seams and the side seams of the dress.

To finish your armholes and neckline, you’ll need your 2″ strips of fabric.  To measure the length you need, leave 1/2 an inch for seam allowance and then pin the strip to the armhole.  Slightly stretch the strip as you go around the entire armhole and leave another 1/2 an inch for seam allowance when you get back to where you started.  It’s important to stretch it slightly because you don’t want a loose, baggy or limp finishing, it should be slightly smaller than the armhole to create a finished band that hugs your body.  Once you’ve found the length you need, trim off any access and remove the strip from the armhole.  Sew the short edges right sides together with a 1/2 an inch seam allowance to create a circle.

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Press that seam open, then fold the loop in half lengthwise wrong sides together, so that raw edges should line up and the seam allowance is hidden inside.  Press.

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With the dress right side out, pin together the raw edges of the armhole finishing with the armhole.  Start by lining up the seams and pin all the way around stretching the band slightly and evenly as you pin.

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Sew along the raw edge using the slanted zig zag stitch.  Finish edges if desired.  Press well and top stitch, again, if desired.

Repeat with other armhole and neckline as well.

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Hem the dress and you’re done!!  With knits, I like to serge the edge and then fold it up once about an inch and sew close to the serged edge with either a double needle or the slanted zig zag stitch.  That way the hem doesn’t get too thick with a double fold.

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So here I am at 26 and a half weeks.  This is a very comfortable dress with a pop of fun, that I hope will take me through my entire pregnancy.

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Be sure to check out Melly Sews every day this month for a new sundress from these awesome bloggers:

And I hope you’re ready for more maternity wear starting next week because I’ve been busy sewing for me!
Wishing you a beautiful weekend . . .
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Suspender Skirt Tutorial

I just spent the most amazing weekend up in Portland at Quilt Market hanging out with talented, fun and inspirational seamstresses, fabric designers and shop owners from all over the country!  I really want to tell you more about my experiences soon, but since I’m still recovering from my busy weekend, I thought I’d repost this tutorial I did a year ago for the fabulous series, Vintage May, which is running again right now!  The hosts, Jessica of Craftiness is Not Optional and Kristin of skirt as top, have rounded up some fabulous guests to showcase some vintage and vintage inspired looks, so be sure to check it out!  I was part of the fun last year and I never reposted the tutorial here, so in honor of Vintage May II, here ya go!

***

Hello vintage lovers!  It’s amazing what Kristin and Jess have put together here and I’m so honored to be a part of it!  I must have run through 50 ideas for what vintage-inspired creation I wanted to share with you before deciding on something – the possibilities are endless!  I decided to go through some old family photos to see if I could find some inspiration there and I saw a particular style pop up a few times in my mom’s childhood photos.

(Left photo: My mom, standing in front, with her two brothers and mother
Right photo: My mom, center, my grandmother, upper left and their neighbors)

(My mom, lower right, with her brothers and uncle)

I loved the simple and classic style of the jumpers my mom and her neighbor are wearing in these pictures.  So I created a suspender skirt for my daughter and I’ve got a tutorial so you can make one too!

(Did I mention this was from a year ago?  Check out these old pics of Yuki!!)

It’s got a bit of a school uniform vibe, but it’s still cute enough to be worn anywhere.  It’s a simple high waisted pleated skirt with a flat front and elastic in the back.  The buttons in the front are just for fun and completely optional.  The suspender straps are sewn in the front and adjustable in the back for longer wear.  You could easily use this technique to attach straps to any style skirt, pair of shorts or pants.  If you want to make the straps completely removable, you can follow the directions for the back of the skirt in the front, and then the skirt can be worn alone or with the suspenders.  So many options!

Ok, let’s get started.  You’ll need:

Fabric (about a yard, depending on the size)
Contrasting fabric for pockets (optional)
Buttons 2-4
1″ wide elastic and safety pin
Sewing essentials

*I used a 1/2 seam allowance, unless stated otherwise.

Measure your kid’s “waist.”  I say “waist” because it depends on where you want the skirt to sit.  My skirt is so high up it’s practically her chest measurement!  Your skirt pieces will be the “waist” measurement by the desired length of the skirt and you’ll need two.  So I cut 2 rectangles that were 18 x 12 inches.

You’ll also need 4 pocket pieces.  I just drew a pattern freehand in what I thought was a “pocket-like” shape.  Make sure to cut two and then flip the pattern over for the other two.

For the waistband, cut a long rectangle that is the “waist” measurement times 1.5, then add a few inches for good measure.  So I multiplied 18 x 1.5 = 27, plus a few inches – I probably cut mine at 32 inches (I always cut waaay more than I need then trim later).  The height is 4 inches.

For the suspenders, you’ll need to measure your child from the “waist,” up over the shoulder across the back (remember the straps will criss-cross in the back) and then add about 6 inches to this measurement.  The height is 3 inches and you’ll need 2.  So I had two strips that were 3 x 20.

I hope I haven’t lost you already!  Here are my cut pieces, note that the waistband and straps are folded up in this picture.

Working on the right side of one of your skirt pieces, we’ll make some pleats.  We basically want to get this piece of fabric to be half of the waist measurement, plus one inch.  So I need my 18 inch wide fabric down to 10 inches.  The size and amount of pleats will depend on the size of your skirt and how you want it to look.  Mark the center of the fabric and then two equidistant marks on either side of the center.

Fold the fabric on the marks toward the center and pin.

Add more pleats on either side, playing around with the size until your skirt piece the right size.  Press your pleats, pin, sew them down using a 1/4 inch seam allowance and press again.

Place your pocket pieces right sides together on your skirt front and back.  Sew down the straight edge of the pocket.

Press the pocket pieces open.  Lay the skirt pieces down right sides together lining up one side and pocket piece.  The back skirt piece will be much larger than the front still, so just do one side at a time.  Sew them together using a 1/2 inch seam allowance, then trim and finish the edges by serging or zig zag stitching.

Flip the skirt right side out and press.

Put the skirt aside while we prepare the suspenders.  Fold the strips in half lengthwise with right sides together and press.  Sew down the length of the strip and down one end.  This will give you one closed end, but leave the other open.  Trim the corner.

Turn the strip right side out using a pointy object to poke the corners out.  Press the strap flat and top stitch around 3 sides, leave one end open still.  Repeat with the other strap.

Now for the waistband.  You’ll want it to be the same measurement around as your skirt.  Lay your skirt down (the front and back will not line up, but that’s ok), and lay your waistband down folded in half (right sides together) with one side lined up and mark the other edge of the skirt.  Add 1/2 an inch to that and mark again.

Cut the extra fabric off, pin and sew along the line to create a loop.

Press the seam open and fold the bottom of the band to meet the top.  One edge of the loop should be raw and the other folded.  Press the fold.

Open up the waistband and pin one raw edge to the top of the skirt, lining up the seam with the one of the side seams of the skirt.  Sew the skirt and waistband together all the way around with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.  Make sure the pleats are laying nice and flat.

Flip the waistband up and press.  Fold the top of the waistband down towards the wrong side 1/2 inch.  When the waistband is folded down it should just barely cover the stitching at the bottom of the waistband.

Fold the waistband down and pin in place.  We’re going to make the casing for the back of the skirt first, so starting at one side seam top stitch along the back of the skirt just above the seam.  Make sure the inside of the waistband is being caught in your stitching.  Stop at the other side seam.

Cut a piece of elastic that is half of the “waist” measurement.  My waist measurement was 18, so I cut a piece of elastic 9 inches long.  I don’t add more for seam allowance because I like my elastic to have a bit of pull.

Using a safety pin, thread your elastic through the casing.  Before the end of the elastic is about to be pulled completely into the casing, sew up the waistband along the same line as the skirt’s side seam catching about a 1/2 inch of the elastic.  Continue pulling the elastic through until it’s about 1/2 an inch past the other side seam.  Top stitch the waist band vertically along the skirt side seam.

Flip your skirt inside out and slide your suspenders into the waistband by about 1/2 an inch.  Pin in place.

Carefully turn the skirt right-side out.  Top stitch just above the seam where the skirt meets the waistband.  Flip the suspenders up and top stitch along the front of the waistband just below the top.

Almost done!  Hand sew buttons into the back of the skirt catching only the inside of the waist band (not the elastic or the outside of the skirt).

Mark on the straps where you want the button holes to be.  I made a few on each strap so I could adjust the length of the suspenders.

Hem the bottom, sew buttons on the front if you want and you’re done!

I played around with two different lengths in these pictures.  High waisted and HIGHER waisted.

Maybe too high?

Thank you so much for letting me share this tutorial with you today!  If you have any questions or think a part needs some clarification, please let me know – I’d be happy to help!  If you’re interested in the pink top my daughter is wearing, stop by my blog for a little how-to on this remix of Oliver + S’s Jump Rope Dress.

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

***

I’ll be back with some fun photos from Quilt Market later this week.  Seriously, it was SO. MUCH. FUN.  Can’t wait to share it with you :)

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.

ColourPopTop1

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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ColourPopTop22

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).

ColourPopTop 25

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!

Reversible Spring Coat Tutorial

I’m re-posting this Reversible Spring Coat tutorial that was originally up on iCandy Handmade for their Basic Bodice Series.  The premise of the series was that if you have a great bodice pattern and some ideas for mixing it up, you can pretty much make anything!

ReversibleCoatSo I decided to take a basic dress bodice and turn into a reversible coat!

It’s going to take a bit of pattern altering, of course, but I’ll walk you through it and it’ll be pretty simple!

ReversibleCoat2

And the finished product will be a sweet and practical coat for your little one!  I used 2 lightweight fabrics (nani iro double gauze and linen) to make a spring coat since I know the weather will be warming up soon.

You’ll need:

  • 2 fabrics (yardage will depend on what size coat you’re making)
  • 4 buttons (or as many as you desire, just be sure they are the same size and you have enough for both sides of the coat)
  • interfacing (optional)
  • bodice pattern
  • sleeve pattern (or draft your own)
  • tracing paper
  • ruler

I started out with Made by Rae’s Geranium Dress pattern for my bodice because it’s the pattern I’ve been using for dresses recently, but you can use pretty much any basic bodice pattern.  I went up one size because this is outerwear and I want it to fit over clothes, so instead of 2T which my daughter usually wears, I cut out the 3T size bodice pattern.

Basic Bodice Coat1The original pattern has the front bodice piece cut on the fold and a button placket in the back, but we want our button placket in the front and will cut our back piece on the fold.  So, the first step is to cut the extra off the back bodice.  Place the front bodice pattern on top of the back bodice pattern lining up the bottom of the armhole and bodice.  Mark the fold line onto the back pattern and cut on the line.

Basic Bodice Coat2Depending on your bodice pattern, you may want to lower the bottom of the armhole.  I trimmed off a bit starting from half an inch down.

Basic Bodice Coat3On your tracing paper, line up the straight edge of your back pattern piece with the edge of your paper and trace the shoulder seam and armhole.  I raised the neckline so it hit about an inch higher at the fold line.

Basic Bodice Coat4From the bottom of the armhole, use a ruler to make an A-line shape for your coat.  You can make it whatever length you want.  The bottom hemline is slightly curved.

Basic Bodice Coat5For the front pattern piece, you’ll want to take another piece of tracing paper and tape it so it hangs over the straight edge of the back coat pattern by 1.5 inches (1/2 an inch for seam allowance and another 1 inch for the button placket).  Place the front bodice pattern to top so that the bottom of the armhole and the straight edge lines up with the back piece.  Trace the shoulder seam and armhole of the bodice pattern.  I brought the neckline up by about 1/2 an inch.

Basic Bodice Coat6Remove the bodice pattern and trace the side seam and bottom hemline from the back pattern piece.  Make sense?

Basic Bodice Coat7_1Here’s what my pattern pieces looked like.

Basic Bodice Coat8

You’ll also need to draft a sleeve, collar and pocket pattern.  For the sleeve, I actually used one that I already had.  To make sure it’d fit, I cut a muslin of the sleeve piece and after I sewed the front and back pieces together of the coat, I checked to see if it would fit in the armhole, then adjusted the pattern as necessary.  If you don’t have a pattern piece for a sleeve, you can find many tutorials for drafting your own with a simple web search.

For the collar, I used this tutorial by Vanessa of LBG Studio.  And for the pocket, I took a piece of paper, folded it in half and drew the basic shape that I wanted.  Be sure to add seam allowance!

Basic Bodice Coat9Basic Bodice Coat10

From Fabric A, you’ll need:
- 2 front pieces
- 1 back piece (cut on the fold)
- 1 collar piece
- 2 sleeves
- 4 pockets

And from Fabric B, you’ll need the exact same thing.

Now we get to the sewing part!

Basic Bodice Coat11

*If you are using super thin or flimsy fabric, you may want to fuse interfacing to one or both of the collar pieces to add more structure.  I did not.*

Place your collar pieces down (1 from Fabric A and 1 from Fabric B) with right sides together.  Pin and sew the outer edge.  Clip rounded edges to reduce bulk when you flip the collar right side out.

Basic Bodice Coat12Flip right side out and press flat.  Top stitch around the outer edge, if desired.

Basic Bodice Coat13Place two pocket pieces together (right sides together) and pin.  Sew around the edge, leaving a 1 inch opening.  I like to sew along the opening as well because it helps flip the seam allowance in when you turn the pocket right side out.

Basic Bodice Coat14

Flip the pocket right side out, press flat and sew onto one of the front coat pieces.  Stitch close to the curved edge of the pocket, back stitching several times at the tops of the pocket to reinforce the corners (don’t sew the pocket closed!)  Repeat with the other 2 pocket pieces for Fabric A.

*Again, if your fabrics are really thin, you can add a strip of interfacing to the front coat pieces where your buttonholes and buttons will be.  Cut two strips of fusible interfacing 1 inch wide.  The length will depend on how many buttons and where you will place them.  Fuse them to the wrong side of your front bodice pieces 1/2 an inch from the edge.  I skipped this step too.*

Basic Bodice Coat15Pin and sew shoulder seams.  Press them open.

Basic Bodice Coat16Open up the coat at the shoulder seam, right side up.  Find the center of the sleeve and pin that to the shoulder seam, right sides together.  Continue pinning the sleeve to the armhole carefully.  Sew and press seam.  Repeat with other sleeve.

Basic Bodice Coat17Line up the side seams and the bottom of the sleeve, pin and sew (right sides together).  Repeat with the other sleeve and side seam.  Turn coat right side out and press.

Basic Bodice Coat18Take your prepared collar and line up the center with the center of the back of the coat.  You want the right sides of Fabric A to be facing up for both the collar and the coat when you lay them on top of each other like this.  Pin the inner edge of the collar to the neckline of the coat.  Baste the collar to the coat.

Basic Bodice Coat19Repeat all of the steps with Fabric B (except for basting the collar).

Basic Bodice Coat20To attach the two coats, lay Fabric A coat down, right side up.

Basic Bodice Coat21_1Lay the Fabric B coat on top, right sides together.  Sleeves should be on the inside.  Pin the entire outer edge and sew together leaving about a 6-8″ opening along the bottom.

Basic Bodice Coat22Pull the sleeves out.

Basic Bodice Coat23Take one of the sleeves and fold it out (towards the wrong side) by about 1.5 inches.  Slide it inside the other sleeve, line up the bottom seams of the sleeves and pin the ends of the sleeves together.

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Sew the sleeves together along the pinned edge.  Go slowly and untwist the coat to your left as you go along.  Repeat with other sleeves.

Flip the coat right side out through the opening in the bottom.  You’re almost done!!  Press all the edges of the coat out.  Hand sew the opening shut using a slip stitch.  If you want, you can top stitch along the entire outer edge of the coat.

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Sew your buttonholes where desired and attach your buttons.  You’ll want to either use the same buttons on both sides or at least use the same size buttons.  I sewed buttons to both sides of the coat at the same time using one thread.

You’re done!

ReversibleCoat1Now your kiddo has two stylish coats in one!

ReversibleCoat3ReversibleCoat4

I hope you guys have fun with your bodice patterns and are realizing all the endless possibilities a great pattern has.  If you sew up a reversible coat using this tutorial (or any from this site), I’d love it if you shared it with us in the you & mie flickr pool!

Thanks for stopping by :)

Confused Geese Pillow Cover {tutorial}

Like I said, I didn’t make too many Christmas gifts this year.  But I did make one more.  This is the last one.  I’m pretty sure.

Our best friends, Sanjai and Jude, are truly amazing.  They invite us over to their house every week, cook amazing meals, are the BEST with Yuki and overall, just take great care of us.  Over the last several years we’ve become very close and their house has become our second home.  And it. is. gorgeous.  If you follow me on Instagram (@youandmie), you’ve probably seen pictures of their house.  And one day maybe I can give you a full tour because it really is magazine worthy.

Anyways, we love spending time there and so does Yuki.  They take great pride in their home and they have amazing style.  When I was thinking of a gift for them, a throw pillow seemed most appropriate because I knew they could put it wherever they wanted and switch it out with other covers depending on how they were feeling/decorating at the moment.

Around that time, Jessica from A Little Gray posted a work-in-progress picture of this pillow cover she was working on and she happened to mention “flying geese” in the caption.  Lucky for me, because I didn’t know these cool triangle patterns had a name!  (but of course they do).  Once I looked up what “flying geese” were, I was hooked.  I’ve totally fallen for the triangle craze and I was drawn to this particular pillow cover.  I was just going to copy it exactly, with a row of triangles, but as usual, I had to go and make it all complicated :P

So I played around in my sketchbook a bit and came up with this design.

Confused GeeseConfused Geese1I call it the Confused Geese Pillow Cover.

Why confused?  Because all of my geese are flying in different directions . . . get it!??

Haha.  Anyways, it’s a simple envelope pillow and I like the way it came out except it’s a bit too snug on the pillow form.  I had read somewhere that for an 18×18″ pillow form, a 16×16″ cover would fit well.  But it’s a bit too snug, on two sides anyways.  Maybe I’d give it an extra inch for room if I were to make it again.

I used a mustard linen blend that I had originally bought for another project – but it ended up being perfect for this.  Great color, soft enough for comfort but sturdy enough for a throw pillow.  The geese and center diamond are made from fabric scraps in my stash.  The dark gray is the chambray I used for my Darling Ranges Dress, and the light gray is a quilting cotton that I used to make my first pair of pants ever for Yuki when she was about one.  I never blogged it, so here’s a picture.

Simple Baby PantsAwww, baby Yuki learning to walk . . .

Anyways, there are tons of great tutorials out there to teach you how to make flying geese (which is how I learned), but in case you wanted to put together this exact pattern, I thought I’d show you how.  There are a lot of numbers, but I have all the measurements for you, so even if you’re not a quilter or you’ve never made flying geese before, it’s really quite simple.  I will say, however, it takes a bit of patience and attention to detail if you want all your corners to come out sharp.  Mine certainly aren’t perfect (so don’t look too close)!!

As I mentioned, my finished pillow cover was 16×16 inches.  I’ll give you all the measurements for that (and in parenthesis I’ll note the size I’d use to make a 17×17 inch cover).  If there is no parenthesis, you should use the measurement listed for both size pillow covers.

For your main fabric, you’ll need:
- 4 squares that measure 7 x 7 inches (7.5 x 7.5)
- 4 rectangles that measure 4.5 x 3 inches (4.5 x 3.5)
- 12 squares that measure 2  7/8 x 2  7/8 inches
- 2 rectangles that measure 12 x 17 inches for the back of the pillow (12.5 x 18)

For Accent Fabric A (which in my case is the dark gray chambray), you’ll need:
- 2 squares that measure 5.25 x 5.25 inches

For Accent Fabric B (the light gray), you’ll need:
- 1 square that measures 5.25 x 5.25 inches

You’ll also need:
- a 17 x 17 inch (or 18 x 18) piece of fabric to use as backing for the pieced pillow cover.  I used my main fabric, but you can really use whatever you like as it will only be on the inside of your pillow cover and won’t really show.

*seam allowance for piecing the entire pillow top is 1/4″
*seam allowance for sewing the pillow front to back pieces is 1/2″

Ok, to start, you’ll need to make your flying geese!  Grab one Fabric A square and 4 of your 2  7/8 squares.  The large square will become the “geese” (large triangles) and the small yellow squares are called “sky” pieces.

FlyingGeese01Now go and follow this tutorial on how to make 4 flying geese.  I like this tutorial, not only because it’s easy to understand but because she is making the exact same size geese as we need!

Take your time and make sure to sew straight and press well.  This will help get neat looking triangles.  Now repeat with Fabric B to make 4 more flying geese.  You should have 4 geese with Fabric A and 4 with Fabric B.

To make the diamond in the center of the pillow, you’re going to need your last Fabric A square and the last four 2  7/8 squares of your main fabric.  It’s going to start out a lot like you’re making flying geese.

FlyingGeese02Draw diagonal lines from one corner to the opposite corner on all 4 of the small “sky” squares.

FlyingGeese03Place one “sky” piece in the corner of the large square with the diagonal line cutting across the corner (not lined up with the corner).

FlyingGeese04Sew 1/4″ along the inside of the line (towards the center of the large square).  Cut away the excess fabric directly on the line and press open.

FlyingGeese05Going clockwise, place another “sky” piece in the next corner and repeat (you can see that I accidentally sewed on the outside of the line and then went ahead and unpicked it, even though it was going to get cut off in the end!  Doh!)

FlyingGeese06Repeat with the next corner.  Trim and press.

FlyingGeese07Done!  Now you’re ready to piece all your geese together!

FlyingGeese08Line up one edge of your diamond piece with the base of a Fabric B triangle, right sides together.  Sew with a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Press open.

I didn’t take pictures of every step here because it gets a bit repetitive.  It should be fairly straightforward though.

Attach a Fabric A “goose” to the Fabric B “goose” in the same way.  Repeat to the opposite side of the diamond.  Your center panel is now pieced and should look like this:

FlyingGeeseLayout(Excuse my rough sketch – it is not to scale)

Sew one of the 4.5 x 3 inch (4.5 x 3.5) rectangles (in the main fabric) to the top of the panel and one to the bottom, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Set that aside.  Sew together the top of a Fabric B triangle to the base of a Fabric A triangle.  Then attach the top of the Fabric A triangle to your 4.5 x 3 (4.5 x 3.5) inch rectangular piece of the main fabric.  Press each seam open and repeat with your last two geese.  These are what your 3 pieces should look like:

FlyingGeese10Following along so far?  Ok, good!

FlyingGeese10_1Grab your 7 x 7 (or 7.5 x 7.5) inch squares and sew them onto the sides of the 2 small rows of the triangles to complete the side panels.

FlyingGeese12Line up the edges (right sides together) and sew with a 1/4 seam allowance.  Repeat with the other 3 corner pieces and your side panels should look like this:

FlyingGeese13

FlyingGeese14Now sew the side panels to the center panel with a 1/4 inch seam allowance and your pillow cover top is complete!!

FlyingGeese15Place it on top of your 17 x 17 (18 x 18) inch backing and quilt the layers together however you like.  I kept it simple.

Now to complete your pillow cover, take one of your 12 x 17 (12.5 x 18) inch rectangles and hem one of the longer sides by folding under by 1/4″, pressing, folding under another 1/4″, pressing and then sewing along the fold.  Repeat with the other back piece.

Now to sew the front and back pieces together, place your pillow top right side up on a flat surface.  Place one of the back pieces on top, right sides together, lining up 2 of the the corners and with the hemmed edge towards the center.  Place the other back piece, right side down, also with the hemmed edge towards the center of the pillow, lining up the corners.  The back pieces should overlap by about 6 inches.

Pin along the outer edges of the pillow and sew around all 4 sides with a 1/2″ seam allowance.  Trim and/or finish edges as desired, turn right side out and press.

You’re done!  If the construction of the front and back pieces is confusing without pictures, search for “envelope pillow tutorial” and I bet you’ll find a million.

Now stuff the pillow cover with your pillow form, step back and admire your work!

photo(24)If you make a Confused Geese Pillow Cover, don’t forget to upload your photos to the you & mie flickr group!

Hope you all have a wooooonderful weekend!  3 days off for me – yipee!

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.

QuiltedJacket26

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!

QuiltedJacket24
QuiltedJacket25
QuiltedJacket27

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!