Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Purpledicular Dress Tutorial

 Purpledicular Dress Tutorial (Purpledicular Dress = Purple Perpendicular Dress)

I was so inspired by a stunning black and white striped dress from Oscar de la Renta Spring 2013 Ready to Wear collection that I decided to create my own version for my 5 year old daughter. Mr Oscar de la Renta was fortunate to be able to use pre striped fabric, but for me this was for a white sheet challenge, so I had to make my own striped fabric and I achieved that by doing piecing. Here's how I constructed the Purpledicular Dress, size 5.

Supplies needed:
:: king size white cotton flat sheet
:: half bottle of purple liquid dye
:: one white invisible zipper
:: white thread
:: rotary cutter
:: cutting mat
:: quilting ruler
:: bodice pattern

Half inch seam allowances throughout.
From the white sheet cut out 2 sections that are approximately 50-some inches by 60-some inches. Take one of those sections and dye it with half a bottle of purple liquid dye.
 Cut sixteen 3 inch strips out of the white and sixteen 2 inch strips out of the purple, so that the strips are 60-some inches long

 Sew strips together, alternating white and purple, until you have 16 rows. Press open seams.
 Do this a second time, so you end up with 2 striped sections of 16 rows.
 Take the first 16 row striped section, find the center point and cut at a 45 degree angle to the right (through the center point).

 Repeat for the second section, but this time cut at a 45 degree angle to the left.

 Put 2 sections together in order to form 90 degree angles.
 Then sew together, press seams.
 Make the skirt pattern as shown in the sketch. The half circle on top has a diameter of 7 inches, the total angle is 90 degrees, the length is 25 inches. Once you have that done add a half inch on to each of the sides of the quarter circle, this is for seam allowances.
 I used white sheet fabric to make my skirt pattern, this photos shows where I had just finished making the  3.5 inch radius.
 Take the skirt pattern and lay it on top of one of the 90 degree angle fabric pieces. Cut it out so that there will be 1.5" of white on each side. The width of the white strip is 2 inches on the side seams as it was throughout the whole dress.
 When cutting out the second skirt piece, lay the first skirt piece on top of the second 90 degree angle fabric piece, line them up so that the second piece will be exactly the same as the first.
 These 2 sections side by side form a half circle.
 They are two quarter circle skirt sections (where the front and back pieces are exactly the same).
 Sew together the side seams of the skirt, this would be the time to add nice deep on seam side pockets, if you'd like. I recommend lining the entire dress (I used white sheet fabric) to hide all those carefully pressed open seams and to make it nice against the skin.

From the remaining fabric cut out the bodice pieces. The base pattern I used for the bodice was from the Oliver+S Fairy Tale Dress size 5. I made my bodice sleeveless, collarless, and constructed it differently than what's in the given instructions, but it is still fully lined (with white sheet fabric) and has the invisible zipper in the back. I cut out the bodice pieces so that the bodice would have horizontal lines and that the bottom of the bodice ended up (after being attached to the skirt) having the 1 inch purple stripe. Once the bodice is completely sewn together, attach the skirt to the bodice. Install the invisible zipper in the back and you are done !

 If you like the Purpledicular Dress, you might also like:
:: This Mama Makes Stuff Go To Signature Dress which is an awesome red and white striped maxi dress
:: Shwin and Shwin's (purple and white) Color Block Dress
 After completing this dress, I had some fabric scraps remaining and decided to play around with them. I had just enough to make an alternative front bodice piece (using the same bodice pattern), but instead of horizontal lines, it is chevron style. Just an example to inspire you to play around with this idea and have fun with it.
Speaking of which if you like the chevron bodice you might also like… Running With Scissors':
:: Chevron Twirl Dress
:: Tana Frock: chevron, ombre died, summer dress
:: Gidget Frock: Chevron Ombre Dress

Happy sewing !

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Faux Mink Pullover Tutorial

 Faux Mink Pullover Tutorial (this mink pullover was part of the look that I created here)

How to make a little girl a mink pullover with only half yard of fabric (65" wide). I made the pattern for this pullover from scratch, taking extra care during the planning and cutting out to match up the lines with the the sleeves to the front and back pieces, I will attempt with photos to show you how I achieved that.

This faux mink pullover is A-line, it features 3/4 length raglan sleeves, and a funnel collar.

Finished measurements:
length (includes funnel collar): 16"
bottom width: 15.75"
sleeve length (includes funnel collar): 12.75"
funnel collar: length around: 21.75"; width: approximately 1.25"
 Make pattern pieces out of muslin (or thin cotton) following these measurements:
First let's start out with the front/back pattern piece... length: 16.5"
 front/back piece measurement: 5.75"
 front/back piece measurement: 13.75"
 front/back piece measurement: bottom width: 15.5"
 front/back piece measurement: 4.5"
 front/back piece measurement: 120 degree angle
 Now moving onto the sleeve pattern piece... length: 12"
 sleeve piece measurement: 5.5"
 sleeve piece measurement: 12.5"
 sleeve piece measurement: bottom width: 11.75"
 sleeve piece measurement: 4.75"
 sleeve piece measurement: 110 degree angle
 And finally for the funnel collar piece: length: 22.75" width: 3"

Get the raglan sleeve curve by tracing it from a raglan sleeve shirt from your child's closet or a raglan sleeve pattern like the O+S art smock or the O+S field trip raglan t-shirt, for example.

First of all, cut a 3" strip off one end of the fabric, you will have a 18"X3" section that will be used for the funnel collar.

Following the lines on the front of the mink fabric and using a permanent marker draw lines on the back of the mink fabric (see photo). Using a disappearing marker, draw lines on muslin pattern (following the same spacing of the lines on the mink fabric) and match up those lines on the mink fabric. See placement of pattern pieces in the photo to maximize space, the way that they are laid out is the only way I could make this pullover out of only half yard of fabric.

 On the sides of both the pattern pieces (the front/back piece & sleeve piece) I added half inch when cutting out to allow for seam allowances.

From the remaining scraps, cut out a piece that is 5.75"X3" sew that together with the 18"X3" piece using half inch seam allowance, now you will have a piece that is 22.75"X3". Now sew that into a loop using half inch seam allowance, now you will have a loop that is 21.75"X3". Fold it in half and you will have a funnel collar that is 21.75"X1.5". Set aside for later.

Sew sleeves to front and back pieces. Then sew the sleeve and side seams in one operation. Sew the funnel collar to the top of the pullover. (Half inch seam allowances were used, except when attaching the funnel collar on to the pullover, .25" seam allowance was used).

Hem the bottom and sleeves with your preferred hem finishing method (I sewed them by hand). Hem on the bottom was approximately 2" and hem on the sleeves approximately 1.5"

You are done !
 By the way, the half yard of faux mink cost me only $10!

To add the pink felted bow, see my tutorial here.
Happy sewing !

PS nest full of eggs turns 3 years old today :)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Knock if Off Series

Elegance & Elephants

I wanted to tell you about a fun new sewing series that will be starting soon. It's called Knock if Off and it will be hosted by Heidi from Elegance & Elephants (she recently took 2nd place in Project Run and Play Season 5). If you haven't visited Elegance & Elephants yet, then you should, Heidi sews beautiful clothing for her beautiful children. Anyway, the Knock it Off series will be all about knocking off a look, garment, or accessory... all childrenswear... all knock offs... all November.

And I will be guest posting over there during the series on Wednesday November 7th ~ should be fun !

Happy Monday everyone !

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Joseph and Mary Costumes

We will be attending an All Saint's Day party soon and this year it was decided that the costumes would be Joseph and Mary.

THE PATTERN// McCall's 7733, size small (6-8), it's from 1981, 31 years old, so it's vintage... you know how I love children's vintage patterns. I bought this vintage sewing pattern on Etsy, happy to support vintage and happy to support Etsy :)

THE FABRIC// solid colored 100% cottons from the local fabric store

THE SEWING// nothing fancy here, the instructions were very straight forward. I do have to say that these costumes required a lot of fabric, so I had to cut the pattern pieces out of the fabric on the floor, this has also made me realize that as my kids are getting bigger and bigger that more and more fabric is needed when sewing for them.

The pink scarf wrapped around the head I didn't sew, it was a scarf I bought in France over a decade ago. By the way, that's Baby Paul playing the role of Baby Jesus. Baby Paul is Baby Emma's twin :) 

I'm taking a trip down memory lane and remembering all of the All Saint's Day costumes (either Bible characters or Saints) from year's past... and discovered unfortunately that I didn't take photos every year, but there has been Moses, Joseph and his colorful coat, Saint Louis King of France, Saint Joan of Arc, Saint Elizabeth, and some of the very humble homemade costumes that my children have worn... paper, cardboard, & aluminum foil knight costume... we have more than one of these knitted/crochet chain mail ensembles...  princess dress for Saint Elizabeth...

Blessed All Saint's Day on November 1st to those of you who observe it!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Felted Bow Tutorial

 Felted Bow Tutorial (this felted bow was part of the look I created here)

Supplies needed:
:: wool sweater (I bought this 100% lambswool sweater at a rummage sale for around $1 or $2)
:: hand sewing needle
:: matching thread
:: scissors and/or rotary cutter used with a quilting ruler

:: first wet felt the wool sweater by washing it in the wash machine with hot water, add just a drop of detergent and throw a pair of tennis shoes in there, too
:: dry the wool sweater in the dryer
Note: by wet felting  the wool sweater it will become really thick and sturdy, also the edges won't fray
:: cut out one sleeve and a large section from the front
 :: from the front section cut out a piece that is 14 inches long and consists of two diamond like shapes which will go 1.75", 4", 1.75", 4", 1.75" wide
 :: bring the two ends of this piece together and with hand sewing needle and thread sew these ends together
 :: from the sleeve section, cut out a piece that is 17 inches long, that has 45 degree angles on each end, that is 2.75", down to .75", then back up to 2.75" wide (in a shape that is similar to what's pictured in the photo)
 :: from any of the remaining scraps cut out a piece that is 3.5" X 1.5"
 :: assemble the bow by taking that smallest piece and wrapping it around the 2 larger pieces, with hand sewing needle and thread sew together the 2 ends of the smallest piece (so that the ends of the smallest piece are in the back of the bow)
 All done !
Enjoy making felted bows !
And have fun putting them everywhere.