Thursday, February 20, 2014

Upcycled Dress

This past weekend my daughter asked if I could use this dress to make something for my 8 year old granddaughter. I said I was sure I could make something out of it. The fabric is really pretty. The origianl dress is a size small maxi dress and the remake is a girl's size 10/12.

I looked around on Pinterest for ideas and came across a dress called Marissa by Sis Boom. I don't have that particular pattern but after spending a little time looking at the dress on Pinterest I decided I could do a knock off without a lot of trouble. The neck and shoulders were really the only thing I wasn't sure of. I did a search and found a sew along for this dress on The Scientific Seamstress and the neck was made pretty much as I thought.
The dress has a slip/lining in the coral color in batiste and the outer fashion fabric is  a voille type fabric. I cut the top off the dress and threw it away. I used part of the slip to cut the outer layer of the cumberbund. I had a light tan sheet left over from another project that I used to line the bodice and used the slip/lining from the original dress for the skirt lining.

 I am still unsure of my measurements and this dress may be too large when my granddaughter tries it on but maybe I can either alter it or she can grow into it.

BEFORE                                                             AFTER

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Heirloom Sewing

I kept thinking that I wanted to make something heirloom.. You know with lace and entredeux. Let me first say that I have very little experience with this type sewing and am totally self taught. I really would love to get good at it and how else could I do that unless I practice. I am still in the slow recovery process after having surgery to fuse my left thumb in November so my bullion roses and hand embroidery are not as good as they could have been.This sweet little pattern is The Old Fashioned Baby Sweet and Simple Daygown pattern. The fabric is Imperial Batiste and the lace is from I believe.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Ruffle Pants and Pillow Case Top



 When I asked my daughter if my granddaughter needed an outfit this is the type outfit she requested. This is size 10/12.

    I thought I would do a tutorial for anyone who hasn't made these pants before. Hopefully someone will find it useful. I will admit that my ways of doing things may not always be by the book but I am mostly self taught so I hope I don't steer anyone wrong.

     I don't have a ruffled pants pattern that I use I just adapt a pattern and I have made so many pillowcase dresses and tops that I just cut and sew these pretty much from memory and no pattern. You can find numerous tutorials online for these though.

    I used Simplicity 2134 for the pants which is a one seam PJ pants. It is one of the It's So Easy Patterns. I  thought with th echevron fabric that would be a better choice than having a side seam.

    The fabric is a cotton from Hobby Lobby and I was afraid that it might be too thin so I did what I think is called interlinging. I cut a second pair of pants from a white cotton fabric(an upcycled sheet to be exact) and placed the 2 pieces together and sewed as one.

     I measured my granddaughter and her inseam length was 22 1/2 inches. I wanted to add a double ruffle with the lower ruffle being 5 1/2 inches and the upper ruffle being 4 1/2 inches. Next I measured the pants pattern and turned up the leg adding a 1/2 inch for seam allowance for a length of 17 1/2 on the pattern piece inseam.

     Next I measured the lower edge of the pants and that measurement for mine was 19 3/4 inches. I multiplied that number by 2 to get the width I would need to cut my ruffle which was 39 1/2 inches. I cut 2 strips of fabric for the lower ruffle 6 inches by 39 1/2 inches and finished one edge with a rolled hem on my serger. If you plan to do a narrow hem add an additional 1/2 inch to the length  to allow for turning up 1/4 inch twice.

     Next, I marked the lower leg of the pants in 1/4s and did the same with the unfinished edge of the ruffle. I did a long gathering stitch on the unfinished edge of the ruffle. I matched up the 1/4 marks on the ruffle and the pants leg with right sides together. Then pulled up the gathering threads to fit the ruffle to the pants. I stitched a half inch seam allowance and serge finished the edge.I pressed the seam toward the pants leg and top stitched about 1/4 inch from seam.

    Next I determined where I would place the upper ruffle which was 2 1/4 inches from the seam where the lower ruffle was stitched. I measured across the pant leg and drew a line using a yardstick with a Frixon pen that irons away. You can use a wash away marker if you prefer but I do encourage you to test which ever method you use on a sample first You also need to measure the width of the pant leg because it will probably be more narrow at this point than the lower edge. Double that measurement for the width of the ruffle. I cut the upper ruffle 4 1/2 inches  for the length and I did a rolled hem on both edges with the serger.

Next, I marked this ruffle in 1/4s and the pants leg at the placement line I drew the same as the lower leg. I ran a lengthened gathering stitch about 3/4 inch from the edge with the 1/4 marks.I  then pinned this to the pants leg matching up my marks and top stitched it on using the gathering stitch as a guide. I tried to stay just about a needle width away from the gathering stitch so I could remove that thread later.

You can see in these next to pictures where I marked the stitching line on the ruffle and have my 1/4 marks on the pants

Ok-- so far so good. The hard part is done now. Place right sides together and sew the crotch seam mathcing fronts together and backs together. I stitched this seam on the sewing machine and then serge finished the edge. Press these seams.

crotch seam stitched and serged

Next sew the inseam mathcing right sides together. I serge finished this seam as well.

inseam sewn, serged and waist elastic casing  turned down

Next I serged the waist edge. Then I turned down 1 1/4 inches to the wrong side and pinned and pressed. Then starting in the back stitch around the waist leaving approx 2 inch opening to thread the elastic. The reason I start in the back is because I fold a piece of gross grain ribbon about 2 1/2 inches in half and stitch into the seam. This serves 2 purposes-- one it marks the back and two I write the size with a fine tip permanent marker.
 Measure the waist of the person who will be wearing the pants and subtract about 1 1/2 inches. Thread the elastic through the casing. Sew the ends of the elastic together and top stitch the casing closed.

casing pinned

casing stitched and ribbon stitched into seam

Completed pants

There are numerous tutorials online for pillowcase tops and dresses that you can use. I think there is even a pattern in one of the Big 4 pattern books.

I interlined the top the same as I did the pants because the fabric seems a little too thin.I cut this top about 26 inches long and added a 5 inch ruffle at the hem. I measured and finished one edge of the ruffle with a rolled hem applying  the ruffle the same as the lower ruffle on the pants. I serged the armholes and turned to the inside about 2/8 inch and top stitched. You can finish the edges with bias tape or with a bias binding if you desire.
I also made a button hole at the neck edge for the ribbon to feed through. This can be reversible and either tie in the front or back.

side seams sewed pressed and armholes serged and top stitched
 casing for ribbon turned down 1 1/4 inch pressed and stitched
ruffle pinned in 1/4s and ready to gather

If someone uses this tutorial and has any difficulty please let me know. Also I would love a comment if you use it to make your own outfit.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Simplicity 2447

I lengthened Simplicity 2447 from blouse length to just above the knee. I enjoy wearing tunics and leggings and that is what I had in mind for this dress.
The only adjustments I made was my usual narrow shoulder adjustment and lengthening by about 6 inches. I used view D with out the ruffle.

The fabric is an up-cycled cotton sheet from Goodwill.