Saturday, 31 May 2014

TUTORIAL: The Bright and Breezy Skirt (Part 2)

You can find Part 1 of this tutorial here.

Now that you have your fabric cut, it's time to get on with the fun bit: SEWING!

Take two ribbon tie pieces and stitch around three adjacent sides with right sides together. When you get to the short end (middle of the three sides) stop 1" from the end and stitch diagonally out to the corner. Trim excess, turn right side out and press.

Take your waistband facings. Turn each short end under 1/4" and then another 1/4". Press and stitch.

Attach a button to the right side of each end of the front waistband facing, aligning centrally along the stitch line.

Place front waistband and front waistband facing right sides together, centering facing on waistband. Stitch along one long edge. Repeat for back waistband.

Open out each waist band and press seams. Lay back waistband right side up. Place a ribbon tie piece on top, lining up the raw edge with one of the short ends of the waistband piece. Repeat with second ribbon tie then place front waistband on top, wrong side up. Stitch short end of the waistbands (not facings as these are folded open). Press seams and fold facings down.

Put waistband to one side.

Place skirt pieces right sides togtger and stitch along short edges. Press side seams.

Increase stitch length and reduce tension on your machine. Stitch two rows of gathering stitches along top edge of skirt. Ensure one end of the rows are secured/backstitched and the other thread ends left long and loose. I like to do the front and back separately,  but this is not necessary. Return stitch length and tension to normal.

Pull loose ends to gather skirt to fit waistband.

Pin waistband to skirt, right sides togther. Align raw edge of skirt with raw edge of waistband (not the raw edge of facing). Stitch.

Turn right side out, fold waitband facing over to inside, turn raw edge under to conceal seam between the waistband and skirt. Stitch down.

Thread button-hole elastic through back waistband and secure using buttons on front waistband facing.

Hem skirt to desired length and you are done!

Well done for making it to the end of the tutorial. If you make a Bright and Breezy skirt, it would be great to see links in the comments below!

Thursday, 29 May 2014

TUTORIAL: The Bright and Breezy Skirt (Part 1)

As promised, here is PART 1 of a tutorial for the latest skirt I have made, now named 'The Bright and Breezy Skirt'.

Part 1 will help you get your fabric cut and prepared for sewing.  Part 2 (the sewing directions) will follow tomorrow.

You will need:

- Lightweight fabric, such as seersucker
- Buttonhole elastic
- 2 buttons
- Lightweight interfacing

Cutting your fabric

You will cut 10 rectangular pieces all together:
- 2 x skirt pieces (1 front and 1 back)
- 4 x ribbon ties
- 2 x waistband pieces (1 front and 1 back)
- 2 x waistband facings (1 front and 1 back)

For the skirts cut two rectangles with the width of each being double the waist measurement (mine were 44", double the waist measurement of 22"). The length measurement should be your desired length plus a minimum 1 1/4" (I wanted a 12" skirt so cut each piece 13 1/4" long).

For the front waistband and front facing cut two rectangles with a depth of 2". The width should be [(waist measurement ÷2)+3/4"]. My calculation was [(22/2)+3/4"]=11 3/4".

For the back waistband and facing cut two rectangles that are 2 1/2" longer than the front waistbands (still 2" deep). Mine were 14 1/4" wide.

The ribbon ties should also be 2" deep. You can decide the length,  but I recommend at least 2 1/2 inches longer than the front waistband. If you want it to tie to one side, make the opposite tie longer.

*You may want to cut your waistband and ribbon ties on the bias or turn the fabric 90 degrees to get a contrasting pattern direction*

Cut the elastic at least as long as your front waistband... this is not an exact science as we're using buttonhole elastic for an adjustable waistband.

Cut a piece of iron-on interfacing slightly shorter and narrower than the frobt waistband piece, and attatch centrally to the wrong side of the front waistband piece.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Rainbow Skirt

Over the past few weeks we have been blessed with some beautifully sunny days, so it's begining to feel like we can confidently crack open the summer wardrobes. Unfortunately, my niece has outgrown most of her summer wardrobe so I was enlisted to make some bright and breezy summer skirts.

The fabric is seersucker, with a plain white cotton lining.

The waistband is flat fronted, with an adjustable elasticated back. I also added ties to the front waistband, attached at the side-seams. Both the waistband and ties are cut on the bias for contrast.

This skirt was so quick and easy to whizz up and required very little pattern drafting, so I'm sure I will be making many more before summer is through. And maybe I'll even find time for a tutorial... watch this space!

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

More Knits... Celestial Tee

Having had some success with knits using my mother's sewing machine, I decided to give the Celestial Tee a go, and am so glad I did!

This top is so quick and easy to whip up, with only two pattern pieces and no sleeves to set in.

I love the scooped back hemline, perfect to wear with leggings,  and the little pleats at the front jazz the top up, making more than just a plain old t-shirt.

This glittery striped cotton jersey was another bargain-buy from Minerva Crafts and is sure to be a big hit with my niece... show me a 3-year-old girl who doesn't love a bit of glitter!

Sunday, 25 May 2014

In love with 'Hosh Pants'

I often hear bloggers say that once they've made up a pattern they go onto something new because making the same pattern repeatedly is boring. I definitely buck this trend; if a project turns out well and is a hit with kids, I often revisit it multiple times. The 'Hosh Pants' is definitely becoming one of those patterns!

Little Guy looked so cute in his cord Hoshes that I just had to make him some more. These are 12-18 month waist, with 2T length, in a super-soft plum-coloured stretch denim. And because the fabric is so plush, I couldn't resist running up a pair for the Little Lady in 4-5 years.

I added back pockets with coordinating coloured topstitching (stone for the boy and lilac for the girl) and contrasting waistband facings.

Since both pairs have extra length to allow for growth, I painstakingly stitched flat-felled inseams to allow for smarter turn-ups.. not easy when there is no outer seam on the leg!

Monday, 5 May 2014

Braving knits... summer jersey pyjamas

I've always been just a little bit uneasy about sewing with knits. There's so many things to consider (needles, stitches, interfacing...) and so many ways in which things can go wrong. And to top it all off, my sewing machine seems to have a vendetta against knits. So what's changed to make me feel brave enough to give knits another go?...

Three things... better sewing machine, cheap cotton jersey and the celestial tee pattern. My machine is on its last legs so my mum has lent me hers. I found a UK online fabric retailer with free shipping and lots of great offers. And having purchased the Perfect Pattern Parcel, the celestial tee pattern gave me that final push.

So... to ease myself in, some pjs for the Little Lady.

This super-soft cotton jersey was a bargain at only £3.99! I used the KID shorts pattern, lengthening the shorts just a little. For the top I used the celestial tee pattern, but altered the bottom hemline, creating a simple curve for both the front and back.

My mum's machine doesn't have a twin needle, so I opted to hem using one of the stretch stitches. It's not perfect but does the job and looks just fine.

Now we just need some warmer nights to go with the warmer days that we've been treated to recently!