DIY TUTORIALS

SHIBORI TUTORIAL

May 6, 2016

I am so obsessed with shibori right now. Just another layer of being creative and making my own clothing. I recently tried a new technique for the Mini Colfax Dress above and photographed along the way so that I could show you.

As for materials, I used a linen rayon blend from JoAnn fabrics. It’s on the lighter weight side, and would be slightly see through in white, but the added dye makes it perfect for everyday wear.

For dye I just used RIT dye in navy. I also recently bought some black to try and I am also intrigued by the cobalt. The navy tends to lean a little purple in the lighter areas so be warned but I like how dark it gets.

I did two different shibori techniques, since the Mini Colfax view B calls for contrasting fabrics. For this first one you are going to need a marking tool (such as chalk or a disappearing marker), a ruler, thick string such as embroidery thread or yarn, and a bunch of little round objects. I used beads that I found in my daughters art bin, but you could also use pennies or marbles or anything else that will hold it’s shape in the water.

First, lay your fabric out and mark a repeating pattern for every place you want to tie up a bead. How close they are is completely up to you, but I just did a 4 x 4 inch grid to keep it simple. Use your marker to mark every spot.

Now you are going to take a bead (or whatever you are using) and place it on a dot.

Now take a piece of string (about 8 inches long) and wrap it tightly around the end of the bead. Tye in a tight knot so it doesn’t come undone.

Repeat for every dot. This is going to take longer than you think, so plan on doing the part when you are watching a movie at night. It’s not hard, just time consuming.

Now it’s ready to dye. Let me show you the other technique.

This one is super simple and will create a boho stripe look. You are just going to need your fabric and a bunch of rubberbands.

First you need to fold your fabric. You are going to do this accordian style. So take one end and fold it at about 1 inch and then fold back the other way at another inch. Just like the fans you would make out of paper as a kid.

It doesn’t have to be perfect, just do your best. If you have a ton of fabric it might be easier to rip your fabric into pieces and do it in chunks. I was doing about a yard here which was fine. Continue until the whole thing is folded.

Once it’s folded, use some weights or something to keep it from coming undone. At one end, wrap the whole thing with a rubberband several times so that it’s pretty tight at about 1 inch in. Continue to do this every inch. You can of coarse do whatever distance you want. Each rubberband will create a wobbly white stripe once dyed.

Continue for the entire length of fabric.

Once all of the rubberbands are on you are ready to dye both of your fabrics. There are lots of different methods for dying and these will be included on your dye packaging so I won’t go into the details, but I like the stove method as you can see in the pic below.

Once everything is done make sure to clip the string and and rubberbands. Be super careful when doing so to make sure that you don’t clip your fabric as well and create a hole. Rinse the fabric thoroughly and wash it separately from your other clothing the first few times to prevent any bleeding.

I have to admit that I am obsessed with the way that these turned out. Really quite simple to do too. I have plans to do some more for me and some pillowcovers shortly.

If you want to see some other shibori tutorials that I have done in the past, check them out here and here.

SEWING

COLFAX DRESS CONTEST WINNERS

April 29, 2016

1st – (Winner of a $100 gift code to My Fabric Designs)

Paige of verypaige.com did such a great job on the Colfax Dress. I love the large scale gingham fabric that she chose and the way she played with the bias on the yoke. She also did such a great job styling it with the skinny belt. And can we please talk about her cute purple hair?

 

2nd (Winner of a $50 gift code to My Fabric Designs)

Stirling at riven921  on instagram is our 2nd place winner. She really went the extra mile with a small bust adjustment, muslin, and other adjustments which really paid off. Not only does the sewing look impeccable and crisp close up, but the fit is pretty perfect too.

 

3rd (Winner of a $25 gift code to My Fabric Designs)

Our third place winner is Rebecca of Everyday Notions. I really love that she made the Colfax her own by ommitting the yoke and adding an exposed zip at the back neckline. So cute! Also, she made it up in tencel which is my new favorite fabric. So soft and flowy while still being easy to sew.

 

Congrats ladies! I am only sad that I couldn’t give everyone who participated a prize. For those of you who are still thinking about buying the Colfax pattern, I decided to extend the sale through the end of the month. So, you can get 25% off the Women’s Colfax with the code COLFAXCONTEST and 25% off the Mini Colfax with the code LAUNCHWEEK thru midnight EST Sunday April 30th.

PATTERNMAKING SEWING SEWING FOR KIDS

INTRODUCING THE MINI COLFAX DRESS PATTERN

April 28, 2016

The Mini Colfax Dress is now for sale and is the perfect little version of the adult sized pattern recently released. It has a flattering A-line silhouette with a front yoke and visible binding around the neckline and armholes.

The dress comes in 2 versions. View A is streamlined with one fabric for the whole dress. View B has patch pockets and a visible hem facing that is sewn up a in contrasting fabric along with the yoke and bindings. You can of coarse mix and match the two views for even more options.

For fabrics I recommend easy to work with quilting cottons, lawns, double gauze and linens. All of these fabrics will press well and give beautiful crisp corners for the yoke and other details.

The Mini Colfax is a really versatile pattern. If you sew it up in a simple quilting cotton it makes a perfect everyday dress for warm weather. It can also be sewn up in a more precious fabric for a special occasion outing.

You can use the code LAUNCHWEEK for 25% off the Mini Colfax Pattern from now until midnight Saturday April 30th.

Please let me know if you have any questions or head on over here for more information such as fabric requirements and sizing.

DIY PATTERNMAKING SEWING

ROSCOE – OFF THE SHOULDER HACK

April 27, 2016

With all of the off the shoulder love everywhere in ready to wear right now, I realized that the Roscoe Blouse and Dress is the perfect pattern the easily hack for this look. With just a few changes you get an easy to wear boho / beachy dress or blouse and it takes just a couple of hours to sew up.

Can I just say how much I love this new trend? It’s pretty friendly to those of us who want to hide some problem areas like the tummy or hips. And yet it’s still super sexy and natural. I’m a big fan. So much easier to pull off than the crop top trend of the last couple of years. I really think that almost anyone can pull this look off.

Materials:

  • Roscoe pattern pieces 1, 2, and 3
  •  1 ” elastic
  • fabric (I’m using rayon challis)
  • matching thread
  • safety pin

 

First you will need to print off pattern pieces front, back and sleeve (you won’t need any of the the others unless you want to add a ruffle or bind up the bottom of the armhole). I printed off the dress length, but you can also trim at the line for blouse length if that is what you are making.

Next, take your front piece and make a mark about 4 inches down at Center Front. Go lower or higher depending on your preferences, but remember that there will be a 1 ” elastic casing above this marking.

Make another marking about 1″ above this one, but on the armhole. Make the marking perpindicular to the armhole curve.

Connect this marking to the CF marking, curving naturally between the two. This will be your cutting line for the front of your dress or blouse.

Put your sleeve pattern piece on top of your dress front pattern piece, lining up the armhole notches. Transfer the point where your cutting line on the front piece hits the armhole, to your sleeve pattern piece at the same point.

Draw the line out, perpindicular to the armhole, for about an inch. Curve the line naturally until you can go straight across (perpindicular to the grainline) until you are close to the back armhole of the sleeve and then curve up a bit so it is perpindicular to the back armhole curve. It should look something like this. It will be the cutting line for your sleeves.

Put the sleeve pattern piece on top of your back dress pattern piece. Line the back armhole of the sleeve up with the back armhole of the back dress (matching notches) and transfer the marking of the line you just made to the armhole of the back dress.

Draw the cutting line of the back dress to CB like you did the others. (Draw out for about an inch perpindicular to the armhole and then straight across to Center Back.)

Now, cut all of the tops off of your pattern pieces along the cutting lines you just drew.

Draw a stitching line 1/2″ below the cutting line on all pieces.

Measure all stitching lines and add them up. Multiply this number by 2 and then subtract  3″ for seam allowances. (Mine was about 58″.)

Take this number and cut a piece of fabric that is that width and 3 1/4″ tall.

Cut out your dress front, dress back, and sleeves as well.

Sew your dress up much like the regular roscoe by first sewing each sleeve armhole to the matching front or back armhole. Finish the seam allowances in your desired manner.

Now sew up sides of the sleeves and dress (or blouse) starting at each sleeve end and ending at the bottom of the dress or blouse. Finish the seam allowances in your desired manner.

Sew the two small ends of your long skinny pieces together, right sides touching. So it makes a long loop.

Press the loop in half, lengthwise, wrong sides together.

Pin the raw edges of your loop to top of your dress, right sides touching. Stitch at 1/2″ seam allowance. Leave a 2 inch section unstitched at center back (to insert the elastic).

Wrap your elastic around your shoulders to get an idea of how long your want it. Add some extra length and cut. Using a safety pin, insert the elastic into the loop and all around so that it enters and exits at the opening at CB. Pin the ends together and try on. Adjust the length of the elastic until it’s snug enough to stay up, but still comfy. My experience is that you want it on the looser side. Your arms and chest will keep it up. If it’s tight it will inch up all day which can be annoying.

Sew the two ends together of your elastic, insert it back into the casing, and stitch the opening at CB closed. Finish the seam allowances of your elastic casing in your desired manner.

Check the length of your dress or blouse and also the length of your sleeves. I ended up cutting a few inches off of the length of the sleeves to hit at my elbow for a different look. Trim as necessary and finish in your favorite way.  I am going to simply serge the edges and fold it up at 1″ and then stitch.

You may want to Stitch through all layers of the elastic and elastic casing at CB and maybe a couple of other places to keep the elastic from flipping around with wear.

Give the whole thing a final press and you are done!

Let me know if you guys have any questions. I can’t wait to wear this out and about.

SEWING

COLFAX DRESSES FROM THE SEWALONG

April 26, 2016

We finally got enough warm weather to photograph the two colfax dresses that I made up during the sewalong. Both dresses were made up using fabric that I designed using My Fabric Designs.

This first one (View A) is made up in silk crinkle silk. I really liked working with this fabric. It has a nice subtle texture and presses beautifully. The silk gives it a beautiful, upscale look while the linen makes it easy to sew. Pretty pleased with how this turned out. You can find the design for the fabric here.

This second one, View B, is sewn up in two different coordinating prints in their faux linen slub. Honestly this fabric was a beast to sew with. It frayed like crazy. Why do I always think that I should sew with polyester and then it always bites me in the butt? Not worth it. I do love the prints though and want to try it out in another type of fabric at some point. You can find the fabric designs here and here.

Just a reminder that there are only a few more days to enter the Colfax dress contest. You can find all of the details here.