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PATTERNMAKING SEWING TUTORIALS

OGDEN CAMI DRESS HACK

September 13, 2016

I am so excited about all of the Ogden hacks that I have seen popping up over the past few weeks. I guess that is the beauty of a simple pattern isn’t it? So many possibilites. Here are a few of my fav hacks that I have seen so far –  here, here and here.

I put together a very simple Ogden hack for today where essentially you add a large gathered rectangle to a baby doll type silhouette. It’s very easy and it completely transforms the pattern.

The first thing we are going to do is shorten the cami front and back. I am assuming that if you are making this hack then you already have made this original pattern. If so, try it on and decide where you want the end of the bodice to be and the skirt portion to begin. When I tried mine on, I decided on about 10 inches down from the center V. Then I added 1/2″ to both the neckline and bottom for seam allowance so the total drop at center front was 11 inches. Now mimic the basic shape of the original hem for this new hem at the shortened length.

Line the side seams up of the front and back cami to make sure that they are the same length and make a new cutting line for the back cami just like you did for the front. Note that the back is going to be straighter than the front. The front needs the more curved hemline to accomodate the fullness of your chest.

Now cut along the lines you made.

Cut out two front camis and two back camis on the fold, and your straps. You will not be using the lining pattern pieces from the original cami pattern. This dress will have a fully lined bodice so one of the fronts and one backs will be your lining.

You also need to cut out your skirt pieces. You are going to cut out two identical rectangles. Decide how long you want the skirt and add 1/2″ for the top seam allowance and 1″ for the hem. Cut it according to your preference. I wanted a 26″ skirt so with the seam allowance and hem mine was 27 1/2″ long.

For the width it also depends on how full you want yours (and how wide your fabric is). For reference mine is 43″ wide so I cut it at 44″ wide because of the 1/2″ seam allowance on both sides. So in the end, I cut two rectangles that were 27 1/2″ tall and 44″ wide.

Once everything is cut out you can start sewing. You are going to sew the top portion of the cami up exactly like the instructions except do not hem the outer cami or the lining. It should look like this.

Next, sew the two rectangles together (right sides together) along the side seams at 1/2″ seam allowance and finish in your desired manner. I serged it to keep it simple, but french seams would be a great choice if you want the whole inside of the dress to be perfectly finished.

Now you are going to run two parallel gathering stitches along the top of the skirt. It’s easiest to do two on the front and two on the back, stopping and starting right before and after the side seams.

Gather up the stitches so that the gathering is evenly distributed and the top of the skirt is the same width as the bottom of the cami. With right sides touching, pin the skirt to the main cami (keep the lining up and out of the way). Stitch at 1/2″ seam allowance and press all seam allowances up towards the cami.

Separate your lining and press the bottom up (wrong sides touching) by 3/8″.

Bring the lining down towards the skirt and pin the folded edge over the seam where the skirt and main cami meet. You will be completely covering the seam allowance. Pin generously.

On the right side of the dress, stitch in the ditch at the seam where the cami and skirt meet, catching the lining underneath.

Try the dress on the make sure that you like the length and adjust as necessary. Fold the bottom up by 1/4″ and again at 3/4″. Press and Pin and stitch the hem in place.  That’s it.

Here is my version. I decided to make this one middie length although I really want to make another one that is above the knee. I wore this dress this weekend to the farmers market with flats and a jean jacket and it was perfect. I love everything about it.

 

Here it is without a belt. As you can see it is kinda a baby doll shape. I love it this way as well, and I think when I make a shorter one I will wear it without the belt more often.

 

That’s it. If you still need the Ogden cami pattern you can purchase it here. Let me know if you have any questions.

PATTERNMAKING SEWING SEWING FOR KIDS

INTRODUCING THE MINI EMERSON AND OGDEN PATTERNS

September 7, 2016

I am so excited to be showing you guys the Mini versions of both the Emerson and Ogden patterns today. I have to admit that these crop pants on little girls is my fav thing right now. Not only are they super comfy and good for transitioning to fall, but they are also different and unexpected and just cool. I’m obsessed and so is she.

Lets start with the Mini Emerson pattern. The construction is exactly like the women’s version. There are two views. View A is a wide leg crop pant that hits mid calf. It is great in mid weight fabrics such as linen, chambray, and even quilting cottons. It’s equally great is something lighterweight and flowy.

View B is a pair of shorts with an approximate 2 inch inseam. Just like the crop pants, they have front pleats, an elasticized back waistband and a flat front waistband. The pleats give a lot of fullness to the shorts and without the weight that the pants give, I recommend that the shorts be sewn up in something a little more light weight like rayon, double gauze, and lightweight linen.

The Ogden cami is a simple little pattern with a soft front V, and spaghetti straps over both shoulders. Unlike the women’s version, the kids version has a simple elastic back. This makes it easier to get on and off and move around in. It has a partial lining in the front to finish the neckline. It is best sewn up in lightweight woven fabrics like voile, lawn, double gauze, lightweight linen and rayon. Another plus is that it is an awesome stash buster as it takes minimal fabric. You can even do the lining out of another fabric if you just have a few scraps left over from another project.

I love the two of these pattern together. The simpleness of the Ogden cami is a great balance for the volume of the Emerson bottoms. Both patterns are very easy to sew up and good for beginners. The patterns cover sizes 2T to 10.

 

You can find both patterns, and more information about them, here. Use the code MINI20 for 20% one or both patterns through the end of the week (expiring Sunday 9/11 at midnight EST). Let me know if you have any more questions.

PATTERNMAKING SEWING

EMERSON AND OGDEN FABRIC RECOMMENDATIONS

August 24, 2016

Today we are going to talk about fabric options for both the Ogden and Emerson patterns. I always love this part of the process because of all of the possibilities.

First let’s talk about the Emerson crop pants and shorts. Depending on what fabric you choose, the pattern could be very casual for everyday wear, or super dressy to wear with heels on a date night. The pattern is drafted for light to medium weight wovens such as linen, cotton, chambray, light weight denim and rayon challis. You could obviously use other types of fabric as well, I just recommend staying away from any heavy weight fabrics. Here are some fabrics that I think would work great.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 |16

 

Now for the Ogden cami. For this blouse you really want a fabric that is light and airy. Stay away from quilting cotton as it will be too stiff. The pattern recommends that you use crepe, rayon challis, voile and lightweight linen. My favorite fabric to make this up in is definitely silk crepe. The nice thing is that since this pattern takes such a small amount of fabric, you can use something a little more special like silk without breaking the bank.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16

I hope that helps. Let me now if you have any questions about fabric. I will be doing a quick sewalong for both patterns next week if you would like to follow along.

PATTERNMAKING SEWING

INTRODUCING THE EMERSON AND OGDEN PATTERNS

July 26, 2016

I am doing something a little different this time around and releasing two patterns at the same time as a sort of outfit. There is the Emerson Crop Pant / Shorts pattern and the Ogden Cami pattern. I love both of them so much and am already wearing them all of the time. I hope you love them too.

First up the Emerson is a pull on pair of pants or shorts with a flattering front waistband and elasticized back waistband for ease and comfort. They both have pleats along the front and pockets. View A is the crop pant which I am pretty obsessed with at the moment. Not only is the most comfortable thing in my wardrobe, but it’s also is super on trend at the moment and fun to wear. Some may argue that it isn’t flattering, but I beg to differ. I look at it like I did the middie skirt became so popular a couple of years ago. I think that wearing a heel or a more fitted shirt really give good balance. If my 5’3″ frame can rock it, so can you.

View B is a short with an approximate 4 inch inseam. I have been wearing these non stop. I love to throw on a tank top or V neck tshirt for everyday wear. The pleats give it lots of room for ease and comfort while still adding some interest. Both View A and View B were sewn up in linen The shorts fabric is from Fancy Tiger Crafts and the pant fabric is from Jo-Anns. But really, any light to medium weight woven fabric works great. I love it in a rayon for a more flowy short or a chambray for everyday shorts.

I am also releasing the Ogden Cami pattern today. This is a simple little blouse that is great on it’s own (especially with the Emersons) or really good to have in your closet for layering under a blazer or open buttonup shirt. It has spaghetti straps, a soft V at both front and back necklines, and a partial facing for a professional finish. It’s a fast make and super comfy. I love wearing mine with some jeans and jewelry for a simple date night outfit that makes me feel modern, but not too done up.

The Ogden Cami is great made up in any lightweight woven fabric. All of my samples are sewn up in silk crepes from Colorado Fabrics. I love sewing with silk crepe and the Ogden is a perfect pattern for silk because it only takes a little yardage. But, if silk isn’t your thing, rayon challis, lightweight linen, or even cotton voile would work really well.

If you would like to buy the Emerson or Ogden patterns you can find them here. Use the code LAUNCHWEEK20 to get 20% off the patterns from now through this Sunday at midnight EST.

PATTERNMAKING SEWING

SUNDRESSING BOOK TOUR + GIVEAWAY

June 17, 2016

Melissa Mora of Melly Sews just released a book all about sewing up easy sundresses for hotter weather and it’s called Sundressing. The idea for the book is that once you have a well fitting bodice (the book includes basic slopers to work with), you can make subtle changes to create many different dresses from that one simple pattern. You can find more out about her book through her blog here.

There are many tutorials to choose from, for both women and girls, but I immediately knew that I was going to sew up the Sutton Dress (a fun off the shoulder dress) as a trendy outfit for an upcoming beach vacation.

The directions were easy to follow and I was able to cut out my pattern in about 20 minutes. It really is such a forgiving style with all of the ease in the ruffles that I wasn’t worried and didn’t do a muslin, although the fit came out pretty perfect anyway.

I did make a couple of changes. First of all I lengthened the ruffle by a couple of inches. Just a personal preference. I also wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with the length. The dress is supposed to be mid calf, but at first I lengthened it to maxi to see what it looked like. It totally overwhelmed me. So I decided to hem it in a nice wide 4″ hem right above the knee. With all of the gathering it just seemed to look a bit better on me to have a bit less fabric.

The fabric is the perfectly lightweight tencil chambray that I bought from Colorado Fabrics recently. Because of the abundance of ruffles and gathering, I was afraid it would end up too sweet looking on me in a print, if that makes sense. I was tempted to make it in black gauze (because I like everything in black) but I think this is a good compromise. The chambray dresses it down a bit so I can wear it with flats and not feel too dressed up for daywear. I have a beach trip coming up and you better believe this is getting worn. If I were going to make any changes to it next time, I might just raise the back of the bodice by an inch or so. As is, the bodice cuts straight across the back at the underarm. It still covers my strapless bra so it’s fine as is, but I think it would be nice to have it a bit higher where the ruffle attaches in the back so it doesn’t pull down at all. Otherwise, the fit and style are spot on for me.

I’ve said it once and I will say it again, this is such a great look for those of us who want to cover up some areas, but still want to be on trend. It’s romantic and sexy and still flatterning on a range of body types. I think everyone needs one of these in their wardrobe this summer, even if it’s just a beach coverup.

I have one copy of the Sundressing book by Melissa Mora to giveaway to one of you. To enter, simply leave a comment below. Commenting will close on Sunday, June 26th and then I will contact the winner. (US entries only, sorry.)

Congrats Melissa on your new book! I’m so excited for you.