Browsing Category

SEWING

SEWALONG SEWING

SHELBY – FABRIC AND NOTIONS

May 21, 2019

I am so glad that you are all as excited about the Shelby Dress and Romper as I am. I have been wearing mine secretly for the last few months and can’t get enough of it. In fact I wore it three days of a 5 day vacation in the spring because it was just so fun to wear.

With the Sewalong starting next week, I wanted to write a bit about fabric and notions to get us ready. Sometimes this is the funnest part – dreaming up all of the possibilities. I will share a few fabrics that would work great for the Shelby, but of coarse these are just recommendations. I am excited to see what you come up with. First, lets talk about notions.

NOTIONS

Under notions the Shelby calls for coordinating thread, 2 yds of lightweight fusible interfacing, and 3/8″ buttons. I feel like coordinating thread is pretty self explanatory, so lets start with the fusible interfacing.

Make sure that the interfacing is lightweight or you will have a very stiff center front that does not match with the drape of the rest of your dress or romper. Any lightweight fusible interfacing from your big box store should be fine, but if you want to go the extra mile I love using the ProSheer interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply. The quality and drape is noticibly different than your average fusible.

Next let’s talk about buttons. If you are sewing a romper view you will need 5 buttons and if you are sewing a dress view you will need 7 buttons. Also keep in mind any extra buttons you may need if you add any length to your pattern. The buttons should be about 3/8″ (of course you have artistic discretion on this). I have been really into the shell buttons with this pattern myself. I like that they are pretty much a neutral but also have that kinda 90s vibe that is perfect for the Shelby.

A couple other things that you may want that are not included in the notions description is something to turn your ties with. A small safely pin works great, but if you already have a loop turner that will work too.

A couple of items to consider for your buttonholes. I always use fray check on my buttonholes and let them dry before opening them. I also like to use a buttonhole opener with a small hammer to cut my buttonholes open. These are both completely optional, but if you are committed to sewing they might be things you want to add to your tool box.

Lastly, I would think about your sewing machine needle. Since the fabric you will be using for the Shelby is most likely lightweight, I recommend buying a needle that matches. I have used both the universal lightweight needles and also the microtex needles on my samples with great results.

FABRIC

Now for the fun part, lets talk about fabric. The pattern works best with lightweight woven fabrics with drape such as rayon challis, linen, crepe, silk and voile. It works equally well with prints or solids although keep in mind that with all of the pattern pieces matching an obvious repeat would be hard. That doesn’t mean don’t use a print, I personally would just embrace the randomness if you do as pattern matching that many pieces would not only be a time suck but also take so much fabric. All that being said, here are few great options from some of our favorite indie shops.

RAYONS

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

LINENS

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

SILK

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

I hope this gives you all a great start and makes you excited for the Sewalong. I can’t wait to get started next week and see what you come up with.

I you still need the pattern you can find it here.

SEWALONG SEWING

INTRODUCING THE SHELBY DRESS AND ROMPER

May 14, 2019

I am so excited to finally be releasing my newest pattern, the Shelby Dress and Romper. I have been wearing this pattern on vacations and every warm day possible and I can definitely say that it is the summer outfit of my dreams. It has a serious nod to the 90s with a modern fit. The design includes princess seams, a back waist tie, a deep V neck line and button front closure. It’s very comfortable and easy to throw on but makes me feel so put together and ready for a date night at the same time.

We will talk more about fabric next week, but for now just know that this dress is perfect for the flowy summer wovens in your stash. These fabrics may include rayon challis, silk, light weight linen and crepe to name a few. You will also need some light weight fusible interfacing and small 3/8″ buttons to complete the project.

The pattern is labeled intermediate due to it’s buttonholes and sleeves, but I do think that a beginner could handle it if they broke it down into small steps and used a forgiving fabric. In fact, we will be doing a full sewalong of the Shelby pattern starting Monday May 27th to assist anyone in sewing it up, so please join us for that. I also have a few really fun hacks planned so be sure to check back for those in the coming weeks.

The Shelby is available as both a pdf and a paper pattern and is drafted for US sizes 0-18. You can find more information in my shop here. I can’t wait to see your versions.


SEWING FOR KIDS TUTORIALS

HUDSON ALTERNATIVE DRAWSTRING METHODS

March 8, 2019

After sewing up hundreds of Hudson pants since it’s release, I have come up with a couple of alternative methods for sewing up the waistband / drawstring which make for a faster sew. This method works for all versions of the Hudson patterns, although I find it especially helpful for the kids Hudson pant pattern and here is why. I love the look of a drawstring for finishing the pant, but it is not very functional for a child, especially those who are on the younger side. Not only do those draw strings get pulled out and lost, but they can be a real struggle for those who cannot tie bows yet, but need to use the bathroom by themselves at school. So, instead of doing a full drawstring as the instructions suggest, I have come up with these two quick methods that give me the look I want without the headache of the actual drawstring.

Method 1 – This method is as simple as sewing up the pants as normal but omitting the buttonholes. I still like to do the stretch topstitching on the waistband for the look and also to keep the elastic from twisting in the wash, but that is optional. This method is especially good for those who are scared of sewing buttonholes. Once you have the pants prepped you also want to take a small piece of drawstring, tie a bow to the size you want, and finish the ends of the drawstring so that they don’t unravel.

Now it’s as simple as centering the bow on center front and then sewing back and forth on either side of the knot. If you are using a matching thread you won’t even be able to see the stitching and no one will know that it is a faux drawstring. Make sure that you are sewing through all parts of the bow on the sides of the middle knot to make sure it doesn’t untie.

That is it for method 1. This is honestly what I use the most for my kids Hudsons because it’s easy and gets the job done.

Method 2 – If you want to take it a step further and are not scared of buttonholes, you may want to try method 2. It’s a bit more involved than method 1 but still easy and creates the look of the drawstring without the ability for it to get pulled out.

You are going to sew up your Hudsons just like the pattern suggests including sewing and opening your buttonholes.

Then you will need to two separate pieces of drawstring with one end of each finished. The raw ends will be inserted into the buttonholes.

Take each raw end and insert into each buttonhole by about 1/2″. The 1/2″ should be pointing away from center front, inside of the waistband. Stitch back and forth several times, just to the outside of the buttonhole, catching the 1/2″ in the stitching the secure.

It should look like the drawstring is in the entire waistband, while actually it is only in the front.

Tie the two drawstring pieces into a bow and you are good to go!

I hope you found these two methods helpful for the next time you sew up some Hudsons!

SEWALONG SEWING

SALIDA SEWALONG DAY 4 – SIDESEAMS AND WAISTBAND (STEPS 26 – 34)

December 6, 2018

Welcome back for day 4 of the Salida Skirt Sewalong where we tackle the sideseams and the waistband. We even get to try on our skirt and make some adjustments today. Lets get started.

Step 26 – (All Views) Staystitch the upper edges of the front and back skirt panels at ⅜” seam allowance. This is going to stabilize the slightly curved seam of the waist so that when you try it on and make adjustments, you can be sure that your waistband will fit. Unzip the front skirt first so that you do not stitch over the center front zipper opening. Otherwise you will not be able to unzip the skirt to try it on.

Step 27 – With right sides touching, pin the front to the back skirt at the side seams, matching notches and aligning raw edges. Baste. Try on the skirt to check the fit. The top of the skirt should fit right up against the body and hit at the natural waist. If it does not sit at the natural waist then your straight waistband will not fit snuggly on your body. Adjust as necessary at the top of the skirt. Be careful not to fit the hips too tight or the pocket opening will begin to pull.

 

Step 28 – After making any fit changes, sew the front to the back skirt with a regular stitch length. Trim seam allowances to 1/4” and finish in your desired manner. Just like you have done for other portions of the skirt, press the seam allowances towards the skirt back. Topstitch the skirt back 1/8” from the seamlines, catching the seam allowance underneath. There is a lot of fabric at the point, so go slow and make sure that you are not catching any other parts of your skirt in your stitching.

Step 29 – To help the pocket openings lie flat when the skirt is worn, sew 1 1/2” directly on top of the pocket topstitching through all front layers, as pictured.

Step 30 – Press the unnotched long edge of the waistband up by 3/8”, with wrong sides touching.

With right sides touching, pin the notched side of the waistband to the top of the skirt. The notches on the waistband will match up with the center back notches on the skirt so pin these first and then pin around towards the front.

The ends should extend past the center front edges of the skirt by 1” or more. This is intentional to give you some wiggle room with fitting your skirt, and you will trim the ends later.

Step 31 – Starting at the left center front edge, stitch around the waistband, stopping at the end of the right extension.

Grade the seam allowance to reduce bulk. Different weights of fabric will require more or less trimming. The idea is to make sure you can easily sew through all layers.

Press the waistband and seam allowances up and away from the skirt.

Make sure that the tops of the zipper and waistband line up. If not sew to adjust.

Step 32 – Take the folded edge of the waistband and fold it to the outside, with right sides touching.

Overlap the folded edge past the waistband seam by about 1/16”. Pin.

You can see here on the inside how it slightly overlaps the seam.

Stitch the center front edge at 1/2” seam allowance so that the line of stitching is flush with the finished edge of the fly.

 

Trim the ends of the waistband to 1/2” past the front opening edges of the skirt.

Clip corners and grade seam allowance as shown. Repeat for right side.

Step 33 – Turn the waistband right side out.

On the inside, make sure the folded lower edge of the waistband self facing covers the seamline by about 1/16”. Pin in place.

Press the waistband so you get a nice squared edge at each center front corner. Zip up the zipper and check to make sure the upper edges of the right and left fronts align.

Step 34 – On the outside, stitch in the ditch by carefully sewing along the seamline, catching the edge of the folded waistband self facing on the inside of the skirt.

It will looks something like this on the inside (although maybe yours will look even neater). If there are a few small places where the inside didn’t catch, don’t worry. We will be topstitching the waistband tomorrow so that will help to secure it.

Thank you for following along today. Come back tomorrow and we will quickly make sure finishing touches and wrap the sewalong up.

SEWALONG SEWING

SALIDA SEWALONG DAY 3 – POCKETS AND BACK ASSEMBLY (STEPS 19–25)

December 5, 2018

Welcome back for day 3 of the Salida Sewalong. Today we will be assembling our pockets and also sewing up the back of the skirt. Lets get started.

 

Step 19 – With right sides touching, pin the pocket lining pieces to the skirt front along the short curved edges.

Sew the pocket opening edge.

Trim and clip the seam allowance up to the line of stitching, being careful not to cut into the stitching. This will help the curve of the pocket to lay flat and not pull.

Step 20 – Turn the pocket linings to the inside, cheating the linings slightly toward the inside so they are not visible from the outside of the skirt.

Topstitch the skirt along pocket opening edges ¼” from the finished edge.

Step 21 – Pull the pocket lining away from the skirt. Pin the pocket to the pocket lining along the curved edge, right sides touching and matching notches. You will only be pinning the pockets together (keeping the front skirt out of the pinning).

Stitch the long curved edge, keeping the skirt free from the line of stitching as you sew. Finish the seam allowance along the curved edge in your desired manner.

Pull the pocket back towards the inside of the skirt. Pin the upper and side edges of the pocket to the skirt, matching notches and making sure everything lays nicely.

To secure, baste along top and side edges, 3/8” from raw edge. Set aside the skirt front for now.

VIEW A ONLY: (For View B, skip to Step 25)

Step 22 – Fold the inner edge of each back skirt self facing (where the slit will be) to the inside by 1/4” and press.

Fold in again by 1/4”. Pin and press. To secure, stitch close to the fold. (Sorry I forgot to snap a pic of the stitching.)

Step 23 – With right sides touching, pin the back skirt panels together along the center back. (Leave the slit portion free for now.)

Stitch from the upper edge to the dot. Pivot at the dot to stitch across the upper end of the back slit self facing.

Here is a close up.

Trim seam allowances to 1/4” and finish in your desired manner. It can feel a little awkward to finish the angled area at the top of the slit, but just do your best.

Baste (temporary long stitch length with no backstitching) the slit closed from the dot down to the bottom raw edge of the skirt. This is going to help you line up the slit correctly. If it helps, you may want to draw a line straight down first to use as a stitching guideline.

Step 24 – Press the center back seam allowance and the self facings for the slit toward the left back skirt (when wearing), as shown below.

Baste along the upper end of the back skirt self facing through all layers to secure the back slit to one side. This will also serve as a guideline for the topstitching.

Starting at the top of the yoke, topstitch down the left back skirt to the slit, pivoting to stitch on top of the basting. Backstitch to secure.

Remove all basting stitches if visible, including the ones closing the slit from step 23.

That is it for View A for today.

View B Only

Step 25 – With right sides touching, pin the back skirt panels together along the center back, aligning raw edges, matching up notches, and making sure that the yoke seams align. Stitch the center back seam from top to bottom. Trim seam allowances to 1/4” and finish in your desired manner. Press the seam allowances towards the left skirt back. Topstitch the left skirt back 1/8” from the seamline (from top to bottom), catching the seam allowance underneath. (Sorry I don’t have pics of this, but it is just the same as View A above, without the slit.)

 

That is it for today. See you back here tomorrow.