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SEWALONG SEWING TUTORIALS

LANDER SEWALONG DAY 4 – CROTCH AND FLY

September 21, 2017

Welcome back for more sewing today with the Lander Sewalong. Today we are going to tackle the crotch and also the fly. If you have sewn normal zipper fly before, I think you will love trying this button fly. It’s much easier. If you have never sewn a fly before all, this is a really good first one to start on.

 

Step 11 – First we are going to finish the seam allowances of each of the inner legs separately. I am going to serge them. They have to be done separately now so that they can be pressed open once stitched. Otherwise you will end up with a lot of bulk right at the bottom of your crotch which just isn’t comfy.( I accidentally serged the crotches first. Don’t do that. You can do that in step 12. Ooops.)

Pin one front to the coordinating back along the inner leg, right sides together. Stitch at your normal 1/2″ seam allowance. For Views B and C, you may find that the distance between the crotch and first notch is a bit longer on the back leg than the front, if so,  you will need to stretch it slightly to fit.

Press seam allowances open. Repeat for other leg.

 

Step 12 – Finish the seam allowances of the right and left crotch separately.

Pin the left leg to the right leg along the crotch seam with right sides touching. Starting at center back and backstitching, stitch until you get to the dot on center front. Backstitch at dot to secure.

 

Step 13 – Finish the outside curved edge of the left fly with either a zig zag stitch or serger.

With right sides touching, pin the straight edge of the left fly to the center front edge of the left short or pant. Let the back pant and right front fall down and out of the way during this step. I like to put one pin right at the dot to help me know where to stop stitching.

Stitch from the top down to the dot and stop, backstitching. It’s better to stop one or two stitches short, than to stitch too far. If you go too far and catch the right side, you will need to unpick. If you stop a bit too short, there will be more topstitching and such to secure that area in the next few steps so don’t worry too much.

Grade the seam you just stitched by trimming the seam allowance of the interfaced fly to reduce bulk.

 

Step 14 – Flip the left fly to the inside of the left front and press.

Fold in the seam allowance of the bottom section of the fly that was not stitched and press.

 

Step 15 – With your pant right side out, place the stitching guide provided with your pattern pieces on the left fly.

Mark along the outside edge for the curved topstitching and transfer the markings for the buttonholes.

Starting at the top of the pant, sew the curved topstitching down the left fly, backstitching at the end.

Next, stitch the buttonholes.

Turn your garment inside out and clip the seam allowance of the right front crotch curve 1/2” below the dot.

 

Step 16 – Fold the right fly in half with right sides touching. Sew along the bottom angled edge.

Clip the corner and trim the seam allowance.

Turn right side out and press.

Finish the long open edge with a zigzag stitch or serger.

 

Step 17 – Like you did for the left side, pin the right fly to the right front. Let the left side and back fall down and out of the way.

Stitch from the waistline down until the dot. Backstitch to secure. Just like the left fly, it’s better to be a few stitches too short than too long. Make sure that you are not catching the edge of the left fly in the process.

Flip the right fly to the inside of the short or pant.

 

Step 18 – Press the seam allowances below the clip towards the left pant. I like to use a tailor’s ham to help get all of the seam allowances on the crotch towards the left leg without making any creases.

Topstitch at 1/8” through all layers from the right side, starting at the dot, backstitching, and ending at the top back waistline.

 

Step 19 – Pin the fly so that everything is laying flat and lined up. To help secure the fly, sew a small (about 1/2” long) bartack through all layers at the bottom of the curved stitching and another at an angle just below the first buttonhole. I like a zigzag width of about 2.5mm and length of about 0.2mm for my bartacks, but that is preference. You may want to try a few on some scrap fabric to figure out your preference.

 

That’s it for today. Tomorrow we will completely finish our pants and shorts which includes sideseams, waistband, hemming, and buttons.

SEWING FOR KIDS TUTORIALS

EMERSON PANT HACK

June 13, 2017

As much as I love the Emerson pattern as shorts and crop pants, it works really great as a full length pant as well. And with just a few easy hacks it’s really simple to do. The best part of it is that when my daughter gets too tall for these I can just hem them into the original length of crop pants or shorts to get more wear out of them. The pants above are just a simple wide length pant, which my daughter loves. I used a zebra print crepe fabric that you can find here. It’s a fun print and the fact that the fabric has great drape really works well for the wide leg style.

And the pants above are more of a genie style by adding elastic to the ankle. I think they turned out really fun in this denim chambray, although I think next time I will try them in something softer for a more subtle affect.

You are going to need to cut your pant leg pattern pieces longer than the original crop pants. For my daughter I added about 8 inches which included the 1 inch for the elastic, 1/4″ for turn under, and 1/4″ for wiggle room. (So that’s 1 1/2″ for the elastic casing and 6 1/2″ for length.

For both styles, after sewing up the pattern as instruction except for the hem, you are going to turn your pants inside out. Press the bottom up by 1/4″

Now press the whole thing up by about 1 1/4″. If you are making the wide leg pant them just stitch along the fold now to finish the hem. If making the genie version, leave a 2 inch opening to insert the elastic.

If you are doing the genie pant, cut two pieces of elastic to the length desired (wrap it around your child’s ankle and add some for overlap and easy). Attach a safely pin to one end and insert the elastic through the opening.

Sew the two ends of the elastic together, stitch up the opening and you are done!

Your pants should look something like these. Let me know if you have any questions.

 

 

SEWING TUTORIALS

LODO DRESS SEWALONG DAY 3

April 26, 2017

Welcome back for Day 3 of the Lodo Dress Sewalong. I am super excited to tackle the neckline today. You can put aside your woven arm facing pieces and just grab your woven neckline facings along with your knit dress.

For all of the steps in todays sewalong you will be using a regular, non stretch stitch on your sewing machine. And just a reminder that all seam allowances are 3/8″ unless otherwise stated.

Step 5 – With right sides touching, sew the shoulder seams of the front and back woven neck facings together. Press the seams open. No need to finish these seam allowances as they will not be exposed.

 

Turn the outside edges of the facing towards the wrong side by about 1/4″ all around and press well. Steam helps a lot. One tip that I sometimes use is to run a line of stitching at 1/4″ around the outside edge of the facing first. Then press along the stitching line. It just makes it a bit easier to get a crisp and even edge.

 

Step 6 – With right sides touching, line up the necklines of the dress and facing and pin generously.

 

Step 7 – Starting at Center Back, stitch around the inside edge of the neckline.

When you get to center front, leave your needle down, puck up your presser foot, and rotate to finish stitching up the other side of the neckline to finish at center back.

It’s a good idea to shorten your stitch length for about an inch in either direction of the center front V. This will give that area extra strength and also help your be more precise in stitching your V. I usually lower the stitch length down to about 1.5.

 

Step 8 – Trim the seam allowance of the woven facing to about 1/4″ to reduce bulk in that area.

Snip close to, but not thru the seam allowances of the V at center front. This will help you achieve a crisp V.

Continue clipping around the remainder of the neckline to help it turn easily and have a smooth finish.

 

Step 9 – Pull the facing through the neckline and towards the wrong side of the dress. Pin and press so that the neckline seam is rolled slightly towards the inside of the dress to make it less visible on the right side of the garment. This is especially crucial if your facing does not match your knit fabric.

 

Step 10 – Starting at center back, edgestitch along the folded edge of the facing about 1/8″ away from the fold.

When you get to center front, leave your needle down, pick up your presser foot, and rotate to finish stitching up the other side of the neckline to finish at center back.

This stitching is where you really want to be careful an take your time. It is visible on the right side of your dress and will be distracting if it’s uneven.

 

Give it a press and you are done for today! Come back tomorrow and we will finish up the whole dress.

 

 

SEWING TUTORIALS

LODO DRESS SEWALONG DAY 2

April 25, 2017

Welcome back to day 2 of the Lodo Dress Sewalong. I am excited to get sewing. Today we are going to be tackling the back seam, back slit for View A and sewing up the shoulder seams. Super easy. Let’s get started.

Step 1 – (This Step is for View A Only. View B starts at Step 3 so go ahead and skip on down to Step 3 if you are sewing the shorter version without a back slit.) 

Remember that all seam allowances are 3/8″ unless otherwise stated in the instructions.

If you want to finish the seams with a serger you will want to do that now. You can serge each back seam independently before sewing them together. Since knits do not fray this is not necessary. I am going to opt out on serging View A (but will serge View B so that you can see both). You will be sewing this step using a stretch stitch. If your machine has a stretch stitch it will look something like a lightning bolt. If you don’t have one of those stitches on your machine you can also use a zigzag stitch and just adjust the settings. You can play around with the settings and see what works best on your fabric.

With right sides touching and matching the triple notches on center back, sew up the back seam using a stretch stitch. Sew the dress from the neckline down to the large dot. This will be the top of your slit so backstitch it to secure the endpoint.

 

Step 2 – Press the seam allowances above the large dot open. Press the area below the large dot open 1.5″ on both sides. Pin it in place.

Edgestitch around the 3 sides of the slit at about 1/8″ from the raw edge (crossing over the center back seam at the top). Continue using a stretch stitch to do this.

 

Step 3 – (This Step is for View B Only. If you are sewing up the mid calf version, View A, then skip ahead to step 4.)

With right sides touching and matching the triple notches at center back, pin and stitch the center back seam together from top to bottom using a stretch stitch (for more info on the stretch stitch check out step 1).

If you are using a serger to finish the seam allowances you can serge the seam allowances together now and press to one side. If you are not finishing the seam allowances then press the seam allowances open.

 

Step 4 – (All Views use this step.)

In preparation for tomorrows post, we are going to attach the front and back at the shoulder seam. With right sides touching, pin and sew the coordinating shoulder seams of the front dress to the back dress. Use a stretch stitch as in previous steps.

If you are finishing the seam allowances with a serger you can do this now and press them towards the back of the dress.

If you are not finishing the seam allowances press the seams open.

Turn your dress right side out and it should look something like this.

 

OK, that’s it for today. I hope that was easy and clear. If you have any questions comment, or send me a message. Remember to tag your dress and progress photos on social media with #lododress and @truebias so that I see them. You can purchase the Lodo Dress sewing pattern in my shop here.

SEWING TUTORIALS

LODO DRESS SEWALONG DAY 1

April 24, 2017

Welcome to the first day of the Lodo Dress Sewalong. The Lodo is a very fast and easy dress to sew up so this sewalong will be much simpler than my others. That being said, I hope that the extra pictures and tips will still help those of you who need a little extra hand holding so that everyone can get the best results possible when sewing a version of their own.

Today I will simply be sharing the schedule for the sewalong (below), talking about the best fabrics for this pattern (including some links), and giving a few tips. Expect to spend less than an hour each day this week and you will have a finished Lodo dress of your own by Friday.

 

Schedule:

Here is the schedule for the sewalong. We are really only sewing 3 of the 5 days. As I have mentioned, this is a beginner friendly pattern so I hope the tips and photos that I share this week will make the dress accessible to sewists of all levels.

Day 1 / Monday April 24th – Fabrics and Prep

Day 2 / Tuesday April 25th – Back, Slit, and Shoulders

Day 3 / Wednesday April 26th – Neckline

Day 4 / Thursday April 27th – Armholes and Hem

Day 5 / Friday April 28th – Finished Dress Photos

 

Fabrics :

I really think that the key to success sewing up the Lodo Dress is mostly in the fabrics that you choose. You will need two separate fabrics –  A stable knit for the main part of the dress, and a small amount of woven fabric for the facings.

The main knit fabric should be medium weight and stable. This means avoid slinky knits with tons of stretch. You want the amount of stretch to be approximately 20%. Check the amount of stretch of your fabric on the stretch chart on page 2 of the instructions. You can still use knits with a bit more or a bit less stretch than recommended, but be aware that it may affect the fit of your final garment or make it more difficult to sew. The types of fabrics that seem to work best include ponte, cotton interlock, double knit and lightweight scuba. These fabrics have enough structure in them to hold the slight cocoon shape of the design while still being very comfortable and casual enough for daywear.

 

 

 

Here are a few examples of fabrics that I think would work great:

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

The woven facings can be made in any non stretch fabric the is easy to work with and presses well. I would avoid anything lightweight or slippery (avoid polyester) and instead pick up a scrap of fabric from your stash such as quilting cotton or linen. Be aware that you may see little glimpses of the facing when wearing it, so make sure that the fabric coordinates with your main dress fabric. I think that this is a great way to not only use up the scraps of leftover fabrics in your stash, but also to introduce a bit of print or pop of color for some added interest.

Here are the fabrics that I am using for the sewalong. I am sewing up two dresses. For View A (midcalf) I am using a black and white striped ponte knit for the main dress and a fun jungle print quilting cotton for the facings.

For View B (short version) I am using a burgundy cotton interlock in a medium weight for the main dress and a fun scribble print cotton for the facings.

 

Tips: 

-I realize that woven facings are uncommon on knit garments, but because the neckline and armholes do not require any stretching for wear or changing, they not only add some stability and crispness to those areas, but they also make it a bit easier to sew and get good results. You will want to test sewing some of your knit and woven fabrics together to see how your particular machine handles it. You may want to play a bit with the tension or use a walking foot if it gives you any issues. As long as your knit fabric is stable and not too stretchy you shouldn’t have an issues.

-It is always a good idea to use a ballpoint or stretch needle on your sewing machine when using knit fabrics. This will prevent you from possibly damaging your fabric and creating holes.

-View A of the Lodo Dress hits around mid calf, while View B hits above the knee. If neither of those lengths work for you, feel free to find something in the middle, or add even more length to the bottom. I do think that a maxi version would be pretty great.

-Sergers are so wonderful for sewing knitwear, but this pattern does require you to use your regular sewing machine for much of the construction. The instructions will have you switching between a regular stitch and a stretch stitch depending on the step. Most sewing machines include a stretch stitch option, although you may also use an elongated zigzag for the same results. Practice on some scraps of your knit fabric to see what you like the best.

-The dress is drafted for a model who is 5’5″ tall. There are lengthen shorten lines on the front and back pattern pieces if you need to adjust for your own height difference.

 

OK, that’s it for now. If you want to purchase the pattern you can do so here. I am not going to walk you through printing your pattern or cutting out your pattern pieces, but if you could use a little help with that you can check out one of my former sewalongs here. Come tomorrow with your dress cut out, marked, and ready to start sewing.