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MINI ODGEN DRESS HACK

March 21, 2017

The Ogden Cami is a great template for hacks, and I am especially loving the idea of dress hacks right now for summer. I did a babydoll hack last year that you can find here. Today I am going to show you how to create a super simple elastic waist dress using the Mini Ogden cami. You can of coarse use basically the same steps to create a version in the women’s size as well. I ended up making two of these dresses in order to get the steps right. The top one is made from a thrifted table cloth and the bottom one is some really pretty cotton that I ordered from My Fabric Designs (I didn’t design it though). I love the handpainted design so much. Both dresses are lined with some cheap light pink gingham from JoAnns.

For this project you are going to need your main dress fabric, lining fabric, and extra elastic (in addition to the elastic for the back of the cami) for the waistline.

First print off your pattern and assemble pattern pieces 1 (front cami), 2 (back cami), 4 (strap), and the elastic cutting guide. You will not be needing the pattern piece for the front lining as the entire dress will be lined instead.

For for the front and back cami we need to add length for the bottom of the dress. Take your front pattern piece and tape the bottom along a large piece of paper. Your center front fold line should line up with the left edge of the paper as shown below. Determine how long you want your dress to be. After comparing to other dresses, I decided that I wanted it to be about 24″ along the center front line. This allows for a couple of inches of wiggle room in case I need to adjust the hem at the end. To get the desired length I figured out that I would need to add about 10.5 inches to the bottom of the cami.

Simply mark your desired length around the entire hem so that your new hem mimicks the shape of the bottom of the cami. For the side seam of the dress, draw a straight line extending down from the last few inches of the cami. The side seam and hem need to meet up at a 90 degree angle at the CF and side seam. Repeat these steps for the back as well, adding the exact same amount to the bottom of the back cami as you did for the front.

Line up the notches on the side of your front and back pattern pieces. Trim off the extra height on the back piece (since we are assembling the dress a bit differently than the cami we don’t need the extra height).

 

Cut out a front, back, and straps from your main fabric. Cut out a front and back from your lining. The lining pieces should be identical to your main pieces, except trim 1/2″ off of the bottom of both of your lining pieces. Having your lining pieces slightly shorter will assure that it does not peek out once the dress is finished.

Go ahead and assemble according to steps 1-3 of the Mini Ogden instructions.

Sew up the side seams of the main dress and also the dress lining. Finish the seam allowances in your desired manner (I serged them) and press them either open or to one side depending on the finish you choose. Pin the lining to the main dress along the entire neckline, with right sides touching. Stitch together, trim and snip the seam allowance.

Flip the lining to the inside of the dress so that the wrong side of the dress is now touching the wrong side of the lining. Press along the neckline with the straps extending upwards in the front.

To create the casing for the elastic in the back, make a line of stitching through both the dress and lining 1/2″ below the top edge from one side seam to another, backstitching on both ends.

Take your elastic, cut to the specified length, attach one end to a safety pin and insert it into the casing you just created between the lining and dress.

With a bit of elastic extending past each side seam, stitch through all layers (including the elastic) to secure.

Attach the back end of the shoulder straps as described in the instructions in steps 13-14.

Figure out where you want the waistband to hit. The easiest way to do this is to try the dress on recipient, and wrap the elastic around the the child’s waist where it seems most comfortable. Using a disappearing marker or chalk, mark the top edge of where you want to have the elastic on all sides.

Make a row of stitching around the entire dress through both the dress and lining where you marked it.

Make another row of stitching 1/2″ below the first row, leaving a 2 inch gap at center back to insert the waistband elastic.

Cut your elastic to the appropriate length plus a bit extra for seam allowance. You will need to figure out the appropriate length by measuring it on the child you are making it for.

Attach one end to a safety pin and insert the elastic in between the lining and dress thru the opening at center back and around the entire waistband casing you created. Sew the elastic ends together and sew up the opening you left at center back.

Hem the dress like instructed to in Step 15. Hem the lining in the same way.

Give the dress a final press and you are done!

I love how this turned out so much, that I want to do the same hack on a summer Ogden dress for myself. I am thinking black for something that I will wear all of the time. I hope I can find the time to do it.

Let me know if you have any questions.

 

PATTERNMAKING SEWING TUTORIALS

CAMP PJ PARTY

October 1, 2016

It’s Camp PJ Party Day. If you don’t know what I am talking about check out all of the details over at Camp Workroom Social. Pretty much anyone who wants to can make a pair of PJs, post them on instagram today, and get an adorable PJ patch of their own from Camp Workroom Social. Super fun right?

For my PJs I made a pair of pocketless Hudson Pants and a Penny Raglan Tee for a super comfy loungy set of PJs that I never want to take off. The fabric is a rayon spandex from Indiesew. It’s the perfect medium weight knit that is not see through at all, but still drapey and soft. The cuffs, waistband, and neckline were done in a coordinating ribbing from JoAnns.

I wanted to make pocketless Hudsons for the bottoms to take a bit of the bulk out for comfort. I’ve been seeing a lot of this style in ready to wear stores lately. It’s a bit more of a long john style that is perfect for sleepwear. Altering your pattern for pocketless is super simple. All you do is take the main pocket piece and line up the side and top notches with the front piece. Take it together and that becomes your new front piece. You won’t need the inner pocket pattern piece or the pocket detail. Then you just sew it up like normal, eliminating the steps for the pocket. It’s an even faster sew after that.

The top is the Penny Raglan from Grainline Studio. I love the oversized, off the shoulder feel to this top. I made up another one as an oversized tee to wear with workout pants and a sports bra and I love it too. The only change I made to this top is to lengthen it a bit. Not sure if I needed to, but I thought better safe than sorry.

The end result is my new fav PJs. They are SO comfy. I can’t wait to wear them at Camp Workroom Social in just a couple of weeks.

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.

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.

DIY PATTERNMAKING SEWING TUTORIALS

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.