Thursday, March 31, 2016

An Easter Eleena Dress

I made my daughter an Eleena Dress for Easter. I love, LOVE, how it turned out! It just might be my new favorite. 

You won't see any Easter baskets in this post, however. Not because I didn't want one in the picture but because these pictures were taken after the fact. On Easter the weather was a bit chilly and I was caught up the, cleaning, helping the Easter Bunny, etc. I did manage to get a video of the of the big egg hunt though. Yay me! I am going to be happy with myself for all that I did get done, and not be upset over the things I didn't get done. It was a great day with my family and that's what matters.

Keilana picked out this beautiful vintage looking fabric designed by Gertie. It looks lovely with the vintage design of the Eleena Dress. What a great pick! I've got a fashionista in training right here.

I only made two small modifications to the pattern; I added piping to the collar and sleeves and I used a pretty lace zipper instead of an invisible zipper. I didn't have a coordinating invisible zipper on hand but I have quite a few of the lace zippers, so why not, right? They are so pretty!
Actually, I didn't any coordinating piping either, so I made some. But I was all out of cording, so I used cotton yarn. I worked surprisingly well for the look I was going for. It is smaller than standard piping, and kinda flattened out a little. But I love the subtlety; it's perfect.

And for all the girly girls, this dress has got some great twirl factor. 

If you love this dress as much as I do then you can find it Coffee & Thread.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

How to make a button back Trinity Tee

For those who hate zippers, or just want something different on your Trinity Tee, I have a new hack for you - How to make a button back Trinity Tee. It's super easy!

These illustrations demonstrate how to make the button opening for a Trinity Tee with an invisible neck binding. But with a small tweak you can also make it with a visible neck binding. I will let you know of any changes when we get there ;)

You will need one button in any size and a piece of round elastic long enough to go around your button + 3/4".

We are going to start much like we did when making the zipper option.

1. Measure down the center back seam allowance 3-4" and mark it. 

2. Starting from the bottom of the shirt, sew up the seam allowance (right sides together) until you reach your mark. Back stitch, then continue up the rest of the way using a basting stitch.

3. Press seam allowance open.

4. Using your seam ripper, carefully remove your basting stitches.

5. Topstitch seam allowance 1/4" to both sides of seam. Stop where seam opening begins.

6. Fold neck binding in half with wrong sides together and press.

*If you are making the visible neck binding option you will prepare your neck binding the same as the zipper option in the pattern tutorial.*

7. Sew neck binding to right side of neckline. Fold out the seam allowance and match the short end, raw edge of neck binding with raw edge of seam allowance. Place elastic between neck binding and shirt just 1/2" from the top edge. Sew the short end with straight stitch, using 3/8" seam allowance. Your stitch should land in the fold line on the seam allowance.

*For visible binding you will attach binding to wrong side of neckline. Do not attach the elastic yet. We will come back to that.*

8. Clip corners and trim back elastic if you have extra sticking out. Careful not to cut too close to the seam or your elastic may come out.

9. Turn corners right side out and push out corner. Press neck binding up, away from shirt, then down to inside of neckline. 

*For visible binding you will press seam allowance down, press binding up away from shirt, then down to right side of neckline.*

10. Topstitch around opening 1/4" from edge and across the bottom. Topstitch neck binding 1/8" from  lower edge. 

*With the visible binding you will now tuck your elastic (folded in half) between the binding and shirt before topstitching. *

11. Attach your button and you are done!

This is a fun, different way of making the Trinity Tee. I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A very sweet Naples Dress - Blog Tour: Day 2 (with a Giveaway!)

Today I am joining up with A Jennuine Life for the Naples Dress Blog Tour.
The Naples Dress pattern is the latest release from Jennuine Designs
This dress was made using fabrics from the Pat Bravo Essentials II line generously donated by Art Gallery Fabrics. Thank you Art Gallery Fabrics; we love them! These wovens are made with 100% PIMA cotton and have a lovely smooth hand.

Though the first thing I noticed about the Naples Dress when I saw it was the fun sleeves, my favorite detail is the neckline. This dress pattern has a crossover neckline that is shaped so that it gives a keyhole-like look. The neckline can then be finished with bias tape to tie or button, or a wide bow. I made the bias tie option. I wish I would have made the ties a little bit longer though. It isn't quite long enough to make a bow; not that my daughter cared. She loves it the way it is; but I think I might remove the ties and make a button version.

The little basket was completely my daughter's idea by the way. I have learned that allowing her to use props if she asks for it makes the photoshoots much easier. And with all these lovely daffodils blooming in my backyard the basket was perfect for holding the picked flowers.

Okay, so back to the dress! My daughter also chose each option she wanted for the neckline, sleeves, and skirt. This is the A-line skirt version. I love the lines of the A-line skirt, but if you prefer a fuller skirt there is also a gathered skirt option. Furthermore, both skirt options can be made in dress or tunic length.

I was a little bit surprised that she chose the long bell sleeves because in the past she wasn't so crazy about this style. However, I think it was a perfect choice. The bell sleeve lends wonderfully to the bohemian feel of this dress. She just wanted to keep lifting her arms and twirling about.
The other sleeve options include butterfly, and mid length bells. And there is also the sleeveless option, of course.

Another lovely detail of this pattern is the hi-lo empire waist. How fun is that? I added piping along the waistline because, hello, it's piping! We love piping.

When my daughter finally took this dress off she ran to the laundry room and exclaimed that she wanted to wash it so she could wear it for Family Engineering Night at her school. Yeah, that's definitely a win!

 Do you love it? Yes? Then I have good news for you: Get 25% off your entire order with code NAPLESTOUR through Sunday March 27th! (Bundles excluded)

But that's not all... Enter to win a fat quarter bundle of Pat Bravo Essentials II fabrics and 3 patterns from Jennuine Designs!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please also stop by and see the other lovely Naples Dresses on the tour today at Taylor Made Creates and Élégantine!

Naples Dress Pattern by Jennuine Design

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Free halter dress pattern and tutorial

Last year my cousin was getting married and had asked if my daughter could be the flower girl in her wedding. My daughter loved the idea of getting to throw flowers about. They offered to buy a flower girl dress, but they are a young couple and were paying for the wedding themselves so there was no way I was going to let them do that. I had never sewn anything formal before, but I love a challenge.  I wanted a dress similar to the bridesmaids dresses but was surprised that I could not find a pattern quite like I wanted. So, I drafted one! 

 With Easter approaching quickly I figured it would be a good time to share this pattern with all of you. Lucky you ;)

This pattern has gentle gathering on the front bodice, a rounded "V" neckline, and gathered skirt. The halter strap closes with snaps and the back closes with a zipper. 
For the flower girl dress I used satin taffeta with a lace overlay. I am pleased with how it all worked out. But this pattern can be used for everyday dresses too. For my muslin I used quilting weight cotton and it made a pretty summer dress. 

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that the pattern is size 7. Maybe someday I will grade it out to more sizes.

Okay now, let's get on with the tutorial!

For this pattern you will need:
2 yards of fabric
1/4 yard lining
2 size 20 snaps
1 seven inch all purpose zipper
small scraps of fusible interfacing 2" x 3"

And, of course, you will need the pattern. Download it HERE!

There is a 3/8 inch seam allowance included on all pattern pieces.

 First, we start by basting two lines along the bottom edge of the bodice front.

Pull bobbin threads to gather until the bottom of the upper bodice is the same width as the top edge of the lower bodice.

Sew the lower bodice piece to the upper bodice with right sides together.

Press seam allowance up.

Fuse interfacing to 2 of the four back strap pieces.

Sew the interfaced back strap pieces to the straps and sew the back bodice pieces to the front bodice.

Press seam allowances open.

Repeat for the lining, except this time you are using un-interfaced back strap pieces.

Press seam allowances open.

Sew the lining to the bodice along the upper edge as indicated above. Leave 1 inch unsewn on both ends. 

Clip corners and curves. Fold bottom edge of lining only up 3/8 inch and press. Turn right side out.

I had to zoom way out here so we could see all of the skirt. 
Baste two lines along the upper edge of the skirt.
Fold bottom edge up 1/2 inch, press, then fold up another 1 inch and press again.
DO NOT stitch the hem just yet. We will come back to it.

Pull bobbin threads to gather skirt until it is the same width as the waistline of the bodice.

Flip the lining out of the way and sew the outer bodice to the skirt. Press seam allowance up.

Place a mark on your skirt where the bottom of the zipper stop is.

Flip the hem down and sew skirt with right sides together up to the mark you just made.
Press seam open. Flip hem back up and stitch it 1/8 inch from the upper fold. (not pictured)

Turn bodice wrong side out again. You don't need to push the straps back through to the wrong side; only the body of the bodice. Pull the lining back where it was left unsewn. Place zipper face down along back edge of bodice. (Please ignore that the zipper pull is showing on the wrong side. I used a pattern brush and couldn't remove the zipper pull to make it look like it was flipped face down. I could have manually drawn it all out, but it would have taken FOREVER, and, eh, it's a free pattern. LOL)

Line up the edge of the lining with the back bodice with the zipper sandwiched in between. Using a zipper foot, sew close to the zipper teeth all the way down the zipper. Careful not to catch the other side of your dress in the stitches. Sew across the top edge of the bodice where we had left it unsewn.
Clip corner.
Flip this half of the lining right side out to reveal the zipper.
Repeat for the other side.

Stitch in the ditch along the waistline catching the lining in your stitches to secure the lower edge.
Alternatively, you can hand sew your lining. For the flower girl dress I chose to hand sew.

Topstitch around outer edges of bodice.
Apply your snaps to the strap and you are done! 

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. I would love to see the dresses made with this pattern! Please join me on my Facebook page HERE and share any dress you make with it.