Sunday, August 25, 2013

Summer Faux Wrap Top Free Pattern & Tutorial is Here!

So technically, it's still Sunday here where I am so this free pattern that I promised isn't late! I managed to eek this post in late tonight because my baby went to bed early- yippee! I hope he keeps this up as things start to get crazier in the next few weeks. Fingers AND toes crossed! ;-)

Oh yeah, did I mention that I am so amazed by all those fantastic sewing/crafty bloggers who post tutorials and patterns for their readers on a regular basis? Well, I am because it takes butt-loads of time to do all that work! Since I started this strictly sewing blog and decided to offer my projects up for public consumption, I've come to realize that I will NOT be doing this more than once a week!

Being a mom comes first. Starting tomorrow, being a student again is second. Which means, I may even be down to offering one design every two weeks instead of once a week. We'll have to wait and see how it goes! So if my posts start becoming more irregular, you'll know why!

Anyway, on to the good stuff! Download the pattern for the top (in a slim 3/4T) and let's get sewing!

All seams are 3/8" unless I state otherwise in the tutorial below. There are two different ways to do the neckline and you will see them both below. I prefer the facing myself because the neckline is smoother that way. 

For this project, you will need bias tape, two contrasting fabrics, fusible interfacing for the facing, 1/4" elastic for the button loop and a button.

If you have a question, email me using the address over in the right column. Happy sewing! And remember to share your finished top with me! I'd love to see it! =)

Once your sleeves are on, don't forget to remove the stay stitches at the shoulders!

Once you're done finishing the hem, shake it out and try it on! My daughter decided she wanted a heart button on the front of this one. I don't know why but she fancies herself a designer as well. We placed it on the shoulder to make it appear as though it's holding up the faux crossover piece. I kinda like it. =)

I didn't get a picture of the lime green top on my model~ she felt that one shirt was enough for this post even though I gave her TWO mint Oreo cookies as a bribe. She took the two cookies but did not model the second shirt. That's supermodels for ya! ;-)

Linked to Tasteful Tuesdays at Nap-Time Creations.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

One Last Hurrah for Summer Faux Wrap Top

Summer is coming to a close but this next week is when it finally starts to feel like summer around here ~ mid-90s all. week. long! Phew! So that's why I decided to call this top "One Last Hurrah for Summer" or simply the Summer Faux Wrap Top. 

I love the fabric combo on this one. It's one of the funnest things about designing and sewing clothes- you can choose whatever your imagination can come up with! 

In this instance, I used a cotton chevron fabric bought from Pick Your Plum and paired it with a thrifted... wait for it... tablecloth!!! I was shopping for fabric when I ran into this gorgeous and spotless linen tablecloth. It's light creamy color really was flawless. The previous owner did a really good job taking care of it if they even used it at all!

I only used a little bit of it for this top- the rest is being saved for an Easter dress for next spring. =) Yep, I'm planning that far ahead already.

The boat neck is something I've been wanting to try out on K. She's so skinny, it's hard to make it big enough to fit comfortably without constantly falling off her shoulders. This top I made for her definitely fits well. It exposes her collarbone but doesn't fall off of her shoulders, which is exactly what I wanted.

I love bias tape and I have a ton in my stash that I bought on antiquing trips. When I say "antiquing," I don't actually buy any antiques but I run into a lot of vintage sewing notions and trims that I hoard  stock up on for future use. 

And aren't the banded puff sleeves too cute?! 

Darn- that button was sewn on a little lower than the loop, making the back yoke appear uneven! Redo! =) But that's what happens when one is in a rush to finish a project so that Saturday could be spent with family. Sigh. And next week, I'm starting school too so there will be only time enough for one sewing project every week, if I stay up past midnight, that is!  

Isn't she lovely in this floral tablecloth  print top? I came up with the design because I wanted to be able to mix and match my fabrics and trims to create a different feel each time I make one. My first version turned out very summery with lime green and hot pink tones. You'll get to see that one in the tutorial I'll be posting tomorrow with a FREE PATTERN yet again! Of course, it's in my daughter's size only, about a 3/4T, but it's a fairly easy pattern to increase or decrease as needed if you're an experienced sewist.

So definitely come back for that tomorrow if you're interested! I am going to go get in some family time before the craziness begins this next week! Hope you're all having a lovely weekend so far!

xoxo ~ Julia

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Reversible Piped Vest for Boys and Free Pattern!

Who's ready for a fun boy pattern??? And an easy one at that! No buttons, no zippers, no pockets to worry about...say what?! Yep- this one's a doozy! A great beginner sewing project that can produce some fun results depending on the fabrics you choose. 

I'm only offering the 5T pattern since that's my son's size but I don't think this one would be difficult to size up or down as needed. (He's also on the smaller side of 5T so it could also be 4T- yep, I have some small kids!)

I used woven fabric for this and have not tried knits yet but I think it would work as well since this pattern is very simple. The extra stretch never hurts and would last awhile, right? Moms with kids will appreciate that- I know I do.

Now all you need to start is two contrasting fabrics, some piping, HeatnBond iron on adhesive, and your usual sewing tools and you're ready to go!

Download pattern here. Print the pattern with NO SCALING and match up the letters to form your pieces. It should look like the pieces below. There is a 3/8" seam allowance on the pattern.

Before we begin the tutorial, I would like to explain that this was my method of construction and it is by no means how a professional seamstress would probably go about it but it worked great for me and produced good results. Also, no zippers or buttons- woohoo! =D

Once your pieces are cut, follow step 2.

Repeat the piping for the other side of the vest and then you're ready to sew it to the back piece. Remember to pin right sides together and sew at the shoulder and down both sides. Also, I didn't finish my seams with a zigzag stitch since it will not be exposed. You can if your fabric tends to unravel too much but both of my fabrics were fine.

Repeat the above step for your second fabric by pinning right sides together and sewing at the shoulder and side seams.

Tada! Two matching pieces! Ready to make two into one? Ok- let's move on then!

Take one side of your vest and face it right side up by laying it out spread-eagle on a nice, flat surface.

Take your second piece and face it right side down on top of the first piece.


I also pinned around the armholes but DO NOT SEW them together! You won't be able to flip it inside out otherwise! Also, leave at lease 6 inches open at the bottom of the vest so you can do the flip.

Once it's flipped and pressed, this is what you should have!

I clipped just the bottom half of the armholes so they would fold down easier without bunching up.

I didn't take a picture of the HeatnBond step- but you basically cut a strip of it, place it between the folded edges at the opening at the bottom of the vest, and press with a hot iron. Once the strip has cooled off a bit, pull off the backing and you'll have a sticky adhesive on your fabric. Carefully line up the unsticky side of the fabric with the sticky side and press again with the iron and you're done! 
(FYI: you could totally apply a blind stitch to the opening as well, but I wanted this to be a quick and easy project so I went with the adhesive. It looks great either way!)

And he says he's a big fan of the croc print so it will be worn this way for awhile. =)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Bella Dress: Free PDF Pattern and Tutorial


Yeppers- I actually finished cleaning up my Bella dress pattern last night so that I could share it with you today! I originally hand-drafted the pattern when I first made it but I would've been too embarrassed to share that ugly mess with you so I worked for a few hours on Illustrator to get it all prettified for all you sewing enthusiasts!

This is my first pattern I'm offering for free and it's made to my daughter's specific measurements. She's a small 4T with a 19" waist. The finished waist on the dress measures approximately 22" for a comfortable but not too loose fit on her.

Okay- so once you've downloaded, cut and taped your pattern together, let's go through a quick tutorial on how to put it together!

Materials needed: piping/lace trim (optional), 12"-18" zipper, two or more fabrics and your usual sewing stuff like thread, pins etc.

Don't forget to read my set of instructions on the pdf pattern if you want to put in a full lining for the bodice! And if you have any problems or questions, my email is on the sidebar to the right! 

Let's get sewing, shall we? =)

For step 7 below, don't line up the top of the zipper with the top of the bodice! Leave a little seam allowance there for the lining! I goofed on the pic and had to redo my zipper!

In step 10, my front bodice was slightly smaller than the back bodice. I fixed the pattern so that this won't happen when you do yours. The dress still fit K perfectly even though it didn't line up perfectly.

Oops, I forgot to photograph the sleeves being pinned to the bodice, but you totally get how to do it right? Pretty easy but if you have questions, shoot me an email and I will help you through it! =)

Shake out your brand new dress and do a happy dance! You've just made the Bella dress for your special little girl and hopefully, she'll look happier about it than K does below, haha!

I hope you enjoyed this free pattern and tutorial! I'd love to see how you've personalized your Bella dress so please do email pics to me and I'll post them up on my blog for inspiration to other sewing enthusiasts!

And just a quick note for those who want a different size- this pattern should be very easy to size up or down as needed simply by adjusting the width and length of the bodice and skirt. If sizing up/down more than two sizes from 4T, then adjust the armhole as well. 

Thanks so much for stopping by today! Happy sewing!

xoxo ~ Julia

This post is linked to Link Party Palooza @Tatertots & Jello.
Linked to Tasteful Tuesdays @ Nap-Time Creations.