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Sunday, July 8, 2012

A-Line Floral Skirt with Frills

I made this skirt yesterday using a simple A-line skirt draft. I attached the red satin ribbon and frill trim to add grace to the floral skirt. The frill trim is a store-bought one. So it made my work easier.


Does the skirt look good with the frill trim or should it have been better left plain? Please post your replies. I am eager to read comments and feedback.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Ruched Sundress for My Little One

I made this empire-waist sundress for my little girl today. The pattern is self-drafted. I did some ruching at the center front. The straps cross at the back. First, I thought of attaching a red or orange satin ribbon at the empire line, but then I settled in with the lace trim to give a soft look to the dress.


Here are some action shots. I took these photos before attaching the lace trim on the bottom round of the dress.




I purchased some cotton fabrics from a fabric bazaar recently to make summer dresses or skirts for my daughter. As I already have loads of cotton fabrics, I purchased only a few. I made the above-mentioned sundress from one of the fabrics you see in the image below. The lavender-colored floral fabric is for my friend's daughter. This type of cotton fabric is so soft and perfect for summer.


Lots of sewing ahead! I would love to see what you are making now. Please feel free to comment and leave a link to your blog, so that I will be able to visit your blogs too.

I have linked this to the link party on Happy Hour Projects.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Tutorial---How to Draft and Sew a Peasant Blouse

The peasant blouse or peasant top is very easy to draft and sew. Its pattern draft is based on the basic blouse pattern.

Pattern draft:

Front:

A to B = Blouse length
A to C = Neck depth
A to D = 1/8 bust + 2.5 inches
A to I = Half shoulder
H to I = 1 inch
H to G = Length between shoulder tip and shoulder at neck.
D to E = 1/4 bust + 3/4 inch ease
Draw a vertical line from I which meets DE at point J.
Connect A and E. Mark point N where the line AE meets the neckline.
Mark point K 0.5 inch from J. Shape EKN.
C to L = B to M = 2 inches (for fullness)


Back:

Same as front except for this change: Mark point K 1 inch from J. Shape EKN.

Sleeve:

A to B = 1/8 bust + 2.5 inches
A to C = Neck depth
A to O = Half shoulder
A to D = A to G of the front blouse draft
B to F = 1/4 bust + 3/4 inch ease
Draw a vertical line from O which meets BF at point P.
Connect A and F. Mark point Q where the line AF meets the neckline.
Mark point G where lines OP and AF cross.
G to I = 0.5 inch
G to H = 1 inch
Shape sleeve front armhole FHQ and back armhole FIQ.
D to L = Length of the sleeve from the D. 

K to L = D to J = 2 inches
Join K and J.
L to N = Half sleeve round
Join F and N.
N to M = 0.75 inch
Join L and M with a curved line.


Add seam allowances:

For blouse front and back:

0.25 inch at the armhole.
1 inch at neck.
0.5 inch on the sides.
1 inch at the blouse bottom hemline.

For sleeves:

0.25 inch at the sleeve cap.
0.5 inch on the sides.
1 inch at the sleeve hemline.


Sewing:

Step 1: Arrange the front, back, and sleeve pattern pieces.

2. Join the sleeves with the front and back bodices:

With right sides facing, join the sleeves with the front and back bodices.


3. Join the sides:


Step 4. Make casing at the bottom of the sleeves and at the neck and insert elastic into the casing:

How to do this: On one of the sleeves, fold under the hem allowance for casing leaving a 2-inch gap to insert the elastic. Using a safety pin, insert a 0.25-inch-width elastic into the casing through the gap.

The length of the elastic should be 1 or 2 inches lesser than the sleeve round at hem. I have marked the length needed, with a pen (see the photo below).

Feed the elastic through the entire casing, while gripping the safety pin.


When you get to the other end, take off the safety pin and overlap the two ends of the elastic. Sew two rows of stitches to hold the elastic ends in place. Then snip off the excess elastic and close the gap in the casing by folding under and hemming. Repeat this for the other sleeve and the neck. At last, finish all the seams with a method of your choice.

Step 5. Hem the bottom of the blouse and attach trimmings like laces and ribbons (if you prefer):


That's it! Done. Easy, ain't it? Please leave your comments in the comments section under this post. I am waiting to read your comments.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

I Am Back

Hi Friends! I am back after a long vacation. I will soon post a tutorial on how to draft and sew a peasant blouse.


Watch out for the tutorial.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tutorial---How to Sew and Attach a Stand Collar


While making the stand collar for this dress, I thought I could share a little tutorial on how to sew and attach a stand collar. This method is very easy and you can make the collar in a jiffy.




Here is the tutorial:

Cut out two collar pieces (one for the upper collar and one for the under collar) using a stand collar draft. The stand collar I have made here has curved edges and opens at the center front.

 Fold 0.25 inch at the bottom on the wrong side of both the pieces.


With right sides facing, sew the pieces together with a 0.25 seam. I have indicated the seam line in red in the photo below.


Clip the curved edges of the collar and turn the collar inside out. Now, sandwich the neckline of the dress between the two collar pieces starting from the corners of the neckline on the front bodice.




Pin the collar to the neckline as you go.


Whip stitch or hem stitch the base of the collar by hand, making sure with each stitch you catch the upper collar, under collar, and the sandwiched neckline fabric with your needle.

 
Your collar is almost ready now.
Top stitch the base of the collar, and that's it! Your stand collar is done.



Forgive me for the woobly stitches. Perhaps my sewing machine was in a bad mood that day :-)

I have linked this tutorial to the Link Party at Shwin&Shwin.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Paisley Dress With Stand Collar

I wanted to make the summer wardrobe for my little daughter and I have started with this paisley dress. I had some leftover pieces of a kameez and decided to make this dress I had already designed for her.





I just love paisley fabrics and I love this color combination too. I used the leftover border fabric of the kameez for the sleeves, front button and buttonhole stands, and for the bows on the sides.

The features of this dress are stand collar (also called Mandarin collar or Nehru collar), high back neck, Kimono sleeves, and hidden side pockets in the skirt.

I have linked this to the link party on Creative Itch.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

How To Sew An Empire Waist Dress With Overlapping Front Bodice



Step 1---Arranging the pattern pieces

Using the patterns for the dress's front, back, and sleeves, cut and arrange your pattern pieces.

Front bodice:

Two main fabric pieces and two lining fabric pieces.




Back bodice:

Two main fabric pieces, two lining fabric pieces. (The button and buttonhole extensions in the below image are of same size which I changed later. So please see the next image to note the difference in the dimensions.)


Button and buttonhole extensions. I kept the button extension wider than the buttonhole extension. The buttonhole extension will overlap the button extension.



Front skirt:

Back skirt:
Sleeves:


Sleeve bands:

Bow, bow center, and ribbons:

For bow and ribbons cut two pieces of fabric. For bow center, single piece of fabric is enough.



Step 2---Making the bodice and attaching the sleeves

With right sides facing, join the front and back bodice lining fabric pieces at the shoulders. For clarity, I have labeled the joined lining fabric pieces as A and B.



Next, with right sides facing, join the front and back bodice main fabric pieces at the shoulders. For clarity, I have labeled the joined main fabric pieces as C and D.



With right sides facing, pin together (only at the neckline) each set of lining fabric and main fabric bodice pieces (that is, A with C and B with D). In the image below, the lining fabric piece is on top and the main fabric piece is underneath.


Join the main fabric and lining fabric pieces together at the neckline, removing the pins as you join.

Clip the neckline edge as shown in the photograph below.



Turn the pieces inside out and press.


(Please excuse me for the brown stain you see on the bodice piece on the right? It was made by my little artist. I should have had been careful to keep the dress out of her reach. A lesson learned!)

Attaching the button and buttonhole extensions to the back bodice pieces:

We are going to attach the button extension to the left-side piece of the back bodice, and the buttonhole extension to the right-side piece of the back bodice. (You can also do this step before joining the lining and main bodice pieces.)

First we will attach the button extension. Pin the button extension with the lining side of the back bodice left piece at the center back. Also pin the main and lining fabric pieces at the waist seam and side seam (pointed by the arrows in the photo) to prevent the two pieces slipping away from each other.



Sew the button extension in place with a 0.25 seam allowance. You can notice in the image below that the button extension's length (according to the draft) is more than the center back length. We will trim this excess off in the next step.


You can trim the excess at the top according to the shape of the neckline not straight as shown here. I  trimmed it later.



This will look like this on the main side.


Fold the button extension first 0.25 inch, then 1 inch and pin.
I could not keep the fold as neat as I had wished, because the fabric I used was too slippery and the pins could not be held in place (After a long try, I folded it somehow. I later realized that I should have had pressed the first fold beforehand.).

Sew the fold in place. Your button extension will now extend 1 inch from the center back of the left piece. (You can also attach the button extension to the main side and fold it down the lining side.)


Now, we will attach the buttonhole extension to the center back of the right back piece.

Fold 0.25 inch first and fold again fully and sew the fold in place.

This will look like this on the main side.
We have finished the back bodice. This is the finished look.
Next, we will attach the sleeves.

Sew long stitches (basting stitches) 0.25 inch up from the hemline of the sleeve by setting the stitch length to the longest in your sewing machine (It is 4 in my machine). Leave 3 inches of thread on both sides.



Pull the threads to gather the sleeve hemline such that the length of the hemline equals the length of the sleeve band. With right sides facing, pin the sleeve hemline to the sleeve band with a 0.25 seam and then sew them together.

Pick out the gathering stitches (i.e., the basting stitches) at this step, and then fold the sleeve band to the wrong side and hem. Repeat the same for the other sleeve.
I kept the sleeves plain at the cap (that is, I did not gather). The sleeves have a puffed effect only at the hemline. The sleeve cap should be usually 1 to 1.5 inches more than the armhole. This measure is called cap ease. I read in some books that for puffed sleeves, cap ease can be reduced to 0.5 inch. For this, you need to slightly trim the cap in the basic sleeve draft before you will use it to draft the puffed sleeve or after you have drafted the puffed sleeve. I didn't do this, but it might have been easier to fit in the sleeve to the armhole if I had done it.

To even out the sleeve cap ease, or to set the sleeve into the armhole, sew two rows of long stitches close to the edge of the capline between the front and back notches and gather the sleeve cap by pulling the loose threads on both sides.


With right sides facing, pin the sleeve with the armhole.
Sew the sleeve in place.

Repeat the same for the other sleeve.
Sew the darts and your bodice is ready now.

Step 3---Sewing darts in the skirts
Sew darts in the front and back skirts.

Step 4---Joining the bodices with the skirts

Before this step, pin the back bodice pieces at the bottom such that the buttonhole extension overlaps the button extension.

With right sides facing, join the back bodice and the back skirt on the wrong side at the empire line.

This will look like this on the right side.
With right sides facing, join the front bodice and the front skirt on the wrong side at the empire line. Before doing this, pin the front bodice pieces together at the bottom such that the right-side piece overlaps the left-side piece. You can see this in the previous image.

This will look like this on the right side.

Step 5---Joining the sides

Join the sides and hem the bottom of the dress. Your dress is almost done.


Step 6---Attaching the bow and ribbons

Now, you will need to attach the bow and ribbons. If you like the plain look of the dress, you can skip out this step.

With right sides facing, join the two bow pieces with a 0.25 inch seam on all the sides leaving a little opening at the top to turn the bow inside out. I have indicated the opening in the image below.

Turn the bow inside out through the opening and whip stitch to close the opening.

With right sides facing join the two ribbon pieces with a 0.25 inch seam on all the sides leaving a little opening at the top to turn the bow inside out. I have indicated the opening in the image below.

Turn the bow inside out through the opening and whip stitch to close the opening.

Take the rectangular piece for the bow center. Make 0.25 inch folds breadthwise.

Then make 0.50 inch folds lengthwise.

Fold again and whip stitch to join the edges.

Bring the seam line to the center and press.

Arrange the bow and ribbon and wrap the bow center piece around the center as shown in the photo below.  Whip stitch to join the raw edges of the bow center piece. Do not cut the thread off, you can use it to attach the bow to the dress. I attached the bow to the dress where the front bodice overlap ends. There are also other methods to make the bow and ribbon. I will share them with you in my future projects.

Fix buttons and sew buttonholes, respectively on the button and buttonhole extensions in the back bodice, and your empire waist dress is ready to wear.



Some action shots:



I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Please let me know your valuable comments, ideas, and suggestion.

I have linked this to the Sunday show off link party on Twigg Studios, the Sew Tuesday link party on Creative Itch, and the link party on Shwin&Shwin.