You won the School Photo pattern from Oliver + S! I have to admit I was pleased when Beth’s name was chosen – she commented that she would use the pattern to make a dress for her little neighbor whose mom left for Afghanistan with the Navy for a year in the beginning of July. That makes my day! I hope you all are enjoying your summer. Check back, there will be another give-away later in the week and don’t forget to consider entering our Sew-off!
This week we are giving away the Oliver + S School Photo Dress Pattern in Sizes 5 – 12. I know it is way too early to think about fall and going back you know where, but in case you like to get a jump start on these things, this dress is perfect for going back to that unmentionable place. With 3/4 length sleeves and a kangaroo pocket that your little girl will adore, this is a great transition to fall outfit!
To qualify for the give-away, just leave me a comment telling me what you are sewing this summer. International comments are welcome. This give-away is open until Noon on Saturday, July 16th, Eastern US time. Next week will have a new give-away, so check back often and good luck winning!
May 20th! Its hard to believe. I don’t know where the month has gone, but it is high time I show you how I added the shaped hem to the April Dress before I need to post about the May Dress! First, I used View A of the Oliver + S Music Box Jumper and Pink Posies fabric from Pink Hollybush Designs. This view has pleats going arount the entire jumper. I measured the front of the jumper at the hem and divided that measurement into thirds. I measured one third from the side edge of the front jumper and that is the peak of my shaped hem. I then measured up 3 inches from the edge of the fabric and used a mug to give a rounded shape to the hem. You don’t want the peak to come to a point since I am adding the ruffle. There wouldn’t be room for the fullness of the ruffle. To make the ruffle, I measured the entire bottom of the jumper and doubled that measurement plus 1 inch for seam allowances. I then cut a strip of fabric on grain 3 inches wide by my measurement. I pieced my strips to get the total length I wanted. I folded the short ends in by 1/2 inch to finish the edges and ran 2 gathering threads along the long sides to enable me to pull up the ruffle. I then sewed the ruffle to the bottom of the jumper using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Please note if you are using View A as I did, the pattern allows a 1 1/2 inch seam allowance. You may want to trim the allowance down to 1/2 inch before adding the ruffle. Directions for how to make the bow can be found here.
For the April Dress I applied a bias binding of Soft Pink Check from Pink Hollybush Designs to finish the neckline and sleeves. This is simple to do and provides a simple contrast without a lot of fussiness. First, you may recall that our Oliver + S pattern has 1/2 inch seam allowances. To apply a bias binding trim, you first need to remove the sleeve allowances. This is because the binding will wrap around the bodice of the dress and finish the edge. No amount of fabric from the bodice is used to finish the edge.
However, in the Music Box Jumper, the directions have you sew the bodice and the lining together to finish both the neck and sleeve edges, as well as the center back edge. We still need to finish the center back edge, so the first step is to sew the shoulder seams of the lining and the bodice and then sew the lining to the bodice at the center back seam only.
Here you can see I have sewn my shoulder seams and the center back seam and pressed both open. Pin the bodice to its lining with wrong sides together. They are only joined at the center back seams. Now carefully mark a 1/2 inch seam allowance on the neck and sleeve edges. Carefully trim the seam allowance away. Next sew the the bodice front to the bodice back pieces at the underarm. Do the same for the lining, pressing all seams open. I find it easier to trim the seam allowances when the pieces are laid out flat which you can’t do once you sew the underarm seams. Re-pin the bodice to your lining and treat them as one piece of fabric from now on. I find it helpful to baste the edges of the lining and bodice together.
Cut bias strips 2 inches wide and press in half bringing long edges together. Measure the distance around the sleeve opening and add 1/2 inch to that measurement. Cut the bias strip to that length and sew the short ends together using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Pin the bias strip to the arm opening aligning the 2 raw edges of the bias strip with the raw edge of the bodice. Sew using a 1/4 seam allowance. Press the bias strip toward the arm opening.Use those mini-hams to get a good pressing! Turn the bias to the inside and slip stitch in place. Do the same thing for the neck edge only you won’t be sewing the strip into a circle. Instead cut the strip 1/2 inch larger than than the neck edge. Press into the shape of a circle to make attaching to the neck easier.Pin the binding to the neck edge allowing 1/4 inch to extend beyond each back edge. Stitch in place using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Press the strip away from the bodice. Fold the 1/4 inch to the back and then fold the binding to the inside. Slip stitch in place. Enjoy the beautiful spring weather – we finally have some in New England!
The April Dress of Dozen of Dresses is finished in time for Easter! The April Dress is View A (finally I know) of the Oliver + S Music Box Pattern. It is made from Pink Posies and Soft Pink Check from Pink Hollybush Designs. For the April Dress I shaped the hem, added a ruffle and a fabric flower. I also finished the neck and sleeve edges with bias seam binding. Today I will explain how I made the flower and directions on the bias binding and shaped hem with ruffle will be coming!
To make the flower, cut a strip of material 2 inches wide by 14 inches long. Press the strip of fabric in half width wise so you have a strip 1 inch wide by 14 inches long. Seam the short ends together and press the seam open. Zig Zag the long raw edges together if your fabric ravels easily. Run a gathering stitch 3/8 inch from the raw edge. Pull on the gathering stitch to gather the fabric as much as possible into as tight a circle as possible. Fold you circle in half and bring the short ends together creating another smaller circle. This creates the layered effect. Hand stitch the middle together as well as the short ends to form the circle. Add a button to the center and stitch to your dress or anything else! Enjoy!
I finished the March Dress around 11pm on March 31st. Thanks to the chaos in my house, it is just getting posted today! In other words the only place my ducks are all in a row is on this dress! I want to thank Wanda who had the idea for this dress at the lake and Jan Kerton from Windflower Embroidery who teaches how to make these adorable stuffed animals and puts them on the most beautiful blankets you have ever seen.
To make the ducks, begin by drawing them on a piece of tear away stabilizer and pinning it to the wrong side of the wash cloth. Remember they will be facing the other way once they are stitched and turned. Using a thread color that you will be able to see slightly on the washcloth, stitch the inside lines with a short stitch length (in this case the duck’s wing and the line separating head and bill.) I used white thread and 1.5 stitch length.Pin a piece of lining material to the back of the wash cloth and stitch around the outside of the ducks. Tear away the stabilizer and trim the ducks leaving a 1/16 th to 1/8 th seam allowance.Cut a slit in the lining and turn the duck right side out. You can then add a small amount of stuffing is you want to give your ducks some dimension. Whip stitch the opening closed. Using up and down back stitches and 2 strands of orange floss, stitch around the wing and the line between the head and bill. Use brown floss to make a french knot eye on the baby ducks and a granito eye on the mother duck. Using a simple whip stitch, attach the ducks to the dress. I tucked mine under the ric rac to look like waves and stitched the ric rac to the ducks. In order to give the ducks a smooth surface to swim across, I shifted the one central pleat on the front of the jumper to 2 pleats. In order to do this, simply measure the size of the pleat – on a size 5 this is 3 1/2 inches. So I need to make 2 smaller pleats each 1 3/4 inches. Divide the skirt front in thirds and mark. My skirt is 18 inches so I made 2 marks each 6 inches apart. Starting at the mark, measure 1 3/4 inches toward the side seams and make a second mark. If you center your pleats on the 6 and 12 inch marks, you will be taking too much material from the center. Join your two marks and stitch the pleat as per the pattern directions. Have you finished your Easter sewing? I need to finish my dress and of course the April jumper will have some ideas for you as well!
It is the end of the month and I am finally getting to the March Dress! I have been absent from posting for awhile and tomorrow I will post pictures of the reason – it is very cute! But on to the March Dress! For this dress I am using Blue Microcheck and White Imperial Broadcloth plus a yellow baby washcloth – unusual I know, but stick with me and I will show you why very soon. Of course, I am also using the Oliver + S Music Box Jumper. All supplies are available from Pink Hollybush Designs !This post will give some hints on inserting jumbo ric rac into the seams of the bodice. All of the seams on the jumper are 1/2 inch. My jumbo ric rac is 5/8 inch wide. If I just inserted the ric rac and sewed the 1/2 inch seam allowance, the ric rac would be caught by the seam; however, the ric rac would protrude too far into the arm and neck area to be comfortable for the child. We want the outside edge of the ric rac to fall on the child where the seams were originally designed to fall. In order to accomplish this, I marked the 1/2 inch seam allowance on the bodice and then trimmed it off. I then lined up the edge of the ric rac with the new edge of the bodice, pinned and then basted in place.Here is a picture of the ric rac basted along the new edge.The March Dress is also going to have a hem facing on the skirt. You can read about that here. I want to insert ric rac above the hem facing on the skirt. In order to find the correct position on the skirt. I laid the hem facing on top of the skirt and marked the top edge. The hem facing will also have a 1/2 inch seam allowance so if I place the Ric Rac along my marked line and baste it in place, when the hem facing is stitched down it will catch the bottom edge of the Ric Rac.Here is the Ric Rac basted to the skirt. Stay tuned to see the finished March Dress, what on earth I am doing with a baby wash cloth, and pictures of the distraction that has kept me from posting!
- a large heart of Hot Pink Dots
- a small heart of Hot Pink Corduroy
- a Pink Shell button
- a scrap of white fabric for the lining
- floss in a coordinating color
- paper backed fusible fabric such as Wonder-Under.
Adhear the corduroy heart to the dot heart using fusible fabric following the directions provided with the fusible fabric. Next using 3 strands of floss, blanket stitch around the outside of the corduroy heart. If you don’t know how to blanket stitch, you will find an excellent stitching guide at www.windflowerembroidery.com. Stitch the button to the center. Now, on your machine, using 1/8 inch seam allowances and right sides together, stitch the dotted heart and the white lining heart together, leaving an opening to turn. Turn to the right side and press. Pin the pocket in place on the jumper. Using the three strands of floss and the blanket stitch, begin stitching at the white headed pin on the right, and blanket stitch around the heart, going through all 3 layers of fabric until you reach the yellow pin on the left. Continue blanket stitching around the heart, except do not go through the corduroy fabric. Only blanket stitch the heart itself. This leaves an opening for the pocket. The small heart on the yoke of the jumper is made by attaching the heart using the fusible fabric and blanket stitching around the heart. I hope you enjoy making the heart pockets!
For the February Dress, I am going to insert bias piping around the neckline, around the arm openings, and in between the yoke and skirt seams. I am making the piping from the Hot Pink Dotted Fabric. This is also the fabric I am using for the lining. My pattern has 1/2 inch seam allowances, so I need to cut my bias strips 1 1/4 inches wide. This provides a top 1/2 inch seam allowance, a bottom 1/2 inch seam allowance and 1/4 inch to wrap around the baby piping. The strips need to be cut on the bias so they have some stretch enabling them to wrap nicely around the cord, as well as mold to the shape of the neck and arm openings.
In order to find the bias, I have folded my fabric on a 45 degree angle to the selvage edge and used my ruler to cut strips 1 1/4 inch wide. Sewing my strips together to get enough length is one of those things I always need to stop and think about no matter how many times I do it. I don’t know why because it is a simple thing to do. Hopefully this tip, from Agnes, one of my fellow ThimbleberryMembers, will help! Often, bias strips have an angled end because they are cut to the edge of the fabric. Often books will show the angeled edges sewn together. However, it is hard to sew the angeled edges so the lengthwise edges of the joined strip line up. Instead trim the ends perpendicular to the lengthwise edges. It is tempting to just match the short ends and seam the strips, but if you do, you have eliminated the bias stretch at that point. Instead, lay one strip on top of another at right angels. Draw a stitching line from corner to corner and stitch on that line. Trim to 1/4 inch seam allowance and you have a perfectly joined bias strip. Thank you Agnes!
My next tip comes from fellow Thimbleberrymember Kim, who recommends pressing the strip in half before laying the baby cord inside.
She also recommends stitching your bias strip with a cording foot with the needle slightly away from the cord. This enables you to get the needle right up against the cording when you stitch it to the fashion fabric. I am sorry this picture isn’t better, but I hope you can see the 2 lines of stitching. Alternatively, you can use a zipper foot to stitch your bias binding.
Match raw edges of bias strips to the raw edges of the dress yoke and stitch in place. Here is a picture of the finished yoke with bias strips stitched in place. An additional tip from Kim is to press the bias strips in a circular shape before attaching them to the yoke edges. This enables them to follow that curved shape. You may also want to trim the neck seam allowance to 1/4 inch before attaching the bias strip because of the tightness of the curve. This would be especially helpful on smaller sizes. If you do trim the neckline to 1/4 inch, make your bias strips 3/4 inch wide. Finish the jumper following the pattern directions except there is no need to understitch the neckline as the bias strips solve the problem of the dreaded creep. Stay tuned for the heart pockets!
I promise I will get to View A, but the straighter A line shape of View B makes it perfect for embellishment! I will be skipping the tabs this time, although I love them and inserting self-made bias binding.