Saturday, April 30, 2011

Nighty Night Adventure

My version of Nighty Night by Favorite Things
My back of Nighty Night using Lisette Batiste

This is the story of the quest for the perfect nightgown for hot, humid weather.  It all started a few years ago when I purchased a cute paisley nightgown from Target.  I fell in love with it.  Well, do you think they made any more of that style, NO.  It is pictured below.  The elastic in the back was worn out and it is getting thin.  What made it so great?
1.  The crisscross straps don't fall down in the middle of the night.
2.  There is elastic in the front and back hold it somewhat in place during the tossing and turning I usually do.
3.  It has no sleeves and is cool for those hot, humid nights when the air conditioner can't seem to run enough.  I live in Coastal Texas.
4.  It is cute, modest, and my husband likes it.

So, being the little seamstress, I had to make one.  After comparing all my patterns, I decided to use Favorite Things' pattern, Nighty Night.  It was close enough I could re-engineer it to work.  So the first item was easy, criss-cross the straps.  It already had elastic all the way around the chest (under the bust) to hold it in place.  Those cute models on the pattern cover looked young, so I added a little extra in the bust for my pattern. I found the top back also needed elastic to hold the nightgown in place like my old Target one.  I made the first one with the skirt of the nightgown from the pattern and the other two are cut with a little more A-line and I gathered it a little in the front to make it more baby-doll like the Target one.

I LOVE the results.  The poly-satin version is soft and comfy.  The Lisette batiste versions are light weight and airy.  This nightgown is very flattering and easy to sew together.  I highly recommend it to you for a summer nighty.
My next version will split the bust into cups versus the one piece from Nighty Night.

Front view of my Target nightgown
Back view of Target nightgown, complete with gaposis

Satin Nighty Night

Nighty Night using Lisette batiste

 I have also been busy with my second hobby, gardening.  It is keeping me busy with new crops coming in this week.  I have already picked over 3 gallons of green beans!

Enjoy your weekend!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

"Rose" Easter Dress

Our local SAGA chapter was so inspired by this beautiful dress (Rose by Susan Stewart) in Sew Beautiful No. 134, The White Issue, we got together and everyone made this dress.  Absolutely beautiful dress!

But, I have the hardest time following directions.  First, I didn't want a white or light pink dress, so I picked this bright pink.  That was good except I was supposed to have lace to match it.  They don't make lace in this color and I wasn't going to dye it.  So I decided to use satin ribbon, but where was I to find this ribbon.  My local shop didn't have any, but a fabric store in Rice Village has a ton of ribbon and I headed there and found to my delight, the exact ribbon I needed.  It looks like the fabric and ribbon are dyed together.  

Then I had to change the directions for gathered lace to gathered ribbon.  It was an easy swap and looks wonderful.  Note to others:  it takes two spools of Mettler thread and more piping than you want to know about, but I love the look.

My two changes for this pattern are:
1.  Use set in sleeves.  They look so much better.
2.  Add an inch to the bottom of the organza when you cut out the sleeve.  It is impossible to gather organza and ribbon and then sew on piping and binding on a 1/4" seam allowance.  I messed up the first sleeve and cut another with the extra seam allowance and was much happier.  

This dress is a size 8.  It is a LARGE size 8.  Maybe on the order of Australian sizing or Sew Beautiful's pattern collection.  My daughter will wear it NEXT year. 

This dress would be a beautiful addition to a wedding or any special occasion.  


Hope you had a Happy Easter!

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Dozen Reasons to Love Sassy Skirt by Children's Corner, part 3 of 3

This post wraps up my first 12 variations on the Children's Corner Pattern Sassy Skirt.  I am sure it will not end my desire to re-engineer this cute skirt.

9.  Turn the skirt to a skort.

Children's Corner patterns are unique in the fact they are made from the same set of slopers.  They add almost the same amount of ease into each garment, so it allows us to swap pattern pieces from their patterns to easily change the look of the garment.  So for this skort, I borrowed the shorts from Sara's Skort and sewed them as the bottom layer of the skirt.  I made a size 7 and it fit within a 1/4" of total perfect, and the variation may have been my cutting.

The skort is a perfect match for my daughter doing cartwheels everywhere she goes.

10.  Add a faux button front for detailing.

I used the gathered skirt pattern and before gathering it, I folded over the center front for a faux button front skirt.  I added the buttonholes, but never cut them and just added the buttons.  To make it more unique, I dug through my button stash and pulled out an assortment of red ones to use.

11.  Add an apron layer to the skirt.

I used the single layer bias skirt for this combo.  I cut the shorter skirt front in white for the apron and then took off a few inches on the side and rounded the bottom corner.  My white was a little flimsy, so I added another white layer to the back and bound them together with bias trim.

12.  Add a flair to the bottom of the bias cut skirt.

I had made myself a few Simplicity 2410 skirts.  So I decided to cut down the circular piece a little and use it for Sassy Skirt.
Simplicity 2410 for me
Sassy Skirt for her

So ..... for those inspired to make skirts, Sassy Skirt only goes to a size 10 for little girls.  I took a picture of the difference in size 7 yoke and size 10 yoke.  (Most of the variation is in length and elastic back.)

The seam allowance in 1/4", so there is not much more than 1/4" on the front yoke in sizing difference.

What do you do for a larger girl (tween or teen)?  Sassy Skirt was published in 2009 and I was delighted to find the Simplicity pattern book full of dropped yoke skirts this year.  The tough part is finding the yoke that fits well, but once you do, the sky is the limit on variations you can do.

So for those tweens/teens/adults try Simplicity 2410, Simplicity 2411, Simplicity 2257, and Simplicity 2449.  Serendipity Studio's skirts are almost all dropped yoke skirts and they go to a size XXS, which is a 24" waist.  ( I tried to add a picture of their skirt, but it wouldn't behave.)

Add caption

I didn't try all my ideas for Sassy Skirt, so one day I will tackle smocking the gathered skirt, making the bias skirt circular, and adding pockets to the skirt.  The sky is the limit.

Now for the complete outfits!

Amy Butler fabric and Target t-shirt

Walmart t-shirt and Lynnie Pinnie zig zag flower,

Michael Miller fabric, Target t-shirt, Lynnie Pinnie zig-zag flower

Target tshirt and Bunnycup flower embroidery

Now, for that Easter dress.............

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Dozen Reasons to Love Sassy Skirt by Children's Corner, part 2 of 3

This is the second part in my notes on variations to Sassy Skirt by Children's Corner.

5.  Add deep pintucks to the skirt.

This started out as a substitution for a rectangle waistband, but this skirt is so cute I had to add it to the list of options.  This skirt would shine done in a linen with a crisp white blouse.  I used the gathered skirt and added three 1/2 inch tucks near the bottom of the skirt.  

6.  Add a band of fabric at the bottom of the gathered skirt.

The band can be thick or thin depending on your fabric.  I just add a 6 1/2 band that is folded in half to the bottom of the skirt.  To make this fast, I will usually sew the band on and then finish the seams with a serger.  This is a great way to use those crazy prints that you bought and now can't figure out what to do with them.  It is also great to make seasonal skirts (Christmas, Easter, 4th of July, and Halloween).


Sometimes I have used a ribbon to look like a band at the bottom.  

I have also added subtle details of bias binding along the bottom of the skirt.

This skirt band is on the bias-cut version.  The print was wild and when I finished the hem with a black thread rolled hem, it looked whimpy, so I pumped it up with a thicker band of black.

7.  Use stripped piecing on the gathered skirt.

This is another great use of wild prints and seasonal fabrics.  I pick an odd number of fabrics to use (pink has 5 and Christmas has 3).  I cut them as long as the gathered skirt is and then about 3" wide.  Sew your pieces back together in a visually pleasing manner and then attach the skirt as if it was a single piece.  This looks best with a band sewn on the bottom to anchor it.

8.  Vary the length of the gathered skirts

I have used the Sassy Skirt pattern as written with 2 skirts, but I have also made it with just one layer.  If I do much to the skirt, I skip making a double.  Sometimes making the second skirt and letting it show is a great option. The skirt on the left (floral) just has about 1 1/2 inches added to the bottom skirt.  The skirt on the right (bubbles) has the same bottom length added, but a bias trim around the top skirt.  The pictures don't give justice to the cute factor here.

The bias-cut, green skirt is made from crinkled cotton.  I did take the elastic all the way around the skirt due to stretching of the fabric when I topstitched.  This is so nice and flows well.

Now a complete look at the outfits from this week's blog:

Michael Miller fabric, Target t-shirt, Planet Applique ornament letter
Michael Miller fabric, Target t-shirt, Lynnie Pinnie Retro Trees

Mod kid fabrics, Ava pattern for top and skirt bottom, SS waist band
Pink twill fabric, Modkid ribbon, Target t-shirt, self embellishment, Stitch in Tim embroidery

Michael Miler fabric, Target t-shirt, satin black ribbon
Modkid fabric and ribbon, Target t-shirt, Stitch in Time embroidery
Heather Bailey fabric, Target t-shirt, red ribbon belt
Forget fabric source and Target t-shirt

Heather Bailey fabric, Fabric Finders stripe for bias binding, and flowers on Target t-shirt are Steam-A-Seamed down
Heather Bailey & Sandy Henderson fabric, Target t-shirt, and Stitch in Time embroidery

Original kit from Sew it Up using "Amy" pattern for top
Lime green crinkle fabric and Old Navy t-shirt

Next week is the last in the Sassy Skirt series........