Friday, August 30, 2013

A Well Fitting Juliet Tunic

Juliet Tunic by Serendipity Studio

My iPad battery is drained from so many Craftsy fitting classes.  I just finished Lynda Maynard's class "Sew the Perfect Fit," when I started on this tunic.  Perfect timing!!!!

 Juliet Tunic by Serendipity Studio
 (I have the old pattern, it has been redesigned.)  

Meadowsweet by Sandi Henderson

I followed the directions as they were written.  I did add trim under the bust and at the hem.  The trim is  just a stripe fabric pleated with the ruffle foot.

(See my pictures at the bottom of this blogpost.)
I made a muslin of this top and found a few fitting issues.  I highly recommend Lynda Maynard's fitting class.  She has you draw (or stitch) the grainlines on the muslin.  It is like an arrow pointing to the problem.  I cut through the bust and lowered it by about 1 1/2".  The grainlines above the bust were not straight, so I played around with adding fabric and found the shoulder needed about 1 1/4" of fabric.  All of my alterations were in length, nothing added around!!!!

This is a great tunic to transition into fall in Houston!  It will still be in the 90's for a few more weeks!

Juliet Tunic after Craftsy class "Sew the Perfect Fit"

Back View

Close-up of Juliet Tunic

Juliet Tunic muslin with my corrections.

Added about 1 1/4" at the top of the shoulder.

Added 1 1/2" at bust line.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

CC Sophie with Family Reunion Dress Sleeves

CC Sophie with Oliver+S Family Reunion Sleeves

I love "Sophie" by Children's Corner.  It is a cute summer dress with great details and a mature look.  I wanted to extend my daughter's wearing of this dress into the fall or early spring (plus, many places in Houston are very air-conditioned.)  Adding a sleeve seemed to be a great answer.  One of my favorite "girly" sleeves is from Oliver+S Family Reunion Dress.  Both of these patterns are very similar, but as my daughter gets older, I like the waist details on the Children's Corner dress over the A-line of the Oliver+S dress.  Could I add the sleeve to "Sophie"?  

Back view of Sophie

Children's Corner "Sophie" 
(This pattern seems a little more generous in the bodice than other CC patterns.)
Oliver+S Family Reunion Dress Sleeve 

Mint green brushed twill from Fabric Finders (?)
Raspberry petite piping from Children's Corner

Bodice Details of Sophie

Constructions Details:

1.  Be very careful measuring and marking the pleats.  You will be so happy you took the time to do it correctly.  I really like doing the pleats before I cut out the yoke, just like the pattern directions steps you through.  
2.  Hand baste the round yoke down before sewing.  Do not skip this step and just pin. The round yoke lays beautifully without twists or distortions if hand basted.
3.  See my pictures below for the front yokes of both dresses.  I drafted a little more in the shoulder and a little higher under the arm for the new bodice pattern piece.  (Same for the back.)  I used the FRD sleeve pattern without any changes.
4.  Don't just mark and sew the back belt without measuring your girl.  I had plenty of belt and not much girl.  I moved the buttons to make it stay at her waist.

Sophie and FRD laid on top of each other.  Very similar bodice pieces.
Shoulder detail of what I added to Sophie Bodice compared to FRD below the Sophie pattern.

Underarm detail of what I added to Sophie bodice compared to FRD below the Sophie pattern.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Emily by Maja's Heirlooms

Smocking on Emily by Maja's Heirlooms

I am scrambling to finish my summer sewing before the season ends and school starts.  This is a quick smock and sew.  (Although, it sat in UFO mode for a few months at my house.)

Emily by, Maja's Heirlooms
Loosely inspired by Ivey Crenshaw's Dress

Pink Pique and brown and pink Renaissance Ribbons (all from my stash)

I liked the simple construction of this dress.  I really like the way the smocked bodice is added to the lining.  This might be a great first project for a new smocker. My only dislike is the shoulder straps are not pre-sized to the girl, but adjusted and sewn down after they are complete.  You could reduce bulk in that are by pre-measuring the straps.

Front view

Back view

Enjoying every last minute of summer!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Saint Nolt Sewing School 2013

Summer brings a break in our normal schedule, so I invited two of my daughter's friends to a Summer Sewing School.  I have two old sewing machines, so that was my limiting constraint.  The girls brought the brightest spirits and a hunger to learn.  They spoiled me as a teacher with their great attitude.  Let me give you some details:

Felt from Heather Bailey's store.
Quilting cotton from The Sweetest Thing by Zoe Pearn and Riley Blake Designs.
(I purchased 1 yard cuts of almost the whole collection to give the girls a choice of fabrics.)
Sewing totes were discontinued, but can be found here.
Trim and buttons from Joann's.  ( I purchased these in bulk to allow ample choices.)

Needle case pattern from My First Sewing Book edited by, Susan Akass
Bookmark - Self drafted pattern based on this Pinterest pin.
Owl Scissors holder - Self drafted pattern base on this Pinterest pin.
Drawstring pouch - Self drafted pattern
Keychain Self drafted pattern based on this Pinterest pin.
Pincushion pattern from My First Sewing Book edited by, Susan Akass
PJ Shorts - Self drafted pattern
PJ t-shirt embellishment - Each girl designed an original
Decoration of sewing totes based on pictures from Made by Me by, Jane Bull

We met six times for a few hours to work on our projects.  Some of the handwork was assigned as homework.  I had three sewing machines set up and plenty of workspace on my cutting table.  The iron was supervised at all times.  Six lessons was enough to introduce a few topics, but not gain expertise in anything.  Nine year olds still need lots of supervision.  I combined hand and machine sewing.  One must learn both to be a great seamstress.  After my projects were selected in the spring, a few really cute kids sewing books were published.......future schools.........I can see it...........

What I learned
When a little girl is interested in crafts and sewing, they have a huge appetite for it.  The hardest part of planning a class is allotting the proper amount of time for each step and the pace of the worker.  Running a good school isn't always about sewing knowledge, but how organized and prepared you are for the class period.

Enjoy my picture story of our class.

Careful cutting!

Learning to use pins.

All attention on cutting.

Machine Sewing.

Ironing with caution.

Crazy moments with the girls.

Showing the girls how to line up seams and pin.

Everyone on the sewing machines.

Pincushion #1.

Pincushion #2.

Pincushion #3.

Hand embroidery

Marked our design with disappearing markers.

Adding buttons to our designs.

The girls made their PJ shorts and then hand embroidered a design on the purchased t-shirt.

Drawstring bags with embellishments.

All three pincushions.

Happy girls with their pincushion.

Felt needle case with cherries on front.

They were proud of their needle cases.

Sewn keychains.

Felt owl scissor holders.

Hand-stitching these was tough.  So happy to finish!

Fabric bookmarks.

Lots of glue, trim, and buttons!

Cute original design for the inside of this box.

Love the sweet colors on this box.

Sewing cases ready for each girl.

All my projects by this sweetheart.

All my projects by another sweetheart.

All my projects from my daughter.
Let's see what the future holds for more sewing schools. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Cool Tunic in a Hot Summer, Simplicity 2690

Simplicity 2690 with Amy Butler rayon print

If you think it is hot at your house this summer, come join me in Houston!  It has been hot with a little more hot on top of hot.  We are missing our usual few days of rain that cool and humidify the place.

So, I made a fun tunic to beat the heat, Simplicity 2690.  

Simple pattern to construct.  Due to a shortage of fabric, I took out about 2" of fullness in the sleeves and a little length.  Then, since the sleeves hit at about the elbow, I took out the elastic in the sleeve cuff.  I also added about an 1 1/2 to the top of the center triangle placket at the bust.  I love how the elastic holds this top close to the body, but also lets it flow freely at the bottom.  This style is very popular on Zulily, with dress/tunic of varying lengths and fitted sleeves.  

Border print from Amy Butler in rayon.

Close-up of front of Simplicity 2690

Love the drape of the rayon print.
Stay cool!