Posted in Girl's Clothing, How To, Sewing

All the different types of machines…

I love sewing. It’s therapeutic, from getting an idea in your head, to selecting fabric combos, to cutting, to seeing the garment slowly take form, to stitching the final stitches. Knowing that I have an original.

My daughter turned 6 a few days ago and I got it in my head to make her a fancy dress. She LOVES my dresses I make for her, so while looking through old photos, I got it in my head to follow one of the first patterns I ever made for her, but in her current size, the CKC Larkin. This was at the beginning of my sewing journeys, when I was first learning and really had no clue what I was doing! I remember reading the directions and thinking to myself, there sure seems like a lot of pointless steps (finishing the seams) and I skipped a lot of stuff.

(click link here to purchase this pattern)

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I learned the hard way that finishing seams is so important, as I was constantly cutting loose threads afterwards! I LOVED this dress and was so sad to see it go 😦

 

Let’s fast forward to last week. I made that dress in March of 2015, so my daughter was about to turn 2. Since then, I’ve kept the same sewing machine, but now own a serger and a coverstitch machine. And they are game changers for woven fabrics!

So this dress began with some ideas. I started by picking some fabrics and texting my mom and sisters for some opinions.

They voted gold and this dress had began!

I construct all garments with my sewing machine. I’ve tried using my serger to construct, but I just prefer constructing and then using my serger and coverstitch to finish.

So here are my extra machines:

Both are Janome and both were bought used. The left one is my serger and the right is my coverstitch.

If you aren’t familiar with what those do, then you are really missing out! So my serger cuts the fabric with a blade, and then stitches along the edge, to prevent unraveling of the fabric. Here is an example of one of my ruffles from the dress.

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I serge FIRST to finish the seams, then I fold up .5″ and use my coverstitch to sew the hem.

I use wonder clips and my fingers to memory press the hem. I fold over, measure .5″, pinch that spot with my fingers, clip it, then continue on (about a knees width) and repeat, then once I have the next clip, I go back and press the hem between the 2 clips with my fingers. Once I get back to where I started, it’s time for the coverstitch machine to go to work!

I bought the clear foot (did not come with my machine) and it’s wonderful for meeting the seams. I think my favorite part about this machine is that I don’t have to back stitch! Just make it back to where you started and go a little over the first stitches and bam, you are done!

Here is my machine at work:

And here are the results. The top is a double stitch that looks professional and the bottom is the mix of the serger stitches and the coverstich stitches.

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Here are the other ruffles finished:

All are done with the exact same cream thread cones. Aren’t they pretty 🙂

Now, for the big reveal, the final product! My daughter LOVED it!!!

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One thing I really love about this dress is that the ruffles are attached to connector pieces, so the skirt seam isn’t so bulky. I love this pattern and I’m so glad I was able to show it some love!

*There are NO affiliate links on this page, but feel free to check out any of my other posts and use my affiliate links to purchase other awesome patterns!

Posted in Girl's Clothing, How To

Hacking the New Horizons Portlanders Shorts

I needed a pair of shorts for my daughter for a photo shoot for a pattern I was testing.  I got the idea to do a lace overlay on the New Horizon’s Portlanders Pants and Shorts.  Click here to purchase the pattern.  They turned out perfect for the photo shoot! Here’s how I did it.

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Step 1: Arrange pages and cut out the shorts line in your size. Make sure you use the layers feature to easily see what you need to cut.  You need to follow the flaired out lines for the shorts (the shorts are wider at the ends then the pants)

Step 2: Using stretch lace, cut out the mirrored shorts front and back pieces. Don’t cut out the band with the lace.

Step 3: Go back to your paper pattern pieces.  Cut off the flaired parts of the shorts.  This will leave you with the pants width (but the shorts length line won’t change)

Step 4: using a solid knit fabric, cut out the mirrored shorts front and back pieces, and this time, cut out the band as well (being sure to cut on the fold.

Step 5: Using only the lace, stitch the pattern as the directions say, stopping when you get to the band.  The only thing I changed was on the lace, I used a 1/4″ seam allowance, instead of the recommended 3/8″ because I wanted the lace to fit over the solid knit. Once you have the lace finished, put it aside. I did NOT hem the lace because it doesn’t fray 🙂

Step 6: Using the solid knit, assemble just the shorts pieces.  Don’t do the band just yet! Use the correct seam allowance of 3/8″. I didn’t hem this pair, but I plan in doing a little hem in the future so the solid is a little shorter than the lace.

Step 7: Flip the lace and solid shorts right sides out. Place the lace shorts over the solid shorts (the wrong side of the lace should be on top of the correct side of the solid). At this point, I stitched the top of the shorts together to baste the lace and solid layers, but this isn’t necessary.

Step 8: LAST STEP! Now add the band as directed. The instructions are perfect for evenly spacing out the bands.

Now enjoy your amazing hacked shorts 🙂

Here is my daughter wearing them in her photo shoot. For the top pattern info and link, check out my blog post I did on it here.

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“Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will add value to my readers.”

Posted in How To

Reading Nook

My 7 year old LOVES to read! I had seen some ways to make a nap mat on Pinterest, so I decided to make one for my son. He has bunk beds, so the top bunk was perfect for this. The base is wood, so I purchased a foam pad at target, then covered it with an old fitted sheet. Then I bought 4 pillows and 4 pillow cases. Lastly I got him a big comfy reading pillow.

Here is how I made the nap mat. I matched the side seams on the pillows. I made sure to match the seam allowances. Then I pinned and stitched through the seams, on the insides, so you can’t see the seams. It turned out perfect!

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Posted in How To

Sewing PDF

Ever wondered how I make my creations?  This blog post will hopefully explain that and maybe even get you to try sewing out for yourself!

Step 1: Find a pattern! I am in a lot of Facebook groups and this is how I find patterns I would like to sew. Patterns range from $4-20.  The pattern I will be talking about today was a bundled set for $14. It included girl’s sizes and women’s sizes.  This pattern is from a company called New Horizons and the pattern is “Portlanders”. Here is the link to purchase: New Horizon’s Designs (affiliated link)

Step 2: Once I purchase the pattern, I have to download and print it. Printing varies with patterns. Sometimes there are no pattern pieces and some companies you may have to print up to 30 pages! For this pattern, I printed about 28 pages.

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Step 3: ASSEMBLY! This step takes me FOREVER!  And every pattern companies does theirs differently, so you have to pay attention! For this pattern, I take one end and match it to a line from a different page.  Then I tape them together.

 

 

 

 

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Step 4: Now I have to cut out my pattern pieces.  The cool thing at PDF is I get all the sizes and then I can just print what I need!

 

 

 

 

 

Step 5: This is my LEAST favorite part – Cutting the fabric.  Some fabrics are easier to cut than others. Woven fabric doesn’t stretch and it’s general the easiest. Chiffon and silk are HORRIBLE! They move on you. Knit can be difficult.  I am using french terry and it is an easier knit to cut.  See the candle in my photo? Those weigh everything down so nothing moves.

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img_4243Step 6: SEWING! Now I follow what the pattern says.  Most patterns show you a photo of what pieces you are sewing and where to stitch the lines. I can’t photograph that for copyright reasons, but the directions are quite easy to follow. For these pants, I sew up one side of one leg, then the other side of that leg, then repeat on second leg, then attach the waist band. Total time from print to finish is about 1 hour.

 

 

Last Step: ENJOY your work! These ended up as a mommy and me set. We both LOVE our pants!

 

Here is another one I made in a different type of material, Double Brushed Poly. You will find that material also used by a very prominent legging company.  It’s amazing and buttery soft!

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Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.