Easter Dress {tutorial}

*Tutorial by Heidi @ Green Doodle for her win of the Spring challenge of season 15*

First off, thank you to Missy for hosting SYTYC and giving me the chance to test my creative limits. Next, thank you for supporting the Easter Frocks.  These dresses were very rewarding to make, and with a few pattern modifications you can make a dress (or two) as well.

The dress was made from McCalls 5033 with a few changes.  I raised the arm and neckline, added pintucks for visual interest and omitted the zipper – using bridal button looping instead.
The jackets were from Simplicity 1723 with a shortened sleeve and an added peter pan collar. As I have learned most of these techniques on the web, I’d rather share a technique I experimented with on my own. [Read more…]

Anthro Jacket Tutorial

*Tutorial by Catherine @ CathGrace from her win of the Knock-Off challenge of season 14*

Oh my gosh you guys! I am so excited to have won for my Anthro Knock Off! I really love how my jacket turned out, and have worn it a lot since I finished it, and I am so pleased that everyone else liked it too!
This jacket was made entirely from my stash, I have actually been carrying the blue cotton velvet around for YEARS, and was so pleased to find such a good use for it! I drafted the pattern myself, but if you wanted to make one, I am sure you could adjust a shirt pattern to overlap a little in the front, and have the right neckline. I serged around all of my pieces with a 1/4 inch wide stitch, and then sewed the shoulder seams together.
 The next step was to fold the serged edge in, and use it’s width to gauge the depth of my blanket stitch, I used a brown worsted weight 100% wool yarn to do a double blanket stitch around the edge of everything.
 the double blanket stitch (I have no idea if this is what it really is called, I just keep calling it that) is where you use the same hole in your fabric twice rather than moving on to a new section for every stitch. (not sure if that makes sense, but I think you can see what I did in the pictures.) I just used a large darning needle for the stitching.
Next I dyed some cream worsted weight wool in green, and yellow (the only two colors I didn’t have in my stash.)
 for a grand total of red, brown, yellow, green, light blue, and dark blue.
 for the sleeves, I started by single crocheting through my blanket stitch in red, with 2 rows around the sleeves. I used a size 6 crochet hook for this, simply picking up stitches that fit the fabric, without packing in too many, or so few that it pulled too tightly.
 That was all the crocheting that the sleeves took before I finished them off by hand stitching brown micro-fleece to the inside, using a very small blanket stitch.
I then used blue yarn to whip stitch the sleeves into sleeve tubes.
for the body, I began by going all the way around with a single crochet row of brown, then red, and then I focused only on the collar, by single crocheting green, dark blue, light blue, yellow, 2 rows of lt blue, dk blue, green, red, dk blue, 2 lt blue, yellow, brown, and then red (this is the same order as the original jacket) then back to going all the way around the jacket again, came green dk blue, lt blue, and then yellow for the final row.
 at this point I had a bit of a panic, as the colors were too bright, so I actually stick everything into a pot of pale purple acid dye (it was scary after all that work) the red became a nice maroon, the green was slightly saddened, the dark blue and light blue became a little warmer, and the yellow was made to be a little browner (since purple is the complimentary color to yellow, it makes it brown when added.) Because the dye was an acid dye, it didn’t affect the cotton fabric, because it only clings to protein fibers. (a lot of the pictures are after being dyed, so for the pre-over-dyed colors you could look at the yarn picture to see the brightness of the red, etc.)
 next I hand stitched the brown fleece lining (again using a blanket stitch.) I didn’t take off any of the 1/4 inch seam allowance, so some of the fleece goes onto the crocheting.
  The crocheting is completely overlapped and hand stitched on the sides, and sewn 4″ down the side.
 The sleeves were then whip stitched on in the pale blue wool (I dyed some extra lengths of yarn in the purple the same time as the jacket, so that I had some for the tassels and the stitching.)
here’s what the tiny blanket stitch looks like in the fleece.
 on the inside of the jacket, I used 3 small antique mother of pearl buttons, one for a hand stitched loop that holds the cross on the inside, and the other two prevent the ties from ripping through the body.
 the button loop was made from thread, that was blanket stitched around, it’s a traditional way for making a good quality loop in clothing.
 this picture shows the open sides pretty well,
The ties are made through chaining the light blue wool, and then adding simple tassels to the end, 2 of the ties are sewn through the fabric with the buttons over the top for stability, and 2 are sewn down to the crocheted edge.
and you can see the knitted cuff here, I simply used 4 size 5 double pointed sock needles to knit a cuff in the round (2 rows of green, 5 of dark blue, 3 of light blue and 10 of yellow.) in a pearl, knit rib. the blue whip-stitching shows pretty well too!
 the shawl collar lies fairly well against the neck because I shaped it by feel as I went, around the back of the neck, I would skip a chain every now and then to pull it in, I am afraid I pulled out a row every now and then to get the shape right, but it was entirely by feel so there wasn’t a plan per say.
 The cuff knitting was just picked up by the loops in the crocheting and knitted in the round.
 I hope that all of this makes sense! this entire jacket was made with blanket stitches, whip stitches, single crochets, and plain/pearl knitting – not anything a beginner couldn’t work their way through.
 I’d like to thank my husband for taking most of my pictures, it’s not his thing, but he was really great (and my best cheerleader!) The fleece lining has been perfect for our freezing winter here in Korea! and I just love the easy fit!
 Thank you SOOOOOO much for the votes, and I am so excited for the rest of the competition! (If you end up making your own version of this jacket, I would love it if you would come over to cathgrace and share it with me)

J. Crew Outfit Knock-Off

*Tutorial by Autumn @ It’s Always Autumn for her win of the Knock-Off challenge of season 13*

I had such a good time putting together this knockoff look! Today I’ll show you how to decorate a long sleeve tee to make it look like a cardigan and how to sew a super easy but adorable ruffled cupcake skirt. (Check my blog for more info on the stamped leggings and spray painted silver shoes!)

Cardigan top

I found a nice navy blue women’s [Read more…]

Lace Front Blouse from Men’s Dress Shirt {Tutorial}

*Tutorial by Autumn @ It’s Always Autumn for the Refashion Challenge of season 13*

Hi! It’s Autumn here, from It’s Always Autumn, with a tutorial for the lace front blouse I made out of a men’s button down shirt. (Check my blog for the slacks to skirt tutorial.) In the photo above you can see the finished refashion, and below you can see the before:

Just a fairly normal, cream colored men’s dress shirt. It wasn’t huge, just a little roomy on me, so I ended up using just about every scrap of fabric in my refashion. I started by [Read more…]

Wool Pea Coat Tutorial

*Tutorial by Jessica @ Running With Scissors for her win during the For Me challenge of Season 10*

Due to different sizes and needs to make your own custom coat, I’m sharing the ways I altered a purchased sewing pattern to fit my own needs and tips in construction that I prefer to the pattern steps.  Basically, the pattern calls for hand-stitched hems and I skip that and use a few tricks to do as much as I can on the machine for a quicker, stronger seam because I detest hand sewing and avoid it whenever possible.

I used McCalls 5525 as my base pattern for this coat.
I knew I was lining it with fleece which is thicker than regular lining, so I started off by cutting out 1 size larger than my measurements to make room for the thick lining.
I also have broad shoulders for a chick, so when I cut out my coat, I taper my cut lines to the next size up for each line/piece above the chest.  You just have to make sure you’re consistent on all the pieces, tapering out for the front, back, lining, etc to ensure all shoulder seams align.  Collar would also be the size up.
1. Lengthening/ Shortening Sleeves
Whether your making a short sleeve into a full length sleeve, or in my case, adding 3 inches to a long sleeve pattern, the principle is the same.  You keep the curve of the the pattern at the shoulder which was designed to fit into the body of the coat, and add or remove length in the body of the sleeve.
black garments make for terrible tutorial photos, thus the sketches for the following tips
2. Assemble Coat Exterior to Lining
I use the same steps to create the outer coat and lining.  Basically you’re making two of the same coat, the lining is just 1″ shorter and has the outer (black fabric) for the center front panels.  So you just sew all the seams around, add the sleeves, add collar to exterior, etc for both sets.
But where I deviate from pattern instructions is attaching them together.  I always sew as much as I can with my machine.
You’ll place the exterior inside out and insert the right side out lining into it, so they are layered right sides together.  You’ll trim the corners and all the seam allowances, then pull the whole coat through your hole, making just a few inches to hand sew, rather then the whole back of the coat.
3. Hemming Sleeves
Most sewing patterns  I’ve purchased also just have you hand sew the sleeve hems when using lining.  You most often never want machine top stitching showing on a wrist hem of a blazer or dress coat, so it makes sense.  But what a pain.  I machine sew invisible hems for my sleeves due to my hatred of hand sewing and the fact machine sewing is cleaner and stronger than my hand sewing.
You’ll first try on your coat to mark where your sleeve should hit.  I add 2″ to the mark of the exterior for the fold and seam allowance.   The lining, however needs to be shorter as the exterior folds up inside to meet the lining seam.  So cut your exterior sleeve ends first.  Then pull your lining down and I leave the lining 1.5″ shorter than the exterior.
You’ll also leave or unpick a hole in one of the lining sleeve seams.
The following diagram is how you access the sleeve hem, by going through the center of the coat between the lining and exterior, and will pull it out the sleeve hole, sew the hem, then jam it back through the middle of the coat to create a perfect finished hem.
Once you’ve fished through the coat and pinched the sleeve ends which are folded to be right sides together, you’ll pull them out your sleeve hole, but how to sew them together?
Pin the sleeve seams together and you make them kiss basically, sewing around the circle on the wrong side of the fabrics, with right sides together as sketched below. 
You’re lining is shorter, so when you put the sleeve back through the coat and down where it should be, you’ll have a great looking finished hem, all inside the coat, and you can press the end to make the crisp folded edge on the exterior.
To hem other side you’ll repeat the same way, and it’s easier since you just pull it out of the same sleeve hole rather than fishing across the whole coat.
To finish the hole in your sleeve lining, I just fold raw edges under and top-stitch it closed, as no one will ever see it.
Thanks and good luck adjusting a pattern to make your own pea coat!

Flour Sack Outfit Tutorial

*Tutorial made by Bessie @  for the Dollar Store challenge*

Hi! I’m Bessie, and I’m so excited to share how I created this cute little outfit! It will fit size 2T-4T,  however could certainly adjust the measurements for a younger or older child.
You will need:
3 Flour Sack Dish Towels
 {dollar store, 3/$1.00}
1 yd Twill tape or ribbon
Fabric Scraps
{I used wool, denim, felt and quilters cotton}
Embroidery floss
1 pair of jeans 

Sunny Little Miss Dress Tutorial

*Made by Jill @ Made it on Monday for her win during the Sunshine challenge.  You can see the matching Little Mister Suit tutorial here.*

This little drop of sunshine for Round Six on SYTYC was inspired by a JCrew little girl dress (which, of course, is no longer available so I can’t show it to you) that cost $168. The triple layer skirt was too cute not to make! I used a yellow seersucker (which I just love!), but any woven cotton would be a great choice.
Cut three circle [Read more…]