Saturday, March 31, 2012

More free dress patterns and tutorials

Top ten Free Dress Patterns
Military and Lace Dress
Its kind of addictive...scouring the web to find cool free sewing patterns to share with you. I collected a sampling yet again and came up with these gems. Check out...and don't forget to share your favorites. Enjoy!

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Snug bug - Toddler snow bib sewing pattern - Bottom's Up Part 8

Snow bib sewing tutorial

snow bib sewing pattern
This tutorial is eighth in the series focusing on sewing pants for children. Here's the story behind the series, the second part of the series is reversible pants, third part of the series is rumble-tumble coveralls,  part 4 is two color pieced pants  part 5 is lilly frilly ruffle pants and part 6 is skirt leggings and part 7 is Aladdin Pants.

An upcoming trip to Lake Tahoe and non-availability of Snow Bibs/Snow Pants in my daughter's size prompted me to make these snow bibs for her. I loved that I could make them very inexpensively from a pair of adult nylon pants and they held well in the snow. My daughter was warm and comfortable and had fun. Here's how I made them.

  • Nylon waterproof fabric : 1 yd
I actually made these from Men's XL size nylon pants that I bought at Walmart but if you want to buy the fabric go right ahead.

  • Coordinating lining fabric ( cotton woven) : 10 in X 10 inch
You can use pretty much any fabric here, as this is neither visible, nor does it touch child's skin, so use whatever you have on hand. I used cotton interlock.

  • Wide elastic ( 1 inch or more wide) : 1 yd
I used a polka dot printed elastic that I had in my stash but you could use any elastic that you have on hand, like the kind used in kids pants waistband. However, if you have a cool printed elastic, consider using it as this will show up in the front and back.

  • Narrow elastic ( 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch wide) : 1/2 yd

Test the fabric: Highly recommended

Run it under the water in a sink and check if it feels at all wet after you remove it. If it does, that means its not suitable for outerwear in the snow. The main purpose of this garment is to protect skin from getting wet and  if the fabric is not waterproof it will be useless. So spare yourself the grief and test it. The ideal fabric will have water running off of it without making it wet.


These pants are based on the Rumble Tumble Coveralls that I made earlier. If any of the step is not very clear to you, I highly recommend checking the coveralls tutorial here.

Sewing the pants:
Sewing pants pattern

1. Use the simplest PJ/pants pattern you have to make these pants. Keep the following things in mind while cutting these pants:
  • Make sure you add half an inch to the width ( on each side) because you need these pants to fit over multiple layers of pants. 
  • Also remove any margin for waistband, because we will be sewing waistband separately. 
  • If you are making these out of another pants, make sure the hem of your pants fall on the original hemline. That would save you the time of hemming them again.

Pants inseam

2. Sew the pants like you would sew any basic pants. First the inseams on both legs ( leave the bottom two inches or the length until the hems open ), then turn one leg right side out, insert into the other, align the crotch part and sew along the the crotch.
snow pants

The pants are ready, set them aside while we work on the yoke and waistband.

Making the yoke:

Snow bib sew pattern

Cut a semi circle with a 7 inch base from nylon. Cut another one of this from the lining fabric. Cut the wide elastic in two parts. Place them right sides together and sandwich the elastics between these two layers. Place the elastics such that they are about 2 inches apart at the top of semi-circle. Sew a seam along the circular part, making sure you're catching all the layers as well as elastic ends. Cut notches in the fabric along the seam. Turn out.

Making the Waistband:

4. For the waistband, measure around the top of the pants. Lets call this length W. Cut two pieces of width W+1 inch and length 3 inches, One from Vinyl (outer shell), one from interlock (lining).

5. Sew each of the W+1 inch pieces into a tube by sewing along the 3 inch side ( right sides together, half inch sewing margin). So now you will have two tubes of periphery W. Line up these tubes right sides together such that the seams are aligned.

Sew snow pants shoulder straps

Sandwich the yoke we had just made in step 1 between the two layers of the waistband. Make sure the vinyl side of the yoke is facing vinyl side of waistband. Sew along the edge, just the part where the yoke is.


Snow bib yoke
Now decide what length you want your elastics to be, and where they would be positioned in the back, I recommend a cris-cross placement for a snug fit, but you could also do them side by side. Once you have decided the length and placement, pin the elastics and sandwich them between the right sides of nylon and interlock such that when we turn the waistband out they will be attached to the waistband without any twists. If you're not sure try to hand baste with running stitches and see if they turn out correctly.

Snow bib sew yoke to pants

Now that the top part is done ( except for the elastic at waist), sew the whole top to the bottom with the right sides of nylon together. Sew all around the waist and make sure you center the yoke at the front center of pants.

Snow pants top

Now turn the whole thing right side out. Does it begin to look like a snow bib?
Top-stitch close to the upper edge of waistband. Now fold the interlock lining of the waistband on the inside and sew along its lower edge from the outside. In this seam leave two gaps of 1.5 inches on either side of the yoke. These will be used to insert elastic.


Snow pants waistband
Insert an elastic in the back of waistband, using the gaps you left in step 8. Sew the elastic on both sides, reinforce with multiple seams. Now sew the gaps shut.


Snow pants leg cuffs
If you have used the hems of original pants to be the hem of these snow-pants, you could use the existing hems as casing.  Insert the elastic in the hems using the opening left in step 2. Pull it such that the leg cuffs are comfortably snug on the child's leg. Now sew the opening shut by sewing on the inseams till the bottom.

If you have made these from fabric, fold it once quarter inch, and then fold it 3/4 inch ( with a one inch gap) to make a casing. Now insert a narrow elastic in this casing. Sew both ends of the elastic together and sew the opening shut. Do it for the other leg too.


Snow Pants sew pattern
What are you waiting for? Go Play! In the Snow!

Special Notes:
You need to layer your child with a pair of fleece pants or some warm pants beneath these pants because they're not insulated. They will do a great job of protecting your child from any wetness though. If you want to make an insulated pair of could use my reversible pants pattern with a layer of thinsulate sandwiched in the middle to provide warmth.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mirror Mirror on the wall, Which the fairest blog of all?

JHP Designs Giveaway Winner
JHP Designs on Etsy

Well! At least one person's blog will become fairer, if not fairest :)
With a little help from Jill of JHP Designs generated number 19, so who's the contestant number 19?

I tweeted:!/britibee/status/178184250028343296

Brittany will have the option to choose Blog header/button design package or Etsy Shop banner/Avatar design package.

Congratulations Brittany! I'll contact you via email with the details on how to claim your prize. Thank you JHP designs for hosting this giveaway at Blooms And Bugs.

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Hostess gift - Apron

Sewing Project: Apron

I had this fabric in my stash forever and I just thought it will be great to make an apron out of this. So I did.a pretty simple construction and I love how it turned out.
Here I'm, trying to model it for you guys.

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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sailboat scarflette for boys

Scarflette sewing project: Sailboat scarf for boys
Sailboat scarflette for baby and kids - 12 mos to 5T - $8

Why am I sewing these scarflettes even though spring is already knocking at our door? There are many reasons actually:

1. It isn't like the winter is never gonna come right? It pays to be prepared...doesn't it?

2. With so many girly patterns its only fair that I make a couple for boys. After all our boys need to get cozy too.

3. I needed something to put a sailboat on, because...I LOVE cute little sailboats.

4. Because winter is coming to Australia. No kidding here, I have some lovely customers in Australia, so I need to stock up for them.

Wow! you guys are really demanding. Explaining myself would be tougher than sewing this scarf...who knew?

Isn't that sailboat cute though?

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Here comes the beauty

Blooms And Bugs Studio: Hats, Scarfs and Skirts Alrighty! We have the modeled shots of the items from Blooms And Bugs Studio. Get yourself ready for some serious dose of cuteness:

In my pink roses scarflette

Rocking the Amelia's Garden Baby Hat from Blooms And Bugs

See all those flowers?

How about the Tea Rose layered skirt. Isn't she a cutie pie!
Seen anything more precious lately?

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Nautical dress sewing pattern and tutorial: Sew Easy part 14

Nautical Dress Sewing Pattern You can read the story behind this series and the first part here. Click here to read the secondthirdfourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth,  eleventh and twelfth  and thirteenth edition of this series.
Nautical Dress Free Pattern

I'm back with a new edition of Sew Easy after a looooooooong time. I have written many tutorials in the meantime, but nothing really fit the criteria for Sew Easy. So rather than compromising the basic premise of the series, I just resisted posting. I had the idea of this dress swarming in my mind for a while, finally I buckled down and made it. I liked the way it looks on my toddler.

Here's how you could make one:


Knit fabric ( preferably with horizontal stripes):1yd (I used a tank top to make this dress)
Grosgrain Ribbon: 1 inch wide or even wider
Coordinating grosgrain ribbon: 3/8 inch wide
Coordinating ribbing fabric for neck and armholes ( I actually didn't use ribbing, I just used a regular interlock fabric)


Measure the widest part of child's body: Lets call it W1

W = (W1+ 2 inches)/2

Measure how long you want the dress to be starting from highest point of the shoulder. Lets call it L

Measure the length between the tip of the shoulder to the bottom of the armhole. Lets call it A1
A= A1+1 inch


Cutting dress body
1.Cut two layers of fabric on the fold with length L and width W. I have cut it slightly A line shape. You could cut it either A line or straight. I don't think it matters much at the end. If you're using a Tshirt or Tank top to make this try to measure L upwards from hemline. That way you can use the existing hemline to become dress hemline.

Cutting out the neckline
2. Cut out the neckline. I pretty much freehanded it. I wanted a boat neck shape for this dress so you can see it is cut very shallow and wide.

Sew shoulder seams
3. Sew the shoulder seams ( Right sides together). Also leave a gap for armholes and sew the sides. I left a gap of 4 inches for armholes.

preparing the waist belt
4. Take the wider grosgrain ribbon and cut it into a V on one end. Fold it towards the wrong side and sew a seam.

Sewing waist elastic casing easily

5. Start an inch away from front center and sew as close to the ribbon's top edge as possible. Sew the ribbon along the waist of dress all the way up to 2 inch from front center. Cut the remaining ribbon at this point.

finishing the waist belt

6. Cut a V at the other end and fold it onto itself. Sew the remaining 1 inch of this seam, such that you have a space of two inches empty at the front center of the waist. Sew another seam along the bottom of the grosgrain ribbon. This is where the horizontal stripes will come in handy. If you use them as your guiding lines you can be sure that the ribbon is sewn straight.

Inserting a ribbon in the casing
7. Use a safety pin to thread the narrower ribbon through this 'casing' we made out of wider grosgrain.

Belt finished
8. Pull the ribbon out on the other side and use a bow to tie the belt.

Sew neck binding
9. For the neck binding, cut a piece from the contrasting knit, about two-third of the neckline length wide and 4 inches long. Sew together the narrower sides ( right sides together)

Sew neck binding

10. Fold it into half of its width.

Sew neck binding

11. Stretch and sew along the neck line ( Right sides together). Use pins while sewing to make sure it is stretched evenly.

Sew armhole binding
Sew armhole binding
Sew armhole binding
Sew armhole binding
12. Repeat steps 9 to 11 for the armholes as well. Yep! I realized I didn't care that much for the turquoise ribbon, so I swapped it for the pink zebra print grosgrain. If you didn't use an already hemmed garment, finish the hemline with your preferred method, if you're working with knits, you could also leave it raw, since knits won't fray. However a finished hemline gives more definition to the garment so I would recommend it.

Sew Nautical Dress

So how's that for a sew easy?

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

A little bit of India: Holi

A little bit of India: Holi
Growing up in India, you get a festival every other day. There was a joke that we have 32 festivals every month, and it was not very much exaggerated. But none of them is quite like Holi.

Holi is a two day festival( yes we call them festivals in India and not Holidays) that celebrates the arrival of spring and also the arrival of harvest from the farms. Even though it is linked to a mythological story, for me it always marked the day when the cold weather made way for hot Indian summers ( not all that fun if you ask me).
On the evening of the first day there is a big bonfire in every neighborhood.The whole neighborhood gathers and the tradition is to roast some new harvest in the fire. Everybody gets some sweets, its a great time to mingle and catch up with residents of the neighborhood whom you don't see regularly.

Holi Celebration

The best part comes next morning - The Color. The thing that makes Holi is Color. On Holi, the tradition is to go  see friends and smear their faces with bright colored powder ( called Gulal in Hindi). While the adults try to just follow the tradition without much mess by just applying a smudge to the faces of their friends, kids can't be bothered with Gulal. They celebrate with the real deal, the wet color, diluted with water. They shower each other with this colored water, until everyone and everything within site is drenched with color. Its messy, its exhausting and its so much fun.

Holi festival of colors

Once everybody has 'colored' everybody else, the delicacies are served. Gujhia is one special dish served on Holi accompanied by an array of sweet and savory delicacies.
Incidentally this was the first year we actually celebrated Holi after coming to US, and boy! Did I ever have fun!I even made Gujhia this Holi.
Holi is said to be the festival to forget past grudges and renew the friendships with a hug and some color. I hope you had a good one.
If you want to experience Holi in all its glory you can do it by participating in the Holi event organized by ASHA in Stanford, Palo Alto, CA on April 7 and 8. I have never attended it but friends tell me that its a lot of fun. I'm in no way affiliated with ASHA...I have just heard good things about their Holi celebration.

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