Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Summertime Jumper dress pattern and tutorial

Jumper pattern and tutorial This was a guest post I did for Prudent Baby. Re-posting it here in case you missed it first time around.
Update: Want to make it in other sizes? - See the notes on sizing near the end.

I have been making these jumpers even before I started my etsy shop and this blog. They have been pretty popular with my customers but they are also very easy to make and they offer a lot of fun customization options. Here's a tutorial for this floral romper. Towards the end I will also show you some examples of the others I have made to give you more customization ideas.


For 12 -18 months size
Main Fabric - half yard
Coordinating fabrics for shoulder straps and the band - half yard ( there will be some leftover
Bias tape in a coordinating color - optional - 1.5 yard
Elastic - 1 inch wide
Grosgrain Ribbon a small scrap in coordinating color


1. Cut a 12 inch long X 36 inch wide fabric from main fabric. Sew the 12 inches sides with right sides together. Set your stitch length to the longest and sew a seam along the 36 inch side of your fabric, leave some hanging thread for this seam. Do not back-stitch.

 Sew shoulder straps

Cut two strips 2.5 inch X 22 inch long. These strips will be used to make the band at the chest. for a 19 inch wide jumper. Since we will have elastic in the back it can be used by a child of up to 22 inch chest. If you want to make it for a bigger/smaller child please follow the directions for sizing the pattern at the end.

Place the shoulder straps about 2 -3 inches apart at the center of 2.5 inch wide strips. Sandwich them between 2 layers ( right sides together) and sew along the end where raw end of shoulder straps is aligned with raw sides of strips for band.


Turn out, here's how it looks.

Fold the raw sides of the band half inch on the inside at the side where the shoulder strap are at the right side ( that is the seam is not visible). Now fold the raw ends of the other side of band over this side. This will have the effect of making the inner layer of the band slightly longer than the outer layer. This will be useful when you attach the bod of the dress to the band.

Sew the two shorter ends of the band ( right sides together)

Now take the main fabric that you prepared earlier, pull the thread of the seam along the raw end to gather the fabric. Adjust the gathers such that the dress width is equal to the width of the band.

Line up the raw end of main fabric with the raw end of outer layer of the band. Make sure of the following things:

1. The straps are at the center of the front of main fabric
2. The right side ( seamless) of shoulder straps falls together with the right side of the dress.

Sew a seam along the raw edge, make sure the seam falls on the fold you had made in step 5.


Here's how it will look once you turn it out after sewing. Fold the inner layer of the band inside.


Sew a seam just below the band at the front, make sure you're catching the inner layer of the band inside with this seam. Leave two 1 inch gaps in the back, about 8 inches apart.


Thread a wide elastic through these gaps with the help of a safety pin. Pull the elastic such that the total width of the band becomes about three inches less than the required width. This will ensure a snug fit.


Secure the elastic on both sides using zig-zag stitch. Go over the elastic 3-4 times to ensure strong seam because this seam would be constantly under tension.

Sew buttons on the shoulder straps and buttonholes right beneath the elastic. You may sew two sets of buttons for a flexible fit. The shoulder straps can also be worn straight or in a crisscross to allow a good fit for a long time.

 Make a small bow out of a small coordinating scrap of grosgrain ribbon. Hand sew it at the front of the jumper.

Your adorable, adjustable jumper dress is ready!

Notes on sizing the pattern up or down:
I keep getting questions on how to size the pattern up so here are the instructions on how to make the pattern in your desired size.

1. Length of the dress:
The length of the dress is controlled by three things:
    - The length of the main fabric
    -The placement of buttons
    -Whether the shoulder straps are worn in a cris-cross manner or straight.

Here is how you could use each of these things to get your desired length
   -Main Fabric:  Cut the main fabric to your desired length. First measure your desired length, lets call it L. Now subtract 2 inches for the chest band, and 3 inches for the shoulder straps so the fabric you need will be L - 5 inches. Because I have used bias tape at the hem, I'm not adding any extra length for hemming, if you're skipping bias tape, you need to add an inch extra for that.
   -Button Placement: You can place multiple buttons on the shoulder straps to adjust the length later on. If the dress gets an inch smaller as your child grows, you could start using the lower buttons and add an inch to the overall length of the dress.
  - Cris-cross Vs. Straight straps: If you put the shoulder straps in a cris-cross manner at the back they will be shorter in the front,  as a result the overall dress length will be lesser. On the other hand wearing them straight would increase the overall length. However, I personally prefer cris-cross, because the straps don't slide off child's shoulder that way.

2. Width of the dress:
Width has two components:
  -width of the main fabric
  -length of the chest band
Lets talk about each of these:
 -Main fabric width : The rule of thumb I apply is that the width should be a little less than twice the widest part of child's body ( usually her belly or butt). So I usually measure her around her widest part and multiply by 1.75. This will give her plenty of room to move and make the dress full. You could vary this ratio depending on how you full you would like to make it.
- Chest Band length : For this one I measure the chest of the child all around. Lets call it W. Now since we are making the back elasticized, we can add some more room to it, I usually add 3 inches to the width for elastic. Now add one more inch for sewing allowance. So the length of the chest band is W+4 inch. Having elastic in the back will ensure that the dress gets worn for a long time even as the child grows.

If you're sewing for crawlers:
Crawling kids need clothes that don't get in there way while they're on all fours. So if your child is older than 4 months, you should be sewing clothes with her crawling stage in mind ( which will be here soon...believe it or not)
Here're the things I would do if I sew for a crawler:
 1. Don't make the dress too full. I would multiply her width with 1.5 or less to keep the dress from becoming too full and get in her way.
 2. Keep the length up to upper thigh. That would make sure that the dress is not getting in her knees when she crawls.

Here're some more jumpers I have made during the last year:

Friday, May 25, 2012

A happy memorial day weekend to you all...

Memorial Day Weekend
Hope you get a chance to relax with your family and catch some fun in the sun. Are you going out? Wish you a great trip!

We are staying put, and since all our friends are going out, it means we are really staying put. Hopefully, that will also translate to some rest and relaxation at home. Two things I need real bad...or some sewing. But then sewing is a way to relax, isn't it?

 Here's something I'm hoping to work on...

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Knit scraps bracelet

DIY knit bracelet

Sometimes you come across an awesome DIY project that you think you can do in a minute, but you don't. It just keeps sitting in an idea file somewhere, until one day you actually get up and do it.

And then you wonder, why the hell did you not do it sooner. It is so dang cute, and easy, and you had all the supplies right there...

Well, thats the life of a crafter for you. A never ending list of awesome things to do and a very limited crafting time.
Here're the details:

Tutorial - Knit jersey Bracelet Tutorial by V& Co.
Supplies - Knit fabric scraps
Time - 5 mins to make - 10 mins to photograph
My personal touch - Added beads and chains that were removed from a too big necklace

The fabric was leftover from a Tshirt refashion, I'll show you what I made from the rest of the Tshirt tomorrow.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dungaree/Shortalls for toddlers

Shortalls Sewing Project shortalls sewing

Did you take a look at summer spring catalog for Mini Boden? I like to flip through their pages for inspiration. In this edition, I was struck by their cute Dungaree/shortalls for toddlers. I made the above pair of shortalls inspired by their designs.

dungaree bodice front
A close-up of bodice front

shortalls back
Here's the back. Don't you just love those back pockets. Perfect for a toddler who has just discovered the joy of pockets.

dungaree back
                                  Close up of the back bodice

I tried to go wild with embellishments on these, ric-rac, iron-ons, appliques? yes and yes!
Somehow the stripey main fabric doesn't work for me ( or my toddler) still. I didn't use my first choice in fabrics because I kind of wanted to try out the pattern first. So the pattern works ( but I still have a few more tweaks in mind) but the fabric just doesn't. Hopefully my next iteration will be much better. Oh yes, there's going to be a next iteration. These are way too cute to leave them alone after just one try.

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Sewing Machine 911: Free class from craftsy

Free SEwing Class: Sewing Machine 911

Did you always want to formally learn how to sew...but never had the chance to go outside of home to actually do it? Welcome to the club. I sew a lot and I have always felt that I could improve my skills and techniques much faster if I could join a sewing class and take some lessons from experts. The only problem is that with a full time day job, and an energetic toddler who needs constant attention I hardly have time to breathe. Going out again for a sewing class is really out of question.

Well, Craftsy has a nice solution to this problem. They have a number of online video classes that are made for people like us. We could watch the videos according to our pace and learn from the experts. In fact, I just bought their class called Jeanius. I haven't started the course yet, but I'm really excited to check it out and hopefully construct my own fabulous jeans.

So why I'm telling you about all this - Because Craftsy is offering one of their classes - Sewing Machine 911 - for FREE. Yep! Totally free. And from what I have seen of Craftsy, It is highly unusual of them to do it. So go register for the class, because you never know when the offer will end.

When Craftsy contacted me to let you know about this class, I just went and registered for it myself to check out what it is about. Since, I have been sewing for a while now, I didn't really expect to learn much from a basic sewing course. But that was so not the case...I did learn a number of things from the course. So I highly recommend you check it out.

I also love Craftsy for the amazing platform they give to crafters. You could show your completed projects, sell your handcrafted items and patterns. All for free. So while you're there, take a look at their most popular projects, browse the craftsy blog, take a look at all the free patterns available. And don't forget to say hi to me - I go by the name camomma over there.

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Floral Jumper pattern and tutorial at Prudent Baby

Free Sewing Tutorial: Summer Jumper summertime jumper pattern

I have been looking forward to writing this post for a long time. I'm guest posting on Prudent Baby today. Check out my Summertime Jumper tutorial here at Prudent Baby.

If you're visiting from Prudent Baby, Thanks for dropping by. Take a look at our tutorials page for more sewing/crafting tutorials or check out my other blog for a compilation of great tutorials from all over the blogosphere.

Happy Sewing!

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pleated Skort pattern and tutorial

Free Sewing Tutorial: Pleated Skort Pattern
skort pattern and tutorial

1. Your favorite shorts pattern ( Here's a free one from MADE)
2. Fabric - I used up about 1 yd for a 2.5 year old
3. Elastic
4. Contrasting fabric and interfacing for applique. ( I'm not showing how to do
appliques here, but here's a good article on interfacing)

1. Cut out the shorts pieces.

2. Sew the inseams of both legs but not the outer seams.

3. Join the crotch area by turning out one of the legs and slipping inside the other.

4. Cut a rectangle whose width is 1.75x front width of shorts and length is equal to the length of shorts.

5. Sew wide pleats in the center of the rectangle such that the width becomes equal to the front of shorts. Depending on the width of pleats you should get between 4-6 pleats in the center

6. Sew the top of the pleated rectangle on the top of the shorts front. The wrong side of pleated fabric will be with right side of the shorts front.

7. Turn the shorts inside out such that the pleated part is sandwiched between front and back. Now sew the outer seams of the skort, making sure the pleated front is getting caught by the seam. Leave the bottom 2 inches un-stitched. These will be used to hem the skort. Turn out the skort.

8. Cut a piece of 5 inches X WL. Sew a seam along the shorter ends ( right sides together).

9. Slip this tube over the skort top and sew along the periphery.

10. fold the raw end of the waistband quarter inch onto itself.

11. Fold the waistband inside such that the fold in step 10 sits just below the seam joining waistband to the skort.

12. Sew a seam right below the waistband, making sure you are catching the folded end on the inside. Leave two 1 inch gaps on both the sides for inserting elastic.

inserting elastic in a skort
13. Use a safety pin to insert the elastic from one gap to another in the back of skort.

inserting elastic in a skort
14. Sew both ends of the elastic at the sides by sewing zigzag stitch at both ends. Go over them multiple times to secure the ends.

Finishing the hemline:

hemming a skort

15. At the bottom two inches of the pleat part which you left un-stitched in step 7, fold it slightly angled at the sides and sew.

hemming a skort

16. Now fold the hemline quarter inch on itself and sew, now fold it again all the way to the stitched sides and sew a seam.

hemming a skort
17. Here's how it will look after the pleated part has been hemmed.

hemming a skort
18. Now sew the sides of the shorts completely and hem them like you would any pair of shorts. Just make sure that the final hemline of shorts is flush with the hemline of pleated skort part.

sewing an elmo skort
19 Skort is ready. Embellish with an applique, colorful buttons ( only if its safe for your kids) or fabric paints and put one your little one.

See the smile!

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