Tuesday, May 31, 2011

We are having a sale!

Blooms and bugs studio: sale
So I finally created a discount coupon for my etsy shop. For this week only you can get 20% discount on everything in my shop by using coupon code TAKE20. But hurry! there're only a few items left.What are you going to get?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Sewing Techniques Roundup

Sewing techniques roundup: Friday Feature Every Friday, I share a roundup of all the blogs posts that I have come across which talk about some specific sewing techniques. After all we all strive to be better seamstress, don't we?

Ashley of Make It And Love It, gives us the skinny on stitches. I just love Ashley and her blog, rarely do you come across somebody this creative.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A bouquet of flowers: My way and then some

DIy fabric flowers tutorials I know! I know! another blogger yapping about fabric flowers.
Who doesn't know how to make fabric flowers? What seamstress worth her needle, hasn't already added them to the clothing she made?
Well, I have seen a lot of fabric flower tutorials and have made many of those as well. However, I haven't come across this technique,yet and I read. a. lot. So either this is too simple to write a tutorial or nobody has thought about it yet. I thought I'll just put it out there in case somebody doesn't know.  So here we go.

For making two fabric flowers you will need a rectangle of 5inchesX 7 inches. Sew it into a tube with right sides together, only across the length.

Now turn the tube inside out. Once you have tube ready, push back one end of the tube, back inside, about 1.5 inches. Pinch the tube with your fingers at one inch from this end. Does it look like a flower?

Secure the flower by hand-stitching the flower at the place where you pinched the tube. Cut the remaining tube hanging at the bottom of the flower.
Your flower is ready sew it on to a pretty dress:

Sorry! The flower I used to show the tutorial and the flowers on the dress are different in color, but they are made the same way.
Don't like this flower, well, you can try making these, these, these, these, these, these, these, these, these or these. Blogsphere is blooming with pretty little flowers in all the seasons. What is your favorite way of making flowers? Let me know in the comments

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mini tutorial - Lady Bug Dress

Mini Sewing Tutorial: Ladybug dress
ladybug dress sewing tutorial

So things have been slightly crazy here. So it is difficult to write/take pics/sew and post a full length tutorial. ( Though I do have some nice surprises for the next week)
I thought I will just post a mini tutorial for the lady bug dress which is just the simplification of coral- reef dress. I didn't take any pics for this one, because you can always refer to coral-reef dress, if you want to look at the pics. I'll just highlight the differences in this tutorial.

I like to think of coral-reef dress as the dress, in which you can make sand-castles, pick wildflowers, run around etc. Whereas ladybug dress is the one which you'll don, when going to you BFF's birthday party, or going for dinner at a snazzy restaurant. Hey! little girls need style too. ( Or if you're like me, only the little girl has got the style ;) )

Anyway, I just started with the regular dress pattern, traced it around and cut out the front and back pieces. Sew along the shoulder and both sides. ( Refer Coral-Reef Dress Tutorial here)

For the armhole, I cut a 1.5 in. wide piece, about 12 inches long ( cut on the bias) just fold it in half across the length and sew it along the armhole. You need to keep the raw edges aligned to the raw edge of armhole. Turn it out, top-stitch. Armhole done!

Shoulder strap: Take a 1 in wide piece, about 10 inches long. Sew into a tube, turn out. Sew it on the wrong side of the dress

For the ruffle : This is the main variation in the dress. Instead of cutting a straight strip for ruffle, I cut a circular ruffle. You have to draw 2 co-centric circles. The circumference of inner circle has to be bigger or equal to the neckline of the dress and the outer circle should be made by adding 4 inches to the inner circle radius. Its not as complicated as it sounds, Make it an Love it has shown it very nicely here. We have to do exactly what she does to make those cascading ruffles. Only we don't place them vertically we just sew it along the neckline, the right side to the ruffle touching the wrong side of dress with the shoulder strap sandwiched between both  ( Refer coral-reef dress tutorial). Turn inside-out. Top-stitch if you want ( I didn't, and I like it that way). Because the outer circle is bigger than the inner one, and you sewed across the circumference of inner circle, it will have a very elegant ruffle effect.

Sew a pretty trim across the front hemline. And you're done :)

More love for Coral Reef Dress

Link Love for Coral Reef Dress
So coral reef dress brings us more accolades...
Maybe Matilda features it as one of the five favorites.

Jill at Creating my Way to Success, liked it as well and featured it in A Round Tuit 50.

Go check it and other cool projects out.

Thank you guys, when I started the blog, I never imagined making it to all these cool blogs. Looks
like I'm in the company of very generous people. :)


Friday, May 20, 2011

More posts featured

Blooms And Bugs Blog: Link Love for new posts And the link love keeps coming:

Blissful and Domestic likes my Coral Reef Dress enough to feature it in her Feature Friday.

Sunburnt Cow features my Kimono Dress at All Thumbs Craft.

Thank you! Thank you! For making my day!

All Thumbs Crafts

Sewing Techniques Roundup

Sewing techniques and tutorials: Feature Friday Sewing in No Mans Land demystifies taking measurements for you. I think now there's no excuse left for me to start sewing for myself.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Watermelon Tee

DIy project: Watermelon Tshirt
DIY watermelon tee

I just set out to make a simple tee. But once I added the green ribbing to the neck and armbands, I couldn't help thinking of watermelon. So I went ahead and added the applique to complete the look.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Coral Reef Dress - Tutorial

Dress Sewing Tutorial : One shoulder coral reef dress
one shoulder dress sewing pattern

Would you like to make one of these. Come on, lets do it together.

First take any dress pattern ( only body) that fits the little girl you are sewing for and fold it such that one shoulder ( including sleeve opening) gets hidden. Now place this on two layers of fabric ( right sides together). Trace and cut.

Now lets make ruffles and shoulder strap.
Cut a 4 inch wide strip for the ruffle and the length should be twice the measurement of the neckline. Note that since this is off shoulder dress, the neck line means neck+ one shoulder.
Note that the width of my ruffle strip is much smaller than 4 inches ( and I deeply regretted it). If you want the dress to look exactly like mine, you can keep the width 2.5 inches but I strongly feel that you should go with a wider ruffle.
For the shoulder strap cut a strip about 3 inches wide and 10 inches long. You probably won't need all 10 inches but I usually keep some allowance to adjust it once I try it on the child.
Now on to sewing:

Sew the one shoulder seam, and both side seams of the main body, set it aside:

Now pleat or ruffle the ruffle piece such that the final length is close ( just a little bit more) to the neck-line.

For the shoulder strap just sew the strip across the 10 inches length, right sides together, turn inside out to make a tube.

Now join the shoulder strap to the main body.
Turn the main body inside out, so the right side is outside. Mark the place ( front and back) where you want to put your straps, and decide how long you want it to be. Mine are 7 inches for a one and half year old.
Now pin one end of shoulder strap to the wrong side of body such that the wrong side of the strap is touching the wrong side of the main piece front. Now pin the other end of shoulder strap to the wrong side of
 back again make sure that the wrong side of the shoulder strap is touching the wrong side of back piece.

Sew over the straps to attach them, do not snip the hanging part of shoulder strap yet, It will help you adjust the fit later on and you can snip it at any point.
Now add the ruffles: pin the ruffle at the wrong of neckline such that right side of ruffle is with wrong side of main  fabric. Sew the ends closed and sew along the neckline to join ruffles to the main body.

Now turn the ruffles over to the right side. The dress is ready to try on.
If you feel that the shoulder strap is big or small, you can adjust it now by picking out stitches from one of the ends where it has the extra tail and increase or decrease the length. Snip the tail once you're done. If you don't want to add another ruffle, topstitch along the neck line.

Most of the dresses I saw at Gymboree or Gap had only one ruffle, so this tutorial is enough if you want to get that look. For me however it was not working because my ruffle strip wasn't wide enough so I had to add one more ruffle. I'll get to how I did it in a bit, but before that I will show you how to finish the armhole.

Cut a strip of about 15 inches at the bias:

Sew it along the armhole ( right sides together).

Now turn it out, and turn it over the seam into the wrong side of armhole. Topstitch.

Since the knits don't fray I didn't worry about tucking the raw edges in. you may want to do it if you're working with wovens instead of knits.

Now giving the dress some pizzazz:
Cut two strips

S1: 3 inches wides X 40 inches
S2: 2 inches wide X 40 inches

Sew S1 at the longest stitch setting along one side of the strip, do not backstitch. After sewing, pull the bobbin thread from one end, to create a ruffle. Spread the ruffles to evenly space them. Sew this ruffle beneath the ruffle that is already there along the neckline. Make sure that the top ruffle completely covers the seams on this one. Now topstitch the top ruffle along the neckline.

For the ruffle at the hemline, take strip S2 and run a stitch along the center of the length, again at the longest stitch setting. Again pull the bobbin thread to make a ruffle but this time the ruffle has to be only as long as the front hemline. Evenly space the ruffles by hand. Now sew it over the hemline. Since it is a knit fabric, I didn't bother finishing the hems, you may have to do it if you're working with wovens.

If you want you can add a flower at the shoulder strap, I'm still debating whether it is too much.
Make It and Love It has a flower tutorial here at the end.
coral reef dress pattern

Enjoy your new dress.

Coral Reef Dress

Sewing Project: One Shoulder Dress
For the past few days I felt like I was in a sewing rut. I was either sewing the same thing over and over again (no fun) or I was trying something new and failing(totally awful). To get inspiration, I was browsing Gymboree catalogs and saw that off shoulder dresses like these are trendy this summer.
So here's my interpretation:
coral reef dress sewing
I'm calling it coral-reef dress. I think it breaks the rut I was in.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

More Link Love: I'm on Sew Woodsy too!

My Layered skirt Tutorial was also liked by Sew Woodsy and has been featured on their blog today. Don't you just love this blogging thing :)

My entries for kids clothing week

Sewing for KCWC
Elsie over at Elsie Marley is having an amazing series called Kids Clothing Week where the participants commit to spending one hour a day everyday for a week to sew clothes for children.
Here's what I made yesterday:
sew basic pants

A simple pair of pants.

shirred sundress and pants set

A set of shirred dress along with a simple pant with a contrasting band to go with it. I don't really love this fabric but I have a lot of it just sitting there, so I once shirred it on a whim. Recently when I got my serger, I took a long look at it again and finally used some of it. I think I like it now that it has been paired with a cheery bright red.
I have more of that pink fabric above and I would like to try a new dress pattern to go with them, which judging by my recent sewing adventures, will be a flop. I'm planning to show you some of the things that want to make me bang my head to the closest wall, and might make you laugh a little ( or more).

Monday, May 9, 2011

I'm Truly Lovely!!!

Blooms And Bugs post featured at Truly Lovely
Ok...Not I, but my blog...ok ok...not even my blog but one of the posts....alrighty! Not Truuuuly Looovely but more like ...featured on Truly Lovely. Will you guys ever stop knit-picking?
My Layered Spring Skirt Tutorial made it to the featured posts of  Fancy This Features Edition #23.
Its my first time being featured in blogsphere! No wonder I want to shout from the rooftops and exaggerate just a tiny bit. I'm sure you could indulge me.
Thank you Truly Lovely for featuring my Spring Layered Skirt Tutorial

Featured at Truly Lovely

Quick Fix: Hat Redo

Fix a hat DIY
With the spring being in full swing in this corner of the world we have been spending a lot of time outside, playing with the dirt in the backyard or taking long walks outside, and we all know how rough the sun can be on skin. I had a sun hat which I wanted to use, but it has an awful trim and I just didn't love it, but I needed a hat badly. So here's how I fixed the problem:


hat before changes


hat after changes
Do you have something that could use a quick fix?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Kimono Dress

So I mentioned this book "Sweet Booties" by Valerie Van Shrader a alittle while ago and also said that I will be making more stuff out of this book.
Here's one of those:

kimono dress sewing project

In this dress I followed the pattern almost exactly, which is rare, and it fit my little one really well.
I like that Kimono Dresses are very flexible fit meaning they get used for a longer duration than other woven clothes, because the way they are closed with a tie in front, ensures that even if the child grows
 you can always tie it a little loose. It will still work well. Also if they get too short in length, they can be used as tops. I love clothes like these for growing kids.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Embellish your scarf

How to stitch with satin ribbon
I embellished my scarf in two ways and I'll show you both here:

1. Narrow satin ribbon embrodiery

This is a very easy embellishment. Just thread some narrow satin ribbon through the eye of an upholstery needle ( Mine was 1/8 inches wide)
satin ribbon embroidery diy

Now tie a knot at one end of the ribbon. Turn your tubular scarf inside out and sew running stitches across the length of the scaf ( or in whatever fashion you want). The benefit of having loose weave fabric is that pulling ribbon through the fabric will be effortless.
embellishing with satin ribbon

how to stitch with satin ribbon

Once you embroider the length you wanted tie another knot in the ribbon and cut it after the knot.
See how easy. Now make some more lines in some more colors. I wanted my scarf to be pastel but colorful. So I went with two colors. You can add more, add brighter colors etc.
Another option is to use 5-6 ply of embroidery floss, wool etc instead of ribbon, Or use narrow strips of other fabrics. As I said, possibilities are practically endless.
Now turn the scarf inside out. You're done.

2. Fabric flower strip:
making fabric roses

See the flower strip at the bottom! Here's how I made it.
Cut 2 inches wide strips of the same fabric as the scarf.
Join all these together to make a long strip. Serge on all four sides. If you don't have a serger, you can sew on a bias tape, make a 2 inch wide tube instead of strip or you can just turn the sides.

Now roll this strip in the form of flower from one end, and hand sew on the scarf where we joined the two pieces to the main scarf body.
fabrci roses diy
Now twist the strip into another flower right next to the first one. Hand sew this one down too
diy roses
There is really no right or wrong way to do it. Just twist the strip in a way that appears pleasing to your eyes and sew it. Keep doing this until you cover the complete width of the scarf. Now you have a flower vine across your scarf. Cut the remaining strip and tuck the end beneath the closest flower petals. Secure it with a stitch or two. You're done with one end. Repeat the same with another end.

You might have noticed that this will also hide the serged line that was appearing because of joining two extra pieces to the main body of scarf, but honestly, there're many far easier way to hide it. You could sew on a ribbon, bias tape or just leave as is. On my fabric, those serged edges were not looking bad at all, but I just wanted to ave some flowers on this scarf, thats why I embellished it like this.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tutorial: Make it for Mom: Loose knit Summer Scarf

Sewing tutorial: Loose weave summer scarf

So my mom lives too far for me to make anything for her, and also she doesn't wear scarves in summer.
But I thought you guys might like to make one for your mom on mother's day. So here's a tutorial for an easy breezy summer scarf.
What I love about scarves is that they are the perfect gift for most people and they are a very open-ended project. You can make one regardless of what skill level you're at. They are very forgiving in the sense that a couple of stitches here and there wouldn't make a big difference. The embellishment possibilities are practically endless and you can use so many different types of fabrics, which will give so many different results but will still look good.
So here's my tutorial for Summer Scarf made with a loose weave fabric. I have used this jute fabric to make it, but you can use pretty much any fabric which is loosely woven.

Supplies: For scarf body
               Loosely woven fabric : 41 inches X 36 inches
               Emboridery Floss in a matching or contrast color: 1 skein
               For embellishment
               Narrow Satin Ribboon : 3-4 yards
               Embroidery Floss in contrasting colors
               Upholstery needle. Or any needle with a big eye to thread satin ribbon through.
Now lets make our scarf:

Cut two pieces from fabric. Length 41 X Width 15 inches.
Cut two more pieces. Length 7.5 inches X width 15 inches.

Now sew the two bigger pieces ( right sides together) at their smaller (width) sides. Here's what you will
have at this point

Now serge the two smaller pieces at their 15 inch end ( only one side) and sew them on the main fabric at the ends. The serged side should be on top, and the raw end should line up with the raw end of main fabric.
If you don't have a serger you can just sew it on and secure it with a zigzag stitch so it wont fray.

Now pick out one or two threads from the upper fabric width about 2 inches from one end. Do the same at the other end. You would see a narrow alley on the fabric like this. Its kind of difficult to notice in this picture,
but if you look really hard you will see a sort of line going diagonally from near top left to bottom right.

Now use this narrow line as a guide and hand sew a stitch like this.
Keep in mind that even though you have picked out the thread from only the top fabric you have to take both layers of fabric when you sew these stitches. This will help us make dense tassles at both ends of scarf.

Once you have stitched across the width, pickout the threads from the end of the fabric from upto this stitch.
Like this:

pick out the threads from both the layers of the fabric.

When you pick out the threads from the inner layer you may notice that some of the threads go beyond the hand-stitched line. Thats because you picked out only the thread from first layer so only on that layer hand-stitching is aligned on the grain. But don't worry it doesn't matter. Just pick out all the threads even if they end up crossing the hand-stitching. Now you'll have nice and dense tassels at the ends of scarf.

Now you can fold the scarf half lengthwise with right sides together, sew across the length to make a tube and turn it out. Your scarf main body is finished now.

You can wear/gift it as is or you can embellish it. I'll talk about some embellishment options in my next post.