Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Giveaway courtsey Seamingly.com - Closed

Giveaway: Seamingly.com
Photo credit: cohdra from morguefile.com

This giveaway has been closed now.

Seamingly.com is great content aggregation website. It has a sleek interface and very simple concept - they aggregate the content from best sewing blogs at one place, so you don't have to go check out every blog for
the latest in the world of sewing. I like that I can get all my sewing fix at one place and that I can bookmark the useful blog posts by marking it as "Luv"
Last week, I had shared with you that Seamingly.com added Blooms And Bugs feed to their site and invited me to become a curator for their website. Well, it got better, the awesome people at Seamingly would like to giveaway some fabulous sewing items to one lucky reader here.

Ready to find out what you can win?
Well, One reader will get a package of

One rotary cutter: http://www.amazon.com/Fiskars-95217097-45-Rotary-Cutter/dp/B000B7M8WU/ref=sr_1_4?s=arts-crafts&ie=UTF8&qid=1316552998&sr=1-4

and a self healing cutting mat :http://www.amazon.com/Fiskars-Cutting-Self-Healing-18x24/dp/B000YZASY4/ref=sr_1_17?s=arts-crafts&ie=UTF8&qid=1316658298&sr=1-17

To win, just leave a comment on this post. If you want another entry, check out this post at seamingly.com and "Luv it".  The giveaway will be closed on Thursday night. I'll announce a winner next week.

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bottoms up part 3: Rumble Tumble Coveralls

Coveralls sewing tutorial
coveralls sewing tutorial

Here's the story behind the series, the second part of the series is here.

For this edition of Bottoms Up series, I decided to bring you these coveralls. I love coveralls - the front yoke, the shoulder straps, the elastic in the back, all make for a very cute outfit. On the practical side, they are a perfect garment for a small powerhouse, the straps make sure that the pants stay in place during all the jumping, running and other toddler adventures. The denim or corduroy fabrics wear well through the daily washes that kids cloth endure.These will also be a good choice for cooler months ahead. So without further ado, here's how you can make your own Rumble Tumble coveralls.


Denim or corduroy fabric: 1.5 yard
Lining Fabric: 10 inchs X 10 inches 
Closures: 2 ( buttons or snaps )

sewing pattern coveralls

We're using the simple trouser pattern( page1, page 2) for these coveralls with some changes:
1. DONT cut it on fold now, you will need 4 pant pieces for these coveralls
2. Leave top 2 inches of the pants from the pattern, because we'll be making a separate waistband here.
    (Basically just fold 2 inches from the top of the pattern and ignore that part)
Cut all 4 pieces for the trouser from the pattern.  Remember that you don't need a waistband for this pattern so the top of the pants is a little shorter than a regular trouser.

how to sew coveralls

Sew these parts like regular trousers. 
First sew the outer straight seams
Next sew the inseams of the pant legs.
Then turn one leg right side out and push into another leg and sew the crotch seam.
how to sew overalls

Now measure a rectangle of length 5 and width = circular width of the pants' top + 1inch.
Fold and cut it into half such that you get 2 strips of 2.5 X width
These pieces will serve as waistband.

sewing yoke to coveralls
For the yoke front cut an arc of 4 inches X 8 inches.

lining for the overalls yoke

Use it as a template to cut a similar sized lining piece. Sew the yoke and lining( right sides together) along the curve.

Snip some notches all around the seam to help it retain shape after turning out. Turn inside out.

turing out the yoke

Fold into half along the width, and snip a small notch to mark the center.

sewing shoulder straps for overalls

Now lets make shoulder straps:

Cut 2 strips of 4 inches width and 25 inches length. Fold into half along the length and sew along the longer side to make a long tube, turn out. Now iron these straps such that the seam is in the center of one side.

Assembling the yoke and waistband of the coverall:

Take both the 2.5X width strips we earlier cut for waistband. Mark their centers by folding them in half and snipping a notch in them.

Now align the raw edges of yoke and waistband strips such that yoke is sandwiched between right sides of the waistband strips and the notches that mark center of all three layers line up. Sew a seam along the yoke length.

Here's how it will look.

Now sew the waistband to the pant by aligning one raw edge of waistband with the raw edge of pants. Here you need to make sure that not only their right sides are together, but also, you are sewing the side that will keep the yoke right side on the front, after you turn out. You can sew a few stitches and check to see if you're doing it right.

Go all around the pants, joining waistband to the pants. When you reach close to the ends, measure how much you need to finish and use the rest of strip as sewing margins. Sew both ends together. Now finish sewing the seam to join waistband and pants.

This is how it will look at the back. Now place you shoulder straps in the back such that the seam on the straps in facing you. Place the straps 2.5 inches apart at the center of back. Now cover them with the other waistband strip such that it sandwiches both the straps in between waistband.Sew along the raw edges of waistband, making sure you are catching the straps.

Now iron half an inch of the raw side of waistband to fold on the inside.

Now lets insert the elastic in the back:
Sew along the waistband seam (ONLY IN THE BACK), as close to the seam as you can but not over it. This will ensure that you catch the folded waistband on the inside of the pant.

Once you have done this at the back, insert an elastic from one end of back, pull it out at the other end of back. Pull the elastic a bit to gather the waistband. I gathered the waistband about 2 inch lesser than its width
to make it snug in the back. Now sew it on both ends to secure it. Sew along the rest of the seam to finish attaching the waistband.

Now add some closures to the yoke and shoulder straps. You can finish the raw ends of shoulder straps by
serging them, or by pushing them inside a little and top-stitching.

how to sew coveralls

At this point I highly recommend trying these on the baby to determine exact length desired. Mark the appropriate length and use the rest of the length to finish the hems by folding twice and sewing.

rumble tumble coveralls tutorial

Rumble Tumble coverall is ready to accompany your toddler in all her adventures.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

In Blooms And Bugs Shop Now: My Little Butterfly Infant Romper

Sewing Project: My little Butterfly Romper
butterfly romper

        My Little Butterfly Infant Romper $20        

Here's the latest addition to our etsy shop. My Little Butterfly Romper for Infants (3-6 months) - $20. I love this romper, and not just because I made it. Of course I did, but it is also made with the fabulous "Meadow Friends" collection from Debbie Strain for Moda Fabrics. I love everything about this collection, the bright and cheery colors, the beautiful floral, classy damasks, and of course, the small dots.

sewing project : baby romper
Whenever I sew a garment, I always think about its long term use. With that in mind I made this romper with an elasticized back, so when the little one puts on some baby fat, she can still fit in this romper. Also there are two buttonholes on each strap, so you can adjust the length as your little butterfly grows. You put it on with straps straight, or criss-crossed, so that also gives you some control over the length.

my little butterfly romper
All the seams have been finished professionally, because I always strive to bring the best for your little one.
Want to buy it for your butterfly? You can do it here.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Link Love and look how far we have come

Blooms And Bugs: Blog updates

Image courtsey Sullivan via MorgueFile

The last week brought with it a lot of recongnition at many reputed blogs.
Knotted Baby Hat tutorial got picked up by Craft Gossip,
One Pretty Thing liked our Coral Reef Dress.

Another feature that I'm pretty excited about is that our little blog made it to the feed of Seamingly.com. Now, what it means is that whatever I post here automatically gets posted over at seamingly.com. Neat...huh? Folks at Seamingly also asked me to become a curator on their website. I was like..."So I get to add my favorite sewing blogs to your site? ( Saying to myself - "SO I can read all my fav sewing posts at one place and bookmark the ones I like? Are you freaking kidding me?") - Sure.Ok."

During the last 6 months we have also seen a lot of traction in terms of followers, social media interactions etc.
We have more than 100 followers on blogger, more than 150 subscribers via google reader. As of today we have 225 facebook fans. Our twitter and pinterest groups are also growing slowly but steadily. To me, this means that we are getting heard by many more people than ever and that I need to keep producing quality stuff for this blog, but that's just my part, you could help too. I often wonder if my tutorials are being used by anyone, if you guys are using it, are you running into any issues? Am I writing what you want or is there something else that you would like to see at Blooms And Bugs? Social media has made it very simple to get heard. Leave me a comment, drop me a mail, leave a note on our facebook wall. I would love to hear from you. If you have made something from one of the tutorials here, share the pics, of course, I love to see them, but I think the whole Blooms And Bugs community would like to take a look.

There's something new coming up in October, which I'm really excited about. I know...I want to just shout it from the rooftops...but can't...yet. But I'm feeling the momentum building up. Thanks for joining me in my journey...I certainly can't do it without you. Its one heck of a ride.

 Happy Sewing!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sew Easy - Part 10: The happy dress and Hairband

Easy Sew Tutorial: Happy Dress and Headband

happy dress sewing tutorial

I wanted to send across something handmade for my little niece who lives across the pond. The best part is that she and my daughter are almost the same size so I can make something matchy matchy for the cousins.
I wanted to make something cute but also modern and smart. I finally decided on this jumper and I think it fits the bill. I call it "The Happy Dress" because the colorful stripes really seem to bring cheer. It is made with a thick and soft sweater knit so it just feels right for layering during the cooler months ahead.

Here's a hairband I made to go with it:
happy headband tutorial

Again simple and modern....and I love it...maybe even more than the dress itself.

Know a little girl around you who could use this? Lets see how to make The Happy Dress and headband.


For the dress:
Sweater Knit:
Dark Denim - Few scraps ( Lets say 10 X20 inches, I didn't really measure this)
Co-ordinating knit for the ruffle. - 4-5 inches X width of the fabric.

Two snaps, or buttons  for closure on the front.

For the headband:
FOE ( Fold Over Elastic) :
Felt in colors matching with the dress fabric
A co-ordinating button for the center


1. Measure the child from chest to where you want  the dress hemline. Keep in mind that we are going for a mod and sleek look, so a little above knee would be better. Add half inch to it. Lets call it L.
2. Measure the child all around the widest part of her body. If she has a toddler belly, measure her around the stomach. If she has a big butt..measure that. Add 2 inches. Lets call it W.

Cutting the fabric
dress sewing tutorial

Cut the sweater knit into a rectangle of length L and width W. Fold it in half along the width, right sides together and sew along the length. If you choose a stripey fabric like mine, make sure you match the stripes at the seam. It's not necessary because the seam will be at the back. But properly matched stripes just look more finished. Finish the inseam with a serger or a zig zag stitch.

Preparing the belts

Cut two 5 inch X 10 inches rectangles from denim.

Fold it into half ( right sides together) along the width to get a 2.5X 10 rectangle. Sew the raw seams at the 10 inches long side to make a long tube. Turn out. Iron such that the seam is in the center. This is the back of the shoulder straps.

Preparing the ruffle:
Cut a rectangle of length 4 and width W from the co-ordinating knit.
how to make a dress

Attaching ruffle and the shoulder straps.

First position the seam on the main body such that its at the center of the back.
Now pin the shoulder straps 2.5 inches apart in the front. With strap's wrong side ( the side where the seam shows) touching the dress' wrong side. Now lay the knit ruffle fabric on the top, such that knit right side touches straps right side.
attaching ruffle at the neckline

Sew along the width, making sure to catch all the layers in the seam. Turn out. top-stitch as close to the
edge as you can.
Now sew another edge parallel to the top-stitching, half inch below the top-stitching. Leave a 2 inch opening. Now using a safety pin. Insert an elastic from the opening between knit ruffle and dress fabric.
Join the ends. Sew the opening shut.

Now lets make a wide bias tape for the hem. Actually since the hem is straight, you don't even need to cut it on bias. Just cut a denim strip 4-5 inches wide on the grain.

Here's how I made my bias tape:

Fold the strip in half along with the width. Iron.Open.

Fold one half up-to the crease onto itself. Iron. If you ironed the first fold well, the crease will still be there after ironing the second fold.

Fold the other half over the second crease. Doing this will ensure that this fold is just a tiny bit wider than the other half. This is required to sew the tape properly. Otherwise it will be difficult to catch it at the wrong side when you top-stitch your bias tape. ( I will explain more later)

Now sew the tape all along the hemline with the raw edge of narrow part of bias tape aligned with raw hem.

Leave a small piece unsewn in the beginning. This will be used to join the ends later.Try to sew it exactly on the crease. This will make it look very finished.
When you get close to the end, leave about an inch or two before the end.

Now measure how much more tape you need to get to the end, add one more inch. Keep that much and cut-off the rest.
Now carefully sew a seam at the extra part of both the ends of the tape, right sides together. You need to measure exactly how much you need, too much and you will have a pleat in your bias tape. Too little, and you will have a pleat in the dress ( at hem :/). You want to avoid both the situations.

Now sew the unsewn part of the tape to the dress, same way as you have done till now.

Now fold the tape over to the other side.

If you have placed the smaller side in the front earlier, you will notice that the tape at the wrong side of hem, goes just over the seam that you did to sew the tape in the right side.

Now come back to the right side of the dress. Make sure your thread is the same color as dress fabric. Now sew a seam as close to the upper side of the tape as possible. Go slow and steady. This seam shows on the right side so you want to sew this as perfect as you can. Ideally, it shouldn't be visible unless somebody inspects it up close.This will happen if you sew this seam in a matching color ( matching with the dress, Not the tape) and very close to the tape ( but NOT ON the tape). Stop occasionally to check that you're indeed catching the bias tape on the wrong side.

Now add some sort of closures on the shoulder straps and back of bodice. Button, Snaps, velcro...anything that suits you would be fine. If you want you could also add more than one closures on the strap to make it adjustable.

Optional - Personalizing the Dress:

Draw a letter on the right side of the denim, in your favorite font. I used a crayon to do this.

Cut out.

I used fabric glue to stick it at the desire position, but you could also hand-baste or use pins ( I'm kind of phobic to pins, especially in children clothing)

Once the applique is stable, set your machine speed on minimum and stitch size to very small. Check that the thread is denim colored and very carefully go over the applique, sewing very carefully along the boundaries.
I used a different color thread to show you the top-stitching and you can see where my sewing ran amok. Thats why I recommend sewing with the matching colored thread, that way, it wouldn't be so obvious.

Apply fray check along the raw edges of the applique.Air dry for a day.

The Happy Dress is good to go. Put it on your little one and see how happy it makes them..And you :)

Happy hairband:

I don't have pics for this but making this is really straightforward.

Cut  3 circles of different sizes from felt. I just folded the felt into a quarter and cut an arc to get sorta circular shape. You could also use household things like mugs, small bowls, coins etc, to get circles of different sizes.
Now cut a 12 inch long piece of FOE and join both the ends by overlapping them a little and sewing together.
Now place the biggest felt piece at the bottom, then place the FOE joint over it and then place second largest circle, smallest circle and the button respectively.
Thread the needle with 2-ply of thread matching the color of the button. Now sew the button by going over opposite holes repeatedly. Just make sure that every time you insert the needle in the hole, make sure you're going through all the layers of felt.
The happy headband is ready.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Knotted baby hat tutorial

Sewing for baby: Knotted hat tutorial
I did this guest post over at Whip Up a few weeks ago. Since then, I have modified the pattern a bit, so the final product looks more finished. Posting it here in case you missed it over at Whip Up and also adding the revised steps (in blue).

With the birth of my niece last month, newborn gifts are on my mind these days...Here's a tutorial for making a knotted hat for newborns. I love making and gifting these hats....because they are useful and practical?....naah...because seriously, what's cuter than a teeny-tiny hat on a teeny tiny head. The fact that hats are particularly pricey and difficult to find in ready-to-wear clothes doesn't hurt either. So without further ado...here's how to make one:


Knit fabrics: Take 2 pieces of same fabric or two different fabric. 

This is a great project to use up those scraps that are too big to throw away but too irregular to make into a dress, top etc.

1. Print out the pattern, tape the two pages as shown and cut both pieces of pattern ( total 3 cuts). Piece 1 spans both the pages whereas Piece 2 is only on Page 1.
Once you cut out all the three pieces, tape both parts of Piece 1 by overlapping the small part over the bigger part, up to the dash (-) mark.


Fold each fabric in two layers, then fold one more time. Place each pattern piece on fold and cut. So now you have two pieces of 1 and two pieces of 2.


 Sew together pieces of 1 along the conical side, right sides together. Sew together pieces of 2 along the semi-circular side, right sides together. 

Note: Leave  a 2 inch opening while sewing piece 2 ( lining). This is an improvement from earlier version where I leave the opening at the joining seam in step 4.


Now join 1 and 2 by sewing along the raw edge, right sides together. Leave about 2 inch opening.
Note: It was only after sewing a couple of these hats, that I realized I should have left the opening in inner lining piece instead of the seam joining the two pieces. It was one of those "Duh...I'm so stupid" moment.


Using the opening, turn the whole thing inside out. Use a pencil or point turner to poke the cone out on fabric 1. 
Note: Slip-stitch the opening in fabric 2 shut. I missed this step when I wrote the guest post. 

Push the fabric 2 inside fabric 1. 


Tie a knot with the cone of fabric 1. 
If the hat is a little big, you can turn some of the bottom out to fit the head of the baby. The best part is that these hats don't have a any inside seams to bother the baby skin. Enjoy your little munchkin...hats and all.