Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sew Many Leggings!

sewing leggings

So my little girl has become opinionated, big time! Now she has specific opinion about what she wants to wear. And she has made it clear that she will have nothing to with jeans or trouser style pants. The only thing she would like to put on herself is leggings, a soft comfortable and super stretchy pair of leggings.
Your wish is my command sweetheart!
So I set out to make a few pairs. On the way I also improved my pattern and sewing techniques a bit. Hopefully I will share my new and improved leggings pattern with you all very soon.

Sewing leggings for little girl

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Fix that neckline - again!

Blooms And Bugs: Shortening a plunging neckline
Blooms And Bugs: How to fix a neckline how to fix a too bit neckline
Sometimes, a simple thing is so effective that you keep going back to it, time and again. I have found fixing the neckline to such an easy and useful technique that I keep doing it with a lot of my clothes.

shorten the neckline tutorial
This pretty top was in my favorite color, in my size and cost me $3 at Old Navy. It had a slit that went way too low for me to wear. The solution was easy. Fixed it with a leftover sweater knit from my stash and I love it now.

add a path to close a slit in tops

Yaay! for simple things that work.

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday Feature: Heart lapel Coat

Blooms And Bugs: Heart Lapel Tutorial: Friday Feature

I follow a number of sewing/crafting blogs and I am always on the lookout for new sewing projects and tutorials via pinterest and Google. So I regularly come across very well made and photographed sewing projects. Its amazing the kind of things fellow bloggers regularly come up with. However, every once in a while I come across a project that make me go.."Holy Molly! This is sooo clever" and I want to really kick myself for not thinking of it first.
Oh well...there are designers who are genius...and there are people who are awed and frustrated by geniuses. And you already know which category I fall into.
Frustration apart, this project really made me want to drop everything and copy this really clever really cute idea. Heart shaped lapels...are you kidding me! Seriously! every kid one should have one of these, don't you think?

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

V Day Dress Sewing Tutorial: Love is in the air

Blooms And Bugs: Valentines Day Dress Free Sewing Tutorial
V-Day dress tutorial

I recently participated in Exchange Program at Totally Tutorials (great crafting website by the way). The rules were simple. I would be sent a crafting supply and I had to create something with it.
I received heart Tulle Fabric from Abakhan. They carry a vast selection of crafting and hobby supplies.
I thought it was perfect for a Valentines day dress tutorial.

half yard hearts tulle fabric
Quarter yard white knit fabric
half yard black knit fabric
quarter inch wide black grosgrain ribbon a little over one yard

Estimated time:
2 hours

Skill Level:

trace around an existing garment
1. Use an existing garment to draw a pattern. In my case I wanted the final dress to be a bit larger than the Tee I used, so I left a bit of margin ( 3/4 inch) when I traced.

self traced Tshirt Pattern
2. Here is the top pieces I was left with. Now do yourself a favor and trace this piece on a newspaper ( or any paper that's big enough). Next time you make a dress or a tee, you will be so glad to save some time.

cutting out the sleeves
3. Now trace the armhole to cut out sleeves. For the sleeves, I used the hem of the tank-top, so I didn't have to hem the sleeves.
tshirt pattern pieces
4. Here are the pattern pieces you will be left with. Now be sure to trace these sleeve pieces on a paper too.

how to sew a tulle ruffle
5. Now lets cut our tulle for the tuxedo. For this lets cut out 2 pieces of 3 inches X 14 inches from the tulle.

how to make a ruffle from tulle
6. Now crank up the tension on the sewing machine and set the stitch length to maximum, also set the speed to max. Now sew a row at the center along the length.

sewing ruffles with grosgrain and tulle
7. Now take two 20 inches long (each) pieces of quarter inch wide black grosgrain ribbon. Position it over the stitches you just did. Reset you machine to its default tension and stitch length. Now sew it down over the stitches.

sewing the ruffle

8. Sew the front and back pieces at the shoulders. Now sew the ruffle down at the front center. I actually did this step later, but its much easier to sew the ruffle at the front while both sides are open.

9. Sew both the side seams. Sew the side seams of both the sleeves. Sew the sleeves to the Tshirt. Tie the grosgrain ribbon into a bow at the front and cut off any excess ribbon.

10. Cut a 7.5 inches long strip from the coordinating knit ( off white in our case) The width of the off-white fabric is one and a half times that of the Tshirt width.

11. Now cut out Tulle of the same dimensions as the off white knit.

12. Sew short ends together on both Tulle and Knit. Now turn both the tubes right side out and place tulle over knit. Now you a tube that has hearts tulle on the outside and off-white knit on the inside.

13. Again set the machine tension to the highest, stitch length to longest, sewing speed to max and sew along one longer sides of the tube. This will ruffle the fabric, turning it into a gather skirt.

14. Adjust the gathers with hand to make them even and equal to the Tshirt width. Now pin the skirt to the Tshirt ( Right sides together) and sew a seam to attach.

V-day dress tutorial
15. Here you are, now this is finally looking like some chic Valentines dress. Stay with me some more. We just have to finish a few details and then we will be all set. I didn't hem this dress because both Tulle and knits do not fray. However, if you want to finish the hemline, you could do a rolled hem on both.

neck binding

16. To bind the neckline I cut out a strip two inches wide and two third of the neckline long. We will sew this strip by stretching it across the neckline so it doesn't get wavy.

binidng neck of tshirt tutorial

17. Sew the short ends together ( right sides together). Now sew the strip to the neckline ( right sides together) by gently pulling it along the neckline, use pins at every quarter of the neckline, to make sure that the stretch is even.
tshirt neck binding tutorial

18. Fold the raw edge of neck binding  on to itself and pin it on the inside ( like you would with a bias tape). At this stage it is good to be generous in pinning. The neckline is the most visible part of the dress and you wouldn't want it to look shabby.

tshirt neck binding tutorial

19. In front, take care of pinning the raw edges of ruffle and ribbon inside the binding. Now sew over the binding, as close to the edge as possible.
Note: This step is different from sewing bias tape, you could also sew this seam along the binding ( just like the bias tape) as close to the edge as possible. I have seen both finishes in ready-to-wear garments. I used the non-bias tape method in this dress, but I like bias tape method more. You could do whatever suits you better.

V-Day dress sewing tutorial

A new dress for the V-Day!

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Sunday, February 10, 2013

T-shirt neck binding, inching out of the comfort zone

There was nothing very special about the sweater.

Just another small sweater made from a big one. But all that changed once I reached the neckline.

You see I have this fear of not getting the neck binding right on the knits, so instead of binding the neck ( like we sew a bias tape) I usually attach a neckband by sewing right sides together. Like I did in this Nordic Prince Tshirt Tutorial. I think the wavy neckline during my early experiments of sewing with knits has scarred me for life. Not that I don't find the right sides together method bad - it actually works out fine and both are used in commercially designed clothing, so its all good. However, it bugs me that I couldn't master a simple sewing technique.
Not anymore though! I can bind the Tshirt neckline alright! ( Virtual High Five) his neck is not perfect, but I'm now confident enough to try again ( and again).
Maybe one of these days, I'll be confident enough to tackle a jacket...we'll see.
To the new beginnings!

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Ruffle Fabric bloomers tutorial

Blooms And Bugs: Bloomer Sewing tutorial

ruffle butt bloomers tutorial

So I had shared the tutorial for sewing bloomers earlier. Now I have made the same pattern with a ruffle fabric at the butt. Here is a mini tutorial to do it.

sewing tutorial for bloomers
Cut out the bloomer pieces from the pattern. Sew along the upper part/crotch area ( right sides together)
how to sew knit bloomers
Turn inside out. Bring the seam in the center. Cut out a 5 inch X 13 inch long of ruffle fabric. Pin it 1.5 inch above the leg opening. Make sure it is centered at the back of the bloomers.

bloomers sewing pattern
Sew down both shorter ends after folding half inch inside. Now fold the top half inch and sew a seam along the top as well. Since ruffle fabric doesn't fray, I didn't finish the lower edge.

To hem the leg openings I did the lettuce hem edge. I did two rows of shirring about 1.5 inch above the hem. You could also sew on an elastic if you like.

bloomers DIY

I also took the short cut while finishing up the top of these bloomers, I just sew on a waistband elastic with the zig-zag stitch. My rule of thumb is to take the elastic 3 inches lesser than the waist measurement. Then I join both ends together, and then sew it over the bloomers with an even stretch. I pin the elastic at every quarter of the waist of bloomer so it is evenly stretched.

And that is all.

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Monday, February 4, 2013

Sew Fab e-Pattern Sale

Today is the 1st day of the 1st ever Sew Fab e-Pattern Bundle Sale and giveaway, sponsored by The Southern Institute and Fat Quarter Shop!

Over the past eight weeks a lot of behind the scenes work has taken place to bring you this amazing bundle of ePatterns from several of the top pattern designers and bloggers in the sewing and blogging world. The result is a bundle of 18 PDF sewing patterns that you don't want to miss.
Buy NowFor one week only, ten pattern designers have come together to bring you 18 of their best PDF patterns, valued together at over $139.00, for the incredible price of $24.95! That's over 80% off of the combined retail value! Plus you can enter to win a dream of a giveaway valued at $390 from some really great shops! For less than $25.00 you will have a library of resources that you can use over and over again. The designers that have joined this sale are experts in their craft. They have been sewing for a very long time and are well known in blogland and elsewhere. Each designer has contributed one or two of their favorite patterns to create a bundle that is sure to please! Whether you are sewing for your own family or making gifts for others, these are patterns that you will love to use. If you've never sewn with a PDF pattern before, let me tell you how great it is! After downloading your pattern instructions and your pattern, you will print out the pattern itself, creating pattern tiles, if you will. Simply tape the tiles together to create the full pattern! At that point you can cut out the size that you need and pin the paper pattern directly to your fabric or you can trace the pattern size that you need onto sewing paper or tissue paper and cut it out, saving the paper pattern for later when you need to sew another size. Pdf patterns are so convenient because you can print them out as many times as you need!
Click here to buy the bundle!
Now let me tell you a little bit about the giveaway!
The Sew Fab Giveaway is amazing! One lucky winner will win a bunch of amazing prizes from Craftsy, Fat Quarter Shop, fabricworm, Jennifer's Jewels Custom Labels on Etsy, Green Bee Patterns, author Deborah Moebes, Mee a Bee, Gussy Sews, I'm Feeling Crafty, and Ball and Chain on Etsy. See the end of the post for giveaway details. This giveaway is not to be missed!

I know you're dying to know "What is included in the pattern bundle?"

18 well-loved ePatterns from 10 well-known designers are instantly accessible to you by PDF download upon purchase of the Sew Fab e-Pattern Bundle. Here are the patterns that you will receive (click on the links below to see more details):
Goodship Dress by One Girl Circus Wear, Mommy & Mia Apron by Sew Much Ado, Ruby Lou Doll by Sew Much Ado, Mini Maxi Dress by Seamingly Smitten, Miss Mod Top by Seamingly Smitten, Love Your Lunch Box by Ginger Cakes, Modern Folksy Bunny by Ginger Cakes, Banyan Pants & Shorts by Figgy's, Banyan Top & Tunic by Figgy's, Go To Shift Dress by Go To Patterns, Go To Gift Bags by Go To Patterns, Sidekick Suitcase by Sew Fearless, Madeline Dress by Me Sew Crazy, Forget Me Knot Dress by Me Sew Crazy, Alex & Anna Summer PJs by Peekaboo Pattern Shop, Alex & Anna Winter PJs by Peekaboo Pattern Shop, Commuter Cowl by luvinthemommyhood, Scirocco Dress by Figgy's The Sew Fab e-Pattern Bundle is only available for one week and will never be available again! You can purchase the bundle from February 4th at 8 a.m. EST through February 11th at 8 a.m. EST and there will be no late sales offered. Due to the nature of the sale there will be no refunds offered.
You don't want to miss this unique opportunity to purchase a ready made collection of 18 PDF sewing patterns from 10 of the best designers out there!
Buy Now


And now for The Sew Fab Giveaway!

You are not going to believe the prizes included in this giveaway! Can't buy the bundle? It's okay... purchase is not required to enter. Take a look at what you have the chance to win:
A Sewing Themed Box of Goodies from Pick Your Plum Fabulous Wristlet from Gussy Sews (not necessarily the one pictured) The latest release, Stitch Savvy, by Deborah Moebes Sterling Silver Sewing Machine necklace from Ball and Chain on Etsy $50 Gift Certificate to Fat Quarter Shop $50 Gift Certificate to fabricworm A free online class from The Scoop Tote Pattern from Green Bee Patterns 60 Custom Tags from Jennifer's Jewels Red Riding Hood Little Girl's Satchel from Mee a Bee Handmade Sewing Machine Cover from I'm Feeling Crafty


There are lots of chances to win and no purchase required to enter the giveaway. Just use the Rafflecopter widget and enter to win this amazing prize package that will inspire you in your sewing as well as keep you stocked with fabric for many projects to come!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Sew Fab e-Pattern Bundle Sale!

Sew Much Inspiration right at your finger tips...

only $24.95!

Get your bundle now!

Graphic design by Andrea Panell.

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