Archive for the ‘dresses’ Category

I purchased a few yards of knit fabric at the Hobby Lobby in Georgia and mixed it with a couple of tank tops from the Carter’s Outlet. I think these are so cute, useful in an everyday kinda way and comfortable. All in all I spent 45 minutes at the most putting them together.

I started out measuring the girls…this was a very unscientific measuring…I simply put the tape measure at their shoulders and tried to see where I would want the fullness of the dress to be.  I ended up choosing to place the skirt a bit lower than their waist.  I didn’t want the fullness (and the serger stitches) to be too close to their waist where it might feel scratchy.  Then I measured from that point to a place below their knees where I wanted the skirt to end.  I added one inch to the skirt measurement and started cutting.

I cut the skirt fabric the entire width of the knit, which in this case was approx. 42 inches.  Next, I used my new gathering foot and gathered the top of each skirt and then sewed the seam to make a tube of sorts.  I also  marked the four equal distances of the tube to insure even distribution of the skirt to match up with the center front and back-plus the side seams of the tank tops.  First I attached the skirt to the top using a zig-zag stitch, I also stretched the top a bit to make everything fit.  Once the skirt was attached and I was happy with it, I serged around the seam.

My Bernina has a visible hem stitch for knits and this is what I used for the hem.  The only drawback to this stitch is that once you reach your point of origin on the hem…the stitching shows quite a bit.  Next time, I think I will stop the jersey stitch once I make the circumference of the skirt and use a regular straight stitch to finish and secure the hem.

Well, the girls seemed very happy and I was able to get a few photos of them wearing the dresses.  I have two more knits from Hobby Lobby to make additional dresses.  I hope you try this if you do any sewing for girls.  It was super easy, comfortable for the girls- and it is a very quick way to have matching outfits for photos, events or reunions!

Here are my remaining pics:

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I have been purchasing lots of fabric by Heather Bailey, Anna Maria Horner and Sandi Henderson.  Farmer’s Market, Bijoux and Pop Garden are great prints for making dresses and since the price of cotton is rising, I wanted to take advantage of yardage that was still under $10 per yard.  Here is most of my current stash.

Since my daughter is not a big fan of candy for the Easter baskets, I have tried to make other things to put  into the girl’s  baskets.  This year I wanted to make some more dresses for them.  I was able to cut out 6 dresses in sizes 2T and 4T.  I have several patterns that I have not tried yet, such as the Anna Wrap dress from Farbenmix, a Macy Giggles dress pattern from Izzy and Ivy, and the pattern you see completed in this post, Isabel from Modkid Botique.  I put together some fabrics that I thought were very summery and fun. This pattern had very clear instructions and was easy to assemble.  I appreciated the way the instructions gave options for finishing the dress, depending on your type of machine(s).  Because I am spending part of my Easter vacation down at the beach, I was able to take some pictures by the dunes. 

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Finished a couple of dresses that I started earlier this fall.  One for Kate and one for Caroline.  Kate’s dress is a Katie Cupcake pattern using Joel Dewberry  fabrics. 

My daughter was so excited to get it home for a special party that evening, that I was unable to try for a better picture.  So, here is it hanging by a wimpy wire hanger!

Caroline’s is the Claire pattern from Portabello Pixie.

Back of dress with added ties.  The original pattern does not call for ties at the waist.  I added them once I saw that the brown fabric I had chosen for the ties at the shoulder were not coordinating enough with the dress due to the pink in the apron, so I wanted to accent the brown a little more.  I am happy with the results.

I purchased this fabric over one year ago and can’t seem to find the name of the line… I’ll keep searching through my selvages and try to let you know. 

Joanna from homemadepineapplemarshmallows  has figured out that a couple of these fabrics are from Annette Tatum’s “House” line.  Thanks for doing the investigating ; )

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Several weeks ago, I found this totally cute fabric at the shop, Quilters Cottage which I frequent down in S.C.  I really don’t like lots of Halloween fabrics, especially for little girls, but this one was sooo cute.  Each and every pumpkin has a tiny, pink-nosed mouse peaking from behind the pumpkin.  They are hard to see in the pictures, mostly you can see their little whiskers.

 I just had to make some outfits for the girls.  I chose to use the Sister Smock pattern from Indygo Junction because it has a generous cut.  The last time I made several dresses, I had to pull in the bodice about 3/4″ .  I decided to not pull in the bodice for either one of the dresses, hoping that the girls might get a few years out of them.  My daughter loves this style of dress because she can pair them with jeans, leggings or skirts when the girls begin to out grow them and they are a little too short for a dress.  I decided to make Caroline (almost 18 months) and Kate (3 years and 3 months)  sizes 2 & 4.  Here are some pictures of each dress. 

If I had more time to work on them I would have change the thread on my machine to match each strap and bodice before top-stitching each, but I was worried that I would not have them completed by Halloween weekend.  Also, I am unhappy with the buttonholes. 

This was my first time trying to create buttonholes on my Bernina 820.  This is one of the better ones, but I really don’t like sloppy buttonholes.  I like a professional look for my clothing.  That is why I use a serger on all my seams.  With buttonholes on the 820, I need more practice –  plus the white thread doesn’t help.  But for a once-a-year dress, my granddaughters are happy and so is their mom.

Someday soon I will get them to do my modeling for me instead of my garden flag stand ; )

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I was in Barnes & Noble while I was down at the beach and after debating which book I wanted to go home with…it chose this one.  It has 101 projects plus an additional 5 because it was purchased via B & N.  I am going to use it as a reference for making some of my Christmas gifts.  Each project only requires one yard of fabric, so I am hoping it will help me from purchasing too much fabric.  Many times I buy way more than I need (perhaps secretly hoping to add to my stash pile).

If you are starting to think about Christmas gifts, check out this book.  It has been out for a while, so maybe your public library has a copy???
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Tutorial Part 3

The Ruffle Version


You will find the instructions for the yoga style waistband in the first Yoga Style Skirt post.  We continue the tutorial with a completed band  -this means that your band has been cut, stitched lengthwise, folded over to resemble a turtleneck and stitched (and stretched) around the bottom raw edges.  It should look like this.


*Please note that all seams in this tutorial are 1/2 inch just as in part 1 and part 2 tutorials.

Next, you will proceed to sew your skirt panels together.  The 12 month size will have only one seam, as it goes the width of the fabric.  The size 3T will have 2 seams as it consists of 2 panels 31 inches wide. If you want a professional look, serge or zig zag your seams after sewing them together.  Her is the photo from the first tutorial.

The ruffle:

The first step for the ruffle is to attach all strips together into one long strip.  Then connect the strips into one large circle.  Finish your small seams with a serger or zig zag stitch. 

Now finish the bottom edge.  I used my serger and made a rolled edge.  If you do not own a serger, you can get the same results with a rolled hem presser foot or by pressing 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch and then repeating that step to have a double folded hem.  Then sew the narrow hem in place. 

After finishing the bottom edge,we will now gather the top of the ruffle using a piece of embroidery thread and a wide stitch zig zag over it.  This will look exactly like the skirt panel top in the first tutorial.  See photo.

Here are the three pieces for each skirt.











Here I match up the 4 equal parts of the Yoga Style Band with the 4 equal parts of the skirt panels (as shown in parts 1 & 2)


I will also serge a finished edge onto the bottom ruffle for a finished look.




  It was a rainy day when I completed these and that  caused some of the pictures to be a little dark.  Perhaps with both skirts in this tutorial you will be able to see everything clearly.  I should also point out that the ruffle on this 3T skirt is not as full as the 12 month.  The 12 month is also a shorter ruffle.  I was just experimenting to see which I would prefer.  This ruffle in the 3T is not full enough for me ( 1.5 x the width of the skirt width) I wanted to try a less full ruffle because the skirt itself is very full and looks like a bell when worn by a toddler.  The 12 month is 2x the width of the completed skirt panel and I think it looks much better. 

Here are some additional pictures of the 12 month size.




After attaching the band to the skirt, I serge the seam and the ruffle seam for a finished look.

Hopefully you have enough information to make any version you’d like.  I can’t wait to get home and see how the ruffle version looks on the girls.
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Tutorial – Part 2

The Box Pleat Version

You will find the instructions for the yoga style waistband in the previous post.  This means that your band has been cut, stitched lengthwise, folded over to resemble a turtleneck and stitched (and stretched) around the bottom raw edges.  It should look like this.

*Please note that all seams in this tutorial are 1/2 inch just as in the first tutorial.

Remember that my Yoga Style Band for the 12 month size is 8 inches in height and 15 inches across (the stretch of the knit is always across the width).  Now you will complete the hem on the main skirt panel(s).  These skirt panel(s) were lengthened by 2 inches  because we will not be putting a band or ruffle on the bottom (the version with a band will be 7 inches x the width of the fabric).  So, 7 inches plus 2 inches = 9 inches.  This panel is 9 inches x the width of the fabric (approx. 42 inches).

 You can hem this skirt using a blind hem stitch, hand stitching or by turning the raw edge under 1/4 of and inch, and then an additional 1/4 of an inch.  I am turning the hem under 1/4 of an inch two times.  It  looks like this.


The Yoga Style Band for the 12 month skirt was 15 x 8 inches.  I need the final measurement of the top of the main skirt piece to be approximately 18 inches wide (width of the band or waistline + 2-3 inches = approx. 18 inches).  With the skirt sewn like a tube and therefore folded in half on the cutting mat, the completed top part of the main skirt should be 9 inches (which is really 18 inches around).

The seam is on the left and not visible in the picture.  The pin is opposite the band.

I have matched the 2 seams together and followed along marking the pin marks on the yoga style band to the pins and seams of the box pleat skirt panel.

You could mark the top of the skirt before gathering with some type of soluable pen or chalk, but I prefer to do it at the bottom with pins.  For me this method is easier and markings don’t become lost in the pleats and/or gathers depending on which version you are making.





There you have it, a Yoga Style Skirt made with box pleats for a 12 month.  Looks cute, right?

Part 3 of the Tutorial will cover the ruffle version for both 12 month and 3T. 

FYI, the measurements for the 3T and 2T are very similar-only the waist measurement would change depending on you little person.



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