Tag Archive | Seam to Seam

WWWHHHAAATTT!?! – The Minions – Part 2

DSCN2582I had already spent the appropriate amount of time worrying about making this minion shirt so it was easy to get started on it.

I really wanted this shirt to sew together without any problems, so I decided to take my time and think things through carefully. So after laundering and ironing the fabric , it was time to start cutting.

I cut very carefully and added the alterations that I wanted to the pattern as I cut. I was quite selective about the interfacing I chose to use and I went ahead and cut it out too.

DSCN2584As I started to sew, I realized that I did make one cutting/design error, well not really an error, but a small change to the design. In my mind, the shirt had the minion fabric on the right and the blue on the left, but I had cut the left front from the minion fabric and the right front from the blue fabric. Mmmmmm, was this going to look ok? After much thought, I decided it would look fine, and maybe better because the buttons would be on the solid blue fabric instead of lost in the the minions fabric.

DSCN2581The sewing when smoothly. I took my time and tried the shirt on after each step. I also ironed each seam carefully as it was sewn. As I serged the edges of the sleeves, preparing them to be hemmed, I did not notice that I I was running out of thread on one of my loopers. Once the looper ran out of thread, my serged edge was ruined. Luckily, I had debated about cutting 1/2 inch off the length of the sleeves and had not done so yet. So, I cut the 1/2 inches off the length of the sleeves ridding me of the bad serged edge, threaded new spools of thread on my loopers and serged the new edges.

With the sewing on of the final button, I declared the shirt done and tried it on. The fit seemed to be good, but as I looked at myself in the mirror, the shirt needed to be something else. The right blue front was just that, blue. I grabbed some scraps and started adding to the blue front piece.

DSCN2493At first, I wanted to add a stripe of minion fabric down the blue front, but that was too much of an accent. I thought about digitizing a minion embroidery design. But since I was too excited about wearing the shirt, and it would take time to perfect the design and I wanted to wear the shirt now. My next thought was a pocket. This would not be a functioning pocket, just something for show, so it would not have to be any certain size or style. I decided to make a temporary pocket and see how it looked pinned on.

DSCN2496To make the pocket, I cut out two squares of fabric and then rounded the corner on one end. Next, with right sides together, I sewed completely around the two modified squares. Next, I made a small cut in the fabric that would be inside the pocket. I turned the pocket right side out through this slit. After a lot of pressing, with a little seam to seam, I mended the cut that I made in the pocket to turn it inside out. This worked well and I had a finished pocket. Since I will not be putting anything in this pocket, I am not worried about the seam to seam mending holding up with wear and tear.

Placing the pocket on the blue front, I liked it, then with another look, I did not, then after a few minutes, I liked it again.

Argh!

DSCN2498I turned to the husband for his opinion and he said that he did like the pocket, so I sewed the pocket to the front of the shirt. I am still up in the air as to wether I like the pocket or not but it is sewn to the shirt for now.

The shirt has passed the “wear” test and I really like it. My alterations seem to be good. This shirt is fun to wear and is very comfortable.

It also makes me crave bananas for some reason…

Until next time, sew forth and banana on!

A Box Of Ladybugs – Part 3, The Attaching

DSCN0691DSCN0693The bodice looked great with the sleeves attached, and the skirt was just adorable with the box pleats done. It was now time to sew the two parts together. This presented an unforeseen problem though. Because I have a pleat at the center back ok the skirt, instead of a slit, I had no way to attach the overlap of the buttons to the skirt and still keep the lining separate for the stitch in the ditch seam.

I had several options I could use at this point. One was to sew the overlap of the buttons together, making them one piece and skip the stitch in the ditch seam, sew the bodice and skirt together and finish the seam off with the serger. This would have been the simplest way to complete the dress. But you know me, I always have to do it the hard way first. Instead of the easy finish, I sewed the overlap of the buttons as one piece, and cut a slit in the lining by the overlap. This left the lining loose so I could do the stitch in the ditch seam later. I just had to make sure that the slit was folded up in to this seams before I started.

DSCN0696DSCN0697The stitch in the ditch seam did not go well. Even with an application of some seam to seam adhesive, spots were missed and the slit became unfolded. The seam was all over the place on the inside of the lining. The back part by the button overlap was a mess. But, on the outside everything still looked great! Having learned enough from the attaching of the bodice to the skirt, I patched up the stitch in the ditch seam and called it done. And I know what to do next time to get a better seam. I then hemmed the skirt and the lining together to complete this dress. I still do not know which is best, hemming the lining and skirt as one or hemming them separately.

From the outside, this dress was a total success and I really should have embroidered a cute design on the blank front of the bodice. From the inside though this dress is a total mess, but that will not affect the wearing of this dress. I think this dress will look cute on any little girl and I hope that she will enjoy wearing it.

Until next time, sew forth and box on.

Simplicity 5540 -The Tomboy Dress

IMG_0024This dress is just too cute with the two matching fabrics, the buttons down the front, the gathered pockets and the little shorts. This little dress is a great design. A little girl can look so cute and proper for school with the buttons all buttoned up and then she can unbutton those buttons to reveal the little shorts to then ride her bike or run around the playground. It is the perfect tom boy dress in my opinion, and I could not wait to make it. The pattern front said that it was easy to sew, further encouraging me to get started right away. But, the pattern description was a little white lie. I quickly learned that for me this little dress was going to be a long and involved sewing project.

Picking the main fabric with the pink and white check pattern was easy. This fabric was purchased with the fabric I used to make the bubble top of my last post so many years ago, but this piece was actual yardage and not just large scrap pieces. One nice thing about this fabric was that it came out of the washer and dryer without too many wrinkles. I did have to make a trip to Joann’s to get the accent pink for the trim as I did not have that on hand.

P1040470P1040468I traced the size 6 from the pattern and after tracing the bodice and skirt, I noticed there were still many more pieces left to trace due to all the trim and tie pieces. This was not a problem, but it took extra time to trace and cut out of the pattern pieces, and then to cut out the dress from the fabric. Once I had done this my excitement to make this dress had not waned, so I was willing to put the extra time. Since there was not a direction to the design of this fabric, I put a little piece of tape at the bottom of the skirt pieces as I cut them so I could later identify the top from bottom on them.

The next thing I did was read the pattern guide twice before taking my first stitch. After seeing the number of pattern pieces for this dress and reading the pattern guide, I knew this was not going to be the easy or quick sew like the pattern cover had claimed it was going to be, but I decided there was a lot to learn from making this dress and it would still be fun to make. I followed the pattern guide closely as I stitched the trim and ties to the bodice pieces and then stitched the bodice pieces together. The upside down “L” trim pieces on the front of the bodice were tricky to stitch. I did an ok job on them, but I learned a lot and would probably do a better job next time.

P1040378Next up were the pockets. I will be the first to admit that I need more practice when making pockets, the shaping and styling of pockets as well as just making different types of pockets. I knew this fact as I started these pockets, but I was still willing to give it my best. If the pockets did not work out, I could just leave them off so there wasn’t any fear of messing them up. Still following the pattern guide, I made the casing for the elastic at the top of the pockets and inserted it. Still no problems had arisen so I continued on. Next came ironing the edges so that the pockets could be top stitched on. This was not working well at all. As I stopped to think about it, I decided I needed to gather the pockets to help get the round shape I wanted from them, much like you gather a sleeve cap when inserting a fitted sleeve. The gathers would not show on top of the pocket but it would be in the seam to help ease the curve.

P1040403Because I only needed a small amount of gathers to round the pockets, I decided to use the serger method of gathering that I had read about recently. Using this method would take care of two steps. If I serged around the pockets, not only could I use the serger to make the needed gathers, it would also finish off the edges of the elastic at the top of the pockets. After serging the edges of the pockets, I found the needle threads of the serging at the curves and pulled them. This gathered the fabric together. I was then able to iron the curved edges so I could top stitch the pockets on. This left the serging messy with loops but I just tucked the loops into the seam as I stitched the pocket on. The serged gathers worked nicely for rounding the pockets and I think the pockets look pretty good. I still need more practice, of course but these pockets turned out well enough to leave them on the dress.

P1040400The next step I did of sewing the skirt and trim went smoothly. I used the floss method for gathering the skirt, then sewed it to the bodice, and then added the lining. The step after that is where I varied from the pattern guide. Before finishing the lining, the guide called for a fitting of the dress and adjusting the straps to the needed length, then stitching the straps in place and finishing the lining. Since I had no idea of what length the straps needed to be, I decided not to stitch the straps in at this time. I would instead attach the straps in the next step P1040475with the top stitching of the trim. This way, if the straps needed to be adjusted once it was tried on, only the top stitching has to be undone and not the lining finish and the seams inside where the straps are attached. I finished the lining’s stitch in the ditch seam with a little help from some seam to seam adhesive. Because the lining of the skirt was made from the main fabric and not a slippery lining fabric, the stitch in the ditch seam sewed rather smoothly and nicely. Unlike the last skirt I made, I did not have to go back and restitch any places this time. The final steps to complete this dress were the top stitching of the trim where I stitched the straps into place and then the hem and the dress was done.

DSCN0192The shorts were next in line to stitch. The shorts pattern was very basic, just 4 pieces in total with two front pieces, two back pieces and an elastic waist with no pockets. I believe that all kids clothes need pockets, so I debated if I wanted to add patch pockets or side seams pockets to these shorts. I finally decided on no pockets. These shorts would be better if they were straight and flat without the added bulk of pockets. This way they would be less obvious under the dress when it was being worn buttoned up fully. Yet I still wanted to add something to the shorts to give them a little flair, so I decided to add a little slit at the side seams. I finished the side seams flat before sewing the seam together. I then sewed the side seams stoping two inches before the bottom of the shorts. Next, I hemmed the shorts. This formed the slits on the side. I then stitched around DSCN0195the slits to finish up this added detail. The slits were easy to make and added a nice touch to the simple shorts. I made the shorts in white even though that is not a great color for a little girl to play in but the denim fabric I used is very durable and washes well. I am also hoping that the shorts can be universally worn, either with this dress or with the bubble top I previously made or anything else as well.

I feel that this completed dress and shorts set turned out great! I think it is a very cute outfit and will be fun for a little girl to wear. I learned a lot on the construction of this dress and I had a chance to practice pockets, top stitching and stitching in the ditch. I am happy that I stuck with it and endured to the end with this project. It might not have been an easy project like the pattern stated but it was worth the work in the end.

Here Comes Peter Cotton Tail on a Beautiful Easter Dress

IMG_0133Spring is finally here! And, with spring comes Easter.

And, what would be more fun to sew than a beautiful new Easter dress?

Since I would not be wearing an Easter dress anywhere this year, I decided that for my next sewing project I would make a little girl’s Easter dress. I still had the pattern from the last little girl’s dress that I had made laying on my cutting table, and I had wanted to make another version of this dress pattern, but while incorporation some of the things that I had learned from making the first dress, it was a very easy decision to use this as the pattern for the little girls Easter dress.

Easter dresses are usually very fancy with lots of ruffles and lace, but by picking this pattern, this Easter dress would be very basic. I could have added all of the ruffles and lace to this pattern but I decided not to. Rather than this dress being an Easter dress that would only be wore for a couple of hours one time on Easter morning, I thought it should be a fun dress with Easter bunnies on it that could be worn the week before Easter and then all day on Easter and after Easter was over too. Hopefully, it would be a fun dress that any little girl would enjoy wearing in the springtime!

P1040268Because of the pattern that I chose, it was easy to select the Easter bunny cotton fabric I had on hand as the dress fabric. This was a remanent I had picked up at Joann’s last sale that had not even made it to the stash yet. And for the lining fabric, I grabbed the yellow lining that I had used for the first dress. I thought that it worked well enough for the lining of the last dress and it matched the purple color of the dress fabric. Plus using it would save me a trip to the stash to look for some white lining fabric.

Cutting out this dress went smoothly but I did make some changes to it as I cut. I cut the bodice lining 1/2 inch longer, making it longer than the dress fabric. My hope was that the extra 1/2 inch of length would help with the “stitch in the ditch” seam when finishing the waist. Having a little more fabric to fold up should help if this slippery lining fabric started to unfold as it did on the first dress while it was being sewn. Hopefully this would help keep the raw edges from being exposed. I also decided while I was cutting out this dress to not stitch the lining and dress fabric together at the hem as I did before. I would hem the lining and the dress fabric separately. With this in mind, I cut the lining 2 inches shorter than the dress fabric so that there was no chance it would hang below the dress fabric after being hemmed.

P1040272Once it was all cut out I followed along with the pattern guide to make this dress the same way I had on the first dress. This time though I used the serger which I did not use on the first dress. I serged the bottom of the lining of the bodice. In doing so, I hoped that it would give me something to feel through the dress fabric as I “stitched in the ditch” at the waist as well as give a finished edge so that if the lining slipped while “stitching in the ditch” and was just barely caught, it would be catching on more than just a raw edge. Because I was not hemming the lining and the dress fabric together this time, I needed to finish the seams of the skirt and lining. I finished these with the serger as well as serging the hems before hemming. It had all worked well up to this point and as I had said, it was crazy not to use my available sewing tools to make a project better and easier. I used the floss method of gathering again because it had worked so well on the first dress.

P1040181The skill I needed to work on from the last dress was the finishing of the lining at the waist after the gathered skirt was attached to the dress fabric bodice or what I keep referring to as the “stitch in the ditch” seam. As mentioned, I had already taken measures to help assure the success of this seam by cutting the bodice lining longer and serging the edge. After pinning the lining to the bodice and getting ready to sew this seam, I could tell I was in for another disaster. The slippery lining was already falling out of place in between the pins. So I decided that I needed to rethink this. What could I do to hold the lining in place as I stitched on the dress fabric? The answer was to use some Seam to Seam adhesive paper. I cut 1/4 inch strips of Seam to Seam paper, stuck one adhesive side to the seam allowance of the skirt and bodice and then stuck the folded bodice lining to the other side. I then pinned the seam together again and headed for the sewing machine. At this point with all of my preparations, the sewing of this seam went smoothly. After completing it, I only had one spot where the lining had slipped and was missed by the seam and that was in a spot where I had skimped on using the Seam to Seam. One might say that using the Seam to Seam adhesive is a cheat and is not learning this sewing skill properly, but I say, hey, use the tools that are available to you. Plus, it still wasn’t a perfect seam. More practice is needed.

P1040271With the dress completed, it needed a little something to make it an Easter dress, so I decided to add a belt and tie to the waist. This would have been much easier if I had decided to add the belt and tie earlier in the sewing process, but I didn’t so I improvised it as best I could. To make the belt and tie, I measured the front bodice and cut a piece of white scrap to that length and made it 3 inches wide. Then, with the remainder of the white scrap, I cut two pieces as long as I had fabric by 3 inches wide. I then seamed these together to make one long piece of fabric. Folding the fabric lengthwise, I stitched the piece, turned the tube, and finished the ends. I lined the horizontal seam up with the side seams and then stitched it. I was going to stitch up one side seam, across the top of the tie on the bodice and then down the other side seam, then across the bottom, but when it came to stitching across the bottom, across the gathers of the skirt, I stopped. This was not going to work. If I had been stitching the belt and tie on while sewing the dress I would have put the bottom of the tie at the bottom of the bodice instead of over the skirt, but that did not happen. So instead I decided to leave the bottom unstitched. This does not look good on the hanger but I believe when the dress is being worn that the tie will be pulled tight and it will look fine. I wish the ties were longer but that was how big my scrap pieces were so that is length they are.

I am not as pleased with the belt and tie as I thought I would be but since it was an after thought on this dress, I think it is fine. Actually, the more I look at the tie the more I like it. I think the Easter dress turned out to be very cute. I have some bad news though. The little neighbor girl has moved away and I have lost my model for my kids clothes. So, I can’t tell you if leaving tie unstitched at the bottoms is ok when the dress is being worn. I am also unable to find out if it is preferred to have the dress fabric and lining hemmed to together or if having them hemmed separately is the way to go. I am going to have to find another 5 year old girl to wear my creations.

Until next time, sew forth and sew on!