So Sew Easy http://so-sew-easy.com Sewing, free patterns, sewing clothes and accessories Tue, 30 Sep 2014 14:32:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Anke’s Brushes Bag – free pattern http://so-sew-easy.com/ankes-brushes-bag-free-pattern/ http://so-sew-easy.com/ankes-brushes-bag-free-pattern/#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 11:00:33 +0000 http://so-sew-easy.com/?p=11513 I’m delighted today to share with you a tutorial written especially for you by Anke, one of the So Sew Easy readers.  She used the Easy Cosmetics Bag pattern and improved it immensely.  When she sent me photos, I knew I wanted to sew this so I begged her to share it with us all.  I’m so pleased she said yes.  Please welcome Anke from Germany. [Anke uses cm and mm so if you need to convert because you are used to inches, here is a handy online measurements converter here or a ready made table here.]  * * * * * * Hi everyone! I have sewn several zipper bags, but usually I end up with a different result than I planned and so this time I searched for a pattern – and I found Deby’s. The perfect size for … Continue reading

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Written by Deby Coles

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Brushes roll and cosmetics bags combined. Love this idea. Free pattern.

I’m delighted today to share with you a tutorial written especially for you by Anke, one of the So Sew Easy readers.  She used the Easy Cosmetics Bag pattern and improved it immensely.  When she sent me photos, I knew I wanted to sew this so I begged her to share it with us all.  I’m so pleased she said yes.  Please welcome Anke from Germany.

[Anke uses cm and mm so if you need to convert because you are used to inches, here is a handy online measurements converter here or a ready made table here.]

 * * * * * *

Hi everyone!

I have sewn several zipper bags, but usually I end up with a different result than I planned and so this time I searched for a pattern – and I found Deby’s. The perfect size for the most important cosmetic stuff I have to carry around when I travel. The one thing I always hate – my brushes always fly around in a mess and this is something you really shouldn’t do to your brushes! The best solution in my eyes is a brush roll, but carry around two bags? No. So I decided to pimp the pattern a bit and combine it – a make up bag with a brush roll!

When I showed Deby the pictures what I have done with her pattern she asked me if I would share it with you. And here I am – please be kind to me, this is my first tutorial ever. J

Brushes roll and cosmetics bags combined.  Love this idea.  Free pattern.

 

At the beginning some side notes:

  • Seam allowances are given by my sewing foot; I either take a foot width (which is 7 mm) or from the middle to the first marking on my foot (which is about 3 – 4 mm); if not mentioned I used the wider seam allowance
  • If you use laminated fabric you don’t need to use interfacing; with all other fabrics I would recommend a stiff interfacing so that the bag stands on its own
  • Secure your fabric pieces before stitching! I like to use binder clips for laminated fabrics as they don’t destroy your fabric. You can of course also use pins, but then make sure only to pin within the seam allowance

And now let’s start!

What you need:

  • Outer and lining fabric: I used laminated fabric, so you can easily wipe of any makeup dirt from your bag; I bought two pieces of 55 * 80 cm, and that was perfect
  • Bias fold binding, about 80 cm
  • A zipper, at least 24 cm; I usually take a longer zipper than I need and trim after sewing
  • A tuck lock (Deby – I ordered mine here from Pacific Trimming)
  • The pattern

Opt In Image
Download the Cosmetics Bag with Brush Roll pattern

You can download the pattern and instructions for the Cosmetics Bag with Brush Roll from my design account at Craftsy.  It's a PDF file containing both instructions and pattern all in the same file.  Enjoy!

Trouble downloading the pattern? Check out this article - How to Download and Print PDF Sewing Patterns.

Brushes roll and cosmetics bags combined.  Love this idea.  Free pattern.

1)    Cut your fabric

  • 2 bag main pieces (A) from outer fabric
  • 2 bag main pieces (A) from lining fabric
  • 1 bag flap piece (B) from outer fabric
  • 1 bag flap piece (B) from lining fabric
  • 2 brush flap pieces (C) from fabric of choice
  • 1 brush holder piece (D) from fabric of choice

Brushes roll and cosmetics bags combined.  Love this idea.  Free pattern.

You can cut piece (B) as rectangle; you can cut the round corners in a later step

2)      Sew brush flap

Place the brush flap pieces with right sides together and clip or pin

Sew around three sides of the flap pieces (two short sides and one long side)

Clip the corners

Collage 2

Turn the piece inside out and top stitch along your seams

If you don’t have a Teflon foot for sewing with laminates, I recommend using a bit of tissue paper under your sewing piece; in that way the laminated fabric doesn’t stick to your sewing machine

Collage 3

3)      Sew brush holder piece

Fold the brush holder piece in half, right sides together (the fold should be on the 22 cm side)

Top stitch along the folded edge

IMAGE06b

4)      Sew brush holder piece to bag flap piece

To sew the brush holder piece, you have two options: use my markings, or use your brushes to get the size of the pockets

First option: Use my markings

Draw the markings onto the bag flap piece
IMAGE07b

At the right side of the brush holder fold back the fabric at the most right marking and press with your fingers to create a crease

Place the piece on the lining bag flap piece, aligning the bottom edges, 8 cm from the right edge (where the rounded corners are)

IMAGE07_bb

Sew the right side of the piece with a small seam allowance
IMAGE09b

Draw the markings onto your brush holder fabric (in the picture I highlighted the markings; I made them with sewing chalk but in the picture it was barely to be sewn)
IMAGE08b

Align most right marking on the brush holder piece with most right marking on the lining bag flap piece

IMAGE10b

Pin or clip in place

IMAGE11b

Stitch down from top to bottom
IMAGE12b

Repeat for other markings, from right to left

Tuck under the left edge and stitch down with small seam allowance

IMAGE13b

Now you have finished your brush holder!

IMAGE14b

Second option: Measure your brushes (unfortunately I don’t have pictures here)

At the right side of the brush holder tuck under about 5 to 10 mm and press with your fingers to create a crease

Place the piece on the lining bag flap piece, aligning the bottom edges, 8 cm from the right edge (where the rounded corners are)

Sew the right side of the piece with a small seam allowance, as before. Take your brush and measure the space they need. Pin or clip and stitch down.  Repeat for other brushes. Tuck under the left edge and stitch down with small seam allowance.

Now you have finished your custom brush holder!

5)      Assemble the bag flap

Place the brush flap on the top of the inner bag flap piece, 8 cm from the edge (rounded side), top edges aligned

IMAGE15b

Press flat the bottom edges of the brush holder and clip in place

IMAGE16b

Sew bag flap lining and outer fabric wrong sites together with small seam allowances; you don’t need to sew at the small, unrounded side.

If you cut your fabric as a rectangle, sew along the markings for the round corners and trim it afterwards

IMAGE17b

6)      Add binding to flap
If you never added binding to a sewing piece I recommend to read one of the tutorials you can find on the internet before sewing; as you can see in my pictures, I am still not a pro in that part ;)

Unfold the bias binding and clip or pin it to the bag flap, aligning the edges

IMAGE18b

Stitch down on the inner side inside the crease of the bias binding

IMAGE19b

Fold over the binding to the outer side and clip or pin in place; make sure the folded edge of the bias binding is just a snatch beyond the first seam (so you cannot see the first seam anymore)

Sew with a very small seam allowance along the inner edge of the bias binding, outer fabric on top

IMAGE20b

Bag flap finished!

IMAGE21b

7)      Add zipper to bag main pieces

Sandwich your fabrics:

  • Lining fabric with right side up
  • Zipper with right side up (it is your personal choice if you like the zipper opened or closed; I prefer to sew it closed)
  • Outer fabric with right side down

Collage 4

Align the top edges of zipper and fabrics, so that you cannot see the zipper – it is sandwiched between your fabric; pin or clip in place

Using your zipper foot, stitch this together as near to the zipper teeth as possible

Fold back both fabrics and press flat your seems with your fingers (or with the iron if you don’t use laminated fabrics); make sure the seam is proper folded away and does not overlap over the zipper anymore

Topstich with a very small seam allowance

Repeat for the other side; sandwich your fabrics the same way as before

Collage 5

8)      Stitch bag flap to the main bag

Lay out your bag pieces with the outer fabric up in front of you (see above).

Make sure the lining fabric is fold away to the other side, so you do not accidently sew it to the outer fabric

Mark both the center point of the flap piece and the middle of the main bag piece.

Place your bag flap piece lining down onto one of the outer pieces of the main bag, aligning the raw edges and aligning the center points; the right side of the outer bag piece faces the lining side of the flap piece

IMAGE26_bb

Sew the bag flap to the main bag, using a small seam allowance.

Fold back the flap and secure it with clips or pins, so they don’t get in between your other seams when you assemble your bag

IMAGE28b

9)      Assemble the bag

Open the zipper – this is very important! When you forget this, you cannot turn your bag later

Refold your fabrics: Both the outer and the lining pieces should now face right sides together; clip or pin in place

Collage 6

When pinning the fabrics in place make sure that the teeth of the zipper face the lining side; in that case your bag will (hopefully ;) ) have nice and neat corners

Sew around your bag, leaving out the seams of the little squares. You can see in the picture, which seams are to be sewn; IMPORTANT: at the bottom edge of the lining fabric leave an opening of about 13 cm for turning the bag!

IMAGE31b

Fold open your seams at the little squares and align the middle seams (look at the pictures for a better understanding; if this doesn’t help I recommend the video from Deby, this is very helpful!)

Collage 7

Sew along the raw edge of one of the former square opening and trim the excess fabric. Take care not to sew over your flap in the inside!

Collage 8

Repeat for the other 3 corners. Your bag is now boxed!

Turn your bag through the opening and push out all corners

Looks quite finished already, hm?

IMAGE38b

10)  Attach tuck lock

Mark the center point of the bag flap edge

Slip the lock over the binding and mark the position of the holes, unslip the lock

Collage 9

Carefully make two holes with your seam ripper at your markings

Slip the lock over again and secure with the metal piece; take care of the direction of the lock! The top of the lock should be at the side of your outer fabri

Slip the lock into the holder piece.

Collage 10

“Close” your bag flap and mark where the bottom piece of the lock should be placed.

Use the back piece of the bottom piece as pattern and again mark the position of the holes

Cut again the marked holes with your seam ripper, but carefully! You don’t want to cut the lining fabric! Grab into the bag and slip your hand through the opening of the lining, this will help you

“Unlock” the lock and place the lock holder piece into the holes; secure from the bag with the securing piece, again grabbing through the opening in the lining; fold over the metal pieces to secure the lock

IMAGE44b

 

11)  Finish the bag

Pull out the lining fabric and press the opening flat; it should look as if there was a seam

IMAGE45b

Close the opening either with hand stitching or with your machine with the smallest seam allowance as possible

Put back the lining into the bag and straighten all seams.

12)  You’re done! Congratulations!

Brushes roll and cosmetics bags combined. Love this idea. Free pattern.

If you want to share your finished bag with me or if you have questions – I would be very happy! Please mail at anke.sews@gmail.com

* * * * * *

Wow Anke, that was one EPIC tutorial.  Must have taken you hours.  Thank you so much.  I’ve got my tuck locks on order and I’ll be making up one or two of these myself.  Your fabrics really are gorgeous too – you’ve got some great style girl!  Thank you very much for sharing your tutorial.  The pattern download includes all the pieces you need as well as the full instructions from above.

Opt In Image
Download the Cosmetics Bag with Brush Roll pattern

You can download the pattern and instructions for the Cosmetics Bag with Brush Roll from my design account at Craftsy.  It's a PDF file containing both instructions and pattern all in the same file.  Enjoy!

Trouble downloading the pattern? Check out this article - How to Download and Print PDF Sewing Patterns.

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Written by Deby Coles

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Turning Japanese Bag – some variations http://so-sew-easy.com/turning-japanese-bag-variations/ http://so-sew-easy.com/turning-japanese-bag-variations/#comments Sun, 28 Sep 2014 12:30:00 +0000 http://so-sew-easy.com/?p=11889 Have you tried the Turning Japanese Bag pattern yet. You should give it a try – it’s really easy! Part of the ‘My First Bag series’ it’s a single pattern piece, no fancy zippers or closures, the handles are ready made and it’s perfect to showcase a really nice fabric or a large scale print. However, just because its simple, there’s no need to stop there. A simple pattern is often an ideal base to start from if you want to add a few additions of your own. In this example: I add a hard bottom and some shiny bag feet It has a couple of small d-rings on the side where you can add a removable shoulder chain I split the pattern to use two different fabrics instead of just one. You can split it in any direction, sew a … Continue reading

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Written by Deby Coles

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How to make changes to a simple bag pattern to make it something a bit more special.Have you tried the Turning Japanese Bag pattern yet. You should give it a try – it’s really easy! Part of the ‘My First Bag series’ it’s a single pattern piece, no fancy zippers or closures, the handles are ready made and it’s perfect to showcase a really nice fabric or a large scale print.

However, just because its simple, there’s no need to stop there. A simple pattern is often an ideal base to start from if you want to add a few additions of your own.

How to make changes to a simple bag pattern to make it something a bit more special.

In this example:

  • I add a hard bottom and some shiny bag feet
  • It has a couple of small d-rings on the side where you can add a removable shoulder chain
  • I split the pattern to use two different fabrics instead of just one. You can split it in any direction, sew a curved seam, diagonal, or even patchwork.
  • I add a simple slip pocket
  • I also (very badly) add on the bias trim handles instead of the ready made grommet handles.

Here is the original bag.

Free bag pattern. The handles make this bag really easy to make, but it looks fab! I want one!

You can watch me make a few simple changes to the pattern and hardware to create something a little different.

Links you’ll need:

How to make changes to a simple bag pattern to make it something a bit more special.

Making changes and additions to the Turning Japanese Bag pattern

 

 

So, to summarize, make a better job than me with the bias tape handles or treat yourself and create a much better bag with the metal ones!  (I’ll be getting myself another set of those handles and replacing my terrible sewn ones!  Ashamed…)  Otherwise, the additions of the bag feet and the strap are really nice, and I’ll use this version of the bag a lot. I like having a light shoulder strap so I can keep my hands free while shopping and then just slip the chain back inside when I’m not using it.  More versatile than a heavier weight long strap I think.

How to make changes to a simple bag pattern to make it something a bit more special.

Having the option to change up the look with the different fabrics is an easy way to change the pattern and I think I might make another with a diagonal fabric change, perhaps in a really bold combination, or even with a faux leather!  If you know me, don’t look – you’ll probably be getting one of these bags for Christmas!

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Written by Deby Coles

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How to sew a hem facing on a circle skirt http://so-sew-easy.com/wide-hem-facing-circle-skirt/ http://so-sew-easy.com/wide-hem-facing-circle-skirt/#comments Sat, 27 Sep 2014 11:00:56 +0000 http://so-sew-easy.com/?p=11934 I’ve got a project I’m working on that has been giving me a headache.  I’ve been itching to make a half-circle skirt but the hemline is just not turning out as I would like.  It really is impossible to sew a ‘regular’ hem when the bottom of the skirt is so curved.  Usually on a skirt I would turn in half an inch and press, and then turn up another inch, inch and a half or even two inches on the bottom of a regular skirt, and sew. But that’s not going to work on a circular hemline simply because the length of the hem around the outside is longer than the length of the fabric you are turning into, so it’s never going to lie flat. Now you can sew a teeny tiny hem, by pressing up tiny 1/8th … Continue reading

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Written by Deby Coles

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How to sew a wide hem on a circle skirt using a hem facing

I’ve got a project I’m working on that has been giving me a headache.  I’ve been itching to make a half-circle skirt but the hemline is just not turning out as I would like.  It really is impossible to sew a ‘regular’ hem when the bottom of the skirt is so curved.  Usually on a skirt I would turn in half an inch and press, and then turn up another inch, inch and a half or even two inches on the bottom of a regular skirt, and sew.

But that’s not going to work on a circular hemline simply because the length of the hem around the outside is longer than the length of the fabric you are turning into, so it’s never going to lie flat.

Image courtesy of the Sewing Loft

Image courtesy of the Sewing Loft

Now you can sew a teeny tiny hem, by pressing up tiny 1/8th inch amounts and using a rolled hem foot.  (See the Sewing Loft article if you want to give this a try.) But the way my iron spews boiling hot water and steam randomly out of the front exactly where my fingers are, I didn’t fancy my chances, and nether do I own the rolled hem foot.  And I really wanted a wide hem on this project.

So the only way to do this is with a hem facing.  The same as you can sew a facing to the neckline or armhole of a dress to get a neat finish and hide the raw edges, you can also sew a facing to the hemline of a circle skirt!  Who would have thought it?  But it’s not difficult and creates a beautiful finish, even on lightweight fabrics, and it creates the wide hemline I was looking for.

Creating your facing pattern

The facing piece for the bottom of the skirt is basically exactly the same as the bottom of the skirt.  So making a pattern piece is easy.  Once you have used your pattern piece to cut all of the main pieces of the skirt, you can use the same for the facing.   I wanted a 1.5 inch wide hem.

How to sew a wide hem on a circle skirt using a hem facing

I folded my pattern for the circle skirt quarter into 4 and along the bottom, marked a line 2 inches away from the bottom of the skirt,  1.5 inches for the hem and 0.5 for the seam. Then I simply chopped off the bottom of the skirt pattern to create the pattern piece for the facing.  Mine was a self drafted pattern anyway, but if yours is a pattern you might want to use again make sure to copy or trace the pattern first before you go cutting it into pieces!

Voila, one skirt hemline facing pattern.  Cut your hem facing pieces and join them in the same way you have joined the main skirt pieces, using the same seam allowance.

How to sew a wide hem on a circle skirt using a hem facing

Sewing the skirt hem facing

First we need to finish the raw edge on the facing pieces, on the inside or shorter edge of the facing.  If you have a serger, go ahead and use that, or if you have a regular sewing machine, neaten the raw edge to prevent fraying with a zig-zag finish, or like I did with the overcasting stitch. Then give it a press because we want everything to lie as flat as possible.

Now match up the raw edges, the bottom of the skirt with the bottom of the facing, right sides together.  Pin to stop any shifting about on slippery or lightweight fabrics and take care not to stretch those bias pieces.  Stitch the two together with a 1/2 inch seam.

How to sew a wide hem on a circle skirt using a hem facing

Now give the seam a good press, pressing both of the allowances towards the facing.

How to sew a wide hem on a circle skirt using a hem facing

All about understitching. What is it, why and how do you do it?

Next comes the understitching.  This is also a technique used on neckline and arm facing pieces to stop them from peeking out and will help us get the perfect smooth edge without the facing showing on our hemline.  With the seam allowances facing up, stitch through to join them to the facing, right through the middle of the seam allowance.

How to sew a wide hem on a circle skirt using a hem facing

Time to go back to the iron and this time, press the facing up towards the main body of the skirt and with the help of the understitching, you should be able to see that the facing is neatly hidden and creates a perfect bottom edge to the skirt.  As you press, make sure everything is nice and flat and pin the facing in place.

How to sew a wide hem on a circle skirt using a hem facing

Now back to the machine, and with the facing upwards, stitch close to the top edge, keeping an even distance from the bottom of the skirt, and there you are.  A beautifully finished skirt hemline on a curved skirt, but with a nice wide hem.  Give it a final press and admire your work.

How to sew a wide hem on a circle skirt using a hem facing

This technique can also be used to lengthen a skirt when  you don’t have much hem allowance to turn down because it just looses a half inch from the bottom and the facing can be a different fabric because it’s hidden inside.

I’m still working on developing the pattern for this skirt.  If it turns out nicely, I’ll share it with you soon.  If it doesn’t I’ll pretend it never happened ;-)

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Written by Deby Coles

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Crossover baby bib pattern http://so-sew-easy.com/crossover-baby-bib-pattern/ http://so-sew-easy.com/crossover-baby-bib-pattern/#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 11:00:00 +0000 http://so-sew-easy.com/?p=11669 The Baby Showers are fast approaching and I’m sewing madly to get the bundles together. Today, I’m making bibs. Not the most glamorous of items, but an everyday essential and no one wants a grotty one when you can have a really nice home made one instead. I’ve tried several styles, and depending on time might share some of the others later, but here is the crossover style that I’ve been making in batches today. It has a cross over front with the option to have two different fabrics, plus, its fully reversible so you can have another two different fabrics on the back if you want to. The perfect way to use up 4 smaller leftover pieces of fabric from other projects. With the 4 layers of fabric, this is going to be long-lasting, hard-wearing in the wash time after … Continue reading

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Written by Deby Coles

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How to sew this cute baby bib pattern. I love the video, makes it look so easy.The Baby Showers are fast approaching and I’m sewing madly to get the bundles together. Today, I’m making bibs. Not the most glamorous of items, but an everyday essential and no one wants a grotty one when you can have a really nice home made one instead.

I’ve tried several styles, and depending on time might share some of the others later, but here is the crossover style that I’ve been making in batches today.

It has a cross over front with the option to have two different fabrics, plus, its fully reversible so you can have another two different fabrics on the back if you want to. The perfect way to use up 4 smaller leftover pieces of fabric from other projects.

How to sew this cute baby bib pattern. I love the video, makes it look so easy.

With the 4 layers of fabric, this is going to be long-lasting, hard-wearing in the wash time after time and won’t be likely to leak mess through to any nice clothes underneath.

Materials list (to make 1 bib finished size approx 7.75 inches wide by 8.5 inches tall):

  • 4 pieces of fabric 9 inches tall by 8 inches wide
  • Bias tape – about 2 yards
  • Pattern download (see box below)

Opt In Image
Download the Crossover Baby Bib Pattern

You can download the pattern and instructions for the Crossover Baby Bib from my design account at Craftsy.  It's a PDF file containing both instructions and pattern pieces all in the same file.  Enjoy!

How to make up the crossover baby bib pattern

 

 

Step by step

Layer up your fabrics first of all as follows:

  1. reverse contrast fabric – face down
  2. reverse main fabric – face up
  3. front contrast fabric – face down
  4. front main fabric – face up

Now we can cut all of the pieces at once and save some time and make sure we have them cut out correctly.  I’m using a rotary cutter but you could just pin your pattern piece through all the layers and cut with scissors too.

How to sew this cute baby bib pattern.  I love the video, makes it look so easy.

Match up the pieces of fabric with wrong sides together.  You’ll have two that ‘point’ one way and two that point the opposite way (assuming you cut them correctly.)

Add a few pins to keep them together without shifting.

How to sew this cute baby bib pattern.  I love the video, makes it look so easy.

Add bias tape along the top edge until you get to the marked area on the pattern piece.  Depending on how experienced you are in working with bias tape for edging, you could use one of two methods.

  1. The same for each.  Sew with a straight stitch along the first fold of the tape, keeping the raw edge of the tape level with the raw edge of the bib pieces.  Trim the ends.
  2. More experienced method – fold tape to the reverse side, pin and then stitch in the ditch from the front, catching the edge evenly on the reverse side – OR -
  3. Easier method – fold the tape to the reverse side, pin in place and then stitch with a zig zag stitch or decorative stitch through all layers to make sure to catch both sides.

How to sew this cute baby bib pattern.  I love the video, makes it look so easy.

Repeat the bias tape trim to both pieces.

Layer one piece on top of the other and open the points at the top until you get the shape you are looking for.  Pop some pins through all layers to keep them still.

How to sew this cute baby bib pattern.  I love the video, makes it look so easy.

Take your remaining bias tape, find the center and match it to the center bottom of the bib.  Pin in place on the front side all around the curve.  Stitch the bias tape around the curve on the front side.

How to sew this cute baby bib pattern.  I love the video, makes it look so easy.

Turn the bias tape to the back of the curve and pin around.  The overhanging tape is folded into 4 and pinned too.  Check the length of the neck ties.  I suggest about 12 inches long, so trim if necessary.  Fold in the small ends neatly and press, then repress the folds at the ends.

Check the length of the neck ties.  I suggest about 12 inches long, so trim if necessary.  Fold in the small ends neatly and press, then repress the folds at the ends.

Then stitch from one end of the tape right round to the other, keeping close to the open edge, to form the neck ties and secure the bias tape to the bib.  If you feel confident, use a straight stitch, if not so confident, switch to a zig zag when you get to the bib part to make sure you catch the reverse of the tape.

Give it a final press and you are done.  The second, third and forth you make will be so much faster now.

How to sew this cute baby bib pattern. I love the video, makes it look so easy.

How to sew this cute baby bib pattern. I love the video, makes it look so easy.

My bundles are coming together now.  So far I’ve made:

Still on the cutting table:

  • Crinkle toy
  • Travel changing mat
  • Diaper bag

But I’m fast running out of time – who knew these things grew so fast!  With 3 to sew for and each of them needing several of some of these projects, I’m over-run…

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Written by Deby Coles

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Readers Questions – 4 http://so-sew-easy.com/readers-questions-4/ http://so-sew-easy.com/readers-questions-4/#comments Tue, 23 Sep 2014 11:00:00 +0000 http://so-sew-easy.com/?p=11864 It’s that time again where you get a chance to both share what you know, and also learn more at the same time.  Readers Questions is your opportunity to share your sewing dilemma with the So Sew Easy readers and get their combined years of experience working on your problem. Please offer up answers to these questions.  It’s OK to share links in the comments to relevant pages and tutorials, whether on your own site or someone else’s. You can submit a question, answer one or more questions by leaving a comment below, or just learn more by reading through the answers.  Thanks everyone for taking part. Susan Asks: Are there any good tutorials or instruction you would recommend on making a t-shirt quilt?  It seems like a good way to re-purpose t-shirts that are no longer worn, but they … Continue reading

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Readers-Questions-Your-Answers

It’s that time again where you get a chance to both share what you know, and also learn more at the same time.  Readers Questions is your opportunity to share your sewing dilemma with the So Sew Easy readers and get their combined years of experience working on your problem.

Please offer up answers to these questions.  It’s OK to share links in the comments to relevant pages and tutorials, whether on your own site or someone else’s.

You can submit a question, answer one or more questions by leaving a comment below, or just learn more by reading through the answers.  Thanks everyone for taking part.

Susan Asks:

Are there any good tutorials or instruction you would recommend on making a t-shirt quilt?  It seems like a good way to re-purpose t-shirts that are no longer worn, but they are costly if you pay to have them made.

Renee Asks:

I’m not sure how to fix a skirt that rides up in the back.  I’m  making this kilt style skirt and she’s full in back of  the hips which causes the garment to be low in the front and high in the back. How do you fix this so the hem line is level all around.  I want to avoid cutting the bottom finished edge because it’s a plaid fabric so the plaid design needs to be level at the bottom.   Thank you for any help.

Juliette Asks:

IMAG0238

I have been asked by a friend if I can sort out a bulging zipper on the back of a skirt. My first thought was that the lining, attached to the bottom tail of the zipper was the cause, but looking again, and at a few other shirts, I’m not so sure now. Here it is on the dressform – it looks even worse when she wears it. Do you have any suggestions as to cause/solution for this problem? It’s a stretch fabric.  Thanks.

JOY ASKS:

Hi,  I want to make a jacket like this for a Christmas present.  I’m not accomplished enough to make my own pattern.  Anyone have any pattern ideas for this?

497155409d5cfde3a8e090ed8c43402b

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Awesome free pencil case patterns to sew http://so-sew-easy.com/free-pencil-case-patterns/ http://so-sew-easy.com/free-pencil-case-patterns/#comments Mon, 22 Sep 2014 11:00:00 +0000 http://so-sew-easy.com/?p=11863 Enjoy these awesome free pencil case patterns!  Everyone is settling into the new routine.  Kids are back to school, Mom has more spare time for her own interests and crafters everywhere are starting to think about the upcoming holidays.  So time to get organised. Here are a few of my favorite pencil case patterns.  Good for the kids pens, pencils and crayons at home or at school, good to keep all your pens where they should be instead of strewn around, and perhaps a nice stocking stuffer to sew too.  They don’t need to just be for your pencils – these are one trendy, fancy bunch of pencil cases you can use to keep lots of things organised – enjoy! Free pencil case patterns and tutorials Click on each of the pictures to go to the original free pattern or … Continue reading

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Free pencil case patterns. All sorts of zipper pouches and cases including some really interesting ideas

Enjoy these awesome free pencil case patterns!  Everyone is settling into the new routine.  Kids are back to school, Mom has more spare time for her own interests and crafters everywhere are starting to think about the upcoming holidays.  So time to get organised.

Here are a few of my favorite pencil case patterns.  Good for the kids pens, pencils and crayons at home or at school, good to keep all your pens where they should be instead of strewn around, and perhaps a nice stocking stuffer to sew too.  They don’t need to just be for your pencils – these are one trendy, fancy bunch of pencil cases you can use to keep lots of things organised – enjoy!

Free pencil case patterns and tutorials

Click on each of the pictures to go to the original free pattern or tutorial.

 

 

If you are new to sewing bags and zipper cases, then you would probably love this FREE online sewing class, Bag-Making Basics: Reversible Tote and Zipper Pouch.  Includes free patterns and video lessons on how to sew this great zipper pouch – that’s one of the first classes I took when I started sewing and I used to sell these bags that I made.  Highly recommended.  Click here to find out more –>

Online Sewing Class

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‘Give me a shrug’ Top pattern – POTM http://so-sew-easy.com/give-shrug-top-pattern/ http://so-sew-easy.com/give-shrug-top-pattern/#comments Sun, 21 Sep 2014 11:00:26 +0000 http://so-sew-easy.com/?p=10523 Did you notice the black top I was wearing when I modeled the Flirty Skirty pattern a while back?  It had my pattern testing team calling out for me to make a pattern just like it.  Their wish is my command! So here is the Pattern of the Month for September – the Give Me A Shrug Top. Features: Made with knit fabric Wrap around collar that pleats under the arms and forms a back yoke 3 sleeve lengths 7 sizes from 31-46 inch bust Lined over the bust Wear the collar turned up or laid flat Flattering square cut neckline Includes a short video just to help with the pleating, the rest is easy Pattern rating – Intermediate My own versions I made several versions during my development of this pattern using various different fabrics and sizing.  I think … Continue reading

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Interesting top to sew with a built in collar that looks like you're wearing a shrug over the top.

Did you notice the black top I was wearing when I modeled the Flirty Skirty pattern a while back?  It had my pattern testing team calling out for me to make a pattern just like it.  Their wish is my command!

The Flirty Skirty pattern. 10 gored skirt, fitted in waist and hips and flaring at hemline. I'm in love!

So here is the Pattern of the Month for September – the Give Me A Shrug Top.

Features:

  • Made with knit fabric
  • Wrap around collar that pleats under the arms and forms a back yoke
  • 3 sleeve lengths
  • 7 sizes from 31-46 inch bust
  • Lined over the bust
  • Wear the collar turned up or laid flat
  • Flattering square cut neckline
  • Includes a short video just to help with the pleating, the rest is easy

Pattern rating – Intermediate

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Buy the 'Give Me A Shrug' Pattern

You can buy and download the pattern and instructions for the Give Me A Shrug Top  from my design account at Craftsy.  It's a PDF file containing both instructions and pattern pieces all in the same file.  Enjoy!

My own versions

I made several versions during my development of this pattern using various different fabrics and sizing.  I think after seeing all the tester versions, I was far too boring in my choices – love the prints and stripes and the mix and match fabrics.  I need to make some more versions of this one. Here are a couple of my examples.

Interesting top to sew with a built in collar that looks like you're wearing a shrug over the top.

This darker version was made with a very stretchy and lightweight ITY knit.  I’m between sizes on this pattern so for this version I made the larger size.  It’s really interesting to see the way that going up a size and using this very lightweight loose fabric made a very fluid top that came out quite loose around the middle.  The collar also fitted a little looser and really did look like it might be separate to the front piece.

Interesting top to sew with a built in collar that looks like you're wearing a shrug over the top.

My next version, I went down a size, so I’m now cutting a size slightly smaller than my measurement, plus I used a cotton jersey that didn’t have much stretch.  It’s actually not very thick, as you can see, it’s quite sheer, but the fit on this version was much closer to the original, closer fitting in the middle.  It’s a combination of the smaller sizing and the less stretchy fabric.

Interesting top to sew with a built in collar that looks like you're wearing a shrug over the top.

I like both versions and it was an interesting exercise to see how using fabrics with different weights and stretch can affect the sizing on a garment and how it wears. This top can use any fabrics with a moderate stretch, 40% or more suggested, with at least 5% lyrca.

Interesting top to sew with a built in collar that looks like you're wearing a shrug over the top.

I’ve got another on my cutting table right now.  I’m planning to try one out with contrasting fabrics, using a different fabric for the front panel to the collar and arms, to make it look really more like a separate shrug over the top.  Could be a fun look I think.

Pattern testing versions

Interesting top to sew with a built in collar that looks like you're wearing a shrug over the top.

EmmaEverything is marked clearly and joined together without problem. It took some concentration to make sure I cut the correct amount of pieces and on the correct grain/stretch. Everything is marked clearly and joined together without problem. It took some concentration to make sure I cut the correct amount of pieces and on the correct grain/stretch, and to piece together as it was a shape/style that wasn’t obvious to me from the pieces!  Once I’d got it straight in my mind it went together like a dream, it  wasn’t tricky and the finished top looks lovely. I made the sleeves full length and they sit perfectly on my wrist bones.  I made it in plain black but will try a print for my next one – perhaps even using a contrast for the collar piece.

Theresa

TheresaPattern pieces are nicely digitized. All lined up perfectly. Tutorial is well organized. The top fit well. Good width across the chest and back. Nice length. Armhole depth is perfect and good sleeve length.

Interesting top to sew with a built in collar that looks like you're wearing a shrug over the top.

Robin at The Pattern TesterI like the design of the shrug top. It’s something that won’t go out of style, and it’s comfortable. I also like that you can wear it to dress up a pair of jeans, or wear it in the office with a skirt, or slacks.  I am a size 42″ around the bust, so I chose to make size F for a 43″ size bust. The stretch crepe knit fabric that I used had 100% stretch. The fit was a little too big, so next time I would try size E or, if I use a cotton lycra with less stretch, I might try grading between the size E & F. 

Jane

JaneI was a bit intimidated at first when I saw the zig-zag collar piece, but the photos soon eliminated my fears.  I loved that you included your favorite supplier for jersey. This is really helpful for those who like to or need to order fabric online.  This is a great pattern, especially for those who are a bit intimidated by sewing with knit fabric. It’s very do-able. It stitched up quickly and was a lot of fun. Once you get the hang of this pattern you’ll want to stitch up a bunch of them. You get the comfort of a t-shirt, yet the shrug collar gives it a little pizzazz. 

Stephanie

StephanieLOVE LOVE LOVE! I loved that it was a cute top that kept me covered. I’m a fan of 3/4 sleeves, and those are difficult to come by. I can’t wait to wear mine with skinny jeans or with a skirt for a fancier look.

Mariana

Mariana of Maryall MadeI was determined to use these two fabrics even though I didn’t have enough of either so I made several modification to the pattern.  I shortened the length, omitted the front facing and tacked it to the collar, added a contrast band to the sleeves, and cut the collar at 90 degrees.  I’ve had lots of compliments on my top already, and it is perfect for the weather we’re having now – warm at noon but cold in the morning and evening. And, by using this fabric, it feels so comfortable!

Louise2

LouiseI love the style of pattern but not sure if being busty is preventing the shrug area from laying correctly. It rolls backwards to my arms a little. I may tack the shrug part to keep it where I like it. Even though I am busty the area above my bust is small so I had extra fabric that I had to move into the armholes just like you said to do in the instructions for the pleat area which I also did. Once I watched the video on how to do the pleats, that was a duh moment and made complete sense.

Thank you ladies – I couldn’t do it without you and your eagle eyes over the pattern and instructions checking out for mistakes.

Currently under testing, the Cuddle Me Cardy pattern, ready for the cooler months.  Wrap yourself up in the Cuddle Me Cardy and be warm and stylish at the same time.  Coming in October…

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Buy the 'Give Me A Shrug' Pattern

You can buy and download the pattern and instructions for the Give Me A Shrug Top  from my design account at Craftsy.  It's a PDF file containing both instructions and pattern pieces all in the same file.  Enjoy!

 

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Sewing with Vinyl Coated Mesh – free pattern and giveaway http://so-sew-easy.com/sew-michelle/ http://so-sew-easy.com/sew-michelle/#comments Fri, 19 Sep 2014 11:00:34 +0000 http://so-sew-easy.com/?p=11336 Hello my name is Michelle Dorsey.  I am a pattern designer and digitizer doing business under the name, SewMichelle.  First of all, I would like to thank Deby for letting me appear as a guest on her blog. I enjoy designing patterns that are easy and quick to make.  After all, isn’t instant gratification what most of us are after?  I try and design unique patterns that make you think outside the box, yet are functional for everyday use.  I also like to incorporate different materials to spice things up a bit too. One of my favorite materials to work with is vinyl coated mesh, aka pet screen.  Some quilt shops carry this mesh in bright, fun colors.  If your quilt shop hasn’t started stocking it yet, don’t worry, you can purchase it by the roll at your local hardware store, on Amazon or … Continue reading

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Hello my name is Michelle Dorsey.  I am a pattern designer and digitizer doing business under the name, SewMichelle.  First of all, I would like to thank Deby for letting me appear as a guest on her blog.

I enjoy designing patterns that are easy and quick to make.  After all, isn’t instant gratification what most of us are after?  I try and design unique patterns that make you think outside the box, yet are functional for everyday use.  I also like to incorporate different materials to spice things up a bit too.

One of my favorite materials to work with is vinyl coated mesh, aka pet screen.  Some quilt shops carry this mesh in bright, fun colors.  If your quilt shop hasn’t started stocking it yet, don’t worry, you can purchase it by the roll at your local hardware store, on Amazon or even at Walmart in their hardware section. {Deby – I found some at Online Fabric Store too}

However, these places sell it for conventional use and generally only stock it in charcoal, which is the basic black color.   The brand I prefer to use is New York Pet-D-Fence.  It has enough body to keep the project from flopping over, which is important since there isn’t a lining.  Yet it’s easy to work with and not hard on your sewing machine.

I made a Screen Cosmetic Bag Tutorial to give you an opportunity to try this product and see for yourself why it’s so easy and fun to work with.  Click HERE to visit my website and download the FREE Tutorial.

If you don’t own an embroidery machine, you can still make the project adorable by using your left over quilt squares to adorn the front.  Or how about one of those fabric panels you just had to have that’s still sitting in your fabric stash.  Just use a zig zag around the edges to attach it to the front of the bag.  Instant cuteness!

Here are a few bag patterns that I’ve created using pet screen.

Screen It Up by SewMichelle

Sew Many Projects Caddy by SewMichelle

The Sassy Screen Tote Bag by SewMichelle

I hope that you’ll accept the challenge to try vinyl coated mesh.  I think you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to work with and how many people will compliment you on your unique bag.  Wouldn’t this make a great Christmas present to make for all your girlfriends? If you get started now, you’ll be so far ahead and might actually be able to enjoy the holidays. :>)

Thanks again to Deby for introducing me to you and giving me the chance to become friends with you too.  I hope that you will take a minute to look around my site.  I have lots of tutorials and FREEBIES to download.   If you are on Facebook, please look me up and say hello.  

Happy Sewing!

Michelle :>)

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Michelle has also kindly offered some of her patterns for a giveaway.

The Prize – Two winners will each win 2 PDF Sewing Patterns of their choice from SewMichelle.

To enter, you know the drill.  Fill out the options in the rafflecopter entry form below.  Can’t see the form in your browser – CLICK HERE to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway is open worldwide.  Free entry for everyone – enjoy!

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Sewing Texture – class review http://so-sew-easy.com/sewing-texture-class-review/ http://so-sew-easy.com/sewing-texture-class-review/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 11:00:00 +0000 http://so-sew-easy.com/?p=11740 I was looking through my class list (which is pretty large now) on Craftsy and I noticed nestling down at the bottom the Sewing Texture Class. This was the first ever class I bought from Craftsy in the early days when I wasn’t sure what direction my sewing would take and I loved the look of the project examples.  But I had never even watched it – shame on me!  So in a quiet afternoon when my husband was asleep on the sofa, I got out my headphones and enjoyed a little ‘me time’. Sewing Texture Class Review There are a total of 10 lessons, and they take the format of a lesson showing the technique followed by a lesson featuring a project using the technique we just learned. This class is good for – beginners. While I think that … Continue reading

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Sewing Texture class review and projects. Great for beginners and lots of creative ideas for all sorts of projects.

I was looking through my class list (which is pretty large now) on Craftsy and I noticed nestling down at the bottom the Sewing Texture Class. This was the first ever class I bought from Craftsy in the early days when I wasn’t sure what direction my sewing would take and I loved the look of the project examples.  But I had never even watched it – shame on me!  So in a quiet afternoon when my husband was asleep on the sofa, I got out my headphones and enjoyed a little ‘me time’.

Sewing Texture Class Review

There are a total of 10 lessons, and they take the format of a lesson showing the technique followed by a lesson featuring a project using the technique we just learned.

This class is good for – beginners. While I think that the projects are interesting and varied, there are really only 4 techniques taught in the class and those are more suitable for beginners.  But everyone would find the creativity interesting and the projects are good for all levels from beginners to more experienced.  The ruffled pinwheel quilt for example, is a big project and basic quilting skills would be useful!

Lessons 2 and 3 – Twisting

Sewing Texture class review and projects.  Great for beginners and lots of creative ideas for all sorts of projects.

The twisting technique is used to create fabric flowers, and these are shown either as individual or small grouped embellishments or accents for bags, clothing and pillows.  The project is a full textured pillow cover and I admit, I LOVE the look of this pillow.   Quite honestly, there were several projects I wanted to make from this class, and this one came a close second.  I’ll probably tackle it in the future.

Lessons 4 and 5 – Faux pleats

Sewing Texture class review and projects.  Great for beginners and lots of creative ideas for all sorts of projects.

We learn about how to create these faux pleats, and how they can be used in all sorts of widths and styles, and several projects are shown including this ombre pillow cover with the narrow pleats.  I loved the look of the printed pleats too and think a mixture of prints and solids together could also look cool.

Sewing Texture class review and projects.  Great for beginners and lots of creative ideas for all sorts of projects.

The class project is a much larger one, a small quilt with much wider pleats which I also liked the look of, but I can see this being used as a panel and then bordered to be used in a full quilt project.  Again, its something I can see doing in future, when more sewing time allows (dream on…?)

Lessons 6 and 7 – Ruffling

Sewing Texture class review and projects. Great for beginners and lots of creative ideas for all sorts of projects.I’m not really sure in the classes about the distinction between ruffling and gathering.  Both use a gathering type of stitch or technique but the way the fabric is treated and used is then different.  For the ruffling the fabric is typically gathered through the center to create a project like the beautiful white jersey ruffled pillow above.  I like that jersey is used in this project so the edges don’t fray.

Covering the whole pillow like this is quick and simple but really does make something as everyday as a plain white jersey, look like a very nice pillow. Imagine how dramatic this would look in a bold print too.

Sewing Texture class review and projects. Great for beginners and lots of creative ideas for all sorts of projects.

The project for this section of the class is pinwheel block which is repeated and made into a quilt.  But its a pinwheel with a difference because although you can’t see it well in this picture, the colored parts of the pinwheel are ruffled!  Gives some really nice surface texture to the quilt, although this design has rather too much white for my taste, but match it with a print for the plain squares and it would be great.  One reservation – the edges of the ruffles are just pinked, so I think with repeated wear and washing, it could soon look a little worn.  But if that’s your style – great!

Lessons 8 and 9 – Gathering

Sewing Texture class review and projects. Great for beginners and lots of creative ideas for all sorts of projects.

In the gathering lesson we learn how to create the panel above using gathering top and bottom to create a textured piece of fabric to use in other projects.  Along with the pleats, this might be one of my favorites I think because I like the way that it is finished on all the edges and won’t be subject to some of the potential fraying you might get by leaving edges raw and pinked.

The technique and panel can then be used in all sorts of projects, again ideal for pillow covers, maybe as a panel on the top or bottom of curtains, or on a towel, etc.

Sewing Texture class review and projects. Great for beginners and lots of creative ideas for all sorts of projects.

The class project is a simple lined tote bag incorporating this gathered panel front and back – I really like it!  I learned a new way to sew lined bags which I hadn’t thought about before so I’ll certainly be giving that a try when I get a chance.  I like this gathered panel and am thinking of creating a basic zipper pouch with this type of panel as an upcoming project.  It’s on the to-do list!

Lesson 10 – bonus lesson on shirring

Sewing Texture class review and projects. Great for beginners and lots of creative ideas for all sorts of projects.Darn she makes this look so easy.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried shirring.  Well, I’ve sat down and given this a try at least 6 times, and no matter what, I simply cannot get it to work.  I have no idea why not, but I suspect, after reading other comments online, that it is as a result of the automatic tension feature on my machine which actually prevents the shirring taking place.  But if this is a technique you would like to learn, you can do so here.  I might just give it one more try…

So overall, its an interesting class.  The reviews on it are a bit mixed.  Some people love it, and some are rather less enthusiastic.  The less positive reviews tend to focus on her comfort in front of the camera.  It’s true, she does use the words ‘actually’ and ‘umm’ a lot and if you sat down and watched all the lessons in one go over several hours, this could get on your nerves a little bit.

Overall, well worth investing in if you want to add a bit more spice and texture to your sewing projects.  Especially good for bags and home decor I think.

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If you like the sound of the class, you can enjoy an exclusive So Sew Easy 33% discount – just $19.99.  Read more about it here –>

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If you like the sound of this class and want to find out more, please use this link to claim your 33% off the class price - just $19.99.

I would appreciate your support for this site by clicking the link and buying right away, rather than saving it for later.  Why do I ask?  Please read this post about How the Site is Funded.

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Easy to make knit dress from Gosia http://so-sew-easy.com/easy-make-knit-dress-gosia/ http://so-sew-easy.com/easy-make-knit-dress-gosia/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 11:00:00 +0000 http://so-sew-easy.com/?p=11862 Gosia was our blogging winner in the Make It Yours Contest, and is here today with a guest post to introduce herself to you, and show off her unique style. * * * * * * * Hello fellow sewing enthusiasts! I’m Gosia of As I Sew  and Ambrodust Clothing, here to guide you through the creation of a super cute and easy to make knit dress. We’re going to start with a basic design, and later I’ll have some tips on what other styles of dresses you can use it for. This is a great project for a beginner who is familiar with sewing knits and understands a bit about altering a pattern. Here we go! This is the dress we’ll be working on: What you need: Knit fabric (I used about 2 yards of light jersey) Tank top … Continue reading

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Gosia was our blogging winner in the Make It Yours Contest, and is here today with a guest post to introduce herself to you, and show off her unique style.

* * * * * * *

Hello fellow sewing enthusiasts! I’m Gosia of As I Sew  and Ambrodust Clothing, here to guide you through the creation of a super cute and easy to make knit dress. We’re going to start with a basic design, and later I’ll have some tips on what other styles of dresses you can use it for. This is a great project for a beginner who is familiar with sewing knits and understands a bit about altering a pattern.

Here we go! This is the dress we’ll be working on:

Easy to make knit dress tutorial

What you need:

knit dress 3

  • Knit fabric (I used about 2 yards of light jersey)
  • Tank top that fits you well
  • Large piece of tracing, pattern, or craft paper
  • Sewing machine, matching thread, ball point needles (for knits), measuring tape, pins, etc. All the usual sewing things.

Getting Started:

When you choose a tank top to use as a guide for this project, the style shown here is easiest to work with. You can also use a T-shirt but you’ll have to fold the sleeves out of the way when tracing it for a pattern (more on that later). Ones that go in at the waist like the one I’m using result in a more smoothly form fitting dress.

Before you can start making the dress, you want to check the amount of stretch your tank top and knit fabric have. They should be about the same, though it’s okay if your dress fabric is more stretchy. To do this, lay your top flat along a measuring tape and hold the fabric at the 0 and 3″ marks.

knit dress 4Stretch the fabric as far as it will go from the 3″ mark and note what number your finger ends up at. As you can see, mine stretched from 3″ to 5″.

knit dress 5

Repeat this for the fabric you’d like to use. Mine is a lot stretchier than the top, but that’s okay!  You just don’t want the fabric to be less stretchy.

knit dress 6

Making the Pattern:

1. Put on your tank top and mark the smallest part of your waist with a pin. You can also take note at this point of whether you want the armholes and neckline to be bigger or smaller. I decided I wanted a lower neckline and slightly narrower straps than the top.

2. Fold your top in half and lay the fold on the edge of a piece of paper. Trace around your top. Make sure to mark the waist on your pattern. You can trace past the waist – this will help you draw the side of the dress in the next step.

knit dress 7

T-shirt users: When tracing the armhole, hold the sleeve out of the way like so, and trace the seam line.

knit dress 8

3. Measure down from the waist line along the edge of your pattern the length you want your dress to be and mark a line (mine is 15”).

knit dress 9

Place the end of your measuring tape at the waist mark on the side seam, and swing the tape like a compass, marking the bottom curve at the length of your dress. You can add more or less flare. Mine goes out about 5″ in this photo. You can see in step 5 below that I added a little more for a total of about 7″ of flare.

knit dress 10

Alternate step 3: You’ll notice I also have a line on my pattern for a fitted dress (marked Option 1) If you’d like this style do the following instead of step 3.

Continue the side seam line past the waist with a smooth curve down to however long you want your dress to be. At the widest part, it should be slightly smaller than 1/4 your hip measurement (since the pattern represents 1/4 of the dress) so that the dress is form fitting when worn. My fabric is very stretchy, so I took out a full inch from the pattern, meaning the full hip measurement would be 4” smaller than my body measurement. If you don’t want it to be tight across your butt and hips, don’t subtract as much, or any at all.

knit dress 11

This widest point in my pattern is about 4″ below the waist mark – it’s not the widest point on my body, it’s where I start curving out into the hips. In my experience the shape shown above works well for a very form fitting dress. Honestly, I eyeball this part. If you’re not confident getting the curve correct, trace the hip of a fitted skirt or pants you own as you did with the top, or use a hip curve ruler if you have one.

4. Remember your note from earlier about the neckline and armholes? You can alter those now. I found out I wanted my neckline 4″ lower than on the tank top, so I marked this and drew a smooth curve to the shoulder. I also wanted the strap to be narrower so I drew a new armhole about 1/2” in from the original.

Gosia

5. Cut out your pattern! This is the finished pattern I’ll be using.

knit dress 14

Sewing the dress:

1. Lay out your pattern on the fold on your fabric. Make sure it’s placed so the stretch of the fabric goes around your body, not in line with the fold.

2. Add a seam allowance you are comfortable with. You can also do this step before cutting your pattern out of paper. I like to do it now because the amount of SA I add depends on my fabric. If I’m using something less stretchy, I’ll add more. In this case, because my fabric was so stretchy, I only added seam allowance to the shoulder seam and the hem. For my hem I used 1″. Otherwise, 5/8” is standard for patterns (I prefer 1/2”). If you’re using a serger, 1/4” is standard.

knit dress 15

3. Cut two of your pattern on the fold (one for the back and one for the front). The only difference between my front and back is that the back neckline isn’t as deep. You can make it the same as the front, or cut it higher like I did.

knit dress 16

4. In the above photo, you can see I’ve also cut out three strips of fabric. These are for binding the neckline and armholes. Measure around the neckline of the dress pieces and cut a strip 4″ longer than your measurement by 2.5″ wide. The stretch should run lengthwise. Repeat for the armholes.

5. Match up the front and back of the dress, right sides together, and sew the shoulder and side seams. You want to use a small zig-zag stitch and a ball point needle since this is a stretchy knit fabric (or a serger if you have one).

knit dress 17

6. You’ll notice the hem of my dress is not very even at all. If yours is also like this, fold the dress in half with the shortest edge visible on top, and trim the hem in a smooth curve following the shortest edge. Try on your dress to make sure it’s even. If it’s not, mark the uneven spots and trim again (you might need a friend to help mark).

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7. You can hem your dress using whatever method you prefer for knits. I’m using a regular double-fold hem. If you are using a 1″ hem allowance like I am, press up .5″ and then .5″ again. Sew the hem with a small zig zag.

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8.  Time to make the binding! This is basically bias binding, but since we’re using a knit fabric it doesn’t have to be cut on the bias. Take each of your strips and iron them in half. Open the strips, iron the edges into the middle, and then press on the original halfway fold again.

knit dress 20

9. Sew the binding to the neckline and armholes as you would any bias binding, except using a zig-zag stitch for the topstitching at the end:

Open up the binding and sew it around the neckline with the right side of the binding to the wrong side of the dress. Use a .5″ seam allowance and a straight stitch. You want to fold over the first .5″ when you start sewing to enclose the binding edge, as shown below. As you sew, stretch the binding slightly, but not the dress. This will keep it snug against the body when worn.

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Fold the binding to the right side, enclosing the dress edge, and sew on the edge with a small zig-zag.

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Repeat for the armholes. You should get something that looks like this:

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Let’s see… hem done, binding done, hey, we’re done! Put on your dress and enjoy!

Gosia 3

More ideas:

I mentioned before that I would talk about how to make a couple other dress styles using the same pattern. Here are some examples of dresses I’ve made, using this design.

The straight fitted dress , as mentioned in the pattern creation step of the tutorial.

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Gathered skirt dress:  For this, you cut the pattern at the waist, and attach a simple rectangular gathered skirt. Make sure you use a zig-zag stitch or serger for all seams so everything still stretches. You might need to add elastic in the waist for heavy fabrics or ones that don’t stretch as much.

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Circle skirt dress: Cut the pattern at the waist, and attach a circle skirt. Again, use a zig-zag stitch or a serger so everything stretches.

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You can also try things like different necklines and strap widths. This is a great design to use as a base for many different dresses once you get a pattern that fits you well. It’s also easy to make for someone else since you just have to ask for a top that fits them.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! If you’d like to find out more about me or my other projects (and perhaps find a couple other tutorials), feel free to check out my blog. Thanks for reading!

 

The post Easy to make knit dress from Gosia appeared first on So Sew Easy.
Written by Deby Coles

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