So Sew Easy http://so-sew-easy.com Sewing, free patterns, sewing clothes and accessories Mon, 15 Sep 2014 11:00:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 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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Written by Deby Coles

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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).

knit dress 18

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.

knit dress 19

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.

knit dress 21

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

knit dress 22

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

knit dress 23

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.

knit dress 26

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.

knit dress 27

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.

knit dress 28

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!

 

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Written by Deby Coles

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Autumn or Fall mug rug pattern http://so-sew-easy.com/autumn-fall-mug-rug/ http://so-sew-easy.com/autumn-fall-mug-rug/#comments Sat, 13 Sep 2014 11:00:00 +0000 http://so-sew-easy.com/?p=11405 With all the talk recently of Back to School sewing projects and Fall or Autumn on the way, I’ve actually been just that little bit homesick for the UK.  It’s been years since I visited and even longer since I moved away in search of everyday sunshine, but I still remember the seasons.  There was always a very distinct Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.  Here in Cayman where the sun shines every day, we have 4 seasons as well. Hot, Hotter, Scorching, Still Hot.  I do miss the time of year when the leaves turn golden, russet and burgundy – and then the trains stop running because too many leaves fell on the line. So here is my little reminder of home and the trip we would take every Autumn to the local Westonbirt Arboretum to see the trees in … Continue reading

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Written by Deby Coles

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Fall mug rug pattern.  I love these easy applique ideas for seasonal home decor.

With all the talk recently of Back to School sewing projects and Fall or Autumn on the way, I’ve actually been just that little bit homesick for the UK.  It’s been years since I visited and even longer since I moved away in search of everyday sunshine, but I still remember the seasons.  There was always a very distinct Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.  Here in Cayman where the sun shines every day, we have 4 seasons as well. Hot, Hotter, Scorching, Still Hot.  I do miss the time of year when the leaves turn golden, russet and burgundy – and then the trains stop running because too many leaves fell on the line.

Acer-Glade

So here is my little reminder of home and the trip we would take every Autumn to the local Westonbirt Arboretum to see the trees in their glorious colors.  An Autumn table set complete with leaves and a pumpkin.  After I’ve sometimes spent a week designing and working on a new clothing pattern, I love a simple project like this that I can complete in an afternoon.

Fall mug rug pattern. I love these easy applique ideas for seasonal home decor.

Sew your Fall Mug Rug Pattern

Materials:

  • Fabrics in autumn colors, brown, orange, dark reds
  • Background fabric and backing fabric
  • Matching threads
  • Fleece or batting, or flannel for the inside
  • Heat N Bond fusible web
  • Fabric marker
  • Template 1 – Pumpkin pattern from Kathryn Scraps
  • Maple Leaf template (in the download) or other leaf templates

Opt In Image
Download the Fall Mug Rug Template and Instructions

You can download the leaf template for the Fall Mug Rug, and general instructions on how to create an applique mug rug, 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.

Start by tracing out your templates onto the paper side of the Heat N Bond. For the leaves because it was so intricate and I didn’t want to loose the detail in the edges of the leaves, I used the UltraHold version that doesn’t need to be sewn.  Just cut and stick.  The Lite version is designed to be sewn through for a permanent hold.

Fall mug rug pattern.  I love these easy applique ideas for seasonal home decor.

If you want to know more about how to get the best results with Fusible Applique, try the Fun with Fusible Applique class – So Sew Easy readers get an exclusive 50% off if you use my link. Click the image below.

Fusible applique

Fuse the shapes onto the reverse of your fabric and carefully cut them out.

Fall mug rug pattern.  I love these easy applique ideas for seasonal home decor.

Cut your background fabric roughly to the size and shape you want it (we’ll trim it later) and then layer up your pieces and fuse them into place.  I made one larger piece and a couple of smaller ones to use as coasters (or something – they just look nice!).  Don’t do what I did and use a thin corduroy for your background – it never gave a nice finish, and looks rather uneven and stretched.  Due to fabric choice restrictions locally, I gave it a try, but a regular quilting cotton would have been a better choice.

Autumn mug rug

Add a stabiliser to the back to keep the applique areas nice and flat.  If you don’t have anything suitable, you can just place a large sheet of regular printer paper under as you sew, and this helps it run through the machine smoothly.

For the leaves, I used a Frixion heat-erasable fabric marker to draw in the veins on the leaves and then stitched over to top.  A quick pass with the iron and the lines disappear.

Fall mug rug pattern

For the pumpkin, I would have liked to use an orange thread, but couldn’t get any here so had to make do with a brown.  My green wasn’t exactly what I wanted either but my sewing shop doesn’t have much choice of thread.  It will do.

Fall mug rug pattern

Once everything was in place, I added fleece to the back of each piece, trimmed and squared up and then cut a backing fabric which was 1 inch larger all the way around.

Collage 1

Turn in 1/2 inch on each edge and press, then turn the folded edge up to the top and secure in place.  Stitch around all 4 edges and you are done.  If you prefer, you can use a separate piece of fabric for the back, and then add a regular straight binding instead. I was a bit short on fabrics so I did this for the two smaller pieces.

Collage 2

And it’s done.  A nice quick and easy project to brighten up your home, dining table or entry table with something a little seasonal.  A nice reminder of how much I loved Autumn back in the UK.  Apart from the rain, I never loved that.

Fall mug rug pattern.  I love these easy applique ideas for seasonal home decor.

Thank you to Kathryn at the Scrap Beach for allowing me to use her Pumpkin Template.

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Fall mug rug pattern. I love these easy applique ideas for seasonal home decor.

 

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How to sew snap tape to close a pillow back http://so-sew-easy.com/pillow-back-sew-snap-tape/ http://so-sew-easy.com/pillow-back-sew-snap-tape/#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 11:00:00 +0000 http://so-sew-easy.com/?p=11784 I’ve been making a few throw pillows (cushions if you are British) just recently and been looking for ways to close the back so they are still easily accessible for removing the insert and washing the cover, but I don’t have any long zips right now (and I admit I’ve not yet ever sewn a zipper into a pillow cover) so I was looking for alternatives. A few ideas: Just step up and learn how to do it with a zipper (added to a future to-do list) Sew on buttons and buttonholes (I’ve got these skills mastered now I think) Use Velco, hook and loop tape (sticks to everything in the wash) Make an ‘envelope’ back that just opens and overlaps (Like my woven fabric pillow and the Oliver the Owl nursery pillow) Just stuff and then sew the pillow … Continue reading

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Written by Deby Coles

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How to sew snap tape to make a pillow back so you can remove the cover for washing.I’ve been making a few throw pillows (cushions if you are British) just recently and been looking for ways to close the back so they are still easily accessible for removing the insert and washing the cover, but I don’t have any long zips right now (and I admit I’ve not yet ever sewn a zipper into a pillow cover) so I was looking for alternatives.

A few ideas:

  • Just step up and learn how to do it with a zipper (added to a future to-do list)
  • Sew on buttons and buttonholes (I’ve got these skills mastered now I think)
  • Use Velco, hook and loop tape (sticks to everything in the wash)
  • Make an ‘envelope’ back that just opens and overlaps (Like my woven fabric pillow and the Oliver the Owl nursery pillow)
  • Just stuff and then sew the pillow closed and unpick when it needs washing (can’t be bothered with that nonsense)
  • Close it with snap tape.

How to sew snap tape to make a pillow back so you can remove the cover for washing.

I settled on the snap tape. I love to try out something new and actually I couldn’t find much online about how to sew snap tape for a pillow cover, so I just improvised and it turned out very nicely. Very quick and simple, and if I had taken the time to match the pattern, almost invisible.

Materials used:

[Special offer - 10% off for So Sew Easy readers at Pacific Trimming - use code SoSewEasy.]

A bit about snaps and snap tape

It’s my first time working with this sort of thing so I had a look at the various versions of snaps and tapes around and it seems there are basically 4 types

  • A long and thinner version of the snap tape with plastic snaps further apart (here), that might be used for something like making your own duvet cover.
  • Plastic snaps designed for use in baby and children’s clothing (here)
  • Metal snaps that you sew on by hand, set with a tool or bash with a hammer!
  • Higher quality metal snaps, closer together on a wider tape, typically used in home decor.  Perfect for my pillow cover.

350047_01_9

I liked this version by Pacific Trimming because it has the fully domed nice bright and shiny snaps on both sides.  I preferred that over the one where the top of the snap is a flat circle.  However, when I actually sewed it, I hid the tape in the cushion cover anyway in this example so it didn’t matter so much, but I like that I can easily feel where they are.

To close a pillow back with snap tape.

  1. Decide where you want the opening.  Right across the middle?  Towards the top or bottom? Cut your pieces of fabric accordingly, allowing for the size of your finished pillow, plus seam allowances, plus an extra 2 inches or so on each of the two pieces for the tape overlap.
  2. My fabric was a little flimsy and the tape is pretty robust and heavy with the snaps so I decided to add a little light interfacing to support the tape.  I fused a 2 inch wide piece across the width of the opening on both pieces.Snap tape 1
  3. On the top piece, turn under 1/4 of an inch and press.  Turn in another 1 inch and press.  This forms the strip where our tape will sit.How to sew snap tape to make a pillow back so you can remove the cover for washing.
  4. Put the zipper foot on your machine.  Lay out the length of tape, and note where the snaps fall.  You don’t want to end up with a snap right on the point at each end where you want to sew your side seams later on, so make sure the snaps fall clear of the seam lines.  [If this simply cannot be avoided, cut off the tape short of the seam allowances, turn under the ends and sew the ends in place at the same time you sew the sides. ]How to sew snap tape to make a pillow back so you can remove the cover for washing.
  5. Use a little Wonder Tape to hold it in place, or some pins.  Just a reminder – you want the domes of the snap facing towards the fabric, and the tape is on the underside of the opening.How to sew snap tape to make a pillow back so you can remove the cover for washing.
  6. Sew along one side of the tape using your zipper foot.  Try to sew neatly because the lines of stitching will show on the outside.  Pick a suitable thread color to match your fabric.
  7. Then sew along the other side, starting from the same direction to try to keep any wiggling and puckering of the tape to a minimum.  The top piece is done.How to sew snap tape to make a pillow back so you can remove the cover for washing.
  8. Repeat the pressing on the bottom piece, 1/4 inch and then an inch.  Lay the tape in place, making sure to match the position of the snaps with the same position on the piece you just sewed, or they won’t close when you are finished!  For this second side, the snap tape goes on the right side of the fabric.How to sew snap tape to make a pillow back so you can remove the cover for washing.
  9. Stitch the tape in place as before.How to sew snap tape to make a pillow back so you can remove the cover for washing.
  10. If you have any snaps that fall within the seam allowance or too close to the seam line, sew the tape right to the ends and then use some small scissors to remove the snap that is too close to the seam line. Once the side seams are sewn, it shouldn’t be a problem.Sew the tape in place on the right side of the fabric.
  11. Now close up the snaps, trim to the correct size if needed, and your pillow back is ready to sew into your new cover. Great work!

Sew the tape in place on the right side of the fabric.

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How to sew snap tape to make a pillow back so you can remove the cover for washing.

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Written by Deby Coles

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Faux chenille baby blanket http://so-sew-easy.com/faux-chenille-baby-blanket/ http://so-sew-easy.com/faux-chenille-baby-blanket/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 11:00:02 +0000 http://so-sew-easy.com/?p=10685 After my recent attempt at quilting and all the adventures, failures and very steep learning curve that went into making a baby quilt, I decided for my next expectant friend, a different approach was in order. Pinterest to the rescue for inspiration and I came across this tutorial for a faux chenille baby blanket. Although the end result is lovely, it didn’t look easy and even the writer had plenty of problems along the way. Never to be daunted, I gathered my materials and got to work. Materials needed: Top layer – I used this cotton panel above.  Any good quality non-stretch fabric should work. Quilt binding, or make your own Underneath – shaggy layers, I used 3 pieces of flannel.  Try with 3 or 4 layers. Basting spray Patience – lots of it I wish I’d used a lighter color … Continue reading

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Written by Deby Coles

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The most adorable chenille style baby blanket. I want to make a full sized on for my own bed. Just takes a bit of patience!

After my recent attempt at quilting and all the adventures, failures and very steep learning curve that went into making a baby quilt, I decided for my next expectant friend, a different approach was in order. Pinterest to the rescue for inspiration and I came across this tutorial for a faux chenille baby blanket. Although the end result is lovely, it didn’t look easy and even the writer had plenty of problems along the way. Never to be daunted, I gathered my materials and got to work.

Materials needed:

The most adorable chenille style baby blanket.  I want to make a full sized on for my own bed.  Just takes a bit of patience!

  • Top layer – I used this cotton panel above.  Any good quality non-stretch fabric should work.
  • Quilt binding, or make your own
  • Underneath – shaggy layers, I used 3 pieces of flannel.  Try with 3 or 4 layers.
  • Basting spray
  • Patience – lots of it

I wish I’d used a lighter color blue flannel on mine, but my choice was limited to what I could get, and I could only get this dark navy.  Be aware that the color you have on the upper most layer will very much dominate what it looks like when finished.

Making those layers stick!

Dana had a lot of problems caused by her layers shifting while she sewed.  She had a busy print to hide any mistakes but with my printed panel, mistakes would be obvious so I HAD to make sure those layers stuck together and didn’t shift.  I wasn’t so worried about the flannel so I stuck those 3 together with a light spray basting.

The most adorable chenille style baby blanket.  I want to make a full sized on for my own bed.  Just takes a bit of patience!

I did half at a time, smoothing from the center out towards the edges.

Always work outside with basting spray.  No matter what you do, it will drift around onto the surrounding floor and some come with warnings about breathing in the fumes etc.  I laid mine all out on the patio.

When it came to adding the top panel, I gave it a good spray all over, let it dry a little so it was a bit tacky, and then completely overdid it and sprayed it again. I thought at the time this was a solid idea and would prevent shifting, but I should have thought through the whole process first!  Still, look how smooth it is.  Perfect.

The most adorable chenille style baby blanket.  I want to make a full sized on for my own bed.  Just takes a bit of patience!

The quilting

With everything (very) securely basted together, it was time to quilt.  The layers have to be cut and sewn on the bias so I drew in a single line across the center at 45 degrees using a disappearing fabric marker.  I made this my first line of stitches and then used a quilting guide set up with my walking foot to sew lines of equally spaced stitches about 1/2 inch apart.  I used a white thread on the top and a navy underneath.

The most adorable chenille style baby blanket.  I want to make a full sized on for my own bed.  Just takes a bit of patience!

Now, let me tell you, I love to sew, but sewing and stitching are two different matters.  This took a LONG time and it was not interesting.  I had to take several ‘I’m going mad’ breaks to get me through it.  Listen to an audio book or something.  Anything to stop your brain from turning off and making wavy stitches – it can happen!  Also, don’t do this in very hot weather because sewing for hours with a thick blanket on your lap is hot.  Yep, its over 100 degrees here and I’m wearing a blanket.

Faux chenille baby blanket - the quilting process.

Anyway, once it was done, I was happy.  That top panel, in fact, none of the layers shifted even the tiniest bit and I managed to sew the whole thing perfectly without even the tiniest pucker.  Hooray for the basting spray.

The cutting

What did I just say?  Hooray for the basting spray?  Er – NO!  There’s nothing wrong with the product, its amazing.  But my over liberal use solved one problem with the shifting, but now had caused me another.  Totally my own fault.

The next step involved cutting down through all those sewn channels, cutting through carefully just the layers of flannel and leaving the cotton panel undamaged.  Now that might have been easy if the two weren’t glued together so tightly it was like they had been nailed. I persevered for about 90 minutes, gently using my scissors to prise the flannel away from the cotton, make a little snip, separate the layers, snip and so on.  It was painstaking.

Faux chenille baby blanket.  Cutting through the flannel

In 90 minute I had managed to snip my way through one small corner and my nerves were shot from trying to avoid poking my scissors through that front panel.  There was only one answer – wash out all the damned basting spray.  It’s totally water soluble and intended to be washed out after use, so with all the quilting in place, I got myself a very big bucket and I hand washed the lot until it was nice and soft and I hoped most of the spray had dissolved away.

Relief at last.  Yes, there were a few sticky patches left here and there, but mostly my scissors just slipped easily between the cotton and the flannel and it was easy to cut more confidently down those channels.  Here’s what it looks like cut – not too interesting so far.

Faux chenille baby blanket. Cutting through the flannel

If you have a go at this project, I really recommend hand washing after quilting to remove the basting spray and make it easier to cut those channels.  Or, just use less spray in the first place!

Trimming and squaring up

It’s interesting how if you buy 4 yards of fabric, all of which are said to be 44 inches wide, just how much variation you get in both width and length. My panel had a blue border printed around the outside of the print, but actually at the top the entire blue border was printed on the selvedge where all the little holes are in the edge of the fabric, and I had to trim that off.  Hopefully no one will notice when the blanket is completed.

I trimmed off all the rough edges with a rotary cutter.  The design on the panel made this easy to do.

Faux chenille baby blanket - trimming the edges

Binding the blanket

I bought a quarter yard in this fun stripe which matches the panel because it should look good with the stripes going across the binding.  I cut my strips 3 inches wide and had plenty with some left over.

Large_0325104

However, with part of the quilt cut and then hand washed earlier in the process, part of the flannel was now already all fluffy and wavy.  Sigh.  So applying the binding wasn’t quite as easy as I would have liked.  I had to carefully use the tip of my iron to press out all that flannel flat again around the edges.

I sewed on the binding with the flannel facing up so I could keep it nice and flat as I sewed, then I turned over and hand stitched to the front panel.  I think it looks nice and neat.

Faux chenille baby blanket - the binding process

The magic happens

NOW, at last the blanket is ready for the magic.  I already had a sneak peak when I washed it earlier, but was so excited to see how this would come out.  I threw it in the washer for a delicates cycle – I admit I was worried the flannel would all fall apart and I’d open the lid to find a piece of cotton and binding and a load of fluff everywhere.  Thank goodness, after all that work – it came out beautifully.

The most adorable chenille style baby blanket. I want to make a full sized on for my own bed. Just takes a bit of patience!

I really do wish I’d had a lighter blue for the backing, but I’m still delighted with it.  I hope that the Mom To Be likes it as much as I do.  My husband loves it and wants me to sew us a big sized one for the bedroom.  I’m not sure I have the patience for that.  That would work out maybe 6 times as big.  6 times as much sewing straight lines, 6 times as much cutting those little channels.  It would give us 6 times as much snuggly goodness…  It just might be worth it.

Authored by:

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Written by Deby Coles

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Sunshine for babies – handmade baby toys http://so-sew-easy.com/make-your-own-baby-toys/ http://so-sew-easy.com/make-your-own-baby-toys/#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 11:00:34 +0000 http://so-sew-easy.com/?p=10944 With 3 friends expecting happy events shortly, I’m concentrating some of my sewing time for sewing for the little ones.  Today, making handmade baby toys.  Don’t we always joke that if you buy a child a toy, it spends more time playing with the box than with what’s inside.  Somewhere along the line, moms started to notice that babies enjoyed the feel of the labels on their toys, and the ribbons, and so those started to become a feature of the toy itself.  Such as the satin binding on the comfort-blanket. As we get older, what feels good to us changes.  Right now, good feels like a big creamy latte and a Danish pastry. Photo credit: Linh H. Nguyen via photopin cc   But back to the sewing, and a quick and easy toy for a new baby with plenty … Continue reading

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Written by Deby Coles

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Easy and quick to make terry and ribbon baby toy. Could use an old towel too.

With 3 friends expecting happy events shortly, I’m concentrating some of my sewing time for sewing for the little ones.  Today, making handmade baby toys.  Don’t we always joke that if you buy a child a toy, it spends more time playing with the box than with what’s inside.  Somewhere along the line, moms started to notice that babies enjoyed the feel of the labels on their toys, and the ribbons, and so those started to become a feature of the toy itself.  Such as the satin binding on the comfort-blanket.

small__7864852790As we get older, what feels good to us changes.  Right now, good feels like a big creamy latte and a Danish pastry.

Photo credit: Linh H. Nguyen via photopin cc

 

But back to the sewing, and a quick and easy toy for a new baby with plenty of snuggle and feel-good factor.

Bring a little sunshine

For making this sunshine ribbon toy:

handmade baby toys

Materials:

  • Fabric – I used yellow terry toweling.  You could use a regular cotton fabric, minky, or cut up an old towel or face cloth.
  • Ribbon in a variety of colors
  • Small scraps for the eyes and cheeks, and matching threads
  • Heat N Bond fusible web
  • Filling
  • Embroidery floss
  • Fabric marker
  • Template or pattern, draw your own or download at the bottom of this article
Opt In Image
Download the Sunshine Template here

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

Gather together all of your supplies, and download or draw yourself a template for the face.  Transfer your design for the eyes and cheeks onto Heat N Bond Lite fusible web, and iron it to your fabric.

Easy and quick to make terry and ribbon baby toy.  Could use an old towel too.

Cut out your design and fuse it to your main fabric.  I cut through the eyes and cheeks on my template to make sure I was getting my pieces in the right place.

Easy and quick to make terry and ribbon baby toy.  Could use an old towel too.

Applique your pieces in place with a satin stitch or stitch of your choice.  I found my terry didn’t go through the machine as smoothly as I would like so I put a regular piece of computer paper underneath as I sewed the applique and it as much easier to turn around the circles.

Easy and quick to make terry and ribbon baby toy.  Could use an old towel too.

Then transfer the line for the mouth onto your fabric.  I’ve recently started using these Frixion pens, because they write like regular pens so you can draw and mark all over your fabric but then they simply disappear with heat – pass your iron over it and its gone. Draw on your mouth following your template and stitch using your embroidery floss.  I’m not a hand-sewing fan and don’t know many stitches so I used a simple back-stitch.  It looked just fine.

Easy and quick to make terry and ribbon baby toy.  Could use an old towel too.

Time to add the ribbons.  I cut mine 5 inches long and folded them in half with the shiny or more satin side on the outside.  I pinned around the edges, making sure they were going to be well held inside, leaving about an inch between each.  I used 15 pieces. Next you’ll need to baste them in place, about 1/4 inch from the edge so you can remove the pins and they will stay put while you sew.

Easy and quick to make terry and ribbon baby toy.  Could use an old towel too.

Cut yourself another big circle for the back.  If you like, add a face to this side too, then layer them right sides together.  Stitch around the outside, with a 1/2 inch seam allowance leaving a gap of 2 or 3 inches for stuffing.

Easy and quick to make terry and ribbon baby toy.  Could use an old towel too.

Turn the right side out and stuff lightly.  It’s for small hands so no need to stuff it so much it comes out like a ball!  Carefully hand-stitch the opening closed, give him a squish to even out the filling and you are done.

Easy and quick to make terry and ribbon baby toy.  Could use an old towel too.

I made two in very quick time.

Easy and quick to make terry and ribbon baby toy.  Could use an old towel too.

Opt In Image
Download the Sunshine Template here

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

TOY SAFETY

Please note, you should always give extra thought when sewing for babies and small children. This toy would look really cute with a button nose, but buttons and eyes etc can become loose and be choking hazards.  With this toy for example, don’t make the ribbon loops too long where they could get caught around a babies wrist and get pulled tight.  Please use your own judgement as to whether this toy or any you make and design yourself are suitable for your child as they will not have undergone the usual vigorous safety testing applied to toys you buy in the shops.  Please supervise babes and young children at all times when playing with home-made toys.  [End of Public Service Announcement :-)]

PIN ME FOR LATER

Easy and quick to make terry and ribbon baby toy. Could use an old towel too.

Want to sew more softies for babies?  Head on over to my guest post at Little House Living on making a cuddle blanket or soother in a similar way.

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Color Block Dress blog tour – your dresses http://so-sew-easy.com/color-block-dress-tour/ http://so-sew-easy.com/color-block-dress-tour/#comments Sun, 07 Sep 2014 11:00:00 +0000 http://so-sew-easy.com/?p=11393 To help promote the release of my Color Block Dress pattern last month, I asked a few other sewing bloggers if they would be interested in giving the pattern a try and reviewing it on their site.  I admit, I was a little nervous as I’d not done something like this before.  What would they think of the pattern?  Would it fit?  How would they review it – love it or hate it? Turns out I had nothing to worry about, except now I’ve seen all of the new designs and their fabric choices, I feel the need to sew up some more variations for my own wardrobe.  Check out the inspiration below.  Please drop over to visit each of these lovely ladies and maybe leave them a comment about their dress. Lisa from Mabey She Made It Wow, love this look.  Lisa … Continue reading

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Written by Deby Coles

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Color block dress from So Sew Easy, love every version.

To help promote the release of my Color Block Dress pattern last month, I asked a few other sewing bloggers if they would be interested in giving the pattern a try and reviewing it on their site.  I admit, I was a little nervous as I’d not done something like this before.  What would they think of the pattern?  Would it fit?  How would they review it – love it or hate it?

Turns out I had nothing to worry about, except now I’ve seen all of the new designs and their fabric choices, I feel the need to sew up some more variations for my own wardrobe.  Check out the inspiration below.  Please drop over to visit each of these lovely ladies and maybe leave them a comment about their dress.

Lisa from Mabey She Made It

Wow, love this look.  Lisa used a stretch lace over a white knit for her center panels and added a small lace trim to the bottom.  This dress is a knockout!

Check out all these different versions of the Color Block Dress from So Sew Easy.

Fenna from FABulous Home Sewn

Wow again.  Doesn’t Fenna look amazing in her bright and cheerful version.  Nice to see one in lighter colors and still the shaping looks great.  She plans on wearing hers for a date night – her husband should be blown away.

Check out all these different versions of the Color Block Dress from So Sew Easy.

 

Rachel from Once Upon A Sewing Machine

Rachel took a gamble on sizing and went down a size for hers.  It was the first time she had tried one of my patterns and was probably expecting the enormous ‘fitting ease’ you get with commercial patterns. It certainly hugs her curves in all the right places, and I love how she added that splash of red with the skinny belt.

Check out all these different versions of the Color Block Dress from So Sew Easy.

Jessica from The Berry Bunch

Jessica feels a little self-conscious about her ‘mommy tummy’ so its brave of her to give this dress a try.  Perhaps this influenced her choice to make the dark panels in the center and the colorful panels on the outside.  That way it still draws attention to and emphasizes all the right curves and she looks great!

Check out all these different versions of the Color Block Dress from So Sew Easy.

 

Tasha from Friends Stitched Together

Want to wear something bright, bold or red but not be overwhelmed?  Tasha has given me inspiration to get out a bright red fabric I’ve been saving.  I think I could pull it off used as the accent panel like she has in her version.  The polka dots look great in contrast.  A great idea for how to wear black and red together.

Amy

 

Ula from Lulu & Celeste

A perfect example of how home sewing can make a wardrobe to suit you.  Ula found the black fabric a little too sheer for the dress, so she cut it off at the hip and made this tunic length.  She did all sorts of grading on this pattern from a B to an E to get the fit she wanted.

Ula

 

 Al and Scary at Shaffer Sisters

Wow, what a transformation!  This dress was fitted with sleeves from another pattern and also a trendy front exposed zipper to turn this into a nursing-friendly dress.    A facing was added around the neck instead of the binding, to accommodate the zipper, and a slight extra flare added to the skirt.  Doesn’t she look great, what a perfect fit and style.

Shaffer Sisters

 

Amanda at Amanda Rose 

Amanda suffers from the same husband/photographer problems I sometimes get myself so we’ve only got the one view of her dress, but with the bright stripes and central black panel, I bet she looks a knockout.

Amanda

 

Follow Deby at So Sew Easy’s board Your sewing creations on Pinterest.

All of these designs have been pinned to my ‘Your Sewing Creations‘  Board on Pinterest.  If you sew and have a blog or website, I’ll be happy to pin or link to your project.  If you sew anything from a So Sew Easy pattern or tutorial, let me know so I can share your work on Pinterest or Facebook.

So are you feeling inspired now?  See a version you like or a color combination that would look great in your wardrobe?  Try out the Color Block Dress, I think you’ll like it.

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Estimating extra fabric for pattern matching (and giveaway) http://so-sew-easy.com/estimating-extra-fabric-pattern-matching/ http://so-sew-easy.com/estimating-extra-fabric-pattern-matching/#comments Sat, 06 Sep 2014 11:00:24 +0000 http://so-sew-easy.com/?p=11488 So you’ve got the perfect pattern and you’ve seen the perfect fabric.  Except the envelope says that you need 3.5 yards to make this dress.  THEN its says ‘extra will be needed for pattern matching’.  Your fabric has a print you’ll want to match.  So exactly how much extra fabric will you need.  Half a yard, a yard, 2 yards?  I know exactly the lady who knows – introducing Gwen who knows everything there is to know about matching fabric to patterns. How Much Do You Want? We all know that feeling…  Maybe you’re shopping for a particular project or maybe you are just window shopping – but all of a sudden, out of the blue, a piece of fabric catches your eye and you just can’t look away… The color, the texture, the design – it connects with something … Continue reading

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Written by Deby Coles

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So you’ve got the perfect pattern and you’ve seen the perfect fabric.  Except the envelope says that you need 3.5 yards to make this dress.  THEN its says ‘extra will be needed for pattern matching’.  Your fabric has a print you’ll want to match.  So exactly how much extra fabric will you need.  Half a yard, a yard, 2 yards?  I know exactly the lady who knows – introducing Gwen who knows everything there is to know about matching fabric to patterns.

How Much Do You Want?

How to work out exactly how much extra fabric you'll need to buy to match a pattern.

We all know that feeling…  Maybe you’re shopping for a particular project or maybe you are just window shopping – but all of a sudden, out of the blue, a piece of fabric catches your eye and you just can’t look away…

The color, the texture, the design – it connects with something inside of you, proclaims that it belongs to you and you MUST HAVE IT. There is no doubt about that.

The doubt comes a few moments later though, when you are trying to decide how much to buy.  You aren’t holding the right pattern in your hand, so you have to guess – will 2 yards be enough?  Or should you get 2.5 yards?  It would be horrible to not have quite enough, so, maybe 3?

I used to struggle with this problem a lot.  And I was always so afraid of not having enough, that I usually overbought.  I could talk myself into buying 4 yards of fabric in the blink of an eye – you know, ”just to be safe”…  ;)

medium_3808902790photo credit: sean_hickin via photopin cc

After one particularly expensive overbuying episode, I decided to ask for help on my blog.  I asked my readers how they handle the situation and I discovered that most people were just as stumped as I was.

Oh, a few folks had systems – but even that wasn’t a lot of help, because everyone’s system was different.  Of course, that makes sense, because “the skirt” in the phrase, “Ooooh, that would make a beautiful skirt!” was different for each woman.  For one woman, “the skirt” was usually some kind of fitted, knee-length business skirt in a size 6 and for another woman, “the skirt” was almost always a mid-calf-length circle skirt in a size 14.  Obviously, they would routinely buy different amounts of fabric.

So, I was still stuck…  I spent a few days mulling it over, when it finally occurred to me that I didn’t have to guess.  I owned lots of sewing patterns!  I could actually CALCULATE the average amount of fabric that I would need for different types of clothes.  I could go from wild-eyed guessing to estimating based on tables built from the fabric requirements of lots and lots of actual patterns!

My day job involves a lot of number crunching, so I was right at home setting up an Excel spreadsheet.  And I may have slight OCD tendencies, so it wasn’t long before I had exhausted my own supply of sewing patterns and was downloading images of the backs of sewing pattern envelopes off the internet and entering those numbers too.

Fast forward two years and about 10,000 sewing patterns – throw in the help of some good friends and lots of encouragement and constructive criticism from my blog readers – and the end result is a series of reference cards that will help anyone estimate how much fabric to buy – taking into consideration the width of the fabric and the size and style of the garment that you want to make.

If this sounds like the kind of thing that you would like to have with you when you are fabric shopping, you can learn more about the cards in this video:

The cards are designed to help you estimate as accurately as possible when you don’t have the right sewing pattern envelope in your hand.  Obviously, having the pattern envelope on hand would be best  – but even the backs of sewing pattern envelopes sometimes leave you guessing – like when they tell you to “Allow extra fabric to match plaids or stripes.”  Have you ever felt frustrated by that vague advice?

Well, here’s a quick way to estimate how much extra fabric to buy.  You need to know 2 things:

1)      The size of the repeat on the fabric, and

2)      The number of major pattern pieces that don’t fit side-by-side and that you want to be able to align.

Basically, you multiply those 2 numbers together and the answer is how much additional fabric you should add to your order.  Why?  This gives you one extra complete repeat of the design on the fabric for each of those pieces, so that you can shift them left and right until they line up at the same spot on the design.

Actually, an illustration really helps make this clear.  Let’s do a couple of examples.  Here is a shirt pattern layout:

How to work out exactly how much extra fabric you'll need to buy to match a pattern.

Let’s temporarily ignore the fact that the yoke is aligned sideways.

Which pieces (not side-by-side) would you want to be able to align such that the plaid matches?  My answer would be these three pieces: the back (#3), the front (#2) and the sleeves (#5).   (You want to match up the button band too, but it fits beside the front piece, and so we don’t count it.)

Now, here are two possible flannel fabrics:

1 2

The blue plaid has a repeat every 2 inches and is symmetrical in both directions.  Two extra inches for each of those three major pieces means you should request six extra inches of fabric, over and above what the pattern envelope calls for.

Given that the plaid is small and symmetrical, you can probably get away with leaving the yoke pattern piece sideways and still get it to align with the back.

The brown plaid, on the other hand, has a much larger, asymmetrical repeat of 5.5 inches in one direction.  Assuming you are going to place the pieces along this dimension, you want to order 16.5 extra inches of fabric (5.5 x 3) over what the pattern envelope calls for.

Also, the sideways yoke piece is going to be a problem now.  If you are really OCD (like me!) you’ll probably want to add enough extra fabric to place the yoke piece beneath the sleeves (in the same orientation as the sleeves) and add one more repeat of 5.5 inches for that yoke piece.

The bottom line is that there’s not one simple answer to the question “how much extra fabric do I need to add to match stripes or plaids?” – but, it’s not too difficult to figure out, based on your pattern layout and the size of the fabric print.

And that’s what I’ve got for you today on fabric buying.  I want to thank Deby for allowing me to provide this guest post.  And best wishes to all of you for many happy hours of fabric shopping!

* * * * * * * * * *

Giveaway

Gwen has kindly offered to make two sets of her great fabric buying reference cards available to So Sew Easy readers in a worldwide giveaway.

The prize – one winner from the US and one from the rest of the world.  Each will win their choice of the How Much Fabric Reference Cards.

Title_Card_Front_Womens

How to enter:

  • Leave a comment below
  • Tell us your country – US or elsewhere
  • Tell us which set of cards you would like to win – Women’s Clothes, Plus sizes, Men’s Clothes, Babies and Toddlers or Children’s Clothes
  • Tell us whether you would like them in yards or metres
  • The contest closes at midnight on 16th September.  Only comments before then can be entered into the contest.
  • Gwen will pick two winners at random

Good luck every one!  If you can’t wait to see if you are a winner, or simply HAVE to have these cards now, then you can order them directly from Gwen here.  These would make a great Christmas present for someone who sews.

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Written by Deby Coles

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I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it… http://so-sew-easy.com/im-excited-just-cant-hide/ http://so-sew-easy.com/im-excited-just-cant-hide/#comments Fri, 05 Sep 2014 11:00:00 +0000 http://so-sew-easy.com/?p=11998   …I’m about to loose control and I think I like it! I guess you have to be a certain age to remember that one.  But I really am excited and delighted.  So Sew Easy has been nominated in the Burda Style Top 50 Blogs for Sewing Enthusiasts and in the Sew Mag awards.  Whoop, whoop. As part of all of the celebrations and events for National Sewing Month, there are various awards and votes taking place this month and I’ve had a couple of nominations that I’m so chuffed about. 1 - Burda Style Top 50 Blogs for Sewing Enthusiasts. We asked and you answered… what are the best blogs for sewing enthusiasts? Below are the blogs other BurdaStylers are loving for sewing inspiration, DIY fashion ideas, and sewing tips. Make sure your favorite made it on the list! Voting for the Best of … Continue reading

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Written by Deby Coles

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download

 

…I’m about to loose control and I think I like it!

I guess you have to be a certain age to remember that one.  But I really am excited and delighted.  So Sew Easy has been nominated in the Burda Style Top 50 Blogs for Sewing Enthusiasts and in the Sew Mag awards.  Whoop, whoop.

As part of all of the celebrations and events for National Sewing Month, there are various awards and votes taking place this month and I’ve had a couple of nominations that I’m so chuffed about.

1 - Burda Style Top 50 Blogs for Sewing Enthusiasts.

vote_feature_large

We asked and you answered… what are the best blogs for sewing enthusiasts? Below are the blogs other BurdaStylers are loving for sewing inspiration, DIY fashion ideas, and sewing tips. Make sure your favorite made it on the list! Voting for the Best of Blogging Top 50 Awards is now open. You can select up to 20 blogs for our ultimate Top 50 List. This list is PACKED with inspiration!

You can vote for up to 20 from the list.  The blogs with the most votes will receive:

  • 5 free patterns
  • a winner’s badge for their site,
  • the ability to pin to a dedicated BurdaStyle Best of Blogging Pinterest board,
  • an invitation to guest post on the blog,
  • and more!

Closing is Monday Sept 8th.  Voting is very quick and easy.  Check the box next to your favorite sewing blogs (hopefully you’ll choose to vote for So Sew Easy as well) and then click submit.  Takes 5 seconds to vote (and then 2 hours reading all the blogs…)

VOTE HERE for the Burda Top 50 Bloggers Award

 

2 – Sew Magazines Sewing Awards 2014

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It’s that time of year again when you have the opportunity to nominate the crème de la crème of the stitching world in the British Sewing Awards. If there’s a sewing shop that goes above and beyond, or a pattern house whose designs are dominating your make list, then let us know! Those with the most nominations will then be put through to our voting stage, where you will have the opportunity to cast your final votes.  Not only will your favourites have the chance of winning a prestigious award, you will also be entered into our prize draw to win a whole bundle of stitching must-haves to the value of £250. Have your say now!

This award has so many categories!  It looks rather intimidating because they ask you to vote in all of the categories, but actually, you can just vote in the ones you want to, and where you have no preference, write N/A (for not applicable) or just leave a . or a * or something where you don’t have an entry.

You might like to vote in category 8 – Best Sewing Blog ;-)

Anyone worldwide can vote in the awards, but only those in the UK or with a UK mailing address can win the prizes.

 VOTE HERE for the Sew Magazine Sewing Awards

 

Are you excited about all of the events and giveaways planned for National Sewing Month.  We’re only a few days in and already I’ve been taking advantage of the sales and specials.

Thanks so much to all of you for reading and voting – I couldn’t do it all without your support, comments, suggestions and enthusiasm here. Thank you.

 

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It’s a Wrap top – free pattern http://so-sew-easy.com/wrap-top-free-pattern/ http://so-sew-easy.com/wrap-top-free-pattern/#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 11:00:00 +0000 http://so-sew-easy.com/?p=11392 I’ve had this pattern on my mind for a while now and at last, ‘It’s a Wrap!’ The Wrap Top is loosely based on the original Wrap Dress pattern that has been downloaded thousands of times and been the most popular pattern on the site so far.  This ‘It’s a Wrap’ top has taken some of the best elements of that dress and turned it into a blouse with a few variations that I think you’ll like. Features: Cross-over front bodice Loose and casual sleeves with a little flutter Pleats on one side to create soft draping across the front Can help to hide a prominent tummy Slightly shaped at the waist Close fitting in the hips Flattering look with no awkward ‘gaping’ Step by step photos and written instructions Video tutorial too Sizes from 32 to 44 inch bust This … Continue reading

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Written by Deby Coles

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Love the way the pleats form the wrap front on this top.  Video and free pattern.

I’ve had this pattern on my mind for a while now and at last, ‘It’s a Wrap!’

The Wrap Top is loosely based on the original Wrap Dress pattern that has been downloaded thousands of times and been the most popular pattern on the site so far.  This ‘It’s a Wrap’ top has taken some of the best elements of that dress and turned it into a blouse with a few variations that I think you’ll like.

Features:

  • Cross-over front bodice
  • Loose and casual sleeves with a little flutter
  • Pleats on one side to create soft draping across the front
  • Can help to hide a prominent tummy
  • Slightly shaped at the waist
  • Close fitting in the hips
  • Flattering look with no awkward ‘gaping’
  • Step by step photos and written instructions
  • Video tutorial too
  • Sizes from 32 to 44 inch bust

Love the way the pleats form the wrap front on this top. Video and free pattern.

This has quickly become a wardrobe staple and I’ve been wearing this one everywhere.  It looks equally good in a print or in a solid.  The plain color helps to show off the pleats and gathers a little more, but the print looks fab too.   I can’t decide which is my favorite.

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Free pattern download

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

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

How to sew the Free Wrap Top Pattern

You can watch and copy me here in this video.  I’ve not talked a lot about sewing with stretch fabrics, assuming that if you’ve been following So Sew Easy for a while that you might have tried some of my patterns before, but if you need more help with that, there are tips and details in the downloadable instructions too.

 

See, that’s not too difficult and you can certainly make something with a nice fit.  Pick the right fabric and tell everyone you got this from a ‘nice’  store and they’ll never know you made this yourself for just a few dollars!  My fabric was only $5 a yard – that’s a bargain!

Love the way the pleats form the wrap front on this top. Video and free pattern.

Step by Step Instructions

Materials needed:

Love the way the pleats form the wrap front on this top. Video and free pattern.

If you prefer written instructions, you can download these too.  The instructions include lots more details about sizing, tips for sewing with knits, fabric to use, how to print and put together the pattern, and of course sewing instructions – everything you need to know along with step by step photos as well.

Opt In Image
Free pattern download

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

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

Enjoy sewing your wrap front top pattern, and do share your completed projects.  You can:

  • upload to Craftsy and link back to the original pattern
  • write a blog post and I’ll pin it to my ‘Your Sewing Creations‘ Board on Pinterest
  • send me a photo to share on the Facebook Page

Pin Me

Love the way the pleats form the wrap front on this top. Video and free pattern.

The post It’s a Wrap top – free pattern appeared first on So Sew Easy.
Written by Deby Coles

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National Sewing Month http://so-sew-easy.com/national-sewing-month/ http://so-sew-easy.com/national-sewing-month/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 11:00:21 +0000 http://so-sew-easy.com/?p=11568 September is National Sewing Month – yay.  So I expect you’ll be wanting to hear about all the fun things I’ve got planned.  Er, except I haven’t planned anything special – darn, I am such a blogging loser!  With so many sewing bloggers really pulling out the stops this month I know you’ll not be disappointed with so much great content on offer. I’ll be sharing some of the best content I find online in social media such as Facebook and Pinterest so if you don’t already follow now is the time to do so. Facebook  -oh no, look at that !  I haven’t even changed the header image on the Facebook page since February.  Yikes, makes the place look unloved, but actually I do like the page and use it every day. Naturally I promote my new blog articles on … Continue reading

The post National Sewing Month appeared first on So Sew Easy.
Written by Deby Coles

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September is National Sewing Month – yay.  So I expect you’ll be wanting to hear about all the fun things I’ve got planned.  Er, except I haven’t planned anything special – darn, I am such a blogging loser!  With so many sewing bloggers really pulling out the stops this month I know you’ll not be disappointed with so much great content on offer. I’ll be sharing some of the best content I find online in social media such as Facebook and Pinterest so if you don’t already follow now is the time to do so.

Facebook  -oh no, look at that !  I haven’t even changed the header image on the Facebook page since February.  Yikes, makes the place look unloved, but actually I do like the page and use it every day.

Feb facebook cover

Naturally I promote my new blog articles on the page, but I try to not make it all about me.  Who wants to read that!  So I share projects that readers send in along with their photos, or share links to other blogs where people have tried out my patterns, or I’ll share some of the best free sewing patterns I find, or the most interesting sewing content from around the web.

But don’t worry that I’ll be clogging up your newsfeed with silly sewing memes – as much as I love them.  I only post once or twice a day.  Once in the morning, and sometimes in the evening too.  So feel free to drop over and give me a LIKE if you would like to follow along with the chatter on the page.  Sometimes its quiet, sometimes people are chatting away like crazy.

Pinterest - I know that lots of you already follow on Pinterest and especially the two top boards for the Free Sewing Patterns and the Sewing Tips and Tutorials.

Follow me on Pinterest

Follow me on Pinterest

But there are also other boards there I’m working on such as holiday boards for Halloween, Valentines or Christmas sewing, special boards for help with Zippers, Working with Knits or bias binding, or collections of patterns and inspiration such as boards for Bags or Aprons.

I also have a few personal boards too where I share some of my favorite travel dreams or inspiration for my beach house, if I should ever get one. But its mostly all for sewing.

YouTube – as much as I hate the sound of my own voice, sometimes its easier to show a project on film than it is to try to take lots of photos.  So I’ll make videos from time to time and you can find them all on my YouTube Channel here.  I also try to remember to add them to my Video Tutorials page (you can find it on the top menu under Tutorials, then Video Tutorials.) Sigh, look, that’s out of date too.  I have some housework to do!

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Coming up this month – guests

The usual schedule of things, no sort of theme or reason, just because that’s what I’ve been sewing.  However, I do have a few guests on the site this month.

  • Gwen will be telling us how to know how much extra fabric you need to buy for pattern matching and offering a great giveaway too
  • Gosia, who won the Make it Yours Bag Contest will be sharing her post on how to sew her own unique style
  • Michelle will be writing about her experiences in sewing with a most unexpected fabric and also offering a free pattern and giveaway too
  • Anke will be sharing a pattern and tutorial for a bag she made that I know you’ll love

What I’m working on

Here’s a quick peak of what I’ve been working on and will write about this month.

  • This month’s free pattern – a wrap top based on the much loved Wrap Dress
  • Making handmade baby toys, including a guest post on the same subject
  • Another baby blanket, lots of work but well worth the effort
  • The Give Me a Shrug Top pattern of the month
  • and others things I don’t have finished yet but should do for this month

So after all that, I actually think it’s going to be a great month!  You’ll have some new ideas from  our guests, a couple of giveaways and whatever falls under my needle this month too.

Enjoy National Sewing Month!  Till next year.  If anyone has any ideas how we can celebrate National Sewing Month next year, leave a comment and I’ll see if I can do a better job of being organised for then.

And just for fun, a sewing funny for you.  Ooh, I feel all warm all of a sudden.

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Written by Deby Coles

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