Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Peplum Top >> Basic Tee Modification Tutorial

Peplum Tee

To go along with March 2015's Mini-Bundle that is on sale ONLY this month, we'll be featuring free tutorials on new ways to use the patterns that are included in the Mini-Bundle.  You can order it HEREnow through March 31st at 11:59pm.


I have the easiest tutorial for you today.  Seriously, the easiest!!!!

Do you have the Peplum Top pattern?  Jodi has made a pattern piece to fit on the bottom of the Peplum to make it a plain t-shirt, in all sizes!  Exciting!

Print out the "Band" pattern piece and cut the desired size.  Place the pattern piece along the bottom edge of the Peplum so that the fold line matches the Top Front (or Back) fold line -- you'll need to flip the pattern piece upside down.   You can see below that the pattern now looks like a regular t-shirt.

You can download the pattern piece HERE for free -- seriously, all sizes
(girls nb-14 AND the ladies xs-xxxl)

You will have Front, Back, sleeve and binding pieces.  Follow the pattern as directed except there is no need to add the Peplum skirt onto the t-shirt.  You have the perfect tee!  I made this one in swimsuit fabric so my "little" can wear it to the lake this summer.



Tuesday, March 17, 2015

March Mashup - Crossover + Herringbone Tutorial

To go along with March 2015's Mini-Bundle that is on sale ONLY this month, we'll be featuring free tutorials on new ways to use the patterns that are included in the Mini-Bundle.  You can order it HEREnow through March 31st at 11:59pm.

This tutorial is a super fun mashup between the new Mix and Match Crossover Bodice [soon to be released] ... of course you could always use the bodice from the Crossover Tunic &Dress and the Happy Herringbone skirting. With a fun bonus! Herringbone insert in the sleeves. (I KNOW! They are fantastic!!!)
So how do you make this adorable top?? Well, first you need three patterns - the new Crossover bodice for the Mix and Match series [soon to be released], the sleeve pattern, and the Happy Herringbone dress.
I didn't take pictures of ALL the steps...mostly because they are self explanatory and you just follow the directions/pattern.

First - cut out the M&M Crossover bodice.
Second - cut out the sleeves but make them two sizes too wide (but keep the correct length you need).
Third - cut out the pieces for the Happy Herringbone dress.
Fourth - Sew the shoulder seams of the crossover bodice and finish off the edges either with binding or FOE according to the directions.
Fifth - create the herringbone skirt ... this is the most time consuming part of this entire outfit. BUT the results are wonderful!!
Now this is where we deviate from what would otherwise be a fairly generic mash-up.
To make the sleeve you take the parts you cut off of the herringbone skirt to make it squared up.
Now take those strips and line them up so they are vertical instead of horizontal.
Put the right sides facing each other and sew them together. Then open up and top stitch the seam to one side. Make sure to top stitch the seam to the opposite side on the second one. (This is so the seam is always pointing towards the back.)
Fold the newly-sewn pieces in half along the center seam and place the sleeve pattern on top.
Cut the shoulder curve and the bottom of the sleeve for both arm pieces.
After both arm inserts are cut like this it's time to trim away the excess points on the sides and make the sides straight.
Notice that the center seams are on opposite sides of each other? That's so that a seam is always pointing towards the back.
Now take the sleeves you cut out earlier (remember, two sizes too wide) and lay them folded in half then fold the inserts in half along the seam again and lay them on top following the sleeve curve.
Cut the sleeve along the side of the insert. Place right sides together and sew. Open up the sleeve and top stitch.
You now have a nearly-complete, very fun and unique sleeve! YAY!
Sew the sleeve into the bodice.
Finish off the bottom of the sleeve (I chose to use FOE along the bottom of the sleeve just like I did along the edge of the crossover.)
Next you either sew up the underside of the sleeve all the way down the bodice and then add the sewn together gathered up herringbone skirt, OR you add the gathered up front of the herringbone skirt, the gathered up back of the herringbone skirt then sew up the underside of the arms and down the sides of everything.
Finally you hem the bottom of the herringbone skirt. A fun and beautiful new top!!

Want the whole look? The Skinny Minnie Pants pattern is here and the tutorial to modify the pants is here.
Happy sewing!!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Skater Skirt Tutorial

Skater Skirt Tutorial

To go along with March 2015's Mini-Bundle that is on sale ONLY this month, we'll be featuring free tutorials on new ways to use the patterns that are included in the Mini-Bundle.  You can order it HERE now through March 31st at 11:59pm.

Do you have the Girls Peplum pattern with the Skater Skirt add-on?   You can make a cute little Skater Skirt out of it!

Cut out the Skirt portion of the Skater Skirt add-on and a waistband in the appropriate size.

We've decided to include the cutting measurements for the waistband ... NO guessing.  ENJOY!!
You can find waistband measurements here::

Attach the 2 skirt pieces at the sides.

Attach the short sides of the waistband.  Fold waistband in half WST.

Mark the skirt and waistband into quarters.

Line up pins and attach waistband to the skirt.

The skirt is finished!  


Here is another pair made by Risa West

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Contrast Leggings - Modification Tutorial

Contrast Legging Modification

I've seen lots of contrast leggings from companies like Lululemon and Athleta.  I love those companies and love their leggings.  I thought it might be fun to try my hand at making some contrast leggings for myself instead of purchasing them.  

Side note:  those shoes are not mine!  They are my daughters cheer shoes.  I had to wear them because she took MY shoes to school with her for tennis.  So sorry about the ugly white shoes, I'll get her when she gets home!  Stinker!

Let's get started on the tutorial for Contrast Leggings.  You can make these in no time at all and go for a run.  ( BTW, you will NEVER catch me running!  They are cute though!)

Print the Basic Leggings pattern and transfer to wax paper or parchment paper.  Be sure to transfer markings from the pattern.  The most important marking is the line down the middle.

Cut the pattern piece in half, down the center line.
Now we need to figure out the triangle placement.  I used the size XS length line for the bottom marking of my triangle.  (I also measured roughly to be sure the triangle would fall somewhere behind my knee or on my calf.)  This is all personal preference so you get to choose where it goes.  

Draw the triangle (or any shape) on the "back" pattern piece.  I put the top of the triangle at the point that I measured for the back of my knee. The bottom of the triangle is at the XS capri line.  You will also need to add a 1/2in seam allowance to the top and bottom of the triangle.  (You can see that I made a separate pattern piece for the triangle.  That is where I added the seam allowance to the top and bottom of the triangle.)

Place the pattern piece on the fabric, be sure to cut 2 pieces RST.  I folded up the triangle that I just drew and cut the "back" leggings with a slant at the bottom that will be the top of the triangle.  Cut out the triangle piece in a contrast fabric, with the seam allowance added.  You will also need to cut the bottom part of the leggings, from the bottom of the triangle to the hem.

You should have 2 "front" pieces, 2 "back" pieces with a slant (1/2" seam allowance added), 2 triangles with 1/2" seam allowance, "back" bottom piece and waistband.

Here is the triangle with the seam allowance  added and the pant pieces.

Be sure the triangles are facing the right direction and attach them to the pants "back" at the slant, RST.

Iron.  You can also topstitch at this point.

Now attach the two bottom pieces at the bottom of the triangle.  Below you see 2 "back" pieces with the triangle attached.

Attach the back piece to the front piece at the side seams.  From this point forward, you can follow the pattern directions.  (Your leggings should look just like the pattern piece except it now has a triangle contrast.)

And, ta-dah!  Contrast leggings.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Did you know there are other legging modifications that you can check out?   Click here to see how to make two toned leggings.  You can also find a tutorial for making the leggings with a mega ruffle here.  And finally, find out how to add a simple ruffle here.



Wednesday, March 04, 2015

{Tutorial} Flat Front Skinny Pants

You've asked for it! You've waited for it! And now it's HERE!

Skinny pants.... with the comfort of an elastic waist....and a professional facade.

It's like a super hero among sewing patterns!

Hey ya'll, Becca here! Visiting from my new blog Free Notion to guest post this skinny pants tutorial. If you don't make an immediate dash-for-your-stash to sew these puppies up, I'd love if you pop on over and leave me a house-warming comment :) And with that shameless plug behind us, let me take a quick minute to prepare you....

Disclaimer 1: Like most of my tutorials, you *will* have to draft a piece. Don't worry, I'll hold your hand through it. We'll do this together!

Disclaimer 2: This is NOT a first-time-sewing-the-skinnies-pattern project. Please, please, please do your muslin first! SarahLynn did a great write-up on the different fit adjustments she made on hers, and Jeanine did the same here (scroll just more than halfway to the Bonus Muslin Tips section where she talks about her skinny pant adjustments!). Colette has an excellent cheat sheet, very specific trouble shooting!

**If you don't already own the pattern you can buy it on my website HERE or on etsy HERE.

Disclaimer 3: Your booty is not the same shape as my booty, and if you're human (and I'm guessing you are) you have curvier hips than me. (Lucky ducks...) As such, your pattern piece WILL look different than mine. And that is OK! If there was a one-size-fits-all approach to clothes, we'd have no need to sew our own custom fit, amiright?

Ok, let's get started!

You'll need:
  • Your Skinny Pattern pieces, already modified for your custom fit. (I'm gonna hammer that one home, you're forewarned!)
  • Wax/Tracing/Block Paper, or Muslin (if you're like me and will use this piece over and over again)
  • Fabric Marker, Permanent Marker, Depends how adventurous you're feeling.
  • Fabric, about 1/2 yard more than the pattern suggests for your size. I HIGHLY recommend using a stretch woven fabric! The results are just way more comfortable than my non-stretch pair. 
  • Elastic (I recommend 1.5 or 2 inch elastic) and Bodkin/safetypin
  • Interfacing (light weight apparel interfacing is totally fine!)

For starters, my goal here was to make the most "grown up" pair of skinnies I could. I started with this tutorial to add in-set pockets, and watched this video to add welt pockets. (Notice I marked the back pattern piece there and everything!) 

Then I borrowed my zipper fly pattern piece from my much-loved Greenstyle Taylor shorts. I can't very well fake having "grown up" pants without faking a zipper fly, right? Using this pattern pieces isn't 100% necessary, you can always eyeball it, or make up a little pattern piece following your favorite pair of jeans. 

I used my fabric marker to trace the pattern piece, and stitched two parallel rows of accent stitching.

Now I'm going to stray for a minute from the pattern order-of-assembly. I'm going to ask you to sew the crotch seams of the FRONT pant pieces only. (If this makes you uncomfortable, baste these pieces instead so you can easily pull out those threads and assemble per the pattern instructions later.)

Iron the top of your skinnies FLAT. (If you added in-set pockets like I did, baste those down so we get a nice crisp line and accurate measurements.)

Uh oh, did I get your heart racing just then? Take a deep breath, WE CAN DO THIS! 

Grab your muslin/paper/deed to your home, whatever you've got handy. We're drafting ourselves a pattern piece. You'll need your elastic, markers, and a ruler too!

  • Mark your "V". (If you've had too much coffee today, I'm going to go ahead and suggest NOT using permanent marker for this step.)
  • With your ruler, "connect the dots" by drawing a straight line across each side of your pants.
  • Line up your elastic along this new line. 
  • Mark 1/4 inch above your elastic. 
  • Remove your pants. (Not the ones you're wearing! Put those back on! I meant the front of your new skinnies!)
  • With your ruler again, mark your seam allowance below your "V" marking. (The pattern uses a 3/8" seam allowance, so I'd recommend sticking with that.)
  • Now write "FOLD" at the top of your pattern piece, just in case you need the reminder next time you make these pants!

Before we get to cutting anything, let's confirm the measurement across the front piece. After all the adjustments we did in our muslin (You did do a muslin, didn't you? DIDN'T YOU?) I'm going to use this chart of "front" measurements as more of a guideline than a rule. Close enough? Excellent!

Cut out ONE main fabric, on the fold, and ONE interfacing. Iron on that interfacing, and set that piece aside.

Now cut one piece for the back. (Also in the chart) But before you do, check the height of the side of your hand-crafted pattern piece. (Doesn't that sound nice? "your hand crafted pattern piece" - well done, you!) Your back pattern piece should be double this height. Mine was a smidge off, but "perfect is the enemy of the good", or so they say, so I carried on anyway.  

Continuing our waistband-detour, sew those puppies right-sides-together at each side seam. 

When you fold and press, your waistband should look like....

Grab your elastic again, and (with a little wiggle room at the top) mark a line below it. This will be your casing line. Go on now, stitch it! (Stitch it good!)

Before we grab our elastic, let's take a second to mark the back center. This will just help to keep things even when we stitch our waistband to our pants. My skin is a magnet for pins, so I ended up swapping this one out for a wonder clip. A small notch or mark of fabric pen would do the job too. Whichever is your preference!

Now scroll up and grab your elastic measurement. (Ok, ok, or click here. While you're at it, just go ahead and print that chart off. Tape it to your pant pattern. You're going to want to have it handy for future sews!)

Cut elastic to length and feed it through your casing. (If you could see through layers Superman-style, this is what the process would look like.)

Isn't that pretty??

Now we go back and finish assembling the pant legs, and  then stitch them together at the crotch. (Because this was a topic of recent discussion in the Jocole group, let me state now and forever more that I ALWAYS sew AND serge my crotch seams, then TOP STITCH them. You can use your preferred stitching methods elsewhere, but this is not a place on pants I'd want to play the "what if I bend over and riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip this hiney seam??" game. It'll take you an extra 5 minutes. Invest that time in these skinnies. Preachy McPreacherson, over and out.)

Match up waistband front and back with pant front and back...

Start sewing from center front. IF your front waistband has a prominent "V" shape, when you get back around to that center point, You MIGHT need to clip into the seam allowance to get it to lay flat. (Personally, my dinky "V" laughed at the suggestion, but I was hopeful enough to snap a picture anyway...)

We are SO SO CLOSE! Go topstitch that seam and meet me back here to talk beltloops.

My photos get pretty sparse here. Mostly because my rebellious machine refused to get sew through
more than a couple of layers. Word on the street is beating it into submission with a rubber mallet is the way to go.. (The fabric, not the machine. No sewing machines were harmed in the making of this tutorial!) I was too emotionally spent to put this to the test, but if you experience similar problems, give it a try! Also make sure you're using a needle for heavy weight fabric.

Take a 1.5 inch strip of your denim and fold it like bias tape. (Fold outside edges into the middle, then fold in half) Stitch along the open edge with a 1/8" seam allowance.

The height of your belt loops should be about 25% larger than your finished waistband. (ex: I used 1.5 inch elastic, and had an extra 1/2 inch to the waistband seam. So my belt loops were 2.5" long)

Give your back waistband a few tugs. We want the gathering equally distributed! Now smooth the gathers away from the back center waistband, and pin about 1 inch width flat. We're going to sew our first beltloop on here, and don't want to sew over any gathers!

(TOP) Overlap your beltloop about 1/4 inch onto the top of your waistband. Stitch 1/8 away from the top of the waistband, and backtack the entire way, JUST off the beltloop. With your needle down, lift your presserfoot. (BOTTOM) Fold your beltloop down so it lays across your waistband. Pull it taut, BUT GENTLY! We don't want to bend our needle! Put your presserfoot down, and stitch/backtack again. Fold your bottom belt loop under 1/4" and stitch/backtack.

Repeat this on each side seam. If you're not weeping over an uncooperative machine/needle/denim arrangement, you may even consider stitching a couple belt loops on the front of your waistband.

And there you have it!! Flat Front Skinnies with an elastic back! 

If you're dying to know the fabric I used, or the patterns I've paired them with here, go visit my friends at Pattern Revolution! It's all listed in my Fashion Friday feature. I know, I'm a stinker ;) I just wanna to spread the love!

Hope you're loving your new skinnies! If you share them in the Jocole group, please tag me. I don't want to miss your beautiful creations!