Project Post – Leftover Skirt, a tutorial

Projects, Tutorials

I have been using the project feature of the Threadbias.com site and really enjoying being able to track my projects. Periodically I will be posting copies here.

After finishing the Sweet Pea Dress I had bit of swaddle left so I decided to make a skirt for the little girl.

Fabric: leftover Aden & Anais swaddle and leftover brown slug jersey from the A&A Sweet Pea Dress

Pattern: a bunch of rectangles. Not very exact or anything but this is what I did.
Waistband – Hip plus ease wide x desired (what looked right) hight. I folded the whole thing in half to make the elastic casing.
Skirt – max hight x max length I could get out of the remnant of swaddle, I then cut it in half so pocket could be added in the side seams.
Pockets – what I could get that would fit a child’s hand folded in half.
Skirt lining – same hight as skirt minus about 1/2″ x hip plus ease.

Sewing: Prep sewing – instead of serging I folded the short edge of the skirt and the pocket opening edges of the pockets for a clean finish. (I don’t have my serger set up yet and didn’t what to have to do so). I then did a french seam on the bottom of the pockets ending 1/2″ from the open edge.
Adding pockets – I seamed the open edge of the pockets to the side seams with at 3/8″ SA and the under stitched the SA to the pocket. Next it sewed the side seams with a 1/2″ SA.
Waist band – I seamed the single seam with 1/2″ SA making a tube. I then folded it in half. And place the seamed elastic inside.
Joining the two – I used a double line of gathering to match the skirt to the waist band. I then basted the two together with a 3/8″ SA. This just kept things more stable and manageable to put the lining in.
Lining – I seamed the single seam making a tube. I then seamed it to the waistband/skirt combo with a 1/2″ SA. I kept the SA facing down towards the lining and under stitched it in place.

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Project Post – Mei Tai Baby Carrier

Projects

I have been using the project feature of the Threadbias.com site and really enjoying being able to track my projects. Periodically I will be posting copies here.

Due to an order snafu I ended up with some free cotton canvas. I am due with #2 this summer an thought a mei tai would be a good idea, so here is my first attempt. The pattern I drafted seems a bit big, luckily I have enough fabric to make more then one. I mostly used this tutorial.

Black body/ties – light weight canvas
Decretive fabric – Ikea hippo print cotton
Padding – scrap sweat shirt fleece.

See photos for progress

Done! Fits my 3 year old well but I do think it is a bit big for an infant. May look at adjusting the body measurements a bit.

Update: The wee boy is here! I did end up making a slightly smaller one and it has been fantastic. I have a little boy who does not want to be put down so having a light weight carrier has been a life saver. Heck I’m typing while wearing him now. 

Project Post – Breast Pads

Projects

I have been using the project feature of the Threadbias.com site and really enjoying being able to track my projects. Periodically I will be posting copies here.

With the arrival of the wee boy imminent I have busily been try to finish off all my baby projects, the latest being breast pads. When I had my first baby I had these wonderful bamboo terry, large, fitted breast pads, I loved them. Later when a friend of mine got pregnant I lent them to her and she loved them as much as I did. Now that we are both pregnant again we are lamenting their disappearance, not to mention that our breast feeding days of needing them will over lap. Step in the popularization of DIY cloth diapering and supplies needed to the rescue! I ordered PUL (think diaper covers) and diaper flannel for us to make our own.

The pattern is pretty simple, just a circle with a small dart. I experimented with size of circle and dart in tissue paper before making in out of card. I settled on a generous 5″ diameter with a 1″ dart.

For fabric we are using 1 yard PUL (Polyurethane Laminate) 1Mil and 5 yards of Diaper Flannel.

To get ready for cutting I cut/ripped the flannel into 1 yard strips to match the PUL and divided the PUL into 2 pieces the same width as the flannel (it is about half the width of the PUL). I then used my card pattern to trace a marker for the pattern directly onto the PUL.

To cut the PUL was layered on top of 2 layers of flannel and all layer cut together in 2 sets (perfect for two people cutting).

For sewing I kept the fabric in the same layered order as cutting and sewed all the darts in one string (no trimming threads in between). We then separated the pieces while at the same time assembling the pad, keeping the order of cutting and staggering the dart seams for a more comfortable fit. In sets of three layers each pad then had the edge serged securing all the layers together. I did find that the right side of the PUL wanted to stick/grab against the pressure foot but a light dusting of cornstarch fixed that.

We now have a total of 80 pads making 40 sets giving us each 20 sets each. I don’t think we will have to worry about not having enough.

Download a PDF of the pattern – Breast Pads

 

 

Better late then never – Tutorial

Tutorials

I was really hoping to make this post much earlier but my summer got away on me. Better late then never, here is the dress/skirt tutorial I put together this summer. This is a super easy to draft and sew tutorial for a for a dress you can wear as a skirt or a skirt you can wear as a dress. Either way I found it a versatile piece I’ve worn everywhere from the beach to date night to my daughters gym class. Enjoy!

(Sneek peek at the Parkette Top and Angel Wing Parkette Top patterns which are in the works)

Progress!

Updates
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I am making progress! Even if I haven’t managed to get my tutorial out yet (just need to finish testing). The next set of patterns are graded and are staring testing so here is a sneak peek at the Parkette Top and Mini Me Parkette Top.

The Parkette Top is based on the Park Top but with shorter sleeves and clean finish neckline and the Mini Me version will fit sizes 3 months to kids size 8.

So with out further ado, a quick pic of the first sample.

Coming Soon!

Updates

I am working on some new stuff! First up is a Two in One Dress/Skirt tutorial, perfect for warm weather. I am also expanding the Park Top family with two new styles; Parkette and Angel Wing Parkette. Based on the Park Top they share the same fit but with shorter sleeves. To make it even more fun I’m releasing Mini Me versions for kids too.

Hoping to get the tutorial out this week! (Sneak peek at the new top then too!)

Batsypatternsdressskirttutorial

Just an Update

Updates

Just a bit of an update.

Patterns:

The changes to the patterns mention in may last post went well and are on their way to Kinkos for printing as I type.

Kakurenbo Dress – Re-named the Sock Puppet dress (the front style line reminds me of sock puppets.) For the wee ones birthday I made her an altered version with one of her favourite fabricsIkea hippos. I altered the pattern to be a halter dress with the horizontal style line moved up 1/2″ and voila! it works! It hangs much nicer in the woven then in the knit. For the new pattern I also changed the front style line, it is no longer mirrored and as I mentioned it reminds me of sock puppets. I am really looking forward to making the new sample.

The Nejiri Dress – I made changes to the twist as well as making a variation that is a tank top.

These three patterns are going to be a part of my next release. I have decided to release patterns in groups/lines rather then individually. I think it will work better as far as work flow goes for me. This group will be all inspired by the Pattern Magic drafting books I mention in my last post.

 

Tutorials:

I have two tutorials that I’m working on. Both are how to draft types. I they have been tested but now need the instructions and illustrations made. 

 

There are some other odds and ends I’d like to get to but between family visits and birthday parties it has been hard to find the time. Hopefully November won’t be as crazy, thank goodness Thanksgiving is in October.

 

“Failure is Always an Option” – Adam Savage

Updates

So guess what this post it about.

To start thing off right/wrong this is not the post I thought I was going to make. It was going to be a short and sweet post about the new patterns I was working on and their inspiration but in the end it didn’t turn out that way. In fact not a lot turn out the way I was expecting. I will warn that this is a long winded post but there will be pictures.

So this is how thing started…

On my last visit home I found my current favourite dress at Joe Fresh. It is a black knit tank dress with a racer back and double layer front (one is lower cut then the other). I would love another one since I wear it all the time, problem being, the nearest store is about 1,500 km away and the summer stock is gone. So I decided to make my own version but with a twist, literally. Enter one of favourite pattern drafting books, Pattern Magic by Tomoko Nakamichi. I have been wanting to try some of the techniques in this book since I got it and this seemed the perfect opportunity.

One of the techniques is called “Nejiri” (meaning torque in Japanese) and involves skewing the pattern so that the fabric will be twisted on the body but still sitting were it should. (i.e. side seams are still straight). I thought this would be a great variation for the front of my dress. The drafting was fun and it went quickly once I got my head around how to create the twist. While I was looking through the book I thought the Kakurenbo (meaning hide and seek) technique of concealing flare in curves would be really cute on a little girls sun-dress. Once again the drafting was fun and went quickly one I got my head around then instructions.

That’s where I was going to end the post along with some pictures of the samples. Well things didn’t continue that’s smoothly.

For starters on my way to Kinkos to pick up the pattern I realized that the outer front pattern piece wasn’t modified enough to achieve the affect I wanted. Doh! I got ready to cut an realized what fabric hogs both patterns were, so I didn’t have enough of my planed fabric. Doh! In the end both patterns didn’t turn out quite as expected or hoped. Doh! 

But…

“Failure is Always an Option”

One of Adam Savage’s better know quotes, he has often talked about this concept be it on Mythbusters or other venues like the Makers Fair in 2009. (His TED talk on Obsession is also really interesting.) I thought of this as I realized that the day wasn’t ending with me propelling fabric across rooms or into walls. I didn’t even have the urge to do that. I decided I think I learn too much.

It is amazing how much the right psychology can completely change a situation. Instead of being terribly frustrated I was excited at what I had learned and eager to try again.

I often draft in my head; try and figure out how I want to draft something long before I put pen to paper (or stylus to tablet as the case may be.) It can be very helpful in finding errors before they are made. In fact this is why I knew the pattern wasn’t done before I picked it up. But I couldn’t do that this time, the concepts were too new so I had no frame of reference for how it would turn out. I love that sort of thing though. Novelty, challenge and something to learn. The sort of thing that you can either know or get.

What I learned:

Nejiri – I ended up making two versions, the printed dress with the twist on both sides and the pink dress with just the outer front layer twisted (the original design).

1 – The twist isn’t big enough to be very noticeable, you can hardly see it in the photos or person. It would also help if the twist was more focused around the waist. As it is, it gets lost on the skirt.

2 – The twist needs tension work. It is fine on the pink dress as the back and under layer control things but this isn’t the case for the printed one. You can kind of see in the photo the side seams uncoiling at the hem since the hem has no tension on it. (This dress was generally cut looser so the whole thing tends to want to unwind.)

Kakurenbo – Pink dress for Mina. The proportion was off some how…

1 – Like with the Nejiri, the effect wasn’t drastic enough. The skirt still has some wave to it but when using such a drapey fabric I think there needed to be more. I may try it in a woven fabric and see how it fits.

2 – This kids knit dress was one of the hardest things I’ve sewn in a while! It did go smoother if I sewed with the skirt on the bottom and bodice on the top. 

After all that, even if it didn’t turn out how I wanted I have a much better understanding of how these patterns work. I am starting to get it not just know it, something that wouldn’t have happened if everything went right. In retrospect failure was the best option.

Later or The Making of a Bikini

Updates

So despite my lack of posting I have been quite busy with projects.

As alluded too in my Coffee Cup Sleeve Tutorial post I have children’s pyjamas in the works. As well there are tights, t-shirts, panties/bloomers and a dress. All are ready or nearly ready for grading. On the adult front I’m working on some dresses (halter dress, sun dress and wrap dress), a halter top and of course I’m still working on the Sunrise hoodie. All the patterns are in various states of drafting and/or correcting. One would think this wouldn’t be the best time to add yet another project but but I really wanted a new bikini…

After not finding what I wanted in stores I decided to make myself a new bikini. I had some great fabric I could use and some not so great fabric I could sample with so I gave it a shot.

First up was the drafting. Although I had a bathing suit block from school it would have to be graded and adjusted before I could use it so I decided it would be easier to start from scratch. Using instructions from Pattern School.com I made patterns for low riding bikini bottoms, bandeau top and two styles of triangle tops (fitted and gathered). After sampling, correcting and sampling I was ready to start the final bikini.

With some careful cutting I was able to easily match the print on the back of the bottoms and bandeau top during construction. Aside from having tension issues on my coverstictch machine and agonizing over the placement of the print it was a relatively quick project over all.

I must admit, this is my favourite bathing suit I own and plan to make more. I also plan on making it my next release! I am aiming for the end of July.

Almost sample time

Updates

Almost finished the pattern for the Sunrise Hoodie. I’m just finishing the hood, adding darts and seam allowance. If all goes well I hope to be able to take the pattern to Kinko’s to have it and the new children’s hoods (Monogram Hoodie) printed this week. (Hopefully tomorrow.) I am looking forward to getting this sample made becuse 1- I need a new hoodie and 2 – the pattern has changed a lot more then I expected it to.

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