Project Post – Super Simple Sundress (Pillowcase Dress)

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.

As a primarily knitwear designer and a non-quilter I rarely get to play with the interesting and fun printed cotton I see around. But some times, on the odd occasion, an idea for something grabs hold and I have the perfect excuse to play. The heat wave that hit the west coast has been such an occasion, whats better for hot weather the loose cotton! Since I’m not about to make something for myself, (too much fabric needed and too close to being done with pregnancy) the wee girl was the perfect candidate. Some super simple sundresses (inspired by some I had seen on etsy) seen to be a good project and a 50% off sale at Hancock Fabrics seem to be a good opportunity.

The main fabric prints were picked by the wee girl while I picked the coordinating print. I used 1 yard of main and 1/2 yard of coordinating fabric for each dress.

Pattern, what pattern? This time I winged it and just went off of a few basic measurements by the width of the fabric. I measured from her shoulders to her knees for an approximate length and just ripped the fabric to the appropriate length. I then folded it in half and then in half again keeping the centre fold about 1/2″ from the edge or at the edge of the selfedge. Next I cut what will become armholes, basic j-ish shapes out of the outer edge and centre of the fabric. The neck is a drawstring so I ripped a length of coordinating fabric apron. 4″ – 6″ wide and another 3″ – 4″ wide for the hem. That would be about the extent of the the pattern, real precise eh?

Sewing is equally as simple as the “pattern/cutting”. I seamed the open selfedge edges together at about 1/2″ seam allowance or whatever the selfedge was and pressing open. I then finished the armholes with bias tape and folded the top edge down and topstitched it to make a casing. To give the hem a longer life (ability to be easily lengthened) I finished it with a facing on the outside that can be dropped and refaced to make the dress longer if necessary. I seamed the facing the hem with right side to the wrong side. I then understiched the seam allowance to the body and fliped the facing to the front and topstiched it in place along it’s top edge. Voila! after making the draw string and treading to through the two casings I’m done!

She now has a few in variety of prints, even some of her dollies have matching dresses.

Project Post – Swaddles to dream

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.

More up cycling for my Aden and Anais swaddles. This time I’m making dream blanket. I have one for my daughter and she loves it so I figured since 4 swaddles = 1 dream I’d make one for the wee boy from our extras.

I wanted to get this project done quickly since it’s one I have been meaning to do since before we moved back in February so I opted to do what I call “cheater” knit binding instead of the cleaner typical technique. Cheater binding is nice enough and much easier and quicker to do, great for a beginner. The one I’m doing doesn’t require a serger but I will note another one that does.

Materials: 4 swaddles (I used ones by Aden and Anais but any brand will do), knit jersey for binding.

Prep:

  1. Undo the hems of all 4 swaddles. (Not mandatory but I find it easier if I do)
  2. Iron the swaddles.
  3. Match up swaddles along two edges smooth out.

Sewing:

  1. Baste swaddles together along matched edge with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
  2. Since my unmatched edges do not meet they will need to be trimmed. The easiest way to do this is snip the edge of the swaddles at the shortest length and rip (scary but effective).
  3. Baste ripped edge at 1/4″ SA.
  4. Snip and rip the last edge.
  5. Baste at 1/4″.
  6. To trim corner: find something that is the desired size of curve. Place on fabric and cut around it. The blanket is now ready for binding.

Since bias tape doesn’t come in a knit I made my own. Normally I’d use a rotary cutter and quilting ruler but since I haven’t unpack those yet I improvised. Using a piece of 1 1/2″ wide elastic as a pattern piece I cut out strips of the jersey. The nice thing with jersey is it doesn’t need to be cut on the bias so it doesn’t use too much yardage to make.

Tip: it is much easy to cut jersey (or just about any fabric) if you use underlay.

Adding cheater knit binding: 

  1. Seam binding to blanket at 1/2″ SA right sides together.
  2. Fold binding over SA covering stitch line at the back.
  3. Edge stitch the binding along the folded edge on the right side, careful to catch all layers.

Jersey doesn’t really fray so edge finishes are not as necessary as with a woven. It does however tend to curl which in this case helps clean up the finish on the under side of the blanket with washing (see example in photos below).

Cheater binding with a serger: This is basically adding ribbing to the edge and top stitching it down and can be seen in my Baby Stuff project (Teal and white burp cloth) or in the photos below. It is also super fast so great if time is an issue.

  1. Fold binding in half and serg to blanket edge right sides together.
  2. Press binding out covering SA.
  3. Topstitch binding to SA.

 

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.

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

 

 

A New Year and Dinosaurs

New Release, Tutorials, Updates

It’s a new year already, and it amazes me how much I’ve got done but yet to finish. This past year I’ve managed to start a variety of patters but all but one is still in the works. They all are close to being done but something has kept me from managing to complete them. This year I hope to change that and I think I have started out on a good foot thanks to dinosaurs and cold weather.

The wee girl does not like to dress for the weather. Even when it’s cold and she’s shivering she will still flat out refuse to wear coats, hats, socks, etc. As an attempt to entice her into dressing warmer I thought I’d make sure it was stuff she’d want to wear. First I tried getting her into a hoodie by turning it into a dinosaur hoodie. I used this tutorial from Ginger & George. It works sometimes, like when she wants to go rawring and stomping around in it.

Then I tried I knitted her a hat, a dinosaur hat at no less. Well at lest she will wear the hat.

The pattern turned out super cute so I decided to release it. This is my first knitting pattern and with that and I’m a left handed knitter I learned tons!  Julie from Feather Press Knits has been and continues to be a huge help. The Dinosaur Hat is available on both Etsy and Ravelry.

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)

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.