Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ottobre 01-2005-22 T-shirts For My Boys

My boys have been wanting me to make them something and I have tons of high-tec knits in my stash so I decided to make them some long sleeve t-shirts. Of course I headed straight to my Ottobre mags to find just the right shirt. This was a great t-shirt. It was very easy to sew up and my boys love the fit. I ended up making 3 (the other one is black with grey contrast) and my son who is in the pictures wants more. I think I am done with this shirt for now. Some short sleeve shirts are in order now. Summer is coming and it might be warm enough to wear them. :)

Pattern Description: Long sleeve t-shirt with shoulder yokes cut from different fabric. Bound neckline and contrast cuffs.

Pattern Sizing: 104-128
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, my garments looked like the picture.
Were the instructions easy to follow? I found the instructions were pretty easy to follow. I did have to make sure that I marked the shoulder line. More of the contrast goes to the front than to to back. The first shirt I made I attached the shoulder incorrectly. I put more of the contrast in back. For the other shirts I made sure I marked the shoulder line well.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It was a great pattern. It went together pretty well. I didn't understand why they put in a zipper. I didn't put one in my shirts.

Fabric Used: high-tech knit from Rose City TextilesPattern alterations or any design changes you made: I removed the zipper. I also used contrast knit fabric for the shoulder yoke instead of the woven the pattern called for.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? DEFINITELY! My youngest son has asked for another one.
Conclusion: Great t-shirt pattern. I like the interesting detail on the shoulders. The shirt sewed up very quickly.

Just thought I would leave you with two more pictures. This shows what Alaskan kids do on the first nice day that comes along after a long winter. It is sunny, 45-50 degrees outside, there is still snow on the ground and my kids are having a water balloon fight. My kids are so anxious for summer. Can't you tell. :)

Thank you for stopping by. Have a great day!

Until next time...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Tutorial: Adding Pleats-Sewing the Pleats

Wow! I can't believe it has been so long. Sorry for the wait for part 3. It has been a busy week (or 2).

On to the tutorial!

1. Fold the pleat in half so that the clips match up.

2. Sew right down the line that you marked for the pleat.
This picture shows 3 pleats that have been stitched along the lines.
3. Keep pleat folded in half and put a pin in right on the fold.

4. Opening up pleat place pin against seam line. This forms the box pleat. Half of the pleat is on each side of the pin.

5. Baste pleats down inside the seam allowance.

6. Iron pleats down.

It should look like this picture when the 3 pleats are finished (I apologize if the pictures are a little difficult to see). The red line is the center front.

Well, that is how it's done. I hope you were able to follow my process.

Thank you for stopping by. Have a great day!

Until next time...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Tutorial: Adding Pleats-Preparing the Fabric

This is part 2 of a 3 part series on adding box pleats to a garment that was originally drafted without. To see the dress I pleated click here. For part 1 about preparing the pattern click here.

On to part 2--Preparing the fabric

Once your pattern is completed you are ready to cut out your fabric.

On my project I wanted a box pleat right in the center of the dress so I added 1" to the center front of my pattern (right side). The picture below shows my new pattern placed on the fabric. Notice that the CF is not on the fold anymore. I added 2" total to the CF but when I stitch the pleat the excess will be taken out and the original CF will again be the actual CF of the dress. When the pleat is finished I will have 1/2 of the pleat on each side of CF.

After you cut out your pattern make clips at the top and bottom edge of each pleat. The red marks on my pattern shows where I clipped. When you clip make the clips big enough to find them but not enough to go past your seam allowance. In this garment my seam allowance was 5/8" so my clips were about 1/4''.

The next step is to draw your pleat lines. Draw with chalk (not marker) from the clip at the top to the clip at the bottom of each pleat. Note: I wanted my box pleats on the outside of my garment so I drew my lines on the right side of the fabric. If you want your box pleats on the inside of the garment draw you pleats on the wrong side of the fabric.

This picture shows my bodice piece with all the lines drawn in. The wider sections are the pleats.

The red line on the left side is my center front. The black lines on either side (actual center front from pattern piece) will be stitched together and the red line will be at the center of the box pleat. I will show how the pleats are stitched together in the next post.

To prepare the fabric for the skirt all I did was make clips at the top of each pleat because the skirt will not be pleated all the way down.

I hope that this was helpful. Please ask if you have any questions and I will try to clear them up. Stay tuned for part 3 coming soon.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day!

Until next time...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tutorial: Adding Pleats-Preparing the Pattern

As I promised here is part one of a tutorial on adding pleats to a garment. I am going to use my bodice pattern that I used for my daughters dress. You can use any pattern that you want. The method will be the same.

Note: You can see the white line a few inches up from the bottom. That is where I sewed the front band to the bodice piece to make a full bodice piece. McCalls 6020 had two separate pieces and I wanted only one. This had to be done before I began the pleating.

My pictures were taken after I already used this pattern so you will have to excuse the folds underneath.

Let's begin.

1) This is my original pattern piece. The center front fold is on the right. I drew 4 lines parallel to the center front. These lines are 1" apart. I want the box pleats to be 1" wide and to touch each other so 1" is the spacing that I need to make this happen.

2) I added 1" to the center front. When I cut this out I will now place the edge of the added piece on the fold. This will be my center pleat. When the pleat is made the original center front will still be the center front of my dress. For this pleat I only add 1" because it is on the fold. I am actually adding 2" (1" on each side of the fold) which is the width I need for a 1" pleat.

3) I drew horizontal lines so that I would be able to keep my pattern lined up correctly. I can see through my pattern paper to the grid lines on my board. The center front should be lined up on a vertical line. The two horizontal lines are perpendicular to the center front.

On a pattern without a center front to line up you can always use the grainline.

4) Cut along the first line. Carefully move your piece over 2" keeping the horizontal lines following the same line on the board. Add in paper to fill in the empty space. This is my first pleat (When made into a pleat all that is added will be removed).

5) Make all the other pleats in the same manner cutting on the subsequent lines. Here is my pattern piece with all the pleats added.

For the skirt back I didn't need to add any for the pleats. I just turned the gathers into pleats. I measured and drew lines so that my pleats on the skirt would match the pleats on the bodice. Here is a picture showing where I drew the pleats.

Well, I hope that this tutorial helps clarify how to add your own pleats. It is really easy to do. In the next post I will show how I prepared my fabric.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day.

Until next time...

Monday, April 5, 2010

An Easter Dress for My Daughter: McCalls 6020

Every year I try to make my daughter a dress for Easter. It hasn't always happened but this year I was determined to make her one. She needed a new dress (actually she needs a few) and I have so much fabric that it was a no brainer to make one instead of buy one. A month or so the Hanna Anderson catalog came in the mail and this dress immediately caught my eye. I loved the pleated bodice. It wasn't very expensive but since I knew I had fabric I decided to recreate this dress for my daughter.
So, I set out to find a pattern that I could use as a base to work with. I found McCalls 6020Front of my altered dress

Side rant: One of my pet peeves with patterns is how sleeves always look smooth but are really gathered. Why do they always make gathered sleeves anyway! Smooth set in sleeves usually look better. How often do you see a RTW shirt with gathered sleeves? Usually not, but they expect us to always construct home sewn ones that way. I am usually able to ease in about an inch of extra fabric but they often put in many extra inches. I really need to learn how to draft my own sleeves to fit armholes. Or I just need to learn how to take the extra ease out of my sleeves. If anyone knows a good book or tutorial I would really be interested.

Okay, I am done with my little rant now on with my review.

Pattern Description: Below mid-knee length dress with front band, gathered skirt, tulle ruffle on lining, back zipper and ribbon sash or tie ends. Sleeve options: sleeveless or gathered sleeves.

Pattern Sizing: 3-14 I made my daughter a size 8 but lengthened to a size 10. She measures a little less than size 8. The 8 fit her quite nicely.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? If I had made it they way they drafted it would have looked like the envelope. I changed my version quite a bit.

Were the instructions easy to follow? I didn't use them too much. I did like their instructions for lining the bodice and sleeve construction.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I picked this one for the square neckline.
Fabric Used: cotton with a little bit of stretch. The stretch wasn't necessary. A regular cotton would work great.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Obviously I changed quite a bit and I hope you can follow my progress.

BODICE1) I traced the front band and the bodice front on to sewable tracing paper. Then I sewed these two pieces together to make one whole bodice front. This new bodice front is what I will use to do the rest of my alterations.

2) I cut off the "straps" and added 1/4" seam allowance to the "strap" and the bodice where the "strap" would be sewed back on after bodice is pleated.

3) Now for the pleating. I wanted 1" box pleats covering the front. I had to add 2" for each pleat. First I drew 4 (I wanted 4 pleats on each side of the center pleat) lines one inch apart parallel to the center front. Then I started at the center front and added 1" (this would be on the fold so I am adding a total of 2" to the center front) for the center pleat. Next, I cut the pattern on the lines and added 2". I added a total of 9" to my bodice front. Note: before you cut your lines apart make sure you draw perpendicular lines to keep your pattern lined up.

4) To make the pleats: I clipped at the top and the bottom of the pleat. Then I drew lines on the right side of my fabric with chalk on one side of the pleat. Next, I folded the fabric matching the clips for each pleat and stitched on my chalk line. Put a pin in the fold of the pleat. Match the pin to the seamline and press the pleat down.

5) After it was all pleated I reattached the "straps". This completes the bodice front.
This was fairly easy. There was already extra because it was going to be gathered.

1) In order to get my pleats to match I measured starting at the center front.
Measure over 1" (center pleat) and draw a line parallel to the center front.
Measure over 1" and draw a line.
Measure over 2" (pleat #1) and draw a line.
Measure over 1" and draw a line.
Measure over 2" (pleat #2) and draw a line.
Measure over 1" and draw a line.
Measure over 2" (pleat #3) and draw a line.
Measure over 1" and draw a line.
Measure over 2" (pleat #4) and draw a line.

Measure width of the skirt front. Subtract 9" (this is the # of inches I added for my pleats. ex. 23 1/2" - 9" = 14 1/2"
Measure the width of the bodice front. ex. 12 1/2"
Subtract the width of the bodice from the width of the skirt.
ex. 14 1/2" - 12 1/2" = 2"
The 2" is extra so I folded it out. Now the bodice front matches the width of the skirt front.

The skirt back is altered in the same way that the front. Keep in mind that you are adding a zipper to the center back so leave room.

As I am writing this I realize that this will need visual explanation also. I will be doing a couple of blog posts in the next few days with pictures of the above process.

Other design changes:
I put a ribbon over the seam line all the way around the waist.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Definitely. It is a very cute pattern.

Conclusion: Another fun project. I was so happy with how it turned out. It looks just like I wanted it to. My daughter really liked it too.

As I said above I will be doing a couple of posts that will have pictures of how I added the pleats to the bodice. So stay tuned.

Thanks so much for wading through this long post. Have a great day!

Until next time...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

An Easter Dress for Me: McCalls 5619

I was at Joann's a few weeks ago (when McCalls patterns were on sale) looking for a pattern for my daughter's Easter dress (in a later post). After I found her dress I thought I would quickly skim through the woman's patterns. This pattern caught me right away. How fun would it be to make myself a dress for Easter. I haven't ever done that before.

When I first saw this dress I liked how it was empire but didn't look like it would make you look pregnant. Boy, was I wrong! I didn't read the description. I'm not sure why I didn't read the back because usually I do. But, if I would have I would have know that this dress was loose fitting not close like the picture. Can you see the pleats in the skirt? I can't. As you can tell by the drawing they are there.

For my trial garment I made the dress right out of the envelope. It was huge! It needed some serious adjustments if it was going to fit what I had pictured in my head. It was also a little lower than I liked. After this I set out on a journey to make the tent match what was in my head. Here is my finished dress. This is pretty much what I had pictured in my head.

My review from pattern review: McCalls 5619

Pattern Description: Very loose fitting dress with low elasticized bodice front neckline, gathers at waistline, pleated skirt and back zipper closing. Sleeve Options: sleeveless, short sleeves with stitched hem and elastic, or elbow length with sleeve band. Length mid-knee or above mid-knee.

Pattern Sizing: 6-20 I measured a size 14 (bust) 16 (waist) 18 (hip). I cut out size 14.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? I think that my dress ended up looking like the dress on the girl pictured. The description described the dress as loose fitting. I don't think that the picture looks very loose fitting at all. I didn't read the description very well ( I really need to work on this) and went with the picture. Well, this dress is VERY loose fitting. I could have been 8 months pregnant and the dress would have fit well. So, I made a few alterations in order to get it to be close fitting.

Were the instructions easy to follow? They were pretty easy to follow.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I didn't like how big it was. But, I will concede that that was partially my fault. The puffy sleeves are not my favorite but I still like the dress.

Fabric Used: cotton

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Wow! Where to start?! I made up a muslin just as the pattern was drafted and found out it was a tent.

1) I wanted the neckline to be raised up a bit so I added 3/4" to the bodice front and removed 3/4" from the upper front. I didn't change the bodice back length so I ended up having to put in a bust dart to take out the extra length.

2) The pleated skirt was huge and so I had to get the pleats out so that the skirt had a flat front. This was quite easy. I just folded out the pleated parts all the way down the skirt panel. Once they were out the waistline of the skirt was the same length as the bodice front.

3) There was still quite a bit of room in the back and I wanted it a bit more fitted. So, I put long darts about 3" on either side of the zipper.

Back of dress

4) I added a batiste lining to the skirt.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I probably would not make this again just because it is distinct. I would recommend the pattern as is if you want a loose fitting dress. I would recommend this one if you want to make it more fitted as the alterations are pretty easy.

Conclusion: It turned out to be a pretty cute dress. Surprisingly, I enjoyed trying to make this fit as I had pictured in my head.

This was a fun project! It was such a challenge for me to get it to fit. Getting clothes to actually fit me is one of my challenges. I am pretty happy that I was able to get this to fit.

I will end with this fitting challenge story. The back of the dress was not fitted at all. It was pretty straight through the backside and I wanted to show a bit more curves. So, I started with adjusting at the zipper. I kept moving the zipper over more and more in a bit of a dart effect. After I had basted, tried on, ripped out, repositioned and rebasted a few times the light bulb finally went on in my head. Then I adjusted the back the in a much simpler manner. I put in the zipper just as I would have before (without any funny stuff) and made 2 long darts on either side of the zipper. Worked like a charm!

Thanks so much for stopping by. Have a great day!

Until next time...