Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Estherlyn's Jumper with a Patch Pocket

Today's design idea is another very simple one. Char Anderson, who was one of the testers who helped with this pattern, decided to add a patch pocket to the front of the dress that she made for her daughter.  I liked the idea so much that I decided to include simple shapes in the pattern that can be used for patch pockets or appliqué.  You may chose from a heart, a star, a four petal flower or a traditional pocket shape.  Multiple sizes of each shape are included so that you can customize your own look.  I also included a link to the tutorial section here at the blog where I have tutorials that show how to make patch pockets and how to do heat bonded machine appliqué. 

The added shapes are something that I intend to add to each new pattern that I release.  I think it's just a fun little addition that will help you customize your garments to your own style and taste.

Don't forget that I will be giving away a copy of the Estherlyn's Jumper Pattern on Thursday!
Comment below for your chance to win!

Until next time,
Happy Sewing!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Kids Clothes Week and a Chance to Win!

Today is the start of this round of Kids Clothes Week!  Are you sewing along?

I thought I'd share some easy design ideas for my Estherlyn's Jumper pattern this week.  Some of these ideas came from some of my testers.  I'm also giving away one free copy of the pattern.   Leave a comment from now through Wednesday evening to be entered to win.  I'll draw for a winner on Thursday morning.  Please be sure to include a way for me to contact you if you win.

I sewed up this little 2t Estherlyn's Jumper a week or so ago.  The design changes were very simple on this one.  I just added a couple of little decorative buttons along the edge of the apron and I also used bias trim along the curved edge of the apron instead of sewing the apron pieces together and turning them.  Easy peasy!  The best part about this dress was that everything (except the yellow buttons) came from my stash!

What would be your take on this pattern?  I'd love to know!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Weekend Sale

Just popping in to let you know that Estherlyn's Jumper will be on sale at Etsy and at my Big Cartel shop from this evening through Sunday.  Use coupon code WEEKEND for a 25% discount.

The code will not work at Craftsy, it will only work at Etsy and at my Big Cartel shop.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Big Day is Finally Here!

Image of Estherlyn's Jumper PDF Sewing Pattern
I am so excited to finally be able to share this pattern with you!
Estherlyn's Jumper is finally available for purchase!  See the link in my sidebar to purchase it from my new little shop.  It is also available in my Etsy shop and CraftsyToday only use the coupon code LAUNCH and receive a 25% discount.  Craftsy does not allow discount codes, so to get the discount please purchase through my shop link in my side bar or my Etsy shop. :)

Estherlyn's Jumper is perfect for all seasons. In warmer weather it can be worn as a sleeveless dress. When the weather turns cooler, layer it over a shirt or blouse. This is a cute, simple design with an asymmetrical apron panel in the front. It is a great canvas for expressing your own creativity by adding trims, ruffles, appliqué or decorative stitching.  It covers a wide size range from 3 months to 10 years.  
This pattern is easy enough for beginner sewists. Skills needed consist of button holes, sewing curves and pivoting.
Once again a big thank you goes out to all of my testers, the friends I have made through Pattern Workshop, Lauren Dahl who created Pattern Workshop, my sweet hubby, Jason, and my Creator without whom I would be nothing.  I could not have done this without all of the support that has been shown to me throughout this process.  They have helped to make this dream a reality for me! 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

How to Make a Patch Pocket

Adding a patch pocket can be a fun and simple way to add detail to a pattern.  Traditional "pocket" shapes can be used, but simple shapes such ash hearts or flowers can be used as well.  Keep in mind that it is much simpler to add a patch pocket to a flat piece of fabric.  I recommend that you apply all of your pockets before assembling your garment.  

There are a couple of different methods that you can use.  

Method 1
You can use a single layer of fabric.  This method is best used with a more traditional pocket shape which has a straight edge along the top.   First turn the raw edge under toward the wrong side of the fabric around the bottom part of the pocket and press it with an iron.  Use a narrow allowance such as 1/4 inch.  If there are curves you may need to press some of the fullness into the seam allowance.  Just press the creases as best you can to achieve the shape that you want and get it as flat as possible.  
Next, fold down the top edge a narrow seam allowance.  Then fold it down again so that the raw edge is enclosed in the folds.  You are essentially creating a hem.  Stitch across this to encase the raw edge. 
After hemming the top edge of the pocket, you can place it on your garment and sew it into place around the bottom edge using a very narrow seam allowance.  The seam allowance should only be about 1/8 of an inch.  

Method 2

Cut out 2 identical pieces for each pocket.  
Place them right sides together and stitch them together using a quarter to 3/8 inch seam allowance.  Leave a small opening for turning.  

Trim seams if needed and notch curves if needed.  Turn right side out.  Use a chopstick or other similar implement to poke out any corners until they are nice and square.  Press with an iron.  Make sure that the little bit of raw edge from your turning opening gets pressed up between the layers of fabric. Topstitch across the top edge of the pocket to give it more stability.   

Place your pocket on your garment piece and stitch into place making sure to secure the raw edge from your turning opening.  Stitch approximately 1/8 inch from the edge of the pocket. 

There you have it.  Two simple ways to add patch pockets to your garments.  You can dress them up by adding embroidery, lace, rickrack, piping or coming up with your own idea!  

How to do Heat Bonded Machine Applique

First of all, I highly recommend washing all fabrics to be used in your appliqué in hot water before you begin your appliqué project.  If you are going to appliqué to a T-shirt, I recommend washing the shirt as well.  You want everything that may shrink to have already shrunk before you begin.

I like to use Heat and Bond Lite fusible web when I do appliqué. It is nice and lightweight and it bonds well with the fabric and gives a good solid hold while I sew around the edges.

Step 1.  Choose the shape that you would like to appliqué and trace it on to the paper side of the fusible web.  Be aware that this will be the back side of your appliqué, so if your design needs to be turned a certain way (for instance, letters or numbers), you will need to be tracing it mirror imaged from the intended final direction.

Step 2.  Trim the fusible web close to, but not on the lines.

Step 3.  Iron this piece to the wrong side of your fabric following the manufacturer's instructions.  It is important when ironing these pieces to allow them to cool before you move them otherwise they may not adhere as well as they should.

Step 4.  When cooled, cut out your shapes.

Step 5.   Peel the paper off of the back.

Step 6.  Place your pieces in the desired locations and iron them into place.  Once again, allow them to cool.

Step 7.  Place fabric stabilizer on the back side.  I like to use an iron on stabilizer, but really any stabilizer will work.  It only needs to be big enough to cover the area to be appliquéd.

Step 8. You are not necessarily limited to only using the zigzag stitch for machine appliqué.  Most machines have a variety of stitches.  Play with them and use your own creativity to come up with something that is unique to your own style.

For this example I will use a zigzag stitch.  Set your machine for a zigzag stitch.  You can play around with the stitch width to find a width that you like, however keep in mind that you want to cover the edge well enough that it will not fray or pull out when washed.  The stitch length should be set very small.  I usually set mine to almost the smallest setting.  I recommend making a few practice samples before attempting your finished piece so that you can get the hang of how to move the fabric and how wide and long to set your stitches for your preferred look.

This is how my machine was set for this example.

Step 9.  Stitch around your appliqué pieces allowing the needle to go off the edge of your appliqué piece on the right hand side.

Step 10.  I always apply a small amount of June Tailor Fray Block around the edges of my appliquéd pieces once the stitching is complete.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

How to Finish Your Seams

Finishing With a Serger

This is by far my favorite method of seam finishing.  There are some who sew the actual seam with the serger.   I prefer to sew the seams on my regular sewing machine and then go back and finish the edges on my serger.  I feel this gives me a more accurate and sturdier seam.  I place the raw edge of the fabric so that it is just barely trimmed by the knife on my serger.

Finishing Without a Serger
Even if you do not have a serger, it is still possible to finish your seam edges on your regular sewing machine.

The first method is to use an overlock stitch which you may have on your machine. Consult your manual to see which stitch number to use.  Mine is stitch number 18 on my Pfaff machine.

To use this method, first sew your seam with the designated seam allowance.  Trim the seam a little if desired.  Then go back over the seam using your overlock stitch. Allow the needle to go off of the fabric to the right and use the center of the foot as a guide for the raw edge of the fabric.
The finished seam will look something like this.

If you don't have an overlock stitch on your machine, but you do have a zigzag stitch, you can still finish your seams.

This method is called a zigzag rolled seam.
To do this, again, sew your seam with the designated seam allowance.  If you would like, you may trim the seam a little.  Then choose your zigzag stitch on your machine.  Set the stitch width slightly larger than the default setting and set your stitch length very short.  It should be almost as short as it will go.  Go back over your seam using the center of the foot as a guide for the raw edge of the fabric and allowing the needle to go off of the fabric to the right.

(I forgot to do the original seam on my sample before I took the picture, but you get the idea)

 The finished seam will look like this.