Friday, October 24, 2014

A Year of Dresses: Fair and Square Dress Using a Border Print


Ahh, The Fair and Square Dress.  This pattern was my very first Tie Dye Diva pattern to sew way back when (okay, it was only 1 1/2 years ago...) and I instantly fell in love with Tie Dye Diva!  Her designs, her instructions, her fit, everything!  And now I'm fortunate enough to work with Jen, sew all of her patterns, and share them with you!

Okay, enough sappy history...you want to hear about this dress and of course see adorable pictures. This may be my very favorite dress for fall layering (have I said that before...? Maybe they're all my favorite...).  I just love the way it looks! Sweet Pea is wearing a size two and I have not adjusted at all for layering.  I find that this pattern is roomy enough to accommodate a tee without any trouble.



The Fair and Square dress is available for both babies and girls.  The baby size pattern includes five sizes from 0-24 months while the girls pattern has six sizes from 2T-7/8.  This pattern is an advanced beginner pattern.  If you've sewn a garment or two, this would be a great next project.  The Fair and Square pattern includes both top and dress length for both babies and girls.  It is a great sundress but equally wonderful layered for cool weather. Pattern details include a hem band (I removed, more later on that), button hole or button loop options, and a decorative bow (for babies) or flower (for girls).


Having said that, I didn't actually use the hem band, buttons, or flower detail on this dress!  So, let's look at what I did do.

I used an adorable border print for this dress.  I love border prints and I love how they work with the Fair and Square pattern.  Do you love this sweet fabric as much as I do?  It is part of the Norwegian Woods Too collection for Michael Miller called Nuts for Dinner.  I bought my fabric at a local shop but found it online (for a great price!) at One Red Blossom. To use a border print, simply cut your skirt pieces on the crosswise grain with the bottom of the print (on the selvedge) as the bottom of your skirt.  I chose to not add a hem band to this dress so I lengthened my skirt length to accommodate.  If you'd like to leave off the hem band, I'll make it easy for you and do the math!  For sizes 0-3, 3-6, and 6-12 months add 1 1/2" to the skirt length.  Add 1 3/4" for size 12-18 months. And add 2" for all larger sizes.  Hem with a narrow hem (fold up 1/4" and then 1/4" again); if you'd like a deeper hem make sure to account for that when cutting.

I did not use a buttonhole or button loop on this dress.  If you've read past Year of Dresses posts, you know I love KAMsnaps.  I didn't have any matching buttons for this dress so I pulled out my snaps to see what I might have.  Lo and behold, an adorable little brown heart.  Perfect!


Lastly, I added rick rack to the yoke seam for some definition.  In this case I simply heat sealed the ends, wrapped them over the edge of the seam and topstitched down the middle.  I knew that this dress was to be worn layered so was not worried about the rick rack on the inside being possibly irritating. Then instead of making a fabric flower I chose a sweet, understated, orange daisy button instead.  I love the final outcome!


I'm very pleased with the end result on this outfit.  Tee, tights, boots, and dress, yes please!  I think this will be Sweet Pea's Thanksgiving dress, because why not...?




What are you sewing this week?  Looking for a project?  Try and fabulous Fair and Square! Now for your pattern details.













~Advanced beginner sewing level
~Top and Dress length included
~Choose buttonholes or loops
~Hem band means no hemming
~Bow or Flower embellishment included

Friday, October 17, 2014

A Year of Dresses: Opal Knit Flutter Dress and Top


You've seen it and loved it, this week I want to give you  an extra look at the newest pattern in The Diva Collection, the Opal Knit Flutter Dress and Top.  Many of you have requested this style in knit and Jen and definitely come through!  This pattern is amazing and I know you'll love it!

The Opal Knit Flutter pattern includes an extended size range from 12-18 months up through girls 9/10.  Included in the pattern is both a tunic length that is perfect for jeans and shorts and a dress length.  The dress length is perfect for pairing with leggings and boots this fall (or spring!). When the weather hits a cold spell, Opal is sweet layered over a tee for extra warmth! Sweet Pea is wearing Opal size two in dress length.  


Opal Knit Flutter pattern is an advanced beginner to intermediate sewing level.  The pattern is quick and simple, but assumes some knowledge of sewing with knits.  If you've not sewn knits before try a pair of Sterling Shorties and Leggings, which includes a full knit tutorial, and then make an Opal Flutter to match!

In addition to length options, Opal also includes a couple of yoke detail options.  I added the ruffle option and love the depth and detail that it adds.  


There is also an adorable bonus tutorial at the end of the pattern for a knit rosette!


Opal sews up quickly and is sure to be a hit with everyone.  Being knit, it is soft and comfortable for everyday wear.  It is a pull over style, which means no buttons or buttonholes! And of course, no ironing required!  I'm sure even the pickiest girl would love to wear an Opal Knit Flutter!




Here's your quick Opal Knit Flutter Dress and Top pattern rundown:

  • Includes sizes 12-18 months through girls 9/10
  • Advanced beginner / intermediate sewing level
  • Dress and tunic lengths included
  • Pullover style
  • Optional bodice ruffle and knit fabric flower


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Spooktacular Halloween!

I hope you caught sight of our gorgeous Ruby Ruffles Skirt pattern, done up in these amazing Spooktacular Too fabrics!  Bats and ghosts and "boos" oh my! I am loving this fresh collection for this Halloween, with its slightly antiqued palette - such a nice change from the usual bright black/orange/purple/lime combinations I usually see for Halloween. Other fabrics in the collection feature black cats, pumpkins, potions and more.



I used Rachel's Reverse Applique Tutorial to embellish a store-bought tee with the cute little ghost and "boo" cut from the fabric motifs. Then I added a little pre-made bow to the ghost just to be sure she would be too cute to spook.




Best of all, I had scraps left over to make a little Halloween mini-bunting using our Fabric Banner tutorial. I just left out the photo pocket, and instead of using bias binding, made the hanging strap from a straight cut of the fabric, selvedge to selvedge, pressed and folded as if it were bias binding.



Happy Halloween!

These fabrics were provided to me free of charge by Blend Fabrics so I can share them with you. All opinions are my own.



Friday, October 10, 2014

A Year of Dresses: Miss Muffet Twirl Skirt and Button Necklace TeeTutorial


This week I made a Miss Muffet Twirl skirt out of a cute fall floral. And I'm back with another cute and easy way to dress up a purchased tee without an embroidery machine.  I love how easily a simple embellished tee can pull an outfit together!

Miss Muffet Twirl Skirt pattern is for girl in sizes 2-8.  It is a wonderful basic skirt that is perfect for showing off fun fabrics.  It's great for every season too, just change your fabric selection for a whole new look. This pattern is a beginner level sewing pattern.  Straight seams and gathering will result in this beautiful skirt. It is a very quick sew, perfect for picture day tomorrow or a birthday party this weekend.


I think my favorite part of the Miss Muffet skirt pattern is the built in bloomers,  Absolutely perfect for playing in style!  I admit, I didn't add the bloomers to this skirt because we are into tights weather, but in spring and summer they are essential!  The bloomers attach at the waistband and have an elastic casing on the legs.  Perfect for playgrounds and bikes, running and playing, twirling and dancing!


True to it's name, this pattern has optimal twirl-ability!  Sweet Pea thought it was great fun to watch her shadow dance on this super sunny day!



If you're looking to make baby sister a matching skirt look no farther than the Skirted Diaper Cover pattern for babies!


Let's take a quick look at Sweet Pea's button necklace tee.  It was a very quick project and looks adorable!

  • Gather your supplies.  You'll need a purchased tee (I buy mine at the local super-center for under four dollars), rick rack, and buttons. A glue stick and fabric marking pen are also helpful.
  • Start with your tee and rick rack.  I decided to make a double strand necklace.  Play around with length and placement until you like the length and shape. Then use a fabric marking pen to mark your placement.

  • I sewed on my lower loop first.  Heat seal the ends of your rick rack to prevent fraying.  I used a glue stick to secure my rick in place before stitching. Dry your glue stick with a dry iron to prevent any gummy-ness on your sewing needle.  I attached my rickrack with slightly longer straight stitch and used invisible nylon thread in the needle and polyester thread in my bobbin.  I used a size 70 ball point needle for sewing.
  • For the second strand of my necklace I went all the way around the back of the shirt for a true necklace look.  I also covered the ends of my first 'strand' of rickrack. Again, heat seal the ends and glue in place.  The glue in this application makes it very easy to be able to manipulate the tee under the pressure foot of your sewing machine while keeping the rick rack in the right place.

  • Now you're ready for the fun part.  Grab your button collection and play.  I did not use all of these buttons but started by grabbing a bunch from my collection that were the right colors.  For this part I like to have my skirt handy for reference.  After deciding on my button placement I used a dab of glue stick to hold them in place while sewing.  If you prefer not to use glue, I'd suggest marking placement of each button with a fabric marking pen.  I hand stitched each button in place, but you could also sew them on with your sewing machine.

  • Stand back and admire your cute button necklace tee!  I love the fun variety of buttons, The red apples were just perfect!
Just a quick word of caution: this embellishment idea is best for children ages three and over. Please be sure to sew your buttons securely so they do not become a safety hazard.

There you have it one more complete outfit ready for fall.  You'll love it so much I'm sure you'll want to make a Christmas, Valentines, and Easter version too! Fabric selection completely changes the mood of this skirt!



Now for your quick pattern rundown:
  • Miss Muffet Twirl Skirt pattern in sizes 2 - 8
  • Beginner level sewing pattern
  • Make with or without built in bloomers

Friday, October 3, 2014

A Year of Dresses: Perfect A-Line


This week's dress, as it's name says, is, well, perfect.  I've shown you one version of the Perfect A-Line dress pattern before, this time though, I've made it just for fall.  The Perfect A-Line pattern makes a fabulous jumper.  I love layering it with a tee and tights for that perfect little girl look.


This pattern comes in both baby and girls sizes.  The baby pattern includes five sizes covering 0-24 months; the girls pattern also includes five sizes from 2-6 years.  The Perfect A-line is a great project for seamstresses of every sewing level.  It is truly a beginner level pattern with big bang results.  It is a reversible dress, so you get two looks in one.  It is also a quick sew, easily done in an evening.  Put those together and you have two dresses in the span of one evening.  Fabulous!

I used Jen's amazing Free Gathered Pocket Pattern and Tutorial again (you may have seen this A-line I also made).  Really, this pocket is AMAZING.  It adds that little extra touch to so many TDD patterns.  Try it on a Butterfly Dress, Easy Peasy Peasant, Fair and Square, Storybook Pinafore, and, of course, Perfect A-line.   And what girl doesn't like pockets?  Sweet Pea loves being able to stash goodies in pockets!

Perfect place to carry her baby doll!
For this dress I decided to switch it up and put just one pocket on the chest.  I love that it helps break up the busy floral and pulls the pink tee in perfectly!


I once again used KAMsnaps on the shoulders.  I had all intentions of sewing buttons and buttonholes this time, but my machine decided to act up.  So, I decided it wasn't worth the hassle....bring out the snaps!  I've heard a lot of questions on how to get nice smooth curves on the straps when turning.  I addressed that in my last Perfect A-Line Year of Dresses Post, so be sure to check it out!

Don't you just love how versatile this pattern is?  It works for every season. Can be embellished in endless ways.  It's a perfect canvas for creativity!  It is my favorite pattern for using a holiday themed print with a generic print on the reverse side because after the holidays it can keep being worn.  Embellishments are numerous: add pockets, embroider, add a ruffle.  Wear as a sundress, layer with Sterling Leggings or tights, add a short or long sleeve tee for warmth, dress it up with a cardigan...shall I continue?   Here are 4 dresses, 5 looks (only one was intended as reversible) and each different!

The Christmas side.  
And reverse, perfect for everyday!

With a Tuxedo Ruffle

Two Pockets

One Chest Pocket
Each one is completely different because of the fabric used, the little extra details added, and how it's worn (sundress, short sleeve tee and leggings, long sleeve tee and tights).  Have I mentioned I love this pattern!? On a totally unrelated note...do you see how much my baby has grown since last Christmas! 

And just because she was having a great time with the leaves, I leave you with these:





Here's your quick pattern rundown:



  • Baby sizes 0-24 months
  • Girls sizes 2-6
  • Beginner level pattern
  • Reversible, two dresses in one!
  • No buttonholes required, use snaps if you prefer
  • Wear as a sundress or jumper