Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Christmas in July - Fabric Wine Gift Bag Tutorial!

I have heard a lot of people asking, 'what are the good fabric collections for Christmas this year?" When Blend Fabrics generously provided me this lovely package of fabrics earlier this month, it gave me two great answers to that question: Anna Griffin's Yuletide Greetings for the traditionalist and Treelicious by Maude Asbury for Blend with fun, contemporary colors and design! Although I received this fabric free of charge from Anna Griffin/Blend, all opinions are my own.
Anna Griffin Inc. courtesy photo
I love the deep hues in the Yuletide Greetings collection - the colors of decorated trees, cinnamon, and gingerbread, and the luxurious scrolls and bows and holiday motifs.  It made me think of lush, decadent gifts, and in the spirit of giving, I've created a free tutorial showing you how to make a fabric gift bag, perfectly sized for a bottle of wine.

Fabric Gift Bag Tutorial

(not ready to make it right now? Hover over the image above and pin it for later!)

You'll need:

For the bag: 2 pieces 6.5" x 16". If your fabric is nondirectional you can fit this into a quarter yard, or of course could use a fat quarter.

For the ties: 1 strip  36" x 3".  You can substitute ribbon for the tie if you really want to speed things up ("uh oh, party in an hour, honey, what are we bringing??"), but I love the rich look of the fabric bow.
Use a 1/4" seam allowance throughout.

1. Press the ties strip in half lengthwise with right sides together.
At each end, fold the raw edges to the folded edge to make a 45-degree angle crease, and unfold.
Start at one crease, and stitch around, leaving a gap in the center about 1.5" for turning.

 Clip the corners, turn, and press. Set the ties aside.

2. Mark the back bag piece for ties placement 3.5" from the top edge along center back. (Mark the right side of the fabric so you can find it easily later.) Place the bag front and back with right sides together.  Sew around 3 edges, leaving one short side open, which will be the top of the bag. Finish this seam with a serger or pinking shears, unless you want to give your honored giftee a tangled mess of threads with their wine.

3. Form the gussets. Pinch the bottom of the bag on both sides of the bottom seam and pull the front and back layers apart. Line up the bottom seam with the side seam, forming a little triangle as you do so.

Press this triangle into place, and measure a scant 1.5" from the peak of the triangle. Pin or mark across at this point, then stitch along the line. Repeat for the other bottom corner. Press the triangles well.

Look like this now? Good! Almost done!

4. Hem the top of the bag by serging and turning under ½”, or by turning under ¼” and pressing, then again 1/2” and pressing again, and stitching all the way around.

5. Turn the bag right side out, poking the corners out square.  Center the tie at the mark you made on the back of the bag. Pin, and then stitch, into place, taking care to keep the opposite side of the bag out of the way as you sew.

Fill, give, and enjoy!

For more Christmas giving ideas, check out the Fabric Gift Card Holder tutorial on the Tie Dye Diva Patterns instant-download website. I had fun making this one from my scraps!

So .... here we are at the end of the tutorial and you may have noticed, there was a lot more fabric in that box than I've shown you and I cannot wait to show you more of that amazing Treelicious collection! Christmas in July (and maybe a little bit of August) continues on the TDD blog with a gorgeous Year of Dresses post and a terrific giveaway for you! Stay tuned.

Friday, July 25, 2014

A Year of Dresses: Ruffled Bubble Romper

Don't you just love this week's Year of Dresses...with legs? Okay, so it's a romper it's a great pattern.  The Ruffled Bubble Romper is perfection.  Full of vintage inspired charm, this pattern features bubble styling, ruffles wrapped from one side and around the back to the other side, and halter neck. All of it is adorable.  Not only is it cute, the smart design is perfect for keeping your little ones cool on hot summer days!

Have you followed Tie Dye Diva on Pinterest?  You know when you all do I can stop reminding you each week.... Seriously though, creating your own TDD A Year of Dresses board, or following the one Jen has created is the easiest way to have quick links to all the Year of Dresses posts at the click of a button.  Pinning from this post is as easy as hovering over  your favorite photo and clicking on the large Pinterest icon that appears.

The Ruffled Romper is available for baby in sizes newborn to 24 months or toddler in sizes 2-6.  This is a beginner / advanced beginner pattern level.  If you can gather, you can make this.  There are slight pattern differences between the toddler and baby sizes.  Toddler sizes have a seam in the center front enabling the legs to have a  more age appropriate bloomer style with short legs.  Baby sizes are diaper cover style.  The baby size pattern also has optional crotch snaps for easy diaper changes.  As a mom, I always add the snaps!  The other main difference is that toddler sizes have long halter straps that tie in a full bow while baby sizes have short straps that tie in a knot to keep baby safe.  Both styles feature an elasticized back and legs.

To make this quick sewing pattern even quicker use a rolled hem on the ruffle edges and gather with using a ruffler foot.

What a sweet little ruffled bum

I treasure this style on Sweet Pea right now and take full advantage of her wearing it.  It is one that I know she limited time amount of time to wear before ruffles on the bum just won't work.  But for now, whether it's a day trip to the lake, shopping around town, or staying home to play, the ruffled romper is quite simply adorable, and I receive complements every time she wears it!

Today was all about playing in the back yard.  Sweet Pea was up and down the slide, swinging on her tummy and playing with her brothers.  Really, the best days of summer are spent outside watching and playing with the kiddos.  They are only this age once and who know what next year will hold.

That Grin!

See, they're almost all together in this picture.  

Here's you quick pattern rundown:

Friday, July 18, 2014

A Year of Dresses: Sweet Summer Halter

Can you believe we are on week 12 of A Year of Dresses already?  I plan to make it through all 52 weeks of the year, showing you different pattern options, highlighting new patterns (like the Coral Dress), showing fun and simple modifications, and a few bonus tutorial along the way!

There is so much fun and excitement coming up in the TDD world with last week's launch of the Diva Collection.  Come follow us on Instagram for sneak peaks of upcoming patterns and peaks into our lives beyond the patterns!

The Sweet Summer Halter....I have had my eye on this pattern for a long time but never gotten one made.  I knew that it MUST be made for A Year of Dresses this summer, and summer has most definitely been in full swing in my neck of the woods.  This dress is extra special to me though.  I've been saving this Pretty Little Things fabric by Dena Designs especially for Sweet Pea's 2 year pictures, which will be in a couple weeks.  (The entire collection is available Hawthorn Threads). What could be more perfect than a sweet summer dress for a sweet summer baby?!

The Sweet Summer Halter pattern has all your little girls covered from 0 months up through size 8.  Depending on your needs, you can purchase the pattern in baby sizes 0-24 months or girls sizes 2-8.  The curved halter straps really make this dress stand out! I love the contrast trim all the way around the bodice.  I chose to use the same fabric for my hem band for a more uniform look, but a third fabric on the hem band is also cute!  The Sweet Summer Halter is an intermediate level sewing pattern simply because of the the curved piecing on the straps.  If, however, you are a confident beginner, this pattern is for you too.  The instructions include a full step by step tutorial for successful curved piecing.

See this post for how to fussy cut a print on your bodice.
I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly this dress went together.  Even with a misbehaving sewing machine I was able to finish this dress in just a few hours.  I'm sure it would have been much shorter had my machine been behaving!  Thankfully I was able to get to the bottom of it's issues; I dread having to be without my sewing machine.

If you have been reading A Year of Dresses consistently, then you know that Sweet Pea is a mix of sizes.  I debated whether to make this dress in 18-24 months or 2.  Because of the halter style of this dress I did not want it to be too big around her chest so I used the 18-24 month size and adjusted the length a little.  I added 1/2" to the bottom edge of the bodice.  This made it the same bodice length as a size 2.  I also added 1" of length to the skirt.  The end result is a perfect fit!

I also added fullness to the skirt to make this dress just a little extra special.  According to the pattern the front and back skirt panels were each to be cut at 26" wide for my size.  That would have made a very nice, two times gathered skirt which is perfect for everyday.  Because this is a special dress for Sweet Pea's birthday I decided to make it a little more full and cut each of my skirt panels 36" wide.  You can add width to any gathered skirt panel and easily have a fuller finished skirt.  36" was a bit of an arbitrary number, not an exact ratio for this skirt.  I was feeling a bit indecisive on how full I wanted the skirt to be and this was between 2.5 and 3 times the width of the bodice.  Any time you are looking for an easy way to fancy up a dress for a special occasion, consider adding fullness to your skirt.  It is very easy and effective!  And, if you want even more fullness, try adding the underskirt from the Sugarplum Skirt pattern as a petticoat!

Extra full makes extra fun!
As I have been working with Jen, I am ever more and more aware of how tirelessly she works to make sure that her patterns fit just right for you.  This dress is of course no exception.  The armholes are perfect, the back is snug so it stays in place, but not uncomfortable.  The neckline is neither too high or too low.  Perfection!

I look forward to taking Sweet Pea for special birthday photos (much better than my humble attempts at photography) in this sweet dress.  I love having the memories to look back on and they are made even more special with a Mommy Made dress!

Are you enjoying A Year of Dresses?  Make sure you follow Tie Dye Diva on Bloglovin and you will receive email notification each time there is a new post!  

Now for your pattern highlights:

Friday, July 11, 2014

A Year of Dresses: The Coral Dress and Top

It has been an exciting week at Tie Dye Diva! The Coral Dress and Top, the first pattern of the Diva Collection, is now available. The Diva Collection is designed to be a little more full, a little more flair, a little more fun!  Perfect for every girl in your life that likes more modern styling with some extra frills. Let me tell you, you do not want to miss this pattern!  Oh, and wait, there's more....  It is ON SALE through this evening (7/11), AND can be combined with the fabulous new tiered discounts!

Of course, everything that you know and love about Tie Dye Diva is still there!  The instructions are fabulous, detailed, and clear.  Pictures help you along each step of construction.  Sizing is spot on.  Jen takes extreme care to make sure that all her patterns fit just right and never stops until they do.  Vigorous testing makes sure fit and construction works for everyone.  A  huge thanks to all the FABULOUS testers on this pattern!

The Coral Dress and Top also includes extended sizing.  TEN sizes are included covering all the way from 6 months up girls 10!  The pattern is loaded with options.  Choose from cap or flutter sleeves, or choose straps that tie in a cute bow.  Make a dress or top, both lengths are included.  There is also an optional apron that is the perfect place for fun embellishments.  Think lace, buttons, applique....  Here's Sweet Pea's top length Coral with cap sleeves and apron paired with Pretty Pantaloons.

If you've never shirred before, have no worries!  There is a full shirring tutorial included.  If you can sew (mostly) straight lines, then you can shirr!  The shirring on this dress is done after constructing the tiers.  There are a couple options when it come to the shirring and it is entirely personal preference, but I'll show you how I like to do it.  When I shirr I like as few ends as possible that need secured, but I also want to know that if my thread breaks I won't need to fix more than one round of shirring.  So here's my solution.

This is one side seam on my dress.  If you look closely you'll see that there are several small stitches through the seam allowance.  I set my stitch length to 1.0 and take about 5 stitches.  This is my favorite way to secure shirring and I have never had it pull out.  Also, and what I'm not sure you can see here, is I do not break my thread each round.  Instead I take a few stitches down the seam to the next row.  If you are familiar with quilting at all, this can also be called 'stitching in the ditch'.  Using this method I can shirr the entire bodice with only two thread tails and still have my stitches secured each round.

I want to show you shirring from the inside too.  The elastic thread used in your bobbin sits right on the surface in side the garment.  It is soft and stretchy!

I have finished both the top and hem of this dress with a rolled hem.  I personally love the rolled hem on top and it makes a super quick and easy hem also.  But, if you don't have a serger, no worries!  Jen's patterns never require a serger.  There are also instructions for making a narrow folded hem.

Sweet Pea's Coral dress is a size 2.  She is at the bottom of the height range for a 2 and I knew that with a shirred bodice the chest would fit without any problems too even though she is still at the bottom of a 18-24 month size range by her chest measurement. 

Don't forget a Coral for Dolly too!

Coral dress falls below the knee and has a great twirl factor.  I'm hoping that the longer length and tie shoulder mean this dress still fits next spring. That might be wishful thinking....good thing Mama can make another one.

I adore the fullness of this skirt.  Sweet Pea is still new to twirling, but she sure tried!

I seriously can't get enough of this sweet dress; it will be worn everywhere.  Play, parties, church, you name it.  Just because I love it so much, here's a few more pictures for you.

As always, here's you quick pattern rundown.

  • Ten sizes from 6 months to girls 10
  • Top and Dress length
  • Three sleeve options: cap, flutter, and straps
  • Shirred bodice (full shirring tutorial included)
  • No serger required
  • Dolly Dress also available!