Monday, September 15, 2014

Another giveaway - Blend Fabrics Geofabulous and Turkish Delight!

You saw the gorgeous Geofabulous collection by Blend Fabrics featured recently in Tie Dye Diva free pocket tutorial and the Turkish Delight collection in the lovely La Tulipe dress photo we shared on Instagram. Now we’re GIVING AWAY a 7 half-yard bundle of each featured collection - go to the Tie Dye Diva Facebook fan page to enter before 7 a.m. September 17 - good luck!

Turkish Delight collection by Josephine Kimberling for Blend

Friday, September 12, 2014

A Year of Dresses: The Pixie Belle Pirate with bonus vest tutorial

As promised I have another wonderful everyday costume for you today.  I am in love with the possibilities for this one.  Today's costume uses two patterns, plus I have a quick and easy bonus tutorial for you.  The show stealer today is the Pixie Belle Skirt.  I've paired with it is the Peasant Top, such a great staple pattern.  To finish off this costume I'll show you how to make a quick and easy corset style pirate vest.

The Pixie Belle Skirt is super quick and easy but so cute and unique! It is designed for sizes 2-8.  Like the Fariytale dress pattern, Pixie Belle's skirt to made from two offset squares.  The skirt is gathered to a simple elastic waistband.  I love the look of a handkerchief hem! In the name of speed I hemmed my pixie squares with a rolled hem on my serger instead of a folded narrow hem.  I trimmed off about 1/4" while serging to keep the finished length the same.

Paired with the Pixie Belle today is the Peasant Top.  This simple blouse is great on so many levels!  The peasant top is available for both babies 0-24 months and girls 2-10. The pattern includes both long and short sleeves and multiple finishing options. I love how quickly to goes together.  It is cute in a variety of fabrics as an everyday top paired with jeans or Sterling Leggings.  But, it is also a great layering piece.  This one is made in plain white cotton.  It is the same top that I paired under my Fairytale dress last winter and that Sweet Pea wore with her stripwork Miss Muffet Skirt also.  I added 3" of length to the top and omitted the ruffle to reduce bulk, knowing that this was a layering piece for me. This time I chose to finish the neckline with a narrow  hem and shirring; for the sleeves I used a simple folded casing.

Now for the vest.  This vest pounded home the Pirate look for me.  I used an imitation leather look knit fabric.  It's kind of plastic-y on the right side.  I probably wouldn't want to wear it often, but it's perfect for this.  It doesn't fray so the only sewing necessary are shoulder and side seams.  With a few simple steps you can create this vest in a jiffy!
  • Gather supplies: fabric, a tee that fits, fabric marking pen or chalk
  • Fold your tee in half matching shoulder and side seams.
  • Place on the fold of your fabric and trace loosely around it.  I used a chalk pen because it was visible on my black.   Remember to add a little extra on the sides and shoulder for seams.  Don't stress over it too much, This does not need to be perfect!  This will be your back.

  • Trace a second piece the same as the first, but split down the center instead of on the fold.  This will be your front.

  • Set the back piece aside and grab the front.  Cut the front to your desired shape.  I totally free handed this.  The only guide line really is to make sure that you do not alter the length of the shoulder or side seams.  I created a V front and notched bottom.

  • Next sew the front and back pieces right sides together at the shoulder and side seams. Secure your stitches at the beginning and end of each seam.
  • Your vest could now be finished if you want an open front style.  I chose to add some buttonholes and lace with ribbon.  I added 4 buttonholes per side and laced like shoelaces.
The beauty of no hemming is that the length is easily customizable after the fact.  I decided that the vest was a wee bit long once on so I trimmed a bit off. Easy!

This is another costume that works great for Halloween, but can also easily transfer to everyday!  Sweet Pea loves it and has requested to wear it several times already. Take off the vest, perhaps add tights, or a cute sweater and you have a perfect everyday skirt that doesn't scream pirate!

Speaking of multiple opportunities to wear this one.... Have you heard of Krispy Kreme's Pirate Day?  Once a year (at participating locations) you can get a free dozen glazed doughnuts if you come in dressed as a pirate.  How fun is that?!  So plan a fun outing with the kids and get some doughnuts! All the details can be found at Krispy Kreme's website.

"Sweet Pea, say 'ARGH, I'm a pirate!'"
And finally, your quick pattern rundown:

  • Sizes 2-8
  • beginner sewing level
  • unique handkerchief hem
  • Baby sizes 0-24 months
  • Girls sizes 2-10
  • beginner sewing level
  • long or short sleeves
  • multiple options for finishing neck and sleeves

Friday, September 5, 2014

A Year of Dresses: Double Feature - Zee's Tee and Sugarplum Skirt

As promised I'm back from vacation and ready to roll out some fresh new posts for you!  Starting this week, the next four weeks will feature TDD style costumes.  This time of year Halloween is on a lot of minds and these costumes will be great for that, but they are equally as appropriate for themed birthday parties, school plays, or simply a girl who loves to dress up.  And, because they are made with Tie Dye Diva's practical, everyday patterns, these costumes can be worn much more than once and are appropriate for everyday too!

Though I feel like a slightly broken record, please do pin your favorite picture to Pinterest and follow Tie Dye Diva on Pinterest as well.  Have you explored Jen's Pinterest boards?  You can find all the blog links as well as pattern links.  Another favorite board is dedicated to where to find the fabrics that Jen has used in her pattern covers.  Be sure to stop over and browse, there's some non-sewing related fun too!

Now, on to what you really are here for!  This week's costume is not an attempt to replicate an exact costume, instead it is designed to be an everyday style that is reminiscent of the original.  You know by now, that I am of course meaning the ever-so-popular Elsa from Disney's Frozen.  Without even attempting to replicate Elsa's infamous Ice Queen gown from the movie, I have instead created an outfit that everyone will recognize as a throw to Elsa,  Moms, you will love the quick and easy style that can be worn over and over again, even out in public.  And your girls will love dressing as Queen Elsa whether it's for Halloween, a birthday party, church, a Christmas party, or even just going to school.

I made this costume using two Tie Dye Diva Patterns.  The top is made from the brand new Zee's Tee (yep, it works for girls too!) and the skirt is the wonderful Sugarplum pattern.  Zee's Tee covers sizes 12 months through 11/12 while the Sugarplum Skirt has you covered from 6 months - 13/14.

First up, let's talk about Zee's Tee.  This is the first time I have made a tee for A Year of Dresses instead of embellishing a store bought one.  But, let me tell you, I love this pattern!  It is fast and easy, and sure to impress!  

As you no doubt know, Zee's Tee was a part of the Boy's Bundle UP pattern sale last week.  If you forgot to grab it during the sale, it will be available directly from Tie Dye Diva on September 10th.  Don't worry, this tee goes together in a hurry so definitely plenty of time to make one (or ten) before Halloween!

To make this tee for a girl, I suggest downsizing the width one size for a more feminine fit.  So for Sweet Pea I cut a 12-18 month width and 18-24 month length.

Now for fabrics....  The silver yoke and sleeves are made from confetti dot fabric.  If you've never sewn with it, don't be intimidated.  It is really quite easy on a project like this.  The dots are not actual sequins and can easily be sewn through.  I used a size 70 ballpoint needle and polyester thread with no problems.

The white body and neck band I cut from a tank top purchased on clearance  It is a polyester, 4 way stretch, rib knit.  I used the original hem on the tank and simply cut the shirt pieces about 5/8" shorter as directed in the pattern for up-cycling.

After sewing up my tee (in seriously, less than an hour) I decided to add a bit more of a feminine touch and hand sewed a ribbon flower and some sequins to the front.  This was one more little addition that made the top slightly more "Elsa-ish".  By adding the sequins and flower in a slight V at the center front I created a bit of a mock sweetheart neckline without having to alter the yoke pieces during construction.  I couldn't be happier with the final outcome.

Another thought, which I wish I had thought of earlier is to add a cape into the back yoke seam.  Have you ever noticed that Elsa's cape starts at the yoke seam on her dress?  Of course you have, you sew!
Disney Image

Add a cape with these simple steps:

  • Cut a piece of fabric (I would use the same sheer snowflake print as my skirt) two times the width of your yoke piece by your desired length
  • Hem the three exposed sides (2 sides and the bottom).
  • Gather the top edge to slightly narrower that the back shirt piece.  
  • Sew into the yoke seam while attaching the yoke and main shirt.  Be sure that it does not get caught in the armholes while sewing in the sleeves. 

Moving on to the skirt.

The skirt is a basic Sugarplum Skirt with out the bow added.  Sweet Pea is wearing it with an underskirt this time.  The only adjustment on the skirt is that I used a sheer snowflake overlay to drive home the Elsa look.

An overlay is a very easy adjustment.

  • Beginning with the cutting phase,  cut each of the overskirt pieces from both your satin (I used inexpensive polyester costume satin) and sheer overlay.  
  • Then baste the overlay to the satin on both waistband pieces. Now treat those as one piece.  
  • For the skirt portion sew the side seams of both the sheer and satin separately.  I used a French Seam (instructions included in the pattern) for my sheer overlay.
  • Hem both skirts.  I topstitched my satin hem as per the instructions.  I then used a rolled hem on the overlay trimming off about 1/2" as I serged.  This left the overskirt a little longer than the satin as a sheer overlay usually is.  
  • Next baste the skirts together on the top edge.
  • Treat them as one skirt and join to the waistband as per the instructions.

This outfit is an incredibly quick sew!  I cut and sewed the skirt during nap time.  100%.  I then cut and finished Zee's Tee after the kids went to bed.  So, if it's October 30th and you still need a Halloween costume, this one has you covered!

I call this the "Let It Go" photo!

Here's your quick pattern rundown:

  • TWELVE sizes from 6 months -13/14
  • elastic back and flat front waist
  • tulle underskirt included - 2 patterns in 1!
  • tips for sewing with special occasion fabrics included
  • Not just for boys!  
  • sizes 12 months - 11/12
  • long and short sleeves
  • yoke, colorblock, and pocket tee styles
  • knit tutorial included

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Free Gathered Pouch Pocket Pattern & Tutorial

I don't need to sell you on why you need pockets. If you have a kid, you already know. So, skipping the sales pitch, here's a free pocket pattern and tutorial so you can add handy and adorable gathered pouch pockets to your Tie Dye Diva patterns, or anything you have in need of a little colorful accent or helpful place to hold stuff.

You'll need: scraps of two different fabrics. The button is decorative, and therefore optional, but looks super cute. You could also use a little pre-made bow or make your own from fabric or ribbon. I also recommend using a fusible or self-stick sewing tape such as Wash Away Wonder Tape or a glue stick to make construction easier.

I'm using two gorgeous prints from the Geofabulous collection by Maude Asbury for Blend Fabrics. My main pocket is made from Facet in Blue; my trim is Kaleidoscope in Pink, and I'm showing it on Stained Glass in Navy. These fabrics were generously provided to me by Blend so I could bring you this great tutorial. Win-win!

Finished pocket is about 4.5" x 4.5".

Download the free pocket pattern and print at 100% scale, with auto rotate and center UNchecked.

Cut out the pocket piece (seam allowances are included) from your main fabric.
Cut a strip for the pocket trim 5" x 2". You can cut this on the bias for visual interest, but you don't need to.

1.  Press the trim in half lengthwise with wrong sides together to make a crease and unfold, then press both long edges to the center.

Now fold again along the center line but with right sides together - so, not as if you were making a short piece of bias binding, but so you have a piece that is fan-folded, with the raw edges on the outside. I'm just turning one end here so you can be sure yours looks like this before you stitch.

Stitch along the short edges using a 1/4" seam allowance. Trim the seam allowance very close to the stitches. Do not turn the trim right side out yet.

2.  Sew a line of staystitches around the sides and bottom edge of the pocket (shown in black). While you are at your machine, go ahead and sew the gathering threads too: 2 rows of long, loose stitches across the top of the pocket about 1/4" and 1/2" from the edge. Start and stop these gathering threads just inside your staystitches.

Using the staystitches as your guide, press the side and bottom edges of the pocket under 1/4" to the wrong side.

Use the gathering threads to gather the top of the pocket to the width of the trim, from stitching line to stitching line. Keep the side edges folded under.

3. If you have sewing tape or a glue stick, leave the trim wrong side out (with raw edges on the short sides) and apply tape (or glue) along one side, from stitching line to stitching line. I've left the backing on my Wash Away Wonder Tape for the photo so you can see where I am placing it.

Stick the gathered pocket edge, wrong sides together, on the trim from stitching line to stitching line, aligning raw edges.

Make sure it is sticking well, then carefully turn the trim piece right side out, folding it down over the gathered edge of the pocket. Poke the corners of the trim out with a poky tool, and press, then stitch into place from the right side.

If you don't have sewing tape or glue, you may find it easiest to turn the pocket trim right side out first (so the raw short edges are inside), poke the corners square, and carefully insert the gathered pocket edge into the trim, pinning, and taking care to catch both sides of the trim as you sew.

4. Re-press the pocket edges if needed, and place on your garment. Stitch around 1/8" from the edge, backstitching at the beginning and end to secure the pocket.

Add decorative button if you wish.


Friday, August 29, 2014

A Year of Dresses: Fairytale Dress Pattern

Here we are at the end of August already!  Where has the summer gone?  School may be back in  full swing, but our weather is still warm, so before moving on to fall styles next week, I have to share the Fairytale Dress with you.

This pattern was one of my first Tie Dye Diva patterns, purchased before I knew Jen personally.  I love the handkerchief hem and adjustable straps with a bow in the back.  The Fairytale Dress pattern includes sizes 12-18 months through size 5 with a bonus top length pattern for sizes 6 through 8.

Once again Sweet Pea is wearing an 18-24 month dress and yes, it is quite short on her. But, remember that bonus top length pattern?  I plan to add Sterling leggings underneath and keep wearing this one for a bit longer.  Have you noticed those leggings have made an appearance in three of the last four Year of Dresses posts? That's because they are awesome and such a great staple item!

The Fairytale dress makes this Momma happy in it's ability to adapt to all seasons too.  I  love it as a sundress, but it is equally cute layered with a Peasant Top for extra warmth.  Sweet Pea definitely wore this for professional pictures (ahem...last spring...I promise next week will be brand new) and I loved the outcome!

Here we were trying out the outfit at home.
See it's proper length?
You might have noticed my one change to this pattern. Do I ever completely follow the directions.....?   Sometimes I do, but one of the beauties of sewing is the ability to adapt to your preferences or situation.  This time I decided to omit the front laces and have a plain bodice.  Because the laces aren't necessary for dressing, just pretty, this is a super easy change to make.  When preparing your pattern simply draw a line on the bodice piece 1/2" in from the center front.  When cutting, place your front bodice piece on the fold of your fabric aligning  your newly marked line with the fold. Now you have a solid front bodice piece.  This is a great option when you're short on sewing time because you eliminate the need for buttonholes down the front.

The straps on this dress are free in the back and loop through buttonholes (or loops if you prefer). Tie them in a bow for a beautiful back view. This makes the straps fully adjustable for a wider fit range.  When layering a top underneath leave the straps a little longer to accommodate the bulk; when wearing as a sundress  pull  the straps a little shorter for a higher neckline and armholes.

I love the unique handkerchief hem on this dress. Layer fun fabrics or keep it simple as I did.  And in case you're wondering, yes, it twirls!

Halloween costumes will be coming in full force next week, I have four fabulous and diverse costumes planned for you, but I have to through out some ideas for the Fairytale dress too.  Made in red and white like this I always think of an adorable Little Red Riding Hood costume.  It also makes a cute girly witch made in green or purple and black, definitely add the front laces for that on.  Tinkerbell anyone? The Fairytale Dress has you covered.  If you are feeling adventurous experiment with costume satin and glitter chiffon.

Now for your quick pattern info:

  • Sizes 12 months - 5 with top length for sizes 6-8
  • Advanced beginner sewing level
  • Optional loops for a no buttonholes construction
  • Reverse knot back for an adjustable fit

Saturday, August 23, 2014

A Year of Dresses: Butterfly Baby Top

This week I'm back with another great sewing project for the end of summer, heading into fall.  If you still need some back to school sewing this outfit will be great!  Shoulders covered, check. Playground appropriate, check.  Layer-able, check.

The Butterfly Baby Top will quickly become on of your favorite go to patterns (and the girls' Butterfly Dress too)! It is perfect for mixing fun prints and adding embellishments.  It is also very cute layered, and you know that's a big hit for me.

I've pared my top with Sterling Leggings.  If you haven't grabbed this pattern yet, do it now!  It is wonderful on every level and will be a staple in every girl closet.  Today I chose the simple, plain leggings version.  They are classic and easy.  Seriously, they sew together in half an hour!

So let's talk about the patterns.  Butterfly for Baby is a long top length with hem band, and covers little ones from 0-24 months.  The Butterfly Dress for girls, covering sizes 2-8,  is dress length and has a hem ruffle.  With a few simple adjustments though you can make a dress for babies or a tunic for girls.  Don't worry, I'll tell you how!

The Butterfly baby top is a long tunic length top.  It is great with Sterling Shorties and Leggings.  Or, if you prefer woven fabric, Pretty Pantaloons are adorable.  On little babies, I think it passes as a dress with just a Diaper Cover added.

First let's talk about adding a ruffle to the hem instead of a band.  The finished length of your ruffle should be about 1 1/2" for the smallest sizes and 2 1/2" for the largest 18-24 month size. To make a ruffle cut four strips the width indicated in the pattern and between 2 1/2" and 3 1/2" wide depending on your size.  Finish your ruffle with a narrow hem by folding under 1/4" and another 1/4" and stitching close to the edge. Gather and sew to the bottom of the skirt.  Easy Peasy!

Now, making top into a dress....
  • For sizes 0-3 and 3-6 months add 1/2" to the skirt length.  Remember how easily little ones are swallowed up in clothes...?  
  • Add 1" for 6-12 months 
  • Add 1.5" for 12-18 and 18-24 month sizes.  
Super simple!

Do you want to know how to make the girls dress into a top?  I'm going to make this very easy....  To make a tunic length top from the girl's Butterfly Dress simply cut the skirt 4" shorter than directed in the pattern.

Whew! Did you follow all that?  Great!

I did one other easy modification to this Butterfly Top.  I added 1" to the center back pattern pieces and overlapped them instead of abutting them together.  I then finished with my favorite, easy finish, KAMsnaps.

Once again, you've caught me on vacation!  Sweet Pea has worn this top since last spring.  She wore it layer with leggings then, has worn it with shorts this summer and will keep wearing it as the weather gets cooler.  It has definitely gotten shorter on her, but remember, it is a longer tunic length so there is plenty of growing room!  Did you notice those cute flutter sleeves? I love them!  So girly and sweet.

This top and dress can be made as simple or embellished as you like.  On this dress I decided to leave off the tuxedo ruffle and simply add a couple buttons to the bodice.  I love the tuxedo detail too though!  It's a great place to add a little spark of color.  Color placement can completely change the look of this sweet outfit as well.  Here is one I made with a tuxedo ruffle and a bit more color-blocking style. Completely different look, but I like it as well!

Enjoy making a Butterfly top or dress.  Actually make some of both!   Here's your pattern highlights: