Sunday, June 15, 2014

Tara's Tiered Sundress & Add-on Alteration Tutorial

Add-on with simple skirt and back zipper.

    One of my favorite designers is New Zealand designer, Lydia Persson of LittleKiwis. I've tested several patterns for her and really LOVE this one, Tara's Tiered Sundress and the Add-on

Tara's Tiered Sundress--Original version with back zipper.

Add-on with simple skirt and back zipper.

    The Add-on also includes an option for a knit bodice (NO zipper!) a simple skirt, and simple tunic. I've made the knit one for my girls completely from knit (no different measurements need for the skirt) and knit bodice with woven skirt.  

Knit bodice, woven skirt (length added), FOE shoulder straps
    I finally had the opportunity to make another knit bodice with woven skirt. This is a size 8 so there are no modeled shots, but there are shots of the alterations I made.

Knit bodice, woven skirt, woven ribbon shoulder strap, matching knit headband.
    Lydia does an excellent job with directions. They are easy to read, step-by-step, and have great pictures.

    One of the changes that is a must, is adding elastic at the waist. This helps the wearer get it on and off with ease.

Elastic at waist, top stitching back seam.

    You can use clear swimsuit elastic or 1/4" elastic. I usually use swimsuit elastic, but I didn't have enough so I used 1/4". I put the elastic underneath the fabric and keep it in the center of my presser foot as I sew to make sure I go through the center of it. The purpose of the elastic is that with the stitching in it, it will stretch--a lot--making it very easy to get on and off.
    I had finished the edge of my woven fabric before I attached it to the bodice, so I choose not to finish the edges of the bodice so as to not interfere with the stretch I gained by adding the elastic. However, I have no worries about not finishing it because it is knit and knit doesn't fray or unravel. 

Elastic at waist, top stitching back seam.

    I like to top stitch when and where I can. I think it adds a more professional touch and helps the seam to lay flat when it's worn.
Outside view of the back seam, top stitched.

    Another alteration from the original pattern, making the shoulder straps attached and not tie. Because my knit was on the thinner side, I decided to line the bodice. Simple alteration by cutting two fronts and backs, sewing right sides together, adding the straps while sewing, and turning. I top stitched the edge around the whole bodice so that it would lay flat and be comfortable when worn.

Close-up of ribbon straps and bodice top stitching.

    When I finished, I noticed that it seemed to be missing something. So, I sewed a star button to the center of the bodice. I believe in sewing as many sparkly's on as I can instead of hot gluing them. By sewing them, they last longer and are less likely to fall off or be pulled off by curious toddlers. 
    I did not top stitch the waist because I didn't want to interfere with the stretch I had gained by adding the elastic.
No top stitching at waist.

    So, where did this dress go? I donated this dress to a little girl battling cancer. I added the knit headband (my own design) so she would feel beautiful even though she didn't have hair. <3

    Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to order one for your little one.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Patriotic Pretties

    Welcome to what I hope is the first of many posts!

    I'm starting off with ideas for the Fourth of July. Since I have two girls, L and A, I'll be sewing two different outfits for them.

    First, the fabric. 

    I've chosen a red, white, and blue paisley print; a red, white, and two-tone blue tiny chevron; and a blue with white star print. I haven't decided if I'm really into the chevron. It might get saved for next year. ;)

    Next, the patterns. I'll be using two SisBoom/ScientificSeamstress patterns, the Jeanine Jumper (sz 3 mo-13/14yr) and the BettyAnn Dress (sz 6mo-13/14yr). The pictures are from the Etsy listings which can be found here:  SisBoom/ScientificSeamstress Jeanine Jumper and here: SisBoom/ScientificSeamstress BettyAnn Dress

SisBoom/Scientific Seamstress BettyAnn Dress

SisBoom/Scientific Seamstress Jeanine Jumper

    The plan. Well, as mothers everywhere with small children know, the plan doesn't always go "as planned" but here it is anyway. The dress will have the blue and white stars on the bodice and sleeves and pockets while the skirt will be the paisley. The jumper will have the paisley on the bodice and sleeves with the blue and white star on the bodice/legs. I think I may add a trim of the paisley on the hem of the legs. I haven't decided if I want the elastic in the legs or not. A tends to tug at elastic on her legs, so I probably won't put it in. 

   Wait a minute, what about G? Well, I have a pattern for him too. Another SisBoom/ScientificSeamstress pattern for him, the Bowling Shirt (sz 6mo-11/12yr) found here: SisBoom/ScientificSeamstress Bowling Shirt
SisBoom/Scientific Seamstress Bowling shirt

    For G's shirt, I'll use the blue and white stars and the chevron. He'll be thrilled!

    Timeline: completed by next Friday. I think this is realistic providing I'm able to sew un-interrupted some during the day. And, of course, after the kids are in bed. ;)

    Well, I'm off to start printing, taping, cutting, and sewing! Check back for an update next week!