Beach Goddess Maxi + tutorial

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So I made myself a new maxi dress for the beach! It makes me feel super glamorous. It’s made out of flowy cotton rayon which also makes it incredibly comfortable. The other great thing about this dress is that I made it with just one 1.5-yard piece of 54″ wide fabric. AND it was super quick to make, which is just the right speed for me these days; it’s gotta be fast otherwise it just won’t happen.

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The basic idea is that you cut the fabric into two rectangles, sew the sides together, leaving the bottom 18″ unsewn for slits, sew with elastic thread in a big spiral around the top portion (shirring tutorial here), and then finish the hem and slits. The only thing that’s a bit time consuming is the shirring; you go through about four bobbins worth of elastic thread, so that requires some serious concentration because sewing around and around a tube of fabric a bajillion times is not the most mentally stimulating activity. I should have put on some TV. I just finished binge-watched all five seasons of Breaking Bad on Netflix, which is so good and awful at the same time. It was like watching a wreck happen, I just couldn’t look away. If you do not like violence do not ever watch that show. It’s downright horrifying. And addicting. But awesome. Anyhoo.

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I’ve mentioned before that this cotton rayon challis is one of my favorite fabrics of all time. Pink Castle has a few of the Free Spirit rayons in stock, including this one, and I found a few at Pink Chalk too (both of these shops sponsor my blog). In addition to being really comfortable to wear, the cotton rayons also cinch up like a dream when you do the elastic shirring.

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I sketched out some basic instructions just in case you wanted to make one yourself; I’m pretty sure that this would fit just about anyone, but if you’re pretty small (XS or S) you might want to narrow the pieces by a few inches so that it doesn’t just slide right off of you. I’m wearing a women’s size large these days and it fits perfectly.

And my handy-dandy tutorial for elastic shirring can be found here:

shirring with elastic thread

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Sewing for baby: knit baby leggings

I love to make baby pants and leggings. I always have so many cute baby onesies hanging around that making tops seems fairly pointless, but pants? Leggings?? Bring it on. So far I’ve made these and these, and now…there’s more. From knits this time. Hopefully these will fit when Baby Boy is newly hatched:

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Oh yes and the adorable kitty pants were from the same pattern, just with a drawstring made of a strip of jersey:

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Someone needs to stage an intervention.

It all started innocently enough…I just thought I’d try to chop the feet off of the free pattern in my Baby Tights Tutorial. That worked great for this little navy striped pair, which are made of rib knit:

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Super cute right? But then when Tashina was cutting out another pair here at the studio, she accidentally put the fold down the center of the pant instead of along the leg, and it was just as cute. So we tweaked the shape a little, added a cuff, and we had a new pattern!

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And then we made a free pattern (link below) just in case YOU want to make a pair! Or twenty!

I’m calling these the Just Hatched Leggings, though I suspect that they will fit more like pants in the very beginning. If you add a cuff they might even fit 3-6 months? Who knows? You’ll just have to give it a try. Here’s how to make them!

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Please remember: all of my blog and pattern content is protected by copyright, including this tutorial and pattern. Do not repost or distribute. When linking to this tutorial/pattern, please link to the blog post URL but not directly to the download file itself. Thanks!

You will need:

A small amount of knit fabric; jersey or interlock recommended for main pant, rib knit recommended for cuffs
1/2″ wide elastic
3″ piece of ribbon for a tag to mark the back (optional)
the pattern, printed at 100% (CLICK HERE FOR THE JUST HATCHED LEGGING PATTERN)

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To make the basic legging:

Step 1: Cut out two main pant pieces using the free pattern template, link above. Hey, if you used an old t-shirt for your fabric, you could use the bottom of the t-shirt for the hems of the leggings!! The stretchiest direction of your fabric should run perpendicular to the fold. Place the two main pieces with their right sides together. Sew along the sides and bottom curve with a 3/8″ seam.

NOTE: Use a ballpoint or stretch needle on your machine. A straight stitch will work if you have a walking foot and/or stretch thread, but if you’re using standard polyester thread and presser foot, use a long narrow zig-zag stitch for your stitches.

Step 2: Fold and press down 3/4″ along the top edge, toward the inside of the leggings. Stitch along the lower edge to make a waistband casing, leaving a 1-2″ hole in the center of the back (just pick a side) for the elastic. If you want cuffs, skip to the next step and add the cuffs later (see handy infographic, below). If you don’t want cuffs, fold and press 1/2″ toward the wrong side along the bottom of the legs and stitch along the raw edge to hem them. Read this post on hemming knits for some tips if you like.

Step 3: Cut 14″ of elastic (or measure baby’s waist and add 1″) and thread it through the waistband with a safety pin.

Step 4: Overlap the ends of the elastic by 1/2″ and zig zag stitch them together a few times.

Step 5: Fold the piece of ribbon in half and stuff the ends into the opening in the waistband for a tag to mark the back. This is if you want your mate to put them on the right way, EVER. Now stitch that shut.

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To add the cuffs: (these will fit longer because they ARE longer)

Step 1: Cut out two cuff pieces with the stretchiest direction of the fabric running the length of the cuffs. Fold them in half with the wrong side of the fabric facing out and the short ends together. Sew along the short end with a 3/8″ seam.

Step 2: Press the seam allowance apart.

Step 3: Fold each cuff in half so that it is double-layered and the right side is on the outside.

Step 4: Place each cuff over the end of each leg (legging should be right side out) so that the ends of the leg are even with the two raw cuff edges. Line up the inner leg seam with the cuff seam, and pin the cuff to the leg (you’ll have to stretch out the cuff a little bit to make it fit the end of the leg; that’s because the cuffs are smaller than the ends of the legs). Sew through all three layers with a 3/8″ seam.

Step 5: Flip the cuffs downward so that the seam is inside. Voila! Finished cuffs!

Here are a few links you might like:
My KNITS page (for all of the knit sewing hints referenced in this post)
Baby Tights Tutorial

And here are all of my “Sewing for Baby” posts:
Cloth Diapers
Adorable Kitty Outfit
Newborn Pants
Nursing Pillow Cover Tutorial (+free pattern!)
Bringing Back Big Butt Baby Pants

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Sewing for baby: Nursing Pillow Cover Tutorial

This nursing pillow cover is a fun and quick sewing project for one of the most useful things I ever had around when my babies were born: the nursing pillow. I kept not one but two of these pillows around because it was nice to have access to one wherever I was in the house, and they were great for propping up the baby for a moment while I folded a load of laundry or ate a bowl of cereal.

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In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to trace a nursing pillow cover you already own to make a new one, or you can download and print out my free pattern out at home and use that instead. This cover was made with a lovely cotton designed by Sarah Jane from her “Wee Wander” line for Michael Miller and it’s perfect for my spring baby! You could also try flannel or fleece for the colder months. And remember: if you make at least two, you’ll always have a backup when the other one is in the wash!

This post is part of the Wee Wander blog tour hosted by my friend Sarah Jane, the designer of the Wee Wander fabric shown in this post. For more fun tutorials using the Wee Wander fabric line, check out the rest of the tour! Just a note: I received the fabric for this pillow for free, but I did not receive any additional compensation for this post, just happy to play along!!

You will need:
1 1/2 yards of 44″ width fabric
22″ inch zipper

Step 1: Cut out the pieces
Print out my free Nursing Pillow Cover Pattern (click to download and print at 100%, then tape together and cut out the pattern pieces). Fold your fabric in half with the selvages together and cut out one of each piece on the fold: UPPER BACK, LOWER BACK. Then tape the pattern pieces together along the dashed line and cut out one FRONT on the fold.

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Don’t want to bother with the printer? Have a nursing pillow that is older or a slightly different brand or shape? Make your own pattern! Here’s how:

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Fold your nursing pillow cover in half and trace around the outside with a pen or pencil. Use a ruler to make the folded edge perfectly straight. Now add 1/2″ to the curved edges only for a seam allowance.

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Cut out the FRONT of the pillow first (top two pics). Now take a ruler and cut straight across the upper part of the pattern piece. Now cut out an UPPER BACK and LOWER BACK, but add 1/2″ to both of the cut edges of the pattern pieces for the zipper seam allowance.

Step 2: Attach two back pieces together
Pin the UPPER BACK and LOWER BACK pieces together along the straight edge with their right sides together. Place the zipper over them and mark where the zipper begins and ends (you want the metal parts of the zipper, not the ends of the zipper tape).

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SEW the two pieces together between the ends of the pillow and the zipper marks, but BASTE between the two zipper marks as shown. Be sure to stitch back and forth at the zipper marks a few times to secure the stitches. Press the seam allowances apart.

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Step 3: Attach the zipper
Place the zipper face down over the seam allowances as shown and pin in place.

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Sew the zipper to the cover using a zipper foot as shown. I like to sew right down the middle of the zipper tape (you may need to put the needle down, lift the presser foot, and move the zipper head if it gets in the way), across the ends (be careful not to sew over the metal parts of the zipper!!!!), and back up the other side.

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Use a seam ripper to pull out the basting stitches, then open the zipper a few inches (IMPORTANT! DO NOT FORGET TO OPEN THE ZIPPER!)

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Step 4: Sew FRONT and BACK together
Pin front and back together with right sides facing. Sew around the entire outside edge of the pillow with a 1/2″ seam.

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Finish the seams with a pinking shears or serger, turn right-side out through the zipper opening, and put it on your nursing pillow!

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Ta-da!! Wasn’t that fun?

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For more fun tutorials using the Wee Wander fabric line, check out the rest of the Wee Wander blog tour! You can also find more baby tutorials over on my tutorial page. Thanks for inviting me to participate, Sarah!!!

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Upcycled Parsley Pants

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One of the reasons I designed the Parsley Pants the way I did (as a 2-pc pant) was so that I could whip out pairs for my kids in no time flat. Seems the other patterns I had for pants often involved zip flies, recessed pockets, multi-pieced waistbands, or some sort of extra finishing at the cuffs or hems, and while I love those pant patterns too, they just aren’t FAST. You know? I wanted something like the Flashback Tee (another new striped Flashback for Clementine is shown below) something that could come together in an hour without too much hassle. And thus the Parsley Pant pattern was born.

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But…there’s something that makes them even faster: upcycling old adult pants for the fabric. Because then…NO HEMMING!!! So last week I cut apart two pairs of JCrew chinos in pastel colors that I used to wear back in the 00’s and turned them into pants for Clementine. The addition of the pouch pockets was the only thing that kept these from being a half hour project, seriously. And they are not only adorable, but she wears them. DOUBLE YAY!

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Here are a few tips for upcycling old pairs of pants into Parsleys:

  • use old pants that aren’t too worn out; the fabric needs to be in good shape. You can cut around (or cover up) stains, but make sure the fabric isn’t threadbare at the knees or anything. You want these pants to stand up in their second life as kid’s pants!
  • I usually only use old pants that still have their cuffs or hems in good shape, so that the old hems can become new hems.
  • To harvest the old pant fabric, cut up the inner leg seams (inseams) with a scissors, then up the crotch seams in front and back, then across the sides of the pants below the waistband as shown in the diagram below. Usually there’s not much salvageable fabric in the waistband, zipper area and pockets, so I just cut those away. DO NOT CUT THE SIDE SEAMS OPEN! LEAVE THE HEMS INTACT!

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  • Then lay your pant fabric flat (as flat as you can; some women’s pants have shaping at the hip on the side seam) and place your Parsley pattern over top of the fabric with the original pant hems even with the line on the pattern that says “finished hem line,” and the side seam of the original pant as close to the “tuxedo stripe line” as possible (see diagram below; the lower layer in the diagram is the old pant leg opened up and laid flat). Cut out two mirror image pant pieces, then assemble them according to the instructions.

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  • You can still add pockets, tuxedo stripes, pintucks, a flat front, or any of the other “extras” that come with the pattern. The main difference here is that you don’t have to hem them, because your hems are already finished!
  • Additionally, the old side seam makes it look like you’ve put in extra work when you haven’t. NICE.

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The big win here for me was the addition of two new quick and cheap pairs of pants to Clementine’s wardrobe (and the tee was quick too!). Love it!

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How-To: Square Floor Cushion

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Ever wonder what to do with all the scraps you accumulate when you sew all the time? Why not make a floor cushion? Using scraps makes them heavier and more substantial than if you fill them with stuffing or poly-fill. I always feel guilty throwing fabric away, but I’m not the sort of person who saves every little scrap for a future project. As much as I would love to use all those wonderful little scraps, I have to be realistic. Is it really going to happen? And if so, WHEN? Most of the scraps I produce (especially from garment fabrics, like knits and rayon) don’t really have any potential for reuse.

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So I recently took a yard of velveteen (this one is from Anna Maria Horner’s Field Study velveteens), some piping, and a whole bunch of scraps, and made this little floor cushion for the kids. They love it!

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I should mention that the original concept for this cushion came from an adorable round floor cushion made by my friend Emily; which she made using a tutorial from Living With Punks (warning: copious amounts of pop-up ads at that link). That version also uses just a yard of fabric, and adds some cute handles on the side to boot!

Here’s a quick how-to for my (square) version:

Materials

  • 1 yard of fabric, either 44″ or 54″ wide
  • 4 yards of home decor piping (or make your own with a bag of 6/32″ piping, some 1.25″ wide bias strips, and my piping tutorial)
  • UPDATED: 1.5″ wide is better

  • Bag o’ scraps

Step 1: Take a yard of fabric and cut it into two 18″ squares for the top/bottom of the cushion, and two 12″ wide by 36″ tall strips for the sides. Note that the print of your fabric will run sideways if you use a one-directional print, so you might want to find a non-directional one.

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This diagram above shows how you would cut a yard of fabric to get the pieces you need; the part with the red X is not used.

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Step 2: Trim the corners of your squares (but NOT the side strips) so that they are curved. You might want to use a small juice glass to help you draw the curve first.

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Step 3: Sew your piping around the edges of the top and bottom squares, keeping the edges of the piping even with the edge of the squares, sewing as close to the piping cord as you possibly can (a zipper foot and adjusting needle position to the left may help), and overlapping the ends of the piping when you get back to where you started. To overlap the ends, unpick the stitches in the piping and trim away the cord for the last inch or so on one end, so that you have a little piece of fabric to fold over the other end.

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Step 4: DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. Clip into the seam allowance of your piping around the corners of the squares.

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Step 5: Sew the short ends of your two side strips together with a 3/8″ seam, leaving a 4-5″ hole in one side so you can stuff your cushion later. We’ll call this piece the “side loop” from here on out.

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Step 6: Pin the top square to the side loop with right sides and raw edges together. It helps to pin the end seams at the corners first, then find the middle of the sides and pin those at the other two corners, then ease in the rest of the edges as you pin them together. Now sew the top and side loop together, with the top square facing up, so you can use the piping stitches as your guide (just sew right over them). Then repeat this for the bottom square and the other end of the side loop.

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Step 7: Turn your cushion right side out (through the hole) and START STUFFIN BABY.

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Here’s my bag o’ scraps. I keep one trash can in my sewing room for “fabric trash.” I almost have enough already for another cushion!!!

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Step 8: Once your cushion is full, hand-stitch the opening shut with buttonhole or topstitching thread. Basically, a stronger thread will be more likely to hold up over time. You can also try doubling up machine thread, but make your stitches smaller so that your seam is extra strong.

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Voila! Beautiful cushion!!!

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Ruby Dress Yoke Lining Video Tutorials

I promised I’d show you how to line the yoke on the Ruby Dress and Top, so I made you guys another handy dandy series of video tutorials to guide you in the process (the Washi Dress also has a video series on lining the bodice that you can view right here).

I’d probably recommend if you’re new to sewing that you try the pattern the way it is first, before attempting this method. But honestly even if you’re an ambitious beginner you shouldn’t have much trouble with it. The only issue I really see here is that the dress is MUCH easier to alter, fit-wise, if you sew it together the way the instructions show. So it’s smarter to have made at least a test version or muslin first before going this route.

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READ THIS before you watch:
One thing that is not mentioned in the video but is pretty important: I really recommend that you add an extra 1/4″ to the neck and armhole edges of the yoke pieces (all of them) when you cut them out to allow for the seam allowance needed with this technique. It’s not shown in the video (and actually, it was one of those things I realized *as* I was making the video, ahem, which resulted in a finished dress that’s an eensy bit too tight), but it’s a good idea so go ahead and do that, OK?

What about a full lining?
I show how to bind the lower part of the armhole with bias tape here, but you could just as easily line the lower part of the dress as well and make it fully lined. To do this, cut an extra front/back dress (I’d cut them 1″ shorter for the linings so they won’t show at all at the bottom), add 1/4″ extra seam allowance at all of the the armhole curves, sew the side seams separately for dress and lining, then sew dress and lining together along the armhole curves with right sides facing. Then clip and turn right side out; you’ll get a very nice armhole finish and then you can gather it and attach it to the (lined) yoke. Fully lined Ruby? Hot-cha-cha!! You are on FI. YAH.

OK! Ready to watch? Here you go!

Ruby Yoke Lining – Part I (7.5 min)

Intro, sewing neck and first armhole

Ruby Yoke Lining – Part II (9.5 min)

Sewing second armhole, finishing lower armholes with bias tape

Ruby Yoke Lining – Part III (7.5 min)

Attaching the yoke to the lower part of the dress

Ruby Yoke Lining – Part IV (40 sec)

Final look after hand-sewing. Yeah, yeah…I accidentally shot that clip with the camera sideways…heh.

I hope you’ll find these useful as you sew up your very own Ruby Dresses!

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Tutorial: shirring with elastic thread

I know that a number of you out there are terrified by the concept of shirring with elastic thread. You Fear the Shirr.

Shirring is sewing with elastic thread in the bobbin of your sewing machine to create a “smocked” appearance on your fabric (it’s not actually smocking, though; true smocking is a decorative stitching technique done on pleated fabric…my grandma used to hand-smock dresses for me back in the seventies and eighties).

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I completely sympathize with those of you who are intimidated by shirring, because when the shirring trend started to get really hot a few years ago I just could NOT get it to work on my machine — and, after attempting it a few times, I just about threw my sewing machine out the window. Eventually I figured it out, and now I use it all the time! It’s great for simple sundresses, and as many of you know, the back of the my Washi Dress Pattern is shirred, giving it a fantastic, comfortable fit and preempting the need for a zipper. The ability to shirr (I just had to look up that word to make sure it existed) is an excellent skill to have in your sewing arsenal, so I thought I’d put together a little tutorial for you today! Soon you’ll be shirring like a pro!!

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I use a Bernina Activa 220, which has a front-loading bobbin. I’ll address the top-loading bobbin, too, but be aware that each machine will be a little different, and you might find that you need to make an adjustment or two in order to find the perfect technique for you. I’ve included some links to other tutorials at the bottom of this post, so if you find that this method doesn’t work well on your machine, you may want to check out some of those.

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First, let’s talk about elastic thread. You can find elastic thread in the notions aisle of any sewing superstore next to the other elastics, but I’d recommend that you skip the store brand or Dritz brand elastic threads (I’ve had mediocre results with those) and look instead for the Gutermann brand, which I’ve heard has a higher quality elastic than the cheaper brands. At some point, I decided just to invest in the giant cone of elastic thread from CTS, and I’m so glad I did. Trust me, at $30 a cone, it’s definitely easier than going back and forth to the store 10 times, and you get about a million times more thread.

Okay, grab your elastic thread, and let’s get started! Slowly wind a bobbin with elastic thread by hand. You’ll want to be careful not to pull or stretch the thread as you wind.

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Now place the bobbin in the bobbin case, pulling the thread through the hole that the thread would normally go through. The key is to do everything the same as if you were threading it with regular machine thread.

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Place the bobbin case in your machine. You’ll be using regular thread in the top of your machine. Increase the stitch length so that it’s slightly longer than usual; for me that’s a length of about 3.5-4 (on a scale of 1 to 5, where 2.5 is normal stitch length). I do NOT adjust the tension on my machine at all; I’ve tried that, but I’ve never found it helpful.

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If you have a top-loading bobbin, it is really REALLY important to make sure that the thread goes through that little thread-guide notchy thing (see arrow in picture below). This is what gives the elastic thread its tension so that it doesn’t make spaghetti squiggles on the back side of your fabric.

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Now put the presser foot down, and just start sewing across your fabric. It’s a good idea to try this on a scrap of fabric before attempting shirring on a garment. You know…because it’s the responsible thing to do.

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When you get to the other side, lift up the presser foot and your needle, and sew another row, about 1/2″ away from the first line. Leave a loop of elastic thread on the edge of your fabric every time you start a new row. Note: you will eventually have to trim these loops, but to hold each line of shirring in place, stitch forward and backward over each elastic thread as you sew the side seams together. This will secure those ends so that they won’t pull out.

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Each row of shirring should seem fairly loose and stretchy, but as you add rows they will work together to gather your fabric. The elastic thread should not squiggle or bubble on the back of the fabric, and it shouldn’t be so tight that it feels like it’s going to break if you stretch the fabric to its original size.

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Once you have sewn all of your rows of shirring, use an iron to blast the stitches with lots of steam on both sides of the fabric. This will help gather your shirring even more. If you have a spray bottle, it may also help to spritz the fabric with a bit of water.

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This is what it should look like after you’ve finished steam-blasting it:

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Let me share one last thing that’s really helped me: on my Bernina (which has the front-loading bobbin), the stitches come out too tight when I’m shirring lightweight fabrics like voile or double gauze (it’s fine when I shirr cottons, though). To fix this, I loosen the bobbin screw slightly (a quarter- or half-turn is usually enough). Don’t forget how much you turned the screw though — you’ll want to turn it back when you’re ready to sew with regular thread again.

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You’ll find that the amount of stretchiness you end up with really depends on the type of fabric you use, so trying it out on a sample first is really important! Play around with ONE variable at a time (don’t change three things at once), sew a couple rows, blast it with steam, and if that doesn’t work, change something else. It may take some persistence to figure out what works best for your machine, but if you are patient and figure it out, you’ll be really glad you did!!!

Further Reading:
Jamie Christina’s Shirring Tutorial (drop-in bobbin)
Flossie Teacake’s Shirring Tutorial (front-load bobbin)
Heather Ross’ Troubleshooting with elastic thread

If you’re intrigued by shirring but don’t have a project picked out yet, here are a few easy practice shirring projects:
Rainbow Dress Tutorial
Baby Sunsuit Tutorial
Heather Ross’s Mendocino Sundress Pattern/Tutorial

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City Pants

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I fell in love with this cityscape fabric at Dry Goods Design in Seattle last December; it was the end of the bolt, and I immediately thought of boy pants. When I realized that it matched the jersey fabric that I used for this hoodie, I was all over it.

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Here’s the problem with me and fabric: I get distracted by these lighter “quilting” cottons that look awesome because of their prints. I know I should be making pants with bottomweight fabrics like twill or denim, but it’s so hard when there are so many great prints out there!

As a result, I definitely had to add kneepads to them (again). But I wanted a kneepad different from the one on yesterday’s pant, so I went with a more classic oval shape. And then I wanted some pouch pockets on the front. And then I thought, why not use the tuxedo stripe to cover up the side of the pocket? And then…well, they ended up a bit short, so I added cuffs, too.

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These pants should really be called “Everything but the Kitchen Sink” pants, not City Pants. Seriously, Rae. They are a little Crazytown. But strangely, because the print is so subtle, all the “extras” I added blend in pretty well!

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Pattern: I made these pants with the same pattern that I used for both the brown pants with the tuxedo stripe and the Saffron Pant, and I am making good progress on getting this pant pattern ready for the pattern shop. It will come in nine different sizes (2-10) and has a ton of options for customizing, as you can already see. No surprise, since I can never do a pattern the same way twice. Rae-DD. It’ll be a good staple. Sign up for the newsletter on the sidebar if you want an update when it’s ready.

Let’s talk about pant patterns. This pant pattern is a TWO-piece pant, meaning there are two main pieces, a left and a right. The Big Butt Baby Pants and my free Newborn Pant pattern both fall into the TWO-piece pant pattern category, as well (though the B3Ps have an extra rear diaper panel). The other kind of pant pattern you see most frequently is a FOUR-piece pant (2 fronts, 2 backs), like Dana’s Kid Pant (a pattern which I know she also hopes to develop in multiple sizes, for sale eventually. Yay!! You can never have too many good pant patterns, I say!).

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Both of these have their advantages and disadvantages, to be sure. You can’t put certain kinds of pockets (like the side pockets you might find on a pair of jeans) on a two-piece pattern, and it is more difficult to get a flared shape without a side seam. But my big love affair with the two-piece pattern stems from the fact that it’s super fast. Since I make a TON of clothing for my kids, that counts for a lot. You can still do fun things like tuxedo stripes and pintucks and pockets with a two-piece. But I like a four-piece pattern to really be able to play with the shape of a pant (like a skinny jean, for instance), so having both types in your pattern collection comes in really handy.

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Anyway, these pants were made with a two-piece pattern, which is really very simple. But it’s also very easy just to add things to make them more interesting. To illustrate, here’s how I added the pouch pockets (see also yesterday’s post on adding the tuxedo stripe):

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(1) Cut two pocket pieces (mirror image) and two pocket linings.
(2) Pin each pocket piece to its lining, right sides facing. Sew together along the curved edges only (BUT! if you won’t be able to cover up the side edge with a tuxedo stripe or side seam, sew that side too, leaving just the top open).
(3) Turn it right side out.
(4) Press and add stitches along the top curve (optional).
(5) Pin it to the pant leg so that the side will be covered by the tuxedo stripe piece (sneaky, right?!?!). Then sew the pocket to the pant leg along the bottom curve.
(6) Sew the tuxedo stripe down, and finish the pants. You can fold up the top of the pocket right into the waistband to finish the top edge!

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Here’s my little rock star, rocking his new pants.

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Celebrate the BOY 2013

This post is part of Celebrate the BOY, a series of boy sewing posts hosted by me and Dana of MADE. Check out my Celebrate the BOY archives for more boy sewing posts.  Here’s what we’ve done so far:

DAY 1: Rae: Saffron Pants and Color Roundup / Dana: 5 Steps to the Basic Tee
DAY 2: Rae: Little Bit of Color Hoodie / Dana: Pants Roundup
DAY 3: Rae: Hoodie Tutorial / Dana: Kids Shorts/Pants with Back Pocket Tutorial
DAY 4: Rae: Show your Stripes Turtleneck / Dana: 13 DIY Fabrics
DAY 5: Rae: Stripes Roundup and Celebration Garland / Dana: Favorite Tee Shirt Buddy Toys
DAY 6: Rae: Fox Tee / Dana: Big Stick Jammies
DAY 7: Rae: Bold Prints Roundup / Dana: Beach Robe to House Robe Remix
DAY 8: Rae: City Pants / Dana: we be jammin PJ roundup

Tuxedo Stripe Pant

A tuxedo stripe is a a great way to feature a bold print in a fun way! Take these pants I made for Elliot:

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I put a little piece of the print on the patch pockets for another fun pop of print.

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Shown here with a Flashback Skinny Tee-turned-henley — another easy modification on the basic tee that I hope to show you how to do at some point.

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Tuxedo Stripe pant

These pants also look really great with the white and orange hoodie I made last week for this tutorial!

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But today let’s focus on the pants…they’re just a simple two-piece pant (so two main pieces; one for each leg) with a tuxedo stripe topstitched on the side. I also sewed the waistband with a flat-front (just like I did with the heart pants for Clementine; Dana has a great flat-front pant tutorial here that’s pretty similar to the way I do mine, if you’d like to give it a try). Here’s a basic how-to for the tuxedo stripe:

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If you use ribbon or a piece of bias tape that already had the edges folded under, you could skip the “fold and press under” part of Step 2, and just pin and stitch it down. But basically, you just topstitch the stripe onto the side of your pant, then fold up the ends of the stripe into the waistband and hems.

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As you can see, I also added kneepads. This fabric is a medium-weight cotton and is therefore prone to holes at the knees, so beefing up the knees will hopefully help these last longer; plus, I like how they look! Since there’s no side seam on these pants I just “hid” the edge of the kneepad under the tuxedo stripe, if that makes sense. I hope to share a more thorough how-to for this kneepad as well, but of course, there’s only so much time for this busy mama. Realistically, what I want to post and what I actually have time to post are two very different things, as I’m sure you all know. Such is life, right?

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You’re going to really miss this guy when Celebrate the BOY is over, aren’t you? Just a few more days left!

Updated: OH! Totally forgot to tell you: if you’re interested in purchasing the fabric that I designed for the stripe, you can find it on Spoonflower, right here.

Celebrate the BOY 2013

This post is part of Celebrate the BOY, a series of boy sewing posts hosted by me and Dana of MADE. Check out my Celebrate the BOY archives for more boy sewing posts.  Here’s what we’ve done so far:

DAY 1: Rae: Saffron Pants and Color Roundup / Dana: 5 Steps to the Basic Tee
DAY 2: Rae: Little Bit of Color Hoodie / Dana: Pants Roundup
DAY 3: Rae: Hoodie Tutorial / Dana: Kids Shorts/Pants with Back Pocket Tutorial
DAY 4: Rae: Show your Stripes Turtleneck / Dana: 13 DIY Fabrics
DAY 5: Rae: Stripes Roundup and Celebration Garland / Dana: Favorite Tee Shirt Buddy Toys
DAY 6: Rae: Fox Tee / Dana: Big Stick Jammies
DAY 7: Rae: Bold Prints Roundup / Dana: Beach Robe to House Robe Remix