Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Transitional Tunic Dress

Soooooo, you know how I said I really loved that Between Seasons vintagey blouse that I made here? And I also said there were so many ways I could change it up a bit to make different looks? Well, I made a tunic dress version from the blouse for K and it turned out super fab! Check it out:

You definitely notice the pleats more in a solid color but it looks like I will have to put an invisible stitch into that top pleat to hold it down. Notice how it's gaping open in the larger picture above? But other than that, I really love how the tunic turned out.

Once the weather starts to cool around here, she can throw on some fun leggings and boots and she'll be ready to go!

Instead of buttons, I went with a zipper on this one. I didn't have a purple zipper so I went with a contrasting one in sky blue. I think the contrast is kind of cute! A red zipper would've worked as well but I didn't have one of those either! Sounds like I need to go do some stocking up, hmm?

I also really loooove red and purple together! There's just something really cheerful and fun about that combination. The ric rac belt is also fun although I didn't attach it permanently to the dress because my daughter likes to wear it without a belt as well. It has a much more dressed down feeling without it and it is super adorable with black and white leggings and Converses!

I have another idea about how I wanted to "flip" my original pattern but you'll have to wait to see that one another time. I've taken a small break from sewing for a bit so I can focus on an upcoming birthday party. I hope to share some of the projects I'm making some time this week! I love diy-ing party decor almost as much as I love sewing. Almost... ;-)

Thanks for stopping by today! Have a lovely week!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

My Favorite Printed Knits

A fellow blogger asked where I could find some fun patterned knits as seen on the cool modern leggings in my previous post, Fall Inspiration: Kids Leggings. I initially thought to make my own stamped fabrics to use in creating custom leggings for my kiddos this fall, but if that didn't work out so well, I thought I'd better do some research and keep a few favorite printed knits on my to-buy list just in case! Then I thought I'd share my digital fabric stash with you all in case you needed ideas as well so here it is! Enjoy!

I love sites that specialize in a certain fabric and Girl Charlee is one of my favs. I've ordered from them about three times since I started sewing/blogging seriously and I have not been disappointed yet! Here's some cool fun knits available from them that I think would look super on leggings:




Check out Girl Charlee's latest knits here! They're all so gorgeous and perfect for leggings!

Fabric.com is also another great site that I could spend hours perusing! I found a ton of fun knits that were on sale for less than $4/yard! That would mean two pairs of cool leggings for only $4- maybe even a third pair for the baby! =) Here's some prints available from them:



Cedar House Fabrics on Etsy stocks some very gorgeous modern print fabrics in a variety of colors. In addition to these knits below, they have just an amazing assortment of organic woven cotton in beautiful colors, patterns, and prints. You'll be a new fan the first time you visit!

The Fabric Fairy also has some fun knits available- I especially love the magazine print knit- it even comes in hot pink!


Hawthorne Threads carries mostly quilting cottons but I did manage to find a couple of knits on this popular fabric site that could be used for leggings:


I hope this little digital fabric stash helps you out! And remember you can always create your own design on sites like Spoonflower (the only stretch fabric available is interlocking knit for $27/yard) or DIY it at home with fabric paints which the designer in me is yearning to do so right now!

Fall Inspiration: Kids Leggings

Today, I decided I'd share some of my favorite fall inspiration pieces with you: kids leggings! Why? Because I've got back-to-school fall wardrobes in mind already! Even the weather has been fall-like around here and my daughter's going around wearing leggings that are too tight and short to even be called leggings anymore!

Many of these would be great for us big people too but you and I both know that they're cutest on kids! There are so many wonderful prints and patterns on knit fabric these days and certainly if you're handy with a sewing machine, they would be easy to make but if you're not sew handy, then I'd check out these awesome indie designers and shop owners.


 Brown Sugar Beach on Etsy makes harem pants look so good. I'm dressing my baby up in these all winter long- they're so cool!

These gorgeous leggings come from Salt City Emporium, also on Etsy. I actually discovered how cool kids leggings could be because of Salt City Emporium, thus inspiring this post! So thanks guys! =)

Even more awesome printed leggings from SweetKiddoCo on Etsy! These Etsy sellers are killing me with cuteness!! Bonus- they also sell matching headbands and hair wraps, can you believe it?!

NewBerryPark is relatively new on Etsy but their cute printed leggings come in at only $19 a pair! Look at the variety they have too! I know someone who'd be ecstatic about the horse print one! At this price, I may just skip sewing some and buy a couple here. 

I'm seriously dying over how freaking cute these are! They're from ZIBtextile on Etsy and aren't they so fab?! I could buy myself and K a matching pair and she'd be thrilled that we had matching clothes! This awesome shop is packed full of gorgeous clothes- I almost swooned with envy at their wonderful designs and color combinations.

I love that Thief&Bandit KIDS on Etsy also makes custom orders for dresses if you happen to fall in love with one of their handprinted fabrics! And what's not to love? These look pretty great on boys too- just check out their shop and you'll see I'm tellin' you the truth!

The above leggings sets are from www.aliexpress.com, a Chinese wholesale website. I would probably never need to order a dozen leggings at once but these are lovely inspirations to create your own leggings with some striped/polk dot knits and appliques! I absolutely love the boy versions on the top left- although I just don't know if my 6-year-old would EVER wear them willingly! 

See Kate Sew, one of my favorite sewing blogs, made these super cute leggings using a printed tribal knit from Girl Charlee fabrics. The print is no longer available but they have tons of others to choose from so you can make any style leggings that your imagination can come up with!

All these gorgeous prints make me want to go make my own leggings now! The possibilities are endless, as demonstrated by the creative designers above. Hope you enjoyed this round up of my fall inspiration- you'll definitely see a pair or two or three of my own custom leggings in the near future and maybe a couple of the above as well!

Go here to see my knit picks for making leggings as cool as these ones!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Tutorial for the Between Seasons Vintage-Inspired Blouse

As promised, I've got a tutorial for you so you can make your own little between-the-seasons-blouse! (I really need a shorter name for this one, what do you think?) I think i will make myself one as well during Selfish Sewing Week (see my sidebar for the link to that). 

Before we even start with the tutorial, I feel the need for a disclaimer: I'm not a professional seamstress or designer so there are probably better ways to do what I did but I've made everything as simple to do and understand so that even a beginning sewist could create a similar look. Ok- now let's have some fun!

An explanation about the pattern pieces: I used a bodice pattern I keep on hand for making tops for my daughter. I simply traced it and doubled the width of one shoulder to allow for pleats then I flipped the pattern right across to the other side and traced the bodice to make the other side to complete the front piece.

When I traced the bodice for the back pieces, I increased the width at the neck (or center back) by 1" to allow for a placket for buttons. Make sure you cut two separate pieces. I normally cut it on the fold and then use my rotary cutter to make a straight cut up the center. If using a light weight fabric, interfacing should be used at the placket to stabilize it. 

The sleeves are cut longer so they end around her elbows. Measure your wearer to get a good idea of how long you'll need them to be. 

All right, now your pieces are cut and you can start putting it together!

We'll start with making the pleats in the shoulder.

When you fold your pleats down, make sure they stay aligned with the original cut of the shoulder so that once all pleats are in place, the seam/edge looks just like the other shoulder.

Set the front bodice aside and let's work on the back pieces.

Don't forget to finish your seams and then press them!

Confession: I do bias tape the lazy way. It works, so why not? It achieves the same look in half the time so don't judge! =)

Sorry- it's hard to read the above picture but it just states for a fact that I did not use twill tape to encase my elastic. Instead, I sewed down the seam to create a casing for it instead. It works and it was the exact spot that I wanted to use it.

Whew- you made it this far??? Congrats! Time for buttons! 

My snap buttons were placed 2 inches apart and I ended up putting 4 of them in.

And it's done! I'd pair this blouse with skirts, leggings, shorts, skinny jeans...endless possibilities! 

By the way, if I was unclear about any of the instructions, don't hesitate to point it out to me in the comments below and I will attempt to correct it immediately. 

I plan to make more variations of this blouse and will feature them when I do. There are so many other things I want to do with it so the bulk of K's fall wardrobe will probably come from just this one pattern. 

And just one last look! I love how it tricks you into believing she's wearing a dress! And a super duper cute vintagey one at that!