December 10, 2016

Tutorial: How to match plaids on a pleated peplum top or jacket

Hello, everybody! Soon, I'll be sharing a full write-up on my version of Burda 9404, a girl's jacket with notched lapels and a lovely pleated peplum. I made this jacket in a very soft large-scale plaid flannel that has a black, white and turquoise color scheme. It's going to a girl who's turning 6 this weekend. I can't wait to show it to you!
Matching vertical plaids across the bodice and peplum: that's what we're gonna do in today's tutorial.

But before reviewing the pattern, I wanted to offer this tutorial for matching plaids on this type of jacket. It's not a standard plaid-matching tutorial, because the jacket has a peplum with pleats. Plaid-matching-wise, that kinda gums things up.

May 28, 2016

Lekala 4456 Blouse Sew-Along #4: Plackets, collar, and sleeves

Previously: Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3

Before we begin today's session, give yourself a round of applause: you've made it past the halfway mark! And, to be completely honest, the 6th installment is just pics of the finished garment -- so you're even closer to your goal.

But don't get too cocky. We've got our work cut out for us today: plackets, collar, sleeves. At the end, you will have a true BLO! (Blouse-Looking Object).

Today's Agenda:

  • Attach plackets (10 minutes)
  • Sew the side seams (10 minutes)
  • Attach the collar (10 minutes)
  • Hand-stitch collar lining (20 minutes)
  • Assemble the sleeves (10 minutes)
  • Insert the sleeves (15 minutes)
Yep, you read that right: we're doing all this in about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Think you can beat the world land-speed record for Lekala 4456? Let's find out.

May 23, 2016

Lekala 4456 Blouse Sew-Along #3: Darts and yokes

Previously: Part 1 - Part 2

You're still hangin' in there. I like your style, babe. Ready to tackle the third installment of our six-part series? We'll be assembling the front and back pieces.

Today's Agenda:

  • Sew darts on front and back (5 minutes)
  • Sew center back seam (10 minutes)
  • Attach back yoke with lining (10 minutes)
  • Attach front yoke with lining (15 minutes)
  • Add welts (15 minutes)
  • Sew the shoulder seams (10 minutes)

Altogether, today's session will take about 1 hour and 5 minutes to complete.

May 18, 2016

Lekala 4456 Blouse Sew-Along #2: Cut and mark fabric, apply interfacing, assemble collar

Previously: Part 1

Hi! You came back! I'm delighted.

In the last installment, we ordered our custom pattern, assembled the printed pages, estimated yardage, and gathered our tools and supplies.

Now, we're ready to start construction. Woo hoo, finally some visible progress!

Today's agenda:

  • Cut out the fabric (20 minutes)
  • Mark darts (5 minutes)
  • Apply fusible interfacing (10 minutes)
  • Sew the collar (10 minutes)
  • Attach collar to stand (10 minutes)

With rest and interstitial dawdling, all of this will take about 1 hour to complete.

May 14, 2016

Lekala 4456 Blouse Sew-Along #1: Welcome, preparing the PDF, and assembling supplies

Welcome, all! I'm so excited to be starting our new sew-along for Lekala 4456. This cap sleeve blouse has front and back yokes, welts over faux pockets, and shaping darts at the bust and back.

In this first session, we'll be doing the un-glamorous (but necessary) prep work for the print-at-home pattern. But don't despair! By the end of the session, you'll have a custom-fit paper pattern, including seam allowances, that will serve you for years to come. This is such a versatile pattern, you could make a blouse from every kind of fabric, in every color of the rainbow!

Today's agenda

  • Get your Lekala 4456 pattern (5 minutes)
  • Print the PDF and tape the pattern together (30-60 minutes)
  • Estimate yardage needed (15 minutes)
  • Gather tools and supplies (5 minutes)
All told, these activities will take about 60 to 90 minutes to complete.

May 7, 2016

Next up: Lekala 4456, Cap Sleeve Blouse Sew-Along

Hi guys! Just a quick reminder: our sew-along for Lekala 4456 will be starting soon. This cap-sleeve blouse is perfect for summer. Last time, we made the pattern as a mechanic-style shirt in a lightweight wool-look poly. This time, the tutorial uses a slinky poly peachskin print. Less garage, more office. But you can use any fabric you want, of course. Assemble your supplies, and get excited!

April 18, 2016

Tutorial: PDF patterns (Part 1 - printing, calibrating, taping)

Welcome! This is a two-part tutorial for preparing print-at-home patterns. By the time we're done, you'll have a full set of pattern pieces -- including seam allowances -- ready to lay out on your fashion fabric.

If you're an experienced sewist, you've probably dealt with PDF patterns before. If so, I hope you come across a couple of tips here that make you go, "Ooh ... I didn't know that!"

And if you're a beginner, we have lots of pics to help you navigate your first PDF pattern experience.

April 11, 2016

Finished project: Lisette for Simplicity 1419, aka "Skull-tastic Chambray Dress"

The skulls made me do it. I mean, wouldn't you? Wouldn't you snatch up a 2-yard remnant of this tiny skull-printed chambray? 
Skulls. And stars and lightning bolts for some reason. Do not question this chambray, or it will zap you.
With the help of Simplicity 1419, I transformed it into a perfectly cromulent pickle-flavored angel food cake of a dress that combines the weird with the conventional.