This seasons theme: Upcycled, from Kid’s Clothes Week, is a pretty exciting theme. The process of going through my closet brought immense joy to Cadence, who found out that she can nearly fit my high heels! She was beside herself with glee upon the realization, and was in love with the idea of making something of mine into something for her.
The best part is, we were able to include not 2, but 3 generations in the mix! Cadence’s mimmi, my mother-in-law, gave me a beautiful, Juicy Couture chain link dress of hers a couple years ago. However, it was a little too short for comfort, so it was an obvious choice for our projects: a hand-me-down to a daughter-in-law to a granddaughter. With a few alterations, I created a much smaller version of the original. A very sophisticated dress for an 8 year old, I might add.
Juicy Couture Chain Link Dress
The original dress is shown below, and we decided to keep the same shape, just a smaller version.
The upcycled Juicy Couture Chain Link Dress was more than we hoped for! Cadence was in heaven being able to look and dress like her mimmie! We opted to sew the tag back in place to preserve the look. What a fun project!
2015 is finally here! Okay, well maybe it has been here for a whole month already… and maybe it has been more than a little while since I have sewn anything or posted on here! But… it is a brand new year, we have a brand new puppy (Winifred Rose), and there are so many new and exciting sewing projects in the works! But first, it is time for new years resolutions: to clean out the closets!
This idea has been playing around in the back of my mind since the holiday break (as it does every year). This feeling was intensified during the New Year’s Resolutions phase and the fact that “excess” was the topic at our family’s local church service, with the mantra: “Excess isn’t success – it’s supply for those in need”. What a beautiful reminder.
So, in honor of the New Year, the mantra “Excess isn’t success…”, and the upcoming Kids Clothes Week theme “Upcycled”, our family will be cleaning out the closets and giving to those in need as well as upcycling a few pieces into something new and wonderful.
This weekend we will be selecting the pieces that will become something new. I already have a few things in mind… I’m thinking skirts, t-shirts, and a dog sweater or two! (Winnie counts for Kid’s Clothes Week, right?).
I got so much, that I was able to sew 2 skirts and 1 pullover. I am almost finished with the pullover and should upload the pics soon!
1 Skirt: 2 Ways
There are a couple ways to sew the waist band on a simple reversible knit skirt:
1: with a smooth elastic waist band, or
2: with a bunched elastic waist band.
This tutorial will walk you through making both!
But first, lets start with the basics. For this skirt, no pattern is needed. The hip measurement (or where you want the skirt to sit), and the length measurement, is all the pattern you need for this reversible knit skirt tutorial.
Hip to bottom of skirt measurement
Stretch fabric needle
Elastic Band 5/8 – 1 inch in width
Reversible Knit Skirt Tutorial
Step 1: Measure
After determining hip measurement, multiply by either 1.5 or 2 depending on how gathered you wish the skirt to be. Take that number and add 1 inch for the seam allowance. That is how wide your fabric for the skirt will be. **Make sure the stretch of the fabric is horizontal (side to side) to this measurement.
My daughter’s Hip measurement is 25 inches. 25 x 2 = 50 + 1 = 51 inches.
Step 2: Cut Fabric
Cut out a rectangle in the measurements determined above. My rectangle was 51 inches wide by 15 inches tall.
Step 3: Sew Side Seams
Decorative Flat Felled Seam
For a reversible skirt, I like to sew a decorative flat felled seam. To do this you simply pin the side so that the seams match up, and choose a stretch stitch that is decorative on either the front, back, or both. Sew a straight line down the length of the side seam, and trim the excess fabric on one side only. Trimming the fabric on one side will reduce bulk in the finished seam. The longer side will then fold over to the seam edge. Press flat with an iron. Turn fabric over and topstitch, preferably with a stretch straight line stitch (one that goes back and forth). When you turn the fabric over, there should be a decorative stitch the length of the side seam. This step can be repeated on the other side with the fold to even things out. Just make sure to leave out the trimming!
Step 4 (a): Smooth Waist Band
a. The elastic band should be roughly 2-3 inches shorter than your hip measurement for adequate fitting. It is best to measure on the person if possible.
For Example: my daughter’s hip measurement is 25 inches. The elastic band I measured to be 22 inches.
b. Instead of overlapping the elastic and creating bulk, I like to sew each elastic end to the durable piece of fabric as seen below. This reduces bulk, and provides stability. With a short zig-zag stitch, go over the end of the elastic 4-5 times. You can add a third row in he middle if you like.
a. Cut out a strip of knit (with the stretch going length wise) 2 x the width of your elastic plus 1 inch seam allowance. The length should be 1 inch longer than the .
For example: I used a 1 inch elastic waist band, so the width of my strip was 2 x 1 = 2 + 1 = 3 inches.
Fold strip in half and, using the flat felled seam technique mentioned above, sew the strip together to make a circle as seen below:
b. Fold strip of fabric over the elastic to make an encasing as seen below:
3. Attaching Waistband to Skirt
a. Before you attach the waistband, you are going to want to gather the top of the skirt. Simply run a straight stitch with a wide spacing (preferably 5 on the settings) about 5/8 in from the edge.
b. Divide the waistband and gathered skirt into quarters. With raw edges up, and right sides together, pin waistband to skirt (matching quarter markings) as seen below:
c. Sew the waistband to the skirt, with the same decorative stitch used on the side seams, stretching slightly as you go . Make sure you leave enough seam allowance to include a flat felled seam here if desired (turning up toward the elastic).
Trim any gathering stitches and marvel at your masterpiece!
Step 4 (b): Bunched Waist Band
The Reversible Knit Skirt Tutorial for a bunched waist is only slightly different than from the smooth waist.
Go ahead and sew the side seams exactly the same as above, however, we are going to leave out the gathering on the skirt and we will wait until the end for the elastic.
a. Instead of gathering the top of the skirt, we are going to fold it over 3/8 in. Then sew the same decorative stretch stitch for the entire length of the circle.
b. Trim the excess seam allowance and fold the sewn edge over again so that the casing is 1.5 inches (for a 1 inch elastic waist band). Use a straight stretch stitch to sew below the decorative bottom stitch (making sure you leave a 1 inch opening) as well as edge stitch on the top. This will give it a more professional look.
Using whatever method you like, run the elastic through the casing, being careful not to twist the elastic. Once the elastic is threaded through, utilize the same closing technique mentioned above for the smooth elastic band. Once complete, sew closed the opening on the casing.
The Garden Party Dress from Oliver + S is something I have been meaning to blog about for some time now. It was the dress that got me sewing again after a 5 year break during which I finished a Master’s Degree.
I came across Oliver + S by accident, searching for a dress to buy no less! I saw the adorable patterns and images, such as the one featured (and the Pinwheel Tunic, my next spring project), and decided to pull out the old Janome and make a dress.
Fall Garden Party Dress
My first attempt was from an unknown cotton fabric I had in my closet for some odd years. The dress ended up being the perfect nightgown as it was slightly see through and extremely soft.
My second attempt ended up being simply wonderful! I was so proud after all these years that I could still make a pretty dress on the second try! It was all thanks to the amazing tutorial included in the pattern and the easy to follow instructions provided by Oliver + S.
I used a Fall Floral Corduroy print from Hobby Lobby. It is currently out of stock, however, there is a dark blue version here. I used a Grey Corduroy for the contrasting waist band.
Now that it is colder, the dress still looks fantastic paired with leggings or tights and a long sleeved shirt. Such a versatile dress!
Fancy Garden Party Dress
Coming back to the Garden Party Dress last week in anticipation for the holidays, I attempted a more dressed up version. I chose a wired tulle from Joann’s from All That Glitters Fabric in coral with a simple nude stretch knit from Sew Classic Knits as a lining. I simply cut out each fabric in all pattern pieces expect for the facing and sleeve lining in which I only used the knit. Once cut out, I laid the tulle on top of the knit and sewed as directed.
There was slight puckering on the waist band, which I am confident would have not been there had I been in less of a hurry, but despite everything, the dress is still gorgeous!
The pictures are finally here! The School Days Jacket I have been waiting all summer long to sew (from Oliver + S) is now complete. While it is already November, it is still too warm to wear this lovely jacket in Texas. Not to worry though! We will patiently await the chilly January and February days to come.
I decided to go ahead and start the jacket during the Oliver + S School Days Jacket Sew Along that started November 3. It was a perfect sew along that outlined the complete process. While 16 pieces seems daunting, I was able to finish the coat in 4 days! Getting the perfect picture almost took as much time! I decided to go with the size 8, even though I was warned that it was large, and I am glad I did! It is such a beautiful jacket, that the overall size ensures that she will be able to wear it for another year at least.
For the School Days Jacket, I used a semi-thick wool in a beautiful aqua shade from a local fabric shop in Dallas. The lining is Summer Grove in Day from Leah Duncan‘s Meadow Collection. The dress Cadence is wearing is the Garden Party Dress from Oliver + S (see more here) and the bow is Ava from Violette Fields Threads.
The buttons were extra special to me. Not because they were heirlooms or anything like that, but because I am not too big on the idea of toggles. So, a last minute attempt at locating an interesting button at Joann’s (where I almost never find what I need), I saw these! They are 30mm /1 3/16 inch coconut Belle Buttons by Dritz that resemble these. They are not located on the Joann’s website, however, I wanted to share as I couldn’t be more happy about my find!
Just a few more pictures to showcase this beautiful coat and all the love that was put into it: