4.16.2014

How to Sew Piping (or Trim) onto a Sleeve

I love using piping or trim in my sewing.  I've added it to necklines, bodices, and faux cap sleeves.  {This tutorial offers a great explanation on how to do it.}  But sleeves are different.  The technique for adding piping or trim to necklines and bodices doesn't work for sleeves.

When I wanted to add piping to the sleeves of this dress, I googled how to do it.   But there wasn't a lot out there.  So I created my own technique.  It was easy and came together beautifully.  I thought I'd share how I did it here, in case you were looking, too.

1.  In order to avoid the trim showing on the inside of the sleeve, you'll need to either create a hem facing for the sleeve or line it.  I chose to line the sleeve with a lightweight fabric which matched my main fabric.

Simply cut 2 sleeves in your main fabric and 2 in your lining fabric using your sleeve pattern piece.

how to add piping to a sleeve


 2.  Next you will baste your piping onto your main fabric aligning the raw edges.  But first let's talk about seam allowances for a moment.

Here's a piping tip: Anytime I sew piping onto anything, I trim the seam allowance of the piping to match the seam allowance of the pattern.   For example, if I'm using a pattern with a 3/8" seam allowance, I will trim the seam allowance of my piping to 3/8".  That way I can line up the raw edges of the fabric with the piping, making it a breeze to sew on, while still being precise.

In this case, the sleeve was finished with a 5/8" narrow hem, which matched the seam allowance of my piping exactly.


how to add piping to a sleeve



 3.  After you've sewn on the piping, fold your sleeve in half, right sides together and sew the side seam.  Doing this will enclose the raw edges of your piping.  Then you can trim the piping (and seam allowance, if you wish) to reduce bulk.  Repeat with the sleeve lining.

how to add piping to a sleeve


4.  Turn your main sleeve fabric wrong side out and place your sleeve lining inside it so the right sides are together.  Match the seams and notches (if applicable).  Then sew the sleeve to the lining along the sleeve edge, sewing as close to the piping cording as you can.  I like to use a zipper foot for this step, but if you don't have one, it can be done with a regular foot.  Just be sure that you sew very close to the cording of your piping.

how to add piping to a sleeve



5.  Turn the sleeve right side out and check to be sure you sewed close enough to the piping cording.  Sometimes I have to go back and get a little bit closer to the cording in certain spots.  When it looks good to you, you can trim the seam allowance to 1/4" if you'd like. 

how to add piping to a sleeve
how to add piping to a sleeve


6.  Then turn your sleeve right side out and press.  To retain the shape of the sleeve and avoid creases you could use a tailor's ham.  But I just roll up some fabric or a dishtowel, place it inside the sleeve, and press.  That's works well for me.

hide and seek dress sleeve


And there you have it - two piped and lined sleeves!

how to add piping to a sleeve
hide and seek dress

4.13.2014

The Oliver + S School Bus T-Shirt and Puppet Show Shorts

For my final Kids Clothes Week project, I decided to go more tomboyish than usual.

oliver + s school bus t-shirt

The truth is, my girls prefer dresses.  Even when they're climbing trees or ankle deep in a creek looking for tadpoles.  But I had this amazing giraffe fabric on my shelf, which I'm pretty crazy about.  I didn't have enough to make another skater dress.  But I did have enough for Oliver + S' new pattern - the school bus t-shirt.  And how could our animal and Africa lover Tarikua object to a giraffe t-shirt?

oliver + s school bus t-shirt

This pattern has several options: long and short sleeves as well as cap sleeves for a more feminine look.  It's so versatile and the price is right.

oliver + s school bus t-shirt

This is the cap sleeved version with the thinner neckband.

oliver + s school bus

I happen to not only have a sewing addiction but also an audio/podcast addiction.  Sewing while listening is my favorite indulgence.  But we all know indulgences aren't always healthy.  This particular combination of listening while cutting out patterns doesn't always end well for me.

oliver + s school bus t-shirt

And so it was this time.   I accidentally cut out the front as the back and vice versa, placing the giraffes exactly where I wanted them on the front and lopping off the giraffe heads on the back.  I had flipped the pattern pieces over to work with the direction of the fabric, so I couldn't see the pattern labels when cutting.  I didn't realize I had cut the back as the front until I had sewn on the neckband.   And I was out of fabric.

oliver + s school bus t-shirt

As I was considering my options, I tried the shirt on Tia, and it looked really great on her with the back as the front.  I took off the neckband and scooped out the center front another 3/8" more or so, but I was happy with this unintentional pattern adaption.  

oliver + s school bus t-shirt

I had planned to pair this top with brown linen Puppet Show shorts which I also made this weekend but they just didn't work together.  Eh, you win some, you lose some.  I do like them both separately, though, so I'll call it an overall win.

oliver + s puppet show shorts

Can you believe I've never made the Puppet Show shorts before?  I must be the last person on the (sewing) planet to make them.

oliver + s puppet show shorts

 The strangest thing happened with these shorts.  They ended up not needing to be gathered at the bottom, even though I cut them according to the pattern instructions.  It was not another podcast-cutting faux pas, I promise you.  I'm blaming the linen.  Linen, to me, can be frustrating to work with, because it's so shifty.  That's the only thing I could think of that went wrong.

oliver + s puppet show shorts

 So to me, these look less like the Puppet Show shorts and more like something out of Happy Homemade, but I love that book, so I was happy with them nonetheless.

oliver + s puppet show shorts


And that wraps up my Spring 2014 KCW! 

oliver + s puppet show shorts


4.10.2014

Kids Clothes Week : A Skater Dress

Not only is it Kids Clothes Week, but around here, it's also birthday week!  We have three birthdays in five days.  Tarikua's was on Monday, Dan's was on Tuesday and Indigo's is tomorrow.  That means today is this girl's last day of being 6.  And this here is her birthday's eve dress.

skater dress
 
We have a tradition of celebrating both birthdays and birthdays' eve.   Because we really like to celebrate.

skater dress

This is the Skater Dress... again.  (I adapted the pattern a little, like I did here.)  Needless to say, I really like this pattern.  I bought the fabric here.

skater dress

Indigo is our resident mother hen.  She's so kind and nurturing - just a deeply caring person.  She's quick to offer hugs and cuddles to her younger siblings.  The other day I heard her tell Iris, "Come and give me a hug, Iris.  Because we always have time for hugs!"

skater dress 

She's growing up alright.  It's so fun to watch her develop into the person she's meant to be, the one that's so uniquely her.  She's so artistic and creative and funny.  She loves to encourage and is just a joy to be around.

skater dress

And speaking of growing, this baby's growing like a weed, too! Indigo and I were laughing so much about how much my belly resembles a watermelon.

24 weeks

And with sixteen(ish) more weeks to go!  More often than not, it feels like that's just around the corner.

4.08.2014

A Sew Chic Kids Pinafore/Portabellopixie Hybrid + a Birthday Girl

I started sewing for Kids Clothes Week at 10:30 on Sunday night.  Though that was an hour and a half before it officially began, I figured it was nearly Kids Clothes Week on the east coast and hoped no one would hold it against me.  ;)

sew chic kids inspired pinafore

The truth is, yesterday was Tarikua's 5th birthday and I wanted to sew her birthday dress in time, without spending much of her birthday sewing.  We had far more important things to do, such as glazing breakfast pastries that we made the day before, meeting Dan for lunch at our favorite biker burrito place, and baking a cake together.  Sewing had to play second fiddle to all of that.

sew chic kids inspired pinafore

But I did promise her a birthday dress.  When Dan headed to bed at 11:30, I assured him I'd be right in.  An hour later he glanced at the clock when Iris stirred to snuggle in closer to him and noticed my side of the bed was still empty.  He told me he thought - Oh, Rach's in the groove... and then had visions of me sewing that resembled a clip out of Edward Scissorhands.

sew chic kids inspired pinafore

It wasn't exactly like that, but I will admit, it was rather thrilling to be sewing as the clock struck midnight and KCW officially commenced in my time zone.

sew chic kids inspired pinafore

This dress is a hybrid between the Sew Chic Kids Pinfore R and the Portabellopixie Petal Knot dress.  I mentioned last time that I wasn't entirely happy with the yoke of the Sew Chic Kids pinafore.  I had planned to play around with that.  But then Tia came bouncing down wearing the once-Indigo's now-hers Petal Knot dress and it looked stunning on her.

portabellopixie petal knot dress

 Working off of the two patterns I came up with this: a Sew Chic Kids Pinafore with a (much) more gathered skirt, a curved yoke, and less room in the underarm.  The pinafore pattern is probably ideal for layering, which gives it a roomier fit.  However, I knew Tia would wear it alone, so I wanted more coverage.

sew chic kids inspired pinafore

 Tia actually picked this color combination for this dress as I was playing around with different options on the living room floor.  Yes, my heart beamed.

sew chic kids inspired pinafore

I had the hardest time deciding which buttons to use.  I must have texted Dan 6 or 7 photos of button choices, asking him to weigh in.  We were torn between these and some vintage floral ones.  In fact, the conversation went like this:


"We will just have to live with the consequences!"  Ha!

sew chic kids inspired pinafore


With her dress finished, the birthday girl and I had the best time baking her cake together.

Tarikau's birthday

We made this chocolate cake recommended by Gail.  It was amazing.  We used this chocolate frosting.  I decorated the cake with gumballs, inspired by this pin (though hers were marzipan balls).   I also learned from reading the cake post that I was confusing the terms 'frosting' and 'icing'.   Whew!  Glad she set me straight on that one!  :)

tarikua's birthday

It was a lovely day with our birthday girl.  At five, she was completely thrilled with a day of homemade goodies, a big bunch of balloons, a few presents, and homemade cards and gifts from her older siblings.  Iris must have sang 'happy birthday' to her a dozen times.  It was simple, yes, which made her enthusiasm about it all the more beautiful.


She's such a great kid!

tarikua's birthday

4.05.2014

The Caroline Party Dress and the Perfect Parcel Package #2

When Rachael from Imagine Gnats asked if I'd like to be part of her Perfect Pattern Parcel #2 Sew Along, I enthusiastically agreed without having seen the patterns.  I trusted Rachael's vision and I love to support indie designers - in fact, I buy indie patterns as often as I can.


But when I saw the patterns in Parcel #2, not only was I completely thrilled with the options, but even surprised by the level of awesomeness.  These patterns are all so, so great.  The package exceeded my expectations, which were high.  The parcel happens to include one of my most loved patterns, the Hanimi dress, which I've made a whole lot.  And interestingly, you pick the price of your parcel, which not only supports independent designers but also a portion of the proceeds go toward improving children's educations.  So cool, right?  The pricing options are great (and unbelievably affordable).  You can read all about it here


With Easter in mind, I decided to try the Caroline Party Dress.

caroline party dress

The pattern reminded me of some of the Geranium-Hanimi hybrids I've made (especially this one), but with a fuller skirt and the option to add an underskirt.

caroline party dress


caroline party dress 

I love the Geranium dress and I love the Hanimi, so the option to put them together is pretty fantastic. 

caroline party dress
trying to find the pocket :)
 
 The underskirt and collar give this dress a classic vintage feel, so in keeping with that theme, I went with a yellow faux linen by Kaufman that I had in my stash.

caroline party dress


The faux-linen-on-quilting-cotton is brilliant, because you get the look of linen without all of the shiftiness of linen.  And I love the drape of this material so much.

caroline party dress

I paired it with a soft light peach solid for the underskirt and collar.

caroline party dress

 I adjusted the length of the underskirt, making it an inch or so longer than the main skirt.

caroline party dress

It closes with a zipper.  I've come to love zip closures.

caroline party dress 

I love this pattern!  And I could hardly handle the sweetness of Iris in this dress.
 
caroline party dress

 I just wanted to squeeze her and kiss those chubby cheeks (a favorite hobby of mine anyway).

caroline party dress

So if you make this dress for your little one, and find her completely irresistible, don't say I didn't warn you. ;)

caroline party dress

This video demonstrates- via paperdolls - all of the amazing combinations you can create using these parcel patterns.



Isn't the video great?  It's inspired, right? I love it. The combinations are so good!

This pattern parcel is only available for 13 more days, so definitely check it out soon!

Happy weekend!