Friday, July 25, 2014

A Year of Dresses: Ruffled Bubble Romper

Don't you just love this week's Year of Dresses...with legs? Okay, so it's a romper it's a great pattern.  The Ruffled Bubble Romper is perfection.  Full of vintage inspired charm, this pattern features bubble styling, ruffles wrapped from one side and around the back to the other side, and halter neck. All of it is adorable.  Not only is it cute, the smart design is perfect for keeping your little ones cool on hot summer days!

Have you followed Tie Dye Diva on Pinterest?  You know when you all do I can stop reminding you each week.... Seriously though, creating your own TDD A Year of Dresses board, or following the one Jen has created is the easiest way to have quick links to all the Year of Dresses posts at the click of a button.  Pinning from this post is as easy as hovering over  your favorite photo and clicking on the large Pinterest icon that appears.

The Ruffled Romper is available for baby in sizes newborn to 24 months or toddler in sizes 2-6.  This is a beginner / advanced beginner pattern level.  If you can gather, you can make this.  There are slight pattern differences between the toddler and baby sizes.  Toddler sizes have a seam in the center front enabling the legs to have a  more age appropriate bloomer style with short legs.  Baby sizes are diaper cover style.  The baby size pattern also has optional crotch snaps for easy diaper changes.  As a mom, I always add the snaps!  The other main difference is that toddler sizes have long halter straps that tie in a full bow while baby sizes have short straps that tie in a knot to keep baby safe.  Both styles feature an elasticized back and legs.

To make this quick sewing pattern even quicker use a rolled hem on the ruffle edges and gather with using a ruffler foot.

What a sweet little ruffled bum

I treasure this style on Sweet Pea right now and take full advantage of her wearing it.  It is one that I know she limited time amount of time to wear before ruffles on the bum just won't work.  But for now, whether it's a day trip to the lake, shopping around town, or staying home to play, the ruffled romper is quite simply adorable, and I receive complements every time she wears it!

Today was all about playing in the back yard.  Sweet Pea was up and down the slide, swinging on her tummy and playing with her brothers.  Really, the best days of summer are spent outside watching and playing with the kiddos.  They are only this age once and who know what next year will hold.

That Grin!

See, they're almost all together in this picture.  

Here's you quick pattern rundown:

Friday, July 18, 2014

A Year of Dresses: Sweet Summer Halter

Can you believe we are on week 12 of A Year of Dresses already?  I plan to make it through all 52 weeks of the year, showing you different pattern options, highlighting new patterns (like the Coral Dress), showing fun and simple modifications, and a few bonus tutorial along the way!

There is so much fun and excitement coming up in the TDD world with last week's launch of the Diva Collection.  Come follow us on Instagram for sneak peaks of upcoming patterns and peaks into our lives beyond the patterns!

The Sweet Summer Halter....I have had my eye on this pattern for a long time but never gotten one made.  I knew that it MUST be made for A Year of Dresses this summer, and summer has most definitely been in full swing in my neck of the woods.  This dress is extra special to me though.  I've been saving this Pretty Little Things fabric by Dena Designs especially for Sweet Pea's 2 year pictures, which will be in a couple weeks.  (The entire collection is available Hawthorn Threads). What could be more perfect than a sweet summer dress for a sweet summer baby?!

The Sweet Summer Halter pattern has all your little girls covered from 0 months up through size 8.  Depending on your needs, you can purchase the pattern in baby sizes 0-24 months or girls sizes 2-8.  The curved halter straps really make this dress stand out! I love the contrast trim all the way around the bodice.  I chose to use the same fabric for my hem band for a more uniform look, but a third fabric on the hem band is also cute!  The Sweet Summer Halter is an intermediate level sewing pattern simply because of the the curved piecing on the straps.  If, however, you are a confident beginner, this pattern is for you too.  The instructions include a full step by step tutorial for successful curved piecing.

See this post for how to fussy cut a print on your bodice.
I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly this dress went together.  Even with a misbehaving sewing machine I was able to finish this dress in just a few hours.  I'm sure it would have been much shorter had my machine been behaving!  Thankfully I was able to get to the bottom of it's issues; I dread having to be without my sewing machine.

If you have been reading A Year of Dresses consistently, then you know that Sweet Pea is a mix of sizes.  I debated whether to make this dress in 18-24 months or 2.  Because of the halter style of this dress I did not want it to be too big around her chest so I used the 18-24 month size and adjusted the length a little.  I added 1/2" to the bottom edge of the bodice.  This made it the same bodice length as a size 2.  I also added 1" of length to the skirt.  The end result is a perfect fit!

I also added fullness to the skirt to make this dress just a little extra special.  According to the pattern the front and back skirt panels were each to be cut at 26" wide for my size.  That would have made a very nice, two times gathered skirt which is perfect for everyday.  Because this is a special dress for Sweet Pea's birthday I decided to make it a little more full and cut each of my skirt panels 36" wide.  You can add width to any gathered skirt panel and easily have a fuller finished skirt.  36" was a bit of an arbitrary number, not an exact ratio for this skirt.  I was feeling a bit indecisive on how full I wanted the skirt to be and this was between 2.5 and 3 times the width of the bodice.  Any time you are looking for an easy way to fancy up a dress for a special occasion, consider adding fullness to your skirt.  It is very easy and effective!  And, if you want even more fullness, try adding the underskirt from the Sugarplum Skirt pattern as a petticoat!

Extra full makes extra fun!
As I have been working with Jen, I am ever more and more aware of how tirelessly she works to make sure that her patterns fit just right for you.  This dress is of course no exception.  The armholes are perfect, the back is snug so it stays in place, but not uncomfortable.  The neckline is neither too high or too low.  Perfection!

I look forward to taking Sweet Pea for special birthday photos (much better than my humble attempts at photography) in this sweet dress.  I love having the memories to look back on and they are made even more special with a Mommy Made dress!

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Now for your pattern highlights:

Friday, July 11, 2014

A Year of Dresses: The Coral Dress and Top

It has been an exciting week at Tie Dye Diva! The Coral Dress and Top, the first pattern of the Diva Collection, is now available. The Diva Collection is designed to be a little more full, a little more flair, a little more fun!  Perfect for every girl in your life that likes more modern styling with some extra frills. Let me tell you, you do not want to miss this pattern!  Oh, and wait, there's more....  It is ON SALE through this evening (7/11), AND can be combined with the fabulous new tiered discounts!

Of course, everything that you know and love about Tie Dye Diva is still there!  The instructions are fabulous, detailed, and clear.  Pictures help you along each step of construction.  Sizing is spot on.  Jen takes extreme care to make sure that all her patterns fit just right and never stops until they do.  Vigorous testing makes sure fit and construction works for everyone.  A  huge thanks to all the FABULOUS testers on this pattern!

The Coral Dress and Top also includes extended sizing.  TEN sizes are included covering all the way from 6 months up girls 10!  The pattern is loaded with options.  Choose from cap or flutter sleeves, or choose straps that tie in a cute bow.  Make a dress or top, both lengths are included.  There is also an optional apron that is the perfect place for fun embellishments.  Think lace, buttons, applique....  Here's Sweet Pea's top length Coral with cap sleeves and apron paired with Pretty Pantaloons.

If you've never shirred before, have no worries!  There is a full shirring tutorial included.  If you can sew (mostly) straight lines, then you can shirr!  The shirring on this dress is done after constructing the tiers.  There are a couple options when it come to the shirring and it is entirely personal preference, but I'll show you how I like to do it.  When I shirr I like as few ends as possible that need secured, but I also want to know that if my thread breaks I won't need to fix more than one round of shirring.  So here's my solution.

This is one side seam on my dress.  If you look closely you'll see that there are several small stitches through the seam allowance.  I set my stitch length to 1.0 and take about 5 stitches.  This is my favorite way to secure shirring and I have never had it pull out.  Also, and what I'm not sure you can see here, is I do not break my thread each round.  Instead I take a few stitches down the seam to the next row.  If you are familiar with quilting at all, this can also be called 'stitching in the ditch'.  Using this method I can shirr the entire bodice with only two thread tails and still have my stitches secured each round.

I want to show you shirring from the inside too.  The elastic thread used in your bobbin sits right on the surface in side the garment.  It is soft and stretchy!

I have finished both the top and hem of this dress with a rolled hem.  I personally love the rolled hem on top and it makes a super quick and easy hem also.  But, if you don't have a serger, no worries!  Jen's patterns never require a serger.  There are also instructions for making a narrow folded hem.

Sweet Pea's Coral dress is a size 2.  She is at the bottom of the height range for a 2 and I knew that with a shirred bodice the chest would fit without any problems too even though she is still at the bottom of a 18-24 month size range by her chest measurement. 

Don't forget a Coral for Dolly too!

Coral dress falls below the knee and has a great twirl factor.  I'm hoping that the longer length and tie shoulder mean this dress still fits next spring. That might be wishful thinking....good thing Mama can make another one.

I adore the fullness of this skirt.  Sweet Pea is still new to twirling, but she sure tried!

I seriously can't get enough of this sweet dress; it will be worn everywhere.  Play, parties, church, you name it.  Just because I love it so much, here's a few more pictures for you.

As always, here's you quick pattern rundown.

  • Ten sizes from 6 months to girls 10
  • Top and Dress length
  • Three sleeve options: cap, flutter, and straps
  • Shirred bodice (full shirring tutorial included)
  • No serger required
  • Dolly Dress also available!

Friday, July 4, 2014

A Year of Dresses: Seaside Sailor

Happy Independence Day! It's been a busy week, have you seen all the news at TDD?  The website is now easier than ever, has tiered pricing up to 30% off, and the exciting Diva Collection is coming soon.  To stay in the know, sign up for the TDD newsletter!  It comes out only 4 times a year and includes exclusive info and discounts you won't get anywhere else.  You can sign up at the link:

Also going on this week is (of course) A Year of Dresses! We are on week 10 of 52! In honor of the 4th of July this week's dress is my favorite Tie Dye Diva nautical style, and of course it is Sweet Pea's 4th of July dress. The Seaside Sailor Dress is simply charming!  What's not to love about a full sailor collar and bow detail?  Sweet Pea is wearing Seaside Sailor Dress for Baby, available to make in sizes 0-24 months. Seaside Sailor Dress for Girls is also available and covers sizes 2-10. Baby and Girls dresses are not exact matches in these patterns, but they complement each other perfectly.

Baby Dress includes a full sailor collar, button front bodice and skirt, a sweet little bow!  The sailor collar is the ideal place for embellishment.  Choose from rick rack, ribbon, bias tape, or lace trim. The collar is also the perfect place for applique or embroidery.   Seaside Sailor for Baby buttons all the way down the front of the dress for super easy dressing of small babies.  Finish the dress off with a sweet little knotted bow.  It ads just the right spark of contrast without any dangerous tails for baby to pull on. Included in the pattern is also the option of making a contrasting under-collar.  From time to time you may be able to glimpse the red lining of Sweet Pea's dress.

For this dress I used one row of large rick rack. 
Such a sweet bow! And don't you love it when you
 just happen to have the perfect buttons?!?
Sewing this dress is really quite easy.  The pattern is rated as an Advanced Begging sewing level because it requires buttons and buttonholes (or press in snaps). As always you can trust that Jen has provided easy to understand, thorough, and detailed instructions. If you've never sewn a collar, rest assured that Jen will walk you through each step of the way!  I think my very favorite sewing element of this dress is that there are absolutely no exposed seams!  Not one!  It is a simply brilliant construction.

Isn't the inside beautiful too?
I made two super simple alterations/additions to this pattern.  First, as you know if you've read the past Year of Dresses posts, Sweet Pea is quite tall and thin so I added 1" to the skirt length.  Simply add (or subtract) the desired amount from the skirt length when  cutting out the skirt panel. Second, I added rick rack to the hem of my dress.  Seaside Sailor for Girls includes instructions for doing this, but the baby version does not. If you'd like to add rick rack to your Seaside Sailor Dress for Babies, here's how:
  • Form your placket and hem as directed in the pattern. Then grab your desired trim.
  • Measure the amount needed and add about 2 1/2"
  • Heat seal the ends by quickly passing it through a flame.  
  • Now wrap one end of your trim over the edge of your skirt at the hemline. A dab of glue stick here will help hold it in place.
  • Sew the rick rack to your hemline by topstitching down the middle of your trim. 
  • As you approach the opposite side of your skirt, wrap the trim over the edge again and stitch through all layers (2 layers of trim plus the skirt).
That's it!  Enjoy your rick rack trimmed hem!

Sweet Pea will be wearing this to all the festivities today and  I know that she will be cool and comfortable for playing on top of festively dressed!  She wore it to the lake this past week and definitely had no problems playing in the sand, throwing rocks in the water and admiring the boats as they went by!

The Seaside Sailor dress is certainly not limited to nautical themed sewing.  It is beautiful in just about any fabric.  To read more about the Seaside Sailor (including some pattern modifications) and find lots of fabric inspiration read through the Seaside Sailor Sew-a-long posts from last month! Also, if you are using a print fabric with obvious repeats be sure to read Jen's post showing you how to match the pattern across the button placket.

Just because you don't see the brothers very often!
They are usually just outside the frame in every photo shoot!
Here is your quick pattern rundown:

  • Baby Sizes 0-24 months
  • Girls sizes 2-10
  • Fully lined bodice
  • No hand stitching
  • At knee length
  • Button Closure
  • Beautiful Sailor Collar
  • Sweet Tie Detail