Monday, June 27, 2016

New Patterns from Tie Dye Diva - Potato Chip Shorts and Pants and Open Back Top

Two new sewing patterns hot in the shop!


First up, Potato Chip Shorts and Pants pattern for boys and girls has everything you love about our popular Potato Chip Skirt pattern but in shorts and pants! Flat front, elastic back, and inset pockets - plus other goodies like back yoke, decorative flap 'pockets' and optional half belt and loops for girl's styles. Two shorts lengths - short inseam (generally for girls, but boys can wear this length too) and at-knee Bermuda inseam (generally for boys, but girls can wear this length too). Plus, full length pants in all sizes from 12 months to 9/10 years.


Shortest view - in Poppy collection by Maude Asbury for Blend
Bermudas view by tester
Créations Gabie & compagnie
Pants view by tester Kate W.
We call these Potato Chip patterns because you won’t be able to stop at just one! At a steal of an introductory price through Tuesday 6/28 only.

You might like to use our versatile tutorial for using buttonhole elastic with this pattern, too!

Next up, Open Back Top pattern!

photos by Darkroom Junkie Photography


Sweet Pea in her set by Rachel!
The Open Back Top pattern is easy to sew and frugal on fabric. You can make it lined or fully reversible. Close it with buttons and buttonholes, or with your favorite press-in snaps - you know I have a thing for KAM Snaps! Sizes 2T to 9/10.

You might notice we've paired it with the shortest view of Potato Chip Shorts in both sets above. They go together like ... well, chips and dip! Sorry, couldn't help myself there. The set featured in the top photo is made with the Natural Wonder collection by Josephine Kimberling for Blend Fabrics and the bottom photo set is made with the Poppy collection by Maude Asbury for Blend Fabrics. Thank you Blend for providing these fabrics so we can feature them here on the blog!



Now, only one thing makes this announcement even better, the Open Back Top pattern is FREE to members of our Tie Dye Diva Patterns Facebook group - come join us to see how to get your free pattern - just go to the link, click Join Group, and an administrator will approve your request.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

How to Make Daffodil Capris into Shorts!


Do you love Daffodil Capris?  The classic flat front design with easy on and off of the elastic back?  Girly ruffles? Sweet faux wrap design? But, do you want something a little cooler for summer? Today we have you covered with Daffodil Shorts!

Daffodil Shorts are quite simply everything you love about Daffodil Capris, but shortened to short length for summer. This is a super easy modification that you will love to sew all summer long.

Finished with pom-pom trim
Begin by printing and assembling your Daffodil Capri pattern. Now we will shorten the pattern.  First, however,  decide if you will finish the hem with the pattern ruffle or trim with a purchased piping, rick rack, or other trim.  This decision will effect the finished length of the shorts.  While the pattern ruffle will add 1" to the length of the shorts other trim options add a minimal 1/4" or less.

Finished with pattern ruffle
Shown with the Daffodil Top
Typical inseam for girls shorts is between 1 1/2" and 2".  Keep in mind that the petal leg design of the Daffodil pattern will make the shorts appear just a little bit shorter. The green ruffle trim shorts above have a finished inseam of 1 1/2" while the red pom-pom trim shorts have a 2" inseam. Once you've decided how you will finish the hem of your shorts and your desired inseam, we are ready to measure and shorten.

If you are using the pattern ruffle for the hem or finishing with purchased 1" lace, simply measure your desired inseam length from the center crotch down.  For example, the green shorts are cut at 1 1\2". The one inch that is lost in seam allowance is gained back by the 1" finished ruffle.  If you are using piping, rick rack, or pom pom trim, measure the inseam 1" longer than your desired length.  For example, the red shorts were cut at 3".  Subtract one inch in seam allowance and the finished inseam length is 2".


Begin by measuring down the appropriate amount determined above an placing a mark. Next measure from the bottom of the capri pattern up to the place you marked.  This is how much you will be shortening the pattern. For this pair I shortened 6 1/2". Now measure up from the hem at several points and mark with dashes. Finally, connect the dashes. This will ensure that you maintain the proper curve for the shorts. Measure the same amount up from the hem for each of the three pattern pieces.


Cut out your Daffodil Shorts.  If you are using the included ruffle we need to remeasure the length needed for the ruffle.  First measure the hemline of the front and back pieces.  Add this number together and multiply by two [ (front hem + back hem) x 2 ].  Also measure the center front and hem of the side panel and again multiply by two.  Cut two ruffle strips for each measurement (one for each leg).  Sew exactly per pattern instructions!


I've added a simple bow on the waistband for a little extra pizzazz.  If you'd like to add one too, here's how!
  • Cut a scrap 3' x 8" (bow) and another 1 1/2" x 2" (bow center)
  • Using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew both pieces  in half lengthwise.  Trim the seam allowance on the bow center to 1/8"
  • Turn  both pieces right side.  Press the seam on the bow to the bottom edged.  Press the seam on the bow center to the center back.
  • Mark the center of the bow and finish both ends.
  • Fold both ends of the bow just past the center mark and stitch through the center.  Leave long tails on the thread.  This creates less bulk than a seam. 

  • Pleat the bow and wrap the center with the string tails.  Secure the end of the string with a dab of glue stick.



  • Sew together and finish the short ends of the bow center to form a loop. Turn the seam to the inside.
  • Slide onto the bow and secure over the center with a few hand stitches on the back side. Before cutting your thread also secure to the center front of your Daffodil Shorts.



If you haven't grabbed your Daffodil Capri pattern yet, grab it now!  Sizes 12-18 months through girls 9/10 will make this a staple for years to come! Enjoy your sweet Daffodil Short all summer long.  I know Sweet Pea will!.







Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Criss Cross Straps for your Tie Dye Diva Ruffled Rompers!


Summer is just around the corner in the Northern hemisphere, and that means it's time to break out your Tie Dye Diva Romper patterns!  The Ruffled Romper Pattern for Girls and for Ruffled Romper pattern for Baby have been customer favorites for many years.  I can't count the number of adorable Ruffled Rompers I've seen posted in our interactive Tie Dye Diva Facebook Group. Over the years we've seen several brilliant modifications including extra ruffles, no ruffles, various modified straps and flutters added to the straps.  By leaving off the ruffles and changing up the halter ties, it makes an adorable sunsuit for girls or boys. Take a look at some of the customer creations I found in our interactive Facebook group.

Chelsea Freire of Sew Stylin' Stitches added a bib and monogram to this sweet romper.
The straps are the halter-style straps made per the pattern.

The front of the romper is the perfect place for embroidery as
Dana Sanders-English of Sweet Gracie Originals shows.
She also modified the straps to tie  into the waist and added flutters.

Dawn Frohman of Addy & Tabby used rick rack to
 trim the ruffles and flutters on this modified romper.
She secured the straps at the back waist and added buttons to the front.

Don't you love the mushrooms and lace on this modified romper.
Linda Gargett has crossed the straps and secured with buttons in the front.

Suzannah Cleaver of Princess Peppy's Accessories has added a sweet bow
to the back of her romper as well as an adorable tuck and button on
the front giving a sweetheart neckline effect.

Clockwise from top left:
 Danielle Larson's cross back modification
Christine Whiting has left the ruffles off and modified the straps to button in front; perfect for a sweet boy.
Julie Heath lengthened the straps and tied through the waist in a bow.
Janai Ayala created this adorable costume with fringe instead of ruffles and trim added to the front.

I just love all the creativity shown here!  It is amazing how a few simple changes can completely change the look of a pattern.  To help you get the creative juices flowing, we are bringing you a simple pattern modification to make crossed straps that button to back of the romper.

Today I'm sewing with more fabric from the Seafarer collection by Anna Griffin (you saw some in this fun Potato Chip Skirt Pattern modification tutorial). This fabric was generously provided to us by Blend Fabrics, a division of Anna Griffin, Inc. I love the soft and girly blues, pinks and greens in this color way with a fun nautical theme. Perfect for summer!

Photo courtesy www.annagriffin.com
I've used the Ruffled Baby Romper in size 6-12 months, but the same general modifications can also be used for the Girls Ruffled Romper as well.  The baby romper starts at newborn size (newborn photos anyone?) and extends through size 18-24 months.  It has a 'cut on fold' front with no center seam and instructions for an optional snaps crotch. The girls romper has 'bloomer' style legs more age appropriate for toddlers and girls (which means it has a center front seam), longer ties, and includes sizes 2T - 6. Both have halter-style straps that tie behind the neck, but let's give you a way to get a whole new look with criss cross straps! Leave off the ruffles for a sweet unisex sunsuit.

There are only two main changes necessary for this modification.  Begin by cutting your pattern pieces as directed, except for the strap piece.  For the straps on this 6-12 month romper I cut two straps that are 2" x 14 1/2" (toddler and girls sizes cut straps 2 1/2" wide).  Subtract 1" of strap length for each size smaller and add one additional inch of length per size bigger that you are making.

Begin sewing per pattern instructions.  Stop after adding ruffles, before inserting elastic.  Here we need to add buttonholes.  Find and mark the center back.  Measure 2 1/2" from each side.  This is where the buttonholes will begin, for girls sizes you may want to place these a little bit wider.  Center the buttonholes between the bottom of the casing and top of the ruffles. Select the buttons you desire to use and make appropriate sized buttonholes. My buttonholes are 5/8" for my 3/4" buttons.  Sew the buttonholes and then proceed with the pattern instructions for adding elastic.


Now, let's prepare the straps.  Fold the strap in half width wise. Using a 1/4" seam allowance sew down the long edge and across one short end.


Trim across the corner and turn through the unsewn end.  Press well and continue with the pattern instructions for attaching the straps and finishing the romper.  Finally, attach the buttons to the straps.  If you have a model available, try the romper on and determine best button placement.  I recommend crossing the straps to keep them from sliding off the shoulders. If you do not have a model available, I suggest placing the bottom button 2" from the bottom of the strap and a second button 1 1/2" above the first.  Adding two buttons to each strap will allow the romper to grow with the wearer just a bit.


Button through the button holes and admire your sweet Ruffled Baby Romper.  Happy Sewing!



Be sure to join us on Facebook and Instagram.  We love to see your creations!  Remember to tag your photos on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest with #tiedyediva or #tiedyedivapatterns for a chance to win a free pattern each month!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

3 Ways to Spice Up Your Sewn Garments (and where to shop!)

Our Butterfly Dress pattern for Girls
You don’t need me to tell you that lace and trims can make all the difference in taking a handmade garment from just “OK” to flat-out gorgeous. Let’s take a look at some places to find these special adornments, and three ways to use them to spice up your handmade.

First, where to get these pretties? You can buy lace, ribbon, and buttons from most fabric stores and online fabric sites, but specialty and vintage shops always have the most interesting selections. Specialty sites like Lace Heaven, Cheep Trims and Vintage Trims are a few places to start, though some only sell in bulk quantities. My favorite 'secret' place to buy crochet lace trim by the yard or in bulk is Dharma Trading Company. All the cotton laces are white, but can be easily dyed or tea-stained to suit your project.

Etsy is a great place to seek out vintage trims. One of my favorite etsy shops for vintage trims and notions is Pink Floor Studio (and read on for a special discount!). Lucky me, it is owned by my friend Molly and her mom Viveca so I got to shop in person one day, right there in their pretty studio, and yes, it has a pink floor. Everything is impeccably organized and carefully curated to be a quality, beautiful selection.

Some of the vintage trims, laces, and buttons at Pink Floor Studio.

Vintage suitcases hold buttons organized by color
I got to sit here to sort through all the wonderful wares. See the pink floor?
The ribbons!
Lace collars to swoon for.
Buttons - buttons that match!
This is not even everything I came home with!
You can find so many vintage goodies at Pink Floor Studio on etsy, and new listings going up all the time. Molly and Viveca even have a special discount code for you! Use code PINKTDD for 10% off your order at http://www.pinkfloorstudio.etsy.com through Monday, 5/2.

and your order will come beautifully wrapped too!
Now, how to use these beautiful adornments? Here are three ways.

1. Trim a Hem.  


Lace or other trim at a hem is a great way to finish a hem and add a really special touch at the same time. It makes finishing those difficult-to-hem circle skirts a snap!


To add lace or trim to a hem, finish the raw edge of your garment (with a serger or sewing machine) and pin the trim to the right side of the garment (right sides together), overlapping the ends. I prefer not to cut my trim yet - or I cut it longer than I know I will need, just in case the trim runs short when it's actually sewn on. Remember, everything *above* the stitching line at this point is what will show below the stitching line when you're finished, so place your trim accordingly. Here, the scalloped finished edge of my eyelet will show at the hem when I'm done. 


Stitch around and finish the ends by overlapping or seaming them. Press the seam allowance to the wrong side, and topstitch into place.


Our Garnet Dress Pattern for Girls
Don’t just stop at the hems of dresses or skirts - try pant and sleeve hems too!

2.  Embellish a Bodice.


This is so easy to do! Before constructing, find the exact center of your main fabric bodice and embellish away with laces and trims. Save buttons or more bulky embellishments like ribbon or crocheted flowers for last.

Our Butterfly and Fair & Square Dress patterns
Our Perfect Party Dress pattern, with optional bib.
Our Butterfly Dress Pattern
Our Fair & Square Top and Dress Pattern with added Universal Flutter (and Knot or Not Headband).

3.  Highlight a Seam.

Piping, rickrack, and other trims can be used in almost any seam and adds a nice finished look, plus a pop of color or texture. It's especially fun to call attention to seams with an interesting shape, like the bib of our Jon and Janie Romper pattern, the curved side panel seams of our Daffodil Top pattern, or the pockets of our Chocolate Chip Skirt pattern for Women or Potato Chip Skirt pattern for Girls.


Potato Chip Skirt Pattern

I added a little extra detail to the Daffodil Top (lengthened to a dress per our instructions from Daffodil Sew Along Day 1) just to showcase some more lovely trims and my vintage buttons from Pink Floor! It's just a rectangle of fabric with rounded bottom corners and the top trimmed to the curve of the neckline. I then pinned the piping and lace right sides together around the three sides, leaving out the neckline edge. I sewed it into place and turned the seam allowance to the wrong side - this is the exact same process described in trimming a hem above. Then I topstitched the detail to the bodice and added buttons as a finish.


Just a final note - take care when buying and using vintage trims, some can lose their integrity over time - prewash and test out your selections before embellishing.