Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tutorial Tuesday: How to add flutters to the Fair & Square Top and Dress Pattern

After a long summer hiatus, Tutorial Tuesday returns today!  Today we turn to the Fair & Square Top and Dress pattern.  This is a pattern I find myself reaching for over and over again.  It is a summer top or sundress but also an adorable jumper in cooler weather.  It dresses up and down.  It is really a perfect go to pattern.

Top length with a border
print and Sterling Leggings
Dress length layered for
fall with a long sleeve
tee and boots

Top length with bias hem
and Pretty Pantaloons
Dress length for spring
with a tee and capri tights

Another way to layer. Top length
with skinny jeans and a cardigan.

Today We're sharing how to add flutter sleeves to the Fair & Square pattern making it even more versatile.  Ready? Let's get started!

Begin by cutting out each of the pattern pieces as directed.  Then cut two flutters. To keep this easy we will start with rectangles.  For this 6-12 month size I cut rectangles that are 2 1/2" x 12".  For larger sizes you may want to cut rectangles up to 1" wider and 4" longer.  Keep in mind that the longer the rectangle is, the more gathered the flutter will be.

Now shape the rectangle.
  • Fold each flutter in half so that the short ends are together.  
  • Measure and mark 3/4" on the short cut (not folded) edge.  
  • Draw a gentle curve from that mark to the long edge of the flutter near the fold.
  • Cut on this line. We now have a shaped flutter.
  • Repeat for the second flutter.

Now we will add the flutter into the construction of the Fair & Square dress.  If you have made the Butterfly Dress pattern then this will sound very familiar.
  • I  opted to not add the included bow, but instead stitched some crochet lace to the center of the yoke.
  • Sew the shoulder seams for both main fabric and lining as directed in the pattern. Also press bottom edges of the liner up 1/2".
  • Before proceeding with the institutions we will now prepare and attach the flutters.
  • Hem the curved edge of the flutters with a narrow hem by folding under 1/4" and then another 1/4".  Stitch close to the folded edge.
  • Sew two rows of gathering stitches along the straight edge, one at 3/8" and the second at 5/8".

  • With right sides together, pin each end of the flutters to the yoke leaving 3/4" clear at each end of the yoke. Gather to fit.
  • Pin and baste in place.

Now continue with the Fair & Square instructions picking up were where we left off.  To accommodate the flutters, it is easiest to begin with sewing the neck edges of the main and lining. Then sew the armhole edges rolling the flutters to fit between the layers if necessary. 

That's it! Finish off your top or dress according to the pattern instructions and enjoy your Fair & Square with flutters.

Some other tutorial links you might enjoy:

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Hey Girl, how about some free fabric? We have a meme contest WINNER!

Thanks to everyone who entered the make-a-meme contest! I've made a Pinterest board with all the entries for your viewing pleasure here: TDD Meme Contest Entries on Pinterest.  We had great entries!

Congratulations to these winners who submitted original, funny memes!

Gina C. wins the prize package of Snow Day by Maude Asbury for Blend Fabric and the Hey Girl journal. LOVE IT!

I just love the idea of Tie Dye Diva pattern names coming out of Tim Gunn's mouth ... sigh ...
And I pulled a runner-up because I couldn't help myself giggling over this one. Congratulations Elaine L.! I've got a little goodie to send you too.

Winners, contact me through the blog 'contact me' button to the left, Tie Dye Diva Facebook fan page or group, or Tie Dye Diva website.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

A Rainbow for Katy!

Happy, happy birthday to Katy Dill of No Big Dill! As you might know, we kinda like rainbows around here too ...

So we are so happy to give you one and wish you a very happy and colorful birthday!

Heartfelt thanks to Blue Paw Baby Boutique for the beautiful photo of this rainbow-themed Opal Knit Flutter Top and Dress.


PS, if you like funny sewing memes and FREE FABRIC - don't miss our giveaway that closes tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Hey Girl, How About a Giveaway?

Hey girl, let’s have some summer fun! We’ve got five 1/2-yard cuts of Snow Day by Maude Asbury for Blend Fabrics. (for a total of 2-1/2 yards) by AND this awesome, brand-new, Hey Girl journal to give away. All you have to do is make a funny sewing meme.

The journal, well, it hardly needs explanation, right? It's got a sketch of Ryan Gosling on the cover, space for your own notes and some random Hey Girls throughout.

The delicious Snow Day half-yards are from this adorable collection by Maude Asbury that you might remember from this icy cool skirt I made with the Potato Chip Skirt pattern. Yummy.

So in case you need to some help with what a meme is: Well, in the broader sense it's any cultural "thing" that catches on and gets repeated and spread around, like those videos that go viral, a catchphrase, or my favorite, those pictures with funny words on them in all caps.

Like "Bad Luck Brian":

"First World Problems":

I love "Hey Girl":

(You do own the Chocolate Chip skirt pattern for women, don't you?)

You can make your own on your computer, or use a meme generator like I did at Imgflip or  or memegenerator.net, just to name a few. 

So here are the rules for a chance to win the prize package: make a meme, any meme at all, promoting Tie Dye Diva patterns or Blend Fabrics, or sewing/fabric in general, and post the link in the comments. Be sure we have a way to reach you.  The picture won't pop up in your comment, which is a bummer, but I'll post a "best of" along with the winner on Monday. You're also welcome to share them in the Tie Dye Diva Facebook Group after you enter!

We’ll choose a winner based their submission of an original, funny meme.

Up to 3 entries will be counted person, open worldwide. Contest ends Monday, July 27 at midnight Pacific.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tutorial Tuesday: Create Short Puffed Sleeves On The Everyday Top

The Everyday Top is exactly that. It's the perfect laid back top for everyday!  The pattern is loaded with neckline options so no two tops need to look the same.  I chose to make this top with a sweet Peter Pan collar.  Today I'll be showing you an easy way to make one more modification to the everyday top making it perfect for year round wear.  Keep reading to learn how to modify the pattern's long, slim sleeve into a short, puffed sleeve! 

Modifying the sleeve takes a few steps but, is easier than you might think.  I'll be using the slash and spread method to create a classic puffed sleeve similar to that on Baby's Party Dress.  Because I am not a pattern drafter, I referred to the Girl's Peasant Top pattern for an approximate sleeve inseam on a puffed sleeve. I am making a size 3 for Sweet Pea. You may need to shorten or lengthen the sleeve length slightly for other sizes.  Ready? Let's go:

Shorten, Slash, and Spread the Sleeve Pattern:
  1. Grab the Everyday Top sleeve pattern piece and trim to the size needed, in my case, size 3.  
  2. Measure and mark the sleeve length.  My underarm sleeve length is 2 3/4".  I curved the line up ever so slightly closer to the center fold line.  Think 1960's puff sleeve instead of 1980's. 
  3. Trim the sleeve length on the line drawn.
  4. Draw a guide line perpendicular to the center fold line.  This will allow for keeping the pieces in line when spreading.
  5. Now we are ready to draw our spreading lines.  Draw a vertical line half an inch in from the center fold.  Draw a second, third and fourth line each one inch from the previous line.
  6. Before cutting the sleeve apart (this is the slashing part!), it is helpful to number each section as it is important to keep them in the correct order. Then cut on each slash line drawn. You should now have five sleeve sections.
  7. Next, spread the sleeve sections on a separate piece of paper. Using the guideline drawn in step 4 to keep the pieces aligned, tape each piece with a one inch gap between them. Almost done!
  8. Next we will add a little height to he cap of the sleeve, allowing it to puff. Measure 1/2" up from the top of the center fold side of  the sleeve. Then continue the curve to meet up with the right hand, top corner of the first sleeve section. Connect the sleeve section on the hem edge and we have successfully slashed and spread a sleeve. Congratulations!

  9. Add a notch to the pattern piece at the edge of section 1. This will be where gathering threads start and stop. Be sure to transfer the notch to the sleeve as you cut it out.
  10. Cut out the sleeve. Congratulations! You have successfully slashed and spread a sleeve! Cut out two sleeves on the fold as you would for the original, long sleeve. Make sure and remember to mark the notch.

Sewing a Short Puff Sleeve:

Sewing a short, puff sleeve is easy, there are just a few modifications from the Everyday Top instructions.  Assemble the top up to the point of setting in the sleeve. Then follow these simple instructions:
  1. Sew two rows of gathering threads, at 3/8" and 5/8", between the notches on the top of the sleeve.
  2. Hem the sleeve with a folded casing by folding up 1/4" then another 1/2" and stitch close to the folded edge.
  3. Set in the sleeve. Match the center points and edges. Place another pin at the notch, this will be close to the yoke seam but not necessarily lined up.
  4. Gather the sleeve to fit. Stitch and finish this seam.
  5. Insert 1/4" elastic in the hem casing. I used 8" for my size 3.  I again referred to the Girl's Peasant Top for a guideline on elastic length. As you thread the elastic through the casing, stop to secure the elastic before it disappears inside the casing by stitching through the hem and elastic about 1/4" from the edge. Continue threading elastic through and secure on the opposite side in the same manner. 
  6. Sew and finish the side and sleeve inseam in the manner describe in the Everyday Top pattern.
  7. As a final step, secure the seam allowance on the sleeve casing with a few stitches to help it lay flat and be less bulky.
  8. Finish according to the Everyday Top pattern instructions.  Hooray, it's done!

I lengthened Sweet Pea's top by a little bit knowing that she outgrows everything in length long before width. Then I whipped up a pair of Sterling Leggings (shortened to capri length) for a complete outfit.  Now go grab some fabric and try it for yourself. With this simple modification the Everyday Top also becomes the "Every-Season Top"!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tutorial Tuesday: A Brief Overview of Selvedges

Selvedges... most seamstresses surely know what selvedges are, they are the lengthwise edge of fabrics specially woven not to fray, but why are they there and what can be done with them?

For the word lovers like me, we turn to Wikipedia for a little historical information.   Selvage and selvedge are both proper spellings. Selvage is the American English spelling, while selvedge is British English.   Both words are a 'corruption' of the term 'self-edge', which makes complete sense, and has been used for centuries!  While I am American, personally I prefer, and always use, the British spelling.

For the technical reader who wants to know what and why, here you have it. The woven threads that run the length of fabric are called warp. Threads that go across the width of fabric are weft. Selvedges are defined as the finished edges of fabric that will not fray because the "weft threads are double back on themselves and are looped under and over the warp." 

Selvedges also contain helpful information. Most selvedges tell the fabric collection name, designer, and manufacturer. They also contain circles (or other fun shapes) of color showing each color that was used to print the fabric.

Most often fabrics have one white selvedge with all this fun information while the other selvedge is often printed along with the fabric.

Selvedges typically should not be used in finished garments.  Because they are woven differently than the rest of the fabric, they are often thicker and also shrink differently. Cutting off the selvedges is easy.  They are typically about a 1/2 inch wide.  For the information edge, simply trim along the print and white border.  On the opposite selvedge, flip the fabric to the back side to see where the weave looks different, just inside the row of holes where the loom hooks held the roll of fabric.

Finally, what can be done with those cute, fun strips of selvedge? They are great for making ribbons for pretty packages, or why not try an easy garment tag!  Because they will not fray, treat the selvedge strip as you would a ribbon tag.  Cut about a 1 1/2" strip, fold in half to form a loop and insert the edges into the seam.

Fabric is Best in Show by Maude Asbury for Blend Fabrics
 and was provided to us for promotional purposes
I always add tags to my clothing.  Even if I can easily identify front from back, my children cannot and much appreciate having a tag to help them out!

The Tie Dye Diva Easy Twirl Skirt is  a quick and easy skirt for showcasing fun fabrics like Best in Show by Maude Asbury featuring cute cats and dogs in chic pink, mint and coral.  The Easy Twirl Skirt is one of my go to patterns for a quick birthday gift! But, did you know it is also FREE? That's right, folks.  If you've never tried one of Jen's patterns, download this one now and you will be hooked forever!

Make sure you follow Tie Dye Diva on Pinterest and be sure to especially check out our Free Sewing Tutorials board!  Happy Sewing!