Hello, Fellow Sewers, Seamstresses and the like,
I am so excited about the blog posts that we have in store for you. Some of my favorite children clothing designers as well as ladies who love to sew for their families or themselves will be posting their tips and tricks from everything to adding a special touch to a project, changing up or mashing a pattern or tutorials on using a sewing tool. I will also have blog posts by people who love to quilt, make handbags and anything else that you can put together with a needle, thread and fabric. Let the fun begin!
-Christine, Threads and Stitches, Owner
Hi, I’m Jessica Fox, owner/designer behind The Frilly Fox. I’m a Southern Momma of two rambunctious toddlers. I’m married to my best friend. I feel so blessed to be able to share my love for fabrics and sewing with everyone. Enough about me, let’s get to the fun!
Being a southern momma, I’m drawn to classic colors and prints. I love seeing little girls twirl in vintage styles. I wanted a fabric that captured southern summer charm. When I saw the tan floral, Coney Island by Fig Tree & Co, I knew it was perfect! It’s soft, has gorgeous colors, and is simply elegant. The white daisies remind me of summer fields full of wild flowers. The pops of orange, brought sunshine to my eyes. I paired it with Free Spirit-Tanya Whelan in green to bring out the leaves on the daisies. I feel that this combination was perfect.
To complete my vision, I had to find the sassiest pattern. Not only did I find the sass I wanted, I found the charm that I needed as well. I chose the Violet Fields Threads Lola top. I modified it to make more of my own style. This top is perfect for Alabama summers. I’ll share my tips with you!
First of all, prepare your fabric, print and cut your pattern pieces. I personally cut my pieces the night before I plan to sew. I do this while my littles are asleep. I have one little helper who likes to get my scissors and pins! Kiddos, we have to love them. This helps for a speedier sew the next day.
The first modification I made was omitting the ruffle on the bodice. Instead of the ruffle, I simply added a flat center panel about four inches wide to the bodice. I also added an extra crochet trim. Pictured above is my modification. Stitch both of them down. For the rest of the bodice I followed the VTF instructions.
Every time I sew, I remember my mother saying, “use your iron.” She’s a veteran seamstress and swears by ironing. I agree with her, but we won’t mention that if she asks. How many of you love your iron? Starch is another on of my favorites. This combination make sewing much easier for me.
The next modification that I made was lengthening the top. I lengthened the skirt portion about four inches. I left the band length the same. Personally, I like a little longer length as it allows longer wear for my customers. You can add length, or keep the original. The choice is yours. That’s what I love about sewing. We can turn anything into our very own masterpiece. Sew with love and the rest is made easier!
I followed the pattern directions to finish. The only difference is that I hem my skirts before gathering. I also like a wider hem. Are you a rolled hem, wide hem, or narrow hem type of gal?
Now to gather, I recently learned a trick of machine gathering. I was skeptical of this at first, and I still am a little bit. On your machine, set your stitch width to the longest setting. Just like you do when preparing for a gathering stitch. Then adjust your tension until you reach the “gathered” look you want.
This was super easy, and it gave me beautiful even gathers. 9 out of 10 times, I’ll probably stick with the traditional two stitch method, but wanted to share with you ladies something a bit faster.
After I gathered, I followed the rest of the VTF instructions.
To complete my masterpiece, I had to bring out my “arch enemy,” the seam ripper. I hate that little tiny tool! Not sure why, it’s just not my friend. Do y’all feel this way? I picked out extra seams, ironed, and stared at my work.
I find some pieces are harder to let go than others. Sometimes I think, why did I not make this in my little’s size? Then I stop and think, I can also recreate something even more special than this one. My favorite thing about sewing and creating is knowing that someone will love this piece as much I do. Thank y’all all for joining me. I hope these tips will help you in modifying future patterns. Until next time, keep sewing and having fun!
Thanks Jessica for the amazing tips on gathering and walking us through sewing a dress!