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DIY Ironing Board Cover

For the past few weeks I have had a small project on my “to-do” list and this week I finally tackled it. It took me less than an hour and it made a major difference in my sewing room. If you’re looking for a quick DIY, this is the project for you. Have you looked at your ironing board lately? Does the cover look grimy/dirty/burned/like a swamp thing? Mine sure did!! I’m embarrassed to even share a photo but I think the before and after is too good not to share. 

Gross, right?! Ok so here are the list of supplies I needed for my new cover. (might vary depending on the style of ironing board you have.)

Original cover

1-2yd fabric depending on the size of your board

1/4″ elastic or cord

Scissors

Seam Ripper (maybe)

Foam or Quilt batting for under the cover

 

The first thing I did was remove my cover and bring it over to my sewing area. Turning it over, I checked the underside to see if it was gathered with elastic or with a cord. Mine has elastic so I just took my seam ripper and removed the elastic from it so I could reuse it!! Win-win there! Once I had all the elastic out I folded my cover lengthwise and smoothed it out flat. 

Then once I had decided on my fabric, I folded it and lined the fold up with the fold of my original cover.

Using quilters clips I lined the folds up and got ready to cut my new cover. http://threadsandstitchesfabric.com/?product=quilters-perfect-klip-purple-1-clip-not-sold-by-the-bag

I decided to create a casing for my elastic so in order to have enough fabric I cut about .75″-1″ away from my original cover. Once it was cut out I did a small hem on the very end by ironing the edge down 1/4″ then another 1/4″ and sewing in place.

Doing all this left me with enough space to create a hem casing to thread my elastic through. I didn’t take pictures of the following steps, but they are fairly easy to explain. I ironed the edges of my fabric down 1/4″ all the way around (mins the straight end that you’ve already hemmed) then I ironed it down 1/2″ again. Once again I used the quilters clips to hold this in place until I could sew it. Now you will have some gathering and fabric puckering around the curved edge on the front of the cover. Just make sure you sort of space them out and do your best, it will be hidden underneath later. If you space them, it’s better than one huge overlap of fabric also.

After I had ironed and clipped my hem, I took it back to my sewing machine and stitched it down with a 3/8″ seam allowance. Make sure you back-stitch at both ends. After I had it hemmed/casing made I used 2 safety pins to thread my elastic alllll the way through, making sure to evenly space my gathers. I secured each end of elastic with a few stitches at each opening. My ironing board had 2 grommets holding the cover down, so I decided to add button holes to my new cover.

I made sure to use Fray Check before opening my button hole to prevent fraying later on.  http://threadsandstitchesfabric.com/?product=dritz-fray-check

Before I opened my button holes I stuck a pin near the end so I wouldn’t accidentally seam rip through the entire thing!

The cover is finished now and all that is left is the batting/foam. Since I have 2 small children I decided to use a layer of Insul-Bright to help prevent the underside of the ironing board from becoming too hot. I used my original foam as a template and just cut my new batting the same size. I placed it on the board, then I placed my new cover over it and hooked the button holes onto the frame. Voila! New ironing board cover! It makes such a difference in my sewing room. I love this Art Gallery fabric so much! It is soft, pretty, and just makes me happy. I love when something utilitarian like an ironing board can become something pretty and decorative too, don’t you?

I love my new ironing board cover, and I would love to see yours if you make one!

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Over the Top Modified Ruffle Dress

Hi!! I’m Bee J Stanley, owner of Blutterfly Baby Boutique -Facebook group-https://www.facebook.com/groups/951041588270905/ .  I am a mother of 4 beautiful children. I have a wonderful husband who supports all my sewing habits, sometimes unknowingly, OK mostly unknowingly…LOL.  I have been sewing little girl dresses now for over 2 years. I’m self-taught from using blogs, internet, YouTube and simply watching others and feel like I’m learning more every day.  I’m always willing to help new sewists with questions and hope to learn some amazing skills in return. Not that I’m the expert, but having someone help with simple things that make everything easier can really help.  I work a full-time job 50 hours a week with a 3-hour daily commute and I do all my sewing on the weekends-  I call it my “play time”. Making crazy over the top modified dresses are my new favorite creations and are so much fun, so I thought I would share a little on how I do that.  Threads and Stitches sent me some fabrics to play with and create this blog, so here we go.  I’ve never written a blog before so I hope you like it and please come share with me once you have tried this- or one of your own over the top designs! I am super excited to showcase one of the best designer fabrics in the world- Jennifer Paganelli’s Sunny Isle Collection, Sis Boom- Free spirit fabrics.   https://www.facebook.com/SisBoom/

The following is a modification using 2 patterns.  I don’t necessarily always follow the patterns themselves – but I do use the techniques and measurements to create, as I did in this dress- a masterful Over the Top Modified Clara Ruffle dress. This dress has a modified bodice of a Clara purchased from Violette Fields Threads (VFT) patterns, link to Clara: https://violettefieldthreads.com/products/clara-pattern-set mashed with a modified Francesca skirt from Creative Kids Couture (CKC), link to Francesca http://ckcpatterns.com/francescas-girls.html .  If you would like to make this dress, please purchase both patterns as I won’t be explaining anything from the patterns themselves-  Only how I modified them.

Both patterns play well together creating the perfect Over the Top Clara Ruffle dress.  First, I decided on how many layers of ruffles I wanted. You can do as many or as little as you like. I added 6 layers of ruffles to the skirt, this particular one is 3.25“ wide for each ruffle.  Follow the pattern to get the connector piece sizes (I don’t want to give away the pattern measurements!!) Also, the bigger the ruffles the bigger the connector piece- so less confusion if you follow the CKC Francesca pattern for the measurements you need.

Share secrets!! If you don’t have this cutter attached to your ruler you must buy one- These are perfect and keep your fingers safe! It’s a Fiskars – Fabric Rotary Cutter and Ruler Combo Tool.

For the ruffles on the Clara top I cut 4- 4” wide strips the WOF for an added wow factor and lots of puffiness. If you don’t want as much poof then cut them down as you wish. (I used 2 different prints, 2 strips each color)

Now time to serge. I prefer rolled hems so here we go- The best rolled hem threads I have found Is from Thread Arts called Wooly Nylon.

Tip- Be sure to file the top of the plastic so its smooth with a fine nail file to prevent the threads from being caught in the rough plastic- trust me it will pull and ruin the hem if you don’t do this.

 

Best way to thread this is by tying the thread and pulling it through- The wooly nylon goes through the upper looper.

Also note contrasting threads are perfect for rolled hems. If your main skirt is blue but the ruffle is pink, don’t be afraid to use a blue thread for rolling hems as I did.

Set the serger for rolled hems- Use your manual- then I suggest playing around. There are many different settings depending the machine. The lower looper is the one that needs to have a higher tension. I set mine at a little over 8 and the rest of the tensions stay set to normal (mine are 4). The stitch length needs to be on a lower number (mine is set to a 1).

You also need to adjust the cutter so it has fabric in the roll but not too much.

Again practice makes perfect as all machines are different. Practice on test fabrics until you get the perfect rolled hem. They should look like this.

Here are all the ruffles after the hems are rolled.

Assemble all the ruffles from bottom to the top, keeping the ruffles in order in whatever pattern you decided on – if any. Once you get to the top ruffle stop before adding it- you need to measure the ruffles from the bottom ruffle hem to the last layer of the connector piece, then subtract the seam allowances and add the rest of the desired length for the skirt. Use this main fabric as the final connector piece. You will sandwich the last ruffle with the main skirt to the last connector piece (as you have done with all other layers). I do this all in one step to save time- You can always sew the ruffle then sew the connectors. Then, you have to serge and then top stitch…so see why I do it once. Saves me time and thread, haha. When done it will look like this below.

Next, I’ll work on the bodice.  Don’t forget to purchase the Clara so you can create this most desired bodice.  I already had all the pieces cut, so first step, I gather all the ruffles the width of the bodice from front to back, use any gathering method you desire.  I set my machine to do all the work for me. (I use a gathering foot with the basting stitch and I set the tensions between 8 and 9 so it gathers as it sews).   Then I serge the gathers so I have a clean finish and they don’t come apart.

I really modify this bodice as I don’t assemble the way they explain so I’ll give those tips below. First add the ruffles as the pattern explains to the main bodice, but before adding the lining. We will do that step after all ruffles are on and top stitched. Make note you may need to move them over so that when they lay down they are not crossing the center armhole- (they can touch but you don’t want them overlapping- you can always move them after the sides are sewn a little but too much would cause you to have to do some awkward folding)

This is a picture of the main bodice with the ruffles already sewn on. The lining is not attached as the pattern shows. I don’t like to see all the threads in the lining so I altered this, especially if you also decide to add lace- there would be lots of stitches and puckering of the fabrics. Also, if you want more OTT- add lace now over the ruffle top stitch- before continuing.

I will use a method some call as the burrito method to tuck the ruffles in as assembling the lining onto the main. First, pin the outside edges of lining to outside edges of main. Then, sew them together.

Then pin the inside main to inside lining. Note how I roll the ruffles in so they are out of the way. You can pin these so they stay. I just use my fingers to hold the roll in place careful not to sew them while securing the lining to the main.

Then from the front of the bodice pull through the ruffles. Example showing how easy that is (don’t forget to use pinking shears to cut the rounded edges so they lay flat, and cut the corners).

Since the ruffles are so large I sew them in place and cut any excess from the bodice so its easy to assemble the top- and you don’t have to worry about making sure the ruffles are where they should be. Also I suggest you add the button holes now as once the skirt is on that’s a lot of fabric to work with.

Then attach the skirt to the bodice and Viola- Perfection! DON’T forget to top stitch!! There are a lot of ruffles and they will pull, so top stitch for added strength as well as a more professional look.

And here is the completed look-

Try changing up the ruffles and making a variegated look. I absolutely LOVE this!! All 21 prints in this dress are from the Sunny Isle Collection- Jennifer Paganelli- Sis Boom- Free Spirit. Yes, did I say she is my all-time most favorite fabric designer EVER!!!! And she knows it! Ha-ha. I use her prints in a lot of my dresses. Better grab yours today!! Before its gone.

 http://threadsandstitchesfabric.com/?s=jennifer&post_type=product

Hair pretty by Heart’s Desire


 

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DIY Cowgirl Stuffies from Moda

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I got a chance to sew up this sweet set from Moda.  It’s a 1 yard panel printed with all sorts of goodies for you to cut and sew. It includes this doll, bandana, quilt with backing, hobby horse and several other fun items.

 

My daughter actually helped me make all of these.  I sewed and she stuffed and trimmed threads and, of course, she played with them.  She had the clever idea of turning the hobby horse into a fun pencil topper.
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She pulled out all of her homemade dolls and took them outside to play after deciding that the new doll’s name was Maria.

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Her note has a picture of Duchess, Hare and Maria playing ring around the rosie with Poney in the middle.  It reads, “Duchess and hair and Poney and maria BFFS forever.”
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Maria and Duchess and Hare like to collect rocks.  These are the most beautiful of the rock collection, in fact, one of them is a rare jewel that Duchess may put into her crown.

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They sit around and tell each other stories.  Duchess and Hare particularly like the story of how Maria and Poney fought off the alien invaders that were trying to capture Duchess and Hare.

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Stories always make Hare sleepy, so she laid down in Duchess’s lap and closed her eyes.

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Then Poney joined her, followed by Duchess and Maria.

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Then Bridgette joined in.  Few things are nicer than a late afternoon nap in the summer shade.

 

Link to product. http://threadsandstitchesfabric.com/?product=moda-howdy-stuffy-diy-cowgirl-doll-and-small-prints-misc-20550-11

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Clover Wonder Clips

Hi fellow fabric lovers! This is Madison from Maddie Kay Creations. I am here to talk with you about something I discovered about a year ago that has changed sewing for me in a whole new way: Clover Clips.

Now, I am going to be brutally honest here. I saw post after post on facebook about how amazing these things were, I bought them, tried them… and well…I wasn’t impressed. I was hesitant at first because I am one of those ladies who just sews right on over her pins. *Gasp* (I know, I know! Its terrible) I hated the act of having to “slow down” to remove my pins. So naturally, when I first tried the clips, I felt like they were SOOOOOOO much more time consuming and downright clunky as I tried to move my fabric around.

Then one day I was using my serger and missed a pin. If you have ever had this happen IT IS NOT PRETTY! I was so scared. I had to replace my knife blade, locate and dig out a broken piece of a pin, and replace both needles all while freaking out that I had broken my BabyLock Imagine – which is not exactly a cheap machine ((my husband would have KILLED me)). Luckily there wasn’t any major damage, but after that day I refused to use pins in places where I was going to be serging. That means: T-shirt necklines and sleeve cuffs, gathered ruffles, gathered skirts, and then any other seam that I would normally finish off with my serger. I know the rule of thumb is to sew everything on and then just finish with a serger but I frequently like to skip that step, especially with knits. Hey a busy mom who sews at 2am while the kids are sleeping has to cut corners somewhere on occasion. I have a 4 – Thread overlock on my machine so in truth, I find that I don’t “need” that sewing stitch to keep my seams secure. For me, sewing first is purely to keep the fabric in place before serging. Insert my new love for clover clips.

After you have gotten over the initial shock of no longer using pins, you will find that clover clips hold your fabric in place so much nicer. *I am going to preface this by saying that I don’t sew with a wide range of fabrics. I generally stick to quilting cottons and cotton/lycra knits. Afterall, I do buy almost all of all my fabric from Threads and Stitches and those are the types of fabric that Christine specializes in* So let’s get to ways that I use my clover clips:

T-Shirt Necklines & Sleeve Cuffs
-Total game changer. Made things so much quicker. I simply clip two different half-way points on the bodice neck and then on the neckband.

-Then match up the clips. And clip on the neckline.

-Then head on over to your serger and serge on the neckline. (or if you can, do a ziz zag on a sewing machine). The clips do a great job holding the fabric in place and there is zero chance of sewing/serging over them! I keep a little box next to me and literally just toss them in there quickly so they are out of the way.

2. Bindings. This is actually where I have found the clips to for sure be the better option over pins. These can be tricky to get them looking nice and flat, especially with knits. Since using clover clips I have found that my stitches actually look smoother and the fabric lays nicer. You use the clips just like you would do pins.

 

3. Attaching skirts to bodices

4. Attaching a gathered ruffle

5. Holding down seams flat so that they stay in the direction you need them to. I know this sounds a little silly but yes, I do this. Things like side seams in bodices or shoulders, I find if i clip them down before attaching anything to them or stitching, I don’t get seams that are facing the wrong direction.

6. Ironing bindings. This has been one of my big game changers as well. I sew with a lot of knit bindings and woven bindings. To me, nothing is more frustrating than pressing it out nicely with the iron and then 5 seconds later they pop open and you can barely see your press line. Here is where the fabulous wonder clips can help. After I fold and press, I grab 1-2 clips to help keep those press lines and folds in tact. Some fabrics press easier than others – I don’t always need them but especially on some pesky knits that often flop back open after I’ve pressed.

 

But I am going to save my best feature to show you last. I have found clips to be easier with knits because you have to stretch them sometimes and manipulate them a little differently than woven fabrics. When it comes to wovens, I haven’t found clips to be easier. They are exactly the same in my eyes as far as that goes… HOWEVER … I love that clips don’t leave any pesky pin holes in your fabric! Yes most of these will wash out or you can steam out with your iron. But wouldn’t it just be nice if you never had them in the first place?? As someone who sells garments, I don’t want to send someone a dress with a pin hole and tell them “not to worry, it will wash out”. Clover clips eliminate that completely.

So if you haven’t already, get some clover clips and try them out. At first they might feel weird. Kind of like driving a new car lol! But after that, you will find they come in handy for so many different things!

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Scraps!!

Hey everyone! I am here to talk about fabric scraps today. If you’re anything like me then you are crazy when it comes to your fabric. I plan out all my cutting to make sure I cut the fabric in a way that results in the smallest amount of waste possible. When cutting fabric though there will always be some waste, even if it’s just the tiny sliver of selvage with the pretty fabric’s name and designer on it. Or maybe it’s the edge of a piece of fabric that you had to cut off to even out your project. You know what I’m talking about…those strips of fabric that have a teeny tiny bit of print on them but no real discernible use to them. (All photos can be enlarge by clicking them.)

They are all SO pretty but not very practical for projects. Well today I am here to tell you to SAVE THEM!! Yes, you read that right. I keep all my selvage pieces, my tiny strips, my slivers of fabric cuttings. Anything around .75-1″ wide by at least 8″ long. I have a cute little bucket that I throw all those pieces in and when I have some free time (aka watching Lalaloopsy for the millionth time with my 4 year old) I use those fabric scraps to create something brand new! Fabric Rope! Ok so now that I have piqued your curiosity, along with speaking directly to your fabric hoarding heart, let’s get into how I put those scraps to use. Here is my beautiful rope.

I start out with two fabric strips that are around .75″-1″ in width (no wider or it looks funny) by at least 8″ in length (anything shorter and it’s frustrating). If your piece of fabric is wider that 1″ just trim it down or you can cut a small notch in it and rip the fabric to give it a more “worn” look for your rope. Once you have chosen your two strips you are going to tie a knot at the end of them to keep them together.

Almost makes a pretty bow! Ok, so once you have them knotted together you can tape them to a desk or put something heavy on top of the knot to keep them from moving during the next step. I find that once I get my rope going I don’t need anything to hold it down.

Next you are going to start by taking the strip on the right and twisting it clockwise in your fingers, sort of like rolling it. Once you have a tight roll to it you cross it over the left strip. Repeat for the left strip. Then repeat for the right strip. Seriously, it’s that simple. 

Once you get about 2-3″ from the end of a strip you will want to tie on a new strip to continue your rope. You just grab a new strip and tie it to the bottom of the one that is ending, just like you tied the original knot. Once it is tied and pulled taut, just trim your edges for a more clean finish.

You can see from my photos that my rope has been going for a while. I love to work on it when I’m just watching tv with my family or even on a long car ride. It is basically a never ending project and the possibilities with it are endless. You can see all the beautiful fabrics merging into one creation within your rope. I use mine to wrap presents, use as straps for sun dresses, make a cute little tie on a dress, really there is so much you can do with it. On sundresses I create ropes specifically for the dress and leave enough room to attach to the bodice.

We would love to see what you create with your fabric ropes and we hope you share on our FB page!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/threadsandstitches/

 

Thanks for reading my rant!

Until next week,

Alex

*I should add that I use cotton woven only as knits would stretch too much for this project.

 

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Pom-Pom Sandwich!

How to make the perfect sandwich!

Tips and tricks for working with pom pom fringe.

Hey, it’s Cassandra!

Pom pom trim or fringe is all the rage right now. It’s a fun way to add interest to any piece, and while its super cute it can be a total pain to work with. Using a zipper foot is one of the easiest ways to apply pom pom trim. The zipper foot allows you to get right up to the edge of the pom poms (this is especially helpful when using the larger pom poms). To add contrast, you can simply top stitch your pom poms to the right side of your piece, or you can sandwich them between your fabric layers for a finished look. This is how I attach my pom poms between layers, I’m sure there’s a technical term out there but I’m calling it the sandwich method, and here’s how I do it!

I’m using the standard zipper foot that came with my machine, it looks like this.

TIP* If you’re using mini pom poms you could also use a cording foot. The cording foot will guide the tiny pom poms through the channel, making it easier to control while you sew.

I like to baste the pom poms to my fabric first (pink thread). This really helps to keep the trim exactly where you want it and serves as a guide in the following steps.

TIP* Measure the webbing that connects the pom poms to figure out your seam allowance. Because I used the mini pom poms I wanted just a bit of the webbing to show but if you don’t want any visible webbing, sew your basting stitch right along the edge of the pom pom webbing.

Right sides together, sandwich the pom poms between the main fabric and the lining, pin to secure, and flip the fabric over so you can see the basting stitches. Sew through all layers just to the left of your basting stitches (raw edges to the right, white thread).

Turn right side out, press, and top stitch If you desire!

There you have it, a pom pom sandwich!

Enjoy,

Xoxo Cassandra P.

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Pattern Review- Birch from Sew a Little Seam

Guest post by Rachael Iafigliola

Hello again, I am so happy to be back on the blog for Threads and Stitches! I am excited to share with you this pattern review of the Birch Button Up from Sew a Little Seam. Also one lucky reader will win a copy of the pattern for free just by commenting on this blog post! A special thank you to Kelly from Sew a Little Seam for designing the pattern and offering a giveaway to us! If you don’t win the pattern is currently on sale until August 1st for $4.90 with the coupon code you can find in the Sew a Little Seam Facebook group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/sewalittleseam/

Link to the pattern:

http://www.sewalittleseam.com/product/birch-button-pdf-pattern-3-months-16-years/?affliate=35

 

This is my handsome little guy in the version I sewed up! We went to the beach for photos and had lots of fun with it.  I used Robert Kaufmann Chambray Dot from Threads and Stitches. It is beautiful, lightweight and great to sew. It is also great for little girls’ outfits.

The Birch includes great styles for both boys and girls and can range from casual to dressed up. It comes in a wide range of sizes 3m – 16y and so many options! Perfect for a back to school top picture day or everyday!

Honestly when I saw this pattern going to testing I was intimidated. I decided to give it a try because I sew so much for my almost 2 year old little girl that I wanted to do something for her big brother. I am so glad I made this because I love the results.  Even though it took me longer than I would like to admit I enjoyed the process and learning new techniques! The instructions were easy to understand and broken down into simple steps so I could easily follow along and not get overwhelmed. I loved the professional finishes throughout the pattern. Flat-felled seams were an option that I tried for the first time with the Birch. They were so simple and made the inside look very professional.

I appreciate a pattern with many options and this one does not disappoint. This is a great overview of all the options but I love seeing the actual photos to gain inspiration so I will show some of these options from the amazing pool of tester photos for this pattern.

*click to enlarge*

For the front placket you can sew up a full placket or a partial placket.

The four neckline options include collar, collar stand, hood, and hood with a collar. In addition there are instructions to make the hood lined or unlined.

There are also 4 hemline options including straight, straight with side slit, curved, and front tie.

The five sleeve options are long sleeve, rolled long sleeve with tab, sleeveless, short sleeve, and rolled short sleeve with tab. Also when you choose the long sleeve options you can use a tower placket or a continuous placket at the sleeve cuffs.

Finally the pocket options are pleated and unpleated flat patch and pointed patch which you can pair with the pointed or flat flap or leave without the flap. You can also do a kangaroo pocket if you choose the partial placket option like I did.

Enjoy sewing up your Birch button ups! I can’t wait to see what you make and remember to comment on this post for your chance to win the pattern for free!

*Comment on this blog post to enter this pattern for free!

*Make sure you join us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/threadsandstitches/

-winner will be chosen on August 1st-

 

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Pattern Mash-ups

Pattern Mash-up Isla/Havana romper!

Hi all!  I’m Hayley from Oinky Beaver Originals…nice to e-meet you!  I don’t know about you, but I am always envious when I see fellow sewers post cool combinations of different patterns (often referred to as a “mashup”) – you take the things you love from each pattern and make something amazing!  So for today’s blog post, I thought I would share some tips for combining patterns using a mashup that I have been wanting to make for months.  I love the look of the Isla Top/Dress by Little Lizard King and really wanted to see that as a romper.  So I decided to mash it with the romper bottoms in the Havana pattern (also by Little Lizard King).  While I am using specific patterns to illustrate, the concepts are similar no matter which patterns you choose to combine.  

Let’s get started!  

 

Once you’ve decided which patterns to mash, you will need to compare the pattern pieces to figure out any modifications that may be required.  I printed and assembled the top piece of both the Isla and the Havana along with the romper bottom piece of the Havana.

I started by determining the length of the Havana top by measuring the length from the bottom of the armcye to the bottom seam of the pattern piece.  I know that I want my modified Isla top piece to be approximately the same length to ensure that the romper has a similar fit.  

Before I move on, I have a tip for you (let’s call it quick tip #1): I would suggest drawing your new waist seam line on your modified pattern piece right now.  Lay your top pieces one on top of the other and line up the bottom of the armcyes.  Make sure that the fold line of the Isla piece is perpendicular to the waist seam line of the Havana piece.  It may look a bit odd at this point, but it’s okay!  Go ahead and draw a line across your Isla piece right where the Havana piece ends (making sure that the line is perpendicular to the fold line of the Isla piece).  

Clear as mud?  Wouldn’t this be easier if I had a picture for you?  Yes, yes it would.  But alas, I haven’t got a picture of this step because I didn’t follow my own instructions and skipped ahead.  So let’s jump ahead a little and I will show you my comparison picture after I made the modifications.  You can see in this picture that I have drawn a waist seam line that is perpendicular to the fold line.  When I line up the bottom of the armcyes, my newly drawn waist seam line should match up with the waist seam line of the Havana piece.

(On a totally unrelated note – please ignore the hideous state of my cutting mat!)

 

 

You should now have an unmodified Isla piece with a line drawn through it that will soon become your new waist seam line.  Let’s move on…

Next, I took a look at the Havana top and bottom pieces where they would be connected.  You can see here that they are the same width…so we know that we need to make sure that the Isla top will be the same width as the Havana bottom piece (otherwise one of the pieces would require gathering and the pieces may not end up looking like they work together as one outfit).  

Now let’s take a look at how the Isla top piece lines up…uh oh!  This is a completely different width and shape.  Time to make some modifications…

…But before we start – it’s time for quick tip #2 (read: do as I say, not as I do!): compare the top pieces.  Is one supposed to be cut on the fold?  If so, you will need to take that into consideration before making your modifications…if you don’t, you will make a big mess (read: when I made my first modification, I made a big ole mess…I won’t share those pics…but thankfully I realized my mistake before I cut into any of my precious Threads and Stitches fabric!).

The Isla top piece is to be cut on the fold whereas the Havana top piece is not.  In order to ensure that my pieces line up, I need the waist seam line of my modified top piece to measure ½ the width of the Havana bottom piece.  

And that brings me to quick tip #3 (read: yes I definitely made this mistake, but because I was working with knit, it didn’t cause any issues in the final product…again…do as I say, not as I do!): make sure to take into account any seam allowance AND any other things that might impact the shape of the piece.  In this case, the Havana top piece has straight sides whereas my modified Isla top piece does not.  You will see in the picture above that I accounted for the ½” seam allowance, but what I failed to do was account for the waistline facing piece that needs to be added to make the elastic casing for the romper.  Since that is cut as a rectangle, I should have either (a) changed the shape of that piece to mimic the shape of my modified Isla piece, or (b) account for the waistline facing when making my modified Isla piece.  My advice (if you decide to make this specific mashup) is to follow (b) so your modified Isla shape would look more like the picture below.  Remember to take into account any seam allowances in your modification – you will see in the picture below that I should have had a 1.5” straight line to accommodate the seam allowance and waistline casing before starting to angle my line towards the armcye.

You will see in this picture that I have drawn a straight line to account for seam allowance (and waistline casing) and have then drawn a line connecting the top of that line to the bottom of the armcye.  This is my new side seam.  You can now cut along your drawn side and waist seams to create your modified Isla top piece.

Are you feeling brave?  If not, go back and compare the pieces again…make sure that you are comfortable that everything lines up.  Remember that the tops of the pieces will not line up and will look really weird compared to each other…this is okay.  We will be sewing the pieces separately before joining them together…so we’re just looking to make sure that where the two patterns join together, they will line up.  

I’m feeling brave, so I’ve cut my pieces.  Look how nicely the modified Isla top piece lines up with the Havana romper bottom piece!

Now cut out the rest of your pieces so you can get sewing!

Follow the Isla tutorial to make the top using your modified pieces.  Look how cute it is so far!

Follow the Havana tutorial to sew the romper bottoms together.  You will follow the instructions for joining the bottoms to the top, but will just be using your Isla top piece instead!  Because you have made the modifications above, your pieces will line up nicely and should go together easy-peasy!

Are you ready for some cuteness?  Here is my knit version of the Isla-Havana Romper using gorgeous fabric that I got right here at Threads and Stitches!  This is Art Gallery Soulful Floral Universe Plum, in knit.

I hope this was helpful and that you can use it to make your own mashups (whether it’s the Isla-Havana Romper or something totally new!).  Please share your creations in the Threads and Stitches Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/threadsandstitches/!

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Bias Tape Straps

Hi everyone! I’m Liz from the Pink Crocodile and I am so happy to have been asked to guest blog this
week! I just love the fabric that I get from Christine, and when she asked if I would share a
sewing tip or two, I just couldn’t refuse!
Have you ever just loved a pattern so much, but decided against it because it would require
making teeny tiny thin straps? Well I have had my eye on just the perfect summer pattern, yet I
was hesitating. . . . . it turns out that it really is never to late to teach and old dog new tricks! I’ve been sewing
since I was 10 years old and it NEVER once occurred to me that I could use a BIAS TAPE maker
to fold up those teeny tiny thin straps! Anyone can do this – so easy peasy!


First off : I figured out what fabric to use, picked my pattern and starting cutting. I have learned,
after wasting yards and yards of fabric, to maximize my space when laying out my patterns.
When I need to cut on the fold, I take time to lay pieces out across the width of my fabric,
instead of the fold pre-made by the fabric company. Here are a few pictures as an example.

I just love using up 9″of fabric instead of wasting almost 24″

Next up I cut out my straps and got out my bias tape making tool.

 

I gently pulled the strap piece through the tool, wrong side fabric facing up, with a pin to get it

started, pinned it to my ironing board & ironed as I slid the tool down the length of the strap.

 

My straps were cut 1″ wide. The tool I used made it 1/2″, I just ironed that in half & sewed them

alone the open edge to get 1/4″ TEENY TINY THIN straps!!!

I was able to make a set of straps, they are even, and didn’t burn my fingers one time!

Here’s my finished product! Good luck with those sundress straps!

Fabric: Art Gallery, In Blue courtesy of Christine @ threadsandstitchesfabric.com

Pattern: Amsterdam by LLK

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Sewing an Inseam Pocket

Hi Welcome to Threads and Stitches!  My name is Natalie Hidalgo and I am the owner of Tutu Cute Designs.  Today I am going to show you how to insert inseam pockets into your dresses. Just a few simple steps and you will be well on your way.

I am sewing the Double Scoop, by Little Lizard King. This pattern does not call for inseam pockets, but I am adding them in.  You will find that with most dress patterns you can add an inseam pocket.  The beautiful butterfly fabric that I am using is from Threads and Stitches.

–  Take a trip to the Little Lizard King Website and download the FREE inseam pocket.  It looks like this 

– You will need to cut out four of these pieces NOT on a fold.

 

– Take your two skirt pieces and serge the length of both sides of each piece, so you should end up with four surged edges.

 

-Serge all four of your pocket pieces around the curved edges.  This helps it from fraying on the inside of the garment.

 

-Measure two inches down from the top of the skirt and pin the straight edge of the pocket along the straight edge of the skirt piece.  Do this with all four pocket pieces.

 

-Using a ¼ inch seam allowance sew the straight edge of the pocket down to the skirt.  Do this to all four pockets.  Take your iron and press the pocket piece open and away from the skirt.

 

-Pin the front skirt piece to the back skirt piece.  Make sure to pin the two pocket pieces together.  When you sew it together make sure NOT to sew down the straight edge of the pocket.  You must follow the serge line you made and go into the pocket pieces to attach them.  I used a half inch seam allowance, because that is what the pattern I am using calls for.

 

-Flip the skirt right side out and press the front and back skirt pieces together, at the pocket.

 

Voila!! You have an inseam pocket!