August 7, 2014

Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial {Delia Creates Pencil Skirt Pattern Remix Tour}

 Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial

Hello everyone!  I am thrilled to be part of the beautiful Delia’s Pleated Pencil Skirt Pattern Remix Tour! I’m so happy for her and her latest pattern release of the Pleated Pencil Skirt!  Her pictures are amazing and you just have to click over and check out her pattern if you have not seen it yet! It’s lovely, and the presentation of the pattern is just so great.  Delia is so cute and professional—her taste is impeccable and I know I can always count on being inspired when I stop by her blog.

Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial

Today I get to show you how I remixed the pleated pencil skirt pattern to be just a bit different.  I added seams to the front and back panel of the skirt. 

Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial 

I like how it adds a level of interest to the skirt, particularly if you are using just one color of fabric.  Alternatively, you can use this method to make a great color blocked pencil skirt. 

Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial

I wanted to use the blind hem option but I also wanted some length to my skirt and had to go the route of just hemming the typical way.  The blind hem would have been so good for this skirt!  Next time.  I will remember to lengthen the skirt where Delia’s pattern tells you to and try the blind hem out.   Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial

Shall we get started?  Please keep in mind the following:  The methods I used to seam the skirt may very well not be the best method.  I am not a pattern drafter and my measurements I give you are not 100% precise, but rather guidelines that will yield similar results to my skirt.  I did do a little bit of math to get a close measurement, but because the skirt sizes vary and slant, and I do not draft patterns, I will give you a general outline of what I think will work for your skirt.    With that in mind, let’s proceed!

Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial

First, you’ll need some tracing paper, the Pleated Pencil Skirt Pattern, and a pen or pencil with a ruler to make straighter lines. 

Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial

Trace the front panel as per the directions and size according to the pattern instructions, including the dart. 

Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial

Cut out the dart on the tracing paper. 

Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial

Now take the dart on the tracing paper and match the cutout to make one line and tape it.  This omits the darts on the skirt but allows the skirt to be the same width to match the waistband.  Please note that your tracing paper will not lay flat now.  Do not worry about this.  Flatten it as best as you can and move on. 

Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial

Mark down on the edge (where the fold would be) from the top of the skirt at 6” and then again at 10”, or the fullest part of the hips on the skirt pattern.  Draw a line parallel to the bottom of the skirt, at the 6” line and the 10”. 

Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial

For my size 8, I wanted the middle panel to be 7.5” wide at the top of the skirt.  Since it is cut on the fold and therefore is half of the skirt, I measured and marked 3.75” from the fold line.  I drew a line straight down about an inch before starting to taper out to my next measurement that I drew on the 6” line in the step above.  My next measurement that goes on the 6” line, is where I want the middle panel to taper out to. I wanted it to taper about a 1.5” overall from where it was at the top of the skirt (9” total width now, so half is 4.5”) so I drew a slightly curved gradual line from the 3.75” mark down to 4.5”.  Stick with me here...it’s actually really easy.  From there I drew another mark at the widest part of the skirt on the hips, which for my size ended up being about 10” down from the top of the pattern.  At the 10” down line drawn in above step, I wanted it to taper just one more inch apart, so the total width of the panel at the 10” line down from the top of the pattern is 10”, so I made a mark at 5” and gradually drew the line down once more.  From there I lined up my ruler so that the bottom edge was flat and even with the bottom of the skirt and drew a line straight down from the 10” line.  Whew!  Does that all make sense?!  Check out the next two pictures in case the do not.

Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial

Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial

Cut along the line you just drew so it looks like the picture below.

Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial

 

Ok, now here you can either retrace your pattern and ADD a seam allowance along the curved part you cut, or you can cut it out with the fabric and add your seam allowance when cutting. I chose to forgo tracing the pattern again and remembered to add a seam allowance on either side of the pieces cut, indicated in the pictures.  Also, you can make the seam width however you would like, but remember that whatever seam allowance you draw, you will need to remember it and sew precisely, so that you do not distort the skirt in any way.

Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial

Now open up your folded portion, which is now your middle panel of the front of the skirt.  Take one of the side panels and place it, right sides together, on top of the middle panel and match up the edges and pin.  Pinning is very important here because of the curving of the pieces.  If you don’t pin carefully then one of your panels will end up longer when you are finished sewing.  Sew and repeat with other side.  Don’t forget right sides together and also don’t forget that you are only sewing the allowed seam width you gave yourself on the previous step—no more, no less. :)  Finish the seams with a serger or a zig-zag stitch.  I had white thread on my serger and actually no red serger thread, so I just sewed a zig-zag stitch.

Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial

Ironing is your best friend with these curved areas now.  So after you sew the two side panels onto the middle one, iron that skirt front well from the back first, pulling gently on the seam to get all the curved area out and ironed, then turning over and ironing from the top.

Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial

So this is what your skirt panel will look like now.

Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial

Now that you’ve made your front panel, do the same thing for the back, EXCEPT I started with an 8” wide middle panel rather than 7.5” and worked the same as the front but with different measurements, which were drawing a line out gradually to 11” total (so half it with the folded part) and then 12” (half it with fold).  **Important:  You are measuring from the pleat line you sew down, NOT from the edge of the back pattern piece.  (sorry for the horrible night time picture, but I wanted to make sure that you were aware of this step and didn’t do it wrong!). 

Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial

Ok, so here is my chart to let you know the numbers.  Please take note that these are NOT measurements on the fold, but the total width of the middle panel on the front and then on the back.  So when you follow my directions above, you will need to half these measurements when using the pattern pieces, because they are to be cut on the fold.  I realize that the sizing does not change .25” from size to size consistently—sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t.  Feel free to adjust the numbers for your skirt however you please.  However, I do believe that these measurements will still produce a skirt with very similar results as mine.    Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial

Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial

 

I hope if you decide to try it out that you will love it as much as I love the end result on mine. 

Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial

Thanks for having me on your tour, Delia :).  Have a lovely day, everyone!

I was given the pattern from Delia so I could do the remix tour.  All opinions are mine.


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July 28, 2014

Make it Perfect Pattern Parade: Floral Coastal Breeze Dress

You can enter to win a pattern from Make It Perfect!  Scroll down to the rafflecopter below.

Coastal Breeze   
Today I get to be part of Make It Perfect’s Pattern Parade!  

MIP Pattern Parade Button

When Toni asked me if I wanted to join, I took a look at their patterns and really loved the comfortable style of the Coastal Breeze dress.  I had been on the lookout for something to wear over my swimsuit at the pool and decided this would be perfect. 

Coastal Breeze

I already used it at the pool once and loved how I felt completely comfortable, yet still cute while wearing it. 

Coastal Breeze

The pattern calls for pleats on the front and back.  I decided I just wanted to do some gathering stitches instead and I like how that turned out, plus it sped things up even more while sewing.

Coastal Breeze

I sized down since the pictures looked more loose fitting than I wanted.  And it worked.  I cut my neck binding too long which made it hang funny.  What I should have done is unpick the neck binding and taken some length off.  But what I did instead was take in the neckline with a dart in the middle of the back. It works.  Plus there is a little more coverage this way and I can still easily fit the dress over my head.

Coastal Breeze

What I love best about this dress is that you can leave the armd and bottom un-hemmed if you wanted because it is made with knit fabric.  I really wanted a casual look for the pool, and left the arm holes and the bottom un-hemmed.  Well, the bottom is not hemmed because I actually barely eeked out this dress from one yard of fabric (I’m that good ;) ).  Anyways, my point is that I didn’t want to hem it because it would have been too short for my liking.  I love how quick making this dress with gathers and leaving hems unfinished was. 

Coastal Breeze Coastal Breeze

Want to dress it up?  No problem, throw on some heels or wedges, a blazer, and you look ready for a night out.  Perfect!

Coastal Breeze

Plus you can still race your kids!  Cute, comfortable, and practical.  My kind of dress!  Sorry for the blurry pic below—my 5 year old took it :).

Coastal Breeze


Don’t miss the other fabulous ladies who have joined or will join the tour! 

The Make It Perfect Pattern Parade Virtual Catwalk introduces…

Pattern Pieces, Instructions, and Skill Level
The pattern printed out fine with no problems.  The instructions were very clear and I didn’t get confused during the process at all.  I feel like a beginner could easily tackle this project.

Sizing/Fit
I made the XS, sizing down from my measurements to get a more fitted look.  I didn’t hem the bottom or the sleeves so I could have the casual style I was going for.

Modifications to Pattern
Left sleeves unhemmed.  I also did gathers in place of the pleats and took a dart at the back neckline to keep the neck from gaping since I cut the neckline binding too long.

Fabric
I used knit fabric from Fabric.com (not in stock currently).

How Long it Took to Sew
These numbers I can never be sure if they are accurate, but my guess is from start to finish, including cutting, it probably took an hour.

Things I Might Change Next Time
I’d cut a smaller neckline, just raise it a bit I think.  I would also shorten the neck binding so that it doesn’t gap away from the body like mine did. 

Wearability
So comfortable and so cute!

Overall Impression
I love the dress!  I recommend this pattern!

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July 27, 2014

Tribal Soleil Dress

Tribal Soleil {a lemon squeezy home}

Ruby lucked out this KCW season!  She got 3 new items of clothing. 

Tribal Soleil {a lemon squeezy home}

I suppose the reason I’m sewing more for her than the others is because it takes less fabric, and sewing for girls tends to be easier than for boys.  Apart from the outfit I made Dev, which was pretty simple.  Most of the patterns I am drawn to for boys require a bigger time commitment than I am wanting to put in right now.  Devon LOVES his outfit though, so he’s happy.  Carson really doesn’t care if I sew or don’t sew for him.  I guess neither does Ruby, though ;).  I’ll also add to this that Bailey has worn her outfit 3 days this week and slept in it as well a couple times.  yes, that’s how we roll in the summer sometimes. 

 Tribal Soleil {a lemon squeezy home}

This dress is the fabulous Soleil Dress from Selvage Designs.  I super duper love it.  The tribal fabric is a jersey spandex knit that I ordered a long time ago from Girl Charlee.  You can also purchase the Soleil Dress on Girl Charlee HERE

Tribal Soleil {a lemon squeezy home}

It doesn’t look like they have the same fabric currently, but THESE are similar.  Although I really love the print, and the fabric would be fantastic for shirts and skirts that you want to drape well and flow, I probably should have used a thicker knit.  This is pretty lightweight.  It actually sewed up just fine, but it stretches a lot more easily and just doesn’t hold it’s shape as well like the dress seems to need.  That may also seem so because Ruby is small and the smallest Soleil is a size 12.  I easily could have cut off some of the bottom and taken in the sides to fit her well, but it’s nice to have something that she will fit into for a while, as well.

  Tribal Soleil {a lemon squeezy home}

I think we all can agree that the cutout in the back is the best feature.  It is what totally sold me on the dress.  I love it!

Tribal Soleil {a lemon squeezy home} 

Ahem...please ignore the fact that her headband is coming off in most of these pictures.  Focus on that great dress, mmmkay?  :)  Yes, I left it un-hemmed once again.  With the fabric being so thin I was afraid of a wavy hemline because I’ve been meaning to find some wonder tape stuff made for knits and have not purchased any yet. 

Tribal Soleil {a lemon squeezy home}

Those little foot accessories are from Sabra.  Adorable! 

Tribal Soleil {a lemon squeezy home} 

Ruby took 7 hours total in naps today!!!  So when she woke up and was only happy outside, I figured I might as well take some pictures.  If she had been miserable I promise I wouldn’t have taken them.  She was quite sad at home, but like I was explaining before, just take this girl outside and she’s pretty happy.  For about 5 minutes this time :).  She still had a fever today and is coughing soooo much, but she is a notch up from yesterday for sure.  Thank you for your kind thoughts and comments for her here and on instagram! 

Tribal Soleil {a lemon squeezy home}

Busy little girl. She is into everything!  And I’m so thankful

Tribal Soleil {a lemon squeezy home}

So that concludes Kids Clothes Week day 7 for me!  I hadn’t even intended to participate, like not at all until I sewed on Monday and thought I’d just tag along with that one project.  But it’s so fun to feel unified in sewing for kids!  It’s my all time favorite stuff to sew.  I just love seeing my kiddos running around in clothes I made for them. Makes me smile. 

Tribal Soleil {a lemon squeezy home}

Thank you for stopping by.  It’s always fun to connect with others sharing the same passion for sewing!

Tribal Soleil {a lemon squeezy home}

Here’s the links to the posts for Kids Clothes Week:

Sun Bonnet

Adventure Tee with Scalloped Shorts

Pippa Peplum Pattern Remix

Ottobre Tank Top and Shorts

Star Ash Jumpsuit

Tribal Soleil (which of course, I won’t link because that is this post)

I was given the Soleil Dress pattern from Girl Charlee in exchange for this review.

 

SOLEIL DRESS PATTERN REVIEW:

Pattern Pieces, Instructions, and Skill Level
The pattern printed out fine with no problems—I did print in color.  The instructions were very clear and I didn’t get confused during the process at all.  I feel like a confident beginner would be able to sew this.

Sizing/Fit
I made Ruby the smallest size, which is a 12 month.  She is small for her age and I’m excited it will fit her for a while.

Modifications to Pattern
Just left the bottom un-hemmed.

Fabric
I used tribal knit from Girl Charlee.  This is a lightweight jersey spandex knit. 

How Long it Took to Sew
I’d guess with cutting this first time took 2 to 2.5 hours.  I’m not the fastest at sewing though.

Things I Might Change Next Time
I’d try and make it so the back didn’t gap.  I’m thinking with her being smaller, once she is older and fills more of it out, it won’t gap so much.  I will be making another one in the near future.

Wearability
Anything knit seems to be a fave with my kids.

Overall Impression
I love this pattern!  I do wish we were given ribbing length guidelines.  I understand her reasoning not to, but it would be nice.  I had no problems figuring out the binding lengths, but I think if you were a beginner it would be helpful to know if you were close, at least.  Overall I definitely recommend this pattern.  The end result is just the cutest! 


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