Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ruffled shrug, take 2

Chloe's back from spending part of her spring break with grandma, so this morning I set to work on her little ruffle shrug. This was actually one of my tee shirts earlier today. I should have taken 'before' pictures, but I don't usually have that much confidence that my re-models will be blog worthy. One thing that I love here is the grosgrain ribbon I used to cover the inside seam. On Cadie's I used gingham bias tape, which was sweet, but it didn't pop out like those polka-dots against the stripes.

I tried to use my sewing machine's gathering foot to do the "easy ruffle" technique that I keep talking about, but this time it would not work on the knit fabric. I'm not sure why ... it worked okay on yesterday's knit fabric. I got out a woven scrap to see if something was wrong with my machine's settings, but it turned all nice and ruffly, so that gathering foot must just not like this particular fabric.

I pondered for just an instant the possibility of gathering the "old-fashioned" way, and then decided to try making little pleats as I went along. 

Again, I didn't take pictures because I had little confidence that I would want to show it off. But it was easy. I made a little pleat, sewed over it, and then made another one. They aren't perfectly spaced, but who's gonna know or care? 

I think I'll have to make a part II for the easy ruffle tutorial, and that will be the even easier pleated ruffle.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

superhero jacket or girly shrug?

Last night I was doodling in my idea notebook and I imagined a little shrug that had a ruffle all around. Then today during 'naptime,' I actually made it (using the "easy ruffle" technique).

Disclaimers: after she woke up, Cadie wanted to try it on, but she didn't want to wear a shirt underneath. And she didn't want to hold still. And it was raining so we couldn't go outside.

So if you'll excuse the miserable pictures, here it is:

I'm tickled pink by how cute it turned out - in yard sale fabric no less. Now I think I'll make Chloe one in white. Won't that look sweet over a little dress?

Connor was a bit jealous and asked me to make him  a red one. To make him run faster. I guess now it's a superhero jacket. :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Something to do together

Yes, I have been working with ribbon lately. In case you didn't read my ribbon stash post and already know, my sister Rebekah recently sent me a zillion yards of ribbon. So here is we go: ribbon headbands.

Chloe really wanted to help me, and I was glad that she could on this project. I can't wait to see the things she comes up with someday, since she's already so creative at age 5. Doesn't she look cute with that tape measure around her neck???

Anyway, first measure around the intended headband wearer's head, and cut a piece of ribbon that is 2 inches smaller. (for us, that was 19" I think) For our headbands we used ribbon that was 1" wide and wider since our elastic was 1" wide.

Then cut 4" of elastic (we were using 1" wide elastic). 

Lay the elastic over the ribbon, lining up the ends.

Step 1. Stitch using a 1/2" seam allowance. Go back and forth a few times so it is secure.

Step 2. Open up the seam and stitch your elastic down close to the edge. I liked this touch, but it's not absolutely necessary.

Repeat for the other side like this. 

If your ribbon is wider than the elastic, you can wrap it around at the ends.

 This is how it turned out with some much wider ribbon.

 Happy Headbanding!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

orange and red???

I recently made Chloe and Cadie some matching dresses in a color combination that surprised me by how much I love it. I  originally intended to make these using a pattern, but then I tossed it and drafted something new because 1) I got curious to see if this could be made using just one pattern piece (yay, it can!); 2) I wanted it to be reversible; and 3) I wanted a ruffle.

These dresses are exactly the same except for one big and one small, but Chloe didn't want to match her sister so we reversed Cadie's to the orange side. :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My "Easy Ruffle" Technique

As a result of my own laziness and dislike of the normal pinning/gathering method, I have devised a sneaky way to make a cute ruffle.

The new little dress pattern that I'm putting together is reversible and has a little ruffle at the bottom that shows from both sides. Someone could certainly make that ruffle by sewing the fabric into a huge circle, putting a long gathering stitch all the way along the top, and then pulling the thread, pinning, pulling the thread, pinning, pulling the thread, pinning... yeah, it really gets on my nerves. But lots of us stitchers have a ruffling foot of some kind in that little box of sewing machine attachments, so I decided to put mine to use.

The one on the left is the "gathering foot" that came with my Euro-Pro sewing machine. The one on the right is a "ruffler" that you can buy to fit almost any machine. I have one somewhere for my (now broken) singer. If you want to know more about using a ruffler attachment like the one on the right, I highly recommend a free e-book offered on called The "Ruffler"...Unruffled. I learned a lot from it. But, since my singer is broken I opted for the much smaller and simpler gathering foot. I'm not even sure how it works, but it does.

So to make the ruffle, I cut two 8" strips of fabric from a piece of 44 inch wide cotton. I sewed them together so that I had an 88" long strip that was 8" tall. Then I folded it in half the long way so it was 4" tall and still 88" wide.

Then I attached the gathering foot to my machine and stitched down the long double edge. When I first started, I wanted it more gathered, so I made the stitch length as long as it would go and I tightened up the tension. That helped a lot. Then I used my fingers to make sure there was always plenty of fabric in front of the foot. I'm not stuffing it under, just making sure that the feed dogs have lots to take.

I continued this down the whole 88 inch strip (folded in half so I'm stitching through two layers).

Oh, I forgot to mention that I cut the far end in a curve, like this.

So when I got to the end, it looked like this. Got it?

Now for applying it to the hem of the dress (or wherever you want a ruffle). Start by pinning the curved end to the edge of your fabric. That was all the pins I used here. Remember, they annoy me. This, by the way, is the front of the little dress, on one side.

Back to the regular sewing machine foot now. I started sewing the ruffle on here,

And sometimes bunched it up some more with my fingers if I wanted it more gathered.

When I got to the front of the dress again, I pulled the strip to the right in a gradual 90 degree angle as it overlapped the place where I started sewing the ruffle on. I also bunched it up here with my fingers to make this part gathered too.

After you secure your stitching, you should have something like this.

Very carefully cut the extra ruffle off. The amount you have left over will depend on how full you made the ruffle.

Easy peasy. Hopefully my girls will cooperate soon and help me get some cute pictures of the dresses. If anyone tries this ruffle technique, let me know what you used it on!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...