Figgy's Blog

The "Eos" Back Drop April 01 2014, 0 Comments

 

 

When Figgy's releases a pattern that shows the bare back of a little one I recieve one of two responses 1. (my favorite) I LOVE IT!  2. (not my favorite) I don't love it!
As much as I'd love everyone to love every Figgy's design I know they won't, but I do love to try and please most of you. So for those of you that love the "Eos" dress/blouse but feel the back is too low for your taste this post is for you!  You'll need a straight edge ruler, French curve or some type of object that can mimic the curve in the back, pen or pencil, tracing paper and the EOS pattern.

 

The first question to ask yourself is how high you'd like to raise the back curve.  Remember you can't raise it clear up to the back of the neck unless you want to insert a zipper or you can if you are using a knit fabric.  The reason? It won't go over their head when dressing.  I would suggest only raising the drop between 2-3".  You also want to measure the child you're sewing for from the back of the neck to the waist and compare that to the pattern piece.  You may find that the child is short waisted and you really don't have to raise it that high.  It is designed to be above the waistline by 2".  

 

 

For this example I chose to raise the back 2".  
You simply extend the center back line by 2".

 

 

Next using a French Curve, or an object that can mirror the curve of the back as closely as possible, align the curve then move it up to match the extension.

 

 

You'll repeat this with the back lining by laying the traced pattern a top the lining pattern to have an exact curve match.

 

 

It's as simple as that!

Now you can make an "Eos" without any back showing!  

 

Happy Sewing - Shelly

 


binding ofelia and a giveaway! March 24 2012, 27 Comments

I promised Jen would be back with another wonderful tutorial for all of us and this time she's teaching us a wonderful way to add a gorgeous binding to the Ofelia.  Pair this with her adorable tie and you have the perfect brother sister set!

From Jen:

The Ofelia  pattern is my all time favorite little girl dress pattern. Its FOUR pieces, easy to sew, only takes a yard of fabric, is stylish and well, Amelia my daughter loves it. Which means she already has four hanging in her closest. But they are getting small and are ready to pass down. Since I've already made them with the cute ribbon down the front, I thought I’d try something new!

Digging into my scrap bins, I found the answer.  Below I’ll show you how to create this super cute patchwork binding as well as how to attach it three different ways. This is also a great way to add length to a dress if you have a tall lanky girl like I do.

By no means am I the expert in binding the hem of a dress. I've learned by trial and error. The point of this tutorial and showing you three different ways is to get you motivated! To get you to sew! To look at these, and think “Hey that’s not so hard-I can do that!” Because really, that’s what it takes, a little motivation, a little confidence and a desire to try.

 

So do it.

Try something new today.

Make a cute dress for your little one and then make it your own with special little touches!

 

Supplies

  • An almost complete Ofelia Dress (You can win a PDF download of this!)
  • Scraps of fabric measuring 1-4 inches by 5 inches
  • Regular sewing materials (machine, thread, cutting mat, rotary cuter, ruler, etc)

The first method is what I most commonly see in today’s patterns. It’s great to use if you want the inside seam to be completely hidden and if you don’t have a serger.

 

Step One: Making the binding

  • Measure the bottom of your dress to determine how long your binding should be and add ½ inch.
  • With your scraps sew them together to make one long strip that equals the width of the dress (mine was around 40 inches)

 

Step Two: Press and Square Up

  • Press your seams, which ever way suits you. (I press mine to the side-I like the texture it gives)
  • Square up the binding using a ruler and a rotary cutter. I found that five inches wide on all of these worked best. I made the 6/7 size dress-adjust the binding according to the dress size and preference.

 

Step Three: Attach

  • Press one side up a ¼ inch
  • Pin the binding to the bottom of the dress raw edges together and right sides to right sides.
  • Join the ends of the binding by sewing a ¼ inch seam and creating a circle. Press.
  • Attach to the hem using a ¼ inch seam

 

Step Four: Finishing

  • Press your seam down towards the binding
  • Fold the biding in half so the pre pressed ¼ inch seam just covers your stitch line (photo 2)
  • Pin in place and top stitch using a 1/8th inch seam allowance

This next method is my favorite and the one I call the “down and dirty”. It’s quick, easy and still looks neat and professional. I also totally thought I made it up-yeah I know, total dork…

 

Follow steps 1 and 2 above to make your binding.

Step One: Attaching the binding

  • Create a circle by sewing your end seams together with a ¼ inch seam (do this by measuring your dress hem width and adding ½ inch)
  • Fold the binding in half with wrong sides together. Press.
  • Pin to the hem and stitch a ¼ seam
  • Serge

 

Step Two: Finishing

  • Press the seam towards the bottom/binding
  • Top stitch using an 1/8th inch seam

(Note: Some people press up and stitch above binding-do what you like best just make sure to catch the serged seam allowance in your stitch)

 

The last method is probably the most traditional. It’s a double fold and adds weight and some thickness to the hem. It would be good on a heavy weight fabric such as wool. It also creates a narrower hem.

Follow steps 1 and 2 in the first set of directions to create your binding.

Step One: Create the double fold and attach

  • Fold the binding in half wrong sides together. Press
  • Open the binding and fold one side all of the way to the center line. Press.
  • Fold the other side towards the center but leave a ¼ inch gap.
  • Fold in half and press. One side will be slightly wider than the other

 

Step Two: Attaching

  • Open the binding. Pin the narrower side to the hem of the dress with right sides together matching the raw edges
  • When you get to the ends, turn one end up a ¼ inch (photo 1 below)
  • Place the other end on top to over lap (photo 2 below)
  • Stitch in the fold line (photo 3 below)

Note: You can also create a circle by sewing the end seams together as shown in method 1 and 2

 

Step Three: Press and Pin

  • Press the seam towards the bottom
  • Fold up at center seam; this should naturally fall above the stitch line
  • Press and pin in place

 

Step Four: Finishing

  • Top stitch 1/8th inch on top of the binding on the right side of the dress

TIP: Increasing the stitch length to create a longer stitch will give the garment a more professional look

 

 

Bonus Head Band!

Remember the tie tutorial from the other day? Well, all you have to do is slip it on a headband and your little girl has a super cute bow headband. Depending on how thick the headband is, you might need to make the center tighter by sewing a ½ inch seam allowance instead of a ¼ inch.

 

You could also attach it to various clips! I would add a touch of hot glue to the top of the clip to secure it. Amelia only wanted them on the headband, so I just fed the clip through to demonstrate; which actually worked just fine in my hair!

 

Hopefully this tutorial has inspired you to sew something pretty for your little one! To get you started, Shelly & Daniela will be giving away a free PDF pattern of the Ofelia dress to one lucky winner!!!  Perfect timing for this Holiday season.

Just leave a comment on this post to enter. It would be great to hear what you are working on now or what you’d like to work on soon! For an extra entry follow us on Facebook or Pintrest!  Please also make sure your email is in the comment or is linked to your comment! A winner will be chosen by random on Monday!

 


just in time for valentine's day February 10 2012, 7 Comments

Today we have a special guest, a dear friend and very talented sewist Jen Carlton Bailly!  Jen had stitched up some cuteness during the sew along and we are so pleased she's is sharing with all of us!  I won't keep you waiting.....

From Jen:

It’s not a secret that I love sewing patterns from Figgy’s.  They are simple, clean, modern and easy.  The Ayashe was no exception. When I read this, “You love your little one and one way you express your love is by hand tailoring a beautiful wardrobe especially for her”, from the front of the Ayashe Pattern I was so inspired to make something beautiful for my daughter. Amelia has so many prints in her closet, so I thought using simple red linen that I had stashed away for something special would be perfect.

While sewing I was reminded of a little shop in Seattle that used to sell clothes from Europe. All of the hand stitching was so beautiful.  Then it came to me, I’ll add a little hand stitching to the front of this to give it a little pop, and it would be perfect for Valentines Day! Below are instructions for how you can do this to your blouse too!

Supplies:

Embroidery floss- I used three strands of white DMC

Hand sewing needle

Water Soluble pen

Ruler

Step One:

Using a ruler and a water-soluble marking pen, make a straight line up the front of your blouse and in between the stitch lines. Carry the line gently to form the heart. I just free handed.

Step Two:

Thread your needle, and tie a knot.  Starting about ½ inch from the start of your line, insert your needle in between the layers of the front and the back of the blouse. Pull your floss all the way through and gently tug on it to pop the knot in-between the layers of fabric.

Step Three:

Using a small running stitch (Pass the needle in and out of the fabric, making the surface stitches of equal length) follow the line that you marked. My stitching was about a ¼ inch.

Continue into the heart. At your last stitch tie a knot and pull it through the fabric the same way you began. 

Step Four:

Repeat on other side.  Spritz marks with water.

Give to a little one you love.

Thank you so much Jen, and thank you A for being so cute!

I hope you are all inspired to add special touches to your Ayashe blouse as I am.

  Remember to add your photos to our flickr group or facebook page!


ayashe sew along; the last day! February 10 2012, 4 Comments

Welcome to the last day of the Ayashe blouse sew along.  It went too fast, that just shows us, that even with all of the wonderful details in this blouse, it is a simple pattern but still tastefully contemporary.

Today we will set in the sleeves and finish the hem.

SLEEVES

I accidentally forgot to take photos of how I hemmed the sleeves.  I got excited, and moved on to the next step.  I am making the 18mo size and I found that turning the raw edge of the sleeve hem 1/8" twice was sufficient and left room for the sleeve to attach to the body.  There is still room if you choose to turn the hem 1/4" twice, but I wanted extra room to set in the sleeves.

I also hemmed the sleeves before I set them.  The reason why is because I find it easier to do this first rather than last for toddler size patterns.  The reason why most don't instruct sewists to do this is if you look at the photos above you'll see that I hemmed and pressed my seam open, but it won't stay flat permanently. To fix this I tacked the seam allowance.  It won't show and it fixes the issue.

See.

To set in the sleeve you will first turn the garment wrong side out.  Insert the sleeves right side facing the right side of the blouse.  Align the markings and underarm seam with the side seam and pin.  You'll see that it fits perfectly, ahhh.

The trick to setting a sleeve in little sizes is not trying to wrap the sleeve around the machine bar but place the presser foot into the sleeve itself.  As you can see above I am sewing on the wrong side of the sleeve inside the sleeve cap.  The machine will take me full circle without any drama.

Pink and press.

BOTTOM HEM

I chose the elastic hem because Ofelia is still young enough to pull the drawstring out of the casing over and over again just for fun.  My sister would have to re thread it over and over again, not for fun.  Also, I am an awesome sister by thinking of her. ;)

First, turn the bottom hem 1/4" and press.  Turn again 1", press and pin.  Leave a 1" opening to feed the elastic through the casing.  I left my opening at the side seam where stitches will be less obvious.  I am without a bodkin so I used a safety pin to thread the elastic through the casing.  Make sure not to twist the elastic and don't let the tail get swallowed or you'll have to re thread.  Overlap the ends of the elastic and stitch together.  Sew the opening closed.

How much elastic should you use?  Good question.  My neice's waist is 20" so I cut 15" of elastic that has a good amount of stretch.  It stretched to 30".  I would go by your child's waist measurement and deduct the amount necessary for the amount of elasticity the elastic has.

For the Draw String method:

On the wrong sides of the shirt hem fuse a 3" piece of interfacing to the blouse on the center bottom front hem.  Sew buttonholes 1/4" to the left and right of  the center front. Refer to day 2 on how to prepare the bias tape.  Once you've press the tape in half, stitch down both edges.  Knot the ends of the tape.  Feed the tape/string into one buttonhole, around the hem line and out the other.

All Done!  Nice work.

Want to see mine?

Back Detail.  My wooden hangers are curved which is causing the back to look a bit "hump back".  I need to purchase some flat hangers.

I don't know about you but I LOVE IT!

I hope you find this sew along to be helpful as you sew your adorable blouse.    Please come back again tomorrow because we have a very special guest hosting a tutorial on how  to make the perfect Ayashe blouse just in time for Valentines Day!

Happy Sewing!


ayashe sew along; day two February 09 2012, 4 Comments

Welcome back to Day 2!

It is nice and bright this morning in Portland and perfect for sew along photos.

We left off yesterday with all of the pattern pieces cut, the upper collar interfaced and we gathered the front shoulders and back panel.  I think we're ready, let's sew!

For a larger view please click on the photo.

Front Seam

Before sewing the center front seam it is best to measure the 1 1/4" seam allowance rather than hope for the best.  This will ensure a nice straight line.

Sew the center front seam from the bottom hem up.  Once you reach the slit marking do a back stitch and then adjust the stitch lenth to the longest length.

Press the seam open and fold the raw edge 1/4" under on both sides of the seam. The Ezy-Hem helper is a great way to measure this long seam so it will be nice and even.  Press flat once more.

Top stitch along both folded edges.  Top stitch again centered between the seam alowance and the stitch line.  Now you may notice I am not perfectly centered between the two.  Why?  Honestly?  I was being lazy.  I decided that if I aligned the presser foot with the center line it would give me a nice straight line all the way down.  You should measure between the two lines, chalk and topstitch.

Shoulder Panels

Align the markings, distribute the gathers evenly and pin.  Sew the seam.

Remove the gathers.  I like to press the seam up on the wrong side and then press again on the right side for a nice clean pressed look.

Repeat with the front shoulder panels.

The shoulder panels are now sewn, pressed and ready for the facing.  Using a seam gauge fold the seam allowances 1/2" towards the wrong side and press.  As you may already know I have an obsession with "Wondertape".  Karen and I used to buy it by the box.   I use it for so many things.  In this case, I'm using it to hold the shoulder panel facing in place on the wrong side when I top stitch on the right side.

If you don't know what "Wondertape" is (for some reason whenever I say the word I want to shout it out like Oprah when she would shout out the name of her guest.) then I'll quickly tell you.  It is wash away double sided tape.  Place the tape on top of the seam allowance, then place the shoulder panel facing on top of the seam allowance.  Other options are to baste the panel in place or use pins.  On the right side of the garment top stitch in the seam (stitch in the ditch) or next to the seam.  I aligned my 1/8" marker on the presser foot along the seam and top stitched.  Remove any baste stitches if used.

Repeat on the back.

Collar Time

Begin by stay-stitching the neck opening.

We have two collar options: Mandarin Collar or Tie String.  I'm going to take you through both.

MANDARIN COLLAR

Press the bottom raw edge of the outer collar (upper) 3/8" towards the wrong side.  Align the raw edges of the inner and outer collar and stitch along the short and long edges.  Trim the seam allowance to 1/4" and clip along the curve. This will help reduce bulk and give you a nice smooth finish.

Align the collar raw edges with the neck opening and markings.  Pin and stitch.  Trim the seam allowance to 1/4".  Turn the collar towards the wrong side of the garment and smooth the edges.  I used a dull pencil to do this but you can use a turning tool or a knitting needle, just don't use anything pointy and sharp.

Once again, I found another use for my "wondertape" (no they don't pay us to advertise, but they should).  Included in each pattern you purchase is a lovely woven label.  These labels will give the garment that professional touch and they can also serve as hooks to hang the garment (like the Nituna Jacket).  I placed the tape along the seam and then placed the label on top.  Sandwich the Figgy's label between the blouse and the collar and be sure the seam allowance is tucked inside.

Pin and top stitch. Done, unless your hosting a sew along and you need to show the alternative collar option.  A little seam ripping and then we'll be ready.

TIE STRING COLLAR

Yesterday I shared a wonderful "how to" link for making bias tape and if you read it you'll notice in my photo I cheated a little today.  For good reason though!  I love selvedge on Japanese fabric.  Some of them are really unique and I really wanted to use this for the tie string, so I did.  Press the bias tape in 1/2.  Fold both sides in toward the center crease and press.  I also folded and pressed mine once more to ensure a nice clean crease.

Turn the garment wrong side out, open the bias tape and align the right side of the bias tape raw edge and the wrong side of the blouse. Leave an equal amount of tie string hanging off each end of the neck slit.  Pin and stitch.  Use the same method as the mandarin collar mentioned above to attach the label.

Fold the tape in half wrong sides together, press and top stitch from one end to the other.  Tie each tie string end in a small decorative knot.

The last thing I did was sew a little bar tack at the bottom of the neck slit.  I did this for extra security. A backstitch should suffice but I wanted just a little more security for the times when Ofelia wants to pull her blouse on herself toddler style.

Look, it's almost a shirt!

It's beginning to rain now which is perfect timing because day two is complete.  Well Done!

See you tomorrow to finish our Ayashe blouse!

Happy Sewing!

ps.  Did you happen to catch Daniela's comment yesterday?  She's got something gorgeous to show us very soon and you will see she gave us a small piece of her design wisdom.


sew along time! February 03 2012, 8 Comments

 

I love a fun sew along.  My two favorite parts:  all the visual details of the sewing process and the gorgeous results from the sewists.  We decided that the "Ayashe" blouse will be the highlight of our first sew along because of all the little details it has to offer.  We'll take you through learning how to gather, attach facings, adding elastic or a draw string to the hem and attaching a mandarin color.

Need a little inspiration?  Have a look at these two adorable Ayashe Blouses that popped up in the flickr group this last week created by Hemoglobin Hummingbird and Daisy Girl.

 

Just a touch of Liberty, perfect!

Just Lovely!

Using Tula Pink, Prince Charming was a terrific fabric choice and her daughter couldn't be any cuter!

 

The sew along will begin on Wednesday, February 8th.  Don't worry if you haven't purchased the pattern yet, you still have time!  Order by Saturday the 4th and I'll post the pattern priority mail.  Visit the Ayashe page for the supplies you'll need to purchase this weekend to get started.

Daniela has created two adorable buttons for you to choose from.   Feel free to copy and paste this code onto your blog.  Email us at info@figgyspatterns.com to let us know you're sewing along and we'll be sure to link your blog at the end of the sew along.

Happy Sewing!

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