Figgy's Blog

and so it begins!! February 04 2014, 94 Comments

  

26  talented bloggers & designers during the entire month of February are sewing a pattern from the Heavenly Collection!  First up is the super creative and fun Sew Chibi!  She's a local Portland gal with the biggest heart and  two adorable little girls (and one on the way).  Most recently you'll find her work in STYLO magazine featuring a tutorial on how to make a "Bumble Pocket Scarf".   Thank you so much Kataryna!!  

Each day stop at the next blog (just click on the blog name above) for a chance to win a Figgy's pattern!!

Here on the Figgy's Blog you can enter to win a grand prize!

A special thanks to the following prize donors!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what's the big prize you ask?

Here's the list!

 

Fiskars Fabric Shears, Detail Scissors, Rotary Cutter and Extra Blades

Bernina Rolled Hem Foot & Buttonhole Cutter

$25 Gift Certifcate from Girl Charlee 

A stack of gorgeous Fat Quarters from Alison Glass 

Beautiful Eyelet yardage from Michael Miller

A lovely stack of Fat Quarters from Art Gallery Fabric

 Susan Beal's new book "Easy Embellishment"

The Heavenly Bundle Collection from Figgy's 

 

Well, what are you waiting for...ENTER TO WIN NOW!!  

Winner will be announced March 3rd, 2014

  

Happy Sewing - shelly

 

tomorrow a feature from All Buttoned Up...a gal I adore and highly respect as a doer, giver & friend. 


a sunki & a sale April 05 2013, 4 Comments

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of "meeting" Lou from "Wotsybaby", a blog about raising her daughter in a gentle and creative way.

 This super gal has allowed me to post about her recent creativity, making the Sunki with knit fabric.  I love it when sewists take patterns and made them their own and lucky for us she's sharing a "how to" with us!

 

Knit Sunki

 

From Lou:

When I decided I wanted to make this dress (Figgy’s Sunki! so lovely!) out of a non-woven fabric, I searched to see if anyone had done it before and had any tips. I didn’t come up with anything so thought I’d document what I did here to make it easier in case anyone else wanted to change it up!

 1. The first thing is to size down. I have made this dress before in a quilting-weight cotton for my average-sized almost 5 year old and it fits well. Just right in fact (so not much growing room). I thought if I made the knit version in the same size, then we’d get a bit more wear out of the garment. It’s quite loose now and she tells me it’s very soft, comfortable and slinky! I could have made it in a size down for it to fit perfectly now. The fabric is a bamboo jersey and was great to sew with. I used a jersey needle (important tip#1.1) and a stitch that looks like a little lightning bolt that has lots of stretch (zig zag setting with a 3.0 length and a 1.0 width). I used my serger for some of the edges but not all of them (the bits around the armholes seem softer if they’re not finished).

2. I eliminated the zipper by cutting the back piece on the fold.

3. I didn’t bother with the facings and instead cut 2 pieces of 2×2 rib knit (the grey pieces around the neckline). The back piece is 1 5/8″ x 13.5″ and the front piece is 1 5/8″ x 13″ (I probably should have made them slightly – 1/2″? – shorter. So next time I would make them 1 5/8 x 13 and 1 5/8 x 12.5). I put them on in the same way as the Envelope t-shirt in the book Growing Up Sew Liberated (which I’d just made a few weeks before (I’m paraphrasing from the book for this next bit, I couldn’t come up with this genius!): Sew one long edge of front binding to front with lightning bolt stitch and right sides together. Gently stretch binding to fit. Press binding away from the front and turn the binding edge to the wrong side, encircling seam allowances and press. The raw edge of the binding will extend just below the seam on the wrong side of the front, then zig zag stitch (small zigzag) on the right side of the front along the bottom edge of the binding, just above the previous seam. On the wrong wide, the raw edge of the binding will be caught in this seam, finishing the binding. Repeat the entire step for the back and the back binding.

4. Instead of using the fold guides for the sleeves, I measured and marked 3″ over from the centre fold line on each sleeve (so 6″ total on each sleeve) and sewed a basting stitch 1/4″ from the edge. I pulled the threads tight and it was a perfect fit for the armhole once I put the sleeve in. (I sewed the sides first and put the sleeves in in the round which is my preferred method. It was no problem!)

5. I decided that the dress would be cool if I changed up the side panels but didn’t use a different colour of fabric so I freezer-paper-stenciled the stars. It’s awesome! I used Pebeo shimmer opaque fabric paint in Silver. Amazing stuff.

That's It!

Things I would change for next time:

1. Use stay tape on the pocket fronts. The pockets stretched out quite a bit when I sewed them – a bit of stay tape around the curve where the pockets meet the front piece would help I think.

2. Make the pockets deeper. The pockets on this dress are not quite deep (I agree Lou) enough for a small lady’s hands or other trinkets. I think I will do this with any future Sunki dresses I make, knit or woven. With the knit fabric though, the pockets have a tendency to flop out if there’s vigorous movement (which is pretty much constantly!)

3. Put a bit of stay tape around the shoulders on the sides where the front and back overlap for about 3 inches. As Sylvie has worn this dress, one shoulder might flop off her shoulder (which she thinks is daringly grown-up and fancy but I don’t know if she needs an off-the-shoulder dress… hm). I think cutting the rib knit binding a little smaller (as mentioned above) would help to tighten it up a bit as well). Now that it’s been sewn up I think I’ll just do a few tacking stitches where the two pieces of gray rib meet at the shoulders.

It was a fun project and a very wearable dress. I think it might be one of her favourite garments I’ve made for the little miss!

18_knitsunkiback

17_knitsunki1

Lightened Version so you can see more detail. :)

18_knitsunki2

Thanks Lou for sharing!!!  If you followed along with this post and create your own knit Sunki we'd love to see!  Share in the Flickr group or on Facebook!

tny leaves

Now, on to the saleS, yep I said sales with an s.

First up a Figgy's sale!  In celebration of nothing but a little warmer weather here in Oregon I'm having a 15% off sale on all paper patterns from April 5th - 12th!  Please use code SPRING15 to receive the discount!

Next a Craftsy class special!~  If you haven't tried taking a class online via Craftsy then this is the perfect time to grab one.  I had a ball filming this class and the reviews coming in are all positive, woohoo!

Just click the banner below!!  The sale begins today and ends on April 8th!  So hurry before Monday and grab the class but then take the class whenever you like, it never expires!!

Craftsy Spring Sale: Select online classes up to 75% off. Sale ends Monday, April 8th, at midnight!

 

 


button up March 11 2013, 5 Comments

 

Handmade-ceramic-buttons-giveaway-free

 

3 years ago when my GG passed away she left me two cherished items: a gorgeous chair and her vintage button collection!  I couldn't have asked for anything more.  My mom and I had a wonderful time sifting through all the buttons and picking out our favorites that we've hoarded for just the perfect garment.  Some will also sit in our box and look pretty because we can't bare to use them.  You could say I'm picky when it comes to buttons.  You won't find me walking into a big box retailer and grabbing a 5 pack of plastic buttons.  I think about all the time put into designing and creating a gorgeous garment then topping it off with a few plastic buttons. That's like spending all day in the kitchen baking a cake then spraying a can of whip cream all over it as icing, not for me.

Here are just a few a my favorites from past garments.  That cute little birdie on the bottom right was made by a friend, April from Sew to Speak, many years ago and I hope she's still making them! :)

 

91791828-714c-449a-933e-75f0bce1e3bdwallpaper

 

Not so long ago I was wondering if I hadn't been blessed with this massive supply of buttons where would I find gorgeous buttons (that are not big box machine made).  Not long after wondering about just that I received an email from a wonderful lady named Sarah Fulton, button maker extraordinair!   Sarah recently opened up a shop on Etsy in December and we are so lucky she did!

Sarah Fulton started FULTON & CO. because she loves things that are practical and useful, and because she could not find the kind of buttons she was looking for, anywhere. Namely, buttons that are plain, simple, handmade, neutral in color, and in a variety of sizes. Because the majority of American button companies have gone out of business, Sarah is motivated to be a local source of a quality product. Sarah's goal is that FULTON & CO. will be the go-to company for simple, artisan buttons. Buttons that will be kept and collected over the years. Used and re-used. The ceramic buttons are created in small batches, each one going through an 8 step process, using a low fire, porcelain-like clay that gets bisque fired and glaze fired in the kiln before they are finished. FULTON & CO. buttons will, without a doubt, add a touch of character and charm to anything they adorn!

Buttons

Sarah not only answers our button prayers but she is also extremely generous.  Sarah has offered one lucky Figgy reader an amazing assortment of buttons!  All you need to do is LIKE her Facebook page! And don't forget to visit her Etsy shop to see all her goodies too!  Sarah's generosity rubbed off a little on me too so I decided to add to the package a little Ayashe skirt created with brushed cotton Nani Iro fabric and adorned with none other than Fulton & Co. buttons (Skirt is size 18mo)!

Nani & Ayashe

IMG_0636

 

 

Please enter for your chance to win below and I will announce the winner when I return from Seattle on Monday the 18th!!!  Why am I going to Seattle you ask?  I will be teaching a workshop at Make Do Mend (Dry Goods Design) this Saturday  the 16th of March from 11am - 4:30.  I think there are 2 seats left if you live in the area and want to have a blast of sewing fun!!

Have a wonderful week....off to design..yep that's right I'm back at it!

Happy Sewing- Shell

a Rafflecopter giveaway


SEW FAB e-PATTERN SALE STARTS TODAY! February 04 2013, 0 Comments

Hello Sewists!!  Today is a great day for all us!

 

Today is the 1st day of the 1st ever Sew Fab e-Pattern Bundle Sale and giveaway, sponsored by The Southern Institute and Fat Quarter Shop!

Over the past eight weeks a lot of behind the scenes work has taken place to bring you this amazing bundle of ePatterns from several of the top pattern designers and bloggers in the sewing and blogging world. The result is a bundle of 18 PDF sewing patterns that you don't want to miss.

Buy NowFor one week only, ten pattern designers have come together to bring you 18 of their best PDF patterns, valued together at over $139.00, for the incredible price of $24.95! That's over 80% off of the combined retail value! Plus you can enter to win a dream of a giveaway valued at $390 from some really great shops!

For less than $25.00 you will have a library of resources that you can use over and over again. The designers that have joined this sale are experts in their craft. They have been sewing for a very long time and are well known in blogland and elsewhere. Each designer has contributed one or two of their favorite patterns to create a bundle that is sure to please! Whether you are sewing for your own family or making gifts for others, these are patterns that you will love to use.

If you've never sewn with a PDF pattern before, let me tell you how great it is! After downloading your pattern instructions and your pattern, you will print out the pattern itself, creating pattern tiles, if you will. Simply tape the tiles together to create the full pattern! At that point you can cut out the size that you need and pin the paper pattern directly to your fabric or you can trace the pattern size that you need onto sewing paper or tissue paper and cut it out, saving the paper pattern for later when you need to sew another size. Pdf patterns are so convenient because you can print them out as many times as you need!

Click here to buy the bundle!

Now let me tell you a little bit about the giveaway!

The Sew Fab Giveaway is amazing! One lucky winner will win a bunch of amazing prizes from Craftsy, Fat Quarter Shop, fabricworm, Jennifer's Jewels Custom Labels on Etsy, Green Bee Patterns, author Deborah Moebes, Mee a Bee, Gussy Sews, I'm Feeling Crafty, and Ball and Chain on Etsy. See the end of the post for giveaway details. This giveaway is not to be missed!

I know you're dying to know "What is included in the pattern bundle?"

18 well-loved ePatterns from 10 well-known designers are instantly accessible to you by PDF download upon purchase of the Sew Fab e-Pattern Bundle. Here are the patterns that you will receive (click on the links below to see more details):

Goodship Dress by One Girl Circus, Mommy & Mia Apron by Sew Much Ado, Ruby Lou Doll by Sew Much Ado, Mini Maxi Dress by Seamingly Smitten, Miss Mod Top by Seamingly Smitten, Love Your Lunch Box by Ginger Cakes, Modern Folksy Bunny by Ginger Cakes, Banyan Pants & Shorts by Figgy's, Banyan Top & Tunic by Figgy's, Go To Shift Dress by Go To Patterns, Go To Gift Bags by Go To Patterns, Sidekick Suitcase by Sew Fearless, Madeline Dress by Me Sew Crazy, Forget Me Knot Dress by Me Sew Crazy, Alex & Anna Summer PJs by Peekaboo Pattern Shop, Alex & Anna Winter PJs by Peekaboo Pattern Shop, Commuter Cowl by luvinthemommyhood, Scirocco Dress by Figgy's

The Sew Fab e-Pattern Bundle is only available for one week and will never be available again! You can purchase the bundle from February 4th at 8 a.m. EST through February 11th at 8 a.m. EST and there will be no late sales offered. Due to the nature of the sale there will be no refunds offered.

You don't want to miss this unique opportunity to purchase a ready made collection of 18 PDF sewing patterns from 10 of the best designers out there!

Buy Now

 

And now for The Sew Fab Giveaway!

You are not going to believe the prizes included in this giveaway! Can't buy the bundle? It's okay... purchase is not required to enter. Take a look at what you have the chance to win:

A Sewing Themed Box of Goodies from Pick Your Plum

Fabulous Wristlet from Gussy Sews (not necessarily the one pictured)

The latest release, Stitch Savvy, by Deborah Moebes

Sterling Silver Sewing Machine necklace from Ball and Chain on Etsy

$50 Gift Certificate to Fat Quarter Shop

$50 Gift Certificate to fabricworm

A free online class from Craftsy.com

The Scoop Tote Pattern from Green Bee Patterns

60 Custom Tags from Jennifer's Jewels

Red Riding Hood Little Girl's Satchel from Mee a Bee

Handmade Sewing Machine Cover from I'm Feeling Crafty

YES, ONE WINNER WILL WIN ALL OF THOSE GOODIES!!!

There are lots of chances to win and no purchase required to enter the giveaway. Just use the Rafflecopter widget and enter to win this amazing prize package that will inspire you in your sewing as well as keep you stocked with fabric for many projects to come!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Sew Fab e-Pattern Bundle Sale!

Sew Much Inspiration right at your finger tips...

only $24.95!

Get your bundle now!

Graphic design by Andrea Panell.

 


free new figgy's pattern and a design competition too! July 05 2012, 9 Comments

Anybody who lives in the Pacific Northwest knows, that Summer starts on the 4th of July!  So, to celebrate summer (which finally arrived here in Portland as well!) we are excited to share our free (!!!) Flutter Circle Skirt tutorial with all of you! It's a beginner friendly sewing project that might only take you a couple of hours to complete from finish to end. Yet what we are providing here is a great pattern base or blue print for lots of sewing projects like, tiered skirts, minis, maxis, empire waist dresses, sun dresses - just perfect for summer! And as a bonus, we threw in adult/tween sizes too, so we grown ups can finally wear our own Figgy's too.

And because we think it's such a great pattern, we'd like to kick off a design competition throughout the month of July:

* create a garment based on the Flutter Circle skirt
* photograph your project and upload to the Figgy's Flickr group.
* indicate in the title: Flutter Competition.
* submission deadline: August 10th 2012
* a panel of insiders in addition to Shelly and myself will review all submissions and pick a winner!
* the winner is announced on August 15th 2012

 

And now for the prizes:

1st prize:

* The winning design will be featured here on the blog with a full sized tutorial and designer bio.
* Any three e-patterns of your choice.

2nd and 3rd prize:

* The 2nd and 3rd winning designs will also be featured here on the blog with pictures and designer bios.
* any one of our e-patterns of choice.

 

What are you waiting for? Download your free pattern and get designing! We can't wait what you come up with!

Happy Sewing!

Daniela & Shelly

 


spring & summer 2012 April 15 2012, 22 Comments

It is with great pleasure that we introduce you to our Figgy's Spring and Summer line.

 Sizes: 18mo - 8/9yr

Banyan

  A Royal Navy term for a short period of rest and relaxation.

You have asked for boys and knit patterns and we delivered! This pattern
package is chock full of handsome and stylish staples that will easily take
you through any season and will work equally well for boys and girls!
What more could you ask for?

The pants are a modern design with a pleated flat front and our signature adjustable
back. You choose between a long leg length or a severely cute pair of
shorts. The pant is tapered through the legs and ends with a fold up that
just takes this style up a couple of notches! Pair it with this easy to make
tee or choose between a girls slim fit handkerchief hem or tunic length tee.
We promise to help elevate your sewing ability while we guide you step
by step through a professional fly zip installation and plenty of sewing
tips for wovens and knits!

 

Scirocco

The constellation of winds blowing hot air from Sahara into Europe.

As a child, growing up in Germany, Scirocco meant hot summer days and
nights. The scent of sunscreen, swimming pools, ice cream and barbecues.
It meant swimming in cool waters and hanging out with friends
along the waters edge. An incredible sense of self, freedom and a terribly
freckled nose.
Celebrate your summer by sewing your girl(s) this beautiful airy summer
dress - with a fun and funky twist which surely will make your little one
feel extra special. We are sure she will always remember the summer
when she got this favorite dress! Opt for light weight fabrics and try it
in sophisticated solids with pretty lace accents along the front or play it
up with beautiful prints. The results will make you wish for hot summer
days!

Zephyr

Mild winds blowing from the Pacific.

A pattern combo that surely fits the famous California lifestyle. Just think about your family strolling down the beach promenade in Venice Beach, your little girl skipping ahead, wearing this adorable romper or breezy sundress. Picking up a sea shell or twenty along the way. The sundress is a quick and simple sew, perfect for a beginning seamstress.

The romper however is a little more advanced as it is a little more time consuming especially using the recommended knit body/woven yoke combo. Yet with many trips and tricks sprinkled throughout the instructions, we are sure to help elevate your sewing experience.

 (Please drag your mouse to the number 360p to enlarge to 720p HP, thank you)

 

I hope you enjoyed the little peak at our Spring & Summer line and please come back tomorrow as we begin our PRE-SALE event.  Our pre-sale event includes 10% off any purchased pattern.  We are scheduled to ship all patterns by May 10, 2012!!

Daniela & 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!

 


little boy bow tie tutorial March 20 2012, 2 Comments

I am excited to announce that our favorite guest blogger, Jen Carlton Bailly is back with 2 new really fun and rewarding projects and today she'll be sharing 1 of them.  With wedding season around the corner, along with Easter and Passover, I'm sure a few parties will be happening and Jen has designed the most adorable boy accessory for all of those special occasions or just for fun on a Friday night.  Today she is sharing the "Little Boy Bow Tie Tutorial".

From Jen Carlton Bailly of www.bettycrockerass.com

One thing I love to see is a little boy in a bow tie with a rumpled shirt and jeans. It’s probably the love of all things from The Preppy Hand Book in me. But it’s also teaching our boys that dressing up and looking nice is cool and awesome!

Ready to create this simple tie?  It’s a little bit over-sized and oh so cute!

Supplies

  • Scraps of fabric in varying widths at least 12 inches long
  • 1 piece of 4 by 4 inch solid fabric for the center of the tie
  • 1 piece of 4½ inch by your child’s neck measurements (shirt on) plus 1 ½ inches in solid for the neck strap
  • 1 piece of 1 inch Velcro
  • 1 piece of fusible interfacing cut to 6 by 7 inches (I used Pellon 906F)
  • 1 piece of card stock cut to 6 by 7 inches
  • Point turner or knitting needle to poke out corners
  • Liquid Stitch

 

Step One: Making a String Block (as it’s know in quilting)

  • After cutting your card stock and fabric strips, lay them out over the paper at a diagonal to determine your order. Most of my strips did not measure over 2 inches wide
  • Set your machine on a really tight stitch width. I usually sew at 2 for this I set mine at 1. This helps to perforate the paper and make it easy to tear off

 

 

Step Two: Sewing the fabric to the paper

  • Lay the middle strip down, then your next strip on top of it right sides together
  • Sew a ¼ inch seam
  • Fold over your strip and press flat with a dry iron
  • Continue this process on each side until you have covered the paper

 

Step Three: Squaring up your block

  • Turning your block upside down-paper facing up, use your ruler and rotary cutter to square it up trimming the fabric

 

Step Four: Taking of the paper

  • Since you used a nice small stitch, taking the paper off will be like tearing a perforated coupon out!
  • Stick your finger under the paper, and gently tug. The paper should come lose, bend it back and gently tear.
  • Continue until all the paper is off.

(FYI: If you are a garment sewer, you actually just became a quilter too! You did your first quilt string block!)

 

 

Step Five: Interfacing and Sewing

  • Following the manufactures guidelines for your fusible interfacing, attach it to the back of your block
  • Fold the block in half on the 7 inch side right sides together
  • Your block should measure 3 ½ by 6 inches
  • Make a 1 ½ inch mark in the middle at the raw edges (this will be were you will turn your tie inside out.
  • Stitch all the raw edges with exception to where you marked
  • Make sure your stitch length is back to where you normally have it
  • Clip the four corners on the diagonal being careful not to cut into the stitch line

 

Step Six: Turn out and Top Stitch

  • Turn your block inside out, take care to poke out the corners with a point turner (as pictured) or a knitting needle
  • Press flat (the flatter you get it the nicer it will look)
  • Top stitch using a 1/8th inch seam allowance

TIP! Increase your stitch length a bit when top stitching. You’ll get a nicer looking stitch.

 

 

Step Seven: Forming the Bow Tie

  • Pick the side of the tie that you like best
  • Find the middle and pinch in place
  • Stitch down the middle to hold it in place (I went back and forth a few times to ensure it was secure)

 

Step Eight: Making the Center and Neck Strap

  • Using the 4 by 4 inch piece of fabric, fold it in half and press
  • Open it up; fold the sides in to meet the center and press
  • Fold at the center and press
  • Top stitch
  • Fold in half and match raw edges
  • Stitch a ¼ inch to form a circle
  • Turn so the raw edges are facing in
  • Complete the same process for the neck strap
    • Measure the neck WITH the shirt on (add 1 ½ inches to this)
    • Cut out
    • Fold each end up by ¼ inch
    • Follow above directions with exception to the last three points
    • Top stitch along all edges

Step Nine: Finishing the Bow Tie

  • Slip the ring onto the tie by compressing it

 

Step Ten: Finishing the Strap

Note: I realize that not everyone is going to like to glue on their Velcro. This just happens to be my favorite product right now. It dries clear, is super strong and I don’t have to have stitch marks! Do what works best for you.

  • Taking your strap position the Velcro at the ends
  • Add a dap of Liquid Stitch and apply the Velcro to the fabric.
  • Take note of the 3rd photo below-one piece will go on the top side, the other on the bottom side
  • Let dry for recommended time

 

Step Eleven: Completing the tie

  • Fold your strap in half
  • Feed through the back of the tie

 

Step Twelve:

  • Try it on
  • Admire your work and enjoy creating a hand made wardrobe

 (Zeke calls it his “party boy tie”)

 

Here is the same tie using one fabric. Do what you love or better yet, what your little guy would love best. Involving him in the process will probably help encourage him to keep it on longer!

 

 

Thank you so much Jen for gifting us with another terrific tutorial!  Thank you Z for being SO DARN CUTE!  Look at those eyes.  Stay tuned because Jen has one more wonderful tutorial coming our way for the upcoming holiday.

Enjoy preparing for your future event and Happy Sewing!

 


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.


ayashe sew along; day one February 07 2012, 4 Comments

Welcome to the first day of the sew along!  If you are just now joining us please feel free to jump in at any time!  Who knows, maybe you'll learn something new by just reading along?  Today we are just going to cut and prepare our work for tomorrow's sewing, but first if you don't mind, I'd like to start by answering one frequently asked question.

Why is the pattern printed on both sides?

1. We print our patterns on both sides using recycled newsprint to save paper waste. Less paper also means lighter shipping which means less shipping cost for you!  You can trace the pattern using tracing paper, freezer paper or any paper that is translucent.

2. Tracing the pattern allows you to use the pattern over and over again as your daughters or granddaughters grow, and they do grow fast. If you were to cut the pattern you would only get one size out of the pattern and that's not good for anyone.

3.  Personal preference.  Tissue paper patterns tend to rip easily and the print fades with time.

I hope this answers your question, but if you have more, please feel free to email us.

Let's get started!

For a larger view please click on the photos.

The very first thing you should do before anything else (if possible) is measure your child.  Every designer and label has their own unique sizing, which means your daughter may measure to be a Figgy's size 3, but for another pattern she may be a 2.  You'll find the sizing chart on the back of the pattern cover.

When preparing this sew along I noticed a tiny typo in the sizing chart.  The Chest measurement for size 2/3 should read 21 - 21.5.  We apologize for any confusion.

For this blouse you'll want to take a chest and waist measurement.  If you have decided to make the long sleeve version, I would also measure from the shoulder to the wrist.  What happens if your daughter is between sizes?  I always recommend going bigger before going smaller, because tomorrow they'll probably awake .5" taller, and of course their bellies grow after every meal.

Fabric.

  Gosh, I love it!  For this blouse I chose to use a Japanese Lawn cloth by Yuwa because it's one of my favorite fabrics to work with. It will drape well and the fabric hand is perfect for my niece's sensitive skin.

Tracing the pattern.

 A little lesson I learned from Sarai & Caitlin at Colette patterns is using colored pencils to trace.   They really are perfect for the job.  I use one color to trace the outer main pattern piece and another color for my markings.

 So here we have traced all the pieces we need for our Ayashe of choice.  As you can see I've decided to make the Ayashe with the Mandarin Collar and short sleeves.  I am still undecided as to whether or not I'd like the drawstring or elastic at the hem.  If you have already chosen to use the bias tape draw string you will need to cut bias tape from the fabric 1.5" x 35".   If you have chosen the bias tape tie string collar option you will need to also cut bias tape from the fabric that is 1.5" x 30".  Sarai also has one of the best bias tape tutorials I've seen so if you need a little help with the process please visit HERE.

 You can use weights or pins to keep the pattern from shifting.  Normally,  I would use weights and my rotary cutter, but the blade broke and I had to use pins and scissors. The reason why I suggest the rotary cutter is with this lightweight of a fabric the pattern pieces can slip easily and the scissors may leave chomp like markings.

Before I begin cutting I like to snip out the triangles on the paper.  It is important the you never snip in towards the seam allowance when cutting out the fabric pattern pieces.  You don't want to accidently snip in too far.

Prepare the details.

Interface one of the collar pieces, this will become the Upper collar.  Remember, the "bumpy" side of the interfacing faces the wrong side of the fabric.  I use the fabric pattern piece I cut and not the paper piece, because I feel it gives a more accurate cut.

All cut and interfaced.  I'm ready to go!

 Notice I put my pattern pieces in a zip lock bag?

This is a great way to store your patterns.  Just remember to label the bag then file it away.

Last step, gathers.

Sew two rows of *gathering stitches between the notches on both the back and the front pieces.

and again on the front

 

To create *gathering stitches you simply increase the stitch length to the longest length.

*To gather simply pull both bobbin threads and slide the fabric towards the opposite direction.

That's it for today!

See you tomorrow when we will stitch up the front and attach the shoulder panels and collar!  Happy Sewing!