Figgy's Blog

Ayashe: How to lengthen the blouse to a tunic or dress length February 13 2012, 6 Comments

I have a very opinionated little girl.

Over the last years I have learned that with kids everything is a phase. Right now, my daughter is going through an intense phase of not wearing anything but dresses. Pink dresses I might add. I surrendered - getting her into separates is a fight not worth fighting.

I love the Ayashe blouse and how quickly it goes together. How lovely would it be as a tunic or dress? Have you wondered the same? Here a little tutorial on how to lengthen the style.

Here is what I used:

1. Swedish Tracing Paper - I love that stuff and it literally revolutionized my sewing - I am not kidding. It doesn't tear like regular paper or tracing paper, will cling to the fabric, so there is no need to pin the pattern to the fabric AND it totally eliminates the need to carefully cut the pattern pieces prior to cutting into the fabric! Besides that it folds/stores well and can be ironed. A total time saver and therefore a win in my book!

2. Vary Form Rulers - a set of curved rulers that helps strike beautiful curves and is indispensable for paper pattern making. Easier on the budget though is this styling ruler that's kind of all-in-one if you are just starting out to make pattern adjustments.

3. C-Thru Ruler - a straight ruler that is a little easier to handle then a quilting ruler. Yet the later would work the same and if you go with the aforementioned styling ruler, you'll be set anyways.

4. Pencil

5. Measuring tape (not shown - it hung around my neck while I took the picture :))

6. The Ayashe pattern, of course.

The pattern weights are optional and I only used them to accurately trace the blouse pattern from the pattern sheet.

Now let's get to it: Lengthening the main body parts of the Ayashe blouse.
IMG_1958

Can you see my traced blouse pattern piece lying underneath my tracing paper? If you want to start out with the tunic length right away, make sure to start tracing you pattern towards the top edge of your tracing paper to leave enough space to lengthen the hem, at least 9" though.

First, elongate the Center Front (CF - that's the straight line, not the curved one) in a straight line.
IMG_1959

Measure 6" (for size 2/3 and 4/5) down along the extended CF line, and mark with with the pencil.

Here what we recommend per size for a dress ending above the knee:
5" (18mos)
6" (2/3 and 4/5)
7" (6/7) and
7.5" (8/9).

Generally, if you want the outcome to be longer, add a bit more as it is so much easier to shorten, then to lengthen a garment.

At the marking, draw a line in a right angle towards the side seam. It's important that this line is at a right angle - otherwise you'll end up with a funky point or dip in your garment.

Now on to the side seam. With your Vari-form or Styling ruler, find a curve you feel will elongate the existing curve nicely. Cut the little corner like shown above to create a nice line. Don't worry too much, there is no single 'right' curve here. Yet, be careful as to let the curve swing out too much as it will be harder to hem a very dramatic shape at the end.


Now, measure along the new side seam beginning with the original hem, the same length you measured along the CF and mark on that line. In my case, it's again 6".

Then strike a short line in a right angle towards the CF and let it cross the straight hem line.  Again, drawing a right angle at the side seam will ensure your side seams will sew together without a weird angle poking out or dipping in.

Use your Vary-Form or French Curve and find a smooth curve connecting the new hem line with the right-angle-line we just drew.

Your new hem line is almost finished! Final steps is to measure 1" and 3/4" up from the new hem line. Mark both.

Lay your ruler parallel to the CF, intersecting the 1" mark - as shown above,  and transfer the 3/4" mark down to the new hem line.

Join this with the 1" marking. This little angle will help eliminate excess fabric when you hem the dress.
Repeat the same steps with the back piece of the Ayashe and....

TADA!
Your new dress pattern is finished!
Well done!

Curious to see how mine turned out? Here's the final outcome of my pattern adjustment.
A happy camper in a pink floral dress made out of Liberty Art fabric.

Need any tips beyond the instruction booklet on how to put your dress together? Don't forget about Shelly's three part sew along Ayashe post here, here and here! Also did you see Jen's gorgeous hand embroidery for Valentine here? Now, we can't wait to see how your Ayashe turned out? Please share on our flickr group.

 

On a side note: Do you love Liberty Fabrics as much as we do? We are preparing a little surprise give away on this blog - so come back again soon!


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 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!


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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