Figgy's Blog

shorts on the line July 10 2012, 0 Comments

shorts on the line button

We are excited to be a guest over at the Small + Friendly blog today!  If you are interested in learning a few helpful tips and tricks when sewing tailored shorts (like our Banyan shorts) then please hop on over.

 

Happy Sewing!

 


CRAFTSY! July 03 2012, 2 Comments

KID'S ROMPER REVAMP!

I am so very excited to announce the news about my course for Craftsy "Kids Romper Revamp".  It was such a fun experience and I was able to work with some amazing and talented people.  If you haven't heard about Craftsy yet then I have to say I'm a little shocked but also excited to be the one who gets to share this terrific site with you.  My most favorite part about this site is that it offers all sewists who would love to take a class the chance to do so no matter where they live and also it's interactive.  I get to chat with you as you take the class, I love that!

 Here is a bit about my course.

During childhood, play is paramount.  So whether it’s a hot summer day or a chilly winter afternoon, kid’s need to be comfy in their clothes.  Like adults, kids should enjoy the way their clothes look, as well as how they fit and feel.

In Kid’s Romper Revamp, we’ll explore all kinds of useful sewing techniques, like how to properly measure a child, and adjust the pattern for a perfect custom fit.  We’ll choose high-quality fabrics that are seasonally appropriate and fashionably fun, and cover the ins and outs of interfacing and how to apply it to the romper.  I’ll go step-by-step through constructing the romper’s braided straps, gathering and assembling the yoke, sewing knit and woven fabrics together, and more.  Then, we’ll move on to making the shorts, adding pockets, hem ties, and attaching the top and bottom to finish it off. Finally, I’ll discuss extending the romper into pants for the colder season, creating separates and making the romper into a sundress! Create 4 patterns from just 1.

   In sewing for kids, I use comfortable fabrics as a platform to build from.  For this class, I wanted a platform that’s as comfortable for teaching as the romper is for wearing.  That’s why I chose Craftsy.  With Craftsy, you have unlimited access to your classes so you can learn at your own pace, and you have the added comfort of being able to watch the lessons in brilliant high definition, rewind, make notes, ask questions, and get answers from me and your classmates.  Plus, you can browse other people’s projects for inspiration, and upload pictures of your projects to get feedback and insight.

         

Enroll in Kids Romper Revamp, and create a comfy, yet stylish, custom girl’s romper, learn new sewing skills, and have fun doing it! 


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!


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!

Figgys Patterns
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.figgyspatterns.com" title="Figgys Patterns"><img src="http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0242/8199/t/3/assets/blog_Ayashe-sewalong_blk_Artboard-ayashesm.jpg?236" alt="Figgys Patterns" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

 

Figgys Patterns
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.figgyspatterns.com" title="Figgys Patterns"><img src="http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0242/8199/t/3/assets/blog_Ayashe-sewalong_blue-06sm.jpg?237" alt="Figgys Patterns" style="border:none;" /></a></div>