Nov 16, 2015

The Merry Dress & Andover Fabric

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Merry-2 When a great pattern and beautiful fabrics come together, the result is nothing short of amazing! I had the pleasure to playing with the softest, richest fabric from Andover Fabrics and I knew the Merry Dress sewing pattern from Little Lizard King would be the perfect pairing! Merry The Merry Dress pattern, for sizes 12 mo through girls 12, is a great pattern for every occasion in every season! With 5 sleeve options: sleeveless, cap, short, 3/4 and long, the dress is versatile for every climate. Merry-4 The Merry Dress has a sweet, fully pleated skirt with a deep hem. The pattern includes these fabulous pleating guides to help mark each pleat space, and to create an even pleat from top to bottom! If you are new to pleating, this is a great beginner pattern. Merry Andover-12 Pretty soon you'll be pleating in your sleep! If you are hesitant to give pleating a go, no worries, you can simply gather the skirt instead. The Merry Dress bodice and skirt can mix and match with other great Little Lizard King patterns to give you even more lovely combos for your little gal's wardrobe. Merry Andover-14 The Merry Dress also features a front boat neckline with a modest scoop back finished with a single button closure, giving a classic yet unique look. Merry-6 Enough about that fun new pattern, let's scope out the lovely fabrics from the Sophia collection by Andover Fabrics. I am totally digging the color pallet: rich blues, greys and neutrals, pops of coral and rose, and on-trend mustard. Merry Andover-8 My favorite print has to be the ikat. It's so fun, gives a nudge to my inner math geek and the colors are so rich and playful! Merry Andover-19 Thank you, Andover, for sending along such beautiful fabrics for me to sew up. This trio is fabulous and the little girls are loving their new Merry Dresses! Merry-5

Nov 13, 2015

Take 5 Sew-A-Long, Day 3

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Yesterday we looked at an option to upcycle tshirts! Did you make one? If so don't forget to share in the LLK cafe our sewing group on FB. We love to share and find inspiration from our sewing friends! Today we are going to sew up another 4 panel version of the TAKE 5 skirt and add a ruffle trim around the hem of the skirt. So go gather your panels and lets get going. take5elf-6 Once the skirt is constructed we can work on adding some trim. Now a few years ago Chez Ami had a BIG sale in my town and I stocked up on knit bias binding on a roll. At the time I wasn't really sure what I would use it for as it is only 1" wide so not quite wide enough for bias trim or straps. But for $1 a roll I knew it would come in handy! Then one day I thought why don't I ruffle it and use it as trim on skirt and dresses! And the rest is history! The best thing about using KNIT trim is that it will not fray so I chose to leave mine raw. knit bias 3   I take my roll of knit and I slide it into my ruffler foot attachment for my Bernina. I continuous ruffle until I have one long strip. Now, if you don't have a ruffler foot, you can hand gather this too or try to learn to do it on your serger there are lots of blog posts out there. Also, if you don't have knit bias on the roll like me you can just cut strips of 1" knit and sew them together. This knit is actually interlock so just a bit of stretch. knit bias6   knitbias1 Once I have my ruffled strip ready I head over to a flat surface and pin it all around the hemline. Yes, you can leave your skirt edge raw. But I decided to serge it to help provide some weight for the ruffle. When the two ends meet I just tuck in each raw end and sew down remember to use coordinating thread as you will see these stitches! If it's too long cut some off... If it's too short you may want to measure first to ensure you ruffle a long enough strip. I eyeballed it! KNIT Bias2 Add the yoga band and you are finished!!! Now isn't this the sweetest thing? take5elf-9 Come back tomorrow and we have a sweet surprise for those little one's DOLLS! Thanks for sewing along with us! And loving LLK patterns! take5dolly

Nov 12, 2015

Take 5, Sew-A-Long, Day 2

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Today we are going to begin sewing our Take 5 skirts. If you didn't get the pattern yet it is available HERE with code "takefive" for the sew along! So you have your pattern ready. You have your fabrics chosen. You have decided on the option to create? I am going to take a Tshirt and up cycle it to use the main print as one of my 4 panels. I chose a swim shirt from our previous swim team in our neighborhood. We miss our Sharks so much. This is a child's large (it was Sawyer's don't tell him) and I measured the front print to see if it would be large enough for the cut I needed to make a size 8 skirt for Sadie. I followed the directions to cut LxW for 1/4 of my panels. take5elf-3 I then lined up my larger ruler and drew a line across the width and length trying to include as much of the logo as possible. See that shark? It has all the swim team kids' names in it!! What a fun way to remember her time swimming with her friends. take5elf-4 Once I had my markings set with an erasable fabric pen I drew the lines and then cut the fabric. I did not open the shirt to save the back but you could do that too or cut up the sides to use both parts of the shirt. The back had all the Team Sponsors so I wasn't going to use it! I then continued to cut all the other panels out of prints I chose. take5elf-5 And there you have it your 4 panels ready to sew up. One thing to remember because this skirt does not need the stretch in the skirt portion only in the waistband you can really use any knit fabric so all that interlock you bought by accident---PERFECT! When constructing the 4 panel skirt it is IMPORTANT to remember how to lay out the pieces especially if any are directional! The pattern shows you how to lay them out so when flipped and worn they are in the correct direction. So for example my mermaid scales top left panel look like they should go the other way but they will when worn since it will hang down where the current top of the cut is laying. The pattern describes this in great detail. Now follow the pattern and sew your panels per directions. take5elf-14 Once you have them sewn together you will fold them so you have to folded edges on the sides. You will follow the pattern and measure from the corner down on a semicircle. I like to take my long ruler and put dots all the way from side to side and then draw a connecting line with my erasable marking pen. Using a rotary cutter I follow the line and get a nice clean edge. Then use the skirt cutout template to cut out the top corner and you have a skirt that just needs to add the waistband and decide on hem options! take5elf-7 This waistband I chose to use doesn't have a ton of lycra so you can see it won't stand up but it works just fine! I also changed my fabric layout as I wanted to see the stunning mermaid scales from the front! take5elf-11  
 When deciding on a hem you can do a few things. I chose to do a rolled hem on my serger with a lettuce edge by keeping the fabric taut as it feeds through the serger. Another option is to leave it RAW as knit does not fray. You can also hem it on a circle by serging it first to get some weight and then iron it carefully around and hem. Others choose to use hem tape to help keep the circle in place. Whatever works for you is great! Sadie was thrilled with her new Swim Team skirt and what a great way to save and up cycle all our memories! I think I will make another with her current swim team and use terrycloth for the coordinating panels to throw on over her suit in between races!!! Another option is to take old college shirts or sports shirts and up cycle them for GAME DAY!! Thanks for sewing along! Remember to share your creations!!!

Nov 11, 2015

Take 5 - Sew A Long, Day 1

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Hey all ready for a quick sew and I mean the quickest sew? Grab yourself the pattern on sale using code takefive on the LLK website HERE and get some of the cutest knits you can find HERE. A little lycra is needed for the waistband but really any knit will work for the skirt portion. take5collage We are going to follow this schedule: Day 1: Print pattern, wash & organize fabrics. decide on which option you want: panels, all one piece, up cycle and trims. Cut pieces based on your choice. Day2: Day 3: Upcycle version we will deconstruct a Tshirt to use as a panel on the 4 panel version. Day 3: How to add a KNIT ruffle around hemline. Finishing hemline. Day 4/5: Catch up and share in the LLK Cafe! Remember we have a great fabric sponsor so check out Eurogirls Boutique HERE and get your knit addiction started! Be sure to post pictures of your fabric choices in the LLK CAFE! See you tomorrow all ready to GO!    

Sep 25, 2015

Perfect Ten Sew-a-long, Day 5

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Last one! Day 5!!

Hi Ladies! I am back!!! Today is a little different from the rest of the Sew Along days. I wanted to share with you a little modification of the pattern I did.

My first thought when I saw the Perfect 10 top was,"wow, wouldn't that be a cute top to put with leggings?" So I made one up. I wasn't unhappy with it, but it wasn't "flowy" enough for me to consider it a tunic. I am well blessed in the trunk and my little girl isn't huge there, but has a little something, something. I like loose coverage for both of us. So I thought, Maybe I can up-size the main body of the shirt. I kept thinking a bit more and thought a giant pocket would be cute to match the leggings I had planned - not garanimal match, but coordinate. My brain kept going, and I thought wow, it would be really cute with a rounded hem and slits up the side. And of course you know all this deep thinking was happening at 3am when I should have been sleeping. Well, I attempted all of the above. There were a few boulders along the way, and some bumps and bruises to my ego, but I made it work!

Here is what I did:

My girl generally wears a 3t. So I was thinking I could keep the chest, neck line and sleeves a 3t. Then I could make the length and body width a 5. I traced them with the original pattern with the squared hem. Then I took the pieces, (already perfectly folded in half since they were cut on the fold) stacked the bodice front piece over the bodice back piece, and trimmed a curve along the outer corner of all pieces. That way my curves were all identical. 

Since the shirt has a curve at the hem and a slit, I decided I should hem it first. This is where I hit my first bump in the road. I had a hard time getting it to fold over the way I wanted it to on my cover stitch machine, so I took it over to the iron. I added 1/2 stay tape along the bottom edge and up the curve and then ironed up the 1/2 inch. 

Please excuse my big ole' head shadow. I sew, photography is NOT my strong suite. Once I had the hem ironed up, I took it back over to my cover stitch machine. Phew....soooo much better. 

Next I did my pocket. I wanted it to be oversized rectangle. So I just followed the directions for the heart pocket, but on a rectangle. I finished up the rest of the shirt as instructed in the pattern, until I got to the side seams. I know I wanted there to be a slit at the sides. So I guestimated (not a great idea to do this) how high I wanted the slit to go. Of course I took into consideration how far up my hem went. I started at the armsyce and sewed down. I made sure to unfold what I could close to the hem and get the stitch and close down as I could to the hem. I repeaded that on the other side. Once I had both side seams done, I laid it flat and folded it in half to see if my slits matched.

Enter Boulder in the road #2. Of couse since I guesstimated, they didn't match. URGH!! So I had to ever so carefully unravel my coverstitch, being very cautious not to unravel the entire thing, then restitch down to that point. Since I unraveled some of my cover stitch, I wanted to make sure everything was locked in real good. So I took the shirt over to the iron, ironed the side seam to the back. Ran back to the sewing machine and did a zig zag tac stitch the last 1" of the side seam. Then I finished the Shirt as stated in the pattern. 

I thought it looked fantastic and was so excited. So I ran up the stairs to put it on my girl with the leggings, and show my husband. The first thing out of his mouth "did you intentionally make the pocket that big? Is that a kindle pocket or something?". Yeah, yeah, we all got jokes. Funny husband. Although he was right. The pocket is rather large. But it's ok, creative license right?? I bet no one else is going to make a pocket that big. That makes my shirt original. Haha! 

The other thing I noticed, and this happens when you venture off on your own, The width would have looked nicer with the slits if it was cut at more of an A-line instead of straight down. Trial and error. But all in all, my own version of the Perfect 10 was a success! I would LOVE to see your modificiations! Share them in the LLK Cafe!! Tag me so I can see!! 


Thanks again for talking this journey with me. Sewing is so much more fun when done and shared with a friend. I hope you have enjoyed the sew along and I can't wait to see what you create. 
Until Next Time, 


P.S. If you still want to purchase this pattern, go straight to the LLK website and use the coupon code perfect10 for a discount! Find the Pefect Ten sewing pattern here!

Don't forget to post pictures of your progress and final project. Mabel Madison is donating a $35 gift card, and LLK is donating gift cards to their pattern shop!! Post pictures on Facebook in the LLK Cafe!

Sep 24, 2015

Perfect 10 Sew-a-long, Day 4

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Day 4:

Only 2 things left and our Perfect 10 shirts are done!!!

I, Natalie from The Sassy Pumpkin, your tour guide on this journey, am ready to finish these shirts and see them on my girl!!!

Day 4: Inserting Sleeves and Hemming.
I normally cheat with sleeves and sew them in flat and then sew them together with the side seams. But in the interest of hosting the sew along, I did them as written in the pattern and inserted them on the round. The first thing I did was fold the sleeve in half. I used the side seam of the sleeve as my guide and marked the opposite side. This gives me a guide to insert my sleeve in easily. Now we need to pin our sleeve to the shirt. This is the tricky part. You want your bodice right side out and your sleeve inside out. Now hold your sleeve upside down. So the hem band is at the top. Next you will slide the hem of the sleeve over the sleeve opening of the bodice. Making sure right sides are together, until the raw edges of the round part of the sleeve match the raw edges of the sleeve opening. I pin at the top where marked on the sleeve to the shoulder seam, and then the side seam of the sleeve to the side seam of the bodice. Then I ease in the sides. When you are done you will have something that looks like this:

After you have it all pinned in place, you sew it on just like you sewed on your bindings. Very carefully! I start from the side seam and work my way around. You may have to stretch the sleeve ever so slightly to ease it in. But it should be a pretty good fit. This isn't a puff sleeve. Repeat on the other side and admire your work!

The only thing left to do is our hem!! If you chose the hemband option please refer to page 61 in the pattern. I did the simple hem because I knew my girl would be tucking this shirt in. I did do my hem a bit differently than the pattern. I just recently purchased a coverstitch machine. I am still learning and haven't quite mastered the hemming on the round. So I hemmed my front and back bodice before I sewed them together. 

For basic hemming, turn up the bottom 1/2 inch, iron and then flip over and zig zag, double needle or triple stitch. When I use my conventional machine for knit hems, I will generally use about a 1/4" wide strip of knit stay tape, or knit interfacing, so when sewing it doesn't get all stretched out. Just be sure the direction of the stretch on the stay tape is going in the same direction of the stretch in your shirt. 

Give your shirt a good steamy press, and you are D.O.N.E. Done!!!! Yay! Be sure to go and show them off in the LLK Cafe!

Be sure and come back tomorrow, I would like to share with you one of my own modifications of the

Perfect 10 Pattern!!

P.S. If you still want to purchase this pattern, go straight to the LLK website and use the coupon code perfect10 for a discount! Find the Pefect Ten sewing pattern here!

Don't forget to post pictures of your progress and final project. Mabel Madison is donating a $35 gift card, and LLK is donating gift cards to their pattern shop!! Post pictures on Facebook in the LLK Cafe!

Sep 23, 2015

Perfect 10 Sew-a-long, Day 3

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Here is day 3: Day 3

Hello Again!! We are about to start on Day 3, and get sewing! Are you excited?? You should be!
Today is the day where our shirts start to transform from pretty fabric to fabulous shirts!!! If you missed all the happenings on Day 1 and Day 2, be sure to head on over to the LLK blog and catch up.
OK! Day 3: Start Sewing and Bindings. 

The first thing you want to do, before you sew up those shoulder seams and go to town on sewing your pieces together, is to go ahead and do all of your embellishments. I made quite a few Perfect 10 tops, but for breavity's sake, I will just show you the heart pocket option I did. If you have any questions at ALL on the other embellishement options, please tag myself, Radene Averritt or Cassie Nicole. One of us should be on and able to help you. 

You should have 2 pieces cut out of that cute little heart pocket. With wrong sides together sew the heart together being sure to leave about a 1/2 - 1 inch opening so you can turn right side out. I wanted to be a little rebel, so I sewed mine wrong sides together, completely around the heart, because I wanted those raw edges. Once you have the heart sewed up and flipped, take it over to the iron, give it a good press/steam, and then top stitch all the way around the heart and be sure to close up that opening from where you flipped it. Next lay out your front bodice. There is no right or wrong place to put your pocket. I wanted mine left chest.

Since I made a cute little skirt to go with my top with the ballet animals on it, I thought it would be cute to have one of them poking out of the pocket. I just cut it out, ironed on some wonderunder. Placed it on the shirt, ironed it in place, and then top stitched. Once I placed my pocket where I wanted it, I top stitched from where the "heart humps" end, all the away down to the point of the "V" and back up to right where the "heart humps" start again. I used a knit for the pocket (another rebellion on my part, lol) so I used the triple stitch to sew my pocket down. Say "hi" to Ellie the Ballet Elephant!!!  


Now that all of your embellishments are done (ig, heart pocket, peter pan collar, button placket, etc), take your front and back bodice over to your machine. You can either zig zag (stretch stitch) on your conventional machine, or zip it through your serger. After your shoulder seams are done, sew up those side seams, making sure that the under arms line up. 
This is what you should have now: 

Now for what would consider the trickiest part. The Bindings, dun, dun, dun....Sounds like a scary movie title, huh? Ok lets get everything together that needs bindings. 


Gather up just your binding peices. Sew the short ends together right sides together to make a loop.  A little trick I do to help ellivate some of the bulk in the binding, is I fold the seam in half and clip at the halfway mark just down to the seam, but not through the seam.

See photos:


Now you can iron the seam allowance down, split the allowance in half where you just clipped, so each end of the seam allowance is on different sides. Then you can fold wrong sides together and pin at the 1/4 marks. Now take your bodice, and pin at the quarter marks on your neck opening. Please note that the shoulder seams are not a 1/4 mark. I mark center front first, then center back. I bring those pins together, even out the front and back line and go all the way to the edge to find the 1/4 marks at the shoulders. 

I know, I know, I was a bad seamstress and didn't match up my stripes. I will go sit in sewer's time out for a bit. (no kids allowed right??!! lol). Now take your neck binding over to your bodice, line up the raw edges of the binding with the raw edge of the shirt. Make sure that the binding is laying against the right side of your bodice front and back. Pin at the quarter marks. Please note that your neck binding will be smaller than the neck opening on the bodice. 

Ok, for this next part, take a deep, deep breath. Shake all those wiggles out, exercise your fingers a bit and get ready to attach that binding. It took some practice, but I finally figured out how to make my bindings turn out nice. It has a lot to do with the position of your hands and the position of your tounge! lol - I don't know about you, but whenever I concentrate my tounge decides to stick out. It does it totally on it's own. Ok, take your shirt over to your machine. I use my serger for this part. You want to make sure your needles and presser foot are in the up position. The way you hold your shirt makes a difference too. Your bodice front should be on top and your bodice back should be flat to the machine. Slip your back bodice neck and binding under the presser foot. Before you put the foot down, make sure the binding is on bottom and the back bodice is facing up. Slide the fabric under the presser foot to the seam allowance you need and then lower your presser foot and needles into the fabric.

I always stitch a few places without stretching that way I make sure my garment doesn't slide and skip stitches when I start to stretch. Now you want to grab the pin that is closest to the front of the presser foot. Hold it out until your bodice (or the solid pink in the photo) is flat but not stretched, the binding will "travel" with you, but with your bottom finger you will need to stretch it. It is really hard to explain how I do this, so I attempted to take a picture. 

So you can see that the solid pink is completely flat but there is no tension on it and the bottom binding is stretched out. I use my middle and ring fingers looped in the binding to help keep it stretched. It's almost like finger olympics!  Go ahead and sew all the way around. I typically sew from pin to pin. Once I get to the next pin, I re-adjust and make sure everything is lined up and stretched correctly. And please, please, please make sure to get those pins before your serger does. I can't tell you how many knives I have dulled and how many near death by pin experiences I have had. Please be careful!!! 

Once you have it all sewed all the way around, you will want to take it over to your steam iron and give it a press!!

Once you have a nice pressed binding, take it to your conventional machine or coverstitch and topstitch the neck seam down. I used a triple stretch stitch on mine. 

And wahhhh laaaa!! It wouldn't hurt to steam the neckline once again after you have top stitched. 

Next up are the sleeve bindings. First thing you want to do is sew the side seams of your sleeves together So you have the round of the sleeves complete. Next you want to quarter the bindings that you already sewed into a loop, and quarter your sleeve openings. Be sure to use the straight edge of the sleeve, not the side with the curve. 

We will attach these binding the same way we did the neck binding.

The sleeves are quite a bit smaller that the neckline, especially if you are making one of the smaller sizes. There is an alternative way of adding sleeve bindings. It makes adding them to the tiny sizes much easier. You place your flat sleeve piece right side up. You take your "un-looped" band peice and fold it in half and place the raw edges along the raw edge of the sleeve. 

Pin the center of the binding to the center of the sleeve bottom. You will need to still stretch as you sew the binding on. But sew it all the way across the bottom of the sleeve. Then you can iron the seam allowance up towards the sleeve. The next step would be to sew up the side seams of the sleeve. 

I don't top stitch my sleeve bands, I like the little puff it gives with the stretch. But please feel free to do so. Now that we have both of our sleeves bound (as well as the neckline) we are ready to move onto day 4!! 


P.S. If you still want to purchase this pattern, go straight to the LLK website and use the coupon code perfect10 for a discount! Find the Pefect Ten sewing pattern here!

Don't forget to post pictures of your progress and final project. Mabel Madison is donating a $35 gift card, and LLK is donating gift cards to their pattern shop!! Post pictures on Facebook in the LLK Cafe!