Jun 17, 2015

Sunsational with Maude Asbury & Blend Fabrics

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Over thirty years ago I met a friend when I moved schools and the rest is history. All the years growing up together and even through the years separated by distance we can still reconnect like we were just decorating our lockers in high school! These special friendships are forever. We moved to the beach and are enjoying having visitors this summer. When Kathy decided to make the trip with her girls I knew I wanted to make coordinating dresses for all four of our girls!
The fabric line I was dreaming of is one I have been in love with since their "coming soon" post on their website! This is called Sun-Sational by Maude Asbury for Blend Fabrics. Check out the entire line here. It is absolutely perfect for those beach days or any summer vacation dresses. These seven prints inspired the dress designs and the photo shoot! Many thanks to Blend Fabrics for sharing their gorgeous fabrics with us.
In an attempt to give each girl a unique look I used four different Little Lizard King patterns. The first two I decided on were Trendsetter and Marilyn Halter. The Blue Ribbon dress and a new pattern with many options coming soon were my other choice. Two have knit bodices and woven skirt combinations and the other two are all woven. Each girl chose their own dress and fit their personality perfectly!! I used a combination of the above seven prints throughout the dresses.
sunsational collage 8
Another fun way to show of these prints was to create panels with the skirt and have a repeating print pattern all around! The two dresses on the right side were created this way while the left dresses used one print around with accent ruffles! To create a paneled skirt if directions are not provided is pretty simple. Just take the total circumference and divide by how many panels you would like taking in to consideration the seam allowance with sewing up each panel. A great way to use up smaller cuts of fabrics.
sunsational collage 6
This was a very special photo shoot as our girls were meeting for the first time as they live a thousand miles apart in two different countries! They instantly became friends. Just like their moms' lifelong friendship.
sunsational collage 4
The colors in this line are so vibrant and colorfully detailed and the way each coordinates so well really allows for amazing creativity in designing! I love how all four dresses look so different while all in the same fabric line.
sunsational collage 2
In the Marilyn Halter and Trendsetter patterns below I decided to add some detail work to highlight the designs of these prints. Accented with some fun trim and one of a kind dresses are created! Both of these dresses were perfect choices for two girls I only had measurements for as they are easy to adjust with a halter top and adjustable back looper straps. Needless to say the fit is great!
Our days were filled with swimming in the ocean and spending amazing time together. Our evenings were spent under this gorgeous sunset by the sea running, playing and having fun with new friends.
Who loves their dresses? We do! We do!
Go grab your patterns from Little Lizard King and prints from Blend Fabrics and share your amazing creations with us!

Apr 29, 2015

Everyday Play Skirt, Sew-A-Long, Day 5

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Everyday Play Skirt Sew a long Day 5
Today we are finishing our skirts! Go grab you waist band and your skirts. I started by sewing my band and ironing. Next I added a few buttons onto one of the bands. After I added a gathering stitch to gather the skirt although you can use clear elastic if you prefer.
Now go ahead and sew in place. I stitched in in place and finished the edges with my serger. I sewed around the skirt and then flipped it and back stitched to lock my stitches in place. You do not have to do this but I like to when working with knits.

You did it! You have just completed your Everyday Play Skirts. Lets show then off using #EPSSAL
Thanks for joining in on the fun!

I paired all of the skirts with the Perfect 10 if your looking for an adorable top to go along!
Also make sure you stop over and Thank Andover Fabrics for sponsoring this Sew-a-longs prizes!
Thanks for Sewing a long!
Heather- Leslie's Lavish Boutique

Apr 27, 2015

Everyday Play Skirt, Sew-A-Long, Day 4

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Everyday Play Skirt Sew a long Day 4

Lets gather up our rickrack, ruffles, lace or anything you would like to hem your skirts. If your doing a traditional hem you may also do that as well. When adding rickrack or lace I prefer to have finished the edge of my skirt and stitch it down on the right side of the skirt first.

Next I flip it to the wrong side of the skirt to leave a scalloped finish and top-stitch in place.

On my Other Skirt I used a traditional hem, if you are adding a ruffle finish follow pages 9-13 in the tutorial for 2 more ruffle options.
Tomorrow in Day 5 we will be gathering our skirts and making our waist bands to attach them. Thanks for sewing along!
Also make sure you stop over and Thank Andover Fabrics for sponsoring this Sew-a-longs prizes!
Thanks for Sewing a long!
Heather- Leslie's Lavish Boutique

Apr 24, 2015

Everyday Play Skirt - Sew-a-long, Day 3

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Everyday Play Skirt Sew a long Day 3

Today we are working on pockets! You can set your pattern aside for today because this is a fun little add on. Lets start by cutting out our inseam pockets. You can go grab your favorite pattern piece if you have one or use the chart below to cut out the size you need.

6-12 Months
7” x 6.25”
12 Months -2T 7.5” x 6.5”
3T-5 7.5” x 6.75”
6-8 8” x 6.75”
10+ 8” x 7”
Start by surging or zigzag stitching 3 sides of your pockets. I did one pocket per side so finished all 4 pieces. Once you have completed that pin your pockets place 1.5" down from the top edge on both sides of the skirt with right sides together. I surged down the length of the skirt but you only need to stitch the pocket in place backscratching on both ends.

Now you are going to sew the front and back panels together, stitch down the top 1.5" and follow around the pocket and continue down the remainder of the length of the skirt. After you complete both side you will a have a complete piecing together your skirt panels.

If you are only adding inseam pockets you can stop there for today. For the other skirt I am making, I used the Blue Ribbon Winner pocket. We did the sew a long not long ago so maybe you can add this too!
Now you should have your skirts pieced together, on Day 4 we will be adding and ruffles, trims, or rickrack to your skirts.
Also make sure you stop over and Thank Andover Fabrics for sponsoring this Sew-a-longs prizes!

Thanks for Sewing a long!
Heather- Leslie's Lavish Boutique

Apr 22, 2015

Everday Play Skirt - Sew-A-long, Day 2

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Everyday Play Skirt Sew-a-long Day 2
Who is ready to get cutting? I do not print my whole tutorial so go check your PDF for the measurements on the size you plan on making. Today you will be cutting out your skirt, waist band and pockets if you will be joining us tomorrow in adding them. I have chosen to sew up two different styles. One style has inseam pockets with an apron for a extra fun detail and the other has an outside pocket. I already own the Blue Ribbon Winner, so I used it for my outside pocket.

Next, if you are going to be doing a strip-work style skirt go ahead and piece your skirt together and top-stitch leaving a front and a back if you are adding inseam pockets tomorrow, otherwise you can make a complete circle. Go ahead and stop there for today unless you would like to add any extra detail to the skirt panels. I added an apron but you can also embroider or applique for a special touch as well.

See you at Day 3 tomorrow, please share all your creations at the LLK Cafe and send over a Thank you to our Sew-a-long sponsor Andover Fabrics. Tomorrow we will be adding pocket so don't skirt to far ahead on us, this is an bonus you wont find in your pattern!
Sew much fun,
Heather- Leslie's Lavish Boutique

Apr 20, 2015

Everyday Play Skirt - Sew-A-Long, Day 1

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Everyday Play Skirt - Day 1
I want to start by saying thank you once again to Little Lizard King for having me host the Everyday Play Skirt sew-a-long. I have made so many of these skirts I lost count a while ago. You can not go wrong with this fun playful pattern. Make it simple for everyday play and fancy for an occasion. We will be adding a few extra touches to ours this week including inseam packets and outside pockets. I even added an apron to one of these skirts! While your at it you may want to go snatch up the Perfect 10 because these two patterns go great together!
Day 1- We are going to pick out our fabrics and and trims or buttons you are going to use, if you need your pattern go to Everyday Play Skirt and get it using the coupon code "me&mom" You can also pick up the ladies version using coupon code "mom&me".
We won't be sewing today so read thru your pattern and decide witch options you will be choosing. I look forward to seeing your fabric selection in the LLK Cafe.

Time Table for Sew-a-long.
Sun- Fabric and trim selections
Monday- Cut and piece together skirt (unless you will be adding pockets)
Tuesday- Inseam and Outside pockets.
Wednesday- Trim and ruffles and Gathering Skirts
Thursday - Attaching skirts to waist bands
Friday- Show off your creations
Also make sure you stop over and Thank Andover Fabrics for sponsoring this Sew-a-longs prizes!
Thanks for Sewing a long!

Apr 3, 2015

Everyday Skirt - With a Fancy Modification

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Hey there, fancy pants or should I say sassy skirt?!? A super hot trend right now is tulle skirts for ladies and girls, and many have requested a tutorial for how to modify the Everyday Lady or the Everyday Play skirt for girls into a tutu-style skirt.

I hope this quick and simple tutorial will help guide you towards making a fabulous Mom and Me set of tulle skirts- perfect for fancy occasions, photo shoots and if you and your girls are like us, a daily trip to Target. LOL. Before we begin, head over to Little Lizard King's website to pick up your Everyday Lady and/or Everyday Play skirt pattern for girls. The pattern will contain the step by step directions for constructing the basic skirt, including sizing guides to help you choose the perfect size (or mix of length and widths as needed) and measurement charts to cut the needed pieces.

Read through the pattern first, read through this tutorial next, and then start cutting your fabric. To keep from sharing information contained in the pattern, I will be using hypothetical measurements. Please refer to the Everyday skirt pattern for accurate sizing and cutting measurements. To create the tutu-style Everyday skirt, you will need to use sheer fabrics such as tulle, chiffon, organza, etc. It is easiest to use a soft tulle or chiffon knit, so that no hemming is needed. A good online resource is Fabric.com. You will also need knit fabric for your waistband, as indicated in the pattern.

Use a lightweight cotton woven for your lining, and match it to the sheer fabrics you will be using as closely as possible. Some helpful tips for sewing with sheer fabrics: Use a standard universal point needle for light to medium weight fabrics (70/10 or 80/12). When pinning, place pins in the seam allowance to prevent holes or runs in the fabric.

Use a rotary cutter and a straight edge to avoid jagged edges of the fabric (especially if the fabric will be left un-hemmed). You may want to tape your fabric down to the cutting mat to keep it from slipping or shifting while cutting. To avoid the fabric from being caught in the needle plate, you can sew with a tear-away stabilizer under your sheer fabric (or tissue paper- check out this helpful blog post). To keep the fabric from bunching while sewing, you may want to loosen your tension. Start your stitch 1/8-1/4 inch away from the end of the fabric and use a short stitch length. Sew slowly, keeping a consistent seam allowance as sheer fabrics often shift and pull. Best tip: practice everything (iron, cutting, stitching) on a scrap piece of the same fabrics first.

Once you have your needed materials and a good handle on sewing with sheer fabrics, we can get started!! First, you will need to cut your lining and waistband according to the pattern. Follow the measurements for the skirt length and width per the desired size according to the pattern to cut your lining. You won't be using a ruffle (for the girls version) so adjust the length of the skirt to account for that.

Cut your waistband using knit fabric according to the pattern. With your sheer fabric, you will be creating two layers with two panels each. For a super full skirt, cut your sheer fabric the full width of your fabric and the length according to your cutting chart (same length as your lining). You can also add additional layers as desired, just continue following the tutorial directions until all your sheer layers are complete.

For smaller sizes (infant sizes), you may want to reduce to 40-50 inches wide for each panel. You will need FOUR total panel pieces cut of your sheer fabrics. For instance, if your skirt is to be 10 inches long, you will have 4 pieces of sheer fabrics cut 10 inches long by the WOF (width of fabric). EPtutu Let's start making our sheer skirt! If you want to go the quick and easy route, you can just sew two sheer pieces together along the short sides, repeat with the second set of sheer fabrics and skip to the lining instructions. However, if you'd like to go for a more professional look with your sheer skirt, follow along to create French seams in your sheer fabrics. French seams are great for sheer fabrics because it keeps the stitches of the side seams from being visible. There are lots of great tutorials and blog posts about creating French seams, but most use cotton woven fabrics. Before we begin sewing, you will need your iron set to either a cool setting or to a "steam" setting. You will not want to touch a hot iron to your sheer fabric, as it will melt. If you are steaming your fabric, let the iron hover over your sheer fabric and apply steam. If you have a cool setting that is safe for sheer fabrics (test before applying to your skirt pieces), then you can apply the iron to your sheer fabrics. Now that you have your iron ready, your sheer skirt pieces ready, let's begin our French seam fun! If you are using sheer fabrics with a print or "right side", you'll need to pay close attention to the very first step, and that is to place two sheer panels together with the WRONG SIDES TOGETHER. I kept the selvedge so I could put my pins through that while sewing my seam allowance starting with the inside edge, just a helpful little trick! EPtutu-2   NOTE: I am using white thread to show contrast against the sheer fabric, you will want to use thread that matches your sheer fabric to keep it from being visible. Sew along one short side of the sheer panels with 1/4 inch seam allowance. EPtutu-3
Trim your seam allowance back to 1/8 inch. EPtutu-4
Now, fold the sheer fabrics back so that the right sides are together. Double check your iron settings are good to go, and then steam or use a cool press on the seam you just sewed.
With the fabrics now right sides together, sew another seam using 1/4 seam allowance (your previous seam will be to the right of the needle, your open end of the sheer fabrics to the left). Open up your sheer fabrics with the right sides out. Voila! A French seam!!! Oui, Oui! EPtutu-7 EPtutu-9 EPtutu-10 Track over to the other raw short edges of your sheer fabrics (double check that the fabrics didn't get flipped or twisted somewhere in the middle, it happens!). Align the short raw edges WRONG SIDES TOGETHER. We are going to repeat the same process for the remaining short side. When you have completed a second French seam, you should have one tube of sheer fabrics with beautiful French (side) seams! EPtutu-11 Repeat this same process with the remaining set of sheer fabrics. Hem your sheer fabrics if needed (tulle does not need to be hemmed, phew!). Hop back to the pattern and follow the instructions for sewing the skirt to create your skirt lining. Once hemmed, the skirt lining will be 1/2 inch shorter than your tulle layer, this is intentional! Construct your waistband according to the pattern instructions, but do NOT sew the skirt and waistband yet! Come back to this tutorial first. Locate one sheer layer and sew a gathering stitch along the top raw edge (or use your preferred method of gathering). Gather the sheer skirt layer to the width of your waistband, aligning the side seams to the quarter side points of your waistband. Tie off your gathering stitches and set aside. Photos and more information for gathering included in the pattern. EPtutu-12 Repeat for the second sheer layer (and any remaining sheer layers you have created). Repeat for your skirt lining. We are going to assemble the skirt now. Stack your sheer skirt layer on the second sheer skirt layer, right sides of both layers facing up towards you. Align side seams. If you are using more than two sheer layers, continue to stack them. Stack your sheer layers on to the skirt lining, aligning side seams and keeping all pieces right sides facing up. Double check that the skirt stack is still the width of your waistband. If everything is aligned, baste your sheer skirt layers together to the skirt lining. Return back to the pattern to follow directions for attaching the skirt to the waistband. Sheer fabrics can be itchy on the inside seam. If desired, you can sew a ribbon over the inside seam as your topstitch your waistband. I didn't get a chance to sew mine all together yet (need more fabric for the lining!), but here's what it will look like when it's complete! EPtutu-13 There you have it! A fun and fancy tutu-style everyday skirt. A great tip my daughter's dance teacher shared with me about tulle skirts- hang them upside down and it will help the tulle to stay nice and full. It totally works! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and can apply it to any skirt or dress pattern you have in your collection. Be sure to join us in the Little Lizard King Cafe on facebook and share your tut-style Everyday skirt creations!

Mar 14, 2015

Elise Dress, Sewing Pattern, Sew-A-Long, Final Countdown!

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So who is still with me? Have you finished your dress or top yet? Have you been waiting till all my posts are finished so you can decide which new features you want to incorporate? Were you waiting on some AMAZING fabric to arrive?

If you've been sewing along with me each day, your skirt is complete, and all you have to do is gather and attach it to the bodice. You're nearly done!

Don't forget that the back bodice piece is wider than the front of the bodice. But you want the front of the skirt and back of the skirt to have equal fabric. This means that the front half of your skirt is more tightly gathered than the back. If you were to gather equally around the entire skirt, you would have too much fabric across the back of the skirt and not enough in the front.

If you haven't started yet, don't worry. This dress really is a quick sew. You still have time to sew one up and enter to win a $50 fabric shopping spree from Allegro Fabrics! To enter, post your pics to the album in our facebook sewing group so that we can all admire your creation. You've got the whole weekend to complete your project and share.

...and dont forget to find some awesome shoes... life is too short for anything less than epic shoes...

Mar 13, 2015

Elise Dress, Sewing Pattern, Sew-A-Long, Day 5

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Today is the day we sew the skirt portion of the Elise dress or top, and it's still not too late to get started. The sewalong runs through the weekend and you can still get the pattern for 25% off with the code ELISESAL

But first Im going to tell you a little story... I had this awesome fabric I wanted to use for the skirt. See how epic it is?

But the fabric repeat was 12" and the size that I was making required fabric cuts 13" long... oh, and I love fussycutting to match up the side seams, because I am silly like that. But alas, I did not have enough fabric to just chop 13", skip 11" and then chop 13 more. Nope, I only had a yard. So what is a girl to do? Abandoning my fussycutting plans was not an option. There was no time to procure additional fabric.

That left me with two options:
  • I could cut one perfect panel into two pieces and do a 4-panel pieced skirt, with my epic fabric having the dominant "apron" location front and center. But I've already shown you stripwork in the pattern, so that left me at option 2...
  • Add an inch of fabric to the length of my panels. I had bodice fabric left over, so why not. Plus it's a great way to tie bodice fabric into the skirt. There you have it, today's modification is "how to make fabric shortages into I-meant-to-do-that masterpieces!" (or do it on purpose). Even if you arent in this predicament today, one day you will be, and then you'll thank me.
Adding length to the panels is as easy as you might imagine it to be. I need 1" added to my fabric length, but keep in mind that with seam allowances, I will lose 1/2" from the top and 1/2" from the bottom. That means the strips will be cut as wide as my skirt panels and 2" long.

Lay strips right sides together with the main skirt fabric. Sew along the bottom to attach. Finish seams, press towards skirt fabric and topstitch. See? now you have fabric that is exactly the length you need! I'm off to work on my ruffles... I'm doing a single-edge ruffle because after the extra effort needed to make this a 13" long skirt piece, I'm not about to hide that green strip at the bottom!

Can you spot that seam right down the middle? That's the side seam of my skirt. Perfect fussycuts make me ridiculously happy.

Enjoy planning and sewing your skirt! Whatever you do, I'm sure it will be beautiful. If you are making a paneled skirt, you’ve got some cutting to do, and you want to figure out the order of your panels. If sewing a single-fabric skirt, your job is super easy, unless you're taking on the challenge of  crazy fussycut seam matching. Don't forget to add your hemband or ruffles. The ruffles can be a little labor intensive, but SO worth it.

A few tips as you get started:
  • When possible, I always try the bodice on the child and then measure to where I want it to hit when worn. While patterns are a great starting point, some children are very short or tall, or you may just have a preference for a longer or shorter style. Remember to account for the seam allowances!
  • The length given for tops is a shorter length. If sewing a top, consider adding 2-3” inches to allow for longer wear.
  • This pattern is written with a ruffle hem or hem band. If you choose to omit this (such as in the case of a border print fabric), you must add inches to the skirt length.
  • Before cutting the skirt, lay out your bodice on the floor with your fabric folded the width that the skirt will be. This is a great way to get a feel for how the garment will look when sewn. Now is your chance to make changes, adding length or width.
  • For a super full skirt, add some fabric width and plan to use a pettiskirt for extra fluff.
  • If your skirt fabric is light in color, consider sewing a light “slip” in, at least the top 2/3 of the skirt.
  • Should you decide to use tulle for the skirt ruffle, keep in mind that it has to be gathered much tighter than regular fabrics. You will need 2-3x the ruffle strip lengths, but you wont have to hem!
  • Some people like to use clear elastic for gathering/ruffling fabrics. If you find that the required stretching leaves your ruffle strips longer than you need, just blast them with a bit of steam and the elastic will shrink right up
Tomorrow, we sew the finished skirt to the bodice, topstitch and share our finished creations! Here's a little inspiration for you as you plan your work on your skirt. The first is a simple hemband, second is with the hemband omitted (extra length added), and third is stripwork with double edge ruffle. All modeled by my tiny miss, Aria Elise <3

Do you have any tips/tricks to add? Maybe you learned something during this project that you’d like to share? Perhaps you have some questions still unanswered. Join us for discussion in our facebook group! I’ll be checking in throughout the day and I’m always happy to help if you get stuck.