Saturday, September 24, 2011

Inspired By: Crew Cuts Jitterbug (and a series!)

Today I’m kicking off a series here on this blog – INSPIRED BY.

There are a few other sewing blogs out there that do a great job at taking RTW/Designer clothes and matching them to sewing patterns and fabric to recreate the look for less. I’m always interested in these posts, because that’s why I sew! I love the clothes in many a store out there, but I know I can make the same thing myself, often with better quality, better fit and for a fraction of the cost.

But what I haven’t found is very many posts showing these items actually done! So I’m going to be sharing my recreations of RTW clothes in this series. I’ll show the inspiration piece and how I achieved the look in real life.

This week, I was inspired by the Jitterbug Girls Striped Dress at Crew Cuts.


It looked so cozy and a simple for the cooler weather that has settle in, at least where we live. I found this sweater knit at SR Harris and thought it would be perfect for this project.


I love that I found a sweater knit vs. just an interlock or t-shirt knit. I think it makes the dress just a bit dressier and it will be warm enough for both fall and winter.

I started with my favorite TNT t-shirt pattern, Jalie 2805. Any good t-shirt pattern would work, or even drafting a pattern from a well fitting RTW shirt. I adjusted for an a-line skirt, starting just above the natural waist line and down to, what I thought would be, knee length. Later I found I did my math wrong and it was actually ankle length…


I constructed the whole thing with my serger, which took no time at all. After a quick check for fit on the girls (and discovering the ankle length and needing to remove about 3” off the hem) I determined where I was going to place the bodice gathers.

The inspiration dress appears to have gathers at the waist line, but I decided I wanted them to be just a little above the waist line, about 5 inches down from the neckband. For these three-year-old girls, currently wearing size 4 or 5 (I traced a size I or girls 5 in this pattern) I used a piece of 1/4” elastic that was 5 1/2 inches long. I placed each end 2 inches from the side seams and stretched in between with a zig-zag stich on my machine. I hand stitched on a white ribbon bow.


I made one design change though. I wanted to be sure these would last till spring so I purposely cut the sleeves long. And they were long! So I decided to add some ruching on the sleeves to shorten the length for now, with the idea that when they get a little bigger and the sleeve length is too short, I can add length by removing the ruching.

Here is the finished product. I love how they turned out.




I hope you enjoyed! And please continue to stop by and visit my Inspired By series. Next up will be a great dress for fall for me!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

First Day of School & A Headband Tutorial

Yesterday was my daughters first day at a new school. I had her outfit and backpack ready to go in advance, but I decided a new headband was in order!!

It was very simple, here's what I used:

  • scrap of tshirt knit
  • 1.5" strip of quilting cotton (the cotton her top was made from)
  • tiny scrap of coordinating cotton
  • ribbon
  • pearl beads
  • needle and thread

I started with a scrap of tshirt knit, about three inches wide by just a little less than the distance around her head, about 18" or so.

Then I turned in the edges of the short sides by about a half inch each, turning to what will be the right side.

I stitched this across with 1/4" SA.

Then I took my scraps of cotton and made a couple of fabric flowers. For the larger one, I ripped a strip of the cotton I made her top from in a 1.5" strip. I knotted it in the center and wrapped/twisted into a rose shape.

Then I took a tiny (like 1" by 3") piece of coordinating cotton and tied three knots in it. I twisted these little knots into a small loop and they made the look of three small rosebuds, sort of...
(sorry, forgot to get a photo of that!)

I folded/gathered a piece of green organza ribbon to form a leaf...

...and tacked all these pieces down over the seam of the headband.

All ready to head to school!

(Top- self drafted pattern by me, Skirt- modified, but based on Simplicity 2483)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Don't Forget to Vote!

Voting for the PR Sewing For Children contest ends on September 10th. Click here to see all the entries and vote for your favorite!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

FO: M6203 - A Nice Tunic

Wow, was this a quick sew. Instant gratification! I had this tunic cut and sewn completely in about 45 minutes.

It's a very simple pattern. Per the design, the neck bands are left unfinished. The instruction would have you turn down the neckline and do a narrow hem, then attach the two neckbands. Hum, no. I just layered all three RST and serged. Much faster, and in all likelihood, a much neater neckline. I left the hem unfinished as well, it seemed appropriate considering the unfinished neckline. The cut-on sleeves do have bands that finish them off. The sleeves are also a little long. Partially my fault, since most patterns require added sleeve length for me. I added 3/4", but it looks like I have too-short long sleeves instead of 3/4 length sleeves (if I don't have them pushed up as I did in the photos).

I cut a small and constructed the whole thing on my serger with 1/4" seams. This worked out perfectly.

Overall, I'm happy with it. It's not that fancy, but I like it with grey leggins or my favorite blue jeans. It will be great for taking my daughter back and forth from school this fall/winter.

And as I mentioned before, now that I've made this up and I know the fit, I'm going to use this pattern as a base to make a cute fall dress. And when I do, I'll try to get that up here in a tutorial. I'm excited, I just need a good piece of sweater knit in a dark orange or a rusty red.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Looking Ahead to Fall

Fall is in the air.... despite the fact that it was in the mid-90's here today and with a heat index in the 100's. I've made three different soups/chilis this week. I'm looking through my bin of sweater knits. I'm going to regret this come January!

Anyways, my husband and I are on our way out of town this weekend to celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary. We are both in need of some R&R so we are looking forward to our getaway.

When I return, the first project in my queue is going to be McCalls 6203.

Thrilling, I know. Yes, it's a very basic tunic, really not much to it. The reason I'm working on this next is two-fold. First, I've had this super soft sweater knit (from the greatest store on earth, SR Harris) for more than a year and I really want to wear it this winter, and not just look at it. Second, I'm testing out this pattern, because if it fits the way it appears, then this will be the base for a much, much more exciting new piece in my wardrobe. That's all I'm going to say about that though, for now....

I've got a few other things cut and in my 'ready to sew' pile too. They've been there since June. I hope to get at least one of those sewn up next week too, it's a cute little knock-off top for my daughter who is starting school next week. I hope to write up a tutorial on that as well. We'll see. It's going to be a big next week for us here. The first year I've ever had to think of 'school'. Earlier than expected too so we will all be getting adjusted.

I'm also just loving all the fall items appearing on Pinterest these days and I've been looking around to add some fall inspirations to my boards. These are some of the items I plan to work on after the aforementioned adjusting to our new routines takes place:

Source: via Annie on Pinterest

(This one is already cut out and ready to be sewn!!)

So, come on Fall. What are you waiting for? (just don't bring Winter in with you any time soon!)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...