Thursday, April 11, 2013

Under the big-top outfit

About a month ago I made an outfit for one of Carleigh's friends 5th birthday.  As soon as Carleigh saw it she wanted on as well.  "we can match at school mommy"  If only my 7 year old was as enthusiastic about matching her sister....  So with Make it Wear it Thursday coming up over The Train to Crazy Blog by Andrea I decided to make a new outfit for Carleigh.

So I did some sketching (not gonna lie, they look bad)  I can not draw, but the idea was in my head.  I wanted a three quarter sleeve tunic.  I love the look of shirring so I wanted that on the sleeve.  I also die for a good ruffle.  I thought about putting a ruffle around the neck like a clown outfit.  Sounds hideous but I thought I could make it work, channeling my inner Tim Gunn.

I started with some Riley Blake chevron and another Riley Blake print that I have had for ages and just horded for the right outfit. 
I did not iron (don't judge) we all have those days....
I drafted a template for the bodice.  This is the same 4T template I used for their Easter dresses I just extended it out in an A-line to make it a tunic.  I cut one of main fabric (on fold for the front) and two of main fabric for the back.  I also cut lining pieces out but only for the sake of the collar so the lining was very short, only came down about 3 inches from the arm.  I also cut a strip of stabilizer for the button closure in the back.
I then used the sleeve pattern I drafted for their Easter dresses, I just made them longer.

I surged the front of the bodice to the back at the shoulder seams.  Then added the stabilizer.  I did the same for the lining.  Also with the lining, I surged the bottom edge just to finish the edges.
So then I pinned all around the neck with a 1/2 seam.  I continued down the back center 4 inches.  I also added a button loop (AKA bias tape).
After i stitched around the neck and down the back seam,  I clipped the edges and curves and turned it right side out.  The BEST tool that I have found is a chopstick! 
I then pressed the top, at this point, i would normally top stitch the neck, but i am adding a ruffle trim so that step is not necessary.

Now for my ruffle, I used my accent fabric  I cut it the length of the material 44" and 2.5 inches wide.  I then changed the setting on my serger to a rolled hem to finish the edges.  I feel this makes it more light weight!  There are soooo many different ways to make a ruffle and  Kate has a wonderful sewing101 lesson on ruffles.  I set my sewing machine on the longest stitch length, and put it on the highest tension setting.  I then placed my fabric with the needle in the center, and start sewing.  With my left hand I guide the fabric, and with my right hand gently tug on the thread.  This method takes practice, if you pull too hard you WILL break the thread, I have several times!  You also need to be consistent with your tugs to make the ruffle even!  I am a weirdo, so I count the waltz (no lie) and pull on the one beat! Hey what ever floats your boat right?
Then I pinned the ruffle on the neck and moved the ruffles around until it fits. stitch it down!  Just don't forget to put the tension back to the normal setting!
Now on to the sleeve!  My favorite part of the top is the shirred sleeves!  I measure up three inches and make 4 lines a quarter of an inch apart on both sleeves.  Then I get my machine ready!  I wind a bobbin with elastic thread use my normal thread on top!  I set my stitch length on a 5 ( a bigger stitch) but not the biggest. 
I follow the lines on each sleeve, and back stitch a the beginning and end.  Then the magic happens!  You steam the sleeve and the shirring, bunches up!   I love that!

The one on the left is finished and the one on the right is not.  Then it's time to attach the sleeves.
I start by pinning the center of the sleeve to the bodice.  You can stitch a gathering stitch and the sleeve will fit in perfectly but I did a different sleeve "art".  After pinning the center I move the sleeve around and pin on the left and right corners and then start pinning my way back to the center.  There will be extra material, I fold the left side in (on top of the first center pin)  then I fold the right side over the fold and pin it down.  After I stitch the sleeve, I serge it to finish the raw edges and give it a little more ummp!
It's just a different little detail.

After that I stitched up both sides ( well surged)  Did a rolled hem on the edge, I got lazy and did not feel like folding it under and changing my needle to a double needle! Attached the button to the back and my label to the front.
Well The pants, I can't claim them, they are a simplicity pattern, not sure which one but I use them for the waist and length.  I then decide how long a ruffle I want.  I made these pants with a double ruffle.  I cut two strips the length of the fabric 44" one 5inches the other 3 inches.  I did a rolled hem to make the ruffles lighter,  did the same ruffle as before and attached to the pants.  Did a top stitch and BAZINGA!  I was finished.  Good thing, because nap time was over!


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