Monday, November 25, 2013

Emma Flower Pattern Tutorial #1

how to make a flower headband

When I put together the Emma Collection, I made a couple flower headbands that I wanted to share the patterns with you! The flower headband pattern is available on my website for free in pdf format. There are printable pattern pieces for the flower pieces as well as an elastic size chart. The free flower headband pattern pdf can be found here.

Also in the Emma collection are the Fitted baby shirt pattern

and the Baby Leggings Pattern

and the long sleeve a line baby dress pattern

Okay, on to the free flower pattern. :)

1. Using Pattern, Cut one circle and one rectangle.
The pattern pieces can be found here.

2. Use the hand needle and thread to sew around entire perimeter of the circle piece. Sew each stitch about 1/2” long and about 1/8” from the edge of the fabric. Do not tie the ends of the thread.
Another shot of step 2.

3.Pull the ends of the thread to ‘cinch’ the circle into a “puff”.

4. Tie the thread ends together while they are still tightly cinched.

5. Adjust the puff so that the cinched section is on the top center of the puff. 
6. Cut one rectangle using pattern piece. Fold in half as shown and sew the open ends together.  Knot the ends.

7.Fold the strip inside of itself like above. Make sure that the sewn ends are hidden on the inside.

8. Sew the open edge closed. Sew with 1/2” stitches that are about 1/8” from the edge. Don’t knot the ends.

9. Cut slits on the folded edge. Cut them about 1/2” apart. Be careful not to cut the thread.

10. Pull the threads tight to cinch the strip into a flower.

11. Tie the ends of thread and adjust the flower to lay flat.

12. Place a dab of hot glue onto the center of the “puff”.

13. Place the flower on top of the hot glue. Allow the glue to cool, then sew one or two stitches through both pieces and tie securely. (I’m sorry there isn’t a photo of this).

14. Place a dab of hot glue into the center of the flower.

15. Fold a couple loops (petals) over the hot glue to hide the center. This is optional depending on your preference.

16. If you are making a headband, cut the elastic to appropriate length. Find elastic measurements on pattern piece.
The headband measurements can be found here.

17. Overlap the ends of elastic 1/2” and sew them together.

18. Turn the entire piece upside down. Place a strip of glue where the elastic will lay if you are making a headband.

19. Put the elastic on top of the glue. Press it firmly into place.

20. Cut a strip of scrap fabric that is approx 1 x 2”. 

21. Carefully place the hot glue onto the elastic strip. Press firmly into place and trim the edges of the scrap piece to fit the head piece.

Make a few more to match more outfits, then check out the rest of the Emma Collection

flower headband pattern
Easy peasy free flower pattern.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Long sleeve baby dress pattern - just in time for winter!

Can a long sleeve baby dress pattern save your baby from freezing at the holidays? Yes it can! 

There is nothing that is more irritating than walking around the stores or sewing pattern isle while looking for a Christmas dress for my baby. Seriously, don't clothing manufacturers know that it is WINTER time? Yes, baby arms are cute, but they are much cuter when they aren't blue. Does anyone actually take the cardigan off of their baby at Christmas time? Or the undershirt? I think not. Yet, I am still finding mostly short sleeves or sleeveless Christmas baby dress patterns.

After deep thought and a smidge of frustration, I decided that I wanted to make a new baby dress pattern so that my baby would have something decent to wear this holiday season. There were many options that I considered with the a-line baby dress pattern, but the main focus was long sleeves. I knew that if this dress was a hit, that I would want to have short sleeves too, so I added those as well to the design. I completely omitted the thought of having the dress be sleeveless. If I have people who ask about it though, I might make a knit sleeveless dress in the summertime.

A line baby dress pattern

I wanted a dress that was fitted around the bodice, and flared out below the waist. I also knew that I wanted something longer than the average baby dress. I think it's interesting that dresses in the store are sleeveless AND too short. Leggings and tights are cute, but the main attraction should be the dress, so lets cover a bit more leg.
long sleeve baby dress pattern

short sleeve baby dress pattern

I had been working with knit fabrics a lot lately so I thought it would be fun to have a knit baby dress. You usually see woven dresses this time of year, so this would change up the norm a bit. Not only that, but when I started to imagine a neckline for this dress, I loved the idea of doing a pull-over style that had no buttons, zippers or snaps. In fact, you could almost call this dress a t-shirt baby dress (although a bit fancier).

t shirt baby dress pattern

Lets get started in the design process.

The first thing that did with this pattern was visit my onesie pattern and fitted shirt pattern. I pulled a great neckline from them and also my superb sleeve length. 

best baby dress pattern

Then I looked at my baby jumper pattern to nab the length from, but quickly decided that it wasn't long enough for this long sleeve baby dress design. I love the baby jumper pattern, but it is meant to be worn with leggings and ruffled diaper covers. I wanted a dress that I could put on my baby over top of winter tights without worry about the crotch seams showing. So I made the length longer and made the width a tad wider. The length of the new long sleeve baby dress is about knee length on most babies.

long baby dress sewing pattern

A word about sleeve length

I love the length of my baby dress sleeves. Recently, I put a store bought shirt on Claire and she wore it to church. The whole time that she was wearing the shirt, I had to keep pulling the sleeves down because they were too short. Many people at church ask me each week if Claire's outfits are homemade (which they usually are), so I had to make sure to tell people that the shirt was NOT homemade. I was a bit embarrassed that she was wearing something that fit so terribly.
Moving on.
covers the rump dress sewing pattern

The hem of the long sleeve baby dress couldn't be easier or neater. Simply fold, press and sew.

A word about stitches. 

I have been reading a lot of tutorials that talk about using a double needle while sewing knits. It is a great idea. I did mention that in my tutorial in a few places. However, a standard zig-zag stitch works great. If you prefer the look of a single line, try to use an elastic stitch (which I also mention in the tutorial). I also love using my serger and use it for most of my knit projects, so I also included in the tutorial where would be appropriate to use the serger if you had one available.

Easy baby dress pattern

Long sleeve baby dress pattern sizes.

The sizes in this pattern are so versatile. They are accurately sized from newborns up to 36 months based on current U.S. clothing size trends (in English, this means that the pattern is the same size as your baby's store bought clothes sizes). The reason that I say they are versatile is because of the 'knit factor'. Because knits are so stretchy and giving, your baby can wear the long sleeve baby dress for multiple sizes. Your baby can typically wear a size below and a size above their current size when working with this pattern. It has the flexibility to allow you to extend your baby's wardrobe for longer periods.

how to make a baby dress

I really liked making this sewing pattern. 
It was the end of my Emma Collection (other than the free flower headband patterns that I still need to do) that I have been working on recently. Sometimes I am sad to be done with a project as I am having so much fun with it, but this one was not the case. I was very glad to be done and ready to give it to my customers. I have had multiple requests for an a-line baby dress pattern that featured long sleeves, so this was perfect for those that asked as well as for multiple mammas who are making holiday dresses for their little ones.
Soon to be added to the Emma collection will be free patterns of the flowers that I used for Claire's headbands. Isn't she a beautiful model?

beautiful baby dress sewing pattern

Thank you for joining me to read about my design process for the long sleeve baby dress pattern. I hope that it inspires you to be creative! Check out the long sleeve baby dress pattern now!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Best Baby Leggings Pattern

The best baby leggings pattern is finally here. It features 8 sizes from newborn to 36 months. All of the pattern pieces are printable from a home printer. There is not any scaling necessary as the pattern pieces are drafted professionally to size. There are optional ruffles and a rear extender for cloth diapers. Sound too good to be true? It's here! Read on!!

baby leggings pattern

When I first decided that I wanted to make a legging pattern, it was after multiple people had asked me to design them. At the time of the first requests, I had an entire drawer filled with leggings and dresses. I wasn't about to make any more. However, this last box of baby clothes that I got out for Claire left me a little skimpy in the baby legging department. Actually, all of the departments were skimpy. In the 12 month size that I just pulled out, she had 3 onesies, 1 dress, 2 - one piece pajamas (this will be something on my to-do list I think), a couple pairs of socks and a couple stretched out pairs of pants. What was I thinking when I kept those?!

I got to work right away making shirts for Claire out of t-shirts that hubs brought home for me. He is a web designer and artist for a web company that is connected to a t-shirt design shop so he has unlimited supply of messed up shirts that need to be 'recycled'. Yay for me!

cloth diaper baby leggings pattern

After I got a few onesies and long sleeve shirts done, I whipped up a few baby jumpers. After I got the baby jumpers done, I realized that IT IS WINTER. What was I thinking?

It was time to design some baby leggings.
ruffle baby leggings pattern

Something that had been irritating me about baby leggings in the previous size, was the lack of room in the 'rear' area. I exclusively cloth diaper my babies, which makes it hard to find proper fitting attire in a 'disposable' world. I know that some of my customers are NOT cloth diaper mammas though, so I had to come up with a solution for both, cloth diapered and non-cloth diapered rumps. The “Rear Extender” was born. At first, I added WAY too much room for the cloth diaper. The leggings looked saggy at first. No thanks. Leggings are supposed to be form fitting. After a couple tries, I had it right. I love how the baby leggings fit over cloth diapers now. They are smooth and comfortable without adding any unnecessary room to the thigh area. The Rear Extender is of course an optional feature of the baby legging pattern, but it is necessary for us cloth diapering mammas to add to our baby's wardrobe.
Extra room in the butt leggings pattern

Another thing that made me have to do a bit 'extra' designing, was the fact that t-shirts aren't always suitable for a one piece legging pattern. I needed side seams. That was a challenge for me as I hadn't incorporated side seams in any other pants or shorts pattern before. I love what I came up with though and you will too. The pattern piece that I designed has the option of being one piece OR two pieces so that you can have side seams. This is huge. If you have yardage fabric, just whip out a few one pattern piece leggings...but if you are recycling and need a bit more wiggle room, use the two piece pattern with side seams!
I love ruffled leggings

The other reason that I wanted side seams was that I wanted ruffles. Since winter was upon me, I wanted my darling to be outfitted adorably, so ruffles were necessary. Yet, to sew a ruffled diaper cover, would be more work and just another thing to add to her drawer. Why couldn't I simply add the ruffles to the rear of the leggings? I went to work pondering, measuring, drawing and sewing. Finally, I had the perfect solution for all sizes that are included in this sewing pattern. The side seams are perfect for adding ruffles and you'll love the placement of the ruffles on the baby leggings pattern.
baby leggings rock

As I was in the designing process and finally had my pieces drawn up, I did a quick search online for baby legging patterns. I was immediately overwhelmed with multiple patterns. They ranged anywhere from free to $20 a piece for the pattern. I was a little bit down after I saw all of the competition for a pattern. I felt like I had wasted my time to design something new when it had already been done. I left my computer and my designing for a few days. When I got out of the 'funk', I looked at the patterns online again. They were missing key components that mine was offering. 
make your own recycled baby leggings

The easiest and most obvious 'lack' in the patterns that I found online for baby leggings, was that there were few printable pattern pieces. I don't know about you, but when I want to sew something, it's because I don't already have it. I can't take apart a pair of pants that I don't have to make a new pair. That's silly. I also hate to 'resize' anything. It never blows up to the appropriate size as it should. Yet, many of those patterns suggested doing that. I am so proud to be able to offer you professionally drafted pattern pieces with all of my sewing patterns, especially my baby leggings sewing pattern.
how to recycle a t shirt

Overall,  I had a great time designing these baby leggings. The sewing pattern rocks and I can't wait to share it. My love for dresses will extend into the winter months because of them. I want to try to make some fleece leggings too. Doesn't fleece baby leggings sound like the coziest things ever? I think it would end up pilling around the legs after a while if the baby is crawling or rolling. Either way, I might have to make a few before Christmas!

Christmas gift baby leggings

Thank you for joining me today to read about how I designed this pattern. I hope that my customers and readers enjoy my design stories. I love to design and it is so much fun to tell you about it.
Cloth diaper baby leggings pattern