Monthly Archives: March 2013

Hey everyone! Thanks for joining us again for our last part of our Multitasker sewalong. We are in the homestretch and our bags are almost finished!

Last week we left off with Step 15, where we finished the “box corner” of our bags. We now have our interior and exteriors all prepared and sewn, and the next step is to sew them together. We will make sure our exterior is right side out, with our corners pushed out nicely, and we will insert it inside of the lining which is inside out. We will now make sure our edges are matched up and we can pin our pieces together. I found that if there were any parts that weren’t lined up perfectly, I’d just make sure my front center panels were lined up and that extra slack in my fabric would be made up on my pocket panels – because our pocket panels will be rouched when our bag is finished and the straps are in place!!


Floor Interfacing

In the picture above you can see our next step. We will take our two Floor Insert interfacing pieces and sew them together. I opted to get the single sided Pellon Peltex utlra firm instead of the double sided, so in this step I made sure I sewed the fusible sides out, so both sides are fusible and it acted like the double fusible!

This next step can feel like a little juggling act, we need to place our floor insert into the wrong side of our exterior piece. Make sure it is in nice and snug and if you need to, feel free to use any pins you need (just make sure you pin only to the exterior and not the lining!)

We will now maneuver the bag so the lining is inside, the exterior is out, and the floor insert is inbetween. We’ll do this by flipping our bag right side out through the opening of the lining. Once we’ve done this we will stitch up our hole in our lining, and set our floor lining in by ironing/fusing it to both our lining and exterior.

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Above you’ll see how we fuse the floor insert first to the lining, and below fusing the floor insert by ironing the exterior.
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Now that our lining is secured, we will topstitch the exterior and lining together from pocket to pocket, sewing only our center panels and not our pockets! :) Once we’ve done that we will fold down the tops of our pocket panels to create the pocketing for our straps. The diagram picture in Step 24, was a little funny to me, the V-shaped line of one of the creases didn’t really seem to make any sense, so I did what was written and what did make sense, and just fold down the tops, as you can see below. And then I pinned.

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STRAP TIME, WE ARE AT THE FINISHING LINEEEEE!!

Okay folks, we are almost finished. :) We now will take our strap pieces and sew them together, wrong sides facing eachother. Once we’ve sewn up both straps, we will flip them inside out! If you have a Loop Turner then this part will be very easy – I did not have a loop turner, and this step took me a few minutes of struggle!! Once I flipped the straps right sides out, I then ironed and topstitched them.

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Now that our straps are finished we are going to secure them to our bag. We will be sewing the strap ends to the center of the underside of our pressed pocket panel tab.

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This part confused me!!! I didn’t read the directions right and I sewed both the ends of the same strap to the bag, instead of sewing one end from each strap down! This was a funny seamripper alert!!

Once we have sewn down the straps to the bag, we will now fold the pocket panel tab down over our straps and topstich this down. And we will do this to both sides, and our straps will be fixed into our bag.

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In this step, I realized my straps seemed to bit just a tad bit wider than what I had given myself room to sew down. So as you can see in the picture above, I had to just fold the actual strap pieces down a little to give enough room to sew down the pocket panel tab nicely.

Now that we have done this….. WE ARE FINISHED OUR ANNA MARIA HORNER MULTITASKER TOTE!!!! YAYY!!!

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We are so happy that we could do this Sew Along together, and we hope that it was helpful and everyone had a great time sewing this bag. We look foreward to seeing the images you submit to us! And stay tuned to see who the LUCKY WINNER will be. Don’t forget to tell your friends and family to vote for your tote!

If you have any questions, feel free to send us a comment, email, phone call, or drop by~


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Easter is only 2 Sundays away, Yikes… that snuck up on us!

Here is a cute little easy Easter dress for a baby girl,  you just need simple supplies:

2 Fat quarters , or half yard of fabric

Elastic Thread, white or black depending on your fabric

4 buttons

Sewing machine, scissors, thread and a ruler

(it can be altered to make it for a girl of any age just use 1 or 2 yards of fabric instead of 1/2)

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First, Cut off the salvage edges and if you are using a 1/2″ yard of fabric, cut it in half so you have 2 fat quarters.

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Now Take both of your fat quarters and with right sides up measure  2″  inches in on the width of the fabric and cut, these will be the straps of the dress.Photo 2013-03-18 01.08.11 PMNow you will have 4 pieces of fabric that should look like this:

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Set aside your strap pieces for now, we will revisit those later. Now your will take the two other pieces and fold them in half with both of them together width wise, a hamburger… not a hotdog fold if that helps.

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Now on one edge opposite where the fold is measure in 3″, we are making the slope on the side of the dress.

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Mark your 3″ mark and use a straight edge to slop the line from your 3″ mark to the other side of your fabric like so:

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Now cut through all of your layers to make the slope

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Now you should have two identical pieces that look like this:Photo 2013-03-18 01.07.21 PM

Now we are going to prepare to do out sheering, which you shouldn’t be afraid of.. it’s ridiculously easy. The most annoying thing about sheering is that you have to hand wind the elastic thread on the bobbin. You don’t want to stretch the thread too much but you also don’t want it flopping on the bobbin, so use you best judgement on how tight you are winding it. it will look like this:

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Now just load the bobbing into your machine as you would a normal bobbin, my machine has a top loading bobbin but most machines should have no problem with elastic thread. Also don’t be afraid to consult your machine manual if you are having problems, most machine manuals have a section about sheering. Okay, now we are going to mark on our fabric where our sheering lines will go.  I did six lines of sheering on my dress, you can choose to do more or less it depends on the look you desire. Photo 2013-03-18 01.05.25 PM

I also stitched down the top hem of the dress, but I then go over this stitch with my shirring, I kind of use it as a guideline to keep my stitches straight.

Then go ahead and go for it and stitch your shirring in.  Make sure you stretch your fabric out as you go and the machine will do the rest.Photo 2013-03-18 01.05.15 PM

Always stitch with your fabric face up, because you want the elastic on the back and that’s where your bobbin thread will go. Repeat the shirring on both the front and back pieces of your dress, trim all your threads, attach the front to the back  and we will then move on the the hem. Photo 2013-03-18 01.05.10 PM

Now you can cut your dress to the desired length, it helps is you make it slightly curved so that you dress will lay better on the body. Photo 2013-03-18 01.05.05 PM

Now fold your hem, press and sew:

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Now for the straps! Yay! almost done

Take out your strap pieces and fold them in half with the wrong side of the fabric facing out, Turn them right side out Then sew and press with the seam in the middle.

Now measure the length you will need your straps, you can eye ball this or if you have the actual child handy you can measure from them. Cut the excess off.Photo 2013-03-18 01.04.47 PM Photo 2013-03-18 01.04.39 PM

Now fold the ends of the straps in and under and top stitch all around the strap.

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Now we can add our button holes.  I’m lucky enough to have a machine does a one step button hole, but you can read your manual to see how your machine does a button hole or you can op out of the button hole step and just sew the buttons and straps directly to the dress, you wont be able to change the straps from straight to cross or vice verse but you can still get the cute button hole effect.

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Repeat the button holes on all 4 ends of the straps and then sew the buttons on the top of your dress. Attach the straps to the buttons and TA DA! Cute little Easter dress!!

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Enjoy,  Happy Easter and

Happy Sewing

-Dani X<3

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blog.multi.taskerHi Guys, I hope everyone is enjoying the Anna Maria Horner Multi-Tasker Sew along! We are all so excited that you chose to join us on this fabulous journey to an awesome tote bag.

In this post we are going to go over a couple tricky parts of making the the tote. This bag already has great instructions to follow but we are here to help if you have any problems along the way, so don’t hesitate to ask us any questions that you have about any part of the pattern.

Alright so by now you should have the inside of your tote done, which was pretty simple right? Okay now we are going to move on to constructing the outside of the bag, which looks much more complicated then it actually is.

Now you have 4 pieces to constrict the outside of your bag: 2 pocket pieces and 2 exterior pieces. They suggest that you use fusible facing on the exterior pieces to help your bag stand better.

Multi-Taker2First your going to take one pocket piece and one exterior piece and sandwich them together with wrong sides out matching the curved part of the pattern piece. its okay that the pocket piece is longer at the top because it will be folded over later to keep the straps in place.  Pin and sew.  Notch the curve so that it will turn right side out more smoothly. Now you are going to take the other pocket piece and sandwich it to the same exterior piece that you just sewed the other pocket to matching up the other curves with wrong sides facing out and follow the same steps. now your going to do the same thing with the other exterior piece matching up the curves with wrong sides facing out and sew and notch. As you can see from the photo above  you’re basically making a box here with opposite sided in matching fabric.  Make sure the you do not sew the sides together, just the curves because the sides get sewn in later.

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Okay, so now we can sew the sides. So what your going to do is pull the pockets up and match the sides together and pin and then match the sides of the exterior pieces together and pin. We are going to do one stitch here to sew the pocket sides and the exterior sides together, the instructions kinda make this a little more complicated then it seems, don’t be scared, its super easy! The repeat on the other side and your sides are done, for the most part the next part is also not as complicated as it seems. Multi-Tasker5

So now pull the pockets out and flatten them too look like the photo, I wish there was a better diagram of this in the instructions because i got a little confused here but once I figured it out, it was like “oh duh.” any how once it looks like this you take just the pocket panel and sew the bottom together completing the pocket.  Now pin the pocket panel to the exteriors just as its shown here to make the one pocket into two pockets when you turn it right side out. So pin down the pocket and flip it inside out and then we stitch in the ditch!Multi-Tasker7

So here is my bag shown pinned and we are just going to follow the seam of the side and stitch in the ditch like this:

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Make sure to just follow where the exterior is, you don’t want to stick too high because it will make your pockets wonky.

Now we should sew the exterior bottoms together.

Multi-Tasker9First just stitch the bottoms together and then we are going to do the same box stitches that we did for the interior of the bag.

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Snip the triangles and you have completed the exterior of your bag! Yay! See , so far this tote is super easy and fun!

Join us again same time next week for the next part of the tote!

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* note, the photo above is taken before I sewed my bottom in so that’s why it might not look exactly like yours, in fact yours should look better ;-)

 

Happy Sewing

-Dani X<3

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alterations

 

The Violet blouse from Colette is one of my all-time favorite patterns. I’ve already made it several times as-is from the pattern with no adjustments. I love it in dotted swiss and cotton voile. As per Colette’s usual M.O., Violet has a sweet vintage flair with it’s peter pan collar and gathered sleeves. However, calling on the latest spring trends for inspirations, I wanted to transform this classically styled pattern into something particularly on-trend for the coming season. This look was achieved by a few easy alterations that you can do too with minimal sewing experience.

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First the fabric choice: If there’s one thing that I’m seeing everywhere right now, it’s chiffon! The baroque floral polyester chiffon that I chose also reminds me of all of the graphic prints that have been popping up in boutiques and major retailers alike.

Making this blouse in chiffon meant that I ditched doing any of the facings that this pattern called for, even the front placket facings since I thought that it would look awkward in the sheer fabric. Instead I did a wide double-roll hem for the button placket to give it stability.

I also decided to make this variation sleeveless for the warm months ahead so I finished the arm holes with double fold bias tape stitched to the inside instead of sleeves.

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I also wanted to show off the beautiful chiffon I chose,so I added a few inches of width to the lower back pattern piece to create more ruffles at the yolk.

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And while one of my favorite aspects of the original Violet is the peter-pan collar, I decided to ditch it for a big ol’ neck bow; another feature I love on tops. I made this by cutting a strip of fabric about 5″ wide from selvage to selvage, folding it in half, and attaching it to where the collar would normally go. I then pressed and top-stitched the ends closed.

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I also decided to create a high-low effect (another trend that’s absolutely everywhere) by cutting the back longer than the front and curving the hem.

I finished all of my seams with French seams (my preferred method when working with chiffon; it’s easy and looks clean) and hemmed it all with a narrow double rolled hem.

That’s it! These are easy alterations that anyone can do!

-remove facings from the equation

-replace sleeves with bias tape

-add fullness to back piece

-replace collar with long strip

-taper the hem line

I can’t wait to wear my new blouse absolutely everywhere!

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Get Ready! Get Set! Let’s sew!! Let’s get this sew along started!

First, we’ll start with a little inspiration to get the ball rolling for you if you haven’t chosen your fabrics yet. Don’t forget you can get a 10% discount on all your supplies if you sign up for the sew along. Submit your photos by March 29th to enter to win a $50 gift certificate to Hart’s Fabric!

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We are doing things a little differently for this sew-along! We are going to walk you through this pattern using detailed pictures and re-worded instructions so if you come across a difficult part of the pattern, hopefully our supplemented instructions will get you through it. If you have any questions or get stuck on any part of the bag, feel free to leave a comment here or ask us in tje store for help!

Now let get started with this bag!

In case it helps, here’s a photo of how I layed out my fabric and pattern. For the lining I re-traced the pattern on folded paper so I could open it up all the way. I always recomend using a rotary cutter and board for cutting projects out. It allows you to use less pins amd cut out much faster. Bags are the perfect project because the fabric fits well on a matt.

Pattern-Layout

 

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The first step in the construction process is to sew the lining. The two seams are the center front seams, not sides seams as usual. First sew one of the center seams (doesn’t matter which one as pictured above left.)

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Next, prepare the inner pocket. Using half-inch seam allowance fold under the four courners and top-stitch. Then attatch the extra little tab (I feel this is optional). I re-inforced this tab by sewing over it a few times.

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 Pin the pocket in place on your bag and stitch it down. As you can see in the picture the end result has three lines of stitching along three edges and one line accross the top. I wanted to make my phone fit well in the inner pocket so I used it to mark the sew line. Using a square edge I drew a line with chalk and then top stitched the pocket.

Once you are done with your pocket, sew the bottom seam.

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Fold the bottom of the bag so the seams line up. This allows you to accurately sew the corners. Then use a straight edge to mark where you will sew.

 

That’s it for the lining for now! Any questions so far? Let us know and keep an eye out for next weeks post where we will assemble the majority of the outside.