Lucy in the sky- a little larking around

I was very excited to see princess seams on the latest pattern from 5 out of 4.  Lucy can be a top, tank, tee or dress.  It is the beginning of summer here and tanks and shorts are my absolute go to from March through October.  Perfect for spending time in the garden or behind the sewing machine.  Even without this strange trip of 2020, that is where I would be.  Maybe behind a machine in class, but that is a story for another day, whilst in a boat on a river, or something.

I really love the look of a color blocked princess seamed anything, those vertical lines are a body’s good friend.  Searched my stash for two compatible knits that were color coordinated and similar weight.  Thank you C19 for sparing me the urge to run to the fabric shop.  I kept searching.  My first go was a snugger knit than the pattern calls for.  A wicking knit that is monarch purple on one side, with a diagonal black (think twill) on the other side.  I serged the seams with black thread, then top stitched.  Bound the arms and neckline, instead of bands, and just serged the hem.  Voila!  One reversible top.  Which do you prefer?

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Due to my fabric choice, which was fun to make, but a little more snug around my torso than preferred, I continued to consider my stash. In the meantime, I was able to sneak   in a Lucy for my mini mini me out of the slivers of scraps.  For tips on tiny armbands, check out this post.  When she gets a little bigger and can request a “princess” dress, I will make one that has the lace up back option it is really cute.  When my daughter was small, I would purchase a half yard extra for my project, and make something for her from the same fabric.  She loved matching me and I told her that wearing it was like wearing a hug from me all. day. long.  Hugs….

Next up, more polyester, which I normally shun, but this was in my stash and has holes in it, so breathable, right?  I made a little change or two as follows.  On the side pieces only, I swung the hem out from just above the waistline.  Then, I curved it upwards.  It was very early or very late depending on perspective, so I used a handy thing.  A #10 envelope.  A bit more than 4 inches.  I curved the hem up on the side (on front and back side pieces only) by this much and out about half the width of the envelope (2ish inches).  And went for it.  I banded the neckline and bound the arm openings, narrow roll hemmed and happy to wear it in the garden on Mother’s Day.  For polyester, it was perfectly comfortable.  Planning to plant some flowers that grow so incredibly high, you know, the variety that tower over your head. First year planting Dahlias and some Mexican Torch Sunflowers are on the agenda this year.

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Lucy plays exceptionally well with Lola Shorts.  Stella Shorts were in the running for this #MMMay2020outfit as well.  A Rita Skirt would dress it up nicely.  So many choices!

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Next up, a dress with a ruffle hem, or maybe sleeves.  And more from the scraps for my mini mini, who noticed we had on the same fabric for our super quick photo shoot, and now says “grandma” via Face Time.  Check out the Lucy Bundle.

I really love a good basic pattern that can be spun off different directions.  The pattern includes instructions on how to move the bust curve to fit your shape.  I got to move mine down commensurate with 6 decades of gravity/multiple years breastfeeding, or a couple inches.  It looks great on everybody!

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This post contains affiliate links.  It costs you nothing to use them and I may earn a small commission from the pattern designer if you do.  Thank you!  Happy sewing – Joan

 

Smooth waistband finish

Spring will soon be here, so better hurry to finish those pants I bought fabric for in the fall!  After making the standard crotch depth adjustments dictated by my flexible ruler, I sewed two pair along side a student who was making her first pair in black. After our first session, the waistband and hems were all that remained to be done.  I thought I would try something a little bit different.  I chose the waistband labeled “contoured”.  The ends of the rectangles were at a slight angle.  Pattern instructed me to cut four. I sewed each pair into a loop. When sewing the last side seam, I  left an inch long gap in the seam.

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Sew from the top edge to an inch past center.  Skip one inch and sew the remainder of the seam.

The loop with the hole will be your lining piece.  Clean finish the longer edge of this one.

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The waist band lining is the loop with the gap.  Finish the bottom (longer) edge of that loop.

Sew both loops right sides together at the top edge (the shorter edge).   Measure a length of elastic around your waist, where the top of the pants will go.  Make sure this is tight enough to keep your pants up, but not so tight to be uncomfortable. Sew it in a loop, and mark the half and quarter points.  Mark the half way points between the seams on your waist band.

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After the two loops are sewn together (rst) around the top edge, attach the elastic to only the seam allowance with a stretch stitch.  In this photo, I overlapped 1/4 inch and zig zagged.

You can see in the photo above that I used grey serger thread.  In order to keep the lighter thread from showing on the right side, I added a short narrow zig zag in a thread that more closely matches.

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Elastic in any width can be used. This is 1 inch wide, and slightly longer than the fabric waistband. This causes a little rippling on the hanger, but is smooth and comfortable when worn.

Fold the elastic towards the lining piece of your waistband and stitch it down to the lining with a wide serpentine stitch.

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Elastic needs to be secured to the lining.  In a big understitch fashion, using the widest serpentine stitch, I sewed the elastic to the waist band lining in two rows.  From the inside it looks like this.

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From right to left, zig zag stitch that secured the elastic band to the seam allowance, first row of serpentine, second row of serpentine.

Pin or clip your waistband in quarters, attach the right (unfinished side) of the waistband to the right edge of the pants, aligning the side seams.  Divide these sections in half again and pin or clip.  Stitch the waistband to the pants with a stretchy stitch and a half inch seam allowance all around the circle.  I was surprised at how much easing was needed.

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With the seam you just made tucked up under the waistband, lay the facing over top with the previously finished edge down towards the pants.  Pin so that the seam allowance is secured and pointing up.

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With the seam allowance tucked under the waistband, lay the lining over top, and pin around the circle through the seam allowance.  Flip  the pants over and top stitch along the bottom of the waistband.

9D003221-4E41-4059-BBAD-8106F87877B2 I used a short narrow zig zag and stretched while I sewed.  Remove each pin as you get to it.

About that small gap in the lining side seam we left earlier… if your waistband ends up not quite tight enough, that is an excellent spot to thread another piece of elastic through just enough to snug them up.

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Secret area left open to add more elastic later if needed.

 

Dubious about the gathers while sewing.  I put them on and by magic the gathering went away!
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By overlapping the facing, the multiple layers of waistline are dispersed and reduced at the point where waistband meets pants which reduces bulk.  Those small details add up to a nicer garment.

For these pants, I took photos of both the navy and purple Supplex I used.

The pattern used is here.  Another pattern that works would be this one.

These are my affiliate links for patterns.  At no cost to you, the designer may compensate me with a small commission when people use them to purchase a pattern.  Thank you for using these links.

Thanks for reading, and happy sewing! Joan

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adding pockets

I recently tested the Sheila top  and dress from 5out of 4 patterns.  It is part of their basics line, and has very detailed instructions.  A well drafted T shirt dress is a great layering piece, easy to accessorize.

One thing.  I need pockets.  Life hands you keys or a wallet, or something else that needs a spot to be.  Purses are great, but I like to travel light. I sew pockets in everything.  This is my new favorite method.

I drafted my own pocket here, but if you have Taylor, that pocket will work just fine.

  1.  Cut 4 pockets. Two sets of two mirrored pieces.

2.  On the wrong side of your dress front, mark where you would like the top of your pocket opening.  I made this one about 8 inches from the armcye.  I think that ended up just a tad high.  Somewhere between 9 to 10 inches would be more comfortable.  Make your top mark or notch at this point, and the next mark will be 5.5 inches below that.

3.  Align one pocket so that the top of the pocket is one inch above that start mark with the right side of the pocket facing the right side of the dress front.

4.  Stitch from mark to mark, being sure to secure your stitches at each mark with 3-4 back stitches.

5.  Clip into the seam allowance just to the end of the stitches.

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The top and bottom of the stitching is marked with a notch.

6.  Open out that pocket and under stitch.  Understitching helps to roll the pocket to the back so it looks tidy in the next step.

7.  Fold the pocket and seam allowances to the right, and stitch parallel to the seam line 1/4 inch away, catching the pocket and seam allowances in your seam. Start and stop your seam parallel to the first seam made in step 4.   The pins mark the stop and start spots below.

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Pocket seam opened and understitched on pocket side, with seam allowances included. Stitching is 1/4 from the seam.

8.  Fold the pocket back to the wrong side of the dress front.  Pull the seam allowances out at the top and bottom of your pocket opening.  You will have a sweet 5.5 inch indentation in the side of your dress front that looks like the photo below.  This is your pocket opening!

 

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9.  Top stitch that indentation starting at the edge of the fabric sew in about 1/2 inch, and turn, so you are stitching about 1/4 inch from the 5.5 inch opening of the pocket, then turn again and stitch off the edge.  Your seam will look like this [.

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Top stitching on the pocket opening.

10.  Next align the second pocket with the first.

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Second pocket placed on top of the previously sewn pocket.

10.  Stitch the edges of the two pockets together around the bottom around the side and over to the top.

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Serged edges of pocket ready to be top stitched.

11.  Pin or use wonder tape to adhere the pocket to the front of the dress and top stitch around the edge of the pocket where the serging is in the above photo. Use a stretch stitch, consider a double row of stitches!

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The open toe embroidery foot works great for maintaining an even edge.

12.  Baste along the side seam, so that the edges of the top and bottom of the pocket are secured, and the opening is still open.

13.  Make the other pocket.  Tip:  lay your dress flat to be sure pockets are even and symmetrical before top stitching the second one.

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Finished pocket secured into side seam and front of garment.

14.  When you are ready, stitch your side seams as you normally would, making sure to sew right up to the opening without closing it.

Enjoy wearing your garment with stitched down pockets.  Want to continue sewing fancy?  Try out a blind hem.

This post may contain affiliate links.

 

Variations on the “fly”

I can’t tell you how many times I have made up a pair of boxers from the First Choice boxer pattern, or how many copies I have purchased.  It is far and away my family’s favorite.

Lets face it, there comes a time when your kids will no longer wear something “Mom made” out in public.  That is a sad day for those of us with a need to sew. Years ago when we were potty training, I saw so many cute novelty fabrics at my LQS, that I just had to make something.  Then I found the First Choice Boxer pattern, and made up a few pairs for my 3 year old son.  I was tickled to find fabric with Scooby Doo and Blues Clues. He was intrigued with the fly.  They were sweet, cute, and he would wear them, not much else but, his older sisters were glad that he was not running around starkers like a 3 year old would given the choice. These fit the bill as they are not meant to be worn in public, and serve well as PJ or lounge wear.

Ironically, this turned into a long pair from flannel, and both daughters begged me to make them as gifts for all their friends, who in their teens would wear them in public.  Luckily now we are past that stage too.

My youngest is soon off to college and I let him know recently that we will need to weed out some of his older, now capri length and way too small pj pants as they are not fit to be seen in by someone other than his parents. And that is debatable.  Dug through my flannel stash and picked out a few pieces that would be acceptable “lounging around the dorm” pants.

Even more ironic, they make a great split slip for me (or pj pants) when lengthened and made from a lovely batiste or voile.