On my latest project, the Margo Blouse, I added some details to the yoke. The simple and fun to do details make this top special. The yoke on this blouse lends itself to embellishment, decorative stitching, embroidery, lace or contrasting fabric. To this blouse, I added reverse bobbin work to the front and back yoke and hand stitching to the placket.
Reverse bobbin work is done entirely on the machine. DMC embroidery floss is hand wrapped on the bobbin (all strands) and regular stitching thread is loaded in the top of the machine. I lengthened my stitch and stitched from the wrong side of the fabric. I have a detailed tutorial here for more details. Here's how to add it to the yoke:
I wanted to add a touch of gold to the yoke so I after I added the mini ricrac, I hand stitched DMC floss around the narrow parts of the ricrac. I've seen lots of pics of embellished ricrac and have been looking for a chance to try it myself. I love the little detail.
I have a Pinterest board with more ideas for the Margo yoke. I'd love to see your makes!
I haven't joined in on a sew a long or sewing challenge in a while (mostly because of time) but the Marfy Remnant Challenge 2020 hosted by Andrea at Sew To Fit, seemed like a fun one to do and came at the perfect time. The rules are simple, choose a pattern and make it up using remnant and scraps. Andrea suggests using a Marfy blouse pattern but I chose to use my Margo Blouse pattern instead. Right away I knew it would be the right pattern to adjust for using small scraps of fabric.
I made an epic mess in my sewing room when I pulled out my scraps, but early on I realized I had PLENTY of scraps to work with (oddly shaped but workable) and probably enough to make two projects. I didn't purchase anything to make this blouse and even used bits of vintage trim and left over DMC embroidery floss to finish it. All scraps were from previous garments:
The style of the Margo Blouse really lends itself to a project like this and here are the changes I made, mostly to accommodate the small scraps I had:
The yoke is my favorite part of the blouse. I added some reverse bobbin work to the front and back and added a simple stitch to the ric rac on the placket. I'll add a post about how I detailed the yoke next week.
I thoroughly enjoyed this project as it felt good to use up these well loved fabrics and create something from pieces that would otherwise go to waste. I encourage you to check out Andrea's other entries and maybe try to make one yourself!
More next week!
Today I have a video that I hope will make your life a whole lot easier. I'm working on a sleeveless version of the Margo Blouse for the MarfyRemnantChallenge sew along hosted by SewToFit. It's been a fun project that I've made entirely of scraps from my scrap box.
I've made a few changes to the pattern to make if work for my scraps including splitting the front yoke and making it sleeveless. The video illustrates a technique that allows you to enclose the armhole seam without sewing. It's a fun and satisfying!
I will share more about the project soon!
So really, how many times can you use a pattern? Time, money and space are all valuable to us and as sewists, using a pattern multiple times is a great way to use the resources we have. Today, I bring you a quick blog post packed with lots of photos to show how, with the "$15 Summer Pattern Bundle" that includes the Morrison Top and Dress and the Coffeehouse Pant PDF patterns, you can create loads of garments.
I start with the Morrison Top and Dress pattern which can be made up in both a knit and woven fabric. This simple pattern (the top is only 3 pieces) can be made up as a maxi-dress, an elegant silk shell, paired with the Coffeehouse Pants a faux jumpsuit, flouncy dress and a casual t-shirt.
There's more inspiration out there in ready to wear and Pinterest (check out the Morrison Board). I even have a sewing friend that made 5 beautiful pair of summer PJ's using the Morrison Top and Coffeehouse Pant patterns. I'm inspired!
The Coffeehouse Pants are also a quick sew and fun made up as a beachy pant but also nice in a plaid or striped suiting. You can add a button placket to the hem (there's a post here) or a drawstring or even a paperbag waist.
The Coffeehouse Pinterest board has more ideas including playing with stripes and adding embroidery.
These are just 2 patterns that I love but there are so many more we can use to build our wardrobes. The options for reusing a pattern are really endless!
I'm working on a project using up some remnants that I will share soon!
Have fun sewing!
I recently made a pair of super soft Coffeehouse Pants in a rayon/linen blend. Now those of you with any experience with stripes, know it can take some finesse to make them look good. In the case of an uneven stripe, the school of thought has been that they can't be matched. But I'm here to say that they can!
We should start by defining an uneven stripe. An uneven stripe has different stripe colors and widths that don't form a symmetrical pattern. Here is an example of pants in uneven stripes that haven't been matched:
Usually when we make pants we attempt to match the stripes in the center front and center back so they form a "V" shape. But here, there's no match at center front. Here's how to fix it.
Normally when we lay out fabric, we fold the fabric in half lengthwise. With an uneven stripe, you get stripes that don't line up. If you look at the red stripes in the pic below, you can see they're almost opposite in the lengthwise fold.
The solution comes in the way you fold the fabric before layout. If you fold your fabric on the CROSSGRAIN, you can avoid this entirely. In the photo below, I folded the fabric crosswise and now all the stripes line up:
Since the fabric was folded on the crossgrain, my pant pattern pieces were laid out side by side:
Here's the match I got on the center back seam:
It's so simple but a complete game changer! Keep the crosswise fold in mind before purchasing your fabric for an uneven stripe project so you're certain to buy enough fabric.
I hope this helps all of you!
Stay well and keep sewing,
A sewing project can start forming from different inspirations. Sometimes it's a fabric, or a need I have in my closet but in this case it came from ready to wear. I've seen some adorable striped pants around and couldn't wait to make my own.
These pants are from Madewell and since I love elements of both I combined them into one pant. I added a button placket at the hem and made a channel elastic waistband. These are easy additions to an already simple pant, but the details really make it special.
I chose a linen/rayon blend uneven stripe as the fabric and paired it with the Coffeehouse Pant pattern. Here are the changes I made to get the look I wanted:
I was able to use the waistband pattern as is and just added 3 rows of stitching each 1/2" apart. I used this nifty seam guide foot I have for my Janome machine to keep all the channels even. I'm really happy with how it came out and the band is really comfortable.
To make the placket, I added an extension at the outside hem on both the front and back pieces.
I'll be adding a blog post soon on how I worked with the uneven stripe. It can be done, so those of you who shy from these fabrics, don't dismay because they can be tamed. Stay tuned!
The Coffeehouse Pant PDF pattern is combined with the Morrison Top/Dress PDF pattern in a "Summer Bundle" for just $15!
Happy sewing, friends! I hope you're all well.
The summer sewing continues with the first maxi I've made in quite a while even though I wear them all the time. The Morrison Top and Dress pattern has turned out to be the basis for this summer's wardrobe. It's easy, quick and since I'm home most of the time right now, comfortable.
I purchased 2 yards of this double brushed poly online with the idea of making a dress or jumpsuit. When I got it I figured it might be too much print for a jumpsuit (plus how did I think I'd get a jumpsuit out of 2 yards?) and better in a dress. I had just enough for a maxi, whew!
I measured my favorite maxi and made the skirt the same 41" length. After cutting, it went together in under 2 hours so it turned out to be a satisfying make. The total project was less than $20 because I already had the pattern (of course, but it's $10 on the website) and the thread. It will also travel well as this fabric doesn't wrinkle. What a dream!
I did end up making that jumpsuit and I'll be sharing with you very soon!
Be safe friends!
Jumpsuits are all the rage, both in the stores and in the pattern books. I’ve been inspired by all the different versions out there (I love this one from Made By Laquana) but I have to admit, I’ve been reluctant to make one since I really don't want to deal with the "operational issues" that come with wearing a jumpsuit. The best part of sewing, however, is we have the opportunity to solve these fashion issues that might otherwise hold us back. I made up two of my most used patterns in the same fabric and now have my faux jumpsuit and as a bonus, two additional separates for my wardrobe.
I'm excited to be a guest blogger for Cali Fabrics and have the opportunity choose fabric from their large collection of knits for my "jumpsuit". The emerald green double brushed poly from Cali Fabrics was my jumping off point for this project because I knew I wanted something comfortable and in a beautiful color (it comes in a large selection of both solids and prints, too!). If you haven’t used double-brushed poly before, it’s definitely a knit to try. It’s stable (keeps it’s shape), soft, washable and doesn’t curl when you work with it. If you’re new to knits and need something light to mid weight, this is a great place to start. And on top of it all, it’s pretty wrinkle free so it travels well. The fabric has a 59" inch usable width and took 4 yards to make the top, pants and tie.
I paired the Morrison Top and Coffeehouse Pant patterns (both are in a "Summer Bundle" sale for $15!) because they are versatile enough to adapt to a project like this. Needless to say, I have several versions of these patterns already in my closet but reinventing them as a jumpsuit makes them look completely different. I sewed the top in a straight size 6 and made a few easy changes to the pant pattern to give it the “jumpsuit” look I was after.
Here are the changes I made:
Widened the pant leg 4”:
At the pant hem, I added 1" to the width at both the inner and outer leg and blended the seams.
Added 4” to the rise:
I raised the rise on the front, back, pocket and pocket facing pieces. This included 2 1/2” to bring it to true waist and 1 1/2” for a fold over casing.
Used 3/4” elastic:
Instead of the 1 1/2” the pattern calls for, I used narrower elastic since it would hit at the true waist.
Made a fold over casing instead of a waistband:
This reduced bulk at the waist.
Added a 3” x 58” self tie.
I cut a 7" x 59" piece of fabric, folded it over, right sides together, and stitched.
As I was making this outfit, I realized this would be a great option for a capsule wardrobe. Make up these two pieces in a navy or black double brushed poly and you'll have a great foundation for a mini wardrobe. Add a striped cardigan and floral skirt and you'll have a weekend getaway capsule that's easy to pack and wrinkle free. So many projects, so little time!
I want to thank Cali Fabrics for the beautiful fabric and inspiration. It's always a pleasure working with you and your gorgeous fabrics!
Time, money and space are all valuable resources so reusing our sewing patterns is a great way to make the most of all of them. Today, I bring a quick post loaded with pics showing multiple ways to use the "$15 Summer Pattern Bundle" that includes the Morrison Top and Dress and Coffeehouse Pant PDF patterns. It's amazing that two simple patterns can turn in to so much!
The Morrison pattern can be made up in both woven and knit fabrics and a top and dress. Here are versions that include an elegant shell, casual t-shirt, knit summer dress, maxi dress and paired with Coffeehouse Pants a faux jumpsuit. You can add a flounce or contrast bands for even more options.
Even more inspo can be found in ready to wear and online. I love these options from the Morrison Pinterest board.
The Coffeehouse Pant pattern works as summery beach pants, casual everyday pants and even dressed up for work. You can add top stitching, trims, a flat front waistband and use lots of fabrics including seersucker, linen to suitings and ponte knit.
More inspiration here from Pinterest including embroidery on the pocket and hem. I also have a post on adding a button placket to the hem. I have a sewing friend that made up 5 beautiful sets of pajamas using the Coffeehouse Pant and Morrison Top pattern bundle. They're beautiful and comfortable and so easy to make.
I'm working on a new project using my left over scraps .I'm looking forward to sharing soon!
Once it starts creeping into the 90's here, I begin dreaming of summer shift dresses (check out my Summer Frock Pinterest Board), The ideal dress is comfortable in the heat, versatile enough to work in (water plants, sew and run errands too) and look good enough to go out to dinner because let's face it, who wants to cook when it's this hot?! Enter the Margo Dress!
As many of you know, one of my goals as a pattern designer is to create versatile patterns that can be used over and over. It's so much easier to start with a base pattern that you know works and use it as a jumping off point for creative and unique pieces. The Margo Blouse is one such pattern.
I used 2 yards of iridescent linen from my stash and coordinating DMC embroidery floss for the contrast stitching. Here are the changes I made:
Making the dress shorter or adding tiered ruffles would also make a beautiful romantic dress for the summer. Embroidery or lace added to the yoke would make a fun, bohemian feel. So many options! I have a Margo Blouse Pinterest board for even more ideas.
Happy Sewing, Friends!
Hi! I'm Diane, a wife, mom, sewing teacher and pattern designer from sunny Southern California. I share my sewing adventures here on the Blue Dot Blog formerly Gatorbunnysews. For more info click here.