Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Flickr Friends: Kat from Sew Chibi

Today we have our final guest, Kat sharing her "Deck the Dress" with us.  Kat's signature style is bright, cheerful and brings such animation to her designs.  Take it away, Kat.....

Season Greetings Project Run & Play Readers!  I'm Kat and I blog over at Sew Chibi!  I'm so excited to be guest posting here today!!

So the holidays are upon us and with that heaps of holiday sewing am I right?!  I know most of us have at least one holiday dress we need to make for that special little girl in our life.  Heck, if you're like me, you have two holiday dresses to make!

Maybe you already have that special pattern picked out, or if you're like me, you tend to like do most of your drafting yourself.  Either way, today, I'm going to share with you a simple jumper style dress with some super fun additions to make the dress special.

In almost everything I make, I ask myself the question, "How do I make this fun for them to wear?"  Making a holiday dress opens a whole plethora of ideas for combining fun into dressmaking.  And you could adapt these additions to a little boys t-shirt or button up shirt, maybe even do some special cuffed pants.

So I came up with three additions during that brainstorm:
  • A quilted present border hem
  • Scattered present pockets to fill with holiday goodies
  • A cascading ruffle Christmas tree, trimmed to your delight!
The first two would work not only for Christmas but for Hanukkah too.  I can just picture a cute Menorah applique on a dress bodice right now!

 But the beauty of these things is that you can add one element or all three, whatever you like!  I had such a blast trimming a Christmas tree for a dress!  I choose to do some embroidery stitches that looked like garland and lights with the help of this website, but just think of the possibilities!! For the girls' dresses, I am going to make some hanging ornaments for the trees.  But I can just tell you, during the entire making of this dress, Azriella was over my shoulder pining for this dress (and yes, that pun was most definitely intended!).  She started telling me her plans for her dress immediately and kept proclaiming how "awesome" and how much she loved the dress.  So- is it kid approved?- Without a doubt: YES!!

In an effort to not make this the longest post ever, I am sharing the additions here and the dress pattern on my blog.  Funny how I thought, "I'll just keep it simple.", but it never really ends up that way!  Oh well!

So let's get started! 

What you will need for the Christmas tree:
  • a half to one yard of fabric (depending on how big you want to make your tree)
  • lots of embroidery floss (I went through at least 6+ skeins) but this optional.  If you don't want to do embroidery, don't feel you need to.  But do remember that both sides of the tree will be seen.  
  • matching thread for gathering the fabric
  • any optional additional trims you may want to use
  1.  Fold your fabric into quarters. Make sure one side has a single fold and one side has a double fold (with no raw edges).  Cut your fabric into quarter circles. Make sure that the small circle width is narrower than the medium circle and large circle (if you are going to make a big tree).  And remember that you will be gathering this a lot so keep that in mind.
  2. Cut up the middle of your small, medium, and, if applicable, large circles.
  3. Now you want to trim your small circle on one end about half it's width and gradually narrow your cutting towards the edge.  The opposite end of the circle "tail" should stay in tact.

4.  Match up the wide end of your smaller circle to one of the medium circle's ends.
5.  Match up the large end of short circle to short end of medium circle then repeat for large circle. Sew.
*I chose to make and use my own orange and gold polka dot bias tape so it looked a little like lights.  Do I think it's necessary to finish the edges? No!  I think it would look more tree-like if the edges frayed a little.  In the future, I will not bind the edges, but to each his own!

6. Stitch two lines of long basting stitches 1/4" apart along the inside of the circle.  Gather the inside edge of the now long circle to desired tree length.  Hem the bottom edge by folding it under twice 1/4", pressing, then stitching.

At this point I added my embroidery.  You could do it before you gather it I suppose, but I wanted to see exactly what it would look like as I went.  I am a complete embroidery novice, but this website is amazing.  I did an interlaced running stitch on one side with all different colors and on the other side I did a loose red pekinese stitch.  I went wayyyyyy overboard on how long I initially made my "tree" and ended up not using the "large circle" I had attached and embroidered.  Tough call to make since it took me days to embroider but thems the breaks eh'!?
If you want to do something simpler, I suggest cutting out small felt ornaments and attach them with embroidery floss.  Or you could craft fuse some woven prints and cut them out into shapes and attach them in the same manner.

7. Now it's time to attach the tree to your garment.  I started at the very top of the bodice and I stitched straight down, just inside the basting stitches.  You will need to move your garment out of the way to make sure it doesn't catch.
8. When you reach the bottom, angle the fabric 90 degrees in the opposite direction of the bottom ruffle.  You want it to have a rounded bottom.  Stitch the edge perpendicular to your original stitching line.
 9. Flip your tree over and topstitch all the way down the tree, making sure you are encasing your raw edges.
10.  When you come to the end, stop.  Let it just fall naturally.

Oh Christmas tree! Oh Christmas tree!  And you made one all on your own!!  I am looking forward to making the girls' cotton candy pink trees! YEAY!

Next,  let's make a present border hem.  This is pretty simple and it makes a big statement.  I chose to use mostly fabrics I used in previous holiday attire but you could color coordinate the entire look if you so choose.  I am a color nut so I tend to use a prismatic palette.  Anywho, let's get started!

What you will need for the present border hem:
  • Remnants of fabric!  (Yeay!)
  • Matching thread
  • Strip of lining that is about 1" shorter than your present length and as wide as your skirt.
  • Ribbon, ric rac, etc. for finishing the presents.
  • A template for your presents.  I made one out of freezer paper that was 4" wide by 5.5" long. This makes a finished present size of 3" x 3.5".
To start you have to take your skirt measurement and  divide it by the finished width of a single present.  For me, I was making a skirt that was 52" wide so I used 17 presents.  Cut out your presents and finish the long sides.

1. Apply trim to your present squares before you attach them.  Since pins tend to leave visible holes in ribbon, I suggest using scotch tape to hold down your trims for this. Repeat for all presents.
2. Stitch presents right sides together along one long edge. Repeat for each present.
3.  After all presents are stitched together, stitch them to the lining along the short and bottom edges.  Don't worry that the tops are not matched.

4. Match short ends forming a tube.  Stitch together.
5. Press lining under with the wrong sides facing making sure to use a pressing cloth.  You really don't want to melt the trim on your presents!!

6. Fold the present border hem towards the wrong side, matching the raw edges.  The presents should be no longer than the lining to ensure that the lining doesn't peak through the front.  Press.  Check the finished circumference of the skirt to the border hem.  The border's short end should be just one inch longer than the skirt.

 7. Finally stitch the border hem to the skirt.  Press the hem up.  That's it!  Super cute present hem!

Oooookay!  Now for the last touch!  Present Pockets!  These are even simpler than the border hem and are the best addition to the outfit because it means that not only do you get to stuff their stockings, but you get to stuff their dress as well!  How awesome is that!?!

What you will need for Present Pockets:
  • fabric remnants
  • complementing thread
  • ribbon, trims, etc.
For a 3.5" square pocket, cut W4.5" x L5" squares of fabric.  Finish the raw edges.  Apply trims.

Turn the top under 1/4" then again 1/4" towards the wrong side.  Press.  Topstitch.  Press all remaining edges under 1/4" and then pin them where you want them to be.  Keep in mind, if you're adding a tree, to make sure your presents are placed appropriately around it.
 As a standard, I like to add regular pockets to a lot of the dresses I make these days.  Kids love pockets, right?!  So I added inseam pockets which I learned to do a long time ago from the amazing LieR from ikat bag.  I highly recommend her pocket tutorials... and well, everything she does, but that's besides the point ;-)

And when you put them all together...

You get a totally festive dress your little one will L.O.V.E!!!!

Thanks so much LiZ and Elizabeth for having me!!!  It is such a pleasure!!  And P.S.-  if anyone wants the "how-to" on how to make the jumper dress yourself, pop on over to my blog, Sew Chibi, and check out the tutorial on that!  Happy Holidays Everyone!!!

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  1. Awww... this is so cute-- it's one of those dresses you just know your granddaughters will wear! I love it!

  2. Thanks Palak!!! That's very sweet!

    Thanks ladies as well! I just want to add really quick that I thought this was going up on Thursday so the jumper tutorial will be up then! Sorry about that everyone! That link will work tomorrow though!

  3. Amazing as usual Kat! Love all of the presents and that tree. :)

  4. Love your cheerful style! This reminds me of a Christmas tree skirt we had when I was growing up.

  5. Thanks everybody!!! BTW, the jumper tutorial is officially up and active!

  6. So much fun, as always! Great job. Fantastic details!