Category Archives: sew along

Birthday Business and Spring Palette Challenge 3

So we had PZ’s birthday party today and I managed to finish my dress in time to wear it for the big shindig. I used this tutorial, but added pockets. Its a bit shorter than I would usually wear, but I think it’ll be fine. I’ll just have to remember no bending at the waist!

It was a butterfly themed birthday party, as all of her birthdays have been, so I made this cake. I used a cake mold and this recipe. I also made cupcakes using this recipe. I cheaped out and used Betty Crocker frosting instead of making my own. As soon as I saw that the recipe called for me to use the double boiler I stopped reading and grabbed the store bought stuff. What can I say? It was already 10pm and I still had to finish the dress!

My crazy lack of cake decorating skills aside, the cake tasted wonderful! It has a lemon curd filling. Yum!

Sewn With Love Sew-Along Step 2: Making Up the Body of the Dress

Sorry this has taken so long to post. I’ve had the sewing part done for awhile now, but the blogging part to me longer. Okay, so Step 2 in our Sewn With Love Button-Through Dress Sew-Along is all about making up the body of the dress. (Look here and here and here if you need to catch up). We get a lot done in this step so please let me know if you’ve got any questions about anything.

First thing we do is lay out your ironed back piece right side up. Take one of your front pieces and place it right side down on top of the back piece, lining up the arm holes. I found that, because I’m such a great cutter, my back piece was longer than the front. As long as the arm hole parts line up, you can cut the bottom edge to line up later.

I've placed the right sides of one of the front pieces to the back piece and pinned.

Make sure the arm holes match up.

Once you have it lined up, pin it along the side edges. Sew the sides together and repeat this process with the other front piece. Now that both front pieces are sewn to the back piece, finish off the rough edges.

I've sewn the front and back pieces together, finished the raw edges with pinking shears and pressed them down.

Sew two gathering (basting) stitches along the top edge of the back piece and both front pieces. You want to keep long strings on the ends of all your stitched lines. If you’ve never gathered before, check out this tutorial.

I've basted along the top of the back piece and left a long string for gathering.

I've finished my basting seams and am ready to start gathering. *Note where I started each seam on the back piece.

I've gathered the back piece.

Now that you’re done gathering the back piece, its time to push it between the flaps of the yoke. Make sure that when your back piece is tucked in between the yoke the right side of the fabric is going in between the right side of the back yoke. (I messed this up the first time and had my dress pieces inside out after sewing. Oops!) Pin and sew.

I've put the back piece in between the yoke and pinned it. Make sure your back piece is on the back of the yoke.

I've sewn the back piece to the yoke.

You’re ready to do the same thing to your front pieces and the front part of the yoke. I suggest working with the lace side up so you don’t sew your lace by mistake. Pin and sew the front pieces to the yoke and you’re done with step 2!

I've gathered and pinned the front pieces to the yoke.

This is what it should look like from the inside with all your pieces put inside the yoke.

I've sewn the front pieces to the yoke - step 2 finished!

I’m done sewing step 3 so I’ll try and get the sew along posted some time this week. How is everyone doing with their dress? I’d love to see pictures when we’re all done!

Sewn With Love Sew Along (Button-Through Dress)- Section 1 Making Up the Yoke

For those of you who are just tuning in, I’m doing a sew along for Fiona Bell’s Sewn With Love Book. This is step 1 of the Button-Through Dress. I have already given the cutting instructions here.

I've matched up the shoulders and sewn up the seams

First thing you want to do, after ironing all your yoke pieces, is match the shoulders right sides together and pin the front pieces to the back. Sew along the shoulder seams with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Repeat for the yoke lining. You should now have what is pictured above.

I've pressed my shoulder seams

Now press your shoulders seams open, then fold and press the bottom of each yoke 1/4 inch to the wrong side.

I've folded and pressed the edges of my yoke

I've basted the neckline of my yoke

Put the wrong sides together then baste the yoke and lining together around the neckline. Pin and baste your length of broderie anglaise trim along the bottom edges of the front yoke pieces (this is optional. In my first dress I used ric-rak instead). The right side of the top edge of the trim should be facing the wrong side of the bottom edge of the outer front yoke.

I've pinned the top of the lace to the bottom edge of the yoke

I've sewn the lace onto the yoke and flipped the edges under.

I've finished making up the yoke

Spring Challenge Color Palette Week 1

Sarai, proprietress of Colette’s Patterns and Portland local, is doing a really cool sew along and I’m going to take part! Its the Spring Palette Challenge, a ten week sewing challenge where you choose a spring color palette and sew yourself a mini wardrobe using those colors. She has created a Forum where people can share their palettes, challenges, and final products.

My challenge will be to sew 3 pieces – a skirt, shirt, and dress in my selected color palette.

My spring palette is this below. Wish me luck and I’d love it if you want to sew along!



Sewn With Love Sew Along 1 – Cutting

The first Button Down Dress I made from Fiona Bell’s Sewn With Love book I cut all wrong. Its been too long since I made something using a pattern! Of course, I’m using patterned fabric that can only go one way which makes it a bit trickier. But no matter what kind of fabric you’re using, it is important to look closely at all of the cutting instructions on the pattern.

First things first, you want to print out all of the pattern pages for the Button Down Dress. You’re going to want to have some floor space or a big table before starting to tape all of the pages together.

Each page has a number in all four corners. Match the numbers together and tape the pages. You should end up with a big 3 page x 6 page grid.

Once you have them all taped, I suggest highlighting the cutting instructions on each pattern piece before carefully cutting them out. Pay special attention to the arrows that tell you which way the fabric should go and be aware that some pieces are both for the lining and the front pattern.

When you are cutting the Dress Front make sure you fold the fabric over so you are cutting both pieces at once. Same goes for the Front Yoke. You need to cut 2 lining pieces and 2 front pieces of the Front Yoke and if you don’t fold the fabric over and cut 2 at a time, the piece will be facing the wrong direction.

Each of the pieces in this last picture is actually two pieces. I just wanted to show what direction the fabric should be facing. There should be 20 pieces in all (one big back piece, 2 front pieces, 2 back yoke pieces, 4 front yoke pieces, 2 pockets, 2 pocket tops, 2 button plackts, 1 neckline piece, 2 armpit pieces, and two sleeves). The cutting took me about 1 1/2 hours. This dress will be for my oldest child and is a 5-6. If you haven’t ironed your fabric yet (like me, oops!) go ahead and iron the pieces now and next time we’ll get straight to sewing!

Just in case you’re interested, I watched How To Murder Your Wife while cutting this out. I love that movie. Such a classic!

*oops! My original post had the wrong number of cut pieces. It should be 20 with 2 button plackets