Let's start with the apology. We're really, really sorry that we've dropped the ball with our Beyond the Basics series. The series will continue, but we're going to have to take a couple of weeks break. We do have a good excuse though.
We're going to be on Project Run and Play! Both of us are just so excited. We couldn't believe it when we received an email from Liz and Elizabeth at Simple Simon and Co. We have been doing lots of planning and are feeling very inspired. One of the best things is that it gives us time to actually sew together, which despite our name, we don't get to do very often.
We do have a mini tutorial for you, though. One of the things that we made for last season's PR and P sew-a-long was Mart's dinosaur jacket. We have had lots of requests for a tutorial. Here it is! Actually, it's only a mini tutorial because it's super simple to make. We're just going to show you how to put the dinosaur spikes in the lining. Remember the jacket?
Click read more if you'd like to make your very own!
So it's time for my skirt tutorial. It's once again...um... fairly basic, but I really struggled with ideas for this one. Lizzy loves the finished product and has named it the lollipop skirt. That's probably because of the lollipop bribe that I had to give her so that I could take some photos.
Like Maryanne, I also decided to 'create' my fabric, then make up the skirt. Unlike Maryanne (who is the mathematical genius of the family) my fabric creation requires no maths. I sewed lots of strips together and then went crazy with the triple stitch on my machine. Complicated, huh?
The only real addition that I made were some cute (and useful!) pockets. Both my kids love pockets....
The buttons are just pretend, though. See?
If you'd like to learn how to make your own, just click on read more...
The sewing god is certainly not smiling on me this week. There have been broken needles, I have run out of sewing thread (in the perfect colour, of course!) I have made crucial mistakes in cutting, Martin has been sick. I'm sure you get the general idea of the week that has been (and it's only Monday... wow!)
Why am I telling you this? This week's tutorial from me is going to be a little late. I know you're all waiting with baited breath and on the edge of your seats, but never fear, I will be back towards the end of the week.
I just realised that we haven't yet announced the winner of our giveaway (apologies). The winner is Martha. Martha, please contact us with your email address as soon as possible and we will post your package off to you.
In the meantime we've been over at Whip Up explaining the rationale behind our current series. Pop over and take a look. And if you really can't wait to do something with your elastic waisted skirt, here's a tutorial for a faux placket skirt that I prepared earlier (like a year earlier!) Enjoy - and see you all soon!
The next pattern that we're going to have a look at in our 'Beyond the Basics' series is the elastic wasted skirt. Pattern is a fairly generous term for this one actually. Your basic elastic waisted skirt is a rectangle. Yep... that's right. That's all it comes down to.
If you are looking for some instructions on how to make an elastic waisted skirt there are about 27,000 tutorials that will show you how. Ok, so maybe that's a bit of exaggeration, but not really. The Simple Skirt from Dana at Made is probably the gold standard in elastic waisted skirt tutorials, but there are lots of other fantastic instructions out there, too.There is a whole collection of skirt tutorials at Project Run and Play. Go and check them out!
While making an elastic waisted is exciting (and quick...!) look at some of the fantastic ways you can alter and embellish them.
Click on each image for its source
Feeling inspired? Good... pop back later in the week to see how Maryanne and I alter our elastic waisted skirts.
See you then!
So, I have called my A-line dress re-make the Last days of Summer Dress. I like this little dress so much I really wanted to call it the "I hope she doesn't grow too much before next summer because I really hope she can where it then dress" but maybe that title is just a tad too wordy! Interestingly, today is the first truly hot day we have had in Sydney all summer, so maybe there will still be lots of opportunity to wear it.
I would like to say there was no bribery involved in this photo shoot, but a picture tells a thousand words. It took a lollipop and a play with a favourite cousin to get these pictures and even that was pushing my luck!! If you would like to make the dress that Lizzy is wearing, Caroline's tutorial is here.
In today's tutorial I will show you how to:
In this tutorial I use the term "Master pattern" This is just your original A-Line Dress pattern that has no seam allowances include. Trace this off and make all your alterations to this master pattern. It makes the whole drafting process much easier to not have seam allowances included. Once you are happy with the changes you have made, add back your seam allowances before cutting. I will say this over and over in this tutorial. Boring and repetitive I know, but so much better than realising you have cut out your pattern without seam allowances (I know from experience!)
Caroline apologised for her photos in her last post, I can only admit that mine a worse. As the tutee progresses you will have many insights. Among other things - I sew day and night and when desperate regularly use my flash, I am terrible at trimming threads as I go and my lawn needs some tlc and a good mow. There is photographic evidence to support all these statements! So I am really, really sorry.
Another warning. I am bilingual and ambidextrous when it comes to the whole inches/centimetre thing. I concretely use a 1cm seam allowance but in some places my brain just works better in inches. I will point this out as I go along. Sorry for any confusion!!
If you are brave enough to read on, click on the read more button...
So this is my take on the a-line dress. It's really simple to make up. So simple, infact, that it barely qualifies as being 'beyond the basics'! That's why I've called it the 'just' beyond the basics dress...
It has a gently gathered neckline and some waist ties to give it some shape. I really like inserting ties into the side seams. They stay on nicely and you don't lose them in the wash!
If you're a regular reader of our blog you'll know that my four year old Lizzy has an aversion to wearing anything other than dresses. This dress is so comfy it's our 'wear instead of shorts' substitute. It's summer here in Sydney and it's perfect for hot days - it's baggy, loose and cool. Here's a similar one (no gathering around the neck) that I made ages ago.
I made this one up in Liberty. Every time I sew with Liberty I fall more in love with how beautifully it sews up. It's the most amazing fabric ! That said, if you want to go at having making one of these dresses, don't forget our golden rule of pattern alteration. Repeat after me 'Don't use your favourite/most expensive fabric the first time you alter a pattern.'
If you'd like to make one of your own, click on read more to find out how you can do so. It's really easy... promise!
Week one, The Basic Bodice has flown past with a round up and tutorials from Caroline and I.
Have you had a go at playing with a bodice pattern yourself?
If you have, please let us know. We'd love to see what you have come up with. Even if it is a project you have worked on a long time ago, inspire us! Leave us a link in the comments section or email us via our Contact Us Page. We would love to do a round up of other peoples work during this series.
This week we will be looking at the A-Line dress, hoping to inspire you to cut up your pattern, play with it, reconstruct it and sew something truly unique.
So, let's begin by taking a look at some dresses that use an A-Line pattern as a starting point.
Click on each image for its source
Inspirational isn't it?
So, let me tell you a little secret... The bodice from last week was just our A-Line dress pattern shortened. So you could do the reverse - just lengthen out your bodice pieces and widen it out a little over the hips. Dig around your patterns - even if you have only done a little bit of sewing, you'll probably find the pattern you'll need. If you can't find one at home every major pattern brand will have a child's A-line dress in its collection. Or, find an A-line dress in your child's wardrobe and trace off a pattern.
Here is what it should look like:
So, now it is your turn...
Any of the techniques we showed you last week would work well on a dress. So you already know how to make ruffled sleeves, use bias tape and make a front button placket...
And you can make a contrasting facing and draft up some sleeves.
Do you want to learn something new?
Caroline and I will both have tutorials this week with more inspiration for the A-line dress.
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Today it's my turn to play with the basic bodice pattern. This is what I have come up with – the Colour Pop tunic. It has a contrasting facing (the “Pop” bit) and some sleeves with some inverted pleats at the shoulder. I’ll show you how to draft and sew both of these features in today’s tutorial.
I am still so happily amazed at the variety of permutations and combinations you can make with a good basic pattern. If you haven’t checked out Caroline’s Modern Vintage top you can find it here. We have used the same bodice pattern to make both of these tops.
Watch out next week for our Basic A line dress round up and tutorials from both Caroline and I. We'll show you how to vary this pattern to make two very different dresses
If you would like to make your own Colour Pop Tunic grab your basic bodice pattern and click on the Read More button to find out how.
Have you got your bodice pattern ready? Today we're going to use it make this...
If you need some more information about bodice patterns, have a look here.
This tutorial has quite a lot of assumed knowledge - it's not for the complete beginner but for someone who feels reasonably confident with the basics of sewing and wants to experiment with their basic patterns a little more.
Through this tutorial I hope that you come to understand a few things about pattern alteration -
If you'd like to see how I took a basic bodice pattern and made it into the modern vintage top then just click read more.
Oh... and before you start sewing - don't forget we have a giveaway on at the moment. If you'd like to enter, the odds are definitely in your favour!
Finally! We're both really excited to start our very first series - Beyond the Basics. Our aim is to show you how, with a few basic shapes, you can create a multiplicity of garments. You can make exactly what you want!
What do all of the gorgeous girls tops below have in common? The all start with a basic pattern. Look at all of the things that you can do once you have a bodice pattern!
Click on each image for its source
It's hard to believe that all of these tops are based on one shape, isn't it?
So, to start at the very beginning, what does a bodice pattern look like?
Just like this! (Apologies for the weird colouring... it's the result of a green cutting board and trying to take a pre-dawn photo...)
Where can you get one?
There are lots of tutorials to show you how you can draft your own using a pre-made garment.
Jess at Craftiness is not optional has one here and here is another one from icandyhandmade. You also find that many patterns that you've purchased (you know - the stash in the back of your cupboard!) will be based on a bodice too. You just need to have a look for the pattern shapes above.
This week we're going to show you two amazing things that you can do with a bodice patterns so make sure that you've got your pattern ready to go.
Phew... this post is way longer than I intended. If you've read this far, you definitely deserve a giveaway!
If you'd like your very own copy of 'Getting the Most From Your Sewing Machine' and a yard each of Miss Mod by Chelsea Anderson and Tea Garden by Dena Designs, then leave us a comment. You've got until midnight on Sunday February 26th to enter and we're happy to send internationally.
Good luck and see you all later this week for a tutorial!