Saturday, September 29, 2012

And the Winner is...

The winner of my Blogiversary Giveway for the Roses are Red Apron is....

Amanda from Creative Cooks Everywhere blog!  Congratulations!

Thanks to all of you who entered and have a great weekend.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Vogue 8379 - Knit Wrap Dress #2

This is my second time making this dress.  My first review is here.  For my second dress, I ordered a purple ITY knit print from Gorgeous Fabrics.  It was $12/yd.  I didn't mind paying a little more than usual because I am SO picky with prints.  It's easy to find great prints for plus size ladies but there are very few florals on a smaller scale, like this one.

This knit was heavier and not quite as stretchy as my first attempt so I changed the pattern a bit.  I added 1/4" to the torso which was good anyway because the original pattern is quite short-waisted.  I also took a little more fullness out of the skirt.  I left the skirt long with the intention of trimming it off to be hemmed at my knees.  It is always better to start off with a skirt that is too long than to end up with not enough length.  In my previous post on this pattern, I also explain how I made a SBA to the pattern.

When I first constructed the bodice and put it on, I was horrified.  The edge of my fabric ended an inch above my waist and that wasn't even taking the seam allowance into consideration!.  This is because my fabric wasn't very stretchy.  I was so worried I'd have to cut a new bodice out.  However, when I sewed the skirt to the bodice, the weight of it pulled the waist seam down somewhat.  Whew!! That was a relief! It's still a 1/2" above my waistline but I think it looks okay.

I used a serger to sew all of the seams.  I used a twin needle to finish the neckline and sleeve hems.  This fabric was very forgiving and didn't bubble in weird places or stretch while I was stitching the hem.  If you're not used to working with knits, I'd recommend using a medium weight ITY knit like this one for this pattern.  I cut 2 1/2" off the skirt bottom edge before hemming with a twin needle.

I trimmed a little off the sleeve edge before hemming.  Once I hemmed it, I realized it was a little to long, which to me looks frumpy.  I ruched the sleeves to bring the hem up and because it adds a little spice to this otherwise basic design.  You can learn how to make ruched sleeves here with my tutorial.  This was simple and quick and a winner on the first try.

Overall I love the fabric and the fit --- I mean, this dress won't even wrinkle!  It's definitely going with me on my trip next week.  I'd give the pattern an 8/10 (with the few adjustments mentioned here and in my last attempt it's a 9).  I think I want to branch out and try other knit dress patterns but I wouldn't mind coming back to it in a few years for a third run.  Also, to all you moms to be out there, this dress would be great for access for breastfeeding.  It's so comfortable, it's literally like wearing a robe. Just don't wear it to the chiropractor like I did yesterday.  It's kind of hard to flip around an adjustment table in a wrap dress!

I am announcing the winner of my giveaway on Saturday.  If you haven't entered yet, click here to enter to win a cute retro apron.  See you Saturday!

Monday, September 24, 2012

How to Make Ruched Sleeves

It is the attention to details and embellishments that make self-sewn garments look like ready to wear clothing.  I decided to add some ruching to the sleeves of my wrap dress and today I will show you how I did it.  This works best when applied to knit fabric that has some stretch and is lightweight.  You can also add it to a plain sleeve for some pzazz.

Turn the sleeve wrong side facing out.

  Starting 1" below the top center of the sleeve cap (meets up with the shoulder seam) draw a line perpendicular to the edge of the sleeve.  Hopefully you can see my faint white chalk line.

 Now, baste 1/8" away from the line on both sides with the longest stitch length.  Make sure to leave the thread tails long, about 4".  Wrap all of the thread tails on the sleeve edge into a knot.  On the right side of the fabric, knot the two tails near the top of the sleeve cap together.

 Back on the wrong side of the fabric, hold the remaining two tails (near the top of the sleeve cap) and gather the fabric toward the sleeve edge.  When the gathers look how you like them, knot the two thread tails.

 Taking a piece of clear elastic just longer than your gathers, pin it on top and take it to the sewing machine.

Using a stretch needle, stitch down the center of the elastic, making sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of your gathers.

It should look like this once you're done.  I clipped the bottom edge into a 'V' so it wouldn't show from the other side.

Remove your basting stitches.  Do the same for the other sleeve, making sure that the ruching is even on both sides.  This process is quick and simple (it would have taken me less than 30 minutes had I not been taking pictures through out).


To win a cute retro apron, check out my giveaway on the previous post.  (I removed the annoying code verification.) I will choose the winner at the end of the week!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Happy 1st Blogiversary and Giveaway

Today is September 20th and it's my Blogiversary!

Last year I started The Petite Sewist as a way to document my sewing adventures, give petite advice and craft projects.  I've also loved creating tutorials to share as a guest blogger and making friends with all of you.  Thank you for reading my ramblings and for your wonderful comments.  It's been so much fun learning together.  I know I'm not as ambitious as some of the career bloggers out there, but I'm happy to say this blog is exactly what I wanted it to be: a fun creative outlet.

In celebration of The Petite Sewist being around for an entire year, I've decided to have my very first giveaway!

Remember my Roses are Red Apron Tutorial? I am giving away this cute half-apron (size S-M).

To win, you must be a follower of The Petite Sewist and you must comment below on your favorite of one of my projects or tutorials (you can find a list under my header).  To gain another entry, become a follower of my Facebook page and comment below saying that you are a follower.  To gain a third entry, post a link to this giveaway on your site and leave a comment with the URL.  

You must leave me a way to contact you via email in order for me to ship the apron to you.  I will ship to the U.S. and Canada only. 

I will use a random number generator and announce the winner on Saturday, September 29th.
Good luck!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Tonight I'm An Insomniac...With Word Art

Tonight I stayed up late to can some homegrown tomatoes...and now I cannot sleep.  I decided to have a little fun with a free website, called Tagxedo, that helps you create awesome word art.  Here are some of the designs I came up with to share:

First, you create a word cloud out of one of your blogs, tweets or even a Google search.  Then, choose a shape for your word cloud or upload your own.  (I uploaded silhouettes of a sewing machine and a dress form.) Tweak your art by changing the theme, font or color.  Under 'load', you can even enter your own text.  The more times you enter a word, the bigger it shows up in the Tagxedo.  The thing I like about this particular program is that you can easily save, print and share these online.

Feel free to 'pin' these and share with your friends.  Let me know if you come up with your own.  I would love to see them!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

How To Divide Serger Spool Thread

I usually stick to black and white when it comes to serger thread, but I had a small project that needed a little pzazz.  The Toldi-Lock thread was half off at Joann's, so I decided to invest in one spool of aqua colored thread.  The problem is, I needed three spools of thread for a rolled hem stitch.  Luckily, I found a sweet tip from Jen at My Measuring Tape who found herself in the same predicament a few years ago.  She suggested using toilet paper rolls as spools and attaching them to hand mixer beaters for a quick spin.  I don't have a hand mixer, so I used a drill instead.

Supplies Needed:


Tape the toilet paper roll to the turny part of the drill.  (Yep, I use pretty technical terms.)  If it's not a perfect fit, just make sure the end of the roll is tight to the drill.

Spin the thread around it a few times with your hands:

Set your serger spool on the ground and hold the drill on a table:

Turn the drill on and help the thread on to the spool with your other hand:

I saved myself six bucks!  Yeah, baby!