Friday, July 19, 2013

Dolman Top Redu Tutorial

I have two of these tops that, when I first got them, I thought were really cute. Then I caught a glimpse of my reflection somewhere out with my kids and I realized that these tops made me look about 2 times the width I actually am. That's unacceptable, so I altered it to be flattering AND wrote a tutorial in case you have a big ugly shirt that you want to make flattering too!

Love the color, love the softness
Lets get started then, I put on my shirt inside out and pinned all the way down from my armpit to the shirt hem. Then I, very carefully, took the shirt off(pinning intact) and cut about 1/2in out from where I had pinned and then straight up from my last pin to the shoulder.

This picture is the shirt after the cutting, see no more nasty bat wings! If you're a fan of dolman tops, sorry, they're just not a flattering look for me and do, in fact, make me look like I have wings lol.

Don't unpin your sides! At this point, we're going to sew the side seams shut again using a stretch stitch or a zigzag stitch for your knit fabric. I suggest sewing between 1/4 and 1/8 of and inch outside of where you pinned, because if it's still too loose it'll be easy to just take it in a little more, but if it's too tight you're going to be ripping a lot of stitches and knit fabric, like the one I was using, really likes to rip.

I didn't get the picture of this, but you'll need to try your top on: 1. to make sure
it's fitted to your liking and 2. to pin where you want the shoulder seam to hit. I'm definitely not in any way scientific about the way I sew, that being said with my pins on my shoulders I took my shirt and folded it in half. Once you have it in half pin both sides together matching up the neck and armpit of your shirt as well as the shoulder seams. We want the shirt to come out symmetrical. Now, like the picture above, pin in a curve, from the armpit to the shoulder pin that's already in place. The curve should look like a tank top, then when you're happy with it, cut just outside of where you pinned about 1/4in for seam allowance.

Keep your leftovers, these are what's really going to gussy up your shirt and make it one of a kind. Unfold your shirt and pin around the edge of your armholes to get a nice clean edge, or don't if you're using knits it won't fray either way!

When I sew armholes, or legholes, I like to keep my fabric inside out and just sew along the inside; like the picture above. Am I confusing anyone yet? Trust me, this way is easier if you know what I'm talking about lol. Wow, you're almost done! 

The side seams are finished and the you've done the hemming around your armholes(or you chose to leave your edge raw), so here comes the most time consuming, but the best part of fixing up your shirt: THE EMBELLISHMENTS! As you can see in the first picture I chose to do bows all over the front (wish I thought it up on my own, but I saw it here). Since I can't just stop at cute, I went onto the back and added another bow between the shoulders. 

For my shoulder bow, I cut out two rectangles of fabric that I knew would be big enough to span the width of my back opening. Then, I sewed along the two long edges and turned it right side out and had a long tube of fabric. I attached the shorter sides along the neckline of my shirt and positioned it to start at the shoulder seam of my shirt. This is important if you're doing this part, you won't want to just pin the short sides of your rectangle all the way down, you'll get a droopy bow. Instead, pin the top at the edge of your "bow" and then pin it down from there; you will have more and more excess the farther you pin, just cut it off after you attach it. To make it the bow you'll take a small rectangle of fabric about 1in x 3in and wrap it around the middle of your "bow". Pull it tight holding the short ends, sew the rectangle closed as close to the "bow" as possible without catching it in your stitching. Cut off the excess of this and turn it right side out on your fabric. 

 Whew, did you get all that!? If you were able to follow along, this is what the back should look like when you're done. And the front again with all the pretty little bows :).

There's really no limit to what you can do with this, once you've got your shirt to the fit you like, you can add anything to it, or even leave it plain. I hope this inspires you to cut up some old shirts and make them new and fabulous again!


P.S. Sorry about the lousy phone pics, the DSLR was MIA that day.

P.S.S Did I mention this only took me a few hours, even with "helpers".

This is what happens when I have my "helpers" around.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Lots of Undocumented Sewing & A little rambling

I've been bad lately, neglecting my poor blog and just living life like everyone else. There's been a lot of turmoil in my personal life that's really been hard for me to deal with and that's also stunted my desire to share on the blog for fear that I might say too much (I'm really bad about over-sharing) and make things worse.

Some things I've made though, well I got two precious aprons made for my mother and daughter for my mom's birthday. She's been begging me to make her and Addy matching aprons since Addy always wants to cook with her so that was her birthday present.

My coming soon nephew, Lawson James, had a baby shower in his honor this past weekend and I made a few things for him. A little taggy blanket (I shared that on the Facebook Page) and a onesie that I hand stamped "rock star" and appliqued 2 stars to, one blue and one green.

I've been feeling the need lately to come up with some new things, but just haven't had the energy or creative inspiration that I usually can find. It's so draining trying to find something that you know is right in front of you but you just CANT SEE. My picture taking has been terrible this month, honestly, my husband has been taking more pictures lately than I have. It's just shameful, I know, but it's true ;).

Have you ever seen the movie How does she do it? My favorite part of the entire movie is when her husband tells his friend, after being asked what she does, that his wife is a juggler. It's just so sweet and true about so many women. I've got to tell you, I'm an awful juggler, literally and figuratively. I've always tried and never quite got it right.

If you've made it this far, God bless you, if you stopped way up at the top, I don't blame you. I just want to say one last thing, thank you to anyone who reads these silly posts on this silly blog. I try my best to share things that I think other people would like to see and sometimes I feel good about it, other times, well not so much, but the fact that there are people that come and visit this blog at all makes it worth my time and effort; so thanks!


P.S. Sorry I know that was painfully random.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th & Smocked Garden Dress


Being Independence Day, I had to say Happy July 4th! Now onto other exciting things :)! My newest creation, the smocked Garden Dress. It's such a light and airy little dress and it's so stinking cute too.

I love when my kids can look so effortlessly adorable and they love being comfortable. This dress turned out to be one of those pieces of clothing that can be worn without the complaint of itchies or lots of fussing to keep it looking right.

Isn't she such a good model?
A few of the things that I loved about making this dress is that 1. I used a vintage pillowcase 2. The hand smocking on both the front and back(sorry no pic of the back) came together fairly quickly 3. You have the option of doing the straps crossed in the back or just straight. The straps are attached in the back with buttons and it makes the garment pretty versatile. 

This is going to be put into my etsy shop ASAP, so if anyone has fallen in love with the Garden Dress you'll have your chance to purchase it yourself :). If you'd like for me to create a tutorial on how to make it yourself send me a message or leave a comment and I'll be happy to create another of these cuties!