Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Easy Knit Dress Pattern and Tutorial - Pocket Full of butterflies

Free Sewing Pattern for Knit Dress: Pocket full of Butterflies

One of the biggest perks of sewing at home is customization. I have complete control on the design and embellishment of the clothes I sew, I could make them as blah or as whimsical as I want. It comes in handy when you have a rather opinionated toddler, who knows exactly what she wants and is very happy to let me know about it.

pocket full of butterflies dress pattern

Freezer paper stenciling was a technique I wanted to try for a long time. Little one's obsession with butterflies gave me the perfect opportunity to do it. I am totally in love with this dress, often what I envision in the beginning of a project is somewhat different from what I end up making, but this dress turned out just what I thought.
Do you have a little girl who would like a pocket full of butterflies? Well then, read on!

Skill Level:

3 hours

For Dress Base:
- Knit Fabrics Charcoal grey, 27 inches or 1 XXL size t-shirt
For Trims and pocket:
- yellow, 15 inches
For butterfly prints
- yellow Fabric Paint
- OR: Yellow Acrylic Paint + Fabric Paint Medium
-Freezer Paper
- Butterfly punches

Download the four-page Knit Dress Pattern ( size 3T). Print it on A4 (8.5 X 11 inches) paper with margins set to 0.

For size 5T:

Download the four-page Stars + Stripes Knit Dress Pattern here (size 5T). Print it on A4 (8.5 X 11 inches) paper with margins set to 0.

Seam Allowance:
3/8 inch unless otherwise stated.

Techniques Used:
Sewing with Knits,  Binding the Neck/Sewing Bias Tape, Freezer paper stencils


knit dress pattern pieces

Cut out the pattern pieces. Note that front and back pieces are the same in this style of dresses.

how to sew a knit dress

Sew a seam along the neckline with thread tails on both ends. Pull the bobbin thread slightly to gather the neckline, the neckline after gathers is about three inches.

Binding the necklines:
Cut out a yellow strip 2.5 inches X40 inches.
Fold the strip in half along the length and iron

binding the neckline

Align the raw edges of binding piece with raw edge of gathered neckline ( with the binding on the wrong side and sew a seam.

how to bind a neckline
neckline binding sewing tutorial
Fold the binding over to the right side and sew a seam on it as close to the edge as possible. Go slow and steady here to get a nice evenly spaced seam because this will be highly visible in the finished dress.

freezer paper stenciling
Sew the side seams ( right sides together)
how to freezer paper stencil

Cut out the stencil piece from freezer paper, just eye-ball an area from 5 inch above the hem-line in the right which gets wider as it goes to the left, there is no right or wrong pattern here. Punch the butterflies on the paper. Keep at it until its almost full. Keep the shapes random. If your punch can't reach in the center, fold the freezer paper in half and punch near the fold, to punch two butterflies at once.

freezer paper stencil tutorial

Place the freezer paper on the dress ( shiny side down). Iron without steam. In about a minute it should stick to the dress.

using punch for freezer paper stencil
Before you start paining insert a sturdy paper or card-stock inside the dress so the paint doesn't bleed to the back of the dress. Now paint over the butterflies with fabric paint and a wide brush.

how to stencil with punches
Let the dress dry for about an hour. Carefully peel off the freezer paper once the paint is dry to touch.

Cut out the pocket pieces

Sew along the sides ( right sides together). Clip notches along the curve for better finish.

Turn out. Sew seams along the raw edge. Pull bobbin thread to gather.

Cut a three inch wide strip of the pocket fabric. Make sure the length is equal to the length of the pocket top + 1 inch.
Fold it half inch onto itself on both ends. Now fold the strip in half along the width.

Place the pocket at the end of butterfly cluster and sew on the all the sides except the top.

To finish the armholes and shoulder straps:
Fold the binding in half and align raw with the raw edges of armhole ( on the wrong side of dress), leave 2 inches of binding tail on one side and sew along the raw edge.

Once you have reached the other end of armhole, leave another 2 inches of binding and sew the ends together ( right sides together). Make sure there is no twist in the binding when you sew them together.

Fold the binding to the right side, sew close to the edge of binding. Once you reach the end of the armhole, keep following the fold of the binding and continue sewing a seam near the edge until you come back to the starting point.
This finishes the armholes and shoulder straps together.

Repeat for the other armhole.

Sew on a cute, slightly mismatched button on the pocket. And voila! a pocket full of butterflies!

pocket full of butterflies dress tutorial

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Ringer Onesie Sew Along Finale - Sew the Snaps

Make For Baby: Ringer Onesie
ringer onesie sewalong - day 8

Its our eighth and final day of the sew along.Wow! I followed it through and am finally done with the onesie. I'm mighty proud of myself.

Tutorial for Ringer Onesie by Shwin and Shwin

Today's task is:
Attach the snaps
attaching the snaps to a onesie
Now if you are reading this and haven't done it yet...stop right here, get the snaps plier ( or whatever that gadget is) and use it to nicely place snaps on this onesie you made with so much effort.
I tried to use a snap tape and almost wrecked the project because of it. Not fun!
If you don't have and dont want to invest in a snap plier just sew some velcro in there.
However, the onesie still looks good once it is closed so I'm still giving it a passing grade and I have concluded that I love Shauna's Ringer Onesie pattern. Its just perfect. Now that this sew along has given me the confidence, I plan to sew many more of these onesies. Hopefully they will go much faster but even if they don't, I'm ok with it. After all, its the journey that matters, doesn't it?

Check out the series:
Ringer Onesie Sew Along Day 3

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ringer Onesie Sew Along - Day 7 - Finish the bottom binding

Sewing for baby - Ringer onesie sew along
ringer onesie sewing project

We are almost there with the onesie, just need to finish the legholes and attach snaps and we will be done.
I'm so happy with the way it is turning out.

Tutorial for Ringer Onesie by Shwin and Shwin

1. Iron interfacing on the bottom front of the onesie.
2. Fold onto itself and sew a seam.
3. Sew the binding to finish the legholes

Tomorrow we will be the proud maker of a ringer onesie :)

Check out the series:
Ringer Onesie Sew Along Day 3
Ringer Onesie Sew Along Day 5
Ringer Onesie Sew Along Day 6

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ringer Onesie Sew Along - Day 6

Ringer Onesie Sew Along - Finish the sleeves and side seams
ringer onesie sew-along

On to Day 6 of the ringer onesie sew-along. My days have been busy but I managed to make progress on the onesie. Blogging about it, on the other hand, was a different story. Yet here I am and here is my onesie with finished armholes.

Here is a link to the Ringer Onesie Tutorial and Pattern at Shwin and Shwin  if you want to double check something.

Today's tasks:

1. Finish sleeves with binding
2. Sew the side seams
3. Find a small piece of interfacing and three snaps for the next days.

Isn't the onesie looking cute now? I can't wait to finish it in a couple of days.

Check out the series:
Ringer Onesie Sew Along Day 3
Ringer Onesie Sew Along Day 5

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Ringer Onesie Sewalong - Day 5 - Sew the shoulder, Sew on the neck binding

Ringer Onesie Sew Along - Day 5

sewing a ringer onesie

We are on day 5 of the ringer onesie sew-along. I didn't mean to take the weekend off but it turned out to be really hectic and I couldn't do any sewing or blogging. So I am going to pick up right where I left and make progress on this onesie.

Here is a link to the Ringer Onesie Tutorial and Pattern at Shwin and Shwin  if you want to double check something ( always a good idea).

Today's tasks:

1. Sew shoulder seams on one side
2. Sew on the neck binding.

I didn't check how Shauna was finishing up the neck binding and sewed incorrectly. No, I'm not going to unpick and fix it. This project has to live with a tiny imperfection. However, if you aren't sure about something, read the tutorial again, pretty please!

Check out the series:
Ringer Onesie Sew Along Day 3

Coat of Many Colors Wrap Dress

Coat of Many Colors

Reversible Wrap Dress

On my first mother's day after my daughter was born, my husband played this song for me.

I think whether we are sewing out of necessity or as a hobby we are always sewing with love for our children. I hope my daughter also feels this rich whenever she wears something handmade.

Coat of many colors dress

When I was thinking of a name for this dress I made with Moda Fabrics, this song kept coming back to me.

So Coat of Many Colors Dress it would be, despite it not making any sense in my head. Some things just make sense in the heart and sometimes that is enough.

Here is to a rich handmade Life!

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Friday, July 19, 2013

Ringer Onesie Sewalong - Day 4 - Press the binding

Ringer Onesie Sew Along
making knit fabric binding

Hey today is the day 4 of ringer onesie sewalong.
Today's task: Press the binding pieces into bias tape like binding. Go slow and steady and make sure you get a good crease because the finished garment will depend a lot on this step.
I should probably tell you that I have never pressed a binding in the past but now that I have done one I may never sew a knit garment without pressing the binding first.

Check out the series:
Ringer Onesie Sew Along Day 3
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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Ringer Onesie Sewalong - Day 3 - Cut the fabric

Ringer Onesie Sew Along Day 3: Cutting the fabric
ringer onesie sew along day 3

Hey today is the day 3 of ringer onesie sewalong. We picked our fabrics and cut out our pattern pieces yesterday. Lets put them to good use today.
Today's task: Cut out the pattern pieces in the fabric you picked. That's right you just have to cut out the fabric.

pattern pieces for ringer onesie

I picked out this pretty Baby Nay floral print for my first onesie. For the neck, sleeves and leg opening trim, I cut up an Old Navy tank top because it had the super soft ribbed knit fabric.

And I'm telling you its very tempting to get into a full blown hour long sewing session, but 15 mins I promised and 15 mins I did. It actually took even lesser than that.

Check out the series:

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Ringer Onesie Sewalong - Day 2 - Cut the pattern, Pick the Fabrics

Ringer Onesie Sew ALong Day 2

Hello there, today is the Day 2 of our Ringer Onesie Sewalong. Today we are going to do two things

  • Cut out the pattern pieces in your desired size ( you have options for 3 months , 6 months and 9 months)
fabrics for ringer onesie sewalong

  • Pick out the knit fabrics you plan to use for making these.
And that is all for today. Its difficult to stop here, isn't it? I know but I'm planning to go slow and enjoy the process on this one.
I know Palak from Make It Handmade is joining in the Sew Along. If any of you are also joining in, please let me know in comments.. the more, the merrier.

Check out the series:

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Ringer Onesie Sewalong: Day 1

onesie free sewing pattern
Baby Ringer Onesie Free Sewing Pattern by Shwin and Shwin

I think Shauna of Shwin and Shwin did a great service to humankind sewingkind by sharing a free pattern and tutorial for Ringer Onesie.  A onesie is such a workhorse of baby wardrobe that no new mom can have too many of these. Since all of us have at least one friend who is expecting or just had a baby at any given point in time, these make the perfect present to keep on hand.

With that in mind I have decided to do a sew along of Shauna's Ringer onesie pattern. To be able to to follow through and really have fun making these, I'm going to go super slow. I'm thinking of spending about 15 mins  everyday prepping/cutting/sewing these and hopefully within a week or so I will have a cute handmade onesie.

Why should I participate in this sew-along?
  • Well, like I just said you probably have a preggo friend or cousin or niece or someone and these make great gifts.
  • We are going to go super slow so you could sew along easily and have a wearable project ready in a week or so. If you can't sew-along any day you could just catch up the next day.
  • This is a judgement free zone so even if you can't follow through till the end, its fine. At least you have tried.
  • I'm setting up a flickr pool specifically for this sew-along and there will be a Sew and Show at the end of Sew Along. So if you wanted to show off your talents on Blooms And Bugs here is your chance.

So lets get going...

Onesie Free Sewing Pattern

Sew Along Day 1:

and that's it for the day...see you tomorrow with your pattern print outs...
Happy Sewing!

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Monday, July 15, 2013

Rentlingo : Great new tool for house-hunters

One of the perks of living in Silicon Valley and being married to an engineer is that I'm continuously exposed to bright ideas and latest developments by the smartest people in the Information Technology industry. Its a great to know that the startup or the idea that we see today in its infancy may one day change the face of the world.

Here is one such idea from a friend which I thought might be helpful to all of us. That's the reason I am taking a break from our regular sewing chit-chat and introducing RentLingo, a great new tool to find the rentals online.

rent lingo - apartment finding website

Rentlingo prompts you to enter the zip-code of the area you want to find rental properties in.

rentlino - apartmend finder

Once you enter the area code, it then gives you a nice graphical view of the available rentals on the map. When you hover your mouse over any property flag, it gives you the summary of the rental - A picture, price etc.

I like the interface much better than the traditional house-hunt websites and I hope you would try it too when you are looking for an apartment next time.

Disclaimer: I'm not being compensated in any way by RentLingo. Its founder is just a friend and this post is just a way to give a shout out to a great new online service.

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