The Franklin Dress by Brooklyn Pattern Company was chosen as the pattern to sew during the Flip This Pattern series over at Frances Suzanne. Now we love this pattern just as is, and plan to make it someday, but the challenge was to flip, or change the pattern.We decided to make the Franklin dress into a top instead of a dress. We simply cut the width we needed and used the 6 month pattern line for length. Another change we made was to make short sleeves, but keep the elastic ends. They are so cute that way! Annie has been asking for “puffy sleeves” lately, and was thrilled to finally get a top with “puffy sleeves!”Because Frances Suzanne is the place to add piping, we naturally had to add some piping between the yoke and the main fabric! The last change we made was to add ribbons to the sides that can be tied in either the front or the back. We used some sweet little swiss dot fabric from JoAnn’s to make our flipped version of the Franklin Dress. The navy blue yoke fabric was in our stash as were the buttons. We also used the buttons on Annie’s 2+2 blouse. The little pleats in the yoke are so very adorable!A top can’t be worn alone, so we needed a skirt! Since we are sewing up ALL the Oliver + S skirts, (you should find out more about this because it involves winning Oliver+S patterns and gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop!) and there are 2 free Oliver +S skirts, and since Annie doesn’t have a tutu, we decided it was the perfect time to make an Onstage Tutu skirt. This is a free pattern from Oliver + S with the end result being a beautiful tutu for your little girl! We made just two changes to the Onstage Tutu pattern because we wanted a really full tutu; we doubled the width of the tutu, and made two layers of tulle instead of one. The method was the same, and I love how the top of the tulle is enclosed in the waistband for a no itch finish. We had both the gold tulle and the white under layer fabric (leftover from this skirt) in our stash. It would be delightful to make the Onstage Tutu skirt again with different combinations of under layer and tulle. We might even use a floral fabric for the under layer like we did on this knock off skirt!You really must go over to Frances Suzanne and see all the different, beautiful versions of the Franklin Dress from both the competitors and the sew along participants.Sew My Stash 2015 reality check: 3 out of 4 fabric used in this outfit came from the stash, and 100% of the notions were in the stash, exceeding our goal of 50%! Yipee!
Free patterns. We love them! We’ve used them many times, and today our goal is to show you how you can take free patterns and make them fancy. Fancy free patterns.
When Frances Suzanne invited us to be a part of their Flip This Pattern series, we were floored! These are some talented sewing ladies, and they invite really talented seamstresses to participate, so we were honored and overwhelmed. Flip This Pattern’s theme for February is Free For All where everyone showcases a free pattern or tutorial. There are literally thousands of free patterns and tutorials out there, and so many of them are so very wonderful, as you will see this month over at Frances Suzanne. We had a hard time narrowing down which free pattern or tutorial we were going to use, and finally ended up with two!
We used the free tutorial by Shwin & Shwin to make Annie an Asymmetric Knit Jacket. Their tutorial was very easy to follow, no mistakes, and we followed it exactly without changing a thing!
We still want to make a striped version, but for this time, we made a floral version with knit fabric we got in our bargain lot bundle from Girl Charlee. The purple trim accent fabric around the edge is from an old Eddie Bauer tee of mine. (Making this a Kids Clothes Week project sewn for the Upcycle theme that I couldn’t reveal yet!) I haven’t always had success making my own patterns like this tutorial instructs, but I was really happy with the way this one turned out.
Shwin & Shwin actually made two versions of this jacket, and I used the second version with button holes and the pleated front rather than gathered front and button loops.
The skirt is a dressed up version of Dana’s from Made Everday’s free Skirt With a Sash tutorial. I made one change as follows:
Instead of cutting out two skirt pieces and sewing them together, I cut out one long rectangle. Then I sewed layers upon layers upon layers of lace on the rectangle. When I was finished, I sewed the ends together to make a tube and continued on with the tutorial.
There are over 21 yards of lace on that skirt. Which took hours to sew! But just look at it! Annie is completely smitten with this skirt. I used light purple for the underskirt and navy lace. Dana used pink and beige.
While I was sewing on all that lace, I was imagining all the different cool color combinations you could make. Red and black. White and mint green.
Together these two pieces make a simply irresistible combination. It could be Allegra’s photography session with Annie, but these photos are absolutely breaking my heart. Faintly Cinderella in the ashes.
Allegra took Annie to the grayest and most dusty places on our farm so that the outfit would be sort of the jewel in a pig’s snout. This adorable outfit would probably stand out anywhere.
We hope this outfit shows you that free patterns and tutorials does not mean cheap looks! The possibilities are endless, sort of like the lace on this skirt!!!
For many, many more free patterns and tutorial go over to Frances Suzanne and follow along with February Free For All. If you’ve ever sewn up a free pattern or tutorial you can link it up here for a chance to win prizes! And if you know of a free pattern or sewing tutorial they can be linked up here.
We accepted Frances Suzanne’s challenge to flip the Ethan Shirt by Sis Boom. Of course, first of all we had to sew an unflipped version of the Ethan Shirt, but we’ll get to that another time. When we can get the boy convinced to show his face on a SKIRT blog!
I knew I wanted to flip the Ethan Shirt several ways in general. Into something for a girl. Into a jacket. And then I remembered this oh so fancy black embroidered denim I’d purchased on time to make into a denim skirt. So this post could be called The Skirt That Wasn’t! But I digress. So I showed the pattern to Aria, my tween, and she wasn’t impressed. Then I showed her the fabric and she was more enthusiastic. Finally I showed her an inspiration photo and she was totally on board..
Here are the little, technical ways I flipped the Ethan Shirt into a black denim jacket.
I changed the shape of the back yoke, sewed it only at the top and sides and added a button and buttonhole.
I added a belt and belt loops top the waist.
I changed the sleeves by omitting the button placket and cuff and adding a faux belt and belt loops to the sleeve bottoms. Also a button and button hole on each sleeve belt. I’m sure there’s a more technical name for it than sleeve belt, but it escapes me at the moment. Whatever! All I know is Aria and I love this little detail!
Here’s a secret little tip on easy belt loops instead of sewing a little tube and turning it, use seam binding. I did! It’s reinforced/top stitched to add strength and character.
I changed the shape of the hem to be straight all around.
I used a little stiffer interfacing on the collar and collar stand to accommodate because I was making a jacket, not a shirt.
I omitted the button placket down the front, opting for a more jacket like closure.
We stopped the buttons just below the waist so for ease of walking and sitting. But the jacket still looks format when standing without corrupting the straight shape.
The belt can also be looped back around and tied in the back.
Or the jacket can be partially buttoned.
I added welt pockets! Welt pockets, people! This was my first time, and I was so pleased with the professional results!
For the pocket material, I departed from the sober feel of the jacket and used fortune cookie fabric!
I finished each interior seam with either seam binding or a flat felled seam.
And topstitched every seam. Sometimes twice! But it looks soooo good, don’t you think so?
I did not change anything about the armholes or width of the Ethan shirt for the denim jacket. The dimensions ended up being perfect. I used the largest size, size 14.
Now I’ll tell you one tiny thing I’m not happy with about this black denim jacket. Because of the large scale of the embroidery pattern, I had to decide whether to match the pattern at the front or the sides. So I chose the sides. But I still wish they all could have matched. But that would have added about 14 inches to the sides of the jacket, so that wasn’t happening!
Did you know one of the themes for Project Run and Play Season 10 is Denim? Guess what we will be entering?
For this photo shoot we went into the woods again. We took a different path from last time, but still got some great shots.
This black denim jacket looks so good, coming and going! Aria is so delighted with it that she actually said she hopes cold weather arrives soon! It’s not usually easy to please a tween.
I found those gorgeous buttons at Jo-Ann fabrics. I had some that would have worked in my stash, but I wanted these to be special! And I have a button weakness. Sort of like my jacket weakness as evidenced here and here!
Have you seen the other Ethan Shirt Flips? They are amazing! And I can’t wait to see what everyone else does with denim for Project Run and Play! How about you, do you like to sew with denim?
Make it beautiful,
We just could not sit out this month’s Flip This Pattern! We have been admiring the Oliver + S patterns from afar, and this month the pattern to “flip” over at Frances Suzanne was the Croquet Dress by Oliver + S. Just the perfect excuse! Now we have joined the exclusive club of seamstresses who have made Oliver + S patterns.
The first way we flipped this pattern is by using knit instead of woven fabric. We are trying to adventure more into sewing with knits, and thought we’d tempt ourselves by buying knit we couldn’t resist sewing with (instead of buying knit which languished in the pile instead of being used because we were scared to cut into it!) So we were over at Fabricworm and they were offering this fabric (which has been catching our eye everywhere!) in a knit bundle of 1/2 yard for each of the four prints. So…we were off! (Stay tuned for the other 3 versions in the near future!)
We love the Croquet Dress as is, but Annie is getting a little old for the drop waist style (or so she says!) It’s a super cute style for showing off the toddler belly, but Annie isn’t a toddler anymore and has lost her toddler belly. So our next flip was to separate the dress into a top and skirt. (Because skirts is what we do!)
Then we decided to make the bow at waist level, but removable so the tunic top can be worn with a yellow bow…
a white bow…
or no bow at all…
We can’t decide which way we like it best! Let us know in the comments what is your favorite version.
Of course the collar begged to have some embroidery detail, so Allegra, our embroidery master, set to work. She copied a group of 3 birds in flight onto the collar in the exact grey color.
Then for a pop of color, she backstitched a yellow bird on the shoulder. We decided that a little piping between the collar and the front was in order, to add to the subtle yellow accents.
In the back of the tunic top, we flipped the button and loop closure into a ribbon tie. Partly because we love the one on Dana’s First Day Dress, and partly because Annie’s long curly hair is always escaping its confines and blowing about which means catching on that button! (We made a different adjustment the last time we did Flip This Pattern on her Bee Outfit for the same reason!)
We took the skirt portion of the Croquet Dress and lengthened it for our skirt.
Annie requested a longer skirt, and she is growing so fast, that this length will make it wearable longer.
The subdued color scheme will take this outfit into fall as well.
Allegra once again set to work with two shades of embroidery thread and added 6 birdcages around the bottom of the skirt. Then she added a yellow bird on the front and one on the back.
This skirt has a yellow yoga waistband which we selvaged from another skirt. Annie loves how comfortable this makes it!
Allegra took Annie to the train station for this photo shoot.
The photos turned out so beautiful!
We plan to use this outfit in a future PR&P season for Signature Style…it has so much of our signature all over it: Allegra’s embroidery, a skirt, Annie’s taste!
We are so happy with the results of our first Oliver + S pattern. It was easy to follow the directions, and we love the professional looking results. We’ll definitely be sewing up some more Oliver + S patterns, and probably flipping this one again soon!
The theme for the first week of Project Run & Play is “Put Me in the Zoo.” They described this challenge as, “Take inspiration from your favorite (or your child’s favorite animal) and design and construct an outfit. Remember to make it “inspired by” and not a literal costume.” So I began by asking Annie what was her favorite animal at the zoo. She didn’t even take a second to think about it and cried, “Flamingo!” I know that it’s the flamingo because it’s the only PINK animal at the zoo, and pink is her favorite color. So with that in mind I started thinking. Now almost all my inspiration for this zoo outfit came from Frances Suzanne. They have some reverse appliqué on their Pinterest board and I’ve been wanting to try it for a while. Also, they host Flip This Pattern, and for the month of April, the pattern to be flipped is Heidi & Finn’s color block dress. Since Challenge Create: Adult Edition will be running during the month of April, we decided to get a little jump start. But like the Spring Break challenge, I wasn’t ready to dive right in, so enter David’s zoo outfit! I asked David what was his favorite animal at the zoo, and he too knew right what he liked, “Zebra!” I started by downloading the free toddler t-shirt pattern from Melly Sews.
Well, truth be told, first I added the hood wrong, and sewed the neck the exact size on the pattern. Then it wouldn’t fit over his (very large) head, so I modified the neck when I took apart the top of the shirt to fix the hood. I would have given up and thrown the whole thing in the mending (read: never to be touched again!) pile, but David had already seen it and was talking about wearing it and asking me if it was ready yet!
I lined the underside of the front with Daddy’s old white t-shirt to encase the zebra print fabric because it was a heavier, scratchier home decorating type fabric, and I didn’t want it to itch David.
For Annie’s flamingo zoo outfit, I started with the Heidi & Finn color block dress, but felt free to “flip” it. Although this PDF pattern is so cute, we may just make it again exactly as printed!
I gathered a flamingo silhouette, some pink fabric, some contrasting fabric, and an old skirt of Annie’s that was not wearable as it was. And a pink feather boa and Allegra’s embroidery skills! Put all those together and you get…
I made the top and middle sections of the color block dress pretty much with no flip, but added the flutter sleeves from the Josephine blouse. For the bottom block, we used the bottom tiers of Annie’s skirt, after we fixed a few holes!
Since this pattern is fully lined, it was very easy to add some reverse appliqué between the two layers before sewing them together. I love how the floral accent from the top color block section is echoed behind the flamingo. Allegra embroidered the flamingo’s legs, beak and eye.
Since I am only a few weeks away from giving birth, and the zoo with zebras and flamingos is a couple of hours away, we opted for letting these animals out of the zoo at a park instead of going to the real zoo!
Now go over to Project Run & Play to see all the great zoo outfits!
Make it beautiful,
We will also be linking this post up to Frances Suzanne’s Flip This Pattern later in April!
The second week theme challenge for Project Run and Play Season 9 is Spring Break. This design is to center around your favorite (or dream) vacation spot. It’s pretty much unanimous in this house that anywhere with an ocean and beach is the winning spring vacation spot! So we started scheming about what we could make that included ocean/beach/shells/boats/etc. That’s when it hit me that the Frances Suzanne Flip This Pattern for March is the Beachy Boatneck Tee from Blank Slate Patterns. Okay, this is coming together, I thought! Then I found some totally awesome vintage seashell graphics over at Graphics Fairy, and knew I had to do something with that and the Betty Skirt, newly designed by the Shaffer Sisters that I’ve been wanting to sew. Combine all these and you get…
Wait a minute, hold on! There’s a B-O-Y in those pictures and this Skirt Fixation after all, what’s going on?!? Well, there’s a story there! I decided since I’d never had much luck sewing on knits before and also I wanted to try the graphics transfer before putting the seashells on the skirt, I’d prototype a shirt for Annie’s little brother, “David.”
Hi David, nice to meet you! David is 2 (almost 3) and was so pleased to have Mommy make him something that it nearly broke my heart! He kept saying, “Now we can go to the park and take pictures of me by the water too!” (I didn’t think he even noticed that Annie was reaping all the benefits of my sewing! But he was clearly referring to Annie’s rain coat I made for PR&P Signature Style.)
David loves his “Boat Shirt” and asks to wear it every day! The only problem with the patterns from Blank Slate Patterns that I’ve come across is not really a problem with the pattern, but with my kid’s heads! I know my kids have huge heads because I birthed them! Just get out your sewing tape and look at the difference between 10 cm and 15 inches. Thank you very much! So if your kids have larger than average heads, make sure you widen the necks of patterns.
I also whipped up a beach bag for Annie and David to collect all their seashells and other treasures at the beach. This was an afterthought when I found this fantastic piece of fabric as I was organizing my fabric recently! (What have you found recently in your fabric stash? You need to do that to prepare for Challenge Create: Adult Edition Week 4 Theme, you know!)
More about each piece in the spring break beach outfits. The Beachy boatneck Tees were really simple to make! I was so glad for all Melly Sew’s tips about sewing on knits on both the pattern and on her website. I not only liked the finished product, but I sort of enjoyed myself!
I was glad to have prototyped one for David first, because I learned a few things. For one, the slight yellowing on the iron on graphic in this before picture washed right out, but I learned not to iron so long! And also because I picked out a difficult material for Annie’s shirt. I found and fell in love with this navy ruffle knit from JoAnn Fabric’s. But I’d never sewn on ruffle fabric before, so this website was helpful.
One thing I did that made all the difference was to tape the ruffles down in the direction I wanted them to go before I started sewing. Then all the ruffles ended up facing down, and none accidentally sewn up.
David’s shirt doesn’t really have any “flip” aspect other than the boat graphic ironed onto the front, but Annie’s shirt is “flipped” by not only using ruffle knit fabric, but also I used the ruffle sleeve from the Josephine blouse pattern. It makes this shirt so wavy and flow-y like water; and that fits great with the spring break theme, too!
The Betty Skirt is a darling little skirt to begin with, and I sewed the gathered version. Since I was using a white linen, I decided to line the skirt part, and this was really easy to do. (The yoke is double layered and didn’t need a lining.) Then I ironed on the seashell graphics, and added four navy blue buttons to give it a sailor skirt look. The Betty Skirt was really easy and fun to make, and I can’t wait to make the other versions, too. The Shaffer Sisters really did a great job on this skirt and need to keep designing more skirts (and other patterns too!)
How about you, where are you going for Spring Break, and what are you going to wear?
Make it beautiful,
We are so pleased to present you our version of the Josephine blouse pattern by Violet Fields Threads.
We started with the Josephine blouse and dress pattern because we were inspired by Frances & Suzanne’s Flip this Pattern contest. The contestants are sewing some amazing creations, and we wanted to sew along. The things we love most about this pattern are the pin tucks and the ruffles, and we wanted to accentuate those two things without drowning them out in a printed material. Now we’ve seen the Josephine blouse and dress pattern made with a print material, and it’s absolutely adorable, but our goal was to emphasize the pin tucks and ruffles.
For the little blouse, we started with some fabric we fell in love with when we saw what Venus over at Suburbia Soup did with this material for her submission to Elegance & Elephants Root Sewing Series – Sew Your Heritage. She mentioned that she’d gotten her fabric from JoAnn Fabrics, and you can be sure we hightailed it over there just as fast as we could! They had some, and we snapped it up!
This fabric fits perfectly with our goal of emphasizing texture in our Josephine ensemble. We made a few adjustments to the original pattern, but we will go into depth on the design elements in our designer post this week. For now, we’ll just generalize and say we changed the shape of the collar to a more Peter Pan collar shape, shortened the long sleeves to elbow length, and used our only printed fabric for the V-cuffs.
A little about this printed fabric. We found this fabric a few years ago, and it was one of those where we didn’t know exactly what we were going to do with it, but we knew it was coming home with us! It was designed by Luana Rubin for Robert Kaufman with proceeds benefitting breast cancer research. It was made in at least 6 colors! In fact, we HAD TO get some of this fabric in both purple/blue and browns. It is the most amazing fabric…the detail of the roses is so exquisite, and the ombre effect is stunning. We only used a little of the darkest part of the ombre as that’s what matched our skirt fabric the best.
The skirt fabric is a sueded blue cotton we picked up at JoAnn Fabrics also. Again, it matched our goal of emphasizing texture perfectly. Now since we were so in love with the pin tucks and ruffles, we decided to flip them from horizontal to vertical on the skirt! We also wanted the ruffle on the bottom of the skirt to have the same tightness of ruffling as the ruffle on the blouse, so after some intense algebra, we figured out how much fabric we needed to gather into a ruffle! But more about that in our design post, later! We also added in just a touch of our amazing rose printed fabric to tie the two pieces together.
Just because we are slightly crazy, we’ve entered this little outfit in Project Run & Play’s Season 9 Contestant Search! How it works it you enter your piece, and the contestant is chosen by vote. So that means we need your vote!
Make it beautiful,