Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Shirred Sundress

I've caught the shirring bug again!

shirred dress 1

I realized a couple weeks ago that K doesn't have many summery dresses in her closet, and what's more comfortable than a dress in the summer? I wanted to make something nice and easy, so of course I thought of the shirred dress I made last summer. No pattern to cut out and directions to follow-- just a rectangle of fabric and some elastic thread!

shirred dress 2

I changed it up just a bit by making ruffly little straps. Again, just rectangles of fabric with a couple rows of elastic stitching. This stuff makes anything look fancier!

shirred dress 3

I had some trouble getting the tension figured out this time. The last time I worked with elastic thread I was using my old sewing machine and I tried using the same settings, but wasn't getting good results. I finally realized that I had to hold the tails of my top thread and elastic thread very tight for the first inch or so of stitching. Otherwise I was ending up with a loopy mess of elastic on the back. It may take a little time getting the tension worked out, but once you have the right settings, sewing with elastic thread is easy peasy! And the results are so fun!

shirred dress 5

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Father's Day Cards & Free Pattern!

Father's Day 1

Father's Day is coming soon and I've made a couple of paper pieced designs in honor of all the dads out there. And I'm sharing the patterns with you!

Father's Day 2

I made the shirt & tie version first. I think it's super cute, but none of the dads in my life wear a tie (unless there's a wedding or a funeral involved), so I decided to make a more casual version.

Father's Day 3

I embroidered a little pocket on the t-shirt because it reminds me of my dad. For the thirty years I've known him (OK, thirty-one years), my dad has worn a solid colored t-shirt with a pocket just about everyday. If it's chilly a flannel shirt is added, but that's pretty much his entire wardrobe. I machine stitched the shirt & tie block to the card, but I thought the t-shirt block would look fun with big hand stitches around it.

My obsession with paper piecing continues. It's a great way to use up little fabric odds and ends from your stash, which is great for me because most of fabric is what others would consider "scraps." I have very little yardage. However, working with small pieces of fabric can sometimes backfire on me. This is all the "shirt" fabric I had left after making the shirt & tie block. I was sweating it there at the end, hoping I'd have enough to finish off the little block!

Father's Day 4

You can download the patterns for these shirts here. Each block finishes at 3.5" (3" if you trim off the seam allowance around the outside), which works well for a 4"x6" card. This is the first time I've tried using this Google Docs thing, so if it doesn't work let me know!