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Sometimes I need Ruffles...

I love my profession as a ShirtMaker...I truly do. But sometimes I just need to take a break to sew something whimsical.   This dress is one of my original designs...drafted by hand. It is a simple design, so the drafting was fast, fun, and easy...and the sewing was a delight.  Especially since it is for a little girl who is as sweet as can be!

I made these dresses for 4-year old Julianna, who like her little sister Brooklyn are like "adopted grand-daughters" to me :)    Recently when I gave her some shorts and tops I had made for her, she politely asked, "Mrs. Pam, will you please make me some more pretty dresses?"   That little voice went straight to my heart, and the result is the dress you see above, and the one below...

The bright and happy little dress was made with a pattern from the summer 2011 issue of Ottobre Design. I "tweaked" the design a little bit to suit my mood at the moment I was cutting it out...adding a pocket and making the skirt fuller by adding a piece of coordinating fabric.

Next, between sewing shirts for my clients, and filling orders for interfacing...I need to make some new "pretties" for Julianna's little sister, and something nice for their mommy too! And just maybe I'll have a little time left to sew for myself...

Sewing Notes:  Both dresses are made from lightweight 100% cotton fabrics. Bodice facings are interfaced with "ProSheer Elegance" Fusible Interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply.


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TUTORIAL...How to Sew a "Designer" Elasticated Casing

This blouse in soft cotton batik is one that I made from 
this HotPatterns design...

This style can either be made with neck and sleeve bindings, or elasticated casings. I chose to make it with casings because I think it may be more comfortable in hot weather.

Making a casing for elastic is certainly one of our easier sewing tasks. Turn, stitch, insert elastic...done!  Sewn this conventional way, we end up with a perfectly acceptable casing that looks something like the photo below, after the elastic is inserted.  Fine...yet a little "bubbly and wobbly"...but something we have come to accept with elasticated casings.

However, by taking one additional construction step, you can achieve a "designer" look to an elastic casing garment. A very simple step that will result in a flat, even-edge casing every time, like the one in the finished garment shown....here is a close-up photo--  

So what's that extra construction step?  Edge-stitching!
After the casing is folded to the wrong side of the garment and stitched along the BOTTOM edge (leaving an opening to later insert the elastic, of course)....All that we need to do next to lend that "designer touch" is to edge-stitch the TOP fold of the casing...all the way around, as shown below--

By taking this one easy extra step, our casings lose the bubbles, 
and gain some designer panache!

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Rush Order Shirts....4 down, 2 to go!

Here are a couple of quick pics of  2 of the 6 rush order shirts that need to be sent  to my clients by Saturday. I managed to get 4 of them shipped yesterday, and I have been given an extension until Monday for the others if I need it...and with my other business obligations, I probably will ;)  Anyway, please bear in mind that these pics were snapped in a hurry, right before they were due to be shipped....  Am I making excuses for crummy photos?  Yes, lol.

This shirt, hastily folded in half and "pin draped" on my photo wall, is made from light-weight textured cotton/linen gauze.  Please do not think I am losing my mind or skills... it's supposed to look rumpled and crumpled :)  I was going for the "Couture Limp Dishcloth" look, and I think I hit the mark with this one!  ;)

I had just enough time to get this batik shirt on my "man-form" and snap a pic before I needed to get it folded, packed and on its way. I just love the color of this one...don't you?  It reminds me of a tropical sea.

SEWING NOTES-- Patterns are original hand-drafted designs.  Pro-Sheer Elegance Interfacing used on the gauze shirt, Pro-Woven Shirt-Crisp Interfacing and Coconut Buttons used on the cotton batik shirt. 
Interfacing and Buttons are from  Fashion Sewing Supply.


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Not quite panic time...yet.

YIKES what a day this has been...  This morning I was under a deadline to sew 5 shirts for my clients by Thursday!  Since then one client has sweet-talked me into adding another shirt (or 2 if I have time, haha) to his order...but that the extra shirts can wait to be shipped a little later.  So I have not hit the panic button...yet...not quite yet....

  • Fabrics chosen and pre-washed twice? Check!
  • Hand-drafted Patterns located and tweaked to new measurements? Check!
  • "Shirt Crisp" Interfacing ready?   Check!
  • Iced Tea chilling for my late night break? Check!
The 2 tailors on my staff who help with rush orders like these?  On Vacation!
I sincerely hope they are having a great time......  :)
SEWING NOTES-- Special Shirt-Interfacing from FashionSewingSupply.com, Fabrics from Gorgeous Fabrics, Fabric.com, and Philips-Boyne.


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Some sewing going on...

Sometimes, when I am in the midst of meticulous sewing of custom shirts for my clients...I need a break. So I steal a bit of time from my schedule to whip up some cute clothes for the 2 little girls in my life, Julianna and Brooklyn. This set features slightly re-designed versions of Ottobre Patterns from Issue 3/2009...for Brooklyn, age 21 months.  Cotton/lycra knit was used for the cropped leggings, and Kaffe Fasset cotton fabric was used for the Tunic.

I really like the color combinations...but now wonder if it might be too "sophisticated" for a toddler. 
What do you think?

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