Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Perfect Puzzle Sew-A-Long: Completing the Skirt

This is going to be the very last blog post of the sew-a-long series with Hailey Bug's Closet The Perfect Puzzle Set.  We're finishing our skirts today and then you'll need to head over to the group over the next few days and post your finished pictures to the album so you can be entered to win the fabulous prizes.  FREE patterns, FREE fabric????  Yes.  Count me in!!

Ok so grab the pieces you cut out for your flounce way back on July 14 and let's get rolling.

So, you might remember that I'm doing the pieced flounce option because I like to get a little crazy sometimes. I grab all 8 of my flounces and lay them out like this until I find a skirt pattern I like.  I move them around, trade spots, get it how I like it and take a quick cell phone pic in case I forget what I want it to look like while I'm sewing it all together.

Pick anywhere on the skirt to start, doesn't matter where, and fold one flounce over on top of the other so right sides are together.

 Paying attention to the order of your skirt, sew either the right side or the left side seam. In this case, I'll be sewing the seam on the left side of this picture.  (You can also choose to lay your panels wrong sides together and give your skirt some exposed seams for a funkier look.)

Then, grab your third panel in the series, place it over top the second one, (right sides together) and sew.

Continue this process until you have a chain of 8 panels all sewn together (leave the tails).

Now, you're going to fold the whole chain over on itself, lining up the two edges that need to be sewn together (right sides together), and finish the last seam to form your circle.

When you're done sewing all your flounces together, you will have a circle skirt!  Bravo!

Now, grab your finished top piece and fold it in half to find the center point.  Mark the front and back center with a pin.

Figure out which 4 panels of your flounce you want to show in the front and which four you want in the back. Line up the center front seam of your skirt with the center front point you marked with a pin and pin it together (right sides together).  Do the same for the side seams and the center back seam.

You'll be pinning the skirt to the shirt in quarters. (Click on any of these pictures if you need to zoom in.)

Then sew the whole skirt onto the shirt, and tuck your serger tail in.  Almost done!

You have a couple options for finishing the bottom of your skirt.  If you need more length you can always add a ruffle, or you can do a rolled hem with your serger or tuck and turn and hem it with your sewing machine.  You can also choose to just serge off the bottom like I did, and tuck your serger tail once again.  I like to add a label on the back of all my garments and DONE!

I really hope you had an awesome time sewing up your little creations!  There are so many options in this pattern I'm sure every single one of ours is all different.  Don't forget to upload a final picture of your item(s) into the album in the group, and stay tuned for the winners to be announced!!!  Thanks for following me on this little sewing adventure!  HAPPY SEWING!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Perfect Puzzle Sew-A-Long: Finishing the Top

Today is July 22!  That means we get to attach our sleeves, sew the neck binding on, and complete the top of our garment completely!

Grab the piece you cut for your neck binding, fold it in half as shown with right sides together.  Stitch together where the raw edges meet to form a circle.

Now, fold in half with right sides facing out, and match up the seam you just made and pin it right at the seam.

Then, pin the rest of your neck binding in quarters.  You should have 4 pins in all but I forgot to take a picture of that so just pretend I have four, evenly spaced pins in my neck binding at this point (instead of just two).

Now, you want to take your shirt piece and fold the back panel in half to find the center of the neckline. Mark that place with a pin.

Then, just as we did with the neck binding, mark your shirt into quarters and place pins in all those spots like in my picture here.

Match the four pins on your neck binding with your four pins on your shirt.

Remove one set of 4 pins as you pin the binding to the shirt.  You want the binding to be on the RIGHT side of your shirt with all the raw edges matching.  You will be sewing through three layers.  I find it easier if I put the neck inside the shirt like this.

You'll notice that the neck binding is smaller than the opening in your shirt.  GREAT!  It's supposed to be that way, that means you cut everything right. Now, take everything over to your machine and stitch the neck on. You're going to need to stretch the neck ONLY to make it fit the bigger circle in your shirt.  Just sew in quarters and remove your pins as you come to them.  I always sew with my neck binding on top and the shirt layer underneath.

Once your neck is securely on, we'll need to take care of that serger tail.

There are a couple ways to finish the tails of your serger (and a quick Google/YouTube search will give you some great tutorials), but I'll just quickly share how I hide mine.

I use a big needle.  It's about 2.5 inches long with a semi-big eye on it.  I thread the serger tail through that needle (which is easy because the eye is so big).

Then, I thread the tail right backwards, right through the stitches from where it came.

Then I pull the whole thing through, and un-thread the needle.

Then, grab your scissors, and snip the remaining tail off.  (Be careful not to snip any of the stitches that are holding your neck binding in place.)

When you're done, your neck binding should look nice and neat like mine!  It's super easy and quick.  Now, would be a good time to press your neck binding and topstitch it if you're one of those people that do those sorts of things. I'm usually not, so I'll just keep going.  haha

Now, sleeve time.  Grab your sleeves you made last time, fold in half to find the center and mark with a pin.

Line up the center point on your sleeve with the shoulder seam in your shirt, and pin it together, right sides togehter.

If you're a beginner with knits, you'll want to start at the center and work your way out to one side, placing pins along the way.  Match the curve in the shirt with the curve in the sleeve and place as many pins as you need.  Then, do the same on the other side.  For me, I've been sewing with knits for a long time and I just use the one center pin and line everything up as I serge.  Just do what feels comfortable for you.

Once you're done sewing your sleeve on, repeat the steps for the other sleeve.

Your top will look like this with both sleeves sewn on, and the neck binding sewn on as well.  Feel free to press and/or top stitch your sleeves right now if you feel like you need to do that).

Flip your top inside out so that right sides are facing.  Match up the sleeve binding seams, and the bodice seams on one side and pin.

Then, sew your side seams (right sides together) in an 'L' shape to catch the sleeves and the side seams all in one shot.  You'll be sewing where my red arrows are in the next picture.

Now, go ahead and take care of those tails that are sticking out from the sleeves, just like we did on the neck band.

Then, we're done!  Sit back and admire that neck band and sleeves you just put on and get ready for the skirt next!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Perfect Puzzle Sew-A-Long: Sleeve Construction

Ok ladies, we are now on the 6th step of the sew-a-long, and we're getting really close to the end!!  Today we're working on sleeves!!  I chose to do short sleeves with a cuff for my dress.  So, the first thing you'll want to do is grab your sleeve pieces that you cut out way back on July 14.  My sleeve is cut out of a white stretch lace and my cuff piece is a grey rib knit.

Take just your cuff piece for now and fold in half like this to find the center.

Then, fold in half lengthwise matching those center points and pin it right in the middle.

Now you're going to find the center point of your sleeve, along the straight edge and match that up to the center point on your cuff piece.  Pin them together (matching up the center points) like I have here, where the raw edges of your cuff are lined up with the raw edge of your sleeve, and the folded cuff edge is nearest the curve in the sleeve.

I trimmed my cuff piece (the grey part) down more than the pattern calls for, I like my cuff to give my sleeves more of a "bubble" effect so I always make them a bit smaller.  So, you can see that my cuff piece is smaller than my sleeve in the picture.  I did that on purpose!

Take your pinned pieces over to your machine and get ready to sew them all together along the green edge.

 You're going to match up the end of you cuff with the end of your sleeve and sew through all three layers at the same time.

I like to sew a few stitches to make sure everything will be secure and then I stretch the cuff piece to match the length of the sleeve as I sew.  Remove your pin when you get to that point and match up the other end of your sleeve and your cuff and sew all the way to the end.

When you're done, you'll have a sleeve with a cuff that looks something like this.

You can leave your serger tails again at this point, they'll be cut off when we sew everything up in a few days!

Repeat all those steps above for your other sleeve and when you're done, you should have two little short sleeves just begging to be sewn on your dress!

That's all there is to it!  The hardest part of this step is stretching everything and keeping it all lined up as you sew, and really you get the hang of it pretty quickly.  Just sew slowly and take your time.  If you mess up, no big deal, keep calm and grab the seam ripper!  Happy sewing!

Hailey Bug's Patterns Facebook Group
Craftsy: The Perfect Puzzle Set
Craftsy: The Perfect Puzzle Set Boy Add-on
Etsy: The Perfect Puzzle Set
Sugarplum Cuties Facebook Group

Sew-A-Long Blog Post Links:
Intro to the Pattern
Print, Assemble, Trace & Cut your Pattern
Cutting your Fabric
Constructing your Bodice
Attaching the top to your Bodice
Sleeve Construction

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Perfect Puzzle Sew-A-Long: Attaching Top to Bodice

According to our handy-dandy schedule; today we're working on attaching the top and back to our bodice! Yahoo!  We're really going to see the top of our dress take shape today.  Don't forget, it's never too late to join in on the sew-a-long fun!  Just head over here to get the pattern for yourself!

So to review, you should have a bodice piece that looks something like mine here:

Now, you want to grab the empire top you cut for the front of your dress and find the center.  I marked my center with a pin but you can mark it with a Sharpie or a marker or whatever you want. (If you ever need to see a picture closer up, just click on it!)

Then you'll grab your bodice piece and mark the center of that too, I marked it with a pin here again.

Then flip your empire top piece over and match the two center points up with right sides together and pin it together.  Add as many pins as you need to keep everything all lined up and sew along the green lines in the picture.

Once you're done, your piece should look something like this:

Now grab your back piece and attach the top to the bodice again if you need to just like we did above.  Mine doesn't need anymore piecing so I just grab my back piece and lay it right side up.

Then I grab the front piece and put it on top with the wrong side up (so now, right sides are together).  You can stick a couple pins in the shoulder seams if you need to and then sew along the green lines.

Once it's all sewn up it'll look like this (you can leave those serger tails, they'll get cut off when we sew the sleeves on).

Easy as pie!  Meet me back here on July 20th for sleeves!!  As always, you can find me in Hailey Bug's Closet FB Group, or in the Sugarplum Cuties FB Group.  Post progress pics, ask questions, hang out!

Hailey Bug's Patterns Facebook Group
Craftsy: The Perfect Puzzle Set
Craftsy: The Perfect Puzzle Set Boy Add-on
Etsy: The Perfect Puzzle Set
Sugarplum Cuties Facebook Group

Sew-A-Long Blog Post Links:
Intro to the Pattern
Print, Assemble, Trace & Cut your Pattern
Cutting your Fabric
Constructing your Bodice
Attaching the top to your Bodice
Sleeve Construction