Welcome to the very first pattern sew a long! I am pretty excited about this, so i apologize in advance for the exclamations points.
First, let’s start with a little introduction though. Hi!!! My name is Jeanine, I am a recent addition here at the Scientific Seamstress, you might have seen me about facebook if you are there. If you are not you should be!
Join our facebook lab group
for the day to day and to ask away any questions you might have, and just to chat too! Especially if you are sewing along you will want to be in the lab group there is a prize album for Dana’s and Maddies is open June 1st until June 15th, 2013. There are some great prizes to be had!!!
If you just found this and want to sew a long (and why wouldn’t you?!) Get your pattern in the etsy shop
(This is me. I thought I would post a picture in case you like to put a face to the writing. ps. I am wearing an Angie dress – pattern also in the etsy shop)
So step 1 is going to be to print your pattern. Make sure you are set to not scale and right before the pattern pieces start at the end of the instructions there is a printing guide so you only need to print the pages for the size you need. I put arrows on this screen shot to show you where you should be looking. I also always print in draft/fast mode to save on ink
Once you have your pattern printed I assemble every Sisboom pattern in stages. Tape together the A, B, C, D pieces and then tape A to B and AB to C and so on.
And below you can see my pattern ready to go. I also want to mention I always write the measurements I need for non pattern pieces (ruffle and binding strips in this case). I just find it easiest to have it right there and not have to go back through the pattern and also next time I go to make it I have that there so I won’t forget those pieces in case I decide to just cut my fabric before opening the pattern, you know, since I’ve made it before. I read the directions off my tablet as I sew. I find it is a nice size to just have next to me.
For laying out your pattern on fabric – check the stretch – you want stretch to go across your main pattern piece not with it – As shown in the picture.
ETA: I am using woven fabric
Here are all my fabric pieces cut and ready to sew! Don’t forget to make the notches in the binding and ruffle pieces – they will come in very useful when you get to sewing!
Now there is just one thing to do before we start sewing – interface 4 of those sleeve band pieces (2 mirror sets). I didn’t have any iron on interfacing – so I had to use sew in (blech). If you are in the same boat – don’t waste your time sewing it in!!! Get out your kids glue stick and lightly glue stick them on to your fabric – works like a charm!
(pps. Yes, I did get that interfacing brand new in package at the thrift shop for 25C! and ppps. Do you like my toddlers craft? Can’t let my sisboom scraps get thrown out so we craft – she thought her butterfly needed to be in my picture)
On day 2 we will start sewing, but for now you are ready to sew – so go get yourself a snack! I know i am partial to gummy candies
See you tomorrow! any questions? Hop on over to the facebook page
The Scientific Seamstress
Now let us pick up where we left of for our final day of the sew a long!
We had just done the gathering lines along the flutter sleeves. so pin the sleeve down – right sides together to the main piece one pin and each end and one in the middle and lightly gather and spread your gathers evenly.
Make sure your stitch length is back to normal
Sew a long to attach sleeve to arm bands, I should note it might be a good idea to remove pins as you come up to them… go ahead – ask me how I know !
Now set your machine to zigzag (or serge if you are lucky enough to have a serger) and finish the edge where you just attached the sleeve to arm bands
NOTE: I do not follow the written directions for the rest – and this is because I prefer to finish my edges after I have tried on and adjusted for the fit I want.
Next you will put the sides together – and sew right up from bottom edge to flutter sleeve top edge.
Back to zig zag to finish off the inside edge
Now remember how we overcast/or zigzaged and ironed that flutter sleeve outside edge? Well now it is time to sew that fold over down.
Now I overcast foot the bottom hem edge but I do not hem it yet!
After I have done this I try it one to see how much I should do my bottom hem by and if I want to adjust the fit. For this pattern I wanted it to be a bit more fitted, So I got out my disappearing fabric pen and made the marks to sew as shown below. Then I tried it on again and realized I have minimal hips – I really should have sewn straight down (drawn on white marks) so I went back and sewed straight down. The inner most point is 1.5inches, just so you know how much I took it in. I did this one both sides of the shirt.
I re tried it on and loved the closer fit so then I turned up my hem and sewed it up (I did a one inch hem since I cut it a bit extra long just to be safe – I’m weird like that) I also attached my label to the inside on the side I chose to be the back of the shirt. I chose which side to be front and back based on the fabric pattern being arranged more pleasing to me on one side vs. the other.
And You have now completed the Dana/Maddie pattern!!! YAY you!!!! Go try it on – get a picture of yourself and post it in the facebook lab group
album titled “Dana/Maddie Sew-a-Long” (or just hang it on a hanger for a picture if you really don’t want to post a picture of yourself online)
bonus points that add up to nothing but a cool factor if you put on a funny hat for your picture!
The Scientific Seamstress
Hello day 3 of the sew a long!!! Time to work on the sleeve bands! Now if you read ahead in the pattern this is likely the day that scared you – but they are MUCH easier than they seems to be – so take a deep breath and just sew with me! NOTE: I chose the option of doing flutter sleeves. If you did not choose this option follow the directions on the pattern – this part works for bias tape finish non sleeves too)
Now lets start those sleeve bands! For the front and the back you should have this:
Now you want to sandwich the main piece armscyes in between the sleeve bands (sleeve bands should both be pretty side facing inward. When you put them about as shown on page 11 be sure to line up your notches. (Do you see the three layers all together?)
sew around for all 4 sleeve bands (we will attach the front and backs soon so no worries about that right now!)
Snip snip about the arms so they turn out easily but do NOT snip the stitches! Fold the sleeve bands out and iron them flat. (I forgot to get a picture of that – but you can see it on page 13 in the Dana pattern)
Now we join the front to the back via the sleeve bands! spread the sleeve bands for your front and back and pin them up and stitch together on both sides
Now go and get a snack or a sip of water. The stressful part is over and done – just easy sewing from here on out!
Get your flutter sleeves and the pattern says to zigzag but i love to use my oversticthy foot. So I set to zigzag and the fabric feeds through and folds over and sews it so pretty.
(see the over stitch foot work there on the left – no raw edges! Those get neatly tucked inside and you can stitch that down later on) For now set your machine to it’s longest stitch length again and sew to gathering lines (as shown below)
Are you feeling tired yet? I am starting to feel like I need a cookie… Meet back here tomorrow to finish off okay?
In the meantime check out our facebook lab group! Don’t forget the album is up there for entering your Dana/Maddies into for the prizes we have !
The Scientific Seamstress
Welcome to day 2 of the sew a long!
Today we start sewing! First get your ruffle strip and fold it in half and allign the raw edges to the bodice top. (do for the front and back)
Remember to set your stitch length to the highest you have for gathering purposes. I sew 2 parallel lines to gather
Ruffle until it is the same length as your binding strip. Next as per the directions on page 9 do the binding strip on your ruffle right side down on your wrong side of main piece with your ruffle in the middle.
now onto page 10 of your directions, iron your ruffle piece away from the main fabric and then fold your binding trip over to the front and under (shown below – I folded it up on the left so you could get an idea of the layering)
In this next pic you can really see how the binding strip is folded under – I ironed it like this and then pulled the ruffle piece up. I just found it much easier to work with this way.
Pull the ruffle bit up – but keep that binding strip down and carefully pin into place. It might want to get away from you or bunch up behind there as you pin so keep your eye on that.
Edgestitch that binding strip in place
You should repeat these steps for the front and back pieces. and now your front and back main pieces should be complete!
Tomorrow we will work on the sleeve bands! This is pretty painless so far right? If you have questions hop on over to the facebook page
The Scientific Seamstress
When I was pregnant with my son, I was working in a lab at Cornell and sewing doll clothes on the side. I knew our income was going to drop significantly after I went on an indefinite maternity leave, so I started researching cloth diapering. This was 2004, so cloth dipes were just starting to make a resurgence nationwide. I happened to live in Ithaca, NY (which was, and always will be stuck in the early 70′s) so I had lots of support from other cloth diapering mamas. Anyways, cloth diapering itself wasn’t that hard – lots of laundry, some stinky diaper pails…but all in all not too bad.
We bought disposables when we were traveling or when the house was on the market, but otherwise we did great with very unfancy cloth diapers (handmade pre-folds with purchased wraps).
Louie spent most of the early weeks in onesies and sleepers, but when it came time to dress him up and take him out, I found that pants for his size didn’t fit over his diapered bum. Maybe it was the hormones, too many episodes of Baby Einstein (specifically, Baby Neptune), or possibly too much time on the mothering.com forums, but I came up with an amazing concept for a WAHM (work-at-home-mom) business…POOFYPANTS! I had learned a lot about drafting and sewing pants from sewing for odd-shaped dolls. I applied this knowledge to engineer pants for a creature with a huge butt and tiny ankles. Knowing that length would outpace width, I designed the leg openings to be rolled up or cuffed.
The first few pairs I made were 0-3 months (Lou’s size), and 3-6 months (which seemed HUGE at the time - lol). I made an insane number of pairs out of my fabric stash (latent nesting hormones) and put them on ebay with matching onesies (simple patch applique, but very cute). I immediately got requests for larger sizes. Since I didn’t have a model that size, I waited a few months. When Lou was 7 months, I drafted the 6-9 month size.
He was thrilled. By the time he was 10 months old, I was back into doll clothes, but I still drafted the 12 month size just for him to wear to a party.
I actually sold a LOT of Poofypants during my first few months of motherhood, and not just to the cloth-diaper set. Turns out, the pants looked super cute on all precious baby butts, regardless of the padding. Moms loved the fact that they were reversible and grow with baby. There is just something special about the fit – and it changes just like the little ones’ proportions…no grading rules – just a mama’s instinct (sooo contrary to my scientific training). It works so well, though. The infant sizes are more “frog-legged” while the toddler versions are designed for running around, squatting, and having tantrums
I drafted my original patterns on tissue paper from my baby shower gifts, and I stashed them away when I moved on to bigger kids’ clothes and eventually patternmaking. I dug them up last year, and decided that they might make for a fun pattern. I thought they were different enough from my Easy Fit Pants
(which is probably my best seller of all time) to warrant a pattern just for the little ones.
So, I made a set out of fresh, fun, Sis Boom prints, appliqued a teeny onesie, and sent the set of to a gorgeous baby and her photographer/bowmaking mommy
I put the pattern up for sale…and it was an insta-hit on Craftsy
, and YouCanMakeThis
!!! So even though my baby is long out of diapers, I get a little teary-eyed seeing testimonials like this:
“I’m a beginner and I found these instructions the clearest of any i’ve used, with step by step diagrams and clear worded instructions. I also love the range of sizes provided and the separate patterns per size so they are easy to cut. The pants are absolutely gorgeous!”
“Easy to Sew, Plus best pattern I can find for those Newborn sizes! Love It”!
“A very well-written pattern and crystal clear instructions. Plus, the finished garment is totally adorable and an excellent fit! I was lazy when doing the coordinating trim and just used a bit of bias tape! “
“This is the easiest pattern I ever bought. Very clear instructions, several pictures – easy to follow. I have some experience in sewing but I’m sure any beginner can make these in no time!”
The Scientific Seamstress
OK – not only was the pattern months in the making, but so was this post! I went into book writing mode, and my bloggy brain shut down. The manuscript is in, so I can yammer again .
Jennifer and I are so happy to announce our two newest Sis Boom patterns! Vanessa (for women) and Bettyann (for girls) are very simple, loose-fitting shift dresses.
When Jen first showed me this design idea early last spring, I thought “no problem…a band, some straps, and the rest is just gathered and flowy” – wrong. Turns out, it was one of the most complex projects I’ve worked on so far! I started out making the bodice band fitted, but that made for saggy straps. Honestly, I was ready to scrap the whole thing, but Jennifer kept after me because she knew this style was in demand. So I went back to the drawing board…added in some ease, made the back fully elasticized for necessary give, and tweaked the strap positioning. I also added curves and slants in all the right spots to make everything hang nicely and cover beautifully. Since I was in the middle of a move from MD to NY, I really relied on my quality control team to make sure this one was a go. Here are a just few of the pics…
Judy of Hickity Pickity made mommy-and-me maxi dresses for her gorgeous girlies! She’s been selling her handmade frocks like crazy at art shows in Florida and around the world in her Etsy Shop! And oh my goodness, of course Jenny jumped in and made a great top for herself! She is just as cute in person, I can say this with authority because I got to meet her at Quilt Market!!! Oh – and look at Jenny’s little daughter Kelsey! Clever Mama paired the Bettyann with a Leighanna made from ruffle fabric!
Awww – here is Christine’s little doll Eleanor! She looks great (and cozy) in her dress with a turtleneck underneath!
Jeanne’s little girl (above) in the Bettyann, and her almost grown-up girl (below…doesn’t she look just like Amanda Seyfried?) in the Vanessa!
Jen went for all the options (ruffle sleeves, pockets) and I just love the results!
Kristina – an awesome photographer AND talented seamstress – made this Vanessa for her tween. Perfection!
My friend Sheri, who I left behind in Baltimore (sniff sniff) made this. The little one did her own accessorizing .
This is the back of Cathy’s dress. She is my queen of customer service, and is always getting requests for back views, so she gets the pics!
Andrea made the most darling circus-themed Bettyann (complete with Easy Fit Pants) AND she drafted a mini-me dolly-version!!!! Oh! and here is one more recent addition from Judy! Awwww!
The Scientific Seamstress
I analyzed my posting habits, and I realized I just don’t blog enough in the summer. In the past, I’ve come up with all kinds of excuses – potential move, working on a book, etc. The truth is, I am hot and I am lazy. I spend far too much time outside in the a.m., battling evil weeds and nasty squash beetles. Then I come inside, and have to feed and entertain my kid. That means slapping together PB&Js and heading to the pool. In between gardening and parenting, I sew and write about sewing. I make it sound awful, but I of course love it. Blogging gets shoved to the back burner, which is inherently wrong because I have so much to blog about!
Soooo…where to start?
Last summer’s excuse for not blogging is this summer’s big news! My first book, Sewn Hats was released on 8/28/12! Here is the description from the publisher:
35 hat patterns for everyone!
Sewn Hats is a collaboration of hat designs from some of the industry’s most-loved fabric designers, pattern designers, and bloggers. Expertly edited by top designer Carla Hegeman Crim, the patternmaker and blogger behind The Scientific Seamstress, Sewn Hats offers a collection of patterns that uses a wide variety of fabrics, from felt to silk, corduroy to cotton, and everything in between.
Sewn Hats is packed with beautiful photography, precise instructions, and detailed illustrations to make creating the hats a snap. You’ll find an array of hats for every age, gender, occasion, and style. Most projects are sized from baby through men’s sizes and inspiration for fabric selection and embellishments make each pattern even more versatile. All pattern pieces are conveniently located online. Simply click and print to get just the pattern pieces you need—no more tracing or keeping track of used pieces.
Whether you dig vintage or want to craft something cute for your kid, are looking to breathe new life into your own wardrobe or make a hat as a gift, Sewn Hats has everything you need to create something for everyone.
And how cool is this? All the patterns are housed online in PDF format – no tracing, no folding and tracing…just click and print!
In fact, I’m kicking off the Blog Tour, right here – TODAY! You’ll have a chance to win a copy, so stay tuned.
I had an absolute ball presenting at Martha Pullen’s Sewing Market in Arlington, Texas. I was really nervous about telling my life story, but Martha had me dance the Hokey Pokey and Macarena with her on stage, and I was ready to rip! I had my wonderful friend and tester Shannon by my side, and she was such an angel. It was a treat to spend time with her, and she and her family were so much help getting “goodie bags” together.
Our family is up and moving from the Baltimore ‘burbs to the Catskill Mountains in Upstate NY. Chef Del got a dream job as the Director of Dining at SUNY-Delhi. So I am in serious “primp the house to sell” mode right now. We love this big spacious home and the amazing gardens, but honestly, it is way more than we can properly manage at this point. We are going to rent for a bit, then find a little dream home in the Village of Delhi. In the meantime, I hope to be doing lots more writing, patternmaking, and blogging!
The Scientific Seamstress
Sewn Hats was designed to appeal to all ages, genders, and professions, and the latest stops on the blog tour are great examples of the diversity of styles you will get from this book!!!
Yesterday, Melissa Stramel (from Lilac Lane) posted about her darling Sweetie Pie Chef hat, It is reversible, available in child and adult sizes, AND has a comfortable stretchy knit band. As I’ve mentioned probably a gazillion times, my husband is a classically trained culinarian, and this hat really warmed his sub-zero iron-chef heart! Go visit her blog to see some precious pictures of the prototypes. Once you are there, leave a comment and win (then go check out the beautiful patterns in her etsy shop)!
In keeping with the super-sweet and delectable theme, Joanna Figueroa posted about her adorable Summer Blossom hat on the Fig Tree Quilts Blog. I have to admit…when I signed on to do this book, It was like winning the lottery to find out I was going to work with so many of my fabric designer heros on this project!!! I about died when I found out Joanna amongst them! She also has a beautiful new book out, entitled With Fabric and Thread. For sewn hats,we collaborated to come up with the most perfect baby/toddler sunhat ever. Go on over to her stop on the blog tour for more details, a chance to win, and some absolutely darling photos!
The next hat is perfect for the weather we are having on the East Coast today. The retro-inspired Raindrop Rain Hat is made out of laminated cotton, and is great for braving the weather in style. It was contributed by Alexia Abegg of Green Bee Design & Patterns. This lovely young woman has designed everything from quilts to totes to clothing (for kids and adults). I have to say, her writing and illustrations are impeccable. There are so many awesome designer laminates available, the possibilities are endless for a great rainhat. In her stop on the blog tour, however, she mentions that she made test versions out of a variety of fabrics, and they all came out great.
The Scientific Seamstress
Such a great blog tour is going on for Sewn Hats, and here I am stuck painting and scouring :p . Every now and then I’ll wash my hands and hop on the computer, but then I have to jump up and sand or grout something. Good news is, the house goes on the market tomorrow, and I can relax and ride along on the tour.
I just want to share some of the amazing stops we’ve had so far!!!
First up is Patty Young of MODKID Boutique! I so love her designs, and her techniques are impeccable. Her own book, Sewing MODKID style, came out earlier this year, and it is loaded with wonderful patterns and techniques for working with knits. For this collaboration, She came up with a precious, easy-to-make sunhat for babies and little girls.
I love the ruffled brim and woven ribbon accent. It has a cute covered button option at the tippy top, and it is reversible – 2 hats in 1!
Then we go on to visit Kaari Meng of French General fame! Not only is she the owner of a fabulous shop in California, she is a wonderful entertainer (ask Martha Stewart), fabric designer, and a big name in the scrapbooking industry. She has published several sewing books, and she had a very distinct vision with regards to her signature sunhat. She provided me with the raw materials, and “voila” a beautiful hat was born! You can read all about it here (as well as some wonderful comments from her readers).
Next, we travel up the West Coast to visit with Dolin O’Shea of Lulu Bliss. She has a garment industry background, is amazingly talented in writing/editing sewing patterns and instructions for best-selling sewing books (she’s worked with the likes of Jennifer Pagnelli and Amy Butler)! She also has her own line of crochet and knitting patterns (available here on Craftsy). Her Jackie Pillbox hat is so fabulous!
It is put together with perfect vintage couture construction (Dolin’s specialty), but is so simple and straightforward to make.
Going even further up the West Coast, we stop off to see Kathy Mack of Pink Chalk Studio. Kathy is the owner of Pink Chalk Fabrics, and the author of a line of very popular sewing patterns. Pink Chalk was the first big online fabric shop to venture out into downloadable patterns, and she has been such a great partner in getting the word out about Sis Boom and Scientific Seamstress patterns. She is so precise, professional, and enthusiastic in both her writing and sewing. So needless to say, I was thrilled to work with her on this project! She put together the perfect visor for both adults and children. It keeps the sun off the eyes, and the heat off the head. So go over and read her post (still time to win a copy of the book from her)!
And I just have to mention, the model was my son’s first grade math teacher. She is beautiful inside and out, and I was so happy she could be the face of this great design. Oh, and her mom works at our local quilt shop, so of course she has great taste in fabric .
Finally, head straight across the country to NYC! Lisa Carroccio, of Domestic Diva’s Distasters, is a perfectionist seamstress, self-proclaimed pattern snob, and one of the wittiest people I’ve ever met. I’ve “known” her since the early days of eBay boutique. She started out making one-of-a-kind doll clothes and then moved on to fancy girlie AND cool boy-centric designs (Lou owns one of her creations and he is not allowed to outgrow it). Now she has transitioned to commercial production with her Downtown Joey line, and is still such a great support to all her designer friends from the boutique world who are moving into commercial production.
One of the accessories in her line is an awesome skater/military hat, and she kindly contributed the pattern to the book. Even though she originally designed it for little guys, it looks great on big boys too (as evidenced by the hot bearded guy on the cover ). I have to mention, she was also a great mentor for me during the writing and editing process. She also contributed the awesome Spiderweb Rosette embellishment instructions to the book…you can get the free tutorial here!
We’ve had some additional blog tour stop confirmations, too!!! Please check out:
9/15 – figtreequilts.typepad.com – Joanna from Fig Tree Quilts
9/18 – prudentbaby.com – Jacinda and Jamie!!!!
Oh, and my winner for the Monday drawing (I’m so paint encrusted and technically inept to do a random drawing, so I literally covered my eyes and pointed)…is Lainie!
“I am so excited for this book!!! I love the Newsboy in addition to MANY others. I’m definitely a hat girl ” Lainie, you are the winner….please send me your mailing address and any inscription suggestions – firstname.lastname@example.org !
The Scientific Seamstress
I am so excited to kick off the blog tour for my first book, Sewn Hats! It is a collaborative effort that brings you patterns and instructions for a great variety of toppers. For this project, I got to wear many “hats” (both figuratively and literally). I was the collection curator, which means I worked with star contributors who provided their signature hat patterns. My job was to represent their unique styles and highlight their specialized techniques. As a contributor myself, I got to come up with designs to round out the collection, and also provide styles that were near and dear to my family and lifestyle. Finally, as technical editor and illustrator, I gave a cohesive, step-by-step approach to construction each and every hat. I am thrilled with the end product, and am very grateful to my publisher, Wiley, and all of the contributors for bringing this to life.
Shown above is a gallery view of the styles in the book. There are all-season offerings for men, women, and children. Most of the hats come in a wide range of sizes, so you can make them for lots of loved ones.
The awesome contributors will be blogging about their own hats, so I just wanted to mention a few of my beloved hats. Above is the Fantastic Fedora, and I was thrilled that they used a picture of my own little Lou to show it off. He LOVES this hat. He’s also gotten a lot of wear out of a lightweight denim version. This style is so in right now, and looks great on guys and gals alike.
Here a little scan of some of the illustrations, just to show you how I infused the Scientific Seamstress style into the book. If you have used my patterns before, you know I am very detail oriented. The publisher and editors were great about keeping that high level of explanation, but in a concise and easy to read format.
Another one of my favorites is the Hitch and Pitch Cap (shown above). It is the perfect baseball/trucker hat! The skill level is listed as advanced, but like all of the patterns in the book, could be made by a beginner with some time and patience. What I have shown you is just a smidgen of the great hats you can make from this book. Throughout the next month, our fantastic contributors will be sharing their designs. The schedule is as follows:
Each stop will include a giveaway, so make sure you visit them all!
Please leave me a comment about your favorite hat style, and you can win a signed copy from me!!! The drawing will be held next Monday, September 10.
The Scientific Seamstress