Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Free Spirit Tank by Patterns for Pirates

I have once again been honored to test for Patterns for Pirates. This new pattern, the Free Spirit Tank, is loaded with options. From dress length to cropped top and everything in between, this is going to be your go to summer staple! I made myself not one but TWO tank this week! First, I did the curved hem then the hi/lo. I love the hi/lo stuff!

If you haven't worked much with knits, don't fret. This one is easy and you can even leave the bottom hem raw if you want. I tried hem tape for the first time on this one and I loved it! I will be using it more often from now on! Beginners can sew this pattern! For those well versed in sewing with knits, this one will be a quick project to add to your summer wardrobe! (the thermometer in my van hit 90 here today, so just in time!)

I love the coverage under the arm and that the neckline isn't too high or too low. Sized for XXS through Plus 3X, this pattern will fit everyone. My 16 year old can't wait some new tanks to wear to band camp this year! It comes in both a full back and racer back! And you should see this bow option! You have to head over to the Patterns for Pirates Sewing Group on FB and check out all the testers' pictures! The possibilities are endless! For a Limited time only, you can get the matching girls pattern Talor Tank by Made for Mermaids in a bundle set! TWINSIES! Head over now and grab these summer staples!

How to Serge or do a Rolled Hem with Sequin Chiffon OR How to Remove Glued Sequin

Okay, my job was to sew a dress with this lovely light fabrics... I went to the store and found this gorgeous navy chiffon with little silver metallic sequin. They were glued on. I loved it! I'd never used the stuff before, but how hard could it be? The pattern suggested using a very tiny needle for the lightweight fabrics such as chiffon, so I picked up a pack of 60/8 universal needles. I was ready...

Just to make sure my settings were correct, I picked up scraps of this sequined chiffon and started practicing my rolled hem (I don't work with chiffon on even a yearly basis... so practice is a must.). Sure enough, once that nice and tiny needle hit a sequin, my thread broke. I tried again and got the same result (definition of insanity).

Then I turned to the internet for help. I googled and searched and googled. I couldn't find anything to really help. I tried picking them off and darned things wouldn't budge. I had a deadline. I had to finish this dress. I needed a solution fast. So, I ran to the store for non-sequined chiffon. Uh-oh, they didn't have any plain navy chiffon in-stock. Crap. I've got to make this work. So I asked some sewing friends... one suggestion was to use Goo Gone. At this point, I'll try anything. I knew it was a blend of oils, so I COULD get that off the fabric if I had to. I didn't think it would eat the fabric like some more abrasive cleaners and solvents.

To my utter surprise, those suckers peeled right off! It was SO EASY! YAY!!! So I took my 2 big circles for skirt layers and I turned on the TV and grabbed a beer and dabbed and plucked and dabbed and plucked until the hemlines were clear! I gave myself at least half and inch or more just to be safe. Then I brilliantly (patting myself on the back for this one) remembered that the skirts would have to be attached to the bodice, so I better remove the sequins up at the top as well or I'd be crying again when I went to attach them. In all, I spent less than an hour sitting there removing all those little sequin (it was a LOT). Then I quickly set up my serger and finished those hemlines. Since I had so little luck finding things when I searched online, I decided to put this out there for others who land in my position! Here are the steps...

What you'll need:

  • cotton swabs or your preferred method for applying product to back of sequin
  • Goo Gone
  • glue-attached sequined fabric (I really think this will remove glued sequin from any fabric)
  • glass of wine, beer or tea (whatever floats your boat... totally optional though)
  1.  Open Goo Gone.
  2. Apply a small amount to the cotton swab.
  3. Dab the swab on the back of the sequin (wrong side of fabric).
  4. Flip fabric over to right side and peel off sequin. 
  5. Repeat until finished! (Have a drink every few sequins.)

To see my review of Maddie's Dress by Lily Bird Studio, head over to Pattern Revolution. And here's a little (very short) video of how easily they peel off compared to not using Goo Gone. I didn't even finish my drink! 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Grace Top and Dress by Made for Mermaids

Let me tell you about the Grace! If you haven't tried this pattern, you need to!!! Sized from 1/2 to girls 14, it fits nearly every girl in your sewing field of vision (unless you're like me and your friend just had a newborn... then you'll have to wait just a little bit.).

The best part about this dress is those sleeves. Sigh. They're just so... so... elegant... wistful... dreamy... I love them! Now this comes in both dress and top lengths, but I made the top length. I also used this beautiful Glow Voile by Amy Butler for Freespirit Fabrics that I got from Bee Quilted Beauties.

 This sash can be tied in the front or back depending on how your little one likes to wear it. Now let's talk about those sleeves. They truly are what make this pattern gorgeous. They do take time! I spent a good chunk of time folding and pressing and folding and pressing to get that beautiful hem. 

This dress can be truly wonderful with all those finishing touches included in the Grace pattern. Choose understitching instead of topstitching to secure those seams but keep a clean neckline. You can even fully enclose the bodice with a handstitched seam if you're up to it! I decided I was up to it! Done in voile, this top is so soft and comfy, even on the inside, that she wears it all the time! 

Now run, don't walk, over to Made for Mermaids and check out the Grace along with all those other wonderful summer patterns! Jenna happens to be wearing a pair of Lucy Ruffle Shorts in these photos!