Review: Built by Wendy: Dresses book

Thursday, November 29, 2012

At Five Eighth Seams we pride ourselves on having a vast selection of patterns and pattern books. On our bookshelf, we keep everything from One Yard Wonders to books just for little boys. A lot of these books, like the beloved Sew What You Love that Laura tackled this summer, are project orientated. Meaning, they come with a variety of projects from clothes, to bags, to home decor. Built By Wendy is NOT one of those books.

Win a Pattern Book of your Choice!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Five Eighth Seams recently launched our very own Instagram account! Instagram is a very popular photo sharing app and is a great way to show off all the wonderful sewing projects you're making in addition to what they call #foodporn (photos of delicious looking meals), photos of your pets/kids,

20 Patterns in 10 Weeks

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Many of our customers may remember when Laura took on a sewers dream challenge this summer. She set a goal of completing 20 sewing patterns in the 10 week break she had from teaching high schoolers.

Sew Easy Elastic Skirt

Saturday, November 10, 2012

I love quick projects and this one you can do in an hour no problem, with just a yard (or less) of fabric, and is custom fit to any body size. So, let's get started!

Step 1: Measure and Cut

Measure around the waist to get your waist measurement. To get your length measurement, measure from your belly button down to where you want the skirt to end. Usually, I can make this skirt for kids with just a half a yard or less  for adults you might  need one yard.

Cut the following piece of fabric and elastic:

Width =  Waist measurement X 2
(If you want a more gathered look multiply it by 3 or more if you want a less gathered look multiply it by 1.5)
Length = Length of skirt + 1 inch.
Elastic = waist measurement - 1 inch (so it is not too tight).

For example, I am using Braelyn's measurements. She wears a size 12 month snuggly and measures 20" around the waist. I want her skirt to be 9" long. So...
Width: 20" x 2 = 40"
Length: 9" + 1 = 10"
Elastic: 20" - 1 = 19"

If are using a chevron or an ombre that run the opposite way on the fabric you will need to cut two pieces and sew them together. If you using any other fabric you can just cut one long piece. If you are making a gathered adult skirt you may need 2 pieces.

Step 2: Sew ends together to make one large loop with a .5" seam allowance.
Because I am using the ombre dots I going to have cut 2 pieces and sew them together.

Step 3: Serge or Zig Zag all raw edges, including top and bottom. 

Step 4: Hem the bottom.

Fold it over twice about 1/4". Honestly, you can just do whatever hem length you are comfortable with (pattern allows for up to 1/2") just make sure you sew the hem near the top of the fold in the back so you catch the underneath. For a smooth finish turn your stitch length up a notch, a 3 or 3.5 on brother machines.

Step 5: Baste the top edge all the way around. 
Using the longest stitch on your machine go around the top edge of the fabric using 1/4" seam allowance. Do this again at .5" seam allowance. If you are doing a small skirt you only need to go around once. The larger your skirt the more likely it is that you will break the thread while gathering. Two gathering lines will save you a headache so go ahead and do two. DO NOT BACKSTITCH! Also if you mark the spot where the gathering stitiches start and stop, you can regather if you pull out too much.

Step 6: Change thread color...try to match your elastic as closely as possible.

Step 7: Sew elastic together by first zigzagging  the raw edge and sewing a straight stitch next to it. It is not a good idea to serge the elastic. You can but it is not good for your machine and the thread color might not match.

Step 8: Gather the skirt and pin to the elastic.
Holding the bobbin string, gather the skirt. I like to over gather then slowly pull it out while I match the skirt to the elastic. When pinning to the elastic it is good to match up a skirt seam with the elastic seam. If you've got two seams in your skirt like me, just choose one of them. I like to pin the skirt about 2/3 of the way down from the top edge of the elastic. You are pinning the right side of the skirt to the wrong side of the elastic with the gathers (wrong side of skirt) facing up.

Step 9: Sew the elastic on.

If you are using elastic thread in your bobbin (ideal) see below.
You want to sew about 1/4" away from the bottom of the elastic. Feel the elastic and line it up with the left edge of your foot. Use something (like a magnet (pictured above) or a piece of masking tape) to mark where the top of the elastic lines up. Use this as your seam allowance. You want your seam to look even on the right side. You will use a zig zag to sew on the elastic. This will help the elastic stretch. I like the number 3 zigzag on the Brother machines. If you think you will be stretching the elastic a lot, put two rows of zigzag.

NOTE: If you are using ELASTIC THREAD in your bobbin now is the time to change your bobbin. You will also have to sew on the right side of the skirt. So make sure you flip it out so the gathers are facing down. If you are using elastic thread you can use a straight stitch. Elastic thread is great because you get a clean look on the outside and a lot of stretch on the inside. Brother machines do not handle elastic thread very well. If you need help call or stop the store and we can help.

Step : 10 Cut your threads and take out any basting stitches that you can see.

That's it :) It's so simple, I went ahead and whipped up this one for our family's Thanksgiving festivities using Riley Blake's Brown Chevron and 1.5" orange elastic.

Quilt Sashing, Border, and Backing

Friday, November 09, 2012

We're getting there! It seems like forever ago that I started this project but it's finally all starting to come together. Just take a quick look...

DIY Baby Growth Chart Quilt aka Lines Quilt

Monday, November 05, 2012

Follow on BloglovinNow that I am half way through this pregnancy reality has hit, I need to start planning and creating! We are excited to announce that the new baby is a GIRL, Mackenzie !!!  Of course I want to make as much as possible, but where to start? I need to make curtains, a crib skirt, a quilt, a blanket, and a mobile!  Reading Lindsey quilt updates has really got me interested in making another quilt so I guess I should start there. The other good thing about starting with a quilt is that it will bring all of the colors and fabric together.

Quilting: Hand vs Machine

Saturday, November 03, 2012

So this week is the lesson that our teacher had told us to be wary of since the very beginning. For those of us who were dreading hand applique, she said for sure we would not like this. It's hand quilting. And, she was right. One woman in class even just abandoned the lesson all together and went with her own technique for quilting with a needle in thread.

You'd think you just go up and down with the and out, in and out. Oh, no. Of course not. Quilters have figured out a way to make even this seemingly simple task difficult. Quilters use a rock and roll hand quilting technique that allows them to get more stitches done faster. The problem for beginners is that it's very difficult to get them all spaced perfectly each and every time.

Here's how I did with it...

Hand quilting over a stencil.
See the stitches on the "wings" at the top?? Yea. That took me an hour. No bueno.

Wanna see what it looks like when it's done right??

Hand quilting by Andi Perejda.
Freaking stunning, right?

So, all in all I'd say that learning (and perfecting) and hand quilting technique would be worth it if you have the time and patience. This girl (pointing at myself) does not!

Thankfully, next week we'll be tackling machine quilting which is much more my speed (pun intended).

Stay tuned for next week's blog, too, as I'll have my entire quilt top completely done! Eek! I've got a lot of measuring and cutting to do, but I can't wait to see it all done. Oh, and I also changed my sashing...again. But, this time I'm truly in love!

Hope Chest Floral. $10.90/yard

This is the Hope Chest Floral by Blend Fabrics. It's hard to tell on it's on but you have to trust me that it looks amazing as a back drop for the rest of my blocks. You'll just have to check back next week to see it all together.

Need to catch up on the whole series? Check out previous posts by clicking on the titles below.

Week One: Beginner Quilting
Week Two: Stripping and Half-square Triangles
Week Three: Hand Applique

Week Four: Final Two Blocks

Chloe Dress Violette Field Threads [Part One]

Friday, November 02, 2012

To see part two, the finished dress, click here. 
We started carrying Violette Field Threads patterns this year. I instantly fell in love with them and think they are just adorable. Misty found them by stumbling across the Audrey dress online. I love this dress by downloading a pattern is not my favorite thing. There's just something about holding the full pattern pieces with a book of directions.

But, online worries aside, the Audrey dress is great. It is fast to make and uses minimal fabric. They do have some adorable PDF patterns that I suggest using if you do not mind downloading, printing, and putting together puzzles. :)

After falling in love with the Audrey pattern I ordered the seven paper patterns they offer. They just released another six patterns that we will have in the store soon. I am absolutely obsessed with the Whitney pants and will make them the day they arrive at the store.

Daniela's daughter Fabiana modeling the Emmaline dress!

In the store Misty has made the Emmaline and the Molly jacket and in class Linda made the Vivienne skirt. I love all of them so when the Chloe pattern came in I was very excited to make my daughter's birthday dresses out of it.

When the pattern came in, though, I was a little confused by the fabric requirements. It called for Nylon Chiffon. You know it from your granny's old fashioned slips. It also called for Netting (itchy and yuck) or Poly-blend lining which is not my favorite to sew on.

Can't I just use cotton and tulle?

It says in a note that the nylon chiffon layer is for comfort against the skin. I agree that would feel good but let's be real...this dress if for a one year old. Comfort and ease of sewing prevail. Sorry, Braelyn. I still love you! I like the idea of using Hang Free 6000 Anti-static Lining, because they recommend the nylon chiffon I might try the polyester lining. Oh decisions, decisions! I love the idea of a full skirt but without buying netting I think an extra layer of tulle will work. For the lining (which is optional) it recommends Poly-blend lining. I am not going to add the additional lining.

Princess or Cupcakes? Why not both?!

I know I sound crazy but I cannot decide between a princess print dress or a cupcake print dress.  These novelty prints by Michael Miller are both so adorable and because she is so young I think a novelty print is perfect for a birthday party. If she were older I would get a satin sold or a floral print but for a one year old birthday party I think novelty is fun. All that said, I am going to make two dresses for her this year. (See? I told you I loved her!) She'll wear a princess dress for her party in Ohio with my relatives and a cupcake dress for her party in Charleston with Matt's family and her friends. Going through the pattern it looks fairly simple. We will find out soon enough:)

Stay tuned to see how they turned included, of course!

Want to make your own Violette Field Threads garment? Misty is teaching a class on the Molly jacket! It is scheduled for November 9th from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. The class costs $40 and includes the $13 pattern. As usual, space is very limited, so call us today to reserve your space!
Design by Studio Mommy (© Copyright 2015)