Monday, March 2, 2015

Sewing 101: Fabric Anatomy



This month I wanted to share a little Sewing 101.  If you didn't know, I taught High School Family and Consumer Science, aka Home Economics, for 7 years.  I loved it and do miss teaching some times.  One of my favorite courses to teach was sewing or fashion design.  I love to sew and I love to teach others how to as well.  So I thought, why not do a little sewing basics right here on the blog.

Lesson 1:  Basic Fabric Anatomy

What is fabric anatomy?
Well, just like our body has specific anatomy or "parts".  So does fabric.

Why do I need to know fabric anatomy?
Anytime you work with fabric it is important to know which direction to cut the pattern on the fabric.  Some pattern work best when cut on the bias.  Others need to be on grain.  So knowing your anatomy will keep you from cutting incorrectly.

What are the different "parts" of fabric?
First we need to understand Warp and Weft.  Warp yarns are the yarns that go from top to bottom or up and down.  Weft yarns are those that go from left to right.  (I always told my students to remember weft by saying "from weft to right".  Totally silly, but you remember).  

When cutting our patterns, most will be cut in the direction of the warp.  However, some may ask for you to cut on the bias.  Bias is going diagonal on the fabric.  A pattern cut on the bias will have a little more stretch and ease and be more flowy.  This is common with skirt patterns.



If you don't recognize the words Warp or Weft, you might recognize Lengthwise or Crosswise.  Same thing just different names.  Now, a few more anatomy terms:

Right Side:  This is the side where the print of the fabric is located.  If you don't have a printed fabric, you have to make sure to check which side is right.  On some fabrics it is easier, like satin it is the shiny side.  On Velvet it is the side with the pile, or fuzzy side.  But fabrics like denim may be hard to tell.

Wrong Side:  This is the un-printed side of the fabric.  Or the side that doesn't have the pile.  Or the ugly side.

Raw Edge:  Is the cut edge of the fabric.  So when you go to the cutting counter and they cut the fabric, that is the raw edge.

Selvage:  This is the edge of the fabric that is finished.  Often times on fabrics they will have a 1/2" to 1" edge that may be white, or have the name of the manufacturer or even little holes in it.  This is the selvage.  This is the side of the fabric that is connected to the machine as it is created.  The selvage is important because this is how you decide where your Warp yarns are.  They are parallel to your selvage.

Fold:  The fold is just that.  The folded edge of your fabric.  If you purchase 44-45" fabrics they are usually folded on a bolt.  60"+ can be found rolled and therefore do not have a fold in them.




And there you have it.  Basic fabric anatomy.  So the next time someone says to put something on the bias, now you will know what the heck that means!  So go check out your fabrics and get sewing!


Thursday, February 26, 2015

DIY Dog Pillowcase Tutorial for TBT

DIY Dog Pillowcase Tutorial for TBT

A few years ago we got our dog, Matilda.  Like most dogs, she tends to shed hair and it gets all over her bed and everything else.  To help prevent us having to wash her bed all the time, I decided to make a little pillowcase to go over her dog bed.  It is super fast and we haven't had to replace her bed in a year or so.  So I thought, why not share.

DIY Dog Pillowcase Tutorial for TBT
Materials Needed:
2 yds of fabric
1 ft of velcro
thread
dog bed

DIY Dog Pillowcase Tutorial for TBT
First, measure your dog bed include the "puff" of the pillow. Then add 1 inch on all sides.  I like to have lots of room to put the pillowcase over the bed.  It helps to keep it from being to tight.  Take your measurements and cut your fabric.

DIY Dog Pillowcase Tutorial for TBT
Now sew 3 of your sides together. I used the false flat felt seam. This makes it so my raw edges don't show at all. LOVE IT! You can zig-zag or serge. Whatever you want.

DIY Dog Pillowcase Tutorial for TBT
Now that your sides are sewn, take the open side and iron down about 1/2" all the way around.

DIY Dog Pillowcase Tutorial for TBT
Then iron down again about 1 1/2"-2". Make sure it is even all the way around.

DIY Dog Pillowcase Tutorial for TBT
Sew it down on the bottom edge.

DIY Dog Pillowcase Tutorial for TBT
It will look a bit like this when your finished.

DIY Dog Pillowcase Tutorial for TBT
Now the velcro! You could totally put in a zipper, but I like velcro.

My great husband pointed out I could have saved velcro by placing the open end on the short side.  Of course this was after I was all done.  I told him I totally picked the long side on purpose because it was easier to get the bed in the pillowcase.

DIY Dog Pillowcase Tutorial for TBT

I decided to place about 2" pieces of velcro 5-6" apart across the bottom.

DIY Dog Pillowcase Tutorial for TBT
A little trick I picked up, if you don't want to pin the velcro to sew...glue it! You can use craft glue or hot glue. they both work. Just don't use too much and make sure it is dryish before you sew.

DIY Dog Pillowcase Tutorial for TBT


When you sew the velcro you'll sew it down in a box with an X through it. This keeps it in place and gives it more strength.

DIY Dog Pillowcase Tutorial for TBT
Once you're done, stuff that bed inside and you have yourself a removable, and washable bed pillowcase.

DIY Dog Pillowcase Tutorial for TBT
Isn't it cute!
DIY Dog Pillowcase Tutorial for TBT

I'd give you a great shot with my dog laying nicely on her new bed, but well, this is about as cooperative as she is. 
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Monday, February 23, 2015

Special Occasion Skirt

Special Occasion Skirt Tutorial by GYCT
Growing up I remember we always had a special outfit for certain holidays.  For Easter, we looked forward to getting a new dress and maybe hat.  For the 4th of July, we often got a new t-shirt.  And for the fall we usually had a new dress and some black shoes.  I loved those simple traditions.  It made those times of year special and exciting.

Now that I have my own children, I still feel this way.  I want holidays and birthdays to be special.  For them to feel like they are important.  With that on my mind, the special occasion skirt was born.  It is simple, fast and super cute.  My daughter loves the sparkly fabric and honestly, you could make this simple skirt with almost any fabric you have on hand.  Perfect for a special project or presentation at school, or for the upcoming family outing. 

Special Occasion Skirt Tutorial by GYCT
Materials Needed
Skirt Fabric - depending on your child's size, probably 1/2 yd+
Gathering fabric - 1/2yd+
1" Elastic
Thread


Step 1
Measure your child's hips.  Then add 4".  So if your child's hips are 18" add 5" so now you have 23".  Now divide that in 2 because you'll have front and back skirt pieces.
23 / 2 = 11.5"
 Now cut 2 skirt pieces (front and back) of your skirt 11.5" wide and then whatever length you wish.  I did about 8".  Now stitch them together at the side seams.
Special Occasion Skirt Tutorial by GYCT

Step 2
Fold the bottom edge up 1/4" and then again 1/2" and press.  Stitch around the folded edge of the hem.  Press.

Special Occasion Skirt Tutorial by GYCT


Step 3
Now for your gathered layers.  Take your length measurement of your skirt and divide by 2.
 8 / 2  = 4
This will be the length of your bottom gathered layer.  For the width, take your original skirt width and times that by 2
11.5 x 2 = 23
So your bottom gathered layer will be 23" wide and 4" long.  You will cut 2, one for the front and one for the back.
Special Occasion Skirt Tutorial by GYCT

Step 4
Take your bottom gathered pieces and but them right sides together and stitch down the side seam.  If you are using a special fabric like tulle or organza, you can use a zig-zag stitch.  (If you need some more advice on sewing with specialty fabrics, check out this post about Sewing with Special Occasion Fabrics)  If you are not using tulle, you'll want to make sure to hem the bottom of your skirt now.

Special Occasion Skirt Tutorial by GYCT

Step 4
Now gather your bottom layer using a basting stitch.  (Need more help? Check out our post on How to Make the Perfect Gathers)  If you are not using tulle, you'll want to make sure to hem the bottom of your skirt now.

Special Occasion Skirt Tutorial by GYCT

Step 5
With your main skirt, right side out, place your gathered skirt about 3 inches up from the bottom of your main skirt.  You can see the gathered skirt should hang over the bottom of the main skirt.  Pin the skirts together.  Carefully sew the gathered skirt to the main skirt.

Special Occasion Skirt Tutorial by GYCT

Step 6
To cut out your top gathered layer of your skirt, you'll want to make sure your gathered edges of your bottom layer will be covered.  My top gathered layer was 6" long instead of 4".  You will cut the width to be the same as your main skirt, mine was 11.5".  Again you'll cut 2, a front and back.  Now, repeat steps 3 and 4 with your top skirt layer.  Now, pin your top gathered skirt to your main skirt right on the top edge.  Add your gathering stitches through both the top and main skirt pieces.  They should be gathered together now.

Special Occasion Skirt Tutorial by GYCT

Step 7
Your waistband should be cut out using your child's hip measurement.  My daughter's hips are 18".  So I want to make my waistband 18" + 1".  The extra inch is for ease.  Now cut your waistband 19" wide and 4" long.  Fold in half and press so you have a nice crease down the middle.

Special Occasion Skirt Tutorial by GYCT

Step 8
Unfold your waistband and place it over your gathered skirt so right sides are together.  (My waistband below is a little longer than I said, ignore that.)  Pin it in place and make sure your skirt and waistband fit together.  Now stitch the skirt and waistband together.

Special Occasion Skirt Tutorial by GYCT

Step 9
Now for your elastic.  Measure your child's waist and cut your elastic to be about 1" less.  Now overlap the edges of your elastic about 1" and stitch.

Special Occasion Skirt Tutorial by GYCT

Step 10
Fold your waistband up and turn your skirt inside out.  Place your elastic over your waistband.  It will cinch a bit, but that is how it should be.

Special Occasion Skirt Tutorial by GYCT

Step 11
Now fold your waistband down to the wrong side.  Pin so that the raw edge is tucked under the wrong side of your waistband.

Special Occasion Skirt Tutorial by GYCT

Step 12
Stitch around the edge of the waistband to enclose your elastic and raw edges.

Special Occasion Skirt Tutorial by GYCT

Tada!!  You are done.  Yep, it is as easy as that.  So simple but cute and special.

Special Occasion Skirt Tutorial by GYCT

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Wave Pillow Tutorial



I shared this tutorial several years ago when our little man was just a baby.  It is crazy that he turns 5 this year!  But as I was going back through projects I thought that people might enjoy this tutorial again.  Especially since both of my little ones still love and cuddle with these pillows all the time.  Sister loves to pile them together and just relax.
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So for our froggie room I decided needed some "Wave" Pillows. Now most would call them Faux Chenille. But for our Boy Room--Chenille isn't really boyish. So we are calling them Wave Pillows, cause they look like waves.
This cute round one is probably my favorite. Plus, the little guy LOVES them. They are very soft and fun.
Want to learn how to make them? Check my tutorial out HERE on Scribd.


Monday, February 16, 2015

Tally Pleated Skirt and Short Release AND a HUGE SALE

Introducing the 

The Tally Pleated Skirt and Shorts Pattern is are a fun pleated skirt or short with decorative buttons. A simple elastic waistband is located in the back for a customized fit. 


Tally Pleated Skirt and Shorts PDF Pattern by GYCT


\Great for playing inside or outside and simply add a pair of leggings during the cold months.

Tally Pleated Skirt and Shorts PDF Pattern by GYCT

This pattern includes step-by-step instructions, full color photos, and full size pattern pieces for the shorts along with a cutting guide for the skirt. 

Tally Pleated Skirt and Shorts PDF Pattern by GYCT


Comes with pattern and instructions for sizes 6 month, 12 month, 18 month, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 and 12.
Tally Pleated Skirt and Shorts PDF Pattern by GYCT


Grab your copy of the Tally Pleated Skirt and Shorts now for 40% off, right here!!
Tally Pleated Skirt and Shorts PDF Pattern by GYCT

Now, fun announcement!!!  If you grab our pattern right here on our site, you can get it for 40% off!!!!  Check out our new site and grab a pattern (or two).  No code needed.





Tally Pleated Skirt and Shorts PDF Pattern by GYCT
Check out the amazing tester photos

`Tally Pleated Skirt and Shorts PDF Pattern by GYCT


Tally Pleated Skirt and Shorts PDF Pattern by GYCT

Tally Pleated Skirt and Shorts PDF Pattern by GYCT

Tally Pleated Skirt and Shorts PDF Pattern by GYCT


Like what you see?  Check out some of the shops and blogs of our testers.





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