Thursday, August 13, 2009

Girlfriends

The girls have been playing together quite nicely lately. I have been so impressed. I think all the talks about "your sister is your best friend" are starting to pay off.

This has also allowed me a few free moments during the day to finally finish the coordinating outfit to this skirt I made last spring. I've had the pants cut out for a couple of months now and since there was no going back, I figured it was time to finish them up so they could actually be worn a few times this year. Better late than never, right?

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The pants were pretty easy to make. I figured out the width of my pattern, at the widest part (the hem) and divided that by 2, then added seam allowance for the middle seams. I think they ended up being 6" squares. I forgot when I was cutting them out that I had wanted to re-draw the pattern to add a little flare at the bottom since I wasn't adding a ruffle. Oh well. I think they still turned out purdy darn cute.

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Once I had all 4 pieces of patchwork sewn up I set it aside because I was seriously considering making it into 2 babydoll quilts. I had only bought a yard of each of these fabrics years ago and now have just scraps left. So it was a big decision to use so much all at once and for something we will only have for a short while. I am very attached to these fabrics. In fact these were the very first boutique fabrics I ever bought. Some Amy Buttler Charm and Jennifer Paganelli's Girlfriends, and all are out of print. I'm kind of wishing I had decided on the quilt. :( But they'll make for a nice resell next year, assuming they don't fit us anymore.

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The tank top is from Old Navy and I just ironed on some fabric stabilizer to the back, used a ball point neddle in my machine and sewed the ric rac on. Of course you'll want to heat seal the ends of the ric rac too. Just run them through a flame real quick and the end will melt. The little flower is actually a hair clip from Gymboree's Palm Springs line from last year. I hand sewed that on. I love their little fabric clippies. What an easy way to dress up a plain tee and make a one of a kind top to match.

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I hope you are enjoying what's left of summer.

5 comments:

Jessica said...

So cute - love the ric rac trim too! Allison looks so stylish with her new haircut...and a bit grown up too *sniff sniff* :)

Stacie said...

Hi. Can I ask some really dumb questions? Why do you use a ball point needle for the Ric Rac and why the stabilizer? And where did you put it? Can you tell I'm new to this stuff:)
Thanks. Super cute outfits! Love them!

Angel said...

Sure thing, Stacie! You should always use a ball point needle when sewing with knit fabrics. A regular sharp needle can actually cut the knit threads and create a hole, while the ball points aren't as sharp and just slip past the threads in the fabric instead of getting caught on them and tearing them. Some people say they can't tell the difference, but all it takes is one hole in a t-shirt you've just completed to become a believer.

You'll want to iron on some stabilizer (found in rolls on the notions wall at JoAnn's, called "iron-on stabilizer") so that when you sew the ric rac (or an applique) to the knit fabric, it doesn't stretch the fabric. The feed dogs puling on the fabric under the needle can just stretch the knit instead of pulling the fabric through like it does for a regular woven cotton. So where the ric rac is, the knit can look stretched out. Not so pretty. I've also found that the knit can get pushed down into the bobbin by the needle, without stabilizer. The paper backing helps it move smoothly through your machine.

Just turn the garment inside out and cut the stabilizer to the size needed to cover the back of where you are sewing. So for this top I cut a long rectangle and ironed it to the backside, then pinned the ric rac on the front and sewed it in place. Then just tear the stabilizer off, being careful not to stress the stiches.

Hope that helps!

~Angel

Stacie said...

Thanks so much! So you only need that needle and stabilizer if your working with knits? I really want you to know how much I appreciate your kindness and all the inspiration I am getting from your blog! Its super to be able to look around, get ideas, and to be able to ask questions.. Thanks!!

Angel said...

You are very welcome Stacie! I'm always happy to help.

The ball point needle is just for knits, but the stabilizer you can use more often. I would use it on any flimsy feeling fabric when doing applique work (with satin stitching). But for just attaching ric rac like I did, you would only need the stabilizer on a knit. It wouldn't be a problem to attach ric rac it to a regular woven cotton or denim.

I plan on making a multi-part photo tutorial of how to applique, this fall. Feel free to ask me any questions. You can also e-mail me at tadacreations@gmail.com

~Angel