Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Easy Sewing Pattern - Pleated Peasant Dress sewing pattern

Designing from Scratch
(Above) Mock-up of a pleated peasant dress sewing pattern
Last year I sewed this dress (pictured below) for my niece and I thought about publishing this peasant dress sewing pattern. But my list of pdf sewing patterns to create is constantly growing and evolving and this one slipped right on by for twelve months! Can you believe it?

Here is the orginal version (below):

I'm finally ready to focus on this peasant dress sewing pattern and am enjoying the process of designing it. I think drawing a design, creating the pattern pieces, sewing different versions of the dress until it is just "right" is my favorite part of designing PDF sewing patterns. Sometimes a few tweaks here and there make an entirely different dress and you never know what you might come up with by making small changes.

Funny thing is, I saved these pattern pieces for the longest time so I could recreate this dress. Well, wouldn't you know, I cleaned out my sewing studio last month and somehow they got misplaced in the shuffle of designs and I had to start from scratch. :) Just when I was ready to start, of course! :)

The only difference between the original and the mock-up version is the neckline, which needs some tweaking, since I really like the ruffled neckline look of the original peasant dress. (shown below) 

Original Versions above 
Since this sewing pattern was made from scratch based on a design that was just from the pictures above, it was a little tricky at first. It took time figuring out the armhole curves, the length and width of the pleats, the final sleeve lengths, dress lengths...etc. And if you know me, I do not like sewing a muslin version...instead I jump straight to the pretty fabric and dive right in, which obviously has had its drawbacks here and there. (Those mock-ups go to the scrap bins.)
But I am very pleased with this version of the pleated peasant dress sewing pattern shown below. My little girl did not want to model it at first, but I bribed her with my camera and then she started smiling and posing! Her little poses always make my day! Afterwards, she told me it was my turn to "be the model" and she took my pictures sitting at my sewing machine. "Look here, Momma, and say cheese!" Too funny!
We had a giggle fest in the sewing studio tonight!
Pleated trim along the sleeves and dress border
Elastic neckline  - still needs some tweaking because I want the ruffle above the elastic casing - will work on that tomorrow
Love the topstitching!
Pleats - my different take on "ruffles" for the moment!
I will keep you posted on this peasant dress sewing pattern, but I wanted to share with you all some of the steps I take when I create a pattern. It's a process I love and love sharing with all of you! Thank you for being Seamingly Smitten!
Let me know which style is your favorite!
Happy Sewing!

Friday, November 16, 2012

How to Sew a Kitchen Valance - mini tutorial

If you have ever wanted a quick change for your windwows and did not want to commit to drapes or roman shades, a valance is an easy and quick sewing project. I have had the same valance in my kitchen for about two years and finally got tired of looking at the red toile. My taste changes back and forth from French Country to Transitional - meaning I like traditional decorations with a slight modern touch here and there and with the amount of time I spend in fabric stores, my eye is always on the lookout for a new sewing project!
We are having company coming over soon and I wanted to spruce up the house. Someone once told me if you ever want to get things done, invite people over. Thanks, Adria, because this really works! I put this valance on the top of my sewing project to-do list and finally sat down today to do it. I'm so happy with it and I want to teach you how to sew a valance. Here is an easy valance tutorial.
It only took 2 yards of fabric and an hour and a half to sew two kitchen valances and you can do it, too!
How to sew a valance
1. Measure the width of your window (I measured from 3 inches outside the window molding on either side, since my curtain rod was already that long.)
my width: 80 inches
2. Multiply your width by 1.5 - This means I took 80 x 1.5 = 120 inches
3. Figure out how long you want your valance to be. I wanted mine to be 17 inches long.
4. Add 2 inches to the length you want.   17 + 2 = 19 inches long - This will allow me to have a 1 inch hem on top and bottom.
5. My valance will be: 19 inches x 120 inches long before I hem it.
6. Cut TWO pieces of fabric  19 in x 60 in using home decor fabric. They are usually 60 inches wide.
7. Lay these pieces right sides together and pin at one short end. (The 19 inch end.)
8. Sew along your pinned edge using a 5/8 inch seam allowance. Trim threads. Press seam open with an iron. Now you have your valance piece that is 19 inches x 120 inches.
9. Hem your valance one inch on all sides. (This means turn up a half inch hem and press with an iron, fold up another half inch hem and press with an iron. Pin. Repeat for all four sides.)
10. Sew your valance on all four sides using a 3/8 inch seam allowance. Trim threads.
You're DONE! Hang it up! (I used clip rings on a rod.)

 For the window above the kitchen sink I made the valance shorter - only 13 inches long.

I'm so happy with how it turned out! I think the fabric colors are vibrant and fun and I cannot wait to eat dinner tonight so I can look at it again. :)

What color would you use if you were going to redo your kitchen drapes or valance?
If you're wondering what is in the crockpot, it is a pot roast with onions, bell peppers, bbq sauce, beef broth and carrots. Yum!

I hope you try sewing a kitchen valance! If you use this tutorial to sew a valance please post a picture on the Seamingly Smitten facebook page!
Go sew something beautiful!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sewing TUTORIAL: DIY bookholder - bedside book holder - how to sew a bookholder

Sewing TUTORIAL: Bedside Book Holder
My children are finally at the age where they LOVE books! At night they each get to choose a book and my husband or I read a book to each child. Those extra 10 minutes reading together at night is so special! The only problem was our book baskets were overflowing and they had trouble finding their favorite books. Do your kids look at the same book for 3 or 4 (or more) weeks in a row? You know that book! It's the only one they want to hear EVERY SINGLE NIGHT! :)
You can practically memorize it, right?
Since the books were overflowing we needed some DIY book storage. I sewed this Bedside Book Holder for my son in about 20 minutes and it can hold about 5 books in each pocket. This bookholder basically looks like a table runner - a long strip that lays between the mattress and box spring and has a pocket on either end. So he can get books on either side of the bed quickly and we didn't have to add any furniture to the room or buy a bookshelf. This is great for small bedroom storage, too.

TUTORIAL: DIY Book holder
*This will create a beside book holder for a twin size bed.

Gather materials: 1 yard duck canvas (because I needed something 62 inches wide and it is very sturdy material), pins, sewing machine, iron, scissors, fabric marker or sharpie, applique shape and heat-n-bond (optional)

1. Cut a piece of fabric 16 inches x 62 inches for the base of your book holder.

2. Cut two pieces of fabric that are 16 inches x 12 inches. These two pieces will make the pockets to hold the books.

*If desired add an applique now. You can iron on heat-n-bond to the back of the applique fabric. Cut out the shape you want. Peel off the back heat-n-bond paper and iron onto your bookholders. Stitch around your appliques. Then continue....

3. Lay out your two book holder pieces and hem the top edges (the 16 inch edges) one inch. Use an iron to press us a half inch hem, then another half inch hem. Press with an iron and pin. Sew along your pinned edges using a 3/8 inch seam allowance. No need to hem the other sides.

4. Spread out your main piece of fabric and pin one bookholder to either end. Pin them down with the hemmed edge facing up and towards the middle of the main fabric.

5. Sew along all three sides of your bookholder pockets using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Trim threads. Repeat for other end. (I'm using a darker thread for you to see the stitches. But use a thread that blends with your fabric.)

6. Now you have one long piece of fabric. Hem it on all sides one inch. Use an iron to press up a half inch hem, then another half inch hem. Pin all the way around.

7. Sew along your pinned edges using a 3/8 inch seam allowance. Trim threads.

8. Lay your bookholder between your child's mattress and box spring so it hangs off either side of the mattress. Fill with books!!
Happy Nightime Reading!
We've added plenty of PDF sewing patterns to the pattern shop. Here are the newest ones:

Kid's Play House Tent / Castle Sewing Pattern

Sadie Grace Girl's Nightgown Sewing Pattern

Little Lady Jacket sewing pattern
Coming Soon: Taylor's Bubble Dress sewing pattern - just in time for the holidays!
Happy Sewing!! Go find some fabric and sew something you love!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Easy pajamas sewing pattern - Nightgown sewing pattern by Seamingly Smitten

All sizes included: 6 months - 8 years
Does anyone buy their little kids matching Christmas pajamas right after Thanksgiving? Or maybe you give them to your children on Christmas Eve so they can really get excited for Santa Claus' arrival? When I was growing up my parents would always let my sister and I open one gift on Christmas Eve and it was our Christmas pajamas. Usually they were flannel pajama pants with a top or a long sleeved nightgown and I always looked forward to this gift! Lucky enough for me, my mom still does this, only now it includes both my sister and I, our husbands and our children. Everyone gets pajamas and we still love this!
I wanted to make an easy nightgown sewing pattern for girls so their mommies, grandmommies, aunts and loved ones can sew Christmas pajamas for their little ones!
The Sadie Grace Nightgown sewing pattern is for girls sizes 6 months - 8 years. With it's raglan sleeves, bias tape neckline (or hemmed), longer length and tie in the front, this is one classic and easy nightgown sewing pattern!

Raedene Averitt, the creator of Chasing Mermaids, (also on Facebook HERE) sewed these gorgeous holiday pajamas with this pajama sewing pattern for her two precious little girls! (She takes orders, too, if you do not know how to sew them yourself! She has an etsy shop HERE.) 

They look ready for Christmas already wearing their holiday pajamas and enjoying a tea party together, serving one another a cup of imaginary hot cocoa.

Sleep tight, little ones! Christmas will be here before you know it!

Sisterly love - sweet hugs - cozy Christmas pajamas

Time for tea, time for books, time to play the day away.
Sew a Sadie Grace Nightgown Today!
All patterns can be found here.
All pictures taken by Mary of Where's The Zoom. You can find her on FACEBOOK HERE.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Christmas Dress sewing pattern

Even though it isn't even Thanksgiving, the stores are already getting people excited about Christmas! It was the last thing on my mind until this week. I started wondering what my little kids would wear and I came up with this dress sewing pattern!

After searching for the perfect and easy sewing pattern to sew my daughter's dress and unable to find one, I set out to make a PDF sewing pattern for it to add to my Seamingly Smitten sewing pattern collection here.

If you know me and the styles that I am drawn to (besides bold and outrageously fun colors!) you know that I ADORE classic styles. I wanted to create a dress that had a classic scooped neckline, long sleeves that gathered three quarters of the way down, had a single button closure in the back, a long sash and a bubble skirt. To me, this design screamed party dress!

Here are some fun pictures my daughter took in her dress yesterday when she tried it on for the first time. She still wore her school shoes and socks and refused to wear a bow, but you know what? It didn't matter, she was still precious!! (I didn't add the button yet - that's why you can see that tiny pin.)

She's already searching for the holiday decorations!

Stay tuned! I will let you know when this PDF sewing pattern for beginners is ready!