Monday, August 01, 2016

Pattern Review: McCalls 7150 - Girls Shorts Set

First, a shameless plug for 4-H
For the past few years, I have the pleasure of serving as a project leader for our local 4-H club.  I volunteer to lead two projects:  computers and sewing for the more advanced members.  I am always impressed by the dedication and hard work our members put into their projects.  I volunteered  in the exhibit hall during the fair this year, so I got to view the projects of members across the county.  There were some amazing projects from all the members in a wide variety of topics:  foods, gardening, computers, geocaching, scrap booking. photography, shooting sports, woodworking, electricity and many many others.  4-H is a wonderful organization and if you have a child looking to do something different, definitely check it out:   National 4-H website

And now for the real post:

Despite volunteering with 4-H, I had never actually entered anything into a fair myself.  I was involved with 4-H only briefly as a child and as an adult, never had time to come up with anything that I thought was good enough to enter.  I looked at the open class entries last year for garment sewing and thought "I can do this".  However, as we got closer and closer to the opening of this year's fair, once again I thought, "Maybe next year."  Sprite, however, had other ideas and picked out the fabric and pattern for her First Day of School outfit.  She begged me to try to finish it in time for the fair.  She also informed me that I needed to enter my bread into the Foods class.  It was a push (I finished at 7 am on the day the entries need to be dropped off) but I made it.

PatternMcCalls 7150 - Children's/Girls' Top, Tunic, Dress, Shorts, Leggings and Headband

From the McCalls website:

Pullover top, tunic and dress are sleeveless and have yoke back and purchased bias tape for neckline and armholes. A: Yoke front, overlapped tulip-hem back. B: Hemline ruffle, wrong side shows. C: Applied ruffles, raw edge finish on heading. B, C: Bias bow, knot. Lined shorts, and leggings: Elastic waist. D: Thread carriers and purchased ribbon. E: No side seams. A, B, C, E: Narrow hem. Headband: Elastic, bow, knot.
Credit:  McCall's Patterns

I made View A, the pullover top and View D, the lined shorts.  I skipped the bow on the shorts which doesn't show in the line drawing, but does show in the pattern picture. 

McCalls offers this pattern in two envelopes:  Sizes 3-4-5-6 comes in one and sizes 7-8-9-10-12-14 comes in the second.  I made a size 14 in both top and shorts with modifications.  I measured the flat pattern pieces and they seemed accurate for the measurements given plus ease.

I used a aquamarine challis for the fabric fabric and a lime green lace fabric for the contrast.    The lace came from JoAnns Fabrics and the challis came from the clearance table of a local fabric store (one of the few left in my city.)

Cutting Error?
The top pattern has you cut two pieces for the back yoke, one from the fashion fabric and one from the contract. The pattern has you cut only 2 pieces of contrast fabric for the front yokes.  However, in the sewing instructions, you sew two fronts to a back for the fashion fabric, then repeat for the contrast.  I think that the pattern piece is missing the instruction to cut two front yokes from fashion fabric.

Sprite was just barely within the measurements for a size 14 for the top and the shorts were going to be too small at the hip.  The pattern provides finished measurements for length, but not waist and hip measurements, so it is a very good thing that I measured the flat patterns before starting.  I lengthened the top at the shorten/lengthen line by 1.5 inches and added 2 inches to the shorts by splitting the pattern pieces at the grain line marking and widening by 1/2".  That gave me enough room at both hip and waist for her.

Instructions - Top
I read and mostly followed the instructions and it is important to follow the sewing order listed to get the tulip back to work out correctly.  You sew the side seams first, then hem the front and back pieces before you attach the yokes.  This way, the ends of the hems of the two back pieces are neatly sewn into the yoke.

I didn't follow their method of hemming, preferring to use hem tape left from my mother's stash instead.  I used my serger to lightly gather the curves of the hem first, then sewed on the tape to cover the serging.  Then I topstitched the tape.  It looked fine, though I wish I had read Gorgeous Things tutorial on how to sew a shirt tail hem without rippling before I did this.

My other deviation from the instructions was to use the burrito method of sewing the yokes instead of simply sewing the seams right sides together.  It made for a much nicer looking inside.

Armholes and neckline were both finished with self fabric bias tape.  I bought some bias tape makers earlier this year from Amazon and this was my first time using one.  It worked beautifully and easily and I will use these again whenever I have a pattern calling for a bias tape finish.  They look much nicer than ready made bias tape.

Instructions:  Shorts

Shorts are some of the easiest things to sew and I can whip through them very quickly.  Good thing in this case as I was getting down to the wire by the time I got to the shorts.  The pattern has you interline the contrast lace with the fashion fabric by basting the lace to the fabric within the seam allowance.  Then you sew both pieces as one.  I deviated from the instructions by not sewing the casing for the elastic but sewed the elastic directly to the fabric with the serger, then flipping the elastic to the back and top-stitching it down.  This is my preferred method of sewing elastic waistbands.

This made for a very quick sewing of the shorts, but I think that bagging the lining would have looked nicer for the fair by hiding all the seaming. 

Fit Impression

Despite being super cute and an easy item to make, the fit was slightly off and Sprite doesn't like it.  The shorts have a rather high waist and Sprite, while having a long torso, has a relatively short rise.  The crotch droops and bubbles as she wears it and it is not comfortable.  I needed to drop the front waist a bit to make it work correctly.

The top just doesn't fit right either.  It is slightly too wide and gapes at the neck.  The armholes are a bit too high and rub.  She has her mama's rounded shoulders and the top comes too far forward and despite the length I added, it is still too short.  There are several fitting adjustments I should have made before I cut the fabric, but being pressed for time, I didn't.

(She didn't want pictures taken, so you are stuck with dress form pics still rumpled from being displayed at the fair for a week.  Sorry.)

Cute outfit, but definitely designed for and smaller, less developed girls than my near teenager.  I personally won't sew this pattern again but can recommend it if you check the fit first. We are looking for a new outfit for the first day of school.  Again, will be sewing down to the wire as school starts in just a week.

And, as you have probably already noticed, I did get my first blue ribbons from the fair for both this outfit and my bread.  I am already planning next year's entries -- hopefully I will leave myself more time to plan and not be sewing an hour before we have to leave for the fairgrounds.  It's a lot of fun to compete in open classes, especially with items you plan to make anyway. 

As always, thanks for reading!

I didn't realize that it has been almost a year since my last post.  A lot of life has happened in the meantime, some wonderful and some devastating.  Without going into detail, I'll just say that blogging moved not just to the back burner, but off the stove entirely until now.  I still want to use this space to document my sewing projects so I will continue to post even if it is sporadic.  If you are reading this, thanks for hanging out with me. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Work Dress

So titled because the "Poorly sewn, too big in the waist, but very comfy and practical dish-washing, bread-baking, garden-weeding, clothes-folding child care dress" was too long for the title.

I have had the idea for this dress for quite a few months, but other sewing and just life in general has gotten in the way of sewing for myself.  Mostly, I've been sewing for my girls, sewing kneeling cushions for my church's communion rail as well as helping 4-H members with their sewing projects.  I thought that being a stay-at-home mom would mean more staying at home, but turns out that moniker is a misnomer -- nearly every day I've been in the van heading somewhere with a kid or three in tow.  It's fun, really, and I love it, but I am amused at how little a SAHM actually stays at home.
Once the cushions and the 4-H projects were done, I started on this dress.  Have you ever had any project where you had a vision, then halfway through the project, you second-guessed yourself and went another direction only to realize that no, your first idea was really the best?  That is how this dress happened.  Unfortunately, it shows.

I wanted a work dress -- one where I am comfy and cool while cooking, cleaning, gardening and doing laundry.  I wanted an easy fit, but some shape.  I don't want it to twist, bind or constantly need adjusting.  I want pockets - deep ones for my phone and whatever else I carry from room to room.  I wanted the skirt to be long to cover the legs and full enough I can curl up with a kid on the couch and not worry about rearranging the skirt to cover me.  Didn't need to be trendy but something I can also wear for a quick trip to the school bus stop, grocery store or pharmacy.

I was tired of trying to fit pants, skits droop with the weight of everything I dump in my pockets and a dress just seemed like a simple item to just throw on in the morning.  The original concept was a princess seamed dress with a button front, pockets and a vee neck but no collar.  I doodled a lot of ideas, but this is what I kept coming back to.

I started with Connie Crawford's princess blouse block  CS1301.  A few years ago, I attended a sewing expo where she was teaching classes and I got a custom fitting.  Two years ago, she came back to teach a class at a local college and I attended and was refitted then.  I bought both the darted blouse pattern and the princess seamed blouse block later.  Just recently, she added a pants block and a skirt block to her line and I bought those as well (I know I said I was tired of fitting pants, but hope springs eternal).  She also has a t-shirt block, but I have a good pattern for tees in my Ottobre collection, so I skipped that one.

I love the concept of block patterns -- probably due to my experience as an application developer.  In my work, I would pull in coded and tested routines and reuse them in my own programs.  It made writing code and testing so much faster in getting to a final product.  This works the same way -- you use the bodice and sleeve that fits and either draft your own collar, cuffs and openings or use them from other patterns.  Once you have a well-fitting block (aka TNT or Tried-n-True), you don't need make every adjustment to a new pattern.  Of course, you will still need to fine-tune the fit depending on what fabric you are using and what additional elements you use, but your starting point is so much nearer the finish line.

The princess block pattern includes five pieces:  the front, front side, back, back side and short sleeve.  I made a muslin of mine in a quilting calico when I took the classes and it still fit pretty well.  I opted to face the neck and openings as I wanted something both simple to wear and simple to sew.  After looking at the pictures, I think I will make some changes.  I decided on a button-front opening

The five pattern pieces.  The sleeve is actually borrowed from my CS1201 pattern -- they are identical.  These have been traced onto posterboard for future use.

For the skirt, I used Pattern Master Boutique to draft a gored skirt with trouser pocket and a button-front opening.  The idea was that I would print off the skirt and use those pieces to extend the blouse block into a dress.  However, I got antsy when I had the skirt pattern printed off and taped up and decide that I would make the skirt first as a skirt and the blouse separately so that I could have two pieces and could mix and match with the rest of my wardrobe.  This is where I got derailed with my plans.

The skirt was bad.  It was so bad I didn't even take pictures.  I put way too much ease into the waistband and it was huge.  I tried to fix it by opening up the back waist band and inserting elastic and that just made it worse.  The front hung down because it was still too big and I was constantly pulling it back up.  I had already started on the blouse, so I decided to go back to my original plan of a dress instead of separates.

I removed the waistband entirely.  I marked the bodice at the point where I wanted to attach the skirt and pinned the skirt to it, matching the center back, front and side seams of the skirt to the bodice.    I had to resew some of the skirt seams so the skirt waist fit the bodice.  It worked, though the skirt seams didn't come close to matching the princess seams on the bodice. I did a pretty poor job of pressing them as well.  Sigh.  My 4-Hers would not be pleased.  I also didn't sew the button placket the same way on both items, so they don't match either. 

More pictures:

Close-up of front, with mistakes. 

 I am happy with the pockets, though:

Back view: 

I don't like the excess fabric above the waist.  I would prefer to see the fabric flow smoothly down the back and over the rump.  I think that if I deepen the back seams by 1/4" to 3/8", that should help:

My dress form is somewhat lopsided, hence one seam got more pinned out than the other.

So what does it look like on me?

It's....okay.  My sewing is terrible, my buttons on the skirt are wonky, but the dress mostly fits and is super comfy.  I've worn it all day, the pockets are quite adequate and for its purpose, it will do nicely.

Just for grins, I wanted to see if I liked it with a belt.  However, I don't have a belt that would work, so I cut a piece of 2" elastic and pinned it:

I didn't catch that I missed buttoning one button until after I was done taking pictures.
Again, it's okay.   I may have to look for a new belt when I go out the next time.

Will I make it again?  Yes, with modifications.

1.  Deepen the back princess seams.
2.  Adjust the width of the skirt panels so they match up to the bodice panels.
3.  Flatten out the curve of the skirt seams so that they don't pucker.
4.  Merge the pattern pieces together so that the bodice pieces and corresponding skirt panel are cut as one piece. 
4.  Deepen the V of the neckline or add a collar.  The current neckline is too high and looks weird.
5.  Do a better job sewing and pressing.  I know better.  Really I do. I may use this dress next year when showing my 4-H members what not to do.

For now, I have back-to-school sewing for the Diva to do and that pants block I just got....

Thursday, January 22, 2015

1933 Dress - Final Dress

In case you missed the first two parts:

Part 1
Part 2

The final sewing of the dress took about a week.  My friend like the royal blue/ice blue satin that I had used for Sprite's concert dress (unblogged and doomed to stay that way).  She wanted to use the ice blue for the yokes and sleeve bands.  She also wanted to deepen the V in the yoke and to add a V in the back yoke as well as lengthen the dress by 10 inches so she could have a full length dress instead of the tea length in the envelope.  For fit, we needed to make the back narrower.  I took out 1 1/2 inches on either side of the zipper.

I added the FBA dart and yes, the darts are too long.  On the dress form, they look like they end way too high but on my friend, they did indeed point correctly to the bust points. 

The sleeves look good after all all:

The satin didn't look this puckered in real life but the camera flash picks up every wrinkle.

After I finished the dress but before I hemmed it, my friend came with her shoes so that I could hem it to the right length.  She also requested that I take in the waist bit more, so I pulled it in another 3/4 inch on either side.  I ended up removing the skirt and redoing the side seams completely to make it fit correctly. 

She loved it.  I was dismayed to see the wrinkle on the left shoulder, which had not been there in any previous fittings, so something I did the day before caused it.  However, at that point, there was no time to fix it and she was okay with the finished project.

I could have shortened the back more to remove those vertical wrinkles.

However, she loved it and got lots of compliments on her dress at her party, so I am happy about that. 

Lessons learned:

  • Using a straight stitch needle plate and foot worked the best on sewing the satin.  It didn't look nearly as puckered in real life.  Actually looked fairly smooth.
  • Make at least two muslins for more complicated projects, particularly if you are sewing for someone else.  I am glad that I made the first one as complete as I did, but I really needed to do a second one to catch that shoulder problem.
  • Double check adjustments for both sides.  Again, I think it would have helped me catch that problem with the left shoulder.
  • I also think this pattern would have been better in a drapier fabric.  

It ended well, I learned a lot and I figure I will have prom dress sewing in my future so it was a great experience.  Sewing vintage patterns is an adventure and the instructions do assume that you have quite a bit of experience in sewing, so they don't necessarily cover every thing you need to know, like the easing and the lapped seams.

It is fun to think that my maternal grandmother, who would have been about 29 when this pattern came out, might have sewed it as an afternoon dress.  She was quite a seamstress with her old black Singer straight stitch machine. One of these days, I will pull out some of her pictures and post them. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

1933 Dress - Part 2, the Muslin

So time slipped by with making a concert dress for Sprite, finishing this dress in time for the party where it was to be worn, Christmas, Christmas vacation, baby gifts and sewing new jackets for the Diva.  

Part 1

I spent most of a weekend cutting out the bodice for the 1933 dress and putting together the front.  I think that I ripped each seam at least once during the process and some of them more than once. 

The first instruction was easy:  sew the center seam on the waist (lower) bodice.  Got it.

Next you hem the yoke pieces, then sew them to the waist using a lapped seam "per instructions on the previous pages".  Except there are no instructions on the previous pages.  I did some research via Google and found a few tutorials on sewing lapped seams.

Before I could do that, I folded back the top edge of each yoke per the pattern piece instructions:

Hemming the yokes was easy:  I used my serger to overlock the edges and folded back the bottom and edges and pressed again.  Here I have placed one yolk over the other lining up the center front line:

To sew the lapped seam, I sewed the yoke into the V of the bodice, starting from the point on both sides and sewing up to the armseye.  Then, I trimmed the seam allowance and topstitched the yoke so that it lay nice and flat.  The bodice had to be eased to fit the yoke and I didn't do the best job of it on the muslin.

You already see it, don't you? The need for the full bust adjustment? It is not an alteration that I personally need to do much so I had to look up how to do one.  I didn't do it on the muslin, but I did do it in the final dress (and made the dart too long, sigh).  There ended up being a lot of adjustments needed as I did the initial fitting.

The back also had a yoke and also needed to be eased to fit.  This was much easier.  However, I didn't get a picture of that.  Actually, by the time I got to this stage, I needed to concentrate on the dress itself and didn't get too many pictures until the final finished muslin.

The sleeves.  Wow.  The band was to be eased into the sleeve then overlapped to form the sleeve cap.  This made sense after I did it a couple of times, but for the final dress, I lengthened the band to match the sleeve opening perfectly.  The easing gave a rippling effect that I didn't care for so I eliminated it altogether.   The sleeve is designed to be a 3/4 length with shirring on the forearm and enough gathering on the underarm to match the top.  I didn't do all the underarm gathering as I thought I might need to open up the seam  during fitting.  After seeing how it looked, I decided to add more shirring under the arm as well and I liked the way that turned out.

The only real change that I made to this muslin was to move the opening from the side seam to the back and to substitute an invisible zipper for the hook and eye closure.  Sewing the skirt was simple enough.  Then I had my friend come for a fitting.  We made several adjustments and I started the final dress.  Ideally, I would have made a second muslin, and in retrospect, I should have, but time got away from me.

Completed muslin:

The sleeves look funny due to the lack of shirring at the back of the sleeve.  You can definitely see the need for the FBA.  

Next and final part is about the final, completed dress.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

1933 Dress - Part 1

Recently, a close friend, practically a sister, came to me and asked if I would sew a dress for her as she and her DH had been invited to a 1930s/1940s themed party for his job.  Now, there are very few people outside my immediate family that I would sew for, but this sweet lady is one.  She can work magic in calming down the Diva, Sprite has great fun playing with her daughters and she is just a lovely lady.

So she came one day last week and looked through my 1930s style book.  She wanted a fairly slim silhouette and we found what she was looking for at EvaDress Patterns. She chose pattern D30-7525. I found this same pattern labeled McCalls 7525.

She requested the shirred sleeves on the black dress above and a full length skirt. The party is on December 17 so I have a little over a month to complete the dress.  We ordered the pattern and it arrived this past Monday.

The dress features three different sleeves:  a plain long sleeve, the requested shirred sleeve and the two piece sleeve as well as a surplice bodice and a 6 gore skirt.  I tried not to panic as this appears to be more complicated than anything I had attempted before. The instructions were brief and to the point, but I think also missing at least one step in the process.    Fortunately once I fully opened up the pattern, much of it made sense.  I still have a few things I need to work out, though.

It is actually not that bad.  There are seven pieces for the sleeve variations and I need three.  There are two pieces each for the front and back bodice and 4 for the skirt.

I took the pattern and a roll of tracing paper with me to our church to trace while my son attended Bible study.  No one uses the kitchen on Wednesday nights and the island there is perfect for tracing patterns.  It is a good thing that I did as one sheet took up the entire length of the island:

Tracing was a challenge.  Sizing is odd because the sizes include 14, 16, 18, 20, then skip to 40, 42, 44, 46. I don't know what happened to the rest of the numbers. There are no skips in the actual patterns, just how the sizes are numbered.  Some of the sizes merge together in parts of the patterns, but the notches are not marked which notches are for which sizes.  However, the notches are numbered which will make it easier to match them later.

There were a couple of other confusing issues.  There is a piece labeled "Stay" which is a simle 2" by 4" rectangle.  I decided it was a stay for the shirred sleeve and probably goes under the shirring.   There are no real instructions on what you are supposed to do with the stay.

The next confusing piece was the front bodice.  The pattern piece notes that it should be cut on the fold, but there is no fold line.  The pattern layouts don't show the piece on the fold and the instructions tell you to sew the two pieces down the center front.  My guess is that the instructions on the pattern piece is wrong and I will cut two pieces.

I finished tracing the pattern and started cutting it out today between laundry load and other things.  I am adding to the seam allowance for the side seams so that I will have a 1" seam allowance.  The pattern provides a 3/8" seam allowance, but I want a bit more for fitting purposes.  The hem allowance is 1 3/8".

I see some upcoming challenges.  First, this is a side opening garment.  For some reason, I can not wrap my brain around how this is supposed to work.  The bodice will be fairly close fitting and I imagine that the wearer may need to be a contortionist to get into it.  Maybe I am wrong -- I don't remember ever having a dress that opened on the side. The pattern calls for hook and eye tape as the closure.  I am not sure that my friend really cares if the dress is perfectly authentic, so I may change the closure to an invisible zipper up the center back if she is agreeable.

The front yoke is also a consideration.  The drawings depict very slim models and my friend has curves.  I may need to figure out how to dart the front bodice, but with the yoke, I wonder if I will be able to do that.  Also, no mention is made of those decorative clips on the top right of the yoke and I am wondering what I can use there.

I have adjusted my dress form to match my friends measurements and put the appropriate undergarments on her (Sprite hates when my dress forms are naked).  Tomorrow I will start the muslin and hope to have that done next week.  I will write up my muslin adventures in Part 2.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Ottobre Marja, gtube style

I have made quite a few things since I last posted, but they are too boring to post:  a white long-sleeved Jalie shirt for the Boy Scout to wear under his band polo, three pair of flannel PJ pants (Ottobre) for Sprite and matching Kwik Sew pants for her dolls and a long sleeved t-shirt for the Diva (Kwik Sew 3056).  Useful, warm and even fun (for Sprite's dolls), but boring to blog about.

As the Diva needs more warm clothes for the winter, I decided to try another g-tube dress.  I haven't done one of these in a long time.  I made a bunch of them when the Diva had her hip surgery in 2009, but long skirts got in the way of the wheelchair so I stopped.  When she broke her leg this spring, I thought about it as trying to get pants over a cast is not a lot of fun, but didn't have time, so I made a bunch of simple elastic skirts instead.  She wore them all summer even after the cast came off and we still use them for hanging around the house days. 

Skirts without something underneath doesn't work well for school however, so we went back to pants when school started this fall.  But I still had a yen to make dresses.  The old Twirly Dress and Kwik Sew patterns that I used to use no longer fit, so I pulled all the Ottobre magazines I own and Sprite and I went through them.  We decided on the Marja jersey tunic (Spring 2009) as part of an overall wardrobe.

This is a fairly simple tunic, basically a short t-shirt with a short skirt gathered and attached.  I used the same adaptation as in the tutorial.  I made a size 152 which will fit both Diva and Sprite.  For this version, I lengthened the bodice by two inches so that it was long enough to cover the Mic-key button.  Otherwise, the button would have been under the skirt.  For any of these that I make for Sprite, I will use the original bodice pattern.

Side note:  I am amused that in the latest Ottobre magazine, there is a little boy's shirt in the same fabric.  Mine came from Chez Ami Fabrics several years ago and theirs is from Hilco.  I would have loved some of that smaller stripe for this project, though.

Here is a close-up of the layers and how they work for the g-tube.  I used the longest keyhole buttonhole that my Singer buttonholer has.  This will open up enough to give access to the Mic-key button without having to lift up the skirt. 

I did mostly match the stripes on the sleeves to the bodice.   Not perfect but still wearable.  The one sleeve looks odd in the picture, but is okay in real-life.

I made knit pants from Kwik Sew 3056 to go with it.  This pattern usually works well as the rise is so long that it covers the diaper completely.  I did have to add 1 inch to the center back seam as she has developed a tush and it didn't quite fit anymore.  Sprite won't wear them as she prefers her waistbands to sit on her hips, so I don't have to to worry about her borrowing either piece.

I am not sure what I did to this particular pair, though.  When I traced it or cut it, one side of each leg was longer than the other.  I have used this same pattern at least a half dozen times or more and no problems, but this pair came out wonky.  She should still be able to wear them as she doesn't walk but they look odd. 

I will pay more attention to the next pair.  I have two sets of tracings for this pattern, so I wonder if I mixed them up?  Highly possible.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Owl Skirt and Top set

Sprite loves owls...she is really, really obsessed with them.  She reads everything she can find on owls; she collects owl stuff; she even has managed to get a picture of one of the barred owls that live in the woods behind our house.  Right now she is working on an owl pillow for her room in her own sewing corner.  She really, really loves owls.

Last February, we found a cute aqua twill fabric with owls all over with that she was determined to make a skirt from it.  She started out all excited, but one thing led to another, her sister had surgery (twice) then a broken leg so I couldn't supervise, she got busy with her 4-H projects and just lost interest for a long time.  Six months and a growth spurt later, I finally finished the skirt for her to get it out of the way, but of course she'd outgrown it by then.

I went back to Hancock's to see if I could find that same fabric, but no luck.  I did, however, find this adorable owl print in a seersucker fabric:

(Double click to see larger version)
Sprite loved it.  Okay, she was crazy excited about it.  We decided on a tiered skirt and I used the now out-of-print Kwik Sew 3411 to make it as I had that in my stash already.

Tiered skirts are fun to make.  I used my little hemmer attachment on the Singer 401 to hem the bottom tier and the ruffler attachment to gather the fabric.  It does take a few tries to get the settings right so that the ruffled fabric to fit the next tier up, but once you have have it set, it makes gathering the other tiers very fast and easy.

Kwik Sew 3411, size L (10-12)
 I should have topstitched each tier, but was running out of time that evening.

(Great tutorial on ruffling can be found here:  The Ruffler Unruffled by

Then we needed a top.  I've made the Funky Sisters Tee from Ottobre several times -- it is a great and simple top with a little more style than an ordinary t-shirt and fun to dress up with embroidery.  (Click here for the line drawing.)  Sprite and I chose a bright green interlock for the fabric and found this adorable owl on

The final t-shirt looks like this:

Funky Sisters T, size 152
And the completed set:

Modeled by Sprite.
She loves it. I could only get it back for pictures when it came back for the wash -- she even wore it for picture day at school so this set is a winner.