Halloween Peasant Blouse with Embroidered Yoke

I've size limitations when it comes to my embroidery machine, but I did finally figure out the dimensions and the pattern for a peasant blouse with an embroidered yoke. So I'll be making a few more of these - I've amassed a pretty good collection of machine embroidery designs :)

Quite happy with how this one turned out :)

Bow Neckline T-shirt

I got this idea from Sezane :) I saw the Lilian t-shirt and fell in love with it instantly. And then I figured out how to make it. I'll be making a few more because it's super easy, but this first one turned out perfect! And this is such a fun knit print. I scored it at the NorthWest Sewing expo a few months ago. I got a lot of this fabric, so I've quite a few yards left, but I used one to make this t-shirt. Already wore it today - comfortable and stylish!

Easter Dress for Gabriela - 2018

Last April, when Gabriela was 8 months old, I made her a pretty little Easter dress with some yellow jersey and delicate cotton print. It also had a tulle underskirt.

I've decided to make this our annual tradition - a custom-made TrapkeybyGaia Easter dress for Gabster. This year, my sweetness is 20 months old, she's walking, talking, singing and I wanted a more sophisticated look. And I tried to make a dress that is perfect for Easter but neutral enough so she could also wear it on other occasions - just a pretty spring party dress.

For this dress, I used the Diva Bunny Girl Easter Machine Applique Design by StitchAwayApplique that I found on Etsy. I chose the yellow and white floral printed Tutti Fruitti textured cotton. Then I added some decorative buttons in the back and a lovely yellow trim that I found at Pacific Fabrics.

Think it turned out pretty well, though I probably should have used the 5'' x 7'' applique size, instead of 4'' x 4''.

Since the dress is sleeveless (I did it using the burrito method), Gaby is wearing a light white Gap cardigan, it's still pretty chilly in Seattle :)

Interesting tip that I picked up this year: to gather the skirt, I used two rows of wide stitches instead of only one. I then pulled on both threads to create my gathers, secured each end with a couple knots, and then attached the skirt to the bodice. The two rows gave me a lot more control over the gather and I ended up with a lovely evenly gathered and very full skirt - exactly what I wanted. 

Happy Easter! 

Here's last year's dress :)

Sailor Collar Variations

I've also been playing with a sailor collar patterns. Made a couple tops with this gorgeous striped cotton from moodfabrics. Not too happy with the sleeve length on the first and the sleeve edge finish - I was lazy. But overall, the sailor collar looks decent.

Peter Pan Collar Variation

I've been playing with Peter Pan collars a lot lately. Here's a little cat top I made a few weeks ago. The collar looks like cat ears :)

Very Dolce and Gabbana

I'm still on a ruching kick and I've made quite a few tops like the white "Carrie" one I posted about below. But the one that I finished last night and wearing today stands out because of its incredible graphic print! It's so unique, vibrant and full of color! Very Dolce and Gabbana, indeed! I got this fabric at Stitches on Capitol Hill a while ago and it stayed in my stash all this time because I had no idea what pattern would work with it. I think this is a good blend of the print and design.

Here are some shots:

The "Carrie" top

Sex and the City is my all-time favorite show and the guiltiest of all guilty pleasures (including, I'm ashamed to admit it, both movies). I've a completely different body type than SJP so I there's no point for me to ever try to mimic Carrie's style. But there was one little blouse that she wore in Season 3 that I always loved and could totally imagine myself wearing.

Well, :) now that I've learned how to do ruching - here it is, VOILA! The neckline is a bit higher than on Carrie's top, but I can continue playing with it. I can lower it by an inch and I can try adjusting the bobbin holder screw a little less tightly so that the gathering will turn out looser. But imho, it's fine as is and I'm very happy with it :) And this embroidered white cotton is amazing - must go back to JoAnne's and pick up some more.

And here are some screenshots I took of the episode in which this top appears :)

Playing with Border Embroidery Designs

I've been playing a lot in Embird (embroidery software) lately and my latest effort was modifying border designs. Here's an embroidered top I made, using a cross-stitch border pattern that I edited in Embird to fit the neckline and the sleeves. And since I recently learned how to ruche and how to do a blanket stitch, I threw those elements in as well.

This top was my inspiration. 

Unfortunately, my embroidery machine has size limitations (13 cm in width and 18 in length). I would need to re-hoop in order to achieve a design that is wider than 13 cm. Next challenge! :)

Ruched Sleeves and Blanket Stitch

I've been playing with ruching for the last couple weeks and I also finally gotten around to mastering the blanket stitch. It's a very nice decorative stitch that can be used on all sorts of edges, necklines, sleeves and hems. I figured out how to do it on my serger but wasn't quite satisfied with the size of the stitch, so on this cotton top I did it by hand (couture). The sleeves feature machine embroidery and ruching. It's a light, breathable summer top :)

Ruching with Elastic Thread

Well, after many tries and much online research, I finally figured out ruching with elastic thread on my own lovely Brother sewing machine! Turns out, it's really very simple and requires only a tightening of the bobbin holder screw. Here's the tutorial which proved absolutely essential: http://www.grosgrainfab.com/2010/08/shirring-with-your-brother.html 

So here's my first attempt at ruched sleeves. I also decided to finally use a couple of embroidery patterns I bought a long time ago. I decided to go with red thread this time, probably because I was inspired by my red elastic thread :)

Another part of this project was figuring a work-around for my embroidery machine size limitations. PE770 doesn't recognize patterns that are larger than 130 by 180 mm. But there is a way to use auto-split along hoop boundaries. Here's the Embird tutorial I followed: https://www.embird.net/sw/embird/tutorial/autospl2/autospl2.htm

Anyway, the result is a very nice, light summer embroidered top. I'm wearing it today and absolutely loving it! :)

Mock Wrap Dress

I finally figured out the wrap dress! This is a fantastic pattern and once I modified it, the dresses fit like a glove! I'm very tempted to use up my entire knit fabric stash on these :)

This is the pattern that I used :)