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: 

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:

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 :)

Easter Dress for Gabriela

Another special occasion - another special dress for my baby girl Gabriela :) Easter is coming up in two weeks, and for the last 4 nights, I've been measuring, pinning, embroidering, cutting tulle for the first time, gathering and putting together this dress!

By the way, the smaller the garment, the more time it takes to put together. Small sizes are deceptive. Children's clothes are just as complicated and require just as much work to produce as adult garments.

But I digress. I got all the fabrics and the trim for this dress at Pacific Fabrics. I found the Easter Bunny embroidery pattern online and it really was my very first attempt at applique. I think it was quite successful. I watched a few videos on how to do it, invested in two pairs of special applique scissors, and then got to it.

The bodice of the dress is simple yellow t-shirt knit, the skirt is a cotton print, and the underskirt is silk lining fabric with two layers of gathered tulle (blue and yellow).

Happy Easter, Gabriela!

Bell Sleeves

I think these bell sleeves are all the rage now. It's a great way to spice up an otherwise ordinary top, so I made a few :) On the last top it was also my first attempt at working with Clover's tassel maker :)