Thursday, January 31, 2013

Doll Fashion Studio, finale

Just joining us?  Hurry and grab your copy of

Doll Fashion Studio by Joan Hinds
right now from our store!  For this month, it's 20% off for you!

Hello all,
It’s time to finish up our little doll dress, which is really quite easy. If you haven’t already torn your skirt 5-3/4 inches deep by 36 inches, do so now.

1. Press your strip as well as a strip of lace edging about 1-1/2 inches longer than your skirt width, so about 17-1/2 inches. Spray starch both. Place your lace edging right side down with the header edge not quite 1/4 inch away from the lower raw edge of your skirt. You can pin it if you’d like, but I generally just eye it while I stitch.

2. Using an edge/joining foot, place the edge of the lace along the edge of the foot and select a needle position that will stitch right down the header of the lace; stitch.

Now move your needle position over into the 1/4-inch fabric edge about 1/8 inch from the header edge and stitch a second row of stitching. When you’re finished stitching, trim just next to the second stitching line to remove the “eyelashes” from your torn edge and straighten it.

Return to the machine and with a zigzag stitch (L= 1.0; W=2.5) roll and whip so that the fabric edge wraps around your lace header (the right motion of the needle will stitch off the fabric and the left motion will stitch over the header.

3. Press your rolled and whipped seam allowance up toward the skirt.

Return to the machine and topstitch just next to the lace/fabric join to secure the seam allowance and keep it from flipping down and showing through the lace insert.

4. Turn back the short edges of your skirt 1/4 inch twice, press and topstitch in place. Mark the center top edge of your skirt. Measure from the center point to each end and mark the halfway point; this is where your skirt should join the bodice side seams. Run two gathering threads in the top of the skirt and pull to gather.

5. Pin the skirt the bodice edge right sides together. 

Stitch, and then finish the seam with a zigzag or serge. Press.
6. For the lace flourish, cut a piece of lace edging about 8 inches long. Pull a header thread in each end...

... to gather into a lace circle. Press one cut edge toward the back 1/4 inch and the other cut edge toward the front. Place the ends together, take to the machine and zigzag to secure (or hand stitch if preferred).

7. Position the flourish over the bodice where the fabric strap joins the lace bodice and hand stitch to secure. 

Add a button or bead to the center.
8. Stitch buttons and buttonholes or a Velcro closure to the back of the bodice and dress your doll.

I didn’t have a contemporary 18-inch doll to try my dress on, but I did have my antique Effenbee Patsy-Ann, so here she is in my heirloom version of Joan Hind’s Sunny Day Sundress.


Keep February we are introducing a new book where you can follow along with us!  Amanda, our Senior Designer, will be taking us through one of her favorites!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Doll Fashion Studio Part 3

Joining us mid-month?  No worries!  Snag the book we are excerpting, Doll Fashion Studio by Joan Hinds, right now from our store!  For this month, it's 20% off for you!

On our last post, we created the lace side of our dress bodice, and I realized that since the bodice pieces are lined, we will need small piece of organza or netting so that we can line the lace side of the dress without changing the look of the lace. So I cut out the left bodice lining piece from organza; we’ll get back to that after we embroider and construct our right yoke.

I mirror imaged mp07091 Tiny Floral Spray 2 from Martha’s Mini Collection for my embroidery design. I happened to have two jelly roll squares in the perfect pink that were plenty large enough to accommodate my little bodice piece, so I embroidered one and used the other for lining A jelly roll square is too small to hoop so I first hooped Sticky stabilizer and secured the square in place and traced off the bodice to help in my embroidery placement. 

I also marked where the left side would overlap the right to make sure I wouldn’t cover up my embroidery when the dress was constructed. I picked thread colors that would coordinate with my print, Sulky 1212 and 1082 for the vines, 1077 for the bow, 1020 for the flowers and 1082 for the flower centers. The entire process took less than 15 minutes because the design was so tiny.

After completing the embroidery, I cut out the left front and the left front lining pieces. I also cut out the back pieces, but instead of cutting four, I cut out two on the fold, positioning the pattern piece on the stitch line. This just eliminates the step of stitching up a back seam, but the back bodice can be made either way. I followed the book instructions, creating the straps, and then stitched the right side right front and front lining to the back bodice piece, right sides together. 

I pinned the strap to the bodice front and back, 

...placed the bodice layer to the lining layer sandwiching the strap inside and then stitched around the top edge, armscye and front as directed in the book. I clipped the curves, and corners, turned right side out and pressed. 

To line the lace side of the bodice, I first stitched down the curved side of the organza lining piece along the ¼” stitching line.

I clipped to the stitch line around the curve and pressed the edge under. I then stitched the organza bodice lining to the back lining piece and the lace bodice to the back bodice.

Just like the front bodice I place the lining to the bodice wrong sides together but this time I only pinned the strap between the back bodice and lining and stitched across the back top and around the armscye.

I clipped the curves and corners and turned right side out and pressed. I then pinned the strap between the front bodice and the organdy lining around the curved edge of the lace bodice.

I stitched around the curve from the organza side, attaching the lining to the lace and securing the strap using white thread in the machine and sea foam thread in the bobbin to match the lace color.

Finally, after pressing each side, I overlapped the front bodices along the lower edge 1/1-2” as instructed in the book, and stay-stitched along the lower edge.

Next week, we’ll add our skirt and a lace flourish to finish our little dress. 


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Last Opportunity!

You have only until January 31st to snag the
at the low rate of $49!  
This locks in your price for LIFE!

Beginning February 1st, 
the price increases to $69.

The Internet Embroidery Club (IEC) is a calendar year membership (January through December) providing embroidery designs of the highest quality for members to download to their own computers. 

When you join, you will be able to download all the designs (January through December) of the calendar year for which you join. Once you sign up, you are automatically given 300 designs and each month a new design-of-the-month is revealed and sent to you! 

 For the price, the value of joining the IEC is phenomenal.

In addition to receiving email notifications as each new design is released, current IEC members will also receive special discounts on select embroidery CDs.

Members may purchase any of the past IEC years at anytime, and access to those designs does not expire after the year is over. Browse all of the designs from 2001-2011, then visit our online store to purchase any of those years.

On our site, you can:

  • SUBSCRIBE to the brand new 2013 IEC
    • Do this before 12/31 & you can LOCK IN the low price of $49 for LIFE!

  • SHOP previous years' designs!
    • COMING SOON... individually priced designs & bundles!

  • EXCLUSIVE Member Benefits!  
    • Monthly Bonus Designs
    • Special Embroidery CD Pricing
    • Store Discounts

Monday, January 21, 2013

Doll Fashion Studio Part 2

Hello again all. By now I hope you’ve had a chance to get a copy of Joan Hind’s new book Doll FashionStudio. As I mentioned last week, I’ve decided to make an heirloom version of the “Sunny Day Dress” on page 88. For my materials, I chose some colored lace edging I’ve had forever; because I didn’t have an insertion to match, I just never could figure out what to do with it. It matches a cut of an Anna Griffin Francesca Collection cotton I had in my stash. I also grabbed a scrap of cream-colored cotton to machine embroider on one of my bodice pieces (photo 1). I picked thread to match the lace, two little buttons instead of a Velcro closure, iron-away stabilizer, a tracing marker and glass head pins. This week I made the lace yoke piece, which will be the left side of the top.

1.  First off, I traced my top piece (pattern piece 77) on iron-away stabilizer.
Photo 1

2.  Taking my lace, I pulled the header thread (photo 2), pressed and starched it until I achieved the same curve as the center front curve on the pattern piece (photo 3). Note: Do not press the lace on the stabilizer as heat will melt it.

Photo 2

Photo 3

3.  I placed my curved lace to my traced pattern piece aligning the edging to the pattern curve. (Because the dress in the book has a rickrack edge that extends past the finished edge, I placed my lace right up to the edge of the pattern rather than along the seamline.

4.  I took my lace/stabilizer piece to the machine and stitched along the header edge (photo 4).

Photo 4

5.  I repeated steps 2 through 4 four more times, pinning and overlapping the decorative edge of my lace about ½ inch over the header of the previous piece (photo 5).

Photo 5

6.  Once my entire traced piece was covered, I stitched down the decorative edge of my lace using a 2.0 stitch length and following the outline of the lace design (photo 6).

Photo 6

7.  I retraced my pattern piece onto my lace block (photo 7), again aligning the front curve of the pattern to the curve of my lace and zigzagged along the pattern line using a 1.0 width and a 2.0 length.
Photo 7

8.  I then cut out my lace front piece just outside the zigzagged lines and pressed away the stabilizer on back (photo 8).
Photo 8

Next, we’ll machine embroider the other side of our dress top. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sew along with us!

As promised in this New Year, Sew Beautiful will be encouraging you to sew along with us, selecting one chapter each month from 12 different books. Our goal is not only to keep you stitching, but to introduce you to a variety of different ways to use your talents. 

So it’s month one, January, and I’ve selected the book Doll Fashion Studio by Joan Hinds. If you have a little one who loves her 18-inch doll, this is a brand new book and a terrific find. At $24.99 the entire book with a collection of full-size patterns costs less than you’d probably pay for one pre-made outfit in a doll catalog. 

Since my little niece Ellie just got an 18-inch doll for Christmas, I thought I’d surprise her with a little dress and use up some of my lace and fabric scraps at the same time. I’ve selected the “Sunny Day Dress” for my pattern. It only requires two pattern pieces and ½ yard of fabric. In the book, Joan made it up in a floral print with rickrack trim, but I’m taking an heirloom approach. I’m planning to join sections of colored lace edging for one side of the top and thinking about machine embroidering a design on the other side. We’ll see how it develops. 

I’ve included the book cover here. So you’ll have time to get a copy of the book, I won’t start sewing until my blog entry next week. So check back, and we’ll whip up this sweet little doll dress together.