NEW PATTERN RELEASE: Pearlie Dress & Peplum Top for Women
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    News — Tips & Tricks

    Tutorial: How to Adapt Your Pearlie Dress & Peplum Top for Nursing/ Breastfeeding

    Tutorial: How to Adapt Your Pearlie Dress & Peplum Top for Nursing/ Breastfeeding

    This modification is the original idea of one of our pattern testers Isaline (@isalinestinystitches). Isaline needed to make her Pearlie Peplum Top nursing friendly and modified the pattern using a clever layering system for the Front Bodice.

    How does it work? There's a layer underneath the Front Bodice with a deep "v" cut-out which attaches to the top of the peplum skirt. The Front Bodice has a horizontal waistband which sits free of the peplum skirt and can be lifted up and away to access the "v" cut-out. 

    Isaline kindly offered to share her tutorial with Peach Patterns customers and put together the following step-by-step instructions so that you can make your own nursing-friendly Pearlie:

    WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

    • The Pearlie Dress & Peplum Top PDF Sewing Pattern for Women;
    • Your fabric. You'll need an extra bodice length of fabric plus about 4" (10cms) to make your inner "v" layer and waistband for the Bodice Front in addition to the yardage set out in the pattern instructions;
    • A pen, ruler, clear elastic and a double sided water soluble sewing tape (Wonder Tape brand for example). The last two are optional but highly recommended for a professional result and to make sewing easier.

    STEP 1: CUT FABRIC PIECES

    (NOTE: if you need to shorten or lengthen your Bodice Front pattern piece to adjust for your height, do this before the steps below).

    • The Bodice Front pattern piece should be lengthened by 1/2" (12mm) at the bottom edge.
    • For the Bodice Front waistband you will need to cut a rectangle of fabric as follows. Measure across the bottom of your Bodice Front and multiply by 2. Multiply again by 0.85 and add 3/8" (1cm) for seam allowance. This is the width of your band. The height of your waistband is 3.5" (9cms). 
    • To make your inner "v" layer take your Bodice Front pattern piece and draw a deep "v" from the inner shoulder to at least 3" (7.5cms) above centre front. (The photo below shows you how to do this). To check that you've got it right, place the pattern piece over your chest. The "v" should finish about 1" (2.5cms) higher than the bottom of your bra.  Draw an additional line from the side of the pattern piece straight up to the shoulder. Fold your pattern piece along the new lines to cut your "v" layer or trace it off onto another piece of paper.
    • All other pattern pieces are unmodified and should be cut as indicated in the pattern.

    STEP 2: SEW ELASTIC TO THE INNER "V" LAYER

    • Place some lengths of clear elastic along the inner edges of the "v" as shown in the first photo below using your double sided tape to keep the elastic in place.
    • Fold the edges of the fabric over to encase the elastic and pin or secure with clips.  You will need to make a small cut into the point of the "v" to help you fold that area.
    • Stitch using a large zig-zag or stretch stitch as shown in the second photo below making sure you don't stretch the elastic as you sew.
    • Finish the sides of your inner "v" layer with an overlocker/serger or zig-zag stitch (optional).

    STEP 3: ATTACH THE WAISTBAND TO BODICE FRONT

    • Fold your waistband in half wrong sides together lengthways and press.
    • Match the middle of the long raw edges of the waistband to the centre front of your Bodice Front and pin or clip the fabric through all layers (see photo below).
    • Sew using your overlocker/serger (or with a stretch stitch), stretching the fabric slightly as you sew to fit across the width. 

    STEP 4: GATHER SKIRT/PEPLUM TOPS AND ATTACH TO BODICE

    • Gather and attach the Skirt Back to the Bodice Back.
    • Gather and attach the Skirt Front to the inner "v" layer.

    STEP 5: FINISH BODICE ASSEMBLY

    • Pin your Bodice Front/waistband right sides together with your Bodice Back/Skirt Back (see first photo below).
    • Pin the inner "v" layer/Skirt Front over the top right sides down (see second photo below).
    • Sew the shoulder seams and side seams through all the layers and finish with your overlocker/serger or zig-zag stitch.
    • Finish the neckband and hem following the sewing instructions in the pattern.

    And that's it! Come over and join us in the Peach Patterns Sewing Group on Facebook to share pictures of your new dress or top.

    Tutorial: Attaching the Front Band on the Peach Patterns "Maple Cardigan for Women" PDF Sewing Pattern

    Tutorial: Attaching the Front Band on the Peach Patterns

    || The Maple Cardigan for Women PDF Sewing Pattern comes with two options, the Drape Front Cardigan (Option A) and the Banded Front Cardigan (Option B). This tutorial deals with Option B. It shows you how to easily achieve a crisp, professional finish for the band using a method known as "bagging" or "bagging out", which fully encloses the bottom corners (rather than just turning them up and hemming). ||

    Assemble the band and pin (but do not sew it) to the cardigan as set out on Page 6 of the Maple Cardigan Sewing Instructions, matching the band seam with the centre back notch on the cardigan.

    If there is any excess fabric at the bottom edges of your band, trim it so that the band is level with the hem of the cardigan on each side. (Photo 1 below.)

    Unpin the bottom edges of the band from the cardigan a short way up on each side.

    Turn the bottom edges of the band right sides together on each side and sew across the width (horizontally) using a 1/2” (13mm) seam. (Photo 2 below.)

    Trim the seams in half, turn the bottom of the band right sides out on each side and poke the corners neatly into shape with a chopstick or other blunt implement. Press.

    Your band is now neatly enclosed at the bottom and is slightly shorter than your cardigan on each side by the equivalent of the hem allowance. Re-pin the bottoms of the band to the cardigan front. (Photo 3 below.)

    Sew or serge/overlock the band to the cardigan all the way around the front and neckline. (Photo 4 below.)

    Press the seam towards the cardigan.

    Attach sleeves and sew side seams (if you haven’t already).

    Turn up the hem of the cardigan level with the bottom of the band and sew around to finish the hem. Start from the seam where the cardigan front meets the band on one side and sew around to the same point on the other side. (Photo 5 below.)

    Hem at wrists and your beautiful banded cardigan is complete!

    Pattern: Maple Cardigan for Women PDF Sewing Pattern

    Fabric: "Dainty" Double Brushed Polyester Knit Fabric from Lush Fabrics Australia (Hint: If you haven't sewn up one of these cardis with Double Brushed Poly fabric you really should. It's soooooo (!) soft.

    If you have a go at this tutorial I'd love you to share your pictures in our Peach Patterns Sewing Group on Facebook or on Instagram with the hashtags #peachpatterns #maplecardigan

    Tutorial: Making the Peach Patterns "Leilani Romper for Girls" With Elastic Straps or Ties

    Tutorial: Making the Peach Patterns

    Do you love the Peach Patterns Leilani Romper for Girls and want to make it a little easier to get on and off? Grab a cuppa and sit tight because this is for you!  In this post we’ll run through two ways to add elastic to the shoulder straps/ties of the romper so that it can be pulled on and off easily without having to undo anything or mess around with the ties.

    Two methods to choose from

    Fixed Elastic Straps are for those who want a clean and simple look without ties. With this method small lengths of elastic are inserted into short straps which are then sewn into the front and back of the shoulders between the romper top and the ruffle overlay.  Check out our previous blog post for lots of photos of our romper with fixed elastic straps in action!

    OR:-

    Elastic Ties are for those who love the look of the longer ties but also want the convenience that the elastic gives (the best of both worlds really!). After sewing some elastic into the lower part of the ties, you then go on to sew the ties in the same way that you would the regular shoulder ties. The elastic in the ties allows them to stay tied up whilst being pulled on and off over the shoulders.

    What you need to make elastic straps/ties

    The supplies you will need are:

    • A fabric loop turner. You can buy one of these cheaply online or at your local fabric store.
    • A small amount of narrow elastic. I have used 6mm (1/4”) wide elastic for my straps because this fits easily into the fabric tubes which you will create to make your straps or ties. A soft and pliable style of elastic like braided or knitted elastic is best for these techniques.
    • To give added strength to the area where you will be attaching the elastic you may also want to fuse some lightweight interfacing to each of the four shoulder caps of your OVERLAY (or FACINGS for the basic romper option). Small squares of approximately 2cms (3/4") will do the trick. Follow the directions to apply the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric.
    • A safety pin which will help you guide your straps/ties into place for sewing.

    Which steps are replaced in the sewing instructions?

    The straps/ties are inserted after Step 6 in the "Leilani Romper for Girls Sewing Instructions" when the TOP and OVERLAY (or in the case of the Basic Romper Option, the TOP and FACINGS) have been sewn together.

    For both the methods below I sew the TOP and OVERLAY or FACINGS together around the neckline and armholes but leave the shoulder caps open as specified in the pattern instructions. Do not trim the neckline seam until after the straps/ties have been sewn into place.

    First Method: How to Make Fixed Elastic Straps

    1. Cut two lengths of elastic according to the suggested amount for your size in the "Elastic Cutting Guide" below. 

    2. Cut two rectangles of fabric which are each the same width as the SHOULDER TIE pattern piece and twice the length of your elastic pieces (because you will need to gather each tube up to a half of its size when the elastic is inserted).  

    3. Make your fabric tubes according to the “Loop Turner” method described in Step 7 of the "Leilani Romper for Girls Sewing Instructions". Turn them right side out and press.

    4. Insert a piece of elastic into each fabric tube until the raw edges meet at one end. Sew back and forth across the width of the fabric/elastic (within the 1cm or 3/8” seam allowance) to secure the raw edges together. 

    5. Gather the excess fabric along the length of the elastic by pushing it towards the sewn end until the raw edges meet at the other end. Sew back and forth across the width of the fabric/elastic (again within the 1cm or 3/8” seam allowance) to secure the raw edges together.  The photo below shows your finished straps, ready to be sewn into the romper.

    6. Take your romper (which is turned inside out) and insert one end of a strap into one of the gaps in the shoulder caps (attach a safety pin to one end and use it to guide the strap into place if you need help inserting it). Match the raw edges of the strap with the raw edges of the shoulder cap and pin in place. Sew the gap closed (forwards and backwards).

    7. Take the loose end of the strap and pass it across the side seam of the romper underneath the OVERLAY or FACINGS and to the opposite shoulder cap being careful not to twist the strap.  Insert and sew it into the gap as per the instructions above.

    8. Repeat  Steps 6 & 7 with the remaining shoulder strap on the other side of the romper.

    9. Trim the neckline and armhole seams, turn the romper right side out and pull the straps up into place.  Press around the neckline and armholes and topstitch as per the "Leilani Romper for Girls Sewing Instructions".

    Second Method: How to Make Elastic Ties

    1. Cut four lengths of elastic according to the suggested amount for your size in the "Elastic Cutting Guide" below. 

    2. Cut four rectangles of fabric using the SHOULDER TIE pattern piece from your Leilani Romper pattern. (Note the pattern piece is long enough to allow for the gathering in this method but you could add 5 cms or so to the length of the ties if you want them to be a similar length to the standard Leilani Romper shoulder ties.)

    3. Make your fabric tubes according to the “Loop Turner” method described in Step 7 of the "Leilani Romper for Girls Sewing Instructions". Turn them right side out and press.

    4. On your fabric tube, make a mark or place a pin at a point twice the length of your elastic piece from one end.

    5. Insert a piece of elastic into the fabric tube until the raw edges meet at one end. Sew back and forth across the width of the fabric/elastic (within the 1cm or 3/8” seam allowance) to secure the raw edges together.

    6. Gather the excess fabric (from the marked point only) along the length of the elastic by pushing it towards the sewn end until the marked point meets the end of your elastic which is inside the tube. Sew back and forth across the width of the fabric/elastic to secure the inside end of the elastic within the fabric tube. (You can add embellishments like the bead in the photo below before tying a knot in the other end.)

    7. Repeat the process above to make the remaining three SHOULDER TIES.

    8. Insert and sew the SHOULDER TIES into your romper following Step 8 of the "Leilani Romper for Girls Sewing Instructions".

    Tie the shoulder ties as normal when wearing the romper and leave them tied up to pull the romper on and off.

    PLEASE NOTE: The Elastic Cutting Guide Below contains suggested lengths only because of the different preferences for where you or your child will want the bodice of the romper to “sit” on the body.  Longer elastic = lower bodice and shorter elastic = higher bodice.

    Peach Patterns Leilani Romper for Girls PDF Sewing Pattern Elastic Straps and Ties Cutting Guide

    And that's it! I hope you enjoy making your easy on/off romper :) 

    Thanks for visiting and don't forget to check out our previous blog post with more pics of our Leilani Romper with the fixed elastic straps. And if you make one we'd love you to drop into the Peach Patterns Sewing Group and share some pics with us or share them on Instagram and tag your photos with #peachpatterns #leilaniromper.

    I’m grateful to our brilliant pattern testers Natalie @taliajane_designs and Tanya @sewvolution who enabled me to develop this tutorial by sharing their techniques and suggestions with me.  

    Peach Patterns "Leilani Romper for Girls" with Elastic Straps

    Peach Patterns

    Lots of you have asked how to sew your Leilani Romper for Girls with elastic straps or elastic ties so that the romper is super easy to get on and off. Adding elastic to the shoulders is a simple pattern hack which is great for all ages but especially for teeny little romper wearers who are potty training or learning to be independent dressers.

    Before we get down to business with the tutorial (check it out in the next post here) I hope you'll enjoy all these lovely pics of our very own Leilani Romper made with the fixed elastic straps in a cute sailing boat print rayon.

    All the planets aligned for our photo session: a sunny late summer afternoon; a model who was in the mood for some serious posing and a little car trip which had been planned to Sydney's beautiful Rose Bay Wharf - the perfect backdrop.

    It's a LONG way to London from here!!

    Thanks for visiting and don't forget to check out the tutorial on making the Leilani Romper for Girls with elastic straps or ties in our next blog post. And if you make one we'd love you to drop into the Peach Patterns Sewing Group and share some pics with us or share your photos on Instagram and tag them with #peachpatterns #leilaniromper.

    "Mama Leilani Top & Dress": Fabric Inspiration & Resources

    This is the second part of a two part blog series about the Peach Patterns Mama Leilani Top & Dress PDF Sewing Pattern. In this part we're covering everything you need to know to choose the best fabric for your top or dress. The series also covers pattern options, sewing tips, design inspiration and blog reviews in Part 1 (here).

    The key to getting a great finished top or dress with the Mama Leilani pattern is choosing the right fabric. The main feature of the design is the ruffle overlay and in order to create the pretty folds you are aiming for with this feature its important to use a fabric that will behave in the right way when being worn. This is especially so with the women's dress as there is the added consideration that the overlay needs to drape over our curvier figures.

    Rayon

    The rayon fabrics pictured here are (clockwise from upper right):

    Watercolor Burst Rayon Challis in Blue/Coral from Style Maker Fabrics

    Premium Floral Picasso Rayon Poplin from LA Finch Fabrics

    Turquoise Digital Boho Rayon Challis from LA Finch Fabrics

    Ginger Yellow Rayon Fabric by JPFabrics on Etsy

    The favourite fabric choice for this pattern is undoubtedly rayon (also known as rayon challis or viscose) as it will give you the optimum drape and flattering silhouette.  All of the big chain fabric shops and loads of online sellers now carry rayon in a huge range of both prints and solid colours.  Rayon can be a little more challenging to cut and sew than cotton.  The best tip for cutting your pattern pieces when using rayon is to find as large a surface as possible and spend extra time smoothing your fabric out and aligning the selvedges. Use plenty of pins AND fabric weights.  If the fabric does shift a little and you find your matching pieces are slightly different, pin them together and trim them to match before sewing.

    Silk or Crepe

    The silk and crepe fabrics pictured here are (clockwise from upper right):

    Crepe Amaranthe from MaaiDesign

    Designer Silk Crepe de Chine from Cali Fabrics

    Telio Moda Crepe Bird from Fabric.Com

    Savannah Crepe Ivory from Fabric Godmother

    If you are up for a challenge and want to create a pretty, special occasion dress you may want to have a go at using silk or crepe for the pattern.  The advice about cutting and sewing fluid fabrics (see rayon) applies even more here!

    Cotton, Voile or Lawn

    The cotton fabrics pictured here are (clockwise from upper right):

    Paisley Block Print Cotton from IndianStores on Etsy

    Textured Printed Tencel from Spotlight

    Parakeets Cotton Lawn from Fabric Godmother

    Art Gallery Sage Voile Painted Night Desert by Bari J from Fabric.Com

    If you are going with a cotton fabric, avoid any mid weight to thicker cottons such as patchwork, quilting weight cotton and broadcloth. Instead choose soft and light weight options like voile or lawn or tencel. Indian style block print cottons are another fabulous choice as they usually come on a base cloth which is super soft to touch and comfortable to wear.

    No matter which fabric you choose, don't forget to wash and press it before cutting your pattern pieces. Many of the fabric types discussed here will shrink after washing and this is especially so for rayon.

    Adjustable Straps

    Image at left: by Susana of Suco by Susana Image at right: Sew Squirrel

    You won't regret having a go at making a Mama Leilani Top or Dress with Adjustable Straps. It's easier than you think and there's an additional full photo tutorial in the pattern to show you exactly how to do it. Here are some links to suppliers who sell the ring and slider hardware you'll need for this option:

    Australia:

    I have used and recommend Sew Squirrel.

    Textile Traders.

    Europe and the UK:

    English Couture Company

    Evie La Luve DIY

    Studio Costura Shop on Etsy

    North America:

    A search on Etsy for "rings and sliders" and/or "bra making hardware" will bring up several US sellers of these supplies.  Arte Crafts is one we found which offers a good range.

    Another tip shared in the Peach Patterns Sewing Group is to recycle rings and sliders from old bras or lingerie that you’re no longer wearing.

    And that's about it for now! I hope you've enjoyed reading this series and if you make yourself a Mama Leilani Top or Dress please hop over and share it in the Peach Patterns Sewing Group and/or on Instagram with the hashtags #peachpatterns and #mamaleilani.