NEW PATTERN RELEASE: The MAPLE CARDIGAN FOR WOMEN (WITH 2 GREAT OPTIONS)
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    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.

    "Mama Leilani Top & Dress": Pattern Options

    I hope you’ll enjoy this (long-overdue) round-up of the Peach Patterns Mama Leilani Top & Dress PDF Sewing Pattern. Part 1 (this post) explains all the different options that come with this pattern, tips on sewing and links to blog reviews.  Part 2 contains some great fabric suggestions (lots of crafty eye-candy there!) and an online resource list.

    Top (with Single Ruffle Overlay): Sewing this option is recommended for an easy way to get to know the Mama Leilani pattern! It doesn’t require much fabric and you can quickly get a feel for the fit and gain the confidence you need to make the dress. Team your Mama Leilani Top with shorts or jeans for everyday wear or a pencil skirt/ slim fit pants for a dressier look.

    Top (with Double Ruffle Overlay): The extra layer and fabric folds that are a feature of the double ruffle are really pretty and emphasize the feminine look of the top. 

    It’s important when making the double ruffle option to use a fabric which behaves well during sewing and when the top is being worn.  Lightweight is better for this option! Think rayon, lightweight lawn, voile or gauze. Or (if you’re game!) try chiffon, crepe or other silky fabrics. (Part 2 of this series has lots of suggested fabric options for you to check out).  Also search Google and Pinterest for tips on sewing silky or slippery fabrics and use a combination of pattern weights (food cans can double as these) and lots of pins when cutting. 

    A few customers have asked whether constructing the double layer is complicated and the answer is no! With both pieces right sides out, you simply baste the shorter ruffle over the top of the longer ruffle around the neckline and armholes. Then turn the piece wrong side out and attach it over the top/dress (which is also wrong side out in this step) in the same way as you would a single ruffle. (The sewing instructions contain all the details you need).

    Knee-Length Dress: For the perfect easy-wearing summer sundress you’ll want one (or more) of these in your wardrobe. Or create a special occasion dress with the pattern by using black silk or crepe (just add heels and your favourite statement jewellery to complete the look). In fact the Knee-Length Dress looks equally good with summer sandals or heels. And as with the top, you can add a single or double ruffle overlay.

    High-Low Dress: Add some drama with the High-Low Dress option. The three-quarter length makes it a more dramatic option for evening wear and date nights while still really practical to wear and walk in.

    Adjustable Strap or Shoulder Ties: You can choose to make regular shoulder ties or adjustable straps for your Mama Leilani Top or Dress. If you’ve never made adjustable straps before you’ll be surprised how easy (and satisfying!) they are to do. The sewing instructions contain a full photo tutorial with a thorough step-by-step explanation. Check out Part 2 of this blog series for links to suppliers that offer a range of pretty ring and slider hardware packages to make your adjustable straps. 

    Creating a Faux-Romper Look: Mama Leilani Top teamed with Avalon Shorts

    After releasing the Leilani Romper for Girls, lots of you asked for it to be offered in ladies sizes. After getting more thorough feedback we discovered customers wanted a slightly more practical option and decided to create a bundle of two patterns that give you the look of a romper but all the practicality of separates.  The Avalon Shorts for Women are easy-fit pull-on shorts and their relaxed boxy design is the perfect match for the Mama Leilani Top.  Get the patterns together in a (discounted) bundle and make them in the same fabric for an instant romper/playsuit look.

    The shorts can also be purchased as a standalone pattern here (and are a great summer staple that you can wear with any of your favourite tops or tees).

    Mama Leilani & Leilani Dress for Girls Bundle

    The Mama Leilani was a spin-off of the previously released Leilani Dress for Girls. Get the women’s and girls' pattern in a (discounted) bundle and make one for your mini-me as well!

    Layering, Embellishing, Pattern Hacks:

    Add a cute cardigan or jacket over the top of your Mama Leilani for when the weather cools.

    Try embellishing the top or dress with a lace overlay or hem. Or add pom-poms or trim to the ruffle overlay or hem.

    If you're feeling adventurous, there are lots of ways you can modify the pattern to put a unique touch on your top or dress. Sarah of Sweet Meadow Threads made a dramatic maxi dress with her Mama Leilani pattern after seeing a similar one on Pinterest.

    Blog Reviews: Some of our lovely testers wrote blog reviews of their experience making their Mama Leilani Tops and Dresses and you can check those out below:

    Dagbjort made the Top with Single Ruffle and the High Low Dress. 

    Read Dagbjort's blog post.

    Susana made the Knee-Length Dress. 

    Read Susana's blog post.

    Tiffany made the Top with Single Ruffle and the Knee Length Dress.

    Read Tiffany's blog post.

    Sarah made the Knee-Length Dress.

    Read Sarah's blog post.

    Angeline made the Knee-Length Dress.

    Read Angeline's blog post.

    Thanks for reading and don't forget to check out Part 2 of this series which covers fabrics options and ideas for making your Mama Leilani: "Mama Leilani Top & Dress": Fabric Resources & Inspiration.

     

    Peach Patterns "Mama Leilani" Top & Dress PDF Sewing Pattern : Tester Call

    Peach Patterns

    I'm so excited to announce the tester call for Peach Patterns first womens' dress pattern. Following on popular demand for a "mama" version of our Leilani Dress for Girls which was launched last summer, we will soon have a grown up version available.  The Mama Leilani sewing pattern will have the added options of a top length, a single or double ruffle and adjustable bra-style straps (as well as ties).  You'll find the link to the tester sign-up form at the bottom of the post.

    The dress pictured is the Knee-Length option made in a lovely flowy rayon from Blackbird Fabrics (fabrics with a great drape-factor are essential to the design of this dress!) The other options are shown on the pattern cover illustration.

    The Mama Leilani is quick and easy to sew and will be your go-to top or dress for summer. It looks great in vibrant prints for everyday or you can glam it up by using a special fabric with the high-low version for a dramatic night-time look.

    INTERESTED IN TESTING THE MAMA LEILANI TOP OR DRESS?

    APPLY HERE 

    (Note: I will be running the test from 19 to 26 October 2017 in a closed Facebook Group which you would need to join.) The Size Chart and Yardage Chart are included on the form.

    If you want to be notified when the Mama Leilani releases (and hear other Peach Patterns news) be sure to sign up to our newsletter:

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