Sew Free for Summer Blog Tour

School is out and the pools are open! This is the official start of daily dress weather and more daylight for extra playtime! As part of the the bigflynotions stop on the Rebecca Page Sew Free for Summer Blog Tour, I sewed up two FREEBIE patterns: the Dollies Diaper and the Paris Party Dress top.

Dollies Galore

There are far more dollies than people in my house. Dollies live upstairs, downstairs, in the car, at preschool, in her bedroom, on my couch (ever sit on a dolly foot or hand – – OUCH!). Dollies come with us to the pool, to the grocery store, to bed. I was brushing my teeth the other day and saw a dolly chilling next to the sink. So, its only right for dollies to have a suitable wardrobe, under pieces included.

I used quilting cotton and linen to create each of these three diapers. I really like this pattern because it uses elastic around the legs so you can get a pretty good fit. Each of these diapers is used for a different doll, two 18-inch dolls (the Gotz and the American Girl Doll shown in these pictures) and then a slightly smaller dolly.

Note: While the dolly diaper can be done up to suit your preference, the correct method for closure is with the back piece covering the top piece. (such as in the images for the solid pale pink diaper). This sleep deprived grand(?!?!?)mother failed to pay attention during the snap application phase as the mom (!) was quite eager to clothe her babies.

The pattern calls for velcro but I used snaps as a way to sneak in a little extra fine motor. These are the same size 20 KAM snaps I used on her clothes so I’m hoping it’ll transfer nicely to getting dressed a little easier.

Next up: this child needs a diaper bag for all these diapers. I plan to make this one (image below from listing).

Paris Hack

I’m quite obsessed with the Paris Party Dress, as evidenced here and here and here. That last link is actually a garment I made myself during testing over two years ago!

This was a simple hack, based on the blog post I wrote here. This time, I made the swing part of the dress even more dramatic (at least, as much as the width of this scrap would allow). To help squeeze it onto the fabric, I put a seam down the back, adding a teeny bit for seam allowance.

I used a lovely jersey I had leftover from a few projects I made for myself. It created a dress that is perfect for lounging, twirling, and, of course, changing baby diapers.

I promise she didn’t learn this baby holding technique from me:

More Inspiration

Please visit all the stops on the Rebecca Page Sew Free for Summer Blog Tour for more great inspiration:

Prizes

We will be giving away a pattern bundle of choice each day PLUS an overall grand prize of a $50 pattern credit. To stand a chance to win, all you have to do is comment on each blog, each day so stay tuned to the Rebecca Page Sewing group for updates from our bloggers!

Happy Sewing!

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Top 3 Reasons Why Dolman Patterns are the Best Way to Learn to Sew Knit Fabric

Sewing with knit fabrics sounds scary, right? That stuff stretches! You have to use special needles, worry about which stitch you’ve selected, and some people even have special machines just to make the stuff behave.

Is your brain exploding yet?

I can research and pre-plan forever but, ultimately, I learn best by doing and just need to jump into whatever new skill/project I’m trying to tackle.

Looking back, I wish I had started sewing with knits sooner than I did. They’re comfy and 90% of my ready-to-wear (RTW) so, obviously, something I unknowingly preferred already. I also wish I had started by sewing a dolman pattern because:

1. Dolmans don’t have sleeves

Rather, dolmans don’t have a separate sleeve piece. Dolmans are a style where the sleeve and bodice are cut together.

Setting in sleeves (the process of attaching the sleeve piece to the bodice) can be tricky. While doing this on a woven garment is often more challenging than on a knit one, it is still an extra step where you’re matching up the armscye, thinking, is this the front or the back or where is the middle of this thing?

Further advantages ofhaving fewer pattern pieces:

  • Your cutting is very quick = less opportunity for the fabric to roll up
  • Your sewing is a bit faster = less likely to overmanipulate that stretchy devil fabric

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2. They are easier to fit

If you’re choosing a batwing style, you’ll find this is especially the case. This super voluminous top portion is super on-trend but is also extremely forgiving. This pattern is the Dreamy Drape from Rebecca Page. For adult ladies, depending on your specific measurements, you might find that you can skip an FBA or many of your other standard fit adjustments.

I love how this tapers at the elbow for a more fitted forearm. It is extremely comfy without sacrificing range of motion. In fact, Miss Mini Monkey spend the morning at our local trampoline park in her top.

3 Pattern matching is a breeze

Fewer seams mean less risk! In fact, I think dolmans show off horizontal patterns like stripes perfectly. This is an oldie but goodie from my stash. It is double brushed polyester from the now shuttered Vinegar and Honey. I love how the pattern crosses from elbow to elbow. It is so pretty!

Practice Practice Practice

Any knit garment is going to give you the opportunity to practice skills like stretch stitches, bands/bindings, and hemming with a twin needle. Many designers will also guide you through specific suggestions to help as you sew up their knit garment. One thing I love about Rebecca Page’s patterns is that she always provides instructions for seamstresses using a standard machine as well as those with a serger.

Whether you do end up choosing a dolman style pattern or any other, the most important thing is that you’re pushing forward and gaining the experience to create your own fabulous self sewn wardrobe.

Happy sewing!!!

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