Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Funnel Neck T-Shirt Tutorial

A number of you asked for a tutorial on my funnel neck top, so I thought I would skip the usual Thrifty Thursday post and show you how easy it is to draft this top.
This is a crazy picture, but it does show that the neck is just a funnel.
Start with a basic t-shirt pattern.
Extend the center front line and square a line up from the shoulder. Notice that the line that is squared up from the shoulder is not right on the edge of the shoulder but about 1/2 over. Also take note that for my drafting tutorials, there is no seam allowance included. I always add my seam allowance once I have finished drafting. The line that was squared up from the shoulder should be approximately 14" long. A little more or less will not be a problem.
 Square a line over from center front to meet with the line from the shoulder.
The funnel neck is wider at the top than it is at the shoulder. Come out from the shoulder line 1 1/2"and connect back to the shoulder.
 The final pattern. You will do exactly the same to the back pattern.
 I made another top, but I made this one reversible.
 When sewing the top, sew the neckline with wrong sides together. Remember the funnel is going to drape down and we do not want the side seams to show.
 Here you can see that if the funnel is held up, the seams would show.
 If you would like to make one that is reversible, the inside piece will be sewn with wrong sides together for the side seams as well as the side seams of the funnel.
 Here the funnel is draped over the shoulder and you see the finished side of the seam.
 The side seams of the top are sewn with right sides together.
To finish the armhole, I cut a strip pf fabric 1" wide and long enough to go around the armhole. It was stitched to the back side with a 1/4" seam allowance and then flipped to the front and stitched in place.
 The reverse side of the armhole has a clean finish.
The edges of my top were finished on the serger with a narrow hem. In order to get the frilly edge, I simply pulled the fabric as it went through the serger. 
Now you know just how easy it is to make this top. 
I'll try to model mine for this upcoming week's Me Made Monday and I'll show you both sides.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Wednesday Showcase

Happy Wednesday Everyone!!! It's Wednesday Showcase time!! Always a fun event for me :), so let's jump right in.
First up is Helen of She says,
I’ve been obsessed with sewing for as long as I can remember and have worked in theater and opera making costumes. Since moving from balmy California to chilly Germany, my focus has had to shift from making those oh-so-beloved-among-sewists summer frocks to making winter-friendly clothes. I like to make many of my projects from second-hand garments and draft most of my patterns myself – or extensively adapt old ones; it’s a new challenge after so many years of making clothes from patterns and it’s much more wallet friendly, as fabric is just too expensive here!"
As you scroll through her blog, you'll find lots of innovative ideas. Helen has truly embraced an upcycling lifestyle, but from time to time, she still makes something brand new and lovely for herself like this super cute skirt. 
She participated in Me Made May. The 3 skirts shown here were all made by Helen.
Me Made Ma 14 Girly Skirts
This is another group of pictures from her Me Made May collection. I just had to include it as I love what she did to the Converse shoes. She said that the pin up girl had on a very skimpy outfit so she decided to give her a more tasteful outfit by adding the skirt. So cute!

She copied the yellow dress from the Mad Men series. It's a perfect copy. I had to look twice as I thought Helen was one of the cast members.
Comparison Photos
Here's a wonderful example of what can be done with a little imagination. Helen made this skirt from a thrift store find. Absolutely beautiful. She has such a great sense of humor :) I think you are going to truly enjoy getting to know her and I think you'll be inspired too!
You make my heart skip a stitch

Another super fun and very talented lady is Tamara from She says,
" I work in an office, in front of a computer all day long, but get to live out my hippie fantasy life in my craft studio every night. I love decoupage, making jewelry, sewing, paper crafts, clay, thrifting and so much more!" 

Vogue 1679.jpg
She does love to sew and she makes such lovely pieces. With the anniversary of the DVF dress, I thought I would showcase Tamara's. So pretty.
Wrap Dress, Simplicity 7705, Diane Von Furstenburg knockoff, designer knockoff

I especially liked her version of Vogue 4819. A great top to pair with skirts, pants or jeans.
Vogue4819, vogue patterns, v4819

Isn't this a lovely jacket?

As she said, she also loves crafts. I especially liked this crazy quilt box. This would be a wonderful gift in and of itself.

And check out this super fun tee. She downloaded the guitar handle images and then appliqued them on her top. Love it!

guitar applique, DIY Guitar T shirt

Fun, innovative and inspiring perfectly sums up both Helen and Tamara. I'm really looking forward to getting to know both of them.
Have a spectacular day!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Frabjous Couture's Me Made Mondays

If you have not been following Frabjous Couture's new(relatively new anyway)weekly post, she has decided to make Me Made May a weekly event. If you would like to commit to a weekly Me Made Garment, be sure to check out her blog. The garment does not need to be worn on Monday, just one day during the week. It's a nice opportunity to showcase garments throughout the year and an easy challenge to commit to just one day out of the week.
About a month ago I got the dress I did for the Sew It All television program back. They keep everything until they are sure they won't need it, so it can be quite a while before you get it back. You may remember that this is the Perfect Travel Dress.You can find the tutorial here. I wore the dress to church and when I left home, the sleeves were pulled up. During mass, they came down as it was so cold in the church and I needed something over my arms.
 My hibiscus is in bloom and it matches the dress!
 Rectangles, I love them!
Some of you have seen the Sew It All episode where I talk about how to make the dress. They sent me the DVD and I have yet to open it and take a look :( I really should!!
Hope you are or you have had a great day!

A Peek Inside My Collection

I received a message this morning from one of the editor's at Sew News and she said,
"Wow, your MTD post has been the most successful of ALL TIME."
So needless, to say, I am very honored and even more, humbled by your support. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. 
A number of you commented about pieces I have in my collection and said that you would like to see. Now of course, seeing in person is the best, but since that's impossible, I thought that from time to time I would pull a piece out that I think is especially interesting and share it. The jacket that I'm sharing today is well over 100 years old and it is exquisite.
It's a beautiful piece of linen covered in handmade lace. Sadly, the true color did not come through as it is actually a lovely buttercup yellow rather than ivory. The lace is ivory except for the small taffeta pieces that are in the middle of the flowers.
The back.
 A close up of the stitching detail.
 The lace on the shoulder.
This is the best close up shot I could get of the lace. The lace is truly perfection.
The center back.
 Lace was even sewn under the arm.
The jacket is held together with hooks down the front.
Take note that as lovely as this jacket is, the stitching is not absolutely perfect.
It's lined with silk taffeta and it is disintegrating, so it really needs to be replaced. I think I know someone that could do that ;) The jacket is underlined and the lace was then sewn to both layers.
Vintage and antique garments and fabrics are becoming more and more difficult to find, but they are still out there, so always be sure to look if you visit a thrift store as you never know what treasure you may find.
I'll be back a little later with a link for Frabjous Couture's Me Made Monday post.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Meet The Designer On Sew News

Earlier this summer, I received a very unexpected email from Sew News that said that they would like to feature me(WOW, me!!!)as the August Designer of The Month. What an amazing honor, truly!
If you would like to read the article, here's a link, The best part about the article is that there's a prize attached.
All you have to do is scroll to the bottom of the article and answer a question. Don't worry, there's no wrong answer. So hope on over. The drawing will be this upcoming Friday, August 22nd.
Good Luck!!!
Hey, someone's going to win, so why not you?!!!

Monday Morning Inspiration

The iconic white shirt, we love them and yet we, at least I, never seem to have enough in my wardrobe. So here are a few fun ideas.
Soft ruffles and a classic collar.
A long fitted shirt with black buttons accenting the collar and French cuffs.
 Fun, fussy sleeves.
 A tuxedo shirt.
 A classic shirt with a pleated back. Would be fun with jeans.
 Stitching detail.
Wrapped and tied.
 From Donna Karan

 Add a few hard accents like zippered pockets and gold buttons.
A double collar.
 Or maybe make a number of interchangeable collars so the shirt always looks fresh and new.
 This is more of a t-shirt, but a lovely accent, or a pop of color around the shirt would be pretty.
 A bow accent. You can find a pattern from Ralph Pink and make a fitted version.
Or how about turning it all around and buttoning it up the back?
Hope this gives you a little inspiration to add a few fun white shirts to your wardrobe.
Have a wonderful week!