Saturday, January 31, 2015

The slouchy cardigan tutorial

Last week I shared my project run and play entry, and I promised a tutorial for how to make the cardigan. So here it is! My entry actually made the top 10 list for voting over at PR&P. My look didn't get very many votes, but I was still really excited about making the top 10. Thank you if you voted for me!

So let's get started! To make this you are going to need a basic knit shirt bodice front, back, and sleeve. I used the Bimaa pattern, but it would work with similar patterns like the flash back skinny, or Rowan too. You could even just trace a long sleeve knit shirt that fits your child. YOU ARE GOING TO WANT TO SIZE UP! I normally use a 3T for Christine right now, so I cut a size 4. You want the cardigan to be slightly larger so you can layer it on top of shirts. If you don't size up, the arms especially might be a little too snug.
1. Lay your front and back bodices together at their side. Trace along the back pattern piece, and the armscye and shoulder seam of the front bodice.
2. Now pivot the front bodice at the shoulder and swing the bottom away from the back bodice about 3". Trace the neck, side, and bottom of the front pattern piece. (I also marked the right side with a dashed line for your reference.)
3. Draw a line connecting the front to the back along bottom with a nice smooth curve along the hem. I dropped the back 1/2" to add a slight curve to the cardigan back.
Here's with the ruler moved out of the way. This is what the smoothed out hem should look like. 
4. Add an additional 1/2 inch to the front side. This will be your front hem.
Again, with the ruler moved so you can see what I'm talking about ;)
5. Now you need to true your seam allowance by flipping your front over across your original line and trace the curve of the neck.

6. Add your pattern info: fold line arrows on the middle of the back, "cut one on fold" directions, "stretch goes horizontally" reminder. Your pattern is now ready!
7. Cut your pattern pieces from a nice stretchy knit fabric. You will cut 1 of your cardigan pieces on the fold of the fabric, cut 2 sleeves, and you will cut a neck binding as well- instructions for that on step #14
8. Time to sew!!!  (I used a serger, but a regular sewing machine will work too) Fold the sides of the cardigan in (right sides together) and line up the shoulders. Sew shoulders together. Fold sleeves in half and sew sides of the sleeves.
9. Hem the sleeves by folding up the sleeves and sewing across with a double needle on your sewing machine (here's a useful tutorial on that from coletterie  and here from Mady by Rae) I have the best double needle results when I use wooly nylon in the bobbin and regular thread in the top thread of my sewing machine, with a longer stitch length (3) and decrease the bobbin tension.
10. Turn sleeve right side out and slide the sleeve into the arm hold. Sew in place. (here's a tutorial on setting in sleeves- except when sewing on knits you don't have to baste and gather the fabric, you can just stretch the fabric a little to get it to fit)
11. Repeat to the other sleeve.
12. Fold the edge of the front side over 1/2". Sew in place. Sometimes the fabric will stretch unevenly as you are sewing so use a couple pins to keep the fabric from pulling. (What happens is the feed dogs stretch the fabric underneath- a walking foot would prevent this problem- but I gotta tell you I hate putting that monster on my machine. It takes so long, and to be honest it scares me a little!
13. Fold the bottom hem up 1/2" and hem.
14. Time for the neck binding. Start by laying out the cardigan neck hole nice and flat. Measure the distance from end to end (without stretching). Add 1" to that measurement for seam allowance.
15. Cut a long rectangle 1.5" x length you got in step 14. My neck measured 20.5" plus 1" for seams, so I cut a 21.5" long rectangle.  (The 1.5" width will make a 1/2" neck binding with 1/4" seam allowance. I use a 1/4" seam allowance because I am using a serger. If you are sewing on a sewing machine and want to use a 1/2" seam allowance cut your rectangle 2" wide instead. Just remember what seam allowance you accounted for when you get to step #18)  *you may want to write these measurements on your cardigan pattern piece for future reference.
16. Fold the neck binding in half (right sides together) and sew ends closed with 1/2" seam allowance.
17. Trim extra fabric and turn right side out. Use something soft and blunt to poke the corner out (I use a large plastic crochet hook- just don't use scissors or a really sharp pencil, those things can poke a hole through your fabric! that would be bad!!)
18. Lay the neck binding across the neck. Pin in place. Sew with 1/4" seam allowance.
19. Fold the neck binding up and top-stitch across. This will help the binding lay flat and smooth.
WooHoo! you just finished your cardigan!
If you make any I'd love to see your cardigans! Tag your pictures with #zuzzypatterns in instagram :)

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

More Princess Gloves

Today I wanted to share some links where you can find more Plum Princess Gloves in action!
First these gorgeous long length navy blue gloves sewn up by Pattern Revolution pattern reviewer Becca Duval Photography. The post is a review of the Annabell Dress by Violette Field Threads (isn't it to die for? I may have to buy this pattern when it comes out). Read the post and see all of the gorgeous photos here.
Next up is the gloves' Official Pattern Review by Pattern Revolution. I love the fun bright blue sequin dot fabric they used.
Next up are these fancy white gloves with sparkly ring! Back in December the Pattern Revolution ladies held an Over the Top Contest and this fabulous Royal blue dress added some Zuzzy Gloves to make it more over the top. I think they were so clever to add the button as a little ring.  See all the photos of the Over the Top Winter Wonderland Princess here
Lastly, I wanted to share this great post written by one of my fabulous pattern testers the Little House on the Dairy. The red sparkly star fabric came from a thrift store t-shirt! amazing! I love that the gloves are more of a super hero style instead of the the usual princess.

I just adore these gloves!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

PRP January Challenge

Hi! I'm back from a big long blog break. Jacob is 20 months now and starting to be a little less crazy, hopefully that means I can do more blogging, and fun things like PROJECT RUN AND PLAY!!! Those of you who have been following me for a while know that I have been a fan of Project Run and Play from day one, and I've sewn along with a few of the challenges throughout the seasons. This year they are changing things up though, each month there will be a challenge inspired by a tutorial from one of the past competitors. This month the inspiration is Alida's Bubble Skirt Tutorial. The guidelines are very loose. Sew is up as is/flip it/ just in some way be INSPIRED by it.

I decided that I wanted to make an entire outfit inspired by the dress. I went straight to my Winter 2014 pinterest board and was drawn to these two outfits. The elements I liked were the bold stripes, the floral details, the volume of the skirts, and the adorable cardigan. 
Let's start with the skirt. The skirt is entirely based on Alida's dress tutorial minus the straps and bubble hem, and of course shortened to be a skirt instead of a dress. I LOVE the paper bag waist. I think it's adorable and  Christine is obsessed with skirts right now so I know she's going to wear it a ton. 
The striped fabric is from Hobby Lobby. I totally meant to cut the fabric so that the stripes were going horizontal like the inspiration photo above, but I simply forgot. Way to go Angela! Oh well it's still cute.
Next up, the shirt. The pattern is #9 Rascal from Ottobre Autumn 2013 issue. (My subscriptions is about to expire and I need to sew up a bunch from my old issues to justify the expense to renew another year!) It's simply a black knit raglan tee, but with a great sleeve cuff detail in a contrasting gray knit fabric upcycled from an old maternity tee of mine.
Lastly, the cardigan. My original plan was to just sew up a CINO slouchy cardigan but at the time I was wearing my favorite slouchy cardigan and Christine told me she wanted one JUST like mine. So I drafted a little slouchy cardigan and I even took pictures of the process so look for that tutorial next week!
The floral spandex knit is from Girl Charlee (sorry it's sold out) and let me tell you that fabric is SO soft! The sleeves are a little long so I need to re-hem them, but we had SUCH nice weather yesterday I didn't want to miss a good photo opportunity. This cardigan is going to be a great wardrobe staple. Christine already wore her cardigan to preschool today with pink jeggings and a mint green heart tee, she looked so cute.
So there you have it. Three separates, perfect for the winter to spring transition.

Check out more of the January challenge HERE