Jan 282014
 

This post has been a long time coming! My Spearmint (which has been done for ages) never got a proper photo shoot or blog post! So now it has both. This Spearmint is made from Marc Jacobs novelty wool boucle I picked up at Mood in Los Angeles while shopping with Caroline (miss you!) from the blog Tigerfeet.  I don’t see this fabric on their website, but it also comes in bright orange and hot pink…which I definitely considered. But going into Mood, I had a vision in my mind of a white sparkly Spearmint so I got the white. It is a sheer wool boucle that is kind of a creamy white, with white yarn type stuff going in stripes all the way across. And then of course there are the sparkles…beautiful sparkles!

Lolita Patterns | Spearmint

First, I block fused the entire yardage because it was kind of sheer and merely a suiting weight and a more hefty weight is better suited to this pattern. I fused the yardage with a fusible tricot. Worked perfectly.

Lolita Patterns | Spearmint

Next, not paying attention when I bought it, in my head I assumed the stripes would be going lengthwise and it would be easy to match them up. Of course when I got home, I realized they went horizontal and I didn’t have enough fabric to go lengthwise. Begin cutting forever!! I matched up every single piece for the horizontal stripes…and Spearmint is a lot of pieces around the body to get great shaping.

Lolita Patterns | Spearmint

After cutting, sewing up Spearmint is a breeze. It is all done by machine and goes quickly. I used hair canvas for the collar…which is the trick to getting it able to be shaped and molded to the cascades you see here. Also, let me tell you, for this version I used the hair canvas I sell to all of you…..sooo much better!  The last hair canvas I used for samples was bought at F & S and I am not sure what happened, but the fusible beads would fly off all over the place and it did not want to stick to the fabric at all. I was very careful to make sure and test and get great fusible hair canvas for you all after that fiasco. I am here to tell you that not all fusible hair canvas is the same!  But in any case, I was able to use both kinds, just this one worked much easier than the other :)

Lolita Patterns | Spearmint

Here are a lot more pictures. Some closeups of the collar and the clean finish jump hem on the inside…no slip stitching needed!

Lolita Patterns | Spearmint

Lolita Patterns | Spearmint

Pretty houndstooth lining!

Lolita Patterns | Spearmint

clean finish, no slipstitching

Lolita Patterns | Spearmint

perfect jump hem

This coat looks wonderful opened or buttoned, and the pockets are nice and large. I am wearing Spearmint here with both my Leopard Gunmetal and my hot pink zebra Giorgio’s Top. I made my version 5 inches shorter than View A in the pattern and I made a size 2. I am very petite and I wanted a coat that would not dwarf me, plus I live in Los Angeles where it doesn’t get very cold, so I didn’t need the extra length. I am wearing it here with only the Gunmetal underneath it. This is how I designed this coat to be worn, as a topcoat. I wear it over dresses or blouses. As we have mentioned before, it is important to size up if you live in a cooler climate and want to wear layers underneath.

Lolita Patterns | Spearmint

This is a closeup of the gorgeous sparkly beaded button I bought for it. The button is also from Mood. A bunch of you helped me pick the right button by letting me know on Instagram which one looked best.

Lolita Patterns | Spearmint

Have you seen all the amazing Spearmint’s around the web?  We have collected them all on our Spearmint Pinterest board.

Are you all ready for the Spearmint sew-along? It starts next week! Gather your supplies, grab the sew-along badge in the sidebar, and meet us back here on February 3rd. Still need the pattern? Both PDF and physical versions are available in the shop.

  amity bow | Lolita Patterns

Jan 252014
 

In the spirit of Jungle January last year, I made a Giorgio’s Top out of red leopard print. In the spirit of Jungle January this year, I made a Giorgio’s Top out of hot pink zebra fabric!

Lolita Patterns | Giogio's Top

see my matching shoes again??

I made this immediately following my Jungle January Gunmetal. I love the way my Gunmetal turned out and it looks awesome, but when I was sewing it, I was craving color so badly. So I grabbed my hot pink shiny zebra knit and went to town!  Giorgio’s Top is an incredibly quick sew. It is only four pieces, and made entirely on the serger except for those who want to hem on your regular machine. This is my fourth version of Giorgio’s Top.

Lolita Patterns | Giorgio's Top

My best version was my first, the sparkly orange one. The slinky knit just hugs the figure better than the other knits. I made the other three out of regular knits and while they are wearable, I am not as happy as I am when I put on the original version. So from now on, I will be making this pattern out of slinky knits. I think the heavier weight makes it hug the body better around the waist. I suppose I could just sew those seams larger around the waist but it’s already done and wearable…and will be good when I gain weight since it has extra room.

Lolita Patterns | Giorgio's Top

I always make the smallest size in Silhouette Patterns and sometimes is too big. Giorgio’s Top happens to be a tiny bit roomy but it always still looks great. The peplum doesn’t flare like the photo on the pattern through…at least not in any version I have made. I actually traced off the pattern and added a 1/4″ to each side of each piece which would have added 4 inches to the bottom circumference in an attempt to make the bottom flare more, but it just looked like way too much fabric so I just stick with the original. In any case, it is still such a quick and easy sew, fits well, and looks good so I keep making them!

This hot pink zebra was a stash fabric knit that came from Fabric.com, the same place my orange sparkly slinky knit (the first Giorgio’s Top) came from…same order actually! I didn’t bother trying to make the print match at all…the zebra stripes go in all different directions anyway so I wasn’t concerned about it. Plus I needed a break from the epic horizontal stripe matching that was my Spearmint…way  back in December. I’ll blog my Spearmint in the next post!  Those of you who follow me on Instagram have seen glimpses of my pretty Marc Jacobs fabric Spearmint.

That reminds me! Do you all know about the Showcase? If you tag your instagram photos with #lolitapatterns, your photo automatically shows up on the Showcase page!

Don’t forget that the Spearmint Sew-Along is starting February 3rd! Make sure you gather your supplies and grab your badge from the sidebar. This sew-along is going to have so many tips and photos and extras, you won’t want to miss it!

amity bow | Lolita Patterns

Jan 232014
 

I’m sure you all know about Jungle January hosted by Pretty Grievances. We sew up animal prints and wear them proudly! This is my first Jungle January make of this year. Last year I made a Giorgio’s Top out of red leopard print. You can see the post here.

Lolita Patterns | Leopard Gunmetal

This Gunmetal is a pretty different make from what I usually sew. The entire time I was so jealous of Leila’s Gunmetal. She used the same rose burnout leopard print lace with some very fun hot pink! I kept wanting to do the bright colors but I was inspired by one of my testers versions of Gunmetal. Kate from Sewing for Sanity made a gorgeous nude neutral Gunmetal that we featured in this blog and she featured on her own blog as well.

Lolita Patterns | Leopard Gunmetal

see my matching shoes?

Remembering how much I loved that version helped me stick to my guns with this one. I used a nude swimsuit lining underneath the leopard and used brown thread when doing the rolled hems. Everything is so very neutral! I know it is still leopard print but trust me, this is as neutral as it gets for me…and I’m glad I stuck to it…I love the way it turned out!

Lolita Patterns | Leopard Gunmetal

I used the nude lining under every part. On my previous Gunmetals, the center and side center panels were made without the overlay and so were the sleeves. For this one, I used the overlay on every single piece and the fashion fabric (nude swimsuit lining) on every single piece. That means the sleeves are lined, the center pieces are covered with leopard and the peplum is also lined. It turned out great! I also hemmed the sleeves with a rolled hem to keep the continuity from the ruffles..plus it is way easier than a traditional hem!

Lolita Patterns | Leopard Gunmetal

sleeve closeup

I think Gunmetal looks so different without the contrast pieces…I was surprised. Because I used the overlay on the center piece, I thought adding buttons would be too much. Usually the center piece is the solid underlay fabric and the buttons add the perfect touch..but I tried auditioning some and it just did not look right. So my Gunmetal is buttonless…just like Sew Busy Lizzy’s.

Lolita Patterns | Leopard Gunmetal

Here is a closeup picture of the ruffles and the ruching. On the left side, I pleated the ruching. On the right side, I gathered it just like the Gunmetal instructions. And guess what? They both looked the same! I was trying to see if it would give a different look but with this fabric combination, it turned out looking exactly the same.

Lolita Patterns | Leopard Gunmetal

I held the fabric up to the light with the lining behind it so you could see the pretty rose burnout effect. And leopard print. And lace! And only $2/yd in the Los Angeles garment district. It was a great find!

Lastly I want to talk about the lining. I chose not to line this version, but I am also not picky at all about how the insides look. I sewed a straight stitch while stretching the fabric and then serged them. There are also many pieces so there are a lot of seams inside. The seams are neat but they are still many. So if you like pretty insides, make sure to use the lining pieces. I did not want the extra layers because I wear a tank top/camisole under everything anyway. Yes, everything. So a lining would be too many layers. I am only pointing this out so you know that it can be made without a lining–but you do need to use the neck ruffle or other finishing method for the neckline if you are not going to use the lining.

Lolita Patterns | Leopard Gunmetal

That being said, my version that I made with a lining is beautiful inside! So it is all up to your preferences! Want to make Gunmetal yourself? You can pick up your own Gunmetal in the shop. We also just finished the Gunmetal sew-along so you can get extra help and photos when sewing it up! Also check out the Pinterest page of finished Gunmetals found in the wild.

What do you think? Have you joined in Jungle January?  I have another Jungle January make to show in my next post…love those animal prints…both Jungle January makes have been made completely from stash fabrics!

amity bow | Lolita Patterns

Jan 172014
 

Hey everyone! We have an awesome Spearmint to share today. This Spearmint was made by Brooke of Custom Style. She made an amazing casual version out of denim. Click over to see her detailed blog post. Check it out!

click picture for source

Check out the awesome lining!

click picture for source

In her blog post, she goes into detail about how she modified the pattern to fit her petite frame. Also, how she managed to eek this out with only 2 yards of fabric! There are great tips on creative cutting on her Spearmint post.  Look at that gorgeous collar!

click picture for source

I barely broke the surface of all the information Brooke included in that post..any questions you may have about Spearmint are probably answered there on her blog!

Brooke did not use hair canvas interfacing since her denim fabric was already thick and you can see how it results in a beautiful drapey collar. As we discussed before, the collar all depends on your preference! Depending on the interfacing method you choose, it can be drapey, structured, or anything in between. We will cover all that during the sew-along.

The sew-along! It starts February 3rd. Is everyone ready? Gathering your supplies? I can’t wait! Don’t forget the sew-along badge in the sidebar! If you still need your pattern, you can pick it up here in the shop.

amity bow | Lolita Patterns

Jan 132014
 

Did this sew-along feel quick to you? We’re only on day 4 and we’re finishing up today! I love a quick make that has some detail to it!

To see all of the sew-along post links together, go to the Gunmetal Sew-Along page to see all the posts. If you still need to buy your Gunmetal pattern, click here to go to the Lolita Patterns shop. You have the option to buy the paper copy, a PDF copy or a paper copy with D-rings.

Stitch and attach skirt/peplum

Baste around the bottom of your bodice and lining with 1/4″ seam allowance to hold them in place,and treat as one, while you attach your skirt or peplum. Stitch front skirt overlay to the back skirt overlay- the front is a little wider than the back- just in case you lose track of which is which. Repeat for fashion fabric.

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Put your fashion fabric skirt inside the overlay skirt and match wrong sides together and stitch with 1/4″ seam allowance to hold them together.

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Stitch your skirt combo to the bottom of your bodice, with right sides together. Make sure you catch the ruffles, lining and top- stitched ribbon in this seam.

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Sleeves

I attached long sleeves to my burgundy Gunmetal so I’m going to show you how to finish the sleeves on my red version.

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First take your sleeve cap and gather between the notches. Then, sew underarm seam.

Set in the sleeve. you might have to do some smoothing of the gathers at this point. Pin and stitch in place. Sometimes I like to baste a sleeve in, check to see that the gathers look good on the right side, then restitch them. You can also baste and then use your serger. If you don’t have a serger, you can always use a zig zag stitch but you can also use an overlock stitch on your basic machine, too.

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Pinned sleeve to the armhole.

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To add elastic on View B, cut a piece that is the length of your arm circumference. Stitch the ends together to make a loop. You want the elastic to be just a bit smaller than your sleeve opening. Fold in half and mark. You can also fold in quarters and mark again, if you’d like. 

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Match your seam and the half mark on your elastic to the underarm seam and half mark on the sleeve. As you zig zag your elastic in place, hold your elastic from the front and the back, stretching it as you go. When you need to stop to readjust or take out pins, make sure you end with your needle down so your elastic has less ability to move around.

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Here’s the clear elastic zig zagged in place.

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Fold up your hem over the elastic and stitch your hem. You can also, stitch up your hem and, leaving an opening, thread your straight piece of elastic and then stitch it into a loop.

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For View A, your sleeves get turned up 3/8″ and hemmed without elastic, as you can see below. I’ve sergerd the raw edges of my netting before turning it up and stitching in place. A straight stitch is just fine.

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Lace D-rings/attach buttons

You can now lace the ribbon through your D-rings, starting at the bottom so you can have a nice bow at the top. Or lace it from top to bottom. Your choice! If you’re doing View A, you’ll want to sew on your buttons.

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Hem your peplum/skirt and you’re done!

Congratulations! You’re the proud owner of a Gunmetal! We’d love to see what you just made! Visit the Lolita Patterns Gunmetal Flickr Group and add your photos! Thank you for joining us on this sew-along.

***We’ll be starting the Spearmint Sew-Along on February 3rd! Hop on over to the Lolita shop to get your copy of Spearmint. You can get a PDF or paper copy as well as pick up some hair canvas at a really great price for the neck flounce. ***

leila signature

Jan 102014
 

Welcome back sew-alonger! How is your Gunmetal coming along? Did you opt for the D-rings or the buttons? I can’t wait to see your finished makes…which brings us to today!

If you’re just joining us, feel free to go to the Gunmetal Sew-Along page to see all the posts in one spot. If you still need to buy your Gunmetal pattern, click here to go to the Lolita Patterns shop. You have the option to buy the paper copy, a PDF copy or a paper copy with D-rings.

Side front overlays

Sew with a long stitch along the length of both sides, arm and neck of side front overlay (7). Pull the threads to gather. Leave the marked part of the side front ungathered. That way, you won’t have gathers across the bust, but you will have gathers along your waist and shoulder.

Matching notches, layer the overlay onto the right side of the side front and stitch each edge with a 1/4″ seam allowance to hold in place. Repeat for the other side. You will work these two pieces as one from here on out.

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Sewing bodice together

Stitch the side front combo to the side center (5) with your right sides together.

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Sew center front lining (10) piece to side front lining (6) pieces. Then, stitch side back combo (overlay plus knit-9) to center back (8) with your right sides together. Repeat for the back lining pieces. (Sorry the color changes so much. I started taking pictures for the sew-along in Indiana and finished up in California.)

Apply stay tape to the wrong side of the neckline on your fashion pieces. Below you can see the back and the stay tape. Do the same for the front.

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Stitch front to back at the shoulders and side seams. Repeat for the lining.

Neck ruffle

Stitch long ends of neck ruffle (15) with the right sides together to make a loop. Matching notches, place your ruffle right sides together along the neck edge and stitch with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Make sure you catch the ruffles and ribbon on the front of your bodice.

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Attaching lining

Layer and line up the edge of the lining to the neck edge of the your garment and with right sides together, match notches. Stitch all around your neck edge. You can easily use a straight stitch since the neck is open enough to go around your head. You can also use a serger for any and all of these steps.

Turn your lining to the inside of your bodice. You might notice that my lining has different colored side pieces. You are correct! I ran out of fabric and have a lace print knit on the lining. Make sure your ruffles are lying as flat as can be so you don’t twist it and stitch a pretty ruffle into the seam. This happened to me but it’s easy to pick out if you’re using a straight stitch.

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Give your bodice a nice press. You might want to use a press cloth so you don’t shine up your knit or melt your ruffles.

One more session and you’ll have your own Gunmetal!

Any questions so far? Have you been to the Lolita Patterns Flickr group yet? Go check it out!

leila signature

Jan 082014
 

Today we begin prepping pieces so that we can get all our ruffles ruffled and D-rings placed and so on. This is a fairly quick make once all the pretty pre-work is done. So, let’s get to it. Lots of tips today!

If you’re just joining us, feel free to go to the Gunmetal Sew-Along page to see all the posts. If you still need to buy your Gunmetal pattern, click here to go to the Lolita Patterns shop. You have the option to buy the paper copy, a PDF copy or a paper copy with D-rings.

Prepare the pieces

I cut my overlay a little bit longer just because the length gets eaten up a bit when you baste it. As you can see in the second photo, the basting stitch on my sewing machine made the fabric and overlay gather. I left long tails so that I could un-gather the fabric and then it was laying flat just fine. You can also baste the overlay with your fabric on a serger. I recommend putting the overlay face down so that the feed dogs can grip it better.

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Both approaches to basting the overlay work just fine. It just depends on what machines you have.

Baste the accompanying overlays (I used my serger but you can use a long straight stitch on your sewing machine), wrong side to right sides of the side backs (9) and center back (8) pieces. Now you’ll treat them as one piece. Like this:

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Ruffles

Below you can see that I have finished the edges of the burgundy upper ruffle (12) but I haven’t finished the lower ruffle (11) and because it’s a knit you can choose what look you want. You can serge them or do a zig zag on your machine. If you have an overlock stitch, you can use that, too. Or you can leave the edges raw. I cut the neck ruffle (15) along the selvage and therefore didn’t do any finishing.

Note: If you bought ruffle trim, this is where you would use it!

Once your ruffles are prepped, gather them with a long basting stitch. Your overlay ruffle pieces will gather mostly as you feed them through the machine so you will probably need to un-gather them a bit so they match the side center piece.

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Layer and adjust the lower and upper ruffles so they match the raw edges of piece 5.

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Stitch using a 1/4″ seam to hold the ruffles in place on both sides.

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D-rings (View B only)

Cut your ribbon into 20 pieces, each 1 and 1/8″ long. I used a novelty glitter ribbon but the pattern calls for a regular ribbon. That said, the sky is the limit. Once cut, thread each piece of ribbon through your D-rings and secure with a 1/4″ seam to hold in place.

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To save time, you can stitch the ribbon in a continuous row as you can see below, left. When you’re done, you’ll have a chain of D-rings as seen bottom, right. Just snip in between each D-ring/ribbon pair and you’re ready for the next step.

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If you haven’t marked your center front (4), place your D-ring placement pattern piece and pin each D-ring/ribbon pair on to the center front. Make sure the D-rings match up on both sides. When stitching my glitter ribbon to the center front piece I found that I had to adjust the fabric because of the height difference. With a satin ribbon, you shouldn’t have any problem but keep an eye on your knit.

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Sew front bodice pieces

With right sides together, and making sure you don’t catch the ruffles, stitch center front (4) and side center (5) together. Repeat for the other side. For View B, you also want to topstitch the length of ribbon over both seam joins.

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Take a break! You’re half way through construction! See you next time! And don’t forget to share photos on our Lolita Patterns Flickr Pool and use the #lolitapatterns tag when you’re on social media! Have a great day!

leila signature

Jan 062014
 

Welcome everyone to the Gunmetal Sew-Along! This is a two skull (out of five) level of difficulty so we are only taking 4 sessions, including this one. Feel free to leave us any questions you may have throughout the sew-along.

To see all of the sew-along post links together, go to the Gunmetal Sew-Along page to see all the posts. If you still need to buy your Gunmetal pattern, click here to go to the Lolita Patterns shop. You have the option to buy the paper copy, a PDF copy or a paper copy with D-rings.

Fabric

Part of the fun of the Gunmetal top/dress is reaching for the overlay fabrics. You want there to be stretch in the overlay fabric. Two way stretch on both the knit and the overlay is enough but you can also choose 4 way stretch materials. We recommend you find a knit with a bit of spandex/lycra in it for good recovery.

You’ll also need

Stay tape

Six 3/8″ buttons for View A

Two yards of ruffle trim (optional if you don’t want to make your own trim)

1 yd 1/4″ clear elastic for View B

Twenty 3/8″ D-rings for View B

Three yards of 3/8″ ribbon for View B

Choosing a size and fitting

When you look at the finished measurements chart, you’ll notice there is quite a bit of negative ease. You’re working with stretchy fabrics so you want your finished garment to be smaller than your own measurements. If you want to do a quick muslin, you can omit the ruched pieces and make just one layer. You can also measure a finished garment in your closet. You might be surprised to see how much negative ease your clothes actually have. All in all, it’s safe to go with the size that corresponds to your body measurements. I made the size 10 and the negative ease was quite comfortable. With Lolita Patterns, you don’t have to size down to get a snug fit- we’ve done that work for you! Just pick your size and cut it out!

With knit tops and dresses, I tend to cheat and skip the full bust adjustment. I don’t want a dart in my knits (personal preference) so what I did with my Gunmetal was to add one size to the side seams which gave me ample room.

Layout and cutting out your pattern pieces

I’ve laid out the peplum top. You’ll need a bit more fabric for the dress.

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You can use a rotary cutter for cutting out your overlay pieces. I use my scissors for almost everything and had no problem with the overlay. If your overlay isn’t as stretchy as your knit, you might consider adding a bit of width to the peplum/skirt  pieces, but it’s not necessary.

That’s all we have for today! Join us next time as we get started with all the beautiful details that make Gunmetal such a fun make!

leila signature