Aug 152014
 

Remember way back in March when I went to NY and partied with some awesome sewing ladies? During that trip, we told you about Oona’s Drunken Fat Quarter Challenge. Well the time has come for the big reveal!

To refresh your memory, this is what I started with:

Lolita Patterns | Oona's Fat Quarter Challenge Reveal

And here is what I ended with:

Lolita Patterns | Oona's Fat Quarter Challenge Reveal

Oops. I forgot to mention. This is the only way I can fit this garment at the moment. When the challenge was created in March, I was barely pregnant. And the due date was April 30th so I was not going to be showing yet. But as the due date kept getting pushed back, I kept getting bigger and bigger. And the cute skirt and top I had planned was no longer going to work. No woven was going to fit well now! Plus, I wanted to be able to wear my zombies more often than only when I was nearing my third trimester!

My solution? Make an Olive! I can’t believe it never occurred to me earlier. I had this adorable skirt and top I had picked out of the Sew Serendipity book but when I couldn’t make something work with my belly in a woven fabric right now, I realized Olive would be so cute “zombie blocked.” (i.e. colorblocked) It was my goal to try and use all the fat quarters without any supplemental fabric! I used all but 1 fabric…but I have plans for it don’t worry! I made view B and I made it sleeveless and finished the sleeves with bias binding.

Lolita Patterns | Oona's Fat Quarter Challenge Reveal

front

I used the awesome rainbow fabric I traded Devra for in the waistband piece of Olive. I love my rainbow waistbands. The rest is all various zombie collection fabrics. Zombies in the front and back center, and buttons on the other pieces. More zombies on the facings!

Lolita Patterns | Oona's Fat Quarter Challenge Reveal

back

I made this Olive one size larger than my regular size hoping to account for post pregnancy weight as well as a larger bust. I want to wear this baby as soon as I can! When I was making it, I kept thinking it looked so weird. But I am in love with the finished product! I am going to colorblock some more Olives!

Lolita Patterns | Oona's Fat Quarter Challenge Reveal

facings

For the peplum pieces, I split them into three pieces, added seam allowances, and sewed the different pieces together to make them work with all the different fabrics…plus the peplums were too wide for the fat quarter on its own…sometimes creative solutions end up being the best!

What do you all think? Do you think Devra and I have convinced Oona that you can use fat quarters in clothing projects? Should we all send her fat quarter bundles to use??  If not, we still have Jennifer and Carolyn showing their projects to help us convince Oona. They will be posting this month as well as part of Oona’s birthday extravaganza!

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May 282014
 

If you haven’t bought your copy of Olive, head on over to our shop where you can place your order! Also, you can visit the Olive page where you can see all the tutorials as they go live as well as download the cutting labels to keep your pieces organized, get inspired via our Pinterest and Flickr pages, whichever you prefer. And go ahead and tag your work with #lolitapatterns so we can find it and admire, like, share and basically swoon!

Today, I’ll show you how to cut the back on the fold and how to face the waistband, both things that testers opted to do and we thought them smart ideas. First, let me show you how to cut the back on the fold. Just note: You will need extra fabric to cut on the fold so plan accordingly!

You can do this with any pattern that doesn’t require a back zipper or even if you want to move the zipper to the side, like Olive, you just need to fold down or cut off the seam allowance on the back and mark your pattern so you don’t forget. I’m notorious for making tons of notes on my patterns. A lot of times it’s the fitting changes I’ve made that I want to keep track of. It’s a good habit to get into so that you always know where your pattern notes are…unless you have a notebook and you always keep notes there.

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I folded my back piece down rather than cut it, as a personal preference. Feel free to trim the seam allowance off and mark your pattern piece as CUT ON FOLD. The back waistband piece is already in one piece so you don’t have to alter that at all.

Next, I’ll show you how to face your waistband.

If you haven’t cut your fabric out yet you’ll need to cut two front waistband pieces and 2 back waistband pieces. Cut only one interfacing piece out of each front and back, as per the pattern instructions. IMG_20140528_104533378_HDR

When you get to Step 20, you’ll have your bodice and facing sewn up around the neck and basted around the arms and sides. At this point, you’ll want to sandwich the back (or front, start with which ever piece you’d like) bodice with the waistband pieces. Place the right sides of the waistband facing each other so to encase the bodice.

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Stitch with 3/8″ seam allowance and then press the waistband pieces away from the bodice.

There are a couple of ways you can attach the peplum. The Olive instructions call for attaching the peplum to the waistband, then turning the blouse inside out, folding the waistband facing under and topstitching it in place. That’s how I attached my waistband facing on my first Olive. You can topstitch the top of the facing, too, if you like.

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Another way I was playing around with was to place the peplum, right sides together with the waistband and waistband facing together and stitch. Finish your raw edges with a narrow zig zag or serger and press the edge toward the peplum. You can also press toward the waistband and topstitch if you like.

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Now that your waistband is faced, continue to follow the Olive instructions to finish your blouse! Share your Olive on social media and make sure to tag it with #lolitapatterns or get our attention so we can see your work!

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May 232014
 

Hi fit nerds! Today we’re going to talk about fit around the bust. When I made my first Olive, I made zero changes. I cut the size 8 and just stitched it up. Do you know how exciting that is for me?? It’s very exciting when normally I fiddle with patterns a lot.

The Olive blouse has princess seams. On view A, you have a neckline and an armhole princess seam to alter, as well as adjusting the sheer overlay and making sure your facings true up. View B only has the armhole princess seams. It isn’t hard but it’ll take a little more time than just cutting and sewing one size.

olive line drawing

I didn’t call this tutorial an FBA/SBA tutorial because we’re doing a different kind of adjustment. We’ll be lengthening and shortening the princess seams to give you the fit your body needs. If you need to add bust room in the width but would like to keep the high bust, shoulders and waist as per another size, you can draw a line on the side front pieces that go from one size to another.

For instance, you can draw a side line from the size 8 waist to the 10 bust on the sides as well as add length. Play around, muslin and take notes of the changes you make each time. Once you have the fit you like, you can make this one blouse over and over again- as View A or View B.

To mark your pieces, start by marking the side front pieces 1″ down from the armhole and draw a line across the pieces.

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Line up your matching points and draw a line across the front bodice pieces.

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Mark across all front pieces- whether you’re doing View A or View B.

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Once your pieces are marked, you will want to measure to see how much length you need to add or subtract. I added a 1.25″ to the length. You can measure your front to your waist and compare to the pattern pieces or you can put the pattern pieces up to your body and see what you need to alter.

If you’re adding length, you’ll need to put tissue paper behind your pattern pieces and tape the open pieces to the tissue. Once you’ve added length to one piece, go around to the other pieces and make sure they all match up and have the same amount of length.

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If you need to take out some of the room in the bust but find you only need to decrease some in the side, you can take piece 3 and pinch out less than an inch, depending on your needs. Once you’ve pinched out the side, you can trim the side armhole. 
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If you need to decrease the length in the bust area, take that same line we drew across the front pieces and fold the pattern piece up. Then, clean up the side by smoothing out your side lines.

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Once you’ve shortened the front length, you’ll need to shorten the side front piece and the overlay, if you’re doing View A. All lengths need to match up.

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Last but not least, you’ll want to make sure your facing pieces match your altered front pieces. You shouldn’t have to change your facing pieces unless you added to the shoulder with of neck. If all you’ve done is change the bust length, you can just cut the facings according to the original size you started altering.

I made a wearable muslin of View B with the added length and starting with one size smaller than my first Olive. I’m finding that the neck, both front and back, are closer to my body and don’t gape as much. Granted, the gaping isn’t awful in my first version. That said, I do like how the Olive fits this time around. I didn’t add the peplum or the sleeves but you most certainly can if you want to complete yours.

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Any questions?

Next time, I’ll have a tutorial for you on how to cut the back on the fold along with how to face the waistband. Hope this has been helpful!

leila signature

May 212014
 

Hello lovelies! While Amity is in New York, I’m here sneaking around Lolita virtual headquarters getting some tutorials ready for you Olive lovers. If you haven’t bought your copy of Olive, head on over to our shop where, day or night, you can place your order! Also, you can visit the Olive page where you can see all the tutorials as they go live as well as download the cutting labels to keep your pieces organized, get inspired via our Pinterest and Flickr pages, whichever is your poison.

 

I’m starting with tips on working with lightweight fabrics and mastering your serger skills first so you will see that you can do it.

First of all, cutting these gorgeous fabrics! Some people prefer to use a rotary cutter and healing mat while others use spray on stabilizer or a gelatin rinse (I’ve used this method and it’s excellent) to beef up their fabric, keeping them from being so shifty. You can also cut shifty fabrics by sandwiching your fabric between two sheets of paper. Once your pieces are cut, you just need to keep them from pulling and distorting.

Use needles that match the weight of your fabric and, if need be, switch to a lightweight thread on your sewing machine.

The biggest tip I can give you for getting your serger to produce a lovely rolled hem is to test, test, test. Use scraps every time. I know my serger will make a sweet rolled hem and I still always test it.

If you’re having trouble getting a nice rolled hem on your serger (though these tips also apply to working on a sewing machine), I recommend you:

1. Change your needle. A fresh needle with a sharp tip can make all the difference.

2. Re-thread your machine…and while there isn’t any thread, take a second and clean out the lint. Add a dab of oil and then re-thread.

3. Set your stitch length to 2 or shorter. When you test it on a scrap, you can set it shorter if you prefer.

4. Differential feed is at 1-1.5.

5. Move the stitch finger slider back (on some machines you might have an R for the rolled hem position). You basically don’t want the stitch finger sticking out- you want it back so that the rolled hem is possible.

6. The settings for the needle and the loopers will vary with each machine and how moody your serger is that day. I have mine set to 4 across the board and I don’t move them all that much.

Here are some tests I did on scraps of both my fabrics for my first Olive. I wanted to test both the regular serged hem as well as the rolled hem. My poly chiffon overlay did just fine under the serger but if your overlay is lighter weight or has a looser weave you might need to stabilize it before you do the rolled hem on it.

You can stabilize it with a very narrow piece of like-colored ribbon, by using spray on stabilizer or even by folding the cut edge in and doing your rolled hem over the two layers. If you have bits on the wrong side peeking out, you can trim those off.

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As you go around the ruffles, hold your overlay fabric firmly in place so you don’t skip any part of your fabric. If it ripples, it’s okay. Remember, it’s a ruffle. :)

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To get that rolled hem all the way to the end of your curved pieces, just use a pin to hold your fabric in place as you slowly feed it through the serger.

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When doing the rolled hem on the straight pieces, you can feed them in sequence and then trim them in between.  IMG_20140415_114701421_HDR IMG_20140415_115057473_HDR  

Before you apply the interfacing to the facing pieces, make sure that your fabric didn’t shift. I double checked my facing pieces by placing the pattern piece over the cut fabric just to be sure. Then, I felt okay ironing on the interfacing.

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Serging the bottom of the facings shouldn’t give you any trouble because the pieces are interfaced and therefore more stable. Just remember to change your serger settings before you get started on the facings.  IMG_20140415_113827248_HDR

As you put your overlay ruffle pieces together, you can use your serger threads to keep the very ends together. When in doubt, just go slow and you’ll be fine.

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Pin, pin, pin!

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Marking your back darts can be easy with pins.

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You can either stitch and then serge your Olive together or, making sure you stick to the 3/8″ seam allowance, just serge it all. Here’s the inside of the top of my blue Olive.

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Any questions about working with lightweight and shifty fabrics? Friday, I’ll be back with FBA and SBA alterations. See you then! Let’s hope Amity is having a blast in the big apple!!

leila signature

 

 

May 152014
 

Today I want to show you two gorgeous Olive’s made by testers. The first one started as view A but was converted into something completely different. This one was made by Handmade by Carolyn.

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The above photo shows the final version. She started out with view A making the cowl overlay and flounce which you can see below but decided it did not quite fit her style…so she adapted a button front view instead! You can see how on her blog post!

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Her Olive is made of a beautiful white linen and I love how the white tone on tone looks for Olive. Below you can see a closeup of her final version after modifications.

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She has a bunch more pictures and details of her modifications over on her blog post.

 

The second Olive I have to show you was made by Velosewer. And this version is made out of olive colored fabric!  This is so perfect. She made a spearmint colored Spearmint and now an olive colored Olive!

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Her version is view B but she couldn’t resist adding the sleeve ruffles from view A. She also converted the neckline into a v-neck. Don’t worry, she will be doing a post on how to do that on your own Olive!

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Here is a closeup of the sleeve ruffles.

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There are tons more pictures and info on her alterations over on her blog post. She even mentions another version of Olive coming up! Click on over to see the details.

I’ll be featuring more Olives as we go along. In the meantime, don’t forget about the coupon code sewing15indie to save 15% on all physical patterns through May 19th including Olive!

 

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May 122014
 

I am happy to finally introduce you to our latest pattern, Olive. Olive envelope front olive line drawing

Olive is a beautiful blouse that plays with fabric texture to create a striking look. View A features a beautiful draping sheer fabric combined with a stable solid that produces a unique look. The sheer cowl overlay and soft flounces draw attention to the gorgeous blend of fabric textures. The waistband combined with the pleated peplum adds shaping to the garment. View B eliminates the sheer fabric to provide a fantastic all-around basic blouse perfect for pairing with suits, skirts, and pants.

Lolita Patterns | Olive

In the photos here, I am wearing View A. I will also be sharing with you some fabulous versions of View B in the coming weeks. This blouse is so versatile and so unique…I love all the ways you can play around with fabric pairings and texture with this pattern. Olive is now available for sale! And the timing is perfect because we have a 15% off all physical patterns sale going on right now for Sewing Indie Month…and that includes Olive! Just use coupon code sewing15indie and the discount will show in your cart.

Lolita Patterns | Olive

That isn’t all. We decided to launch a limited two pack set so customers can save when buying two patterns. This two pack set is not part of the Sewing Indie coupon code because it is already discounted. But don’t worry, the two pack will still be around after the sale ends so you can still save when buying multiple patterns.

Lolita Patterns | Olive

Both views of Olive use small amounts of fabric when you cut in a single layer so it is great for small remnants and special fabrics. You can see all yardage chart information on the Olive pattern page.

We also have exciting news: Olive will be launched with a blog tour of various sewing bloggers around the world starting tomorrow! Here is a list of the bloggers participating this week.

Three Dresses

Handmade by Carolyn

Velosewer

Peneloping

Quirky Pretty Cute

Made With Hugs and Kisses

Instead of a sew-along with Olive, we have chosen the trickiest parts and decided to feature tutorials on how to do them best. Each time we post an Olive tutorial, we will post a link on the Olive pattern page so they are all collected in one place. We will also feature hacks for the pattern including making Olive in a knit, using lace, and even making the top into a v-neck!  I can’t wait for you all to see it!

The pattern comes in both physical pattern and PDF form. The PDF version includes both tiled PDF versions and print shop versions.

Don’t forget that the Sewing Indie discount code (sewing15indie) is only good through 11:59pm Pacific Time Zone on May 19th, 2014!

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