May 21, 2014

Anna Pattern = Free Boy/Girl Summer T-shirts Tutorial

Did you know that if you purchased my Princess Anna Inspired Complete PDF Pattern, you already have a free pattern to make T-shirts for your kids for summer?!!! Isn't that AWESOME!!! I love multi-tasking stuff! The "knit shirt" included with the Anna complete pattern is all you need to cloth your kids (boys and girls) through the year. The current pattern includes a long sleeve, and through this tutorial I'm going to show you step-by-step how to create a short sleeve option. 

My son, Nathan, kept seeing me going into my sewing room, but coming out with (often) nothing for him, until.....he started asking me for a "train shirt". I whipped him up an Anna T-shirt in about 30 minutes, and used a Lesley Riley TAP transfer sheet to apply a train image I found online. So simple, so quick, and now I have a very happy boy! 

Anna Knit Shirt Short-Sleeve Tutorial:

From the Anna Complete Pattern:
 BLOUSE- (“Knit”) Instruction ......................................................................................pages 43 - 47
Blouse Knit pattern .....................................................................................................pages 48 - 53

**Do not use the cotton blouse option for this project. 
           Cut out your 2 pattern pieces from the "KNIT BLOUSE ONLY" and "Knit Shirt Sleeve".

            To mark the bottom "cut" line to create your short sleeve, as pictured, measure down from the upper right and left sides of the sleeve as follows: 
For the: 6/7- 4" down from the left side, 6" down from the right side
             4/5-4" down from the left side, 6" down from the right side
             2/3-3 3/4" down from the left side, 6"down from the right side
              18-24m-4" down from the left side, and 5 1/2" down from the right side 

Fold back the sleeve pattern piece on your newly drawn short sleeve lower edge. 

**To get more exact sizing from my crossover Anna sizes: 
To get a size:  7- Cut shirt length 1" longer from the 6/7
6- use the 6/7 as is
5- Cut shirt length 1" longer from the 4/5
4- use the 4/5 as is
3- Cut shirt length 1" longer from the 2/3
2- use the 2/3 as is
24mo- Cut shirt length 1" longer from the 18-24mo
18mo- use the 18-24mo as is

 Cut out one shirt back piece on the fold (neckline for back cut on dotted line)

Cut into neckline edge on pattern piece and fold back upper neckline area.

 With the upper neckline folded back, cut out one front shirt on the fold 
                                                      (neckline for front cut on solid line).

 Cut out two short sleeves on the fold. 

 Now you should have one front piece, one back piece and 2 sleeves. (We'll cut the collar out later)

**IMPORTANT: You must use a ball point or stretch needle in your machine for this project. If you have never sewn with knits before, either of these needles is essential to sewing your garment, as they will help you sew the "knits" as easily as a "cotton". Do not fear if you have not sewn with knits....the needle really does make all the difference. Your machine should feed the knit through easily, but if you feel it needs extra guidance, pick up a walking foot attachment. I have one, but personally enjoy sewing my knits without it (and just the stretch needles instead).

Here's a brief overview on what they each needle does...
Uses: Ballpoint needle for heavier, looser sweater knits; stretch needle for highly elastic fabrics, like Spandex, or Lycra.

Configuration: Both have rounded points that penetrate between fabric threads rather than pierce them. (Stretch-needle point is slightly less rounded than ballpoint.)

Okay....time to sew....

1.With right sides together, pin the front shirt to the back shirt together at the shoulders. Using a 3/8" seam allowance, sew (and serge if you have one) across each shoulder.

2.Open up shirt with the right side facing up. With right sides of material facing each other, pin one shirt sleeve to center shoulder seam. Pin in place.

3.Match up the left side sleeve edge to the shirt armhole edge, and pin together.

 4.Now match up the right side sleeve edge to the opposite shirt armhole edge, and pin together.

5.Place a few extra pins along sleeve edge, making sure the sleeve matches up with 
the armhole of the shirt. 

6.Sew the sleeve to the armhole following that same 3/8" seam allowance. It helps to feed the pieces through with the shirt on the bottom and the sleeve on top as you sew. 

7.Sew across sleeve edge. 

 When opened up, this is what the sleeve attached will look like (with right side facing up).

8.Repeat steps 2-6 to attach additional sleeve. 

 I like to add an additional overlock (serged edge) to my t-shirts for added durability. However, sewing with a regular machine (and a ball point or stretch needle) will still create a beautiful knit shirt. The edges of the knit material typically do not fray, so you don't need to worry about adding extra stitching there. Here, I am adding a serged edge to the sleeve edge (as I did above on the shoulders as well).

 Here is what the shirt should now look like, opened up, and with both sleeves attached. 

 9.Bring right sides of the shirt facing each other, matching up armhole seams. 

 10.Pin down each side of the shirt edge, making sure the sleeve edge, the lower shirt edge, 
and the armhole line up.  

11.Starting at the sleeve edge, sew down the entire length of the pinned area, ending at the 
lower edge of the shirt. 

 12.Serge this same edge if you want. 

13.Repeat steps 9-12 for opposite side. 

14.Cut collar size as indicated in chart on page 43. Cut collar piece along grainline of knit fabric. The stretch of the fabric should run lengthwise.

15.Fold the collar in half, lengthwise. Sew across end and serge. 

16.Keep the sewn edge inside, fold collar into a tube, lengthwise, as pictured. Make sure you keep the right side facing outward, and the raw edges inside the tube. 

17. Keeping collar edges together, Pin collar seam at center back neckline of shirt. Place the raw edges of the collar against the raw edge of the neckline.

18. Flip the collar over to the front side of the shirt, and pin the center front of the collar to the center front raw edge of the neckline. Neckline will be wider than collar (you want this).

19. Stretch out collar as best as you can until it matches neckline, and place a few extra placement pins. (or you can skip this step. Most important to have the two pins marking the center front and center back so that the collar ends up even all the way around when stretched).

20.Place the neckline in your sewing machine, with the collar on the outside, and the shirt on the inside, as pictured. Pull and stretch the collar to match the neckline of the shirt as you sew. You are aiming to stretch the collar as you sew, but not stretch the shirt neckline. 

Sewn on, your collar should look like this. 

21. You can add a serged edge if you like to the neckline, or omit.

22.Turn your shirt inside out, so that the wrong side is facing up. Fold back the sleeve raw edge 
by about 1", and pin. 

**For the sleeve edges (and any seam that stretches) it's bet to use either a double needle, or a tighter zig zag stitch. These seams get stretched a lot and worn, so a straight stitch is not advised, as it can break when garment is pulled over the head. I set my Singer machine to zig zag, then about a 3.5 on stitch width, and a 3 on stitch length (but all machines will vary). 

23.Here's what the zig zag stitch looks like on the sleeve from the underside, and the top side:

24.Next, turn under the lower raw edge of the T-shirt by about 1", and press down with an iron. 
Pin in place.

25.Zig zag (or twin needle) the lower edge on about 3/4" up from the folded edge.

 26.You are now done! You are ready to add a t-shirt to your son (or daughter's) summer closet!

 And here is how my Anna sizing compares with one of my son's store bought t-shirts! I made him a "2" here, but cutting 1" longer as I advise above gives you the size 3 length that you see pictured here on the green shirt. 

 I added an iron-on transfer with a stock image of a train from online, but you could leave it plain as well. I have tried about 8 different iron-on transfer brands and can tell you that none are error-proof. That is probably why I prefer using the freezer paper method, or the stencil film and fabric paint method.  The Lesley Riley TAP worked pretty well, but it really fared the same I thought as the Jolee, June Tailor, and Transfermations brands. If choosing iron-on, just make sure to buy the one made for light OR dark fabrics (whichever shade your t-shirt is). 

Are you ready to sew up some quick t-shirts up now for your boys or girls using your 
FREE t-shirt pattern??!!!! Well, it's a terrific bonus if you already have purchased my Anna Complete pattern! And if you use my Anna "cotton blouse" pattern and shorten those sleeves the same way, you could certainly add a lot of cute cotton shirts to your little girl's wardrobe as well! If you don't have it yet, you can snag it up here in my Etsy store

Happy Summer T-shirt Making!!! 

May 12, 2014

Anna Coronation Pattern Coming Soon!!!

Isn't that dress perfect?!!! It is exactly like Anna's Coronation Dress from the movie!! I'm so excited to show you a preview of what's coming in just a short time!! 

This dress was designed by my friend, Marci. I met Marci during the creation of my Elsa Dress Pattern, and she was greatly influential in helping me to make my Elsa pattern the popular and easy-to-use pattern that you now have available! Marci has two adorable girls and and even a full time job, but she still so faithfully sent me edits, made dresses (during a house move too!!), and emailed me edits. She is a kind, creative and an incredibly talented woman! If you love my patterns, and I know you do... I promise you that you will love Marci's just as much! And I know you are dying (I mean your daughter is begging you) to make this dress!!!  She also makes and sells Elsa Ice Dresses from my pattern as well...Check it out!!!

The back of the dress overlaps and provides a wearing ease, so you don't have to fear making the "exact size". Your girl will easily be able to fit into this dress as she grows throughout the year!

Marci's pattern includes sizing from 4 years to 12 years, in whole sizes. Her pattern pieces are very easy to print and piece together. They have a gray overlap area that makes it so simple and easy to get right!  

And just look at that gorgeous skirt!!! Marci walks you through creating this gorgeous skirt with 
step-by-step directions on how to do the stenciling (stencil template included), to cutting out the panels. She even does all the math for you!! You just have to draw them out using your
 tape measure and cut! 

And just look how it flows and twirls!!! 

And because I know you want to make one RIGHT NOW,  be watching Marci's shop for the soon release, and PIN IT to your board!! I'll be sure to let you know when it goes live!! 

Thank you, Marci, for designing such an amazing pattern!!! I can't wait for it's release!!!

Anna Coronation is Coming!!!!!!

May 7, 2014

Joy's Pipe Shelves: DIY How-To

About two months ago, I was right in the midst of designing up my Elsa pattern. I had a new sewing room (first real "sewing room" I've ever had) since we moved into our awesome new house last November. I got around to painting my new space in January, but ever since I moved my sewing stuff back in the room, it was filled to overflowing. Seriously, overflowing. In the midst of designing, checking pattern pieces, and making 8 Elsa ice dresses, there was only a small "path" carved out in the center of the room to walk. It was bad (no picture here due to embarrassing risk of being judged for said mess). 
So, I needed shelves! I had been filling my pin board with lots of pipe shelving ideas, but none seemed right for my space. I love the floor to ceiling ones, but too expensive. I loved the wall to floor ones, and ceiling to wall ones like this: 
...but I wanted a dresser to be placed below them. 

Then, my sister emailed me a set of pipe shelving that looked like this, and I knew it was just right for my space, needs and money:
So, I went to Lowe's and Home Depot, and between the two stores, bought piping and whiteboard wood and made a "how to" myself. I had to wait until my pattern was finished to "find the floor" again in my sewing room, and have the time to hang my shelves...., but I LOVE THEM! I'm so glad I did it, and enjoy looking at them (and storing stuff on them!!). 

So, here's what my drafted plans & shopping list looked like:

I had about 3, 6' boards already purchased, and cut to length (at the hardware store). 
I only had to cut one end off with a circular saw to make them all even lengths.
Then, I got very dirty while starting to install my shelves...
I felt like a mechanic, and if you use black iron, you should either wear rubber gloves OR wash the pipes first (with what I don't know, because I choose to get dirty). 

 You need to build your shelves from the bottom up because of the screw threads. Because the pipes all assembled are very heavy, you will need to make sure both sides are screwed into wall studs. This is very important! 
I started by finding the studs in the wall (typically 16" apart, on center). I used a TON of wall anchors, and screwed one floor flange into the wall (lower left side, base of shelving). Then I screwed in one 8" pipe. Make it tight!
I measured up from the floor to make sure I placed each lower pipe at the same height, and remeasured and rechecked, and screwed the right side floor flange and 8" pipe into place. I placed one 6' board on top of the pipe, and, it was amazingly level!! Wow!!! Level = proceed on!!

I then screwed in two, 90 degree pipe elbows onto the end of the lower pipes, so that they faced up. I then used a pencil and drew where the holes should go (for the pipe to fit through). I used a spade bit in my drill. My husband reminded me that a firm grip, but not too much pressure 
is the key to a nice, clean hole. 
After I cut the two holes, I placed the board back on the 8" pipes, and inserted the 16 gauge pipes, one on each side, through the holes and into the elbows. Black iron only came in lengths up to 12" long, so I had to spray paint two galvanized 16" pipes black with spray paint (I didn't use the other two pictured here):
(Those are orange caps on the pipe ends). This worked okay, but next time, I think I would recommend just sticking with the 12" pipes and carry the same look of the black iron pipes throughout. 

I kept going, building the shelf from the bottom up, and repeating the process. Just follow the drawn diagram I made above. It can get tight on the sides, when building the second level up. Here, I had to mark where the floor flange would go up against the wall, remove it again, and spin the 8" pipe off to the side to drill the holes. Then, screw the floor flange back onto the end of the 8" pipe, add wall anchors, and screw the floor flange into the stud in the wall. 
 And when I placed the 3rd shelf on top, I screwed in a short, 3" pipe, and then added a cap (on each side). I like this look better than the very top pipe being fed back into the wall. Or, you could carry the top pipe all the way up to the ceiling, and anchor it to the ceiling with another floor flange. I thought of doing this, but my ceiling in there is angled, so I didn't want to fight to make it work.
The boards are just plain. I didn't sand them or stain them or anything. I probably should have, and I recommend you doing so, but I really just wanted them up! So, I cut a few corners to get them completed. And I'm in love. They make my room so functional now, way less messy (most of the time), and were a pretty easy diy project (Maybe $50-60 for everything). My husband even gave his compliments when I got done, as the finished vertical alignment was only off on one side by about 1/4". I told him I didn't care. He is pretty proud (and relieved a bit I think) that I can now, after his instruction and training, do some things myself like this around the house. Several years ago, I would never have thought to try something like this on my own, but now I'm amazed at things I even want to attempt (maybe because I know my husband will always be there to bail me out if something goes wrong). I guess it's more about just starting with "one new thing," and then that one new thing leads to one more. Just start, You'll be surprised how fast you learn! 

Happy pipe shelf making!!! 

P.S....the latest (free) Lowe's Creative Magazine just had more ideas in it to build a pipe coffee table, pipe standing lamp, and a book holder...., so guess what we're going to be making this summer?!!!! 

Are you ready to make some yourself now?!!! It's fun!!