Sunday, June 18, 2017

Tips for using the Nancy's Notions Pattern for Little Dresses for Africa

Hi everyone!
 I wanted to share a few tips on using my favorite pattern for making simple dresses for the Little Dresses for Africa Sew along. Nancy's Notions has the easiest pattern! And it's free!
click here for pattern!
  As a quilter I have lots of cotton yardage available so I prefer to use yardage instead of pillowcases. Yardage also makes it easy as you use the selvages for the back seam, so no raw edges to worry about!

You can find a full tutorial on the blog here: LDFA Tutorial. But here are a few tips that will speed things along!

On the Nancy's notions pattern you will find the armhole templates as pictured below.  Cut out these templates on the outer most ( XL) line.

Using a piece of thin cardboard, cardstock or plastic, trace around the outside edge of the XL size. Then trim down the pattern to the Large size and trace, then trim down to the Medium and trace and finally trim down to the Small and trace!

Now you have 4 armhole templates!

Find the cutting and sizing information on the pattern:

Write this information along with the elastic lengths and bias tape lengths on each of the 4 templates. Be sure to mark the fold line on the templates also. You can flip over the template for the opposite armhole so no need to make 2 templates of each size :

Now you have all the information handy on each template for each size dress! This really saves lots of time!

 The patterns calls for making a casing for the elastic for the front and back of the dress. I simply cut the length of elastic the required length according to the pattern and using a large or diaper pin I start threading it into the casing. When I get the end of the elastic even with the edge of the casing on the right, I go ahead and stay stitch it so it will not pull all the way through! (see where it is stitched on the right side) Then you can continue to pull the elastic all the way through the casing without the end of the elastic getting lost inside of the casing. Leave the gathers in the middle of the bodice, remove the safety pin and stay stitch the left side. REMEMBER : Leave the gathers in the middle of the bodice until AFTER you finish off the armholes with bias tape.

See how the gathers are away from the armhole making it easier to attach the bias tape.

I use my favorite Aurifil 40wt thread on the bias tape with a decorative stitch! It makes a really fun and cute addition to the simple dresses!

After you have attached the bias tape to both armholes you can evenly distribute the elastic with a gentle tug. Woohoo! Sew simple and fun!

Four down and 6 to go if I reach my goal of 10 Little Dresses! Wish me luck! I hope you will join in the fun and link up with a photo of  your little dresses July 1 thru 3rd!
Happy Stitching!
xo Jan

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Update on Little Dresses for Africa Sew Along!

    Hi everyone! I hope you are gearing up and getting ready for our Little Dresses for Africa Sew Along!. You can find all the details for  this years sew along HERE! 
  I am running a little behind this year but just completed my first Dress for this year!
  I just adore this fabric and try to use some each year. This year I have it in gray and some in Navy. I love the green bias tape ties with the gray! 

 This year we have some amazing prizes being offered by our very generous sponsors Aurifil and Fat Quarter Shop! and I wanted to share a photo of the prizes!
 Aurifil sent two fantastic prizes! First a large 12 spool box of 40 weight Designer collection of "Sand Dune" by Kathy Engle! 

Aren't those colors just gorgeous?? I love Aurifil's 40 wt for both machine piecing and free motion quilting! 
 And Aurifil also sent a a 50 wt 10 small spool collection of "It's A Girl" !
These colors are fantastic! Their 50wt is my favorite machine and hand piecing thread! 
Thank you so much Aurifil for your generous donation!

  We also have 2 Gift Certificates available! Woot! Woot!
First the Fat Quarter Shop is offering a $50.00 Gift Certificate to be used in their fabulous online shop! 

Woohoo! Shopping spree! Thank you Fat Quarter shop for your generousity! 

And I am also offering a $25.00 Gift Certificate to my ETSY shop Featherweight Quilt Company

If you have ever wanted to learn English Paper Piecing this would definitely get you started on that journey! 

 So just to recap - you will have 4 chances to win one of the prizes just by linking up one or more of your home made little dress or boy short. Here are a few of the details regarding the linky party and sew along!

 Below are the patterns for :
1. Pillowcase Dresses from yardage- Please make sure fabric is good quality and not see through. This is the pattern I use. I also pre-washed my fabrics. These dresses have to last and hold up to alot of wearing and washing.Please make sure that all inside raw edges are finished. You can also do a French Seam and enclose raw edges.

2.. Pillow case Dresses from Pillow cases.
4. Boy Shorts - made from T Shirts ( or any drawstring type of shorts will work) 
      Will you sew along with me?  You can make one or ten or more! Any help is greatly appreciated!!
 The link up party will run right here on this blog July 1st through July 3rd, 2017. The winners will be announced on or after July 4th, 2017!! So gather your friends and fabrics and have a great time stitching! Please note to be eligible for the drawings your entries must be made between July 1st 2017 and July 3rd 2017. All dresses and items must be mailed directly to Featherweight Quilt Company at P.O. Box 1715 Chatsworth Georgia 30705 and should be received by July 4th. BE SURE TO PHOTOGRAPH YOUR DRESSES ETC BEFORE MAILING THEM SO THAT YOU WILL HAVE A PHOTO TO LINK UP!  ALL PRIZES WILL BE MAILED/EMAILED ONCE YOUR ITEMS ARE RECEIVED!!!! ALL ITEMS WILL EITHER BE SENT WITH A LOCAL MISSIONARY GROUP OR I WILL MAIL THEM DIRECTLY TO LDFA.