Penelope Peplum Dress: One for Me, One for the Girl

 Last week I saw 2 really cute versions of the Penelope Peplum Dress over at iCandyHandmade.  I had seen the pattern when it was first released at SeeKateSew, but wasn't sure how it was different from the Lady Skater.
 If you read my blog, you know how much I love the Lady Skater PatternKitschy Coo also shows you how you can use your pattern to make a peplum top.  I have yet to try it, but it's on my list.
 The big difference with the Penelope Peplum is that the top is finished with a facing rather than a binding for a cleaner look.  So, I do really like my finished dress, but I will tell you, I only purchased the peplum top pattern.  I actually didn't realize until I sat down to cut and sew that I needed to buy a separate pattern for the skirt to make a dress. 
 I figured between the skirt piece from my Lady Skater and all the other dresses I've sewn, I could figure it out.  I added some in-seam pockets that I learned how to do when I made my Minoru Jacket.
 I'm happy with the dress overall.  The back view isn't great.  The top is probably a tad tight and the skirt is kind of wonky on my behind.  Oh well. Most people probably only see the front me. 
 Since I bought tons of this fabric from Girl Charlee, I made a similar dress for my daughter.
 School is almost out and she needed a special dress for a school presentation.  I used the tank top pattern from Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom and added a gathered skirt.

So easy and so pretty.  She really wanted us to wear our matching dresses the day of her presentation, but I couldn't bring myself to do it.  She understood, thank goodness.  I was going to have to spill some ketchup on my dress otherwise.


Girls Bow Back Tank Top TUTORIAL

 I've been trying to work through my fabric stash and in the process, make some new clothes for my kids.  And, if I'm being totally honest, I'd love to make room for some new fabric!  I'm trying not to buy anything new, until I use up some of the old stuff.  So I cam up with a little pattern hack to help the process.  I bought a cute scoop back tank from Old Navy for my daughter and decided to recreate it with a little bow in the back.  I started with a free tank top pattern from Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom.  Mine is a size 8.
 I used the pattern to cut a front and a back, but on the back piece, I cut an extra deep scoop.
 I do my finishing/binding a little differently than the tank top tutorial shows.  I cut a strip of fabric that is 1.75 inches wide, iron it in half and then sew it to the raw edge of the neck, stretching it slightly as I go.  Whether you do it my way or bind it like the original tutorial shows, you'll have to cut the binding longer.  I didn't give a measurement because it depends on how deep you cut the scoop.  I always make my binding longer and then just cut off whatever extra I end up with. I sewed the shoulder, then added binding to the arms.  You'll want to add your bow before sewing the side seams.  You can do it after, but it's a little harder to manipulate.
 To make the bow, cut 2 pieces of fabric that are 8x6 inches for the bow, and 2 pieces that are 1.5x4 inches for the center.  With right sides together, sew along each raw edge with about 1/4inch seam allowance.  Turn right side out.
Fold the center piece in half lengthwise and sew with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Turn so that raw edge is on the inside of the loop.
 Pull the bow fabric through the center piece.
 Adjust the center piece to make a nice bow.
 Pin the bow in the back scoop neckline (I forgot to take a photo of the pinned bow).
 Top-stitch around neckline, making sure to catch the edges of the bow in the stitching.  Sew the sides seams and hem.  Super easy!
 I made 3 in about an hour.
 And the girl loves them!  Really cute and helps her stay cool.


Girls Capri Leggings - Free Pattern and Tutorial

I'm so excited to offer my first tiled PDF pattern!  As I mentioned in my last post, I'm finally teaching myself Adobe Illustrator and hopefully opening up a whole new world of pattern drafting.  I'm thinking about taking this course, but I'm not fully committed yet.

My first pattern is for girls capri leggings in size 8.  Get the pattern HERE.  Make sure you select "actual size" when you print.  Your assembled pattern should look like this.
 You'll need about a yard of stretch knit fabric, and 20 inches of 3/4inch elastic.  I would recommend a cotton spandex/lycra knit.  The lycra keeps the pants from "stretching out".

Use the pattern to cut 2 pieces that are mirror images of each other.  The easiest way to do this is to fold your fabric in half and trace and cut the pattern through both layers.

With a 1/2 inch seam allowance and right sides together, sew each piece along the leg.  Turn one leg right side out and place it inside the other, so the right sides are matching.  Sew along the curved raw edge with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.
 Turn it right side out, voila, you've got some capris!
 Turn each leg hem under by 1/2 inch and sew with a zigzag stitch.
 Cut a piece of 3/4inch elastic to be 20 inches.  Sew the ends together (overlapping about 1/2 inch) to make a loop.
 Mark the halfway points on the loop and match and pin those points to the front and back seam, on the wrong side of the top edge of the capris.  I like to pin the elastic so that it sits flat in the front and then stretch it as I sew it along the back.
 Sew the elastic in place with a zigzag stitch.  You can see here how I didn't stretch the elastic in the front, but did in the back.
 Fold the elastic to the inside and sew a zigzag stitch along the bottom edge of the elastic/fabric.
I like to sew a little piece of ribbon into the seam in the back since for whatever reason, my kids can never seem to tell the back from the front on these kinds of things. 
 I will be making lots more of these for sure!  This pair took me probably 30 minutes or less start to finish.
 Cute and comfy.  Perfect for a little baton practice in the yard.

Let me know how if you give my pattern a try and how it comes together.  This is my first tiled pattern and I'm sure it's not perfect and could use some tweeking.