Happy New Year!

Hope everyone is having a very happy new year!

2012 was a really productive year here at Adriprints Press!

In sewing and quilting, I made quite a few items, and met my goals for 2012
2 quilt tops (brown quilt is nearly fully quilted)
3 trousers (2 jeans, 1 clover)
1 fitted jacket
1 wool coat
2 dresses
5 tops (1 hoodie, 1 sleeveless, 1 pullover, 1 buttoned sleeveless, 1 buttoned short sleeved)
1 apron
1 dirndl bodice
1 plaid skirt

In knitting design, I had a good number of items published (self-published or otherwise)
Oslo Star Hat
Alhambra Hat
Stripey Legwarmers
Orange Blossom Camisole
Squishy Mittens
Squishy Chullo Hat
Amaranth Shawl
Amaranth Headband
... and I am waiting for a few more to be published hopefully early this year including: a children's line,
Squishy Vest, and a mystery plaid set.

In hobby knitting, I made quite a few items including a really lovely cabled sweater (Beatnik), an Easter bunny/egg, finally knit Sam's second sock, a few hats, and am working on 2 cardigans.

In crochet, I finished one of the cutest projects ever: the Yellow Submarine Booties, designed by my friend Nuria over at Red Sewing Box.

I published 1 font this year, Kicks, and hope to update and create some new ones this year.

And, my 2013 New Years Resolutions...
knitting- publish a few more patterns, learn brioche knitting
crochet - do a bit more of it
sewing- sew a pair of perfectly fitting jeans/trousers, drape 1 dress or outfit
quilting- finish quilting the 2 quilts from last year and make 1 quilt
design - learn more about WordPress to create an online shop

JJ Blouse Tutorial - Part 3

This final installment of the JJ Blouse tutorial covers steps 10 through 12 which is basically the sleeve and finishing.  Try on that cuff piece first and make sure it fits around your upper arm (minus the 5/8" seam allowances).

If it doesn't fit, then consider adjusting the cuff seam allowances.  If it still doesn't fit consider redrafting the sleeve (slash in the middle and add some width to the piece) if you think the gathering isn't enough to work for your arms.  Then adjust the cuffs/interfacing and the marking lines accordingly.

Step 10:

Step 10A - Double stitch like you did with the ruffle on the top bell curve of the sleeve between the two asterisks.  If your machine has a large stitch length use it!  I used 4mm which is as long as mine goes.  Try to keep the two lines of stitching evenly separated... try not to let your stitch line go toward and away from the first stitch line because it makes gathering the fabric more difficult.  So, Step 10A is pretty straightforward.

Step 10B - Then comes Step 10B, and the abstract origami illustration.  Here's what it's trying to tell you...

After you cut into the bottom of the sleeve, you're going to need to seal that edge.  So, pull the cut edges apart and pin piece 12 to the newly cut opening like this:

Step 10B, Close-up

Another view of the situation...

Step 10B, A larger-picture view
Step 10C - You are creating a sealed edge here, so be ready to fold piece 12 into itself a couple of times.  First baste that edge, though.  Then, press, fold, press.

Step 10C, folding and pressing piece 12

After folding piece 12 back onto the sleeve, baste stitch along the edge to seal that bias facing and create a non-fraying, finished edge.

Step 10D and 10E - Next, stitch a diagonal line from the sleeve edge to the outer edge of the bias facing we just completed.  This creates a folding pivot for the slit and allows it to close easier and be pressed.  Press!

Step 10D, E, and Step 11A

Step 11:

Sew seam 6.  I did a flat-felled seam again for 6 and made sure it would match up with the side seams.  See seam treatment tutorials here from Coletterie!  After stitching seam 6 which is the underarm part of the sleeve (see here for photo), do a quick hand baste between the asterisks at the bottom of the sleeve, gather and align with the the cuff piece (be sure you already interfaced it). 

Step 11A - (photo above) Note that the sleeve has already been gathered between the asterisks and the cuff piece has been folded at the seam allowances (5/8") and pressed.  Then, it was pinned (right sides facing) securing the alignment of the sleeve piece and the placement marks of the cuff.

Step 11B -  Sew a straight line down the cuff ends as you see below (marked Step 11B in red thread).  Then, trim the excesses and prepare the corners for turning inside out. 

Step 11C - Both ends of the cuff are sewn and trimmed, and when you turn them inside out, they should be flush with the edge of the slit opening.  If not, you can redo it or make it a design feature.
Next press the cuff edge as you want to see it in the end.  Sew 1/8" or near the RS top edge of the sleeve securing the cuff.  Top-stitch at will!  Sorry for the outburst, I'm a longtime fan of top-stitching.

Step 12:

Step 12A - Don't hate me.  I did not photograph this.  The illustration was pretty good, and I'll highlight the key points.  Also, here's where your pattern marking skills come in handy.  I hope you marked all those stars and dots!  Gather the top bell of the sleeve between the asterisks.  Remember to hold the bottom threads and push the fabric away... brute force = damaged fabric.

Take note of the dots and lines where your sleeve piece is marked and pin them onto the body with RS facing.  The sleeve should be kind of nested inside the body.

All the markings should align.  For example, the side seam should match your underarm seam (dot 6), and there's a center mark at the top of the sleeve bell that should match your shoulder seam. You want to pin from the sleeve side (not the body side).  You also want to stitch on this side of your sleeve.

From my Simply the Best Sewing Techniques book, page 178:
"With the sleeve side up, begin at the underarm seam and stitch along the seamline... As you stitch, place your forefingers on either side of the presser foot, to keep the eased area from puckering under the needle.  When you reach the underarm again, overlap the stitches.  Seam a second row 1/8" away from the first, but still within the seam allowance."
I didn't know how to flat-fell seam a gathered sleeve so I just trimmed/graded the edges and zig-zagged. Then, I pressed the sleeve seam allowances into the sleeve, setting in the sleeve.

Step 12B -  This one's easy.  Fold and finger-press or pin a 1/4" (or 1/8" if you're a really good hem-person).  Fold it over once more, press, pin, stitch.
Presto-change-o! You have a JJ Blouse!

For instructions and some really detailed information on how to measure for buttonholes, making them by hand, and buttonhole placement, I found this PDF from New Mexico State University really helpful.

For part 1 see here.
For part 2 see here.

JJ Blouse Tutorial - Part 2

Ruffles!  In the previous part (part 1) of this tutorial, we cut out all the pieces, worked on the buttonhole band, and briefly mentioned that the center back piece was attached to the back side pieces using your preferred seaming method.

In this portion of the tutorial, we cover Steps 7 through 9 of the JJ Blouse, a free pattern from BurdaStyle.  Note: I actually skipped Step 9 which is the belt loops.  I chose not to include them.

Step 7:

(A) The ruffles begin as flat pieces.  First the seam allowances on the longest side are folded up, pressed, stitched about 1/8" away from the edge, then trimmed down on the wrong side.  Then fold the side edges over and stitch 1/8" away from the edge.  The untreated edge should be zig-zag stitched to keep the fabric from fraying.

Step 7A

Step 7A

(B) Double-stitch close to the zig-zagged edge.  Try to keep the two rows of stitching as parallel to one another as possible.  Separate the top threads from the bottom threads.

Step 7B, double stitching on the zig-zag edge
Hold the bottom two threads on one side, and slide the fabric away from the bottom threads.  I measured the two marks on Piece #2 (dot 1 to a bar along the stitch line).  Then, I scrunched from the opposite side until the ruffle was the required length.  Afterward, I evened out the fullness of the ruffles.

Step 7B

(C) Next, baste the ruffle onto the edge of piece #2 with the RS of the ruffle and the garment facing up, and the edge of the ruffle along the edge of the pattern piece perfectly between the two marks.

Step 7C

(D) Sew the princess seams, piece #1 to piece #2 the one that has a ruffle attached to it w/right sides together.  This is one seam I didn't flat-fell.  Proceed with the next ruffles should you wish to add them.  I only did four ruffles instead of the intended six.

Step 8:

Baste the shoulder seams with right sides facing.  If you're doing flat-felled seams, try on the garment now to make sure the everything fits properly and your waist/hips/etc will work out... here's where you can make changes should you have to.  If you've made changes to the neckline, adjust your collar accordingly.  If you've made changes to the shoulder-line or side seams, be sure to finish your edges before proceeding.

Step 8, sew shoulder seams together
Then comes the collar.  If you haven't already ironed the interfacing onto the wrong side of one of the collar pieces, do so now.  The collar piece without the interfacing is called the "lower collar" piece.  Next, with right sides facing, baste three seams (two sides and the upper/top/smaller curve).

Leave the lower, longer curve un-sewn.  Trim the allowances of the basted edges, clipping/notching where necessary.  Prep the corners to be turned inside out.  Turn collar inside out, baste the three edges about 1/8" from the edges, and press.  Collar still has one open edge... I did this incorrectly and did all four sides.  Oops.

Step 8A, collar turned inside out
Here's the tricky collar part that I did not photograph because I did not leave the collar open.  Align the edge of the collar with the button band dot 4 (remember dot 4 from Part 1 of the tutorial?).  Pin and test to be sure your collar is correctly aligned, and that the marks are all matching.  The marks on the sides of the collar should match the shoulder seam intersection.  The instructions are pretty clear in the third paragraph of Step 8... when they say "stitch narrowly" they mean stitch 1/8" from the edge (or close to the edge).

After Step 8B, collar completed

Step 9:
I didn't do this step.  The belt loops just didn't catch my eye.  The instructions here are clear enough, though, should you want to attach belt loops.

Steps 10 through 12 are in the third and final installment of this JJ Blouse Tutorial.

JJ Blouse Tutorial - Part 1

Recently,  I completed the JJ Blouse, a free pattern from BurdaStyle.com for Sew Weekly's Valentine's Day inspired red challenge.  This free pattern is adorable, but the instructions are a bit difficult to decipher.  So, here's a tutorial to clarify some of the difficult parts.

JJ Blouse, some modifications
Steps 1 through 4 are pretty straightforward...

Have the JJ Blouse pattern printed out from the BurdaStyle PDF.  Assemble the paper pattern and cut out, or trace and cut, or whatever you do to transfer your pattern pieces onto your fabric. Use the cutting layouts for help and pay attention to the fabric grain (especially for the ruffle pieces - they're cut on the bias).

Make sure you have all the correct number of pieces cut out in the fashion fabric and in the interfacing fabric.

Step 5:
Iron your interfacing onto the wrong side of one of the collar pieces (piece #7).  Before ironing it onto the two cuff pieces (piece #6), make sure the darned thing fits around your upper arm (minus 5/8" seam allowances all around).  Mine barely fits.  Adjust accordingly.  The sleeves do have some ease at the cuff, but be ready to adjust/widen (by slashing the pattern) if you have larger upper arms.

Step 6:
Here's where the fun begins.  Illustration (6A) shows you how to fold piece #1's outer edge using the folding marks to make a "Z" fold, ending with the RS facing you.

Step 6A

Step 6A
Then, with the folded edge pinned and pressed flat, stitch from the center of the folded band (marked as dot 4) out to the outer edge (6B).

Step 6B
Notch into the top of the collar toward dot 4.  Trim the excess fabric above the stitched section only.  Then, turn the folded band inside out, pushing out the corner with a knitting needle.  Press again using the folding marks as guides.  Stitch close to the edge to secure the button band.

Step 6C, WS facing
Step 6D is pretty self-explanatory.  Attach the back side pieces to the center back piece #3.  I used a flat-felled seam on the RS our outer side of the garment.  Here's a tutorial from Colette if you want to replicate it. All my flat-felled seams were pressed toward the front opening of the blouse.  Does that make sense?

Step 7... See Part 2 here.