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Retro Glam Skirt by Little Lizard King: A How-To Guide to Candy Corn-ify It

* Originally aired on Pattern Revolution September 20th 2013 ***

Last year, I posted my test version of the Retro Glam Skirt by Little Lizard King.  I had chosen a Candy Corn theme and the response was overwhelming!  I was going to keep my candy corn sewing process a secret, but I woke up one day feeling generous and decided to share my tutorial with all of you.  I hope you enjoy!

When I first saw the Retro Glam Skirt, I immediately thought the scalloped pieces were perfect for candy corns.  Originally, I thought I'd piece some yellow, orange, and white fabric together horizontally, cut my scallops and call it a day.  But, as I researched candy corns, I realized a couple things, 1.) all the pictures I saw had scalloped edges for each color and 2.) candy corns are not an ombre effect - the orange is in the middle!  Whew, glad I Googled that!

So, armed with the knowledge that each color was scalloped, I began forming a plan.  I could "deconstruct" the pattern piece into my 3 pieces and sew the fabrics with a curved seam, also known as a Princess Seam.  The thing is, though, you can't just cut the pattern piece into 3 and make it work.  There are these pesky important things called seam allowances that need to be accounted for in order for your candy corns to match up to your original scalloped pattern piece.  (By the way, I probably should have gotten permission during my pattern test to do this, but I didn't think about it (or tell a single soul about my plans) until I was finished -- oops!)

Okay, let's get into the nitty-gritty:

1) Print your pattern pieces, MEASURE your test square (seriously, don't skip this step on ANY pattern you print!!!), and cut your size out.  Set the triangle piece aside for now.  We'll be working with just the scalloped pattern piece.

2) How you'd like your candy corn divided is purely personal preference, but the orange (middle) is normally the largest/tallest of the 3 colors.  (I won't be showing the entire pattern piece in this tutorial - just what you need to see.)  

3) Draw curved lines (matching the curve of the bottom of the pattern piece) where you'd like your seam lines to be.  (They are the solid lines in the picture) 

Solid line = intended seam line
4) Determine what you'd like your seam allowance to be.  I'm using a 1/2" seam allowance, but it's purely preference.  Using the width of your SA, draw another set of curved lines (might be helpful to use dashes) ABOVE and BELOW the two curved lines you've drawn originally.  You should now have 2 sets of 3 curved lines.

Add seam allowance to both sides

5) Grab a sheet of blank paper.  We'll start with tracing out the yellow portion (the bottom piece).  Trace along the outside edge of the bottom.  The top line of the bottom set of curves you've drawn will be the top of the yellow pattern piece.  

6) The orange piece (middle piece) will use the bottom line of the bottom set of curves you've drawn and the top line of the upper set of curves.

7) The white piece (top piece) will use the bottom line of the upper set of curves.
The scallop - deconstructed

8) Cut out your pattern pieces and cut them out of your fabric.  I recommend cutting just one set first to make sure you're happy with the ratios you've chosen.

9) Fold each piece in half and iron in a small crease.  This will aid in making sure the middles match up!

Fold in half and press crease.

 Right sides together, pin the middle of the orange bottom to the middle top of the yellow.  You'll see the curves run the opposite direction.
Match up the middle creases
 Starting from the middle, ease your way to one side, matching the edges and pinning as you go.  Repeat with the other side.
Ease the curves together, pin well.

Reverse side

 Now take the white piece and match the bottom of it up with the top curve of the orange piece, right sides together.  (I used Kona cotton and I don't even know if there is a right side, but just make sure your seams will be on the same side...LOL).  Ease the white along the curve of the orange as you did with the yellow.   
Make sure seams will be on the same side!

10) Sew along the curves, slowly, so you can smooth out any potential puckers, using your pre-determined SA.  (If you are using a serger, I recommend disengaging your knife!)  Finish your edges however you'd like.

11) Iron your seam allowances downward (this will allow the seams to lay flat without clipping any curves).  Topstitch the seams in place.  
Iron seams downward after finishing edges

Topstitch along the curved seams

12) Trim any slight overages on the sides.  Place original pattern piece on top to make sure no mistakes were made in the construction of the candy corns.  Repeat process for remaining 9 candy corns.  Sew pattern according to directions.
Trim overage!

Important:  In order for your candy corn seams to line up across all 10 panels of the skirt, very precise cutting and sewing is recommended.  This is not a quick, pump-out-the-skirt-in-an-hour process, but it is a process that yields great results! 


Bundle UP: Women's Edition -- Parisian Nights Pjs

Parisian Nights Pjs
Pattern by Winter Wear Designs

Hi there!!  I'm reviewing yet another pattern available in the Bundle UP Promotion by Pattern Revolution.   Up today is a free pattern with the purchase of your bundle -- and who doesn't love FREE?  

The Parisian Nights Pjs by Winter Wear Designs is a cute and comfy summer pj set designed for knit fabrics.  I, however, got curious and wanted to see if I could add some woven into the mix.  I'm happy to report that, at least for me, the answer is YES!!

The houndstooth fabric is woven (and a score from Walmart at a mere $0.87/yd).  The red is knit and a 3-way stretch from Purple Seamstress Fabrics.  The black binding is upcycled from a cotton/lycra blend tank top from Walmart.

Sizes range from XS - XXL

The fit is very relaxed.  I did take up the rise of the shorts slightly, but maybe I'm just not used to wearing shorts quite so breezy?  I am on the lowest edge of sizing as well as super short so that probably played a role as well.  

Final thoughts:  These pjs went together rather quickly.  Instructions are thorough with lots of pictures to guide you along the way.  I think they turned out really cute and I can safely check the mail while still wearing my pjs :)

And, yes.... I am posing in my front yard in my new pjs... LOL

The Bundle UP promotion has you covered... day and night!!
Build a better bundle and build yourself a new wardrobe.
Click the logo to start shopping.
Don't delay though because the sale is almost over.

Bundle UP: Women's Edition -- Taylor Shorts by GreenStyle Creations

Taylor Shorts
by GreenStyle Creations

Y'all.... you know you've found an awesome pair of shorts when you're willing to post a booty shot on your blog... haha.  Today, I'm looking at another pattern available in the BundleUP Promotion by Pattern Revolution.

The Taylor Shorts by GreenStyle Creations may be the first ladies' pattern that I have sewn and not needed a single alteration.  These shorts fit me like a glove -- FOR REAL!!

This is my first pattern that I've sewn by GSC and needless to say, I am impressed.

The Taylor Shorts (sizes 0-18) can be made in several different inseam lengths (2", 5", and 8") and have the option for a flat front or a pleated front option.  There is a real functioning zip fly,  inset pockets (!) and proper waistband.  I have sewn up the size 0 according to where my hips fell on the sizing chart.  I chose to sew the flat front shorts with a 2" inseam.

My next pair will be in more exciting fabric and I'll choose the pleated front option as well as a bit longer of an inseam - just to change things up a bit!

Bottom line:  The instructions & photos are thorough -- I followed each step and in no time, I had a new pair of shorts! Oh, and piecing the pattern was a breeze - the pages on the right overlap the left so no trimming is needed!   My only change I made was to shorten the pockets slightly.  With using the shortest inseam, my pockets would have peeked out of the bottom otherwise.  

And there are many patterns in the bundle you could pair with these shorts!  Here's how the Hip Hop Tank (review) looks with them.   I think the Citron Twist Shrug over a little tank top or the Jocole Peplum would also look super cute!

before time runs out.... tick tock.

BundleUP - Women's Edition: Hip Hop Tank by Love Notions

Hip Hop Tank by Love Notions

"I said a hip hop,
Hippie to the hippie,
The hip, hip a hop,
and you don't stop, a rock it"
-- Rapper's Delight by Sugarhill Gang

Yay!!!  It's time to Bundle UP with Pattern Revolution -- and this time, it's just for the us!!  Buy 6 or buy them all (or anywhere in between).  Build a better bundle so you can build a better wardrobe!

Today, I'm taking a look at the Hip Hop Tank by Love Notions.

This top has so many options, you can fill your closet with several and not repeat the choices!  I had fallen in love with this Navy Blue Hibiscus Knit from Girl Charlee that I knew I had to turn into the Hip Hop Tank.  I opted for View A (solid tank) and I used the narrower cut shoulders and also used the straight hem.  I'll be honest, I think I am the only person who hasn't jumped on the hi-lo craze and I'm sure I'm missing out....LOL

The four views include a basic tank, tulip back, button placket back, and color blocked back. Instructions to lengthen & shorten included as well as the option to do a straight hem.

Photo courtesy of Love Notions

All styles feature a fitted bodice that gently flares out toward the hem.  The pattern covers sizes: XS - XXL (chest sizes 32" - 47").  

There are two options on how to sew your binding.  I chose to sew it on using the binding method most commonly used when sewing on ribbing.  The alternative method is reverse binding and I think I will give that a go next time around.  

I'm really happy with this pattern by Love Notions.  Not only does it offer many different style choices, it is thoroughly written and has "techie" features such as clickable navigation to aid in finding your way through the pattern.  It also has the pattern pieces in layers.  I think every designer should learn how to do this because it allows you to print just your size or print them all nested (if you need to blend sizes).  I super duper love this feature!!

What did I pair with this comfortable tank?  The Taylor Shorts, of course  -- also available in the bundle :)   Stay tuned for my review on these!

before time runs out.... tick tock.

Ola Jane Patterns: Sew Flouncy Tiered Pillowcase Dress

I have a confession... most beginning seamstresses start with pillowcase-style dresses.  I've been sewing for nearly two years now and this is my first time sewing this style of dress.  It doesn't matter whether you are a new seamstress or experienced, the Sew Flouncy by Ola Jane Patterns (formerly Foot Loose and Fancy Free Patterns) is so much more than a basic pillowcase dress.  For starters, it's a 3-tiered dress and has 3 neck options: double bows, single side bow, or button closure.  Its professional finishing techniques take your sewing to the next level.

Choose different fabrics for each tier or use the same fabric throughout.  I absolutely love both versions I sewed.

  This red, white and blue one is perfect for a 4th of July picnic at the park.

Of course, I had to make a solid colored version as well and this eyelet is perfection.  
The scalloped hem detail of the eyelet is icing on the cake.

Let's delve into the pattern details, shall we?

Yes, you read that right --  only 1 tiny pattern piece to print!! My printer was thankful for the break. 
I also really love the professional finishing techniques.  All of the side seams are french seams -- no exposed edges.  The armhole bindings are topstitched with a decorative feather stitch or you can use a double straight stitch.  There are also instructions on how to understitch the binding which really helped it lay better while topstitching.

This dress goes together rather fast!  There are tips included to getting your gathers even as well.   At the beginning of the pattern, there is a section on straightening up your fabric which is helpful for cutting the tiers.

Oh, and the twirl!!!  Yes, my tiny dancer had a ball twirling around!

So how's the fit?  I have to say, I'm really happy with the fit. My daughter is skinny and I often have to sew her a smaller-sized width.  The sizing measurements list gives you the finished length of the dress so based on that, I chose to sew a size 3 for my 3 year old.  Because the neckline is gathered, the fit is completely customizable!  

For this yellow dress, I used a gorgeous eyelet material with a scalloped hem, purchased at Hancock Fabrics.  Not only is the hem beautiful, but I also saved time by not having to hem it!  I used yellow satin ribbon to tie at each shoulder, making construction even faster.

This perfectly patriotic version came together with This 'N That by Nancy Halvorsen for Benartex Fabrics (in Dew Drops Rose and Elements Cobalt) and Riley Blake Fabrics (Star Spangled Stripes Fireworks White).  I made a single fabric tie out of my leftover red tier.

I think it's safe to say from the million pics in this post, that I love this pattern.  I was able to create two totally different looks just by changing my fabric selections.  In no time at all, you will be done sewing and your daughter will be out twirling.  

Now, for some exciting news!!!!

FLASH SALE through Sunday (6/22/14) -- 40% off ALL patterns
Click HERE to shop at Ola Jane & Olly Jack Patterns!
Use the code 40percentoff during checkout to activate your savings.


How about some more exciting news?

As I mentioned above, Ola Jane & Olly Jack Patterns is
formerly Foot Loose & Fancy Free Patterns.  

To kick of the transition, you have a chance to 
win the MASTER COLLECTION of patterns!  
This is an extensive collection with 43 patterns 
(over $345 value!!!!!!) with patterns 
for girls, boys, ladies, and more!

You do not want to miss out on winning this! 

Join the Ola Jane & Olly Jack Patterns Group on Facebook and then enter the Rafflecopter below... it's that easy! 

Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sew-A-Bration of Womanhood: Dance Like No One's Watching


Oh, what my neighbors must think of me....LOL

I am thrilled to be a part of the Sew-A-Bration: Honoring Our Common Threads Blog Tour, hosted by Call Ajaire and the Shaffer Sisters.  This blog tour has been a month-long celebration either sewing for yourself or for the other great women in your life.  It's not often that I take part in some self-care sewing and every time I do, I wonder why am I not doing this more often?!?!

Oh wait, I know why.  So I'm a frugal money-conscious person.  I rarely buy fabric unless it's on sale and even then, my girls are tiny so I can make a yard go a long way.   Sewing for myself, however... Even though I am petite, it's rare to get by on less than 2 yards.  Because of this, it's hard for me to take the plunge to sew something just for me.   I have to love a pattern to commit that much fabric to it.  

Fabrics were selected from Hobby Lobby

When the tester call came through for the Ladies Peppermint Swirl Add-On (to the Cherry Cosmopolitan Dress), I really wasn't sure how the dress would look on me.   I've made each of my girls a Peppermint Swirl Dress in their sizes and they are showstoppers, but would I love it for me?!

Talking with my husband, he thought it would look great on me -- "very classy" was his description.   So, I took the plunge.  


My 5 year old snapped this photo mid-twirl and honestly, it sums up my feeling about this dress and about sewing for myself.  I am positively giddy and nothing about this photo is staged!  I'm telling you, it doesn't matter your age, every woman needs to feel the power of the twirl.  It's like something magical happens after you put this dress on -- your stresses in life disappear and your world becomes carefree.  I am already envisioning my next one.

Look how a 33-foot hem twirls!!

I mentioned above that I'm petite.   Shopping for clothes has always been difficult for me because of this.  At 5'1" and just 100 lbs, I'm not exactly average.  Sewing for myself allows me to tailor items so they fit me how I want them to fit.  It celebrates who I am - all 61 inches.  

Sewing for myself also celebrates the talents with which God has blessed me.  I went through most of my life, not knowing what my true talent was.   I'm SEW glad I found it!

Shirred back helps you achieve the perfect fit!

Today, I celebrate being a woman, a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend.  I celebrate me.  I am who I am and happy to be me!

It took me a long time to learn this concept and have confidence in myself.

How will YOU sew-a-brate yourself?

Links to all Sew-A-Bration Bloggers

The Life Of A Compulsive Crafter | Serger Pepper | House of Estrela | sewVery | Our Busy Little Bunch

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