DIY RUCHING Part 1: How To Ruche Your Pattern

If you’re an avid sewist like me you probably have a ton of patterns, and some you love so much that you’ve made many variations of it. Well, here’s another fun style to try – ruching!

I’ve divided this tutorial into 2 parts to keep it short and sweet. Part 1 is about adding ruching to any sewing pattern you already have – blouses, t-shirts, pants, dresses, and skirts. Part 2 covers the ruching sewing process using an elastic – I used an elastic lace trim ribbon. If you haven’t tried elastic lace yet, go treat yourself to some. It’s absolutely gorgeous! See Part 2 of Ruching here

Now, let’s talk about patterns. First, make a copy of whichever pattern piece you will be adding the ruching to – front, back, side, etc. I’m using a pattern that I copied from one of my tank tops. If you’d like to see how to make a pattern out of your existing garments too, check out this simple tutorial – you already know how your favorite garment fits so you know you will love it!

Let’s make a pattern!

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Quarter Circle Skirt (Easy Pull Up Version) – FREE TEMPLATE & TUTORIAL

My Outfit:
DIY Quarter Circle Skirt
DIY Ruched Tank Top
Do you want to make yourself a ruched top too? I’ll include a how-to link here later!

Every summer I find myself alternating between shorts and cropped jeans, so at the beginning of this year I promised myself that I would break my own boring tradition by adding more fun, flirty skirts to my wardrobe! I decided to go for the quarter circle style which is very much like the A-line skirt – it has a fitted top and a flared bottom. It’s truly a timeless wardrobe staple that flatters women of any age, size, or body shape. Trust me, you just can’t wrong with this style!

I’ll be posting a few tutorials on different variations of the quarter circle skirt made in knits and woven. Let’s start off the series with an elastic waist pull up version made in woven. This skirt was really easy on my swollen fingers and I was able to dress myself quickly with no issues before running out to do errands. Another thing I love about the quarter circle skirt is that it doesn’t use as much fabric as the full or half circle skirts. Winning! 

Also, you can share pictures of your finished quarter circle skirt on the Zune’s Sewing Therapy Facebook or tag @sew_zune on Instagram. I’d love to see how you style it!

Here’s how to make it…

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Ruffle Swing Top for Kids – Free Pattern & Tutorial

I can’t get enough of ruffles! In my previous post, I made a Ruffle Swing Top for myself and just had to draft a smaller version for my little princess. It was so darn cute, that I’ve made 4 of them in the past 2 weeks! I love the open back look on kiddos so I made hers with a low V back.

For this project, I used this organic bamboo jersey from The Sewing Retreat. Madeline, like me, has eczema so I enjoy using cool and breathable fabrics made from natural fibers for her. Plus it’ll be perfect for the upcoming hot and sticky Southern summer.

Here’s a 5% off code you can use at The Sewing Retreat: HAPPYSEWING. Treat yourself and your little ones to some ecofriendly fabrics and sew along with me!

Now, let’s get started. 

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Ruffle Swing Top + GIVEAWAY

I am officially obsessed with ruffles! I feel like the only thing that’s been getting me through this chilly and extremely foggy weather is planning some fun summer wardrobe. I created the swing top with 2 layers of ruffles using this organic bamboo fabric from The Sewing Retreat. I have eczema and constant Rheumatoid Arthritis flare ups so I really enjoy wearing breathable, loose fitting clothes made from natural fibers. And since both my kids have bad eczema as well, I’ll be making outfits for them from this fabric which I’ll post the patterns as I make them. I’m looking forward to a super comfy summer wardrobe for all of us!

Also, I’m collaborating with The Sewing Retreat – one of my favorite online shops for organic fabrics and trims – to give away a $5 gift card as well as a 5% discount code so go treat yourself to some eco friendly fabrics and sew some pretty tops with me! Scroll to the bottom of this post to get the discount code, instructions on how to enter the giveaway and how to get this ruffle top pattern.

This ruffle swing top was one of the 7 looks from my capsule collection which was voted by several sewing groups on Facebook as the most fun to wear and easy to make for all sewing levels. A big shout out to my fellow sewists for taking the time to vote!

I spy a giftcard in a cute little envelope!

Let’s get started!

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Ruffle Pants – Free Pattern & Tutorial

Ruffles add instant cuteness to a pair of plain pants and they really are easy to make! Madeline has already outgrown all the pants I made for her and if you’ve been following me on Facebook, you probably have already seen that cute elephant flannel fabric I got from Joann’s a couple months ago so when I got a request recently for a ruffle pants tutorial I was more than happy to say yes! 

For this project, we are using this pants pattern so print it out,  assemble, and cut out the size that you want. Then, let’s begin!

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Copy Your Favorite T-shirt – Simple & Easy Patternmaking Tutorial

Do you have a t-shirt that you absolutely love and wish you could just pop it in the printer to make a dozen copies of it in an array of colors and patterns? Well, you can (sort of) by making a pattern out of it! I’ll show you how to copy, measure, and true your favorite t-shirt pattern so that it’ll fit and hang the exact same way as your favorite t-shirt. I”ve also included how to make a long sleeve version as well. Let’s get started!

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How to Sew a Neckband – Simple NO Math Tutorial

You’re having a fun time sewing a seriously cute t-shirt or pullover – the pattern’s instructions are easy to follow, the fabric and stitches are working well together, the birds are chirping, everything is going well…until you get to the neckband. You look at the instructions on cutting the neckband and  it’s not making any sense to you. You frantically turn to Google for help and type in “neckband length” and a plethora of formulas show up, but which one? More frustration! 

Has this scenario ever happened to you? I remember when I started sewing simple t-shirts, the neckband was where I would spend the longest time doing because I was seam ripping over and over again. I had either cut the neckband too long so that it looked like a mandarin collar or too short that the neckline looked gathered. I’ve tried many different techniques since design school and this is the one that had stuck with me. It’s taken the guess work out of how the neckband will look once sewn in so it’s saved me time and sanity and hopefully this technique will save yours as well. 

You can also watch the video

Here’s how I do it.

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DIY Lace Tulle Dress Tutorial

This dress has got to be the most fun, hilarious, Ciderella-like, dress I’ve ever made! The drafting, sewing, and even the gown itself was pretty “standard” but the moment I tried it on, Madeline was totally awestruck by it and immediately demanded that I take off the dress and give it to her! Since I wasn’t fast enough to undress, she started yanking the dress off of me. Talk about toddler tantrum! It just reminded of that scene from Cinderella when the stepsisters tore her dress apart before they left for the ball. Yikes! I was able to take a video of the Drama Queen but if it wasn’t for my chaotic and embarrassing room, I would totally share it with you for a good laugh.

I don’t have any special events coming up – I really just made this dress for therapeutic purposes only. To put it on and twirl around in front of the mirror a bit to forget, even for a few minutes, about the arthritis-induced sinusitis and low grade fever. My PCM had given me Flonase to try before I’m sent to ENT so my face has been feeling like I got a big, heavy brick placed on it. I even told my friend the other day that it hurts to make a facial expression so I have this constant RBF, or resting bitch face, going on. I try to see the humor in everything. My rheumatologist told me to stay off Methotrexate until the sinusitis is taken care of and asked if I was on Xeljanz. Ok, so I’m pretty iffy about Xeljanz. If you are taking or have taken Xeljanz, please share your thoughts  and experience! I’ve heard so many good and bad things about it. 

So for this therapeutic project, I chose to use this red lace tulle which has been sitting in my closet for the past two years. My mother had brought with her a stack of colorful lace fabrics from Myanmar and since this was the longest fabric of the bunch I decided to make a gown based off of my little black Christmas party dress which was based off my denim dress I made last summer. That’s the thing I love about basic patterns – you can modify them anyway you want as long as it’s got the perfect fit. I also jumped on the fashion bandwagon and made the underskirt super shorter which is a trend I’ve been seeing. Just type in “lace gowns” on Google and you’ll pretty much see a lot of that style. I’ve included lots of photos of my sewing process and I hope you’ll find the steps clear and helpful!

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Singer Sewing Machine Needles Giveaway (1/29) *CLOSED

Singer is one of the brands I trust and use when it comes to sewing supplies so I wanted to do my first giveaway with something I enjoy using. I don’t know about you but I get my needles mixed up all the time so I love that these are color coded so I can easily tell which one to use before I start my project and before I start messing up my stitches and I’m pulling my hair out! The orange is for lightweight fabrics, the blue is for medium weight, and the purple is for heavyweight. How simple is that!

The winner will be chosen from the comments between 1/23 ~ 1/29 so let’s hear from you! Be sure to put in the correct email so I can connect if you win. Good luck! 🙂

*Congrats Ashley! Be sure to check your email. 🙂

**Please be sure to mark as a safe sender. I will keep going down the list until a winner claims the prize.

***Giveaway is now closed. The winner was randomly selected. Thanks to all who entered my first giveaway. More to come!

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Free Kids’ Pullover Sweater Pattern & Tutorial

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a fantastic New Year – I spent mine with Netflix! I was just so excited over the fact that they had added all the Indiana Jones movies plus The Addams Family and both of the Ghostbusters movies!  Some of my “white noise” movie choices. Lol. Yep, that’s what I listen to while I’m drafting patterns or sewing. Speaking of patterns and New Year, I’d like to present my first pattern of the year, the ABC sweater.

I also want to add that starting with this pattern, I won’t be adding any seam allowances to my patterns anymore. The reason being that I usually end up changing the seam allowances around based on the fabric, the design, or the machine I’m using and also everyone has different amount of seam allowance that they like so now you can add whatever seam allowance that you want. Yay!

I’m also sewing this entire sweater using my home sewing machine, the JanomeHD1000. I love my Janome to pieces! If you have a serger, go ahead and use that but with this tutorial I wanted to focus a bit on how easy it is sewing fleece on a regular sewing machine. Some home sewing machines have built-in overcast stitches which can look confusing because they don’t look anything like the stitches made by a serger but they will essentially do the same thing which is to have the stitches stretch with the fabric and to keep the edges from fraying. My Janome doesn’t have many fancy decorative stitches, to me it’s more like a basic workhorse which is definitely fine by me. After looking at the manual, I decided to use the knit stitch – according to the manual, it’s ideal for sewing swimwear and stretch velour because it gives the most amount of elasticity and strength. I also used the straight stretch stitch for the top stitching. I’ve never really used the knit stitch on my machine before so this project was a nice chance to try out something new out.

If you haven’t explored all the stitches on your sewing machine, take a minute before you start this tutorial and try them out – do some tests on the same material you will be using because each fabric has a mind of its own!
Alright, let’s get to making the sweater.

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