Saturday, April 25, 2015

Weekly Wound Up

It's been a great week at CKC!  As I sit here writing this Weekly Wound Up, I hear the spray from the lawn sprinklers hitting our windows outside.  Repeatedly. That can only mean two things: First of all, that we need to adjust our sprinklers so they don't hit the windows at night! (Oops.) And second, that it is finally warm enough to need sprinklers!

 Does it finally feel like Spring where you are? My kids are suddenly wanting to wear shorts and jackets to school (rather than thick winter coats) and I ~love~ that they are fighting over who gets to have their mommy-made warm-weather clothes made first!  If you can relate at all and you're ready for some sunny sewing as well, you're going to be very pleased with our new releases and announcements this week! They are all about the warm weather! 

New Releases

Our first new pattern for this week is Brewster's Bubble Pocket Skirt. Not only is this skirt comfy and adorable, but it also available in sizes for Baby, Doll, Girl, Tween, and Women! Brewster's has a knit yoga waistband, two big side pockets, and a full woven skirt. Then you can finish it off with either a knit or woven band around the bottom, which means no time spent on hemming! You're going to love this pattern so much and we bet you can't make just one! 


Then on Wednesday, we declared it Romper Day! We released three new rompers; two of them for women! So to start off, Thelma's Fitted Romper is an all-woven design with shorts, Bermuda shorts, capri and pant length versions. Add pockets, bodice trim, halter ties or cuff options for a whole new look for yourself! Louise's Knit Romper is designed for knit fabric and includes shorts, capri and pant lengths. Options also include skinny or wide halter straps and regular or maternity instructions and pieces. Third, we have Sandy's Rockabilly Romper in Girl sizes! With 50's-style lapels, a super cute ruched bodice and optional pockets, your little will be sure to stand out in this darling, retro outfit! Rompers are a big trend this season, so don't wait too long to jump on board! 

Just yesterday we released Charity's top and Marsha's bottoms, both available in Girl, Tween, and Women sizes! They are made with knit fabric, for super comfortable pieces in your wardrobe!  Charity's Top has four options: Swing top, Swing top with insert, Handkerchief, and High-low! There are also options for armbands and lace. Then Marsha's bottoms have a comfortable yoga waistband, flared legs, and both capri and pants options! The two patterns are darling together and both are still on sale for 30% off!

On the Blog

If you have found yourself wondering which type of elastic is best to use for a certain project, this blog post will help you out! Come learn about the different kinds and see how many cute options there are out there! 

Are you ready to take your creations up a notch using pretty embellishments? Come see what Merav Ruthman, of Baby Hobbes Design, made using our Melody's pattern and her own ideas for lacy embellishments! You can do this too, with the help of her tutorials!


Our Monthly Mixup for April is now available! This Monthly Mixup is all about pretty spring designs that aren't too difficult to sew! It's a great deal for people who are wanting to expand their CKC pattern collection. You simply can't go wrong with these designs! They are Cora's, Brooklyn's, Britney's, Gloria's, and Faith's -- and this time we have four different size options available! Yes, four options! You can buy the Monthly Mixup for Dolls, Girls, Tweens, or Women's! Dolls are $8 for the pack, and the other three are $15 per pack. What a great deal, and with these options you can get them for all the girls in your life!

Weekend Sale

Are you ready for some adorable shorts patterns? Blossom's Tab Shorts are on sale for 50% off this weekend! They feature an easy cuffed design with a cute button tab detail, a comfy ruffled waist, and they even have pockets! You will love how quickly they sew up, and she will be delighted with her new shorts, perfect for indoor occasions or outdoor play! Be sure to get your copy while it's 50% off! Yes, that's only $3.00! 

Raelyn's Triple Ruffle Bow Shorts are also on sale for 50% off this weekend! Featuring a funky triple-ruffle design, faux ruching, and the sweetest little bow to top it off, your daughter or boutique customers will love this design! They are the perfect pairing with your CKC tops, or even with store-bought or appliqued tees. Be sure to get Raelyn's for half off this weekend ( only $3.00!) so you can enjoy them all spring/summer long!


That's it for this edition of our Weekly Wound Up!  With all these warm weather patterns and ideas we've shared this week, we hope you have a fantastic week of sewing and sunshine!  

Let's Create! ~ Kristen 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Exposed Lace Zipper, Lace Hems, and Over-sized Sash Bow


Adding embellishments to an outfit is one of my favorite parts of creating.  Even when I'm using my own patterns, I like to personalize each item here and there by adding details. We've had a lot of interest in our patterns group lately on how to to add embellishments, and I am super excited about our guest blog post for today!  Merav Ruthman, from Baby Hobbes Design, is here to show us how she put her own embellishment ideas into our new Melody's Dress. It turned out gorgeous, don't you think?   

Here's Merav:

I am so excited to be guest blogging at CKC, especially since a year ago I would not have imagined I would be testing new patterns and altering them too. Mind that, I still consider myself a beginner (well, maybe an advance beginner) because while testing the Melody's dress, I installed my very first zipper.

 It turned out great! While zipper shopping for my first Melody's, I came across these 'exposed' lacy zippers:

They got me thinking: How great would the Melody look with the zipper being incorporated into the design rather then hidden? Also, how neat would it look to add lace to the sleeves and hem, to match the zipper? So I had to try it!

 Today I am going to show you, step by step, how to add these fun lacy details to your Melody's pattern. And as a bonus, I will also include how I achieved the bigger bow look too. Happy Sewing! 

Shopping List: 
(in addition to the requirements listed in the Melody's pattern

Lace: Add the width of the skirt pieces + the width of the two sleeve pieces (flat side), then add 3". 

Sash: Double up on the amount listed in the pattern's fabric requirements. 

Exposed Zipper: If you can't find one at your local craft store, Megan Myer over at Sew it Seams  sells these lovelies: 

To start out, you will cut out your pattern pieces per Melody's pattern instructions, EXCEPT your side sash tie pieces if you are making the big bow. 

To achieve the big bow look, I doubled up my measurements on the side sash ties, then folded each in half on the long side and cut one of each of the edge pieces on an angle to achieve the look. See the photo below.

With your fabric cut, you are now ready to begin construction!  

Adding Lace to Sleeves

Take one of your outer sleeve piece and lay it right side up. Cut out a piece of lace, long enough to hang over each edge by 0.5". Place the right side of the lace facing down the right side of the sleeve and pin the edges together like this:

 Repeat with the other sleeve.

Take your pinned sleeve piece and baste stitch the lace to the sleeve 3/8" from the edge. Repeat with the second sleeve.

Take your sleeve lining and lay it over your outer sleeve, with right sides together, so the lace is sandwiched in. 

Now sew your sleeve lining to your outer sleeve, as instructed in the Melody's pattern in Step 2. Repeat and then top stitch. 

Continue following the Melody's directions and attach your sleeves to your bodice. 

Attaching the Double-Sized Sash 

Since my double-sized sash is now double the size of my front sash, after sewing it together and top stitching it as directed in Melody's step 9, I pleated the raw edge of the sash in, like an accordion, to fit the size of the front sash. 

To do this, fold it in half, then fold each half in half. Then take the two end quarters and push them next to each other while flaring the two middle above. Pin and sew like the picture above.

Then continue to follow Melody's instructions from Step 10 until the zipper in Step 19. 

Attaching an Exposed Zipper 

Follow Step 19 in Melody's pattern.Once you decide on your zipper placement, go ahead and flip over the tail ends of the zipper and sew it closed.

 (In this version of the Melody, I didn't add the lining/underskirt because I choose to add lace to the main skirt fabric instead. If yours does have an underskirt, these next steps will apply with both skirts.) 

(Optional) You can choose to baste down the the seam allowance in Step 20. Remember that with an exposed zipper, your seam allowance will not be hidden in the zipper. 

Notice in my picture, I also added pins to the dress on each side of the zipper. I decided to catch the extra bulk in the dress fabric that may get caught in the zipper instillation.

Now flip the dress right side out, and lay the back side facing you. Take your zipper and lay it on top of your dress, securing it with pins along the way. Just as we did with the original Melody's, go ahead and tuck the top tails under like in Step 21. 

Once your zipper is secured, gently look at the inside of the dress to make sure that the zipper is following the direction of the basted line and that no extra dress material was caught. Using a zipper foot, sew down your zipper on both sides and across on the bottom.

When you are done sewing your exposed zipper on the outside of your dress, it should look like this: 

Follow Step 22 in your Melody pattern, and removing the basting stitches from the wrong side of the dress. 

Adding a Lace Hem 

Just like in Step 23 in your Melody's pattern, you are now going to fold in a hem to the bottom of your skirt. To do this, you are going to fold back the bottom edge ½ inch over to the wrong side. Do not sew yet. 

Making sure you have the correct amount of lace (I like to over by ½ inch on each end), find the center back of your top skirt and mark it with a pin. Take your lace edge and place it on top of your dress, beginning at the pin mark, with the right sides together-just as we did earlier when we added it to the sleeves. Making sure you leave ½ inch of lace to hanging, start pining the lace all the way around the dress. Go all the way around and pin till you come back to where you started. 

Take your two .5 inch end pieces that are overhanging, pin them together. Once pinned, go ahead and stitch them together. Once they are stitched, open up the seams and pin them along with your lace. 

Once your lace is pinned right sides together, go ahead and stitch (permanently) the two layers together, all the way around using a 3/8 seam allowance just like you did with the sleeves. 

Flip down the lace and smooth the hem down with an iron. Remember to use the correct heat setting on your lace so it doesn't melt! 

Lastly, top stitch your hem 1/8 inch above the lace, catching the seam allowance. 

Now you are DONE!!! 

Wasn't that fun?! A huge thank you to Merav for putting all of this together and sharing her creativity with us! I think you'll agree that her daughter's dress turned out absolutely perfect.  You can go show Merav some love on her page at Baby Hobbes Design

After today's tutorial, you should have the confidence to add lacy embellishments to your own creations! Don't be afraid to branch out, and please share your photos in our patterns group so we can see too!

Let's Create! ~ Kristen 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Types of Elastic

Today we're going to talk about elastic!  There are a variety of types, widths, and uses for elastic and it's helpful to be familiar with all of them so you can choose the perfect one for the job. For example, you might want non-roll elastic for a waistband, clear elastic for knit seams, and braided elastic for faux shirring. (We will talk more about those in a bit!) The good news is that the packages are usually clearly labeled so you know exactly what you're getting. Many of the types of elastic can be found in your local shops, but I also thought it would be helpful to provide links to an online store I find reliable. Nancy's Notions is one of our blog sponsors and I love how easy their website is to find what I'm looking for! All of today's pictures come from their website, and I will link to the listings to give them credit and also to help you read more details about each one that you're interested in. Some of these elastics are super cute too! Let's get started!

Braided Elastic is the type most commonly used in our patterns. It is lightweight and comes in a variety of sizes, from 1/8" up to 1" or more. It is great for inserting into casings, faux shirring, or even sewing directly onto the fabric to gather.  Braided elastic is strong, easy to sew with, and inexpensive. You can buy it in small packages or by the roll, usually in either white or black since it is usually not visible on the outside of the garment. 

Non-Roll Elastic is similar in use and specially designed to keep from rolling or twisting on waistbands or legbands that are a little wider, at 1/2" or 1". It generally costs a bit more than plain braided elastic, but it can make a big difference if you are use lightweight fabrics that allow regular elastic to twist.  That twisting can be really annoying after you've worked so hard to make a cute outfit!  (Here are more tips we have to keep elastic from rolling.)  I always prefer non-roll elastic when possible! 

Knit Elastic is great to use when your elastic is going to be visible on the outside of the project. It comes in a variety of colors and it's also great because it doesn't thin when stretched. It's also really cute for headbands and other projects that touch the skin. It is softer than braided elastic. 

And while we're at it, there are many other types of Decorative Elastic as well!  Again, these work great on the outside of clothing any time you want stretch. Aren't they so super cute? Be sure to look at the link above, because there are other fun ones like animal prints and glitter elastic. So fun! 

Fold Over Elastic is another fairly common type of elastic, often abbreviated as FOE elastic. It is designed to fold easily over the edges of cloth diapers and diaper covers, and then stitched into place to allow easy stretch. Plu,s it is usually cute just like the decorative elastic! Many of our free tutorials also use FOE elastic anytime we want a softer, more stretchy elastic than braided, such as our Retro Headband and our Tablet Cover

Non-Slip Elastic is exactly what it sounds like!  On the center back of the elastic, there is a non-slip gripping surface that keeps the elastic from sliding. This works great for elastic that is sewn directly on the underside of camis, strapless tops, etc.  It also works great for headbands if you want a non-slip surface. 

Swimwear Elastic is essential for swimwear. It is designed to stand up to the stress of salt water, chlorine, and suntan oil. (Regular elastic will not! It breaks down quickly and loses its stretch.) Swimwear elastic is generally made of a cotton/rubber blend, and can be applied either inside casings or sewn directly onto the fabric for waistbands and legbands.  I use it inside the straps of my swimsuits too, to help the knit keep from stretching out. 

Clear Elastic is chlorine safe as well, although it is much more stretchy than swimwear elastic, so it doesn't work as well in straps. It does work great on leg bands and armbands though, and anywhere else you want a nice clear finish on clothing. It matches everything! Clear elastic is also a really great way to make the seams sturdy on the inside of knit clothing. Just stretch it out to loosen it up, and then sew it directly to the knit seams. It will help the clothing keep its shape over time while still allowing stretch. 

Elastic Thread is the thinnest/smallest type of elastic and it is used for shirring in many of our CKC patterns. The elastic thread goes onto your bobbin to be sewn on the underside of clothing, while using your regular thread on top. The elastic thread gently gathers the fabric, creating a neat shirred stretch to the fabric. If you'd like to see elastic thread in action, you can watch our Shirring 101 video on YouTube.  

Cord Elastic is small and round, although not as small as elastic thread. Cord elastic can be used on small projects, such as doll clothes or baby clothes; or in places like the button loop on Blanche's dress. You can also use it to make center loops or bridal loops for a center closure on Charles' jacket, if you want it to look just like the movie. Because cord elastic is so small, you need to be extra careful to make sure it is attaches securely and won't pull out of your project.

Lingerie Elastic is not often used in our CKC patterns, but I always have a hard time finding it when I want it, so I thought you'd might like to see it too. (You might not run into it in the store!) Lingerie elastic is comfy and cute when you add it to the edge of slips and other underclothing. It allows the clothes to stay in place with gentle stretch, without being bulky. 

Last, but definitely not least, is Buttonhole Elastic. I love buttonhole elastic because it allows kids' waistbands to grow as they do. It is often used in maternity clothes as well. This type of elastic has non-fray buttonholes spaced evenly along the entire length of the elastic. You can insert it into the back and/or sides of waistband casings, and then use a button to secure each end. There should be excess elastic length so it can be "let out" as needed, using the buttons. 

That should cover all the basic types of elastic! Now you're all set for even more fun projects using elastic!  

While I was looking up links for this post, I also found a couple related items that can be very useful for working with elastic: 

First, this Wide Bodkin can be used to pull elastic through the casing. I have always used a large safety pin to pull the elastic through (which works great). But this looks even better because it can hold the elastic flat rather than half-twisted! I'm going to have to try it out!

Then there's this long Ballpoint Bodkin, which also helps insert elastic. It is more of a large needle-type tool that threads the elastic through.  This one is 6" long. It is much quicker to slide through than a safety pin, and for only a couple dollars. Pretty neat!

And one final goody that looks pretty interesting, is this 18-page book by Nancy that covers much more about elastic than our blog post today. It includes techniques that I haven't tried yet. I love learning new skills!

I hope this blog post was helpful for you. Be sure to pin it for later and share with your friends!  And if you have any questions, feel free to ask in our patterns group on Facebook. We love to help. 

Let's Create! ~ Kristen