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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Layered Fringe Tank

 You may have noticed that we are in love with fringe styles around here!  Just type "fringe" into our search box and you'll see what I mean!  Well, today we have another fabulous fringe tutorial for you, and it's also perfect for showing off your favorite phrases or cut files. Take a look!

Isn't it fabulous?  Tosha's little girl is stylin'!  She used our Leslie's tank pattern and turned it into a layered fringe tank with just a few extra steps!  

Super duper cute!  Are you ready to learn how?  

First, print out your tank pattern pieces.  We used Leslie's Lace-Option Tank.  

Now you're ready to cut the fabric. You will need an inner fabric and an outer fabric.  In the photo, the dots are the outer fabric and the solid is the inner fabric.  Using the fabric requirements and pieces from the pattern, cut out a front and back piece from both of your fabrics.  When you're done, you should have four pieces as shown above: two front and two back. 

Take the outer front piece and lay it out on a flat surface. Decide how high you want your fringe to go and mark it with a fabric pencil or a straight edge. I would suggest marking it 1/3 of the way down from the armholes. (On women's medium, I placed my line 6" below the armhole and 12" up from the bottom edge.)

Now cut straight lines 1/2" to 1" apart, starting at the bottom edge and ending at the line you marked. This is easiest with a rotary cutter and ruler, but you can also use scissors. The cut lines don't have to be exact, but you want them to be somewhat equally spaced.  Tosha did hers at 1/2" apart and I did mine at 1" apart.  

Note: The women's tank curves out at the bottom side edges but you will keep your cuts straight up and down. You'll see why in the next step.  

When you have all your lines cut, trim off the outermost fringe piece on each side, as shown above. This will leave enough for the side seams on the upper tank, without having extra bulk on the lower tank. 

Your front outer piece is now done!

Repeat the cutting steps with the outer back piece.  Be sure to mark the line at the same point as you did on the front. 

With both outer pieces fringed, you're ready to sew the shoulder edges and side edges together, with right sides together. 

Turn the outer tank right side out. It should look something like the photo above.  Set it aside for now. 

Take the front inner tank piece.  Use a ruler to measure down the amount you did on the outer pieces so you know where the fringe starts when layered.  

Now you're ready to add your phrase or design below that line!  You can either center it in the open space or even place it along the bottom. Be sure to leave room for hemming or lace, depending on the version you chose!

I used my cricut to cut the letters for "love" and then ironed them on according the package instructions. We have a bunch of fun cut files available, giving you a ton of options!  If you haven't used heat transfer vinyl before, you can click here to see that blog tutorial. Or of course you could also use this space on the tank to stencil paint or embroider!   You have soooo many possibilities with this style! 

You're ready to sew the inner front and back together at the shoulders and sides, with right sides together. 

Turn the inner tank right side out.  If you're going to hem the bottom edge or add stretch lace, this is the time to do it.  It should look something like the photo above. 

When you're done, your inner tank should look something like the photo above. 

You're ready to put your two layers together!  With both of the layers right side out, slide the inner tank inside the outer tank and match up the armholes and neckholes, as shown above.  Pin the raw edges of the neck and arms together, matching the seams. They should be a perfect match. 

Next, use the instructions from the pattern to add the bindings to the neck and arms, treating the raw edges as if they were one.  You don't need to modify the bindings at all. They will fit perfectly according to the pattern.   When you're done with the bindings, the top of your tank should look something like the photo above!

Optional: If your strips are still wide and flat so they cover the design too much, you can gently but firmly pull down on them one at a time to stretch them out. This causes the strips to roll in a bit and create more of a fringe effect. 

Ta-da!  Now all you need is a model!  

My girl absolutely adores her new tank!   

Now you're all set to get started on your own layered fringe tank!  Don't forget that Leslie's comes in girl, tween, and women sizes, *and* you can personalize your layered fringe tank any way you want!  Embroider, vinyl, paint, you name it!  I can't wait to see what clever designs you come up with. Be sure to come share in our patterns group when you're done!

Let's Create! ~ Kristen 

Friday, March 17, 2017

How to Paint a Leotard + Free Cut File for Scales Stencil

When creating active wear, your finished look isn't limited to the fabric you can find.  Nope. You can do a lot to dress up any design, even when you're starting with solids!  Today we will show you how to use active wear paint on fabric, either by freehanding or using stencils.  It's not difficult at all, as long as you have the right supplies!  

Isn't this amazing?!  Tosha is super talented!  And lucky for us, she's also a great teacher.  This painted leotard is a look you can achieve too!  First, let's start with supplies: 

Paint:  For activewear fabric that has stretch, you MUST use the right kind of paint! These are Jacquard Textile Paints and they come in a variety of colors.

Tools:  Sponges or daubers work best for stenciling.  Brushes work better for freehand painting. (For today's project we used only the sponge daubers.)

Boards: You need something to put under the fabric to protect both surfaces.  Cake boards work best because of the sealant on them.  Regular cardboard isn't as good because it soaks up the paint and then bleeds onto the fabric where you don't want it.

Fabric: It is best to cut out your fabric pieces before painting so you can place the stencil right where you want it. Choose your pattern, print the pieces, and cut out the fabric before painting.

Stencils: You can purchase a stencil at craft stores. Or if you want to make your own, we have a free Cut File for you!   Simply download by clicking the links below.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Weekly Wound Up

One of the things I love most about CKC Patterns is the variety of styles we have to offer. There's truly something for everyone!  This week's set of releases are a perfect example of that. You'll see what I mean -- let's take a look! 

New Releases

First up, in our active wear line, we have Zendaya's! This leo is a true show stopper! She's perfect for a recreational dance class, the gym, or the stage! This unique leotard features a heart shaped bodice with a high neck, fully booty coverage, and easy on-off with the swim hook closure! Be sure to check out all the amazing tester images on the website!

In our home goods department, we have a new quilt pattern! Introducing Nicola's Nine-Patch Quilt Top! She is the perfect scrap buster with a stunning finish! When you follow our step-by-step instructions and photos, you'll be surprised how easy this pattern comes together. Here's your chance to try something new if you haven't quilted before!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Serging 101: How to Finish a Rolled Hem

If you've been following our Serging 101 series, you should be coming right along in learning the basics!  One of my favorite uses for my serger is a rolled hem on the bottom of a skirt or dress.  We already covered how to thread your serger for a rolled hem.  Now I will show you how to neatly finish the rolled hem when you get back around to where you started. This will give the bottom of your ruffle or skirt a seamless finish.  

Are you ready to get started?

 First of all, you will construct your dress up to the point where it needs to be hemmed.  This may be an unattached ruffle in your case, or the whole dress with all of it completed except the hem.  Either way, you will have a raw edge at the bottom, with the skirt/ruffle already in a tube, as shown below.  

(In my case, I am shortening a formal dress to make it into a party length dress for my niece's upcoming contest.  When I'm working with a fancy dress that's already costly, I definitely want to make sure the hem comes out fabulous!  This dress is satin underneath with a sheer layer over the top.  I did a rolled hem on both.) 

Now that your dress/ruffle is in a tube and ready for the rolled hem, here's what's next!  Please, sit back and enjoy our video: 

And that's all there is to it!  Not bad at all, right?  If you couldn't view the video or if you just want a little refresher of what you watched, here's a quick rundown of the steps:

1- Set the serger settings for a rolled hem. Test the rolled hem on a scrap and adjust as necessary for your fabric type. 

2- Create a tail end of the threads to begin. 

3- Begin the rolled hem on the edge of the fabric, an inch or two away from a seam. 

4- Continue the rolled hem all around the ruffle/skirt.

5- Before you get back to where you started, trim off the extra thread tail. 

6- When you get back to where you started, serge barely onto the previous hem and then quickly "drive" off the edge of the fabric, creating a small tail end. 

7- Trim the extra thread tail again. Try not to leave any threads.

8- Apply Fray Check to the thread ends of the hem at that point, and let dry. 

It turns out beautifully!

Now that you've seen and heard it all twice, you should be all set to begin serging your own!  I hope this technique works out as well for you as it does for me.  We're really happy with how the dress turned out, and nobody can even tell where the rolled hem begins and ends!  That can be our little secret. 

Let's Create! ~ Kristen 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Weekly Wound Up

It's March!  I hear it's supposed to come in like a lion and out like a lamb. Is that true in your neck of the woods? It may or may not be true here, but we're definitely off to a good start.  We do have lots of great spring patterns ready for your upcoming sewing. Are you ready to see?! 

New Releases

Oleander’s Tiered Strappy Dress is a stunning pattern to show off your favorite fabric combinations. The full, tiered skirt has a twirl factor that’s off the charts! Choose from dress length or maxi length. The fitted bodice has a button or snap closure with a sash. The adjustable tie straps can be tied in different ways to create a unique look every time she wears it! Plus, Oleander's is available in doll, baby, and girl sizes!

Next up is Marjorie's! She is a classic boutique-style dress that you will fall in love with every time you make it! The simple design leaves plenty of room for personalization, while still being quick to construct. The squared, fitted bodice is perfect for cut files, embroidery, or a fussy cut to give your dress that expensive, one-of-a-kind look that you love! Marjorie's is gorgeous in all sorts of fabrics including chambray, linens, and laces! For the skirt, we include the three most popular lengths: tunic, dress, and maxi dress. Marjorie's is available in baby and girl sizes!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

How to Applique for Active Wear, Pageant Wear, and More!

I'm super excited to show you our latest tutorial we've been working on today!  Brooklyn is our amazing designer for pageant wear and today she's here to show us how to customize pageant wear, active wear, and other projects using applique! Here's Brooklyn:

Applique is a sewing technique that adds a decorative section of fabric to a clothing item. Appliques can be used on a variety of fabrics to add an infinite number of design possibilities to your wardrobe. The following technique covers the method I use to put appliques on Stretch Fabrics.

What you will need:

1. The main clothing item, with its pieces cut out but not yet constructed 

2. Material to cut out the applique from (be sure to use a similar type of fabric)

3. Scissors, paper, and pen/pencil

4. Disappearing fabric marker or pencil

5. Disappearing Glue Stick or Dissolvable sewing glue stick

6. Sewing Machine, Pins, and Coordinating Thread


1. First, cut out your fabric pieces prior to doing the applique. This will make the placement of the design easier.

2. Draw the shapes you want to applique on paper, or print out the shapes you want to use, such as those shown below.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Weekly Wound Up

Our kids had another snow day today. This is their seventh. It's been such a crazy winter!  But even with all that freezing dreariness, at least I can come to CKC land and enjoy the beginnings of Spring by looking at all our new releases. That's the advantage of sewing for our kiddos or boutiques -- we get a head start on all the warm weather fun. So however it feels in your neck of the woods today, I hope you enjoy these Springtime new releases as much as I am! 

New Releases

Alexis' Bubble Dress/Top with Pleats offers a beautifully classic and tailored look. The fitted bodice has a snap or Velcro closure in back. Every dolly is sure to love the fun, full bubble skirt. But the beauty in this one is all about the details! Knife pleats create a completely unique look along the shoulders and inseam pocket. Alexis' is available in Baby, Girls, and Doll sizes. 

Rosabella's Ruffle Neck Dress is a beautiful little dress with a simple design that will be perfect for Easter, dressy occasions or just every day wear! Rosabella’s also makes a wonderful birthday party dress! The unique style has an elastic neckline for easy on and off and fits loose for added comfort! The skirt features two layers plus a layer of trim and is super full! This dress is a beginner pattern and sews up quick, too! It is sure to be a perfect addition to your little one’s wardrobe, and it comes in both babies and girls sizes. 

Ribbon Flowers

I love adding the finishing touches to an outfit, whether it is putting on the last embellishments or creating an accessory for my daughter's hair. And it's even better when I can make those details myself! I'm excited to have Sheri Cata here again from Izzy's Bow-tique, to show us another fabulous flower embellishment. They are made of ribbon, making them perfect for headbands, hair clips, or even the outfit itself! Here's Sheri with her tutorial:

Hey guys, I'm super happy to get to show you how to make these adorable ribbon flowers. So let's get started.  First, we're going to need a few supplies:

Ribbon:  7/8" wide or 1 1/2" wide
Needle and thread
Lighter or heat sealer of some kind
Felt circle

For this tutorial, I'm using 7/8" ribbon but I will include measurements for both.

Okay, so first cut your ribbon:

If using 7/8" wide ribbon, cut six 2 1/2" pieces.
If using 1 1/2" wide ribbon, cut six 4" pieces.

Next, you want to heat seal your ribbon so it doesn’t come undone and start unraveling on you. Trust me, I’ve done it!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Weekly Wound Up

The entries have been coming in for our two big contests and it's so fun to see all your creativity coming through.  You sure have been super busy!  The little Valentine outfits are my favorite. <3  This week we have two new patterns that released, and they are both gorgeous and unique!  Here they are... 

New Releases

If your little girl is dreaming of fairy tales and happy endings, this ball gown is perfect for her! Every detail will make her feel stunning enough for the big screen. Brielle’s Ball Gown features three tiers of layered skirts that are split in front, with gorgeous cascade details in back. The bodice is embellished with optional center pleating for an authentic princess look. The sashes cross in front and drape over the shoulders, creating a sleeve effect just like the original, and continue on in back to create trailing ends from the waist that perfectly compliment the skirt cascade. But don’t worry, all these gorgeous layers are securely attached, allowing your little diva to play and twirl all she wants! Plus, the pattern includes instructions for both pleated or draped sashes, so you can use just about any fabric combination you want! Whatever colors or themes you choose, Brielle’s is the perfect beginning to your little girl’s dream come true!

CKC Designer Sewing Swap

We have a fun team of designers here at CKC Patterns and something we love to share with you is our diverse set of styles and personalities. It may seem like there are a zillion of us working here, but when it comes down to it, we are simply a small group of hard-working mamas who love to design and teach new techniques!  But we don't just design patterns to sell.  We also *use* them on a daily basis for our own families.  We thought it might be fun to show you an inside look at some of our style-swapping shenanigans with our first ever Designer Sewing Swap here on the blog!

We began our designer swap by employing this scientific method of drawing-names-out-of-a-cup.  We're just all fancy like that!  So we divided up in to pairs, and then each pair did a little design swap.  For example, my partner is Brooklyn, so I chose one of her designs to sew up and then she chose one of my designs to sew up.  Easy peasy and so much fun! 

In the time frame we set out, some of us were able to get great photos while others did a cell shot or flat lay. We're all cool with that!  Also, some of us chose to swap designs that have not released yet so you may see some sneak peaks and you may need to wait to see some until a little bit later. No worries. With all that said, here are [most of] the resulting outfits from our 2017 Designer Sewing Swap!