Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Putting a Yoga Waistband on Shorts and Pants

Katie Skoog is the head of our baby girl's department at CKC, and today she has a tutorial for us that has been requested many, many times! And this one's not just for the little girls - it is perfect for you and me too!  Here's Katie: 

Today I am going to show you how to turn Bridgette’s Palazzo pants into yoga waist band shorts (and straight leg pants). Being pregnant during the summer and only having one pair of shorts (with paint all over them) was not going to work for me! I love my stretchy pants, it is pretty much all I wear these days but I really wanted some comfy shorts to wear. I knew I wanted a yoga waistband style so what did I do????? I took Women’s Bridgette’s pants and used the measurements for the waistband from Women’s Wendy’s – BAM – comfy perfection!!! Now, it didn’t come without mistakes so I am here to show you how I made them and some tips / advice I had to figure out along the way. These are great for maternity shorts and pants but they are not just for pregos! Using the Wendy’s waistband, you can fold the waistband over or if you are like me when pregnant, I love having it cover my whole belly…. Everyone loves a cute pair of yoga shorts & pants! Now you can make them using your favorite fabrics, even wovens!

First, print out your pattern pieces for Bridgette’s Palazzo pants (they will look like shorts). Using the size chart as a guide, figure out what size you need to make. My measurements were right between medium and large so I went with the Large as I am pregnant and we all know I am not getting any smaller the next few months….

Once you have your pattern pieces printed out, fold your fabric so you are cutting 2 pieces on the fold. Now, we have the option to slim them a bit. I of course decided to slim them using an older blog post on how to slim kids leggings, but for some reason I decided to do an entire inch (which is really 4” when all said and done). BAD IDEA if you don’t prewash and have hips….. haha. The final shorts fit perfect but I washed and dried them and of course they shrunk up (no, it couldn’t have been me getting bigger!!!! Okay – maybe a little…) I did learn on my second pair that slimming .5” is okay but wouldn’t recommend doing more (remember, you can always take in, it is harder to add more fabric!!!) Also, as you can see in my shorts picture, my shorts are pretty short, I took 2” off the bottom of the pattern for those shorts, they ended up too short for my liking so on my other ones (which have mysteriously disappeared….) I just used the bottom of the pattern for the length and it was perfect.

Next, on the Bridgette’s, you can see that the inseam is curved, we cannot have that, it needs to be straight up and down otherwise trying to sew your hem will be a pain in the booty (and end up wonky). So, using the picture below as a guide, just make your inseam cut straight, no curve.

Okay, how you should have your patter pieces all cut out the way you want them. We are now going to lower the waistline for the yoga waistband. This is optional but I REALLY recommend it, if you don’t, then you will end up with a really saggy crotch area… not pretty. To do this, open your fabric pieces and lay them flat with wrong sides touching. I wanted the fabric portion of the shorts to end right under my belly, then that is where the knit band will start. After making a few, I found that the best measurements for me was tapering it 3” and 6”.  So, on sides that will be the back middle seam, measure down 3”. Now on the other side, measure down 6”. Using a large ruler, match up your marks with the ruler, this will give you the angle you need to cut. If you want the fabric portion to be a little higher, you can do 2” and 5”. The picture below shows those shorts with a 2.5” and 5” taper, I found that the fabric still came up a little higher than I wanted, I wanted the yoga waistband to start right at my belly crease and this put the fabric portion of the shorts in between my belly button and belly crease.

YAY!!! Now it is time to sew them together, sew the shorts along the two curves.

Now sew the inseam closed.

Now, we are going to hem up the legs, fold the fabric back 1”, then turn the fabric back an additional 1”. Sew the hem.

Okay, let’s get that yoga waistband on the shorts! Use the measurements from your Wendy’s pattern for the waistband and cut out your knit. Now, fold in half widthwise (right sides together) and sew up that seam.

Fold the yoga waistband in half with wrong sides together (so the right sides will be out and your seam you just sewed will be on the inside). The seam you sewed will be the center back, fold the waistband to find the center front and mark with a pin (you will be pinning both knit layers to the shorts). We want the front to lay flat, so measure about 3” on each side of the center front pin, mark those with pins. We will start pinning the waistband to the shorts, starting in the center front. Match up your center shorts seam with your pin for the center front waistband. Now without stretching the knit too much, pin the shorts 3” on each side (again, don’t stretch the knit or the front won’t lay flat). Next, match up the center back shorts seam with the center back waistband seam and pin. Now continue pinning the shorts to the waistband, you will have to stretch the knit to fit the shorts. Once it is all pinned, sew them together using your standard 3/8”. I prefer to use a triple stretch stitch when using knit. It is more durable.

You are now done and have an amazingly comfortable pair of shorts. 

I also took Bridgette’s Palazzo pants and made just regular straight leg pants from them. To do that, measure your inseam and add 2” (for the hem) and just cut straight down that length.

Thank you, Katie! What a helpful tutorial that we can all use.  

Isn't Katie adorable with her belly?  (I hope she doesn't mind me saying that but it's true.) I hope you all go out and make yourself some comfy shorts or pants of your own.

Let's Create! ~ Kristen

How To Tuesday: Peek-A-Boo Straps

We have so many creative ladies in the CKC family and when Kaci shared two of her recent creations I knew I had to do a tutorial on this. 

Are these peek-a-boo straps not totally adorable? I mean really, look at this Hadley!

And the oh-so-famous Poppy's!

Now I'm sure most of you know that most straps in CKC patterns are made with one piece of fabric that is folded in half then sewn, like the example below:

The peek-a-boo strap is very similar but it uses two different strips of fabric. Although sewing straps is nothing new I want to make sure you all know exactly how to calculate the math that is needed in order to make peek-a-boo strap, without changing the finished measurements. Trust me when I say there is nothing worse then finishing a step of a pattern only to realize that the small fraction of an inch you thought didn't matter really does!

So when it comes to the math, Kaci has made a super cute and helpful graphic, and I will walk through the steps with you.

To start lets use the example a strap that is to be cut 10" long by 4.25" wide. We calculate the math by using the width of the strap, in this case 4.25''. First you will need to add the seam allowance .75" to the 4.25". This will give you 5". We will then divide the new width of 5" by 2 to get 2.5".

So now your new strap measurements will be TWO strips that are each 10" x 2.5".

Once you have your two new strap pieces cut you lay them right sides together and sew down both long edges and one short edge:

Flip right side out and continue on with your pattern as it is written, most likely where you are top stitching your strap.

I hope you all enjoy this technique and will be putting it to good use with your CKC patterns. And as always we cant wait to see what you create!

Happy sewing y'all,

Monday, July 21, 2014

Gathering Thick Layers by Hand

Gathering fabric is a useful skill, especially if you love ruffles as much as we do!  Modern sewing machines have made it pretty easy for us to gather ruffles, whether we have a basic sewing machine or a super fancy serger with a ruffle foot. Whichever method you normally use (or maybe you are just learning) I think it's a good idea for us all to know how to gather by hand as well. You never know when we might be stuck on a desert island with yards of ruffles to gather and no sewing machine in sight...  

Or more realistically for me, when I decide to layer three THICK ruffles and then realize I can't gather them all at once without breaking the threads. Oops.  

It has worked for me before but not this time. Those layers would NOT BUDGE.  I don't have a super heavy duty ruffle foot (if those even exist) but luckily I do know how to gather by hand and it is actually MUCH faster than you might think. So I grabbed my camera (of course) and turned my "problem" into a hand-gathering tutorial. Are you ready to learn? Some people actually prefer to gather by hand because the ruffles come out precisely even. This also works for gathering a skirt to sew onto a bodice. Here's how I gather by hand when I need to:

 If you are using more than one layer like I did, sew a basting stitch along the top edge to keep the layers together. 

Place the skirt inside the un-gathered ruffle, with right sides together. In the picture, my skirt is denim  on the inside and my ruffle is polka dots. Lay the skirt so its side seams are on the sides, as shown above.  With one hand, find the center of the ruffle and pinch it. 

With your second hand, find the center of the skirt and pinch it.  

Bring the two pinched edges together and pin them to each other at that place.  Our center points are now pinned. 

Now we will ignore one half of the skirt and focus on the other half.  Looking the section between the side edge and the pin we just marked, find the center of that section on the ruffle and pinch it.  Find the center of the skirt and pinch it. 

Again, bring the two pinched edges together and pin them in place.  Our left half is now divided into halves again.  

We will now divide each of those halves in half again by finding the center point on the ruffle and the center point on the skirt edge and bringing them together.   Repeat with all sections of the skirt, dividing in half over and over again until you are left with very small sections, or "gathers" in between pins.  

When you can no longer divide any of the sections in half, you are done gathering!  Check all around the skirt edge to make sure you didn't miss any. Then you're all ready to sew the gathered edge in place!

Perfect!  I like to topstitch after I attach the skirt or ruffles because it adds a professional finish and helps them lay nicely. 

So you're all set!  Last week I posted the tutorial for this Upcycled Ruffle Skirt too, if you'd like to know how to make the skirt itself. I could have gathered each ruffle separately but my daughter wanted it less poofy like this. Thank goodness for gathering by hand! 

Isn't it great to know that we have the skills to do these things by hand when we need to?  

Let's Create! ~ Kristen 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Recap

Happy Friday!  This week at CKC we had an exciting giveaway, an extremely popular guest tutorial, and a couple new releases that are different than anything we've designed before. Let's review to make sure you didn't miss any of it! 

New Releases

On Monday we released a new Tween Boys' pattern! Just like the younger version, Tween Brody's Baseball Tee is easy to sew, comfy for him to wear, and it can even be upcycled from Dad's t-shirts!  Your son will look great in Tween Brody's, whether at the game or for back-to-school. 

Christopher's Newsboy Cap is for boys of all ages and sizes! From newborn to adult large, this cap can be made as a stiff hat with interfacing or made more floppy for a traditional newsboy cap. And it is completely reversible!  (Don't tell the boys, but Christopher's is also adorable on girls!) Even if you've never sewn a hat before, you will love how easy this pattern makes it! 

Next we released two fabulous patterns that go perfectly together!  Layla's Pleated Top and Dress is a fun twirly dress with a pleated skirt that is adorable and eye-catching. Then if you choose, you can also pair it with Nala's Pleated Ruffle Pants for an over-the-top combination. The pants even have inseam pockets!

Look at these fun new looks we have for your Tween Girls!  First we have Wendy's Knit Yoga Skirt, which has a comfy yoga waistband with three skirt options - simple, tiered, and bubble.  Next is Brenna's Bubble Shorts, a big favorite in girl sizes and now tweens!  Then we have Amber's Tween Halter Top/Dress (my daughter loves it!) as well as Danielle's Cuffed Tween Shorts. Be sure to check out each one on the website for more info! 

Yesterday we released Blossom's Tab Shorts, the perfect addition to your girl's summer wardrobe! Blossom's has a ruffle waist, inseam pockets, and cute cuffs with button tab details. The pattern is on sale for 30% off until 7 pm est! 

On the Blog


Look at this adorable Retro Headband! If you want to learn how to make one, Leah Ann Gardner from Sweet Baby Lovins taught us how to sew them in this free tutorial on our blog

It's hot out and sunglasses are a must! For How-To Tuesday, you can learn how to make this cozy case for your glasses - it's even padded inside!

Congratulations to Tia Kluesner, our Fan of the Month for July! We can't get over how precious this photo is, and you definitely want to come read more about it on the blog. 

Now that you have tons of patterns and a great love for sewing, have you thought about selling your items? Check out our blog from yesterday - it is the latest entry in our Boutique Basics series. Come learn all about selling on Etsy!


Congratulations to Alicia Jasper, the winner of our Stitch Box Monthly giveaway!

This week we started a new Sew-Along, of Cheyenne's Perfect Party Dress with the theme of Christmas in July.  We are a couple days into the action already, but you are welcome to join in any time and get a feel for how the Sew-Alongs work. It's fun to be working on the same pattern with sewing friends and there are even prizes for those who participate! Please come join us in the CKC Sew-Alongs group


 Now I get to introduce our Half-Off Friday patterns for today! (This is my favorite part.) 

First we have Brooklyn's Tiered Sundress, on sale for 50% off in Tweens, Women's, and Women's Plus sizes.  Brooklyn's has a shirred bodice and ruffled tiers, making it the perfect summer dress for you and your tween! 

Then our HOF pattern for Girls is Allegra's All-Purpose Pinafore Top.  Aside from being completely adorable, Allegra's has a unique bodice that allows it to be tied on the shoulders or around back as a halter. And look at those super cute optional pockets in the photos below!  Allegra's is perfect for summer is on sale for 50% off all day Friday.  

I think that covers everything! Thanks for another fabulous week with us at CKC. 

Let's Create! ~ Kristen