Thursday, March 26, 2015

Using Elastic to Faux Shirr or Gather

Joy's Twirly Lace Dress is one of my favorites!  A specific detail I love about Joy's is the shirring on the sleeves. Many of our other CKC patterns use shirring as well, and it is definitely a good skill to learn.  Sometimes, however, we have people ask if there is any other way to gather the sleeve without shirring or making a casing.    

The answer is yes!  Occasionally I like to sew 1/4" elastic directly to the underside of a sleeve to gather it (no casing necessary), and it works great! Today I will show you how to use this method, both with a photo tutorial and with a video! This way of attaching elastic has several other uses too, of course, and by learning how to use it on the sleeves you'll be ready to branch out! Let's get started.

First you will want to follow the first few steps of your peasant top or dress pattern, by cutting out the pieces and sewing them at the arm curves until you get to the point that is shown in the photo above. Do NOT sew the sleeves/sides of the peasant together yet.

Lay one of the sleeves out flat, as shown above, and mark a line straight across the WRONG side of the sleeve where you want the gathering to be. (I measured down from the arm curve the amount indicated in the Joy's pattern for a 3/4 length sleeve.) Repeat this marking line on the second sleeve. 

Cut  your 1/4" wide elastic to the length that you want your sleeve to be gathered to when you're done. You could either measure the arm of the person you are making the dress for; or, I usually use the elastic length that the pattern tells me to use for the short sleeve casing. Cut two pieces of elastic so you have one for each sleeve. 

Notice in the photo above that the white elastic is much shorter than the yellow sewing line. In the next few steps we will be stretching the elastic to the length of the yellow line as we sew. Then when it is attached, the sleeve will be gathered to the size of the elastic! 

Before you sew, line up one end of the elastic with the edge of the sleeve where you drew the line. Sew a couple stitches and then backstitch to secure the edges together. 

Then as you begin sewing, stretch the elastic as you sew down the center of it, lining it up with the line you marked earlier. You may use a zigzag stitch or a straight stitch, depending on how you want it to look on the outside of your sleeve. I prefer straight stitch. Notice that I'm also using my left hand behind the foot, to help pull the fabric through the machine.  If you pull too hard on the elastic without helping in back, the feed dogs won't be able to feed the fabric and elastic through.  This isn't difficult at all but it does take two hands.  

Occasionally you will want to check and make sure you are stretching your elastic enough to have it reach all the way to the edge of your sleeve, as shown above.  You need the elastic to reach from one edge of the sleeve to the other, as evenly as possible when you are done sewing. Again, it is not difficult to do it, but it does take some switching around of your hands as you go. 

As you get to the end of the elastic, hold it in place at the edge with one finger and backstitch a couple times to secure it. 

When you are done, your elastic and sleeve will look like this!  Pretty neat, huh! Then you get to repeat with the second sleeve, which I'm always happy to do because it is so cool to see the end result. 

With your elastic sewn in place, you can continue on with the construction of the bodice/dress. 

Very pretty!  I made this patriotic Joy's for my niece to use for her Civil War project at school, and she's very happy with how it turned out.  Before using this method for gathering/shirring, you will want to make sure that the person you are sewing the dress for does not have a sensitivity to elastic because it will be touching their skin directly. My daughter has never had a problem with it, and it's a fairly common sewing technique. I bet you can think of other ways to use it now, right?  I certainly don't use it just for sleeves!  

If you'd like to see all of this tutorial in action, you can take a look at the video below where I sewed elastic to the second sleeve.  The video is also on our CKC YouTube channel, so you can come back and watch it at any time.

 Now it's your turn to go try it out with your favorite patterns! 

Let's Create! ~ Kristen 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Weekly Wound Up

It's a big weekend here at CKC! Have you been counting down the days to our site-wide sale?  Well in case you missed the news on our special CKC Calendar, we're having a big celebration for Charlotte's birthday! Plus, we kicked it off yesterday with a couple full size FREE patterns! Be sure to check out all the details in our Weekly Wound Up today. But first things first; let's take a look at our new releases! 

New Releases

We have a SUPER new dog pattern available- Toby's Hooded T-shirt! This casual pullover top is made of all knit is the perfect outfit for year round use. It even comes with a stylish yet functional pocket on the back that allows you to store a couple treats during long walks! Your furry friend is sure to appreciate the hood during chilly, windy days, and the cuteness of this doggie hoodie is sure to make heads turn!

It's time to celebrate the much-anticipated release of the all-new Pandora's Pleated Collar Dress for women! Featuring a darted bodice for a flattering fit and a cute bubble hemline, this amazing dress is perfect for all occasions! With a convenient side seam pocket option, this one was designed for comfort, function AND fashion! Bring on spring and summer with Pandora and make something fabulous for yourself!

We also have an awesome new dance wear set for you. Introducing Fantasia's Fringe Dance set! Just picture your sweetie dancing her heart out with the movement of the fringe following her every move! Fantasia's pattern is great for swimming suits also. Be sure to grab your copy for 30% off today!

On the Blog

Did you know that you can upcycle a cute character tee into trendy shorts, pants, or capris? It's easy! Nikki showed us how to do it on the blog this week and you can come learn too! 

Here's one of the big birthday surprises we mentioned earlier. We have two adorable new patterns at CKC: Kambria's Flutter Stripwork Dress and Kaya's Classic Cloche. Aren't they perfect together? And they are both completely FREE! Come on over and check them out on the blog, where you can download both patterns immediately for no cost. These are going to be your new favorite summer patterns!

Weekend Sale

And last, but definitely not least: What better way to celebrate a birthday than by going shopping?!  And when everything you want is 30% off, that's as good as it gets!  Charlotte (and her friend Natalie) have been the inspiration behind Create Kids Couture from the very beginning, so we knew you would want to get in on the celebration too.  Here's your chance to load up your carts and use the code "Charlotte" at checkout to get 30% off your entire order!  

Please note that the code is valid only our website and that tiered pricing will not be in effect during the sale. 

Our Birthday Bash sale will be going on all weekend long, so take your time and be sure to look through all our categories for patterns you will be wanting through spring and summer! 

Well, that's all for this Weekly Wound Up!  We want to wish you a happy Spring and a wonderful weekend ahead. 

Let's Create! ~ Kristen 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Free Patterns: Kambria's Dress and Kaya's Cloche

This weekend we are celebrating a special little girl's birthday. Charlotte is turning 6! We are having a HUGE site-wide sale to celebrate, and you are all invited! How does 30% off everything sound? The sale begins at midnight on Friday night (3/20/15) and lasts all weekend long! So get your shopping carts ready and have some fun shopping! When the time comes, you will use the code "Charlotte" to get 30% off all patterns in your cart!  (Code is valid on our website only, and tiered pricing will not be in effect.) Happy Shopping! 

Charlotte, wearing Celeste's Party Dress

Not only that, but as a special gift to you, we have two completely new, entirely free patterns for you to enjoy!  Kambria's Flutter Stripwork Dress and Kaya's Crochet Cloche! You can download them here here on the blog today. Let's take a look: 

The dress is gorgeous on its own, and look at the adorable crochet cloche that completes the outfit!  As the designers at CKC, we have all worked on this project together and we've been SO excited to share it with you!   Let's take a closer look!

Kambria's Flutter Stripwork Dress has many of our favorite features, all put together into one pattern: Flutter sleeves, shirring for a perfect fit, a fun stripwork skirt, and of course -- ruffles! The pattern includes step-by-step photos and detailed instructions (just like all our patterns!), and measurements for sizes 6-12m up to 8.  Are you as excited as we are?!   

And then of course there's also Kaya's Classic Cloche!  You will absolutely love making this cloche and all its pretty details!  It's such a cute hat for all occasions, and if you don't yet know how to crochet, this is a great time to learn! We even have a blog post on crocheting for beginners, with a video that walks you through the basics! Kaya's Cloche is definitely for everyone and we bet you can't make just one! 

We can't wait to see what you make with these two gorgeous new patterns! Please share photos of your creations in our patterns group. Also, you can pin this blog post by hovering and clicking on any photo -- and be sure to share with your friends!

As one last reminder, don't forget our big "Charlotte" sale this weekend! We don't have these big site-wide sales very often, so be sure to stock up on all your favorites while you can.  

Let's Create! ~ Kristen 


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Upcycle a T-Shirt into Jasmine's Shorts or Pants

Hey everyone! I’m Nikki, head of the women/tween department here at CKC. I get a lot of requests to share how I make my upcycled Jasmine’s Bubble Pants, and I thought it may be best to share it in a blog. So I made three pair today to show you how! 

First, you will want a shirt that is bigger than the pattern piece. I usually use men’s or women's L/XL but my daughter has been wanting Frozen and those are easiest to find in the kid’s department. I always measure the pattern piece before shopping, to make sure I choose a shirt that is wide enough and long enough for it.

To prepare the shirt, cut up the side seams and then around the sleeves, so that you have a front and back shirt piece. 

Now fold the front piece in half and line the fold line of the pattern piece along the folded edge and cut out. Repeat this step with the back of the shirt for the other leg piece. 

Now you should  have two leg pieces; one using the front of the shirt and the other using the back. 

You are now ready to follow the instructions from the pattern to construct the pants! 

If you are making shorts and have a collage type design like this minion shirt, you can cut both legs out of the front piece. This worked perfect for the minion shirt I bought that only had a print on the front.

Here is what those pieces look like cut out. 

And here are those shorts sewn together. The possibilities are endless! 

~ Nikki

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Weekly Wound Up

Have you had a chance to go see the new Cinderella live action movie yet? I've heard amazing things about it and can't wait to go see it with my daughter tonight! I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing all the pictures posted by our CKC fans as their little girls get dressed up for their big night out. If you haven't seen our array of Elora's photos and videos yet, be sure to come visit our CKC Patterns Group! I can't get enough of all these beautiful princesses! 

New Releases

Celeste's Classic Boat Neck Dress and Top is our take on a classic look that your little girl fall in love with at first sight! It features a fitted boat neck bodice that buttons up the back, three sleeve length options or a sleeveless option, a sweetheart embellishment with a ruffle accent, a ruched ruffle accent for the neckline and hemline, trim band options for the bottom of the bodice or the hemline, an optional attached petticoat, and measurements for dress and top lengths. The attached petticoat adds a beautiful retro shape to the skirt that's perfect for special occasions, or you can leave it off for a more modern, everyday shape. There are 224 different dresses and 168 different tops that can be made using these combinations of sleeves and embellishments, and we know you'll have fun trying to figure them all out! 

For our adorable doll releases this week, first we have Kristine's Ruffled Shorts & Mariah's Retro Sun Top, which features a unique ruffled hem design and a trendy crop top! Next, we have Alyssa's Ruffle Waist Pants & Matilda's Peasant Top. These sassy little double ruffle pants and shirred peasant top and dress are so cute and unique.Then we have Nicole's Party Dress. It features a fitted bodice with three sleeve options and a scoop neck back, with buttons that can be over-sized for extra charm! Nicole's also has a split-front skirt and built-in pettiskirt that makes it poofy and twirly at the same time! Lastly, we have Nova's Square Flutter Top and Dress Doll Size! Featuring classic flutter straps, a square neckline, and multiple back tying options, you are going to fall head over heels for each Nova that you create!

Yesterday we released three amazing new crochet patterns for you! Juliette's Crochet Bodice Top and Dress includes a video tutorial in the pattern to walk you step-by-step through the crochet bodice. It's a perfect project for beginners and combines our love of crochet and sewing! Aspen's Circle Vest is an adorable accessory that works up quickly and Shay's Shifty Beanie can be worn 3 ways! They are all 30% off this weekend!

On the Blog

Do you wish you had a rotary cutter and cutting mat, but can't yet find room for them in your budget? Well, guess what! You can make your own DIY Measuring Mat using supplies you have around the house! 

If you have any desire at all to learn to crochet, right now is the time to do it! Yesterday we posted a beginner video to help you get started from the very beginning! PLUS we have a fun Top Ten Reasons why you want to learn to crochet. PLUS you'll find details about a new CKC Crochet ***giveaway***! Come check it all out!


BWD Fabric is holding a sew-along for our Benjamin's Polo Shirt, beginning on Monday, March 16! The Sew-Along will go until Friday, and there will be a chance for prizes every day for those who participate! To make it extra enticing for you, we have the Benjamin's shirt pattern on sale this weekend for 50% off! Plus, right now you can join the sew-along and get an exclusive **coupon code** to use in BWD Fabric Shop for really cute knits for both boys and girls.Come join us for the sew-along here on the Benjamin's Sew-Along event page!

March's Monthly Mixup is now available! This Monthly Mixup is all about pretty spring designs that aren't very difficult to sew! This is going to be perfect if you are just starting out sewing and want to learn the basics -- or if you are just wanting to expand your CKC pattern collection! You simply can't go wrong with these designs! Jenna's, Felicity's, Julia's, Lola's, Magnolia's, and Lindsey's normally go for $44, but if you buy this mixup they are just $18! That's a savings of 60%!

Weekend Sale

Bethany's Fancy Party Dress is on sale this weekend for 50% off!  It features a gorgeous chiffon skirt, flutter sleeves, and two different bodice options! You can also leave off the chiffon layer for a light spring/summer dress. Bethany's is available in Dolls, Babies, Girls, Tweens, and Women's sizes -- and they are all included in the sale! 

Porter's Button Up Shirt is also on sale for 50% off this weekend! Porter's is the perfect woven shirt pattern for your little guy, whether it's for a day of play or a more formal occasion! 
Porter's features short sleeves, a straight-bottom hem, and an oversized (or regular) pocket that your boy will love! It is available in Boy, Tween, and Baby sizes; and all three are half off all weekend! 

With so many of our patterns on sale this weekend, don't forget about our tiered pricing! The more you buy, the greater the discount! 

This brings us to the end of our Weekly Wound Up!  We hope you have a great weekend, and if you don't already have plans you might want to consider seeing the new Cinderella movie! I hear the wardrobe experts had their work cut out for them.

Let's Create! ~ Kristen