Modkid Modified // Sleeveless Vivian

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Sleeveless button-downs and shirtdresses are a classic summer style. Altering the Vivian Shirtdress to a sleeveless style only requires a few basic steps.

Let me walk you through the pattern alterations first. A dress with sleeves will have a larger armscye to accommodate the sleeve and the shoulder will extend to point where the shoulder/arm bend. To avoid gaping without the sleeve, we need to bring the underarm of the armscye up and the shoulder in. Tape a piece of paper behind your pattern piece to construct the changes. The shoulder width I've used is 2.5" for the size 7 shirtdress. I also brought the armscye up by 3/4". These measurements will vary by size, so I recommend checking with an existing shirt or muslin. Keep in mind you will lose an additional 1/4" when the binding is attached. Mark the shoulder point and underarm point then draw a new curve between them.

The same alterations need to be made for the back of the pattern. Overlap the top panel with the bottom panel 1/2" for the seam allowance and align at the armscye. Again, mark the new shoulder and underarm points and draw the curve between.

Trim the pattern to the new armscye.

After completing the dress per the pattern instructions, it is time to apply binding to the armscye. I am using pre-made 1/2" single fold bias tape. Starting pinning the bias tape to the armscye right sides together with the beginning end extending past the underarm seam 1/2". Pin all the way around.

You can see how my bias tape overlaps the underarm seam.

Trim the end of the bias tape 1/2" past the underarm seam so both ends overlap and mark where the seam location is on each end of the bias tape.

Pull your last pins out, so you can bring the bias tape right sides together. Stitch the bias tape at the marked seam.

Press the seam allowance open.

Stitch the bias tape to the armscye in the first fold of the bias tape.

Press the seam allowance toward the bias tape and the bias tape away from the shirt.

Now, press the bias tape to the inside of the armscye making sure the inner fold is tucked inside.

Stitch along the inner folded edge of the bias tape enclosing all raw edges.

Press the seam from the right side for a nice crisp finish.

Don't forget we also have a tutorial for shortening the Shirtdress to a top length. This sleeveless alteration will certainly work well for both styles. 

Introducing... Club Havana

Friday, May 18, 2018

I am over the moon excited to introduce you to my newest fabric collection for Riley Blake Designs, called Club Havana.

This line was inspired by a vacation we took with my extended family last Summer to celebrate my parents' 50th Wedding Anniversary. My mom is Costa Rican and my dad is Puerto Rican, but one of their bucket list items has always been to go to Cuba, so we had to make it happen. I loved Cuba so much that I knew right away I needed to turn those scrumptious colors and vibrant imagery into some wearable art.

Once you step off the boat onto the streets of Havana, one of the most striking and memorable things you'll see is the abundance of American classic cars painted in bright, fun colors that are cruising the streets. These are called "Boteros" and are mostly used as taxi cabs for tourists or more affluent locals. Of course, I couldn't resist taking a few dozen pictures.

As soon as I saw these cars, I knew that I wanted this line to have a rougher, more "hand drawn" look & feel, much less tight and vectorized than all my previous lines. I started doing some rough sketches in Photoshop, and I immediately loved the result...

The "Boteros" print was born, and the rest of the line took shape from that point on.

I drew the rest of the line, including lots of florals, some happy pineapples, a very tropical IKAT print and a rounded cross, using the same loose hand drawn style as I had used for the Boteros print. View the full collection here.

This is truly one of my favorite lines I have ever drawn because it came from a place of happiness and love.

Next, I would like to share with you some sewn samples made with the Club Havana advance yardage. I knew I had to make a Stella Purse, because this is the very first pattern my mother designed for MODKID, many years ago. It's a very structured bag with a modern look and feel. It features a zippered panel closure with one outer pocket and two inner pockets.

I also made a pair of Natalie & Nate rompers because I wanted to showcase the sweetness of the Pineapple and the Boteros prints together...

Our dear friend, Maryanna Powel, of Marvelous Auntie M, sewed up this gorgeous Houndstooth Quilt using the 6 color ways of my Rounded Cross print. How fun is this?!?

And last, but certainly not least, the 3 color ways of my Pineapples print was selected to be printed in a super soft Jersey Knit, and I am beyond thrilled about it because I LOVE sewing with knits!!

Courtney Davis, of Sweeter Than Cupcakes, made the Modkid Malibu Dress for her oldest daughter and a Laguna Summer Top with Spring Break Shorts for the youngest. The result is the perfect sister set!

Modkid Modified // Brynn Top with Double Piping

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

You will notice in the notions section of the Modkid Brynn Top pattern for girls and tweens/teens, piping is listed as an alternative to the ruffle trim that outlines the bodice and arm opening. I took the piping a step further with double piping!

Double piping is a unique technique that really pops! I followed the detailed double piping tutorial over on the Martha Pullen site. The main fabric for the top is Flit and Bloom, Bloom Geo Blossom in Teal. The coordinates for the piping are Riley Blake solids in Green and Fuchsia.

I have a few tips for sewing and applying the double piping that I will pass along. After preparing the piping per the tutorial, be sure to trim down the piping seam allowance to 1/2" to match the pattern seam allowance. The trickiest part about working with the double piping is the resulting thickness of your seams. Once way to reduce thickness at the seam allowance is to trim away the cording of the piping. To do this, pull the cording out of the end of the piping. I used the Turn & More Tool here. Trim away 1/2" of the cording and pull the piping back in place, so the end of the cording shrinks back into the piping fabric. Trimming and notching your seam allowances around the curves will help the seams lay flat.

I also employed hand stitches along the front neckline curve to stitch the seam allowance to the bodice lining. Had I trimmed and notched this seam allowance a bit more before I serged, this step may not have been necessary. Keep in mind though, that a few hand stitches can make your finish all that more professional looking!

Will you give double piping a try? The technique can lend a great detail to collars too. You might try it out on the Avery Dress for example. Have fun experimenting!

Invisible Stitch Knit Binding

Monday, April 16, 2018

I love learning new sewing techniques, and when I do, I like to pass them along to you. We have previously posted 3 techniques for knit binding, so today I bring you a fourth with a special twist. The stitching is nearly invisible!! This binding method also reduces a little bulk if you happen to be using a thicker rib knit for the binding. I am using the Modkid Malibu Dress for this example, but the technique can be applied in multiple situations. Be sure to check out our Malibu Sew-Along for additional tips.

If you are new to sewing with knits, be sure to check out our Tips for Sewing with Knits. You will notice my binding strip is slightly shorter than the fabric piece. Binding should always be stretched slightly as you sew, so the end result will lay flat. Keep this in mind as we proceed. The seam allowance for the pattern is 1/2" and the binding width is 1.5". I am using ribbed knit in this case, but other knit types with good stretch and recovery would work well here. This technique would not apply to woven binding.

First, stitch the binding to the main fabric right sides together with a 1/2" seam allowance and a stretch stitch, stretching the binding slightly as you stitch. Here, I have used my serger that trimmed the seam allowance as I sewed. If you are using a regular sewing machine, be sure to stitch with a stretch stitch. Then trim the seam allowance to 1/4". A stretch thread such as Maxi-lock thread in your bobbin with provide additional stretch to the seam.

Press the seam open and the seam allowance toward the binding.

Wrap the binding around the seam allowance to the wrong side and press well.

Select a straight stitch on your machine. The triple stitch, number 6 on my machine, is perfect in this situation. It makes a straight stitch that still stretches by creating 3 back and forth stitches for every 1 stitch in length. Melissa of Melly Sews recently posted a great video showing this stitch. I recommend, again, using stretch thread in your bobbin. If your machine does not have the triple stitch, using a long straight stitch with stretch thread in the bobbin may still work. Test out the stretch to make sure it is sufficient.

To create the "invisible" stitch, you will stitch in the ditch between the main fabric and the binding. An edge stitch or blind hem foot can help keep the alignment here.

For best results, match the thread to the main fabric not the binding. You can just barely see the stitches in the lighter stripe of the fabric.

The raw edge of the binding remains exposed on the wrong side of the fabric, but one of the beauties of sewing with knits is that the fabric will not unravel. If the raw edge tends to curl, you can trim it a bid closer to the stitch line.

Always give your garment a nice, steamy press when complete to make sure any knit that gets slightly stretched in the process of sewing shrinks up to it intended shape.

Other patterns where this method might come in handy are the Modkid Lexi and the Malibu Misses. Be sure to let us know if you give this a try! 

Introducing Modkid Spring Break Shorts

Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Modkid Spring Break Shorts pattern includes 3 views of shorts: View A is a simple boxer-style short, View B features a large angled ruffle up the side of the leg, and View C features a narrow hem ruffle that overlaps at the front like tulip petals. All versions include inseam pockets and can be sewn with wovens or knits. This pattern comes in sizes 2T to 8/9 (little girls). There is also a Tween/Teen version of this pattern available for older girls sizes 10 to 18.

Use coupon code SPRING2018 to receive 40% off your entire purchase on the Modkid website, so you can buy other patterns or products with it. The code is only valid for 24 hours so it expires April 12th at 6:00 p.m. EST.

Many of our testers paired the Spring Break Shorts with the new Modkid Brynn Top. Be sure to check out the previous post for the top pattern details!

Amy Settle

Jenny Fish

Corrina Ellens

Corrina Ellems

Kara Mooney

Kara Mooney

Kara Mooney

Karen Irvine

Katie Leatherwood

Leah Broadstreet

Leanne Lyons

Leanne Lyons

Sara Soares

Sara Zeigler

Tandy Smedberg

Tania Paredez

Courtney Davis

Tiffany Turner

Tone Hultman
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