Alice Sew Along – Day 2

We are now on Day Two of the Alice Sew Along.  If you missed Day One, check it out here. Also, if you still haven’t picked up your pattern, coupon code AliceSAL will get you the Alice Pleated Dress sewing pattern for only $6. This coupon code is good through the entire sew-along, so be sure and pick up your copy if you haven’t already.

Day two is another super easy day. The last truly easy one. Today we cut our fabrics and fuse our interfacing. These steps are fairly self explanatory. I would urge you, though, to remember to cut 4 sleeves (2 main, 2 lining), as the sleeves are lined. I missed that my first time through and had to go back to cut my sleeve linings. Once you have everything cut, be sure to transfer the markings from the pattern pieces to your fabric. This will be crucial in the later steps. If you have trouble seeing your pleat markings on your pattern pieces, be sure to use the layers function and print of the main skirt for selecting only the size you need for the waist. This will make the marking easier to see. At this point, you should had a nice little pile going. I have a lovely darker floral for my main pieces, a pop of lime green for a collar (and pockets), and a hot pink chevron lining.

Once you have it all cut, you’ll want to move it to an ironing board. I always iron fabric before cutting, as well as ironing all cut pieces after. I find it helps me in lining up pieces for construction, as my pieces often get wrinkled in the cutting. One thing I cannot stress enough is to make sure you are ironing where the pattern instructs. It makes for a much nicer and more professional looking final product. While you are ironing the wrinkles out, you can also apply your interfacing to the bodice back and skirt back pieces, as well as to the collar pieces. This is an important step in making sure the integrity of your garment will hold up to regular wear.

And with that, you are done with day 2! Congrats! Now, come share your pieces with me in the sew along album in the Bella Sunshine Designs Facebook group! I can’t wait to see them!

If you want to take a peek at what is in store for tomorrow, take a look at the schedule below:

Alice Sew Along- Day 1

First, The schedule! This was turned out to be fairly easy day today, and the schedule includes a make-up day for anyone who might fall behind, so don’t worry if that happens. It’s also more than ok if your schedule permits or demands you to work ahead a bit. We’re pretty laid back. Just try to remember to take a quick pick of each scheduled days finished steps and add it to the album in the Facebook group to get your participation credit. Are you ready? Then here we go!

 

 

Today is the easiest day! Today we purchase, print and prepare our pattern! Some of you can skip the purchasing part, but if you still need the pattern, you can get it at https://bellasunshinedesigns.com/product/alice-pleated-dress/ and use coupon code AliceSAL at checkout to get the pattern for only $6.

Blending is a super important part of getting a perfect fit. Because it can sometimes scare people, we created this fun blending video for you to see how to get that perfect fit:

 

Once you have everything taped and cut, you should have something resembling this:

Seems like a lot of pieces, but I promise it isn’t as intimidating as it looks!

I dug through my massive fabric stash for what seemed like forever to find *just* the right fabric for this beautiful little dress. I found several contenders, but I am pretty sure I fell head over heels for the final pick:

I would LOVE to see your pieces and/or fabric choices if you’re playing along, so hop over to the Bella Sunshine Designs Facebook group and share in the album! There *might* even be rewards for some lucky person sewing along at home, so don’t miss out! 😉

Alice Sew Along – Are You Ready?

Are you ready for another amazingly fun sew along? I know I am! We’re starting tomorrow. This time around, we’re sewing up a recent release with a great vintage feel, the Alice Pleated Dress! With it’s fully lined construction, box-pleated skirt, and adorable peter pan collar, you can’t go wrong. It’s the perfect little dress for Valentine’s OR Easter! You can follow along with each day here on the blog, but make sure you join the Facebook group too (at https://www.facebook.com/groups/BellaSunshinePDFLove/) where we will have an album to post participation pictures. Of those who share their daily progress, we will choose a few winners for some pattern prizes! I look forward to sewing with you all!

The Alice Pleated Dress Sew Along - I love sew alongs! I can't wait to check it out!

Now is the day to start gathering your supplies. Get your pattern, make sure your fabric is pre-washed to prevent shrinkage and gather any other tools you may need.  FYI, this pattern calls for a concealed zipper foot. While you can install the zipper without one, you can grab a concealed zipper foot on Amazon for less than $2 at the time of this writing!  Get yours here with free shipping (Affiliate link).

P.S. If you don’t already own Alice, you are in luck! We are running a flash sale for the sew along! Just use code AliceSAL to get your copy now for only $6!!!

New Release: Juliet Flutter Dress

OMG, our newest release is Juliet is to die for. This dress is dreamy romantic and whimsy! The design has it all; bodice flutters both front and back, tucked center, button up back and beautiful back sash. Swoon! Both the bodice and the skirt are fully lined, so there are no itchy seams to irritate delicate skin. I did a photoshoot of my Bella and Lilly in their new Juliet, and I am so in love.  Take a look:

The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern!The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern!

 

And my testers as always did an amazing job! They all worked so hard to make sure the fit was perfect. Check out some of the great tester photos below:

 

 

The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern!

The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern!

The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern!

The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern!

The The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern!

Amazing, right? The Juliet Dress will be on its introductory sale of only $5.50 through Friday, February 3rd at midnight EST, so be sure and pick up your copy if you haven’t already.

New Release: Alice Pleated Dress

 

The results are in, and you guys LOVE the new Alice Pleated Dress. If you haven’t seen it yet, you are in for a treat! A Peter Pan collar, pleated skirt, and hidden pockets? What’s not to love. We’ve also gotten rave reviews that the inside is as beautiful as the outside. Both the bodice and the skirt are fully lined, so there are no itchy seams to irritate delicate skin. I did a photoshoot of my Bella in her new Alice, and I am so in love.  Take a look:


Guys, my Bella is getting big! It kills me!  She looks so grown up. She beautiful in this dress.  We’ve been wearing it everywhere and getting a lot of compliments. And my testers did an amazing job! They all worked so hard to make sure the fit was perfect. Check out some of the great tester photos below:

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Amazing, right? The Alice Pleated Dress is still on its introductory sale of only $5.50 through Friday, January 20th, so be sure and pick up your copy if you haven’t already.

6 Reasons You Need a Serger

Sergers. The thought of them either make you super excited or make you want to run away screaming in terror (I promise, they aren’t that hard to thread.) Honestly, though, for someone who sews garments, they are the ultimate sewing want. There are so many things you can do with them. I am in love with mine so much, that I made a list of all the reasons I think you need one in your life.

6 Reasons You Need A Serger

6 Reasons You Need a Serger

  1. Sergers make sewing with knit fabrics a breeze. Do you love stretchy fabrics? Does the idea of sewing with them on your regular sewing machine make you feel physically ill (No? Just me?) A serger is amazing with knits for one major reason: differential feed. While that sounds like something your mechanic might tell you needs to be replaced on your car, a differential feed is just a fancy term for saying that the two parts that feed in the fabric can move at different rates. If you’ve ever tried to sew knits on a regular sewing machine without a walking foot, you will understand why this is important. The differential feed keeps the fabric from being overstretched.
  2. Sergers give a clean, professional edge on all seams. One of the coolest things about a serger is how it cuts off the fabric as you sew. The thread is then looped around giving a nice clean edge that won’t ravel in the wash. Look inside any ready to wear garment you own and chances are the seams are all serged.  This will give your garments a more professional look (which is a must if you are sewing to sell.)
  3. Sergers are faster than a sewing machine. This is partly because they make the seam and finish the edge in one swoop.  Depending on the finishes, you can even sew an entire garment with your serger without even touching your regular sewing machine.
  4. Sergers can create beautiful rolled hems that are perfect for delicate fabrics. Every serger also has the ability to create a rolled hem. Rolled hems are especially helpful for fragile or slippery fabrics and are often used for special occasions or lingerie.
  5. Sergers can make stronger seams than a traditional sewing machine. Because a serger uses at least 3 or 4 threads, the seams they create are much stronger than those created with a regular sewing machine. That makes those garments you spend all that time making hold up longer.
  6. Entry level sergers are cheaper than ever. The price of a brand new serger has come down a lot in the past several years.  In fact, you can get a brand new Brother 1034D on Amazon for pretty cheap.

Still not convinced? Don’t have the money to shell out for a new serger quite yet? While you can’t get all the cool features like rolled hems or differential feeds on your regular sewing machine, you can fake a serger edge with a side cutter sewing foot for less than $10 on Amazon. The edge is not as crisp as a serger, but I used one for a few years before I decided I had to have a serger in my life.

12 More Bad Sewing Habits You Need To Quit Doing - So guilty of number 5!

12 More Bad Sewing Habits You Need to Quit Doing

A year ago today we wrote our viral post 15 Bad Sewing Habits You Need to Quit Doing.  That post has had over 170 comments at the time of this writing.  It was so popular that we thought we would follow it up with another post.  So without further ado…
12 More Bad Sewing Habits You Need To Quit Doing - So guilty of number 5!

12 MORE Bad Sewing Habits You Need to Quit Doing

1. Using your teeth to cut your thread

Broken teeth, appendicitis, dentist trips. Holy smokes! This was the number one thing people commented and said was a bad sewing habit of theirs that they had to break.

2. Not ironing your fabric before you cut your pattern

OK this may only apply to those of us that prewash and put the fabric away as a wrinkly mess. (Please tell me I’m not the only one!) I once cut out a dress from lining without ironing the fabric first and ended up with a dress an entire size too big.  Whoops!

3. Getting in too much of a sewing groove (AKA not paying attention)

This totally happened to me the other day. You would think a fashion designer would know better, but I was listing to music, enjoying some kid-free time, and cutting away. And then I realized I had completely laid out the fabric wrong and not paid attention to the grainline.  Have you ever cut two left pant legs because you were in a groove? Yep, me too.

4. Knowingly using the wrong needle for a project

Admit it. You do this. You do this more often than you care to admit. Ok maybe I’m just talking to myself here, but I have totally used a stretch needle on woven because, eh, I don’t care that much and I’m in a hurry. Please let me know I’m not the only one that’s done this.  I do normally regret it later when my seam looks terrible.

pins photo

Photo by gosheshe

5. Thinking, “I’ll just hem this later”

And there is sits for 6 months (or more!).  This bad sewing habit is also a cousin to, “I’ll finish this hand stitching tomorrow.”

6. Setting anything on your cutting table that does not directly relate to the project you are working on

This is by far the quickest way to turn your cutting table into something that slightly resembles that tv show Hoarders. Seriously, how does all that “stuff” pile up so quickly?

7. Not changing your rotary blades often enough.

This is one of the bad sewing habits that I am the most guilty of! You know what happens. You get a tiny knick in the blade, but it still works 50% of the time.  And that knick is small.  It just misses one thread or two and if you press harder it works fine. Before you know it every inch you blade isn’t cutting and you know it needs to be replaced, but you just keep using it and you don’t know why. When you finally do replace it you wonder what in the world took you so long and remember how nice it is to have a nice fresh blade on your rotary cutter.

pins photo

Photo by dhendrix73

8. Sewing Over Pins

Now this is a topic that is much debated in the sewing world. But if you’ve ever hit a pin just right and had it go flying at your face, you will understand exactly why this is a bad sewing habit. One perk is that it normally only takes this happening once or twice before you decide that this is a habit you must break (you know, next time you sit down to sew something.)

9. Taking too many sewing short cuts

Understitching? Eh, topstitching is close enough. Grading those seams? I’d rather keep sewing. Basting? I’m sure if I put enough pins, it will turn out fine. And then you look at what you just did and all you can think is, “Why didn’t I take the extra step?” For the record this is the point in the project that you and your seam ripper become BFF’s.

10. Letting those little threads/ fabric scraps go everywhere but the trash can

Does your dog wear thread in his fur like its an accessory? Does your daughter hoard little pieces of scraps she finds randomly all over the floor? When you are at the grocery store, does the person behind you say, “Ma’am, there’s little pieces of red thread all over your back.” Just me? Ok moving on.

thread photo

Photo by sarae

11. Not snipping your threads after every seam

In my head, its easier to just wait until the end of a project and snip everything all at once. As I’m sewing I actually repeat this to myself in my head as I see all those loose threads. But you know what happens at the end of a project? I forget spots. Then later when my daughter is wearing the garment I notice all these threads randomly hanging. My New Year Resolution for last year was to cut these threads after every seam. I would love to tell you I succeeded, but…

12. Trying to take on too many projects at once

OK this might just be a me thing, but I tend to think I can make no less than 75 things any given week. And I’m not talking about 15 minute projects. No, I mean dresses with 1.5 miles of ruffles with more pin tucks than you can count. Oh and did I mention I need to drive to the fabric store to get materials too? Then before I know it I have a million half used supplies and a ton of unfinished projects. I have sewing ADHD.

So tell me, did you fair better this time? How many of these are you guilty of? Let me know in the comments. And if you have anymore bad sewing habits that are not on the list, tell them to me!

 

 

 

The Secret to Perfectly Sewn Bias Tape

There is a secret to perfect bias tape that not many newbies know. I know when I first started sewing, I would marvel at how other seamstresses would add bias tape trim and it would look so perfect!  I wanted to know how to get those results, but every time I tried to add it on, I failed miserably. Well, fear no more! You too can end up with bias trim that makes other people wonder how you did it.

The Secret to Perfectly Sewn Bias Tape - This tutorial is super easy to follow! I can't wait to try it out next time I sew something with bias trim. Pin for later!

The Secret to Perfectly Sewn Bias Tape

The first time I applied bias tape, I wrapped it around the edges and sewed it on in one swoop. If you’ve ever done this, you know that a majority of the time it looks like you sewed it in the dark. While it is quick, the result is terrible. It makes things look more “homemade” than handmade. The real trick to bias tape is to not only apply it in steps, but also apply the right side of the tape to each side of the fabric. Confused? Don’t be. It’s easy. Let’s get started.

The Secret to Perfectly Sewn Bias Tape - This tutorial is super easy to follow! I can't wait to try it out next time I sew something with bias trim. Pin for later!

Bias tape (the commercial stuff anyway) has a longer/wider side and a shorter/narrower side. This helps you catch the entire tape when sewing it on in the final step. Keep on reading and you will see what I mean.

The Secret to Perfectly Sewn Bias Tape - This tutorial is super easy to follow! I can't wait to try it out next time I sew something with bias trim. Pin for later!

We are going to sewing on the wider/longer side first. Open up your bias tape and place the right side of the bias tape to the wrong side of your fabric. Align the raw edges and then sew the bias tape on using the fold as a guide for your seamline.

The Secret to Perfectly Sewn Bias Tape - This tutorial is super easy to follow! I can't wait to try it out next time I sew something with bias trim. Pin for later!

Now refold the bias tape back down towards the raw edge…

The Secret to Perfectly Sewn Bias Tape - This tutorial is super easy to follow! I can't wait to try it out next time I sew something with bias trim. Pin for later!

…and flip you fabric over to the right side. Continue to refold that bias tape around towards the front of the fabric. All raw edges should now be enclosed in the bias tape. You re now ready for the final step.

The Secret to Perfectly Sewn Bias Tape - This tutorial is super easy to follow! I can't wait to try it out next time I sew something with bias trim. Pin for later!

Sew the bias tape along the fold to close it. Now since you took your time to apply it, you back should look like this…

The Secret to Perfectly Sewn Bias Tape - This tutorial is super easy to follow! I can't wait to try it out next time I sew something with bias trim. Pin for later!

Ta-dah! Like magic! Now everyone will wonder how you got those stitches in so perfectly. And you can tell them its because you can sew like a boss!

Want to practice your new found bias tape sewing abilities? Several of our pattern feature bias tape like the Holiday Cutout Dress & Top or the Alice Pleated Dress.

The Alice Dress & Top releases next week! Be on the look out for sneak peeks on our Instagram!

What is your next project you plan to use bias tape on? Let me know in the comments!