It's Spring Time and therefore... Spring Cleaning time! This is my favorite time because not only do things get re-organized and start looking tidy again, but I also get to raid my boyfriends give away pile!
Like all of us, he buys so many things and never wears them. Which is great because I get to take them apart and make them into something new.
This time we're talking peplum tops from old T-Shirts. I had done this project years ago when working for someone else, but it was time to do it again with my intermediate class.
We started by cutting off the sleeves at the seamline, turning the shirt inside out, and trying it on. You can have someone pin along the sideseam so it fits from underarm to waistline. Mark this tailors chalk. Also mark 1" below waistline.
Match the quarter points of top to bottom, making sure they are right sides together. Gather the basting stitches so the top and bottom pieces are even. Stitch together.
Finish the sleeves as desired. Some students had enough room to make a cap sleeve. The rest, made it sleeveless.
My students used shirts that had been very gently used, but I had a super dirty white shirt. I put it in a dye bath and turned it green! Get creative, get sewing.. and don't forget to tag us so we can see your amazing work!
In our recent Brainstorm Session for the 2017 Summer Camps, my assistant came up with a game we're calling Dance Dice. The name might not be that exciting but the game is SO FUN!
What is it?
The short version: 2 dice. The first with 6 different sets of numbers (15, 20, 25, 30, 45, and 50 seconds), and the second with 6 different dances...
You roll both dice, and dance the move and time they tell you.
How to make them (sorry we were so excited we didn't take photos):
What you need:
6 colors of felt
Plain cotton or muslin
Step 1: Cut two 5"x5" pieces of each color felt
Step 2: Cut the number sets you will sew on out of different colors of felt (15, 20, 25, 30, 45, and 50), stitch the numbers to the felt. Use one of each color felt, and make sure to use contrasting colors for the numbers. (You can glue them on instead)
Step 3: 2 options here.. Cut 6 1" pieces of velcro, and stitch one loop (the soft side) piece to each of the remaining pieces of felt.
Or you can stitch a plain piece of cotton fabric and write the dance moves directly on the cube.
Step 4: Now sew your cubes together, leaving a hole to turn right side out.
Step 5: Stuff the cubes. We used leftover scraps from other projects because I am trying to minimize my waste. When you do this, it helps to cut the scraps a bit smaller to make sure it's not lumpy. Stitch up the hole.
Step 6: We made our dance moves removable so we can use the dice for other activities, but you can write your moves directly on the dice.
For the removable moves: you need 12 pieces of muslin cut 4"x2", and 6 pieces of cardboard 3 3/8" x 1 3/8".
Stitch the hook side of velro to the center of 6 pieces of muslin. Sew together 3 sides of a piece of muslin with velcro, to a piece without velcro (right sides together- velcro on inside). Now flip right side out, slide in your cardboard, and close up the hole.
You can make this with any dance moves but our top picks were:
-The Running Man (pictured above- can be done the old school or new way!)
-Whip and Nae Nae (We misspelled it on the Dice!!)
Other contenders were:
- The shopping cart
- The mashed potato
- The Dab
- Electric Slide
- The Sprinkler
As you may already know, I am participating in the 2017- Sew My Style Challenge. This challenge is to bring awareness to the Slow Fashion movement, and to showcase to new sewists that sewing your own wardrobe is possible. The projects listed for 2017 are:
January- Sew House 7 Toaster Sweater 2
February - Named Clothing Saunio Cardigan
March- Megan Nielsen Virginia Leggings
April- Sew House 7 Bridgetown Dress
May- Califaye Collection Pocket Skirt
June- Megan Nielsen Briar Tee and Sweater
July- Cali Faye Collection Valley Blouse
August- Megan Nielsen Darling Ranges Dress
September- Named Clothing Yona Wrap Coat
October- Cali Faye Hampshire Trouser
November- By Hand London Anna Dress
December- Named Clothing AW17 New Collection (TBC)
The Bridgetown Backless was such a quick sew and has several different length variations, that I will definitely be making more then one!
I wanted a dress that I had dyed for the summer so I started with a plain white cotton. I tried to find something that had a good drape, but my options were limited since I needed something that would take the dye. This dress works best with a fabric that will drape nicely like a rayon challis, silk charmeuse, rayon jersey or cotton jersey. I would love to make it again in a sand washed silk.
I started prepping my fabric by binding it in a shibori style, and putting it in a piping hot Navy Blue Rit Dye bath. I soaked it for 30 minute, let it dry overnight, and washed it out in a washing machine. The colors came out a little dull- I think had I prewashed the fabric and put it into the dye bath wet, it may have taken the dye better. However, I did end up loving the faded look of the fabric.
When sewing the dress my chest and hips were two different sizes. I copied the pattern for size 6 skirt, and size 2 bodice. To have them match up evenly, I curved the top 4" of the skirt from size 6 to 2.
I find that this fabric doesn't have the best drape for this dress. The sleeves stick up a bit and the back doesn't drape as I've seen in other photos. For this version I will remove the sleeves, then remake it in a sand washed silk.
I will also lower the neck a half inch in the front, and add side pockets.
Recently my boyfriend started wearing his nice t-shirts to work out, and they were getting super grubby. I was tempted to throw them away and buy new ones, but I'm trying not to add to the 10.5 Mil tons of clothing that is dumped into landfills each year. This is where my crafting nature came into play.
I asked if I could tie-dye his shirts with some other fabric I was prepping and I received a hard NO for a response. He has a very simple and elegant style, and was definitely not going to be into wearing a tie-dyed shirt. So naturally while he was away, I grabbed a shirt and stuck it in the dye bath.
I used Rit-Dye Liquid, Navy Blue; I picked a color I knew he would like. I used about half a bottle and filled up my mop bucket about 1/3 of the way, and added 1/4 cup of salt to help the dye take. I also made sure the water was boiling hot as I started.
Pro Tip: Others have done the dye bath in a pot, keeping the water at a simmer. The hotter the water, the better the dye will take. After about 30 min I took the shirt out, and hung it to dry outside. (I hang things outside so I don't get droplets of dye water on my beautiful floors.
I finished by washing the shirt in a cold water cycle. In the end, I turned a very skeptical, unwilling boyfriend into a believer! He now has a new favorite shirt that gets worn all the time.
Stay tuned to see what I make with the other fabrics sharing this dye-bath!
Parts of the Machine: Pedal (Foot Controller), Presser Foot, Handwheel, Backstitch, Thread Cutter
Threading the Bobbin:
Threading the Needle:
Part 2: Practice Stitching Straight Lines
Part 1: Make a Pattern and Cut Our Fabric
For Mitered Corners:
For Double Sided Napkins:
Now Go and Practice!!
If you have any questions about any projects please email me.
For upcoming classes please check: BrooklynSewcial.com or http://www.meetup.com/Brooklyn-Sewcial-Beginner-Sewing-and-Sweet-Projects/
Videos will follow
It's only February, but we all know what that means- Summer is approaching so fast, and we need to think about where the children will be going to camp this year.
We live in one of the biggest cities in the world and there is no shortage of amazing camps and activities for children, but how do you decide?
At Kids at Clay and Brooklyn Sewcial we put together week long camp with very unique activities. You won't find anything like us. The mornings are filled with sewing and crafting activities that are challenging, on trend and fun. The afternoons are filled with hand building, painting, glazing and lots of fantastic clay projects. Sewing and Pottery classes are for both boys and girls.
We are happy to announce we have been featured in this years Summer Camp Guide by Brooklyn Bridge Parents, listing the top 30 camps in Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO and other parts of Brooklyn.
Space is LIMITED so please contact me right away to RSVP : BrooklynSewcial@gmail.com
What you need to know:
Where: 135 Plymouth St, Studio 607
When: Sign up by the week from June 27-Sept 2
Full Day: 9:30-4:30 (Students must pack lunch)
Price: Full Day $600, Half Day $310
Deposit: $100/child/week - Checks can be made out to Noble Tile & Vessel or Brooklyn Sewcial, Chase QuickPay is also accepted.
You must complete this Registration Form, and email to BrooklynSewcial@gmail.com or mail to
135 Plymouth St.
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Please include check for deposit to hold your child's place.
We are looking forward to meeting a bunch of new friends for 2016 Camp!!!
The girls have been coming to after school sewing classes in DUMBO for a year now (for some 2 years), but we have never made a quilt!
Because we are quilting novices everyone start by making a 12x12" square pattern piece. We were going to start XS with just 12 pieces; All the girlies were NOT happy with that, so we bumped it to 16 pieces. We used Extra-Loft full sized batting, and cut them in quarters. The batting ended up being a few inches too big on one side and I had to cut everything to fit at the end.
I had them all start by picking fabrics they liked together, and that would match their room. They thought about how the fabrics would look together. They were given two options- to cut pieces that fit the 12x12" squares or to take many smaller pieces and patchwork them together to fit into the 12x12" pattern. I encouraged them to get creative with their fabric choices.
After they had their pieces cut out, we laid everything out to see how they wanted their layout. We started by sewing one strip of 4 fabrics at a time, trying our best to keep the lines straight/seam allowances even. Then they sewed their 4 strips together. This completed the top of our quilt.
They chose a backing fabric (some chose 2 or 3!) and stitched everything together, turned it right-side-out and closed up the opening.
We finished the quilts by stitching around the outside one full time to make it look nice and neat. I am so impressed with all the thought and hard work all the girls have put into their quilts.
Oh My- Last week we had a special WINTER themed workshop for our students. We made FUR everything! Don't worry vegans- no animals were harmed with our special faux-furs.. Fur hoods, mittens, and pillows.. (the Rice-Crispy Treats were Fur Free)
The kids were given the choice of many different styles and furs to make rockstar combinations for the best furry hoods I have ever seen.. No REALLY! Have a look for yourselves..
We had all sorts of combinations of ears, mittens, linings, fleeces and furs. We used Simplicity Pattern 1514, but had to modify the length of the arms so the mittens would reach everyones hands. This was an easy change, just adding length based off of the sample. In the end, everyone's hood matched their personality and were SO super cute on.
That day we also made a special winter snack-Rice Crispy Treats!! The girls created all sorts of shapes - They made me a big A and G for Alexa and George. Some had mountains and others made doughnut shapes filled with chocolate chips! The photo below is from another blog, but you can imagine that these kid-hand-crafted treats looked this beautiful. ;)
At the end of camp as we were finishing up the hoods, the kids started making paper snowflakes and furry throw pillows with the scraps of fur and fleece! I'm sure you have noticed the beautiful Faux-Fur pillows in all the stores now like Neiman Marcus ($125), Urban Outfitters, Pottery Barn, Ikea, Nordstrom, they are très chic.
Warning: I don't suggest making a furry hood at home because working with fur is like working in a hair salon, you end up with a mess of loose fur everywhere. I didn't take a photo of the pile of fur at the end of the day, but you can imagine it was like grooming 5 dogs. I would say it was well worth it for the warm fuzzy hoods we can all wear through this cold winter, especially this past weekend while playing in #blizzardJonas!