Figgy's Patterns

a sunki & a sale April 05 2013, 4 Comments

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of "meeting" Lou from "Wotsybaby", a blog about raising her daughter in a gentle and creative way.

 This super gal has allowed me to post about her recent creativity, making the Sunki with knit fabric.  I love it when sewists take patterns and made them their own and lucky for us she's sharing a "how to" with us!


Knit Sunki


From Lou:

When I decided I wanted to make this dress (Figgy’s Sunki! so lovely!) out of a non-woven fabric, I searched to see if anyone had done it before and had any tips. I didn’t come up with anything so thought I’d document what I did here to make it easier in case anyone else wanted to change it up!

 1. The first thing is to size down. I have made this dress before in a quilting-weight cotton for my average-sized almost 5 year old and it fits well. Just right in fact (so not much growing room). I thought if I made the knit version in the same size, then we’d get a bit more wear out of the garment. It’s quite loose now and she tells me it’s very soft, comfortable and slinky! I could have made it in a size down for it to fit perfectly now. The fabric is a bamboo jersey and was great to sew with. I used a jersey needle (important tip#1.1) and a stitch that looks like a little lightning bolt that has lots of stretch (zig zag setting with a 3.0 length and a 1.0 width). I used my serger for some of the edges but not all of them (the bits around the armholes seem softer if they’re not finished).

2. I eliminated the zipper by cutting the back piece on the fold.

3. I didn’t bother with the facings and instead cut 2 pieces of 2×2 rib knit (the grey pieces around the neckline). The back piece is 1 5/8″ x 13.5″ and the front piece is 1 5/8″ x 13″ (I probably should have made them slightly – 1/2″? – shorter. So next time I would make them 1 5/8 x 13 and 1 5/8 x 12.5). I put them on in the same way as the Envelope t-shirt in the book Growing Up Sew Liberated (which I’d just made a few weeks before (I’m paraphrasing from the book for this next bit, I couldn’t come up with this genius!): Sew one long edge of front binding to front with lightning bolt stitch and right sides together. Gently stretch binding to fit. Press binding away from the front and turn the binding edge to the wrong side, encircling seam allowances and press. The raw edge of the binding will extend just below the seam on the wrong side of the front, then zig zag stitch (small zigzag) on the right side of the front along the bottom edge of the binding, just above the previous seam. On the wrong wide, the raw edge of the binding will be caught in this seam, finishing the binding. Repeat the entire step for the back and the back binding.

4. Instead of using the fold guides for the sleeves, I measured and marked 3″ over from the centre fold line on each sleeve (so 6″ total on each sleeve) and sewed a basting stitch 1/4″ from the edge. I pulled the threads tight and it was a perfect fit for the armhole once I put the sleeve in. (I sewed the sides first and put the sleeves in in the round which is my preferred method. It was no problem!)

5. I decided that the dress would be cool if I changed up the side panels but didn’t use a different colour of fabric so I freezer-paper-stenciled the stars. It’s awesome! I used Pebeo shimmer opaque fabric paint in Silver. Amazing stuff.

That's It!

Things I would change for next time:

1. Use stay tape on the pocket fronts. The pockets stretched out quite a bit when I sewed them – a bit of stay tape around the curve where the pockets meet the front piece would help I think.

2. Make the pockets deeper. The pockets on this dress are not quite deep (I agree Lou) enough for a small lady’s hands or other trinkets. I think I will do this with any future Sunki dresses I make, knit or woven. With the knit fabric though, the pockets have a tendency to flop out if there’s vigorous movement (which is pretty much constantly!)

3. Put a bit of stay tape around the shoulders on the sides where the front and back overlap for about 3 inches. As Sylvie has worn this dress, one shoulder might flop off her shoulder (which she thinks is daringly grown-up and fancy but I don’t know if she needs an off-the-shoulder dress… hm). I think cutting the rib knit binding a little smaller (as mentioned above) would help to tighten it up a bit as well). Now that it’s been sewn up I think I’ll just do a few tacking stitches where the two pieces of gray rib meet at the shoulders.

It was a fun project and a very wearable dress. I think it might be one of her favourite garments I’ve made for the little miss!



Lightened Version so you can see more detail. :)


Thanks Lou for sharing!!!  If you followed along with this post and create your own knit Sunki we'd love to see!  Share in the Flickr group or on Facebook!

tny leaves

Now, on to the saleS, yep I said sales with an s.

First up a Figgy's sale!  In celebration of nothing but a little warmer weather here in Oregon I'm having a 15% off sale on all paper patterns from April 5th - 12th!  Please use code SPRING15 to receive the discount!

Next a Craftsy class special!~  If you haven't tried taking a class online via Craftsy then this is the perfect time to grab one.  I had a ball filming this class and the reviews coming in are all positive, woohoo!

Just click the banner below!!  The sale begins today and ends on April 8th!  So hurry before Monday and grab the class but then take the class whenever you like, it never expires!!

Craftsy Spring Sale: Select online classes up to 75% off. Sale ends Monday, April 8th, at midnight!



The girl's got attitude - Figgy's winner tutorial September 28 2012, 3 Comments

Whow, this girl knows how to pose! And another 'whow' -  it’s been a while but sometimes, good things just need their time! And this is a very special blog post: As you might know, the charming and talented Celina (mom of the cutie up there) of the blog petitapetitandfamily won our Figgy’s circle skirt design contest in July and with her cascade dress design. And with this win didn’t only come awesome prices – but also a feature tutorial for her winning design right here on our Figgy’s blog!


So, who is Celina? She's half British and half Moroccan, living, playing, working and raising two kids in Montreal, Quebec. She’s a childrenswear designer by trade (which certainly explains her exquisite aesthetic) who has worked in the industry before having her own kid’s label - Laila B. and her own children’s boutique – MossPink. Whow! As committed as she was to her business when she didn’t have kids, so committed she now is raising her two young children, designing, creating and blogging about her inspirations, life and projects. Hop on over to her blog and check out what she’s been up to lately. Click at the pattern sheet below to download instructions how to re-create this fashionable high-low dress.

Of course, we had a couple of questions to get to know her a little bit better:

Figgys:  How long have you been sewing?
Celina: I took my first sewing class when I was 13... that was ummm 23 years ago and I've been sewing ever since!!!! But I graduated from Fashion Design in 2001 and really learned how to sew and make patterns then.
Figgy's: What are your favorite things to sew?
Celina: Anything I can upcycle is my favorite, it's always a brand new challenge getting all the pattern pieces to fit in.
Figgy's: Would you consider yourself an experimental sewer or perfectionist? And why?
Celina: Definitely a perfectionist, I think that the difference between a good piece and an amazing piece is all in the details, I pay a lot of attention to the little things and I usually spend a lot time on the finishing details.
Figgy's: What's your favorite fabric to sew with? Maybe a designer or Fabric line?
Celina: Usually I'm attracted to the color or the pattern first, then I usual go for natural fibers, whether it's woven or knit really depends on what the project is. Although, knit is always quicker and easier, I have no real preference.
Figgy's: Do you have a favorite tool that you don't want to sew without?
Celina: The seam ripper is by far my favorite tool, I guess it goes with being a perfectionist! Funny thing is I always seem to be looking for it. However, sharp scissors and an iron are a must.
Figgy's: And because we all need inspiration at the pots too - do you have a favorite go-to recipe you'd like to share?
Celina: Oh boy! Cooking is not my thing, it's not that I'm not good at it, it's just that I don't enjoy it. The one meal my whole family enjoys is my spinach quiche. Yes my kids eat spinach!


Daniela & Shelly

kelly hogaboom strikes again... May 08 2012, 6 Comments

....and thank goodness she has! The last time Kelly came for a visit we all gained so much knowledge in regards to sewing with knits.  If you haven't had the chance to read through that post please schedule the time, it's worth it!  Now, Kelly is back providing us with new sewing knowledge on a topic that many sewists have been very interested in:  customizing a pants pattern to create the perfect fit.  Thank you so much Kelly for sharing this with all of us.  We feel privledged to have you visiting once again.

Banyan, Pockets

I have the honor to work with Shelly and Daniela at Figgy's Patterns and their
wonderful garment pattern designs for children and tweens - in this
case one of their latest: the Banyan shirt, tunic,
pants and shorts
. Today I have for you a tutorial for custom
sewing pants for your child. But let me give you a spiel first.

One of the best things about learning to sew clothing is you can make
exactly what someone wants, using colors, fabrics, and
embellishments just for them. You can construct the garment in a way
that fits them perfectly and feels better to wear than anything
purchased ready-to-wear (RTW). And finally - these clothes last longer
than even rather expensive retail products. Yes, it takes time to
build these skills, but today I CAN HAZ THEM, and I love to share

Specifically what I'm going to show you today concerns sewing
trousers for the tall and/or slim child.

My children have typically been slim for their age and size. When it
comes to pants, in RTW this means buying slim-fit trousers, elastic
waist pants, or using belts - all of which have drawbacks and
limitations. But in sewing we have the opportunity to create custom
fit, and here's how I did it.

First, I measured my client - in this case, my eight year old son.
Here are his measurements in inches, with the corresponding Banyan
pattern size in parenthesis:

Height: 51 1/2" (size 8/9)
Chest: 24 1/2" (size 6/7)
Waist: 22" (size 4/5)
Hip: 23" (size 4/5)

In making pants, the next thing to consider is where your child tends
to like to wear his or her clothing. In Nels' case, he wears in
between his hip and his waist. Both these body measurements are in the
4/5 size. And since his height corresponds to size 8/9, I'll simply
adjust the fit to correspond to a size 4/5 body girth and a size 8/9

If you trust the pattern's draft, you can adjust the pant fit
according to the pattern's waist size. Let me describe another method
to determine which size to grade to, or a way to double-check waist
sizing at a selected size.

On a flat or pleated - that is, non-elastic - pair of pants, the
length around the front waist, side seam to side seam, should
correspond to front body's wearing waist, ideally bisecting the
side-body. Said another way, the front body section of the pants'
waistband should reach halfway around the body at the wearing waist.

Flat-front pants with pockets, or pleated pants, take a moment to
figure out, but it's pretty simple really (see below). This
pattern has a 1/2" seam allowance. So measuring 1/2" in from the top
raw edge, I drew lines (shown in red) from the center front
(dashed line at left), skipping over the pleats (which
will reduce to zero once sewn
), and extending to within 1/2" or
one seam allowance, of the side seam.

But - we're not finished! Remember, the pockets will extend the front
waist of the pants. In the case of this pattern, figuring the added
length is very easy: simply fold the pocket piece in half (as the
pocket will be when finished
) and measure the distance from the
slanted raw edge to the side raw edge - AT the size selected (shown
here, 4/5). Add these red-line measurements up.

The Math

For the 4/5 size, the finished front pant measurement was 12"
(and, spoiler alert!, when I finished the pants, they were 12"
). Obviously your cutting, tracing, measuring, and
stitching abilities will all affect the outcome of this method, and if
it seems too complex put it aside, or write me an email. However,
thinking this way about clothing is a good technique to learn.

On to tracing and cutting. When making a smaller girth to height, the
pant leg is a fairly simple adjustment: since I wanted the length of
the 8/9 size, plus 1/2", I simply traced from the crotch point of the
4/5 size in a smooth curve onto the thigh of the 8/9 cutting line
(you can see my resultant cutting line below, in red).

Grading A Smaller Size Inseam, Outseam

For the other side of the pant front leg, the difference between a 4/5
and an 8/9 is so minimal - about 1/8" as marked, I didn't do any
grading at all but just cut along the 8/9.

Pocket On Pant Front

Layout: This pant pattern only includes one back pocket. You can see
my pocket piece near the center of the photo, waiting to be cut after
I cut the rest and unfold it (this is a great opportunity to cut a
bias pocket if you have a cute pattern on your fabric, stripes,
corduroy, et cetera
). I added 1/2" to the length of the pant legs
for a bit of growth room. To do this, I simply extended the bottom hem
of the front and back pant leg - using the large ruler you see laying
on my pant front pattern piece.

Laying Out

One more comment about cutting. The waistband for the Banyan pants and
shorts is a bit of genius. It is a three-part waistband, with a long
back waistband fully-elasticized and corresponding to the side-seams
of the pants, and a left front and left right flat (i.e.
) waistband. In a case like this I typically cut
the front waistbands a bit longer, to make sure I don't run out of
room later. Waistbands can be kind of a pain and I'd rather add a
little extra now, than rip out stitches and/or add darts and/or cut
new pieces later.

After cutting according to your adjustments, the rest of
construction follows the pattern instructions
. I'll continue here
to write a bit about constructing the pants. You can skip to the
bottom of the post if you'd like to see the fit difference my
adjustments made.

To prepare the pants for sewing, I marked darts, pleats, and pocket
placement, interfaced appropriate sections, and pre-serged a few

For marking, I prefer either water-soluble marker or chalk or thread.
I used pencil in this case as I knew it would wash out.

I typically insert a needle through the pattern to get perfect
placement of marks. Here you see the inner pocket placement upper
edge. After pushing the needle through the paper, I carefully lift the
pattern and mark, on the right side, the pocket placement.

Transfering Markings, In This Case Pocket Placement

Pocket placement markings on the right side of the garment. The little
bump at waist-edge is the dart head.

Pocket Markings

For the darts, I used the same needle method to mark the termination
of the darts on the wrong side of the pants. I make these
markings simultaneously on both left and right pattern pieces.

Dart Placement

Given there is a 1/2" seam allowance, I give myself license to mark
the dart heads by notching. Below in the center of the picture you can
just make out my 1/8" notches, which will be matched up and stitched,
right-sides together.

Pleats/Darts, Notched

Now, the front pleats. Here you can see I notched and drew the pleat
headings with red, and used my trusty pencil for the pleat termination

Pleats, Pants Front

After marking and/or notching, I interfaced and pre-finished a few
seam allowances. I used a serger for finishing on this project. For
this pattern, I recommend finishing the edges of the cuff pieces, the
edges of the fly extension/guard (center of photo, rectangular
), and all four crotch seams, front and back pantleg. For
interfacing, follow directions in the pattern - interfacing one of
each waistband, the fly extension/guard, and the fly extension on the
front flaps of the pants (at left). Interfacing the fly
extension on the pants front will make a lot nicer fly - promise.

Readying Pieces

We will be serging/finishing more seams as we sew.

Now we get to stitch a little! Here is a finished dart:

Darts, Knots

After sewing I steam-press, then carefully knot the thread and use a
tiny dab of anti-fray glue.

Now it's time to make the pocket!

Rock It, Pocket!

In this picture you see the pressed front pleats (left), and
the pressed pocket with finished embroidery. The embroidery is my
son's drawing of Uranus, traced onto one of my favorite little
helpers, Sulky's Fabri Sticky-Solvy. I keep my sticky
stabilizer scraps (like the red type you see here) so I can
use it for all kinds of stabilizing jobs. It washes away easily and
makes things a lot easier than tracing, basting stabilizers, etc!

Creating the fly:

Sewing Fly

I use an extra long zipper whenever possible. That way I can sew
without coming anywhere near the zipper pull. Just be careful not to
cut the top of the zipper off until you're about to secure that top
raw edge. If you aren't going to need to zip up the zipper during the
rest of construction, you can stop at this stage and apply safety pins
along the zipper tape so you don't accidentally pull the zipper pull
right off the cut zipper tape (ask me how I've learned this, the
hard way!

Finished Fly, Zipper Not Yet Clipped

Here you see the finished inside of the pants, including the bar tack
in white. The pattern calls the piece in foreground a fly extension -
I've also heard it called a fly guard (my son calls it "wiener
protection", which I think is awesome

Outseams: I like to stitch, serge, then topstitch. This is easy to do
as the inseams aren't sewn and we can work in the flat with ease.
Outseam with pocket:

Side Seam, Before Serging & Topstitching

After serging and topstitching, I serged the pants hem. Again, easy to
do as we've not yet sewn the inseam:

Serging The Bottom Edge Of Pants

Now to stitch, then serge, the inseam! Here you see the crotch curves,
already pre-serged. We'll have a very tidy finish when we're done.


Finally - it's time for the waistband. This is a bit picture-heavy,
but I'm trying to demonstrate how to do a quick, yet good-looking and
sturdy, waistband.


I sewed the outer waistband on first (you can see the
water-soluble blue pen for my fly stitching, here

Applying Inner Waistband

Next, I stitched the inner waistband, at 1/16" larger seam allowance
so no stitches would show on the outer edge of the garment. Don't
worry if you don't get this perfect. The only person who's going to
inspect your waistband is you. Here you also see the gap in the inner
waistband for inserting the 3/4" elastic.

After Attaching Second Waistband

Waistbands both attached.

Waistband, Clip-To-Length

Trimming. Remember when I said I made my front waistbands a little
longer than the pattern? Here's where I correct if needed.

Grading At Waistband, Before Finishing & Topstitching

Grading seams eliminates bulk. It makes a big difference for wear and
comfort, and it can also make a huge difference if you have more
construction steps. Here, we're just about done with the pants, so
don't skimp! The general rule is, leave the longest seam allowances
where they will be facing the public side of the garment. So here in
the foreground you see the inner waistband, behind that the pant
front, and behind that the outer waistband.

Topstitching Waistband, Where To Start?

Topstitching the waistband. I start here on the underlap where you
won't be seeing the overlapping stitches.

Topstitching Waistband

Have I mentioned how much I love linen? It is so crisp it's easy just
to finger fold and sew. Remember though to fold enough of a seam
allowance and stitch so that the waistband won't ravel later. And go
careful over those zipper teeth. My 1950 Singer is a champ, but my
newer, pricey Juki will grind on a metal zipper tooth, break the
needle, and scare the camp out of me.

Topstitching Waistband

Still topstitching. Again, my desire isn't topstitching perfection so
much as sturdiness and no waistband ripples. That said...

Inside Of Pants Waistband (Top) And Public Side (Bottom)

Even my quick and dirty results look pretty nice. Go check your RTW
pants and compare! The waistband is also delightfully light, thanks to
that grading work.

A few words on tidy thread tails. I like to make invisible knots so
there are no ugly thread snarls or tails. Here after inserting and
stitching the elastic, I pull both thread tails firmly to the inside
of the garment. Then I thread a needle and stab it right through where
the thread tails end, emerging a little further down through the
inside of the waistband...

Adjustable Elastic, Invisible Knotting Pt. 1

Then I pull the threads all the way through (you can see a little
loop just before I snug them up

Adjustable Elastic, Invisible Knotting Pt. 2

After snugging and snipping, the thread tails are secure and invisible!

Adjustable Elastic, Invisible Knotting Pt. 3

Okay, now for a few comments on the finished garment and fit. Here you
see my adjusted version:


Banyan, Front

Banyan, Slim Fit

And here's the 8/9, made without adjustment:

Testing 8/9 - Hands On Hips

Testing 8/9 - Backside

Testing 8/9 - Front, Too Large

While the Banyan trouser, by virtue of an elasticized back waistband
and a fair amount of dart and pleat action to boot, is designed to
have a full seat and thigh, you can clearly see superior results after
adjusting for proper size. The too-large waist of the 8/9 pants meant
using a shorter elastic in the backwaist, leading to an overly-full
thigh and very bunchy bum.

And finally: here's how the pocket turned out:


This rendering of Uranus is a simple drawing of my son's, taken from a
larger solar system sketch he drew. My son selected Uranus for his pocket
as it's one of his favorite planets, with its "sideways" axis of
rotation and complicated ring system. This sketch may be a little less
than cosmically-complex, but the "ring system" does glow
in the dark

Thanks for joining me in my tutorial, and if you have any questions,
please do email or comment below!


Thank you Kelly!!!  I hope you come back again soon because YOU rock our socks :)

Ayashe: How to lengthen the blouse to a tunic or dress length February 13 2012, 6 Comments

I have a very opinionated little girl.

Over the last years I have learned that with kids everything is a phase. Right now, my daughter is going through an intense phase of not wearing anything but dresses. Pink dresses I might add. I surrendered - getting her into separates is a fight not worth fighting.

I love the Ayashe blouse and how quickly it goes together. How lovely would it be as a tunic or dress? Have you wondered the same? Here a little tutorial on how to lengthen the style.

Here is what I used:

1. Swedish Tracing Paper - I love that stuff and it literally revolutionized my sewing - I am not kidding. It doesn't tear like regular paper or tracing paper, will cling to the fabric, so there is no need to pin the pattern to the fabric AND it totally eliminates the need to carefully cut the pattern pieces prior to cutting into the fabric! Besides that it folds/stores well and can be ironed. A total time saver and therefore a win in my book!

2. Vary Form Rulers - a set of curved rulers that helps strike beautiful curves and is indispensable for paper pattern making. Easier on the budget though is this styling ruler that's kind of all-in-one if you are just starting out to make pattern adjustments.

3. C-Thru Ruler - a straight ruler that is a little easier to handle then a quilting ruler. Yet the later would work the same and if you go with the aforementioned styling ruler, you'll be set anyways.

4. Pencil

5. Measuring tape (not shown - it hung around my neck while I took the picture :))

6. The Ayashe pattern, of course.

The pattern weights are optional and I only used them to accurately trace the blouse pattern from the pattern sheet.

Now let's get to it: Lengthening the main body parts of the Ayashe blouse.

Can you see my traced blouse pattern piece lying underneath my tracing paper? If you want to start out with the tunic length right away, make sure to start tracing you pattern towards the top edge of your tracing paper to leave enough space to lengthen the hem, at least 9" though.

First, elongate the Center Front (CF - that's the straight line, not the curved one) in a straight line.

Measure 6" (for size 2/3 and 4/5) down along the extended CF line, and mark with with the pencil.

Here what we recommend per size for a dress ending above the knee:
5" (18mos)
6" (2/3 and 4/5)
7" (6/7) and
7.5" (8/9).

Generally, if you want the outcome to be longer, add a bit more as it is so much easier to shorten, then to lengthen a garment.

At the marking, draw a line in a right angle towards the side seam. It's important that this line is at a right angle - otherwise you'll end up with a funky point or dip in your garment.

Now on to the side seam. With your Vari-form or Styling ruler, find a curve you feel will elongate the existing curve nicely. Cut the little corner like shown above to create a nice line. Don't worry too much, there is no single 'right' curve here. Yet, be careful as to let the curve swing out too much as it will be harder to hem a very dramatic shape at the end.

Now, measure along the new side seam beginning with the original hem, the same length you measured along the CF and mark on that line. In my case, it's again 6".

Then strike a short line in a right angle towards the CF and let it cross the straight hem line.  Again, drawing a right angle at the side seam will ensure your side seams will sew together without a weird angle poking out or dipping in.

Use your Vary-Form or French Curve and find a smooth curve connecting the new hem line with the right-angle-line we just drew.

Your new hem line is almost finished! Final steps is to measure 1" and 3/4" up from the new hem line. Mark both.

Lay your ruler parallel to the CF, intersecting the 1" mark - as shown above,  and transfer the 3/4" mark down to the new hem line.

Join this with the 1" marking. This little angle will help eliminate excess fabric when you hem the dress.
Repeat the same steps with the back piece of the Ayashe and....

Your new dress pattern is finished!
Well done!

Curious to see how mine turned out? Here's the final outcome of my pattern adjustment.
A happy camper in a pink floral dress made out of Liberty Art fabric.

Need any tips beyond the instruction booklet on how to put your dress together? Don't forget about Shelly's three part sew along Ayashe post here, here and here! Also did you see Jen's gorgeous hand embroidery for Valentine here? Now, we can't wait to see how your Ayashe turned out? Please share on our flickr group.


On a side note: Do you love Liberty Fabrics as much as we do? We are preparing a little surprise give away on this blog - so come back again soon!

just in time for valentine's day February 10 2012, 7 Comments

Today we have a special guest, a dear friend and very talented sewist Jen Carlton Bailly!  Jen had stitched up some cuteness during the sew along and we are so pleased she's is sharing with all of us!  I won't keep you waiting.....

From Jen:

It’s not a secret that I love sewing patterns from Figgy’s.  They are simple, clean, modern and easy.  The Ayashe was no exception. When I read this, “You love your little one and one way you express your love is by hand tailoring a beautiful wardrobe especially for her”, from the front of the Ayashe Pattern I was so inspired to make something beautiful for my daughter. Amelia has so many prints in her closet, so I thought using simple red linen that I had stashed away for something special would be perfect.

While sewing I was reminded of a little shop in Seattle that used to sell clothes from Europe. All of the hand stitching was so beautiful.  Then it came to me, I’ll add a little hand stitching to the front of this to give it a little pop, and it would be perfect for Valentines Day! Below are instructions for how you can do this to your blouse too!


Embroidery floss- I used three strands of white DMC

Hand sewing needle

Water Soluble pen


Step One:

Using a ruler and a water-soluble marking pen, make a straight line up the front of your blouse and in between the stitch lines. Carry the line gently to form the heart. I just free handed.

Step Two:

Thread your needle, and tie a knot.  Starting about ½ inch from the start of your line, insert your needle in between the layers of the front and the back of the blouse. Pull your floss all the way through and gently tug on it to pop the knot in-between the layers of fabric.

Step Three:

Using a small running stitch (Pass the needle in and out of the fabric, making the surface stitches of equal length) follow the line that you marked. My stitching was about a ¼ inch.

Continue into the heart. At your last stitch tie a knot and pull it through the fabric the same way you began. 

Step Four:

Repeat on other side.  Spritz marks with water.

Give to a little one you love.

Thank you so much Jen, and thank you A for being so cute!

I hope you are all inspired to add special touches to your Ayashe blouse as I am.

  Remember to add your photos to our flickr group or facebook page!

ayashe sew along; day two February 09 2012, 4 Comments

Welcome back to Day 2!

It is nice and bright this morning in Portland and perfect for sew along photos.

We left off yesterday with all of the pattern pieces cut, the upper collar interfaced and we gathered the front shoulders and back panel.  I think we're ready, let's sew!

For a larger view please click on the photo.

Front Seam

Before sewing the center front seam it is best to measure the 1 1/4" seam allowance rather than hope for the best.  This will ensure a nice straight line.

Sew the center front seam from the bottom hem up.  Once you reach the slit marking do a back stitch and then adjust the stitch lenth to the longest length.

Press the seam open and fold the raw edge 1/4" under on both sides of the seam. The Ezy-Hem helper is a great way to measure this long seam so it will be nice and even.  Press flat once more.

Top stitch along both folded edges.  Top stitch again centered between the seam alowance and the stitch line.  Now you may notice I am not perfectly centered between the two.  Why?  Honestly?  I was being lazy.  I decided that if I aligned the presser foot with the center line it would give me a nice straight line all the way down.  You should measure between the two lines, chalk and topstitch.

Shoulder Panels

Align the markings, distribute the gathers evenly and pin.  Sew the seam.

Remove the gathers.  I like to press the seam up on the wrong side and then press again on the right side for a nice clean pressed look.

Repeat with the front shoulder panels.

The shoulder panels are now sewn, pressed and ready for the facing.  Using a seam gauge fold the seam allowances 1/2" towards the wrong side and press.  As you may already know I have an obsession with "Wondertape".  Karen and I used to buy it by the box.   I use it for so many things.  In this case, I'm using it to hold the shoulder panel facing in place on the wrong side when I top stitch on the right side.

If you don't know what "Wondertape" is (for some reason whenever I say the word I want to shout it out like Oprah when she would shout out the name of her guest.) then I'll quickly tell you.  It is wash away double sided tape.  Place the tape on top of the seam allowance, then place the shoulder panel facing on top of the seam allowance.  Other options are to baste the panel in place or use pins.  On the right side of the garment top stitch in the seam (stitch in the ditch) or next to the seam.  I aligned my 1/8" marker on the presser foot along the seam and top stitched.  Remove any baste stitches if used.

Repeat on the back.

Collar Time

Begin by stay-stitching the neck opening.

We have two collar options: Mandarin Collar or Tie String.  I'm going to take you through both.


Press the bottom raw edge of the outer collar (upper) 3/8" towards the wrong side.  Align the raw edges of the inner and outer collar and stitch along the short and long edges.  Trim the seam allowance to 1/4" and clip along the curve. This will help reduce bulk and give you a nice smooth finish.

Align the collar raw edges with the neck opening and markings.  Pin and stitch.  Trim the seam allowance to 1/4".  Turn the collar towards the wrong side of the garment and smooth the edges.  I used a dull pencil to do this but you can use a turning tool or a knitting needle, just don't use anything pointy and sharp.

Once again, I found another use for my "wondertape" (no they don't pay us to advertise, but they should).  Included in each pattern you purchase is a lovely woven label.  These labels will give the garment that professional touch and they can also serve as hooks to hang the garment (like the Nituna Jacket).  I placed the tape along the seam and then placed the label on top.  Sandwich the Figgy's label between the blouse and the collar and be sure the seam allowance is tucked inside.

Pin and top stitch. Done, unless your hosting a sew along and you need to show the alternative collar option.  A little seam ripping and then we'll be ready.


Yesterday I shared a wonderful "how to" link for making bias tape and if you read it you'll notice in my photo I cheated a little today.  For good reason though!  I love selvedge on Japanese fabric.  Some of them are really unique and I really wanted to use this for the tie string, so I did.  Press the bias tape in 1/2.  Fold both sides in toward the center crease and press.  I also folded and pressed mine once more to ensure a nice clean crease.

Turn the garment wrong side out, open the bias tape and align the right side of the bias tape raw edge and the wrong side of the blouse. Leave an equal amount of tie string hanging off each end of the neck slit.  Pin and stitch.  Use the same method as the mandarin collar mentioned above to attach the label.

Fold the tape in half wrong sides together, press and top stitch from one end to the other.  Tie each tie string end in a small decorative knot.

The last thing I did was sew a little bar tack at the bottom of the neck slit.  I did this for extra security. A backstitch should suffice but I wanted just a little more security for the times when Ofelia wants to pull her blouse on herself toddler style.

Look, it's almost a shirt!

It's beginning to rain now which is perfect timing because day two is complete.  Well Done!

See you tomorrow to finish our Ayashe blouse!

Happy Sewing!

ps.  Did you happen to catch Daniela's comment yesterday?  She's got something gorgeous to show us very soon and you will see she gave us a small piece of her design wisdom.

handmade heart envelope January 31 2012, 2 Comments

I made this little heart last year for Franco.  I put it in his lunch box the day before Valentines day so it would be a surprise.  I loved it so much I made 25 just like it for his classmates!  It was a lot of fun and I received many emails from mothers saying how nice it was for their child to receive a handmade heart instead of the typical buy and toss kind.  Some of you may remember this from last year but the original post is lost and not yet found so I thought I'd share once more. Happy Stitching!


Download the Hearts template HERE!

2 - 7 x 7 felt squares

1 - 5 x 5 felt square

Red Carpet/Button Thread

Beige Carpet/Button Thread

Hand Sewing Needle

Pin and cut 2 out of the Main felt and 1 out of the Contrast felt.

Center the white heart onto one of the red hearts and pin or use a double sided tape to hold in place.  Using a running stitch, sew the heart in place.  Begin sewing down first so the knot shows.

Next up is learning how to do sew a Blanket Stitch.  I prefer visuals when learning something new so I hope this helps.  Grab a piece of scrap felt and practice first.

Thread the needle and knot one end.  Sew from behind to the front.

Loop around and sew into the first hole.

Don't pull it tight but leave a loop.   Sew into the loop then pull tight (not too tight).

Repeat roughly 1/4" away from the first stitch.


Place the two red hearts on top of one another.  When you first begin, only sew along the top layer beginning about 1/2" from the center along the right and ending 1/2" from the center along the left.  This will leave an opening to place the love note.

Now begin to sew through both layers.

Stitch around the heart until you reach 1/2" from the center top and then only sew along the back of the heart.

Write a cute letter to your Valentine, roll it up and slide it into the opening of the heart envelope!


Happy Sewing!  Figgy's Hearts YOU!

sunki pocket sew and tell December 14 2011, 9 Comments

With the Holiday fast approaching many of you want to finish the Sunki dress in time for the grandparents visit. This little sew and tell is just for you, and if you're anything like me extra photos always help!

Be sure that you have transferred all markings from the pattern piece onto the fabric. You can use chalk, fabric marker, snip in or clip the triangle. I'm a snipper myself.

Page 4,  Step 4 & 5:

Align the right sides of the pocket bag with the dress front and pin.  I like to start at the bottom and end at the top of the pocket when I align and pin the raw edges.  I used chalk to mark where to stop sewing if I sew with dress side facing the feed dogs.  If you are sewing with pocket facing the feed dogs there is no need for this mark.

Sew the seam and press the top corner down toward the wrong side of the pocket.

Step 6:  Right sides facing align the raw edges of the side panel and the dress front.  Align the marking on the side panel and the marking on the dress.  The top corner of the side panel will be 1/2" longer than the dress.  This is the seam allowance and when the side panel is pressed to the back it will algin perfectly.

Step 7: Sew the seam, trim the pocket seam to an 1/8" and snip along the curve of the side panel.

Step 8:  Turn the pocket bag to the wrong side of the dress and press flat. Topstitch

Step 9:  Turn the side panel to the back wrong sides facing.  Align the pocket bags, stitch and finish the seam.  I used pinking shears to finish the seam.  I've been into those lately.

Press well!

Step 10:  Top stitch the top of the side panel.

The end result:  A gift for my neice Ofelia, just in time for the grandparents visit!

Size 2/3 yr

Fabric:  Boho by Annette Tatum