Category: tops

The Tunic Bible: Embroider Your Tunic Dress

The Tunic Bible: Embroider Your Tunic Dress

The Tunic Bible Embroidered Dress

The Tunic Bible recently went to #1 on Amazon, here’s how you can embroider your own tunic dress!

The Tunic Bible: Embroider Your Tunic Dress | Chambray Blues | www.chambrayblues.com

This post contains affiliate links. By making a purchase I will receive a small commission at no additional charge to you. Thank you for your support!

 

I recently ordered a copy of The Tunic Bible by Sarah Gunn and Julie Starr of Goodbye Valentino. If you haven’t seen their sewing blog, it’s full of beautiful classic styles, perfect for us midlife ladies. The book recently exploded on Amazon with the trending Instagram hashtags #sewover50 and #sew50visible. The idea of this challenge is to make a pattern that has a woman over 50 on the cover. Silly me, I thought this was going to be easy, but there are very few of them in the 4 big pattern companies. This led me to the Tunic Bible, and I am hooked!

The Tunic Bible: Embroider Your Tunic Dress | Chambray Blues | www.chambrayblues.com

The book has a basic pattern and pages upon pages of ways you can customize your look. One of the styles I loved the most had an embroidered neckline, and I was thrilled to be able to try out my embroidery functions on my new “old” Huskavarna Viking sewing machine. After a bit of research I discovered that I needed embroidery files with HUS capability for my machine. Refer to your manual to find out what kind of file you need as it is different for each machine.

The Tunic Bible: Embroider Your Tunic Dress | Chambray Blues | www.chambrayblues.com

This floral design was purchased from Urban Threads. It’s a one color design, but looks different with dark blue thread on my blue and white stripe fabric. Because embroidery is completely new to me, I wasn’t willing to spend a lot of money for this project. I used an old Ralph Lauren bed sheet from the thrift store! My purchase was $1.50, plus the embroidery file which was $4.99. Not bad for an entire dress!

The embroidery file was easy to download to my computer, transfer to a USB memory stick and plugin to my sewing machine. I traced the pattern of the bib design on the fabric with a heat soluble marking pen instead of cutting it out. I stabilized the fabric with embroidery stabilizer in the hoop before embroidering.

The design took about 15 minutes to stitch and I had a lot of fun watching it come together, it is rather mesmerizing!

The Tunic Bible: Embroider Your Tunic Dress | Chambray Blues | www.chambrayblues.com

The sleeves were even easier to embroider. Instead of purchasing a new design, I used two rows of heirloom vine stitches that came with my Huskavarna Designer SE sewing machine. Be sure to put a scrap of embroidery backing behind the rows of stitching for best result. After the embroidery was finished, it was time to assemble the pattern and finish the sleeve hem.

This design is very simple, but I love how it turned out!

The Tunic Bible: Embroider Your Tunic Dress | Chambray Blues | www.chambrayblues.com

With a simple dress such as this, the embroidery takes center stage. It was very easy to make and fits wonderfully! This is the first pattern I haven’t had to do major alterations on in a long time. I’m so ready to wear it!

The Tunic Bible: Embroider Your Tunic Dress | Chambray Blues | www.chambrayblues.com

I’ve got another tunic dress in the works that I will share with you soon! Meanwhile, head over to Amazon and purchase your copy of the Tunic Bible. Also, be sure to follow me on Instagram for more on the current hashtag challenges!

More Inspiration

If you loved this project, here are a few others you will also enjoy!

Wool Pleated Skirt : 7 Secrets to Sewing it Correctly

Neapolitan Quilt with Riley Blake

Self Draft a Simple Sequin Skirt

How to Make a Paper Butterfly Dress

Stylish Little Black Dress with Simplicity

 

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Embroidered Tunic Bible Dress|Chambray Blues|www.chambrayblues.com

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Anyone Can Make a Cut and Sew Sweater

Anyone Can Make a Cut and Sew Sweater

Anyone can make a cut and sew sweater, you will be amazed at how easy it is! Look for sweater fabric and make one today!

 

Anyone Can make a cut and sew sweater|Chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com
Me in my new fuzzy sweater, I can’t wait to make more of them!

Make a Cut and Sew Sweater

The holidays are over and I am back at work in my sewing studio. I am excited to share this project with you, it is super easy and one of my favorite makes! This Cut and Sew Sweater is made from sweater fabric that you can purchase at the fabric store. It’s heavier than regular knit fabric and there are many styles and colors to choose from. Sweaters that are made in garment production can be made in one of two ways. With a cut and sew yardage fabric or knitted into sweater shape by machines. We all know how much work knitting by hand is, and very few people own knitting machines. By purchasing sweater fabric by the yard you can make a sweater in a very short period of time.

Cut and Sew sweaters were first introduced to me when I was a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC many years ago. At that time, it was nearly impossible to find sweater fabric in the fabric stores and I recall roaming the garment district of NYC looking for the perfect knit to make a sweater. I don’t think I ever found what I was looking for! So much has changed since then! I purchased my cut and sew sweater fabric at Joann Fabrics and Crafts, but you can find it on Amazon (affiliate link) and other places.

The Sweater Fabric

Sweater fabric is usually 60″ wide, and comes in different fiber contents such as acrylic, rayon, cotton and wool. Much of it is only dry cleanable, so be sure to read the care label before you purchase. My navy blue “eyelash” fabric has bits of yellow, blue, red and white and is hand washable. I plan to wash it on the gentle cycle and dry it flat. Sweater knits stretch out easily when hung and don’t recover their stretch well, treat it a bit carefully when washing and drying. I was so excited to make this sweater I forgot to pre-wash my fabric (that never happens!), hopefully it will not shrink much in the wash!

The great thing about these sweater knits is that there are so many unique designs available. Cable knits, ribbed knits, argyle, boucle, and chenille all will give you lots of different design options. I recommend using a simple pattern like this Simplicity Pattern #S8738 for your first attempt. It has an oversized vintage look that I completely adore, and it’s easy to follow the directions.

The Sweater Details

There are only 3 seams in this sweater: the shoulders, the side seams, and neck. I serged the seams and added a piece of 1″ wide fusible interfacing in the shoulder seam as a stay to keep the shoulder from stretching. Threads magazine recently had an article about this technique and it worked perfectly! The only pattern fit adjustments needed was in the turtle neck length. I have a short neck, so I reduced the turtle by half to make a mock neck style. It fits my short neck perfectly and I couldn’t be more pleased.

Sorry for the blurry photos, my camera is on the fritz lately!

I added a little bit of length to the sleeves as well, but I shouldn’t have. The sleeves are plenty long and I end up rolling them up most of the time. It is so refreshing to have sleeves that fit my long arms, almost everything I own is short in this area! I can’t wait to make some more sweaters, this one went together in less than an hour from start to finish!

The sleeve and bottom hem are finished with a simple zig zag stitch. You could use this stitch to sew the entire sweater if you don’t have a serger. The sweater fabric really hides a lot of things and makes this a great beginner project. I use an old Elna serger that I have had for more than 25 years. It works great with just about any fabric and I love how easily it sewed this heavy knit.

Anyone Can Make a Cut and Sew Sweater|chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com
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For more inspiration try these posts!

Sew a 3 Step Buffalo Check Cardigan

3 Step Easy T-Shirt Pattern Hack

How to Read a Sewing Pattern Envelope

How to Shorten Pattern Sleeves

How to Measure for Pattern Alterations

 

 

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Flock of Flamingo T-Shirts with Cricut

Flock of Flamingo T-Shirts with Cricut

These cute t-shirts are easy to make with your Cricut Maker. They are just the thing to go with a light sweater and a pair of your favorite handmade jeans!

Flock of Flamingo T-Shirts with Cricut|Chambray Blues blog|chambrayblues.com
The Cricut Flamingo T-Shirt Collection

T-Shirts made with the Cricut Maker

My Cricut has been getting quite a work out lately! These shirts are hot off the Easy Press and very simple to make. I’ve been designing t-shirts for Cricut on the side and I love how simple they are, they always turn out great! The Cricut HTV vinyl is a great product that is fun to use for just about any t-shirt design. I used purchased T-shirts for this collection, rather than sewing from scratch to speed up the process. You can still be creative and not have to sew all the time! (These projects are great to give yourself a break!)

The designs were easy to make with existing fonts and images in the Cricut Design Space. I like to start with a t-shirt template, then add the images. In this case I wanted Flamingos, so I searched for them in Design Space and had lots of designs to choose from. They have thousands of images available to you! After I chose my image, then I added text to go with it. Usually I use one or two fonts before choosing one that I like the best, in most cases I prefer fonts that are easy to read. The majority of my graphic designs have both a print font and a cursive one which gives the design more interest. Sometimes there will be a design all ready made (such as the “I don’t give a flock design”), then you just have to choose your colors for the vinyl. I like simplicity in my design, so I only use 2 colors of vinyl in each shirt to keep it simple. Occasionally the design has to be made larger, which is easy to do in design space with the click of your mouse.

Here’s what you will need to put together your own Flamingo T-shirt collection:

Flock of Flamingos T-Shirts with Cricut|Chambray Blues Blog|chambrayblues.com
This t-shirt uses Pink glitter vinyl and an Aquamarine printed vinyl.

This post is sponsored by Cricut, any opinions given are completely my own. For a complete list of disclosure rules, see the disclosure page.

Flock of Flamingo T-Shirt Supplies

•White or Grey T-shirt, I used XL T-shirt from Walmart

•Pink Glitter Lipstick HTV Vinyl and Aquamarine from the Patterned Iron on Sampler HTV Vinyl collection (order through my affiliate link here)

•Cricut Weeding tools

•Cricut Cutting Mat, cutting blade

Flock of Flamingo T-Shirts with Cricut|Chambray Blues Blog|chambrayblues.com
This design is great for adult or youth size t-shirts.

General Directions:

1. You can access this design on my Cricut page here. Download the design to your design space page.

2. Place your first color vinyl on the cutting mat according to the Cricut cutting directions. Be sure to use a roller (brayer) to adhere the vinyl to the mat securely before cutting. Place your vinyl with the shiny side DOWN on the mat.

3. Cut with the Cricut Maker, then weed out (remove the extra vinyl) from the outside area around the design.

4. Cut the remaining vinyl piece while you are weeding out the first one.

5. Cut apart the pieces and place them with the sticky side of the plastic down on the shirt. You can move them around a bit until they are centered from the top (I use 2-3 finger widths from the bottom of the neck as a guide). Be sure the design is also centered from left to right on the shirt (use the underarm seam as a visual guide for this).

6. After the design is in place, cover it with a press cloth or Cricut heat proof mat. Press with your Easy Press set to 320 degrees for 30 seconds. You can also use an iron on the hottest setting if you don’t have an easy press (be sure to iron all parts of the design equally).

7. Turn the shirt over, press again on the back for an additional 20 seconds. Turn shirt to the front, peel off the plastic vinyl backing while it’s still warm (you can tell if your vinyl isn’t set completely it will peel off with the backing. You may need to re-press if it’s not completely adhered to the shirt.)

 

Flock of Flamingo T-Shirts with Cricut|Chambray Blues blog|chambrayblues.com
I am keeping these little children’s shirts for my future grandchildren!

Putting the vinyl on the shirts is more or less the same for each design. The Cricut Maker will tell you which colors to use for each step, just follow the general directions above.

I have already done all the design work, so all you have to do is press “Make It”.

How fun is that??

Flock of Flamingo T-Shirts with Cricut|Chambray Blues Blog|Chambrayblues.com
Pair your t-shirt with your favorite jeans, a cute hat and fun earings!

It’s so much fun to whip up a new shirt to go with your favorite me-made jeans! More on the jeans later!

 

 

Flock of Flamingo T-Shirts with Cricut|Chambray Blues blog|chambrayblues.com
This adorable design is perfect for toddler sizes.

For this children’s design, I used a 4-5T white shirt that I purchased from Walmart.

Vinyl colors in this shirt are Iron On Light Vinyl in Blush Pink and the Aquamarine from the Patterned Iron on Sampler. You can order them through my affiliate link here.

Your little ones will love wearing their flamingo shirts!

Download this design here!

 

This T-shirt is also an XL adult size, but you can use any adult sized shirt for this project.

The vinyl colors here are the same as above, Iron On Light Vinyl in Blush Pink and the Aquamarine Patterned Iron on Sampler. You can order them through my affiliate link here.

Download this design here for your Cricut Maker!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

Flock of Flamingo T-Shirts with Cricut|Chambray Blues Blog|chambrayblues.com
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Thanks to Cricut for sponsoring this post!

Click on the links below for some other great Cricut project ideas:

Riley Blake Throw Quilt with Cricut-Part 1

Riley Blake Throw Quilt with Cricut Maker -Part 2

Riley Blake Throw Quilt with Cricut- Part 3

What You Should Know About the Cricut Maker

3 Step Easy T-Shirt Pattern Hack

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Re-cyled Jean Denim Vest

Denim is an easy fabric to work with, this jean vest uses pairs of old jeans for a stylish layering piece!

 

Recycled jean Vest|Chambray Blues Blog|chambrayblues.com

Today’s project is easy to make from 3 pairs of old denim jeans. The Recycled Jean Vest pattern is super easy to follow, even if you have never sewn before you will have no troubles! You can purchase it from my affiliate link for Annie’s Catalogue here :

Recycled jean Vest|Chambray Blues Blog|chambrayblues.com

This is a PDF pattern download, what that means is you will have immediate access to download the sewing pattern. It comes in sizes small up to 3x, and has a rather generous fit. Once you purchase the pattern you will need to tape the pieces together and cut out as shown below before cutting from your fabric.

Recycled jean Vest|Chambray Blues Blog|chambrayblues.com

Vest Supplies Needed:

3 pairs similar colored denim jeans with little or no stretch

PDF sewing pattern for the Modern Silhouette Vest from Annie’s Catalogue

Scissors
Thread
Pins
Sewing machine
Recycled jean Vest|Chambray Blues Blog|chambrayblues.com

Jean Vest Sewing Directions:

1. Layout the pattern pieces in order from left to right. Cut off the right and bottom side of each pattern piece along the marked line. Assemble the pattern from left to right matching the marked diamonds A1 matches piece A1, B1 matches B1 etc. Tape pieces together. Cut out your desired size on the marked lines.
2. Lay out the jeans as directed in the pattern. Placing your pattern pieces accordingly. Pin in place, cut out.
3. Sew the first panel with stay stitching 1/2” from the curved edge of the side front and side back pieces as directed in the pattern. This line of stitching keeps the pieces from stretching while you are working on it. Press.
4. Beginning with the front side panel and front panel, match the seam edges with WRONG side together. Stitch with 5/8” seam allowance keeping seam to the outside of the garment as shown in photo.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the back panels, keeping seam to the out side of garment. Press.
6. Top stitch seam allowances on front panels on either side of seam 1/4” away from center. Repeat for back panels. Press.
7. Sew shoulder seam and side seams together with right sides together. The seam allowance will not show on the outside of the garment for these seams. Press.
8. I did not finish the hem, neck or armhole seams. I prefer the raw edges to show. If you wish you can zig-zag stitch or serge the raw edges in these areas to finish them.
This project is quick to put together and sew. It’s a great way to get more use out of those old jeans that would otherwise be thrown away or be sent to the thrift store. You could also use recycled bits of fleece or wool for this project.
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Recycled jean Vest|Chambray Blues Blog|chambrayblues.com
Here are some other fun recycled projects:

How to Make a Recycled Denim Ruffled Purse with Cricut and Simplicity

Mens Thrifted Shirt Upcycle Hack in 7 Steps

Sew a Pocket Square in 3 Easy Steps

Northern Territory Ragged Baby Quilt Pattern

Make an Upcycled Denim Hat from Old Jeans

Easy to Make Scrappy Denim Skirt

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How to Measure for Pattern Alterations

How to Measure for Pattern Alterations

Knowing how to measure for pattern alterations is very important for successful sewing. Here are some tips to get you on the right track!

Sew Along|Chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com

Measure Before You Cut

It may seem obvious, but measuring plays a big part in sewing. The trick is to measure as accurately as possible before you start altering the pattern. The back of the pattern envelope has basic body measurements for each size. Compare your measurements to the envelope to determine what size pattern to cut.

The measurements are on the envelope flap. Find your estimated size at the top (start with your ready to wear size), then read down the column to find each measurement. You may find that your body size is not the ready to wear size you normally buy in the store. Purchase the pattern size that is closest to your body measurements. Most patterns have several sizes in them which gives you options when you are ready to alter.

Just to clarify, these dimensions are not pattern measurements, they are body measurements. We will cover the pattern measurements in a separate post.

Here’s a live video to walk you through the process.

Like my page Chambray Blues Sewing Tips and Tutorials for updates! 

Important Tips:

  1. Keep the measuring tape parallel to the ground as you measure.
  2. Don’t stretch the tape too tight, vinyl tape measures will stretch and give you a measurement that is inaccurate. Keep the tape taught, but don’t over extend it.
  3. Include a sleeve length measurement. This is not listed on the pattern envelope. Measure from center back neck, across the shoulder, down the arm to the wrist bone. We will use this measurement for accurate sleeve alterations.
  4. Always measure across the fullest part of the body.
  5. Make note of your body measurements for bust, waist, hip, and center back waist length. Then compare them to the size information on the pattern envelope. If your measurements are different, you will have to do some pattern alterations. More info to come!

This week’s goal is to buy the Mc Call’s pattern, take your measurements and choose your fabric. I will have tips on choosing fabric for this project soon!

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How to Take Body Measurements for Sewing|Chambray Blues Blog|chambrayblues.com

For information on the complete Sew Along, read this post!

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Sew Along 2018, the Year of the Blues!

Sew Along 2018, the Year of the Blues!

Sew Along with me! It’s a great way to stay motivated and learn new skills. This line up of great styles is perfect for those who want to explore new patterns and learn more about custom sewing and alteration details.

Sew Along Master Class

Here’s your chance at sewing success! I am starting a monthly sew along class. This class will be completely free and you can sew one month or all 12 as you choose. Most patterns are easy, we will have videos, Facebook lives too on each step!

I have chosen these commercial patterns for this Sew Along. Partially because I know people struggle with them and I can help, but they are also readily available and have the majority of sizes people are looking for. Here is the list, stock up on the next sale for the entire year and get sewing!

January: You will love this cozy Funnel Neck top. Make just the top, or buy extra fabric for the leggings, if you choose. This pattern is McCalls 7061.

Princess Dress|Chambraybluesblog|Chambrayblues.com

February: What’s not to love with this date night dinner dress! Cherry red is perfect for Valentine’s Day! Mc Calls 7535 is easy to sew and looks great on all shapes! Suitable for woven or knits.

March: I adore this Marfy Caftan. Make it long or short, wear it over a swim suit, out to dinner or just around the house. This easy pattern is Marfy F3921.

April: Mimi G Style pattern, love this jacket with optional capelet. Mimi G Style, Simplicity pattern S1016. Learn to sew rainwear fabrics and make buttonholes. This pattern has a lot of extra details on pockets, sleeves and caplet collar as optional custom designs.

May: Learn about stripes this month with this fabulous shirt dress. We will learn collars, facings, and how to work with bias stripes. Pattern is McCalls M7084.

June: Perfect for the romantic summer evening, this chic blouse would be great with chiffon sleeves. We will use Vogue 9243 for this project.

July: Explore vintage pattern Simplicity 8445. Darling! This pattern is available with long sleeve or short sleeve design options. We will learn about constructing collars, yokes and sleeve cuffs.

August: The perfect summer skirt! Very easy pattern and can be reversible! Easy and quick construction, includes a straight style option if you don’t care for the A-line look. This is McCalls 7129.

September: You will love learning about denim this month with this super trendy set of overalls! Great for back to school!Great way to learn to work with denim fabrics. Mc Calls 7547.

October: Fabulous knit top, can be stretch lace, stretch velvet, knit or sweat shirt fleece. Or use all four fabrics! This is Mc Calls 6992.

November: Learn to make custom fit jeans. We will cover specific pattern alterations to get a great fit! More advanced fitting techniques are easy with McCalls 5894.

December: Close out the year learning satin, brocade or velvet techniques. We will sew this darling Gertie vintage pattern for the holiday dress of your dreams! Gertie does vintage so well! This is Butterick 6412.

I am also giving away a free monthly calendar to new subscribers where you can have each task listed for every month in the sew along.

Print your free downloadable calendar here.

Sew Along, the year of the blues|Chambray Blues Blog|chambrayblues.com

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