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Author Archive | LilyGiggle

Fiddlehead Sew-Along Day 2 Stabilize!

Hi everyone! It’s Beth and I’m ready to hit the sewing machine with you today!  If you are just joining our Fiddlehead Flutter Top-to-Dress Sew Along then a great big welcome to you! You will want to take a look at Day 1 to get everything cut out and catch up.

Today we are going to work on Stabilizing our Seams and Neckline.

Since I first created the Fiddlehead Flutter Top pattern, I have discovered that I get better results if I take the time to stabilize the knit around the armholes, especially when making the sleeveless version. The weight of those beautiful flutters tends to pull the armhole a bit out of shape and can make the armhole appear to be too large. While I am all about the shortest, fastest way to the end result I do know that some of those seemingly minor details, like seam stabilizing, can really make a huge difference in the end result. I am updating the tutorial with this bit of info but, in the meantime, I will pass it on to you right now. I’m sure some of you will be thinking…duh…of course, you need to stabilize those seams and have already been doing it. I hope so and yes, it’s okay to laugh at me for taking so long to embrace it. You may be like I was and think…aw…stabilize the seams? Yeah, I know, I know but it looks fine without it. Well, to you I say…try it…you’ll wonder why you hadn’t done it before. It’s a subtle but major difference and I don’t have to freak out every time I see my 4 year old putting the neckline in her mouth. It will bounce back to shape…well, mostly. Whew.

I love knit fusible stay tape and always use it to stabilize my knit bodices when adding skirts to them. It can certainly be used as the stabilizer for the armholes and neckline for the Fiddlehead, too. If you don’t have any then you can create it by cutting 1/2″ strips of fusible knit interfacing. I’ve mostly turned my nose up at the thought of clear elastic and mostly because it required an extra step. You can’t just iron it in! But with the sleeveless Fiddlehead I did not want the stay tape to show. You get a little glimpse of the inside on the sleeveless and I wanted it to look as neat as possible so I pulled out that unused roll of 3/8″ clear elastic and gave it a shot and I loved the result.

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So let’s get to sewing! Go ahead and get those shoulder seams together per the tutorial so we can finish the neckline. I don’t know about you but it would make me INSANE if I used a different stabilizer on the neckline than the armholes. You do whatever you can live with but for me, if I am going to use it on the armholes it HAS to be on the neckline, too, so clear elastic it is. I just cut a piece a couple of inches longer than the neckline and lined it up along the edge on the wrong side of the fabric. I left a bit of a tail on either end just to be safe and stitched it on with, what should have been, a wide zig zag stitch right along the edge (I forgot to switch from my narrow setting!). Do not stretch the elastic as you sew it on and do not stretch the neckline. As I sew, I focus on keeping the neckline from stretching while keeping the elastic straight and taut but not stretching it. Also, clear elastic comes in different widths. I can line mine up with the edge because it is the same width as the seam allowance. If you are using a narrower width you may need to move it in a bit from the edge so that it will be caught in the stitch line when we begin putting all the pieces together.

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If you are using a serger, then go ahead and serge all the way around the edge of the elastic right on top of the zig zag stitch. You may even decide that you find it easier to skip the zig zag stitch first and go straight to serger to sew it on.  That’s fine, too.  You may even have a nice fancy foot for applying it…if so, even better! I played it safe and got that elastic in place on the sewing machine first, though, and then ran my serger around on top.

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What I really love about using this on a simple turned neckline is that it makes it so much easier to turn the edge over evenly. Just fold it over using the edge of the elastic as your guide and stitch into place! Easy Peasy!

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The one thing you have to know about clear elastic, though, is that it can MELT! Do not iron directly on it. I kept my iron on the opposite side of the fabric when pressing.

Now it’s time to add it to the armholes as well.

Open up the armhole and place the clear elastic (or stay tape/interfacing) all along the edge on the wrong side of the fabric. Fuse the stay tape or sew on the clear elastic with a wide zig zag stitch just like we did with the neckline. Remember, don’t stretch the armhole or the elastic as you sew it on and be sure and leave a bit of a tail on the ends before you start sewing. No need to serge until we add the flutter ruffles tomorrow. For now, just having the stabilizer in place is enough.

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The last place to stabilize is all around the very bottom of the bodice where the waistband and skirt will be attached later in the week. When that is complete you’re done for today!

Tomorrow we add those fabulous flutters!

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Girl’s Bundle Up

Sooooo very excited and honored to be a part of the Girl’s Bundle Up by Pattern Revolution! I got to work alongside 11 fabulous PDF designers to bring you one big bundle of brand new, never released patterns for your girls. It is an awesome set of designs, too! Right now, our offering, the Cecille Top & Dress, as well as all of the other beautiful releases are making the rounds in the Girls Bundle Up Blog Tour. Such a group of talented women sewing these up! Can’t get over it! It’s like opening up a Christmas present for me each time a new review is released. I just love seeing what these amazing ladies come up with and all of those darling little models to show it off.

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Just LOVELY! Check it out here…http://patternrevolution.com/blog/2015/1/19/bundle-up-girls-blog-tour

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Watching My Wife Sew…

sewMy wife is amazing.

We have five kids, and she’s home schooling the lot of them. She keeps our house clean – and we live on a farm with lots of dirt and grass and stuff that gets tracked into the house, so it’s really like shoveling sand into the ocean. There are mountains of laundry, vast quantities of dirty dishes, diapers and runny noses. Kids with markers and rocks and chalk. Messy rooms, bad attitudes, kids sleeping late, places to be, extended family to care for, electronic devices that don’t cooperate, shoes that don’t fit and clothes that are mysteriously stained by pears (yes – pears.) It’s a monumental task to take on – and she does it every damned day. She wakes up every morning and makes the coffee, sees me out the door with a smile, a kiss and an awesome green smoothie, and goes on about the business of the day. And that business is a full time job – and then some. But, it’s a job she loves, and it’s a job she’s unbelievably good at.

On top of all that, she runs LilyGiggle. She makes the patterns, sews the clothes and gets everything in order to deliver the best patterns she (or anyone else for that matter) can deliver. She agonizes over the details. She loses sleep to make sure that everything is just right. It’s another full time job. But, it’s one she loves, and I truly believe that love shines through in the products she puts out there. It’s really the heart, soul and love that she puts into the finished goods that sets LilyGiggle’s patterns apart.

For me, I get to sit back and watch. (I’m a man. I sit back and watch a LOT.)

When I watch her sew, when I watch her create, I’m reminded why I fell in love with Beth. She has a noggin full of great ideas, and when I see her follow those ideas through to a gorgeous finished piece, it’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve been blessed to witness. Her hands move with a purpose, and she knows what she wants to do – and she has the skill and talent to make it absolutely amazing.

She puts that same talent and determination into both her jobs. She’s created a family that I’m excited to be a part of, and with LilyGiggle, she’s created a business that I’m excited to see grow and change and become as beautiful as her ideas. With LilyGiggle, I contribute where I can, but mostly I just sit back and watch her do her thing. With the family, I’m probably worse than the kids, tracking in mud and leaving dishes lying around and breaking things I have no business touching. I get the kids riled up and make too much noise – but, again – I’m a guy. It’s what we do. Beth is the glue that holds us all together, and she’s the driving force behind the success of LilyGiggle.

I’m blessed beyond measure to be able to watch this woman sew and create. It’s exciting to watch her, and it’s gratifying to know that I can support her in some way while she does the things she loves. With the business and with the family, Beth is a creator. She’s a doer. She’s a finisher. It’s just awesome to watch.

Yes – there is thread on the floor, between my toes and in my pockets and hair. Yes – I’ve stepped on bobbins and pins and needles. But it’s such a small price to pay to be able to witness someone doing something they love and something they truly excel in.

So, when you buy a LilyGiggle pattern, keep in mind the love and effort that have gone into them. Keep in mind how hard this incredible woman has worked to deliver the best patterns possible. Think of the sleepless nights, the hard work, the sweat and (yes) the tears that goes into each and every thing that Beth does. She treats these patterns the same way she treats our children – with love, high expectations and with the joy knowing that she’s done her level best to empty herself into everything she does.

Beth is amazing. I’m a lucky dude.

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Jujube Dress Sew Along

Guess what is going on right now? LilyGiggle’s very first sew along! Don’t miss out!

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My most favorite right hand lady, Elizabeth, over at CottonBelle Boutique, is going to take you step by step through creating your own gorgeous dress perfect for your girl’s fall wardrobe. What are you waiting for? Hop on over to her blog now and join the fun!

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Farewell For Now…

Yes, We're Closing

Guess what? I suck at multi-tasking. There. I said it out loud. Too many pots on the fire and I run and hide. Even those who know me in “real life” may be surprised to know this revelation about me, only those closest to me know it.  After all, my life is very full of activity revolving around the large family that I am blessed with. I mean, who in the world has 5 kids and can’t effectively multi-task? Well…me.

This has been a growing struggle for a long time. My super squishy oh-so-squeezy and much loved baby #5 has backed me into a self-evaluating corner, though. Since his birth in early August I have been forced to switch gears from so much of my focus on LilyGiggle back to my focus being on my family. Another confession? My kids are SO much happier and so am I. I had not realized how much more of me they truly needed until I was giving them that much more. As I have watched this energy in our home go from more chaos to more peace there has been a nagging little thought that has continually crept up in the back of my mind. At first, I completely squashed this thought, pushing it aside and making excuses for it. It was a silly idea, completely impossible, totally unreasonable and downright out of the question. Darn if that tiny thought didn’t just grow bigger and bolder and more convincing, though.

owenWhat was that thought that drove me crazy and made me lose more sleep than my newborn did? The thought that it was time to choose. It was time to own up to my strengths and weaknesses. It was time to be brave and listen to that still, small voice. It was time to stop making excuses and start doing what I know is right for MY family (not anyone else’s). I do believe there are women out there that are fully able to run the show I’ve been running. I’m just not cut from the same cloth. I have lots of strengths. This isn’t a pity party, by any means. There comes a time, though, when we all have to face ourselves and make sure that we are being honest with ourselves. For me, this is that time and, for me, my truth is that I am doing more than I can handle effectively and it’s time to pull in the reigns.

So, what is that choice I have had to make? For me, it was choosing between being the pattern designer I want to be and being the mom I want to be. It was just that cut and dry. For others it is not and I totally respect that. I never want to come across that you can’t run a a business and be a great mom because I don’t believe that. We are all different. For me, it was obvious that I couldn’t do both right now. It doesn’t mean I believe that I never can. In order to do both the best that I can I need to spend some time re-evaluating, re-structuring and working on my weaknesses until they are strong enough to do this thing right.

Finally, a decision has been made. A line drawn in the sand. Peace in my spirit. I’m taking a break from LilyGiggle.

What does that mean exactly? Well, for you all that have helped me make this business so successful it means a big sale. A very, very big sale. I’m really excited to offer it to you because I think it’s going to make you giddy. 🙂 I’m clearing out the old and shutting down…hopefully, temporarily…but nonetheless totally closing up shop for a few months. I plan to spend this time making sure I’m not missing any of this one precious baby year that little man is blessing us with, reconnecting with my 3 year old who is not having the easiest time transitioning into big sisterhood, making sure that I’m equipping my 8 year old and 11 year old with all they need to move from little kids to tweens and to just breathe. Secondly, I plan to work on a realistic plan for my business, finish up the oodles of patterns that are already in some state of completeness and set myself up to re-launch when my life is ready to take it on again.

LilyGiggle will be closing on November 30. Our patterns will no longer be available for purchase after that until we re-launch sometime next year.You will still be able to log into our website to download the patterns you have purchased via our website previously. After November 30, you will no longer be able to purchase LilyGiggle patterns anywhere. Many of the patterns will be completely discontinued forever. When I do come back I want to put out something fresh. A spare few patterns may resurface along with the new LilyGiggle but they won’t be the same. New refreshed designer…new refreshed work…that’s the plan.

Thank you TONS for all the support you have given me and my family these past few years. Thank you, in advance, for your support as we take this leap of faith into our new phase of life. It’s scary but I believe that doing the right thing usually is.

Now for the sale details.

Beginning tomorrow morning, November 11 until November 30 all of our single patterns will be marked down 30% on our website and whole master collections will be $30!!! Yes, you read that right. You can download all 30 LilyGiggle patterns for $30…a dollar a pattern. Buying them right here on our site will mean that you will continue to have access to them even while we are on hiatus. You can simply sign in to your account and download them whenever you need them. They’ll be nice and safe in one place. I told you it would make you giddy…a crazy sale! You all have been awesome and we want to make it easy for you to have all those patterns you may have wanted but never got around to purchasing. We also want you all to have access to them while we are gone. Hope you feel the love…we appreciate you all so much.

xoxo.

Beth

 

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