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Riley Blake Knit Love Tour: Yoga Waist Shorts Tutorial

So very excited to be a part of the Riley Blake Knit Love Blog Tour! What a treat!

My favorite part? Getting to pick out new fabric, of course. However, choosing the fabric to use for our stop on the tour wasn’t easy with all the lovely choices. In the end, however, I decided I wanted to try our new Tybee Tank in a floral and Riley Blake’s Cottage Garden in Gray totally fit the bill. I absolutely love how it turned out and this fabric was awesome to work with. If you have followed LilyGiggle for any length of time you know that I am all about the knits. Finding high quality knits as pretty as quilting cottons used to be like finding a needle in a haystack but the tide has been turning and our choices have really expanded. Thank you Riley Blake for helping to satisfy that love for a beautiful fabric with a super soft, perfect stretch, washable, wearable honey of a stretch knit. I couldn’t be happier with it. Isn’t it gorgeous?

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rbloo6On top of the Cottage Garden collection, I was also sent a perfect little gray and white stripe that I knew I wanted to create some sort of bottom with. At first, I thought I would whip up some Petunia Petal Pants but this sweet girl of mine is much more interested in wearing play shorts under her dresses these days than leggings…especially as the weather warms up. So I decided to create a super simple little pair of “cartwheel” shorts to go underneath her new dress. I used the Petunia Petal Pants pattern, added a yoga waistband and finished them off with a narrow leg band just for a little interest. It was an easy tweak and I know I’ll be making plenty more of these as we move into spring and summer. With its 95% cotton 5% spandex blend, this fabric is absolutely perfect for leggings and play shorts. Let the twirling begin…

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rbloo11I thought I’d share exactly how I transformed the petal pants into playground shorts so you, too, can keep your girls covered up this summer no matter how hard they play. This tutorial can also be used to simply add a yoga waistband to your Petunia Petal Pants or other favorite legging pattern.

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1. First you will need to trim off 2.25″ from the top of the pattern piece. Be sure to follow the curve. I make a dotted line as I move the ruler across the top of the pattern and then connect the dots. If you are good at noticing details you will see the ruler is at 2″ but you should still cut at 2.25″.

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2. Now, for sizes 5-7, cut off 1″ from the bottom of the pattern (shorts version). For sizes 8-12, cut off 2″ from the bottom. For sizes 2-4, you don’t need to cut any length.

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3. Cut your fabric with the new pattern piece. Remember you need a good quality 4 way stretch knit (cotton/lycra or cotton/spandex blend) such as the RB knits. You will also need to cut 2 waistband pieces by the following chart.

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4. Now you will need to cut the leg band pieces. Just measure the width of the bottom of the pattern piece (where you cut off some length for the larger sizes in step 2). Cut 2 rectangles that are 2.5″ x the width of the bottom of the shorts. So now you should have 2 of each of these pieces…

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5. Follow the Petunia Petal Pants instructions for sewing the crotch and leg seams of the shorts.

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6. Place the waistband pieces, RST, and sew the short ends. If using a serger, I recommend sewing this part on a regular sewing machine to decrease bulk in the seams. Press the seams flat.

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7. Turn the waistband right side out and fold in half lengthwise. Press.

 

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8. Divide the waistband into quarters (center front, center back, side seam, side seam). Divide the top of the shorts into quarters, too. Line up the unfolded edge of the waistband to the top of the shorts matching up and pinning at each quarter mark on the waistband to the quarter mark on the shorts.

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9. Sew the waistband to the shorts, gently stretching the waistband to fit but not stretching the shorts. Press with a hot steamy iron.

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10. Fold over one of the short ends of a leg band piece to line up with the other short end (RST). Sew the short ends of that one leg band piece together. Turn right side out and fold it in half lengthwise just as you did the waistband.

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11. Line up the unfolded edges of the leg band with the bottom of the leg opening. Match up the seam with the inside seam of the shorts leg. Pin and sew. Since the leg band is not smaller than the leg opening, there is no need to stretch it as you sew it on.

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12. Repeat with the other leg band and leg opening. Press and your finished!

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 Yay! Time to play!

If you don’t already have our Petunia Petal Pants pattern you can purchase it for 30% off with coupon code RBKNITLOVE30 until Sunday, April 5, 2015.

Thanks so much for coming by! I truly hope that you enjoyed your stop at LilyGiggle! Don’t forget the tour continues until April 2nd.

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Fiddlehead Sew-Along Day 3 Flutter Time!

Welcome back! It’s Day 3 of our 5 day Fiddlehead Sew-Along so we are moving right along…halfway to having a pretty little dress finished!

Today we are going to add those beautiful flutters and you have some decisions to make. There are several possibilities when it comes to the look of them on your finished dress. Let’s see…you can do the double layer flutters, which gives the most dramatic effect, or you can be more subtle and just use a single layer. You can use the BOTTOM FLUTTER RUFFLE piece as a single layer or, my personal favorite, the TOP FLUTTER RUFFLE piece as a single layer. You also have the choice of finishing them. You can leave the edges of the flutters raw (since they are stretch knit and won’t fray), do a simple rolled hem on them (serger users) or you can do the fun lettuce edging finish. I chose double layer with a simple rolled hem finish. Whatever you decide, it’s time to go ahead and finish the edges before we gather and attach to our dress.

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After you have the edges finished, follow the tutorial for gathering the pieces and attaching them to the armhole. You can see here that I still haven’t trimmed the tails of my clear elastic. I think it’s best to leave them there until the flutters are attached completely to the armhole.

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If you are making sleeves, go ahead and get them on, too.

Sew the side seams and press.

Carefully press the seam allowance of the armhole towards the inside of the dress. Remember not to iron right on the clear elastic.

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I have found that topstitching around this armhole helps to keep the flutters from flipping when the top or dress is worn.

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Bodice…check!  Tomorrow we’ll do that knit waistband that I can’t wait to show you…see you then!

 

 

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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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New LilyGiggle.com Launched!

sewing patterns from lilygiggleHey, folks – James here. Today, I’m putting on my shameless self-promotion hat. I’m just all businessy like that.

To the point: BRAND NEW LilyGiggle.com launched today! Very new look – a serious collaboration between Beth and me. Mostly Beth saying – this goes there and me saying “Yes, ma’am.” We’re excited to have a much more integrated shopping cart, instant downloads on EVERYTHING, including our fabulous and money-saving bundles. Ever want to get LilyGiggle patterns for 5 bucks each? Well NOW YOU CAN – with instant downloads. SWEET! We’ve got a lot more in store for LilyGiggle.com and LilyGiggle in general. We’ve got a couple of minor issues to iron out (the royal we…) but it’s up and humming and looking almost as good as my wife’s designs.

Free Blogs for CraftersSecondly – you can get a blog just like LilyGiggle.com – FREE. Yes, that’s my favorite price, too. I’m launching a little side business – CraftyMamaBlogs.com. What you get is a great blog setup using the same software (WordPress) and an insanely awesome, feature-packed and easy-to-use theme of your choice – PLUS it has Ecommerce built right in. Sweet, right? The graphics, of course, are up to you* – but you’ll have a great looking site right out of the gates – and you can easily customize it and change it up to look just the way you want. It’s free, it has built-in tutorial videos and a lot of other great features – plus (I may have mentioned this) it’s FREE. All you have to do is sign up for a hosting account (you’ll need hosting anyway,) and you’re good-to-go, with accounts starting at $3.96 per month. I’ll install and set up everything, hand you the keys and away you go. You own your domain name, you have your own server, and you have your own awesome website. I’ll also be putting up some great how-to videos with marketing tips, website tweaks and some great business ideas and resources. You’ll have access to all that – for FREE! FREE! FREEEEEEEEE!!!!!!

These sites aren’t limited to crafts and mamas – they can be used for anything. Businesses, personal blogs, photography galleries – anything.

So – check out both sites. Let us know what you think. Buy some patterns, get your own site – and Sew Some Happy!

*I can design stuff for you, but I would have to actually charge for that service. Beth pays me in coffee. Plus she’s pretty cute.
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Big Things Afoot at LilyGiggle…

dress designer ashevilleHey, folks – this is James, Beth’s worser half. Thought I’d pop in and pour a little praise on my wife and let you know that there’s a lot in store in the very near future.

Beth has been hard at work on a few very cool patterns (and I say that as a man – the’re terrific) and they’ll be ready for release very soon. She’s really an incredible person, and I watch in amazement  (if you don’t mind me gushing for a moment.) She’s been working on a lot of other projects, maintaining our house and teaching and rearing our 4 (hundred) children. She works really hard, really long and she loves us all through it. She knocked out an awesome art-nouveau dress for a local art show – really, really cool. I’m super proud, obviously. You go girl.

On the website front (which is more of my realm,) we’re going to have some big updates, including instant downloads of our bundles. So – you can order our awesome, money-saving pattern bundles and have the ability to download instantly. We’re going to have more blogging, freebies and we’re going to start offering ads. Oh – and the newsletter will be rocking in March. Sign up – it’ll be really great.

So – what I’m saying is this: Stay tuned and check back often. You’re gonna like what we’re up to. Plus – my wife rocks.

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