Ryan Top Dress Hack

After a few others took the Ryan Top and lengthened it into a dress, I knew I needed to do the same. I'm in love. The Ryan Top is generally a super quick sew thanks to the lack of set-in sleeves and minimal pattern pieces  -- but now as a dress..I'm excited for the possibilities! 

My first experiment with the hack was with a cotton lawn by Liberty of London. By simply adding a few inches to the hem, I had a Ryan Dress!

Typically when you alter length in a sewing pattern, you see the pattern adjustment line somewhere around the waist line. But because this dress has a square and straight hem, I went the lazy route and just added around 12" straight down from the hem, following the line of the side seam. I found that 12" was a little long, BUT really liked the look of a deep 2-3" hem. 

After the success of the first hack, I quickly decided to do another. This time, I went with a gray double gauze fabric from my mom's shop. SO, so happy with this one. Sometimes a fabric is just made for a sewing pattern.

I'm thinking linen and maybe a chambray version next. I'm interested in adding in-seam pockets and maybe even patch pockets to the front. We'll see!

Baby Bloomers Tips & Tricks

The baby bloomers pattern has been one of my most popular sewing patterns. It is super quick to sew up and is a good project for beginners. I cannot begin to guess how many pairs I've made for my girls and for gifts. Over the years I've received questions from sewers and I thought I would compile answers to a few of the most frequently asked questions here...

1. Cutting - There is one pattern piece that you cut two pieces from. Make sure those pieces are mirror images. I prefer to take my fabric and place it wrong sides together and cut two at the same time. Don't forget your notches.

2. Pattern Adjustment -- The waistband for this pattern is straight across for the front and the back; however, I know that some babies have larger diapers causing the back to not cover completely. A simple pattern adjustment can fix this problem. Add approximately 1" to the back of the waistband, sloping it down toward the front

3. Elastic - While the pattern does have recommended elastic measurements, I think it is a best practice to measure the child's thighs and waist prior to inserting elastic. My rule is to take the waist measurement (or thigh) and subtract approximately 1" for a comfortable fit.

4. Waistband - For an added professional finish and to secure the elastic, I often add a row of stitching to the middle of the elastic waistband. I start by bringing the finished bloomers to the machine not stretched....

Now stretch the elastic so that the fabric is no longer crinkled along the waistband. This requires a steady hand and a little bit of practice. Stitch right down the middle of the elastic around the entire waistband. If this is not your cup to tea -- you could also secure the waistband at each side seam with a small stitch or you could opt for the stretch stitch function on your sewing machine.