DIY Nursing-Friendly Nightgown

The first few weeks after having a baby are my favorite; it’s the only time you’re allowed to just sit around in pjs all day long, resting, eating whatever you want and snuggling a precious new baby.  Life doesn’t get any better!

Today I’ve got a tutorial for the perfect postpartum nightgown: long, stretchy, lots of coverage and nursing-accessible!  Of course you can make one even if you don’t have a new baby, and if you leave off the placket, it’s a super quick project!

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Supplies:

2 yards very stretchy knit fabric
4 matching buttons (if attaching optional placket)
10″ x 10″ piece of lightweight fusible interfacing
coodinating thread

1. Find the stretch of your fabric and fold in half with the stretch running horizontally (perpendicular to the fold).  Cut out front and back of nightgown according to diagram (the diagram show just the front bodice being cut out on the fold, but you’ll need to cut out a back as well!).  Cut out sleeves and placket also, ensuring that the stretch runs across the width of the sleeves.

2. Lay your front and back pieces on top of each other, right sides together.  Sew along the shoulders and side seams, using a stretch stitch or serger, Press seams well.

3. Sew underarm seams of sleeves by folding sleeve in half lengthwise, RST, and stitching along the long raw edge, using a stretch stitch.  Press well and repeat with second sleeve.

4. Turn bodice inside out and sleeve right side out.  Insert your sleeve into the sleeve opening of bodice (insert narrower opening in first!), matching up raw edges and underarm seam with bodice side seam.  Stitch sleeve to bodice using a stretch stitch; press well.

5.  Fold under raw edges of sleeves and bodice hem and topstitch using a double needle; press well.  You can also choose to leave your sleeves and hem raw since knit doesn’t fray!

6.  Create neck facing: Measure the circumference of your neckline and subtract 1-2″ (you want your facing to be shorter than your neckline so that it pulls the neckline taut when sewn together.  How much shorter depends on the stretch of the fabric…here I cut mine 2″ shorter that the neckline because my fabric was super stretchy; if your fabric is less stretchy, try making it just 1″ shorter.  It’s kind of a trial and error thing!)  Cut out a neck facing measuring 1″ x the length you just calculated (neckline minus 1-2″).  Sew short ends of facing, right sides together, to create a loop.

7.  Pin facing to neckline, right sides together, stretching facing to distribute evenly around neckline.  Stitch facing to neckline using a 1/4″ seam allowance and a stretch stitch, again stretching facing to fit.  Press facing & seam allowance away from bodice, and then press raw edge of facing under 1/4″.  Fold facing to inside of garment, pressing again.  Topstitch facing to bodice, close to folded edge, using a stretch stitch.

This video is a great resource for sewing a knit facing, in case you haven’t done this technique before!

8.  OPTIONAL button placket: Cut a rectangle out of the center front of your your nightgown measuring 10″ x 1″.  Here I’m gonna save you the chore of reading a really wordy explanation that doesn’t make any sense and instead have you watch this video! It’s a great, simple explanation for inserting a placket.  (Note: I used a very lightweight interfacing because I was using a very thin knit fabric…you don’t want to go too much heavier than your fabric!)

And voila!  A perfectly cozy, comfy nightgown perfect for lounging with or without a new baby!

How to Hem your own pants – new video!

Never miss out on the perfect pair of pants again – just because they’re too long!

Hey all!

I’m SO happy to post my first DIY video for you today…  It’s the perfect tutorial for the beginning sewer: how to hem pants!

If you’re under about 6 feet tall, then chances are good you’ve found at least one pair of pants you love that are too long for you.  Well, no more, my friends!  Save your alteration money and put that dusty machine to good use by hemming your own.

The video also includes instructions for hemming stretchy pants like leggings, as well as creating an invisible hem on nicer slacks like suit pants.  Enjoy!


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DIY Sequined Party Dress

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DIY Flutter Sleeve Dress

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DIY Sequined Party Dress

Make the perfect party dress with this simple tutorial.  You can make it maternity-friendly or not!


Sequined fabric from Joann Fabrics (in store) || Heels: Sam Edelman (on sale!)

I don’t get to go to a lot of fancy parties…but when I do, I’m always scrambling last minute to find something dressy, flattering and not too skanky to wear!

If you’re panicking about New Year’s Eve (tomorrow!), it’s not too late to whip up the perfect party dress.  This sequined number is super easy and can be made to cover as much or as little as you want!

As you can see, I don’t mind covering a 7 month pregnant belly in sequins thereby resembling a giant disco ball, …but obviously this dress can also be made more fitted for a non-maternity version.

Read on for the full tutorial!

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DIY Flutter Sleeve Dress

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Well, I’m officially pregnant enough that it’s getting difficult to dress this bump.  You’d think I’d have this great wardrobe of stylish maternity clothes now that I’m on my 7th go around but, alas…my under-the-bed box of big-girl clothes was pretty sad looking when I opened it up a couple months ago.

Sundays are especially hard because I want to look nice for church…and not just squeezed into a too-small T-shirt dress.  I went rummaging through the fabric stash a while ago and found this floral from Joann Fabrics I’d bought ages ago.  I was saving it for the perfect project and I’m thrilled with how this flutter sleeve maternity dress turned out.  It’d be perfect for just about any body shape, pregnant or not!

The tutorial is pretty simple, and I’ve included a free pattern for the flutter sleeves.  They’re a little trickier to draft than your typical sleeve but they lend so much more to a basic dress silhouette.  Read on for the full tutorial!

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DIY Full Skirt & Boxy Top

Recreate this fun and flirty look with two easy, handmade wardrobe staples!

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I almost forgot to share these fun and easy sewing projects with you all from a month or so ago!  I’m mildly obsessed with all the full skirts we’ve been seeing this year and last and so when I saw this Anywhere Skirt Pattern from Made Everyday, I snatched it up and decided to make one in my favorite fabric: black and white stripes!

Here’s the cool thing about this pattern – it’s not actually a pattern, as much as it is detailed instructions on how to take your own measurements and get the perfect fitting, custom skirt.  Since you’re basically just cutting a bunch of rectangles, Dana tells you exactly how to get the right size and she even shows you how to leave the gathering off the hips, for those of us not built like Barbie.  Bonus for not having to print and tape a billion pattern pages.

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Easiest Swimsuit Cover-Up

Up your pool style quotient this summer with this super easy swimsuit cover-up!

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I’ve got a super easy tutorial for you guys today! This super cute and simple swimsuit coverup is my new favorite project.  If you’ve got a yard of fabric and 20 minutes, you’re well on your way!

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Patriotic Tripoli Trousers (New Pattern!)

These wide leg, sailor style pants are a cinch to whip up and flattering for just about every body!

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Hey all!  I’m finally releasing my first women’s pattern to the public today! The Tripoli Trousers had previously only been available through the Sew What Club but today you can get your own copy!  Hurray!

I seriously love these pants sooooo much.  They are figure-hugging but flattering and best of all, they are seriously a breeze to make.  If you’ve never sewn pants before, don’t be afraid!  The trick is to make a muslin beforehand…if you can sew a facing and install buttonholes, you can make these!

I kept dreaming about a red pair after making my denim ones so when I found this lightweight stretch denim at Joann’s, it was like a match made in heaven.  Enjoy these billions of pictures of my butt, and get your copy of the pattern HERE!  It’ll be on sale for just $8 through Sunday night!

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All the sizing charts, materials list and other details are over on my craftsy page.  I hope you love this pattern as much as I do!

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Spotted Sheath Dress DIY

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Spotted Sheath Dress DIY

This easy tutorial and free pattern will have you whipping up a cute pullover style sheath dress in no time!

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And my obsession with dresses continues!  Especially when it comes to spring and summer sewing, I just can’t get enough.  They’re cool and cute and flirty and fun; not to mention, they take no time at all to sew!

This spotted sheath dress is no exception…read on for the super easy tutorial!

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1.  First, you’ll need to download and print the free pattern here (be sure to print from Adobe Reader/Acrobat and NOT a browser! Make sure your printer is not scaling the pages).  Then tape all your pages together (just overlap the margins of the pattern pages before cutting- no need to trim them off!).
I drafted it to fit my body pretty loosely, and my measurements are 37-29-38 (about a size 6 or medium).  If you’re bigger or smaller than this, you can grade the pattern out or in, simply by adding or subtracting inches to your bust, waist and/or hips.  Since the pattern piece represents 1/4th of the dress’s measurements, you’ll only need to add or subtract 1/4 of the difference in our measurements.

For example, if your bust is 2 inches larger than mine but your hips are 1 inch smaller, then add 0.5″ to the bust area (2″ divided by 4) and subtract 0.25″ (1″ divided by 4) to the hip area.  I hope that makes sense…it’s really simple once you get started!

I made my dress a little looser than a traditional sheath dress because I wanted to avoid needing an opening (my fabric also had some stretch to it).  If you’d like a closer fit or are using a fabric with no stretch, you’ll need to insert a zipper or other opening.

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2.  Now, cut out out your fabric by laying the straight edge of your pattern pieces on the fold of your fabric (where indicated).  You’ll need to cut one bodice front (along the lower neckline curve) and one bodice back (along the higher neckline curve), as well as 2 sleeve pieces.   Now, cut out a neckband bias strip measuring 27″ (68 cm) x 2″ (5cm).  You can avoid cutting this piece on the bias if your fabric already has stretch to it, as long as you cut with the stretch running lengthwise.

**Remember after sewing each seam, to finish your raw edges and press well!

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3.  Sew your front to back bodice pieces together at the shoulders, and then at the sides, RST, using a 3/8″ (1cm) seam allowance.  Sew your underarm seam by stitching the sleeve to itself along the short, straight edge, RST.  Repeat with 2nd sleeve.  Turn dress inside out and sleeve right side out; insert sleeve into dress at armhole, pin together, keeping raw edges even and matching side seam to underarm seam.  Ease through the shoulder curve to fit.  Baste sleeve to dress and check for puckers or folds.  Stitch sleeve to dress and repeat with opposite sleeve.

4.   Stitch short ends of neckband piece together, then fold loop in half lengthwise (wrong sides together) and press again.  Pin neckband to RIGHT side of dress neckline, raw edges even.  Stitch neckband piece to neckline, using a scant 1/4″ (.6 cm) seam allowance.  Fold neckband to inside of dress and press well.  Topstitch neckband in place, close to fold.

5.  Hem sleeves and dress as desired.

And, you’re done!  A quick, easy project with a big “wow” factor.   Let me know how yours turns out!

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The Alcoy Dress – Free Pattern!

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Hey all!  I’ve got a brand spanking new pattern for you all today!  Woo-hoo!

It’s called The Alcoy Dress and it’s a fitted knit dress with raglan style sleeves.  I’ve made about 5 so far and I’m hooked!  It’s flattering, comfortable and…best of all, takes less than 2 hours to whip up!

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You can make it in a pretty textured ponte like this white one, or in a more casual jersey with contrast sleeves like the Aztec print dress below.

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Wanna hear the best part??  The Alcoy Dress is free!!  I wanted to create something of real value for my email subscribers since my readers are the reason I’m doing this!  So I created this pattern, with all the details and features of my regular paid patterns but without the price tag.

The link to download the pattern will automatically be sent out to you once you subscribe to the Whisk ‘Em blog (that means you’ll get one weekly email telling you what you missed on the blog – that’s it!).

Just enter your email address in the Subscribe box on the right side of this website (right under the picture of the Alcoy dress!).  And then watch your inbox for the pattern.

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Once you get your copy of the pattern and sew it up, be sure to share it on social media using the hashtags #WhiskemPatterns and #AlcoyDress.  Feel free to send your friends over here to the blog to subscribe and get their free pattern too!  Just please don’t share the link to the pattern itself.

Thank for you being here and I can’t wait to see your Alcoy Dresses!

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DIY Shoe Upcycles! 5 Easy tutorials

 

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Hey all!  Today’s DIY is actually a collection of projects that I’ve been brainstorming for a while.  There are so many fabulous shoe trends right now and every time I see a new one I think “Hey!  I should just make that!”  It’s a curse, amiright??

So today I’ve got FIVE separate ways to upcycle plain, old shoes that might be collecting dust in the back of your closet and turn them into something new and amazing!

Project 1:  Add jewels!

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These old Target sandals were a summer staple a couple years ago but they’re looking old and worn lately.  After seeing some bedazzled inspirational sandals at Anthropologie, I decided this would be the perfect solution.

I bought these strands of crystals at Michael’s and simply stitched them to the braided strap!  I used some upholstery thread that I had on-hand but regular thread would work too, as long as you used several strands.

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Project 2:  Turning boring D’Orsay pumps into lace up heels!

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This was by far the simplest upcycle.  I took these cute (but plain) H&M pumps and glued a little strip of ribbon in a loop to the inside back of the heel.  When the superglue dried, I strung this cute studded cording through the loop and laced them up!

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I bought the cording for this project (and for the magenta heels below) also at Michael’s.

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Project 3:  Adding temporary sparkle to ho-hum heels

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I REEEALLY love these pumps from Forever 21 (bought years ago!) but found myself passing them over because they are so simple.  I finally decided that an old bling-y necklace had served its purpose and needed to be taken apart and glued to shoe clips!  I bought these from Amazon and love them.

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Project 4: Brightening up magenta pumps with more lacing!

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This project was only slightly more time-consuming than the black pumps above.  In addition to gluing a ribbon loop on the the back inside heel, I also superglued two more loops on the sides of the show, right around the center of my arch.

Then I laced the cording (this kind is stretchy!) through both side loops, crossed them once and then looped them both through the back loop and laced them up (the center of the cording passes under my arch).  As a former ballerina, I think this look is my favorite!

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Project 5:  Added a crafty bohemian vibe to some lace-up sandals

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Lately, I’ve seen SO much inspiration for lace-up sandals with a funky, eclective look to them...Sam Edelman’s collection this Spring had lots of embroidery, poms, tassels, mirrors and fringe all over the place!  I loved it!

After channeling my inner gypsy and trying my hand at these, I’m not sure what I think.  I like the direction they’re taking but still not positive they’re finished.  What are your thoughts?

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I kinda think they still just look like a summer camp project where I threw a bunch of craft crap on them with a glue gun (which is exactly what I did).  I’ll keep you updated if I make any more headway!

Well, that’s a wrap!  Which project was your favorite??  Got any old shoes lying around you can bring new life to?