Sew, What's New?

Curating sewing and quilting talent, techniques, and tutorials, since 1997.

I've been so looking forward to sewing some little GIRL ruffles - and baby Alyssa,my sister's granddaughter born May 23 is just the excuse...

This little Sun Suit from Sew Beautiful, current issue No.137, 2011. Vol. 25, No. 4.
First, I show folding the back ruffles as directed. I KNOW my ruffles are cuter because I cut them on the BIAS rather than on straight grain as directed.
This is the back for Baby's bibbed sun suit. It has you hand wind elastic thread (without stretching) onto the bobbin, then stitch. Oh - and once you do this stitching as directed, it is important to hold a steam iron over it to make it all pull up as you see here. I don't like this technique - never have, as it doesn't hold up. I would rather advise to line with a soft fabric - even in this area only, sew casings, and run 1/8'' elastic through the casings. You'll be happier.

This is the sleeve ruffle - cutting an arc at one end, then using that as the pattern to cut the arc at the other end. I used fabric cut on the bias, and folded for the ruffles instead of eyelet trim or lace.

Here are my finished straps. See my gathering technique video.

Cloth Baby Booties
These are adorable Robeeze copy fabric baby booties.

Here you see I have pulled the 9'' length of elastic through the Heel casing, and the wrong side of the Top through the slits, pulled to 7'', stitched, then the excess cut off. Note that the sides of the heel are NOT stitched to the sides of the Top/Sole seam. This took me a bit to figure out.

Ahhh - too cute! Now, I've trimmed the Sole to Top and Heel seam by pinking with pinking shears. I honestly think this is preferred to serging because tiny toenails could get caught in serging threads/loops. This makes it nice and soft inside, and solves the notching that is necessary to remove some of the bulk of the 'outie' seam allowance because when it gets turned right side out - that exterior most seam edge becomes an 'innie' curve as I say - needing less space. Understand?

Elastic joining scootched around so invisible. This shot shows the inside of the bootie really well.

Cute or what? Needs a bonnet....

Back View ...I just had to add the yellow ribbon on the straps and down the center of the butt ruffles.

Londa's Heirloom Bonnet
Creating the Fancy Band for the Baby Bonnet. Here is the first step of the Colonial or Candle Wicking Knot - I"m using 1/8'' wide silk ribbon. The white is adorable,delicate tatting I bought at the Martha Pullen Arlington Market I did in late June, 2011.

Next step in those Candle-Wicking Knots.

And...the last step in the decorative knot. I let my silk ribbon travel from one knot to the other on the back side of the Fancy Band as my pattern directs you to line this Fancy Band any way - covering it up.Note here you can see that I staggered the loops of the double rows of the tatting when I applied it. I carry the itsy bitsy piping cord at my website. You can see it at both edges of the Fancy Band. Yellow was obviously the 3rd, and accent color of this ensemble.

Just enough tatting left to put into the front edge of the front Ruffle on the Bonnet. Yeah!

Stitching the 'lining of the Front Ruffle - from the side where I can see the stitching of attaching the tatting - stitching just a needle width to the left of that stitching.

Cutting the arcs at each end of the Front Ruffle.

Using my gathering technique to attach Front Ruffle to Fancy Band. Note the threads figure 8'd around that right most pin. My You-Tube video can be found with all the rest of my how-to videos HERE.

Ahhh - too cute! I LOVE sewing ruffles. Dear Lord, send me a Grand Daughter to join my #1 grandson! Now to line the Fancy Band.

Sandwiching the Fancy Band/Front Ruffle unit with the Front Band Lining as per my really good directions in this pattern - my very first - done way back in1988!!!

Flipping Fancy Band Lining to the inside. See how nicely that baby piping just adds the little touch of color at each long edge of the Fancy Band - which, by the way sizes the bonnet. You just take earlobe over head to other earlobe (bottoms of each) and add 1/2'' for how long to create the Fancy Band - and approx 2'' to 2 1/2'' wide.

Drawing in side bonnet casing lines as per directions - on OUTSIDE of the Pouf.

At this time - I realized I hadn't cut a Pouf Lining (duh - I didn't have enough fabric!), so I went to my STASH and found the perfect silk organza for the ling - which is over the top of all this - the elastic pieces as directed, are secured. The left one is for the back pouf circlet and the right one (duplicated at the other end of the Pouf) is to pull the bonnet in at the bottom, neck edge. The Silk Organza was perfect because it is lightweight and ads just the perfect crispness to the bonnet.

This shows ripping a little h*** at the X as at the top of the 2nd side of the directions in my pattern. This is the ONLY thing in these - my very first directions ever, that I would improve on - you can't really see the X in the diagram. It is at the left end of the Back neck Crown Edge - right above the words 'Center Back'. It is through this h*** that the back crown elastic will exit. That gets anchor stitched, and eventually covered with a ribbon/button unit as you'll see.

My directions do instruct you to secure tiny safety pins onto the ends of each piece of elastic, so that you can easily pull the elastic through after the Pouf Lining is attached.

Oooo - I need a manicure! Anyway - securing the end of the elastic with machine stitching. Do at both 'sides' or bottom edges of the POUF.

Attaching Pouf to the back side of the Fancy Band. The pattern calls for a Back Ruffle as well as the Front Ruffle, but I just didn't think this bonnet needed the Back Ruffle. What fun is sewing...YOU are the designer!

Now it is time to stitch across each of the lowermost ends of the Fancy Band, securing the Lining to the outer Fancy Band. I designed an absolutely adorable technique to attach the Ties on the outside. See next steps!

How the bottom-most edges look all finished off.

1/4'' folded in on both sides of each tie. At the machine, finger fold in the little bit of extra. Establish where under the presser foot the right folded edge will be guided, and voila, a beautiful, double folded and stitched edge! Do one side of each Tie.

Fold one end at an angle as shown. Now,stitch across this double layer at the other long edge, along the pressed line from the opposite side you see here.

Trim excess, turn right side out, pull out corner crisply with a pin and press. NOW finish the other long edge with same technique used on first long edge,but stop at this cross stitching.

Fold 3/4'' down to the wrong side at the other end of each tie. THEN fold it as shown.

Attach folded end with machine stitching as shown, then pull center fold down as you see here. Add a decorative Candle Wick Knot or French Knot inside for that special little touch.

Hand crocheted thread loops close the back of the Bonnet - at both the back crown elastic edge, and the lower edge. Ribbon streamers make it very 'girly'. I need to add my hand crochet method for thread loops to my YouTube Videos...

Finished ensemble. Now to wrap it and send it off. She's just a month old now - so this will be perfect for NEXT spring and summer. Can't wait to see baby Alyssa - my Grand Niece - first GIRL of the GREAT Grand Kids for my folks in it!

More Projects for Babies at SWN:

Make Baby Booties with Nonskid Soles - Free Pattern
Burp Cloths Tutorial by A Chelsea Morning
Super Simple Crib Sheets Tutorial (Gotta see!)

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Comment by Melinda Sarpal on October 15, 2011 at 7:15pm

Such a cute outfit. Very lucky baby girl indeed. I hope you will be able to post pictures of the little doll wearing it once it is received. 


Comment by Stormee Bryant on July 9, 2011 at 5:36pm
Beautiful. And your tutorial is great.
Comment by Carolyn Lueders on July 9, 2011 at 3:28pm
Simply adorable. I have a granddaughter due in December. I can't wait
Comment by Deedra Oates on July 9, 2011 at 2:14pm


Comment by Andrea Schlickbernd on July 9, 2011 at 1:34pm
Excellent tutorial and so darling! I'm right there with you on the Lord send me a cute little grandaughter to go with my awesome grandson!!!!!!!!!!
Comment by Susan Ferriola on July 9, 2011 at 1:23pm
That is adorable! I especially appreciate the info on the candle wicking knots. It makes so much more sense seeing it in your photos! Thank you for sharing!
Comment by Patricia on July 9, 2011 at 11:25am
Beautiful , thank you .
Comment by Anita Spears on July 9, 2011 at 10:12am
Londa, this is precious!  Thank you for the tip for cutting the ruffles on the bias!  I love the ensemble! This is how all baby girls should be dressed!  I'm going to make this for my daughter!
Comment by Binski on July 9, 2011 at 10:09am
I think this is adorable. It's so theraputic to sew little outfits. I usually find myself chuckling while I'm working on them. Keep those ideas coming, love them.
Comment by Sandy Sparks on July 9, 2011 at 8:22am
That is the cutest! Lots of detail! Lucky baby girl to receive that outfit

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