Now We Are Here in a Dress-length Xanadu Dolman

By Pickle Toes Team
on February 03, 2020

Now We Are Here in a Dress-length Xanadu Dolman

The Xanadu Dolman is a lovely staple in the Meyraki pattern catalog, with its signature gathered yoke collar and relaxed-fit comfort and style. It was begging to be lengthened into a dress for a new twist on a classic favorite! 

In order to lengthen a top that is already a relaxed-fit garment, you can use a few approaches to alter your pattern. I will go over a couple of these, and show pictures of the one that I chose.

Dress Hack: You can outline the pattern in your desired size layer(s) on tracing paper (I love using Swedish medical paper). Mark where the waist is, taking into account where the pattern would hit your hips, and continue drawing your length down to the measurements of where you would like the hem to end. Make sure that you take into account how wide you want the hips' finished measurement and how flowy you want the skirt to be overall, as well as add in your seam allowance.

This approach allows for so much freedom to design whatever type of dress that you want, be it a mini, midi, maxi, handkerchief, or asymmetrical dress, with or without pockets, just to name a few options.

Mash: You could do what I did, which was to mash 2 patterns together. This saved me so much time and so much math. Haha I chose to grab the skirt of the All Seasons pattern, as it has that swing dress flow that was my vision for this dress. (**Note, please make sure that your very current measurements dictate which size(s) you print out and assemble, as these 2 patterns have very different measurements that determine the size. Also, make any grading or other adjustments (e.g.-FBA, SBA, FSA, Full bicep adjustment, Sway back, etc)  on the Xanadu before you mash it with the All Seasons. It will be easier if you do).

First, I printed out both the Xanadu Dolman and the All Seasons patterns and assembled each. Then, I noted where the skirt started on each of the Front and Back pieces for the All Seasons. This mashup was made easier by the fact that the patterns are both cut on the fold and the the waistline is clearly marked on the All Seasons pattern, allowing my to orient myself and line up the 2 patterns at the waist (but this can be done just about anywhere on the pattern). 

Next, I combined the patterns and made sure that the measurements would still work with my body when trimming the excess from the waist (established in the Xanadu top's waist) to grade to the All Season's hip. Since it worked for my measurements, I didn't need to grade out the waist on the Xanadu top instead, and I was able to just trim the excess. 

As a side note, this process is far neater if you trace it all when you are done, so that it is a smooth pattern that you can hold onto and use again and again. To save time or paper products, you can just trace from the taped and trimmed patterns that you have been working with.

When you have finished doing this same procedure with your Back pieces from both patterns, you are ready to cut out your fabric and sew, sew, sew!!

All of the other procedures for assembling the Xanadu are to be followed so that you end up with a good front gather at the neckline and a beautiful yoke collar. Since your new dress is all one piece, it is easy to just hem the bottom, press, and you are done! 

One side note that I felt that I should mention: when wanting to do a banded short sleeve, cut the top of the sleeve piece off that says, "Short Sleeve". Cut out 2 mirrored pieces of your fabric. Sew together your short ends, forming 2 loops, one for each sleeve. Attach by matching up quartered pins/clips/markings and sewing these bands onto your dolman sleeves. I prefer to serge them on, but a good zig zag or stretch stitch works, too. Since it is a Dolman sleeve, you don't need this extra step, but it is a cute option.

🎵And now, open your eyes and see, what we have made is real. We are in Xanadu🎵 (Copyright, Sony /ATV Music Publishing LLC)

Your Xanadu Dolman top is now a wonderful dress!! (or maybe we should call it an Xana-seasons? haha) This mash is so comfortable and stylish! 

If you would like to try one of your own, you can get these 2 patterns for 25% off with code XANASEASONS at checkout.  All Seasons can be found here.    Xanadu can be found here. 

Snail Hunters Hack

By Pickle Toes Team
on June 02, 2018

Snail Hunters Hack- Color Blocking

Hi everyone! This is Brandi from the PTP team and I have a cool new hack for you today!

The Snail Hunters pattern is one of my favorite PTP patterns! It is so versatile and I love that I can use the same pattern for both my son and daughter. As great as this pattern is, today I will show you an easy hack to make them even better! I will be showing you how to do some cool color blocked, wide stripes that you can add to one, or both, legs.

This was my first experience with hacking a pattern. I must admit, at first, I was a little intimidated by the thought of it! I really shouldn't have been because it turned out to be so quick and easy!! The best part?? My son loves them!

Items needed:

-Snail Hunters pattern. If you don't already own the pattern, you can purchase it here.
-Fabric. The number of different fabrics needed will depend on how many different stripes wanted. I used two.
-paper scissors
-fabric scissors
-and, of course, a sewing machine/serger and matching thread

Start by printing and taping together the pattern. I printed two copies of the front, back and side panel pieces. One for the regular leg and one for the new color blocked leg. One copy will work, but make sure to cut fabric for the regular leg first, because the pieces will need to be cut and taped together for the other leg.)
Note: If doing the faux fly, be sure to do this on the non color blocked side.

Take one set of pattern pieces and lay them out with the front piece and the side panel piece right sides UP. The back piece will be placed right
side DOWN. This is done so that it will make a complete leg piece that will be cut out as one piece. Now, cut the seam allowance (3/8") from the
straight edge of each of the 3 pattern pieces.

Once this is done, tape the 3 pieces together, making sure that the front
and side panel pieces are right side up and the back piece is right side down.

Next, the fabric for the color blocked leg will be cut out and sewn together. I measured my new pattern piece to figure out the size of my finished piece of fabric. The length of your strips will be determined by how many stripes are wanted. I chose to do four stripes. Two of each color. Make sure to add seam allowance (3/8") to the top and bottom of each strip. Also, the finished piece of fabric should be larger than the pattern piece. After the strips are cut, sew them together and top stitch each seam. This is how the fabric will look.

Once sewn together, cut out the pattern piece for the color blocked leg. This leg is done!!

For the second leg, the pattern pieces will be laid out opposite of how they were for the first leg. This means that if the piece was right side up, it will now be placed right side DOWN and vice versa.

The second leg and the rest of the Snail Hunters can now be finished according to the original instructions!

Here are my son's new Snail Hunters in action...

Easter Bunny Ears

By Pickle Toes Team
on March 27, 2018

Easter Bunny Ears

As Easter rapidly approaches images of cute little chickadees and bunnies come to mind. My daughter (and son for that matter) loves dressing up as animals so what better dress up play this year for Easter than to make a cute little set of bunny ears for my kiddos to wear when posing for photos! This is a super quick tutorial for wired bunny ears, so your little can be hopping along just in time for Easter. 

Supply list: 




Light or medium weight jewelry wire (I used the $0.98 kind from Walmart)

Sewing Machine

Thread, needles, and scissors 

Image of headband, gold coil of jewelry wire and cut out bunny ear fabric pieces.


For tutorial purposes I used a white woven fabric (it shows up better in contrast with my ironing board and the wire color I picked). You could use knit fabric however, I would use interfacing to give the material more body.

1. We begin with sewing together the bunny ears. Place your fabrics right sides together and using 3/8 seam allowance you will sew around the ears. I left the opening where the knot will go for ease of turning. Make sure to backstitch at the beginning and the end of your stitch line.

2. Once you have sewn this part together you will turn your ear piece right side out and iron, this way your opening will lay nice and flat.

3. Next cut a 20 inch piece of your wire and attach the ends together creating a loop. I twisted it together then put the twisted piece toward where the middle of my ears will be.

4. Now slide the wire into the bunny ear piece. It may take a bit of wiggling to get the entire wire though the opening but just keep wiggling it in until it is completely inside the ear.

5. Push the wire toward the center of the ear so you can topstitch around the entire ear piece making sure catch both pieces to close the turn hole (I topstitch at 1/4 inch).

6. Once you have topstitched all that is left is to tie your ears into a knot onto the headband and pull the wires toward the seams of the ears so they may be in the positioning you would like them in.


 Once you get your ears all straightened out, you are all done and ready for your bunnies to get hopping!

Fleece Ear Warmers- Sugar and Spice Hack

By Tara Anderson
on November 29, 2017

Fleece Ear Warmers- Sugar and Spice Hack

How to hack the Sugar and Spice Headband into fleece ear warmers

So it's getting pretty cold here in Ohio.  My girl needs some ear coverage.  What's cuter than ear warmers with a bow?!?!?  And you know dolly need a matching one too... because dolly always needs a matching one these days.  I'm going to show you how to hack the Sugar and Spice Headband pattern located here: 
Sugar and Spice Headband 


First you will need to cut your fabric. 

Because fleece isn't as stretchy as most knits I suggest that you add 1-2 inches to the written measurements for the length of the band portion.  Depending on how thick and or stretchy your fleece is.  If you have thin and or pretty stretchy fleece I'd add only an inch.  If your fleece is thick and or not very stretchy I would add 2 inches to the length.  

You will only need to cut ONE bow piece.  Fleece can be kind of heavy for all that bow.  I also have cut down the width of the bow because it's a bit large for an ear warmer.  You can use the measurements if you REALLY love big bows, but I suggest cutting 2 inches from each side of the bow (only for people not dolls and bears.  You can use the written measurements for the bow piece if you are making doll or bear ear warmers).  For example if you are making the 2-12 year one I would cut the bow 4X6.  Like I said, this is my preference, and if you like awesomely giant bows, go for cutting the bow how the pattern says.  

Cut the bow center using the measurements in the pattern.  



Sew as directed in the pattern instructions.  EXCEPT skip over the part about sewing the bow piece.  You will not need to sew the bow piece because only one bow piece has been cut.  When you have finished you will have just the cutest fleece ear warmers ever... and don't forget dolly!  


 Hope you make tons and tons of cute fleece ear warmers!  

As always take care and happy sewing, 

The Pickle Toes Patterns Team




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