Taking Care of Sewing Equipment

By julie beveridge
on June 17, 2021

Taking Care of Sewing Equipment

As exciting as this is, we often forget about the boring parts of sewing and that is keeping our equipment that we use every day while sewing in top order.

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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. 

Pencil Roll Up (or paint brushes, markers, crayons, makeup brushes, pens....)

By Kellie Davis
on December 20, 2018

Pencil Roll Up (or paint brushes, markers, crayons, makeup brushes, pens....)

     Lately I have really gotten into drawing with colored pencils and painting with watercolor and my supplies are all over the place.  I desperately needed a way to store my supplies.  This project has been on my to do list for months and I have finally found the time to make one.  The great thing about this project is that it is easily adjusted for whatever size items you want to put in it.  I am using mine for paint brushes, so I measured my tallest brush and added 1.5" to that.  I'm sure I will need another 1 or 4 to store all my colored pencil collection.
     For this project, you will need quilter's cotton, medium weight fusible interfacing, thread, pins or clips, a ruler, scissors and elastic.  I used a piece of FOE (fold over elastic) but any elastic will work.  Again, I measured my tallest brush and added 1.5" to that for a height of 10".  You can adjust yours to the height of your intended items.  For the width, I wanted it to hold 48 pencils, so I spaced the pockets 1.5" apart to hold 3 pencils in each pocket, so I knew I needed 16 pockets plus 1" on each end.  Again, you can adjust this for the number of items you want to store.  For a child's crayon roll up, I might only want it to hold 24 crayons, so I would want to also adjust the width.  Of course, you will also need to adjust the pockets and the point cover, but this tutorial isn't about all of the different sizes you can make.  Maybe one day I'll create a pattern tutorial for many sizes, but for now, this is what you will need to cut for this roll up.
  • 1 main fabric 26" by 10"
  • 1 contrast fabric 26" by 10"
  • 1 fusible interfacing 26" by 10"
  • 1 main fabric for pockets 26" by 8"
  • 1 contrast fabric for point cover flap 26" by 7"
  • 5.5" elastic
     Cut out all pieces.  Iron interfacing onto the wrong side of the contrast fabric, and iron the pocket and the point cover in half along the length.
     With the interfacing side of the contrast fabric down, place the folded pocket piece along the bottom edge with the fold facing up.  Line up the raw edges along the bottom and sides and pin or clip in place.
     Starting 1" from edge, mark a line every 1.5".  The last mark will be 1" from the other edge. You will end up with 18 marks including the 2 marks that are 1" from each edge.  With a ruler and a pencil or washable pen, draw a line straight up at each mark.  These will be the sewing lines to form the pockets.
     Sew a straight stitch on each line to form your pockets.  Next, hem each short end of the point cover flap by folding over 1/2", then again 1/2".  Straight stitch a hem.  
     Fold the point cover in half and place it at the top edge of the contrast piece.  Place it 1" from the side edge and raw edges even with the top edge, as shown.  You do not want the point cover flap to be sewn into the side seams or you won't be able to lift it out of the way.  Pin or clip the flap in place.
     Place your elastic in place about 1/4"-1/2" from the point cover.  Now place the main fabric piece right side down on top of the contrast section with the pockets and elastic and flap.  Pin or clip all the way around making sure to leave a 2.5"-3" opening between the pocket and top on the opposite side from the elastic.  I marked my opening with 2 red clips for the start and stop of my opening.
     Starting from one point of the opening, sew 3/8" seam allowance all the way around, pivoting at each corner, and stopping at the other point of the opening.  Make sure to trim the seam allowance of each corner to make the points look nicer when you turn it inside out.
     Reach into the opening and grab the elastic on the other side.  Pull the elastic through the opening until the whole thing is right side out.  Use a pencil or other blunt pointed (not sharp) object to push the corners out.  At this point, the point cover flap will stick straight up.  You will need to iron it down.
     Starting at the top of the pocket, top stitch 1/4" from the edge all the way around the top and down to the top of the pocket on the other side.  Make sure you close the opening in your top stitching.  You can stitch all the way around if you like, but I wanted to be able to use that little pocket on each edge to place a pen and a pencil in for easy access while I paint.  If you stitch all the way around, it will still hold 48 pencils. 
     Now fill it with your art supply of choice, roll it up and it's ready to travel with you wherever you choose to go.  Or sit in the cupboard waiting for you to use it in your next art project.  I hope you will make some for last minute gifts or just for yourself.  If you do, please share them with us in our Facebook group.  

Car Travel Mat (Car Roll Up)

By Pickle Toes Team
on December 19, 2018

Car Travel Mat (Car Roll Up)

Hello Pickle Toes Fans!  Looking for a quick but still impressive sew?  We’ve got an awesome tutorial today for that special tiny toy car hoarder collector in your life. I have 2 little guys that are equally obsessed with tiny cars.  I find them everywhere--under the sofa, in the TV cabinet, in the tub after bath time, even in the freezer after they became second place to a bowl of ice cream.  Every time I do the laundry I always find a few that have gone on one wild ride through the washer and have wiggled out of my son’s pockets somewhere in the dryer. Cue banging sounds in dryer. Hahaha

 My boys always stuff their cars in their pockets.  Sometimes my 2 year old gets really grouchy when he can’t fit them all. My 4 year old already knows he likes to carry more than his pocket can hold, so he’s started carrying a backpack--Which always gets “too heavy”.  So basically I’m carrying around a puppy dog backpack full of cars, a diaper bag, and 2 toddlers with 2 big girls trailing behind.  What a sight, I’m sure. :P

Enter the Travel Car Mat.

Basically this came out of necessity. I NEEDED to stop carrying this backpack full of cars and teach my boys to be a little more independent.  I still needed these darn cars to come with us everywhere because they keep my boys busy and super calm when we’re out.  If something keeps my toddlers busy, even for 4.2 seconds, it’s a total win for me. Bonus--that means I get 4.2 seconds of uninterrupted thought and zero sweating, but, ya know, your mileage may vary.

Here’s what you need to create this Travel Car Mat:

-11”wx12”H woven fabric (2 pieces, 1 for front and 1 for back)

-3”hx11”W woven fabric (this will be your pockets)

-3”hx11”w black felt (2 pieces, these will be your roads)

-1”wx1/2”h yellow felt (8 pieces, these will be the yellow lines on the roads)

-closure of choice (either 8 snaps, hook and loop tape as desired or 9 inches of 1/4” elastic

-ribbon or webbing 9”long (2 pieces)

-thread to match


(I am using the vehicle fabric for front and back, as well as the pocket)

Cut all your fabric out and gather all your materials.

Begin by hemming the pocket piece about 3/8”.

Next, you will create the pockets for your cars to fit into. I decided on about 2” and all our average sized cars fit inside. First, lay your hemmed pocket piece on top of your 11”x12”front fabric piece. Be sure to line up the 2 sides and bottom edges as best as you can. Clip or pin the pocket to the fabric to where it was hemmed.  This will hold it still.

 Next, measure ½” from the left and right edges of your fabric-I used a clip for this. This will be the seam allowance when we sew the front and back together. From that clip on the left side, measure 2” and mark it with a pin. Continue marking the lines for your pockets every 2” until you have 5 pockets. Your last pin should be about 2 and ½” from the right edge of your fabric.  Alternately, you can just simple create 2 large pockets by measuring and marking right down the middle of your pocket piece. **If you are adding snaps or Velcro for closure, this would be a good time to add the one side. Add 4 snaps or 3pieces of Velcro as desired, staying away from where your pocket stitches will be.  Be sure to only attach your Velcro or snaps to your pocket piece and not the top 11”x12”piece.

Now we will sew our pockets. Starting from the top of your pocket, sew a straight line to your pin, being sure to remove your pin and sew to the end of your fabric. Repeat for your 4 other pockets. You should now have 3 closed pockets and 2 end pockets that are open on the sides. We will close these later.

Next we will sew the yellow lines onto your roads. Determine how you want to place them on your road and pin. Sew yellow felt to the black felt, sewing down the middle of your yellow rectangle. Full disclosure, I used white thread NOT yellow and you can’t tell the difference.

Repeat step 5 for your second road. **As another option, you can create a “figure 8” for your road. It will need to be about 7” tall and 10”wide. Sew the yellow lines onto your “figure 8” in the same way, doing your best to space them evenly.


Now it’s time to sew your roads down. Measure 1” from the top of your front 11”x12” piece.  Pin one of your roads to the front piece, making sure the entire road is 1”from the top of your fabric and lines up with the sides of your front piece. Pin it in place. Top stitch 3/8” along the top and bottom of your road.  **If you chose a figure 8, pin and topstitch 3/8” along the outside and inside edges of your 8.


Measure 1” from the bottom of the road you just sewed. Pin your second road to the front piece, making sure the entire road is 1”from the bottom of your first road. Top stitch 3/8”along the top and bottom of your second road.


Next we will sew some “fold lines”. I like to add this detail because it makes it easier for little hands to fold the car mat. Looking at the mat, we have created a gap between the two roads and a gap between the bottom road and the pockets. This is where we will create our “fold lines”.  Increase your stitch length just a touch, it doesn’t need to be too long. Sew a straight line across the middle of the gap between the roads, the entire length of the mat. It should be about ½” from each road but you can easily eyeball this part.  Repeat for the gap between the bottom road and the pocket. **If you created a figure 8, you should still create these fold lines.  Measure about 4 ½” from the top edge. This will be your first fold line.  Next, measure 4 ½” from the top of your pockets. This will be your second fold line. Straight stitch the length of your Car Mat.

Now it’s time to pin your straps. Take your ribbon/webbing and pin one end on fold line you just created. Pin or clip the other end to your second fold line. Be sure your ribbon sits ON TOP of your Car Mat and NOT OFF the edges.  Repeat with the ribbon/webbing on the opposite side to create your second strap.

I chose to use an elastic strap that could be pulled around the Car Mat after it was folded. Measure about 2 ½” from the upper right corner of your Car Mat. Pin or clip and overlap the ends, making sure your elastic creates a loop and lines up with the edges. Again, be sure your elastic loop sits ON TOP of your Car Mat, NOT off the edges.


It’s time to close your Car Mat! Lay your back 11”x12” piece on top of your front piece, right sides together. Clip or pin all the way around, leaving a 4” opening in the middle of the top for turning. When you reach the spots where you pinned the straps, be sure to remove to pins/clips and re-clip or pin to include the bottom fabric. You should have 3 layers here-- top fabric, strap, and bottom fabric. When you reach your elastic strap, remove the pin and re-pin or clip to include the bottom fabric. Here, you will have 4 layers, top fabric, elastic and bottom fabric. Top stitch about 3/8”all around the edges. Be sure to catch all your layers including your roads pockets, elastic and straps. **If you made a figure 8, It is not necessary to catch the road when you sew it shut since it was already top stitched.

Turn your Car Mat right side out and double check that all layers are sewn.

Now it’s time to top stitch. Fold the fabric at the opening inside and iron it flat. Top stitch 3/8”, starting at the TOP left side of the pocket. DO NOT top stitch the pockets.  You will only topstitch the 2 sides and the top. When top stitching the top, be sure to sew your opening closed.

If you are adding snaps or Velcro, this is the time to add the second half. They should be place on the back piece, in the gap between the two roads.

You’re done! Now little hands can carry their own cars using the straps and they’ll have a little mat to play on. Fold it up and show it to your favorite car collector and anyone else that will think it’s amazing!



    My boys have already discovered that toy dinosaurs fit really well in the pockets, along with cheese sticks and teddy grahams.  :P


    Happy sewing Pickle Toes Fans!

    By Lindsay Stroup



    Fast and Easy Christmas Ornaments

    By Kellie Davis
    on December 19, 2018

    Fast and Easy Christmas Ornaments

    Handmade ornaments are such a fun gift to make and to receive.  They make great additions to the package of  gifts as well, as a little extra with the gift.  I had fun making these and they looked so adorable on my tree.

    For this project, you will need a cup or bowl, or even a saucer.  anything round that you can trace that will make a large enough circle, ribbon or ric rac for the hanger, stuffing and just about any kind of fabric.  I used Christmas themed quilters cotton. You also need the essentials....scissors, thread, hand sewing needle, pins or clips, and a sewing machine, although these could be done completely by hand. 
    First, trace your circles onto the fabric.  Make sure to center the image you want featured.  Trace and cut 2 circles for each ornament.  Cut about 3" of ribbon or ric rac, or whatever you've chosen for your hangers, for each ornament.
    Place one circle right side up and place the hanger with the loop side down and ends centered at the top of the ornament.  Place the second circle right side down on top of the first circle and pin or clip in place.   
    Starting at the bottom, sew around the circle leaving about 1" unsewn at the bottom.  I used a 1/4" seam allowance, but you can use whatever size you are comfortable with and then just trim the excess seam allowance down to 1/8"-1/4".
    Reach inside the circle and pull the hanger loop to turn your ornaments right side out.  Stuff the circles to desired fullness and hand sew the opening closed.  And what do you do with the ones you mess up?  Why, you stuff them with plastic shopping bags and turn them into crinkle dog toys, of course!  I forgot the loop on one, and sewed one circle wrong side out.  lol.  My dogs enjoyed their new toys.
    These would be so cute with solid fabrics decorated with all the decorative stitches we have on our machines, or in different shapes.  Maybe candy canes, stockings or gingerbread men.   I wish I would have had more time to make all the cute shapes when I was making these.  They would even be adorable just fused with fusible web and stitched around the edges if you don't want to stuff them.  The possibilities are endless!  If you make any, please share in our Facebook group.  I can't wait to see what you all come up with.   

    Snowman Bears 'N Buddies Hack

    By Kellie Davis
    on December 18, 2018

    Snowman Bears 'N Buddies Hack

    I started this snowman with the intentions of making a blog post to show you all how to create him from the Bears 'N Buddies pattern, but I just haven't had time to finish him.  I finally decided that you all probably don't care if he is finished as long as I show you how to do him, so here goes...
    For this snowman hack, you will need the Bears 'N Buddies pattern, snowman buttons and white fabric.  White fleece, faux fur, twill, corduroy, or even white muslin will work.  You can use any buttons if you don't have snowman buttons, or you can applique or embroider the eyes, nose and mouth in place.  If you are making this for a child under age.
    Let's get started. Using the face piece from the pattern, trace around the pattern piece but don't trace the muzzle opening.  Instead, mark the center top of the muzzle at the sewing line and the seam lines where the muzzle opening closes at the bottom of the face. Draw in a curve on each side from the bottom to the center as shown above.  This will be the bottom dart for the snowman face.
    Use this pattern piece and the body pieces (no ears or tail) to cut out your snowman from your white fabric of choice.  
    Transfer all sewing lines and dart placement marks to the wrong side of the fabric pieces.  Trust me on this step.  Marking them now will make your life so much easier when sewing.  The smaller pieces can be a bit fiddly, so you want to be sure you are sewing in the right place or it just won't work quite right.
    Now fold the front of the head in half, right sides together, and sew the bottom dart you made when we eliminated the muzzle opening.  Make sure to trim away the excess seam allowance to reduce bulk and make the seams lay smoother.
    Open the face and place the buttons (or applique or embroidery) where you would like them to be.  Sew in place.  Continue with the rest of the snowman following the instructions in the pattern, including the top and side face darts.  My snowman didn't get finished, but I will post photos of him when I do finish him.  I would love to see yours when you finish also.  Please post pics in our Facebook group.  

    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!

    The Snip and Rip Method (woven fabrics)

    By Pickle Toes Team Jennifer-Laurie
    on February 05, 2018

    The Snip and Rip Method (woven fabrics)

    I am really excited about today’s tutorial. Mostly because it deals with woven materials but also because it is a hack I learned about when I was working on a pattern that needed long strips of fabric. If you have ever done a strip work project then you know how tedious it can be to have to cut out the individual strips you need for the project. Enter in a short cut that can be used for projects called the snip and rip method of creating strips.


    You can use this method with any woven fabric that has horizontal lines running selvage to selvage (although I am not a fan of using this method for rayon blends, it works very nicely with other woven fabrics). This is a great way to also true up fabric designs that may not have been cut evenly at the cutting counter. So let’s get started.

    Supply List:



    Rulers (I like to use a cutting mat and large ruler to double check the tears are even but they are not necessary since you will be tearing along horizontal fibers the tears should remain completely straight).


    To get started you will cut about ½ inch to 1 inch past your selvage. In this tutorial, I am making a 9x40 inch strip from scrap fabric so I am truing up the fabric on one side. But you will measure how wide you want your fabric pieces to be then snip at those increments.


    Now grasp each side and begin to pull apart tearing the fabric.

    Keep tearing until you reach the end of the strip. Contunue with any other strips you would like to tear.


     This method does leave a slightly frayed edge but also gives a nice straight edge that doesn’t require lots of measuring before cutting. And if you are truing up a fabric that has a design it will allow you to have a nice even and straight design with very little work!










    Hacking the Dill

    By Pickle Toes Team Jennifer-Laurie
    on January 25, 2018

    Hacking the Dill

    All of us behind the scenes at Pickle Toes Patterns are participating in the 52 Week Sewing Challenge. It is an online Facebook Group that challenges you to sew something every week. We're just now getting to week 4 and the theme for the week is, "Sew Something for a Boy." My 9 year old was thrilled as he tends to get the least of mama made. (sorry kiddo) 

    Luckily, I had recently ordered some Bob's Burgers custom fabric. My family and I are obsessed with this show. We dressed up as the main characters for Halloween in 2016. Easiest family costume we have done yet.

    I knew I wanted to use the Gene fabric I had bought for him and I knew I wanted to make him a Dill. That is his favorite pattern I've yet to make him. But I also knew I wanted something different since the print itself was rather busy. 

    Making a shirt with the busy fabric as the front and back would be too much for my eyes. So with the help of Laurie Roberts, owner of Bear and Pea Atelier, I settled on blocking the dill and adding a chest pocket. 

    Want to recreate this look? It's really easy! Start with your printing and assembling the Dill pattern. If you don't already own the Dill you can purchase it here. You will need to cut the front and back bodice 1" above the bottom of the armscye. I've marked it in the photo below with a blue marker. Cut across the line creating a top and bottom to the front and back pieces.

    That's the only change you will need to make to the pattern piece itself. Keep in mind you will need to add a seam allowance when cutting your fabric. See how I noted on my pieces to add the seam allowance? I'm so forgetful I have to note little things like this.

    I lined the 3/8" line on my ruler, up with the edge of my pattern piece. This was an easy way to mark and cut  the needed seam allowance.

    For the pocket I decided to do a 3" wide and 4" tall one for my son. I cut a 4" x 5" rectangle. This gives me half an inch to turn under on all four sides.

    Now comes the sewing. Prep your front and back pieces. Attach the top portion to the bottom by sewing them right sides together, do this for both the front and the back. 

    Press the seam down and top stitch if desired.

    (I used a coverstitch on mine, but you can get the same effect from a twin needle if you desire.)

    I find it easier to attach the pocket before assembling the shirt. I folded the top edge down 1/2" towards the wrong side of the fabric and stitched it down.


    Fold the remaining 3 sides 1/2" towards the wrong side of the pocket. Press them so they folds will stay while you place your pocket and stitch into place. Line the top of the pocket's stitches up with the seam on the front bodice. I placed mine 1.5" from the armscye edge. 

    Pin the pocket into place and stitch the pocket in place. I used a pocket reinforcement stitch at the top corners. You can do the same by following the diagram below.

    Looking good!

    Once the pocket is attached you can continue with step two of the Dill Pickle Tee tutorial. When you're all finished be sure to post a picture and share it in our Facebook Group, we love to see your creations!

     He was so thrilled with his shirt! He wore it the very next day. Don't forget to check out the 52 Week Sewing Challenge group, it surely is the group to get your sew-jo flowing!


    Join the 52 Week Sewing Challenge here: 




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