Another sewing project from my sister, Julie. Enjoy.
So my lovely sister, who writes this blog, asked me to take pictures when I am sewing and then write instructions on how to sew the things I am creating. I have been sewing for a few years now but have never had much success with reading patterns so I have learned to look at the pictures and make it up as I go along. So far we have had more successes than failures for which I’m grateful.
This spring, I decided to make a multi-tiered jumper for my daughter. I went to Joann Fabrics for some of their awesome Red Tag deals. I think I bought 1.5 yards of each pattern of fabric, but I usually don’t have a plan so I just eyeball it. (This cost me about $5.)
Here are my instructions on how I came up with this jumper. First, I find a bodice pattern piece (I keep one on hand for each of my girls’ sizes) and pin the pattern piece to the fabric. Cut out your bodice (on the fold) 4 times.
When you unfold your fabric it will look like this (and you should have four of them).
Next you want to figure out the length of your jumper by measuring the child from the shoulder down to wear you want the length to be. My daughter’s bodice is usually about 9” long and then her skirt is 22 to 23” long.
I take the 22” and divide it by the amount of tiers I will be doing (this time four). We can now cut our strips for the tiers with each being the same width (in this case about 6” to allow for seam allowances).
Once you have that decided, you can start cutting your strips (remember that we are cutting perpendicular to the fold).
The first tier just needs to be about 1.5x the length of the bodice (make sense?).
The second tier, I just cut one length (44”).
The third tier, you can cut 2 (44”) lengths.
For the fourth tier you will then want to cut at least 3.5 (44”) lengths or maybe even 4 depending on how full or even “flouncy” you want it. Little girls LOVE flounce! ☺
I really just measure each time differently according to how much fabric I have and how many tiers, I’m doing.
If you lay your pieces out after, they should look like this. I’d do a quick measure again to make sure it is still the length you want it (remember, you have to take seam allowances into account).
Now for the fun part (I always like to get the cutting out of the way – it can be so boring).
Put two of your bodice pieces with right sides together and sew around the sides and tops (leaving the bottom open to turn it). When you have done this to all four bodices (putting them together you should end up with a front and a back), then turn them right side out (making sure you get the corners cut before turning them right side out). Iron the pieces once this is done.
Once this is finished, take your first tier and baste a gathering stitch along the top length. Pin your bodice to the first tier (right sides together) and gather up the tier ‘til it fits the bodice in size.
Sew with a regular stitch over your gathers (taking out pins as you go) and admire the look of your first two pieces of different fabrics together. This is one tier done. IF you have a serger, then go ahead and serge the seam to give it a more finished look or you can zigzag with your regular machine. This will help it endure the rigors of child play, too!
Now it is time to move on to tier 2, 3, & 4. The steps are basically the same – okay they are the same – and you just keep building onto the skirt tier by tier. The only difference is that you will need to sew each tiers lengths together (because remember you had to cut more than one strip for some of them) FIRST then gather, pin and sew. It is a bit time consuming but the effects are lovely. The first picture is serging and the second afterwards.
Can I stop and say I just LOVE my serger. My husband gave it to me for Christmas. I decided that since the serging stitches don’t really show, I would keep the thread colors the same for easy threading. They are such jolly colors anyway.
Okay, back to the project at hand. Here is a picture of what two tiers sewn on look like.
In the past, I have made the first tier one length (44”) and the second longer and so forth but I’m really happy with this first tier being the same length as the bodice as it gives it a cummerbund effect.
After you have finished with the 3rd tier and have sewn the lengths of the 4th tier together, I would stop and hem the fourth tier before gathering and sewing it on. Hemming a straight line is just so much easier. My easiest hemming now it to serge around the fabric and then turn it up just ½” and sew the hem on the machine. Easy, simple and so quick!
Once you have the four tiers sewn on and are happy with them, then turn the jumper inside out (right sides together) and sew the shoulder seams (you can also do this before sewing any tiers on) together and then the side seams.
The above picture is before I serged and I’m not sure why I didn’t take a picture of after but I DID serge the side seams.
There you are…done and ready to be worn.
Now, I can’t believe I do not have a picture of Stephanie wearing her jumper without her sisters around. I always take pictures of them separately! Anyway, can you see the fullness and the cuteness. So simple and it took me only about 4 hours to make this jumper.
I think I’m going to have to make some of these now. ~smile~