Show Your Stoff Zierstoff Blog Tour

Show Your Stoff – Zierstoff Blog Tour + Discount Code!

It’s Zierstoff Blog Tour time! I have joined many other bloggers and signed up for the ‘Show Your Stoff Blog Tour’ using the great patterns from Zierstoff. I live on the underside of the globe in little old New Zealand. Since we are heading into our cooler weather I have chosen to make the Yann Hoodie/Shawl Collar Shirt and the Nico Reversible Pants. I think these two will make excellent staples for the cooler months. Both these patterns are available in two size ranges, 6 Months to 4/5 Years and 5 Years to 12 Years. These are nice broad size ranges which should mean you get a lot of use out of your pattern purchase.


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Summer Shorts with a twist

I like to mix things up and try new things with my existing patterns.  My favourite pattern is Kid Shorts by Dana from Made.  I love this pattern and have used it over and over and over…you get the idea!  You can get the pattern on her blog, the link is above!

Summer Shorts a

I have always admired the slight gather in the leg of some girls shorts and thought I would give it a go!

I started with the standard Made pattern for a size 8, girls length.  I added a little extra width in the leg to allow for the gather.  I did not add much as the pattern already has fairly wide legs.  If you are using another pattern you may need to add more!

Summer Shorts c

Then I cut two 4cm wide strips for the the bottom bands, you could use bias binding, or contrasting fabric or whatever you like!  I think next time I would make them slightly wider.  You may want to remove the Hem allowance from the bottom of the shorts, I have purposely left Hannah’s longer so when she grows (Again!) they will still fit for a while!

What you will need

  1. Fabric – I used woven cotton blend print.  I am not exactly sure what the fabric is as it was a gift out of my Mother in laws stash!  But it’s nice and light for summer (yep we are just about to head into spring here!), and I love the floral pattern.
  2. Sewing machine – Overlocker/Serger (Optional)
  3. Thread
  4. Elastic – Follow your pattern instructions
  5. Iron!!

Step 1 – Cut out your fabric

Follow the instructions to cut out Dana’s from Made, Kid Shorts Pattern (or the shorts pattern you are using).  I am making the flat fronted shorts, I like the streamlined look of these, but full elastic waistbands will work too!

Add a little (or a lot depending on your pattern) to the leg width of your shorts.  I have added 1cm (3/8”) to each piece so 4cm (1.57”) in total.

Summer Shorts b

Cut out two strips of fabric 4cm (1.57”) wide and a little longer than double the wide of your shorts leg (it will need to go around both halves – see photo below!)

Step 2 – Sew middles and inseams together

You will need to pin and sew the two fronts together.  Place them right sides facing each other and sew together (waist to crotch piece).  Repeat for the back pieces.


Summer Shorts (5)

Pin and sew the inseams together, I like to pin from the crotch out each leg so that the middle lines up.  It is much easier to straighten the leg length than have a mismatched seam in the middle.

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As you can see mine don’t quite line up, so I will trim the excess of with scissors.

Step 3 – Gather the legs

Set you machine to the longest stitch length and the tightest thread tension, and sew one single line along the bottom of the leg.  DO NOT lockstitch (reverse a couple stitches) at the start or end, and leave plenty of thread at both ends in case you want to loosen the gather.

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Adjust the gather if needed to the desired length, I measured around the widest part of my daughters thigh (35.5cm or 14” and she’s nearly 7 if you are wanting a guide) to be sure it wouldn’t be too tight! For more details check out my Superhero Cape tutorial!  Once you have adjusted the gather tie the ends in a knot to prevent it slipping further as you sew.

Summer Shorts e

Press the gather with your iron. This will help keep them all in place as you sew.

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Step 4 – Fold and sew on the bottom bands

Time to fold the bottom bands, so stay by the good old iron!

Iron in half with the right sides of the facing out. Fold open the strip and fold one raw edge over till a little over half way and iron again.

Summer Shorts f

Overlock the remaining raw edge, it should be quite a bit longer than the folded side.  You can fold this instead if you want a neater finish, I prefer to overlock it for speed and ease of catching both sides when sewing!

Summer Shorts g

Iron the bands again to press the seams, I adjusted mine slightly to make them wider, and to line the seams up a little closer.  (See photos above!!!)

Pin the bands on to the gathered edges.

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Topstitch close to the edge, you will have a bit of excess band but you can trim that off.

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Step 5 – Side seams

Overlock/zigzag all the side edges separately.  This will allow you to fold out the seam flat so the band will sit nicer.  Leave the end of the overlocked thread on.

Summer Shorts (21)Pin and sew both side seams starting at the bottom band that way to can make sure it lines up.  Any miss-match can be sorted out at the waistband!

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Iron open the side seams.

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Thread the overlocking ends back up under the seam, this will help the folds from not showing out the bottom, and will stop them coming undone later.

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You can trim the excess overlocked thread off now.

Topstitch on the band on either side of the seam to secure the fold at the bottom, to top will be secured when you sew the waistband.

Summer Shorts i

Step 6 – Waistband

Overlock the waistband to prevent fraying and to even out any miss-matched side seams (You can just trim with scissors and use zigzag).

Summer Shorts (28)

Decide whether you want to fold the waistband once or twice (to hide the overlocked edge), I have chosen to just do it once this time.  Iron the band over once or twice depending on your choice.

I like to sew the topstitch around the top edge of the waistband first.

Summer Shorts j

Now to create the casing for the elastic only in the back half of the shorts.  Start at one side seam (make sure it stays folded out), and sew your waistband round to the other side seam.  Add a tag if you are wanting one!  Don’t forget to lockstitch (or reverse a few stitches) at the beginning and end.

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Overlock/zigzag the ends of the elastic to prevent them fraying.

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Thread the elastic through till the end is still just sticking out of the opening, pin in place and little way away from the side seam. Sew on the right side of the waistband straight down the side seam to catch the elastic, I like to sew this up and down for extra strength.

Summer Shorts k

Feed the elastic the rest of the way through, line up the other side and pin and sew in the same way.

Summer Shorts l

Sew up the front of the waistband (photo above right!)

Step 7 – Admire the gathered leg shorts!

Summer Shorts Collage

I also made Harry a pair with pockets, using bias binding and neon green zigzag to attach it.  Much like the Baby Bib in the Struggling with bias binding post. Can’t leave the neon thread alone!!!

Gorgeous Girls Dress!

Gloria Dress Header
This is a ‘it didn’t turn out’ fix up, which turned into a start over!
A friend of mine had found a simple pattern for a dress with a tie around the neck.  The pattern called for 1m of fabric and claimed to fit all sizes as the neck tie made it adjustable.  Her daughter chose some orange and pink fabric and she followed the pattern…and as you probably guessed one size does NOT fit all!  You get a dress that fits like a potato sack on a very petite little girl.
I think my friend was more disappointed than her daughter but none the less I thought I’d try and make something out of it for her.  Since I’ve procrastinated a wee bit it will be just in time for her birthday!
Gloria Dress a
Here is the dress as I got it, I decided the best thing to do was start over!  So I got out the un-picker (seam ripper) and set to work.
Gloria Dress b
Now my least favourite part!  I am not the most patient person and I knew I had to wash it (since I had no idea if it was done the first time) and I really didn’t want it to not fit after the first wash! But I really don’t like waiting in the middle of a project.  So I created the Baby Doll Nappy while I was waiting!
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It was finally washed and dried, so time to iron.  I found a nice bodice pattern on the Burda Style website.  The original came from
I did not make the dress the same as the pattern I just wanted to use the bodice piece to get the sizing right, as I didn’t have her here to measure.
What you will need,
  • Fabric (I had 1m x 110cm) with a few pieces cut out
  • Domes x 2 (or buttons etc.)
  • Thread to match/contrast your fabric
Gloria Dress d
I printed and cut out the pattern.  As you can see I left the bottom edge of paper on for added length.  I did not want it as short as the original.
Gloria Dress e
Draw around and cut out your pieces, placing the marked edge on the fold.  Make sure the fabric pattern is up the right way, and lines up.  I managed to cut these pieces out of the the two top pieces of the dress leaving enough for the skirt part of the dress.
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You will have two pieces like the folded one on the left.  I cut one in half as this will be the back.  I wanted to be able to undo the dress for easy on and off.
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Now you can do the same steps all over again (Yay!) with the lining.
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I have pinned the right sides of the fabric together, the neckline and the lower half of the under arm.  The back piece will also be sewn up both the middle sides,  Sew where the pins are 3/8” (+/- 1cm)seam allowance.
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Once you have sewn the pinned areas, turn the right way round and iron flat.  Iron the un-sewn arm edges to match the rest.  Below is a photo of one of the back pieces.
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Now it is time to join the tops of the shoulder straps together.  This is why you left the gap in the arm holes!
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Match up the seam in the middle and pin the right sides facing.  I will keep the next few photos large to show it clearly.
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Here it is sewn
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Straightening up the new join.
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Here it is again after ironing.  Repeat for the other side, and layout as in the right hand picture.
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I have folded the two sides open, right sides facing.  Sew together.  Make sure to line up the centre seam, this is what you’ll see from the outside.
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All sewn here!
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Now back to your best friend the iron, and it should look like this after that!  As you can see it is fraying quite a bit at the bottom so feel free to overlock/zigzag the edge.  I did mine a few steps later but now would have been fine too.  Make sure you overlock/zigzag the fabric and lining SEPARATELY!
Gloria Dress h
Time to top stitch.  Top stitch (sew close to the edge with the right side of the fabric facing you) the neck line and arm holes, this will give a nice edge and secure the seam.  You can also top stitch the middle sides of the back pieces leave about 2.5cm (1”) at the bottom for the skirt part to tuck into.
Gloria Dress i
Time for the first dome!
Line up where you want the dome to be, and use the pointed tool to make the hole.
Place the dome piece through the hole.
Place the second half of the dome on, and use the tool to set the dome.
Repeat the above steps for the other side.  Taking care that when the dome will  be done up that the top of the neckline matches.
Lovely looking dome all ready to go!
Time to measure up for the skirt part of the dress.
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Lay your bodice out with the dome done up and the middles at the back overlapping evenly the whole way down.  I wanted a little ruffle on the skirt but not too much.  So I went for 1 1/2 times the circumference of the top.  To work this out measure the bottom of the bodice 33cm or 13”, and multiply by 3.  So I needed 99cm or 39” for the width of my skirt.
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Cut that out and iron if needed.  Overlock or zigzag the two shorter sides.  Then fold in half right sides facing to make a tube.
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Sew with a decent seam allowance 1cm (3/8”) to allow you to fold out the seam and iron it flat.  See the next photo first!
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Notice the pin, it is 5cm (2”) from the end and you need to stop sewing at that point, and lock stitch/reverse a few stitches and back.  This leaves a little gap so that you can tuck the skirt part into the bodice back pieces, and also allows you to sew the gathering after sewing the side seam.
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Iron the seam open the whole way along, including the gap at the top.
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After ironing this is what the gap part should look like!
Now it is time to gather the top edge of the skirt.  I used to dread this bit till I learned a little trick.  Getting the machine to do the work for me!  No double lines just one row.
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Set your machine to the longest stitch setting and the tightest thread tension (usually the highest numbers for both).  Starting at one side of the little gap sew a single line all the way across the top of the skirt (I sewed over the top of my overlocking).  Do NOT lock stitch or reverse over at the start or end.  Make sure you leave a generous length of thread at either end to be able to adjust the gather.
For another look at gather check out my Superhero Cape Tutorial.
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This is what it will look like after the gathering!  Remember to set the tension and stitch length back to normal!
Leave those threads on until you have pinned it in place, as you might need to adjust the length to fit.  To adjust hold onto just one of the threads and push the fabric in the direction you want.  If the first thread isn’t working well try holding the other one.
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This is how it will all go together.  Make sure you have all the right sides facing out.  But first we need to fold over and iron the bottom of the bodice and lining.  You can see the results of that in the photo below.
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Time to pin it in place.  I find it easier to pin it with a few pins on the inside and then once I have the gather right I will use A LOT of pins on the outside, the photos will show you Smile!  Start at the centre of the front of the bodice and pin centre of the skirt to it.  Make sure to push it in far enough to cover the overlocking on the gathered skirt.
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This is one of the middle pieces of the back, the gathered piece is the right length now so I tied the two threads together, and continue pinning in place.  Once I have done that I pin from the outside of the dress, removing the internal pins as I go.
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Here is the pinned front & back.
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To sew it in place I am going to use a double needle.  You can use just one row, or go around twice if you want to.  Sew on the right side of the dress so you can line the stitching up carefully with edge of the fabric.
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It is a A LOT of pins but I like to make sure I catch all three layers of fabric evenly.
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Here is is all stitched up, now time to put in the second dome.  Follow the steps from above and put it into the bottom of the bodice, to keep the gap closed.  This is optional but I prefer the more slim fitting look it gives.
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Ironing time!
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Iron from the bodice down the top of the gather, this will reduce any puffiness and smooth the dress.
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While you are at the ironing board, iron in the hem.  You can make this as wide or narrow as you like, you can always let it out later as the child grows.  As I had a patterned fabric I had to make sure that the pattern lined up with the edge.  Sew you hem in place.
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Again I used the double needle as I like the finish and it was still in the machine!
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All done!  I see a few more of these in my sewing future!  So cute and simple.  Could mix and match the bodice and skirt colours and a waistband too.  So many options!!