Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Polo Shirt Refashion ...Nursing Friendly Pattern!

When I found this Polo PDF pattern this past fall online, I just HAD to make it sleeveless!
The fantastic Study Hall Shirt & Dress pattern from Greenstyle Creations was just begging for a summer feel! 

This pattern is GEAT for so many reasons

First of all, it is available in a snap. Your online purchase is ready in no time online!
The pattern pieces are beautifully drawn and EASY to assemble! Each size from the

Teen S,M,L through the Women’s 2-12 are color coded too.
Plus, there are great full color photos and step by step instructions.
Don't forget the sleeve & hem options either! You can make short or long sleeves, or get that great layered T look in one piece.

After looking at the pattern, I was certain that it would be easy to make this one sleeveless too...today I will show you how.
PLUS I have a special guest on the blog today... THE stylish lady behind
Greenstyle Creations, Angelyn Bennett. Following the tutorial, you can see just what keeps this lady inspired...and how she got started designing pdf's!

Along with making this dress sleeveless, I added the floral band at the bottom.
I just LOVE this fabric combo!
The tonal aqua chevron print is a SUUUUUper soft t-shirt feel knit from Riley Blake.
The yard of gorgeous floral is a woven cotton called Kumari Garden by Dena Designs.
I know, I know....the pattern calls for all knit, but I could not resist this pairing!
Initially, I was worried  about using knit and woven fabrics together...but I cut the armhole trim on the bias, so it has a bit of movement. 
Plus I extended the button placket, so my head will fit through the neckline... AND I could use this dress for nursing in the future!
To make the garment even more nursing friendly, and because I loathe sewing buttonholes, I used KAM snaps instead of buttons.

Convinced? I am ready to make another one I love this so much!

I was certain to prewash my fabrics so I had no shrinking surprises...

that's kinda why I added the bottom band too. My 2 yards of knit shrank about 4 inches... so this would have been waaaaaay too short. No thanks!

After I printed the PDF out to 100% scaling, I taped it all together and cut out the pieces.
I carefully lined up my knit and cut out the front and back bodice pieces out of the knit.
All of the other pieces were cut from the floral woven.

Due to the knit shrinking...I had a SHORT skirt...see?
I will show you how I cut and added the band below.

Here is the bias tape I cut for the armholes. The bias strips should be cut LAST.

Here are the other pieces you will need to cut from your 1 yard of woven fabric...
  • One Collar cut on the fold, according to the pdf pattern piece
  • Two skirt band pieces 26" x 12" (these were cut with the fold on the bottom edge, so the floral is on both sides...plus they are cut on a slight angle on the short side to match the A line dress shape)
  • Two extra long button plackets 4.5"x17" each (finished opening will be ~14.5")
  • Two armhole bias tape strips cut to 2.5"x 25" each
  • One collar facing cut on the bias 1.5"x 30"

To extend the hemline, I folded the fabric and lined it up with the slight side angle of the dress.
I did this to be sure that the band would fall just right, like the pattern intends.

The bottom edge of the fabric pictured above is the fold.

Both sides of the 6" wide band were cut at the same angle as the dress pattern.

Unfolded, you can see what one band should look like.

Above, you can see how to press the extra long button plackets.
Fold each strip in half lengthwise, then fold each edge over 1/2".
When the edges are folded in, and the strip is then folded in half, you will have a piece like the one at the top of the above photo. It will be similar to a bias tape fold.

When cutting the slit down the front bodice, the same directions are followed...
except the length of the slit is extended to 14.5".

Now, you need to add the button plackets that you just pressed.
I did not follow the pattern directions for this step, I attached them similar to bias tape.
fold one corner point up to the center crease, as shown on the right strip pictured above.
Next, baste along that angle fold and trim the seam allowance, as shown on the left strip.
Set the left strip aside.

Take the right strip and lay it right side down.

Lay the wrong side of the bodice slit on top of the button placket.

WITHOUT stretching the knit, match up the edges of the bodice to the folded over edge of the bottom placket and pin. Be certain that the angled edge of the button placket buts up flat against the very bottom of the slit in the knit...you do not want a hole or a crease there.

Set your machine to a zig-zag stitch.
I did not use a ballpoint needle for this either.

Stitch together the button placket and bodice edges.

Fold over the button placket in half on the center crease you pressed, and pin.
Zig-zag stitch the far right edge of the placket, securing the top layer.

Straight stitch the short edge at the very bottom of the bodice slit.
Using a straight topstitch, sew the left side of the same strip. Doing this will cut down on ironing later.

When you are finished with the above steps, you should have the right button placket strip attached to the bodice, and it will be neatly topstitched, as shown in detail above.

You will now repeat the same steps for the left side button placket strip... BUT

As you can see in the above and below photos, be sure to sew the left side
~1/2" LOWER than the right side you just stitched in place.

When finished lining up, zig-zag stitching and topstitching the long edges of the button placket, pin or hand baste the left side placket over the right side.

Make sure that the right side is not seen, as this will give a clean finish.
Topstitch as directed to in the PDF, it will look similar to the above photo.

You are finished sewing the placket in!
Follow the PDF instructions for joining the bodice and collar pieces.
I also substituted a bias strip for the collar facing, so that both edges of my fabric were sewn down to the neck.

For the armhole trim, I simply made my own bias tape.
I folded one edge under 1/2" and pressed.

I then pinned the unfolded edge to the armhole,
right sides facing WITHOUT stretching the knit.

Make sure that one edge of your trim is neatly folded under.

Overlap the end of the bias strip on top of that nice little fold about 1/2".

Baste close to the edge.

I decided to serge the pieces together, trimming away less than 1/4", and using wooly nylon thread in the upper looper.

Nice and neat!

Next, unfold the bias strip away from the bodice.

Turn the folded bias edge in to cover the serged stitches...I folded those in towards the bias tape first.


Turn the bodice right side out.

Topstitch close to the bodice on the bias tape, be sure to catch the bias edge underneath.

Now that's a nice pop of color, isn't it?!

Fold the front edge of the bodice hemline in half and mark the center point.
Repeat with your contrasting strip of fabric.

Pin the raw edge of the hem pieces together

Serge, trimming away less than 1/4".

Fold the finished edge down towards the very bottom hemline. Press if desired.

Straight stitch the serged seam.

When you are finished, the inside seam will look similar to the one shown above...

and this is how the outside will look.
Repeat these steps to attach the bottom band to the other side of the dress.

The side seams will be raw and look like this.
Note that the stitches should end at the edge of each woven piece and NOT overlap on the knit here.
You want this area to stretch when you walk and bend, like a kick pleat would.

Serge along the raw edges in one long seam, from the far left point to the far right point.

You WANT to serge a continuous seam OVER the knit...
the serged seam moves with knit, and finishes it nicely.

Fold under the serged woven seam and topstitch near the edge.

Make sure you back stitch both edges of each band piece.
Again, you do NOT want to straight stitch through the small section of knit in the slit area.

When done, you will have neatly topstitched edges on the woven fabric, and a neat, durable serged stretch stitch at the knit intersection.

Last, you want to add your buttons...or in my case snaps.
Pin the button plackets together, making sure they are lined up straight and flat!
I LOVE KAM snaps and they are faster to operate while nursing.

I like to line up all of the pieces in order....
it helps to attach faster and not come up short on parts!

Mark your placement.
Be sure they are spaced evenly apart from the edge and each other
(mine were ~2"apart from each other).

Pierce your fabric with your awl.
You should put a cutting board or quilting ruler under your plackets,
so you do not pierce the back bodice of the dress.
Make sure that you go through both sided of the placket so the snaps match up.

Follow your KAM snap assembly instructions.

Aaannnd, your done!

SO cute!

I just can't wait to sport this comfy cheery dress this summer!

Cute AND comfy!

So glad I finally finished this!

Greenstyle Creations also has a great blog!
It is full of tips and updates.

Check out the Facebook fan page or the Sewing Group page as well! Other sewists share their Greenstyle Creations and help each other out with questions too.
 Plus, Greenstyle Creations is on Twitter AND Pintrest, so get connected for inspiration and updates!

Thanks again to Angelyn for visiting with me today...and for the AWESOME Patterns!
Q: How did you get started designing pdfs?
A: A few years ago I was looking for patterns for my picky tween daughter and noticed there was a lack of patterns for the tween size range. I had been making patterns for my sister to sew up for her shop GoGreenStyle and I thought I should just start a line of patterns for others to enjoy. I noticed that as my daughter became more independent and was choosing her own outfits for the next day, most of them included simple and comfortable clothes. And, most of them were knit items! I have always liked sewing with knit so that is where I started in the PDF pattern world. Simple, cute, wearable fashion for the whole family!

Q: Why do you love it?
A: I have sewn for over 35 years now (since I was 5) and always made my own version of things since the patterns never fit my taste or style just right. I am also a engineer so I have a way of looking at an article of clothing and just understanding how it goes together. Sewing and designing gives me a chance to exercise my creative side of my brain and gives me a break from the engineering side of my brain.

Q: Where do you get inspiration from?

A: My daughter, my sister, shopping, my friends in the Greenstyle Facebook Group, even my husband loves to help!
Thanks for stopping by, and have a beautiful day!