Sewing

Shibori Indigo Dyed Zipper Pouch

Today I’m joining some friends in a shibori indigo blog tour! Last weekend, we spent some time experimenting with indigo dye as a fun family project. The dye makes a gorgeous blue color, and it’s made from natural, plant-based materials. I used some of the fabric I dyed to make a shibori indigo zipper pouch to share today. Plus, I have a couple more projects to share later!

Shibori Indigo Dyed Zipper Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

(Some links are affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks for supporting my business in this way!)

I’ve been hoping to try indigo dyeing for several years, but never managed to gather all of the supplies. I thought it would be fun to involve the kids in my indigo dying experiment. Normally, my chemistry major husband isn’t interested in crafting, but he jumped right in to help measure water and mix the dye. Since I’m too pregnant to be carrying five-gallon buckets of water around, I was thankful for his enthusiastic participation.

We did a little bit of research before our project on the history of indigo dyeing and looked for some information on shibori dyeing techniques. This CreativeLive class on shibori dyeing was the most helpful thing we found. It wasn’t very long, but it covered all of the details we needed to know in a clear and interesting way. I definitely recommend it! We also looked up some other shibori designs and folding techniques on Pinterest.

Shibori Indigo Dyed Zipper Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

The only thing the shibori class didn’t cover was mixing the dye. There are more “authentic” ways of making indigo dye, but we just ordered this quick and easy kit from Amazon. You just measure four gallons of water, dump three packets of powder in, and mix it up. My older kids could have read the directions and made it themselves. It was inexpensive and worked perfectly, so I’ll definitely be ordering it again.

Shibori Indigo Dyed Zipper Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

The only thing I would do differently…I dipped each piece twice, but after everything dried and lightened up, I wished I had dipped a couple more times. My knit fabric took the dye really well and ended up with some deep navy blue streaks, but none of the other pieces got that dark.

Shibori Indigo Dyed Zipper Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

We dyed two packages of cotton napkins (also from Amazon). They were great for experimenting with different folding techniques and patterns. The kids each folded three or four and eagerly waited to see how their designs would turn out. I also folded up a piece of muslin, a scrap of white bamboo knit, and some canvas tote bags. I used the muslin for the zipper pouch.

Shibori Indigo Dyed Zipper Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

Zipper pouches are fast and easy. I didn’t follow a pattern for this…just cut out some rectangles, added little leather accents, and sewed it up. You can use this zipper pouch tutorial for basic construction techniques. I think these would make really cute gifts or nice craft fair products.

Shibori Indigo Dyed Zipper Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

Shibori Indigo Dyed Zipper Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

If you’d like to see what some of my friends made their indigo fabric, follow along here to read their posts:

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Monday 7/24

Sarah at Sewing with Sarah – Shibori Top

Stephanie at Swoodson Says – Shibori Kit Review

Tuesday 7/25

Katie at Creative Counselor – Shibori Shift Dress

Sara at Radiant Home Studio – Shibori Zipper Pouch

Wednesday 7/26

Vicky at Vicky Myers Creations – Shibori Scarf

Stephanie at Swoodson Says – Shibori Blanket

Thursday 7/27

Maryanna at Marvelous Auntie M – Shibori Bag

Ula at Lulu & Celester – Shibori Clutch

Friday 7/28

Laurel at My Heart Will Sew On – Shibori Maxi Skirt

Agy at Agy Textile Artist – Shibori with Mango Leaves

Stephanie at Swoodson Says – Shibori Curtains

Pattern Review, Sewing

Sewing a Rumi Tank for Maternity

With all of the great basic knit sewing patterns that indie designers are putting out, I’ve had a much easier time making maternity clothes for myself this time around. A couple of weeks ago I made a Lodo Dress (which has gotten a lot of wear!). But these Rumi Tanks for maternity are the easiest thing I’ve made so far!

The Rumi Tank is a basic racerback style tank with quick and easy binding. It comes with both a tank and dress length pattern. The dress pattern is wider so that it flows out around the hips. It turns out that the width is also perfect for covering a pregnant belly!

Rumi Tank for Maternity | Maternity Sewing | Radiant Home Studio

I didn’t make any modifications except for adjusting the length and adding some elastic to the side seam. I measured my bust at a size 10 and then cut a size 10 dress. The dress pattern has a band at the bottom, which can be eliminated completely for a maternity tank. I cut my tanks at the size 0 hemline on the main pattern piece. I also had to adjust the length of the straps. The neckline and armholes were both too low, so I cut the strap length around a size 2-4.

The tank could have worked without the side elastic, but it felt a little shapeless. I added about 6″ of clear elastic (stretched) to the side seams by zigzagging it in the seam allowance.

Rumi Tank for Maternity | Maternity Sewing | Radiant Home Studio

I’m nearing the end of my pregnancy at this point (about 30 weeks…) and these will easily fit until the end. For earlier pregnancy, you can probably eliminate a couple more inches. You could make a maternity dress, slightly longer than recommended, which I’m sure that would work as well! Not only that, a dress would be a nice transition piece that would fit early in pregnancy and after birth.

Rumi Tank for Maternity | Maternity Sewing | Radiant Home Studio

I used two lightweight knit fabrics (both from Girl Charlee). The striped fabric is a cotton/poly combo, and the boho patterned fabric is a rayon knit with a lot of stretch (so much so that I could have gone a size smaller…). I have very few maternity stores nearby, so I’m left with a bunch of solid-colored plain tees from Target. These fabrics were just what I needed to add some color and pattern to my wardrobe.

Rumi Tank for Maternity | Maternity Sewing | Radiant Home Studio

Overall, this is perfect as a basic summer maternity tank! I’m looking forward to making more after pregnancy and trying the full-length dress later on.

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Sewing

Lodo Dress for Maternity

So, I’m about 6 months pregnant and have been working on some maternity sewing for summer. We have very few maternity store options in town. I’m able to get basic jeans and solid colored t-shirts, but that’s about it. If I want anything with printed fabric, interesting styles, or quality construction, I have to make it myself (or load up 6 kids and drive over an hour…).

Sewing a Maternity Lodo Dress | True Bias | Radiant Home Studio

I remember trying to make maternity clothes several years ago. There were very few instructions online and no patterns available. I did manage to take an empire waist dress and make it fit by adding extra width and gathers in the front. I also adjusted a knit wrap shirt by making it wider and longer. It was all just a guessing game though. There are so many more options now! Lots of indie designers have easy to sew knit clothes that can be adjusted for maternity, and there are tons of tutorials for maternity sewing.

The first pattern I hacked to fit over my baby belly this time is the Lodo Dress from True Bias. It’s a casual knit dress, with a basic straight shape. I bought it as soon as it was released, knowing I could make it work for maternity wear without a lot of changes. I used an organic cotton interlock fabric from Cloud 9. The weight and stretch are perfect for this dress.

I chose to start with a size 10 in the bust and shoulders based on my current measurements. I also cut the longer length because I knew I would end up cutting a bit off while making adjustments. To make room for my baby belly, I measured across the front of a maternity t-shirt that fits me well and graded out in the waist to that size. (Something like this tutorial from Melly Sews.) That ended up being around the size 16 waistline. I cut the back of the dress just one size bigger in the hips and didn’t change the waist.

I sewed most of the dress together (which was really quick & easy!) and then basted the side seams to check the fit. It was way too big! I’m not sure why the t-shirt fit and the dress didn’t, but I ended up cutting off a couple of inches on both sides. In the end, the waist and hips might only be 1-2 sizes bigger than the top. My belly isn’t small at this point, but with the stretch fabric and loose fit, there was still plenty of room for my baby belly.

I gathered up the sides of the dress front below the bust line to add more length over my belly. Then I cut about 4 inches off the bottom of the dress back, so that the hems were the same length. I ended up with a nice knee-length hem.

Sewing a Maternity Lodo Dress | True Bias | Radiant Home Studio

If you want to make a maternity Lodo Dress (or any dress of a similar style, like Caroline’s Coffee Shop dress), my best advice is to cut a little bit more width than you think you will need and try the dress on as you go to make adjustments. Every belly is a different shape, so it helps to make changes as you go.

Besides the side seams, I also ended up taking in the center back seam near the waist where my back curves to support my growing belly. I suppose that would be a swayback adjustment, but it was easiest to try the dress on inside out and pin where I needed to take in the fabric.

It took some trial and error to get the fit right, but a second dress would go together really quickly now that I have the sizing figured out. And even better, I think I can easily take out the side seams and redo the hem so I can wear this after pregnancy too!

I have another easy maternity hack, using the Rumi Tank from Christine Haynes, to share next week…

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Sewing

Sewing a Woven Girls Tank Top

I did some summer sewing for my growing preteen daughter this week. She’s always loved my Wiksten Tanks and has asked for something like it several times.

Sewing a Girls Woven Tank Top | Radiant Home Studio

I haven’t found a pattern like it in a preteen girl size. I’m sure one exists somewhere. Since it’s a relatively easy shape though, I decided to draft my own pattern for a woven girls tank top.

I used a bodice from another pattern to make sure the shoulder width and arm hole depth were right. From there I drew a slight scoop neck and gave the sides an A-line shape. The bottom hem is slightly rounded. I wasn’t sure if the head opening would be big enough to slip over her head, so I added a small slit opening and button loop on the back. (Here’s a tutorial for a similar back neck opening.)

Sewing a Girls Woven Tank Top | Radiant Home Studio

Sewing a Girls Woven Tank | Radiant Home Studio

For fabric, I used 2 Art Gallery cotton prints. The blue is Bonnie Christine’s Blooming Brook in Moon from the Wonderful Things collection. The green and purple print is Bari J’s Sunswept Canyon in Sage from the Sage collection. 

I used french seams on the shoulders and sides. To finish the armholes and neckline, I used bias strips to make a bias facing, similar to the Wiksten Tank pattern and others. On the blue tank, I added a small chest pocket. It was really easy to put together and I only spent about an hour cutting and sewing. I might even let her try to make her own next time.

Sewing a Girls Woven Tank | Radiant Home Studio

Sewing a Girls Woven Tank | Radiant Home Studio

She loves the tank tops and has gotten a lot of wear out of them already this week. I know some kids will only wear knits for comfort, but the woven fabric is much cooler in hot weather and also looks nice enough to wear to church and other events.

If you’d like to make something similar, you can trace the shoulders and armholes from a ready-to-wear shirt or another bodice pattern. Then just draw basic A-line tank. If you’ve put together similar tops for yourself, it’s really easy to make one in a girls size. I’d suggest a lightweight cotton or chambray for the best results.

Sewing a Girls Woven Tank | Radiant Home Studio

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Pattern Review, Sewing

Waxed Canvas Gentleman’s Travel Case

My oldest boy turned 12 this month! Twelve is a big year around here. The boys count down the years until they are invited to attend the church men’s retreat and be counted among the men. To celebrate, we bought him a few special manly gifts, but I also wanted to make him something. I waited until the last minute, but I was still able to make this in an afternoon.

Waxed Canvas Geltemen's Tavel Case | Betz White Present Perfect | Radiant Home Studio

(Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks for supporting my business in this way!)

All men need a bag for their toiletries, right? I looked at a few free box pouch patterns but didn’t really find what I was looking for. Then I remembered the Gentlemen’s Travel Case pattern in Betz White’s Present Perfect and went to work making it. It’s very roomy, probably bigger than a 12-year-old needs, but it will grow with him. I love the extra pocket details and zipper tabs. Both make it a very practical and useable bag.

I love sewing with waxed canvas, especially for men. It looks rugged and stays nice for many years. Since this will be stored in the bathroom and most likely get wet, the wax will protect the canvas and keep it clean. I had plenty of canvas in my fabric stash, along with some denim scraps and a masculine cotton print for the lining.

Waxed Canvas Geltemen's Tavel Case | Betz White Present Perfect | Radiant Home Studio

I made my husband a waxed canvas messenger bag about 3 years ago. He carries it to work daily. Though the inside is showing signs of wear, the waxed canvas still looks as good as new! I make my own waxed canvas using Otter Wax. Here’s a tutorial I posted, showing how you can make your own waxed canvas.

I waxed this bag after it was completed (and after the gift was opened….told you it was last minute!), but in hindsight, I would have added the wax as I sewed.

Waxed Canvas Geltemen's Tavel Case | Betz White Present Perfect | Radiant Home Studio

I followed the directions in the book but omitted one of the outside pockets. I also added a metal snap instead of the hook-and-loop tape suggested in the pattern. The exterior and lining are constructed completely and then the lining is dropped in and finished with hand sewing. I was a little bit worried about hand stitching all the way around the zipper, but it didn’t take long and it looks great. Overall, I’m really happy that I used this pattern. It makes a great gift for both the young and older men in your life.

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