I have seen so many amazing Bazzles sewn up by some of the Amelia Lane Designs team, and even heard the raving reviews from Mya. But, for some reason, I hadn't sewn one up yet. So, when the chance to run a sew along came up...I thought it must be time.
My name is Mari, and I am so excited to make some Eunoisa Designs Bazzles with you all. The Bazzle is an adult curvy fit shirt/dress pattern that is size inclusive. It comes with so many options including sleeve lengths, neck scoop depth (yes, really!), neckline finishes (cowl/hood/neckband), pockets, and even side nursing access and maternity friendly designs! It's seriously so packed with options that you can come out with very different looks with each one you make. No wonder it's a favorite!
One thing I really like about the Bazzle is that the back is made up of two pieces cut mirrored, rather than one piece cut on the fold. I think that this really helps to create a beautiful fit.
Another thing that I love, and is now a bit of requirement for me when I purchase patterns, is that there is a projector file. The Eunoia projector files are well done and easy to navigate. All the pieces are the same direction, which makes it much easier for me to use the projector without constantly re-shuffling my fabric.
Here is a sneak peak of what the simple, low scoop Bazzle looks like on me:
So, without further ado...Thank you for joining me for my very first ALD sew along! Here is our schedule for this week:
Day 1 (3/22) - Pattern or Projector Prep
Day 2 (3/23) - Cut Fabric
Day 3 (3/24) - Back Seam + Optional Pieces (Pocket, Nursing Access)
Day 4 (3/25) - Shoulders, Sleeves, and Side Seams
Day 5 (3/26) - Neckline Options + Hem/Band Finishing Touches
Day 6 (3/27) - Catch Up!
Day 7 (3/28) - Share!
I'm ready! Are you?
Day 1: Pattern/Projector Prep
Welcome to the first day of the sew along! Projector users and paper users, everyone should measure the wear-er of the Bazzle and find the measurements on the size chart. You'll need your upper bust, full bust, waist, and hip measurements. If you do not fall within one size for all your measurements, you will want to grade the pattern between sizes. The pattern is made for someone who is 65.5" tall, so if you are taller or shorter, you will use the lengthen/shorten line to add or remove the appropriate amount of length.
If you are using a projector, like I am, then just make sure that when you open the projector file, your 1" square is really one inch. If you need to grade the pattern, the Projectors for Sewing group has a lot of amazing tips using Inkscape, a free program.
If you are printing and cutting, then follow along with these instructions:
-Make sure that you select the correct size(s) from the layers.
-Print the first page at Actual Size, and measure the 1" square. If it is accurate, continue to print the rest of the pages.
-Overlap the pattern pages so that the letters are resting on top of each other -- A on A, B on B, etc. Tape the pages together.
-If you are grading between the sizes, now is the time. If your waist is in a larger size than your hips, like me, then you'll draw from the larger size line from the waist area, toward the smaller size line from the hips area of the pattern. This "blends" the sizes together.
-Once all the pages are taped together, cut the pattern pieces out.
Once you are done for the day, share your progress on the daily post in the group!
Day 2: Cut Fabric
Okay, now for the hard part...picking the perfect fabric! I always take the longest at this step, because I want to make all the things all at once. This time, I went with Amelia Lane Designs Riverdale pointelle. I love pointelle because of the texture, which makes even the simplest pieces look fancy and interesting. Here is where you can find all the ALD pointelles.
Fabric types are going to affect the end results. Think about the type of drape you want, the weight you want, and make a decision using that information. One way I often pick the fabric type for a project is by going to the Facebook group of the pattern designer, and typing in some of the fabric types I am interested in, along with the pattern name. For example, here I could have typed in "Pointelle Bazzle" in the Eunoia Facebook group. That will help me to make sure that the end result will be what I am looking for.
Now that I have chosen my fabric, I need to make sure that the stretch is horizontal, and the grainline is vertical. You can stretch your fabric to see which way has the best stretch, and when you do so, you should also be able to see lines running the opposite direction of the stretch. Those lines are the "grainline" I am talking about.
In the image, I have my Riverdale pointelle folded over, with the projection of the pattern over it. The word FOLD is along the fold -- make sure that the fold of the fabric is on that line! I'll cut along the low scoop line because that is what I want, and along the solid lines for the rest of the pattern because I want to have the simplest option.
When you cut the back, remember that you need to cut two pieces mirrored -- there is no fold line, but you should still fold the fabric and cut the two pieces out at once. This is a great way to make sure that the pieces are mirrored and that you don't cut out the same piece twice in the same direction (I have made this mistake too many times to count!)
Make sure to cut out the following pieces:
-one front, cut on the fold
-two sleeves, each cut on the fold
-two back pieces, cut mirrored
-one neck option: cut a neckband (one piece, on the fold), or cowl (one inner on the fold, one outer on the fold), or a hood (two inner mirrored, two outer mirrored)
-if you are making a nursing shirt, make sure to cut the front piece along the nursing access cut out line, and also cut a modesty piece by cutting along the normal sleeve cut line and modest panel cut out. Make sure that you also mark the two lines from the pattern piece labeled "nursing access top of band" and "nursing access bottom of band".
-cut out any pocket option you would like: kangaroo pocket (two on fold), peekaboo pocket (two mirrored, plus pocket bands)
-waist band pieces (one of each on fold) if you want to band instead of hem
-wrist cuff (two on fold) for long sleeve
Comment with a picture of your pieces on the daily post!
Day 3: Back Seam + Optional Pieces
Okay, we are going to start sewing today! Hooray!
Line up your two back pieces right sides together, and then sew along the center. You can use a sewing machine with a stretch stitch (like the zig zag stitch), or you can use a serger. I use a serger.
If you are adding pockets or the nursing access, now is the time to prepare those pieces as well. If you're not...then you're done for the day!
+Fold the nursing band in half lengthwise (hot dog style) wrong sides together and attach to the front piece between the two marks you made earlier. I use clips to hold the band in place. Make sure that the band is lying on the top of the piece so that it is right sides together, then sew the band on. You should be able to fold it open to check that the stitching is not visible on the front of the top. Do this on both sides, and then top stitch using a twin needle on your sewing machine or a coverstitch.
+Hem the bottom of the modesty panel.
+Lay the modesty panel on your table, then lay the front piece on top of it. Clip or pin it together really well. I use an absolutely ridiculous number of clips here so that I don't lose any bits, especially the banded areas.
+Baste the pieces together by using a long stitch on your sewing machine, along the dashed lines that are shown in the instructions (p 14). Basting just means that you are connecting the pieces together so that when you attach it to something else later...nothing slips out of place. I've been lazy before and it always ends up being a pain in the butt later, so try not to feel like this is a waste of time!
Directions for the pocket options start on p 15 of the directions, and are written really nicely, so follow the directions for those! Feel free to comment on the daily post with any questions, and I'll be happy to work through it with you!
Make sure to take a photo of all the pieces you've completed for this day, and comment it on the daily post!
Day 4: Shoulders, Sleeves, and Side Seams
We are almost there! By the end of today's work, you will have something that looks very much like a shirt.
So, with shirts, you basically have three options. You have the dolman, the raglan, and then the "regular shirt" (very technical term). This is the "regular shirt", which is pretty much constructed the same way every time. First, get your front and back pieces right sides together, aligned at the shoulders, and then sew each shoulder together. Then, open the shirt up, put the center of the shoulder pattern piece onto the shoulder seam, and clip there, clip each end of the shoulder, and sew the sleeve into that shoulder area, stretching the sleeve lightly to fit. After you do that on both sides, just fold the front back over the back, right sides together, and sew from the end of the sleeve straight down to the bottom of the shirt. I do this even when the instructions say some other option, because this is the easiest way, in my eyes, for sewing the sleeves on.
Below, you can see my clipping process beginning. The sleeve is laid right side down, onto the top which is right side up (so that right sides are together).
And here, you can see how I am clipping the shirt from the end of the sleeve down the side to the bottom of the shirt. Those are the side seams. You can see my back seam from yesterday too!
And, I always like to throw the shirt on at this point to see whether it fits well, and well...honestly I am very impatient and want to just wear it already! But we still have a bit to go...one more day! Below is a selfie I took when trying the shirt on before finishing it up. It's over top of a tanktop I was already wearing, so it is a little awkward, but still so cute! I am very excited!
Take a photo of your progress (selfie not required) and add it to today's daily post!
Day 5: Neckline + Finishing Touches
Okay, are you with me?? This is it! We are almost done. Today you will finish the neckline with a neckband, cowl, or hood. You will also hem the sleeves or add the cuffs if making a long sleeve. Finally, you will either hem the bottom of the shirt/dress, or add a waistband.
Here, I have the neckband sewn. You'll want to fold it hamburger style, right sides together and sew the seam, then fold the sewn neckband so that the right side is facing out in both directions.
Then, you'll clip the seam, the spot directly across the seam, and then the halfway points between those two clips for a total of four clips. That is how you "quarter" the neckband -- I am sure you've seen that term if you've had to troubleshoot neckbands before! Then, you also want to quarter your neckline. Clip the middle of the back, the middle of the front, and then bring those together so you can find the halfway point between those two clips. It usually is NOT at the shoulder seam! Then you'll align the quartered points for the neckband with the quartered points for the neckline.
Hood and Cowl directions begin on p 18, but you'll want to follow the same idea of quartering for all options. This helps so that you don't have bunched up areas with any option.
When you sew your neckband, cowl, or hood on, this is the time to add your label if you have one. If you don't have a label but you want to mark where the back is (not so necessary here, but maybe for a top without a back seam), you can always use a piece of ribbon or twill folded over like a tag. I used to label a piece of twill with the size for my child. Below, you can see my tag sewn into the neckband/neckline.
If you are using cuffs and/or waistband, follow the same directions as the neckband, but with the appropriate band/cuff and location.
If you are hemming, fold the raw edge of the fabric in the sleeve or the bottom of the shirt up 1". Clip clip clip (or pin pin pin)! Then, use a stretch stitch (like the zig zag stitch) or double needle on your sewing machine, or use a coverstitch and sew it in place. Below, you can see the hem line after I finished.
And you are done!! Congrats! Show off what you've completed in the comments of the daily post.
Day 6: Catch Up
Today is catch up day! If you haven't already finished, it's time to get caught up.
In the meantime, what is your favorite way to use ketchup? I like to add sriracha to it before I put it on a burger. Or, I like to make omuretsu, a Japanese omelette filled with ketchup-y rice! Yum.
Day 7: Share!
Time to share your amazing makes! I am so excited to see what all you have made. Please make sure to share using the hashtag #SALwithALD so I can find it and enter your name in for the prize. You can share in the daily thread, or on the wall in the Facebook group!
Thanks again for joining me, and I hope that you had lots of fun and made lots of Bazzles! I know that this is a great pattern for me to sew through a lot of the amazing ALD fabrics that I have been saving for "just the right project".
Here's one final picture of my awesome new Bazzle, low scoop, with short sleeves!
See you around!