Quest Blogger Aubrey Mak
The Animazing and Ruchie patterns were two of the first patterns I ever saw from Little Lizard King. I fell in love with both and knew they’d be used over and over again. I love pinafores and rompers on my daughter so mashing the two patterns together to create the perfect suspender shorts was inevitable!
This mash up is truly a year round piece. Perfect with a blouse or peasant top and sandals for Spring and Summer (think Astoria or Isla) or with longer sleeves (think long sleeve Astoria or Lacey) tights, and boots for Fall and Winter. And while I did my Animazing waistband plain, you could certainly add in the steps to create any of the Animazing characters.
To get started you will need both the Animazing and Ruchie patterns.
Pieces to cut:
Ruchie Shorts front and back
Animazing Strap Loop
Animazing Straps (Use adjustable strap measurements)
Animazing Front Waistband & Lining
Back Waistband & Lining: Use HEIGHT of waistband from Animazing, use WIDTH of Ruchie Bodice Back (For example, for a size 12M my pieces were 4” x 14 3/8”)
For Legs: from Ruchie as patterned
Back elastic: From Ruchie Chart - add 1/2" - 1" listed. I added 1/2" and it was a bit snug because it goes right over the fullness of her tummy. For a round tummy, I would add ¾” – 1”. For a slim tummy, ½” – ¾” should be fine.
Create the strap loop and straps per the Animazing pattern. Baste strap loop to center of back waistband main (right sides together), and straps to front waistband main (right sides together) using chart in Animazing to determine distance from center. **I chose to move my straps out a bit so they would be less angled when worn**
For both waistbands lay lining over main RST and sew across the top. Trim seam allowance (do not serge as it makes it too thick), flip right side out and press. Do not topstitch at this time.
For the elastic there are two ways you can construct the waistband. I did mine a bit differently than shown on the Ruchie pattern (which allows you to adjust the elastic if need be) but either way will work fine and keep seams enclosed. If you choose to follow the Ruchie pattern, follow the directions on page 16 for construction and 18-19 for elastic insertion (using the measurements I note below).
Here’s how I created mine:
For the back waistband, I topstitched VERY close to the top seam (probably a 1/16" SA) to help secure the loop. Measure 3/4" down from that stitch line and mark a line. Measure 3/4" from bottom of waistband and mark a line, then another 3/4" up from that and mark another line. This will give you two casings. On the bigger sizes you could center another casing in the middle but in the smaller sizes this isn't really necessary. Thread your 1/2" elastic through the casings and baste to secure.
Open up your front bodice and pin the RIGHT SIDE of the front bodice MAIN to the back waistband MAIN.
Flip down the front waistband LINING and pin RIGHT SIDE to the back waistband LINING. **Make sure to line your top seams up as much as possible**
Repeat for the opposite side. Your waistband will look sort of like this.
Sew side seams and flip right side out to check and make sure your top seams line up well. Your front waistband will be just slightly higher than the back at the top of the seam. If it looks ok, trim SA and flip right side out. Top stitch front waistband at this time if desired.
Your waistband should look like this!
Now onto the shorts!
Create Ruchie shorts as patterned (pages 23-30).
You can attach your shorts by gathering (as in the Ruchie pattern) OR by pleating like I did. If you gather, you will gather the shorts and attach to the waistband just like the Ruchie pattern has you do.
For pleating you will have to use your imagination a bit here because I didn't get pictures of my pleating process. I'll try to explain what I did because there isn't an exact science to it.
Taking your measuring tape, measure from center front to center back of the shorts and the waistband. Make a note of the difference. Or you can pin the shorts to the waistband at the centers and then pin flush along one side from center to center until you are left with the extra fabric and measure that. For my shorts it was 2 3/4" per side overage. I chose to make 3 pleats – front, sides, and back. My front and side pleats were 1/2" SA x 2" long and my back pleats were 3/8" SA x 2" long. So each front and side pleat used 1" of fabric and the back pleat used 3/4" fabric using up my excess fabric. I ironed my pleats flat and attached my waistband, then finished the seam. Ta-dah! You’re done!
One more note. Because of my front pleat I didn’t ruche up as far as the pattern stated. But I wasn’t thinking ahead and didn’t center my pleat on my ruching so I have a bit of a pull there. If you choose to do the pleats, plan ahead and make sure your front pleat and ruching match up.
Make sure to share your own Ruchimazing in the Little Lizard King Sewing Pattern Group on Facebook!