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Sewing How-To: Burrito Roll Method

Jana Harcus

If you have sewn sleeveless dresses and tops with a lined bodice, chances are you have encountered instructions to neatly enclose those arm curves with what is commonly referred to as the “burrito method”.  Many times written instructions with illustrations just aren’t quite enough when you are new to this technique. For those of you who are still struggling, hopefully this blog post will help.  

Posted below is a video walking you through instructions on how to successfully sew a lined sleeveless bodice using the “burrito method”.

This video will be using the Woodland Belle pattern.  This is a gorgeous pattern for a sleeved dress or top in cooler weather, but is equally as beautiful as a sleeveless dress or top for summer.

For those of you who prefer not to watch a video, here are the written instructions:

Lay the bodice flat with right sides facing up.

Starting on the right side of the bodice, tightly roll the main and lining together towards the center of the bodice.

Using the fabric on the left side of the bodice (unrolled side), flip the lining fabric underneath the rolled up section and flip the main fabric over the rolled up section.

Now, the rolled up section will be inside the left side bodice main and lining. Those two pieces will be right sides together.  Align the raw edges along the armscye. Pin and sew along the armscye. When sewing, be careful not to catch any of the right side bodice piece that is rolled up inside.

Trim seam allowance and clip the curves so that it lays nicely when turned inside out. Use a pinking shears if available.

Pull the rolled up section through the bottom of the bodice.  The bodice will now be right side out with the left side armscye complete.

Complete those same steps again.  This time start rolling from the left side and flip the right side main and lining around the left side rolled fabric.

Pin, sew, clip curves, and trim seam allowances. Pull the fabric roll through the bottom and press the bodice flat.

Your sleeveless bodice is almost complete.  Next step is to sew the side seams.  Open the front and back bodice pieces at the sides. Find and match up the underarm seams. Keeping right sides together, align the raw edges of the main/lining front bodice piece with the main/lining back bodice piece. Pin and sew the sides together.

Repeat the above steps with the other side. Now your lined sleeveless bodice is complete.

Tutorial: Ruchimazing

Niina Kivelä


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. 

Step 1: 

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.

Pic 3-2.jpg

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! 

{Tutorial} How to Add Faux Piping

Kari Steiger

One of my most favorite things about sewing is adding the details.  As I was planning this Ellie Dress out of the Curiosities Collection by Amanda Herring for Riley Blake Designs, I thought it would be fun to add a pop of color between the tiers.   Today, I will show you how easy it is to add!  

Create Faux Piping in Minutes

Before you cut your accent fabric, you will want to determine the finished length you want showing.  Then, with a little math, you can get your total cut length.  For example, I wanted a little bit thicker accent on this dress so my finished length is 3/8".  Then you multiply that by 2.  You'll take that answer and add in the SA (seam allowance) twice.  This will give you your cut length.

3/8" x 2 = 3/4"         3/4" + 1/2" + 1/2" = 1 3/4"

To determine the cut width, you will simply cut it at the width of your pattern pieces to which it's being attached.  On the Ellie Dress, I added it at the waist (used bodice width), between Tiers 1 & 2 (used Tier 1 width), and again between Tiers 2 & 3 (used Tier 2 width).  I cut a total of 6 pieces (2 of each width).  These pieces do not need to be cut on the bias.  If you are adding in along a curved edge, such as the princess seams in the Monet Dress, cut the pieces out on the bias.

STEP 1: Press each piece in half (height-wise) to create a memory fold.

STEP 2: Place your pieces together* (right sides together) and sew down the short edges.

       *This step applies if you are adding faux piping the entire way around.  If you are just adding to the front or along a princess seam in a bodice, this step will be skipped.

STEP 3:  Bringing wrong sides together, fold your band in half along the memory fold.  Pin along the edge of where you are adding it, matching the raw edges of the faux piping to the raw edge of the main fabric and the side seams of the accent to the side seams of the main fabric.  Baste in place, using a slightly smaller seam allowance than the pattern uses.  Follow tutorial to complete your garment, being sure to use precise seam allowances for an even faux piping.  

Designer Tip: When adding a gathered skirt to the edge, I recommend having the non-gathered edge facing up when sewing so you can see your basted stitching as a guide.  To prevent the gathers from shifting, use several pins and use your iron on the gathers to set them before sewing.

To create faux piping along the edge of a bodice, cut the lining piece in the fabric you wish the faux piping to be.  (If the pattern seam allowance is less than 1/2", cut lining piece 1/4" longer.) After you sew the main and lining together, carefully iron the bodice so the lining just peeks out.  Topstitch in place, according to pattern instructions (For example, in the Ellie Dress, I topstitched after my entire bodice was constructed.)