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{easy as pie} Six Layer Tulle Skirt

28 May

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Today I would like to share with you this simple to make full length tulle skirt.  I can easily get one made in the span of one nap time (under two hours) which is a bonus!  These skirts are a great base for other costumes. They give an added pouf underneath princess or fairy dresses.  Or for little girls who just love to put on the glam they could just be worn on their own (with leggings or tights underneath)  As you can see, my daughter very much enjoyed walking around in this snazzy skirt.  This skirt was made in size 2, but the instructions are very adaptable to any size (just add more width and length to the fabric for larger sizes).  The supplies below are also for size 2.

supplies

1/4 yard satin fabric for the base

2 1/2 yards of tulle

19″ of 1/2″ elastic

safety pin

thread

basic sewing supplies

We are going to construct the top or base part of the skirt first.  Take your satin fabric and cut a rectangle that measures 10″ x 36″.   Fold this rectangle in half lengthwise with the right sides facing out.  The long raw edges should be at the bottom.  From the top folded edge of your fabric, measure down 1″ on one of the short sides.  Mark this with a pin.  Measure down 1″ more from this pin and mark this spot with a second pin.

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Unfold the fabric and this time fold it in half width wise, right sides together.  Your short edges should now be matched up, and the wrong sides of the fabric facing out.  Pin these two edges together.  You are going to sew them together with a 1/2″ seam BUT DO NOT sew in between the two pins that you put in during the previous step.  So you will: Start from one edge, sew until you get to the first marking pin, stop (remember to back stitch at the beginning and end) and then start sewing again after the second marking needle until you get to the other edge. (See picture below; sew along the dotted lines)

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Your skirt base should now be circular.  Fold it in half so that the right sides are facing out and the raw edges meet up.  There should be a little hole along the seam, make sure this hole is facing outwards; it should be 1″ from the top of your skirt base.  This hole is where you will insert the elastic later, so we need to make a casing for the elastic.  Starting at the top of the hole, sew all the way around the skirt base.  See the dotted lines in the following picture.

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Next we need to start at the bottom of the hole and sew all the way around to complete the casing.

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The skirt base is all done, see, I told you it was easy!  Now lets work on the tulle.  For my skirt I cut six long strips of tulle.  They measured 13″ x 60″, you can sew more than one piece together to get to the 60″ if you need to.  After you have cut/assembled all six of your strips, take one and fold it in half lengthwise, right sides together.  Sew the edges together with 1/2″ seam allowance.  Repeat this step with the five remaining strips.  Take three of your tulle skirt pieces and (keeping them turned inside out) put one inside of the other.  Line up the top edges of all three layers (this can be a little fussy!) and pin them together all around the top.  Sew a gathering stitch along the top pinned edge.  Make sure that the gathered edge is now the same width around as your skirt base.  If not, pull the threads to tighten or loosen it accordingly.pic5

Grab your skirt base.  Pin the gathered edge of your tulle skirt along the outer raw edge of your skirt base (the outer edge is the side that DOES NOT have the hole for the casing)  You are pinning these right sides together, so your tulle skirt should still be inside out, and your skirt base should be right side out.  Stitch them together with a 1/2″ seam allowance.  Sew with the tulle facing up.

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Gather the three remaining tulle skirt layers and put them one inside of the other; sew together with a gathering stitch just like you did before.  Open up the bottom of your skirt base and push the attached tulle backwards, away from the inner raw edge that has nothing attached to it.  Make sure the skirt base is still facing right side out.  This is kind of tricky to explain, hopefully this picture will demonstrate what you need to do.  You are going to pin the gathered edge of your second layer of tulle to this inner raw edge of the skirt base.  Again, right sides together: the skirt will be inside out.

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Are you with me?  Hopefully that all made sense…we are almost finished!  Sew the second layer of tulle to the skirt base, just like you did with the first layer.  Next flip your skirt so that it’s right side out.  Press your seams all the way around where the skirt base connects with the tulle.  While you are doing this, tug gently on the tulle so that the seam is pushed up inside of the skirt base.  Line up the two bottom edges of the skirt base, stitch all the way around the bottom edge to connect the two pieces together.  This part can get a bit tricky, just keep your tulle pulled downwards so that your seam stays up inside the skirt base and so that you don’t catch any of the tulle in your stitching.

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All you need to do now is insert your elastic (I used 19″, the width of my daughter’s waist)  Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic and thread it through the casing.  Stitch the elastic together at the opening and then hand-stitch the opening shut. Voila!  A pretty skirt for dress up time! **My daughter is pretty tall, this skirt should come down to the ankles, any longer and it will just be tripped over.  The great thing about tulle is that it does not fray – you can trim your skirt to any length after it is finished.**

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Thank you for stopping by today, I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.  I would love to hear your comments on this post!

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Dress Up Time D.I.Y ~ Cinderella Peasant Dress

21 May

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Today I am going to share this simple Cinderella Peasant Dress costume {size 2T} with you.  I think little chores are much more fun when you are dressed like Cinderella!  Peasant dresses are very easy sewing projects, in fact I think that one of my very first sewing projects was a peasant dress.  When I first learned how to make one, I followed a great tutorial from Pretty Prudent.  This Cinderella dress is just a slight variation from this peasant dress.  Since most of the steps are the same, except for the skirt, I don’t want to re-write someone else’s tutorial.  Instead I will have you read their tutorial and tell you what I did differently.

Here are the supplies that you will need, for the dress only.  I will tell you about the apron after the dress is out of the way!

supplies

~Fabric: You will need three different colors, but it’s all plain cotton.  I found mine in the bargain bin, it does not have to be expensive!  Sleeves: Light/Sky Blue 1/4 yard, Bodice: Dark/Chocolate Brown 1/4 yard, Skirt: Light/Coffee Brown 1/2 yard.

~35″ of 1/4″ elastic.

~Thread and basic sewing supplies

Below are the measurements for the dress.  You will cut two of the bodice pieces on the fold.  Cut along the red lines to create an armhole (a basic J shape, 6″ down) and a sloping neckline.

You will also need to cut two of the skirt pieces, and two of the sleeves (on the fold).

Size 2T

Cinderella Peasant Measurements

Cut out all of your pattern pieces above.  You are going to make the bodice by following the instructions here: Long Sleeve Peasant Dress Tutorial.  Start from Step 2: Cut Out Neckline and Armhole.  To be clear, while you are following the peasant dress tutorial, you will be using the two bodice pieces and the two sleeve pieces to create the bodice.  You will not be doing anything with the skirt until you come back to this page.

DO NOT:  Hem the bottom of the dress (bodice) or insert elastic into the sleeves.

Creating The Skirt

You should now have your bodice made, with the finished sleeves attached.  The bodice should have a raw edge along the bottom.  Are we on the same step? Good, let’s create the skirt and finish the dress.  Take your two rectangular skirt pieces and sew them right sides together down both of the shorter sides with 1/2″ seam allowance.  Use a zig-zag stitch to finish the seam.  Press your seams flat.  Fold the bottom of your skirt over 1/4″ to the wrong side and press with your iron.  Fold it over again and press; hem the bottom of your skirt.  Sew a gathering stitch around the top of your skirt and make sure it is the same width around as the bottom of your bodice.

Attach Skirt to the Bodice

Pin the top of the skirt to the bottom of the bodice, right sides together.  The easiest way is to have your bodice turned right side out, and your skirt inside out.  Place your bodice upside down into the top of the skirt and pin around the top.  It is a good idea to tuck the sleeves out of the way so that they don’t get in the way of your sewing.  Sew the bodice and skirt together using a 3/4″ seam allowance.  Use a zig-zag stitch to finish off the edge of the seam.

Press the seam upwards (towards the bodice) with your iron.  Now you are going to stitch along the top of the seam, all the way around, to create an elastic casing (make sure you are using thread that matches the chocolate brown bodice).  Leave 2″ open so that you can insert your elastic.  Take 20″ of 1/4″ elastic and attach it to a safety pin.  Thread it through the casing.  Sew the ends of the elastic together and then sew the opening shut.

And that’s all!  I left the elastic out of the sleeves because I noticed that Cinderella’s sleeves are loose, but of course you could make yours any way you wish.

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I also made an apron with an applique to go along with the dress.  It was very time consuming, and it was my first attempt at creating something like this, but here is a quick look at how I did it.

First I found a clip-art picture online of one of the bird characters from Cinderella, here is what my applique was supposed to look like:

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I have to say that my little bird didn’t turn out quite so happy looking, rather a little worried looking!

Supplies used: various scraps of fabric, heat n bond, black thread, basic sewing supplies.

I printed the bird and cut it out around the outer edges.  I pinned it to some blue fabric that already had some heat n bond applied to the back of it.  I cut the bird shape out of the blue fabric (leave the back of the heat n  bond on, do not peel it off yet)

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Next I cut out pieces of the bird that were not blue (ie the hat, vest, beak, etc…) and pinned them to coordinating colors of fabric – these pieces of fabric also had heat n bond applied to the back.  I cut out each little piece of the bird and applied them to my blue main bird piece, like a puzzle.  Peeling off the back of the heat n bond I pressed each piece into place with my iron.  Here is the little bird coming together: pic5 pic6

After all of the pieces were in place I peeled off the backing on my main (blue) bird piece and positioned it where I wanted on the apron skirt.  Then, using black thread, I stitched all of the features and outlines onto the bird.  I used a zig-zag stitch, setting the length at almost zero.  The width of the stitch varied, as you can see that some of the lines on the bird are thicker than others – for example the black parts of the eyes are also done using a wide zig-zag stitch.

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apronIt can be pretty tricky to get the facial details just right, as I mentioned before, my bird seems to look a bit worried and the original picture the bird looked happy!  As for the Cinder-Calleigh lettering, I don’t have a fancy embroidery sewing machine so this is just done freehand, again with a zig-zag stitch on a very short stitch length setting.

Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you have enjoyed this post!

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The Summer Social Dress {free tutorial and pattern size 2 & 6}

2 May

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFun, flirty, and summer-y sweet~ This is what I had in mind when I created The Summer Social Dress.  I am so pleased to finally be able to show you this dress,  I have been working on it for awhile now!   The fabric is the new line by Tasha Noel for Riley Blake Designs “Little Red Riding Hood”.  Riley Blake had sent me a good sampling of this line for a tutorial I am writing for their Cutting Corner’s College (publish date May 27th).  I had enough left over to create this gorgeous dress – the exact fabrics are Little Scallops Aqua, and Little Floral White.   The aqua and red color scheme is gorgeous and the little characters are too cute!  I had an elaborate outdoor Spring photo shoot in mind but alas the unpredictable Alberta weather did not cooperate!  Can you believe it snowed on April 29th, I had planned to take the pictures on April 30th.  I just could not ask my sweet little models to go outside in -6 celsius weather in these summer outfits.  I was kind of bummed to take the pictures indoors.  I had an entire pictorial in my mind; a story to go along with the dress. Then I had a bright idea.  Why not make my own computerized spring scene and put my models inside?  So now I give you the Summer Social Dress.  Click here for easy printable instructions and pattern: Summer Social Dress

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Too cute, right?  The dress is very easy to make and I think any girl would love to wear it.  You can also make it as a summer-y top instead – like these pictures:

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I hope you have enjoyed this post!  Here again are the printable instructions and free pattern in size 2 & 6: Summer Social Dress Tutorial

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Resources for First Time Quilters ~ And An Easy Beginner Project!

16 Apr

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Do you want to learn how to quilt but have no idea where to start? I was in the same boat as you not so long ago. I am going to share with you how I began to quilt, and also an easy beginner project, a large list of resources that I have compiled, AND my favorite 10 Simple Quilting Projects for Beginners

titlequilting collage (scroll to the bottom of this post for the links to these projects)

About six months ago I looked into taking a quilting class. It was always something that I wanted to learn how to do. Piecing together beautiful fragments of fabric to create a lovely article, I think, would be therapeutic and very enjoyable. The class I found was going to cost $90, it may not seem like a lot of money. If you are a mom with three children you can probably relate; spending $90 on yourself hardly seems justifiable. Plus that was just the course – there are some expensive supplies associated with quilting too.

My husband piped up, “Well you have taught yourself to sew, can’t you just teach yourself to quilt too?” In my mind this seemed really complicated. There are probably a lot of great resources online, but to me, quilting looks like an exact science that cannot be messed with! If I wanted to learn how to quilt it did not look like I had much of a choice. I began to do some research.

I think everyone learns best via different methods. I find that I learn best when I have a lot of visual aids. My first stop was at the library where I checked out several books on the subject of quilting. After reading a few, I found one that really made sense to me. This book: The Singer New Machine Quilting Essentials was excellent! Tons of pictures, easy to read step by step instructions. Plus it was laid out very well. Once I had read the book it was easy to flip to whichever section I was looking for to get the information I needed. I have checked this book out a few times now and I would highly recommend it to any beginner.

Quilting Supplies

There are some essential supplies that you will need to get to begin quilting. They are:

  • Rotary Cutter
  • Rotary Cutting (Self Healing) Mat
  • A Ruler for rotary cutting
  • Sewing Machine (unless you plan on hand stitching your quilt)
  • Pins
  • An iron and ironing board
  • Quilting Fabric & Thread
  • Good scissors
  • And of course, sigh, a stitch ripper
  • Spray Adhesive – this is not essential but is something that has helped me immensely, I will mention it some more in a moment.

I went to my local quilting shop and had a look at the essential quilting supplies that I would need to buy. The rotary tools and rulers were very expensive! I then headed over to Michael’s Craft Store and noticed that they also carried the Olfa line of rotary cutters, rulers, and cutting mats. I whipped out one of their 40% off coupons on my I-Phone and bought my rotary cutter. The next day I printed out two more coupons and dragged my husband along. He bought the cutting mat and I grabbed a nice square ruler. There, I guess it doesn’t have to hurt the pocket book! If you are in Canada and a sewing club member at Fabricland, the Olfa products do go on sale, usually 50% off every few months.

Easy Beginner Baby Blanket

CelebrateSeussStripebyDr.SeussEnterprisesforRobertKaufmanADE10788203One of my first projects was a soft cuddle baby blanket. It wasn’t quite a traditional quilting project but it allowed me to practice some easy techniques. I had a yard of Celebrate Seuss Stripe fabric by Robert Kauffman and I loved the wavy red lines in the print. Here are the supplies that I used:

~1 yard of Celebrate Seuss Stripe Quilting Cotton: You can buy it for a GREAT price here: Fashionable Fabrics

~1 yard of Cuddle Minky

~ Red cotton thread

~Cotton batting: I got mine from Wal-Mart and it was labelled as “Cotton Batting Baby Blanket Size” and it turned out to be just a tiny bit more than I needed, which was actually perfect.

~Basic Sewing Supplies

First I cut the selvages off of the quilting cotton and made sure that the yard of cotton was just a bit smaller than the minky (about 1 1/2″ around) This is because I cheated and finished the blanket with a rolled hem. If you are going to attempt to bind your quilt the proper way you can leave the quilting cotton and the minky the same size. For this quilt I basted the fabric to the cotton batting using safety pins~ Now might be a great time to mention that while this blanket turned out just fine, I have since discovered that using a spray adhesive for basting my quilts is much easier than pinning it. (For more information on using a spray adhesive, click here: Spray Adhesive for Quilt Basting: How To) ~ Next I used my walking foot* and quilted along the top and bottom of each red wavy line with some red thread. Since this blanket was going to be a baby gift I backed it with a nice white stripe minky that I also had in my stash. I was not ready to try my hand at quilt binding just yet (yes I was very afraid of it!), so instead I used a rolled hem to finish this blanket. If you are not sure what this is, here is a TERRIFIC tutorial from the Crafting Chicks: Minky Baby Blanket Simplified

*Not sure which one is your walking foot? Have a look at this Sewing Machine Foot Introduction

Here is my finished project:

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Quilt Binding Resources

Speaking of binding a quilt: even though I had read the quilt binding section from the Singer New Machine Quilting Essentials book top to bottom, something still wasn’t clicking. I found a bunch of tutorials online, and now that I know what I am doing I can tell you that these tutorials are very well explained:

Old Red Barn Co: How to Bind a Quilt

Diary of A Quilter: Fast Machine Quilt Binding 101

Bee In My Bonnet: How to Bind a Quilt and Other Quilty Projects

Anyways, there was still a disconnect in my brain, until I found this: Quilt Binding- How to Make and Attach It, yes, I am a visual learner! Once I watched this entire video the steps were very clear. I guess I just needed to watch someone do each step.

Other Quilting Resources

I want to share some more online resources that were very helpful to me as a beginner. Take a look at some of these wonderful posts:

~Pressing Basics: This is a video tutorial that will teach you the basic methods of pressing, which is an important step while quilting

~Quilting Instructions: Quilting Tidbits – this post has tons of information about squaring up fabric, preparing fabric for quilting, how to sharpen your rotary blade and much more.

~Beginning Quilting Series from Diary of A Quilter – This series from Diary of A Quilter is amazing! There are lots of wonderful and helpful posts in this series

~What the Heck is a Jelly Roll? from Simplify – this is a really cute post that will explain terms like jelly roll, layer cake, charm packs, etc…

~Cutting Tutorial from Chasing Cottons – VERY useful information on how to cut your fabric properly, using your rotary cutter, ruler, and mat.

~The Secrets of Quilt Batting – Here is a nice post about quilt batting, what type to use for which project and more.

Quilty Pinners to Follow:

At this point I also started following some GREAT quilters on Pinterest. I discovered that their blogs contained beautiful quilt patterns and tutorials. Here are a bunch of my favorite pinners and a link to follow their boards: Riley Blake, The Cottage Mama, Shari Butler, Lori Holt, Tasha Noel Horsley, Happy Zombie, Michael Miller Fabrics, Robert Kaufman Fabrics.

Another thing that I am loving – Riley Blake has a fantastic quilting initiative going on right now. They started in January and each month they post a “Block of The Month“. You can click on each block to get the pattern, or they also have included some fantastic video tutorials for each block. Or maybe you want to go hang out with the experts themselves and take some classes – which you can do at the First Annual Riley Blake Fabric Fest this September in Las Vegas.

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10 Simple Quilting Projects For Beginners

Now I want to share some AWESOME beginner quilting projects with you! Some I have tried and loved, some I am yet to try but they are on my list! Please pin each one from the original source. Did I mention that these are all FREE tutorials and patterns??

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SONY DSC1. Superhero Quilt By Robert Kaufman Fabrics – Isn’t this a fabulous boy quilt? And easy too! Just click on the link and you will be able to download the free pattern. Needing some fabric for this project? Here are some great prices on the Superhero line of fabric: Superhero Fabric by Robert Kaufman

DSC062272. You Can Make a Quilt…I have proof by The Fickle Pickle – I love this tutorial because it follows a first time quilter as she makes a beautiful project step by step. It turned out beautifully, and it is proof that you can do it too!

8258348122_b5a1e9e50a3. The One With The Easiest Baby Quilt Ever by PS I Quilt – I followed this tutorial to create my second quilting project and she is right, it is very easy. In this tutorial she uses ten bold prints to create a sweet baby quilt. When I made it I had a very hard time deciding on coordinating fabrics so I only used five prints and repeated each one twice. It also turned out lovely!

100edit24. That Red Quilted Pillow from Little Miss Shabby – This beginner tutorial will have you creating a gorgeous decorative quilted pillow. It is very easy to follow and there are lots of great pictures. Plus you will also get to practice some hand stitching.

blogger-image-4685353105. Candy Hearts Table Runner Tutorial from A Farm Wife’s Journal – This adorable table runner would look sweet on any table! It has been on my must-try list forever, yes I need to get working on it! I also love the fabric she has used, Lori Holt’s Sew Cherry has also been on my fabric love list for a long time!

season4_episode7_96. Make Bright & Merry Home Decor from the Diy Dish – I know this is a Christmas tutorial and it’s only April, but you are going to want to pin this one for later. This video tutorial teaches you how to make a beautiful ornament block that can be used for a pillow, quilt, or a table runner. I bet you could make a beautiful tree skirt with it too.

IMG_7509_thumb17. Baby Bliss Quilt by Cluck Cluck Sew – This beautiful quilt was made using two charm packs. She basically just cut each square in half and sewed them together. Okay maybe there is a little more involved than that, but it would be a good beginner project nonetheless.

title photo8. Clermont Farms Quilted Tote Bake from Moda Bake Shop – I LOVE sewing cute little tote bags. Combining quilting with tote bags makes it extra fun! This project is definitely suitable for beginners and will teach you some great techniques that you can use when you are ready to tackle a much larger project.

8179134888_7d6312e942_c9. The Falling Flakes Stocking Tutorial by Imagine Gnats – Another Christmas project, I know, but hey- why not get started now and be extra prepared for the holiday :-). I think this sweet little stocking tutorial is a perfect beginner quilting project. It features a free printable PDF pattern, great pictures, and easy to read instructions. Plus if you can find some Christmas fabric to buy right now, I bet you will get a great deal on it. Or maybe you did buy some right after Christmas because it was on sale and you would like to use it up (this is my inner fabric hoarder speaking)

img_strips-sashing-kidslg_110. Strips and Sashing Kids Quilt by All People Quilt – A simple quilt that looks great when finished. You can download this project for free, but they do ask you to register for their website when doing so. That being said, the registration is also free and then you have access to tons of wonderful quilting projects and patterns.

Well that’s it! I hope you have enjoyed all of these resources, projects, and free tutorials! Thank you for stopping by today.

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How To Create A Sweet Applique Using Picmonkey

2 Apr

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Today I would like to show you how I use PicMonkey to create beautiful appliques for my personalized baby quilts and many other projects!  Why use PicMonkey?  If you are like me and live in the stone age with no fancy crafting tools like a Silhouette Cameo, this is a great option.  PicMonkey has a lot of simple shapes and great fonts and it’s easy to play around with the sizes and get your design exactly the way you want it.  Also I like this method because I can make sure that the letters are the perfect size to fit inside the design.  I’m sure there are many ways to create templates or designs for your applique, this is just how I like to do it!

What can you use this for?  There are so many things you could personalize, blankets, onesies, skirts, shirts, banners, bags or backpacks, framed art, I don’t know, take your pick!

Start by going to PicMonkey and click on “Edit A Photo”  Choose any photo, it doesn’t matter because we are going to put an overlay right on top of it.  Click on the overlay tab on the left side – it is the button that has the little shapes, fifth from the top.

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Click on the geometric overlay and select the rectangle, the first one.  Expand it to go over top of your picture and click on the white color to turn it into a blank canvas.

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Next, staying in the overlay section, click on the “labels” tab.  You can select whatever you like, the non-royale labels have the simplest lines which are best for applique designs.  Here is what I chose:

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Now you can add a word to your design, or whatever you like to your design.  Select the text button on the left side (the “P” button) As I mentioned, I use this particular applique design for a personalized baby quilt that I sell in my Etsy Shop.  Expand or turn your word to make it fit exactly the way you like in your design.  I would advise against using fonts that are too complicated (probably like the one that I have used) because they are more difficult to cut out.

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Save your design and print it.  When you print your applique template, you can usually select the size that you want it to print at that time.  Take some heat n bond and press it to the back side of a piece of fabric for your main (outer) shape.  Cut out your outer shape and pin it to the fabric and cut the shape out.

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Next cut your letters out of the design.  Again take the fabric that you are going to use for the letters and apply some heat n bond to the back of it.  When you apply the heat n bond first it makes it much easier to cut out your design, it’s more like cutting paper than fabric.  This let’s you get more detail and exact cuts.  Pin the letters to the fabric and cut out each one.  You will notice I cut the paper around the letters, then pinned it to the fabric and cut out the exact design.  This will give you more space to pin the letter to the fabric.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPeel off the backing of the heat n bond and arrange the letters on your main design.  Press them in to place when they are exactly where you want them.  At this point you would stitch around the lettering with a tight zig-zag stitch.  I used a heat n bond ultra for my letters which doesn’t require stitching.  Next peel the backing off of your main applique piece and place it where you would like it to go on your quilt/shirt/onesie – whatever project you are decorating! Iron it in to place and use a tight zig zag stitch around the outer edge.

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I think it looks beautiful! What a great way to personalize your project.

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Here is a design that I am working on for another project, it is quite a bit more complicated.  I will let you know how it turns out!

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Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have enjoyed this little tutorial!

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The Sweet Jessie {ruffle party dress} free tutorial & size 2 pattern

28 Mar

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Well this is it, the grand finale of my Disney fun month!  I hope you have enjoyed the Disney themed posts these past four weeks.  This may be the end of “Disney Fun Month” but I can promise you this is not the end of Disney related posts on Sweet Benanna & Sam (hint: I am already working on some awesome sewing projects that are Cinderella and Tiana related…)

For the grand finale I am bringing you “The Sweet Jessie” ruffle party dress.  I think Jessie gets the short end of the stick when it comes to girl Disney characters.  She’s not glamorous like a princess and I think because of this she isn’t as popular with the girls.  I (for one) think Jessie is a great character.  She’s strong and brave, and just a little stubborn.  She also has her romantic side too.  I like to think that if Jessie were invited to a princess ball that she might wear something like this ruffle party dress.  Fancy satin mixed with sparkly denim and cow print – so much fun!  In this tutorial you will find a free pattern to make a size 2 dress.  I hope you enjoy it – and if you don’t want to go with the Jessie theme, this dress is still beautiful with “normal” fabric { eg.  no cow print or denim}.

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Okay, enough with the cute pictures, let’s get to work!

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~Pattern: Please click on all three of these separate links and print each one:  Jessie Front Bodice (Size 2), Jessie Back Bodice (size 2), Jessie Sleeves& Collar

~1 yard white satin material

~1/2 yard cow print – you could use faux animal fur material, minky, or even a cotton cow print.

~1/2 yard denim – I found a nice sparkle denim in the bargain section of our local fabric store

~1/2 yard yellow/gold colored satin

~ 15″ of 1/4″ elastic

~3 buttons (I used some gold-looking buttons)

~ scraps of red sequins (optional)

~thread and basic sewing supplies/sewing machine & Fabri-tac (fabric glue)

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After you have printed your pattern, cut all pieces as indicated.  I used white satin fabric for all of the bodice pieces except for the collar, I used the yellow satin for that.

In addition to the bodice pieces you will need to cut the following:

For the skirt~  12″ long x 42″ wide (42″ was the length of my fabric) in white satin

For the sash~ 4 1/2″x 60″ in yellow/gold satin

For the ruffles~ 7″ x 60″ you will need five of these – two in denim, two in cow print, one in yellow/gold satin

pic1Let’s work on the collar first.  Take two of your opposite.  If you would like to dress them up with some red sequins, I put a line of fabric lengthwise about 1 inch from the bottom of the collar, following the curve of the collar.  Then I put my strip of sequins on top, waited until it dried and sewed it in place.  The sequins are optional though so it’s up to you!  Next take a piece of collar without sequins and pin it on top of one of your first collar pieces, right sides together.  You will sew around three sides – the short sides and the bottom with 1/4″ seam allowance.  Leaves the top open, clip any curves and turn it right side out.  Press it nice and flat with your iron; repeat with the second collar piece.

Next you are going to take one of your front bodice pieces (there should be four; two are for the lining)  Place one of your pic2collar pieces along the neckline.  One end of the collar should be about 1/2″ from the shoulder, and the other edge should be 1″ from the centre of your bodice. (The collar in my picture is a bit smaller than yours will be, I revised the pattern slightly after making the dress).  Take another one of your opposite front bodice pieces (the lining) and pin it on top, right sides together.  Your collar should be sandwiched in the middle.  Starting at the edge of the shoulder, sew down along your collar and the centre edge of the bodice with 1/2″ seam allowance. Repeat this step for the other side of your front bodice.

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Clip around any curves and turn your front bodice right side out.  Press nicely with your iron.  You should now have something like this:

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Are we ready to move on and attach the back of the bodice?  Good, let’s go.  Take one of your back bodice pieces and place it right side up.  Next lay your front bodice pieces on top, also right side facing up.  Make sure the arm holes and sides of the bodice are lined up with the back piece.  The centre pieces of the front bodice should over lap by about 3/4″, this will be where the buttons are added.  The collar edges should just be touching.

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Grab your second back bodice piece and pin it along the shoulders and the neckline of the other back bodice piece, right sides together.  Your front bodice should be sandwiched in between.  Sew along the shoulders and the neckline BE VERY CAREFUL not to sew in the edge of the collar.  Sew with 1/2″ seam, clip the curves, turn right side out and press.

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Time to work on the sleeves!  Take your two sleeve pieces to the iron.  Fold the long straight bottom edge over 1/4″ to the wrong side and press with your iron.  Next fold it over another 1/2″ and press again.

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pic8Sew a gathering stitch along the top of the sleeve, to do this set your machine at a high tension and the stitch length at 4.  Repeat with the second sleeve.  Take your bodice and open it; lay it flat with the front facing up.  Pin one of your sleeves along the armhole, right sides together.  Make sure that your gathered sleeve is the same length as the arm hole, if not adjust it by either pulling on the thread or loosening it slightly.  I like to start pinning by finding the centre of the sleeve and pinning that to the shoulder seam.

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Sew the sleeve to the bodice with a 1/2″ seam allowance.  Repeat these same steps to attach the other sleeve.

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This next step is probably the trickiest one.  I am going to use a picture from one of my previous tutorials because it illustrates it perfectly. Fold your bodice so that the front and back are facing each other and the lining is facing outwards.  Pin the bodice along the sides and pin the sleeves together along the bottom.  If you have done it correctly, the sleeves should be pinned right sides together, and wrong sides facing out.  Unfold the edge of the sleeve that you had previously ironed over.  Sew all the way up the side and up the sleeve with 1/2″ seam allowance.  Finish your seam with a zig-zag stitch to prevent fraying.

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Hopefully that wasn’t too confusing!  Repeat this step on the other side.  Now you are going to the “hem” on your sleeves.  Fold your sleeve back the way it was, sew around the top edge of the folded part to create a casing for your elastic.  Leave about 1″ open at the bottom of the sleeve to thread your elastic through.  Cut your 1/4″ elastic to 7 1/2″ long.  Thread it through the casing.  Sew the hole shut and repeat steps for the second sleeve.

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The last step to complete your bodice is to add the button holes and buttons to the front.  I used three buttons, it is up to you how many and what size buttons you would like to use.

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Let’s get that skirt put together, shall we?

Fold your skirt piece (12″x42″) in half width-wise, right sides together.  Sew down the long edge with 1/2″ seam, finish the seam with a zig-zag stitch.  Now we need to hem the skirt.  Fold up the bottom edge 1/4″ to the wrong side and press, fold again another 1/4″ and press again.  Sew down your hem.  We now need to mark on the skirt where the ruffle strips are going to go.  The first strip will be at the top of the skirt so you don’t need to measure that.  Measure 2 1/4″ down from the top of the skirt and make a mark with a pencil.  Make several marks around the skirt, all measuring 2 1/4″ from the top.  Next move down another 2 1/4″ from those marks and repeat, making marks around the skirt at this measurement.  Repeat this step two more times – you should have 4 sets of pencil markings 2 1/4″ apart.

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pic12Prepare your ruffle strips – you may have had to sew more than one piece of fabric to get your 60″ in length, that is fine.  Fold your ruffle strip in half so that the short ends are right side together.  Sew the ends together with 1/2″  seam.  Don’t worry about finishing these ends with a zig-zag stitch since they won’t be visible.  Now you have a large circle.  Fold up the bottom half of the circle so that the two raw edges are aligned and the right sides are facing out. Press your ruffle in half with your iron.   Sew the top raw edges of the ruffle together with a zig-zag stitch to prevent fraying.  Do this with all five of your ruffle strips.  Lastly you need to sew a gathering stitch around the top of your ruffle.  Sew it just below the zig-zag stitch.  With the heavier fabrics like the denim or cow print you will either need to be very careful when pulling the thread to gather it (it may break), or maybe use a heavier thread like an upholstery thread.

Let’s get those ruffles attached to the skirt.  So there are five ruffles, starting from the top of the skirt here is how I organized it: Ruffle 1: Denim, Ruffle 2: Cow, Ruffle 3: Yellow/Gold, Ruffle 4: Denim, Ruffle 5: Cow.

We are going to start at the bottom of the skirt with Ruffle 5: Cow.  Take one of your cow ruffles and make sure it is gathered to the same width as the skirt.  Line up the top edge of the ruffle with the bottom markings on your skirt and pin it all the way around.  Sew it into place along the top edge – that’s it, super easy!  Repeat this step with Ruffle 4: Denim, placing the top edge along the markings above Ruffle 5.  The bottom edge of  ruffle should cover the top edge of ruffle 5 so that you don’t see the stitching.  Repeat this step until all 5 layers are sewn into place.  Ruffle 1 will be sewn onto the top edge of the skirt.  See picture below.

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Sew a gathering stitch along the top edge of the skirt.  Now it is time to sew the skirt to the bodice.  Turn your skirt inside out.  Make sure that your bodice is right side out and that the buttons are done up.  Pin the top edge of the skirt to the bottom edge of the bodice, right sides together.  Make sure that your skirt is gathered to the same size as your bodice.  Also it looks much better if the seam of your skirt is at the back, centre, of the bodice.  Sew the skirt to the bodice with 1/2″ seam allowance.  Be careful to catch all the layers of the fabric; especially the denim so that none of the raw edges will show when you turn your dress right side out.  Almost done!  We just need to create the sash.  I apparently forgot to take pictures of this step but it’s very easy!

Take your piece of yellow satin fabric that is 4 1/2″ x 60″ (if you have had to sew more than one piece of fabric together to get this length, that is fine BUT make sure that your seam is not near the centre of the sash or else it will be visible).  With right sides together, sew the long edges of your sash with 1/4″ seam.  Turn right side out and press it flat with your iron.  Tuck the short open edges inside the sash and then sew it shut by top stitching along the edge.  Hand stitch the sash to the dress at each of the side seams of the bodice.  And that’s about it!  I did add some red sequins to the front of the sash as well, I’m not sure if I was happy with them but I will leave that up to you!

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  Now your sweet Jessie is ready to party!  I hope you have enjoyed this sewing tutorial, I would love to see your own Sweet Jessie creations!  Thank you for stopping by.

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~The Donald Duck DISASTER~

13 Mar

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It is so hard to find great sewing projects for boys.  I think mainly because it is tons of fun sewing cute frilly stuff for girls.  Sometimes I feel like my boys are being left out, and I really wanted to create something fun for them.  Fast forward to the Donald Duck Disaster.  I thought it would be adorable if they boarded our Disney Cruise wearing Donald Duck inspired sailor shirts, and some white shorts to match.  They did not turn out well.  I guess all of my ideas can’t be genius.  I still maintain that it was a good idea, just poorly executed.

I am so used to sewing for girls that my pattern was much too girly.  The front part of the shirt dipped down much too low, exposing too much of their hairless chests.  They did not enjoy this.  Plus, I had some nice scrap red satin of very good quality that I used for the bows.  Usually good quality means better but the bows ended up being so thick that they were heavy and difficult to attach to the top of the shirt.  Oh man.  I could totally re-do it, I had photographed everything so that I could prepare a nice sewing tutorial but I am not.  I just don’t want to have anything more to do with this nightmare.  At least I found the fabric in the bargain section, it was some sort of polyester blend, so I didn’t spend a lot!

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Well, if you would like to still attempt a project like this, you are more than welcome~ you will have to draft your own pattern because I am not going to modify mine at this point and time.  You will need to draft a pattern with a back piece, two front pieces, a button placket to run down the centre, two sleeves, and of course the sailor collar.  You will also need some strips of yellow fabric for the arm bands, the collar border and the button placket. Here are some pictures I took of my sewing project:

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And that is about the long and short of it, let us never speak of this project again!  If anything, maybe it will give you some ideas on how not to draft a pattern for a boy.

Thank you for stopping by!

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