Tag Archives: dress up

{easy as pie} Six Layer Tulle Skirt

28 May


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.


1/4 yard satin fabric for the base

2 1/2 yards of tulle

19″ of 1/2″ elastic

safety pin


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.


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)


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.**

anna1 collage3

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



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

21 May


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!


~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.

pic2 pic3

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:


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)


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.


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!


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

28 Mar

Sweet Jessie Collage

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}.

jesseanna1 jessieanna

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



~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)


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.


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



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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


  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.


{Simple} Pirate Mickey Felt Vest

8 Mar

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPirate night on our Disney cruise was fantastic!  If you have missed out on my previous post: Cruise Review, we recently sailed on the Disney Fantasy for a 7 night Eastern Caribbean cruise.

Like I said, pirate night was fantastic!  Full of costumes, pirate games and activities, OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAlive pirate shows, fireworks, so much fun!  Some people really went above and beyond with their pirate costumes, both children and adults in full pirate gear.

Our costumes were fairly simple.  I made the boys and daddy some quick felt vests with Pirate Mickey Appliqued to the back. So here is a little tutorial on how I made them.




-1 yard of felt (or more for adult sizes)

-scraps of felt in black, white, and red

-scraps of double sided fusible interfacing.

-basic sewing supplies

You will need to cut three pieces of felt for the main part of the vest. One for the back of the vest, and two for the front.   At Halloween I wrote a post about a werewolf vest, and it is exactly the same process.  Here is the link: Werewolf Vest  scroll down to the part where it says “and now on to the vest”.  You will use this to draft the pattern for your pirate vest.

Once you have those three pieces cut out, take the large piece for the back of your vest.  To make your applique you will first draw a pattern on paper.  The size of your pattern will depend on the size of the vest you are making.  I suggest drawing the “mickey” head on a piece of paper first.  I traced the bottom of a vase for his head and a coffee cup for his ears, this ended up being a great size for the vests that I was making.  You want to make sure that there is some room around the Mickey head for the bones to stick out, plus 1/2″ seam allowance for the sides of the vest.  Once you have a Mickey head that you are happy with, use it as a template to cut a Mickey head out of black felt.  Now you can sketch a bone.  Make it long enough that the one end can go underneath Mickey’s head about 1/2″.  You will need to cut out four of these in white felt.  Last but not least, you will cut a half circle for Mickey’s pirate bandana.  Make it about half the size as the main circle for Mickey’s head.  I used red felt for this.  You will also need to use your template and for each piece of felt cut a piece of fusible interfacing (eg. one mickey head, four bones, one bandana)

Now you are ready to put it together.  Take the back piece of your vest and all of your felt and interfacing to the ironing board.  Place the Mickey head in the center of your vest piece (do not fuse it yet!)  Take each of the four bone pieces and their corresponding piece of interfacing.  Place the bones on top of the vest (with the interfacing sandwiched underneath) with the edge of each bone just underneath Mickey’s head.  Then lift up Mickey’s head and fuse the bones into place with your iron.


Next place your Mickey head back on the vest with your interfacing in between and press it into place.  Lastly, put your bandana on.  I put mine with the top of the bandana slightly covering the bottom of Mickey’s ears.  Place the interfacing under the bandana and iron it to the vest.


To fully secure your applique into place, it is a good idea to sew around all of the edges with a tight zig-zag stitch.  Last but not least, you need to sew your vest together.  Take the left side of the front of your vest.  Pin it to the back of the vest, right sides together (so you are pinning it TO the side with the applique) and sew with 1/2″ seam allowance along the shoulder and the side of the vest.  Repeat this step with the right side.  Turn your vest right side out and you are ready to do your pirate jig!!

Thanks for stopping by!


Howl at The Moon ~ Easy & Inexpensive DIY Wolf Mask and Vest

19 Oct

Sometimes I find myself so amusing.  I am referring to my artwork in the picture above, it’s so cheesy yet somehow I think it’s hilarious.   Oh well, enough of that.  Halloween is getting close, are you running around and panicking because you just got invited to a party and have NO idea what you are going to do for a costume?  I recently made a felt and fur wolf mask and vest for a friend of mine.  It was quick to make, very easy, and cost less than those cheapy generic Wal-Mart costumes that never fit right.  Does this sound good?  Great!  Just follow my instructions and I will have you howling at the moon in no time at all! AWOOO!!!

Materials for Mask and Vest

~1.5 metres grey felt

~1 metre grey fun fur


~ 24 inches satin ribbon


~sewing machine

~about 14 inches of elastic (enough to go around the back of your head from eye to eye)

Lets start with the mask.  I have made a free printable template in adult size for you, so first follow these  links and print each one (make sure you have the “fit to page” box clicked):  Wolf Mask Base Template and Wolf Mask Add-Ons  .  Once you have printed the templates, cut out each piece along the black lines, make sure you cut the eye holes out too.  Pin to the fabric indicated on the template and cut out your pieces as per the directions.

You should have all of these pieces:

Take the two grey base pieces of your mask and place them together.  First we are going to sew them together around the eye holes, about 1/4 inch from the edge. 

Next you are going to cut a piece of elastic to go around the back of your head.  The elastic is going to connect on the top spiky edge of the mask on each side.  My elastic was about 14 inches long.  Take your elastic and insert one side into the top spiky piece beside the eye hole, in between the two pieces of felt.  You are going to sew all around the edge of your mask, 1/4 inch from the edge, but start by sewing in your piece of elastic.  I like to backstitch over top of it to make it extra secure.  Continue to sew all around the mask until you get to the other side, to the top spiky piece.  Before you sew over that area, insert the other end of your elastic.  Again I like to sew over the elastic a couple of times to make it stronger.  Continue on sewing around the edge of the mask until you get back to where you started.    Now we are going to attach the add-on pieces.  Grab the t-zone piece and place it  on the centre of the mask, between the eyes.  Line it up nicely and sew it into place, sew 1/4 inch from the edge.    Place the nose piece on top of the bottom of the t-zone.  Stitch into place. And the last step for your mask is to use the fabri-tac to glue the eyebrows on – and you’re done!  Super easy, and quick to make.  And I think it looks pretty good too.

And now on to the vest…

This vest was kind of an afterthought.  My friend had mentioned that she might like a wolf mask for Halloween. I was making a Little Red Riding Hood Costume for her daughter so The Big Bad Wolf was a good choice!  I wanted to make the mask to surprise her.  I bought WAY too much felt and fur and I didn’t want it to take up prime real estate in my fabric drawer, and so the vest was created.  It was sewn together very quickly and easily, I will show you how to make your own.

First take a loose fitting shirt and fold it in half.  Fold your felt in half also.  Place the shirt on top of the felt, with the folded middle of the shirt lined up to the fold in the felt.  Cut around the shirt – approximately 1 inch out so that you have room for a seam allowance and the vest can fit over top of your clothing.  This will be the back of your vest.Now you are going to cut another piece just like this one, except this time you will not be cutting on the fold (you will have two separate pieces)  Make sure your felt is doubled up, put the back piece of the vest that you just cut on top of it so that you can get the same shape, and cut around it.Now keep these two pieces on top of each other, and from the edge of the neckline cut down on an angle about 4-5 inches to make the neckline look nicer.(or more if you are THAT kind of lady 🙂 ) You should now have three pieces of felt that look like this:  Next we are going to add fur to the front of the vest, and put the ribbon ties in.  If you have enough fur you could certainly cover the back of the vest too.  Put the front pieces of your vest on top of the fur and cut around.  THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT: Make sure you have the front of your vest pieces facing opposite sides.  I didn’t think about this and cut two of the SAME pieces of fur, and then I didn’t have enough fur to cover the entire front of the vest, so I had to improvise a  little.  I will show you the picture I took, and you can see my mistake, please turn your vest piece so that they are facing OPPOSITE directions! Now that you have two pieces of fur cut out to match the front pieces of your vest, you are going to sew them on top.  But first lets get our ribbon.  I used 1/2 inch red satin ribbon, although you could really use any colour that you like.  Cut your ribbon in to two 12 inch pieces.  Take the two felt pieces for the front of your vest and measure 2 inches down from the neckline.  Pin one end of your ribbon in this spot. Now place the fur on top of the front piece of vest, sandwiching the ribbon in between.  Make sure the fur is facing up.  Sew all around the edge of the vest, making sure the end of the ribbon is secured inside.  Repeat this step for the other front piece of the vest.  Now you are going to pin the back piece of the vest to the front.  The front pieces should be right sides facing up.  Pin at the shoulders and the sides, and sew with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.  Lastly we are going to add a little tail to the back.  Just cut a little tail shaped piece of fur and sew it on to the bottom middle of the back of the vest.   And it’s finished!   Do you like it?  It would look really cute over a black long sleeve shirt, and maybe a black skirt.  

Thank you so much for stopping by, and HAPPY HOWL-OWEEN!!

~Lisa K

Sweet Little Red ~Halloween Sewing Tutorial and Free Pattern

9 Oct


Well here it is!  I had meant to get this posted by now, but after a week of sick kids, sick me, husband away on business trip, my daughter’s first birthday, and a large cutom order to finish up (so many excuses!!) it’s a little later than I had hoped.  The “Sweet Little Red” costume and photo shoot are done, and now on to the tutorial so that you can make your own – just in time for Halloween.  I really loved this project, and doesn’t that little model look so cute in her costume?  Her mom, Jackie, also did a great job with the photos.  The skirt on this dress is very full, so you could put it over top of a pettiskirt or tutu and it will flare out beautifully.  I love the little bavarian style criss-cross ribbon in the front, and the girly ruffle detail on the front of the bodice.  If you wanted you could also make the dress in blue gingham, maybe for a Dorothy costume.

This tutorial is for the red gingham dress.   It is for personal use only, however if you would like to purchase a limited commercial license please e-mail me at   If you would like to make the apron also, you can visit my apron tutorial here.  I have two patterns for this dress, one is 18 month size and the other is size 5.  Here is a link to the patterns:

18 Month Sweet Little Red

Size 5 Sweet Little Red

Materials Needed:

18 month
1 Meter Red Gingham                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Red or White thread                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   1/2 inch elastic (optional)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          12 inches of 1 inch red satin ribbon                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        .3 meters of white cotton fabric                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 1 meter of red faux suede string                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               ~A button
Size 5                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     ~ 1.5 Meters Red Gingham                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ~Red or White thread                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             ~1/2 inch elastic (optional)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     ~16 inches of 1 inch red satin ribbon                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         ~.3 meters of white cotton fabric                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ~1.2 meters of red faux suede string                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ~A button

If you are not sure what I mean by red faux suede string, have a look at and enter in the search “red faux suede string” and it should come up with a picture.  Cut out all of the pieces of fabric as indicated on the pattern.   When you are done you should have 4 of the front bodice pieces, 2 of the back bodice, 2 sleeves, and 2 of the centre bodice pieces.  The centre bodice pieces should be from your white cotton fabric, and the rest will be in the red gingham fabric.

First step is to take your red satin ribbon and you are going to cut it into pieces that are 2 inches long.  If you are making the 18 month size you will need 6 pieces.  If you are making the size 5, your bodice will be longer and you will need 8 pieces of ribbon.Next you are going to place the ribbon on two of the front pieces of your bodice and figure out where you would like them to go.  Mine were all two inches apart.  Make sure that they will line up with the ribbon on the other side (use your measuring tape or a ruler!) Make sure you have at least 1.5 inches below the bottom set of ribbon because you will be sewing the skirt there later on.  Also make sure that the top row is at least 1/2 an inch from the top of the bodice to give you a seam allowance.  This next step can be a little tricky.  You need to sandwich the other pieces of the front bodice on top (if there are right sides, make sure the right sides are together) and the ribbon needs to be folded in half with the cut ends towards the outside of the sandwich.  The ribbon should form a little loop inside the “sandwich”  Pin everything in place, and then sew with a 1/2 inch seam, from the shoulder, down, over the ribbon, to the bottom.  When you get to the ribbon make sure that you catch all of the pieces.  The ribbon should be long enough that you can actually leave a bit of the ends sticking out of the side.  Here is a picture – the black lines represent where you will sew.  Now turn your front bodice pieces right side out and press well.  You should now have something that looks like the picture on the right.  Are you with me?  Excellent!

Okay now we are going to work on attaching the back bodice.  Take one of your back bodice pieces, place it right side up.  Arrange your front bodice pieces like this on top of it:

Make sure that the armholes line up; the sleeves won’t go all the way to the edge of the neckline but this is okay because there will be a 1/2 inch seam allowance when you sew it, it will all work out perfectly (trust me!)  Now lay your other back bodice piece on top.  If there is a right side make sure it is facing down; the wrong side facing up.  Pin together at the shoulders and neckline and sew with a 1/2 inch seam allowance like so:

Now we need to make an opening in the back of the dress so that the dress can be put on easily.  Grab the two pieces of the front bodice and pull them out to the sides.  Find the centre of the back bodice and from the neckline measure 3 inches down for the 18 month size, or  4 1/2 inches down for the size 5 version.  Then cut down in a straight line through both pieces of the back bodice. Grab your red faux suede string, we need to make a loop for the button to attach to.  To figure out how big you need your loop, I usually just make a loop, hold the ends with one hand, and test it by passing the button through.  It should just be a little bit bigger than the button, you don’t want the button to go through it really easily because it may not stay buttoned up.  I really hope this makes sense!  So, cut a piece of the suede string big enough for your button to pass through, and add an inch on the end for seam allowance.  Sandwich your loop near the top of the neckline between the back bodice pieces, just under where you previously sewed your neckline together.  The ends of the loop should be sticking out of the line that you just cut.  The loop part should be inside of the bodice.  We are now going to sew down one side of the line, around the bottom, and back up the other side with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.   Clip the inside of the corners around the bottom, so that when you turn it inside out it will lay flat.  Now we are going to turn the bodice right side out and press well with your iron.  Make sure that the side of the  back bodice line up nicely with the sides of the front bodice.

Lets take the two pieces of white cotton that you have cut out for the centre bodice.  Pin them together and sew up one of the long sides, along the top, and down the other side with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.  Leave the short, straight side open so that we can turn it right side out. Then turn it right side out.  Make sure that you get all of the little corners poked out – I use a chop stick, not very technical I know but it works for me.  Press with your iron.  Now we are going to create some ruffles for the front of your bodice.  I cut two strips of the gingham fabric.  My strips were two inches wide, and double the length of the front of the bodice.  First sew a zig zag stitch down one long side on each of your ruffle strips.  One end of your ruffle is going to be at the top of your bodice and visible, so we need to sew down one of the short ends.  Also, you need to make sure that each of your ruffle strips are opposite.  Look at the picture below.   The zig zag is on the right side of the first strip, and it is on the left side of the second strip.   Fold the short end over roughly 1/4 inch and press with your iron.  Fold over again 1/4 inch and press.  Then sew your folded end close.  Take the other long end that is still raw, fold over 1/4 inch and press down.  Fold it over one more time and press with your iron; now sew down the long side. Now we need to make it into a ruffle.  You can use whichever method you prefer; I like to set my stitch length to 4.5, crank up my tension, and sew just on the inside of the strip – on the side that you sewed your ZIG ZAG stitch.  Once you have two nice ruffles, make sure they are the same length as the front of the bodice.  Measure 1 inch in from the front centre of the bodice (the side where you made the little ribbon loops.  Pin your ruffle onto the front of the bodice, 1 inch in all the way down the front.  The side pinned down should be the zig-zag side, and the short end that you sewed down should line up with the top of the bodice.  Sew your ruffle strip onto the bodice, sew down just on the inside of the zig zag stitch, it’s okay to sew over top of the gathering stitch.  Take your white centre bodice piece.  Place it behind the front bodice pieces, line it up nicely with the top of the front bodice pieces and pin it.  You are going to open up your bodice so that the back piece is not behind it.  Now sew down the same line that you just sewed to attach your ruffles.  Hopefully this makes sense, your centre bodice should now be attached to the front bodice.  Here are some pictures to help out.    Take your bodice to the iron and press the ruffles down flat against the bodice.

Okay, now we are ready for the sleeves!! Hey guess what?  The hardest parts are over with!  Take your two sleeves and fold the long straight side over 1/4 inch and press, then fold it over 1/2 inch and press again.  DO NOT sew it down!  Now you are going to sew a gathering stitch along the top  curvy edge of your sleeves.  Open up your bodice and lay it flat, with the right side facing up.  Make sure your sleeve is gathered to the same length as your arm holes, you will probably have to ungather it a little bit.  Pin your sleeve to the arm hole, right sides together. Now sew your sleeve to your bodice with a 1/2 inch seam allowance These seams will be visible, so it is a good idea to finish them up with a zig-zag stitch or a serger if you have one.  Flip your bodice so that the right sides are facing each other.  Line up the sides of the bodice and the sleeves.  Pin together.  Unfold the edge of the sleeve that you ironed earlier.  Sew all the way up the side, and the sleeve to the very end that you just unfolded.  Use a half inch seam allowance.  Repeat on the other side of the bodice.  Again finish with a zig-zag stitch.Now let’s finish up those sleeves!  You have two options here.  You can leave the sleeve loose the way it is.  If you are choosing this option, all you have to do is fold the sleeve back the way it was and stitch around the top of the folded part, 1/4 inch from the edge.  Your other option is to put an elastic in.  If you are doing this, stitch around the top of the folded part, 1/4 inch from the edge, but leave a space  about 2 inches open.  This will make a casing for your elastic.  Take your half inch elastic and measure how much you need by placing it around your child’s upper arm.  Don’t make it too tight!  Thread your elastic through the casing, sew the ends of the elastic and then sew the opening shut.  Repeat the same steps with the other sleeve.

We are almost finished!  Now we have to make the skirt.  I wanted my skirt to be very full and gathered so that it would flow nicely overtop of a pettiskirt.  I took my material and folded it in half lengthwise.  From the remaining fabric I cut two strips, 9 inches wide for the 18 month size and 16 inches wide for the size 5.  The length was just the length of the fabric (so 1 metre for the 18 month and 1.5 for size 5)  Make sure your pieces are still folded in half.  Cut the ends of your strip at a backwards angle to make it an a-line skirt.Place the two pieces of your skirt right side together and sew up the sides (the angled edges) with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.  Zig-Zag stitch your seam.  Press the seams flat with your iron.  Now you are going to sew a gathering stitch along the top of your skirt.  If you have used the amount of fabric that I recommended, your skirt is going to be very gathered.  Sew your gathering stitch, leave long threads so that you can (carefully!) pull them and gather the skirt some more.  When you are done, the circumference of the skirt should be the same as the bottom of the bodice.  Make sure your skirt is inside out and your bodice is right side out.  You are going to pin the skirt to the bottom of the bodice, RIGHT sides together.  I like to line up the side seams of the skirt with the side seams of the bodice.  I hope you can see in this next picture how I pinned it together.  The bodice is inside the skirt.Sew your skirt to your bodice using a 1 inch seam.  And this part is very important: When you come to the front of the bodice, make sure that your white centre bodice is laying flat, and that your ruffle strips are also laying flat.  Make sure you catch the bottom of the ruffle strip in your seam.  This will help it to lay flat, and hide the unfinished edge.  Finish your seam with a zig-zag stitch or serger.  Now hem your skirt, I like to fold up 1/2 an inch and then again and sew, you can finish yours however you like.  Take your red faux suede string.  Fold it in half and put one end through the top left ribbon and the other through the top right ribbon on the front of your bodice.  Criss-cross your ribbon all the way down and tie it in a bow at the bottom.  The last step is to sew the button on the back of your bodice and you are DONE!!!

Thank you so much for following my tutorial, I hope my instructions are clear.  If not, please feel free to comment, I will change things as needed and do my best to help you out!  

Now just for fun – I had to make the size 5 dress for a customer of my Etsy shop and it just so happens that my son is a size 5.  I couldn’t resist trying it on him to make sure it fit properly.  He had fun jumping and twirling, but to his credit he did suggest that the customer would probably want me to throw the dress away and make a Ninja-Turtle Princess costume instead.  Of course I took some pictures…

Thanks again for stopping by!

~Lisa K

Sweet Cupcake Ruffled Apron ~ Tutorial and Giveaway

13 Sep

I love making costumes for dress up and play time! You can be so creative and add all kinds of fun details that you wouldn’t normally do with regular clothing.

The design for this mini apron was originally one that I made to compliment a dress for my daughter’s first birthday. I also made one to go along with a Little Red Riding costume. I think it would be really sweet on it’s own for dramatic kitchen and cooking play, or maybe for a tea party. I am going to show you how to make one for your sweet mini chef.

I would rate this a beginner’s sewing project, it’s fairly basic and easy. Here are the supplies you will need:
For the apron-
1/2 meter of heavier cotton for the apron and the tie

1 strip of contrasting fabric for the ruffle (2 inches wide and the length will depend on the size of your apron, but approximately 30 inches)


For the applique-

Scraps of fabric

Various notions (like ric rac, buttons, beads, etc…)

Fabri-Tac or other fabric glue

Wonder under or Heat n bond



First of all you need to decide how big you want your apron to be. My apron was designed to go on a dress that I had made for my daughter. I laid out the dress and grabbed a piece of paper from the computer. I put the piece of paper on top of it, roughly where I wanted the apron to sit. Then I folded the piece of paper in half and drew a curved line like this:

You will want to make the pattern about 1/2 inch wider than you want the finished apron to be, to allow for a seam.
Also in regards to the size, you need to keep in mind that the ruffle will add an inch around the outside as well.

Cut along your curved line and then unfold the paper to make sure you are happy with the shape. Pin to your main apron fabric and cut two of these; one front and one back piece.

Next you are going to cut a strip of material in the contrasting fabric for your ruffle. The strip will be two inches wide. To figure out the length, take your measuring tape and measure around the sides and bottom of the fabric piece that you cut for your apron. You will want the ruffle strip to be approximately twice this length. My ruffle was 44 inches long.

The last piece of fabric you need to cut is for the apron tie. Cut this in the same material that you used for the front and back of your apron. I used a nice white heavier Kona cotton. The strip will be 4 inches wide. It is up to you how long you want this strip to be. It needs to be long enough to go around your child’s waist and tie in a bow at the back. Mine was 45 inches long. To give you an idea, this was long enough to tie and make a pretty bow around my 11 month old’s waist, and it was still big enough to tie a little bow around my 4 year old’s waist.

Now you should have four pieces of fabric: the front and back piece for the apron,

the ruffle strip, and the strip for the apron tie. Does it look like this? Yes? Good!

Now let’s work on the applique!

The design I chose for my applique was a simple cupcake design that I drew myself. When you are designing your own applique, remember to make the lines fairly simple. If you don’t want to design your own, here is a website with some great patterns:

First of all I drew my design in pencil on a piece of paper. When I was happy with the look, I went over the lines in black marker. Next I cut out the design. You have to cut along each line that you draw because you will be using separate pieces of fabric for each piece of the applique. Pin the pattern to your scrap fabric and cut out your design. You will also need to cut pieces of wonder under or heat n bond in the shape of your design as well. Does that make sense? Here are some pictures to help:Draw your design in black markerCut out your design along each drawn line Pin your design to your fabric and the heat n bond. Cut out the pieces for your applique.

Next you are going to take all of the pieces for your applique to the ironing board. Place the fabric, right side up, on top of the heat n bond. Make sure the heat n bond is bumpy side up (there should be a bunch of little bumps on one side of it) Take your iron and press down on top of the design. The fabric should now be stuck to the heat n bond. Now take one of the pieces of fabric for your apron. Peel off the back of the heat n bond and place your design on the apron where you want it to go. Play around with it a bit and make sure you like the placement; once you iron it on you won’t be able to move it again. Be careful that your design isn’t too close to the edge of your apron (you will be sewing 1/2 inch in from the edge). When you are happy with the spot you have chosen, press the iron on top of your design to adhere it to the fabric.

Now we are going to sew around the edge of the design with a tight little zig-zag stitch to prevent any fraying. Play around with the settings on your sewing machine and some scrap fabric to see what you like. For the base of the cupcake I am going to stitch around with my stitch length at .3 and my stitch width at 1.5. For the top of the
cupcake I am going to use a wider stitch, to make it look kind of like fluffy icing (for this I left the stitch length at .3 but turned the width to 3.0). If you have an open-toed presser foot, this is a great project to use it on. It will help you see the corners and turns much easier. Not sure which presser foot I mean? It looks like this: Okay so if you have been following along you should now have a piece of fabric with a cupcake on it. Let’s add some glitz and fun to it. For my apron I cut a piece of red ric rac and used my fabri tac glue to stick it on to the base of the cupcake. Then I took a red flowery button and sewed it to the top of the cupcake, maybe to look like a cherry or a candy on top. Get as creative as you want. You could get some long beads and sew them to the top of the cupcake for sprinkles, decorate it any way you like! Here is my finished cupcake:

The applique part is done, let’s get this apron put together. Take your ruffle strip, fold it in half right sides facing out, and press with your iron. Now you need to sew a gathering stitch. There are a few ways to do this, I like to crank up the tension on my sewing machine and put my stitch length to 4. Sew your gathering stitch down the side with the raw edges. Once you have done this, you need to make sure that the ruffle is now about the same length as the outer curved edge of your apron. If it still needs to be a bit smaller, pull the thread to gather it a bit more. You also want to make sure that your ruffle isn’t super gathered in one area and not as much in other areas, it will look funny. Sandwich your ruffle in between your front and back apron pieces. Arrange it so that your apron pieces are right sides together, and that the raw edge of your ruffle strip is facing the edge of the apron.

It should look like this:

Next you need to sew around the curved edge (do not sew the top straight edge!) of the apron. Sew a 1/2 inch seam, make sure you don’t sew too close to the edge of the apron or you may not catch all of the pieces of fabric. When you are done sewing, clip the threads to make it all neat. Now turn it right side out. At this point you should check that the ruffle is all sewn in properly and that none of the raw edges are poking out. If they are, turn it back to inside out and sew another line just on the inside of the line that you already sewed, to catch the ruffle that you missed. It is very important to check it at this stage, because after the next step you will not be able to fix it.

We are on the home stretch! Take the long strip for your apron tie. Fold the short ends in about a 1/4 inch and iron down. Now fold the strip in half lengthwise and iron. Then open it up and fold each side in half to the middle and iron down, fold the strip back in half and iron again. You should be left with a long strip about one inch wide. If you have ever made your own bias tape, this is basically the same thing. Here are some pictures, hopefully these instructions are clear!

Fold your apron tie in half to find the middle; mark it with a straight pin. Then find the middle of your apron using the same method. Open the apron tie and insert the top of the apron into it, making sure the middle of each are lined up. Sandwich the top of your apron into the tie, and put in a few pins to keep it in place. Now you are going to sew a top stitch to close up all of the open ends on your apron tie.

Start at one of the short ends. Then sew all the way down the apron tie, over top of the apron, securing the top of the apron inside the tie. Continue on to the other end and, hey, you’re done. Here is a little diagram to show you where to sew.

I hope your little chef enjoys her play apron. Here are a couple of other ones that I made.

This one was made for my daughter’s first birthday. I used the same cupcake design but added a one to my applique. You can use different computer programs to find a font that you like. Print your creation and use it as a template.

I made this apron for a “Little Red Riding Hood” costume. You may notice that the letters haven’t been sewn down. The difference is that I used a heavy duty Heat n bond instead of the regular one. I didn’t want the detail of the font to be lost in the sewing. The heavier heat n bond should prevent any fraying.

And now for the giveaway!!

Hopefully my tutorial was easy enough to follow, but just in case you don’t have time to make your own, I would like to give away the cupcake apron that I made. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this blog before SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 16th AT 9:00PM MOUNTAIN STANDARD TIME.{Giveaway now closed}Thank you for stopping by!

~Lisa. K

Here is my little girl having tea time with her apron

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