Tag Archives: sew along

~The Sweet Audrey {A Vingtage Inspired Ombre Dress} ~ Part 3 (Finishing Touches)

24 Dec



titleimage     Part 3 is here, let’s put the finishing touches on the Sweet Audrey Dress!  Today we will sew the skirt to the bodice, add the buttons, and make the bow and attach it to the front of the dress.

First of all, we need to prep the bodice.  Take it to the ironing board and unfold it, lay itpart3pic1 flat.  You are going to fold the bottom of the liner over 1/2″ to the inside of the bodice and press it.  Next fold the bodice back up.  You need to pin the button plackets together in the back.  To make sure that it is lined up properly, make sure that the side seams are at the sides of the dress.  The arm holes should also look part3pic2like they are lined up too.  Put a few pins down the back of the button placket to make sure that the bodice doesn’t shift around while you are attaching the skirt.  Your button placket SHOULD overlap at the back.

We are now going to attempt to attach the skirt to the bodice.  This is the part that I like best, when it is sewn together you can really see how beautiful your dress is going to be!

Keep your bodice turned right side out.  Turn your skirt inside out.  You are going to pin the skirt to the outer part of your bodice, right sides together.  The easiest way to describe this is that you are going to sit your skirt (inside out!) on top of the counter/cutting table, whatever you are using for your workspace.  Now, with your bodice right side out, turn it upside down and place it inside of your skirt.  line up the sides of the bodice with the sides of your skirt.  If you followed along with part 2, your skirt should be the same width around as the bottom of your bodice.  Pin it together all the way around, you will pin the top edge of the skirt to the bottom edge of the OUTER part of your bodice (the satin part)part3pic3

Sew all the way around the edge using 1/2″ seam.  Make sure that you are sewing just underneath the gathering stitch that you used to sew the two skirts together.  If you do not sew below it, you will see the gathering stitch from the outside when the dress is done.  Make sure that when you are sewing over the back of the bodice that the button placket IS overlapping at the back.  Also be careful not to catch the liner when you are sewing.  Since we ironed it under before this step, it should be easy to ensure that this doesn’t happen.

Next take your dress to the ironing board.  part3pic4Press your seam up so that it will go inside the bodice.  Press the rest of your bodice nicely, make sure the liner looks nice and press it so that it covers the seam.  This part3pic5will enclose the seam inside of the dress.  When you are finished, top stitch along the bottom edge of the liner, all the way around.  When you get to the button placket, again top stitch right over it, it may take a bit of tricky maneuvering but it’s not too difficult.  The liner should now be stitched into place.  Make sure that your thread is the same colour as the satin, as this stitch will be visible from the outside of the dress.  After you have stitched the liner down, open up your button placket.  You will notice that the inner part of the liner did not get stitched into place.  You will need to hand stitch this part, I used a whipstitch to do this.

Now it’s time to add your buttons.  I used 4 5/8″ buttons for my dress.  Your button holes will be added to the part of the bodice that overlaps (is on top) of the other button fabric.  Your buttons will be sewn to the side that is underneath the other one.

Last but not least, let’s create a gorgeous bow for the front of the dress!  You will need to cut three pieces of fabric from your satin.  You will need two rectangles that are TWICE as long as you want the finished bow to be, and the width will be whatever you would like the finished bow to be PLUS 1/2″.  My two rectangles were 16″ x 4 1/2″.  Then you need a third rectangle for the centre piece of your bow.  Mine measured 4 1/2″ x 5 1/2″.  I am going to do most of the next step in pictures.  All of the seams for the bow have been sewn with 1/4″ seam allowance.


Pin the two rectangular pieces for the main part of your bow right sides together. Sew around three sides leaving one short end open.


Turn right side out, fold in the unsewn edge 1/2″ and press.



Take your third rectangular piece for the centre of the bow. Fold over short ends 1/2″ to the wrong side and press




(make sure that your seam is on the inside so that it won’t be visible)


Now that the centre piece is finished, let’s move back to the main part of the bow. Grab a needle and thread, run a long gathering stitch down the centre. Make sure that the top edge and the bottom edge of the bow are gathered facing the same direction; towards you. The seam should be at the back of the bow.



This dress is finished! Beautiful, elegant, fun ~ fit for a princess!  Here are the links to PART 1 and PART 2 in case you missed it.

Thank you for following along with this sewing tutorial, I would love to see any finished dresses that you have made!


Thank you for stopping by!

~Lisa K


~ The Sweet Audrey {A Vintage Inspired Ombre Dress} ~ Part 1 (The Bodice)

20 Dec


For the past few months I have been dreaming up this exquisite girl’s party dress.  It is going to be a Christmas present for my niece ~ who just loves to twirl about in a pretty dress!  In my mind I saw something elegant, almost a vintage look. I wanted it to be sophisticated, like something Audrey Hepburn might wear, kind of like the one that she wore to the Oscars in 1954 (pictured below). alg-hepburn-dress-web I also wanted to find a way to make it fun and somewhat modern.

On the dress I designed, the skirt is very full and hemmed just below the knees.  I  added a built in pettiskirt for extra fun and flair. The bodice is lined and I have sewn it in a way that there are not many visible seams.  I am going to show you exactly how I created it, as well as give you a free pattern for the bodice in 5T.  I do plan to add more sizes, if there is a particular size you would like to make, leave a comment on this post and I will work on that size first.  For the fabric I chose a new cotton design from Riley Blake Designs.  Several months ago Riley Blake Designs came out with their cotton ombre dot collection.  I thought that an ombre dress would be lively and give it the modern twist that I was looking for.  So with that in mind, I chose ombre dots in grey.  I cut the fabric in a way that the dress starts out with light grey dots at the shoulders, and as you move towards the bottom of the dress the dots get darker and eventually at the bottom of the skirt they are black.  I broke up the dot pattern in the mid section with a splash of hot pink satin.  The dress is finished with four buttons down the back and a nice plump bow in the front.

Since it is a rather big project, I will be doing it in three parts.  The first part I will teach you how to sew the bodice.  The second part I will show you how to create the skirt.  The third part we will put everything together, plus add finishing touches like the bow and buttons. Well let’s get started!  Here are the supplies that you will need:


Pattern ~ you will have to click on four separate links and print each one to get the complete pattern: The Sweet Audrey Dress Size 5T {Part 1:Back Bodice}, {Part 2 Back Rectangular}, {Part 3 Front Bodice}, {Part 4 Front Rectangular}~ this is for personal use only.  I have put a lot of work into this pattern and tutorial, if you would like to sell items made from this pattern please e-mail me at and for a low cost I will give you a limited commercial license.

1 1/2 yards main fabric (my fabric is cotton ombre dots in grey)

1/2 yard lining fabric

1/2 yard satin fabric for the mid section and bow

2 yards of tulle ~ the finer, smoother tulle works best for this type of project (The built in pettiskirt is optional, if you are not putting it in the dress you do not need tulle)


Basic Sewing Supplies/Sewing Machine

4 buttons ~ mine were 15 mm or 5/8″

Cutting out your pattern:

You will need to cut out the lining pieces for your bodice first.  After you have cut out pic1the lining fabric, you will snip the bottom part of the pattern off along the dotted line.  Next cut your main fabric bodice pieces.  Lastly, use the front rectangular piece to cut out one satin pieces of fabric to attach pic2to your front bodice, and cut two from the back rectangular piece to attach to your back bodice.  From both the liner and the main fabric you will cut one front bodice piece, on the fold, and two opposite back bodice pieces.  Here are some pictures of the pieces you should now have.

pic3 First we are going to attach the satin pieces to the rest of the bodice.  To do this, flip your front rectangular satinpic4 piece so that one of the longer edges matches up with the bottom edge of your front bodice.  Make sure the pieces of fabric are right side together.  Sew them together with a 1/2″ seam.  Repeat this step with both of the back bodice pieces.  When you have sewed these pieces together, don’t forget to press your seams.

Next we need to sew the liner to the main fabric.  Place the front bodice liner and main fabric right sides together.  You are going to sew it together along the neckline, and then starting at the bottom of the arm hole you are going to sew pic5the liner and main fabric together, but stop half way up the arm hole!! Repeat with the other arm hole.

For the back part of the bodice we are going to sew it a little differently.  Again place the lining fabric right sides together with the main fabric.  You are going to sew arm holes halfway up, just like you did on the front bodice.  Then you are going to sew along the neckline and down the edge, but STOP sewing two inches from the bottom of the bodice.  Do this with both sides of the back bodice.  Again the dotted lines in the picture should help you figure out where to sew.


Now let’s join the bodice together at the shoulders.  This next step looks a little tricky, it is hard to get a good picture of this step, but read it over a couple of times and the lightbulb should go on!  First of all you need to turn all of your bodice pieces right sidepic7 out and press with your iron.  I cannot stress this enough ~ take your time and do a good job pressing your bodice.  It will help you with the next couple of steps if you press it well.  Poke all of the little corners out; press.  Then you want to fold in the unsewn parts of your arm holes, 1/2″ towards the wrong side of the fabric (for both the main and lining fabric) and press well.

Take one of your back bodice pieces and place it on top of your front bodice piece, with the pic8outer fabric facing each other.  Line up the shoulders.

This is the tricky party.  Open up the shoulders.  Pin the outer fabric right sides together, and the lining fabric right sides together.  Sew the shoulders  together using a 1/2″ seam (along the dotted lines in the picture below)

pic9Repeat the same step with the other back bodice piece and sew the other shoulder together.  Your bodice is just about done, hopefully that wasn’t too painful!

Now you need to sew the sides of the bodice together and finish your arm holes.

To sew the bodice together, keep your bodice turned right side out.  Pull the outer fabric of the bodice upwards.  Pin the sides of the lining fabric together (so to be clear you are pinning the side of the front bodice to the side of the back bodice)  Pin it together all the way up to the arm hole where you will reach the outer fabric.  Then you will pin the outer fabric (right sides together) in the same fashion.  Sew all the way up the side with a 1/2″ seam allowance.  When you are finished press your seam.  The bodice should now look like a bodice!  And as a bonus you will not see any seams.


This is where your excellent ironing skills will come in handy.  Fold your shoulder seam closed, if you have ironed the un-sewn arm hole well, you can jump right in and edge stitch all around the arm hole.  If the edges do not match up, take it back to the ironing board and press it a little more.  When you are ready, you can edge stitch all around both of the arm holes, and your bodice will be finished!


Tomorrow I will post part two of this sew along.  Part two will show you how to make the skirt, which includes the outer skirt and the inner tulle pettiskirt.

Update:  Part 2 has now been posted, here is a link: Sweet Audrey Part 2: The Skirt and Part 3:  Sweet Audrey Part 3: The Finishing Touches

 I would also like to mention that this afternoon I am very happy to be co-hosting a special link party.  Several bloggers have teamed up and pledged to donate 5 cents per link added to the United Way Newtown Fund to benefit the victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy.  As of right now, we are up to $1.00 per link in pledged donations for every link added to the party.  The great thing for you is that no matter which blog you link up to, your addition will be seen on many different blogs ~ what great exposure for your blog, plus you will be helping out with a great cause!  There will be a few rules for this link party, but be sure to check out all of those details when I post them later today.

Thank you for stopping by!

~Lisa K

Sweet Apple of My Eye ~ Coat Tutorial and Free Pattern

1 Nov

Well I had meant to design a couple of coats for fall, and now there is snow on the ground and my fall coat project is finally finished.  Oh well ~ I had a couple of unexpected custom orders which took some time (but I can’t complain about that!)  This was not an easy task for me though.  I can’t tell you how many times I altered the pattern and cut everything apart before I finally got it perfect.  Well, it’s perfect in my eyes.  I love with this sweet little coat!  It has such nice girly details ~ like a darling scallop collar.  The bottom portion is gathered to give it a nice feminine flare.  Of course the fabric is just charming ~ Apple of My Eye by The Quilted Fish for Riley Blake Designs.  For the main fabric I used Blue Apple of My Eye Basket and for the lining fabric I used Pink Apple of My Eye Stripe.  The gorgeous little handmade linen covered buttons are from my favorite button shop on Etsy.  Really, go check it out, I am hooked on these buttons! Here is a link: Cute Village .  And of course the coat wouldn’t be nearly as cute without the adorable model, thank you Miss.E!

Are you ready to make your own “Sweet Apple of My Eye Coat?”.   I have prepared a tutorial and a pattern in 24 month size to share with you.  The coat pictured in this tutorial is actually a size 6, but I find it much easier to scan the smaller patterns. If this tutorial is popular and there is lots of demand for other sizes I might add more, so feel free to leave your comments!  Or maybe you like this coat but aren’t in the mood for a sewing project, you might just be in luck.  I have also made ONE for my Etsy shop in size 6, first come first serve!  Here is the link: Sweet Apple of My Eye Coat.

All right, let’s get going on the tutorial.  First of all you need to print off the pattern and cut all of your pieces.  There are four pieces to this pattern, and I apologize you do have to click each one separately to print it.  I have not found a better way to make my patterns available yet (if you are a blogger and have any suggestions for me, I would greatly appreciate it!) When you are printing these, if there is a box that says “Fit to page” make sure that it IS clicked Here is the pattern:

Collar~Apple of My Eye 24 Month Size

Back Coat~Apple of My Eye 24 Month Size

Front Coat~Apple of My Eye 24 Month Size

Sleeve~Apple of My Eye 24 Month Size

Supplies for 24 Month Size
~1.5 yards of main fabric 
~1 yard of lining fabric
~scrap interfacing
~sewing machine and basic sewing supplies
~16 inches of bias tape
~3 buttons (mine are 1 inch buttons)
Here we go, I am going to try to do most of the instructions in pictures:
Okay let’s get to the bottom part of the coat.  I apparently didn’t take a picture of this next step, but I promise it’s not too hard!  Take your large piece of main fabric (10″x40″).  Fold it in half, lengthwise, with right sides together.  Pin the SHORT ends together and sew each of those ends with a 1/2″ seam.  Turn your piece of fabric right side out and press it with your iron.

Now flip your long strip down and press with your iron.  The strip will be right side facing up.  You should have a nice invisible seam  where the strip was sewn to the coat.  The long side of the strip that you previously ironed should be sitting right at the seam where you attached the bottom piece to the coat.  Basically it should look like the picture above.  DO NOT sew down the bottom piece of the strip, this will be taken care of in a moment!

If you have not worked with bias tape before, here are some handy instructions to follow: How to sew bias tape
Thank you for reading my blog, I hope you enjoyed this post!  As always I would love to hear your comments and feedback.
~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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