Thursday, August 30, 2012

Sprucing Up the Old Standby Peasant Dress

I love a good peasant dress!  There are tons of tutorials and patterns out there.  I have really been happy with the one I got from Little Lizard King, but there are some good freebies out there too like this one on Indie Tutes or this one on Prudent Baby.  Peasant dresses are great because they're a quick and easy sew, they're super comfy and they are incredibly versatile!  Take this one I just finished for a client.  A few little additions and changes to the pattern and you have a gorgeous boutique style dress!

The first major change I made was to make a double casing of sorts at the neckline so it would ruffle a bit at the top.  This was done in the same way as the top of this dress, only smaller.  I was planning on doing the same thing to the sleeves, but I was running a little short on length so I just hemmed it as usual and then did a couple of rows of shirring about 1/2" from the bottom of the sleeve, creating the same ruffled effect.

I also made a sash and attached a big fabric flower to it.  The flower is two yo-yos stacked together and finished off with a fabric covered button.  Very simple but lots of impact!

The sash ties in back in a huge bow.  You all know how I feel about huge bows :)

My client picked the fabric and I loved the birdie print but I wasn't a huge fan of the stripes at first.  I will say they grew on me as the project went on.  

I also made a super simple rolled fabric flower headband to match.  I used this tutorial and while the instructions aren't great, I just kind of rolled and stitched until it looked the way I liked.

I hope this inspires you to make changes or additions to your basic dress patterns!  

Friday, August 24, 2012

Pleated Headband Tutorial

I guess I've had hair accessories on the brain because I've been making a whole bunch of different ones lately!  In the past, most of the hair clips I've made for the girls have all been the same style because I like them and they're easy.  For this fall, though, I decided to branch out and try some new ideas!  Enter the pleated headband!

The girls have peasant dresses made from this super gorgeous Alexander Henry print called "Mocca," and I wanted a fairly dramatic hair accessory to match.  These came together super easily and are pretty customizable!  

To make a pleated headband, you will need:

-A scrap of fabric, at least 3" wide by 14" long
-Scraps of coordinating felt (craft felt is fine)
-1/4" elastic or a premade elastic headband
-Hot glue gun
-Sewing stuff (thread, scissors, iron, etc.)

The first thing you'll need to do is cut your piece of scrap fabric into a rectangle.  For the girls' headbands, my rectangle was about 5" x 15", but the one I'm making here was for a 6 month old and it was a little smaller...more like 3.5" x 14".  Remember, you'll be folding it in half lengthwise, so make sure to at least double whatever you want your finished width to be!

Now take the two short ends and iron them under to the wrong side.

Fold the piece in half lengthwise, right sides together, and stitch it together along the long side using 1/4" seam allowance.

Turn the tube right side out and press, placing the seam in the center.

Now start pleating!  There is no right or wrong way to do this.  Just make folds until you like how it looks.  I made mine about 1.5" wide, but you can do smaller or larger pleats if you prefer.

Here's how mine looked from the side after a couple of pleats.

Continue pleating and ironing down your pleats until you are happy with the look.  You can pin your pleats to secure them if you'd like, or just wing it and head to the sewing machine!

Sew a straight stitch down the center of the pleated piece, making sure to backstitch at the beginning and end to secure your stitches.

Next cut 2 pieces of felt that are slightly smaller than your pleated piece.  Also cut a piece of 1/4" elastic to use as a headband, or grab your premade headband.  For infants up to 12 months, I cut my piece about 15" long, for toddlers I use 17" and for anyone over age 4, I use 18".

Dab a little hot glue on one end of your elastic and overlap the two ends, forming a loop.  Make sure your elastic isn't twisted!

Now take one of your felt pieces and cover it with a layer of hot glue.  Glue it down to the underside of your pleated piece.

Run a bead of hot glue lengthwise down the center of that piece of felt and attach your elastic headband in place.  Make sure to hide the seam in your headband by placing it on the felt area!

Next cover that whole felt area with hot glue and place your other felt piece over it, sandwiching the elastic in between.

Turn it over and admire your work!

I can't wait to see the girls in their new dresses with these fun headbands!  You could even embellish them with buttons or whatever you like.  This print is pretty bold, so I just left it plain.  I think I need some for myself!

If you make some, I'd love to see them!  Be sure to share in the flickr group!  Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

T-Shirt Scarves

I've seen these adorable scarves popping up all over Pinterest, so the other day I raided my old t-shirt stash and whipped up a couple for the girls!  

There are tons of tutorials out there and they all basically say the same thing, so I won't detail the process here, but I essentially used this method.  The only change I made was to use a 7" circular template for cutting my circles instead of the 9" that most tutorials recommend.  Since they were for the girls, I didn't need the strips of fabric hitting their knees!

The pouty lower lip you see pretty much sums up how the older twin felt about being forced to model a scarf when she was super busy relocating the stones from our landscaping.  It also explains why the scarf is just barely hanging around her neck and is not styled in any sort of cute way!

I got two toddler scarves out of two adult t-shirts and I would definitely recommend large or x-large so you have enough to cut your circles.  I did about 10 circles for each scarf.  

I filled out the green & white striped one with some plain white.  I think it will be adorable with a white t-shirt and a denim jacket!

It looks pretty stellar with the blue and white gingham bermuda shorts, though...haha!  I think I am ready for fall!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Rolled Knit Flower Headbands

Schools are starting up again all over the country and I guess it's putting me in a fall crafting mood!  I've already started in on several fall/winter dresses for the girls and the other day I was going crazy with hair accessories!

I've made these adorable rolled felt flowers from Jess at CINO before, but I started wondering how they'd work out in jersey knit.  I tried a few out and I love them!  I think I actually like them better than the felt!

I made a bunch of different colors and mounted them on some headbands.  

The knit worked just as well as the felt and I love the look and how soft they are.  When using knit, I would suggest cutting the initial strip a bit wider.  I did mine 3" and it worked well.  I just clipped, glued and rolled like the original tute shows and they turned out great!  The knit likes to move around a bit more than the felt, so when you are folding the strip over, be careful not to stretch it out and try to line it up carefully.

I was definitely in a fall color mood!  These were all upcycled from old t-shirts and tank tops.

I just kept switching out headbands and taking pictures, LOL...the girls are used to their crazy mom!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Gold Medal Girls

Even though they have absolutely no idea what the Olympics really are, the girls have been super excited about them.  When we get dressed in the morning, they ask to wear "Olympic shirts" (whatever that means) and they recently figured out how to do a perfect somersault (which apparently makes them Olympic gymnasts). 

I've seen a few variations of crafty Olympic medals online over the past couple of weeks and thought the girls might have some fun making their own!  We had a blast!

These two are definitely gold medal girls.  They have a bit of a naughty streak, but what 2 year old doesn't?  They totally win the gold for craziness and also for synchronized looks (I know I don't show their faces on here, but trust me...they're as identical as it gets!).  

Our medals are pink and blue because in this house, those colors are way better than gold and silver (also, it's what color glitter paint I had in my craft stash!). 

No earth-shattering techniques here.  We just grabbed some acrylic glitter paint, a stack of paper plates and some foam brushes.  I dumped paint into washed out plastic containers and let the girls have at it!

I put some of my old t-shirts on over their clothes in case there were any paint incidents, but they actually kept it fairly neat.  Also, I seriously underestimated just how big an adult large t-shirt would be on a 2 year old.  Perhaps it's time to whip up some more stylish and better fitting art smocks!

After they had painted a bunch of lovely glitter blobs on the paper plates, we laid them out in the sun to dry.

After a quick swim and a little lunch, I cut circles around the painted areas, punched a hole in the top and fed a piece of grosgrain ribbon through the hole.  Voila...Olympic medals!

Definitely gold medal girls.  They'll always be #1 to us!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Birdie Bubble

I was recently asked to participate in a fashion show and charity auction to raise money for needy families in our county.  Of course I said yes and I am excited to be preparing "runway" looks for this event.  

While I'm thrilled to get some publicity for my shop, the main purpose of the event is the charity auction.  Each participating designer is asked to donate a piece or basket from their collection for the auction.  Of course I'm including a pillowcase dress and hair clip, because that's the bread and butter of my shop and what I do, but I also decided to make a little bubble skirt to add to the mix.

I used the same fabric as my summer dress tutorial and lined it in solid pink.  I think bubble skirts are just so cute and bouncy for little girls!

I LOVE birds and this fabric is so fun and sweet.  The print is from the Garden Play collection by Fabric Central and it was available at JoAnn's...not sure if they have much left, but it is so cute!

I'll have more on my runway looks in the next few weeks!  Can't wait to share!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Who Doesn't Love the Olympics?

At our house, we are greatly enjoying the Olympics, although between a 2-year old working on cutting her last molars and all the fun stuff (gymnastics!) being on late, no one is getting much sleep around here!  I thought the opening ceremony was well done and it's been fun to watch sports that you don't ordinarily see televised.  

One of my best friends is obsessed with really enjoys the Olympics, so I made her this fun little bunting for her opening ceremonies party.

It was a bit more labor intensive than I originally thought, but it turned out so cute, I didn't mind :)

Basically I just cut a bunch of triangles out of navy fabric, then a bunch of strips of red and white in different sizes.  I ironed the raw edges under and stitched them on in a Union flag pattern (with a fair amount of artistic license).  In the random trivia file, I learned that while many people refer to the flag as the "Union Jack," it's more correctly called the Union flag, unless it's being flown on a ship in which case it's proper to call it the Union Jack.  Who knew?  Probably the British people.

Anyway, once I had all the stripes sewn down, I took some red triangles of fabric and stitched them right sides together with the "flag" part, then flipped and pressed.  I strung the whole thing together with some red bias tape and it was ready for the party!  Now go cheer on your country, but let's not forget to show appreciation to the host city!  Thank you London!