Blue Lace Skirt
Shortly after I learned how to sew, my sister-in-law handed me a stack of blue fabric and asked me to turn it into something for their daughter. The fabric held a special meaning because it was used in their wedding. So, I decided to turn it into a skirt.
I wanted the skirt to have fullness so I purchased a soft tulle fabric to add layers inside the skirt. I didn’t want the tulle to irritate her waist so I made a short panel out of the blue fabric to attach the tulle to. This way, all of the fabric gathered at her waist would be the silky, smooth fabric.
I added a lace trim to finish the hem of the skirt.
The two layers were sewed together before the gathered tulle was attached to the short panel.
Add an elastic waistband and voila!
Organizing A Craft Room: Inspiration
Fancy Nancy Inspired Dress
I made this dress as a Christmas gift for a special little girly girl that loves Fancy Nancy books. I did some research to better understand Nancy and her fancy ways and came across this beautiful purple dress. I have never worked with ruffles before but I figured, why not just jump right in! This dress is actually quite simple. The base fabric is a rectangle turned into a tube with an elastic band at the top to create an A-line appearance.
So…. drum roll please….. Here comes the tutorial!
1 to 2 yards of base fabric (varies based on chest measurement)
1 roll of 6” tulle (I found mine in the wedding section of JoAnn’s)
Small scrap of felt
1. Take the chest measurement and double it. This will be the width of your dress.
2. Take the length measurement from under the armpits to the ankles (or wherever you would like the dress to fall). Add approximately 2” for seam allowances. I based the final length of the dress on the tulle layers. I wanted the tulle to cover the entire dress, only leaving 1 1/2” at the top for the elastic. I would recommend planning this out before making your final cut, working in tulle height increments.
3. Cut your base fabric into a rectangle based on the measurements you’ve taken.
4. Sew a zigzag stitch (or serge) the bottom and top edges of your rectangle.
5. Take the bottom edge and fold over 1/2”, press, and sew to create your bottom hem.
6. Take the measurement for the width of the dress and double it. This is the measurement for the tulle strips. Note: you may wish to triple the measurement of the tulle to get even more ruffles.
7. Cut your strips of tulle to the length you’ve just determined. You will need to lay the tulle on the rectangle dress piece and estimate how many strips you will need to cover the dress. I allowed for about a 1/2” overlap between my strips. You will also need to allow space for the 1 1/2” casing at the top of the dress.
8. Ruffle time! Use a ruffle foot on your machine OR place your machine on the longest stitch length. Create the ruffles by running the fabric through the machine on a straight stitch (do NOT do a backstitch at the beginning or end of your work). Now, take your fabric and pull on the bottom thread. This will begin to pull the ruffle. Some feel that it is best to do two sewn lines spaced closely together, allowing you to pull from two places to get a more even ruffle. Practice this on spare fabric and choose whichever method works for you.
9. Once you have the first ruffle layer complete (ruffled to match the width of the dress), pin the ruffle in place and sew it onto the base fabric.
10. Continue this step until you have all of your layers sewn onto the rectangle.
11. Pin the two ends of the dress together (width of the dress), with the wrong side facing out (the ruffles are all hidden inside). Sew a 1/2” seam. Now you have a tube!
12. Now you will create a casing for your elastic. Fold over the top edge 1 1/2”, press, and sew next to your zigzagged (serged) edge leaving a 1” to 2” opening at the back of the dress for the elastic. The seam for your dress will be centered at the back. Create the opening at this spot.
Next it’s time to create the straps. Cut a strip from the base fabric that is 4” wide by the desired strap length. Allow plenty of room to tie a bow. Cut the ends off at a diagonal to create the angled tips of the straps. Fold the fabric over, right sides together. Pin, press, and sew to create a 1/4” seam. Leave a 1” to 2” gap. Pull the fabric right side out through the gap that you’ve created. You will need to use a pointer of some sort to get smooth, crisp edges (a knitting needle or chopstick will work great). Hand sew the gap closed.
Pin the strap to the inside of the dress as shown above to the front side of the dress (The seam of the dress should be in the back), aligning the bottom of the strap with the bottom edge of the casing. Sew the strap onto the dress along the same line used to the casing.
Cut your elastic to fit snugly around the chest. Attach safety pins to both ends and pull it through the gap of the casing. Now pull the elastic ends tight and push the fabric back away from the elastic ends. Pin the elastic ends together (I like to overlap the elastic) and sew to create a tube.
Now, it’s time to close up the casing opening. You can use your machine to top stitch or, for a cleaner look, hand sew this closed.
The dress is finished!!
The first step is deciding how large you want the flower. Use scrap fabric from the dress that is slightly larger than the desired circle circumference.
There are many great tutorials out there for creating fabric flowers.
Try this one here…
Use the base of a cup, dish, lid, etc. to ease the process of tracing the circles.
The next step is completing the veil. Take excess tulle from the dress cut to your desired length. Run a gathering stitch along one long end. Pull to gather and shape into a circle. Hand stitch the tulle onto a felt circle sized slightly smaller than your fabric circle. Gather the two short ends of the tulle and take a few stitches to secure the ends discretely under the felt circle.
Now, take a hair clip and attach to felt circle (I stitched mine onto the felt). Lastly, attach your fabric flower on top of the tulle.
Below shows a picture of how a traditional birdcage veil is supposed to be worn, tilted to one side.
(image from fashpages.com)
Roundup of Free Baby Knitting Patterns : : Toys
Toddler & Baby Refashion Roundup
Every little girl needs a tutu dress in her closet! For the crafter in the family, it’s a quick and easy way to make a “twirly” dress for hours of play and imagination.
If you do not have a sewing machine, you could make this into a no sew project by using ribbon. Simply take the chest measurement and tie a knot at each end of the ribbon marking off the measurement (leave excess ribbon on the ends beyond the knots for tying a bow). Tie the tulle around the ribbon, and easy peasy, you are done! Wrap the dress around your little one and tie it off in a big bow. If the dress is too loose you can loop another ribbon at the front of the dress to create a halter strap that ties behind the neck.
Tutu Dress Tutorial
* 3 to 5 rolls of 6” tulle (I found mine in the wedding section of JoAnn’s)
* 1” elastic
* Flower for embellishment (optional, use one with a strap on the back intended for a headband and it becomes a cinch to attach)
* Ribbon (optional, for halter strap)
* Foamcore Board or Cardboard (optional)
To make the tulle cutting process quick and simple find a flat sturdy piece of cardboard or foamcore that is cut to the length of the dress. My dress was made for a 4 year old and a standard size foamcore board was the perfect size already. Wrap the tulle around and around. When the roll runs out, take scissors and cut one end of the tulle. Now you have several strips of tulle that are twice the necessary dress length.
Next, take your elastic and cut it to fit snugly around the chest (allow 1/2” extra to account for the seam). Sew your elastic ends together to form a circle.
Place the elastic loop around your thigh and you are ready to tie and attach the strips of tulle.
Take one strip of tulle and fold it in half. Slide it under the elastic loop and prepare to make a slip knot.
Fold over the top of the loop and pull the tails through the loop.
Pull tightly, tugging the tails back towards you. Make sure that the elastic does not fold over.
Your first slip knot is done! Now repeat this step over and over until your loop is full.
The knots formed from creating the slip knots should end up on the inside of the dress, hidden from view. If yours are on the outside, simply turn the dress inside out.
Optional: To add the flower - pull a piece of tulle through the loop on the back of flower and tie your slip knot. That’s it!
Pretty Girl Tutu Tutorial
What little girl doesn’t love to twirl around in a tutu! This is a very easy gift and can be made in one evening while sitting in front of the TV (watching a Christmas movie!). There is very little to no sewing required.
For the sew version, you can use elastic for the waistband. Sewing together the elastic to form a loop is the only sewing required. I generally take the waist measurement and subtract 1/2” for the final sewn elastic measurement (remember to add in your seam allowance when you cut the elastic).
For a no sew version, you can use ribbon instead of elastic. Measure the waist, tie knots in the ribbon to mark the waist measurement. You will attach the tulle between the two knots. The left over ribbon (beyond the knots) will be used to tie a bow.
There are lots of tutorials online for completing this project. I’ve seen some where they tie a double knot and others which tie a slip knot. I tried both and feel that the slip knot looks cleaner. Depending on how you tie the knots you may need to flip your tutu inside out when completed so that the knots are hidden on the interior of the skirt (this is what I had to do). Look for tips and the tutorial after the pics …
Tips for making the tutu:
Here is a tutorial for tying the slip knots…
1. To ease the process of cutting the tulle I purchased 6” rolls (found at JoAnn Fabrics in the wedding section). This eliminates the need to cut the tulle width wise because 6” is the perfect width to use.
2. To cut the length I found a book that was the appropriate length, wrapped the tulle around the book and cut one end. This allowed me to cut multiple strips at one time. You can also use a piece of cardboard or foam core board.
3. Slide your leg through the elastic loop until it rests on your thigh (like a garter). Then, begin to tie the tulle around the loop. This makes it very easy to tie on strips of tulle.
Legwarmers, back in style…
Maybe it’s because I was a child of the 80’s, but I love legwarmers! They are making a comeback and I’ve decided to join in. I haven’t been brave enough to wear them on their own, so for now, I’ve paired them with a pair of boots.
The free pattern I used is below, from Red Heart.