Tag Archives: Sewing

DIY baby fairy or ballerina

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I originally made these little tutu’s as a baby gift for a friend but just love them as regular dress up box items or fun, quick and easy Halloween costumes for the little ones. Whether this costume is to play in around the house, or wear over to Grandma’s for the first Halloween Oooooo’s and Ahhhh’s, these little skirts are sure to please! Here’s how you make them…

First assemble your needed supplies… elastic for the waist band (measure a little snug or short the measurement by an inch or two on the baby or child so that it still fits once you add all the fluff), needle and thread, measuring tape, pins, scissors, and tulle/ribbon in various colors.

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Lay out the tool on a flat cutting surface – measure and mark the width you want your strips to be -and place a pin in each to hold them together? I doubled over the tulle I had, and then layered three pieces together so I could cut the whole skirt all at once. If you have a rotary cutter and sewing mat this process goes crazy quick! (Remember to make the length of the strips twice the length you want them to be for the finished skirt. Each piece will be folded over and looped around the waist band as the attachment method.)

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Once you have all of your strips of ribbon and tulle cut into equal lengths, make your waist band for them to loop around. Make sure to make the waist a little smaller than the actual child. Once you start adding the fluff the elastic will stretch a bit and the final size will actually be bigger than you start with.

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Finally Take two to three pieces of tulle at a time or a piece of tulle and a piece of ribbon and match them up one on top of the other. fold all three pieces in half and loop them around the waist band making a small knot at the waist band to hold them in place. You want to make sure to have multiple layers of tulle in each loop to ensure the skirt is nice and full. Also having multiple colors in each loop creates a nice depth and whimsy.

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Aaaaaaaand vowala you have an adorable and fun tutu or fairy skirt in no time!

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DIY Wedding Dress

Back in April I had the great privilege of making a wedding dress for a good friend of mine. I hadn’t made a wedding dress since I worked in the costume department during my college years (so needless to say I was a bit rusty), but I had a friend in need and so I set out to make the dress she had been envisioning for the last year. Truthfully, my friend had been very wise and had picked out and ordered her dress a year before the wedding. However, when the dress arrived a mere 3 weeks before the wedding it wasn’t right. From the fabric, to the design, all the way to the size the dress was wrong. Panicked and overwhelmed with the final weeks of wedding planning she had resigned herself to buying a simple cocktail dress at a department store to get married in…but for me that simply wouldn’t do! So one duct tape manikin, 6 yards of dupioni silk, and 72 pearl buttons later I was helping her into her dress for the wedding. AND I am happy to report she was happy with the final product! Here is a quick breakdown (in pictures) of how I made her dress in 3 weeks (while still working my normal job, cleaning my house, and attending pre-wedding / bachelorette functions etc 🙂

First we bought a long night shirt and a roll of duct tape and I made a duct tape manikin of my friend. (By doing this I was able to make the dress to fit her perfectly from the start. We didn’t have time for extra alterations later.

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Next I created the general shape of the dress with a basic white satin (this will become the under slip and guide for the rest of the dress). My friend wanted a deep sweetheart neck line, low back and mermaid fit through the hips…so I pinned and created seams accordingly. (I also added corseting style boning and cups at this point so my fiend wouldn’t have to worry about an uncomfortable strapless bra. This dress was made to stay up throughout the ceremony and party without any unsightly tugging or adjusting!)

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Always make sure you look at the dress from every angle ensuring you have extra fabric for finishing seams and zippers later!Created with Nokia Smart Cam

Next I began laying the Dupioni silk over the top of the Satin under dress. Achieving the right look with ruching or folds can be difficult. If you are going to attempt this type of project take as much time as you need at this point and get the fabric to lay properly. Pin and re-pin as necessary without getting discouraged. Trust me it’s worth it in the end to do it right at this point 🙂

Created with Nokia Smart Cam Created with Nokia Smart Cam

Once I had the front pinned I began working on the back. To some degree the back of the dress can be more difficult than the front as a result of the zipper. For this dress I started by creating the folds on one side of the zipper and then moved to the other side working to ensure everything would match up perfectly once the dress was zipped.

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Next I closed all of the seams (which can be tricky keeping all of your ornate folds in place properly and the only piece of advice I can give is lots of pins and lots of patience!)

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Next (and I’m sorry I don’t have pictures of this part) turn your new lovely dress inside out and sew the top of the under dress to the actual wedding dress and then turn right side out again. This will create an invisible hem at the bust line and a clean finish to the whole dress effectively hiding all of your seams (the seams of the dress face the seams of the under dress so you can’t see the seams at all). Once this is complete ensure the bust line is laying properly and make any adjustments necessary to ensure it won’t bubble or pucker.

 Created with Nokia Smart Cam Created with Nokia Smart Cam

Finally insert zipper using the invisible zipper method, attach buttons down the back of the dress covering the zipper (if desired), add any details such as rhinestones or feathers you wish to have, and hem the bottom (You will need your lovely bride to be in her wedding shoes of choice for this last measurement). Vowalla one wedding dress custom made and ready to wear.

Created with Nokia Smart Cam(I also added a bustle to the back of this dress so she could dance the night away without worrying about people stepping on the train.)

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Katie’s Baptism Dress

A few years ago I made the baptism dress for my first niece Emma…without realizing it I started a tradition. With 5 (soon to be 6) nieces there will be a few white dresses to make over the coming years. Making the dresses for my nieces is something I am thrilled and honored to do…and I love getting to see the subtle differences in their personalities as they (or my sisters – the girls moms) pick out which dress they want.

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Here is the dress Katie chose. She was enchanted by the roses. Although it is a basic pattern I took care to add small details here and there to make it special to her. (As far as sewing goes, this pattern was easy to follow and the difficulty level is low. I recommend gathering the roses for the base of the dress by hand.)

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The dress hanging in the guest room the night before her baptism day. I recommend hanging a handmade dress the night before the event to allow the wrinkles to fall out. (Hanging it in the bathroom during showers to steam out the wrinkles is also a great trick!)

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Katie all dressed up after her baptism.

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DIY : Baby Superhero Cape

How To: Make a Superhero Cape for a Onesie

I love sewing and working on special little projects for friends and family; so when I received a baby shower invitation from a friend I pulled out the sewing machines! My friends John and Jane (we shall call them for this post) are big comicon fans and love all of the new superhero movies so much that I knew almost immediately what I wanted to make for them….baby superhero onesies! Then as luck would have it, while I was looking for plain blue and red onesies, I found actual superhero embossed onsies and so all that was needed was the cape. Below are instructions on my latest baby shower gift. I am very pleased with how they turned out!

Step 1: Find onesie and fabric for cape (I couldn’t find the right shade of red in the fabric department so I decided to check out the T-shirts in the little kids section…vowalla cape material!) Create cape pattern (I like to cut my patterns out of old newspapers before cutting the actual fabric. This allows me to make adjustments as needed without loosing fabric and money!)

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Step 2: Cut out cape pattern. Because I was using a T-shirt I lined up the bottom of the cape with the bottom hem of the shirt. The ending result is one less hem to sew and a nice clean finished look to the bottom of my cape!

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Step 3: Break out your handy dandy sewing machines! (If you don’t sew or don’t have sewing machines you could do this project “no sew” by using fabric glue for the seams and self adhesive Velcro to attach the cape to the neckline of the onesie)

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Step 4: Create a zig-zag stitch on the three unfinished (rough) sides to prevent fraying or curling of the T-shirt material. I used my Surger machine (I love this thing!!!)

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Step 5: Roll your hems and pin in place. Sew a straight line hem on each side and across the top creating a finished look.

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Step 6: With all three sides now hemmed attach your cape to the neckline of your onesie. I attached just below the original hem because I liked how the blue over the top of the red looked. You can also attach right to the top of the onesie if you prefer. Use a straight stitch to attach. (Or if you want the cape to be removable use Velcro or snaps to attach the cape to the shoulders.)

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Step 7: Step back and admire your crazy adorable baby superhero outfit! Then wrap it up and happily gift this really fun item! Or if you are making them for your own little superheroes enjoy watching them zoom around the room in their new capes!

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