Saturday, November 13, 2010

It's starting to look a lot like Christmas...

Hi everyone!
SO I know! I have been a bit MIA lately! But friends, know that I have been WORKING my little booty off and have a little project for Christmas I wanted to share with you!!!
So, off to the tutorial!

This is my take of an Advent Calendar! No chocolate or treat involved... sorry! I figured for my little Marla, numbers and moving Santa Claus down to the 24th should be thrilling enough!

Here is what you will need:

18"x18" linen-like fabric for the front
18"x18" cotton for the back of your calendar. I chose the red and white small checker board fabric for mine. It looks a bit more French!!! ; )
18"x18" white fleece
18"x18" cotton to stuff a quilt
24 red buttons--all sizes
a Christmas ornament of your choice. I recommend something light weight.
gros grain red ribbon (or any other color you are going with!)
thin paint brush
white acrylic paint

Let's start onto your front. We will mark where to sew the buttons with a pencil.
The numbers will be 3" away from each other on the horizontal:

Each line will be 4" away from each other on the vertical:

Time to sew your buttons on your 24 marks!

With the help of a white Crayola crayon, I drew my numbers right above the buttons:

Time to paint them:

Don't forget to take a break and admire your work! : )
I took the freedom to add a little something at the bottom of my calendar: "Joyeux Noel"
Merry Christmas in French --of course!

Time to sew it all together now!
Lay your pieces in this order: your back piece first:

You will pin a 12" long piece of gros grain red ribbon in order to hang your masterpiece! Pin in place like shown below on the top of your front piece.

Layer #2: your front piece.

Layer #3: your fleece piece.

Last layer: your quilt filler piece.

Let's review the order:

Sew all four sides without forgetting to leave a generous opening at the bottom of your piece in order to turn it inside out. I suggest you hand sew this opening afterwards.

This is it! Let's add the final touch with your Christmas ornament and admire your work! Little ones will love to move the ornament around as the days go by!
If you have an older child in the house, this is probably a great project to teach one how to hold a needle and sew buttons! It's one great lesson to get someone interested in the craft... just something to think about!!!

Have a great Holiday season everyone! I will be sharing with you some other clothing projects within the next couple weeks!! So see you soon!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Hello! and Happy Halloween week!!!

I wanted to share a link to a free pattern for Halloween!
I decided to show up to work on Friday with minimal -yet- fun little costume! A mini witch hat on the top of my head to add a little spunk to the work place!

The website is and the link to the pattern is:

and here is my take on it:

I wanted to look more like a good witch obviously!
I hope you all have a fun time celebrating Halloween with your friends and family!

Keep on sewing!!!

PS- a giveaway blog will coming up soon in early November! Halloween got me really busy with Marla's Wonder Woman costume! I will be posting photos really soon! Have a great week!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Skirt Tutorial

Well this took me a WHILE to upload, but here it is at last!

Can't wait to share this tutorial with you! so let's get started!!!
  • First here is the "formula" in order to cut out your pieces:
  • you must measure your tot's waist (at the navel level), and we will call it "W"
  • We will take the example of Marla's measurements. Her waist, W, is at 21". To figure out the width of the skirt panel I must cut out, I will multiply W x2 and add half of W to it.... in my case, 21 + 21+ 10.5= 52.5" wide. For a 2/3T I decided to make it a 12" length. (in this tutorial I created the panel out of 2 pieces of fabric in order to reach the entire width I needed)
  • Next, we will figure out the waist band. For this I will take W and add its half. For example: 21 + 10.5= 31.5" long, and for all sizes, make it 4" wide.
  • For the elastic band, I recommend 1" wide. For the length of the elastic, I will cut half W. In my illustration, that would be 10.5"
  • At last, we must cut the ties (you will need to cut out fabric for 2 ties) For Marla's size, I cut out 18" long fabric pieces, and cut them at 3" wide each.
  • Alright, let's try this out, shall we?
  • First, take your skirt panel pieces and sew the raw edges of the 2 fabric you will have chosen to create your skirt (if you decide to go with the choice of 2 fabric--skip this step if you decide to go with one fabric instead, and go directly to the waist band instructions)

For this tutorial, I did add a "contrast" piece at the bottom of my skirt. I recommend that you sew on your contrast pieces before getting to the next step.

Trim your raw edges so you can serge them or zig-zag stitch them pretty!

Put your skirt piece aside for a minute. Let's move onto your waist band. Sew it together to form the band like a big circle. Sew along the 4" edges with right side of fabric facing each other and wrong side of fabric facing you! Then zig-zag stitch or serge your edges pretty!

With your iron all set and hot, press where you just stitch to flatten your seam. Then, fold your waist band in half in the length so that the width of your piece is 2" wide on front and 2" on inside of waist band. If you are using a label, I recommend placing it now!

Define where you want to put your label, and let's go! I placed mine on the back of the waist band, in the center.

Ok! Time to admire your work!

Now, stitch along the folded edge of the waist band, at about 1/8th of an inch to keep the fold clean and a nice finished look:

And no, you are not seeing double! I made 2 skirts while preparing this tutorial!! ; ) Alright! Back to the skirt panel we prepared at the beginning of this tuto!

With your iron, prepare your piece so that it will be a tad easier to work on the bottom seam of your skirt.

With wrong side of fabric facing up, iron "free-style" the bottom edge of your skirt at about 1/4th of an inch.

With the help of a ruler, fold over at about half an inch. Press with your iron.


Then, aligning your fabric perfectly, construct your piece which we will then attach to the waist band we created previously. Serge or zig-zag stitch the side raw edges on the inside of your skirt.

With your machine set up on the tightest setting and widest stitch setting, sew at 1/8" along the top raw edge of the back of your skirt. This trick will get the back of your skirt ruched to perfection to work on it later. Make sure you do not touch the front of your skirt quite yet!

With this wide yet tight stitch, you should be able to hold one of your thread and pull to gather the skirt to get the desired amount of ruched-ness!

Time to define the center of the front of your waist band. The center of the back of your waist band will be defined by the seam we stitched earlier to from the band in a full circle.

With the front of the waist band facing up, measure 2" on each side of the band, and pin there.
This will mark where the elastic will stop. The front part will be flat and the back of the band will be gathered with the help of the elastic.

Back to your skirt, and time to sew the waist band on! With your 2" mark on the front of the band, align your pins with the side seams of your skirt.

Start with the back of the skirt. Take the gathered edge of your skirt and adjust it so that it fits the waist back of the waist band. Pin and sew but leave an "entrance for the elastic on back of skirt:

My two red pins, mark the opening I left for the elastic band.

Flip the skirt over and let's work on the front and work on the pleats! Warm up your iron!

Your pleats will worked from either sides of the center of the front of your skirt. They each will measure about .5" to .75". Fold an even amount of pleats on each side till your front fits the waist band and make it a nice flat front. Iron the pleats in place and back to the sewing machine!

and don't forget to leave the opening unsewn!!

this is what the front looks like! Now get your elastic band ready...

Zig-zag stitch the raw edges of the elastic.

With the help of a safety pin, let's insert it into the waist band.

Slide the elastic until it reaches the pins we inserted at the 2" marks, on each side. Hold each end of the elastic by pinning them in place (and removing the safety pin out-- be patient! This might be a slow process!)

You can now close the opening from where you inserted the elastic, and sew it shut, along with sewing the elastic into place on the side, where pinned.

Zig-zag stitch the raw edges of the waist band sewn to the skirt.

Sew the pleats into place. I sewed a couple lines of stitches 1" apart.

Almost done! This is what the skirt should look like at this point (front and back)

Onto the belt straps.

Prepare them with the help of your iron.

Trim the corners to make the points of the belt straps.

Sew them together

Turn them inside out and iron.

Work on the raw edge of the straps by folding it inside by .25"

Sew it into place.

And now, sew onto the skirt. Place the strap where the elastic was sewn into place. Pinch it a bit and sew.

Flip over and sew.

There you are! All done...