Tuesday, March 29, 2011

B is for Bustle

I am pretty excited about my NEXT post but I HAD to get this one up (make sure to read to the bottom to get a sneak peak of the next post). I have been talking about it forever but just kept pushing it back. I wanted to show how I make bustles on dresses. It is super easy and I think it adds something fun and out of the ordinary. Plus it gives a little cover to those booties which are often problem areas... by making it bigger... and more predominant, hmmm maybe my logic is off? Anyway I have plans to make Evie a princess dress for going to Disneyland in June and am definitely going to give it a little bustle action so it can be miniaturized if you like.  Alright so first you have to know that every now and then I get a hankering to do something a bit crazy. This hankering hit last while I was visiting my wonderful friend in Jakarta. We were walking to a fabric store check and I passed this fantastic plaid silk/taffeta blend-I-don't know, that was crazy over the top. I immediately wanted to make my Shabby Apple design with it. Now keep in mind this was in November so I was in a Fallish mood (yes I am aware it is over six months later that I am getting around to photo documenting said dress ha!) This dress certainly isn't for everyone (my hubby is actually not really a fan) but I think it is fun to wear something a little crazy every now and then AND I needed to make another bustle dress so I could share with you! (Please ignore my hair in which I am obviously channeling Jane Eyre)
That is the front and this is the back of me... running from the camera
I didn't have any shoes that I loved in the closet but hey it's not like I could run to the mall so these had to do for now. Nor am I too hot on the cotton tank underneath, but again not a lot of options. Alright enough about the dress lets focus on the bustle. After constructing my dress I had a long train that was only attached at the waist. It went all the way to the floor when unbustled
The actual skirt of the dress stopped just below my knees
Now here is the thing. If I were in the states and could go to a fabric store I would go buy the tiny plastic rings that you use for ventian blinds. They are just tiny little plastic circles but they are wonderful. (You would use these in place of the loops I show you how to make) Since I had none I made an all ribbon bustle using thin ribbon, thread, and a needle. 
We begin on the bottom on the wrong side of your train. How far up from the bottom depends on how much you want to hang down. I start on the left about five inches in. Here I fold the ribbon in half to find the center and stitch the ribbon into place at it's mid point. 
I now slide about five inches to the right to the middle of the train (on the horizontal plane you should still be near the bottom of the train) and sew a second ribbon. I then slide to the far right and sew a third. You should now have a row of ribbons
Now on to our second row. Once again you are going to sew three ribbons in place This time though the bottom half of the ribbon will be a loop with the top half left straight. Keep in mind that from now on you should stagger where you attach the ribbons. If you attach them directly above the first one you are not going to get a bustle you are going to get folds. Make one farther right or farther left and vice versa. Once you are done sewing your loop take the ribbon from the first row and pull it up through the loop and tie it in place. The tighter you tie it the more pronounce your bustle. 
Now you will continue making rows of ribbons with loops on the bottom and straight portions on top all the way up to the top. For this particular bustle I did four rows of three. Just always make sure you have a tie for each loop! 
After seeing this picture I actually went back and added a few extra tucks on the bottom so that it rested more evenly with the bottom of the skirt. See I told you it was soooo easy! Now go bustle a dress of yours... I just wouldn't suggest combining it with Jane Eyer hair like I did:
Do I have ears? Am I trying to keep my head warm? I dunno what I was thinking ha! Pregnancy brain right? Okay now for the fun part. I had such a great response about the butterfly headband, and so many emails with questions I thought it would be best if I just did a tutorial, and this tutorial comes with a wicked awesome giveaway. Having a hard time picking out something for your cuties to wear for Easter? Well I have some inspiration, along with a tutorial, and maybe even a giveaway!
Whats great about this teaser is you can't even see the AWESOME hairband that I am going to do a tutorial for... your just going to have to wait bowah ha ha!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Butterfly Dress and Headband

This weekend I was REALLY in the mood to make Evie some head bling. I don't know why, she just pulls them off or out seconds after I wrestle them on her. I think it is because her hair no longer resembles a mullet but actually IS one and until we get near a children's hair cutter there is nothing I can do but try and hide it under flowers and bows :) I also spent a lot of time perusing children's clothes sites since her shorts are coming dangerously close to being "bootie" length and we have a cruise to go on in a few months! I got kinda bummed though because everything is sooooo expensive. I hmmed and hawd over ordering Evie  this dress from Elias and Grace that I have been mooning over for a while.
But oh my goodness 50 euro? I decided I would just have to see if I could make one myself. I had some very special fabric sent to me by Jessica over at the Planner and the Procrastinator and the adorable Etsy shop Chirpy Designs that I had been saving and saving and you know dying to use but not wanting to use because then it would be gone? It is called Meadowsweet by Sandi Henderson. Well I busted it out and went to town. I am in love with the dress that came out of it and the resulting headband.
I mixed it up a bit and put the buttons in the front, I thought it was a bit boring without them :) Below you will find a tutorial for the dress and I am thinking I will try to put a pattern up on Monday for those who feel a bit safer sewing with one. If you love the headband, well let me tell you it is soooo easy! 
For the fabric rosette you can follow my tutorial at the end of THIS blog post. For the gathered flower you can follow the fabulous tutorial found HERE on one of my fav blogs Heart Made. I then totally copied her stacked circle flower from her etsy shop and added my own little felt bow on the end. Felt bows are pretty self explanatory but if you would like a step by step head over to my friend Elizabeth's blog HERE for a tute. I am not going to lie I loved the finished product so much when Evie went to bed I put it on and wore it around for a while. 
I just used really thin elastic hot glued onto the felt as the headband. It is less noticeable then stretchy lace and I thought the headband had enough going on without adding anything else. Her orange leggings are of course from my favorite leggings shop We Love Colors. They really are fabulous and have EVERY color you can imagine. Now funny story, I made the dress during morning nap while daddy taught the boys how to bowl on the Wii (yes my boys don't know how to play Wii a fact I am rather proud of) then I made the headband (two actually the second to debut later) during afternoon nap. I was so excited to have it all done and wanted to take pictures that evening but every time I tried to get the dress on Evie she would throw a MASSIVE fit. I mean lat down and cry onto the tile floor while kicking her legs fit. Then she would go limp as a noodle so I couldn't get any appendages in the appropriate places. It finally got dark and then I just resigned myself to seeing if it actually fit. I tried treats and books and bribes. Finally I said "Evie? Do you want to go to bed or try on your dress?" She looked at me and said "Bed." Then picked up her blankie and walked into her room. Yeah. I was totally sad. This morning though a bribe to go walk on the beach did the trick. She was one happy camper!
It was really nice to be alone on the beach front as well. Sunday mornings are pretty darn peaceful in front of our house. 
Thankfully Daddy came with me to coax out a few smiles
And after only a short walk on the beach Evie didn't even cry when I told her it was time to go in...
 maybe it was because I actually said "Do you want to go home and take off your dress?" That did the trick ha! If you would like to learn how to make the dress simply click below and read more! If not I hope your weekend is as full of beautiful things as ours was!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Instant Gratification Top

Last night I broke down and ordered this top from one of my fav stores. I just loved it to much not to order it. I then headed to bed, at the super late hour of eh he 8:30 and laid there thinking about how much I wanted that new top and how I would have to wait 6 weeks and when it finally got here I would probably have to stretch it out over my preggy belly. I became determined to simply make one myself! Now, I am sure you have noticed my posts have been more spread out lately. This is due to my absolutely dying if I stay up later then 9pm. I am literally crawling to bed usually immediately after tucking the kiddos in. This has put a MAJOR damper on my sewing time since I usually shoved everything in during my 9-1am crafting hours. I really try not to ignore the kiddos, but this morning I REALLY wanted to make the shirt ha! So, we made home made play dough and I dumped out every single play dough toy we own PLUS all my cool cookie cutters. By the time I was done the kids had made various play dough creations (don't mind Evie's disheveled hair and runny nose, we have been one sick household)
and I had my top!
It is soooo embarrassingly easy and so fast that I already have everything cut out to make two more in different colors! Thankfully I received a package a while ago from Heather S. contain a ton of wonderfully stretchy and super soft jersey fabric. I decided to try first with the navy blue. I must admit I was very hesitant as I don't usually sew with stretchy fabric. It makes me nervous, it's unpredictable, it puckers and tucks. Turns out it is fabulous... as long as you are patient. I grabbed a tank I already own and used it as a guide. First I folded the jersey fabric and laid my folded tank on back and followed the outline of the back of the tank
The back has a much higher neckline:
(I also made mine a bit wider on the bottom for my ever increasing belly and longer to stretch over it)
I then folded the back of the tank so that I could follow the pattern of the front
I then laid the two pieces right sides together. I then pinned the heck out of the two sides and shoulder pieces so there was no chance of movement :)
Sew up both sides and across both shoulders. I was really worried about serging it. I thought it would go all wavy and puckered. But I just fed it through steadily and slowly and it only waved a tiny bit, totally unnoticeable
Once you are all done you can hem up the bottom. Again I pinned this, which I have not done in as long as I can remember but it made it an easy job. I also skipped hemming the arm pits as I never plan on wearing this tank without some sort of cardi, you know modesty prevails! Plus that is the fantastic thing about jersey knits is they don't fray woo hoo! Once you are done turn everything right side out:
It was at this point I was asked to take a picture of a "super cool and very expensive spider"
Now I cut a LONG (super long) strip of jersey.
I originally cut it about 5 inches wide but it was WAY to wide and I cut it down to about 3. I stitched a gathering stitch all the way down the center of the strip and gathered it up until it was the same length as the circumference of my neckline
At this point it was requested of me to take a picture of a snowman so I had to take a break
I now pinned the ruffle, lining up the center with the neckline of the top.
I then topstitched along the center line, removing pins as I sewed.
Taddah!!! You are all done! How easy was that! I absolutely LOVE how it turned out.
I wanted to make sure to get a picture ASAP before I spilled anything on it, which meant I didn't have time to get anyone else to model, just me, and man am I a horrible one. I totally do the opposite of everything I suggest, I hunch, I squint my eyes and do a huge ridiculous smile, but hey, the top is cute right? And making it gave Sawyer time to create his playdough surfer dude:
While I am still excited to get the original top the instant gratification of having one right away sure is sweet!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tiny Tushie Cushion

The boys are absolutely loving the art table we had built for them. The little tressel stools we had made are the perfect height and we have yet to have anyone fall over ha! The only problem is since they are made of teak they have not been super comfy to sit on. The boys will spend over an hour usually coloring or painting or doing homework and the other day Sawyer let me know his bum hurt from sitting on the stool. Of course I thought "super easy project time!" I wanted to make cushions that would stay in place and look cute but as usual I had hardly any time :) So in about 20 minutes I whipped up two "Tiny Tushie Cushions"
If you have some stools that need little cushions these are super fast!
Measure your stool top. I wanted mine a bit smaller then the stool top. Cut two rectangles in these sizes. You will need four strips for the ties.
I don't know what it is but I LOVE the unfinished, rustic look for the boys room. But if you like you can finish the edges of the strips. Once you are done lay the two rectangles right sides together then pin the four strips in place.
Once everything is smoothed out take some stuffing and begin stuffing.
Stitch up the hole and you are done!!
Wasn't that so easy! The boys love them and their little bums are a lot more comfy :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hansel and Gretel

Today I am over at No Big Dill! I am so excited to be participating in Once Upon A Thread. I chose Hansel and Gretel as my literary inspiration. Hop on over to see what I came up with. I have to say the photo shoot was HILARIOUS! We were on our way to one location when I saw two goats and a hoarse on the side of the road. This is not that odd for Dili but the one goat was SOOO hairy I about died. Since I was going for a bavarian, swiss alps kind of idea I had to at least TRY to get some pictures of Evie with him.
She threw bread at him, which he liked and I crouched down to get some pictures. Then he turned around and was all of a sudden a few inches from me.
I jumped out of the way and kept taking pictures. Then Sawyer "snuck up" on him and the goat reared back to butt him with his head. Well that was when we decided we should head out. Luckily I was able to get enough to work with for the post.
To read the whole story hop on over to No Big Dill, and while you are there check out the AMAZING outfits inspired by much loved children's books.

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