Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sewing Pattern Review - Pockets to Go

I apologize for the lack of a complete sewing pattern review this Sunday. My mother made me one of these "Pockets to Go" by Atkinson Designs for Mother's Day (chock full of sewing goodies including this pattern) She had suggested I make one for a pattern review...

Well... I've been working on it all week when the girls would give me a minute. And well it has been a longer project that I had anticipated. I remember planning on doing it in an evening and my Mum was shocked & informed it would take longer. Longer, indeed!

I will bring you the full pattern review next Sunday.. Let's just say it is an adorable basket, but this pattern would be best suited for a class project rather than going solo at home.

An adorable baby bonnet review is on the horizon as well! Have a pattern suggestion? Please let me know!

(picture via the Atkinson Design website)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Minute Of Fame... Missed

A month or so ago, a local news crew came to interview me about my Etsy store. It was funny timing.. I had just decided to stop doing the photography props and direct all my efforts into my artistic endeavors, but I figured that story could be just as interesting. The story they told with the editing isn't the one I imagined, but that's the joy of television...
In the end they aired it late on a Sunday night, and I completely forgot.. Luckily, Audzipan, another Etsy store interviewed, found the footage..

Here all the shops they interviewed..

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Design Center

When I saw that UCreate's "Create With Me" project this month was a framed chicken wire jewelry center, I had a couple ideas. I knew I didn't want to do a jewelry organizer because I have a really nice armoire for that. I finally decided on a framed design center.
I took a large Ikea frame and removed the glass. Then hot glued some panels of cork on to the frame back. Instead of painting the frame, I spray painted the chicken wire a robin egg blue. And then put it all together!

It was cute and functional, but missing a little pizazz.. So I whipped up some fabric rosettes and gathered fabric for an added accent.
It works great! I can either pin fabric and paper ideas to the cork or clasp them on to the chicken wire with metal clips.

This baby is going right over my sewing table to inspire me for future projects!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pattern Tester??

Was totally inspired by Quilt Market and Artisania's Paper Piecing
I've been working like crazy making my own paper pieced designs,
and I'm taking the plunge...

I'm going to start selling a couple on my Etsy shop
and of course I'll offer freebies here.

I need some pattern testers..

Anyone out there interested in helping me??
You will get the pattern and give me the feedback!

Let me know!

We Remember Moments

When I first started working on this printable today, it had a different meaning. On Facebook a friend of mine mentioned her unhappiness with her pregnant size. I immediately wanted to comment something to effect of that she should enjoy it because as soon as the baby was born, she would miss the feeling. But then I remembered how I would have felt if someone had told me that during any of my pregnancies.

Before I had kids I cried inside each time I saw a pregnant woman. I desperately wanted to have a baby. I wanted to have that baby bump. I wanted to feel the secret kicks and have inexplicable cravings in the middle of the night. It took me years to get pregnant with Isabelle. I remember the feeling of elation as soon as I saw that pink plus sign. And then the pregnancy got complicated. Honestly, the reality of my pregnancies were not easy. I was always very sick, on daily injections for blood clotting issues, and felt guilty about not loving my pregnancy. But, if you asked me how I remember my pregnancies I would tell you about how both girls kicked like crazy when they heard Thomas talk, about my deep love for hot & sour soup, and the maternity clothes I sewed. We remember moments.

The first quote I typed was, "Real Women Have Curves". The point being that having a round pregnant belly is a beautiful expression of being a woman. It took me about a second to look at my graphic and recoil. I instantly remembered the pangs of infertility and my pregnancy loss before Juliette. No, being a "real" woman was more than carrying a child. And so I searched for something else.

As I pondered what would be an appropriate quote and I found this "moments" one, I was still a bit tender from remembering my pregnancy loss almost 2 years ago. And it occurred to me that even though I suffered a loss, I still have that moment when I first found out I was pregnant. I was in my brother's home in Tucson. I was ecstatic. I was over the moon. I called Thomas at work to tell him Isabelle was going to be a big sister. And it didn't work out, but I still have those moments in my heart.

I hope this printable touches you.
Whether it's remembering
the amazing pregnancy journey you're on,
the hard fought pregnancy you had,
the tearful one you loss,
or the one you never had.

We remember moments..
We remember moments..

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Anthro Knock Off - Tea & Crumpets Apron

Are you ready? I've been talking for weeks about making a knock off tutorial of Anthro's Tea & Crumpets apron. First I got waylaid by Quilt Market (can you blame a girl?!) and now my kiddos are pretty sure that it is absolutely hilarious to not nap nor sleep longer than 2 hours at a time at night.. Did I mention my hubby is back on nights? Let's just say I'm holding to my sanity with white knuckles..

Without further ado.. here is what I'm calling my Martini and Olive Apron 'cause it's just been that kind of week.. And this apron is SO stylish it makes me want to have a cocktail party!

What do you need?

* Yellow fabric- 20"x27", 4"x17", and (2) 4"x36" pieces
* White fabric - 4"x52", 13"x30", (3) 3"x36", and (2) 4"x36"
* 2 packages of single fold bias in light grey

How long do you need?
Around 2 hours. This is a little time consuming with all the ruffles, but what it takes in time it gives back generously in style! However, if you don't like to sew (faints!) or don't know how, Anthro's price tag of $32.00 is very reasonable.. But you love to sew and you want to make it yourself,right? Right!

What do you do?

Grab your large yellow piece 20"x27". On the two 20" sides and one long 27"side, fold up 1/4" and press. Do it one more time to cover those raw edges and sew close to the fold.

Increase your stitch length and baste the remaining 27" long side. Gently gather and set aside.
Take your piece of white fabric that measures 4"x52". This is going to be the white ruffle on the bottom of the skirt. With wrong sides together, fold it lengthwise and press, so now that it measures 2"x52". I have it doubled up because white fabric is so transparent and I didn't want this apron to look cheap.

Okay, now you have 2 options.

A.) If you have a ruffler foot.
Stitch a scant 1/4" lengthwise along the raw edges and then run through your ruffler on level 6 (6 stitches for every ruffle). I sew the raw edges first because they can slide in your ruffler foot.

B.) If you don't have a ruffler foot.
Set a long stitch length. Sew 1/4" lengthwise along the raw edges. Do it one more time right by the last seam. You will gently gather this by hand. The extra row will decrease your chances of the thread breaking while you gather, but still be gentle!

Lay your ruffles on the long side of the hemmed yellow piece. You want to lay the raw edges of the ruffles on the right side of the long hemmed 27" bottom of apron (not on the gathered edge! that is for your waist ties). Sew these together and press.

Your bottom is done! On to the top...

Grab your white piece that measures 13"x30". This is your bodice. With right sides together, fold it half lengthwise so that now it measures 13"x15". Press.

Serge or sew the two 15" long sides and turn back out to the right side. Set aside.

Now it's time to make those ruffles for the bodice. You will need the (3) pieces of 3"x36". You have two options.

A.) If you have a serger.
Serge all the sides of all 3 pieces.

B.) If you don't have a serger.
You will need to clean up those long edges. Fold up 1/4" on each long side and sew close to the fold.

And now you have another option..

A.) If you have the ruffler foot.
Run the 3 pieces through the ruffler on level 6. You will stitch down the center of the pieces, not on either side.

B.) If you don't have a ruffler foot.
Set a long stitch length. Stitch down the center of the strips. Gently gather.

Pin the 3 ruffles to bodice.

Now it's time to sew the ruffles down. Instead of doing a straight stitch and trying to go over your ruffler stitch (cause I can never do that perfectly), I set it to a small zigzag. This way it looks like there is only 1 decorative stitch down the center of the ruffler, instead of 2 lines.

Time to make our halter ties. I did mine WAY too small, so in the picture it will look smaller than what you make.. Do as I say, not as I did..

Take your (2) 4"x36" white pieces. With right sides together, serge/sew the 2 long sides. On one of the short sides, cut it at 45 degrees and serge/sew. Through the remaining open short side, pull the ties out to the right side. Press.

Pin your ties to the top of the bodice. I pinned mine under both ruffle sides, you can pin yours wherever you like best. Now top stitch all the edges of the bodice, being sure to stitch the halter ties to the bodice.
Whew.. Your almost done! Time to make your apron ties and pull it all together.

With right sides together, pin the bodice bottom to the gathered edge of the apron. Sew/serge together.

Take your 4"x17" of yellow fabric. With wrong sides together, fold in half lengthwise and press so that it now measures 2"x 17". Get your grey bias and fold over both long edges. Sew down the center of grey bias (be sure your yellow fabric is sandwiched in there!) Set aside.

Take your (2) 4"x36" of yellow fabric.With wrong sides together, fold in half lengthwise and press so that it now measures 2"x 36". On one of the short sides, cut it at 45 degrees. Get your grey bias and fold over the 2 long edges & the 45 degree end ( you will be making a long U) Sew down the center of grey bias (be sure your yellow fabric is sandwiched in there!)

Sew the raw edges of the apron ties to one end of the bodice strip. Sew the other apron tie to the other side of the bodice strip.

Pin the bodice strip centered between the bodice and apron. Sew in place.
Grab your dry martini and kick your heels up!

Linking Up To:


The Anthro apron knock off tutorial is done, but my kiddos won't nap...
so I'll be posting the tutorial..soon..
Sorry for the delay!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Quilting Gallery

If you quilt or have any interest in it, I highly recommend the website Quilting Gallery. There are so many excellent resources. As soon as I joined, I signed up for the basket swap. My partner had similar taste to me, so it wasn't all the hard to make an adorable bag for her. I hope she loves it! Here are some detail pictures..

The fabric is from Riley Blake. I tucked in a few extra fat quarters for her..
Lots of free motion quilting in the main blue areas. I tried my hand at meandering daisy. It doesn't show up too much in the pictures, but it is really sweet.
Can't wait for my next swap!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday Sewing Pattern Reviews - Easy Peeping Owl (Paper Piece Quilting)

Recently on a lot of my favorite quilting blogs I had read about paper piecing. In particular there was this phenomenal flying geese design that I fell in love with. Then on Flickr there was this apron quilt that was amazing! I couldn't see where they had appliqued them on. When I inquired about the technique, I found out they had been paper pieced. What was this?? I knew of using freezer paper to help with applique, but that wasn't it.

After some more digging around on the web, I found out that paper piecing is basically sewing a quilt top together using paper as a foundation. What is the advantage in this? Perfect points, no precise measuring, you can use scraps, and you can make itty bitty designs with a minimal amount of cursing. I myself love quilting and *hate* piecing. I'm not a type A personality so my points aren't perfect, but my OCD kicks in later and it bugs me that it's off. I've generally tried to avoid real fiddly piecing... until now! If you are like me, I beg of you to try this technique - it can really change your mind! (P.S. if you are attending my sewing night in June, I will be demonstrating the basics)

I quickly found Sonja's website, Artisania, and fell in love with the Peeping Owl. Well, actually I probably love the Halloween set most of all!

Description of pattern:
This 4 page PDF e-pattern comes complete with full instructions, and an extra flipped version of the pattern so you can create a whole forest of Peeping Owls!

She doubles as a Halloween pattern too! Ah, that’s the magic of fabric eh?

Level of Difficulty:
This is the easier of the two owl patterns, but Sonja rates this 2 out of 4 for difficulty. If you have tried the piecing technique before, you should be able to do this without any hiccups. The only tricky part will be matching up the seams of the major pieces.

This was my very first time at trying this technique and I only made 2 minor errors.

Fabric recommendations:
I used high quality cotton for my block. However, one of the big advantages with paper piecing is you absolutely can use *any* type of fabric. The paper provides the foundation, so you can use slippery or stretchy fabric without fear. I am eager to try another style of block with silk.

This is also a great way to stash bust; for this block I went through my scrap bins and picked out colors I liked. No need to buy extra fabric - hooray!

Overall Design:
I love it! I love modern quilting and owls, so this was perfect. Sonja has made this block as easy as possible, but has not cut out the style of it. With some easy fabric color changes, you can make this into a great Halloween addition too. The block size makes it a great base to make a pillow, quilt, or maybe even an accessory like a backpack.

Very clear, no grammatical or construction errors, and great diagrams.
This pattern does not contain instructions on how to paper piece, but Sonja does offer free patterns and beginning basics on her site.

Modifications and Tips:
I did some research while making this block and found there a couple ways to paper piece. Sonja's method is based off cutting the pieces into their shape before sewing. This way didn't work best for me. I bought a 1/4" ruler and would cut my shapes down after sewing the seam. I also bought Alex Anderson's book about paper piecing. Absolutely neither of these are required to do the pattern and Sonja's instructions are fabulous, but keep in mind that we all think differently - there is no "one" way. Try a few different methods of paper piecing and I'm sure you'll find one that is a good fit.

If you want to quilt but don't like piecing, you have to try this! If you are a quilting piecing phenomenon, you should have this technique in your back pocket. I really can't think of anyone that wouldn't enjoy this and as a quilter should really know how to do this.

Sonja's patterns are fresh, modern, and very accessible to every stage of quilter. I love my little owl and can't wait to make something fun with him.

***Sonja did not compensate me in any way for this purchased pattern review. She is however offering you a deal! Until the 29th of May, you will get %15 off your purchase with code: BELLE

I really hope you will give piecing a try. I'm very excited about all the possibilities and even made my first pattern this week. I'm sure you will love it too!

DMK Winners!


Please email me at with your mailing address and pattern choice.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Mother's Day Gift

I've been wanting to reveal my Mother's Day gift that I made. I love it so much and was so happy to see my Mum loved it too!

Of course, back to my love of free motion art..

When I think of my Mom, I think of classic colors - red, black, and white.
Timeless and classy..
I can't wait to see this in my Mum's home!
I do have to admit that is not my lovely idea.. it was Jenny Doh's. You must go see her original piece. I loved it the second I saw it and knew immediately that I wanted to make my own version for my Mum.

It is funny that I when I got really into free motion art that I thought I was being original, come to find out..not so much =) That ever happen to you? Anyways once I learned that I was not exactly an innovator, I started researching more artists that were interested in this freestyle sewing. That is how I found Jenny Doh. She is zomg amazing. The more I learn about her and see her art pieces, the more I wish I could convince her that she really should move to Utah and be my very best friend. Until then, reading her blog will have to do..

Linking up to:
Running With Glitter

Friday, May 20, 2011

Mother's Day Dresses - Freebie Baby Pattern

My friend Viv, is a fabulous photographer! I'm blessed to have met her. She has taken many photo shoots of the important times in my life - maternity, Julie's birth, and more. This year she took our Mother's Day pictures. My mom & I try to have pictures taken each year ever since I had Isabelle. It is a wonderful way to watch our family grow. If you live in Utah, I definitely recommend checking Viv out to do your next photo shoot!

This may not surprise some readers, but I made all the dresses in the picture. Isabelle's dress is from my pattern review of DMK (p.s. the DMK winners will be posted this Sunday!)

My dress is from Elegant Musing's Swing Dress Sew-A-Long. Never in a million years would I have attempted to make a garment from a vintage pattern on my own before this. Casey is an incredibly talented seamstress and she did a fabulous job of walking us through each step. The wonderful thing about a Sew-A-Long on a blog, is you can join anytime! If you have interest in sewing a vintage dress, I highly recommend you check this out. I love my dress. I learned soo much. I made a muslin to learn more about where and how to alter a pattern for your body. I'm very short waisted and most patterns don't fit right out of envelope for me. I have lost my fear of vintage and am now looking to tackle a 1940's bathing suit. Thank you Casey!

And last but certainly not least, I made Julie's romper.. from scratch,no pattern. My readers know that is uncharted waters for me. Garment construction has been a bit of a mystery to me, but I'm trying and learning. This is a super easy and cute item to make. I originally had planned on buying some fabric from Ruffle Fabric, but when I went back to purchase it, that style was sold out (so buy it when you see it!) They were at the Quilt Market and I bought a ton of material!!

Okay so on to my easy peasy tutorial. You will need to find a ready made romper in your closet. I choose the Winnie the Pooh one and tucked down the top at about the chest.
Lay out your fabric folded underneath the romper. Draw an outline 1-2" larger than the romper. My fabric had zero stretch so I made it a bit bigger. If you are working with a stretchy fabric you can give yourself less of a seam allowance.

Cut out your fabric pieces. Lay your cut lace across the top. You can put your lace through your ruffler or gather it by hand if you want a more flouncy appearance. I didn't buy enough so I just sewed it straight on. Pin your lace in several places on front romper piece so it doesn't shift while you're sewing. I gave myself about 1" inch fudge room at the top and legs - you'll need this to make the elastic casing.

Sew your lace strips down. I used a clear filament thread to reduce the visibility of the stitch line. With right sides together, sew the sides of the romper together with 1/2" seam allowance (I serged mine to make it quick and neat. Then sew the inner legs and crotch.

Before you take the time to make the elastic casing, try it on your kiddo. I found my legs were WAY longer than I wanted and cut off a good 2". Once you're happy with the fit, it's time to finish it up.

At the top you will fold the fabric in 1/2" and 1/2" again - to create the elastic casing. Sew along very close to the fold and leave about a 2" opening. Measure your kiddo's chest and cut your elastic that length - I used 1/4" wide elastic. Thread it through the casing and stitch the elastic ends together. Hand sew your opening closed.

Now do the same for your leg openings. And that's it!

I know I went super duper fast (the kiddos are being naughty monkeys this week!), so if you need clarification or more specific measurements please let me know..

Here is my angel Julie..
She's crying because her romper is so gorgeous and it took so little time!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Quilt Market Favorites

Even though I brought my Nikon with me everyday, there were a lot of rules on what you could photograph so I opted to not take any. We had an amazing time! Some of my random favorites from the show..

*Saw Amy Butler! She is super duper tall and beautiful. I didn't approach her. I never know what to say.. Her new organic line is amazing. I can't wait to make some baby clothes & blankets with it!

*I bought a slew of quarters from Anthology. Lovely color spectrum!

*Saw Anna Griffin. Love, love the Halloween line :D My mother and I found our way to her booth many times..

*I bought an autographed copy of the latest book from "Art to Heart"

*Basic Grey has a fabulous line coming!! Flowers, buttons, and more..

*My mom had a nice chat with Anne from Bunny Hill. I love it when designers are so wonderful to us fans.

*I literally ran to Cluck Cluck Sew's booth. It's possible I might have shoved people too.. Sorry, but it was worth it :D

*Totally knocked out by the holiday stitchery at Crabapple Hill!

*Some fabulous new pin cushion designs by Maw-Bell.

*I adore Pine Mountain Designs! Did you know they own Pine Needle in Gardner Village? One of my favorite shops in the state.

So much more..The booths by Moda and Riley Blake were phenomenal... Bought a new huge stack of quarters in the Cosmo Cricket line.

So many beautiful fabrics, creative patterns, and amazing designers.

Dare I say it? I was inspired to move down a new path..

I'll be releasing my first pattern this month :D Lots more details to come...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Clearance + 2nd hand + Stash = Simply Cute Dress

There are 2 dresses that Isabelle will wear any day and everyday if given the choice. That is the Valentine dress I made her and the Queen Bee dress made by Soren Lorensen Design. For the longest time I couldn't figure out why these 2 dresses appeal to her so much. Leave it to my Mom to solve the mystery -they are both fairly loose A-line dresses.

I decided that I had 2 options. I could either argue with Isa everyday about why she couldn't wear a dirty dress..again. Or I could make some more. I started shopping at our local salvage store for tees that I could cut up and reuse in the dresses - Isa really loves the graphics, bright colors, and soft material. I also scoured Target for clearance shirts. I bought tees or dresses that were either her size or bigger. You don't want to buy anything smaller than their current size since you are going to lose material when you cut these up and sew them again with at least a 1/4" seam allowance.

Soren Lorensen Design has hinted at producing sewing patterns in the future and I can't wait! In the meantime, I am making my design off the Leila & Ben's - Sweet Little Dress pattern with a few changes ( no elastic in the arm band, extra visible serged seams, etc). I used this pattern for her other favorite dress, the Valentine one, so I know it fits well and meets her design standards.

This week I made her a Mickey Mouse dress. The Mickey Mouse shirt was a St. Patrick's Day clearance item at Target. I used it for the front of the dress and I cut up the back to make new sleeves. The back of the dress is the back of a green pajama top from our local 2nd handstore. The red dress skirt is some jersey material I had kicking around in my garment fabric stash. It took maybe a 1/2 hour. We both love it!

If your princess has a Punky Brewster streak, this is an awesome way to make a ton of summer dresses for cheap and quick! This dress cost me around $5.00

I'd love to find some fun 80's music shirts to make into dress for her.. I can just see her rockin' a Rolling Stones dress!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sewing is My Happy Hour - Martini Pincushion Tutorial

I'm sorry that my regular schedule of posts have been absent. I had no idea what Quilt Market would be like and I totally got swept up into it! I have so much to tell you as well as all my scheduled posts. But all of that will have to wait for just a few days so that I can share with you a chocolate martini.. a martini pin cushion that is!

When Arrow Sewing Cabinets announced a pin cushion blog hop, I had to jump on. Want to follow the hop from the beginning? Jump on to their site for all the details.

Time spent sewing truly is my happy hour, so it is only fitting that I have a chocolate martini pincushion. You could change the color and make it just about any drink you like. Or if martinis aren't your thing, you can change it to look like a super yummy dessert.

What do you need?
*martini glass
*sheet of chocolate brown felt
*poly fill stuffing
*sheet of white felt
*Stickles glitter glue
*hot glue

How long do you need?
Less than an hour

What do you do?

Cut a circle out of the brown felt a few inches larger than the diameter of martini glass.
Squish the felt round into the glass until you form a cone and only have a single large fold.
Take the cone out and hand sew the fold crease.
Here it is stitched up on the crease.
Then you will remove the excess by cutting off the fold.
Add hot glue all around the inside on the top of the glass and gently place the brown cone back in. (Don't worry about the mess of the hot glue showing, that will be covered up later.)
Stuff the glass full of the poly-fill. You want it to be pretty dense.
Move the glass upside down on the white felt and draw a circle around it with about 1" larger diameter. You will want it to have an irregular border. This is supposed to look like a yummy creme top to the martini.
Cut out the white felt. Add a line of hot glue on the outside of the glass on the top of the rim and fold down the white felt. Once it is dry, add a line of Stickles glue glitter along the border.

Doesn't it look delicious? My pins go in like butter! I am really loving this cushion. These would be adorable as gifts for the new seamstress.

I hope you have enjoyed the blog hop! This is your last stop - I hope it was a sweet one. Hop on back to Arrow for more details on their giveaways.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Quilt Market!!

I have not disappeared.
I have been consumed by...

Lots of pictures,
lots of stories,
lots of amazing women (and some men),
lots of fun,
lots of new patterns and fabric in my car,
lots of craziness!

Lots more to share with you this week...

Thursday, May 12, 2011

You Can DO It!

Because it's true.
Because Eleanor Roosevelt said it.

It would be perfect printed & framed where you need motivation the most.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Never too Late to Celebrate

Did you wonder where my Mother's Day post was? Well we celebrated today, Happy Mother's Day!! My hubby always works Sundays so there are lots of time that we celebrate holidays on a different date than the rest of the world. I'm so lucky that my parents were able to be out here and celebrate with us. My mother and I are going to the Quilt Market this week as a part of our festivities. I can't wait!

My mother is truly my craft/art/poetry pioneer. She blazed many trails for me, and now I'm so happy we share many creative journeys together. I know that it special that we share so many interests. I can't wait till my girls are really able to join in on the fun with us.

Love you Mom!!
This is a scrapbook page she made that I just adore..

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

PB Knock Off - Rose Petal Canopy

My friend, Sabrina, asked if I could try a knock off of Pottery Barn's Rose Petal Canopy. It retails for $99 before shipping. Isn't it awesome? I'm working on redecorating Isabelle's room into a Tinkerbell fantasy, and I thought a giant flower canopy would be amazing in there. Personally,there is NO way I could ever install this above her bed - she would play into the wee hours of the morning. Instead I imagined it as a special reading/play corner that she would enjoy.
Want to try it? I was able to make it for less than half of what Pottery Barn charged and it will take you just a few hours to make. Now, I did a fair amount of sewing, but you don't have to. Where ever I sew, you can use Fabri-tac or hot glue. It won't be as tailored, but you are only having to construct the rose petals, which are high up and won't be scrutinized..

What do you need?
*IKEA plain canopy (I found my in the store for 19.99, it is not offered online - boo!)
*5 yards of pink tulle (you can buy tons more and go crazy if you want though)
*4 yards of shiny pink fabric ( I bought 2 lt. pink and 2 dk. pink)
*1/8 yard of green velvet
* 3 make-a-links (the are little links that unscrew)
* medium hook to install into the ceiling

How much time do you need?
Plan on this being a weekend project. It takes a couple hours and if you have kiddos, you won't be able to do it all at once.

What do you do?
Cut your tulle into long strips and tie around the canopy ring. It's kind of like making a no-sew tutu. The great thing about the IKEA canopy is there is TONS of white tulle already installed on there for you! The extra pink tulle is more for accent color.
Cut giant flower petal shapes out of your batting. I did a total of 6 petals -3 and 3
You can absolutely add more if you wish.

Fold your fabric over and place the batting petal shapes on top and cut around. You will want to leave at least a 1/2" seam allowance.

Sew your petals. You want your fabric right sides together and leave about 5" space opening to turn. I sew somewhere between 1/4 - 1/2" seam. Don't sweat it, this doesn't need to be real precise.

I clip the edges of points close to the seam line - it helps create sharp corners. If that sounds like a foreign language to you, don't worry about it - it's not important..
Turn your petals out to the right side. Gently push in your batting and ease into the petal shape.
Topstitch around the petal closing the hole. I also stitched up the center a bit to make it look like the veins of a flower petal. This helps quilt the batting to the fabric so it won't shift later.

Cut the green velvet into a 5" x 10" rectangle. Fold fabric over so right sides are together. Stitch up the long side of the rectangle. Pull fabric out to right side through one of the openings.
((The size of the green velvet will depend on how long you want your stem. Measure the length of the hook & links to determine how long to cut it)

Hand sew the ends of flower petals to top of the IKEA canopy, near the base of attached ring.

Secure the hook into the ceiling following the package instructions.

Attach your make-a-links together and screw into the ring on the IKEA canopy. Thread your green velvet stem over the links. Attach canopy to ceiling hook. Position green velvet over all the hardware. You can hand stitch the ends closed if you want, but I didn't find it necessary.
Sit back and watch your kiddo go nuts over their humongous flower canopy!

Isabelle is pretty crazy about it! Her cushy reading chair is at the base of flower and she loves to hide there!
You can also change things up a bit to make it more for a little boy. How about an Army bunker? You can replace the pink tulle with brown & green to make it camo-ish. And instead of large pink flowers, you can buy camo fabric and make large leaves. I bet your little boy will go crazy hiding in their super cool fort!

It would also be cool as a cloud and rainbow! Just buy rainbow color tulle and cut cloud shapes from white felt instead of petals.

So many ideas!! You can absolutely create this without the IKEA canopy, but it was a fabulous base to this project for only $19.99! Otherwise you will need to construct the canopy base from scratch.

If you have any questions, please holler! I tend to type faster than I think - so please,please shout if you want to make this and you were lost on a step.

Have an idea for a knock off? Let me know!
What's coming up?

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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sunday Sewing Pattern Reviews - Lovely Ribbon Dress

This week I am reviewing Dear My Kids pattern - Lovely Ribbon Dress. For all of you that know a spring/summer bride, I *highly* recommend that you show them this dress for a flower girl!

My pictures this week do not the show the dress as well as I would like - our photo shoot came off the heels of an afternoon playing in the sprinklers on the freshly mowed lawn..

On to the review and pictures of my spring lovin' pixie!

Description of pattern:
Making a kid's dress has never been so easy!! This lovely dress can turn into your precious ones favorite spring/summer piece.

Level of difficulty:
DMK emphasizes that this dress is not difficult. While none of the elements are difficult, I do think they might frustrate the beginner seamstress. I personally recommend this for an intermediate seamstress, or if you're a determined beginner be sure to try the whole pattern on a muslin sample first.

I was not able to get a real accurate read on the time involved with sewing the dress (my kiddos would not nap this week. So I completed it in 15 minute intervals throughout the week. My best guestimate would be in the ballpark of 2-3 hours because it is completely lined and there is just a bit of hand sewing involved.

Fabric recommendations:
You will want a light to mid weight fabric. I used an ultra silky polyester blend from Joann's Special Occasion line and I lined it with Kona cotton. This was a great combination;it gave the dress a very upscale, fancy appearance and the heavier cotton gives the piece more stability.

Overall Design:
This dress is soo adorable! I really hope someone reads this review and decides to doll up their flower girls with this ensemble!! It is such a tailored and classic dress. I love dresses that are not only beautiful for little girls to wear, but also keep practicality in mind. There is no zipper - just a single button, elastic sleeves for comfort, and a wide skirt for those angels that love to run and jump. The little touches are perfect - pleated bodice, bow, and more.
This the most detailed pattern I think I've come across. Each step is taken slowly with pictures and clear steps.

Pattern Pieces:
It is a PDF pattern, so you will be printing out the pieces. There is only 3 parts that you will have to assemble and DMK provides a pattern map.

Modifications and Tips:
I personally don't make muslins. For all the clothing items I've made from patterns, I've made a single muslin and that was only because it was a vintage pattern that I knew I was going to have to alter. If you make muslins, great - you will be able to figure out the more advanced steps without effecting your final dress. If however you are like me and can't wait to make the dress, I recommend making the liner first. If you make a mistake and have to rip some seams, no one will see it because it is the liner!

I made my style as fancy as I could because it is for our Mother's Day photo shoot. It would also be super cute in a cotton print for everyday use. The bow is removable in case that is not your style - the bodice is pleated so it still looks amazing!

If you are looking for a graceful dress for your kiddo, this is the one! It is perfect in fancy fabrics for a special occasion and would be just as wonderful in a cotton for play. I do recommend it for an intermediate seamstress or a advanced beginner that is willing to make a muslin first. The dress is very tailored and will require a little more thought in its construction.

Absolutely consider this dress for weddings this spring and summer. Flower girls will look ever so sweet walking down the aisle in this beauty!

**DMK did not compensate me in any way for this review, this is my opinion of the pattern I purchased. I am excited to announce that upon hearing I was going to review the dress, DMK is going to give readers a limited time deal on patterns and a giveaway!! Details will be announced on this post in just a bit.

Next week's I will be reviewing a paper pieced quilting pattern! I'm not a fan of traditional piecing, but I think this technique may be just the thing to turn it around. I'll be working on Artisania's Peeping Owl. I think it's fair to say I'm just slightly in love with this modern block!

***Giveaway and Pattern deal***

For a limited time, DMK is giving readers a Buy 1, Get 1 deal in their etsy shop. This is an awesome deal - there are tons of amazing patterns that I know you would love!! The checkout code is: DMKBOGO

And I'll be picking 3 readers to each receive 1 pattern from the DMK shop. To enter please a comment on this post stating which pattern you would love to win & you must be an All Things Belle blog follower. Giveaway will end next Sunday, the 15th, by midnight (MTN) time.

Good luck!


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