Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Betsy Button Back to School sale

It's almost back to school time for kids in North America and I've been doing some sewing for sale.  I love this Moda PB&J fabric and I made three dresses that will be up for sale starting tonite on Betsy Button Facebook page. Betsy Button is a Boutique run by some friends and I and we have themed auctions several times a month. Bidding starts exactly at 9PM set on July 23rd and ends at 10:15pm EST on July 24th for clothing and at 10:30pm EST for accessories! That way you can focus on your outfit first AND THEN accessorize. BetsyButton is made up of a team of individual boutiques and designers! 

Here is my set of dresses. Left to right, they are sizes 6X, 5, and 3.

And here are some of the other offerings. Please click on any picture to check out our page.  

Happy Bidding!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Free Twirl Skirt Tutorial - Sizes 2-14

Here is an easy way to make a circle skirt for a little girl.  This will be a very twirly skirt! 

free twirly skirt pattern

To start with, you have to make a circle for the top panel.

To achieve this, you need to measure the hips of your girl.  Then, you need to find the radius of your circle.  The equation to do that is hips+2 divided by 3.14 divided by 2=radius.   The width of your fabric will depend on how large you want the panels to be.  In this case, I wanted the final skirt to be 10-12 inches long so I made each panel 6 inches wide. 

Take your panel and fold and fold it again so you have a rectangle folded twice.  From the folded corner, measure your radius and mark it.  Get something circular to trace a circle of that radius.  Remember that radius is a straight line from the center to the circumference of a circle or sphere.

You can find your radius by measuring from the corner down that length on each side of the double folded corner.  Measure out that far into the fabric and mark.  That is your radius. Lay your circle template on top of that mark so it curves from one point to the other, thru the mark in the middle. 

Here is my example.

free skirt tutorial

I cut the top circle and then measured down 6 inches and cut another circle of same curvature.
I used my ruler to do this. I marked the fabric every inch or so and cut on those markings.

 free skirt tutorial

Now, to make the bottom panels.  Remember, they are 6 inches wide. To know how long to cut, you measure the bottom of the circle and times by two.  Cute two panels out for that width and length, in this case 6 inches wide by 36 inches long. 

This skirt is going to have two different fabrics on the bottom.  I cut two rectangles each 6" X 36".  The purple is for the waistband casing.  To make  the waistband casing, measure the inner circle.  Cut a rectangle 2.5 inches by this length, plus a one inch in length to account for seam allowance.
The purple, below, is for the waist.

free skirt tutorial
free skirt tutorial

 Time to add embellishments, if any.
free skirt tutorial

Next, sew the panels together into one big loop. Hem the bottom how you see fit: rolled hem, fold twice and sew, or serge and fold once and sew.  Then, gather the whole thing.  I recommend you try one of two methods for gathering: a) zig zag over fishing line, pin panels to upper tier, and pull on fishing line to gather; or b) sew two loose stitches, near the upper edge, pin panels ot upper tier, and pull on one stitch to gather.

Now, attach the ruffled lower panel to the bottom of the upper circle tier. 

free skirt tutorial

This is not as easy at it looks so go slow and work carefully. 

Next, finish the hem between the layers.

free skirt tutorial

 Iron and top stitch.

 To make the waist casing, fold the fabric in half, wrong sides together, and iron flat.  You will now have a 1.25" by waist length casing.   Sew this into a loop with a 1/2" seam allowance and then attach to the circle, leaving a few inches open for elastic insertion.  Finish the hem between casing and upper circle tier, except for the opening. 

Measure your girl's waist. Subtract 2 to 3 inches for stretch and cut that length of 3/4" or 1" elastic.

Or, use this handy elastic cutting guide.

Size 2 cut 16"
Size 4 cut 18"
Size 6 cut 19"
Size 8 cut 21"
Size 10 cut 22"
Size 12 cut 23"
Size 14 cut 24"

 Insert into the casing, pull all the way through, and then sew the casing closed.
Serge the now closed opening.

free skirt tutorial

 Voila! You have a very twirly circle skirt!

The skirt above is a size four.  Here's a size chart for other sizes. This accounts for a half inch seam allowance on all seams.

For sizes 2-15, cut waist casing 2.5 inches by measurement of inner circle.

For sizes 2-6, cut panels 36 inches long
For sizes 8-14, cut panels width of fabric. 

skirt size chart

Monday, July 21, 2014

Stitch Swap

After a few weeks off for family vacation time, I am happy to be back to sewing and blogging. And this is going to be a very busy week, full of projects and guest posts.   First up, I am having fun with a project Stephanie at Swoodsonsays organized for fellow bloggers: Stitch Swap. 

We all signed up, via Elfster, to send our buddy two yards of fun fabric.   Irene sent me this fun collection, all from Five Monkeys Fabrics on Etsy.  The teal is from the Robert Kaufman's Hello Tokyo Sugoi Tiles collection, the red dots are Michael Miller's Dim Dots in pink, and the fabulous wardrobe fabric is Michael Miller's Nothing to wear. Aren't they adorable and fun and totally me?

But, I have nothing to show you today because I used the fabrics to test a fantabulous purse pattern but later found out I cannot blog about it until NEXT Monday, July 28. This purse is very clever and cute and the pattern is original and creative, so please come back next week to see what I made.

In the mean time, this week will see me guest posting on the Curvy Collective, selling some beeyoutiful back to school dresses on Betsy Button facebook boutique, sewing up a storm with Jennifer Paganelli's new Jenny Eliza collection, and more!

Hope you are having a great summer!

Be sure to check out the entire stitch swap this week!

Monday July 21st
Stephanie -- Swoodson Says
Jamie -- Salutations Louisville
Ashley -- Sewing Sober
Kathy -- Handmade Dress Haven

Tuesday July 22nd
Tasha -- Friends Stitched Together
Janelle -- Emmaline Bags
Kim -- Sew and Tell with Mama Eggo
April-- Open Sky Creations

Wednesday July 23rd
Amy-- Friends Stitched Together
Danica -- The Sewing Sparrow
Bethany -- Two Novembers
Jessica -- The Berry Bunch

Thursday July 24th
Chrissy -- Muse of the Morning
Fenna -- Fabulous Home Sewn
Melissa -- Rebel and Malice
Irene -- Sugaridoo

Friday July 25th
Jess -- Gracious Threads
Emily -- Tangible Pursuits
Roxanne -- Pensebrox
Megan -- Upcycling? Refashion That Idea.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

How to keep your bobbins organized

how to keep bobbins neat

 Check out my amazing new toy, err, sewing notion. Yes, I finally invested a small sum into making my bobbin disaster more neat and tidy. No, this is not a paid review. I am reviewing this and putting it my know to sew series because I am so pleased with this product!  I am sewing so much lately, that my bobbins were piling up in their organizer box. So, I did some research and discovered this amazing tool called the Stack 'n Store, by Nancy Zeiman for Clover.  Click on the picture below to check this baby out on Amazon!  (affiliate link, so I might earn a few cents if you buy one!)

Here is how it works.  You take your pile of bobbins and thread, untangle them, wind the thread completely around each bobbin, and insert them into the holders, as you see below. Each holder is shaped like a horseshoe and made of something like plastic or silicone, so they are bendable but they hold the bobbin in place. You can store five bobbins per level, they stack, they swivel, you can re-arrange them, you can buy more. 


Did I mention that they SWIVEL?

Stack and store bobbins

If you sew, you must have this. It really doesn't cost a lot! But it is brilliant.  Seriously!!! 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

know to sew July 1, 2014

Sew4me is on a break for July! 
 I am currently traveling with family. 
Sew4me will return July 15! 
Look for it then!!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Summer vacation time!

It is time for the handmadresshaven girls and I to hit the road. We are leaving dad and all the pets at home while we travel to visit the grandparents. We are extremely lucky that our parents live in lovely places (with great fabric shops) and summer is the best time to visit them. 

First stop, we will be on lovely Bainbridge Island, which is across the Puget Sound from Seattle.   Here is an image of Bainbridge taken from Google Eart (my screen shot).  See how green it is? It's a lovely little island with a lot of forest and farms and cute little town near the ferry terminal.

Here is the view from town looking over the ferry towards Seattle and the Cascade Mountains. If we are lucky, this is what our weather will look like!  

We will stay there for a few days and then head to Bend, Oregon to visit my parents. Bend is a much larger city, in the high desert, near several vacation resorts. In winter, there are lots of snow sports and, in summer, it is a hub of activities like rock climbing, white water river rafting, kayaking, fishing, camping, golf, and more. We don't do any of that, tho, but we love the historical museum, the terrain, visiting the lakes and caves, and enjoying the fourth of July festivities.   Here's an aerial shot from Google Earth.  Bend is very dry, but the green mountains are right nearby.

One of our favorite things to do is visit Drake Pond, right in the center of Bend. 

My parents live near the edge of Bend and so their nighttime view looks a bit like this. They have 8 dry acres but they are still fun for the kids. 

That is what I am going to be up to for the next week and a half. I hope to get to a few fabric stores for fun and, of course, the new Jenny Eliza line from Jennifer Paganelli will be out today, my big driving day. So, you might find the girls and I having potty stops at every Joanns between Bainbridge and Bend!  You think I am kidding!! Nope!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sewalong giveaway and linky party

For all Tie Dye Diva sewing pattern fans and sewalong participants, I have put together some great prizes.  Because the sewalong was not as big as I had hoped, I am opening up the prizes to anyone who has sewn the Tie Dye Diva sewing patterns Easy Peasant and Storybook Pinafore.

Here is how to enter: 

1.  You can share your sewing here, in the linky party, or you can share on the Tie Dye Diva Facebook page.  That sharing earns you one entry.

2. Go to the giveaway information post and visit the sponsor's stores and post back about what you like. This earns you another entry.

It's that simple! 

Note:  For the linkup, you can add a picture from instagram, a blog, photobucket, or another photo sharing site. It's that easy!!