Yay for Easter outfits!!

I know I just posted a skirt tutorial, but I guess spring puts me in the mood for making fun outfits. Sorry about the sad little picture. My model was napping, and I just couldn't wait to post it. Don't you just love the shoes though? Thanks Grandma, your the best:) Anyway, I made this skirt using the Sydney's skirt tutorial from the Polka Dot Chair, with a couple of modifications. I love this pattern, this is the third skirt I have made using this pattern and I am never disappointed.

I realize these modifications probably don't take an expert seamstress to figure out, but I thought I would post them just in case someone was interested. Sometimes I just like to find a similar similar project another person has made to get a little reassurance that I probably won't end up wasting a bunch of supplies. Anyway, feel free to use this information if you would like.

First, I didn't want this skirt to be quite so ruffly. So, instead of doubling the 'skirt top' pieces, I measured my daughters waist say 18" divided it in half (9") and added them together giving me 27". I followed the tutorials directions for the remainder of the measurements, except for the 4 skirt ruffle pieces. For those, I cut out four 6x44" strips from my tulle. You can cut out more strips of tulle if you would like the bottom ruffle to be more full, but I wouldn't suggest cutting any fewer since I think it would be in danger of coming out kind of skimpy. Also cut a piece of ribbon as long as the length of your waistband strip.

Follow the steps of Melissa's tutorial until you get to the directions regarding sewing the ruffle pieces. Sew all four ruffle pieces so you have one large hoop of tulle. Be careful that all of your seams face the same direction, this can be a little tricky when using tulle. Now, instead of hemming the bottom of the fabric, fold the tulle in half. Sew a basting stitch at about 1/4"-3/8" from the cut edges of your folded tulle. This should create a nice folded edge at the bottom. Gather using the basting stitch so that you have a nice ruffle. Continue with Melissa's tutorial.

When you reach the directions for the waistband, take your waistband strip. Fold it in half lengthwise, right-sides out. Place ribbon down on folded band. Determine where ribbon would look best, keeping in mind that you will need about 1/2" of the bottom edge (away from the fold) to sew waistband to skirt. I ended placing my ribbon about 1" away from the bottom edge. Sew ribbon to waistband piece. Continue with tutorial.

I hope these directions are clear. If you have any questions or a comment, please feel free to share.


A-Line Skirt Pattern & Tutorial, Size 18-24 mo.

One of my favorite things to sew are little skirts for my little sweetie! It is so much fun to pick out the fabric, and putting it together is a snap. As I have mentioned before I just adore this Matilda Jane skirt. So, while I can't afford the $40 price tag (maybe someday), with a little sweat I can make this one for around $10. I bought fabric from the Amy Butler Midwest line, it is a little more expensive, but I couldn't resist. This A-Line pattern fits my little girl perfect, and she wears 18-24 month clothes, so I figure that is about what size it is. It does fit her a little big, so it may be closer to a true 24 month size. With an 18 month old always on the move, a rear view is the only picture I could get with the finished project. If I can get another I will post it later.

A couple of disclaimers here. First, this is the first skirt pattern I have drawn up myself and also this is the first full-blown tutorial I have ever written, so please be patient with my inadequacies. Feel free to comment with any questions you may have, and I will be sure to answer them the best I can. Second, this pattern is purely for home use only. Please do not take this and make or sell a pattern of it. Okay, with those things said, lets have some fun!

 *If you aren't sure about sizing, cut and sew the lining first. That way if it doesn't fit the way you like, you can make adjustments to the part nobody will see first, and then apply those adjustments to the outside layer. (Saving you $$$$).

Aline Skirt

What you need:
1/2 yd.     main fabric
1/4 yd.     main fabric for waistband
1/2 yd.     lining fabric
1/8 yd.     light interfacing
1 small    invisible zipper (preferably that matches the main fabric)
matching thread
needle (for hand stitching)

I chose a light cotton for my main fabric, but anything that drapes well should work fine. For the lining, I just got some broadcloth off of the sales rack. You can use your main fabric if you choose, but since no one is going to see it broadcloth or muslin would be fine too. As for the zipper size, you can probably buy any zipper size you want, you only need about 5 inches of it. I just bought the smallest one they had.

One more thing... I made my skirt with an off-setted waist, but it is a little trickier. So if it is something you would rather not do, just use the lining pattern sheets to cut out your main fabric also and throw out the main fabric sheet. You can use the main fabric band pattern pieces to cut out your interfacing.

*All seam allowances are 3/8"

Print and assemble pattern:
While printing, be sure that the Scaling section on your print screen is set to NONE, if not your pattern pieces may print out the wrong size. Each pattern piece, except for the waistband pieces have both an A and a B piece. Line up the lines and tape together.

Cut out your fabric:
Sorry, I was so excited to get going on this project, that I forgot to take a picture of how I placed the pattern on the fabric. Luckily I had some extra to take a pretend picture, then I won't have to try to paint a picture with words, like my English teacher was always trying to get me to do. Line up all of the pieces to the fold, and cut out what it says on the pattern piece. You should have 1 main fabric front, 1 main fabric back, 1 main fabric band front, 1 main fabric band back, 1 lining front, and 1 lining back.

Iron on interfacing:
If you are making the alternate color waist, iron interfacing onto the wrong-side of the fabric of each coordinating front and back main fabric band piece. If you are doing a solid skirt line the interfacing up to the top of the coordinating front or back main fabric piece and iron on. If you are sewing a skirt without the waistband, go ahead and skip to sewing the lining, just use the lining directions for your main skirt fabric (make sure to place the zipper in the main skirt fabric, which is the step before making the lining). If you are braving the waistband please proceed...

Sewing the main fabric pieces...

Sew front main fabric piece to front main fabric band piece:
Place the front main fabric piece right side up onto a flat surface. Widest part should be laying closest to you. Place long straight edge of main fabric band piece right side down on top for front main piece (Darts should be opposite of the main fabric top edge). Line up band piece to the top left corner of the main fabric piece. Pin band piece to main piece starting at the far left, and stopping at the center. You may need to aid the fabric around the curve. Sew as much as you have pinned. Come back to the flat surface, and continue pinning the remainder of the way around the edge. Again aiding the fabric around the curve. Finish sewing along the line. Press the garment so newly sewn seam is nice and flat, if not your darts may look like the 18 month old made them. 

Sew in darts:
Using the front and back lining pattern pieces. Mark your darts onto the main fabric pieces you just constructed. Sew in the darts. Sewing in those little triangles will help make the skirt more fitted. Here are some pictures, if you know what you are doing- by all means have at it. If you are a little apprehensive here is a tutorial that will have you going in a flash.

Sew front and back main pieces together:
Once your darts are sewn in, place the front and back main fabric pieces right side together. Pin both side seams. Make sure to leave room on one of the sides for the zipper. Where I placed my zipper is shown on the lining pattern pieces. Sew together front and back main pieces, again making sure to leave room for the zipper on one side. Viola!

Hem main pieces, if ya wanna:
This is where I hemmed my main pieces. I thought it would be easier to do it now before it was connected to the lining. Less fabric to try to handle. If you are a very meticulous person, you can wait to do this until the very end, just in case the lining causes it to sit differently. With my fabric selection, I just bit the bullet and decided to just go for it. I turned the bottom under 1/4" and then again 1/4" and pressed. Then I sewed it down.  

Place zipper:
Blah!! This is always the worst part for me, but together we can make it through. Just follow the directions on the package, ha ha I bet you thought I would have more helpful advice. But seriously, zipper making company is much better at explaining things than I am.

Sewing the lining... 

If you made it through the main fabric instructions this should be easy.

Sew in the darts:

Sew in the darts for both the front and back pieces. Please see "sew in the darts" section of the main fabric (4 steps back) if you would like more guidance.  

Sew front and back lining pieces together:
Just like you did with the main fabric pieces. Place right sides together of you lining pieces. Pin side seams, make sure to leave room for the zipper on the opposite side as you did your main fabric pieces. Sew side seams. 

Sew together main fabric and lining skirts:
By this time, you should have two dazzling skirts, as shown in the picture above. Line up the top edge of both the front sides of the skirts, right sides together. Starting from the closed side seam, pin along one side of skirts, pinning them together (ending with zipper opening). It should line up nicely. Sew a 3/8" seam around pinned edge. Starting from center again, pin opposite side down to zipper opening. Sew. Tuck lining skirt, down into main skirt. Press, be sure to press the zipper opening in the lining so the creases are prominent. 

Hand stitch the lining zipper opening:
Take a needle and thread, and stitch the edges of the lining's zipper opening to the zipper in the main fabric. It just looks nicer that way.

Top Stitch:
Top Stitch around the skirts waist, just to help keep the waist looking sharp. If you don't, you may have problems with the lining creeping up.

Hem skirt lining:
 Turn under twice and press skirt lining bottom edge. Be sure lining is a bit shorter than your main fabric skirt, so you can't see it. Sew around edge. 

Whew, all done. All that is left to do is admire your hand-work which honestly is my favorite part.
If you have any questions about this tutorial, please leave a comment. Also, I would love to see pictures of anyone else that makes one. Thanks for taking the time to view this post:)

Welcome if you found your way over from any of these fabulous links:)


I was featured on Life as Lori


Fun Giveaway!!

I usually don't try for giveaways, but I think these pieces of jewelry are beautiful. Head on over to this link and leave a comment to enter the giveaway. You can't tell me you wouldn't just love to have anyone of these creations by Lisa Leonard, cuz I wouldn't believe ya!


$20 Trip to Hawaii

I love Hawaii, I would live there if I could. Palm trees, fresh mangoes, and 80 degree weather practically everyday, who wouldn't love it? It's too bad plane tickets cost more than the $10 I have in my sock drawer. When we found out we were having our first baby, I knew it would be a long time until we could go on a vacation just the two of us. I also knew we didn't have the time or the money to go on a vacation before the little bundle came. So I decided to create Hawaii in our living room. It was much cheaper than flying, and with the lovely invention of the thermostat 80 degrees became a possibility (even though we decided to keep it at the standard 72 degrees.)
Of course you have to have plane tickets to get to Hawaii, so I snuck these into my husband's bag before he left for school. Just to give him something to look forward to when he got home. These were the dark pre-Photoshop days, so I made them in one of the Microsoft Office programs.

I decorated the apartment with all of the Hawaiian beads and paraphernalia we got on a past trip. I also splurged and bought a $3 tabletop tiki torch from Michael's for the table centerpiece. I placed sea shells and tropical fruit (pineapple, mangoes, bananas, etc.) around the torch. Sorry for the lack of pictures, I didn't think about needing them for a blog later on. 

Family Fun Version 
My Version

I also made these cute flowers from cupcake liners. I got the idea from a family fun magazine, and just kind of changed them a little to make them my own. I actually made a few of both. The flowers from family fun worked well to prop up on objects around our house. They would look cute strung for a lei, or a garland. My version worked well to lay on the tables, couches, etc. I also used them in the centerpiece. They do take some time, so plan ahead. Here is the original flower link Family Fun. 
For dinner we had Cafe Rio. If you are from the west coast, or have visited the west coast you may know the restaurant I am referring to. It is awesome!! We love it, and since we don't have one nearby, we miss it. Terribly... So we found various recipes online and make it ourselves. It isn't technically a Hawaiian dish, but it has pork as an ingredient so I let it slide. 

Since I don't personally have a good picture, and since there is not a Cafe Rio to be found withing city or state limits I had to borrow a picture. This one is from Favorite Family Recipes, I haven't tried their Cafe Rio recipes, but I did use one of their recipes for dessert. Judging by other recipes I have tried on their site, I'm sure their version of Cafe Rio is delicious. 
For dessert we had...
Pineapple Delight!!  I just used a little fruit from the centerpiece. This is a more truly Hawaiian dish, it is similar to the awesome tropical fruit ice cream you get at the Polynesian Cultural Center. When we went to the PCC my husband and I both had two each. Hey, it's not everyday you are in Hawaii.

Even though we didn't actually get to go to Hawaii, my husband was still happy to have a night that I had planned especially for him. I would like to do another one for him soon, this time I will be sure to take pictures.