Oliver + S Felt Bow Scrapbuster Tutorial

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When you find a fabric you love it’s hard to part with the scraps, even if they are weirdly shaped and don’t seem usable. When sewing one of my favorite dresses, the Oliver + S family reunion dress (read about it here), I found this FREE felt bow tutorial on the Oliver + S website. Since I loved the fabric I used for the reunion dress so much, I used fusible heat ‘n bond to use up some of my scraps to make an adorable matching bow. And with some new favorite scraps from some recent projects, I decided to revisit the felt bow pattern and to write up a quick tutorial. To make a scrapbuster felt bow you’ll need…

felt scraps

fabric scraps

scissors

spray ‘n bond fusible adhesive or iron on double sided heat ‘n bond

tailor’s chalk or fabric marker

Oliver +S felt bow pattern & tutorial

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First, download and print the Oliver + S bow pattern. I printed the two sizes that were mentioned in the tutorial, 100% and 60%. Once you have your pattern cut out, find some felt and fabric scraps that are slightly larger than the pattern pieces.

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Spray the WRONG side of your fabric scraps following the directions on the spray can. If you are using fusible heat ‘n bond, same thing. Apply it to the WRONG side of your scraps following the directions on the packaging.

If you are using spray ‘n bond, be very careful and protect the surrounding area. I did it in the garage and placed the scraps on some broken down cardboard boxes. Glad I didn’t attempt this in the house! This was my first time using spray ‘n bond and it sprays much stronger and faster than I anticipated. I wasn’t sure how much to spray. I think I’ll have to experiment a little with this. And honestly, I think for this project the fusible kind might be better and provide a stronger bond.

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This is what the back side of my fabric looked like after I sprayed it and let it sit for a few minutes. It has a slightly textured look and feel. Once it’s dry, which is pretty immediate, place the fabric scrap WRONG side down onto your felt scrap.

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Use a press cloth to adhere the fabric scrap to the felt scrap following the directions on the spray ‘n bond can or the heat ‘n bond packaging.

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Once your fabric scraps are bonded to your felt scraps, use tailor’s chalk or a fabric pen (…or a ball point pen) to trace the pattern. If you plan to wrap the bow center around a headband or a clippie, you may want to make that piece slightly longer than the pattern to give yourself some leeway. You can always cut it shorter later on.

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Cut out your pieces…making sure to trim off any pen markings from tracing if you used a ball point pen. Once you have your pieces, follow the Oliver + S tutorial to assemble your bow.

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Attach to a headband or a clippie and enjoy! An adorable pattern, and even more adorable with your favorite fabric scraps!


Oliver + S Obsessed!

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Over the past 6 months or so I’ve come across countless blog posts about Oliver + S patterns. I wanted to see what the fuss was all about and so I went to their website and immediately fell in love. Although their patterns are pretty pricey, I decided to treat myself to two of my favorites as a gift for Christmas–the Family Reunion Dress and the Ice Cream Dress. Since I was definitely not sewing much at the time due to holiday travels and third trimester tiredness mixed with an energetic toddler, it took me awhile to get sewing.

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I started with the Family Reunion Dress, which I absolutely adore! There is so much attention to detail in Oliver + S patterns that I decided to take my time and just do a few steps each night. I started the dress while I was still pregnant in hopes that it would be an 18 month picture dress for Hannah but I got busy getting ready for the baby and so I didn’t end up finishing it until well after Katie was born and 18 months had come and gone. Oh well! I finally finished it a couple of weeks ago and I’m glad I did because it turned out to be my very favorite dress that I’ve ever made. And that is how my current Oliver + S pattern obsession began.

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So after going on and on to my poor husband about how much I love Oliver + S patterns and how excited I am to have two more (I spent some of my birthday money (thank you in-laws!) on two more), I decided to dedicate an entire month to sewing only Oliver + S patterns! Hopefully this will keep me inspired to post regularly again…fingers crossed.

(Hannah is wearing the Family Reunion Dress and Katie is wearing a circle skirt. The bows are a free pattern from the Oliver + S website.)


Boyshort Bloomers

A friend of mine from church has a cutie pie four year old who loves to wear dresses pretty much everyday but she is not exactly the dainty type. She loves to dig in the dirt and look for every kind of bug she can find. She loves to run and climb. Basically, all the things that you don’t usually do in a dress. Because she’s super active and on the go but insists on wearing dresses, her mom insists on bloomers. And it’s a win win since they’re practical and adorable at the same time!

Since this active little girl has only a few pairs of bloomers and her poor mama is constantly having to wash them, my friend asked if I could whip up a few pairs of bloomers. Since the little one loves the boyshort variety and I didn’t have a pattern that would work for that style or her size, I went in search of a good pattern at the Joann’s $1 Simplicity pattern sale where I found the perfect pattern—2461.

The pattern is actually for shorts, so when I traced the pattern onto regular paper I simply took off a few inches from the length so that they would be roughly the right length for more of a boyshort fit. The pattern calls for 1/4″ elastic, which is perfect for comfy fitting bloomers, so I didn’t have to make any adjustments to the pattern aside from length.

Because I don’t have any custom tags or anything fancy like that, I decided a little bow in front would be a good way for the little one to easily tell front from back and would double as a cute embellisment. Such an easy project! These bloomers are the first of a few pairs that I plan to make.


9 Month Pictures

Hannah turned nine months old a little over one week ago. My birthday and her nine month birthday were actually on the same day. It was a lot fun to celebrate together. I took her to get her milestone pictures the next day and I think we got some good shots.

She wore her tiered Easter dress and I made her a matching headband. The headband was a cinch! No sewing, I just glue gunned a little grosgrain ribbon bow to a plain headband to match to the one on the bodice of her dress.

The headband I bought from Target around Christmas time. They came in packs of three—one white, one red, one green—for one dollar! The next time I see headbands for one dollar, I’m going to buy like a bazillion.

Although Hannah wasn’t really in a smiling mood, I think her serious expressions are cute too. This picture is the only smile we got. I guess that is what happens when pictures get a late start and end up during nap time.

I love this one. She looks so elegant and the dress is fanned out so beautifully. When I was sewing this dress, I started to think that maybe I had gone a little overboard with the ruffles and that it was too floofy. In the end, I think the floofiness looks great and the extra fabric allows the skirt to fan out like a circle skirt, which is ideal for pictures.

This close up was on of the last pictures that we got until…

The meltdown picture! By this time a nap was long overdue and Hannah decided that pictures were definitely done. This one is so cute, though, I was seriously tempted to order one!


Tiered Easter Dress Tutorial

First off, sorry that I’ve been MIA lately. Little Hannah has been under the weather and so obviously sewing has taken a back seat for the time being. I did manage to find some time to quickly write up this tutorial, though, so if you love this dress as much as I do and want one for your sweet little girl, keep reading!

Supplies You’ll Need

main fabric—I used about 1 yard for my 8 month old

coordinating fabric—large scraps for the bodice lining

1″ wide grosgrain ribbon

buttons

sewing stuff

I made my own bodice pattern for this project. To make your own pattern—not as hard as you’d think!—there are a lot of great tutorials like this one on the blog Prudent Baby.

Let’s get started with the bodice. Cut one front bodice piece from your main fabric and one from your coordinating lining fabric. Cut two back bodice pieces from your main fabric and two from your coordinating lining fabric. Remember to cut one back bodice piece with your fabric right side up and one with your fabric wrong side up so that you end up with one right and one left piece.

Sew the two back bodice pieces of your main fabric to the front bodice piece of your main fabric at the shoulders with right sides facing. When finished, press the seams open as shown in the picture above. Repeat with the coordinating lining fabric.

Place the main fabric bodice and the coordinating lining fabric bodice with right sides together. Pin around the neck and the outside edge of the back bodice pieces. Pin around the arm holes.

To sew the neck seam, begin at the bottom of one of the back bodice pieces, then continue up the back of the bodice, around the neck seam, and then down the other back bodice piece. Sew both arm hole seams.

Once you’ve sewn the neck and arm hole seams, your bodice should look like this. Clip the seam allowances. I used my pinking shears. If you don’t have pinking shears or prefer regular scissors, you’ll need to notch your curves.

Turn your bodice right side out and press. (Chopsticks work really well for hard to turn corners.) To make sure that your lining doesn’t show, I recommend pressing with your main fabric facing up so that you can see if any lining is peeping out at the seams.

Once your bodice is turned and pressed, you are almost done with it! Now we need to sew the side seams. This is a little tricky to explain, so bear with me. Note to self: take more pictures next time!

First, you’re going to pull the main fabric away from the lining at the side seam of both the front bodice piece and the corresponding back bodice piece. Next, pin together the main fabric front bodice to the main fabric back bodice with right sides facing. Then do the same for the lining. It will look like the picture above. Sew from one end of your pins to the other. It’s a little tricky to keep everything lined up, so go slowly and and adjust as necessary.

And now you have a fully lined bodice without any exposed seams!

Now for the button holes. I laid out the buttons I was going to use on my bodice and marked their placement lightly with a pen. I made sure that I didn’t include the bottom 1 1/2″ of the bodice in my spacing—1/2” seam allowances for attaching the skirt plus the 1” ribbon. To make the button holes, I used my automatic button hole attachment. Once you have our button holes, set the bodice aside.

For the skirt portion of the dress, you’ll need to figure out your measurements. I used the diagram below, which you can print here. It’s the same as the tiered Easter skirts but without including the waistband in the top tier. Remember that each tier should be cut in half in order to create side seams.

Rather than explain how to assemble the tiers, I will direct you to the easy tiered skirt tutorial on the blog Craftiness Is Not Optional. (Instead of zig-zagging the strips before sewing them together, I waited until the strips were sewn together and then zig-zagged the seams. Do whatever you prefer.)

Now that you have both your bodice and skirt assembled. Sew a basting/gathering stitch around the top tier of your skirt. Arrange your gathers and then pin your skirt and bodice with right sides together, adjusting as necessary to even out gathers and match the side seams. Sew the skirt and bodice together. Press the seam toward the bodice. If you’re super skilled you could try to sandwich your skirt in between your bodice main fabric and bodice lining fabric like this. I’m not confident enough in my ability to keep everything lined up and even so I just stuck with the tried and true.

Now for the finishing. Pin your grosgrain ribbon around the waistline of the dress, slight overlapping the seam where your bodice and skirt meet.

Leave a little extra on each end of your ribbon to tuck to the underside of the bodice. Sew in place with a 1/8″ seam allowance.

I made a simple bow as an embellishment and attached it with a safety pin.

And there you have it, an adorable tiered dress for your sweet little girl.

*UPDATE* Oh, and don’t forget to sew on your buttons!


Easter Bargains…continued

I have been a busy lady this week! It sort of feels like I’ve been sucked up into an Easter sewing whirlwind. After I finish up a few details, I will have Hannah’s Easter dress and a little something I made for myself to share with you all. It’s a relief to have made such a sizable dent in my Easter projects list!

For now, I have a follow up on the Easter bargains I found at Joann’s this past weekend. For starters, I made some Easter jammie pants out of the cute bunny flannel. I slightly altered my pattern from the other jammie pants I made so that the legs were a little less wide and the crotch was a little more rounded for a better fit. I can’t wait for her to wear them!

I’ve been trying to figure out a way to incorporate the ribbon into Hannah’s Easter “basket.” (She’s actually not going to get a basket. Because she’s cruising all over the place and is eager to explore, I picked up a wagon walker from Ikea—among other things, I sort of went a little crazy—and I’m going to use the wagon as her basket.) I used this tutorial to make a poofy bow out of the rabbit ribbon. I’m going to put the bow on the handle of the walker.

I used the Easter egg ribbon to tie a set of Beatrix Potter board books together. I’m excited for Hannah to have them because they were mine when I was a little girl. It’s so fun to pass down little treasures like these to my sweet girl.

I haven’t gotten to the carrot ribbon (my favorite!) yet. I plan to make some sort of a bow for the rabbit stuffed animal that I also picked up at Ikea. When I get everything all put together, I will share how it all turned out. I hope that Hannah loves her first visit from the Easter bunny.


Baby’s First Christmas Dress

With Christmas fast approaching, I’ve been thinking a lot about all of the cute little outfits and accessories I should make for my little one for her very  first Christmas. At the top of the list was, of course, a Christmas dress. My husband and I agreed that a white dress with red accents would be really cute.

With the color scheme picked out, I went in search of a dress pattern. I really liked the Party Dress–a guest blog from The Cottage Home on the blog Ucreate–when I first came across it a couple of months ago. When looking through all of the possibilities on the different mommy blogs I follow, I felt like this was perfect for a first Christmas dress. I didn’t actually use the pattern from the blog, though, as the patterns are too big for my little one. Instead I modified my McCall’s M6015 pattern so that the bodice wouldn’t be too wide for my petite little girl.

I used a white on white patterned calico fabric from Joann’s  for the dress and a red charmeuse fabric for the sash and covered buttons. It was amazing how easy covered buttons were to make! I think that they definitely add a little something extra to the dress. Sometimes it’s the little details that really make something nice.

Please excuse the wrinkles : )

After I finished the dress, I realized that I had a bunch of the red charmeuse fabric left and decided to make a headband and matching shoes. The headband and bow were from the McCall’s M6015 pattern. The shoes were made from the Mila Shoes pattern on the blog fleeting thing.

I think this Christmas outfit is by far the best thing I’ve sewed for the little one so far! Her Christmas pictures are also completely adorable!