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!


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!


Crib Rail Teething Guard Tutorial

(It’s so hard to get babies to hold still for pictures! Please ignore the strangely blurred baby hand!)

Supplies You’ll Need

fleece (I used a fleece blanket from Ikea)

sewing stuff

As shown in the picture above, you’ll need two rectangular pieces of fleece to cover the rail and a bunch of fleece strips to use for ties. So let’s get cutting!

For the front rail of my daughter’s crib (Davinci Kalani Crib & Changer), the rectangular pieces of fleece to serve as the main body of the teething guard measured roughly 50×16 inches. I figured out these measurements by draping the blanket over the crib rail. Luckily the length of the blanket was pretty much a perfect match to the length of the rail.

To determine the width I needed, I lined up the edge of the blanket with the bottom of the rail (see above were my fingers are holding the edge of the blanket in place) and then marked with a pin on the other side of the blanket that was draped over the rail where I would need to cut for it to line up with the other side of the rail. I then took the blanket off the rail, laid the fabric flat on my cutting mat, and measured the width I had marked. I added about an inch to the width for seam allowances and then cut out my two rectangles of fleece according the dimensions I had measured. (If this is confusing, which I’m sure it is, feel free to ask questions by leaving a comment!)

The above picture shows how the two sides of the rectangle meet about half an inch below the rail once it has been cut to the correct size.

To make the ties, determine the size and number of strips you’ll need. My strips initially measured 8×2 inches, which was a little on the long side so I trimmed off about 2 1/2 inches from each strip after I had sewn everything together. Because I wanted ties between each of the crib slats, I needed a total of 30 strips—15 for each side of the teething guard.

Now that you have everything cut out, it’s time to start pinning the ties in place. To do this, I took one of my rectangles of fleece and draped it over the crib rail. Then I started pinning ties so that they were spaced between each crib slat. (Sorry that the persective is a little off in the picture above. One of my goals is to get much better at photography!)

Once I had all of the ties pinned on one side, I laid the fabric flat on my cutting mat and set–I did not pin–the remaining ties on the opposite side of the ties I had pinned. Then I removed the pins holding the other ties in place.

Now you’re almost ready to sew! Place the second rectangular piece of fleece on top of the other making sure that the ties are tucked in. So that I wouldn’t sew my ties on the ends into the side seam, I moved them about 1/4” away from the edge. Since fleece has some stretch, it won’t affect the way the teething guard fits the crib.

Pin around the edge making sure to secure each tie in place. To remind myself not to sew around the entire perimeter—which I’ve done many more times than I care to admit—I put two pins about two inches apart on one of the ends.

Sew around the perimeter, making sure to leave a small opening. I used a 1/4″ seam allowance on each end so that I wouldn’t catch the ties in my seam. (The reason this was a problem for me was because the length of the blanket I used didn’t really give me much room for seam allowances on the ends). I used a 1/2 seam allowance for the lengths.

Turn right side out.

Pin the opening so that the unfinished edges are turned under.

Sew around the entire perimeter with a 1/4” seam allowance.

Tie your teething guard onto your little one’s crib and pat yourself on the back for saving a ton of money!


Bubble Bib Tutorial

Over the past few months my mom has given me many different things, mostly clothes, that used to be mine to pass on to my sweet girl. One of the things that she gave me was a tie back, cross stitched bib. I liked the shape and the old fashioned tie back so I decided to do a bib remix. The round shape makes me think of bubbles and that’s why I named it the bubble bib.

Supplies You’ll Need

pul fabric (I used Babyville–Cupcakes)

1/2″ double fold bias tape

sewing stuff

Download the pattern and cut it out. Pin it to your pul fabric and cut out one bubble bib piece. 

Pin your coordinating bias tape around the outside edge and trim the excess bias tape.

Sew with a 1/8” seam allowance.

Cut one 30” piece of bias tape. This length seemed to work well for my 7 month old. Find the center of your bias tape by folding in half. Line this up with the center of the neckline and then pin in place. (Sorry no picture)

Sew with a 1/8” seam allowance starting from one end of the bias tape to the other.

Knot the ends of your bias tape.

Enjoy your bubble bib!


Conversation Hearts Felt Garland Tutorial

This is my very first tutorial! I suppose it’s best to start off with something simple and it doesn’t get much easier than a felt garland.

Conversation hearts are such a fun part of Valentine’s Day, so I thought, why not turn them into a felt garland. What a fun and easy way to get into the Valentine’s Day spirit.

Supplies You’ll Need

felt blocks–I used white, light pink, purple, lime green, and bright yellow

heart stencil–I printed out a clip art heart from Microsoft Word

red fabric paint with an easy squeeze top

sewing machine, unless you want to hand stitch the hearts together

First decide how long you want your garland to be. Make sure to include some extra length so that it’s long enough to drape it. (When I made the circle felt garland for Christmas, I almost forgot to do this. A stick straight garland would have looked ridiculous!)

Once you know how long your garland should be (with extra length for draping!), create your stencil. I find that shapes that are about one inch x one inch work best for most felt garlands. This also makes it easy to figure out how many hearts you will need to make your felt garland the right length. To create my stencil, I used a clip art image from Microsoft Word and sized it to approximately one inch x one inch.

Trace your heart stencil onto your felt blocks. If your heart stencil is one inch x one inch, divide the length in inches of your felt garland by 5 (the number of colors) to find the number of hearts to trace onto each felt block.

Then cut out your shapes, keeping them separated by color.

(I used these blue hearts for my example since I forgot to take pics when I made my garland…oops)

Now it’s time to sew! Since I didn’t want to make a color pattern, I grabbed randomly from each of the color piles to until I had a new pile of hearts in random order. The only thing I avoided was putting two of the same color next to each other. To sew, you simply place one heart after another under the presser foot, sewing the length of each heart until you have no more hearts. Remember to backstitch on the first and last heart. And voila, you have a felt heart garland.

To turn your heart garland into a conversation hearts garland, you’ll need to whip out your handy dandy red fabric paint. I always call it puffy paint, although I’m not sure it technically is puffy paint. Anyway…

Lay out your garland on a long, flat surface so that your hearts are all facing in the right direction. Now it’s time to add the fun sayings. I looked up conversation hearts on google image search for ideas. Use your fabric paint to carefully write out your witty sayings. Make sure not to put the tip of your paint directly onto the felt. I found that when I did that, sometimes it would sort of catch on the felt fibers and was kind of a pain, so make sure you apply the paint just above the surface without touching the felt fibers.

Let it dry for a little while. It actually doesn’t take too long. Then, admire your adorable conversation hearts felt garland!