Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Holiday letter to all sewists!

Well, living here in the remote Alaskan landscape has brought me back to one of my very first creative outlets...SEWING! I learned how to sew slowly through my childhood, and made my first dress at fifteen. I put the skill on the shelf until needed for mending and alterations. I pursued my art education degree through my twenties and then taught for a few years. Now, I am a stay at home mother and having moved here it has been difficult for me. Family and friends are in the Midwest and on the east coast. so, it is rare to never that I get to visit.
See that...NO JOANNE'S! Aaaahhhh! Can you tell I'd rather be sewing than 4 wheeling?
Having rainy weather and a napping baby, I began to sew again! It has been a great creative and artistic outlet for me while I am "stranded" here on this Alaskan island. I have found many great friends and comrades in sewing thru a few different online forums. It has been a fantastic way for me to share my hobby, ask for help in the craft and to build friendships. Thanks to all you ladies for being there for me! Some days here it is just so dark, dreary and cold~ but your friendships have helped me through to the sunny spots : )
Yup...July at the ocean here requires many water proof layers...the water IS freezing!
Through my sewing journey this past 2 and a half years, I have discovered the joys and fails associated with pdf patterns, serging, pattern testing, having an Etsy shop, and blogging. Throughout  my time here I am glad that I have had the chance to expand my skills and sew for my family!
I want to share with you all a few pieces of clothing that I am so proud of! The patterns came from my favorite pattern shop: Create Kids Couture. Their paper and pdf patterns are fantastic! These patterns are fabulous boutique designs that are easy to follow and result in heirloom garments!
The ladies on staff are so helpful and kind as well. If you have any questions or problems understanding the info, they are there to help.
Here is the newest pdf release for Create Kids Couture...
 Petunia's Pretty Petal Dress and Pants PDF Pattern
THIS smile makes it even more fun!
My little dollie here just started to say "pitty" (pretty) when she wears her dresses!
WOW! Look at ALL that poof in the tulle either!
So, naturally for the holidays, I had to make a CKC mash up!
What is a mash up~ you ask?!
Its when you take a few of their patterns and combine your favorite features.
I just love the ruffles, pick ups and lace!
Thanks ladies....
for your help, inspiration, sewing support, friendship
and most of all for allowing me to SHARE with you!
Hope you have beautiful,  Happy Hoildays!

Monday, December 9, 2013

DIY: Shirred Sash with Removable Rosettes!

With the holiday season in full swing, every little girl needs a dress to show off!
My little dollie will be wearing this lovely lace trimmed tress, the Joy from Create Kids Couture.
Now, my little sweetie is a skinny thing AND she refuses to wear the sash that is included with the I had to improvise! 

I whipped up this lovely lace belt with shirring. To make wrestling dressing her even easier, I added the fantastic KAM snaps to the ends of this cute belt. Now dressing her is a cinch!
The key to the belt sizing is to cut the fabric to your desired length and width.
I usually make mine about 2.5" - 3" wide.
The length you need to cut is waist measurement plus 6" (5" will cinch up with shirring and the extra 1" allows 1/2" seam allowance for the short ends).
For example, my daughter has a 19" waist, so I cut a 25" long strip of fabric.
Easy peasy!
First, I simply roll hem the long edges to start.
Next, you need to fold over the short raw edges and stitch them down.
Then, you shirr! I have an easy tutorial for shirring here:
Finally, when you are finished shirring, attach 2 KAM snaps to each short end of your belt!
To dress up the sash, and give it a boutique look, I added a rosette to the belt.
You can find my free tutorial on how to make one here:
To get the most use out of this darling creation, I also added a KAM snap to the back of the rosette and to the front of the sash. Now, I can use the sash without a rosette, or even add a pretty heart for Valentines Day!
Instead of sewing the rosette onto a headband, I stitched it onto a small fabric square. The square is small enough to be hidden behind the rosette and it is 2 layers of fabric for durability. Be sure to add the snap BEFORE you stitch on your rosette!
You can purchase these great pliers and snaps here:

Of course, I HAD to whip up a coordinating boutique headband to match! 

Hopefully, pictures with Santa will get smiles this year!
Thanks for stopping by and have a beautiful day!