Monday, April 20, 2015

Sewing: Easter Angel Sleeve Dresses for Girls and Dolls (Free Doll Dress Pattern)

Easter dresses are some of my favorite projects. I love the idea of a new pretty dress for Spring, and the tradition of something special to mark the holiday. I usually lean toward the dressier dress, or at least something sort of ambitious, but this year I kept it simple. I made Angel Sleeve dresses and Blouses with skirt for my girls and their dolls. I've updated my Angel Sleeve Dress pattern (one of my first) with digitally drafted pattern pieces, and I have the Doll Angel Sleeve Dress and Blouse Pattern for you free, along with a sewing tutorial below. 

Simple doesn't have to be boring, so I picked bold floral fabrics for the dresses (all purchased from Jo-Ann in their premium quilting fabric section) and adding pom-pom and bias trim. It's simple to embellish these dresses with trim at the sleeve and skirt hem and adds a bit more fun.

The Doll Angel Sleeve Dress Pattern is sized for 14", 16" and 18" dolls and it's such a basic shape it would work for dolls of all shapes. 

I used the 16" for the Waldorf dolls I sewed and it also works well for the Disney Animator's Collection dolls. The 18" pattern is designed for American Girl Dolls, Our Generation Dolls and the like.

I used a mini pom-pom trim on the sleeves and hems of the Waldorf Doll dresses, but opted for packaged 1/2" bias tape for the American Girl Doll dress. I think the bias trim is a great look for dolls and girls! I just hemmed the dresses as the pattern directed and then sandwiched the sleeve and skirt hems in the folded bias tape and stitched close to the fold.

You may be wondering about the three girls in this photo.... I knew all three of my girls wouldn't enjoy these dresses but I did want to sew a third matching set for an 18" doll and her girl. Luckily my beautiful friend indulged me by letting me borrow her American Girl Doll for a fitting and was amiable to participating in a photo shoot. She was my best model! She thought it was fun! I've been reminding my girls of her enthusiasm ever since--they don't always see a photoshoot for the good time that it is! 

It's too bad I didn't just talk Audrey into this shoot, because I miss her in it. And I owe her an Easter dress. Easter is the happiest of the holidays my family celebrates (you can read a bit about my thoughts in Easter in this post). I hope you too are enjoying the renewal of Spring.

If part of your Spring celebration includes sewing, you can find the pattern for my Angel Sleeve Dress and Blouse here in my Etsy Shop. And the free pattern for the Doll's Angel Sleeve Dress and Blouse here.

Keep reading for the sewing tutorial for making a doll-sized Angel Sleeve Dress or Blouse.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

FYI: Spain Itinerary and Highlights (Traveling without Kids)

A couple of years ago in April this was my view! Fields of poppies streaming past my window as we drove between cities in southern Spain. It seems like a dream. It was dreamy, in fact. I never shared a report here but when I threw a Spanish-inspired brunch a few weeks ago I couldn't stop thinking about this beautiful trip and thought I'd share it with you. 

When my husband and I were planning our ten-day itinerary I looked online for stops along the way that would inspire the sewist/pattern designer/knitter/mother/foodie in me but it was difficult to find a write up, so perhaps the highlights I share here will help you when you have the opportunity to visit Spain.

Click to read all the details.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Sewing: Minky Backed Baby Quilt for WeAllSew

I have been trying to hold myself back from quilting. My rationale is that I have enough stash, lists, patterns and ideas with knitting, crochet and sewing to keep me busy. At least until my girls are "too old" to wear what I love to make them.

But since Audrey started quilting it's been too much to resist! I gave in. And for my first quilt (since high school) I made a sweet minky-backed and bound patchwork baby quilt. I love a minky backing for a baby--why not make it extra cuddly?

Audrey was kind enough to help me with some of the piecing. Spray basting made it a breeze to work with the minky (no stretching or slipping!).

The full tutorial is on the BERNINA Americas blog, WeAllSew: How to Make a Minky Backed Baby Quilt.

I purchased most of these fabrics at my local Jo-Ann (the Art Gallery Coquette Collection Blossoms was from my stash), but I found some of them online. Here are some links for you:

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

FYI: I'm in the New Fat Quarters Book (Giveaway)

Hi Friends. It was a very happy mail day when this book arrived in my box. Fat Quarters: Small Fabrics, More Than 50 Big Ideas is a fantastic book, which lives up to it's title. There are so many great project ideas in here! And I'm giving one away so be sure to scroll down and enter.

Not only was I thrilled to have a copy of this book for my own sewing scheming, but it's the second book to which I've contributed a project! It's so exciting to see my work in print. I have two projects in the Babies & Kids section: My Child's Fat Quarter Reversible Apron

And a little baby dress made entirely of fat quarters.

I had so much fun developing these projects (over a year ago) and I hope others will enjoy sewing them too.

This sweet dress has a vintage vibe, which I love for babies, but it could be modern colorblock too. 

The apron lends itself to all sorts of creative possibilites, especially given the pom pom trim. I love giving these as birthday gifts.

And just wait until you see all the other projects! This book will spur a whole new fat quarter binge.

Would you like a copy of Fat Quarters: Small Fabrics, More Than 50 Big Ideas for your very own? You can enter in the widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Crafting: Easter Bunny Banner and Free Bunny Template (Tutorial)

Note: This post is sponsored by the We R Memory Keepers HSN Party Pack. All opinions are my own. 

I'm getting Spring Fever in a big way with some sunnier weather. Bulbs are pushing through the ground, trees are budding, I'm dreaming of Easter dresses, and I'm craving Spring colors. So I decided to bring Spring indoors with a new Easter Bunny Banner, in one of my favorite combinations: pink and yellow.

Lucky for me I received a We R Memory Keepers HSN Party Pack last week with more than I needed to whip up this cute banner. Except for the bunny silhouette. I traced it in Illustrator, but I've got the the file to share with you.

The The 1-2-3 Punch Board Party Collection will be available exclusively on HSN starting next Tuesday, March 24th. The 1-2-3 Punch Board Party Collection on HSN is the only way you can get the 1-2-3 Punch Board and Banner Punch Board, which make cutting gift boxes, envelopes, bows, and three kinds of banners super easy. I love that each of these tools cuts a variety of shapes but they aren't larger than they need to be. The collection also includes a 12"x12" paper pad of colorful two-sided card stock in fun graphic prints, packaging tape with fun phrases, two colors of baker's twine and an idea book with all sorts of projects to get the wheels turning.

So let me show you what I came up with. I've got a quick tutorial so you can make your own Bunny Banner.

You'll need:

  • The 1-2-3 Banner Punch Board (part of The 1-2-3 Punch Board Party Collection )
  • 2 pieces of 12"x12" pink and white striped card stock (included in The 1-2-3 Punch Board Party Collection )
  • 1 piece of 12"x12" pink and white polka dot card stock (included in The 1-2-3 Punch Board Party Collection )
  • 2 pieces of 12"x12" yellow and white polka dot card stock (included in The 1-2-3 Punch Board Party Collection )
  • Bunny Silhouette Template (you can download the bunny silhouette jpeg file here and the bunny silhouette .svg file here with multiple images)
  • Your favorite adhesive for paper (I used a glue stick)
  • Baker's twine (included in The 1-2-3 Punch Board Party Collection )
To make the Bunny Banner:

Cut the pink and white striped card stock into 6"x12" pieces (you should have four pieces). You will use these to cut four 6"x8" pennants.

Insert the pink and white striped paper so it is aligned with the 8" line near the top of The 1-2-3 Banner Punch Board.

Insert the cutter in the grooves at the side with the cutting blade to the inside of the shape and make two cuts to create the pennant shape.

It doesn't get easier!

To create the flag shapes, cut the yellow and white polka dot card stock into 6"x8" pieces. (Cut each of your two pieces into two 6"x12" pieces, and then trim them to 8".) Then insert the card stock so it is centered on the 1-2-3 Banner Punch Board and pushed all the way to the top. Insert the cutter in the grooves at the side with the cutting blade towards the top and make two cuts from the outer edges to the center.

And there's your flag shape.

You should have four striped pennants and four polka dot flags.

Punching holes in the corner for stringing is super easy too. There are grooves at the top of the 1-2-3 Banner Punch Board for lining up the straight or angled top corner of your banner shapes. Then push down on the button and there you go.

Print my Bunny Silhouette jpg and cut out the bunnies to create template. Then trace the bunny shape onto the pink and white polka dot card stock and cut out. If you have a Cricut Explore or other electric cutter you can download my Bunny Silhouette .svg file and use it to cut out the bunny shapes.

Glue a bunny to the center of each yellow and white polka dot flag.

String your pennants and flags onto the cute mint green and white baker's twine and hang up your Bunny Bunting!

The 1-2-3 Punch Board and Banner Punch Board are available as a limited-quantity, one-time special on HSN in The 1-2-3 Punch Board Party Collection at a discount of retail pricing. This "Daily Special" on HSN will start Tuesday, March 24.

You'll have to hop on over. (Sorry)

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