Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tutorial: Halter Ruffle Sunsuit

This idea came to me during a 3am feeding a couple weeks of those times when you are half asleep/half awake and your mind starts to wonder...yeah, one of those times. I've started to get my best ideas during these early morning feedings! Ha!

I am very happy with the outcome, and Lily will be stylin' this Summer!

Ok, now for the tutorial:
**Please note: This is my first time making clothing, and while I am sure there are more efficient and better ways to do this, this is what worked for me. Feel free to let me know if anything is confusing or if you think I left something out.

Gather your materials:
seam ripper (a must!),
paper (for the pattern pieces),
fabric (you can use all one pattern or mix it up with 2 or 3),
matching thread,
braided elastic (1/8" and 1/2"),
safety pin,
velcro (1/2" wide),
1 button,
fabric marker,

Make your pattern pieces:

Trace an existing onesie on a large piece of paper. This should give you an approxamate shape for the 2 main panels. Make sure you measure your little one to make sure you are making the pieces big enough. I added 4 inches to the measurement I took on Li
ly, because I wanted it to fit kind of puffy.
Lily's chest measured about 18" around, so 18"+ 4"= 22". I cut each pattern piece about 11" wide, this included my seam allowance.* I measured from her armpits down to her crotch/diaper area and added 1" to the top (for the elastic casing) and 1/2" to the bottom for the seam. Make sense?

I used a large lid to draw the shape of the leg openings.

For the back panel, I cut it similar to what I saw on the onesie.

After you cut your 2 main panels, cut 1- 3" x 17" piece* for the ruffle and 1- 3" x 40" piece* for the halter strap and casing for the leg openings, as well as 3" velcro*, 17" of the 1/2"elastic*, and 2- 11"pieces of 1/8" elastic*.
*These measurements are what I used for my daughter, you probably will be making a different size, so adjust the measurements accordingly

Fold over one long edge 1/4" and press, fold over again 1/4" and press again. On the other long edge, fold over 1/4" and press. Stitch along the double folded edge.

Set your machine on the widest stitch possible, and sew a basting stitch on the long edge that was only folded one time. Do not back stitch at either end. Then pull on one of the threads. This will start to bunch up your fabric, which will create a ruffle. Keep p
ulling/bunching until you are satisfied with your ruffle.
Easy, peasy!!

Measure about 2" from the top of the front panel, and mark with marking pen.

Pin and sew your ruffle 2" from the top of the main panel. (Make sure to reset your machine from the wide stitch back to the smaller stitch) You can then use your seam ripper to remove the basting stitch you used to make the ruffle.

Main Panels:
I don't have a picture of this, but pin together the 2 panels right sides facing along one side. Sew together using a 1/2" seam allowance, cut with pinking shears and press seam open. You could also serge or use a zig zag stitch if you don't have pinking shears.

Fold over the top edge 1/4" and press. Then fold over again about 3/4" and press again. Edge stitch along the bottom edge. Take your 1/2" elastic, attach one end to the safety pin and thread the elastic through the casing, making sure not to pull it all the way through. Sew the elastic to each end (a few times, for added durability) with a
1/4" seam allowance.

Your main panel should now look like this:

Fold so right sides are facing, and stitch a 1/2" seam down the side. Trim your seam allowance with your pinking shears and press open. Flip right side out.

Almost done!!

Halter strap and leg casing:

For the next step, you are basically making bias tape. Fold your fabric in half (long ways) and press. Open and fold each long edge toward the center crease (wrong sides together) and press again. Finally, fold in half one more time and press.

Pin the casing along each leg opening, making sure to sandwich the fabric from the main panel in between the casing pieces. Sew closely along the edge(the opened edge, not the folded edge, if that makes sense).

For the halter strap, I measured Lily to make sure it would be long enough, and cut 14". After folding in one end and sewing the strap shut along the open edge, make your button hole. I made 2 button holes so the outfit could grow with her a bit. This is up to you. If making button holes scares you, don't worry! You can use velcro if you want. But don't be scared! If your machine is capable of making button holes, take your manual and a scrap piece of fabric and practice, they are really pretty easy. :)

Now sew the end of the strap with the raw edge about 2" from the side seam on the front panel. I sewed mine right under the elastic on the inside, so it is hidden. Take your button and sew it (also on the inside) about 2" from the other side seam on the inside of the panel, right under the elastic also.

Elastic leg openings and velcro:

Using your safety pin again, thread the 1/8" elastic through the casing of each leg opening, sewing the elastic at each end of the casing (make sure to sew over the elastic a few times, for durability).

Fold over each unfinished edge of the front and back panel about 1/2". Place the velcro over the folded edges and sew. Sew the velcro for the top panel onto the wrong side of the fabric, and the velcro for the bottom panel onto the right side of the fabric. When the sunsuit is facing down, both velcro pieces should be facing you.

Now step back, and enjoy your finished product!!

I hope this made sense to you. I know this tutorial is long, and if you are reading this, than I thank you for reading the whole thing! If I over explained things, it was because I tried to make it easy even if you know very little about sewing. I would love to know if you tried to make this, and if you enjoyed my tutorial!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Halter-Ruffle Sunsuit!

I made a little outfit for Lily for the first time! The first of many...

Tutorial, coming soon!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Please Vote!

I am so excited. I entered this photo in the 'Kids with Pets' photo contest, and now I am one of the finalists to be chosen for this weeks winner! How cool is that? Please go here to vote for my photo. Click on the 'vote for me' button under the picture. You have until March 20th, and you can vote everyday!

***Update #1***
My picture is currently in 4th place! I can' believe it. Please keep voting!

***Update #2***
I'm now in 2nd place!! Keep up the votes. Thank you friends!!

***Update #3***
I am the 'unofficial' winner!! Woo Hoo! Thanks to everyone who voted...and voted...and voted... I couldn't have won without y'all!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Two fun and easy tutorials for the Summer!

We are going on our first ever family vacation later this week. Sea World, here we come! We are going with some old friends, and I couldn't be more excited! I really think Bobby will love it.
I found some patterns on a couple of my favorite crafty blogs that I think will come in handy for our trip. These 2 patterns are so easy, and maybe took me an hour to complete both. I thought I would share them with you!

Genius! Why didn't I think of this?

This hat was so quick and easy to make, that when I made the first one too small (I had to adjust the original pattern to fit Lily's head), I think I whipped up the 2nd one in about 20-30 minutes! I used my favorite fabric of the moment...this sweet floral print I found at Jo Ann's. Love it!!

I added a heart button on top. LOVE!

Perfect for keeping those sweet cheeks out of the sun. I think she likes it!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Bazaar time!

I participated in a Bazaar today! It was the 2nd time I've done this, and it was a lot of fun! Unfortunately, there wasn't very much advertising for the event, so at times it was very S.L.O.W., but I did sell some things and made some extra spending money! I plan on doing this every month, and I am hoping to sell some things in the Farmer's Market soon! Yikes! I need to get to sewing! I need to make more coffee cozies, crayon rolls and towels. Those were my big sellers.

My goal for 2011 is to do a real craft fair. Hopefully I can do one with my sister and her shop, Paper+Twine, towards the end of the year. I learned today that I need to work on my display. I want everything to be bright and colorful. I really want to get an old hat rack to spray paint for my aprons, and possibly an old ladder also for all the bibs and towels. My sister in law and I may go rummage through a flea market this week, so I'll see what I can snag. Can't wait to see it all come together!

Thanks to my Laredo family for coming out to support me today!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


I finished my Pillowcase Dress for the Dress a Girl Around the World Sew Along. I have to say, Vanessa over at Little Big Girl Studio did an awesome job with her tutorial. It had clear and easy to follow instructions along with pictures. As an added bonus...I will no longer cringe when I need to use bias tape. The way she explained it made it so simple! My bias tape came out looking perfect! Woo hoo!

If you are making a dress, you have until next Wed. to add a picture to the Flickr pool to be included in the prize drawings. Click here for more information. That gives you plenty of time, as this dress may take you about an hour or so to do! I must admit...I am hooked on making this dress! I want to make more! The fabric combos are endless, and you can add anything you want to them...ruffles, ric rac, name it! I like how mine turned out, it looks perfect for Spring! I had a great time making it, and I can't wait for a little girl to wear it!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Dress a Girl Around the World--Update

Have you started your dress yet? I will hopefully get started today.

Update: Click here for information about where to send your dresses. There is also more info about the flickr pool and the prizes. I can't wait to get started!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Dress a Girl Around the World

Every little girl deserves a pretty dress, right?


While browsing Prudent Baby (one of my favorites) I came across this blog, Little Big Girl Studio. All next week she is hosting a sew along to benefit the Dress a Girl Around the World campaign. Each day she will have different guest bloggers with fun ideas on how to dress up a simple Pillowcase Dress to then send in to be given to a little girl in need. What a great charity!! Not that I need an incentive to make a dress, but for every dress you upload to their Flickr pool, you will get entered to win a prize! Woo hoo!

I've never made a Pillowcase Dress, but now is as good a time to learn as any, right? They seem simple enough. You can use an actual pillowcase or any cute girly fabric you have. I know I have some fabric just waiting for a little girl in need to wear it and feel pretty. There are patterns everywhere for a Pillowcase Dress, but to make it easy, here are two tutorials for you. Here and here. I believe there will be more dress patterns to choose from next week during the Sew Along, as well as more information on where to send your dress when you are finished.

What a great way to use the talents that God has given us!

Won't you join me in making some sweet dresses?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Fabric Giveaway Winners!!

Thank you for all your comments! All your project ideas sound so great!

And now...the winners!

Once again, I cut up all your names and put them in another one of Bobby's hats...

Winner #1: Clair H.!! Congrats! I can give you the fabric on Monday!

Winner #2: Erin Wallace!! Woo Hoo!! Congrats to you too!
I know you have lots of things you could use it for!

Thank you all once again, I have more giveaway ideas in the works, so don't be shy...come back again!

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