Friday, March 24, 2017

Pillowcase Dresses

My current dress progress. Isn't it pretty?

As usual these days, it's been a long time between posts. Since I last posted, I have moved 2000km back to where I grew up, sent my youngest off to school and gone back to uni. I have contemplated deleting this blog many times but then I get a lovely comment from a reader about how much they appreciate one of my tutorials and I just can't delete the blog when people are still enjoying it and finding it useful. Thank you to everyone who still finds my blog and takes the time to leave a comment!!

Recently I have tried sewing pillowcase dresses. They are so quick and easy to make and so pretty too! I got some great inspiration on Pinterest and then just picked and chose the bits I liked best. I couldn't possibly just follow a tutorial as is could I? Ha!

I just need to add binding to the arm holes, make the top casing and thread the ribbon!

There are heaps of tutorials online for these and I thought I would share some that I have found really useful so you can give it a try too!

Dress a Girl Around the World - This is a great tutorial that uses elastic across the top front and back and bias binding for the ties. They also distribute dresses for kids in struggling countries so you might like to check that out too!

Coral & Co. - Shelly has been very kind and provided a FREE downloadable pattern along with her tutorial. The pattern gives the dress an A-line shape instead of the traditional pillowcase rectangle and the straps are made the traditional way with a ribbon or tie threaded through the top front and back casing. Oh, this one also includes a ruffle at the bottom and can be made as a top or dress.

Sew Sweet Patterns - SSP also provides a free downloadable pattern with their tutorial. Here you can see how they use an actual pillowcase to make the dress. The pattern also gives a slight A-line shape and has the traditional ribbon ties through casing.

Sew Delightful - This is another group of people who sew dresses for kids in need. They provide a fantastic cutting guide for a large range of sizes. No pattern is needed as they use the traditional rectangle shape.

Candice Ayala - This is not a pattern or tutorial but a gorgeous idea that I loved. This clever sewer has modified the back of her dress so that the bow can be tied at the back and it looks beautiful! Check it out!

We All Sew Bernina - Bernina has a great tutorial as well! This website includes the cutting guide (instead of pattern) and a tutorial for a traditional pillowcase dress.

That should be enough to get you going. And don't forget to check out my Pinterest board full of gorgeous pillowcase dress inspiration!

I can't wait to see it finished!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Sale!! Check out my Facebook page!

Hello Everyone!

It's been a long time hasn't it! I have finally decided to stop selling on Etsy for now and am selling off my remaining stock. Almost all of my craft supplies have sold but I still have some lovely hair accessories, jewellery and a couple of sets of push pins/thumb tacks left.

I opened a Facebook page to sell my remaining stock. It is called Stitches and Love. All items have been discounted so there are some great bargains there! You can buy simply by commenting on photos of the items you want. Payment will be by direct deposit and I can post anywhere at the buyers expense.

Here are some photos of some of my items. You can buy and see more at my Facebook page.

This cute navy polka dot headband is my only headband that has custom spots available. You can get this made in any size you choose from newborn to adult. There are 8 spots available.

Cute mini puffs! In 0-1yr and toddler size.

Mini puffs and polka dots. In 0-1yr and toddler sizes.

Large tulle flower in older child/tween/teen size.

Classy mini tulle combo. In 0-1yr and toddler sizes.

Fold over elastic hair ties!! Printed, plain and tie-dye fold over elastic.

Glitter elastic hair ties.

Sweet hair combs.

Super cute push pins or thumb tacks.

I have a few different types of earrings.

For more details on anything, head on over to my Facebook page and have a look! Thanks!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Little Update...

This year has been a long year. I just wanted to post a little update as to why I haven't been posting these last few months. My husband has been quite sick this year and just isn't healing properly. He's on to his 4th operation tomorrow after a few months off work. He has been at home more than he has been at work this year. :-( This has been going on since the beginning of March.

Consequently, I have had a lot on my plate and other things to focus on so my blog hasn't received much attention at all. I hope to get back to blogging but feel that we have quite a journey ahead of us until he is fully recovered so I am not sure when I will be back.

Thank you for reading and visiting my blog and I hope to be back soon!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Update and New Items in My Etsy Store

Well it's been awhile since I last posted. Things have been pretty crazy here for the last month with Pete having to go back in for more surgery and being bedridden for quite a few weeks. It's meant I have had to take on everything at home which I'm not used to as Pete helps out a lot. I'm so tired!! It was also Max's 5th birthday last weekend and I was busy whipping up a cute little chef costume for him.

Somehow in all of that, I have managed to list a few new items in my etsy store and have sold out of all my pre-made sets of hair ties!! A huge thank you to all of my lovely customers!! Here's a few pics of the new items.

Sweet Baby Headband
Sunflower Earrings
Resin Cabochon Bobby Pins
Resin Cabochon Rose Bobby Pins
Fold Over Elastic Hair Ties - Choose Your Own Colours
I decided to try selling the hair ties in this format so customers could get exactly the colours they want. It seems to be popular as I have already sold a few. What do you think? When I get lower on my elastic stock, I will look at ordering new colours and try to get some more neutral elastics like a few of my readers mentioned during the competition that was run a little while ago.

Now that Pete is beginning to become more mobile, I will hopefully be able to start doing a bit more crafting again....and posting here too!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Getting Back Into Things

Well it's been awhile. I did return from holidays...a month ago actually!! It's just taken that long for me to get back into the swing of things. The boys started day care 2 days a week when we got back so that has been a big adjustment for all of us and despite now having 2 days a week to myself (until I get my teacher registration done and start working), I have spent most of them helping out at Pete's school or catching up on some much needed sleep. I can't believe how much I have slept!!! I must be catching up on the past 5 years of sleep deprivation. Ha!

Anyway, I did buy lots of goodies while I was away. I think I filled about half my new suitcase with fabric! There were also a bit of crafty bits including some needle felting items. When we flew home, it was an effort to balance out all of our stuff so we weren't over the weight limit!

I have started pulling it out and pre-shrinking/washing the stuff I need to use pretty soon but haven't gotten much further than that. I'll take a few pics of some of the really cute stuff for another post. Instead, I've been distracted by Mother's Day and getting some hats made for my boys. I can't post about my Mother's Day gift for my mum yet because she might see it but here's a little teaser.

I also received this exciting bundle of fur from my friend Emma at Fur Addiction.

It was so exciting pulling all this fur out of the box. It was literally stuffed to the limit with all of this furry goodness. I can wait to start using it for some projects I have in mind.

Well that's where I'm up to for now. I'm also waiting on an order from my favourite covered button store, Jackobindi. I have some new hair ties, earrings, cabochons and hair clips coming.

I will be doing my best to get some new items up in my store over the next week. It seems sooooo much easier to make them than to list them on etsy!

Happy crafting!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Fabric Easter Eggs Tutorial from Retro Mama

This gorgeous little Easter egg tutorial has been around for awhile now but I seem to forget about it every year until it is too late! I thought I would share it in the hope that I will remember about it for next year and hopefully you will remember too! You can find it here on Retro Mama's blog.

If you haven't discovered Retro Mama, go and check her out right now! She has some beautiful sewing patterns and uses such gorgeous fabrics. I love browsing through her blog and etsy store.

This tutorial is pretty quick and easy to whip up and is fantastic for using up your fabric scraps. I won't get to make any this year because I am currently sick and still have to make my boy's Easter chocolates (they are dairy and additive free) but these are so easy you might still have time!

Happy Easter to all of my lovely readers!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Handmade Tea Towels Tutorial

One of my favourite websites is Spoonflower...a site that allows you to upload your own designs and get them printed on fabric, wallpaper, wall decals and over Christmas, they also had wrapping paper available too!

I discovered Spoonflower about a year and a half ago and had visions of all the wonderful things I would make and fabrics I would design but alas, things have not gone to plan with another little person in the family and I am only now just starting to look at designing some fabric. Even still, who knows when I will actually get it done!

In the meantime, there are countless beautiful designs already uploaded to Spoonflower that you can purchase and when they had a 2013 tea towel competition late last year, and then had a buy 1 fat 1/4 get 1 free sale, I made the most of the situation and ordered some tea towels to make up for Christmas presents. Below is the design I ordered. You can find it on Spoonflower here. This project would actually be great for any time of the year, not just Christmas!

These are pretty easy to make up and great for a beginner as it is all straight sewing! Here's my finished tea towels.

I thought I would add a few instructions on how to sew them up just in case anyone isn't quite sure what to do. It is really simple but wasn't quite as quick as I hoped. I like to have all raw edges hidden and I hate hemming stuff with a passion and that is all you do in this project. haha! Anyway, I was still really happy with how they turned out and the fabric is lovely. Make sure you get the tea towels printed on linen-cotten canvas. It is perfect for tea towels.

How to Finish Your Tea Towel

1. Order your chosen design from Spoonflower and make sure you have it printed on linen-cotten canvas in a fat quarter size. Just type tea towel in the search bar and you will find designs specifically made for tea towels!

2. Cut out your tea towel. Make sure you leave at least 2cm around the design for the hems. Depending on how the designer has designed the tea towel image, you may have a given rectangle to cut out or you may have to get out your ruler and measure it yourself.

3. Secure edges to prevent fraying if you wish. You can zigzag along the edge, overlock, or use pinking shears to do this. I didn't bother since it was covered up and fully enclosed...and I was in a hurry!

4. Fold over the long edges 1cm (or whatever size you want) and press. Then fold them over again 1cm, press, and pin to keep them in place. I used this awesome template from the Scientific Seamstress and it made the job sooooo much easier!

5. Now fold over the short edges in the same way you did the long edges. To get rid of some bulk in the corners, you can clip them like this. (The pic below shows a clipped corner when I started folding the long edge but it's the same idea for the short edges.)

6. If you want, cut out a short section of twill and place this diagonally in one of the corners on the back. This can be used to hang it up if you like.

Sit twill under edges. 

Trim even with edges.

Add a message if you wish.

7. Now sew it up! Sew from the top side as the nicest stitching is always on the top. Start in the middle at the bottom or somewhere else that isn't too noticeable. Now, when I got to the corners, I sewed to the edge, then put the machine in reverse and sewed back about 1cm. I stopped at this point with the needle in the fabric and pivoted the fabric ready to start sewing down the next side. Before sewing down the next side, I put the machine in reverse again and sewed back to the edge, then continued sewing forward down the new edge as normal. This secured the corners well and saved having to completely stop and start stitching at each corner. Hopefully the photos below will make this explanation clearer.

The tag sewn in.

Below you can see how I stitched along to the edge, backtracked to the point where the 2 lines of stitching intersect, then stitched back to the other edge and continued stitching forward down the new side. If this isn't clear to anyone, please let me know and I will post a diagram.

The corners securely stitched. 

If you happen to miss some of the folded over edge like I did below, just stitch along that area making sure it is caught in this time. If you are lucky, it will barely even be noticeable like mine.

The edge I missed catching on the back.

The fixed up edge from the front! You can hardly even notice the extra line of stitching!

And that's it!

In a nutshell...

1. Cut out.
2. Fold long edges over twice, press and pin.
3. Fold short edges over twice, press and pin.
4. Add a hanger if you want on the back.
5. Sew!

Now you have some lovely, personal, and handmade gifts! If you would like to make it even more unique, you could try designing and printing your own fabric. Here is a great tutorial on how to give that a go with old, handwritten recipes. Have fun!
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