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Dress Up Your Playhouse Dress!
{Perfect Pattern Parcel/Pattern Extra}

I am so excited that my Playhouse Dress is part of Perfect Pattern Parcel #5!! This collection includes six beautiful and versatile sewing patterns for girls from preschool to preteen.

Pattern Parcel #5: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win!
How Pattern Parcel Works:
Here at Perfect Pattern Parcel, we believe in supporting independent pattern designers. It’s our opinion that indie patterns are just, well, better than big box patterns, and we’re pretty sure our customers think so too. So, we allow customers to show their support in naming their own price for each Parcel. We also encourage customers to allocate part of their Parcel price to the charity Donorschoose.org in order to help classrooms in need. Pattern Parcel donates all profits after expenses from Parcel sales to the charity as well. Together we’ve raised over $11,000 for classrooms in need!
My house is full of little boys, but I’ve heard that there’s this recent movie that little girls have gone a little bit crazy over – a movie about a certain ice princess and her little sister. Because I’m a practical sewist, I don’t generally do costumes, but for our recent trip to the Magic Kingdom, I made a princess-inspired Playhouse Dress for our granddaughter. You can see that dress right here. I love that it’s a play dress that she can wear everyday, but it still makes her feel like she’s dressed up! (If you’ve ever gone to the grocery store with a child in dress-up clothes, I think you’ll totally understand!) For the Pattern Parcel Blog Tour, I thought I’d show you how you can do the same thing by creating an Anna-inspired Playhouse Dress. I’ve got all of the instructions for you, plus a downloadable PDF for the simple applique.You can sew the Playhouse Dress in a combination of knits and wovens or in all knits. Because I wanted this one to be a casual princess-y dress, I sewed it in cotton/polyester interlocks, and I bought them all at Joann Fabrics. I used Black, Fern Green, Sangria, Cornstalk, Royal and Cornflower Blue.Start by printing and assembling your pattern. The Playhouse Dress is one of my updated patterns, so you can choose to print either all sizes of the pattern nested, or just the individual size that you’re sewing. In addition to printing the the entire pattern, you’ll need a second printing of just the top section of the skirt. I’ll explain that a few steps down, though.

You’ll also need to print the applique design. Click here for sizes 12 months to 4 (on sizes 12 months and 18 months, the center flower is left off) and here for sizes 5 to 12.

Finally, you’ll need a sewable, paper-backed, iron-on adhesive for the applique. I used Heat ‘n Bond Lite.

Cut out the front bodice and back bodice of the Playhouse Dress using black interlock. Prepare your applique pieces following the instructions for the iron-on adhesive that you’ve chosen. Use pink fabric for the flowers and green for the vine. I traced my pieces onto the paper backing of the Heat ‘n Bond, then ironed the adhesive to the fabric and cut out the pieces. Once you have all of your pieces ready to be ironed on, place them on the front bodice piece, checking to make sure that everything fits well within the 1/2″ seam allowance and all the pieces are centered properly.Remove the flowers, and iron on the vine. Depending on the adhesive that you’ve chosen, you may be able to move on to the flowers from here, but the adhesive that I’m using requires that the edges be stitched down. We’re working with knit fabrics that don’t fray, so I’m just going to stitch all the way around 1/8″ from the edge. Those small curves can be tough to go around. Set your stitch length fairly short, sew slowly, and try not to make sharp turns on the curves. Turning the fabric a little bit with each stitch will give you a nicer curve. If you use a matching thread, this doesn’t have to be absolutely perfect stitching.Once your vine is done, add your flowers, one at a time.Set the bodice pieces aside so that we can work on the skirt. To create the faux sash, you’ll basically be adding a strip of fabric to the top of your front and back skirt pieces. I made my sash 1″ wide finished. The easiest way to do this is to go back once you’ve printed the whole pattern, find which pattern pages to print for just the top portion of the skirt, and print a second set of just those few pages. (You’ll need at least 2″ of the top of the skirt.) Measure down 1″ from the top of the full skirt pattern and draw a second curve. Use the partial skirt pattern to help draw the curve.Measure down 2″ from the top of the partial skirt pattern and draw a second curve. Use the full skirt pattern to help draw the curve.Cut the top 1″ away from the full skirt pattern and discard it. Cut the top 2″ from the partial skirt pattern and keep it. You’ll end up with a full skirt pattern that is 1″ shorter than it originally was and a 2″ “sash” pattern.Cut the full skirt pattern from royal blue interlock and the sash pattern from tan or gold interlock – two of each, one for the front and one for the back of the skirt. Pin the bottom edge of each sash piece to the top edge of a skirt piece with right sides together. Start pinning at the center, and gently ease the two curves together as you go.The edges of the sash will overhang a little. When you stitch the two pieces together, your stitching should go right down the center of the points on each side.Once these pieces are sewn together, press the seam allowances toward the bottom of the skirt. If you end up with any overhanging fabric on the sides, just trim it away so that the sides are straight again.From here, you’ll cut your remaining pieces and follow the instructions for assembling the dress. I added a decorative stitch just above the hem on my skirt pieces.When you sew the sides, be careful to line up the points so that you get two nice “V”s on both sides. I found that it was easiest to pin and sew those areas with a long stitch, check the alignment, then serge or sew with a tight finishing stitch once I was happy with how the sides looked.And, that’s it! Your sewing is done, and your little fan of all things Frozen is happy enough to twirl all day!! (Huge thanks to our friends’ daughter, E, for being such a beautiful model for me. I hope you enjoy your Anna Dress!)THE PATTERN PARCEL

Parcel #5: Girls and Tweens includes:

Lily Knit Blazer by Peek-a-Boo Patterns
Everyday Yoga Pant for Girls by Greenstyle
Asymmetrical Drape Top by EYMM
Playhouse Dress by Fishsticks Designs
Mimi Dress and Shirt by Filles a Maman
BONUS PATTERN: Sunki Dress by Figgy’s
Bonus Pattern:
Choose a price of $28 or greater for Parcel #5 and you will automatically also be sent the Bonus Pattern. The Bonus Pattern for this Parcel is the Sunki Dress by Figgy’s. The pattern includes both size runs, so you get 18 months through a 16 tween sizing.

Follow the rest of the tour for more inspiration:
Friday, September 19: Pienkel || Cookin’ and Craftin’
Saturday, September 20: The Life Of A Compulsive Crafter
Sunday, September 21: Keep Calm and Carrion || Felt With Love Designs
Monday, September 22: Radiant Home Studio || Sewing Sober
Tuesday, September 23: Sew Fishsticks || La Pantigana || Amanda Rose
Wednesday,September 24: Shawnta Sews || Sprouting JubeJube || Knot Sew Normal
Thursday, September 25: Make It Perfect || Mimi’s Mom || Climbing the Willow
Friday, September 26: Needle and Ted || Our Family Four
Saturday, September 27: Froo & Boo
Sunday, September 28: Stitches by Laura || Vicky Myers creations
Monday, September 29: Cookin’ and Craftin’ || The Crazy Tailor
Tuesday, September 30: mama says sew || FABulous Home Sewn || The Inspired Wren
Wednesday, October 1: lady and the gents || That’s-Sew-Kari || Sewing Sober
Thursday,October 2: Gracious Threads || Blogs Like A Mother || SewsNBows
Friday, October 3: sew chibi || Lulu & Celeste ||  Made by Sara

The Holiday Kitchen Gift Set Tutorial

Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner! I know, I know, I’m not sure that I’m ready to hear that either, but I love making handmade gifts, and every year I think if I just get started sooner, I won’t be sewing until 1 a.m. on December 25th! Maybe I’ll actually start early this year? At least I can help you start early! This tutorial is one that I shared at Skip to My Lou last year for the Holiday Bake, Craft and Sew-along, but I just finished putting the whole thing together for you in PDF form to make it easy to download, print and sew!

To download the tutorial, just click here: Holiday Kitchen Gift Set. Be sure to save the file to your computer before you print the pattern.

In case you prefer to read the tutorial here on my blog, here it is for you:

Are you looking for the perfect thank-you gift for all of those holiday party hostesses? The Kitchen Gift Set might be just what you need! The set includes fold-over, oven-mitt potholders (my favorite kind) and matching dishtowels.

You’ll be able to get two matching potholders and two coordinating dish towels from one yard each of two coordinating cotton prints. You’ll also need 1/4 yard of Insul-Bright or another insulating fleece for the potholders and 1 yard of absorbent cotton fabric for the backing of the dishtowels (diaper fabric, waffle weave, pique, huck toweling, etc.)Let’s start with the potholders!  You’ll need the pattern pieces found here: Potholder Pattern Pieces. (Be sure to print that “actual size” and check the measurement of the 2 1/2″ square.) Cut out all of your pieces.  For each potholder, you’ll cut 2 pocket pieces of Fabric A, 2 pocket pieces of Fabric B, 2 base pieces of Fabric B, 1 base piece of Insul-Bright, 2 trim pieces – 7″ x 2″, and 2 ruffle pieces – 12″ x 2 1/2″.
PotHolders#2Fold each of your ruffle pieces over with the wrong sides together and match up the long edges. Press well.
PotHolders#3Sew two rows of basting stitches (the longest stitching your machine allows) along the long raw edges — one at 1/8” and one at 1/4”—leaving the threads on each end 2 to 3 inches long.
PotHolders#4Pull the bobbin threads from each end to gather each ruffle until it is the same length as the trim piece.
PotHolders#5Set one ruffle aside. Pin the gathered edge of the remaining ruffle to the right side of one trim piece along one of the long edges. Check to make sure that your gathers are evenly divided. (You can baste here if you’d like.)
PotHolders#6Place one of the Fabric A pocket pieces on top so that the right sides of the trim piece and the pocket piece are together and the ruffle is sandwiched between.  Line up the edges as shown and pin in place.
PotHolders#7Sew the pinned edge.
PotHolders#8Flip the pieces to the right side and press the ruffle towards the curved edge of the pocket piece while pressing the seam allowance in the opposite direction.  Topstitch 1/4″ from the top edge of the ruffle.
PotHolders#9If you find that you have small spots on each side where the ruffle sticks out.  Just flip the pocket piece over and trim those off.
PotHolders#10Pin the long edge of one Fabric B pocket piece to the remaining raw edge of the trim piece with the right sides together.  Sew the pinned edge.
PotHolders#11Flip the pieces apart and press the seam allowance toward the ruffle.
PotHolders#12Fold the pocket over so that the wrong sides are together and the curved edges are all lined up.  Press well.  Follow the same steps to assemble the remaining pocket.
PotHolders#13
PotHolders#14Set your pocket pieces aside for now.  Take one of your base pieces and draw a quilting grid on the right side of it.  I used one of my Frixion pens to do this, but you can use a washable or disappearing marker, as well.  I placed my lines 1 3/4″ apart, starting from the center in each direction.
PotHolders#15Pin this piece on top of the Insul-Bright piece.
PotHolders#16Stitch down each line, starting with the center line and working out.  (If your machine has a walking foot, use it for this step and the remaining steps to help keep your fabrics from slipping while you’re sewing.)
PotHolders#17Place your finished pocket pieces on top of the remaining base piece, lining up the curved edges as shown.
PotHolders#18Flip the quilted base piece/Insul-bright over on top of these so that the right sides are together and the pocket pieces are sandwiched between.  Pin in place.
PotHolders#19Stitch all the way around, leaving an opening for turning in one short end. Clip or trim the curves before turning right side out.
PotHolders#20Turn through the opening and push the corners out neatly.  Tuck the raw edges of the opening in and press well.  Pin the opening closed.
PotHolders#21Topstitch all the way around at 1/4″.  (In addition to using your walking foot for this step, a denim needle will help to prevent skipped stitches when going over the thick areas.)  Your first potholder is done!  Now you just need to make it a mate.
PotHolders#22Let’s move on to the dish towels!Start by cutting out your pieces. You’ll need a layer or two of absorbent fabric. (I’m using two layers of diaper cloth from Joanns. Be sure to wash and dry all of your fabrics before getting started!) For each dishtowel, you’ll cut these pieces: 1 or 2 layers of absorbent fabric – 23 1/4″ x 14″ (if you cut two layers, you’ll treat them as one from here on), 1 Fabric A main piece – 21″ x 14″, 1 Fabric A ruffle piece – 22″ x 2 1/2″, 1 Fabric B large trim piece – 3″ x 14″ and 1 Fabric B small trim piece – 1 1/2″ X 14″.
DishTowels#2Follow the same steps that you used for the potholders above to create your ruffle.
DishTowels#3Pin the gathered edge along one long edge of the smaller trim piece on the right side.
DishTowels#4Place the larger trim piece on top so that the right sides are together and the ruffle is sandwiched between. Line up one of the long raw edges of the larger trim piece with the pinned edges of the ruffle and smaller trim piece and pin in place. Sew along the pinned edge.
DishTowels#5Flip the pieces over to the right sides. Press the ruffle towards the larger trim piece with the seam allowance in the opposite direction, but do not topstitch yet.
DishTowels#6Line up the remaining long raw edge of the smaller trim piece along one short edge of the main towel piece with the right sides together. Pin and sew.
DishTowels#7Flip the pieces apart and turn to the wrong side. Press this seam allowance over the seam allowance from the ruffle.
DishTowels#8Flip back over to the right side and topstitch 1/4″ from top of the ruffle.
DishTowels#9Place the finished top face down on your absorbent layers so that the right sides are facing.  Pin.DishTowels#10Stitch all the way around, leaving a 4″ opening in one side for turning. Clip the corners.
DishTowels#11Turn the towel through the opening. Push the corners out neatly and tuck the raw edges of the opening inside. Press well and topstitch all the way around at 1/4″.  Your dish towel is done!  Make a second one if you’d like, and your Kitchen Gift Set will be ready to gift to your favorite hostess!
DishTowels#12

Go Fish Extra:
Add a Zippered Pocket to the Front of Your Go Figure Tech Bag

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I’m working on adding a section to my website of “extras” that you can add to your Go Fish Series patterns. These will all be free downloads, and I think that sewing them will help you build skills that you can take to your other sewing, too!

My first Go Fish Extra is this quick tutorial for adding a zippered pocket to the front of your Go Figure Tech Bag. The GFTB is a zippered tote that you customize to fit your electronic device …. tablet, e-reader or laptop. There’s this perfect point on the outside for a giant zippered pocket. This is actually one of those things that I wanted to include in the original pattern, but since these are designed as tri-fold sewing cards in paper format, sometimes I just run out of room!I put this tutorial together in PDF format for you, and you can download it right here.

PR&P Week One: Go, Go Gadget Fashion!

I am so excited to be competing in Season 10 of Project Run & Play! To read more about PR&P and find out how you can join in the sew-along, just click here. To see all of this week’s designer looks and vote for your favorite, click right here! Read on for tons of pictures and more details about my first week look.

As a child of the 1980s, I was really excited about the Project Run & Play theme for Week 1 – 80s Cartoon-Inspired Looks! I was 10 in 1980, and I graduated high school in 1988, so I have fond memories of so many 80s cartoons! The big problem came when I had to pick just one! What a hard choice! I knew that I wanted to make this an everyday outfit, and I didn’t want the outfit to look costume-y or really feature any specific characters. With those things in mind, I narrowed it down to a few choices. From there, since I was sewing for my seven-year-old, I enlisted his help to make the final decision. Jamie’s choice? Inspector Gadget!My Go, Go Gadget Fashion ensemble is an everyday outfit inspired by Gadget’s own classic inspector’s wardrobe, but with hidden accents that represent his robotic gadgets! I thoroughly enjoyed designing and sewing this outfit, and Jamie loves it! (His favorite part is the jacket. He didn’t want to take it off, and it was in the 80s here in Florida on the day of our photo shoot!)

The set is made up of three pieces – jacket, top and pants. I designed the jacket with a trench coat style fit, but with a shorter length to make it more practical for my little guy.The jacket outer is sewn with a soft gray cotton twill, and it’s fully lined with a cotton and linen blend robot print. The cuffs fold down for extra growing room.The front plackets feature a gentle curve at the top, and they’re finished with rows of twin topstitching in matching thread. Actually, there is a lot of topstitching in this jacket — in the pants, too! I love the detail that it adds. I’ve said before that I think topstitching is like ruffles for boys.The two front pockets are big enough to hold Inspector Jamie’s notepad, pencil, magnifying glass and anything else that he might need for his investigative work! They also button up to keep everything safe inside.The 1 1/8″ buttons have a really cool mottled gray coloring, and they’re eco-friendly because they’re made of recycled cotton.The Henley-style top is constructed of light blue cotton pique fabric. Inspector Gadget’s shirt is white, but Inspector Jamie is tough on white clothes, and he lives in a house with well water that doesn’t get along well with white for very long. I love the look of the light blue mixed with the gray of the jacket and the dark blue of the pants.The traditional Henley collar is sewn with 1X1 cotton/spandex ribbing, and the placket inset features more cotton/linen robot fabric. Isn’t that little yellow robot peeking out just adorable?I finished the placket with white metal snaps. (See the little scratch on Jamie’s cheek in the picture below. It’s the result of momma leaving a pin in the shirt when he first tried it on! Have you ever done that? I felt so bad, but he seemed rather excited when I told him that we would just say that it was a scar from his past detective work.)I cut the back of this top longer than the front, and I added in side vents.The fine-wale cotton corduroy pants wrap up this outfit in comfortable, modern style. A zippered fly hides more tiny robots on the fly shield and the inside of the waistband. The waistband also features functional belt loops. Two huge front pockets provide more storage room, and double knees give longer-lasting wear. The coordinating topstitching on the pockets and the knee panels gives more great detail.Jamie is tall and thin and generally wears slim sizes in ready-to-wear pants, so elastic in the backwaist gives him a comfortable fit. The back yoke and pockets finish the pants off nicely.I think this outfit accomplished all of my goals: Inspector Gadget-inspired, comfortable everyday wear, and loved by the receiver! I happen to think he’s quite handsome in it, too!Jamie planned out the props for this photo shoot himself, and he had a lot of fun with it!All patterns are self-drafted.
Jacket fabrics: Gray Cotton Twill by Fabric Finders from Southern Seams, Robot Cotton Linen by Kokka from Sew Me a Song, Recycled Cotton Buttons by Green Earth from Joann Fabric.
Shirt fabrics: Light Blue Cotton Pique upcycled from a thrifted Old Navy polo, Ribbing from Joann Fabric, Robot Cotton Linen by Kokka from my stash.
Pant fabrics: Royal Blue Fine Wale Corduroy from Hobby Lobby.

Thank you so much for dropping in to visit and reading about my Go, Go Gadget Fashion Look! Don’t forget to go vote: Project Run & Play – Week 1!

RBD Flannel Showcase Blog Tour: Reversible Button Bibs

I’m up on the Riley Blake Designs Flannel Showcase Blog Tour! Over the next few months, sewing bloggers will be featuring some of their favorite ways to use flannel fabric in handmades, all using Riley Blake’s great selection of cotton flannel fabrics. RB’s flannel fabric is a favorite here in our house because it has that wonderful soft brushed feel, and it stays that way wash after wash.Because it’s 100% cotton and thicker than quilting cotton fabrics, flannel is not only soft, but it’s absorbent, too. That makes it a great choice for those sweet and darling but very drool-ly and spit-uppy babies! Anyone who has spent time with a newborn knows that a collection of absorbent drool bibs makes life much cleaner and drier. Thankfully, bibs are quick and simple to sew, so you can have a stack done in no time, and making them reversible for two looks in one is just as easy. I thought I’d take advantage of the blog tour and show you how!We’re going to start with my free Bibs in All Sizes pattern. To download the pattern, just click here, scroll down to the red link at the bottom of the post and click again. Be sure to save the file to your computer before printing the pattern. In order to make these reversible, I replaced the waterproof backing with another layer of flannel. If you wanted to make these waterproof, though, you could hide a waterproof fabric inside. Follow the instructions for cutting out and assembling your bib, either sewing it with your machine or serging it. (I’m using the infant size here, but toddler, big kid and adult sizes are all included in the free pattern.)From here, we’ll be adding buttons for fastening rather than the snaps called for in the pattern. For these bibs, I used Riley Blake’s Matte Finish Buttons in Gray and Red.

Measure in from the end of the snap strap ½” on the Infant Size (1″- Toddler, 1 ½”- Big Kid Bib) and mark the center point. This will be the beginning of your button hole. Draw a vertical straight line 1/4″ longer than the width of your button to mark your button hole. Stitch your button hole. (Refer to your machine’s manual for using your automatic button hole attachment.)We’re going to sew two buttons back to back so that each side has it’s own button. When you do this, you have to add some space between the buttons to keep them from being too tight. (If you just sewed them back to back without some wiggle room, you wouldn’t be able to pull the buttons through the button hole.) If you have a chopstick (or what I often refer to as a corner-poker-outer) handy, that will work beautifully! Place the chopstick on the front side of the bib, centered on the little hump where you’ll be sewing your buttons.Place the first button on top of the chopstick, just below your topstitching or serger threads. Grab your hand needle and thread, and thread the needle, pulling the thread ends through so that you’ll be stitching with two thread lengths at once. Tie a generously-sized knot in the end of your thread. Pull the thread through from the back into one hole in the button, out the opposite hole and back through to the back of the bib. Be sure that your knot is snug against the back of the bib. Slide your second button onto the needle and pull it all the way down against the back of the bib, lining it up behind your first button. Poke the needle through the opposite hole in the back button and through the matching hole on the front button.Continue stitching through the two buttons with the chopstick between until your button is well secured. (An important safety note: These buttons must be attached securely and firmly. Be sure to check them regularly. Never ever leave a baby or child alone or sleeping while wearing a bib.)Pull out the chopstick and slide the needle under the threads in the back. Tie a knot around these threads and knot again several times. Trim away the extra thread.Button your bib on the front side ….…or flip it over and button it on the other side!

Mark your calendars and follow along for the next 7 weeks as we re-discover our love of flannel and get inspired by fun new flannel project ideas!

9/9 Quiltscapes

9/12 Fishsticks Designs

9/19 The Stitching Scientist

9/23 Sassy Quilter

9/26 Simple Simon & Co.

9/30 Fabric Mutt

10/3 Just Let Me Quilt

10/7 Jedi Craft Girl

10/10 Rose and Odin

10/14 Sew We Quilt

10/17 Haberdashery Fun

10/21 Leigh Laurel Studios

10/24 The Cottage Mama

10/28 Flannel Queen

10/31 Lucy Blaire

11/4 Riley Blake Designs Final Post + Giveaway


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