Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Build a bear dress tutorial

My daughter got her first build-a-bear on her birthday.  Build-a-bear is all about the clothes so I knew some more clothing options were necessary.  I took a build-a-bear shirt 
(we don't have a dress at the moment) and made a template.  
After some thought and some tweaking, I am pleased with it and am sharing it here.  
You can use this tutorial to make a dress like this.  

36"x14" piece of fabric
18" x 6" fabric for the lining
18" x 2" fabric for the band (or ribbon)
3" of velcro
I don't how to upload a pdf to ensure the size is correct, so make sure it's correct when you print it.  The fold part of the template should be 3" tall.


Pin the template to your main fabric and cut it out.  Do the same with the fabric you're using for lining.
After you cut out the two pieces of fabric, pin them together like this.

You will sew everything except the bottom and the top of the shoulders.  


 Flip that right side out (make sure you poke all of the corners out) and iron it.  Iron the bottom hem of your skirt piece as well, and the band if you are using fabric.  I folded the fabric of the band so it overlapped in the back.  My final band is about 7/8" wide.  Hem the bottom of the skirt as well and place the band aside. 

Do a very loose straight stitch across the top of the skirt part and do not back stitch.  You're going to hold the bottom thread in your hand and gather the fabric until it is bunched up and matches the length of the top.  After that, pin the pieces together so the raw edges will be on the outside of the outfit.  They'll be covered up with the band later.  Sew the top and skirt together. 

Pin your band to the dress, making sure to cover the raw edges.  Sew the edges of the waist band in place.  It helps to give your child a lot of stickers to keep them occupied. 

It doesn't matter what side you sew the velcro on to, but make sure you place the pieces in a way that will allow the dress to close.  I prefer to place the scratchy side underneath the fabric and let it stick out.  The soft piece of velcro is placed on the underside of the other side of the dress and sewn in. 

All that's left now is the shoulders.  With the dress inside out, pin them together.  Then sew them and cut the edges with pinking sheers or serge (tight zig zag stitch) them. 

Your dress is done!  

Here is another one I made with a ribbon instead.  

Let me know if you have any questions!

Monday, March 4, 2013

A Bubble Guppies Birthday Party

It's hard to believe that my little one just turned two!  I had a different theme in mind but then, well, I realized she wouldn't care about it at all.  What my 2 year old cares about the most these days is Bubble Guppies. 

 After nailing down the theme, I made the invitation and birthday banner.  Years ago, I got Greeting Card Factory free with a printer I bought.  It comes in handy for things like this. 

 The hardest part about this theme is they don't sell much of anything Bubble Guppies related.  If you search on google for cake ideas, you'll see some cakes that look wedding worthy and some that leave a lot to be desired.  These two (here and here) were my favorites.  The problem was I had no idea where to find the topper.  I guess I could have asked a bakery to make it, but let's face it.  
1:  I'm on a tight budget.  
2:  I can't stand paying people to do something I can do myself.  

If it didn't work out, I could have just printed a Mr. Grouper on card stock and used that instead.  I decided to give sculpting a shot though and I was pretty impressed with the results!   I made cupcakes and we ordered a teal ice cream cake.  I placed the topper on a few minutes before serving it. 

To make the Mr. Grouper, I used aluminum foil and balled it up, layer after layer, until I had a form that was about the size and shape I wanted his body to be.  After that, I used Model Magic (made by Crayola) and stuck it to the foil.  For the eyebrows, eyes, mouth, and fins, I rolled out the dough and just cut the shape with scissors.  Easy peasy!  It needs to dry for 24 hours.  I'm impatient so I let it dry for about 16 hours and then painted the stripes.  That meant I needed to hold it which resulted in finger prints in the clay.  In the future, I'd let it dry for a few days before touching it. 

Moving on....

I saw a bunch of neat ideas on pinterest.  I modeled the main room after those awesome pinterest plans.  

The sea grass was really easy and added a lot to the look of the room.  It's hard to see, but I had ocean water punch in a punch bowl.  They sell clear fruit punch at Walmart (did you know that?!?!?  I did not!), so I bought some and added blue food coloring.  We threw in some lime sherbet, and BAM!  We had ocean water punch.  

This was the gift table prior to the guests arriving.  The party favors were in the right corner.  The rest of the table was open for gifts.  You can see some of the balloons on the floor.  We had around 40 balloons which was the best entertainment for the party guests. 

In the right corner, you can see some mugs.  Those were part of a craft I had in mind that didn't pan out due to cold weather.  The idea was to use colored bubbles to paint (another genius pinterest idea) but then the paintings were supposed to go in the mugs.  Here's my sample.  The kids got to use the bubbles but the wind was strong and it was freezing outside that day.  It was 70 two days later.  Figures.  The successful paintings wouldn't dry because it was so cold.  It was a failure but would have been great if it was a warm, sunny day. 

I couldn't be more proud of these bags.  My original plan was to sew mermaid tail towels for the other kids but I was dreading the amount of work involved.  Strolling through the dollar store, I stumbled upon these fabulous teal tote bags!   I typed the kids' names on my embroidery software and ended up with some great party favors.  

 I also made bubble and fish cookies but they didn't look anywhere near as nice as what you can see here so I'm not even going to post the pictures.  They were decent I guess.  I put them in little bags with Bubble Guppies stickers on the tags.  Every guest got some cookies to take home.  These bubbles were in the tote bags.  I made the labels using Microsoft word. 

Although you can't purchase any Bubble Guppies party things, Nick Jr. has a lot of great printables.  I printed Pin the Tail on Molly and the cupcake toppers from there for free.  

And finally, here is the birthday girl!

I found this skirt at Target but they only sold it in size 4 and up.  I thought it *might* fit my 2 year old so I bought it anyway.  It promptly fell off of her so I had to take it in a few inches.  For the shirt, I had seen this adorable shirt on etsy and wanted something similar but with an actual guppy on it.   I altered the design a little and found some teal fabric I liked.  A few stitches later, my daughter's outfit was complete.  She loved it and that's all that matters.

I hope my post helped you get some ideas for your Bubble Guppies Fin-atic! 

Appliques and dresses

I've been really busy getting dress and t-shirt orders ready for friends' parties.  Here are some of the things I've been working on recently.  

I'll begin with the dresses. 

And here are some of the shirts.

It's a lot of fun figuring out new designs on my machine, but applique is a lot of work! I just started appliqueing things about a year ago and have improved a lot so far.  There's still some room for improvement, but I'm pleased with my progress so far.

If you are interested in purchasing a shirt or dress from me, here is my Etsy shop.  I can make a custom listing for you if you have something else in mind.