Monday, April 29, 2013

Make It Or Buy It - Le Pink Princess Pink Rose Girls Dress

Make It or Buy It is a new weekly post I am planning. The idea is to weigh the options of making a particular outfit or article of clothing vs. buying it.

First Up is the Le Pink Princess Pink Rose Girls Dress

Option 1 - Buy It

Store: La Bella Flora Children's Boutique
Price: $88.00
Thoughts: The price point is fairly high for a children's dress, but if it is for a special occasion sometimes the splurge is worth it. From what I was able to discover online, the designers are based out of California, but I can't find where the actual dress is manufactured which makes me a little nervous.  Not that I completely avoid buying anything made in any particular country, but when it is not specifically stated I feel like something is being hidden for a reason. The only other concern I have about buying this dress is that doesn't state what percent polyester it is. Again nothing against polyester, but at that price point the polyester content should be relatively low compared to the cotton.

The positive is that the boutique that actually sells the dress donates a portion of the profits to children's group homes, which is a very worthy cause.

Option 2 - Make It
(fabric price estimated based on one yard unless stated otherwise)

Clara Twirl Dress $7.95

54" Wide Tulle Silk White (2 yards for layering) $2.00
Michael Miller Cotton Couture Broadcloth Soft White $7.48
Michael Miller Cotton Couture Broadcloth Pink $7.48
Bliss Lace Ivory $7.98

1 1/2" White Lace Satin Center Ribbon White(3 yards) $6.00
Pink Satin Rhinestone Flower Appliques $6.99
Gutermann Elastic Thread White $1.59
Fabric scraps for large flowers on bodice

Total : $47.47

Skill Level: Advanced Beginner
While the pattern itself is a beginner pattern you will have to apply a few techniques to it that may be tricky for someone who has never sewn before. The back of the original bodice has shirring (which is really much easier than it seems). The ribbon will have to be sewn to the seams on the skirt and the large fabric flowers need to be handmade. There are countless number of tutorials available on all of these techniques just a Google search away.

The Verdict - Make It

This dress can be made for half the price and you will still have fabric left over, plus a great pattern that can be used again and again.

If the original had been handmade or 100% cotton the verdict may have gone the other way  but without the missing information I am not comfortable paying that much even for a special occasion dress.

If you make this dress please let me know so I can link to it!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Lots of Layers Garden Party Dress Tutorial (Kind Of)

I'm sorry I took so long to get this tutorial to you, but I wanted to be sure that it was perfect.

I want to start by saying that this dress requires a little bit more work than most dresses, but that little bit of extra effort is so worth it for the amazing results you will get in return. Of all of the dresses I have ever made, this is by far the one that I am the most proud of.


  • One Shoulder bodice Pattern - I used the Peek a Boo Pattern Shop Jasmine Dress
  • Woven Lining Fabric - (not shear) I used about a yard for the equivalent of a size 6 ready to wear.
  • Main Fabric - My fabric was purchased from but be warned it took 3 weeks to arrive.  I used every inch of a yard and a half for a size 6.
  • elastic 1/2 inch elastic
  • matching thread
  • basic sewing supplies - tape measure, needles, cutting tools, iron

Step 1: Preparing the lining
  • Cut the bodice and skirt out of the lining fabric as instructed by the pattern. If you are using the  Jasmine Pattern add one inch extra to the sleeve top. Do not cut out the petal tie. 
  • Hem sleeve edges. 
  • Sew elastic casing along the neckline. 
  • Sew one of the side seams. Do not sew the seam on the side where the neckline is lower. 
  • Sew the waistline elastic casing as instructed.
  • Do not insert the elastic into the casings yet.
  • Hem the bottom of the dress. 

At this point the dress should look like this.

Step 2: Determine the size and ruffle of your main fabric.

  • Cut a few test strips of fabric.
  • Measure the fabric before ruffling
  • Sew a line of basting stitches and then pull your basting thread until you reach the desired level of ruffle
  • Measure the strip of fabric afterwords. 
  • Finished Ruffled Measurement / Starting Ruffle * 100 = ruffle
  • My ruffle was 70% of the original fabric length for a barely ruffled look.
  • Decide how wide each ruffle will be. You will need a few wider strips to fill in blank spots.
  • My ruffles were 4 inches wide and 5 inches wide.
Step 3: Prepare your First Ruffle

  • If you are using the same amount of ruffle as me cut your first ruffle length using the following formula. 
  • Hem length * 1.3 + 2 inches
  • Narrow Hem the ruffle.
  • Sew a row of gathering stitches.
  • Distribute the fabric evenly as you gather the ruffle to fit the hem of the dress.
  • One inch on each end should remain unruffled and hang over the edge of the dress.
  • Once the gathers are distributed turn under the gathered edge at the ruffle stitch and zigzag stitch it under so that it won't be exposed once the ruffle is attached.
This tutorial is meant to get you started on making your ruffle dress. At this point in the process of creating the tutorial my computer crashed and had to be reset to factory settings. I lost all of my pictures (and learned an important lesson about backing up my computer) so I will try my best to explain the rest of the process without photos.
  • The rest of the ruffles were prepared and placed one at a time in an slightly asymmetrical pattern. 
  • Do not sew over the elastic casing when attaching ruffles. 
  • Once all of the ruffles are attached insert elastic into waistline and neckline casing and sew ends in placed.
  • Before sewing up the side seam baste the 1 inch over hang of each ruffles out of the way. 
  • After the side seam is sewn hem the ends of the overhang ruffles, then overlap with the other end of the same ruffle and hand sew in place to the dress.
  • Sew the shoulder seam together.  
  • Create a tube of fabric and insert a piece of elastic into it for the shoulder strap. 
  • Try the dress on for fitting and pin the shoulder strap in place.
  • Sew to dress after fitting
  • Hand sew any disobedient ruffles down.

That's it. I really wish I had the pictures to finish this tutorial correctly, but hopefully you can use the information to take this dress and make one with your own unique spin on it!

Let me know if you have any questions and I will answer them as best I can.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Best Laid Plans - Kids Clothes Week

I had big plans for Kids Clothes Week. Lots of beautiful fabrics, amazing patterns, and new techniques to try. But then life happened. I've only been able to sew one day so far this week and we are already on day 4.

However my sister has been busy making something awesome  Actually three somethings awesome  so all I have to show you are her little creations.

These three identical lovely ladies were born this afternoon. They are all approximately 2 and a half lbs and doing well for babies born at 30 weeks.

I am babysitting their older brother and sister this week. It's been a while since I had children so young and I had almost forgotten how a one and three year old can suck the energy right out of you. I don't envy my sister one bit. She is going to have her hands full.

Thankfully more family is coming to help in a few days, so I hope to get at least one more day of sewing in before the end of KCW. I've been sneaking a look at everyones work when ever I can, and I love what I see!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Pinterest Party I'm a Co-Host!

Try this code instead. Let me know.
Hey friends! It's Wednesday night and you know what that means! It's time for the weekly Pinterest Power Party!! This party is to focus on YOU - the readers! Do you have a DIY project, frugal gift idea, or delicious recipe you want to share? Well, we want to see them and share them on our Pinterest boards too!!
So, you're asking...
How do I participate? Easy!
Be a Pinterest Follower of the three hosts as well as our co-hosts!
party host
Living on Love and Cents: Pinterest | Blog
The Taylor House: Pinterest | Blog
Sew Much Crafting: Pinterest | Blog
Love Nerd Maggie {Follow on Pinterest}
Jennielee226 {Follow On Pinterest}
lachman thumbmail
Let's party!! Help us spread the word by grabbing the above button and putting it on your blog! Then come back and link up your favorite projects, tips, and ideas! Also, please pin the two links before yours {and any others you like too!!}.
But wait, there's more!! Be sure to stop by next week and see if your link was featured! If you're featured, grab a button and wear it proudly on your blog!
Would you like to co-host with us? We have openings in some of our upcoming parties for people who would like to join us! Just send an email to Chrissy ( to find out which dates are available!

Are you ready to party and get your pin on?
Here are the features from last week!
1. Best Green Smoothie Ever from Prairie Girl to Southern Belle
2. Chocolate Candy Flower Pot from Krystie’s Creations
3. Brown Sugar Cookie Bars from Real Housemoms
4. 7 Layer Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars from Half Baked Harvest
5. Treat Jar from Cherished Handmade Treasures
6. Monthly Meal Plan from Learning the Ropes
7. Jump Rope Wreath from Sowdering About In Seattle
8. Top Ten Tools for Organization from Organized Island
I would love to have you stop and check out some of my other posts that I shared here at The Taylor House this week.
mintoreocupcake thumb Chocolate Mint Oreo Cupcake Recipe

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

DIY Denim and Lace Cell Phone Case for Mother's Day

DIY Denim and Lace Cell Phone Case

It's getting to be that time of year when we start turning those blue jeans into cut off shorts. It's one of the most popular refashions and so darn easy, even non sewer's can do it. It also leaves you with a bit of unused denim lying around.

I hate to let denim go to waste because it isn't cheap. Luckily cut off shorts time corresponds with Mother's Day quite well. Turn those denim scraps into a beautiful cell phone or digital camera case to give as a gift (to your mom or to yourself).

I added a lace overlay to make it pretty and made the chain out of a broken necklace so that it would be easy to find in a purse, or carry around without a purse.

You Will Need:

  • Denim and lace scraps
  • A sturdy broken necklace
  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • Sewing Machine
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Sew on Velcro

Step 1: Mark your seam lines using the cell phone as a guide for size.

Step 2: Cut out Denim. Remember to include seam allowance and hem allowance. On the back leave 4 to 5 inches of extra fabric and trim to a curved shape. 

Flat Lining Made Easy

Step 3: Flat line the denim with the lace. Flat lining is the process of attaching the overlay. It's very simple. Just sew the lace to the denim inside the seam allowance so that the stitching won't be visible once the seams are sewn. From this point forward the denim and lace will be considered a single piece of fabric. 

Step 4: Hem the top of both the front and back by turning it under and securing it with a straight stitch. Then use a zig-zag stitch along the edge to prevent fraying. On the back piece with the curve, you may have to clip the fabric to get the hem to lay flat.

Step 4: With right sides together, sew the front to the back along the bottom and both of the long sides.
(Sorry, no pictures)

Step 5: Turn to the right side and attach the Velcro  Attach the chain with a thread loop. You may want to use home decor thread to attach the chain to make it stronger.  (Sorry again for the lack of pictures)

 Lace Cell Phone Case Tutorial

This post is part of the Sharing is Caring Mother's Day Blog Hop hosted by Life With Lovebugs, Powerful Mothering and Feeding Big!

All of the blogs listed below are sharing Mother's Day themed posts as part of this event, so click on one or all of the links below to find some great recipes, tutorials, crafts and more!

Monday, April 22, 2013

KCW Day One: Jack Frost Hoodie Progress

The kids and I got a chance to watch the new movie Rise of the Guardians a while back, and I have been obsessed with Jack Frost's Hoodie ever since. You can see here where I first sketched out a plan for it. 

I've made a few changes to the plan since then. Mainly, I am drafting a pattern rather than buying one, in an attempt to save both time and money. We'll see if that works out.

I traced a long sleeve t-shirt for the body and arm pieces, and the hood off a zip up hoodie. I just kind of winged the pouch pocket. Its basically a rectangle with a curve thrown in. Not to hard to draft. 

I also added the "prince seams" that make the hoodie so special. I just think it's so amazing that cartoon art has come so far that you can actually see the seams in the clothing!

I finished cutting out the pattern and fabric, except the wrist bands, which I will add at the end.

And finally I got around to sewing. This is where I am at. I still need to make some changes to the neckline, and I am sure that sewing that pocket on is going to be interesting, now that I already sewed up the side seams. I told myself, at least a dozen times, not to forget that, and what do I do? I forget!

Can't wait to pick up again tomorrow.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Lots of Layers Garden Party Dress

It's Thursday evening and I finally finished my entry for the Project Run and Play Spring formal week. Talk about cutting it close!

This was the most labor intensive children's dress I have ever made. Each of those layers have a narrow hem, individually pressed and sewn without a narrow hem foot. One of these days I am going to invest in some attachments for my machine.

Each ruffle is calculated to be exactly 30% smaller than the original strip of fabric (which by the way are either 4 or 5 in width depending on where they are placed) to create a more fluttery than ruffly look. 

I also fitted this dress on a very squirmy 6 year old a total of 3 times before I got it just right.

At least I managed to get the photos taken before it started to rain. 

I plan to share a step by step tutorial sometime this week, with lots of pictures, but for now I am going to take a nap!

Update: The tutorial is finished. You can see it here!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Kid Made Look Books!

I have been overjoyed the with the last few projects that I have made for my children. More so with their reaction to them, than the projects themselves!

It's amazing how children start to form their own opinions when your not looking. One day they love anything you give them to wear, the next they only want to wear clothes that suit their style.

I am determined to keep sewing clothes that they will love, and to help me do that I taught them how to pin.

I give them very little direction on their own Look Books. The most I will say is "Summer is coming.  Why don't you pin some shorts?" 

Of course, I keep an eye on them to make sure they aren't veering off onto inappropriate websites. My youngest daughter also needs a little help with navigation, but she is starting to get the hang of it.

As my kids get older, they are less interested in talking with their mom about their favorite things (or anything else for that matter). I am so grateful to Pinterest for giving me one more avenue to keep that connection open, just a little bit longer.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Lego Star Wars Tee and Other Fun

My refashion bin is still overflowing, and despite being busy sewing along with Project Run and Play I am determined to get it under control. I pulled another perfectly good item out of the bin today; another victim of me buying clothes that nobody truly loved.

It was a plain blue Hanes T-shirt that sat in my son's drawer with tags still on it for a year. I was determined to turn it into something he loved, and was excited to wear. Plus I saw a chance to check a project off my 14 Pins List. 

                  Solid Color T shirt
                  Printable Stencil
                  Freezer Paper
                  exacto knife
                  DecoArt SoSoft Fabric Paint 2oz Glitter Silver Bling(affiliate link)

You could use any color fabric paint you want as long as it goes well with your shirt color, but I strongly recommend using deco art fabric paint because it holds up best over time, especially when washed and dried.

1. Print the stencil, and trace onto freezer Paper.
2. Cut out your stencil with an exacto knife and carefully arrange on t-shirt with the shiny side down.
3. Iron it in place and then paint.

It was a fairly easy project and my son is now excited to wear his new shirt to school.

I did get one other Pinterest project done this week. However it was not nearly as successful. My gummy bear Ice Pops Were supposed to look like this.

Instead they ended up looking like this. And the gummy bears were soggy. Oh well the kids were still happy to eat them. 

I completed 2 of the items on my 14 pins list, and found one more to fill in the blank spots, so my list now looks like this:

11. To Be Announced 
12. To Be Announced 
13. To Be Announced 
14. To Be Announced

Pinterest Challenge
I've found a  linky part at Craft-O-Maniac with tons of inspiring crafting ideas. I linked up. I hope you do to.
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