Category Archives: sewing

DIY Pull-over Bib with a Bow Tie

OK, so having a baby now doesn’t give me as much time to do the millions of things I have swimming around in my head. But here’s a project I absolutely forced myself to carve out time for.

DIY Bib with bow tie

The little guy is a big drooler at the moment (he’s almost 4 months now, so I guess teething is a thing that starts around now?) and he basically soaks through 2-4 bibs a day. A lot of the bibs that he was gifted (usually as a set with a matching onesie) are teeny, and not really very useful. But two that we got were basically towels with a hole cut out for his head. Ah Ha. So I decided to try my hand at a cute versionย  – with a bow tie! Perfect for those “special” occasions, ya know. (Seriously, with wedding season coming up, not to mention just fun holidays and stuff, this little extra detail will be my one effort to cute-en him up).

 

Pull-over Bib with Bow Tie Tutorial
Materials:
>terry cloth (I bought1/2 yard at the fabric store, but you could easily use a towel)
>backing material (on my first bib, I just used another layer of terry cloth. on this one I used polar fleece)
>double bias tape
>stretchy rib-knit fabric for the collar
>colorful fabric for the bow tie
>thread, pins, scissors & sewing machine

bib fabricStep ONE
Cut out your terry cloth and backing fabric to 15″ x10″

 

cut head holesStep TWO
Cut out the hole for the head. My babe is about 4 months, and I wanted the bib to be somewhat snug while still comfortably fitting over his head. I made the opening diameter 5 inches. Positioned 2″ from the top and centered from side to side.

 

two layers sewn togetherStep THREE
Pin together your two layers (right sides facing outward). Sew a 1/4″ hem all the way around, and radius your corners (I used a light colored pen to mark the corners as a guide).

 

Trim the fabricStep FOUR
Trim your shape to about 1/8″ from your stitching. This will get covered up by bias tape later. Pin around the neck hole.

 

Pin bias tapeStep FIVE
Sew around the neck hole with a V stitch (or use a serger). Then pin your bias tape around the perimeter of the bib. (This is a pretty good tutorial on how to sew with double bias tape and not have it turn out all wonky)

 

bias tape addedStep SIX
Stitch on the bias tape!

 

assembling the collarStep SEVEN
Cut a strip of knit ribbing 2.5″ x 11″. Fold it in half and sew the ends together with a V stitch. Then fold the whole thing over like a turtle neck.

 

pin collar to the neck holeStep EIGHT
Pin the knit collar to the neck hole, matching the tops, bottoms and two sides. This will keep the stretch of the collar uniform.

 

collar attatchedStep NINE
Sew the collar to the neck hole with a V stitch, making sure the sewn part happens on the back side of the bib. (This was probably the trickiest part of this project for me.)
And there you have a functional bib!

…and here’s adding the bow tie detail…

rectangle for the bow tieStep TEN
With your colorful fabric, cut a 5″ x 4.5″ rectangle. Fold lengthwise, right sides facing inward. Stitch almost all the way around with a 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving enough of a hole to flip the rectangle right-side-out. Once it’s flipped right-side-out, fold in your opening hole, and then stitch all the way around as close to the edge as you can.

sew the tie middleStep ELEVEN
Sew a tube for the middle of the bow tie. I did mine from a long rectangle 2.5″ wide, giving me a 1″ strip when it was turned right-side-out.

pinch the middle to make a bow shapeStep TWELVE
Pinch the middle of the big rectangle (like an accordion fold) and wrap the smaller fabric strip around it. Trim off the excess from the strip, and stitch it into place. Now you have your bow tie!

attatch the bow tie to the bibStep THIRTEEN
Position the bow tie pretty close to the collar and pin into place. Hand-stitch all around to secure in place (this will keep little hands from grabbing loose edges and pulling the bow tie off, with their orangutan strength).

 

And there you have it! Slip the bib over your little one’s noggin and enjoy the cuteness. (Pay no attention to the crazy-eyed daddy)
bow tie bib

Something I learned while making this bib – terry cloth is MESSY! Cutting it will make a confetti of little cotton snow all over the place. And it will probably take a couple washings before the bib stops shedding them. Pbbt ๐Ÿ˜›

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Pigs in Space costume: Happy Halloween!

So here is my final post, wrapping up my process of creating a Miss Piggy Halloween costume – the Pigs in Space 1st Mate Piggy costume!
Where I attempt to transform myself into this iconic pig:

Miss Piggy – Pigs in Space

In my previous 3 posts, I went over how to make Miss Piggy Ears, sew a Pigs in Space uniform dress, and make a Pigs in Space felt logo decal. Now we put it all together with accessories!

First Mate Piggy – finished costume!

Now, you can see, I stitched the felt decal onto the front of the dress. And I also stitched the ears onto the wig itself – which was great, since there was no bulky headband or obtrusive clips. And I can snip the threads later if I want to use the blonde wig for something else in the future!

First Mate Piggy costume – headshot

So here’s the breakdown of the Pigs in Space costume accessories:

First Mate Piggy, accessories!

Now, the above collage is more of a wish list for this costume, but I think I made due with what I had, or could get on short notice ๐Ÿ˜‰

First! A blonde wig. Very important to have the right hair. The wig I found was a tad bit too blonde, if you know what I mean. Classic Piggy hair is really more of a dirty blonde. You know, ‘cuz she was natural back in the day. (It’s so obvious that Piggy bleaches her hair these days, haha).

Classic Miss Piggy – pigs in space

Next, the eyes! Piggy’s signature look is thick luscious eyelashes and a pink/purple eyeshadow. Also, her eyes are slightly downturned. I achieved this look with a thick line of eyeliner, false eyelashes, and a layered application of pink and purple shadows on the lid.

sultry Miss Piggy eyes ๐Ÿ˜‰

Next comes all the silver! Miss Piggy always wears gloves, and in her Pigs In Space costume, she trades her signature purple gloves for silver ones. I found mine on Amazon.
Then you’ll need a silver belt. Of course, you can make one, but I lucked out and found a shiny metallic belt at my local Goodwill for $4. Score!

Then we get into debatable territory. Since most Muppets don’t exist below the waist, the only reference I had to go on for the bottom half of Piggy’s costume was from an action figure:

First Mate Piggy doll

You can see she has silver leggings and silver knee-high boots.
As luck would have it, I already owned some shiny silver leggings (from two Halloweens ago – when I dressed as a Cyberman..er..woman). They are from American Apparel, and pricy, but I’m glad to get multiple uses out of them!

Then the boots…well, I didn’t want to splurge on silver boots when I’d probably never wear them again. So instead, I used my off-white boots, which were from my Princess Leia costume from 5 years ago. Lol…yes, I generally choose very nerdy subjects as Halloween costumes. I’m cool with that.

First Mate Piggy costume – Happy Halloween!

So there you go! Happy Halloween to all you folks. Hope it’s a fun one! Kissy kissy!

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First Mate Piggy Costume Tutorial: Pt 2 – Sewing Piggy’s Space Dress

OK! So perhaps you have your Miss Piggy Ears, and now it’s time to get moving on the actual dress of your First Mate Piggy costume.
As I mentioned last time, I’m planning on a Miss Piggy costume for Halloween this year – specifically, in her Pigs in Space outfit. Since I didn’t find much on the interwebz to help me make a costume, I’m writing up a tutorial on how I’m constructing mine! Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

Disclaimer: I am not an experienced seamstress! Most of my methods are just from figuring things out as I go, so take these instructions with a grain of salt. If you have pointers, tips or other suggestions for folks who may try to attempt a similar costume as the one I’m making, feel free to share in the comments!
Also, I’m about a size 8. This dress design is a loose-fitting babydoll shape until you add a belt, so I’d guess it would work for sizes 6-10. Again, this is just a basic how-to. Please adjust your own costume according to your needs! ๐Ÿ™‚

First Mate Piggy costume tutorial – before adding accessories!

Materials:
2 yards light purple fabric (I found a lavender flannel with silver sparkles! what!?)
1/2 yard silver metallic fabric
matching thread
polyfil stuffing
eyes & hooks (or other fastener of your choice)
Piggy Dress Patternย as measurement guide

purple flannel and silver metallic fabric

First, using the PDF guide I made above, cut out the dress shape. The front and the back are identical, so you’ll need two.

dress shape cut out

Please ignore the fact that I didn’t iron my fabric (for shame!).

Next, pin the two pieces together inside-out (making sure the good side of the fabric is facing inward) and using a 1/4″ seam allowance, stitch the sides and the shoulder straps. When you turn it right-side-out, it’ll look something like this:

stitched edges, right-side-out

Next comes hemming the bottom edge. I did a 1/2″ (or so) hem, and used a zigzag stitch so it would lay nice and flat.

hemming the bottom of the dress

You’ll also want to hem the armholes in this way, too, for a nice finished edge. I used a 1/4″ hem for the arms (sorry there’s no photo!).

Soon, we’ll be gathering in the neckline, so the next step is making a slit down the back, so you can fit your head in when it’s done! Find the center of the back, and make a 6″ cut straight down.

6″ cut for the head opening

Pin the edges back about 1/4″ inch and hem it.

pinned – ready to hem

Once that’s hemmed, we’ll begin pleating the neckline.
Find the center of the front, and make a 1″ accordion-type fold, like so:

first center pleat of the neckline

Continue folding pleats on either side of your first one, pinning as you go. Make sure they are symmetrical. I got 5 total pleats.

front pleats, pinned

I used lots of pins, just to make sure it didn’t come apart when I took it to the sewing machine!

sewing the front row of pleats

I was surprised at how well this worked! (haha) It really brought the neckline in, and the dress is starting to look like a real piece of clothing.

pleated neckline – front

And now, because the dress is still all floppy and open in the back, we need to pleat the back, too!
Using the same folding and pinning method, add pleats to the back of the dress.

back pleats, pinned

I got two 1″ pleats on each side of the slit. Pin it up and then take it to the sewing machine!

At this point, you can sew a set of eyes and hooks to the top of the head opening, so that you can clasp it closed.

eye & hook

Next it starts getting trickier, because we’re adding the silver trim to the dress. And I didn’t take as many pictures of this part as I should have. Forgive me!

We’re moving on to the puffy silver collar on Piggy’s dress.
Cut out a piece of your silver material that is 4″ wide and 18″ long. Stitch this into a long tube, with open ends. Then turn the tube inside out. Then you take this silver tube and pin it to the neckline of the dress. (There will be extra fabric hanging off either end)

silver trim pinned to neckline

Stitch them together with a good tight stitch. When you finish this step, you should have something like this:

silver neckline, sewed on

Now we need to stuff that collar! Grab your polyfil and pack it in good and tight through the openings at either end.

adding stuffing to the collar

Once the collar is filled to a uniform density, trim off the excess silver fabric, but leave enough to fold over twice – you’ll sew each end closed this way. Add another eye & hook to the top of the collar for closure.
Here’s what the padded collar should resemble:

padded collar

We’re almost done! Next up we have the silver shoulder loops, or epaulettes if you will, which complete the look. I made a simple template with paper – it’s a 7″ diameter circle with a teardrop shape cut out of the middle. The width of the loop is about 2.5″ and tapering at the ends. Cut out 4 of these in your silver fabric.

prepping the epaulettes

Stitch 1/4″ all the way around, except leaving a 2″ gap somewhere so you can turn the shape inside-out.

stitched up with a 2″ gap at the inner top

Turn it inside out, and it looks like this:

epaulette, ready for filling

Add your polyfil, just like you did for the collar. When it is filled, stitch closed the opening (I used a needle and thread, not the machine, for this).

finished epaulette, ready to attach to the dress

Once you have two of them stuffed and sewn closed, they’re ready to sew onto the dress. Using a needle and thread, attach each epaulette to the top of the shoulder, as close to the collar as you can.

finished dress with trimmings

And there you have it!

the finished dress

Add a belt to complete the shape.

Add a belt to complete the shape

But of course, the costume isn’t finished yet! Lots of accessories to discuss, next time! See you then ๐Ÿ™‚

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First Mate Piggy Costume Tutorial: Pt 1 – Piggy Ears

October is here, and that means pumpkin flavored everything, changing leaves, and of course, gearing up for Halloween! I love Halloween, and the craftiness that goes along with it. Ever since I was a wee one, my mother always made our costumes – I don’t think I once got a store-bought one. At times I thought this was so unfair – seeing those shiny racks of pre-made costumes at the store. But now it is quite obvious to me how lucky I was to have a mother with creativity and the desire to make something from scratch for her children.

To this day, if I wear a costume, you can be sure I made or assembled it myself. This year is no exception! I got it in my head earlier this year that I wanted to do something Muppet related. Then I narrowed it down to Miss Piggy. But Piggy is such a fashion diva! I couldn’t decided on an appropriate outfit.

Then – inspiration! Pigs in Space! First Mate Piggy has the most rockin’ space getup. Light purple with silver accessories. Iconic and classic.

Pigs in Space First Mate Piggy

I’ll have a full tutorial on how to make a Pigs in Space outfit soon.
But first! No Muppet pig is complete without ears, so here’s how to make a simple pair!

Materials:
Pink/Peach colored felt
Thread in matching color
Ear Template: Piggy Ear Template
Straight pins
Sewing machine (optional)

Step One:
Print and cut out your ear template. Trace 6 ears onto your felt.

Miss Piggy Ears step 1

Miss Piggy Ears step 1

Step Two:
Cut them out. Each ear will use 3 pieces (I used a red layer, because I ran out of pink – don’t be like me!)
I used three layers to make the ears more solid and sturdy.

Miss Piggy Ears step 2

Step Three:
Line up your three pieces and secure with a few straight pins. Stitch a seam, using the Template as a guide (be sure to leave an opening for turning it inside-out). A sewing machine makes this super quick, but it can be done by hand too.

Miss Piggy Ears part 3

Step Four:
Admire your stitching job.

Miss Piggy Ears part 4

Step Five:
Carefully turn the ear inside-out, so the seam is on the inside.

Miss Piggy Ears part 5

Step Six:
Using your fingers, smooth out the inside seam and shape the edge into a nice ear-shape.

Miss Piggy Ears part 6

Step Seven:
Pinch the open edges together so the ear cups in to form a concave shape.

Miss Piggy Ears part 7a

Miss Piggy Ears part 7b

Step Eight:
You can use your machine again to close this seam, or you can do what I did and hand-stitch it closed. Be sure to get through all layers of felt.

Miss Piggy Ears part 8

FINISHED!

Miss Piggy Ear finished!

Then you’ll make a second ear the same way, because they work well in pairs.

Miss Piggy Ears – the finished pair

From here, you can attach them to a headband, or hair clips, or stitch them directly onto a blonde wig!

I haven’t decided yet which method I’ll use. But they sure are cute ^_^

me in my piggy ears

Stay tuned for my First Mate Piggy space dress Tutorial later in the month!

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Crazy times

Ok. It’s been a crazy week here.

Mainly because of some awesome internet exposure for my Tardis Teapot. I don’t know who kicked it off, but my friend let me know that it was here(the bird and the bat), and clearly, this lovely lady has some awesome followers. I can’t tell ya how blown away I am at the response to this funny li’l teapot, and how exciting it is!

So now I have an order list for Tardis Teapots a mile long (!) and still growing, and I guess I know exactly what I’ll be doing every day for the next couple of months, lol! (ahem, building teapots…)

BUT, in other events, things I finished up before the madness began… I want to share a few project I’ve finished. If I wait any longer the moment will have passed!

Back in August, my mom and I started a project to re-upholster an armchair that I bought at Goodwill for $15. It was such a comfy, well-built chair that I couldn’t pass it up at that price. The only downside was its awful color. It basically clashed with everything M and I own.

This is the only before picture I managed to get before Mom and I started ripping it apart:

the pink armchair, BEFORE

It wasn’t in bad shape…it’s just that it was, well, pink velour. Yeah, not so much.
So after 3 months of working piece by piece, just learning and adjusting as we went, HERE is what we finally finished with (drumroll, please!)

my stylish reading-nook armchair, AFTER!

The fabric is this fun light canvas print that M and I picked out together from Joann‘s

Fabric: waverly floating petals in black

We thought it was a great modern print, and there’s a bit of bling, in the silver colored branches (yes, sparkly!), in addition to the clean black and gray of the other branches.
After several days of hard work, Mom and I succeeded in finishing my awesome chair.

NEXT, another sewing project that I just finished was this awesome round purse:

ramona flowers subspace purse!

This is a sneak-peak at my Halloween costume…yeah, I’ll be Ramona Flowers from Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. And yes, M will be Scott Pilgrim. I’ll post pics after Halloween, for sure. ๐Ÿ˜‰
The purse was definitely a hard project, and I just figured out how to sew it from looking at pictures and trying to make sense of a round shape. Oh, and sewing with piping is a bitch! That’s all I have to say about that.
But I think it turned out better than expected! Now I just have to pair it up with my pink wig and giant cardboard hammer, hee hee.

OK! Too much time spent bloggin’ already! Gotta get working on those teapots!
Oh, and one last update – here’s the current NEW & IMPROVED shape of the teapot spout, for anyone who is interested:

Jadeflower Tardis Teapot,with updated spout

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My Custom Handmade Wedding Dress

One of the things I couldn’t divulge before the wedding was what my dress looked like.

my wedding dress

{photo credit: Sheila Addleman}

M decided that he wanted the dress to be the one thing that he didn’t get to see before the wedding, so it would be a surprise. This was reallllllly hard! Not only because I wanted to share every aspect of the planning with M, but also, it turned out that my dress was another DIY project, and working on it without him seeing it was pretty tricky!

I am not a very girly-girl kind of girl. Don’t get me wrong, I love all the pretty stuff – flowers, fabric, puppies, jewelry – but when it comes to my personal aesthetic, I am very simple and very underplayed. I don’t wear princess dresses; I would feel absolutely ridiculous! Not to mention, I am extremely thrifty, so the idea of spending hundreds (even thousands!) of dollars on a dress just never entered my mind.

After a single try-on session at David’s Bridal with my mom (ok…maybe not the best place to start looking for a dress, but it is what it is) I knew I could NOT do that, and from then started searching for a vintage dress. I knew I wanted a short dress, kind of 50’s vibe, and lace. This was going to be an outdoor/backyard party dress.

When I finally found the dress that I would turn into my wedding dress, it didn’t seem to have much potential, and I am amazed at my bravery when I look back at the “before” pictures! But when I tried it on, the fit was good, and I just knew there was a one-of-a-kind dress within, waiting to be created.

wedding dress - before

I know – cringe, right? This was an 80’s number. Off the shoulder neckline, with a weird undulating lace hemline, and down-right awful appliques all over the bodice. I immediately ripped off the appliques (with a seam-ripper, of course) to get to the bare-bones form underneath. I trimmed the skirt to a mid-shin length, thus eliminating the weird raggedy look.

trimming the skirt

I also added a middle layer of organza to the skirt to give it a bit more fullness, and I added a pretty strip of lace detailing around the hem of the lace.

Dress Inspiration

Now I had to decide on a decorative motif. I’d collected plenty of inspirational photos from around the interwebz, and after finding this organza flower tutorial, I decided to make a slew of white flowers to embellish the dress. Making them was time-consuming, to say the least, and when I finally had enough flowers, it took me forever to figure out how to arrange them. I think I pinned them on the bodice 100 different ways before committing them with thread.

organza flowers

It’s emotionally challenging when you take own wedding dress into your own hands! If it looks like crap, you’ve only got yourself to blame! haha

So I also wanted a full skirt, because it’s fun and goes back to that 50’s vintage look. I already posted about how I sewed my own pretty petticoat to wear under my dress, and it really made the whole look work, and of course was super fun to wear.

The last detail I added was very light and airy cap sleeves (sort of), just to give a bit more softness to the shoulder/arm area.

shoulder flowers

Overall, I worked on my dress over 5 months, just here and there (because I could only work on it when M wasn’t around). There were certainly stressful times, and times when I needed my mom’s help with the sewing, but I am certainly happy with how my dress turned out, and I know that no one else will be wearing the same dress! It was fun, and easy to move around in, and most of all, it was a dress that felt like ME.

And just to drive home the point that not everyone has to spend a fortune on a wedding dress…my final total (including all the extra fabric/dry cleaning/original cost of the dress) was only $70. That’s right. My wedding dress cost me less than a hundred bucks. I had to put some of my own effort into it, of course, but that makes it all the more special! And I suppose, therefore, it’s priceless. ๐Ÿ™‚

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