Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Easter Coloring Pages

Easter Coloring Pages

And Some Family Memories

Are you looking for a fun activity to do with your kiddos for Easter?  Look no further!  Jodi has designed some coloring pages just for our kiddos to have a ball with.

My girls had a fun evening color the cute clothes and eggs.  (If you look closely you can see that my son was not interested in coloring.  He's on the computer on the couch.)

And they worked hard on those cute eggs and adorable girls!  That phone is never far away!!!

There are 3 dolls and a coloring page of eggs in the pdf.  Included are the Circle Flounce Dress Doll, The Crossover Dress and the Endless Dress.  Your daughter can color the Endless Dress you made for her last week!

It would be even more fun to allow your daughter to design her own dress and then you make her design come to life.  Wouldn't that be exciting for a little one?  She gets to tell all of her friends that her mommy made a dress just like she colored!

Showing off her creation.

And she's reading, Happy Easter.  You can find the coloring pages here.

I'm not sure what your Easter celebrations entail, but for me it is all about family being together.  Easter is one of the holidays that makes me miss my family in Texas the most.  Of course Christmas is hard and birthdays remind me how far apart we are, but Easter is one of my fondest memories of childhood.  The day was about family, all day long.  We started out Easter Sunday going to church together:  all of my aunts, uncles, cousins, parents and grandparents.   We all sang at the top of our lungs and I'm sure sounded like a pack of wild dogs!  We were all happy to be together and celebrate the real reason behind Easter.

After church, we all went to a family member's house.  We had a huge meal together, talked, laughed and did whatever kids do.  I was always so excited because I knew my mom would bring her famous potato salad and it was the highlight of the meal for me.  I could have eaten only that potato salad and I would have been a happy camper.

My best and most favorite memory of those family gatherings was the egg hunt.  My Aunt Judy always made such a special effort to have a fun egg hunt.  She had a ball hiding the eggs and watching all of us find them.  While all the other adults were busy doing adult things, my Aunt Judy was there with the kids making us feel like we were the most important part of the day.  That is a great feeling for a kid--to be important.  My Aunt Judy made my life special in so many ways, but that is one of my favorite things she did for me.  

I can't live up to my Aunt Judy(or my mom's potato salad!).  She is an amazing person.  I can only hope my own children feel as loved and important as she made me feel.  I hope your Easter is filled with bad singing, great family, potato salad, a fabulous Aunt Judy and an AMAZING egg hunt!

Happy Easter!

Friday, April 11, 2014

How to Make a Cheer Bow

How to Make a Cheer Bow

My oldest daughter started cheer competitions this year.  She has never been interested in competitive teams before, so this was something new.  I realized very quickly that if you are going to cheer competitively, you MUST have a specific cheer bow.  AKA, a HUGE bow on the top of the head.  Every competition we went to, they were selling cheer bows for $15-$25.  To me, that is crazy.  I know there are lots of people out there that would gladly pay for the bow just so they don't have to make it.  I'm not one of those people!  I love a challenge and I love to do something new.  Let me tell you how I made this one!

Supply List:

  1. 2 1/2 to 3in ribbon
  2. 1 1/2in ribbon
  3. 3/4in ribbon
  4. zip tie
  5. glue gun
  6. heat 'n bond (optional)
  7. hair band

I found the ribbon at JoAnn's, there is a small section with cheer bow ribbon(it's not with all of the regular ribbon).  The 3in ribbon is the most important size, the others can coordinate with the large ribbon.

Cut the ribbon to 30 inches.  This is the perfect length for cheer bows.  Cut the heat 'n bond to the size of the two smaller ribbons.

Iron the heat 'n bond onto the ribbon.  To keep the ribbon from burning, it's a good idea to put a piece of fabric over the ribbon.  Iron the fabric (with the ribbon under) being sure that the heat 'n bond adheres to the ribbon.  The reason for using heat 'n bond is so that there is no need to pin the ribbon together.

 Place the medium size ribbon over the large ribbon.  Be sure to place the ribbon right in the center and iron them together.  Zig zag stitch along the inside ribbon.

Fold the ribbon in half (WST) at the end of the ribbon.  Clip the end at about a 45 degree angle to create the "V" shape at the end of the ribbon.  Repeat on the opposite end.  (If the smallest ribbon you are using isn't thick, go ahead and attach it before cutting the ends.)

Use a flame to seal the ribbon edge.  Just pass the flame near the ribbon to slightly melt the edges.  This process keeps the ribbon from fraying.

Repeat the heat 'n bond process with the smallest ribbon.  Zig zag stitch the small ribbon onto all ribbons.  Clip the ends to match the larger two ribbons.

 Mark the center of the ribbon by folding it in half, end to end.  Cross the ribbon making sure to line up with the center mark.  Starting at the center point of the ribbon and the point where it crosses, begin gathering the ribbon at the center.

 Once the ribbon is pulled together and gathered, use the zip tie to secure the ribbon together.  Don't tighten the zip tie all the way, zip it loosely so you can be sure the ribbon looks nice and is in the right place.  Once you like the position of the ribbon, zip the tie as tight as it will go.

Clip the end of the zip tie off.

Hot glue the hair band right on top of the zip tie.  Be careful not to get glue all over the ribbon.

With the bow facing up, use a small piece of ribbon to create the center tie.  Hot glue one end to the hair band area, wrap the ribbon around and hot glue the other end on top of the ribbon.  Again, don't use too much glue because it will ooze out and look bad.

 The finished ribbon looks something like this.

 And it's even cuter when it's on a pony tail!

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Endless Dress Sew Along Day 4

Endless Dress Sew Along Day 4

You should have 3 skirt panels sewn together; a back panel, front panel and another back panel.  Let's sew the band onto the skirt panel.

Sew all three band pieces together along the short side; one back panel, one front panel and another back panel.   Fold the band in half WST and iron.  The band panels will match up exactly with the skirt panels.  Attach the band to the skirt by matching the raw edges, and serge or zig zag stitch.   Iron the seam up to the skirt panel and topstitch.  You have one long skirt piece with the band attached.

Serge the open side of each back panel.  Pin the back panels together marking down 2-3in from the top of the skirt panel.  This will be the opening for the bodice buttons on the empire bodice(if you are doing a regular bodice you do not need the opening at the top of the skirt).  Attach the panels together.

Iron the seam open.  You can see the opening in the picture.

Topstitch around the opening.

Gather the skirt to the same length as the bodice.

With the bodice front facing the skirt front (RST), insert the bodice into the skirt.

Attach the skirt to the bodice.

Serge or zig zag the seam.  Turn the dress right side out and iron the seam up to the bodice.  Topstitch the bodice.

Congratulations!!!!  You completed an Endless Dress!  I hope you had as much fun as I did.  Come back next month for another sew along!

And, we're outta here!

But mom, I don't want to take any more pictures!!!!

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Endless Dress Day 3

Jocole Endless Dress Sew Along Day 3

Buttons, Buttonholes and Pockets

Are you ready for buttonholes today???  Yikes!  I hope you'll give them a try, even if it's just to practice.  I have a couple of hints before we actually sew the buttonholes.  

Have you ever wondered about that little hole on the arm of the bobbin case?  Well guess what!?!?  You're about to use that sucker!  When the hole is used, it adds a little extra tension to the stitch and gives a nice, tight buttonhole.  The thread goes through the hole on the bobbin case.

Second, the buttonhole foot comes in handy for making --wait for it--buttonholes!  I didn't even realize I had this foot but it came with my machine.  The channels on the bottom of the foot keep the parallel lines of the buttonhole in place.  Just use it like a regular foot and it will work keep everything straight on its own.

Don't laugh, I practiced about 10 buttonholes before I was happy with the buttonhole.  I wanted to make sure I programed the machine correctly.  (Are you sick of me saying buttonhole yet?  I am!)

Start on the actual, real life bodice now.  Buttonholes go on the left and buttons on the right.  (Ignore that I put them on the wrong sides!)

One of my favorite pattern pieces in this PDF is the buttonhole placement guide.  The guide allows you to mark the buttons on the right side and the buttonholes on the left.  The guide insures that the buttons and buttonholes line up correctly.  Genius!

Mark the buttonhole placement on the LEFT side of the bodice back (the picture shows the buttonholes on the wrong side).  This is an empire length bodice so there are 3 buttonholes.  Be sure that the buttonholes are a little longer than the buttons so the buttons slide in easily.  Sew the buttonholes.

Mark the button placement on the RIGHT side of the bodice back(the picture shows the buttons on the wrong side).  Sew on the buttons.  Fabric covered buttons also look really nice, find the tutorial here.

Make sure everything lines up!

Pockets are also an option for the Endless Dress.  Place all 4 pockets RST, at the top of the skirt panels.  Sew the pockets onto the right side of the skirt.

Iron the pocket pieces flat and topstitch.  Place fabric RST and line up all pockets.  Beginning at the top of the skirt; sew down to the pocket, around the pocket and down to the bottom of the skirt (sewing the skirt panels and pocket pieces together).  Serge or zig zag stitch the edges.

Now you have a completed bodice and a skirt panel with pockets sewn on.  Tomorrow we sew the skirt band, gather the skirt and attach the skirt and bodice to finish the dress!  

Endless Dress Sew Along Day 2

Endless Dress Sew Along Day 

Are you ready?  Let's do this!

I'm starting the sew along with my mashup of the Endless and the Circle Flounce.  If you are doing the standard Endless Dress, skip down to the pictures with the yellow striped fabric.

Bodice with Straps

Starting with the shoulder strap pattern piece, fold in half right sides together (RST).  Stitch the long seam together leaving both ends open.

Turn both straps right side out.  I used a Bodkin to turn the straps, just to make it a little easier.

Iron the straps.  I put the seam on the back center of the straps so that my pattern would line up nicely.  You can also line up the seam on the side of the straps (I just like mine hidden).

Topstitch the straps.  I attached my flutters at the outside edge of both straps with a topstitch.  


If you are adding the sash, be sure to add it here.  I forgot and had to go back and rip out my seams!  To add the sash, fold the sash in half lengthwise so that there is a piece long enough to go across the front bodice.  Baste the sash at the sides of the front bodice.  Now is a good time to add topstitching to the top finished edge of the sash.  Go ahead and attach the ties as well.  (There are pictures of attaching the sash in the photos of the yellow top.)

Sew the bodice front and back pieces RST at one side seam.  Repeat for the bodice lining.  Iron side seams open.

Position the straps as indicated in the pattern.  Tip:  I should have moved both straps in just a tad(like a 1/4in further to the center) because my "little" has a narrow chest and shoulders.  If you don't trust yourself not to sew over the pins, baste the straps in place.

Place the bodice lining RST on top of the bodice front.  The straps are in the middle of the bodice front and the bodice lining.  Sew both bodice pieces together, reinforcing the strap seam by reversing over that area.

Line up both arm holes and stitch together.

I'm not sure if you know this but it is necessary to clip curves so they will lay nicely.  I always use my pinking shears for curves because I don't like to risk clipping the thread.  The pinking shears help the curves iron out perfectly.

At this point you have the bodice front pieces and the arm holes stitched together.  The bodice back pieces are still open because we need to attach the other end of the straps.

We're about to get real here people!  Stick with me because this is where things get confusing!  

Pull out one strap raw edge from the middle of the bodice front pieces.

Without twisting the strap, find the bodice back and line the strap up on the bodice back piece.  Be sure the straps get attached at the armholes.  In the picture below, the raw edge of the strap is at the top of the bodice back, just next to the armhole.  

With the strap in place, fold the lining piece over the bodice back.  In the picture below, the armhole curve is on the left and the bodice back is open on the right.  Stitch together the top of the bodice back pieces being sure to reinforce the strap area.

Your bodice should look similar to the picture below.
Repeat the whole process for the other side of the bodice back.

Here is another view of the armhole and strap.

Once you have both straps sewn into place, turn the bodice front and back pieces right side out and be sure everything looks right.  So, at this point you have both straps attached to the front and back at the armholes.  Iron the bodice pieces so that everything lays nice a flat.

Here is where I realized I should have attached my sash a looooong time ago.  I had to rip out my side seams to attach the sash.  Don't make that mistake!!!!  So your bodice is almost complete!  We will work on the buttons, button holes and skirt tomorrow!  Yay!  

If you made the strap bodice, you are finished for today.

Traditional Endless Dress Bodice

If you are making the Endless Dress bodice, you are in the right spot!  You should have a pile similar to this.  A bodice front and back and a lining front and back.  The front is cut on the fold and the back is in two pieces.

Start by attaching the bodice front and back pieces at the shoulder seams.

Iron the seams open.

Line up the bodice front and lining pieces exactly.

Starting at the bottom of the bodice back outside piece; sew up the side, around the neckline and back down the back outside.  Also sew the armhole curves.  Use pinking shears to clip the neck and armhole curves. Right now the only open edges are the side seams.

Take the corner of the back piece into the center of the bodice and push it through the shoulder seams, out to the opposite edge.  Repeat on the other side.

Iron the bodice, being sure to press right at the seam.


Fold the sash in half lengthwise WST and iron flat. 

With the bodice laying flat, pull the lining up toward the neckline.

Pin the sash onto the bodice front, lining up the sides and bottom of the sash with the bodice.

Topstitch the top of the sash.

Stick with me, this part can be confusing (ok, maybe it's not confusing to you but I was a little confused the first time I did this!).

With the lining still up toward the neckline, fold the bodice back piece on top of the bodice front.

Open the bottom edge of the back piece to match the front.  Pin in place.  Both arm curves are together and the side seams are lined up also.  This will create a hidden seam so the lining looks nice a professional.

Repeat on the other side and pin.

Stitch the seams together.  Your bodice should look like this.  Press the seam open.

Carefully iron the side seams being sure everything is flat and straight.  

Shew!  You made it!  Let me know if you have any questions, this can be tricky.  Come back tomorrow for the buttons, button holes and skirt.  We are moving right along!!!!