The Butterfly Coat Pattern from Me Sew Crazy

A few weeks ago Jessica from Me Sew Crazy was sweet enough to give me the gift of one of her patterns, The Butterfly Coat. I was in love the moment I saw this pattern. I love the butterfly wings just as much as I love the little ruffles on the back.

This is the first coat I have ever made. And really, it was so easy! Jessica’s pattern was so clear and easy to follow any experienced-beginner sewer could make one. Each step comes with clear directions and has a lot of pictures help you along the way.

The Butterfly Coat pattern is for 18 months thru 5 years and can be customized for each child. You can make the coat with or without the wings and it can even be made with full length sleeves or 3/4 sleeves.

Its one of those patterns that allows you to make the same coat so many different ways.
And I already know that I will be making a ton of these! I mean really, can that sweet little thing get any cuter?! She cried when I told her the coat was a gift for her cousin. Oh geez, break my heart folks! Seeing her love something that I made that much couldn’t have been any more rewarding, but I better start making her one now…and her sister too! Like I said, I see a ton of these in my future.
Thanks for the amazing gift Jessica! Your pattern has already made me step out of my comfort zone and attempt something I had always wanted to do, but feared.

**I just want to make sure that you all know that Jessica in no way asked me to post about her pattern. She may even be a little embarrassed with me doing so (sorry Jessica if you are). I’m posting about her pattern in hopes that all of you out there step out of your comfort zone and try something you have been fearing. Trust me, once you do you will realize how easy it is…and how rewarding!**

New Years ReSEWlutions with Me Sew Crazy

I’m over at Me Sew Crazy today as part of her New Years ReSEWlutions series.
I’m sharing my tutorial for this Anthropologie inspired toddler bed comforter that I made for my little girl. It was a great way to kick off the New Year and to finally start checking off those projects on my list.

Ruffled Maxi Skirt {Tutorial}

Just in case you missed this a few weeks ago over at Me Sew Crazy.

Ruffled Maxi Skirt Tutorial

(allow about 3 hours to complete)

Materials Needed:

*3-4 yards of white cotton knit (medium weight or light weight).
The skirt above was made with 3 yards of medium weight cotton knit and the skirt below was made with lightweight cotton knit. I personally like the looks and feel of the lightweight fabric better, but they didn’t have any at the fabric store. And just to give you an idea on how much fabric you may need to buy, I am a short size 8 and 3 yards of fabric was just enough and would recommend buying more fabric if you want the ruffles to be more ruffled or if you want more then 4 rows of ruffles.

*1 yard of wide anti-roll elastic for the waist band (of course buy more elastic depending on the size of your waist band needed.)

Use any long A-Line skirt that you already have as your template. Fold the knit fabric so that you are cutting out two pieces at the same time with same sides facing. Sometimes it is hard to tell with knits which side is which and it really doesn’t matter which side you pick as the right side, just make sure that you keep using that same side as your right side. I realized after making my first skirt that since the edges are not finished they roll in a certain direction depending on the direction of the knit. So just try and keep track of the same sides.

Cut all around the skirt giving yourself an extra 1/2″ all around the skirt for a seam allowances.

You now have 2 pieces for the main skirt. With the right sides already facing pin in place and sew both sides.

Turn right side out.

Now let’s determine where to put the ruffles. I decided to have 4 rows of ruffles spaced out evenly every 8″. To figure this out I measure the length of the skirt and divided it by 4, the # of rows that I wanted to have on my skirt. Of course you can make the distance between your ruffles further or closer together. But just so you know, if you want to make more then 4 rows of ruffles you will need more then 3 yards of fabric. Start at the top of the skirt and measure down 8″ and draw a line horizontally around the skirt, front and back. This is will be your guide when sewing the ruffles onto the skirt. Measure down another 8″ and draw your lines horizontally around the skirt again. Now repeat two more times. Set skirt aside.

Now it is time to make the ruffles. Take the remainder of your fabric and fold it so that you can cut long strips of fabric that are 9 1/2″ wide or whatever width you have decided to have the ruffles. I used almost the whole remainder of my fabric in making my strips. Remember to keep track of the right sides and cut the fabric in the same direction. Set fabric aside for now and grab your skirt.

If you want your ruffles closer or further apart that is fine. Just make sure that you cut your ruffles 1 1/2″ wider then the distance you decided to have between each row. This way you will not see the top of your ruffles in each row. I just think it looks much better this way.

Now let’s figure out how long to make each ruffled piece. Start by measuring the bottom line on your skirt. Take that # and multiply by 2, that will give you the total distance around your skirt at that point. Now add 30″ to that #. The extra 30″ is so that you can make your fabric ruffle. Of course you can make your ruffles tighter or looser then I did, just make sure that you add the same amount of fabric to each row. That way your ruffles will all look the same.

For example: The last horizontal line on my skirt measured 24″. Then I doubled that # to give me the total distance around the skirt at that point which gave me 48″. Then I added the extra 30″ to make the ruffle. So I ended up with a piece of fabric 78″ long by 9 1/2″ wide.

Measure out one piece of fabric that is the size you just determined above. My piece was 78″ x 9 1/2″. Sew right sides together.

Turn right side out.

Now make it ruffle by sewing along the top of fabric with a long stitch. Pull one of the threads until it ruffles evenly all around. Now measure the remaining 3 rows and make ruffles for each the same way you just did above.

For example: my next three rows measured 76″ x 9 1/2″, 70″ x 9 1/2″ and 64″ x 9 1/2″. Now line up all of ruffles on their rows to make sure they all line up correctly.

Start with the longest ruffled piece and turn it wrong side out. Place your skirt inside of the ruffled piece and line up your ruffled piece onto the bottom line like so. Make sure that the wrong side of the ruffle is on the outside and right sides of ruffle and skirt are facing. Pin ruffle in place.

Sew ruffle in place using a zig-zag stitch. This will give your ruffle a little extra stretch. Now fold ruffle down. Now take the next longest ruffle and place it onto the next line up. Make sure right sides are facing and wrong sides of the ruffle are facing out. Pin and sew in place.

Repeat with the third ruffled piece.

Your skirt should now have 3 rows of ruffles sew in place. Gather the elastic for the waist band. Measure your waist to see how long to cut the piece of elastic. I like to slightly pull on the elastic when measuring around my waist so that the elastic stretches a little bit when it sits on my hips. I don’t want my waist band floating on top of my hips, but do what works best for you. My elastic was cut 30″ long. Zig-zag stitch the elastic shut.

Now take the last ruffle (right sides out this time) and line it up to the top edge of the skirt.

Now take your elastic band and place it on top of the ruffled piece. So it will be layered like so: A-line skirt (right sides out), ruffle (right side out) and then elastic on top. Pin all three layers in place. Zig-zag stitch all three layers together. If you need to, slightly pull on the elastic so that all three layers line up while being sewed together. Now lay your skirt flat and fold up the bottom ruffle. Trim off the extra fabric from the A-Line skirt underneath.

Now your finished! The perfect skirt for those hot summer days.

Come visit me at Me Sew Crazy today!

I’m so excited to be over at one of my favorite blogs today…Me Sew Crazy! And I’m actually kinda surprised (and a little nervous) that Jessica is actually allowing me to sit one of her “babies!” Her sewing skills are AMAZING and she continues to impress me with every post. And in all honesty, if it wasn’t for Jessica and her amazing tutorials I never would have started sewing clothes. She inspired me to step out of my comfort level and try something new and this was one of those creations.
So head on over to Me Sew Crazy to see how make your own ruffled maxi skirt and while your there peruse through her amazing tutorials, because I promise you will be inspired too!

Fat Quarter Friday {The Dahlia Dresses}

This week for Fat Quarter Friday I thought it would be fun to share with you my favorite use for fat quarters lately…dresses. And more specifically pillowcase and peasant dresses. I made these two dresses the other day to participate in Pattern Remix Challenge over at Me Sew Crazy. How many of you are following along? Isn’t Jessica great and how lucky are her little girls?! I mean really, they are the best dressed girls I have ever seen and all of their outfits were made with love from their momma! Seriously that momma has some mad sewing skills as well as being one of the sweetest girls in blog land!

If you get a chance head on over and check it out the series, she has had some amazing guests.

So when it came time to remix a pattern I new I was going to remix the infamous peasant and pillowcase dress. Mostly because I don’t know any other patterns as well as these and also because my two girls are only one size apart right now. So these types of dresses make it possible for my girls to share both dresses…LOVE that! I used a pattern that I purchased a few years ago from Whimsy Couture (which are great) but there are also a ton of free tutorials out there as well. Here is a great tutorial for making a pillowcase dress and here is a good one for making a peasant dress. Due to copyright reasons I will not be able to show you the measurements and the templates that I used to cut out my dresses, so you will be following your pattern to give you those and then once you have determined how to measure and cut out your pieces then that is when I mix things up a little with my dresses and can start showing you step by step how I did it.
So who wants to learn how I remixed the peasant dress and pillowcase dress into these sweet little Dahlia Dresses?
So lets start with the peasant dress and I will walk you through the basic changes that I made in order to make my Dahlia Peasant Dress.

The Dahlia Peasant Dress Tutorial
Here is what you will need:
*Cotton knit fabric (2 fq or more depending on size of child)
*elastic (refer to pattern for amount)
*fabric scraps for making flower embellishment
*button for flower embellishment
*basic pattern for a peasant dress

When cutting out your fabric for the peasant dress make sure that the knit cotton fabric is cut so that the dress stretches width-wise when pulled. In order to make the edges lettuce ruffled they need to be stretched. So once all of your pieces are cut out, sew the sleeves on and sew the sides of the dress together. Now take the raw edges on the sleeves, neckline and bottom of the dress and sew them using a lettuce edge ruffled trim. Here is a great tutorial on how to make a lettuce edge ruffle if you need one. It really is easy to do and it makes the cutest little ruffles.
All the edges should now be ruffled.
Now take the top of the dress and fold down about 1 1/2″ and pin in place. Normally you would fold the unfinished edges the other way to hide them, but you don’t want to hide the pretty ruffled edges on this dress.
Sew around top of dress using the ruffled edge as the guide and place the left side of your foot on the ruffled edge. Make sure you leave a 1″ opening to feed elastic through. Cut elastic per length determined in your pattern.
Feed elastic through neckline hole and sew up seam.
Pretty easy right? Now skip down a bit to see how I made the cute little dahlia flower.

So now I will show you how I made changes to the pillowcase dress.

The Dahlia Pillowcase Dress Tutorial

Here is what you will need:
*cotton knit fabric (about 2 fq or more depending on size of child)
*1 fq cotton fabric for ties and bias tape for arms
*elastic (refer to pattern for amount)
*button for dahlia embellishment

Cut out your pillowcase dress per pattern direction, just make sure that you cut out the fabric so that is stretches width-wise. You need to make sure that the bottom hem and neckline stretch in order to make the lettuce edged ruffle trim. Now that you have your two pieces cut out sew them together at the sides, right sides facing. Now use the lettuce edge ruffled trim technique on the bottom hem line and the neckline, do not do the arm holes. Those will be covered up with bias tape. Here is a tutorial on how to make a lettuce edge ruffled trim if you need one.
Now that your edges are ruffled, make some bias tape out of one of the fat quarters. Measure the length of the arm hole to determine how long to make it.
Pin bias tape onto arm hole and sew in place.

Now repeat with other arm hole. Once those are finished fold down the top of the dress about 1 1/2″ and pin in place like shown. Repeat with the back piece.
Sew in place by placing the left edge of your foot even with the ruffle trim.
Now make your tie with the remaining fabric or use a ribbon. I made my tie about 30″ long.
Slide tie through the front and back of dress and make sure tie is lined up on one shoulder. Put on your little one and tie in place.

Now that the dresses are finished gather your remaining scraps and lets sew on those pretty little dahlia flowers.

Adding dahlia flowers to the dresses:

Using your scraps cut out some pieces like above. The two biggest sizes will be used on the pillowcase dress while the smaller pieces will be used on the peasant dress. Cut out about 10 pieces of each size.
Line up your petals to get an idea of how you want your layout to look.
Now take one petal and sew in place on the dress. Keep overlapping each petal a little until you have a dahlia flower. Then add a button in the middle.
If you have more scraps why not make a little lettuce edge ruffled trim headband too.

So whatcha think? Is this a great way to remix the infamous pillowcase and peasant dress? Got a great remix idea of your own? Make sure you head over to Me Sew Crazy to enter to win some great goodies and while your there make sure you check out all of the amazing remixes that have been shared. Thanks Jessica for a great series and for inspiring us with your amazing creativity!

fat quarter friday {guest post from Me Sew Crazy}

Hi everyone! I am Jessica from Me Sew Crazy, and I am so happy to be here today! When Christina announced that she was starting her Fat Quarter Fridays, I was thrilled! Not being a quilter myself, I never really know what to do with those little squares. I couldn’t wait to see what she would come up with, using such little fabric! When she asked me if I wanted to participate, I was honored and excited to pick up the challenge!

With Easter around the corner, my mind has been pretty occupied with wanting to keep our Easter Baskets homemade. My kids would probably be just as thrilled if I threw in some Peeps and jellybeans – lol. But I want it to be more than that this year. I want it to be from the heart.

So when the Fat Quarter project rolled around, I had Easter on the brain!

Without further ado, I give you Easter Bunny Bean Bags!

These cute little guys use only 1 Fat Quarter to make 3 bean bags, and will provide a great game to play with those Easter Baskets!

My daughter really tried hard to get those bunnies in her basket!

Whereas my other daughter…well, had a different approach:

Either way, they kept going back to play some more!

My favorite part? My daughter gave hers away at the end of the playdate to her friend because she enjoyed playing with them so much. I am so proud of her :).

For your free tutorial to make these cute little bunnies, click HERE.

Thank you again so much for having me Christina!

Happy Sewing everyone!