Layered Lace Curtains tutorial

I first shared this post over on Living with Punks as part of Susan’s Home Sewn Series.

I am so excited to be here today participating in Susan’s Home Sewn Series. I happen to love sewing for the home. I just don’t get to do it as often as I would like to. The one area I always seem to struggle with when it comes to home decor is curtains. Sometimes I like them, sometimes I do not. I never seemed to be able to find exactly what I want in the stores and since my to do list is already a mile long, making curtains always seems to stay on the bottom of the list. So thank you so much Susan for inviting me today. It is  forcing me to get at least one home sewn project checked off my list.

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 As you can tell I made these curtains for our upstairs bathroom. I wanted the curtains to be short enough so that the kids are not pulling on them all the time and short enough so that they do not need to be opened or closed everyday. Now before we get started I have to mention that your amount of fabric and lace may be different then mine. So measure your window ahead of time and do the math below in the section where it says “determining what size to cut your fabric pieces.” This will give you the exact amount of fabric needed if you are headed out to the store. Use a 1/2″ seam allowance throughout.

Materials Needed:

*Spring loaded tension rod. You can purchase them at Walmart for just a few bucks.

*1 yard of fabric (less or more depending on the size of your window and how low you want your curtains hang) Determine you exact amount of fabric below.

*1 1/2-2 yards each of different types of lace. Try to purchase wider laces. I used 6 different types of lace and most of them were 2 1/2″ and wider. Again, it depends on how big your window is, how many rows of lace you want and how ruffled you want them to be. A good rule of thumb is buy double the width of your window. That should give you plenty of lace to play with and figure out how much ruffle you want. And just remember if you want your curtains to hang lower you will need more lace.

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Determining what size to cut your fabric pieces:

Width of curtains: Start by measuring your window from inside to inside of window frame width-wise.  Add 1 inch to that number. That is how wide you want to cut all 3 of your fabric pieces. Write down that measurement.

Length of curtains: Measure how far down you want your curtain to be. Write down your measurement. You are going to do a little adding and subtracting here, so stick with me. I am going to try and explain it as simple as possible. Now cut the 2 smaller pieces of fabric 7″ long by the width determined above. In the end this will give you 2 1/2″ of fabric hanging down once the curtain is finished. (This is the piece where you will be inserting your curtain rod.) Now subtract 2 1/2″ from the length that you determined you wanted your curtains to be. Take and double that number. That number is how long you will cut your piece of fabric by the width determined above. Did I loose you? I hope not. You are doubling the length so you wont have to hem any edges plus it will give a little more stability to the curtains.

  Cut out your three pieces of fabric. The two smaller pieces of fabric will become the curtain rod sleeve and the larger piece of fabric is going to be the main part of the curtain.

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Now lay the two smaller pieces of fabric right sides facing. Pin in place. Sew just along the sides. Do not sew the top or bottom. Turn right side out and press. Now take and fold the larger piece of fabric in half lengthwise with right sides facing. Pin. Sew both sides and along the bottom. Do not sew the top. Turn right side out and press.

Fold the smaller rod sleeve piece in half lengthwise and press. Lay your fabric pieces out flat.

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Gather all of your lace and start ruffling each piece. How much you ruffle each piece is up to you. Once they are all ruffled layer them on top of the larger fabric piece. Play around with the positioning of each piece of lace until you have it to where you like it.

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Now remove each layer of lace and mark with your erasable marker where those layers were positioned. Make sure you draw a line across the whole piece of fabric. You want to make sure your rows are even. At this time, also trim any excess lace on the edges. You want the ends of your lace to line up with the edge of the fabric. If you need to hem any of the edges do that now too. Just remember when cutting to factor in the 1/2″ sew seam. You can see below I was using some scraps from some previous curtains I made and I needed to hem the edges.

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Starting at the bottom, pin the first row of lace in place. Sew lace in place. (Wow, say that 3 times fast!)

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Keep working your way up to the top until all the rows have been sewn in place.

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Now grab the curtain rod sleeve and line up the raw edges  with the raw edges of the larger piece of fabric. Make sure all the raw edges are at the top and lined up evenly.

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Sew. Finish off the raw edges with a serger or zig-zag stitch. Press seam down. You can top stitch if you want but it is not necessary. Now insert the expandable curtain rod into the sleeve. Hang your curtains and that’s it!

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Some pretty new curtains for the home!

IMG_5547Thank you so much for having me Susan! You gave me the much needed push to get these sewn! It’s kinda amazing how a little set of curtains can really make a room look polished…even if my windows are not.

fat quarter friday {keepsake bags}

twolittlehooligans_tutorial_colorWhat do you do with all of the handmade garments and items that you make for your kids?

Do you hand them down to others or do you keep them? I give some of mine away to others and some of them I have to keep. I don’t know why but some of them I just cannot part with. I have to admit, I have visions of my grandchildren wearing them one day. I know that is probably just a dream but who knows, but I would rather keep them just in case then regret it later. Now of course it is impossible to keep every single thing I make for my kids. There is just too much stuff now, but there are a certain few items that I just loved or were the girls favorites. So I was thinking one day that it would be fun to make each of the items a little drawstring bag of their own and then add a little plastic sleeve to the front. That way there was a picture of my kids wearing or playing with the actual handmade garment or item that was inside. It would be a little keepsake bag of sorts.

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Materials Needed:

* 1 piece of fabric cut into a rectangle shape. The size of the piece of fabric depends on the size of your bag you want.

*Ribbon or fabric for ties ties

*Clear Vinyl just enough for make little picture pockets with.

*Pictures of you children with the item or garment.

*Seam ripper and Fray Check

IMG_3327Start by cutting out a rectangular piece from your clear vinyl. Make it a little larger then the size of your picture and factor in sew seams. You want to make sure you have enough space to insert a photo once sewn onto the bag. Sew the vinyl onto the bag. Make sure you only sew the sides and bottom. The top is where the photo will be inserted. If you are having a hard time sewing the vinyl switch to a Teflon foot and make sure you use masking tape or washi tape to anchor the vinyl in place onto the fabric. You do not want to pin the vinyl onto to the fabric, it will leave holes.

IMG_3332Fold the fabric in half with right sides facing. Sew along the bottom and side. Finish off all raw edges that were just sewn. Make sure you leave the top open and is not sewn shut.

IMG_3338Now take the top edge of the bag and fold over 1/2″ and iron flat. Fold over another 1/2″ and iron again. Now top stitch all along the top edge of bag.

IMG_3339Turn bag right side out. Iron flat. ***Just make sure not to iron the vinyl!***

IMG_3341 Grab your seam ripper and some fray check.

IMG_3344 Make a little hole at the top of the bag for the ribbon to go through on one side. Add a little Fray Check if you want  and let it dry.

IMG_3345Tie the ribbon onto a safety pin and insert into the hole you just made. Pull the ribbon all the way through till it comes back out the hole in went into.

IMG_3348And then you have your keepsake drawstring bags. Easy, right?!

IMG_4581Now take the items that you cannot bare to part with, fold them neatly and start filling the bags.

IMG_4587 Take your photo and insert it into the clear pocket.

IMG_4600My girls went crazy over these bags…hopefully they will in about 25 year as well!

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Fat Quarter Friday {tooth fairy pillow}

twolittlehooligans_tutorialA few days ago I made a tooth fairy pillow for one of my niece’s who has her first wiggly tooth. I thought this was the perfect time to make a tutorial for one. After all, I have been severely neglecting my fat quarter fridays haven’t i?! Plus, every little kid needs a special pillow for the tooth fairy. pillow and 60s dress 017 Materials Needed:

*2 pieces of fabric for the main pillow. I used a minky fabric but you can use whatever you have on hand. Cut the pieces to your desired size.

*2 pieces of cotton fabric cut a little bit smaller then the pieces of fabric for the pillow. These pieces are going to be used for the pocket.

*1 small piece of felt. Draw and cut out a tooth shape.

*Batting. Enough to fill your pillow with.

*Extra embellishments if desired.pillow and 60s dress 002Start by taking your felt tooth and sewing it on to one of the pieces of cotton fabric. Just top stitch all around the edges of the tooth.pillow and 60s dress 003 Now take the other piece of cotton fabric and lay it on top of the fabric that has the stitched tooth on it. Make sure the pieces are right sides together. Stitch around all the edges while leaving a 1″ opening for turning right sides out. pillow and 60s dress 004 Turn right sides out. Iron flat. Now pin the cotton fabric piece onto one of the pillow pieces of fabric. pillow and 60s dress 005 Sew around the sides and bottom. Make sure you leave the top open. This is your pocket now.pillow and 60s dress 006 Take the other pillow piece of fabric and lay it on top, right sides together. Pin in place. Sew around all the edges while leaving a 2″ opening to turn right sides out. Turn right sides out. Iron flat. pillow and 60s dress 007Stuff the pillow with batting. Hand stitch the opening closed.
pillow and 60s dress 009 pillow and 60s dress 010Add a few more embellishments if you want. I added a few flowers because I just couldn’t resist. The colors just matched perfectly!
pillow and 60s dress 011 A sweet little pillow for my niece and her first wiggly tooth.  pillow and 60s dress 012

How to give galvanized metal an aged look

The other day I purchased a little galvanized milk jug from Walmart. I love everything thing about this little milk jug except for the fact that it was super shiny and looked brand new. My style is a bit more vintage so I decided to see if I could age the metal. I had read somewhere while searching how to age wood that you could also age galvanized metal. So I decided to give it a try. All you need is some sandpaper, vinegar and a piece of galvanized metal.milk jug 012Here is the shiny milk jug I started with. I purchased it from Walmart for about $7. milk jug 005 Take your sandpaper and scratch the entire surface. Make sure you take your time and get all of the little spots around the edges.milk jug 008Now take your metal piece and either submerge it in vinegar or keep wiping vinegar over it. I just took an old rag and soaked it in vinegar and every half-hour or so wiped more vinegar onto the jug. Towards the end once it was reacting, I took the vinegar soaked rag and layed it right on top of the jug. This definitely sped up the aging process. About 4 hours later my jug was aged.milk jug 013Pretty isn’t it? It almost looks like an old milk jug and not a new one that I just purchased from Walmart.
milk jug 010I love the looks of the aged milk jug so much better.
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Handmade Costumes Series by The Train to Crazy {The Lorax Mustache Tutorial}

Today I have the honor of being one of the stops for The 3rd Annual Handmade Costumes Series created by Andrea from The Train to Crazy and Go To Patterns.

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I started making my kids Halloween costumes two years ago when they requested to be one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people eaters. Then last year they dressed up as characters from their favorite movie, The Lorax. These costumes are by far the most favorite thing I have ever made and I cannot wait to start making this years costumes.
spring 2012-fall 2012 1566 copyToday I will be sharing a tutorial for The Lorax Mustache. I wish I had a tutorial for the complete costume but it was one of those times when I just made it up as I went along. But in all honesty, the costumes are very simple in design. I just used their snowsuits as a guide and made adjustments where needed. I made The Lorax’s Mustache more like a wand. I knew that my little girl would not want all that fur near her face for the night and it ended up being the right choice.

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Materials Needed:

*Yellow feather duster (I purchased mine at Walmart)

*Wooden cake dowel or any other small dowel will work

*String or twin

*Hot glue gun

*Sissors

*Small piece of craft foam or felt

*Small scrap piece of orange fur fabric or any other scrap piece of orange fabric. Start by holding your feather duster in one hand and twirl it in the opposite direction of how the metal is twined. You want to unwind the meal piece. Of course you could also cut the metal. I just couldn’t find our metal clippers at the time. It is a little difficult to do, so just take your time.You want to pull out little sections at a time. Then line up a few of the sections in a row. Place a piece of string underneath the middle part of the duster pieces and then tie them in a knot.This is what your pieces should look like now. Make another section about the same size as your last one. Set aside and gather a piece of crafting foam or felt. Cut a little piece about 1″ by 4″. Now take the two little duster pieces and glue them on top of your foam close to the edges.Gather your dowel and hot glue your orange scrap piece of fabric around it to hide the dowel inside.Fold in any raw edges if need be.Now take and glue your covered dowel onto the middle part of the piece of craft foam. Add a few more sections of the duster to the craft foam.Now take a few little duster pieces and tie like so. Use these pieces to over up the middle section as needed.Trim if needed, especially where the nose is going to be. And there you have it, The Lorax mustache. spring 2012-fall 2012 1544 copyspring 2012-fall 2012 1537 copy

Summer of Jo-Ann Chalkboard Signs

I have had the honor of working with Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores as part of their Summer of Jo-Ann. I was given a choice of recreating one of the 72 featured projects from their Cape Discovery Spring Craft Catalog. The project that caught my eye first was Destination Imagination chalkboard signs. I immediately knew that these signs would make the cutest little addition to our garden. As you can see we decided on a “Pick Your Own Veggies” theme because I am one of those theme loving people and think it would be so much fun to throw a harvesting party or a “pick your own veggies” party for the kiddos.001 collage (1) copy

 Above on the left is the inspirational picture I had to work from and on the right is what I came up with. We were encouraged to recreate their projects using our own style and ideas.
garden pics 016 It is still a little early for a harvesting party but my little girl still had fun picking.garden pics 022garden pics 024garden pics 035

The Chalkboard signs are really easy to make and only require a few materials to complete.

What you will need:

*Black Foamcore Board

*Crayola Washable sidewalk chalk 

*Krylon Matte Spray Clear Finish

*Fabric scraps

*Pins

*6 foot wooden stick for screwing chalk board signs to (I purchased mine at the garden store for $1.99.)

pattern weights 006 Start by cutting the Foamcore board into your desired shape and size. I used a razor blade and my cutting ruler.pattern weights 007 Then grab some chalk and start creating! This is the fun part. I did want to go for a smeared-worn look but realized after spraying them that a thicker chalk line was better. The smeared chalk disapeared once being sprayed. So the darker the chalk lines the better, they are still going to fade a little bit anyways.pattern weights 010Now take all of your fabric scraps and start embellishing the edges of the foamcore board. Have fun with it. There are so many ways to hide the edges with your fabric pieces. Some of them I twisted, some of them I tied into bows. I simply used pins to secure the fabric pieces into the foamcore board along the edges. Don’t worry the pins stick in really well and won’t come out unless you are pulling really hard on them.

sewing needles 001Once you get all of your signs made and embellished take them outside and lightly spray them with the Krylon spray. Spray them lightly with a sweeping back and forth motion. Do not stay in one spot too long or spray it too thick because it will cause your chalk to disappear. If need be, you can touch up your signs with more chalk and spray again.

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 Allow the signs to dry for a couple of hours before handling. The spray will help with the smearing, but you will still want to keep little hands away from them too much.sewing needles 003Now take your chalk signs and screw, hammer or glue them to the wooden stick.garden pics 040

Now place them out in the garden and you are ready for a Garden Harvesting or “Pick Your Own” party!garden pics 041Just make sure you remove the signs if there are any threats of rain. Unfortunately they will get ruined.

garden pics 045 garden pics 046 Now head on over Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores and sign up for Jo-Ann Discover Connect. You will not only receive notice of their sales and coupons but you will also receive a 20% coupon today when you sign up! Thanks again to Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores for asking me to be part of their Summer of Jo-Ann, it has been an honor!

Fat Quarter Friday {Pattern Weights Tutorial}

It’s Friday which means it is fat quarter friday over here! twolittlehooligans_tutorial_colorA few months ago I saw some pattern weights at Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores and thought that they were such a great idea. So I added them to my Sewing To Do List. Well after cutting out fabric for some dresses last week I decided it was time to make those pattern weights. They really are super easy to make…and super cute to look at. I’m really hoping that they will make cutting out patterns and fabric more fun. For some reason that is always my least favorite part.pattern weights 013

Materials Needed:

* Small fabric scraps cut into 2″ square pieces

*Quinoa, rice, bolts or anything else that is small and will fit into the hole whiling give it some weight. The hubby suggested using bee-bee’s or fishing line weights and I thought those would be a great option too. **Just keep in mind that these are small and could be a choke hazard for little ones.**

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Take two squares and place them right sides together. Stitch all around while leaving a 1/2″ hole to turn right side out. Trim and square off corners. Turn right side out and iron flat. Make sure you push out the corners.fireflies 006Use a small spice funnel, piping bag or a plastic baggie to fill up the fabric pieces or you could just use your hands depending on what you fill it with.
pattern weights 005Stitch the opening closed.
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And that is it! Super easy right?!pattern weights 013Now make a bunch of them.pattern weights 015 pattern weights 016They are too cute not too! Even the kiddos can’t keep their hands off them.
pattern weights 017 Happy fat quarter friday! What are you making today?

Fat Quarter Friday {Dish Towel Tutorial}

This week I decided to share a tutorial for another one of my favorite items to make…dish towels. A nice set of dish towels is something that everyone loves, but will rarely splurge on for themselves. This is also a great beginner sewing project. So if you have been wanting to start sewing for the first time or needed a refresher project this is the perfect one to start with! dish cloths 022

Materials Needed:

*1 fat quarter of cotton fabric cut to preferred size. I leave mine pretty close to the size of a fat quarter.

*1 fat quarter of velour terry cloth or terry cloth. Cut the terry cloth slightly larger then you cut the cotton fabric above.

*small scrap piece of fabric that measures 8″ x 3″

dish cloths 009Take your 8″ x 3″ piece of fabric and make it into a bias strip.
dish cloths 010 Top stitch down the middle of the bias strip. Set aside.
dish cloths 011 Now gather your cotton fabric and terry cloth. Layer the fabrics like so: terry cloth on bottom-right side up, then cotton fabric right side down. Pin in place. dish cloths 012 On one of the corners place your bias strip like pictured below. Pin in placedish cloths 013 Sew all around edges, but make sure to leave a 2-3″ opening for turning right side out. Trim off excess fabric and square off edges.dish cloths 014 Turn right side out. Iron flat and top stitch around edges. I top stitch around the edges twice with my dish towels, but you can do it only once if you prefer. dish cloths 015And that is it, super easy right?!
dish cloths 016 Make a bunch to give away as gifts or make a bunch for yourself.dish cloths 017Cute little tabs keep those dish towels hung nearby and dry.
dish cloths 019Pair it with some homemade vanilla extract and you have yourself the perfect little gift.last day of school 004Happy Friday!

How to Make a Scarecrow.

scarecrow 025b copyThe kiddos and I made a scarecrow yesterday. It is one of those things we have wanted to make but just never seem to get around to it. Well this year I have already replanting my pumpkin patch twice. So before I replant it again I needed something to take care of the crow problem we seem to have. So I am really hoping this not so scary scarecrow will do its job and keep the crows out of the pumpkin patch.  Making a scarecrow is super easy and a fun activity to do with the kiddos.

How to make a scarecrow

What you will need:

* Some clothes. We used a button up shirt from the thrift store and an old pair of Daddy’s overalls. Of course you could use a dress or even add a cute little apron. The ideas are endless, so get creative!

* A hat. We purchased ours at the thrift store for $2.

* Some lumber. I used two pieces of scrap wood we had hanging around, but some 2 x 4′s would work perfectly too.

scarecrow 013 Cut your wood or 2 x 4′s to the desired size. My longest piece of wood was about 6-7 feet long and my shortest (cross-piece) was about 4 feet long. Remember to leave your longest piece of wood long enough so that you can bury it in the ground a foot or so. You don’t want your scarecrow falling over in the garden. Now nail the pieces of wood together like shown below. Leave about 10″ inches or so at the top so that you can attach the hat there. Ignore the bent over nails. They were the only ones tough enough to go through the wood. I was using cherry wood and it was so hard to hammer through. I’m no carpenter…but I try.scarecrow 015Now start dressing up your scarecrow. Depending on the size of your shirt you may need to cut the “arms” down a little bit to make the shirt fit on. I had to trim mine a little.scarecrow 016 This is the fun part for the kiddos. They get to button the buttons and put on the pants. When putting the pants on you are going to want to cut a little hole in the crotch so that you can slide the piece of wood through the pants. You want the pants to hang free and hopefully move in the breeze. Now put your scarecrow out in the garden. You may need to hammer it in so that is stays upright. Lastly nail your hat to the wood at the top and add any other accessories you may want to add.scarecrow 021 I made some scrappy bunting so that it would have more movement to the scarecrow. The more movement the better. You may even need to move the scarecrow around the garden every few days to keep the crows out. scarecrow 022 The kiddos think it is so funny because the scarecrow kinda looks like me. I guess I would have to agree.scarecrow 025 scarecrow 025ascarecrow 024 Here’s to hoping we keep the crows out of the garden…and our pumpkins can grow. scarecrow 027Do you have a scarecrow in your garden?

Toddler Dress Refashioned to Toddler Apron {tutorial}

After I made my Garden Apron the other day the girls started requesting new aprons for their play kitchen. Instead of making a new apron I decided to refashion one of their old dresses that no longer fit them into an apron. This is such a quick and easy project. It turns a much beloved outgrown dress into a much beloved apron that can be used for years. I love these kinds of projects. I am still wearing my apron that I refashioned from a toddler dress. It is one of my favorites!

Toddler Dress Refashioned to Toddler Apron {tutorial}

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Start by finding a dress that is too small, but a favorite. I chose to use one that had lots of ruffles, layers and is a bit twirly. This particular dress was a long sleeved dress but you can choose one that is short sleeved as well. Really any dress will work, you just might have to tackle each one differently.
apron refashion 0051.Start by cutting off the arms. Cut near the seams but make sure you cut a good 3/4″ away from where the sleeves attach to the dress. Now cut down the front or back of the dress. I ended up cutting all the way down the front of the dress instead of the back because of a stain, but you can cut down either side. Just keep in mind the type of closure that was used for the dress that also may help you decide which side to use. If there is a zipper or lots of buttons you may want to cut those out or use them as an embellishment. Just think about the ending apron before you get cutting!

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2. Cut off the front (or back) bodices pieces. Those were the top pieces that I cut in half when cutting down the length of the dress. Again, leave 3/4″ near the shoulder and skirt part for turning edges over. Below is what the apron looks like right now.

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3. Fold over all of the edges twice and iron flat. You want to make sure that you do this so that you don’t have any exposed raw edges. I started where the arm holes would have been then folded the sides where the bodice pieces were. Then I folded the shoulder part and lastly folded over the skirt parts near the waist and continued all the way down the length of the skirt.

4. Sew around all the folded edges.

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5. Make three ties. You can use ribbon, lace or fabric to make the ties. As you can see I used some wide lace that I had on hand. Just simply cut the ties to the length you desire. I prefer to make them a little longer so that i can make pretty little bows when tying them. The choice is yours here. You will need to make three ties. Two shorter ties for around the neck and one long piece for around the waist.

6. Attach ties to the apron. Sew the 2  shorter ties onto the apron at the shoulders and the one longer piece around the front of the dress and onto the skirt part of the apron. I just sewed them right onto the back of the dress. No super fancy sewing there.

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And that is it! Tie it on and let your little girls enjoy!
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