Tuesday, December 23, 2014

An American Girl Christmas

This Christmas, American Girl seems to be at the top of the list for many girls.  Bitty Bee has two AG dolls, Molly and Holly.  Molly was last year's Christmas gift from Nana and Grandpa and Holly is a "My American Girl" doll that we found at a local resell shop for a good price.  Holly was supposed to be my doll for sewing, but she ended up in Bitty Bee's bedroom rather quickly.  This year, Bitty Bee has asked Santa for a Samantha doll and I had to get a little creative.

Have you seen the new Samantha?  Her dress has been re-designed and is so cute!!!  It's a pretty pale pink with white lace trim and a burgundy sash.  The dress is solid pink fabric and has a dotted lace overlay.  She's wearing white tights, white bloomers and black Mary Jane style shoes.


I can certainly understand why lots of little girls, my own included, are hoping to find her under the Christmas tree on Thursday morning!

A few months ago, I got lucky.  I'm in a few "buy/sell/trade" groups on Facebook and in one of them, someone posted a retired Samantha doll for sale, just the doll, no clothing.  I made an offer on her and she became mine.  But there was the issue of her needing an outfit and I knew BB would want the new pink outfit.  So I did some brainstorming and searched through the patterns in my digital stash until I found one that I could alter a teeny bit to bring this pretty pink dress to life!

I chose the Mini Prairie Girl from Ellie Inspired for this dress.  Samantha's dress has the short puffy sleeves that can be replicated with a simple peasant dress.  The Prairie Girl dress was easy to use for this one, I just had to turn the front to the back so that I could put Velcro down it for the opening.

I used Clip Dots in Petal for my main fabric and lined the dress in a lightweight white fabric, since the Clip Dots is rather sheer.  I raided my lace stash to find something similar to what is used in the original dress.  Luckily, I had something that came very close!

One of the bigger challenges was the sash.  I tried a sash that could be tied on and that kept moving around and just didn't look right.  So I picked up some single fold bias tape and busted out the needle and thread to hand sew it on the waist of the dress.  I'm not a fan of hand sewing.  At all.  My fingers now hurt.
But I have to say, the end result was well worth it!!!  Here they are, side by side.

The lighting in my picture is pretty bad, I was hiding out in my closet, where Samantha has been hiding out.  I'm happy with the result and I hope Bitty Bee loves her as much as I loved my Samantha when I was about her age.

Oh, and of course, Samantha will be getting a gift on Christmas, as well as the other AG dolls in our house.  I found the perfect sized dolls for them while at Target today.  They are ornaments but I just cut the little hanging loop off from their hats and they are just the right size!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

~*~Princess Bee~*~

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Kanzashi Tree Tutorial

I am so excited to be part of the Sew McCool 12 Days of Christmas blog tour!  I had no idea what I would be making for the blog post, but I was excited to be a part of it!  Deanna is celebrating her one-year anniversary of her blog and has put together a great blog tour to celebrate!  Please stop by Sew McCool to vote for my project this week!  Voting ends 12/21/14.

While thinking of Christmas crafts, my mind kept wandering back to Christmas trees and also to my Kanzashi flower makers from Clover.  Then one day, the lightbulb went off and I had my idea!  I saw a few other tutorials for trees made with Kanzashi petals, but all of them had you making individual petals and attach them to a cone.  Surely there was an easier way!  And I found it!

For my tree, I used Pearle Metallic fabric from Timeless Treasures.  I love how it looks like it's dusted in snow.  I would guess that I used between 1/2 - 3/4 yard of fabric.  This project goes really fast if you're using the Clover brand Kanzashi flower makers.  I used the 3" pointed petal for the majority of the tree and the 2" daisy petal for the top layer.

I made multiple rings of petals for the tree layers.

From the pointed petal flower maker, I made the following rings of petals:
1 - 5 petal ring
2 - 7 petal rings
2 - 10 petal rings
2 - 15 petal rings
1 - 17 petal ring
1 - 20 petal ring
From the daisy petal flower maker, I made one 6 petal ring.

From a scrap piece of felt, I traced the inner circle of the 20-petal ring and then drew a cut line away from the inner circle.  This will be the base of the tree.  Using a hot glue gun, I attached the 20-petal ring to the felt circle.  I forgot to take a picture of this step, I'm so sorry!

I did have Gamer Bee take a picture of me gluing the second ring (the 17-petal ring) onto the first ring.  I placed each ring on top of the previous ring, made sure it was lined up, and then gently lifted the petals to glue them in place.  Repeat this for all of the rings, going from largest to smallest and ending with the 6-petal daisy ring on top.

It's a tree!!!  But it's a little plain, do you think?  It needs some pretty baubles.

I had this strand of plastic pearl and silver beads in my sewing stash, so I cut it apart and stacked some of the beads to make a tree topper.  Then I took the single silver beads and glued them randomly around the tree to decorate it.

Bitty Bee loves the new tree!  At one point tonight, I found it up in her room, set up in Holly and Molly's "bedroom".  I guess I'll be making them a Christmas tree soon!  But for now, the snowmen are enjoying their new tree!

Be sure to visit the other talented bloggers on the tour and come back to vote for your favorite when we're all done!
~*~Princess Bee~*~

12 Days of Christmas Holiday Blogger Challenge with sewmccool.com large
Don't forget to visit all of the bloggers who are creating tutorials for the Sew McCool 12 Days of Christmas challenge! Voting will begin on www.sewmccool.com on December 13 and go through 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern time on December 20. The blogger with the most votes will win $100 - just in time for Christmas!
December 1
December 2
Natalie @ Sew Outnumbered *Deby @ So-Sew-Easy * Ajaire @ Call Ajaire
December 3
December 4
December 5
Beth @ Beth Jarrett * Jen @ Just Joshin
December 6
December 7
December 8
Addie @ Addie K * Michelle @ Not My Tree
December 9
Ula @ Lulu & Celeste * Sara @ Made By Sara * Chelsea @ GYCT Designs
December 10
Nichole @ Bluebird & the Boy * Darcy @ Ginger House Designs * Shelly @ Coral & Co.
December 11
December 12
Maegen @ Mae and K * Jess @ Gracious Threads * Jone @ Knot Sew Normal

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Voile Infinity Scarf Tutorial

Christmas is right around the corner and I love giving a handmade gift to those I love.  We've been adding more voile to the shop and I love making infinity scarves with it!  These go together faster than the other method I tried last month.


Voile (3/4 yard)
Sewing Machine
Rolled Hem Foot
Rotary Cutter & Mat (optional)

Step 1:
Cut fabric 20" wide, leaving it the width of the fabric.  Trim selvage edges off. This size will work for both adults and children, Bitty Bee and I are both wearing scarves made with these measurements.

Step 2:
Do a small rolled hem along both long edges on the sewing machine.  If you're having trouble with the rolled hem, check out the blog post here.

Step 3:
Now we will start our french seam.  Bring the short ends together so the fabric is wrong sides together.  I know, this goes against the sewing instinct to always sew with right sides together.  Sew with a 1/4" seam allowance.  Trim seam allowance to 1/8".


Step 4:
Turn the scarf so that the right sides are together and press.  Sew along the previously sewn edge with a 3/8" seam allowance.  Now you have a french seam!


Step 5:
Press the seam allowance to one side (it doesn't matter which way you press it) and sew along the edge so that it lies flat.  This step makes it similar to a flat felled seam, like you find on the inseam of most jeans.  Flat felled seams are very strong and used mainly in places that need extra strength.  We're not using it for the extra strength, we're using it to keep the seam allowance flat on the scarf.

145 151

Step 6:
Put it on and show it off!
I hope you enjoy making lots of beautiful infinity scarves!

~*~Princess Bee~*~

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Rolled Hem Foot How-To

Anyone who knows me knows about my love affair with scarves, especially infinity scarves.  I have one that I got as a Christmas gift last year from my future sister-in-law and I wear it frequently.  And now that we've been getting more beautiful voile fabrics from Art Gallery, FreeSpirit and Cloud 9, I'm having fun making new infinity scarves.  Did you see the one I made for Bitty Bee last week?  I'll walk you through how to make one for your own little one or for yourself.

I love using voile for infinity scarves because the wrong side of the fabric doesn't look much different from the right side, so you don't have to make the fabric tube like when using fabric that has a big difference between the right and wrong sides.  This cuts down on the time drastically!  But using a rolled hem foot can seem intimidating.  Here's what it looks like, for those unfamiliar with it.


The one that I'm using for infinity scarves makes a very narrow rolled hem, and you can get larger ones.  The concept is a pretty simple one with this foot, as you feed the fabric through, the foot is rolling it and stitching, creating the rolled hem.  When using this foot, make sure that you're working with the wrong side of your fabric facing up.  You don't want to have your hem facing the wrong way!

To make it easier to feed into the foot, I like to snip the corner of my fabric, shown above.  You can see that I didn't cut the selvage edge off before I started sewing.  I did cut it on my other scarves that I have been working on, though.  It can be trimmed off later.
I was able to take a short video of how the fabric looks as it's being fed through to give you an idea of what it should look like.

The rolled hem foot is very easy to use and a quick way to add a professional looking hem on your projects.  Are you ready to make an infinity scarf now?  Check back this weekend for the scarf tutorial and flat felled seams tips.
~*~Princess Bee~*~

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

One Thimble Review and Giveaway

I had seen posts about this e-zine, One Thimble, and at first thought $25 for a magazine was a little high, but when the chance to review the entire magazine came up, I got curious and wanted to see what the buzz was all about.


Boy was I glad I did!!!  I picked two of the many patterns available in this issue and really enjoyed not only sewing the Moku Skort and the Art Caddy but also reading the articles and sewing tips within the magazine.  It's so much more than just 15 patterns/tutorials.  This issue includes tips and pointers for things like shirring and sewing with knits, it includes interviews with designers, tips for small businesses.  I still haven't even had a chance to read everything yet, but I can't wait to be able to sit with my Kindle and read the entire thing.


I have a little budding artist in my house and so the Art Tote was perfect for her.  She always has a small sketch pad with her and has been known to draw on anything that will sit still for more than 30 seconds.   I had some fun, bright Moda fat quarters in my stash that were screaming out to be used for this.  The line is called Daydream by Kate Spain.  It is an older line, but the colors are so beautiful!  The Art Tote features space for both colored pencils/thin markers and for crayons, as well as pockets for a sketch pad/small activity book and for little things like erasers and a pencil sharpener.  This is going to be great for road trips to see the grandparents!  I've already gotten a request for another one by my son and I think this will make a great Christmas gift for some of the younger members of the family!  I have a 6 year old niece that will love this!

My artsy little Bitty Bee also loves to make a statement with her clothing and Art Gallery Fabrics is perfect for helping her make that statement!  I made her the Moku Skort out of Priory Square by Katy Jones.  They are fun little culottes that will be absolutely perfect once we get rid of this cold weather!  Seriously, I live in Texas for a reason!  One of the those reasons is that I'm not a cold weather creature!!!  Bitty Bee has already told me that she wants more of these shorts once it warms up and even wants to try to make them on her own.  They went together so quickly that I have no problem complying with her request.  From cut to finish, they took around an hour.


They have a flat front waistband with elastic in the back, and the instructions include how to make the waistband adjustable.  I'm looking forward to trying out adjustable waist bottoms and was glad to see a designer including that option.


I'm especially proud of Bitty Bee for helping with her shirt.  Sunday Clippings has such a great design for shaggy applique!  I cut out around some of the flowers, making sure I kept the bird, and fused it to the shirt and Bitty Bee did part of the sewing around the edge.


I have loved being part of the One Thimble Blog Tour for this issue!  Please take a moment and check out the other talented ladies on the tour!

~*~Princess Bee~*~
Saturday 11/15: Handmade Boy
Sunday 11/16: Mimi's MomRebekah Sews
Wednesday 11/19: Made by SaraBee Quilted Beauties

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Lilac Lane Treasured Dress Review

Tomorrow, Lilac Lane Patterns will be releasing a new dress pattern and I am in love with it!  I was one of her testers and she rocked it with this dress pattern!


At Quilt Market, I hit up the Art Gallery booth and stocked up on their one yard bundles.  I chose Reminisce by Bonnie Christine for this dress.  The dress design just screams spring, so the flowers and colors of Reminisce are perfect.

The dress design has a lower waistline than most in the PDF world and I love that it has the attached sash so it can be pulled in nicely.  There are two buttons on the back at the neck and I was finally able to use some hand crafted buttons that I had bought last year at Quilt Market.


I want to talk about the buttons for just a moment, the company I bought them from, Incomparable Buttons, imports them from Africa where they are all handmade and painted by women living in South Africa.  They are simply gorgeous and I'm so glad that I held on to them, as this was the perfect project to use them on.


Bitty Bee can't wait until warmer weather so she can show off her new dress to all of her friends.  For today, we headed for the local library, a place where stories tend to magically jump off the pages at you!


And her cute little matching bag leaning against the bookshelf?  I picked that one up last year in the SewFab Bundle and it's by LBG Studio.  It went together rather quickly and is the perfect size to carry library books!
Check back on the blog tomorrow for the link to buy the pattern!  I'll update as soon as she releases it.  Trust me, you'll want this one in your pattern collection!

It's been released!  Go pick up your copy today!  Click here to be taken directly to the Lilac Lane etsy shop.

~Princess Bee~

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Quilt Market Review: Cotton + Steel Double Gauze

It's been a week since we came home from Quilt Market in Houston and I'm still going through all the wonderful goodies we brought home!  One of my favorite new things at market was Cotton + Steel's Double Gauze.  I cannot wait to get this in and start sewing!!!  Here's a few pictures from their booth at Market.



Many of you were asking about the pattern for the dress in the last picture.  I'm happy to report that it is Vintage Vogue pattern number 8728.  The dress on the left out of the white/aqua/gray/pink stripe is Vintage Vogue 8999.  The double gauze has such a great drape and is perfect for garment sewing.  Trust me, you'll want to make things for both yourself and for your little ones, especially babies!  They had some quilts out of double gauze and they were heavenly!!!  I may have to learn some basic quilting skills in the next year or so!

We're really excited about all of the fun new fabrics we're seeing from Cotton + Steel and can't wait to see what they do next!
~*~ Princess Bee ~*~

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Man this year is just flying by!  Today is my favorite holiday and I want to share with you a trip down memory lane.  Here are some of my past costume creations!














MOTM Collage

Purple Pixie

Renaissance Dress




And for this year's costumes, we have GI Joe and a Vampire Mermaid!


Happy Halloween to all of our Beauties!  Have fun and be safe tonight!

I can't wait to see everyone's costumes in the group tomorrow for Saturday Share!