These are some of our ideas that we’ve finally completed. Starting this blog idea was really a great idea! Some of our projects are actually getting done.

Anyway we’ve placed our tutorials on this page for your convenience.

Scroll down and find one that interests you.


Three Tiered Skirt/Top

* Please note that she is wearing a pettiskirt slip underneath the skirt, so don’t think all those ruffles are part of the skirt!

I didn’t take the time to capture pictures of each step for you as I sewed, but I’ll try to spell it out as best as I can:

First, measure your child’s waist (Chases was 21.5 inches – you can always round off to try to keep measurements more even)

Second, you want to measure the length from the waist to where you want the finished hem to end. (I chose just at the knee, which was 12 inches)

After you have these two measurements you are ready to get to work.

!CAUTION!
There is some math involved, but simple addition is all you need 🙂

Let’s talk style:

* If you want each tier of your skirt the same fabric, all you have to do is cut your tier pieces according to the measurements I am going to discuss below.

* If you want your skirt to be like mine with the usage of different fabrics to make up each tier, then you will need to find several different fabric patterns (I used 7) that work
well with each other, and decide how many different pieces you want to have in each tier, and then how many inches to alot each piece in the tier,
making sure you stick to the tier measurements I’ll discuss below.
IMPORTANT! Remember to add 1″ to length and 1″ to width of each piece cut – allowing 1/2″ seam allowances on
ALL  sides of each piece to be sewn together. 

Here’s an example for the waistband which is 32″:
I used 7 different fabrics using these measurements,
(making sure I added 1″ across on each piece for seam allowance, and making sure that when seam allowances are sewn together it equals the total measurement of the waistband, 32″.)
1st piece – 5″ (6″ with seam allowance)
2nd  piece – 7″ (8″ with seam allowance)
3rd piece – 4″ (5″ with seam allowance)
4th piece – 2″ (3″ with seam allowance)
5th piece – 6″ (7″ with seam allowance)
6th piece – 3 (4″ with seam allowance)
7th piece – 5″ (6″ with seam allowance)

Let’s talk Waistband:

I wanted my waistband to have a different pattern than the first tier, so I made it a separate piece to be sewn together with tier 1.

**
It would be easier if you wanted to have the waistband as part of the first tier. In that case you would have twice the width of your elastic
(I used 1″ wide) plus a 1/2″ seam allowance on the top edge of your piece.

So it would be 2 1/2″ wide.

** IF,  you are like me and wanted the waistband as a separate piece altogether, again you will need twice the width of the elastic (I used 1″ – so that makes 2″)
plus 1/2 ” on both edges for seam allowance (which makes 1″)

So the width measurement would be 3″ wide. 

So make up your mind which way you want your waistband and then cut your waistband piece accordingly.


Let’s talk about length:

Decide the finished length you want your skirt to be, and then ÷ by 3.
In my case I wanted the length to be 12″
12 ÷ 3 = 4

So the length (length here means from top to bottom as each tier adds to the length of the skirt) of each tier will be 4″

 Simple math right? Now you just need to add the seam allowance to each edge (top & bottom) to be sewn. So . . .
Waistband: 1″ (width of elastic) x 2 + 1″ seam allowance = 3″
(* This is using the separate waistband piece method mentioned above)
Tier 1: 4″ + 1″ seam allowance = 5″
Tier 2: 4″ + 1″ seam allowance = 5″
Tier 3: 4″ + 1/2″ seam allowance on top edge, and 1/2″ hem allowance on bottom edge =5 ”

Let’s talk about Tiers:

Waistband: Waist measurement x 1.5 (Chase’s was 21.5″ x 1.5 = 32.25″ – I rounded off to 32″)
Tier 1: waist measurement x 2 (21.5″ x 2 = 43″)
Tier 2: Waist measurement x 3 (21.5″ x 3 = 64.5″)
Tier 3: Waist measurement x 4 (21.5″ x 4 = 86″)

I’ve drawn up this illustration in hopes that it will help you better understand my directions:

Cut out your different pieces of fabric to make up your waistband and 3 tiers (remembering to leave 1/2″ seam allowance on all 4 sides), and with right sides together sew the the seams 1/2″.
When you have all seams sewn together you should have a circle for each tier and waistband. Trim the seams down to about 1/4″ and zigzag them along the edge. Or finish them off with serger.

** If you are using the same fabric for each tier then cut to the measurements you have figured out, adding 1/2″ seam allowance on all 4 sides.
Once you stitched your seam allowances, trim and finish off seams as mentioned above.

Waistband:
1) Measure elastic to your waist measurement, adding 1″ for seam allowance.

2) With wrong side of material facing up, fold down 1/2″ all along one edge of waistband piece, and iron flat all the way around. Now take the edge of that 1/2″ allowance and fold it in towards the pressed fold line 1/4″ and press.

3) Sew along the top edge of Tier 1 with the biggest stitch your machine will allow. Some machines have a stitch for gathering, some do not. Just go as big as your machine will let you. Stitch all the around until you have met your starting stitch. Cut off the thread a couple of inches out so that you have enough thread to pull on. Pull on one end of the thread which will make the material gather. Equally distribute the gathers all around the tier. You won’t need the gathers to be a lot.

4) Match up the opposite edge of waistband to the gathered edge of Tier 1 (by placing Tier 1 inside of the waistband facing the right sides of material together, and matching the raw edges together.) Evenly spread the gathers until it matches the waistband. Pin them together and sew with 1/2″ seam allowance. Finish off the seam with either zigzagging along the seam or using a serger. Iron the seam up towards the top of the waistband (the folded and ironed edge.)

 ** If you chose to include the waistband with Tier 1 and not have a separate waistband, then with wrong side of material facing up, fold over the top edge the width of the elastic (for me it was 1″) and press. Then from the top edge fold over and press down the 1/2″ seam allowance. Now take the edge of the 1/2″ allowance and fold it in towards the pressed fold line 1/4″ and press.

5) Fold the ironed allowance over to the stitch line, making sure that the fold extends just slightly beyond the stitch line. Pin and sew (all the while making sure that your stitching is catching the folded edge as well.) Be sure to leave a  1″ – 1 1 /2″ hole. This makes the hole and casing to feed the elastic through.

 ** If you chose to include the waistband with Tier 1 and not have a separate waistband, sew along the folded and pressed  1/2″ seam allowance along the very edge of the fold – leaving about 1″ to 1 1/2″ open so you can feed the elastic through the casing.

6) Using a safety pin, pin one end of the elastic and feed the pin through the inch hole you’ve created. Continue to feed the pin and elastic through until you’ve reached the other end of the hole (making sure that the opposite end of the elastic stays outside the hole, you will need to stitch the two ends together.) Make sure the elastic has not twisted in the waistband. Then take the ends of the elastic and overlap them by about 1/2″ and stitch along the width going back and forward at least once.

7) Topstitch about 1/8″ along the waistband where the 1″ hole was, pulling waistband tight to keep the material from gathering.

Tiers:
1) Sew along the top edges of your tiers, using the biggest stitch you can use on your machine. Some machines have a stitch for gathering, some do not. Just go as big as your machine will let you. Stitch all the around until you have met your starting stitch. Cut off the thread a couple of inches out so that you have enough thread to pull on. Pull on one end of the thread which will make the material gather. Equally distribute the gathers all around the tier. You won’t need the gathers to be a lot.

2) With right sides together, pin the gathered top edge of your tier to the un-gathered bottom edge of the previous tier. Try to spread the gathers evenly as you go around the tier, pinning every 1/2″ or so to keep the gathers in place. Once you have your gathers evenly distributed along the tier, sew 1/2″ along the edge, make sure you finish off your edges either by zigzagging or using a serger.

3) Press the seam allowance down toward the bottom of the skirt. Top stitch about 1/8″ along the seam to keep the seam allowance in place and it gives a nice finished look as well.

4) On tier 3, you can finish off the hem first before attaching it to tier 2. On bottom edge fold over 1/2″ and press, then fold in that 1/2″ inside it to the pressed fold line 1/4″ and press. Stitch about 1/8″ along the fold.

5) After you have gathered the top edge of Tier 3 (and have stitched up the hem) repeat steps 2 & 3.

There you have it, a beautiful tiered skirt. With lots of “Twirl Factor!”


If you are interested in the top here’s how I made it:

Just to make things easier for me, I used a the bodice piece of a McCall’s pattern I already had and tweaked it to what I wanted.
McCall’s M6271

This pattern has several pleats in the front and zips up the back, which I didn’t want.
So I folded the pattern where all the pleats were to get the finished size, pinned them in place and then held it up to my daughter to make sure that it all
fit the way I wanted it to, being sure to include seam allowances on the sides.

Then I took some tissue paper and traced over the pattern piece, (actually making just one half of the front, so that I could fold my material
and pin the front of the pattern along the fold to cut it out.)
After I had my pattern cut out, I again held it up to my daughter and made changes here and there until I had what I wanted.

** You can always free hand the shape you want on a folded piece of paper and cut it out.

For the back I simply drew a rectangle to match the length of the sides of the front. Since the back would be tied with ties,
I wanted to make sure there was about an inch space between the edges where the bows would be once tied.
So, again I held up the rectangular piece to my daughter and marked where I wanted the finished edges to be.

This piece doesn’t look like the same length from the side edge as the other, but it is. My front piece was too long for the scanner so it cut off some of the bottom.




I made a few marks where the ties would be sewn.

The top tie is 31″ long and 3 1/2″ wide (Cut 2 each)

The three back ties are 18″ long and 2 1/2″ wide (Cut 6 each)

How to sew the ties:

1) With right sides together, fold tie in 1/2 – length wise and press. Sew 1/4″ seam down it’s length, turning at the end and sewing 1/4″ across the end. Finish the seams by zigzagging or serger.

2) I used a chop stick and pushed the bottom of the casing back inside itself until I could pull the rest of the casing right side out. You will need to use the chop stick to push out the corners out nice and neatly. Press flat and neat, and then top stitch along all sides about 1/8″.

Top:
Cut out the front and sides in the desired fabric you chose – MAKING SURE YOU HAVE ADDED 1/2″ SEAM ALLOWANCE ON ALL SIDES

Using a plain white cotton blend, cut out front and side pieces again for the lining –  MAKING SURE YOU HAVE ADDED 1/2″ SEAM ALLOWANCE ON ALL SIDES

I marked on my pattern pieces with a dot to indicate where the ties should go. Make these marks on the wrong side of your fabric and lining pieces.

Once you have your pieces cut out – one set in the  fabric of choice and one set in the lining, it’s time to sew

Front:
1) Take your outside fabric and with right sides of the fabric facing each other, pin the front and back sides together. Sew 1/2″ seam allowance and finish the seams by zigzagging or serger. Press them down in the direction of the back.

2) Do the same with your lining pieces. Follow Step 1.

3) Sew your outside and lining pieces together by matching up the raw edges and seams with right sides together and pin. BUT DO NOT SEW YET

4) Take your top ties and pin the raw edged end of your tie on the marked area, sandwich them in between the lining and outside fabric.

5) Do the same for the back ties as is in Step 4

6) Sew 1/2″ seam all around the top leaving 1 1/2″ – 2″ hole. This is where you’ll pull the top through to make it right side out.

7) Finish your edges by zigzagging or serger. You may want to clip the corners making sure you don’t cut your stitching to make them lay flatter when it’s time to pull your top right side out.

8) Pull everything through the little gap until everything is right side out. Make sure you push your corners out neatly. Press all the seams neatly (and press the seam allowance for the hole too) and topstitch 1/8″ all around your top, this time stitching the open gap down when you get to it.

Now you have a cute top to match your skirt!!


Christmas decorations!


I found the plain cardboard ornaments at Hobby Lobby.

I traced one of the sides on paper and cut it out, checking to see how well it fit, made some alterations until I was happy with my pattern.

I then used my pattern to cut the shapes out of the sweater and materials I was using to cover my ornament. The houndstooth ribbon I found at JoAnn’s.

I used Alene’s Tacky Glue (quick drying – although you can use Elmer’s glue too) and spread it evenly on one side at a time and then place the piece of material starting at the pointed end at the top, gently laying it down to check for fit before pressing and smoothing down into place.

I bought some silver piping to glue along each of the edges, I ended up using my hot glue gun to do this step. Although I didn’t think the ornaments with just the red plaid and sweater needed the piping so I didn’t add it to them.

The cone is wrapped with sparkly yarn I bought at JoAnn’s. I have some little white snowflakes to add to it before it’s actually finished. I would also like to add a little block or something as a stand. I will include a finished picture later.

Tin Stars

I made these at a crafty Saturday at my church, so I only have the star pattern and extra tin serving platters that were already purchased for me, (there are about 4 per package.) I was told that the tin platters were bought at the dollar store, they didn’t specify which dollar store but I’m going to assume it was Dollar Tree. I think they worked very well compared to some of the other options. And the print on them just adds a little more character.

Unfortunately since I had already made my stars I do not have nice pictures to accompany any instructions, so I am including a link here , to refer you to Choose to Thrive, a blog I found that explains and shows you each step clearly. 

They were actually pretty easy to make, just took a little patience with tucking in the borders!

Have fun!


Adding ice crystals to my berry garland and wreath



Use Aleene’s Tacky Glue (I even used Elmer’s glue), Crystal Fill vase filler (found at JoAnn’s in the vase/floral dept), and finish off with spray varnish.

Use a paintbrush (I used a fan brush) to apply the glue on the garland and wreath.

and then lightly sprinkle on some silver glitter followed by the crystals onto the glue. Continue until you get the desired look. I allowed it to dry over night. Then I took it outside and sprayed the garland and wreath with the varnish to get that shiny look.

I also wanted to add a little more to my wreath, so I bought some evergreen picks and used my wire cutters to cut the individual tufts off and used a small screw driver to punch small holes in the side of my wreath to add my greenery.

It’s still missing something I’m sure I will add something later to it when I figure out what it should be.

Speaking of which, I updated my last project with the tree decorations with some strands of pearls I found as I was digging through my box of crafty stuff.


 Here’s one of my many projects I have had on the back burner for literally months, and finally got around to doing it.

The last several months I have been getting tired of cringing every time I go downstairs, or in my kids’ bedrooms, or family room, or dining area, or kitchen – okay, every room in the house! I just can’t take it anymore: the stepping over lego’s, cars, and other various toys, dirty clothes on the floor, and of course the backpacks and jackets that get dumped just as soon as they make it through the door, and did I mention lego’s?

I realized I wasn’t getting any help from the people living in my home, especially the ones who are responsible for most of the things I just described.

So the first thing I thought of was the good ‘ol “Chore Chart.” I took several days surfing the web to find ideas that I could steal glean from and make to use in my own home. I didn’t find much out there that I liked. I wanted to incorporate it into my home and decor so that it looked like it belonged.

•  I knew I wanted it to look decorative enough that if visitors saw it, it wouldn’t stand out and be unsightly .

•  I knew I wanted it to be erasable, because I’d have to try several different ideas before I reached one I liked.

•  I knew it had to be somewhat fun for the kids, or it would hold no interest for them. (I have a 6 year gap between my oldest and the little ones, so I didn’t want to make it too “kiddy” or too “teenager” like)

•  I knew I wanted it to be magnetic (mostly for the kids interest)

So here’s what I came up with:

A magnetic chalkboard. I had a perfect spot on the inside of my pantry door for it.

I had a couple of things that I had to work around.

It had to be fairly lightweight since it was going on the inside of our pantry door.
I decided I didn’t want to paint the magnetic paint and then paint the chalkboard paint over it. My research turned me off of that idea.

So again I was on a mission to find the best way to do this project. I found chalk cloth at JoAnn’s that was fairly inexpensive, but when I decided to finally go and buy some, they were out. So then I went online and did a search and somehow came across this contact paper.

Click here see this product on Amazon.com. (No product placement here, just found it on my own and love it!)

I took the time and read all the reviews and decided to “go for it.” Everything I read said you need to take a piece of chalk and color all over it then erase before using it. I didn’t even have to do that. It worked perfectly from the beginning.

Be careful when ordering! I almost got the wrong paper. There is a plain black contact paper and one for arts and crafts – you want to get the one for arts and crafts. The picture posted for each product looks the same — so make sure you read the product label!

I also got these really cool Uchita Bistro Chalk Markers, you can find them at on Amazon.com, JoAnn’s or Hobby Lobby (and probably even Michael’s.)



I think they were about $14 at JoAnn’s and $10 at Hobby Lobby. They are awesome and look so neat and bright! I love them. (Again, no product placement here, just found it on my own and love it!)

So here’s the tutorial:

The supplies I needed for this project:

• foam board

• yard stick for measuring

• box knife

• magnetic sheet

• contact paper for arts and crafts

• spray adhesive (I used photo mount because that’s what I had laying around the house.)

• super duty magnets

•3M Command strips (for mounting when finished) The picture has sticky square tape, but I ended up using the 3M Command strips.

Here’s a close up of the contact paper so you can tell what it looks like.

1) I used the box knife to cut my board and my magnetic sheet to the desired size.

2) I used the photo mount (spray adhesive) to glue to magnetic sheet to the board ( put the covered side down on the board and left the plain magnet side up (in my picture I have the sheet folded over, so you can see that one side is covered in white vinyl type stuff and the other is plain magnet. Although it’s hard to tell because my foam board is white too.)

3) Then I peeled off the backing off the contact paper (just a little bit at a time as I smoothed it over the magnetic sheet – the magnet is smooth so I was able to pull it back if needed to fix any wrinkles.)

4) Once I got the contact paper on, I needed to use some ribbon to cover the edges because my board size was about 1/2″ bigger than the contact paper. So I found this black ribbon that I thought went well and just used a glue stick to glue it on. So far it has stayed on (I did go back and forth 3 or 4 times to get the glue nice and thick and didn’t waste time applying the ribbon so it wouldn’t dry out before I got it on.)

5) Then I used the 3M Command picture hanging stuff to mount inside my pantry door.

6) I had some alphabet chipboard I bought a while back for another project so I got the letters for each of my kids names and used the sticky squares to stick them to the super duty magnets, so far they have stayed on, but I’m not expecting it last long, then I’ll think of something else to stick them on with.

Here’s the finished project: I titled it the “I Can Contribute” board rather than the more “laborious” sounding “chore” chart. But I will have to revamp the “chores” part of my board, because this way doesn’t work well. Oh well at least I have some-thing to work with 😉

Update:

I liked my board so well, I decided to make another one for the outside of my door. This time I just used the foam board and contact paper and didn’t make it magnetic.

Warning: Be careful with the contact paper when applying it to the board itself! It doesn’t peel back easily at all and is not forgiving like the magnetic sheet was!!

So here is the finished board, we used it to wish Dad a Happy Father’s Day:


Amy’s First GID Project

This project was easy and fun — I wish all my projects could be like this one.

After finding the time to sit down, without my little guy crawling around my feet, I cut my letters out on my Cricut.

I didn’t like how white my matte was, so I brewed herbal tea and dipped a paper towel into it.  I tried rubbing the tea soaked towel on the matte but it was futile.  To dirty it up a bit I used my “Cocoa” brown ink and a sponge — then I dabbed it all over the matte.

I got the desired result!

My next step was cutting my flowered paper to my desired length and width.  I would tell you what size I cut them at but between putting the project together and typing up my post….I forgot the measurements. 😦

After that I cut my orange paper an inch smaller than my flowered paper and used my sponge and “cocoa” brown ink to dirty the edges of the orange paper.

I sponged the front of my letters, because I love the look that it gives plain colorless paper.

I glued the letters on the orange paper and stuck 3D foam stickers on the back of my orange paper — this gives depth to my project.

I finally stuck the orange paper on the flowered paper and glued it over each frame in the matte.

My original idea was to put it behind the matte, but I didn’t like the look.

I love the end result!

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