Easiest Necktie Ever

 

My boys love neckties. They get it from their dad. We’re talking real neckties. They very much dislike clip on neckties. They seem offended by them. They get that from their dad, too. I have made quite a few neckties for my boys and finally found the absolute easiest way to make a real necktie.

NT Main Image FIXED

 

 

Grab your supplies. You’ll need about 1/3 of a yard of two fabrics. I like contrasting ones. One will be on the inside and will only peek out a tiny bit, so it can be anything, really. 

NT pattern paper

Essentially, this is what you’re doing. You’re going to use a yard stick to make a straight line across the width of your fabric. Then you’ll draw in your points, connect the dots, sew, flip, sew, flip, and you’ll have a tie. Super easy. After you make the first one, you’ll see. 

NT Pattern End 4

Place your contrast fabric right side up on you cutting surface (ironing board, floor, whatever you use). Place your main fabric right side down, lining it up with the contrast fabric. (If you’re using a dark pen or marker on light fabric, you may want to put the main fabric on bottom and the contrast on top so you won’t see the marks through your fabric. It really doesn’t matter as long as you know what you want to be the main fabric.)

Using a yard stick (or whatever straight edge you’ve got), draw a line from one side of the fabric to the other. If you’re making this for a toddler, 36″ in long enough. For a bigger boy, you’ll want to use as much width as you can. (Also, check out the variation at the end of this tutorial for making older boy and man neckties using this same method!)

NT pattern end

Using a quilting ruler, line up your ruler so you’ve got a right angle going on at the tip. (See the photo.) Make a line 4″ long from the center. 

NT pattern end 2

Using your quilting ruler, line up the other side. You want the tip of the tie to be a 90 degree angle. (See photo for help lining it up.) Mark 4″ in that direction. 

NT Pattern End 3

At the other end of the line across your fabric (also known as the other end of your tie), do the same thing, only mark that side 3″ from the center line. Make sure the tip is a 90 degree angle. 

NT Pattern End 4

Use your yard stick to connect the ends of your 4″ line to your 3″ line. This is the side of the tie. It should look something like the picture.

 

(You can tweak the measurements if you want a fatter or more narrow tie. I do 4.5″ for an adult tie. 3.5″ for a toddler tie. Just don’t make the small end smaller that 2″ or you’ll be kicking yourself when you try to turn it.)

NT Pin

Pin your two layers of fabric together around the drawn on pattern. (Believe me, this makes your life a little easier here in a minute.) Cut out both layers of fabric together. 

NT Sew end

You’ve already got the right sides of the fabric together. It is already pinned. You’re ready to sew! Sew the end of the tie. Just the end. (Do not sew the sides yet. It only seems weird the first time.)

NT trim end

Clip the edges.

 

Repeat for the other end of the tie. Once again, just the end! Not the sides. 

NT press end

Turn your tie right side out, pushing out the points. Press. The sides are still unfinished at this point. You’ve only sewn the two end points together. 

NT Sew middle

Fold the tie in half, matching up the unfinished sides. (You’re sewing the center seam that will run down the back of the tie.) Whichever fabric is your main fabric should be on the inside of the fold. You should be looking at your contrast fabric as you sew. Sew the entire length of the tie, matching the unfinished sides together. 

NT right side out

Flip your tie right side out. Press it into the tie shape. The seam should be running down the center back. You can be done here. I do a little extra step because The Pastor (who is the tie expert in my house) says it makes a big difference in how a tie feels. 

NT optional end

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See the topstitching on these ties? That is the “big difference”. Just sewing a few straight lines down the narrow 1/3 end of the tie. The Pastor says this makes a ties lay flat on your neck and makes it much more comfortable to wear. I just trust him on it. And it only takes a minute, so I go with it. 

NT adult variation

Now for the adult variation:

You’ll want the tie longer. So, it’ll have to be longer than the width of your fabric. I made mine with one 36″ piece and one 18″ piece. It was long enough. You could make it longer if your man has a thicker neck or like super elaborate knots.

You’re making it essentially the same way. So lay your fabric out the same way. I made the large end 4.5″ from the center. I made the small end 3″ from the center. Now, you’ll need to make the ends that will connect the same width. Just make sure you mark it the same on both pieces. Connect the end of the lines in the same way. (See the picture.)

NT adult variation 3

Sew the ends the same way you sewed the ends for the little boy version. Once the ends are sewn, match up the straight ends in the middle and sew them together. Sew the main fabric to the main fabric right sides together. Sew the contrast fabric to the contrast fabric right sides together. 

Flip it right sides out, pressing out the ends. Also, press the seams open. (It’ll make the tie lay flat. If you press them to the side, you’ll make little speed bumps in your tie.)

Now you’ll finish up the same way as the little boy tie. With the main fabric to the inside, fold tie in half and sew the unfinished sides together. Flip.

Press. Sew the lines on the narrow 1/3 of the tie if you want

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And that is it! You’re done! Well, if you’re like me, you repeat over and over and over and then you’re done.

 

 

 

As usual, you can make these for your loved ones, give them as gifts, sell them if you want. You made them! Just share the free tutorial if asked! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Half Yard Baby Shower Gift

You’ve been invited to a baby shower and you decide you’re going to sew an entire layette or possibly an entire crib bedding set for the new squishy. The you realize, dude, I’ve got four kids of my own and the shower is in a week and I’ve got no time for such ambitious gifts. You need something practical. Something handmade, useful, but quick to make. I give you the half yard baby shower gift! It’ll take you an hour to whip up and you’ll still be the talk of the party.

Or maybe you’re new to sewing and want to sew something but you know you’re skills aren’t up to a smocked christening gown. So do you just buy some old something from the store? No. You sew the half yard baby shower gift! It is perfect for beginners!

The half yard baby shower gift includes 2 burpies, 3 wipies, and 2 drool bibs. What is a burpie? A cuter name for a burp cloth. Great for protecting shoulders, putting under little prone to leak heads while changing diapers or sleeping, good for big baby messes. What is a wipie? A smaller version of a burp cloth. Can be used as a cloth wet wipe, washcloth, face wipe, booger cleaner, drool wiper, etc. Great for smaller baby messes. What is a bib? Seriously? Do you have a baby? Have you seen a baby?

You’ll need a half yard of fabric. (You can use regular quilting cotton or flannel.) If it is going to annoy you having a directional print not quite lined up perfectly, don’t use a directional print. This project leaves no room for fussy cutting.

You’ll also need one cheap (new) bath towel. You can buy the cheapies at Wal-Mart, K-Mart, or Target. (Target’s are the thickest of those three, FTR. So, if you’re a newbie, it might make it more difficult to sew.) I promise one bath towel will be enough. You’ll see that I have 2 different colors of terry in these pictures. Once I got started, I realized I’d already made a couple burp cloths out of the other half of my blue towel. So, I had to grab the half of a brown towel I had from another project.

All laid out, this is essentially what your half yard is going to turn into.

First, iron your fabric. If the ends aren’t straight, straighten them. Also, some places tend to cut a bit bigger than you request. If your fabric shop did this, go ahead and trim your fabric to 18″.

Now, measure and cut 3 burpies. You’ll use the 18″ as the length and cut 10″ wide.

Take one of those burpies and divide it into 3. Mark it along the length at 6″ and 12″. These are your wipies.

Cut the towel to match. I cut the decorative stipe off. If your towel seems small, leave one of the stripes one, just in case you need to use it. I have used the stripe on burpies and bibs. It works fine, I just prefer not to have it. Also, the width of your towel is likely the length of one burpie plus the width of one wipie. To cut the terry, I lay the cut cotton on top and use it as a template. Terry is difficult to mark and it stretches in odd ways when you pin and pull it.

You should have about 14″ of fabric left. Fold this in half and lay a bib template on top. Cutting out two bibs.

I had to turn mine a bit because this Michael Miller fabric wasn’t quite as wide as my Joann’s stuff I used in my first few of these. It fit fine, as you can see, I just have slightly slanted cowpokes. Cut 2 bibs from the towel.

About this bib template. We’re making small newborn type drool bibs. You may have a template you can use. I use on from Sweet Booties. If you don’t have a bib template, here is how you make one. (And save it so you only have to make it once! I keep all my patterns, including those I make, it hanging file folders in milk crates.)

As you can see, my bib template is roughly the size of a regular 8.5″ x 11″ piece of printer paper.

Fold your paper in half and draw a bib shape on half of it (on the fold, so it opens whole). It may take you a couple tries, which is fine, it is just paper. A couple things to keep in mind: Keep the bottom relatively perpendicular to the fold, if you are coming at the fold at an angle, it’ll be pointed or heart shaped when you open it. You’ll loose some of your pattern in sewing space, so keep in mind your finished bib will be smaller than your template. (This mean necklines will be more open, too.)

Cut out your bib shape.

Open your bib template up and see how you like it. If you don’t like it, fix it now. It is much easier to scrap your pattern than try to make it work in fabric. If the paper doesn’t look right, the bib certainly won’t. Do you see how my straps don’t quite touch each other? You want that. When it is snapped, it pulls down and makes a two dimensional piece of fabric into a three dimensional piece of clothing.

As you can see, these two bibs would look much different from one another, but they’d both be fine. The point is to make a little bib this size. How you make the bib is up to you.

Now that you’ve got it all cut out, you’ve got about this much scrap fabric. See, I told you no room for fussy cutting.

Now that you’ve got all your pieces all cut out and ready to go it is time to sew! If you’re an old pro at sewing, sew, turn, and topstitch all of it, add closures of choice to the bibs. You’re done. If you are a beginning sewer, I’m going to go through all the steps for you.

First, with the wrong side of the fabric down on the terry, sew around the edge of the burpie leaving a hole.

See the hole? That is where we’ll turn it right side out. You want to reverse stitch at the beginning and the end. You do not want your seam unraveling as you turn. Also, if you make the hole small, life will be difficult (though not impossible) in 5 minutes. If you make a very large hole, your life might get difficult in 10 minutes when you’re having to line it up and sew it shut.

When you get to the corners:

You stop about where the line going the other direction will start. Eyeball it.

Pick up your foot, but leave the needle down. If your machine doesn’t stop in needle down position automatically, make sure to put the needle down before you lift the foot.

Turn your fabric. (My needle is down, my foot is up.)

Put your foot down. Now continue to sew. See how easy that was? *Confession: There once was a time in my early days of sewing when I would have sewn completely off the edge on one side, cut my threads, sewn the entire edge of the other side, cut my threads, sewn the entire opposite side the the edge, cut my threads, and finished by sewing the entire other side and cut my threads. Such a waste of time. And thread.*

Now that you’ve sewn all the way around and turned the corners like a pro, you’ll need to clip the corners of your fabric. This makes it so you actually have a corner when you flip it. Don’t clip your corners and the fabric will bunch in the corner, making it a round more than a corner. (And it’ll be a devil and a half to sew through.) Just don’t clip your seam!

Now, your burpie looks like this. And you are pretty proud of yourself for making it so nice and pretty. Good job. Now turn it right side out. Through that hole you left.

Ah! I made a fabric blob! Keep turning. It’ll work out. Run your hand along the inside, pushing the seams outward. Push those corners out.

Now press it. Make sure that hole is lining up nicely. Press it well. This is important. Don’t like ironing? Then you should probably avoid sewing because you cannot neglect to press things properly when you sew. (BTW, I burned my arm trying to iron left handed so I could photograph with my right hand. I think I may need a left handed camera.)

Let me stop and talk about stitches before we move forward. See my #00 and my #01? The 00 aligns the needle at the far left of my foot. The 01 aligns my needle in the center of my foot. If you have this option, use it. I use the 00 to sew the inside, then the 01 to topstitch. This way, I know my topstitching is catching the right fabric. If you use the same, be very careful that the hole closes!

Also, I use a longer stitch length to topstitch. It just looks better to me. I sew with a 2.5 stitch length usually. I topstitch with a 4.0 stitch length.

Starting just before the hole, topstitch. You want to be kinda close to the edge but not on the edge. *Confession: This freaked me out when I first started sewing. Topstitching was freaking nerve wracking! I would often sew it too far from the edge, leaving the unfinished edge of my hole hanging out. I often did a double topstitch because I got it wrong the first time. I’d topstitch it too far in, then topstitch again alongside it where it should have been. I claimed I mean to do it. I didn’t. But it always worked out.*

Turn your corners the same way you did for the other side. Leave the needle down, pick up the foot, turn, put down the foot, and keep sewing. Now aren’t you glad you perfected that on the side no one could see? In the corners, if your terry is particular thick or you didn’t clip quite right or if the stars just aren’t aligning for you today, you may have to push the fabric through a bit if it seems stuckish. Don’t freak about it, just push it a bit and it’ll go through and no one will notice your stitches are a bit smaller in length at the particular point because the fabric just wasn’t moving through properly.

Now, you’ve sewn all the way around and you’re coming back to your original starting point! (Which you don’t have to backstitch on, BTW, because we’re sewing over it just a bit.) Oh! Line it up! Quick! Don’t pull too drastically, just guide it so the threads line up! If you’re slightly off, no worries. I doubt anyone will notice. You’ll be a pro by the end of this gift!

See, it lined up! Yay! *deep breath* Sew over the line an inch or so. No need to backstitch at the end.

You did it! Bravo! Now, do the other burpie the exact same way. And those three wipies.

Now those bibs! Okay, now you’ve practiced sewing, turning, and topstitching 5 times. The bibs will be ever so slightly more difficult because they are curved and curves take some patience and practice. Just go slow. Take deep breaths. You can do it. Leave the hole on the straightest part of the bib. I chose the side. Once you get it sewn, you need to clip the curves (shown in the above picture). Clipping the curves on a bib feels like you’re making fringe our of the entire bib. Try not to clip your seams. (If you do, don’t panic. Just keep rolling. It’ll work out.) Turning this will be much more difficult. You can do it. The straps will turn. Just work ’em. Now that you’re turned, press it. Now topstitch being extra careful. Don’t think you’ll be able to manage? You can zigzag the topstitch to make the ever so small mistakes much less noticeable.

Add closure to your bib. I use snaps because I have a snap press. (Not rubbing it in. I do have a snap press.) Don’t use buttons. That is just dangerous. If you don’t have a snap press or snap pliers, use velcro. I had velcro, but it is better than choking a friend’s baby with a button. Don’t use ties. Ties are for bibs from the 80’s. No one has time to tie a bib on a squirming baby. It’ll never get used if you add ties.

Now you’re done! Tie it up in ribbons and present it proudly! If you’ve got more time and a contrasting fabric (or more of the same fabric) you can make 2 or 3 or 4 of these sets. These are items every parent needs plenty of.

As usual, do what you like with this tutorial. Make these to keep, give, sell, whatever. Just give a shout out back to me and don’t take credit for the work (this tutorial) of others! Free crafting for all!

 

Double Twirly Skirt Tutorial

Sorry I haven’t been able to blog for a while. I’ve got something new for you, though! If you are like me, you love a twirly skirt! With some fabulous fabric, a single layer twirly skirt is awesome. However, nothing compares to the fullness and twirl of a double twirly skirt! My daughter loves them! I love them. She looks so adorable and girly in them. They make her look more graceful (though they don’t actually make her more graceful). I can also make them longer, meaning they’ll fit longer and don’t look like some of the prostitot clothing they make for 4 year old girls these days. (Seriously, why is it so stinking hard to make clothing for little girls that makes them look like little girls? Why do they need to look like sassy teenagers (or worse)?)

Though this skirt looks complicated, it is simple. Super simple. Only sewing in straight lines simple. This is a great project for beginners, since your only pieces are rectangles. Easy! And the end result looks so… fancy and fabulous! (Couldn’t decide which word would best describe it!)

Here is what you need for the project:

– scissors

– sewing machine

– something with which to mark on fabric

– ruler and/or yard stick (I use both.)

– thread

– fabric (I used 4 different fabrics in my version, but you can use just two if you’d prefer.)

-You’ll need a double length of the under layer fabric. (I made my under skirt 15″ long, so I needed 30″ of fabric.)

-You’ll need a double length of the over layer fabric. (I made my over skirt 11″ long, so I needed 22″ of fabric.)

-You’ll need 6″ of your waistband fabric.

– If you MAKE a tie, you’ll need 4″ of fabric for that. You can also use ribbon, rope, twine, shoestring, whatever. You can also use double or triple elastic if            you prefer. The double skirt is kind of heavy, so it needs something more than just some 1/4″ elastic holding it up.

Cutting your fabric:

Decide how long you want to make your skirt. If you are making a skirt for an infant, you only want to use one width of the fabric, instead of two. (Having just one large rectangle, just one small rectangle, just one waistband piece, and just one length for the tie.) Anything over a 2T, keep reading. You under layer should be AT LEAST 2″ longer than the over layer. I typically keep it between 2″ and 5″ difference, depending on the fabrics. (And sometimes depending on how much of a fabric I have.) For my skirt, I made the under skirt 15″ long and the over skirt 11″ long. My model above wears a size 5 in little girl’s. So, the length you decide on will determine height of the rectangles you’ll cut.

From you under layer fabric: Cut 2 rectangles 20″ x the length of your skirt on the fold. (When you open the rectangle up, it will be 40″ x length.) (Mine were                40″ x 15″)

From you over layer fabric: Cut 2 rectangles 20″ c the length of your over skirt on the fold. (When you open it up, it will be 40″ x length.)(Mine were 40″ x 11″)

From your waistband fabric: Cut two strips 20″ x 3″ on the fold. (Opened they will be 40″ x 3″ each.)

From your tie fabric: Cut two strips 2″ across the length of your fabric.

**Tip: You can decrease the width of the skirt, taking some of the “poof” out if you’d like. I don’t recommend any less that a total of 40″ circumference. You can add poof by using all the fabric all the way to the edge, but I prefer to cut a bit off to make sure my measurements are even. Some fabrics may say 44″ wide, when they are in fact a bit more or less.

Working on the under skirt first, place the right sides of your two fabric rectangles together and sew the short sides. You’ll want to go ahead an finish your seams. I serge mine. You do whatever it is you do to yours. (Zig-zag, french seam, whatever.)

Once your side seams are all sewn up and finished, you’ll want to go ahead and do the hem. Hem in however it is you hem it. I serge mine, then turn the serging under and sew. You can do a double fold hem, or whatever hem it is that you like.

Put the under skirt aside.

Now, we’re going to do the same thing with our over skirt (the short layer). You’ll sew the short sides of the rectangles right sides together. Finish your seams. Hem the bottom. Now, you have both the top and the bottom layer done!

Now, turn your attention to the waistband. Sew the short sides of the two strips right sides together. I serge mine, but you really don’t have to finish the side seams of the waistband. The seams will be hidden inside the waistband of the skirt, so you can skip the finishing. I’m just weird. Instead of hemming the bottom, you’ll finish the top. I just serge mine, since it will be on the inside of the skirt. You can zig-zag over the edge if you prefer, or just do a single fold hem, since the unfinished edge will get enclosed in the waistband.

For the tie, I like to place a buttonhole on my waistband. It seems easiest. Some people like to leave a portion of their waistband seam open, but I always mess that up somehow. A buttonhole near the side seam, toward the bottom of the waistband works out perfectly for me. Place it low enough that it will be on the front of the skirt, but high enough it won’t get caught in the seam. You can do the button hole horizontal, instead or vertical, but the placement is a bit more tricky that way.

Putting the under skirt and the overskirt together now. With the wrong side of the over skirt facing the right side of the under skirt, align the tops of the skirts, matching the side seams. Baste around the top of the two skirts. (Basting is sewing a straight line with the longest stitch setting.) You’ll want to baste the edges closer to the edge than your seams normally are. (If you sew with a 1/2″ seam, baste at a 1/4″.)

Now, you’re going to attach the waistband to the skirt. With the wrong side of the waistband facing the right side of the overskirt, sew around the bottom of the waistband/top of the skirt. Here is why it was important to baste closer to the edge than you normally sew. You’ll want your basted line hidden, and it will be now!

Press the waistband up. You’ll want your seam toward the top of the waistband. Believe me, this step will help the next go smoothly.

Fold the waistband over and sew down. I line up the top line with the sewn line on the skirt. Don’t fret if your line is not completely straight on the front of the skirt. No one will really see it.

If you are making a tie, you’ll need to sew the short sides of one side of the tie strips together. Just one side. Otherwise, it will be quite difficult to use.

Press the seam open.

Fold the strip in half and press. (See the picture for the correct version of half.)

Fold one edge toward the center and press. This is simple, though it does take some time to press down all 80″ of tie. Watch your fingers! Get them too close and you’ll suffer burns!

Press the other side in toward the center seam. Now, you have what looks like double fold bias tape, which would be exactly what it is minus being cut on a bias.

Sew down the middle of the tie. You CAN just do a straight stitch. I prefer to do a zig-zag.

Or if you happen to have a machine with some fancy stitches that you never get to use, you can use one of those. Ties are a great chance to use those stitches, and if you mess up, no big deal, it is just a tie.

Now, grab your piece of elastic. (You want the skirt to fit snug, but not too snug. The elastic really isn’t going to do much holding the skirt up, it is just for shape and keeping you from having to regather the thing every time you wash it.) Pin your tie to your elastic with the tie on the front. Also put a pin on the end of your elastic so it doesn’t just shoot straight through the skirt. The tie is long enough that you don’t have to worry about it.

Thread the tie and elastic through the waistband. Sew the ends of the elastic together. Pull on the tie and get it even on your skirt. The elastic will probably pop right into place while you’re messing with the tie.

Cut your ties to a manageable length. (That length depends on the waist of the wearer and how long you the tie to hang.) Tie the ends of the tie in little knots.

Tie the tie in a bow and you’re done! One of my favorite things about this skirt is that it lasts forever! This thing will fit your little princess for a very long time! It will fit until it is too short, no outgrowing the waist on this thing! My daughter’s favorite thing about this skirt is that it is SUPER twirly. She loves the princess-like fit. Enjoy!

Like all my patterns, you can do what you wish with this. You can make skirts for you, neighbors, friends, kids… You can sell the skirts you make. Just don’t claim the pattern as yours, cause that is just wrong. And feel free to share this tutorial!

Petal Skirt

This skirt is very similar to the Pixie Skirt. In fact, the Petal Skirt and Pixie Skirt are so similar, I’m only posting one tutorial. Skip to the bottom for dimensions for the Pixie. Why the difference? Well, the Petal Skirt is for older girls and the Pixie Skirt is for younger girls. Simple.

This is the Petal Skirt. The longer length and fewer petals make it perfect for older girls. You’ll want to pick two or three different cotton fabrics and have about 3/4 of a yard of each. (You can make the underside of the petals in a solid color if you like. Or you can make each petal different if you’re daring.)

First, you’re going to make your petal pattern. So, grab your graph paper (or whatever paper you make your patterns on), your straight ruler, your curve ruler (if you have one- if you don’t, you can eyeball it), your pen, and your paper scissors (never to be confused with your fabric scissors!).

Mark a line on the top of your paper 7″ across. Put a little mark at the halfway (3.5″) point.

Draw a line down the center mark 10″ down. The bottom of the 10″ mark is the bottom of your petal.

Fold the paper in half along the center line. Also, note how I marked the bottom of the 10″ line. Once your paper is folded, it can be hard to see where the end of the line is.

Grab your curve ruler and draw a curved line from the end of your 7″ line to the end of your 10″ line. If you don’t have a curve ruler, you can just eyeball this part. You are only marking one side of your folded paper.

Keeping your paper folded, cut along the curved line.

Unfold your petal. This is your pattern piece. (Ignore the “Pixie” written on the petals. These are Petal petals, not Pixie petals, but my pregnant brain had a slight malfunction in the labeling department.) Write all the necessary stuff on you pattern piece. I usually include the dimensions of the pattern piece and the dimensions of the pieces that are to go with it. Also, not the two pattern pieces above. Your pattern is your own. It may be more pointy or round than mine. In fact, you can make triangles and make a Pennant Skirt if you like. (That would be super cute in the summer for baseball season.) If you don’t like the shape when you unfold it, try again. For my skirt, I used the left pattern. I liked the rounded look of it.

Now, you are going to cut out all your skirt pieces. You will need to cut out 12 petals (front and back will make 6 completed petals). You’ll need 2 rectangles for the skirt body 20″ wide and 14″ long. You’ll also need 2 skinny rectangles for the waistband 19″ wide and 3″ long. (Note my pretty new scissors that The Pastor bought me for my birthday! He knows the way to my heart is not jewelry, but sewing accessories!)

First, we’re going to work on the petals. Take two of your petal cut outs and place them right sides together.

Sew around the edges, leaving the top open. Since these seams will be completely enclosed, there is no need to finish them. Clip the curves all the way around your petal so that when you flip it right side out, it lays nice and flat.

Repeat for the other 5 petals. Flip them right side out and iron them flat. If you want, you can topstitch once you’ve ironed them flat. I didn’t on this skirt, but have on others. It is really just for looks, so do whichever you prefer at the moment.

Set your cute little petals aside and let’s work on this underskirt. With the right sides together, sew the short sides of the two rectangles together, making a tube.

Go ahead and finish the side seams of your skirt. I serged mine. You can finish them however you like!

You are also going to go ahead and finish the bottom of the underskirt. You can do a double fold hem if you like. I serge mine, then flip that under and sew it down. I use a zig-zag stitch just because I like how it looks.

Pin your petals to the outside of the underskirt. I like mine to overlap a little bit. You arrange them how you want. There will probably be about 1/2″ more underskirt than there are petals. You are going to box pleat the center front and back underskirt. The size of the box pleat depends on how you want your petals arranged.

This is the best picture I have of the pleat. I like the pleat, because it adds just a bit of volume to the skirt. However, if you don’t like the pleat, take about an inch off the width of the underskirt. I usually don’t do the pleat for the Pixie Skirt, since it is smaller and shorter and naturally holds a little more volume.

Sew the petals to the underskirt. Make sure you sew close to the top edge.

Sew the short sides of the waistband together (with right sides together). I go ahead and serge what will be the top of my waistband. You can do it now or later, it really doesn’t matter. With the right side of the waistband facing the right side of the skirt, sew the waistband to the skirt.

Fold the waistband over and sew it closed, leaving a small hole to feed the elastic through. It may be easier if you press the waistband fold before you sew. You do whatever works for you. I didn’t want to walk across the room to the iron, so I just flipped it and eyeballed it.

Here is the hole I left for the elastic.

My elastic is now ready to thread through the waistband! The length of elastic you cut will depend on two things. The first is the girl who will wear the skirt. Clearly, skinner means shorter elastic. Wider means longer elastic. The maximum waist on the skirt is about 37″. The second factor is what kind of elastic you are using. I use a gentler elastic that doesn’t dig in or squeeze as tight. I find it more comfortable to wear. Your elastic may squeeze tighter, therefore you’ll want it a bit wider than I make mine. Eyeball it.

Thread the elastic through the waistband. Sew the elastic closed. When sewing elastic closed, you want to sew along the length with a stretch stitch (or a zig-zag). I always sew about an inch, that way there is very little chance of an overly zealous dresser snapping it.

Sew the hole closed and YOU ARE DONE!

Pixie Skirt. I added a matching hem band on the bottom of this one.

To make a Pixie Skirt, rather than a Petal Skirt, follow the directions above and just change the dimensions. (Also, don’t pleat the underskirt.)

For the petals: Make a pattern with a 7 and 3/4″ top and 8″ long. You are going to cut 16 petals for the Pixie Skirt, since you are making 8 full petals. I also make my Pixie petals a bit more pointy. It just seems right to me.

For the underskirt: Cut two 26.5″ x 11″ rectangles.

For the waistband: Cut two 26.5″ x 3″ rectangles. (If you want a more narrow waistband, try making them 2″ wide instead of 3″.)

Follow the directions for the Petal Skirt.

As always, this tutorial is free for you to use in any way you like. Make them to keep, sell, gift, whatever. Just don’t take credit for the pattern because that just isn’t cool. Share the free and link back here.

 

Plastic Bag Holder Tutorial

A friend of mine asked if I could make her a plastic bag holder. Of course, I accepted! I looked online for a tutorial or something. But none of them fit what I wanted it to look like. Most of them were just tubes with elastic at the top and bottom. Very basic. I usually like basic, but I thought it needed a little extra oomph! So, I did what I do. I sat down with my graph paper and sketched out a plan. This is another fat quarter project! Yay! (Fat quarters are 18″ x 22″ pieces of fabric, sold at fabric stores that sell quilting fabric.)

I use reusable bags, but always end up with plastic grocery bags anyway! You could also use this bag to store other things. (I stuffed on with fabric scraps!) And, as always, if you want one of these, but don’t have the skills, time, or desire to make it yourself- you can always contact me! (Check out Moose and Wormy on Etsy!)

To make a plastic bag holder, you’ll need one fat quarter, a 4″ strip of a contrasting fabric, 2 small (4″ or so) pieces of elastic, and one small piece of ribbon (6″ or so). (You can also make a fabric “loop” to hang the bag by. It is up to you!)

Measure your fat quarter. It should be about 18″ x 22″, but sometimes they are slightly larger. You’ll want to cut your 4″ strip of contrast fabric so you have two 4″ strips to go across each 18″ side. If your fat quarter is 19″, then cut your strips 19″ to fit.

With the right sides together, sew the contrast strip to the main fabric along the 18″ edge. Repeat for the other side.

I serge all my edges, since I am usually selling what I make. If you’ve got a serger, go ahead and finish those edges. If you don’t have a serger, you can omit the finishing if you want, or you can pink or zig-zag the edge. Since this is not a wearable object, or an object that will get much washing (if any) it isn’t necessary to finish the edges at all. So, don’t feel bad if you choose to skip that step!

Pin your ribbon loop (or fabric loop) a couple inches from the top of the main fabric along the 22″ side. (Which is not a 30″ side, since you just attached two 4″ strips to the ends!) If you put your loop too high, you’ll be fighting it while you sew the elastic casing or it will end up on the ruffle. So, try to put it low enough it will be out of the way, but still at the top of the bag. (You can turn the top ruffle down and see where it will hit if that helps you. I just eyeball it and hope for the best!)

Fold your fabric in half long ways (with your contrast fabric on the top and bottom) and sew with right sides together. Serge or finish the edge as you did with the other seam!

Serge the top and bottom edge of your contrast fabric (you can see above that the edge of the pink fabric is serged). If you want to skip that step, go right ahead!

Now, press the contrast edge in. (See above!) You want to leave about 1/2″ or so of your contrast fabric showing on the front.

(In the photo above, I am showing you the contrast fabric showing on the front.) Repeat for the opposite end. Press it down, leaving about 1/2″ (maybe a little more) showing on the front.

At this point, you’re bag is looking something like this. It reminds me of the cat tunnel project in In Stitches by Amy Butler. (Don’t know what project I’m referring to? It is a tube, much like this, lined with faux fur for your cat to play in.)

Now, we make our elastic casing! Yay! Sew along about 1/2″ from the edge of the contrast fabric. Sew all the way around, sewing back over your first stitches.

Sew all the way around again, this time sewing as close to the edge as you can. Also, you’ll need to backstitch the ends and leave a small opening (preferably near the back center seam) to guide your elastic through.

Repeat for the other side! Now, you are almost done!

Grab your two pieces of elastic!

Here is how I thread my elastic. I put a large safety pin along the back end. It keeps the elastic from slipping all the way through. (Believe me, that is a pain!) I attach a small safety pin to the front end (the end I’ll be pushing through the casing).  Make sure your safety pins are firmly attached. It really sucks when a pin slips off because you put it too close to the edge.

Thread your elastic through the casing.

Sew your elastic together by overlapping it and sewing it with an “elastic” stitch. (The awkward looking zig-zag stitch on your machine that is more “lighting bolty” than “zig-zaggy.” If you don’t have that stitch, a small zig-zag will work. (You may have to reset the width of the zig-zag so it fits on the elastic.)

Repeat for the other side!

Flip it right side out an you’re done! I know, you’re wondering why I didn’t finish closing off those elastic casings! Well, to be honest, it is a pain in the butt and it serves no real purpose. You can fight through it and close them up if you’d like, but I see no reason to. I backstitched the ends, so I made sure it was nice and secure. The elastic is so tight, You’ll find great difficulty stretching it out to sew that little bitty hole closed. And I see no point in closing it. You can if you’d like, I don’t.

See the lovely loop on the back! You can hang it in your pantry or, if you’re like me, you can hang it on your kitchen wall! (Use some snazzy fabrics and you’ll liven your kitchen up!)

This is my favorite aspect of the design! The top and bottom “mouth” of your bag holder have a nice little flirty splash of contrast! I love it!

Go! Make some as gifts, for yourself, or sell some! (Yep. You can feel free to sell anything you make from any of my free designs.) As always, I just ask that you not take credit for the design and that you’d share the free tutorial with others! (No hoarding freeness!) Have fun!

Courtesy of Moose and Wormy! (visit my shop at mooseandwormy.etsy.com)