Friday, January 29, 2016

Kid Giddy Sizzix Doll Bubble Dress Tutorial

Happy Friday everyone! Thank you for all the Bubbles love...I love creating these little dolls and their characters - so I'm thrilled when you all enjoy them. If you loved Bubbles and her outfit, I'm sharing how I put it all together, so you can make one too. I decided to make her a dress with a "bubble skirt" (hence her name) but if you just want to make a regular dress skirt, I'm providing the instructions too which are a little different than the photos shown.
As a reminder - Bubbles is made using my Sizzix Kid Giddy Doll die (for the head and body) and the Sizzix Kid Giddy Fox die (for the arms and legs).

Step 1: Cut 4 body pieces. This can be all the same fabric, but I used two so this tutorial is less confusing. I also wanted the bottom to be different than her dress so it 'looked' like she was wearing undies. Cut your top piece across the midsection so it's 2 1/2" from top to bottom. The bottom piece should be cut from the bottom up so it's 1/2" overlapped with the top piece. In this picture above, you'll see a skin tone fabric piece underneath the other two. This is only to illustrate how if you line up the two pieces to the skin tone piece, they must overlap each other to account for the seam allowance.  If you don't account for the seam allowance, the doll's body will be shorter than intended. So my measurements don't really matter - you can place the dress seam where you want, just make sure they overlap by 1/2".
Step 2: Sew the two top body pieces right sides together, side seams only. Repeat this for the bottom portion of the body as well.
Step 3: Cut a piece of fabric that is 9" wide by approx 19 1/2" long if you are making a dress with the bubble skirt. Sew the short ends together and press open the seam. ((Please note: If you have a ruffler foot, PLEASE test a length of 19 1/2" fabric to see how long it is once ruffled before continuing))
If you don't want to make a "bubble" skirt: cut your fabric approx 5" x 19 1/2". Skip to step 5.
Step 4: Fold the fabric in half, wrong sides together, and pin the seams together to keep them aligned. Because this is a bubble skirt, if you want to add fluff, tulle or anything else (to bubble it out), now is the time to do that. 
Step 5: Gather the entire raw edge of the skirt so the circumference is the same as the bottom raw edge of the top body piece. Depending on where you cut the body piece, this could be different for everyone. I also used a ruffler foot and know the settings for my measurements - so please keep in mind your measurements could be different than mine. If you are gathering by hand or using a very long basic stitch, it could be easier to mark various increments to line up along the body seam. 
If you are not making a bubble skirt, match up the ruffled edge to your body piece, and stitch the end seam together (which will be in the center back of the doll) and trim seam allowance accordingly.
Step 6: Turn the top body piece right side out, the bottom body piece wrong side out and the skirt wrong side out (if not making a bubble skirt).
Step 7: Slip the skirt over the top body piece and pin in place. The raw edge of the skirt should be lined up to the bottom raw edge of the top body piece. Do not line it up to the neck seam.
Step 8: Slip the bottom body piece over the skirt and pin in place. This can be tricky because the top and bottom seam of the bottom body portion are almost the same. Be sure you are connecting the middle of the bottom portion to the raw edges.
Step 9: Sew around the raw edge and pull the bottom portion down.

Step 10: Flip the skirt dress down to show the top of the body and finish the doll according to directions with the die. If you didn't make a bubble skirt, roll a double hem along the bottom raw edge and top stitch along the fold.

Step 11: If you want to make a puffy sleeve cut your fabric in the manner shown above. Although this shows the doll arm, you can do the same for the fox arm (as I did but forgot to take a picture of). Make the top edge the same width as the top of the arm, and the bottom wider. Stitch the side seams together and sew a piece of elastic to the bottom edge to gather it into a puffy sleeve.
Step 12: To make the capris, please see all my additional instructions on the sizzix website under projects for the doll. The instructions apply to the fox arms and legs as well.
Step 13:  To make her hair buns, I use 1/2" strips of bamboo blend felt braided together. Roll the braid pieces up to make the bun as small or as large as you want. On the underside, using a long piece of thread, secure all the pieces from one side to another all the way around the bun. Stitch the bun to the doll head in the desired place.

Do you know about the #SewMyself Doll Challenge hosted by GenQ magazine and sponsored by Sizzix? I recently shared how I made some of my Little House on the Prairie look a like dolls for more ideas to make your own for the contest. Head over to Gen Q to check it out.

If you have any questions about this tutorial, please leave me a comment below so I can answer it for all to see and benefit from as well.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Bubbles the Paperie Doll and her tiny CoPilot Bag

I'm so excited to finally share what Amy Sinibaldi's Paperie fabric inspired me to make. Little Bubbles has been fluttering around my house for the past month, as my daughters have snuck in a few cuddles with her here and there. She's in a new spot everyday. I was thrilled Amy asked me to be a part of her blog hop because I knew her fabrics would make the cutest little doll. I didn't skimp on this and kinda broke the mold on her. If you are familiar with my Sizzix Doll dies, you'll notice her arms and legs are not the same as the ones on the doll die. These arms and legs are from the Sizzix Fox die. The pieces are all interchangeable - she's my first bit of proof.
For her outfit - I made Bubbles a little "bubble dress" with puffy sleeves. It was easy to make and looks really cute with a little tulle underneath (my daughter took the tutu from my ballerina doll and added it underneath at one point. It's not shown here - but I'll share that pic when I post the dress tutorial tomorrow). I also decided to give her sweet little capris with some lace detailing) same as on the sleeves). I finished off her dress with two beautiful buttons designed by Jane from "Quilt Jane". Because she lives in Maine - Bubbles clearly needed her own little infinity scarf to keep her warm.
Bubbles is quite unique as you can see from her pink hair and dual hair buns on top. She loves to knit in her free time and travel. Beside her is her little Mini Co-Pilot bag - she loves a good adventure - that word has become her middle name. The word 'adventure' and the bag fit her perfectly.She ven brings her scissors along for some crafty traveling.

Info on making the bag MINI: I made this mini bag for her using Sara Lawson's Co-Pilot pattern from her new Windy City book. I took Sara's bag measurements and divided them by 4. I then took the pattern piece for this bag and shrunk it down to 25% of the original size. Because I changed the size - the seam allowance was no longer the same as required. To fix this - I cut off the seam allowance and added an accurate allowance back on. This kept the pattern 100% accurate in shape and dimensions. This is something I always recommend to people using my patterns (or anyone's patterns) if they make them smaller or larger than advised. I used some Soft and Stable from Patterns by Annie (only one layer for the bottom and sides) to give it body, and of course had to add a little scissor tag to the zipper pull.

If you would like a chance to win a charm pack of Amy's new Limited Edition Paperie fabrics from Art Gallery Fabrics - please leave a comment below (OR on my instagram pic of Bubbles). I'll pick a winner and advise next Tuesday.
Thanks so much for stopping by and thank you Amy for letting me play with your fabrics. Please sign up for my emails to get info about new patterns, new dies, future sales and other fun stuff. I have yet to send out my first one - but I will soon and will surely include something fun.

Disclaimer: I received some fabric from Amy to use for this blog post. I also received a copy of Sara's book and some Soft and Stable since I hadn't ever used it before, as well as the buttons all the way from Australia from Jane. All of the opinions are my own and none of the links above are affiliate links because Maine is crazy like that. Any knitting featured in this story was created by one of my talented daughters.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Sew Prompted 2016 - A Weekly Instagram Prompt

2015 is coming to a close and the New Year is just hours away. Want join me and have a little fun on Instagram? You never know what you'll be "sew prompted" to make/do/share/say!

Where did this idea come from? A few months ago I was debating hosting a swap and wanted to make it really different. I didn't want it to be a 'standard' mini quilt swap as there were already so many going on at the time. The swap ended up being a quilted banner that was a particular size and we challenged participants to incorporate at least one really different item: driftwood, feather, leather, yarn, etc. You can see many of the "out of the box" banners that were made for the swap on IG with hashtag #banneradventureswap. It was so fun to see swappers getting really creative and the feedback was often the same - they loved how unique it was and how it allowed them to get crazy.

That got me thinking about other ways to really stretch my sewing and think more outside of the box and act on that prompting more often. I thought about doing a photo prompt - you know those ones you've seen on IG over the past few years. I've seen tons and have tried to keep up with a few of them - but I find it's too hard to do daily when I'm really busy with deadlines and such. Some participants are able to keep up the daily prompts and stay consistent, and some if not many, fall off midway - like me. Well, instead of a daily prompt, I decided to make it a weekly prompt. By doing it weekly, it gives anyone that wants to participate time throughout the week to post something.

The best part?...(I think) is I have asked various friends/designers to play along and be the ones selecting the word each week to keep us on our toes. I asked them to pick a word...a color, tool, method, pattern, goal, challenge, or anything they wanted as the prompt. Once you know the word, you can post a photo inspired by that prompt if you want. It might be something you sew, make, do, a collection, stash, space, etc. What ever the word of the week inspires - capture it in a photo and share it on IG.  

We'll be using the hashtag #sewprompted2016 and each Monday is when the new word is released. I will tag the designer on my IG feed for the week and they will post their word. 

It will be sewing themed for the most part (hence the hashtag "sew prompted") but can also be any type of crafty, creative medium in general - stretching ourselves in different ways. The first word starts next week...If you'd like to participate - please introduce yourself and use the tag #sewprompted2016 so we can all say hello. 

Thanks so much for joining in - I'm so excited to see how this unfolds throughout the year! If you want to sign up for my emails - you can do so by clicking the link below.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christmas Sweater Block and an Ugly Sweater Contest

Yes - there's an "Ugly Sweater Contest"'s the full story....After seeing tons of pics on IG, ads on TV commercials and sweaters in every store, I felt like the Ugly Christmas Sweater trend was all the rage again, and bigger than last year. In a little flash while driving to get my girls I got this idea to make an Ugly Christmas Sweater paper piecing block for fun. The idea sat in my head for about a week until I finally had a little "me time" (not really). I whipped it up in EQ7, made this candy cane girl block really quick, took a pic and sent it out into the big wild world.

I woke up the next day and saw that Heidi Kenney (from My Paper Crane) was the first to purchase the block because a mutual friend texted a pic of it. Great way to wake up in the morning right? She made this adorable Cotton and Steel Christmas tree sweater and posted it on instagram (and it was just as "not" ugly as mine).

Then more people started making their own "not" ugly Christmas Sweaters...How in the world could anyone make it ugly? A few others have tried - but they are all just too cute as well as funny!
Here's a Christmas Fairie sweater from Alisa (@astitchinbetween)

This Noel one is from Robin (@nestlingsbyrobin)

And this Cat Duo sweater block is from Jordan (@mylyons86)

So then I wake up this morning and Kim Lapacek from Persimon Dreams made this Santa sweater block...
Moments later she emailed me to ask if she could host an "Ugly Christmas Sweater" block contest. I was dying laughing. Um...YES!

I can't get over how fun this has been and I can't wait to see all the sweater all their "ugliness" and cuteness! If you make a block - please tag me on IG or Facebook so I can see it. If you blog about - let me know. Maybe I will add a link to blog posts. I'm using a few hashtags - #KidGiddySweaterBlock #UglyChristmasSweater and for the contest - #uglysweaterblock (#uglysweater was too popular and we'd never see them).

Be sure to visit Kim's website to get all the info for the contest*. You can find the Christmas Sweater pattern in my Etsy shop and my Kid Giddy Craftsy shop as well. *Participants must purchase the pattern to enter...and I will ask that you refrain from buying the pattern and sharing it with a friend so they can enter too (I will have to ban you from purchasing my patterns if I see that happening - as I've seen this happening elsewhere).

Good luck everyone - thanks so much for all the (ugly) Christmas Sweater love! 

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