Friday, July 5, 2013

Happy 4th of July (and a tutorial)

Happy Independence Day!!!!  We are so blessed to be living in an amazing country that allows us so many freedoms - and I love having a day to remind us of that :)

My girls, my dad, and I spent the day before picking blueberries (which is a yearly tradition in our family since I was a little girl).  Although the berries were a little hard to find, we had a great time.  And managed to come home with 14 pounds of berries.  Hint, hint... a future blog may a recipe of fresh blueberry preserves :)
We spent the day, as many of you did, celebrating with family and friends. My daughter Claire is playing Tic Tac Toe with her grandpa, with a game hand-painted by her great-grandmother out of rocks and pebbles.
I was so inspired by the adorable new fabric collections, Flats by Angela Yosten, that I wanted to make my girls some patriotic-inspired shirts for the special day.  I started with a tutorial I found on Pinterest for a toddler's Pillowcase Dress on the blog The Ribbon Retreat and just modified it to fit my girls.

And instead of doing the sash and bow (which my girls wouldn't have worn), I did an elastic band with straps.  Check out the steps below.
  • I used the tutorial steps all the way until the part with the ribbon treading through.  Instead, I made straps.   I cut the fabric in a 4" strip and folded it in half and pressed with the iron.  I then opened it up and pressed the outer edges in half towards the middle seam - pretty much like you do when you make your own bias tape.  I then did a 1/8" seam on both sides of the strap to hold it all together.
  • I then measured the desired length for the straps and added 1" for seams.  I cut both straps the same length.  I then measured the girls from collar bone to collar bone and subtracted about 1-1/2" for the front piece of elastic and about 2-1/2" for the back piece of elastic- depending on how much gathering you want.  (I used 1" elastic)
  • Now just attach the elastic to your strap.  I sewed in this order: strap to front elastic, front elastic to other strap, and then other strap to back elastic. 
  • Next, attached a safety pin to the end of the elastic and fish through the cased opening.  Once the seams line up, just stitch back over the existing seam.  Repeat for all the seams.  Once you fish the elastic through the final casing, just stitch the elastic to the strap and sew the strap into place.
  • And voila, there you have it!!!  Your shirt is complete!!!  Check out these adorable little girls in their new shirts - ok, I might be a little biased, but I think they are "perfect" ;)

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