Friday, December 18, 2009

Drawstring Game Bag

When I was a little girl, I would stay the night over at my grandparents home often. I loved it because my grandma had few toys, but they were classics. She had wonderful paper dolls and little glass figurines from Brazil (that I'm dying to find for my own children). Well, she also had a deck of playing cards which had a boy and then a girl from different countries. We would play go fish and try and match the boy to the girl. I loved these cards and the outfits that they were wearing. The ones that I remember most vividly is Holland and Australia.

Just in September we went to my grandparents in California and I looked at those cards and wrote down all the information to try and get myself a copy. I have the fondest memories playing with them.

A few weeks ago, I was wandering through a fabric store when I looked down and saw this Alexander Henry fabric that looked exactly like the people on the cards at my grandma's. I got misty eyed from all the nostalgia I was feeling just looking at it. I bought some not knowing what I was going to do with it.

Then a few days ago, I was putting some of the girls games away in the closet. What a mess that closet was. We have limited space and things were piled everywhere and completely unorganized. I took out all our mangled puzzle boxes, cut the picture off the box and put them all in separate Ziploc bags. I decided the perfect project for my fabric. A drawstring game bag. I followed this tutorial but made it much bigger and added pom poms. So now, instead of having piles of boxes in our closet where my girls can't reach them, we have this bag on the floor that is easy to get too and much tidier. I love that we now have a little organization in our game closet and that I get to see this bag and think of my childhood. I made a miniature version of this bag and sent it to my grandma for her to hold her many decks of cards. I can't wait until she gets it.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Ruffled Tulle Tiered Skirt Instructions

I mentioned posting a tutorial for the tiered skirts I made before. I decided not to, because I really didn't have much of a tutorial. I basically used someone elses tutorial for the skirt and added tulle. But after showing a couple friends, receiving a few e-mails requesting instructions, and a couple phone calls asking for the how-to, I thought I would just post what I did here. It's not a tutorial, because I never took pictures as I was making one, but here are some written instructions. I think you'll be just fine without the pictures. Just keep in mind that this is how I did it. It may not be right or the best way to do it, but it's what works for me, so I can do it however I want. Kidding, kidding. (kinda!)

To begin you'll need about 1 yard of cotton fabric and a minimum of two yards of tulle (you may want a bit more to be safe, because two yards will barely get you there, but it will work). The instructions for this skirt should fit an average 3-5 year old.

First, read the instructions here on how to make a tiered skirt. I will then explain my modifications after you read through the tutorial...go ahead, read that tutorial, things will make a LOT more sense if you do that first.

Follow the instructions for the first three tiers in the tutorial, but omit the ruffle. Instead, add another tier. I took the length of the strip in the last tier (67.5) and multiplied it by 1.5. That means you should have a length of fabric 101.25 by 5 inches. (I had to piece two lengths together to get it that long, but that's okay, it's covered up with tulle in the end and you'll never see the seam). Hem the bottom.

Then, take your tulle and cut it into 3 inch strips the length of the yardage so you have very long strips of tulle. I then layered two strips of tulle on top of one another and ran it through my machine right down the middle on the longest stitch length and highest tension. Don't backstitch at all. Pull the thread to ruffle the tulle. If your machine is anything like mine, the tulle will pretty much be ruffled as you sew it. Do this for all the strips you have.

The tulle is then going to be placed on the skirt at the seams of each tier. Therefore, you will have three rows of tulle. Place the stitch you put in the tulle right on the seam of the skirt and stitch back over that exact stitch. Be sure to set your machine back to a normal tension and stitch length. (I know this sounds confusing, but you should see what I mean when you are at that point in the process. Enlarge the picture to get a better idea of where the tulle lies on the skirt.) You'll probably have to cut the tulle at some points to piece it onto the skirt to get it to go all the way around on all three rows. Once the tulle is attached, presto, you have your own ruffled tulle tiered skirt. And the little girls in your life will want to wear it everyday. Be sure to make multiples in every color!

Any questions?