I’ve been toying with the idea of making tutus for a while now (though grown up size) as I love the idea of being all Audrey Hepburn and flouncing off with ruffles of skirt behind me or Lily Allen and giving them an edge with some boots or trainers.
I thought it best to start with the girls though (mainly because they begged me). I have to say that I really loved making these. They were so easy, just 5 circles one on top of the other, gather them individually at the wait to fit your natural hip width (this is so that you can get it on and off), join the waistbands with a zig zag stitch being careful not to drop any of the layers and then to make life really easy I attached them to a thick elastic waist band.
You can find the pattern here http://www.cottonandcurls.com/2014/01/very-simple-tulle-skirt-tutorial/
- Measure your natural hip – this will give you the circumference, you need to get the radius (now for some maths) r = circumference/2π or you can use this handy on-line tool https://www.google.co.uk/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=how%20to%20work%20out%20the%20radius%20of%20a%20circle
- when drawing out your circle fold you fabric into quarters, draw your circle pattern on to some paper first ( I cellotaped some baking parchment together) and then tie a piece of string cut to the desired length of the skirt around a pencil – ask a willing volunteer or minion to help hold one end of the string in place and as you stretch the string and draw it will draw a perfect circle. I think I could have explained that better…
- I decided to line the skirt with satin, I think I’m probably never going to do that again. I can’t tell you how much grief I found it to work with – the fraying was ridiculous. Next time I think I’ll use some jersey knit in the same colour as the dress net. I think I turned the house blue with my language.
- ebay, ebay, ebay – dress net was so cheap, as was the top layer with sequins. I’ve also now found some gold elastic which will look really nice as a waist band, these also come in a vast array of colours. I accidentally ordered silver (read grey) tulle instead of ivory, so I’ve got a shed load to use up but though that by adding some sequins around the base of the skirt it could look rally pretty.
Whilst trawling Pinterest for inspiration I came across Burda Style (http://www.burdastyle.co.uk/) a cornucopia of sewing patterns. Granted some of the stuff is a little dated and as I am a total newbie to this I wasn’t sure if this is what is to be expected. I do rate this website above other pattern sites though because it is the one that most feels like a standard ecommerce fashion shopping site. The products are easy to browse and the patterns are cheap, easy to download and use. I do find that the sizes seem to be massive though. My girls might be a little on the slender side but I don’t think they are that far out from their peers and I certainly found with Rosie that I had to opt for much smaller sizes going forward and even going a couple of years younger than her age (according to size) they still seem very roomy. Thinking about it, I must be doing something wrong… they can’t be that far out?
I found this dress pattern (http://www.burdastyle.co.uk/kids/girl-s-eyelet-dress-07-2013-145) which I simplified further to make a simple nightdress for Rosie, I then made a cami out of it for Belle and downloaded this shorts pattern (http://www.burdastyle.co.uk/kids/shorts-03-2014-142) to make a pyjama set.
For the material I bought some fat quarters from hobby craft – this I used for the ruffle and bias tape and the rest was made out of an old duvet cover (well I didn’t want to invest too much in this in case I turned out to be a talentless monkey).
I’m afraid I don’t have step by step photos (still too new to this – though I’ll do that going forward). As a first project I was really pleased – alright they do look a little bit like the Von Traps. Sorry kids!
Admittedly this is not my first sewing project and this one was actually born out of necessity rather than vanity. Having made a couple of items for the girls it became apparent that they were finding it tricky to tell the front from the back on simple t-shirts so I first thought that I would simply sew some ribbons in but then thought better of it and decided to create my own labels.
I found this great article on Pinterest http://patchworkpottery.blogspot.ca/2008/09/fabric-labels-tutorial.html with easy step by step guide on how to make your own labels.
All you need is some iron on transfer paper, an iron (that one’s a given really), some ribbon and some design skills (I used Photoshop to create my logo).
I designed the logo first in Photoshop and then laid it out on an A4 page template. Be sure when printing to print the mirror image of your logo.
After I cut the transfer strips to size I cut my ribbon to match it. You’ll notice that I have used two different kinds of ribbon here – I initially used a cream bias tape, as I was keen to use something that would be soft against the girls skin as I know from experience if anything on their clothing is scratchy then they wont wear it, for neither love nor money. Then I found some canvas ribbon and used that instead as I really liked the rustic look it gave the labels – it is a little rougher but I’m going to wash the labels first and see if they soften before adding them to the clothes I have made.
Print, cut to size, iron and you’re done.