Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Easy Hankerchief Skirt Tutorial

Important Edit:
Before you follow this tutorial, head on over here. I wish this girl would have been by me when I was trying to figure it all out. She came up with a much more productive way to make this. So check it out!

When my 4 year old requested a cowgirl birthday party, the idea for a hankerchief skirt popped in my head. I wanted it to have the look of hanging hankerchiefs, and I wanted it to be cheap. So this is what I came up with, and now I'll show you how I did it.
First you will need hankerchiefs. I only ended up using 2 hanky's, and they cost me 5o cents a piece. I found them at a local party store. They had nicer 1 dollar hankerchiefs which were a little better quality. I'm kind of wishing I would have forked out the extra dollar and went with them. These hanky's were 19 inches by 19 inches.

Before you start any sewing, make sure you pre-wash your hanky's. The cheap dye in them will bleed all over everything you put with it in the wash, so don't skip this step.
After you have washed them, fold one hanky in fourths. In the top folded corner, measure down 2 1/2 inches and mark a straight line. I love my chalk roller marker (by the way).
Cut on that line you marked.
Then you need to cut the sides so you have 4 separate pieces. Do this on both sides.
Lay out your 4 pieces. How many hankerchiefs you do this to will depend on the size of the skirt you are making. I used 2 hanky's for my four year old, but only used 7 of the separate pieces I made in the picture above. If you want one for yourself, well, I don't even want to know how many hanky's I would have to use to go around me:)
Now you are ready to sew. Take 2 pieces and sew them right sides together on one of the sides, like above. Press your seams open. You could try to do fancier seams, but I really wasn't going to go that far for a 1 dollar skirt.
I'm not quite sure how to explain this next step, but I hope the picture helps. You want the top to be even, so fold those to pieces together until the top is a straight line. In this picture you are looking at the wrong side of the fabric. You will have a triangular piece left on that side, which will remain in tact to give it the hanging hanky look. No need to sew this in place, but you do need to press it both ways so there is a good crease to keep it where it needs to be.
The front side will look like this.
Now you repeat these steps until you have sewn how many pieces you need all together. To figure this out I used the not so professional method of wrapping it around my girls waist until I liked what I saw. Keep in mind you will be gathering the top a bit. Use pins wherever you feel you need to to hold the creases in place.
The back side will look like this. Make sure all the extra triangular pieces are facing the same way before you continue.
To make it a complete circle you will simply sew the side seam together just as you have done all along.
To make it much easier to work with, baste around the top 1/4 of an inch away from the edge. Then you can remove all your pins.
Then sew another basting stitch just below the one you just did. This stitch will be used for gathering so be sure to leave thread tails. You could gather a little bit at this point also by pulling the bobbin thread and bunching the fabric.
To make your waistband, you could really choose several methods. I wanted to try this method out so I'll show you what I did. You need some knit fabric. Rather than buying some, I used an old arm pit stained white t-shirt of mine. You never know when they will come in handy! Once again, I just measure around my girls waist to see how much I needed. Make sure it will be snug enough to stay up on the kid.
Press 1/4 inch on both the long ends. Press in half hot dog way. (I never thought I would use that term in sewing).
Fold hamburger way, and sew the side seams right sides together and turn right side out. Double check to see if this is the right measurement for your little one.
Now you are going to put the right side of the waisteband together with the right side of your skirt, as shown. Adjust the gathering of the skirt to fit in with the waistband. Pin in place really good!
Sew along the top, at least 5/8 inch. I have a serger so I cleaned up the seam that way. You really don't need to do this because the seam will be encased inside the waistband any way. I just tend to do things like that just because. Be sure you at least trim to decrease any bulk. Then fold over the waistband to the inside. I forgot to take a picture of this next step, but I then slip stitched or hand stitched (google it) the back side of the waistband. Be sure to fold that side of the 1/4 inch you pressed so you have a clean edge.
Then I top stitched the band. The best part about using hanky's is the no-need to hem part. It's already finished for you.
And that completes your hankerchief skirt!
It looks adorable on the cutie!
If you didn't read all about her cowgirl party, click here.
Happy sewing!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Cowgirl and her Party!!!

This little cutie had a birthday.

And thank goodness she didn't ask for a princess party (again). I was thrilled with her idea of a cowgirl party. What fun we had! Little kid parties around our house are kept pretty simple, though I dream of the non student husband days when I can go all out. Until then, this was the perfect cowgirl party on a budget.

It began with the pocket book friendly cowgirl attire.
Cost Breakdown:
-50 cent Hankerchief

-1 dollar hat with a 1 dollar crown glued to it

-4 dollar boots found at the thrift store that just happened to be the perfect size.

-And a Hankerchief skirt that cost me a total of 1 dollar to make.
Coming soon - a full tutorial so you can make your own!!!

Party Favors consisted of a 1 dollar hat and a 5o cent hanky for each cousin.

Perfect for the 3 amigos.

Now for the festivities!

Horsey rides!
Equipped with the best lookin' cowboy in town (no you cannot have him).

Of course it's best if the birthday cowgirl isn't scared to death of horses.

She looks like she is having a blast doesn't she? At least she got on the thing with her cute aunt.

The little ones loved feeding the horse. Luckily, no fingers were lost.

Then we had some fun with some shoot-em-up target practice games. The guns cost 2 bucks and probably won't last long, but it was a huge hit with the kids.

Then we had present time.

Even kids love money. Thanks Grandma!

Now, just look what her uncle MADE for the cowgirl!

Genuine, real cowhide chaps to match daddy's. These things were so amazing we had to take off the cute skirt to put them on!

Just look how cute that bum looks it those! (If you are interested in buying some of these, he does make and sell all sizes. Email me if you are interested).

And finally, the birthday cake made with love from her daddy. I mentioned before I don't do cakes. They just don't cooperate like fabric.

And yes (if you noticed that droplet on her lip), she did spit all over the cake trying to blow out the candles.

I think birthday girl had a party she will never forget. At least momma won't!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Elmo Birthday Party

My baby turned 2 awhile ago, and I figured since she is OBSESSED with Elmo, we would make her birthday Elmo themed.

Have you ever tried looking for a girly Elmo shirt? It's not that easy to find, though I did find one at old navy 2 weeks after we had the party (of course). But then again, it was 15 bucks and I wouldn't have spent that much any way on a 2 years old's birthday shirt when I could make one for 2 dollars. Here is the Elmo lover in her $2 birthday attire.
I didn't think about a tutorial at the time, but it is pretty easy to figure out. First, I found a coloring page print out of Elmo's face. I bought the shirt at Hobby Lobby for 2 dollars. Next, I went to my felt and wonder-under stash to put it together. I simply cut the Elmo face in the felt fabric and applied wonder-under to the back of the fabric. After fusing the Elmo face onto the shirt, I stitched around the Elmo. It was that easy!

And she loved it!

To top her off, I threw together a quick Elmo party hat.

She couldn't wait to get that off. This girl hates anything on her head.

My sister made the Elmo cake for her. I don't do cakes. Fabric is much friendlier to work with.

Then she was showered with Elmo gifts.

I'm hoping this Elmo stage wears off soon. I'm pretty tired of hearing Elmo movies every morning while I get ready. Then again, it's better than Dora right?