I’ve always loved trompe-l’œil (which means “deceive the eye” in French). I love things that look like other things: tuxedo shirts and bookcases that are secretly doors and paintings that look like windows to a secret garden.
Here is a project I made as a baby shower gift for an old friend of mine. We have an old joke between us about Junior Park Rangers, and I felt that it was imperative for the future generations of Junior Park Rangers that we get this baby started young.
At first I considered trying to make an actual Ranger outfit, but baby clothes kind of freak me out. They are SO SMALL. So then I thought about embellishing a t-shirt. I can do that.
Of course, you can adapt the trompe-l’oeil thing to fit any theme. Baby’s first tuxedo! Baby’s first prison jumpsuit! Baby’s first motorcycle jacket!
Don’t think you’re limited to just baby tees. The same process would work just as well on a onesie, or even on adult clothing!
And while I chose to use freehand machine embroidery, you could easily adapt this project for hand embroidery. Not a thread person? Make a no-sew version with fabric markers or fabric paint!
Gather your supplies. In my case:
- baby tee
- dissolving fabric marker
- sewing machine
- thread (I used regular all-purpose sewing machine thread, but you may want to try a nice machine embroidery thread)
I’ve just added a new free pattern to the shop. It’s a mini apron add on for the Vintage Style Apron pattern. You’ll need to purchase (or have already purchased) the Vintage Style Apron if you want to use it as shown in the example below.
However, as a bonus, I’ve also put together a stand-alone tutorial for a half apron, which only requires the FREE mini apron portion of the pattern.
This is a seven part series (in progress) that will show you damn near every possible way to gather fabric. Yeah, I said seven.
Why so many, you ask.
Isn’t one good enough?
Different fabrics will be better suited to different methods of gathered, so that’s why. Now quit questioning my authority!
Hold on to your butts….
How to Gather Fabric by Hand
Rosie wrap, tie up rockabilly headband, dolly bow… whatever you want to call it, this is a super duper easy and quick sewing project. This would be a perfect tutorial to start with if you’re new to sewing.
I made mine in a pretty pink floral print, inspired by the trends featured in the spring crafting inspiration site from Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. To celebrate National Sewing and Craft month, Jo-Ann is offering a $5 off coupon on any $25 purchase! Click here for the coupon.
I’ll also show you how to make different widths for a slightly different look. Here’s a wider version, which I think looks a little more like the shape of Rosie the Riveter’s actual wrap:
Heh. Okay, let’s get started. Below is the video version of this tutorial, but after that there’s also a photo/text version so you can go at your own pace.
Nothing completes a costume better than a mini top hat! It’s like the cherry on top of the sundae. And nothing could be easier than making your own custom top hat.
I think it would be super fun to have a Hat Making Party with some friends. Serve tea and make it a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party!
Provide the hats and the decorations and have everyone bring a glue gun. You should probably make sure to get a few hats per person, because no one will want to stop at just one.
And as long as an adult is there to supervise and operate the glue gun, this would be a great party activity for kids. Everyone gets to take their own hat home as a party favor!
In addition to being a great addition to a costume, you can also display a few of your hats as a decor feature in your house. Make seasonal themed hats to display for holidays: Fourth of July, Halloween, Christmas!
Hang them on the wall or display on your resident skull.
This tutorial is available in video and text format. Here’s the video:
Continue reading for the text-and-photo tutorial!
Where do we get started? With supplies, of course!
SunshineShoppeSupply has a whole rainbow of hat colors, so choose one that will compliment your costume. Once you’ve chosen your hat, select a handful of coordinating bows, flowers, feathers, etc. You can go monochromatic or multicolored. All of the items in the photo below are available at SunshineShoppeSupply.com!
I went with a red + black color scheme for the red hat, black + white for the black hat, and purple, green, and aqua for the purple hat.
Take a moment and assess your selection of decorative items. Check your stash and see what goodies you have that you could add- buttons, lace, fabric scraps. Get creative! You could use small toys, watch gears, hardware, and more. Continue reading…
If you follow me on Pinterest, my apologies for the bajillion garden photos I just repinned. I’m a little bit obsessed at the moment.
It’s been unseasonably warm the last few days, which made it a little hard to get outside to do much, though I’ll try not to complain after the super frigid winter we had.
I’ve got a nice batch of winter sowing containers going with seedlings for both my flower and veggie gardens, but the most exciting thing in my garden right now are the bulbs! I’ve mentioned before how much I love bulbs. If you’ve got a black thumb, try some spring bulbs. You won’t be disappointed. They are so easy, it almost feels like cheating.
Grape hyacinth – I was experimenting with using my 50mm camera lens backwards as a make-shift macro lens.
Forget-me-nots: the only non-bulb that’s blooming right now (aside from the cursed dandelions!). I didn’t realize I had some in the yard already and bought seeds for them a few months ago. Oh well, the more the merrier. Continue reading…
You kept begging so I had no choice but to obey! The two newest WhatTheCraft sewing patterns are my retro swing dress:
And my high-waisted zipper back pencil skirt:
Both patterns are available XS-XL and use stretch knit fabrics! And don’t forget: the more patterns you buy, the more you save!
Also, for a limited time, my Fingerless Gloves pattern is just 99 cents! That’s practically free!
The moment you’ve all been waiting for: a circle skirt tutorial that has the math already done for you! Download my FREE circle skirt template, and you’re ready to go!
For detailed instructions, watch my video tutorial here:
I tried to address all the questions you guys have asked about circle skirts over the years: how to hem a circle skirt, how to avoid hemming (heh), how to determine how much fabric you need, what to do if your fabric isn’t wide enough to cut the skirt in one piece, and so on.
Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel!
This tutorial was filmed using a Creative Labs Vado HD Digital Video Camera, a Canon Rebel (for still shots), and edited in Sony Vegas Movie Studio.
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ARCHIVED TUTORIAL BELOW – The following is my original circle skirt tutorial, which includes the steps that show you how to do the math.
Starting a handmade business is daunting, exhausting, and confusing. You’re bound to make mistakes (and that’s okay!). But here are 7 common pitfalls you can try to avoid.
1. You listen to the people that say your prices are too high.
There will always be someone that wants it for cheaper… if you price based on how much money someone wants to spend, you might as well give it away for free.
Just as many people made comments about my “high prices” or asked for discounts when my dresses were priced at $25 (good god, what was I thinking?) as they do now that my dresses are priced at $125 and higher. I ignore them because generally, bargain shoppers aren’t my market.
polka dot swing dress by SmarmyClothes
2. You believe that raising your prices would scare away your buyers.
As I mentioned above- when I started out, I really was selling things for $15-25 a piece. I’ve steadily increased prices over the years, as I’ve grown more comfortable with valuing my time and my work. Raising prices has never EVER killed my sales.
I had a friend that was selling handmade corsets for $100. She should have been charging at least double that, considering the amount of work and attention to detail she put in. She was constantly swamped with orders, and one of the ways she was finally convinced to raise prices was that it might slow the orders down a bit. She raised her prices by $25 as an experiment. Her orders actually increased over the next few months, which was a bit of a mixed blessing. But at the very least, she was making a little more money to justify the long hours.
scared comic book girl earrings by SugarPlumRobots
What better way to get #fabulouslyfestive than to festoon yourself (and others) with bows?
This bow would make a great topper for a gift since it’s the classic gift bow design… but the bonus is that since it’s made from fabric, it can double as a hair bow, brooch, or bracelet!
Of course you can use the same procedure for making a bow out of ribbon, fancy paper, or go the upcycled route and use some old magazine or newspaper pages!
Here’s what you need:
- fabric (or paper or ribbon) cut into 3/4″ strips
- three strips measuring 8.5″ long
- three strips measuring 7.5″ long
- two strips measuring 6.5″ long
- one strip measuring 2″ long
- 2″ square piece of felt
- high temp glue gun
- (optional) brooch clip, head band, hair clip, or bobby pin
When it comes to choosing fabric, you can use woven or knits. Woven fabrics will tend to fray, so keep that in mind. Lighter weight fabrics may need a layer of fusible interfacing so they don’t wind up too floppy- this may also help prevent fraying.
I’m using a scrap of holographic foil printed spandex for mine.
If you have a rotary cutter, it will make cutting the strips much easier than scissors. Continue reading…