Easy Way to Make a Gathered Tulle Skirt

20161013_144320Easy Way to make a gathered tulle skirt

If you want to make a gathered tulle skirt then this is the tutorial for you.

I just made several tulle skirts that are gathered at the waist.  I found a simple easy way to make them after making a couple.  the problems arise when you have to gather all those yards of tulle up to the size of the waist measurement.  These skirts were made of the 6″ strips at first but I didn’t feel that they were dense enough.  The picture is just a little skirt I made from scraps so I could show you the method.  This is a wrap around skirt that ties in the front.

What to buy

1  50 yard spool of tulle 6″ wide.  About 3 yards 2″ or 3″ wide ribbon

First of all, it takes tons of tulle to make a skirt.  For an adult long skirt I would use a 50 yard spool for one skirt.  I didn’t do this  and they weren’t full enough so I ended up ordering tulle yardage and putting a layer of it gathered under the strips. The strips give it a funky fun look and the flat yardage underneath gave it just enough thickness and cover.  the wearer is supposed to wear black skirt or pants under the black skirt so that makes the difference.

Cut the strips 1 inch longer that the finished desired skirt length.

Don’t kill yourself making this exact because they are going to fluff out and look quirky anyway!  That is the charm of it.

Sewing tulle is like sewing a cloud and gathering it all up is a pain and it is easy to have the thread bind up on you or break.

Here is what I learned.20161013_140159

Lay your strips by your machine and pick them up two at a time and layer them together.  Gather the stips on the serger or with a gathering foot.  If you don’t have one then zig zag over a piece of fishing line and pull it.  It won’t break on you!

If you use the fishing line you probably will not have to double it back on itself before sewing it to the ribbon because it will gather tight enough to fit the waist.

How to gather on the serger

This should work on most sergers-set the needle tensions (I use 2 needles) it is a 4 spool serger.  Okay, set the 2 needle tensions on 7 and the other 2 tensions on 5 and the Differential is on 2 and the width is on 4 or as wide as you can set it.

Try it on a scrap and see  how it goes.  My machine did a great job then.  Now gather the whole piece.  It will be 2 or three times wider than the waist of the skirt should be.  Here is the cool part, fold it over and double or triple it!  Now it is the width of the waist and you have all the gathering you need for a nice, fluffy skirt!


Sewing to the Waist Ribbon

Now cut a piece of wide ribbon for a waist band an inch longer than the waist so you can fold over each end.  Stitch the three  or four layers onto the ribbon with the top of the skirt up!

20161013_142948Now, cut another piece of the ribbon the waist measurement plus enough to tie a big bow.  I cut about a yard on each end longer so there would be a nice bow with ribbon hanging down.  Center that ribbon on the under ribbon and top stitch it on.  If the ribbon is satin it works best to top stitch it on the top edge or upper edge so it will not slip.  Then stitch the bottom edge that goes directly over your gathering.

Now hang the skirt up and trim any pieces that might end up a little longer than need be.

There you have a really cute, fluffy skirt for a costume or dancing or dress up for a child or adult.

This method is easy to do and someone is going to feel like a fairy princess or a witch or somebody fun!


How to shorten a lace wedding dress the easy way




Here is the secret.  A simple way to shorten a lace wedding dress.

The dress above was drooping on the floor 1 1/2 inches.  The lace is delicate and very difficult to unpick.

Shortening a lace wedding dress can be a daunting task but there is a simple way to do it.  20160829_100924These instructions are for a lace dress with a train.  The lace is along the bottom and looks like it is a part of the fabric but if you look closely you will see that it has been sewn on.   Unpicking all those tiny stitches on delicate lace is not a good idea.  You run the probability of damaging the lace and leaving holes in it.


20160829_100934Here is a simple way to change that hem.  Just carefully cut above the lace on the front of the dress if has a train.  The train does not need to be shortened. Just the front so insert your scissors above the lace and trim it off.  so it just droops down.  Co not cut the lace entirely off of the skirt in a piece.  Just cut where you see those dotted lines.



You can see in this drawing that the part you cut is just going to droop down.  Now…Ta DA!  Just raise the center of the lace up to the desired length.   Then carefully pin it.  If regular straight pins will not stay in then use safety pins until you get it right.  On each side of the lace section there may be a tiny pleat in the lace to accommodate for raising it above but it will not be noticeable.  Now top stitch it on with a medium stitch.  A fine polyester thread works great.  You may use invisible thread but it usually isn’t necessary.



In this drawing you will see the peaks hanging down from the cutting line.  Just carefully trim them off so they do not hang beneath the lace edge.


Now you will have 2 or three underskirts to hem.  they also only need to be shortened in the front You will want to trim the Satin underskirt to match what you did with the lace. for the underskirts I like to just turn them up and leave the extra fabric in there to make the bottom of the slips firmer and stand our  more.  That would depend on the wishes of the bride.


Give A Child’s Apron

Give a Child’s Apron.

Children love to make cookies and cake.  Wearing their own apron and having their own mixes to make treats for themselves is a very special treat for them.

Knowing that my grandchildren love to do this with  me, I decided to make a boy and girl apron for a brother and sister whose birthdays are close to each other.  It was simple and inexpensive but each child received an apron and a few mixes.  Cake, cookies, and brownies.


Next time, I think I might have added a spoon or spatula in the bow on the package.  .

You can use a paper grocery bag for your gift bag.

Little Boy’s Butcher Apron

This little guy was apparently thrilled and proud to get to make his own cookies. I will include the pattern instructions for this simple little butcher apron.

Cut a rectangle 8 1/2 by 30  then mark on the outer edge at 15 inches on the side and 6 inches on the top and just cut the curve as shown.  If you do it that way then your pattern will be nice and square.

this is for a size 8 apron.  for each size smaller just make it 1/2 inch shorter per size.

the ties for the waist are 3 inches wide and about 17  inches long.

fold the strip in half and sew the sides and turn.  then tuck in one end and stitch it shut.

Make the ties for the neck the same way.  only the one 17 inch strip will be cut in half and sewed to each side of the bib.  I make ties for the neck to make it more adjustable.  children grow so fast that we may as well make it adjustable.

Little Girl’s Apron

I had this darling cup cake fabric and it was the inspiration to this idea.

the pattern is a simple 22 inch square turned to make a diamond shape. This makes a size 10 girls apron.  You can trim the bottom with a strip about 2 1/2 inches wide and cut 25 inches long each. make a pocket for the apron double and with a point on one end like a long envelope.  I added a button there to keep the flap down and for decoration.  Place the ties on the top of the apron and baste in place.   Line the back with matching fabric sew together and turn leaving a section open so you can turn it. Turn down the top .  then make a neck strap that is 2″ by 17 inches.  Stitch them on the back.  I leave a couple of inches extra on the bottom so it can be lengthened as she grows. this is a simple method I will use next time I make one.

I used a pattern and a little different method of construction with the strips.  The pattern I used is “Kids Four Corners Apron! P137 It is from Vanilla House Designs.

Fresh Creamy Tomato Soup


This tomato soup was inspired by a bumper crop of tomatoes in our little garden.  It is so fresh and delicious.  So healthy and easy to make.  Nothing feels better than a healthy soup fresh from your garden or the produce section of your grocery store.

Fresh Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

3 cups blended tomatoes

1 clove garlic

¼ tsp. Allspice

½ tsp. Salt

Pepper to taste

1 T. dried onion flakes

1 T. fresh basil

2 Tblsp. Butter

1 Tblsp. Flour

1 Cup Milk

Blend pureed tomatoes, garlic, allspice, salt pepper, onion flakes and basil til smooth .\

strain to remove seeds.

Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes but do not boil.

make a paste of butter and flour and add a little tomato mixture then gradually add it all together.

Add milk to the soup and reheat.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream if you wish.

15 Denim Bib Ideas

15 Denim Bib Ideas for you.

Denim Bibs
Denim Bibs- Here are 15 different denim bibs that I have made.  they are so inexpensive yet very popular and sturdy.  Mom’s love them.  they protect the baby just perfectly.  I have recently started putting tie closures on my bibs so that the baby can wear them longer as they grow.  I love to use decorative stitches to enhance the fabrics and you can also find stitches, if your lucky, they coordinate with the theme of the bib.  The cars above are so cute with this fabric and to top it off, the family name of this baby is Carr!  How fun it that.  If the Dad likes cars or planes or whatever then that is a fun theme to pick.  If the mom is into cup cakes or sports or bling or flowers there are all sorts of ideas you can come up with to make the bibs personal to the family you are giving it to .  I find these bibs are really appreciated because they are made with love.  Some find their way as a wall decoration too.  These are all fast, easy and very economical gifts. Have fun!

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Fancy Stitches cover the bib above.  A great way to bring personality to a bib.  It is also a creative way to use all those stitches you  may have on your machine. It is so much fun!

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I machine embroidered this design on a piece of the denim from these dark blue jeans and then  made a pocket from that piece of fabric.  It was easier than embroidering on an existing pocket. this was by special request from a mom who loves pigs! who doesn’t love a cute pig.  They are adorable.

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I live this simple bib with pretty stitches on each side of this valentine fabric.

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this bib is cut directly from the back side of a pair of jeans.

I lined it with the same fabric that I made the ties and the pocket handkerchief from. the ties are also made of the same fabric.  I like to use ties on bibs because they allow the child to wear it longer as they grow.

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A neckerchief sewn on at the neck turns this into a perfect cowboy or Cowgirl – bib.  I stitched around it with a decorative stitch instead of plain top stitching.  It is durable and adorable.


denim bibs

These four bibs are other examples of the strip of cute fabric and then decorative stitches on top and bottom.  They are closed with a snap.



This doggy bib is one of my favorites.  The cute little puppy embroidery was fast and easy and looks so cute with matching puppy fabric at the top.  It think it is a lot better than plain denim would be.  Spice it up with a little piece of fabric at the top.


this embroidered airplane was a hit.  it is so cute and fun to make.

tie bib

this dashing little tie bib is also accented with a little pocket.  The top is actually a side seam.  I used two shades of denim here.  One way you can do that is to use the back of the fabric for the lighter color.

cowboy bib

this bib is topped with adorable cowboy printed flannel.  I like how the seam of the leg accents the middle of the bib.  You can embroider the baby’s name or the word “Cowboy” or “Cowpoke” on it to spice it up.

cowgirl bib

I love this cute cowgirl bib.  The bandana is sewn on at an angle and the red around the outer edge is really decorative stitching but gives the impression of ric rac.

so there you have it.  15 denim bibs to bring smiles to mommys and babies.  also a smile to your pocketbook as they are very inexpensive to make from old jeans and scraps of fabric.

Happy Bib Making.

Stunning Blessing Dress Recycled from Mom’s Wedding Gown

You can make a  stunning baby blessing dress. Recycle the long train of a wedding dress.

20160702_14124520160628_133605This clever bride who wanted to have children some day, chose a wedding dress with an extra long train. It could be used to make a blessing dress later when she would have a baby girl.  Her first baby turned out to be a boy.  Some of the satin from the lining was used to make a little vest for him.  The next baby, soon to come, will be a girl. Mommy was ready.  She wanted a dress with similar tulip sleeves and slightly resemble the wedding dress.

My first challenge was to cut the dress out of the train. It was in more of a fan shape. With a little twisting, I was able to cut it out and leave most of the dress still in tact.  I used the trim from the dress to trim the sleeves. The only thing I bought for it were the buttons and ribbon.

There is enough left of the dress to make a beautiful dress to be worn the day of her confirmation when she is older. !  Another option would be to just keep the rest of the dress for a token of the wedding day or use it for possible future siblings.

Sew For Those in Need

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Sew for those in need. 


I did not organize a group but I am happy to be a part of a couple of them.  People donate materials.  Someone else cut all of these nightgowns out and I just sewed them up!  what a pleasure it is to feel that your sewing is blessing children in need.  These nightgowns go to a local women’s and children’s shelter and to hospitals.  They are made from basic patterns that may change from time to time and from any materials that are given to us that will work for this purpose.  Generous people have donated a huge supply of attractive knits that we can use to make these.

Other women cut quilt pieces, piece quilts, sew them together  and tie them and bind them.  Some women paint wooden toys that are just delightful.  All of these things go to charities in our area.

You can start your own or join a group that does the same. You can even make a few calls to places nearby and ask them what they need.  this group has also made adult bibs and book bags.  Any group you can join like a quilt group or a church group can help you share your sewing talents.

Places you might call are Women’s shelters, hospitals, fire department, police department, Cancer treatment centers, Refugee groups and churches.  You can also find organized groups online who send dresses to Africa and other places.  Look around you and across the street.  You will find needs close to you.

You can make a difference one stitch at a time. Happy sewing. It seems like the more you sew the more you have to share.

Cozy Cabin Quilt

phone may 26 058This cozy Cabin Quilt is called Twist and Shout and is found in the Quiltmaker magazine January/february ’06.  It is easy to assemble and fun to see all the color combinations. You can come up with so many combinations doing it.  It is a great one to use scraps or maybe even old shirts if you are after That cozy  cabin quilt look. phone may 26 057 phone may 26 056

The magazine has the directions for a king comforter or a crib quilt.  I made a twin comforter size and it easy to change the sizes on it.  the blocks for the bigger quilts are 3″15′ and for a crib quilt are a1/2 ” by 71/2 “.  It would be so much fun to put together a brightly colored baby quilt this way.  I might try that soon to use some of the great scraps I am collecting.

I am blessed to have the strips given to me by my sister in law.  She had already made two of them and didn’t want to do the third.  I am the very lucky and blessed recipient.  I put it together for a grandson who just graduated from High School.  What better thing to take with him to college or wherever he goes to remind him of home and the love his grandma has for him.  it is so much fun to play with fabrics and designs while you are making this project.

Princess Prom Dress

Gorgeous Prom DressThis Princess Prom Dress is just the perfect dress for a lovely girl.  she will certainly feel like the bell of the ball in a prom dress like this one from a McCall Pattern.

I decided to make it for a granddaughter.  she picked out the pattern and then the challenge was finding the perfect fabric.  she found it quickly but we had to visit two stores to get all that we needed. there are 17 pieces in this beautiful Prom Dress.  It made it so that it fit like a glove and was flattering as well.  The top was a low luster satin and the lining was a shiny satin of the same color with a underskirt of sheer sparkle polyester.

A special trick to making a dress fit just right is to cut it out with extra wide side seams and back seam.  then you have the freedom to go in or out without the worries.  when you are sewing for someone who is far away it is the perfect answer.

When the dress was all done except the hems and the zipper I took a long drive to her house and stayed a couple of days to finish it on location.  It was a huge success and the Princess Prom Dress brought big smiles and admiration.

with the scraps, I made a bow tie and pocket hanky for her date.  He was grateful for that because it relieved him of the worry of trying to match it..  He can return it to her so it can be used again with the dress on another occasion or he can keep it for a souvenir and reminder of their magical date.

Oh yes, it saved a ton of money compared to the price of a similar dress in the store.  It cost about a third what one like it would have been.  It would not have fit as well and it would have been a real feat to find her favorite color and style.  Yes, she did not see another like it on any other girl at the prom !  It is unique to her.

“Chop Suey ” Quilt

I love this  Interesting and clever design like this keeps your eyes moving around the quilt.

Chop Suey QuiltChop Suey Quilt 2

This easy “Chop Suey ” Quilt is fun to do.   I found the pattern for it in the Quiltmaker magazine May/June of ’15 163.  It starts with easy blocks.  I used Batik fabrics as pictured in the magazine. The trick is arranging all those pieces so they all face the correct way. Finally, mixing up the colors to give it that “Chop Suey ” look.

Fabrics to choose

Batiks are perfect for this quilt to give it a special blended look of colors.  It is also striking with a black background and bright colors.  You can use seasonal colors and bring any season or holiday to life with it depending on your choice.  A nice baby quilt in soft nursery colors or bright primary colors would be perfect.  Sew it up quickly in a baby or lap  size.  Your imagination is the only limit you will have.

I made it into a king sized quilt with matching pillow cases for my son who chose this design from hundreds of choices.  It was a huge project because there were 49 of them.  It is backed with soft batik looking  flannel and looks great on a king sized bed.  I had it quilted with a long arm machine in just a simple design that would not take from the colorful blocks.