Border Fabric Sundress Tutorial

DIY border fabric sundress sewing tutorial via lilblueboo.com
Fabrics with a border at the bottom or top can define a dress! The fabric I used for this little sun dress is Pod Posey Border from Michael Miller. I decided not to hem the dress and left the white selvage border at the bottom because I love the contrast it gives to the dress (and there was no writing on this selvage side). I’ve included the tutorial for the dress below. It is only a 30-45 minute project! Make sure to add your finished dress to the Lil Blue Boo Flickr Gallery!
DIY border fabric sundress sewing tutorial 2 via lilblueboo.com
Here is the fabric before cutting. Both sides have the border. I bought a ton of this fabric last summer because I was planning to make a bed skirt for my daughter’s crib with it. I had to find another use for it because she is no longer in a crib! I might even make a skirt for myself with it.
Step 1: Cut out your fabric pieces:
DIY border fabric sundress sewing tutorial step 1 via lilblueboo.com
Cutting your main piece you may need to add extra width in order to match the pattern:
DIY border fabric sundress sewing tutorial step 2 via lilblueboo.com
Using sections of the fabric without the border, cut the chest band piece and the strap pieces:
Note: If your fabric has NO stretch at all or you are sewing for a child under 12 months old, you might want to add another 1″ to your chest band measurement (i.e. 7″ x chest measurement plu 2.5″). This will give you some extra breathing room…especially for those roly poly bellies!
DIY border fabric sundress sewing tutorial step 3 via lilblueboo.com
Step 2: For your main piece, match the pattern and sew up the side with 1/4″ seam and finish the edge.
DIY border fabric sundress sewing tutorial step 4 via lilblueboo.com
Open the main piece up to the right side and iron your seam to make sure you have matched the pattern properly.
DIY border fabric sundress sewing tutorial step 5 via lilblueboo.com
Step 3: Fold the chest band in half (right sides together) and sew the shorter sides together using a 1/4″ inseam. Then, press the seam open with iron.
DIY border fabric sundress sewing tutorial step 6 via lilblueboo.com
Fold the chest band in half and iron the fold.
DIY border fabric sundress sewing tutorial step 7 via lilblueboo.com
Open the chest band up and the fold both sides inward to the middle. Iron the folds.
DIY border fabric sundress sewing tutorial step 8 via lilblueboo.com
Fold both sides closed and iron.
DIY border fabric sundress sewing tutorial step 9 via lilblueboo.com
Step 4: Mark the middle, back and sides of the main dress piece with safety pins or chalk.
DIY border fabric sundress sewing tutorial step 10 via lilblueboo.com
Sew all the way around the top of the main dress piece about 1/4″ from the edge using your longest stitch setting (about a 6 or 7). You will use this stitching to create the gathering in the ruffle. I like to overlap the beginning and end of this stitch line (but don’t sew over the other!) so there isn’t a gap in the gathering where the threads end. Be careful when pulling your thread through and work in small increments or you might break the thread! Gather the fabric until you get it to be the same width as your chest band. Tie off your thread.
DIY border fabric sundress sewing tutorial step 11 via lilblueboo.com
Step 5: Mark the front middle, back middle and sides of the chest band with pins.
Match the pins of the chest band to the pins of the gathered main dress piece at the front, back and sides. Slip the main dress piece up into the chest band about 1/2″ and pin in place.
DIY border fabric sundress sewing tutorial step 13 via lilblueboo.com
In between the pins, make sure that the gathered fabric is spaces evenly and add more pins around the dress to keep the gathering in place.
DIY border fabric sundress sewing tutorial step 14 via lilblueboo.com
Step 6: Sew on top of the chest band about 1/8″ above the main dress piece to attach. Sew all the way around periodically straightening the dress piece.

DIY border fabric sundress sewing tutorial step 15 via lilblueboo.com
Step 7: Take your small 1.5″ x 11″ pieces and turn them into bias tape. Use the tutorial from my pillowcase dress post if you haven’t done this before!
DIY border fabric sundress sewing tutorial step 16 via lilblueboo.com
Fold in the ends of the bias tape.
DIY border fabric sundress sewing tutorial step 17 via lilblueboo.com
Sew the bias tape all the way around edges so that each piece of fabric becomes a dress strap.DIY border fabric sundress sewing tutorial step 18 via lilblueboo.com
Step 8: Pin 2 straps to the inside front and pin 2 straps to the inside back of the dress chest band so that they hang about 1/2″ down into the dress. The spacing from the middle will depend on your child’s size, but I pinned Sienna’s 2.75″ from the middle for the front and 2.25″ from the middle for the back.
DIY border fabric sundress sewing tutorial step 19 via lilblueboo.com
Sew 1/8″ down from the top of the dress to attach the 4 straps all the way around.
DIY border fabric sundress sewing tutorial step 20 via lilblueboo.com
And you are done! The straps tie into bows above each shoulder.
Just a note: you can use any fabric for this dress….I was just inspired by the “border” fabric. Two contrasting fabrics would work well for the chest band and an added border at the bottom of the dress!
Here is Sienna wearing her new dress! Feel free to email me if you have questions or get stuck on my tutorial! Click here to see the gallery of photos that other readers have sent me!
DIY border fabric sundress sewing tutorial finished via lilblueboo.com
DIY border fabric sundress sewing tutorial finished 2 via lilblueboo.com

Faux Painting the Butler’s Pantry

First of all, I think it is hilarious that this room is called a butler’s pantry…. where is the butler that is supposed to come with it?!

So here it is. I actually repainted my ENTIRE house myself using this distressed faux technique, but the butler’s pantry is the only room I have a “before” photo of.

Faux Painting the Butler's Pantry via lilblueboo.com

I painted every wall in the house except for the bedrooms. I wanted an aged, distressed plaster effect. I had to work when my 2-year-old was napping so the ladder and paint literally stayed out for a month!  It probably took me about 50 hours. I’m thinking I need some art on the walls……

Faux Painting the Butler's Pantry 2 via lilblueboo.com
Below is the foyer adjacent to the butler’s pantry. It was the first room I started on. The weather vane is from my childhood home….. when my parents sold our old house I took it with me. I still need to make a wood base for the metal stand to rest on.
Faux Painting the Butler's Pantry 3 via lilblueboo.com
Closeup of the faux finishing……
Faux Painting the Butler's Pantry 4 via lilblueboo.com
Now that I’ve posted photos I’ll have to come up with a tutorial on how to do it!

Laundry Room / Powder Room Art

I bought a boxed set of postcards a few years ago featuring art deco soap labels (from Chronicle Books). To spruce up our laundry room, I framed four of the labels with frames and antique white mats that I picked up from Michael’s on sale.
Laundry Room / Powder Room Art via lilblueboo.com
Laundry Room / Powder Room Art 2 via lilblueboo.com
I found this site that sells actual vintage soap labels. I like the idea of framing anything that is “soap” or “detergent” related. If you use those large bar soaps that come in the beautiful packaging you could just frame those!
If you need art for the kitchen you could use vintage canned food labels. Here are two of my favorites:
Kitchen label Art  via lilblueboo.com
Kitchen label Art 2 via lilblueboo.com

Another Serious Critique of Sienna’s Work….

If you haven’t visited the blog What My Kids’ Art Says (and submitted your kid’s artwork too) you are missing out! I submitted another piece of artwork by my 2-year-old daughter Sienna to the site and Dan Consiglio’s interpretation is hilarious yet again. I roll on the floor laughing at the labels he gives his posts: Trickle Down BS, Silence of the Lambs, People Shaped Like Yellow Green Beans, Crap……
Here is the artwork. It was Sienna’s card to her daddy on Father’s Day. Prepare to be transfixed by the combination of beauty and morbid “Silence of the Lambs” references.
Another Serious Critique of Sienna's Work via lilblueboo.com
Excerpt from the review: “Apparently, her mood has shifted to match the arrival of the blistering summer heat. S’s latest piece — while staying true to the Southwestern color palette – is a 180-degree about face.”
You can find the previous masterpiece created by my daughter Sienna and the interpretation here. Enjoy!

Big Sister/Little Sister Pillowcase Dresses

These pillowcase dresses were made for a friend’s daughters. I used Naptime Crafts’ tutorial here. I had to guess on their sizes and Naptime Crafts’ had all the measurements I needed!
Big Sister/Little Sister Pillowcase Dresses via lilblueboo.com
Both fabrics I got from Joann’s. The ribbon I think I picked up at Michael’s a while ago.
Big Sister/Little Sister Pillowcase Dresses 2 via lilblueboo.com
I made bias tape to match the bottom fabric band.
Big Sister/Little Sister Pillowcase Dresses 3 via lilblueboo.com
I rarely make bias tape because I think it is such a pain…..BUT I came across this easy tutorial at Creative Little Daisy. I feel like it is a big secret everyone has been keeping from me! It is by far the best sewing trick I’ve come across YET. If you think you have one to beat it let me know ;)
Big Sister/Little Sister Pillowcase Dresses 4 via lilblueboo.com
Here is Sienna modeling the larger size of the dress. She’s getting a little better at posing….she’ll actually look at the camera now!
Big Sister/Little Sister Pillowcase Dresses 5 via lilblueboo.com

Painted Portraits

Custom Painted Portraits via lilblueboo.com
Sienna – November 2008 – 18″ x 18″ (2″ gallery canvas)

 

You won’t find portraits like these anywhere else! I’ve spent years working on my process of layering and distressing so that each portrait is a unique family heirloom.
Summer Special on Custom Painted Portraits 2 via lilblueboo.com
I paint my original portraits from photograph using acrylic paint and other mixed media.
Summer Special on Custom Painted Portraits Boo via lilblueboo.com
Original “Sienna” reference photo
I love to include ephemera such as copies of old family letters, a stitched outline of a church, or images that represent a child’s interests etc. Many paintings include stitching, vintage watch parts and stamps, old ledger paper and other items from my collection.
Summer Special on Custom Painted Portraits 3 via lilblueboo.com
Detail of “Sienna” – Vintage stamps, paint layering, old ledger paper and handwriting
Summer Special on Custom Painted Portraits 4 via lilblueboo.com
Closeup of “Sienna” shirt detail
Detailed views from several portraits:
Summer Special on Custom Painted Portraits 5 via lilblueboo.com
Vintage travel stamp, vintage car ad, gold stitching
Summer Special on Custom Painted Portraits 6 via lilblueboo.com
Vintage handwriting, vintage watch parts attached
Summer Special on Custom Painted Portraits 7 via lilblueboo.com
Reproduction of an old family bank book (this was given to me by the family to include)
Summer Special on Custom Painted Portraits 8 via lilblueboo.com
Vintage postage stamp, gold stitching
Summer Special on Custom Painted Portraits 9 via lilblueboo.com
Vintage car ad, gold stitching
Summer Special on Custom Painted Portraits 10 via lilblueboo.comVintage train advertisement (the child I painted this for LOVED trains)
Summer Special on Custom Painted Portraits 11 via lilblueboo.com
Vintage travel ad (the little girl featured in the painting has a love for zebras)

Sewing for myself!

This is huge for me. I sew clothes for my daughter and other children all the time, but this is FIRST time I’ve ever sewn anything for myself. Please excuse the photos….I was straight out of the pool……
Sewing for myself via lilblueboo.com

I followed Rae’s Spring Ruffle Top Tutorial on Sew Mama Sew but made a few changes:
1. Obviously I left off the ruffles. I also omitted the “arm divots” in the tutorial.
2. For the shoulder straps and top band I folded the fabric in half, opened it up and folded the ends in so that they were 4 layers thick and then topstitched all the way around. This made the shoulder straps a little narrower and I made the top band a little wider to compensate for the extra fold.
3. I made the top slightly larger so that it was “billowy” (if that is a real word).
Sewing for myself via lilblueboo.com

I used just a plain white myslin. My husband says it looks like a nighty……but I might wear it EVERYDAY with my jean cutoff staples!

This didn’t go so well….

I tried to dye some old t-shirts yesterday using some RIT dye. It didn’t turn out as wonderful as I imagined. I think I might have diluted the dye too much, didn’t dissolve the dye enough before adding the clothes so it left little specks, and I probably didn’t use hot enough water.
This didn't go so well via lilblueboo.com
Now I’ve got a bunch of ho-hum blue tank tops.
This didn't go so well ho hum blue tank tops via lilblueboo.com
Dyeing take two. Any tips for dyeing clothing?!

Recycled Mosaic Kitchen Art

I just finished these little mosaics for the wall going from our kitchen to the butler’s pantry. It is an awkward space because it steps down from the kitchen and the wall is tall and narrow. I needed something long and narrow to fill the space and look proportional. I also knew that I wanted something dimensional, colorful and unique. I’m so happy with how they turned out.
How to Make Recycled Mosaic Kitchen Art via lilblueboo.com
Huge bonus I discovered once they were done: Each little art piece is a mystery game for my 2-year-old! She loves to point out each square and guess what it is….she can point out Mommy’s cereal (Raisin Bran), Daddy’s cereal (Go Lean Crunch), pancakes, goldfish, crackers etc.
Finished Recycled Mosaic Kitchen Art 2 via lilblueboo.com
I’ve been saving all of these boxes for a year. I had grand plans of cutting them all into little 1 inch squares, sorting them by color and making a huge fruit or veggie mosaic with them to decorate our kitchen. Since I’ve never gotten around to that, and we seemed to have run out of wall space I made some smaller more manageable mosaics.

Recycled Cereal Boxes and Food Boxes via lilblueboo.com
First, I cut out lots of 2 inch squares from all the boxes so that I had an interesting selection of colors. (I actually cut the squares about 1/16th larger than 2 inches so that the cardboard would hang over the edge slightly.)

Recycled Boxes cut into squares via lilblueboo.com
I made a small template to make the cutting process easier.
Recycled Boxes cut into little squares 2 via lilblueboo.com
Here is Sienna working on her own mosaic. (Sorry she didn’t dress up for her photo op)
Boo via lilblueboo.com
Then I laid out the squares in a design that I liked. For the base, I bought 8 x 8 inch cradled Gessobord (2 inch deep). You can usually buy these at your local craft store. I got mine at Aaron Brothers with their weekly coupon.
Layout of squares  via lilblueboo.com
I like to use Liquitex Matte Medium for collage glue. It isn’t sticky and spreads well.

Matte Medium via lilblueboo.com
I worked in rows…brushing on a generous layer of medium and placing the squares in place and then brushing a layer of medium over top as well.
Glue Squares with Matte Medium via lilblueboo.com
As I finished each row, I laid wax paper on top and used a brayer to roll out any air or glue bubbles underneath. This also helps to make sure that the squares are adhering flat. (Note: If you don’t use wax paper, your top layer of the cardboard squares will begin to disintegrate or peel….you’ll end up with a huge mess.)
Note: Only leave the wax paper on for a few seconds as you roll out the bubbles…..it will leave a waxy residue if you let it dry onto the squares. You can also use freezer paper for this step.
Flatten with brayer via lilblueboo.com
Protect with wax paper via lilblueboo.com
After the squares were completely dry, I took a razor blade and with a “sawing” motion cut off any excess cardboard down the sides.
Trim edges via lilblueboo.com
I made three different mosaics.
Three recycled mosaics via lilblueboo.com
I sprayed the top and sides of each mosaic with one coat of Krylon Triple Thick Clear Glaze.
Clear Varnish Three recycled mosaics via lilblueboo.com
I didn’t have to use any hardware for hanging. The boxes are so deep that I just put 2 inch wire brad nails 6.5 inches apart into the wall and hung them.

Best Food Invention Ever

How did I survive before the Organic Batter Blaster?! Pancake batter in a can. Brilliant.

Best Food Invention Ever via lilblueboo.com

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