How to Make a Doll Sized Salon Cape

How to make a salon cape for an American Girl doll or 18" doll via lilblueboo.com #americangirl #tutorial

 

This morning was Boo’s 6th birthday party!  Before I do the big reveal, I’ll be posting about a few of the things I made for the party. Here’s the first…..salon capes to fit American Girl or other similar sized 18″ dolls! We have two of the 18″ doll salon chairs….and borrowed one from a friend…..so I made three salon cutting capes to accompany them.

To make your own, you’ll need the following for each cape:

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A T-Shirt Quilt (A Tutorial)

How to make a memory quilt from baby blankets, clothes and t-shirts. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

I made my first memory quilt…out of Boo’s old dresses! I’m sure there are many of you out there that are quilting experts, and that there are certain ways of doing things the “quilting” way….but I wanted to take a fresh look at quilting and make it up as I went along.  I love that each square tells a story! Boo can point to each square and remember a special outfit she had and a memory associated with it!

How to make a memory quilt from baby blankets, clothes and t-shirts. DIY tutorial 1 via lilblueboo.comm

 

I love the way the quilt turned out. It’s sturdy, double sided, and full of memories….it’s upcycled/recycled!

How to make a memory quilt from baby blankets, clothes and t-shirts. DIY tutorial 2 via lilblueboo.com

Instead of actually t-shirts I took Boo’s dresses from the last few years…..all the ones that I’ve made for her. Most are pretty worn out and had some stains on them…..so they couldn’t have been sold or donated.

How to make a memory quilt from baby blankets, clothes and t-shirts. DIY tutorial 3 via lilblueboo.com

Each dress has special memories and instead of putting the all into storage I decided to cut them all up and make them into a big quilt that she can enjoy for years to come.

How to make a memory quilt from baby blankets, clothes and t-shirts. DIY tutorial 4 via lilblueboo.com

First I made a square template: 10″ x 10″

How to make a memory quilt from baby blankets, clothes and t-shirts. DIY tutorial 5 via lilblueboo.com

I used a rotary cutter to cut out as many squares from each dress as I could:

HowHow to make a memory quilt from baby blankets, clothes and t-shirts. DIY tutorial 6 via lilblueboo.com

Here’s my big stack of completed squares:

How to make a memory quilt from baby blankets, clothes and t-shirts. DIY tutorial 7 via lilblueboo.com

 

Boo helped me to place all the squares in a pattern. It’s double sided so we had 7 squares by 7 squares for each side of the quilt. I then stacked them up in order so I could keep them straight.

How to make a memory quilt from baby blankets, clothes and t-shirts. DIY tutorial 8 via lilblueboo.com

 

 

How to make a memory quilt from baby blankets, clothes and t-shirts. DIY tutorial 9 via lilblueboo.com

Instead of interfacing, I used spray starch to coat each square and I ironed out each piece. Then I rechecked my square template and trimmed any wonky edges so that each square was perfect.

How to make a memory quilt from baby blankets, clothes and t-shirts. DIY tutorial 10 via lilblueboo.com

I began to sew each square together in rows. 7 squares made up each row.

How to make a memory quilt from baby blankets, clothes and t-shirts. DIY tutorial 11 via lilblueboo.com

After each row was finished I ironed the seams flat.

How to make a memory quilt from baby blankets, clothes and t-shirts. DIY tutorial 12 via lilblueboo.com

Here are all my rows finished:

How to make a memory quilt from baby blankets, clothes and t-shirts. DIY tutorial 13 via lilblueboo.com

I laid out all the rows again just to double check my design.

How to make a memory quilt from baby blankets, clothes and t-shirts. DIY tutorial 14 via lilblueboo.com

Then I began to sew all the rows together.

How to make a memory quilt from baby blankets, clothes and t-shirts. DIY tutorial 15 via lilblueboo.com

After both sides of the quilt were completely assembled I ironed all the seams flat again. I used spray starch to make sure they stayed nice and flat.

How to make a memory quilt from baby blankets, clothes and t-shirts. DIY tutorial 16 via lilblueboo.com

I laid one side of the quilt face down on a large table and then laid a large piece of batting on top of it. I used an iron to press the batting completely flat and smooth.

How to make a memory quilt from baby blankets, clothes and t-shirts. DIY tutorial 17 via lilblueboo.com

I rolled back one side of the batting and used a spray adhesive (made especially for quilting and basting)  to coat the top of the batting. Then I carefully rolled the batting back into place making sure to smooth it into place.

How to make a memory quilt from baby blankets, clothes and t-shirts. DIY tutorial 18 via lilblueboo.com

Then I rolled back the other side of the batting and repeated the adhesive spray.

How to make a memory quilt from baby blankets, clothes and t-shirts. DIY tutorial 19 via lilblueboo.com

I finally laid the top of the quilt into place on top of the batting. Starting at the center of the quilt I carefully lined up the squares and seams to the other side of the quilt and used safety pins to pin it in place.

How to make a memory quilt from baby blankets, clothes and t-shirts. DIY tutorial 20 via lilblueboo.com

I rolled back one side of the quilt top and sprayed enough adhesive to cover the area of one row of quilting squares.  Then I carefully rolled one row of the squares back in place and used safety pins to secure just that row in place by matching up the seams (mostly where each section of 4 squares meet together).

How to make a memory quilt from baby blankets, clothes and t-shirts. DIY tutorial 21 via lilblueboo.com

I slowly repeated this process for every row in the quilt until I reach the edges. Then I repeated for the other side of the quilt. By the end, my entire quilt was pin together with all the seams matching from front to back. If any of the squares look a little wonky or tilted I used a little bit of tugging back and forth to smooth out the entire quilt.

How to make a memory quilt from baby blankets, clothes and t-shirts. DIY tutorial 22 via lilblueboo.com

I used embroidery thread to make little ties at each intersection of squares. This holds the entire quilt together and secures the pieces in place. On the entire quilt was secured I removed the safety pins.

How to make a memory quilt from baby blankets, clothes and t-shirts. DIY tutorial 23 via lilblueboo.com

I made a little template to round out the corners of the quilt:

How to make a memory quilt from baby blankets, clothes and t-shirts. DIY tutorial 24 via lilblueboo.com

Instead of binding the quilt, to keep with the exposed seams used in the dresses, I just used my serger to add color thread all the way around. You can add bias tape around the edges if you don’t have a serger.

How to make a memory quilt from baby blankets, clothes and t-shirts. DIY tutorial 25 via lilblueboo.com

Here’s Diesel enjoying the blanket this morning out in the yard!

How to make a memory quilt from baby blankets, clothes and t-shirts. DIY tutorial 26 via lilblueboo.com

I added a few extra appliques from t-shirts that weren’t able to be added as a square…..it made the quilt a little more interesting.  A t-shirt quilt (or dress quilt!) is a great way to preserve memories so that they’ll be enjoyed every day!

How to make a memory quilt from baby blankets, clothes and t-shirts. DIY tutorial 27 via lilblueboo.com

 

Hey you…..wanna fight? (Handpainted Applique Tutorial)

I’m so excited to be a part of No Big Dill’s Once Upon a Thread this month!

Earlier this year in the first series of Once Upon a Thread I made a dress inspired by The Giving Tree….it was one of my favorite books growing up. This time around I let Boo pick the book and she chose The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carl.

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Bias Tape (A Tutorial and Project Roundup)

Bias Tape Tutorial and Crafts via lilblueboo.com

I love bias tape….but I seriously dread making it. My bias tape machine makes it a little more fun…..and Boo LOVES watching it work (I do too).

 

Bias Tape Tutorial and Crafts via lilblueboo.com

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A Tabletop Ironing Board (A Tutorial)

A tabletop ironing board diy tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

I have multiple work areas for projects and I’ve decided I need an ironing board for each one for convenience. This small tabletop ironing board is perfect for my cutting table and other work tables because I can move it around easily and it doesn’t take up a lot of space. It took me about an hour to make but it will save me about 30 minutes every day not having to move from work table to ironing board anymore. I made it using an old wood shelf, felt, fabric and a staple gun:

 

Supplies for a tabletop ironing board diy tutorial via lilblueboo.com

Step 1: I covered the shelf with a layer of felt first:

 

Process for a tabletop ironing board diy tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

Starting on one side I used the staple gun to attach the felt and then moved to the opposite side and worked my way around to the corners last.

 

Process II for a tabletop ironing board diy tutorial via lilblueboo.com

Step 2: I trimmed the excess felt and then covered the felt layer with the layer of fabric….

 

Process III for a tabletop ironing board diy tutorial via lilblueboo.com

…….and stapled opposite edges ending with the corners.

 

Process 4 for a tabletop ironing board diy tutorial via lilblueboo.com

Step 3: This is optional, but I applied a smooth paper backing to the bottom of the board….it helps the board to slide across surfaces easier when I am reaching for it. To adhere the paper you’ll need spray adhesive…..

Process 5 for a tabletop ironing board diy tutorial via lilblueboo.com

…..and apply it to the back of the board:

 

Process 6 for a tabletop ironing board diy tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

I sprayed brown contractors paper with a layer of adhesive as well….then placed it on to the back of the board. These two layers will increase the adhesion (just like rubber cement works).

Process 7 for a tabletop ironing board diy tutorial via lilblueboo.com

I used a razor blade to carefully trim the edges of the paper (be careful not to cut your fabric):

 

Process 8 for a tabletop ironing board diy tutorial via lilblueboo.com

A smooth backing to the board….nothing to snag on fabric:

Process 9 for a tabletop ironing board diy tutorial via lilblueboo.com

Finished tabletop ironing board that can be made in almost any size! Note: if you plan on doing lots of industrial-type ironing you might want to invest in ironing board cover fabric that can withstand excessive heat. It can be found at most large fabric stores.

 

Final Process Tabletop ironing board diy tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

 

The Square Top (A Tutorial)

How to make an easy square top. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

Super easy summer top…..made from a simple square piece of knit fabric. This top definitely has its roots in my mathematics background. I kept trying to visualize how to make it work with minimal sewing and finally one day it just clicked.  So here it is…..the Square Top. It’s a perfect project for a beginner!

Step 1: I cut a 30″ x 30″ square piece of knit fabric for Boo’s size (a solid 4T)…..I got that measurement by measuring from her shoulders to below her hip (15″). I folded it in half on the table and marked the center:

How to make an easy square top. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

Step 2: I marked two 2.5″ semi circles on the fold about 3.5″ to the left and right of my center point for the arm holes (the 3.5″ measurement because I want the front and back piece to be about 7″ wide to cover her chest):

How to make an easy square top. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

Step 3: I carefully cut out the semicircles:

 

How to make an easy square top. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

Step 4: I cut the fold connecting the 2 circles…..creating the front and back edges of the top.

 

How to make an easy square top. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

Step 5: I cut 3″ strips of fabric for the trim.  Two pieces 32″ long for the ties and 2 pieces long enough to trim the front and back edges (about 8″ each):

 

How to make an easy square top. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

How to make an easy square top. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

Step 6: My least favorite thing to do is make bias tape….so I cheated a little here. I folded the trim pieces in half and sew the edges shut….

 

How to make an easy square top. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

…….very close to the edge:

How to make an easy square top. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

Step 7: I ironed the pieces flat so the sewn edge is in the center where the fold will be:

 

How to make an easy square top. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

Step 8: I folded the front trim around the top edge of the top and stitched carefully so the needle caught both sides:

 

How to make an easy square top. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

The trim was slightly longer than the top edge so I just trimmed off the edges. Same process for the back top edge.

 

How to make an easy square top. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

Step 9: I started at the center of the arm holes and pinned the center of the longer trim in place…..and pinned along the rest of the exposed arm hole edge.

How to make an easy square top. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

Step 10: Starting at one end of the folded trim, I sewed the trim shut and all the way around to attach it to the arm hole and back up the other end. I did this for both sides/arms.

 

How to make an easy square top. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

Step 10: Lastly I trimmed the ties at an angle to make them look neater:

How to make an easy square top. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

Updated: A few closeups of the finished top and straps:


How to make an easy square top. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

How to make an easy square top. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

 

Quick, easy, comfy and stylish.

 

How to make an easy square top. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

Fun and billowy.

 

How to make an easy square top. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

Long enough to be just a tunic with leggings.

 

How to make an easy square top. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

A Template for Hemming

A template for hemming via lilblueboo.com

 

I can’t stand ironing. Any clothing creation that calls for ironing…..ugh. I will do anything to shorten my ironing time, and I never had any luck with those metal ironing guides, so I created these little templates. If I have an outfit that I sew over and over again I’ll make a template that gets stored with the pattern pieces so it’s handy and I don’t have to remember what the measurements for seams or hems are.

This particular dress I worked on today I usually hem by ironing a 1/2″ fold and then a 1.25″ fold. I made a template just for this dress….so the whole process is foolproof and the hem is perfectly precise. I start by cutting a piece of poster board or heavy cardstock and then cutting small slits at 1/2″ and 1.25″ using an exacto knife. The slits aren’t continuous so that the template is more durable:

A template for hemming via lilblueboo.com
The template makes marking my folds a breeze….I can create hems with my eyes closed.

First, I just line up the template with the bottom of the fabric.

A template for hemming via lilblueboo.com
Then I use a disappearing ink pen to mark the entire length of the first fold…..

A template for hemming via lilblueboo.com
….and then the entire length of the second fold. I repeat this all the way across the piece of fabric.

A template for hemming via lilblueboo.com
Then I fold my fabric on the line and iron.

A template for hemming via lilblueboo.com
A perfect hem…….

A template for hemming via lilblueboo.com
……for a cute little silk screened party dress soon to be revealed in my shop :)

A template for hemming via lilblueboo.com
Just a little glimpse into my sewing process!

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