I don’t know how I could stand it before I discovered this technique on my serger! Amazing!
Fabric- a lightweight or normal woven. You might experiment with a lightweight denim.
You’ll need a yard for a toddler/child skirt with 4 tiers.
Elastic for the waistband
Serger & Sewing Machine
You’ll only need one measurement!! The child’s waist + 1/2 again = ____
Take your yard of fabric and cut strips about 5 inches wide. If you’re using a woven, it might even be easier to rip the strips. Cut a small snip where you want the fabric to rip at and just rip it apart gently. Wovens generally give straight lines this way. You should do this along the length of the fabric rather than the width.
Take one strip to be the waistband. Cut it at the measurement above (waist + 1/2 again). Serge both long sides of the strip.
Sew the remaining strips together at the short ends to create one huge long strip. Serge it normally all along one long side.
Now, you might need to check your manual to see specifically how to set your serger to gather. On mine, I simply need to turn the differential up to 2 and turn the needle tension up to 5. If, after following the directions for your serger, it’s not gathering enough, try turning up the differential more, or mess with the needle and looper tension a little. I noticed a big difference between having my needle tension at 4 or at 5!! 5 was much more gathered!
With these new settings, serge the entire length of the long strip on the un-serged side, so that it gathers up.
Now take your waistband strip and fold over one long edge about 1/2 to 3/4 inch and sew. This will be your elastic casing.
Take your waistband strip and the gathered edge of your super long strip. Match them up with right sides together and sew with a 1/4 inch seam as long as the waistband strip. I found it easiest to sew with the ungathered fabric on the bottom, and the gathered on the top. This allows you to position the gathers as you sew. Cut the rest of the long strip off. I like to leave a little room, like 1/2 an inch after the end of the bottom fabric.
Clip threads and then start again, only this time, the tier you just sewed on will be on the bottom! You should be sewing the gathered edge of the long strip to the un-gathered edge of the bottom-most tier. Continue until you have as many tiers as you need or you run out of fabric!
Measure out the elastic you need (I use the waist measurement exactly) and thread it through the casing at the top of the skirt, leaving a tiny bit of the ends sticking out. Pin them so they won’t get lost inside.
Lay out the skirt in half with the raw edges together. See how it makes a nice triangle shape out on the folded edge? Serge from the open ends of the waistband down to the bottom of the skirt so that it makes that same shape. Catch the elastic in the serging, but DO NOT serge over the pins- take them out first!!
Voila! Skirt finished! Admire your handiwork!!
You can hem the bottom if you want, but I’ve been just leaving them with the serging. I kind of like it…. and its easier.
I was thinking about this- and if you do it right, this skirt can last a really long time. Kiddos don’t really add inches out as they grow, they mostly go up- so if you’re making this for your 4T daughter, measure the waist of a pair of 6 pants or skirt and make the top tier based on that, then you just have to add an extra tier as she grows, especially easy if you just leave the bottom serged, and not hemmed, but even with hemming, just rip out the stitches and then attach!
Download [ pants and top pattern (in pdf format) ]
All seams that are sewn in this tutorial are allowed 1/4 inch allowance.
Note: Bendy guy clothes aren’t meant to be removed.
Step 1: Basic Pants
Cut 2 of the pattern piece from felt.
Sew both sides from waist to crotch.
Fold to put leg sides together and sew from ankle to ankle
Turn right side out and put on bendy guy. This pattern will be tough to get over the feet of the wooden bendy guys, but will fit the leg better once its on. Sew a straight stitch around the bendy guy’s waist. Pull to gather.
Tie off to keep from ungathering.
And The Jacket:
Step 1: Basic Top/ Jacket
Cut on fold from two layers of felt.
open up the top and cut up the back from waist to neck.
Fold the top back up and then sew from wrist to armpit and then to waist.
Clip armpit corner almost to seam.
Pull onto bendy guy with cut open area at the back. Sew up the back with a blanket stitch.
voila! bendy guy outfit!
Add a sash and you have a sort of asian style outfit.
If you put the top on “backward” with the opening in the front, it makes a jacket.
After cutting out the pieces, embroider them with colorful threads.
These are basic pieces, shorten, lengthen, etc… to make them be more what you want!
Practice with craft felt, but I highly recommend using 100% wool felt for your final product, because it won’t pill and will last a lot longer.
By JoDee of Silly Piggy Monkey
This is a tutorial for a children’s play apron. This will fit a size 2T-4t. This pattern was drawn by me, and is for personal use only, please!
Pattern (print out [ PDF here ])
About 1 yard of material total–I just used what I have on hand, and mix and match fabrics–i think it looks more fun that way!–so I don’t know *for sure* how much material I used.
Note: The pattern allows for a 3/8″ seam allowance. If you need more, please size your pattern accordingly!
Step 1: Print out pattern, tape pieces together, trace onto fabric (or pin), and cut out pieces. Along with the printable pieces, you will also need (2) 2.5″ x 16″ strips, and (1) 2.5″x 14″ strip.
Step 2: Sew one apron front section to two apron side sections, right sides together. Repeat for remaining apron front, and side sections. Press seams flat.
Step 3: Sew Pockets: Take two pocket pieces, and align them right
sides together. Sew a seam around, leaving opening for turning. Trim, and clip curves.
Turn right side out, making sure corners are square–this helps if you use a turning tool, such as a chopstick or pencil. Repeat with remaining pocket. Press flat, and tuck in section you left open for turning.
Step 4: Attach Pockets: On the right side of the FRONT on your apron, pin on pockets. I just eyeball it–but make sure you put them at least 1/2″ away from edges.
Sew around 3 edges of the pocket, about 1/8″ away from edge. Leave top open.
Step 5: Place apron front and back sections right sides together, and sew. Leave opening for turning. Trim, clip curves. Turn right side out, and press. Tuck in edges of opening you left for turning. Top stitch around entire apron, catching your opening.
Step 6: Make the neck strap and ties: All three will be done the same way. Using your iron, press in the short edges of your strip 1/4″, then repeat with the longer sides. Next, fold in half, and press. Top stitch around edges using 1/8″ seam. Repeat with remaining two strips.
Step 7: Attach straps. The shorter piece is your neck strap. Align the strap on the back side of the apron as pictured. Pin, and sew a diamond shape to attach strap to apron.
For ties, align on back of apron, even with side edges. Pin and sew.
Voila! You now have a finished apron!!
This tutorial was written by JoDee of Silly Piggy Monkey. Thanks for contributing!
Playsilks are such awesome open-ended toys! They are robber’s masks and head scarves and capes and picnic blankets and anything else your child (or inner child) can imagine! When you use Kool-aid to dye the scarves, it’s a kid-friendly activity- perfect for a rainy day! Using the squirt bottles helps to direct the dye right where you want it to go. Allow the kids to help in all steps of this activity (except the oven part of course!!)
Silk scarf blanks (any size) – you can get these at Dharma Trading.com or other such places.
saran wrap or glad wrap (must be brand name)
baking dish and foil
kool aid in various colors
squeeze bottles (these are Wilton’s brand and were found at Walmart for approx $1 apiece)
Wash your silks with a mild soap and rinse thoroughly
Allow them to soak 2 hours to overnight in a pot of water with 1/2 c vinegar added.
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees.
Make up your dyes. In a squeeze bottle, add 2 tbsp vinegar.
Next add 2 packets kool aid in desired colors.
Finally add warm water to fill. Put lid back on and shake to mix.
Set up your dyeing area. I use a plastic shower curtain liner to cover my dyeing area. It works remarkably well and cost $1 at the $ store! I used 36 x 36 inch scarves. For these, I cut my Saran wrap in approx 12 inche lengths. For bigger silks, you will need longer lengths of Saran wrap.
Wring out (do not dry! you want them a little wet) and fold your scarves. Fold them any way you want- the different folds will result in different color patterns. The only requirement is that they need to fit on the Saran wrap. Allow a minimum of 2 inches on each side of the Saran Wrap. Put the folded scarves on the Saran Wrap.
Now, use the squeeze bottles to put the dye on. It will bleed, so use colors that will mix well. I like to use primaries so they will mix and you can get purple from blue and red and etc…. Make different patterns and stripes. Use your hands to sort of pat the dye into the silks. Use enough dye to get the colors all they way through, but not too much. You don’t want puddles everywhere- that will make your colors muddy.
If you like, when you are done with one side, you can flip it over and repeat the colors on the other side to make sure they get all the way in, but that is not always necessary.
When you are done adding colors, fold the long edges of the Saran Wrap in toward the center. They don’t have to touch. Now fold up one of the short ends, and then roll the Saran wrap and scarf toward the other end. Secure the end with tape, so it looks like a little jelly roll!
In your baking dish, pour about 1/2 inch of water. Put in your jelly rolls, with the tape side up (so the dye won’t spill out) and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Put the baking dish in the oven for about 1 hour. Do not open the foil, as it will let the steam out, and the steam is what is setting the colors.
After 1 hour, pull the baking dish out and allow to cool. When cool, take the silks out of their plastic wrap and rinse them with cool water. Do this one at a time, so if there is any dye left, it won’t splash onto other silks.
Rinse the silks until the water runs clear, then wring out and hang to dry. Silks are very thin, so they only take a couple hours to dry. If desired- after they are dry, iron on the silk setting to remove wrinkles.
Enjoy your new silks! They can be head scarves and neck scarves, or robber masks or for dancing or as skirts…. there are so many possibilities!
To make a chalkboard with a finished size of 14×10.5 inches, you will need:
- chalk cloth cut to 12×10.5″
- a heavier fabric cut in these sizes:14.5×10.5″ (backing), 4×4.5″ (pocket), and 4×10.5″ (side piece)
- coordinating bias tape
- sewing machine with a zig zag stitch
- optional: ribbon or elastic to hold it closed
Hem under one of the short edges of the pocket.
With right sides together, layer the pocket on the edge of the chalkcloth with raw edges together. Layer the side piece on top (wth the right side facing the chalk cloth. Sew together with a 1/2 inch seam.
Flip the side piece and pocket to the front and topstitch down. Reinforce the leading edge of the pocket.
Layer the chalkcloth on top of the backing. Match up the pocket and side piece to the short edge of the backing with right sides together. Sew together with a 1/2 inch seam.
Flip so the the chalkboard is back to back and topstitch the edge. Reinforce the leading edge of the pocket.
Cut the end of the bias tape in a triangle and fold over. Sew along the chalkcloth and backing, catching both layers with a wide zig zag stitch. Go slow and make sure the edge of the zig zag almost touches the open edge of the bias tape.
Finish the bias tape by cutting another triangle and folding the end over.
The Finished Product!
(I didn’t have any chalk, so I am modeling crayons here)
Roll it up with a ribbon or sew a loop of elastic to keep it rolled up. Make a T&T sherpa or terry cloth wipe to go with it.