Friday, December 16, 2011

A Gifted Box

I made this and two other boxes so that they can be played with over and over again.
The secret is wrapping the bottom and the top of each box separately.
They can be gifted and regifted many times.
Small toys and mini stuffed animals make great "gifts".
These could also make cute ornaments that have a surprise inside.

1) I first started with these jewelry boxes. They are small but sturdy and will hold up to repeated play.

20 I used leftover scraps of foil wrap in small textured patterns. Any small printed patterns will work as well, just make sure you use a paper that is not too thin, since you will want these to last.

3) I cut a piece of paper that wide and long enough to wrap around the bottom and sides of the bottom of the box.
4) Next, I put glue on the center of the piece of paper, and on the bottom of the box.
5) Then, I pressed the bottom of the box onto the center of the paper.

6) Then I trimmed away excess paper at each corner as shown above. On two opposing sides I cut up to the corner the same width as that side. On the remaining two sides I cut about 1/8" wider at each corner (this will make a neater corner).
7) Next, I applied glue to the sides of the box and on the rest of the paper.

8) Working with the sides that have the wider paper first, press the paper up the sides and make a small snip at the corners.
9) Next finish pressing the rest of the paper onto the inside of the box.
10) Then press the 1/8" extra width around onto the other sides as shown above.
11) Glue and press the remaining sides onto the box and repeat the steps the the top of the box.
The above photo shows the finished box. But no gift would be complete without a pretty bow!

The finished wrapped boxes.

Finally, I added ribbons to both the tops and bottoms of the boxes, with bows on top!

Add some tissue paper by cutting a few sheets to about 5"x7".

Add a few small gifts, and the boxes can be played with over and over again.

These boxes could also be used for Christmas ornaments by just adding a loop of string or a hook!

Thanks for stopping by, and I wish you a Happy Holidays.

Creatively Yours,

Happy Holidays!

From A Doll For All Seasons.
I wish you peace and love and a joyous New Year!

This is the finished outfit, showing the elegant skirt and velour top together, both shown on previous posts. I added a beaded necklace and bracelets, which were old elastic bracelets of mine that were just beads on elastic cords. I used one for a necklace and several wrapped around three times for a layered bracelet.

Creatively Yours,

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holiday Top

Here is the Holiday top that I made to go the the Holiday Skirt from my last post! It actually was faster to make than I thought it would be.I started with a pair of outgrown velour pants of my daughter's. I try to avoid hemming whenever possible, so I used the existing hem from the velour pants for the top's bottom hem and the sleeve cuffs! Total cost to make- FREE!

The finished top.

1) First I started with a pair of velour pants that had a pant leg opening width of 7 3/4". 2) I then cut about 7" up from the bottom of one pant leg. 3) I cut about 3" up from the other pant leg.

4) I then carefully cut open these pieces along one side seam and laid the pieces out flat. 5) I did the same for both pant leg pieces. 6) I then carefully cut along the remaining seams so that I had four pieces total.

7) I next folded the two larger pieces in half, using the wider piece for the back pieces. I cut along the fold for the back, this gave me two pieces. For the front I pinned the piece along the fold for the center front. 8) I pinned my pattern pieces so that I used the existing hems for the front, back and sleeves. I made my own patterns, but you can use a purchased pattern the same way. Just make sure that the top measures 6" long and the finished sleeve measures 2 1/4".            

9) I then cut out pieces. 10) I sewed the shoulder seams with right sides together, and finger pressed the seams open.

11) Next, I sewed the sleeves to the armhole seams, matching the center sleeves with the shoulder seams, and with right sides together.

12) I then sewed the side and sleeve seams.
13)  Next, I turned back the center back edges by 1/4" and edge stitched on both sides of the back.

14) I turned back the neck 1/4" and hand sewed this down. 15) I used matching black hook-and-loop for the closure. I attached a 1/4' wide strip of the loop portion along the right side edge of the right half of the back, and a 1/4" strip of the hook portion along the inside of the left half of the back. I use an iron-on type of hook-and-loop, I find it easier to work with on small projects.

The above photo shows the finished top.

This is how it looks in the back.

I hope to eventually include patterns that you can download and print. For now, you can modify purchased patterns like I have shown here.

Well, I am mostly done with my Christmas shopping. So now I will begin with the wrapping! I might even do a few doll sized gift boxes too!

Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy the Holiday season!
Creatively Yours,

Thursday, November 17, 2011

An Elegant Holiday Skirt
Today I will show you how I made this pretty skirt...
and it is SO easy!

I found this great Holiday skirt (see photo below) at a secondhand children's clothing shop for only $1.00. At first I thought I would change it so that it would be a short skirt for the doll. But when I put it up to the doll I realized I could use the hems as they were (I like to avoid hemming whenever possible!) and sew only side seams if I made it as a long skirt. And what little girl doesn't love a long elegant dress or skirt? Very princess-like!

This is the skirt that I started with. It is a size 18M bias cut taffeta outer skirt with a great flirty ruffle slip that shows a little at the hem. This skirt was about 10 1/2" from top of the waistband to the bottom of the slip ruffle. Just the kind of skirt that would make a great swishing sound when you walk!

1) First,I turned the skirt inside out.
2) Next, I pinned the skirt to the doll. I placed one side seam on one side of the doll and pinned at the waistband only for the new side seam I was going to sew. Since the skirt has an elastic in the back waistband, I did not need to make a side closure.
3) I took the skirt off of the doll while it was still pinned.

4) Then I marked the waistband seam for 1/2" seam allowance.
5) Using a straight edge, I marked a cutting line for the inside slip. I marked for each seam separately.

6) I cut along the line I drew.
7) I then marked with a straight edge my cutting line for the outer skirt. I cut along this line and repeated for all seams; marking and cutting separately.
8) This is the skirt with the excess fabric cut away.

9) I sewed the waistband seam first.
10) Next, I pinned and sewed the outer skirt seam with right sides together.
11) Then I pinned and sewed the ruffled slip side seam with right sides together. (I first needed to pin the waistband seam out of the way)
12) I then finished all raw edge seams and trimmed to 1/4" seam allowance.

The finished Skirt!

This pretty skirt needs a pretty top to go with it. I think I will use my daughter's outgrown and worn at the knees black velour pants for the top (see photo at left). I might also use the unused fabric from the skirt in some way, too! And, there is a big enough piece of the underskirt left over to make short slip or underskirt for another  project!

I hope that I have inspired you to make a fancy skirt of your own.
Thanks for stopping by.

Creatively Yours,

Thursday, October 27, 2011

How to make Backpack and Pencil case:

  When I was thinking about what I should put in the backpack for supplies, I had a few ideas of my own, many based on the regular Back-to-School supply list I get every year from my kids' new teachers. But I also asked my daughter what she wanted to include and she really came through! So by adding her ideas it made it more personal.
  The other day my daughter asked me to play "school" with her and her doll, using all the things I made for the backpack and  have shown you on my blog. And when I did, I learned more about her school day, and what she does, and her friends, and how she feels about things, etc, than any other time I have asked her how her day was and what she did in school! It was awesome - an unexpected bonus!
  So now I will (finally!) show you how I made the backpack and pencil case!

11/26/12- I just want to announce the opening of my new etsy shop! I am offering an easy to follow pdf pattern for a School Backpack and bonus Lunch Bag. It is especially great for those who are interested in making the backpack from store bought fabric rather than recycled items. I also have for sale a few upcycled doll items. Please check it out at: A Doll For All Seasons- etsy shop
School Backpack

Pencil Case
HINT: I used my daughter's own backpack as a guide to make the doll's backpack. Basically I measured my daughter's backpack, carefully measuring each part.Then I took all of the measurements and divided by three. That is, if something measured 9" on my daughter's backpack, I made the pattern measure 3" (finished measurement) for the doll's backpack.
NOTE: The backpack was a challenging project, but worth it. I prefer to show you easy projects  but this one is so cute! My daughter screamed when she saw it for the first time! And she tells  me often how much she loves it!
How to make Backpack:

  When I decided to make a backpack, I looked for material that I thought would be just like the nylon fabric used in my daughter's own backpack. I didn't have any luck. So then I went on the search for something already made out of the right kind of fabric and I found this nylon canvas bag in the perfect shade and fabric (see above). I also knew I could use the zipper and the existing straps! I also realized that I could use the inside zippered pocket for a pencil case. I found this at Ocean State Job Lot for $1.25.

  Next, I found this pink waterproof  "Bikini Bag" used for wet bathing suits (see above). It was lined with plastic but the outer fabric was perfect and I thought that the pink and red would be great together! This also had a zipper that I could use and a thinner strap. I got this at Christmas Tree Shops for $1.99.

  Now that I had the red and pink bags, I went looking for something else I could use with them that would be colorful and playful and I found this eyeglass case made from cotton quilted fabric (see above). It actually looks like it was made from a potholder! So a potholder would work just as well! I bought 2 of these at Christmas Tree Shops for only 69 cents each!

  First, I took the pink bag and measured 1 3/8" from the center of the zipper, along both sides of the bag. I used this zipper for the sides and top of bag.

  Then I cut along the side seams and opened up the fabric and zipper and laid it out flat.

Next, I turned the red bag inside out. here you can see the inside zippered pocket.

  Since I wanted to use the inside zipper for the pencil case, I worked on both the backpack and pencil case at the same time, so that I cut the pieces I needed wisely. Before cutting the zippered piece for the pencil case, I taped the zipper pull open, so that I wouldn't loose the zipper pull when I cut. If you loose the pull, it would be impossible to get it back once it is gone! I then cut out the piece I needed for the pencil case before proceeding with the backpack. (See below to see how I finished the pencil case.)

  After I cut what I needed for the pencil case, I cut open the canvas bag so it would lay flat and cut out my front and back pieces; one of each. The pattern I made for the front and back is 7" high and 5" wide near the top and 5 1/2" wide at the bottom. I rounded the corners of the pattern. These measurements include a 3/8" seam allowance all around.

  I used the 1/2" wide strap from the "Bikini Bag" and cut a piece 3 1/4"" long to use for a handle on top of the bag. I measured to find the center of the piece I would use for the top zippered panel. I pinned it down and sewed it in place as shown. Since this fabric doesn't fray easily, I did not allow for turning under.

  I cut out the front pocket and pocket flap from one of the eyeglass cases. The pocket pattern piece measured 3 1/2" high and 4" wide at the top, and 4 1/2" wide at the bottom with rounded edges.When I pined the pattern to the eyeglass case, I used the finished edge as the top of the pocket edge. The top flap pattern piece measured 1 3/4" high and 4" wide at the top edge.I rounded the bottom edge. Like the pocket piece, I used the finished edge of the eyeglass case for the top of the flap piece.

  This photo shows the pieces ready to be assembled. I also cut a piece of the red fabric from the pocket flap pattern to use as a lining.

  To make the pocket I first sewed a dart in each bottom corner 1 1/2" long and 1/4" wide at the outer edge. Next, I pinned back 1/2" along sides and bottom edge, and edge stitched.
  To make the pocket flap, I pinned the pocket flap pieces along the sides and bottom edges with  right sides together and turning under the top of the lining to match the quilted piece. I sewed the sides and bottom edges with a 1/2" seam allowance. I turned it right side out and edge stitched along sides and bottom edges. I hand sewed the top edges together.
  I then cut "hook-and-loop" one of each piece, 1" by 3/8". I sewed one piece to the top of the pocket and one piece to the underside of the pocket flap.

  Next, I pinned the pocket and pocket flap pieces to the center front piece of the backpack. I sewed along the top edge of the flap piece and along the sides and bottom edges of the pocket piece only.

  Next, I cut two pieces fro the pink bag 3 1/8"wide and 6" long. This is longer than I needed but I wanted to have extra (room for error!). I cut off what I didn't need later.
  I sewed one piece on each end of the backpack zipper with 1/2" seams, pressed the seams towards the outer edges and edge stitched along the seams. These pieces that I added will become the bottom of the bag.
  Next, I cut two pieces from the second eyeglass case to use for the side pockets ( such as used for the water bottle). The pieces measured 3 1/8" wide and 2 3/4" high (including the finished edges of the eyeglass case for the top of the pockets).  I turned under the bottom edges 1/2" and sewed each pocket to the zipper as shown, with the top of the pockets facing toward the center loop handle, leaving the pocket top edge free.
  Next, I pinned the front of the backpack (the red piece) to the zippered backpack sides (the pink piece) matching up the center top of the front to the center of the zippered piece. Since I wanted the loop in the back of the zipper I made sure that I pinned the front to the edge without the loop!

Here are two views of how the pinned piece looked.

 Once I determined the placement of the bottom seam I sewed this seam and trimmed it to have a 1/2" seam allowance. Next, I sewed the edges all around with a 1/2" seam allowance. I will tell you that working with this fabric is very challenging! So don't expect a perfect seam! The final result is so cute that I didn't mind that it was more pucked than I would have liked.

  I next used the existing 1 1/4" wide straps from the red bag for the backpack straps. I cut 2 pieces 11 1/2" long, which was longer than I needed. I then pinned them onto the unfinished backpack, pinning the top of the straps first at slight angles as shown in the photo at right. I then put the backpack on the doll to get a good fit and to check the angles of the straps. Then I pinned the straps at the bottom of the backpack and trimmed excess fabric.

  Then, I basted the straps in place to the back seam as shown in the photo at left.
  This photo shows the straps after the straps were basted in place. Next, I partially unzipped the zipper and pinned the back of the backpack to the sides with right sides together, and  I sewed with a 1/2" seam allowance. I turned the backpack right side out and I was done!

  Here it is all finished! I also added a pink cord to the zipper pull for fun. You can see how I "made" the water bottle on a previous post. and I put the mini calculator in the front pocket with the chain hanging out for an extra detail.

  So, there it is, all of the Back-to-School clothes and accessories! I think that all of the details that make them more realistic, also make them more fun to play with. And listening to my daughter's ideas for the things she wished to include in the backpack, made her part of the process and I knew I was making for her things that she would never be able to buy in any store or catalog!

  Even though these are Back-to-School items, This would be really fun to make and give as a gift for Christmas or any time of year!

  Thanks for stopping by, I hope to inspire you again real soon!

Creatively Yours,