Handmade Plush Fox

fox watermarked

I really enjoyed making this little fox for my niece who just turned 2!  I based it on a lovely FREE doll pattern by “Make It & Love It” which you can find here.  (Thankyou, Make It & Love It!)

I experimented with my own designs by making a fox head with a white face instead of making a human face and hair.  I made the skirt with fold over elastic (not folded over), I made little shoes with a “V” shaped opening, I sewed a cute little bow to match and I hand embroidered the eyes to the face instead of using plastic “safety eyes” because as we know, small plastic pieces can be a danger to kids under 3!  Sounds like a lot but it was a fairly quick process.  Overall I’m pleased with how it turned out and just might have to make a tutorial of the new elements I added to the original pattern.  Stay tuned.

In the meantime, if you’d like to learn how to simply embroider eyes check out this great video tutorial I found here.

Until next time, happy sewing!



DIY “American Girl” Circle Skirt Tutorial

AG skirt watermarked final

American Girl Dolls are extremely popular among a lot of lucky young girls (and some boys probably too!)  My niece LOVES her doll.  She enjoys dressing it up in different outfits and I keep wanting to make her clothes for it!  This skirt was super simple to make so I thought I’d share a tutorial so you can try it too.

I used 2 layers of fabric to make this skirt because I dislike making 1/4″ hems on small items.  If this skirt was larger, to save fabric, I’d use one piece of fabric and make a 1/4″ hem.  Since this skirt is so small however, I found it easier to sew 2 layers of fabric together for a nice finished edge and the skirt ends up being lined in the end.  You could use 2 different fabrics and make a reversible skirt this way if you’d like!

To start, pull out a box of parchment paper to draft your pattern. photo 1

Cut an 11.5″ square. photo 2

Fold into fourths. photo 3

If you have a compass handy, the next step will be really easy.  If you don’t (like me) you can get resourceful and use some string and a marker! photo 4

Hold the yarn at the folded corner of the square and make it long enough for the marker to reach an opposite corner.  Draw a a curved line from corner to corner.  (I couldn’t take an accurate picture because I only have 2 hands, but you get the idea hopefully!) photo 5

Measure a smaller length of 1.5″ for the waist and draw another curved line holding the yarn at the folded corner. photo 1

It should look something like this in the end. photo 2

Cut it out. photo 3

Open up one fold and pin the pattern piece to your fabric with the folded edge of the pattern matching up to the folded edge of your fabric.  Cut out 2 circles. photo 5 photo 1

Pin circles, right sides together, and sew a 1/4 seam around the outside edge. photo 2 photo 3

Trim raw edge with pinking shears.  Turn skirt right side out and press. photo 1

Sew a 1/4 seam around the finished edge. photo 2

At this point, you could sew on the elastic and be done BUT what’s a girly skirt without some Tulle?!!!!  It’s super easy to add some on. Using your pattern, cut out 2 layers of tulle but make the circle slightly larger (longer) to allow the tulle to peak out from under the skirt. photo 4

Pin both layers of tulle to the inner edge of the skirt.  (Sorry it’s hard to see with the pink on pink but 2 layers of tulle are there!) photo 5

Secure into place by sewing a seam allowance a little less than 1/4″ if possible. photo 1

Okay – now we can add elastic!  I used 5/8″ fold-over elastic but if I could do it again, I’d use 1″ fold-over elastic.  A little extra elastic width would’ve been nice! photo 3

Cut elastic a bit smaller than the waist circumference.  I used 9″, next time, I’d probably go even smaller.  This stuff doesn’t have as much elasticity as regular elastic. photo 3

Sew ends of elastic together to make a closed loop.  Insert pins on top, bottom, left and right to make reference points on the elastic.  Do the same on the skirt. photo 5 photo 4

Pin the elastic onto the skirt by matching up the 4 points.  Since it’s fold over elastic, pin the wrong side of one half of the elastic to the wrong side of the skirt. (I know it’s hard to see the the picture because it’s all the same colour BUT if you look closely, I have half of the wrong side of the elastic (dull side in this case) pinned onto the wrong side (tulle side) of the skirt.  Stitch around the edge of the elastic to attach it to the skirt.  Normally you would stretch the elastic as your sew but since it’s such a small waist, the arm of the sewing machine kind of stretches it out for you! photo 1

Turn the skirt right side out and slide it back onto the machine.  See how the other half of the elastic is ready to be folded over and sewn into place?  Fold it over, stretching it as you go and sew it into place with a 1/4 inch seam. photo 2 photo 3

…and you’re done!  A neat and tidy waistband indeed!  Now the question is, should I make one in my size? photo 4

Thanks for stopping by.  If you have any feedback or good tips, please feel free to share!

Happy sewing!


Mary Jane Baby Shoes fastened With White Snaps


I loved making these shoes.  (It was a nice contrast after sewing a big quilt to sewing little baby shoes!)  They were fairly quick and easy to make and I got to use my nifty “Babyville Boutique Snap Pliers” for the little white snaps on the side!

I got the pattern for FREE from a blog called The Cottage Mama – thank you!  You can find the pattern here.  She used velcro instead of snaps for fastening the strap.  If you’d like to learn how I used snaps, scroll on down!

She used fusible fleece interfacing for some of her pieces.  I didn’t have any on hand so I did without.

To start, I cut out the fabric pieces and ironed on the fusible interfacing to wrong side of the grey fabric.  (grey pieces are the outer fabric, yellow pieces are the inner fabric.)

photo 1

I folded, stitched and turned the straps and attached them to the outer fabric of the shoe.  I stitched a 1/4 inch seam on the inner and outer pieces, right sides together, to close up the back of the shoe.

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(*stitch strap to the opposite side for the second shoe. —>)

I pinned the sole of the shoe to bottom and stitched it closed with a 1/4 inch seam.  I did the same with the inner fabric.  After, I trimmed the edges with pinking shears and turned the inner fabric right side out.

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Next, I placed the inner fabric inside of the outer fabric (right sides together), pinned it in place and stitched a 1/4 inch seam around the opening of the shoe leaving a 1-inch space opening for turning.  (This was a little tricky to sew because the opening of the shoe is so small!)

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 10.50.49 AMI turned the shoe right side out and hand stitched the opening closed with an invisible stitch.  Click here to learn how to invisible stitch (also called a ladder stitch.)

Now for the fun part – adding the white snap buttons using the Babyvillle Boutique Pliers!  (I’ve seen these pliers and snaps by other brands too.  I don’t think it matters which brand you use.  I just happened to buy these last year on sale at Joanne.)

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The idea to add snaps to the shoes instead of velcro came after I had finished sewing.  Next time, I will put interfacing on the inside of the strap for extra support.

Step 1: Use the pointy piercing tool (it came with the pliers) to punch a hole where you’d like the snaps to be.

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Step 2:  Push the pin of the flat piece through the hole on the strap.

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Step 3: Put a round piece on the other side.photo 4

Step 4: Smush it together with the pliers.  (The pointy part flattens out!)

photo 1

Step 5: Push another flat piece through the hole on the side of the shoe (flat part on the inside.)

photo 3

Step 6:  Put the other round piece on the other side (see how it’s a little different from round piece on the strap.)  This photo was taken after I “smushed it with the pliers” which is why the pointy part is already flattened out in the photo below.

photo 4

Step 7: Smush it together with the pliers.

photo 2

You’re done!  So easy and professional looking, right?!

After all that, I also found a youtube video that explains how to add the snaps here.

I really enjoyed this project.  Although I posted a lot of steps, it was quick and easy!

Happy sewing!


DIY Matching American Girl PJ’s

photo 1

For Christmas, I made my 7yr old niece these pyjama sets!  I consider this a DIY project however, I didn’t make all of it from scratch.  For starters, I bought the sequin skull shirt from Wal-mart, the little pink American Girl t-shirt from Michael’s, and those adorable bunny slippers from Hobby Lobby.  The real DIY parts of this project were the PJ pants and sewing the appliqué on the little t-shirt.

For the pants, I used Butterick pattern B6123.  photo 2I made “girl size 7” pants but ended up having to trim off 2 inches from the outside of each pant leg because they were huge!  I think the American Girl pants are a little wide too…so, I’m not too impressed with the pattern.

The fabric I used is called “Lacy Love” from Joanne Fabrics.

*Sewing tip* For the American Girl size PJ pants, sew the hem of the pants first then sew the outer seams.  The pant leg is too small otherwise to fit around your sewing machine.  I found this quick youtube video tutorial that demonstrates this.

Anyway, my niece loved it!

Happy Holidays!  xo