Monday, June 24, 2013

Pioneer Bonnet Tutorial

Here in Utah on July 24th we celebrate our states birthday with a holiday called Pioneer Day. Utahans are very proud of their pioneer heritage so this holiday is a BIG deal. Most people get the day off of work, have BBQ's and celebrate with extended family, eat lots of food and spend the evening watching fireworks in front yards and parks across the state.
We even have a "historical theme park", I guess you'd call it, named "This is the Place State Park" where you can experience life as the pioneers would have when they first arrived in Utah.
This Is The Place State Park

Little pioneer washing machines

Plowing the fields.

 The old school house.

 Old fashioned printing press.
So last year I created some bonnets for my girls to wear. It's not unusual to see people dressed in period clothing for Pioneer Day.

 Enjoying fireworks with all the cousins at Grandma's house.

Even their favorite dolls got one. I just shrunk the size of the pattern down to fit a doll's head. You could use these bonnets for any "pioneer" celebration from American Girls to an adorable Little House on the Prairie birthday party!
I was able to get one child sized bonnet from a fat quarter if I cut carefully. Fat quarters are 18" x 21".
Cut 2 brim pieces 3.5" x 18"
Cut 1 crown piece 14" x 14"
Fold each piece in half...

and round the corners of each...

When you open up your pieces again they should look like this...

Tip: I attached a medium weight fusible interfacing to my brim pieces to keep the brims stiff and crisp. This is an optional step but I think it adds a lot to the bonnet and helps keep the brim curved.
Fold over 1/2 inch and iron the bottom, flat side of your crown piece to create a seam. Top stitch along the seam to hold it down. 

Using a gathering stitch, sew all the way around the curved side only of the crown piece.
It should look like this when you are finished...

Set your crown piece aside to work on your brim.
For the ties you can use a piece or ribbon or bias tape. To make your own bias tape fold a long strip of fabric in half and then fold the edges in again towards the center.

Sew a straight stitch along one side of your bias tape.

To make the optional ruffle on the brim, cut a long thin piece of fabric (or ribbon) and fold it in half. Using a gathering stitch create a ruffle.

Pin the ruffle to the curved side of one of the brim pieces. Line the raw edge of the ruffle to the raw edge of the brim.
Lay the second brim piece on top of the first, sandwiching the ruffle. Pin well.

Sew along the curved side of the brim and turn the brim right side out. Press it flat. Top stitch along the brim if desired.

Now you'll take the crown piece and sew it to the brim. You'll want to make sure that they will fit inside each other. Pull on your gathers to adjust the crown piece to fit inside the brim.
Slip the crown piece (ruffled side) in the open side of the brim 1/2 inch and pin...
Top stitch the two in place.

Your bonnet should look like this when your finished.

At this point you can add your ties to the side as well a little piece of elastic to the back to help form it to the head.

Tip: I noticed it help curve the brim around my daughters head when I attached the ties to the sides of the brim pieces rather than to the sides of the crown piece.
 These little bonnets took no time to make and I ended up creating 3 of them for 3 very special little girls and matching bonnets for their dolls. My girls would pull their bonnets out throughout the year to play with them and they always look so precious.


Saturday, June 22, 2013

More S'mores Recipe Round Up

S'mores go with summer like lemonade, checkered table clothes, and American flags. The only problem is it's not always convenient to light a big camp fire every time we want this delicious, gooey treat... and I want them often in the summer!
That's why I'm so excited for all the alternative s'more recipes showing up. Here's a few of my favorites all in one place.
I made this dip for a summer BBQ at our house a couple weeks ago and it was a big hit!
I loved these cookies for how easy they made it to get that delicious cookie, chocolate, marshmallow combo.
These different flavored marshmallows are just so pretty together!
I am definitely bringing this pie to our next family gathering.
These s'mores pops would be perfect for the kids while they watch fireworks!
I had to share this one for the cute free printable. Now I'm inspired to throw a s'mores party!
Want even more s'more ideas and recipes? Check out my Pinterest board HERE!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tween's Room Floor Pillow

I looked up "Tween" online to make sure my daughter fit the category and laughed out loud when I read Urban Dictionary's definition of a "Tween"...
"A creature that is said to be between 9-12, who for some reason have immense 'confidence' in themselves"
Yes, my daughter is a tween.
Though I do have to say she's a pretty awesome little tween, and it's no wonder she wants everyone to know it. I can't think of a better age to be a girl (maybe 33, I'm having quite a lot of fun right now!). She's old enough for sleepovers and nail polish, but young enough for teddy bears and kisses good night. P's favorite things are her best friends, earrings, Harry Potter books, and webkins. It doesn't get much happier than that :)
Recently P moved out of the bedroom she shared with her little sister and into her very own room. She's having to share closet space with me and all my sewing supplies but she loves having a place to call her own. A big comfy floor pillow for her and her BFFs is just what her room needed.
After making this I decided our living room could use a couple too, as well as The Boy and Little C... it's that comfortable! Of course what makes it the softest pillow you ever felt is the minky fabric. I used bright pink chevron and turquoise dimple cuddle fabric from Shannon Fabrics.
For this project you will need...
1 yard pink chevron cuddle,
1 yard turquoise dimple cuddle,
6 yards of white jumbo rick rack,
2 yards stiff fusible fabric interfacing,
a big box of polyester fiber fill stuffing. 

Your first step is to create a pattern for your circles. I used the backside of a piece of wrapping paper. I folded my paper in half to find the center, then using that center point and a piece of string and a pencil as a compass I measured out and cut a half a circle with a 15 inch radius (you only need a half circle, you can line the straight edge up with the fold of your fabric).  

Next pin your pattern piece to your fabric. Line up the straight edge of your circle with the fold of your fabric.

Cut our your circle and open it up...

You'll need 2 circles, one for the top and one for the bottom. Shannon Fabric's cuddle fabric is 58-60 inches wide so I was able to just barely get two circles with a 30 inch diameter each.
Now from your blue fabric cut two 12 x WOF (width of fabric) strips.
Attach your interfacing to the wrong side of your blue cuddle fabric according to manufacturer's instructions. This will hold the side together and help the pillow keep its shape.
Next sew your strips together, end to end. Pin your blue fabric carefully around one of your circles and sew it into place...

According to my math (ok, not MY math... my 5th grade son's math, he's top in his class!) you'll need approximately 94 total inches of blue to go around your circle. Make sure you have an extra inch on each end for the seam, so a total of 96 inches. If you need to trim a little off as you get near the end of your sewing it won't be a problem. I finished off the ends of the blue cuddle by folding it over to create a seam and sewing the seam down with a straight stitch to finish it....

Now that the bottom is sewn in place you'll do the same to add the top circle except you'll add the white rick rack in between the pink chevron and the blue dot. Make sure you pin it in place very well so it doesn't slip as you catch the rick rack in the seam while you're sewing it together.

You can see how well I've pinned below to keep the rick rack in its place.

When you are finished your pillow will look like this...
Now it is time to get out your big box of polyester fiberfill. I got this 5 pound box at JoAnns. Regularly it was 21$ so don't forget to use a coupon. It took the whole box to stuff the pillow ... something I wasn't really expecting.

Stuff your pillow nice and stiff.  Over time the fiberfill will flatten out, so you may need to re-stuff once a year or so.

After you've stuffed to your heart's content, sew up your hole. I used a long needle and 2 strands of strong thread.

Now this last part is the hardest part... deciding who's going to try it out first!

And then you have to convince them to share. I won't pretend that P's little sister isn't very jealous. Oh well, back to the store for more fabric.  I think I'll make one for me too!