Froo’s All Spice Dress

All Spice Dress Tour
Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving! It’s such a great holiday–a time to be intentional about gratitude. Black Friday, on the other hand, is sheer madness. If you’re here visiting instead of braving the crowds, then I’m especially thankful!

If you are visiting via the All Spice Dress blog tour, a warm welcome to the Froo & Boo blog! I first “met” Karly of Paisley Roots, when we were both competing in Project Run & Play (season 8)–I was really blown away by Karly’s designs for all 5 of her kids. She took 1st place and I was genuinely happy for her. I told her I would love to sew up her All Spice Dress and she held me to it! I’m excited to be participating in the All Spice Dress blog tour!

I had a completely different All Spice dress planned, but then I found the perfect navy and gold buttons in my button box that were destined to become an All Spice dress. I chose a stretch finewale corduroy in navy blue to complement the buttons. It’s a bit thick, but I thought it would work well for the season.
All Spice Dress Tour
I love the details of this dress! It features a square neckline, front pintuck pleats and a dropped waistline. I chose the button placket, but there is also an option to add a zipper closure. I used the same buttons in ivory to make a music class blouse for Froo.
All Spice Dress Tour
The sleeves are meant to be flutter sleeves, but I added gold piping, which meant I had to line the sleeves, losing the flutter. I love the effect of gold piping! After seeing gold piping used so beautifully on the hungie gungie blog, I knew I had to try it for myself. I added gold piping to the waist as well.
All Spice Dress Tour
I made the dress in size 6, without any modifications. After sewing up the bodice, I had Froo try it on. It seemed rather tight, so I took out 1/2″ on each side seam. But when I completed the dress, it ended up being a little loose. I’m not sure if Froo was just sticking out her tummy at the time, but I should have just left it as is–the fit is spot-on. The instructions were straightforward with plenty of photos for reference.

Froo is going through a no-smiling-for-the-camera phase. I’m hoping it’ll be short-lived. It puts a smile on my face, looking through the sea of pouty, scrunched nose, eyeball rolling photos. I’m just thankful that she will still pose for the camera anyway. Such a sweet girl. With a look of disdain:
All Spice Dress Tour
All Spice Dress Tour
All Spice Dress Tour
All Spice Dress Tour
All Spice Dress Tour
Is this a smile? I’m not so sure–even Froo seems unsure, but I’ll take it!
All Spice Dress Tour
All Spice Dress Tour
If you would love to sew up an All Spice Dress, Karly is offering a 25% discount with the code BLACKFRIDAY2014. There’s also a chance to win some amazing prizes (fabric! zippers!), with multiple ways to earn entries here. Also, link-up here, if you’ve made an item from any Paisley Roots pattern or made with Blend Fabrics. Good luck!
All Spice Blog Tour
I hope you’ll visit participating blogs on the All Spice blog tour–all of the dresses are beautiful. I always find it inspiring to see how others interpret a pattern to achieve a dress that is completely unique and reflects individual style. Thanks for visiting!

Advertisements

Mara Blouse + Lotta Skirt

Mara Blouse + Lotta Skirt by Froo & Boo
When we were in Vancouver, I took Froo fabric shopping and she picked out the cutest catnap fabric and coordinating peachy-pink knit to make a skirt and a shirt. I didn’t have a pattern in mind, so when I read that Marte from Compagnie-M was looking for pattern testers for the Lotta skirt, I submitted a request and was given a test pattern!

I made the Lotta skirt in size 6, with the hem lengthened by 1″. It features a flat waistband with a gathered skirt. I love this look!
Lotta Skirt by Froo & Boo
I think the pockets are what makes this skirt so unique. I used leftover coral pink voile from Froo’s practice flower girl dress to create the contrasting inside pocket. I used heart-shaped brown buttons to stitch the pocket flap in place.
Lotta Skirt by Froo & Boo
There is an invisible zipper in the back of the skirt and the waistband is adjustable using buttonhole elastic. I couldn’t find buttonhole elastic, so I stitched my own buttonholes on some elastic and it worked perfectly fine.
Lotta Skirt by Froo & Boo
While making the Lotta skirt, I thought I would make a Mara blouse, to keep within the same patten company. It’s been almost a year since I first made a couple of Mara blouses. I made a size 7 (since it was already cut out) in a lycra blend cotton knit fabric.
Mara Blouse by Froo & Boo
I made quite a few changes: overlapped front yokes for centered buttonholes instead of loops, replaced pintucks with gathers, narrowed long sleeves without elastic casings and a hidden bias-bound collar using my method for a single-fold bias tape hem.
Mara Blouse by Froo & Boo
I made one slight change (that isn’t noticeable from the outside, but more of a technical construction tip)–from the inside of the blouse, I pressed the seams of the front yoke out (towards the shirt), then I stitched-in-the-ditch between the piping and the shirt on the front side. The instructions tell you to press the front yoke upwards, but I found that this makes for a wavy front yoke that doesn’t lay completely flat since there are curves and a lot of layers with the piping.
Mara Blouse by Froo & Boo
The Mara blouse and Lotta skirt as a complete outfit is a bit matchy-matchy for my liking. I love each piece separately and they still work together, but I think the knit shirt would look lovely paired with jeans and the skirt with a shirt tucked in.
Mara Blouse + Lotta Skirt by Froo & Boo
Mara Blouse + Lotta Skirt by Froo & Boo
Mara Blouse + Lotta Skirt by Froo & Boo
Mara Blouse + Lotta Skirt by Froo & Boo
Lotta Skirt by Froo & Boo
Marte is releasing her Lotta skirt pattern today! It also comes in teen/adult sizes–I wish I had purchased more than 1 metre of the catnap fabric to make one for me. There is a 10% discount on the purchase of your Lotta skirt pattern during the pattern tour, with a chance at a giveaway. Bonne chance!

Thanks for visiting!

Perfect Pattern Parcel #5: Sunki Dress

Perfect Pattern Parce #5: Sunki dress
It’s time for Perfect Pattern Parcel again! For the 5th edition, the pattern collection is curated for Girls & Tweens. Purchasing your parcel is a great way to support indie pattern designers, while making a donation to Donors Choose, a charity organization supporting students in need.

Besides all of the amazing patterns, the best part of your purchase is choosing your price! The minimum price is $16 for 5 patterns. You can also unlock the bonus pattern with a minimum price of $28.
Pattern Parcel #5: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win!
Patterns included: Peek-a-Boo Patterns Lily Knit Blazer / Filles a Maman Mimi Dress and Shirt / EYMM Asymmetrical Drape Top / Fishstick Designs Playhouse Dress / Greenstyle Everyday Yoga Pant

Bonus pattern: Figgy’s Sunki Dress
Pattern Parcel #5: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win
With fall approaching, I decided to make the Sunki dress for Froo. I love a great 3/4 sleeve dress worn with leggings and a pair of boots.
Perfect Pattern Parce #5: Sunki dress
The boots only lasted a couple of shots until Froo started complaining–it’s still sunny and warm in the Bay Area.
Perfect Pattern Parce #5: Sunki dress
Perfect Pattern Parce #5: Sunki dress
After taking Froo’s measurements, I made the dress in size 8/9. She was at the upper edge of 6/7, but I want her to be able to wear this dress into next year. I’m all for sizing up and wearing dresses until they become tunic tops. One of the reasons why I avoid full-length sleeves on Froo.

The front of the dress:
Perfect Pattern Parce #5: Sunki dress
The back of the dress:
Perfect Pattern Parce #5: Sunki dress
The fabric is a large scale floral print in a soft, stretch cotton twill. I bought it on sale at Fabricana when we were up in Canada a couple of weeks ago. I was undecided on the fabric–I wasn’t sure if it was screaming grannie’s curtains (I could almost hear my mom’s voice asking me why I would put something old-fashioned on my daughter) or if it was updated vintage, which is a style that is always on-trend. Then I noticed that the leaves were grey and quickly purchased the remaining 1.5 metres. Had the leaves been green, I don’t think I would have purchased it.
Perfect Pattern Parce #5: Sunki dress
This poor little bunny was hiding in the washing machine before I pre-washed a pile of dark fabric. It used to be a pale pink, but it was dyed a pale purple-blue. Oops. It was gifted to Froo when she was a tiny newborn. She then gave it to Boo when he was born, because he was born in the year of the rabbit. Then Boo gave it back to Froo, saying the new colour is yucky. Froo loves the bunny’s new look and took it back. The drama!
Perfect Pattern Parce #5: Sunki dress
The style of the Sunki dress is unique and has some flattering features: pleated sleeves, integrated pockets, overlapping shoulders and curved seams. However, I had some trouble figuring out the instructions. It’s not a difficult dress to sew, but the instructions are concise and slightly vague. For instance, “stitch the zipper to the garment” left me wondering where to line the top of the zipper and where the stitching should line up from the edge.
Perfect Pattern Parce #5: Sunki dress
If you are making this dress, I would recommend the following links for clarification: charm stitch was super helpful in navigating the pattern, very shannon gave useful tips for sewing the zipper and finally, Figgy’s has a photo tutorial for the pockets and side panel.
Perfect Pattern Parce #5: Sunki dress
Perfect Pattern Parce #5: Sunki dress
Perfect Pattern Parce #5: Sunki dress
Thanks for visiting! You can purchase your Perfect Pattern Parcel #5 here, but only until October 3. Make sure you check out what participating bloggers have created with their parcels:

September 19 Pienkel || Cookin’ and Craftin’
September 20 Sew Busy Lizzy || The Life Of A Compulsive Crafter
September 21 Keep Calm and Carrion || Felt With Love Designs
September 22 Radiant Home Studio || Sewing Sober
September 23 Sew Fishsticks || La Pantigana || Amanda Rose
September 24 Shawnta Sews || Sprouting JubeJube || Knot Sew Normal
September 25 Make It Perfect || Mimi’s Mom || Climbing the Willow
September 26 Needle and Ted || Our Family Four
September 27 Froo & Boo
September 28 Stitches by Laura || Vicky Myers creations
September 29 Cookin’ and Craftin’ || The Crazy Tailor
September 30 mama says sew || FABulous Home Sewn || The Inspired Wren
October 1 lady and the gents || That’s-Sew-Kari || Sewing Sober
October 2 Gracious Threads || Blogs Like A Mother || SewsNBows
October 3 sew chibi || Lulu & Celeste || Made by Sara

Sew Ready to Play

Froo & Boo: Sew Ready to Play
Today, I’m guest posting at Louise’s blog, I’m Feeling Crafty. She has organized a series dedicated to sewing projects inspired by your favourite game. Froo & Boo aren’t into board games yet, preferring to make up their own games instead. To see what I created for the Sew Ready to Play series, please head over to I’m Feeling Crafty!

p.s. In case you were wondering, this is how Froo’s Build-A-Bear birthday cake turned out yesterday!
Froo's Build-A-Bear Birthday Cake Froo's Build-A-Bear Birthday Cake Froo's Build-A-Bear Birthday Cake
Thanks for visiting!

Froo’s 6th Birthday!

Froo's 6th Birthday
Just popping in to wish my Froo bear a big happy 6th birthday! We celebrated Froo’s birthday a week early in Vancouver with our friends. It was a great way to get together and have all 12 (a dozen!) of our kids play together in my parents’ backyard. It was a little surreal–it’s the same backyard where I had my childhood birthday parties.
Froo's 6th Birthday
Tomorrow, we’re looking forward to a Build-A-Bear party! I’ve been wanting to throw a Build-A-Bear party before I even had kids. Today’s plans include: baking a bear cake together, filling up Froo’s day with arts & crafts happiness and eating dinner at her favourite restaurant.

This year, there aren’t any epic handmade birthday gifts. (For Froo’s 4th birthday, I made her a quiet book, for her 5th birthday, a pair of funny bunnies.) Instead, I bought Froo a shirt from Target and handstitched shiny beads in the shape of the no. 6 in one of the sparkly hearts. It’s a little wonky, a little last minute, but it’s a little something handmade.
Froo's 6th Birthday
I’m always astounded at the developmental growth that happens at each birthday, but this year, I feel like there’s a different kind of jump–more of a giant leap out of the toddler years into the beginning stages of big-kidness. The independence and acceptance of responsibility, combined with a soft and caring heart, makes me so proud of my Froo. She is growing up in a way that isn’t just measured in inches, pounds and physical milestones.

My heart swells.

xoxo.

The finale: flower girl dress & ring bearer suit

Uncle E & Auntie Y's Wedding Day
Finally, a post about the wedding! We are back in California, still recovering from an amazing visit back home. The hubs’ little brother has all grown up–I’m so proud of him! He was still in high school when he was a groomsman at our wedding and now he has a beautiful wife, ready to begin the adventure of married life.

I took the photos of Froo & Boo’s flower girl dress and ring bearer suit after they had been squished in a suitcase for several days, with chocolate mousse stains, donut frosting and all. Yikes.

This dress:
Froo's Fairy Tale Flower Girl Dress
Ooh. Aah. The one and only fairy tale dress pattern by Oliver + S, in size 6. It was a tonne of work, but it really saved me when I needed to work out the vision stuck in my head. The main fabric is a heavy polyester satin in ivory and the skirt looks like rosettes stitched onto tulle. Both fabrics were purchased at Fabric Outlet in San Francisco.

I made a couple of modifications. I mentioned before that I lengthened the bodice by 1 1/2″ and took in the center back by 1/4″. With this dress, it’s important to make a muslin to get the exact fit. Instead of taking the bodice in at the sides, I chose the center back because the side seams were located in just the right position–most likely from what’s left of Froo’s toddler tummy. As of next week, she will no longer be a toddler!

I also cut a one-piece skirt and widened it to 60″. I did this because the width of the satin was 60″, which meant that I could cut a single piece from selvedge to selvedge, eliminating the need to finish the seams. There are 4 layers of the skirt! The rosette tulle over a layer of satin over a layer of crinoline over a layer of lining. Fewf!
Froo's Fairy Tale Flower Girl Dress
The back of the dress:
Froo's Fairy Tale Flower Girl Dress
This is probably my favourite detail about this dress. Just a simple angled line to create a dramatic v-back. The bodice is lined with the same fabric because I wanted to ensure the neckline would stay fairly stiff. I really like the polyester satin because it doesn’t wrinkle very much.

The invisible zipper was a little tricky with all of the skirt layers. To get around this, I basted the rosette tulle onto the satin skirt, leaving an inch unsewn at each end. I sewed the zipper onto the satin skirt only and continued to follow the instructions. Afterwards, I hand stitched the rosette tulle close to the zipper seam. I hope that makes sense!
Froo's Fairy Tale Flower Girl Dress
I almost forgot to include Froo’s hair jewels! It’s a jeweled and beaded applique that was stitched on tulle, purchased at Britex Fabrics. I hand stitched it to a piece of white felt, then carefully cut around the finished edge of the applique. Afterwards, I used E6000 glue to attach it to a satin covered headband that I bought at Jo-Ann.
Froo's Flower Girl Hair Jewels
Boo’s ring bearer outfit is a cute little black suit. The fabric is pretty awesome, also from Fabric Outlet. I reckon it’s the absolute best fabric to make a child’s suit. It’s a thick stretch sateen cotton, with 2 layers fused together. The sheen of the fabric makes it formal, with enough stretchiness for a squirmy boy and the thickness of the suit makes it virtually wrinkle-free.
Boo's Ring Bearer Tuxedo
Boo’s blazer is the Basic Blazer pattern by Blank Slate Patterns. If I were to make it again, I think I would try to get a better fit on Boo. There was just a little something that didn’t lay flat at the shoulders. I think it’s the shape of the arm scythe and the way the sleeves are set-in. I noticed it in his practice blazer, but thought it might be a problem with the sleeves being too short on Boo. But I’m being super picky and Boo was ever so cute!

A salesperson at Britex Fabrics recommended satin covered buttons for a tuxedo look. They aren’t something I would have previously considered, but they do look sharp and I’m happy with how it turned out.
Boo's Ring Bearer Tuxedo
The lining is a cotton voile in black plaid. I also added a hem facing to the lining, to ensure the blazer had a nice crisp hem.
Boo's Ring Bearer Tuxedo
The pants are the art museum trousers by Oliver + S. I didn’t add the belt loops because tuxedo pants are not worn with a belt. For the elastic, I placed it at the side seams instead, to keep the front waistband flat. The fit is perfect.
Boo's Ring Bearer Tuxedo
I had a major hiccup with one of the welt pockets. I had to throw it in the bin and cut a new pant leg. I couldn’t risk another frustrating pocket, so I decided to go without. I’m pretty sure it was because the fabric was too thick, because I know I can make a great pair of welt pockets!
Boo's Ring Bearer Tuxedo
I took a couple (hundred) photos of Froo & Boo in their finale flower girl dress and ring bearer suit. They are such crazy clowns! By the end of the photoshoot, the artwork from the magnet board had disappeared. It’s always a surprise when I upload my batch of photos. Please know that these sweet looking kids are really full of mischief.
Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit
I mentioned in my previous post that I didn’t take too many photos on the day of the wedding. My photography is usually limited to a tightly controlled environment, where I can set up my camera and shoot 500 photos in 3 minutes, with sweet and sticky bribes as a reward (see above). When in public, I usually feel like a fraud, holding a dslr, while taking blurry photos, with sweat running down my face, ruining my makeup. No thanks.

So here’s a combination of iPhone photos and some random shots:
Uncle E & Froo Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer SuitFroo's Flower Girl Dress Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit Froo's Flower Girl DressBoo eating donut frosting
I do regret not getting a photo of me with the kids. The hubs asked the wedding photographer to take a couple of shots of our family, so we’ll have to wait for those. I’m not sure if he was being sweet or frugal–hoping they turn out so I won’t make him take family portraits again!

Froo & Boo with my older sister and younger brother:
Uncle E & Auntie Y's Wedding Day
Uncle E & Auntie Y's Wedding Day
The wedding was oh-so-beautiful. It was heartwarming to connect with Uncle E’s bride. They started dating at around the time I was pregnant with Boo–I have no idea how we survived that year with a toddler and newborn! My memory is still hazy… then we moved to California when Boo was 1, so the distance has made it difficult. But I’m confident that Uncle E and Auntie Y will have a wonderful marriage! She is lovely, genuine and makes Uncle E happy. I can see how the love Uncle E has for Auntie Y has really transformed him into a man who will become a wonderful husband. He gave an emotional speech at his wedding that had me (and everyone else) in tears.

Congratulations Uncle E & Auntie Y! xoxo.

Wedding Rehearsal

Froo & Boo's Wedding Rehearsal Outfits
Froo & Boo's Wedding Rehearsal Outfits
Froo & Boo's Wedding Rehearsal Outfits
Froo & Boo's Wedding Rehearsal Outfits
Froo & Boo's Wedding Rehearsal Outfits
Froo & Boo's Wedding Rehearsal Outfits
Froo & Boo's Wedding Rehearsal Outfits
Froo & Boo's Wedding Rehearsal Outfits
Froo & Boo's Wedding Rehearsal Outfits
Froo & Boo's Wedding Rehearsal Outfits
Froo & Boo's Wedding Rehearsal Outfits
Froo & Boo's Wedding Rehearsal Outfits
Froo & Boo's Wedding Rehearsal Outfits
Froo & Boo's Wedding Rehearsal Outfits
The wedding rehearsal went really well! I’ve never been to a wedding where the ceremony was held on the balcony of the hotel, right out of the main ballroom. So it was semi-outdoors, with a narrow aisle and great natural light. Beautiful. I had Froo & Boo practice walking down the aisle repetitively. They should have been able to walk down the aisle with their eyes closed. Umm, let’s just say half of the pair performed as practiced, while the other half did not. But it didn’t even matter–the bride was incredibly stunning and anything that happened beforehand was forgotten.

As for the black bow tie vs. ivory bow tie, the bride & groom chose:
Ivory Bow Tie on Boo
Ivory!

I only took a couple of photos on the day of the wedding. I figured the photographers would do a much better job and besides, I wanted to be fully in the moment. Which means I don’t have any posed photos of Froo & Boo in their formal flower girl and ring bearer outfits. I should also take photos of just the garments, as per my usual blog posts. I might try to get them to wear their outfits again! We’ll see, they don’t seem to want to cooperate with their exasperated mommy.
*****
Froo is wearing her practice flower girl dress.
Pattern: Georgia Twirl Dress by Shwin Designs.
Boo is wearing his practice ring bearer blazer.
Pattern: Basic Blazer by Blank Slate Patterns.

Practice Flower Girl Dress (An Update)

Fairy Tale Dress Pattern
After my first attempt at a flower girl dress, I reverted back to my go-to pattern maker of choice: Oliver + S, with the fairy tale dress pattern. It irks me that I didn’t have enough foresight to order the paper version when it was on sale, but the convenience of an instant download was a life-saver! With less than 2 weeks until the wedding, I am seriously running out of time.

So you might wonder why I chose the fairytale dress, when it doesn’t seem to meet the criteria I was looking for in a flower girl dress (circle skirt and v-back detail). Here are my reasons:

  • circle skirts are overrated – although twirly, the movement and drape make it difficult to straighten out for photos. A gathered skirt behaves predictably and cooperates with the camera.
  • the v-back modification is rather simple – draw an angled line and shorten the zipper.

What I gain: a wonderfully fitting bodice and impeccable construction of an Oliver + S pattern. I’ve also been combing through the fairy tale dress forum to glean useful tips on sewing the dress. There are some great discussion about things that I need to know that I didn’t know that I needed to know. For instance, creating a one-piece skirt, instead of cutting out 3 separate pieces. Brilliant!

I don’t have time to make a practice fairy tale dress, so I just made a muslin of the bodice to get the perfect fit for Froo. Size 6 with an added 1 1/2″ to the length (long torso) and 1/4″ removed from the centre back piece.

I considered adding the tulip cap sleeves because they are so darn tootin’ cute. I made a pair of sleeves, had a bit of a hiccup trying to figure out the construction, added a thread for discussion, and within a matter of minutes, I had helpful people offering suggestions! The internet is one of my best sewing tools! I then sewed one sleeve, had Froo try on the dress and took a FaceTime poll with the in-laws. Sleeveless won by a landslide. I unstitched the sleeve and now, I’m almost done making the BEST DRESS EVER. Seriously, after this dress, I should stop making dresses, because nothing will ever be as awesome. Except maybe another fairy tale dress with tulip sleeves…

I realize that I can’t very well post photos of the finished dress before the wedding, so I’ll leave you with a sneak peek of the fabric:
Flower Girl Dress Fabric
Isn’t it gorgeous?

I am both scared and excited–the makings of a nervous wreck. It is such an exhilarating feeling! I still have a mini ring bearer suit to make and perhaps, finish the grey suit. At this point, I think the plaid shorts are good enough perfect for the rehearsal.

I hope you’ll visit again! The next time you’re here, I should have the actual flower girl dress and ring boy suit to show you!

Practice flower girl dress for Froo

Froo's Georgia Twirl Dress
I had a style of dress in mind for Froo’s flower girl dress. It would be ivory (as requested by the bride), but I wanted it to look like this dress I made for her. Simple enough: sleeveless, with a v-back opening, lowered waistline and a circle skirt. So the challenge: attaching a circle skirt to a woven fabric, with double layers to sandwich tulle for fullness. Yeah, no.

While searching for a pattern, I saw this beautiful eyelet dress by iCandy, made from the Georgia Twirl dress pattern by Shwin Designs. For Froo’s practice flower girl dress, I decided on a lightweight cotton voile in bright coral pink. I figured it would be worn again if it were pink, as opposed to ivory.

I sewed up a size 6, without any modifications, except added length and a couple layers of gathered tulle. Oh, and a top layer of matching lace!
Froo's Georgia Twirl Dress
For the tulle, I cut 4 layers of the bottom skirt piece. I sewed 2 together, making an extra wide skirt. Afterwards, I layered both skirts together to gather the waist and sewed it to the back of the front skirt piece.
Froo's Georgia Twirl Dress
The skirt on its own is very full and swingy, but the tulle adds a fullness that elevates the dress from “regular princess” to “fairy princess”. An important distinction, I’m told.
Froo's Georgia Twirl Dress
The back has a v-back opening with a button closure. One thing I didn’t realize before buying the pattern is that the skirt is completely open at the back. Not a huge problem–since the circle skirt is wide, it covers really well when overlapped. There are also optional instructions to tack the skirt in place.
Froo's Georgia Twirl Dress
The dress is too big at the bodice, even though I brought the bodice in an inch at each side. I could have moved the buttons over, but then I would have lost the v-back detail. In this instance, style won over fit.
Froo's Georgia Twirl Dress
Froo's Georgia Twirl Dress
Froo's Georgia Twirl Dress
Froo's Georgia Twirl Dress
Froo's Georgia Twirl Dress
The actual flower girl dress fabric is ah-mazing. So excited to sew it up, but a little scared, too. While I love this practice flower girl dress and I can see the potential with a better fitting bodice, I’m not sure if the fabric will work with the open back detail. I might have to try another pattern!

I’ll need to work this out soon–the wedding is only a couple of weeks away! I’ll try to keep you updated with my progress. I’m fully prepared for some late night frenzied sewing until everything is done (and perfect). I’m not a perfectionist, by no means, I just want both Froo & Boo’s garments to reflect a careful detail to fit, fabric and style–not simply that it was handmade by mommy. Besides, it’s easy enough to buy ready-to-wear, but this is Uncle E’s wedding–we are all so excited!

Thanks for visiting!
Froo's Georgia Twirl Dress

Tutorial: Adding piping to a skirt hem

Tutorial: Adding Piping to a Skirt Hem
Froo had a cute dress from Target with a piped hem. The finishing is horrendous, but I guess that’s the way it goes with store-bought clothing on the cheap. When I made Froo a skirt awhile back, I decided to write up a tutorial on how to add piping to a skirt hem, that is completely encased. I tend to put piping on just about everything, since it’s such a great way to add a pop of contrast and create dramatic lines.

I used the free Lazy Days Skirt pattern by Oliver + S because it is oh-so-simple (a 1-piece skirt!) and the hem is completely straight. If you are going to add piping to a skirt with a curved hem, you will need to modify the tutorial by creating a curved bottom hem (at Step 6).

Step 1
Cut your skirt pattern. For my almost 6-year old Froo, I cut a 17″ skirt. Cut another length of fabric 3″ wide. This will become the bottom hem.
Tutorial: Adding Piping to a Skirt Hem
Step 2
Following the pattern instructions, sew up the skirt to make a tube. Line the edge of the piping to the front edge of the skirt. Using a zipper foot, sew the piping onto the skirt. Position your needle to sew as close to the cording as possible–I sew directly on top of the stitching on the piping. Start sewing 2″ from the back seam and finish sewing 2″ to the back seam. Leave a tail on each end that extends 1-2″ beyond the back seam.
Tutorial: Adding Piping to a Skirt Hem
Step 3
To ensure you get a nice finish on your piping, follow the next set of instructions. Sophie, from the blog C’est la vie, has an excellent tutorial on adding piping with clear photos on finishing piping ends.
Tutorial: Adding Piping to a Skirt Hem
Step 4
Pin or clip the piping into place. Line up the piping fold with the back seam. Finish sewing the piping to the edge of the skirt hem.
Tutorial: Adding Piping to a Skirt Hem
Step 5
Sew the bottom hem into a tube with the same seam allowance as the skirt tube. Iron seams open. With right sides together, pin or clip the bottom hem to the skirt, sandwiching the piping in between. Match up the back seams.
Tutorial: Adding Piping to a Skirt Hem
Step 6
Using the original stitching as a guide, sew 1/16″ (or super close) to the left side of the seam. This ensures that any thread that is sewn on the piping will not show through to the other side.
Tutorial: Adding Piping to a Skirt Hem
Step 7
Fold and iron bottom hem 1″. Then iron entire bottom hem up so that the piping is at the bottom.
Tutorial: Adding Piping to a Skirt Hem
Step 8
Replace the zipper foot with the regular foot and topstitch the hem in place. At this point, you will want to match your thread colour, since it will show on the front of the skirt.
Tutorial: Adding Piping to a Skirt Hem
Step 9
Finish the waistband of the skirt. That’s pretty much it! Iron your skirt, or don’t (I didn’t!). It’s up to you, really. I’ve found that with piping and an additional bottom hem, there’s enough weight to the hem that it doesn’t wrinkle as much.
Tutorial: Adding Piping to a Skirt Hem
I guess I should have ironed. Oops.
Tutorial: Adding Piping to a Skirt Hem
Step 10
Take photos of your model wearing the skirt, if she’s willing. I love that the piping on the hem is completely encased–you can see a peek of the inside of Froo’s skirt and it still looks great.
Tutorial: Adding Piping to a Skirt Hem
Tutorial: Adding Piping to a Skirt Hem
About the fabric: it’s definitely a favourite–both Froo & Boo love to point out different sea creatures (Boo is obsessed with the Octonauts) and it just feels happy. I pinned it a couple of years ago–it’s called Kelp Forest by Kokka, but I’m pretty sure it’s nowhere to be found on the Internet. Sorry to have kept the good stuff hidden, but I thought you’d like to know. I’m always so curious when I see awesome fabric on a sewing blog and the fabric is unidentified, but anyhoo…

Happy sewing!
Tutorial: Adding Piping to a Skirt Hem