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sewing

How to Make a Majestic Peacock Costume

Posted in DIY, Fall: Seasonal Decor and Crafts
on October 27, 2017

Make this majestic peacock costume with layers and layers (and layers) of stiff tulle, all attached to a modified long skirt with an elastic waist.

peacock costume

 

Halloween is a BIG deal around here! We throw an annual Halloween party and spend the entire month of October preparing for it. Putting together fun tablescapes and making props and costumes is my jam and each year, I look forward to hearing what my kids have dreamt up for their costumes. The year my daughter decided on a dressing as a peacock, I didn’t even bat an eye (well, maybe one), before diving head first (into what, I had no idea) into making her the most majestic peacock I could!

peacock costume - side

PS. Don’t let the number of steps intimidate you – it’s not difficult, I just wanted to make sure the tutorial was very clear!

peacock costume - full back

How to Make a Peacock Costume

*affiliate links included for your convenience

To make the skirt, you will need:

Other accessories for the costume: 

Adding the plumes

  1.  Cut your tulle “plumes.” Double each piece by folding each piece of tulle in half lengthwise.
  2. Turn your skirt inside out.
  3. Starting about 6″ down from the waist, attach the fold-line of 11-12 full-length tulle strips on the INSIDE of the skirt. Alternate colors and overlap the edges slightly.  Your plumes should reach somewhat below the hem.
  4. Attach a second row of 4 or 5 full-length tulle strips about 6″ below the first row, from the right side hem toward the center. Repeat on the left. Mark these rows with chalk – you will use this row in step 12.peacock costume - attach side pieces
  5. Starting 10″ from the hem, attach a row of short length tulle strips (about 11-12) on a diagonal to the right side seam. Repeat on the left.
  6.  Add a second row of short length tulle strips (about 11-12) on a diagonal, starting 12″ from the hem, near the center skirt, down to the right side seam.  Repeat on the left.
  7. Attach a row of (10) strips along the side seam from the bottom up on the right side. Repeat on the left.
  8. Turn the skirt right side out and lay flat, back of the skirt facing up.
  9. Attach the fold-line of 11-12 full-length tulle strips to the waistband line along the center of the BACK of the skirt. Alternate colors and overlap the edges slightly.  Your plumes should reach somewhat below the hem.

Finishing up

  1. Turn your skirt to the front.
  2. Starting at the center, and ending at the side seams (halfway), pull the hem of the front of the skirt up to the waistband and attach (the inside of the skirt will be visible), gathering as necessary.  Turn your skirt over.
  3.  On the right, attach the front to the back, by gluing or sewing the hem of the tulle strip marked in step 4 to the center of the back of your skirt. Repeat on the left, meeting the two sides in the middle.peacock costume - attach to center
  4.  Attach a row of tulle around the entire waist of the skirt.
  5. Cut the foam ball in half and poke the peacock tailfeathers into the top of one half.
  6. Glue the foam ball half, flat-side in, to the back of the skirt, using the flap where the two sides meet as a pocket.

You’re done! 

peacock costume - front

Fluff and arrange the tulle “plumes” before wearing. Add a mask and gloves and strut around like a peacock! I know that’s exactly what my girl did – as did I for making it!

peacock costume - mask

peacock costume - mask on

I hope you’ve found this tutorial useful – please, let me know if you have any questions, or, if you make this costume, I’d love it if you shared your final result with me!

peacock costume-back

 

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Peek-a-boo Drawstring Bags – So you can see what it’s inside! – a cute little tutorial

Posted in DIY, ORGANIZATION, PLAYROOM
on January 6, 2014

I’m a bit OCD when it comes to toy organization. I like sets to stay with sets and have been known to sort toys by the hour, on a bi-monthly basis, all the while muttering “I’m never going to let it get this disorganized again!” It’s a sickness really, given that it of course ends up just as disorganized by the end of the day, but to me, there is nothing worse than going to play with a farm set and only having a pig, one piece of the fence, and perhaps a farmer’s hat – without the farmer. It’s kinda hard to play farm without the set. As a result, I’m always looking for easy ways to keep things together. I’m also always looking for ways to gather toys in ways that make it easy to identify what toys are there, without having to dump the entire container out – a favorite pastime of Ayden.


These cute little bags were a score on both counts and are so, so easy. Although I’ve used them to store toys, the uses for them are endless. You don’t believe me? Just watch.. you’ll see! 
For this project you will need:
Fabric of your choice 
Contrasting fabric for drawstring pocket
twine or twill tape for drawstring
Sewing Machine
Matching Thread
Clear Vinyl
My finished bag size is approximately 14″ x 14″. I began by cutting two pieces of fabric, with right sides together, approximately 16″ x 16″. 

Cut two pieces, in a coordinating fabric, measuring 14.5″ wide x 4″ long to be used as the drawstring pocket. Also cut two pieces of cord (to be used as the drawstring pulley) at 18″ long each. Put these aside. Ignore my nasty, dry hand. 
Using one of the main fabric pieces, fold in half width-wise (from top to bottom) and cut a “window” on the fold of your fabric, ensuring there are at least 3″ on all outside edges. 
Using this cut out as  your guide, cut one piece of vinyl at least 1.5″ larger on all sides. Put aside. 
On each of the four corners of your “window”, cut in to the corner diagonally by 1/2″. 
Finish any raw edges as necessary. 
 Press the top edge down  1″, on both the front and back pieces of the bag. On the front piece (the one with the window), on the backside, press the 1/2″ edge of the window sides flat on all four edges.
On the pieces of fabric reserved for the drawstring pocket, press the side edges in by 1/4″ on each end, and press the long edges in by 1/2″ on each side. 

On the wrong side of the fabric, pin the vinyl piece to the pressed edge of the window, ensuring the vinyl overhangs evenly on all four sides. 
On the right side of this same piece, pin the right side of the drawstring pocket approximately 1/2″ from the top. Repeat for back. 
On the front piece, stitch close to the edge on the top of bag. Stitch close to the edge on window. 
For the back, stitch close to top edge. 
On drawstring pocket, stitch close to both top and bottom edges, leaving a minimum 1″ pocket on both the front and back of the bag. 
With right sides together, stitch the front of the bag to the back on three sides, leaving the top open. Turn and press. 
Thread one of the cords being used for the drawstring through each drawstring pocket, and secure each edge with a knot. 
You have a completed bag! 
There truly are a million uses for these. I hope you can find a place for one! 

DIY Faux Fur Sleeping Bag Sneak Peak – The Ultimate Pottery Barn Teen Knock-off

Posted in DIY, SEWING
on December 12, 2013

Bless me readers, for I have been absent – it’s been two weeks since my last blog post. I have been very chaotically frantic and unfocused busy. First, I had to un-decorate from Thanksgiving. Then, I had to start decorating for Christmas – which, by the way, I’m still doing – I’m determined to be finished by the end of the week. We’ve been homeschooling – ever crazy since I’ve becoming unorganized. And, I’ve been going to the gym to work off the 10 lbs I ate between Halloween and Thanksgiving. I’ve also been sewing. Alot. So, now you’re all caught up and we can move on to what I’ve been sewing, which is really what I wanted to talk about!

Have you seen these?

Source

Love them, don’t you? I mean, really, what’s not to love, besides the crazy price? Soft, sweet, and warm and totally stinkin’ cute. They are slumber party luxury, with ears.  Our girls loved them on sight while browsing through the catalog – so much that I almost went ahead and ordered them as a splurgy Christmas gift. Almost. I do have a few wits about me on occasion – even during shopping season.

Instead, I came up with another solution which would allow me the kids to get just a few more gifts this year. While walking through JC Penney one day, I came across an absolute steal on faux fur, animal print blankets. An absolute steal as in a thick faux fur throw, in King size no less, for $24. Sadly, they didn’t have any King size left, but after taking a look, I was able to find 2 Queen size – at $19 each – with which a hair-brained idea was hatched. Well, it was hatched after I was able to quickly look up the dimensions of the actual sleeping bag on PBTeen, and knew I would indeed have enough fabric..  I could make the sleeping bags. I mean, I could.. right?

Let’s explore all the reasons there were to NOT make them. First, I’ve not exactly ever made a sleeping bag. A few duvets – yes. Sleeping bag, with zipper.. no. I didn’t have a pattern – almost nothing exists online either.  Definitely high on the important list..  I’m not a super-great seamstress. Although I am skilled enough to be a great seamstress – or should be, given the number of years I’ve been feeding fabric through a machine, while trying to sew successfully – I’m really a very lazy seamstress, which automatically makes me a poor seamstress, I think. I’m impatient, and I prefer projects that can be completed in at most, one day. If it isn’t completed in a day I either cut corners, or I lose interest. I didn’t want that to be the case here. I don’t have a fancy machine –  I wasn’t even sure that my machine would be up to the task of sewing a sleeping bag – it was close. Lastly, there were the fundamentals that would probably be required on a project such as this, all of which I’m not too fond of doing. I hate edging, I hate trimming seams, I’m not crazy about pressing, I don’t have a serger, and sometimes I don’t even feel like trimming threads or using pins to hold things together. I’m a lazy seamstress, as I said.

The only reason to make them is that I thought I could not only accomplish it, but could probably do it for around $60 as opposed to $179. I mean, how hard could it be? It’s a bag, which is essentially a really long rectangle. With a zipper. Okay, maybe it might be a little harder.. this is the  quite possibly out loud internal conversation I was having with myself in JC Penney as I was handing over my debit card.  At the same time, the cashier was calling security about the crazy woman talking to herself  noticing my extreme trepidation over purchasing anything, and giving me an additional 15% off – yes, that makes two Queen size throws at 90 x 90 for $16 each. This essentially was the end of the conversation of whether or not I was actually going to tackle the job. It was done. I was going to make them. At which point I then took on a new level of trepidation – the pre-sewing project kind. You know, when you feel like you might have bitten off more than you can chew? Which goes without saying.. because I really do feel that if I put my mind to it, I could have built Rome in a day.

So, now I’ve made them, along with matching bags, and vacuumed for three days straight to remove the ridiculous amount of fuzz on my carpet, I’m so happy! They were kind of time consuming – definitely more than I would usually take on, but they are soft, and sweet and luxurious and all kinds of stinkin’ cute. So much so, that I think we are going to have to have a slumber party to show them off! Maybe next weekend! Or.. Hmm.. probably after Christmas. Or, next year some time. Yeah. Definitely next year. Or.. not. We’ll see. Still! So stinkin’ cute!

If you’d like to learn more about the wild and winding road I went down to make them, stay tuned, as I’ll be posting a tutorial soon and will update the link from here!

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