Picnic Party with Froo & Boo

I can’t believe this month has totally flown by! Behind the scenes I have been busy as a bee and one thing I’ve been working on is a 6th birthday party…  And our next guest has also been party planning for a 6th birthday, but was still able to put together an adorable project for us! Irene is the blogger behind an adorable blog, Froo and Boo, where she sews fantastic clothes for her also adorable kids! You’ve got to check out her amazing wedding outfits she just made! And yes, you probably remember her from Project Run and Play as well! Super talented!

Welcome Irene!!

I’m excited to be here today! My project is based on a “game” that my kids, aka Froo & Boo, play all the time. Picnics. Tea parties. Picnic tea parties. Any combination or variation of the two. Anywhere, anytime. Just the other day, I found toy lettuce in my bed. While making this skirt, I overheard Froo say to Boo, “Ooh, look! Mommy is making us a new picnic blanket!”

I know it’s not really a game in the traditional sense–with an objective, a bit of friendly competition and an outcome, but it involves imaginative play, a sense of humour and fun. It can get pretty serious: Froo & Boo have a “clubhouse” where they meet on a picnic blanket and no grown-ups are allowed.

Anyhoo, I was inspired to make a patchwork skirt, while looking at the lovely quilts that Louise makes and posts on her blog. For a fresh and updated look, I decided on bright pink gingham, instead of the traditional red & white gingham used for picnic blankets.

Let’s begin the tutorial!

To get started, cut your patchwork squares using a rotary cutter. For Froo’s skirt, I cut 4×4″ squares (28 bright pink squares, 49 light pink squares and 21 white squares). I cut enough squares for 7 rows and 14 columns.

In the end, I only used 5 rows! The top photo shows 6 rows, but I hemmed one row up afterwards! Let’s just call it a miscalculation that would have made the skirt long enough for me to wear. You can always play around with the size of the square, the number of rows and columns, but the number of columns must always be an even number.

Piece your squares together. The Practical Guide to Patchwork: New Basics for the Modern Quiltmaker, by Elizabeth Hartman, is an excellent resource for getting started with patchwork piecing. There is also a great tutorial on chain piecing on the Sew Mama Sew blog.

One thing I modified for everyday wear: increased seam allowance to 3/8″. I also used pinking shears to cut 1/8″ from the unfinished edges before pressing the seam allowance open. This is what your fabric should look like from the inside:

Measure your patchwork piece. Then cut a piece of white fabric using the same dimensions. This will become the backing of the skirt. Cut another piece for the waistband, the same length and 3.5″ wide. This will become the waistband.

Sew your patchwork piece into a tube using a 3/8″ seam allowance, trim with pinking shears and press open. Repeat with white piece.

With right sides together, sew the backing to the patchwork piece with a 3/8″ seam allowance. Flip the fabric so wrong sides are together and press. Then, baste the top of the skirt together using 1/4″ seam allowance.

Sew the waistband together at the short ends with a 3/8″ seam allowance, then press the waistband in half, with the wrong sides facing. You’ll notice that mine is just the 7th row pieced together, but you could cut one solid piece.

With right sides together, sew the waistband onto the top of the skirt with a 3/8″ seam allowance. Press seams upward.

Press the unfinished edge of the waistband so that it is just over the seam line.

From the right side, stitch in the ditch over the waistband seam, making sure the inside waistband edge is catching the thread. Leave a 2-3″ opening. Topstitch the top edge of the waistband together. Thread a piece of 1″ non-roll elastic through the waistband. The elastic should measure the circumference of the wearer’s waist minus 1″. Stitch the elastic together. Sew the opening of the waistband closed.

I have this silly decorative stitch of ants on my machine–which I sewed onto a piece of twill tape with a piece of tracing paper underneath as stabilizer, to make a small tag to indicate the center back.

That was a long one! It’s definitely not a quick project, especially when you make some crazy miscalculations, but I’m really happy with how it turned out!

Thanks, Louise, for inviting me to your Sew Ready to Play series!

Sew Ready to Play Sequence for Kids with Go To Sew

Today’s guest is Andrea from The Train to Crazy and the lovely woman behind Go To Sew! I’m hoping you’ve been to the Go To Sew website, since I guest post there once a month… I ‘met’ Andrea the end of last year (I think it was) when she first asked me to be a contributor for Go To Sew. And over the year I’ve loved getting to know her better through the blogs and IG! She comes up with some great things! Like the toothbrush holder idea I made…  So if you haven’t checked out her blogs, be sure do to so, after you read her adorable skirt tutorial below!

Welcome Andrea!

I love using everyday objects, books and games as inspiration for creating. I thought this challenge would be so easy but I kept coming up blank when trying to decide about my project. I didn’t want to make it too literal or too basic. Though, perhaps I ended up doing both! I chose the game, Sequence for Kids, because my kids LOVE it. The box is worn and torn and we’re lucky to have nearly all our game pieces. This is a very fun game for all ages.

Sequence Skirt by GoToSew.com

sequence

I love the primary colors in this game. I was inspired by the circle game pieces to create some modern “art” on a piece of clothing for my four year old. I used my super simple skirt tutorial and added some “cheaters appliqúe”. (Please forgive the wrinkles! We’ve moved and haven’t unpacked the iron yet.)

sequence skirt (3 of 3)

super simple "cheaters appliqúe"

sequence skirt (1 of 3)

I call this “cheaters” because when you don’t adhere your fabric securely (with something sticky) then you’re risking your fabric or your appliqúe pieces shifting or puckering. But, I’m a big fan of getting things done quickly so you’ll often find me cheating! I have to admit, I went a bit too fast on this one! But I wasn’t going for a perfect garment but a fun skirt for a four year old so we’re totally satisfied with this!

sequence skirt (2 of 3)

Nothing beats a fun board game with siblings.

sequence (2 of 8)

sequence (4 of 8)

sequence (8 of 8)

Ready to make your own simple skirt?

how to make a simple skirt by gotosew.com

Thanks for having me, Louise!

And thank you, Andrea!!

Sew Ready to Play Backgammon with The Long Thread

I have some good and bad news… We’ll start with the bad… I’m sad to say, but today is the last day of the series… ahhhh… Enough about that! The good news… We have a great guest, Ellen from The Long Thread!! Ellen has a fantastic blog, fantastic fabrics and a great book, 1, 2, 3 Sew! I was lucky enough  to win a copy of this really cool book and I have to say it does have some great projects in it! I’ve been a fan of Ellen’s work for some time now and throughly enjoy reading her blog. You can only imagine how stoked I was to find my Magnetic Bookmark listed among her Top 100 Tutorials of 2011. Wow! :) Yes, I was blushing! If you haven’t checked out her blog before now, you must! Well, after you read this…

And Welcome, Ellen!!!

Thanks to Louise for inviting me to be part of her clever Sew Ready to Play series! Today I’ve made a skirt inspired by the playful geometry of a backgammon board, which makes me want to actually get the game and teach my kids to play. I remember playing as a kid and think I loved the board as much as the game. This simple elastic waist skirt fits sizes 4-6, but could easily be adjusted to other sizes, even for adults! Use the triangle template to make patchwork for a quilt, a tote bag or placemats. If you want to be more faithful to the backgammon design, you could use two solid shades of fabric for the triangles and even make two bands of triangles facing one another.

 
This skirt was made with my new fabric collection for the Japanese company, Kokka, which will be available in stores in early 2013. Here I used this linen/cotton blend with a lightweight gray chambray cotton. This graphic skirt is perfect for fall paired with tights and boots, but light enough to wear year-round. Happy sewing!
Click here for the directions!
And you can check out another version of the skirt at Moda Bake Shop!
BIO:
Ellen Luckett Baker is author of The Long Thread, where she writes about her adventures with sewing, crafting, and kids. Her book 1, 2, 3 Sew was recently published by Chronicle Books and her follow-up book, 1, 2, 3 Quilt, will be released Fall 2013. She has designed two fabric collections; the first for Moda, which is in stores now and the second for Kokka, which will be available in early 2013. Ellen lives in Atlanta with her husband, two daughters, and a growing number of pets.

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