Queen of Hearts by Cook Clean Craft

Today, my quest needs no real introduction because she’s one of the founding Sew Ready to Play participants! She’s Narelle from Cook Clean Craft. She’s always up for playing and has had fun games every year! One thing I love about blogging is getting to know people all over. I remember when her ‘Queen of Hearts’ was born! Crazy!! Narelle blogs about all sorts of things on her blog, hence the name! Ha! She’s got some of my favorite recipes and great sewing projects! One of my favorite tutorials she’s done recently is her stuffed snail. Totally cute!

Welcome Narelle!!!

Hi all, it’s Narelle here, from Cook Clean Craft, ready to have some fun playing along with Sew Ready to Play. I’ve had so much fun in past years, and always had a clear idea what I wanted to make. This time around, I was all out of inspiration. I’ve lost my sew-jo lately, and couldn’t even think of a game that inspired me. So I procrastinated.

And procrastinated.

Then finally inspiration hit. A simple deck of playing cards was my inspiration, and before I knew it, the Queen of Hearts dress was made:

Queen of Hearts

As a redhead who blushes like a tomato, I’ve never been able to wear red, but my blonde kids look great in it. When I bought the fabric, I was worried that red and black are a bit grown up for a 4 year old. So I went with a simple dress with very cutesy hearts. I searched for fabric with red hearts and couldn’t find any (what?), but found some perfect iron on appliques at my local fabric store.

Queen of Hearts Dress (2)

Queen of Hearts playing cards tend to have gold trim around the next. I found some sequin trim that was just perfect for my sparkly little girl.

It’s shirred in the back – much easier than buttons or a zip for an independent girl to dress herself!

Queen of Hearts Dress

My model wasn’t in the mood, so most of my photos turned out like this:

Queen of Hearts (2)

This Queen’s got attitude! But believe it or not, she loves the dress.

Queen of Hearts dress (3)

Here’s how I made it:

The fabric I used was poplin, basically because it’s cheap and I’m supposed to be on a fabric diet!

I started with a basic bodice pattern (this was from the 5 and 10 Designs eBook). I drew a line where I wanted the seam between the red and white sections and added seam allowances.

Sew a Queen of Hearts Dress (21)

For the back bodice, I added a couple of extra inches to the back to allow for the shirring. I should have made it a bit bigger since it only just fits over her head – oops!

For the skirt, I cut out a rectangle of fabric for the red section and then cut off corners to create the angled look, and matched up the same for the white section, making the top the same width at the bottom of the bodice.

Sew a Queen of Hearts Dress (2)

I also cut strips of 1 1/4” strips of black fabric for faux piping.

I sewed the bodice front centre panel to the skirt centre panel.

Sew a Queen of Hearts Dress (3)

Then I sewed the side and shoulder seams of the bodice (I actually should have sewn the sleeves before I did the side seam, but no making things easy for myself here!

Sew a Queen of Hearts Dress (4)

Then I gathered the red skirt section (I prefer to machine gather, by using a long stitch length and high tension):

Sew a Queen of Hearts Dress (5)

Adjust the gathers to that the skirt width matches the bodice width, and sew, right sides together:

Sew a Queen of Hearts Dress (7)

Fold the black strips in half, lengthwise and press. Pin to the right side of the front seams, lining up the raw edges, and sew a basting stitch inside the seam allowance:

Sew a Queen of Hearts Dress (8)

With right sides together, sew the centre panel to the red section of the dress:

Sew a Queen of Hearts Dress (12)

The black piping should create faux piping like this (press it to one side for a crisp look):

Sew a Queen of Hearts Dress (9)

Sew the underarm seam of the sleeves, and then sew into the armhole:

Sew a Queen of Hearts Dress (11)

To finish the neckline, sew bias tape right sides together to the neck hole:

Sew a Queen of Hearts Dress (13)

Turn the bias tape to the inside, press and then stitch in place (don’t worry about the contrasting thread for the front panel – we’ll cover that with trim):

Sew a Queen of Hearts Dress (14)

Press and sew a double-fold seam for the sleeve and bottom hems:

Sew a Queen of Hearts Dress (15)

Sew a Queen of Hearts Dress (16)

Draw two lines across the back bodice down from the shoulder with chalk or disappearing pen:

Sew a Queen of Hearts Dress (17)

Sew shirring elastic across the back panel between the two lines (or you can shirr the whole back bodice, if you prefer:

Sew a Queen of Hearts Dress (18)

I jumped across between the rows rather than stopping at each row end. I didn’t pull the elastic enough, so the shirring pulls up a bit at the back. It annoys me, but not enough to fix it!

Finally, I added some gold sequin trim across the neckline (covering the contrasting thread), and added iron on appliques to the bodice from panel.

Sew a Queen of Hearts Dress (19)

I also added one heart to the skirt section and more sequin trim along the bottom hem stitching.

Sew a Queen of Hearts Dress (20)

And there is my cute Queen of Hearts!

Come over to Cook Clean Craft for more fun sewing projects, plus family-friendly recipes, household cleaning and organization tips and other craft ideas. Thanks for having me again, Louise!

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Cash Cab with The Shaffer Sisters

I love the Shaffer Sisters! One day I hope to meet them for real! They seem like so much fun and I love how they all craft together! They joined in on the fun last year with a fantastic dress and I’m so excited to have them back this year. I don’t remember how we ‘met,’ but I sure am glad we did! And I didn’t plan this, but they are competing in Project Run and Play with a hugely talented group of women this season!

Welcome Al!

Hello I’m Feelin’ Crafty Readers,

I am Al the youngest of the Shaffer Sisters. It is always our goal to encourage, inspire, uplift, and create with you. If you think that sounds like you or something you need in your life please don’t hesitate to follow us. We could really use your support as we compete in Project Run and Play in the upcoming weeks.

We are so tickled to be back at Sew Ready to Play. The parameters of this series always make it easy to say yes. Despite the fact that we love it, it always takes us forever to decide on project.

I love this series because each year it gives me a great opportunity to reflect on my kids and family together time. Life with kids is like getting to see the full spectrum of colors. Without them in my life things would be much more bland and predicable, but with them there is a flooding of emotions. Moments to treasure like a first smile, or something that becomes funny just because of your child’s uncontrollable laughter that leaves everyone feeling good inside.

Lately things have been crazy busy and it has been hard to notice those glorious moments in the stress of deadlines. But I was given my glimpse of heaven this week as my husband came home from school and began playing with the kids. They didn’t need a special toy for entertainment, just the presence of someone special giving them love and attention.

To be honest this dress only came after 3 failed attempts to make my son, Heber, a sweatshirt that I could make Uno themed. It was going to be witty and funny, but it didn’t work out. He has a sway back and massive head so each pattern I attempted either didn’t fit over his head or they had such a narrow fit that they almost looked girly.

Right now is such a busy time with real life, a new baby, and Project Run and Play that I really didn’t have time for these failures. Scary offered up the idea of a Pictureka as a final backup plan and I thought that we could put the “girly sweatshirts” on Boston who is a girl and have her model it. But I was feeling so down. The option felt plausible but was also a let down to the creative process.

So I went back to the drawing board and figured out this look. Without a doubt, of all the games our little family has, Cash Cab is definitely the most used and loved. The kids don’t yet get the trivia of it, but they love rolling the dice, moving the cars around to different destinations, and playing with money. I have to keep this one at the top of the closet because it is so interesting to the kids.

I love how fun and modern this look is. I feel that if you didn’t have the context of cash cab you could still really like the dress. The design of the skirt was inspired by the logo on the TV version of Cash Cab. I made it by just doing a little math and planning out the exact size I wanted of my finished squares. Then I added seam allowances and cut out my pieces. It’s a little complicated, but if you take the time I’m sure you can figure it out. After piecing the skirt together, I pressed open my pieces and top stitched inside each box with a coordinating thread.

I made it using the Caroline Party Dress (affiliate link) from Mouse House Creations. I thought the lines of it could read city if it was paired with the right fabric. It was a first time sew for me and I seriously loved it. The pattern (affiliate link) gives such a nice finish and fit. It’s wonderful to have the capped sleeve as just part of the bodice. For the most part, I’d rather make dresses with some kind of a sleeve so I don’t have to find a sweater to pair it with later.

The skirt was lined with the same mustard yellow as the squares to give it a stronger color and stability to the piecing. All the fabric was just basic colored broadcloth that you can get at about any fabric store for pretty cheap. I loved using it because I was able to go to the store with an exact plan and be in and out in about ten minutes as opposed to walking the rows of fabric debating the right one for an hour. Works better for 3 kids don’t you think? Also I didn’t have to spend a lot and feel guilty about it later.

P.S. I have a funny story I want to share that came up in creating this project. When the last sweatshirt didn’t work out, I realized that I wouldn’t be able to have Scary around to take pictures. I would have to resort to using the camera on my phone.

When I told Ty that I was making her a dress and that I would be taking her pictures, she got this confused and slightly betrayed look on her face and said, “Not Scary?!” I told her I could take pictures, but I think in her mind Scary is her own personal photographer. You can’t take a model away from their photographer. I love four-year-olds!

So instead, the kids woke up at 5:50am so that we could drive to Scary and be at her house in time for good lighting and to get this blog post done.

Here is a picture with the little darling and her photographer on their way back from the photo shoot.

 

Sew Ready to Play Hi Ho Cherry-O with the Shaffer Sisters!

Hi Ho Cherry-O! I had totally forgotten about this game! It’s a good one, though. I’m going ot have to add to my kiddo’s Christmas list!

The last week of Sew Ready to Play is being kicked off by the lovely Al of the Shaffer Sisters! I was introduced to the sisters blog earlier this year when I almost participated in their series Make for Mom, but ended up not being able to participate in that round! But when I started checking the blog out I knew I had seen these ladies around the blogging world! Their pieces are fantastic! You’ve got to check out this adorable little suit!  Totally inspiring for me to make more clothes for my kiddo!

Welcome Al!

Hello Sew Ready to Play readers. I hope that today we might be able to inspire you as so many of the other participants have. My name is Al and I am the youngest member of the Shaffer Sisters. We are budget oriented and between the three of us we have 9 kids. We try to sew pieces in their wardrobes that we wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise and love to make delicious food.

I came here today to share something with you that was inspired with my three year old daughter in mind. Ty is outgoing, fun, and the ray of sunshine in my life. She loves games, but her favorite is Hi Ho Cherry-O because it is hands on and requires counting. The purpose of the game is to get all your cherries picked from the tree and into the bucket. As you’re filling the bucket a bird or dog may take your cherries or the bucket may get knocked over.

When Louise invited us to participate, I was so excited because I knew I had to run with a Hi Ho Cherry-O theme. I decided to use red, yellow, and blue for my base colors because they showed up throughout the game and brought back flashbacks to childhood and primary colors. It took days before I came up with the design of Hi Lo Cherry-O, but even still it was modified all the way up to the very end. Like my sister Jo says, “Never, never, never quit until it’s a masterpiece.”

My second to last design for this involved stamping and dying, but didn’t bring the bold on a budget look I love. What was supposed to be dyed a bright royal blue ended a light periwinkle. The cherry stamped fabric ended up looking more like a summer camp project than a clean, beautiful textile. In a state of emergency I sent a text to my sister, Scary, in the middle of the night and the next morning drove to her home to get moral support and a fresh twist on my design.

I had already designed and tested my pattern pieces for this dress when I made the Starburst dress, but I don’t really like to make the same thing more than once. So here I am with a modified pattern of the high-low dress. I turned the sleeves into side yokes and used a button enclosure in the front instead of a zipper in the back.  I color blocked the bodice of the dress in the shape of a bird’s head.

After the previous fabric fiasco I went through our fabric stash and selected a white-on-white polka dot fabric and picked up a royal blue cotton from JoAnn’s. Once the front of the dress was together, I took advantage of Scary’s background in embroidery and her willing and helping hands. After I sketched out the desired image on the fabric, Scary got to work placing a bird’s beak with two cherries hanging out of its mouth. She used a satin stitch which goes fairly quickly and can leave a big impact.

Running away from the photo-shoot to the nearest tree.
Apparently High Low Dresses are great for climbing trees too.

After I had the image on, I was only a few steps from completion and success. What do you think? If you’ve ever played the game Hi Ho Cherry-O it’s not hard to see the connection of the game to this Hi Lo Cherry-O Dress. Once she outgrows it I will pull this dress aside and put it in the pile of figurative jewels to someday fill her hope chest.

With Love,

Al