Two years ago, we saw a stunning dress and tutorial on the Needle and Ted blog that used a technique called “Subtraction Cutting.” It is a technique developed by Julian Roberts and isn’t something we would have even considered for a child until we saw the Needle and Ted blog post. Isabella was too young at that time for such an avant-garde look, but when she turned 5 and we were at Disney World, it was time to try it.
This was one of the most fascinating dresses to sew because it was hard to tell how it will look until you start sewing it. We had a yard or so of the Disney princess fabric on hand and paired it with some rose printed fabric that Isabella’s great-grandmother had a dress made out of 60 years ago.
Isabella looked like a Disney princess, but in a whole new way. No scratchy polyester. No seeing the same dress and hair over and over. It was a one-of-a-kind dress for a day at the Magic Kingdom and Grand Floridian.
We got some amazing pictures of Isabella in front of the castle and in the elegant Grand Floridian and it was fun to do a more modern, custom Disney princess style for her.
Thank you Needle and Ted for showing how to make this dress for a child. It worked!
Salagadoola mechicka boola
It’ll do magic, believe it or not
Isabella has outgrown her winter coat, so after she recently watched and fell in love with “My Neighbor Totoro”, we made her a winter Totoro cape.
The pattern is Burda 9674, view A which makes an unlined cape, but we chose to add a lining with some “fur” leftover from a couple of years ago. The cape has pockets and a lined hood, so should be plenty warm for Alabama winters. The outer fabric (not really sure what to call it?), was purchased several years ago and never put to use before. The toggle fasteners are from Hobby Lobby.
Totoro was made from wool and acrylic felt with double-sided fusible on the back and stitched on with monofilament thread.
It’s always fun to make a one-of-a-kind outfit for Isabella that coordinates with her current movie favorites.
We are having so much fun making outfits for Shellie May, aka “Princess”, to wear both at home and at the parks.
We made these “cast member” shirts using iron on transfers that we made up. Shellie May’s t-shirt was made from a Liberty Jane free t-shirt pattern here. It fit her perfectly.
For an Epcot day, we made a kimono from McCalls 6670. We wished we had Shellie May close by when making it because sadly, it ended up a little too small through the waist for her.
She didn’t mind, though, because the Japan store and gallery are her favorites and the cast members there oohed and aahed over her in her kimono. She even got a sneak peak at Gelatoni in the Kawaii exhibit!
Isabella’s constant companion since our last trip to Disney World has been her new Shellie May bear. She came home with several outfits for her, but the choices are limited, so we have to DIY them for special occasions.
We were headed to go see Moana, so Shellie May got her own special outfit.
Here’s a brief “how to” of how we made her outfit. The top was a rectangle of fabric (approx. 19 x 3.5 inches). The back of the top is shirred with elastic thread and it opens on the side with a velcro opener. We added a strap, but it isn’t necessary to keep it on.
The skirt has an underskirt with an elastic waist. Shellie May’s waist is about 14″. We stitched raffia on to the underskirt before inserting the elastic, which was cute, but started breaking apart over time. A synthetic raffia type material would be better. The overskirt with scarf attached is tacked to the underskirt and closes with velcro near the scarf knot.
Some of our stockings didn’t really coordinate with the new Christmas tree skirt and we had a little fabric left over, so, with a little help from a free fun font called “Mouse Tags“, we were able to make new stockings!
We took a basic stocking pattern and cut it out. Then printed off icons from the Mouse Tags font at about a 400 pt. size. With a light box underneath, we laid the stocking on top of the printed icons and used disappearing ink to trace the design. We quilted it in matching grey thread and then assembled the stockings using the Cluck Cluck Sew Stocking Tutorial.
One stocking has the Polynesian Resort icon.
The other has the sorcerer’s hat.
It doesn’t take much to find Disney fabrics in every substrate from fleece to quilting cotton, but the one thing that has been missing has been cotton knits. FINALLY, they are available, but so far, we’ve only seen them online.
These knits are a light to medium weight cotton knit that is substantial enough that it is not see through, but are light enough knits that the fabric edges curl up after washing. They are a good weight for t-shirts, but not leggings, etc.
This shirt is the Oliver and S Field Trip Raglan pattern sewn with the Many Faces of Mickey fabric we purchased from Fabric.com and black cotton jersey from Hancocks Fabrics.
This shirt is a basic t-shirt pattern split diagonally in the front and back so we could use both the Anna Sketch fabric and Elsa Sketch fabric together. This fabric was also ordered from Fabrics.com.
The fabrics are 58″ wide and were listed at $12.98/yard. They are made by Springs Creative who is the manufacturer of the Disney fabrics at Joanns/Hancocks, etc., so hopefully, those stores will start to carry some of the knits in the near future.
It’s beginning to look and feel like Christmas and this year, we have a new Christmas tree skirt. The idea was to make one that looked kind of like a Disney viewfinder reel.
The pictures in the viewfinder reel are all paper pieced quilt blocks sized to 10″ square. Most of the patterns are available free on the fabulous Fandom in Stitches website. It is a treasure trove of paper piecing and embroidery patterns for fans of everything from Harry Potter to the Muppets to Disney characters. Alice in Wonderland was a previously untested pattern from the very generous and talented Alida at Tweety Loves Quilting. In addition to her patterns, she has held a year long “Stretch Your Skills” series that has been really fun to learn from.
Here are what some of the blocks that Alida designed look like closer up:
Pluto was a relatively easy block to make if you have any paper piecing experience.
I didn’t do a good job picking a background for Mickey because his white gloves don’t show up well enough, but it seemed like a lot of work to go back and remake it, so it is staying put.
Alice was a challenge to say the least. The pieces are TINY and there are so many of them that this was the most difficult block of them all. But, Isabella had such a fun experience with Alice in Wonderland on our last visit to Disney World, so I persevered.
Here’s hoping that it looks good under the Christmas tree with the Monorail running around it!
When you are out on a run and your mind is wandering, it is easy to come up with some crazy ideas that you can’t wait to get home to try out. That is the genesis of this next top.
When we purchased the letter buttons for the corduroy jacket, they came with a set of colored buttons with the same letters. We had some fabric at home that looked ok with the button colors so decided to try the free Izzy top pattern from Climbing the Willow. But, we wanted to add a little twist to the bodice to tie it in with the MICKEY buttons.
The crazy running idea was to see if it was possible to make a Mickey head with honeycomb smocking. I drew dots in a circle at 2 points along the radius for a Mickey head and Mickey ears. Then, I did honeycomb smocking of the head first and then ears. I wasn’t sure if it would work or not, but the fabrics were leftover pieces from some old quilt projects, so it was no cost if it didn’t work.
The dots for the outer perimeter of the circles were 1/4 inch apart. If I were doing it again, I would place them closer together.
After the honeycomb smocking was done, I basted around the shape of the Izzy pattern top to hold the fabric in place and then cut it out. The bodice is lined, so the back of the smocking is covered.
Free pattern, leftover fabric, and an idea that kind of worked! Guess that means we better lace up our running shoes and head back out.
You know how it is . . . you go into the fabric store just for a zipper and another cute Disney fabric lures you in! This time it was at Hancock’s where we spotted this Mickey and Friends Cupcakes fine wale corduroy fabric.
We already had a pattern at home – Simplicity 1477 which is an adorable fox or raccoon jacket pattern that I bought last year.
It only took a little modification to make the pattern suit the cupcake fabric.
Instead of fox or raccoon ears, we made Mickey ears for the hood!
The jacket is lined and interfaced with fusible fleece, so should be plenty warm for southern winters. Choosing the lining was a dilemma. All the typical lining materials were too dull looking for such a whimsical jacket. So, when we spotted some wonderfully soft brushed back princess themed satin in the perfect shade of pink, we went for it.
It does kind of look like an explosion of pink and Disney, but that sounds like just the kind of thing that a 3 year old would love to wear!
The package of sparkle iron on material that we used for the castle t-shirt came with 4 different sheets of glittery goodness. So, we put it to use again. This time with a princess silhouette that we found doing an image search.
This top is another free pattern. It is the size 4-5 basic t-shirt by Dana at Made. To make it look a little more princess-like, I added a self-drafted circle skirt. The fabric is a cotton interlock from Joanns.