Christmas Tree Pillow Tutorial

This tutorial was originally shared at The Ribbon Retreat. I recieved the materials in exchange for this tutorial. All ideas and opinions are my own.

I feel like I am never quite done decorating for Christmas. We don’t tend to gussy up every inch of our home. But there’s always some small touch I want to add. These Christmas Tree Pillows are great because I can easily move them around to add a Christmasy touch to whatever room needs it. I’ve had them on my faux mantel. Right now, they’re giving my TV stand a much needed dose of Christmas Spirit. They may have also been involved in a toddler pillow fight!

What I really love about these pillows is how your fabric choice can let you match any Christmas d├ęcor. You can easily adjust for traditional, modern, vintage, whatever! Also, they don’t require a lot of fabric, and they are a quick sew.

Want to make your own set of three adorable Christmas Tree Pillows? You’ll need:
Little Fattie Pack {Aspen Forest by Basic Grey for Moda}
1 yard of coordinating fabric for backing {Shades by Riley Blake in Snow}
Poly-Fill {From local craft store}
Rotary cutter/ self-healing mat
Disappearing ink pen

To start, press all your little fatties. Then, cut up each little fattie into three inch strips {there will be leftovers}. You’ll want to cut selvedge to selvedge.

Now, determine which fabrics you want to have on each of your trees. I used three fabrics for each tree.

For your smallest {10 inch} tree, you’ll need 5 strips. The medium {12 inch} tree needs 6 strips. Finally, your largest tree {14 inch} needs 7 strips.

Once you arrange your fabrics in an order you like, you’ll sew your strips together. Make sure you are mindful of fabric pattern directions. Sew selvedge to selvedge, using a presser foot seam allowance. Keep adding strips until you have enough for your tree.

You’ll cut all your trees the same way. I’ll give you the description using the small tree’s measurements. I’ll give you the measurements for the other two after the description.

For the small tree, you need to cut an 11 by 9 triangle. Make sure you measure on the wrong side of the fabric. Starting on the bottom right {past the selvedge}, make a mark at 0, 4.5, and 9.

Draw a dashed line vertically at your 4.5 {center} mark.

Now, measure up 11 inches on a diagonal from your 0 mark to meet your center mark. Draw a line. Do the same from you 11 mark to you center mark.

Use your rotary cutter and quilting ruler to cut out your triangles along your line.

For the medium tree, you’ll need to cut a 13 by 10.5 triangle.

For the large tree, you’ll need to cut a 15 by 12 triangle.

I decide to be lazy with the backing. I put the triangle down on the backing and just cut a quick, general shape. You could always cut the backing out the same way as the front.

Now lay the front on top of the back, right sides together. Pin, marking a three inch gap. Sew your tree using a presser foot seam allowance. Make sure you leave the turning gap.

Trim your tree down to the seam allowances. Clip all three corners.

Turn your tree right side out, carefully poking out the corners with a chopstick {or other such tool}.

Repeat this process for your medium and large trees. Then, go to town stuffing them with Poly-Fill. Make sure you really get some stuffing wedged into each corner. This will make sure your trees have a nice shape.

Once stuffed, you’ll want to hand sew your gap closed. This should be done using a blind stitch. I am terrible at hand sewing. But Amy over at Positively Splendid has a great tutorial to use!

Now you can make yourself a forest of Christmas Tree Pillows. I want to try making a 6 inch tree and turning into a Christmas ornament next!

 I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a joyful New Year!


Quilt as You Go Baby Bib Gift {or missing home}

I lived with three wonderful girls in college. They were nothing short of the best roommates I could have ever hoped for. They were a large part of what made my college experience. And they're part of what's really hard about living half a country away from family and friends. I have missed one of my roommates falling in love and getting engaged. And recently I missed the birth of another's sweet baby girl. 

It was very hard for me not to have them around to meet Emma and Wesley when they were born. And it hurt my heart overly hormonal postpartum heart to not meet Erin's tiny little arrival. So, emotional sewing seemed in order.

I used Simple Simon and Co's wonderful Quilt as You Go Bib tutorial. I didn't have any printer ink so I just traced one of Emma's old bibs as a pattern.

The fabrics all came out of my scrap piles. The vast majority are various Bonnie and Camille fabrics. The cross stitch looking flowers are from Riley Blake.

I'm still swooning over these sweet little heart snaps. I want to add them to everything!

Oh, and I made a bow for good measure! Because...why not!


Narwal Skirt {or a 45 minutes quest for sanity}

I was having a no good, terrible, horrible, very bad day recently. It probably wasn't that bad. But sleep deprivation and tiny army of small people trying to drive you insane have a way of making things seem worse. So, I took a time out. I didn't have a lot of time. Just 45 minutes before the requirements of life caught back up to me. But I knew I would feel better if I accomplished something enjoyable during that time.

So, I busted out the sewing machine. I had thrown these two fabrics in the wash with my Color Blocked Peasant Dress fabrics on a whim. I'm so glad I did. I had a 1/2 yd cut of the narwals and 1/4 yd of the floral from forever ago. The fabrics are both from Out to Sea by Sarah Jane for Michael Miller.

Emma was taking her rest time {ie the hour where I hope and pray she'll actually take a nap but instead just kicks the wall and playing "Training Dragon" in bed}, so I couldn't measure. The skirt is a little shorter than I would normally like {would have been perfect if I had made the skirt when I bought the fabric like 18 months ago!}. When I make her clothing, I like to add extra length. She's so stinking skinny that it extends the life of the garments that I work so hard on {shhhh...don't tell her this one was so quick}. 

As soon as she got up, she wanted to try it on. So we went outside an snapped a few pictures. Her ideas of posing these days are hilarious! 


Color Blocked Peasant Dress Tutorial {plus pockets!}

I cannot believe that Art Gallery Fabrics reached out to me. They provided me with the fabric for this post. All opinions, ideas, and gushing about the fabrics are my own. Check out my Disclosure Page if you have any questions!

Did you know September is National Sewing Month? I didn't either. But, I'm excited. National Sewing Month happens to coincide with both a) a recent desire to return to my sewing machine and b) a huge sewing list. Where did I start? With a first day of school dress for Pre-K.

I wanted this dress to be a little something special. I also felt like doing something I hadn't tried before. So I went with color blocking a peasant dress. I used fabrics from Curiosities by Jeni Baker from Art Gallery Fabric. Man oh man, do I love these fabrics. They feel like heaven and are just so fresh and fun.

I've got a quick tutorial for you on how to do your own color blocking on a peasant dress. I've also included how to add in seam pockets. Pockets are amazing. I've been adding them to all Emma's dresses lately. What kiddo doesn't love somewhere to stash all their treasures!

I used Whismy Couture's Pocket Peasant Dress as a starting place for this dress. You can use any peasant dress pattern that you like. I'll show you how to figure out the cuts for any size, but my color block measurements are based off of the Pocket Peasant Dress size 4T. Warning...if you use this pattern the length is quite short. I'll defiantly add a couple of inches next time.

First, figure out how much fabric your pattern piece will need. In my case, you cut out a rectangle of fabric and then use a pattern piece to cut out the arm hole. It's great...just one piece of paper to print! If you have a traditional pattern, measure the widest part of the dress and add an inch for wiggle. Then measure the hight plus an inch for wiggle. That will give you the dimensions of the rectangle you'll need for figuring out the color block panels. 

Let's start with figuring out the main fabric color block for the front and back of the dress. For my dress, the rectangle measured 19 x 22 inches. Take your width and divide it in half. Add .5 inch for seam allowances. So, 11.5 is the width I ended up with. Cut two 19 x 11.5 inch rectangles out of your main fabric. Be mindful of directional fabrics.

Alright, now on to the accent fabric. Take your width and divide into 1/4ths. Add .5 inches for seam allowances. This gives you the width of your 4 accent panels. Mine was 6 inches. Cut out four 19 x 6 inch rectangles. Again, be careful about directional fabrics {not that I had to cut twice or anything!}.

Cut your sleeves out of the accent fabric. 

Now, sew together color blocks to make the front and back rectangles that you'll cut your pattern out of. You'll have two sets of accent fabric-main fabric-accent fabric rectangles. 

Pin your accent fabric to your main fabric, right sides together. Sew with 1/2 inch seam allowance. 

Finish seams your favorite way. I use pinking sheers then zig-zag over the edges.

Repeat on the other side with your second accent panel. Finish the seam. 

Repeat for your back rectangle. 

Cut out your pattern pieces from these rectangles.

If you'd like to add in seam pockets,  Jess has a free pattern you can download! 

Cut out your pocket pattern pieces from desired fabric. I love doing something bright and fun. It's great to have a little bit of something special peaking out from the pockets! You'll cut two sets of mirrored pockets, for 4 pockets pieces total.

Measure down about 2 inches from the arm pit to place the pocket. {This is what works for my daughter an 4T dresses. Measure your little one if she's a different size.} Line up your pocket with the edge of your fabric right sides together. Sew using 1/4 inch seam allowance. I like to go over the top and bottom multiple times to reinforce these edges.

Press your pocket away from your dress. Repeat with the three other pocket pieces.

Follow your pattern's instructions for sewing up your dress. When you sew the side seams, sew around the outside of the pockets {where the pins are in the above picture}. Don't sew straight down the dress our you'll close up the pockets.

I finished up the dress with a 1.5 inch bias hem band. Dana has a wonderful tutorial on how to make bias tape if you want help finishing the dress this way. 

Just like that, she's ready for pre-k. I can't handle how big she looks in these pictures!

And now she's ready to take on school in her mama made dress! And I may finally be ready to finish up my little man's quilt! Off to the sewing machine I go!


Liberty Desert Rose {or they make heart snaps!}

I was lucky enough to test Caila's beautiful pattern, The Desert Rose. I've been ridiculous and haven't made another. Until now.  

I broke into the precious stash of fabric that dad brought back from Japan and found some amazing Liberty. I lined it with some Kona from the stash. 

It's tunic length because the Liberty is a bit too thin and I was too lazy to line the whole thing. But I did put in adorable little pink heart snaps. And added pockets.

She loves, loves, loves the pockets!