Apr 1, 2014

Easter Basket Sew-A-Long

Its time for a SEW-A-LONG! Starting today, I (Audra Dean) will be hosting an Easter basket sew-a-long over at the LLK Cafe. I am working on one for Nora and one for my sweet friend's son, Vincent.

You can purchase the Little Lizard King pattern here and use the code "basket" for $2 off. If you've never sewn a Little Lizard King Pattern you are missing out! They are amazingly easy to follow and some of the best patterns around, but that's a post for another day =)  Here is the schedule for the sew-a-long:

I hope you can join us over at the LLK Cafe for some sewing fellowship. Can't wait to see what you create! SO - head on over to the LLK Cafe and show us the fabric you plan to use for your Easter baskets! XO

Feb 27, 2014

Wee Wander & Michael Miller Fabrics

Wee wandered into the woods on a beautiful warm, sunny, February day. Wee wandered through the woods in our gorgeous outfits. Wee wandered around the lake in the beautiful prints of fabric. Wee wandered into our tent. Wee wandered back to our childhood memories...

View More: http://claudiablakephotography.pass.us/chasingmermaids

I am always inspired by patterns that speak to me and fabrics that inspire me… These all do just that. Do you remember childhood catching lightning bugs, camping in the woods watching the deer go by, wishing you could jump on a horse and ride away? Memories are what we create daily and are the true invaluable parts of our experience. These fabrics bring life to our history. I remember as a child heading up north to the lake and staying in my aunt's cabins that they rented out for summer vacations. They were shaped like triangle houses and were located along the edge of the beach. We went with many family members: aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. It was probably the first time I ever caught lightning bugs in jars. The first time we got to stay up late outside with all our cousins. Swimming in the lake during the day and roasting marshmallows by night. Telling secrets we promised to keep forever…. For me these memories are vivid and many of those loved ones are gone… but these prints bring us back to that childhood time so dear in our hearts...

View More: http://claudiablakephotography.pass.us/chasingmermaids

When I was given this opportunity to recreate Little Lizard King patterns in some of Michael Miller's newest fabric lines I knew it had to be Wee Wander designed by Sarah Jane Studios. I mean every single print tells a story and a different one to each who uses it. Whether they create through quilts, household items or clothing the story is shared.

View More: http://claudiablakephotography.pass.us/chasingmermaids

The tent pattern by Little Lizard King became the focal point of my creations for two reasons… it screamed wee wander and it reminded me a little of those triangle cabins we stayed in that summer. We hosted a sew-along in the the LLK cafe (our FB sewing group). Many followed along and this tent came to life. My girls are in love and it sits on our front porch (where they love to play) and it is filled with pillows and baby dolls and everything else you can imagine. But it was Claudia the talented photographer who knew it had to be in the woods where wee could wander!

View More: http://claudiablakephotography.pass.us/chasingmermaids

I took some patterns that could display these gorgeous prints in a way that would showcase both the fabric and the pattern design. Some have gorgeous border prints that need to be seen on a large scale and others have such sweet delicate details that are the perfect accent pieces. Two different colorways attract different feelings , thoughts and immediate reactions. I am a blue girl through and through but the pinks and oranges really caught my eye!

View More: http://claudiablakephotography.pass.us/chasingmermaids

The Millie Market Dress is one that has a classic look with its delicate double sleeve and peasant style bodice with full skirt. The lightning bugs in the glow friends print are dreamy paired with the children catching them in the glow lights print. A classic look with a classic memory.

View More: http://claudiablakephotography.pass.us/chasingmermaids

View More: http://claudiablakephotography.pass.us/chasingmermaids

The Ruffle Tunic really shows off the delicate child and deer in the wander woods print on the bodice and the innocence of childhood. Layers and layers of ruffles are just sweet on the little ones… and what a way to showcase all the pastels of this line that can coordinate with all of the bolder prints. Simple sweet shoulder straps are the perfect finish. This floral print is one that really spoke to me meandering in fields of flowers rolling down hills from my own childhood.

View More: http://claudiablakephotography.pass.us/chasingmermaids

I paired the Ruffle Tunic with the adorable Girly Capris. The ties around the calves are the perfect match for the straps on the tunic. The pastel colors really show the sweetness of this outfit. These can be made as shorts also. I coordinated the pinks of the nature walk print in the ties in both patterns for a darling match made in Heaven. A really fast sew and these capris coordinate well with every style of top.

View More: http://claudiablakephotography.pass.us/chasingmermaids

View More: http://claudiablakephotography.pass.us/chasingmermaids

The Homegrown Tank dress was the first pattern I used with the new Wee Wander fabric. I knew instantly when I saw the summer night lights in twilight I had to have it… I mean you cannot get any cuter than the perfect full, flowing, knit tank dress and little darlings searching for their treasure. Not to mention, that I had the perfect knit, an almost identical match to the little boy's top in the print.

View More: http://claudiablakephotography.pass.us/chasingmermaids

View More: http://claudiablakephotography.pass.us/chasingmermaids

And the horses in the summer ride print speaks to all children everywhere… they are the ride of freedom , a way to travel to that faraway magical place. When choosing prints for this last dress I really wanted to show off the bold bright colorways and how they really pop against pale colors too. This dress bodice is a perfect platform for all the monogramming we love to do here in the south. My daughter thinks the horses are unicorns so we will just go with it!

View More: http://claudiablakephotography.pass.us/chasingmermaids

View More: http://claudiablakephotography.pass.us/chasingmermaids

An amazing opportunity this has been and how all the pieces just magically fell in place to make this happen. Timing surely is something special. I was given this new position with Little Lizard King and the ability to transform her patterns from paper into prized possessions by using the amazing fabrics from Michael Miller created by Sarah Jane who always captures childhood at its core. And the connection I made with the creative Claudia Blake Photography who has the eye to capture the beauty of the clothing with details and color pops of the timeless prints. And she had the instinct to match the setting with the theme of it all. I mean absolutely perfect.

View More: http://claudiablakephotography.pass.us/chasingmermaids

Amazingly beautiful headbands were also created in wee wander prints by the talented Scenic City Couture. The darling big bold beaded necklaces and blue flower clip were created by Mandalyn's Marvels.

View More: http://claudiablakephotography.pass.us/chasingmermaids

View More: http://claudiablakephotography.pass.us/chasingmermaids

View More: http://claudiablakephotography.pass.us/chasingmermaids

Many thanks to all who shared their products and talent to create these beautiful items and images. All clothing sewn by Chasing Mermaids. PS. never thought I could fall more in love with a print after out to sea ……. mermaids and all….

BUT never say NEVER!!!

View More: http://claudiablakephotography.pass.us/chasingmermaids

And I could do this all over again! Being creative is so easy with the perfect patterns, prints, and photos. Wander on into this tent below and let your mind meander!

View More: http://claudiablakephotography.pass.us/chasingmermaids              

Feb 21, 2014

Tent Sewing Pattern, Sew-a-long Day 4

Today we begin at page 12 of the Tent Sewing Pattern.

Hem the short ends of each Pole Pocket Tube. I used my iron to hold the hem in place before sewing.  Don't skip this step!  It creates a nice clean line on the finished tent.

Next, we will attach and hem the door panels.  Following the instructions on Page 13, attach the door panels following the measurement provided.  

If you are using the optional door ties, gather the ribbon, bias tape, or other material you will use to place the door ties on the door panels.  

Now we move onto Page 14 and begin the assembly of the Tee Pee!  

I have pressed my pole pockets in half, wrong sides together, so that it will not shift while I am layering the panels and pole pockets together.  Find your starting point using the measurements provided on page 14, and start layering your first panel/pole/panel.  Pin in place.  Stitch.  Using a serger will give you a nicer finish. A zig zag stitch or pinking shears will also finish the seams nicely. 

 I've added a bit of lace ruffle to finish the top.

All of your panels should now be sewn together!  Page 19 of the Tutorial explains how to secure your tent poles.  You will need a ribbon, twine or the like; a drill and safety goggles!  Safety first!

Push your poles through each pole pocket tube.  Add the end caps or crutch tips to the bottom of each pole.  You've just made a Tee Pee!  

It does take a bit of time and patience to learn how to set up your Tee Pee the first time.  Take your time.  Spread out each pole from the bottom out.  Walk around the tent.  Adjust.  
A little patience is all it takes!  

Now have a Tee Pee Party!

I know two little girls who will be happy to see me (well, more happy to see the tent) very soon!
I'll post pictures!

Upload your photos showing your progress here on Facebook:  Sewalong Tent

Don't forget:

We will be giving away not just one prize but three! Yes -Three winners will be chosen at the end of the sew-a-long, a random participation winner, fan favorite and a Little Lizard King choice! Start uploading pictures!

I hope you had fun making your Tee Pee!



Feb 20, 2014

Tent Sew-A-Long, Day 3

Welcome to day 3 of the Little Lizard King tent Sew-a-long. For those of you wishing to add ruffles to your Tee Pee, lets go to page 8 of the Tutorial.

Determine how many ruffle layers you wish to make, and of which colors/prints.  (The amount of fabric and what sizes/lengths to cut can be found on the optional ruffle cutting chart on page 3.)

Draw a picture or layout the panel(s) you will add ruffles to; situate the fabrics in layers until you find what will work best.  You don't have to add ruffles at all.  You can fill every panel with ruffles, or you can place ruffles one only one or two panels, spaced along the panel, or filling the panel -- its up to you!

I think I'll only add about 3 ruffles to two panels.  

Let's iron our fabric.  I am pressing the top and bottom layers of the ruffle pieces as directed in the Tutorial, using my iron to create and hold the hem in place until I sew.  

To make ironing this very, very, long ruffle piece, I am folding the fabric as I go -- to give me more room on the ironing board.  It really helps a lot!  

When I get to the sewing machine or serger to start ruffling, I have a tidy pile to bring to the machine.

Let's gather the panels which will have ruffles, a straight ruler/edge, washout cloth pencil/pen.

Using the directions on page 8 of the Tutorial, mark horizontal lines for placement of the ruffles.

Page 9 of the Tutorial gives instructions on how to gather your ruffle pieces.  There are several ways to gather fabric:  sewing machine, serger, ruffler foot, are the ways I am aware of.  

My husband gave me a ruffler foot for Valentine's Day a couple of years ago -- that's what I will be using.

After gathering for what may feel like forever : ), follow the instructions on Page 10 to sew your ruffles to the panel(s).  If you are adding ruffles to the door panels, instructions for that are on Page 11.

I think I like this for my panels . . . . what do you think?

Upload your photos showing your progress here on Facebook:  Sewalong Tent

Don't forget:

We will be giving away not just one prize but three! Yes -Three winners will be chosen at the end of the sew-a-long, a random participation winner, fan favorite and a Little Lizard King choice! 

We will begin assembly of the tent next time we meet!


BONUS:  How to remove the lettering on your PVC poles

Its much easier than you think!  100% Acetone Nail Polish Remover!  Enjoy!

Feb 18, 2014

Tent Sewing Pattern, Sew-A-Long - Day 2

Day Two of the Little Lizard King tent sew-a-long is presented to you by Gloria Richardson.

Your fabrics/sheets are washed and dried . . . . have you pressed/ironed them?  It is very important to iron all of your pieces, whether you use your iron to mark cutting lines or just to make sure everything is pressed well to make cutting easier, let's do that first.  I recommend using Fabric Sizing or a spray starch.  It really makes ironing easier!

I'll have these tools with me today:

My kindle which has the Tutorial loaded on it, Magic Sizing for my ironing, a measuring tape, a washout cloth marking pencil, my rotary cutter and rulers, and a chalk line tool.

Page 5 of the tutorial is the beginning of "Cutting the Fabric".  We will cut four panels using the measurement chart and --what the tutorial refers to as the Large Panel.

I ironed my fabric, and folded the Large Panel in half, then marked the cutting line at the top.  We are not concerned about selvage on this project.  When the Large Panel is folded in half, we need to be sure that we will have at least 18" at the bottom to mark our diagonal line for cutting out the panel.

I've used my washout cloth marking pencil at the short measurement" at the end that is x" long; and at the bottom of the Large Panel at the larger measurement.  (remember your panel is folded in half now)

Now I'm going to make a line to meet the two marks.

I like to use a chalk line marker, 
but you can use a long ruler or any other straight edge to help you mark the panel shape.  
You may wish to mark your lines on the wrong side of your fabric.  Its personal preference here!

Cut on the marked line.  Repeat with all Large Panels.  Hold onto your remnant/leftovers.  One section will be used for the front door.

Unfold each panel, keeping the narrow section at the top and the wide section at the bottom.

Cut the remnant section into two identical/mirror images for the door panel.  (see Tutorial page 7 for photo)

Iron/press your pole fabric, and cut out 5 pieces for the pole fabric.

If you are using the optional door ties, you'll need to cut four pieces of ribbon, bias tape, or whatever you'd like to use as ties.

We'll cut and assemble Ruffles tomorrow for those who are adding them!


AND - don't forget -
We will be giving away not just one prize but three! Yes -Three winners will be chosen at the end of the sew-a-long, a random participation winner, fan favorite and a Little Lizard King choice! 

Feb 17, 2014

Tent Pattern, Sew A Long - Day 1

Gloria Richardson leads Little Lizard King fans in day 1 of our tent sewing pattern sew-a-long.

Two little girls that I've "adopted" as my grandchildren have just discovered the fun of playing in large boxes. Perfect timing since we're about to make a tee-pee for them to hide and play in!

LittleLizardKing has a beautifully designed Tee-pee Tutorial.  (Photo courtesy of Little Lizard King

And I get to host my very first sew-a-long this week!  

If you haven't bought the Tutorial yet, you can find it here.

First, let's gather our supplies

I went to my local Ace Hardware store to purchase (3) 3/4" PVC poles (each pole was 10' long); and (5) 3/4" stoppers to cover the bottom ends of each pole.  You can cut the poles in half yourself with a hacksaw; or, you can ask the employees in your hardware store to cut them for you like I did!

If the cut ends of your pole are a bit ragged, don't worry.  Those ends we will cover with the stoppers (or crutch covers) and the ends that were not cut will be used at the top of the Tee Pee.  (If you've got tennis balls, they'll work too - but will be a bit bulky when you close the Tee Pee for storage.)

Now, let's buy or re-purpose some fabric!

If you plan to re-purpose sheets or curtains, I found an article here to help you determine how much yardage you have in those items.  If you've changed bedroom themes and you've got extra sheets filling up your linen closet, here's your chance to use them!  Or better yet, you WANT to change your bedroom and the kids really want a Tee Pee . . . . Or, go by Goodwill or a thrift store.  There's always something there you can use and you'll be helping others by donating/buying from a charity.

I always wash and dry my fabrics before sewing.  This reduces the chance of shrinkage after the project is complete.  If you're using sheets, you've already washed them hundreds of times!

I purchased some fabrics from Fabric.com and have some lace, ribbons, and cording that I may use as well.

While your fabric is washing/drying, cut your poles in half if you haven't already had the Helpful Hardware Man help you in the store.  

We'll be cutting out fabric the next time we meet!


P.S. We will be giving away not just one prize but three! That is right! Three winners will be chosen at the end of the sew-a-long, a random participation winner, fan favorite and a Little Lizard King choice!