Few things will make your little girl happier when she closes her eyes at night than a soft toy in her arms and a tutu on her bed.
Delight a little princess with a ballerina duvet, tutu, toy and smocked curtains
A soft toy will always be a favourite way to help send little children to dreamland.
1 Enlarge the template on page 79 to the desired size. Cut two beak pieces and two cheeks from the light pink fabric. Cut two wings from the bright pink fabric. Cut four body pieces from the grey fabric so there are two layers for each side and the fabric will be thick.
2 Take two of the body pieces and pin and stitch a cheek, beak and wing onto each one. Place the two pieces together with right sides facing and the two extra pieces on the outside. Stitch through all the layers but leave an opening of about 8cm at the bottom for turning. Turn through to the right side and press.
3 Stuff the swan firmly with the polyester stuffing. Start sewing the opening closed and stuff the toy further as you work. You can use a knitting needle to push the stuffing into the beak. Close the opening by hand.
4 For the crown, fold over the bottom edge of the strip of lace and press. Fold over the two side edges and press. Shape the strip into a crown and sew the side seam together by hand. Pin the crown onto the swan’s head and sew it in place with small, neat hand stitches.
5 Draw the swan’s eyes with a fine pencil line. Dip the tip of the skewer into the fabric paint and carefully go over the line until you are happy with the thickness.
Duvet and pillow set
This is the perfect bed linen for a little girl who loves to dance.
Use the template on page 80 for the dress and cut the bodice piece once from fabric and once from appliqué paper, cutting the appliqué paper a few millimetres smaller than the fabric bodice piece. Cut the skirt section of the dress four times from fabric and twice from appliqué paper. For the tulle tutu cut two strips of 115 x 30cm each in the two colours of your choice. Use the template on page 79 for the ballet shoes and cut one layer from mesh and one layer from appliqué paper.
1 Fold 5mm of the fabric bodice piece over to the wrong side and press flat around the edge. Iron the appliqué paper to the wrong side of the bodice according to the instructions. Do not remove the paper yet. Iron the appliqué paper to the two pieces of the skirt section that will form the underside.
2 Fold over the top and side edges of the skirt section a few millimetres to the wrong side and press flat. Insert the lower edge of the bodice piece between the two layers of the skirt section and pin down. Also pin the side edges of the two layers of fabric of the skirt section. Fold over the two ends where the two pieces of the skirt section meet for a neat finish. Now machine stitch the pinned pieces – the sides, and where the bodice piece and skirt section meet.
3 Find the middle of the duvet cover and mark with a pin. Place the dress in position on the duvet cover, but not too high, as it could be uncomfortable.
4 Remove the paper from the appliqué paper and iron the dress onto the duvet cover. Now stitch the dress down all around except for the lower edge of the skirt section, making sure you do not stitch through both layers of the duvet cover, but only the top layer.
5 Gather the lace to fit the lower edge of the skirt section and pin to the inside of the lower edge. Pin the pompom strip on the outside of the skirt section close to the edge. Now stitch through all the layers, but not to the duvet cover.
6 Now make the tulle tutu, which will form part of the dress. Gather two layers together at a time, stitching two straight rows of gathering stitches along the top edge of two tulle strips. Do not secure the beginning and end of the stitching. Pull in the two top threads of the two rows to create frills and distribute the tulle with your fingers to help with the gathering in. Tie the threads on both sides securely so that the gathering threads cannot loosen. Repeat with the other layers.
7 Insert the two peach tulle frills underneath the skirt section of the dress and pin down. Stitch the top edge of the tulle straight across the duvet cover, lifting up the skirt section so that it stays free. Now place the light pink tulle frill on top of the peach tulle up to and against the top piece. Pin and stitch straight across, with the skirt section still unstitched.
8 For the ballet shoes: be careful not to burn the mesh with the iron – cover with a piece of cloth when you iron. Iron the appliqué paper to the mesh, remove the paper and iron the shoes in place in the middle of the duvet cover. Stitch with a matching coloured thread around the outline of the shoes through the top layer of the duvet cover.
9 Arrange the ribbon in a zigzag pattern above the shoes as if to wind it around the ballerina’s ankles. Pin down here and there and stitch in place. At both ends, tie the loose ends of the ribbon in a bow with a double knot as in the photo.
10 For the pillowcase use the template on page 79 and draw the crown with a fabric pencil onto the middle of the pillowcase. Stitch the crown motif on the pillowcase in top stitching with pink thread or the colour of your choice.
This gorgeous tutu with its multicoloured skirt is sure to be your little girl’s favourite party outfit.
Size: bodice fits a two-year-old child Difficulty: average Time: two days
Measure the girl’s waist and cut elastic according to her measurement, plus 2cm extra. Cut approximately 20 strips of tulle each 16 x 60cm in each colour. Cut the following pieces for the bodice, straps and frills: one bodice piece rectangle of 38 x 15cm, four straps of 55 x 6,5cm each, two frills with a length of 35cm and a half circle outer edge.
1 Overlap the ends of the elastic by 2cm and stitch together with a few rows of stitching. Pull the elastic over a shape the same size as the elastic – use a bucket or large jar. This way it will be easier to tie the tulle to the elastic.
2 Take two layers of tulle at a time, place over the elastic and move along until the elastic lies halfway into the tulle strip. Tie a loose knot (so that the tulle can be moved easily), then tie another knot in the opposite direction. The second knot can be tighter. Repeat with all the tulle strips, making sure you do not place the same colours next to one another. You may have to cut more tulle strips to complete the tutu, but that depends on the size of the girl’s waist.
3 Fold the bodice piece rectangle in half and press the fold flat.
4 Stitch two straight rows of gathering stitches along the straight top edge of the frill strips, approximately 4mm in from the edge. Do not secure the beginning and end of the stitching. Pull in the two top threads of the two rows to create frills. You can decide how long you want the frills to be. Overlock both edges of the frills. Fold the half circle outer edge 6mm over to the wrong side, press flat and top stitch.
5 For the straps, fold one long side of each 5mm over to the wrong side. Press flat. The folded sides will be on the inside of the bodice piece. Place the two folded sides of two straps together. Insert the double folded bodice piece rectangle up to 5mm between the layers so that the lower edges of the straps align and the bodice fold is at the top. Now stitch the long folded sides of the strap from bottom to top, stitching the bodice piece at the same time. Repeat with the second strap on the other side of the bodice piece rectangle.
6 Place the gathered edge of the frill to one unstitched outer edge of the strap with the right sides facing and pin down – the lower end of the frill must align with the folded top edge of the bodice piece. Stitch a few millimetres from the edge. Repeat for the other strap.
7 Now overlock the entire outer edge from bottom to top. Also overlock the width of the loose ends of the straps, as well as the lower edge where the straps and bodice piece were stitched down.
8 Fold the two long outer edges and the short edge of the loose strap end 5mm to the inside, so that the gathered edge of the frill is sandwiched between the two long outer edges of the strap and the frill faces outwards. Stitch the entire length and short end of the strap. Repeat for the other strap.
9 Fold over the lower edge of the top piece by 5mm, press flat and stitch down. Place the bodice piece in the middle of the tutu and pin down. Sew the bodice to the tutu neatly by hand.
10 Mark the position of the buttons for the straps at the back of the dress and sew on the buttons. Put on the dress and mark the positions for the buttonholes on the loose ends of the two straps when crossed at the back, to obtain the correct length for the straps. Trim the straps if necessary. Make the two buttonholes, cross the straps at the back and button down.
Smocking may be an unusual window treatment but here it pulls the look of the whole room together.
To calculate the fabric
Measure your window, curtain rod and height from rod to floor to calculate the amount of fabric you require. A standard curtain drop is 230cm long, allow an extra 20cm for the hem and header; if you require longer curtains calculate the amount required per drop for the length. You will lose approximately half of the width of fabric for the smocking technique. Cotton voile is available in several widths, choose the width accordingly; otherwise you will have to make more drops to fit your window. For the curtains featured in the photo, fabric with a 280cm width was used; the width of the fabric was used to create the length of the curtain, and 350cm was used per drop to create the width of the curtain, to give a 160cm finished width after smocking.
To make To smock
It is a good idea to make a small practice sample of the smocking technique before you begin, so you can determine how to create the folds neatly at each dot and also how much thread must
hang on the wrong side of the fabric before the next stitch is to be worked.
1 Make a paper pattern for the smock design on dressmaker’s metric graph paper – it is ideal as the grid is worked in 1cm squares.
2 Start with the top row of the grid. Using the pencil work a series of dots 3cm apart across the graph paper. The dots of the second row are placed in the same position 3cm down from the first row. Continue plotting dots until all six rows have been drafted. This will be the template for your smocking. When stitched it will form a diamond pattern.
3 Lay the fabric on a flat surface. Place the paper template under the fabric approximately 25cm from the top edge and approximately 10cm from the righthand selvage. Use the dressmaker’s graph paper to make sure the fabric and the grid align. With the adhesive tape secure the paper template and the fabric from slipping.
4 Starting at the right-hand edge, using the dressmaker’s pen or pencil, trace the dots directly onto the fabric, until all the dots are plotted. Move the paper template and continue plotting the next section of the grid. Continue in this way until you have completed the width of fabric. Stop the grid 10cm from the lefthand selvage.
5 Thread the embroidery needle with matching coloured sewing thread. Secure the thread at the back of the work at the first dot in the first row; make a small stitch and bring the needle out at the back of the work. Insert the needle into the second dot on the first row and pull needle and thread through. Gently pull the fabric from the needle to the first dot so it gathers the fabric and forms neat folds. Catch the folds of the fabric with two or three small straight stitches on top of the first stitch worked on the first dot. The first smocked stitch has just been made.
6 Now bring the needle through to the back of the fabric leaving a loose thread, bring the needle to the front of the fabric at the next dot in the row below, this will be the second dot in the second row. Make a small stitch and bring the needle out at the back of work. Insert the needle into the next dot in the second row, this will be the third dot, and pull needle and thread through. Gently pull the fabric from the needle to the dot as before. Catch the folds of the fabric with two or three small straight stitches as before. The second smocked stitch has been made.
7 Now bring the needle through to the back of the fabric leaving a loose thread, bring the needle to the front of the fabric at the next dot in the row above, this will be the third dot on the first row. Make a small stitch; work the next stitch as given in step 5. The third stitch has been smocked. Now work in the dot below, this will be the fourth dot in second row, and make the fourth stitch as given in step 6. Repeat these two steps. Don’t pull the thread at the back of the work too tightly when bringing it to the next stitch to be worked. When you need new thread make sure the stitches are secure before you cut away the end of the thread.
8 When the first and second rows of dots are completed across the width of the fabric, start working the next two rows in the same way. A diamond pattern will start to form. Work the fifth and sixth rows in the same way. The smocking is now completed. Repeat these steps for the second drop.
To make the curtain
1 Overlock the raw edges of the curtain. Fold a 1cm double hem along the side edges, press and stitch in place. Fold a 5cm double hem along the lower edge and stitch in place.
2 Place the top of the curtain on a flat surface. There will be a lot of excess fabric above the smocking. Carefully work the fabric into loose folds with your hands, following the folds in the actual smocking. Pin and tack these rough pleats in place until the width of the curtain has been completed. Secure these pleats by working a row of machine stitching along the top edge. Remove the pins and tacking stitches.
3 Fold a narrow hem along the top edge. Place the header tape about 2,5cm from the top edge. Sew the tape in position along both sides working the stitching close to the tape edge. Fold the fabric over to form a hem with the header tape sitting in the centre back width of hem. Machine stitch the hem in place. Repeat these steps for the second drop.
Model: Hannah Arnhard.