Thursday, June 30, 2011

The first Diva's Designer Spotlight!


Twice a month, the Diva's going to turn the spotlight on a few of the talented designers who start their creations with Tie Dye Diva PDF sewing patterns. I'm so excited to bring you the very first selection!

Hey there, Sailor! I love how Karen at Layla and Stitch took the Ruffled Baby Bubble Romper pattern and made it her own Baby Boy or Toddler Nautical Beach Romper!

Photo from www.laylaandstitch.etsy.com
Karen swapped out the ruffles for an adorable, professional applique and converted the halter tie straps to criss-cross button straps. Voila, a perfect romper for a baby boy! 

Karen included the optional snap crotch, and appliqued the front with a whale on a rick rack wave. She'll custom make this in the full range of Tie Dye Diva romper sizes - NB all the way up to size 6.

Love the Layla and Stitch style? Find her on etsy at http://www.etsy.com/shop/laylaandstitch or on Facebook at Layla and Stitch Boutique.


Sweet and Girly! Sharon at Pinkie Twink sews up the Sweet Summer Halter Dress pattern in an array of designs from sweet and classic to bold and beautiful! This Lotus Dress is one of my favorites:

Photo from www.pinkietwink.etsy.com
She'll custom make these for you in all sizes 2T to 8. She offers her halter dresses in more than 6 gorgeous fabric combinations, and a lot of other beautiful customs for kids, at http://www.etsy.com/shop/PinkieTwink


Cameron at Two Crazy Girls Designs always knocks me out with her gorgeous designs and multiple talents! Here's an example of an adorable custom set she made showcasing a diaper cover made with the Tie Dye Diva Ruffled Diaper Cover pattern, and including a matching headband and pacifier clip. I had trouble choosing one for a spotlight photo, they are all so adorable! See more of her work on her Facebook fan page, http://www.facebook.com/twocrazygirlsdesigns.

Photo from http://www.facebook.com/twocrazygirlsdesigns

So many more talented seamstresses on my list ... and I'll be scouting etsy and Facebook for more pretty things made with Tie Dye Diva patterns. Feel free to give me a shout out via the Tie Dye Diva Facebook Fan Page if you sew with Tie Dye Diva Patterns (and credit my pattern in your listing) and would like to be included.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Free Tie Dye Diva Tutorials and Patterns

A week into summer but I've just finished some spring cleaning here at the Tie Dye Diva blog. I've updated the links to all the free pattern downloads so they are easier to access and added a new sidebar on the right (scroll down) with Quick Links to all the free tutes and patterns so they are easy to find. Here's the list:

Photo Pocket Flag Banner Bunting Tutorial

Free Baby Knot Hat Pattern and Tutorial

Free Sewn Armwarmers Tutorial

Free Christmas Stocking Pattern and Tutorial

How to Make a Petal Tee with a Die Cut Machine

How to Dry & Store Lavender/
How to Sew Quick Lavender Sachets


How to Add Chin Straps to Your Tie Dye Diva Sunny Day Sun Hat

How to Add Reindeer Antlers to your Tie Dye Diva Fun Fleece Animal Hat + Pattern

Now, who's ready for summer? Meeeeee! Something new from Tie Dye Diva coming up soon, PDF tutorial on how to tie dye the Tie Dye Diva way, learn to make boutique quality hearts, best friends rainbow shirts and more, stay tuned!

image by Jodi Friedman Photography

Testing out a new PDF host for free pattern pieces


It's come to my attention that the site hosting my free tutorial pattern downloads (like the Christmas Stocking and Baby Knot Hat) is no longer free for users. The last thing I want is for my free tutorials to require that you pay a third party in order to get them so let's fix that, shall we? Here's a first attempt an an alternate download method.

Click Here to Download Tie Dye Diva Free Christmas Stocking Pattern

Click the link, then in the left hand corner, click File, Download, to save it. If this doesn't work I might need some input on other ways to do this!

[Edited to add: it seems to be working for almost everyone! The full tutorial instructions that go with the pattern are here: http://tiedyedivadesigns.blogspot.com/2010/10/free-pdf-sewing-pattern-how-to-sew.html]

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Lavender's Blue, Dilly Dilly

I think this is my favorite time of year. Clothes are drying on the line, and I mentioned in this post that I was about to harvest our beloved Grosso lavender and make some beautiful sachets with my Sugar Pop charm pack from I Sew Crooked. I love these sachets because they have so many useful places to be - in the dryer, in a drawer, under a pillow, in the car, baby's room, any stinky small place that needs a little natural freshening. They make great gifts for this reason, and you can customize the fabric for the person you're giving it to.

My beloved husband does the growing part so I can't really help with that. You get a plant, or maybe seeds, I'm not sure, and dirt and water and sunshine. Then you grow it a long time while your wife saves her scraps all year for sachets. Then one day you see buds, and just when some of them start to open all the way - but not all of them, because then the lovely scented oils just dry up - you cut them and bring them inside in one heady, lovely bunch.


OK, now this is the part I do know about. Bundle them into bunches about as thick as your wrist so they aren't too crowded. Rubber band the stems, pretty tight, because they lose some volume as they dry and you don't want them falling all over the place.


Slip another rubber band through the ones holding your bunch, then loop it by pulling one end through the other to form a hanger.


I cut the ends straight because I think it looks really pretty that way but it doesn't serve a single purpose I know of.  Hang them in a dry place out of sunlight - our garage is the best place here. Put a piece of newspaper on the floor beneath them to catch the flowers that fall as they dry - you don't want to waste any of these fragrant beauties! In about a week they should be crisp but still have their color and fragrance. Take 'em down, it's time to separate the buds from the chaff.

Put the bunches in an old pillowcase. I have best luck doing this one at a time. Then rub gently, like you are rolling the bunch, and the flowers will separate from the stems. Collect the flowers in an airtight container and don't forget to shake out your newspaper and use those too. I store in a Mason jar and keep it in a dark cupboard. I have heard the stems can be tossed into your fireplace to add some nice fragrance. I haven't tried it ... don't get me started about all the rules my town has about what you can and can't put in your fireplace and when.

Now, on to the sachets! This is the quickest, easiest way to make sachets that are still dryer-friendly. The key to this is pinking the edges, which means cutting them in a zigzag to keep the fabric edges from fraying, because fraying edges would make a mess of your dryer. Yes, you can sew it like a traditional pillow, wrong sides together, turn, fill and sew the hole, but this is much easier and works just as well.

You can use pre-pinked charm squares, you can cut your fabric using a pinking rotary cutter if you're fancy like that, or you can use pinking shears. I like them no larger than 5" on a side and no less than 3".


Lay two pieces wrong sides together. Use a 5/8" seam allowance, and beginning 5/8" from one edge, sew three sides using a straight stitch. Don't forget to backstitch at the beginning and end, and end 5/8" from the unsewn edge. Choose a thread color you like, because your stitches will show on your sachet.

Now fill it. You don't want to fill it too full or you won't be able to sew it shut, and you'll just be wasting lavender because a little goes a long way. 1 ounce should do it, which for my 5" x 5" charm square is about 1/2 way full.


Keep the lavender packed down away from your unsewn edge, and then sew the remaining edge, being sure to cross over your original stitches, and backstitching at the beginning and end.


Betcha' can't make just one!


For the longest life as a dryer sachet, toss them in when the clothes are only just damp, then store it in a dark place until your next load.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Tie Dye Diva Free Photo Pocket Flag Bunting Tutorial


The Tie Dye Diva family loves to celebrate! I made this reusable fabric bunting for our family birthdays and other occasions. The idea came to me the day before my youngest's second birthday (which is today - happy birthday, my little buddy!) and so I put a photo on it so he would know exactly whose special day it was without having to read a thing. The photo is in a clear vinyl pouch so it can be removed and replaced with another birthday boy or girl’s photo, name, or other greeting for non-birthday occasions.

Here’s how to make your Tie Dye Diva Photo Pocket Flag Bunting:

Makes one banner about 84" long.

You’ll need:
• 1 package (3 yards) Double Fold Bias Quilt Binding (7/8” wide)
• fabric scraps at least 6.5" x 7.5”
• 2 pieces clear vinyl 7.5” x 5.5” - I used 4 mm thickness.You can find this at any regular fabric store.
• 4" x 6" Photo of your loved one, birthday greeting or other personalized message

First, make a template out of cardboard to make cutting your flags easy. Make it 6.5” across the top, then measure down from the center point (hint: the 3.25” mark) 7.5" and mark this spot. Connect the lines to form a triangle and cut it out.

Next, raid your scrap bin (you can see mine under the template, yikes!)! I made a “boy side” and a “girl side” to the banner. You could also make a ‘fourth of july' side and a 'valentines day’ side, or whatever you like. Cut 12 triangles for each side of the bunting, 24 in all.


If your scrap bin looks like mine, you’ll need to press the triangles before you sew. Of course, it’s a much better idea to press before you cut but this was a nap-time project for me so I pressed later. Then I piled them into my ‘girl’ and ‘boy’ piles and just like a little fabric-flag promenade, matched one from each pile, right sides together.


You only need to sew the two longer edges of the triangle - use a 1/4” seam allowance. For a nice point, stop a little before the tip, take 2 or 3 stitches across, then continue down the other side.


Clip the tip and then turn, poking the tip out nicely. Press again, and don’t skip it this time. It would be a nice touch to topstitch those two edges if you had the time. Repeat for all 12 flags.

Now, looking only at your ‘girl’ or ‘boy’ side, arrange them in an order you like, remembering that there will be 6 to the left of the photo and 6 to the right, so balance the two sides nicely. Then flip the whole pile over and look at the other side to make sure it looks nice too. Set your flags aside, keeping them in order.



Cut 3 pieces of your quilt binding 5.5” long and one piece 7.5” long*.
*read ahead, you may want to cut it a little longer. Keep the big piece too, that's what all your flags will hang from.


To form the photo pocket, enclose a short edge of each vinyl piece in one of your short pieces (5.5") of bias binding and sew along the edge. Here’s the great thing – no need to fear sewing on vinyl, don’t get out your Teflon walking foot or tissue paper or anything else. Your presser foot will never touch the vinyl.


See? Here’s a picture of my presser foot, not touching the vinyl at all.

Now lay these pieces with the bound edges together, this will be the opening on the side where you slide the photos in and out. Then bind BOTH of the opposite short edges together in the remaining short piece of bias binding and sew. To be clear, you're enclosing two vinyl edges in one bias tape piece.


Lastly, enclose both bottom edges and sew.

I left raw edges; I don’t intend to ever wash the bunting, and the bias would not fray much anyway. If you don’t like this look, you can cut it a little longer than 7.5” and turn each raw edge inside before you sew it.

Now find the center of your long piece of bias binding and the center of your photo pocket. Enclose the top edge of both pieces of vinyl in the bias binding and sew it down.


You can stop here and pin all your flags in place if you want to. I didn’t. I just stopped as I approached the edge of the photo pocket with my needle down, opened up the binding, and tucked the next flag in place, then stopped again near the end of the flag and tucked in another. Because we are starting in the middle, begin with flag #7 in your pile and work to the end.



Then turn the bunting around and again, begin in the middle with flag #6 and work out to the other end. If you have enough binding, you can tuck the ends inside to finish them.

I added a grommet to each end because with 3 kids and a family who likes to celebrate everything I have a feeling we’ll be putting it up and taking it down quite a bit.


Or maybe we’ll just leave it up and change the pocket message from time to time.


I hope you enjoy this free tutorial. Feel free to link to it – tweet it, Facebook it, etc. but please don’t copy it or the photos in it in any form, or repost it on your own site or anyone else’s. You’re welcome to use it for personal use or for sale. Please come visit my instant download PDF pattern site www.tiedyedivapatterns.com for bunches and bunches of sewing pattern PDFs for kids, baby, home and more.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

As ye sew

Here I go again with bad sewing puns but "As ye sew shall ye reap" comes to mind after Sew Mama Sew's fabulous Giveaway Day. I was delighted to give my three-pack of patterns to Jenilyn who had the Open Back Baby Dress Pattern sewn up and blogged in no time!   You can see her darling Open Back Baby Dress on her blog here: http://gritsandgiggles.blogspot.com/2011/05/happy-memorial-day.html 

Then I was so very lucky to win a giveaway too!  Vicki at I Sew Crooked put together this dreamy little treasure pack that made me feel like it must be my birthday.


Our Grosso lavender is about ready for harvest and I can't wait to sew up some sachets with that gorgeous Moda charm pack, and that beautiful handmade pincushion is dying to help me out when I photograph my next PDF sewing pattern (did you see my newest?. The lovely scented soap, the pretty floss, oh, the pink tape measure (has she been spying in my sewing room? I LOVE pink!)! All wrapped up in a starry starry fabric with pretty ribbon, how wonderful is Vicki??

And she does not sew crooked. Check out her lovely quilts and more on her blog: http://www.isewcrooked.blogspot.com