Monday, July 21, 2014

Gathering Thick Layers by Hand




Gathering fabric is a useful skill, especially if you love ruffles as much as we do!  Modern sewing machines have made it pretty easy for us to gather ruffles, whether we have a basic sewing machine or a super fancy serger with a ruffle foot. Whichever method you normally use (or maybe you are just learning) I think it's a good idea for us all to know how to gather by hand as well. You never know when we might be stuck on a desert island with yards of ruffles to gather and no sewing machine in sight...  

Or more realistically for me, when I decide to layer three THICK ruffles and then realize I can't gather them all at once without breaking the threads. Oops.  


It has worked for me before but not this time. Those layers would NOT BUDGE.  I don't have a super heavy duty ruffle foot (if those even exist) but luckily I do know how to gather by hand and it is actually MUCH faster than you might think. So I grabbed my camera (of course) and turned my "problem" into a hand-gathering tutorial. Are you ready to learn? Some people actually prefer to gather by hand because the ruffles come out precisely even. This also works for gathering a skirt to sew onto a bodice. Here's how I gather by hand when I need to:


 If you are using more than one layer like I did, sew a basting stitch along the top edge to keep the layers together. 



Place the skirt inside the un-gathered ruffle, with right sides together. In the picture, my skirt is denim  on the inside and my ruffle is polka dots. Lay the skirt so its side seams are on the sides, as shown above.  With one hand, find the center of the ruffle and pinch it. 


With your second hand, find the center of the skirt and pinch it.  


Bring the two pinched edges together and pin them to each other at that place.  Our center points are now pinned. 


Now we will ignore one half of the skirt and focus on the other half.  Looking the section between the side edge and the pin we just marked, find the center of that section on the ruffle and pinch it.  Find the center of the skirt and pinch it. 


Again, bring the two pinched edges together and pin them in place.  Our left half is now divided into halves again.  


We will now divide each of those halves in half again by finding the center point on the ruffle and the center point on the skirt edge and bringing them together.   Repeat with all sections of the skirt, dividing in half over and over again until you are left with very small sections, or "gathers" in between pins.  

When you can no longer divide any of the sections in half, you are done gathering!  Check all around the skirt edge to make sure you didn't miss any. Then you're all ready to sew the gathered edge in place!


Perfect!  I like to topstitch after I attach the skirt or ruffles because it adds a professional finish and helps them lay nicely. 


So you're all set!  Last week I posted the tutorial for this Upcycled Ruffle Skirt too, if you'd like to know how to make the skirt itself. I could have gathered each ruffle separately but my daughter wanted it less poofy like this. Thank goodness for gathering by hand! 

Isn't it great to know that we have the skills to do these things by hand when we need to?  

Let's Create! ~ Kristen 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Recap

Happy Friday!  This week at CKC we had an exciting giveaway, an extremely popular guest tutorial, and a couple new releases that are different than anything we've designed before. Let's review to make sure you didn't miss any of it! 

New Releases



On Monday we released a new Tween Boys' pattern! Just like the younger version, Tween Brody's Baseball Tee is easy to sew, comfy for him to wear, and it can even be upcycled from Dad's t-shirts!  Your son will look great in Tween Brody's, whether at the game or for back-to-school. 



Christopher's Newsboy Cap is for boys of all ages and sizes! From newborn to adult large, this cap can be made as a stiff hat with interfacing or made more floppy for a traditional newsboy cap. And it is completely reversible!  (Don't tell the boys, but Christopher's is also adorable on girls!) Even if you've never sewn a hat before, you will love how easy this pattern makes it! 



Next we released two fabulous patterns that go perfectly together!  Layla's Pleated Top and Dress is a fun twirly dress with a pleated skirt that is adorable and eye-catching. Then if you choose, you can also pair it with Nala's Pleated Ruffle Pants for an over-the-top combination. The pants even have inseam pockets!



Look at these fun new looks we have for your Tween Girls!  First we have Wendy's Knit Yoga Skirt, which has a comfy yoga waistband with three skirt options - simple, tiered, and bubble.  Next is Brenna's Bubble Shorts, a big favorite in girl sizes and now tweens!  Then we have Amber's Tween Halter Top/Dress (my daughter loves it!) as well as Danielle's Cuffed Tween Shorts. Be sure to check out each one on the website for more info! 


Yesterday we released Blossom's Tab Shorts, the perfect addition to your girl's summer wardrobe! Blossom's has a ruffle waist, inseam pockets, and cute cuffs with button tab details. The pattern is on sale for 30% off until 7 pm est! 

On the Blog

 

Look at this adorable Retro Headband! If you want to learn how to make one, Leah Ann Gardner from Sweet Baby Lovins taught us how to sew them in this free tutorial on our blog



It's hot out and sunglasses are a must! For How-To Tuesday, you can learn how to make this cozy case for your glasses - it's even padded inside!



Congratulations to Tia Kluesner, our Fan of the Month for July! We can't get over how precious this photo is, and you definitely want to come read more about it on the blog. 



Now that you have tons of patterns and a great love for sewing, have you thought about selling your items? Check out our blog from yesterday - it is the latest entry in our Boutique Basics series. Come learn all about selling on Etsy!

Announcements



Congratulations to Alicia Jasper, the winner of our Stitch Box Monthly giveaway!




This week we started a new Sew-Along, of Cheyenne's Perfect Party Dress with the theme of Christmas in July.  We are a couple days into the action already, but you are welcome to join in any time and get a feel for how the Sew-Alongs work. It's fun to be working on the same pattern with sewing friends and there are even prizes for those who participate! Please come join us in the CKC Sew-Alongs group

Sales

 Now I get to introduce our Half-Off Friday patterns for today! (This is my favorite part.) 



First we have Brooklyn's Tiered Sundress, on sale for 50% off in Tweens, Women's, and Women's Plus sizes.  Brooklyn's has a shirred bodice and ruffled tiers, making it the perfect summer dress for you and your tween! 




Then our HOF pattern for Girls is Allegra's All-Purpose Pinafore Top.  Aside from being completely adorable, Allegra's has a unique bodice that allows it to be tied on the shoulders or around back as a halter. And look at those super cute optional pockets in the photos below!  Allegra's is perfect for summer is on sale for 50% off all day Friday.  



I think that covers everything! Thanks for another fabulous week with us at CKC. 

Let's Create! ~ Kristen

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Boutique Basics: Selling on Etsy

 
We see a lot of posts in our Facebook group asking for help in establishing or enhancing Etsy stores. We thought this would be a great topic for the next entry in our “Boutiques Basics” series! Click on the links to access the previous Boutique Basic posts if you want to catch up:

·         How to Price Products
·         How to Tag
·         Product Packaging


 
OPENING YOUR STORE
Etsy is very affordable to use as a platform for selling your products. There is no membership fee. You pay $0.20 for each listing per 4 months. Once you sell, Etsy takes a 3.5% transaction fee on the item's sale price.

So, let’s start at the very beginning- a very good place to start (anyone get that reference? Lol). Opening an Etsy store is not nearly as difficult as one would think! They really have it laid out well and walk you step-by-step through the process. Here is a good basic tutorial with links that will help you: https://www.etsy.com/help/article/246




SHOP NAME
You need a shop name- something catchy that is NOT already taken! That is a lot harder than one would think. It’s good not to pigeon hole yourself – think in broader terms just in case you want to expand your product later down the line. Try to keep spelling as simple and logical as possible so people can easily find you.


SHOP ANNOUNCEMENT
This is a good place to state your turn around time. It’s at the top of your store where many people look. When writing your Item Description, make sure to refer them here to find the current turn around time.
 
LISTING YOUR ITEMS
Now you are ready to start listing your items. This is the MOST important part of selling (after creating great products, of course). There are a few major points: photos, SEO, and pricing.


First of all, let’s discuss the photos of your items. We all know how important first impressions are, and this is the first (and perhaps only) impression you give of your business. You don’t want to spend hours researching the perfect fabric and pattern, preparing, and creating, only to be passed up because of your photo. Basically, you need to make sure you have good lighting, a clutter-free background, a clear picture, multiple angles, and good editing. That’s right; you can’t just finish sewing, plop it on a hanger, and take 3 quick shots. This step takes planning and timing. If you are going to shoot your product on a model (a dress on a girl, for example), take time to get accessories, fix her hair, explain to her what you are going to be doing and what you expect from her (bribery works well here!!), and most of all, make sure she is having fun!! Trading with a photographer or using a boutique modeling agency is always an option, if you want live shots but don't feel comfortable putting your own child in such a worldwide setting. Don't forget to include a watermark- unfortunately boutique photos are stolen all too often.  We have a few blogs explaining the more technical aspects of photography, including lighting and setting. “How to Take Great Photos” can be found here, “Photography Tips and Tricks” can be found here, and “What Makes a Good Boutique Picture” can be found here.


Next, let’s get into SEO- search engine optimization. Some people have gorgeous work and amazing photos, but they don’t have a lot of sales, and they can’t figure out why! One reason could be because they are not being found. Etsy is a HUGE marketplace with thousands of people trying to sell exactly what you are selling. You need to make sure that when someone searches for a “3t Christmas dress,” your listing pops up near the top. And the way you do that is by utilizing key phrases in key locations to make that happen.  I could talk on this topic for days (former librarian here!), but for now I’ll give you a brief overview and a couple of great resources.

The first place to concentrate on is your Item Title. This is limited to a set number of characters. Here is where I see a lot of errors. People want to put “New beautiful handmade dress for spring!” That is waaaaaayyyyy too generic. You need to think like your target market. What are they going to enter into the search field? They usually have something specific in mind, so they are going to use specific words. You need to do the same- describe your item. Something like, “Red and green Christmas halter dress for girls sizes 6 months, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6” is not very appealing, but guess what?? It WORKS. You are smooshing as many key words as you can in one little box. People are going to search by occasion, by size, by colors, by style, etc, and you’ve just covered it all.

The Item Description can be a little more lyrical, but again, you need to use as many key words as you can. The first 160 characters are the most important, as Etsy pulls from here to create your meta description. That basically means that search engines look more closely through those words to find good matches for searches. It’s important to make sure you repeat the words you used in the Item Title here in the Item Description. This repetition makes you look even more qualified to search engines. So, using the example given above, I would probably say something like, “It’s Christmas time, and every girl needs a special handmade red and green dress. This halter dress, available in sizes 6 months, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6,” and then I would go on to describe the dress. See how I repeated all of the same key words, just in a more conversational fashion?

Also here is where I enter size information. It’s always best for customers to make sure they are getting the right size, and the best way for them to do that is to measure. I list finished measurements provided in the pattern here- chest, waist, length, inseam, etc. This helps the customer figure out the correct size and hopefully prevents those “It doesn’t fit” messages! And if it doesn’t fit- it’s not your fault- you did what you could.

At the end of every Item Description I added information about my garments. “The designer cotton fabric is prewashed and dried with earth friendly products to prevent shrinkage. Hand washing is best, but you can wash with cold water in the gentle cycle. Dry flat. All seams are serged and top stitched. All items are handmade by me in my smoke free and pet free home.
Each item is made when ordered, so please see shop announcement for current turnaround time.
Thank you for looking, and I look forward to doing business with you soon!”

The last thing I am going to discuss is tags. In the tag box, you are going to enter the exact words (or short phrases) your target market would enter in the search bar. You only have 13, so choose wisely!! Also, it’s important not to use the same 13 words every time- switch it up to gain more customers. In my previous example, I would use Christmas, dress, halter, girls clothing, outfit, 6 months, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (all together as one term), red and green, Christmas dress, toddler Christmas, holiday, clothing, baby girl dress. Or something to those effects. Honestly, when I was selling, I would think of how I would search for that dress. For example, if I were a customer, I would search “Christmas dress.” So, I searched using those terms, and then I looked at the tags of the first 15 or so items that popped up. Find the tags they have in common, or ones that would work for your listing, and go from there!

Here are a couple of great resources on SEOs:

 GETTING PAID
Whether you are selling on Etsy, Facebook, or just through friends, DO NOT START UNTIL YOU ARE PAID!! Don’t start sewing, don’t order fabrics, don’t put them in your schedule. On Etsy you can choose to be paid through direct checkout, PayPal, and/or check or money order. I personally left all 3 as options to bring in more buyers. However, I put in my shop policies that I would not start on an item until the echeck has cleared.

GRAPHICS
You need to create, or have created for you, a shop banner and avatar. I personally paid someone to do this- there are Etsy shops set up for graphic designers to sell these items. You need something professional and cohesive. I also used this image as part of my business card.

SHOP POLICIES
Unfortunately, shop policies are often overlooked, but this is a VERY important part of your business. Here you can lay out your position on many things so that if there is ever a question, the information was provided in black and white before the purchase was made.

Payment Policy: Obviously this is where you spell out what forms of payment you take. I also explained how customers can use Paypal without an account. Here is also where I stated that items paid by check or money order would not be started until the payment cleared.

Shipping Policy: Here is where you spell out what type of shipping you use. For example, “Most orders are shipped via USPS First Class Mail with delivery confirmation which usually arrives within 2-5 days, U.S. orders only, holidays not included.
I am NOT responsible for packages that are lost, stolen or delayed if you have not contacted me to purchase shipping insurance prior to paying.

I ship to the address listed on your PayPal account so please make sure your shipping address on your PayPal account is correct before placing an order. Your order may be delayed if your account address is different. I cannot be held responsible if your order has been shipped to the wrong address due to your PayPal address being incorrect.


International buyers- please be aware that there are quite often custom fees and taxes; you are solely responsible for these charges.
RUSH ORDERS: Please contact me PRIOR to purchase if you require a rush order. A custom listing will be setup to include all rush fees. The custom listing will include the requested need date, and orders will be shipped in time to be delivered ON the requested need date. Please note that I am not responsible for USPS mail delays.

Refund Policy: Here is where you need to think long and hard. There is no right or wrong policy, and honestly I worked with my (few) customers who brought up a refund. But this is what I stated in mine: “You are a valued customer at CocosCuteCreations, and I want you to be happy with your purchase. If for some reason you are not satisfied, please let me know, and I will work with you to find a solution. There are no refunds or exchanges with personalized or custom items unless there is a defect or a mistake made on my part.
Return requests are accepted within 3 days of delivered shipment. I will not take return requests after this time. Items must be returned within 5 days of request and must arrive in the same condition in which they were received. I will refund the cost of the item minus shipping charges. Return shipping is the responsibility of the customer.

If there is a defect or mistake on my part, I will pay for you to ship it back and refund you 100% or send you a correct item, based on your preference.”
Additional Information: This is where I explained how to correctly measure different body parts for the correct fit.

RUNNING YOUR STORE

As with selling boutique clothing anywhere, make sure you are legally compliant. You can start at www.cpsc.gov/gettingstarted. You can also find a helpful overview of resources at www.cpsc.gov/desktopguide (pdf).  Here is information for being compliant with children's products: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpc. And finally, here's a great Etsy team to join to help you learn more about these topics: https://www.etsy.com/teams/6861/keeping-up-with-cpsia


Once you have everything set up, it’s time to sell!! There are things you can do to help gain customers. First of all, the more items you have listed, the more ways there are for people to find you! Often times customers don’t purchase the outfit that brought them into your store. The more listings you have, the more searches you pop up in, so give yourself a fighting change by offering as many items as you can. In the beginning I would take the profit I made from one transaction to purchase fabric for the next listing.

Secondly- be patient! Yes, you want to have great sales and offer many items, but both of these take time. I read somewhere that a successful business usually takes a year before it starts making money! Hopefully it won’t take this long, but it is a long process when you are using any income to build your store. The good news is that hopefully you are sewing because you love it, so you’re still having fun through this period!!


When listing new items or renewing items, timing is important. At the bottom of the Etsy homepage there is a constantly changing "Recently Listed Items" banner. Customer are able to look at more recent listings by clicking the "see more" button. Spread your listings out to increase your chances of being seen by different people here. Also try to list items during peak shopping times- generally early morning, around lunchtime, and after the kids are in bed.
We discussed earlier how important SEOs are for being found and being in the top of the searches. Another way to be at the top of searches is to renew your listings. It seems that the newer an item is, the higher up in the Etsy search result it is placed. This is great when you are selling, as you renew an item once it’s purchased. If you are not selling, it can be a good idea to renew listings yourself just to keep them more relevant according to Etsy.
Now that you are up and running, you need to market! You can market through Etsy using Teams. Join a few teams and become active with them! Often times people who make handmade also buy handmade, or they know lots of people who do. Make a Facebook page for your business- we have a blog coming soon about that. Utilize Twitter; get a blog; use Instagram and GooglePlus. You can also go to local craft fairs, boutiques, etc.
Finally, give OUTSTANDING customer service. Always. Be quick to answer, flexible, and understanding. Be professional at all times- proofread what you write and be as nice as you can be, even when customers are not.

QUESTIONS

Q #1: How do you get a buyer to leave positive feedback?
Well, you can’t make a buyer do this, but there are ways to suggest it. Some new buyers don’t realize that leaving feedback is an option, while other buyers just don’t take the time to do it.  Under Info&Appearance, there is a place to leave a Message to Buyers. This is sent to them directly after they make the purchase. Here I would reiterate my current turn around time. I would also thank the customer for their purchase, and state that if they enjoy their item, I always appreciate positive feedback! Another great place to suggest positive feedback is in your thank you card. I sent a personal thank you card and business cards with each item. I would follow up on any conversations we had about this order, thank them, and again ask for positive feedback if they enjoy their item.  
 
Q#2: How do you figure shipping on an Item of unknown weight. What about shipping multiple items. How can you figure that cost?

I personally shipped items in a polymailer with first class as a default. Poly mailers are pretty inexpensive and water and puncture resistant- you can find good deals on EBay. In this manner a shipping scale is a MUST! Make your sample, and package it up. Stick it on the scale to see how much it weighs. Then go to the USPS Web site to figure cost of shipping! I usually give a half price discount for each item after one. So if one is going to cost $5 to ship, I charge $2-3 for each item after that. Not the most technical way, but it worked for me! Mailing this way enables you to keep the price of shipping down for your customer.
Other people only ship with Flat Rate poly bubble mailers. These are free to you- just order them online from usps.com, and the post office will deliver them to you. This is a little more expensive for your customer, but there is no guess work at the shipping cost!

Q#3: How do you do coupon codes? Like if you want to give a good customer a one time 20% off discount. How does that work?

Here’s a great article on that! https://www.etsy.com/help/article/349


Hope you enjoyed this installment in Boutique Basics!! If you have any questions on selling through Etsy, please don't hesitate to email us createkidscouture@gmail.com


Happy sewing (and selling!!)
Courtney

 

 

 

Stitch Box Winner!

Thank you to everyone who entered our Stitch Box Monthly Giveaway!  The winner has been chosen randomly and it's time to announce the lucky new owner of a Stitch Box!  Drumroll please...



****

The winner is Alicia Jasper!  Congratulations!  Please email us to claim your prize: ckckristen@gmail.com

****



The great news is that we can all still order from Stitch Box Monthly using the coupon code "ckcstitchbox" to get 10% off our first order!  I truly LOVED receiving my Stitch Box in the mail:  High quality fabric, patterns from various designers, and all sorts of cool little gadgets that I didn't even know I wanted! We can subscribe to one month, three months, six months, or even a year at a time. (Remember, a 10% discount goes a lot farther on larger amounts!)  Have some fun browsing their website to see what has been offered in the past and I'm pretty sure you'll fall in love. 

I want to say one more time, thank you to Stitch Box Monthly for donating this prize for our readers! It's been fun! 

I hope you all stay tuned because a little bit later today we're going to have a fabulous and informative post from Courtney on how to succeed as a boutique on Etsy! I personally can't wait to read it.

Let's Create! ~ Kristen 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Fan of the Month: Tia Kluesner


Congratulations to Tia Kluesner, our CKC Fan of the Month for July!  

I can't wait to show you the stunning project she put together for her little niece. 


Isn't this amazing?!  Baby Girl is wearing Sadie's Ruffled Diaper Cover and it looks oh-so-precious. The petite bed, gorgeous colors, and whimsical clothesline make the photo breathtaking.  But the sweetness doesn't stop there. I asked Tia to tell us a little about how this photo came to be.  Here's what she had to say: 

"My sister-in-law asked if I could make a ruffled diaper cover for newborn pictures when she had her baby, and she was describing the idea with a bed and clothesline behind. I thought, how cute would it would be to have coordinating outfits ranging in size from NB to 3T and she could take pictures every year with the baby wearing the clothes for that year and the rest hanging in the background. It's another way to show a child growing. So she picked out her fabrics and I made all the clothes. I thought the pictures turned out amazing!  My brother-in-law, Ryan Pendleton, took them. He does awesome work, mostly just for fun."



Is it just me, or is this photo loaded with happiness?  I've never met this baby (Tia's niece) but I think I could hang this on my wall and stare at it every single day. Thank you, Tia, for sharing her with us! 

As our Fan of the Month, I asked Tia to tell a little about herself and her sewing hobby and favorite patterns.

"I have been sewing with CKC patterns for over a year now. My first were the dresses my daughters are wearing on my business cover photo on Facebook, the Phoebe's.  I made them for our vacation to Michigan and got so many compliments.  As far as my favorite pattern, that's hard because I have so many! I love thh Paris I made for my youngest for Easter and the Yvette I modified for my oldest daughter. For boys I just made my son some superhero Xavier shorts and my newest nephew is all decked out in Greg's Knit Shorts in woven.  I just love how easy and simple CKC patterns come together. I've never questioned their instructions, which says a lot about how well put together they are and thought out when written." 

Thank you, Tia!  I had to check out the Greg's shorts she mentioned.  Here they are:


So cute!  And this is just one of her Greg's sets. She also has pirates, elephants, whales, anchors, etc. They're just so adorable. As fellow sewing fans, I think we can all appreciate Tia's amazing work. If you'd like to see more of her creations, visit Tia at her Facebook page, A LOT of ATTITUDE and show her some love!


Ahhh. I just can't get enough. Thank you, Tia. And congratulations on being our Fan of the Month for July.

Let's Create! ~ Kristen 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

How To Tuesday: Sunglass Case

My kids know the drill. We scramble to get ready, throw on our shoes, and then everyone piles into the car, hoping that we can make it to our destination on time. But then, hold on!  Mom has to run back into the house to get her sunglasses. 

It happens every time! And I know what you're thinking. "Why don't you just leave your sunglasses in the car?"  I don't have a good answer for that. I guess that when I get home all I can think about is getting my monkeys back into the house.  But now I *think* I have a solution!  



Today Morgan is teaching us how to make this cozy sunglasses case! Perfect for ME!  Surely if I make a really cute one for myself using my favorite fabric, I will see it sitting there in the car and won't be able to resist putting my sunglasses in it before I leave. Maybe? Another great feature of this glasses case is that it is lined with fusible fleece so it can keep them a little safer to throw into your purse or diaper bag. Let's begin! Here's Morgan:


To start you will need 3 inches of 1/4" elastic, a button, two scraps of 8"x 8" fabric and one piece of fusible fleece that is also 8"x 8". 



First, fuse your fleece to one of your pieces of fabric, as shown below. 


Next with your fused fabric facing right side up, fold and pin your elastic 3" in from the edge, as shown below. 


Now you lay your other piece of fabric on top (right sides together) and sew along all four sides, leaving a 1" gap where you start. 


Clip your corners and turn right side out. 


Then fold in half and top stitch 1/8" from the edge as shown below. 


Last of all, you just need to sew on the button where the elastic will loop over it. And just like that, you're done!

Now you have a super cute and comfy place for your sunglasses to hang out while you're not using them. 

Let's Create! ~ Kristen

Monday, July 14, 2014

Retro Headband Tutorial


When I first saw the picture above I noticed three things:

 #1 A super adorable baby. Am I right? 
#2 The cutest little ruffle bum outfit ever. 
 #3 Her super precious retro headband. So cute!! 

And that's when I knew I had to learn how to make that headband asap! 


 This outfit and headband (and baby, in fact) were all made by Leah Ann Gardner from Sweet Baby Lovins. Leah is a tester for CKC's baby clothing and today she has agreed to teach us all how to make a retro headband. Isn't she wonderful?!  Here is Leah with today's tutorial: 


Retro Headband Tutorial 

 

Materials list 
Fabric (quilter's cotton recommended) 
Matching thread 
5/8" Fold over elastic 
Scissors 
Pins 
Iron 
Ruler 

* The seam allowance when sewing will be 1/4"* 


Step 1: First print out the pattern pieces. Cut out the bow piece and the headband piece in 
the size needed. 


Step 2: Cut 2 headband pieces and 2 bow pieces out of your fabric. When cutting, make 
sure the pattern piece is placed on the fold of the fabric. 




Step 3: Cut a 3.5" piece of elastic and set aside. 

Step 4: Lay one of the headband pieces we cut out right side up. Place your second 
headband piece on top of the first with the right side facing down. Pin in place and sew 
along both of the long edges as indicated in black below. 


Step 5: Take one bow piece and lay it right side up. Place your second bow piece right 
side down on top of the first and pin in place, as shown below.  


You'll now sew along the entire edge of the 
bow except for a 1" section in the center, as shown below. You'll need this 1" opening to turn the bow right side out. Now clip the curves of the bow. 


Step 6: Using a dowel or chopstick turn your headband piece right side out and iron. 
You'll then take the headband piece and turn both ends in 1/4" and iron to set. 


Step 7: Using a dowel or chopstick turn your bow piece right side out and iron. You can 
now topstitch the bow. This step is optional. If you choose to not topstitch you'll still 
need to sew the 1" opening closed. Simply sew 1/8 from the edge along the opening, as shown below. 
Your stitching will mostly be hidden when we tie the bow. 


Step 8: Now take the headband and insert 1/2" of the fold over elastic into one end of the 
headband and pin in place. Repeat with the other end. (Fold over elastic has a right side 
and a wrong side. Make sure you have both the headband and the fold over elastic right 
sides up.) You'll now have one continuous loop. 





Step 9: You can now topstitch around the entire headband. (I recommend sewing down 
the ends twice where the elastic is to make sure it's secure.) Topstitching is optional here also. If you prefer, you can sew only along the short ends were the elastic is.


Step 10: Now you can tie your bow around the headband. Straighten out the headband if 
it becomes twisted when you tie on your bow. 




Now you have your retro headband! 




Thank you so much, Leah, for sharing your unique tutorial with us! 

Don't forget to go over and show Leah some love at Sweet Baby Lovins. She sells adorable baby and toddler accessories - including several styles I've never seen before.  

Before we go I want to show you some more headbands that our other testers have made using Leah's tutorial. We have been having way too much fun the past few days (they fit women too) and now it's your turn.  

Let's Create! ~ Kristen