Thursday, December 30, 2010

Layered Alumni Shaped Cake

For my Dad's birthday I made him a University of Washington Cake. And for my brother's birthday a month latter the same cake was requested again. The second time around it turned out even more beautiful than the first time.

Here is how I did it. You can do this with just about any simple shape

  1. mix your cakes. I made 2 cake mixes, each one baked separately in a 13"x 9" pan.
  2. When you fill the cake pans with batter, put some wax paper down on the bottom of the pan to help you get the cake out when it is done and to minimize crumbs when decorating.


  1. Find the school's logo in google images (one of my favorite places to find simple pictures)
  2. Copy and paste it into a word document.
  3. Move the margins out on the document to go as wide as the program will allow. (a sheet of paper is about the same size as a large rectangular cake pan.)
  4. Enlarge the image to be as big as possible on the page while keeping the proportions the same as the original (Just hold down the shift key while dragging out the corner of the picture.) Don't worry if the image gets blurry, you just need the basic shapes.
  5. Cut out the outline of the shape as a block. This is going to be the shape of your cake. (If there are going to be some crevices that could be difficult to decorate, don't cut them out. If you look at my photo, I left a triangle at the bottom and 2 sections at the top that I could have cut out, but left them in for easy decorating and structural support.)


  1. Remove the cakes from the oven when they are done cooking and let the cakes rest for about 10 minutes on a cooling rack.
  2. Remove cakes from pans and place on cooling racks with the top up.
  3. With a long bread knife cut the curved top off of the cakes making a flat surface.
  4. Allow cakes to cool completely


  1. If getting the right color for your logo is tricky you might not want to color it all at once. It took about one batch of frosting to do my crumb coat and about 1/2 a batch of frosting to do my top coat. So I suggest that you make only 1 batch at a time. that way if you mess up with your crumb coat of frosting you can try again from scratch for your top coat.
  2. To make my UW purple I used my Wilton gel tub food coloring. a huge toothpick full of violet, a fair size amount of royal blue on a tooth pick and a small amount of burgundy on a toothpick.
  3. For the golden yellow i used mostly yellow with a small amount of brown.


  1. Once the cakes are cooled, place one cake in the center of your cake plate (I just covered one of those cookie sheets without sides with foil for my cake plate.)
  2. cover the top of the cake with Nutella, Jam, or pudding. Just anything you think is yummy as a filling in cake.
  3. Place the other cake, crumb side down, on top of the nutella. Placing the crumb side, or the side I cut the top off of, down always helps to reduce the crumb problem while decorating. I needed a second set of hands to help me for this step. If the cake breaks, don't worry. Just put the pieces where they belong and the filling should help it stay in place.
  4. Put the cake in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
  5. Take out of freezer and place template on top of cake. Using your bread knife. cut off all the extra cake, not covered by the template.


  1. Tear off strips of wax paper and tuck under the edges of the cake on all sides. This will keep your cake plate clean until you are ready to present the cake.
  2. Do your crumb coat of frosting, spreading the base color of frosting over the whole cake. cover every single piece of cake with frosting. don't worry if crumbs start to come up.
  3. Put cake back in freezer for 20 minutes
  4. Apply your top coat of frosting. This is the one you want to have looking very smooth and without crumbs. Don't worry too much about the corners where the sides meet the top and where the sides meet the cake plate because those will be covered with the piping
  5. Go back to your template and cut out all of the details that might have been missed the first time.
  6. Place the template on the cake and trace with a toothpick the design you want to have on the cake.
  7. Prepare a piping bag with a star tip for the edging and a contrasting color of icing inside.
  8. Pipe along the top and bottom edges and any other places that you traced on with your toothpick.

some other things I learned from my 2 different attempts with this cake.

  • I'd rather make 2 cakes and put a lot of the un-needed cake in the garbage than try to save it and piece the top layer out of leftovers from the bottom. That might work good with a different shape of cake, but when I tried it on this one the top layer just kept drooping over the edges and pulling away from the center.
  • Next time I will be more patient when I finally get to piping and have my seashell edging look more uniform.
  • Maybe find some sprinkles or something to put in the void spaces on the top of the cake.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Pretend Eye Shadow and Lip Stick Toys

Last minute stocking stuffers from Santa.

This year Santa made a pretend make up set for my oldest because everything Santa found on-line or in stores was real make up and I told Santa I didn't want to deal with the mess of real make-up with a 4 year old. Here's how Santa did it
Pretend Eye shadow

Items needed
  • Eye make-up compact
  • nail polish (as many colors as sections in the eye shadow compact)
  • skewer
  1. Use the skewer or something pointed to empty all the eye Shadow out of the compact.
  2. Open the nail polish and pour it into the empty sections in the compact. Use a different color of nail polish for each section.
  3. Let it dry in a safe place over night. If there are any bumps on the bottom of the compartments they will show when the polish dries. but I didn't think that was a big deal.

Pretend Lip Stick

Items needed

  • A skewer
  • A Q-Tip or Toilet Paper
  • A stick of lipstick
  • A cutting tool for the dowel
  • A sanding tool for the dowel (A file, sand paper...)
  • Short wooden dowel (a little bit smaller diameter than the stick of lipstick.
  • Nail Polish
  • Hot glue
  • Hot glue gun
  • A foam block or something to stick the dowel in to allow it to dry


  1. Empty all the lipstick out of your lipstick tube with the skewer and clean up any remaining lip stick from the walls of the tube with a Q-Tip or tissue paper.
  2. Cut your wooden dowel to be approximately the size of your lipstick tube when the lid is on
  3. Sand down one of the tips at about a 45 degree angle to make it look like a new stick of lip stick. Soften the edges with the sanding tool
  4. Paint the pointed end of the dowel with the nail polish. Allow to dry in the foam block and do a second coat. Allow to dry in the foam block completely. (Photo is of the dowel painted with only 1 coat.)
  5. Place in empty lipstick tube and determine how much needs to be cut off the bottom for the lipstick to fit with the lid on. Cut off the extra inches of the dowel.
  6. make sure that the lipstick container is turned all the way down to it's lowest position. Put hot glue on the bottom and all around the sides of the base. (Not too much because you don't want it to squeeze out the top.) Quickly put the dowel into the tube and let the glue set with the dowel pointing as straight as possible.
  7. Make sure that the lid fits and the lipstick moves up and down freely.

I think the great thing about this project is that you probably all ready have most, if not all, of the items in your home or something that can substitute them. So it's sort of a free project.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Barbie clothes

It's been SO long since I've finished a project. I've been doing lots of embroidery since the summer, but after I finished the embroidery I didn't make them into the blankets, so I'll hold off on posting those until they are done and have a home. But here is my most recent finished project.
My Mom gave a barbie for a giving tree gift this year and I helped her to make some barbie clothes to go with it. I would not recommend any of the patterns that I used because I ended up making changes to them, or not liking how they were un-altered.

But since my girls have gotten several barbies as gifts and are getting old enough to put clothes on them, I think I am going to try and make some more clothes for them, If anyone finds some free barbie clothing patterns on line let me know. I've got TONS of scraps of fabric that would be great for barbie clothes.

Here are some of the patterns I found and hope to try soon
Dress tutorials for many movie characters found through all crafts
Belle styled ball gown by Craftiness is not optional on U create
Cap sleeve shirt on craftiness is not optional
Froufy skirt on Craftiness is not optional
Knit top on craftiness is not optional (This one is a lot like the one I tried but it looks like it fits the barbie MUCH better)
Socks in to knit barbie clothes found through all crafts
Evening gown with train on Miss B Couture
PJ's on Miss B Couture
Crochet wedding dress and bridesmaid dress on do fun
Knit valentine dress found through all crafts
Miniature printable patterns like pizza boxes and other accessories for a barbie house.

Friday, September 24, 2010

supper hero cookies

While my brother was in town we made super hero cookies. They were cute.

You don't have to get cookie cutters in order to make new cookie shapes, just find images on the computer that you like and pint them out. (Simple shapes are the easiest.) Cut it out of the paper and then place it on the dough and cut it out with a paring knife.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sloppy Joes

Another recipe that my husband requested I get from his mom. It is a quick family favorite now.

1 lb ground beef

1 can baked beans/pork and beans

1/4 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp pepper

  1. Brown ground beef and drain.

  2. Add remaining ingredients, stir and cook for about 5 minutes and serve with hamburger buns.

My Taco Meat

A few years ago I found out that my mother-in-law didn't use a seasoning packet when she makes tacos. So I got the recipe and have since adapted it to our families likes

1 lb ground beef or ground bison meat
1/4 cup dry onion flakes
1/2 cup of Salsa
2 tsp garlic powder or 2 cloves garlic crushed
1/4 tsp chili powder
pinch of pepper
  1. Brown meat with dry onions. Drain off fats.

  2. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until the extra juices from the salsa cook out.
We love these left overs. We use them to make goulash, quesadillas, or just more tacos/burritos another day.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Rice Goolash

We have a family story about my grandma making goulash for my grandpa when they were newly married that has lead to a few more funny family stories. So when Sam and I were first married I looked up a goulash recipe and tried it out. We really liked it, but the noodles near the top didn't get cooked right and ended up being too crunchy. So I began improvising with the recipe and adapted it over the years. It's one of my favorite recipes to use when I have a bunch of left overs in the fridge.


1 cup taco meat

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

2 cups brown rice

1 cup frozen corn

1 cup spaghetti sauce

Mix everything together. Sprinkle with any extra cheese. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.


  • If you are using left over rice, you will want to break the rice up with a spoon or your hands before you add it to the other ingredients.
  • If your corn is stuck together, then put it in a strainer under running water and let the water break it up for you, then it will be easy to mix.
  • If I don't have any extra taco meat, I like to use frozen meatballs. You can put six at a time in the microwave for 1 minute to de-thaw them. Other wise it would take a long time to cook them in the oven. Or if you want to go vegetarian, add a can of beans (rinsed and drained.) If you are not using the taco meat you will need to add some extra seasoning. So either use a spicy spaghetti sauce, or add some of the seasonings that are in the taco meat recipe when you are mixing all the ingredients together.

Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

Birthday cookie recipes

For my daughter's birthday party this year we asked people not to bring gifts, but to bring cookies. Everyone brought 3 dozen cookies, they all took a few of each kind home. Here are the cookie recipes that were at the party.
1 cup butter
1 but brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 cups oatmeal
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

coast Gaurd Cookies

a man at church passed away last week and I was asked to bring some treats for the services. Since my Grandpa just passed away and I was not able to attend any of the services I was excited to help. Aparently he served in the US Coast Gaurd, so I looked up the symbol for the coast gaurd

And did my best to turn it into a cookie. Now that I'm looking at them side by side, I see that my lines are slanted in the wrong direction. Oops!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

School clothes for Gwen

I've been trying to find some school clothes for Gwen. As she is getting older she is running out of stuff in my "grow into" box. I guess I need to start searching the clearance racks at the end of the season more and buy for the next size. Anyway, I've been overwhelmed by the cost of buying a bunch of full price/"sale" clothes all at once. She REALLY wanted a polka dot dress and polka dot shoes. So I found both of them and I don't think they will look to silly together. Since she is SO into wearing dresses right now, I also got her some tights so she won't get too cold on the walk to school and on the playground. I figured I should make her some more dresses. Here is the pattern I got New Look 6639 I used some pre-embroidered fabric I could in the denim department. The fabric is black, and feels like stretchy denim with bunches of cherries sewn onto it. Here is how it turned out, with the shoes she wanted.
I think it will look great with a red or a white t shirt and black tights. The pattern was easy to follow. I don't think I actually read anything, I just looked at the pictures next to each written instruction and was able to figure it out. It also has an option for sewing the dress with 6 square pieces making up the front panel. I think I will try making a denim dress out of some old jeans with holes in them next. (If we didn't toss them out already :)
Things to remember for next time

  • If you add the ruffle instead of hemming like normal it is long enough to be a dress, otherwise you will need to wear it as a tunic top with leggings.
  • The fabric I used to make the ruffle was some left over silky blanket binding. but as I was sewing it the binding got caught in the feed dogs on my sewing machine and snagged a little bit, so I have a feeling that it will get ruined quickly on the playground and in the washing machine by Velcro. When that happens I'll just remove it and add a red cotton ruffle.
  • The button holes were not as bad as I thought they would be. I did them by hand with embroidery thread and that gave me SO MUCH more control than trying to do it on the sewing machine. I'm interested to see how they stand up to being put through the washing machine.
  • I'm not sure if I made a size too big or if I just needed to fit it to Gwen before I sewed the side seems up, but I think that it would be better if I cinched the elastic to be a little bit tighter in the back.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Honey Butter Frosting

Note to Self

Dear Bri,
Today I used some left over royal icing for drizzling over some spritz cookies. (The frosting was made with honey instead of corn syrup) To soften the flavor of the frosting, I added some butter to it. IT WAS SO GOOD!!! I Must make a honey butter frosting recipe to share. It will probably be amazing, especially on any cookie or cake with cinnamon. I wonder if the existing cookies will last until the morning?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Wedding cakes you can make/ Nutella Cake

A few months ago I got this book from the Library and I LOVE it. It's Wedding cakes you can make by Dede Wilson. And it is great. The cakes really do seem do-able and beautiful.
I attempted one on Sunday when we had company over and it turned out great. It was my first time doing tiers. I skipped the cake boards and dowels just because it was so small. Next time I will probably get them. It is obviously not as beautiful as the ones done by professionals, but I was proud of it for a first timer.

I took a few short cuts,
  • I make the cake from a box and not from scratch
  • I made the top tier with a large cookie cutter. I cut it out of the bottom tier and filled the whole with a foil wrapped can of tuna to keep the cake from falling.

Some of my problems/things to change for next time:

  • because of the hole in the center, the bottom layers all broke into pieces and I had to piece them back together. That is why the sides of the bottom layer are so slanted.
  • There are chocolate covered hazelnuts around the edges, but I think that we could come up with something better. this is because the Hazel nuts were expensive and didn't taste all that amazing to me. I'd say replace them with Chocolate covered raisins because I LOVE them. But I think they are too small to make an impact on such a large cake.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Orange Sauce Chicken

I am not normally a fan of asian food, but every once in a while I am put in a tight spot and have to eat it. I ate this at a church lunch'n last year and LOVED it. I laughed really hard when I found out it was something I always claim to not like. here is the original recipe. They changed it just a little by adding 1 cup of craisins when the sauce was done. (The recipe is BIG, so you'll probably want to cut it in 1/2 and only add 1/2 a cup of craisins.)

Monday, July 19, 2010

camping books

Last year I took the teenage girls at church out camping for a week. Luckily I am not in charge of that this year (I twas SO fun, but lots of work) However, we are going to go camping with my parent's, siblings and nephews in august and realized that there were some books I wanted to post about so I didn't forget how wonderful they were.
this first one is the BEST book about dutch Oven cooking that I found. (And I got A LOT from the library to figure out how to feed those girls.) The thing that I liked about it the most was that each recipe not only said how many briquettes needed to be used, but it broke it down to how many needed to be on the top and how many needed to be on the bottom, so I didn't have to figure out the separation in my head. I also really like the informational section.

The roughing it easy Series was also a good read. Dian Thomas has several books about camping, backyard entertaining and recipes for outdoor cooking. they are worth checking out.

Finally, the other book in the gazillion I searched though was Cooking for Crowds for dummies. It had a one or two great charts that helped you decide how much food you will need depending on the number of guests you have.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

tablecloth sign

My brother-in-law's wedding was this past week and we had a great time. I didn't end up making the flower girl dresses because, like most events, plans continually change. So we focused our energy and time on other details. My tasked changed to included yard work for a garden wedding, and this sign. It was simple and easy to do. Here's how to do it.
What you will need:
  • 1 large red rectangular plastic tablecloth from the Dollar store or a party supply store.
  • 3 garlands of flowers or some other item to add visual interest to the sign.
  • LOTS of push pins
  • permanent marker (I used black)
  • printer, computer and paper so you don't have to free hand the lettering.

How I did it:

  1. Write your message out in a word document and experiment with the font.
  2. Make a text box as big as the page, bigger if possible and raise the size of the font to be as big as the page. Don't worry if the whole word fits, just make sure that the individual letters will fit from top to bottom.
  3. Print out the letters, then tape them into words.
  4. Figure out what word you want to have in the center of the sign. Start with that and work out. Place the word under the tablecloth and trace over it with the marker. Fill in any gaps. Continue with each word.
  5. When hanging the sign, fold over about and inch at the edge of the tablecloth so it has double thickness before you push in the pins. this will help to prevent the thin plastic from tearing.
  6. Once the sign is hung, use the remaining push pins to place the flower garlands around the upper edges.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Stockings for the troops

My congregation's Releif Society has been joining up with a group called Soldiers Angels to help make this next Christmas (Ya, I know it's quite a ways away.) a great one for deployed troops. Last week I tried to go to the church building to sew some stockings. Maggie wasn't having it and I eventually had to leave with her crying with a few scraps of fabric that I had gotten cut out. After I put the girls to sleep I make the stockings and used the fabric I brought home as a template to make some more stockings with some of my own fabric. I tried to make all the stockings a little diffrent. It was fun and I look forward to making some more.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Pizza Night book Review & Recipes

I've decided that the best way for me to stay on top of things around the house is to have a really good schedule. Part of that is meal planning. And we have tried several times to come up with a good rotation of monthly menus, but we always get off track and drop the ball. So now we do just a weekly menu rotation. And Monday night is Pizza night. So when I found a pizza cook book I was excited to think that this rotation might last a little longer if we try some new types of pizza regularly instead of making the same old kind each week. The book is called PIZZA NIGHT; Top it, stuff it, twist it- The easy way to go with refrigerated dough. All the recipes use a refrigerated Pillsbury dough, but you can make your own if you want. they all seem simple and sort of dummy proof. It's great for us because the point of our pizza night is so we don't have a lot of prep time and so the kids can help us making it more of a family night.
The first recipe we tried was for mini pizzas using biscuit dough instead of pizza dough. I thought it was great because I have a good baking powder biscuit recipe that I like and we don't get stuck with leftovers. If we make a whole pizza, we always have leftovers and when Sam is not around, no body eats them. at first I was worried that it would just taste wrong to not have real pizza dough, but we enjoyed them and will make them the next time Sam is not home on Pizza night.
The next recipe we tried was called Fruity almond Dessert Pizza. The recipe can be found here.
Yes it was good, and yes, we want to make it again! We left the almonds out because we didn't have any. At first glance, I thought that we might need to add icing like on Little Cesar's dessert pizza, but it is just right the way it is. I hope you enjoy it too.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Cheerios cookbook review

I went into a big lots on Tuesday and felt like a kid in a candy store. It was the first time I had been in a store like that in a long time. (Living in the middle of the desert for 2 years sort of does that to a person.) They had a bunch of books for $2, $3, and $5. I got a few recipe books and will be trying them out here. This recipe is from the cheerios cookbook. I liked the cookbook. It was kid friendly with lots of recipes and some craft projects. I thought that the crafts were sort of predictable, but there were a handful of recipes that got me excited.

Today we tried Honey Nut Stacks of Snacks.

They were SO good. Personally, I like almost anything with brown sugar, butter and cinnamon. It was yummy to snack all along the road to completion. It uses natural ingredients (Brown Sugar, butter, cheerios, oatmeal, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.) It is obviously still a dessert, but I like to know what I'm eating and that I am eating some good stuff along with the sugar. We will certainly be making this one again, but will probably cut the recipe in 1/2 or 1/4 if we don't have anyone to share it with :)

The recipe can be found at the Betty Crocker Website Here

We have also tried the Roly Poly PB-Chocolate Balls that can be found here

They have potential, but the recipe needs to be tweaked a bit. I think that they would be better if there was less of the peanut butter/syrup/powder sugar mixture. This could be accomplished by adding extra stuff to the mixture, like more cheerios, or raisins.

Next time I plan to still follow the recipe directions for the chocolate, but use the following ingredients/ratios for the peanut butter balls.

2/3 cup Peanut Butter

1/3 cup powder sugar

1/3 cup honey

2 cups cheerios

1/2 cup raisins

**update** 4/14/2011

this week we made 2 new recipes from the cheerios book. we liked them both and they were easy to make. PB-Chocolate Bars on Cars and Caramel Crispies. I liked the PB- Chocolate Bars best, but Sam loved the caramel crispies the best. They were both delicious and we might just make them again. Now I feel like I've cooked everything I'm interested in, so I will probably put the book into my donation box.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ultimate full coverage Bib/Smock

This is absolutely the BEST bib in my book. I can use it on the kids for at least all three meals instead of having to get a new bib for every meal. I call it a FULL COVERAGE bib because it keeps the neckline of their clothes clean, and it is long enough to cover their lap. and it wraps around the sides so everything but the sleeves are covered. I use a really heavy denim-like material that I hunt for in JoAnn's clearance fabric section. I normally find it for $1 or $2 a yard. My Mom made the pattern and shared it with me a few years ago.

This is a template you can use to make your own pattern. You can copy, paste and print it. It's proportions should be 8.5" x 11".
What you will need-
  • 3/4 of a yard denim-like heavy fabric
  • matching thread
  • your sewing machine
  • needle
  • snaps (The ones you can use instead of buttons or velcro. There is a Picture of them in the directions. They can be found in the notions section of your fabric store.)
  • your iron and ironing board.
  • scissors
  • newspaper/pattern making paper
  • my template
  • pen

How to make the pattern-
  1. Print out the yellow pattern template. It is 8.5"x11". So make sure it prints out as such. Cut along the black line.

  2. Now get some newspaper or large paper and cut it to be 18"x24". Fold the paper in half so it now appears to be 18"x12".

  3. Round out one of the open corners with scissors
  4. lay the template on the other open corner and trace
  5. The template is a little too small, so you will need to continue the curve in a downward motion on the fold as shown in the picture below. Cut the paper pattern out.
The bib-
  1. Pin the pattern to 3/4 of a yard of prewashed denim like heavy fabric. Cut out 2 pieces of fabric.
  2. With right sides together, sew around the edge of the fabric leaving a gap at the bottom and at the front shoulder seems. As shown in the photo below.
  3. trim and clip the curves about 1/4" from stitching.
  4. Turn right sides out and press. Stitch around the edges again, closing the gap at the bottom, but leaving the gaps at the front shoulder seams.
  5. Insert the back shoulder into the front shoulder opening and stitch into place. Repeat for remaining side.
  6. Hand stitch the snaps on to the back for a closure.
Now you have a reversible bib :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Flower Girl Dresses

I Do-
My brother-in-law is getting married next month and I'm going to make some cute matchy dresses for the girls and their older cousin. My sister to be, has picked out this pattern (Butterick 3351). Here are some of the ideas I have for the dresses. Let me know what you think.

Her colors are red and black, so when I picked up the pattern, I also got some red satin blanket binding. I used it to make these cute rose hair clips. After I've made a few more maybe I can type out some directions for them.
Here is a blank copy of the pattern so Erin can get her creative juices flowing if she doesn't like my ideas. Which would be totally fine, it's your day sweetie. Just tell me what you want, your wish is my command ;)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

cross over dress with flutter cap sleeves

As mentioned in my last post I HATE putting in zippers and buttons. (Something I will have to face soon on my next project) but for now I made another frustration free dress. I used a new sheet set I found at Ross for Cheep. I made a cross over dress out of the same pattern I used for my petal sleeve/tulip pocket dress but this time I did flutter sleeves.

I think it turned out great, but I wonder if the sleeves are a bit too large. Do you think I might be able to get away with it because aren't big shoulders supposed to be coming back into style? I'd love some comments on them.

Anyway, here's how I did it.
the Cross Over Dress-
  1. Take your dress pattern and fold down one shoulder of the dress front top pattern piece. Making the line of the fold from the remaining shoulder to the bottom corner of the pattern.
  2. Lay out all the pattern pieces. you will need 2 of the back, 4 of the front top, 4 of the front bottom, and 4 of the sleeves. Make sure that you have 2 pieces of the dress front top that have a right sided shoulder and 2 that have a left sided shoulder. (All the other pieces are mirror images so it doesn't matter what direction the fabric is facing when you cut it out. If you don't have a right or wrong side to the fabric, then it won't matter what direction the shoulders are pointing when you cut them out.) Cut them out.
  3. You now basically have pieces for 2 dresses. To assemble the 2 dresses I began with sewing each front top and bottom together. Repeat for all 4 dress fronts. Then sew one right sided dress front and one left sided dress front to a dress back. Make sure that for both the right and left hand sides you leave about a 1" gap in your stitching where the dress front top and bottom meet and that your stopping and starting points have been back stitched. This is where you will string the ribbon through the dress to keep it from falling off. Repeat with the other pieces.
  4. Optional-If you are planning on adding details to the dress like embroidery, ribbon striping or any other trimmings, this is a great time to do it. I added a thick white ribbon along the bottom of the dress. To add it, trim the bottom edges of the dress with some scissors to make sure they are all even at the seems and then find a mark or make a mark on your sewing machine that you can follow as you sew the ribbon on. (I used the edge of the metal plate that has the seem allowances on it.) Sew the bottom edge of the ribbon on while making sure the edge of the fabric is lined up to the the mark on the machine. Then go back and sew the top edge of the ribbon in place. (If you are using rick rack, you normally only need to sew one line in the middle of the rick rack.)
  5. take only one of your dresses and pin the corner of your ribbon to the corner of the fabric where the dress front top and dress front bottom meet. Make sure that the edge of the ribbon is at the corner and the yardage is against the main body of the dress. You can pin it down if you would like. (This will keep the ribbon from getting sewn over when you hem the dress.) You need a ribbon on both the left and right side of the dress front.
  6. Now pin the dress with the ribbon to other dress with right sides together and sew the edges together, except for the bottom. (This will need to be open so you can turn the dress right side out.)
  7. Go over the seems with scissors making little clips at the curves and cutting off any extra fabric at the corners. Pull the dress right side out and iron the edges, making sure that they are crisp and follow the seem line. Line up the side seem gaps for the ribbon, If they have trouble lining up, make any necessary adjustments. Then sew a rectangle around the hole so that the holes are always lined up. Repeat for the other side.
  8. Now hem the bottom edges however you like to. I did a double folded edge and sewed it with the machine. But I kept the bottom open instead of sewing the two layers together. I think it helps it fit better to let the two layers move freely of one another on the bottom.
  9. Fold the edge of the shoulder front into itself. then insert the back shoulderinto the front shoulder and sew the seem.

  10. Sew the outer edge of the dress about a 1/4" from the edge
  11. Decide what side of the cross over front looks best. On the side that the ribbon is not strung through, string a ribbon that is about 8" or so. Take it through the arm hole and back in the side opening. Stitch a bar tack to keep this ribbon in place. This makes a loop to string the front ribbon through. If there is no loop, the front panel of the crossover will slide down and make the bottom hem of the dress look crooked.

Flutter Sleeves-

  1. Put the dress on and put some pins in the area of the arm hole where you want the sleeves to start and end. Take a step back and make sure that the left side pins and the right side pins match up. Make any necessary adjustments.
  2. On one of the shoulders, measure the length from the front pin to the end pin (5"). Double that measurement(10") and mark a straight line on a piece of paper (10").
  3. Draw a long skinny oval that is 10" long. Cut along the 10" line and one of the curves.
  4. Now use this as a paper pattern. cut 4 out of the fabric.
  5. Sew 2 together along the curve and repeat
  6. Adjust the stitch length on your machine to be long. Sew along the straight edge of the fabric but do NOT backstitch!
  7. Pull the threads to ruffle the material. When get some good ruffled put a pin the the edge and wrap the thread around the pin. Begin pulling the other end, put a pin in it and wrap the thread once the ruffles make the sleeve reaches the desired length (5").
  8. Pin the sleeve onto the dress pointing towards the neckline. Sew all around the armhole. clip any extra thread or fabric hanging over the armhole.
  9. Sew over the raw edge of the fabric with a zig zag stitch.
  10. fold the sleeve back over the zig zag stitching and iron into place. Pin and handstitch the fabric into place making sure to only go through one layer of fabric.