I’ve tinkered with the knot dress pattern several times since the first time I sewed Addison’s birthday dress. This time, I used a light pink Kona cotton for the main skirt and it turned out so beautifully. The dress looks and feels luxurious. This particular cotton is more substantial and drapes nicely. I prefer the ruffles sewn on 1/4 of the way down from the top of the strip rather than across the center as I originaly did. This dress will be up for sale in my shop this week.
I made another party hat to coordinate which will also be in the shop. These hats are too fun. If you missed the original tutorial, go to the party hat tutorial here. If you’ve made a hat or two, show me please! I’d love to see what you’re making!
I have to confess that I had to bite my tongue a bit when Grace decided she wanted a Cars party this year. I stopped myself from suggesting butterflies or birdies or even, Strawberry Shortcake. I also have to confess that I’m not the biggest fan of characters taking center stage for party themes, bedding, or t-shirts. But I try not to say no to the kids just because I have different taste. So, Cars it was. I thought I’d share some of the decorations that I put together. I think that the little bit of time that it takes to put together a few custom decorations really makes a big impact and changes the entire feel of the party. The decorations just transform the space, or at least, for me they do. Since the party was right after Christmas, I didn’t have the opportunity for really time-consuming projects, so I focused on three areas: fabric, flowers, artwork. I’m writing up some how-to for anyone who is looking for Cars party inspiration at your own house! Feel free to skip over the wordiness.
The fabric that I purchased for the party consisted of two patterns of black and white checkered flag – one large and one small – as well as a few yards of black broadcloth. All three of these fabrics were very inexpensive – around $3 per yard. I used the checkered flag fabric to make Grace’s party outfit, pennant strings, and a tablecloth.
For the tablecloth, I simply stitched two widths of fabric together and serged a rolled hem around the four sides to make a covering for a 60″ round table. This project took approximately 30 minutes total.
To cover the kitchen island, where the food was served, I purchased approximately 3 yards of the black broadcloth and serged a rolled edge around it without any cutting or sewing. I used a piece of chalk to draw a dashed line down the center of the fabric to make a “road.”
I’ve made a number of paper and fabric pennant strings in the past and the method I used this time was, by far, the easiest. Using the checkered flag fabric and a number of coordinating remnants from my stash, I cut the triangles and serged them together in one line by feeding in one triangle butted up to the next. In order to achieve a finished look from either side of the pennant string, this is what I did. I took a large piece of each fabric and sprayed the wrong side with fabric spray adhesive. Then, I folded the piece of fabric in half (wrong sides together) and ironed it to activate the adhesive and bond the fabric to itself. Then, I cut the double-thickness of fabric into the triangles. The result was finished triangles which had the fabric pattern on both sides and edges that did not fray. There was no need to stitch around each triangle, stitch two triangles together, or otherwise finish the edges of the triangles. The pennant string project (which yielded approximately 30 feet) took just a few hours from start to finish.
I zipped up some flags from the leftover fabric, too, because what’s a car race without flags? I used this cool technique that I discovered in my serger manual to make the tube to slip over some cut dowels. Super quick, super cool. If you want more details, let me know.
Since the theme for Grace’s party would typically be considered pretty “boy”ish, I wanted to work in some feminine touches. One way I did this was by choosing more girly fabric to coordinate with the checkered flag in the pennant strings and flags. Another quick way to soften the decor was with a few flower arrangements. I actually just used one large bunch of flowers from Costco and divided it into several vases around the house. I added a couple flags to the arrangements and had nearly instant, pretty decor.
I also spent just a little time searching for Cars clipart on Google Images. I resized or cropped the images in photoshop to fit into my wall frames. I tried to get the images printed up quick at Kinko’s, and I was not all that surprised to learn that they were not able to print any Disney images, even though these images were free clipart. Not a big deal, we just printed them up right on our home printer and it was totally fine. I know you’re probably thinking I’m a total dork for framing up Cars clipart, BUT the truth is, that I still had my Christmas art in the frames and it had to be changed out anyway. With my husband’s help, it literally took us ten minutes to reframe and rehang the Cars art. And it was a big hit at the party. Grace squealed and shouted out “There’s Mac! and oh!OH! there’s Lightning, and, look, that’s Sally!!”
The final piece of decor was a “Flo’s V8 Cafe” sign that I hand-painted. I had the hardest time getting a good picture of this thing, but I thought it turned out really fun and it also took the place of our normal light fixture that’s missing from above our kitchen island (slow progress on the kitchen flood repairs). I AM NOT a drawing/sketching/painting kind of artist, but I do love how this little sign turned out. I used a lightweight pre-cut piece of balsa wood that I found in the wood section of Joanns. I applied two coats of gray acrylic paint and allowed it to dry. Then I created a Word document with a script font and the V8 symbol. I printed it out and transferred it onto the piece of wood. To transfer an image, first scribble pencil all over the wrong side of the paper. Then, place the pencil-scribbled side of the paper down onto your project and trace the outline of the image. When you trace, the pencil on the backside is transferred onto your project. I think I read about this on someone’s blog, but I have no idea where. It worked miraculously well. Then I just used a little paintbrush and painted in the outline with acrylic paint. I sprayed a coat of clear sealer over the top (not sure if this had any impact or not) and then I hot glued metallic red pipe cleaners around the edge for a neon sign look. Graham drilled a couple holes in the sign and we used fishing line to hang it up.
(Under the sign, we served up a nacho bar, hot dogs, grapes, and some corn salsa for those less focused on unhealthy eating habits.)
Okay, so that’s a lot of rambling. I hope you enjoyed the tour of our girly Cars party. It was probably my favorite party yet . . . and now I have a 6 month break until our next kid party. The wheels are already spinning though. I just can’t get enough!!
Remember this picnic basket from way back when? Well, my cute cousin asked how it finally turned out and I got to thinking that you might want to know, too. I was having a mental block with how to pull it into a package gift until I did a little online shopping for some games by the company, eeBoo. Have you met any of eeBoo’s things yet? I could seriously buy all of them. The pictures and quality are unparalleled, in my opinion, and no one’s paying me off to say that. Some of my girls’ favorite games are made by eeBoo .
In the midst of the holiday chaos, I decided that I would just purchase some felt food and I did a quick search on etsy to see what I could find. Immediately, I found some felt food caught my eye. When I went to UmeCrafts’ etsy shop, I discovered about a thousand different sets of food that were so strikingly beautiful, I wondered how I would choose one to go in the basket. Except that they weren’t for sale. The patterns were for sale. And so I bought the patterns for this fruit set (as well as several other irresistable patterns). The instructions were very clear and very simple, but I’m NOT a hand-stitch kind of girl, so I actually just sewed as much as I could on my machine. I had to hand-stitch the openings closed after stuffing, but other than that, it went pretty quickly. And since i hate hand-stitching THAT much, I took out my trusty hot glue gun and just glued on the little accents, like the seeds and watermelon rind, etc. My favorite part is the cute banana that actually comes out of the peel. LOVE it.
I added a little canister and the food and packaged it all in the basket, just like this. I wrapped the whole thing in cellophane and tied the top with some fluffy red tulle. I will definitely be using cellophane again next year – it had a big WOW factor when the kids discovered it. I did two other “package deals” that I will share soon, too. These turned out to be some of my favorite gifts to give this year.
There were quite a few suggestions in the comments for the original post for felt food tutorials and patterns, so check those out, too, if you’re looking for more felt food inspiration!