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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

.:Tutorial Tuesday–Leather Shoe Clips:.

** I was provided with a Cricut Explore to use. This post contains affiliate links.

Hey! Remember me? I know things have been quiet around here lately. I’ve been taking a little time off to focus on my kids and family. But that doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped creating! I was so fortunate to attend an event back in January put on by Cricut to introduce their newest machine: Cricut Explore!

I know you’ve been seeing tons of other bloggers sharing this fabulous new machine, and I’m here to sing its praises along with them! I’ve been using it already to cut some vinyl, but then I decided I wanted to do something with leather. And guess what? It worked!

Leather Bow Shoe Clips at SumosSweetStuff.com #explorecricut

Today I’m going to show you how to use the new Cricut software – Cricut Design Space – to make these little beauties.

Here’s what you’ll need:

- Cricut Explore
- standard grip cutting mat
- leather
- alligator clips
- glue gun/glue sticks

Leather Bow Shoe Clips at SumosSweetStuff.com #explorecricut

Go ahead and log on to Cricut Design Space. Create a new account if you don’t have one already. You’ll come to a page that looks like this.

Leather Bow Shoe Clips at SumosSweetStuff.com #explorecricut

There is a place to set the canvas type if you are doing a more specific project, like a t-shirt or cell phone case, but I’m just cutting on a regular mat so I left it as is. I knew that I wanted to make some bows, so I clicked on Insert Image and searched ‘bow’.

Leather Bow Shoe Clips at SumosSweetStuff.com #explorecricut

This gave me over 400 results! But to the left there, you can narrow down the search a little bit. I checked the box for 3D. This brought my results down into just over 20.

Leather Bow Shoe Clips at SumosSweetStuff.com #explorecricut

I picked the bow that I wanted and clicked Insert Image.

Leather Bow Shoe Clips at SumosSweetStuff.com #explorecricut

From there, you can size it to the size you want. I did this, and then copied and pasted another bow so that I would have two.

Leather Bow Shoe Clips at SumosSweetStuff.com #explorecricut

Now it’s time to cut! Go ahead and make sure that your piece of leather is on the mat – I put the shiny side down.

Leather Bow Shoe Clips at SumosSweetStuff.com #explorecricut

Before I show you any further, let’s take a minute and admire this beautiful machine. I haven’t put my tools into the storage space there, but don’t you love that you can keep it all handy?

Leather Bow Shoe Clips at SumosSweetStuff.com #explorecricut

Okay, back to the software. Click on the green C button at the top of Design Space. Choose how many projects you want to make. I only needed one.

Leather Bow Shoe Clips at SumosSweetStuff.com #explorecricut

Next, the software will instruct you on how to load the mat. You can also see your lovely preview of your project there.

Leather Bow Shoe Clips at SumosSweetStuff.com #explorecricut

Next, you need to set the dial on your machine to the material that you are using. The dial doesn’t have a leather option, so I set it to Custom.

Leather Bow Shoe Clips at SumosSweetStuff.com #explorecricut

Now your software will prompt you to choose your custom material. Leather has three different settings. Choose what you think is best for the thickness of your leather.

Leather Bow Shoe Clips at SumosSweetStuff.com #explorecricut

Then cut! Look at that baby go!

Leather Bow Shoe Clips at SumosSweetStuff.com #explorecricut

You guys. Seriously, this machine is amazing. It cut through that leather like it was nothing! It was perfectly clean, and turned out just perfectly. I might be in love.

Peel up the bows. I decided to forgo the hanging ribbons for these clips, so I ended up tossing those pieces. Take the main bow piece, and glue one end into the middle.

Leather Bow Shoe Clips at SumosSweetStuff.com #explorecricut

Repeat with the other side, glue the center piece around the middle, and then glue the bow to an alligator clip. That’s it!

Leather Bow Shoe Clips at SumosSweetStuff.com #explorecricut

How stinking cute are those? And even better, you can use them in hair, too! Wouldn’t it be fun to whip up a bunch in different colors?

Leather Bow Shoe Clips at SumosSweetStuff.com #explorecricut

If you are thinking about getting the Cricut Explore, do it! I love this machine and can’t wait to make more with it!

Friday, February 28, 2014

.:Review–The Hair Bow Company:.

** I was provided with items to review but the thoughts and opinions are my own.

As you know, I’ve got three girls. Which means that our house is oozing with pink, glitter, princesses, hair bows, and dress ups. Our girls are the girliest of the girliest! And I love it. So when we were asked if we wanted to review some items from The Hair Bow Company, we were thrilled!

We were sent so many fun items, the first being some new hair bows. We got some great solid colored bows, and also a couple of more funky looking bows. We’ve been making good use of all of them! I love all of the colors on this first one!

Review of The Hair Bow Company at SumosSweetStuff.com

And sometimes you just can’t beat a nice, solid colored bow.

Review of The Hair Bow Company at SumosSweetStuff.com

Review of The Hair Bow Company at SumosSweetStuff.com

We were also sent just some plain flowers to craft with. I know I could have thought up a bunch of different things to do with the flowers, but I just couldn’t resist turning them into some new clips for my girls. We use them every day, and it’s fun to have so many new ones now! All I had to do was glue the flowers to some clips and bam – new clips!

Review of The Hair Bow Company at SumosSweetStuff.com

Now, as if that wasn’t enough, The Hair Bow Company’s generosity continues! My girls were absolutely ecstatic to see that they each got their own new tutu, and pair of wings. Dress up is HUGE at our house, and they wasted no time getting these on! We decided to have a little fairy tea party in our living room. They loved it!

Review of The Hair Bow Company at SumosSweetStuff.com

All of our new hair bows went perfectly with the tutus and wings.

Review of The Hair Bow Company at SumosSweetStuff.com

I love how fluffy and full the tutus are; and they are not necessarily just meant for dress up. My girls will gladly wear these to the store and school, no questions asked! They’d also be great attire for dance class!

Review of The Hair Bow Company at SumosSweetStuff.com

My girls love them so much they are even wearing them to bed right now.

Review of The Hair Bow Company at SumosSweetStuff.com

Pretty cute, right?

Review of The Hair Bow Company at SumosSweetStuff.com

The Hair Bow Company offers tons of other great items: pettiskirts, necklaces, baby legs, bloomers – there’s seriously so much! If you’re ready to do some shopping for the little gals in your life, be sure to use the promo code sumo10 to enjoy 10% off your order through March 14, 2014!

Thank you to The Hair Bow Company for the fabulous items! This house full of girls is happy.

Review of The Hair Bow Company at SumosSweetStuff.com

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

.:Tutorial–Stripes & Dots Dress:.

** I was provided with fabric from Modern Yardage to make this dress.

Spring is just around the corner, which for many of us, means it’s time to start thinking about spring sewing. I generally like to make each of my girls a dress or two for church. When I was contacted by Modern Yardage about creating something using some of their fabrics, I immediately said yes!

Something about using the same color but in different patterns was speaking to me, so the Bold Basics collection was perfect for this Stripes & Dots Dress!

Stripes & Dots Dress at SumosSweetStuff.com using Modern Yardage fabric

Here’s what you need:
- fabric
- sewing machine/accessories
- bodice pattern (I used this one, but a free option is this one)
- thin elastic
- button
- elastic thread (optional)

Stripes & Dots Dress at SumosSweetStuff.com using Modern Yardage fabric

Use the bodice pattern of your choosing to cut out two from your main fabric, as well as two from a lining fabric. I just used a plain white. Cut two skirt panels to the width and length of your choosing. My width was probably about 1.5 times the width of the bodice. And last, cut a sash – again width and length is up to you! I left the length the width of the fabric, and then cut the width to double what I wanted it to end up (you’ll see why soon!)

Since I decided to use only one color, I wanted to make it more interesting with the use of the patterns. I chose to make the stripes go horizontal on the bodice, but vertical on the skirt. Have fun playing with things like this!

Stripes & Dots Dress at SumosSweetStuff.com using Modern Yardage fabric

Take the sash, and fold it in half – length wise – with right sides facing in.

Stripes & Dots Dress at SumosSweetStuff.com using Modern Yardage fabric

Sew along the raw edge, leaving a two inch opening somewhere in there.

Stripes & Dots Dress at SumosSweetStuff.com using Modern Yardage fabric

Clip the corners if you have cut any points into your sash like I have, and then pull the sash through to the right side through the opening you left. Iron the sash, folding in the open edges, and top stitch all the way around.

Stripes & Dots Dress at SumosSweetStuff.com using Modern Yardage fabric

Set the sash aside, and grab the skirt pieces. Hem up the bottom of both skirt pieces. If you’re using a directional print, be careful to hem up the correct edges!

Stripes & Dots Dress at SumosSweetStuff.com using Modern Yardage fabric

Set these aside, and grab the bodice pieces and bodice linings. Take each bodice and line it up with a lining – right sides facing in. On the back pieces only, cut a slit down the back.

Stripes & Dots Dress at SumosSweetStuff.com using Modern Yardage fabric

Sew from the arm hole, around the shoulders and neckline, back to the other arm hole. Be sure to go around the slit on the back piece! Do the same for the front piece, minus the slit.

Stripes & Dots Dress at SumosSweetStuff.com using Modern Yardage fabric

Clip the corners, turn right side out and press. Top stitch if you like. (I didn’t!)

Stripes & Dots Dress at SumosSweetStuff.com using Modern Yardage fabric

Take the skirt pieces and run a gathering stitch along the raw edges. Gather to fit the width of the bodice pieces. Pin in place.

Stripes & Dots Dress at SumosSweetStuff.com using Modern Yardage fabric

Sew each bodice piece to a skirt piece.

Stripes & Dots Dress at SumosSweetStuff.com using Modern Yardage fabric

Put the front and back pieces together, with right sides facing in. Sew along the side seam – finish the edges.

Stripes & Dots Dress at SumosSweetStuff.com using Modern Yardage fabric

Sew the shoulder seams together. Don’t sew up the neckline or the arm holes!

Stripes & Dots Dress at SumosSweetStuff.com using Modern Yardage fabric

Almost done!

Stripes & Dots Dress at SumosSweetStuff.com using Modern Yardage fabric

Turn the dress over to the back side. Take your seam ripper and make a small opening on one side of the slit.

Stripes & Dots Dress at SumosSweetStuff.com using Modern Yardage fabric

Stick in a small loop of thin elastic and sew it in place.

Stripes & Dots Dress at SumosSweetStuff.com using Modern Yardage fabric

Hand stitch a button in place on the other side of the slit.

Stripes & Dots Dress at SumosSweetStuff.com using Modern Yardage fabric

Depending on the width of your bodice, you may decide whether or not you want to shir in the dress around the waist. I opted to since mine is a wider fit. Hand wind elastic thread around the bobbin, and then sew rows with your stitch length set to the longest length. If it doesn’t automatically shir in as you sew, hold a steaming iron over it and watch it magically shrink!

Stripes & Dots Dress at SumosSweetStuff.com using Modern Yardage fabric

Tie the sash around the waist and you’ve got yourself one stylish dress!

Stripes & Dots Dress at SumosSweetStuff.com using Modern Yardage fabric

Put it on a cute girl and be even more amazed at what you created!

Stripes & Dots Dress at SumosSweetStuff.com using Modern Yardage fabric

I decided to go with some bright accessories so that we didn’t get too lost in the monochromaticness (totally a word) of the dress. I think it adds the perfect pop of color that compliments the dress perfectly!

Stripes & Dots Dress at SumosSweetStuff.com using Modern Yardage fabric

Stripes & Dots Dress at SumosSweetStuff.com using Modern Yardage fabric

Stripes & Dots Dress at SumosSweetStuff.com using Modern Yardage fabric

I don’t know about you, but I kind of sort of love it.

Stripes & Dots Dress at SumosSweetStuff.com using Modern Yardage fabric

A lot.

Stripes & Dots Dress at SumosSweetStuff.com using Modern Yardage fabric