When you haven't sewn for a long time (or ever) and someone tells you at a crafting event that you have to use a sewing machine, inevitably there are a billion groans in the room. But sewing is fun and it can be super easy if you have a good machine and a few good instructions.

Last month I attended and taught at Denise Hahn's “Annual Crafting for a Cure” Event. Denise is a true renaissance woman – roller derbyist, metal-smith, paper crafter, and ….. seamstress?! Yeah, she does it all and does it well. Denise held up the cutest dress in the class and said we would make it. No, not a dress to wear, but the most adorable faux doll dress to hang on your wall or wherever you want cuteness to live. The dresses were really simple – trace a hand drawn pattern and sew the two pieces together. We learned a little about free motion stitching and tried our hand at it. I skipped the interfacing and now I know better! LOL

I got my dress bases together with some pretty lace on them and chose some flowers from an extremely generous “grab pile” that Denise set up for us to rifle through to find treasure. When I got home, this project sat unfinished on my desk for almost a month. Marshmallow started taking and hiding the flowers and ribbons and I got side-tracked with other projects. Finally, I decided to make things happen.

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And why didn't I do this before?! Now all I want to do it make tiny little dresses and hang them all over my house! LOL It really was super fun and I just love the way they look. Here are some of the techniques I used to make these look worn, tattered, and loved:
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This dress features free motion stitching before I attached the front and back of the dress together. Then I sprayed the dress with Smooch Spritz Accent ink in Spun Sugar and Tea Party, dousing with water to make the ink seak into the fibers and allow the ink to have a softer look. I also sewed lace across the bottom of the dress front before attaching the back. Denise printed these adorable girls onto Craft Attitude Adhesive Sheets, 8-Sheet, 8.5 by 11-Inch printable craft sheets and I applied them to the free motion stitching using a Xyron Glue Stick for Corners. Then I ran a Rollagraph Jumbo Design Wheel in the WordWords design across a ColorBox Chalk Inkpad in Chestnut Roan and rolled it back and forth across the dress to apply the inked image over and over. Next I attached a seam binding bow and accent from French General's embellishment line with Jolee's Boutique.

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For the collar, I cut a section of trim from a large piece from Denise's Share Pile. I wrapped it around the raw edge of the collar and sewed it down. Then I added a gorgeous glittered rose, again from Denise's Share Pile. The hanger was created with heavy wire – it is one of those things you have to see to believe…maybe Denise will make a video soon!

On the next dress, I free motion stitched in a heart shape. Then, to give it more definition and shape, I embroidered around the heart with embroidery floss and then added some criss cross detailing. I sprayed the heart with water and then with a combination of Smooch Spritz in Tea Party and Smooch Accent Ink in Taffy Pink. The buttons, by Buttons Galore & More, were sewn on with Coats Outdoor Polyester Thread.

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To create the stained look on the dress. I first sprayed it with water. Then I sprayed with with Smooch Spritz in Spun Sugar and Tea Party as well as Stephanie Barnard Sprays! in Bubblegum (which is actually a pretty pale pink). I did a little free motion stitching around the collar to create a scalloped detail adn then use pinking shears on all of the raw edges.

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To create this cluster of flowers, I bunched them together to get the look I waned and then attached them with hot glue. I added a seam binding bow and added a couple of stick pins in it. Then I added the bird embellishment from the French General's embellishment line with Jolee's Boutique.
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These dresses aren't perfect but they were incredibly fun to create! I can't wait to make more. Do you think you would try your hand at sewing to create fun pieces like these? You could hand-sew the edges together or event hot glue them if you like. And the embellish, ink, and play!

Author: Jennifer Priest

It started with jewelry, beading, sewing, home decor, painting, basket weaving, pottery, and cross-stitch. Marry that to an entrepreneurial spirit & at 9 years old a girl is selling her wares at craft fairs as far as her parents and grandparents would drive her. These days, Jennifer enjoys crafts of all genres from sewing to scrapbooking to jewelry with a little dabbling in the mixed media world. Her style is approachable and she wants everyone who sees her work to feel that they too can embrace creativity and make their home and life beautiful.

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