Tuesday, March 25, 2014

March's Tutorial Tuesday - the Stella Inspired 18" Doll Dress

The Stella Inspired 18" Doll Dress

I am excited to bring to you this free tutorial to create an 18" doll dress inspired by the Izzy and Ivy Stella.  A big, huge thank you goes out to Tanya Buetow for helping us to create this darling doll dress tutorial for you.

We are currently sewing up the Stella dress on our Sew-Along Blog.  You can check out those lessons here.  

Both of my little girls will be wearing a Stella for Easter and in their Easter baskets they will both have a matching doll dress.  They are going to be so excited!  I can't wait to see their faces.
Remember, you can click on any of the photos to enlarge.

Use the coupon code TutorialTuesday to save 20% off all individual fat quarter and ¼" elastic purchases at www.whimsicalfabric.com through Monday, 4/7/14.  Enjoy!!

To make this darling 18" doll dress you will need the following;

Fabric A - 1 fat quarter (2 if using a directional fabric)
Fabric B - 1 fat quarter (2 if using a directional fabric)
Fabric C - 1 fat quarter

9 inches of ¼ inch elastic
Marking Pen or Tailor's Chalk


1. Cut the following.
Fabric A
Bodice - (2) 6 inches x 9 inches
Sleeves - (2) 4 inches x 7 inches
Skirt Panel - (2) 8 inches x 9 ½ inches
Skirt Panel - (2) 8 inches x 3 ¾ inches
For Non-Directional Fabrics Only
Fabric B
Skirt Ruffle Panel - (2) 8 inches x 5 ¾ inches
Ruffles - (14) 1 ½ inches x 12 inches
For Non-Directional Fabrics Only
Fabric C
Sash - (2) 3 inches by 18 inches
Hem Band - (2) 1 ½ inches by 18 inches
2. Download from our website, print, and cut out the armhole template below.  
Click here to "purchase" the FREE template.
3. Finish both of the edges of each ruffle strips with a rolled hem or very narrow hem.

4. Mark the placement of the ruffles on the 8 x 5 ¾ inch skirt panel from fabric B. Space the ruffles 1 inch apart.

5. Gather each ruffle strip to fit the skirt panel.  I used my machine to gather the strips by adjusting the tension and stitch length.

6. Pin and stitch until all the ruffles are attached to the skirt panel. You will be sewing 7 ruffles on each panel.

7. Attach the larger skirt panel from fabric A to the right side of the ruffle panel and the smaller skirt panel from fabric A to the left side. Use a ¼" seam allowance.

8. Now, attach the two full skirt panels to each other using a ¼" seam.  Set aside.

9. Lay one of your Bodice pieces wrong side up with the 9" edges at the top and bottom and the 6" edges at the sides.  Grab the Armhole Cutout Template you printed and line it up on the right most side of your bodice like the picture below.  Trace the curved cutout line onto your fabric.  Flip and repeat on the left most side of the bodice.  Do the same on the other bodice piece.  Cut out the armholes on your bodice pieces.

10. Repeat this step with your Sleeve pieces.  The sleeve pieces should have the 7" edges at the top and bottom and the 4" edges at the sides.

11. Sew the sleeves onto the bodice front and back with a ¼" seam allowance.

12. Finish off the sleeves using a rolled hem or turning under ¼ of and inch and stitching. You do not need to add elastic to the sleeves.

13. Make a casing at the neck for the 9 inches of ¼" elastic leaving a 2 inch opening to insert the elastic. * I add the elastic and close the opening as the very last step.

14. Stitch the front and back bodice side seams together using a ¼" seam.

15. Gather the skirt to fit the bodice.  Pin and sew together with a ¼" seam. You want the larger panel to fit on one half of the bodice and the ruffle/smaller panel to fit the other half. * Pretend the sleeves are attached to the picture below.

16. With right sides together and using a ¼" seam, stitch the two sash pieces together.  Press open the seam.  

17. With right sides together, fold the sash in half lengthwise & press. Cut both edges off at an angle.

18. With right sides together, stitch using a ¼" seam.  Be sure to leave a 3" gap or so for turning.  * I use a safety pin near the ends to help in turning after it has been stitched together.

19. Turn right side out and press. Top stitch around the sash.

20. With right sides together and using a ¼" seam allowance attach the edges of the 1½" x 18" hem band strips together to form a circular band.   

21. With wrong sides together, fold the hem band in half lengthwise and press. Attach the hem band to the bottom of the skirt using a ¼" seam.

22. Press the hem band seam up towards the top of the dress.  Top stitch if desired.

23. Pin the center mark of the sash to the center seam of the skirt front. Stitch the sash in place from one side seam of the dress to the other side seam, starting with the edge closest to the skirt. Your stitches should be right over the top of the stitches you did when you top stitched the sash. 

24. Do the same on the top edge of the sash.

25. Insert your elastic in your neck casing and close the opening.
Make a special little girl happy by making her and her doll matching Stella dresses!
Happy creating!
Danielle Storm

If you would like to purchase supplies from Whimsical Fabric you may do that here.  Don't forget to use the code TutorialTuesday to save 20% off all individual fat quarter and ¼" elastic purchases through Monday, 4/7/14.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Last Day to Save 40-50% Off Sale Category Items!

Today is the last day to save an extra 20% off all Sale Category items!

Closeout Blanks are now 50% off and Closeout Fabric is now 40% off. That's only $1.65/fat quarter and $5.40/yard!! 

In addition, if you have a coupon code (Welcome5% or the March Madness coupon) you may apply it for added savings.  Whoa, now that's a great deal!  Stock up today. The extra 20% off ends tonight, Sunday, at midnight MT so don't delay. 

Happy creating!
Danielle Storm


Thursday, March 20, 2014

New PDF Patterns and 40-50% Off Sale Category!

We have some great new PDF patterns on the site! The first pattern is an adorable Twirly Skirt by a brand new clothing pattern designer, E+M Patterns.  I've made this skirt for my little girl and it is fantastic! Allison, of E+M Patterns, is an amazing pattern designer whose attention to detail will blow you away.  I can't say enough good things about E+M Patterns. Grab your Twirly Skirt today and get busy sewing up some cuteness!

We also have all three of Oliver+S's new spring releases in the shoppe.  

Expecting a new baby in the family? Have a friend expecting? Check out the Lullaby Layette pattern.  It contains four adorable little pieces to sew up for that new little bundle of sweetness.  

And how about the Hide and Seek Dress + Tunic and the Garden Party Dress + Tunic for that special little girl.  Both of these patterns are classic Oliver+S, with amazing attention to detail and a modern feel.  Don't you just love each of them?  We do!


And . . . it looks like we forgot to put up a special this week.  Oops.  We have had so much going on we just forgot.  So, how about we just mark the Sale Category an extra 20% off?  That makes all Closeout Blanks 50% Off and Closeout Fabrics 40% Off!!  And a little birdy told me that if you have a March Madness coupon you can apply it for an extra 10% off.  What?!?  Stock up now.  This is amazing savings!!  You will be glad you did.  The extra discount ends Sunday night at midnight MT so don't delay.  We don't want anyone to miss out and be sad.

Happy creating!
Danielle Storm


Friday, March 14, 2014

Lucky You! 15-30% Off the Entire Site and Win a $25 Coupon!

Save 15-30% off everything on the site.   
Sale prices are good through midnight (MST) Saint Patrick's Day.
Are you feeling lucky?  Like, comment, and share this post on Facebook for your chance to win a $25 Whimsical Fabric coupon.

Happy creating!
Danielle Storm


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

March's Featured Customer - Jona Lourenco of Nikki's Closet

Please help me in welcoming
Jona Lourenco of Nikki's Closet.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business. 
My name is Jona Lourenco and I have been married to my best friend, Nick, for 6.5 years. We have two children, Nicole, who is 3 years old, and Jonathan, who is 8 months old. I sell homemade items for children. I sew clothes, but am working to focus more on accessories and fun extras that make childhood just a little more fun! My business name is Nikki's Closet and I sell on Facebook and on Etsy.
Where are you located?
We live in Lake Elsinore, California. Both my husband and I were born and raised in Southern California and we love living here where we are close to family and get to enjoy wonderful weather all year long!

What was your background prior to starting your business?
I actually spent 7 years in college getting my degree, credential, and M.Ed. in education. I am currently able to stay at home with our children, but will hopefully go back to the classroom once our children start school. I love teaching kindergarten and first grade!
What got you started in your business?
I started my business in 2011, soon after Nicole (Nikki) was born. I found that I had time to craft while she was napping and over time friends and family suggested that I start selling the items that I made. From 2011 to mid 2013, I didn't do much to grow my business, but after the birth of Jonathan, I decided it was time to really work on growing Nikki's Closet. Since then, I have worked to network with other businesses and spend more time engaging with my Facebook fans. 

What choices have you made that helped your business the most?
What really helped me was to stop comparing my success/failure to other businesses. For so long I would watch friends' business pages grow and gain fans while mine seemed to plateau. Once I decided to stop comparing my business to others, I was able to focus on ways to make my business stronger. Another resource that really helped me with my Facebook page was purchasing and using the e-book from The Fashion Business Mentor. She offers suggestions on how to get fans to help me know what they look to purchase from boutiques and to eventually sell more through how I market my items.

What mistakes have you made that others could learn from?
For me, one mistake was to underprice my items. When I first started out, I was quoting prices but hadn't realized that I was quoting way too low. Once I started really doing bookkeeping and recording my money in and out, I realized that there were several custom items that I had actually lost money on! After that, I took a few nights to really research online about how to price my items and I sat and created a spreadsheet that factored in the approximate price per inch for fabric, ribbon, elastic, and the approximate cost of items like buttons, snaps, patterns, thread, and other embellishments. By creating this detailed spreadsheet, I am able to better quote prices and make sure that I am making a profit! 

What do you find the most fun and rewarding about having your own business?
I love the fact that I am able to stay at home with my kids and work my own hours! My work area is right next to the toy room and I have my sewing table positioned so I can watch them play while I work. I also love the fact that I get to be creative and decide what I do/don't want to sell.

Tell us a bit about your drive and purpose, your vision for your business.
I'm not really sure at this point. This is something that I am still working out. 

What inspires you to create?
I love creating because at night it is a great time for me to sit in the quiet and just reflect while I create. It's also just really fun to make items and see them be loved by their new owners.

What do you feel makes your work unique?
I feel like my work is unique because it is fun and well made. I pride myself on using high quality materials and I take the time to make the items as professional looking as possible. Everything that I send out is the same quality that I expect from the items that I want for my family.

What’s your favorite piece from your current inventory? Any all time favorites? 
So, I can't quite share my current favorite because it is from a pattern test that hasn't been released! You will just have to head on over and like my page to find out when it has been released! 
My second favorite item in my inventory are the new tooth fairy pillows that I just released. These little plush items are so much fun and can be made with a variety of costumes. I think they are so cute!

Where do you see your business in a year? Or where would you like to see it?
I would love to see my Etsy shop full of fun items and to have booming sales! I would like to be making less custom (one of a kind) orders and have most of my business being done through Etsy or Facebook with items that are set in my inventory. 
Also, in the next year I hope to find a photographer that I can team up with so my items will be more professionally photographed. I feel like many of the details and the "awww" factor is lost on my items because I am not a good photographer.....at all. 

What words of wisdom do you have for readers who are considering starting their own work at home business?
Patience. Lots of patience. It takes time for your name to get out there. When I first started, I envisioned that people would just be lining up to order from me! It took about a year and a half before I had consistent sales from month to month.

As a customer of Whimsical Fabric, what is your favorite thing about our store? 
I love the fabric selection at Whimsical Fabric! They carry so many different cute prints that I haven't seen anywhere else! The prices and sales are also fantastic! I also love how quickly they ship orders. 

What is your favorite item purchased from us?
My favorite item that I have purchased from you is the Costume Clubhouse fabric! I made (and sold) several Halloween treat bags using that fabric! They were so cute and my daughter got several compliments on her bag at our different Halloween festivities!

My second favorite is the Sweetcakes fabric! I mean, seriously, aren't these the cutest mommy and me aprons???

The Sweetcakes will also be featured in my newest product (remember the one I mentioned earlier, that I can't share?)

Anything else you would like to share?
Thank you for taking the time to get to know me and my shop! Feel free to come on over and let me know what you would love to see offered in my shop.
Everyone has a story and I thank you for sharing yours with us Jona!  I have personally really enjoyed reading your responses and getting to know you better.  I wish you much success!  

If you too have enjoyed reading about Jona and her business, please take a minute or two and let her know by liking and leaving a message on her Facebook page.  And don't forget to check out her Etsy store.

PS If you are interested in being featured in one of our future newsletters please send us an email with FEATURE in the title.

Happy creating!
Danielle Storm

Monday, March 10, 2014

Weekly Special - 20% Off All Charm Bundles and 25% off Sew-Along 13 Kits/Patterns

This Week's Special is . . .

20% Off All . . .


Sew-Along #13
Our next sew-along starts on Monday, March 24th.  We will be sewing the Izzy and Ivy Stella dress.  This is a perfect dress for Easter!  It's loaded with lots of beautiful flowing ruffles.  Stella is an absolutely stunning dress!
Gracie Girl Stella Dress by Cricket Wise.

We have lots of awesome kits that contain most everything you need to make the project.  You just supply the thread and your personal creativity.
Country Girls Stella Dress by Sarah Unthank.
Use the coupon code SewAlongSavings to save 25% off your kit/pattern through Monday, March 17th.  That's an awesome savings!
Sidewalks Stella Dress by Tanya Buetow.
For more information regarding the sew-along, or to join in, please click here and request to join our Facebook Sew-Along Group. 

Happy creating!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Save 20% Off Everything!

We reached our goal and received more than 100 likes, comments, and shares on our Facebook post.  That means the whole website is marked 20% off through Sunday, 3/9.  Enjoy!

We have another little Facebook contest going now.  If we receive a total of 100  likes, comments, shares for the post located here by Friday night, we will draw two winners.  Each winner will receive a coupon worth $20.00 off any purchase!

Happy creating!
Danielle Storm

Weekly Special - 20% Off All Izzy & Ivy Designs Patterns

This Week's Special is . . .

20% Off All . . .


Are you on Facebook?  Have you liked our page yet?  Want a coupon code for 20% off EVERYTHING on our site?  If we can get a combination of 100 likes, comments, and/or shares on the post linked below, by  midnight CT tonight, we will post a 20% off storewide coupon!!
Click here and then like, comment, and/or share this post!

Happy creating!