Monday, September 14, 2009

Victorian Bustle Cage Part Five

Last steps. Adding ties, and overlay. Your Done!! Send me pics of your cage. Brandie

Victorian Bustle Cage Part Four

Here is Part Four of How To Build A Victorian Bustle Cage. We will attach the waistband and build the overlay,which is optional, but kinda fun looking. You could get really crazy with the overlay and even make it interchangable. A different one for each function!! Brandie

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Victorian Bustle Cage Part 3

Ok, Here is Part 3. Not too bad so far. The only thing you have to pretend you don't see is the glaring mistake I made. Yes, me...mistake....:) I guess I'm not perfect after all...Which by the way is a total blow to my ego. I treid to skip a step later and sew the ties into the seam. Wrong side, as I discovered later. So, ignore the sight of the ties on the boning side. Duh.... and sew them in later on the side without the long boning channels. Have fun... You're almost done. Brandie

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Victorian Bustle Cage Part Two

Here is the second part of my Victorian Bustle Cage Video. In this part we are going to sew top part B together and add the boning channels. Have fun, Brandie

Claim for Technorati

Here is a post so that Technorati can find my blog. 2e9wu7rdx6 Hope this works now....:) Brandie

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Victorian Bustle Cage

For all you renactors out there, or any of you who just want a really cool Halloween costume, here is Part One of my tutorial on how to build a victorian bustle cage. I'm using a pattern from Truly Victorian, TV101 Revised. I also bought the precut and pretipped boning from them which was totally worth the $8.00 that I paid for it. You will need the pattern, $14.00 from This pattern went together fairly easily. Even a new sewer could put this together. You could make this out of a solid color cotton, but you could also get a little crazy and experiment with a satin flounce and overlay. Maybe eyelet lace or fancy ruffles on the overlay. You could make different overlays and make them interchangable to match your dresses. The sky's the limit. I would still make the actual cage part, where the bones go, out of cotton just because it needs to be able to keep it's shape, plus it will never be seen. Have fun with this and post any questions you have. Brandie

Monday, August 31, 2009

She's back.......

Ok, getting a child off to college is alot of work!! I know you all haven't seen me in a while but I've been busy getting my oldest daughter all set for school. I'm all set now and I'm so excited about the projects that I plan to do in the next few months. If you'd like to see instructions or have questions about how to do something, email me and I'll answer them in a future post. It's so nice to be back!!!Brandie

Friday, August 14, 2009

My Silly Blue Hippo Website open Ok, Finally after months of working on it, my site is now open!! Yea!! I started My Silly Blue Hippo because I could not find any quality dress up clothes for my kids. I am already working for our local theatre making costumes so it was a easy transition to designing and sewing for little people. I will be adding lots more over the next few months so keep checking back. Use the code blog in the coupon code box at the checkout and get 10% off your order. Also, All orders ship for just $4.95. Great deal!! I'll still be posting lots of ideas for Halloween so keep checking back. Brandie

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Ok, Here is another really easy Halloween costume to put together. The devil horn kit was purchased from a local costume store, Zeezos. The top is a black long sleeved dance leotard that you can find at a dance store or thrift shop. The skirt is made from a simple tube of black knit fabric.

To make the skirt. Take the measurement of your hips and then add 2" for wearing ease. Add 1-1/4" for seam allowance. Take this measurement and divide by two. We'll call this measurement "A". Now measure from your waist to your knee, or wherever you want the longest part of the skirt to stop. We'll call this "B". Cut two rectangle pieces. "A" measurement should lay across width of fabric (from selvage to selvage). "B" measurement should lay with the length of the fabric (parallel to selvage). The point is to give the most stretch across the hips.

Now, using 5/8" seam, join the two rectangles together at each side using a stretch stitch. Make sure you have right sides together. You should now have a tube. Find a piece of elastic the size of your waist plus 1". Make a casing for the elastic around the top of the tube. Since we're working with knit and it doesn't unravel we will simply fold over the width of the elastic plus 3/8". Sew 1/4" in from the cut edge and leave a 1" gap to insert elastic. Insert the elastic and safety pin ends together. Try on for fit and adjust.

The ruffles are really easy. I used a cheap satin costume fabric. Cut strips across the width of the fabric (should be about 45" long, depending on your fabric.) Cut them as wide as you want your ruffle times two. So, if you want your ruffle 3" wide then cut your strips 6". Now add 1" for top seam. Take your strips and join them right sides together. Fold them in half. Wrong sides together and sew about 1/2" down from the cut edge. If you have a serger you can finish this edge or use an overcast stitch on your sewing machine. Run a gathering stitch along this edge. Try on your tube and mark where the ruffle will go. Sew ruffle on the right side of the tube along your marked ruffle line. Trim away excess tube and your done!!

The arm bans are just left over ruffle sewn to a piece of elastic, 1" smaller than the forearm measurement. Hot, Hot, Hot!!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Ok, everybody, It's time to start thinking about Halloween costumes since we all know that it kinda creeps up on you. I don't know how many times I have been up until midnight the night before to finish that dreaded costume. I usually just started it two days before Halloween. :) Here are a few easy ideas adopted from the costumes I made for the Butte Opera House Theatre in Cripple Creek. Any thrift store is a costume paradise with a little inspiration of course.

For the "Thriller" zombies...Find any 80's style dress. Notice that I have a business man with slacks, white shirt, and vest. A taffeta prom dress, and an old ladies printed dress. My favorite of course is the Bride. Shread the bottom of the hem and the bottom of the sleeves using a sharp pair of scissors and a slicing motion. Pull the fabric across the blade of the scissors so that the fabric looks more like it's been torn rather than cut. You can also tear if you choose a fabric that rips easily. Try to vary the width and length of the cuts. Next use a combination of bleach and water, (about 30-50% bleach to 70-50% water) use a spray bottle to spray down dress. This will give a yellowish tint to the fabric like sun or age damage. You can spray more in areas like the tops of shoulders or underarms (sweat). Next, Use a black spray paint to add shadow and "dirt" to the overall garment. Don't try to be even. Just lay it outside in a heap and lightly spray. Turn or re-adjust the heap and spray again. Now open it up and look to see where you need to fill in at.

It should be pointed out that the costumes would only be hand washable. NO DRYER because of the spray paint. You can find spray fabric paints at your local fabric or craft store that are washable, but I'm going for cheap and easy here. I'll post another idea tomorrow. Brandie

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

How To Take Out A Diaper Allowance

Here's a tutorial about how to take out a diaper allowance. Remember to add some wearing ease to your measurements. 1-2" for close fitting, 3-4" for standard fitting, 4-6" for loose fitting, and 6" or more for oversized.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Another Fav

Ok. Here is another one of my favorite resources. Reconstructing History is a great resource for actual historic clothing. Their patterns represent the working class which seems so hard to find accurate patterns and ideas for. Awesome site with pics and a great blog about how to put it all together. I love Kass' ideas and attention to detail.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Gidets and Gadgets...

I just added a new Gadget to my Blog. Now you can see some of my favorite sites to visit and find inspiration. Threadbangers is my first because they have such great ideas and projects. Many do not need a ton of experience and they try to use readily available materials. They show alot of my favorite "Frankensteining" techniques.:)Their You Tube videos are great too. Maybe someday I'll have a production team too!!! With special effects.....hmmm.....:)Brandie

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tutti Frutti Produce Bags

Here is a video showing you how to sew up the lastest craze in Going Green, mesh produce bags. They are so handy. You can take them to the store with you and use them instead of the plastic ones. Then, when you get home you can use them to store your produce in the fridge or on the counter. Your fruits and veggies keep better because they can breathe. If they do happen to get dirty just throw them in the washer and air dry. Voile!! Ready for the next trip. These bags are so easy to make. You could also get creative and think up new uses. How about filling with bulbs for a gardener? Attach some new gloves for a cute gift. Baby Shower? Kitchen? Don't forget about all the great colors that netting comes in. Send me pics of your great design ideas.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Keep Me Where?

Here is a short little clip about storing patterns. This is just the way I happen to do it, but if you have any good ideas, please share!!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Ahoy Matey!!!

Here are pictures of my son Ricky's room. It took about four days to paint with the help of my oldest daughter, Dara. We started out with a base coat of light blue on 2 1/2 of the four walls. This color doubled as the water in the reef and the sky. We also used this color for ceiling. Then we used a semi-gloss tan color for the base of the walls for the Captian's Cabin. Next, we used a natural sea sponge (an old bath scrubber works too, just make sure it is not a plastic, otherwise it will just drip paint everywhere.) to randomly rub streaks of a shade darker brown over the tan. Wet the sponge first with water and then dip lightly into your paint. Next, dab off the excess on newspaper or a plastic paint tray. You can also thin the paint slighty with water. This helps the paint work in easier so you don't get splotches of color instead of washes of color. The point here is too make it look like the varying colors of wood.
The rest of the painting was done with the inexpensive bottles of acrylic paints you can find at any craft store. We used black to make the lines on the cabin walls. Alot of inspration came from pictures on the internet. This project was not hard at all. If you feel like you can't draw free hand, use a projector to cast your image on the wall, and then trace lightly with a pencil. Argggg......

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Fun In The Sun

Ok, We just got back from our week in the sun at Navajo Lake, NM. Our friend Jan makes up the cutest bags for each of us and fills them with all sorts of goodies, including lots of personal care items. It's always great because I get to try alot of different products that I probably wouldn't buy for myself. The best thing this year was the Neutrogena(c) Sport sunblock lotion. I have tried every sunscreen know to man since my youngest is fair skinned. After going through two spray cans of SPF 50 the first two days and watching her getting redder and redder, I finally dug around in my goodie bag and found this awesome product. It lasts along time, goes on smooth and is water and sweat proof. Brenna didn't even turn pink. This is my new fav for sunblocks and will definitely become a staple in our house for the summer. I will give this a rating of FIVE THIMBLES.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Easy Summer Top- Another version

Here is another version of the easy summer top. I used a fabric with a border that ran along the edge, so I turned my pattern for the skirt part to take advantage of this. I didn't add the sleeve detail, and I used a few yo-yo's to make the flower. I also used some green cross stitch thread that I had lying around to sew the stem. Cute......

Monday, June 22, 2009

Easy Summer Top Part 5

You made it to Part 5!! Yes, It seems like a long time, but the time it took to make these videos is just about the time it took to make this top. In about 1 hour you can make a cute new summmer top with lots of room to add your own designs and ideas. Drop me a comment about any how to's you'd like to see posted. Sewing is easy and fun once you learn the tips and tricks, and it's great to be able to say "Why yes, that outfit is designer...I designed it myself." Brandie

Easy Summer Top Part 4

Part Four!!!! Almost done!!! Here is how to finish the hem and add the little sleeve flounce. You could use the same color or a contrasting fabric. You might even think about adding a trim to the edge. Brandie

Easy Summer Top Part 3

Ok, Now that you're getting the hang of this, and so am I....Here is part three, how to attach the skirt portion to the top. If you feel like spicing up the skirt you could make it colorful by using different stipes of different fabrics. Vary the width of each stripe, just put together as many stripes as you like to equal about 45 inches long. Brandie

Friday, June 19, 2009

Easy Summer Outfit Part Two

Ok, Now that you have gotten started. Here is part two. Try this with any cotton or cotton blend fabric. You could even make the skirt portion of a different fabric. Mixing different designs and colors is very popular right now. I do have to give credit to my videographers, Ricky, who is 7, and Dara. Ricky did get bored a little through this so there is a few sighs and little shaking...:) Brandie

Thursday, June 18, 2009

An easy summer outfit

Here is the first video about building an easy summer top for girls. You don't need a ton of patterns. All you need is a little imagination. This top would be perfect with shorts, leggings or jeans. You could even layer it with another cordinating skirt. Happy sewing...You can do it!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ok, Here I am trying out new templates and trying to figure out how to add a drawing to my title without it taking up the whole page....Arghhhh!!! Please bear with the changes. If you visit sometime and find it looking totally goofy just remember I'm a seamstress not a computer whiz!! LOL:) I will try to finish my first video tutorial today and post it tommorrow. How to make a simple girl's summer top the easy way.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hello to you....

Ok, Here I am in the world of blogging. I've always followed alot of blogs, but have never had time to do my own. So, here it goes.........I have so many things that I like to do. So... I'm thinking that this will be quite an eclectic place to visit. Look for lots of instructions on random crafts, sewing (I'm a costume designer and seamstress), scrapbooking, and anything else I find interesting. I'm going to talk my sister Tracy into guest blogging for me too since she is crazy creative....Welcome to all!!!