Mar 18 2017

True Bias Hudson Pants Review

Published by under Sewing

True Bias Hudson Pants front

One of the activities i do when I’m not working is teach sewing classes at work along with some other lovely folks. One of them wanted to test out the Hudson Pants pattern from True Bias so a bunch of us got together to make them. Everybody picked a different fabric and different size so it was a good way to get a lot of opinions at once.

True Bias Hudson Pants front

I went with some purple sweatshirt fabric that I think I’ve had in my stash for probably close to a decade. It felt great to finally use it! Because it had very little stretch, I bumped up 2 sizes. And because the Hudson pants run slim and I prefer my lounge pants a little looser, I bumped up another size. So I measure between a 4/6 and ended up making a 12 and was pretty happy with the very relaxed fit it resulted in. I’d probably make it around an 8 if I had fabric with stretch.

True Bias Hudson Pants pocket

I followed the pattern pretty much exactly. I tend to do things out of order to minimize trips to the sewing machine, serger and iron, but otherwise mostly followed the pattern. I made two changes, one cosmetic and the other for fit. The first was to add a decorative border to the pockets. Really happy with how that turned out. Since I wasn’t using a stretchy fabric anyways, I used some fun squirrel print cotton for the inside of the pockets.

True Bias Hudson Pants cuff

The second was to change the cuffs. Since the pattern was written for stretchy fabric, the cuffs were drafted slightly smaller than the ankle opening. Unfortunately, I couldn’t even get them over my ankles and I couldn’t stretch them to gather the ankle of the pants. So I re-drafted them to be as wide as the bottom of the pants and while I was at it I made them a little shorter. I tried on the pants and given my stature, a little shorter would fit me a bit better. They turned out well.

True Bias Hudson Pants side

The only part I’m not thrilled about with these pants is the inner leg seam. I think this has to do more with the serger I used at work. It just doesn’t seam as soft as the serging I did at home. I think it’s partly due to the thread and partly due to the width of the stitch. It’s a narrow overlock and if I had done a wider one like I typically use at home it might not stick out as much and rub my leg. As it is, I still wear them a bunch. Since they’re made out of sweatshirt fabric, they’re nice and warm.

True Bias Hudson Pants back

I’d make them again, probably with a stretchy fabric and maybe something a little trendier that I could use after workouts or dance rehearsals.

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Mar 15 2017

Made by Rae Geranium Dress Review

Published by under Sewing

Made by Rae Geranium Dress

I have a cousin and a college roommate who both have little girls that are the most adorable tiny humans you’ve ever met. Naturally they needed dresses.

I went looking for an easy dress to get started with and found the Geranium Dress by Made By Rae. I like the simplicity, the different options. Figured it would be good for a first try at tiny dresses.

I made two. One is the above dress with little ruffled sleeves. I added the waist flat piping and did the gathered skirt option. I also double layered the sleeve ruffles because I didn’t want the raw side showing.

Made By Rae Geranium Dress front

The other was the one above with a happy party parade print. I love border prints. I did the pleated option on this and one and added piping. I love the yellow piping on this one although it did make the dress a royal pain in the butt. But I love how it came out. 

Both little girls look wonderful in their dresses and I can’t wait to make them more. I already have a number of other patterns picked out.

Here are the backs:

Made By Rae Geranium Dress front

Made By Rae Geranium Dress back

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Mar 12 2017

QuiltCon 2017 Follow Up

Published by under Quilting

Quilt at the Riley Blake Booth
Quilt at the Riley Blake Booth

I finally got the chance to go to QuiltCon this year in Savannah, Georgia! I went with my mom and had a great time. I took a bunch of photos of some of my favorite quilts. Most of these were my favorites because they were interesting or inspiring, not always because they were beautiful. For example, the one above was actually from a vendor, Riley Blake, booth but I just thought it was so fun.

First up are my favorites. These are quilts that I was just super inspired by.

Sunset Dreamin' by Louise Wackerman
Sunset Dreamin’ by Louise Wackerman

If I read the description correctly, this was actually a group quilt. Not sure, but I love the simplicity.

Flame by Patty Simmons
Flame by Patty Simmons

Super neat.

Handcrafted by Jennifer Johnston
Handcrafted by Jennifer Johnston

One of the absolute coolest quilts at the festival.

VertigoPieced and quilted by Elaine Poplin
Vertigo Pieced and quilted by Elaine Poplin

Probably my favorite quilt. It makes my eyes feel funny 🙂

Highline by Katie Larson
Highline by Katie Larson

Again, really liked the simplicity and the way the quilting reflected the colors.

Highline by Katie Larson
Highline by Katie Larson

Smoke by Katherine Jones
Smoke by Katherine Jones

Another favorite. Hard to see from this photo, but the threads were of various weights as well which added even more interest.

Dimension Quilt by Nydia Kehnle
Dimension Quilt by Nydia Kehnle

Enjoyed the perspective in this one. The quilting really added to it.

Sea Horizon, West by Lucinda Walker
Sea Horizon, West by Lucinda Walker

I found the calming nature of this one very soothing. Would love to hang something like this on my wall.

Twelve Constellations by Amber Corcoran
Twelve Constellations by Amber Corcoran

I love astronomy so this one was close to home.

Gotham Transit Authority by Catherine Jarett
Gotham Transit Authority by Catherine Jarett

I also love comics, superheroes, etc. which made this one super awesome.

Gotham Transit Authority by Catherine Jarett
Gotham Transit Authority by Catherine Jarett

Tartan Tattoo by Linzi Upton
Tartan Tattoo by Linzi Upton

The detail on this one blew my mind. I loved that they blew up a portion of a tartan. But the detail. And the way it almost made a second quilt on the back. So very cool and so much skill.

Tartan Tattoo by Linzi Upton
Tartan Tattoo by Linzi Upton

Tartan Tattoo by Linzi Upton
Tartan Tattoo by Linzi Upton

Infused PlaidPieced and quilted by Cassandra Beaver
Infused Plaid pieced and quilted by Cassandra Beaver

I was really impressed which how much was achieved with simple straight stitches in different colors.

Infused PlaidPieced and quilted by Cassandra Beaver
Infused Plaid pieced and quilted by Cassandra Beaver

 

There was a whole section of just quilts quilted by Angela Walters, an amazing quilter:

Reject Quilt by Tula Pink and Angela Walters
Reject Quilt by Tula Pink, quilted by Angela Walters

Wholecloth by Angela Walters
Wholecloth by Angela Walters

Wholecloth by Angela Walters
Wholecloth by Angela Walters

Wholecloth by Angela Walters
Wholecloth by Angela Walters

Scrollburst pieced and quilted by Angela Walters
Scrollburst pieced and quilted by Angela Walters

Scrollburst pieced and quilted by Angela Walters
Scrollburst pieced and quilted by Angela Walters

Gothic Arches by Tula Pink and Angela Walters
Gothic Arches by Tula Pink and Angela Walters

Gothic Arches by Tula Pink and Angela Walters
Gothic Arches by Tula Pink and Angela Walters

Inspire by Angela Walters
Inspire by Angela Walters

 

I also enjoyed many of the vendor booths both for purchasing things (I picked up some doodads) and for checking out the samples. Some fabric vendors which were new to me that I plan to revisit are Sew Stitching Happy (adorable fabrics), Adorn It (some really beautiful fabrics, especially with metallics), Cotton Cuts (they have a really cool mystery quilt I’m thinking of doing), and Urban Sew (great selection of apparel and Japanese fabrics).

Fun quilt at the Northcott booth

One of my favorite new vendors that I learned about was Northcott fabrics. They gave away some of their fabrics which I’ve already used (post coming soon). I love the bright colors. I also really enjoyed man of the quilts in their booth. Both of these were great. I really love the bottom one, Fault Line, but the top one is fun too and would be great for a quilt class.

Fault Line quilt at the Northcott booth

Loved the detail on this quilt at the Handiquilter booth

From the Handiquilter booth, I really liked the detail in the quilting on this quilt.

It was great to get a chance to try out a bunch of different longarm machines. They all feel really different. I do most of my quilting on a Handiquilter Avanté which was one of the better machines there. The Gammill was probably my favorite. It was really smooth. But the Gammill’s are also pretty expensive where as the Handiquilters are more affordable and still a really good machine. 

Loved the detail on this quilt at the Handiquilter booth

Very cool light up rug at one of the quiltcon booths

It’s hard to tell in the picture but there’s an LED strip that they crocheted around and it looked really cool lit up.

Conversation hearts quilt!

So cute!

Super cool tuffet at one of the booths

This tuffet was awesome!

 

And here are some other quilts from the festival that I enjoyed:

Meeting of the Geese by Sylvia Schaefer
Meeting of the Geese by Sylvia Schaefer

City Lights by Anne Sullivan
City Lights by Anne Sullivan

State of Being by Cheryl Brickey
State of Being by Cheryl Brickey

Oh Happy Day by Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl
Oh Happy Day by Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl

Go North by Maritza Soto
Go North by Maritza Soto

Not Easy Being GreenPieced and quilted by Mary Keasler
Not Easy Being Green pieced and quilted by Mary Keasler

Pyramids in Blue by Amanda of Mucho XOXO
Pyramids in Blue by Amanda of Mucho XOXO

Luxe Mosaic by Michelle Lieberson
Luxe Mosaic by Michelle Lieberson

Look Deep, Deep into My EyesPieced and quilted by Kari Anderson
Look Deep, Deep into My Eyes pieced and quilted by Kari Anderson

Azure by Emily Cier
Azure by Emily Cier

49 by Anne Sullivan
49 by Anne Sullivan

Red Wedding by Dawn Golstab
Red Wedding by Dawn Golstab

A Sprinkling of Stars by Josee Carrier
A Sprinkling of Stars by Josee Carrier

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Feb 18 2017

Colette Patterns Moneta Dress Review

Published by under Sewing

Colette Moneta side

A while back I made the Colette Patterns Moneta Dress. I think the dress is absolutely adorable and had wanted to make it for a while. The one I have for you today I don’t love on myself and it has already been given away to someone it fits much better. I might make it again (I really like the sleeveless version with the cute tie collar), but I would make several changes.

Colette Moneta front

First let me tell you about some of the neat features of this dress. One of my favorites is pockets. I love having pockets in my dresses.

Colette Moneta waist elastic before overlock

Another neat feature is the way they do the waist gathering. You sew elastic to it while the elastic is stretched and then when it bounces back — boom, gathers! The instructions explains his much better than I do. They actually have you use clear elastic but you can’t iron that (trust me, I tested, it melted) and I like to press my knits so that wasn’t going to work. I used regular elastic and in my opinion, it worked just as well.

Colette Moneta waist elastic

After attaching it, I overlocked over the whole thing which gave it a really nice finished look.

Colette Moneta waist outside

And the gathers look great on the front (and are pressable).

Colette Moneta back

Now here’s what I would change in my next iteration. The waist is way to low for me. If you check out the back picture above you can tell. At least in the back. I’ve started to notice this on a few dresses that I need to take a little bit out of the back to prevent back wrinkles like the ones you see in the first pictures. When I tried the bodice on it looked fine, but when the weight of the skirt was added, it dragged down the knit. So next time I would probably shorten the bodice by about an inch and maybe 2 in the back. This may also have to do with the fabric which has really nice drape, but may not be so good for this style.

Colette Moneta arm cuff

Another change I made was to add cuffs rather than finish the sleeves. I love how this turned out and it’s so much easier than doing the hems . . .

Colette Moneta neckline

Colette Moneta hem

My double needle and I are just not friends yet. I’m hoping my new Bernina will sew this kind of hem better without stretching it out. We shall see. I’ve had much better success doing a simple zig zag and will return to that if my new machine is equally stubborn.

So, this dress wasn’t my favorite. Not yet at least. This particular iteration was given to a friend who is about my size but taller so it fits her much better through the waist. The pattern was well written though and would be a great beginner knit pattern.

Here’s my review on Pattern Review.

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Jan 04 2017

A quilt top for mom

Published by under Quilting,Sewing

Mom Mauve & Dusty Blue front

A while ago (and by a while I mean like 10 years ago), my mom made a quilt top. This quilt top languished in her fabric vault until about a year or two ago when I started doing longarm quilting. When I was home last time, I told her she just needed to get it done so I took it from my mom and told her I would quilt it up for her. She insisted she didn’t even really like it, but now that it’s done she does still like it 🙂

Mom Mauve & Dusty Blue back

I pieced the back in order to save fabric. It was just a little over 44” so I cut the proper length, sliced it down the middle and pieced together some partial blocks leftover from the original quilt piecing. This saved a ton of the backing fabric which my mom can now use for something else.

Special thank you shout out to my dad for being an excellent quilt holder 😉

Mom Mauve & Dusty Blue close up

For the actual quilting, I did feathers in all the white areas and then just simple designs in the 9 patches. I’m very happy with how the feathers turned out. But it was my first time for doing this 9-patch pattern and while it got progressively better, I have to really slow myself down to get it precise. After washing it looked decent, but definitely need more practice here.

Mom Mauve & Dusty Blue binding on the plane

Put my long flight home to good use by working on the binding. Bonus: if you bind on the plane, the quilt keeps you warm and you don’t have to use the icky plane blankets!

Mom Mauve & Dusty Blue close up

I did the binding using the leftover blue fabric and it complimented it nicely. She had just enough leftover blue fabric — almost like she actually intended to originally use the blue for the binding. Which she might have but it was so long ago we have no idea.

Mom Mauve & Dusty Blue close up

I guess this is my first commissioned piece 🙂

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Jan 01 2017

Grace Circle October 2016 Quilt

Published by under Quilting

Grace Circle October 2016 Quilt Folded

As I previously mentioned, I’m a part of the Grace Circle for do. Good Stitches as a quilter. This past October was my first month as quilter and now I can share the quilt I finished last month.

Orange and black square in square in square

I asked the quilt circle members to do the square above called a flower box using this tutorial. For the black, anything that read as black ,and for the orange, anything that read as orange — solid or print in both cases.

Grace Circle October '16 Square

Here were the samples that I made. They also ended up being a part of the quilt as well.

Making my Grace Circle October '16 blocks

Some in progress shots of working not he sample blocks.

Making my Grace Circle October '16 blocks

These blocks were fun and I would totally do them again for a quilt of my own.

Grace Circle October 2016 Quilt top

I got everyone’s squares by mid November and played around a little deciding how I want to lay them out. I ended up offsetting every other row and I really like the chevrons it created between the rows. I had to make a couple more half squares for the layout to be even. I needed to get it done before December because I had already scheduled time on the longarm to get it quilted up before the end of December deadline (quilters are expected to have their quilt done by the end of the second month after their designated month).

Grace Circle October 2016 Quilt Front

It was so cool to see it come together. Quilt circle quilts like this are a great example of how the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Grace Circle October 2016 Quilt Close-up

I enjoyed doing some fun quilting on the longarm for it — swirls that I felt confident with in the diamonds for interest and waves that wouldn’t be too distracting elsewhere.

Grace Circle October 2016 Quilt Back

Since I used orange thread, it made a cool contrast against the black backing that I used.

I’m already cooking up ideas for my next month — April!

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Dec 26 2016

Free Wine Bag Tutorial

Published by under Sewing

Hanukkah wine bag

As promised here’s a walkthrough for the wine bag tutorial that I wrote. It classes up that bottle of wine you’re grabbing on the way out the door as a gift for your party host. The bag can be made with 2 fat quarters or just extra fabric that you have laying around. And once you’ve made it once or twice, you can whip one up in about 15-20 minutes.

Hanukkah fabric

I’ll be using some Basic Cotton printed with one of my designs at Spoonflower and some basic white muslin for the lining. I don’t recall what the fleece I used is, but I recommend Thermolam Plus.

Hanukkah wine bag

Starting by cutting out your fabric: outside, lining, fleece and handle. Since the fleece is optional I didn’t list it on the tutorial, but in my case, I cut it 1/2 inch less on all sides (so 6” x 14”).

Hanukkah wine bag

In the instructions, I say to sew the sides together before cutting the 1.5” squares from the corners. You can do it before or after. Cutting it after is faster; cutting before prevents having fleece in the seam. I’m showing the case where I cut the 1.5” squares before sewing in case you like that better since the pdf outlines how to do it the other way.

Hanukkah wine bag

You’ll want to cut the bottom corners from the outer fabric, lining and fleece.

Hanukkah wine bag

Fuse the fleece the center of the outer fabric.

Hanukkah wine bag

Sew together the outer bag pieces at the sides using a 1/2” seam allowance. Repeat for the lining. If you’re doing the cut-corners-first version, you can just sew right off the edge when you get to the corners — no need to back stitch. We’ll be locking those stitches down when we sew the corners together.

Don’t forget to leave a 3 inch gap in the lining. You can see in the photo above that I mark that gap with two pins on either side so that I don’t forget to do it.

If you decided to cut out your corners after sewing, now is the time to do it.

Hanukkah wine bag

To sew the corners together, bring the side bag seam to match the adjacent bottom bag seam. The rest of the bag should sort of poof out.

Pinch the two seams together and flatten out the fabric to the sides of the seams enough so that it can lay flat under your presser foot. You should have a straight edge perpendicular to the side seams. You’ll want to sew along that edge with a 1/2” seam allowance. Trim that seam allowance to 1/4” after sewing.

Repeat for the lining.

Hanukkah wine bag

Time to make the handle. Start by pressing the handle lengthwise.

Hanukkah wine bag

Open it up.

Hanukkah wine bag

Flip it over . . .

Hanukkah wine bag

And press the sides in.

Hanukkah wine bag

Now fold the sides together again.

Hanukkah wine bag

And stitch with a 1/8” seam allowance down the sides.

Let’s go back to the bag. Now we’re going to attach the handle. I find it easiest to do this with the outer bag turned inside out (right side facing in).

Hanukkah wine bag

Pin the handle to the outside of the bag at the side seams, matching the end of the handle to the top edge of the bag. The side seams provide a nice easy way to match up the centers — just match the center of the handle to the side seam. Your handle should make a little U shape in the middle of the bag. Make sure there are no twists!

I use two pins so that I can hold down each of the outer bag seam allowances when I tack the handles on.

Secure to the top with a 3/8” seam allowance so it will be hidden when we sew in the lining. You don’t need to backstitch here either.

Hanukkah wine bag

Now we’re going to put in the lining. Your lining should be right side out and your outer bag should be inside out. Slip your lining into your outer bag. Their right sides should be facing one another. You’ll need to gently move the handle to the side to slide the lining past.

Pin the lining and outer bag together, matching tops and side seams. Again, I use 2 pins on each side seam to hold down each of the seam allowances. It just prevents worrying about it when I’m sewing.

Stitch around the top with the standard 1/2” seam allowance.

Hanukkah wine bag

Turn the bag right side out by pulling it through the gap you left in the lining.

Hanukkah wine bag

Using your iron, gently press the seam at the top between the outer bag and lining. You’ll want to roll the lining to the inside of the bag. Since the lining is a hair shorter, it should fit in nicely. Top stitch around the top to make it look nice. Machine or hand stitch close the opening in the lining and you’re done! Ready to be gifted 🙂

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Dec 25 2016

Hanukkah wine bags and gift baskets

Published by under Sewing

Haukkah gift bags

Wishing everyone a Happy Hanukkah!

These are wine bags and gift baskets that I made last year with some fabric I designed on Spoonflower. I couldn’t find the kind of Hanukkah fabric that I wanted so I made my own! And now it’s available to you, too!

I wrote up a tutorial for the tall wine bag but needed to test it out. I’ve done so and here it is.

Meanwhile here are a few more pictures from my tester bags. All of the fabrics are printed on Spoonflower’s basic cotton.

Hanukkah wine bag

This one uses shape flex (Pellon SF101) as support for the fabric. The lining is plain white muslin.

Hanukkah wine bag

This one uses fusible fleece as the stabilizer. I wasn’t thrilled by how it wrinkled a bit after fusing, but I think that was due to poor quality fleece. My preferred fleece is Thermolam, but I used something else in the case. Not sure what it was, but I won’t be using it again.

Hanukkah wine bag

This is a slightly different style that I was trying out. No stabilizers, but it does have a round bottom. Lining is the coordinating striped fabric you can see.

Hannukah short basket

And finally one more test. This was more of a basket style. I used some coordinating quilting cotton for the lining and lined with the meh fleece mention above.

Tomorrow I’ll post a walk through for making the tall ones.

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Dec 17 2016

Jennifer Paganelli Good Company Quilt

Published by under Quilting

Jennifer Paganelli Good Company Quilt

This was a quilt which I did for fun because I loved the fabric. I actually finished it last year but only got around to posting pictures now because I thought it might be a gift and didn’t want to ruin the surprise. But it has long since found it’s happy home, so I’m free to post!

Jennifer Paganelli Good Company strips 

The fabric line is Good Company by Jennifer Paganelli. I’m a huge fan of her prints. The fabric is delightfully soft and would probably drape nicely. I would love to make a dress out of one of her fabrics at some point although I think this particularly line is out of print now. 🙁

These were actually part of a wide jelly roll — each strip was 6” wide by width of fabric.

Jennifer Paganelli Good Company strips

I then cut each strip into thirds. Probably about 14 inches long each.

Jennifer Paganelli Good Company Quilt

Put them in columns and rows and there you have it.

Jennifer Paganelli Good Company Quilt

Jennifer Paganelli Good Company Quilt

I had fun with the quilting and used the designs as inspiration, but also going for a sort of whimsical look. You can really see the quilting by looking at the back where I of course used minky because it feels so cuddly but also because I knew it would show off the quilting nicely:

Jennifer Paganelli Good Company Quilt

Jennifer Paganelli Good Company Quilt

Jennifer Paganelli Good Company Quilt

For the binding I used some green and white striped fabric from a different Jennifer Paganelli line (can’t remember which one though). I think it compliments the prints, adds interest and ties it all together.

Jennifer Paganelli Good Company Quilt

I love how it turned out. I thought it might be a baby gift, but then the person I was thinking of giving it to had a boy so I had to change gear for them. I thought I might keep it for myself but we’re amassing quite a collection of quilts. When my mom came to visit, she saw it and loved it and now it lives with her (and I still get to use it when I visit 🙂 ).

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Dec 14 2016

Thanksgiving 5k Tutus

Published by under Crafts

TurkeyTrotTutus

I had to put this one under crafts because there’s actually no sewing involved!

My family does a Turkey Trot 5k run every year on Thanksgiving Day. We’ve been doing it at least the last 5 years, maybe 10. I’ve lost count at this point. Some years I run. This year I walked with my cousin since she was pregnant and the running aggravated things (as they will when you’re carrying another human).

To make things a little more “exciting” this year, we decided to make matching tutus! I looked at a bunch of different tutu tutorials online and then basically used this tutorial from DIY Projects mostly for the yardage and size of strips. We used elastic rather than ribbon though and of course a variety of colors, but it came out to approximately 6 yards of tulle per skirt.

Materials

  • 1 yard of 1/2 inch elastic (or whatever is needed to go around your waist and tie it in a knot)
  • 6 yards of tulle (feel free to mix up the colors!)

Tools

  • Rotary cutter & mat
  • Scissors
  • Your hands 🙂

Directions

Cutting tulle for Turkey Trot Tutus

Use the rotary cutter to slice the tulle into 6 inch strips. I started using a rotary ruler for this to begin with but trying to layout the tulle, measure was too much bother so I just eyeballed it. Tutu making of this sort is not an exact science so it wasn’t really a big deal, made no difference to the finished product and went so much faster.

Tulle strips for Turkey Trot Tutus

Tulle strips for Turkey Trot Tutus

Cut each strip in half so that they’re about 25” long each. I had some minions to do this for me while I continued to cut strips. 🙂

Attaching strips for Turkey Trot Tutus

Tie the elastic around your waist and then do pull over knots to tie it to the elastic. Repeat until tutu has desired fullness.

Attaching strips for Turkey Trot Tutus

What’s a pull over knot? This is where you create a loop with the tulle (ideally at the middle of the strip) and pull the rest of the tulle through that loop so that it wraps around the elastic (or whatever you are tying it to). The tutorial linked above has some good photos of how to do it if mine don’t make sense.

Backside of Turkey Trot Tutus My Turkey Trot Tutus

Enjoy your tutu!

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