Thursday, December 29, 2011

Uniform Alterations

For the past two weeks we've been working on a large amount of alterations, most of them being WA State Patrol uniforms.  It required hemming the pants and sleeves and taking in the side seams of most of the shirts. Altogether we altered about 50 different pieces of clothing. It was a big task but we found out that uniform alterations is definitely something we want to get more into doing.

There was lots of hemming to be done

And a nice big pile of scraps from the many trimmings!

Eloise really liked helping us too!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Morning Peppermint Cocoa Twirls

Last night for dessert my friend Bethany and I created some yummy treats for our hot cocoa. It would be perfect for a Christmas morning treat! All you need is soft peppermint sticks ( or you could use candy canes) chocolate chips and mini marshmallows. First put your chocolate chips in a double boiler and melt them!

Next you can chop up one or two of your peppermint sticks. You can also slice your marshmallows.
Dip half of your stick into the chocolate and twirl around until evenly coated. Add the marshmallows all around the chocolate, drizzle with more chocolate and then add the chopped peppermint. Make up a cup of hot cocoa and enjoy dipping your twirl stick in your drink! It adds a delicious peppermint flavor to your drink.
On some of them we tried just dipping the chocolate in the middle of stick so you can have a second little handle when you have licked one side away! Just be creative and create these for your own personal taste!

Friday, December 16, 2011

How to Add Simple Elegance to a Dress...Pin-tucking

One easy way to add elegance to a solid skirt or a dress is adding pin-tucks. A pin-tuck is a fold or pleat in fabric that is sewn in place. I am making a dress where this pin-tucking technique adds so much character to this solid silk dress. 

Here's a tutorial on how to create pin-tucks with attached lace. 

This is what my pin-tucks look like.
For the next pin-tuck I measured 1 1/2" from my stitching on my last pin-tuck. (depending on how far apart you want your pin-tucks will determine that measurement)

Take your straight edge ruler and mark with chalk all along the skirt.

Fold your fabric from your marked line back behind the skirt and press in place.

Leave your fabric folded and bring it to the sewing machine. If you are adding lace or any trim, first determine how much of the lace you want to be shown. Then place your fabric on the 1/4" seam allowance and begin sewing. (remeber your lace should be past the 1/4" seam allowance so you can see it when you are finished.)

Here's how mine looks after I have sewed it. 
 Sew all the way across you skirt. Now press your pin-tuck down and you are finished.

Here's how it should look when it is completed. If you did it without lace then you should just have the fold and stitching line. 

Please feel free to ask me any questions about this tutorial!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Heirloom Christmas Party Dresses...

The last couple of weeks we have been sewing up some Christmas party dresses. The thing I loved about both the styles we made, was that they were heirloom dresses. What I mean by that is, they have unique details that you would see on a lot of dresses in the olden days.

Pintucks on the bodice, with hand embroidery over top, dupioni silk, flat piping on the collar, sleeves and bodice, and buttons down the back instead of a zipper.

On the second dress, we made it of a chiffon bodice, with elegant long sleeves, and a cuff with lace and buttons. The collar is edged in the same lace as a the cuff, and the buttons down the center front complete the look. The skirt is made of a suiting material that has a rose velvet print over top.

All the details on these dresses display a vintage look, that is appealing to the modern eye.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

And the Winner of our Holiday Apron Giveaway is.....

Anna Townsley

Thank you everybody so much for entering our first giveaway. We had a great turnout and look forward to doing more giveaways in the future!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Welcome to our first giveaway! We will be giving out a vintage inspired holiday apron. It's would be a wonderful addition to your collection of aprons or would make the perfect gift for a friend. The apron is made with 3 coordinating, Moda cotton prints. It is edged with an authentic antique lace. 

1 Entry: Leaving a comment
2 Entries:
Becoming a new follower

1 Extra Entry: {FACEBOOK} about the giveaway with a link back here and mention Bella Jean Apron Giveaway in the update. (leave 1 additional comment saying you did this)
1 Extra Entry: "Like" Bella Jean Boutique on Facebook

1 person will be selected using and will have 72 hours to claim the prize or a new winner will be chosen.

Pin It

Linked to:
Whimsy Wednesday
Manic Monday
Made By you Monday
Made By Little Hands Monday
Craft O Maniac Monday

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Day Apron

One of the things I love most about Thanksgiving is baking all sorts of delicious desserts. Being as we're in the kitchen alot it's always nice to have a cute apron to wear around.

One of my friends found an apron she loved and showed it to us saying "This would make the perfect Thanksgiving day apron, but maybe for next year..." since this was two days ago :-) Well, later that day I needed to go down to a local fabric store to pick something up and came across this gorgeous pumpkin colored fabric. It is a 100% swiss dot cotton material and is super soft. I got a 1/2 yd and took it home knowing exactly what I was going to do! For a little surprise for her today we put together the apron by copying the picture she had shown us. Now she can have her perfect Thanksgiving Day apron just in time!

Linked to:

Monday, November 21, 2011

Cozy Knits for Babies and Toddlers

Over the weekend I knitted a few different projects. Eloise's friend Isabella just had her first birthday so a friend ordered her an ear-flap hat to match the coat we made her (I'll be doing another post on the coat soon). I wanted to be profitable on a drive up to Seattle on Saturday so I basically knitted the whole hat then.

Last night Louise asked about getting Isabella a scarf to match her hat and coat too so I knitted up a little baby scarf! Oh and Eloise was very intent on helping me out on her friend's scarf! (she ended up taking my needle out along with some stitches :-)

Here's the scarf - There is a buttonhole and button so the scarf will stay on her very nicely!

Here's the hat and scarf together!

I also finished knitting this hat - It was a project I had started last year. It's nice to finally see some projects get finished!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Special Visitor...Owl Pillow

Today, we had a special visit from our little cousin Susie. She is 6 years old and the perfect age to start learning to sew. She was very excited about getting to sew with us today. I found a cute and fun project for her to make. It was an owl pillow. What little girl doesn't like owls??? She got to pick out all the fabric she wanted to use. The nice thing is you can use up scraps. Well, we got right to work!

Here's the pattern we used. Enjoy!

Learning how to pin

Practicing her reading skills by reading the pattern

Holdin' it nice and straight

Very satisfied with her work so far!

Her pillow is complete!!!