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Introducing the perfect dress up ballet skirt.  Too fun!

This skirt is sized to fit 4-8 years, but you could shorten the elastic for a smaller child, add a longer waistband for a larger size, or make it extra long and tie it like a wrap around skirt.

You will need:

  • 2.8 metres of  Fine Tulle for the skirt (or more if you are making a larger skirt)
  • 20 cm of Stella Poly interlock fabric (or a firm jersey 120cm wide) for the waistband & ties
  • 45 cm of 20mm non-roll elastic
  • Large spool of thread to match colour of fabric and tulle
  • A sewing machine

Step 1:

Cut the waistband fabric in half, so you have 2 x 60cm wide pieces of fabric.  Set one aside for making the ties later.

Step 2:

Cut the tulle into 7 lengths of 40cm from selvedge to selvedge (each piece will be 269cm wide x 40cm deep)

Step 3:

Sew a gathering thread 1cm in from one edge of each piece of tulle along widest edge and working gently, pull the thread to gather the tulle into 60cm lengths.

Do this for all 7 pieces of tulle.

Step 4:

Working from the bottom up (like steps) and with one piece of gathered tulle at a time, pin and zigzag stitch over your gathered line to attach the tulle to the waistband.

Leave a gap of approx 1cm between each layer as you attach them to the waistband – this will give you a beautiful slightly rounded shape that will sit out nicely.

You may find that you have an uneven edge – or that the waistband has stretched slightly with the addition of the tulle.  If this has happened, lay the skirt flat on the table and trim the sides back to the required size.

Step 5:

With the right side facing you, turn the top over twice, and hem it over the top layer of zig zagged tulle – ensuring you have enough space in that casing to allow for the insertion of your length of elastic.

Step 6:

Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic and run it through the casing – using the safety pin to guide the elastic.  Pin both ends to the edge of the waistband and sew in place.

Step 7:

Take the remaining piece of waistband fabric and cut it in half horizontally.  You will now have 2 lengths of fabric 10cm wide by 60cm long.

Zig zag all edges of the waistband ties.

With right sides facing, attach the waistband ties to each edge of the waistband, sew in place, fold back and then overstitch on the right side to strengthen the tie and make a neat edge.

Step 8:

Tie the skirt Around the waist of your ballerina and watch her leap about.


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Roughed Up

I have to confess I am addicted to distressed paint and much prefer a distressed and faded wall on a derelict house to anything fresh and fancy. I love the patina that age gives to wood, collect painted driftwood and zoom when when I can see paint peeling on a surface.  There is something special about knowing that an item has lived and breathed before.  That hands have touched it, chosen it, saved it, enjoyed it.

It’s true that letters have been around as a decorating item for years.  I don’t know about you – but I always keep an eye out for my kids initials and never seem to find what I’m looking for, so it was quite exciting to see a new range of paper mache letters kicking around the Lincraft office.  They are not wood, but that’s Ok to me because with a little care you can fake it and they are so lightweight you can stick them up with blu tac and move them around when you feel like it without damaging the wall.

You will need:

  • Paper-mache letters
  • Acrylic paint in a number of different colours
  • Brush
  • Sandpaper.

Paint the letters in a few different colours – layering one colour over the other and allowing enough time for them to dry properly.  Don’t worry if the paint is uneven or if bumps are present – they will add to the final look once sanded.  Finish with a coat of white.

Once thoroughly dry, take some very fine sandpaper and working carefully (because the paint is thin and we are working on paper) reveal the paint under the top layer, paying careful attention to the corners and edges where wear would naturally occur.

When you are happy with your letters, spray with a Matt Finishing sealer to protect them and affix to your wall.

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