Easy to Make Dress for Girls Who Twirl

My Princess loves wearing dresses and if they have a skirt that twirls, all the better. We bought a simple plain t-shirt and with fabric already on hand made this adorable dress in less than a couple of hours.Front of DressWe followed the basic instructions in this tutorial from The Crafty Cupboard to make the dress. You could make this dress with the skirt attached at the waist, long waisted, or empire waist style. Since the skirt is a full circle, the length and width of the fabric needed would depend on where the skirt is to be attached to the t-shirt and length of skirt. T-shirt and skirt fabricAfter cutting the t-shirt the length desired (plus seam width), fold the shirt in half with sleeves together. Then fold in half again the same direction and measure the width of the folded cut line. This will be the measurement you use to cut the center circle of the shirt.

Fold the skirt fabric in half with the selvages together and then in half with the cut edges together to form a square. (Think cutting out paper snowflakes.) At the folded point (which will be the center of your skirt) measure the length you determined from the previous paragraph. Pivot from the center point marking the length at several points. Then using those markings, draw a quarter circle. Before you cut that circle, do the same thing from the center point to mark the length of the skirt and then cut both quarter circles.

We surged the waist and bottom edge of the skirt before pinning and sewing the skirt to the t-shirt. The surged hemline was easy to press under 1/2 inch and topstitch for a small hem. You can add a sash and ties to the dress if desired, but it works without as well. Check out the tutorial.

Back of Dress

Back of dress with ties

We plan to make several summer dresses for the girls using variations of this method. A little friend’s birthday is coming up soon and she loves frilly, glittery dress up clothes to play in.Glitter Fabric So we used a variation of this same tutorial to make a fun play skirt. Only this time we made the waist slightly bigger and made one straight cut from the waist to the hem, turning under and top stitching these edges to make a wrap skirt. We added a waistband and stitched velcro on the waistband to make the skirt adjustable. This way she can wear it as she grows (or share it with her sisters!)

Play Dress Up Skirt

Masculine Thank You Cards

I recently needed a lot of thank you cards for several people, male and female. I realized in my stash of cards that I had made with my family that they were mostly flowery and girly looking. I think they are cute and obviously enjoyed making pretty cards. However, since I had several guys on my list to send thank you’s to, I was stuck. I knew I needed to make some male-friendly cards.

I looked on Pinterest for some inspiration and then did my own thing.

Using paper scraps, paper I had previously embossed, buttons, stamps, and markers, here are the cards I made.


Thank-You-Card-6 Thank-you-Card-5 Thank-You-Card-4 Thank-you-Card-3 Thank-You-Card-2 Thank-You-Card-1

Documented Life Project -Week 14

The challenge for Week 14 of the Documented Life Project was: “Write your name and embellish it.”

I was happy to be caught up this week so I could get to this challenge right away. One of my favorite fonts is typewriter, so I wanted to do my name in that font. As I was writing it, I though about seeing my name on a book cover. It has always been a dream of mine to write a book someday. So this page is my inspiration for that goal.DLP-Week-14-M

During my stay in New York, I took pictures of things that gave me inspiration. One of those pictures was of old penny tile flooring. Old-Penny-Tile-FlooringSo while contemplating what to do with my name for this challenge, I kept thinking about this flooring. Using it as my inspiration, I made my name a subtle part of the design.DLP-Week-14-J

Unique Homemade Graduation Cards

Graduation time is almost here. You don’t need to spend a fortune on cards. Use your creativity and a little bit of time to make these three simple graduation cards. The only supplies needed are card stock and a couple of marking pens or colored pencils.

Homeade Graduation CardHomemade Graduation Card insideHomemade Graduation Card Homemade Graduation Card insideHomemade Graduation Card Homemade Graduation Card inside

Last year we showed you another simple idea for graduation cards in this post.

Homemade Easter cards

I’ve been inspired to make cards lately. Since Easter is coming up soon, I decided to get a head start with Easter cards.

I had some Easter scrapbook papers but started first with some eggs that I cut out of patterned paper and outlined and shaded them with colored pencil. I placed them in a bed of grass (or paper with grass printed on it), and added the “Happy Easter!” with colored pencil to some cardstock and patterned paper.Egg Easter Cards

Then using the Easter papers, I cut them up and arranged the pieces on the cards using the bunny’s ears for the “Y.”Bunny Easter Cards

I had some embossed paper with birds on them. I thought they seemed Easter/spring-like. I made a simple card with the small letter stamps.Embossed Easter CardsHave a Happy Easter this year!

A Day of Weaving

I have been intrigued by this place every time I come to New York City. We pass it on the way to the subway from my daughter’s apartment. But I have never stopped in.Weaving Studio- Loop of the LoomLoop-of-the-LoomI could see weaving looms through the window.Weaving Studio Window

This week I finally got to descend the stairs and take an all day lesson in weaving, thanks to my daughter and son-in-law!

Weaving Studio- Loop of the LoomThe Loop of the Loom is the only hand weaving studio in the city. In their classes for children and adults they teach the SAORI method of weaving. According to their website,

SAORI is a ZEN art of weaving from Japan that is dedicated to free expression and self-development. Loop of the Loom has the pleasure of introducing this easy-to-learn form of, what we like to call, “happy weaving” and unique craft classes using fibers from mother nature.

So I had a day of “happy weaving” in Loop of the Loom’s bright cheerful studio. One wall is covered with a rainbow of yarns of all kinds to use. There is also a bucket full of scraps of ribbons, yarn, threads, wool roving, and more to use in your weaving creations. Wall of YarnWeavingWeavingJan WeavingWeavingWeavingMy weaving projectWhen the day came to an end, my weaving was removed from the loom and hung on the wall for picture taking. I learned much and would love the opportunity to weave again. Studio-Owner Loop of the Loom

Yukako Satone, the owner of Loop of the Loom studio ties off the warp threads on my weaving after it was removed from the loom.Weaving-ProjectWhat is the difference between traditional weaving and the SAORI method of weaving, you ask? I’ve not done traditional weaving so I will again quote from Loop of the Loom’s website.

Hand weaving is one of the most popular hand crafts you can find almost anywhere in the world. However, SAORI is unique and totally different from other traditional styles of hand weaving.  In traditional hand weaving, weavers highly value the regularity and cleanness of the woven cloth: if there is an irregular pattern or thread, it is considered as a “mistake” or “flaw”.  In SAORI, on the other hand, we put more importance on free expression, because hand weaving is different from machine weaving.

The SAORI method is free from the traditional rules of weaving and therefore easier for children, adults, and those with disabilities to learn to do. You can read more about the history of the SAROI method here.

If you live in New York City or plan to visit soon, take time for expanding your creative learning by taking a class at Loop of the Loom.

Documented Life Project- Week 13

The challenge for week 13 for the Documented Life Project was to: “Ask someone else to draw on your page – finish it.”

Since I am visiting my 2 year old Songbird right now, I decided to ask her to draw on my page. Here is what she gave me to work with:2-Yr-old-DrawingAfter spending a day pondering what I could make from her drawing, the image of a guy surfing a wave began to appear. I used watercolor pencils to color in the lines she had drawn and added a little extra ocean as well as a quote that went well with the picture.DLP-Week-13-J

When I had the time to work on this page, all my kids were asleep and my hubby was out working. So, I decided to rifle through the stacks and stacks of kids drawings we have around the house to see what I could find to use. I had a hard time finding one I was willing to cut up for my page until I came across this one by Miss Tickles. I knew she wouldn’t mind as much as my other two.


This is a picture of her “circles” that she has started drawing lately. I wanted to preserve the “toddlerness” of her picture so I just added some toddler rules and a stamp. This is as much a keepsake as it is an art page.


Happy Birthday, in a Tickle!

First Birthday

Today we celebrate one year of blogging! We are so excited to have come this far, and we look forward to all the fun we have ahead of us.

Thank you so much to all of our faithful readers. We hope that you have been encouraged and inspired in your creativity this past year.

We look forward to the new things we will learn this year and get to share with you. We are excited for the goals we have to help grow in a Tickle into something even greater.

Make sure you like our Facebook page for updates on posts as well as dates for workshops in the hopefully near future.

For our birthday, will you give us a gift and share in the comments below something that you have enjoyed about in a Tickle. Thanks!

Thank you for making this year great!

Melinda and JanMelinda and Jan

Documented Life Project- Week 12

Week 12′s challenge for the Documented Life Project was to “Cut up a magazine…add!”

In a magazine I found a full page of images of vegetables and fruit with light shining through them that looked perfect for my challenge.Magazine Page of VeggiesRather than cut up the images, I used a black pen and white pen and doodled all over the page, turning the vegetables and fruits into a flower garden. I enjoyed transforming this page just using simple tools– two pens.DLP-Week-12-JMelinda:

I started with my stack of magazines and a hope for inspiration. I began with my Lion brand yarn catalog and found the picture of the bed. I knew that’s what I wanted to start with. Then while looking through a home decor magazine, I came across the starry sky for my background. I got lucky and there was a whole section of that magazine about “Your Dream Home” giving me lots of “dream” to use. After gluing it all together I used my black and white pens to doodle on the top to make it all work together. Do you need to wake up and dream?



Playing With Gelli Printing

Gelli plate printing is play and it can get messy and you won’t want to stop. So decide now to get started having some fun creating and check out our other posts to find out more. Today we are sharing some more of our prints to inspire you.

Homemade Gelli Plate
First Day Gelli Printing {Part 1}
First Day Gelli Printing {Part 2}
First Day Gelli Printing {Part 3}
First Day Gelli Printing {Part 4}
More Gelli Prints
Kids Can Gelli Print Too
Gelli Print Inspiration
Gelli Plate Printing Is Addicting