Postcards from Lavendale (with mini top hat tutorial)

Well!  I'm starting this post later than I would have hoped!  With Picnik pretty much gone now, I find myself bouncing back and forth between photo editing and collage sites and it is time consuming! What I have here today is a post on my newest entry for the Project Run & Play sew along:  Challenge 4: Pick a Color.

While I was finishing up my last entry, I was brainstorming on what to do next.  I asked Azriella what was her favorite color and she promptly said "PURPLE!"  I said, "Really?  Remember, there's red, orange, yellow, green, blue, pink, purple, black, and white..."  "PURPLE!" Okay, just making sure!  So I set forth to find fabric.  I found more than I needed.  I bought 6 different fabrics and ended up using 5 of them.  Then I thought of this dress that I have been itching to make from a book that I have by Mary Adams called "the Party Dress" and the dress on the cover is one of her incredible creations called the bias strip dress.  I had no idea how much fabric I was going to need ( I bought too much!) and I was unsure of how to do the bodice.

I ended up drafting something on my own that's lined so it's not itchy >._.<

for the record, even a wide twin needle didn't work

before.  loads of bias strips.

Whew!  Done!  

Inevitably, I had a bunch (still do!) of 1/2" strips of fabrics leftover so I made them into: little slippers for Azriella, a little bracelet with a dyed purple ruffle (and a purple snap!), a simple necktie, and a little mini top hat to finish it off!  You may have noticed a similar top hat from Az's Easter Dress pics.  Well, to interject this post, I will show you how to make one!

What you will need:

  • A marking tool
  • cardboard or construction paper (optional but useful)
  • two circle guides (I used a snack lid that was 3" around and then traced the inner circle that was 2 and a half" around)
  • a felt rectangle or some scrap felt
  • scrap fabric
  • sewing stuff
  • glue gun
  • elastic (I used fold-over but that is totally not necessary!)


  1. (refer to the pics above)  Trace out your circles on to cardboard.  These are your pattern pieces
  2. Cut out your circles using your pattern pieces.  Try to keep them as close together on a short end so as to conserve fabric. Cut out a long rectangle strip about 11" wide by 2" long (longer if you are making one for an adult but I wouldn't exceed 3").  This is how tall your hat is going to be.  
  3. Wrap your rectangle around to match the circumference of your smaller circle (the small circle is the top of the hat and the larger one is the lid.
  4. Check to make sure you are happy with how the hat will look (you know, eventually ;-)
  5.  If you want, cover your larger circle with fabric.  Add a ruffle if you like!  
  6. I chose to cover the edge in a bias strip (ha!) but you could glue beads, sequins, stitch some lace...
  7. Embellish the TOP of your small circle (don't worry about the inside since it won't be seen).
  8. Glue your rectangle to your small circle around the top of the rim (if you have a top or bottom to your wrapped rectangle make sure you note which side is going to be up!)
  9. This is what you have so far!
  10. Take your elastic the length of your subjects head.  Make sure it's sung but not too tight.  I think I went with 18.5" (the FOE was really stretchy, her head is like 20").  Center and secure it to the bottom of the large circle.  I chose to zigzag stitch.  Go out about 3/4" in either direction to secure it to the bottom.
  11. Glue the top of the large circle (making sure it is as centered as possible) to the bottom of the rest of the hat.  Add more embellishments if you like to the hat.  I added a little bow.
  12. That's it! Yeay!  You have an awesome mini top hat.  How very steampunk of you ;-)

 I went with a circle skirt for the bottom of the dress because I want this baby to TWIRL!

I did a little pleated ruffle on the bottom with a narrow serged edge... I refrained from my compulsion to do a rolled hem because it seemed to "polished" for this look.

The sparkly little matching slippers have a clear vinyl soles (which shows the purple felt I used!) so they can be worn outdoors (but not a lot obviously!) and are lined with a cozy purple floral flannel.

We had to gather all her purple ponies and dragons and take them along for the shoot!

I love little accessories, so I just had to add a little arm band (which should have been a bracelet but Az was not in the mood to try it on before i set in the snaps.)  And the little purse is a drawstring bag to transport her little critter friends around!

I thought the dress itself needed something... A flower? Perfect!  So I made a chiffon flower using this tutorial here.  I modified it alittle, adding a covered button to the middle.

She LOVES her purple dress!  She says she looks like a queen!  Which is why I came up with the title: Postcards from Lavendale. A magical place where purple is the official color and all hail to Queen Azzywella!

 We were taking pictures outside but it was sooo cold for her...

 She insisted on wearing that blanket my mom crochet the rest of the photo shoot so we had to take things inside (much to my dismay).

But I did manage to score some cute pics with the blanket too! HA!

Okay!  That's about it for now!  I hope you appreciate my purple dress for my little princess!  I am still a little stumped on what to do for Movie Week, but I'm sure I'll lock in on one of my ideas soon!  Till then!!

P.S.)  Check out more pics here and follow the PR&P sew along here

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