April 08, 2015

321 Comments

LJC Pattern Hacks › Sewing Techniques ›




 


Make a "Jewel in the Middle" Braid

This week, I show you something a little different: how to make and use bias tubes to form an unusual braid! It gets its name from the single, colored strand that runs down the middle of the braid. 

GIVEAWAY UPDATE: We have a winner! It's Natalie, who said, "I don’t think I could pick a favorite spot to vacation! Anywhere with family is great(as long as it’s not camping!), but I’d love to visit Ireland." Ireland sounds amazing, Natalie....and good times are always better with loved ones :) We'll be in touch via email soon. 

And, thanks to everybody who entered! Wow! :)

There are lots of places you could use this braid, but today I'm going to use it as straps for the Liberty Jane Maxi Dress

Cut fabric strips on the bias, 1" wide by about 12" long. You'll need three from your main color, and one from an accent color.

(By the way, "bias" just means at a 45 degree angle to the straight grain of the fabric -- there are lots of videos on youtube if you're not sure about this part. Cutting on the bias makes the finished tube lay a lot more smoothly when it's braided.) 

Fold a strip in half, then stitch a shy 1/4" away from the folded edge.

 

Trim away the extra seam allowance, close to your stitching line. 

Cut a tiny slit in one end of the tube, and thread a bobby pin through this spot.

Carefully work the bobby pin through the tube, to turn it to the right side. Give your finished tube a gentle press.

Do this with all the strips, then lay them out in order: two base color, accent, then the last base color. Stitch them together at one end.

Secure the end to your worksurface with a piece of tape -- or, you can just leave them in your machine, and hold them in place with the needle, like we suggest in the Maxi Dress pattern.  It's time to braid!

Take the strip on the very left. Run it OVER strip #2, then UNDER the accent strip.

Then, take the strip on the very right, and put it UNDER its neighbor, and OVER the accent strip. 

Keep going! (Left side: Over, Under. Right side: Under, Over. Left side: Over, Under...)

Your braid should start to look something like this: 

When you get to the end, stitch the strips together at the bottom so they don't come unravelled.

Then, measure off the length of braid you'll need for your project, and stitch on either side of your cutting line. Now you're ready to chop the braid up, and put it to good use.....

...like sewing them into a cute new summer maxi dress!

Giveaway Time!

Wanna win this maxi dress? I made it just for this tutorial, and I'd love to send it to one lucky winner!

To enter, just leave a comment below, finishing this sentence: 

"My favorite summer vacation spot is...."

We'll pick a winner on Monday, April 13th, and get in touch via email. 

Thanks everybody, and have fun with this!

For Pixie Faire,
Melinda


100 Comments

Ellie Guhl
Ellie Guhl

June 10, 2016

My favorite summer vacation spot would be the coast of Maine. The weather is beautiful, the ocean sounds are tranquil and the coast is fabulous!

Lory
Lory

June 10, 2016

My favorite summer spot is Weymouth, Nova Scotia. Best place on earth…. so peaceful.

Janice
Janice

June 10, 2016

My favorite vacation spot is home in my sewing room with my sewing and embroidery machines.

Margaret I.
Margaret I.

June 10, 2016

My favorite holiday spot was Banff, Jasper and Radium Hot Springs National Parks in Alberta, Canada. Enjoy the Gondola lifts and the relaxing soak in the hot Springs the views are fantastic. Lots to see. Thanks for the pattern…great little summer pattern for the girls dolls. thanks so much, really appreciate it.

Margaret I.
Margaret I.

June 10, 2016

My favorite holiday spot was Banff, Jasper and Radium Hot Springs National Parks in Alberta, Canada. Enjoy the Gondola lifts and the relaxing soak in the hot Springs the views are fantastic. Lots to see. Thanks for the pattern…great little summer pattern for the girls dolls. thanks so much, really appreciate it.

Thresea Wright
Thresea Wright

June 10, 2016

We live on a farm. Not much time to vacation in the summer.

Kathy Pellenz
Kathy Pellenz

June 02, 2016

My favorite vacation spot is Waconia, MN—where my grandchildren live! While we are there I get to go to so many cool places—like the Mall of America(American Girl Store) and Three Kittens Yarn Shop!

Dorothy St. Pierre
Dorothy St. Pierre

June 01, 2016

Cannon Beach, OR

Jennifer Bowen
Jennifer Bowen

April 23, 2016

Don’t get to go on a lot of vacations, but love spending time with my Grand children. Thanks so much for the Doll Tips & Tutorials….I love doing doll stuff.

Pamala
Pamala

April 22, 2016

My favorite vacation spot is our annual family reunion at a hot springs in Idaho. We do this with my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Everyone knows a year in advance so that we can all be together for some great fun and creating memories. All my granddaughters are big fans of the American Girl Dolls and so I’m always looking for new ideas and outfits to sew for them and friends of our family. Very cute and pretty dress and I love the variation in the straps. There is only one way to make memories and that is to actually take the time to be together as a family vacations or not!

Pamala
Pamala

April 22, 2016

My favorite vacation spot is our annual family reunion at a hot springs in Idaho. We do this with my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Everyone knows a year in advance so that we can all be together for some great fun and creating memories. All my granddaughters are big fans of the American Girl Dolls and so I’m always looking for new ideas and outfits to sew for them and friends of our family. Very cute and pretty dress and I love the variation in the straps. There is only one way to make memories and that is to actually take the time to be together as a family vacations or not!

Janice Hamman
Janice Hamman

April 22, 2016

My favorite summer vacation spot is in my sewing room listening to audio books and sewing doll clothes.

Dawn T.
Dawn T.

April 22, 2016

My favorite vacation spot is going to art fairs with daughter and sister.

Joyce O.
Joyce O.

April 22, 2016

Our favorite vacation spot is the Jersey shore, Long Beach Island to be specific. Can’t wait til August to go again.

Amy Jensen
Amy Jensen

April 22, 2016

My favorite summer vacation spot is wherever my husband & daughter are – preferably at home enjoying no school & lots of sunny weather!

Peggy
Peggy

April 22, 2016

Thanks. Exactly what I’ve been looking for.

Anne
Anne

April 22, 2016

Visiting family in MD with my daughter and grandsons… We only get to go there once a year and we always love spending time with them…. I would love to be able to do it more often, but we live 9 hours away….

Pamela S Parent
Pamela S Parent

April 22, 2016

My favorite vacation spot is anywhere with my kids and granddaughters. And away from work!!

Linda
Linda

April 22, 2016

at home in my sewing room making what I want not what someone else wants.

Toni D
Toni D

April 22, 2016

My favorite summer vacation spot is my mother’s house. She is my rock in a crazy world and she will turn 91 this summer so my time with her is very precious!

Lori
Lori

April 22, 2016

My favorite summer vacation spot is Desti Florida. White sandy beaches and cool breezes. We rent a big house and the kids, grandkids and some relatives all join us. Delightful and hectic all at once!

BrendaK
BrendaK

April 22, 2016

My favorite vacation spot is at home with my kids, grandkids, and other family members.

-Jane Urbach
-Jane Urbach

April 22, 2016

My favorite place to vacation is the California Redwoods, Northern California in the quiet of the beautiful trees.

Sue Lowary
Sue Lowary

April 22, 2016

Sometimes I enjoy a staycation! Being able to stay in Jammie’s, watch a movie during the daytime, and sew something fun rather than for a client.

Anita
Anita

April 22, 2016

My favorite summer vacation spot is Puerto Rico because I get to visit my son, daughter in law and my beautiful granddaughter. I plan to surprise her with lots of doll clothes! Thanks for your freebie shoe pattern!

Rita
Rita

April 22, 2016

My favorite vacation spot is camping in the mountains of Colorado!

Janet
Janet

April 22, 2016

Under the redwoods.

Monique
Monique

April 22, 2016

My favorite vacation spot is wherever I end up with family and friends is always a good spot.

Thank you for the chance to win this beautiful dress.

Monique

RoseAnn
RoseAnn

April 22, 2016

My favorite vacation spot is Morro Bay California between October and March when the winter days are more like a mild summer! So nice compared to the tulle fog we get at home 3 hours away.

Linda H Miller
Linda H Miller

April 22, 2016

Bethany Beach, Delaware! Yay!

Lynda
Lynda

April 22, 2016

My favourite vacation is The Isle of skye Scotland England, Its a really lovely beauty spot, mountains lochs, lots of wildlife, sea eagles, seals, herons, oystercatchers, lovely relaxing place.

corinne
corinne

September 04, 2015

Mon lieu de vacances préféré de cet été était Onzain situé sur la loire car j’y était avec mon mari et ma petite fille !!!!!

Motorcycle Oma
Motorcycle Oma

July 17, 2015

My favorite summer place is where I live in the Okanagan. Everyone comes here to visit so we have so much to do. No only are there breathtaking veiws, we’ve been boasted as a wine destination. In our small city, there is a lake on the north (we can ride along for it 2 hours) and a lake on the south and mountains on the east and west. There are super twisty roads to take that don’t consist of taking the highway so riding on them with my granddaughter and her Maplelea dolls (Cindy & Madison). We all LOVE to ride on my motorcycle!!!!

Donna Thompson
Donna Thompson

July 15, 2015

My favorite vacation spot is the Biltmore Estate in Asheville , NC. We chose it for our 50th anniversary get away but my mother’s health has led to us postponing it. It will be there waiting for us when the time is right again. We would go every year if we could afford it.

Robin Raymor
Robin Raymor

April 22, 2015

What a cute idea, use up smaller pieces and something cute for summer.

Sharon
Sharon

April 17, 2015

My favorite vacation spot is my own back yard, spending time with my children, grand children and great grand childern

Kate Silver
Kate Silver

April 16, 2015

My favorite vacation spot is Venice it’s so beautiful !!!You can by beautiful , masks with lovely designs and pretty shapes. And other cool stuff to !
And if you go to Yesolo , a town not to far from Venice you can go to the beach ! My family and I love going to Italy ! ( Oh did I mention that they have the BEST ice cream EVER

Robin Raymor
Robin Raymor

April 14, 2015

What a cute idea, use up smaller pieces and something cute for summer.

Linda Christian
Linda Christian

April 13, 2015

This is so cute. I would love to do may granddaughter and her 3 dolls all matching dresses. Love the give aways and this site.

Dorris
Dorris

April 13, 2015

my favorite summer get away was in the rocky mountains we would go to see my grandparents in Tennessee, and one thing we would always do was go on a hike up to the chimney tops. on the was down we would stop at a pool of water surrounded with large rocks with water flowing over them that we used as slides. In the center was a large pool of cold water so clear you could see all the way down to the bottom. My father would throw coins in it so we could fetch them, but the water was so cold you could not stay down to long with out you head hurting. you could see the coin but no way to get it. Frustrating for us but I guess daddy got a real kick out of it. .

sherry g.
sherry g.

April 13, 2015

My favorite vacation spot is my Dad’s home town in New Brunswick. I love visiting family and walking along the ocean.

Marlene
Marlene

April 13, 2015

My favorite place is at Lake Michigan in Pentwater with all the grandkids.

Linda
Linda

April 12, 2015

My favorite vacation spot is Sly Park in Pollock Pines, CA. Every year when my kids were little we spent a week there. I would like to get them back there but it’s more complicated with all those grandkids!!

lisa
lisa

April 12, 2015

My favorite vacation spot is at our lodge in the mountains of West Virginia. Just sitting on the deck with a cool breeze, sun, the birds and all make a perfect spot. Come and visit with that perfect dress for my granddaughters’ dolls.

Jeannie
Jeannie

April 12, 2015

My favorite summer vacation spot is the Bahamas! I’ve been lucky enough to go twice now for school/research. Definitely would love to go again!

Melanie
Melanie

April 12, 2015

My favorite summer vacation spot is the beach!!!!!!

Donna
Donna

April 12, 2015

My favourite vacation spot is sitting on my back deck, listening to the sound of our small waterfall, drinking a cold glass of ice tea!

Kassie
Kassie

April 12, 2015

My favorite vacation spot is at the beach with my family.

Teri P.
Teri P.

April 12, 2015

My favorite vacation spot is our local beach :)

Kate Pieper
Kate Pieper

April 12, 2015

My favorite summer vacation is time spent with my granddaughters watching them play soccer and then going camping with them. Sitting by the fire looking at the stars.

Sandy C
Sandy C

April 12, 2015

McMinnville, Or. Once a year I go and visit my son and granddaughter

Tania B
Tania B

April 12, 2015

My favorite vacation spot is Salt Spring Island, BC.

Nina
Nina

April 12, 2015

My favorite vacation spot is probably the library (what can beat books, quiet, and air conditioning?)

Jennifer
Jennifer

April 12, 2015

My favorite vacation spot is anywhere there is a beach. We love to take our boat along the Mississippi River as well as travel to vacation along one of the oceans. I love the water! :)

Sarah
Sarah

April 12, 2015

I love canoe camping in the Adirondacks… we just load up the canoe and paddle deep into the beautiful peaceful wilds :)

Jane Martinez
Jane Martinez

April 12, 2015

My favorite summer spot is on Eagle Island Girl Scout camp in Saranac lake, New York

Tinkerbellajan
Tinkerbellajan

April 11, 2015

I love Marsh Harbor in the Bahamas, it has ferry boats to several smaller islands. It is so laid back and peaceful. Up for early sunrise and evening sunsets. I usally meet the same friends there. Anytime of the year it’s beautiful there.

Cindy
Cindy

April 11, 2015

My favorite summer vacation was when I went to Oahu Hawaii to visit my son who’s in the Navy. We had a great time. Will go back again.

Sharon H
Sharon H

April 11, 2015

My favorite vacation spot is one of the state parks in Indiana. I haven’t been to parks in other states, so I don;t know about them. My favorite ones are Turkey Run, McCormick’s Creek, and Spring Mill. They all have trails to walk, flowing water to watch, regulation pools to swim in (if it’s warm), and good food in their dining rooms. Also, there is a nice nature center in each park.

Barbara
Barbara

April 11, 2015

My favorite summer vacation spot is the beach…really any beach. I grew up only a block from the ocean. I really miss the water, the smell, the sand and the sun! Beautiful maxi dress. My granddaughter would love this!

Mary
Mary

April 11, 2015

This is not really a vacation, but my favorite summer camping is in my carport, with my grandchildren and pretending whatever comes up.

Kathy
Kathy

April 11, 2015

My favorite vacation spot is Disney World in Florida.

kathi
kathi

April 11, 2015

My favorite summer vacation spot is Florida on the gulf side! Love t there!

Annie dee
Annie dee

April 11, 2015

At home out on the deck in the pool!

Liatris
Liatris

April 11, 2015

My favorite summer spot is almost any place on the Oregon coast with my daughters and grandchildren.

Allison
Allison

April 11, 2015

My favorite vacation spot is Cape Town, South Africa, even though I’ve never “vacationed” there. My husband’s family is there, and I love the beaches and the mountains!

Dawn G
Dawn G

April 11, 2015

My favorite summer vacation spot is …. what’s a vacation? LOL

Margaret Carlson
Margaret Carlson

April 11, 2015

My favorite spot is Owasso Okla. because my granddaughters live there. We live in Lake Havasu City Az. which is a busy vacation spot for boaters. Yet being with family for the summer is the greatest gift to me.

sherelyn
sherelyn

April 11, 2015

Wherever my grandsons are! That simple.

Michelle
Michelle

April 11, 2015

mu favorite summer vacation spot is our old family farm. There is an old log farmhouse there, barns, and even.an outhouse, lol. A giant maple tree is in the front yard where my boys have spend years swinging on road swings underneath. Even at 21, 18. And 16 they stil do swing occasionally. Not a fancy place but probably the best thing our boys had going for them (aside from family) growing up.

Brenda
Brenda

April 11, 2015

My favorite vacation spot is the woods on our family farm. So many different kinds of wildlife can be seen there, and nature is full of beauty and inspiration.

Dawn
Dawn

April 11, 2015

My favorite summer vacation spot is camping out with the family at the White birch campgrounds. We all are so busy during the school year it is nice to just get away and camp and have fun together.

Janet
Janet

April 11, 2015

What a neat dress! My granddaughter would love this because the style matches her favorite summer dress. Thanks for the braided strap tutorial. It is intriguing to see how this goes together. Thank you!

Tove
Tove

April 11, 2015

My favourite vacation is a family camping trip where for the most we can sit back to watch the interaction of our 7 young grandchildren……no TV, no computers, just nature at it’s best while discovering nature through the eyes of little children. A wonderful experience :)

Michelle
Michelle

April 11, 2015

My favorite vacation spot is in the back yard, sitting around the fire pit and reminiscing about when our kids were little.

Shark
Shark

April 11, 2015

My favorite summer vacation spot is at the beach.

Ellie
Ellie

April 11, 2015

My favourite summer vacation spot is Abergavenny wales

carol
carol

April 11, 2015

I sew for my office they have a lot of young girls
They can’t afford to buy the clothes so they bring old clothes for fabric and I create.
So I do for the enjoyment!

Aaliyah
Aaliyah

April 11, 2015

My favorite summer vacation spot is Great Wolf Lodge, but since I only went one summer its also my yard!

Linda
Linda

April 11, 2015

My favorite summer vacation spot is my backyard. Nothing better than summer in Saskatchewan!

Callie
Callie

April 11, 2015

My favourite summer vacation spot is Cannon Beach, Oregon, because I loved being able to walk to Haystack Rock when the tide was far out; there are all sorts of beautiful sea creatures to find! The sunset is so gorgeous down there, too.

Mary
Mary

April 11, 2015

Favorite vacation spot is the mountains of Colorado. This braid is a neat idea. Will try to use it on a dolls tote bag also.

Shirley
Shirley

April 11, 2015

My favorite summer vacation spot is the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee! Adorable braided idea. Thanks so much!

Vickie hutcheson
Vickie hutcheson

April 11, 2015

My favorite vacation spot is variety. I like going and seeing different things.

Winter
Winter

April 10, 2015

My favorite summer vacation spot is a cabin by a mountain lake!

Melanie
Melanie

April 10, 2015

My favorite summer vacation spot is at home with my kitty, crafts and dolls! :)

judith martinez
judith martinez

April 10, 2015

My favorite summer vacation spot is the Rocky mountains.

Barbara Secrest
Barbara Secrest

April 10, 2015

Like to spend my vacation at home so I can do all the sewing & knitting for the dolls that I can!

donna folmer
donna folmer

April 10, 2015

My favorite summer vacation spot is where ever my 4" granddaughters are at!!! I love sewing for there dolls!!!

Jody
Jody

April 10, 2015

My favorite summer vacation spot is at the cabin, spending time with the family enjoying the lake, swimming, fishing and canoeing.

A. Zamudio
A. Zamudio

April 10, 2015

My favorite summer spot is in front of a book near a body of water. Bonus points if I am on a boat. Thanks for the braid tutorial. I’m also going to try it in my daughter’s hair!

Linda Carr
Linda Carr

April 10, 2015

Our favorite place is anywhere on the beach!! I think the sight and sound of the water renews your whole being, and stress melts away. Thanks for the contest.

gloria
gloria

April 10, 2015

My favorite place is the Grand Canyon the most beautiful piece of nature. Just be able to walk it and look at all the wonders or sit on a rock and just relax. It is so wonderful and peaceful.

Robin H
Robin H

April 10, 2015

My favorite summer vacation spot is, oddly enough, Phoenix, AZ. My sister has a lovely covered patio with grape vines and ficus trees and a mister to keep cool enough. I never feel more at home or more loved anywhere.

Heather
Heather

April 10, 2015

My favorite summer vacation spot is cape cod!

Lynda
Lynda

April 10, 2015

I love visiting Arizonz in the winter, and anywhere near a beach in the summer.

Joyce O.
Joyce O.

April 10, 2015

My favorite vacation spot is Long Beach Island, NJ. Our family shares one large beach house and we have lots of fun.

Erin
Erin

April 10, 2015

My favorite vacation place is Ireland. I was fortunate to be able to go there after my college graduation during August by myself and backpack around the country for 5 weeks! I had the best time going to different towns every 3-4 days and making tons of new friends along the way, and visiting all the Pubs! That was quite a while ago now, and I’d love to at some point go back again and see the beautiful country again!

Ginger Desjardins
Ginger Desjardins

April 10, 2015

My favorite vacation site would be actually a road trip with the Grand children going cross country to visit different Historical places. I’ve always been interested in history and would love to Share it with the kids.

Maria
Maria

April 10, 2015

My favorite vacation spot is San Diego, CA

1 2 3 4 Next »

Leave a comment