Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Fabric Growth Chart Tutorial

Growing up, I can clearly remember marking our heights on the edge of a door at our homes. I still see one of those doors when we go and visit my parents. It is so much fun to see how tall my sisters and I were at different parts of our lives. Since my oldest will soon be turning three, I decided that it was time to create our own growth chart.
I made our growth chart with fabric and ribbon from the Ribbon Retreat's wonderful selection. This way we can easily hang it in our daughters' room and will be able to do so in any home we have in the future.

Growth Chart Tutorial

-1 yd solid fabric
-5 fat quarter cuts of coordinating fabrics
-1 yard each of 3 different 3/8 inch ribbons
-2 yards of 1 1/2 to 2 inch ribbon
-1/4 yard Heat N Bond Ultra
-1/4 inch dowel cut to 12 inches in length
-fabric marker
*use a 1/4 inch seam allowance throughout
*don't forget to back stitch at the beginning and end of all seams
*to ensure a flat and neat chart, press each seam with an iron set to a cotton steam setting
Cutting Instructions:
     -Cut solid piece into two 8 1/2 inch strips running the width of the fabric; trim selvages; piece together along 8 1/2 inch side; cut to 64 inches in length (piece A will total 8 1/2 by 64)
     -Cut remaining solid piece into two 12 1/2 inch strips running the width of the fabric; trim selvages; piece together along 12 1/2 inch side; cut to 68 1/2 inches in length (piece B will total 12 1/2 by 68 1/2)
     -Cut each fat quarter into six pieces measuring 2 1/2 by 6 1/2 (you will have 30 piece Cs measuring 2 1/2 by 6 1/2)
     -Cut 3 strips of Heat N Bond measuring 3/8 inches and running the width of the Heat and Bond
Sewing Directions

1. Following the manufacturers directions, adhere Heat N Bond to the back of your 3/8 inch ribbons. Once bonded, cut each ribbon into 1 1/2 inch pieces.

2. Stitch your piece Cs together along the 2 1/2 inch side alternating in pattern to create a long strip. (Remember to keep right sides together as you piece.) You will have a long strip measuring approximately 180 by 2 1/2. Press each seam flat.

3. Measuring every two inches, bond ribbon to the left side piece A. 

4. Reverse print numbers 1-5 onto card stock and cut out. (Your numbers should measure approximately two inches in height.) Trace onto the paper portion of remaining Heat N Bond. (Remember to keep your numbers backward as this will be the back side of the fabric.) Adhere Heat and bond numbers to remaining pieces of your fat quarters. Cut out. Bond numbers to the left side of piece A every 12 inches.

5. Pin your strip of Cs to the left side of piece A with right sides together. Stitch. Cut off extra at end and repeat with the right side of piece A. Press the seams toward the outside.

6. Pin remaining strip of Cs to the top of piece A with right sides together. Stitch. Cut off extra at end and repeat with bottom of piece A. Press the seams toward the outside.

7.  You have completed the top of your growth chart. You will now have a piece measuring 66 1/2 inches by 12 1/2 inches.

8. Now you will place piece B on top of your completed growth chart. Match right sides together and pin along all four sides. Remember to leave about a 5 inch opening for turning at the top center of the chart. (I like to mark that opening with double pins so I don't forget.)

9. Stitch around all four sides. Trim your corners and turn your growth chart out through the opening. You may need to poke each corner out. I like to use a bone folder, however your scissors or any other pointy object will also work. Just don't poke through the fabric or the seam.
10. Press the entire chart. Make sure to work the outsides seams out fully. When you reach the opening, press each layer in about 1/4 inch. Pin the opening shut.
11. Top stitch about 1/8 inch in around all four sides. This will help your project to lay flat and will also close your opening.

12. Cut your wide ribbon into a 40 inch length. Tie a bow in the middle with the ends hanging. Pin the bow onto the top of the growth chart and sew to secure. Trim the ends if needed.

13. Attach the dowel to the top of the chart at the back to support the chart while hanging.
14. Hang your growth chart. Make sure that the number 1 is one foot off the ground.
15. You are now ready to mark your child's height. Using a fabric marker record the date and height on the chart.