My contribution was a new outfit, and since the birthday girl likes dresses and ballet it was a tutu-ish skirt with this matching top (seen here modeled by the lovely Buggy):
It was pretty simple so I thought I'd share how I made this little embellishment:
1. I cut out a paper heart the size I liked and pinned it onto the wrong-side of the shirt using a four-year-old body as a placement guide. I also added a layer of light sew-in interfacing, I'm not sure that this step is necessary but I used it since this was my first time sewing on a tee (I did all this on the wrong-side so I could keep track of my interfacing, which wouldn't be necessary if you skipped it). Then I carefully stitched around the pattern with pink thread:
It occurs to me that this would be a great embellishment on its own, assuming your bobbin does not implode three times while trying to sew a tidy heart. This is how mine looks on the right-side after this step:
(My crummy sewing skills are only surpassed by my even crummier photo editing skills. Ah well, you get the idea)
2. I cut some 1-inch strips of tulle and stitched down the middle with a long stitch. Pull on one thread to ruffle it up so it matches the perimeter of the heart and pin it down using the stitching as a guide:
3. Then just carefully top-stitch along the heart. I left the ruffle thread in because I thought it added to the look nicely (and because separating it from the tulle is a pain in the kazoo). Here we see my model workin' the entire outfit:
The skirt was inspired by this tutorial on Pink Picket Fence. I made a basic three tiered-skirt and sewed on a couple rows of ruffled tulle per tier. I could do a little how-to for the skirt too if anyone is interested.