Thursday, February 25, 2010

Girl Skirt WITHOUT an Elastic Waistband

I was at it again today, testing out my skills with gathering and knit.  Today went quite a bit better for a couple reasons.  First, I was only using knit for half of the project and second, the tutorial I used was brilliant.  Somehow I stumbled upon The Mother Huddle blog and found this tutorial for a no elastic waistband skirt.  It's such a great idea so I had to try it out.

It just so happens that I have been dejunking and reorganizing the kids bedrooms this week and had a huge pile of clothes that were too small and needed to be toted up and put in the attic.  After reading through some repurposing blogs today I started too look at this pile of clothes with new eyes.  I pulled out two dresses of Addison's that I knew I could do something with.  I also had a huge bag of my clothes that I was ready to take to Good Will that I pulled back out of the car and rummaged through with this great tutorial in mind. 

I'm so glad I did a "second take" with these clothes.  So many new possibilities!  So many cute ideas floating around in my chaotic little head!  And here is the result of today's adventures.

 I forgot to take a pic of the dress before I cut the top off, but you get the idea from this picture.  

I gathered the top of the new skirt piece and then cut the bottom off of my old stretchy knit shirt.

I measured Addison's waist and sewed the new waist piece to fit.  I had to do this step twice.  The first time I made it too big so I cut it up again and resewed it.  Better too big than too small, right?

Sew the two pieces together and TA DA!  It's such a great skirt because the waist band is super stretchy and will allow her to wear it for a long time.  Maybe a piece of clothing will actually last longer that one season for her!  WOW, what a concept.

(STUPID BLOGGER keeps turning this photo on its side and I can't get it up and down. ARG!)

Now I need to refocus myself on some boy clothes.  I could tell Ethan was feeling a little left out today when I gave Addison yet another skirt.  Time to use my cute new knit fabrics to make some boy pants!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Knit Fabrics and a Play Dress

My very large order of knit fabrics from Chez Ami arrived a few days ago.  I was drooling over every one of them and had to take a picture for posterity.  Aren't they so shiny and pretty!? :)

After washing them all up I got right to work making Addison a upcycled play dress using a stained white shirt and this tutorial from Ruffles And Stuff.  This is another favorite craft/sewing blog that I frequent and my list of to do projects from her site is growing out of control.  My version of the dress definitely didn't take 15 minutes, but it wasn't too bad and I was able to finish it in a couple hours.  I learned from this project that I've got a long way to go before I'm comfortable with making a ruffle and before I'm used to sewing with knit/stretchy fabrics.  It's just a matter of lots of practice, like everything else!

This dress is definitely just for playing around the house.  It's got an uneven and unhemmed bottom edge and the seam where I added the knit fabric doesn't lay down very well.  Plus the white shirt I cropped off to make this dress was a bit stretched out around the mid section, so it makes the dress a lot more "full" than I'd normally like.  But hey, she loved it and won't take it off at the moment, so that's what counts!

Onto the next project with my fab-tab-ulous new fabrics!  Wahoo!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Family Room Curtains

I've been done with these curtains for a few weeks now but just haven't gotten around to posting them.  I was trying to see if my lighting would improve to take a better picture, but it never did.  During the winter the sun is so low in the sky that it doesn't shine directly into this particular window very well.  We get plenty of daylight of course, but not the direct light.

So the pictures are a bit dark and make the flash on my camera go off and, in turn, make the curtains look bright orange.  The true color of this fabric is a bronze/gold with deep red undertones.  They match the red couches so well and I absolutely love the feel they bring to the room.  They make it feel more cozy and warm and inviting, while adding a touch of class. Plus the hide the hideous cords from the blinds, wahoo!  Now if I can just finish making the pillows for the couch, redecorate over the fireplace and figure out how to do the lighting in the room, I'd have a room completely finished... I guess that's what "tomorrow" is for. :)

A big thank you to Ashley at Make It and Love It for the tutorial on these curtains.  I obviously doubled it to make two panels, but everything else I followed exactly.  The sewing part was very simple.  The hardest part about curtain making is the sheer size of the project.  Laying out, cutting, pinning and ironing 8 foot panels is no small task.  But now that I've done it once it will be easier the next go around and I'm exciting for the day when I get to start working on my living and dining room curtains.

This last picture was my attempt to not use a flash. It turned out terrible but at least the color is slightly closer to the real deal.  I'll just have to retake some in the summer. 

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Superhero Capes

I made Ethan and Addison both a superhero cape for Christmas.  I used this tutorial from Puking Pastilles and they turned out perfectly.  I didn't add any embellishments to the backs since I used patterned fabric.  These were some of my first few sewing projects and they are a great way to get your feet wet if you're just starting out.  The kids really like them and since the neck in them is very loose they will last for many years to come.

BUT, if I were to make them again I probably wouldn't use velcro for the fastening at the neck.  It really bothers my kids and they are constantly pulling at it because it's scratching them.  I would use a button or a snap or alter the neck pieces a bit and do a ribbon tie of some kind.  I might even try to fix theirs, although I have no idea how I'd do it...

The fabric for the back of his cape was just perfect and paired so well with the bright yellow lining.

Why does my daughter look like she's 12 years old from the back?  Stop growing, please!

Friday, February 5, 2010

PJ Lounge Pants - Super Funky Vintage

I actually made something for myself!  Wahoo!

Back before Christmas, when I was shopping for vintage sheets for my Mom and sisters, I found a sheet that was screaming "make me into something cute!".  So I bought it and selfishly saved it for myself.  I couldn't help it, I just liked it too much.  And today I finally got around to turning this funky vintage sheet into super comfortable, ultra soft and lightweight PJ pants.  They follow the same style I wrote about last month HERE.

I just wish my pathetic lighting and average camera did them better justice.  The colors are just not even close in these pictures.  Oh well!


And since I haven't had time to write about the boys PJ pants I made from a sheet, I'm just going to add them here and not worry about it anymore.  I made Ethan, Austin, Kaden and Asher all PJ Pants out of one sheet. And I still have fabric left.  In fact, just a couple days ago I used some of it to make a cold therapy bag for my brother-in-law that had surgery on his knee.  And I STILL have fabric left.  Not bad for $4.00, makes me feel thrifty.  (Now if I could only extend that into all areas of my life!)

Now go buy some sheets at your local thrift store and give it a try!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Knit Fabrics

There is a serious shortage of knit jersey and interlock fabrics at major fabric stores.  I really don't understand it, since most shirts for adults and almost all the shirts, skirts and pants for little kids are made out of it.  WHAT GIVES?! So I posted a comment on Make It and Love It (yes, I'm obsessed with her blog), asking where she got her cute knit fabrics and she told me mostly from repurposing knit clothes.  That's a great idea, and I definitely do that, but when I want to make something extra cute for the kids, a plain colored knit shirt of mine just ain't gonna cut it. 

I did luck out though and another lady commented on my question and referred me to Chez Ami fabrics online.  I went there and about fell out of my chair.  The price for their sale items is unbeatable and I was told their quality is super high.  Plus their fabrics are 60" width.  I had to resist buying a yard of every fabric they had and in the end settled on about 8 (for now). :)

If you're trying to find cute knits (and woven and swimwear fabric too), then check out this store.  You won't regret it!  A big thank you to Katie (whoever you are) for passing along this great secret!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Hemming Jeans

I've had terrible luck finding jeans that fit Addison "just right".  They are either too tight in the waist or too long or both.  It's been this way since she was a baby.  Hopefully that trend doesn't stick with her throughout her life or she's gonna be one grumpy girl to shop with later on. :)

Since I've been exploring my new found sewing talent I figured I would buy a pair of jeans that fit her well in the waist and then hem the bottom of the jeans.  I bought a fairly inexpensive pair just in case I totally bombed the hemming.  I used this wonderful tutorial from Barefoot in the Kitchen and it really was a piece of cake.  Jeans, in my opinion, are a bit harder to hem then a simple cotton pant, what with the thick fabric and heavier seams.  This tutorial really took the guess work out of it and made it possible for my simple sewing machine to sew through the heavy fabric while maintaining the original hem. Very cool!

Can you see the new hem?

You can see it when you look close, but who looks closely at the hem of jeans?
I love adding a new skill to my sewing bag!

OH, and I've finished my first set of curtains.  I'm trying to get a sunny day to take decent pictures, so hopefully it won't be too long before I'm able to post (no promises here in the Northwest though).