Thursday, November 4, 2010

Birthday outfit!

Boo turned TWO! Here's her outfit. The shirt was a plain shirt from the hand-me-down pile. I added the embellishments--flower made from a stretch knit that I serged to ruffle the edges. The skirt is made from some fabric I had leftover from a dress I made for Sweet when she was a baby. It's a circle skirt, and the waistband is made from the same stretch knit.
(the spots on the shirt are water from washing hands moments before the picture was taken...)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

superhero cape

We had a playdate with a friend last week, and the 4-year-old boy was wearing one of his own long-sleeved shirts around his neck as a cape. Hmmm...I've kind of wanted to make a cape, but just haven't done it (my girls certainly wouldn't know what to do with it, except to turn it around as an apron), so I came home and got to work. I ended up not embellishing it too much so that he and his mom could decorate it together. This was SUCH a quick and easy project, and he was SUPER thrilled!

Thanks to this tutorial for getting me started!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

proudest moment - diaper bag for Baby Boy

For four years, I've been using a very hip brown diaper bag with pink camo accents. I love it, and it has served us well.

But I can't keep using PINK camo for my Boy, can I?? It seemed like the perfect opportunity to really stretch (ha ha) my bag-making skills. So I spent a few nights reading various tutorials (I love blogs and their free-information-providing authors), and quickly decided that this one was PERFECT in every way.

That was months ago. I had the fabric. I had the notions (zipper salvaged from a worn-out sweater, strap hardware from another bag we never used). But I couldn't get started because I was extremely intimidated and afraid to work that long and hard on something that I might not like, in the end.

But I love it. It turned out great, the tutorial is the most amazing bit of instruction I've ever read, and the bag the most professional thing I've ever created.

So here it is, thanks to A Mingled Yarn!

Monday, August 2, 2010

iPod Touch pouch

Hubby recently acquired a Motorola Droid, which caused him to cast aside his [scarcely-used] iPod Touch. And so, in an effort to catch up with the 21st-century, I set out, determined to conquer and become comfortable using the hi-tech contraption.

I wanted to have something mobile and handheld that offered more options than my phone alone, and so I began toting it in my purse. But alas, I worried so that it would get scratched or, worse, cracked.

So I Googled for a tutorial, and chose this one to make my own. I have a number of discarded upholstery samples I've bought for around $1 each, and. although I love love all the patterns and prettiness, the samples are just too small to use for many projects. This one was perfect! AND, because I used upholstery, the pouch was plenty padded without adding fleece (I used a fuzzy, bulkier fabric for the lining than I used for the outside). I whipped one pouch up, just to test it out and make sure the measurements and everything worked out. I'm glad I did that, because my first run was too snug and about 1/4" too short for my iPod. I adjusted a few times and finally found the perfect size for my final draft. I also cheated on the closure and used the tip of a canvas strap I had in my stash, which was the tie I had saved from a bundle of tiny throw pillows I bought at Pier One years ago. Yay for never throwing anything away!

Friday, July 30, 2010

old news... tee shirt to dress recon

This dress is a recon from early in my sewing-clothes-from-clothes days. I made it last summer, but Sweet has refused to wear it until last week (she declared it "tickly" without even trying it on). Last week, she wore it two days in a row...go figure! The body of the dress is a thrifted shirt I bought several years ago (it's an awesome find, if you know our family). I repurposed the original ribknit neckline to be the snugger top edge of the dress. The straps and ruffle are from a $1 Kmart clearance shirt I bought last summer (I bought quite a few different shirts on the same day, and they have been so lovely to have in my stash).

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Chick-fil-A Cow Appreciation Day

It was over a week ago, but I happily worked the entire week creating cow costumes for the girlies...

Sweet's costume started as an Adult size Medium (or was it Large?) tee shirt, pleated at shoulders to make it fit better while keeping the fluff, elastic added to bottom hem and sleeve hem. The black spots on hers and Boo's costumes are cut from a discarded black tee shirt.

Boo's costume started with a too-big Toddler tee to which I sewed black spots. I then made leggings using one of her existing pairs as a pattern, and, of course, a spare tee shirt. I cut the pants so that the bottom hem of the tee became the bottom hem of the pants. I was udderly (haha) proud of myself that I thought to sew on the spots BEFORE assembling the pants (that is something to brag about with my current state of mind). BONUS: Baby Boy should be able to wear this one, or at least part of it, on some future Cow Appreciation Day.

Here's a tail shot. I had a long, white, nylon string leftover from cutting a drawstring short on another project (I've had this in my stash for...probably 3 years?) that made the most wonderful cow tail. I clipped and unbraided the ends, melting the nylon just above the shredded part, and then used a black Sharpie to color the ends. I pinned these to their costumes so I could remove them before washing.

Thankfully, both my girls L-O-V-E the gigantic Chick-fil-A cow mascot. He and Sweet did some dancing that day...

Here's our whole cow family, each with custom-made ears (made from black felt and pink flannel). Hubby's are pinned to a head band that he wore in the masculine across-the-forehead sporty fashion, mine were hot-glued to a black plastic hair band, Sweet's are pinned to an oh-so-perfect black and white hat I found last year at Goodwill (I only had to remove a tiny red flower from the front to get it just right), and Boo's were hot-glued to hair clippies, which I also covered with black felt.

You gotta love a man who will dress up like a cow in broad daylight. For our costumes, I simply cut out big felt spots and pinned them to a white tee. I'm hoping to spend a little more time on something for me next year, when I'm not quite so...pregnant and feeling like I don't need help looking like a cow...HA!

I had so much fun coming up with the ideas and visualizing what I wanted to create for these costumes. The whole day was immensely more exciting that Halloween, and the process and objective for this project were pleasant deviations from the usual garment sewing for my babies.

All in all, it was one of my more successful sewing ventures to date. I didn't have to rip even one seam, and everything turned out exactly as I envisioned it. I'm getting much more patient with my crafting, which makes a much nicer end product (go figure) with significantly less frustration.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

catch up post...

Sweet's #4 birthday outfit! Her skirt is the bottom tier of a skirt I have that was way too long. There was so much material that I was able to make a miniature version for Carly too, and all THREE of us were matching (Rachel's favorite thing right now). I think it was her favorite part of the whole day.

Boo wanted to wear her almost-too-small NCSU tee shirt, but it definitely needed to be girlified. So I sewed up a little skirt using the bottom hem of a checked dress I had shortened for a friend and part of an adult tee...a little elastic and BAM...cuteness...

new playdress for Boo. The top part came from a hand-me-down bodysuit...I'm so over bodysuits by this age, so I snipped the snaps and added the floral knit from a $1 Kmart tee shirt. happiness!

favorite baby shower gift to date: car seat blanket! i used a tutorial from another blog for this one, and i LOVE how it turned out. the other side is all stripes, like the border.

Mothers' Day cards...I let Sweet pick out the scraps for each mother on our list, and I sewed them to a note card. Fun, quick, easy, and inexpensive. Now that I'm "making" these (thanks to another tutorial), there's no more running to the store for last minute cards...that's the best part!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

cold summer day sewing fix - baby tee shirt to dress

I've been feeling rather emotional lately, and I really wanted to start and complete something this morning [for therapy]. Boo doesn't have much in the way of summer clothes. For playing, she has just a few short-sleeved shirts, two pairs of capri pants, two play dresses, and a couple of dressy dresses. The weather has been up and down, and we don't go out and about a lot, so it hasn't been a big deal at all (incidentally, a friend has promised me some hand-me-downs; we just haven't had a chance to connect on that yet).

I mentioned before that she's been potty learning, and Boo has subsequently been running around in tees and undies almost every day. Of course, dresses are ideal for this, but she has more tees than dresses...

All of this lead me to this little project. I had an Adult Medium purple tee in my stash of things-I-should-reconstruct, so I just hacked off the bottom, gathered it, and sewed it to the hem of one of her cutesy little summer shirts. Not satisfied that the design was coherent, I made a little rosette (first time for that!) and attached it to the seam. She was genuinely thrilled, prancing around in her "new" dress, and I was satisfied to A)have created something, and B)see Boo in a dress instead of looking half-naked in just a tee. It was a real win-win. And besides, who doesn't love a little girl in a summer dress??

Thursday, April 29, 2010

more shirring goodness - shirred summer dress

I had this almost-perfectly rectangular piece of remnant from a yard of fabric I bought long ago to embellish burp cloths, and I thought it would be perfect for trying out a shirred dress from scratch. Boo is in need of summery clothes, and dresses are great for our potty learning experience right now, so I whipped this dress up soooo fast. I also did my first blind hem on my machine, and it worked out great, too! It's a little big on her yet, but it works, AND it means it will likely fit her next summer too. Overall, I love the colors on her, and I'm quite happy with how it turned out!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

twirly - tee shirt and adult skirt to girls dress

This is a dress I made for Sweet a few weeks ago out of a stretched-out, too-short, hand-me-down tee + the stripes from some worn-out, hand-me-down Adidas pants + a second-hand skirt I never wore. Sweet LOVES it because it's 'twirly'. This is the dress she begs to wear every day, even though I don't think it was my best effort. It's difficult to predict these things!

Monday, April 19, 2010

in love with elastic thread - adult tee shirt to girls summer dress

After being intimidated by it for some time, and after a frustrating first-go, I've conquered, and consequently fallen in love with, elastic thread. Once I figured out that my machine has a unique stitch for shirring, I was all set.

I've been waiting for warmer weather to make this colorful tie-dye tee into a dress for Sweet (my almost-4-year-old), a la made. Genius idea for which I cannot take credit, but I love the result.

It did take me a few days to convince Sweet to wear said dress. She was sure it was "tickly," in spite of the fact that she hadn't tried it on. But, finally, one day, when it was her idea, she wore it. Phew!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

what happened here??

So, I've decided to dedicate this blogspace to my crafting. You'll find the rest of our family news and fun at our new address, here. Sorry if I confused you!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Easter dresses

I've missed out on posting a lot of fun stuff on here, but I wanted to at least make a point to post the dresses I made for the girls to wear on Easter Sunday. I actually went to JoAnn fabric store and BOUGHT brand new fabric for these. I intended to also buy patterns, thinking perhaps I could learn something if I tried to follow a pattern. However, patterns that involve anything complex are ridiculously expensive, and I just couldn't do it. So, after perusing my favorite blogs and googling everything I could think of, I made these dresses, using several brand new techniques...and, hey, I did learn a few things (or a LOT) by the end!

tutorials that inspired me:

Monday, March 8, 2010

fun fun funny fun

I made birthday presents, and a couple of bonuses for my girls!

After reading a few tutorials, I did a reverse applique for the initials: I pinned the contrasting fabric behind the front of the shirt, and a letter stencil (hand-drawn, thankyouverymuch) to the front, sewed around (but not on) the letter, then cut inside to expose the contrasting fabric. After washing, the edges look nicely ragged. I LOOOOOVE it, and it was really fast and easy. The best part is that I started with clearance shirts from Old Navy...$1.74! You can't beat personalized birthday presents for $1.74. The 'L' is for Lyssette, who also received a cutie tutu, and Brighton got a pair of pants made from the sleeves of a sweatshirt that never fit me quite right.

But the following is my fav-fav-favorite. I started with a hot pink shirt (like Carly's 'C') but I didn't want to do a grey E for my girly little niece Emma. SO, after much thought and consideration, I decided to use a fuzzy black velour-type fabric for her E. I had already finished all the other shirts...this was the last one...and I messed it up. On the final stretch of the 'E,' the whole thing got caught in my machine and ripped a hole in the shirt. When surveying the damage, I noticed that the whole thing turned out wonky (that velour has a lot of stretch...hmph). So back to Old Navy I went, not hopeful at finding another shirt, since they were mega-clearance to begin with. But what I found opened the door to a beautiful little outfit of which I am proudest, to date. I used the back of the messed-up pink shirt as my contrasting fabric. Then, I noticed that a skirt I've had in my stash for awhile, waiting to be repurposed, was the perfect shade of over-dyed denim to create a little matching skirt for baby Emma. I hacked it up and considered how to create it, when the faux wrap presented itself as an option. Serging the edges with contrasting-but-coordinating thread gave it that unfinished-finished feel, but it still seemed incomplete. And so I embarked on my first-ever embellishment, which fringed nicely in the wash. Still not satisfied, I decided to attempt leggings for the first time ever, as well. The sleeves of the pink shirt were perfect for a 3/4 length style, but I did have to piece together scraps from another pink shirt to have enough for the leggings...I'm super happy with the cuteness of the extra stripes on the bum. I sewed it all together to make one-piece, so the skirt stays rightly-oriented on our wiggly sweetie, and, VOILA! hands down, my favorite project yet!