Saturday, April 27, 2013

KCW: The Maggie Mae Tunic

Well, it is at the end of the week, but I am finally adding some participation over at Kid's Clothes Week. Yesterday I felt the need to whip up one of these cute Maggie Mae Tunic's for an adorable little girl. My friend Bethany's little miss thing is just adorable and I thought she could use a Maggie Mae. I dug through my stash and found a vintage pillowcase with some embroidery that I thought would be super cute. I originally intended the top to be all white but messed up while cutting...I think it was a great mistake! The back has green buttons to play off the green embroidery on the front. I didn't cut the pattern out as intended on the bottom so that the embroidery would stay in tact. In doing so, I miscalculated the length a tad...but I saw it on last night and it makes for a super cute summer dress. This is my second time sewing this pattern. You can see the shirt length version here.

I hope she can get some use out of it with the warm spring weather we are finally enjoying! 


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Schoolhouse Tunic Remix

I have a small obsession with this pattern. As blogged about HERE, HERE, and HERE. So, I like to find ways to change it up a little so it doesn't look like I am always wearing the same top. 

For this remix I cut the bodice front on the fold as one piece so there would be no slit. I then gathered two long rectangles of fabric to make the ruffles. I cut one rectangle 3 inches by twice the width of the bottom hem and another one 4 inches tall by twice the width of the bottom hem. 

I used my serger to gather the ruffles and attach the two ruffles together prior to attaching it to the bottom hem of the shirt.

For the neckline I serged the raw edge and then ironed it toward the wrong side. I then stitched the hem down.

 I also put in a slit in the back neckline and used a button and elastic loop closure. There is a great tutorial for how to do that at CINO.

And I also omitted the pleats and gathered the fabric in the center front and back of the body instead. With the gathering, I do think I look pregnant without a belt on, but that being said, it will make a great maternity shirt one day! 

I would enjoy this top more if I had an elastic belt that fit correctly...I need to find that fast! Then, I will be able to enjoy this one throughout the spring :)


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Meet...the smitten

It is the end of April, right? Because as of right now it is snowing outside. Last week we had 15 inches and now are being hit again with a milder storm. So, originally I was going to save this post for next fall when it may be more practical, but hey- winter is apparently not over in Colorado and so just in case it is the same where you live, check out the mitten/sock combo I like to call the smitten.

I wish I could say this idea was mine, but it was my husband's cousin's wife's idea...did you follow that? This summer we were talking about the annoyance of kids' gloves and how they get snow up their sleeve which makes them cold and whiny and she asked if I could sew socks on some mittens. I looked at her and thought- genius...why didn't I think of that. Then of course the name smitten...a glove you can love, came into my one day, if you see these go BIG, you will know all my dreams came true. Well, not really, because I am about to tell you how you can make them. Enjoy.

First, you will need a pair of gloves or mittens (I bought these on clearance at Walmart for a $1 or $2, they also came with a hat). Then find a pair of children's socks that are close to knee length. I found a combo pack on clearance at Walmart as well. Grab some scissors, pins, and your machine. 

Cut off the foot portion of the sock. If you are some scrap busting master, I am sure you can find something to do with the foot portion. I tossed em...way too much stuff in this lady's craft room already!

Turn both the sock and the mitten inside out. Slide the sock over the mitten and pin. (This part is kind of hard to explain...I just wiggled the sock around until it was even with the bottom elastic edge of the mitten. You will have to reach your hand inside and fiddle with it a bit).

Set your machine to a wide zig-zag stitch.

You need to have a free arm machine so that you can release the base and have a narrower arm. Slide your sock onto the arm until you reach the point the sock and mitten meet. Begin stitching all the way around.
It is a tight fit and you can see above I am kind of having to push my fabric where I want it. Just go slow and keep adjusting the sock/mitten. Make sure your needle is DOWN in the fabric before you adjust the fabric.

Then snip the thread, and turn right side out- and that's it! My kiddos used them for the first time last week and they worked great...even better, my 2 year old couldn't take them off on his own so they stayed put until I wanted them off. Which is nice if you have a kid who constantly tries to take mittens off while out in the cold!


Monday, April 15, 2013

Bow Clutch Tutorial

Family Ever After has a sewing competition currently going on called Sew-vivor. The contestants' first challenge was to sew something emerald. I decided it would be fun to sew along. Here is a bow clutch created from green broadcloth. This clutch was quick and easy...enjoy!

Steps 1-4: Cut your fabric. You will need two rectangles (12" x 9") from your outer fabric. One large rectangle (18" x 13") from your outer fabric. One small rectangle (5" x 5") from your outer fabric. Two rectagles (12" x 9") from your lining fabric. Two rectangles (12" x 9") from stiff sew-in interfacing. One zipper (12 inches). Take your 2 sew-in interfacing pieces and place them on the back side of your 2 outer rectangles. Sew around the edge using a 1/4 inch seam. Place those to the side and take your large outer rectangle (18 x 13) and fold in half width wise, right sides together. Pin and sew the short ends (13 " sides)  together using a 1/2 inch seam allowance.
 Steps 5-8: After sewing, center the seam to run down the center in the back. Press the seam open (not pictured). Turn right side out and press again. Take your small rectangle and fold it in half, right sides together and stitch one side using a 1/4 inch seam.
Steps 9-12: Center the seam and press open (not pictured). Turn right side out and press again making sure the seam runs down the center of the back. Now take your large rectangle and scrunch it together in the center to create the bow. Wrap your small rectangle around the bow. (Make sure your seams are hidden running down the back).
 Steps 13-16: Wrap the small rectangle around and sew using a 1/4 inch seam allowance to hold together. (You could hand stitch this too for a nicer, clean finish). Then take your bow and place it on one of your outer (12 x 9) rectangles with the interfacing on the back. Pin the bow along the sides (Stretching out the bow to fit). You can adjust this as needed. You can see in the last photo above my bow is a little loose when lining up the edges, you could pull the bow tighter and trim the ends to match if you prefer. Stitch the bow to the rectangle using a 1/4 inch seam.
 Steps 17-20: Take your zipper and center it on top of the green bow rectangle. (The first picture shows my bound zipper. I binded my zipper first but didn't really notice that it helped once I turned it right side out, so I left out those steps). Then lay your lining fabric on top to create a fabric sandwich. It should be outer fabric right side up, zipper face down, and lining fabric on top, right side down. Pin across the top, stitch using a zipper foot.
 Steps 21-24: Turn the lining to the inside and check that your zipper went in straight. Now build the same fabric sandwich on the other side and pin, stitch using your zipper foot. After this step, check your zipper. It should look like the 3rd picture at this point. Now take your lining pieces and match them right sides together and your outer fabric and match them right sides together. It will look like one big rectangle with your outer fabric pieces on one side and your lining on the other. Pin all the way around leaving a 6 inch opening on one side of the lining. Stitch, making sure to backstitch at your starting and stopping points. Clip your corners, making sure to not cut into your stitching line. Turn the bag right side out through your lining opening.

Use a turn tool to help push the corners out. Slip stitch your lining opening closed and you are done!

Enjoy your cute new clutch!


Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Toddler Miracle

Ok...maybe the title is a little dramatic, but people, I have got to tell you about the little activity that saved me today. We have had a very long week. My son had a horrible fever lasting days and didn't move off my lap for 4 days.  Yea, 4 days! I was so behind. On top of that, I took on a task of preparing several meals for a friend in need. So this morning I was on a mission to finish the cooking and clean up my kitchen because it looked like this...

I was in the process of baking some cookies and thought...ah ha, I will have my daughter help. She loves cooking, it will keep her occupied and not bothering her brother. Well, as soon as I hoisted her onto a chair to help...little brother comes crying and wants to be a part of the fun. But 1 year old + baking = no fun for momma, so I remembered quickly skimming an activity on Pinterest once about keeping a toddler busy in a sink with some bubbles...what the heck, let's give it a go I thought.

Now..before you get all excited, let me warn you. Before you start, close your eyes and have a moment of silence for your will get messy...ok, have you come to terms with it? Got yourself some towels? Ok, now read on...

I filled the sink up about a fourth of the way with bubbles and water, threw in a turkey baster, measuring cups and plastic cups...and silently prayed for it to last longer than 10 minutes (that's about the longest I normally get with my son). Well 20 minutes passed and sister joined in on the fun. Then I finished a batch of cookies and had to try them...and no one noticed.

 I actually sat there taking photos in a chair while eating and NO ONE NOTICED. No one begged me for a bite, no one even glanced over at me, no seriously...

 I was all like "Hey, remember me, I am your mom." And they were all like, "We don't care about you but we love these bubbles and the fact you are allowing us to stand on chairs naked in the kitchen." was good. 1.5 hours in I made them take a break for a snack.

Then...back to the water they went.

For another hour+...who knows how long it could have gone, I stopped them for lunch.

I'd be lying if I said there was no interaction with me. There was of course a couple reminders in the beginning (no no- water stays in the sink, water stays in the sink, WATER STAYS IN THE SINK). I think it sunk in. And I did clean up some spilled water from time to time and at the end, but the towels I had surrounding them did most of the work. Really I was just kickin' it in my favorite sweat pants, eating cookies, and getting all kinds of stuff accomplished...
(these may not be the cutest pants I have ever made but they are the most comfy, hands down!)

I even had time to get on the computer, check email and drink a cup of coffee. If your house is anything like mine, you may be saying- this can not be true...and this is why I documented it in photos. You see, it really was a toddler miracle :)


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Polka Dot Chiffon Maxi

Chambray Shirt (old...I think I had this in high school), Polka Dot Maxi skirt: DIY, Green Bow Clutch: DIY - (tutorial coming soon).

I ordered this polka dot chiffon from Fashion Fabrics Club during their last sale.  I originally bought it for a blouse but then decided to make a maxi skirt instead. I found this great tutorial and FREE pattern for the skirt and got to work. I didn't use silk chiffon as the pattern suggested for price reasons but I think it still turned out. It would have come together quite quickly if it weren't for some silly mistakes that caused some very delicate seam ripping..grrr! But if you take your time and don't make careless mistakes you will have yourself a cute skirt in an hour or so.