Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Deconstructing to create a pattern

So I found this awesome t-shirt and I loved it so much, I went and bought another one to rip apart and use as the pattern, lol. Is this weird? I dunno...Anyway, I'm going to do a little sew along with pictures for informational purposes. I figured a t-shirt for $6.50 to rip apart was about the same price as a pattern, and it would save time instead of having to trace a RTW t-shirt and then do a couple of run throughs. Anyway, be on the lookout for my deconstruction sewalong coming veddy, veddy soon.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Amy Butler fabric for CHEAP - Part II

So I went back after the sale to Hancocks and I found more Amy Butler fabric. And guess what? The regular price of flatfold wovens is $1.99/yd, so I still got it for $1.99/yd and I found even more stuff. I found Michael Miller prints and a gorgeous border print, I can't remember the designer. And even more Playa Sur prints. Anyway, so check your Hancock's. I think Free Spirit must be getting rid of AB fabrics since she's jumping to a new fabric company, though I can't remember the name, lol, so that's probably why they are turning up for cheap.

Redesigning a T-shirt into a dress

This set was one of two I did for a trade with another sewing mama. I morphed a crossover t-shirt into a dress. I love this print, but it's cotton lycra and it decided to be difficult when it came time to sew it, lol. I think this is a Baby Nay print, it's the same manufacturer who does Baby Nay and I bought it at the same time I found a bunch of baby nay stuff.

Anyway, so I basically flared out the sides and lengthened the t-shirt into a knee length dress. Then I added leggings to complete the set. The sleeves and hem are lettuce edged as is the hem on the leggings. I love lettuce edging, I think it adds such a cute feminine quality to outfits.

The second set was done in a cute, cute polka dot knit, but the picture came out just horrific, lol. I could not get the colors to look normal in the picture, so you're just going to have to imagine it, lol.

Directions for turning a t-shirt into a dress (this can be done with any t-shirt, I just chose a crossover top pattern to do it with):
#1 Take the measurement of your child (or you) from the back of the neck down to the length of the dress. For a 2t/3t toddler, my measurement was about 20 inches.
#2 I take the back pattern piece for the t-shirt and lay it on some tracing cloth and lay my tape along it a the fold line. I start my tape measure 1/2 inch above the neckline of the pattern piece to account for the ribbing/binding of the t-shirt.
#3 Then I mark my measurement for the length (eg. 20 inches for 2t/3t toddler and add 1/2 inch for the hemline.
#4 I take my ruler and move up to the side seam about 1 1/2 to 2 inches under the underarm and I use my ruler to flare out the skirt of the dress. I trace the line of my ruler until I reach the hemline.
#5 I move to the front pattern piece and trace the upper part of the front pattern piece, then I use my new back pattern piece and lay it over to create the same hemline and flare of the skirt, by lining it up at the side seams at the underarm and tracing.

Have fun!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

I did it!!

I made a campshirt and it was really not that bad. It came out so cute!! I'll be making a lot more of these. Ds has claimed it for his own, I just can't get him to try it on yet, lol.

Yippee!!! I finally conquered my fear.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Amy Butler for CHEAP!!

I found Amy Butler fabric at the big Hancock's President's Day Sale for $1.99/yd!! Yippee! They had a "designer" flat fold table for $1.99/yd and there were lots of Free Spirit fabrics, all the selvages still intact so you could see who the designers were. There was some really nice stuff.

here is the one I found...

Sale lasts through tomorrow if you wanna check your own Hancocks.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Camp shirts - yikes! and coverstitch machines

I'm attempting to psych myself up to master camp shirts. I can't believe I'm scared of these things and I want to make one, lol. I'm going to attempt it tonight. Dh just left out of town for 2 weeks, he's on his way to England for business. The kidlets and I took a nap at 9 pm and woke up around 11 pm, we are going to be up all night, I think, ugh, but we've all got this upper respiratory thing.

Dh is bringing home my Brother coverstitch machine! Weird, I know, but there was a UK dealer selling Brother coverstitch machines for roughly $350 US dollars during Xmas and these suckers sell for $700-$1000 here in the US. Not only that, but they delivered it to dh's office in the UK for FREE. Woohoo! So dh is bringing home a couple of converters and my coverstitch machine. I'm so excited!!

Okay back to campshirts or is it camp shirts? I dunno. I've got one of my Ottobre magazines, I think it's 2/05 and I'm going to go make a rough draft copy for ds right now. Wish me luck. I'll post pictures later. I think I'm mostly worried about the collar coming out right. Ugh...

On another note, we're on pins and needles over here. Dh is the lead candidate for a new job in GA. My entire life is in TX, so the thought of moving to a new state away from everything we know and love is just frightening. But the salary is just too good to pass up, we will get so far ahead and have no debt. My mother, on the other hand, is thrilled, somebody she can go visit, lol, and we'll be fairly close to Disney, lol, we are disney freaks, lol. They are supposed to call ME next week to let him know, since dh is out of the country and his cell phone is company provided. I'm so nervous for him. I can't shut up about it, and I've been driving him crazy, lol.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Obsessive Topstitching

So I finally sat down and used a double needle as I'm preparing for when my coverstitch arrives home from England with dh (another story, lol). Anyway I'm obsessed. I find myself topstitching anything and everything with double needles, lol. Here are some of my favorite pants I made ds. I LOVE Moda Funky Monkey (did you hear they are re-releasing it again in April 2006) and I did a pair in Heather Ross (of Munki Munki) goldfish.

These are both morphed Ottobre pants with drawstring elastic. He's wanted a pair of these monkey pants since I made a set for eBay a couple months ago. I added a close up picture of my obsession, lol.

Birthday Boy

Here is his doll, I purchased the shoes at Hobby Lobby, but everything else was made by moi, lol. I even had to dye the fabric peach because I couldn't find any peach interlock. The jacket for the doll I made from scratch based on the jacket I made Ethan.

Here is Ethan's set. My fave is the corduroy, I found it at Hancock's on a clearance table. I did a new Ottobre pair of pants. I cut the knee appliques so that when I wash it, they will fringe up. I LOVE how it turned out, it came out just perfect. I never did a separating zipper before, but it was easier than a regular zipper, I don't know why I was so scared of them, lol.

Carmen Miranda anyone???

I'm not sure what to call this yet, lol. Any suggestions? I need some better lighting because the details get lost in the print on this one. I'm trying to use up fabric in my stash and this is what this particular piece told me it wanted to be. I'm putting this up on eBay, but it's not quite finished, I think I'm going to add a flower hair clip and some kind of embellishment for the front. Anyway here it is, it's about a size 4/5/6 This mannequin is a size 4T, but I think it runs a bit big, probably close to a 5/6. The top is shirred at the waist and arms. The skirt has a diagonal layer on the top. It also has an invisible zipper in the back and a hook and eye closure.

Solo Dance Costume

She's doing a jazz dance to Crazy Frog - have you heard it? It's a ringtone combined with Axel F. It's her first solo dance and she's so excited. So anyway, I'm not sure if I'm done. I had a matching tutu in the pink, but let's just say, I will not be finishing it, lol. I'm considering whipping up a pull on skirt in the pink, but I'm not sure if it needs it. It's hard to see, but there is sequin trim around the arm and the top and under the bodice. That stuff is a PITA to sew on, lol. Emma's in a size 8, and this is a size 4 mannequin, so it's pulled in the back so you can see how the fit sort of is. I designed the unitard myself after we tried a costume on at the dance studio that she really wanted and it was way to big, it had a neckline like this and she liked it.

At 2 am I just finished it, pulled it on the mannequin and was repositioning it when my wondeful ds grabbed a pair of scissors off the table and somehow managed to snip the sequin trim on the arm before I could take them away from him. I just about cried, and had to take undo the double needle stithcing and then take it off and sew another freaking piece of sequin trim on it.

Apron Top Sew Along

This doesn't have pictures for this part, as it's pretty easy to understand.

Easy rectangular apron top:

1. Measure your bust (dd's bust).

2. Decide how much of your back you want to show. For a child, I stick with 2-4 inches. For adult, an average show is about 5-6 inches, a modest show is 2-3 inches, and to show a lot would be about 9 inches.

3. So take the bust measurement and subtract how much of a show you want. Ex. Dd's chest measurement: 21 inches 4 inch show So 17 inches is how wide I'm going to make her apron top. I always add an inch back to the measurement for cutting out the fabrics to account for seam allowances with the lining.

4. Decide how long you want your apron top. For little girls, I usually do between 14-15 inches long - but to explain that number, I measure about 2 inches above where I took the chest measurement and then measure down to slightly above the middle of the thigh - on my dd that is about 15 inches. For adults, if you want it fairy long, make it about 25-26 inches long (this looks really nice with a matching skirt), and average apron top is about 20-21 inches, and a short one is between 13-16 inches long. I always add an inch back to the measurement to account for seam allowances with the lining.

5. Once you have your measurements, then cut out your apron top. For Emma's I will be making it 18 x 16 inches. This is basically math, you decide how you want it to be designed and do it. And I use 1/4 inch seam allowances when I piece it together so make sure you account for that for each piece you cut out, otherwise, you'll be off on your measurements.

6. Straps - you'll need to cut out 2 straps and 6 loops. The straps are usually about 1 yd long and I cut them 2.5 inches wide and use a 1/2 inch seam allowance. For the loops, I cut 6 pieces 4 inches long x 2.5 inches wide and 1/2 inch seam allowance.

Part 2

1. Once you have your front of your apron top piece then pin the lining (or the reversible side) to the front of the apron top with right sides together.

2. Sew each your small pieces for the loops together to form a tube and turn them right side out. Fold them over so the ends are are together and form a "loop". Next you will pin them so that the ends are sticking outside and the loop is on the inside with your right sides together. Make sure enough of the loop is sticking out on the inside so that when you flip it will be big enough to lace the strap into it. I like to do 3 loops on each side. I pin one at the very top, then another about 2-3 inches lower and another 2-3 inches lower than that one(I do 2 inches in the little girl's). Do this for both sides of the apron top. Then sew them together, and I do some backstitching on each loop to make sure it's secure (or you can serge it).

3. Straps - now do the same thing with your straps sew each one into a tube and turn them right side out, and I like to iron them because they get all wrinkly when you flip them right side out. Then I take the ends that are going to be tied and fold them inwards and sew a straight stitch closed. Now I measure about 12 inches (12 in for adults, less for kids, I usually do about 8-9 on my dd) from the middle of the apron top and pin so that the open ends (that aren't sewn shut) are sticking out of the top of the apron top and the long part of the strap is on the inside (with the right sides together of the top). I will serge this or if I do a straight stitch I will backstitch over the straps to make sure they are secure.

4. Turn your entire apron top right side out and then I fold the bottom inward and hem it.

5. Then lace up the back like a tennis shoe lace, lol and tie.

Argh, well I can't get pictures to post. I will try later.

Waldorf Doll Sew Along

Long, long ago, in a galaxy far away I used to make waldorf dolls. I've since sold the business, but this is a new one I came up with when I was pregnant with my second child. I wanted my daughter to have a baby doll close to the size of a newborn and this one is just perfect.

If you've wanted to learn how to make a waldorf doll. Here are my directions for making one. I don't have a pattern up to copy, but I will get a PDF file available soon for download.




Have fun!!