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Posts Tagged ‘easy’

Y’all know from my previous post that I’m constantly scouring magazines for of-the-moment pieces to copy…er, um…sew myself. Well, my latest project centered around three trends on the runway this spring and summer:

Floral + Pastels + Maxi skirt

Like this Alice + Olivia skirt from Neiman Marcus .. which sells for $698! Oh that's reasonable for my grocery shopping excursions!

Like this Alice + Olivia skirt from Neiman Marcus .. which sells for $698! Oh that’s reasonable for my grocery shopping excursions!

With this in mind yet wanting something waaaaay cheaper…aka. more casual … I came up with this……………………

My version: $27 … and took about 20 minutes to sew!

My version: $27 … and took about 20 minutes to sew!

And in case you’re wondering, here’s how YOU can make one too:

Grab some lightweight fabric and 2" elastic. The fabric should be the length from waist to hem + about 5". The elastic should be long enough to go around your waist comfortably.

Grab some lightweight fabric and 2″ elastic. The fabric should be the length from waist to hem + about 5″ x 2. (you’ll be cutting two identical rectangles – one for the front and one for the back.) The elastic should be long enough to go around your waist comfortably.

It's ideal to have someone else measure you..but let's face it - 8 year old boys aren't exactly the most reliable source. So, here's how I estimate the length.

It’s ideal to have someone else measure you..but let’s face it – 8 year old boys aren’t exactly the most reliable source. So, here’s how I estimate the length. PS: it’s a little known fact that messy rooms make for more accurate measuring.

Fold your fabric over, lining up the folds. Measure where you'll cut.

Fold your fabric over, lining up the folds. Measure where you’ll cut.

You'll have something like this. Two identical rectangles.

You’ll have something like this. Two identical rectangles. (The sparkly Tom’s are not necessarily going to occur…)

With right sides together, sew up both sides - my photo shows how a serger seam will look. Remember, if you use a sewing machine, your sides will look a little different

With right sides together, sew up both sides – my photo shows how a serger seam will look. Remember, if you use a sewing machine, your sides will look a little different.

Now you're going to make the elastic casing at the waistline. (It doesn't matter which end you use - they're both the same…whew!) You don't want the excess seam allowance creating bulk around your midsection, so I suggest making the casing just wide enough to cover the elastic and hold the seam…not too much longer.

Now you’re going to make the elastic casing at the waistline. (It doesn’t matter which end you use – they’re both the same…whew!) You don’t want the excess seam allowance creating bulk around your midsection, so I suggest making the casing just wide enough to cover the elastic and hold the seam…not too much longer.

I serged the raw edge of the casing; however, if you use a sewing machine, remember to have enough width to tuck under about 1/4" …like this.

I serged the raw edge of the casing; however, if you use a sewing machine, remember to have enough width to tuck under about 1/4″ …like this. 

Press the casing. Sew all the way around EXCEPT - leave a hole to thread your elastic through. Thread your elastic… and before you close up that hole - make sure the waistband fits! I was worried that I'd get the elastic too tight and then it would push out my muffin top, so I cut my elastic huge, then kept cutting away until I liked the fit.

Press the casing. Sew all the way around EXCEPT – leave a hole to thread your elastic through. Thread your elastic… and before you close up that hole – make sure the waistband fits! I was worried that I’d get the elastic too tight and then it would push out my muffin top, so I cut my elastic huge, then kept cutting away until I liked the fit. (yes, it’s inside out right now!)

My length was just right, so I simply used a rolled hem from my serger for the hem. If you're using a sewing machine, just hem as needed.

My length was just right, so I simply used a rolled hem from my serger for the hem. If you’re using a sewing machine, just hem as needed.

And you're done! Bam! Look at you!

And you’re done! Bam! Look at you!

I really really love this skirt! It’s super fun to wear, very comfortable, very forgiving of the figure, and even sexy if you ask me!  I’m wearing it to an Arcade Fire concert tonight…I’ll share photos of this little ditty in action tomorrow!

A NOTE ABOUT THE FABRIC YOU CHOOSE: in order for this skirt to "work" be sure to select fabric that is: flowey, lightweight, etc. and also that is pretty wide. The reason it works so quickly is because I chose 57" fabric which gave me 104" of skirt…give or take. Something narrower will change the dimensions. Make sense?

A NOTE ABOUT THE FABRIC YOU CHOOSE: in order for this skirt to “work” be sure to select fabric that is: flowey, lightweight, etc. and also that is pretty wide. The reason it works so quickly is because I chose 57″ fabric which gave me 104″ of skirt…give or take. Something narrower will change the dimensions. Make sense?

Alrighty, here’s the breakdown:

TIME: Literally 20 minutes, maybe shorter!

COST: I bought 3 yards of $13.00/yd fabric that was 30% off, so a total of $27! That’s a little bit better than $700…but maybe I’m a weirdo!

I hope you’ll make one of these…. I’m confident you’ll thank me!

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Hi friends!!!!

Yep…I’m still here, are you???

It’s been quite a while since I put my shop on vacation and all but forsook my little blog here. I’m bowing my head and slumping my shoulders in shame. Will you forgive me??? Okay, I get that. How about a quick little tutorial to warm our friendship up again… and better yet… it has POM POMS!!!!  Just typing the word “pom pom” gives me glorious goose bumps!

Here's what I'm talking about - glorious garland made from what else but dollar store pom poms!

Here’s what I’m talking about – glorious garland made from what else but dollar store pom poms!

Here’s the tutorial…free and fast…perfect for our friendship!

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Start with something good on TV – my choice was the ladies figure skating short program. Go Team USA!

In your lap, gather lots of loose pom poms, scissors, thread/embroidery floss, and a sharp needle. (a long one is best)

In your lap, gather lots of loose pom poms, scissors, thread/embroidery floss, and a sharp needle. (a long one is best)

 

Pull out a long line of your string - preferably as long as you'd like your garland to be; however, you can always tie two ends together to make it longer. Thread your needle and pass it through the center of the pom pom. Bam. You're almost done. I do NOT kid.

Pull out a long line of your string – preferably as long as you’d like your garland to be; however, you can always tie two ends together to make it longer. Thread your needle and pass it through the center of the pom pom. Bam. You’re almost done. I do NOT kid.

Just keep pushing them down the line and watch them form one long jolly line of garland. It's majestic and delightful. I felt like an Olympian myself!

Just keep pushing them down the line and watch them form one long jolly line of garland. It’s majestic and delightful. I felt like an Olympian myself!

When you've finished, wrap it around something you love…and experience a greater love you never thought possible.

When you’ve finished, wrap it around something you love…and experience a greater love you never thought possible.

I mean, seriously!!! I want a million of these all over my house!

I mean, seriously!!! I want a million of these all over my house!

Last look at what could very well change your life…and your view of television!

Last look at what could very well change your life…and your view of television!

As always, here’s the breakdown:

Time: My garland is about 3 or 4 yards long, and it took me 3 short programs. I mean, it took me about 15 minutes, including being distracted.

Cost: 3 bags of 80 pom poms – $1 each. I already had the thread and needles…so a whopping $3. Insert smiley face doing cartwheels.

Tomorrow, I hope to have a big surprise… which could include another curtain tutorial… Oh the suspense… see you soon!!!

 

 

 

 

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It’s been almost a year since we moved into our new home…but it feels like I’m just now getting started making it my “real” home.  For instance, the week we moved in I had my sewing room/game room painted a beautiful color turquoise.  The only problem is… it’s a horrible color turquoise!  No matter how many times I say, as I go up the stairs to the sewing room , “I love the color!  I love the color!  I do love the color!”… I do NOT love the color.  In fact, I don’t even just sort of kind of a little bit like it.  I loathe it to be exact.

I paid a painter to paint it.  Catch my drift…???  It’s just not worth it to me right now to PAY again to have it “fixed”… so I keep trying to come up with more ways to fill the room with fabrics and items that will absorb some of the Taco Cabana blue that’s splattered everywhere.

The latest attempt ….. PILLOWS!  And not just pillows… ZIPPERED PILLOWS!

You are going to LOVE how fast and easy these are!  The crazy thing is that this zipper technique makes making the pillows with a zipper FASTER than making them without… don’t you just love me for saying that!!!!

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This is the canvas I started with… I decided to make pillows for this couch…

What a difference 3 15-minute pillows make... right!?!?  Can I get an AMEN??

What a difference 3 15-minute pillows make… right!?!? Can I get an AMEN??

 

Here’s how I made these fun little ditties…

(I’m basically doing the same thing I do for my LINED ZIPPER POUCHES… only I’m not lining these.  If you’re using stuffing instead of a pillow form, then you’ll want to line your pillows….so just do exactly what I did for the pouches.  Only- call it a pillow instead of a pouch!)

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I started with my fabrics, some caning cord for embellishment, and zippers. (you’ll also need a pillow insert or stuffing … but seriously, you already knew that!) I used two different fabrics cut to the same size, and be sure to purchase zippers that are quite a bit longer than your pillow – trust me on this!

I first embellished the pillow the way I wanted.  I chose chair caning jute and just sewed it straight up the middle.  Then, here's where the pillow part starts, place one side of the pillow in front of you - ride side up.  Place your zipper - upside down - along the upper edge.

I first embellished the pillow the way I wanted. I chose chair caning jute and just sewed it straight up the middle. Then, here’s where the pillow part starts, place one side of the pillow in front of you – ride side up. Place your zipper – upside down – along the upper edge.

Your zipper pull should be facing down like this.

Your zipper pull should be facing down like this.

zippered pillows 11

Now sew the zipper to the pillow along the top edge like shown…. you’ll have to look closely because I chose to use white thread! sorry!!!

When you fold your zipper to the front, it should look like this.  Of course - you now need to iron it... sorry!

When you fold your zipper to the front, it should look like this. Of course – you now need to iron it… sorry!

Now put your other pillow piece on top, wrong side up, and line it up with the zipper.  Then sew to the zipper.

Now put your other pillow piece on top, wrong side up, and line it up with the zipper. Then sew to the zipper.

You'll end up with this!

You’ll end up with this!

After you press the zipper again, open up the zipper about half way... trust me - you don't want to forget this  step!

After you press the zipper again, open up the zipper about half way… trust me – you don’t want to forget this step!

Now fold the two sections over, right sides together and fold the open zipper parts like this.  Next, you'll sew down along the side, the bottom and back up the other side - forming a stitched square (the zipper making the 4th side).

Now fold the two sections over, right sides together and fold the open zipper parts like this. Next, you’ll sew down along the side, the bottom and back up the other side – forming a stitched square (the zipper making the 4th side).

Again, my thread is too light to see clearly, but if you bring your face to the screen and squint - you can see the stitching all the way around ... maybe... sort of...

Again, my thread is too light to see clearly, but if you bring your face to the screen and squint – you can see the stitching all the way around … maybe… sort of…

Oh girl - you're almost done!  clip your corners and trim off the excess zipper ends.  Turn right side out.

Oh girl – you’re almost done! clip your corners and trim off the excess zipper ends. Turn right side out.

You'll get THIS!!!  A zippered pillow!  I have made them with "hidden" zippers that take a long time, and I have made them like this in a jiffy.  Personally, I think saving an hour beats not seeing the zipper!  Maybe that's just me...

You’ll get THIS!!! A zippered pillow! I have made them with “hidden” zippers that take a long time, and I have made them like this in a jiffy. Personally, I think saving an hour beats not seeing the zipper! Maybe that’s just me…

 

Now for more photos…. the pillows’ selfies…..

zippered pillow 19a

zippered pillow 19b

zippered pillow 19d

zippered pillow 19cWhat a difference a pillow makes, huh!?!

The breakdown:

Cost: I used fabric I already had and pillow forms I already had, so my only cost was zippers.  At about $2.50 each, the cost is $7.50!!!  LOVE that!

Time: Trust me when I say that you can make these pillows in about 15 minutes per pillow… after you’ve cut them out… maybe even faster if you time yourself!

I hope you’ll try this out… the worst thing that will happen???  You’ll have one very large zipper pouch for traveling!

 

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Gosh y’all… how are you doing???  I’m sort of living in chaos right now, and I love it!

This post is going to be brief and to-the-point … I know, I know, you don’t believe me.  That’s fine.  I’ve earned your distrust.  However, tonight I’m serious.  I’ve been missing you and missing writing tutorials.  So, despite my chaotic chaos, I wanted to share with you the fastest, easiest headband I’ve come up with yet.  Know what else????

I. Saved. THIRTY DOLLARS!!!  $$$$$$$$

I was shopping lusting  browsing around Anthropologie the other day and I saw these gorgeous headbands.  But are you kidding me right now???  $32????  For something I’m going to put on my overprocessed, frizzy and most likely dirty head of hair?  I’m way too cheap smart for that!

So I ran out to Hancocks.  I found some embellishment ribbon on clearance for $2/yd.  Then, I made myself a cheaper…but I think just as fabulous version.  Judge for yourself…

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So, yes, it’s missing the rhinestones. If that’s important to you, you can pretty much buy a Bedazzler for the $29 you’re saving. I purchased the whole yard, but only used 23″.

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Besides a needle and thread, the only other thing you need is a pony tail elastic.

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It’s incredibly hard to photograph the back of your head by yourself… but what I’m trying to show you is that I used the length from the back of one ear, around the top of my head and over to the back of the other ear. Then give yourself a couple of more inches for the seams. I have a large head, so I used 23″.

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Now wrap the ribbon around the elastic forming a casing.

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As much as I hate saying this – the next step is to hand sew the casing closed. Maybe your machine can take the width of the ribbon. I’m jealous of you. If not…I can say with honesty that it only takes about 1 minute to sew each side. Repeat with the other side. (I love this photo b/c it shows how I’ve finally stopped biting my nails.  progress!)

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I used white thread so you can see it … I just used very simple but sturdy stitches. Nothing time consuming at all. The only real “trick” I used was making sure I had several layers of thread in my needle.

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Once you’ve completed the other side, you’ll end of with this little doozie. I love it. Fancy and Casual all in one.

And now for my feeble attempts at photographing the finished product on my head, all the while trying to make sure my craft room looks as clean and cool as possible.

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Okay  y’all – here’s the lowdown:

Time: literally THREE MINUTES!  (That includes hand sewing… crazy wonderful)

Cost: $2 … that’s a savings of $29.  Hurry out and get you some matching shoes with that money!!!

Try this….please!!!!

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I know you’ve heard the addage, “never trust a person who says ‘Trust Me!’”  And for the most part, that might be really good advice.  HOWEVER …. TRUST ME!!!  Today I want to show you how easy it can be to make LINED Curtains …I’ll even go so far as to add Pom Pom fringe and the project still remains EASY!  Trust me.  You can read it  in a creepy voice if you want, but I’m saying it as a true friend-to-friend-who-doesn’t-carelessly-use-the-word-EASY!

Here is what I'm talking about!  I used Summer Totem by Anna Maria Horner for my sewing room.

Here is what I’m talking about! I used Summer Totem by Anna Maria Horner for my sewing room.  Sorry, I didn’t know you were coming so I didn’t clean up for you! (actually, I am lying about this…I had a housekeeper yesterday, so SHE cleaned up for you!  But from now on… trust me!)

Let’s get started, shall we?  Here’s a little something to keep in mind if you’re new to my blog.  Most of my projects are designed to be FAST, EASY and INEXPENSIVE.  This means that I cut corners where necessary and possible, and I don’t get bogged down with crazy things like “standard hem lengths.”  Let’s face it… who in the world will ever look behind your curtain and wonder if you used a 7″ hem or a 2″ hem…right???  You can save a lot of money and time by using small/short hems wherever possible.  This is casual sewing, for sure…but the end result looks the same…TRUST ME!!!  Let’s get going…

First you'll need your main (outer) fabric.  There is no rule what kind of fabric you need - I love using quilting cotton because it's so soft and hangs beautifully.  The downside is that it's only 44" wide - but that's never worried me.  Measure how long your finished curtain will be.  Then add only about 2 - 4".

First you’ll need your main (outer) fabric. There is no rule what kind of fabric you need – I love using quilting cotton because it’s so soft and hangs beautifully. The downside is that it’s only 44″ wide – but that’s never worried me. Measure how long your finished curtain will be. Then add only about 2 – 4″.

Then, cut out your lining fabric...I cut mine a little bit shorter than my outer fabric.  Saves money!  Something to note: it's way easier and faster to choose a lining fabric that is the same width as your outer fabric.  This way there is no cutting down the length to make it narrower.  All you have to do is cut the length.  I used Symphony Broadcloth fabric.

Then, cut out your lining fabric…I cut mine a little bit shorter than my outer fabric. Saves money! Something to note: it’s way easier and faster to choose a lining fabric that is the same width as your outer fabric. This way there is no cutting down the length to make it narrower. All you have to do is cut the length. I used Symphony Broadcloth fabric.

Now place the two fabrics on top of each other with right sides facing ... like your making a pillow... align the top edge and the sides remembering that your lining fabric will be shorter than your outer fabric.

Now place the two fabrics on top of each other with right sides facing … like your making a pillow… align the top edge and the sides remembering that your lining fabric will be shorter than your outer fabric.

Now sew the top edge of the curtain together.  Stitch all the way.  As you can see here, the selvege of my outer fabric sticks out a little further than the lining.  If this happens to you, just position the lining so that it's centered on the outer fabric.  Make sense?

Now sew the top edge of the curtain together. Stitch all the way. As you can see here, the selvege of my outer fabric sticks out a little further than the lining. If this happens to you, just position the lining so that it’s centered on the outer fabric. Make sense?

Okay, now let's continue sewing this up like we're sewing a pillow by sewing down the two sides of the curtain.  Begin about 5 or 6" down from the top and stop at the end of the lining.  (You start further down so that you will have a casing for the curtain rod to go through.)

Okay, now let’s continue sewing this up like we’re sewing a pillow by sewing down the two sides of the curtain. Begin about 5 or 6″ down from the top and stop at the end of the lining. (You start further down so that you will have a casing for the curtain rod to go through.)

Now, hem the casing edges by pressing them inside and sewing a straight stitch.

Now, hem the casing edges by pressing them inside and sewing a straight stitch.

 

 

Here's what you'll get.

Here’s what you’ll get.

Now, go to the bottom of your curtain and fold in the last few inches of outer fabric that extend past the lining.  (You  may be wondering...I choose not to hem the lining because it takes time and is uneccesary.  If you prefer a nice hem, you'll want to do that BEFORE sewing the sides...better late advice than no advice, right!?)

Now, go to the bottom of your curtain and fold in the last few inches of outer fabric that extend past the lining. (You may be wondering…I choose not to hem the lining because it takes time and is uneccesary. If you prefer a nice hem, you’ll want to do that BEFORE sewing the sides…better late advice than no advice, right!?)

Almost done y'all!  Put the bottom of the curtain on your ironing board and press a small seam...about 2 inches.  Sew that hem up!

Almost done y’all! Put the bottom of the curtain on your ironing board and press a small seam…about 2 inches. Sew that hem up!

If you're not adding fringe, then you're almost done...woohoo!!!  All you need to do is sew a straight stitch across the top of the curtain about 5 or 6" down from the top ... I always make mine plenty wide so that any size curtain rod will fit through...and it also helps the curtain slide more easily.

If you’re not adding fringe, then you’re almost done…woohoo!!! All you need to do is sew a straight stitch across the top of the curtain about 5 or 6″ down from the top … I always make mine plenty wide so that any size curtain rod will fit through…and it also helps the curtain slide more easily.

You’re finished!!!! Unless……………… Like Me………………. You’re still wanting more!  Go for FRINGE!

I love this stuff.  Especially bright yellow!  It will up the cost of your project but it's so worth it...even for a cheapie like me!

I love this stuff. Especially bright yellow! It will up the cost of your project but it’s so worth it…even for a cheapie like me!

Before you sew, make sure you tuck the edge inside because this will really unravel on you otherwise.  Simply start at the top, and with a wide zig zag stitch, sew it all the way down.  Don't forget the double tuck at the bottom too!

Before you sew, make sure you tuck the edge inside because this will really unravel on you otherwise. Simply start at the top, and with a wide zig zag stitch, sew it all the way down. Don’t forget the double tuck at the bottom too!

You'll end up with a little something like this!  (I can NOT describe how hard it is for a horrible photographer - aka. ME! - to take good photos in the daylight!)

You’ll end up with a little something like this! (I can NOT describe how hard it is for a horrible photographer – aka. ME! – to take good photos in the daylight!)

Another shot!  Oh how these make me giddy!  Don't you seriously want to sit down and sew something!?

Another shot! Oh how these make me giddy! Don’t you seriously want to sit down and sew something!?

Last shot ... feeling pretty good you've got the picture of how my curtains look!

Last shot … feeling pretty good you’ve got the picture of how my curtains look!

So there you have it.  It’s a little difficult to capture photos of every step – please email me if you’d like further instructions.  I am a true believer in handmade curtains … I’ll do everything I can to make that possible for you!!!

If you make some – please send me photos …. TRUST ME – I love them!!!

xoxoxoxoxoxo

robie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Happy New Year y’all!!!

This is my first post of 2013 – and I couldn’t be more excited about it.  Rather than bore you with all the lame and boring oh so exciting details of what I’ve been up to, I think I’ll get right to point today … besides, I’m already late to pick up my daughter!!!  (wish I was kidding about this!)

My awesome grandmother, known affectionately as “MeMaw”, passed away last Spring.  She lived 95 beautiful years!  I’d guess that she sewed for about 85 of those years.

Anyway, as I went through her closet, I found a few scarves that I thought were worth keeping.  Now, they weren’t exactly worth WEARING but they were worth keeping.

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See what I mean….

So today, I had about 20 extra minutes (translate: I can be up to 15 minutes late before I get in trouble!), so I ran to my little stash of scarves and grabbed this one. 

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Then I went to my little stash of embellishments and grabbed a long strand of pom pom fringe. xoxoxoxoxoxo – I LOVE THIS STUFF!

Then, I just simply sewed the pom pom fringe all around the perimeter of the scarf.  I used a long and wide ZIG ZAG stitch to be sure I got a good hold of the fringe.  This also keeps it from curling up on the edges as I wear and wash it.

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I mean, COME ON!!! Isn’t this so cute and sweet now!!! ??? !!!

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I just love it. I wish I could just run over to her house, give her big hug, eat some of her homemade wheat rolls, and sneak another scarf out of her closet. For now, I’ll settle for wearing this aLOT and remembering how lucky I am to have had her as my grandmother.

Breakdown:

Time: took me about 7 minutes – I could’ve done it in 5, but that stupid bobbin needed threading halfway through.

Cost: Scarf – FREE.  Fringe – about $3 (I got it on 75% clearance!!!! hollah)

Think. Think. Think.

What can YOU add fringe to???

 

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I realized LAST SUNDAY that TODAY was the last day of school for ALL of my kids.  WHAT IN THE WORLD!?!?  How did this happen???

Somehow in the next few days, I had to come up with 6 Thank You gifts for my kids’ teachers.  And not only that – this week is the last week of our pay period … translation: I need these gifts to be FREE.  But how in the world do I adequately say thank you for 9 months of loving and teaching my children …. for free???

Put on my thinking cap and think. think. think.

I opened up my scrap fabric drawer for some inspiration….

And I came up with this … a reversible scrap fabric apron. And I must admit, I LOVE them!

I kind of feel bad for showing off my mennequin’s posterior, but if mine looked like that I’d show mine off too. Anyway, I love how the reversible part peeks through in the back! This particular version is made from a fabric remnant my husband brought me back from Africa. The houndstooth fabric is just remnants from prior projects.

I made three of these in an hour – how awesome is that!?  Here’s how you can too:

You’ll need to remnant pieces that you can cut to approximately 30″ x 12″. (That is just what I decided to do. You can make yours as wide and as long as you want. This size will make you what I call a “carpenter’s” length apron – just above mid thigh.) I cut mine out with right sides together so that I can go straight to the machine without turning the fabric. Just pick it up and sew. Also, I chose to round the bottom edges. Purely a matter of opinion.

For this particular apron, I wanted to add rick rack (and who cares that I didn’t have quite enough – I just started down a little lower…it’s MY apron!). So, I just sewed the rick rack to the rightside edge of one apron panel. Then I placed that panel on top of the other panel with right sides facing. I sewed along the rick rack stitch line to attach the two panels together. This way you can be sure that the rick rack appears as it should.

Turn your apron section right side out and press. Lovely! Sigh, take in the sights, so pretty!!!

Now to attach the tie/band … cut a long strip of fabric about 6″ in width and as long as you like. This one wrapped all the way around and tied in front. Others can just tie in back, whatever you want and have enough fabric for. Then press the center, and then press in about 1/2″ on each side.

Making sure to match up the centers of the apron panel and the apron tie – begin pinning the panel to the inside seam allowance like shown.

Then fold over the tie/band and pin in place as well. I stitch the apron panel and band together first, then stitch the rest of the tie … if you start at the tip of the tie and sew all the way down to the other tip, your band will have a tendency to shift, so sewing the panel and band first helps to avoid that. But it’s your apron – do what you want!

Okay hot mamma, you’re almost done!!! Try the apron on for size and mark where you’d like to trim your tie (assuming that you want to trim it!)

Now all you have to do is tuck in your edges on both sides and sew ‘em up. YOU’RE DONE!!!

Don’t just stand there… admire yourself and the mirror … this is one awesomely easy apron!

And so is this one! Wait…what? They’re the same thing??? How amazing are you!?!

Here’s another combo I whipped up.

EXTRA EXTRA: if you end up cutting a fair amount off the tie, just turn it into a headband. Bam. You’re killin’ it!

So, I feel as if you don’t really need the “breakdown” because I’ve been pretty clear…but here it is anyway:

TIME:  I finished 3 in one hour, so 20 minutes.  ***That means that you’ll have to cut them out at the same time though.

COST: FREE if you use scraps like I did!  Not more than about $3-$5 if you purchase fabric.

Okay, now don’t just stand there…go make some and give them away!!!

 

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What should you do when you have 9 minutes to kill …. think, think, think.

You could clean your bathroom.

You could clean out your refrigerator.

You could jog a mile.

OR —— YOU COULD MAKE A SKIRT JUST LIKE THIS!

I really really made this in less than 10 minutes!

If you got ten minutes to spare, read on for how to whip this up and have 30 seconds to spare.

Grab a skirt that comes close to the size you’re wanting and lay it on top of your fabric. Keep your fabric folded just like it comes. I knew I wanted the new skirt longer than the current one, so as you can see I left room at the bottom.

Then just cut out a rectangle-ish piece of fabric. You can see that I cut it a little longer at the top to accommodate the elastic casing, and again, I made it longer at the bottom. (yes, you can also see that I didn’t worry about making it a perfect rectangle. This is a summer skirt – it’s going to be flowy, relax a little!

Fold the fabric right sides together and align the selvedge edges. Serge or sew that edge. (the other edge is the fold so there’s no need to sew – score!)

Next, serge or narrow hem the top and bottom edges.

Your bottom edge is done, finished, bam! The top edge now needs an elastic casing, so fold over the top edge and press.

Sew all the way around the elastic casing, leave an opening at the side seam to insert your elastic.

Use the sample skirt to determine how long to make the elastic. I made the new skirt’s elastic slightly longer than the sample so Ellie can keep growing. (just squint if you’re having trouble seeing the blurry image!)

Using a safety pin, thread the elastic through the casing, then sew closed. Bam, your skirt is finished ….. AFTER you press down that side seam. Look at your clock – it should say approximately TEN MINUTES has passed!

The skirt you see here technically took 14 minutes – but that’s because I was taking photos along the way.  I wanted to see the “real” time so I made a second skirt for my other daughter using exactly the same process.  That time was 9 minutes!  I’m trying hard not to spit my Lacroix out of my nose because this is SO exciting!

This fabric makes me smile – I know they’re technically pears, but they make me think of lemonade!

Would you believe that each skirt cost me less than $2!?!? That’s cheaper than Savers people!

Now, yes, I know that this skirt is a total bare-bones skirt.  BUT WHO CARES!!!!????!!!!  If you pick out fabric that you love, you don’t need crazy ornate patterns, just let the fabric speak for its self!

Here’s the breakdown … and you seriously won’t believe this:

Time:  have I been stuttering?  In case you missed it, these skirts take 9 minutes!!!  (In the effort of full disclosure, I used a serger.  If you use a regular sewing machine, you might choose to do a double folded hem which will add about 2 minutes to the total.  Not bad if you ask me!)

Cost: Under $2!  I bought my fabric on sale for half price making it $3.50/yd.  The longest skirt was cut at 18″, making it $1.75 for fabric.  I had the elastic on hand, so I added just a quarter to the price since I didn’t use much.

These are awesome for a summer fun wardrobe that you don’t spend much on … you’ll be sooooo happy to let them get these all dirty and rotten because the expense and time burden are so super small.  Also, these are awesome for inexpensive but powerful birthday presents!

Lastly – you really really really can do this for a grown up too.  I am working on one for me as I type this – since my serger thread ran out, I thought I’d post the first two first.  Either way, it’s still a 9 minute skirt!

Go grab nine minutes, half a yard of fabric – and have fun!!!

Oh, and by the way – I’m certainly NOT the first person to create a fast skirt … for more ideas on making quick skirts (and a million other things, check out my friends over at All Free Sewing … every tutorial is free and easy!  I love this website!)

 

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Hey there friends and family and mystery sewers … how in the world are you???  I just realized it’s been about THREE WEEKS since my last confession post.  Gosh.  As we say here in Texas, “That ain’t right!”

You’ve probably guessed that my world has been a little rocked by my $35 Strapless Dress Revolution.  You are correct!  I’ve sold 35 dresses so far – HUGE THANK YOU to all of you!  So, I’m a little bit holed up on my sewing wall whenever my lame-non-sewing kids allow me the time.  Hopefully I’ll get caught up soon.

Anyway … I just couldn’t go another minute without passing along another easy project for y’all.  I realized today that I have never ever ever posted a tutorial for how to make a zipper pouch.  Seriously, y’all – how come no one has been harping???  Too late, you missed your chance because here’s a tutorial for how to make one of these little darlings:

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And yes, it's even lined! I know - you're welcome!

How to Make a Lined Zipper Pouch – without a pattern! 

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This may sound strange, but I prefer to start with the zipper .. meaning, the size of your zipper should determine the size (or atleast WIDTH) of your pouch. You'll want your zipper to be LONGER than the width of your fabric by atleast an inch or two on each side. This makes sewing up the sides so much easier!

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I rarely measure, I just make sure that my fabric is narrower than my zipper - just like what you see here. You can make it as long as you want though. Decide on your outer fabric and cut two equal shapes.

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Choose your lining fabric, and cut two more shapes the same size.

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Now here's where you want to pay attention - we're going to be layering, and the order is very important. Start by placing one piece of your OUTER FABRIC face up. Then, along the upper width, place your zipper wrong size up and centered over the fabric.

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See how the zipper pull is on the bottom not the top!

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Now take one of your LINING pieces, and lay it on top of the zipper and outer fabric. You will want all three pieces (outer fabric, zipper, lining fabric) to align at the very top. You can pin if you prefer. No sew the two fabric pieces to the zipper.

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When you open it up, it should look like this.

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Okay, follow closely. Lay the remaining OUTER FABRIC piece face up. Turn your sewn section over so that the zipper pull is now on the opposite side but still facing down. Place the remaining LINING fabrin, on top of the entire set, face down. Look closely at the picture. You are aligning the two remaining fabric pieces at the top of the zipper, while the pieces already sewn are dangling down a little bit in the middle of the fabric sandwich.

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Once you sew up the second size to the zipper, you'll have something that looks like this. Both OUTER FABRIC pieces on one side and the LINING pieces on the other, right sides facing each other.

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And from another angle, this is what you'll see. Get excited now, because you are almost finished!

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Lay out your pouch with the two sides separated. Unzip the zipper about halfway. Overlap the opening ends of the zipper just a bit. Now, sew a continuous seam all the way around the entire project - beginning with the lining and LEAVE AN OPENING for turning. (Apparently, my machine sews a straighter stitch than my fingers can draw one. relief!)

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Clip the excess off the zipper at the sides, and then turn the pouch right side out by pulling everything through the opening. Use a pair of scissors to poke out the corners of the outer fabric.

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Sew up that opening - and yes, duh, clip your fray thread! Then, tuck that little lining into your pouch....

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And you got yourself a pouch that looks like this!

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And it's beautiful on the inside too - are you as ecstatic as I am right now?!?!

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If you want, you can tuck in the corners (okay, you can SEW them in also, but who has the extra 30 seconds to do that!?) and your pouch can stand on its own. Ta Da!

So there you go fun people – your very own lined zipper pouch in less than 10 minutes.  (DISCLAIMER: the first time will take you longer because your eyes get all whomperjawed trying to figure out the order and placement.  Don’t worry, it’s gets WAY faster!)

Here’s the breakdown:

Cost:  about $3 – depending upon which size zipper you get..cheaper if you thrift them or steal borrow them from your mother’s stash.  You can easily use scrap fabric, so there’s no charge there!

Time:  seriously and realistically – TEN MINUTES … if you give yourself a little longer for a time or two!

I love these.  I really really do.  Every time I make one I get a little bit happier in life.  I hope you do too!

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Can you guess I’m excited about this latest project???  I almost never take photos of myself but last night, I couldn’t help it.  I was compelled to be associated with this clutch both mentally and visually!

I was inspired by this little sewing book I purchased from Stitch Social.

It’s a really fun book filled with crazy anecdotes from the 1950′s plus lots of pages to jot down ideas for your own projects.  Most of the stories are excerpts from an article where women shared what they made and how much they sold it for.  Crazy thing – most women were making things and selling them for $1!  Wow, their profit margin must have been AMAZING!

Well, somewhere in the back of the book is a simpler version of what I’ve done here.  The drawing in the book looks similar to my tissue pouches … and it inspired me to wrap up the day yesterday by making my very own clutch.

Don't you just LOVE this fabric designed by Ty Pennington!?!

If you’ve got about thirty minutes …. Why don’t you make one for yourself!

First you need to decide how big/small you want your clutch. I decided that I wanted mine to be half the length of this magazine and exactly the same width. So, I just used this as my template.

You can see I just cut about .5" from the magazine at the bottom and the sides. PLUS: I extended my shape beyond the magazine so that I have a fold over to close up the clutch. My finished shape was roughly 17" x 10".

Next, cut out an identical piece from your lining fabric.

I also knew I wanted to add a little row of ruffles/pleats on the clutch flap, so I cut a strip off the selvege of my lining fabric. This way, I could use the frayed selvege as an accent and not have to hem it!

Get yourself some of this Pellon Decor Bond fusible interfacing. It's pretty rad. It is a lot stiffer than regular interfacing but it isn't crazy stupid stiff!

Cut the Pellon the same size as your fabric - only cut one piece. Fuse it to your outer/main fabric - shiny side down.

If you're adding an embellishment, add it now. Also - it should be noted: if you're going to use one of those awesome purse snaps, do it NOW. I forgot this step last night so I had to come up with something inferior! Read on.

Now pin your lining to your outer fabric - right sides facing.

Stitch all the way around the fabric, leaving an opening like you would a pillow. Clip your corners, turn right side out....and PRESS! I haven't said it in a while, but ....IF YOU DON'T HAVE TIME TO PRESS YOU DON'T HAVE TIME TO SEW. Am I clear??? wink.

When you press, be sure to tuck the opening in nicely and press firmly.

Lay your piece in front of you with the lining facing up. Bring the bottom up to form the actual purse part. When you determine how far up you want it, you can pin it if you like. CONFESSION: I didn't use a straight edge when I cut my fabric, so you can see here that I got a little crooked. BIG WHOOP! The flap covers that up! Whew!

Starting with the bottom right corner, stitch all the way up, around over the flap section and back down to the other corner. You're enclosing the purse portion and will end up topstitching the flap portion.

Here you can see how the stitch runs from the bottom all the way around to the top ... and back down again (except that's not showing!)

Be sure to do some sort of reinforcement stitch where the bottom meets the flap. This will get alot of tugging everytime you put something in or take something out of your clutch, so be sure it doesn't start coming apart!

At this point last night, I proudly patted myself on the back and enjoyed my beautiful clutch. Oh. Wait. Yuck. I had forgotten to add any sort of enclosure. DANGIT. So, I was forced to add little squares of velcro. Not horrible but not great.

As a result of that tiny little detail (cough cough), I needed to add something to cover up the seams from the velcro. So, I added a fun little yo yo and a button. I would've added this anyway, but I had planned to place it on the SIDE of the clutch and not the dead center!

I've decided to call it a "happy accident" because I am super thrilled with my clutch! Sorry '50s gals, I'm not selling this one for a buck!

Here’s the breakdown for y’all:

Time: 30 MINUTES!  Seriously.  If you’re super meticulous, maybe (MAYBE!) an hour max.  I triple dog dare you to do it in 30 minutes though!

Cost: Anywhere from FREE if you use what’s on hand…to about $5.  You’re using such a small amount of fabric and a tiny bit of Pellon!

I know I said I want to be generous….but I’m keeping this one!!!

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