Posts Tagged ‘cotton’

I can’t even believe this is true – but it’s December 2nd, and my Christmas tree has yet to be put up.  Gasp!!!!  Not only that, but I have not put out a single Christmas decoration yet.  Moan.  Insert frowning emoticon here.

HOWEVER, I have managed to begin the process of sewing Christmas “things” (aka. clothing!) for my kids.  Sometime this weekend I’ll show pictures of the kids’ family photo outfits … but for tonight, I wanted to show you my most recent project for Rosamund.  A Baby SMOCK!  Yes, it’s what you’re picturing in your head.  A sort of apron-like top…sort of a like a pinafore.  I found a pattern.  I used it.  I love it.  I will make more!

I started with View C of Butterick 5625.

You have to use your imagination when choosing these patterns because their photos/renderings are often quite hideous outdated.  I knew I would be using a Christmas plaid for the outer fabric, and I decided to use a polka dot for the lining to keep the vintagey feel to the piece.

Here is how my (first) version ended up.

You can see the polka dots peeking through in the back.

I also chose to add rick rack to the back section only. I will pretend that this was on purpose because I am very happy with the outcome. (The truth is that I ran out and didn't have enough for the front. Some mistakes are well worth making!)

I am just all smiles looking at this - Gosh - I hope I'm not becoming a stage mom!

I followed the pattern almost exactly as written...EXCEPT, I added this cute little yoyo pocket - be sure to apply BEFORE sewing the two sides together...

..and I added the rick rick. As with the pocket, be sure to add the rick rack to one side first, then sew the two sides together along the rick rack stitching line.

This project really is very simple – especially if you leave off any embellishments.  I can even see a bazillion options for boys as well.

Time: I’d say anywhere from 1 to 2 hours depending upon what embellishments you add.

Cost: $6.50….Pattern-$1.  Fabric – 2 fabrics, about 1/4 yard each so approximately $2.50 for fabric, $1 for buttons, $2 for rick rack.

I hope you’ll send me photos of what YOU come up with!!!

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Oh my stinking goodness y’all – I don’t even remember the last post I made … much less my last tutorial!  It has been steadily increasing in crazy around here.  Strangest thing has been happening.  My baby doesn’t sleep ALL DAY anymore.  Weird.  I might need to take her to the doctor.

Anyhoo…tonight….because I’ve been developing hives from non-blogging-activity….I decided I simply MUST share a really fun (and of course FAST, CHEAP AND EASY) project for baby girls in your life.

Believe it or not, but in about 15 – 20 minutes, you can turn a cheapo / boring onesie into a faboulous, one of a kind DRESS…. like this…

Here’s how to do it …

Start with a Onesie. Duh. (sidenote: you'll probably want to choose a size bigger than your baby)

Fold the onesie in half lengthwise. (this is sort of optional, but folding in half guarantees that the sides are cut at the same place)

Cut that onesie at the waist. Of course, I just guessed where I wanted to cut...but feel free to measure if you're into that sort of thing.

When you open the two halves up, this is what you'll have.

Now, pull out some great fabric that you've had in your stash for a while. I chose a very lightweight cotton print ... but just about anything will work. Heavier fabric will produce a fuller skirt! Cut a rectangle - I use the entire width of the fabric and cut a length of about 12-18"..but again, I don't measure. I wanted the skirt to be long, but any length will work.

Join the two selvege edges, sew. Then, finished the bottom hem of the skirt.

Sew a gathering stitch / basting stitch along the upper edge of the skirt.

Now you're ready to assemble your dress. Take the bodice of the cut onesie and turn upside down.

Turn the skirt wrong-side-out, pull the gathers, and then pin the skirt to the bodice - right sides together.

Now take the bum half of the onesie. turn it wrong side out - making sure to put the back side with the back side of the bodice -t then pin. You will have a sandwich: Inside - bodice, right side out. Middle - skirt, wrong side out. Outer - bum, wrong side out. Sew three layers together using a BALLPOINT needle.

And you're done! That's it y'all. I mean seriously - let me hear you holler - AWESOME!!!

And...if you've got an extra 5 minutes, add a fun fabric flower for an added punch. If you don't have time, don't ever think about it again - no big deal!

I love this more than just simply making a skirt because everything it attached - so much easier to create an outfit!

Seriously - loook at your watch. If you've got 20-30 minutes and a ballpoint needle, you can DO THIS!

Here’s the breakdown…

TIME:  Like I said – about 20-30 minutes…unless you can’t decide on a fabric!

COST:  About $2.  TWO DOLLARS!!!!  The only cost is the onesie because you probably have enough fabric on hand to make the skirt!

I think I need to go now because I want to make about 30 more before I go to bed.

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I am on a bit of a roll in regards to finally creating new options for my Etsy shop.  I am ALWAYS thinking about dresses that I’d love to make and offer in my shop; however, most of the time those dresses remain in the closet of my brain.  And that is a very messy closet!

First, I added a sleeved version to the Team Spirit Dress.  Go Team!

Now, I’ve added a billowy version to my line of strapless dresses.

I. must. find. reason. to. wear. this!

This version was drafted using a vintage pattern from the ’70’s.  I love the sweetheart neckline!  I added length and the sash.  I think it’s a bit updated but still funky.  I suppose different fabric options could play it up or down in pretty cool ways!

These, as you can tell, take a LOT of fabric.  (whenever you cut something on the bias it tends to take up lots of fabric!)  So, I will need to price these a bit higher than my standard strapless dresses; however, I think it’s worth it.  There is a LOT of POW FACTOR in this dress.  I’ve created this one long, but, of course, it could go shorter, too.

This version is what’s titled OOAK in Etsy language … meaning: One of A Kind.  I’m offering this one at a discount since it’s my sample…$78, size 6/8 possibly even a 10!

I hope to be posting many…okay, a few… more new dresses soon!  And coats, and capes, and yada yada yada.

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One of the most common requests I receive via my Etsy shop goes a little something like this, “Can you make me one of your Team Spirit dresses except with sleeves?”  This request is usually preceded or followed by a derogatory comment regarding the requestors arms.  For some reason, women tend to hate their arms.

Well, tonight, after years of turning customers down … I can now say YES!  YES, I can offer you the Team Spirit Dress with SLEEVES.  I’ll even double your order by adding in-seam pockets if you want.

I am swooning over this jewel-toned if not total LEMON hued cotton fabric!

I am really really excited about this.  In the off chance that we experience winter in Texas this year, I think having one (okay, FIVE) of these long-sleeved versions will be awesome!

While, of course, my photos are ridiculously lousy (and I’m not ashamed about this because I have three lovely children who call me mom and not photographer…), here are a few shots of the details of this dress.

The bodice is exactly the same - except, of course, for the pleated sleeved shoulders.

I moved the ruffle to the bottom of the sleeves. No need to worry - the ruffle is still there!

My second highest request is for pockets - so I've added them as an add-on option as well. If you want to save money, leave them off and get a cross-body stachel for your lipstick!

I just might pretend it's cold here tomorrow so that I can wear this. I'm thinking ... gray patterned tights and dark gray peep toe booties. No wait ... no tights, knee high socks and fabulous leather boots. No wait....

All in all, I’m really excited about creating a “new” version of the Team Spirit dress.  It was a fun day!


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I have had this project logged in my brain for about 2 months now.  I was “visiting” an Anthropologie store back in July during a huge sale.  Of course, very few things were yet in my price range, but I really enjoyed browsing around.  One of the things I saw on the sale rack was a huge scarf.  It was on clearance for about $50 – and it was 110 degrees outside.  Even if I had the bucks, there was no way I was walking out of there with a SCARF!

I didn’t take a picture, but I remember that all it was was one very long row of very lightweight fabric with ruffled sides.

Here is what I made as my version of what I remember.  (Admittedly, mine is quite a bit bigger – but such is life in Texas!)

Confession 1: This is not your average scarf. Confession 2: This is NOT a scarf for wallflowers!

If you like this little ditty …. read on….here’s how I made it for $5!!!

Start with 2.5 yards of lightweight fabric. Since I live in TX, I chose cotton because wearing scarves is more like playing house here than it is for keeping warm!

Cut 2 identical strips the entire 2.5 yard length of the fabric. I think my strips aer about 5" wide .. but make them however wide or narrow that you want. It's YOUR scarf.

Then, cut 8 identical strips across the crossgrain. To determine length, figure out how long/big you want the ruffle. Double that measurement and add 1" - 1/2" seam allowance on both ends)

Now join those 8 strips into 2 long strips. Meaning, sew 4 strips together twice.

For each of these two long strips, fold wrong sides together and press.

Tuck in a small seam allowance at both ends of the two long strips. Press. Sew ends closed.

Sew a long gathering stitch at the bottom of the long strips. (meaning the side opposite the fold) Gather the ruffles, and pin along one side of the main strip. Be sure to start and end about 1" away from the edge as shown. (to make it easier to end up with a uniform ruffle, I marked the middle to both the main strip and the ruffle strip)

Sew the ruffle to the main strip with about a 1/2" seam allowance. Then, fold up the ruffle and pin the center.

Repeat ruffle, sew, roll steps on other side. You'll end up with this concoction!

Now you're ready to get this scarf rolling! Put your second main strip on top of the "concoction" right sides together.

Pin all the way down to hold the strips and the ruffles in place. Sew down each side using about a 5/8" seam.

Now, very carefully, begin turning right side out. Remember, there are a TON of pins inside that tube - if you pull too fast you'll either stick yourself or rip your fabric. I may or may not have done both!

Now press that little baby ... you're almost done .. you just need to do something with those two ends ...

So tuck them inside the tube..

Press and sew shut.

Press very well ... and you're done!

It's big - but I think it's awesome!

It's just sooooo soft and so confident! I'm seeing this with a beautiful gray cape for winter.

And this much wow factor at your neckline - don't even bother fixing your hair - pull it back and you're done!

So, yeah, like I said – this is not a scarf for the faint of heart.  This scarf is powerful.  It’s feminine. It is NOT discreet!  =)

Of course, you can use the same tutorial and make it quite a bit smaller.  But why!?!

Cost: $5~ I got the fabric on clearance at Hancocks for $2/yd.  I used 2.5 yards.

Time: the only bad part about this project is that it is not a quick piece.  Give yourself anywhere from 1 t0 2 hours.  But I don’t think you’ll regret it!  Invite some friends over and make them together!!!

Anthropologie’s version: about $50.  sort of plain.

Handmade version: $5 – NOT PLAIN.

Take that!

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Rosamund has just the sweetest, simplest little pink dress that was a hand-me-down from my aunt’s grandbaby.  It really is super simple, but I just LOVE the way it fits Rosamund….so I decided I want more just like this one.  Rather than rummage through pattern books (knowing full well that I’ve got something in my pattern hoard stash), I decided it would be faster to just copy the dress itself.  So I did.  And I love it.  She wore it to her Baby Dedication at church last Sunday.

Since I like it and I like the process, I kind of think you might too…so here is a tutorial on how to do it.  It is easy breezy because I used a dress that is simple.  Note two things – 1. it would not be as easy if the dress I was copying was not as simple, and 2. I’m copying a baby dress but it works exactly the same with a “grown up” dress!

Here's what I'm talking about ... started with the dress on the left, copied it, made another one!

So to get started, pick your dress.  Duh.

Fold your fabric and fold the dress - both down the center. I should note that for this dress, both the front and back were almost identical, so I was able to cut them out almost identically. You'll see the only difference in a little bit. (You'll need to do this step separately for the front and back if your sides are different.)

You can see if positioned the fold of the dress about 3 inches away from the fold of the fabric. This is so that my dress will be gathered at the bodice. You can see the gathering on the pink so i want that on the green, too. Also, you'll see that as I cut the curve of the skirt I created a seam allowance.

In addition to making sure to create a seam allowance, I cut the new pattern quite a bit longer than the original so that it's a dress and not a tunic. I totally guessed on this measurement - feel free to measure your little munchkin if you're into that sort of thing. Be sure to cut 2 of these skirt sections.

Now that you have your front and back skirts, it's time to make the front and back bodice sections. Lay out a double layer of your fabric, and cut around the dress - again leaving a seam allowance. For the curved portion, I just carefully tucked my scissors in between the dress and the fabric and sort of guessed where the curve is. It's much easier and much more accurate than you'd think.

Here is where you have to make the change for the front and back. The front section of the bodice needs to come down lower to get over the head. So, I just cut it down lower. I didn't trace the dress or anything, I just guessed ... as long as you cut carefully, this will work out nicely. The left photo shows 2 identical sections, the Right photo shows how I cut the front section.

Disclaimer … Warning… Whatever you want to call it.  I did make a mistake here.  The dress I copied is made out of stretch knit fabric.  I cut my new dress from quilting cotton.  What’s the big deal??  Well…this dress, if made just like the original will not fit over her head because there is no stretch to the new dress.  I should have caught this and extended the shoulder sections about an inch at the top to accommodate snaps or buttons.  I was still able to do that, but the dress won’t fit her very long because it’s tight at the arms.  Anyway, let’s move on!

Run a basting or a gathering stitch along the top of both skirt sections. Pull to make the gathers.

With right sides together, attach the skirt to the bodice. Repeat this for the other skirt and bodice pieces.

Press your seams, and you'll end up with 2 sections like this...by now it's getting exciting!

Sew your side seams.

You're going to attach bias tape all the way around the top of the bodice sections including the shoulder sections. To make this easier, I suggest curving the shoulder straps. Bias tape works gorgeously around curves!

Cut a long strip of bias tape (or use purchased bias tape). I suggest beginning at an underarm seam, but it's your dress. Start wherever you want. I'm not that bossy!

You can attach bias tape from the front first or the back first. I wanted my tape to be a design element, so I first sewed it to the wrong side, pressed it to the front, then sewed it down with a topstich. Here you see how I used my tailor's ham to help the pressing process. I don't have a photo, but once I finished pressing, using about a 4.5 stitch length, I sewed along the edge of the bias tape to attach it to the front of the dress.

Then I attached snaps to the shoulders and hemmed the dress. Almost done! Hollah!

I felt the dress was lacking a little something schnazzy, so I added a little yoyo. Love it!

And of course I added a matching headband!

And then I put a baby inside! It was IMPOSSIBLE to get a non-blurry photo of this little darling of mine, but hey - you can still tell the dress turned out! Look at the armholes - you can tell that I got lucky that my oversight turned out okay. Those armholes are tight, but perfect for about a month! Okay, maybe 2 weeks!

Truthfully, this is not a project for novice … unless you’re okay taking it slow and/or making a few mistakes.  I would say this is really more along the lines of an intermediate project…as much as I HATE saying that!  It’s still cheap though, so give me some props!

Here’s the breakdown:

Time: realistically, about an hour, depending upon how comfortable you are with bias tape.  Some of you will need 2 hours for this dress if you need to take your time cutting and applying the bias tape.

Cost: I calculated right at 1/2 yard of fabric for the whole dress, so you’re looking at about $5!!!

Go ahead y’all…sew yourself up something that you already have!!!  I dare you!!!

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My little Rosamund is growing.  For some reason, with this baby, I’m very much aware of how fast this season slips away.  I’m tearing up as I type this – quick, somebody mention the weather!  Anyway, Rosamund was a surprise baby after a long discussion that we were very happy with our two children.  We were STUPID!  Rosamund is the absolute most wonderful gift any and all of us could’ve ever received … we are all grateful for her … and for her smiles in the morning!

Anyway…to the reason I sat down to post…what to do with a bored baby.  Where was I?

My little Rosamund is growing.  She is growing and she is getting bored!  Because we got rid of all things baby about 3 months before I found out I was pregnant, we have nothing for her to “do.”  No cool toys dangle over her while she lays on the floor, no rattles, no shiny things.  You get my point.  Poor little three-month-old has nothing to do.

So what do I do?

I make her something! I decided to start with something to dangle from her carseat.  (Confession:  I’m not a homebody!  Rosamund spends a lot of time in her carseat … but I’m convinced she loves it!)

This is the boring photo ....

This is proof that they really do entertain that bored baby!

These are really very simple to do, and I think they look awesome!  (is that bragging?  I hope not!)… The neat thing about these is that they can do all sorts of things – hand from a carseat, serve as a rattle, hand from a doorknob to welcome those who enter, serve as a sachet if filled with lavender, hang from a bath towel in the guest bath, a pincushion, etc, etc, etc.  I can’t wait to make more – I think I’ll make different shapes next time.  I’m not typically a heart person…but these were for Rosamund whom I heart!

Here’s how YOU can make them too:

Cut out your shapes. You'll need two cutouts for every piece. I was making 3 hearts, so I needed 6 cutouts.

For dangling toys, cut strips. Again, i was making 3 so i cut 3 strips. (If you're making pincushions or sachets, you can omit this step)

For each strip, fold it over right sides together and sew up the length, leaving both ends open.

Turn the tubes right side out and PRESS!

Put your tubes aside for a moment and locate your shapes. Mine have probably disappeared underneath a pile of laundry at this point. Anyway, once you've found them, fuse interfacing/stabilizer to EACH piece. (This keeps the fabric firm when you stuff it)

Add your rick rack or any other type of embellishment now.

Next attach the tubes. You can see I've extended the tube outside my shape so that I can be sure to catch it with my needle. Also, I've secured the tube inside the shape with pins so that I don't catch that part with my needle. Do this with all your shapes.

Sew all the way around but leave an opening for turning. (Yep, this is exactly like making a pillow!)

Turn them all right side out and PRESS! (Be sure to remove the pins before turning - otherwise OUCH!)

Now stuff with fiberfill.

If you're making toys for babies, put a couple of bells inside before closing it up.Put a pin to close up the opening and handstitch it closed.

Put them where you want them and mark where to put the snaps / buttonholes.

Finally, attach the closures of your choice (snaps or buttons and button holes) and trim the tube straps. Then, place on the carseat and watch in awe at the amazement of your little darling! Oh that this would last forever!

These really do look adorable.  I put Rosamund in her carseat this morning and she literally grinned.  REWARD!!!

I think these would make awesome Ring-Bearer pillows…can’t you just see a darling little boy carrying one of these dangling hearts down the aisle!  Dreamy!

Here’s the Breakdown:

Time: hmmm.  I didn’t do them all at one time because I didn’t have rickrack or fiberfill..so I’m going to guess about an hour.  I know, an HOUR is an eternity…but this one was worth it!

Cost: CHEAP!  Use scraps for the shapes, so the only cost is Rick Rack – about $1.50, fiberfill – about $2 for the bag but you’ll have tons left over, and snaps – about $2.  Total cost: $5.50!

That’s all for now – I really enjoyed making these!

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