Thursday, February 27, 2014

KCW day 3

I finished the blue top today! I sewed the last bit this morning so we were able to go outside to get some photos. Which means I have better photos to share than yesterday! Hooray!
White jeans: check!
peasant blouse: check!
So let's talk about the shirt first. The fabric is a quilter's cotton, Scandinavian-esque print that I picked up at Jo-Anns last week. For the pattern, I used Simplicity 5695. I bought this pattern about three years ago and have sewn it several times. There are three sizes (1/2, 1, and 2) and I have sewn every size now. I think everyone should have a basic peasant blouse/dress pattern in their stash, it's so versatile and very fast to sew.

The pants. hmmm I am not sure how I feel about them. As I said before, I used the Skinny Jeans from Peek a Boo Patterns  (affiliate link). I sewed a size 2 with a size 3 length. I wasn't overly impressed with the pattern. There wasn't anything wrong, but nothing to make me say this is the best pattern ever. They aren't as skinny as I imagined, but they are still cute. I used a white stretch denim also from Joanns. The pants will probably get stained real quick but that's okay (I think when I bought the fabric I had intended to try dying the fabric a mint blue/green color- but that was back when I only had one child). ***ADDED MAY 29, 2014: I need to add that I TAKE IT BACK! after I washed these jeans and they shrunk a little they now fit perfectly, they are AWESOME! seriously, I love them. They fit so well, and look great. I have since sewn several pants patterns from a few different designers and this pattern wins for best pants. Don't let my ho-hum review here sway you from getting this pattern. The pattern is worth it!***
Note to self: Next time I sew this pants pattern I will take about 1" from each back panel, and shorten the crotch length by 1/2" at the leg inseam.

I had to include this photo. Christine has such an adorable expression, and my favorite part is Jacob in the background. haha! because you wondering where Jacob was while we were snapping photos, right?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

KCW Day 1 and 2

Remember when I said "I'll post an update on my progress tomorrow"? What I really meant was "Maybe I'll check in tomorrow, maybe I won't." Great start right?

So even though it was quiet here yesterday, I still was sewing and I am actually making good progress on my list.
I thought I would tackle the easiest project first: patching the pink jeggings. I cut out two hearts from some grey knit fabric I had in my stash (scraps leftover from a maternity top) and used some "Steam a Seam" sticky back fusible web to iron the patches on. I thought that this would be enough, and was going to leave it at that.

But after wearing the pants for about 2 hours the edges started to peel, and with the help of a 3 year old, the heart on the right completely came off.  grrrr! (for the record I've never had good results with steam a seam, I don't know why I chose to use it. Should have gone with wonder under) So I decided to sew them on. I went with a pink embroidery thread and used a blanket stitch.

I'll be honest, I don't really like the embroidery thread. I wish I had thought to use a matching grey, and used only 2 strands instead of 3... and maybe a running stitch instead. Or started over using Wonder Under or fabric glue. Oh well. She loves them and Daddy loves them. So I will make peace with the fact that they look like a craft project
Today I finished the white jeans (can't wait to share them!) and am 90% done with the blue peasant top. Hopefully the weather cooperates tomorrow and I can get some decent photos.

Monday, February 24, 2014

KCW make-up

I declare this week to be...
remedial Kids Clothes Week!

The official Winter KCW was a few weeks ago and I was really excited to sew-along, however the kids and I got sick. Conjunctivitis, ear infections, rashes, coughs, high fevers... not fun. Everyone took turns going into the doctor (except hubby, he didn't get sick. Something to do with washing his hands a bazillion times at the hospital everyday and not being home enough to get exposed) So I was forced to watch KCW from the sidelines.

But now everyone is better, and Christine needs pants. All of a sudden all of her pants are several inches too short, and her waist is so small that store bought pants do not fit. If the pants are long enough, they will not stay up. So, I though, why not sew this week? not just regular sewing (I mean, I sew every week right?) but KCW sew with a PLAN, with focus, and magical KCW energy!

So here we go!

My KCW plans:
I am starting with some white skinny jeans using the skinny jean pattern from peek a boo patterns (affiliate link). I will use some white stretch denim that I bought forever ago.
Then I have a little mending to do, these pink pants from Target have a hole in the knee (because Christine only has a few pairs of pants that fit they get a lot of wear). I am going to patch them up with little hearts like E&E did a few weeks ago

Next I plan to add a ruffle to the bottom of these jeans using this grey print. The idea came from this post from the Mother Huddle

Lastly, I want to sew up two quick peasant blouses from these prints I bought last week from Joann's when I was in Houston. (They were 50% off and I had a 15% off your total purchase coupon! I sooooo wish there was a Joann's closer to me!)

That will give me three pairs of pants and two tops. Depending on how quickly I can get these done, I may sew up a pair of Small Fry Skinny Jeans using some floral denim I have in my stash.

See you tomorrow with an update on my progress!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Flannel Quilt

I finished a quilt last week. This is embarrassing to admit, but I started this quilt about 6 years ago. My mother was de-stashing her flannel scraps and making up a flannel quilt and offered me all the scraps I needed to make myself one as well. I was newly married and working as a counselor at a juvenile delinquent residential treatment facility. I sewed the quilt blocks together in the evenings while my hubby worked on his homework (he was finishing up his undergraduate degree at the time). 
My parents had recently purchased my beautiful Bernina Bernette for me as a graduation present, and this was probably my very first project that I sewed on my sewing machine. I actually pieced all the quilt blocks together quickly, but then I didn't know how to actually turn it into a quilt. So the quilt top sat in a storage container under my bed for a couple years. I moved across the country- away from my mother, the quilting expert, there was no pinterest yet either- so it stayed there, unfinished. Then when my little girl was born my mother flew out to visit us. We pulled out my quilting frames that had never been used, and my mom helped me quilt it with some basic yarn knots. Then it sat in a closet, waiting to be bound. With only one step left it sat there again for three more years (for some reason large projects intimidate me, even if they are simple).
Then, this winter we had several days of very cold weather, and my daughter needed an extra blanket on her bed. I pulled out this quilt for my daughter and put it on her bed. The unfinished edges bothered me, so I dug out the binding I had cut out for it and finished up the quilt finally! 
My daughter loves this quilt so much. It's so warm and snugly, and best of all there are so many stories in this quilt. Because the flannel came from my mom's scrap bin, these came from remnants of projects my mom made me and my siblings (mostly pj pants) I can point out which ones were mine (the cream with snowboarders, the blue with pink fairies) which ones where my sisters (the blue with cows stars and moons were Ashley's the pink Eiffle tower was Jessica's). I told Christine all this and pointed out all the different fabric as we snuggled under the quilt reading stories at nap time, and she just loved it.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Pants for Baby Doll tutorial

Remember those sleeves that I cut off the pajama shirt yesterday? Well, I couldn't just throw them away could I???

Nope, those sleeves were just the perfect size for some baby doll pants, and Madeline needed some pajama pants. Christine is always telling me that Madeline needs more clothes.
Do the baby dolls in your house need some pants? If you have some shirt sleeves, you can sew these up in less than 30 minutes. Which is good because if you use up the scraps immediately it's resourceful and kinda of awesome. If you hang on to the scraps of a t-shirt for "someday I will do this" you become that crazy lady. You don't want to be that crazy lady.

If you were curious, our baby doll is a 12-inch "You and Me" doll. The sleeve scraps were from a size 3T pajama top.
To start, I held the t-shirt sleeve to the baby doll and cut the top off about 1/2" above where I wanted the finished waist to be. I cut mine 5 1/2" long
Next I made a slit going down one side from the waist to the crotch. Mine was 2 1/2" long
Turn one leg inside out
and slip one leg inside the other (so the right sides are together)
Match the two legs together, and pin together.
Sew together. I used a zig zag stitch on my sewing machine.
Turn right side out, and they are looking like pants already!
Now, with a 1/4" wide elastic measure the waist of your baby doll. You want it to stretch a little bit.
Sew the elastic together
Attach to the top of the pants. The elastic will be a little bit smaller than the waist of the pants.
Sew with a zig zag stitch. You will have to stretch the elastic as you sew.
This is how it will look
Now fold the elastic over to the inside
and sew (again with a zig zag stitch- the zig zag allows it to stretch)
This is how it should look
And you're done!
Go find that baby doll and get her dressed in her new pj pants!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Favorite Shirt to Princess Dress tutorial

Christine has a favorite Cinderella pajama shirt that is just too small. She loves it so much she couldn't bear to let me put it in the donate box. Usually these clothes become Tangie Bear's wardrobe (Tangie Bear is a stuffed bear who also, for some reason, must have daily wardrobe changes including pajamas at night ) Tangie Bear's dresser drawer is full, so I thought I could come up with a fun way to keep the Cinderella shirt around a bit longer.
I chopped off the sleeves cut a slit in the back and added a skirt from some sparkly princess fabric that I let Christine pick out, and bam! we had an awesome dress-up outfit to wear while we belt it out to "Let It Go"

Do you have an outgrown top that your kid just can't bear to give up? Here's how to turn it into a dress-up. You will need 3/4 to 1 yard of fabric. I bought 3/4 of a yard and had enough for this size 2/3T
Get your outgrown top
and cut the back open
Now cut the sleeves off. I just left the edges raw because I wanted this to be a quick and dirty project. If the raw edges bother you and you have a little extra time, feel free to bind the edges with a little ribbing (Shwin & Shwin has a good tutorial here)
Now you are going to cut strips for the back placket. Cut two strips, 5 inches wide and length of the shirt long (length where you cut the shirt from top to bottom plus 1/4")
The reason why you added a little extra was for this step, you are going to fold the top down 1/4", this will finish your edge all pretty and smooth.
Now fold in half, wrong sides together (and let's pretend that all my fingernails are painted and not just my thumbnail)
Now match up the raw edge sides (NOT the folded edge) to the shirt edge and pin in place. Sew.
Repeat to the other side (I top stitched these, but that is not necessary)
Cut your skirt piece. You will want to cut it as wide as you can (to maximize fullness of the skirt) and then the desired length of the skirt plus 1-2 inches for your hem and 1/4" for seam allowance.
Time to sew. First sew the sides together, leaving the last 3 inches on the top unsewn. Then baste (sew with a long stitch length) along the top edge of the skirt. Gather until it is the length of the shirt.

Fold the edges under along the side seam gap (I folded under 1/4" because I sewed the side seam with a 1/4" seam allowance)
Then pin to the bottom of the shirt, wrong sides together. Sew across
Now top stitch along that folded edge of your 3 inch gap, going back and forth a couple times along the bottom. You want to reinforce that seam
See how that gap will give more flexibility to your dress? That way the velcro can overlap a little or a lot.
Speaking of velco, it's time attach the velcro to the dress. I used three pieces about 3 inches long and put one on the top, middle and bottom (always use sew-on velcro. Do not ever attempt to sew sticky back velcro it will do evil things to your sewing machine!)
To finish up, just hem the skirt. I like a nice thick hem, so I folded it up 2 inches.
and you are done!

I may add some more embellishments, like a sparkly ribbon along the bottom and maybe a bow.