Monday, April 30, 2012

Skirt with Pockets and Pleats!

I thought a grass green skirt would be fun for Spring.
Version B

It's a really basic skirt, no hem vent or fancy stuff just a zip back.
In my mind it's a pencil skirt, but I think it's actually more of a "straight" skirt as it's got quite a bit of room at the bottom so you don't need the back vent and can still walk around just fine.
The pockets have a pleat and are just one panel, which makes it easy.
I wore it to church yesterday, and until now going through these photos didn't realize my hair looked like bonch all day!

I used a linen blend which is light and cool to wear, but does wrinkle some throughout the day.
Not as wrinkle prone as actual linen, but kind of a pain.  Maybe starch or something would help.
I also paired it with a wide belt.  The pattern has small belt loops, which would be a good idea, but I was lazy and just plopped a wide belt on top rather than saw the smaller loops for a narrow belt.

 I'm excited Spring is here...although the yard work has begun and takes into my sewing time!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Purple Plaid Blouse

As part of Kids Clothing Week Challenge at elsie marley, my first item I've sewn this week is a little blouse for Ellaria.

The Music Class Blouse from Oliver + S in a pink and purple plaid.

I used the short sleeve version with the mandarin collar.  
Rather than pattern match the plaid, I cut the front and back yokes on the bias or diagonal to make it easier, kind of like cowboy shirts.

The blouse came together really quickly and was pretty easy to sew.  
I guess sewing small always makes things go quicker.
One of my favorite features are the pin-tucks on the front and back just below the yokes, and the box pleat on the sleeves at the shoulder.

I had a scrap of double fold bias tape I'd made for the rainbow chevron dress and used it to make the plum bow.

 I think it's a cute little top that would be cute with a skirt or under a jumper too.
I'm getting excited to have an older daughter to sew for!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tutorial Variation: Shirred Pocket Skirt for Girls

Last summer, the original shirred skirt with big pockets was such a huge hit, and it seems the tutorial gets a lot of use making cute, skirts!
Quite a few have left comments saying it was your first time sewing clothing and it turned out great.
So I thought we needed to get an adjustment to make these skirts for little girls too!

Toddler skirts are probably the easiest project to make, and so the pockets and shirred waist add a little zip to an already easy project!

 The steps to create smaller girl sized skirts is the exact same as the original tutorial. 
So rather than repeat everything, you'll print your girls sized pattern here along with the size cut charts, then refer back to the original adult post for all the steps:
updated 4/27/12 on the cut list for skirts. I had the skirt width totals rather than the two halves, so the link below is the current and correct cut chart
it's only 2 pages and has all the cutting information for sizes 12 months to girls 10!
Then hop over to the
The only change in steps/ directions will be how much shirring you sew.
For these little ones I only sewed 4 or 5 rows of the shirring elastic thread.  The larger sizes could probably handle 6-8 rows of shirring.
As far as fabric: 
Most light to mid weight fabrics will shirr: quilting cotton, linen, knits, poly blends.
I have found poplin type blends with spandex in them (the fabric often used in women's button up blouses) DO NOT shirr for some reason.  I don't know if the slight stretch in the fabric or the fact it's a little more stiff prevents it from gathering but it's the only fabric I've come across that just doesn't work, although I've never tried heavier weight fabrics like canvas, denim, or corduroy, I just assumed they'd be too heavy for the elastic thread.
For small sizes I used 1/2" wise bias tape folded to have finished 1/4" detail on for contrasting pockets with only 1/2 wide bias tape detail along hem.
Adults are 1/2" wide finished on pockets and  1" along hem.
I recently made 10 of these skirts in a range of the sizes for a wedding and they turned out so cute!

Ellie here is wearing 18-24 months and I think she'd be better in the 12 months size for reference.
Hope your spring is filled with little girls sewing!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Maurice Moss

It was my husband's birthday recently.

Every year for my husband's birthday I make him a gag tee shirt.
Previous years:
This year was a tribute to his favorite sitcom:
IT Crowd.
It's a British series about nerds we've been watching on Netflix and our favorite character is Maurice Moss:

To make the t-shirt, I first got an image of Moss from google.  In Microsoft Word I posterized it with the basic image tools to make it black and white with high contrast.
Next I printed the image on freezer paper, cut out all the black portions, ironed it on a basic tee, then painted the holes with black fabric paint.
I'm still using freezer paper for my stencils, but if you have a Silhouette or something, it would be even easier.

Happy Birthday!

Friday, April 20, 2012

We're Teaching A Sewing Class!

My little sister Lynette and I are teaming up to teach a free community class:
Clothing Construction for Kids!

Taught by Lynette or Lady Danburry and myself.
Lynette's a professional tailor/ seamstress and I'm her teaching side kick for the night.

Provo City Library
550 N University Ave
Provo, Utah 84601
Young Special Events Room #201

Tuesday, May 15 at 7pm
It's Free!
You don't need to sign up or register--just show up!

The class is teaching how to use clothing you already own to create basic patterns for constructing your unique, original children's clothing.
This will also include basic pattern drafting and how to alter basic block patterns for new designs.
The class is for beginners who would like to branch out and create their own original designs.

No sewing machines will be present, so we won't actually construct any clothing that night.
The focus of the class is to teach you how to duplicate an existing piece of clothing, or translate your design into a usable, original pattern.
Most likely I'll do the first part showing how to duplicate clothing, and Lynette will go more in depth in creating more unique patterns.
We'll be discussing and using children's clothing as our examples for the class as they're easy--just shaped like cylinders--but principles can be applied for adult clothing as well if you don't sew for kids.

We're preparing the formal class for 30-40 minutes so 7:00 to 7:40pm and after that we're just hanging out.
Our family loves food.  Growing up if you came to our house you'd always have to eat something before you could get out of there,  so we figured we couldn't host a class without some kind of treat.  
We're also preparing a few giveaways/ raffles for you to hopefully win some children's clothing we've made.
Overall we hope it's a casual, fun, and informative night for anyone wanting to sew from scratch in the Provo, Utah area!

*****It's not a blogger event, so don't worry about planning an outfit to include a scarf or needing to whip up a ruffled tote to fit in.  Just come and hopefully we'll have something for you to learn and time to chat and hang out if you have specific questions.  It's a free community class sponsored by the library and we just thought some of our friends from the blog world in the Utah County area might be interested.  
So plan ahead since the lame I-15 construction is torture and hope to see and meet some of you in person!

Pleat Week

Today I'm over at See Kate Sew sharing a tutorial  for this ombre pleated pillow cover!
Kate's been hosting Ruffle Month, and threw in one week of pleats!

It's the same technique I used on Ellie's champagne dress, but using straight sections and contrasting colored pleats with additional texture top-stitching.

While you're over there you can browse all the ruffles projects going on all month!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Handmade Olympics!

If you can believe it, I'm still a little shocked, but I was nominated by Margaret of Star Graf Design and made it into the top 10 short list! Thank you Margaret!

I'm in Event 7:
Favorite Handmaking-Focus Blog

Dana from Made was the judge for this event to narrow all the nominations down to the top 10 judge's shortlist and won the gold medal last year for 2011. 
 I'm sure you all know how amazing Dana is.

I feel bad asking any of you to vote for me.
After months of Project Run and Play followed by So You Think You're Crafty: Allstars are you sick of voting for me?
Maybe.  Probably.  Most Likely.  
That's OK, but it's worth hopping over there to at least see nine other amazing blogs you may not already follow that are sure to inspire you.
I'm the last one in the list and on the poll.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Tutorial: winter to spring tights

 Some of our footed baby tights got too small, with the crotch creaping down to the knees, so I decided to cut the toe off, add stretch lace to the ankle and have tights for spring!

I remember having the stirrup leggings in the 80s as a kid, but unfortunately the pants were never long enough, but I would still try to wear the cool stirrup with two pairs of neon socks on top.  I would spend the day babysitting my leggings as they were too short and the crotch would keep working their way to mid-thigh.  My mom cut off the stirrups and then the leggings were floods.  So I remember her sewing lace on the ankles and loving them once they were sort of long enough.  So these are inspired by my 80s childhood and the fashion dilemmas of girls with stork legs.

tights that are too small
10" stretch lace (found in trim section)

Cut off the toe of the tights and cut the stretch lace in two 5" pieces. 

Fold lace in half and sew raw edge together with scant 1/8" seam allowance.
Use a baby zig-zag (.5 length and 1.0 width) or a stretch stitch.

Mark half point opposite side seam and pin to half marks on tights.  
Overlap the lace 1/4" on top of the right side of the tights.

Sewing on the inside of the tights, carefully work your way around the opening.
Use the same zig-zag/ stretch stitch as this seam will have to stretch around the heel of the foot.

Repeat on other leg!

She kept squatting hiding the tights.


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