Monday, August 11, 2014

Getting Ready: 2 Pairs of School-Worthy Pants for My Girl

Last week during a regular late-summer routine, we went through all of the girls clothes and cleaned out everything that was too worn or too small.  At the end of said clean-out, E was left with one pair of pants that fit.


Seriously.  How did that happen?  We hit a nice stretch of summery weather and she hit a growth spurt.

E mainly likes to wear leggings under skirts, but she is also starting to like jeans and other pants.  The problem is that she's so skinny she can wear a 3T around the waist, but she needs the 5T for the length.

Usually we end up buying those wonderful jeans/corduroys that have the adjustable waistband.  And she has a few of those in her drawer now.  I was just looking for one or two more pairs of pants to round out the wardrobe when I happened upon some jean and corduroy fabric tucked at the bottom of my fabric stash.

So why not sew some, right? ;)

These two pairs of pants were quick and easy (seriously).  Each pair took about an hour and a half each.

And she loves them both because she was able to choose the fun, colorful fabric for the contrasts.  Win!

First I made these sweet, ruffle-bottomed pants with patch pockets on the back.

The pockets are nice and large, adding a great splash of color!

And who doesn't love some girly ruffles?

Second, I made the corduroys.  

These have not so wide of a leg, pockets hidden in the side seam, a contrasting waistband, and cute folded cuffs in the contrast fabric.

To finish them off, I added some stars around the top of the cuff.  Love those!

I took the time with both of these pants to add tags.  I guess it's about time I started tagging the work that I do - even clothes for the kiddos.  And now I will remember what size I made the clothes!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Elsa Has Arrived! {Custom Frozen Costume}

Well, Frozen hysteria has reached our household.  My husband and I put it off for a while.  We resisted the craze and didn't watch the movie with the girls for a long time.

Then, we gave in.  And we were off!

Now we're right there with everyone else.  We own the movie, the girls listen to the soundtrack (and sing it loudly at all times of day), and everything Frozen is high on the "desire to own" list.

Two weeks before her birthday, E decided that she really wanted an Elsa costume.  Thank goodness I'd already thought of making that as a birthday gift and had started. Phew!

I used a pattern that I found on Etsy.  It is a very easy-on, easy-off costume.  She can pull it on all by herself which is a huge plus.

The main dress is made out of shiny-blue swimsuit material.  Sounds odd, but it makes the dress flow magnificently and gives it an almost "liquid" look.

I wanted the cape to drag a bit, but also wanted it to be functional for wearing out of the house (as I had a feeling she would want to wear it constantly).  This is why the cape is detachable.  It attaches under the arms with snaps.  

At first I thought that a permanent cape would have been better, but the more she wears it, the more I like that we can take the cape off.  Then she can wear the dress while running around and not worry about entangling herself with the cape.

The cape is made from a sheer organza that is decorated with sparkles.  It really goes well with the costume - the perfect finishing touch!

E is in LOVE with it and has worn it for 2 days straight (ever since she received it).  So glad my little Elsa is happy! :)

Monday, June 2, 2014

DIY: The Perfect Summer Sunhat for Your Little Girl {Tutorial}

Well, summer is just around the corner.  Pretty soon we can all start complaining about the heat instead of complaining about the cold.  Ahhh...bliss.

When warmer weather arrives, you can usually find us all in the backyard.  The kids will be splashing in the kiddie pool, jumping through the sprinkler, spraying each other, or just running around barefoot with all of their neighborhood friends.  It's a glorious time.

However, my whole family is fair-skinned.  Really fair.  We have had our share of skin cancer in the family and now I worry about my children and their health and their future.  So I make them wear hats when they play outside.

This year, I discovered the fun in making hats.  Remember the newsboy hats I made for the girls?  I decided to take hat-making one step further and make sun hats for the girls.  Now that I know the basics of what goes in to making a hat, I figure I'll try my own.

I ended up with these beautiful, floppy-brimmed, sun hats that keep the sun off of my girls' faces while looking adorable.  I'm so happy with how they turned out!

Want to make one for your munchkin?  Here is a tutorial for how to do it.

Reversible Sunhat


3/4 yard main fabric
3/4 yard lining fabric
3/4 yard fusible interfacing (I used Pellon fusible fleece)
matching thread
water soluble pen or chalk 
scissors/rotary cutter
cutting board/measuring tape
**All seams are 1/4" unless otherwise noted.

Making your pattern piece:

Note: This hat will fit a child with a head circumference of 20"-21 1/2".  I'm not 100% positive on this, but I think that if you take about 1/4" off of the straight-line measurement of the pattern for each inch smaller (head circumference), it should end up about right (I think).  Sorry, you will have to do a bit of trial and error with that one.

On a straight edge of a piece of paper, measure 5 1/2" and mark it.
Place a dot in the bottom center of that measurement and measure up 9".  This will be the highest point of the hat.
1/3 of the way up from the bottom edge, place a dot.
Measure a width of 5" across and mark it on both edges.
Use the 5" markers that are 1/3 of the way up from the bottom as markers to draw a curved line from the outer bottom edges up to the point.  Leave about 1/4" across at the top (do not make it a complete point - it should have a little flat part)
Cut along the curved line.

Your end result should look like this:


Using your pattern piece, cut out 6 of your main fabric (on the bias), 6 of your lining (again, on the bias), and 6 from the interfacing.

Next, cut 3 strips 1/2" wide x 23 1/2" long.  1 from your main fabric, 1 from the lining, and 1 from the interfacing.

Lastly, you will need to cut the brim.

Fold your fabric in half and lay it flat with the fold at the bottom (I ran out of green fabric.  The yellow and green fabrics are both for the lining).
Measure in 5" from the edge and mark it with a water soluble pen or chalk.

Using this mark as your starting point, measure another 7" across and mark it with your pen or chalk.  Also mark the center point at 3 1/2".

Using the center as a base point, mark 3 1/2" every 1/4" or so making a semi-circle (sorry that it's hard to see).

Use the far right side of the semi-circle as a starting point and measure another 5" along the bottom fold.  Mark it with a pen or chalk.

Using the semi-circle as a guide, measure out 5" and mark a 2nd semi-circle outside of the first.

You should now have a larger semi-circle around a smaller one.

Cut along the dotted lines.

Use this as a pattern to cut out circles from the interfacing and your other fabric.

Making the Crown of the Hat

Iron your interfacing on to the WRONG side of the lining pieces of the crown.

Match up 2 crown pieces at the curved edges and sew.

Open the seam and sew a 3rd crown piece at the curved edge onto the other side.

Open the seam.  Press the seam toward the center.  Topstitch close to the seam.

Place this half aside.

Repeat the above directions for the remaining 3 crown pieces.

Place the two sides of the crown WRONG sides together.  Pin and sew along the center seam.

Open the hat and topstitch the center seam.

Repeat the above steps with the lining.
You should now have 2 crown pieces that look like this:

Sewing on the band

Determine which side of the center seam on the crown will be the back of your hat.
Pin the band into place (WRONG sides together) 1" to the right of the back center seam, leaving  1/2" of band to the LEFT of the seam.

Don't worry about pinning the band into place, but don't pull on it as you sew or you will end up with a "poofy" looking hat.  Just hold the raw edges together as you sew.

Sew the band to the crown.

Stop stitching 1" from the back center seam.  Backstitch.

Pull the two loose ends of the band together and pin at the back center seam.

Sew the two pieces of the band together at a slight angle.

Trim close to the seam and press the seam open.

Lay the band back down flat on the crown piece.  Pin in place.  Sew.

Turn the band down and press the seam toward the band.  Topstitch close to the seam.

Attaching the Brim

Sew a gathering (or long) stitch around the INSIDE edge of the brim.  Pull lightly on the ends to fit the brim to the bottom of the band.

NOTE:  The brim should not actually look gathered.  The gathering stitch is simply to ease the brim onto the band and to make a better, more snug fit.

Pin in place (RIGHT sides together).

Sew around, attaching the brim to the crown and band.

Press seam toward the band.  Topstitch.

Repeat so that you end up with 2, unfinished hats.

Attaching the Lining to the Hat

With RIGHT sides together, place the lining inside the main fabric.
Match up the back, center seams and pin.

Pin the brims together.

Sew around the brim of the hat, leaving about 4" open at the back seam for turning.

Clip the curve all the way around the hat to help the seam lay flat.

Turn the hat right side out through the opening.

Pin the opening closed and around the hat.
Topstitch around the brim.

I sewed twice around the brim because I like how it looks, but it's not necessary.

And you're done!!  They're really pretty simple to make once you get the crown pattern piece down.

Here's to a summer of fun in their beautiful hats!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Old T-Shirt Round-Up: 2 DIY Projects for Your Old Shirts

Old t-shirts are like the mugs of the clothing drawer.  Seriously.  Where do they all come from??

My husband and I had 15+ years worth of old t-shirts in our drawers.  Needless to say, it needed some sorting through.

After the cleaning, we were left with a garbage bag full of old t-shirts.  What to do with them all?  Some were so full of holes and stained that they were only good for the rag bin.  But there were many others that still had some life left in them.

My husband gave a few of his hardly-if-ever-worn shirts to E to wear as nightgowns.  They are so baggy, but she loves them!  I thought I would add to the cuteness and make them into fitted nightgowns for her.

I took her Mr. Potato head shirt and transformed it into a super-sweet nightgown.

Or so I thought.  I whipped this up while she was out with her grandparents.   She was, shall we say, annoyed  that I had changed her "nightgown" without asking her permission.  Ok, she was ANGRY.

Pretty much refused to put it on.  But it's SO CUTE!

I finally cajoled her into putting it on and doing a photo session for me.
Can you see the pouty face?

 Aww, but she's cute anyways.

That's better!  That must be after I gave her some jelly beans or something. Nothing like a little bribery. :)
Now on to the rest of the shirts.
A friend of mine sent me an idea via Facebook almost a year ago now.  Turn those old t-shirts into cloth diapers!  What a great idea!

Little N is starting to move out of his newborn prefolds and needs some newer, larger ones.

I am always looking for

1. new sewing projects and
2. ways to save some money.
These diaper prefolds are the perfect combination of those two things.  Plus, I don't feel like we are wasting all those old shirts!  
Awwww...look at that cutie pie.  Showing off his new The Toasters diaper. 

No disrespect to the band.  In fact, my husband wore this shirt so much there were holes in it.

Now we are all set with diapers for quite a while.  Yay!

Well, that does it for this week's projects.

And on to the next thing! :)