Saturday, May 30, 2009

ahoy little one

I got the chance to help out with my dear friend's baby shower.  She is having boy and my two friends who were putting on the shower wanted to decorate for the shower in the same style that the new mom is going to decorate the little babe's room in.  I was asked (maybe  I begged) to make a banner for the babe's room and since the room is going to have planes, trains, boats, and automobiles I was asked to make it with a nautical theme.  Oh, the joy.  I had seen one (although could not locate the catalog anywhere) in PB Kids and online at The Land of Nod.  This one had to be in blues and reds.  So, I made 9X9 squares and appliqued some nautical alphabet letters (did you know all the symbols represent letters?  I didn't) and some other cute nautical images.   I sewed each square to another plain white one right sides together, turned them right side out and top stitched all around.  Then, I added grommets to each corner of each square. Twelve squares later and some great boating rope, I had a long banner that we used for the shower and that she can take home to hang in her little boy's room.  You should have seen the beautiful paintings the hostess of the shower painted for our friend to hang in the room and  the presentation by the other hostess of all the tables, food, and goody bags.  Sometimes I think my friends need to be in business with all the talents they possess.  It's inspiring and awesome. Oh, and these photos were taken in my little girl's room and not the future baby's room!

And, since I was on a roll with the nautical theme, I made a appliqued onesie with a whale and a pair of pants to match. 

Thursday, May 28, 2009

linen shirt to play outfit

The "before" shirt

Don't mind the stain on the shorts - I took this after she wore them!

I am still loving this shorts pattern - the waistband and the added buttons especially

Someone had said on their blog that they feel like the outfit they made out of curtains (or was it a tablecloth?) made them feel a little like Julie Andrews in "The Sound of Music." This outfit may be one of those. Although it was a women's linen shirt first and not curtains, but it did make for a nice play outfit. This shirt had plenty of fabric for almost the entire outfit. I just needed a bit to lengthen and for the front bodice. I actually had enough for the front bodice, but since it needed a band for length, I decided to use the same tan fabric on the bodice as the band so it didn't look too out of place. I used this pattern (Simplicity 5118) for the top (again) and the same shorts that I have been sewing up here and here (Butterick B4118). They are getting so quick to sew. And, thanks to a friend, I have had many clothes to work with for all this repurposing!

Sunday, May 24, 2009


That's what my husband keeps calling her.  I tried my hand at these shorts again and boy do they sew up quickly with a cute result.  I found two white vintage buttons in my collection and I love them on the front.  Once I made the shorts I had to add an applique to one of her white shirts (I have a hard time leaving those plain ol' white) so that's where the strawberry came in.  I showed the outfit to her yesterday morning and she started to put it on right away.  I was thrilled with that because the last few things I have made for her she has said, "too big." And, that's her version of - I don't want to wear it.  I didn't know two year olds could have strong opinions about clothes.  My boys didn't care until about 4.  There's one difference between boys and girls! 

Friday, May 22, 2009

playground shorts

It's getting hot around here and my daughter doesn't have too many pairs of shorts. I went to Target looking for some and even $5 was too much too pay. Now you know how cheap I am. So, I pulled out my patterns yesterday morning and found this one for shorts - Butterick B4118. They only took 1/2 yard (maybe less) and I used some of the left over linen from the skirt. These were simple. But, as usual, there are always some adjustments. They are so big even in size 2. I wish I would have tried them on her before I put the elastic in the back waistband. You sew it in to the side seams and I was too lazy to unpick the sides once I was done to re size them. So, I tried putting button holes in the front waist band and my sewing machine kept jamming up with the elastic from the back of the shorts hitting the feed dog. So in the end I just pleated the waist band over and hand sewed some buttons on the front and I really like how they turned out. I also made the leg hem shorter and instead of hand sewing the waist band down inside, I just stitched in the ditch along the seam. Now that I know how I want them, I am going to make a few more pairs because even with the adjustments they really do sew up fast. And, I figured it out and they cost about $2.00 to make plus I like them better than the little ones at Target!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

more note cards

I've had to get new print cartridges because I have had so much fun printing these note cards.  If you are on my upcoming birthday list, sorry because you will probably get a set.   It's my sisters birthday on Thursday and she gets the set with the vintage boy and girl in the wagon.   I love that image.  My sister in law gets the owl and my friend in Australia will receive the monogram.  I get my digital scrapbook images from a lot of places, but herehere, here and here are some of my favorites.  

Oh yeah and I am making some more of these.  

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

ruffled linen skirt

With summer approaching, it's time that I break out my skirts. And, one of my very favorite skirts is my turquoise ruffled linen skirt from Eddie Bauer. I love the flowing skirts since it gets pretty hot and humid here in Kentucky during the summer months. Have you seen the cute bright linen ones at Gap right now? I am hoping (fingers crossed) I can make a similar one. But, since I don't have the Gap skirt in my hands right now, I thought I would make one identical (or pretty darn close) to my Eddie Bauer skirt. I love how it turned out. Although, I might need to make it just a tad bit smaller. I took pictures in the process in case you wanted to make one of your own. You know this is easy, so make one and let me know how it turns out. These measurements fit me (just a little loosely) and I am an 8,10,12 in clothing. Isn't that funny how I can be all three. Let me explain by saying this skirt is identical in size to my Eddie Bauer skirt which is an 8, but it really could really be a size 10 or 12 because it is adjustable and because it is a little big.  I think I will make some more and take 2 inches off each layer and see how it fits, but in the mean time-

You will need:
*2 yards of light linen or very light weight fabric cut in to these measurements:
(2) 23" wide X 10 1/2" tall - waist and 1st tier
(2) 40" wide X 6" tall - 2nd tier
(2) 45" wide X 6" tall - 3rd tier
(2) 50" wide X 6" tall - 4th tier
(1) 60" wide X 1 1/2" tall - drawstring
(1) small square of light weight iron on interfacing
*1/2 inch elastic that measures around your waist plus 2 inches
*coordinating thread

All seams are 1/2 inch unless otherwise noted

1 - Cut fabric to measurements above.

2 - Sew all strips of fabric in to tubes. That means, sew the 2 - 23" X 10 1/2" pieces at each end, right sides together so that it ends up being one big tube. Then, continue doing that for the next 3 tiers (example: sew together the 40" X 6" piece on each end right sides together and so forth).

3 - They will look like this when you are done.  You will now have 4 tubes of fabric in graduating sizes.  If not using a serger, it is a good idea to cut the side seams down to 1/4" and zig zag stitch down the sides to prevent fraying. 

4 - Take the second tube (not the one for the waist, but the second one measuring 40" X 6") and make a long running stitch 1/4" down from the top.  Leave long threads on each end to pull so that  you can make a ruffle.  Pull the threads gently to ruffle and shorten to fit the waist band.

5 - Sew the 2nd tier (the ruffled one) to the bottom of the 1st tier (the waist band) right sides together at the bottom.   If not using a serger, zig zag the seam when done.  

6 - It will look like this.

7 - Now gather the 3rd tier by doing a long stitch at the top 1/4" down.  Pull this ruffle loosely to fit the width of the 2nd tier.  Attach the 3rd tier to the 2nd tier, right sides together.  Zig zag seam when finished.  It will look like this.

8 - Attach the 4th tier the same way and then your skirt will look like this.  

9 - Finish the hem at the bottom by ironing 1/2 inch over on the wrong side and then again up to the ironed line making a double folded hem that will be 1/4 inch when sewn.  Or if you have a serger, serge the bottom and then fold up 1/2 inch and sew close to the edge.  

10 - For the waist band, iron over 1 1/4"  and then 1/4" from the top to make a casing that will be 1".  If using a serger, serge the top edge and then iron over 1".  Find the center of the front of the skirt.  The front can be either side since the skirt is symmetrical.  Mine fell at 11 1/2".  Mark with a soluble marker 1/4" down from the ironed fold line.  Now, mark 1/2" to the right of that mark and 1/2" to the left of that mark.  These will be the tops of the button holes. 

11 - Iron the square piece of light weight interfacing over the dots you just marked.  You will still be able to see the marks in order to line up your button holes.

12 - Using an automatic button hole stitch, sew two button holes that will fit a 3/8" button. Carefully use a seam ripper to open up the button holes.

13 - Now sew the casing.  The button holes should fall centered on the front of the casing on the right side of the skirt.  Sew all the way around with an 1/8" seam leaving 1 1/2" open to run elastic through.

14 - Measure the 1/2" elastic around your waist plus 2" and cut.  The elastic will be more loose than snug so that it will stay up with the elastic, but you can use the drawstring to tighten the skirt around your waist.  Using a safety pin, run the elastic through the opening in the casing.

15 - Over lap the elastic 1" and sew together.  Sew up the opening in the casing.

16 - Now we need to make the drawstring.  Iron the 60" X 1 1/2" piece of linen in half.  Now, iron each edge to meet that ironed line in the middle.  Iron 1/4" on each end and sew each end and down the long side along the edge - about 1/8".  

17 - Put a safety pin through the end of the drawstring and run it through one button hole all the way around, coming out the end of the other button hole.  Tie knots in each end of the drawstring and you are DONE!!! 

18 - Now order more linen (or find some at your fabric store) in lots of colors and make more skirts!

Monday, May 18, 2009

note cards for the teachers

I know there are the typical teacher gifts.  I try to remember that teachers are also people and like things that I might like and not just anything with apples on them.  Last year we made the boys' teachers fabric lunch totes with their names on them.  My eldest reported that his teacher uses her lunch tote everyday since he has as a teacher again this year.  I have noticed some awesome teacher gifts on blogs out there.  Love the necklaces at Koala Brains.  Makes me wish I were a teacher.  This year we made them personalized note cards.  I made them one set that said their teacher name (a note from Ms. Doseck) and another set with their first names on them.  

I made them using Photoshop Elements.  I made the new file 8 1/2 " X 11" and put the ruler (go to view and select ruler) on the screen.  I chose digital scrapbook images and centered them in each of the 4 spaces.  I know there must be a way to divide the sheet in to 4, but I just went off the ruler.  As long as each graphic was placed 1/4 inch from the top and centered at 2 1/8" for the left note cards as seen in this photo:

and, at 6 3/8" for the right note cards like in this photo:

then they turned out perfectly when I cut them!  When doing the lower  two cards, I made sure they were also centered at these measurements and placed at 5 3/4 inches down the page.  Since the paper is 11 inches long and 5 1/2 " is half way, then 5 3/4" is just 1/4" from the top of where they will be cut.    I am sure you all know an easier way, but this really worked for me. 

I saved them as a PDF so that I can either send them the file or print more for them quickly.