Tuesday, March 31, 2009

napkin skirt - now doesn't that sound fancy?

Now, it might be a two in one deal where you can use the skirt to wipe their faces when messy. I am not sure if that will work or not! While making the bandanna skirt from a tutorial at v. and co. blog (which I highly recommend based on price and effort/time satisfaction), I had an idea to make a skirt using the french country napkins I picked up last week on clearance. So, I am sharing. I am not claiming to have invented this way of making a skirt. In fact, it's pretty similar to the bandanna skirt from the tutorial I just mentioned with just a few changes. The changes include adding the band of contrasting fabric to the top as to not disturb the hem that is already in the napkin. You see, when there is already a hem I can't help but include it so that I don't have to make another one. Also, based on these measurements this skirt will fit a girl size 3T to 4T. To make it a size 2T, just reduce the band from 4 inches to 3 inches. To make it fit an older girl, then add length to the band.

1 - Lay out your napkin and admire it.

2 - Cut napkin in half. Mine was a square 20 inches, so I could cut it either way. I am sure most napkins have similar measurements.

3 - Cut two strips for the top. Mine were both 20 inches long and 4 inches wide. Remember this skirt will fit a 3 or 4 year old, so if you want it for a 2 year old, cut the strips 3 inches wide.

4 - Pin these strips to the top of the cut napkins right sides together. Sew together with a 3/8 inch seam.

5 - Press the seam and then, lay the two pieces right sides together. Sew up both sides. You have to sew over those already made seams on the napkins - sad that you can't use them. Just sew right on the inside of them.

6 - Fold over seam at the top 1 1/4 inches. I used 3/4 inch elastic so this will be plenty for the casing.

7 - Now, iron over 1/4 inch at the top of the 1 inch you already pressed.

8 - Pin down and sew along the edge forming a casing. Be sure to leave a 1 inch opening for the elastic.

9 - Run 3/4 inch elastic through the casing adjusting to the size of the little waist you are making this for. Sew elastic together at ends and sew opening closed.

10 - You are done!

Monday, March 30, 2009

from goodwill to her closet

My mother in law brought me this Eddie Bauer shirt from Goodwill because she loved the color. I loved the color too..for my daughter instead of me. I, of course, forgot to take a before photo. I just jump in when I start a project and don't think it through too much. I did find a similar shirt for sale here that it looked like. It was a women's short sleeve button up shirt with darts in the back. I cut it out of the same pattern I always use -Simplicity 5695. With this pattern, I use view D and just lengthen it by about 3 to 4 inches and exclude adding on the bottom ruffle. All Simplicity patterns are on sale this week at Hobby Lobby for $1.99. Or if you don't want to buy a pattern, here is a tutorial for a child's peasant blouse at the Just Tutes blog. You can easily lengthen it in to a dress. Okay, I fold the strip with the buttons right down the middle and pin and press. That way it will be centered when I place the pattern piece on it. I just make sure that I leave about 1 to 1 1/2 inches above the top button for the neckline casing. For the sleeves, when using a man's shirt, there is plenty of extra fabric for these, but in this case, I didn't have enough, so, that's where I brought in this Alexander Henry pear and apple fabric. I thought it matched nicely. The jury is still out on the pocket. Ideally, I would have liked a not so neon polka dot fabric, but I was working on this Saturday night and just used something I had. I still might unpick it and take it off. I also cut out a few of the apples and pears for applique on the bottom of the dress. I now have 3 more shirts (men's madras plaids) for future dresses waiting to be cut. I am thinking that she will be wearing dresses all spring and summer long. It's nice to think that I won't have to buy any shorts or other clothing to get us through the next few seasons. Now if I can just find some inexpensive leggings. I found some at WalMart (Geranimals brand) and they stopped carrying them. I can't bring myself to pay $10 for something that is just an "extra." So, if you see any in size 2T/3T, let me know!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

a pattern for the owl

I thought I would draw out the pattern for the owl applique that I did last week for my two year old's shirt. The pieces (are not so steadily) drawn so that you can layer them as you applique - meaning you can slide the wings slightly under the body or the body under the head at the top. Does that make sense? I just traced around a button for the large part of the eye, so do that if it is easier than using the pattern piece. And, for the inside of the eye I sewed on a black button. This pattern could also be used for embroidery. I might have to try that. You can download the pdf here.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

fob giveaway winners

Do you know me well enough to know that I didn't pick three? Maybe some of you are new and you are finding out that I can't just pick one, two, or three winners. I decided since I bought a mailer pack with ten bubble mailers, that I was picking ten winners. So, I went to random.org and put in my integers and got 10 winners! There is a slight glitch and I will figure it out - with ten winners, there are many of the winners that like the same colors, but I will get it worked out by the time you all send me your mailing addresses. So, here they are:

#13 (my lucky number) - Bobi

#18 - Heather

#9 - Barbara

#5 - Kara (I couldn't put the link because it's a private blog)

#31 - Summer

#30 - Wills and Tessa

#22 - blairsblog 6

#7 - Erin Marie

#11 - Laurie - no blog (or private!)

#1 - Mandee

Okay, now that you winners know who you are, email me at - traciu73atyahoodotcom and send me your mailing addresses. I am looking forward to sending these out!

*This may be too much information when all you want to know is if you are getting one of these, but...I make these following this tutorial at j.caroline. I do make them 11 inches instead of 10 inches like she suggests. I just think they need just a little more room to get them over your fist. I might have big hands. Also, my friend made these and did an awesome thing. She attached a magnetic snap to the end of fob and then attached the other snap to the inside of her tote bag. That way, she could just snap it in to her tote and not lose it. I loved that idea. I keep mine around my wrist while I shop so I can always know where my keys are. But, just some tidbits of knowledge here. Oh one last thing, I get my supplies (except for ribbon, rick rack, and Heat n' Bond) from ebay. Lots of sellers of fob hardware there and cotton webbing. You might end up with a ton of teal webbing, but you can make it work!

Friday, March 27, 2009

she did it well

picture courtesy of dana at made

I have followed Dana's great blog for awhile now. I always get inspiration there. She made a dress from her husband's dress shirt and she really did it well. I love it to say the least. She let me share it with you. You should check out her blog to see all the many other fashion re-do's. I just love the yellow waist band. I made me go back to the drawing board and make another one from a shirt my mother in law gave me from Good Will this week (but, shhhh...don't tell her I cut it up - it was supposed to be for me!). I will post it tomorrow. It's late and now I have to draw some giveaway winners.

my new kid

I can't quite call it a kidlet since I just couldn't help but make it bigger. My friend, Jamie, showed me this pattern last year and we were going to make these. Well, a year later, I found the pattern printed out on the top of my messy pile, so it was time to give it a try. I made the original kidlet found on the jchandmade blog (tons of great stuff there) and I loved it, but it was a bit too small. So, I beefed it up a bit and decided it was a kid and not a kidlet. Of course, it was much easier and faster to make this kid than my other four, but I am sure it won't bring me quite as much joy. I changed the dimensions -

*from 11X11 for both the outside and lining fabric to 13 inches wide X 15 inches tall
and the pocket was enlarged to 10 inches wide X 7 inches tall. I kept the cotton webbing (the handle) the same size.

I made this one to hang in my daughter's room from her hooks on her wall. She needs more storage for all the books grandma brings her. I am going to make a few more for the boys as well. They are super quick and easy to make. If you know me, then you know that's what I look for in a sewing project. Someday I will have more patience.

ps- the giveaway ends tonight. I am almost positive I will give away more than three. Let's just say that I bought a multi pack of little bubble mailers!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I found this on doe c doe's blog...fake Poladroids! Just download the software at the website, then drag a picture in to your virtual Polardroid camera, and wait.... It acts like a real Poladroid in that it take a bit to show up. You can even shake it to help it out *wink *wink!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

she wears the dress

Can a girl be tomboy so young? I love making dresses and up until the lately, she has been okay with wearing dresses. But, as of late, it's "no dress." Well, once I got it on her, she loved it. I guess I'll just have to push a little until she realizes that she likes it!! I know I liked it on her. I also looked through my husbands closet for some more shirts. There are only a few that don't have front chest pockets. I think it makes it easier without the pocket, but you could always turn the dress around, put the buttons on the back and have the pocket in the back too. Or just unpick the pocket and see what you are left with underneath!

Monday, March 23, 2009

pick a fob, any fob

So, I have made quite a few of these key fobs. I did buy the huge roll of the cotton webbing in this teal color from ebay and wanted to see if I could use it all. I only have a little left. Really, once you get on a roll (no pun intended), it's hard to stop. I was telling someone that I could keep this basket by my door and as friends left, they could take a key fob just for stopping by! Anyway, do you want one? I am giving away 3 of them. Just leave a comment by Friday, the 27th at 10pm est and I tell me which color you like and/or want. Then, I will pick three comments on Saturday morning and send them out. I really did have fun with all the polka dots and rick rack. I made one for myself that is red and white polka dot with turquoise rick rack. It's holding up so far, so leave a comment and maybe you could have one too!

*I think the only one you can't see in the photo that is not a duplicate is a kelly green and white polka dot with lime green rick rack.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

ducks for a baby boy

Keeping onesies and cloth diapers around to applique on makes it easy to quickly make a baby gift for a shower. I made a duck for both the front of the onesie and on the blue burp cloth. I love these colored cloth diapers I found at Target They are Gerber brand and come in a six pack with light blue, green and dark blue in the pack for boys and hot pink, light pink, and purple in the pack for girls. I have not seen them the last few times there, so I hope they are coming back (maybe just took off for the winter?), but I did find them online.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

owl applique

I am feeling so good with the sunny weather and the flu being gone. It felt so good to be upstairs yesterday sewing. I found a few white t-shirts I bought on clearance up there for Mallory. So, I took out some fabric and appliqued an owl on one. She was thrilled with it because it had buttons on the eyes that she could play with. I am thinking they might get pulled off, so hopefully I have a stash of replacements for when they do.

Friday, March 20, 2009

from dad's shirt to a little dress

I started this dress last fall and then while I was working on it, the little one it was intended for spilled paint on the unfinished sleeve. I had left the fabric paint out from a past project. I tried so hard to get it out and thought I was unsuccessful. So, I put the unfinished dress in the "get back to later" bin. I pulled it out yesterday and realized that the paint stain was gone (mostly). I guess. So, I picked up where I left off and got it finished. I asked to put it on her this morning and she said, "no dress." I think she is still in a sour mood from being sick, so maybe next week when it's a bit warmer I will get a photo of her in it. It's made from her dad's old high school Polo shirt. Great color for a girl and I don't know if I would have liked her dad in it in the 90's, but you never know. I think it will look great on her with a pair of white leggings!

*UPDATE* For the dress I used a Simplicity Pattern 5695 and just laid it over the shirt to cut out the pieces. Dana over at MADE wrote a tutorial to make a similar dress here. Happy sewing!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

magically cured...almost

I guess I am lucky on St. Patrick's Day (I'm not sure if I have any Irish blood) because today is the first day that I woke up without aches. I still have a cold, but I can handle that. Plus, someone has to take care of the last people sick in the house - both my husband and today, my two year old. We have all had it now and let's hope that round two doesn't exist. I made another spring wreath last week and I liked it better than the first one, so it went up in its place. It probably looks the exact same as the first, but I added some mini rick rack and a few more chicks. I am making a few more. They're a bit quirky, but they really do brighten up my front room because of the pretty spring colors.

Monday, March 16, 2009

gotta get over it

Started with the kids - all sick. Fevers, bronchitis, etc. Then, last Thursday it was my turn. Still feel like my head is full of pressure and am achy. My husband started to get it today. We can't both be down. So, here's to hoping I am cured magically in the night....

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

extremely cute skirt tutorial

Photos via The Polka Dot Chair

I was just talking to my friend who told me she made a cute skirt yesterday for her daughter. Then, the better part...she posted a tutorial on her blog. Thanks Melissa! I have to share. She is one of the people (besides my mom) that inspired me to start sewing a few years ago when she helped me sew a beautiful baby blessing dress for my daughter. I still look to her for advice and ideas. I am glad she shared this one with everyone!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

she doesn't always play with dora

Mallory is really starting to have an affinity for her doll, Mae, that I made her for her 2nd birthday. It used to be "Dora this" and "Dora that", but now she asks to sleep with Mae during her naps and at night. It was even warm enough to put this dress on her that I made last fall.

Monday, March 9, 2009

spring wreath

I am ready. I am sure everyone is. I do have a hard time with March, though because I seemed to get tricked a lot. I think it's almost spring and then, it might go back to winter for a few days. I guess I can handle it as long as I know that spring is coming sooner than later. This wreath (that I have already hung up) will surly remind me, right?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

a need or a want

Sometimes I can't figure out the difference. I think I know what this one falls under, but I am glad I got it. It is from Magda's etsy shop and here's her lovely blog. She has a cute baby jar pincushion tutorial up right now. Check it out.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

banners - birthdays, celebrations, valentines, whatever

I might have too many of these, but I still have plans for more. So, I thought (since there is no stopping me) I would show you how to make them. As usual, this is a simple craft and you could probably figure it out without me...but I like to show you the simple. I tell my friends who have asked, "these are the simplest thing to make, they are just a bit (so be ready) time consuming." I first saw these at my sister in law's house. She had made a multi colored one for her twins carnival party and then hung it in the play room afterwords to add some color. I fell in love with them then and I started to make them for birthday gifts. We pull ours out for every birthday and hang up all the other ones I have made for all the other holidays. Well, like I said, here are the simple directions -

You will need:

-Depending on what you want to spell out - 16 pieces of fabric for "Happy Birthday" (13 for the letters and 3 extra to go in front, back and in between the words) or 10 for "Celebrate" (9 for the letters and 1 extra for the end) or just as many as you want. I usually get the fat quarters (you can get 2 to 3 our of each fat quarter) with the basic polka dots and checks in all colors.

-Felt - black for the letters and multi colors for the cupcakes

-Wonder Under

-Extra Wide (1/2 inch) double fold bias tape (2 pkgs. for "happy birthday" and one for "celebrate"

-Pinking Shears

-triangle pattern that measures 7 inches at the top and 9 inches on each side. I usually have 3 or 4 of these so that I can have a few pinned at a time to make the sewing go quicker.

-a print out of the word "happy birthday" or "celebrate" in your favorite font (the simpler the better) at least 3 inches high on white paper.

1. First I lay the triangle pattern on a piece of fabric that is folded over with wrong sides touching each other. That means you are going to sew on the right side of the fabric. Then, I pin the pattern on and make sure there is at least 1/2 inch all the way around the edge of the triangle for cutting after I sew.

2. Sew all the way around the triangle following the edge of the pattern as your sewing guide.

3. Unpin and use pinking shears (or your new wavy shears) to cut all the way around the triangle 1/2 inch away from the seam. Okay, one down and a million more to go!

4. Once you have sewn all the triangles that you need for the banner, it's time to print out your font for the letters. I choose an easy font because you are going to need to cut it out of felt and the less intricate snips, the better. I go with the georgia font usually. Print out the word "happy birthday" or "celebrate" or whatever you are going with in a size that is at least 3 inches tall. I print out "hapy birthd" since the extra p, a, and y aren't necessary.

5. Take your felt and a piece of Wonder Under (found at any fabric store by the yard - it has a paper backing on one side and a bumpy texture on the other) and iron the Wonder Under texture side down to the piece of felt. The directions come with the Wonder Under.

6. Before I tell you to do this part, let me say that someone must know an easier way to do this, but it's the way I prefer. I know that you can buy the felt letters pre cut in a bag with sticky backs and that can be used, but the letters are a bit small for me. So, this is the way I prefer, but it is a bit time consuming - Take the letter you have printed and lay them on the top of the felt as a pattern. I pin them on and cut them out. The felt is pretty forgiving, so cut it out and remove the paper font and see what it looks like. It usually looks better than you think it will and at this point you can clean it up a bit with your scissors.

7. After you have all your letters cut out, set them aside and lay out your banner. Put the colors in the order that you prefer. Now, if you are spelling out "happy birthday" 16 triangles will allow you to have one extra on each end and one in between "happy" and "birthday." 10 with "celebrate" will allow you one extra on the end. You really can do more or less extra - just do what you like. Take your double fold bias tape and if you are doing the "happy birthday" banner you will need to sew two packages together to make sure it is long enough. "celebrate" will only take one package. Lay each triangle in between the bias tape and pin in place. Zig zag a wide stitch down the center of the bias tape to sew the triangles in place.

9. Now, one at a time peel off the paper back of the Wonder Under on the felt letter and iron, shiny side down. It may take a few times of ironing to make sure that they are adhered.

10. If you want to add cupcakes, now is the time. I adhere Wonder Under to different colors of felt and make sure I have plenty of colors to work with. I cut them out of all different colors. I then lay them out the way I want them to look and iron them all at once -pressing down once to make sure they are at least tacked on and then running the iron over them a little at a time to make sure they are adhered all the way. Here is the template for the cupcake. I drew two (which I am sure look identical to you) because I couldn't decide which one - so you pick.

11. I don't (although I have been known to) applique with stitching the letters, but I do applique the cupcake. I do a mixture of tiny zig zags and straight stitches just to break it up and add some variety.

12. Now you are done and this is where you get excited for the next birthday you are celebrating so that you can hang it up proudly!!!! Here are a few others I have done - here, here, and here.