Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Well, I did it.

Ok, so I know this post is really late but at least its getting done. I actually made the doll clothes for Christmas. Did I take pictures? Of corse not. I didn't have a camera until after the darn things were wrapped and then I completely forgot. They turned out pretty well. They do swallow the dolls a bit but to two six-year-olds that doesn't matter much. I also made a Nintendo DS case for my nephew and a carrying case/playmat for my other nephew's cars. I was really impressed with it to tell the truth. I wll be getting pictues of it just as soon as I can. Both of my kids got a DS also so I m planning on making cases for them as well. It has been so cold here I haven't really been able to sew much because my sewing machine and other things are all out in the garage. The uninsulated, unheated garage. I have to wear two pairs of socks and two shirts plus a jacket, and leggings and jeans just to sit out there for an hour. Someday I will be mega rich and have a house with a room just for my sewing and crafty things. -sigh- We did get record breaking snow on Christmas Eve. I swear in parts of my yard there was two feet of it. They said on average there was 8 inches all over town but the drifts were horrible. This is Texas! We're not supposed to get snow like that! I think the last of it only melted last week. That I did get pictures of though.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

You will all think I'm crazy but....

I've decided to make doll clothes for at least two of my girls (1 daughter and 3 nieces). Not only am I making doll clothes but they are for 12 inch dolls. I'm even debating on whether or not to make clothes for their Cabbage Patch dolls as well. Amelia still has hers but Caitlyn's is in storage. Maybe it won't be so bad. I've already almost finished one outfit and it was easier than I thought it would be. Its just that they're so small. Now I just need ideas for the other two girls and for the 4 oldest boys. Any thoughts?? I made everyone pajamas last year and don't really want to go that route again. Then, once I get all the kids presents figured out I still have 5 sisters to figure out, plus parents and grandparents. What can I say, I'm a glutton for punishment. LOL.

On another note, Halloween was lots of fun! I didn't get very many new pictures of the kids costumes. They were having too much fun playing with cousins and I was having too much fun talking to people I haven't seen in ages. I did get a good pic of my sister and me and one of her and my BIL. They are band members from ICP I think. I think they did a good job.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Costumes!!

Finally I have pictures of the costumes. I hope to get better pictures on Halloween but if not these will do. I had fun making these and trying my best to be creative. Thomas wanted to be a skeleton but he also wanted a cape. The cape was super easy as was his skeleton suit.

For the cape I searched and searched online to find a tutorial and only found one I liked. I did have to adjust it a bit given that it is an adult tutorial but it worked really well. I also made his completely reversible.


For the skeleton part of the costume I had wanted to sew a skeleton on a sweatsuit and call it a day. I even went and bought a $1 glow in the dark skeleton at the Dollar Tree just for this purpose. Let me just say that while this seems like a good idea it really wasn't. After trying for two hours to sew hard plastic onto a pair of sweatpants I gave up. In the end I laid the skeleton on top of the shirt and pants, traced around each bone with a silver Sharpie, and painted in each bone with white acrylic paint. Once the paint was dry I laid the bones with spaces in them on top of the white and filled in the spaces with black paint. Voila!! A skeleton costume was born, lol. As disappointed as I am with my lack of hand sewing skills, the kid loves this thing and will not take it off. He has seriously worn it every day for the last week and we still have two days to go till Halloween.



Amelia wanted to be a mermaid and we got her pattern early last month cause I knew I would need some time with this one. We used McCalls 5498. I have to say it was pretty easy to follow. Amelia told me she wanted silver and pink for her costume so I went and got silver lame' for the tail and a pink shimmery, stretchy material for the fins. When I showed it all to her she promtply told me no, that she wanted silver fins and a pink tail. I didn't think it would look good but it does. Because I am a glutton for punishment I put silver piping along the bottom of the fins and along the back zipper line. I wound up not using a zipper cause I hate them and used two sets of hooks and eyes instead. I also made a matching seashell trick or treat bag and my sister made her a seashell headband.

Just a close up of the fabrics I used.
Now I just need to finish my costume and I'll be set, lol!

Monday, October 19, 2009

A few new things for me

I know its a little later than I planned to post this but better late than never, right? I have never been very good at making clothes for myself but I really wanted to try. I had a bolt of grey-blue jersey material thats been in my stash for about a year and really wanted to try to use it. I've tried to sew with jersey before but was very unsuccessful, always ending up with stretched out and wavy seams. I wound up tracing the shape of one of my favorite tank-tops onto the folded over material. At the hem of the tank I added about 12 inches and flared it out. I then added a band to the bottom of it to give it that "bubble" effect. I also was able to make a shelf bra that served as a self facing for the top of the shirt. This has become one of my favorite shirts. Sorry for the grouchy face.
This is one I made for my sister. I followed the same steps but with purple jersey instead.
This one I made and I'm not quite sure if I like it or not. I made it out of a striped jersey material and while it is comfortable I'm just not sure if I like how it looks on me. It is just a tube of fabric with elastic in the top and bottom hems.
Well, that is it for now. It is Halloween though so with any luck I'll get the kids costumes up on here.



Friday, July 31, 2009

I'm so bad at this!

I can't believe its been almost 6 months since I last posted! I can blame it all on moving, getting a new job, blah, blah, blah... but really I just forgot about it. How bad is that?!? I really only just started sewing again. It kinda sucks because my sewing machine and supplies are in the garage and I live in Texas. If I don't want to die of heat stroke I have to either sew early in the morning or late at night and I work the graveyard shift so you can imagine not much gets done. Just as soon as I can get some pictures of my new things I'll start a posting frenzy, I promise. I even successfully made a few shirts for me. Yay! I have never been able to sew for myself so I just had to do a little dance. LOL!!
On a bit of a different note I have a new nephew who is just too cute for words! Quentin was about a month early so things were a little rocky at first but he is healthy as a horse now and it is all I can do not to go over to my sisters house and just hold him forever. I have a bit of baby fever right now so I have to live vicariously through my nieces and nephews. For those of you who read this blog, keep watch for some new projects in the next few days.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A few new bows

I've had bow fever lately and was able to make a few more the other night.
Ok, so this one is from the post I did earlier but I felt it needed an action shot, lol. I like it better now that I've seen it in her hair. Now, to find/make a matching outfit.
For these I just used my zebra scraps. I wanted little bows and I think these will do. I had decided to make two sets- one for Amelia and one for my niece Cara because she loves zebra stuff more than I do. Unfortunantly I ran out of fabric so I only have this set and then one single bow. Now to pick out which one they get.


I am just itching to make more now but I can't. I've had to pack everything up so that we can move and it is killing me that I don't have any crafty things to do. =( Oh well, maybe i should clean.


St Paddy's Day top

When I made the Valentines day outfit I went ahead and made one for St Patrick's Day as well. I really like how it turned out and I'm already thinking of an Easter top for her. The pics aren't the best and no, she will not be wearing the hot pink shirt underneath. I didn't feel like digging out the white one, lol. I decided to to a little applique so that there would be a little more green. I'm not the world's best at applique but it ain't all that bad.

I've posted this bow already but I got a better picture of it. I really like how it turned out. Now lets just see if I can keep it up, lol.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Last post, I promise!

My good friend and his fiancee are having a baby girl, Hayden, next month. I am so excited because it seems like everyone I know is having boys. Not to mention that between them they have 4 boys already. So, when I found out they were having a girl the cogs immediately starting turning in my head. Unfortunately, all I have been able to make is a few burp towels and a pair of booties.
They are both enormous Longhorns fans so when I found this fabric in the remnants bin I couldn't pass it up. I had hoped to make a dress out of it but there wasn't enough material. As for the zebra stripes, I am a sucker for zebra and just couldn't help myself.

Marker Rolls

I saw the idea for crayon rolls while browsing sewing tutorials online and thought they were really cute. Unfortunantly, my kids don't really use crayons. Thomas would rather break them than color with them so I've bought them markers instead. I just buy them at the Dollar Tree every month or so and replenish the supply. Anyway, back to the crayon roll. I really liked the idea but I'm not always good at adapting instructions or patterns and thought that this wouldn't work for me. Inspiration struck one night, about a week before Christmas, and I figured out how to make it work. Here is a little tute with no pics in case you wanna try.

Materials:
fabric and lining
fusible interfacing
thread
ruler
3/8" elastic
large button (optional)

First, you'll need to determine how much space your markers will take up. I use the skinny, markers and allow about 3/4" for each marker. A good way to measure is to lay your fabric over the marker and mark the edges of the marker on the fabric. Now multiply the number of markers by the width (3/4" or .75). Add 1" to that measurement. Mine was 16" wide. If you like to err on the side of caution you can add an extra 1/2". Next, figure how tall you need your roll to be. A good way to do this is to lay a marker vertically on top of the fabric, about 1/2" from the bottom and then add 2.5"-3" to the top. This portion will fold over the top of the markers so you can make it as long as you want. Mine was about 10" tall. Cut out your piece (10"x16") three times- 1 outer fabric, 1 lining, 1 interfacing. Now, cut out a piece from the outer lining that is 3-4" shorter than the main piece (7"x16") This will be the pocket.
Fuse the interfacing to the lining. Fold the pocket piece in half longways to create a piece that is now 3.5"x16" and press if desired. Again, my numbers may be different than yours. This is the time to make the marking for your marker slots. Since I added an extra inch to the width of my roll, I start my measurements 1/2" from the edge. Technically, my first slot is 1 1/4" (1/2" + 3/4"). Then I made a mark every 3/4" to the end of the fabric, ending with another 1 1/4" slot. Pin pocket piece to the lining pieces right side, lining up bottom and side raw edges. Starting at one edge, stitch along the marked slot lines, from the bottom to the top of the pocket, backstitching at the top for reinforcement.
Once all lines are stitched, pin the short ends of the elastic (approx. 4-5") just above the top of the pocket on one side and baste/stitch in place. Pin lining/pocket piece to outer fabric piece right sides togehter and sew, leaving a 2-3" space for turning. Clip the corners, turn right side out and press/topstitch. Insert your markers, fold top over markers and roll up to determine where to put the button. The button is not necessary. In fact, you can simply wrap the elastic around the roll to close. If you do use a button, I recommend a big one, jsut to make sure the elastic doesnlt slip off.
These I made for my nieces a few days ago. As you can see, I didn't properly measure the zebra print one and I was one slot short but I think it will work out. I also left the buttons off, but only becuase I don't have any big ones left. I also made the pockets too tall on these. I didn't follow my own instrucions and just cut the pocket to the same size as the main piece.

Bows!

Once upon a time I loved to make hair clippies. I can't really call em bows cause I couldn't figure the bows out to save my life. I must have made 20 pairs to match different outfits for Amelia and my nieces. Then, one day, I just stopped. Not sure why. Well, while packing the other day I found all my bow making stuff and I am now hooked again! I really wanted to make a bow though so I searched online for a good tutorial. I've found several before but could never get the hang of it. Then I found this tutorial. The light finally came on. Granted, this isn't you're usual boutique hair bow, but it is a great alternative if you are like me and can't quite grasp those instructions. I even made a bow with fabric to match the St. Patrick's Day top I made Amelia. I think I may have found a new obsession, lol!
The St. Patrick's Day Bow. I'll post a pic of the top as soon as I can get one.

Before I put them together.


Same bow. The ric-rak doesn't photograph well and without the flash you can't really tell what the bow looks like.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Yeah, I know, I'm a bit late. We are in the process of packing so that we can move in two weeks so I kinda forgot about my computer. Sadly, I've had to pack my sewing and crochet things and I feel a little lost. I did manage to squeeze in a few last minute projects before I finished packing though.

Since V-Day was coming up I needed to make Amelia a new top. It's kind of a thing for me- she gets a new top/dress/outfit for each holiday. I found some really cute Valentines fabric in the remnants bin at Wally World and snatched it up. Thankfully I don't need much to make clothes for her right now. I used a different pattern than normal and the top was too big. I still really like it but she'll just have to wait till next year to wear it. Oh well, that just gives me a reason to make a new outfit!!
So, needing a new outfit I started thinking of ideas. I had just packed away all my things but I reopened a box or two till I found what I wanted- another remnant and a pair of black jeans that she has loved just a little too much, lol. She loves to pretend that she is a dog so she wears out all the knees on her pants. Not to mention she just went through another growth spurt and the jeans are now way too short. I cut them off just above the crotch and added a strip of fabric to the bottom, much like you would a ruffle. Then I used the torn up knee of one of the legs and cut out a heart applique and sewed it to the front of the skirt. The top is from a pattern absolutely love. I must have used it a million times in the past year and I think I'll cry when she is too big for it. I really didn't want to waste any part of the jeans so the bodice is cut from the jeans. Well, the outer layer is anyway. I didn't have enough jeans left for the lining so I just used black broadcloth.
After the outfit was made I really wanted to accessorize. I found this tutorial for adding ribbon to socks for that "boutique" look and wanted to give it a try. I didn't have much of this ribbon left so it isn't a ruffle-y as I wanted but they aren't too bad. Please excuse the abused shoes. As I mentioned earlier, she does a lot of crawling while pretending to be a puppy dog.

Friday, January 30, 2009

My really big bag

Finally, the tute for my big bag. My sister asked for a new diaper bag recently as she is pregnant with my newest nephew. Yay! Being the loving Auntie that I am I happily obliged. The bag I made for the tute is a bit different since it is for my crochet stuff and not for a baby, but I will add directions to make hers along with mine. This differences are pretty small.

This is the one I made for her.




Materials needed:

fabric and lining

thread

pins

sewing machine

*optional*

interfacing

zipper

The size of this bag is really up to you. I wanted a really big bag so I cut my fabric (2) and lining (2) pieces 17 1/2" x 11 1/4" cut on the fold. It is just easier to measure it if I cut it on the fold. To make the corners of the bag I cut out a 2 5/8" x 2 5/8" square. You do not have to make your corners like this. It is just easier for me to make them this way.





You'll also need:
4 pocket pieces- I cut mine 8 1/2" x 11 1/4 " cut on the fold. I wanted about half the height of the bag for my pockets but you can go taller if you like. My pockets did come out kinda short.

4 handle pieces- I cut mine 72" x 2". I really cut them long just because I like having the option of making them shorter if I don't like them. Again, you can cut theses however long or wide you want them.

*optional*

2 zipper gussets- I cut these 22 3/4" x 2 1/2". Just make sure that they are as long as the top edge of the bag.



If your are using interfacing, now is the time to add it to the corresponding pieces.


To get them out of the way, I sew the handles first. For this bag I wanted the raw edges to show, so I just sewed them wrong sides toghether.
For regular handles, sew them right sides toghether. Once you've sewn down both sides, turn your handles right side out, press if you like, then topstitch the long edges.



For the pockets on both bags, I lined up the short edges right sides together and sewed them. I then used a zig-zag stitch over the seam allowance to minimize fraying.


Now you'll want to hem the pockets. I turn under the raw edge about 1/4" and pin in place from the other side. Then I turn the hem under again and sew as I turn, removing pins as I go. Do this for both pockets and set them aside for a moment.



I did not take pictures of this next part, but all you do is line up the short edges of your bag pieces and sew together. I did mine wrong sides together for the outer fabric and right sides together for the lining. Turn lining pieces right side out.
For the normal bag, sew both sets of bag pieces right sides together, then turn bag right side out.
With wrong side of pocket to right side of outer fabric/lining, pin pockets to bag, lining up lower raw edges and matching side seams. This is done for either version of the bag.

Now you'll add your handles to your bag. On the outer bag, I went in about 2" from the corner square and lined up the raw edges of the handle and bag. Once you pin it in place try it on and make sure you like the length. Adjust the strap until you get a fit you like and then repeat the process for the other side.



Sew your handles in place on the outer bag. I started at the bottom and worked my way up, stopping about 2" from the top of the bag. I left my needle in the fabric, lifted the presser foot, and pivoted the entire bag to sew a straight line to the other edge of the strap. Then I sewed back down.



Now make pocket lines on your lining pockets. These can be as big or as small as you need them. As this bag will be my crochet bag, I made slots for my crochet hooks to go. I made 13- 3/4" wide pockets and 6- 1" wide pockets. On the other pocket side I just sewed a straight line down the middle of the pocket. Here you can also add velcro or snaps as a way to close your pockets. The pockets on the outer bag are made automatically when you sew the handles in place.



As I mentioned earlier, you may have a different preference when it comes to making the corners of the bag. I simply find this easier.
Here you have the corner square of the bag.


You want to match the seams of each side. Think of Pacman. The raw edges are his mouth and you need to close it. Open the "mouth" and bring the seams together. You can pin this if you like. As I sew I make sure that each seam lies in a different direction. That just makes the seam less thick. Repeat for both corners on the outer bag and the lining. For both bags I did these right sides together.


fter the corners are sewn you'll put your lining inside the bag. For both bags, you'll do this wrong sides together. Stitch along the upper edge. For my bag you're all done. Sit back and admire your work. I tossed mine in the washer after I was done sewing so that I could get that frayed look.



If you would like to add the zipper gusset, baste the upper edge instead of stitching, and set it aside.
Using a zipper foot, stitch the zipper to the long edge of the zipper gusset. Do the same for the other side of the zipper using the other gusset.
Fold the gussets back away from the zipper and topstitch in place.
I decided at this point that I did not want a zipper after all on my bag so I did not take anymore pictures. I'll try to explain as good as I can.
With the zipper closed and righ sides together, fold the gusset in half along lengthwise, matching the raw edges. With the zipper edge at the top, stitch down the short edges.
open the zipper and pin raw edge along the top outside edge of the bag, matching side seams and
right sides together, and stitch.
Trim seam, flip gusset to inside of bag and topstitch along upper edge.
I hope that wasn't too confusing. Let me know if you have any questions.