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Archive for the ‘sewing’ Category

On one of my recent trips to my local thrift store I found this adorable super small top.  It was $.99 day and I really liked the fabric, I was thinking it would make a cute tote.green floral top before I was looking through all of my finds and Little Miss saw this and thought it was a dress for her.  After trying it on her I realized that with only a little alteration it would be just perfect.

I removed one row of the elastic smocking about 2 inches from the “skirt” and then chopped the top off, I finished the edge with a stitch on my machine that looks like a blanket stitch (I’ve lost my manual and I have no idea what it’s called).  I did the same thing to the smocking about 2 inches from the top and cut off and finished the edges.  I used this strip to make the straps.  I also cut another strip of smocking off of the scrap to make a headband, I just stitched a seam at the correct size and ta-da, matching headband!

green floral top after
So here’s my super cute $.99 dress, I had brown thread on hand.  The great thing is that she will be able to wear this for several years, the smocking is loose fitting, with room to grow and the length is generous.  I will definitely keep on the look out for smocked tube tops, this was just to easy!

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I don’t know about you, but I have a ton of milk crates.  They really are the perfect size for storing any and everything, but they are not cute, especially if you’re like me and have one or two of every color ever made and a few that are a little worn around the edges. 

I have the answer make them into Undercover Crates!  This has been on my to do list for quite a while and if I had known how quick and easy this would be I would have done it ages ago.  I even had to adjust the size (don’t worry there are easy to follow instructions on how to do this) and it still only took about an hour.scooby crate I used a Scooby Doo sheet that I bought on a yard sale.  I need to take a minute here and rant a little.  This fabric was AWFUL, had I known how poorly woven and badly printed this fabric was I would not have bothered.  I have had enough of “character” sheets, they are all crappy, loosely woven and printed off grain.  I will stick to the regular sheets from now on.  Okay, moving on, I wanted to use something fun, this is now our designated library book crate, so that Mommy does not have to spend 30 minutes rounding up books when its time to go to the library.scooby crate inside

I really like how the pattern turned out, the instructions were simple and it was easy for me to customize the size.  The only thing I will do differently in the future is to make the seam allowances 1/2” instead of 1/4”, I like a little more to work with.  I will have to redo this one because of the fabric issue, but that’s fine.  I only have about 20 of these crates, I’ll just set up a little assembly line and go to town!  I think I’ll make a set for everyone in the family! 

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Yep, I finished it up today and I am still super excited about this contest!  The bag came out just like I planned, yay!  I would like to take a moment to thank all my friends and my family for not telling me to shut-up about this and being really supportive throughout my obsession with this project!

chica bag finished frontThis is the front of the bag, although it is really double sided.chica bag finished back  The back with it’s glitter vinyl reverse appliqués.

chica bag collage And finally a collection of all the details.  The inspiration for the basic shape of this bag came from Simplicity 2658, I made mine bigger and enlarged the handle hole.  There is also one large zippered pocket, three open pockets and a heart shaped key keeper on the inside.  I liked this design because it has an oval shaped bottom (with a plastic insert to make it hold it’s shape).

I had so much fun working on this project, what will I do with my free time now?  Oh yeah, that’s right, I’ll pay attention to my family, do the dishes, and the laundry :).

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After considering the advice I received from Christy and Ashley I decided to redesign the front.  I pared it down a little bit (I was sad to get rid of the sparrows), so I could make the banner and skull larger.chica bag front 2I think I almost have it.  The skull needs to come down a bit and I might try to squeeze some scissors in there too!

I think the other design had too much going on and since it was smaller it would have been harder to embellish and there will be some serious embellishing!

Let me know what you guys think!

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Twirl Skirt Recon

As I wandered through the Goodwill a few weeks ago this cute ruffled skirt caught my eye.  It wasn’t my size or even my style, but I just had to have it!  It was begging to become a twirl dress for my daughter.  twirl skirt recon - before It had a slight aqua color, but I am not a fan of light colored clothing for children, especially a party dress.  I used navy blue Rit dye to make it a richer blue.twirl skirt recon - after dye

I hand dipped the skirt into the dye holding it for a few minutes for each layer, I was going for a gradation dyed effect.  It’s a little wobbly, but I like it and besides she’s three, is she really going to hold still long enough for anyone to notice it’s not perfectly straight.  The top two layers were just dipped and immediately removed to be rinsed.

Now I just need to decide how to cut it apart and put it back together, Oh and I need to find my sewing machine and unpack the craft room, everything is still in boxes.  I hope to finish this up in the next few weeks, I want her to be able to wear it to my cousins wedding.

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Whenever I’m in the mood to try something new I visit OnePrettyThing, there is always something new to try.  Last week I found this tutorial for making cereal box journals.  It’s crafty, useful, green, and inexpensive.  I used several different boxes, not just cereal boxes, so my books vary in size a little bit.  cereal box booksFor the inside I used printer paper (100% recycled) and lined paper from old notebooks.  I spent the afternoon cutting the boxes and papers to size (I made 20 of these, I imagine that making a couple would be pretty quick).  I have to say that rounding the corners is what really gives this project a finished look.  I decided to use my boxes with the printing on the outside.   I also used thread from old projects in my machine, it was a great way to use up those off colors of thread from old projects filling up my bobbins.cereal box books 2My books have 16 pages, just like the tutorial, but I think I may be able to get 20 pages in the next batch.  My sewing machine didn’t have any problem sewing through everything, although I did wear safety glasses incase I broke a needle.  I know I will be making more of these and with the decorating possibilities I will have to leave the plain side of the boxes out next time.cereal box books  scrapsI saved all of the paper scraps and they will be including in another recycling project later this week.

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I finished all of the projects for Lisa and delivered them to her at the Lnkhandmade team craft night earlier tonight.  I repaired the zipper in this dress and added a tulle ruffle to the bottom.  I also made this wrap to go with it.

project lisa finished I really like how the outfit for her daughter turned out.  The summerlin dress in a shinier yarn with a crepe backed satin skirt and a matching shrug with a matching satin tie.

project lisa finished 2I am worried that it might be to long, but I also think it will look a lot different on an actual child instead of a hanger.  It can be shortened, so I’m not worried.

I need to wrap up my entry for Christy’s craft challenge and find a place to keep all the awesome fabric I got at the meeting tonight.

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I decided to go with the armpit darts to fix my fabric problem and I am satisfied with how it turned out.

I will definitely be able to use this around the house and even out to run errands. I like the style of the apron a lot, but I think I will really have to overhaul the pattern to get the fit that I am looking for. I think that I can use the current pattern piece for the back of the pattern and I will just need to draft a new front. The amount of fabric needed to cover my ample bosom means that a simple waist dart isn’t going to give me a good fit, yes, I know it’s a smock, but I want a little shape. I’m thinking a princess seam. I think I will also be making the pockets a bit deeper too.

Now that the battle is over I can get back to my knitting 🙂

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I altered that pattern according to the plan and cut my expensive fabric (not that expensive, but I usually scavenge fabric from the goodwill or the dollar table). I sewed the ties and put them into the darts, added the pocket with rick rack, pressed up the hem for the back and sewed the sides up using french seams. Then I started the flat felled seams for the shoulders, I just stitched the seam and before I “felled” them (???) I decided to try on the apron and that is where things got interesting. There is an abundance of fabric above the bust that makes the armhole gap and I don’t like it!!!

So now I need to decide what to do next, I won’t take out my nice french side seams to add a dart, so I have a few options. I can make a dart from the armhole, I can make a dart from the shoulder (but this will make the shoulder strap more narrow), I can re-cut the arm hole, add some gathers to the arm hole, or I can just leave it.

I am leaning towards making a dart from the shoulder, but contemplating just ignoring it. Does anyone else have a good idea to fix this?

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First let me say that I love to sew, however I have a lot of difficulty with patterns. It seems that most patterns are not meant for people who are six feet tall and voluptuous. I have learned that making a test garment is essential and today I will share exactly why.

I found this wonderful pattern for a vintage styled smock apron on sewmamasew, there is even a video tutorial showing how to put the pattern together and alter it plus sewing instructions. I put the pattern together and altered it by adding 1 inch to the front and 4 inches above the darts. I decided to use a Holly Hobby sheet that I got for a dollar as my test apron, hoping that everything would be perfect and I would have a cute apron and could then move on to the “real” fabric.
Lesson one – fabric is not always printed exactly on grain, if it is really off the design looks weird and you look crooked when wearing it.
Lesson two – when using a fabric with a large pictorial pattern make sure to center it properly, I did not and it makes the whole thing look wonky.It looks relatively okay on the hanger, if you look closely you can see that the pattern is slightly off center.Here you can see what I mean about the pattern being printed off grain. The top is straight and the bottom is straight, but the design seems to be sloping down to the right.
Lesson 3 – Adding an inch to the center front can make the neckline a bit to big.

I know that this is just an apron, but I don’t want the neckline to be this wide. As you can also see it is a little snug in the armpit area, that can easily be reshaped, but I can’t add fabric to the neckline.

I will now redraw the pattern, I will make the armholes bigger and the neckline narrower and maybe more scooped. Once I am finished with that I will cut into my expensive fabric and make my super smock apron. This version will not be finished and will be tossed into the scrap fabric pile and will not be spoken of again.

I do really like the style of this apron. I am planning to wear it out of the house to run errands and such. I have worked as a waitress for so long that it is easier to wear an apron that to carry a purse and will two little ones to keep up with I need both of my hands free. I hope to work on this more tonight, I have extra large rick rack for embellishing and a mile of bias tape just waiting to be applied, now I just need some really big paper.

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