Saturday, May 30, 2009

Kimono Style Dress for Tweens

I made this dress as a big girl match to S's storybook dress. I used Simplicity 2993.

I'm hoping this dress will lessen the drama on Sunday mornings when the 7 year old "can't find anything to wear!" (said while screaming and crying)

I absolutely love this fabric! It is even more beautiful in person!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Gardening Party Apron

I made the aprons for my daughter's Gardening Party Birthday using the Deep Pockets apron pattern from the book A is for Apron. (see pg. 55-57)

**I orignally saw this book at Jo-Ann's, browsed thru it there, and then reserved it and checked it out from my local library before going back and buying it with a 40% off coupon. That was actually cheaper than buying it on Amazon.

I tweaked the pattern some and made some adjustments as I was going along. Hopefully, if you decide to make this pattern, this will help you avoid some of those things.

Instead of enlarging the pattern 400% for an adult size, per the directions in the book, I only enlarged it 350% and it worked out great for a child's size apron.

One - 4 yd. package of 1/4" double fold bias tape was enough to bind the inner curved edges on the pockets for all 8 aprons, with about 16" left over. If you were really good and careful I am sure you could get one more for a total of 9 aprons. (At 350% plan on 17" of bias tape per apron for the 2 pocket edges.)

The pattern originally called for a small piece of bias tape on the side edge, then with right sides together sew the body of the apron, trim, clip curves, and turn and press. I decided I didn't want that. So instead, after having cut the pieces out, I cut the little piece that jutted out and blended it into the curve of the apron. I hope this makes sense. See pics below.

This shows the back and pocket pieces pinned together.I then used the 1/4" double fold bias tape and enclosed both pieces--apron and pocket--along the entire outer curve of the apron. With such skinny bias tape make sure your two pieces are perfectly matched. I had to trim down one or the other in a couple spots so that I could get both pieces sandwiched in the bias tape. Pin the pieces to hold them together if need be. And/or pin the bias tape in place too.

One - 4 yd. package of 1/4" double fold bias tape was enough to bind the entire outer curved edge of 4 aprons--with 17" left over.

I decided that 1/2" double fold bias tape would be better for the ties than 1/4" bias tape. One - 3 yd. package of the extra wide double fold bias tape (1/2") was enough for ties on two aprons. (Cut 1 1/2 yd. lengths for the waistband and ties) Just remember to backstitch a bit at both edges of the apron and again where the pocket piece connects into the waistband as these would be the spots where it would most likely pull out from wear and tear.

The pattern calls for you to sew through all layers right down the middle of the apron/pocket in order to form two pocket sections. We chose not to do this with this size apron, but I would most likely do it on a larger apron.

If you're worried about applying bias tape, or have never done it before, click HERE for an easy tutorial from Wrights --they are the bias tape company.

This project cost me $7 in bias tape (7 pkgs. all on clearance for $.97/pkg.) Had there been more floral fabric I might have considered making my own bias tape, at least for the top waistband and ties.

I used about 1 yd. each of both the chambray and the floral.

$1.50-$2.00/yd. on the floral (I can't remember for sure.)
Chambray denim--free
Total cost for 8 aprons: $10.00

Here's all the little girlies with their finished plant pots and aprons.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Nine Patches

I finished sewing up all my nine patches for the quilt along. I think I have 48 done. Now, I am forcing myself to put this project away for a few weeks while I focus on the more urgent projects I have.

They include: finishing up 4 little girl dresses for a wedding, a bunch of family reunion stuff still left to do before July, and packing up for a move to our new house in the coming weeks. Life is insane around here to say the least! My husband keeps asking me when I'll be done with my sewing projects so we can start packing up my sewing room...(um, no answer!)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Gardening Party Birthday

This year for the 6 year old we had a little gardening themed party. Below are a few of the things that we did with 7 little kindergarten girls.

I made gardening aprons for all the little girls--mostly because I wanted to try out a pattern out of my A is for Apron book. But also, anytime I can reduce the stash of my fabric for a good cause I'm willing. I'll post in a day or two more of a detailed tutorial on how to make the little aprons. They were fun to do and all the little girls were happy to take one home. Total Cost for Aprons: $10.00

One of the things that we did to go along with our theme was each girl got to plant a couple petunias in a pot to take home. I scored big on the pots--the night before the party I found these cute ceramic containers at Menards for 33 cents apiece!! Oh yeah!!

I was so happy as I'd been trying to get clay pots for cheaper than a $1 apiece at any of the garden or craft stores but no one was having any sales on them. I had originally bought plastic cups to use for their flowers--but now I'll just save them for the 4th of July party.

For $1 I found these wallpaper stickers at the Dollar Tree and used those to decorate the pots. Each girl got about 4 different butterflies to put on their pot. A couple of the finished ones are shown below. Flower Project:

7 Pots at 33 cents apiece = $2.33
3 - 6 pk. of any kind annual flowers at $1.85 each = $5.55
Butterfly wallpaper stickers at $1.00 each
Total Cost: $8.88 Favor bags included:

  • Floral pencils
  • Flower pinwheels (shown above in the houseplant)
  • Starbursts
  • Balloons

All at about $1 per package

Miss B. was very specific this year on what her cake should look like. She kept telling me that she wanted a wedding cake. You always have to find out what that means when they say stuff like that. For her "wedding" meant differing sized layers and different flavors per layer, along with some flowers. Below is what I came up with: One 9 x 9 chocolate layer and one round vanilla layer. Frost it, add a little decorative border and throw (loose term) on some fake flowers. I probably could've done a little better job with the placement of the flowers, but all in all I was pleased with it.

Cake Mix for $1.00
Butterfly find at Michael's for $1.99. (We found it near the floral decorating items)
2 bunches of flowers at the Dollar Tree for $2.
Homemade frosting
Total cake cost: $7-8
Here is our table setting:

Pack of paper plates $1
Pack of paper napkins $1
Pack of pink plastic cups $1
Pack of plastic silverware $1
Total Cost papergoods: $4 (with a bunch of items still left over)

Lunch---probably around $10-15 for chicken nuggets, grapes, chips, and lemonade.

Grand Total: around $50

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Storybook Dress

Leslie is closest to me in age of all my sisters. Because of this we share a lot of the same memories. (Pictures of each of us as a child usually includes the other.) One of our favorite books as kids was a book called The Big Tidy Up. It's about a girl with a really messy room. Her mom decides that if she doesn't want to clean it up, she'll make her live in it indefinately.

We've been talking for awhile about trying to recreate a dress from this book. I mean, check out all the great inspirations it provides:

We weren't sure if we'd be able to find fabric with the right look, but Leslie found this fabric that is a darn close match to the dress below.

So here's our version of the Storybook Dress

I found this awesome button in my button stash. I have no idea where it came from, or when/if I even bought it, but I love it on this dress.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


After signing up for the one a day quilt along at Crazy Mom Quilts I promptly started some other sewing projects and put the quilt along on the back burner. By day 22 I hadn't even started. But I really, really love the look of this quilt, so I pulled out my scraps and did some last minute cramming.

I spent about 3 1/2 hours cutting thru my small scrap stash. I ended up with 48 blocks (I think!). Since it's now day 24 of the quilt along, I'm ahead of the game, right?

On the left are my rows ready to be sewn into finished nine patches~on the right are my squares for the border. There isn't a stitch of fabric left in my 6" square piles. I'm pretty happy about that as some of those fabrics have been in there for a looonng time!

I'm really wanting my quilt to have a true scrap feel so I am not using any duplicate fabrics (other than the border) for any of the 9 patches. I think that will give it a great old feel. I'm also trying not to use too many "designer" prints.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Peasant Top and Capris

Used my stand-by peasant top pattern and made this cute litte shirt for B. (She was unhappy for this pic because I think I wouldn't give her something to eat that she wanted). Didn't quite have enough of the blue floral so I made the sleeves out of some more of the eyelet that I had in my stash. I think it was from a dust ruffle that I bought secondhand at the thrift store just for the eyelet. The eyelet was about 12 inches wide and I figured I could use it for skirts, etc.

Bias tape casing for the sleeve elastic.

I also added a little hint of the eyelet at the bottom of both the top and the capris. Not sure if I love it or not on the capri hem, but she likes it so I'll leave it there.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Baby Boy Version

Lest you think I only make these quilts for girls, here is a boy version for new baby William Eric. His dad is my husband's nephew. I hope his mom likes it!

Ashlee, do you recognize the fabrics?!

I think my favorite part is the star binding!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bird Skirt Done Three Ways

Leslie and I bought a bunch of this bird fabric at JoAnn's during the winter. It was a great find since we used our 50% off coupon. I think I ended up with 2.5 yards. In the begining I had a dress in mind for the 7 year old and a skirt in mind for me. The dress never happened. Instead I opted to do skirts for all of us.

For the Little Girl

Simplicity 6398 -- Basic Baby Skirt

For the Tween Girl

Butterick 4722

For Me

Butterick 5043 (I just saw that this one is out of print--Dang!!)
Leslie's Summer Staple skirt ~ I just cut it shorter and added a border

I'm on the prowl for something green to wear with my skirt {shoes or a sweater} but I'd even settle for a green bag! How cute would that be?!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Easter Dress

This is A LOT late, but here is the dress I made for S. I originally envisioned it with a cardigan, but Em tried it and it was way too bulky.

I used Butterick 4503 and just extended it to make it a dress instead of a top. For me this dress is a little long and I could have gone with 7 ruffles instead of 8.

Here's a view showing the length on her.

If you decide to make the top shown on the pattern cover....add one ruffle. It's waaaay too short! You can't tell from the model, but it's a crop top if you follow the pattern instructions. Eeeee! Some other issues we realized after I passed the dress off to Emily is that two year olds like to pull the ribbon ties out.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Basketball B-day Party

Although it is easier in my opinion to sew for girls, I think that throwing b-day parties is easier when you have boys. At least my boy doesn't seem to need much.

Yesterday was my 8 year old's birthday party and his request was a basketball party--which meant walking down to our park, only 5 houses away, and playing basketball with some of his friends, a pizza lunch, and cake. What could be easier than that?

However, I did have to "embellish" a little. After all, we only throw "friends invited" birthday parties at our house every other year. (To save the sanity of the mother.) Here are a couple things that I did for him and his 6 friends:

First, check out your local dollar stores. Sometimes you can score big on party favor items. To go along with our theme we bought orange plates/napkins, soda, and some basketball water balls, and other little candies, along with the little sports theme treat bags.

Cost: About $6 for the treat bags/items

I made water bottle holders for the boys out of some fun basketball ribbon I found on sale at Michaels. These just snap down over the lip of the water bottle and don't easily come off.

This is so you can see what you are looking for when you head to the hardware store.

Click here for the tutorial on how to make these from the Family Fun magazine. This shows a no-sew project, however, I just sew the ends closed on the ribbon--easier and cheaper for me personally. Our families have made these a number of times over the years--so easy and so helpful to keep track of your own water bottle. I let the boys just write their name on the ribbon portion with a fabric marker so they knew which one belonged to them. Otherwise at our house I usually let my kids pick their own ribbon and that is how they distinguish theirs from anyone else's bottle.
Cost: about$1.12 per water bottle and holder combined
*2 - spools ribbon at $1.99 each for 5 yds.
*7 - O rings at $.49 each
*24 ct. water bottles at $2.98--that's $.13 per bottle

Also at Michaels I bought a t-shirt for each boy (when they were on sale for $1.99/ea) and then ironed on numbers on the back and a basketball logo on the front of each one. I had the fabric markers ready for them if they wanted to sign each other's shirts, but we didn't get around to it or they forgot. I probably should've had them at least signed the birthday boy's shirt. Oh well...

Birthday boy on the right!
The crew on the court.

Cost: per shirt about $2.50

Pizza: $22

Total cost for party: around $50

He was happy and I think all the boys he invited had a fun time too. That's ONE down and 4 more to go this year!! Stay tuned for our Garden Party for the 6 year old here in a couple weeks.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Whirly-gig Doll Quilt tutorial

When I originally made this doll blankie it was bit of a trial and error process before seeing what size I would actually end up with. I had cut out 6" squares, then cut them diagonally about 2 1/2" in from the outer edge. After sewing them together I had to trim them down some and then again once I had sewn 4 blocks together--so that I ended up with a 9" whirly-gig square. I felt like I had wasted fabric--but I was just messing around and seeing if I could do this design.


***You CANNOT cut the pieces with fabric folded with right or wrong sides together. They have to be cut singly or with strips layered all right sides up, etc.

Thanks to my hubby and his CAD program he figured out the size pieces I needed to cut to make this little doll quilt.

I hope you can see the dimensions on this well enough. (Remember we are dealing with an engineer on these dimensions--he doesn't know how to round up or down :).....)
Cut pieces:
12 pieces of border fabric (B)
4 pieces for center whirly-gig (Ctr)
8 pieces for 2 corner whirly-gigs (C)
8 pieces for 2 opposite corner whirly-gigs (CC)
1 1/2 inch wide strips of border fabric
2 or 2 1/2 inch wide strips of choice of contrasting (CC) fabric for double border. **Or whatever fabric choice you'd prefer.

Strips of fabric of your choice cut 2 3/4" wide.
Finished size--approx. 22-24" square.
I press open all seams, which based on the books I've looked through is probably not the way to do it really, but press the seams somehow, as you go. It helps.

1. Upper Left and Lower Right blocks: Sew 6 border (B) pieces to 6 corner (C) pieces.

2. Repeat for Upper Right and Lower Left blocks using 6 B and 6 CC pieces.

3. Sew 2 center (Ctr) pieces to 2 each of corner (C) prints and 2 center (Ctr) pieces to 2 contrasting corner (CC) pieces.

4. Assemble blocks together as follows for corner (C) whirly-gigs (you will have 2 of these)5. Repeat assembly, making 2 contrasting corner (CC) whirly-gigs.

6. Sew Upper Right and Upper Left whirly-gigs together, making sure that center whirly-gig is positioned correctly.
7. Repeat with Lower Right and Lower Left whirly-gigs.
8. Sew top half to bottom half.
9. Add 1 1/2" wide border of (B) around entire whirly-gig assembly.

10. Add another border of fabric of your choice 2 1/2" wide.

11. Sandwich batting between top piece and back piece.

12. Quilt as desired.

***For my doll blanket I machine quilted, in the ditch, around each of the 4 corner whirly-gigs and then around the entire square where the 1st and 2nd outer border layers were sewn together.

13. Finish off with binding.

Check out these books for more pics and suggestions using this whirly-gig style piecing:

Tessellation Quilts: Sensational Designs from Interlocking Patterns", by Christine Porter. Check out pg. 112.I was able to check both of these out at my local library.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...