Monday, April 30, 2012

DIY Name Charms {and other Mother's Day ideas}

 May is nearly here! What? I know! Are you all freaking out like I am? Where is this year going? I need to find a way to slow time down... (and then make my kids stop growing) So with May here Mother's day is just around the corner. I thought it was time for some gift ideas. Lets start with a simple and quick name charm. They are great for necklaces or bracelets, or key rings, you name it a great little reminder of the joys that make you a mother. right?

To start I found these little charms that had a rim around the edge. I found them in the bead section of the craft store.

 Then I measured the circle and printed and then cut out little circles with my kids names on them. (a circle punch would work great)
 Next put a drop of glue in the center of the charms.
 Stick the circles in place so that the names are inline with the side loops. Then I used Mod Podge Dimensional Magic. This stuff is awesome! Found at the craft store by all the glue.
 Simply fill the base of the charms to the rim. (careful not to go over the rim)
 See the bubble? Sweet right? Let it dry for several hours or overnight.
 Then you have your charms. Which paired up with some other beads can make a great necklace.
Of course you could use pictures, dates of important events, or anything else that strikes your fancy for a quick and easy Mother's Day gift. 
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Friday, April 27, 2012

Instagram Friday {kite flying, bird watching, and basketball}

Welcome to instagram Friday!
A little glimpse of life beyond sewing. 
Are you still sewing for KCWC? Me too! And even though it looks like I have only been sewing for girls I have a few weeks of boy sewing coming up and I am super excited to share them! 

 We had a pretty busy week this week. It started with a party at my husbands office. They had a carnival of sorts with bounce houses, balloon animals, cotton candy and fun was had by all. Even our extremely Abbey bounced in the bounce house.
 We made our way to the park for some fun in the sun.

 Jude got to fly his kite.
 We installed a storm door, or well screen door so we get some cross breeze through the house. When the front of your house is 70% window it can get pretty toasty so a cross breeze has been fabulous and we had the door installed in just 3 hours so it wasn't horrible.
 Abbey took up bird watching. She was checking out the starlings nest. (it is huge!)
 Jude improved his time racing in the backyard. ( FYI dad, he went from 30 seconds down to 16.8 seconds. He was proud)
 So Jude is a mouthy little 5 year old. I love him dearly he is a sweet boy with A LOT of energy and sass. His talking back and listening skills needed some serious help. So the two of us created the "good jar" He gets money (coins) added to the jar for listening the first time he is asked to do something and for not talking back. He looses money when he doesn't listen, or if he gets mouthy. There are lines on the jar and when he gets to certain lines he gets rewards and then when it gets filled he gets a special date out. So far day one was great he was a new kid, then the "newness" wore off and day two was a struggle, but since then things have been good his behavior has improved a lot which has helped for happier days by all.
 To celebrate I got my own "good jars" :) I did some major organizing in my craft room and my buttons were bursting out of the containers so they are now all pretty in jars according to color. They make me happy to see while sewing.
We had a fantastic date night getting out to see the last Jazz game of the season (totally NOT a fan) We did however get a skybox which means private restroom, fancy dinner, delicious cheesecake, and a comfortable room to walk around in.
 Plus I got to get out with this man (no kids) and it was great. I could maybe get into basketball if we did this more often...maybe...

So how was your week?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Peek-a-boo Stripes

 Do you ever have one of those projects that just didn't go quite how you hoped? A while back I pinned this I know a knit would have been ideal, but sewing together stripes with knit never goes very well they get stretched and warped,and finding striped knit in big bold stripes was near impossible, so I went with cotton. Now, I LOVE the top, I mean whats not to love about big bold stripes and peek-a-boo pops of color? It is just not as drapey (yep a made up word) as I would like.
 It is however nice and full which makes it comfortable and easy to wear, and nice and breezy for hot summer days.(why the scowl? Jude was coming near)
 Made in some patriotic colors so it will be perfect for summer holidays. And since it is virtually a pillowcase dress you know it is super easy. (this also marks the first ever pillowcase dress I have made)

So you want to start by making the front and back rectangles for the dress. I cut out strips that were 20 inches by 3.5 inches. I cut 4 navy for the front and 4 for the back and then I cut 3 white for the front and 3 white for the back. I sewed them together using a 1/4 inch seam allowance which left me with a rectangle that was 20 inches across and 21.5 inches in length. (2 total one front one back)
With the back I serged and pressed all the seams. You could top stitch them if you like.
Then I cut the front piece in half down the middle.
Sewing right sides together I added my strip of color pop and sewed it along the side.
Then I added the other front piece and sewed it right sides together down the side as well.
I pressed it flat and top stitched the seam.
Then I folded the front and back pieces in half and cut the arm opening. (you can use a shirt as your guide if you need to know how deep to cut the opening, or you can guess :)
Next add some box pleats to the front so the red is no longer showing at the top. Box pleats are just pleats from both sides that meet in the middle.
Sew the pleats down along the edge for a few inches.
Then add two more box pleats. on either side. Then sew them down the same way.
Now do the same for the back piece adding three box pleats starting in the middle and then moving out.
Sew them down the same way.
Now with right sides together sew the front and back together by sewing down the sides. Match up the seams as you go.
Next sew bias tape along the arm openings so the bias tape sandwiches the top.
Then you can either serge the top edge or fold it under 1/4 inch (I serged it) then fold it under about an inch to create a casing. Then sew in place along the bottom edge.
Then slip some ribbon in through the casing and there you go. Cute little peek-a-boo top done.
With yummy pleats that make it crisp and full. So even if things turn out differently they still turn out great :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Miss Lizzy Tunic

A while back I found the best thing ever. Ikat knit! What? I know and I found it at joann fabric. Even better right? So there is sat and I wasn't sure what I was going to make with it... Then it came to me. A super comfortable knit tunic would be perfect for some great summer wear and Abbey is still needing her summer wardrobe expanded.
I love the bright colors and stretchy knit a pocket was added for treasures and some gathers on the side for shape.
Worn with the no hem leggings. (I love those) So want to make your own? Easy to make in any size you need.
I started with a tank that fits my daughter as my guide, I made mine a little wider and longer so it was more like a tunic length. Cut a front and back. Simple right?
Now for the ribbing I was using a rib knit so there was no need for a different fabric. (more on neck ribbing and other options later) You can see when this fabric is stretched that is has the ribs (lines) in the fabric. It also has a nice amount stretch to is which helps.
I cut 3 long strips. One for the neck opening and two for the arm openings. They need to be long enough to stretch over the head, or shoulder.
Now when sewing with knits you have some options. My go to option is my serger. The feed setting and stitch on the serger keeps the fabric nice and smooth and doesn't stretch as it sews. Also the stitch stretches with the fabric. However there are other ways if you don't have a serger. (another way is shown a little later on) For now sew the front and back right sides together at the shoulder and down the side. Turn the top right side out.
Now for the neck ribbing sew the ends of the strips together and you will get a nice little circle. Check it now to be sure it fits over the head nicely. The neck for this tunic is nice and wide so it fits with ease but your head opening will be the size of the stretched ribbing so check that it fits. Mark the front, back and side center point.
Then with right sides together match the center front back and shoulders with the same markings on the neck ribbing.
Now for the other stretch stitch option. With a regular sewing machine I use my stretch stitch foot. (for a bernina but other models have them as well) See the little metal hook in the middle? It stitches over that in a zig zag stitch which allows for stretch.
Then when sewing the ribbing to the neck stretch the ribbing so it is the same size as the neck opening. Stretch and sew.
See the funky stitch? It stretches with the fabric which allows it to stretch over the head without the thread breaking.
Next fold the ribbing in towards the inside and top stitch (while stretching) in place. Repeat with the arm opening the same way.
Now for the side I added some elastic gathers. Cut your piece of elastic and with it fully stretched mark the top bottom and center. Then pin in place.
Sew (regular stitch) down the middle of the elastic as you stretch it to fit.
Then you have a nice little stretchy gather on the side which offers some shape to the tunic.
I finished by adding a simple little pocket to the front since Abbey loves pockets for treasures. I just cut a square pocket turned under the edges and sewed it on.

Then it was ready for some summer loving days. Is it warm and sunny for you yet?
We have been kicking back and enjoying 80 degree weather lately and so Abbey was more than thrilled to have a cool top to throw on.