Saturday, June 29, 2013

Nightshirt {x2} into Simple Skirt

A couple years back I received a couple of identical hand-me-down nightshirts, one pink & blue and the other yellow & pink.  For one reason or another, they never got much use.  Such a shame!  Ever looking for an excuse to wear my pajamas all day long, I got it into my head that between the two nightshirts, I might have enough material to make a simple kind of summer skirt to wear around the house. (Don't mind the wrinkles...)

Maternity friendly and crazy comfy.  But don't take my word for it.  If you would like to make your own (from scratch), you might want to take a peek at  this awesome little tutorial with a free downloadable *pattern.

For a recycled skirt like mine, you'll need two shirts or one shirt and some extra fabric for the fold-over waistband.  You can use the pattern on the tutorial, but you might have to narrow the bottom of the skirt depending on the size of the shirt you use.

Let me know if you give it a try!  ~ Liz


*I noticed that a number of the commentators on the tutorial asked for a larger sized pattern.  One way to make the pattern larger is to separate the pattern pieces.  Here's an attempt at an explanation of that process:

Also, this is the stretch stitch I used.  It's the #9 on the far left with the three parallel lines. (To allow for stretch, it makes three stitches forward and then two stitches back.  It's a slow process, but it does the job.)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Reason #999 to Learn How to Sew

#999.  You can resurrect even the most threadbare "doll" strollers in a jiffy.
Much to the delight of all.



Recognize this pink fabric?  I used it for twirly skirts here. For backing, I used a denim.
Do you  suppose "sharing" printed right on that happy blue fabric will inspire anyone to play nicely?  A gal can always hope!

You really haven't lived until you've attempted to sew two stroller slings with a one and a half year old on your lap who has a penchant for the reverse knob!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

needle & thREAD {and everything nice}

I vote for a switcharoo today.  Books first.
I grabbed one of my all time favorites this week and indulged in a bit of Persuasion.  I've read it countless times, but I found myself burning the late night oil once again -- impatient for Captain Wentworth to finally declare his feelings.  The suspense and ahhhh...that love letter.  Total perfection.  *spoiler alert*

"You pierce my soul.  I am half agony, half hope.  Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone forever.  I offer myself to you again a with a heart even more you own, than when you almost broke it eight years and a half ago...."
I think I prefer this book to Austen's more popular works.

About that sewing.  It's a mish-mosh this week.

::  There are two doll strollers that need new AND STRONGER fabric.  (See above photo!)  This is how far I made it on that project.

::  I had some naptime free time to put together more picnic cloths today.  Something weird always goes awry when I do these.  Last time I made them, I was cutting one napkin and chopped an already-made one right in half.  Arrrgggg.  No hang-ups this time around, thank goodness.

::  The local fabric store had a 5 for $5 on some patterns and since I foolishly entered the store in the first place, there was no stopping the compulsion to snag a few practical-ish ones for my kids.  Except that middle one.

Letter pillows. Awesomeness.  I *had* those very same letter pillows when I was a child!  L. I. Z.

::  My mother alerted me to a 75% off sale at Sew Beautiful and she and I conspired to buy enough dupioni silk fabric to make four flower girl dresses for this fall.  I've worked with dupioni before and it's crispness makes it nice to cut and sew.  The lining fabric we chose appears to be a bit more slippery, but I'm not too worried about it.  (What I am worried about is that maid of honor dress I'm going to need for the six month baby belly I'm going to be sporting in October.)

Here's a pic of dupioni.  If you've never seen it, it has a sort of raw quality with little slubs here and there.

I've always been a fan of silk.  Impractical to clean, but it has such a beautiful sheen.  Can't wait to see it in person.


Head on over to In the Heart of My Home for this week's needle and thREAD. Thank you very much for hosting, Elizabeth! 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Sewing Chit Chat

Mind if I pop in and chat about sewing?  A bit of this and that, if you will?

I'm delighted for garage sale season to be in full swing again!  I haven't had the chance to do too much treasure hunting, but I did find the ribbons you see above -- 2 for $0.25!

The 1/8th inch ribbon is something I use for my shop, too, and I hate to buy a big roll of a color when I might only need ten inches for a bow.

The best part of garage sale-ing is picking up items you wouldn't normally purchase, like these patterns I grabbed a few years back.

Doll clothes are crazy time consuming since they require all of the fit controls of regular female clothing. A simple sheath dress still needs six darts and that is a heck of a lot of work for a gal only a couple of inches around!

Surprisingly, it can also be a bit of a challenge to find fabric combinations that really work for doll clothes as I almost always use scraps instead of purchasing yardage.  It can be a blast though, finally putting together a wardrobe that makes sense.  Here's a colorful mix-n-match set that I finally finished up this week. 

I think our dolls might have some physical abnormalities.  Something about their ankles is not quite right.

Thankfully, not all toy clothing requires a degree in design.  I'm happy to say that a bear only needs a tube of silly bird fabric with some elastic in the top!  Let the kids pick their own straps and there ya have it.

Anywho, with two family weddings this fall, my summer sewing to-do list is shaping up nicely.  So far:

1. Two flower girl dresses (possibly four)
2. One dress for myself (possibly two or alterations on at least one)
3. Bridal gown hem and bustle (since the dress shop wanted to charge $400, let's assume it will be a whopper.)

Oh, and I suppose I should do some work on taming my personal stash of fabric...

Is that a hanger in there?  Yikes.

Anything fun on your summer sewing agenda?