Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Time out for a Car Caddy

I took a break from all the kids clothing to make a quick birthday present.
This time I did a freezer paper stencil with gold metallic paint to make the road stripes. It saved me a lot of time and I really like the look.

Monday, September 27, 2010

KCWC Day 5


I made the pj’s that my son is modeling a while ago. They were one of the first projects that Haley and I worked on together. The top is one of Dana’s 90-min shirts (We were able to fiddle with the directions and get it down to 55 min but only if the kids weren’t bugging us.) As you can see they have gotten a little snug so for day five of the Kid’s Clothing week challenge I made a new set of bottoms and a matching ringer shirt for the top. I’m thinking about adding a stencil to the top but I also like that right now he could wear it as a normal shirt too.

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I also made this pair of flannel pants using a store bought pattern. I really don’t like the fit of them, I think they were made for a non- diapered butt. On top of the poor fit, the elastic casing fell apart in the wash so I’m counting this as a fail.


KCWC: Days 4, 5 & 7

Most of Day 4, for me, was spent finishing up the corduroy pants and then starting a new project, yet another upcycle from daddy’s closet. A collared short/long sleeve shirt. Combining daddy’s collared short sleeve shirt and an old long-underwear top of mine, I created a nice winter shirt for Cam.


The long-sleeve under short sleeve looks pretty cool and the collar kinda dresses it up a bit. I reused the collar (seamed it up the center back), and the pocket. Both sets of sleeves are cut directly from the original sleeve, keeping the hem, as is the bottom hem. Soooo much less work! The button placket was the most challenging, but came out great.

I finished the shirt on Day 5, and then took a day of rest on Day 6.  :)

On Day 7, I then threw together a quick pair of Pirate PJ Pants. Using a pair of my old sweats, I whacked out a simple pant, keeping the hem and side seam (Seriously, I LOVE being able to skip steps, but not sacrifice quality).

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I appliqued some treasure map X’s on the knees and a Jolly Roger on the "booty", out of rib knit which makes a surprisingly great applique. I then added a rib-knit waistband and threaded elastic through. I still have enough old pant left to make another pair someday.Yar, it's a fine pair of trousers, me hearty!


Thursday, September 23, 2010

KCWC Day 3 & 4

Day Three was a major fail for me. I used a tutorial from crafterhours to make a ringer shirt. The tutorial is great, this pattern failed because of my inexperience in pattern making. I made a pattern on a t-shirt I already owned and then cut it out one of my husband’s old shirts. It wasn’t until after I finished the shirt that I was able to see my giant mistake. The size of the neck hole could fit around my waist. When I tried it on Ash I laughed as he looked like an eighties dancer with this shirt hanging off his shoulders

Lucky for me my partner in crime has substantially more experience than me and was able to show me exactly how to adjust the pattern to take in the neck. I thought I should lengthen the shoulder seam to decrease the neck line but Haley showed me how a simple pinch at the neckline can decrease the size of the hole with out changing any other dimension.
So on day four I tried another ringer shirt and it came out so awesome and fast that I made a second one immediately after.

I had no idea there was a second star shirt but when I dressed one of my men the other decided to match


KCWC: Day 3 “What was mine, is now his”

Literally! Kids truly take all you have (and we give it to them freely and happily), but this time he’s taken the pants right off my, uh, legs.


These were actually some corduroy pants I’ve had in the sewing room closet for quite some time, waiting to be repurposed. This was the perfect opportunity. I tried to use nearly every original part. The waistband, along with belt loops and button, are reused. The zipper, fly facing and back pockets are reused. The only part that didn’t work was the front pockets facing and lining…I tried sooo hard to use the originals, but the curve was too different and I couldn’t make it fit. I’m soooo proud of these pants. I even made a pattern in the process so I’ll be able to make more. YAY!


I am loving KCWC!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

KCWC: Days 1 & 2 (The Haley Edition)

It was a successful two days for yours truly. Four upcycled shirts complete! Cam’s daddy was nice enough to sacrifice some shirts for a good cause.


Tomorrow…Cam gets pants.


KCWC Day 2

I decided to try and make a tag for today's Kid’s Clothing Week Challenge Item. I made this with some scrap fabric and a fabric marker. We’ll see if it holds up in the wash.

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Maybe I’ll get some professionally printed. Any recommendations on where to get some made? I’m on a tight budget these days so I can’t spend too much.


KCWC Day 1

This is from my first day of the Kid’s Clothing Week challenge.

Can you guess what this is?

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The fabric came from My maternity shirt, one of my husband’s T-shirts and one of Ash’s newborn onesies.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Naked Baby gets a Diaper

A friend of mine left this baby doll at my house after a play date. Ash fell in love with it and has been playing with “Naked Baby” a lot. The owner of Naked Baby told me that she had plenty of dolls and we could borrow it for a while. After I found my husband tying a spare scrap of cloth around him to make a diaper, I was a little inspired. How 001hard could it be to make a quick little baby diaper?

After a quick search online I printed out the doll diaper pattern from Skip to my Lou. Fifteen minutes later I had 2 cute flannel diapers. I had to adjust the Velcro placement a little but the cut work perfectly.
I have a feeling when Naked Baby is finally returned it’ll have a full wardrobe in tow.

(Haley pointed out that fabric looks upside-down from the front but that wasn’t a mistake The graphic is right-side-up on the butt.)

Kids Clothes Week!

Ruth and I are participating in this! Can't wait to make the boys some fall clothes. We'll post a wrap-up of our week, when complete. I'd like to get a Halloween costume done, but that might be wishful thinking.

You should join us!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Orange you glad it’s not red anymore?

I love red and as such I’ve painted two walls in my house deep, rich red. One of them was in my sewing room. Due to lack of good lighting in that room, the red wall really darkened the space. I was going blind trying to see what I was ironing! So I decided to go all crazy bright and liven things up a bit.

Here’s what it looked like before*….
*yeah yeah yeah, just ignore the fact that I took the “before” picture after I already started priming.

and After! Spicy spicy!
The paint is Valspar from Lowe’s, color Carrot Cake in eggshell finish. Love it! Now to rearrange the sewing room and get back to crafting…

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Happy Play Doh Day

008 Did you know there is a national holiday for Play Doh? September 16th. Seems like a great excuse to make a giant batch and invite some friends over.  Luckily, my friend Julie gave me her recipe just the other day. I love the texture. All the homemade Play Doh I’ve used in the past has been really grainy but this recipe gave super soft dough without the Play Doh scent. I also have a 12 pack of Wilton food coloring so I kept making it until I ran out of colors.
Want to make your own?
Homemade Play Doh
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1/2 cup Salt
  • 2 tsp Cream of Tartar
  • 2 Tbs Vegetable oil
  • 1 cup of water dyed with food coloring
Mix everything together in a Non-stick pot (Seriously use non stick. Trust me) Stir over medium heat. It will look really soupy when you start but then suddenly it will come together. When it clumps into a ball dump it onto a cutting board to cool.
Ash’s attention is only a few minutes but I could play with this stuff for hours. Have fun!!!

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

T-shirt to Tank Tutorial

Have you ever had a T-shirt that’s as tall as it is wide? I’m not exactly sure who fits into shirts like that, but they hang like a gunny sack on me. I love my mom’s group shirt, but it has never fit me right, so I decided to take matters into my own hands. I turned it into a tank! And here’s how…
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  • T-shirt that doesn’t fit right
  • Tank top that DOES fit right, to use as a pattern
  • Contrast ribbed knit and thread to match
  • Scissors, rotary cutter and mat (if you have one), sewing machine, serger (not necessary)

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Before you cut into your T-shirt put it on and note how it fits at the bottom hem. If you like how the width is then you can just go to the next step. Otherwise, pinch off the amount that you want to tighten it and pin at the pinch. Measure the distance from the pin to the fold (side seam) and divide that number by 2. Record this number as the “discard width.”


Lay your T-shirt out on a flat surface that you don’t mind cutting on. Make sure it’s laying completely even, with the design centered, etc. Go ahead and cut the side seams open, as well. This will allow the shirt to lay as flat as possible. Lay the tank on top of the t-shirt, lining up the shoulder seams and centering the tank over the t-shirt evenly.


Cut the armholes first. There will be no seam taken, so wherever you cut will be the actual finished edge (bound in ribbing, of course). I cut 1/2” bigger than my tank, to allow for the lack of stretch in the t-shirt. 1/2” is an arbitrary number and can be changed to fit your situation.

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IMPORTANT STEP: Fitting the shirt. My tank had a nice hourglass shape, but my t-shirt was a box, so I used the shape of the tank as a guide. Determine how much smaller the t-shirt needs to be by using the discard width we found in the first step. More than likely, your t-shirt and tank hem widths (the area around your hips) are going to be pretty close to each other, but the waist and bust areas on the t-shirt are going to be tons bigger.

So, with the tank still laying centered on the t-shirt, measure the distance from the edge of the tank hem to the edge of the t-shirt hem. This number, “excess width,” should be the same on both sides. Subtract the discard width from the excess width to get the gauge width.
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Set your seam gauge to the gauge width and cut this width all the way up the side, with the gauge against the edge of the tank, following the contour of the tank. If you were happy with the t-shirt hem width originally then set your gauge to the excess width and use it to cut your side (this will just shape the t-shirt without taking any additional width away).

The last bit of cutting is the neckline. The back neck is pretty straight forward. But the front neckline on my tank was pretty low, so I opted to raise it a bit. To get an idea of the shape, simply push some pins through both shirts following the tank neckline. Then peel back the tank and, using some sort of marking utensil, make a mark where each pin enters the t-shirt.
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After the line is drawn, use the shape as a guide to draw your ideal neckline, or if the neckline is perfect, cut along the line.
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Great! The cutting is done! Stitch up your side seams using a 4 thread serge or if you don’t have a serger use a straight stitch 1/4” seam allowance and then zig zag the seam allowance. Now, TRY IT ON! Make sure it’s fitting like you want. If not, make minor adjustments by taking up more side seam until it fits perfectly.

Next, break out your rotary cutter and mat (or a gauge and scissors) and cut 1 1/2” strips of contrast ribbing. The amount you need depends on the size of the neck and armholes, so cut as long a strip as you can so you don’t have to piece anything.
If you have a serger, serge one long edge of your ribbing pieces. This is just to bulk up the raw edge, and is not necessary since knit does not unravel. But it does keep it from stretching all crazy while you’re trying to topstitch it in place.

Pin the unserged edge of the ribbing to the tank neck or arm hole, right sides together, starting with the end of the strip at the under arm seam or center back neck (you will seam the ends together here, so they will be hidden).  Stretch the ribbing just a little bit as you pin so it doesn’t ripple when finished.
Start stitching, using a 1/2” seam allowance, at the under arm seam or center back neck, BUT start and stop about an inch from the seam or center back, so you have a bit of room to sew the two ends together.
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Take the shirt out of the sewing machine and line up the spot, where the ribbing will be seamed, with the under arm seam or center back neck. Place a pin where you want the seam to be and stitch those two ends together.
With the ribbing ends stitched together, open out the seam allowance and stitch the remaining bit onto the shirt.
Now you have a band of ribbing stitched all the way around the hole. To remove excess fabric that will be contained within the binding, grade the seam allowance by trimming the ribbing layer a bit shorter than the shirt. This gets rid of bulk inside.
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Head over to the ironing board. With the right side of the t-shirt out, press the ribbing over the seam allowance along the stitching line. Then, turn the shirt over so the wrong side is out and press 1/2” of ribbing over to the back side. The serged edge should line up with your stitching line.
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The final step is to topstitch your ribbing in place! Pin the ribbing in place and then stitch, from the right side, a scant 1/8” from the inside ribbing edge, making sure to check underneath that you are catching the ribbing beneath.
If you ironed and pinned precisely, you should catch it all. However, if you’re like me and just eyeballed it, throwing all caution to the wind, then you may have missed a spot or two. Easy fix, just rip out a bit around the spot you missed and resew (be sure to backstitch a few stitches at either end).
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You now have a well-fitting tank top out of a shirt you probably never wore. Hooray!
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