Friday, May 27, 2011

Ruffle-sleeved Bubble Dress

I love it!

I used this tutorial from Prudent Baby.
I got the shirt on our first trip to Hawai'i to visit Leng's parents. I haven't worn it in years but have had a hard time getting rid of it. I was going to make the bubble shirt, but thought it would be cute as a dress.
I drew a line where I wanted to start the shirring for the bottom. I left room for it to be a dress, but I left too much. I should have made the torso shorter.

I ended up tying some yarn to the the straps because they were too big.

Things I would fix next time:
1. My bobbin thread for the shirring is a little too tight, which made the top tight. I need to either start with a wider top or loosen the bobbin tension.
2. The sleeves. I should have made them shorter, and attached them closer to the middle in the back.
3. The Length. The skirt is a good length for her, but it mashes up the print on the front. I should have made it about 2 inches higher. It tends to ride up anyway, so err on the side of too long.

2011 Thing a Week - Week 21 - Shirt Bibs

This is the same bib as the blue one.
It is double sided!
Yay elephants!
Shirt bibs are perfect when you are away from the house as they keep the baby clean(er). But since Minnie keeps pulling off her bibs, they are pretty much a necessity. She gets really frustrated with the bibs that button as she can't pull them off. With the sleeves on this, she doesn't realize she is wearing a bib!

We have one shirt bib and I wanted to figure out a pattern so I could make my own. I will work on sketching out some patterns, and some larger sizes, to post a tutorial. For now I'll just show you how I made this.
Make your own bias tape for this. It will be super cute. I used this tutorial from Prudent Baby and it worked great. I made 11 yards as I have about a half a yard of fabric, but you only need about 3 yards of bias tape for this.
First I laid out the bib on some tracing paper. It would have been easier to just pull apart the seams under the arms, but I just sort of laid it out and moved it around to sketch it. 
As you can see from the above picture, the fabric actually curves around behind the neck. In the photo two above, you can see how the pattern piece goes up a bit for the arms.
Completed pattern piece. I drew out the entire thing, but I folded it n half when I cut the fabric to make sure the pieces were symmetrical. You probably just need half of the pattern.
Line up your pattern on the fold, pin, and cut it. If you want it double sided, repeat on the other piece of fabric.
If it is not double sided, you will want to stabilize where it will snap. I cut some fabric the size of the tabs, and ironed under the bottom. Since the sides will be covered in bias tape I didn't bother turning them under.
Sew around the perimeter of the fabric, keeping close to the edge. Sketch some lines across to keep it together.
Sew across the lines you drew. I added another line straight across. Your snaps will go near the center of the two stars you made!
See where I added the bias tape? At the neck, the arm holes, and along the bottom. I left the shoulder seams raw as after I sew them together I will serge them. The terry cloth sheds a lot along seams, so if you don't have a serger you may want to put bias tape over the seam after you sew the arms together.

Now you need to decide if you want to add some applique to your bib. I think it is a bit plain without.
The first elephant was too small.
I drew an elephant for the purple bib and a star on the blue terry cloth side of the other bib.

I forgot to take pictures of this because I got too excited, but I put Wonder Under, paper side up, over the larger elephant, and copied the picture. I ironed the purple flowered fabric to the elephant Wonder Under, trimmed it, and then ironed it to the bib. The Wonder Under has directions to it, and it makes things really easy!
I used a razor to cut out the ear. I thought it would be cute with the ear as terry, and that it would be easier to keep clean than having an ear sticking out of the fabric.
Zig zag stitch around the shape.
It even looks cute on the other side!
With right sides facing, line up the arm seam and sew it. Serge across the seam, or use bias tape to seal the edges.
And last but not least, take pictures of your adorable baby! Remember to smooth the baby's hair over before you take pictures. Otherwise she will look like a ragamuffin. See blue bib pictures at the top for evidence.

Friday, May 20, 2011

2011 Thing a Week - Week 20 - Pack 'n Play

We have a few trips coming up where Minnie will be sleeping in the pack 'n play. I sewed up a quick sheet using this tutorial from Prudent Baby.
My Graco pack 'n play is 26" x 37.5". I cut the fabric to 33" x 44", including the selvage. After cutting out the corners I serged the two long sides. The short sides were the selvege so they were secure. I then ironed 1 1/4" from the edge for the casing. I didn't have to iron 1/4" and then 1" because the edges were all secure. Yay less ironing and yay serger!

I know this sheet isn't exciting, but Prudent Baby has a ton of amazing stuff on their site that you need to check out, like this and this and this. I will definitely be making more of their stuff in the future.

Birthday Skirts

Of course I made matching birthday skirts for us to wear.
Happy 1st Birthday!
I bought the fabric a while ago, thinking I would make myself a skirt and Minnie something, dress or romper, from it. I didn't think we would necessarily wear them together, but just that the fabric was beautiful and I loved it. It's a lighter weight than quilting cotton, which gives it a nice drape.

Early last week I came across this tutorial, and I knew I had found my skirt. I also re-found this tutorial and knew I had found Minnie's skirt. My skirt is just like the tutorial, but Minnie's is a bit different. I should have made the top part even smaller as I think it would have made the bottom skirt poofier. The tutorial calls for the waist band to be 2.5 times the waist and I made hers 2 times her waist, but I think I should have made hers 1.5 times. I would also make the bottom skirt shorter so you can see the tulle, as in the original.

Minnie also needed a "1" shirt to celebrate her big day. This took FOREVER. I used Wonder Under to keep the "1" in place, but the blanket stitch just made it draw out. I don't know if I just wasn't doing it right or what, but it took so long and I was tired from sewing and it just made it worse. I made a baby dress, apron, two skirts, and this shirt last week. The shirt was the only thing that seemed to drag on.

I didn't take many process shots, but here's some more party pictures!
Beautiful cake from Kelly!

Friday, May 13, 2011

2011 Thing a Week - Week 19 - Double-Sided Ruffled Apron

This apron turned out exactly like I wanted it to.
Butterfly side.
Cupcake side.
I envisioned a double sided apron with ruffles and a sash for my cousin's daughter's birthday. I sketched out a picture and made it.

I had a plain apron pattern already, Simplicity 2555, and I used it to figure out the size. I didn't use the directions, just the pattern pieces for the apron and pockets. If you have a kid to measure, or a plain apron pattern (there are free ones out there on the internet) you can make a ruffled one for yourself!

plain apron pattern
1/4 yard of 4 different fabrics
*You want 2 main fabrics and 2 coordinating fabrics.

The pattern I had was for one piece of fabric for the front, but I wanted a sash in the coordinating fabric. I cut out a separate top and bottom piece from the main fabric, making them slightly shorter than the pattern piece since I would be adding the sash.
The pockets are also from the original pattern, but I would make
a kangaroo pouch or deep pockets if I made this again.
For the accent fabrics I first cut out the pockets. I used pockets from my pattern but you could just wing it. I lined up the top piece of the main fabric to see how wide I needed to cut the sash. I think it was 4 inches tall. I then cut the piece for the bottom ruffle. I cut a strip 3.5 inches tall and 44 inches wide, the length of the fabric from selvage to selvage. Remember to cut everything twice if you want it double sided!

For the straps I cut out one long one 3 inches tall, and then two more in the biggest area of the remainder of the fabric. I cut a fourth one that was smaller than the other 3. I actually meant to cut them 2 inches wide but I like them the thickness they are. I did not make the straps double sided.

I managed to cut only one strap for the back ties. I only had a little bit of fabric left, so I decided to have the apron tie at the side, so children who can tie bows could tie the apron themselves! I will see how well this idea works in practice and let you know. If you want it to tie in the back you will need more fabric or you will need to make the strips thinner. I didn't want to deal with feeding the straps through the double-sided apron top, but I wanted them adjustable, so I made ties for the top. I hope they are long enough to stay back, behind the neck, and not get in the way of cooking.
Lovely serged edges.
For the pockets I double folded the top and sewed 1/4 inch from the edge. I serged the other three sides. If you don't have a serger you can zig-zag the edges, double fold them, or use pinking shears. I ironed in the serged sides and sewed them on close to the edge of the pocket.

I attached the pockets to the front using the guide from the pattern, but you could just wing it. Put one on, measure the distance to the side and the bottom, and use that to place the other three pockets.

I serged the sash to the bottom apron piece, and then to the top. After both apron fronts were complete, I sewed the ties using this tutorial. I love this so much! The ties were the most time consuming part of the project.

After all the ties were done I lined up the two aprons, right sides facing. I pinned in the ties so the unfinished edges were poking out, but the rest of the tie was inside the apron. It was a little awkward to sew.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mother's Day 2011

This is the best one we took.
My first real Mother's Day! Sort of.
See, Minnie was born the day before Mother's Day last year, which means the day ended up being all about her. It's cool, I'm not jealous. This year, Mother's Day landed on Minnie's first birthday. So it ended up being mostly about her again. Such is life.

Here's some pictures of Minnie in her dress.
I'll take that!
Mini me and Nana.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Minnie's Mother's Day Dress

Saturday was a busy day: Regatta, visiting Nana, and dinner with friends. When I got home, after putting Minnie to bed, I decided I wanted to sew her a new dress to wear for her birthday and Mother's Day. My idea was to use one of Leng's old t-shirts for the top and to make the bottom out of one of an old fuschia tank tops.
I took one of her dresses that fits her well and traced it on a piece of paper to create the top piece. 
While I was ironing Leng's shirt I noticed it was very thin and since she wouldn't wear anything underneath I decided to double layer it. I sewed the neck and armholes only. For the sides and shoulders I wanted to use the serger. After sewing the neck holes I realized it would never fit over her head, so I trimmed it down and sewed again. I didn't pay attention to the size of the shoulder straps at this point, and the front two were way thinner than the back. I had to un-pick the serged shoulders and make the back match the front.
At this point I began to lose interest in the pink top and pulled out my fat quarters to choose one. I have a set of Asian prints and had a tough time deciding.

I cut the fabric as wide as her waist, then cut it horizontally. I serged the sides and the bottom, and gathered the top. I debated for a while on how to attach the top and the bottom, and then just decided to serge it. It worked great! I was worried it wouldn't stretch to fit over her head and arms but it was fine. I decided to leave the bottom un-hemmed, but I may hem it later.
Her new favorite toy, a piece of velcro.

Friday, May 6, 2011

2011 - Thing a Week - Week 18 - More Longies

Here's another pair of longies for Minnie. They're white so they will match her dresses.
I used a different pattern for the waist on these than on the striped pair. I didn't like how the elastic ended up, since she's such a skinny girl. I also had more stitches in between the gusset this time, so it wouldn't have to stretch so much for her cloth diaper.

I love the leggings!

Granny's blanket

So I finally finished this. Finally.
I hate it. This has been bogging me down for a month. I tried to pick colors that she would like and I hate them. I should have brought my sister with me to help pick colors. One reason I had to plow through was because I had managed to buy a cotton polyester blend. I had meant to get 100% cotton, and I don't know what I'll do with the leftover bits, but at least this is used up. I sewed the lines almost a month ago. It sat there for a another week or two before I started sewing on the binding, which took forever! I don't know if I will ever convince myself to make a full size quilt.

The best part was when I was almost done. I still had one more side and a corner, an I stopped to look at this neverending thing. I looked more closely. I had only two inches left to sew! I don't think you can understand just how excited I was that it was done. Now I can get beck to creating things that make me happy.