Friday, November 20, 2015

Bonnie Blue Kayla & CC Lillian

These are for my great-nieces for Christmas.  Both are a-line dresses but the Kayla buttons at the shoulders and the Lillian buttons down the back.  I used covered buttons in the same blue fabric as the ruffles and pocket binding.

I had some difficulty deciding what to do with the pockets and ultimately just went with a simple pleated pocket with piping and binding at the top.  Many thanks to Kathy Dykstra for the help with that.

The ruffles at the bottom were also a challenge, since this dress is lined.  And there is a technique to turning it right side out which made it problematic for the ruffle.  I ultimately just whipped the lining to the dress bottom at the ruffles.

The Lillian buttons down the back but I totally didn't get pictures!  So sorry.  I really wanted ruffles on the pockets, and I think these turned out okay.  I have another idea for that next time that I think will work much better.  I chose not to add the pleat to this one.  I was so over these dresses and wanted to get them finished, so I can get them shipped to Illinois.

I am happy to answer any questions.  Feel free to post comments below.

Thank you for stopping by.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Bath Towel Wrap

I found this adorable tutorial on Sew4home for this bath wrap and had to make it for Christmas.  This will be gifted to dh's aunt.

I found the dot terry and the cotton paisley at Joann's.  The terry is uber soft, and I love it.

I added lace to the pocket in addition to ribbon.  His aunt is very feminine, and I liked the added touch.  I weaved a small 1/8" ribbon through it.

I couldn't get my flower to look like theirs hard as I tried.  So I opted to do one I've done before and always have good luck.  Here is the link for that tutorial.  I just happened to have the right color button for the center.

I couldn't find the right color ribbon for the straps, so I left them off.  I also didn't want to have to go back to Joann's for the umpteenth time to get more fabric.

Thanks for stopping by.  Please leave comments or questions below.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Toddler Apron

A friend of mine has a granddaughter who is getting a small toy kitchen set for Christmas.  She wanted an apron to give her too.

We searched and searched for just the right pattern or tute.  We found some really cute ones, but we didn't get "this is the one" feeling with any of them.  But this one came very close.  There was one problem; it was an adult size.

I also found this one.  It is a child's apron and super cute, but it wasn't quite what we were looking for.  But I knew I could at least use the pattern.  I downloaded the pattern, taped it together, then cut it apart. What??

I really just needed the top part.  So I cut it apart about one inch below where the arm curve is.

I used the lower part as a guide for my ruffles.  The ruffles are all 2" wide by WOF.  I used my serger and did a rolled hem on all 4 sides.  I used my ruffler foot to make all the gathers.  I used the lower part of the pattern and cut out a big rectangle from the black fabric as my base.  I started at the bottom and stitched on the ruffles to the base layer.  I put 2 layers of tulle first (it is actually about 3" x WOF), then measure up 1" from the top if the tulle and stitched on my next layer.  I repeated this process all the way to the top. I had about 1/2" at the top left over.

For the tulle layer, I just cut 2 pieces the same size and gathered them with 2 basting stitches.  I wasn't sure how my ruffler would handle it so I didn't use it for this part.

For the sash, I cut 2 pieces 5" x WOF.  I cut one in half and stitched each half to either side of the longer piece giving me one long piece.  I then folded it in half lengthwise and stitched around 3 sides leaving a very big opening right in the center of the long side - large enough to accommodate the bodice.  This would be my opening for attaching the bodice piece.  I turned it right side out and pressed really well.

Next, I laid the sash piece fold side down on top of the skirt covering the stitching on the last ruffled piece.  I top stitched it in place.  I serged the raw edge of the skirt piece, since it would be visible from the back.  You could always cut 2 pieces for the sash and leave an opening at the bottom too and slide the skirt inside the opening.

For the bodice piece, I cut 2 pieces.  I laid them wrong sides together on my work surface and used binding to cover the raw edges.  I used the red fabric for bias.  I stitched the top piece first.  Then I stitched the side pieces using one long bias piece leaving enough length at the top to make an opening for the neck.  In other words, start stitching at the bottom of each side.

After that part was complete, I just slid the bodice inside the opening of the sash about 1/2".  Then topstitched it in place.  At this point I also topstitched all the way around the sash.

I had enough of the green fabric left to make a small pot holder.  It's just pinned to the top.

And that's my apron.  I think it turned out really well, and I would definitely like to make another one of these.

I didn't do a tute on this because I thought it would be simple enough to explain.  If not, please feel free to email or post questions below.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Maja's Heirlooms Larkin - review

A member of our Threads of Love group just had a baby girl.  You can find the bishop here.  She is such a huge help to us, that I wanted to do something for her.  I chose to make matching dresses for the baby and her older sister. This is the Larkin by Maja's Heirlooms.  It was recommended to me by Kathy Dykstra.  It is a great dress for an older girl.

I found the smocking plate in issue 105, 2006 SB magazine.  There were a ton of beads in this pattern, and if I don't ever see another bead, it will be too soon!  LOL  My bullions still need a little practice, but they are getting better.

This is the back.

The sleeves are probably my favorite.  I love lace!!

See the review below for the modifications I made.  I struggled with the neckband and the back facings, so I did them the way I've always done them.  It's a great pattern, and I recommend it.

Pattern Description: Smocked dress for older girls who've outgrown traditional smocked dresses.

Pattern Sizing: 10, 12, 14, 16 (I made size 12) NOTE: the pattern runs small.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, mostly

Were the instructions easy to follow? Not as easy as I would have liked. I had some difficulty with the neckline and back facing which I address below.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It is a great pattern for older girls. And it's beautiful one made.

Fabric Used: cotton batiste main fabric, cotton lining
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I chose to do a traditional neckband like I've always done on my bishop dresses. The pattern appears to fold the pleating over to the back. This really distorted the pleats. So the traditional neckband worked better for me. I simply cut the bias band to 2 1/2" to allow for the extra. She actually makes this adjustment in issue 105, 2006 SB magazine. I found it after the fact when searching for a smocking plate.

Speaking of smocking, I used the pattern in the same issue of SB designed specifically for this pattern. The tiny beads are seed beads I picked up online. They are smocked into the design rather than added later as is done quite often. I think they hold up better when smocked in. Bullions are embroidered at the bottom of the last row of smocking.

I used french lace on the sleeves using a machine technique to stitch lace to lace and lace to entredeux. I think the sleeves just needed a little something extra. The sleeves are also smocked with a tiny bullion added in the center of the design.

I didn't like the way the back facing was done. The pattern calls for folding the placket to the wrong side then stitching down the facing. I didn't like that edge showing. I chose to fold the placket to the right side, then put the facing down right side, then fold the lining placket on top of that, basically sandwiching the facing in between the placket and placket facing then flipping to the wrong side enclosing all the raw edges. Then to keep the facing in place, I ironed a small piece of heat bond in between the placket and facing.

And I put piping where the skirt front joins the bodice.  I just thought it needed something there too.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, I think it's a great pattern with modifications.

Conclusion: This is a very sweet dress for older girls. It was relatively easy once I figured out some of the instructions.

This has been entered in the sewing for children contest on pattern review. 
I would love your vote.  See the badge to the right.  

Thanks for stopping by!  I am happy to answer any questions.  Just email me or post it below.


Friday, November 6, 2015

Baby Bishop

One of the ladies who helps me tremendously with our Threads of Love Ministry is expecting her second child.  I wanted to do something really nice for her, so I made her girls matching dresses.  This is the baby bishop.  I used Ellen McCarn's pattern and have for years.  It is my go to for bishops.  I used a smocking pattern I found in Sew Beautiful issue 105, 2006.  It is a pattern for Maja's Heirloom's Larkin pattern which is the dress I made for the older girl.  I'll have that one posted very soon as a review.

The pattern called for beading......lots of beading.  In fact, if I never see another bead it will be too soon. LOL  The smocking itself wasn't difficult except for the bullions.  I always struggle with those.  I also still struggle with pleating those seams. Grrr....

I added lace to the sleeves with entredeux.  It's been a very long time since I've done that!  But I found it's like riding a bike.

Thanks for stopping by.  Please feel free to ask questions or share comments.


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Jason Vorhees - Friday 13th Halloween Costume

Robbie wanted to be Jason Vorhees for Halloween, and this is what we came up with.  I used this video to paint his mask. (be sure to view parts 1 and 2)  The jacket came from Goodwill.  I removed the buttons and replaced them with black ones.  Then I ran over the jacket with my car making sure to turn the wheel repeatedly to really scuff it up on the ground.

That wasn't enough, so I used sandpaper and a foot file to weather it a bit more. It really doesn't show up as well in the photo though.  I used red paint for the blood on the machete that was bought from Spirit Halloween.  Total cost was less than $20.

He was happy with it, and that's all that matters.

Monday, October 19, 2015

McCalls 4060 ladie's shorts

I finished these up last week I believe.  My days are running together!  I love this pattern.  I used this same one for boxers last year for my daughter.  You can see those here.

This time I decided to make a ruffle around the leg openings and add a contrasting band to the top.  I also omitted the elastic and used a 1 1/2" ribbon instead.  I followed this tutorial for that part.

This pattern is really long.  Most of the younger girls (and some older ones too) like to wear their bottoms around their hips.  This pattern comes very high on the waist.  I cut off roughly 6" of this pattern.  I say roughly because I cut off about 3" the first time and another 3" for the addition of the contrasting waist band.

These were very simple to make and went together quite nicely even with the additional ruffles and band.

I will definitely make more of these.  These are for my friend, Angie's, daughter.

Thanks for stopping by, and feel free to email or post questions.


Friday, September 11, 2015

Marvel Comic Book Fabric - First Choice Boxers

6 pair of First Choice Boxers using this totally awesome Marvel Comic Book fabric that I found at Hancock's.  I love this fabric so much, I would wear something made from it if I could!

Boxers are a hit for Christmas for all my guy gifts.  I usually find some pretty cool fabric when I'm on the hunt, and this was no exception.  I absolutely had to have this fabric.  I think boys and men would like this fabric.  It's not too juvenile.  I hope all my guys love it as much as I do.

First Choice Boxers is my go to pattern for boxers for guys.  It has a panel in the seat eliminating the seam that can ride and be uncomfortable.  This pattern is not as good for my girls.  I guess our bottoms aren't made for them. LOL  First Choice comes in adult sizes and well as kids sizes, so it's easy to find any size.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Ear Bud Case

Another Christmas present.  Can't say who this if for yet, because I don't know.  I found the tutorial here for these.  Except this one is a bit larger.  The original size is great for regular ear buds, but it's too small for the kind that fit over your ear.  My circle measured 5", and I used a 7" zipper.

Other than that small change, I used her directions.

These are my ear phones.  As you can see the ear pieces are much larger than the standard ear buds.  There is also that little contraption for my lifeproof case.
These don't fit very nicely in the standard sized earbud case. I have to push and squeeze to get these in the case.  I'm afraid I'm going to break them.
They have lots of room in the new case.  This one isn't mine, but now I will make one since I know they will have much more room. :)

Thank you for stopping by.


Thursday, September 3, 2015

Iron Caddy

I found this tutorial for this iron tote and thought it would be great to take my iron to and from my Threads of Love meetings.

I could not get mine to wrap to the front like she did.  So I folded it a bit differently and managed to get the folds and buttons on the ends.

I also round my corners rather than cutting them at an angle.  It made it easier to apply the bias and I just liked it that way.  My Rowenta fits quite nicely inside, and I have enough room to put my water cup in there too.

When it's opened, it makes a great press mat.  It isn't large, but it's great for the little TOL dresses.

And the other side.

And when I'm not using it, it folds up into this little ball for easy storage.

I love my little iron caddy.  I will get to use it for the first time this evening.

Thanks for stopping by.


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Slipcover - The hardest chair ever!!

This was by far the hardest piece for which I have made a slipcover.

This chair had so many curves.  I used the pin fit method for the whole thing.  This is a white linen which only added to the difficulty level.

When I got to the skirt, I had to decide whether to make a tuxedo skirt or a continuous one.  Because this chair dipped in the back, I chose the continuous skirt.  I thought it would be less noticeable than the tuxedo.  Plus the tuxedo skirt would have been a bear to try to match.  I really think a gathered or pleated skirt would have been better, but this was for a friend, and she doesn't do that kind of girly.  So straight it stayed.

Thank you for stopping by.

Feel free to leave questions or comments below.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

First Choice Boxers

I never, ever grown tired of this pattern.  It is super simple to make and quick too.

These are for my oldest boy for Christmas.  The deer fabric is a flannel I found at Hancock Fabric and the other is a polyester camo fabric also from Hancock.  That polyester was a bit tricky to work with on this pattern, because it is so slippery.

That little piece at the top is a matching pillow case.  There are two, also for my oldest boy for Christmas.  Here is a bigger pic. :)

Thank you for stopping by.  Please feel free to ask any questions or leave comments.  They are always appreciated.


Monday, August 31, 2015

Apple Core Tips

I wasn't thinking when I posted this quilt top yesterday to share some tricks and tips I found online and discovered along the way through trial and error.

Some information I found at Missouri Star Quilt Company.   Jenny has a tutorial on the apple core both the small 4" and the larger 9 3/4" that I used for this quilt.  She is very clear, and it was very easy to follow her instructions.   I used this method to match my points.  But it wasn't as easy as matching points on squares.

One tip for this quilt when laying out your blocks.  Take pictures as you go.  I moved these blocks around many times before I found the one I wanted.  Then I changed my mind and moved them again.  Ultimately I changed it back, and I had the picture to know exactly where the blocks were.

This quilt is 7 blocks across and 9 blocks down.  I stitched the 9 blocks together first to lessen the amount of rows I had to sew together.  So my 9 blocks went together first then the rows.  I clipped the center of each block on all 4 sides.  It made matching the blocks and the rows so much easier.  Before I picked up any of my blocks I put labels on the rows and numbered them.  I also noted my top piece, so I knew the top of my row and wouldn't get them confused or backwards.  I kept those labels pinned until the very end.

When I was stitching the blocks together, I started with 5 pins each, then when I was comfortable I went to 3, then I managed only one pin in the center after I became more comfortable.  When I stitched the rows together, I used one at each point and one at each center that I marked earlier.  I tried using a chalk marker for the centers, but they kept getting erased with the pressing and moving.

Pressing the seams is very, very important.  I kept my blocks going in different directions, but it really doesn't matter when you put the rows together.  Just press them well!

I hope this helps.  Please feel free to email questions or leave comments below.


Saturday, August 29, 2015

Apple Core Quilt Top

This is my finished apple core quilt top.  I used the 9 3/4" apple core template that I bought from Missouri Star Quilt Company.  I also bought the 4" but haven't used it yet.  I thought the larger template would be easier to work with for my first curved quilt.  It was a breeze to use!  This one measured roughly 4x5.5 before I stitched it together.  It will make a great lap quilt I think.

This is the vintage fabric my MIL gave me a few months back.  Her favorite color is blue, so I picked out all the blues and whites.  I will leave the edges as is and bind it with another blue.

I still need work on my points. :(  I have a few that are off.

I will take it to the quilt shop for some help on that and on exactly what type of quilting it needs.  I haven't decided that yet.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Vintage Fabrics

My mother-in-law gave me a trash bag full of vintage fabrics sometime last year.  I hadn't figured out what to do with them until now.  I thought they would make a beautiful lap quilt for said mother-in-law - the apple core variety.  I probably chose one of the hardest quilts to do with all those curves.

While rummaging around in the bag, I came across these two beauties.  This is a completed block.  Part of it had been hand stitched and part machine stitched.  The points aren't perfect, and I haven't quite decided if I will leave it as is and try to work it into my quilt or take it apart and square it up and try to work it into my quilt.  In fact, I don't know if I will be able to work it in at all.

This is my favorite piece in the entire bag of fabrics.  I so wish I had a larger piece of this.  My 9" apple core would be big enough to encompass one of the pictures, but I will lose others.  The pictures won't even come close on my 4" apple core.  I may just have to cut these apart and incorporate them some other way.  I just want to salvage as much as possible.  It's just precious to me.

I have to get this done before Christmas, and I've gotten a very late start this year.  I have 4 gifts completed, but my list is long and isn't even dented!  This is the biggest of all the gifts, so I need to get it started.  I dug out all the fabrics and just need to choose which I want to use in the quilt.  Her favorite color is blue, and I have lots of blue pieces including this one.  Say some prayers that I figure it out soon.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

DIY Fabric Boxes

I needed some fabric boxes for a client, so I went searching on my favorite spot ever:  Pinterest. Does anyone not like Pinterest?!?  Anyway, I found this awesome tutorial on fabric boxes and thought I'd try it.  And I love the result.

This is a fairly big box.  If memory serves, it wound up being 12" tall and roughly 10" square.  My client did not want the grommets, so I made handles instead.

If I make these again, I will omit the step of cutting out the corners.  It is just easier to me to stitch that with the corner in tact.  I've done it both ways, and that's just my preference.  You can control the width of the box a little better as well.

Hope your Thursday is fabulous!
"O Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me." Psalm 30:2

Monday, July 20, 2015

Baby Gift Ideas

One of my dearest friends had her first grandchild last week.  Needless to say, she is beyond elated!  I wanted to make a few things for baby Gray.

I have made this changing pad before, but I'm a bit partial to this one.  I chose to use chenille fabric this go around, and it is so incredibly soft.  I don't like the closure though.  The instructions call for placing that elastic on the outside of the bias binding.  I think next time, I'll put it underneath.  I thought of making a button hole, but if you put wipes and diapers in the little pouch, that wouldn't leave extra room.

I had a scrap of fabric left over from the fabric boxes I made.  I'll have to get pictures and post those later.

I also made burp cloths.  I found the tutorial here.  I've used it before, and moms always love them.  I have not washed these yet, so they are as frilly as they should be.

I found this nursery print at Joann's and loved it.  I made both sides out of flannel.

I also found this beautiful cotton nursery print the same day and thought it would make a great blanket.

I wasn't sure whether I wanted to use blanket binding or wrap the dot around to the front for a contrast band.  I've done it both ways.  I chose the binding, so the blanket would be larger.  I would lose some size with the contrast band, since the dot was not as wide at the focus fabric.

I think these will make a nice gift for a new baby.  I hope mom and dad love them.

Thanks for stopping by.