Thursday, December 19, 2013

First Choice Boxers for Girls?? Yes Ma'am!!

You know how much I love making boxers!!  Well, I decided to do some girly boxers using the same pattern I like for the boys.  These are for my dd.

Here is the first pair.

Don't you just love the lace??  The lace for that placket was a little tricky, but it was worth every bit of effort.  I will post a tutorial soon on how I made the adjustments.

Here is a closeup of the placket area.

I folded the hemline up rather than under to make a cuff so I could attach lace there too.

I also used lace on all the seams including the back.

I'm not sure I'll put the lace on the back seams again.  It kind of makes them look like panties.  NOT the look I was going for.

A couple of things to share:  First, girls (I'm told) like their boxers to sit lower.  In fact, they buy men's boxers and fold them down at the top to get them shorter.  So I took off a full inch from the top of the pattern, then turned the hem under a full 1 1/4" to form a casing for the elastic.  If you've made these before, you know the elastic is typically sewn to the inside of the boxers and visible.

Second, I lengthened the bottom by about 2" to accommodate the bottom cuff.

I think these really turned out cute!  I have already bought a silky black fabric and a red charmeuse to make 2 more pair.  I want to add some lace inserts to the black pair.  I hope they turn out like my vision!

Isn't it kind of cool to add a bit of heirloom sewing to otherwise plain old boxers?? 

Thanks for stopping by!  Please feel free to email or comment with questions.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Quilted Star Pot Holder

One of my sewing friends over at Everything Sewing introduced me to this pot holder.  You can find the tutorial here.  This is my first one, so obviously, there were some challenges.  This hot pad is huge!!  It is nearly 10" square when finished.  I had to square mine up so much that it wound up being just shy of 9" square.

The beauty though with this one is that you can use scraps.  There was no cost for this gift.  I used some old Amy Butler scraps used to make Britt's overnight bag and scraps from this little outfit I made for my great-niece.  The green fabric is a broadcloth used to make this nightgown for another niece.

Most of the work associated with this project is in the cutting.  But once you get past that, it really goes along fairly quickly.  I will do this one again for sure and just keep them in my "gift" box when I need a quick gift.

I really do like this little hot pad.  It is for Robbie's teacher for Christmas.  I hope she likes it.  It doesn't look like much, but it sure was a lot of work! LOL

Thanks for stopping by.  Please feel free to ask any questions.


Monday, December 16, 2013

Simplicity 1605

We get an angel from the angel tree at our local YMCA every year.  This year a 7 year old boy needed PJs, so my husband asked me to make him some.  And of course, who would say no to that???!!  So I used Simplicity 1605 for the pants and bought shirts.  I used part of the fabric to make an applique on the shirt.

This first set is totally cotton and all boy with all the little trucks.  I almost got the pattern to match perfectly everywhere except the back seam.  I know how to do it now and will post a tute soon, so you'll know too if you don't already.

This pair is flannel.  

And a close up of the applique.  Sorry it's a bit blurry.

It is so easy to coordinate a top with the pants if the fabric has the right pattern.

I also made these for Robbie, and this is the best picture I could get.  I knew I wouldn't get them off of him ever again, since he literally stood over my shoulder in his underwear while I finished hemming them.  I needed to alter them a bit, because they really are too big.  But that wasn't happening once they were on.

This pattern runs slightly larger.  Robbie is a size 7 in pants, so I made the medium.  I should have gone with the small but added a bit of length.  It is a super easy pattern for pants.  I am not liking the shirt as much, but that's because of some of the instructions.  More on that in another post.

Thanks for stopping by.  Feel free to ask questions.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Easy Knit Scarf!

I made this for my niece for Christmas.  Her favorite color is green.  I found the tutorial for this scarf here.  I actually found it on Pinterest.  You GOTTA love Pinterest!  Be sure to check out her other tutes while you are there.  Really cute website.

I won't go into all the details, since they are outlined very nicely in her tutorial.  The only changes I made were to shorten the scarf (60" vs. 80"), since my niece is only 13, and to make the small cut pieces closer together. 

This project took less than an hour to complete.  It would be a super first project for a newbie.  It was a challenge to get the knit to "not" curl long enough to get it cut and stitched.  But a friend gave me some advice for my next knit project.  Spray starch it really well before cutting and stitching.  It reduces the curling.

I couldn't get Robbie to model this one for me, so the lamp had to be my model this time.  This pic is just slightly closer.  The lighting that day was awful!

 Happy Tuesday!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Removable Dresden Plate - Part 4

If you've been following along, you will have already seen part 1, part 2 and part 3.  This is the last piece of our quilt puzzle.

Today's tute will be on the actual attaching part.  You'll need to have your quilt completely finished at this stage.  The first thing I did was to make a button hole right in the center of the circle part of your dresden plate.  Obviously you'll need your button first.  I chose a 1 1/2" button so my button hole is rather large.

Then you'll place your dresden on your quilt where you want it (I chose the very center) and mark the place for your button hole and stitch it on.  Then button your dresden to the quilt.

You'll need enough snaps for every blade on your dresden.  Mine has 20 blades, so I bought 24 snaps.

I chose metal over plastic, because they may get some use.

Now start stitching a snap onto every point on the dresden.  BE VERY CAREFUL IN WHICH SNAP YOU PUT ON YOUR BLADE.  Make sure it is the right side.  I stitched all 20 on my dresden before I realized they were on the wrong side!  Get them pretty close to the edge.  Start on one side and do 3 or 4 blades, then go across on the opposite side and do 3 or 4 there.  This ensures you get a snug fit with no gaps.  When those are finished, move on to another 3 or 4, then do the opposite side.  Keep going until they are all stitched on.  Keep the dresden buttoned through the whole process.

A little hint in stitching these things on.  It's hard to get the needle to go up through the fabric and into that tiny little hole.  So start in one hole and stitch through the hole beside it.

Then go into the fabric and come up in the hole from where you started.

I made four stitches with double thread in those two then repeated for the other two.  It really sped up the process.

Once you have all the snaps on the top, you'll stitch the bottoms on.  If you have your own way of matching the snaps, then use it.  If not, this is how I matched mine.  I used a white pencil and scratched it over the tip of the snap on the dresden.

You can see the white on the tip.

Then pressed it into the quilt.  See that little white dot?

Place the snap over that white dot and stitch it on.  Once you get the first one, snap it down before you mark the next one.  Then snap that one down before you mark another, and so on.  They will look like this. I unsnapped so you could see.  I also unsnapped to stitch them on to get the plate out of the way.

Snap them all down.

And you are finished.  Now stand back and ooh and ahh over your new removable dresden plate quilt.

I used the left over ties to make my binding (I washed them first, since it didn't matter if the scraps got messed up).

And the back.

I hope you found this information helpful.  If I didn't make anything clear, please feel free to comment or email me.


Friday, November 22, 2013

New Look 6232

And it's definitely a "New Look!"

I made this with the help of a sew along tutorial from my sewing friend, Judy, on  What a huge help when you've not made something like a shirt.  It was really scary!!  I do kids clothes and maybe a skirt or two, home dec stuff.......but nothing so technical as a shirt!!  But Judy made this so easy for me.  I couldn't have done it without her.

That's my friend, Sarah, who agreed to be my test subject since it is really hard to fit myself without a dress form.  She was pretty easy to fit except for her bubble hiney!  And most people would kill for a hiney like that, but I digress.

The sewing went along quite well until I got to the sleeve plackets.  I sewed them to the front of the sleeves instead of the back. Grrrrrr........So Judy suggested I just chop them off and roll them up to the elbow or just make a short sleeve.  Sarah preferred the elbow length, so that's what we did.  We tell people that's the look we were going for.  Who would know any better, right? HA!

And the back.  No it isn't crooked!  It just needed to be pulled down on that left side, and I didn't catch it until just this second when I uploaded to my computer.  I wound up having to make slits in the side seams because Sarah likes to wear her shirts untucked.  We made it a little longer, so it pulled across that hiney just a smidge, and we didn't like that.  The slits took care of that problem pretty nicely.  She wanted a more fitted shirt to show off that hourglass figure.  So we had multiple fittings to get the fit she wanted.

I used a 100% linen fabric, and for my first shirt, I probably should have used a basic cotton.  Linen likes to move and stretch!  A lot of starch helped keep it tame.  All in all I loved the pattern, and I would definitely make it again.  I would love to see this done in silk.  Sarah has agreed to be my test subject again.  And she lives right next door!  How convenient is that??

I wouldn't recommend this for a beginner, but intermediate definitely. 

Happy Friday!!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Creative Keepsakes Smocked Nightgown

I made this one for a friend's daughter for Christmas.  She has outgrown the first one I made and wanted another.  This is my "go to" pattern for nightgowns.  It's super easy to make and super quick.  It has a variety of styles including a robe pattern.  I like using lace for the sleeves.  I just think it adds a little something extra.

I used Ellen McCarns Allison Leight smocking plate.

I wanted a little more color on the back, so I chose to weave floss through the top two cable rows.  I'm not sure I like it though.  I may take that out before I wrap this up.

You can see other versions of the dress here and here.

Have a happy Wednesday!!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Removable Dresden Plate Tute - Part 3


If you missed the last two series, you can find the 1st here and the 2nd here.  In part one, we cut and stitched the ties together, and in part two, we backed the plate.

In part 3, we will cut the circle, hem it and attach it to the dresen.  I purposely put this part by itself, because I came up with an absolute sure fire way to get THE perfect circle with the hem.  I searched and searched the web on how to do this and could find nothing.  So if someone else has already done this, let me know so I can give credit where credit is due.  For now, I'd like to think I am the circle queen! hahahaha  In all honesty, this idea is the same concept as Jeannie B. uses on Old Fashioned Baby to stitch the hem on baby daygowns to get the perfect hem.

Okay, so here we go.  First, I used a ruler to cut my circle.  I did not snap a picture but I will when I get home today and post it.  I tried to find a pic of the ruler online but couldn't.  Anyway, you need a perfect circle.  Use a plate or lid or something similar.

Stay stitch around the perimeter of the circle at 1/4" as shown.  I used my 1/4" presser foot. Go very slowly, because this is the line you will use to make the perfect circle.  You can always mark the 1/4" line with a ruler and stitch right on top.

Now come right inside that 1/4" stitching and run a basting stitch all the way around but leave about a 1/4" from start and stopping point.  You can see that in the bottom of the picture.

Now start pulling your bobbin threads on both sides so the edges will start folding in.  Keep pulling until is looks like this:

Now start folding down the edge on that stay stitch line like so:
And press.

Keep folding and pressing all the way around. And it will look like this:
And a close up. I am a bit off at the top, but I went back and fixed that before attaching.  You want this as close as possible on that stitch line.

Flip it over and give it a good press, and it now looks like this.  Could it be any more perfect?  Don't answer that.  It probably could, but humor me anyway and say absolutely not - that is the perfect circle!

You can remove the basting threads or just cut off the excess.  I just cut them off.  Now we'll stitch it to the dresden plate.  

First find your center.  I did this by folding it in half both ways and finger pressing.  Sorry it's blurry.

Now stick a quilting pin right smack dab in the middle where the folds meet.

Now we want to place that pin in the center of the open circle in the dresden plate.  I just eyeballed this, because I didn't want to fold those ties and risk crimping them.  You could always measure it.  Place that pin in the center of the open dresden circle like so.

Use that same pin and pin it in place.

Now start pinning around the circle to keep in in place. I used 4 pins, but use as many as makes you comfortable to keep it from shifting when stitching it down.  Once I had those 4 in place, I removed that center pin.  It's hard to see my white pin heads.  I should have used yellow for the pics.  But if you look closely, there are 4 there!
Now take it to the machine and stitch very close to the edge of the circle to attach it.  And you are finished.

In the next series, I'll show you how to make it removable.  I have been waffling quite a bit on this.  Originally, I wanted to use elastic loops on the tips of the ties and just button them onto the quilt.  But I thought if one of those little suckers came loose or simply wore out over time, I would have a terrible time fixing it.  Plus, I didn't want the added bulk in those points.  So I nixed that idea.  Now I'm going back and forth between button holes or snaps.  What do you think - buttons or snaps?

I am hoping to have the quilt back from the quilter in a couple of weeks.  So you'll have to wait until then to see what I decided.  But feel free to leave suggestions below.

Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Removable Dresden Plate - Part 2

If you missed my first series, you can find the post here.  In that post, we cut and stitched our ties together.  In this post, we'll put on our backing.

If you will recall, this is where we left off with the ties all stitched together.

Now we'll stitch this piece onto our backing.  I chose a lightweight muslin to avoid excess bulk in the points.

You want a muslin piece large enough to accommodate the dresden.  Place the dresden on the muslin right side down.

Very carefully pin your dresden to the muslin.  You don't want a lot of lifting or shifting to avoid puckers in the muslin.  Trim away the excess muslin, so you have a smaller piece with which to work.  Here it is all pinned and trimmed.

Then take it to your machine and start stitching around the perimeter with a scant 1/4" seam.  When you get to the valleys, stop at the seam line where the ties are stitched together.  I couldn't get a close up of this, but if you look closely, you can see my needle right at that seam allowance below.

And this is a close up after it is all stitched.  See how my outer stitch line is right on that seam allowance where the ties are joined?  (bottom right of the pic)

Now trim away the muslin even with your ties.  I have a bit of puckering but not to worry, it won't be a problem once we turn.

Now clip your point very close to the seam allowance but not through it.

And clip those valleys up to the stitch line but not through it.

Now very carefully turn your dresden through the middle hole in the front.

Now use something with a point to poke out those points.  I used the blunt side of this bamboo stick then with very light pressure use it to push out your points.  Don't do this with a lot of pressure, since you could poke a hole right through your work.

Next, give the whole thing a good pressing.  Be sure when you are pressing that your muslin doesn't show on the other side.  You may have to work with this as you are pressing.  Also give the front side a light pressing.

The last thing we'll do in this post is topstitch around the outside edge.

And this is what you should  have now.

In the next series, we'll attach the center circle to cover that hole.  I came up with a really easy way to get a perfect circle with a 1/4" hem.  Stay tuned.

Happy Sunday.