Archive for the ‘Crafty!’ Category

Tutorial Tuesday – The Market Skirt

Welcome to my first Tutorial Tuesday!

I’ve been thinking about how I want to proceed with this. I could completely rehash the tutorial and show you step-by-step. I could just show you the finished product. …or I could do a little bit of both and a little bit of neither.

That’s what I will do.

So, each week I will generously link the author and the tutorial to this site.  I will also show you some pics I took, a little commentary, and some of my dos and don’ts.  The tutorial author’s pics are WAY better and some of these tutorials are lengthy! This way, you just get to laugh at my failures and get a huge self-esteem boost about your own skill level. 😉

This week, I present to you… THE MARKET SKIRT!

I know. It’s ridiculously cute.


So, I went to Hobby Lobby this week to buy some fabric.  I found a pretty cute plaid that I thought would be perfect for this and I looked for some white cotton that was pretty opaque. (Originally, I wasn’t going to double the white.)
I rushed home to start my project.

Task  #1 — resize pattern to fit 12 month sizing.

Since the kiddo was asleep, I used a pair of her 12 month pants to estimate her waist.  It worked well. I did add an extra inch to the waistline for sewing allowance. (17 total inches for the elastic)

With the computer in hand, I tried to understand what Dana was saying about the measurements. I got confused at first because she kept saying length and I was thinking vertically (as in the length of the finished skirt).  She meant the length of the fabric (which I think of as WIDTH… how wide the skirt is.) After a LOT of staring, I came up with these measurements for a 12 month size :

Waistband fabric length (width) – 12.75 in x 3.5 in
Skirt fabric length (width) –  21 in x 5 in
Hem fabric length (width) – 25.5 in x 2.5 in(I will do 3 next time)

Then, I cut out my fabric.  I followed her advice and doubled the white.
TIP (What I will do next time): I will cut (at least the hem piece) on the FOLD and I probably won’t hem it. Probably I’ll just stitch a top stitch to keep it creased.

Then, I followed the tutorial for sewing the skirt.  It was pretty well explained and simple. Although, my machine tried to eat my fabric. We had a tug of war. It won.

Now, I didn’t use my serger/overlocker to serge the fabric.  I attempted a different stitch on my sewing machine.  That said, if I choose not to bust out the ol’ temperamental serger, I will ZIG ZAG my fabric.  I did that with my pockets and it was much cleaner and neater than the other stitch I tried.

The dress was pretty simple to make.
Oh yeah — you know how they tell you that you can “cheat” the gathering of the dress by adjusting your tension all the way? Well, my sewing machine didn’t gather it so well, so I will have to do the “traditional” way from now on. Lesson learned.

Now, the pocket… well, I learned a lot.


The Gathered Pocket Tutorial.

Things I have learned about the pocket tutorial:

1. Make sure you leave enough space for the buttonhole (which is bigger than the button) and the band/gathers. I didn’t and I didn’t have quite the space.
2. Make sure you are well acquainted with your buttonhole maker. This was my first time with mine on my new machine. We have a learning curve.
3. My pocket seemed too big/wide for my skirt.  So I “pleated” it.
4. Maneuvering my needle around the pocket was difficult, so my pocket wasn’t perfect. I also sewed my button onto my pocket and sewed the pocket closed. My girl is only a year old so the pocket was only for the look.

Final thoughts:

*After washing, my skirt was REALLY wrinkled.  I talked to my grandma and she said that the softer cottons (think pima) are more forgiving in the wash. So, keep that in mind while shopping, unless you love ironing tiny skirts.
* I would make my hem piece a little longer and I wouldn’t hem (note earlier opinion). That way, pressing would be easier and it would have a cleaner look.
* I will make sure my pocket is perfect. This one, I became impatient.

Well, I hope this inspires someone else to try it! I’m sure you’ll do better than I will!

Next week: I will make a dress out of one of my old shirts and some scrap material! (Low budget!)


My sewing must-haves.

In light of Tutorial Tuesday tomorrow, I wanted to list a few of my essentials for sewing.


Right now I’m into the “Heart” Radio. There’s nothing like sewing while listening to Aerosmith, Kansas, Heart, Pat Benatar, and Journey!

Oh yeah, and things like…

Good scissors
Straight Pens
a little container for holding pins (or a pin cushion)
a fabric marking pen
measuring tape and a ruler


My new project!

Are you like me and like going through all the crafty blogs?

Places like…
Make It and Love It
Dana Made It
Made By Rae
…and others?

Well I do.  I love them. They have all these fabulous tutorials that I always think about doing.

Now, I’m not a great seamstress. I get impatient and I make a lot of mistakes.  I’m also just learning.  I know that I do diaper bags, burp cloths, and stuff, but the bags were taught to me by my grandma (who is AMAZING) and the other stuff is just a straight stitch. I want to learn how to become a great seamstress, though.

Why do I think sewing is important?

Well, I want my little girl to proudly say (or in a few years, groan) that “Mama made this.”
I think sewing is a lost art. Don’t believe me? Go look for fabric.
It gets me focused on something other than baking. Sewing is way less fattening.
… and I like being crafty.
(She’s crafty! And she’s just my type! Sorry. Beastie boys reference.)

So, I am going to tackle these tutorials and I will call it
Tutorial Tuesday.

Every Tuesday, I will display a tutorial I have attempted to tackle.  You’ll get to see me in all my messed up glory.  I’ll let you know if you can tackle it too. This way, I’ll learn what I like and I can perfect the ones I really loved to do.

Preview: This Tuesday, I will tackle “the Market Skirt”!

I can’t wait to show you! (Well, I can wait. Until Tuesday.)

10,000 Views. Wow.

I can’t believe that I have 10,000 site views!

Honestly, I know that’s a modest amount compared to some, but I can’t believe people want to read what I have to write. Thank you!

As a gift to you, I want to give you a little something. As you already know, I like to sew and be crafty.  I make diaper bags, although they could be used as a large tote.  I can also make Birthday Banners, bows, and more!

Option #1 – Diaper Bag/tote – you can let me know the kind of colors you like!*

Option #2 – Surprise Option/you choose! – So what if you don’t want a bag? What if you want a birthday banner or some bows? Maybe you’re a guy and you want something else?  Option #2 allows you and I to talk and figure something out! 😉

To enter – all you have to do is leave a message telling me what you would like – give me details!  (colors, theme, etc) If you post the giveaway on twitter or facebook, leave a separate post for each. (So, if you comment, mention on facebook and mention on twitter… that’s 3 posts in my comments area.)

Again- you don’t have to be a mama to win this! You can win it for someone else, you can use the bag as a tote for your stuff or your computer (I know people who use it for this!) or whatever you want.

*Keep in mind, colors are subjective to fabric availability.  If you don’t know exactly what you want, I can make you whatever I think is cool or I can let you know what I have to choose from!

I will choose a winner March 9.

(I WILL be in the middle of a move, though, so give me a wee bit of grace!)

Good luck!

I want to give you something.

Okay, I’m getting close to 10,000 views on this thing!

When I get there, I want to give you a little present!

I’m going to do a giveaway.  It’s an opportunity to win a bag that sells for $60! Or, you can choose to get something else.

Yep. I want to do this for you.


Snow Day Project – Birthday Banner!

I’ll admit– I’m both sad and excited for my little Bluebelle to turn one.

I’ll also admit that I feel a little like a bad mama.  I don’t write her monthly letters or anything like that.  I don’t plan on making a huge production for her first birthday. I’m sometimes afraid that she got a defective Mama. Ha. I think of it, but I don’t get to it.  I’m just good to keep up with her baby book!

Even though her first birthday will mainly be family (and a few friends), I want it to be chock full of love and simplicity. I’m still trying to decide if I’ll make her cake or not, and I want her decorations to be homemade and reusable (for both financial and eco-friendly reasons).  I also just love how homemade things look!

I stumbled upon See Mommy Sew’s website while searching for a way to make a birthday banner for my Bluebelle and fell in love with the simplicity of this project.  I thought you might want to make one, too!

Yes, I’m aware that her birthday is 2 months away, but since we’re moving and everything else is going on, I wanted to complete this project before we moved!

Supplies needed:
Fabric (use what you have.  If you want to buy one of those packs of 5 18″x21″ rectangles of fabric, one pack will do quite nicely.)
Bias tape (I used single fold narrow.  I think mine was 8 yards, but I had excess left over.)
Felt (if you make 3×4 inch letters, you’ll need 2 -3 of the swatches)
Sewing machine
Template (shown)

I bought way too much fabric, but I’m planning to use the striped fabric in some other projects, so it’s not a loss. 🙂

I began by making a template (I used cardboard from a notebook).  I used SMS’s measurements and I made a 4×9 triangle to use on the fold.

You’ll need 26 triangles (front and back) to write “Happy Birthday.”  I made 30 because I was on a roll. Oops.
I’ll just add them to the “Happy” part of the banner.

I then cut out the letters in felt.  I made 3×4 inch blocks and then I freehanded the letters out of that.  It helped me keep the letters consistent.

Then I mapped out my colors and letters to get an idea of what it would look like.

Then I sewed the felt letters onto the triangle. I started with an applique stitch, but I quickly realized I would STILL be sewing.  I’ll save that for one of baby girl’s clothes!  So, I just used a zig zag stitch for a little pizzazz! (You could use a straight stitch if you wanted.)


Then, I sewed the triangles’ front and backs wrong sides together.  Yes, I know this creates a raw edge, but I like it.  I may go back and pink the edges, but my pinking shears are MIA and I’ll have to buy a new pair if this is what I want to do. I also wanted my fronts and backs to be different from each other.

Then, I pinned the finished pennants to the bias tape.  I didn’t do anything special with the tape.  Actually, I’m sure you could even use ribbon or something if you would rather.  I just laid the tape on top, pinned it, and started sewing with a wide zig zag stitch.

When that’s done, you’re done!  Super easy!

I can’t wait to use this again and again! Hopefully, I can find some other projects to add to the birthday festivities!

Enjoy! Let me know if you make one too!

A fun & easy craft – Baby Legwarmers!

I’ve decided to share a SUPER easy craft I’ve been into lately: Leg Warmers!!

I love and adore leg warmers.  1. They are super cute. 2. They keep little legs warm.  3. They can be layered under summery clothes to get more use out of them. 4. They make diaper changes SO much easier.  I’m a lazy changer… after the 4th or 5th diaper change, I am totally annoyed by the 800 snaps on my daughter’s pants.

There’s only one problem.

They’re about $10 bucks a pair.

So, I’ve looked up on how to make my own.  It’s super easy … all you need is the following:

1. Knee socks (or crew, but they’ll take an extra step)
2. A sewing machine
3. Scissors and Thread

Step one:  Cut the knee socks above the heel.

Cut knee socks above the heel

Step 2: Turn sock inside out and fold over 1 inch (or whatever length you like). Sew with a zig zag stitch.  I prefer a large zig zag at a #4 length.

Tug on ends of finished project to tighten up!

… and that’s it! All done!

I’ve made about 5! All for the price of ONE pair of Baby Legs!

Finished Project!

And to let you know how it looks… my little model!

My Little Pumpkin!

I hope this inspires you to make your own!  If not… I’m more than willing to make some for you at a good price. 😀

Happy Wednesday!