Wednesday, June 29, 2011

easiest dress ever!

 I scored a couple of great thrifted pillow cases a few shopping trips ago for a buck each and recently decided it was time to try some pillowcase dresses for Mad. There are some great tutorials out there, but nothing that was quite what I envisioned. So, I simply cut about 4 inches off each pillowcase on the closed side, made a rolled hem, and used elastic thread to do about 8 rows of shirring a little over a quarter inch apart. The 4 inches I cut off the top left me with the perfect amount of fabric to make ties for the straps. Easy peasy! I didn't have quite enough elastic thread to finish the striped one, but that I'm hoping that that king size pillow case will be like a maxi dress on my girl.

Wanna give it a try? Just go find a pillowcase that will be long enough for your girlie and get to work. Here is a tutorial specifically for shirring with elastic thread, and here is a tutorial for an entirely different project (which I must make soon!) that also has some helpful tips for shirring. 
Have fun!


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

tough boys wear pink!

 I used the tutorial found over at Zaaberry to finally make a boy's muscle shirt for Maximus! I have been wanting to make one since last summer, but just finally got up the courage to give it a try. 

 It is no coincidence that the courage came shortly after I found this Godzilla shirt a on a trip to the Goodwill. I knew at once it had to be turned into something for Max.

Godzilla on pink?! It completely cracks me up!

This photo is included for proof to my husband that it was in fact, a men's shirt. :)

The shirt turned out a little slimmer than I meant for it to, because I used a pajama shirt to trace for the pattern. (Note to self: pajamas are meant to fit more snugly than regular clothes.) But speaking of pattern making, I also found out that paper grocery bags are the perfect size to use for little kid/baby patterns.

 He loves his new "monster" shirt and given that it took about 30 minutes to make, there will definitely be more of these in his summer wardrobe!!


beach trip!

We went on a totally spontaneous beach trip last Sunday, and all had a blast. Though you'd think that since I've lived in Washington all my life, I'd realize that WA beaches are rarely sunny, and definitely not warm. Yet every time I go, I dress as if we're going to be soakin' up the rays, when really what we need are scarves and wetsuits. We only live an hour from the shore, so I just assume that when it's 75 degrees and sunny-bright at our house, it will be the same there. Oh-well, we have fun anyway. Here's the proof! :)

Turns out all this boy needs to have fun is a big pile of sand and a stick!


Friday, June 24, 2011

peasant top from diy maternity

Hehe. These first two photos are courtesy of Madelynn. She's such a good Mommy's helper! Last night I made the maternity peasant top, following this tutorial from diy maternity. All the tutorials there are so well put together with lots of photos. I'm quickly gaining confidence when it comes to sewing for myself, and I'm excited to try more of the patterns and tutorials from that site!

 Starting with this shirt I swiped from my husband's side of the closet (it was only there because I forced him to buy it years ago. He's never been a fan of pearly looking snaps though.)...

 ...I ended up with this totally cute and comfy maternity top. Love it!

The only thing I did differently from the tutorial is the sleeves. Instead of making them more fitted, I just slipped some elastic into the hem. Now my shirt is plenty roomy and because of the snaps, maybe it can also double as a nice and loose nursing top this fall. 


Thursday, June 23, 2011

detail shots

I finally got Maxi to take his "new" jacket off long enough for me to get some better photos of the embroidery. It's SO easy to do it. If you've been dreaming about attacking something with embroidery floss, children's clothing is the way to go. Get creative and have fun!

mama's boy jacket

I am always so inspired by Anna Maria Horner and Jenny Hart and their ability to stitch anything they want on nearly anything they want flawlessly. I often daydream about embroidering random pieces of fabric/upholstery, but always panic at the thought of ruining something perfectly good to begin with it. When I pulled this little jean jacket out of the closet for Maximus a few weeks ago, I've been thinking ever since how cute it would be to embroider it. It took me quite a long time to have an idea that wasn't super girlie though (I can't seem to get Day of the Dead-inspired floral designs out of my head lately), but I finally figured out the perfect design for my sweet little mama's boy. 

And look! He approves! (Tough guy took a serious spill on his bike yesterday and has some road rash on his face to show for it.)

Honestly, I'm not sure why I've been afraid of ruining things all this time. I did mess up a few times and used a seam ripper to tear out my stitches, and you can't even tell. You can almost see in this photo the design I just drew straight on to the jacket with an orange colored pencil. It wasn't just hard to photograph, it was hard to see! I need to find my white sewing pencil thing for next time. Anyway, I have full confidence now that I couldn't have ruined this jacket. Even if the design were a total failure, I could have just ripped out the embroidery floss and tossed in the washer, and no one would be the wiser. Total confidence boost!

 I think this is the best photo I got of the detail. It does actually say "MOM," but I couldn't get a great photo of it with my always-on-the-move two year old! (And he didn't take it off until bedtime).

And look! He's finally mastered big boy undies. This Mama is all kinds of proud!


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

baby knits!

Here are a couple of baby knits I've been working on for my little number 3. The wool soaker is the Milo soaker pattern from Vintage Baby Knits, and has been a work in progress for quite some time. Mostly because I saved it for a doctor's office knit, since the waiting room at my doc's office is a nice and quiet place to fit in a few stitches. I knit it in some Lion Brand Fisherman's wool (which I love!) that I had leftover from Maxi's sweater last Fall. 

I absolutely loved knitting this sweater. I used a Knit Picks cotton, just because it's what I had, and I think it turned out pretty cute. The pattern is Puerperium Cardigan, but I chose to knit it as a pullover since I didn't have enough matching buttons for the whole thing. It is so darling and I can't wait to try it on the babe this fall.

The sweater knit up so fast, it is perfect for a last minute baby gift, and it has instructions for short or long sleeves (I decided on an in-between) so it works for any time of year! I think I might knit up a spare to have on hand. :) I'm also tempted to knit a bunch of the soakers up, but I've never used wool soakers before and am not sure how these ones will fit. Anyone have experience with them or a favorite pattern to share?

And there you have it. Now maybe I can move on to finishing the baby quilt I've been working on since long before this babe was even on his way.


Friday, June 17, 2011

maternity shirt (refashion!)

 I found this bright orange men's extra large muscle tee for just a few bucks a few days ago while I was out shopping, thinking I could try to turn it into this or this, but it turned out to be not quite enough fabric (apparently my belly circumference is a whole lot closer to men's XL than I thought!). So instead I just cut it up and played around with it, until it turned into this:

It's not exactly how I imagined it at first, and there are a few funny puckers around the belly and on the back straps where I put some shirring, but overall I think I surprised myself. I'm pretty sure I'll be trying this again with a few thrifted T-shirts I have to see if using a thinner jersey material will help make it more flowy and less puckery.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

I made a purse!

Way back in November, my Aunt sent me one of her husband's ACU shirts from Germany and a link to this website for inspiration. I'm still not sure why I told her I could make her a purse from his uniform. I had never made a handbag before and didn't have a pattern for one that seemed fitting for this material. Also, do you know how hard it is to cut into ACU? I went through rotary blade just on this project, even though the shirt was worn thin in spots. I couldn't imagine trying to cut up a new one! But all that aside, this probably has be the project I'm most proud of to date.
I finished it in December, after procrastinating when I realized how much this would challenge my sewing skills. But I didn't blog about it back then, because I wanted to make sure a) she really liked it first and b) that it wouldn't fall apart the first time she used it. I'm glad I waited to show you all, because it looks WAY better now that she's used it and put all his patches on it.
I just made up my own pattern for the bag based on the size she wanted, and the size that would be most logical. I used the front of the shirt for the front of the purse, which put some great pockets and the name tapes right on the front. I wish I'd have been brave enough to put a zipper into the purse, but I think I would have needed a stronger machine, or at least way bigger needle. The fabric is seriously so tough! But I found some large snaps that match the look of the bag, and work just fine.
I used the shoulder pockets for the sides of the purse, which worked perfectly for the dimensions of the bag, and just sewed a single strap. Which I love! I was so happy to see that she came over using it, as I was a little worried at first that my maybe I was way over my head with ambition that didn't match my actual skill level. Yay! that it hasn't fallen apart. :)
I'm definitely not itching to make more of these anytime soon, but I am so glad I made this one. It really makes you stop and think when you're holding a shirt in your hands that has been to places you can't imagine going. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

what a lovely week!

This weekend marks the end of a busy, but fantastic week. We welcomed some family members "home" after living in Germany for the last three and a half years, though they won't actually be to their new home until their drive over to the mid-west in a few weeks. My kiddos played with (second) cousins they didn't even know they had, and Mad got her wish for a sleepover (finally!!) for three nights in a row. We came to the realization that we'll have to begin to prepare for this babe growing inside me sometime in the next few months, otherwise it will end up sleeping in a drawer somewhere. ;) (The bigger my belly grows, the older my babes on the outside seem too.) Maxi has started speaking in full sentences (mostly about robots and robot-bunnies), and Mad has learned to ride a bike (without training wheels!). She then proceeded to ride a a whole mile the same day and has since earned some pretty sweet "bike-riding blisters" on her thumbs to show for it (we credit the "balance bike" method for her quick learning). 

But it turns out baby-growing requires more energy than I have left, so I'm going to follow this lovely week with a weekend full of nothing but knitting and napping. Hope you have a restful one, too! 


this moment.

inspired by SouleMama.