Friday, April 4, 2014

Summer Skirts Part 2

Here is Miss M modeling one of her new skirts that she wore to school yesterday. She managed to wear a long skirt, tank and cardi and not look like a tiny version of an old lady. This is actually a pretty good combination. Except the shoes of course but hey have to wear comfy shoes to school. And apparently we are going shoe shopping later.

She loved all the skirts I made her. Actually she LOVES this one and really really likes the other ones, to quote her more exactly.

Here is today's outfit. A little more casual and laid back. She said that since it is the day before spring break she wanted something "vacation-y". I think the flip flop T-shirt conveys a feeling of vacation. The palm trees help too. She wore sandals today since she does not have P.E., well I hope she doesn't who can keep all that crap straight?

This skirt was made using the same fleece pattern. I sewed this one on my regular old sewing machine. However I did sew all seams with a teeny tiny zig zag stitch. If you sew a stretch fabric with a straight stitch the stitches will break when the fabric tries to stretch. I could have used the serger but my serger needs a tune up and I was just not in the mood to fight with it. And this is the only one I cut out single layer. It was just too difficult to tame to do double layer.

The waistband of this skirt is simple exposed elastic. It is a cool blue and black stripe-y elastic, but solid colors look cute this way too.

To attach the waistband you just sew the elastic into a circle. Then you sew the elastic onto the skirt right sides together using a zig zag stitch and then flip up your elastic and wow you have a cute skirt!

More summer clothes are in the works! But next week is Spring Break so don't worry too much of you don't hear from me for a bit.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Summer Skirts, Part 1

Summer is here! We pretty much skipped spring. So if you live in the south you know that you get about 3 days between when you turn off the heat and turn on the air conditioner. And they are the same three days where you have the heat on in the car in the morning and the AC on in the car in the afternoon.

I have had "make skirts for M" on my to do list since November. I made her one back in November when it was still oddly warm and then it got cold and I let them languish on the list for a few months.

Back in September she got a cute little maxi skirt at a store. And while I love it I realized that is so crazy easy I could totally make her one of those. So I did and now she has a total of 5, 3 of which I made yesterday.

Here is the first one.

Made in November hence the boots and sweatshirt. This skirt was well loved all winter and I think she even played in the snow with it on one day. 

The 2nd one I don't have a picture of. So here are some pictures of us shopping for fabric.

Look at all that fun elastic! 
Where's M?

I can't seem to find her!?

Fun Fur!
Ok back to skirts. So I took her store bought skirt and laid it out on a piece of fleece. I traced it and added a seam allowance to make the basic skirt pattern. I used fleece because I have a ton and it is cheep. But I like it for a simple pattern like this because it sticks to your fabric and you don't need pins. Since the fabric I was using to make the skirts is knit and is temperamental it was nice to have an easy to deal with pattern material.

M and I have much different taste. But if we have to pick something for each other we can always do it spot on. She loves wearing white. She looks great in it but then she runs and jumps and plays in the dirt. And well her white stuff turns playground worn fast.

Such is life! I like the giant butterflies with the smaller butterflies on top, but I would not have necessarily chosen this for myself, however I would choose it for her all day long.

Some people just have a style and a palette. I used to fight it and try and do something different or encourage her to do something different but I gave up that battle. You love what you love.

Someone once asked me "Isn't it exhausting to be that bold all the time?". My answer to this day is NO! It is just how I roll, and I would guess that M would say the same thing. I am proud of her for being bold and sticking to her guns even when I don't love what she picks. However you do have to stick to the butt and boobies covered rule! I do have some limits.

This is the pattern laid out on one of fashion fabrics that M picked.

This fabric is slick. I think it is a poly blend but is stretchy and fun and will be nice for our suddenly warm weather.

For this particular skirt I did a waistband. Basically I cut a strip of fabric and encased the elastic in the band. The elastic was 1.5 inches wide so I doubled it and added .5 inch on both sides for seam allowance, so you cut a 4 inch wide band, the length of the waist of the skit. Then I attached the band (with the elastic inside) to the body of the skirt.

I did this skirt on the serger but I did the other two on my good old regular sewing machine. I will explain in Summer Skirts part 2 how I sewed the different types of knits.

See how the waistband looks nice and finished. This is exactly how the store bought one looks.

I saw them again and was almost sucked in. Then I made myself go home and make them.

Funny thing is that the store bought cost and the homemade cost are almost exactly the same. But it is pretty fun to pick out your own fabrics and make it fit just right.

I have some plans to make some similar skirts for myself.

Speaking of which I would rather be sewing than typing. So Peace Out! For now....


Monday, March 10, 2014

Chair, covered in chairs

We have been re-doing the house because of the burst pipe. We are finally finished with the walls and all the important stuff. But making some of it all new and nice made the parts that were left look old and sad and dirty.

We have decided to replace all the sad and old with the new and colorful.

My husband bought this chair as part of a set about 10 years ago. We have two of these chairs, two ottomans, a couch and a love seat. One of the chairs has been designated as Mama's comfy chair.

I have set it up as a little reading / working nook. Got myself a nice lamp and a basket to keep all my stuff in.

I could still use some more storage to make this a real work area. But I decided to go ahead and make this chair not look so sad. Fortunately the stains do not photograph as obvious as they are in reality.

 I wanted to just pop the bottom off and staple the fabric on for both the chair and the ottoman.  But the screws were pretty much stripped and would not let me do that.

Because I ran into this problem, I decided to go ahead and make a slipcover. The advantage of a slipcover is that I can take it off and wash it. Since it does have a white background I decided this was the best approach even if it meant it was more work to complete.

Getting this project done has been on my to-do list for about a month. And never letting it get to the top was not making me happy. Therefore I was determined to be able to cross it off by the end of the day today.

Look how much more cheerful this chair looks now. And it is funny a chair covered in chairs! This fabric is from Ikea and was only about $5.00 a yard.

The back pillow was the easiest part, strangely. I put a zipper in the bottom of the cover and smooched the original pillow into the new cover.

For the bottom of the chair and the ottoman I made just some easy pull on covers. The weirdest spot was were the arms meet the chair cushion. It is a tight squeeze, but I managed to wiggle it on there and get it all setteled.

Now my comfy chair is not only comfy but is also cheerful and is on the list of my favorite spots in our house.

There are lots more things that I want to spruce up and get off my to do list. But I am happy as I check this project off.

Peace Out - C

p.s. even with all the problems this project took me about 4 hours to complete. Sometimes the hardest part is deciding what to start on.


Monday, March 3, 2014

Just Keep Swimming .....

Is it just me or is 2014 a bit of a dud so far? I could go down my laundry list of all the crap I have been weeding through, but frankly that is just boring. I have gotten two good pieces of advise lately.
1. "Chaos is normal, embrace it and keep going." Both my Uncle Ted and mt neighbor Jay told me this one.
2.  "It is just awfully hard to be a human!" this nugget from another neighbor, Lore.

In addition to talking to my neighbors to try and cheep myself up, I have been reading "The Happiness Project" by  Gretchen Rubin. Amazingly her book is all about the small stuff. And it is starting to help me better organize my thoughts.

So I am boiling all this down to what a wise fish named Dori once said "Just keep swimming...". In my effort to swim today I made a to do list. Man is it long! And most of the items on it are as dull as dirt. But I am going to try something new. Instead of focusing on the task. I am going to focus on how good I will feel as I check each item (write blog post) off! And I have snuck in a few fun items (make more clothes for myself). I am keeping my list electronically so that I can easily move things around or click the completed tab and see what I have managed to get done.

Adding to the funk of 2014 I have let myself get a little fluffy around the edges. Which yes I need work on reducing. But in the mean time I need to have a few cute spring clothes that will help me get through and make me feel a little better. So the first thing I have made myself is a t-shirt.

I bought this lovely teal slub cotton about 3 years ago. It has been in my "personal stash" cubby that whole time. Every now and then I would pull it out and look at it and wait for it to speak to me. And last week it finally did! If you have been following me for a while you may recognize the shape of this shirt. Yes I made it with my all time favorite pattern. The pattern is from the book Sew Liberated by Meg McElwee. Click here for other versions I have made. I have also extended this pattern into a dress at least twice.

I have to say I am glad I have never cut the paper and that I just trace this pattern. This time I made it in a bigger size but took some out of the sleeve. It has a generous sleeve and I decided this time around I just don't need all that fluff to add to my own fluff.

I used a tiny tiny zig zag for the seams, since it needs to stretch. To add a little decorative flair, I went over the arm seams with a large zig zag.

I did the same at the hem. Two rows of tiny zig zag with a large one in-between. The peasant style shirt is really my favorite shirt of all. It is always flattering, stylish and comfortable. Another bonus is that they are inexpensive to make. This one cost me less than $10.00 total (the book paid for itself long ago). I love the tops like this they carry at Sundance but my budget does not allow such extravagance. Additionally it is crazy eazy to sew. I have plans to make a few more. Some with this 3/4 sleeve and maybe some shorter. I whipped up this one in under an hour.

I am going to happily check off "write blog post" and keep on swimming through the rest of today. What are you up to? Would love to hear from you about sewing or life!

Peace Out -

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Getting a little bit done is better than nothing......

At least that is what I keep telling myself. I was supposed to be doing a whole series on things that I made for me. After my last post I made a flannel shirt that I decided that I do not like at all. It is just not flattering so I am not going to show you but it will make a cozy pj top. I also made myself a comfy flannel night gown.

While they are not that exciting they are warm which is what I need these days. It is cold and we are basically just sitting here waiting for the ice storm to hit us tonight. Fortunately we got our gas fire place working today and we have a gas stove so if the power goes out we should not freeze to death.

Since we are having to remodel the first floor (because of the burst pipe) I am looking at many parts of the house. I am going to paint just about everything. And a lot of our furniture is crap, but the best I can do is recover or make slip covers for some of them.

This is one of our dining room chairs. It is gray and  blah and has a bunch of stains. And not too surprising they were dirty when I took the seat out I had to clean up all the wood.

It is amazing what a difference a little bit of fabric makes. And chairs on a chair just cracks me up! For ages I have been saying that for someone who works with fabric we have remarkably little fabric around the house. Well folks I think that is bout to change. I am going to do all these chairs. And I have a different chair print for my cozy nook chair.

Next I need to pick out fabric for my couches and possibly some curtains! Crazy!

The kid is home today because we are apparently about to get hit with "Snowpocolypse, round 2". But nothing so far. She just went to play at the neighbor's so I better take this chance to go work on my chairs before she gets back. Apparently the sound the stape gun makes, makes her crazy.

But in good old snow day fashion we have already done the school work that they sent home, made some crafts, watched a little TV and baked cookies. Lord I hope they get back to school at some point this week!

Just in case you wanted to see them, here are the cookies....

Cake mix batter, rolled in sprinkles and baked. Super easy and Marion and her friend had fun making them.

Hope you stay safe and warm.
Peace Out

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Made Myself... An Anything Organizer (for sewing supplies)

Today starts my new blog series call "Made Myself..." It is going to be all about the things I make for myself. Yeah!

Tomorrow I am heading to Camp Misty Mountain to be all girl scout leader-y for the weekend. The nice thing is that it is an all adults trip and my awesome co-leader Amanda is coming this year. The down side is that it is camping in January. Even though we will be in cabins, with projected lows of 19ish I will be packing lots of tea and sweaters and scarfs and well you get it.

We got to pick what activities we do this weekend. And me being me, I choose all crafts all the time. While packing up all my goodies for all my crafty classes I was like "why don't I have something that holds all this crap?" (If you know me you know that crap is my universal word for everything and I am working on just accepting such things about myself). I travel with this crap for classes and events (like this weekend) way too often to not have something better than a plastic bag or a tote bag with all this floating loose in it.

In answer to the eternal crap question, I made an organizer. I made one a couple of weeks ago as a sample for a class but it is living over at Sheepish right now and I think may end up with a permanent home there.

I started with three fat quarters and an idea.  I pulled out all the stuff I wanted to organize aka carry around.

Scissors, a chop stick, rotary cutter, pins, clothes pins etc.....

I figured out that the longest thing was the chop stick. Essential for turning things inside out and poking corners.

And I figured out that the widest things are my easy hem and button guage.

I did not take a good picture of the process but I laid everything out and drew on my pockets based on what I wanted to put in said pockets.

Then I sewed the top lager of pockets to the bottom layer (gray to red shown here) and then sewed the red layer down to the backing fabric.

I also wanted to have a flap to cover everything and a way for that flap to be held down so I added a loop of elastic and a button. Here is how it looks open.

Here is how it looks with the flap closed. Everything all snug and secure.

Did I mention that I used 3 fat quarters and two layers of interfacing?

I wanted this organizer to be stiff like a notebook. So there is interfacing on the backing and inside some of the pockets.

The outside also has pockets foe things that I might need to access easily and a large pocket on the back to hold a notebook. The closure is velcro.

This weekend will be a test run of actually using it, and I hope it is as handy as I planned for it to be.

Now... what should I make next for myself?

Peace Out Peeps!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Back in the blog again.

Oh you poor sad neglected blog!! 

I posted this picture so you would cut me some slack. Well and maybe so that I will cut myself a little. I could go on and on about all the boring drama I have been dealing with and why I have not been writing in ye old blog. But who wants to read a whiny list?

So lets move on to fun plans! 
- Paint. I have needed / wanted to paint for years and now I have to so lets do this.
- Tile. My 2nd floor bathroom's wood floor also got destroyed so I have to replace it. I am thinking tile. And while I am at it I am replacing the tile a few other places in the house. You know so it looks like we planned it that way. 

January was supposed to be the month of ME. Is it karma telling me I don't deserve time to re-group?  Part of me says yes, but another part of me says crap happens! Put on your big girl pants and deal! So the remaining bit of January and all of February are going to be "The Month of ME!"

I am going to do the projects I want to do. And not just because they might make me some money. Well ok I will make some headbands, but I have not made them in a while and I do want to make them. I am actually going to make some things for myself!! Like I really want a big comfy flannel nightgown. It has been stinking cold and all I want to do is stay home in my jammies. Well why not be cute and comfy?

Any way... I hope you are having a resolute January. And that you are getting some crap done!! 

I plan to be back in action and blogging more fun projects. Lets just hope life quits getting in my way. 

Peace out peeps! 

- C