Monday, July 29, 2013

The Laura Ingalls Dress

When we were little, our church would have an 'old fashioned Sunday.' There would be a pig roast, potato sack races, and other fun activities. People would dress up in old-fashioned clothes. And did I mention the pig roast part? Because that was the best part. That and the fact that you could go through the potluck line by yourself, without parental supervision, and take just about anything you wanted. Including all manor of food stuffs suspended in Jello and giant self-serve coolers of KoolAid. But I digress. One year, my mom made me a Laura Ingalls dress. I loved it. I think I am even wearing it in my school picture, sans bonnet. Fast forward a few years or 25, and now my little girl is wearing it. She loves this dress! The other day the kids were playing pioneers in the backyard and she got dressed up to collect the eggs. I would say that Mom's time and effort in making this dress was worth it! 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Quick and Simple Project

This project was so simple it almost shouldn't qualify. I adopted a giant lard can from my parents. I thought it was cool and originally we used it as a nightstand. At some point, I turned it into a laundry hamper. The only problem was that the inside was a bit rusty and I kept reminding myself to make a liner for it. The fabric was given to me by a friend who brought it back from a missions trip to Kenya. I have no idea what type of fabric it is, some type of cotton but it is so nice and drapey but not flimsy. Whatever it is, it worked nicely for this and is a fun reminder of our friend and her trips to Kenya.

(Airing our dirty laundry! ha!!!)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Simplicity 2907 Boys Shirt

 A few months ago I stumbled upon this awesome twill robot fabric at Joanns. It is such a nice weight and the print is really fun. I bought it thinking that would make my youngest some overall shorts out of it. But apparently, people don't sew for boys and it was nigh on to impossible to find a decent overall pattern. I made this shirt instead and it will get longer use anyhow. I made it pretty much exactly as directed (shock!!) and I am happy to say that this was my best attempt so far at a collar.

A while back I saw a dress with mis-matched buttons and I have been wanting to do that ever since. I figured this was a good project to try it out! The fabric has a lot going on and I wasn't sure if it would be over the top. And it is. But so is the kid wearing it so I am OK with that. :)

I appliqued a wool felt robot peeking out of the pocket. It's hard to tell, but he has free-moving rick rack arms. Yes! I can even work rick rack into a project for boys. Thus is the depth of my skillz sickness. My only beef with this pattern is that the sleeves seem a little bit full to me and I am either going to a) press the heck out of them to get them to lay flat (as opposed to slightly poofy) or b) rip 'em out and trim them down a little. Other than that, it is a nice pattern to work with.

And the recipient is very happy!! 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Constellation Miette Skirt

I have a closet full of dresses. There's nothing wrong with that but I felt like I needed to branch out and expand my wardrobe in a new direction. I have no idea how I happened upon the Miette Skirt pattern from Tilly and the Buttons ( but I'm so glad that I can buy it here by the way ;)
I had great intentions of wearing this on the 4th of July and taking wonderful pictures in it with the cows out at the ranch...the skirt is red, white and blue and covered in stars BUT when I walked out of the house that morning cotton felt too hot so I chickened out and wore performance gear instead.

Now that July is almost half over, I thought it was time to finally take some pictures. Nothing quite worked out as intended for these shots but you get the idea.
One of my favorite features of the skirt and a very necessary one, is the overlapping fabric in the back. It keeps things from getting scandalous when the wind blows which it does all the time here in Texas. Also, the pockets on the front have a hint of ease to make it easier to put your hands and keys or whatever else into.   

At the last minute I sewed a funny label into the waistband thus the double line of red stitches on the bottom. It makes me laugh every time I see it.

I think what really pulls the skirt together is the red piping along the pockets and the red top stitching. As it was all coming together I kept catching myself giggling because I was smitten with the color/pattern/piping combo and knew it was going to turn out perfectly!
The skirt is very easy to sew, doesn't require any buttons or zippers and sizing is forgiving. I've been looking for a wrap skirt like this for years and I LOVE how my first one turned out. My serger made finishing the seams quick and easy and the only modifications I did was to make a narrower hem on the edges and bottom of the skirt. This pattern is worth every penny! I think my next version will be in a dark denim or light chambray with redrafted or inseam pockets. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

VBS: My Excuse For Not Sewing

I miss my sewing machine. A lot. This week I intend to rekindle our relationship and fire it up! The following pictures will explain why I haven't had any time to sew:

This is the castle we built for our VBS Kingdom Chronicles. The castle is made of 4' by 6' sheets of cardboard, two 100' rolls of stone printed aisle runner and copious amounts of hot glue. She stands strong at about 12 ' high on either side. The ladies in the picture were a big help in making my crazy ideas become reality!

The dragon..oh,the dragon, it almost killed me.

This beast took every bit of my meager 3-dimensional skills. It is made of cardboard, hot glue, various recycled containers, tin foil, electrical wire, felt, spray paint (4 cans to be exact), window screen, paper clay, newspaper, deco mesh, corrugated bulletin board trim, straight pins, a tomato sauce box, a floral vase and a string of lights. I am sure there is stuff I am forgetting, but you get the point: it is made of junk. But the eye lights up! 

These are the stained glass window panels. They are made with black paper, tissue paper squares and contact paper. The picture doesn't really capture how bright and cheery they are. 

The kids seem to love the decorations, including the dragon which is good considering my own kid is petrified of it. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Child's Artwork Embroidered Tote Bag

My son had the best teacher for 1st grade this year. I wanted to do something special for her but time was limited and I was stumped. Then I thought of a project I've been wanting to try for a while: turning my kids' artwork into something useful and fun. Except my original idea involved hand embroidery. I decided to 'embroider' it instead on my machine, using the triple stretch stitch. The stretch part is unnecessary but I chose it because it is a wider, thicker stitch that would show up nicely. I stitched the birdcage part of the drawing on wool felt first, then cut the bird out and sewed it on. The whole patch is sewn onto the tote using my machine's blanket stitch. The tote is made of a pair of jeans, lined with some pretty cotton I've been holding on to for a while. His teacher was thrilled with it, and I must say I want to make one for myself now.