Archive | July 2012

Funny Child Oufit

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One of the movies that I always catch myself watching when it is on tv is Dirty Dancing. I had to have a little fun crafting, so I made this onesie for my littlest. She wasn’t fond of me taking her picture, but I think that made it even cuter!

If you are interested in this funny onesie, visit my Facebook page Bobbin’ Along!

 

Sundress Tutorial

After making my shirred, pocket skirt my prima ballerina begged for me to make her an outfit. Of course, it was always something I was going to do, but she kept at it every day…”Mom!! Make me a dress!!!”

I thought about what would be a good dress to make and explain here, so I’m going to make a simple sundress with buttons on the back and ties to tighten at the waist. This will be an easy dress to make for relatively new sewers. It didn’t take long to make it, and it turned out super cute.

my oldest in her new dress

my oldest in her new dress

My daughter wears size 6 in girls, so I’ll be going off of that, but here is a link to measurements for all sorts of sizes. The only thing it doesn’t include is the length of the dress, and for that I just measured from her shoulder to where I wanted the dress to end-just below her knee.

MATERIALS

  •  1 1/4 yard of fabric
  •  5/8″ ribbon in coordinating color of fabric
  •  Double fold bias tape in same color as ribbon
  •  Thread
  •  2 buttons

MEASUREMENTS AND CUTS

Bodice

  1. I took a dress she currently has, and I measured the bodice height. It came out to 6″ finished. I like using current clothing to help me find what will fit my children. Add 1 inch for seam allowance, so I have 7″.
  2. I took my girl’s chest measurement (from the chart) and got 22″ and added 1 inch for seam allowance-giving me 23″.
  3. I cut out 2 rectangle pieces at 7″ x 23″.

Skirt part

  1. I took her waist measurement (26″) and multiplied by 1.5 so that I can have a gathered effect on the skirt part making 39″.
  2. I measured from her shoulder to just below the knee which was 25″. Because we are doing straps, I subtracted 2″, making the end length 23″.
  3. Since I will be using bias tape for the hem, I don’t need to add anything for the bottom hem, but I added a half inch for the top seam that meets with the bodice.
  4. The height of the skirt will be 17.5″ because I took the total finished length 23, subtracted the bodice finished length 6″, and added half an inch for seam allowance = 17.5″.
  5. Now I measure and cut one rectangle 17.5″ x 39″.
cut fabric

cut fabric

Ribbon

  1. Cut 1 length of ribbon at 44″. This will be for the waistband.
  2. Cut 4 lengths of ribbon at 10-12″.  This will be for the straps and will be tied like a bow, so if you want bigger bows, cut 12″.

“PREPPING”

Skirt

  1. Pin bias tape on the bottom hem

    pinned bias tape hem

    pinned bias tape hem

  2. Sew hem
  3. With nice sides facing in (you see bad side), pin sides together so that the skirt is closed and the bias tape hem is on the bottom. Sew side using zig zag stitch.

    side of skirt pinned with bias tape hem on bottom

    side of skirt pinned with bias tape hem on bottom

Bodice

  1. Face the nice sides of the fabric towards each other.
  2. I started in the middle of the pieces on the top.  This will be the front center of the bodice.  Since I decided to have the top of the front be 6 inches finished, I measured 3 1/4″ on either side (included 1/4″ seam allowance).
  3. I then went on both sides and measured 3 1/2″.

    bodice measurements (yellow is the fabric)

  4. With the arm holes, I took a bowl (or you could do a cup if you need smaller circles) and made a semi circle between the two measurements.  I repeated the same on the other side to get the other arm hole.

    bowl for arm holes

    bowl for arm holes

  5. Cut fabric.

    bodice pieces cut out

    bodice pieces cut out

  6. Pin fabric, leaving the bottom open (this will be attached to the skirt).
  7. Take the 4@10-12″ ribbons.  These will be the shoulder straps.  Put them inside the two pieces of fabric because once you sew them on, they will be shown with the “nice sides”.  As shown in the picture, two of the strips are in the middle for the front, and one of the strips are on either side that will end as the back straps.  Pin these so they are straight up and down and will be sewn into the seam.  I like to put the ribbon a little further from the seam so that it gives a square look to the top. You can see in the close up picture of my daughter the squared edges when you put the ribbons further from the seam.
    bodice with ribbon straps pinned

    bodice with ribbon straps pinned

    my beauty

    squared edges on top

  8. Sew seams at 1/4″.
  9. Flip inside out and you will see the straps coming out of the fabric.

COMBINING

  1. Gather skirt.  This can be done several ways.  I tend to do these by hand, using a running stitch.  This basically means take the needle and thread and go over and under the fabric in a straight line, leaving a length of thread on both ends so that you can pull it to gather it.  You can also do this with your sewing machine using a “straight stitch” and just make sure you give yourself a lot of thread to pull it.
  2. Pin the gathered skirt to the bodice.  Match the seam of the skirt with the sides of the bodice (the sides with come together with buttons later).  You can pull the thread or loosen it to make sure that it is evenly gathered while pinning it to the bodice.  Make sure you pin the skirt with the nice side on the inside so the seam is kidden when you sew.

    skirt gathered and pinned to bodice

    skirt gathered and pinned to bodice

  3. Sew in a zig zag stitch to give your skirt more reinforcement.

FINISHING TOUCHES

Waistband and Straps

  1. Fold the ribbon in half so that you can find the center.  Then pin the center on the front of the bodice in its center just about of the seam between the bodice and the skirt so that the bottom of the ribbon is slightly hiding the seam.
  2. Pin the ribbon to ONLY the front so that you will leave the ribbon loose on the sides and back to tie later.  You can do this by lying your dress flat and don’t pin the ribbon down on the back of the dress.
  3. Starting on the side, sew as close to the edge of the ribbon as possible.  Sew in a rectangle on the ribbon.  HINT: When you want to turn your fabric, turn the knob to put the needle down into the fabric.  This way when you lift the presser foot lever, you won’t lose your spot in your sewing.
  4. I then took a lighter and finished off all the ribbon edges that I cut.  To do this, you hold the ribbon in one hand and take a lighter back and forth across the edge (without letting the flame hit the ribbon so that it doesn’t melt the whole thing).  This creates seal to the edges so they don’t fray.

Buttons

Honestly, I was too intimidated to try to make a button hole with my sewing machine, so for this project I used a technique that I found on the website ysolda.com.  She gave a great tutorial, so I want to give her credit for this sewn button loop tutorial.  Then I hand sewed two buttons on the opposite side.buttons on back

THAT’S IT!  Here are a few pictures of my cutie pie wearing the dress.

my beauty

back with waist and shoulder straps tiedmy oldest in her new dress

Once I finished the sundress, my daughter immediately tried it on and danced around the room.  This is how she gets to be known as my Prima Ballerina.  Let me know what you think and if you’ve tried it yourself!

Shirred Pocket Skirt

I’m VERY excited to bring a new series of posts called “3 yards, 3 outfits” involving some awesome fabric that I found at JoAnn Fabrics.  This whole idea started when I was browsing through the store, trying to find an adult patterned fabric to make myself an outfit.  I don’t often buy myself clothes.  I overly obsess about my children’s wardrobe and all the cute things they get to wear.  Meanwhile, I still have shirts from my high school days.  I love looking on pinterest at the outfits people pin, and I know my wardrobe contains almost nothing in comparison.  I don’t have matching bracelets that go with my shoes or that cute pair of jeans with that slimming top that can go from office to party with just an added accessory or two.  I’m happy when I get out of the house with my hair brushed some days.

Anyways, I bought 3 yards of this very cute fabric, and I’m going to attempt to make 3 outfits (although, I am still a mom…so of course 2 of the outfits are for my girls).

I wanted to start this sewing series with something for me.  I promise for anyone who wants to make something for their child…it’s coming.  But today, momma wants a new skirt.  I love the clothing from Anthropologie.  They always seem to have flowy clothes that are really comfortable but at the same time beautiful.  I saw this skirt that has pockets and fell in love with the ease of it (although not a huge fan of the pattern or the prices from this place as most of their skirts are over $100.)  I’m a huge fan of pockets because I always carry my phone with me, but my littlest is in her “always wants to be held” phase, leaving me without a hand to do anything else.  It also has shirring at the waistband, which 1)makes it super comfortable and 2)I’ve always wanted to try on my sewing machine.  So this is my first uncharted territory project!  So let’s start!

me in my shirred skirt

This is what I used for this project:

– 1 1/2 yard of the fabric of your choice

-matching thread

-shirring thread

-elastic (either 3/8″ or 1/2″…I used 1/2″ because I have a ton of it)

*OPTIONAL* bias tape (double fold) in either matching or contrasting color (I personally LOVE this skirt with bias tape so I recommend it)

MEASUREMENT MATH:

To get the width of your skirt you have to do a little math, but I promise it won’t be hard:

Measure around your hip (mine was 28 inches) x 1.75 = the width of the skirt before it is shirred (I got 49 inches)

Now divide that number by two because you are going to cut out two pieces 49 / 2 = 24.5 inches

I’m going to make a skirt that’s approximately 19 inches finished, so I’m going to cut the length of the fabric to 21 inches.

Also, if I haven’t said this enough, I don’t like to buy patterns.  If it’s an easy outfit, I find it simple to eyeball a lot of it with a little extra fabric to play with if I didn’t quite get it right the first time, so here is what you do for the pockets (I’ll just label this Pattern Part A):

  • Get 2 pieces of paper and tape them together so that it’s longer not wider
  • put your hand on the paper up to almost your elbow with your thumb out (unless you are going for a much shorter skirt, in which you would measure to the middle of your arm)
  • trace around your hand  allowing a good inch or so for what will be a seam allowance – once you get to your thumb, just go across and don’t trace around your wrist (you really only need a half inch because you are using the thumb part in your side seam, but it’s okay if it’s more).

    Pattern Part A

CUTTING TIME:

  • Cut 2 rectangles 21″ (height of skirt) by 24.5″ (width of skirt)

    my awesome fabric cut in 2 pieces 22″ by 24.5″

  • 4 pocket pieces (I just folded my fabric in half and cut twice – this will give you both pocket sides)

So you have all the fabric you will need.  Now it’s time to get this skirt started!

Once I’ve cut my pockets, I take the same pocket “pattern” and do a little altering to it to give me a pattern for the holes of the pockets.  Take you hand on the corner of the pocket and trace your hand in a curved line.  You want to make sure your hand fits in your pocket, so this is why I don’t use a set pattern.  I called this Pattern Part B.  Cut out that piece of your pattern.

Cut out pocket opening pattern

Now make two cuts on one side of your rectangles (this will be the front of your skirt).

front fabric piece with pocket holes cut out

Next, cut the pocket holes out of two of the pocket pieces.  I make sure I have the pockets semi assembled (making sure the patterns are facing each other)  so I don’t cut the wrong pieces.

Pockets with Pattern Part B cut out of front for pocket hole

Cutting is done!

SEWING TIME:

  1. Pin then sew the pockets together first.  Make sure that the patterns are facing each other.  Sew along the edge like shown in the picture.  Finish with a zigzag stitch to make the pockets reinforced.
  2. Now pin and sew the pockets to the front of the dress.  I’m using bias tape, so I’m not worrying about the edge.  If you aren’t using bias tape, you need to flip the pockets and front of dress.  Here are pictures of both ways:

    pinned for bias tape

    pinned for without bias tape

  3. Then I pinned the bias tape and sewed the double fold bias tape around the pocket seams.

    finished pocket edge with bias tape

  4. Baste the pockets so that it lays flat and doesn’t come apart when you are doing next steps.
  5. I hemmed my dress on the bottom with bias tape for a little “decoration.”  I really like how this looks, and then I don’t have to deal with a rolled hem.  I did this before putting the two rectangles together.  It makes it a lot easier, believe me.
  6. Put the two rectangles together (nice sides facing in) and sew side seams with a 1/2″ seam allowance and then zigzag stitch for reinforcement.
  7. Sew top of skirt for your elastic.  Do this by creating a rolled hem (I’ve explained it in a previous tutorial for a pillowcase dress I made) large enough to fit your elastic band (mine is 1/2″ elastic so I created a 3/4″ space and then hem 1/4″ from the edge to create a 5/8″ hole for my elastic.  Make sure to leave a 1 to 2″ hole to thread the elastic through.
  8. Shirred waistband (I’m excited to try this part so I’m going to go into this more in depth)

SHIRRED WAISTBAND:

I was very interested in learning how to sew a shirred waistband (or just shirr in general).  I looked up a ton of tutorials, and it seems super easy.  So here are the steps:

  1. ELASTIC THREAD! This is the main “ingredient” in shirring.  You can find it in the notions section in a little package.

    elastic thread

  2. Wind the bobbin.  You have to do this by hand because…well, you do.  I am not sure why, but everyone said to do it.  I can assume one of two things.  Either your machine can’t do it because the thread is much thicker than normal thread or if your machine can wind it for you, it will be too stretched out and not work when you are sewing it.  So unfortunately, we do it by hand.  You want to wind it without stretching it a lot because when you are sewing, it will naturally stretch.
  3. Keep the normal thread on the top and use the elastic on the bottom (so you will only see the elastic on one side).  Make sure you sew with the the elastic on the back, though!

    elastic thread wound on bobbin in machine

    shirring fabric (note: elastic thread on underside of fabric with regular thread on top)

  4. Do not change the tension on your machine!  Step away from the tension!  It will be fine.
  5. I increased my stitch length up a bit.  I think it’d be a little easier to sew when it’s around a 3.0 or so.
  6. Shirr in a spiral for waistbands.  The nice thing about it being a skirt already is that you can keep going around and around without stopping and starting over and over again!  Start at the top, just below the elastic casing.  Use that edge as a guideline and keep each row about 1/4″ apart (I like to use the edge on my presser foot as my guide).
  7. Sew approximately 8-10 rows
  8. Finish sewing like normal (at a side seam preferably)

    nice side of shirred fabric with 8 rows 1/4″ apart

    wrong side of fabric with shirring (you can see elastic thread on this side)

Insert the elastic.  Measure elastic to what your waist measurement was from above (mine was 28).  Give yourself an extra inch for sewing them together.  So I cut my elastic to 29″.  I used a safety pin to thread my elastic through the whole in the top, above the shirred waistband, making sure that I held on to the end of the elastic so it didn’t get lost in the hole.  Once you’ve gotten through the hold and are holding both ends of the elastic, sew them together.  Now sew the hole shut.

elastic fed through hole with safety pin

DONE!  It seemed like a lot of instructions, but it didn’t take very long to make.  I have a feeling I will be making a lot of these.  If not for me, than for friends or family (or my little kiddos).  I had fun shirring as well!  I have a feeling there will be some more shirring tutorials in my future!  I hope you all found my instructions easy to understand because not only is this able to give you the freedom to pick a patterned fabric that you love, I saved about $90 making this myself!

“Fourth of July” Layered Cake

Another holiday is coming up…Independence Day!

We have always celebrated the fourth of July by going down to the lake at night and watching the fireworks and having a cookout with friends or family. This year, I wanted to do something special to celebrate. I saw this cake on a blog called 17 and Baking. I liked the original idea of the cake, but I wanted to change it up a bit.

**DISCLAIMER** I, by no means, am a professional baker. I know I said this when I made my Tangled Tower Cake, but I just want to make everyone aware that you don’t need to be a fancy baker to do what I’m going to do. I don’t have any fancy tools. I make do with what I have in my house.

Here is the finished product:

Finished Flag Cake

ITEMS NEEDED:

  • 9 inch baking pan (4 would be best, but if you don’t have that many, just reuse the ones you have…it’ll just take a little longer…that’s what I did)
  • 2 boxed packages of white cake
  • 3 standard tubs of white frosting
  • long piece of string/floss
  • food coloring

Time to bake! I mixed up the first box of white cake. I added red food coloring. I used TONS of food coloring, but it seemed to stay a little pink. I have never worked with red velvet cake, so I didn’t want to start now. Maybe this would provide a more red color, but I think my red turned out okay. I divided the batter into two 9 inch baking pans and baked as directed on the package. TIP: I spray the pans with cooking spray and dust with flour to make it easier on myself to get it out of the pan once cooked.

Once out of the oven, I cooled it and took it out of the pan.

In the second box I mixed, I split into two bowls, and mixed one with blue food coloring and and the other with red.

3 red pans, 1 blue

I then wrapped all of the cakes in saran wrap and put them in the fridge to really cool off. I left mine overnight because I didn’t have time to do this all in one sitting. Gotta love being a busy mom!

Once out of the refrigerator, I had to cut the red cakes in half (so I had a total of 6 red layers). Instead of spending money on a cake cutter that I would most likely never use again, I learned a little trick from my mother.

  • Take a piece of string or floss
  • Carefully wrap the string around the cake, making sure to be in the middle and even around the cake
  • Cross the string

    Crossing the string

  • Pull evenly as if you were tightening a knot (don’t worry if you feel like you are smushing the cake, you won’t)
  • Once it has gone through the whole cake, just pull the string out from one side
  • It’s cut evenly!

    cut layers

Now it’s time to cut the blue cake! For this I used one of my coffee mugs that happened to be about 4 inches in diameter. If you have a round cookie cutter that size, it would work as well. I put the cup on the edge of the cake so that I could get two circles out of one cake. I just cut around using the cup as a template.

cup for circle template

Next I needed to cut a hole in the red cakes to make room for the blue circle insert. I placed the cut blue cake in the middle of the top of the 3 layers that I needed to cut. I then just cut around the blue cake as a template, making sure to go through all 3 layers.

cutting 3 layers of red for blue insert

ICING TIME!

Do 3 layers of red cake with white frosting in between. The thicker the better to get more even looking “stripes,” but I used 3 regular tubs of frosting, and I didn’t put a super thick layer in between because I knew this thing was going to be sweet already.

red layers with white frosting in between

Once I finished 3 layers, I layered the next 3 with the hole in the middle. I put the blue cake in the middle so that I didn’t over frost and not leave enough space for the cake to be inserted later. I just put both blue circles together with a REALLY small amount of frosting to more or less “glue” them together.

layering with blue cake in middle

When I finished all 6 layers, there was a small amount of blue sticking out at the top. I just used the string again to even it all out.

all layers on with blue in middle

Then I just frosted the entire cake with the white frosting. Like the other blogger did with her cake, I just left it plain and white. I like the idea of not decorating the outside since the inside is what is special about the cake.

frosted cake

As far as difficulty in creating this cake, I think it was actually quite simple. The main thing to remember is to keep the cakes cool so frosting it is easier.

Cutting a piece of this cake is the best part!

cutting the cake!

piece of the flag cake

I hope this is as big of a hit at our holiday get together as it is to me. And if it isn’t…I get a 6 layer cake all to myself!