Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Crib Sheets, A Nursing Cover, And An Ironing Board Cover

 Since Beckers hasn't arrived yet (just over a week until the due date!) I managed to get some things sewn that we've been needing.

  First up, crib sheets! We now have 3 beds with crib-sized mattresses, and until a really sweet surprise baby shower on Saturday, only 2 crib sheets. I could have just bought some, but I wanted to sew some, and it was just a tiny bit less expensive this way. Here they are:

  I also received two really cute sheets at that surprise baby shower, so now I don't have to worry about getting laundry done immediately when a sheet gets dirty. =) These were really simple, just 44X68" rectangles, with 8" squares cut out of each of the corners. I serged the sides together where the squares were cut out, serged all the way around each sheet, then folded up a small casing and put elastic in.

  I originally wanted to make them out of flannel, but I couldn't find anything for less than $3 a yard, which would have made for some overly pricey crib sheets. I ended up cutting up twin sized sheets for these. I painted hearts on the brown and dots on the grey with pink fabric paint... those ones are my favorites. =)

  Another need for a soon-to-be-nursing mama: a nursing cover. I have one that I used with Booper and Gaiw, but it is uncomfortably small and the slightest kick led to awkward exposure. My new one is nice and large:

  This was also fairly simple, albeit with quite a lot of hemming. It's just a hemmed rectangle with straps at the top and boning inserted in the top between the straps. Thanks to Tia Eva for the boning! I mitered the corners, a new thing for me, and they came out surprisingly well considering how quickly I put it together. =) I love this fabric... it's another I wish I'd bought more of, since I can no longer find it for sale.

  And the final thing I put together this week was an ironing board cover. My ironing board (a miniature one, I need to get a real one at some point here...) was a hand-me-down, and the white cover was really nasty looking, but Tia Eva gave me some fun sewing-themed fabric with kittens on it, and it was perfect to use as a new cover. I just cut around the old cover, serged all the way around, and threaded some narrow elastic through the serging. I was kind of surprised at how well that worked. =)

  Simple projects all, but very useful. =)

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Little Geranium for Beckers

My final project for Kid's Clothes Week was a Little Geranium Dress for Beckers. I used Rae's free pattern, but she also has a multi-sized Geranium pattern with a whole lot more options. I made one change to this dress: the contrasting hem band. I love it. =)

    I found the assembly of the back of this dress interesting... I wouldn't have thought of just leaving a bit open under the button/snap placket, but with a gathered skirt like this it actually works.

  Again, I hand-sewed the lining down, and since I didn't have enough fabric to cut the lining out of the floral, I used plain white:

  I used plastic snaps for the first time, since regular snaps and I don't get along well (ever wondered why I usually go with heavy-duty ones?) I ordered the snaps from here, along with a pair of snap pliers, and I was really impressed with how quickly they were shipped.

  They were also incredibly easy to install, and cute to boot... I used little heart-shaped ones. =)

  From what I've seen these snaps do sometimes pull out over time, but it doesn't damage the fabric when they do, and it's really easy to stick a new one in. They were so quick to install that I kind of want to come up with projects just to add them! =)

  And that is the last of this fabric for a while! I just wish I'd had enough to make a matching diaper cover, and bloomers for the older sisters.

  I have a couple more things I'm hoping to finish before Beckers arrives (2.5 weeks until the due date!): a new nursing cover, the pieces of which are cut out and partially sewn at this point, and some new crib sheets. We'll see what happens. =)

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, July 22, 2013

Simple Denim Skirt With Contrast Band

  Here is the second thing I made with these denim and floral fabrics (the first was the scalloped skirt for Booper, here):

  This skirt was really simple.... just two rectangles plus pockets and some elastic.
  The hardest part on this one was the pockets! And even those weren't difficult. =) Gaiw loves the pockets, although it will take her some more practice to get the hang of putting her hands in:

  And now I'm just going to barrage you with photos of Gaiw, since she doesn't get much face time on this blog, and I don't have anything else to say about a skirt this simple. =)
Love the round little belly

Spinning... very slowly. =)

Half of a smile

She likes her belly too... and any other belly. =)

Coordinating sisters

Figuring out how to work the pockets...

I think this photo is hilarious... the crying little Gaiw and the peeking Booper. =)

   One more thing to show from this fabric, and for Kid's Clothes Week, then I'm done. =)

Thanks for stopping by,

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Scalloped Denim Skirt

  I love this skirt... I almost want to make it in my size:

  It's another half-circle skirt, but with elastic in the back waistband, fully lined (and reversible!) and with a scalloped hem. Also, this skirt is not in my size, but in Booper's size.

  I only put pockets on the denim side, which means that I have yet to convince Booper to wear it floral-side out, other than for photos, but I shall prevail! =)

  This skirt has a pretty good amount of twirl to it, which means I ended up with quite a few photos like this one:

  And like this one:

  It took a while to sew all those scallops! But I went very slowly, since curves aren't an area I'm fully confident in... I think they turned out pretty well. =)

  The hard part was clipping into the point of the scallops deeply enough that they didn't pucker when I turned it right side out. I put fray check at the top of each point once I noticed that they were going to pull through... I wish I had done it before clipping though. There has to be a better way to stabilize that area so I don't get puckers or fraying though.

  The waistband on this was really difficult! The skirt took a lot of fabric, and I had two other projects to cut out of the remainder, so when it came to cutting the waistband I had to really skimp on the seam allowances. I used the floral fabric for the waistband on the denim side, and a denim waistband on the floral side. =)

  I didn't really love this fabric when I first bought it... just liked, not loved, but now I really wish I'd bought more. It's a quilting cotton exclusively for Joann's, and as I said, I have some other projects to show from the same fabrics: a simple skirt for Gaiw (finished, need photos), and a little dress for Beckers that I'm not quite done with. =) And truly, I can imagine no end of little garments that I would love in these fabrics. Also a nursing cover... or a carseat cover... or... or... Maybe I should just buy some more of it. =)

   I'll be back once I have photos of Gaiw's simple skirt.... Kid's Clothes Week is going quite well this season! =)

Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Ruffled Placket Shirt

  I finished up one last maternity shirt! I've had the idea for this shirt in my head for about 5 months, but didn't have a chance to actually sew it up until now.... part of that was hoping for the right fabric, which never came along. I ended up using a knit sheet, dyed brown.

  I designed this shirt to be able to transition from not so pregnant to very pregnant, but it would be more functional if I'd made the placket the right length... I lengthened the shirt pattern and forgot to add extra to the placket. Doh! =)

  I used a tutorial on sewing a single placket from Shannon at Little Kids Grow, and just flipped it upside down. It was a little difficult to sew on this thin knit, and I wish I had interfaced the shirt where the placket would sit, instead of just the placket, but it looks all right on the outside!
  I added a ruffle by just tucking it underneath when I was edgestitching the placket down, but I think it would have worked better to actually sew the ruffle to the placket beforehand... next time I do a ruffled placket (and there will be a next time) I'm going to test that out and see how it works. =)

  I would have preferred buttons over snaps, but I haven't been able to get my buttonhole sensor on my machine fixed yet - strange how I rarely used it, but as soon as it stopped working I ended up with multiple projects that need buttonholes.

  Once the placket was done I added the bit of floral knit (rescued from a shrunken shirt) underneath and hid the stitching under the ruffle. I also added a ruffled strip in the shape of a heart on the chest, since overall the shirt was looking a little plain.

  Also! Quick Kid's Clothes Week update... this is what I've been working on:

  Not going to lie, those scallops took at least 40 minutes to plan and about an hour to sew... but I love them! I haven't pressed them yet, or the pockets, and the pockets are not yet sewn on, which is why they are a little crooked. =) I also have to finish the waistband. If all goes well, I should have a finished skirt by tomorrow. =)

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, July 15, 2013

Itty Bitty Baby Dress For Beckers

  Kid's Clothes Week is this week... and I'm participating. =) For my first project, I sewed up this:

  This is the free Itty Bitty Baby Dress Pattern, from Made By Rae. I sewed up a larger version of this last fall for Booper and Gaiw, but I didn't have a chance to try out the original until now. I did end up changing a couple things... I used a 9 by 36 inch rectangle for the skirt, so it only has one side seam, and I sewed the bodice to the skirt differently so I could finish the inside prettily, like this:

  I only sewed the piping and skirt to the outer layer of the bodice, then pressed a small hem on the inside and hand-stitched it down. That is the one major benefit from all that wedding sewing... I'm not nearly so reluctant to hand-stitch things now, which means I often get a nicer finish. =)

  To say I'm happy with this dress would be an enormous understatement... the photos just don't show how incredibly tiny and adorable this dress is. I can hardly wait to try it on Beckers!

  Once again, I'm amazed by how quick of a sew it was. Even with hand-stitching the bodice lining, it took less than three hours from choosing the fabric to cutting the final thread. There is one more change I would made when sewing it again: I would take the time to properly finish the piping, instead of folding it like the instructions. I ended up with this at the piping beginning, which isn't very pretty and is rather bulky:

  And that's my first KCW project! I also have an almost-finished maternity shirt to show you in the very-near future... I just need to get some snaps in it and an extra decorative bit sewn on.

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Shirt and Some Skirts

I finally sorted through the photos I took the other day and am ready to show you the things I made a few weeks ago! For myself, a shirt and skirt:

  I created the shirt pattern from a maternity shirt I love but that has a very sad tear in it. Sadly, my version didn't come out as well as the original. Somehow my bodice pieces all came out about 3/4 of an inch shorter than the original, even though I traced carefully and added seam allowances after... not sure what happened there. And also, I couldn't find a fabric with enough drape for a good price in the amount of time I had to sew this shirt, so I used a quilting cotton... from the front and back it works fine, but I often get this going on from the side:

  I want to try this pattern again with a little length added to the upper front bodice pieces and in a nicer fabric... but I probably won't end up doing so until the next baby, whenever that will be. =)

  The original shirt had a collar and stand, but I left the collar off and like the look of it much better this way. There are a couple pleats under the bust, panels in the lower front section, and princess seams in the back with shirring:
  I wish the seaming showed up a little better, because it is a fun feature of this shirt. A solid-color fabric would work a lot better because of that. In spite of the bad fabric choice, I really like this shirt. I'm hugely pleased that I finished it in only 2 days, and that I have lots of pretty top-stitching with clean facings and a crisp collar.

The skirt is another super-simple half-circle with a maternity waistband/panel. This time, I took 8 inches of ease out before calculating my half-circle and measured along the curve of the panel before cutting it out to make sure it was close to my actual measurements. The knit I used for the panel doesn't have as much recovery as I was hoping for, so it does get a little loose and slides down a bit after a couple hours, but it works a lot better than my original version.

  This skirt was an incredibly quick sew, even though this denim was just a bit too thick for a rolled hem, so I had to pin and sew. For a slower seamstress like me, it's almost miraculous to see a completed adult garment in half a day.  =) It's really simple, but this skirt is a perfect basic addition to my wardrobe. I was going to add a few rows of machine embroidery around the hem, but started wearing it before I had fully decided on the colors and stitches, and it's been in regular rotation since then, with no time to sew on it. =) In case you want a peek of the maternity panel:

  I made one other thing for myself recently, but have no photos... it's a very basic long-sleeved white layering tee. I recently realized that all of mine didn't cover my belly enough, and the necklines didn't work well with the things I wanted to layer with. My new one has a slight boat-neck to it.

  Booper has been in need of some skirts too, so I used the leftover fabric from my skirt and made her one. I didn't have a whole piece that was long enough, so I cut a main piece and a lengthening piece, then sandwiched some pretty crochet trim between when sewing them together. This skirt has an elastic back and a flat front. Booper is wearing this with her Junebug tunic, which turned out to be one of her favorite shirts. =)

  And I have a couple more things to show you! First, Gaiw (aka Mischief) wearing a skirt I made when Booper was about 11 months old:

  It was cute on Booper too:

  Finally, this amazing quilt that our Tia Eva made for Gaiw:

  Isn't that just beautiful? Look at all of this perfect embroidery:

  I love this quilt! I hope that someday I will be able to do such beautiful embroidery, and bless other people with gifts like this. Booper has a quilt from Tia Eva too, but I can't find my photos of it. Thank you, Tia Eva! =)

  Now to see if I can finish that last maternity shirt and maybe some newborn clothes before Beckers arrives... 4 weeks and 2 days until the due date! =)

Thanks for stopping by,