progress

7.30.2011

Just a few random Saturday kind of shots.


We've been circling the block riding these every chance we get.  Emily got a helmet finally (slacker mom), so now she's having a blast speeding around on her bike.  Still need to figure out how to use the breaks. Watch out!


Squeaked in a little sewing time here and there.  I thought I might totally flop on this one, but it seems to be turning around.


And because I need an ever flowing stream of goodness in my mailbox, I like to order myself more fabric that what I can use up at the moment.  Surely I can't be the only one who does that?  Getting mail makes me feel special.

Have a great weekend!  And don't forgot to stop in on Monday for Sewing with Knits Mondays!  I've got something special lined up.

sundresses

7.27.2011


I'm trying to eek out a few more clothes for the girls while I:
a) still feel inspired to make things for them and
b) before summer slips away and it's fall before I know it



Almost every morning it's a struggle to get them dressed and it's so weird, but Natalie almost always picks something that matches what Emily is wearing that day.  Dress and dress, skirt and skirt, you get the picture.  I guess Emily's a born leader, I'll have to let you know how that pans out.


So obviously a dress for each of them in the same style was completely necessary.  I'm sure they would have loved me to make something exactly the same (never would have thought that!), but I just can't bring myself to do it. So I won't - probably ever.


I used Lil Blue Boo's Sundress Tutorial. It's so sweet and simple, and I knew the girls would love to twirl in them.

Love me a pretty summer dress.  ♥

running

Fabrics: red dress is a mystery print by Bernatex and Hugs and Kisses in Pink and Lime by Anna Maria Horner - Loulouthi.
Blue dress: Loulouthi Buoyancy in Deep by Anna Maria Horner, Kona cotton in coal.

sewing with knits mondays: with guest Jess from Craftiness is Not Optional

7.25.2011

You know Jess' blog right?


Well, if you're in the mood to sew up just about anything (especially little girl's dresses) you have to check it out.  Tutorials galore! Plus she's got a ton of sew-a-longs you can follow along with (Rachel Wrap, Sadie Shirt, Lucky Dress, Leah Tunic, Charlotte Dress, Anna Dress.)  Whew, I can hardly keep up already!  :)


Jess is full of energy (hence the massive amount of things she can get done in a single day - even with two little girls in tow), she's funny, and I just love how kind and caring she is.  

She's even started to do more sewing for herself.  Yay for that!


And of course I had to ask her to help with out with Sewing with Knits Mondays, she's got sewing with knits down pat.  And I knew she'd come up with something ultra cute.  Let's hear it from Jess!


I'm so excited to be participating in Anna and Shannon's Sewing with Knits series!
Both Anna and Shannon are both such fabulous and talented gals, not to mention so sweet. :) Anna is a long-time blogging pal of mine and she never ceases to amaze me with her awesome projects. 



Soo...It took me forever to settle on a knit project to do-I had just come off of an obsession of my own with knits, so I was kind of out of knit ideas for the time being, lol. Pinterest to the rescue!

I quickly found (thanks to my best pal), and was enamored with the simple style of this top from Garnet Hill:


So I set out to figure out how to make it myself. I used my raglan tee pattern and tutorial for most of the construction, so I'll refer you to that tute a few times.
 

It has a cute keyhole neckline, with elastic casing around the neck and button closure (though not that necessary because of the elastic, mostly there for the cuteness factor), and 3/4 sleeves with a bias tape trim. I used a jersey knit sheet set (Target clearance-$6), so I used the finished edge for my hem. 


I think Sadie looks like a little woodland nymph or something. Grass nymph? What's a nymph, anyways? I'm pretty sure it's like a fairy. I hope. Am I thinking of a sprite? Anyways...that's neither here nor there. Get on with the program, Jess!
 One more pic, cause the sleeves are too cute! Ok, ok. 
Come on over to see the full tutorial today, on Craftiness is Not Optional!


...and be sure to say hi to Jess for me and let her know how cool she is...
Thanks Jess, you ALWAYS amaze me!

And don't forget to stop by Luvinthemommyhood today to check out what knit goodness she's got going on today!



for the nieces

7.23.2011


I was recently recruited by two of my nieces to make a few zippy wallets.  My one niece is in college (I know, I don't seem old enough to have a niece in college, but I do).  :)  My other niece is in high school.


They've both worn through their first zippy wallets from two years ago, so I'm sending in the replacements.  I wish I would have made them sooner, but I really had fun thinking about what each of them would like.



At least I had their color choices to go off of, Hannah's favorite color is green, and Ellie's are yellow and orange, it made it a whole lot easier to decide.


I added a little keychain loop on each (similar to the loop in my little cutie pouch tutorial).  I know they'll enjoy them and put them to use right away since I've been holding out on them forever, thanks for being patient girls!


Hope you have a lovely weekend and see you Monday for the second installment of Sewing with Knits Mondays and my special guest.  Yay!


Fabrics: Green wallet: Denyse Schmidt, Greenfield Hill, Etsuko Furuya, Echino
 Yellow wallet: Heather Ross, Far Far Away II, Denyse Schmidt, Katie Jump Rope, the plaid is by Moda, Happy Campers?

Maybe no one reads this far, but do you like it when I add in fabric designers and prints I used?

drawings

7.20.2011

Sometimes I get caught up in showing you only stuff I make.  Sometimes I forget that you might be interested in seeing some of the other things we've got going on around here.  Am I right? {insert chirping crickets} Ooookay, moving on...


Drawing.  We've been drawing up a storm.  It's been so fun to watch how Natalie's and Emily's drawing skills have changed.  You remember those little people up there on the top of my blog?  Yep, Natalie drew those when she was 3.  I was SO PROUD.  I think it was her first time actually drawing something recognizable.  You can read more about the story of that drawing in this post.  Definitely one I'm glad I wrote down and saved.

Well, it's been a few years and about 1 billion sheets of paper later, I thought it would be fun to round up a few of our new favorites:
a little updated family pic

Natalie's self portrait

Natalie's alphabet

mermaid

Pepper (our dog): this one's pretty cute because Pepper has a hurt back right now and Natalie drew this picture of her walking up the stairs

abstract landscape

last but not least is Emily's person


Hope you have a great day!

racerback tank tutorial: sewing with knits mondays

7.18.2011

Hi everybody! Hope you had a lovely weekend.  Several months ago Shannon from Luvinthemommyhood and I got chatting about sewing with knits.  We were both on a little kick and wanting to sew more with knits and just learn a few more tricks.

Who doesn't love a comfy knit t-shirt or top?  I think almost everything I own (besides some of the things I've made for myself) is made with knit fabric.  It's soft, stretchy, and downright comfy!

So we're putting together a few weeks worth of information on sewing with knits: 
Sewing with Knits Mondays 

Each Monday for the next month or so we'll feature either a new tutorial or technique on both blogs.  Hope you'll join us and maybe conquer that fear of sewing up something cute and comfy.


Grab a little button if you'd like and join along, the code is over on my right sidebar!

And be sure to stop over at Luvinthemommyhood to check out Shannon's super cute Poppy Top!


For the first week I wanted to share something nice and cool for these hot and humid summer months: a basic racerback tank.  You might have remembered I made one similar using regular woven fabric cut on the bias, this is a little variation on that same idea.



Materials:
1 yard knit fabric, something with stretch to it
ball point needle
thread (polyester or polyester blend is best)
walking foot (optional)
twin needle (optional)

I love this project because I scored a nice lightweight stretchy knit for $1 a yard at my local Hancock fabrics (you'd be able to find something similar at joanns, etc).  It took me about an hour to make.  So it's a one dollar, one hour project, pretty cool right?!

Making the pattern:
Grab a regular t-shirt that fits you well.


Fold it in half.  You don't really have to be too precise here, just make a similar shape as to what I show in this picture.  I like layering my tanks so I wanted somewhat loose fitting and long.  Like a higher neckline?  You can do that! just move up the curve of the neckline.  It's amazing what you can do when you make your own clothes.  Oh, and if you wanted to try this with a woven cut on the bias, you can add a little dart right under the arm on the front piece.


Now fold the t-shirt in half the other way, this will be the back.  Again, just make the basic shape, nothing too scientific about it.  Just make sure the bottom of the arm opening matches that of you existing t-shirt or slightly higher.  Cut out your 2 pattern pieces being sure to mark where to place the pattern on the fold.

Next, cut 2" wide strips across the grain of the fabric (side to side the stretchy way).  This will be the binding for the neck and arm holes.



Sew one shoulder seam together.  You could use a walking foot and a stitch that looks something like this might be an option on your machine:


Don't worry if your machine just has a basic stitch, just use that and lengthen your stitch length or do a narrow and long zig zag stitch.

[I do want to stop and point out that Omi Creates does a really nice job of explaining this same binding technique that I'm using here with a baby onesie, so I'd definitely recommend at least reading through her tutorial for some great tips about sewing with knits!]


Next grab one of the 2" binding strips and cut it to be about 75% of the total length you need to go around the neck opening and around the back part of the neck opening.  You might want to stretch your binding a bit and see if it will stretch enough to fit the whole length since you'll be stretching the binding slightly as you sew it on to the tank.  Place it RIGHT sides together with the tank, aligning raw edges.  I sewed it using a 3/8" seam allowance.


Stretch the binding strip slightly as you sew (in the direction of the red arrow, towards you), but just let the front and back of the tank pieces get pulled along by the feed dogs on your machine.



Press with seam facing upwards toward the neck opening.  Next you'll flip the binding around the the back (WRONG) side of the fabric like this:


You'll want to sew on the top side though since the stitching will be very visible.


Set your machine to a medium width, medium length zig zag stitch and sew all along the binding, trying to keep the binding about the same width. You could pin it all in place, but I found that it was pretty easy just to fold it over and sew as I went. Sewing on top of the binding is where you could alternately use a twin needle instead of a zig zag stitch.

Trim excess binding from back:



Sew the remaining shoulder seam together.


Then sew both side seams (no pic of this but, just put them RIGHT sides facing and sew).  Press.


Sewing the armhole binding is similar to the neck binding.


Again, cut the binding strips to about 75% of the total length you'll need.


But this time, you'll fold in in a loop and sew the seam along the short side of the binding strips, making a circle.  Attach the binding the same way as the neck seam.  That's it!  You could hem the bottom, but I really like the raw edge look, so I just left mine.  Now put on your tank and get some relief of the heat.


Fabric sources:
Purple knit: Hancock fabrics

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