Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Add a Ruffle... Brilliant

Pin It

The idea for this shirt came from Jen over at My Own Road.  It's so simple and just plain brilliant.  It will seriously take you about 20 minutes.  It's her t-shirt to a dress tutorial that I just made minor alterations to.  You don't have to hem or anything.  All you have to do is snag one of your husband's shirts, one of your kid's shirts, and you're good to go! Here's her cute version!

And here's mine:

 The only thing I did differently was that I added a vertical ruffle down the front, mainly because this was the shirt I was working with:

I also made my horizontal ruffle angled, just because.  This is pretty self-explanatory (you basically do the exact thing Jen tells you to do in her tutorial) with a small change.  Instead of cutting straight across, you cut the bottom of the adult shirt at an angle.  Mine went from 1.5 inches and angled up to 6.

Then you just cut that same angle on your kid shirt.  Just calculate the difference in the side measurements you used on the adult tee (mine were 1.5" and 6", so 6-1.5=4.5") and measure up from just above the hem to that measurement. You want to cut above the hem, so it doesn't mess with your ruffle.

See... same angle.  Now just do what Jen tells you! :)

You can even garden in your new shirt... after you steal Mommy's hat. :)

 Tip... I think this would be a lot cuter on a longer shirt, so it does actually become a dress, like Jen's did.  That's just my two cents, though!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pop POP Preppy Top Tutorial

You know what I love about tops with elasticized waists?  They just last so stinkin' long!  It's the same with peasant tops/dresses, like the Polky-Nots Dress; I find that, if I make the top long enough, my girls can wear them for two years... minimum!  Love that!

This top has the added bonus of being easily adapted to warm or cold weather.  Wear it as-is during the spring and summer; add a cardigan during fall and winter.

Anyone know which NBC sitcom wouldn't leave my head when I was thinking about this top?  *Pop POP!*  Even if you don't, as I was thinking about this top, I knew I wanted to use my navy with white polka dots (mmmm... I LOVE navy and white!), and I wanted a "popped collar"...  kind of.  What resulted was a preppy-ish wrap top with a splash of teal on the ruffle "popped collar."

3/4-1 yard of fabric, depending on your size
Lining fabric (can be the same as main fabric, as mine is)
Coordinating strip of fabric for ruffle collar
1/2 inch elastic
Sewing gear
Pattern pieces HERE and HERE, for a 3T/4T size

Making the pattern:
I didn't take pictures of this, but here's roughly what I did...  Also, I included notes on the printable patterns that coincide with these notes.  With those two things, I'm hoping it's clear!!

1. Determine the waist measurement on your child.  You'll want the waist of your back bodice to be that measurement PLUS 10 inches, divided by 2.  Riley's waist is 21 inches, so my back bodice piece was cut to 15.5 inches (half of 31). This is INCLUDING seam allowance.
2. Cut a curve for the back neckline that is 5 inches wide (larger or smaller, depending on your size and preference).
3. Your armhole should be at least 2.5 inches above the bottom of the bodice piece.  Curve the armhole up, so the shoulder piece is roughly 2.5 inches wide.
4. To make front bodice pieces, trace the back bodice's armhole, underarm hole and shoulder.  But from the neckline, angle a straight line down.

Your pieces will look like the pieces below...

**Unless otherwise indicated, use 1/2 inch seam allowance throughout.

Cut out your bodice pieces, one each of the main fabric and one each of the lining (I used the same fabric for both main and lining).

Pin the front pieces to the back piece and stitch ONLY the shoulders.  Do this for main and lining pieces.

Cut a strip of fabric that is two inches by the width of coordinating fabric (for the ruffle "popped collar").

Fold in half so you have a long strip that is 1 inch wide.

Topstitch the folded edge of the entire strip.

Run a gathering stitch along the raw edge.

Open up your main bodice piece.  You'll use this to get the measurement of your ruffle.

Ruffle the strip until it fits around the neckline.  You'll see that I didn't bring mine all the way around.  That's because that side will be underneath and won't be seen.

Now cover the main piece and the ruffle with your lining piece and pin.

Sew around the neckline and the armholes, but NOT underneath your armholes.

Flip it and press.  Topstitch around the neckline.

Now your going to place the right sides of the underarm sides (that you refrained from stitching) together.  Make sure the seams line up.  Stitch.

Now press that underarm areas and armholes and topstitch around the holes.

Here's your lovely bodice!  Run a quick basting stitch from the tip of one wrap to the other, just to keep them in place.

You'll see my bodice is 14.5 inches wide.  I'll use this measurement to make my "skirt" piece. 

I added 1 inch to my bodice measurement (for seam allowance) to get how wide I wanted the top of my skirt.  I then cut STRAIGHT DOWN 1.5 inches and from there I angled the skirt out.  Look closely, and you'll see how it goes straight down first.  Cut two of these.  You'll want your total length to be 2 inches longer than you want it to end up.

Place skirt pieces right sides together and stitch up the sides.  Finish with a zig-zag.   Go ahead and hem the bottom by folding over 1/4 inch then another 1/4 inch and stitching.

Flip the skirt right side out and press the top edge over 1/4 inch.

Flip the skirt wrong side out again and place your bodice, right side out, inside.  (Right sides will be together.)  Pin your bodice so the raw edge is separated from your raw edge (that you folded over) of the skirt.

Then stitch 1.25 inches from that folded over edge.  You may want to use a fabric marker to mark this for yourself since your machine probably doesn't have a guide marker for 1.25 inches.

After you've stitch that line, press so that the fabric is lying nicely and your raw edges are all hidden in what will now be your elastic casing.  (TIP: This isn't necessary, but I'd recommend trimming down some of the excess bodice fabric that's hidden in the casing-- especially the ruffle.  It'll make it easier for you to pull your elastic through.)

Topstitch around the top of your casing (this is that folded over edge again.  Nice and clean, huh?), leaving an opening through which to thread your elastic.

Using a safety pin, thread your elastic through.  Then stitch it together and close up the opening.

Now you've got a cool "popped collar" on a nice, classy summer (or spring or fall or winter) shirt!

It's especially nice if you just got a cute new bob. :)

Featured on craft gossip!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Try, Try, Try Again

I hate failure.  And I hate craft fails.  But I'm going to bounce back from this one.  After all, it did keep me from falling asleep last night, but as I lay in bed, totally restless, I'm pretty sure I came up with a solution.  Hopefully, I'll get a chance to try it out today. 

Here's the gist of it.  Remember my Bubble It Up dress?  The back of this was an amazingly happy accident.  I love it.  I think it's gorgeous. 

However, as I was making that dress, I knew there was an easier way to do it.  So yesterday I set about making a better tutorial.  It was going okay, but then when I slipped it on Riley, I ran into a snag.  The front is fine...

But here's what happened with the back: the lining flopped in.

... and the dress poofed out. 
It's not the greatest silhouette.  

And actually, I think I'll kind of like this dress better if the bubble doesn't go all the way up but has a more fitted bodice.  If you like it this way, don't worry; I plan on making tutorials for both options... and I'll fix the back on this one.  Third time's the charm, right? :)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Going on a Birdhunt Binoculars

Pin It

I can't take full credit for this super fun craft.  Riley actually made her first pair of binoculars in preschool.  However, after incessant fighting between the girls over that one pair, I figured that was a good option for our next craft. :)  It's really easy and you'll be able to see for miles... or at least pretend to. ;)

2 toilet paper rolls
fun paper
stapler and staples
glue stick


Place your toilet paper roll on your paper to see how wide you want it cut.

Then cut two strips, one for each roll. I just folded my paper, so I cut use the fold to cut a straight line.

Roll the paper around the roll, so you can cut off the excess paper, making sure you have some overlap.

Let your 4-year-old glue the outside of the roll because she's getting really impatient to get in on this project. :)  You may want to add some extra glue to the end of the paper, just to make sure it's secure.  Do the same for your other roll.

Now place your rolls, "seam" sides together.

Staple them at both ends.

Decorate!  This is where the real fun begins!  Use whatever stickers or other decorating stuff you have on hand.  We had flowers and butterflies, plus a few foam safari stickers.

Noelle is haphazard with her sticker placement.

Riley is my little Type-A. :)

Bend the outside edges of the binoculars and cut a little hole.  Don't worry; it will easily round back out.  (Note: I originally stapled the ribbons on, but Noelle didn't like how the ribbons then flopped into the binoculars and then her eyes.)

Tie the ribbon on the outside of the binoculars.

Now search for those birds!  They could be high... 

...or low.

And if those birds are being really sneaky, you made need two pairs.

You never know what or who you'll find. :)