Aug 31, 2012

Newborn Baby Hats

The couple that lives down the hall just had their first baby, and though I don't know them very well, they've always been so kind and smiley to us and the kids. So when I saw their little one-week old cutie yesterday, I was immediately inspired to make some newborn hats for him. I *really* wish I had some of the cute fabrics that Zaaberry had with her awesome tutorial.
(Unfortunately, most of my current knit fabrics are pink and girly. Not much for a little baby boy.)
However, I went with what I had and came up with a few variations. My favorite is the one on top, mainly because I think that one has the best chance of fitting. (It has the best stretch.)
The red one will fit too, but it was made from an old t-shirt and the jersey fabric was a little tricky to keep from curling. I like the bear hat, but the right ear looks a little wonky. Trying to work my serger on a curve was a bit tricky (still getting used to the machine and it's fussiness) and that hat with its thick fleece just came out...a bit odd. And perhaps not stretchy enough.
So I figure out of four attempts the baby should be able to wear at least one, right? My husband said, It's the thought that counts.
The kids are making the baby some pictures and we're going to bring over our homemade gifts later today. Can't wait to see that cute little baby again!

Aug 23, 2012

Pretty Little Ruffle Shorts

These couldn't be any cuter...or easier!

I had some leftover ruffle fabric from this skirt and thought some shorts were in order.
(Um...Does my 2 year-old-look 5 in this shot or is it just me?? Her legs look crazy long.)

The fabric speaks for itself. I didn't have to do much. I traced some shorts I own and sewed up the legs and sides. Then I sewed a casing around the waist and used a 1/4" elastic (I think. Anyway, it was really small.) I didn't need to make the waist look neat and I didn't need to hem the legs. The ruffles cover up all the raw edges. Yay!
She can wear the shorts with a top to just hang around, or she can wear a skirt over the top to look extra fancy. I TOTALLY love this idea (layering was actually the impetus for these shorts. How cute is it to see some ruffles peaking out from under a skirt? And, who doesn't want their daughter flashing the neighbors as she cycles around the block??)
Yeah, we're diggin' these EASY ruffle shorts.
* A note on the fabric. I found it at Joann's! Shocker! I love the vintage flower look of it and snapped some up. At $16/yd, it's not cheap, but hello 40% off coupon (and no shipping costs) Love those coupons. Keeps me coming in. (Especially now that I have the Joann's App, which saves all my coupons on my phone. Sooo convenient. I admit it: I love Joann's.)

Aug 20, 2012

Easy Banded Top for Me

A few weeks ago I came across some gray knit fabric at Joann's and thought I could use it to make a new top (which I have been wanting to do all summer, but keep finding other things to make instead). Anyway, I spent an evening with my sewing machine and came up with this! 
Basically, I just traced another shirt I already own on top of the fabric, then cut and sewed up the sides. 
My sleeves ended up being longer than I wanted. So I cut them. I didn't bother with a hem. I did, however, fold over the neckline to neaten that up a wee bit.

For the band at the bottom, I used two strips of leftover fabric from this skirt and made the band about an inch or so less wide than the bottom of the top, sewing the raw edges together.
Not bad for an evening's work. And it has already seen a few uses, which is good because I have found that, for some reason, I make things for myself, hang them up, and then forget about them. Like this skirt - I never wear it (probably the last time I had it on was for those post photos. Oops.). 
Do you ever make something simply because it's fun to MAKE -- I mean, the challenge is fun, but maybe the end product is not something you really needed (or wanted)? I have done this more than once, for sure.
But I do wear this striped top that I entered in Rae's Spring Top Sewalong quite a bit, and that's why I made this new gray one, as a sort of scaled-down version (band vs. ruffled sides, raw-edged sleeves vs. tailored sleeves). The structure is basically the same.

Well, here's to making useful (and easy) garments! Wa-hoo!

Aug 6, 2012

The Clara Skirt

Named after the little girl who loves it! Because it is twirly and very girly. I am so glad she liked it!
For this skirt, I cut two circles (using Dana's circle skirt tutorial). I cut a big circle in the brown gingham, and a smaller circle with the flower fabric. I basted the two together at the top, then sewed the elastic waistband on.
I worried that that the skirt wasn't going to be long enough (I shouldn't have worried!), and added an extra band of white fabric. I hemmed the flower fabric and then hemmed the white band after Clara tried on the skirt.
 So the skirt is definitely on the longer side, but I have a feeling Clara will be able to wear it not only this coming school year, but the following year as well. 
And, you know, it just seems so elegant at this length, too. 
I'm glad it worked out. I rather like it all long and flow-y.

Whoa...getting dizzy. 
(Isn't she adorable? Would you believe she speaks three languages? Yeah, pretty incredible.)
And then, to finish, a little personalization for the tag. I used letter stamps I bought at Joann's, and stamped some extra white fabric, sealing the ink with a warm iron (the butterfly was a foam stamp that the kids have played with in the past. No idea where it came from.).
I thought Clara liked the Twirly Teacups skirt the best, but then it was this one that she ended up wearing for the rest of the morning during her playdate with my son. 
Thanks again to Clara and her mom for a fun morning!

Aug 5, 2012

Fancy Holiday Skirt

 Pretty original post title, huh? Ok, not so much! But I think it's fairly accurate in description, so I'll just stick with that. :) With this floaty, light skirt, I'm picturing Christmas-time. I'd pair it with a black leotard-style top, black leggings, and black patent-leather shoes. Oh, and maybe some holly in the hair with a little black bow. Yes, that's my vision. But it's August, and way too hot. 
My little model, Clara, went with a white tank top and shorts. 
 As I mentioned in an earlier post, I've been making some pieces for Clara this summer (my friend's beautiful 5-year-old daughter). She really was so good about modeling these garments for me and letting me take a bazillion pictures. And this morning, the patio was quite chilly and her feet were cold. But she didn't let it stop her. Unfortunately, I didn't get a great straight-on shot, but you can sort of see from these pics how ethereal this skirt seems to be. It's a burnt-orange/red color with gold highlights and swirls. I have three layers of fabric sewn together at the waist, following Dana's Simple Skirt tutorial. And then I added a black cotton bow in the front to dress up the skirt even more. 
 I love it on Clara! And I can almost hear Swan Lake playing in the background (oh, wait. I was playing Swan Lake in the background that morning. Swat to the forehead).
 Not too early to be thinking ahead, right?
Have a great day!