Monday, August 11, 2014

craftingcon guest post - mini thor

Today I'm guest posting over at Friends Stitched Together as part of the CraftingCon series!  Head on over to see Mae's mini Thor look complete with cape :)  And yes I know this is a total stretch and doesn't look like Thor in any way, but I really do want Mae to be able to wear it on a daily basis, and a full Thor get-up seems a little impractical for a 2 year old!

Navy Stripe Knit - Bamboo/Spandex Jersey from
Red Knit - Organic Cotton Jersey from
Shorts - Target

Friday, August 8, 2014

pattern review - CompagnieM. mara blouse

I'm posting about the Mara Blouse pattern today over at CompagnieM.  Since I've actually sewn the blouse twice now, I thought I would do a quick pattern review here also.

I kind of blogged about my first version of the Mara here.  I started with the sleeveless option in the size 2, but I made a couple of changes such as creating an overlapping button placket in the front and added a back yoke.  Here's a picture in case you don't feel like looking back at the older post :)

For the next version, I kept the changes from the first one, but added long sleeves to accommodate our absolutely awful summer weather!  I also added 1" to both the sleeve and overall lengths so the shirt would fit all the way through this fall and winter.  The way I look at it, if I'm forced to add long sleeves to summer clothes, I might as well make everything wearable for the entire next year :)

Mae was so excited to find this little robot as she walked around the garden!  I have absolutely no idea where it came from, but she was certainly happy to tote it around for the rest of the photo shoot.  Then we made sure to leave it outside just in case it's original owner was looking for it ;)

Overall, I think this pattern looks more complicated than it actually is because of the lovely finishing touches.  I would say it's an intermediate sewing project since it involves sewing curves with piping, but the directions are excellent and Marte is always willing to help if you need it.  I would recommend it to anyone who is comfortable with most basic sewing techniques and is ready for a slightly more advanced project.

I've been doing quite a lot of fall sewing lately, and this top is just the first of many items that I plan to share in the next few months.  I decided to purchase no new clothing for Mae this year and attempt to sew everything she needs.  I realized over the last year that she wears quite a few of the things I make anyway, so there's really no reason to buy her anything!  Besides, she has grandmas who really like to shop, so I'm sure a few store bought items will end up in her closet anyway :)

I love my two year old more than anything, but I don't always love taking pictures of her.  When I tell her to smile, I get this face every.single.time.  I swear she's growling at me!

Turquoise Print - Cloud 9 Organics Up, Up & Away Dots & Spots Blue Moon
Piping - Robert Kaufman 21 Wale Corduroy in Ginger
Buttons - Vintage
Skirt - H&M
Leggings - Old Navy

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

it's refashion month at house of estrela

Today, as part of Refashion Month at House of Estrela, I have a free tutorial for turning an oversized t-shirt into a dress or tunic using all the existing hems. In other words, no scissors are required except for cutting your elastic!  This is a great way to use all those t-shirts from your misspent youth without having to cut them up :)

When you're done with the tutorial, be sure to scroll down to the end of this post and enter the giveaway for a whole bunch of free sewing patterns!

I know at our house we always have a plethora of outgrown t-shirts and normally someone smaller just waiting to grow into them.  But sometimes I don't like to wait for the growing to happen, so instead I turn the clothes into something new :)  For this particular dress I used one of my oldest daughter's t-shirts in a girls size 14.  As you can see in this picture, the before isn't a very good fit ;)

Just a few tips before I get to the tutorial:
  • Make sure the neck line of the oversized shirt fits - the tutorial does not alter the neckline at all
  • Have the child or their measurements handy - you will need waist-to-knee, upper arm and waist circumference measurements
  • Depending on the starting size of the child and the size of the shirt, the finished product could end up being a dress or a tunic - in order to end up with a dress, the shirt should start out longer than mid calf
  • This tutorial should work for any size from baby to adult as long you start with an appropriate sized t-shirt

Tutorial - Elastic Waist
  1. Using the waist to knee measurement, mark a line around the shirt perpendicular to the hem
  2. Draw another line 3/4" up from the first line
  3. Fold the shirt along the top line tucking the neck down inside the shirt and press well
  4. Sew along the first line you drew to form a tuck
  5. Pull the neck back out of the shirt and press the tuck down.  Pin all around the shirt
  6. Topstitch 1/8" from the edge of the tuck leaving a 2" opening for inserting elastic.
  7. Insert the elastic, overlap the ends and sew together.  Topstitch the opening closed (not pictured)

Tutorial - Sleeves
  1. Take a piece of elastic cut to the upper arm measurement and pin the center of the elastic to the center of the sleeve to keep the elastic even
  2. Align one end of the elastic to the underarm sleeve and stitch the end down with a straight stitch, making sure to backstitch for strength
  3. Use a 3-step zigzag stitch to attach the elastic to the sleeve stretching the elastic as you go.  Backstitch when you reach the end of the elastic
  4. I sewed along the overlocking stitch to create a small frilled hem - you can attach the elastic wherever you want to adjust the width of the frill

Tutorial - Creating Shoulder Tucks
  1. On the first shoulder, make two parallel lines (or more if needed) that are each 3" long.  The first one should be 1" away from the neckline, and the second line should be 1" from the first.  The lines should be parallel to the curve of the armscye.  Repeat for the other shoulder
  2. Repeat step one for the back of the shirt as well, making sure that the front and back lines meet on the top of the shoulder
  3. Press the shoulders along the lines you drew and sew 3/8" from each line to create tucks
  4. Press the tucks toward the sleeve and topstitch close to the edges to secure them

Congratulations!  You are done with your t-shirt refashion.  Hopefully you are as happy with the results as my little Mae is :)

Here's a quick view of the back of the dress as well so you can see how the tucks continue over the shoulders:

Too large t-shirt
1/8" Elastic
1/2" Elastic

Be sure to add your own refashions to the Flickr group and don't forget to check out all the other great contributors to Refashion Month:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 17, 2014

house of estrela tutorial - adding a peter pan collar to the izzy top

Magda from House of Estrela has an awesome tutorial up on her blog today on how to add a peter pan collar to the Izzy top!  A while back during Project Run & Play, Magda created an adorable Izzy Top with a faux leather collar:

I loved it so much (especially the invisible button tab!) that I asked Magda if she was willing to write a tutorial on how to duplicate the look.  She generously said yes and the free tutorial is up on her blog today as part of her Refashion Month!  So head on over to House of Estrela and see her newest Izzy top and learn how you can add a collar to your own Izzy top :)

I know I haven't been posting much this summer, but I have a few posts planned in the coming weeks including a free t-shirt to dress refashion tutorial as part of Magda's Refashion Month.  Here's a little sneak peak, but be sure to come back next week to see more: