Sunday, May 30, 2010

my baby gift to you: maternity skirt

A couple of years ago my SIL was pregnant and mentioned that I should make a maternity skirt. It took a bit to figure out, but wasn't as hard as I anticipated. I have sold a couple on etsy, but have never known how they end up REALLY fitting.

I believe I am past that "oh, look how cute and pregnant you are" and to the stage of sympathetic looks and "any day now, right?" comments. I guess it does look like I have a basket ball shoved underneath there doesn't it. (sorry, blurry pic taken by the 6 year old)

If you are interested in making yourself one this is essentially what I did:

Supplies: thread, 2 yards cute fabric, 2 yards lining fabric, 3" wide elastic (you have to determine how much, but I buy 1 1/2 yard making a size small skirt), 1/4 yard knit fabric to coordinate w/ pretty fabric.

1. I took the Amy Butler Barcelona skirt pattern (which I LOVE and sew all of the time when not preggo) in my regular size and traced it, front only. This works for me because I only get pregnant in the belly region (although last pregnancy my sister told me my butt looked big...), so I just use my regular size. If you tend to get pregnant everywhere, I guess go up a size.

2. I then took off 3 inches down from the waist. Save this piece (at least the measurement).

3. Cut 2 of your pattern on the fold of your outside fabric and then also your lining fabric.

4. Sew up the sides of both pieces.

5. Take the 3" waist measurement that you cut/determined in step 2. Double that length by 3" width and cut 2. Make sense??? Cut this out of the knit fabric. Sew to make one long piece. Sew those ends together making a giant loop, right sides together. Fold length of fabric in half like a hot dog, raw edges together. Iron (if it makes you feel better, I usually don't...)

6. Take your 3" elastic and cut 1/2" shorter than the length of knit you just sewed. Butt up the ends of the elastic in a loop and zigzag a million times to sew together (not overlapping, just end-to-end). Stick this elastic loop inside the knit loop you just made. Sew as close to the edge of the knit fabric against the elastic as you can (I usually move the needle to one end of the presser foot). Trim to 1/4".

7. With your pretty side fabric inside out put your lining fabric right side out INSIDE the pretty fabric. Sandwich your elastic/knit loop between the two, raw edges matching the raw edges of the skirts waist. Sew all three layers together.

8. I'm not sure how to explain the next part, but I think if you pull the lining part up, flip the pretty fabric right side out and then stuff the lining part back in so that it's on the inside, it'll all work out. If you have the AB pattern, she explains it pretty well, there's just not that 3rd elastic part.

9. Top stitch the bottom of the waist band (on pretty fabric, NOT knit fabric). Hem.

10. Wear!

Please please please - personal use only...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

teachers gifts

As a thank you gift for Mrs. Grove for a great school year I made this bag. I think it turned out cute except that visually it looks lopsided (hence the added flower to hopefully distract). It is all straight though - I meant to make the green fabric strip larger in comparison to the other two, but I didn't make it dramatic enough. I think that's why it LOOKS lopsided. I used some Joel Dewberry fabric I have in my stash and made the bag in just a couple of hours.

We gave homemade jam to the teachers aids/helpers in the class. I found this blog that has the cutest little labels to attach with the jam. The labels are free. Check them out!

I brought this stuff to school yesterday even though we still have a couple of days left. It felt good to check this task of my list (and who knows! This baby could come 5 weeks early like it's older brother.) I think I am nesting, but not in the clean-every-corner-of-my-house way (much to my husband's dismay). I've been getting little crafty things done that I've been meaning to get to for the past 8 months!

Monday, May 24, 2010

a birthday dress

My daughter was telling everyone that I was making her a Birthday dress... I hadn't really planned on it seeing that I've made her a couple of dresses already this spring (which I've been meaning to post).

So, I guess I should make her a dress...I've been meaning to try that Oliver +S Birthday Party Dress pattern. I've had it for nearly a year. One night, or rather 2:00 a.m. I couldn't sleep, as has been the case since I've been uncomfortably pregnant. I got up and decided to trace the size I needed and get the pieces cut out. It's amazing what you can do from 2-4:00 in the morning when no one is awake or calling on the phone.

I just may have to do an actual review on the pattern someday when I'm not so hormonal. It was a pain in the neck to make. I think it turned out darling, and I love love the detail, but it required a lot of mark-transferring and ironing - two things I am barely willing to do. This dress required a lot of it though! After spending much more time on it than originally planned, my pleats turned out all wonky and I didn't blind stitch the hem. That's the great thing about sewing for a 6 year old... she doesn't care. She just loves the fabric "she picked out". And, well, I notice the pleats, but... I just don't care. Again, it's the hormones. And I must post a tutorial on making these flower hair clips. They are super easy to make and come together fast. Typically I make them in the minutes before leaving for church to match an outfit (that's how quickly they come together).

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

scrappy cards

I'm a big fan of sending (and receiving) cards via snail mail. I think email is nice and evites are free, but isn't it great to get something in the mail that doesn't ask for a "payment due by" or "vote for ________". For Mother's Day I made the mom's in my life some scrappy cards. I just picked up a pack of blank cards from Michaels ($4.99 with coupon), and used scraps from my growing bin of scraps.

It's one of those projects that I don't think you can really mess up. It's fun mixing and matching the fabric and seeing these mini quilts, if you will, come together into a fun gift set.