Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Dresses

I am in love with this fabric from Michael Miller's Christmas collection! It perfectly captures the colors and patterns that I like for Christmas-- not too dorky and not too formal. I made as many reverse knot dresses as I could and squeezed every inch out of the fabric! Carly ended up with one mess-up, which worked out beautifully for our family pictures. I also made a few boy ties to match, and they were a hit too, as usual.

...And one custom pillowcase dress and pigtail bows!

Minky Scarves

Last winter, I used some scraps of minky to make three brown scarves. One was for myself, and two were for a door prize for my Mops group. Then I decided I loved my brown scarf, so much that I made myself a white one, a camel one, and a black and white damask one.

So this winter when I started wearing my minkies, and getting compliments, and an order for one from a friend, it finally crossed my mind that I should sell them. Duh! So here are a few picture of what I have made. I still have more white and brown fabric, if anyone would like to order one! $15.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

TShirt Dress Tutorial

So, you know, things happen sometimes. You screw up an order, and have to redo it. But what to do with the messed up leftover?

In this case, the back hem of the shirt I was embroidering got caught up in the embroidery hoop. *Headslap* I had to cut a hunk out of the shirt to get it out of the hoop.

What to do? You make a dress out of the messed up Tshirt.

Ready to learn how? I promise it's easy! Here we go!

What you need for a child-size dress:

*One tshirt
*Two coordinating fabrics (about 1/2 yard of the main one, and 1/3 yard of the other.)
*Sewing machine and notions

Optional Stuff:
*Ruffle Foot

To start, cut the bottom off the shirt. On this one I had to go below the butterflies. Otherwise I would recommend cutting about two inches below the arm holes. That will give a nice empire waist look.

Next lay out your fabrics. Measure how long you want the skirt to be. This one is about 17 inches long. For the bottom band, cut a 4.5-inch side strip using the full width of the fabric. Make up the difference with the main fabric (plus one inch). This skirt is 13 after I trimmed up the edges.

Lay your main fabric down on your surface, and line up the bottom band raw edges, right sides together.

Sew raw egdes together. I'm using a serger, but of course you can use a regular sewing machine.

Next, open out the entire piece of fabric and press the new seam down. Then fold the piece in half, right sides together, and sew up the side, being sure to line up the bottom band with itself.

Now you have this: On the left is the seam you just finished, on the right is a fold. The top edge is still raw.

Now it's time to gather the skirt to fit the shirt. You can use a ruffler foot if you have one, or you can use gathering stitches to pull it up. For help with that check out this tutorial.

So now you have a chopped off tshirt and a gathered skirt.

Now take the leftover strip of coordinating fabric and fold it over longways. This one is about 2.5 inches wide. I would have liked if it was wider, like 3.5 to 4 inches. Sew raw edges together to make an inside-out tube. Use a very small seam allowance.

Leave a gap in the stitching about 4 inches long.

About one inch from the end, turn your fabric to a 45-degree angle, and sew to the fold. this makes a pretty end to your sash tie. Go back and do this on the other end as well.

Trim the seams and clip the corners of both ends. Then turn the tube right-side-out and press it flat. For help with that, click here. Sew the opening together very close to the edge. I didn't get a picture of that step.

Now you have a chopped off Tshirt, a gathered skirt, and a long sash.

Turn the shirt inside out and fit the raw edges together. Use pins liberally to keep everything in place. Adjust the ruffles or gathers to fit the width of the shirt.

Stitch on a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Make sure to put the non-stretchy fabric down on the machine's feed dogs.

Turn the dress right-side out. Pin the sash over the middle of the seam, centering it in the middle of the skirt. Stitch the sash close to the edge, stopping when you get to the sides/underarms. The sash will be attached across the front of the dress and free in the back.

Stitch the top edge in the same way.

This is what the side looks like. This is just under the sleeve of the shirt.

Hem the bottom and you are finished!

If you have a baggy shirt like this one, the sash helps to cinch it up in the back to make it more form-fitting.


*You can adjust the measurements to make this dress for any size. In fact, this is very similar to my maxi dresses that you can see here.

*Using a more fitted tshirt and cutting the waistline a bit higher would make a more flattering shape. But we scrap-a-holics do what we can to reuse and recycle anything and everything!

Monday, November 1, 2010


Congrats to the winner of the Zippy Pouch! Comment #10 - Megan (almpk)

Her comment:

Thank you so much to everyone who entered and gave me feedback on my tutorial! Next tutorial will be the Tshirt Maxi Dress! Wallet coming soon too. ;-)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Christmas Open House!

Hope to see you there! I will have some all new Christmas dresses, as well as knot dresses and peasant dresses, bibs and burp cloths, tshirt-skirt sets, a few cute things for boys, hairbows, and a few picture frames. Most of my "old" inventory will be on sale!! So come by and get some bargains for Christmas, birthdays, or just because!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Grown Up Dresses

Ok, so after begging and pleading my two- and four-year-olds to pleeeeease take pictures with my phone... their eager little hands snapped a couple of decent ones of me modeling the dresses. I made the blue and white one weeks ago, but never got around to wearing it until today. I threw the black one on for pics while I was in a modeling mood :)

Fun huh? I promise a tutorial for this soon!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Zippy Pouch Tutorial {and Giveaway!!!!} {Giveaway CLOSED}

Remember the Zippy Pouch I showed off a few posts ago? How about a tutorial? Okay, great! Here are the instructions with pictures.

To make the Zippy Pouch, you will need:

*Scraps of two different fabrics (about 1/4 yard of each)
*Scissors or a Rotary Cutter
* Cutting Board or Ruler
*Sewing Machine
*9-inch zipper
*Fusible interfacing

Fabric cuts:
*Outside of bag: Two 8-inch by 10-inch pieces of fabric
*Lining: Two 8 x 10 pieces
* Strap: One 2.5-inch by 6 inch piece (longer (9-12 inches) if you want a wristlet handle, shorter (3-5 inches) if you just want to clip a key ring to it)
*Zipper End covers: Two 1.5x2.5 pieces in the contrasting fabric
*Interfacing: two 8x10 pieces, and one to fit the strap piece

1. Fuse the interfacing into the main fabric. Go ahead and fuse the strap piece too, and set it aside.

2. Fold the zipper end covers in half lengthwise (bring the short ends together) and press. The photo below shows the full size piece on top, and the folded piece on bottom.

Now, open it up and fold the ends in to the fold and press. (Basically, you are making a very short piece of binding/bias tape).

Insert the end of the zipper into the piece all the way to the fold. You may need to trim the end of the zipper some. Be sure to cover the little metal piece up enough that when you stitch over it you won't break your needle on it.

See? Nice and snug in there. Now, stitch very close to the edge of the cover, being careful not to hit that metal piece.

For the other end, repeat the process with the pressing and folding, but this time open the zipper (to get the zipper pull out of the way) and pin the zipper closed. Stitch the same way as before, very close to the edge, being careful to avoid the metal piece.

Here is your zipper after the ends are sewn on.

Now, take your main fabric and lay it on your surface. Place the zipper on it, right side down with the zipper pull on the left.

Then place your lining fabric on top, right side down, lining up the top edges neatly. Pin in place.

Stitch the entire length of the fabric, through the zipper ends, on the outside edge of the zipper. Turn the whole thing so the wrong sides of the fabrics are together, and press.

Next, lay your second main fabric piece on your surface, right side up. Lay the pressed piece we've been working on on top, main fabric down. Then lay your last peice of lining fabric on top, right side down. Pin all pieces together. Be sure your like fabrics are together-- lining to lining and main to main. Stitch in the same way as before - close to the zipper but not too close, on the outside edge. Hopefully this picture shows the stack well.

Once you stitch, you will have this:

Now it's time to make the handle. Fold your fabric lengthwise, right sides together, and stitch with a small seam allowance.

Turn the tube to the outside using a safety pin, loop turner, or this simple but ingenious trick.

Press the strap flat with the seam in the middle. Topstitch close to both edges if desired. (I did.)

Arrange the fabrics to that the like pieces are together now. Pin your strap near the zipper, in between the main fabric layers. Be sure the raw end of fabric match up and the strap goes toward the inside.

Also, pull the zipper end covers toward the lining fabric, which make the zipper itself fold toward the main fabric. Be sure to sew it like that. Stitch around the entire rectangle of fabric, leaving a 3-4 inch gap in the bottom of the lining for turning. Also, when sewing over the zipper ends, try to sew right next the them, and not through them. If you have to sew through them, it's okay too.

Almost finished! Clip the corners and turn the bag right side out. Press the lining, and sew the hole closed, stitching very close the the edge.

Stuff the lining inside the bag, and press the entire bag.. And there you go! Stuff some stuff inside and go show it off!

p.s. This is what your zipper ends should look like:

Nifty, huh?

Now, for my surprise! One lucky reader is going to WIN this bag! To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post, telling me if you understood the instructions well enough to make a bag yourself! If there is anything I left out, feel free to tell me. I'm still working on my tutorials, and want to know if they are any good :-)

Also, for additional entries you can:
*become a follower of my blog
*become a fan on Facebook (or "like" me)
*post a blog post about the giveaway/tutorial on your blog and leave me the link in a comment
*post about the giveaway/tutorial on your Facebook status and tell me about it

Remember, leave a separate comment for every entry. Which means you can have up to five comments! If you are already a follower or fan, I still need you to leave a comment for each.

I'll randomly pick a winner on Monday, November 1st.. so you have until then to enter!

Go get busy!
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