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Posts Tagged ‘cotton’

Y’all know from my previous post that I’m constantly scouring magazines for of-the-moment pieces to copy…er, um…sew myself. Well, my latest project centered around three trends on the runway this spring and summer:

Floral + Pastels + Maxi skirt

Like this Alice + Olivia skirt from Neiman Marcus .. which sells for $698! Oh that's reasonable for my grocery shopping excursions!

Like this Alice + Olivia skirt from Neiman Marcus .. which sells for $698! Oh that’s reasonable for my grocery shopping excursions!

With this in mind yet wanting something waaaaay cheaper…aka. more casual … I came up with this……………………

My version: $27 … and took about 20 minutes to sew!

My version: $27 … and took about 20 minutes to sew!

And in case you’re wondering, here’s how YOU can make one too:

Grab some lightweight fabric and 2" elastic. The fabric should be the length from waist to hem + about 5". The elastic should be long enough to go around your waist comfortably.

Grab some lightweight fabric and 2″ elastic. The fabric should be the length from waist to hem + about 5″ x 2. (you’ll be cutting two identical rectangles – one for the front and one for the back.) The elastic should be long enough to go around your waist comfortably.

It's ideal to have someone else measure you..but let's face it - 8 year old boys aren't exactly the most reliable source. So, here's how I estimate the length.

It’s ideal to have someone else measure you..but let’s face it – 8 year old boys aren’t exactly the most reliable source. So, here’s how I estimate the length. PS: it’s a little known fact that messy rooms make for more accurate measuring.

Fold your fabric over, lining up the folds. Measure where you'll cut.

Fold your fabric over, lining up the folds. Measure where you’ll cut.

You'll have something like this. Two identical rectangles.

You’ll have something like this. Two identical rectangles. (The sparkly Tom’s are not necessarily going to occur…)

With right sides together, sew up both sides - my photo shows how a serger seam will look. Remember, if you use a sewing machine, your sides will look a little different

With right sides together, sew up both sides – my photo shows how a serger seam will look. Remember, if you use a sewing machine, your sides will look a little different.

Now you're going to make the elastic casing at the waistline. (It doesn't matter which end you use - they're both the same…whew!) You don't want the excess seam allowance creating bulk around your midsection, so I suggest making the casing just wide enough to cover the elastic and hold the seam…not too much longer.

Now you’re going to make the elastic casing at the waistline. (It doesn’t matter which end you use – they’re both the same…whew!) You don’t want the excess seam allowance creating bulk around your midsection, so I suggest making the casing just wide enough to cover the elastic and hold the seam…not too much longer.

I serged the raw edge of the casing; however, if you use a sewing machine, remember to have enough width to tuck under about 1/4" …like this.

I serged the raw edge of the casing; however, if you use a sewing machine, remember to have enough width to tuck under about 1/4″ …like this. 

Press the casing. Sew all the way around EXCEPT - leave a hole to thread your elastic through. Thread your elastic… and before you close up that hole - make sure the waistband fits! I was worried that I'd get the elastic too tight and then it would push out my muffin top, so I cut my elastic huge, then kept cutting away until I liked the fit.

Press the casing. Sew all the way around EXCEPT – leave a hole to thread your elastic through. Thread your elastic… and before you close up that hole – make sure the waistband fits! I was worried that I’d get the elastic too tight and then it would push out my muffin top, so I cut my elastic huge, then kept cutting away until I liked the fit. (yes, it’s inside out right now!)

My length was just right, so I simply used a rolled hem from my serger for the hem. If you're using a sewing machine, just hem as needed.

My length was just right, so I simply used a rolled hem from my serger for the hem. If you’re using a sewing machine, just hem as needed.

And you're done! Bam! Look at you!

And you’re done! Bam! Look at you!

I really really love this skirt! It’s super fun to wear, very comfortable, very forgiving of the figure, and even sexy if you ask me!  I’m wearing it to an Arcade Fire concert tonight…I’ll share photos of this little ditty in action tomorrow!

A NOTE ABOUT THE FABRIC YOU CHOOSE: in order for this skirt to "work" be sure to select fabric that is: flowey, lightweight, etc. and also that is pretty wide. The reason it works so quickly is because I chose 57" fabric which gave me 104" of skirt…give or take. Something narrower will change the dimensions. Make sense?

A NOTE ABOUT THE FABRIC YOU CHOOSE: in order for this skirt to “work” be sure to select fabric that is: flowey, lightweight, etc. and also that is pretty wide. The reason it works so quickly is because I chose 57″ fabric which gave me 104″ of skirt…give or take. Something narrower will change the dimensions. Make sense?

Alrighty, here’s the breakdown:

TIME: Literally 20 minutes, maybe shorter!

COST: I bought 3 yards of $13.00/yd fabric that was 30% off, so a total of $27! That’s a little bit better than $700…but maybe I’m a weirdo!

I hope you’ll make one of these…. I’m confident you’ll thank me!

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What’s up sewers and fabric hoarders!

I thought I’d pass along two dresses… both can be made to order… as usual, the first one is made in a size 6/8 so those are ready to ship!

Team Spirit dress in Lark by Amy Butler. Oh how I love this fabric… obviously, right!

Team Spirit dress in Lark by Amy Butler. Oh how I love this fabric… obviously, right!

Made to Order: Size 2-28

Ready to ship: Size Small (4/6…maybe even 8 if you’re small busted)

$68…. (Etsy price: $78)

 

Pantone's color of the year is pale purple. But let's be honest…I hate that color! This is my favorite print so far with any sort of purple in it. Just sayin'.

Pantone’s color of the year is pale purple. But let’s be honest…I hate that color! This is my favorite print so far with any sort of purple in it. Just sayin’.

Made to Order: any size!

Ready to Ship: size small (6/8)

$40 … (Etsy price: $55)

Just in case you’ve got a little Easter shopping to do!

Stay tuned…I’ve got a new tutorial coming ASAP!

love and fabric to all,

robie

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I realized LAST SUNDAY that TODAY was the last day of school for ALL of my kids.  WHAT IN THE WORLD!?!?  How did this happen???

Somehow in the next few days, I had to come up with 6 Thank You gifts for my kids’ teachers.  And not only that – this week is the last week of our pay period … translation: I need these gifts to be FREE.  But how in the world do I adequately say thank you for 9 months of loving and teaching my children …. for free???

Put on my thinking cap and think. think. think.

I opened up my scrap fabric drawer for some inspiration….

And I came up with this … a reversible scrap fabric apron. And I must admit, I LOVE them!

I kind of feel bad for showing off my mennequin’s posterior, but if mine looked like that I’d show mine off too. Anyway, I love how the reversible part peeks through in the back! This particular version is made from a fabric remnant my husband brought me back from Africa. The houndstooth fabric is just remnants from prior projects.

I made three of these in an hour – how awesome is that!?  Here’s how you can too:

You’ll need to remnant pieces that you can cut to approximately 30″ x 12″. (That is just what I decided to do. You can make yours as wide and as long as you want. This size will make you what I call a “carpenter’s” length apron – just above mid thigh.) I cut mine out with right sides together so that I can go straight to the machine without turning the fabric. Just pick it up and sew. Also, I chose to round the bottom edges. Purely a matter of opinion.

For this particular apron, I wanted to add rick rack (and who cares that I didn’t have quite enough – I just started down a little lower…it’s MY apron!). So, I just sewed the rick rack to the rightside edge of one apron panel. Then I placed that panel on top of the other panel with right sides facing. I sewed along the rick rack stitch line to attach the two panels together. This way you can be sure that the rick rack appears as it should.

Turn your apron section right side out and press. Lovely! Sigh, take in the sights, so pretty!!!

Now to attach the tie/band … cut a long strip of fabric about 6″ in width and as long as you like. This one wrapped all the way around and tied in front. Others can just tie in back, whatever you want and have enough fabric for. Then press the center, and then press in about 1/2″ on each side.

Making sure to match up the centers of the apron panel and the apron tie – begin pinning the panel to the inside seam allowance like shown.

Then fold over the tie/band and pin in place as well. I stitch the apron panel and band together first, then stitch the rest of the tie … if you start at the tip of the tie and sew all the way down to the other tip, your band will have a tendency to shift, so sewing the panel and band first helps to avoid that. But it’s your apron – do what you want!

Okay hot mamma, you’re almost done!!! Try the apron on for size and mark where you’d like to trim your tie (assuming that you want to trim it!)

Now all you have to do is tuck in your edges on both sides and sew ’em up. YOU’RE DONE!!!

Don’t just stand there… admire yourself and the mirror … this is one awesomely easy apron!

And so is this one! Wait…what? They’re the same thing??? How amazing are you!?!

Here’s another combo I whipped up.

EXTRA EXTRA: if you end up cutting a fair amount off the tie, just turn it into a headband. Bam. You’re killin’ it!

So, I feel as if you don’t really need the “breakdown” because I’ve been pretty clear…but here it is anyway:

TIME:  I finished 3 in one hour, so 20 minutes.  ***That means that you’ll have to cut them out at the same time though.

COST: FREE if you use scraps like I did!  Not more than about $3-$5 if you purchase fabric.

Okay, now don’t just stand there…go make some and give them away!!!

 

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On mother’s day, I had a sick child and a sick husband.  So I spend the morning cleaning the house, doing laundry, and cooking.  Dreamy, right!?!  WRONG!

It was also our 12th wedding anniversary, so Jonathan was working as hard as he could to get better by the evening.  We had a date planned, and he really hates missing out on babysitting.  Lucky me!

Soooo, while he napped in the afternoon, I have no shame in announcing that I put my children in front of the television so that I could enjoy some ME time.  Yes, this is also known as “sewing time” around the rest of the world.  Don’t worry, I’m sure the television program was completely educational and changed their life in a millions ways for the better.

I knew I only had about an hour or two, so I hurriedly shuffled through my pattern stash to see what I could come up with in time for our date.  I wanted a dress pattern, of course.  It had to be casual, fast and festive.  Also, in honor of my 95 year old Memaw passing away this week, I wanted to use a fun vintage-inspired floral print for the fabric.

I chose Very Easy Vogue 8684. I have been dreaming of that awesome drop-waist silhouette since I first saw it on the runways a few months ago.

As luck would have it, this was the only day ever in the history of me having children that they did NOT want to watch television!!!  Curses.  Why can’t I have one great day of bad mothering???  Anyhoo, I somehow managed to whip out the dress, and this was with a 6 year old standing on my fabric asking me questions every two minutes, and with a 5 year old pulling out all my fabric from my fabric armoire.  Happy Mother’s Day to me – I really WILL miss these days, right!?

I bought the pattern for the modernized drop-waist … but I love how just by using a vintagey floral, the dress transformed into a very vintage vogue!

I really love these easy breezy sleeves – can you see the slight gathering there? I also LOVE that the pattern calls for bias binding along the neckline instead of a neck facing. I loathe facings so I almost always make that substitution myself, so it’s nice to see it actually called-for in the instructions. I chose to use a bright binding so it will stand out. (PS: my husband commented on how much he liked the bias binding – SCORE! )

Here you can see the drop-waist … have I mentioned that about this pattern yet?! You can also see how simple the sleeve hem is – I just serged and sewed up a very narrow hem.

And here it is on a living, breathing person. Super simple and easy to wear. I wore it that night with some oxford shoes (Fitting for our anniversary because that’s my Maiden name!). I am wearing it again today with some two-toned shoes that are brown linen with blue toes. I also wore it part of the day with wellies. SOOOO fun!

So, now for the little “review” part of the post – How do I feel about this pattern?

I really LOVE it.  It’s super easy and fast.  It only takes just a little bit over 2 yards of fabric.  The look of the dress can easily be transformed by whichever fabric/print you choose.  In fact, I’m looking forward to making this again in a solid so that I can have a more modern representation.

NOTE: the dress has a 22″ zipper in the back.  Don’t let this scare you – you can do it!!  I would really recommend this pattern for someone who wants to up their skills with zippers because the rest of the construction is so easy.  You can really focus your attention on the zipper and not get worried about the rest of the dress.  GO FOR IT!

Here’s the lowdown:

TIME: This took me somewhere between 1 and 2 hours.  Since I had those lovely distractions, I can’t really say the true time frame.  I know I started at 3pm and was finished/wearing it by 5pm.  For those of you who are newer to sewing, I think you can really  make this dress in under 3 hours, including cutting out the pattern.  Let me know if you try it!

COST: This dress cost me…. $5.50!  I found the fabric for $1.50/yd at Walmart, and I needed about 2.5 yards.  Then I needed a zipper.  That’s it.  I had the thread on hand.  Oh, I suppose I should add $3.99 for the pattern that I got onsale at Joann’s.

This is me saying to you – MAKE THIS DRESS AND SEND ME A PHOTO!!! please, ma’ams.

Okay y’all – continuing my desire to be more generous in 2012 …. I will send everyone who sends me a photo of your own version of this pattern a set of embellished bobby pins!  (tutorial coming tomorrow!)

…(sorry, I have to have a cutoff date, so free bobby pin offer expires in one month – June 15th.  Send me your address along with your photo … I’ll compile the photos and do a blog post, how fun, right!?! )

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What should you do when you have 9 minutes to kill …. think, think, think.

You could clean your bathroom.

You could clean out your refrigerator.

You could jog a mile.

OR —— YOU COULD MAKE A SKIRT JUST LIKE THIS!

I really really made this in less than 10 minutes!

If you got ten minutes to spare, read on for how to whip this up and have 30 seconds to spare.

Grab a skirt that comes close to the size you’re wanting and lay it on top of your fabric. Keep your fabric folded just like it comes. I knew I wanted the new skirt longer than the current one, so as you can see I left room at the bottom.

Then just cut out a rectangle-ish piece of fabric. You can see that I cut it a little longer at the top to accommodate the elastic casing, and again, I made it longer at the bottom. (yes, you can also see that I didn’t worry about making it a perfect rectangle. This is a summer skirt – it’s going to be flowy, relax a little!

Fold the fabric right sides together and align the selvedge edges. Serge or sew that edge. (the other edge is the fold so there’s no need to sew – score!)

Next, serge or narrow hem the top and bottom edges.

Your bottom edge is done, finished, bam! The top edge now needs an elastic casing, so fold over the top edge and press.

Sew all the way around the elastic casing, leave an opening at the side seam to insert your elastic.

Use the sample skirt to determine how long to make the elastic. I made the new skirt’s elastic slightly longer than the sample so Ellie can keep growing. (just squint if you’re having trouble seeing the blurry image!)

Using a safety pin, thread the elastic through the casing, then sew closed. Bam, your skirt is finished ….. AFTER you press down that side seam. Look at your clock – it should say approximately TEN MINUTES has passed!

The skirt you see here technically took 14 minutes – but that’s because I was taking photos along the way.  I wanted to see the “real” time so I made a second skirt for my other daughter using exactly the same process.  That time was 9 minutes!  I’m trying hard not to spit my Lacroix out of my nose because this is SO exciting!

This fabric makes me smile – I know they’re technically pears, but they make me think of lemonade!

Would you believe that each skirt cost me less than $2!?!? That’s cheaper than Savers people!

Now, yes, I know that this skirt is a total bare-bones skirt.  BUT WHO CARES!!!!????!!!!  If you pick out fabric that you love, you don’t need crazy ornate patterns, just let the fabric speak for its self!

Here’s the breakdown … and you seriously won’t believe this:

Time:  have I been stuttering?  In case you missed it, these skirts take 9 minutes!!!  (In the effort of full disclosure, I used a serger.  If you use a regular sewing machine, you might choose to do a double folded hem which will add about 2 minutes to the total.  Not bad if you ask me!)

Cost: Under $2!  I bought my fabric on sale for half price making it $3.50/yd.  The longest skirt was cut at 18″, making it $1.75 for fabric.  I had the elastic on hand, so I added just a quarter to the price since I didn’t use much.

These are awesome for a summer fun wardrobe that you don’t spend much on … you’ll be sooooo happy to let them get these all dirty and rotten because the expense and time burden are so super small.  Also, these are awesome for inexpensive but powerful birthday presents!

Lastly – you really really really can do this for a grown up too.  I am working on one for me as I type this – since my serger thread ran out, I thought I’d post the first two first.  Either way, it’s still a 9 minute skirt!

Go grab nine minutes, half a yard of fabric – and have fun!!!

Oh, and by the way – I’m certainly NOT the first person to create a fast skirt … for more ideas on making quick skirts (and a million other things, check out my friends over at All Free Sewing … every tutorial is free and easy!  I love this website!)

 

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Well, up until today, I had not decided whether or not I was going to offer this dress to the proverbial “Public”.  I absolutely LOVE  it … but I haven’t gotten fully confident I can create it adequately for people all over the world whom I’ll never size in person.

recognize that Amy Butler Soul Blossoms fabric??? I have finally gone through all 15 yards I purchased!

Well, today I have made the leap and said YES to that inner voice saying, “Make this for other people, you freak!”

Why????

Because I was standing in the parking lot at a grocery store (YES – texting!) when I heard a stranger’s voice yell:

THAT’S A KILLER DRESS!!!

To which I gratefully replied, “Thank You!”

and he said:

NO, THANK YOU!!!

Well, I may pay to be blonde, but I don’t pay to be stupid!  I can tell when there’s a good thing going on!!!  Earlier this morning my husband sent me off for a manicure and pedicure … and the technician couldn’t stop talking about my dress.  She didn’t call it “killer” but she did say it was “fabulous” … in come cultures those words are interchangeable!

Soooooo, here is a sneak peak at the first One-Shoulder dress being made available in my Etsy shop.  Hereafter referred to as the Killer Dress!

Here is the dress shown with a funky chunky feaux turquoise necklace from my pal over at Polished on Etsy. It's a very slimming a-line silhouette. Very fun and versatile to wear! I started with a Burda pattern, made a few tweaks, and the rest is "killer" history.

And here's the back - equally simple which keeps it so easy to wear! You'll notice the zipper on the right hand side - keeps it formfitting without the need for elastic.

In case you didn't notice, it's a one-shoulder dress! (I've made a million of these, but this is by far the simplest and most universally flattering that I've made so far. If you don't like your arms showing - you can add a cute cardigan and just show off the asymmetrical line of the bodice across your chest/neckline.)

Here is how I wore it today - funky necklace, fun belt, wedge sandals. I did not, however, walk around with my arms like that. Or my lips. (I also wore it this way last Tuesday and Wednesday ... maybe this is quickly becoming my 2012 wardrobe!)

So000, if you dig this dress and would like to order one – feel free to thank the random Randall’s parking lot guy!

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My head is spinning.  Maybe even literally, I can’t tell.  Christmas season is fun, isn’t it!?!

In addition to planning a leadership party at my house Sunday night, and a Craft Crowd Make-It Merry Christmas craft night at my house on Monday night, and two kids’ friends hangouts on Tuesday, and a Chistmas Bazaar on Friday….I have decided to make a few READY TO SHIP strapless dresses in my freakishness spare time.

Soooooo….just in case you’re still looking for that perfect gift or that fun dress to wear to your company party…here are three options for a size Small/Medium.  Each dress is Ready To Ship immediately … this means it’s already made…and each dress is $55.  They usually sell for $68-81 but hey, it’s a recession.  (Don’t worry, if you need larger – or dare I say, smaller – sizes, those are coming OR you can suggest a size!)

sorry it's a blurry photo...but it wouldn't be a proper So Sew Something post without the gratituitous blurry photo!

There, that's better! The belt is an OBI belt - similar to the one shown in my Etsy shop on the Asian fabric. NOTE: the pretty white shirt is from LOFT and is shown so that you can see how cute these dresses look gussied up for winter!

Probably my newest favorite - I'm digging the RockaBilly vibe ... it's shown with a green/blue houndstooth sash, but I can just easily create a red or yellow sash that would look "rockin'!"

I mean seriously, can there EVER be enough houndstooth???!!!

Love this fabric pairing - striking Michael Miller fabric paired with vintage style polka dots - totally sweet and charming ... throw on a motorcycle jacket and you've all of a sudden got a tough chick...well, a pretty tough chick!

And now for the close-up!

So there you have it – three more strapless dresses from the girl who can’t stop making them!  I love wearing these year-round, and I think you will too.  Feel free to take one of these off my hands …for my blog readers, I’ll even throw in FREE SHIPPING!  Just let me know you read it on my blog!

Merry Christmas lovelies!

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