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Posts Tagged ‘inexpensive’

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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Hi friends!!!!

Yep…I’m still here, are you???

It’s been quite a while since I put my shop on vacation and all but forsook my little blog here. I’m bowing my head and slumping my shoulders in shame. Will you forgive me??? Okay, I get that. How about a quick little tutorial to warm our friendship up again… and better yet… it has POM POMS!!!!  Just typing the word “pom pom” gives me glorious goose bumps!

Here's what I'm talking about - glorious garland made from what else but dollar store pom poms!

Here’s what I’m talking about – glorious garland made from what else but dollar store pom poms!

Here’s the tutorial…free and fast…perfect for our friendship!

photo 1

Start with something good on TV – my choice was the ladies figure skating short program. Go Team USA!

In your lap, gather lots of loose pom poms, scissors, thread/embroidery floss, and a sharp needle. (a long one is best)

In your lap, gather lots of loose pom poms, scissors, thread/embroidery floss, and a sharp needle. (a long one is best)

 

Pull out a long line of your string - preferably as long as you'd like your garland to be; however, you can always tie two ends together to make it longer. Thread your needle and pass it through the center of the pom pom. Bam. You're almost done. I do NOT kid.

Pull out a long line of your string – preferably as long as you’d like your garland to be; however, you can always tie two ends together to make it longer. Thread your needle and pass it through the center of the pom pom. Bam. You’re almost done. I do NOT kid.

Just keep pushing them down the line and watch them form one long jolly line of garland. It's majestic and delightful. I felt like an Olympian myself!

Just keep pushing them down the line and watch them form one long jolly line of garland. It’s majestic and delightful. I felt like an Olympian myself!

When you've finished, wrap it around something you love…and experience a greater love you never thought possible.

When you’ve finished, wrap it around something you love…and experience a greater love you never thought possible.

I mean, seriously!!! I want a million of these all over my house!

I mean, seriously!!! I want a million of these all over my house!

Last look at what could very well change your life…and your view of television!

Last look at what could very well change your life…and your view of television!

As always, here’s the breakdown:

Time: My garland is about 3 or 4 yards long, and it took me 3 short programs. I mean, it took me about 15 minutes, including being distracted.

Cost: 3 bags of 80 pom poms – $1 each. I already had the thread and needles…so a whopping $3. Insert smiley face doing cartwheels.

Tomorrow, I hope to have a big surprise… which could include another curtain tutorial… Oh the suspense… see you soon!!!

 

 

 

 

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Sewing Season Christmas Season is in full swing, isn’t it!?!

I don’t know about you, but the craziest gifts to come up with are not for family members or friends … but for the millions of SIX teachers I get to give gifts.  I am already pretty close to being out of budget for all gifts…so what’s a mom to do???

COVERED BUTTON PUSHPINS – BAM!

These are really super easy and super cheap – yet they really make people smile!  I have already delivered 5 of the 6 of these gifts, so I’m speaking from experience when I say that they don’t look like cheapo gifts – and the recipients are pretty stoked!

Here’s how to make them…

In addition to buttons to cover and thumbtacks , you'll need something to remove the shanks. I prefer to use one of these jewelry plier thingies. I have no idea what it's called but here's a photo. For gifts, I think 4 buttons should be the minimum. Give as many as you want, but 4 is a nice gesture. =)

Just grab the shank of the back of the button with your plier thingy and pull. Sometimes you have to kind of jiggy it a bit! Just do whatever you have to do to pull that out!

You'll end up with this - a button back and a loose shank. You can throw that shank away!

Now simply cover your button as usual. If you need a tutorial for that, go here.

Now you're ready to glue your tacks tot he back of your button. I prefer to use these heavy duty home decorator pushpins, but regular thumb tacks work too. (If you use a button larger than 3/4", I'd recommend these heavy duty ones b/c the smaller ones look pretty wimpy)

Put a dab of hot glue in the center of the button back, and then push your pushpin right in there. EASY PEASY HUH!?!

You'll get something like this ... except yours probably will not be blurry!

To up the wow-factor for the gift, just grab some cork squares from your hobby store. Cut them in half to get two small cork rectangles. Insert your pushpins and add a fun tag. done.

You can see my first five sets here.  I put them inside little fun cellophane bags.  It was really a fun project to make and to give.  I am fairly certain Ellie and Rosamund’s teachers felt loved.

Here’s the breakdown:

Cost: 5 covered buttons will cost you about $1.50.  Cork squares – about 25 cents when cut in half.  Thumb tacks – about 10 cents.  Fabric – SCRAPS so free!  Total cost (at most) per gift is under $2.  LOVE THAT!

Time: about 10 minutes per gift…depending on how crazy those shanks are to remove.

I hope you’ll make some …you probably have these materials on hand already!

Merry Christmas Sewing Season!!!

PS:  We made these at our Craft Crowd’s Make It Merry Christmas… head on over to their blog to see more photos!  (If they’re not there, check back – I’m looking for my camera uploader thingie!)

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