Saturday, May 31, 2014

A House is Not a Home Skirt-High-Waisted Dirndl

At the urgings of a great online sewing buddy and my desire to put WAY too much information in my Instagram posts, I've decided to dip my toe into the wonderful world of sewing blogs. Up first, this easy dirndl skirt I finished yesterday while procrastinating on all my housework. 

For those who don't know, a dirndl skirt is a simple skirt made up of two rectangles and a waistband. I VERY loosely followed this tutorial by the lovely Gertie. I do mean loosely. I'll admit, I'm terrible at reading directions. I sorta just skim for the relevant details and dive in head first. Mainly, I figured out what measurements I needed and looked back to see the order to do things. 

I used a lovely Robert Kaufman fabric that I scored for $2 a yard a few weeks ago at Craft Warehouse, a store that is sadly nowhere near my house.  I love the chairs and snatched up another 5ish yards in the light blue colorway.  The zipper was in my small stash left over from the circle skirt that would not be. So this beauty cost less than $5, a total win in my book. 

The project was a bit if an experiment. I've never done this style skirt, and I'm not sure if it's my favorite yet. I need to wear it around for a bit first. I'm also playing with finding the best silhouette for my body. The waist on this skirt is a good 4 inches above my normal waist, the spot where I typically where my pants. I think shortening my torso might be a more figure flattering style. That's what I love about sewing, the ability to change things to fit just me. 

The thing that surprised me was the amount of hand sewing involved. I never sewed more than a button by hand before I got my machine, yet in the past few days I've spent around 4 hours slip stitching away. On this skirt, the inner waistband is stitched by hand as well as the hem. I love the clean, polished look this gives. My machine does have an invisible hem stitch, but last night was not the time to figure it out. 

Thanks for joining me here. I'll be back with more chronicles later. After all, there's always more procrasti-sewing to be done. 

Sewing Saturdays with Simple Simon

Happy Saturday all!  What's on you sewing agenda this weekend?  I've nearly done with a dress that will show up here hopefully by Monday. I have miles of handsewing left but I'm excited about this project and can't wait to share it. If you're looking for some inspiration, check out the link party over at Simple Simon and Co.  Happy sewing!!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Thar's My Booty Shorts-Girls' Sycamore Shorts

Can I tell you a secret?  I don't really like making kids' clothes. What?!  I am at heart a selfish sewist. I love having the reward of a new piece of clothing with each finished piece. I know there are thousands of amazing girl patterns out there but The Little Miss is a no-fuss kind of girl. She would be perfectly happy wearing nothing but free summer reading t-shirts and yoga-style pants. I'd love to make a peppermint swirl dress or a boho-chic bodysuit but she'd never wear it.

I'm also not convinced that kids' sewing is cost effective. Indie patterns will cost more than a pair of RTW shorts before you even begin to add in supplies. I know when I sew something for myself it has lasting power. Anything I make for TLM will have MAYBE a year of wear time, and will probably not make it past the summer. Add in the fiddly-ness of tiny clothes and I'll probably just turn to the $5 shorts and t's from The Children's Place.

Occasionally though, a fabric comes around that I just can't say no to. That's the case with this amazing pirate fabric, part of my $2/yard Craft Warehouse haul. I saw it and immediately had visions of an old school jumper/pinafore complete with large, yellow, plastic buttons and maybe a kangaroo pouch on the front. Paired with a simple white shirt, it would be the perfect summer outfit for my rough and tumble LM.

Well, you know how plans are. TLM vetoed my lovely jumper deciding that pirate shorts would be a much better idea. Enter the Sycamore shorts pattern by Sew Like My Mom. Free pattern + bargain fabric = kids' sewing win. I pulled out some brown brick fabric for the accent pockets. Looks kinda like the side if a pirate ship right? And saved me a trip to the store.

These were great to sew up. One quick note. I did have troubles deciphering the cutting instructions. I ended up with everything I needed but I'm pretty sure I didn't do it "right".   Other than that, the construction is brilliant.

The wonderful pockets are created to have no raw edges. This does make them a bit bulky at the bottom. When I make another pair I might see if there's a way to reduce this bulk.  I was a little skeptical about the 1/4" seam allowance but it worked perfectly. The brilliance come with the casing and hems. They are all measured and pressed before the shorts are put together allowing you to measure when they are flat.  I'll definitely steal this technique for other pants and shorts I make. It was truly the easiest time I ever had with an elastic casing. The only change I made was to use button hole elastic instead if no-roll.  It's what I had on hand and gives me some wiggle room since TLM isn't around to measure. I reduced the casing to account for the thinner elastic.

I'm sure there's at least a couple more pairs if Sycamore shorts in my future. Who can say no to those pockets?  And why don't more girls' clothes have pockets??

As always, there are more adventures to come. See you soon!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Love is Like a Unicorn-Duvet Cover

Here at the Roach house our house we are anxiously awaiting summer vacation and the return of The Little Miss to our side of the country. This basically means that in the name of cleaning, our house is a disaster and her poor unused bedroom looks like the back room of your local thrift shop. It's always worse before the calm, or whatever it is they say, so I'm fairly certain there will be a place for the child to sleep when she gets here.

What I do know is that her room will have a "big girl" makeover. Now, TLM is a tiny girl, and though she's five she's not really big enough to justify a twin bed. So, we're going to squeeze one more year out of her current, toddler sized bed. But the bedding MUST go. It currently has this set purchased at Ikea a couple of years ago. While it's cute, and will probably be up cycled into pajamas, it's just too "baby" for TLM.

When deciding what fabrics to choose I went directly to the source. Her request?  Pink with white unicorns. Okay, I didn't really see that coming from my Ninja Turtle loving, Ironman obsessed LM but okay, no problem. Surely there are veritable TONS of unicorn fabric.

No. There is not. I think I found a total of three unicorn fabrics in all of the interwebs. Then I came across this Riley Blake collection on Perfect! But not available!  I waited, not patiently at all, for the email announcing it's final arrival and quickly snatched up 1 yd of pink unicorns and another .5 yd of the contrasting rainbows. So glad I acted quickly, it doesn't appear like the pink is still available, though there are a couple other colorways. Wish I had purchased just a tad more to accent her curtains but hindsight and all that.

The construction was pretty easy, not much more than making a pillow case. I used the old Ikea cover as a guide for the measurements splitting up the front to allow for the contrasting edge. The cover is backed in soft, butter-yellow flannel from JoAnn's for maximum cuddliness. After the ruffles I wanted to add at the front seam line were soundly vetoed, I pulled some pink single-fold bias tape out of my stash and top stitched it across the seam. The bottom has an opening of about 12 inches to allow for removal of the actual duvet. I followed the lead of the Ikea cover and left it open, no buttons or ties. I just double folded and stitched the raw edges to give it a clean finish.

This was a very quick project, finished in less than two hours but will make a huge difference in TLM's room. I also threw together the pillow case here. I had just enough fabric left to add the trim to the existing pillow case.

Thanks for stopping by!  Next in the pipeline we have word searches, pirates, and more chairs. See you then.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

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