Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pink Party Skirt

 It's finished!  I'm really excited to share this one with you because I'm so, so proud of myself.  It turned out really well and I'd say it's my best project yet.  So, presenting the Pink Party Skirt!

This picture situation is getting pretty pathetic.  My iPhone takes better pictures than my current camera, and neither has an auto setting, so I apologize for the horrendous pics.  I am, however, really proud of the new skirt!  Here's a close up.

So, technically I was supposed to tie the sash into a bow, but I have an inability to tie bows.  So it became a knot.  I still think it looks cute.  The sash is also detachable so I can wear the skirt with or without a bow/knot.

I made the skirt from the Party Skirt Tutorial at Creative Spaces.  For the zipper in the back, I used the Invisible Zipper Tutorial from Clever Nesting.   I've decided to do reviews a little differently after this sewing experience.  (I plan on doing 1-10 ratings for different categories and then an overall rating/recommendation.)  You'll get a very detailed review on both the Party Skirt Tutorial and the Invisible Zipper Tutorial soon, and be prepared because it's going to be interesting.

Until then, I'll be proudly wearing my skirt around town (since it's already 85 degrees out here in Florida).  I already wore it to Starbuck's tonight!

See you next time!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Status Update

Hello blogging world!

I like to try and post at least once a week, so since I didn't have time to finish the projects/posts I was working on for you I thought I'd let you know what I'm working on!  Which is this skirt from Creative Spaces:

I'm almost finished with the skirt, but it's been put on hold for tonight because I don't have a zipper!  Don't you hate it when you don't have something you need during a late night sewing project?  This is why JoAnn's should be 24 hours!  Lol.

Anyway, after I finish the skirt I'll be posting a tutorial review for the Party Skirt Tutorial on Creative Spaces.  Be excited, because the skirt is turning out very well!  I can't wait to get that zipper in so I can show it off to y'all! :) 

Browsing around on Creative Spaces tonight I found out there's a baby version of the skirt, too.

As soon as I get the chance I'll probably try this out (and you'll get a review!) and whip up another adult sized one for my step-sister so she and her daughter can have matching outfits.  So excited!

Also in the works is a made-by-me tutorial for the heat therapy pillows I wrote about recently.  It's almost finished except I need to get some pictures in there for you.

And still be keeping your eye out for that satin teal polka dot circle skirt and an elastic dying tutorial review that I promised.  It'll be coming around once I get some dye for the elastic.  I was at the store today and had it on my mental lists, but you know how mental lists go.  Note to self:  Have a physical list next time!

Sorry for the hodge-podge post, but I wanted you to know I hadn't forgotten you!  I'll get these things to you asap, I promise!

Ta-ta for now! :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Tutorial Review: Circle Skirt from MADE

Today we'll be reviewing the Circle Skirt Tutorial from MADE.

So here's how mine turned out:

Looks pretty good, huh?  I can dress it up like this to wear to work, or I can dress it down with a t-shirt and my Sperries.  And guess what?  The fabric was 60% off at JoAnn's, so the skirt cost me a total of $4 to make.  That's what I call dressing on a budget!

I also made a toddler sized version for my niece.  It's in a jersey knit (also purchased on sale) with colorful giraffes on it.  It didn't turn out quite as well due to my inexperience with knits.  The fabric seemed to gather and quit moving through the machine if I didn't stretch it, but got wavy if I did.  (I guess it's about stretching the right amount?)

The waviness of the skirt hides the waviness in the fabric pretty well, though, so it still looks alright.  Although, I think I made the skirt waaay too long for a two year old.  I might have to go back and re-hem it.

On to the tutorial review:

As always, Dana's tutorial was EXTREMELY simple to follow.  (If you haven't already, you should really check out her blog!  Lots of great, easy-to-follow tutorials.)  The tutorial walks you through making your own pattern in this tutorial which is always a daunting thing for new sewers.  But Dana's incredibly clear directions break down the geometry so it's as easy as pie.

She even tells you which fabrics will work best with the tutorial.  I didn't happen to follow that advice because I got such a good deal on the fabric I used and I didn't want to waste the good polka dot satin fabric I picked out until I tested my pattern on something cheaper.  The fabric does bunch around the hips like the tutorial said it would, but it's not too noticeable.  (Be looking for the satin polka dot circle skirt when I review the elastic dyeing tutorial from MADE.) 

The tutorial didn't take too long start to finish and was a good afternoon project.  I would recommend this tutorial for even the newest sewers, so try it out today!

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Valentines

Even if you're an adult handing out Valentines is still a nice way to remind friends that you care about them.  This year I made felt heart hair clips as little gifts to go along with my Valentines.

I just cut the felt into two sizes of hearts on different colors of felt, snipped little holes to slide bobby pins through on the bigger hearts, then used Steam-a-Seam to put them together.  (I bought the cheap sheets of craft felt instead of by-the-yard.  It cost me a whopping 30 cents and made about 16.) After they were assembled I did a little embellishing with embroidery around the edges.

 I used two bobby pins on each heart so that they would stay put in your hair.

 To hand them out I attached them to leftover store-bought Valentines from last year.  They already had little cuts in them to attach candies and temporary tattoos, so I just slid the bobby pins right through them.

And, of course, I made one to wear myself for Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

(Note: This post is scheduled to deliver on Valentine's Day instead of before so I don't ruin the surprise!)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Heat Therapy Pillows for Friends

 At Christmas time I made rice pillows as gifts for two of my friends.  (I never posted it because I was going to make a tutorial but haven't gotten around to it yet...)

My mom used to make them and sell them at craft fairs when I was growing up.  She used flax seed instead of rice.  I'll admit, flax feels a little nicer but rice is so much cheaper!

You can keep the rice pillows in the freezer and use them as an ice pack on injuries, etc. or you can put them in the microwave for a few minutes and use them as a heating pad.

On Friday I was in class with one of the friends for whom I made the rice pillow at Christmas.  She said it was great for cramps and that her roommate had been using it, too.  So I offered to make one for her roommate and got two more requests from other girls in the class!  Soo... 

I sewed three rice therapy pillows this weekend!

You might recognize the elephant fabric and the purple fabric from my last couple of posts.  This is a great project to use up scraps since it doesn't take very much material.

I made the pillow itself with muslin, filled it with rice, and then made a removable pillow cover.  This is makes it washable, since it's likely you'll be using it when you're sick.

It was fun and incredibly easy to make these and it made me feel good that people actually asked me to sew things for them!  A little ego booster for me.  :)

Hope everyone in the sewing blogosphere is doing well and ready to celebrate Valentine's Day tomorrow.  See you next time.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Another successful attempt at clothing

Ta-da!  I made pajamas for myself!  After my successful attempt at baby pants, I was brave enough to try and sew some pajamas for msyelf.  And they fit!

Sadly, no one was around to take a photo of me in them, so this is all you get for now.  Sorry about that!

I'm in love with this flannel I used, though.  It's so adorable and I got it for $1.50 a yard at JoAnn's.  It occurs to me that it might make really adorable baby footie pajamas.  My next tutorial review...? I'll have to find one first, but we shall see!

That's all for now, folks.  See you next time! :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Fabric Catchall Tutorial

Remember the sailboat catchall I figured out how to make for my boyfriend after seeing one on Noodlehead? Well, I noticed a lot of people commented on her post asking for a tutorial, so after I figured out how to make the tray, I decided to make a tutorial of my own! So let's get started!

Join me after the break for the tutorial.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Time for another tutorial review!

Okay, so this one is a little different because I used half a pants pattern from Simplicity and half the Paper Bag Skirt with Ruffled Pockets tutorial from A Lemon Squeezy Home. In short, I'm not reviewing the skirt portion of the Paper Bag Skirt with Ruffled Pockets...just the finishings (or the belt loops, belt, and ruffled pockets).

Here's what I came up with:

I'm really proud of how they turned out, even though I got one of the pockets on there a little crooked. It was my first time sewing with a pattern instead of a tutorial online and, despite my sewing machine breaking haflway through and having to be fixed, I have to say I think I did a pretty good job.

I wish I could have a child model them for you, but they're for my niece who lives up in St. Louis and I'm all the way down here in Florida! I'll have to have my sister take pictures for you all once she gets them in the mail.

Here are some close-ups of the finishings taken from the Paper Bag Skirt tutorial:

The tutorial review:

I found the instructions for the belt loops and the belt very simple to follow. They really jazzed up the plain elastic pants pattern that I used from Simplicity and might as well have been pajamas they were so plain.

However, the ruffled pocket portion of the tutorial was a little more difficult. If I hadn't already known how to make ruffles, I'm not sure I would have been able to figure it out. In addition, it was a little bit difficult to sew the pockets on. I don't know if it was because they were so small, the fact that they were rounded, or just that I'm not a very experienced sewer, but one of mine ended up pretty crooked.

Another important thing to mention about the tutorial was the print out pattern for the pockets. The long rectangle that prints out for the ruffle is definitely not the same size as the rectangle used in the post. It was so narrow I had a hard time working with it. However, it made a cute, more modest ruffle, so if you're not afraid to work with it and you want something a little less bold, I say go for it. But if you like the look in the post and/or you want something easier to work with, definitely make your own rectangle that's much thicker.

All-in-all, the tutorial was cute and fairly simple to follow. I wouldn't really recommend it for a beginning project, but if you're an intermediate or experienced sewer it's a piece of cake. Overall, I give it an 8/10.

Happy sewing and see you next time!
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