Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dress Mishap

Last week, I decided to finally figure out how to do a rolled hem on my serger.  Other than finishing seams in general, the rolled hem is the stitch I most look forward to using.
I was making the PinkFig Lily top as a dress for K* which has rolled hems on the neckline and ruffle bottom.  I figured out all the settings and such for the rolled hem and after many practice strips decided to brave serging the peasant dress.  Well, it didn't go so well.   When I finished, the rolled hem on the neckline was pulling away from the fabric in a couple of areas.  Not Good.  So I redid it.  Still, not good.  At that point I couldn't redo the neckline again, it was already looking too large for K* after the second try.
I thought I'd just call it quits, but while at piano practice, I decided I could just cut the upper dress part and sleeves off and make a jumper of sorts.  So I came home and sliced the top part off. 
I also still wanted to try another new technique, shirring with elastic thread on the bobbin.   The top part was way to large & needed some type of elastic somewhere to fit K* better anyway, so why not, it couldn't get worse right?  The Lily top does have shirring as part of the pattern, I decided to shir it just under the ruffle.
Luckily the shirring worked out fine.  Yay!  I had some worries before I started since I've read online that some Brother machines have a bit of trouble with the elastic thread part.  And except for one small spot, the rolled hem on the ruffle edges turned out fine.

I'm still not sure how I feel about the jumper overall, it feels thrown together to me and I wonder if the top ruffle should be a little narrower, if I should have made a few adjustments rather than just cutting the top of and using it how it was, the straps are a bit loose and things like that. Because it's not what I intended to make probably explains why I'm not thrilled about it.  But at least I didn't waste most of the fabric, just two sleeves worth, and K* seems to like it. She wore it to school today, so I snapped a few photos real quick before heading to school.
I've done a bit of reading online trying to find out how I can prevent the rolled hem edge from coming away from the fabric in the future and it seems the most basic problem is learning to not guide the fabric to the left away from the knife.  That sort of makes sense why I wouldn't encounter as much trouble on a straight edge like the ruffle and had issues with the more curved neckline area.  Oh well.  I guess I need a lot more practice.  I am a little disappointed, but hopefully I figure it all out.  I have some more fabric in my stash I may attempt to make as the Lily top in the near future. 
Today I just came across a few more blogs about rolled hems, I'm so glad others post what they've figured out for me to read.  I may try my stitch width at 5 next time.

the PinkFig Lily top

Monday, April 9, 2012

Totally Cute Apron in Lush

I'm showing a group of ladies from church how to make this apron tomorrow night.  The totally cute apron tutorial is from sewmuch2luv.  I emailed her and asked if we could use her tutorial, so I didn't have to come up with an apron pattern/tutorial on my own like I did for the girls skirts last month.  That makes things so much easier for me.  It is a very nice tutorial, leaving nicely finished edges everywhere.  I do think buying 5/8 and 3/8 yards of the fabrics would give you some wiggle room after washing the fabric if its not cut straight at the store or if you need something with stripes to line up straight.  But it that might only matter if you're "particular" like me.
Isn't the fabric just lovely.  It's Lush by Patty Young for Michael Miller.  I used the Purple Modern Lotus, Sky Happy Dot and Purple Running Stitch prints.

Easter Treats & Crafts

 Rice krispie treat eggs with m&m's in the middle and chow mein & chocolate bird nests with chocolate eggs.
S* was particularly excited when he realized that when he was done helping me, he would get to lick all the chocolate off off his hands.  I wanted to make some with butterscotch chips too, but I didn't have any on hand.  I mixed 12 oz of noodles with 12 oz of melted chocolate, using about 1/4 cup per nest.
After making treats, we colored Easter eggs.
K* wasn't feeling her best, so she made two rice krispie treat eggs and two bird nests.

Thread wrapped eggs. 
Yes, I have the patience/personality where I can sit and wrap thread around and around Styrofoam eggs.  I'm not sure what that says about me.  I only made three, the plan was for more (green & blue too) but I decided to make a tee pee for the kids instead.  It kind of takes some time to wrap all that the thread around.  And it actually takes quite a bit of thread.  I used  about 2 1/2 things of pearl cotton thread on the "golden" egg.  The pruple one used 1+ and the pink egg not quite 1.  Each thing of thread has about 27 yards.  Maybe I'll get the rest done for next year.
Idea from Martha Stewart, I saw it last year and just didn't get to it.

"Chocolate bunnies" on wooden blocks.
Another idea I saw last year and didn't get to until this year.
The bunnies are brown vinyl.

There were plenty of other Easter and other Spring crafts I didn't get too, maybe next year....
  Some of them I pinned here.

Butterick 4251: Tee Pee

After buying the supplies about 2 1/2 years ago, I finally made a tee pee for S* & K*.
I never told them I was making it, just that I was making something for them to play in.  The pvc pipes sat along the garage wall, always reminding me that I hadn't made it yet, taking up space leaving DH & the kids wondering why on earth did I buy 6 pvc pipes.
I sewed it Thursday (March 5th) while the kids where in school and finished it up that night after they were in bed.  I told them I was making them something to play with over their four day weekend and S* almost immediately asked if it was what the pvc pipes were for.  S* helped me out with drilling holes in the pvc pipes without knowing what they were for before bed.
It wasn't hard, but a bit time consuming sewing all the panels together, pipe casings and hems.  I read online beforehand to see if anyone had any problems sewing it.  There was some mention of trouble with the top casing for the ribbon to pull it tight around the pipes, but I didn't run into that problem and think it was a misunderstanding of how the casing was supposed to be sewn/function.  I'm glad I was aware of the problem though, it probably helped me not have a problem with it.  I like to read online about patterns sometimes before I sew them to see what others have said, to see if there are any issues I should watch out for.  And that's often how I come across patterns I want to buy, seeing a picture of something someone made with a particular pattern.  Or I get ideas on how to alter patterns I already have.
I'm a pattern person when it comes to sewing, just like I'm a recipe person for cooking.  But with sewing I'm becoming more confident about altering patterns I already have to get a new look without buying another pattern similar to what I'm looking for.
I bought some of the cheapest plain cotton fabric (and used a coupon) I could find at JoAnn's since the tee pee uses almost 12 yards of fabric.  The pattern is Butterick 4251.
Funny, or not so funny at the time, I was about 1 1/2 inches short of the fabric needed to cut out the last panel, so I had to improvise and sew a large scrap onto the fabric to have enough to cut it out.
I saw some tee pee pins on pinterest by a friend and that motivated me to finally make this one.  There are lots of fun ideas online.  I decided on plain with the intention of decorating it with Indian symbols with fabric paint or fabric appliques.  But I may never get to that, and while it is extremely plain and simple looking, I'm happy with it how it is.  Maybe I'll add a string of lights to the inside.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Yellow Sunshine Skirt

I'm calling this the yellow sunshine skirt.
I love it, it's just so happy.  My bathroom is a happy, sunny yellow too.
The fabric is Sunkissed by Sweetwater for Moda. I love that fabric line and have more of it in my stash.
I used the PinkFig Girly Stripwork skirt pattern; it is probably the fullest skirt I've made for K*.  Definitelyy twirly.

I bought the fabric last Spring and I got around to it finally in January, mainly because I wanted to use my new serger.  It has a lot of seams to serge between the strips, making it the perfect first project to try out my new serger.  But then, I couldn't decide how to finish the bottom so I set aside for almost two months.  Just a yellow or yellow print strip wasn't working for me.  And white alone wasn't either.  So, I ended up using the same solid yellow as the waistband and white 1 3/4"  lace.

And look at this super cute wooden chick my mom is working on.
The wooden chick is from the wood connection and the paper is from a paper pack called Sweet.

For April Fool's Day today, I got the kids at breakfast.  Last night, I poured some milk and cheerios into two bowls and put them in the freezer.  Before breakfast I pulled them out & added a little bit of unfrozen milk & cheerios on the top of the frozen stuff.  After the prayer, the kids went to dig their spoons into their cereal and couldn't.  Nothing incredibly fancy, but S* said it was, "the best April Fool's ever!"  And that may also be because I've never done something fun like that to them before.
I got the idea from the book The Happiness Project that I read in January.
Too bad I didn't snap a photo.

Bunny Tee & Skirt

My SIL made K* a cute bunny applique tee with her new embroidery machine for Easter this year.  And so, I made a skirt to match.  The light purple fabric has sweet little, purple flowers with yellow centers.  I bought it at Jo Ann's.  I may add some ribbon to the skirt or bunny later, I just can't decide.  I was thinking yellow, but the yellow ribbon I have is a tad brighter than I want, so I might go with purple.  Or just leave it and move on to the many other projects I have going/planned.

She also made her daughters cute skirts and tees.

Campfire Cupcakes

For the Cub Scout Blue & Gold banquet this year, S* make campfire cupcakes.
Chocolate cupcakes, vanilla frosting tinted green, mini pretzel sticks, mini  marshmallows and paper fire (I cut the flames out with my silhouette) held up by a toothpick inserted through slits.
Idea from here.

And we remembered to save one for dad.