Sunday, August 29, 2010

One Shoulder Shirt and TUTORIAL

The next sewing project I decided to conquer was a one shoulder shirt. I thought it would be fun and flirty and perfect to wear on a date night without the kids :) Here's an example of a one-shoulder dress I found and I was inspired by the color of this dress. (It was found on

I knew that a deep purple would be a wonderful fall color so that was what I went searching for at the fabric store, but in a print.

1)Here are the supplies needed to make a one-shoulder shirt: fabric (three-quarters of a yard), measuring tape, pins, thread, elastic thread for shirring the bottom, scissors, and an existing t-shirt you have, chalk (my 3 year old's sidewalk chalk works just fine!)

2) After washing and ironing your fabric lay the fabric right sides together then lay your t-shirt on top of it
3) Trace around your shirt - adding 2 or so inches along the sides and neckline and about 3 inches around the sleeve and making it a few inches longer in length. Also use the chalk to draw your line on the shirt from the neckline all the way across the the opposite sleeve under the armpit area. (since it is a one-shoulder shirt)

4) Cut out

5) Fold over the neckline to make a hem on both of the pieces (use the iron and pin as needed)

6) Sew both necklines using a straight stitch.
7) Place front and back of shirts right side together and pin. You will sew down the side that is sleeveless, then sew from the bottom of the other side up and around the armpit and lastly you will sew the other side of the sleeve up to the neckline where the shirts meet. (Don't sew the neckline together or the bottom of the shirt)

8) Trim and/or notch the seams where the sleeves are. This will make it lay better once you turn it right side out.
9) Turn it right side out. Now I folded (put in 3 small pleats) across the top. This gives it more interest and allows the shirt to have some movement. Try on your shirt and figure out how much it needs to "come in". I took in about 4 inches. Pin the pleats, iron them, then sew over them with a straight stitch to secure.

10) Repeat for the back of the shirt (Pleat, iron them, then sew over them with a straight stitch to secure)

11) Now it looks like a shirt! Cut one strip that will be a strap. Mine was 1.5 inches in width and about 14 inches long. Iron one side of the strip to the middle, then the other side to the middle and fold the strip in half. This will hide your edges. Sew along the edge.

12) Put on your shirt and place a pin where you want the strap to go in the front and the back. Pin on the strap and sew in place.
13) To add more shape to the shirt I shirred 3 lines along the bottom of the shirt.

14) It's done!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Cowl Neck Romper

Let's talk about the romper look. I've seen them in magazines, online and even on some people, but I never thought I could pull it off. I'm pretty petite - almost 5 feet - almost - so I thought a romper would make me looks wide and even shorter. So my next challenge was to create a romper I could actually wear and feel good in. (Here's a picture of it but this is without make-up...I was so excited I wanted to take a picture of it but it was only 7am when I finished it!)

I used an olive green matte jersey and created my own pattern using a pair of running shorts for the bottom and then just a simple rectangle for the top. I made the shorts then I sewed the rectangle together to make a tube. Next I put the two pieces together. I couldn't decide what to do to the neckline - I was tired of shirring and didn't want it to just have a strip of elastic. So I went with a cowl neckline following the newest fall trend and added two thin straps at the neckline to tie in the back. To add a little "girly-ness" to it I created a sash and left the edges raw and tied it in a bow. Here it is...
The Petite Romper with Cowl Neckline

AND the MOST EXCITING NEWS was I wore it to a jewelry trunk show this morning at a boutique in town and the 4 women working there walked up to me when I walked in the door and asked me where I got it! :) I was simply flattered! They told me they loved the cowl neckline and the color and told me I should be making rompers. I'm glowing :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cascading Ruffle Top with Sleeves

I knew my next project had to be with ruffles...they are everywhere and not going away. :) And I LOVE THEM! I just didn't know what I wanted to do so I browsed the Anthropologie site and decided to combine a few of my favorites. I took the basics of these....

And created my own version of something more my style. Here is the Cascading Ruffle Top made of navy blue matte jersey. I traced a shirt I had and added about 3 inches on each side and widened the sleeve hole. Then I sewed the pieces together, ruffled a long strip, sewed it onto the front, cut out 2 sleeves, added them to the shirt and then zigzagged the neckline and armholes to give it a frilled look. I left the bottom edges raw because this fabric doesn't fray.

And here it is with some jeggings and gold sandals. I need a new model! It's hard to take pictures of myself without feeling funny and the poses are all the same...boring! :) Maybe my sister will be up for some modeling next time!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dress with Sleeves and Smocked Waist

One of my dearest friends, Allison, saw my dress with a pleated neckline and smocked waist and wanted one for herself. I was soooo flattered! We came up with the best deal! If she cooks us dinner one night I will make her a dress...even trade in my opinion. Well last night she showed up with sausage and chicken jambalaya, French bread, roasted asparagus and chocolate chip cookies! YUM! I couldn't let her down!

She picked out the fabric herself, a navy matte jersey, and gave me a t-shirt of hers to use as a pattern. I made a wide neckline, pleated it and sewed it up the sides...only to realize the sleeves came out too tight...just like t-shirt sleeves should be, not like this dress should be. And the food was on it's way....she knew it wouldn't be ready for her but I started thinking "WHAT IF IT DOESN'T WORK...EVER??" hahaaa...where's the positive thinking?? I know! :) ! I told her to keep the food until next week! She brought it over anyway because it was already cooked... I woke up early today and added large, flowy sleeves, smocked the waistline and zig-zagged the edges to give it a ruffled look and here it is... I LOVE IT!!! And she looks AMAZING in it!!
And next week I'm making her a shirred summer dress in black matte jersey....which means another night of her yummy food and another night of me not having to cook! :)

Boy and Girl Matching Seersucker

I've never dressed my children in matching outfits but I've seen so many in children's magazines that I thought I would try to make something like that. I used a navy and light blue seersucker fabric with embroidered anchors and ship steering wheels on them to make a pair of shorts and a pillowcase dress. Here are my two babies sporting their summer look and the picture sequence cracks me up!
Here John Patrick has Catherine and is all proud of holding her by himself:

Here Catherine is getting so excited she's trying to get away so you see my husband, Patrick, getting ready to help out:

Then the little Lady Cakes got away and John Patrick didn't know what to do! But of course Catherine is excited and still smiling for the camera!

Embroidered Frock/Dress

After making my first pleated neckline dress I wanted to try to tackle another one for myself. I decided to take an ordinary matte jersey material in chocolate brown and embroider it.
First I made the basic tube shape and shirred the top a few rows and then the waist. Then I ironed on fusible interfacing along the front in the middle where I was going to embroider. Here is the embroidered detailing....I used a pink and a caramel colored thread.
Looking back I should have embroidered the whole dress first, then started shirring and sewing it. And I should have had someone else take the pictures :) I tried the automatic timer for the first time and probably took 20 pictures but could never get in the right spot and get a good distance from the camera. I'll keep trying! OH and I need a lesson on hemming! :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Baby Girl's Ruffled Swing Top

I love looking through kids' clothing magazines and trying to make something I see. When I saw the ruffled top that ties in the back with a big sash I thought it'd be fun to try to make for Catherine with some initialed bloomers.

I traced one of her onesies to get the right neckline and armhole onto the fabric and some white fabric for lining and made the front and back the same shape. Then I cut a big swoop down the back on each side to make it look like what I wanted. Sewed each piece, flipped them inside out, sewed them together and sewed a ruffle along the edge. Then I made a sash to hold onto 2 fabric loops (one on each side of the back where the edges meet)...put the sash through each loop and made a big bow.
Here it is, along with 2 close-ups of the back. It opens (almost like a backwards vest) and has a sash that holds it all together. The colors are a bit wild and outrageous but it makes me smile even more when I look at her and see her sweet and precious face!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Cardboard Play Kitchen

I was having a hard time finding a play kitchen for my little boy. Everything seems to be geared towards girls or they are a bit pricey. I started searching for cardboard play kitchens and up came this website

I figured I was a a little crafty and could make my own. I started with this large computer box.
Then gave it a few coats of light blue paint, painted on the stove top by making four black circles, and cut out a hole for the kitchen sink (a plastic bowl from the dollar store)...
I cut out a door for the oven, painted on another oven door, then cut out a door for a cabinet beneath the sink. I used cardboard to make the kitchen faucet and painted wooden knobs from Hobby Lobby with silver paint to be used as the cabinet handle, burner knobs and hot/cold knobs for the faucet. I knew the faucet would probably be pulled off by the kids, so I used velcro to put it on and used velcro to attach a kitchen timer by the burner knobs (from the dollar store).

And here it is!

Then I sewed a table cloth and used velcro to adhere it to the box, used an eye hook to hold measuring cups and stapled some fabric on to create a handle where I could hang a dishtowel. I also staple gunned fabric to create a "bulletin board" and used velcro to display pictures of our family.

Here's Catherine - she loves peeling off the timer!

So far they love it! I got some plastic pans and play food from Target and John Patrick has been cooking all night tonight. :) All in all it took about an hour and a half and here is the cost breakdown:

box was free

6 acrylic paint bottles (3 blue, 1 green, 1 orange and 1 silver) $6

sponge brushes $2

set of 10 knobs from Hobby Lobby $3

fabric (used remnants I

Dollar store items: spatulas, timer, dishtowel, tea set, set of two plastic bowls $5

TOTAL is $16 And it was fun to make!! Give it a try!