Striped Butterfly Tunic

Recently I came across the Butterfly Sleeve Tunic tutorial at Make It Love It, and knew it was something I needed to try.

I found some great striped knit fabric on clearance at JoAnn that both my girls would like.

And fast forward a few weeks to today…

It’s a cold wet weekend here in Alabama (as opposed to last weekend’s bright sunny 70-80 degree weather), so what is there to do but hole up in the house in your pj’s all weekend and work on projects (and maybe some laundry and other chores in between)?

Out came the fabric and pattern tracing supplies and not long after, came this cute little top.

Striped Butterfly Tunic

I will admit, it turned out much better than I thought it would.

First of all, I was not sure how well I would do working with both knit fabric AND stripes.  I mean, knit is great and all, but it’s not the easiest to sew with since it’s so flimsy (especially this one) and it’s hard to move around and get things straightened up just right.  It takes a lot of patience to get it just right.  Also, with stripes you kind of have to cut your fabric just right and line everything up exactly to make sure that your stripes match up – which can be a big problem based off of the things I just said about knit fabric. 🙂

I surprisingly didn’t have a big problem with the stripes on this top – I was able to line up the stripes on the shoulders just fine.  And even though the stripes don’t line up front and back correctly, it’s not a major problem since there aren’t really any side seams.  You simply cannot tell unless you look really really hard.  And let’s face it, it’s a child’s top – and said child is really usually pretty fast and running around all over, so who is going to look that closely to see if the lines match up?

My biggest problem was doing the hem around the entire edge.  My machine gathered my fabric when I did the basting stitch (I couldn’t change the setting so that it wouldn’t gather – nothing seemed to work).  Then when folding up around the curved edges, it kept looking pretty weird and didn’t look perfect like it should have.

I just did what I could and went with it.  Again, it’s being worn by a pretty quick preschooler… who cares about the corners?

Striped Butterfly Tunic

I debated whether or not to put the elastic around the middle to gather, and settled on doing it only on the front of the shirt.  It looks good enough to give some definition and shape but keeps it from being uncomfortable and too tight.

Striped Butterfly Tunic

Overall, I am pleased with how this top came out.  Looks like it’s a bit big in the neckline – but that’s OK.  It just means that it will last awhile.  For now, I’ll probably make her put on a tank top underneath if she wears it out of the house, but as she grows then it should still fit just fine.

Little SQ seems quite happy with it as well.  She told me she wanted to wear it all day, which is about as good as it gets 🙂

My Schoolhouse Tunic – Finally

Last year sometime I came across the Schoolhouse Tunic pattern by Sew Liberated online and after looking at it for awhile I finally broke down and ordered it (it’s hard for me to pay $15 for a pattern unless I’m pretty sure I’m going to love it and use it multiple times).

I bought some beautiful dark grey linen fabric (which kind of reminded me of the fabric of the dress on the front of the pattern – yeah, I went super out of the box on that one…) and got to work. I made it as far as assembling the bodice and attaching the sleeves – but things didn’t line up quite right and so it sat around for awhile till I was ready to tackle fixing it. Awhile ended up being about a year.

Last night I picked it back up – ripped off the arms that I originally made and drafted some new ones – cap sleeve length since I was kind of running out of extra fabric. All was going well and my top was finally starting to look right.

But then after I got the skirt part attached, I realized how disproportionate the whole thing looked – so I tried it on. Turns out the thing about it being disproportionate was just because I had made it long though on the top to accommodate my large bust – which was a good thing. I just looks a bit funny on the hanger.

Schoolhouse Tunic

Of course, with trying it on I realized how the pleats in the skirt make me look a bit poofy and possibly pregnant. Which I’m not. I’ve read others notes about how they used gathers instead of pleats but somehow I don’t think that would help very much.

I’m trying now to decide what I should do with it.  I really don’t feel like taking apart the whole skirt to fix it though, so I might just let it go for now and make some adjustments for next time.

What I’m thinking for next time… cause I will make this again (even if it’s for someone else):

  • Cut the back part of the skirt to size – leaving out any room for pleats or gathers.
  • Maybe try gathers in the front – but possibly cut the front a little smaller so that they are just tiny gathers for camoflague rather than actually making a good bit of room in there.
  • Possibly try the longer length – I made the short version of the skirt part this time, and it’s ok but might be kinda cool to make it in the longer/dress version.
  • Depending on the fabric and season – I might just make a sleeveless version.  This was my first garment with real sleeves and even though they aren’t too bad, I’m not sure I’m a huge fan.
  • Possibly changing the neckline to have a bit of a crew neck curve instead of going all the way up.  This might look better on me.

My first “quilt”

Although it’s not got any piecing, Technically, it IS a quilt… because I quilted it 🙂

At a random visit to Hobby Lobby, I let the girls pick out some fabric to make a blanket out of.  The plan was simple… I’d get two different fabrics, sandwich some batting between them and do some stitching to keep them together, then bind the edges.  For once, a plan worked out the way it was supposed to.

first "quilt"

I bought 1/2 a yard of fabric and ended up cutting that in half length-wise to make it more of a square.  This is the perfect size for a little cuddle blanket or doll quilt.
Once I had all the layers cut, I planned the stitching. With the houndstooth fabric, there are practically already drawn diagonal lines, so I used them as a guide.  Using my machine, I stitched white lines at equal distances apart, starting from the center of the quilt.  Then, using some fun contrasting colors of DMC floss, I hand stitched in between the machine lines.

The hand stitching is my favorite part.  It’s really the reason I decided to do this project in the first place.  🙂

first "quilt"

My layers got off a bit as I was stitching – because I didn’t pin it all together like I should have.  Lesson learned for the next one.

Anyway, once I was finished with my stitching, I squared it up and attached the binding.  This is another step that I definitely need a bit more practice on.  I decided to make it easy and machine stitch it on – figured it would hold up better this way too.

So now, my first little “quilt” is complete.  SQ loves it and I can’t wait to wash it to give it that nice puckered look… which is my next favorite thing about quilts.

Weekend Sewing Fails, Turned Successes!

I guess this just isn’t my weekend for sewing…

I started off late Friday night with this brilliant idea to use up this jersey knit and create a basic boxy, comfy t-shirt for myself. I used measurements that were in my head (what I thought I remembered from the last time I measured). I had it all cut out, pinned up and stitched up then tried it on Saturday morning… Ummm Big NO.

Of course the measurements were wrong, the comfy shirt was skin tight and just wasn’t going to work.

So, I asked one of my beautiful daughters to play model for me. 🙂 Little SQ got in on the action this time and so I tried the top on her, made some marks and turned it into a play dress. Kinda… it’s boring and needs a little something extra but it does fit and will work for this spring to play around in. At least it wasn’t a complete waste.

Well, today I started going through patterns that I had bought and found one that was labeled Easy – looked pretty basic and so I figured I’d try it. I got my pattern all cut, ironed, and pinned. Then I made the mistake of cutting before I had all of my pattern pieces laid out on my available fabric and ended up not having enough room to lay all my pieces out.

I could have salvaged it if I knew anyone who could wear a size 8 – but I don’t, not anyone who would have liked the style top I was making anyway.

So bright idea hit and I figured I could salvage the material into a little top/dress for my girls. Got all the pieces cut, and of course since I was making it all up in my head, I messed up sewing the bodice together and it’s just one big mess right now. I could fix it if I wanted to rip a bunch of seams – and I might – but it’s not going to happen tonight.   I had an idea and it worked!  I have managed to salvage the bodice.  It’s required a bit of extra work, but it’s pretty and will mean that I haven’t completely ruined 2.5 yards of fabric.

I also tried the bodice on SQ and it fit – tightly, but I could still get it on her and she could wear it comfortably – just as long as she didn’t need to put on a long sleeved shirt with it… (umm, that’s your que warm weather…)

More on this tomorrow – or whenever I finish the entire dress.

 

I made a dress!

I’ve felt like sewing a little more lately than usual, so I was super excited when the girls at work got me a JoAnn’s Fabric gift card for my birthday. I went that very same day and spent it all on some cute new fabric to make some dresses/tops for my girls.

I know you are supposed to spend birthday gift cards on yourself, and I went and bought stuff to make for my children, but the fun in it for me is that enjoy making and that I get to see them wear the stuff I made.

Anyway, So now that I had some new fabric to play with (not that I don’t have a huge stash that could be used) I needed to decide on a pattern. What? did I do that in the wrong order? You aren’t supposed to choose the material then the pattern? Oops… hehe

But yeah, So I came across the Embroidered Denim Jumper pattern from the Purl Bee.  LOVE IT!

Not only is this pattern super simple and super cute, I figured out that I can easily make it with only 3 fat quarters!  And if you are like me and LOVE to buy small quantities of lots of cute fabrics, then you should have plenty of these little babies in your stash already.

While the focus on their original version is to showcase the beautiful embroidery on a simple fabric, I took this to a whole different level.  I used 2 different prints and no embroidery – not yet at least.

You see, I had just bought 3 new fat quarters… 2 of them the same busy, almost vintage 70’s-ish feel pattern and a coordinating yellow/while polka dot.  So instead of the original plan to make a  simple skirt with a yellow band on the bottom, I took the yellow up for the bodice, and used the pattern for the skirt of this dress/top.

Also, I took some of the scraps that I trimmed off the skirt and made a binding for the neckline.  I like how it brought it all together.  Although I must admit that my first thought when I had this dress assembled was that it looked like a smock – you know, the ones they throw over kids in school to keep their clothes clean… yeah.

I didn’t let that smock-like feeling deter me though, I kept going.  The original tutorial still kind of had that same feeling when it was laid flat, but it took on a bit more shape when you look at the photo of the girl wearing it.

IMG_9547-web

What do you think?  NK picked out her tights and shoes to go with the dress… I wasn’t so sure at first, but you know, it kinda works.

I’m really liking the way this turned out. I am thinking it would be fun to add a bow or flower to dress it up and add a bit more interest.  Or even making this again and making the skirt panels even wider so that there’s more room in the skirt.

There are LOTS of possibilities with this simple pattern.  Shoot, I may even go back and do it as the original tutorial had it… hand stitching and all.

This little dress could easily be put together in an hour or less… if you do all stitching by machine.  Add in some time if you decide to do any hand stitching at all.

I machine stitched everything except for the part where you stitch up the inside seams.  That part I did by hand in order to make the stitches as invisible as possible.  It took some time, but was well worth it.

My Little Crafter

The other day, my oldest daughter, NK, (she’s 4) came to me and asked if she could help me work on my book.  My book being my Project Life album.  “Well, of course!” I told her.  We didn’t get around to working on it that night (it was already almost bedtime) but we did finally get around to it today.

She likes to help with the corner punch on the photos and to put everything in the page protectors.

This morning when I was getting my photos printed out, I handed the girls each one of the blank 3×4 cards that I had and told them to draw something and it could go in my book this week.  Sadly, they did not take this opportunity to do one of their really creative drawings (maybe next time), but they did both want to add some glitter to their drawings, so I finally let them get out the messy glitter and sparkle up their drawings.  (Look for close ups of this when I finally get my project life layouts posted in the next day or so)

Of course, after we got a little bit done on my book, NK wanted to be creative and make something new for her walls.  I’ve got some stickers that I don’t mind her using, as well as lots of stamps so I let her have at it.  She’s surprisingly good with the stamps, and even tries to clean the ink off when she’s done (I’m teaching her well).

Me being me, couldn’t pass up this opportunity to snap a few photos of her working.

my little crafter
choosing her stamp, I believe she went with the crown shape

my little crafter
inking the stamp, a beautiful “lellow” of course – it is a crown

my little crafter
and stamping her paper

Here’s her finished artwork…
my little crafter
some random letters, chosen simply because she liked the colors, and she wanted some sparkle 🙂 LOVE it!

I absolutely LOVE how she’s enjoying getting crafty with me.  And as long as I can get her to understand how to take care of my supplies then I’ll happily share with her.  So far, so good.

Wonder what little sis was up to while all of this was going on?

IMG_9511 🙂

I plan to be back tomorrow with an update of my Project Life pages.

Malea

And so Project Life Begins…

I’m getting really excited about my Project Life album for this next year.  I really love the idea, and the concept of how to be able to incorporate a little bit of memory keeping in a little bit of time, in order to have a beautiful album without a ton of work.  Time and space has really been what has kept me from doing much scrapping over the past 4 years (since my oldest was born) and so this system seems to be something that will work for me.

Some people I have seen do a strict week by week approach.  And while that is awesome, I just can’t quite make that kind of commitment just yet.  For me, I will use the Project Life system to easily be able to get all those photos that I take printed and into an album and write at least a little bit of something to help tell the story.

One thing you should know about me and any kind of scrapbooking, I have been notoriously BAD at journaling.  I never feel like I really have much to say, and so most of my older layouts (older, because I haven’t done any in so long) just have a date and event on it… possibly names of people in the photos.  For me, it was more of a pretty way to showcase a photo.

Lately though, I seem to have come out of my rut with journaling, even if it’s only a little bit.  I’m happy to say that I have been better about getting a real story down on paper and telling what actually happened.  I’m not going to feel bad though if I don’t have a huge story for EVERY photo though.  It’s just not going to happen.

So, I bet you really want to see all the goodies I have been working with/on though… huh?

Well, for Christmas the hubby’s Aunt got me the Project Life Amber Kit.  I originally was going to wait for Seafoam, but this one was on my Amazon wish list so this is what I will use.

Project Life Amber KitWhen I first added it to my wish list, it was just “so, so” but now that I have it in my hands, it’s freakin’ Awesome!  So much better in real life rather than on the screen!  I’m really happy with using this kit now.

Of course, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t purchase a few other items to go with this kit.  I got the blank white cards, as well as the blank grid cards (both in 3×4).  Also, I ordered the 4×6 colored cardstock that coordinates with the kit.  I figure I can use these full size or even cut them in half if I want to use the solids in the 3×4 slots.

I’ve also picked up a few new stamp sets, including Ready Set Go – Clear Acrylic Stamps – Hey There, from the Amy Tangerine collection from American Crafts.

American Crafts - Amy Tangerine Collection - Ready Set Go - Clear Acrylic Stamps - Hey ThereLOVE THEM!

So today, I worked on a few embellishments for some of the 3×4 cards.  I figure I’ll want a little something added on them – so I might as well make up some as I have time.  That way I can just write what I want or add a photo and insert – adding to the ease of assembling this album.  What do you think?

A few PL cards I made...

Cute huh?

  • I’m liking the Charlie Brown effect of the yellow card – I cut it from some double sided cardstock, then cut the chevron from the kraft cardstock, and used my pen to draw in the other chevron lines.  Although, as I look at it now, it’s more of an actual zig-zag rather than a chevron.  Oh well.
  • The “Hello 2013” card is from the kit – I just stuck on some Thickers and stamped my Hello (using the stamp set from above).
  • The “Today” card is also from the kit.  I simply added a little cork ATC card to the front and stamped “TODAY” on a scrap and stapled it together.
  • The red glitter is probably the easiest as well as my favorite!  I have a 6×6 pad of brightly colored glitter paper which I cut to 3×4 and rounded the edges.  I took craft paper and cut the heart and simply stapled it together in the middle.

I plan to start putting my intro/cover page together this weekend so I can be ready to start filling with photos next week.  Since we have a New Years party for work on Monday night, I will likely start there.

Malea