Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Bathing Suit Cover Up

Singer and Craft magazine are having another contest! It's a bathing suit cover up contest on Flickr. The winner will get a new Singer sewing machine and have their cover up featured in a Singer advertisement, and three runners up will get a Singer dress form and a $25 Maker Shed gift certificate. Again, I am hoping to be a runner up and win a dress form, but it would be awesome to win first place too! If you're interested in entering you can read all about the contest here. The deadline is July 16th, so don't wait too long.

I entered mine today. I might try to make a couple more to enter too. They said today that you can enter up to three different cover ups. I don't know if I can come up with another one though.

Here's what I came up with.

I used a white dress shirt because of how light and airy the material is. I wanted something that I could cover up with, but still stay nice and cool. I also wanted it to be loose, since I would be throwing it on over a wet bathing suit. I am very happy with the way it came out! Even if I don't win I know I will enjoy wearing this.

The neckline, straps, and armholes are all done with a hand rolled hem. This is the first time I've done a rolled hem, and I'm surprised at how well it came out. I'm gonna have to use that technique more often now that I know how. All around the top I did two rows of shirring for the gathers. Here's a closeup of the top.

I like using the shirring to ruffle the top. I imagine this would work on any too big top, but I'm definitely going to try it and find out. This was a men's XXL, and after shirring it fits me, a medium, pretty well. I did have to bring in the sides a bit, but the width at the top was not changed before shirring.

It's really neat how a contest can encourage you to learn new skills, and try new things. I wish I could do this more often.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Placemat Purse

Place mat purses are not a new idea. I have seen them all over the internet for quite some time. I think they are a great idea, but rarely see place mats that I want to turn into a purse. Nevertheless, I always keep an eye out for them just in case.

I was in Dollar General the other day and I finally saw some place mats that were just begging to become a purse. I got them and here is what I came up with.

I know it looks like the handles aren't centered, but they really are. The one side caves in (because I was lazy and didn't press the seams) so it looks wonky in the pic. I absolutely love it though. I usually use purses with shoulder straps, so it's been a little weird getting used to holding it. The handles are roomy enough that I can throw it on my shoulder if I have to, which happens a lot when trying to get in and out of a store with two kids.

What was really surprising is that I got compliments on it. I rarely get compliments from strangers on things I make. I got two in one day! The lady working at the local Hallmark loved it, and even said that if I could make one with shoulder straps she would buy it. She even called her co-worker over to see it. They are surrounded by cute stuff in that store, so coming from her it really meant something. At the grocery store the cashier commented on it too. (I do know the cashier, but not very well, and she had no idea I had made it, so it still counts! lol)

I hope I can get a couple more of the place mats, my mama wants me to make her one too!

If you'd like to learn how to make a place mat purse of your own you can check out the tutorials on craftster here and here. For the complete purse, bags, and wallets tutorial list, which I highly recommend, go here.

Friday, June 12, 2009

New Shirt and Other Ramblings

Hey y'all! I have found a problem with my dress form. My mama was saying the other day how "well endowed" it is, and I assured her that the chest measurement was the same as mine. It took me until the next day to realize that even though the measurement is the same, the proportions ain't. Yeah, I should've been the first to realize that. I mean, I don't have boobs that big. I really should've noticed when I put my new shirt on her and there was cleavage showing. That certainly didn't happen when I tried it on!

Anyway, that's what this post is supposed to be about, my new shirt! Here are the pics:

Yeah, see the cleavage I'm talking about. I'm actually glad it doesn't fit me that way. It is a little big on me though. I used Simplicity pattern 0642 to make it, and apparently their sizes are just a little off. I made it in a small for which the bust measurement is 32 1/2" -34". I'm 34" with a thick bra, but even wearing that bra it is still a little looser than I wanted.

Also, the collar doesn't lie completely flat, which bugs me, but that is entirely my own fault. I didn't use interfacing as I didn't have any and was too impatient to wait for the next time I could go to Joann's. It's not too bad though, I can deal with it.

The flower material I used was a vintage bed sheet that I fell in love with at the church yard sale. I think I only gave $1 for it, and there is still a good bit of material left from it. I can't wait to wear this thing, I just have to get a strapless bra first.

I was really surprised at how much trouble I had putting this thing together. I made a dress with a similar collar for my daughter back at Easter and had no problem, but following the directions that came with the pattern just didn't work well for me. I ended up having to take the collar off because it was really crooked, and did it all over again the way I did hers. I would explain the difference between the two methods, but that could take a while. Maybe I'll do a tutorial if I ever make another shirt like this.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Recon Skirt With How-to

I've had a hoodie lying around for ages that is just too big for me. I got it from a friend who was tossing it, cause I knew the fabric would come in handy one day. I finally came up with a skirt for my oldest daughter.

It's a little big on her, but that's good. It's almost summer here and I want her to be able to wear it when the weather is cooler, it is made out of sweatshirt material after all. It took much less of the material than I thought, too. I forget just how little she is sometimes. In retrospect, the squares could have been a little smaller, but over all I'm happy with the outcome. I have plenty enough to make one for my youngest daughter too, but I'll definitely do smaller squares with hers.

I'm trying to work through some of my enormous fabric stash, and this was the first project on my list. Hopefully I'll be able to get lots more done soon.

This was so easy to make. I would love to make one for myself sometime. Here's how its done.

You just cut 5 inch by 5 inch squares from an old hoodie or sweatshirt. It should be a knit material to minimize raveling. Then sew them together WRONG sides together until they reach around the widest part of your hips. It can fit tightly, or looser. It's up to you. Sew the first and last squares together in the same way so that you have a tube.

Make more of these "tubes" in the same size as the first. How many more depends on the length you want. My daughter only needed two, but a grown woman may need four or five or more. It's up to you how many you need for your desired length.

To attach the tubes, put one tube inside another tube WRONG sides together. Line up the edge to be sewn and pin. You can stagger the seams of the squares or line them up, it's just personal preference. I prefer staggering them because I don't want them so uniform and it's a little easier to sew. Once the tubes are pinned together all the way around, sew them together.

Attach the other tubes in the same manner until you reach the desired length.

For my daughter's waistband, I used the ribbed waistband that came on the hoodie. If you don't have ribbing to use just fold over the top of your skirt, sew a casing and thread elastic through it. Here is a good video on how to do that if you need some help. Just remember that you don't have to fold over the first 1/4 inch since the sweatshirt material won't unravel. Also remember that this will shorten the length of the skirt some. You can always add more "tubes" to the bottom of the skirt if you need more length though.

If you do have that ribbing on the garment you are using, cut it off as close to the seam as possible. Now, hold it around your waist (or where you will be wearing the waistband) to find out how long it should be. It should be secure enough to keep your skirt up without being too tight, and you will need to add about 1/4 - 1/2 inch for seam allowance. When you are sure you have the right length, go ahead and cut the ribbing.

Do not sew a traditional seam on the ribbing. I found a way that is much more comfortable, and will go with the exposed seams on the rest of the skirt. You may notice that the ribbing is folded in half. Keep it folded and slide on end inside the other end 1/4 - 1/2 inch (whichever amount you added in the last step). Now, sew right down the middle of this seam being sure that you are going through all layers. The seam won't unravel since it's made with knit material.

You're almost done! You will attach the waistband to the skirt body in almost the same way as you attached the "tubes" together to form the body. The difference is that the waist band should be smaller than the skirt body and it will have to be stretched to fit. Try to stretch it evenly and use plenty of pins to hold everything secure. Sew the waistband to the skirt, and you're done!

You can get really creative with this. Try using different size sqaures and rectangles. Also, try mixing different colors. I recommend having two shirts or hoodies to work with since you may not get enough material from just one. Just think about how the colors will look together and try to get materials that are similar in thickness. For example, sweatshirt material and t-shirt material probably wouldn't mix well.

This was much lengthier than I had planned, and if you're anything like me pictures would definitely help. I'll try to get pictures of the next one I make and add them later. But for now this is the best I can do. Hope it's useful.