Monday, June 27, 2011

Another knock-off. . .A pillow for my Kindle.

I was trolling over at Kindle Boards the other day to make sure I didn't miss any of the free books available for my Kindle.  (I have more free ones than I can read in 6 months right now, but I still don't want to miss any.)  While I was there though, I came across someone else's great idea. . .and I do mean genius!

Check this out:  the Book Beanie

As I looked through the website and balked at the $20 price tag, I realized that I had everything on-hand that I would need to make my own.  I used quilting cotton, bias tape for the loop, and polystyrene beads for the filling.  The beads are super-lightweight and make the pillow moldable.  The website had the finished measurements for their version, so I added seam allowance and cut two rectangles to the right size. 

I could have done eyes on my embroidery machine, but I think they would be more distracting than cute, so I skipped them.

Now, I have my own version for FREE since I used materials that I had on hand. . . If I hadn't, it probably would have cost me less than $5 to make even then. 

Love it!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I can't wait to show these!

I had hoped to get some better pictures of these skirts before showing them, but I'm just going to show them, bad pictures and all.  I love them!

They are double-layered laguna's (by Farbenmix).  I let the girls pick out their fabric. . .well, I let Allie pick hers out, and Jenna picked the floral print and had some gentle nudging on the polka dots. 

I should take a picture of one laid out flat, so you can see the how the different fabrics look like two spirals circling each other.  They are full circle skirts, so they are super-twirly.  Kid tested. . .

See, Jenna's bandaids.  She informed me that she was bleeding on both legs.  This was a made-up story though, so she could justify putting on new bandaids.  I used packaged bias tape to hem the layers, which I think helped them stand out, but it took a lot!  I ended up using 4 packages of bias tape on Allie's skirt. . .that's almost 12 yards!

I have had my eye on this pattern for a really long time.  The redondo just isn't my style, but this one is about as cute as it gets in my opinion.  I highly recommend it!

I thought it would be a complicated skirt to put together, but I found them to be less difficult than I had anticipated.  I will admit that i had to take a little while to think through the construction before I started though. . .I also used the picture tutorial put out by farbenmix and one at sewing mama's to help.  Once I understood the concept, I had no trouble, and they went together surprisingly quickly. 

And a couple more gratuitous pictures because they are cute. . .the girls AND the skirts :)

Jenna is demonstrating the layers for your viewing pleasure.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

More Bathing Suits!

I've made the girls suits out of this fabric before, but as I said, the 2-yard cut lasts forever it seems. 

The patterns used were the same, but I did them slightly different.  I cut the top of Allie's as suggested in the pattern and used the same Kwik Sew pattern for both girls' bottoms.  The bottoms are fully lined and both tops are lined in front but not in back.

I did use lastin for these as suggested in the pattern for the top.  Lastin and I haven't historically been friends, but we've come to a begrudging truce, and I'm glad.  The pattern said to apply lastin to the bottom edge of the top of the suits before applying binding.  I've got to tell you, it made all the difference in the world.  The tops didn't ride up at all. . .even through a lot of this!

I added a flower to Jenna's to cover up a small blunder with the binding on her top.

I've got Lagunas cut out for both girls and Jenna's is half-assembled.  I can't wait to show you--they are going to be adorable!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Weekend Sewing Plans

I'm working on more bathing suits for the girlies.  They are cut out and ready to be put together, and then, I'm going to fold the rest of the chez ami and put it up for next year's suits. . . or maybe I'll have a giveaway and send them to a new home, so I can order different fabric for next year.    Hmmm. . .decisions!

I've also got plans to make at least one laguna .  It is a new pattern for me, and it looks quite complicated, so we'll see how it goes. 

Stay tuned!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Ready to Make a Splash!

A couple of years ago, I ordered some clearance swimsuit fabric from Chez Ami, and let me tell you, this is good stuff!  It is thick and the prints are just too cute.  Their clearance fabric is sold in minimum increments of 2 yards.  Well, 2 yards of 60-inch wide swimsuit fabric is enough to make quite a few swimsuits for little girls. 

Yesterday, I made a tankini for both Allie and Jenna.  Allie's bottom is Kwik Sew 2605, which is out of print, but is a great pattern if you can get your hands on it. . .especially if you've never made a bathing suit.  Kwik Sew patterns are excellent when you need a little hand-holding.  Her top is Ottobre's Gilda bikini from the summer 2009 issue lengthened to tankini length. 

Jenna's suit is an adaptation of Seahorse swimsuit from the same Ottobre issue.  I simply traced the bottom and then cut it off at what I though would be a good height for her bikini bottom.  (I miscalculated, and will probably redo hers.  She has RTW syndrome when she wears them, but more about that later.)  Then, I traced the rest of the top and lengthened it a bit, so it would overlap the bottom. 

I also decided not to make Jenna's straps tie at the shoulders and instead finished them in the same way as Allie's suit.

The bottoms of both suits are fully lined with swimsuit lining from Joann's.  The elastic is serged on and then folded over and secured with a zig zag.  I didn't have matching all-purpose thread, so I used embroidery thread to top stitch the suits. . .hopefully, I won't regret that when the suits are used in chlorine. 

The tops are partially lined. . .think a shelf bra, but without the elastic in the bottom.  I hemmed the tops with my coverstitch machine and did the binding and straps with the double-fold binder (LOVE that gadget!).

Okay, the real question is why would I make swimsuits when I can get them both a suit at Walmart for less than $20.  There are a few reasons that I can think of.  First, I can't buy suits of this quality at Walmart.  Second, I prefer for my girls to have a little more coverage in a suit than you typically find in RTW.  It isn't that I don't let them wear bikinis.  It has more to do with the lack of coverage in the bottom. . .just go to a public pool and watch the little girls who are constantly having to pull their swimsuits out of their bottoms.  That's what I mean.  Third, I want to control the style of their suits, meaning I don't want their suits to look like mini adult swimsuits.   

Swimsuits are also quick and easier than you would think to make.  Plus, they look great when you finish! 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Slump and Scrap Busting

Do you save your scraps?  Do you then wonder what to do with them?  If you are a quilter, I'm sure you have plenty of projects in mind for your scraps, but if you are like me, you save them with no real plan.  I have vague pictures in my mind of elaborate appliques that I can do on the girls' clothes, but I've only ever done 1 applique, and it was a very simple kite, so I think I shouldn't save scraps for appliques.  So, what to do? 

Let me recommend a project that is perfect for scraps.  It is also VERY quick, so it is great for pulling yourself up out of a slump.  Aren't they happy?!

Most of these are for my coworkers.  I'm leaving tomorrow for Denver for meetings, so I thought I would bring gifts.   I will put the rest of them up to use as stocking stuffers. 

See the vinyl window?  It holds a business card, which is so much better than filling out those flimsy paper luggage tags that they give you at the airport.  Plus, these make your suitcase super easy to spot among the 20 other black (or red, in my case) bags on the luggage conveyor.

The tutorial I used can be found here.  

Friday, June 3, 2011

Officially in a Sewing Slump

Wow, I have been in a slump!  I've wanted to sew and thought about things to sew.  I've even bought some sewing magazines and flipped through them, but I just haven't been able to make myself get up and actually sew.  We've had a very busy past few weeks. 

Jenna stopped going to her small in-home daycare and started going to a large daycare center.  She's adjusted well, but her mother worried a bit at first ;).  Allie had her ballet recital and finished first grade.  We are very proud of her accomplishments!  Oh, and we went to the beach. 

I'm going on a trip for work next week, which has given me a much-needed kick in the tush to get up and sew.  I'll show you all tomorrow what I'm working on.  It isn't much, but it IS something. 

It's good to be back :)