Friday, July 30, 2010

Painted Shoes

During a trip to Goodwill, I spotted a pair of blue (electric blue) pointed toe flats that I had been eyeing at Target in the past. Marked down to $3.99, I hemmed and I hawed and wondered what I'd wear them with until I thought...why not? I bought them and you guessed it, they sat on my shoe shelf for a month.

I don't wear flats often - only with pants. I think heels make my legs look better in skirts and dresses. Dropping the kids off at the sitters, I noticed her 19 year old daughter's shoes there - painted! White canvas shoes that she had painted a red paisley pattern on. Instantly I thought of the blue shoes! I asked if her daughter would paint them for me, and she said yes!

I left the options open - I wanted to be surprised! I know Caitlin is super-artistic and anything she came up with would be beyond great. And when the told me the shoes were done...well, they were even far better than I had imagined! I love them! And I have worn them about 20 times in the last month, as they are now my favorite shoes. I just threw a couple coats of modge podge on after she had given them back to me, let it dry and they were good to go. And they've held up really, really well - no chips or scratches or anything! (In the pictures below, you can see the actual shoe color on the sides - she left some of the original color on the sides and just faded the front and the heel into it.)


So, get out those paints, and those plain shoes, and make your day a little brighter with a cool new paint job ;) What a way to introduce new shoes into your collection for a much more reasonable price!

THANKS CAITLIN! You are very talented and you are going to go amazing places in life with your artistry!! Love ya!

Linking to:
Making the World Cuter
Keeping it Simple
C.R.A.F.T.
Tip Junkie
Today's Creative Blog
Sew Much Ado
Blue Cricket Design
me and My Bucket




Happy weekend!

Allie

Thursday, July 29, 2010

15-Minute Reversible Gift/Jewelry Satchel

This is the perfect way to wrap small presents for girls, babies, ladies, girlfriends, moms...you get the point ;) These are nice and easy to make - mine literally took me 20 minutes the first time I did it, and now takes about 15.

I had made about a zillion hairbows over the last few weeks, so I wanted to give some away. (Shocking, I know, but really, how many hairbows can my daughter have??) But, I didn't want to just put them in a gift bag or a box - I wanted it to be a little special. Enter -- cinch sack ;)

You need for this:

Something to measure a really big circle (I know some people have tools; I used the lid of a cake cover, lol)
Two fabrics you like
a ribbon/length of jersey knit leftover from another project/string/ something to make the drawstring with
Two buttons
A sewing machine (or I imagine you could do this with fabric glue too, it would just take longer)
Scissors
Safety pin (optional)

There are two three ways to do this bag:

First is with a raw edge, which is my preference. I think it gives it sort of a vintage look.
Second is with a finished edge, which gives it more of a classy look:

Third is with pockets, which makes it great for giving jewelry or traveling with your own jewelry:


So let's go through how to make the circles for all of them:

Measure your circle. I placed the two fabrics on top of one another in order to cut both circles at once. As you can see, I only use the most highly sophisticated measuring utensils ;)



Now, here's how you make the raw edge: place the fabrics back to back, and sew a circle around the outer edge, about 1/4 inch in leaving an inch long unsewn area between your start stitch and end stitch so that we can put in the drawstring. Do another row about an inch below that first one, to put the drawstring in the middle of your two stitched rows/circles. As you can see in the second picture below, make sure your fabrics are back to back. I put mine back to front. FAIL. Have you noticed on my blog I fail alot? It's getting a little embarrassing to showcase this!! ALWAYS REMEMBER TO BACKSTITCH AT THE BEGINNING AND END OF EVERY STITCH YOU DO! (Just a helpful hint to keep your stuff from falling apart ;)!)
Oh, just so you can peek, here are the settings I kept my machine on. Once you have the two outer rows sewn, sew a circle in the center. you can measure, but honestly, you can wing it. I don't draw out the center circle, I just free hand it. If I feel fancy, I do a squiggly wiggly circle so I look all artsy ;)

When you're done, it will look like this: (ignore the folds you see in the fabric - I did not intentionally put those in. They were just from the fabric being folded up in storage). Next put a safety pin on one end of your string (I used old 1 inch wide strips of t-shirt) and thread it through the opening and the row you stitched.

Next, pull the strings to the sides of the opening as much as you can. In the open area, sew it closed a bit, so there is only the small opening for the strings. If you roll the edge of your string a little, you can thread it through a larger button, and back through the other button hole. Then tie a knot to keep it from sliding off or letting the string pull back into the satchel. Ta-da!! It is a reversible bag!


Now here is way #2. Cut your circles, put them front to front. Sew around the other edge, sew the second row just as you would have in the steps above. BEFORE YOU SEW THE CENTER CIRCLE, FLIP YOUR SATCHEL RIGHT SIDE OUT! Now sew the center circle! You can thread the string through the same way as with the other one, and again, it's reversible.


If you want to make pockets all the way around the inside, cut out two circles slightly smaller than your bigger two. BEFORE you've sewn your bigger two circles together, decide which pattern is the inside and which is outside. Sew your two smaller circles together with the second method (no raw edges) and align it in the middle of your inside fabric. Sew a circle in the middle to hold the smaller circle to the bigger one. Now, just sew from the center of the smaller circle up towards the top, making several of these all the way around, to form pockets.



Now go and sew your two big circles together (facing front to front for a classy look, back to back for the vintage look) then flip it back right side out with the one inch opening for the string and follow the rest of the directions. You will still sew the two big circles together with the center circle so they stay together.

So again, these are the three bags you can make:



If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact me ;) Thanks again!

Linking to:
Finding Fabulous
Making the World Cuter
Keeping it Simple
C.R.A.F.T.
The Blackberry Vine
Sew Much Ado
Blue Cricket Design
Me and My Bucket





 
Allie




Clutch/Wristlet FAIL

With everyone making those cute wristlets, I wanted to join in the fun! So, I made this small one. It was going so well -- everything was lining up, it was ruffled, it was cute...it was modeled slightly after this one, but I wanted to make some modifications.




I sewed the inside panel with the pocket upside down...FAIL.


This is what happens when you sew at 11:30 at night, lol.

;)










Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My first dress with a zipper!!

Okay, I know. I already posted today. But honestly, I cannot wait to post this. Because I'm so proud of myself. Yes, I'm bragging, but for today, I am queen of the zippers and I say, yes self, you may post twice!!!!!

I fear zippers. I haven't used them because they are daunting to me. Having to try and cut the back or side of a garment and add it in. Why do that when you can use stretchy material?? That's what I always thought.

When my daughter was only a few months old, I saw this dress (it was around March 2009) at Gap. (I found this picture of it online).

I LOVED this dress. I mean fell. in. love.

But it was $40 (or $45) - and I could not justify spending that on a dress she'd wear once and grow out of. But I have searched for that dress online (hoping it would be like, $20) and alas, it was not meant to be.

Enter Hobby Lobby. Yesterday. Going up to get my yard of clearance fabric that I found. Next to the cutting table, sitting in the cart waiting to be returned to it's shelf is this:


Are you kidding?? Vintage flower print that is almost EXACTLY like the one I loved and have never seen in the fabric store?? Why yes, I'll take that as a sign from my sweet mom in heaven that I should MAKE this dress for $5.99. I can hear a little voice in my head saying, Allie, you can do it, make the dress!

Then I hear another voice, "Allie, this isn't stretchy fabric. You'll have to use a zipper."

WHAT?? ZIPPER?

Yes, I'm a big melodramatic. But I was fearful. I inched over to the zippers, after having my yard of fabric cut, and looked them over. I chose a nice, 7 inch pink zipper.

Sitting at home last night eating dinner, I could hardly wait. I got the kids bathed (by the way - my daughter used the potty for the first time last night - hooray!), fed, and into bed; got the hubs convinced he wouldn't be hurting my feelings if he went and watched his movie without me; and I laid out my beautiful fabric.

This time, I had measured my daughter. First, around her chest. Then, for armholes. And of course for length. I keep these measurements on my sewing machine ;)

I carefully drew out a pattern (I didn't take pictures, but I'll post the general layout of cutting that I did below). Then I carefully cut out the top, and the skirt. I cut a long strip from leftover material for bias tape around the neckline; I used the sections I cut to make the arm/shoulder piece go in a little from the rest for part of the decoration on the front; I cut a small block for the ruffle; and I cut another long strip (one yard long) for the ruffle on the bottom of the skirt.



Depending your child's size, you may need more fabric. My daughter wears a 24 months, she's nearly 2, and this was actually a bit big. It ended up where it was probably a 2T/3T size, which is perfect because she can wear it awhile.)

So, here is the tutorial:

1) Make sure the fold of the material is at the top before you cut. That way, you don't have to sew the shoulder areas together; they are already connected. I sewed the raw edges of the sleeve down by turning them in and ironing them in place, then sewing. You could also bias tape the edges (which I may still do) or add sleeves. I am not good at making sleeves, therefore, no part of this tutorial will help you with that ;)

2) Turn the fabric so that the right sides are facing each other and sew down the little part that will be the sides of the top. Flip it back so the right sides are facing out again.

3) Cut a straight line down the back for the zipper.

4) Take the length of material you cut for the skirt (I made mine the whole yard long because I like the gathered look, but you can do it however you want. For more of a tunic-y look, you can use the same length of material as the top, and just cut it in more of a triangular shape when you cut it out).

5) Do a long stitch across the entire length, so you can gather it. Pull the strings so that the material gathers to about the same length as the top. This will take a little bit of time and effort, so that the match up. Turn the skirt inside out. Take the top, right side out and put it inside the skirt, so that the ends of the inside out skirt match up with the ends of the right side out shirt. Pin in place.

6) Sew the skirt to the dress, leaving about an inch of unsewn area in the back right in the middle where we will need to cut for the zipper.

7) Measure down the back using the zipper, and cut the extra length needed for it into your skirt. It should be an upside down "T" cut - so at the bottom of where the zipper will go, on the dress, make sure you cut across so we can fold the material.

8) Turn the dress inside out. Fold the material back on both sides where we will attach the zipper, and sew that material down from top to bottom. Then pin the zipper in place, so the hemmed lengths are directly up against the zipper. Sew the zipper to the material with a straight stitch.

9) Once that is done, gather the fabric together slightly near the bottom of the zipper and sew across so that it covers the bottom of the zipper and the zipper can't slip through and get hidden.

 

10) Fold the length of strip you are going to use for your bias tape for the neck and iron it in half. Then, fold each side in to that middle piece, and iron it again. Fold it in half, and pin it (so half the bias is on the inside of the dress, half on the outside) and sew it together and to the neckline with a straight stitch.


 

11) Take the 2 lengths you cut for the ruffle, fold them in half longways and iron, and then sew them together at both ends to make one really big circle! Pin the loop to the dress, making little ruffles here and there by folding the fabric. The loop should be laying flat against the bottom of the skirt, facing towards the top of the dress, so that when you sew the ruffle to the skirt the seam is hidden.

12) Sew the loop to the skirt.

13) Sew the pieces you cut out for the arm holes with right sides together. Put the flat edge against the top of the dress, and then use a straight stitch to sew it onto the dress while making a nice edging.

14) Sew the squares you cut for the ruffle together, right sides together. Put it right side out, use a loose stitch so you can pull it to make it ruffle, pin it in place down the middle and sew it with a straight stitch onto the dress.

 
15) If you want a lace waistline, take the lace you have and pin it to the dress, then stitch it to the dress (make sure you don't overlap the zipper!) Or, you can simply do a stitch about 1/4 inch above the waistline seam to make it look more professional, if you don't want lace (it would look like this:)



16) Make sure you pull out the loose stitches from the ruffle and skirt. You may need to use your stitch ripper - just don't rip the wrong stitch! And always remember to backstitch a couple times at the beginning and end of any length of stitch you are doing.

17) Decorate with buttons on the front if you wish, like I did on the front. I also put a button on the back, above the zipper, for decoration. Make your headbands or hairclips (I made both) with the extra material. Sit back, revel in your glorious work and eat a candy bar like I did ;)


And here is your finished product! (I know all my pictures have my daughter on the couch, but I'm usually taking them in the morning before we are outside, or in the evening after I've sewn something, lol!)


Allie 











Felt Flowers - yet another one I've learned

As you know, I've been working on these fabric flowers:


Now I have found (yet again) a new flower to make, in addition to all the other ones. Another fabulous felt flower. And again, I didn't write down which blog I saw it on, so I can't give credit. But if it's your blog, let me know so I can edit this post!

I don't make these to sell, let me note. I've been instead making these like crazy as bday/christmas gifts! The little girls I know are going to have a bow overload for the holidays ;)

So here is one of the felt flowers I made. I attached an alligator clip to the back and ta-da! It can be a hair clip, clip on your shirt, clip on a belt, clip on a hat, decorate a wreath, whatever you want! I love making flowers!


Linking to:
Bargain Shopping Paradise
Someday Crafts
Tea Rose Home
Life in the Pitts
Sew Much Ado
Nikkis Nifty Knacks


Happy Wednesday everyone!

Allie

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