fantastic friday {june 1}

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On Fridays I recap some fantastic finds from around the world wide web.

Happy Weekend!

great FABRIC: True Up is a fantastic resource about the latest fabrics coming out. They have just returned from the Quilt Market and this week have been posting pictures of all the new fabrics coming out. I have to say I’m more excited that I was last year. I kind of felt like last year was so similar to everything that had been out. This year there are so many different and beautiful and fun fabrics. Take a look!

to whet your APPETITE: These baked donut holes look awesome!

be NATURAL and NEAT (as in organized): Planning a road trip this summer? I love the organization used by this blogger. I’ve got that basket and one of those fabric bins. Here’s hoping it works for our kids this summer!

a TUTORIAL to do: This felt paper doll tutorial is awesome!

AWESOME embroidery: I was introduced to this sweet little french blog today. Her embroidery is amazing.

something to SEW: last week I shared a doll version, this weekend I’m hoping to make the big girl version of Oliver + S’ popover sundress

to TRIM my house with: We currently don’t have closet doors in our bedroom and I’m hoping maybe by Christmas I’ll have something like these. I love this tutorial for customizing generic bi-fold closet doors.

INSPIRATIONAL: I would love to be more intentional about really celebrating everyone’s birthday. This little maze is something that would be awesome to start a tradition of doing…for the youngest to the oldest of us!

CUTE: Love this little illustration

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teacher gifts 2012

We are on the home stretch with the end of our school year and last week it was time to pass out our thank you’s to teachers.

 

My daughter graduated from preschool on Friday and this past Monday, we surprised her teacher with a set of daisyeyes super hero capes: vowel bat version.

vowel capes (2012teachergift)

 

 

My son’s teacher is finishing up her like millionth year of teaching and this being her last class I felt like she needed a super special gift. It was such fun to present it to her yesterday and the kids got a kick out of finding their names.

the front:
ultimate teacher's bag

pattern from wee wonderfuls

 

the back:
ultimate teacher's bag (back)

I used my machine to stitch a sheet of notebook paper and then hand embroidered the class names on the bag.

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a tutorial & stitch along {pillowcase skirt}

tutorial cover photo

I’ve had this pillowcase for a while and was going to make a pillowcase dress, but the other day decided to try my hand at writing a tutorial for a pillowcase skirt. I made a skirt out of vintage & thrifted cases a while ago, but only having one case this time decided to add a little something to the bottom. It was also time to participate in the monthly feeling stitchy stitchalong so I decided to make a little apron for the skirt and “kill two birds with one stone” as they say. The instructions are for a size 5 skirt, but can easily be adapted for smaller sizes. So here goes…

a pillowcase skirt tutorial:

pillowcase skirt 1

First, gather up all your materials:
– one standard pillowcase
– 3/4 yard of coordinating tulle
– coordinating ric rac
– thread
– roughly a fat quarter of white (or coordinating) fabric for the apron and embroidery
– embroidery pattern (found here)
– 3/4″ wide elastic
– small piece of interfacing

pillowcase skirt 2

Lay out your case on a cutting mat and measure 14″ from the open end up and cut across.

After cutting you should have something like this:
pillowcase skirt 3

pillowcase skirt 4

Next you are ready to cut your tulle strips. Strips are cut width of fabric x 5″ wide. I folded my width of fabric in half to fit it on my mat for cutting. Cut 3 strips.

pillowcase skirt 5

**This is where I did things a little backwards. Typically you would now sew your 3 strips together short ends to short ends to make a large loop and then baste. I opted to indent my basting a little bit and make the loop last.**

Next baste your 3 tulle strips together. This is where going slow pays off in order to keep all the layers on top of each other while you sew. After you sew, pull the basting a little bit to make it fit around the inside of the case. After fitting it almost together, sew the short ends together to make a loop.

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When you get ready to sew the tulle strip to the case, match up the basting stitch with the hem stitch on the case.

pillowcase skirt 6

Flip the skirt right side out and you should have something like this. The tulle should hang down about an inch below the case bottom.
pillowcase skirt 8

Here’s an inside view of the tulle strip after it has been sewn on:
pillowcase skirt 9

pillowcase skirt 10

Now you are going to cover up the hem seam and seam from the tulle strip with some ric rac. Line up your ric rac on the seam and you can go ahead and measure out how much you need and sew!

pillowcase skirt 11

Your skirt bottom should now look something like this:
pillowcase skirt 12

Next it’s time to measure the apron pieces and trace your embroidery. (obviously this picture was taken after I embroidered. Just use your imagination)

pillowcase skirt 13

Cut 2 apron pieces 7.5″ x 9.5″ and using a water soluble pen, trace your embroidery design and sew.

After you are finished with your embroidery, clip the long ends of your threads on the back and “seal” your embroidery by ironing on a small piece of interfacing. If embroidery isn’t your thing, you could always cut two pieces of coordinating fabric and use those as your apron piece.

Next, you will add ric rac to the edges of the apron pieces and sew them together. Sandwich the ric rac in between the apron pieces, right sides facing. Sew the two long sides and bottom, leaving the top open.

pillowcase skirt 15

Turn right side out, use a chop stick to poke out the corners and press. You should have something like this (sorry it’s blurry):

pillowcase skirt 16

Now you are going to line up your apron piece with the top of your skirt. Mine measured roughly 6.5 inches on each side.

pillowcase skirt 17

Pin apron in place.

Now it is time to finish the top edge of your skirt. If you have a serger, use your serger to finish the top, while at the same time attaching the apron piece. If you do not have a serger, you can use a zig zag stitch to finish the top edge and attach the apron OR you can baste the apron piece and fold the top down 1/4″ and press.

Now it is time to make the casing for the elastic.

pillowcase skirt 18

Fold down the top 1″ and press. You might want to pin the apron piece in place so that it doesn’t shuffle around while sewing the casing. Make sure to leave an opening in the casing to insert the elastic.

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pillowcase skirt 20

Cut your elastic 21″ inches and insert elastic into casing.

pillowcase skirt 21

When you have pulled all your elastic through, sew the ends together.

pillowcase skirt 21

Stretch the elastic all the way through and then sew the seam closed.

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Voila! Now you are done!

pillowcase skirt 22

pillowcase skirt

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fantastic friday {04.13.2012}

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It’s Friday the 13th!!! AHHH! Hopefully Jason won’t make an appearance in my bushes today. ๐Ÿ˜‰

On Fridays I recap some fantastic finds from around the world wide web.

Happy Weekend!

great FABRIC: I have quite a fascination with Japanese fabric and all sorts of zakka ๐Ÿ™‚ There are a couple awesome shops I’ve found and love that specialize in Japanese fun. One is an old standbye, Superbuzzy. They’ve been around for a while and time has brought more and more fun things into their little spot. Another one I’ve recently found on etsy called Japan Lovely Crafts. They also have a great variety of fabric, books and gobs of other things.

to whet your APPETITE: My last hold out on processed food items with msg (gasp!) is yellow rice. My kids love it and we love it on our quesidillas etc. I’ve tried to make some from scratch in the past only to be super disappointed. I stumbled upon this recipe last night and the reviews are all super. We’ll see if this one is the winner.

be NATURAL and NEAT (as in organized): Bringing the natural indoors…I love this little succulent garden. I’ve got a couple of spots in my dining room where it would fit perfectly. I just have to figure out where to get a dish like that!

a TUTORIAL to do: I’ve been needing to finally make some bags for my kiddos, one for wrestling practice and the other for ballet (I’ll let you figure out who is who!) and while I’ve long thought I would just do a simple drawstring bag, I came across this tutorial from sew mama sew. It’s a one strap bag using basically fat quarters. I love it.

on AIMEEโ€™s to do list (thatโ€™s me by the way): New marketing and designs! I’m so excited I came across this new shop called charmmay on etsy and I’m giving them a try. They are using the flower/daisy that I’ve been using, but spicing it up and designing a whole suite of items for me (new blog banner, new blog buttons, new etsy banner, business cards…the whole she-bang). Keep and eye out in the next few weeks for the new design to show up!

something to SEW: Keeping with the Japanese theme this week…here is a post that links to a handful of free Japanese sewing patterns.

to TRIM my house with: I love this little gnome house and I know my kids would love to make some to hide around our front and side yard beds.

INSPIRATIONAL: I was sitting across from my son at lunch yesterday (and a handful of crazy, out of control, wild and silly boys) wondering what to talk about. I wish I would have had this list of conversation starters with me. It might have helped cut down on all the nutty “boy” talk.

CUTE: I found these books at the library a few months ago by Elsa Beskow and we fell in love with them (well I fell in love with them, the kids liked them). I saw this on Pinterest last night and was so excited. It is a whole post full of ideas to use with these books. I tell you, it’s things like this that make me sort of wish (mind you I said sort of) we were homeschooling again and we had time to just do fun things like this. Alas, I’ll file it away for our school breaks or long weekends.

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Easter dress 2012 & pattern review

easter dress 2012

 

This year’s Easter dress is the Lily Top pattern by Pink Fig and the fabric is Riley Blake’s Go Fly a Kite line. I absolutely love this fabric. It sews well, irons well and just feels nice.

 

 

easter dress 2012

 

The pattern on the other hand was probably one of the most disappointing patterns I’ve sewn from in a long time. I’m no stranger now to “boutique” patterns (aka, not the run of the mill Simplicity etc) and this one was really disheartening.

 

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The cover (and cost mind you) made me think that it would be much in the same vein as a Portobellopixie pattern that I sewed from in the past. Not so. Upon opening the pattern and looking at the directions, I noticed that they are merely black and white photocopies of photos. I actually even emailed the person I bought the pattern from because I thought there had been a mistake! You can hardly see what it is that you are supposed to see because the photos are so dark. I kept thinking, if I were new to sewing I would be so depressed and lost. Even the directions were lacking in description.

 

easter dress 2012

 

This was my first time using elastic thread and it went pretty well after I got the hang of it. I’m not sure I’m as enamored with it as many people are, but maybe it’s just because I’m not used to using it. I do love how the neckline and arms turned out with the rolled serged edging. I think the next time I make this dress I’ll leave out the shirring in the waist. It drives my girl nuts and with the little tie you really almost don’t need it. Without the shirring in the waist it merely looks like an A-line dress, which is fine with me!

 

easter bow 2012

I topped it off with a matching bow, making me think, “why don’t I make more of these?!?” It was super easy and quick and really made it all come together.

 

Overall, I do love the look of this dress and I’ll certainly sew more of them, but if you are new to sewing I wouldn’t recommend this pattern just due to the cruddy directions.

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