Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Ready to Get Back in the Groove!

It's been a busy summer, and between swim lessons, Vacation Bible School, and the summer reading program at our county library...plus dishing out meals like a fast-food diner and countless hours of Legos® and Play-doh®, watching movies and more (including an upper respiratory virus that the boys contracted and "shared" with me), I have had very little time to sew.  BUT...where there's a will, there's a way!

So...I have managed to make five pair of "pajama shorts" for the boys...

two "picnic dresses" for an 8-year-old friend who is part of our "extended family" and her 9-month-old sister...and a top from the scraps for Zola...

and four "picnic dresses" for all of my nieces (three from the owl print, and one in the pink/green prints)...

plus a pretty cute little "peasant dress" for Zola.

I love seeing the kids' faces when they get the new outfits.  Next up are things for fall...some "school spirit" shirts, some orange print for October, leggings repurposed from long-sleeved tees, and some Christmas outfits.  I know...summer is fading fast, and it's time to think about fall and the holidays.  They will be here before we can turn around!  Stay tuned for pictures...I'll keep them coming!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Summer Wardrobe!

It had been quite a while since I made a trip to the local thrift store...but a few weeks ago, I popped in just to see what was there...and I came home with a couple of sacks of "good" items for re-purposing. So I've been a little busy - and just a tad sidetracked - with figuring  out what I could create from these goodies!
Here's what I've done so far...
This ladies skirt in a stretch cotton fabric...
....became these little girls' shorts.
Sorry for the blurry image, but this ladies stretch seersucker blouse...
...became this little girls' stretch tunic...looks darling with lime green leggings!
This stretch cotton ladies skirt...
...became these adorable little girl capris!
This ladies cotton knit skirt...
and this striped knit ladies tee...
...became this Summer Picnic Dress (pattern from TheCottageMomma.com)
...and accent pocket tees for the brothers!
This beaded ladies knit tee...
...became a darling knit t-dress for a four-year-old!
I don't always re-purpose everything I purchase at the thrift store...I sometimes keep things as they are.  These three pieces were too cute to pass up for $1 each...and my niece is adorable in each of them.  Kids require lots of "play clothes"...and for that price, you cannot go wrong!

The Summer Picnic Dress pattern was so cute and EASY that I had to try it again.  I had a leftover piece of "Stacked Slices" by Spring Creative© fabric that I had used to make my cousin a dress last year.  There was just enough material for a picnic dress for my niece - AND for her "My Life" doll!  She is thrilled that the two will match...maybe they will pose for a picture soon!

A girl and her doll...so much cuteness!

The last time my nephew spent the night, he squeezed into a favorite pair of knit "Ninja Turtle" pajamas and declared, "They fit just fine!"  Well, they DIDN'T...and I decided he needed new summer pajamas.  I had a piece of train print left over from pajama pants I made several years ago for the little boys...and it worked great as pajama boxers/shorts for the boys.  I put pockets on tees to coordinate.  The third pair is for a friend, and I know that he will have lots of shirts that will work as a mate!

Two pajama sets for brothers...and some summer shorts for a friend!
Much better than too-small "Ninja Turtle" pjs!
Not exactly sure what is next!  There are still stacks of yardage and items to be repurposed...and I am never lacking ideas for them.  All I need is time to sew.  Wish me luck!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Well, Hellooooo, Kitty!

It's been a whirlwind marathon of sewing lately, as I tried to create several outfits for our great-nieces in Tennessee before the youngest (who just turned 1) outgrew my new set of measurements.  Somebody put a rock on her head and stop this growing!!!

I had bought enough grey chevron and Grey, Black and Yellow Suzani print to make Zola's Easter outfit AND something for the Tennessee nieces.  So I started with the pants.  I added a print border to the ruffled flounce hem.  For the dresses, I used the "Party Dress" pattern from TheCottageMama.com.  I used some leftover white polyester to line the bodice, but I did not have enough print to create the hem bands and sashes. So I ordered more Suzani fabric in the coordinating border print, and that turned out to be a "happy accident".  I think the border print really sets off the dresses!

I had just enough fabric pieces left to make a skirt for my cousin Harper and applique a piece of the print on a tee for her.  She will be adorable in this!

My cousin in her new outfit!
As I make my weekly circle of our local Walmart, I always pass by the "Clearance" fabric table.  I seem to be drawn there like a magnet!  But when I saw the Hello Kitty® yardage, I knew that this HAD to be one of my next projects!  Zola is obsessed with Hello Kitty®.  I spotted a bolt of pink leopard print next to the Hello Kitty® fabric, and I decided this would be perfect for "ruffle hem" pants.  So I bought all they had, which was probably four yards.  I also ended up ordering another yard of the Hello Kitty® fabric from Walmart.com.  I sew for three nieces and a little cousin, and I knew that they ALL needed something out of this fabric!  So four dresses/pants sets later, this is the result...well, three of them.  I made two sets with the pink sleeves on the dress and had not finished the last one when I took this picture.

Earlier in the spring, I ordered several yards of fabric that caught my fancy on Etsy, and I have now sewn every single piece of it.  Last on the stack was the frog print for these shorts for my nephews, and some Michael Miller prints for dresses for the "Rocky Top" girls!  Our church sold t-shirts that promote our children's program, and I purchased three green ones for Timothy, Zola and Nathan.  The boys got shorts to match from the Michael Miller "Scuba Doo" frog and fish print.  Zola got a ruffled pair from a remnant in my stash.  I thought they turned out really cute!

Then I turned my attention to another set of "Party Dresses" - this time in coordinating prints by Michael Miller from the "Feelin' Groovy" and "Lily Dot Sky" collections.  I added some solid blue from Walmart to trim the hems and make sashes.  This was also used for the lining.  
One of our nieces actually modeling her new dress!
I have reports from the mommas that all of the children LOVE these new outfits.  If/when I get pictures of the kiddos modeling them, I will share here.  Harper's mom texted me to say that she might never take off her Hello Kitty® outfit!  Now that's an endorsement!

I have had so much fun...and of course, I have stacks and stacks of fabric just waiting to be sewn.  I made a trip to the thrift store yesterday and picked up SEVERAL pieces of clothing that just beg to become darling outfits, so STAY TUNED! 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Bat Crew!

Today, we celebrated May birthdays for two of the children...with presents also for the little guy, even though his birthday isn't for a few more months. But first, we went to church. When we picked up the kiddos, their mom had dressed them in their Batman® outfits. EVERYONE loved them! And I have to say, "The Bat Crew" did look pretty adorable!

These outfits were a lot of fun to create...and I got to use some of my thrift store scraps in the bargain.  I could have bought Batman® shirts, but where would the challenge/fun in that be?  BTW...after I finished Zola's little top, I noticed a tiny hole in the back.  So I cut out one of the Bat Signal ovals from a leftover scrap and appliqued it as a cover.  So she has a tiny Bat Signal on the back of her dress.  I love that quirky accent!  Sassy, just like her!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

It All Started With a Scrap...

I swore I would not buy ANY MORE FABRIC until I made something out of all that is in my closet.  Some of it I bought several years ago and STILL have not decided what to make with it.  BUT...I found myself on Etsy one day, looking at new fabrics (thank you, My Heart and Sew!)...and, well...several yards later, I was waiting for a package in the mail.  It was like Christmas Day when that big package arrived...
Top to Bottom: Michael Miller "Scuba Doo",
RBD Designs "On Our Way Main" in yellow,
Michael Miller "Ring Dot"
Michael Miller "Feelin' Groovy" and "Lolli Dot Sky"
"Batman Symbols" fabric - I THINK it's by DC Comics
Riley Blake "Lazy Day Owls" (this became a baby blanket!)
Michael Miller "Dino Dude"
Michael Miller "Mod Swirls" in Aqua

I've already "made up" several pieces...a tunic top for myself, Batman shorts for the three little boys in my life...and pair of shorts in "On Our Way Main" in yellow "transportation" themed fabric by RBD Designs that were meant for my almost 3-year-old nephew Nathan (but may be worn first by Timothy - they look BIG).

Shorts in "On Our Way Main" yellow from RBD Designs
Hanes t-shirt from WalMart
My niece sent me pictures of outfits she saw on Zulily with a "cowgirl" theme that she thought her daughter, Zola, would enjoy.  One featured black bandana print pants with ruffled hems, and a pink top that had a cowgirl boot appliqued on it.  She also sent a picture of a little top with a horseshoe applique.  I looked through my scraps and leftover fabric and found RED bandana fabric.  So I made MY version of the cowgirl boot outfit with red print and a black top.  I have a piece of blue dot that resembles denim that will become pants and a horseshoe appliqued white top...but that will be NEXT week!
The picture my niece sent me from Zulily.
Inspiration top.
My version with ruffled shorts to match!
After I finished my sidetrack down "Cowgirl Lane", I returned to the new fabrics...in particular, one yard of Michael Miller's "Dino Dude" - a brown print with whimsical dinosaurs.  I cut out two pair of shorts for my nephews.  There was a decent strip of the print left over, and I considered what I could do with that for Zola.  She is always telling me, "I want dinosaurs, too!"  I decided that there was just enough to trim the hem of a pair of shorts.  So I went to the closet and searched for a suitable coordinating fabric.  Denim?  Khaki?  And then I saw it...a piece of Michael Miller "Ta Dot" in "lagoon"...a deep teal with lime green dots.  I held up the colorful dinosaur print, and they matched perfectly, of course!  Thank you, Michael Miller!!!

I cut out a pair of "Ta Da" shorts for Zola and trimmed them in the "Dino Dude" remnant.  I had a couple of scraps that showcased some of the bigger dinosaurs, so I appliqued one on the right front leg...and one on the left rear. 

I had purchased orange t-shirts for the boys, because they went well with the print colors AND also will match a yard of Michael Miller "Scuba Doo" print that will become shorts (hopefully next week!) for the boys.  I had thought I would purchase a knit top for Zola.  But then I realized that I had a substantial piece of "Ta Dot" left...and even a strip of the "Dino Dudes".  And my wheels started to turn.

I have a pattern that I've used several times for Zola called the "Party Dress".  It came from The Cottage Momma, and I've made Easter dresses from it two years running.  I used the bodice pattern to cut out a crop top...and made bias strips to trim the armholes and neckline.  Then I ruffled the "Dino Dude" strip and stitched it to the hem.  The finish was four buttons down the back - "bright green and orange 'smiley-face flowers' from my stash."  I got a package of these fun buttons at WalMart few years ago.

The finished product...shorts/top for my niece Zola, and two sets of shorts/tees for the boys!
Back view of Zola's top and shorts.
The bias trim pieces had to be pieced, so there was a seam right at the center front neckline.  I went through my ribbons and found some green for a cute little bow accent.  Honestly, I was more excited about this little short set than the shorts and shirts for the boys...but together...well...YOU decide.

This was ALL that was left when I finished with these pieces.  It's amazing what you can do with a yard of fabric and a few scraps!
HOPEFULLY I will get the kids to pose in their outfits long enough for a "fashion photo" or two that I can post here.  Either way, I know that they will be adorable. I'm off to figure out what to do with the other scraps in my stash!  Stay tuned!!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

It's Batman, Y'all!

Our youngest great-nephew, Nathan (age 2½), is obsessed with Batman.  His mom mentioned to me one day, "If you could make him ANYTHING with Batman on it, he would go nuts."  I made Timothy a Batman cape and mask a few years ago, and Nathan wears it all the time now.

So I went online and found all kinds of Batman prints.  I settled on one that was black with the yellow oval "Bat signals" and ordered enough to make shorts for our two nephews, Timothy and Nathan...and a 5-year-old cousin, Owen.  Then I bought black T-shirts at WalMart and used knit scraps to applique the "Bat Signal" on them to match the shorts.  I used my pattern from the cape that I made a few years ago.  Let me tell you, I am not an expert at applique...and sewing black and yellow and making it look halfway smooth was definitely a challenge.  I think maybe I should have done the oval itself in yellow and stayed just inside the knit line.  NEXT TIME, I will know better!

I couldn't leave out Zola.  Girls like superheroes, too, y'all!  So I used a thrift-store knit t-shirt in yellow to make her a pillowcase dress, and I had just enough print scraps to make a tie.  I covered some flaws in the dress (aka HOLES and stains) with a big black bat...and I even added a small "Bat Signal" from the print fabric on the back to cover a hole.  It's not the best dress I ever made...and we'll have to put a black shirt and leggings or shorts underneath it...but Zola won't care!  She will have Batman like her brothers...and that's what really matters!

I didn't get a single picture of all three children in their matching Easter outfits.  I was going to do that at the egg hunt, and it rained and the children went in three different directions.  Oh, well...maybe we can do better with Batman!  Time will tell!  Stay tuned!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Bring On Easter!

Last fall, I bought this darling gray, black & yellow Suzani Floral Fabric from Hobby Lobby, and a grey/white chevron cotton from JoAnn...and these fabrics became the starting point for this year's Easter outfits.  Since I don't have a clue how the weather will be, I figured Zola can wear her little yellow knit jacket from LAST Easter if necessary.  The grey was also perfect for making accent pockets on the boys' tees...and I bought charcoal grey cargo shorts for them to wear underneath.  I cannot wait to see the kiddos in these outfits.  I'll try to get a good picture to share here.

The dress pattern is from The Cottage Mama...it's called the "Party Dress".  It has quite a bit of handwork with a lined bodice...but this is the second time I've used it for the Easter dress, and I've been pleased both times!  Next time, I think I'm going to try the alternate bodice (which finishes on the side seams instead of the shoulders - look at the pattern, and you'll understand).  The pants were made from a pattern I have altered that comes from a site called "Made".  Look for the tutorial for kids pants - basic pants.  I calculated the overall length, and subtracted for the ruffles.  My longest ruffle is 4", and the print ruffle is about 2.5".  Both were finished with a "serged hem", so if you are doing a stitched hem, allow extra fabric for this!

Yellow knit jacket with 2014 Easter Dress...
hoping it will be a warm day and no jacket will be needed!