Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Well hello... I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

I have tons of things to share with you guys (including like 5 tutorials!), but evidently I have reached the maximum amount of storage on Picasa (which I wasn't even aware I was using) and Google is saying that I need to start paying for storage. What?! Sorry. Love you guys, but that just isn't going to happen. 

So I'm going back through making sure that ALL 2 YEARS WORTH of my pictures are re-sized to meet the free storage requirements. Seriously. I'd rather shoot myself in the foot. 

If that doesn't work I'll have to find a new way to set this all up through Flicker or Photobucket or something like that. I've got my fingers crossed that Ant will be able to give me some tech advice this weekend that will help me find the easiest way to keep this little blog running. 

Hopefully I'm back by Monday, but if I'm not up and running by then at least you know that I didn't disappear again. I'm just too busy being computer illiterate!
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Snapshot Sunday - Apple Picking Adventure

Sunday, November 18, 2012

We had so much fun picking strawberries back in June (aside from the sunroof incident) that we decided
to take a trip out to another one of the pick-your-own farms for some fall apple picking goodness. 
Anyone recognize the sling? It looks so different from when Corbin first started using it!

Little girl picking an apple

The day was lovely, and Stribling Orchard where we went was absolutely gorgeous. That whole area is beautiful, and I wish we could live out there without Ant having a 2+ hour commute. I'm sure he wouldn't be too fond of that, and I'd probably be pretty aggravated too if he never got home until after 8pm. Oh well.

Dad holding up girl to pick apples

Reli was a bit upset at first that she was too short to reach more than one or two by herself,
but with a little help from Daddy, we had our bag filled up in no time at all.

Baby helping Mom pick apples

Corbin even got in on the picking action, 
and we ended up leaving with a hefty 10 pound bag of apples!
After a few samples of course...

Baby trying to eat an apple

Most of the farms and orchards are closed for the season by now, 
but I can't wait to go for raspberries and peaches next summer.
Do you have a favorite pick-your-own fruit or veggie?
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"Lettuce" Play Skirt: A lettuce edge tutorial

Friday, November 16, 2012

Here's another guest post tutorial from over the summer that you may have missed...Enjoy!

Hi everyone! Hope you are all staying cool during this ridiculous heat wave that we've been having.
My name is Toni, and I blog over at Sugar Tart Crafts. No telling what you might find over there since I have
what my husband likes to call Crafting ADD. One day it's recipes, the next it's crocheting, painting, kids
crafts, book reviews, or just cute pictures of our chubby new little man. Everything will eventually come back
around to sewing though since that is my first love. (and what I spent an obscene amount of money going to college for!)

"Lettuce" Play Skirt Tutorial
I know, I know. It's a really dorky name, but I couldn't help it! Feel free to have a good eye roll at my expense ;D
Today I want to share with you how to create a ruffly lettuce edge, and use it to make a cute little skirt.
This is a technique that most people associate with a serger, but if you don't have one (or have a love-hate
relationship with yours like I do!) you can just as easily replicate its wiggly goodness with your regular
sewing machine. Plus this'll give you one more way to refashion those extra tee shirts we all have lying around.

Let's get started!


Ruler - Marking pen - 1 Inch elastic - Measuring tape
Scissors or Rotary cutter - Thread (2 or 3 shades)
Pins - a T-shirt ( 2 for larger sizes) or other knit fabric
a single junior's size L tee made the 4T skirt pictured

Measure your child's waist rounding up to the closest even inch.
Add 6 inches to the measurement, and then divide by 2.
ex. 21 inch waist rounded to 22 + 6 = 28 / 2 = 14 

Also measure down from the waist to determine your desired length (12 for me).
If you are trying for a particular length, keep in mind that the waistband will
add roughly an additional inch to whatever number you choose.

With your shirt laying flat cut out the body of the skirt.
Mark your waist measurement (14) in from the side
and length measurement (12) up from the hem.
*If you accidently (or on purpose) use a fitted style tee, you may want to trim off the excess flair and add a side seam. It isn't a problem if you leave it, but the finished skirt will have a slightly more A-line shape. Also, make sure that you measure the length up and then the waist in. Since the shirt is tapering, measuring in along the hem would leave you with a smaller waist later. What ever you choose, you'll need to end up with a single long rectangle when the fabric is unfolded.

From the rest of the shirt cut one 3 inch strip to use as the waistband,
and 2 inch strips from anything remaining. On larger shirts there may
be a leftover piece cut from beside the skirt body that can also be
trimmed into 2 inch strips. 

Set aside the waistband piece and square off the ends of all the 2 inch strips.

Sew the 2 inch strips end to end until you have a single
continuous piece ready to be turned into ruffles.

Set your machine to a medium width zig zag and a very tiny stitch length.
Leaving a tail long enough to wrap around your fingers, place the ruffle
strip so that the right side of the stitch falls just off the edge of the fabric.

I used a lighter color pink in my bobbin just for fun. 
It's pretty subtle, but the affect is really neat when you use 2 threads
that are completely different from each other and the fabric!

Now pull the fabric tightly from the front and the back as you begin to sew. The point is to stretch
 the knit as far as it will go and stitch it in place. Then when you let go it will have no choice but to
curl up on itself making the ruffly lettuce edge.The tighter you stretch the knit the more ruffly the 
edge will be. Just be careful not to pull too hard from the back or there will be gaps in your stitches.
Use the tail to get you started and stop every few inches to re-adjust your fingers.

Please make sure you practice on a piece of scrap before you start on the real thing!

Fair warning, this uses a LOT of thread, and can take a little time.
I highly suggest winding at least 2 bobbins before you begin.

Once your entire strip has been ruffled, cut it into shorter
pieces that measure the width of your unfolded skirt body.
Leave a little overhang on each side just to be safe!

Choose one of these shorter pieces to be the top-most ruffle on your skirt.
Head back to the sewing machine and add the lettuce edge to the top as well.

Next use your ruler and marker to draw lines 3/4 inch apart across the skirt body.
 I use the stitches from the tees hem as my starting point and work up from there.
These will serve as guidelines for attaching your ruffles. 

Leave your machine set to a zig zag, but increase your stitch length to a more
normal 2 or 3-ish setting. With your stitches close to the top edge begin sewing the
ruffle strips onto the skirt body starting at the hem and working your way up. The
ruffle above should cover the zig zag stich from the one below so everything looks neat.

Using a zig zag will help keep the knit from curling in the wash,
and adding extra bulk around the skirt.

Attach the double edged ruffle over the top of the last strips zig zag using a straight stitch.

Be sure to stitch along the upper edge of the zig zag since the double ruffle
 will curl downward once it is in place.

Once all the ruffles have been sewn in place fold the skirt body
in half right sides together and sew up the side seam. 

Getting all the ruffles lined up can be a bit of a pain, but adding a bunch of pins will help.
I also suggest basting the seam and checking that everything lines up how you'd
like before sewing the seam in place for good.

Now that the skirt body is finished it's time to find the waistband strip that we set aside earlier.
Cut the strip to the waist measurement + 3 inches. It is fine to round to the nearest inch, 
but just be sure you are using the actual body measurement, and not the earlier edited one.

Sew the short ends together to form a ring, and then fold the ring in half to form a casing for the elastic.

Fit the casing around the top edge of the skirt body and sew it
 in place leaving a small hole for the elastic to fit through. 

Cut a piece of elastic one inch longer than the waist measurement and use
a safety pin to thread it through the casing. Make sure the elastic isn't twisted
 inside the casing and overlap the ends by an inch. Stitch both ends securely
 to each other and close up the hole in the casing.

Topstitch below the waistband to make it look pretty and you're done!

"Lettuce" Play Skirt

Easy right? Now you can start adding a lettuce edge to all kinds of knits. It is a great way to hem tops, sleeves, pants, dresses, and add details to tons of other things like socks, scarves, or blankets. You can also use any leftover ruffle strips to make flowers for your hair, shoes, bag, etc. There are so many possibilities!

And if you REALLY enjoy ruffles, you could always add them all the way up to the top of the skirt. It's adorable, and tends to make little girls more inclined to dance around wiggling their tush which is always super cute!

Long version of the "Lettuce" Play Skirt

Thanks so much to Megan for letting me be part of the S.O.S, 
and I hope some of you will stop on over and visit me at Sugar Tart Crafts soon!
Stay creative and enjoy the rest of your summer!
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Stag Silhouette Thermal

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Stag silhouette thermal

Last week I was going through my refashion box looking for sweaters that I might be able to give new life for the winter, when I came across a shirt that I had made last year. I'm not sure that I've ever told you this, but I have an obsession with thermals. Absolutely LOVE'em! I don't know what it is about this waffle knit fabric, but the second the weather turns cool that's all I want to wear. And of course the kids wardrobes are full of it simply out of association. So every time I go to the thrift store, I keep an eye out for thermals I can add to my collection. 

Anyway, last year I shrank a few of my favorite adult ones down to Reli's size
(tutorial on that coming soon...), and this blue one was in the pile still waiting to be hemmed. 

Does anybody else do that? 
Get a project one step from finished and then forget all about it? 
Story of my life...

Stag silhouette thermal

Luckily after a year of her growing like a weed, it still fit. Almost. The sleeves were a little short but hey,
I could always pretend that I had made them 3/4 sleeves on purpose right? 

Nope. Reli can't stand 3/4 anything. Sleeves, capris, cropped leggings, socks, if it doesn't fall just where she wants it she'll tug at it all. day. long. until she either stretches it out, I take it off her, or she gets frustrated and has a meltdown. Whichever comes first. I admit it is hilarious watching her pull her pants down ever 5 minutes trying to get those capris to "fit", but I didn't really want to start a fight with this one.

Stag silhouette thermal

 So I rooted through my knit scraps and found a bit of brown t-shirt that was left over from the dribble bibs I made when Corbin was born. One of the pieces was the hem of a brown shirt, so I cut off the blue cuffs and left the thermal edges raw. Next I made two tubes from the t-shirt and used a zig zag to stitch the little brown tubes onto the ends of the blue sleeves. Score... pre-hemmed sleeves!

It didn't seem finished though, so I used the leftover fabric to make a stag head applique.
 Zig zag around the hem and dub it the "rugged" look. ;)

Stag silhouette thermal
Heck, it doesn't even look too girly, I might be able to save this one for Corbin. Gotta love a two for one project! Have any of you started your winter wardrobe sewing or am I just way behind as usual?
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6 Months

Monday, November 12, 2012

Well, we've reached the half way point for this first year, and this little Chubba Bubba is turning into one BUSY man! I guess I forgot how quickly these munchkins can get into something the second you turn your back.

Corbin has already been pulling himself around for awhile with his arms, but this month he's been more interested in trying to stand up than crawling with those chunky knees underneath him. Every time I turn around he's on his tippy toes with his tush up in the air mimicking a downward dog yoga position. It's so cute, but he falls over so quickly that it's super hard to get a picture of it. I'm starting to wonder if he'll be one of those babies that is actually walking before they crawl. Either way I'll probably never have a minutes peace again!

Is it just me or does he keep getting cuter each month?

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Cheap Seats - Baseball Tee Refashion

Friday, November 9, 2012

I know baseball is done for the year, but here's a little something that I guest posted 
over at Melly Sews awhile back during her Sew In Tune series.

Little girl wearing a homemade baseball tee at the ball field

Hi Everyone!
I'm Toni from Sugar Tart Crafts, and I'm so excited to be sharing my baseball tees refashion with you today. 
Maybe some of you are wondering why there is a little girl pictured during a series for boys. We really do have a boy at our house, but he is more of the baby sized variety. So since I wanted to share something that would be suitable for bigger boys, and all my family and friends have girls...we had to settle for a pinch hitter. 

Chubby Baby
Looks more like a linebacker than a outfielder doesn't he?
The song I chose for my project was Cheap Seats by Alabama. I fully admit that I know nothing what so ever about baseball, but there is something nostalgic and summer-y and very... BOY about it so I figure why not. I'll probably have to learn a few things about the sport sooner or later anyway!

To make your own Baseball Tees you'll need...
Supplies needed to make a baseball tee
2 different colored T-shirts of the same size
seam ripper - sewing machine
fabric paint - freezer paper
fabric paint pens - ruler (optional)

Sleeves removed from 2 tee shirts
 1. Use your seam ripper to remove the sleeves from both tees.
Pulling on the threads will make this part go much faster.

Sleeves pinned to opposite color shirt
2. Pin the sleeves into the armholes of the opposite colored shirt.

Sleeves sewn to opposite color shirt
3. Sew them in place.
Pay special attention to the seam allowance.
This will differ by shirt brand, but is probably relatively small.

Team name with swooping tail drawn on the end
4. Choose a font and print out your team name at a size appropriate for your shirt.
Below are a few nice free font options. The ones in the left column are located here and
the right ones are here. Just type the name into the search box and download it to your computer.
Good fonts for team names - ballpark weiner, lobster, marcelle, channel, christie, team spirit, dolphins, machine script

Go ahead and draw a tail swoop off the end of your name if you'd like.

Font tails

Team name cut out of freezer paper
5. Trace your team name onto a piece of freezer paper and carefully cut it out. 
Be sure to keep the shiny side of the paper down while you are tracing, 
and don't lose the tiny bits for the center of letters like o, e, a, etc.

Freezer paper negative ironed onto tee shirt
6. Iron the freezer paper onto your shirt. (the piece you cut from, not the part you cut out)
Again be sure to keep the shiny side down and carefully fit the little bits back into their letters.

Team name painted with freezer paper stencil
7. Slide something (paper/cardboard/cutting mat) inside the shirt to keep paint from leaking through to the back. Check that all the paper edges are firmly stuck in place, and then paint the exposed shirt.
Be gentle so you don't force paint under the paper.

8. When the paint is dry (or as long as you can stand to wait)
peel up the freezer paper. Ta Da! Almost done.

Team name outlined with paint pen
9. Use your paint pen to outline the team name.
Let dry, and then iron everything to set it.

**I highly suggest practicing with your paint pen on scrap fabric before going straight to the tee!**
I looked everywhere for the new Sharpie Stained pens. They would have probably been easier, but no luck finding one around here. Short choppy strokes worked best for the actual paint pen, but you have to keep pulling off the fuzz that gathers on the tip if you want a smooth line.

A homemade Baseball tee with pinstripes painted using a paint pen
 If you're really wild and crazy you might even want to add some pinstripes!

Little girl showing the number painted on the back of a homemade baseball tee

 Don't forget to add a name and number on the back. Then head out and cheer on your team!

Little girl wearing a baseball tee at the ball field. "rawr"

Thanks so much to Melissa and Stacey for letting me be part of their Sew in Tune Series! 

Even though this was my first adventure with it, but I'm actually looking 
forward to trying out more of this BOY sewing in the future.

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