Sunday, October 28, 2012

Simple Sewing - Knit Maxi Skirt Tutorial

      I was going through my posts in order to update my tutorials page, and I discovered something pretty funny. I've never ever made a tutorial for the one piece of clothing I make the most! I call them my "pj skirts" and I wear them. ALL. THE. TIME. because they are just that comfy. I probably have at least 15 of these skirts. Ya I know, rediculous.  This skirt is not fancy, it is just your basic, knit maxi skirt with a fold over yoga waist. If just know how to turn your machine on, and sew a straight line, you CAN MAKE THIS!
      There are probably a million tutorials out there for this type of maxi already, but here's my take on in it. First off, shop for some knit. You'll need a yard and a half. My opinions on knit are: jersey is great for summer, ponte roma knit is perfect for winter, don't use rib knit, any knit with 3-5% Spandex in it is fabulous! At any rate, pick a knit that holds its shape well...saggy skirts are not cute.
       Now, we cut out our skirt. Lay it out folded, just as it is when it comes off the bolt. You'll need to know how long you want it (NOT including the waist band...waist band will add 8-4 inches to length) and how wide your hips are. Cut out your skirt using the following guide.

       Cut out your waist band like this. (You'll need two!)

       Are you tracking so far? I hope so, because you have just four seams and a hem to do before you are done! First, sew up the long side of your skirt. If you don't have a serger, just set your machine to a narrow zig-zag stitch and set the stitch length a tad longer than normal.

        Now sew the two waist band pieces together along the curved sides.

       Fold it over so that the seam is inside.

      Center the seam of the skirt to the back of the skirt. Mark the centers of both the skirt and the waistband.

      With the skirt facing WRONG side out, put the waist band INSIDE the skirt and pin at the centers and side seams.

       Sew the waist band to the skirt, stretching it slightly as you sew. Make sure the side seams of the waist band are rounded out as you sew, you don't want pointy corners at your hips!

      When you get it sewn, it might look a bit rumpled like this. Eeeww!

      No worries! A nice generous pat (Don't rub, just pat!) with a hot steamy iron will smooth most of it out, and what's left won't show when you wear it.

      After you hem the bottom, do the same thing with the iron to tidy it up a bit. Now, wasn't that just the easiest thing you've ever made in your life?!

       Don't blame me if you get hooked on them, and end up with a closet full of them! a certain someone I know! Oh yes, and did I mention these make the. best. maternity skirts EVER??!!
      Here are some other maxi skirt variations you might have missed that I've done in the past.

  1. Shirred waist maxi skirt tutorial
  2. Hi Low Maxi
  3. Chiffon Maxi Skirt
  4. Flat Elastic Waist Maxi 
      Have a happy week!

Nahum 1:7   The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fingerless Gloves Tutorial

        Guess what?? It's Friday! As if Fridays need to be improved upon, here's a simple sewing project that will make the day even better! Winter is coming, and who likes cold hands?! Not me! Makes me down right grouchy to be cold! Grab a half yard of cozy sweater fabric, or a nice thick rib knit and you can whip up these gloves in no time!

       The best thing about them? (Besides the fact, you can make them in every color and print under the sun!) You don't have to sacrifice your ability to function, because they are fingerless!

        So here's how it's done. Cut out a rectangle of fabric on a fold with the stretch going width wise. I made mine 13 inches long, and 7.5 inches wide. This makes for a very snug fit, so if you want a looser fit adjust accordingly. Also, if your fabric is not super stretchy, you'll need to add some to the width as well.

       With the wrong side out, sew around the three raw edges. Leave a gap not sewn in the LONG side to turn it right side out. Use a serger or a zigzag stitch on a regular machine. If you have a walking foot, it helps enormously, especially on sweater type fabrics! ( I used white thread so you could see what I did, I would recommend matching the thread to your fabric so it doesn't look tacky!)

      Flip it right side out, and sew up that gap. It looks pretty ugly, but no worries! You won't see that stitch in just a bit.

      Fold the rectangle in half, length wise.  Pop a pin an inch and a half from the top edge. Place another pin 2 inches below that one.

      Sew down the side, but do NOT sew between the two pins.

        Because we double layered the glove, we don't have to hem the ends or the thumb hole. Fabulous, no?! However, because knit does like to roll, I folded over the seam at the ends and just tacked it down at that one spot. This just helps that seam not roll outwards. Do that at both ends.

      Flip it out, and you are finished with your first glove! Do the exact same thing for the other glove.

      I was thinking of all the different things you could make, using this exact same method.

  • Make a skinnier version for your kids.
  • Use man fabric and make a manly version. My hubs loves to hunt, and these would be perfect for him! Camo anyone?
  • Don't leave a thumb hole, make it 20 inches long, sew the ends together....cute head warmer!
  • Don't leave a thumb hole, make it wider...leg warmers!
  • Don't leave a thumb hole, make it the same size...cute kid's leg warmers!
  • Make it really really long (60 inches or so) and bout 14 inches wide, sew the ends together...infinity scarf!
....ok, ok, I'm done now. Point is, there are options. I like options. Happy weekend!!
P.S. These are for sale in my shop with new colors to be added soon!

 Hebrews 3:4   For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. 
Pin It

Linking to:
My Girlish Whims
Tatertots and Jello

Monday, October 22, 2012

Leather Skirt + Old Belt = New Bag

       I simply love leather. It creaks when it moves. It smells earthy. It reminds me of the smell of barns and horses; two of my absolute favorite things. You can never go wrong with leather, it's timeless and always classy.

        The one problem with leather however, it is expensive. To buy nice, 100%  leather will not be cheap. Unless.... happen to find a 100% leather skirt for $1 at your local thrift store! In which case, your finances most likely won't pose a problem! You might remember I did the same thing with this bag a few months back.

      I still use that bag quite a bit, but it's a bit too "boho" for dressier outfits. I wanted to try a less distracting version that would be more neutral looking.
      Please pardon the awful working photos...this was an "after bedtime" project. I chopped off the top that was shaped with darts. That left me with a flat panel to work with. I did not disassemble the lining or any of the existing seams.

         I decided to cheat, and use the skirt hem for the top of my bag. (my motto is to skip hemming whenever I can get away with it!)  I cut 2 inch by 2 inch corners into what would be the bottom of the bag.

       Next, I sewed 10 inch casings on the sides. I wanted a bit of a gather along the sides to help shape the bag and to create a bit of a ruffle.

     I slipped the elastic between the lining and the leather and threaded it through the casing.

       I sewed the ends of the elastic down, and it gathered up the sides just nicely.

       Next I closed up the bottom lining by sewing across the bottom seam.

       I flattened the corners and sewed straight across the corners.

      I did the same with the leather, but left a small part open to turn the bag right side out.

     I sewed it that last little bit from the outside once the bag was turned. I used the skirt waist band as straps for the bag. Lastly, an old belt that was needing to be trashed became the closure to the bag. I hid a magnetic snap under the buckle so it just snaps easily into place.

      While I didn't do it on purpose, this bag does fit nicely with equestrian trend I'm seeing all about this fall. I just love all the buckles and bits of leather used in unexpected ways on clothing. What do you think of the trend?

        If you've never tried working with leather, a thrift store skirt is totally the way to can hack it up without worrying a bit about messing it up!

Hebrews 10:38   Now the just shall live by faith...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Travel Earring Book Tutorial

        We do a fair amount of traveling, and I have my packing system pretty well established. However, the other day, the thought occurred to me that my zip-lock bag method for packing earrings could probably be improved upon rather simply. I always get annoyed with untangling and trying to find matching earrings...this little felt earring book solves the problem!

      All you need to make one, is some felt squares and some trim if you want to decorate the front. You really could even get away with hot gluing this, if sewing isn't your thing! I found that the cheaper felt, like you get in the kids craft section works the best to poke earrings through, because it has a looser weave.

      Stack them, and sew straight down the middle.

      Close the "book", and sew down the "binding". This just helps it not want to fall open.

      You might need to trim your "pages" all to match, felt has a way of stretching out weirdly.

       I sewed a strip of lace down the front just for pretties.

      Now all you have to do is stick your earrings in it! Depending on how the earring post is made, you might have to wiggle it a bit to get it to poke through. Types, like hoops, that connect to themselves I just pinned on the edges of the "pages".

        Now mind you, this isn't an absolutely perfect system, the earrings still will flop around a bit. I just pack the book flat in my bag, and it works wonderfully. It keeps them organized and tidy so it makes me happy!
Do you have a good method you use to pack small things? Do share!

Proverbs 15:16   Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Super Simple Head Wraps

      I love hats of any kind, and I see these as just a variation of a hat. Honestly, any excuse not to have to fix my hair for the day, and I'm a fan! These are a fun accessory, and a total cinch to make!

      All you need is two pieces of jersey or knit fabric. The more stretchy the fabric is, the better. Cut two rectangles, 20 inches long by 14 inches wide.

      Loop one piece around the other to make an "X".

      Sew the ends together. You should have two circles of fabric looped around each other.

      Now, Put both seams together, and sew down.

      Flip it around so the seam is facing inward, and you are set. You can wear it scrunched together like a headband, or separate all the folds to cover your whole head.

       These are available for purchase in my shop, with more colors to be added soon. These are fun accessory that would make great gifts...stocking stuffers maybe? Ack! I can't believe Thanksgiving is next month!! Every year, I vow to get all my Christmas shopping done in August...and it usually gets done oh, Christmas Eve or so. Anyway, make a turban, head wrap thing-a-majigger, and you'll feel better about your lack of holiday preparation. Promise.

Psalms 139:1-3   O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. 
Pin It