Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Two dresses in one day!

I made another upcycle dress today! This one is for my older daughter, who is age 7. I used a Gymboree dress from a few seasons ago to get the right shape for the skirt pieces. I just traced around it on the fabric. I serged the pieces together and used the rolled hem serger edge for the hem and the sleeves. I think it turned out cute!

The 30-minute, no pattern, easy upcycle dress

Today, I whipped up a cute dress in less than a half an hour, without a pattern! I have become slightly enamored of the idea of upcycling clothing, taking something you might now use and making another thing about of it you will use. Lilblueboo, on Etsy, is one dress maker I follow. Her dresses are cute and popular and she also sells patterns so you can make them on their own. Well, no offense to Ashley but I figured I could try to make on myself, without a pattern. So, here is what I did today!

First, I found a cute top at a consignment store. Lilblueboo does some very cute screen prints, including a crown. I lucked out and found this Carter's top with a crown design in raised metallic sequins.

Then, I let my two year old help me pick from my stash of Chez Ami knits. She chose this cotton lycra striped in pink and red to be the skirt.

Here are my tools for this

I have been playing with my new Janome Serger for several days and have figured out the correct settings for serging the edge of this fabric with four threads and then making a rolled hem with three threads.

I serged the side seams with a regular 4-thread edge.

For the skirt, I used the pattern for the dress I made last week, Ottobre Spring 2007, #11. It is twice the width of the dress. I figured this would be a good first trial skirt size.

Time to size up the top! Where to put the waist of the dress? How about right above the toddler belly button!

Cutting off the bottom. I will save this piece of pink for a future project, perhaps a tiered skirt!

Time to pin the right sides together so I can baste them on the sewing machine.

After basting the skirt to the top, I unpinned it and serged the inside with a four-thread edge. I then took out the left thread and changed settings to a rolled hem for the bottom of the dress.

Voila! Cute and simple and best of, my daughter says it is very comfy and she wants to wear it. All in all, this dress took 30 minutes to make and I figure it cost me $7 or less in materials. A perfect play dress for spring!

Next up: I plan to work on the waistline for the next dress and this one is a bit bunchy and not as full as I had hoped. I would also like to taper the sides of a top and make a drop-waist dress with a ruffled skirt. I think that would be darling.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

More spring ottobre!

I finished round two of my versions of Spring 2007 Ottobre pattern #s 11 and 17. Here they are in Chez Ami fabric. I think they turned out very cute! The second time around, I made far fewer mistakes. I expect my next go round to be even easier. This is such a cute pattern and my youngest is at the second-to-the last size, that I want to make more and more of them. Such a cute and comfy dress for spring.

Next up, a ruffly skirt and ruffly pants!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Stunning fabric!

I am deeply involved in birthday parties and Easter but am still trying to find time to sew. It is impossibly hard to do when there is so much gorgeous fabric out there. You just want to buy it all and have piles of unsewn fabric, waiting for you, calling to you.

I have to thank sewretrochic for turning me on to this lovely new collection, Glam Garden, by Josephine Kimberling. I am drooling excessively because these are the perfect colors and designs for my taste. They are just stunning. So, while I sew and party away, please enjoy a look at these lovely fabrics.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Bedroom redo, part I

I decided a few months ago that I needed to decorate my master bedroom, being as we have lived in the house for almost four years now. I really do like the LLBean quilt on my bed and it seemed silly to not utilized it further, so I set about trying to think of a low cost way to add some modernity and color to my room. I fell in love with Amy Butler's Nigella Collection, from Imagine Fabrics, and decided to order four different prints and incorporate them into the room in different ways.

First of all, I wanted to add some color above the bed but I am afraid of heavy things falling on my head during an earthquake. My father is a geologist and I grew up in Panama and Southern California, so I have experienced many earthquakes. I realized that I could do something with fabric that would be colorful and lightweight and fell upon this idea, above, to use quilt hoops as wall decor. These are from Michael's Craft Stores and they were only between $1.50 and $4.00 each. They are not perfect to me, but they will do. I don't like the large hoop's wooden closure but I am trying not to focus on it as all larger hoops have them.

So, as you can see above, I utilized three of the four Nigella prints in this project and I love it! I think it adds a fun and colorful element to the room.

My next project is to take the fourth Nigella print, Passion Vine Lime, and make a valence for my window. That should be done soon!