Saturday, September 28, 2013

How to Make an Easy Child's Skirt

I would like to show you how easy it is to make a skirt.  This skirt is about a child's size 4, but you can easily adapt it to whatever size that you need.


I first measured my granddaughter from her waist to her knee (11 inches).  Then I measured around her tummy (20 inches). 


Length of the skirt:

When I measured the length for the piece of fabric and I added about 4 inches to the measurement that went from the waist to the knee.  My granddaughter measured about 11 inches from the waist to the knee., so I added 4 inches to make it 15 inches. Obviously, if you want it to be shorter than the knee, add fewer inches.  Just make sure you have about 4 extra inches to allow for the hem and the elastic waist.

Width of the skirt: 

Then for the other measurement around the waist she was about 20 inches.  I almost tripled  that measurement.  In my case I made it about the width of the fabric, which was 56 inches. 

The more full you want the skirt, the wider you cut your fabric.  

The less fabric, the less full that the skirt will be. 

You need enough fabric to fit around the hips, plus a few extra inches to allow for movement.

Too much fabric and it will not fit in the elastic. 

If you want very full skirt you will need to cut your material different which is not in these instructions.


Since I could do it in one piece, I only needed one seam in my skirt.  If you need a skirt bigger than that, then cut two pieces that are the same size.  For instance, if you need a skirt that is 100 inches, then cut two pieces of fabric that are each 50 inches wide.  When you sew the two pieces together, they will be 100 inches.


Here is an example of my seem.   I have a piece of fabric that is 15" by 56".  I sewed together the two sides that are 15".  Make sure that you keep the right sides together on the inside, and sew on the wrong side of the fabric.  See the picture above.

Now your fabric should make a big oval.  Place it on the ironing board and fold over the top about 1/4" and iron it down.  Do this all the way around the fabric.

Now fold the fabric over again, this time make it about the size of your elastic plus about 1/4".  Iron it all the way around. A good elastic size is 3/4 inch. 

Just a note, an elastic that is too small ( 1/4") will not be able to be strong enough to work for a waist band unless you have a light weight fabric.  A heavy weight fabric will need stronger elastic and not hold as much fabric.

Repeat the same process to the other side of the skirt.  First fold the material over about 1/4", iron, fold again at about 2", iron again.  This time it will be the hem. 

Now it is time to sew.  First we will work on the waistband end.  Start out by stitching as close to the edge as you can on the bottom fold of the fabric.  Stitch almost all the way around, but stop about two inches from where you started.  This is the hole that you will be putting your elastic through.

I like to sew a second stitch at the top of the fold.  Make sure you sew all the way around to point where you started.  I do a little back stitch to lock in the thread.  This step is not necessary, but I think that it just looks a little more finished, plus it keeps the elastic from folding.


Now turn your skirt around to the side with the hem.  Place your needle as close to the fold as you can.  Sew all the way around the fabric to sew down your hem.  When you get to the spot where your threads are overlapping, do a little bit of back stitching to lock in your threads.  That way they will not come lose.

Some people like to use a hem stitch for this or a hand stitch so that the thread is invisible.  You certainly can do it however you would like.


Now for the elastic waist.  Cut the elastic to the length that you need.  put a safety pin at the end of it.  This you will push through the waist band.  Just to be safe, safety pin the other end to the skirt.  This will keep the elastic from pulling all the way through.  I have done that a few times.  Keep pushing the safety pin around the waist until it comes out the other side.  Sew the elastic together (make sure there are no twists in your elastic).  Then sew up the hole that is left in the waistband seam. 

Now you have a quick and easy skirt. 

 That was so quick and easy that you will have time to make a matching t-shirt.  Click on the picture to learn how:



Tutorial and Free Pattern on How to Make a Pumpkin and Turkey Appliqued T-Shirt






I had this adorable material laying around, and everytime I walked past it I thought that I had better do something with it.  The pattern was the color of fall, so I thought that I would make my granddaughter a pumpkin shirt with a matching skirt.  But then I thought, why don't I also make a matching turkey shirt so that she could wear the skirt a little longer.  Here is what a did:


Here is the pattern for the pumpkin applique:

If you right click your mouse you can save it as a picture and size it to the size you need using your word processor program.  I printed it out on card stock so that they would be easier to trace around.


Cut out your pattern.  Then rough cut your fabric to a little bigger than the size of the pattern.  Use a different material for each pattern piece.  Then iron on some Wonder Under to the wrong side of the material.

Then trace the pattern on the back side of the Wonder Under.  Cut out the piece, then peel of the back side of the Wonder Under like a sticker. 


When you have finished cutting out all of your pieces, lay them out in proper order on your shirt and then iron them on according to the directions.


On the inside of the shirt, behind the applique, I ironed on some fusible Easy Knit interfacing.  I did this so that the T-Shirt would be a little stronger for when I sewed my applique.


I played around with several stiches on a practice pumpkin that I did.  Then I decided which pattern that I liked the best.

Then I stitched around the material with my sewing machine. 


I wanted some pumpkin lines on the pumpkin, so I drew them on with chalk to use as a guide.  Then I picked the stitch that I wanted and sewed along those lines. 

Here it is finished.  I used a little curly Q stitch on the leaf, just for fun.  I am very pleased with how it turned out.


Now here are the instructions and pattern for the turkey t-shirt.  It is pretty much the same as the pumpkin applique.


 Print out the pattern on card stock.  Trace each piece onto the back of the Wonder Under, using a different color material for each piece.  See  the instructions above.

Iron them onto the shirt, just like in the pumpkin applique instructions above.

After I sewed around my turkey, I marked where I wanted to add the eyes and the beak.  I sewed beads on for eyes, and just embroidered the beak and the feet.

Here's how it turned out.  It was I lot of fun and my granddaughter love it!

If you would like to learn how to make the skirt, then just click on the picture below:

Friday, September 27, 2013

Learn How To Make A T-Shirt Quilt

I have to tell you that my daughter made this incredible quilt.  She just graduated from High School and is getting ready to leave on a mission to Guatemala.  She got the idea to do this from a friend of hers.  We enlisted the help of our good friend Cindy

who is an amazing quilter.  She showed us how to make it.  I have had so many people ask how to make it that I thought that I better share.

One of the first tricks is this amazing 15" x 15" cutting board.  I got mine on Amazon.  You can see exactly if your square is centered before you cut it out with a rotary cutter.  She cut out twelve T-shirt squares for her quilt.


The second trick is this amazing fusible knit interfacing.  It made the shirts stronger, and easier to sew.  We got ours at JoAnn's.


Then she cut out twelve interfacing squares

and ironed them onto the back of the T-shirt squares.  She covered the interfacing with a rag while ironing. 

She then trimmed them down to 14" squares

so that they had a cleaner edge.

Then she cut out the material to outline the t-shirt squares.  She cut the strips at 2 1/4".  (On our next quilt we did 2 1/2" strips.  We thought that this was easier to work with.)

  She picked out 3 different fabrics and made enough strips to go around 4 shirts for each fabric. 

She Then sewed each t-shirt square with the fabric strips, making a bigger square. 

This is simple. She sewed a fabric strip on both sides of the t-shirt square.  Then she iron the seam and trimmed it.

Then she sewed the fabric strips to the top and the bottom of the square.  Then ironed and trimmed those. 

Once you have all your squares done, lay them out on the floor in the order that you would like them to go.

Then she sewed them row by row.  This is the time you can check to see if the two middle seams line up.  If they don't match, you can tweak it a little bit by re-sewing the seam that is too big and making it a little smaller so that the seams will match up. 


Then she sewed the 12 squares all together to make the quilt top.  

When sewing the rows together she started by matching the center seams,  pinning them first, then pinning the rest.  This will ensure that all your seams match neatly.

 She sewed it "stitch in a ditch" method, which means to sew on all seams when you are stitching the front and the back of the quilt together. 

 She also stitched an X through the center of the shirt square. 

She had a few problems with the needle sticking to rubber letters on the shirt's transfer.  She used painter's tape on the sewing machine foot to keep it from sticking.  Then she added the binding. 


She did an amazing job and I am so proud of her.  As you can see from all of the shirts, she is an amazing girl!

We took the leftover scraps from this project and made a skirt for my daughter.  See how we did it by clicking on the picture below:

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Update an Old Plastic File With Contact Paper

After spending the time to clean off my desk, I felt I really deserved a new paper file to add that finishing touch.  But you know me, I just hate throwing anything away!  I thought that I would give this ugly old plastic file one last chance.  After all, it still was in working order.

So into the craft room I went and came out with two rolls of black and white contact paper.  I couldn't decide which one would look the best, so I decided to try both.  I could always change it if I hate it  or get tired of it.


I used the darker one on the sides and top, and the lighter one on the drawer fronts.  I just held up the paper grid on the back of the paper and eyeballed how big of piece that I needed.  Then I peeled off the back and carefully stuck it on.   Find a dominate edge and start there, slowly rubbing the paper so that no bubbles are showing. 

Here's another view of the finished project.  Now, what to do next?