This past weekend we put up our Christmas tree. I am sure many of you did as well. While we were decorating the tree I caught myself admiring our Christmas tree skirt. I mean it’s nothing that special, but I do recall going out to buy it the first Christmas I was married and had a real Christmas tree, and it brought back some great memories.
This made me realize that most likely, the vast majority of Christmas tree skirts have to be bought by Newlyweds. I mean who goes out and buys a new Christmas tree skirt, year after year? Unless, of course, it somehow got lost in storage.
Recognizing this phenomenon gave me a great idea for a Christmas gift. Since every engaged couple who celebrates Christmas is going to need a Christmas tree skirt – why not make them one for Christmas – or at least embroider their last name on an already made one? Have you been to Marshalls or TJ Maxx recently? They have tons.
Tonight as I was perusing recent Facebook posts, I noticed that an acquaintance of mine posted a link to an on-line sewing tutorial. This is a woman who is married to one of my husband’s former colleagues, so I don’t know her all that well, but I didn’t think that she was into sewing. I had to check what she had posted.
To be honest with you – as I started to read it – I was actually thinking that maybe I should try making some. They sure looked cozy. But then as the pictures got more and more ridiculous I realized that as much as I am all for repurposing clothing – I would not be caught dead wearing a pair of swants.
While the swants models try very hard to sell the concept via pictures… I just don’t think this is a look most of us can pull off. But maybe for a kid?? Anyway – if you are looking for a laugh – check out the pictures and accompanying video in the swants tutorial. I laughed os hard I nearly wet my pants.
What in the world should I give my sister for her birthday? This is the question that has been racking my brain for the past two weeks since her birthday. (Running just a little bit behind…) But – it’s not like I can embroidery her something…. she can do all this herself. And since I let her use any of my designs, (sisterly benefit) anything I might make for her – she could make herself, and in a way that she would probably prefer. So what’s the point in trying to make her anything?
I finally came up with an idea when I was buying supplies for Halloween costumes on Amazon: sewing books I drool over. The cool thing about these books is that they are available on Amazon via used book sellers. The cost of the five books ranged from $3 to $10! Sure – you have to add in a few dollars each for shipping – but that’s still a pretty great deal.
Hopefully these books will provide my sis with loads of inspiration and fun projects. The only thing I am worried about is being able to part with them myself to wrap them up and give them to her. I will keep you posted about whether they are all as good as they look!
Halloween is still a month away – yet tonight – the project at hand is to make my daughter a bat costume. Why the rush? You may be wondering. Well…. this weekend she has a bowling / costume / birthday party to attend – and since she wants to be a bat anyway, why not get a jump on things?
My older daughter was a bat about five years ago and I made her a costume by cutting up a cheap umbrella and attaching the pieces along the side and under the arms of a black hoodie sweatshirt. I also put little ears on the top of the hoodie, and got her a simple black mask. This worked okay but the metal umbrella pieces were not comfortable at all. And with the umbrella being a cheap umbrella, it sort of fell apart. This was the bat costume tutorial that I followed to make bat costume #1.
For bat costume #2 I found a different tutorial on-line. Instead of using a black sweatshirt, I sewed the bat wings onto a long sleeved black t-shirt. I cut the wings from black felt and added some boning for structure. To hold the boning pieces onto the wings – I sewed on black felt strips onto the wings and fed the boning into the pieces.
I got the bat mask pattern from a different site. http://www.livingwithpunks.com/2010/10/in-case-you-missed-it-and-are.html. We had to significantly modify it as the mask was designed for a kids with eyes and nose a much greater distance apart then my little blondie. To make the mask more rigid – we cut it out of cardboard and glued felt on the front. I sewed black elastic onto the mask to hold it on her head. (Yes – I sewed through cardboard… and I liked it! )
My husband suggested that we add some more “bling” or color to the costume but Ilse does not seem to care. She loves it. In fact, when wearing the costume around the house, she folded in her arms and declared that she was going to hang from her knees on the jungle gym and “go to sleep.” Talk about a costume putting someone into character!
One of my favorite blogs is called Sew Mama Sew! It is a blog about modern sewing ideas, tips and tricks, etc… Anyway – this week they are having a link party, which means that they are inviting other sewing bloggers to submit a link to their own blog after they have written something that pertains to a designated theme. This link party is about everyone’s favorite sewing tool. Of course I had to participate.
For how-to Tuesday, I am providing some instruction based on a project I made this summer for my little niece, Zoe. This little t-shirt dress is quick and easy and can often be made from scraps in your sewing room. For this dress I used some fabric that I bought at (gasp!) Walmart. And, actually, the t-shirt came from Walmart too!
The “Z” applique I created in my digitizing software. I am actually working on an entire letter set of big letter outlines to put in my Etsy store, but haven’t quite gotten it finished yet. But if you let me know that you like it – that might provide some motivation to get it on my store sooner.
I hope you enjoy the tutorial! Would love your feedback. Thanks.
I’m officially declaring stretchy, knit headbands a thing of the past. With all of the cute, printed cotton fabrics available – there is so much more potential for cute headbands with woven fabrics as opposed to knits.
If you Google “how to make a pillowcase dress,” you will find a number of tutorials on-line that all vary slightly. In some cases the tutorials instruct you to leave the shape of the dress as a rectangle and not remove any fabric around the armholes. I wasn’t crazy with the results of these tutorials. If you don’t remove any fabric around the arm holes, the resulting dress is very boxy. When I made my pillowcase dress, I narrowed the fabric at the top and cut out some arm holes.
Here is how I made my pillowcase dress for my nine-year-old daughter, Adelaide.