Summer Shorts – Part Two – DIY


If you missed part one of the Summer Shorts post click here to check it out. So to pick up where we left off…

Halfway there

Halfway there with our summer shorts

This is where we should have left off. The fabric was cut, edges serged, leg seams sewn and the crotch seam was sewn. Now we just have to hem the legs and sew the casing and add elastic. Now I forgot to take pictures of hemming but what I do for my girls is just take the serged edge and roll it up once and iron it flat so that it all lays nice when I sew it down. Like the picture below.

Hemmed Legs

Hemmed Legs for the shorts

Once the legs are hemmed then you fold down the casing and measure an inch from the serged edge to the fold for the casing. I sew right along the edge of the serging and I also add a tag or a scrap of fabric so that it will mark my back.

Measuring the casing

Measuring the casing

Once everything is ironed flat and pinned down I sew leaving about an inch gap near the back. You want it big enough to thread the elastic through.

Ironing and sewing the casing closed

Ironing and sewing the casing closed

To measure the elastic I take a bit of elastic and just wrap it around the child’s waist and see how comfortable they are with it. You don’t want it to tight but comfortable. You can also take the child’s waist measurement minus an inch and use that to measure out your elastic. Putting a big safety pin on the end will help you thread the elastic through.

Adding elastic

Adding elastic

Once the elastic is through pull both ends out and scrunch the fabric toward the bottom. You want plenty of room to sew the ends of the elastic together.

Pulling the elastic tight

Pulling the elastic tight

Sew the ends by overlapping. You can butt the ends together and zig zag but I have never been very good with that. I always overlap. A zig zag stitch is what I have always used for sewing elastic together. It works for me. It is a bit bulky but for play shorts the kids don’t care.

Sewing the ends of the elastic

Sewing the ends of the elastic

Now work the elastic back into the casing and flatten everything out around the opening. Then sew the opening shut just like you did with the casing matching up the stitch lines.

Sewing the opening shut

Sewing the opening shut

Voila!! Your shorts are now completed and the kids can wear them out.

Completed shorts

Completed Summer Shorts

completed shorts

Wearing our Summer Shorts out for a stroll.

 

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Summer Shorts – Part 1 – DIY

Summer Shorts the most important and most fun item of clothing that can be had for kids. I do my best to make sure that my daughters have fun, modest shorts for summer. They love the fact that I let them pick out their own fabric as well. We usually get quilting fabric because that seems to be the most fun. I have made shorts using this pattern with t-shirts as well. Those turn out pretty well too.

In this post I am going to show you how I make my daughters summer shorts.

pattern for shorts

pattern for shorts

In the above picture, I have copied a pair of shorts that belonged to my son when he was about 24 months. I just kept grading the pattern up for all my kids making adjustments as needed.

final cut of the shorts

final cut of the shorts

This picture is of the fabric cut out and I serged all the edges before sewing the pieces together.

matching inner leg seams

matching inner leg seams

I then matched the inner seam at the legs. If you look at the picture you can see where the front and the back of the seam above the leg seam doesn’t match. That is because the seam on the back side is the front and the seam laying on top is the back seam. That seam is a little deeper because you need room for the derriere.

inner seam

inner seam

Here is a closer picture of the seams and how they all line up.

turning one leg

turning one leg

Once the inner leg seam has been sewn you then flip one leg so that the fabric shows the right side.

slipping one leg into the other

slipping one leg into the other

You need to slip the leg that has the right side out into the leg with the wrong side out. So right sides are facing each other. Matching the seams and edges.

Matching the inside seam

Matching the inside seam

This picture shows one leg tucked inside the other leg with all the seams and edge matched up.

Pinned the inside seams

Pinned the inside seams

Here I pinned the seams so that you can see them better. I then sewed the crotch with an extra line of stitching on the back side for extra security.

Halfway there

Halfway there

At this point you are almost done. Come back in two weeks and we will finish these up and you can see how they look.

If you have any questions let me know in the comments below.

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Soaping – Rebatch Soap – DIY

I have wanted to make soap since I was a teenager. I had a hippie phase that I went through and so made my own perfumes, body products and other things that were all natural. I really wanted to make these items from all natural resources and I wanted to learn how to extract essential oils from plants to make my own perfumes with. Soap was included in that and I wanted to learn the traditional, old fashioned way.

Life then happened, I got married, had kids, had to work a job and I lost touch with those interests. I never did learn to extract the essentials oils from plants, but I do know the theory. I never did make soap the old fashioned way either. I still do some body products just for me.  Soap did scare me because it is made with lye and lye is extremely caustic. That is what put me off of making soap.

Skip forward about 20 years or so and I have come around full circle back to those interests that I had as a teenager. This time with more practical reasons. Me and my daughters have very dry skin. The soap that you would buy in the stores are detergent bars and aren’t as healthy for your skin as you would like to think. For these reasons and because I never really lost the interest in making soap I have found a shortcut of sorts.

There is a website that I love called Brambleberry. You might have heard of it. Here is where you can find all sorts of goodness. But here is what I found. Rebatch Soap. I purchased this kit and it has everything that you need to make this soap. The difference between rebatch and regular (cold-process) soap is that the soap is already made using the lye.  All you have to do is melt it down and add your fragrance and colors and additives. This has been a way for me to try my hand at soaping with out using Lye.

Here is the melting rebatch  in a double boiler

Here is the melting rebatch in a double boiler

This is a large pot of boiling water with metal canning rings on the bottom. There is a glass bowl with the grated soap base on top. I have the water boiling at a med-high heat.

Melting Rebatch

Melting Rebatch

The above picture is of the rebatch melting.

Supplies needed

Supplies needed

While I was waiting on the rebatch to melt I gathered the rest of my supplies. My Fragrance oil, The colorant and the mold. The kit that I purchased had everything that you needed in it. So the fragrance oil that came with my kit is Heather and Hyacinth with a blue colorant. The 15 bar soap mold I purchased at Wholesale Supplies Plus.

Second batch

Second batch

I forgot to take pictures of me adding the fragrance and colors, but once completed and put into the molds here it is.

Heather and Hyacinth soap

Heather and Hyacinth soap

The above soap was made with the Basic Rebatch soap base from Brambleberry with the kits liquid colorant and the fragrance Heather and Hyacinth.

Barbershop Soap

Barbershop Soap

This soap above is made with the Luxuary soap base and colored with the Cappuccino Mica which is from Brambleberry and scented with the fragrance from WSP (Wholesale Supplies Plus) called Barber Shoppe. I like this fragrance because it is a men’s fragrance. I am hoping that my husband will like it.

I wish there was a way to smell these soaps. They smell sooooo goooood. I have been using a small bar of the Heather and Hyacinth soap on my hands since we have a dog and I am cooking all the time it seems like. I like it because it doesn’t dry my hands out as much as other soaps that I have bought from Wal-Mart or Dawn dishwashing liquid.

Do you have any experiences of making your own body products? Tell me in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Sloper and the Blouse – DIY

I am working on my sloper. (The most evil of things.) It is still a work in progress and I have a love/hate relationship with it. I can see so much potential not just for my sewing skills but how I look in the clothes that I love and would love to have.

I was taking an online class with Burdastyle. It was a tailoring class, it gave some very basic information on how to draft a sloper for a bodice, skirt and how to copy pants. The last assignment of the class was to make a garment.

These are what inspired me.

Grey Peplum Blouse

Grey Peplum Blouse

or this one

Blue Peplum Blouse

Blue Peplum Blouse

(I found these on Pinterest. Here is the link for the Grey Blouse and here is the link for the Blue Blouse)

This is what my final blouse looks like. This is made with the measurements and pattern of the sloper that I drafted from this online course. Just so you know my sloper fits just fine. I could tweak the sleeve a bit though.

Front of Rose Muslin

Front of Rose Muslin made from my sloper pattern.

I have a broad back, which I think I fixed. And I have issues with my sleeves. Which I thought that I fixed too, on my sloper. But then I made this.

I made this all Saturday. I drafted the pattern, cut it out, traced the pattern onto my fabric, cut all the fabric out and put it all together. I didn’t finish until midnight.  And this is what it looks like. I am not happy with this garment.

It is just awful. It is partly because I was in a rush, and partly because I didn’t plan out my steps very well. Or made a good choice in the fabric.

Back of Rose Muslin

Back of Rose Muslin made from my sloper pattern.

Side of Rose Muslin

Side of Rose Muslin made from my sloper pattern.

It is just all bad. No matter how you look at it. But I am bound and determined that I am going to make me a cute peplum blouse and it will look good on me too. Fingers crossed.

Leave me any comments and thoughts on mine or your slopers. We can commiserate together about how evil slopers are.

 

 

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Red Lunch Bag – DIY

My son has wanted a red lunch bag for so long. I wasn’t going to make him one but since he has lost his quite a while ago it was time. Red is his favorite color and he lucked out that I am a sewing mama! I have to say that I have wanted to make one of these for a while but there wasn’t really a reason to make one until now.

So starting off…

Pattern pieces

Pattern pieces

Click on the above picture and you can see my pattern pieces and measurements. I ended up lopping off two inches from the side panels so that would be 6 x 10. I eyeballed the bias binding since I already had it on hand and the hook and loop tape as well.  As you can see there are three layers. I had my outer layer which is Duck cloth, my inside layer which is an insulation layer. I found this at Joann’s and it is like polyester batting with super thin sheets of foil on the inside of that. The third layer is the vinyl cloth. I wished that I had oilcloth but didn’t have any, I did have however, an iron on matte vinyl. So I used that instead. You just follow the directions given on the package.

Rounded Edges

Rounded Edges

Before doing anything I had to round the edges off on the end that would be my closing.

Held together with bobby pins

Held together with bobby pins

I wanted everything to stay together but didn’t want to make holes in the vinyl. The bobby pins worked O.K. By the end I was using the binder clips and they worked great. I wished I had used them from the beginning.

Binding the inside seams

Binding the inside seams

My next steps were to sew on the hook tape onto the front and up the side seams so that I could plan to bind the top edge, but before doing that I wanted to bind the inside seams too. I didn’t want them to be showing and ugly looking even though it is on the inside and is just for my son who doesn’t care.  Before binding the outer edge I partially bound the inside seams. I ended up having a hard time in getting all those layers through my machine so decided that I would just do part way, bind the top and then once everything was done glue down the rest using Fabritac.

 

The outside front binding

The outside front binding

Then I bound the front edge. The sewed the bottom seams.

Handle folded and ironed

Handle folded and ironed

At this point I made the handle and attached it. I took my long piece sewed down the long edge, flipped it inside out and ironed flat.

Handle folded again

Handle folded again

Then I folded and sewed just the middle to make a bit smaller grip. I really like the handles like this. It works because if they were any wider they would just end up crumpling up and your hand and getting wrinkly. Now they are smaller so fit in your grip and still look nice. No wrinkles.

Flap with handle

Flap with handle

I mostly eyeballed everything. I don’t tend to mark where everything is supposed to be because it doesn’t usually work out for me when I do that. I always do something that is  off just a bit. Keep with me and you will see what I mean.

Had to remove two inches

Had to remove two inches

As I was getting ready to sew up the last of the side seams I came to realize that my flap wouldn’t have closed over the top once completed. I had to remove two inches from my side panels.

sewing up the back/flap

sewing up the back/flap

I put the clips on to hold everything in place. There was still fabric that wiggled around and I had to really manipulate the layers but finally got everything just right. Those binder clips are awesome by the way.

side view of the back/flap

side view of the back/flap

I then sewed up the seams and then glued on the bias tape to the inside edges and let it dry. Once dry I flipped it all out and there you have it.

Finished closed

Completed Red Lunch Bag

Inside binding

Inside binding

Finished side view

Red Lunch Bag finished side view

Finished standing open

Red Lunch Bag finished standing open

Ok. Do you see it? Take a minute and look at the bag, do you see what I ended up doing? I, some how, ended up having one side taller than the other. I have no idea how that happened. See what I mean…something always happens.  At least this is for my son and he thinks this is awesome.

Thanks for hanging out with me for such a long post. If you have any questions let me know in the comments below.

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Miniature Teddy Bears



I think that these miniature teddy bears are the best birthday gifts. My daughter has been invited to a birthday party and we were trying to come up with good birthday gifts to give.

I have had this miniature teddy bear pattern for years. I got it a long time ago when I was younger. I think that they are adorable.

Teddy Bears

Blue fleece and Yellow lemon fabric were the fabric choice for these.

I had a whole stack of cute novelty fabric that I thought that my daughter would choose from. So she chose the blue fleece and yellow lemon fabric.

Lemon Teddy Bear

Before stuffing the bear it is in pieces.

I really took my time going around the curves. And taking the time to stuff really good.

Blue Fleece Bear

I love the buttons.

In order to hinge the arms and legs I used buttons and upholstery thread since it is thicker and stronger than normal thread.

I used the same upholstery thread to sew the buttons on for the eyes and embroidered the nose with regular embroidery thread. Such a cutie.

Leave me a comment down below and tell me what you think!

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Camo Bowling Shirt – DIY



My husband had been wanting a Camo Bowling shirt for a long time, I figured Christmas would be a great time to finally make it for him. The Man, that is what I call him, has loved the bowling shirts or panel shirts since watching Charlie Sheen in Two and a Half Men.  I have to say that those were awesome shirts. And since I sew he thinks that I should make him more clothes than what I have.

This was his idea to make a shirt that had a panel of camo in it. He loves camo and was very happy that he finally got his camo bowling shirt.

I wanted to put up a kind of DIY on how I put it together when I realized that I didn’t take enough pictures for all the steps. So instead I am going to post how I made the paneled front.

Front and side panels of shirt

This is the pattern piece laid out and cut out of the fabric for the shirt front.

The above picture shows the front pattern piece of the shirt that I cut into thirds. I figured out where I wanted the panel to be and how wide I wanted it. I cut straight down. If you look closely you can see the fabric poking out from underneath the pattern. I did not add seam allowances to the pattern pieces but measured seam allowances as I cut.

Front of shirt cut out of fabric

The fabric has been cut and laid out to match seams to sew.

Once I had everything cut out I then laid it all out to match up the seams and sew the pieces together to create the front of the shirt.

Front of shirt

Here is the front of the shirt ready to be sewn together with the rest of the shirt.

At this point the rest of the shirt was ready to be put together.

Here is the completed shirt.

Completed shirt

I had to add a half inch just because he likes his shirt fronts a bit longer than what would normally be so the above picture shows it just a bit shorter than what he has now. I just took the hem out a half inch and it worked just fine for the front. I kept the back the same.

What do you think? Leave a comment below and tell me.

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Blue Jean Skirt – DIY – Refashion



When I was growing up I really loved blue jean skirts. Once I learned how to sew I could make my own and it was great. Now having daughters I can make blue jean skirts for them.

This is how I created it.

I took a pair of jeans that my daughter doesn’t like and cut the legs off to about knee length. Then picked out the seam in the front all the way to the zipper and on the back all the way to the  yoke on the back. I then laid everything out flat and pinned it together.

Front of the BJS

Here is the front. As you can see the length has been cut, seams picked out , laid out and pinned down.

Close up of front of BJS

Here is a close up of where I pinned the seams down.

Close up of the back of BJS

Here is a close up of the back. In this picture I had already sewed down the center seam and pinned down the rest of the seam.

Once those seams are sewed down then you take the legs that you cut off and cut those open to create the fabric that you will use to patch up the blank area between the legs of the jeans. There is a little finagling in getting the fabric to fill the area in and making sure that it lays right and  then pinning it down. I neglected to take pictures of where I pinned.  But you just lay it down so that it looks nice. Then you pin and sew down the seams. I tried to keep in the stitching lines that I had picked out prior.

Almost completed front of BJS

Here you can see the skirt is almost complete. I just need to trim and sew the hem.

Almost completed back of BJS

And the back. All sewed down except the trimming the bottom and hemming.

Close up of front of BJS seams

I just wanted to show up the close up of the seams on the front .

Once I get my daughter to try it on and see where it falls on her and then I can trim it to the correct length and hem it up.

Close up of the back of BJS seams

Close up of the back patch. All seamed up and ready to be hemmed.

And there you have it. All done. Now you just need to trim and hem. Here is what I did for one of the skirts.

Inside hem of the first skirt

Here is a sneaky peak of the inside of the skirt.

I chose to hem the skirt, this is hemming lace, to give a little pinkness to my daughters skirt. She loves it like that.

Hem of second skirt

I hemmed the second skirt a bit differently.

The second skirt that I made for my second daughter, instead of using hem lace I used a bit of leftover purple bias binding and just bound the edge.  My youngest loves this too.

 

Front of first skirt

This is the first skirt that I made .

I know that the skirt is slightly dirty in the above picture. I was only able to get pictures once she came home from school.

Front of second skirt

This is the second skirt.

As my second daughter wears this skirt it flips up to just above her knees. I think I am going to move that hem line up just a bit.

Back of first skirt.

I like this one better than the second one.

I found that I shouldn’t have used a pair of skinny jean for a skirt on that second pair. It just doesn’t hang right.

Back of the second skirt

I don’t like this one as much as the first one.

See what I mean about hanging right?

 

 

Tell me what you think.

 

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Coffee Filter Wreath – DIY

I saw this awesome Coffee Filter Wreath on Pinterest here and this one here.  I loved how it looked so I decided to make one for myself. Ok. So it wasn’t as great as the one in the first link but I do liked how it turned out. I used the tutorial found in the second link. I think that my piece of pipe insulation was a bit long. I also had to use 2 1/2 packs of coffee filters to complete it.  And had to use a low temp glue gun because the high temp melted the pipe insulation tube.

Coffee Filter Wreath

I really liked how it turned out.

It is slightly oval and I like that too. I wanted to put it up on my mirror in my living room but was unable to hang it there.

Coffee Filter Wreath

I like how it looks.

Coffee Filter Wreath

I like this angle too.

So I loved how this project turned out and check out the links above to find the tutorials on how to DIY.

leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

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Halloween Costumes – 2014



I make my kids Halloween costumes every year. I know that one day they won’t want me to make their costumes anymore because store bought costumes are so much cooler. But this year is one more year that I was able to make my kids costumes.

My son wanted to go as Ray Man from Ray Man Legends.

The Boy as Ray man Legends

Here is my son as Ray Man of Ray Man Legends. He is the hero of the video game.

The hero of the video game has no legs or arms or neck. I was trying to figure out the best way to make this costume. I have seen other costumes that wore black that wanted to blend in the background. So I made the shirt and had the boy wear black on the legs and arms. I took a purple shirt and cut off the neck and painted the “O”. Then I took a sweat shirt and cut off the hoodie of the sweat shirt and sewed it onto the neck of the purple shirt.  After that I had hair color spray and sprayed the boys hair with Orange and Yellow paint.

Ray Man Legends Necklines

Here is a close up of the neckline.

Then my daughter wanted to be the Tooth Fairy. So here is her costume.

Number 3 as the tooth fairy

My daughter is a tooth fairy.

For her costume we used bits and pieces from last year’s costume when she was a regular fairy, which is the tutu skirt. She had a pink shirt that had some stains so we covered them with felt applique teeth to cover the stains. Then I made her a headband teeth crown, and a magic wand.

Tooth Fairy Crown

Here is the Tooth Fairy Crown for my Tooth Fairy.

Magic Tooth Fairy Wand

Can’t have a Fairy of any kind without a magic wand.

It was cold this year so all my kids had to layer up really well. My second daughter wore a store bought witches costume this year. She loved it and that is all that counts.

Tell me what you guys think!

 

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