A Beautiful Gathered Skirt

One day I was wanting to make something different and new and found a beautiful gathered skirt video from Gretchen Hirsch. The link can be found here. I will state right off that that I am not overly fond of gathered skirts.  Just because of my belly. Having three babies and not exercising does that to you. But I love how they look anyways, but not on me. I apparently forgot that when I found the video and started wanting to make myself one. I had the fabric for it and it was enough. And a zipper.  So I went for it. This was the first time that I had made a skirt with a lapped zipper on the left hip. It is a vintage touch. I thought that it was an interesting bit of information that the side zippers are always on the left.

Beautiful Gathered Skirt

Here is a quick view of the skirt. My husband took pictures for me out in the pasture.

The video was really easy to follow but long. I mean Ms. Hirsch actually made a skirt in real time in that video. So lots of details and good information.

Simplicity 3688

Here I am being goofy. He said to pose.

I had this wonderful fabric that my husband had bought be from overseas. It is a burnt out velvet of roses and leaves. I laid it on top of a lovely dark red satin. Looks beautiful together.

 

Beautiful Gathered Skirt

This is my favorite pose.

So I made the skirt. I should have made it a bit longer. I think that I wouldn’t have made it any shorter but I thought that maybe I should have made it tea length instead of knee length. There was all sorts of things I could have done with the length. (Always go with your first instinct. It is usually always right.)

Beautiful Gathered Skirt

I liked this one too.

In wearing the skirt I know that it makes me look larger on the bottom than I really am. Even with slimming under garments to smooth out the lumps. I told my man that I am going to wear it anyways just because I love the swoosh of the fabric. And so I am. I have decided that I have hit the age where I don’t care to look like the skinny runway models any longer. I have had kids, and surgeries, and being lazy. Life happens and it doesn’t always look good on the body, but as long as I feel good about how I look and my man likes how I look then it is all good. I am not worried about anyone else’s thoughts or feelings.

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Etsy Shop is Open!

My Etsy shop is open! Yay! Go check it out!!!

Look for EmilyGuerraDesigns on Etsy or Emily Guerra Designs on Facebook. You can also click on the Shop Now button on Facebook and that will take you to my Etsy shop as well.

Here are some things to look at at the shop.

Such a sweet purple bunny.

Such a sweet purple bunny.

Little Dribbler - 3

Do you have a Little Dribbler?

Love - 3

A bit late for Valentines Day but cute nonetheless.

So Sweet cupcake - 3

That is the best looking cupcake ever.

This isn’t all, got check it out.

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I love blue flannel shirts.

I love blue flannel shirts. They are my favorite. Flannel in general I love because it is so warm and cozy when you wear it. I found this particular flannel at Joann’s. It is really nice and thick. So cozy!

Blue Flannel Shirt

I love this flannel. So thick and warm.

When my husband bought be this fabulous green flannel shirt from L.L. Bean I wanted another one, but they get quite expensive. So I decided that I would make one. After putting together my blue polka dot shirt this blue flannel shirt shouldn’t be a problem. And it wasn’t.

Blue Flannel Shirt

Here is the back.

There were a few more pieces that went into this shirt than the polka dotted one. I learned how to make a sleeve vent or placket by watching a lot of Youtube videos. This is also the first time that I put a collar on with a stand. Usually my collars are just the collars attached to the shirt. I was very careful on making sure that I did a quality job. I think the only thing that isn’t great about this shirt is that the grain is off. I knew that beforehand too. I did my best to stretch the fabric so that the grain would straighten out.  As much as I pulled the grain the flannel straightened some but not as much as I would have liked. The grain wasn’t perfect but I was going to do it anyways. I knew that there might be a slight skew, but I wasn’t sure if it would affect my side seams. I was hoping that it wouldn’t. I figured even if the seams skew slightly or the plaid doesn’t quite match up that it would be ok. I am going to wear that shirt anyways. And if anyone asked I found it at the thrift store. But if it turned out nice then I will tell anyone and everyone that I made it.

Now that it is done I am really happy with how it all turned out. And the weather has turned perfect to wear it too.

1-30-17 – Well now that I have worn it, the seams line up almost perfectly. There is a slight skew to one side,  but it is hardly noticeable. Works for me!

 

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Halloween 2016

Halloween 2016 was crazy. I don’t know why my children want such strange costumes. Okay, just my son. My daughters had normal costumes. My youngest was a puppy and my eldest daughter wanted to be a mummy. But nothing on her head.

My son wanted to be a Pea Shooter from Plants vs Zombies. I have never heard of this character until he showed me in a book that he had. It is a graphic novel and it is just as the title suggests. It is about plants versus zombies. I don’t understand but he loves it. I guess that is all that matters and there doesn’t seem to be anything inappropriate in the novel that I could see.

Here they are looking about as happy as a Puppy, Mummy and Pea Shooter can look.

Here they are looking about as happy as a Puppy, Mummy and Pea Shooter can look.

I knew how I wanted to work the puppy  and mummy costume. I wanted something simple that that they girls could wear after Halloween 2016. In planning what they would wear I was thinking that it was going to be colder than what it really was. I had purchased sweat pants and sweat shirts for each of the girls. I would then tack on the patches and wrappings onto the sweats. Then I could easily go back and snip off the fabric so that the girls could wear the sweats as the weather turned. I ended up using t-shirts instead of sweat shirts when it got closer to Halloween since the weather was staying quite warm.

I am glad that everyone had a good time. And another year is down.

 

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Halloween Costumes 2015

A bit late but Halloween Costumes 2015!!

This year the kids weren’t to crazy in their costume choices.

There was the Black Ninja. He saw plastic swords at Wal-mart and that is what changed his mind. He originally wanted to be Rayman again. He was Rayman last year. See his costume from last year here.

Black Ninja

 

My Ghost. I had grand plans. She didn’t. She wanted to wear a sheet on her head like Charlie Brown. I nixed that idea because I knew that she would get hot under a sheet. I told her she would wear a sheet around and down her shoulders and then we would paint her face and hair. She was happy about that. But then she wouldn’t let me put more white paint on her face or let me spray paint her hair white that night. I tried but she wanted this.
Ghost

Then there was my Ballerina.  This picture was taken before she went to school and it was nice and warm. So she was able to wear the leotard as it was. That tutu was the most complicated piece this year. It took 10 yards which I then cut in half lengthwise and those two pieces where cut in half again lengthwise. It has an elastic waistband too which is nice. That means that she can wear this a play dress up for a bit longer.

Summer Ballerina

This was taken Halloween night and it had gotten colder so she had to wear sleeves and her new winter boots. Everyone had a good time. I hope that you and your family did as well.Group shot

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Wooden Peg People in Etsy shop


I have finally added the painted wooden peg people that I have been working on to my Etsy shop. You can check out all the items here.

It has been awhile since I posted last. School started and vacation and then sickness with the change of the weather. But I hope to get back into the groove of things and have more posts coming up.

I finally have some peg people that I have painted up in the shop. I do have other things that I am working on but I thought that these would be a fun addition to my shop. There isn’t quite anything out there like these guys and gals.

Each set has its own little story that you can read for each listing in the shop.

 

I hope that you liked taking a peek. Go check out the shop and read the stories, as short as they are, and let me know what you think.

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How I put together the shirt from a copy

So in this post I will show you how I put together the shirt from a copy that I made.

I am going to assume that most of you know how to sew. I am also going to assume that you already know how to sew a shirt together. If you don’t let me know and I will put together another tutorial on that. I am planning to make another shirt soon.

I cut everything out.

These are all the pieces of the shirt that will go together.

These are all the pieces of the shirt that will go together.

There were:

  1. Front
  2. Back cut on the fold.
  3. Yoke cut two
  4. collar cut two
  5. Sleeves
  6. Facings cut two

I serged all my side seams and ironed on my interfacing onto my collar, and my facings.

I then put the shirt together starting with the back and the yoke. I have never sewed a shirt together with a yoke so this was a first for me. It seems really difficult but isn’t.

First thing I did was sew one yoke piece onto the back part. And then sewed the second yoke onto the back piece as you can see below.

The back and the yokes attached.

The back and the yokes attached.

The next step is attaching the front pieces so that the seams are all on the inside. For this step you will sew the front of the shirt to the shoulders of one of the yoke pieces. It doesn’t matter which one, whether is be the one showing on the outside or the one that will be on the inside of your shirt.

You can see from the picture below that I have attached my front pieces to the yoke that will be showing toward the  outside of the shirt. The yoke that will be on the inside has been folded down and out of the way.

Adding the front pieces of the shirt.

Adding the front pieces of the shirt.

Once the front has been sewn onto the yoke you will want to roll the back piece up to the seam line on the yoke.

Rolling up the back

Rolling up the back

Then you do the same for the front pieces to the shoulder seam line.

Rolling up the front

Rolling up the front

This is how it looks with the back and the front pieces rolled up. You want the shoulders exposed so that you can fold the yokes with right sides together at the shoulder line to sew.

 

All rolled up

All rolled up

Like this. It looks like a sandwich. but the yokes are exposed with the front and back of the shirt rolled up nice and neat on the inside.

Front and back sandwiched between the yoke.

Front and back sandwiched between the yoke.

Once the shoulder seams have been sewn then you can gently pull everything out and lay flat and iron. Remember to be gentle when pulling everything through especially if you didn’t stay stitch the neck line. You don’t want to stretch anything out that might. Thankfully, I forgot to do that step way back in the beginning but, my fabric was so stable that it didn’t make a difference. But next time I will. Better to be safe than sorry.

Flipping it through

Flipping it through

All flipped out and ironed flat. Look I see stay stitching. I guess I did it after all.

Sewed and ironed outside of shirt.

Sewed and ironed outside of shirt.

Sewed and ironed inside of shirt.

Sewed and ironed inside of shirt.

Once it was all out I then proceeded to put together the shirt with the same kind of detail that the original shirt had. Here is the final product.

Blue and white polka dot shirt

Blue and white polka dot shirt

I love this shirt. It fits like I want it to fit. It gives me the room I need in my arms. I can’t wait to make another one.

Tell me what you think. I would love to hear from you and if you found this helpful or interesting.

 

 

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How I copied a shirt – DIY

This is how I copied a shirt. There is this shirt that I really love. It fits well and it looks good on me. One of those rare few. I wanted more of this kind of shirt but I wasn’t able to locate any more.

So using the skills that I have and what I have learned recently I set about to copy this shirt so that I can have as many as I want in all the different fabrics that I want.

Here is the before.

The Front of the Shirt

The Front of the Shirt

 

Back of The Shirt

Back of The Shirt

This is what I did. I found in Home Depot these clear garbage bags. I use them to copy off the shirt. I just cut it open so that it was a large flat sheet of plastic.  I then laid out my shirt as flat as I could get it. There was some manipulation of the shirt to get it to lay as flat as possible. I found that if I tuck one half into the other half it lays a bit flatter.

Once you have the shirt laying as flat as possible, here for the pictures I am using the facing as a demonstration, you then lay your plastic over the part that you are copying. Smooth out all the wrinkles and pin it down.

Starting out

Starting out

Then trace around the piece marking where the seam lines are. You will go back in later and add seam allowances.

Copied facing

Copied facing

Here is a close up of what it should look like. Also remember to mark anything like button holes so that when the shirt comes together you have that information already and you don’t have to go digging for it.

Close up of facing

Close up of facing

Once you have everything marked you can then cut out the plastic. Don’t cut on the line. Cut around the piece leaving about two inches around.

I found a roll of this paper at Home Depot in the painting section. I was walking by and it caught my eye. It is the kind of paper that painters put down on the floor of a house to walk on so that the floor stays clean. It works wonderfully for pattern paper.

Lay your plastic pattern on the paper and trace around. I used my tracing wheel but I am sure you could use a pen to help you. You just need something that will make marks through the plastic onto the paper.

Tracing the pattern

Tracing the pattern

Like these marks. I know that they are a bit hard to see but if you look real close and near my pencil marks you can see little holes in the paper. That was my tracing wheel poking holes through the plastic and onto the paper. I then went and using a pencil marked the lines.

Once I had everything marked in pencil I went back and cleaned up the marks and straightened out my lines as best as I could.

Marks in the paper

Marks in the paper

Here are the parts of my shirt that I copied.  For the sleeve I had to fold the sleeve in half and copy, marking the middle and which side is what. Then I just flipped the sleeve over, lined up the marks and finished copying the rest of the sleeve.

Copying the sleeve

Copying the sleeve

For the front and the back where you have darts you will have to play with it a bit. I marked the straight lines first. So the top, center front or back to the dart. I also mark the dart itself. I then pinch the plastic on either side of the dart so that it lines up the dart and mark the pinches so I have an accurate measurement on either side of the dart line for the dart. Then I pinch and pin it shut. Matching up my lines and finish marking the seam lines.

Always compare to the shirt that you have. I would hate for you to do all this work and then find that the shirt doesn’t fit because you missed something.

Copying the front

Copying the front

Copying the collar

Copying the collar

Close up of facing

Copying the facing

Back of shirt

Back of shirt

Back Yoke

Back Yoke

Once you have all your pieces copied and transferred you can cut them out. This is where you will see if your marking are accurate. In the pictures below I have my patterns cut out without seam allowances. I will mark those on the fabric and cut them out that way. Keeping the allowances off my patterns allow me to align them to see how well I did and if there are any changes that need to be made before I cut the fabric. I want to make sure that all my seams line up and if there are any differences that I can make the adjustments in paper and not in fabric.

Make sure seams match

Make sure seams match

For these pictures I just used my flexible ruler to take accurate measurements around the shoulder first and then around the sleeve.

Measuring each seam

Measuring each seam

I want to make sure that they match as closely as possible to the shirt. I do this with the collar, side seams, around the shoulder and sleeve, and the facing. If anything is off even by a little bit it will mess up the entire shirt when you try to sew it together.

Making sure they match as close as possible.

Making sure they match as close as possible.

Once my pattern is perfected I then trace my patterns onto the fabric, add seam allowances on the fabric and cut the fabric out. Then you put the fabric together.

And here is the after.

Blue and white polka dot shirt

Blue and white polka dot shirt

It fits perfectly. I have a broad back and it fits across my back and the armholes which I have always had problems with fitting.

And now I have an awesome pattern to make more shirts with. Yay!!

Leave me comments below or ask any questions.

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Blue Lunch Box -DIY

Because I made my son a red lunch bag my daughter wanted a blue lunch box of her own too. Also, she conveniently lost hers at the end of the school year. So I told her I would make one just for her. But I wanted to do something different. I wasn’t completely satisfied on how my sons bag turned out. He loves it and for that I am grateful. but for my daughter…I had other ideas.

I started out with a plastic bento type lunch box. This one was nifty because it came with an ice pack and two little containers that fit inside. This was also perfect for me since it was about the size that I wanted anyways. I figured how wide and how much taller I wanted the bag to cover the box.

Lunch Box Pattern with bento box

Lunch Box Pattern with bento box

Once I had what I wanted I made sure to sketch where I wanted my handles to go and where my hook and loop tape would go.

I let my daughter pick out her own fabric from Fabric.com. This is what she picked out for the inside. It is oilcloth. I love it. This was also the first time that I have sewed oilcloth. I was expecting all sorts of difficulty. It wasn’t hard to sew at all. Just make sure that you put a layer of painters tape on your foot to keep the oilcloth from sticking to your sewing foot.

Oil cloth which is the inside of the lunch box

Oil cloth which is the inside of the lunch box

I neglected to take pictures of the other fabric. I also cut out the outer fabric which is a blue canvas and the insulating thermo layer. I don’t remember the name of the product but I purchased the thermo layer from Joanns fabric store. It has a a thin layer of metal, like aluminum foil but thinner, in between the layers of batting. I had to patch some pieces together since I didn’t quite have enough for the entire layer. I then treated the thermo layer and the canvas as one piece of fabric. To keep it all together I sewed them together within the seam allowance.

Now let me say right now I have a habit of getting ahead of myself when I sew. I had sewn the outer layer together to form the bag before I added the handles and hook and loop tape. Don’t do that. Life is hard enough as it is. Don’t make it harder on yourself like I did.

The picture below shows the outer bag with the hook and loop tape and the handle already attached.

Outside of lunch box

Outside of lunch box

Once I had the oilcloth, also with the hook and loop taped sewn on as well as the side seams sewn up, I matched the seams up right sides together and clipped around the edges. You don’t want to pin because you don’t want too many holes in that oilcloth. Especially on the seam line it makes it weak and can tear like perforated notebook paper.

Right sides together

Right sides together

This is what the bag looked like as I was sewing it. You can see the Frankenstein like stitches on the thermo layer where I needed to patch the pieces together.

Sewing the  bag

Sewing the bag

Once the outer edges were sewn I left a hole to turn everything out through on the edge of the box and not the lid. Before turning make sure you clip the curves and the corners and trim the allowances. I had everything turned before I realized that I should have clipped the corners where the lid and the box meet. I tore some of the oilcloth because of that. Thankfully not a lot but enough that I noticed and had to fix so everything would like flat and look pretty.

Inside with lunch box

Inside with lunch box

Last seam. With everything flipped and straightened out and looking pretty I still had to close the hole that the fabric was flipped through. So I sewed around the edges making sure that I securely closed the hole. I bulldog clipped everything in place so it wouldn’t move.

Flipped inside out

Flipped inside out

And there you are. The completed bag. The handle is webbing that I picked up somewhere. It was in my stash and my daughter loved it. It was much easier doing that than making a handle out of canvas which is what I was going to do until she saw that.

Finished lunch box

Finished lunch box

I think this one turned out pretty well. I am a lot happier with this lunch box than my sons. It took less time and was a lot less painful than the bag I made for my son.

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Swiffer mops are cool too – DIY

I am sorry for the late post, If you missed my swiffer dust mop post click here.

I do have some awesome posts coming up so even though this one might stink a bit, the next ones will be better. Promise!

Along with the dust mops that I made earlier I also made a few actual mops cloths as well.

The pictures are pretty self explanatory. I used a terry cloth bathing towel for my fabric since it is what I have on hand.

Swiffer Mop

Swiffer Mop

I cut the fabric to size with tabs that would fit over the swiffer.

Step two

Step two

Sewed everything together along with the hook and loop tape.

Step three

Step three

Attach it to your swiffer.

Last step

Last step

Mop away!!

Ewwww!!

Ewwww!!

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