Friday, June 21, 2013

Easiest Re-Fashion Ever!

Really. They just don't come any easier than this. Last summer I bought this skirt at the thrift store.

I loved the fabric, and I think my plan at the time was to make it into a summer dress for my daughter. But it got shoved to the bottom of my "to-do" basket instead, where it has been until this week when I decided to clean the whole basket out. My daughter saw it, loved it, and said, "oh, a pretty skirt!"

And when I held it up to her, I thought, well why not?? So, I turned this skirt into......(wait for it).....

......a SKIRT!

Specifically, I turned that junior girls skirt into a maxi skirt for my 5 year old daughter. Here's how I did the quick and simple refashion.

First, I pulled out the old, broken zipper and took off the waistband.

Next, I ran some gathering stitches along the top edge of the skirt, and re-cut the waistband to my daughter's waist size, which is 20 inches. At first, I was going to gather the whole skirt into the waistband, but once I started, I decided to gather only from the back to the side seams.

Then, I simply sewed the waistband back on to the skirt and put in a new zipper. 

And that's it. Done. The length was perfect so I didn't even need to re-do the hem.

The gathers in the back give it a little bustle effect and still allows the skirt to be nice and full.

Most importantly, she loves it. She's been very into long skirts this summer, so my timing with this one couldn't be better. Which, of course, was my plan all along. 

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Doorway/Puppet Theatre

Here in Arizona, summertime is our "indoor" season. When the afternoon temperatures are 104 degrees or hotter, even in a swimming pool, it simply gets too hot to be outside. So, the kids and I spend several hours in the house together every afternoon, and if you've ever had that pleasure, you know it can get old. Very quickly.

So, yesterday afternoon, I finally went ahead and made the Doorway/Puppet Theatre that's been noodling around in the back of my mind since December.

I took the kids to our favorite discount fabric store where they picked out these two fabrics.

The red is a plain poly-cotton blend, a little over 3 yards and the blue and white stripe is an outdoor canvas, about 1 1/2 yards. The doorway I planned to use is 48" wide by 82" inches tall, so this is plenty of fabric.

The red cotton is 45" wide, so all I did was fold the piece in half, line up the edges, trim them to make them even and straight, then cut the whole piece in half to make 2 curtain panels.

To finish the edges, I put a 2" rod pocket at the top and a 1" inch hem at the bottom. These literally took me 15 minutes to make and hang. And I even ironed my hems!

Once I had them hung, the kids immediately ran to their bedroom to get out the dress up clothes and start performing. Whew! So, they stayed out of my hair while I made the top piece.

I measured down from the top edge of the doorway to the top of the curtain, which is 20", then added an extra 8" so the bottom of my "roof" would overlap the curtain. So, my first step is to cut a rectangle 28" long by 48" wide.

Then I folded my fabric in half and cut an angle on the outer edge. I didn't measure this at all, I just angled the ruler how I thought it looked good and drew a line.

I unfolded it, took it to the doorway and looked at it in place. Next, I hemmed the two angled sides, then sewed a pocket in the top for the rod, and 2 small pockets on the straight sides.

Now, if you wanted to be done right here, you could just hem the bottom, hang it and call it a day. But I wanted to make the shape more like an awning. 

So, on the wrong side of my fabric, starting from the center, (it's important to start in the center so that both sides come out even) I drew a rectangle 4 1/2" from the bottom edge and 5 1/2" wide across the length of the fabric.

Using the lines as a guide, I sewed along the outer edge and on the lines all the way across the fabric. Think of this like a stay stitch, it eliminates the need to hem or serge this edge.

Then I carefully cut along the inside edges of my squares near the stitching giving the top more of a bunting-like feel. Is that a real thing? But you can see what I mean. Anyway, I hung it up and it didn't hold the shape quite the way I wanted so I added some small wood strips to the side pockets. 

And that still didn't quite solve the problem, so I added a pocket to the back just at the bottom of the angled sides.

I put a piece of dowel through this pocket and re-hung the whole thing. Much better!

What I really like about this is that it can be used like this, for human performers.

Or I can separate the two pieces and it can be used as a puppet theatre.

Tons 'o fun!! I'm sure we will be adding details to this, for example, my daughter and I think the bottom of the red curtains needs some lovely gold fringe. The boy is, as yet, unconvinced. I also think it may need some kind of marquee or signage to announce our upcoming shows. And of course we need some new puppets! 

Yep, definitely an ongoing project. Here's to summer!!

 Linked Up HERE

Monday, June 3, 2013

Crochet Amigurumi

Holy cow! Did the end of the school year turn into a tornado of events for everyone else?? I think Jen Hatmaker, sums up the whole experience quite well, if you haven't read her blog post, go do it NOW!  I can certainly relate!

Between the end of the school year, and now having my kids home with me every day the amount of crafty things I've been getting accomplished has been almost non-existent.


I did finally bust out my DK weight yarn, brand new E crochet hook, a simple starter pattern I found on Ravelry, and park myself in front of a YouTube tutorial for an hour 2 weekends ago and finally taught myself some basic crochet stitches.

The results speak for themselves.

"Amy the Alien"

"Mr. Peach" 

"Larry, Curly and Moe" or "Strawberry, Blueberry and Banana"

I made all of these guys using Alison Hoffman's beginner pattern found on her blog Crafty Is Cool. They were super easy, an excellent starter pattern. 

So, I decided to stick with quick, simple patterns and made this little owl using Josephine Wu's pattern.

Aaaaand, well, I need some work on my eye placement, and perhaps 10:30 pm is not the best time for tiny amigurumi, but he sure does capture how I've been feeling lately, so I love him.

I got braver and made a little pink teddy bear using this pattern by HankoHeals that I found on Pinterest.

We gave this one to my son's 1st grade teacher along with a gift card as an end of the year gift.

And finally, I just finished up this one last night.


This little snake pattern is from Little Muggles (another Pinterest find), she has several free patterns as well as an etsy shop I'm dying to purchase from.

And that's it. That is the sum total of craft projects I've completed for the last 3 1/2 weeks. Oh, I have lots of things started, and ideas or plans for so many more, but I have yet to fully get into my summertime rhythm.

Ah, well....for now these little critters are tons of fun to make. I'll take 'em!

Linked Up HERE