Monday, April 30, 2012

Puppet Theatre

There is a really great craft show here where some friends and I saw really neat handmade in-doorway puppet theatres.  What a great idea.  It was one of those things that was so great, you are sad you didn't think of it yourself.  Well they say the greatest compliment is that's what I did.  Just not as cute as the ones we saw with all the appliques of ladybird and leaves.

So I used a few pieces from the fabric my quilting mother gave me.  It's a tensor rod at the top and a dowel at the bottom of the window.  Just made a simple pocket for them.  Was pretty quick to put together.  The time was spent figuring out how far up from the floor to make the window.  I drew it all out in chalk.

In the future, I would make the widow a bit narrower and perhaps make the curtains a bit longer.  I put Velcro on the back so the kids can put the curtains up if they want during a show.

Oh and if you want fancier, there is a great book out there to make one too.  oliver + s little things to sew where they have a cute puppet theatre that looks like a house!

Friday, April 20, 2012

HP1089 Classix Nouveau 3 Graces T-Shirt

I love these patterns by a former Londoner who now lives in the US. I find the styling is right up my alley...but sometimes the patterns can fit a bit large for my taste. 

Like all patterns, I measure the pattern before making a muslin.  Usually I go down, but not always.  I take into account the fabric too.  In this case a very stretchy (but clingy) rayon knit was used and I went by the back measurement (across the back at mid-armhole) where I wanted to be 'fit'.  I didn't want dropped shoulders.

Love, love, love the way the cowl facing gets folded into the back self-facing.  Very slick.  Fast, fun pattern to make.

Un-tucked with a nice deep hem--which you need in such a light-weight fabric to allow the top to drape properly and not curl up.
I mostly wear it tucked in, or with a belt over-top.

Now please keep in mind, I've dropped over 10 lbs since I've made this (happy dance here) so it may look a bit big.  The only thing I don't like (and that's just part of the style, not the pattern drafting) is when you bend over...hello girls to the world!

And here is the blur of a son...Alistair.
I made the "blonde's white top" with the shorter sleeves---which are a bit longer than the drawing, but I like them.

And the fabric is from one of my favourite go-to-shops, Unique Textiles here in Saskatoon.  No online shop.  Just old-fashioned bricks and mortar.  Not a huge store, but just enough great things to make you drool.  A girl can only sew so much after all.  She does a great job of bringing in unique high-quality fabrics.  It really is a nice boutique.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Fuzzy Girlie Hoodie KS3101

Just realized I didn't capture one of the most-worn items in Imogen's closet.  I made this back near Christmas after a visit with her to our local Unique Textiles store (locally owned store).  Imogen picked out this fabric which is really soft to touch (surprise why she liked it).

As the fabric was so soft, I decided to line the hoodie--soft in and out!  The fabric isn't too bulky, so it worked well.

I had enough fabric to make a matching skirt too.  A bit much together, but matching.  So I've saved you the eye-burn by showing them separate.

It's a simple elastic skirt from remnants.  Pictured here with an Oliver + S top previously blogged about (and a few haircuts ago).
 Hoodie pattern...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Closet Curtains

Ooh this is such a great project on so many fronts.  First I get to use up some well-aged fabric (bonus), make a kids room more fun looking, and make a closet more functional!  Ching, ching, ching in the happy machine...

Here at home, we took off our kid's closet doors -- the bi-fold type that pinch fingers and eat little hands -- and put up a curtain rod and some curtains.  The result is both dramatic and uber practical as the kids can access all areas of the closet, formerly blocked by doors.  And they can now hide and play theatre too using the curtains.

In this case, I was helping a friend that had a sliding door--one door that blocked 1/2 the closet at any given time.  Very impractical with kids!  We used a tension rod with ring-clips as we didn't want to block the cupboard above.  An additional piece of trim will be added to hide 'the gap' between the top of the curtain/rod, which you can just get a hint of here.  The tensor rod is as high up inside as possible.

** Disclaimer: warning you will see some summer shorts / skirt / trousers posted in the mustard colour linen-like fabric at a later date.  There is just enough to do this for myself.  I fell back in love with the fabric during this project.  Especially as I found a few recent fabric purchases for tops that match perfectly.  Now back to the closet curtains...

Here is adding the bottom border...(this is considered an action photo in sewing terms!)
Curtain with bottom border attached...
Then I used the mustard fabric to both act as backing and as a side border.  Super chic, super quick, super duper!
And finally - installed using ring-clips!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Pajama Time for Easter (girls) S4766

Out comes my girls go to PJ pattern for daughter and cousin. Again using up 3 pieces of fabric courtesy of my quilting mum who "donated" the fabric to my cause (obsession more like it).

I didn't have enough fabric to make matching sets. But I thought since it was coordinating fabric, I could get away with it. Especially as the border trim fabric is a bit umm...old fashioned. They needed the more fun prints to liven them up. Imogen loves it. She helped pass me the elastic for the arms.

Imogen and I are now packing up Zoyas PJs to mail to the US. Hopefully it will get there soon...with lots a live!
Oh and I used the custom labels like I did on the boys PJs. Check out that link for the blog I got the idea from.

One I didn't even have to hem the top as the border along the selvage could be left. Sadly the other boarder had printing on the selvage so it had to be hemmed.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pajama Time for Easter (boys) - KS3042

Well not Pajama Time by Sandra Boynton (which I do know by heart), but rather making lots of summer jammies!

We have a family tradition (that our immediate family started, nothing dating back 100's of years here) where we give the kids new pajamas on Easter.  This year I took that a bit further thanks to all the fabric my mother, the quilter, gave me. 

I also got to use an awesome, yes awesome, idea from a fellow sewer blog on making custom labels (Probably Actually blog post :  I picked up the stamp pad and stamps at Michaels here in Canada (at 40% off I may add).  And I love the results!  I set the ink with the iron.  I was still a bit concerned as mine is red ink...which after sewing into the garments, I thought...what if it runs when it's washed (you know the red sock in with the whites)!  So as soon as the garments were finished, I washed them...and no running of the ink--phew.  They were so fun to make and the boys loved them!

So here are Alistair's PJs
These ones were the trial pair as there was only enough fabric for bottoms...which he has decided are daywear not PJs.  All boys wear the same size, so it was a breeze cutting them all out and sewing like a factory!

Cousin Grayson's PJs

And friend Keenan's PJs -- these were the most challenging as I really wanted to get a pair of full-length trousers...but I didn't have enough fabric.  That was until I remembered how I sew quilt I pieced together the waistband casing using this technique.  It worked like a charm as as the pieces are angled together, there isn't the bulk!

All using KS3042

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Oliver + S - Free Skirt and Top

Well in the 5 bins of fabric, coutesty of my quilting mum who cleaned out her stash,  I found this cute floral perfect for a skirt...but a bit plain on its own.  So I dug some more and found 2 fat quarters in purple.  Perfect!

I used the free downloadable patterns from Oliver + S.  The skirt wasn't made from the full 45" wide--as something had already been cut out.  So I'm guessing about 35" was used.  I don't think I'd want it any fuller.  On both fabrics, I used everything--there wasn't an 1" square of fabric left.  The top straps are pieced together using angled seams (so as not to create bulk or jump out when you look at them).  I even got to use up some stash lace in the top.  Bonus!

Imogen was playing 'horsey' with Alistair where one gets a rope tied around them, while the other hold the handles of the skipping rope like reins.  Then they run around the house in circles yelling 'niegh' and 'yee-haw'. 

The skirt was too long to I did 3 decorative tucks to shorten it up. I actually prefer the skirt with the tucks.  I find the simplest designs are always made special by little interests like tucks, lace etc.  They make it special.

Oliver + S Lazy Days Skirt
Dress (that I shortened to a top)
Oliver + S Popover Sundress and Doll Dress

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Napkins and more napkins

Well my mum has been making lots of healthy changes in her life. And one thing I volunteered to help with was cleaning out and organizing her sewing room which is a double bedroom. She would take a stack of fabric and throw over her shoulder to the floor what she no longer liked or thought she would use. This turned into 5 rubber made totes. I then (read HAD) to go through these bins of fabric before donating them to Cloth for Kids (an organization of volunteer sewers who make things from donated fabric for less fortunate kids in Saskatoon and their schools)

Out of these 5 bins of fabric I took out items for gifts and kids items. So first off were making some napkins.

Here's a photo of them done in my sewing room window...I made a few!  All have a different front and back.  All have now been given away to friends and family.

The polka dot fabric above on the far left and right was purchased at Prairie Chicks to finish off these napkins off.  I'm super happy how these turned out.
These are backed in red--for Christmas...and went to my sister-in-law.
These are backed in navey blue with little gold stars.  My other sister-in-law received these to use at Christmas.
These are the only napkins with the same fabric on front and back.  They were given to my girlfriend who owns no napkins--she can't say that anymore.
These veggie napkins are going to a friend with 4 kids.  I hope it reminds them all to eat their veggies!
And these fun ones went to another friend with a 4-year old boy.  Rockets away!