Sunday, April 15, 2012

Ruffled (and recycled) capris/shorts

This is a cross-post from my regular blog, but I had a couple of friends ask me for a tutorial on how I made my girls' ruffled cut-off shorts and capris - so I wanted to make it available to all.

Before I begin though....I want to say that I am a very novice seamstress -
so those of you with more experience will probably have a million better ways of doing this -
but this is how I did it...and if I can do it...ANYONE can!

First, I started with several pairs of girls jeans that either had holes in the knees, or that were started to look like 'high-water' pants.   If your kids don't have any - you can usually find them for greatly reduced prices at rummage sales or thrift stores.

The next step is to decide how long you want your shorts to be.
For modesty's sake we usually prefer to go somewhere in between knee-length and capris.

Then, cut off the legs at the desired length  - figuring on about a 1/4' seam allowance.

The next step is to choose a coordinating fabric for the ruffles.
I always use cotton fabric - you really don't want anything too stretchy, as it just doesn't gather very well.

The amount of fabric you use can vary, depending on the size of the pant legs, and how gathered you want the ruffles to be.
For my girls ( sizes 6 and 8 ) I used fabric that was one yard in length, and approximately 4-5 inches in width.
I cut the fabric with pinking shears, (so it doesn't fray,) then I folded it in half and then pressed the crease.

Until I made these, I had never really never made a ruffle or gathered fabric before.
In case someone else has never done is a pictorial of how I did it.

Set your sewing machine for the widest, longest stitch (a basting stitch)
then take your strip of fabric and make 2 rows of stitches about 1/8 apart - and about 1/8 in from the edge.
*Important - DO NOT 'lock' the thread at either end, and also try to leave at least a 6" surplus of thread when you cut it. 

Next, starting at one end of the strip of fabric, 
take the top two 'tails' of thread and begin to pull them, 
and the fabric will start to gather.

Next comes a rather tedious part.....
You have to 'slide' the gathers down the thread, and push them towards the far end of the fabric.
Continue pulling, gathering and sliding
until your ruffle is roughly the same size as the circumference of the pant leg
(At this point I also turn the ends of the ruffle inside and 'hem' the ends.)

Now you are ready to sew the ruffle to the pant leg.

I always start at the mid point on the back side of the leg,
 but you could also start on a side seam if you wanted.

Leave the shorts right-side out and match the rough/cut ends of both the jeans and the fabric.
Pin the ruffle to the jeans adjusting  the size so that it fits all the way around the leg opening.
If it is too big or too small you can gather or loosen it more or less.

Then, using a basic running stitch, sew the ruffle onto the pant leg.

NOTE: You want to make sure that your seam is to the left of your 'gathering seams -
otherwise they will show.  (Ask me how I know about that....)
P.S. A seam ripper is a very good tool to keep handy.)  :-P

Once the ruffle is attached, fasten off your thread and turn the ruffle downward.
And finally, I sew a top seam along the edge of the denim.
This keeps the ruffle from flipping up while the shorts are being worn.

My girls just love the finished product, and I love that I dont' need to buy shorts,
because last winter's holey/outgrown jeans can be re-used all summer long!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Ninja Tic-Tac-Toe

Ten little Ninjas all in a row,

All set to play some tic-tac-toe,

Red challenged black....but in the end black won,

And they all rested in their box when the game was done.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Monkey and Owl

A couple of new hats for my cousin's boys.

The first one was a sock monkey!

This was sort-of a mix between this pattern here, and the pattern found here on this blog 
(I made the 9-12 month size - minus the ears, and I used a strand of cream and a strand of gray worked together to get the 'tweed' look for his head)

The second hat is a cute little owl
 I didn't have a pattern for this one...I just sort of 'winged it' (no pun intended) following these photos.

I also didn't have any life-size models,
 but you can take my word for it....they looked much cuter on the actual recipients.  ;-)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Peg dolls - round 2

A set of peg dolls for my other daughter who is  a tomboy  a bit more adventurous.  ;-)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Wooden peg dolls

I have been obsessed with peg dolls lately.

Actually - my fascination with them started decades ago. 
I think that these were my all time favorite childhood toy...and I still have quite a collection of them.

But lately, my fascination has shifted to a 'craftier' sort of peg doll, and thanks to the (highly addicting) Pinterest and Etsy websites, I've had no shortage of sources for inspiration.
It was there that I ran across this blog.

Her directions seemed easy enough, so I decided to try a few of my own as a Christmas gift for my youngest daughter, (who shares my love of the vintage Fisher Price dolls.)

I found the doll forms at my local craft store.  I bought some smaller versions, too - as my daughter is sure to want a full family.  Pleasantly, both sets were just a couple dollars each, so at least my new obsession hobby won't break our bank account.

In addition to the wooden doll forms, I had the additional supplies already on hand:  acryllic craft paints, and very tiny paintbrushes. 

I pretty much followed the tutorial step-by-step on the other blog for the first few steps.

I did use some of her clothing designs, but I tried to personalize others....
and when I was done - I had a nice little group of dolls.  :-)

There were women....

and children....

and even a set of grandparents....

but ....uh...only one guy.  

We decided that we didn't want our daughter to have to play 'Sister Wives',
so I made a few more friends for him. 

(And with that second batch I think I improved my 'hair techniques, too.) 
Hint:  dry brush and think 'wispy.'

I still need to varnish/seal them, (I'm going to try Mod Podge,)
and I'm also making them some little felt beds/sleeping bags.

Hopefully my daughter will love them as much as the Fisher Price ones.  :-)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Minion slippers pattern

Despicable Minion slippers

For these slippers I used:
An I sized crochet hook
Yarn: Red Heart acrylic (yellow, black, grey, white)
Lion Wool-Ease blend (blue)

These slippers fit a child size 3-4. If you need a larger size you can either add more rows of blue/yellow at the places marked with an *

With yellow:
To begin: Chain 4 – join w/ a slip stitch to make a ring

Row 1 - SC 9 in the ring – join w/ sl. st.
Row 2 - 2 SC in each st. around - join w/ sl. st.
Row 3 - 2 SC, 1 SC (repeat) - join w/ sl. st.
Row 4 - 2 SC, 1 SC, 1 SC (repeat) - join w/ sl. st.
Rows 5-19* - SC in each st - join w/ sl. st.

  • Switch to blue
Row 20 – 1 row of SC in each st around

Row 21- SC in each st BUT skip the last 5 stitches. Then Chain 1 and turn
Row 22-40* SC in each st. (at the end of each row ch 1 and turn)

At the end of row 40* tie off, but leave a longer 'tail' for sewing. Whip stitch the back seam of the slipper.

Then, (with blue) draw a loop throughthe top edge of the the back seam and make 1 SC in that spot.
  • SC in each st. around the top edge of the slipper (now going back over those rows you skipped)
  • This will form  the 'cuff' of the slipper.

Goggles strap:
With black:
Chain 16 (or more depending on the width of your slipper)
Turn, and SC in each st. across. Fasten off.
Leaving a longer tail, whipstitch this piece midway across the yellow portion of the slipper.
(Weave in the ends)

Eyes: (make 3)
With white:
Chain 4 – join w/ a slip stitch to make a ring
SC 9 in the ring – join w/ sl. st.
2 SC in each st. around - join w/ sl. st.
Change to grey:
SC in each St around, fasten off – but leave a longer 'tail' for sewing

For the Pupil:
You can either use a pom pon and hot glue it on to the slipper, or what I did was braid a portion of black yarn and tie it into a thick knot. I pulled this through the center of the white and tied it again/fastened it in the back of the white portion of the eye.

I then sewed the eyes on top of the black strap.

Use black yarn to embroider a mouth, and add a few pieces of fringe for hair.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Beautiful gifts from a friend!

It has taken me WAAAAY too long to say "Thank You" to a dear friend. 

Kristi had a blog contest for a handmade apron - and I entered it...and won!
She did such a beautiful job and I just have to show off her lovely work.

And because she is so sweet, she also sent me a WONDERFUl bar of handmade soap, and a pretty cotton washcloth that she crocheted!

She is one of the most talented people I know - seriously....check out her blog!  
She's always got something going on in the garden, or the kitchen, or the schoolroom.
She recently learned cake decorating with her daughter and their cakes look beautiful!

Kristi, thanks again rock!  :-)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Odds and ends

I've made a hodge-podge of crafty stuff lately:

An 'aviator' hat for my cousin's baby - due any day now.

A bunny blankie and some booties for another little one (also due any day)

And for my own special someone - a little blue duck  - to replace a 'lovey' that was lost.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My Despicable project

We have a winner!

Butomysoul  guessed both that they were "Despicable Me" minions

and also (by process of elimination, LOL) that they were slippers.  

I'll be in touch with you to go over the details about your hat (size, color, etc) 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

GIVEAWAY! (Guess the UFOs)

I thought I'd have a little giveaway....

If anyone can guess what my UFOs (unfinished objects) below are going to be,   I will make them one of my flowered beanie hats in the color(s) of your choice - (from anything I already own in my yarn stash)  ;-)

(And try to be as specific as possible) 

I'll close the contest Wednesday at midnight.
If more than one person guesses correctly, (or if NO one guesses correctly)
I'll enter your names into a random drawing.
The winner will be announced on Thursday.

Each day (Mon.-Wed.) I'll post a clue.

Monday's clue:    It's something you wear.
Tuesday's clue:    It's going to be a birthday gift for my son(So it's nothing 'girly')  ;-)
Wednesday's clue:  It's based on a character/characters from one of his favorite movies from this past year.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Flappy hat

My daughter is recovering from an ear infection, so I wanted to make something to warm her head and protect her ears from the bitter winter wind.   

This was the result

Julie's Flappy Hat
I worked this hat with 2 strands of (Lion Homespun) yarn - worked together - and a size “N” hook

Chain 4 and sl st to form a ring, Ch 2
Rnd 1 - In the ring HDC 9 times, join w/ sl st to the first HDC, CH 2
Rnd 2 - 2 HDC in each stitch around, (join, ch 2 )
Rnd 3 - 2 HDC in the first stitch, 1 HDC in the next – (repeat , join, ch 2)
Rnd 4 - 2 HDC in the first stitch, HDC in the next 2 stitches - (repeat , join, ch 2)
Rnd 5 - 2 HDC in the first stitch, HDC in the next 3 stitches
Rnd 6 - 2 HDC in the first stitch, HDC in the next 4 stitches
Rnd 7 - 2 HDC in the first stitch, HDC in the next 5 stitches

  • change colors
Rnds 8-12
  • to make a sm/med sized hat (which is what I made) for rows 8-12 HDC in every stitch around increasing one stitch in each row by adding a second HDC to the starting stitch.
  • To make a med/lg hat, follow the 'increase pattern from above through row 10 and then just do the last 2 rows in HDC
For the ear flaps

First, I put the above cap on my DD and used a stitch marker to mark where her ears were on each side.
Then I counted our 4 stitches in front and back of that stitch (for a total of 9 stitches)
I joined my yarn at the start of the 9th stitch and.....

SC 9 stitches across, ch 1, turn
9 SC , ch 1, turn
9 SC , ch 1, turn
9 SC , ch 1, turn
9 SC , ch 1, turn
SC 2 together, SC 2 together, SC 2 together, SC 2 together, SC, Ch 1 , turn
5 SC , ch 1, turn
SC 2 together, SC 2 together, SC 1, ch 1 turn
3SC, ch 1 turn
SC 2 together, ch1, turn
SC the final 2 together, - pull yarn through and finish off.

To finish – I switched to a smaller needle (“I” maybe?) and just did a row of SC all the way around.

I just pulled three longer pieces of yarn through the ends of the flaps and braided them, then tied them off.

(I'd still like to put a pom pom on top, but the homespun yarn is too fuzzy.)
Time to go yarn shopping I guess.  :-)

***You could also increase the size of this hat by using a larger hook or by using DC instead of HDC, 
or decrease it by using a smaller hook and SC

Thursday, December 23, 2010

For a very special itty bitty someone.....

My friend welcomed a beautiful baby girl recently, and it was discovered that the baby had spina bifida.  
I pray these small gifts keep her warm and cozy while she recovers from surgery.

Welcome to the world - Lil' Bit!