Laura H. Saturday, January 26, 2013

And by 'nifty,' I totally mean 'lazy cheater-pants.'

I've been churning out leggings by the truckload around here. I should have learned by now that little girls grow. Often very quickly and without warning. So, while she's still the same size *around* she is not the same height!

And I had all these adorable dresses that I made that still fit, they are just a wee bit shorter than makes me comfortable. I have issues with little girls in dresses that hit higher than the knee. Call me a prude if you must, but that's just how I am about that!

So, being the lazy sewist that I am, I really did NOT want to have to re-thread my serger every time I made a new pair of leggings! I also did not want to have have white thread showing at the bottom edge or hem after I'd sewn up the legs. That last bit is because the leg/arm holes for Elizabeth's clothes are always WAY smaller than my machine without the tray on.

Cue cheating! This is how I handle this set of challenges.

First, I hem. I hem before I ever start putting a leg together (or a sleeve, for that matter.) Turn it up, press it, hem it. My double needle and I are on the outs right now, so I just used a narrow zigzag instead. Then, when I start serging everything up, I start just at the top of my hem. Just skip the inch or whatever the pattern calls for and start above it. Once it is all together...

Starting just in from the bottom edge, stitch up from the hemline, backstitching to lock your stitch. Stitch all the way up into where you serged, backstitching to lock the stitches there too.

Trim everything up, repeat on the other side and TA-DA! No need to change thread, have goofy white thread peeping out the bottom, or try to sew that hem without stretching it. Sit back, and admire your work!

 Here are three of my eight (eight?!) pair that I've made. Thinking about it, I've only used brand new yardage for one pair. Everything else has been recycled - these three are (from top to bottom) an old shirt, a pillowcase, and another shirt. I also have two pair made from old sweaters, but that is a tutorial for another time.




Laura H. Thursday, January 10, 2013

Remember a million years ago I was bragging about the Boy Scout getting better at gifts? Well, since then we have been all in upheaval and madcap antics. Which is just another way of saying that the Boy Scout got Lord of the Rings Online and I haven't been anywhere near this computer for at least a week.

BOYS!

As promised, here's my first attempt at using what he got for me - screen printing stuff!

 Pardon the smudge, if you will. The butterfly is actually *really* clear. I just didn't realize that someone (probably me) had left the camera where small, sticky hands could reach it.

So, this stuff is great. The Boy Scout found it our local big-box store and bought it for me. He was really chuffed from the time he bought it until he gave it to me and was nearly unbearable. But I see why now. They are called Zip Screens. They have little paints and screens and everything on their website. But I've had more fun screening stuff!

This dress is just the same old Simplicity 2377 that I think I've made twelve million times now. It is going to be Elizabeth's Valentine's Day dress. I have a sneaky suspicion that I'm going to have to redo the neckline. I shirred it, but the thread is really making the neck bigger than I like. The sleeves are fine, but the neck is iffy. But I have time.

Also, I have this little dress to share with you today. I got the fabric and cut it out back in September but I did not actually sew it up until early December. We had a shot of warm weather (mid-50s) so I decided that I'd go ahead and make it up. And if her Christmas dress failed, this could be a backup.

She was so surprised by her red shoes. Love this kid!

The dress is Rae's Pierrot pattern, no ruffle, about 4 or 6 inches longer. The fabric is a flannel that I picked up a Joann's. I bought a LOT of fabric that day and didn't have the sense to realize that flannel is sold in 28 or 30 inch widths. So the long sleeves that I had planned and the bias cut? Yeah. That didn't happen! Also, to even make the dress, I had to piece the back. Yikes! Still, she loves her dress. Her most recent wearing was with old-sweater-sleeves red leggings and brown fuzzy-topped boots. It was so crazy adorable, I had to laugh.

I made the tights as well - using this tutorial from Thrive. Elizabeth has about four pairs of warm, snuggy tights thanks to that tutorial!

I bought this flannel because I wanted a warmer dress for Elizabeth to have. It didn't quite work out as I had planned, but it is her favorite dress in her wardrobe right now. It is a little long, but it only touches her at the neckline. As she has recently discovered twirling, she is thrilled beyond words.

(In the background of these pictures, you see the bear. I couldn't let any more time pass without introducing my online friends to Blue Bear. Blue was the bear from daddy at Christmas in '11, and from moment one, she has gone *everywhere* with Elizabeth. I've put arms back on, removed the 'I Love You' recording because it went crazy after being washed, sewed her neck back together and even bought another blue bear in case we have to do some franken-bear repairing. We all think that our small girl will give up her pacifier before she will give up Blue Bear. If I was Blue while she is awake, she constantly goes to the laundry room and watches while Blue spins and fluffs, all the while telling Blue how she will be 'all better' and 'all clean' really soon. And while Blue is special all the time, a warm Blue from the dryer on a cold day is just about enough to induce a euphoric nap. Love this kid so freakin' much!)


Laura H. Wednesday, January 2, 2013

It has only been in recent years that the Boy Scout has gotten really good at gift-giving. Now, he never buys gifts himself for anyone except Elizabeth and me, but it took him a while to get the hang of presents for me. But this Christmas, he out-did himself.

Here is a sneak peek of what I've been up to with his present. And I have so. Many. Ideas.