Friday, January 20, 2012

Turning Jeans into Little Shorts - And Keep The Factory Seams!!

If you are like me, you have heaps of jeans or pants that either don't fit anymore, or just in a need for a clean-out.....I also have daughters who grow out of clothes so fast.  So combine the two together with this tutorial and you get---

How to turn adult size pants into child size shorts...and keep the factory seams and hems!!!

My beautiful assistant modelling the final product!!

Look at those beautiful original seams!!

Firstly, you need a pair of jeans or pants - standard bootleg or regular leg is best.  Mine did have a little stretch in them

Grab a pair of shorts that already fit your child.  I chose pj bottoms.  Turn inside out and lay on your jeans leg.  I am making mine a bit longer than the pj bottoms, so I left about 5cm at the bottom.

Leave enough length at the top for an elastic casing and chop off the jeans!!

Now shape the curved bits.  I also increased this a wee bit to make sure.  You can always go back and trim them down later.  Don't cut the sides at all...leave the original seams and hems intact.

Use the first cut piece as a pattern to another piece from the other leg of the jeans.  You will now have two pieces that look like this...

Turn inside out and pin the curved sections together like this.  This is going to make the front and back seams.  Sew together.  I also double stitched mine particularly around the crotch area as kids always seem to bust the stitching open in that area.

I overlocked around the top of the shorts, then turned down a casing for my elastic.  Sew around and leave open a few centimetres to thread the elastic.  Stitch closed the opening and turn right side out.

Well done!!!   You now have a new wear of shorts for your little one.

My crazy 4 year old!

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fabric Storage Boxes

As you know, I have been hunting around for storage options for when I move house.  I have found loads of great ideas...and sharing these few with you.  All of these baskets are made from fabric and all have great tutorials on how to make them.  Now I just need time to sit and create...!
Great one for toys...I think a set of these inside a wardrobe would be great for kids socks etc.
A bigger version of this one would make a great toy sack for my toy shelves...Nice and portable

Cute little boxes for those bits and pieces in the craft room

Lovely fabric...would be great to hide my kids DVD's in the glass front cabinet

What a useful size!...And with label pocket - -handy!

Cute little baskets!  Not sure what I would put in such a small box...I'm sure I would find something!!

Make sure to follow me either by email or Pinterest...
I spend way too much time hunting down cool things...Please make my time wasting into your gain!!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Looking for a New Toy Room Design

I'm moving house soon, and in need of some new organisation ideas. 
 This move will make 3 moves in 4 years,  this time I want to unpack and organise in minimal time and effort. 
 I also want some great organisation ideas...
particularly in the 'toy' area, craft area, the girls rooms, and the kitchen.  
Starting with toy room/area - I already have an Ikea low line cupboard with slide in toy tubes, two quite large 4 shelf storage units (these came out of a built in cupboard), a chalk board that converts to a desk, and  6 coordinating storage tubes.  
With this in mind, I found a few that may work, once we have everything in the house.
This one looks like it has similar furniture to what we already have.
Love this bookshelf, especially with the enclosed shelf on the bottom.  I might have to work on converting my shelves to something like this!!!
Found this little beauty - even had the plans, instructions and material list!!  I would love it with a back in it.  Really don't have the time to construct it though!
I've left the best to last!!  This would have to be the most ultimate toy room for any child!!!  A huge room with ALOT of toys--way too many for me to pick up and keep organised.  But I love how it is sectioned into different play areas - kind of reminds me of a kindergarten!  Love it from this view, and I am now thinking of how to make it work in the new house!!  Thanks!!!

Now...just have to wait to move....

Monday, January 16, 2012

Stationery Carry Bag

Hello Friends, Guess what I've been making??!!!!

Some may say a cute shoulder bag to carry all my wonderful things!  
Well, with two girls around, I don't usually get to make what I need or want for myself...It is usually a child orientated object...and of course this is one of those projects! 
Except not for one of my kidlets - a gift for an upcoming birthday party of a 4 year old.  One lucky little girl! 

 - - A Stationery Carry Bag - - 

I have supplied some simple instructions...All I ask if you wish to use them to make your own is to become a follower, and link me to your project when posting on your blog, and it is for personal use only! 
 I love to see variations-this inspires me to make more projects!!  

 I picked up this super cute stationery pack at KMart for $3 - I really should have bought a set for myself and for my 4 year old as she REALLY wanted it when I got it out and started measuring up for this project. I think a few my sets will have to go on my shopping list!

So here we go with the instructions to recreate this lil' beauty!

I started with 3 pieces of fabric, cut to A3 size (42 x 30cm)
These pieces are for the outside, the inside, and the internal pocket.

I also have 2 pieces of interfacing A3 size to sandwich between outside and inside 
to provide some stiffness.

I also cut 2 pieces 30 x 5cm - for the handles

Firstly, take your handles pieces fold in half lengthwise and right sides together.  Stitch 1 long side and 1 short side.  Turn out to make a tube, iron flat.  Repeat with other handle.

Next, take your pocket piece of fabric, turn both edges into the middle and iron.  
It should measure 21 x 30cm. Now stitch along one of the long sides to secure it.  
This will be the side where the book goes in.  
Now lay the pocket piece on top of the inside fabric (mine is blue).  
Align the pocket down the middle.  
Stitch your pencil and pen 'slots' on the other side.  
I stitched 3 rows of stitching, this made 2 pockets for my pen and pencil.  

Now lay pieces down in order: 
2 layers of interfacing, inside piece with attached pocket, 
the 2 handles (1 at each end, keep the handle part on the inside!)
 followed by outside piece (right side down).   
Pin all round the outside.  
Stitch right around leaving about 5-10cm open so you can turn it all in the right side out.
 Once turned right side out, fold in your opening and pin.  
Topstitch around the whole project to close the opening and to hold the layers where you want them

Pop in your stationery and admire your handy work!!

You can also add I few pieces to Velcro to hold shut.

This was a pretty quick little project, custom to the stationery pack I had.  Sew yours to fit the stationery you are going to use!!!

I can't wait to see yours!!  Remember to sign up for email updates of my blog, and become a follower! I love checking out others blogs and others projects!

See you soon, 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Easiest Skirt Ever!! And No Pattern Required!

Well it has been a hot old day...well a couple of days!  Middle of Summer and 36 degree heat with plenty of humidity.  I was hopeful for some rain today, waking early to the sound of thunder.  That cleared by breakfast, and a hot humid day continued.  Fingers crossed the rain that has been forecasted for tomorrow is forthcoming, and I hope heaps of it.

Enough weather girl talk, I want to tell you about these:-

Three Cute Skirts!

I have been a little busy whipping up what I call...
The Easiest Skirt Ever
and you don't even need a pattern!!
I absolutely making these.  I have made two for my daughter in the past and she wears them to death, and most of her little friends receive these as gifts as they are so easy, quick, and the most important to me is they are 'one of a kind'.  I think I would have a better chance of winning the lotto than seeing another skirt just like these ones!!! Unless someone else has the same fabric and wants to do a duplicate that is!!!  

Now for the most important do you do it???!!?!?

This really is an easy skirt!

Step 1.  Take your selections of fabric.  For this one (size 3) I took 25cm of blue birdy print.  It is 112 wide, so basically I bought the minimum cut at my fabric store.  I also 14 cm x 112cm of brown paisley print.

Step 2.  I now folded and pressed the brown paisley in half lengthwise, right side out.  It is now 7cm wide.

Step 3.  I overlocked this brown piece to my blue piece, right sides together; open out and press.  At this stage I also stitched a topstitch onto the blue piece to hold up my overlocking seam and to be decorative.  This topstitch is optional.

Step 4.  Now fold in half, right side together, and stitch your selvage; or if using an overlocker, about 2cm in (so it cuts off those funny selvage pinholes!!)  Also make sure your seam between blue and brown lines up before stitching.

Step 5. Making the elastic casing.  I turned down 2cm and made a casing.  Your casing measurement is slightly more than your elastic width.  Stitch around leaving 3cm opening.  Thread with elastic, stitch together elastic and stitch closed your opening.

Step 6.  You are done!!!  You can add additional topstitching if you wish

Step 7.  This is just the beginning of your skirt making future.  You can stitch a different fabric on the top to make your elastic casing, add additional fabrics on the bottom to make a stripey skirt, add some pom pom trim to the bottom, ric rac, stitch on ribbon to cover the joins between sections...endless combinations!!!

Shopping List
For those who want to make a Size 3 skirt as above:

  1. 25cm of blue selvage to selvage length, 
  2. 14cm of brown selvage to selvage length,
  3. 50cm elastic, 1.5cm width (measure your girl-you may need more/less)
  4. Cotton
Following the above directions, with a 1/4" seam allowance, gave me a skirt 28cm in length .

I hope I have inspired you to have a go!!  Whip up a creation, and I would love to see them.  Add a comment and a link to your blog post so I can go blog-hopping and have a little look!!!

Be sure to sign up for an email update of my blog; you can sign up at the top of my blog, on the right!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My First Pillowcase Dress and Tuxedo T-Shirt

Well hello World,

I've been a little busy in the last few days - moving soon so been having real estate agents and the like around to value the house etc.  Also trying to entertain my VERY bored 4 year old.  She's off to Kindy in about 3 weeks (or when we move) and she can't wait - me either!!!  Although I will miss her greatly, it is only 5 days a fortnight, 6 hours a day.  She has been 'ready' to go for 12 months - she is quite bright and advanced, but due to the starting age here in Australia, you have to be turning four before the end of June to start in the January school year.  She is a September baby, so missed it last year by about 60 days.  So she will be one of the oldest in her class when she starts, and I am going to assume, one of the biggest as she has shot up in the last 3 or 4 months.

Anyway, back to the sewing!!!  I have always wanted to try a pillowcase dress.  So I grabbed a pattern a little while back, and I got down to business.  It is a McCall's pattern which includes a dress, bloomers and a hat pattern.  Probably really didn't need a pattern as it was a pretty basic shape, front and back the same, but I altered it abit to create my own (which I LOVE to do!!!)

Here is the result:
Pillowcase Dress Size 8-9.5kg (Size 00-0)
I added coordinating binding around the armholes.  I also made the strap wider

The pattern didn't have this contrast piece on the bottom...I just trimmed off about  8 cm and cut it from a different colour.  Remember to re-add a seam allowance when sewing to main colour piece!  I also made the contrasting piece doubled over so I wouldn't have a hemline
I really like how it turned out...very happy Mumma!!  I am still to try it on my bubba...It looks a little big when I was sewing it, but I resisted the urge to cut it down a bit, as I would rather her grow into it then not getting her in it enough!!!

My 4 year old has been invited to her little friends birthday next week, so I thought I would make her something as a gift.  I have been looking around for ideas to dress up girls T Shirt, purely because I can get a basic tshirt at KMart for $3, and I have heaps of scrap fabric, and also ribbons and buttons in my scrapbooking/card making stash.  I found this tuxedo/ruffle front shirt on etsy-

- so I decided to do a take on it for the present.  Here's mine...

I didn't have any matching wider ribbon to use, and I really didn't have the time to perfect the nice neat pleats.  I still really like it, and this is a version I will be repeating very soon as I have another three shirts to do!!!   And of course my 4 year old spotted it (no pun intended!!) and stated  "I really need one of these shirts Mummy"  Next time I will take photos to make a tutorial for you all!!! Stay tuned....

Until next time

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sewing Goodies!!

When it comes to Christmas present buying in our house, usually my husband and I buy our own presents from each other.  In other words, he buys tools for his shed and I buy craft items for my stash!  This year, or should I say 2011, I decided to fore go a present under the tree for a bargain shop at the post Christmas sales between Christmas and New Year.  It was a good idea leading up to Christmas, but on the day was a little disappointed not to open a present (I did receive one from the girls).

But come Boxing day, I was among the crowd of people waiting for the Spotlight sale.  Most of the other people were there for the $99 half price sewing machine, and the sale on manchester, I slowly crept in and hunted through the 75% off Christmas stock as the others in the crowd floated by.  I think it is funny how people are prepared to pay full price for these things only 36 hours before, but come a 75% sale, no one is interested.  I haven't bought Christmas things before Christmas for many years, and I did get a few things to add to my boxes of festive things.

I was able to pick up 2 advent calendars, one for each of my girls for next year.  They are a piece of satin rope with 24 felt Santas tied on, with each Santa having a slit in the back for a treat.  These were $15 each, reduced to $3.75each.

I also got all of this---

The patterns were half price; but unfortunately picked up the wrong size in the McCall's in all my excitement.   So my 4 year old will have to wait for a few more years for anything from that one, unless I  get creative and resize it (not likely!)

All fabric in store was 30% off, including the clearance shelves. All of the fabric on the left and middle was on the clearance section at $6/metre, and with the 30% off, down to $4.20/metre.  The fat quarter roll of 8 fat quarters and the two jelly rolls were  already marked down to $8, but picked up for $5.60 a piece; the Christmas fabric underneath the buttons is a metre piece and picked up for a steal of $1 after the sales girl marked it down twice(?) - not complaining! The pale blue fabric was $2 for half a metre on the remnant table; And the fabric covered buttons were $5 per card, but a staff member had placed a huge display of them on the Christmas clearance table (?by mistake) so picked up with $1.25 per card.

So although I didn't get a present on Christmas Day, I picked up some things more meaningful to me than a box of chocolates or a piece of clothing I most probably would have received.  

Now to turn this fabric and my stockpile into something special....!!!!