I saw this fabric a couple months ago at Joann’s and then lovingly carried the bolt of fabric around the store smiling like a dummy. I loved it and needed it and wanted to upholster my house in it. But alas, I live with a boy. And some boys just don’t love all the floral. Ha!
I bought a couple of yards to make some kind of skirt with it. I’m loving maxi skirts right now, so I had visions of a graphic, colorful, floral maxi skirt. And then in one of the best decisions of my life, I asked Timothy’s opinion. I held the fabric up and asked if he thought it would be cute as a long skirt. (And after typing that sentence I now realize that I can never make fun of him for basketball again. He must love his new life of giving me fashion opinions. Ha!)
But he looked at it and said “Umm, that’s a lot going on. Don’t you think it looks Hawaiian? I’d make it shorter.” Good call, good call. Plus I’m 5’1″. Fashion rules say I shouldn’t even wear a maxi since I’m so short. Throw me in a maxi with a busy pattern and flowers larger than my head? Yikes.
So I made it knee length and I’m so happy with how it turned out! I used my go-to skirt pattern, McCall’s 3341. The pattern makes an A-line skirt, so I usually taper the sides for a more pencil shape. This time I left the pattern as is because I really liked how the fabric hung with the A-line shape.
I kind of got out of the habit of sewing, so it was so wonderful to get back into it. Last week I made three skirts, several sunglasses cases, and an iPad case. I wasn’t going to bed until the early morning hours because I was simply having so much fun!
So what about you guys? Have any of you sewn anything recently? Do you have a go-to skirt pattern? I just bought a new pencil skirt pattern that I’d love to try, but I need interfacing. To me, interfacing is to the sewing world as flour was to the cooking world. So I’m just going to have to jump in.
I’d love to hear about your latest sewing projects!
Ever since I saw this amazing tutorial to turn a skirt into a dress on Welcome to the Good Life, I knew I had to try it. I kept my eye out for long pleated skirts at thrift stores for months, but to no avail. Then my Bibi decided to get rid of some her clothes and amidst all the suits, skirts, and blouses, I found my long pleated skirt soul mate. I’m pretty sure the angels sang.
This may be one of my favorite outfit DIYs! Minimal sewing but complete transformation. I used the tutorial to get a basic idea and then modified it to add sewn sleeves and a tighter neckline.
The skirt was everything it needed to be: a great color, super long, and a size 14. I like my dresses to hit right below my knee, so the length ended up perfectly. The larger size gave me plenty of material to work with. The only problem was that the skirt’s waist, which became the neckline, was way too big. It gaped everywhere and was really unflattering.
To cinch all the extra material in, I just pulled the material together in three spots and sewed little gathers in. The elastic of the waistband was really thick, so I went over the gathers several times with my sewing machine.
Sewing up the sleeves was a bit harder. In the original tutorial, she didn’t sew up the sleeves, so they were really flowy and open from the waist to the underarms. I’m not a fan of people seeing all that skin (to put it mildly, ha!), so I just messed around with the sleeves until they looked presentable. And they still aren’t perfect. See how the one on the right is a lot fuller than the one on the left? Oops.
It took me ages to get the sleeves measured correctly and then loose enough so that I could move around. And that would be why there’s no pictures of this dress in process. I was too busy scowling at those sleeves.
So that would be my Easter dress for 2012. And since the skirt was given to me and I already had the thread, the whole thing cost $0. Boom. It’s crazy to think that last Easter I was busy sewing my very first dress. Sewing my very first anything, actually.
What about you all? Did any of you make (or remake) your Easter dress? Or your children’s clothes? I’d love to hear about it!
Before I start, can I just say how much I love this picture? Monday I talked about quilts with my Grandma and it’s one of my favorite Grandma memories.
I feel like she always leaves me with the best quilt stories. I mean, I didn’t know it could get any better than the nazi quilt. She just cracks me up.
I went to clean her house recently and had a few minutes to spare while her floors dried. She asked if I wanted to do a word puzzle, but I asked if I could look at her quilts instead. I’ve heard stories of her quilts, but have only actually seen a couple of them.
She took me into her guest room and started pulling out quilt after quilt from the closet. I was in heaven. With each quilt I would gush about how gorgeous it was, and each time she told me “Oh, this is nothing!” Apparently she used to make fancy, intricate quilts, but gave them all away.
But to me? Every single quilt was amazing. Most of them were hand pieced and hand quilted. And most of them were made from leftover scraps of fabric from all the clothes she made herself and her five (!) boys. Her eye for color is really interesting. I only saw one quilt with an actual fabric color scheme. The rest were florals next to stripes next to cottons next to knits next to houndstooth next to plaid next to dark next to light … you get the picture.
I guess she saw that I was having heart palpitations, because she handed me a quilt. It was one of the only twin size quilts she had and she wondered if I had a bed that it would fit on? I screamed for joy inside my head, and then calmly said, “Yes ma’am. I sure do!”
So she handed it to me. And then she pulled out another quilt that was completely gorgeous. Before I could say two words, she gave it to me. ”Here you go,” she said, “if you like it, you can have it.” To say I was overjoyed would be an understatement. I was thrilled to have two handmade quilts from my Grandma. She didn’t let me choose which ones I wanted, but it was probably for the best because I would have tried to take them all.
Then, as we were folding her quilts to put them back into the closet, never to be seen again, she looked at my quilts. “Did I give you two quilts?” … My heart stopped. ”Um, yes ma’am.”
“Well, I didn’t mean to do that. Give me one of them back. Someone else will probably want it.”
And that is the story of how a small piece of my heart died that day. To choose between the two quilts was like choosing between giving up chocolate or giving up pasta for the rest of my life. In other words, the choice was impossible.
But want to see which one she let me keep?
What’s crazy about this quilt, well, one of the things that is crazy about this quilt, is that it is reversible. Each block is a huge one that is turned inside out, sewn together, then turned right side out, and the hole is hand stitched together. Then each block is hand stitched to another block, thus no quilting. Did that even make sense?
I know that somewhere in that wonderful closet where my Grandma hides her quilts is another one just like this one, but with perhaps more manly colors. Grandma said she made a special one just for my Grandpa. He was a super tall man who loved to relax in his recliner. So she made an extra long knit quilt just his size. How sweet is that? To all my family members … I call that one! Ha!
As I left my grandma’s house that day after 4 hours of cleaning, she tried to pay me. I told her that the quilt was more than enough, and I was just so thankful for it. She then asked me if I would clean next week, and all the weeks after that. My mom usually cleans her house, so I’m not sure what that was all about, but I said yes anyway. She thanked me and said, “Well, I won’t always be able to pay you in quilts.”
Yes, because she’s saving them for all the people who want them. I’m not bitter.
Lately I’ve had quilting on the brain. It’s been pretty intense. Yes, I just used quilting and intense in the same sentence. We’re hard core at the Gothra house. Ha!
After I finished all my Christmas crafts, I kind of hit a slump. I got half of a cuff done on a pair of mittens for myself and then just decided to spend my time reading blogs written by women who actually finished their mittens. And socks. And skirts and furniture re-dos and room makeovers and all that jazz. I was soaking in projects done by everyone else but me and felt totally uninspired.
But then … I found quilts. Lovely, beautiful, colorful quilts that begged me to make them.
A gorgeous wonky star quilt found at Fresh Lemons. Except I hate that word, so this will now be called a crazy star quilt.
And I love the modern simplicity of this plus quilt from Cluck Cluck Sew.
This quilt pattern is called the drunkard’s path. What’s with these crazy names? I love the use of shapes and shades in this one, found at Knotty Bits.
Oh me oh my. This is one of the first quilt tutorials that made me want to try quilting. It’s the granny square quilt block by Blue Elephant Stitches.
And last but not least is this firecracker quilt by Monkey Do. I love the shapes and colors in this one! And the quilting really makes it pop.
Have any of you tried quilting? Or are quilting pros? I’m really excited to get started! I’ve already bought some fabric thanks to a Joann’s gift card, and I’m 90% sure I’m settled on a pattern. There are just so many options! I’ve spent at least the past two weeks making daily Pinterest stops to research quilts. I’m pretty sure Pinterest is a legit site to do research. And one night? I couldn’t go to bed until 4 because I couldn’t.stop.thinking.about.quilts. My brain was spinning with patterns and fabrics and quilting lines and fat quarters.
So, do any of you have any tips, tricks, or suggestions for a beginning quilter? Or has anyone thought about trying quilting? I’m not going to lie, these quilts kind of make me want to have an old fashioned quilting bee with tea and cucumber sandwiches.
I absolutely love this picture of my beautiful mom.
One item she wanted for Christmas was a new iPad case. I took a risk and decided to make her one! The thing about giving handmade is that you can’t very well say “I put the gift receipt in the box, just take it back if you don’t really like it.” If the person doesn’t like it, they’re basically stuck with it.
So I’m still hesitant about giving handmade to most people. Except my mom. I’m not sure if she liked the case because she thought it was cute or because she birthed me. But either way, I’m not complaining!
There are all kinds of tutorials out there for iPad cases, so I went to my mom’s Pinterest account for ideas on what she liked. I was so happy to see that she had pinned a tutorial! You can find the tutorial at Little Birdie Secrets. I just modified the size a bit (accidentally) and made up a little bow to put on the front instead of the rosettes.
I was really interested in the construction of the case. You use batting and the sides of a binder to line the case. It was hard and soft all at the same time, exactly what a dear little iPad needs!
Everything went pretty smoothly with the case except the lining and the zipper. The tutorial doesn’t give clear directions about the zipper. I could not figure out what to do with the ends of the zipper for the life of me! And it ended up messing with the lining, so I had to rip it out and trim the binder down to fit.
This was probably my biggest undertaking for Christmas. Well, several things that I knitted took a lot longer, but I was much more comfortable making them. This was way out of my comfort zone! But the process and learning curve was so much fun – I can’t wait to make another one!
What about you all? Did you take any risks in giving handmade this year? Make something out of your comfort zone? I’d love to hear about it!
Linking with Mommy By Day … Crafter By Night
I'm honored that you took time to stop by my blog! My name is Whitney, and I'm a diy loving, piano playing, sewing obsessed, thrifty, non-house cleaning, crafty newlywed. I love God, my husband, and life as a wife. If you'd like to know more, just check out my About Me page. Much love!
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