Monday, June 27, 2011

Bubble T dress -- A tutorial

bubble T, view 3

Bubble Skirt + T-shirt = Bubble T dress

Hi everyone!  Sorry I've been a little MIA, but my computer was taken over by hostageware!  Ugh!  Don't know where I got it - I'm always so careful . . . well, apparently not enough.  Goodbye Windows. . . Hello Linux!


Anyhow . . . on with the tutorial!

I made the first version of this little dress a while ago as part of a black and white challenge.  I thought I'd share with you how I made it!

bubble T, view 1

You'll need:

a t-shirt or tank top
3 or 4 different quilting-wt fabrics (I used fat quarters for this skirt - if you're child is older, you may need some yardage.) - we'll get to how much you need in a second.
different colored jersey knit fabric for a sash (optional)
Some scraps of nylon netting
fabric for skirt lining (a piece of old bed sheet work great)

bubble T, view 5


OK, so first you'll need to lay out your t-shirt or tank top flat on the table and measure the width at the bottom.  Multiply this number by 3.  (For me, the size 3 t-shirt I had was roughly 11" at the base, so multiplying by 3, I get 33".)  This is roughly the number of inches you want for your skirt diameter.  Now hold that thought, we'll come back to this.

For the length of the skirt part, measure your child from the waist to just above the knee.  (For my daughter that's about 9".)  Add 2".  (So 11" for me.)  This is the length of your outer skirt. 

I chose four different fabrics for my outer skirt.  I cut my sections in 3" wide x 11" long (11" from the measurement above).  To determine how many of these sections I needed, I subtracted my seam allowance (3/8" for each side, so the final width of the sections will be 2.25"), so since I have four different fabrics (and I want the pattern to be consistent all the way around, i.e. A-B-C-D-A-B-C-D), I multiplied 2.25" x 4 = 9", so I have repeating sections of 9".

OK, remember back above when we figured out our target diameter for the skirt (3 x the width of the base of your t-shirt --- for me that's 33"), well we want to find out how many 9" sections we need to get to roughly 33".  So if we have four 9" sections that's 36" - close enough.  Now we'll have a nice amount of fabric for our skirt to be gathered, and we have our pattern repeating without overlaps.

Hmm.... hope that makes sense.  It's actually pretty simple.  Let me know if you have questions.


So I need to cut my skirt sections now.  From the calculations above, for each fabric, I'll need to cut 4 3" x 11" pieces. 

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Sew them together in your pattern (A-B-C-D-A-B-C-D . . . ) with a 3/8" seam allowance.  Iron seams flat.

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Cut your lining to be the same width as your strip piece (you just made above - 36" for me) and cut it the same length as the measurement of the waist to the top of knee (9" for me).  So your lining piece is the same width as the patchwork piece, but 2" shorter in length.

Sew the lining to the outer skirt piece (right sides together) along the bottom with a 3/8" seam allowance. 

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Open up the skirt and place lining to lining and patchwork to patchwork (right sides together) creating a large circle.  Sew with a 3/8" seam allowance.


Turn the skirt right side out, so that the wrong sides are together and the patchwork side is touching the lining.

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Grab some nylon netting and slightly stuff the bubble skirt so it has a little volume.

UPDATE:  To prevent the netting from bunching up, sew it in a large circle so even if it shifts inside it won't bunch up.

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Gather the skirt (both layers together).  I find that when I'm gathering two layers at once, it's easier to do by hand than by machine.

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Turn the skirt inside out and tuck the t-shirt inside, so that the right side of the t-shirt is touching the right-side of the skirt.

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Pin in place.

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Sew around the skirt.  Make sure to use a stitch with stretch (a small zig-zag stitch or straight stretch stitch works)  or use your serger.

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If you want to add a sash, cut a piece of jersey knit to tie around.  I cut mine 6.5" x 22".  No need to sew the edges, the jersey knit edges will roll a bit and won't unravel. 

bubble T, view 2

Let me know if you have any questions!  If you make one add a photo to the Punkin Pattern Group Flickr Pool.  I'd love to see them!

bubble T, view 7

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Things To Do

I'm a list maker.  I make lists for EVERYTHING.  At the beginning of every summer, we make a list of the things the kids want to do for break.  We asked them what they wanted to do and here's the list they came up with.  I thought I'd share it with you.


GO TO THE BEACH  ::  PLAY AT THE SCIENCE MUSEUM  ::  BUILD A ROBOT  ::  HAVE A PICNIC  ::  SLEEP IN A TEPEE  ::  GO ON A BIKE RIDE  ::  READ BOOKS  ::  HUG  ::  HIKE IN A NEW PLACE  ::  SWIM WITH FRIENDS  ::  GO TO THE MOVIES  ::  SEE A GLACIER  ::  WALK TO GRANDMA'S HOUSE  ::  PLAY SOCCER  ::  PUT ON A PUPPET SHOW  ::  SEE A GEYSER  ::  GO CAMPING  ::  LEARN TO PLAY “TWINKLE, TWINKLE, LITTLE STAR” ON THE PIANO  ::  HAVE A LEMONADE STAND  ::  PAINT A PICTURE  ::  GO TO THE ZOO  ::  GO FISHING  ::  HAVE A TEA PARTY WITH DOLLIES  ::  SEE OLD FRIENDS  ::  TIE-DYE SHIRTS  ::  HAVE A NATURE SCAVENGER HUNT  ::  GO BOWLING  :: BUILD A FORT  ::  VISIT A DINOSAUR MUSEUM  ::  PLAY IN THE SPRINKLER  ::  DRAW AT THE ART MUSEUM  ::  VISIT A NEW MUSEUM  ::  DRAW A PICTURE EVERY DAY  ::  GROW VEGGIES  ::  VISIT A FARM  ::  GO TO THE FARMERS MARKET  ::  HAVE LUNCH WITH GRANDMA DOWNTOWN  ::  MAKE HOMEMADE NOODLES  ::  MAKE ICE CREAM  ::  PLAY AT THE PARK  ::

I love what they came up with.  I don't remember doing so much in a summer as a kid.  They inspired me to make my own list for the summer.  Here's mine.

GO ANTIQUING  ::  MAKE SOMETHING FROM A VINTAGE PATTERN  ::  MAKE A ZIPPY WALLET FOR ME  ::  FIND TREASURE AT A THRIFT STORE  ::  PAINT A PICTURE ::  FINISH GWYNETH'S QUILT  :: MAKE WINDOW COVERINGS FOR THE KITCHEN AND GWYNETH'S BEDROOM   ::   MAKE PATTERNS  ::  SEW A BAG FROM A LEATHER HIDE  ::

What do you have on your summer list??  

Thursday, June 16, 2011

More placemats

placemat, version 2, view 4


I made a few more of the Table Setting Placemats for a friend.  These placemats are a bit different than the first ones I made.  There's no batting in these, just heavy craft-weight interfacing.  Also no binding.

placemat, version 2, view 1


These are sewn together right sides together leaving an opening for turning at the bottom.  Trim the corners and turn inside out, then top stitch around the edge.  I used decorative stitches for the plate placement, but left off the stitches around the fork, knife and spoon.

placemat, version 2, view 3


I hope my friend's kiddos like them as much as mine do!

placemat, version 2, view 2

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Painting

First of all I want to say a big THANKS for all of your wonderful comments on my Insulated Tote Bag over at Sew Mama Sew -- and all the comments here too!  It's really a great feeling to know that people like the stuff you design (and make).  Even though I don't have time to respond to them all, I read each and every one and they all bring smiles to my face.


This weekend, I took a little break from sewing and painted the kitchen and hallway in our house.  It's actually quite a large task.  There are lots of tiny bits of wall to tape around and paint and the hallway has seven doorways.  It took up a bit more of my weekend than I planned, but Gwyneth and Connor helped out too!
 
Connor helped paint a door for an access panel.

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Gwyneth gave her "new" cradle a fresh coat of paint.  It was mine as a kid, then my sisters, now it's hers.

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I see a new doll sized mattress, quilt and pillow in my sewing future.

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

I love this time of year!  School just let out, the strawberries are starting to grow and it's time to harvest rhubarb!  So it's the perfect time for some yummy strawberry rhubarb pie.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie


You'll need:
a pie crust (top and bottom)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp. cornstarch
3 tbsp. flour
pinch of salt
3 cups strawberries, quartered (if frozen, thaw slightly)
3 cups rhubarb, 1/2" thick pieces
1 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Lay out the bottom pie crust in your pan and set aside.

Mix together sugar, cornstarch, flour and salt.  In a large bowl place the strawberries and rhubarb, sprinkle with the sugar mixture and gently stir to coat.  Pour this into the prepared pan.  Top with butter cubes.  Place top crust on and crimp the edges.  Cut five or six slits in the top of the pie for steam to escape.  Bake for 50 - 60 minutes, until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling and thick.  Let sit for 15 minutes.  Enjoy!

Friday, June 10, 2011

I love life . . .

I love life; it's something to do!

Love life pillow, view 2

This is how my mother-in-law ends every email she sends.  It's an attitude we should all have about life, to always look at the brighter side.  There are so many, many things to be thankful for (and happy about).  Life's too short to not be happy!  

I made this simple scrap pillow for my mother-in-law.  (I hope she likes it, as I'm writing this and I haven't yet given it to her.)  It's sort-of a (very) late mother's day present as (during mother's day and the week prior I was not feeling well.)

Love life pillow, view 1


Ok, so the details:  To make the words, I chose a font on my computer that I thought looked nice, printed it out and used it as a pattern to cut the words out of freezer paper and painted them on.  (To see a tutorial on that go here.)  Pretty simple.  The pillow is 14" x 20", a travel size, so nice to put on any little chair.  The fabric was just from my scrap stash and randomly sewn on.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Insulated Picnic Tote


I'm guest blogging over at Sew Mama Sew today!  So head on over and check out my tutorial for an insulated picnic tote, perfect for a picnic at the park

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or for just taking your groceries home on a hot, hot day!

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Monday, June 6, 2011

Teacher Gift

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Connor is almost done with school this year and I wanted to whip up a little present for his teacher.  I love these lil cutie pouches from Anna of Noodlehead.  I thought it would be a perfect little present. 

teacher gift, view 2
 
The animal fabric is Alexander Henry's mini 2-D Zoo in Chocolate and the orange polka dot is from Riley Blake.  I really like how the stripe stands out from the animal print.  The lining is a light green fabric with dark green polka dots from Jo-Ann.

teacher gift, view 3


Tucked inside, we placed a gift card to a local restaurant so his teacher can have a well deserved night out.

Thanks to all the teachers out there for your hard work!  It is appreciated!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Our Weekend

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Over the weekend we went camping!  We went to Crow Wing State Park, near Brainerd, MN.  It was actually quite chilly and there was some rain, but overall it was fun.  We stayed in a little cabin (just big enough for the beds and a table).  The kids loved it because it had bunk beds!

The kids got to roast marshmallows - for s'mores, although not all of the marshmallows made it into the
 s'mores.

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We also took the opportunity to take the kids fishing. I'm not big into fishing - nothing against those who love it. (I've only gone one other time in my life - and I never baited my hook, or took the fish off.  And I still haven't - Thanks Marie for baiting Gwyneth's hook.)  Connor was the one so eager to go as he had never gone fishing before.  The fish were mostly eating the bait right off the hook, but the fish were close to the dock so the kids could see them.  In the end, Connor decided that "Fishing is boring.  You just sit around and do nothing and wait."  Yes, that's pretty much it.

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On our last day, the sun finally came out and went for a little hike on the trails.

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It was really beautiful in the park

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and the views of the Mississippi were quite lovely.

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