Tuesday, June 29, 2010

4th of July outfit

It's only June 29th, and I've already finished my son's 4th of July outfit! (The picture is horrible--I didn't realize how difficult it was to photograph plaid.)
It looks a lot cuter on, but I've given up trying to photograph clothes on my son--a 3&1/2-year- old boy is NOT a good model. I used Simplicity pattern 2627 for the shorts, and the fabric is from an Old Navy men's button-down shirt I bought for 99 cents at Goodwill. The red, white and blue plaid was perfect, so I bought it just to deconstruct for the fabric. I purchased a new Old Navy t-shirt (I actually removed the pocket without ripping a hole in the shirt) and appliqued the tie using this tutorial from Crap I've Made. When my son showed his new outfit to my husband, he (husband) commented that all that was missing was a red nose and floppy shoes. Thank you, dear, for implying I dress our son like a clown. I'd like to think I'll get a cute matching bucket hat done in time, but who am I kidding? Thanks for looking!

Friday, June 25, 2010

patched up pants

I buy most of my son's clothes (and mine) at garage sales or the thrift store. Sometimes I forget to completely check over an item before I purchase it. I bought these almost-new jeans at a garage sale for $2. They have the adjustable waist that I like, but I didn't notice the worn out knees until I got home.

So with some leftover fabric from this outfit and some Heat-n-Bond, I made some cute little patches for the knees.
I used my sewing machine to stitch around the patches a few times. I did the wavy stitching on purpose because there was no way I could stitch in a straight line. I discovered the legs of toddler jeans are a very difficult area to sew.
I think I'll also iron some actual patch material on the inside over the really worn area for added durability. They should last long enough since he'll probably only wear them one season, and now he has some cute coordinating jeans for the applique t-shirt I put so much time into. Thanks for looking!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

morsbags kit tutorial

I thought I'd post a tutorial on how I sew morsbags. I've slightly altered how I cut and sew the bags together, and I don't want to confuse anyone making a bag from the kit. (If you're interested in receiving a free kit, check this post.) The original morsbag instructions can be found here. This is only the second tutorial I've made, so if something doesn't make sense, please let me know. So here goes. . .

1. Open your kit. There will be one piece of fabric for the bag, two handles, and a morsbags label.

2. Sew three seams on each handle--one down the middle (close to the fold) and one down each side (also close to the fold). I wasn't smart enough to use contrasting thread for my tutorial, so the black lines indicate where the seams should be.


3. Lift up the fold on the main bag piece and tuck in each end of the handle. Fold the fabric back down over the handle.

4. I like to place each end of my handle 4 inches from the ends of the bag, but you can place them wherever you like.
5. Pin each end of the handle in place.

6. Start sewing across the bottom edge close to the fold. Before you get to the handle, fold the handle up. (Remember to remove your pin first!)
7. Continue sewing the seam over the handle.

8. Make another seam across the top edge of the bag close to the fold. Repeat steps 3 through 8 to attach the handle on the other side of the bag.

9. Now it's time to stitch the strong box and cross where the handles are attached to the bag. I'm sure there are several ways to do this, but this is how I do it so I only make one continuous seam. I also do my stitching on the outside of the bag since that's the part that is seen. Be sure to back stitch and the beginning and end of your seam. First, sew across the top over the previous stitching. Stop stitching right before the edge of the handle. Leave your needle down and pivot. Sew until you reach the stitching at the bottom. (There is no picture of this because I accidentally deleted it, and trying to replace the picture in blogger is a nightmare!)

10. Sew across the previous stitching until right before the other side of the handle.
11. Pivot again and sew the last side of the box.

12. Pivot again and sew a diagonal line to the opposite corner.

13. Sew again across the bottom of the box.

14. Pivot and sew a diagonal line to the opposite corner.

15. Clip your threads close to the stitching, and your strong box and cross is complete. Now you just have to sew three more on the remaining handle ends.
If you don't want to deal with sewing the strong box and cross, you can just sew a bunch of zig zags back and forth over the area where the handle meets the bag. That's how I made my first morsbags over two years ago, and they're still going strong.

15. Now it's time to attach the label. I think it's easier to do it now than when the bag is finished. I like to center my label between the handles. On one side, fold your bag in half lining up the handles to find the center and mark with a pin. At this point you can see what a horrible job I did cutting out this bag. (If you received a kit in this fabric, I apologize for doing such a poor job with my cutting.)
16. Center your label between the handles using the pin as a guide.

17. Sew the label to the bag. I like to use a zig zag stitch, but you can use a straight stitch if you prefer.
18. Now it's time to sew the sides of your bag. Fold your bag in half (fold at the bottom) with right sides out. If your side seams are really uneven (again, I apologize), recut the sides to even them up.
19. Pin each side of the bag.

20. Sew down each side of the bag. I use a 1/4 inch seam.

21. Trim the edge close to the stitching so there's approximately 1/8 inch seam allowance left.

22. Turn the bag inside out and press. Sitch down each side of the bag (approximately 1/4 inch seam allowance). The black lines indicate the seams. This will create your French seams. Turn the bag right side out and press again.

23. Congratulations--your bag is done! Even if this is the only reusable bag you make and use, it still has the potential to replaces hundreds of plastic bags over its lifetime. Thank you for making one!

the first morsbags kits

I've had three people willing to try out one of my morsbags kits! Here they are all ready to be mailed out--

If you would like a kit, go to this post.

Monday, June 7, 2010

plaid shorts & dino applique shirt

I'm so glad Sew, Mama, Sew! is having a Make It, Wear It! CHALLENGE this month. It's just what I need to get motivated to get some sewing done. I had purchased a simple boys shorts pattern (Simplicity 2627) and a plaid remnant back in March with big plans to make a cute little outfit. Who cares if it took until June to get it done?

The t-shirt if from WalMart (the only place I can find inexpensive pocketless t-shirts), and I used a free dinosaur applique template. I know the stitching on the applique is all crooked, but I really did it on purpose. I thought it would look more boyish. I hand embroidered "stegosaurus" below the applique.

I am pretty happy with how well it turned out. It reminds me of those cute Carter's outfits I love so much--just a lot less expensive. I think I only spent about $5.50 for everything (including the pattern which I will be using again). When I showed the shirt to my three-year-old son, his response was "You can keep it. I told you I wanted a pterodactyl." (It really wasn't as snotty as it seems--just said in that matter-of-fact, three-year old way.) Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

free morsbags "kits"

I'm a big fan of morsbags. I like reusable grocery bags in general, but I really like that I can wad up a morsbag in a little ball and keep it in my purse (which is more like a briefcase) so I always have one or two with me. I like to make them and give them away. I really like shopping for thrifted material to make morsbags which is why I have way more fabric than time to make them. While I would love to make tons of morsbags and give one to everybody who wanted one, I simply don't have the time. I do, however, have plenty of fabric and enough time to cut out the pieces, press them, and ship them off to you so you can sew your very own morsbag! They are easy to sew, and the instructions for sewing the bags can be found here. So all you have to do is leave me a comment on this post with an e-mail address so I can contact you, or you can contact me through my profile. I'll just need your mailing address (US residents only for now), and I will ship you a kit like this:

complete with handles, the bag, and a cute morsbags label all ready to be sewn together. The only drawback is you can't be super picky about the fabric. Unless you really hate floral print fabric (or stripes, plaid, or polka dots) then I'll do my best to NOT send you floral print fabric (or stripes, plaid, or polka dots). And I want you to actually use the bag. And I'd love it if you'd send me a picture of your completed bag so I can post it on my blog and/or flickr account. I'm doing this because I truly believe it is the little things we do as individuals that make a difference in the world. Even though my husband (great guy that he is) constantly informs me that making morsbags will not solve the world's petroleum issues or any number of other problems, I personally believe that it counts for something.

Also, If you live in the Omaha, NE area and are interested in joining my morsbags pod, leave me a comment. Thanks for stopping by!