Sewing Projects

by Wendy on June 15, 2009

I’ve been on a huge sewing kick lately! I’ve managed to churn out a bunch of different projects in the past few weeks and I thought I’d share them here.

My new internet addiction is sewing tutorials — I just can’t get enough of them.  I’ve been haunting the Sew, Mama, Sew! blog, The Long Thread and finding lots and lots of other great blogs and sewing sites. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again — isn’t the internet fabulous? Seriously, what did we do before the internet? I don’t think I’d know half the stuff I know today. Anywhooooo…on to the projects!

Spring Ruffle Top

My first project and the one that kicked off all these sewing shenanigans is Made by Rae’s Spring Ruffle Top. If you click through to the link you’ll see Rae’s svelte sister modeling the cutest dang top you’ve ever seen. My effort, however, did not produce the cutest dang top of all time. I did make a lovely tent though.

From the front, not so bad:

Spring Ruffle Top

From the side — dear God! Look at all that fabric!

Spring Ruffle Top

(Yeah — the pose is goofy, but I wanted to show how completely unflattering this top is from the side.)

Now, I’m a hefty gal and I knew I wouldn’t look like the girl in the picture — but come on! This top adds a good 20-30 pounds to my frame. And the crazy part is that I took it in THREE separate times before I got sick of it and decided to call it done. What the heck could I have done so wrong? The tutorial has you take all your measurements and then sew it to fit your specific numbers. All I can think is that I am horribly inept at measuring. Either that or the tutorial doesn’t convert well into plus sizes. I think either scenario could be correct, given what happened with the next project….

Wedding Skirt

I searched high and low for a skirt to wear to our friends’ wedding, but couldn’t find anything in the stores. In a last desperate move, I made Angry Chicken’s 5 Minute Skirt the morning of the wedding.

5 minute skirt

This skirt took me longer than 5 minutes, but it was very easy. For this one, you only need your waist measurement. Simple, huh? How could you mess that up? I measured, drew the pattern, cut the pieces and sewed up the side seams really quickly. After the sides were sewn I thought it looked a little roomy, so I decided to try it on to see what the fit was like. I pulled it up to my waist and when I let go — I kid you not — it fell right back down to the floor. I can safely say that no one will ever describe me as “slim-hipped” so that means the waist was huge. This time I couldn’t believe that I’d screwed up so badly, so I re-measured my waist and then measured the waist of the skirt and the numbers matched up. Does anyone know what happened here? Is it because it was a bias cut skirt? It doesn’t seem mathematically possible that this could have happened.

I ended up taking the skirt in 8 inches(!) before it was finally passable. Frankly, I think I still could have taken it in a bit more, but we were going to be late for the wedding if I futzed with it any more, so I quickly added the elastic and hemmed it and we ran out the door. That being said, I will definitely be making this skirt again to try to get the fit right. Once I have a pattern that works, I think it really will take less than half an hour to throw one together.

Headbands

My next project was wholly successful! Hooray! I made these clever little headbands from Blue Bird Studio. These guys really did come together in just a few minutes and I used remnants from some other projects so I felt super frugal.

Bluebird Studio 10 Minute Headband

These are basically just a strip of fabric folded over a few times with the ends sewn around a rubberband for a little stretch.

Bluebird Studio 10 Minute Headband

Cute and easy! Here I am modeling one.

Bluebird Studio 10 Minute Headband

Next time I take a picture of myself, I’ll brush my hair, OK?

Baby Pants

I also made a couple more pairs of the Rookie Moms T-shirt Pants for Augie with some shirts I got at the thrift store.

A crazy t-shirt with a big snake on it produced these rock star pants:

T-shirt pants -- Rock Star edition

And a plaid button-down shirt made these golf pants:

T-shirt pants -- Golfer Edition

Baby T-shirts

And finally, I wanted to show these onesies I made to go with the rock star pants. These aren’t technically a sewing project because I made them with iron-ons I found at Joann Fabric, but I thought they were cute.

Rock star onsies

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  • http://katiekadiddlehopper.blogspot.com/ Katie

    Those rock star pants are awesome!!!! And I love the AB/CD shirt. Perfect!

  • http://katiekadiddlehopper.blogspot.com Katie

    Those rock star pants are awesome!!!! And I love the AB/CD shirt. Perfect!

  • Brenda

    Yep, that’s exactly what happened with my spring ruffle top. I figure it’s good to work in the garden. The headbands are way cool. Might have to give that a shot.

  • Brenda

    Yep, that’s exactly what happened with my spring ruffle top. I figure it’s good to work in the garden. The headbands are way cool. Might have to give that a shot.

  • Aunt Linda

    I am just as mystified as you are with the whole measurement thing. I have been struggling with that weirdness for a good many years! I wish I could impart some sage advice about how to get it right but I pretty much had to work out a pattern with trial and error. Good luck sweet niece! I thought the pants you made for Augie out of re-sale shirts were terrific!! All of them were cute and so were the onesies.

  • Aunt Linda

    I am just as mystified as you are with the whole measurement thing. I have been struggling with that weirdness for a good many years! I wish I could impart some sage advice about how to get it right but I pretty much had to work out a pattern with trial and error. Good luck sweet niece! I thought the pants you made for Augie out of re-sale shirts were terrific!! All of them were cute and so were the onesies.

  • Karol

    Love the snake pants and AB/CD shirt!! You may have a new career shift!! How bout a Bento tshirt? With moveable pieces done with velcro?

  • Karol

    Love the snake pants and AB/CD shirt!! You may have a new career shift!! How bout a Bento tshirt? With moveable pieces done with velcro?

  • http://www.thepetersandthepoint.blogspot.com/ Terri Peters

    What fantastic ideas! I love the headbands – how adorable! My husband is out of town right now for work and I am looking for some sewing projects to keep me busy once my son is in bed. I may try them out!

    I love your blog – I always enjoy reading it so much!

  • http://www.thepetersandthepoint.blogspot.com Terri Peters

    What fantastic ideas! I love the headbands – how adorable! My husband is out of town right now for work and I am looking for some sewing projects to keep me busy once my son is in bed. I may try them out!

    I love your blog – I always enjoy reading it so much!

  • Sara

    Maybe you could try making the spring ruffle top out of a softer material—-something like cotton T-shirt material would probably drape better and not look so full from the side. It’s such a cute pattern that I plan to make one. Thanks for alerting me to the potential problem with the pattern.

  • Sara

    Maybe you could try making the spring ruffle top out of a softer material—-something like cotton T-shirt material would probably drape better and not look so full from the side. It’s such a cute pattern that I plan to make one. Thanks for alerting me to the potential problem with the pattern.

  • patricia

    I am making those baby pants for Stella- and I bet I can use a scrap to make matching headbands- can’t wait!

  • http://waitingforstella@blogspot.com patricia

    I am making those baby pants for Stella- and I bet I can use a scrap to make matching headbands- can’t wait!

  • Melibee

    I’m so impressed with your sewing projects! Maybe I’ll be inspired to take my sewing machine out of the box finally. It was a gift two years ago! LOL

  • Melibee

    I’m so impressed with your sewing projects! Maybe I’ll be inspired to take my sewing machine out of the box finally. It was a gift two years ago! LOL

  • http://www.coloryournursery.blospot.com/ Crisy

    Could you list the exact measurements for the baby pants? Whenever I make mine the don’t turn out right.

  • http://www.coloryournursery.blogspot.com/ Crisy

    Could you list the exact measurements for the baby pants? Whenever I make mine the don’t turn out right.

  • http://www.coloryournursery.blospot.com Crisy

    Could you list the exact measurements for the baby pants? Whenever I make mine the don’t turn out right.

  • http://www.coloryournursery.blogspot.com Crisy

    Could you list the exact measurements for the baby pants? Whenever I make mine the don’t turn out right.

  • http://www.squibsandcrackers.com/ Katrine

    I love sewing tutorials! I have a file full of ones I want to try. Did you measure your elastic the same size as your waist? Because the elastic needs to be 2 – 3 inches smaller than your waist. You probably know that, but that’s my guess. I’m awful at measurements!

  • http://www.squibsandcrackers.com/ Katrine

    I love sewing tutorials! I have a file full of ones I want to try. Did you measure your elastic the same size as your waist? Because the elastic needs to be 2 – 3 inches smaller than your waist. You probably know that, but that’s my guess. I’m awful at measurements!

  • http://allisondoty.wordpress.com Allison

    I love those cute little plaid baby pants! Your little Augie is so adorable!

  • http://allisondoty.wordpress.com/ Allison

    I love those cute little plaid baby pants! Your little Augie is so adorable!

  • http://blog.rookiemoms.com/ RookieMom Whitney

    Love this post because I am so guilty of looking at all the projects and never DOING them. You look great in your homemade top — from the front :-) Maybe it needs some ribbons on the sides to be tied loosely behind your back to hold in the extra fabric and define your waist a little bit.

    I always think I can’t wear a headband and my glasses at the same time. Have you been pulling it off?

  • http://blog.rookiemoms.com RookieMom Whitney

    Love this post because I am so guilty of looking at all the projects and never DOING them. You look great in your homemade top — from the front :-) Maybe it needs some ribbons on the sides to be tied loosely behind your back to hold in the extra fabric and define your waist a little bit.

    I always think I can’t wear a headband and my glasses at the same time. Have you been pulling it off?

  • gretchilou

    We must be on the same page…I attempted the ruffle top and it turned out way (WAY!) too big, then I moved on to making a gazillion pairs of pants and pj pants for my boys out of flannel and thrifted shirts (my favorite so far are wide-legged ones made from a men’s blue striped polo shirt). I attempted a skirt out of a sheet that went all wonky…gave up and just finished the most comfy pair of pj pants for me made from two king pillowcases using the same idea as the boys’ pants. Keep going, I love to see all your projects.

  • gretchilou

    We must be on the same page…I attempted the ruffle top and it turned out way (WAY!) too big, then I moved on to making a gazillion pairs of pants and pj pants for my boys out of flannel and thrifted shirts (my favorite so far are wide-legged ones made from a men’s blue striped polo shirt). I attempted a skirt out of a sheet that went all wonky…gave up and just finished the most comfy pair of pj pants for me made from two king pillowcases using the same idea as the boys’ pants. Keep going, I love to see all your projects.

  • http://travelinglonghorns.blogspot.com/ Jenni

    Ughh, I still haven’t done any sewing. I’m just collecting fabric. Wow Wendy what a busy bee you’ve been. I still say that your projects turned out super great. Love your fabric choices and hope you keep inspiting us please!

  • http://travelinglonghorns.blogspot.com/ Jenni

    Ughh, I still haven’t done any sewing. I’m just collecting fabric. Wow Wendy what a busy bee you’ve been. I still say that your projects turned out super great. Love your fabric choices and hope you keep inspiting us please!

  • http://travelinglonghorns.blogspot.com/ Jenni

    Oops , drat….. typo – meant to say inspiring. Kids running amuk and distracting me as I type!

  • http://travelinglonghorns.blogspot.com/ Jenni

    Oops , drat….. typo – meant to say inspiring. Kids running amuk and distracting me as I type!

  • http://www.wendolonia.com/blog wcopley

    Unfortunately, I don't have exact measurements for the pants — I just select a pair that fits well, then trace around them (with an extra inch all around for seam allowances). I've found that some pants work a lot better than others though.

  • http://www.wendolonia.com/blog wcopley

    I like the idea of adding the ribbons — I bet that would help with the poofiness in the back of the shirt too.

    I've always had that headband/glasses conflict as well, but these headbands work just fine when I'm wearing them. They're thin enough that they don't get in the way.

  • http://www.wendolonia.com/blog wcopley

    Unfortunately, I don't have exact measurements for the pants — I just select a pair that fits well, then trace around them (with an extra inch all around for seam allowances). I've found that some pants work a lot better than others though.

  • http://www.wendolonia.com/blog wcopley

    I like the idea of adding the ribbons — I bet that would help with the poofiness in the back of the shirt too.

    I've always had that headband/glasses conflict as well, but these headbands work just fine when I'm wearing them. They're thin enough that they don't get in the way.

  • http://nopinkhere.wordpress.com nopinkhere

    Thanks so much for posting this. I think you and I could be body doubles (down to the wavy hair and glasses). I had that top on my list of to-do's and now I'm rethinking that. The other stuff is great! I also have a taggie monster on my list.

  • Samantha

    It just may be that for your top and skirt you need a jersey type fabric and cut the pattern a bit losser so that it is sure to be a little drapey and this may have been why you were not happy with the outcome.

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