Sunday, 17 June 2012

Doodle Pants - A Way to Rescue Fabric

I bought some grey brushed twill a while back and when I washed and dried it in preparation for use, the color got all funny.  The fabric looked blotchy and I thought it was going to be a total waste.  I had planned solid grey pants for the girls and the fabric now looked like someone had spilled juice on it.  The fabric sat in my stash for a couple of months until yesterday when an idea popped into my head.  Since the fabric looked stained, why not make it look like it was stained on purpose?  I thought some careful bleach drops might do the trick.  As I thought it over some more I suddenly got an image of acid washed jeans with splatter paint and grafitti all over them (I might have had a pair like that when I was a kid around 1986 or something. . . maybe. . . . ).

I got out a spray bottle and started bleaching. I let the bleach set for a few minutes to fully do its work.  Then I washed and dried the fabric. 

Next I dug out my fabric markers.  I wanted to cover them with grafitti-like designs but when I went to start I realized I have no skills in that area.  I used to be able to draw a mean set of bubble letters but even that escapes me now.  So,  I asked Maya what designs she wanted and she requested stars, hearts, swirls, and rainbows. 

I heat set the markers in the dryer.  Last night I cut out some pants and today I sewed them up.  This is Maya's pair.

I think these are my favorite homemade pants yet.  I mey even go back and add some more doodles.  All I have to do is pop them in the dryer again to heat set anything added.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

I love some of the prints in the "A Walk In the Woods" fabric collection.  I finally bought some from this etsy store.  I made both girls simple peasant dresses with a band of ruffle down the front.  If I make this again I will make the ruffle a little wider.  Hannah was the only one who kinda sorta posed this time.  Maya slept late and I didn't have a chance to grab a picture of her.  When it comes out of the wash and gets its second wear I will get her.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

How to make a totally original skirt

First, get about a half yard of broadcloth.  Lay it out on a table with some kind of backing to protect the table.  I used wax paper.  Tape down the cloth on top of the backing.

Second, find a preschooler.  You see a preschooler isn't influenced by what is trendy so she won't opt to try to paint the latest craze on the fabric like owls or argyle patterns (Don't get me wrong, I LOVE owls, but we are going for totally original here).  Set out the fabric paint on a paper plate and give your preschooler a paint brush.  Let her go to town. 

We had some paint splatter when I quirted out the blue so Maya got put in the shower to rinse off and we opted for a bathing suit to wear for the rest of the project

I ended up joining in and upcycled some of my son's too small undershirts into nightshirts for the girls.

Let the paint dry for 72 hour minimum.  Wash and dry the fabric.  Turn it into a cute skirt!  Bribe your preschooler to pose for a picture by giving her a cookie.

Friday, 1 June 2012

The "Elastic On The Outside" Skirt (tutorial)

As of now I don't have a brilliant name for this skirt so I am calling it what it is.  I had skirts on the brain because of Skirt Week on Crafterhours.  I had actually made myself stop making the girls skirts for now because, well, they have too many.  But Skirt Week posts inspired me to try to think of something new.  I have done the elastic waist, the tiered, the circle, and even some Oliver and S skirts.  My mind kept drifting to skirts while I was at work yesterday and suddenly I had an idea. 

I have this 2 inch wide hot pink elastic that I have been saving for a while.  I bought a bunch of elastic on Etsy a while ago (which I might never do again due to the shipping cost but the elastic is NICE).   I wanted to make something where the elastic would show. 

This skirt is for my 4 year old who still wears a lot of 3T clothes.  I would call it a 3T/4T.

I started with some plain pink broadcloth (just under 1/2 yard).  Cut the fabric to the length you want plus about 4 inches.  Then cut the width of the fabric to double the waist measurement of your child.  The reason for this is that you are going to stretch the elastic as you sew and if you have too much fabric and a small waisted child, you won't make it around. 

Sew the sides together so you fabric is like a tube. 

Then fold and press the top edge over 1/4 inch to the wrong side. 

Then fold and press about 1 1/2 inches. It doesn't have to be exact because you are going to sew the elastic over the top of this seam.  Pin and sew all the way around. 

Then sew another line of stitches about 1/8 of an inch from the top.  That step is optional but I like the way it looks.

Cut your elastic to the size of you child's waist plus 1 inch.  Sew sides together (wrong side out).  Then sew down the raw edges so they sit flat(you could serge then if you have a serger but I don't have one.  I haven't had much trouble with elastic fraying).

Take the seam of the elastic and match it up with the seam of the skirt.  Pin it ON THE OUTSIDE about 1 1/4 inches down from the top (again, the exact distance doesn't matter too much, you are just going for the paper bag look here).  Pin the elastic in at least four evenly spaced spots.  The fabric is going to look bunched up but you will stretch the elastic as you go. 

Start at the back where you first pinned the elastic to the fabric.  I prefer to start along the bottom of the elastic but it would probably work the other way around too.  Stitch along the edgeof the elastic (backstitch at the beginning and end).  Grip the fabric and the elastic both in front of the presser foot and behind it.  I gripped at the pins.  Stretch out the elastic and feed the fabric through as you stitch the elastic to the fabric.  Repeat along the top of the elastic. 

Finally, hem your skirt.  I folded up 1/4 inch to the wrong side and then abotu 1 1/4 inches again.  I did two lines of stitches again because I like the look.  DONE!

And on the girl. . .
Variations?  Make a ribbon bound hem or add some pockets.  I didn't on this one because I wanted to highlight the "elastic on the outside" feature.  But next time I might add some more details.

If you want to make something like this and you can't find colored elastic, check out this tutorial on coloring it yourself.