Sunday, November 25, 2012

More Pillowcases

I love making custom pillowcases!  I've made a couple of pillowcases for each of my boys herehere, and here.  My favorite tutorial for these comes from Little Birdie Secrets.  They're quick, easy, they don't take a lot of fabric, and they're super cute. 

So when my sister told me about a service project being put together by a gal that she knows, I jumped right on board.  This lady's son passed away just a few months ago - he was born with a genetic disorder and fought hard his whole life.  From the little bit I've read about him on her blog, he seemed like a wonderful son, brother, and friend.  Her idea is to gather pillowcases to donate to the local children's hospital where her son spent a lot of his time.  She's gotten quite a lot of participation from all over the country which is great to see.  I've been collecting some fun fabrics and have whipped up 25 pillowcases in the past few weeks.  Five of them will stay here for friends and family gifts.  The other 20 are headed to my sister's house tomorrow to give to her friend for the children's hospital.

Here are a couple of my favorites:  I searched all over the Salt Lake valley to find this line of fabric - Happy Ever After.  I actually ended up meeting the designer of the line.  More to come from this line of fabric in the next few weeks.  But I love it and couldn't resist making a pillowcase out of it.

This one is some cute monster fabric - I loved it because it says "Don't be afraid" right on it - I thought that was great to go to a children's hospital. 

Another boy fabric - spaceships. 

And some girly ones - flowers and butterflies.

And birds and more flowers.

And one more that I found just at the last minute that made it in to my pile.  Pirates!  Great for older and younger boys.

And here are my boys showing their personal favorite pillowcases.  This has been a good learning opportunity for them to learn about service and children's hospitals.  They were excited about these and loved helping to pick out the fabric with me. 
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Sunday, November 11, 2012

My Mismatched Maxi Skirt

I finally sewed something (clothing wise) that wasn't a flop and that I'm not embarrassed to wear outside my house.  I discovered maxi skirts this summer and my life will never be the same.  I {LOVE} them!  It's like wearing pajamas yet you look all fancy and dressed up.  Every store sells them - my favorites have been Target, New York & Co, Eddie Bauer, and . . . well now that I think about it, Target again.  The only problem is that they all look the same - black, gray, brown, even a blue - - - -stripes and plain knit fabric. 

And then I saw these amazingly cute maxi skirts over at iCandy Handmade.  Oh how I loved those - every kind of fun stripe and color imaginable.  And she made sewing them sound oh so easy.  So I got brave and bought some knit in a cute oatmeal/red stripe.  And there it sat on my sewing table for a few months while I tried to get brave again.  Finally, a couple of Friday nights ago - - I mustered up all the courage I had and made myself a pattern and actually cut into the material (that's always the hardest part . . . once you cut you can't go back!).  I read lots of blogs about how to sew maxi skirts (and I'm not a sewing novice).  I read tutorials on sewing with knits.  I wasn't brave enough to pull out my serger - - it scares me almost as much as the Cricut machine hiding away in my craft room!  But all the blogs said you can sew on knits with a regular machine.  So I started. 

Now I do have to say that I was very worried about not being able to perfectly match up my stripes and I didn't want that much pressure.  So I went to iCandy Handmade's tutorial for a Mismatched Maxi Skirt.  It was exactly what I needed. 

The tutorial was easy to follow.  The material was surprisingly easy to sew.  (Although I really should have dug my serger out and used it!)  And in about 30 minutes, I had myself a skirt.  I made the waistband only 3 inches wide (finished length).  And I was worried about making it a little too small around the waist.  When I tried it on after it was finished the waist was a little too big.  So I slept on it and got up the next morning to look more closely at all of my purchased maxi skirts for ideas.  The solution was simple and easy - clear elastic.  I ran to the store, grabbed a pack, and quickly sewed it in to the seam joining the waistband and skirt.  And there you have it - my first handmade mismatched maxi skirt.  I LOVE it!!! 

Here is a picture of the elastic sewn in to the waistband - genius (not to mention no fail!)

I was so happy with my little skirt that I went straight back to the internet and found another knit print with lots of different colored stripes on an oatmeal-ish background.  Another mismatched maxi skirt - done!

Now think of the possibilities.  I just need to get myself to a fabric district somewhere to pick up some really cute knits.  They are very, very difficult to find! I want to do an exposed ruffle maxi skirt from iCandy next.  How can one little skirt make me sooooooo happy?

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