Saturday, May 28, 2011

Backyard Camping and Scarlett's Smocked Top

     It was such a beautiful day yesterday that even the lilies decided to come out.  Stargazers are my favorite and the kids got a kick out of seeing them and getting coated in orange pollen.

     Travis and I decided to camp in the backyard with the kids.  Of course our old tent wasn't big enough, so like many of our ideas, this turned a seemingly small thing into a huge ordeal.  Shopping for the right tent, of course Travis got to pick because he considers it a "manly" thing and I don't care enough to object.

     When we got home, the boys had a little male bonding experience.  Nothing brings guys together like camping gear.

     When it was completed, Scarlett investigated and we built a fire in our little firepit. 

     After telling a few ghost stories (edited so we didn't scare the bejesus out of the kids), we all piled into the tent with Weiner Dog and finally, FINALLY after several hours, everyone fell asleep.

     Everyone looked like they'd been thrashed by the Jolly Green Giant when we got up.  The kids were so tired that they plopped on the couch for movie day with their dad, while I pulled out my new machine and decided to make the smocked top for Scarlett that I had been thinking of.  I saw a top like this that used this technique in one of my books, but I had never tried it and also altered the elastic technique just a tad, as well as adding a ruffle to the bottom of the top.

     First, I cut out a large rectangle of fabric and made a nice hem along the top by folding down, folding again, pressing and stitching.  Then, I pinned the fabric to my ironing board with curved safety pins and used regular pins with heads to stretch out 3 lengths of 1/8" elastic and mark with my disappearing pen where the points should meet up. 

     I started by sewing the first bit of elastic onto the fabric, stretching it so that the mark on the elastic met the mark on the fabric.  When you're first starting with your elastic, make your zigzag stitch really narrow to secure it really well.  After a few stitches, make it larger so it goes to either side of the elastic, giving the elastic room to stretch.  When I got to the marked point, I then focused on lining up the next mark, and so forth.  At the end of your elastic, secure again with more narrow stitches.  When the first piece of elastic was done, I just repeated with the second and third piece.  At the end, it looked like this:

     From there on, the rest is easy.  I added a band onto the bottom then made another band that I gathered to form a ruffle.  Made a few straps out of fabric rectangles and... voila!

     The bottom looks a little off in this picture because of a little fold in the fabric when I was hanging it up.  Of course I didn't see until I was done and I'm too wiped out from not sleeping last night (remember the camping?  Lol!), that I didn't feel like shooting another.  I did take the time to take a few pics of Scarlett enjoying her new summer top, though.

     She got to pick the first tomato of the year.  Thankfully, the squirrels left it alone.  It's amazing how destructive those little guys are!

1 comment:

  1. Cute top!

    I loved backyard camping as a kid. Sometimes we even sit up the tent in the house, how silly.