Saturday, June 25, 2011

Various projects...

In addition to the changing pad, I've also been working on a few other projects.  Nothing seemed to warrant it's own post, so here's a mish-mash of goodies...

First up is a teeny little felt hairclip that I made using the basic technique in this tutorial:

Felt cupcake hair clip

Next up is the play apron I made using the Girl's World book.  It was a ton of fun and I'm definitely going to make another soon.
Also made a little felt chihuahua to go in the pocket as a play buddy.  The pattern for this little guy was in my Felties book.  That book has so many adorable patterns!  I can't wait to bust out a few more.
While I was on a crafting spree, I whipped out another play tutu:

And also finished the two other floor cushions for my other guys.  The floor cushions were made a few weeks ago, but I forgot to put them up here:
Scarlett's Floor Cushion

Kai's Floor Cushion

Everyone enjoying their cushions.

Oh, and I almost forgot the crinkly tag blanket. 

Changing Pad with Pocket Tutorial

My friend is having her first baby girl after three boys and I've been working on a gift bag of homemade goodies for the past few weeks.  Ideas keep coming and the bag keeps getting bigger and bigger.  *laughs*  I sometimes have a tendency to go overboard, but it's fun to have an excuse to whip out something new... and girly.

     The past week or so, I've wanted to make a changing pad, but couldn't find a good tutorial for one with a pocket that fit all of my requirements.  I wanted it to roll up neatly with the pocket tucked inside, and I wanted it to close with a tie.  In the end, I came up with this:

Unrolled, it looks like this:
     Once again, I took pictures along the way, prepared to make a tutorial if it worked.  So glad it did because I only had so much of this fabric...  ;)

1/2 yard of outside fabric
1/2 yard inside fabric
2 packages (3 yds ea.) of extra wide double fold bias tape for binding and ties
2 packages (14" x 18") Heavy weight double-sided fusible interfacing
Thin quilt batting (I used Warm & Natural)
Extra strong thread (I like Gutermann, but whatever you use, it's going to have to be tough.)
Needle for hand-sewing the binding and finishing the pocket
Rotary cutter and mat
Acrylic ruler
Disappearing Fabric marker and/or dressmaker's pencil (depending on fabric color)
Iron and ironing board

Step One- Cut your inner and outer fabric, batting, and interfacing into 12" x 35 1/2" pieces (your interfacing won't be long enough as a single piece, so cut two of them to fit this size.

Step Two-  Lay your batting on the ironing board and then place your interfacing on top of that.  On the very top, lay your fabric, right side up... so you've made a "sandwich".  Follow the instructions on your interfacing to fuse all pieces together.

Step Three- Place the fused pieces fabric side down (quilt batting on top) and use your ruler and disappearing marker to mark the piece 5.75" from the bottom, then 5.75" from that line, mark again, then 6" from that line, then another 6", and a final 6" from that one.  Stitch down each of the lines drawn.  Mark the bottom part (5.75") with a pin... this tells you which side will be your pocket.

Sew along lines (white arrows)
Step Four- Next, use your ruler again to mark 1/4" about the 2nd line from bottom, and 1" above the 3 lines above that one.  Sew.

Step Five- One last time, use your ruler to mark 1" above the very top line.  Sew.
Tired of sewing lines?  I was!  Good news is that's the last "outer fold" line you'll have to sew.  Yay!

Step Six- Cut two 12" pieces of bias tape for your ties.  Open them up on the ironing board and press each end down 1/2", then fold closed and sew all the way around.

Open up bias tape and press ends down about 1/2".  Fold closed and press again.

Sew all the way around to make ties.

Step Seven- Starting at the bottom (pocket area marked with pin), roll your pad up.  With your ruler and dressmaker's pencil or disappearing pen, mark 1" above the edge of the top flap and smack in the middle.  This is where you'll put your top tie.
Step Eight- Move ruler down and line it up with the bottom edge.  1" above bottom edge and smack in the middle, mark where you'll put your lower tie.

Step Nine-  Sew on ties.  I put them to the back edge of each mark, leaving room for the binding.
Step Ten-  Lay inner lining on top of quilt batting and make sure that it's positioned the way you want it to be.  (Print or pattern however you want it to end up). On the side that is opposite of the pocket, use a glass or other rounded object to round off corners... being careful not to cut off ties, trim.  Remove pin that marks pocket.
Step Eleven- Be cautious not to sew or cut ties in this step!  Make sure inner fabric is still lined up then pin in place and sew around.  Trim excess away from seam, being careful not to cut through your stitches or your ties.
Step Twelve- This one's a doozy, so be prepared for a photo bomb that breaks down the binding process.  If you know how to bind, start binding at the pocket side and bind all th way around.  Then skip down to the next step.  If you're new to binding, hopefully these pics will help.... in either case, be careful not to sew your ties to your binding
       Start pinning bias at the middle of the pocket side (I opened my other pack to use on this step to avoid having to add length).  Start sewing a few inches away from where you started pinning it to leave room for connecting bias later.  In this step, you will bind all the way around, mitering the square corners and wrapping around the curves.  Connect at the end (I did a straight line b/c no matter what I do, I can never do the angle connect right), trim excess bias, and steam seam open.
Start sewing seam around where the second pin is (I started sewing where my finger was and didn't have enough room, so move down a couple of inches so it's a little easier for you than it was for me).

To miter your square corners, sew until you're ALMOST at the edge (but not quite), backtack.
Flip up bias so it lines up with the next edge you'll be binding.

Flip edge down, pin in place, and sew.

Curve around edges.  Pin in place and sew.

When you get back to the beginning of your binding, line up the edges on both, mark where they meet, and sew them together, right sides together. 

Trim off excess, being careful not to cut through seam.

Steam seam open.

Step Thirteen- Finish sewing the edge you left open. so you could bind the bias together.
Step Fourteen- Flip bias over and handstitch all the way around (using an invisible stitch) to the top of the changing pad.  Get ready for slightly sore fingers, that interfacing is not fun.
Step Fifteen-  Flip up pocket and sew in place along the inside edge of binding.  I handstitched this too, because the double layer is no joke.  I didn't even attempt it with the machine.  When you've finished one side, sew the bindings of that side together as well using a ladder stitch.
Holding pocket in place.  You'll want to stitch along the top and bottom inside edges of the binding, going through all layers to secure pocket in place.

Once you've sewn up one edge, insert the needle at an angle along your miter to begin sewing the binding together.

Oh, yucky lighting, but you can see how the bindings are now together and "neat".

Now, your baby can look snazzy even during a diaper change.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Lacy Panel Skirt with Waist Tie

I got a little bored this weekend (what's new, right?) and decided to see if I could make something without a pattern again.  I wanted to brainstorm a little bit, so I got out a piece of paper and a pen and came up with this:
Which eventually turned into this:

I took photos so I could post a tutorial if it worked.  It did!  So happy and here you have it....

Fabric:   Color A- enough for a 10" x 14.25" piece
               Color B- 1 yd.  (you'll have leftover) out of this,
                              cut two pieces 14.25"w x 31.5" l
               Color C- enough for 4 strips that are 2 1/2"w x 42"l each
               Lining Fabric- 2 yds.
Trim for the bottom.  75" (you will probably use about 72" but I always get a tad more than I need)
3/4" elastic
2 safety pins for threading elastic through casing
Thread in complimenting color
Rotary Cutter and Mat
Acrylic ruler for cutting
Disappearing marker pen
Knitting Needle- helpful but not a "must have"

Step One- Gather up your supplies and make sure that your fabric and trim choices are what you want.
Step Two- Cut your fabric.  These dimensions I give will make a skirt that is 13.5" long from top to tip of lace when finished when using 1.75" lace.  My lace was about 1.75" from top to bottom, minus seam allowance of 1/8".  Be sure to adjust your lace measurement depending upon the trim you use if you want it to be exact.  (I'm an "eyeballer" myself.)  If you want a longer skirt, add or subtract the length you want on top of the 13.5" to the width of colors A & B.
From Color A- cut a piece that is 14.25" w x 10" l 
From Color B- cut two 14.25" w x 31.5" l pieces
From Color C- cut four 2 1/2" w x 42" l strips

Step Three-  Take your piece of Color A (the middle panel) and fold it in half, right sides together.  Using your ruler and disappearing fabric pen (I used a ballpoint on this one b/c the dot is super tiny and will disappear into your seam), mark 2.5" in from the fold.  Fold is on the right in this photo.

Then, line your ruler up from the dot you just made down to the bottom left corner. Cut.

When you open it up, your piece should look like this:
Step Four- Take one of your Color B pieces and place it flat on your cutting surface.  Line the top corner of Color A to the top of the right side of your Color B piece, and the straight edge of Color A should lie on top of Color B so that both flat sides (of colors A & B) line up.
Photo with Color A flipped back to show how it will lie on Color B

After making sure straight edges line up and both pieces are flat and smooth, lay acrylic ruler on top of Color A and cut Color B.

Step Five- Take your other piece of Color B and do the same thing to it on the opposite side.  (the left side of Color B.)

Your pieces should look like this now-
Step Six- Pin Color A onto left Color B, right sides together and sew seam.  Then do the same to the right Color B piece.
Pinned to Color B Sew 1/4" seam.

Step Seven-  Measure the length of your panel and cut lining fabric to the same length and width.
Step Eight- Pin trim onto bottom and stitch over stiching on trim.  (In my case, I had a 1/8" seam.)
Step Nine- Fold skirt right-sides together and pin edge, lining up trim.  Sew seam.  Then, fold up lining right -sides together and sew that seam as well.

Step Ten- Starting at the back seam, line the two seams on the lining and skirt together.  With right sides together, sandwich the trim in between the lining and the skirt, lining up the raw edges.  Pin together.

Then, flip the skirt so you can see the seam that you sewed on the wrong side of your colored (not lining) fabric when you sewed your trim to it.  Use that seam as a guide to stitch all three layers (main fabric, trim, and lining) together.
The seam is kind of hard to see b/c I used white thread.  Stitch down all three layers together.
Step Eleven- Flip up lining and press the skirt lining side out (right side of main fabric on ironing board, lace trim out.  Then, press top seam 1/2" down around the entire top of the skirt.  Flip down again another 1" and press again.  This will be the casing for your elastic.
Step Twelve-  I forgot to take pictures for this step since it was getting late and the kids were being well... kids.  Use your acrylic ruler and disappearing marker pen to draw a line down the inside of your lining fabric right below the main fabric of your elastic casing.  Then, flip up the pressed casing and cut 1/4" about the line on your lining fabric.

After you've trimmed the lining fabric, tuck everything back, repressing the casing folds if you have to.  Trimming the lining cuts back on bulk that you would have in your casing otherwise.

Then, starting about 1" away from the back middle seam sew as close to the edge of the casing (the blue line on the photo) as possible, stopping about 3 fingers away from completing the circle around.  Backtack at the beginning and end a few steps to make sure your stitches stay put.
Leave space to insert your elastic
Step Thirteen- Cut your 3/4" elastic the same size as your child's waist.  Pin one side of your elastic to the lining of the skirt, and attach a safety pin to the opposity side to help you thread it through the casing.  Thread through, being careful not to twist elastic as you pull.  I like to fold back my elastic edges before pinning so the pin won't rip through when you're pulling it through the casing.

After pulling it all the way through.  Make sure the elastic isn't twisted in any way and then sew it together back and forth a few times.  Push it the rest of the way inside the casing and sew the gap you left closed. 

Now you should have this-

Step Fourteen- Take two of your four strips of Color C and put them right-sides together, lining them up. Use your ruler to cut one side at a 45 degree angle.
Then, starting at the other end (the non-angled end), Sew 1/4" off the edge down the length of the strip, around the angle, and back up the other side.  DO NOT SEW THE SHORT END CLOSED.
Repeat with other 2 strips of Color C. Then, turn them right-side out.  A knitting needle helps.

Step Fifteen- Press your ties (Color C strips) flat.  Then, tuck the raw edge inside of itself and sew closed.  Repeat with other tie.

Step Sixteen- Sew short ends (the ones you just tucked inside themselves) of the ties together and then lining them up with the top part of the skirt, secure to one side of the skirt.

Now you can wrap the ties around and tie in a bow on the opposite side.