Monday, October 31, 2011

Peacock Costume and Halloween Outfit

Man, I love holidays! I got a little carried away with Halloween this year. Not only did I make Laura a costume, but I also made her a little Halloween outfit. I splurged on the peacock costume and spent around $20. Unfortunantly, there is no cheap substitute for feathers so I had to do it. And as much as I don't like spending money, I felt like this costume was so worth it.

Laura went trick or treating with her friend tonight. These two girls are the best of friends.

I helped her mother sew her costume since she had an idea of what she wanted but has never sewn anything before. She was an alien and she looked so cute. The only thing better than a toddler dressed up for Halloween is two toddlers dressed up for Halloween. I envy mothers who have twins. I'm sure it is a lot of work, but it's got to be all worth it when you get to make two adorable coordinating costumes.

Her halloween shirt and skirt were made from an old knit skirt that I don't wear anymore, an old black sheet that we no longer use, and some scraps of white and black polka dot. I used freeer paper to stencil on the skeleton. Laura loves her shirt. When I showed it to her, she said, "It's my pirate shirt!" I didn't even know she knew that word!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Skinny Jeans Tutorial

I love making Laura's clothes because I can make them just the right size. Laura is a 3T in length and 12-18 months in width. When I buy pants they are either too short, or she can't keep them up because they keep falling off her hips. So, I decided to make her some skinny jeans that fit. Laura loves them because they are stretchy and comfortable like leggings, and I love them because they are CHEAP and adorable.

The best part about these pants is that they are 1) super cheap (did I already say that?) and 2) super fast. You can make a pair in about an hour, which in my house translates to 2.5 episodes of Dora.

My friend asked me how I made them so I decided to put together a small tutorial on the process. I think you will be amazed at how fast and easy they are! All you need is a pair of pants that you will be cutting up to make your skinny jeans and an old pair of leggings that you can cut up to use as a pattern. I cut up a pair that had holes in the knee and have used the pattern multiple times for lots of different projects. (pajama bottoms, leggings, skinny jeans, etc)

1. Find an old pair of jeans or pants that you can cut up and shrink down to your little one's size. In selecting your pants, pull on the fabric of the pants and see if the fabric stretches. Remember these are going to fit like leggings so there needs to be a little bit of give. It does not need to be as stretchy as jersey knit, it just needs to have some give to it. For the first pair I made, I used an old pair of skinny jeans that were a little too skinny for me. The second pair I made was from a pair of corduroy pants I bought for $2 at a thrift store.

2. Cut each pant leg open by cutting down the middle seam from the crotch down to the ankle. Lay the pant flat on your table or floor.

3. Pin your pattern piece on top being careful to keep the middle seam right in the middle of the pattern. You want to place the pattern so that the bottom hem of the old pants will be the bottom hem of the new pants we are sewing. Remember, this pattern in only a guide. I always add extra length so they will go all the way to her ankle and I also add an inch or two on top. You can always cut this off later if it is too much. Also, give yourself a 1/4 - 1/2 inch seam allowance around the edge of the pattern as you cut it out.

4. Once the leg piece is cut out, lay it on the other pant leg, right sides together. Line up the the center seams and bottom hem, pin, and cut the second leg piece.

5.Take the two pieces, still pinned together, to your sewing machine and sew from the crotch to the waist on both sides of the pant legs. Do not sew from the crotch to the bottom hem.

6. Remove the pins. Fold your pants open so they look like pants. Starting at the bottom hem of one leg, sew up the leg to the crotch and continue on to the bottom hem of the other leg piece. Be careful to line up the bottom hem and the crotch seam.

You are basically done at this point! You can keep this simple and just sew a casing around the waist,thread in your elastic and call it good. Or you can make things a little more difficult like I did. I wanted the finished pair to have a flat front and I wanted to take advantage of the belt loops and button on the original jeans. Here's what I did:

7. Cut the waist band off the old pants. Cut above the seam so that the waist bad pieces can fold open. If there are belt loops cut around them since you will be using them on your new pants.

8. Cut two pieces from the waist band that are the same size as the front and back of the pants plus 1/2 inch for seam allowance. Center these two pieces so that you will have the button in the middle front and the back belt loop in the middle back.

9. Cut a piece of elastic a couple of inches shorter than the length of the back waist band piece and place it inside back waist band. Sew each end of the elastic to the end of the waist band piece. Sew the front waist band piece to the back waist band piece making sure to sew to catch the elastic in your seams.

10. Sew the waist band piece on to the pants, making sure to line up the side seams. The front piece should sew on fairly easily. The back piece will be a little trickier because of the elastic that causes the fabric to bunch up. Just go slowly, smoothing down the fabric as you go.

You should end up with a flat front pair of skinny jeans.

Now go turn off Dora and take your child to the park to show off her new pair of pants.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

More Clothes

I've been doing lots more sewing for Laura lately. My goal is to see how much of Laura's fall wardrobe I can refashion from my pile of unwanted clothes and how little I have to spend on new clothes. There are some things you can't sew: shoes, cardigans, socks. etc. But I have managed to make things that I didn't think I could like a coat and matching hat from one of my old dresses. I will have to post a picture of that another day. But for today, here are pics of a cute little shirt downsized from one of mine. I shrunk it down and replaced the buttons with some more colorful ones.

And here is a cute little dress I made from one of Peter's dress shirts that got a hole in the elbow.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dinosaur Jammies

I made Laura some dinosaur jammies since dinosaurs are her favorite thing ever these days. Is it just Laura or are all 2 year olds obsessed with dinosaurs and monsters? She runs around the house all day roaring and yelling, "I gonna eat you momma." Maybe I have let her watch one too many episodes of Dinosaur Train on PBS kids. The shirt didn't turn out as well as planned but the leggings turned out perfect. And my pile of unwanted clothes is now 2 T-shirts smaller.

Monday, September 5, 2011

More Sewing for Laura

I am still working my way through a gigantic pile of clothes that we don't wear anymore. And with each item I remove from the pile, Laura gets a new item added to her closet. Here are the latest clothing redo's.

Bustle Skirt and Tie Top
I made the top out of Peter's old dress shirt that got a big hole in the elbow. And the skirt I made out of a Bridesmaid's dress I wore a few years ago when I was pregnant with Laura. I used the lining inside the dress for the ruffles.

This came from one of Peter's old hoodies that has never fit him very well. I think it fits Laura much cuter.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

zebra jammies

Last spring I made 2 pairs of jammies for Laura. They are her favorite. She is constantly asking to wear her "giraffe" and "kitty cat" jammies. So, when I saw this old tank top sitting in my bin of clothes to be recycled, I decided it would be perfect for some zebra jammies.

I cut up a pair of Laura's leggings that had holes in them and used them for a pattern for the pants. I used some pink knit from an ugly dress also in the "to be recycled" bin, to make a shirt.

She loves them. And I love that they were free.

Total Cost: Free