Saturday, September 6, 2014

Sew Cheap Summer Challenge Final Update

It's that time again... time to update the Sew Cheap Summer Challenge List.

WAIT???  What about the 10th project?  What about the gathered clutch I had promised to sew???  Sadly, it did not happen.  I tried, but time ran out and, if I'm honest, so did my drive.  I have the pieces cut out, so maybe I'll still try to make it.  However, for the purposes of this challenge, I'd rather be truthful and tell you it didn't happen.  And you know what?  I'm ok with that.  I've really enjoyed the push of having a public goal like this challenge.  And I've had a great summer sewing up all sorts of projects for family and friends.  I will definitely set a goal like this for myself again, so in my book, the challenge was definitely a success!

Turning back to the point of this post, here is my original list of 10 sewing goals for summer updated to show the changes I've made and the projects I've completed.
  1. Tiny Curtsy Skirt  Completed 6/21
  2. Easy Baby Dress Completed 8/30 (was going to be the Itty Bitty Baby Dress )
  3. Infant Peasant Dress  Completed 6/27
  4. Summer Stripes Skirt  Completed 6/5 ( was going to be the Reversible Wrap Top)
  5. The Party Dress  Completed 6/13
  6. Gobble Gobble Turkey Shirt  Completed 8/29
  7. Gathered Clutch DID NOT COMPLETE 
  8. Felt Fringe Christmas Tree Skirt Completed 7/6 (was going to be the Mooshy Belly Bunny )
  9. Lamb Pillows  Completed 7/24 
  10. Pillow Cover Completed 8/30
In my July update, my spending total for the summer was $34. With these final four projects complete, my updated total spent for the summer was $65.50. Not bad for a summer's worth of sewing!

Overall, this has been just the motivation I needed to get going on my ever-expanding list of sewing to-dos!  And I would highly recommend others to try this for themselves in the future!!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Project #9: Pillows

photo 3This one was a long, long time coming.  We've had our couch two years now and ta da! It finally has pillows!  Whew... I am so relieved to get this project finished.

Who: For our family.

What: I originally thought I'd do envelope enclosures, but they didn't seem finished enough for the fabric I found.  After reading through this tutorial, I felt like I was up for trying zippers.  I didn't follow her tutorial completely, but it was the inspiration I needed to get started.

Cost: The fabric is a curtain I bought a long time ago, but didn't end up hanging up.  They cost (if I remember right) about $20 for the one panel.  I also bought the zippers from Joann's for $7 total.  The pillow forms I've had for years just waiting for this project.  (I'm not going to count their cost here, but they were from Ikea and super reasonable.)

P.S. The scripted pillow is a placemat that I filled with stuffing ages ago.  I just threw it in here for styling purposes.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Project #8: Easy Baby Dress

Who: This one is for my newest niece.  I used the same fabric earlier on the party dress (project #2).  I thought the two girl cousins might enjoy being twins.  Or at least the four year old might.  I'm not sure that the littlest one will be aware or care.  :)

What: I was originally going to use the Itty Bitty Baby Dress by Made by Rae, but changed my mind.  It's super adorable, but I wanted something with fixed straps.  Because of this, I ended up using See Kate Sew's Easy Baby Dress Pattern.  What I liked more about this option was the fixed straps which (bonus!) have elastic in them.  That should still make this one easy to get on and off baby.

Although I followed Kate's tutorial, I did make one significant change.  I cut the bodice pieces 1/2 inch longer, so that I could fold them under and sew the skirt bottom between the layers.  Basically, I took what I learned while sewing the party dress and applied it here.  It was more work, but I like this finish better.  I also top-stiched around the bodice (which I don't think is listed in the tutorial).

Cost: Almost nothing.  I had leftover fabric and thread on hand from the earlier dress.  All I needed to buy for this project was the elastic.  I paid $2.50 for a package at Joann's.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Project #7: The Gobble Gobble Turkey Shirt

photo 2I know it's September 1st.  But... it's Labor Day.  So it's kind of fitting (right???) to start the sharing of the last of my Sew Cheap Summer Challenge projects.

Confession: August got away from me.  It was busier than I had anticipated.  When I last posted in July, I thought it would be a breeze to finish this challenge.  But that was not the case.  For almost the entire month, I lost my sewing mojo.  But it's back.  And I just spent this long weekend catching up on my sewing.  Today, I have the first of my final four projects to share with you- the Gobble Gobble Turkey Shirt.

Who: This is for a niece.

What: My inspiration for the project was this shirt by The Cottage Mama.  I drafted my own pattern pieces which ended up being super easy.

I bought the t-shirt at Hobby Lobby a few weeks ago and then used different scraps of fabric for the feathers and body.  It was a great scrap-busting project.  In addition, I believe I sent this same niece the striped skirt (project #1), so she should be able to wear the two together.  Happy coincidence!

Cost: The shirt was clearances for $2.  I had the fabric, thread, and interfacing already.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Hooked on Hot Pads

I've been watching a lot of TV lately.  I don't know what it is- the heat, the reduced work load, something repressed from my childhood- but I can sit for hours and watch reruns.  Total time suck!  

To assuage my guilt a little, I've been trying to crochet or knit during these epic viewing marathons.  HOWEVER.... I can't take on any larger crochet or knit projects because I have two pillows I've been putting off for months and it just wouldn't be fair to them.  (Anyone else feel like they can't start a new project because they've been neglecting an older project for months? Please say I'm not alone in this!!)  So what's a TV viewing gal to do?  Crochet a hot pad, of course!

Who: This one is for my family to enjoy.

What: I was inspired by Sew Take a Hike's tutorial here.  I found a tip here about using freezer paper when sewing crochet onto fabric.  What a lifesaver!!  

Cost: Nothing.  Again.  Sorry!!!  I had several bits of yarn from previous projects- so this was a great stash-busting yarn project.  For the fabric, I used a very well-worn pair of khaki pants that I had in my throw away pile.  It was perfect- so soft, but still very strong for use in a hot pad.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sew Cheap Summer Challenge July Update

It's the end of July (can you believe how fast the summer is going by?) and time to update the Sew Cheap Summer Challenge List.  Once again, here is my original list of 10 sewing goals for summer updated to show the changes I've made and the projects I've completed.  
    1. Tiny Curtsy Skirt  Completed 6/21
    2. Itty Bitty Baby Dress
    3. Infant Peasant Dress  Completed 6/27
    4. Summer Stripes Skirt  Completed 6/5 ( was going to be the Reversible Wrap Top)
    5. The Party Dress  Completed 6/13
    6. Gobble Gobble Turkey Shirt
    7. Gathered Clutch
    8. Felt Fringe Christmas Tree Skirt Completed 7/6 (was going to be the Mooshy Belly Bunny )
    9. Lamb Pillows Completed 7/24 
    10. Pillow Cover
And now a word about budget.  When I last updated you, I had spent $25.  Since then, I've spent an additional $9.00 on the peasant dress and tree skirt.  The lamb pillow was made with materials I already had on hand.  This brings my total for summer to $34.  Not bad, I think.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Project #6: Little Lamb Pillow

Today, I bring you my girly version of the Little Lamb Pillow.  This was seriously one of the fastest and most immediately pleasing projects of the summer.  I think I had the whole thing cut, sewn and filled within an hour.  And it turned out adorable!!  I love it!!

And now for the details:

Who: Well if the pictures below are any indication, this one may go to the dog.

What: I used this pattern and tutorial from The Purl Bee.

Brief Tangent- have you checked out Purl Soho's website (The Purl Bee) before?  It's one of my absolute favorite spots to go for crafting inspiration.  They have a wonderful collection of sewing, crocheting, knitting (and more) projects for all skill levels.  As a newbie knitter, I've had success with their knitting projects.  Also as a long-time crocheter, I've found their patterns super easy to follow.  And, of course, their sewing projects are also really unique and inspired.  Really, I can't say enough good things about this site.  

Cost: Nothing.  I had the pink felt from the winter and the white felt was leftover from my tree skirt.  I even had just enough stuffing sitting around to finish this off.  I love when a project works out like this.

Before you go, I originally planned to photograph this on the couch with a blanket.  However, Mollie had other ideas as you can see.  What a cutie!!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Where Have I Been?

Well, I got side tracked.  I was looking around online last week and got caught up in a series of posts Jess at Craftiness Is Not Optional did on making Barbie® clothes.  Her sewing ideas were super straight forward and seemed easy to do.  And it looked like a great way to bust through my stash of fabric scraps.

Ok, time for a confession.  I was so smitten that I went out and bought a Barbie® just so I could sew her clothes!  I know, I know... it's terrible.  I have since learned, though, that my niece does indeed like to play with Barbies®, so I have someone to gift this doll and wardrobe to.  Whew....  
First up, I started with Jess's ideas for making a dress with darts and a velcro enclosure.  So easy.  And look how cute it turned out!  The belt is made from bias tape and black felt.  I think she looks ready to hit the beach in this dress.

But maybe Barbie® isn't headed to the beach today.  Maybe, instead, she just wants to do some shopping in Santa Barbara.  (Ok, maybe it's just me who wants to do some shopping in Santa Barbara.)  Well, she'll need a cute skirt and tank top for that.  And a cute purse- a must!!  I used Jess's tutorial for both the skirt and the tank top.  The only difference I made was to line the skirt with a contrasting fabric, so that I didn't need to enclose the elastic.

Last item to share today- Pajamas!  For the pants and top, I simply drafted a pattern by tracing a rough outline of Barbie® on to paper.  I added seam allowances and was ready to go.  This is definitely one of my favorite creations- it's just so cute to see Barbie® all cozy in flannel pajamas!

Final Details
 Who: For my niece (eventually)

What: I used some of Jess at Craftiness Is Not Optional's tutorials for Barbie® clothes. 

Cost: Nothing... except for the Barbie®.  Ha ha!!  For the rest, I've just been busting through all my scraps of fabric.  Love it!!!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Project #5: Felt Fringe Christmas Skirt

Who: This one is for myself.  A little selfish, a little early Christmas sewing for myself!  

What: I used the tutorial from Pretty Prudent to make a version of their Felt Fringe Christmas Skirt.   I've been looking for a tree skirt since we moved into our house several years ago.  We have much taller ceilings in our new house and have been getting a 9 or 10 foot tall tree every Christmas.  Unfortunately, finding a tree skirt has been impossible.  I've had three requirements: it has to be large, it has to be non-traditional (especially color-wise), and it has to be cheap.

The ladies at Pretty Prudent do a great job with their tutorial, so I won't bore you with another set of directions.  I will, however, share a little about the dimensions of my skirt.  
  • I used 3 yards of red flannel as my base.  Before beginning, I cut this and sewed it together to make a larger square.  From that, I cut out my skirt base.  
  • I used 1/2 yard each of the four colors to make the fringe.  For all four colors of felt, I cut them into 3 inch high strips (giving me 6 long strips of each color).  I cut my fringe about 3 inches wide.
  • In addition to fringe strips, I also cut 2 inch high strips of the pale pink felt to sew as binding around all the cut edges of my red flannel.  I don't know exactly how much it took to do this, but my guesstimate is that I used a little less than 1 yard of the pale pink felt to make both the fringe and binding.

I absolutely LOVE the end result!!  It's such a big, bright skirt and I can't wait to use it this Christmas!

Cost: I had about half of this fabric in my stash: 3 yards of red flannel, 1 yard of pale pink felt (didn't use it all), and 1/4 yard of white felt.  I bought the (additional) white, fuchsia and teal from Joann's.  In total, I spent $ 7.50 and spent 2 afternoons working on this- maybe 6-8 hours total.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Project #4: Infant Peasant Dress

Who: For another baby shower gift

What: I used the pattern from Sew Much Ado to make the Infant Peasant Dress.  Between her pattern and tutorial, Abby makes it super easy to create this stunning dress.  And it uses hardly any fabric at all, so I was able to buy the fabric for this dress from the remnant bin.  Love that!  Overall, I only made one change and that was to add the band at the bottom of the dress.  I used what I learned while making the Cottage Mama Party Dress to finish the skirt this way.  Oh and I added the flower with some scraps I had around.

Cost: I bought the fabric from the discount bin at Joann's and used some elastic I purchased in bulk.  In total, I think I spent about $1.50 to make this dress (but it could be less).  I'm definitely planning on making more soon.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sew Cheap Summer Challenge Update

So... it's now nearly the end of June and I think it's time to update how I'm doing on this list of summer sewing projects.  Here is the original list of my to 10 sewing goals for the summer updated to show the changes I've talked about making and the projects I've already finished.  So far, I've completed 3 projects and spent a total of $25.
    1. Tiny Curtsy Skirt  Completed 6/21
    2. Itty Bitty Baby Dress
    3. Infant Peasant Dress
    4. Summer Stripes Skirt  Completed 6/5 ( was going to be the Reversible Wrap Top)
    5. The Party Dress  Completed 6/13
    6. Gobble Gobble Turkey Shirt
    7. Gathered Clutch
    8. Mooshy Belly Bunny  Will probably replace with a tree skirt (see below)
    9. Lamb Pillows
    10. Pillow Cover

Favorite Tree Skirts:
Felt Fringe Christmas Tree Skirt from Prudent Baby (with tutorial!):

Source: Prudent Baby
Ruffled Tree Skirt from The Crafted Sparrow (with tutorial):
Source: The Crafted Sparrow
It's been a fantastic, crafty summer so far and I'm looking forward to crossing off more of these projects in the next month.  And it's not too late for anyone else who wants to join this Sew Cheap Summer Challenge!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Project #3: Tiny Curtsy Skirt

Who: For a baby shower gift

What: I used a tutorial from Sewing in No Mans Land (so many cute kids clothes!!!) to make the Tiny Curtsy Skirt.  Based on the tutorial, I wasn't completely sure how big to make this skirt, so I found a few size charts online and used them as a reference.  Ultimately, I cut 2 strips of fabric 8 x 34 inches (one white and one yellow) that I sewed completely together to make a fully lined skirt.  The original tutorial has them joined at the top and hemmed separately at the bottom which I changed simply because I don't like hemming.  

Cost: I bought a yard of white cotton fabric at the beginning of June and I found the yellow fabric in the discount bin at Joann's.  Altogether, the fabric and elastic (just the amount I used) cost me about $2.50 (maybe less).

Friday, June 13, 2014

Project #2: Cottage Mama Party Dress

Who: For my 3 year old niece

What: I used the pattern and tutorial from Cottage Mama to make this Party Dress. I'm so impressed with this pattern- it's easy to follow, includes a lot of size options and the final result is a very professional looking dress! Love it! The fabric was from Hobby Lobby's spring line.

Cost: I spent about $20 to make this skirt. The fabric was more than I expected, but it was pink and has sparkly Eiffel Towers on it (hard to see in the pic, but cute in person). I also had to buy the gray fabric and buttons for the back. But the results are totally worth it!

Monday, June 9, 2014

More Project Ideas

Right after hitting publish on this post, I realized I had left off a couple of other projects I want to work on around the house this summer.  I've been so crazy about sewing kids clothes, that I had totally forgotten about these.

#1) Throw Pillows for the couch.
This one is mentioned on my list without any details.  Right now, our couch is in desperate need of throw pillows.  I started a couple of crocheted pillow covers back in January that I'd like to finish.  In addition, I want to also sew some pillow covers that I could change depending on my mood (and thus, the Martha Stewart link).  Right now, I'm leaning towards sewing a mix of holiday pillow covers (like this or this), quirky pillow covers (like this or this) or travel related pillow covers (like these).  The tough part of completing this project will be narrowing it down and keeping it within my budget.

#2) Framed Maps for the dining room wall.
This should be easiest of my additional projects since I have most of the materials already.  Six months ago, I bought a set of frames at a garage sale.  Next up, I want to stain them espresso and put in new pictures.  I'm leaning towards maps like this, this or this, but nothing is finalized.

and finally, a biggie...

#3) A Tree Skirt.
I know it's only June, but during the holiday season, I simply have no time to sew.  Thus, it's been several years of me simply throwing some loose fabric under the tree and calling it a "skirt."  If I'm going to be ready this coming Christmas, I need to start now.  The problem with this project is that I haven't seen any one tree skirt that made me say, "yeah, that one!!"  I've seen so many great ideas that I'm just not sure which direction I want to go in.  So far, I'm loving some sort of combination of this, this and this.

Definitely, some of my original projects may get bumped in order to give me time and money to focus on these ones.  But that's ok because I'm super excited to tackle these... if I can ever make up my mind!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Project #1: Summer Stripes Skirt

So my first project of the Sew Cheap Summer Challenge isn't from my top 10 list.  Fail.  But it was something that didn't require I buy much and used up some of my favorite fabric scraps.  That's a win in my book!

Who: For my 3 year old niece
What: I used the tutorial from Elegance & Elephants and fabric scraps to make this skirt.  My first purchases of the summer were this white cotton and the 3/4 inch elastic I used in the waistband.
Cost: I spent about $5 to make this skirt because I needed to buy the white fabric and elastic.  Everything else I already had on hand.

Skirts are easy to make, but can be a little boring.  At least that's how I feel when I make them.  With this skirt, I appreciated that I got to use several sweet, summery fabrics as stripes.  It's just a little different detail, but I think it makes all the difference.  This skirt was quick and fun and one that I already have plans to make again.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Sew Cheap Summer Challenge

This post has been percolating in my mind for about a month.  I have a long list of {mostly} sewing projects I've been wanting to tackle and, now with summer coming, I should have the time to complete some of them.  I've learned, though, that all this crafting can quickly become expensive.  My personal challenge this summer is to satisfy this need to create and to do it as frugally as possible.  I'm calling it the Sew Cheap Summer Challenge! 
I'll be working hard to try out all those fabulous sewing and crafting pins I've collected and to use up as much as possible of the fabric and craft items I've been collecting.  Of course, I'll probably need to buy more :)  But in staying with the hope of being frugal, I am giving this challenge a budget of $100 total... for 3 months of sewing and crafting!  Will you join me?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

When the Elephant Walks

Book Quote
I love the idea of giving books to children.  When the Elephant Walks is creative and funny.  I love the illustrations.  It'll be the perfect book to go along with this elephant plushie.  Together, these are headed off for a special little guy's birthday.


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Making Baby Doll Clothes

photo-12Who: For a dear friend's daughter.
What: I used the patterns and tutorials from The Blueberry Moon's Nakey Baby series to make these.

I searched high and low to find free patterns for Bitty Baby doll clothes to make.  Blueberry Moon's tutorial seemed easy to follow and looked super cute. In the end, I used a copy machine to blow the pattern up slightly.  The blanket used up scraps from making the doll clothes.
I would definitely make these again.