Posts tagged tutorial

Simple Gathered Maxi Skirt Tutorial

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You may remember that I made a maxi skirt a little while ago. It was so cute and so comfy that I thought I would make another one and I had the perfect fabric just waiting for me (got it from a little local shop – The Fabricker)! It’s seriously like wearing pajama pants in public, but much more attractive (although I’m still not very fond of the name – why ‘maxi’? It sounds like a feminine product). I’ve had a couple of real-life friends ask me how I came up with the pattern, so I thought I would do a little tutorial to show you guys what I did. There are a total of 4 seams (plus one gathering seam) in this skirt so it comes together pretty quick and easy!

salmon maxi skirt

First off, you need:

  • 2 yards of jersey fabric
  • 2″ wide no roll elastic
  • ball point needles
  • scissors
  • thread
  • marker/sewing pencil
  • walking foot (optional but very helpful)
I choose to use a walking foot because it reduces how much I try to push or pull on the fabric. A lot of people are afraid of jersey because of the waviness that can develop when sewing with a stretchy fabric – for me the combination of a ball point needle, zigzag stitch, walking foot and ironing the seams regularly as I go takes care of any waviness. Most importantly, do not push or pull the fabric! Let the jersey feed evenly through your machine. I choose to use a zig zag stitch because it is the best looking stretch stitch from my machine. Your machine may have several stretch stitch options – try them all out on some scrap jersey fabric and see what you like best!

The seam allowances I used were about 1/2″ – I was not very precise as jersey is very forgiving. Back stitch all seams unless otherwise stated.

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You will need your waist measurement (x) and the skirt length measurement (y). Add about 1/2″-1″ to your length measurement to allow for the hem and the attachement of the skirt top to the waist band.

Take your waist measurement and multiple it by 2 – this will allow you to get the gathers at the top of the skirt. You are creating a rectangle that is 2(x) by (y). Check the selvedge of your fabric and make sure to cut off any edges that look bad. The past two jersey fabrics I’ve used have had a glued (?) edge that needed to be removed before I started sewing.

Cut all pieces of fabric.

  • The waist band is 5″ thick by (x) wide.
  • Your skirt body is 2(x) by (y). Here is the easiest way I saw to cut the pieces from the fabric. Lay the fabric out on the fold, selvedge edge to selvedge edge. Cut your length (y) and waistband.
  • You can also cut your elastic to be the length of (x) at this time.
Then sew straight up the open (y) edge to create a tube. This seam will go in the back.

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Next up, the waistband. Fold the fabric in half long-ways and sew up the long side.

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This will create a casing that will just fit the 2″ elastic.

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Bring the short ends together and sew just the inside half of the casing together, allowing for enough room to thread the elastic through.

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Thread the elastic through and overlap. Pin.

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Sew several times so that the elastic lays flat and trim off any excess elastic.

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Pull the waistband so that the elastic lays flat within the casing. Hand sew the opening shut.

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Now to finish the skirt – set your machine to the longest straight stitch and baste, close to the top. Do not backstitch.

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It will look a little wonky when you are done, like this.

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You can see that waistband is much smaller than the top of the skirt, so gently pull the top basting threads, distributing the gathers across the top of the skirt, until…

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The waist band and skirt top are the same width.

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With the skirt still inside out (seam on the outside), place the waist band inside the skirt, with the raw edges matching. Pin.

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Sew, with a zig zag stitch, just below the basted stitch, careful not to catch the elastic. Trim any extra bulk in the seam and iron flat. Hem if desired. I chose to fold the bottom edge up about 1/4″ and zig zag stitched it in place for a clean finish, but since jersey doesn’t fray, this is not a necessary step.

Enjoy your new maxi skirt!

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a few more sewing clothing attempts

Can’t get enough skirts lately! Found this one on pinterest . . . it’s another Paperbag Skirt tutorial. I used quilting cotton and I’m not sure how I feel about it. It wrinkles really easily. I need to get acquainted with other clothing fabric options. I do like the shape and the feel of this skirt though and it was pretty easy to make. Oh! And a very successful side zipper installation on this one! No elastic! Woo hoo!

Paper Bag Skirt

I saw this one hour dress quite some time ago, but it was when I was still scared of jersey. I tried this one out at the sewcial awhile back. I must say, it didn’t go quite as planned. I had the kinda happy accident of making the neckline too big. Oops. Luckily it kinda looks intentional. I like the off the shoulder look. Unluckily it is a bit too short, so it’s more of a tunic than a dress. I was hoping to achieve a look like this with the navy dress, mustard tights, boots and cardi for fall but I might have fallen a little short (ha, pun intended).

One Hour Tunic Dress

Another pinterest find here. I stole one (actually two) of my husbands undershirts (sorry honey, I’ll buy you more) and actually made this one twice. Once it was a little too short. . . the way the tutorial goes, you cut of the bottom of the shirt to make the ruffle. I have a long torso. It was too short. So I used my short shirt to make the ruffle from its bottom and then just took in and cut the arm off another shirt. Kinda a fun look.

White Shirt Refashion

Hmm and I had one more easy shirt to show you but it seems as if that picture has been deleted! To be continued. . .

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Pocket Diaper Tutorial

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Alright, this has been a long time coming! You may remember the diaper shower that I helped throw and the cloth diapers that I whipped up for the mama to be! I promised you guys a tutorial, and a tutorial you will have. There are many reasons to make your own diapers – cute fabrics, custom fits and we averaged our cost per diaper to be about $7 a diaper – much cheaper than what pocket diapers typically sell for!

Here are the materials you need:

  • ~25″ of 1/4″ wide swimsuit elastic cut into two 6″ pieces and two 4.5″ pieces
  • 18″ x 20″ butter suede cloth (we found this at Hancocks for $5.99 a yard), there are option options that you could use, but we found that this was the cheapest and most widely available
  • 18″ x 20″ PUL Fabric
  • 1.5″ wide Aplix Hook and Loop Tape (Velcro is not a good option – it won’t stand up to the wear and tear like aplix): 14″ Loop tape and 4″ of hook tape, if you will be making lots of diapers, you could invest in plastic snaps and a snap setter, but it is a tad pricey.
  • Coordinating Polyester Thread
  • Printable Pattern (pdf) – this pattern is approximately a small/medium size diaper so I think it would fit a 6 month old up to a thin 2 year old – Jude still fits in his!

I modified the pattern because the rise seems too long and the front tab didn’t seem wide enough to me. . . Our diaper cuts ended up being a little narrow, so I modified the tabs to be a bit shorter as well. Ideally, I would have left the width on the tabs. You could also trace a cloth diaper you already have.

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

Using the modified pattern on the fold, trace and cut the pattern on the PUL and the butter suede.

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

Center 7.5″ of the loop side of the Aplix (the soft side) on the front of the PUL. Edge stitch in place.

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

The pattern has marks showing where to tack the elastic, I moved the elastic up just a bit on the front of the diaper. The 6″ pieces are for the legs and the 4.5″ is for the pocket opening on the back. Using a satin stitch or a tight zig zag stitch, tack the elastic onto the wrong side of the suede cloth as shown on the pattern and this photo:

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

On the PUL, tack one 4.5″ piece of elastic on the back (if you are making a pocket diaper – if you are making a diaper cover, there is no need to double up the elastic or have the extra flap on the PUL).

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

I used quilting clips to clip the PUL and the butter suede right sides together.

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

Make sure to sew with the butter suede on top otherwise the PUL will stretch (you could use a teflon or walking foot if you want to sew with PUL side up). You want to start the stitching at the edge of the pocket opening – stitching around the whole diaper  leaving the pocket open. So, with the suede facing up, starting at the right side of the pocket, stitch as close to the edge as possible – making sure that you are going through both layers of fabric. Be careful not to catch the elastic in your stitching.

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

Here’s what the diaper will look like:

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

Trim any excess fabric, especially around the curves.

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

Now you have to create the tubing that the elastic will sit in around the pocket. I started with the elastic around the pocket on the PUL side. Fold over the PUL using the existing stitching to guide the depth of the fold.

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

With the needle in the down position, stitch down the short side to the corner and turn. Often, I would make sure to stitch over the elastic once more to secure it even further.

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

Carefully stitch the long side, making sure not to catch the elastic in your stitching.

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

It helps to pull the fabric tight as you stitch, allowing the fabric behind the foot to bunch.

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

This is what it will look like once you have encased the elastic.

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

Do the same for the butter suede!

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

Turn right side out – it’s starting to look like a diaper now, isn’t it!

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

Now it’s time to edge stitch the diaper and encase the elastic around the leg holes. With the butter suede on top, starting at the right side of the pocket, edge stitch.

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

You should be able to see the tack you make to secure the leg elastic, so edge stitch until you get to the tack. Make sure the needle is in the down position. Turn and stitch about 3/8″  away from the edge. You want it to be far enough away for the elastic to have plenty of room in the casing.

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

Turn again to stitch parallel about 3/8″ from the edge for the length of the elastic. You will stop once you get to the second elastic tack mark. Turn and stitch the 3/8″ back to the edge.

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

The stitching around the elastic casing will look like this:

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

Complete the edge stitching, creating another casing around the other leg hole. Here is what the completed edge stitched diaper will look like.

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

Now it’s time to add the remaining aplix to the tabs. I included ‘washing’ tabs to fold the hook side down during washing to prevent snagging. These pieces around about 1.5″ wide. I rounded the corners of the pieces that will be on the ends of the tabs for aesthetics. It’s not necessary if you don’t want to create the curve.

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

Edge stitch the hook portion on the interior tabs of the diaper. Follow with the loop part of the aplix. Repeat on the other side.

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

I included a loop piece of the aplix on the exterior of one side of the diaper to allow for crossover securing of the diaper. This isn’t necessary, but I find it nice to have.

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

Here is the completed front of the diaper:

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

And here is the back!

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

There is definitely a learning curve in making these diapers, but after you complete one, you’ll find a rhythm! I could make about four in two hours.

As far as what to insert in the diapers for absorbency,  you can use 4-6 layers of flannel or hemp sewn together with a zigzag stitch. Really any absorbant material will work – layers of old towels, cotton . . . Or you can just buy inserts!

Lots of Diapers!

Have fun making diapers with this tutorial! And let me know if you have any questions!

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pastry blender tutorial

I got a request last week to do a little tutorial on using a pastry blender. This is the one I have if you were looking to buy one for yourself. A food processor is often used to replaced a pastry blender, but in my opinion, there is no substitute for a little elbow grease! You would use a pastry blender for biscuits, scones, pie crusts, pastry doughs. . . anything where you want bits of butter distributed through the dough. Last week, I used it to make scones.

You start with COLD butter. Cold is the key here. You don’t want the butter melting. Cut up the butter into 1/4″ cubes. If it starts getting melty because you have hot hands, stick it in the freezer until it’s solid again. Cold is the key.

pastry blender

Toss the cubed cold butter into your dry ingredients that have already been whisked together. If you don’t whisk the ingredients, the leavening agent could stick to the butter making your food taste bad. And we don’t want that, do we?

pastry blender

Pastry blender! Side note, when I was growing up, I thought that this was for mashing potatoes. It works for that too, but I missed out on years of pastry making because I didn’t know what it was actually for. Anyways, grab the pastry blender and begin to mash the butter into the dry ingredients. We’re looking for the butter to be broken up into little pieces and coated with the dry ingredients. Coarse ground meal is the texture we’re looking for. But really, who knows what coarse ground meal looks like?

pastry blender

This is too chunky. Too many big pieces.

pastry blender

Ah, and we’ve arrived. Check this out.

pastry blender

It’s ok if there are still some bigger chunks in the mix. It’s better to err a little bit on the too coarse side than on the too blended side. If things are getting melty at this point, feel free to put the dough in the freezer again. Cold. Seriously.

pastry blender

And this is the final way to judge success. After you have added the rest of your wet ingredients to the dough (in this case, it was cream), you do a quick knead to the dough – and quick is key, no melting butter, remember? Keep your hot hands in the dough for as little time as possible. Once done, you should see chunks of butter in the dough. That’s exactly what we’re looking for! When you bake your items that butter will melt into a little pocket of goodness. It lends a flaky, buttery, tender texture.

pastry blender

Alright, tutorial ‘pastry blender’ done! Let me know if you have any questions!

There are different reliable online pharmacies. But others aren’t pharmacies at all. Online is a cost efficient way to buy medicines. Without fail, you have to check with your pharmacist to see whether one of these medications is a confer choice for you. Viagra is a drug used to treat varied infections. What do you think about “vardenafil vs sildenafil“? What could patients tell a soundness care vocational before taking Viagra? What is the most great info you should know about “http://rootinfonline.com/cialis-for-daily-use.html“? The very substantial matter you must look for is “cialis for daily use“. Remember to diagnose a man’s erectile problem, the soundness care purveyor likely will begin with a thorough history of symptoms. There are side effects possible with any type of remedy.