Friday, May 8, 2009

Shhhhhh......don't tell

You might've heard me mention in recent posts that the fertility rate is up in our town - well at work anyway ~ you haven't heard me say that we added yet another one recently, but those newer babies will have to wait for awhile. My best friend is having a baby very soon and I made this bag for her shower gift. She knows I make diaper bags and had asked for one, so this isn't really a huge surprise - but she hasn't seen it yet. Shhhh don't tell!!
Here it is:
The fabric is Joel Dewberry's Aviary line which is kind of hard to find these days in this color, but I managed to track some down. I had made this purse out of the fabric last year and she just adored it.

What she doesn't know is that I made a matching key fob, wallet and change pad.
I know she loves matching things, so I think the wallet will be right up her alley and we all know that as a new momma this bag is going to become her purse for the next couple of years.
She contributed alot of feedback to the development of this bag pattern over a year ago, so I think it's appropriate that she gets one of her own. But don't tell her you saw it!! ;)

Happy Sewing...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Skort Stack

Summer is coming and that means summer camp season - what does the fashionable yet playground saavy fashionista wear this year? Why a stylish skort of course! I have been busy making these. I made a couple last summer and they were so simple to make, I decided that this summer I wouldn't buy a stitch of off-the-rack ones for dear daughter. I've been working in the sweatshop - err I mean the sewing room for 2 days and here is the result. I made 8 of these suckers - I think that should do her for the summer don't you think?

My daughter actually picked out the fabric combos for these first 4 ~ she did a great job don't you think? I had so much fun making them, I decided to do a few extra. I would keep going, but really how many skorts can one girl need?

Look at these cute ones with Lila Tueller's Soiree fabric (really lovin' this fabric)

Ok so you want to know how to make these?

Measure the length of the finished skort you would like. I usually just grab a skirt or something that fits well and is the right length. For mine the total length is around 13" from hem to waist.

Decide how you will tier the skort - will it be one layer or two or more? I have done a few styles here, but the basic style is this one: So for a typical size 8 skort, I make the bottom tier around 9.5" wide, the middle tier is 3.25" wide and the ribbed waistband is 4" wide. (None of these measurements include seam allowance, so you will have to add that). I usually cut the bottom tier 63" long and the middle tier is 30" long. The ribbed top tier is a bit shorter, usually around 24-25" long. If you need a different size, just adjust the measurements to suit your child.

Sew the strips into circles by sewing along the side seam. Gather the bottom tier to fit onto the middle tier and sew the seam. Topstitch the seam on the outside to secure it. Hem the bottom of the skirt.

Shorts - I used a basic shorts pattern (eg. Simplicity 2628), you can find whichever one you like - just needs to be basic elastic-waisted shorts - no bells and whistles. I sewed them up completely except for the waistband. Once they are done, you will insert them into the skirt and baste the top of the shorts to the top of the middle skirt tier. Be sure to mark the front of the skort/shorts at this point - so you don't put the shorts in backwards - or have the seams of the waistband in front. With me still?

Now sew the ribbed waistband into a circle as well and place it over the top of the skirt on the outside. The knit ribbing stretches so you can get it to fit on the middle tier without having to gather it. Sew a length of 1" wide elastic into a circle (cut it to fit the waist of your recipient, 25" on mine). Now place the elastic over the ribbed knit and fold the knit up so that it encases the elastic. Sew the waist seam stretching the ribbing/elastic as you go. Turn it all out and topstitch on the top edge of the middle tier (folding the seam allowance down on the inside). And you are done!! How easy was that? You can try varying the way you cut up the tiers to change the look.

In this version I've added another fabric along the bottom tier.Here is a 3 tiered version.

Use different fabrics for the waistband and the middle and bottom tiers.
Have fun sewing these up - you'll find it's a bit addictive.