Friday, June 27, 2014

Floral Door Jammer

Little Miss E loves closing doors. She walks into a room, turns around, closes the door, and if I'm not in the room with her, she immediately proceeds to say, "mama? mama? mama? uh......."

It's time to make door jammers! My mom said she used to use tape so doors wouldn't close. I had some leftover floral duck fabric so used that and an old mattress pad for batting! A little elastic on both ends to loop over the door knobs and you're done!

I made two different ones. One with mattress pad batting and the other with quilt batting. The mattress pad batting is thicker so it actually keeps the door from closing all the way. The one with quilt batting will close but not click shut (so she can still get stuck in a room but can't lock herself in a room for when she figures out how to lock the door...).

- scrap fabric two pieces, 4" by 6"
- 1/4" wide elastic (or hair elastic bands!), two pieces 4" long
- batting or (scrap mattress pad) 3.5" by 5.5"

  1. Sew long ends together with right sides facing.
  2. Flip right side out so you have a tube.
  3. Insert batting and make sure it's in the middle of the tube so you have a little fabric left on both short ends.
  4. Tuck short ends in and insert elastic ends on both sides as pictured.
  5. Straight stitch closed both ends. Do an additional row of stitching if desired (will make ends more stiff). 
  6. Trim off loose ends and attach to doorknob!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Blooming Garden Toddler Top

Love love love this garden print. Bright flowers over different fonts in black over a cream background. After making a few tunics and dresses, I decided to try a top with the sleeves ruffled in with elastic. It isn't perfect yet (see notes below) so there will be many more tops to come!

Little Miss E loves the outdoors. She enjoys picking flowers and now tries blowing on any flower in her hand as if it were a dandelion. 

  • two 6.5 inch pieces of 1/4" elastic for the sleeves (may need to continue to modify because had to make a few changes while sewing due to accidentally sewing the casing shut...)
  • 16 inches of 1/4" elastic for neckline
  • Option A: after sewing sides of shirt together, iron up an inch from each sleeve bottom and straight stitch in 1/4" from fold and again right in the middle of serged edge to create casing for elastic, leaving 1/2" opening for inserting elastic (this is the correct way, not the order I did it in which resulted in the casing being sewn shut)
    Option B: leave no "edging" (not sure what the correct term is) and just fold up half inch for casing with one line of straight stitching instead of two?
    Option C: hem up 1/4" the sleeve bottom, then sew 1/4" wide elastic straight onto the back side right above the hem, stretching the elastic while sewing it on (like the "Puff Sleeve Toddler Dress with Free Sewing Pattern" from The Stitching Scientist)
  • Inspired by Once Upon a Sewing Machine's Tutorial for Shirred Short Sleeve Peasant Dress or Top. Didn't use elastic thread.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Raining Purple Pinwheels - Short Elastic Waist Skirt with Pockets

The weather forecast for the week includes some chance of severe thunderstorms everyday. So all day we wait for a storm to come and in true Midwest fashion, nothing happens...until you stop thinking about it! This afternoon, we were finally showered with a little warm summer rain so we took our bare feet out for a treat!

Love the rain


  • 27" (3.4 yd) x 44" split down length wise for two 27" x 22" pieces with the 27" for the waist.
  • 25" of 1.5" wide elastic (usually I use 24" for a high-waisted skirt but since this fabric didn't come as wide as previous apparel fabric which usually comes in 58-60", I opted for something that would sit a little lower on my waist so I increased the length of elastic by an inch)
  • extra large pockets using white muslin
  • serged all edges except bottom of skirt which was the selvage edge so turned up once to hem
  • marked pockets 4.5" down from top so casing would be 2.25" wide; stitched 1/4" down from top fold and 1/4" up from serged edge

Red and Pink Floral Short-Sleeved Toddler Tunic

After the Blueberry Floral Short-Sleeved Toddler Dress, I made a tunic length one to pair with capri leggings. Love this fun bright pattern (easy to spot!) and it's perfect for summer. With the 90+ degree temps and high humidity, having something to throw on her that still breathes is essential! Plus, with all the splash pads in town, even if the swimsuit isn't packed, these tunics and dresses can get wet no problem. Ring out the water and hang dry in the summer breeze!

Perfect length to go with capri leggings.

DIY gray chevron bow.

Easy to move in! Up and down stairs. Bending down to pick up rocks. Going for walks with baby doll.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Blueberry Floral Short-Sleeved Toddler Dress

Dressing a toddler can turn into a wrestling match or circus show. Imagine chasing a shrieking wiggle worm down the hall, trying to wrangle some clothes on the moving target so the said wiggle worm doesn't run out in only a diaper (if you're even so lucky as to get a diaper on!).

The best thing about this dress is that there isn't a front of back! It's reversible, no need to figure out which side needs to face forward! With an elastic neckline, there are no buttons to fumble through either (doesn't it drive you nuts when you finally get all the buttons done only to find out you've skipped one somewhere???).

I had been avoiding any tutorials with sleeves because I figured they'd be hard to match up, annoying to cut, or difficult to get right all around. Turns out they aren't that bad! Actually, there wasn't really anything to be afraid of!

Wiggle Worm? Who Me?


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Honey Pineapple Linen Skirt

Top: Hauraki Tank by Akemi + Kin at Anthropologie. Skirt: DIY. ShoesBørn.
Love little surprises: wild strawberries, bird nests, pineapple pockets.

Pineapple Pockets
  • 24" of 2" wide elastic
  • linen/rayon blend in "wood honey" remnant 0.778 yards (28 inches by 51 inches)
  • used pineapple print cotton for the extra large pockets
  • Sew pieces of fabric together prior to creating casing creates a cleaner finish after inserting the elastic because the hole you sew shut (from inserting the elastic) is along the same line as the stitching for creating the casing instead of sewing a line perpendicular to close the opening...(ok, that probably doesn't make sense to anyone but myself...).
  • Serged all edges prior to piecing together
  • Folded over bottom hem twice for a cleaner edge inside and out
  • No lining because fabric isn't see-through.
  • Triple ruffle waistband: topstitched 1/4" down from top, straight stitched down casing, inserted elastic, stitched opening for elastic closed, stitched across middle while pulling elastic taunt to keep elastic and ruffles in place. 
  • My casing is more similar to what Jean does in steps #7-9 in her Tutorial: Easy DIY Elastic Wasit A-Line Skirt w/Pockets at {Extra Petite} versus what LeAna does in her Tutorial for an Elastic Waist Skirt at {A Small Snippet}.

Potentilla indica, mock strawberry. Edible.