Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Let me guess....bandanas????

 Because I am all about Equal Opportunity in this house, I decided to keep plugging away at my stack of bandanas and come up with a girlie project.  The solution....THE SHORTY SKIRT.

 It is pretty much just a simple skirt, but with a built in pair of shorts....THUS THE SHORTY PART;)  Am I the only one who thinks that dresses and skirts should come with butt covers MUCH longer than 24 months????  Seriously hate looking at panties in public!!!  Anyway. 

Before I start I have to say....I got a new camera this weekend AND LOVE IT!!!  Once again I just copied THIS LADY GENIUS and got a Canon Rebel.  It is perfect for me...lots of bells and whistles and I did not have to sell one of my kids off to get it.  BUT that being said, some of my pictures coming up are PRE new camera....That is why they are blurry and almost not worth posting.  My poor point and shoot spent a little time in 6 pieces on my floor.  It want back together and turned on...but it was never the same.  JUST SO YOU KNOW why some of the pics are so darn yucky.....NOW MOVING ON!!!
HERE is the quick and dirty version of what I did.  Sorry I don't have time for a good tutorial these days....you are lucky to get blurry crappy pictures.  Plus my sleep deprived brain has troubles putting sentences together in ANY sort of logical way....

I used an old t-shirt to make the shorts.  You could buy a cheap pair of shorts too if you want an even easier project.  But my cost for the skirt was only 1.00--the cost of the bandana (WALMART).  I MAY OR MAY NOT have stolen this shirt from daddy's closet without asking.....
THEN I did exactly what I did in BABY BROTHER'S SHORTS to get my under shorts. 
Next, I cut my bandana in half.  You will be using the seams as the bottom of the skirt, so no hemming----YAY!!!
Then I serged along the tops of both pieces to finish the edge.  You could also fold it under and hem OR flip your pieces and use the hemmed edge for the top of your skirt and then hem the bottom later.  I SERGED.  Then I sewed the two pieces together at the sides---right sides together.
That gives you a skirt without any waistband.  You could just make an elastic casing on the top and add an elastic waist and forget the shorts if you want.  I wanted shorties. 
SOOO I gathered the top.  I did this by increasing my tension to 9 and my stitch length to 5.  Flip your skirt right side out.  Then I started at one side seam and sewed along the top to the next side seam.  Your fabric should gather as you sew.    Leave a long tail of thread.  Then  start again and sew back to the first side seam.  You should have long tails at each side seam. 
Put your shorts inside your skirt.   I lined my ruffle up with the waist band seam...but you can put it wherever....depends how long you want your skirt to be.  Line up the side seams of the skirt with the side seams of the shorts and pin.  Then pull your gathering strings to make the skirtt the same width as the shorts.  Try to keep your gathers even as you go.  Pin your gathered top to the shorts and then sew them right onto your shorts.  I sew BELOW my gathering stitches.  Once you have your skirt sewn on the way you like it, pull on your long tails of the gathering stithes and pull them right out. 
VOILA....you did it.
IF you are lucky like US you have a Gramma who loves you buys you a cute patriotic swim suit to match.  Then you have a nice simple swim suit cover up and a CUTE kiddo who is happy to be RED WHITE AND BLUE. 
Speaking of cute....this kid COULD NOT BE ANY CUTER!!!! RIGHT????

 Happy 4th of July Ya'll!!!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Back in BandanaLAND

 Handsome huh????  Little Mr. E is sporting a new pair of camo shorts made by his mamma who loves him to death.  I have done VERY little in the sewing room since he arrived, so I guess it is fitting that one of my first POST baby projects is for him.  You may remember that last year was kinda the year of the bandana at my house.  I made shirts, skirts, dresses, and more skirts (too lazy to find all of the links.   I suck).  I made so many cute things that I guess I went bandana crazy and bought EVERY bandana I found.  Needless to say  I have a STOCKPILE of the darn things and need to use them for something.  THUS began the Bandana Baby Shorts.  Cute, easy, breezy, and total cost is 1.00.  Cannot beat that RIGHT????  SOOO...no need for a tutorial because they are so easy, but here is a quick rundown of what to do if you want a pair for your little guy or gal. Obviously you could use any fabric and get a simple pair of shorts!!!

1. Fold your bandana in half.  If your kid is bigger than six months, you will need two hankies stacked on top of each other instead (still will only cost ya 2.00).  BTW  I got all of mine at WALMART...just so ya know=)
2.  Fold a pair of shorts to use as a pattern.  Trace them onto the fabric (trace about 1/4 inch away from your pattern for a seam allowance).  Also, cut the tops about 2 inches longer than the pattern piece (see next pic).

3.  Flip your pattern over and trace again.  I traced mine along the bottom edge of the hankie so that I would not have to hem---I just used their little rolled hem.  Sorry for the random OTHER project picture.  I made a pair of shorts using an old T-shirt for Emersyn.  Notice how I traced WAY above the shorts???  That accounts for the elastic casing.  
4.  Now that you have 2 sides (4 pieces), it is time to sew.  I serged down the rounded side or crotch portion.  DO NOT go all the way down past the curve...that is the length---trust me on this...I may or may not have messed that up over and over and over=)  Do this to both pieces.  BTW... your pieces should be right sides together. If you are not serging, I would zig zag your seams to make them stronger...especially if you are using a hankie----they fray.
5.  You will have 2 pieces that look like this. If you are serging, now would be a good time to serge along the top edge of both pieces.....that way when you make your casing, you will have a clean edge inside.

 6.  Now put those 2 pieces right sides together....time to sew the crotch.  LINE UP THE TWO CROTCH SEAMS.  If you want to make your shorts look good, pin the pieces together and be very careful about lining things up on this point.  SOOO, once again....line up the crotch seams so they make a V shape.  (sorry for the blurry pic).  I sewed on the sewing machine, so I could use pins.  THEN checked to make sure the seams in the crotch line up..(.if not, try again).  THEN I serged. 
7.  Now sew up your side seams.  Make sure to line up the BOTTOMS of the shorts.  The tops can be a little off, but the bottoms must match up to look good. 

 8.  Fold down the top of your shorts to make the elastic casing.  I used 1/2 inch elastic.  I just eye ball the casing...3/4 inch if you want exact. I would use bigger elastic for bigger kids...just a personal choice.  Make your casing, string your elastic through, sew up your hole, and VOILA....shorts. 

 I decided I wanted to add a little BAM to mine, so I made pockets.  I just used a piece leftover from the bandana.  I cut two squares---keeping the hemmed edge for the tops of the pockets.  Then I serged around the other 3 edges.  I decided to leave the serged edge OUT, but you could fold it under and iron.  Then I sewed them onto the sides....just eye balling them over the side seam.

I will warn you....sewing on the pockets was a little tricky...getting the machine inside those little leg holes was not a piece of cake.   Just so you are warned.  BUT I kinda love them and it was Kinda worth it=)
Now if you only had a cute kiddo to put them on.  OHHHH you do....good for you..haha! ME TOOO!!!  Add a pair of 50 cent sandles from GoodWill and you are all set... ONE sweet little GI JOE BABY!!!

Just right for a kid on the go=)  Check out my GI Joe's battle wound.  NOW THAT IS A TOUGH GUY!!!!

Saturday, June 11, 2011


While in the hospital this past week I had a few hours to crack a book.  Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez.  I have wanted to read this book for a while, but never caught up with it.  This is one of those books that leaves you wondering how you NEVER knew that you NEVER KNEW about something.  In this case slavery.  Something I thought I knew about, but realize...I didn't.  This book follows 4 slave women who meet each year under strange circumstances.  Their masters bring them to a vacation resort in the North to spend the Summer together.  YEP---TOGETHER.  Each of these women are slaves AND mistresses to their masters.  If you want a happy go lucky book...THIS IS NOT IT.  It is sad and filled with times when you think...rEaLLy????  Points when you wonder how things could have ACTUALLY happened like this in the United States.  I would recommend this book if you like to read to learn and be moved and touched in a way that you can never go back.  I do NOT recommend this book if you have a weak stomach or do not want to read about rape, abuse, humiliation, abortion, and death.  There are no steamy sex scenes, but there are lots of horendous acts of abuse that are hard to read through.  This book brings up questions and issues that stay with you after you have finished reading.
For example, how can you have an affair with a women, father 2 children with her, and then chain her to the ship that is taking you both to your Summer vacation resort home???
How can you sell off your own children to another plantation and never see them again????
How can you treat someone as a lover AND a piece of property.  A friend AND and an amimal???

Slavery is one of those NON-talked about subjects in many History classes.  It is a big black mark on the history of the United States.  We like to sit back and judge the horrors of Germany during WWII and forget about the equally horrific treatment of the slaves right here in our own backyard.  I am glad I read this book.  I am glad I have been reminded about the terrible treatment of these slaves so that I can remember to be kinder to others.  I am glad that I have opened my eyes a bit so that I will NEVER forget to open my heart.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


 SOOO you might not believe this but.....I ACTUALLY FINISHED SOMETHING!!!! Yes I Did!!!  Well I can only take half the credit, but still.  Something that I worked on GOT FINISHED!!!  Me and my Marcie  made this cute quilt for a graduation gift (congrats Miss April). 
 The pattern in skipping squares from Cluck Cluck Sew and the fabric is....I will have to get back to you on that. (sunkissed by sweetwater)
 This was a fun and easy quilt to start with.  I will for sure use this pattern again. It came together so fast because you had very little to match up...I love that. 
 Uh Hum....is the back not so cute.  I cannot wait to get some more of this fabric to make a dress for Emersyn.  It is just so darn cute and springy or summery or girlie...or whatever. 
Nothing better than accomplishing something.  Good by cute little quilt.  Have fun at college!!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Good Reads

It has been OVER a month since I read anything, but I am planning on getting some MAJOR book time while we are sitting in the hospital this next week.  I am prepared with a little bit of HUNGER GAMES.  Yes I am the only person in the world who has not read them yet.  Here are the books that I read.....who even knows when.  Let's see what I remember...
 First there was Journey To Riverbend by Henry McLaughlin.  This was Christian Lit/Western.  The main gist is that the main character comes to a small town to carry out the dying wish of a young man he had met. He meets an ex-prostitute who has turned her life around.  Then there is a kidnapping, a posse, an attempted rape,  some gun fights, and lots of drama.  This was a pretty good book.  At times it was a little TOO preachy for me.  I am all for morals, but I don't need to be hit over the head all the time with them.  Overall it was a good read though.  Who can you resist a good prostitute story=) 
Next, The Linen Queen by Patricia Falvey.  I was not sure I was going to make it through this one.  The beginning was a bit slow.  I stuck it out though and this one was pretty good.  This book takes place in Northern Ireland (sigh).  Oh how I wish I could go check it out there.  It seems like an amazingly beautiful landscape.  Anyway...Sheila is a POOR girl who works in a linen factory.  She lives with an abusive uncle, crazy aunt, bi-polar mother, and adopted refugee child (escaped from war and a brothel).  Intrigued so far???  She participates in the pageant for LINEN QUEEN and wins the title and cash.  She is determined to run away from home with her winnings, but sadly for her there is a war on (WWII) and she cannot leave the country.  She is once again stuck in her horrible life.   Then a group of American soldiers are posted in her town.  There is war, love, death, pregnancy, mental disorders...you name it.  The only warning I  have about this book....Irish language.  Although the swear words are spelled a little different, they are still there.  If you are not into that...then this is not a book for you.  

 Then there was Slay It With Flowers by Kate Collins.  This is the 2nd book in the Flower Shop Mysteries.  My library does not carry the first book (but does carry the next 10 or so), so I started with number 2.  It doesn't really seem to matter...each one is a story on its own anyway.  This book is about Abby, a law school dropout turned flower shop owner.  She is helping to plan her cousin's wedding, but ends up trying to find a missing groomsmen and THEN solve a murder.  This is a silly mystery book....think Janet Evanovich.  If you are a Stephanie Plum fan, this is SORTA like that (but not quite up to the same level).  If you subtract the OVER THE TOP funny and the tad bit of dirty from the Staphanie Plum books, you get this book (there is even an ex-cop love interest).  Still good, but not sure I would read 16 in a row (mostly because there is no Ranger).  I will probaby at least give number 3 a shot.

This next book is a kid's book, but I loved it so much I thought I would share.  It is Miss Lina's Ballerinas by Grace Maccorone.  If you have a little girl, this book is perfect.  It has all the good stuff....ballerinas, rhyming, counting, and a lesson about accepting others.  Oh and it is kinda funny too.  You see there are 8 little ballerinas Christina, Justina, Edwina, Betina, Sabrina, Katrina, Marina, and Nina (ha ha) who dance it 2 lines of 4. 
 They dance all over town and are a perfect set (2 rows of 4).  BUT then Regina joins the group and all is a mess.  No more rows of 4. 
What do they do now????  Miss Lina explains how great 3 rows of 3 can be.   AH HA!!!  All is well with Miss Lina's Ballerinas.  It is so cute and sweet.  I have renewed it 3 times and must now take it back to the library...not for Emersyn, but mostly just because if I have to read books for HOURS each day to a picky 3 year old I MIGHT AS WELL ENJOY IT!!!

Happy Reading Ya'll!!!