Monday, September 21, 2015

Classic Lace Dress For a Newborn

I just got back from another trip to visit family. This time I got to meet my newest granddaughter and play with her big sister. Before I left on this trip, I made this black lace dress for the new little one.  

Some of you may remember this post about how I made the dress her big sister is wearing in the photos below.  To make this newborn black lace dress, I used all the scraps left over from big sister's dress. Here they are wearing their coordinating dresses. Aren't they lovely? 

For the pattern, I used the free pattern I created from the post, "Gap Knock-off Tie Dress & Ruffle Bloomers" (this post also includes a tutorial on how to make this newborn dress). My daughter requested sleeves be added to this dress, which meant I needed to create a sleeve pattern.  If you'd also like to add sleeves to this simple newborn dress, get your free pattern here.  This dress is super easy to make and so versatile too.  I also added a little slip to the dress and a two inch ruffle using literally all the black polka dot fabric I had left.

I love using this pattern from Made for the diaper covers. Though, I have a recommendation: make the elastic shorter. For this two week old darling, I should have made the waist and leg elastic two inches smaller than the pattern suggested. This baby was over 8 pounds when she was born, but she's thin and long.  My conclusion is it's always such a guessing game figuring out the size to make things for newborn babies.  

Big sister sure loves her little sister.  She's constantly kissing her and saying, "cute baby!"  This grandmother thinks these girls are both pretty cute! Especially in these classy, black lace dresses. -xoxo Grandma

Linked:  USS Crafty

Monday, September 14, 2015

Lions and Tigers and Bears - Oh My, What a Refashion!

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! This was a fun refashion project!  If you'd like to have some fun with old tee shirts, this is the refashion for you. Gather together five old tee shirts: yellow/gold, orange, brown, white and a small piece of black. Or whatever color combination suits you best.  

Next, you'll want to download the free pattern for your lion, tiger and bear here.

Now grab some scissors and cut out around the outside lines of the patterns. Pin the patterns onto the appropriate tee shirt scraps and grab a Clorox bleach pen.

 Follow the instructions found here. Once the design has bleached through the fabric, wash the bleach out with soap and water.  When the fabric has dried, you'll need an orange and brown permanent marker, a paint brush and rubbing alcohol.  Let's start with the lion.  Take the brown permanent marker and lightly outline the lion's details.  Add a little marker for shading around it's ear, nose and tail. 

Now, time to play with your tiger.

Using this technique, you'll draw details onto the tee shirt fabric by adding a little orange and brown ink to the areas as shown above.  Don't laugh, but I drew on my fabric upside down and realized it when I went to add the stripes. It didn't really effect the outcome except I had to re-bleach a couple of the areas.

Use a glue stick and small shapes of black knit fabric which has been cut into tiger stripes.  To make the tiger stripes, just cut a bunch a random shapes that have a point on one end.  Glue the stripes onto the bleached tiger shape using the glue stick. Press the stripes in place.  

Using a really small zig zag stitch, sew the stripes onto the tiger. I fluctuated my zig zag stitch from 1.5 to 2.5 wide.

And here's a close-up of the bear which was bleached right onto the fabric of the bottom layer of the dress:

For the pattern, I used a peasant dress style, Simplicity 2377

Between the animals, I machine embroidered a leaf design and then the words, "OH MY".  

The brown knit tee shirt I used had a sheer chiffon fabric as an overlay. I used that fabric to make the sleeves. The only thing I changed from the original pattern was to the bodice area. It just hung really baggy on my granddaughter, so I made a casing which allowed me to take that area in with elastic.

The headband was made from 1" stripes of the remaining brown knit tee shirt. I found a good tutorial on how to make it here.

Knit dresses are super comfortable. As we walked around the yard taking photos, I couldn't help myself and chanted to this cutie, "Lions and tigers and bears! Oh my!" She's never seen the "Wizard of Oz" movie yet, I'm not sure how a four year old would deal with the wicked witch or the flying monkeys... which really scared her aunts and to this day they hate that movie! What do you think, is she too young for this movie? We'll probably hold off. For now. -xoxo Grandma

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

It All Started With Butterfly Leggings - A Refashion

This project all started when I saw these adorable butterfly footless leggings at the store the other day. Aren't they the cutest thing?  I immediately knew I needed them... or I should say, I immediately knew a certain granddaughter of mine needed them. Once I purchased them, I had visions running through my head of the adorable top I could refashion to wear with these fun leggings. That, of course, lead me to this fun refashion.
A while back, one of my daughters gave me this blue and white women's button up shirt to reuse. It turns out, the colorful butterfly pattern and this cute stripped top coordinated perfectly. Here's how the child's tunic looked after the refashion:

If you'd like to refashion a button-up dress shirt into a girl's tunic, here's how to transform it:

  • Cut the sleeves from the shirt.
  • Fold the shirt in half
  • Cut a new neckline using a shirt that fits the child.
  • Cut two, 1 1/4" stripes of fabric.  Sew these together at a diagonal and press.
  • Cut down the sleeves to fit your child.
  • Sew the sleeves back into place.
  • Sew the seam tape around the neck's opening. 
  • Topstitch along the bottom of the seam tape.
  • For extra pizzazz, cut out a butterfly shape from white fabric.
  • Machine embroider the butterfly shaped fabric onto the shirt.
  • Draw the embroidery details using a water soluble pen.
  • Pull out some embroidery thread and stitch away.  It took me three tries before I got the butterfly to look like I wanted it to.  So don't despair, stitch and unpick if needed.
  • Next at the waistline, add a belt loop to each side of the tunic by doing the following:
  • Thread three strands of embroidery thread through a needle, pull the thread to the middle and tie the thread so that there are six strands of thread knotted at the end.  
Through the wrong side of the tunic, push the needle into the center of the side seam.  Make a loop that goes loosely around the belt.  Then stitch loop chains all around the thread pulling the thread tight after each loop.   
This is how that belt loop will look before you tie off the threads. The loops keep the belt in place quite nicely.
This belt was also refashioned from one of my old belts.  I cut the length of the belt down to about four inches larger than my granddaughter's waist. Then I reshaped the end of the belt into a new point. Finally, I added five new holes using a hole puncher, called a Crop-a-Dile, which will punch through anything!

Out of the two fall outfits I made for this little girl, this is my personal favorite. 

Of course, this cute girl's favorite part of the outfit was the candy bracelet. Within about 15 minutes of driving us around her new state, when we went to visit last week, she had this bracelet entirely consumed! Oh, how I love this girl! xoxo Grandma

Linked to Straight-Grain, Threading My Way, Creating My Way to Success, Project Run and Play, Totally Tutorials

You also might like these Fall outfits:
Teacher's Pet Dress
Falling For Denim

Designing Boys Shirts
Oh Matilda!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Teacher's Pet Dress

When autumn rolls around, I think of back-to-school and teachers. I also think of all the apples my generation used to take to school to give our teachers.  We thought if you brought an apple to your teacher, you'd be the teacher's pet that day. Makes sense, right? Which got me wondering, do children even take apples to their teachers anymore?  

Back to this dress, I had fun embroidering these apples and then stressed about how to make this outfit come together because my first attempt failed. (The original pattern I used was just too wide for either of my skinny granddaughters). Late one night, I ended up cutting the skirt off of my original dress because that was the only part I liked.  I next took a white, tank top and cut off five inches from the bottom making this the new dress bodice. Then, I reattached the skirt and sleeves to my new bodice. Instantly, I could tell that this dress would fit much better.

While I was working on this apple border, I found just enough red piping and red bias tape from my stash to sew around the edges, creating a frame which highlights the six embroidered apples.

I loved it when my granddaughter said she liked her new apple dress!

If you want to have some fall fun, I've created these apple patterns as a free download.  Go here to get your copy.   Have fun adding apples to your sewing projects.

Now, for a bit of extra happy news... Last week started off with the birth of my tenth grandchild! I'm thrilled and so excited to meet her.  My week ended with  grandchildren time, exploring the state that this cute little girl, modeling the dress above, moved to last month.  I hope she'll enjoy her teacher's pet dress.  Her big brother starts kindergarten tomorrow and she'll get some quality stay-at-home time with her mother, surely making her the teacher's pet!  xoxo Grandma

Linked to: Project Run and Play, USS Crafty, Threading Your Way, Nap Time Creations, straight-grain