Perhaps not an Epic Fail

This morning I hunkered down and completed the box.

It ain’t pretty. Nor is it completley functional as I had intended it to be, for it is too wide to sit on the back of the toilette. It does, however, match the bathroom quiet well and holds the cloth diapers quite well, as intended.

So I didn’t epically fail, but still not as successful as I would have liked.

{I used this tutorial as a guide}


Fabric Boxes

Are you thrifty?


Even, perhaps, cheap?


Are you a fan of reduce, reuse, recycle?


Do you love using what you have on hand?


Do you love organization and those sweet boxes that hold everything?


Do you like to sew?


Do you find yourself at the store, thinking to yourself, “Self, we could make that! Why buy it?!!”


Then maybe, you thought, like I did, that $10 for a fabric storage box, like this one, is outrageous.

That you could make one out of extra fabric at home, make it the exact dims that you want and it would be perfect.


Maybe, like me, you’ve decided to make your own.

Perhaps you’ve collected an absurd amount of old cereal boxes for just that purpose.

Maybe you’ve experienced an epic fail and come to the realization that it is, indeed, worth the $10 to buy a storage bin.


If you have, then lets be friends.

If you haven’t, take my adivce and just buy the stupid things from IKEA or some place.

If you’ve tried to make one on your own and succeeded, please don’t mention it.


I’m still upset that this box making stuff has bested me.

Quilt II

I finally finished my second attempt at this quilt. I think I started it in February (maybe January) using scraps from baby blankets I’ve made – it was intended to be an Easter gift for my daughter’s BFF. 

It’s now a birthday gift for her. 

Because I am that on top of this whole quilting thing 🙂

But you must admit, this was speedy compared to the 3.5 years it took me to finish the first one.

I’ve learned a lot about quilting since I started my daughter’s quilt 4 years ago:
  1. Tie your outer corners, or the batting will move like crazy
  2. Cut your tie ends short (if using wool yarn) so it balls up properly (otherwise, they look like ratty fuzzy tails)
  3. Strip cutting is the only way to go, or your squares end up all funky sized.
  4. Cut off the selvage from your fabric piece
  5. Sew with 1/4″ seams! (I know, duh, right? but years of sewing 5/8″ makes 1/4″ seem to tiny to work)
  6. Don’t just lay the batting and back piece on top of the quilt and cut them out using the top piece as a pattern. Measure, measure, measure.
  7. I still don’t love quilting, but I am begining to like how quickly a simple quilt can come together.

And here it is, the BFF’s birthday quilt:


Toddler Star Skirt

My dear friend, whom I call the Bestie, had a complete stroke of genius while making one of the elastic banded skirts
She put hearts on the sides! 
I just about died with glee when I got the picture. And she says she has no talent *scoff*
Being a natural artist, I had to borrow her idea and tweak it just a bit.
 I used photoshop (because my copy of illustrator is being a pain) to create a template for the stars, then cut them out of white seersucker I had laying around. Using the same method for the elastic skirt, I cut out the fabric to the dims I wanted. I used a medium weight denim that my Mom had given me, but used the wrong side (the right side was that dated blue blue denim that was popular bakc in ’93).
 Then before making the back seam, I measured and pinned the stars to the side of the skirt. I played around a bit and decided that I liked the look of a tight zigzag around the outside of the stars in white.
And here you have it – a star skirt!

Next time I may follow my sister’s advice and make pockets, which would be stinking adorable, dontcha think?

Elastic Band Skirt {Toddler Size} Revised!

I finally got a hold of some wide elastic to put on my daughter’s “princess” skirt. The smaller width just looked like underwear to me. So, I decided to revise the tutorial to reflect the use of a wider band. And I made it all one page, so clickety click to make it big.

And of course, I had to take pictures of the skirt, being modeled by my adorable girl. She sure loves anything princess these days and this full twirly skirt seems to fit the bill.

Oh and Rachel, I know there are tons of typos. I’ll fix them later. Maybe. 🙂

Getting Ready for Easter

Growing up, my Mom always got my sister and I new dresses for Easter. I’m pretty sure her mom did it, too. I’ve been driven to have the same happen for my daughter.
Last year, I spent too much money on a beautiful dress from Macys for her. he wore it a lot to make up for it!
This year, I spent $3 on her dress. Amazing, huh? I got the fabric and lace from my Mom’s stash (I think I had something made out of this eyelet). All I needed to buy was thread and a zipper. I also used the same pattern that I used for her Christmas dress, but left off the time consuming pleated sleeves. 
My girl sure loves her princess dress and won’t take it off. I love how she totally posed for me – usually she sees the camera and yells, “No say cheese, Mommy!”

This week LollyChops is doing Wallflowers Week and is show casing all kinds of flower crafts. She highlighted the fabric flower tutorial done by MollyChicken yesterday, which I was so excited to see. I’ve been trying to think of what to make for my daughter’s hair accessory to coordinate with her dress (last year I made a giant korker bow) and this was perfect! I didn’t like all the raw edges (she is, after all, wearing this ensemble to Church), so I zig zagged them. It didn’t make a huge difference, but I tried 🙂 Not sure what I’ll put in the center, but I love the way it looks.

Origami Hibiscus Flower Shirt Embelishment

A few weeks ago, I mentioned this sweater from Old Navy that I had fallen in love with. The price tag was a bit much for a thin cardi (I’m totally cheap, fyi), so I decided to take the idea and make it my own.

My mom let me go through all of her fabric origami books, looking for the square flower that they had used. Turns out, it’s called a Hibiscus flower. I love, love, love the shape.  Turns out, that while a bit time consuming, they are pretty simple to make. Right up my alley! 
As soon as I find the book (which may just be out of print), I’ll post a link to it. Sorry kiddos, no tutorials on copyrighted patterns 🙂
Anyways, I bought a cheap deep v-neck short sleeved shirt from the afore mentioned store and hauled out my fabric scraps (the nearest fabric store, aside from a quilting store, is a 1/2 hr away, so no new fabric for this project). After fiddling with a few fabrics in varying weights and colors, I decided to use a light weight light blue shirt fabric. 
Regular weight cotton or linen was too bulky for the size flowers I wanted (about 1″x1″) and looked a little too quilt-y. Eyelet and other open weaved fabrics started to look messy the more folded up they got. So, lightweight (very very thin cotton, lining fabric, light shirtweights, silk, etc) fabric was the only way to keep the form with out the bulk. And keep the flowers from looking like a wearable quilt. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.
I used three strands of embrodiery floss and used running stitches to tack down the flowers. It created a great x in the middle of the flower, just like the ON sweater. I think this step was the most time consuming, but I love hand stitching, so it didn’t bother me.
After 5 days of working on and off (probably two hours total, not including the trial and error up to getting the right look), I finished the embelishments, attached them with more embroidery floss and wore it today.
No compliments and the hubby thought it was too much, but I love it!

I really need a tripod – this was the only way I could get a shot of me wearing the shirt! Don’t mind the mess of my crap room…

Elastic Band Skirt {Toddler Size}

Because the Bestie asked me to, my first post is a sewing tutorial on how to make a

~toddler sized elastic band skirt~
So here’s my take.

Now before you get started {with any clothing project} there are two things that seperate a well made article of clothing from a poorly made one: 

  1. Reinforcing your raw edges by running them through a serger or using a zig zag stitch on a regular machine
  2. Pressing all your seams open

For this project you will need:

  • a piece of fabric 46″ wide and 14″ long
  • 2″-3″ wide elastic (I used what I had on hand, which was 1″ and it was far too small)
  • sewing machine 🙂
  • thread
  • iron/ironing board
  • seam gauge

Step 1

Iron any wrinkles out of your fabric, then cut the length to 14″. I used the width of the fabric, leaving the selvages on to save me the step of having to reinforce the raw edges of my back seam.

Step 2
Overcast your raw edges – make one seam 1/4″ away from the raw edge and a zigzag on the edge, lining the raw edge of the fabric up with the inner part of your machine foot.

Step 3
Taking the selvage edge (or short edge if you didn’t leave the selvage on), machine stitch right sides together, creating a 5/8″ seam. Iron open the seam

Step 4
Turn lower edge up 1/4″, using your seam gauge as a guide, and press. Turn up another 1/4″ and press, encasing raw edges. 

Sew hem, staying as close to the upper edge. (I use the inner part of the machine foot to guide me)

Step 5
Make two running stitches on the skirt top. Using the largest length stitch your machine has (mine only goes to a 4, but it’s ancient) and not back stitching, make one seam 5/8″ away from the raw edge and another one that is 1/4″ away. Make sure you leave nice long tails of thread. Using two running stitches, you create a nice flat surface to sew on later, when you attach the elastic.

Step 6
While holding the top ends of both seams, push the fabric back and away from the seams, creating gathers. 

Step 7
Sew the elastic together.
Step 8
Pin the skirt top to the elastic, stretching the elastic out and adjusting gathers to fit. Start by pinning the middle front and back of the skirt and elastic together, adjusting the gathers, then marking the middle between the front and back pins, pinning that mark and doing the same. {This was really hard to take a picture of, seeing as how my toddler can’t work my camera, so I’ll post pictures later when my hubby is home}

Step 9
Unpin and baste gathers. Then repin elastic to top of skirt.
Step 10
Sew elastic band to skirt with a zigzag stitch. (a straight stitch will pucker and look funny) Hold the elastic taught while you sew, using your left hand to stretch and guide the fabric and your right to hold the back taught. Make sure to keep the needle in the fabric and elastic when you adjust your hold on the elastic, otherwise it will create funny gaps in your stitches. Backstitch.
If you use a wide elastic, it will look 100% better than mine does – looks like underwear, doesn’t it?
Step 11
Unpick your basting stitches (because they will show)

Yes, I initially used a straight stitch to attach the elastic, which promptly puckered and ripped as soon as I stretched out the elastic.

And you are done!

I wish I had a picture of the finished skirt, but my camera batteries died and my daughter would not wear the skirt long enough to snap a shot of… Maybe another day.