Handmade Sewn Easter Baskets

I found this cute little Easter basket idea from a group on Facebook and knew I wanted to make one for my grandchildren. I ended up making the girls the same size and out of the same material.  However, for my grandson, I made his bigger so he could use it for carrying around his plastic animals that he loves to play with.  I also made his out of material that was not Easter related so if he was still using his basket in October, it wouldn’t look out-of-place.

Basket for little man!

My big girl!

Baby girl whose only a few days old!

Group pic of all three!

I never get tired of making items for my grandbabies. I can’t wait to see what will come out of me in the months to follow for these three as I have a birthday in June and another in July. Not to mention Christmas and how many other holidays in between.

Spending the Day Sewing Little Girl Dresses

I have been working on two beautiful dresses for my granddaughters birthday. Luckily for me, her momma doesn’t pay any attention to my blog so I can write about them and she’ll never see it and still be surprised come June when it’s her daughter’s birthday. I know I’m getting an early start, but I have other projects I still want to make for her as well, so I have to pace myself. Plus I still need to sew for me as well.

The first project was from a pattern, Simplicity 1453. The pattern is designed to use a contrast color, but when I bought my fabric I had a different dress in mind, so the day I started the project, I just went with it and made it all the same. If I make this again, I will use two different colors. The dress was easy to put together and the pattern simple enough to understand. I have always dreaded buttonholes, but not anymore thanks to my wonderful machine who made not one, but seven perfect buttonholes and it sewed the buttons on for me too. You would have thought I had won the lottery if you could have seen me when I finished this up. image

The pink will look beautiful on her and she loves pockets, which is why I went with this design in the first place.

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Not sure how she will react to the tie in the back, but hopefully it will not be a problem as I think the tie adds a little more dimension to the project. 

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The idea for the second dress came from something I saw on Pinterest. They had cut off a t-shirt about an inch below the underarm and attached a skirt bottom to it making it a maxi skirt. 

I changed it up a little in order to suit the personality of my granddaughter. Her parents are the beachy, boater, fishing type so I went with a blue fabric with white anchors. In order to accent the anchor on the shirt portion, I embroidered a blue anchor to match the blue fabric.

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In order to attach the skirt portion, I cut a strip about 12″ long and roughly three times the width of the shirt. I sewed one seam, which I placed in the back when attaching it to the shirt. I added a small hem so I could hem on the machine, gathered around the top and attached to the t-shirt. This was probably the easiest outfit I have ever made.

View from the front.

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View from the back

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Both of these dresses were a joy to make and I can’t wait to see Madison model them. Looking forward to starting my next project. What about you? What are you sewing right now? Favorite project?

How to Make Fabric Bins

I’ve been wanting to make some bins to store items in my kitchen for quiet some time. I had the perfect spot where I could put four bins-5 1/2 inch square, finished size. I found the perfect fabric at Joann’s, where I purchased one yard of my chosen fabric and one yard of lining fabric in a contrast color. Since I was using these bins in the kitchen, I chose a pattern that would compliment the location. With a yard of each fabric, I would be able to make four.

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My chosen fabric

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My lining fabric

Part of making these bins included embroidering one side, so I could use my new birthday present, a Brother SE400 model Embroidery & Sewing machine. 

To get started, for each bin I wanted to make, I cut a 15 inch square from my chosen fabric, the lining and fabric stabilizer. I had previously bought some stabilizer to use on another project that never got made, so I used the stabilizer I had for this project. 

Once I had all the 15 inch squares cut out, which I done using a quilt cutting mat and rotary blade, I cut a 4 1/2 inch square out from each corner. Once done, the fabric looked like a big plus sign.

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4 1/2 inch square used to cut out corners

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Fabric after each corner is cut out

If you plan on monogramming your bins, you should do that before assembling. I attached my fabric to my hoop and monogrammed each piece of fabric with the desired wording.

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Monogrammed piece

Once I had my fabric cut, it was time to assemble them. This is done by sewing the sides together where you cut the 4 1/2 inch square out. You will do this for both the fabric and lining pieces. Make sure you add the stabilizer to the lining before you sew the sides together.

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Sewing sides together

Once the sides are done for both the fabric and the lining, you are ready to put the two pieces together. Place one piece inside the other, right sides together and sew around the top leaving a space open to turn right side out. Press. Top stitch all the way around the top closing up the space you left open to turn.

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Top stitch around top of each bin

That’s all there is to it. Here are my finished bins. I done one for coffee, cocoa, meds and misc. They fit perfectly on my counter top in the bread box area, which I never use for bread.

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Coffee and Cocoa

Meds and Misc.

Meds and Misc. 

I’m beyond pleased with how these turned out. Total time to make was roughly two hours for all four. Once I got the first one done, the rest were a breeze to do. I can’t wait to make more for other areas of the house.

How to Sew a Simple Skirt

My new favorite skirt pattern is from Simplicity, pattern number W6762.

This is one of those patterns I bought forever ago, but never got around to making anything out of it. I had bought a gorgeous piece of material with the intentions of making a dress, but after much debate as to which pattern to use, I decided to do a skirt and blouse instead.

The skirt portion of the pattern turned out great, but the top not so much. I didn’t realize until I started to put the band around the neck of the blouse that my material really didn’t have enough stretch to it to make this type of top. So I’ll go back to the drawing board on making a blouse in the future, but for now I’ll pair it with a white top.

To begin with I had to cut the pattern pieces out, which for this was cutting two sides for the front and back on the fold.

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Then it was just a matter of sewing up the side seams, leaving a slit on the left side about half way up.
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This was the first time I have installed elastic by attaching it to the fabric as opposed to making a casing and inserting elastic. By attaching the elastic to the fabric and then stitching around the skirt I have avoided having my elastic roll up, which is an amazing discovery.  I used this same technique in a pair of lounge pants last week, which is why I used it on this skirt. This will be my go to technique for elastic from here on out.

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 The finished product.

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I Love My New Brother SE400

I got the best birthday present ever this year in the way of the Brother SE400 Embroidery & Sewing Machine. I loved my old machine, but it didn’t do embroidery and I was wanting to add a little something different to my projects.  After doing lots of research as to what the best models were for the right price, I decided on the Brother SE400. I’ve only had the machine for about a week and have already sewn more items in the past week than I have in the last six months. I have lots of projects lined up for the coming weeks and can’t wait to blog about them, so be prepared to get bombarded with lots of sewing projects.

As for the embroidery aspect of this machine, I love it as much as the sewing part. On the first night I had it, I had to try out the embroidery function to see how good it was and was very impressed with the results.IMG_20160211_194548814

 

My plan is to turn this item into a pot holder. I plan on making fabric baskets to put my cocoa and coffee in along with some others. I have dresses planned for my granddaughter which will include using the gathering function as well as using some of the decorative stitches.

How many of you have the Brother SE400? What do you like and dislike about it?

Happy Sewing!!!

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Dress Sewing for Little Girls

On the 18th of June my granddaughter Madison turned 2. We celebrated her birthday the following weekend. I was puzzled as to what to do for her this year and after much contemplation I finally decided to do some sewing.  It’s been a while since I have sewn for a toddler, but I ended up doing a couple dresses and a short set.

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I made the shorts out of a lightweight denim. They have elastic for the waist. The top has little lady bugs on it so the buttons on the back are lady bugs as well.

These pictures were taken while on our beach trip during the 4th of July holiday.

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This dress looked absolutely adorable on her. It was easy to make and could be compared to a pillowcase dress as the front and back were cut on the fold so all you have are side seams with a casing at the top to run the strap through. The strap was sewn together to appear as one complete strap.

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My final dress was made from a soft fabric covered in flowers. I added pockets to this one as she loves putting everything in her pockets. Two buttons at the top finished off the project. By adding the purple shoes and a pair of purple shorts, she was ready for a day on the town.

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