Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Custom Tailored Bedskirt From A Flat Sheet? Yes'um.

This post should really be titled "I SEWED!  I SEWED!!!!"  because, phew, getting out the old machine is quite the accomplishment lately.

My new sewing companion.
Moving gives ya a real appreciation for the number of tools one uses in the trade.  As is...

Where'd that darn white bobbin go?  I could have sworn my pins were in this drawer?  Why did I pack the iron in the bottom of that box?

Heaven forbid you need a safety pin, my friends.

Anywho, after the move my husband and I got the silly notion into our heads that since we have been married for a while and have a bunch of kids and all of that jazz, it's about time we spent a dime or two on our bedroom to make it look like adults live here instead of a couple of twenty-year-old newlyweds.

In the course of my hunting for new bedding -- decorating on a budget is not for the faint of heart -- I was a little put off at the cost of bedskirts.  The inexpensive ones I saw online and in the stores were cheaply made, nearly see-through, got horrible customer reviews, and were still over-priced.

I could totally make my own poorly-constructed bedskirt for less :).


See?  You can hardly even see it!  Why do we pay money for this stuff?  But just in case you want to see it...

Oh my.  I have a whole new appreciation for bed stylists.  They must Photoshop the wrinkles out of those pictures.  At least that's what I tell myself to make me feel better about sharing these shamefully wrinkly pictures.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take photographs of the process, but I decided to post anyway and give you a run down of what I did. If you'd like more details or pics, drop me a line.

Target sells sheets that aren't in sets. We have a queen bed and I bought a queen flat sheet which enabled me to make a bedskirt with a 13" drop.  The cost of the sheet was about $14. ****UPDATE******  Ooops, this is a big fat lie.  The sheet was actually $18.99,  I just came across the receipt and was all like "what in the world did I buy at Target for $18.99?"  You know how it is.  They lull you into thinking everything in that place is $14.  Or maybe just the full sheet was $14.  My bad.  Sorry to lead you astray like that. *****

I started by measuring thirteen inches and sewing the corners.  No hemming required! (At the head of the bed, I didn't sew a full corner.  I only turned over the wide band that makes up the top of a flat sheet.  I'll update with a pic as soon as I get the chance.)

Then, I took a seam down the middle of each side to take in the extra fabric, leaving the 13" drop on each side open. I pressed the seams flat to make inverted pleats on the sides and end of the bed.  

And do I have a picture of an inverted pleat?  Of course not.

*Quick!  Insert distracting baby picture!*

Did it work?

Anyway, that's that.  

When I chose to make the bedskirt instead of buy it, I thought for sure I would regret it.  Pleasant surprise!  It was finished in one night and I'm pretty sure 75% of my time was spent pressing the fold marks out of the new sheet.  Plus, I was able to get a custom length instead of the standard 14" drop.

Worth it.

Time to finish up the rest of the bedroom makeover.  What shall we sew next?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Our New Love

Our precious little "Evie" is one week old today.

She entered the world on Friday, January 17th at 2:31 p.m.

She weighed six pounds, thirteen ounces, and measured twenty-one inches long.

My labor was induced Friday morning and her birth was quiet and peaceful.

Evie is amazing and delightfully cuddle-able and I'm sure you can tell by the picture that she smells perfectly delicious as all babies should.

We closed on our house on Wednesday, had her on Friday, and moved on Monday. This year is shaping up to be quite the adventure...

Friday, January 3, 2014

I Dream of Stripes! {and other pretty prints}

What does a girl do when she is having a baby, closing on her first home, and moving to a new city in the next three weeks?

Why, wander around the internet looking at fabric of course!  One can only stress about life's uncertainties for so long before needing a bit of textile therapy and moving is always good fun for a sewer's imagination.  Whatever the budget, one can quite happily wile away an evening dreaming about stitching a few things for the new place.

The home we are buying has plenty of that thing called "potential" and I have my sights set on this fabric as a jumping off point for the basement play room.

And by "I've got my sights set" I mean something along the lines of "Which limb should I sell to get my hands on a bolt?"  But then I recall how much easier nursing is with two arms and how much more practical it is to move a household of five (or six!) with both legs and I content myself with gazing upon its striped goodness from afar and thinking about how awesome it could be to transform this fine specimen of rec room...

...into something a tad less bingo-hall-er-ific and a tad more stylish and colorful.  

For other rooms and purposes I'm digging these lovely designs as well:

Curtains.  Oh curtains.

As we like to say in our household "Someday when I'm older..." I'll find an extra penny in my budget for some pretty prints!  In the meantime, it's awfully fun to window shop.

Do you have home decor sewing on your New Year's agenda?  Do share!  I'm game for anything to distract me from my growing belly, shrinking bladder, maddening mortgage broker, and recent banishment from caffeine!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Crazy Plans and Christmas Dresses {needle & thREAD}

Well friends, in the spirit of cra-cra-crazy we are celebrating Christmas, buying a house, moving to a different city, and having our fourth child in the next month and a half -- possibly not in that order!  It's all good.  At least that is what I tell myself when trying to wrap my brain around what all of this is going to involve.  Something tells me there won't be much sewing going on around here in the near future.

I admit I am sad to miss out on a full season of gift-sewing this year.  I'm consoling myself with the knowledge that I might just be able to carve out a dedicated sewing space in our new place (God-willing everything moves forward and we close on the house mid-January as planned) .  Since I don't share much personal information here, you may or may not know that my little family of five currently lives in a two bedroom, four room rental house.  Originally it was a three bedroom house but sometime in the last forty years they knocked out the wall between the third bedroom and the living room to create a bigger living space.  The extra running room is great for little people, but my "sewing room" is also a living room, office, toy room, rec room, and den. It's a bit impractical and unfortunately stuff of every kind has a habit of taking over any work space I've attempted to claim as my own.  Definitely hoping to carve out a better sewing nook next year!

I'm sure you didn't come here to hear me blab on and on about all of that though.  Time to break out pictures of the flower girl dresses that I've turned into Christmas dresses for my four and six year old.

I swapped out the ivory satin sashes for red velvet ones that I put together from scraps I had in my stash.  This is what the dresses looked like before:

The girls will be wearing sweaters and there wasn't enough fabric for tie-able bows so I sewed velvet bows front and center to add a bit of interest.

There is some zipper peak-through at the center back with the way I attached the sashes onto the dresses but I'm not sure it's worth the time to re-work it with buttons or something.

Anywho-ha,  the bottom of these dresses begged for red petals and I simply had to comply.  I found a box at Hobby Lobby for half off which means altogether I spent about $2.50 on each dress.  Not bad for holiday attire, if I do say so myself!

I left the cream petals and I didn't sew up the opening (near the waistline) in the tulle either. No doubt I'll need to get back in there to rearrange the petals eventually.

Now all we have to do is locate two pairs of respectable ivory tights and rustle up some dress shoes that fit.  Gosh I love to see little ones all dressed up for Christmas.  I have to relish these days of sashes and tulle and twirly girlies.

needle and thREAD

I'm linking up with needle and thREAD today.

As far as reading goes, I'm taking in little bits here and there.   Compelled by nesting instinct, I inhaled a couple of ebooks last month on organization that fueled a whirlwind of household purging.  Now I am at various stages of reading The Ordinary Path To Holiness (Thomas) and Holy Sex (Popcak).  I'm trying to keep up with the Magnificat Advent Companion this year too.  I'm only a week behind, lol.  It's awfully hard to concentrate these days.  Can I blame it on pregnancy brain?  Or perhaps the fact that most of my reading involves pages containing stuff like "Sharky the Shark was always afraid." and "Does the kangaroo have a mother too?"? (According to my almost two-year-old, the answer to that last question is always a resounding and mischievous "NO".)

Maybe I should drop everything and get a really good novel from the library.  Any Christmas-y suggestions?

Thank you for stopping by -- see you again in 2014!  Please keep our family in your prayers.  And don't forget to head on over to In the Heart of My Home for more needle and thREAD.  Thank you for hosting Elizabeth!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Mechanics of a Stitch -- Cool Visual!

Ever wonder exactly how a sewing machine makes stitches?

Check out this awesome little visual:  How a Sewing Machine Works, Explained in a GIF.

God bless the internet :o).

Friday, November 8, 2013

Is It Too Early To Talk Christmas?

Do you have big Christmas sewing plans?

Matryoshka Ornament (Christmas 2012)

I've been toying with a few project ideas myself.  I'm thinking perhaps some fleecy robes or blankets and maybe some additions to the resident doll clothing collections.  My sewing motivation right at this moment is not great because my husband has been working a lot of overtime and I tend to hit the couch after the kids go to bed instead of setting up the machine.  But a girl can always dream right?

Felt Mitten Ornaments (Christmas 2011)

We're anticipating a very low key Christmas this year.  We won't be traveling to visit relatives because I'll be about thirty-six weeks pregnant and both sides of our family live almost four hours away.  Instead, I'll be preparing a cozy little Christmas for five.  Delightfully intimate and simple!  We hope.

One thing that is definitely on my to-do list is to get a second wearing out of one set of the flower girl dresses my daughters wore this fall.  We are going to need to spice them up for Christmas Mass with a bit of festive color, don't you think?

Can you guess my plan for the red silk petals?  They may or may not be paired with new red sashes -- depending on if I decide to get off of the couch sometime between now and December 25th ;o).

I can't wait to hear what everyone else has planned for the rest of the year (hint, hint).  I'm ready to be inspired!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Maternity Jean Make-Over -- Photo Update

Remember how I said I would check back in to let you know of the maternity jeans worked out once the belly got a bit bigger?

Well, they won't fit for too much longer, so quick!  Here are some pics before my derriere requires the next size up.

A belt with these is a definite must because they don't have maternity-specific ease through the seat area.  For me there's still plenty of room in the belly, but the rest of the jeans are getting too tight. 

I'm very tempted to hit up the thrift stores and get a larger pair to alter for the third trimester.  I love the feel and look of "normal" jeans!