productivity

We’ve been down to only the toddler since last Wednesday, and I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot.

I tend to feel guilty if I’m not spending time between 8 and 10 pm with the kids (if they are in the house), so these nights have been very productive after Mila goes to bed.

I made a darkening shade for Mila’s bedroom window. She wakes up too early from the sun…one morning last week, she was up at 6 am! I used a brown quilting cotton I got for $3/yard I think for the front and a batik I’ve had for years and years and years on the back. It is very effective, and I am mostly pleased with how it turned out. (Ignore the Marimekko butterfly hanging in the middle.)

I tied to create a Roman shade. I used twill tape along the back for the ribbon rings, but ran out of rings and have to get another package.  I threaded ribbon through the rings and it works really well, except when it is pulled all the way up. I did sew a bit of velcro to secure it in the up position, but the velcro was too small to hold the weight of the double layered fabric. Suggestions anyone??

I also started a belated Mother’s Day project that I think is going to work really well. It requires that I learn how to make bias tape with my (birthday) new bias tape makers.

I also changed my mind three times on which skirt I was going to make this week, but finally decided on a grown-up version of this one from Dana.

I’ll be using a Marimekko inspired tablecloth my BFF brought me last time she visited. Boy was she thinking when she viewed it as usable fabric instead of garage sale fodder!

Itching to make this top from the recently discovered Bitty Betty.

How great is that?! I have a lovely summer weight fabric that will be absolutely perfect!

I gave a sewing lesson on Saturday. What fun! She made herself a reversible table runner. Starting with squares or rectangles is always my best advice! Can’t wait to see pictures of her homework completed! I hope she wasn’t too put off by my frenetic fact throwing and loud talking (so says the hubby). I’m a loud talker, whachya gonna do about it? If she can get over the loud talking bit, we’ll make an apron next time.

I mentioned before, I think, that I signed up for Deborah’s sewing buddy match-up this year. You provide your name, sewing level and your favorite color, she uses her magic to match you up with someone who can help you plow throw the sewing projects that you HOPE to get through! Amber is my buddy, and I’ve got to say that I have been more productive in my sewing because I’m answering to agreed upon sew alongs with her. It has really been a terrific time! I’m truly amazed at what she accomplishes in the span of a day.


The Mummy Skirt

This skirt was inspired by Katy’s bias skirt tutorial over at No Big Dill. I can’t wait to make one for myself (a bias skirt, not a mummy skirt). And you should click right over and check out her blog immediately! Those girls, those clothes, those photographs!

Katy’s tutorial is great, and I followed it pretty closely for the strips of mummy cloth and for the waistband construction. I used Dana‘s circle skirt tutorial for the skirt construction and added an additional 1.5 inches to the length to account for the elastic waistband.  My heart skips a beat whenever my Reader shows a new post next to Dana’s MADE. The kids, those clothes, those photographs! Visit Dana immediately after visiting Katy!

The Mummy Skirt

Dig through the rag stash for once white t-shirts. Or, if you are like me, ask your husband since it is his rag stash. I started with four (a men’s XL undershirt, 2 women’s Med tee’s, and a long sleeve women’s Med) and some 1/2 inch wide elastic. I ended up using one more men’s XL undershirt for all Mila’s mummy pieces.

The t-shirts were perfect because they weren’t perfectly white, provided exactly the right mummy look I was after and won’t fray (thus no hemming).

This project could have been done more simply by sewing strips of t-shirt material on top of clothes I already had, but part of the fun for me was constructing the clothes as well. I went back and forth between a skirt and leg warmers or just pants. I decided I wanted to try a skirt and leg warmers first, so next week I’ll probably make Mila a cute pair of pants to try that.

I used a t-shirt to construct the skirt itself. I sewed the two pieces together.

I folded the waist portion down 3/4 inches to create the elastic casing and remembered to leave a good 2-3 inches open to get the elastic in later. The casing is at the very right below.

Using a sewing marker, I created marks starting at 1.5 inches from the bottom edge (so the bottom cloth strip hung slightly over the hem), then 1 inch up until I reached the waistband (so 1 inch of each cloth strip showed). (The picture above shows the bottom edge on the left and the waistband on the right.) I did this in several spots around the skirt to make sure that I would stay relatively even. This wouldn’t be necessary if you were really good at eyeballing which, as it turns out, you will be very good at once you’ve sewn this entire outfit!

The t-shirts and scraps were cut into 2 inch length pieces to create the strips of cloth. After cutting the t-shirt into large loops essentially, I cut each loop at the seam to open the loops into one long strip that was easy to sew on.

Starting with the bottom of the skirt and laying toward the waistband, I zigzagged the cloth strips on, overlapping them about 1/2 inch. After a complete pass around the skirt, I angled the cloth gently upwards until the next inch “marker” was reached and sewed straight. My very first cloth strip(s) was/were the bottom 2 inches of a t-shirt so I could use the hemmed edge.

Initially, I was worried about the warmth since the t-shirt isn’t warm enough for Halloween in Iowa, but it became clear pretty quickly that all the layers would provide adequate warmth for the 60 degree weather we had, especially with the leg warmers added in.

Some of the strips didn’t lay flat, so I snipped where necessary. In this picture you can see where the uncut seam of the t-shirt appears, but it doesn’t present a problem either in style or function.

Added elastic and stitched the casing shut.

Lastly, I tried it on my little mummy! I think this would be cute done in two tones of the same color t-shirt. Though it took longer than I thought (2.5 hours), you could make one long enough initially so it would grow with your child to make it worth the effort. Add a pair of leg warmers underneath, it could work in Iowa for 3 of the 4 seasons!

Next time, the leg warmers!