Tag Archives: sewing

Make It Monday: New Pillowcases

I love white sheets.  Love, love, love them.  But, I looked at my bed the other day and thought “How boring.”  So, I did what any sewing nut would do–I dug in the stash and pulled out some fun pieces to update my pillowcases. 

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These pillowcases are easy to make, they wash well, and they added just a bit of color to my bedroom.  Plus, they are pretty! 

The link to the instructions is here.

A Boy’s Ren Faire Costume

DIY Boy's Renaissance Costumer

For his 3rd grade book report, someone decided to be Christopher Columbus.  This Someone was supposed to be George Lucas, but that would have been too easy for Momma.  So instead, Someone decided he needed a character with a costume.  Fabulous.

Since my daughter’s middle school just finished a Ren Faire, I thought about borrowing/buying a costume .  Same time period, right?  But hey, this Momma can sew.  So I did!IMG_9000

I’m posting the instructions below because I know a few boy Mommas who will need Ren Faire costume ideas for next year.  The measurements included fit my 9-year-old.  Here’s what I did:

A Boy’s Ren Faire Costume

Sewing Level:  Advanced Beginner

Cost:  I spent less than $16 by using scraps.

Size:  These measurements fit my 9-year-old.

The leggings:  Dad’s white knee socks.  That’s easy, right?

The pants:  Gray jogging suit pants that are way to short too be worn any other way.  The pants are tucked into the socks and ballooned over the knee.IMG_9002

The shirt:  This piece was made out of a thin, cheap muslin we had lying around.

Supplies:  2 yards of a thin fabric, 2 yards 1/4 inch cord, your sewing equipment and tools.

1.  Start with 4 rectangles, each measuring about 17 x 32.


2.  Fold the rectangles in half lengthwise.  (You should now have 4 pieces folded into 8 1/2 x 32 rectangles.)

3.  From the raw edge, mark over 9 inches on the long edge and down 3 inches on the short edge.


4.  Draw a curve line connecting these two marks.  This is your arm hole.


Before you panic, here’s my little trick.  A coffee cup for the curve and a ruler for the straight edge.


5.  Unfold your pieces and with right sides together, stitch or serge two panels together along the arm hole.


6.  Unfold these and stitch a 3rd piece together along the next arm hole.


7.  Add the 4th piece to the third and then stitch the 4th piece back to the first, creating a circle.


8.  Lay your garment flat, right sides together.  Two pieces should be flat.  These are your front and back.  The other two pieces will each be folded in half. These are your sleeves.  Stitch the side and sleeve seams together, starting a the bottom and running all the way to the edge of the sleeve.



9.  Decide on your back piece.  Find the center.


10.  Mark 1 inch in and 8 inches down.  Connect these marks with a straight line.


11.  Cut along this line, creating a V in the back of your peasant shirt.


12.  The hem this cut, I fold in another inch along the top and narrow the fold to a point.  (Please ignore the iron spit stain.  I think it just adds character!)  Top stitch this hem in place.


13.  Form a casing along the top neck edge.  Do this by folding down the top edge 1 inch all the way around.


14.  Top stitch this in place, but leave the ends open.


15.  Thread the cord through the casing.  After my son tried the shirt on, we chose to shorten the cord a little.  You can if you wish.


16.  Hem the sleeves to your desired length.

This shirt was worn with just the bottom most edge tucked into his pants and the shirt ballooning over his waist.

Just a note for my CMM friends!  This shirt would work for Colonial Days too!

The hat:  This fabric was a remnant in the “fashion fabric” bin at Hancock’s.  I chose to use a second piece of scrap as additional umphf in the hat.

Supplies:  3/4 yard of fashion fabric, 1 yard 3/8 inch elastic, sewing equipment and tools.

1.  Cut a rectangle 6 x 25.

2.  Cut a circle (or almost a circle) about 21 inches in diameter.  (I chose to cut a second circle of another fabric is use for body.)


3.  Fold the rectangle lengthwise and press a nice crease in.


4.  Unfold the rectangle and fold width wise.  Stitch the ends together creating a circle.


5.  Cut a piece of elastic as long around as the boy’s head.  Stitch the ends together creating a circle.

6.  Pin the center front of the elastic to the center front of the band, about 1 inch from a raw edge.


7.  Keeping the elastic flat on the band pin the elastic to the band along the sides.  This will cause the fabric along the back of the band to bunch up.  That is what we want!  Stitch the elastic in place about 1/2 between center front and center back on either side.


8.  Fold the band back together lengthwise, matching raw edges, and baste them together.  (Sorry, I forgot a pic of that step!)

9.  Run a basting stitch about around the edge of your circle piece.


10.  Gather your circle and attach right sides together to your hat band.  Stitch with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.


The vest:  I apologize.  I didn’t snap photos or take notes of my steps while creating the vest.  I wasn’t sure how I wanted to create it, so I just draped and drew and cut and hoped for the best.  I used one of Christopher’s button up shirts to give me the basic idea for neckline, armholes, etc.  I recommend that you purchase a vest at your local thrift store or grab a pattern when they go on sale for less than $1.

February Sewing Day

I’m so excited about a new event on my sewing class calendar!

Sewing Days!

February’s Sewing Day is Thursday, Feburary 6th!  I’ll be teaching 3 one-hour sessions.  You can choose to take 1, 2 or all 3. The sessions will vary from month to month. Here are the details:

February Sewing Day
February 6, 2014
@Lil’ Miss Priss on Youree Drive

11:00 Using a ruffle foot
12:00 Gathering (with and without a ruffle foot)
1:00  Using your rolled hem foot
You’ll need your machine and a yard or so of scrap fabric.  You can sign up here.

Book Review: T Shirt Quilts Made Easy

T Shirt Quilts Made Easy by Martha Deleonardis

Published in 2012

ISBN: 978-1-60460-014-8

Some Chapter Headings:

  • Hints and How-To’s
  • Projects
  • Gallery
  • Easy Planning Guides

I should preface my review with this:  I borrowed this book from my mom when I was ready to make my daughter’s t shirt quilt.  I’m comfortable sewing and piecing quilt tops.  I was looking specifically for information about the coordinating fabrics, what size to cut the blocks, and how-to make all the blocks fit together.  This book did that.

I liked:

  • “It’s All About the Fabric” section that explained the best way to choose your fabrics for your project.  (Spoiler alert:  Don’t try to match your tee shirts!)
  • The entire “Easy Planning Guides” chapter.  To be honest, I skimmed over the other parts and camped out here.  I knew I wanted to start with 5 inch squares (a charm pack) so I used her “5 inch Grid Cut Block Chart to get the measures I needed to cut my tees.

My dislikes:

  • I found her grids too small for me to work with and designed my own in excel.

I already know how to sew.  I already know how to piece a quilt top in a basic 4-patch or 9-patch.  If I didn’t, I’m not sure this book would have helped much.  But since I already knew those techniques, I was looking for a book that would help me design a cute t shirt quilt.  That’s why I found the discussion about fabrics so helpful.  I also love math and grids, so her planning guides were right up my alley.  This book does not teach you how to quilt–only piece the quilt top.  If you need a book to teach you how to quilt, keep looking.

Would I buy it for myself?
Yes.  If I had a stack of t shirts and a basic sewing knowledge, this would be a great place to start.

Would I buy it for a beginner sewer?
Probably not, but for a sewist who has mastered straight seams—you’re good to go!